I would say I am an intermediate skill level player of fighting games (can beat all my friends pretty easily, but get destroyed by any higher level player, and I need some help/advice on where to go from here.
I have heard in the last 5 or 10 years about “frame counting”, and I still don’t quite know what that is, but with the arcade games I played for years, like Alpha 2 and Xmen vs SF, I got good enough that I could “see” (for lack of a better term) the openings after certain moves/tags/etc, and knew what moves I could do that would hit fast enough that they couldn’t block, which I think is the basic idea of counting frames. I usually played with a group of 2-5 friends, who were all into fighters, with different skill levels, but usually I was at or around the top of the group.
Fast forward to 2000 or so, and the few times I did venture to the arcades to play MvC 2, I hit players light years beyond my skill levels doing things I had never seen, all I remember is a blur of Storm, Magneto air combo juggles and Psylocke assists, and then I was dead. So I still played fighters, got back into 3rd Strike briefly with a few friends/online, but it was all single player until SF IV came out.
So I will get to the point. Things like combo videos on youtube, forums on SRK and the SRK superguide have helped immeasurably to seeing what moves/combos/strats are possible, but I am still hitting a brick wall on how to bring myself to the next level. I spent some time with SFIV and Super, but dropped it after a while, as I didn’t have anybody at my skill level to play with, and when you are still learning, playing online=getting destroyed 98% of the matches, which is just discouraging.
When MvC 3 came out, I vowed I would bring my game to the next level, and I have already put 80 hours into the game, most of that into practice/mission mode, and I have actually learned a great deal about how the engine/combo system works, from the missions, which I have been able to bring into my game. Basically, I am at the point where I understand all the game systems, can finish 9/10 missions for most characters, and can finish the Apprentice level combos pretty easily from the SRK guide. But the second I try to play online against actual opponents, I usually just get massacred. I do a little damage, then get hit with a combo-ground bounce-combo-assist, combo-super, dhc, etc, then I am dead. I understand that you need to be able to lose, but getting destroyed every time I try to learn/play with other people isn’t fun, its just discouraging.
Sorry for the length on this, but I am at my wits end on the subject. I love MvC 3 to death, but other than playing single player or practice, what can I do to bring my skill up? My dream is to get good enough to play at a big tournament like EVO, not to place or anything, just get keep getting better. I know people say to get local/on couch vs going, but I have no idea where to even start for that. How does a 30 year old guy with a wife and a kid even start to look for training partners for fighting games? God that sounded wierd.
Any input would be appreciated, this has been bothering me for years and hopefully I can get some advice/help that will set me on the right track.