I’ve very new to fighting games in general- I’ve only started playing about a week ago, so maybe the best answer to this question is ‘play more’. But I’d still like to ask just in case anybody can help me understand an aspect of the game that I can’t really wrap my head around at the moment. Let’s just say the game is ST, and the character using fireballs is Ryu.
What are some things that separate dumb fireballs from smart fireballs? ‘Fireball game’ is always referenced when I see people discussing fundamentals, footsies, legendary players, etc., but I’m trying to understand what makes a dumb spammer and what makes excellent projectile game.
My current view of fireballs- influenced mainly by a few fighting game ‘primers’, watching old tournament footage, lurking forum discussions, and playing a bit- is that fireballs are mostly good because they limit your opponent’s options. By this I mean if you throw a fireball, your opponent can’t move like he usually does, and instead has to pick between a few predictable/react-able/bad options- jumping over the fireball, throwing a fireball of his own, blocking it, and maybe using an invulnerable move to move around it. From here, I thought different ranges are better and worse for fireballs. From too far away you the opponent can cancel it with a fireball on reaction or jump over it and there’s not much you can do, and from close up he can probably get a huge punish from jumping over it or even hit you during the startup. But at a certain range, your opponent might have especially bad options- like not being able to react to the fireball and cancel/neutral jump over it. Here they’d have to block or jump over it at you, and then you could DP if they jump in at the wrong time.
But while I’m not even confident in all of that, I’m also confused about a lot of other aspects of fireballs. If certain ranges are good and your opponent is aware of these bad ranges, do good opponents often try to keep their opponent from getting to that range or anticipate certain movement? How does prediction and anticipation change things (like if you read Ryu’s fireball and jump early can you get a punish on it, when is DPing a jump over a fireball a reaction and when it is a read, similar things)?
So to sum up my questions:
-Is a big part of what makes some fireball use intelligent and some fireball use dumb knowing how different ranges give your opponent different options (mainly how they can deal with fireballs and how they can react to them)?
-From there, is a big part of dealing with fireballs stopping your opponent from getting to these ranges?
-Can an opponent who anticipates a fireball and jumps early punish a fireball, and how does this change things?
Another big part of why I’m asking this is to ask whether or not approaching things in fighting games in this sort of way is a good idea. I’ve seen people talk down on people who focus too much on theory and ‘what if’ situations, so I don’t know if trying to go about understanding situations and aspects of the genre like this is useless or not in the long run. This way seems mostly about having a good understanding of what your opponent can do in certain situations, knowing how you can counter these things on reaction and off of a read, that sort of thing. Please give me feedback not only on the subject of fireballs, but also on how to go about learning about fighting games from an almost nonexistent background! I said that the game in question is ST and the character is Ryu, but the way I asked the question is general enough for this to maybe apply to more games.