Saturday, May 27, 2017

Tekken 7: Frame data for new players, part 2

So you're still new to Tekken, but you know that time in a fighting game is measured in 'frames'. So then you hear the veterans talk about stuff being 'plus seven' or things being 'launch punishable' or 'unsafe' or whatnot, and you want to know what that noise is about. Alternatively, you just keep getting hit by stuff, it's like all your opponent's moves are faster than yours or something. What's going on?

Well, this here is another thing you don't need to learn if you don't want to. You can figure it out yourself by playing or in training mode just fine. This bit is harder than the last one so it's fine to duck out if your eyes start glazing over.

If you're like that, here's a TLDR guideline to consider and you can be happily on your way:

If you just got hit by something, don't just mindlessly attack again. 

Think about what to do. You can block, sidestep or backdash and choose the right time to go on the offense again.

Anyway if you're the sort of person who likes to look things up instead of doing everything by themselves, this might be useful to you. Right now I'll talk about frame advantage and disadvantage and then I'll finally go over punishment in part 3.

So to explain what folks mean when something is 'plus seven' or 'minus twenty-three'..

Firstly, when you hit someone with a move in Tekken, aside from doing damage you usually end up at advantage. When your move is blocked you don't do damage and you usually end up at disadvantage.

"well what's the advantage then" you ask? The advantage is time.

When you hit someone, you can usually move before them. 

When one of your moves is blocked, they can usually move before you.

Cool. How much earlier/later? Time is expressed in frames, so a certain amount of frames then.

This d/f+2 apparently leaves you -7 when it is blocked and +4 when it hits

So if that specific punch is blocked, they can move 7 frames before you. If you hit with it instead, you can move 4 frames before them. I use 'move' here, but it's really 'do anything'.

"I can move 4/60th of a second before them? Who cares? What is that even good for? "

Well, the move that hits earlier beats the one that comes out later. So starting earlier means your stuff is going to connect first and win.

d/f+3 is a faster move than d/f+2, faster by two frames

Imagine you just hit a guy with the d/f+2 mentioned above. You are now at advantage, and you can do stuff 4 frames before your opponent. So you do d/f+2 again and your opponent actually does a faster move, d/f+3. You're still going to win and hit him. Because you can start 4 frames earlier, and 17-4 is less than 15. And the move that hits the earliest wins.

If your frame advantage is large enough, it can even get to the point where scary slower moves like your launchers would come out earlier than (and thus beat) -any- move the opponent can do. This is an incredibly dangerous situation for them. If they attack in this situation, they will very probably lose. So are forced to respect your options.

Being able to do stuff before your opponent is very useful.  

Being at advantage is good and you can press on and try to put the hurt on your opponent. Being at disadvantage is kinda bad, and you should be mindful of how you proceed.

Anyway the actual numbers are very hard to gauge by eye, so that's why it's useful that you can look stuff up on frame data pages like RBNorway.

Wait, d/f+3 gives me disadvantage on hit? Maybe I should be careful about what to do afterward.

Yeah, maybe you should. Not every move that hits gives you advantage. Not every move that is blocked leaves you at disadvantage. Some things are extremely disadvantageous and using them carelessly can lose you a game. So check the details on your moves and/or your opponent's.

Or just figure it out by playing, that's fine too. Don't worry about it. Having fun playing and improving is the most important.

In part 3, the related but different subject of punishment.

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