Sandbagging


#1

Has anyone here ever been accused of sandbagging or ever suspect a top tier player of sandbagging? Do you think it’s wrong or insulting?

HDR/ST games can be pretty quick, you can literally knock a fucker out in 10 seconds. I don’t see how anybody would have time to sandbag. Then there are players who like to play a variety of characters, like myself, who love to step up their favorite low tier character game or simply wants to challenge him/herself. Even if a 1 character player who loses like 5 in a row and comes back to win 20 can be hard to suspect sandbagging.


#2

What’s the point of even using the term “sandbagging” if there’s no money on the line? Maybe you hurt their “pride”? lol.


#3

Around tourney time, you should always expect players to not try their best in casuals. And in normal casuals, sometimes if it’s boring, why not limit yourself to keep things interesting? I know I get bored fast after a few matches against an opponent who needs more experience. That’s not a knock on anyone; I wish I could always play at my best (like the legend of Thomas Osaki destroying little kids) since that’s the optimal road to getting better but unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be in me. So if boredom starts up, you could move to other characters and level them up or make the most of your time by improving execution/knowledge/etc. with your main in a “competitive” setting.

For example, with claw, I sometimes try no wall dives, no specials, all P or all K, a repeated limited set of attacks, only light attacks (a nice way to give a beginner a “hard fought” win in a last game and have them feel they’re improving), etc. Casuals are a great time to prep up and try exotic combos when the opportunities arise or to test your timing in situations where the consequences would normally be stacked against you. I grimace at the wasted opportunity every time I see someone throw a dizzied opponent to end a casual match instead of practicing a combo. And during this time, finding out as much as you can of move properties on your own sure beats relying on other folks for info.

From my experience, the vast majority of players are oblivious to sandbagging. So if all I’m doing is standing there from far away jumping up over their fireballs (and getting hit by the occasional one), some are still surprised when they realize they won. And again, sandbagging isn’t the ideal way to practice; this is just a way for those of us who get bored easily to keep playing. To ensure the other player doesn’t sandbag, winning early and often with solid footsies will do the trick. Of course, the idea of sandbagging entirely hinges on the point that in a serious setting, the sandbagger has to actually beat the other player; that’s why I personally like ft5 (first to 5) matches on GGPO so that I can ensure myself and my opponent of a few quality games (and am particularly motivated when directly challenged). If you can’t actually win when the opponent is directly challenging you, then that’s no longer sandbagging but just plain losing to a better player. :rofl:


#4

Ganelon is right on the money.

About not trying your best in casuals right before a tourney, though, it’s a double-edged sword. Sure, you’re not giving your potential opponents a glimpse of your whole bag of tricks, but you’re also not preparing yourself best for the tourney. In pre-tourney casuals, I personally always choose to give my 100%. I train just as I fight, so I can later fight just as I trained.


#5

It’s insulting. I can take the loss if you’re better than I am. Yeah, it’s nice to win, but I’m all about playing players that are better than I am…how else am I going to get better? I called out a SRK member on PSN for this. He destroyed me the first round, then clearly let me take him down to about 20% of his life THEN started fighting. If you can beat me, fine…do it. I don’t need sympathy.


#6

You guys take a totally different view from me. I bring out the crow bar and go Gordon Freeman on my opponents.

Maybe he was trying out something? I don’t know. I play a lot of my off characters to try something new.


#7

This was CLEARLY not the case. He just stood there, doing nothing except moving back and forth. I’ve been around SF for long enough to know when I’m getting sandbagged and when someone is trying something new or playing a char they are not adept with…no offense to you or your suggestion. Like I said, if someone can beat me, beat me. I can take it. I’m not going down without giving you 100% of what I can, and I expect nothing less from anyone I play. Whoop my ass all day, just don’t patronize me.


#8

I honestly think I discourage new players by going all out on them… I’ll give out advice if they if they are good sports a.k.a not rage quitting right before they lose. I sandbag through random select but I play random characters the best I know how though.


#9

See, I can deal with that. If you play a char that you are clearly great with, and then play a char that you know the moves, the general strat, concepts, etc., but aren’t great with, I can deal. People can tell the difference from outright sandbagging and trying a new char, working on a new idea, strat.


#10

Sandbagging? No way. If you are kicking my ass in the game and it seems like I am inconsistent from one round to the next, its because I am playing inconsistent. It might take me a round or two before I can figure out the other player’s style. I also agree with both 1hitparry/Ganelon. I always go all out to beat anyone that I play, but if someone is really green, then I try to practice my combos and cross ups on them. Most people that can handle losing in SF do not like being pitied or having their time wasted, so why disrespect them by not trying? If Thelo, BTC or Ganelon didn’t try their hardest to crush me, I wouldn’t have gotten to the level I am at now.


#11

to me it all depends on the scenario;

If you’re introducing new blood to a certain game then I would sandbag that way they can learn the game w/o getting bodied in record time. It will teach them the fundamentals and if and when they request you to go 100% then you do it. Thats the basis of training in anything, whether it be games, sports, etc.

However if your gearing for a tournament, it make no sense to not train or prepare 100%. Only a few people can turn “tourney mode” on and off like a switch. I used to train in boxing, and they will always train you super hard so when the fight comes it’s easy. I now take the same approach to tourneys.

And because of this topic, it has inspired me to write my first blog on SRK =)


#12

Or does it count as sandbagging when I try to empty jump 720 once I get meter? If so then yeah, I sandbag every now and then. : (


#13

haha I do that…


#14

Never. There are some days where I don’t have even my simple links down because I’m tired, my hands are cold, or whatever. If that happens then I’m just sucking, otherwise I always try my hardest. Even against rookies to the game.


#15

I see it as the more classy way to go. Why run up the score when the win is in the bag? But don’t get me wrong, class goes out the window when it becomes even remotely competitive - that’s when the knee-bashes and dirty B.S. come out!


#16

Not saying it is right, nor that it is wrong. But giving your full potential can be quite demoralizing for a number of people, this is for sure. I actually suppose most people, when it comes to new players. They lose not only because you are better, but because they have no clue. By getting beat hard they often get ashamed and just leave the arcade, not asking for advice or chatting with the others. You don need to be anywhere near professional level, just the different of knowledge and execution is enough when it comes to newcomers.


#17

I think most people are smart enough to know that if they’re new to *this *game, which has been out for a long time, that most players are gonna be extremely good, and they know that they’re in for a huge beatdown. It’s only logical to realize that. I mean if I decided to start playing Counterstrike or some other long running FPS (which I never play), I know I’m in for some massive hurt, but that’s not gonna stop me from trying to get better at the game, if that’s what I wanted.

And if newcomers still decide to stick to the game and get better at it, then they’re in it for life IMO. The ones who walk away ashamed or demoralized did not like the game that much to begin with. I think it doesn’t matter how much we help or “baby” newcomers by holding their hand or “sandbagging” for them. I think if there’s not a love for the game, then they will never last no matter what we do for them.


#18

I’ll also add that if I’m in a quarter match room and I’m fighting people below my ability, I’ll just go down my main list until I’m right where I can give everyone a good fight. I don’t really consider that sandbagging.


#19

Is changing to Bison and trying to connect ToD combos all the time considered sandbagging?


#20

Well, I just want to point it out that I was not saying people should do this or that, I was just stating what happens when I see people getting serious losses at the arcade. Those were probably just random people. The will of helping other people out is up to whoever is good enough to do so. They may not even have time, in the first place.

As for being aware that newcomers are to get defeated for sure when they start, I believe anyone who is used to competition will know, but the fact is not everyone is used to it. I agree with you that they should know. I certainly expect every person who posts in this section to, e.g., know Chun Li has an anti-air special in ST and HDR, that they will lose every round to a player that is much better than them (in case they are not already top), and so on. But I can not tell much about how much better they expect to get. There are people who can invest time in the game and will hope to get near pro, others only play when they can and only expect to get a bit better over time, while some just know they don have the desire or their life obligations are such that they can not expect to achieve a great level at the game. As for some guy I’ve never seen inserting a coin at a ST cab, who knows? Perhaps he only played SFII 15 years ago and on the SNES against the CPU and does not actually know ST.

In the above paragraph, when I say “know” I mean he is at least aware of the basic strategies, knows most normals and all special moves from all characters, among other things. So, for the sake of this message, a guy who is aware ST has super moves and faster game speed does not really “know” the game, necessarily. In that sense, the vast majority of people do not know the game. So some random guy accepts a challenge and gets destroyed, I am not sure the chances of him belonging to this group are not higher than 50%.

Maybe I am an optimist, but I feel a bunch of people who do not know the game, but play A2/A3/Marvel or whatever, could end up liking it, because it is good. Hell, even if they play Mario or whatever. But they do not understand where its value is when they first play or just watch. A few might check forums such as this one and wonder: “if people play this ST game till today, maybe it is really a good game,” and decide to try harder and learn stuff, check the character threads, NH2’s blog, YT vids, but a number of them don’t. I can give you personal examples of this. Some people from where I work were former casual A2/3 players and I would play ST with them. Occasionally, they would ask to play some alpha game, though. Nowadays, whenever we play, no-one even questions which SF version we are gonna use.

A similar thing may happen when it comes to competition. Video-games have started as a player against the machine activity. Until today, I still believe most electronic games are either single player or played against AIs. Or at least they are cooperative, such as Metal Slug or Final Fight, just to mention 2 games which we can play with GGPO. I have no numbers on the thing, but I suppose it is not uncommon that one gets what he or she can from a game and only considers facing other players after that. SFII would be this way, years ago: many would only risk themselves in PvP after they could at least reach the bosses in single player mode. But when they get to compete with others, they like the excitement. On the other hand, their first enemy could be, e.g., their young brother. Over time, they not only get used to competition, but end up getting hooked: they play a person, or don’t play at all. Would they start with a game that is not like Mario Kart, that has built-in functions that help the ones losing and a lot of unpredictability, that might not happen. As you have mentioned, a number of games are such that, depending on the difference of skill, the loser does not obtain even the minimal achievement. A SF player never wins a round, a Quake player never gets a frag, etc. If they do not understand why, in the first place, they may not even learn real competition in order to like it. My belief is that in SF, against an average player, there is a large margin where you never win, than a not that big margin where you have a chance of winning and a chance of losing, and then a margin where you never lose. However, I would not expect the average Joe to be aware of that.

Now, while I say some lose and just walk away, I ain’t saying this is a major problem. Some may not even consider it a problem in the first place. Even if we all do, still I am not saying that is should be addressed, as there is a high chance the effort will not be rewarded and depending on where the person lives, there is a strong scene already. I agree 100% that the ones who love the game will stick to it, or at least try as much as they can, but I also state that people who still do not may like ST and join us.

As for me, I have always disliked supers, but with the ST section in SRK, fatboy’s threads, NH2’s blog, GGPO and the tons of videos on YT - sorry about the ones whose actions I do not recall right now - here I am posting shit about the game. OK, it HDR and not ST, but they seem similar enough. I would narrowly defeat my elder brother in the SNES era, but the first time I was challenged at the arcade it was like 8 or so blocked jumping roundhouses into throw, and I seriously considered stopping, or that it was unfair, or that the game was actually not good. It was a huge turn off.

As for the main idea of the thread, what I try is to play as well as I can with the character. One is not required to stick to a single one, I believe people gotta live with it. I dislike when I do not pose a good enough fight and people switch characters around, but my view is that it is up to me to try and force them to get back to their main. I do get kind of offended but I do not wish it is something that the other player should be worried about.

I often do that with my friends. And I am stupid enough to try it having never actually landed one, even in training mode or with a “player-controlled” character with no-one on the stick. In my defense: I’m sure I am not the only one! :lol: