To be completely fair, we’re less concerned with the quantity of posts here; especially in a game with so much information and time and effort required just to be competent, we’re definitely focusing on quality.
First thing I want to address is the notion of a disregarded argument. If someone presents you with a valid argument and you admit that fact but then choose to willingly disregard it, you’re being entirely uncooperative with the spirit of debate, much less mutual understanding and help. If someone presents you with a valid argument and you feel as though they didn’t completely educate you (something which you attempted to allude to later in your post), then that’s fine but you need to plainly say so without typical forum rigamarole. We don’t have time for that here, in a very real sense (other places shouldn’t have time for it either, but whatever).
Regarding your discussion about clone characters, I’m getting two different messages and both of them are kind of fuzzy. The first is that clone characters do more damage than their original counterparts, but are somehow not good or will be disadvantaged later on down the line. The other message that I’m picking up is that now is a good time to switch up teams and to innovate.
Your clone character statements are, I feel, a little misplaced or entirely out of context. You seem to be working strictly off of damage numbers, and after that strictly off of certain combinations with certain other characters and doing very weird damage tests. I’m picking up not only a very limited knowledge of the game from you, but also a lack of general understanding with regards to the way the game fundamentally operates. Unlike Street Fighter and Marvel, there are so many different aspects to a character besides their launchers and their combo damage. I feel that you’ve cherry picked to such an extreme level that you either inadvertently or purposefully have completely thrown out an extremely large portion of the game and its mechanics to make a rather flimsy point that I don’t think would hold up if you re-read it to yourself out loud.
Not quite sure why you’re only using clone teams tagging into other clone teams (or into themselves) for these tests, but again, you are restricting your character view to the point where using these teams as examples isn’t making a whole lot of sense, but let’s play devil’s advocate and pretend that the examples are not only sound, but optimal. Afterward, you make a claim saying that six points of damage may not mean much at a tournament level, but means a lot online and in arcades and to be honest, I don’t think the gameplay between arcades and tournaments is different enough to warrant that claim. Now, if you’re purporting that online combos are either dropped more frequently or do less damage overall because of input decisions combined with lag, meaning those six points add up over time, then I can kinda see where you’re coming from, but you see how far I had to stretch that to work, right?
Your sudden shift to an example with Jaycee is even more confusing, since you’re now using King and Jaycee to talk about damage without using Michelle OR Armor King, so the whole thing seems very convoluted. Your game inexperience shows here by using Jaycee’s 4,4,1 string when that string does not combo naturally. Not being familiar with Jaycee can be a perfectly valid excuse, but being in training mode and not setting the CPU to block on the first available chance is not an excuse and shows that you either are training incorrectly or are not familiar enough with how strikes and combos operate within the Tekken framework.
From there, it seems like you’re saying because clones are somehow better than their original counterparts (which wasn’t ever really discussed in your previous paragraphs or examples), that they will lose out in the long run because, after more people having played them for so long (because they’re better than their original counterparts), other tournament players will develop strategies to beat them. This is considering tournament play despite the fact that you had mentioned six points of damage not meaning much in tournament earlier, which is just one part of a generally fuzzy aura that your argument gives off.
Please allow me to be very frank with you.
Your argument is essentially stating the following, if I were to put it in valid terms that would be presenting a cohesive argument: If Player A takes Character X and combos into Character Y, that combo will do Z damage…however, if Player B takes Character P and combos into Character Q, then that combo will do Z+ damage! If you take some time to re-read your argument, that’s all you’re saying. And the real messed up part is that, technically, you’re right! Different characters do varying amounts of damage in different situations. And you know what happens if Player C uses Character F, who is not even a clone character, instead? He does Z++ damage ohhhhhhhh snap! It’s kind of easy to take this apart. Let’s look at your King/Armor King example in the first paragraph. You perform a one hit tag launcher into an iSW with both characters. The first point of discrepancy is the nature of the launcher…are the targets blown straight up or away and what is the difference in launch height between the two? These factors all determine which followup combos are possible. Next, you end the combo with an iSW BUT most combos don’t immediately end in iSW, making this test mostly invalid unless your aim is to see whose iSW does more damage. So King to Armor King iSW may do more damage, but may Armor King to King does more damage overall because King might (I honestly don’t know) do more juggle damage before he can go into his iSW (if he can juggle into iSW). Tag assaults are also a part of this conversation if you want to talk about iSWs, since they’re the easiest and most common way to perform combo ending iSWs.
Please believe me when I say that damage isn’t going to determine who is better than who and who is going to get played more often in tournaments. It’s definitely a factor, however. Damage is not the endgame and character choice is driven by damage even less, I think. What’s more, competent tournament players need to break down many characters regardless of their presence in tournaments. Oftentimes, the novelty effect gets you a lot of mileage against novice to intermediate level players; uncommon characters can be quite threatening and if you suppose that damage is what’s going to determine character presence in tournaments, then uncommon characters should technically never be played since they’re not played now and the characters played now are the easymode ones that do more damage overall (and keep in mind that, at this point, we’ve more or less abandoned the original argument regarding clone characters long, long ago) and picking up the underused characters insinuates performing with less damage and less viability. This is all from your supposition regarding damage and its value in a tournament environment AND equating, or factoring it heavily in, with a character’s immediate worth.
I think you just need more experience and possibly a tutor to kinda help you see the different facets of the game, how it operates, and what factors go into choices like character choice, team choice, combo choice, and tactic choice. This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.