Combo timing

Bahamut DragonsBahamut Dragons Joined: Posts: 11
I have a bone to pick with every fighting game ever released. Fighting games nowadays often require a lot of work to get the most out of them. To that end, they offer tutorials, challenges, move lists and often combo lists. What they provide is a series of button presses. What they don't provide, especially for combos, is any sense of timing for when to press those buttons.

I'm currently playing Street Fighter X Tekken, but I've faced this issue in every single fighting game with a combo system that I've ever played. I try to link a combo that the system is proposing to me, but I don't actually manage to do it because there's a magical arbitrary way to time the inputs which the game refuses to give me. I've been on a single combo for like 10 minutes, trying to figure out if I'm too slow, too fast, but there's no way of knowing and no way of making progress.

This is a huge barrier to games which are presented as easy to pick up and play. I'm not asking to be a top player, I'm not even asking asking to be a good player. But when the system is built where the player is supposed to guess the arbitrary whim of a designer, that's a fail.

This has been nagging at me for years. I can't be the only one bothered by this and I highly doubt designers have never been faced with these issues. So what's a guy to do?

Comments

  • YinYin fun fun fun Joined: Posts: 3,396
    Well, fighting games were always like that, you just didn't know about it before. :razzy:

    But I agree with you, challenge modes should show the timing. Like a rhythm game sorta.
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  • IglooBobIglooBob Bob the builder Joined: Posts: 2,689 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • OMG its a duckOMG its a duck Bruh I'm in down bad bruh Joined: Posts: 1,917 ✭✭✭✭
    Fighting games nowadays often require a lot of work to get the most out of them.

    Haha, what?
  • Bahamut DragonsBahamut Dragons Joined: Posts: 11
    Haha, what?

    I meant that before, games weren't as complicated. There were combos, but they were incidental and just happened to be part of the game rather than a design consideration. Now the designs are much more intricate, so there's more work to learn and appreciate everything about it.
  • Bahamut DragonsBahamut Dragons Joined: Posts: 11
    work harder

    I'd rather work smarter, which is a tough thing to do when I'm not provided the proper tools.
  • OneSanitariumOneSanitarium BASARA Joined: Posts: 1,399 ✭✭✭
    I've never had any trouble with timing of link combos. It's always been at the end of the recovery, which is always easy to see. Sure, it may be a 1f link, but never have I been unable to find the timing.
  • fokkusuhaundofokkusuhaundo true bubble struggle Joined: Posts: 695
    I'll agree that most fighter's are terrible at explaining how to execute combos, or rather they don't explain anything at all. Try doing the combo trial mode for SF4 as a complete beginner and never being told that you can't cancel chained light normals into specials. Often there is no explanation at all about the difference between a link and a chain, and only the committed new players bother to research further outside of the game to learn such basic but vital information of the game's mechanics.

    There's also nowhere in the combo trials for most fighters that tell you that many of these combos are impractical and that you're far better off practicing easier and more optimized combo's in training mode. All this does is further spread the misconception that you need to learn these difficult combos in order to do well and be considered good at the game.

    I want to see a game with movement, spacing/footsies, reads, and reaction trials. I've heard some good things about SG's tutorial mode, but too bad most new players are too busy calling the game "dead" than to give it a try.

    Now, many might think that these new players that don't bother to research further outside of the game are not worth catering to and that these players should just be weeded out for the more committed beginners. But consider that many players still rely on online netplay for there primary source of practice: wouldn't it be great for these players if their average online opponent was at least knowledgeable and skillful enough with the game's basics thanks to a good trial/tutorial mode?

    I suppose more better educated new players would mean less scrub quotes in the scrubquotes thread.
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  • ViacheViache Joined: Posts: 729 ✭✭
    I'm currently playing Street Fighter X Tekken, but I've faced this issue in every single fighting game with a combo system that I've ever played. I try to link a combo that the system is proposing to me, but I don't actually manage to do it because there's a magical arbitrary way to time the inputs which the game refuses to give me. I've been on a single combo for like 10 minutes, trying to figure out if I'm too slow, too fast, but there's no way of knowing and no way of making progress.

    Say you're trying to link something like c.MP, c.MP.

    If you do the second input too early, nothing comes out. If you do it to late, the second c.MP comes out, but does not combo.
  • d3vd3v #MAXCPM Fiber Override Joined: Posts: 24,810 mod
    The real answer is that because combos are still, for the most part, emergent. Characters aren't really designed with pre-set BnBs. Even the stuff you see in the challenge modes is stuff that the developers of that mode figure out while the game is being made.
  • eltroubleeltrouble Joined: Posts: 5,553 ✭✭✭✭
    1) Watch youtube videos to get a visual idea of how the combo is supposed to look like.
    2) Understand the difference between a link and a cancel.
    3) Practice, practice, practice, practice, practice.
    4) Repeat step 3 forever.
  • Bahamut DragonsBahamut Dragons Joined: Posts: 11
    The real answer is that because combos are still, for the most part, emergent. Characters aren't really designed with pre-set BnBs. Even the stuff you see in the challenge modes is stuff that the developers of that mode figure out while the game is being made.

    Perhaps, but they still put them there to help beginning players understand and learn the system. It wouldn't be hard to put a metronome and show when you can and can't link, at least for the given combos. The code is there after all.
  • SurenioSurenio Joined: Posts: 1,106
    Perhaps, but they still put them there to help beginning players understand and learn the system. It wouldn't be hard to put a metronome and show when you can and can't link, at least for the given combos. The code is there after all.
    While I'll grant you something like that would be infinitely useful for the uninitiated, I still don't see how combo timing doesn't come intuitively from trial and error. I only say that because I learned combos as a kid, from simply playing, can't be too tough right?
  • Bahamut DragonsBahamut Dragons Joined: Posts: 11
    While I'll grant you something like that would be infinitely useful for the uninitiated, I still don't see how combo timing doesn't come intuitively from trial and error. I only say that because I learned combos as a kid, from simply playing, can't be too tough right?

    Because as an adult, I don't have as much time to spend playing a video game as a kid would. Not only that, but imagine if instead they were asking players to do a Hadoken, but refused to give the button input. It would immediately turn a lot of beginning players off. I wouldn't even have a problem with combos if they weren't asking me to do this, but they are so they should be giving me all the information I need to succeed. It's just good design.

    Like I said, I'm not looking to be a tournament caliber player, but if I have to spend a ton of time trying to guess an arbitrary value in code, then that's just absurd.

    What color am I thinking of? Nope, it wasn't red, it was a slightly lighter shade of red than you were thinking of.
  • Trouble BrewingTrouble Brewing Salty about Ultra Joined: Posts: 4,560 mod
    Let me give you the secret of link timing. If you hit the button for the second normal and it doesn't come out, you hit it too early. If you hit the button for the second normal and it comes out but doesn't combo, you hit it too late. That's all the information you need to learn them.

    You might not like that answer, but it's right one.
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  • IglooBobIglooBob Bob the builder Joined: Posts: 2,689 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think you just don't care that much about learning it tbh

    you can make reasons like "I have a life" or "they really should hold my hand" but if you want to learn the combo, you'll eventually learn it. you have to put the time in. if you aren't willing to do that and just want to play in limited time "for fun" or whatever, that's fine but you also have to accept that you'll do it without a few combos. no one had hand holding tutorials in the old days, heck no one had anything. 3s Genei Jin exists because people figured it out every step of the way and showed other people. if you really love a game you won't mind sitting in training mode a while and messing with the game IMO.
  • Bahamut DragonsBahamut Dragons Joined: Posts: 11
    I think you just don't care that much about learning it tbh

    you can make reasons like "I have a life" or "they really should hold my hand" but if you want to learn the combo, you'll eventually learn it. you have to put the time in. if you aren't willing to do that and just want to play in limited time "for fun" or whatever, that's fine but you also have to accept that you'll do it without a few combos. no one had hand holding tutorials in the old days, heck no one had anything. 3s Genei Jin exists because people figured it out every step of the way and showed other people. if you really love a game you won't mind sitting in training mode a while and messing with the game IMO.

    This isn't the old days. There's a reason why things evolve and improve. There were mp3 players for years, yet everyone gravitated towards the iPod when it was released. Marketing? Sure, but also ease of use. Having a mentality of "this is how it is, deal with it" is a terribly archaic viewpoint, very elitist in nature, IMO.

    And like I said, I've tried, it didn't click and I didn't understand why because the game isn't well designed enough to explain why. I'm a programmer. If I get an error message just saying "Error", that doesn't help me do my job. But an error code or some kind of message goes a long way. This is the same thing, combo either works, or doesn't. It's too binary.

    Let's put it this way: if the game implemented my system of a metronome and explaining the timing of combos, virtually no one would be out there complaining about it. That proves that at the very least, it's not a bad idea. And if it helps people improve faster and perhaps understand the system that much easier, then perhaps it's even a good idea.
  • Trouble BrewingTrouble Brewing Salty about Ultra Joined: Posts: 4,560 mod
    Let's be honest here: two people in this thread have already given you all the information you need to know to understand link timing. You're still complaining. You'd still complain if there was a metronome.
    The artist formerly known as Starcade RIP
  • IglooBobIglooBob Bob the builder Joined: Posts: 2,689 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It wouldn't help you understand the system. Understanding comes from figuring things out. Give someone a metronome and they'll learn a combo. Make them figure it out and they'll learn the system.
  • Bahamut DragonsBahamut Dragons Joined: Posts: 11
    Let's be honest here: two people in this thread have already given you all the information you need to know to understand link timing. You're still complaining. You'd still complain if there was a metronome.

    eltrouble told me earlier that to watch youtube combos to better understand the timing. The problem isn't finding ressources to do this, there are tons of ressources out there. That was never the point. The point I was making was that capcom is giving me a task to do but isn't giving me the information required to accomplish the task.

    This is probably just the worst place to have a discussion about this because people have a really narrow point of view of what fighting games should be, how the community is set up, how to weed out people like me who don't want to put 100 hours into a single video games. My point of view comes principally from someone exterior to the scene, who just wants to enjoy his video game and who enjoys good design in general. This is bad design and the only good opposing comment I've read was "give a man a fish, teach a man to fish." Well, I just want to buy a fish.

    In any case, I'm through, I'm not going to respond anymore. Not worth it.
  • NephinelNephinel Jill - Mistress of Wyverns Joined: Posts: 681 ✭✭✭
    Link combos are one of those things that just can't be helped when it comes to fighting games:

    "Linking moves is the act of performing a move with quick startup immediately after a move with quick recovery has connected while your opponent is still in hit stun, thus linking both attacks together into a combo. In general, a combo can be formed either by canceling one move into another move, or by linking one move into another move. The difference is that in canceling, the animation of the earlier move is interrupted, whereas in linking, the animation of the earlier move is not interrupted."

    Wiktionary: Glossary of fighting game terms
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  • NephinelNephinel Jill - Mistress of Wyverns Joined: Posts: 681 ✭✭✭
    BTW Bahamut Dragons, do you happen to play BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend? I think the Challenge mode kind of solves that "combo timing" problem. You still have to actually perform the combo, but it tells you when to use certain attacks, and also tells you where you messed up at and even shows you how it's done.
    This battle is about to explode. FIGHT!
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  • bitbna1bitbna1 Joined: Posts: 897
    If you can't be bothered to put the time in to learn simple combos (most things in SFXT are VERY simple compared to other FGs), then it really shouldn't matter, as you don't have the drive to become a competitive player anyway.
  • eltroubleeltrouble Joined: Posts: 5,553 ✭✭✭✭
    eltrouble told me earlier that to watch youtube combos to better understand the timing. The problem isn't finding ressources to do this, there are tons of ressources out there. That was never the point. The point I was making was that capcom is giving me a task to do but isn't giving me the information required to accomplish the task.

    This is probably just the worst place to have a discussion about this because people have a really narrow point of view of what fighting games should be, how the community is set up, how to weed out people like me who don't want to put 100 hours into a single video games. My point of view comes principally from someone exterior to the scene, who just wants to enjoy his video game and who enjoys good design in general. This is bad design and the only good opposing comment I've read was "give a man a fish, teach a man to fish." Well, I just want to buy a fish.

    In any case, I'm through, I'm not going to respond anymore. Not worth it.

    While I agree that Capcom isn't properly giving you the resources to understand combo timing, at least you have access to such information by visiting this website, asking questions, reading the FAQs and stickies, and checking on youtube. Regardless of the source, you have a way to access it.

    As for teaching a new player the innate complexities of combo timing and terminology, I agree that most fighting games don't do enough to teach the basics, but unless you're willing to write a complaint to the game designer and ask them to dedicate more time and resources towards tutorial development, it won't get done.

    Your alternative is to play SF2, which imo, had the least reliance on combos in order to play the game effectively. Barring that, you can use previously-mentioned resources to get the information to get the answers you seek, otherwise direct your complaints towards the game designers, and not forum members.
  • Trouble BrewingTrouble Brewing Salty about Ultra Joined: Posts: 4,560 mod
    I don't know why this was moved to the Newbie Dojo. This sort of discussion isn't appropriate here. Since the FGD mods didn't want to deal with it either, /thread.
    The artist formerly known as Starcade RIP
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