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The problem with fighting games retaining novices is not really a problem with inputs, the problem is that they’re very bad at teaching you how to play with intentionality.

Gamingtodaynews1b - The problem with fighting games retaining novices is not really a problem with inputs, the problem is that they're very bad at teaching you how to play with intentionality.
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Tldr: easy execution, while a valid method of helping new comers, is ultimately less important than teaching people what their characters want to achieve and how they go about it to win. It's more important than any combo.

To play with intentionality is to play with a goal in mind, either short term or long term, and base your moment decisions on achieving that goal efficiently. This is, in my mind, far more important than learning particular move inputs and I think it's the reason people complain about tutorials. Because games like Street Fighter or dragonballfighterz are more than happy to give beginner combos and showcase what inputs the moves are and how to pull them off, but many aren't very good at showing the broader point of the characters. Similar to card games, if you don't know what your ultimately trying to do with your deck beyond simply winning then you're going to have a hard time.

In fighting games, characters often have what's called "win conditions" which describe the circumstance, positioning, and scenario where they are most comfortable and capable of winning a fight. For example, a trap based character's win condition is, as you might guess, to set up his traps. A grappler's win condition is, as you also might guess, to grab you and start a guessing game. The problem though is that many of these tutorials don't well explain these win conditions or how play with intentionality in order to set them up. Which can lead to a lot of fumbling around for new players who see lists of combos and think that they're the important part of each character.

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In reality, a person who knows how to achieve their win condition is more likely to win against another equally skilled player who might only be better at combos. Dragon ball fighterz will show you how to make the cool orbs of energy come out of your fingers and kick them around. But they won't tell you how you can and should use them to force someone to block, such as by putting orbs on top of them as they get up, so you can continue pressuring them. A game might tell you how to use the grapplers cool and powerful grab, but not that you can use the threat of the grab to enforce mental pressure on your opponent and hit them with a normal attack if they try to jump or back out. The game will show a super powerful combo that will do tons of damage but not explain oftentimes its better actually do a weaker combo so that you can maintain a continuous advantage. Such as how a weaker combo that keeps someone in the corner is often better than a stronger than a weaker one that leaves you midscreen again. You can't just learn combos with your character, you have to ask and the game has to demonstrate what your character wants to achieve.

Oftentimes it's not even simply the character you need to learn intentionality with but the game itself as well. As a personal example I've been playing the guilty gear accent core on steam as I wait for Strive, I could do combos and I had enough experience to understand that I should learn what my character wanted to achieve in a fight. But what I didn't realize was that a core part of the game revolved around the fact that few characters had reliable, free wakeups and only two could delay their wakeup. Meaning that instead of shooting for some damaging combo it was far better to go for a weaker one and immediately go for a knockdown as soon as possible because then I could easily enforce a guessing game as my opponent got up and had to guess how to defend against my attack.

I think this often gets overlooked in discussions about fighting game tutorials and whatnot and while I'm not the first to talk about it, I think it deserves a post of discussion.

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