A friend and I were playing SCV last night and we got into a very philosophical conversation about Fighting Games so I thought I would bring it up here.
There is so much talk of “this character is Top Tier,” etc. that it seems that the definition of “Tier” is muddied in how “cool” it sounds to to throw around as lingo.
Our discussion initially surrounded Mitsurugi/Astaroth vs. Natsu/Viola, so you might need to know a bit about SCV to follow, but this idea spreads out to all games.
Mitsu, Astaroth, Natsu and Viola are probably some of the most “complained” about characters in SCV. My friend mains Mitsu/Asty and I main Natsu/Viola, and what it boils down to is this:
Characters like Mitsurugi and Astaroth can do a LOT of damage for minimal effort, while characters like Natsu and Viola can do less damage for a LOT of effort.
What is effort? Good question, and I’m glad you asked it.
“Effort” in fighting games can be summed up like this:
Button Presses + Timing Requirements + Size of Move List = Effort
… once you see how much effort you have to put out for a character, all you have left is Damage and Mix-Up ability.
Now from here we have two schools of thought.
You have to now factor in Damage Output, Mix Up ability, and factor in the “effort” calculation and you have your “Tier”; these people would say that Mitsu, Astaroth etc. are High Tier (or Wesker in MvC3, etc.) because of their low effort to Damage Output ratio.
You can ignore “effort” entirely and look at the end potential for a character; i.e. stuns, combos, mind game potential, mix up, ability to keep opponent 90% defense, speed, etc. and call them the high tier characters regardless of how “hard” they are to use.
My friend is a #1, I’m more of #2.
PS, Mitsu and Astaroth are OP’d bitches… just sayin’.