Never-ending newbness

So, here’s my story: I’ve been playing fighting games since SF2:CE hit arcades. I’ve played, loved, and obsessively studied every iteration of SF2, and I’ve dabbled a bit in SF3:3S and CvS2, with a bit of Guilty Gear thrown in. I’ve got HSF2 on Xbox/PS2, the XBLA port of SF2:HF, and Mame ROMs of pretty much every fighting game currently playable on an emulator–and I’ve played the hell out of all of the above-mentioned stuff. I follow the tournament scene, I know who all the top players are (I even live right down the street from Sunnyvale Golfland, which is a nice place to check out some good competition… at least it used to be), and I can comprehend and recognize plenty of high-level tactics. I’ve even lurked on these forums for god knows how long–I’m not even sure when the last time I posted was (if ever). In short: I’ve played fighting games for 16 years, and I know the language of the genre pretty well.

The trouble is, in those 16 years, I’ve never been able to properly apply/execute any of this stuff in actual play. No matter how much I practice, or how many people I play against, or how many times I read Sirlin’s “Playing to Win” essays/book, I seem to lack what I can only guess is some sort of fundamental fighter’s instinct. In summary: I completely suck, and I’ve never figured out how to change that.

My main game of choice over the years has been ST, and I’ve always gravitated toward Ryu (ditto with HF… and Ken’s my default guy on 3S), with a bit of Guile here and there. Perhaps my choice of characters just don’t fit my habits; I dunno. I guess that’s why I’m posting this–in the faint hope that someone out there can help me identify whatever is obstructing any and all forward progress. :slight_smile:

This probably belongs in domination 101 or ST strategy zone.

I think I can sympathize with you a little bit. There is that “lightbulb” you get after putting all the pieces together. For me, it was when I played Chris Doyle in ST. It is basically honing execution and having the frame of mind to say “In such and such a situation, I have all these options” and knowing when to choose the one that benefits you most. It is sort of instinct, but more or less experience and knowledge. It also takes some risk to be able to break past the plateau. Part of it is also confidence - if you tell yourself you suck, you can’t overcome your problems. Give us an example and maybe we can help you further.

To the SRK populace - I know you all wanna flame this guy for posting a “scrub” thread, but he has a legitimate point; there are some players, while having all the know how to play, still can’t put it together. Let’s be supportive and try to find a solution to many would-be Tournament players.

What I guess I’m trying to say is… I can watch matches, combo videos, etc. all day and understand what’s going on. But when I step up to the joystick, it’s like I’ve never played the game at all. I’ll time dragon punches wrong (or mis-gauge the distance and throw a jab DP when I should be throwing a strong or fierce); I won’t react fast enough to maintain a fireball corner trap; I’ll panic and jump around a lot when I’m fighting, say, Sagat or Guile (who it’s obviously not smart to jump in against). It’s like my mind can’t process the proper solutions at the speed that the game demands. I know this sort of instinct obviously comes with practice, but like I said–I’ve been at it for 16 years with no luck.

For whatever it’s worth, I have the same problem with RTS games, which I’ve long felt are the PC equivalents of fighting games. Things just happen to fast for my mind/reflexes to process, and practice doesn’t seem to do me much overall good.

Also: I apologize if I did not post this in the optimal forum–I figured it would be fine in Fighting Game Discussion, as I am hoping to tap the collective experience of those wiser than me in order to improve my play in some sort of meaningful way.

its all bout time and training, get your mind to work instinctivly.

I would say keep playing against other people. I have that same problem from time to time but after a few mins I start gettin’ my mind right and stuff.

Celsian, just want to let you know you’re not the only one! lol

It’s a lil discouraging playing these games for years and feeling as if your not getting better. Alot of people don’t get better until they simply have to. Go find better players. Play people who you know will serve the hell outta you. Then learn from your mistakes, come back, and serve them. That’s basically how i started getting better (not saying i’m a top player either), but after a few run ins with a top player at my then local arcade, i HAD to get better, it was either that or let the top players lord over the machines. I got my ass kicked for like a week, then i looked at my mistakes, came back and owned the dude that was owning me (then of course HE got better and owned me again a few weeks later lol).

Find people on the same skill level helps to keep me motivated too (if even just to play the game so i dont’ lose what i have).

P.S.: nice to see people who aren’t top level being treated nicely.

How many hours would you say a day do you “practice”?

Play good people as much as you possibly can. I’ve been playing SF since 92, but I did not get decent at it until around five years ago because I started playing with a purpose.

like many other talents, there are some people who can just watch a combo/strat and then execute it perfectly after a try or two; some people who can execute combos/strats perfectly after much practice; and some people who train hard and play a lot but will never really get higher than 60-70% execution for even the higher-end BnB’s.

I’m in this boat.

I think it has to do with the ability to think clearly, process and react quickly. I have problems with this. Ever watched Jeopardy with a friend and they always get the answers out faster than you? They are just able to process and understand the question faster - dig through their mind and spit it out the answer faster. They are usually better at bullshitting people as well. ; )

Play people.

A lot.

It also helps to be good at learning, you must understand why you are losing.

You’ve been at it for sixteen years and you suck? Maybe you’re just too dumb to play? Nah but seriously I think the most important thing to evolve is first to get all combos and supers down so that you can execute them close to perfect. And then play against players that beat you up as much as possible, becuase you learn very little from beating up poor players. Another thing is to stay calm, many players jut hit the buttons like crazy when they’re in a tight spot hoping ot will work, and sometimes it does. So they keep doing it, instead of staying calm and try to find a sure way of succes.

I’ve only played third strike for about a month online and already I’ve managed to beat some players that won big tourneys in the UK. They beat me more often of course, but just being able to beat them means I’m evolving.

3rd Strike Online is not indicative of skill ever. I’m not even dissing you or anything but please don’t us it as a yard stick when it’s like a 5 year old’s rough estimate.

Edit: But yeah I got good at 3s by just playing at LEAST once a week for about a year, the best asset to me was having a friend that played the game with me and we learned the game together, and after a while we just started playing better/more people to learn the ins and outs after mastering the basics essentially.

No offense man, but maybe you just don’t have what it takes? I’m in the same situation, I watch videos and practice and all that. I even play at school which has a pretty good competitive scene. My problem is my reflexes. I’ll see an attack coming from miles away, and in my head I know I can parry, counter, whatever, but my hands just won’t do it. I have slow reflexes, but not just when it comes to gaming, but life in general.

It’s like a sport, just because you practice everyday doesn’t mean you will be good at it. You will improve of course, but eventually you will get to your peak and you will need to practice a lot just to stay at that level.

As stupid as it sounds, make sure you are watching your opponents character all the time.

Travel to a far off arcade with great comp, and only bring a water bottle and enough money to play 3 games.
I got better when I was young because I couldnt afford $$$ to suck.

tl613: I have dog slow reflexes and am still capable of a lot of the “reactionary” stuff in fighting games, and yes it took a very long time to get to that point. The fact of the matter is though even people with lightning fast reflexes can get hit by slow overheads, can sit in high guard and watch you jump in without anti-airing it, and can get thrown from like half screen if you’ve got them doing enough guesswork and your gameplan is confusing enough. I’m not saying reflexes aren’t a factor, they totally are, but it’s telling that the best players in the world will hit each other with the dumbest shit when the chips are down.

I had a longer reply for the original poster but I need to think it out some more :stuck_out_tongue:

I can kind of relate. I basically think you just don’t play enough (live competition)

don’t give up if you have access to a scene jump in it and i promise sooner or later everything will just click:) worry about combos and training mode later as it sounds to me you got a bad case of playing too much of the AI.

A better player will always come out on top eventually. I’m a total noob so diss away, but I’ve beaten some players who’ve beaten some players(offline) that are in Tougeki 07 right now. So my point is that if you only play people you easily beat then it’s a waste of time, because you learn nothing.

But please, apart from the occasional lag explain the difference between online and offline play.

Input delay and lag are hug factors, anything above 3 frames of input delay is like playing a completely different game, and like it or not, I’ve never played an online game with less than 3 frames of input delay except MAYBE GGPO. I’m not saying you’re bad, but going from Arcade to Online is a completely different experience for even the best players, and it will fuck them up.