krazysho0t and hellbox9 hit the nail on the head I think.
After you get a bit better from being a novice, there’s just certain things you “feel” or “know” you shouldn’t do. I think the two biggest ones in SF are:
Random Ultras - If it hits, it hits. If not… highly punishable.
Wakeup specials. - EX’ed or not, easily baitable, highly punishable on whiff. (obviously some moves are safer than others)
Now, for a lot of people, these become hardened rules. Set-in-stone so to speak. They’ll either never do them again, or very very rarely. Logically, it makes sense.
If you asked a mid-level player about why they never Random Ultra they’d say: “Because it probably won’t hit. It’s highly punishable on whiff and basically gives the opponent a free shot. Why would I give the opponent a free hit?”
If you asked a novice about why they Random Ultra they’ll say: “Because it might hit. Why would I not take a chance for free damage?”
These are two fundamentally different mindsets. The problem comes in when the mid-level player starts to over think the opponent/match or becomes accustomed to certain styles of play. They’ll start to realize as their friends get better that they start doing less flailing, and more controlled playing. This becomes the “norm” to the point that they stop reacting to what’s going on in the match and start playing by predicting what’s coming next. Chances are, if you play with the same people long enough this starts to become “how the game is played” in your mind and in your muscles memory. If all of a sudden a new player shows up and starts doing all those things you’re “never supposed to do” then you get in trouble.
All of a sudden, you think you’re seeing opportunities, when really, they aren’t there because they only exist in the framework of the playstyles you’re used to. Once that rude awakening happens, it’s a slippery slope as you struggle to keep up. Suddenly, all those techniques you’re not supposed to do because of their obvious deficiencies become very effective. As the match continues and you get hit by more and more things you weren’t expecting, it’s hard not to crumble in confusion…which inevitably leads to anger. I think most people don’t mind losing, but they hate not knowing WHY they’re losing. It’s very hard to experience this and still have the composure to stop and think about what happened. It takes time, it takes experience, and having a friendly environment to play sure helps a LOT!
Heck, this just happened to me today. I played a friend I haven’t played for awhile in MvC3. He plays Hulk and I was rocking Dormammu… sooo many times I thought I had an opening to hyper… and he just Gamma Crushed through it. Now, I know that Gamma Crush is invincible. I know should’ve learned after the first one. I know that not only should I have baited it out, but I had one of the best characters to counter it! I should say… I know that now. In the heat of the battle, I swear I got hit by more of those things than I thought possible… and it’s all my fault for not being able to remain calm and just adapt. I had the information, I just didn’t use it.
Like others have posted, I’m generally a laid back guy and it takes a lot to piss me off, but damn if I can’t be reeeeal salty when it comes to fighting games. My biggest gripes tend to come from my perception of risk vs. reward. I played the same friend everyday for over year who played mainly Guile. I can’t tell you how many times I got so salty. Being able to hang back and chuck booms and simply use any of 3 punches to stop my advancing… who wouldn’t be? I have to work 10x harder just to get to him and then the match starts…lol I know I have to bait unsafe booms, I know there’s a lot of characters that have moves with projectile invincibility, and honestly, he was predictable. But the thing is - he plays to win. All the time. Everytime. It doesn’t matter if he has to throw that Sonic boom 100,000 times a match to win. He’ll do it. I personally don’t find enjoyment in playing that way… so I continue to jump around characters and deal with the challenges. He’s playing to win… and wins most of the time. I play to have fun and I lose a lot to him. It IS fun when those rounds come by where I do exceeding well, and heck, even if I lose… if it was a good match with some good play I’ll genuinely enjoy it. But I couldn’t be happy for example with a round I won exclusively with chip damage because the opponent couldn’t get to me. I find it boring, so naturally I get salty when I’m “forced” to play against it.
Bottom line is, I think as a lot of players (including myself) feel we are getting better, we tend to take less risks because we think it will help us succeed in the long run. We try to hold on so tight to our health bars to keep them safe. It’s just the nature of people. However, many times this ends up working against us. We get so stuck in learning everything we shouldn’t do because if it fails… we’ll lose…that we forget to consider what could happen if it succeeds. It’s been proven time and time again that the player who is not afraid to risk his character’s life will many times come out saving it in the end.
Heck, people do the same thing with money!