Senior Series: The Argument for 2 Mains

They historical norm players is to choose a character they like and gel with and then to dedicate all of their time and energy to learning the intricacies of that character, how they interacted with the game engine, and the way their match-ups were to be played. I think Joe sums it up quite nicely with his quip on Japan’s playstyle from 0:29 – 0:35

Very rarely in the history of a street fighter game has anyone ever been considered the strongest player, playing more than one character…

…. Until SFV.

With Players like NuckleDu running Guile and Mika, and Punk and his tag team duo of Nash and Karin, it seems in this game that there is a very real possibility to play more than 1 character at a high level. SFV, being a very linear game, makes the skill ceiling much lower than other iterations, and making it possible to more fully explore all the aspects of a character in a limited amount of time.

Whatever character you play, you can probably classify them into one of three archetypes: Offense, Defense, Grapple. Though opinions may differ, generally the following is true:

Offense beats Defense

Defense beats Grapple

Grapple beats Offense

You can probably think of your match-up and see that this is likely the case in determining which are advantageous, disadvantageous, and even. In order to cover all of your match-ups, all you need to do is invest time in a character who beats your main character’s weakness. Then rather than grind out match-ups with a secondary character against the cast, save yourself the time and just play only the character’s who beat your main’s style.

Some people might argue, that they want to have the deepest knowledge of the match-up and simply continue with one character, and that is a fair and valid argument, but in a game like SFV where you don’t currently have to spend 3 to 4 years exploring a single character, it’s also a fair argument that you might be doing yourself a disservice in trying to work so hard against a style that clearly dominates yours.

As Joe said, it’s literally, “one character, till death.” Make sure it’s the right one for the job.

Senior Series: The Economics of Adaptation

This post is not recommended for beginners, but rather intermediate level players who can think about the game on a slightly conceptual level. This entry is going to be very different from others. While most guides on this site will be talking and focusing on a single skill through careful examination and explanation, this post is an experimental attempt to briefly provide many quotes on a topic that are thought provoking and should persuade players to think about their own play and how the quotes might affect their ability and level of play. Again, if you found this useful, please let us know by sending a shoutout to us through our twitter page.

  • Attention, like many other things is a finite resource in fighting games.
  • Adaptation is just attention through a multiplier of reward.
  • People who have limited attention are likely to focus on strategies with higher payoffs. [ex. Scrubs mash DP].
  • By spreading out strategies against an opponent, their range of attention is spread so far the ability to choose any single option is more difficult and thus they revert to simply the highest rewarding option.
  • Imagine your focus to all strategies is some number between 0 and 2. When you have no idea, your focus is spread out between all the options. The option that you choose is the highest damaging one. Because your attention is spread out to all options, the attention integer is low for each one. Multiplied by the highest damage payout, you get is typically the choice you make at lower levels of play.
  • People tend to start their logic process at equilibriums of highest payoff.
  • When playing, low level players make choices with the highest payoff, the strategically thinking next level of player   Learns this information, and will take the payoff that defeats his opponents strategy with the highest payoff.
  • Because attention is a finite resource, players tend try a wide array of strategies before finding the highest yielding one and repeating the strategy until it stops working.
  • The player who wins is the one who can find the most successful strategies and minimizes his opponents payoffs at the same time. This is what we call playing safely.
  • The best players adapt an exploration-exploitation strategy. They explore a wide range of options then lock on to the highest relative payoffs.
  • Good players start a match employing an exploration system of finding high payoffs. Then they divert their finite attention to those situations. They exploit the areas of highest economic return and focus their attention there.

Again, I hope that you take some time to think about each of these quotes separately, and also as a thought experiment about your level of play and your game play ability. If you have a moment, please let us know if it was helpful or not by dropping us a line on twitter.