One factor I don’t think you covered. An earlier post mentioned expected value (not by you) vs variance.
I’m going to mention what I call “Effective value”
A blocked fireball- when at full health, the value of that blocked fireball isn’t necessarily very high (talking about the damage here, not any positional play)
When the opponent has two pixels of life, that blocked fireball is effectively a half damage move. You can adjust your play if the opponent is low on life, a blocked fireball can be as effective, and hella less risky, then a combo.
A second point- team games. In KOF98, my strategy would change heavily based on the round and situation.
Rules: You gain life back after every life, that life is based on the timer. If I was behind, my goal was to win the round without taking damage, and if I would, to win it is quick as possible. I know if I finished it quick, I’d get about 20% life back, so I’d take a few risks at the start of the round, if the opponent didn’t have meter. At the ends of rounds, I’d play it real safe, as I’m not going to get much life back, and a win by time out and a win by life was the same- so taking away the opponent’s lifebar was not a priority, avoiding getting hit was.
Conversely, if I was ahead, my goal was to avoid lifebar loss, and extend the round. If I won, I was up 2 characters to 0, and round 3 my goal would be to take life off again. If I lose, I take life off, and I can make the guy come to me round 3, and I knew my rushdown sucked compared to my turtling, so I wanted to turtle. KOF98 in that regard was really turtle friendly, though it was easy to bust mediocre turtles.
Last characters, the goal was to take out their character. I would also burn meter freely to take out a character easily at anytime, because ultimately, a character’s damage potential is infinite, until they are dead. Your goal is to reduce that probability to 0. Meter is great for comeback, in KOF- meter (in the form of CD counters) is great for stopping comebacks as well.
That’s an example of how effective value of damage can change during a match- it’s an extreme case, and doesn’t really apply to Street Fighter- but it would apply to team games such as CvS2- to a much lesser degree.
One problem was this was such a boring way of playing, that the local community gave up on the game quickly.