Saturday, July 12, 2014

Why I hate Training Mode (Or the Lab)

Online training, the lab, practice mode, whatever you wanna call it. I hate that its there for the most part. I hate training mode generally for one reason. Impossible situations. Between "Do-This-Combo Mode" (Trial Mode) and Training I hate training more.

These days everyone refers to training mode as the ultimate go to for all your learning needs. Also cause there priorities are rather mixed up (as well as what they value but that's another topic).  Honestly I feel you're not learning anything except how to look cool in front of all your friends.  While its supposedly for getting muscle memory to do your combos. You're missing out on the most important thing. Setting up for those said combos.  What's the point in learning your combos if you can't even hit your opponent in the first place?

Its been called "The Lab" by many cause of players using the Training/Practice Mode to "experiment" and figure out new stuff.  But if we're going to call it "The Lab" and "experiment" well we need to take other scientific terms into account as well.  But I'm going to take 3 terms from the classic Scientific Method that I feel are generally forgotten in The Lab.

  • Independent Variable: In the Scientific Method. This is the thing you control over in your experiment. 
  • Dependent Variable: This is what's being affected by your Independent Variable. 
  • Control: This is what never changes. You use this compare to what you did change. 
Ok in our fighting game lab. Since we're experimenting. It would look something like this.

  • Independent Variable: The character we're controlling. Possibly whether or not our CPU dummy is or isn't moving, Super Meter, etc.
  • Dependent Variable: CPU Dummy
  • Control: Uh....Our CPU Dummy
What I'm getting at here is the fact that cause we're in pretty much total control of the outcome. We're ill-prepped for when it comes to an actual fight. In fact from a scientific point of view unless your CPU Lab Dummy is doing the exact same thing as a normal player character or AI the chances of winning are near 0.  What are the chances that the AI or Human player will either just stand there or do a programmed input? Does the human player your facing follow the script you tell them to?

Muscle Memory...Meh...

Yeah its nice to have muscle memory I suppose. It does raise your chances of success at performing what you intended. But back to the earlier post. You're not exactly training yourself to respond to multiple situations.  What if you landed a counter hit? What if your opponent is jumping? Grabs? How do I respond to this move?  What's generally implied by many (Be it videogames or real life) is that you're supposed to respond to these situations like its second nature.  Well you can't really do that until you actually do some real fighting to know when those situations appear. You can't just control a dummy and expect to profit. You can't exactly respond properly to these situations just by learning combos. Again what good does knowing a combo do you if you can't even land a hit?

I think Hallelujah/Allelujah said it best. 

Why I consider AI Opponents better than Human Players?

Besides the above reason that most human players I find start with combo learning then hope that the rest fall into place.  The AI can only be predicted after experiencing there tactics many many many times.  They are based on human inputs and are imperfect just like we are cause it was made by man.  The thought of the AI knows your buttons is really just a frustration response IMO.  Human players do that as well.  We just don't really pay attention to it cause a lot of times its the wrong response or we're in the heat of the moment.  There's also the fact that Human players don't all fight the same. Despite how many guides are made or even if this guy/girl is the best with this character its not gonna be the same. You can generally write this a sort of RNG (Random Number Generator).

What a lot of players tend to do is constantly find AI faults and exploit them to gain the upper hand. Well the same can be said for human players. We find faults and exploit them. Both also share the same trait of our exploiting faults eventually not working as well. Its not 100% guaranteed victory otherwise we'd have perfects across the board in every match. Meaning it would be the first person to land a hit wins (Simallar to games like Marvel but even that isn't 100% gauranteed victory).  So the AI isn't bad or god-like just really good (or really bad) it is made by human hands after all. 

I use this as my form of practice. While there is an CPU fight command in training it does me no good.  Arcade, Score Attack, and the like do me far better. Instead of fighting a in a controlled environment lets random opponents. After all we don't know who or what we come across.  Its rather a toss up to the RNG in regards to who we fight.  Also you learn to create situations favorable to you and how to get out of your problematic ones.

The only good thing on training mode.

The only good thing I find for training mode is practicing special, supers, etc. in peace.  With that I can examine carefully how each one works before I take it to the field. 

What doesn't need to be said but said anyway...

Learning the general basics is important. I couldn't even care for the data on what's good or bad. Matchup data included. It does nothing if I can't even hit my opponent. How I order it is.

  1. Read the Manual if there is one.
  2. Training Mode to practice your moves (NOT COMBOS)
  3. Arcade/Score Attack Mode at progressive difficulties (Easy to Highest Setting) get a better feel for the game and what I'm up against. Learn combos along the way and learn to identify, create, and respond to situations properly.
  4. Vs Other Humans.
  5. Go From there.
Well its not a surefire perfect 100% method and I'm sure I'll be called stupid for doing things this way but this is how I run do things.  Also we're human. Not only are we not perfect but we grow differently.