What makes a casual game competitively popular? Why did Smash blow up?

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  • ViolentDjangoViolentDjango KEEP CALM and EWGF Joined: Posts: 1,170
    You might have watched some Melee matches, but judging by your pos,t and this line in particular, you likely just played Brawl. Everything you just posted is awful in more ways than one.

    I've seen plenty of Melee matches -- but when was the last time you saw a big Melee tournament anywhere? Even Comicpalooza here in Houston's Smash tournament is Brawl and they are putting $1000 dollars into it.

    It's hard to consider Melee relevant to anything when you don't see it anywhere outside of the inner sanctums of the Smash community. Everyone talks about how great 3rd strike was, yet you never see that around either because it's not relevant to the current tournament scene outside of side tournaments.

    Be defensive of your precious Smash brothers all you want, but at least face the fact that Brawl is the game people think of when they think about Smash these days. People can harp about the good old days technical depth in Melee, but at the end of the day Brawl is the current face of Smash -- just like SSF4AE is the current face of Street Fighter, regardless of whether or not Third Strike was the better game.
    SFxTK: Lars/Kazuya, Bryan/Marduk | P4U: Undecided | BBCS: Valkenhayn
    Fundamentals: [OO~~~] | Theory: [OOOO~] | Execution: [OO~~~] | Beast Mode: [OO~~~]
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  • SynikaLSynikaL Melee Prophet Joined: Posts: 1,699
    I'm not defensive regarding Smash, or even Melee - I'm defensive against bad opinions. I'm pretty sure Melee had its largest tournament ever just last year (Genesis, maybe? Not sure, don't pay attention to the scene much anymore). Alphazealot suggests numbers are strong for the game in general, still, with many tournaments throughout the year. I doubt 3rd Strike at the height of its popularity even compared.

    How relevant to the FG scene Melee (or even Brawl) is to the scene at large - is irrelevant. Especially in consideration for how self-sustained they are.

    Brawl is such a bad game, I don't even consider it cannon. I always make sure to mention I'm referring to Melee whenever talking about Smash.
    "Grandad, this food is destructive!"
    "Boy, what is wrong with you? This food is your culture."
    "Then the culture's destructive."

    -The Boondocks
  • ViolentDjangoViolentDjango KEEP CALM and EWGF Joined: Posts: 1,170
    I'm not defensive regarding Smash, or even Melee - I'm defensive against bad opinions. I'm pretty sure Melee had its largest tournament ever just last year (Genesis, maybe? Not sure, don't pay attention to the scene much anymore). Alphazealot suggests numbers are strong for the game in general, still, with many tournaments throughout the year. I doubt 3rd Strike at the height of its popularity even compared.

    How relevant to the FG scene Melee (or even Brawl) is to the scene at large - is irrelevant. Especially in consideration for how self-sustained they are.

    Brawl is such a bad game, I don't even consider it cannon. I always make sure to mention I'm referring to Melee whenever talking about Smash.


    First, there's no such thing as a "bad" opinion, there can be uneducated opinions -- but that assumes the opinion references the pertinent information in some way or would otherwise benefit from it. The fact that Melee had a big tournament last year doesn't really equate much to what I'm trying to say...

    I've never said anything about Smash not being a popular series, and I've said nothing against Melee as the hallmark of the game's quality -- but when the average person thinks of Smash, Brawl is the game that comes to mind, purely because its the most recent -- Numbers be damned. If people cared about numbers then Brawl probably would never have been played in a single tournament.

    Just saying that, unfortunately, Brawl is Smash Bros for the average person these days. And the only reason I brought up the Third Strike example was not to try to goat some "Street Fighter is better and more popular comparison" comparison, but to point out that, for example, the last sentence of your last post is EXACTLY something someone would say about Third Strike compared to AE, because arguably, Third Strike is the technically superior game. Just meant to point out that the comparison was parallel in terms of quality among people who know what they are talking about.
    SFxTK: Lars/Kazuya, Bryan/Marduk | P4U: Undecided | BBCS: Valkenhayn
    Fundamentals: [OO~~~] | Theory: [OOOO~] | Execution: [OO~~~] | Beast Mode: [OO~~~]
    Check out my Nerd Dating/Life Advice Blog: www.AskGeekLink.com
  • sanchaz1sanchaz1 Joined: Posts: 1,010

    Just saying that, unfortunately, Brawl is Smash Bros for the average person these days.

    Bullshit. Melee is the game for a smash player.
    option select toppers pizza- my roommate.
  • SynikaLSynikaL Melee Prophet Joined: Posts: 1,699
    First, there's no such thing as a "bad" opinion, there can be uneducated opinions -- but that assumes the opinion references the pertinent information in some way or would otherwise benefit from it. The fact that Melee had a big tournament last year doesn't really equate much to what I'm trying to say...

    Lol. An uneducated opinion is typically bad for the very reason that it misinterprets or misses the pertinent information completely when forming statements. I'm sorry, but your parents lied to you.
    I've never said anything about Smash not being a popular series, and I've said nothing against Melee as the hallmark of the game's quality -- but when the average person thinks of Smash, Brawl is the game that comes to mind, purely because its the most recent -- Numbers be damned. If people cared about numbers then Brawl probably would never have been played in a single tournament.

    I don't even know what this is saying, honestly. Turnouts don't matter in a competitive scene for Melee because Brawl holds the general mindshare? Mindshare is determined by tournament numbers? What?
    Just saying that, unfortunately, Brawl is Smash Bros for the average person these days. And the only reason I brought up the Third Strike example was not to try to goat some "Street Fighter is better and more popular comparison" comparison, but to point out that, for example, the last sentence of your last post is EXACTLY something someone would say about Third Strike compared to AE, because arguably, Third Strike is the technically superior game. Just meant to point out that the comparison was parallel in terms of quality among people who know what they are talking about.


    The sentence you're referring to is simply explaining where I stand in regards to discussions involving the series. It makes no real attempt to extrapolate from either game's mechanical qualities. That's much different from how 3S purists tend to speak in regards to SF4. Especially since many of them actually play SF4 and actively contribute to its popularity.
    "Grandad, this food is destructive!"
    "Boy, what is wrong with you? This food is your culture."
    "Then the culture's destructive."

    -The Boondocks
  • ViolentDjangoViolentDjango KEEP CALM and EWGF Joined: Posts: 1,170
    Bullshit. Melee is the game for a smash player.

    Average person =/= Smash player...

    I'm not going to bother with trying to re-explain any of this again...
    SFxTK: Lars/Kazuya, Bryan/Marduk | P4U: Undecided | BBCS: Valkenhayn
    Fundamentals: [OO~~~] | Theory: [OOOO~] | Execution: [OO~~~] | Beast Mode: [OO~~~]
    Check out my Nerd Dating/Life Advice Blog: www.AskGeekLink.com
  • sanchaz1sanchaz1 Joined: Posts: 1,010
    Average person =/= Smash player...

    I'm not going to bother with trying to re-explain any of this again...

    Yeah, me either.
    option select toppers pizza- my roommate.
  • GAPGAP Joined: Posts: 59
    Why does everyone want Smash to be competitive so much? If it was built like a traditional fighting game then it will alienate a lot of players who simply want to play the game for fun. Smash may not be as respected a lot of other fighters but Smash's(or should I say Nintendo's) target audience had always been causals or people who don't normally play games. Nintendo's target audience had always been these people and the minute they implent those competitive elements that Melee fans want, it starts to lose its appeal and it become just another fighting game that only fighting game nerds (no offense) play.

    Nintendo is not supportive of the competitive scene and I am starting to see why. Competitive players don't really play solely for fun but for bragging rights and money. Nintendo had always been about making fun games and if they do a good job they make a lot of money off it. So what if some characters are to powerful or the stages are too unpredictable or the items are too annoying or it doesn't wavedashing, frame rate, etc.? Smash is silly chaotic fun and that is not going to change anytime soon.
  • Negative-Zer0Negative-Zer0 Joined: Posts: 9,704
    To suggest that the Nintendo branding is the only reason the game was popular is simple-minded and plain wrong.

    Sorry SynikaL, but i disagree. I highly doubt that anyone in that community would be playing the game had they not have nintendo characters to boost it's popularity. I looked up Brawl back in 06 when brawl was coming out to see what it was like, and I came across a comment about ken being the best smash player. I looked him up and saw the game. Popularity contributes to a competitive scene, the more popular your game is, especially a multiplayer one, the more likely that it is to have a competitive scene. It happened with sf2, being one of the first competetive gammes of that caliber. I am not going to say that it is the only contribute, but the Nintendo characters within the game contributed largely to the following the game has today, to say otherwise is looking at it as though nothing about the game's popularity was simple, even though there may be more complex reasons.
    “I was trying to take the easy way out by running away from everything. No matter the pain, I will keep living. So when I die, I'll feel I did the best I could.” - Koala
  • SynikaLSynikaL Melee Prophet Joined: Posts: 1,699
    Again, that's simple-minded. You're looking at one aspect of the game's appeal in a vacuum. You bringing up Ken to prove some sort of point is ironic considering how often he remarked that he didn't actually care for the Nintendo aesthetics of the game, which is why he originally chose Marth (he didn't recognize him as a Nintendo staple) and actually preferred Street Fighter games to Smash, overall (these were salty remarks he made just before he decided to quit the first time, due to people not liking him in the community. So it was probably bullshit. He ended up coming back later and dominating further, solidifying his passion for the game. It just bears mentioning). It's just that he managed to become good at Melee, so he stuck with that game.

    Also, people outside the Smash community helped develop tech for the game. Empire offshoot Deadly Alliance comes to mind.

    Mario Kart is plenty popular and has sold more units than the Smash series. Why isn't its competitive community making waves? GTA 4 sold a lot of units last I checked. Why aren't people playing that competitively, period? Probably because people think its mechanics are trash in the context of competitive gameplay.

    I'm sorry, but to say I can't divorce my appreciation for Mario and behold the gameplay on its own merits is stupid. Of course, the aesthetics helped draw people in. But people don't travel across the world/country and put thousands of dollars on the line just because their favorite game has Pikachu in it. When you make the decision to play a game competitively, what you appreciate most about the game changes completely. If this weren't true, Brawl's existence would have never been a problem. No one would've complained about its garbage mechanics, because it still has all the stupid Nintendo characters present in Melee and then some.
    "Grandad, this food is destructive!"
    "Boy, what is wrong with you? This food is your culture."
    "Then the culture's destructive."

    -The Boondocks
  • blockheadblockhead Joined: Posts: 243
    lol smash bros

    total scrub game for people who can't do an srk motion
    KoF XIII: Kyo/Ash/Ex Iori subs: King or Terry
    ST: Guile
    Alpha 2/3: Akuma
  • ph00tbagph00tbag Joined: Posts: 96
    ViolentDjango, I really do think that you're the one that's just plain not getting it. In fact, I have a hard time believing at all that you got all that deep because just from reading your posts, it seems pretty clear that you're stumbling on a fundamental point to SynikaL's posts, which anyone who has come to any remotely deep understanding of the mechanics and gameplay of Smash games can tell you: Melee and Brawl are wholly different games. They share the same fundamental goal of removing an opponents options of avoiding the blast zone, but their way of crafting gameplay around that goal is different in an almost innumerable number of ways.

    That you don't grasp this fact that all dedicated smashers, even Brawl players, confirm, is evident in the fact that you continue to insist that all Smash games can be thrown under the umbrella term, Smash Bros.

    Basically, I'm sure if you were explicitly dismissive of Brawl, there wouldn't be as many people calling you out. The issue is that you seem to think Melee is the same game as Brawl, and you dismiss it out of hand. The point is that Melee, although intended as a game for young adults to dick around with at parties, is in fact, very deep and highly competitive. Maybe it doesn't have what you want, but that doesn't mean lumping it with Brawl doesn't do it a huge disservice.
  • blockheadblockhead Joined: Posts: 243
    they're all garbage what's the difference

    inb4 my little horsey I love My Little Pony so much it hurts throws a hissy fit about hurr durr u dont like mai game
    KoF XIII: Kyo/Ash/Ex Iori subs: King or Terry
    ST: Guile
    Alpha 2/3: Akuma
  • ViolentDjangoViolentDjango KEEP CALM and EWGF Joined: Posts: 1,170
    ViolentDjango, I really do think that you're the one that's just plain not getting it. In fact, I have a hard time believing at all that you got all that deep because just from reading your posts, it seems pretty clear that you're stumbling on a fundamental point to SynikaL's posts, which anyone who has come to any remotely deep understanding of the mechanics and gameplay of Smash games can tell you: Melee and Brawl are wholly different games. They share the same fundamental goal of removing an opponents options of avoiding the blast zone, but their way of crafting gameplay around that goal is different in an almost innumerable number of ways.

    That you don't grasp this fact that all dedicated smashers, even Brawl players, confirm, is evident in the fact that you continue to insist that all Smash games can be thrown under the umbrella term, Smash Bros.

    Basically, I'm sure if you were explicitly dismissive of Brawl, there wouldn't be as many people calling you out. The issue is that you seem to think Melee is the same game as Brawl, and you dismiss it out of hand. The point is that Melee, although intended as a game for young adults to dick around with at parties, is in fact, very deep and highly competitive. Maybe it doesn't have what you want, but that doesn't mean lumping it with Brawl doesn't do it a huge disservice.

    1. I wasn't saying that all Smash Brothers games are the same.
    2. I already expressed that Melee was a vastly superior game to Brawl, and that if any game was going to be the hallmark of Smash Brothers' viability as a competitive series it would be Melee.
    3. My point was that the average person, i.e. someone who isn't already a forum-attending part of the Smash community or the FGC in general thinks of Brawl when they think of Smash Brothers, not because of the quality of the game, because purely because it is the most recent -- just like how the average player thinks of Street Fighter 4 and Marvel 3 instead of Marvel 2 and Third Strike....

    The issue isn't my lack of understanding of what they were trying the say -- my mistake was trying to re-explain my point when it had been so clearly missed. Apparently it just made things worse. I wasn't trying to "umbrella" the games and I didn't even reference the fact that the series wasn't intended to be competitive -- because none of that was relevant to what I was saying.

    I used to compete in Smash on a local level, and I was a huge fan of the series -- including Brawl, despite its flaws -- I actually spent a lot of time defending the game's viability (and getting shit for it) despite how comparatively bad it was because I feel every game deserves its own chance in the name of due diligence. You guys are just so busy being hyper defensive of the game to be able to have any kind of conversation or debate about it. Frankly I just can't be bothered.
    SFxTK: Lars/Kazuya, Bryan/Marduk | P4U: Undecided | BBCS: Valkenhayn
    Fundamentals: [OO~~~] | Theory: [OOOO~] | Execution: [OO~~~] | Beast Mode: [OO~~~]
    Check out my Nerd Dating/Life Advice Blog: www.AskGeekLink.com
  • SynikaLSynikaL Melee Prophet Joined: Posts: 1,699
    "You guys"??? Whataya mean "you guys"?!!
    "Grandad, this food is destructive!"
    "Boy, what is wrong with you? This food is your culture."
    "Then the culture's destructive."

    -The Boondocks
  • ph00tbagph00tbag Joined: Posts: 96
    I guess, then, I'm just not sure how to interpret this bit.
    I don't really insult, Smash Brothers, but after quitting it and switching to proper fighting games I no longer have respect for it. They all have their valuable points in competitive depth, but honestly, the game as a whole just doesn't do it for me after I learned to play real fighting games.

    What it looks to me like is, you started out dismissing the series as a whole (not to insult it, or anything). Then, when you were called out on it, you started talking about how average people take "Smash Brothers" to mean Brawl, which is so unrelated to what anyone was talking about, it can't even be called a tangential discussion. The fact is, you don't have the luxury of deciding what the discussion is about, since your first post was a reply. If there's a misunderstanding, it's because you are the one missing the point.
  • LordLockeLordLocke #1 Toughest Joined: Posts: 115 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    It's not too hard to figure out- Super Smash Bros. and it's sequels were fun. Still are, outside of it's current scene. It's not surprising a scene was created around the game because it's got a major built-in audience, is basically the definition of 'easy to learn, hard to master,' and is both very flashy and very technical at the same time. It took years of gaming history and shoved it into one package that just hit all the right notes. The Smash games reeks of fanservice and polish and joy and flair and depth to explore, but most importantly, the Smash games were just a huge blast to play, especially with other people who truly and genuinely loved the game- much like any other competitive fighter. No sane person would spend the time it would take to consistently perform actions like L-canceling (a technique required to be performed virtually every time you used a jumping attack to be competitive) if there was not a genuine passion for the game, and no bad game could inspire that kind of passion in so many people.

    I was there when what would be the first major breakout of the scene first started up- in Northern California, the spring after Melee launched. The Tournament Go series, the Bay Area Biweeklies, etc. Back when the game was new, the player base was open minded, and it about playing some Smash Brothers and not playing the 'right' ruleset for it or the 'most competitive' stage selection- partially because there was not one for the time, but mostly because they wanted to keep Smash intact. Over a year came and went, and the most radical changes to the game were the removal of stages that had obvious horrific flaws for competitive play- Icicle Mountain for it's ability to kill heavy characters with a random speed-up (It could rise faster then Bowser or DK could keep up with- if they were already low on the screen they were dead), Yoshi Island 64 for cloud camping,

    But then the major question came up- what would it take to get Smash Bros. recognized by the greater fighting game community?

    The answer should have been one that's basically been adopted by both the Smash and greater Fighting Game community these days for spite instead of acceptance- 'Who cares? Let's play our game!' But at the time Smash was starting to outgrow it's britches. Melee tournaments were going from local affairs to inter-state to national to finally international- as early as 2003 players from Europe were already coming over for events, by 2004 Japan was coming too. And the guys behind Tournament Go were looking at trying to convince Evo to host Smash for the first time for Evo 2004. But the outside was not sold on the game. Weren't sure the scene had matured enough. Wasn't sure the game had competitive depth. They needed to be sold on Smash as an actual fighting game, and left it to the Smash community to go out and do it.

    And so starting Summer 2004, people began talking rulesets- some communities had already adapted a no item, limited stage selection like New York, while others like NorCal had only banned the bare minimum to keep the game competitive without being totally broken. After a lot of debate, the scene for a while tried to put out a somewhat unified face in terms of ruleset in an attempt to get itself taken seriously- one that tried to absolutely minimize the random factors and player vs environment factors of the game to focus as greatly on the one-on-one aspect of the game as it could- ironic, the actions they first took to reach out beyond their community and draw the interest of other fighting games groups would wind up forming the mindset that would wind up ostracizing the Smash community from both it's casual fanbase AND other fighting game communities. Some, like myself, slowly splintered off from the community during this time, but many many more trickled in- happy to know the game they lapped up so eagerly on their sofas with friends on slow weekends was actually becoming serious business and wanted to help push it into becoming a real breakout success.

    The rest, of course, is history. Evo finally gave Melee it's shot in 2007 to some moderate success, and invited the Smash guys back to help break in their new game that turned into the community wedge that was Brawl @ Evo 2k8- ironically enough, because this time Shoryuken and Evo wanted to test out the new game in it's fullest while the Smash community, who years prior cobbled together as minimal a ruleset as possible to get themselves invited to Evo in the first place, were confused why SRK didn't just want to grandfather in Melee's proven rule list. But by then Smash wasn't just another up-and-coming community- it was a huge and unique beast all it's own, unlike anything that had really come before or has risen up since. So it wandered off and still continues to really do it's own thing, drawing in new faces every so often that want to have their favorite Nintendo characters beat each other up in a brawling game that offers a genuinely unique experience that isn't really offered anywhere else.
    Meeh...
  • SynikaLSynikaL Melee Prophet Joined: Posts: 1,699
    It's not too hard to figure out- Super Smash Bros. and it's sequels were fun. Still are, outside of it's current scene. It's not surprising a scene was created around the game because it's got a major built-in audience, is basically the definition of 'easy to learn, hard to master,' and is both very flashy and very technical at the same time. It took years of gaming history and shoved it into one package that just hit all the right notes. The Smash games reeks of fanservice and polish and joy and flair and depth to explore, but most importantly, the Smash games were just a huge blast to play, especially with other people who truly and genuinely loved the game- much like any other competitive fighter. No sane person would spend the time it would take to consistently perform actions like L-canceling (a technique required to be performed virtually every time you used a jumping attack to be competitive) if there was not a genuine passion for the game, and no bad game could inspire that kind of passion in so many people.

    I was there when what would be the first major breakout of the scene first started up- in Northern California, the spring after Melee launched. The Tournament Go series, the Bay Area Biweeklies, etc. Back when the game was new, the player base was open minded, and it about playing some Smash Brothers and not playing the 'right' ruleset for it or the 'most competitive' stage selection- partially because there was not one for the time, but mostly because they wanted to keep Smash intact. Over a year came and went, and the most radical changes to the game were the removal of stages that had obvious horrific flaws for competitive play- Icicle Mountain for it's ability to kill heavy characters with a random speed-up (It could rise faster then Bowser or DK could keep up with- if they were already low on the screen they were dead), Yoshi Island 64 for cloud camping,

    But then the major question came up- what would it take to get Smash Bros. recognized by the greater fighting game community?

    The answer should have been one that's basically been adopted by both the Smash and greater Fighting Game community these days for spite instead of acceptance- 'Who cares? Let's play our game!' But at the time Smash was starting to outgrow it's britches. Melee tournaments were going from local affairs to inter-state to national to finally international- as early as 2003 players from Europe were already coming over for events, by 2004 Japan was coming too. And the guys behind Tournament Go were looking at trying to convince Evo to host Smash for the first time for Evo 2004. But the outside was not sold on the game. Weren't sure the scene had matured enough. Wasn't sure the game had competitive depth. They needed to be sold on Smash as an actual fighting game, and left it to the Smash community to go out and do it.

    And so starting Summer 2004, people began talking rulesets- some communities had already adapted a no item, limited stage selection like New York, while others like NorCal had only banned the bare minimum to keep the game competitive without being totally broken. After a lot of debate, the scene for a while tried to put out a somewhat unified face in terms of ruleset in an attempt to get itself taken seriously- one that tried to absolutely minimize the random factors and player vs environment factors of the game to focus as greatly on the one-on-one aspect of the game as it could- ironic, the actions they first took to reach out beyond their community and draw the interest of other fighting games groups would wind up forming the mindset that would wind up ostracizing the Smash community from both it's casual fanbase AND other fighting game communities. Some, like myself, slowly splintered off from the community during this time, but many many more trickled in- happy to know the game they lapped up so eagerly on their sofas with friends on slow weekends was actually becoming serious business and wanted to help push it into becoming a real breakout success.

    The rest, of course, is history. Evo finally gave Melee it's shot in 2007 to some moderate success, and invited the Smash guys back to help break in their new game that turned into the community wedge that was Brawl @ Evo 2k8- ironically enough, because this time Shoryuken and Evo wanted to test out the new game in it's fullest while the Smash community, who years prior cobbled together as minimal a ruleset as possible to get themselves invited to Evo in the first place, were confused why SRK didn't just want to grandfather in Melee's proven rule list. But by then Smash wasn't just another up-and-coming community- it was a huge and unique beast all it's own, unlike anything that had really come before or has risen up since. So it wandered off and still continues to really do it's own thing, drawing in new faces every so often that want to have their favorite Nintendo characters beat each other up in a brawling game that offers a genuinely unique experience that isn't really offered anywhere else.

    Almost front-page worthy.
    "Grandad, this food is destructive!"
    "Boy, what is wrong with you? This food is your culture."
    "Then the culture's destructive."

    -The Boondocks
  • LordLockeLordLocke #1 Toughest Joined: Posts: 115 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    The wall of text just felt relevant with the recent collapse of the URC. The URC was both the ultimate realization of what the Smash Community first started to do in 2004 to form a true fighting game community and what, ultimately, was really wrong with the competitive Smash community in general- a very small selection of Tournament Organizers getting together to try and dictate to everyone else how the game has to be played if you want your Smash tournament to be taken seriously. Which isn't a problem if it's a very broad and obvious set of decisions- such a thing happens with virtually every fighting game anymore- but started grossly overstepping on the specifics of the ruleset to the point where even some of Smash's 'major' tournaments started ignoring it.

    While Smash is a little different in respects to other fighting games in terms of needing some ground rules set, it should always be at the final say of the Tournament Operator what the final ruleset is, and more importantly, that those who are 'in charge' should not actively work against Tournament Operators who choose to use to follow different rulesets, especially ones that restrict less things instead of more. More tournaments are always better for a community then less, and as long as the ruleset in question is not making the game completely unrecognizable from itself (especially if it's not restrictions, but the lack thereof that is the dissent from the given norm.) then at the very least it should be allowed to co-exist in peace and succeed or fail based entirely on the merits of player interest in that ruleset. The leadership of the Smash community has been guilty of attacking it's own base as far back as mid-2005, bullying any tournament operator who was not using the extremely restricted stage list propose to help the game be taken seriously, and with the end of the URC and the Unity Ruleset returning to being a recommendation instead of a 'requirement' for recognition by Smashboards, maybe we're finally moving towards the time where the Smash community may become more accepting of the one thing anything needs to accept for anyone else to accept it- itself.
    Meeh...
  • SynikaLSynikaL Melee Prophet Joined: Posts: 1,699
    What's the "URC"?
    "Grandad, this food is destructive!"
    "Boy, what is wrong with you? This food is your culture."
    "Then the culture's destructive."

    -The Boondocks
  • ph00tbagph00tbag Joined: Posts: 96
    URC stands for Unity Ruleset Committee. Essentially, it's a good old boys' club of Brawl TOs who all decided they're going to make a ruleset that they'll all utilize in their tournaments, and only TOs that use that ruleset are eligible for inclusion in the URC. On it's own, there's not much wrong with that. It allows a player to go to any Unity tournament with full knowledge of what he's getting into. It got problematic when SWF instated the rule that only Unity tournaments could be stickied, and receive the publicity that a sticky brings.
  • SynikaLSynikaL Melee Prophet Joined: Posts: 1,699
    Eww.
    "Grandad, this food is destructive!"
    "Boy, what is wrong with you? This food is your culture."
    "Then the culture's destructive."

    -The Boondocks
  • t1bzt1bz Joined: Posts: 196
    Meh, more than time that thing disbanded. Elitism is ftl.
  • ph00tbagph00tbag Joined: Posts: 96
    Yeah, all in all it was a pretty ugly state of affairs. I'm all for starting up smash leagues for the competition they usually engender, but Smash's identity is formed from the bottom up. No one should be able to just say they're legitimate unless the community as a whole agrees that they are.
  • zeechzeech Dismember Joined: Posts: 578
    It would have been better for things to be more... democratic? Market driven?

    Every tournament is free to choose its own ruleset, and discuss their reasons publicly, and then over time we'll see which tournaments are more fun/popular/respected, what players ask for when tournaments are being planned, and presumably (as long as people can put their stubborness aside - a tall order to be sure), some sort of standard (or a handful of competing standards) will be arrived at.

    I assume the current state of the smash community is like this?
  • ph00tbagph00tbag Joined: Posts: 96
    Melee has more or less reached that point. The MBR, which is a group of TOs and (more importantly) players who perform well, has a recommended ruleset, which is not so capitalistic. But it certainly helps that if you utilize the recommended ruleset, you have a high likelihood that several high level players will attend if they have the means, because they had a hand in its creation. It also helps that the recommended ruleset is largely agreed upon by the community in general.

    Brawl is kinda like that, but figuring out what to do about Metaknight is making it really hard for anything cohesive to happen in the community.
  • LordLockeLordLocke #1 Toughest Joined: Posts: 115 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    Metaknight is an easy issue if you compare his role to other banned characters in other games.

    Is is very good? Yes. Is he the best character in the game? Very much so.

    Is he anywhere near unbeatable? No. He has one or two fights that are considered even and a lot of matchups with the upper tiers that are judged only marginally advantaged to MK. He probably lacks a solidly disadvantaged matchup, but he's not a dominant force to the degree that if you don't pick him, you will lose to him unless you are far more skilled then your opponent. So the SSF2T Akuma angle is out.

    Is he the most centralizing character in the metagame? (aka the Pokemon-style ban argument that for some reason people love to throw around on Smashboards despite it being borderline troll logic when applied directly to a fighting game.) ...this one is tougher (due a lot to the weirdness of applying it to a 1v1 fighting game with a competitive roster probably around 20ish instead of a 3v3/6v6 battle RPG with even the ranks of competitive characters leveling in at around 60+), and a lot of problems with Brawl have been emphasized and exaggerated by Meta Knight. Planking. Scrooging. Sharking. Evasive stalling, off the stage stalling... other characters can do that stuff, but MK can as well, and is among the best at it while still being one of the strongest characters in a straight-up fight as well. A lot of the 'tactical bans' that Brawl has had come out during it's life are due either directly or theoretically to Meta Knight. The question must be asked- would a lot of these strategies be still problematic without Meta Knight? The community at large seems to think yes (AKA, ledge grab limits and delay of game rules would still exist without Meta Knight) and if that's the case, then he's not centralizing in this aspect- these tactics would still be restricted/banned/competitively restrictive with Meta Knight or without him and are more issues about design elements of Brawl itself or design elements present in multiple characters. So, the question moves on to character matchups? Does the presence of Meta Knight greatly limit the competitive variety of the character roster by holding down a significant portion of the cast by himself?

    Honestly? No.

    There are not a lot of characters who are 'viable except for Meta Knight.'- not having an awful Meta Knight matchup is important, but all taking Meta Knight out of the metagame does is make the game a little easier for everyone else- a lot of the characters who had a really bad time with MK have a really bad time with multiple members of the top tier. Ike won't suddenly rise in position without Meta Knight- he still has problems with the Olimar and Dedede too. Shiek still has some pretty bad matchups with Ice Climbers and Pikachu. ROB's still got a brick wall named Falco in his way. Pit still lacks anything better then an even matchup against anyone in the top three tiers- losing his marginally-worse MK matchup is not going to catapult him up any positions. The sole exception, IIRC, is Peach, and a solid character having competitive problems due to a single awful matchup is not a new thing for Brawl (just talk to any Donkey Kong or Fox main about King Dedede or Pikachu, respectively) All removing Meta Knight from the game really does is make the top tier of the game one character smaller without a whole lot of new faces suddenly becoming viable.

    His best analog out there is probably vanilla SF4 Sagat- a dominant force who lacked any bad matchups and had a lot of advantages, but was still very much in the realm of possible to deal with. IMO, that's not ban-worthy, since banning him adds little to the game while removing an entire character from it.
    Meeh...
  • ph00tbagph00tbag Joined: Posts: 96
    The question must be asked- would a lot of these strategies be still problematic without Meta Knight? The community at large seems to think yes (AKA, ledge grab limits and delay of game rules would still exist without Meta Knight)

    I have to interject here. This is actually a point that is still hotly debated, and if the number of players in the community who wanted to ban Metaknight as of the last poll on the topic is any indicator, the majority of the community seems to disagree with you.

    The issue is really that it's not a plurality. Whether MK is banned or not, effectively half the community is up in arms about it.

    Usually when the topic comes up, I ask people why they don't just play Melee.
  • t1bzt1bz Joined: Posts: 196
    I have to interject here. This is actually a point that is still hotly debated, and if the number of players in the community who wanted to ban Metaknight as of the last poll on the topic is any indicator, the majority of the community seems to disagree with you.

    The issue is really that it's not a plurality. Whether MK is banned or not, effectively half the community is up in arms about it.

    Usually when the topic comes up, I ask people why they don't just play Melee.

    Because that would require them to have execution and tech skill, of course.
  • GAPGAP Joined: Posts: 59
    Metaknight is an easy issue if you compare his role to other banned characters in other games.

    Is is very good? Yes. Is he the best character in the game? Very much so.

    Is he anywhere near unbeatable? No. He has one or two fights that are considered even and a lot of matchups with the upper tiers that are judged only marginally advantaged to MK. He probably lacks a solidly disadvantaged matchup, but he's not a dominant force to the degree that if you don't pick him, you will lose to him unless you are far more skilled then your opponent. So the SSF2T Akuma angle is out.

    Is he the most centralizing character in the metagame? (aka the Pokemon-style ban argument that for some reason people love to throw around on Smashboards despite it being borderline troll logic when applied directly to a fighting game.) ...this one is tougher (due a lot to the weirdness of applying it to a 1v1 fighting game with a competitive roster probably around 20ish instead of a 3v3/6v6 battle RPG with even the ranks of competitive characters leveling in at around 60+), and a lot of problems with Brawl have been emphasized and exaggerated by Meta Knight. Planking. Scrooging. Sharking. Evasive stalling, off the stage stalling... other characters can do that stuff, but MK can as well, and is among the best at it while still being one of the strongest characters in a straight-up fight as well. A lot of the 'tactical bans' that Brawl has had come out during it's life are due either directly or theoretically to Meta Knight. The question must be asked- would a lot of these strategies be still problematic without Meta Knight? The community at large seems to think yes (AKA, ledge grab limits and delay of game rules would still exist without Meta Knight) and if that's the case, then he's not centralizing in this aspect- these tactics would still be restricted/banned/competitively restrictive with Meta Knight or without him and are more issues about design elements of Brawl itself or design elements present in multiple characters. So, the question moves on to character matchups? Does the presence of Meta Knight greatly limit the competitive variety of the character roster by holding down a significant portion of the cast by himself?

    Honestly? No.

    There are not a lot of characters who are 'viable except for Meta Knight.'- not having an awful Meta Knight matchup is important, but all taking Meta Knight out of the metagame does is make the game a little easier for everyone else- a lot of the characters who had a really bad time with MK have a really bad time with multiple members of the top tier. Ike won't suddenly rise in position without Meta Knight- he still has problems with the Olimar and Dedede too. Shiek still has some pretty bad matchups with Ice Climbers and Pikachu. ROB's still got a brick wall named Falco in his way. Pit still lacks anything better then an even matchup against anyone in the top three tiers- losing his marginally-worse MK matchup is not going to catapult him up any positions. The sole exception, IIRC, is Peach, and a solid character having competitive problems due to a single awful matchup is not a new thing for Brawl (just talk to any Donkey Kong or Fox main about King Dedede or Pikachu, respectively) All removing Meta Knight from the game really does is make the top tier of the game one character smaller without a whole lot of new faces suddenly becoming viable.

    His best analog out there is probably vanilla SF4 Sagat- a dominant force who lacked any bad matchups and had a lot of advantages, but was still very much in the realm of possible to deal with. IMO, that's not ban-worthy, since banning him adds little to the game while removing an entire character from it.

    Hence the no items, no final smash, no Metaknight that I got from TVTropes.
  • 8Bit8Bit Joined: Posts: 72
    That's why they unbanned him
    SSFIVAE: Ryu, Akuma
    SFA2: Ryu, Ken
    SSFIIT: Ryu
    SFIII3S: Yun
    UMVC3: Morri/Doom/Vergil
  • ph00tbagph00tbag Joined: Posts: 96
    Strictly speaking, he's not unbanned. In a way, it's hard to really argue that he ever was banned, since there really hasn't been an MK banned national or international tournament ever, that I'm aware of. It's really easy to look at the URC's ban and say that MK was officially banned as an outside observer, but that really doesn't do justice to the politics and discourse behind the smash community's ruleset creation.

    Case in point, the URC's ruleset is still copypasta'd in several tournament ruleset. Many tournaments still ban MK. While the URC was operational, many tournaments did not ban Metaknight, and the Brawl Back Room's recommended ruleset did not, in fact, recommend a Metaknight ban. The only thing that's changed is that SWF is no longer arbitrarily encouraging one ruleset over another.
  • LordLockeLordLocke #1 Toughest Joined: Posts: 115 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    I have to interject here. This is actually a point that is still hotly debated, and if the number of players in the community who wanted to ban Metaknight as of the last poll on the topic is any indicator, the majority of the community seems to disagree with you.

    The issue is really that it's not a plurality. Whether MK is banned or not, effectively half the community is up in arms about it.

    Usually when the topic comes up, I ask people why they don't just play Melee.

    I don't understand this, but maybe that's just because of the quote you took having nothing to do with what you said (what you quoted was about how removing Meta Knight would not, at this point, get many of the 'tactical ban' rules like Ledge Grab Limits removed from many tournament rulesets due to other characters besides Meta Knight being able to abuse planking, off-the-stage stalling, etc) and frankly it makes me curious anyways why you would think an online poll, left open to anyone who can register a Smashboards account, would be a good indicator of a character needing a ban instead of, say, tournament results (which point towards Meta Knight being a dominant but hardly unbeatable character) or Meta Knight forcing the game to be played a particular way- like Hilde in SC4 forcing everyone to play super-defensive on any stage capable of ring-outs because one fluke touch and that's the round.

    I get that people are tired of dealing with Meta Knight in competitive play. He's been the dominant force in the game ever since people stopped pointing fingers at Dedede and his chain grab, and has not let go for nearly three years now. He's won more tournaments then anyone else, he is a difficult matchup for anyone without a way to deal with him air-to-air, and it seems like every time he's about to get caught by someone else, some new tech or tactic for Meta Knight shows up and re-establishes his place at the top of Brawl's tier list. He's an amazing character with countless advantages and only a couple drawbacks. He's not just a strong character in a fight, but he is also exceedingly good at playing the game really 'lame'- creating stall wars and abusing a lead to force the other player to possibly throw the match to catch back up. But banning a character is extremely bad for the competitive life for the game unless it's absolutely necessary for a number of factors- something that is done only if the character in question is rendering the game unplayable, greatly unbalances the game in a fashion in that any given matchup is entirely dictated by the presence of that character regardless of the opposing character, or is otherwise greatly limiting competitive play due to their presence. to the point where the game suffers. And Meta Knight, for all his power, hasn't killed Brawl yet. Not even close.
    Meeh...
  • zeechzeech Dismember Joined: Posts: 578
    Actually, that's interesting. The theme of the thread is, "how do games not particularly intended for competitive play, end up being played competitively?" so far the answers have been that the gameplay itself might have some hidden depth, and also just a function of massive popularity.

    But what about the reverse of that? "When a game is really popular anyways, just how bad does it have to get before people give up on it?" So, obviously metaknight hasnt killed Smash.

    I wonder if allowing Gouki/Akuma in ST would have killed SF2 competitively?
  • ph00tbagph00tbag Joined: Posts: 96
    In my experience, people who want MK banned are also convinced LGLs would not be necessary if MK were banned. Considering their whole argument is that MK's planking is broken and other characters' planking is not, it definitely follows. In addition, the poll didn't just have a simple ratio of numbers, everyone's vote was also publicly viewable, and the division in the community was very clearly there at all levels of play, according to the poll. Several high level players feel MK ought to be banned, and they are convinced his is the only planking that warrants an LGL. This is the salient part of the information I was bringing up.

    Of course, most people who were high level Brawl players at the time have started gravitating back towards Melee, from what I can tell.
  • AmigoOneAmigoOne Joined: Posts: 1,194
    MK is not Vanilla Sagat, he's fucking o. sagat.
  • Sanger ZonvoltSanger Zonvolt Future Cyberbots Pro Joined: Posts: 1,529
    Better ban Eddie, he wins too much.
    Sword of Sophia and fightan games
    Cyberbots: Super-8 & Helion
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    Skullgirls: Painwheel/Filia/Squigly
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