Getting over being a hipster wannabe

Hi! I’m a beginner to fighting games, so this’ll be a very beginner question. (Hope this is the right place to post it… mainly, it relates to every fighting game but for me, it’s focused around UMVC3.)

It’s a more… nuanced “how do I choose a character” question, but not a “choose one for me!” discussion.

As everyone knows, all fighting games have their fair share of good characters and bad characters, so I have two choices (considering all else equal): play a good character or a bad character.

If I choose a good character, theoretically I’ll win more but I might be spoiling myself and my learning (because… am I winning or is the character winning?), and I, like many others, would prefer playing a less common character instead of just being another scrub playing a high tier character.

If I choose a bad character, I’ll win less but I might learn more and I’ll be playing a less common character, which I should theoretically enjoy because I’m a hipster wannabe.

Everyone I’ve asked said, “just play what you want to play and don’t care about the haters,” but there are pros and cons to playing good characters (pro - …good, con - not unique and spoiling) and bad characters (pro - be a hipster, training “~with weights on,” con - probably win less).

I know lots of people play bad characters and win, but plenty more play bad characters and lose. Basically, I don’t want to play too good of a character, but I might be limiting myself because of that belief.

What do you think about the dichotomy between choosing good and bad characters? (Sorry such a dumb question became such a long one…)

I have the same problem, I usually try avoiding playing as Wesker/Dante/Zero because they are top tier, and because those guys don’t interest me.

Honestly, any character can beat any character, it all depends on how you use them. Be as hipster as you like, as long as you enjoy yourself.

I don’t let other people dictate what characters I use in a fighting game…nor any vidoegame I play for that matter.

Choose your character based on how much you like them, not tier lists. If after a while you find the character you chose is too easy mode or you aren’t winning and just aren’t enjoying yourself, switch if you want. In the end all that really matters is that you have fun playing the character.

There is nothing inherently fun about playing a character that nobody plays. Many times characters are unpopular precisely because they aren’t fun to play in addition to being weak. If you expect props for playing some underused character you probably won’t get it. In fact if you’re so concerned about peoples perception of you, I know more people who clown on the “I’m playing this character because hes unpopular” type of player than tier whores or shoto players.

But hey, if you want to take the easy way out and distinguish yourself by the character you play and not your skill, go ahead.

Well, there are confounding variables - having fun because you’re winning or having fun purely because of the character? And I think people usually have fun with lots of different characters…? (Sorry for making something so simple so complicated… :c)

Wow, this actually really resonated with me. No one’s ever told me that before, and I think I really get it now.

Thank you so much! :slight_smile: (Of course, I’ll still be a little hipster inside, but I think I get it enough to… be not 100% hipster.)

Glad I could help. I’m a hipster about a lot of things to so I understand the dilemma!

There is no inherent advantage to playing bad characters. There is no pro to it at all.

I’m going to try an avoid going into rant mode here…

  1. Fuck tiers.
  2. Fuck people who get mad at you for playing any given character.
  3. Find characters that look cool and play them…seriously find who puts a smile on your face and play 'em. Don’t get so caught up in being optimal in learning, on whether you won or your character won, just have fun with it.

Low tiers usually have an advantage in that fewer people will know the match-up, both from being exposed to it less in videos of upper level play (IE watching a tournament stream), and from the innate fact that low tiers are often much harder to win with once the opposition’s skill level reaches intermediate and above, so serious players are more likely to pick the M. Bisons and Ryus over Hakans and Dans when picking a character.

That is not so much an advantage of bad characters as it is an advantage of unpopular characters.

I was under the impression that playing a worse character is like playing a sport with weights on so you’ll learn better, but I suppose you need to take those weights off eventually.

The whole “won’t learn as much” point with top tier chars is pretty moot precisely because you won’t have to learn that stuff to play them (like a Zero player not having to care about spacing/footsies or a Vergil player not having to respect projectile walls and keepaway). On the other hand, this game is so new and so crazy that exactly who the high tier characters all are is far from being hammered out, you could find new tech with a char or simply a playstyle that makes their tools work and be one of the guys who proves that the character is not, in fact, as bad as people think (like Chrisis + Viper in vanilla).

In other words, pick the characters you like. Except anchor Wesker. I maintain that XF4 Wesker is the only character that you will actually not learn anything from playing even when you win with him.

Wesker is a pretty good example of what I meant, I guess… I sorta thought if you wanted to do something like anchor Strider, it would be really good, but all you’d learn is XF3 + Ouroboros + random teleports or something like that. Or if you played Morrigan/Missiles you’d just learn how to flight cancel Soul Fists instead of learning fundamentals.

And there is obviously no advantage to playing a bad character in the game, but there is sort of an external hipster feeling that you get that some people enjoy and some don’t, but I guess I’ve learned that it’s not that worth it anyways.

That is only if you’re a lazy person or the people you play with let that kind of shit fly. Regardless of who you play, at one point you’ll get bodied and you’ll have to step it up.

I’ve found it sometimes works the opposite way. In SF, many times low tier characters are low tier because they have no footsie tools, so it can be pretty difficult to try to learn footsies when you are playing a character who is incapable in that aspect of the game*. This is why people typically recommend shotos as characters to be used to learn the game if that is your intention since they are the jack of all trades characters.

Many people though just pick the character they think looks coolest, which was what I did. I think the best advice is just to pick a character you think you’ll have the most fun playing as, thus the one you’ll be most motivated to improve your game with. It might be a low tier, unpopular character, or it could be something else.

*(Although I admit it can work the opposite way to. Not having a good reversal is going to force you to block your way out of a situation, and blocking well is a very important skill)

Don’t forget that playing an underused low tier character is often easier than playing the highest of tiers.

  • People aren’t used to fighting that, so they often fall victim to random gimmicks and don’t punish things which are theoretically unsafe
  • You quickly fall into the trap of blaming your character rather than yourself (“I only lost here cus i play lowtier! I’m much better than this guy!”)
  • Oftentimes, low tiers also lack in one fundamental area which you thus can’t improve

All in all I don’t think one learns quicker by playing a worse character. The “train with weights” comparison only works if you were to play 100% the same character in a worse iteration (e.g. Ryu who just deals half damage on everything and only has 600 HP), but given the amount of gimmicks and stuff you can fall back on because people aren’t used to handling them, I don’t think this is actually useful.

I have a bit of trouble choosing characters in UMVC3 too. I think you should just play which characters are the most fun without paying attention to their tier rankings at all. For instance, I recently tried to pick up Zero but I found it pretty difficult to pull off his combos because of the high execution that they require. Even though he was high tier, I ended up dropping him anyways because I didn’t like using him. On the other hand, I still play Wesker just because I think he’s a fun character. Same with Taskmaster and Jill (even though Jill is probably considered a low tier character). The point of a video game is to be fun. I think a lot of people forget that when they’re playing fighting games. Don’t let perceptions and popularity hold you back from choosing a character you’d have the most fun with, whoever it is.

Oh and this may be unrelated, but I really, really like choosing my team in UMVC3 based off of their costumes, colors, and appearances. If they don’t color match, it’s a no go for me hahahaha. I have no clue why this is so important to me, but at one point I refused to play Nova because his colors were really ugly compared to the rest of my team haha.

I think low tier players need to pay attention to rankings the most, actually. My Tron team probably would not work at all if I didn’t have her paired with two A tier characters.

You can typically get away with ONE low tier character on a team if the rest of the team is built around him/her/it.

I suppose I never thought about it that way… that low tiers can’t actually teach you fundamentals better because they’re lacking in those areas.

I think that perception and popularity shouldn’t determine which character you choose, but for me at least, if I’m playing XF4 Wesker or something, whoever is on the receiving end isn’t having fun (presumably) and I’m not either even if I like Wesker because of perception and popularity… if that makes sense.

UMVC3 is unique in that you can actually play a low tier and cover up their weaknesses with high tiers, which makes sense for the Tron team… I guess that’s a pretty nice balance between being good and being a hipster!