Some things to think about to improve your skills

Critical-Limit

New member
Mortal Kombat

Playing to Win

Accept the Game for what it is:
If you want to get good, you must first accept that there are extremely boring strategies out there you will have to face, and also you'll have to accept them as part of the game.

I see a lot of people complaining about special move spamming (this should be the least of your worries, because they are all easily stopped with 1 strategy) Everything in this game has a counter. Some are more unfair/fair than others. You must first accept any unfair/fair aspects as part of the game. If the game gets patched do not have a scrubby mindset and think "Oh I'm quitting this character until they fix it." sometimes what one person perceives as imbalance, could be perceived as balance to someone else. besides if you quit your character and "Wait" for balance. you're only taking away the experience you could have been gathering playing that character while it was considered not good.

Characters weaknesses
If you're going to main a character know what they are, accept that they have them. Use trial and error to figure out ways to minimize exposing your weaknesses. For instance, Scorpions stun after he does his teleport punch is really long, and when blocked you give your opponent a free combo. the weakness to his move is obviously block. how do you avoid/minimize the weakness of the move? well for 1 don't throw it out when they are able to block. You'll want to use it as a counter to projectiles while they are locked in attack lag. Or if your opponent wiffs his string combo you can get behind him before he finishes it. If your opponent is in the air they cannot block. So... what did we learn? you should only use scorpions teleport punch when they are...
1.) in the air
2.) used a projectile
3.) are in the middle of doing a laggy attack.
4.) combo into it.

all 4 of these are ways to make sure they don't ever block your teleport punch. Thus reducing the weakness of your attack.

Character Strengths:
Same for weakness. Know what they are and how you can abuse them w/o being predictable.
For example, Noob saibot is really good at keeping people off of him. He's a Zone character that plays pretty much keep away. So lets look at one of his moves, his anti-block projectile for instance.

You know it makes it so they can't block, your opponent if they are any good knows this too. So they will attempt to stay away from you by jumping/attacking/dashing away. this is your chance to be aggressive, and exploit their new behavior when they can't block. Throw a black hole when they jump away, dash back to avoid their attacks, then come back in with your own combo when they miss. you should mix up approaching them, with behind aimed black holes. If they are newbies that are playing so random you can't get them to behave like they "SHOULD" be, you should just attack the crap out of them. You can't used mind games on someone who doesn't think.

Honor?

As far as I'm concerned the only "honor" you should practice is shaking hands and congratulating your opponent when they win, or shaking hands and telling your opponent "Good games." when you win. Other than that, if you're playing to win you should abuse everything in your arsenal no matter how cheap someone might think it to be. If you got a 50% combo you can do w/o any meter, do it twice and feel no remorse or guilt. If your opponent misses up his button inputs don't feel bad for them and let them get a free hit or something stupid. That's HIS FAULT for not having good execution.

Mistakes/Losing:
If you truly want to get better, you will value LOSING over WINNING. And I don't mean lose on purpose. What I mean is you should prioritize fighting someone who's better than you over someone you destroy. For example.

If you are winning 15 games to say 2 losses vs someone. It's time to find a new opponent. Sure give yourself a pat on the back for being better than that guy, But you aren't learning anything beating someone who is worse. Unless of course this person you are beating is your friend you're trying to help improve. Then it's ok to keep playing because your friend needs to play against someone better even if that person is you.
PLEASE NOTE: If you're losing TOO much this can hurt your self confidence, so sometimes for your mind it could be good to beat up some newbie for a few rounds before finding someone better. besides newbies make good combo dummies.

If you find an opponent who goes even with you, this is a good opportunity to practice your mind tricks. when you're playing against a newb, they don't think well and fall into things that a pro would not fall for. On the other end of the spectrum, If you're fighting someone so good all you do is spend time getting combo'd and using combo breakers you're not learning how to use your mind against another mind. So that is why finding someone of equal skill is important.

Playing against someone WAY better. Now although you may not get as many opportunities to practice combos, or do mind games, because this player is always 2 steps ahead of you. These fights are necessary to play so you can learn what you thought "works" You find out it does not work. For instance, Lets say you always teleport punch a certain move and it worked on your evenly matched opponent. A Pro is way less forgiving and better at execution. That evenly matched player might have just been 4 frames off from doing the correct input each time and gave up trying that input thinking it doesn't work. A Pro will make it work every time. Playing a pro is the best way to teach you what works/doesn't work. a Pro will also make your habits/patterns painfully obvious. You may not realize you jump too much fighting against evenly matched people or newbs. but if you get countered 6 times when you jump the pro is TEACHING you that your jumping is predictable and you need to try something else. Or when you do a getup special attack EVERYTIME you're knocked down. A Pro will call you out on it and read your patterns, and start blocking when you get knocked down.

Execution:
Perfect all of your characters timings/ spacing/ learn all the combos and when they hit high/mid/low. So that when you play a match you don't have to "think" about your combos. Your muscle memory will do it automatically when you want to do it. that way you can spend all your time thinking about what your opponent is doing and what they will do next.

TrainingvsPressure
although you want to perfect your combos in training mode and learn how far moves can reach or when they end ect. But sometimes even though you can combo in training mode doesn't mean you can do it in a match. What i mean by this isn't that it doesn't work. More like, when you do the combo in training mode... that is your entire focus so you are ready for it. When you play a human who is pressuring you. When you get that first hit of the move off, many people who can do it 10/10 times in training will mess up once they finally get a hit because their mind is now having to think about a lot of other things. Don't freak out if this is the case with you, it just means you need to practice against live human beings now, and should leave training mode behind you so you can get use to combo'ing under pressure.

Conditioning
Definition: To condition your opponent to behave a specific way so that other opportunities can be opened up.

For example, you have this really nice combo with Jade but it starts with her overhead special attack. It's easily blockable as it starts up just a little slow. to land this, you need to condition your opponent to block low. And how do you do that? you attack low 1-3 times. once you get him scared of low attacks, you can now land your overhead special by scaring him into thinking another low attack is coming

This isn't simply mixing up your strategy. You are ON PURPOSE creating habits to FORCE a habit type response to your habit. So that you can open up the door to the counter you want to land, which in Jade's case was the overhead special attack.

Reaction to being blocked.
Some strings when blocked are safe and unsafe. some start off with the same string.

for instance:
Ermac's: <1, 2, 1>, combo when blocked doesn't even go to the third hit. the 2nd hit has to land for the 3rd hit to come out. so this is very unsafe to go for when blocked as Ermac is RIGHT next to his opponent after 2. however...
If you realize that <1, was blocked. by the time you get to hitting 2. You should now instead CHANGE your string to his <1, 1, 4 string. this adds a kick after 2 that pushes them back out of punish range while they are blocking.

Learn how to change strings mid combo accordingly.

I'll add some more food for thought later.

Thoughts? anyone learn anything? anything you want to add? Anything you disagree with? lets talk ;d
 
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bmsirhc

New member
Posting for Critical-Limit:

Learning from Mistakes:

You should record your matches, and when you lose. Go over the entire match again bit by bit. Everytime you get hit, ask yourself why you got hit. How could i have stopped it, and why did my opponent go for that attack at that particular time.

Lets say your opponent jumped in with a empty jump (no attacks.) as soon as he landed he grabbed you. you notice this is your re-watching of your match. First why did you get grabbed?
Barrier1.) You didn't anti air his jump, Probably because he beat you in the air before and you were afraid of another punish or he was already in the air while you were stuck doing a move(projectile)
Barrier2.) You block in fear expecting an aerial, Perhaps your opponent knew you would be out of projectile lag by the time he got near you and didn't want to have hit lag and get punished.
Barrier3.) afraid of a string combo you kept holding block, and got grabbed.

So you have many levels to stop this attack, Lets pretend you can't anti-air cuz he only jumps over your projectiles. Next time you block to avoid the aerial. but just as he lands, and starts an attack. Hold block while spamming 1(Square). So if he does a string you block the first hit., if it was a grab you are spamming 1, to get out of it.

thus you learned your lesson for that particular situation. You covered 2 options, with 1 tactic. Now don't think your new tactic is unbeatable. Everything is beatable. he could instead do a trip as he lands instead. If you expect that you could always switch from high block to low block the second he lands. and be ready to spam 1 if he grabs. Watch for empty hop overheads. which will only happen once he realizes you are stopping all his tactics with your counters for his empty hops.

I could go on forever but I hope you get the point of what I mean by studying why you got hit, and how you can counter it next time.
 
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Critical-Limit

New member
Thanks for the acknowledgement. I've played competitively in Super smash brothers Melee, and Starcraft Brood War, and Starcraft 2. I also play Blaz blue. I've been to ALOT of tournements out of state, even out of country. So I know a little bit about what I'm talking about :D
 

DrStrangelove41

New member
Great post, man! Well written and helpful. Any chance you're going to take it to the next level and include Pros vs Cons for different characters?
 

Critical-Limit

New member
Great post, man! Well written and helpful. Any chance you're going to take it to the next level and include Pros vs Cons for different characters?


That would be extremely time consuming and a lot of work lol. If enough people want me to take a stab at that I might be down for it, but if I did take on such a task I would obviously require the assistance of the community to polish it. I'm human I make errors in judgement and sometimes observe data incorrectly.

Great post, im new to mk and fighting games in general so this really helps.

Glad it helped you out :D. Even professional players sometimes forget some of these traits in the game, or forget to think about them.
 

Strangea

New member
Awesome post OP, it's definitely something I'm going to bookmark for later.

Everything you have right now is very helpful. Some things I'd like to see is some general strategies with characters.

Def a +rep post!
 

Critical-Limit

New member
Awesome post OP, it's definitely something I'm going to bookmark for later.

Everything you have right now is very helpful. Some things I'd like to see is some general strategies with characters.

Def a +rep post!

ya Dr.Strangelove asked the same thing. I'm hesitant to do it cuz there are SOOOO many characters haha. and I've only taught myself Jade/Ermac. I know a little bit about Scorpion and Noob Saibot. I might be up for it. but I lack the knowledge of other characters simply because I've put so much work into just those 2 characters, with (Noob/scorp) on the side. I wouldn't throw the idea out the window yet, but don't expect character specific stuff soon.

btw your avatar creeps me out.

This should help some people out there... Nice of you to do something like this. :)

Thanks I'm a pretty nice guy :D. I even try to help people who yell at me online lol. Sometimes someone who sounds like a butthole online is just someone being frustrated with fighting against me. So I give him tips, and sometimes you make a friend out of someone who originally was calling me a nerd/no life person who plays too many video games.
 

Strangea

New member
ya Dr.Strangelove asked the same thing. I'm hesitant to do it cuz there are SOOOO many characters haha. and I've only taught myself Jade/Ermac. I know a little bit about Scorpion and Noob Saibot. I might be up for it. but I lack the knowledge of other characters simply because I've put so much work into just those 2 characters, with (Noob/scorp) on the side. I wouldn't throw the idea out the window yet, but don't expect character specific stuff soon.

btw your avatar creeps me out.

I'd be willing to help out a bit. I only really know Kabal, but yeah, I wouldn't mind giving some help if you decided to give out some strategies.

Also, so many people have told me that lol.
 

Critical-Limit

New member
I'd be willing to help out a bit. I only really know Kabal, but yeah, I wouldn't mind giving some help if you decided to give out some strategies.



One of the best ways to do this. Would be to get like the top MAIN player for each character (Skill wise) and have them all fight eachother back to back. and constantly try new strategies, so we can obtain a massive amount of matchup data, to explain scenarios and what your options are.
 

Zoidberg747

New member
With Nightwolf I find zoning isnt very effective. I do much better when I play aggresively even if im hit a couple times. I suggest using a throw then using a combo right after it(Like nightwolf's axe swings)

Good post
 

MoonQuake

New member
Fun fact is that this applies not only to any competitive worthy fighting game but also... to real life! lol

Just replace the words "game" with "life" and replace "character" with "person" in the titles and you've got a great new lifestyle! ;)

/derail
 
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Glamador

New member
It sounds like somebody's been reading Sirlin. I hate that guy. I like a lot of the tips and pointers presented here though. Makes you a better fighting game player.

I will never call a 50% combo "cheap" nor will I call anybody a "scrub". The way I see it, you can't get mad at a guy for using a move that works, over and over again. Have something used against you enough times and you should figure a way to get around it. Nothing is perfect.

No, what I don't like to see is somebody who uses one good move and then does NOTHING ELSE. I'm don't so much get angry that I couldn't dodge it. I get angry because that's just so bloody BORING. If I have to face down the same move over and over and over and over again, whether I can dodge or not makes less and less difference the longer the "spam" continues. After a while, I just don't want to play against that person anymore. I'm not getting anything out of it. Even if I'm winning there's just no enjoyment in a match like that.

Now, some people will come at you with a move, force you into a pattern of action to avoid it (like it's suggested you do above) then get you when you make your now predictable dodge effort. That's fine, that's smart. But then the person proceeds to do the same thing, again. How many times does it take before you get sick of that? It's not just special move spamming that's annoying, it's all manner of overly repeated patterns.

Here we come into the same situation, you eventually (some more quickly than others) stop wanting to fight that person. It becomes un-enjoyable.

Now, imagine that one combo, one move, heck one character is so hard to dodge, so impossible to get around, that you cannot win. Ever. Now imagine you're of the "play to win" mindset. Can you imagine now, how mad that would make you?

From a gamer's perspective you just have to grin and bear it. But if there are enough of those situations in a game, greater and greater numbers of people will take the only course of action available and stop playing altogether. That needs to be fixed.

That's balance. And it's the job of the developers. And I'm not really sure why I went into all of this...I just....really don't like Sirlin philosophy. I guess my point is, don't just "play to win" and abuse the system for your benefit. And don't just accept that these errors are there to stay. If you find a move that seems "unfair", first make sure that it really is. Then complain your asses off. Make the devs notice. That's the correct course of action I think. Not "accept it and play the game you've got".
 
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