After a long, long period of time of not playing fighting games, I decided about three years ago or so to get back into them. I built a stick, bought a few games (SFIV, Third Strike, and a few others I can't recall) and started practicing. I was not and still not able to devote a ton of time. Maybe a few hours every week or so.
I played, I got better and better, and as soon as I started diving into deeper mechanics, I got lost and stuck.
I have a basic understanding of the mechanics behind fighters (especially SF), I can perform most special moves for most characters I pick, I know their weaknesses and strengths, and have a middling understanding of matchups.
I'm somewhat decent at reading other players and reacting and exposing weaknesses, but about seven times out of ten I'll get my ass handed to me.
I've been branching out and getting out of my comfort zone with SF and playing more Guilty Gear and KOF and beginning to understand the mechanics in those games.
The part that worries me and has made me almost give up on fighting games a few times are combos and how to defend and break out in a situation where I'm just getting hammered.
I can barely execute basic combos, let alone really complex ones. It doesn't matter what game I play, whether it be SFV, Xrd, or P4A, I'm just bad at them. Doesn't seem to matter how many times I practice them. I can mostly hold my own without them, but they're not the only thing I suck at. I know I'm probably gonna just have to grind and grind some more after that to really get a grip on them, but I just never seem to make progress in that area while I get better in others.
Outside of execution, I really want to understand and dig deeper into what makes good characters good and what makes bad characters bad. I'll have decent luck with a character, then go online to see absolutely everyone trashing that character. I guess I don't understand how to feel out a character and understand what makes them balanced/unbalanced, low-tier/god-tier. Any tips for that?
I just feel like I'm kinda stuck at a certain level and can't progress further. I think half the victories I take online are just sheer luck at this point. I need some sort of breakthrough and it's just not happening. I have a really deep desire to get better at fighters, so this makes this all the more frustrating.
Anybody have any advice? Maybe some training resources I can look into?