Stick musings... an experience report


#1

So yeah, today I finally made some changes to my stick and also my hand position. Improved my Ryu play by 300%. That’s pretty drastic from “Argh, come on fireball” to “Hmmm yeah, one in a few will miss”. What happened?

I started out with the usual stuff, playing on a friends HRAP3. I liked the general experience and decided to get a stick for myself, it was a HRAP2:SA. First I found the playing pretty rough, so I decided to put in an 8 way gate.
There, much smoother. But somehow, the stick felt so light in resistance… not to mention the space to move around in felt huge. I was like “Hmmm, a tighter stick should help me, it will allow me to execute stuff faster”. Thus, I got an LS-32.
The experience was definitely different, the stick was tighter but at the same time felt somewhat “harder”. Whenever I hit the restrictor, it felt harsh. I also longed for the comfort of my 8 -way. In the end, I went back to my 8 way JLF.

Back to the JLF, it still felt so loose. Couldn’t I change something to make it more responsive. This is when I stumbled over this:
[media=youtube]QytcbzZmXaI[/media]
The JLF ultimate mod. I hopped onto it and tuned the stick as tightly as possible. Next to it, even the Seimitsu felt unresponsive and loose.

Fast forward a few weeks, I discovered GGPO. I started to play seriously. My main was Chun and playing with her felt great, moves came out tightly and flawlessly… ok, exept for the Super. But after one month of only Chunning, I wanted more. A new character.I alwas liked Ryu and his Super, and since I had played a strong Fei Long he intrigued me as well. Alas, trouble was ahead.
So I had tuned the stick ultra tightly, the perfect stick for SHMUPs and Brawlers as well as Chun and Guile. But Ryu, with dragon punches and fireballs? It felt terrible. So I practiced and practiced, but somehow, it continued to feel bad. I remembered the way the mint feeling of the HRAP 3 of my friend, fireballs were at least much nicer. So, I started to slowly undo the mod.

After an afternoon of testing and modding, I basically was back at a stock FLF with a Square gate. The only thing I hacked was the overall throw, but I had unmodded the microswitches which meant it was already naturally much bigger. And things felt MUCH better. So yeah, I basically now see why Japanese players use this stick in the original design, precise corners and a good feeling when doing rotating motions. Well, except for the huge throw after activation, I made this very small still :lovin:

Well, I also talked about hand positions. Before I used a “wrap ball with index finger and thumb, spread the rest away” grip. And somehow, it didn’t feel that good anymore. Like lacking control. So I started experimenting, the “grip from top grip”, “Daigo and variants grip” and “the wineglass grip”. One thing quickly came clear, I wanted the thumb to be pretty much on top, this seemed to give a good directional control. So either the Daigo or winegalss version.
Daigo was nice but at the same time it felt like cramping the hand, because it mercilessly bent my small /and depending on variant ring-finger inward. So that left me with the wineglass. In some way, I already knew it because it’s the natural position I use when I pick up the stick from the floor by the way. Yeah, I know I’m a savage :razzy:
At first it felt pretty strange, though also pretty relaxing. The directional feeling was good, though at first I was wrestling with my hand trying to get into a vertical position. Muscle memory… But as time passed, it became natural and I have to say, a very good, controled hand position.

So yeah, me mostly unmodding my stick and finding a hand position that offers better control has done a lot for me in improving my playing skills. It was an interesting journey, basically finding not only what works best for me but also understanding why so many players use the stick as it currently is. :smile:

Oh, and a tip for anyone who wants to try the wineglass grip (as seen here: http://www.watch.impress.co.jp/game/docs/20050408/ggl.htm): open the elbows. There are 2 variants, one with the stick between the ring and middle finger which can be used with elbows pretty much closed. The second places the stick between the index and middle finger. For this to work you have to open the elbows and really turn your hand horizontal. Imagine like throwing out seeds. I feel this gives me not only a good connection to the stick but also feels pretty open as a whole. Try it for a bit, this will start to feel pretty good.
General thread about holding a stick: http://forums.shoryuken.com/showthread.php?t=132102

Okay, enough of me rambling on and on and on. I hope this thread was an inspiration to all who are still looking for “their” ideal combination of stick and hand position. It really does matter :china:


#2

interesting post.

i use pinky tucked in (i guess this is daigo style?).

i fool around sometimes with wineglass but it is hard for me to use it in games like guilty gear where i have to dash a lot and instant air dash.

however i have never used the wineglass position with shaft between index and middle. i will have to try that out.


#3

Cool! Took me a while till I found the best way for me… here it is:

Looks weird, but is effective