I see this happening at my arcade.
New Player -> Looks at top tiers -> Picks Top Tiers -> Loses a lot -> Reads the internet/ asks questions -> Wins some-> Practices/asks more questions -> Wins a lot.
Now, ask them to use high Middle tiers or Other Top Tiers, and they lose all over again.
Sometimes I ask myself, what does ‘Better player’ mean? Is it the player that can win most of the time using the very limited characters they’ve trained so hard in? Is it the player that went and understood the game mechanics so that he’s accurate in judgement, but doesn’t win as much as the player who wins all the time using Top Tier?
In Tournament play of course, the obvious is that, the ‘Better Player’ is the one who wins, by any means.
So, actually, your question will be answered differently by the different camps that exist in this forum.
What about me? I’ve seen too many cookie cutter people already. If you got a new game, and you threw it to them without internet, they’ll probably find the most obvious abusable move, and call it top tier and then they’ll proceed to beat the game and other players with it, all the way.
How about the experimental types? They would spend their time experimenting so much, that they’d never train until they got Toppest Tier of the Toppest tier to it’s full human playable potential.
Now put the two together, and you’ll get the experimental strategists, doing the R&D, and then there’ll be the cookie cutter types who will just follow the latest fad. Makes for a good team no? We’ll. that’s whats actually happening.
And the progress is -> Cookie cutter (leeches) beats everyone with certain Top Tier -> Experimentals find some way around it -> Cookie Cutter Uses that information and practices just that -> Experimentals find out something else major -> Cookie Cutters shift focus and play whatever is most powerful…and it repeats.
So, who is better? The player that won the tournament, or the player who taught him how to do it?
It’s actually a cycle you see…
Now of course there exists those who are both. They practise the most powerful to win when they need to, but experiment a lot during their free time. Of course, these people have a lot of time on their hands (And I envy them). The players who do this, and SHARE with the community are the best players for the future development of the community.
And there are of course, the underdog extremes who insist on never using the Top Tiers for whatever reasons they have. But they are not part of the discussion so never mind.
And whats the Conclusion for me? Tiers = Positive. In the long run, it is a focus for the “experimentors” who find out more about the game trying to topple the current Top Tier by trying to solve the puzzle of the current “top Tier Problem”. Cookie Cutter Types have no use for the information except to read it and try to play it as they see it anyway. (oh let’s take Cable they say he’s good. Ok, So, umm, what do we do with him?. Oh! his Punch is a GUN SHOT! My gooness! How will anyone ever get near him! no Wonder they say he’s good! Let’s abuse this!) The Cookie CUtter Types ahowever, will look to what the Experimentors do, and learn from them. Thus upgrading themselves in their own way.