Okay, this post is about 3s juggling. So I wrote some stuff that should be mostly correct based on what I’ve messed with and read on the reference site (here: http://gr.qee.jp/01_3rd/index.html). Hopefully it makes sense.
The juggling mechanics as they’re described are not that complex, but explaining it concisely might be difficult because of how piecemeal it is. The way I see it, first separating the two major issues at play is important: Whether or not a juggle will continue vs. whether or not a juggle COMBO will continue. A continued juggle combo implies a continued juggle, but not the reverse.
In the most immediate sense, juggling (combo or no) is governed by this timer-like device called 追撃可能時間: “Time for Possible Pursuing/Following Strike” or whatever. This is the time window after each juggle hit within which the next move must connect to continue a juggle (otherwise the attack will not make contact at all). The reason juggling ability deteriorates is because with each hit this timer (henceforth “Pursuit Time”) shrinks depending on a counter called 削減値: “Reduction Value,” an indicator of how much the Pursuit Time has been “reduced” thusfar in the juggle. The higher the Reduction Value, the shorter the Pursuit Time, the more difficult further juggling becomes (less time to connect each successive attack).
The site provides the following relationship:
RV – PT (in frames)
1 – 121
2 – 101
3 – 81
4 – 61
5 – 41
6 – 21
7 – 11
8 – 5
9 – 2
10+ – 1
This Reduction Value is the “Juggle Counter” that most of the older posts in this thread make reference to. All of the attacks in 3s have associated values attached to them corresponding to how much RV is added when a player lands them in a juggle; attacks range from RV+1 (potentially “good” juggling tools like Urien’s Chariot Tackle) to RV+15 (virtually ends the juggle right away, e.g. most grounded normals), with some SA hits having RV “reset” properties (connecting with them will reset RV to 0 after which presumably any attack can continue the juggle, e.g. Yun’s attacks under SA3 or the last hit of Makoto SA2).
Starting on the order of seconds, PT for next hit shrinks quite rapidly as juggle RV increases; time windows above RV5 are halved until juggling becomes nearly impossible in practice because the successive attacks must connect within a single frame of those preceding them (no 3s character really has the capability to attack like that). Additionally, when a juggle reaches RV15, the extra condition that the next hit must be a Super Art hit to connect is imposed (at RV15 only one-frame SAs can continue a juggle).
Now, comboing. Note that the above still has nothing to do with whether or not a juggle will combo, only whether or not an attack will actually hit a juggled opponent regardless of whether or not a combo is happening.
Comboing in a juggle depends on RV/PT (naturally, if you can’t juggle at all you obviously can’t combo in a juggle) and also on what state the opponent is in. As far as juggling is concerned there seem to be only two, which the above site refers to as 吹き飛びダウン and 吹き飛び着地: “blown-away down” and “blown-away landing” (I assume that’s their term for the state after being hit in the air, the “blown/knocked flying” phrase).
- “Down,” the state in which the juggled character “ragdolls” about in the air; player has no agency and is at the mercy of his opponent. Good term for this would be “Air-Reeling.”
- “Landing,” The state in which the juggle character does a little rolling backflip ending in upright falling posture; player can parry but otherwise has no agency. Good term would be "Air-Reset."
Most Supers and many specials cause Air-Reeling when hitting an already airborne character (e.g. Gouki’s fireball) and/or even hitting a grounded character (e.g. Gouki’s Tatsu). Most normals (e.g. Ryu’s… anything other than sweep) and some specials (e.g. Ryu’s fireball) cause Air-Reset when hitting an airborne opponent. More than a few sites have reasonably comprehensive information on which kind of juggle state each attack in the game causes.
Combining this airborne state with the Reduction Value/Pursuit Time dictates comboing:
- If the juggled character is Air-Reeling and PT is not violated, the next attack will combo.
- If the juggled character is Air-Reset and PT is not violated, the next attack will combo IF it connects before the character begins to “flip out” (i.e. the attack must combo naturally off the hitstun of the move that caused the Air-Reset, and RV/PT mechanics must allow the juggle to continue). If it does not combo off the hitstun of the Air-Resetting move, the combo is finished. Subclause: If PT is not violated and the opponent hasn’t landed, the next attack can still connect and potentially juggle further (starts a new combo) if it is a Super Art hit, though the Air-Reset character can air-parry the SA provided the player is capable of executing.
- If the character has flipped out in air-reset state, non-SA hits will not connect even if PT hasn’t expired yet. And of course, if PT is violated at any point no further attacks will combo because they won’t even make contact (the juggle itself is done).
So that’s about it. It’s an inscrutable mess, I recognize, but I don’t think I can do any better on a straight-up explanation. I can provide more concise illustrative examples to back all this up in case anyone’s confused or curious, though.