Sunday, 14 November 2010

Online Play - The pros and cons.

For a while, I've been wanting to write an article on this, but to be honest, wasn't sure where to begin.  so I weighed up the pros and cons, sat down with my list and thought; "You know what? I may not be great at this game, but it's sure as hell worth a shot, just posting my opinion here."

So, let's begin; online play.
I guess you could say that it does have as many pros as it does cons, maybe I'm just unlucky to live in Europe where the internet connections are pretty damn crap or just that it seems a common trend that online European players, 8 times out of 10, are just plain trash.
Using turbo, mashing crap out of buttons because under lag, this works an absolute treat, especially with characters who have chainable normals, hell even fireballs.
No disrespect here, because this doesn't apply to ALL European online players, it just seems the higher up you climb the ladders, especially in ranked match, you're going to start coming across your turbo and lag abusers more than you'd care to.
Take Mr_Demon_B as my recent little example. The guy, as you can see from the inputs, is that high up in points...yet look at that turbo.  He isn't the first person of that degree of points that I've seen do this, and it certainly won't be the last.
So trailing away from "Why Europe is often considered low tier." because I could ramble all day; let's get back to the online.
The cons of playing online can be listed in a few simple categories:
+ Lag
+ Turbo Users
+ Disconnects/Rage mail.

The last one of the bunch isn't exactly huge news, we get them all the time when people get so incredibly salty and you can just brush them off. But it is a little frustrating when you're trying to learn from your mistakes, you have a really good match, you think,
 "I'm going to watch this later, see how I can improve so next time, it won't be so clutch."
 Then it gets down to that slither of health...and bam disconnects. You've lost your replay, wasted your time, and your ability to further your learning.
Then comes the rage mail. While you can laugh at it, it doesn't make it any less annoying when they spam your inbox until you have to use the pretty little block button.

My second point. Turbo users.  Oh the almighty online warriors that think turbo is the way to go because "Ololol I'm better than j00!" No, quite simply put; if you're planning on going to tournaments in the future, you're going to get knocked out in the first round.
In one night, I fight 22 opponents, almost half of them, had a wonderful stream of inputs to match their absolutely terrible skill.
An example would be recently, seeing my other half fight a Zangief and going "Wow, I outfootsied them, stayed out of range...I think I did well there, Good game!"
Then you watch the replay...
It dawns on you that all you just played, was someone who knows how to hold a button down and spin the stick.
It makes you wonder what the point to online is anymore when you watch replays from the US or Japan, you rarely see this. Yet's embarrassing to say that I'm a European player when we have THAT as a representation.

And the lag. This is the bane of pretty much everyone's existance. Doesn't matter if it's a fighting game, shooter, racer. No. Lag screws with your game whether you like to think it does or not.
You can't combo/shoot something/drift around corners in either of those genres mentioned at all smoothly when there's lag.
Especially in fighters, reactions are everything.  How can you react when it lags so much that you think they're still in the air...or even mid screen, and it's as though they've just Bison warped in front of you and you're eating a throw or a hugely damaging combo in the face. And for what?
People often will reply to this with "Play offline then."
This isn't the US or Japan; Arcades are not widespread, and the players are spread even further.
Take the UK, for example. If you don't live in London, Birmingham or Manchester, then the chances are, your scene is about as great as about 3 people. In Wales, we, luckily have a combination of three Welsh cities and a close English one (Newport, Swansea, Cardiff and Bristol) that makes our scene somewhat worth playing in.
But the point is, not everyone has this luxury of an offline scene, especially evenmoreso with diversity, so you have to resort to online.

However, taking all of these in mind, there are positive notes.
If you can find a few great connections with people who are very decent at the game and you can learn from, add them.  And keep looking for that diversity. Online, when the connections are right, is often a great place to learn how people play, how a character works and what you can do.
True as it is, you can learn how a character works in training mode, but you don't get the experience behind the thought processes of different players. Whereas online, you will play a very diverse range of styles. You'll have people who play a character away from the norm that will surprise you, others who will play conventional, and others that really press your ability to think.
It prepares you for different ways, and if you get enough experience. You will be able to sit in a tournament, or even online with someone and have the knowledge to say "Ah, you're this type of player." merely seconds into a round.
Be aware, of course, that a great player can adapt, so if they see something  isn't working, they will change. You also have to adapt your game to accomodate this. But in your experience, you should be able to recognize these changes immediately and know how to counter it.

Another thing. I notice a lot of players saying "I can only do this in training mode."  Do you ever attempt your combos outside of training mode? Offline at a tourney? No?
So do it online, there's nothing to lose online, aside maybe your sanity with the lag and turbo users, but it's a great way to pull yourself into the habit of going "Yes, I have this move/combo, I can do it here. I know what to do."
It will start working it's way into your offline game and overall, you will improve.  Sticking solely to training mode all day will not condition your reflexes to say "This combo. Now." Only playing and applying it to matches will.

I may have missed a few things here, but this just about wraps up my little...well, I wouldn't consider it an article. More like a rant trying to pass as an article. And with that, I can only hope those that read my blog could give some input here too.


Raquiiii-chaaan! said...

All in all, I think the cons far outweigh the pros, because sure the pros, you MIGHT learn a fight better, or whatever like that, but whether you do or not, you WILL build bad habits.
I fought a Vega player at the arcade last friday, and I kept blocking his ex shc, and punishing them with either a cl.HP combo or ultra if I had it. When I asked why he kept doing it, "It works online."
Case, point. Online, I always get hit by ex shc, even if I know it's coming. I don't like to hold forward in anticipation for it because that would risk getting hit by an ex fba instead, but then when they do ex shc, even if I switch block sides in reaction to it, it doesn't register that until I'm already hit. It destroys a lot of my momentum vs Vega, and basically caused a fear in my head. A fear for Vega, that I couldnt do anything, and it reflected negatively in offline play, until I had people like Aulord and Sanford telling me to stop being scared due to online losses. Online, Vega can jump at me for free, but offline, I can counter it with an antiair almost every time. But when I was 'scared', I never even tried to antiair, due to fear from getting stuffed like in online games, and I was free to Vega until I learned the habit and killed it.

Though playing with friends, and against local players, is always fun~

.Francys Pai said...

If you do it right, you can mess with people's heads with EX SHC. But only if you do it once in a blue moon so your opponent isn't expecting it. Make it out like you don't know about it;s existance and BOOM.
But you're right. Online does build up bad habits. Like Wake-up ST because it often works :/

Salty said...

Wakeup ST gets me ALLLL the time online XD
And Rugal does ex shc against me almost every match we play D: And I can't do shit against it online

The Q said...

So true. Francys pai speaking dat truth. <3

Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More