Current general topics
Start of round footsies: http://shoryuken.com/forum/index.php?threads/tired-of-combos-spacing-and-footsies-thread.164763/#post-7280340
Anti air dash footsies: http://shoryuken.com/forum/index.php?threads/tired-of-combos-spacing-and-footsies-thread.164763/#post-7279633
Anti rapid slash mix up tech: http://shoryuken.com/forum/index.php?threads/tired-of-combos-spacing-and-footsies-thread.164763/#post-7281280
Anti hidden missiles tools: http://shoryuken.com/forum/index.php?threads/tired-of-combos-spacing-and-footsies-thread-anti-hidden-missiles-assist.164763/page-2#post-7331959
It's still about bopping people (and/or protecting yourself from the bop).
Really if you're tired of combos one would say to probably just play a different game because this game is about putting people in combos after you hit them for the most part. The only real exception being more zone based teams like Morrigan + Missiles or Hawkeye type teams. You have teams like Mag/Dorm/Missiles or C.Viper based teams that can transition between bopping you into a long combo and zoning or spacing but...for the most part touch and combo is how the game works. Which is why a lot of people that talk about the game on the forums usually have a disposition towards just explaining what they do after they touch somebody with a character (which is generally some type of...combo).
It makes the game seem pretty easy and linear, but that's really not all to it at all. You have those that heavily support optimizing combos and what not, but more often that not the people who win tournaments in this game are those that don't flat out optimize their combos. They just optimize their ability to hit you by using their hit boxes to either get in before you can use your hit boxes. It can be as go to simple as run in with bix hit boxes like Wolverine and Wesker or it can be more about flooding up the screen with projectiles so Wolverine and Wesker can no longer put hit boxes on screen without getting hit themselves. The latter being more akin to fireball spacing in other games so you have a path to command your footsies or neutral while they don't.
Players like Fanatiq and others before him are focused on getting that BOP and avoiding your BOP.
You don't have to know elongated super optimal combos to do this obviously and it will still be the most important knowledge to have to kill fast and early and keep your momentum. You can always reward yourself with optimal combos providing you have enough execution to not regularly drop them. I'm not saying you have to Viscant execution combos, but the game gives you plenty of ways to kill even if you aren't doing the Magnetic Blast loops after every tiny touch.
One of the other big big things that the neutral and general spacing are supers and assists.
Supers and assists both basically allow you to put all types of new "footsies" on the screen and both of them basically allow you to change the frame data of your moves. They also can appear on the screen very fast with not much visual cue (to the point where sometimes you'll have to use audio cues and these are also very important to know for winning.
Standard throws are important to know about in the game as well because they are 1 frame and are built into most people's H normals.
This dictates a good bit of the footsies and forces you to be strong at anti airing or using your own characters air H or grounded H to tech them. Although throws are 1 frame you still get 7 frames to tech them.
Sometimes during ground throw situations you'll get into a "throw war" where you tech back and forth but you can always stop this by simply jumping and forcing them to whiff an H normal or chicken block their H normal and punish if they don't cancel it. The easiest punish being a throw (they won't be able to tech the throw since they are in recovery frames.
As I add to the thread I'll add a list of all of the characters and hopefully regularly updated info on how to utilize their own footsies and how their footsies work when combined with assists against other characters and teams.
Not to mention info on how each character can deal with the start of the round which is basically the most important part of the round.
Kunoichi is always in V Trigger
SFV: Ibuki (main bae), Chun Li (other bae until nerfed into ground)
KOF XIV: Nakoruru/Iori/KDash
SFIV: Nobody hate that shit (PROTIP: Everyone on SRK hates SFIV)
3S: Ibuki (main), Alex
If I ever pick up Xrd: Johnny
CFN: PervyJin01 (PS4) Twitch: c88deviljin01