player critiques by… Dtarchon

(ad verbatim from dtarchon’s post on sc.com forums sg thread)firstly let me state i am NOT JUST a defensive player but a bloody offence-minded player who has his mind always on thinking different but VIABLE+EFFECTIVE ways to attack/evade/counter the opponent. Defense is boring DUH!..who wants to guard your attacks all day…i want to attack non-stop (if that was possible) with all the tools at my disposal and have a great exchange. In this game You have to wait for the right moment to use a hidden hand or TEST a hidden hand. Doing “flashy” moves with no thought to setting it up is imo not flashy.

I enjoy charging in (with various methods) and slugging it out at close range. Thing is not everyone wants to get rushed down in such a manner and it is a form of training and balance for me to play a steady game with a turn-based “strategy” based on blocking and retaliating & not ALWAYS going in. You play based on the range of your weapon/moves and craft a strategy that fits your particular characters strengths, lessen the weakness AND not unnecessarily expose yourself to being punished.

Playing just to win is boring and only a part of the whole context of the game..i want to learn something new from the match by observing your pattern and testing some moves (in actual gameplay to see if it works the way i intended it to) which i can then later adapt naturally into my gameplay.

Back to blocking/guarding.. in this game, If u can’t even block/guard properly, how can u can hope to mount an effective offense when u cannot survive long enuf to do any mindgames or mixups. I was forced to learn to recognise/anticipate incoming moves in order to survive long enough to play the game i want to. Simple as that.

In short, my lifebar is the amount of leeway i have to do stuff and play range/mind/time/timing games depending on the opponent. The game system is built this way and i can’t change it, and the only way to improve is to know the system inside out and always take a positive attitude that there is no limit to how much one can learn and improve.

Ok without much furthur ado, let me name my top 5 in no particular ranking order..but in order of who made the most impact on me.

1) MICH
She has been my sparring partner for ages and ages since SC2 and i really enjoy her open-minded way to playing especially when i played some really really wicked games against her. She in fact helps me to improve the most as i use my mains against her and learn how to deal with all her TAKI tools at her disposal. Without her, i would not be what i am today. She is always game for a VS and i do appreciate it..maybe she senses that i have an inate passion for competition and just enjoy duking it out on the stage whether it be win lose or draw.

She is a solid player through and through BUT imo she has to hone her killing instinct, her will to really want to “kill”/”destroy” a certain character no matter what. Will that help or unbalance her gameplay, she will have to explore that herself. Taki is one of my best mains in part due to her and becos i learned from her Taki (playing her so regularly).

One key i feel for Taki is to DISRUPT your opponent’s rhythm and Taki has all the tools to do it plus your basic GI. Taki has been nerfed a lot from SC2 and this has impacted her gameplay somewhat as she is old-school of sorts..like me. If Taki has a stronger possesion game, she would be able to mount more of a offense. I know the frustration, trust me..esp. against characters like Asta, Sophie and Cass.

Changing her patterns might be good too..but it would require a breakthrough of sorts and that won’t be easy. OLD HABITS die hard. arghh…that applies to me also.

2) Next is Jovian.
Is there a weakness to him.. of cos there is. You have to think like him. In actual fact, Jovian is 2x better the defensive player that i am using Sophie and that is why i am genuinely frustrated and demoralised at his gameplay sometimes. There is nothing wrong with his gameplay!! it is almost perfect..it is how the game allows him to play that way and i recognise that all too clearly. So he is a benchmark for me to improve and find a way to hold my ground in my own unique manner and counter him(which i do incidentally but he gets the better of me most of the time ) Do i have to play like him, if i have to..yes but i would prefer to let things take its natural course and find a soln based on actual matches.

Do u think i will allow him to do his funny stuff on me..if he does stupid things or whiff things on me, i will punish him damned hard and vice versa.

Think about it..Sophie..what does the character excel at..1st and foremost punishing ability, then what..effective low/mid mixups..then terrain control tools. Since i and him generally spam safe moves, can block most of the lows and mids, and break/1 frame duck throws, the biggest advantage he holds is his mindset to space and counter. Excellent i might add…anyone paying attention to our games should see the frames we play by..incredible exciting stuff…assuming i have the will to go in of cos.

So what is the weakness..to be like him..know he is either waiting to punish you, waiting for that window of opportunity and trying to control your game. Exactly like me, so how? Only 2 ways..block everything correctly, wait for correct timing to retaliate for sure damage OR charge at him being fully aware and alert taking damage and inflicting damage on him in the process, using his natural caution/inbuilt reflex against him.

It is just that kind of game that goes to and fro..but not the game i really want to play day in and day out. A balance is needed but i don’t seem to have the patience sometimes to deal with his stepping/whiffing games. Oh well…don’t care just whack or play turtle =p

3) Taxi.
Whoa..a open-minded aggresive player. You guys say there is a discernible pattern to his gameplay but i say there is a certain intelligence to that “chaotic gameplay”. It is a perfect foil to analytical players like me who try to condition players to do what i expect them to do. The only way to “control” Taxi is to punish him and punish him hard for purposely doing things repeatedly. Thing is he can adapt and i don’t doubt his adapting ability for a moment. Weakness..i am sure he can improve so much more..in terms of picking alternative attack strings..just a matter whether he wants to. Enuf said.

4) hehe who is next..Raymus of cos..i haven’t played him in a while..what he has is knowledge of the game which i didn’t have in the past, giving him a great edge against me. While Jovian is an instinctive player, Raymus is an analytical player..no super reflexes like Jovian but he can come up with setups and patterns to pressure and keep you out..and mix you up effectively. His yomi is also there…

The frustration playing with him is totally different from playing against Jovian..i actually enjoy feeling frustrated at your gameplay cos i know i can find a counter and have done so many times. It is matter of the mind, not only limited by the gameplay system and that to me is what i am looking for in my games against everyone.

Weakness..ownself think. U can do it yrself .

5) Reignhart

Dedication to his characters is great..i do detect some bias from him against me but it is all good. Everyone has their own opinion. For me, I play all the characters to explore my limits, find new strategies and new ways of playing. It isn’t an ego trip. Frankly speaking i don’t really like this incarnation of SC3..all the cool stuff i could do in SC2 is no longer there and i am still adapting.

So now..strengths..u almost have it all my man. Only thing u don’t have is dedication to a “top-tier” tourney character that will allow u to excel at a higher level. Emotions can make and break your gameplay..for me being devoid of emotion during our recent tourneys has done me no good. I say live with your passion and continue making the character your own. NM is unsafe..so what..just swing the right move at the right time at the right range can liao..buahaha…then no issue of safety.

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