The Element of Chance - SCV

Hello, I’m a long time reader, first time poster. One issue that I’ve seen coming in discussions a lot is the element of chance. In particular, the clean hit system in Soul Calibur V. While many people are seem to be dissing the system, I think it is actually a good idea. Why?..

Let’s look at Rock Paper Scissors, it’s is a game with incredible balance, yet a lot of it has to do with luck (balance, isn’t that what everyone in SRK whine about?). Fighting games require more skill obviously, so we’ll move to a more strategic mindset, competitive pokemon. For those of you who aren’t familiar, pokemon battles at high caliber gameplay are extremely similar to fighting games. There are different moves, team combinations, predictions, tiers, and an ever changing metagame. What makes it so exciting though is the slight difference in damage with every attack. A pokemon can do the same attack to an opponent and do slightly different damage. Does this mean the game is broken? Not at all! In fact, it actually makes the game more strategic. You have to make choices based on the situation, it may work for you, it may not. Whatever the case may be, it keeps both players on their toes. Even with the small element of chance, the better player will win most of the time because of skill. Another thing to take into consideration is that the clean hit system system affects both players equally; none are at an advantage/disadvantage. Unlike stupid comeback mechanics, one shouldn’t feel cheated with a loss. This being said, it all depends on the game. It may work for one fighting game, but not with another.

2 cents

Hi, thank you for taking the time to create an account on (the place for ALL your fighting game needs)! We appreciate that you have taken the time to make this post. Unfortunately there are a couple of things wrong in your assessment of mechanics as they apply to fighting games.

  1. Universal mechanics are more universal for some than others. Any system that is supposed to benefit everybody will sometimes lead to certain characters using it better than others for various reason. So assuming that any mechanic off the bat will benefit everybody equally is a theoretical misconception but it is a claim that has empirical evidence against it than for it.

  2. Random is hardly ever all that great when it comes to the damage of attacks. We depend on that damage being the same when we hit those buttons. If the games included situations in which certain attacks did more damage or had other effects (crumple on counter hit and other good stuff) then it makes sense. But if I can’t count on my combo to do the damage I think it’ll do after all the practice I put on it, then all it does is give less worth to learning high damage combos since they can be turned into dumb damage combos (this is in reference to you using pokemon as analogue to the clean hit system).

  3. If you would be so nice as to spend some more time lurking before making a thread like this or better flesh out your ides providing evidence from other fighting games it would really help your efforts. Truth is that most of us could give less than 2 cents about competitive pokemon. On the other hand if you had a good argument as to why pokes should have random damage attached to them…that would be great.

  4. Lastly please understand that aspects of fighting games will be judge with a critical eye as it impacts competition. While some people are trying to turn this place into a more casual house for fighting game players, it is here that we come to take games seriously. Therefore if you feel that as a casual player the mechanic is fun; then by all means please argue it from that point of view. But if somebody happens to tell you that “clean hit can go choke on the goddam puppy that dragged the idea from Satan’s ballsack for adding unnecessary randomness to make some people feel accomplished at beating somebody at random,” then know that it is because we want to study these games and play them at the highest level possible that such opinions happen.

Thank you for joining us!

Need more details on clean hit system.

Like is it actually random as in there’s a 1/20 chance this hit will be a clean hit like some dumbass critical hit rpg stat or is it some type of this part of the attack needs to hit the body or if this attack hits the opponent’s hitbox here you do bonus damage?

If the latter, indifferent. If the former, fuck it.

Yes, I suppose I am looking at this from a rather casual standpoint, but I’m not a serious player to begin with. And that’s exactly why I’m here, to learn about new things. I appreciate your feedback, I’m one of the few people who love hearing different opinions.

This is where people go wrong with Shoryuken.

You see there are some things we know are bad and don’t want, somethings we know are bad (we like anyway but don’t necessarily want to see back) and somethings that we know are bad but have added to the depth of games. An example of the first is randomness. One of the most beloved games in the community, Super Turbo, is filled with a lot of random things in it for inexplicable reasons (this means I don’t remember and will not be doing the research for you at the moment). Very few of us here want to see any part of that come back in a modern game.

In the middle we have Custom Combos. These have essentially shat on almost every fighting game they’ve graced their ugly little heads. Now there are many members that love banging these out. For the most part though, they end up doing too much damage than regular supers and have turned many games ugly. There are divisions in the community about further inclusion of these. But for the most part, they are a shitty idea almost every time.

The last one of these that I can offer are unblockables. These as a concept seem like genuinely stupid thing to have in a game. But when they involve specific set ups they actually add to the strategy of the game (some may want to use the word “metagame” here but those people are stupid and should essentially stop using the word metagame). So while we have something that should hypothetically add to the detriment of a game, unblockables add to the tension of games and to the options the offense has.

So please, while you may love hearing different opinions, I can assure that nobody wants random crap thrown into their games. This isn’t a matter of opinion, it is just that we cannot justifiably defend adding that type of randomness to a style of games that is dependent on a series of very fast cost/benefit scenarios. The last of course is an oversimplification of the genre but I hope using Cost/Benefit as a theoretical perspectives on these game would eventually lead you to the conclusion that ultimately adding randomness does nothing to improve skill or playing except to just pop a piñata on the players and prematurely end games for no good reason.


Randomness in games: Super Turbo had random dizzy values and damage in combos and World Warrior had 512 moves.

Custom Combos shitting on things: They took a huge dump on Alpha 2 since they invariably dealt more damage than all supers. In A3 they lead to infinites, constant resets for high damage and continued dealing more damage than most supers. In CvS2 custom combos just deal more damage than anything else; this does not mean that other modes aren’t good but that the meter to damage ratio benefits the CC groove greatly (it also helps that it can roll cancel on top of that). Third Strike has Genei Jin. For shits and giggles they were also in KoF XII where they dealt a great deal of damage but i don’t know if they were detrimental to the game in general since nobody bothered with it.

Unblockables: Magneto, Storm, Cable, Sentinel, Iron Man can do guard breaks which are in essence unblockables. They add to the offense, are not always guaranteed, some set ups can be escaped and they won’t always kill. Sentinel has a 1 frame unblockable and boy oh boy do things turn ugly for sent if he misses it. in MvC3, the ability to create unblockables makes certain character’s offense better when they don’t naturally have good mixups: Amaterasu, Sentinel, Ryu and a bunch of other people benefit from this.

So…Since I’m being nice, you get to walk away scotch free from this one. What I provided was a quick summary for a nice fellow.

Well if it’s worth anything, I’ve seen some Soul Cal folks say that Clean Hit isn’t really an issue.

Kind sir, we are discussing clean hit concept. Once the game is out we can go on to properly discussing its application. But while you are here, would you mind providing your thoughts on random damage spikes on certain moves?

Pertho, I’m not disagreeing with you at all, I only presented one side of the issue. Check my last statement in the OP. I’m saying chance has it’s niche. Who can honestly say they want every game with broken features? Btw, I’m not a soul calibur fan boy, I’ve played many fgs and mearly used this as an example.

No worries good chum! I was not somehow trying to paint as anything other than someone who is brand new to the community here on the website but merely providing examples as to why this community as competitive players does not like random. It is not an opinion that we have in regards to random; it has already been tried and found lacking.

The best way you can serve us right now is to explain what you find personally appealing in the clean hit system. Because it is a competitive community, many members here forget that the genre is enjoyed by a diversity of people whose opinions are weighed in when making the games. While many times these two are at odds, you have found this one particular feature intriguing enough to create an account and post. So if you would delight us with a paragraph or two as to why this feature for this one game was the one made you want to have an open discussion on it, it would definitely move the thread places.

Personally, while I would rather not have it, I don’t mind randomness as long as it’s scope is limited and any advantage from it comes from a player able to properly exploit the situation.

How about explaining the clean hit system in SC5 instead of blabbering about RPS and Pokemon?

I think it almost certainly wouldn’t have a massive effect in the gameplay, but yeah it’s incredibly stupid that adding random damage will somehow help narrow the gap between scrubs and non-scrubs. And it goes to show how everyone is pretty clueless as to how to make an accessible fighter.

It involves a lot more strategy then you think.

Wow Daishi is stupid.

  1. Faust’s items and Zappa’s ghosts are “random” but not only they are controlled randomness with only 2 characters of the cast, they also create vastly different situations and force both players in the match to improvise. So while being “random” they are done in an interesting way that does not hinder the game.
    Random damage is just random damage. What’s so interesting about it?

  2. "it provides a “fair” mechanic for less hardcore players"
    What is so ‘fair’ about randomness? I’d say the most ‘fair’ thing to do in a fighting game is to be stable and to reward skill rather than luck.
    "while simultaneously nudging players toward using the good stuff."
    What so good about the good stuff when you can’t even count on it?
    Plus, it sounds like Capcom’s "instead of making a good netcode, let’s embrace the lag and simulate it in training mode."
    Daishi’s version: “instead of making balanced movelists with many effective moves, let’s embrace the disparity and lure players towards the better moves even more.”

And again we get bad design choices by developers who are ignorant towards making the game fun for casuals, and by trying to cater to them they screw the most dedicated players in the process. What’s next? Brawl tripping?

On a different note I think it still says a lot when some Japanese companies send their games to the harsh arcade environment, while others are sending it straight to console.

Yeah, I don’t see how random damage is fair or interesting at all and I’m not buying the casuals enjoy it line. Seems like it would be more annoying “oooooooh you’re so lucky that move decided to do more damage that time”, really that’s cool?

Haha, I mearly used rps and poke as an analogy. Both utilize randomness and no one questions it at high level gameplay. Of course, my first time talking with the fg community, I guess a lot of people have set standards for games.

Personally, I’d take Signia’s word on it, since he’s one of the few folks around these parts that actually plays Soul Cal.

Faust’s items are random in the good sense. BOTH players can react to them and the randomness is used for dynamic gameplay and inhibiting power (if you could use the same item 100% of the time when you wanted it it would be ridiculously good). I don’t think Zappa’s random is that healthy for the game but it’s semi-random because you can control what you want if you wait a few seconds.

Also someone made the point of universal mechanics benefiting everyone unequally: this is true, but is determined entirely by the power of character differences anyway. Removing that universal mechanic would likely make little difference in overall balance and universal mechanics homogenize the game and condenses the total power gap by making it relatively smaller, which in turn can make for a more balanced game at the expense of variety. For example: While I feel that Chun-Li abuses the 3rd Strike engine the most, if you removed parry from the game, there would still be an unbelievable power gap between the entire cast.

This post isn’t directed at anyone in particular, but I wanted to clarify a couple of things.

Why is this up for debate at all. You know alot of these ‘‘I play for fun’’ kind of guys are really selfish; they don’t realize that what is fun for them is not at all fun for anyone else. No one enjoys losing for no good reason.