Pandora feels like a lackluster mechanic


#1

I’m assuming capcom designed this to be the watered down X-Factor mechanic but probably severely toned down the effect due to many complaints on the power of X-Factor in Umvc3. However it seams that the mechanic is just very lacking.

Based on personal experience online and watching streams (when the game was played more often in weekly tourtements) almost no one uses this ability. The mechanic seams to have a few fundemental flaws. These are my opinions and observations so take it with a grain of salt, I’m no Justin Wong XD.

The greatest enemy to this mechanic i would say is the game clock. By the time you need to activate pandora in an even winnable match (both you are low to activate and opponent is low to finish off) the activation of pandora takes about 6 whole seconds! It doesn’t sound like a lot but in SFXT 6 secs is 6 game seconds. Because of this you are forced the activate this ability around the 16 to 14 second mark, other wise you’ll lose from time before actually losing from pandora. If you run the gem to increase pandora time then you need even more time on the clock left to make a come back. (making cinematic events stop the clock would help a lot also). By the time you can activate pandora for most games, either there isn’t enough time left when you are both low or the opponents health and meter is too high so pandora will run out before you can kill them.

Obviously the best fix would be to fix the clock which I assume capcom will do. However even with the clock fix pandora will still have mechanical flaws. The second problem with pandora is it is almost always more punishing than helpful. You are given such a short amount of time before you essentially lose you can’t really make a comback. Even with your infinite meter, you can’t even use a super arts for most characters without dying at the end of the cinematic. Even characters like ryu and his quick animation full screen super arts can throw maybe 2 shinku hadokens before he dies form time. Also with the ability to swap characters fairly easily, even if a character gets low its tagging to a higher health teammate buffers the overall damage you need to deal, you now have to deal even more damage in the small amount of time you have (This is a legitimate tactic but its too powerful when you have a few seconds to kill or be killed). Another popular strategy with characters like Rolento is to just jap lock the opponent upon activating pandora, however this an entirely different problem. A slight time increase pandora would help it but the best helping hand would to make it less punishing to use.

The reason why its so punishing as explained before because you don’t lose an advantage if you can’t win right away, you all out lose. However running away from a character with pandora is very easy. As long as you run away either jumping and then block they can’t win in time. Throwing takes to much time, super arts takes too much time. You basically have to high low mix and use ex. (Cross overs aren’t particularly an option if your opponent is just running backwards). Simply put its just to easy to avoid/ runaway from a character with pandora.

Using pandora really only works in a situation when your opponent is cornered, at least 50% health on both characters depending on the character, has no meter to swap characters or use a cinematic super and you pretty much have to get a lucky mix up. It is the sum of these 3 main factors why I personally feel this ability is so under utilized and overall inefficent.

How would you fix pandora? This is really a harder question than it sounds and would require a lot of testing and insight. Personally i’d try to fix the problems I stated above. First I’d make pandora pause game time during the cinematic or take at most 2 seconds to active, ideally this would also be in conjunction with increased game time. Secondly I would suggest having the character that activates pandora not die, but instead go to exactly 1hp (the magic pixel) with no regerable hp (no red health) and not lose the round at the end but lose all meter. With this change you don’t all out lose from pandora making it less of an unessescary risk to activate however still a vast risk. Should you fail to win using pandora you have a point character with probably not a good amount of health, a secondary character with 1 hp and no meter (no meter carries over to the next round as a reminder). If you don’t win during pandora it’s very likely you’ll lose the round, however its not GUARANTEED, you can still potentially make a come back. Lastly I’d extend the time of pandora and lower the damage slightly. It shouldn’t be a derp win but a viable comeback that both players should WANT to use, the mechanic was but in the game hopefully for a good reason and to bring “hype” with comback potential.

With that being my gripe with the ability, how do you feel about pandora? Is it good,fine, ok, not good enough, severely lack luster or far far worse? If it’s good/bad why is it and how would you fix it?
Also sorry for any typos

TLDR version: Pandora isn’t a viable option because the game clock runs out to fast to use it in time, its too punishing (death) for the buff it gives, it doesn’t last long enough (throws and super arts take too long to use time wise) before you die, and is easily avoidable (runaway, jap lock, hold block since throws not an option) and thus never a threat. Hope capcom improves it, how would you?


#2

I was messing around with my friend earlier having some scrubby matches and was surprised pandora could have this kind of finish.

[media=youtube]9v2XKiDm9Eg[/media]


#3

Here is how I would fix Pandora.

When activated, it you don’t kill off your a character, but you don’t get any buff whatsoever. What happens is that the words “EARN YOUR COMEBACKS WITH SKILL” appears on screen. Also, every second, a reminder pops up on screen saying “DON’T GET HIT,” “DON’T DROP YOUR COMBOS” or “OUTPLAY YOUR OPPONENT.”


#4

You say this in every thread but you also pimp UMvC3, which leaves me confused.


#5

Because UMvC3 has Morrigan/Doom, which is the greatest thing since sliced bread (or at least since MvC2’s own abusable bullshit). Doesn’t mean I like X-Factor. In the same way I believe SFxTekken has its share of problems, but Pandora being useless isn’t one of them.


#6

I’d like to agree with comeback mechanics not being the go to option, but that’s not the same as a Hail Mary. I think what we’re all trying to figure out is how Pandora can be something besides suicide without being used in every game.
My problem is that Pandora doesn’t do anything but increase the game’s biggest problem: How easy it is to get away. A game like SF3 could have a round last for a long time or be over in ten seconds…for all the right reasons. A comeback or a good match was possible because the game didn’t take place in football field sized arenas, for one. Pandora doesn’t feel like it ups the pace of the game in any way, it just means that you hit harder and get more chances at EX moves or Supers. The fact that you can’t really incorporate Pandora into the game and go right into the Super makes the Super useless if you can land it.
The odds are that you won’t have a guy trapped in a corner, ready to get pummeled if you’re activating Pandora. So if you do manage to chase him down -assuming you’ve got the right character - you had better hope that he dies off in the early part of the Super Animation. But if that was the case, then there was no reason to use it to begin with.

The really bad thing about it is that the only character to get a cool, unique Pandora look (Heihachi) is one of the least likely to ever use it to success.
Forget about comebacks: What about winning with Pandora just for the swag of it? Even when I’m losing bad, I’ve never seen an intentional one. I think it says a lot more than hate mail.


#7

Making it somewhat useful will mean that it will start to affect the metagame. The fact that it currently doesn’t is a good thing for the game in my book.


#8

Things I would do:
-Make it to where you don’t lose when the time runs out.
-Make you lose all your healed life or make it to where you have half health by activating it.
-only 10% damage increase

When you activate pandora, you lose all your tag features anyway. With these changes, I can see it being useful while not being much of a comeback mechanic. It’ll also make the game more interesting as it’ll make the pandora tech more viable.


#9

That wouldn’t make any sense. Pandora kills a character to give a boost to the other. If that were to change they’d have to change the game to where you have to knock out both characters to win the round. Knowing capcom there would be probably be more glitches to be had from this change. I could imagine something like: “If you activate pandora, sometimes the game tries to follow old pandora rules after the timer runs out, it bugs out, and gets rid of your characters hit boxes making you invincible for the rest of the round.”. And don’t say it couldn’t happen. If a knife can hard lock a system, this hypothetical situation isn’t far off


#10

I don’t understand y people think this game needs a comback feature. That’s y we have ae and marvel. Honestly I would be pretty mad if pandora is buffed anymore the dmg and pandora extend is already a comeback factor enough and I think more people should experiment with it


#11

No it isn’t. Just…no. It should stay the way it is. Useless and proud of it.


#12

I’ve said it before, the ONLY things I would buff about Pandora are:

-Reset the juggle limit, just like a tag cancel.
-Incoming character begins closer to the opponent (just like a tag cancel)


#13

As weak as it is, should it really be total suicide for the round and not just one character?
That’s another problem with Pandora: activating it is the same control scheme for if you want to quick-stand and tag out. Gee I’d never be in a hurry to get off the ground and tag out.


#14

just make the jungles infinite for the duration and remove the extension gem.


#15

I felt this is a suitable to the discussion of the current topic on hand.


#16

If it wasn’t for the fact that the game is supposed to be friendly to new comers I would vote Pandora should be a triangle input without the charge part. Honestly how could you do a triangle on accident? Also the fact that some people do have problems with the input in general.


#17

As much as I like those ideas, that would also mean some teams would be able to 700+ midscreen punish for 2 bars if they have 25% health or less. And 700 damage on a low health character is pretty much GG.

If Ryu whiffs an uppercut, I can currently punish with 440-461 damage for 1 bar or 506-554 for 2 (without pandora and without gems). That’s already ultra damage. And that’s usually a come back if I managed my health well enough. If a 500 damage combo doesn’t make me come back from behind then that means I played poorly and don’t deserve to win.


#18

From the day people got the built with Pandora, they were already complaining about how useless the mechanics was. It’s obvious Ono’s team wanted Pandora to NOT be an X Factor mechanics, which is understandable and not something people will complain about, but then the question is what exactly is the point of it?


#19

Thats the great thing about options, you dont have to use them if you dont want to.


#20

However, worthless options are just clutter.

To be honest, despite my suggested buffs, i tend to be more in the, let it stay irrelevant and/or delete it camp.