CvS2: Ratio Mode vs. Single Match Mode


Apoc, in another thread, posed an intersting question. But it was off-topic from the thread’s original purpose. So I’ve started a new thread to respond to him:

Quite honestly, Apoc, I’ve come to hate the Ratio system, and here’s my reason why:

In all non-ratio games, close matches meant something. When one person eeked out a victory in a round, it was incredible. And the person who lost REALLY felt it. And then, next round, outside of Super Meters, everything is back to square one.

In Ratio System games, if this similar situation occurs, no one is disappointed. If your Ratio 1 lost to another Ratio 1, but did 90% damage, it’s all good. Your Ratio 1, though lost, did his/her job WITHOUT A DOUBT.

I would easily prefer the game on Single Match Mode these days. It’s because it kept the game more exciting. There wasn’t any of this “yourcharacter did their job” stuff. A round was a round, and winning it mattered.

However, I do believe that if we played tournaments on Single-Match Mode, variety in character usage will DROP. I mean, it happens in all games: In Alpha 3, we only saw V-Akumas, V-Sakuras, V-Zangiefs, V-Ryus, and A/V-Dhalsims. They were always the winners of Alpha 3 tournaments. Why? Because you can’t be top tier unless you can beat top tier. So if people were serious about winning, most of the time they’d play top tier. Sure, there were a few people squeaking in on their turf (Charlies and Sodoms come into mind), but most of the time, you’d see only the best characters.

CvS2, the reason why we see such oddballs as Maki and Geese and such are because as long as that character “does their job”, they are viable. I use Maki, she’s nowhere top tier. But she can do her job and I can easily do 80% to 120% damage off my enemy on average. So what if she isn’t top tier? Behind her, I have Chun Li and Cammy, who ARE top tier. The Ratio System allows for less-than-qualified characters to make an appearance because they can always be backed-up by top tier characters.

Without a doubt, if we played Single Match Mode, I would be using Cammy only or Chun Li only. And no doubt anyone who has an Oddball + Oddball + Sagat team or an Oddball + Oddball + Blanka team would pick Sagat or Blanka as their main character. In tournametns, we’d see mostly Sagats, Blankas, Cammys, and maybe Chun Lis. The dynamic of tournaments would change drastically, for sure, but the results would always be a Sagat winning, probably. Or a Blanka or an A-Bison.

HOWEVER, I think the main point you are trying to get at still stands. Another weakness of the Ratio system is that nothing is ever fleshed out in CvS2. Do we REALLY know the match up of Eagle versus Sagat THAT WELL? I don’t think anyone here can describe the scope of that match-up in as much detail as someone can describe Zangief versus Sakura in Alpha 3 or Vega versus O.Sagat in Super Turbo. Why? Because it’s lost it’s importance. As long as you know how to deal your damage with your character, it’s all good. So the depth of strategy of an Eagle versus Sagat match is gone, because there’s not as much at stake. If your team did well, and Eagle showed up last with your opponent’s Sagat already drained 40%, it’s not as important trying to kill your opponent. You’ve got such a head start. If it’s the oppostie, and you start at 60% and he’s at 100%, then it becomes a quest in landing a Super or something. It’s just not the same as in Alpha 3 or Super Turbo.

So if we played Single Match Mode, I guarantee you that characters will be BY FAR more fleshed out. Someone out there will pick Zangief and REALLY LEARN HIM. And we will really learn what he['s capable of. Nowadays, it’s just “Gief died! Argh. Oh well, I still have Yamazaki and Rolento, so I’ll be okay but man does Gief suck.” In Single Match Mode, that Gief player will WANT TO LEARN EVERTYTHING HE CAN to avoid getting whalloped by an opponent. So guaranteed Zangief versus Sagat, we’d learn every detail. Maybe Zangief really doesn’t suck against Sagat. But who wants to take the time to learn it? I mean, look how much O.Sagat’s Standing Strong changed Sagat versus Dhalsim in Super Turbo. Something THAT SMALL can affect a match-up that much. But with the Ratio System, no one takes the time to learn these things because no one is FORCED to. Are we REALLY worried that our Maki died after draining the enemy 80%? No. Because that’s still considered a success, not a total loss. If it were a total loss (single match mode), we would definitely take the effort to learn why our Maki died first, and make sure we defeated the opponent first next time. Because losing, in Single Match Mode, is just that: losing. Not a “my character did their job”.

So Single Match Mode would let us all lern our characters and the match up tenfold, IMO. But, in theend, we’d figure out which of the characters were the most viable, and at tourneys, we’ll see mostly top tier winning with the few people who dare to compete with Maki or Eagle or Zangief. But, sad to say, I’m almost positive those people will never win a major tournament and they will eventually be forced to move on the top tier as well (unless their character turns out to be top tier as well… ^_^).

So that’ my viewpoint on it. We’d learn our characters a LOT more, but I think we would end up seeing less variety at tourneys.

  • James


Some very good points, HOWEVER, as you said matches will be forced to become more in depth, maybe then people will see that Blanka and Sagat maybe arent the gods ruling over peons such as Maki, Eagle, etc. Maybe it will be found that CvS 2 isn’t as lobsided as thought previous. Maybe the top tier will be reinvented. Or maybe things will stay as they are, but as it stands every other game has a defined top tier anyway, that is being used and abused, so 1on1 really has no disadvantages to being tourney tested, at least for a while.

A scrubs $.02


Wow, great post. I agree with pretty much everything said. One of the things about the team/ratio set up is, we don’t want to pick below top tier at all because that’ll be a weak point on the team. That character will get worked, and now you have a deficit to fight behind. Plus, you don’t really have to fully learn the character. As James said, as long as they “do their job”, we consider them effective. In single player mode, you would really have to learn your character. You couldn’t just drain your opponent, you’d have to beat them. It would make players come up with new strats for winning matches.

Plus, single player matches would go by a hell of a lot quicker. Whether I’m watching tournament Cammy/Blanka/Sagat, or casual play Joe/Vice/Guile, it’s still very long and very boring (thank GOD the 4v4 option was removed). I think more arcades should look into having the single play option activated, or even adding a single play division to APEX. It could potentially really help this game.

And yeah, you’ll probably see a ton of Sagat’s/Blanka’s/Chun’s during tournament time. Such is life. As long as there is a top tier, a handful of the same chars will dominate tourneys. But here, at least you have the option of being creative. Master your one character and take it up against the comp.


I like a good one on one fighter just as much as the next guy, but if we did switch and started using single match I think the game would start suck really really bad. As it is right now most of the teams out there have ether Blanka, Sagat or both on them. If everyone started to use single match almost everyone who wants to still be competitive is going to be forced to Blanka, Sagat, or maybe one of the other 3-4 char that can actually compete with them, that renders 90% of the cast useless. What the point of having all of those chars and not even being able to use them(effectively), thats why I like the ratio system, it allows you to use the not so great chars and still be able to win.


Play 3on3!!
that way no Ratio2 come backs!!!


eX_MaTT, you totally missed the point, and/or are joking.

I am up for Single Match in tourney play. Always have been.


I was Joking


okay, i just threw in the “and/or joking” for that reason.

But in any case, I think 3 on 3 is good for team play, like three people with one character each. That way, every player’s characters are all even, if you disregard vitality differences.


Christian and I were throwing around an idea of having CvS2 single match tournaments.

If I could get enough people interested AND willing to make the trek down to Riverside, I’d go ahead and do it.


Would I have a chance with single match? Or would I die more than I do now?


It’s all about Ratio…Thats how the game is played and it gives more balance to the fighting…



single match means people would be less willing to take risks. IMO, it’d be interesting, and a good learning experience, but, after a little while, it’ll devolve into even more turtling and c.fiercing. The risk/reward factor of picking an oddball character is really whacked in single play mode.


Yes, we probably would see more Sagat/Blanka/Chuns in play, but don’t we already know GREAT counter characters to these top-tiers? You’d definitely see more Eagle/Balrog action with Sagat’s in play, more Anti-Blankas (none of which I am aware of other than Hibiki, and we know Hibiki’s counter-char is Bison, etc.).

Anywho, I’m down for Single Match Mode tournaments, as someone stated earlier, perhaps a separate division for Apex?


i feel that single player is good for showing whos the best with out any help, and there is really no excuse about “he was ratio 3 and i was ratio 1 yea and thats why i lost” i think the dmg is equal just like all the other st games. But the team play is what makes CvS2 fun to play. Using the whole entire cast like illegal machine said and playing 3 on 3 like mummy-b said makes it fun. If you wanna really have a 1 on 1 fighting game, play 3rd strike or super turbo.
originally posted by jchensor
So that’ my viewpoint on it. We’d learn our characters a LOT more, but I think we would end up seeing less variety at tourneys.
Hell yea, shit i see ppl using sagat, blanka, bison on the regular basis, it gets boring after a while, there are so many characters to choose from like yun or guile. Just like marvel vs capcom 2, all you see is cable, magneto, sent/storm and its the same deal, but the main goal is to win, bottom line so what ever it takes to succeed then thats whats gonna happen.


both modes offer different options/style…

so honestly I don’t care if it’s a ratio or single match I’d still use C or N groove Hibiki…:smiley:


IMO, ratio/3vs3 matches incorprate more strategies than 1vs1 matches. Examples:

  • you have to keep track of the time to see how much life you have left - which is a factor in your decision to using super (esp P Groove).
  • character order guessing games (character countering).
  • say your character is about to lose and you know you have close to no chance of winning this matchup, you can play run-away to make sure your opponent doesn’t get much life back (while charging the super bar for your next char).

these and plenty more strategies leave me happy that arcade cvs2 is in ratio mode and not single matches. I do like single matches so i’m not hating, but i feel ratio matches are so much better.

Another thing, I don’t think it makes sense to say that 1vs1 matches, as opposed to ratios/3vs3 mean you delve deeper to find the intricate strategies of your choice of character. if you’re playing a (3man) team in a tournament that you’d want to win, you would practice and try to find the little intricate details of each of your 3 characters as much as the one char in 1vs1. the only difference is that you take more time to learn 3 characters as opposed to one.

On the other hand, I think having the option to play 1vs1 in the arcade is useful for those who don’t have the facilities to practice their characters at home. BUT for tournaments, ratios is the way to go. The more strategies involved the better.

that is all.


If you really want to see variety, the only way is to adopt the Japanese format of tournaments - one match, single elimination, one character throughout, and held weekly/often. People may think that “oh, it’s single elimination, I gotta use the top tier”, but when there’s another tournament the next week, it doesn’t really matter. You’ll use who you want to use. This makes people practice matchups more also, because since you can’t do the stupid American style of counter character play (coughEVO ST finalscough), you never know when you’re going to get that difficult matchup. So you master that matchup just in case. In Japan, you saw Z3 tournaments won by A-Gen, V-Charlie, A-Guy… all because the players MASTERED their characters and were able to win their difficult matchups ONE MATCH. It doesn’t matter if a character loses to another character a lot… even if it’s 1-9, in a Japanese format, all you have to do is win that one time and you win the set. You advance, the other person is out. That’s the beauty of Japanese tournaments. They are much more exciting than American ones… by FAR.


That is very true.

Sorry to say, I think 3 on 3 use more strategy than one on one match.


Heh, this is my 1337 (th) post. :cool:

The Japanese tournaments sound really cool. And it makes you a better player - you have no room for mistakes, so you have to tighten your game.

As for what people are saying about lack of variety…as if we see any now? All it is is Sagat/Blanka/Random Third. As long as top tiers exist in a game, they’re going to be unavoidable, especially at high levels of play. In a team, you have to pick SB in order to keep up with the other guy. One on one, you can use whatever character you think will get the job done. In single matches, I’d be bringing my A-Hibiki against all comers.

The more I think about it, the more I agree with James - I hate the ratio system. Imagine your R1’s are dominating a match…your first char takes out the other guy’s first, and half the second. Your second R1 finishes the other guy’s second, then goes up against the R2. Your R1 can put up a decent fight, even hit a level 3 super, but then get destroyed by the R2, and when your R2 comes in, the other guy gets most of that damage back, making it just about equal. By the numbers, you should have the advantage. You dominated the match. But here you are in the decisive battle, and all things are equal. I like 3v3 better than ratio.

As far as team strategy goes, I think you had more with the set ratio system of CvS1. You had point characters to build meter, meter users, meter abusers. I used EX Vice/Ryu/King in that order because Ryu sort of was a meter builder, and King was a heavy abuser. Plus, people feared my King more than my Ryu. :evil: So far, I haven’t seen too many strategic CvS2 teams. Either give R2 status to your strongest character and have them anchor, or give it to your weakest as a booster, and put them in the middle. And the whole thing about running away strategically to prevent the other guy from getting life back…so, we’re trying to promote turtling and games even longer than they already are?

And I don’t think anyone is proposing replacing team CvS2 with single play. Just add it to APEX. You don’t have to participate if you don’t want to. The only single play game we have up there is ST, and that game is mostly up there for nostalgic purposes - I don’t think there are that many people playing it. A3 got old, and 3S lost its shot, so all we’ve got left is single play CvS2. All I’m saying is, if you can have ST on APEX, why not single play CvS2? At least give it a shot, see how it works.


Of course, the decision to use super meter or not is far more in-depth and skillful than actually learning characters and engines what was i thinking!


IMO that’s one of the worst things about the newer games, there was a huge thread on it before, but the bottom line is that it’s at best random, at worst outright cheating, and totally distracting to the game.


I don’t think strategy is the term that best describes this. Annoying, silly, makes me want to leave the machine, yah those are more like it. Theres a difference between running 5 seconds of a match your winning, and literally doing NOTHING for 99 seconds since there’s really nothing better to do.


Yes, the skillful days of ‘oh damn my counter to sagat is last, but his sagat is 2nd, guess i lose’ and chasing characters with 1 pixel and full meter. Ratio IMO has a couple advantages, however they are not the ones you mentioned. You just seemed to throw out a couple of obvious tactics and label them strategic.


The whole point is that it doesn’t matter or help you win to learn 3 characters, since you don’t have unlimited time to learn the game, why not just learn 1 or 2 characters at above average level, then pick a third character that has great matchups. It ends up being the same.