Active Thought


So after every tournament, I try to learn something.

I had a conversation with a friend, and we both came to the conclusion that we had a similar problem.

We’re able to come up with all sorts of gameplans for situations when we actually think about them (usually, after the damn match), but during the actual match, it’s hard to maintain a high level of active thought.

Is this the case for a lot of players?

How do some of you all maintain focus?

As a side note, I was sitting right next to Steve H during CvS2 semi’s, and part of grand finals at FRXI, basically coaching him through certain situations, and I was fully able to maintain an active thought process, and pretty much everything that I said (that he actually listened to) worked. It worked better than when I try to implement my own strategies…

Idk… shit is kind of annoying.

I find it especially hard to maintain a high level of thinking against players that I don’t consider especially smart.

Anyone else?

sounds like u suck under pressure.

It’s like watching a match video, and understanding what the players need to do and how they go about it, then actually playing yourself, and your mind goes blank. The best solution to this, is to keep it simple. Also, as you posted in the FRXI thread, to record your matches so that you can go back to examine what you need to improve on. This is something I want to do more of, and it is something that might be a good step for many players to get to that next level.

Nah… that’s not it.

I tend to do much better against better players, than I do against, for lack of better words, average players.

I definitely know what you’re saying, and I have my own FR example. Against SA2 Makoto, I generally try to stay the fuck away from her corner, especially when it’s the only place I can go that could grant her a victory. Well, at FR…yeah. I sometimes tend to get caught up in the moment, especially once I get into an offensive flow, and forget that I went into the match with a gameplan, then I get parried and lose.

I guess its the case for a lot of players, we see people losing because their strategies are broken, and tryin to get and offensive flow and BOOM, you lost by a move you knew its was coming at ya but you lost focus. Really hard to get back to focus sometimes. Those who doesnt, they actually winning.

Pretend everyone is Justin Wong?

I understand what you mean. A good player will have a systematic process to how they play were as an average player is sometimes quite difficult to figure out due to their semi random nature.

you have the same problem as me. i can go to ctf and play with good players. at NEC, i was playing fine with people like sergio, darren, helgen x, the epidemic, etc… but when i was playing my buddy lawrence the other day, whos’ literally a shoto scrub, i couldn’t fight him almost at all.

this has never happened to me in ST :wink:

that issue was already adressed a long time ago…
both sirlin and wobbles gave different solutions to this problem in thier guides. i’ll edit this post now and summarize them for you, cuz i’ve found them useful enough.

solution 1 from wobbles-
when you are used to playing the game at high level, it can make the worse players seem random and harder to beat. the solution to that is to REALLY play to win in that situation. whenfacing a lower level opponent, and you try to play the game “the way it should be played at high level”, it will be a mistake, and it will not be the most effective way to win here.
what you need to do is to learn your opponent, and change yourself- become the “antimatter” of your opponent.
if you’re a defensive player but your opponent is weak against rushdown, for that battle you need to become an aggresive player. doing a DP in some situations is stupid, but if it is what will be working against the opponent, your habits need to change for the rest of that match. the match won’t look like you are a high level player, but in the end you win so who cares?

solution 2 from sirlin-
why go with predicting and strategy when you can win without even fighting? find those “brick walls”, those mindless tactics that every high level player knows how to handle already, and try them again. use all those day 1 parlor tricks, and it may give you a free win without any effort.
once again, you won’t be playing like high level player plays, but you are here to win, not to “look good”.

try to play people as good or better than you as often as possible, and avoid playing people worse than you

playing people better than you forces you to pay attention, whereas playing people worse than you too much will make you go on autopilot. i guess you could avoid this if you keep mentally reminding yourself to go all-out in every game, but personally i find that difficult when i’m playing a sub-par opponent. so i just try to avoid playing people who are worse than me for extended periods of time…i still do a little otherwise those players will never get better, but i try to not go too long only playing bad players.

I don’t think it’s good for the scene to avoid playing people who are “worse than you.”

Half the time you lose to someone that you think you should have beaten effortlessly, that’s just ego talking. If it’s your own fault for underestimating someone, learn to live up to it.

A lot of people who use top tier teams think that they’re automatically better than everyone else who doesn’t have perfect RC execution or whatever. There are a lot of ways to win at fighting games and you’d be surprised at what people come up with to make up for not being able to do short short super. This might be your first time playing against “scrubby” P-Ryo but it sure as hell isn’t his first time playing against A-Bison.

If you really are better than them, try to impose some artificial handicaps against yourself, like trying to win without using meter or trying to win by OCV.

I’m not necessarily talking about playing against players that I think I’m better than…

I’m talking about just maintaining a certain level of thought, regardless.

I think I’m smarter than the majority of players that I play against (I know it sounds cocky… sue me)… I don’t necessarily think I’m “better” than all of them though. That’s my problem, and that’s the issue I’m trying to handle. I play better against smarter players, because I don’t have to think as much to do well against them. They just make sense to me. I know that I need to be able to have a higher level of thought to beat the “lesser” players, and the “better” players, alike, though.

I think that if I were better able to maintain focus and high levels of actual thought during my matches, I could overcome my other issues, and become a better player.

At the same time, I plan on improving execution, and covering up holes I have in game knowledge, but that’s obvious stuff that really doesn’t need it’s own thread.

It just seems there’s some art to it, that I just don’t get.

I dunno, I’m on the same train as Havoc here. Like, I expect a certain play style and a certain level of play. But when I fight some random dude, my brain just goes to mush because I end up doing TOO much against an average player. Sort of like at FRXI in CvS2 where I got randomed out by some random dude. He was doing roll throw and other stupid little gimmicks that I should have totally anticipated. It kind of threw me off balance cause I’m used to playing actual good people in tourney all the time. I dunno, I guess I expect everyone to be good or something because it’s CvS2 and everyone should be above average by now.

Havoc, you probably shouldn’t have brought up the playing players of different skill levels influencing your play, even if it did debunk the stupid troll’s post. You managed to derail your own thread :rofl: I get exactly where you’re coming from. I also have a difficult time having “active thought” as you put it during games that I play. I’m just focusing on the game itself and not thinking. Sort of like I’m trying to read and react instead of predicting a few moves ahead like people do in chess. Get me away from the game and I start thinking “oh man, this is a good move, why don’t I use it?” and “well damn, I’m a fool, if I had done this move, I would have beat that retarded strategy I lost to.” I’m not really sure how to correct it.

I also know what you mean about the coaching aspect. People have a certain amount of thought they can process at once. When you don’t have to actually put thought, no matter how little it may be, into pushing the buttons and maneuvering the joystick, that is more thought you can put into analyzing the match. As far as what to do, I have been trying to train myself into keeping my thought processes active while playing, but it isn’t working out very well :wasted:

First, we try to learn how to play against high level players. Understanding the situations and the options.

We get beat to random tactics that shouldn’t work since they are inferior, but we still do. Why is this? Well, like good tactics you need to plan against bad tactics.

Also one might have tunned their play to counter good play but not bad play which makes them rush to their death.

Strategy on how to beat tactics and play styles is something that shouldn’t be done during the game.

Learning and thought starts off with lots of different thoughts coming together to provide an understanding.

If you havn’t practiced playing against something, it will be hard to manage it in the minutes while you are playing.

You may try your best to concentrate, but that will not lead you to actually getting the boost in skill as you might imagine.

The best way to increase skill is to have tactics and thought processes secured before you get into a meaningful battle.

seriously, all of you guys just need to go to an arcade and play scrubs for a day.

if you lose to a scrub, then you’re a scrub yourself.

I can understand losing active thought in a tournament, but losing to a scrub in casual play?

it’s not even about being a scrub though, if a “scrub” beats you, they can’t be a scrub can they? They obviously abused some overpowering tactic (like roll grab) and destroyed you with it. Learn to deal with it and either beat him next time, or promote his status.

I disagree. The difference between a scrub and a decent player is that he is constrained by his own self made rules and limits himself to play a certain way.

Just like as it is stated in Sirlin’s article, a scrub does not play to win, He labels advantage tactics such as throwing and repeated spamming of a move as “cheap”

This is neither the case here nor is it the issue of this topic.

It’s about effectively having a strategy and forming it in your head and knowing these strategies to work in actual competitive play, But when time comes to actually DO compete, these thoughts are not at the top of your mind and thus that strategy you wanted to use is not available because you are not totally “in the game”

Which brings up the issue of a randomness factor when it comes to playing other people.

Person A’s strategy and play style, may not work on Person B.

Person A could easily be abused by tick throws, and corner Hadouken traps, Where As person B is not but is generally weak to another strategy against defensive / turtlers. This does not mean one player is necessarily bad against each other.

It just means both have a particular play style and when pitted against a person that knows effective tactics that prevent these strategies from being used it is basically forces you into situation in where you must go outside of your limits and do things you normally don’t use.

For example I am a Super Turbo Ryu player, and my ultimate plan is to utilize Hadouken’s to bait opponents reaction to anti-air with jab Shoryuken, utilize F+fierce / F+strong for the high/low overhead mixup game if they get close and to lead into a a tick throw to push them back into optimum range to start the Hadouken trap all over again.

My particular weakness relies my opponent to be at a specific range for my play style to work effectively.

But in actual play the game does NOT play to my rules. The opponent may know what I’m going to do on reaction and force me to use a play style I am not used to using, but allows me to effectively learn new counter-strategies to get myself back to that “in the game” mindset.

Just because Player A can beat player B, player C who is labeled as a “scrub” can possibly beat player A, does that make player B a “scrub” as well.

Not really, it just means player C knows something to beat Player A, but player B did not.

Not to make it like rock/paper/scissors because it goes beyond all of that, since there is much more depth involved.

EDIT: I agree and its sounds like a kind of vice versa for players sometimes. You dont actually know everyone’s strategies. And you dont know wats gonna happen…