You can NEVER truly master a character because everyone can always improve there is no such a think as true perfection i am well-versed in both ancient and modern philosophy blah blah balh blha ablh
Just a figure of speech, I think that someone can be said to have “mastered” a character when they seem to consistently have multiple* good answers for every possible situation**.
** The answers are unique from each other in the sense that they differ in their vulnerabilities. Eg. I have two good answers but you can’t beat both of them with the same thing. Effectively, if you know about my answers you’re going to have to guess which one I’m using.*
*** By “situation,” I mean game-state elements from top to bottom (matchup, meters, timer, round counts, positions, any frame advantage) as well as all layers of metagame consideration (your opponent’s reactive and predictive and executive abilities, his psychology, mindstate, gameplan, style, strengths, weaknesses, tendencies, what they know about you, what they know about how to deal with what you know etc. etc. etc., your past history of playing against them, what has happened in the game/s against them thus far in the particular set or event in question… as well as the competitive format to some extent).*
Having answers to all of this requires a deep understanding of all of the character’s tools, which involves a thorough experiential knowledge of how they all interact with those of all the other characters. Cognitively, this is comprised of an extremely huge and organic database of networked informations, vast and detailed to the point of what might seem like completion.
Some answers are powerful and can cover many situations, some are minute and/or nuanced and will only apply to a scant few; regardless, they are answers.
However, since there are an infinite number of possible “situations,” of course a player cannot actually have good answers for every single situation pre-created and stored for use when/where specifically applicable: many yes, but never all or even most. We are not robots.
But that’s kind of the point. The depth of understanding of his character that this player possesses is such that creating good answers with his character on-the-fly is natural for him; this is the reason that so many top players showcase such impressive adaptability.
In this sense, degrees of mastery would reflect having more and better answers (or rather, being able to come up with them).
Hey, YOU asked. :rolleyes: