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LONG BLOG

(Smash Gameplay Balancing Part 3)

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This has already been posted here: https://www.destructoid.com/--559347.phtml#post

This is for those that couldn't read the whole thing since it was 21 pages so I'm posting 4 parts 5 pages each so it's easier for them to read. The beginning will be in each part so it's not confusing if you weren't here for the 1st part. I don't understand how you could get confused here I was very detailed on every single change makes alot of sense to me at least. I would like feedback if theres something specific on each part.

This section is to fix the mechanics inside of the game but every game the mechanics have been getting better making the game look smoother and less glitchy but at the same time making mechanics that were fine unbalanced because the wrong solution was used or something was ignored and this section is to fix the remaining mechanics. This section is the most important because it is an absolute game changer this applies to all characters so it is required for the next section. This should be most noticeable in competitive 1 on 1 matches seeing how most these “techniques” are used there. Certain changes were used in combination to fix the same thing, you’ll see in the way I explained and led into another change. Hopefully I didn’t miss anything and you must really understand Smash itself to know what I’m talking about.

Unlike a game like Street Fighter where your options are very limited, strict and you don’t have much room at all to work with this game is the complete opposite, it has so much freedom which is why you can glitch almost everything in the game because there are literally no boundaries to prevent it. Because of all the freedom this game has no combos because almost nothing is guaranteed, the only thing that is would be a grab into a pummel or a throw into an aerial.

Most of these issues weren’t Sakurai’s fault because these competitive players don’t play the game right causing themselves arthritis while some are because some of his balance changes have been giving characters that couldn’t glitch ways to instead of removing it from the characters that could already which I thought would have been easier. This also indirectly fixes some characters so I don’t have to make the same fix to every single character that has it or if I forgot. These fixes should either fix a problem completely or at least lessen the problem. I put them in order from most major to minor so you can see the bigger problems first which are usually longer. Of all 3 of my sections this was the hardest even though I had the least to do I couldn’t test most of these out like I could with regular moves. This also fixes many bad moves into good moves. You should take a very hard look at my (Shield) change that could have been the most important but I needed to start with physics.

This game is all about physics and positioning since based on the power of an attack will knock them further but weight decreases their knockback. Based on your position you can boost the K.O power of attacks if you go off stage and hit them while closer to the blast zone which is why you want to stay in the middle or have your opponent hit you towards the other side of the stage. A game I would really recommend is Boom Blox the best physics game out there for the original Wii and its sequel Bash Party. First 4 are to clarify some of the mechanics I used for my characters between Statistics, Knockback and Held moves.<(Directional Influence and Blast Zones)>

Usually just called DI for short. There needs to be a decision made if you want to go against the attack in the direct opposite position the blast zones should be in a circle if you want to curve it so you’re not going in a direct path toward the blast zones they should stay a rectangle. Right now they have curving for vertical DI and against for horizontal DI.

I’m gonna use both here’s how it should work make the (Blast Zones) square DI against or with and you should wait for the very last moment to smash DI in the direction for the most resistance or less resistance to get out of combos and then you can curve in any direction to adjust the trajectory which is the easiest and makes the most sense to me so you can use both methods at the same time. Also vertical DI which way you are facing shouldn’t matter anymore when angling.

<(Shield)>

This could have been 1st but the physics mechanics we’re more important I’m actually adding physics to shields to be honest like Luigi’s shield. I am gonna add something from Ultimate here good and bad, Dodging has been fixed the way I had it fixed already here so I removed that, Perfect Shielding or now called a “Parry” is even worse it’s basically a better spot dodge a smash attack can get out. Directional air dodges are good for escaping aerial combos and when recovering from above the stage too I support that change with the removal of helpless falling it should be special and save you if you lost your double jump. You do not understand the magnitude of this fix so many moves that are bad now will now be good just trust me positioning is key here.

Shields are broken because they can punish almost every single attack in the game promoting defensive play styles or offensive perfect shielding to approach. Almost every attack in the game other than projectiles are unsafe on shield. Large characters can’t even use it if it goes under 80% health because it shrinks and attacks can just poke through it because of that even at full health sometimes since their bigger than their shield. When your shield is broken the stun animation is too long because it already pops you up into the air before actually starting the stun animation itself allowing you to charge your most powerful attack. Seeing how useful it is it doesn't have any downsides it recovers health too fast and you can put it up and down almost immediately. Shields should only be used for defense and defense only it’s a safety blanket from all attacks that aren’t grabs.

First we are going to fix the standard shield mechanics. Shields should no longer shrink and surround the entire character so larger characters can use it, make it look like cracks appear on the shield getting closer to the center when it gets damaged then shatters when they reach the center the user that broke the shield should use the escape from grab animation to avoid hitting them out of stun by mistake if it’s a physical attack if it’s by a projectile it should be cancelled if it’s a multi-hitter.

When stunned remove popping you up into the air because the animation is already long enough and Jigglypuff won’t fly away like a balloon anymore. The higher their damage the longer they are stunned so breaking your shield at low damage % isn’t a guaranteed fully charged Smash Attack anymore or something worst.

Now we will adjust Shield health based on your character’s (Defense). Shields should have half of the character’s (Defense) as health custom equipment cannot affect this. Examples for Defense and shield health would be lowest 50% has 25 health 100% has 50 health and highest 150% has 75 health and regenerates 5 health every second while on the ground not in use so you can’t just jump away and wait for it to regenerate you must be on the ground like R.O.B’s (Robo Burner). Shields should lose 5% of its health if not hit or holding it up as a penalty if you spam your shield and Perfect Shielding should be on impact not on release reduces shield damage taken by half as long as you hold it so you have to be careful and only shield if you plan on blocking or you cannot avoid an attack I made it so perfect shield last as long as you keep it up to counter Multi-hitting attacks.

Rolling before your shield comes out shouldn’t decrease it though only makes rolling slower like you have it do now. If you hold your shield up while taking constant damage shouldn’t damage itself only when it’s not being hit does it damage itself.

You should only need about 5 to 10 seconds though to recharge since shielding when it’s below half health is dangerous or you could be stunned. Attacks that do high shield damage like Marth’s (Shield Breaker) should only do 25% uncharged and shatter it automatically at full charge so larger characters are better to use this move on since they have more shield health and smaller characters won’t lose their shields instantly since it does a percentage not flat numbers. Larger characters have to block more which is why they have more shield health since their not as nimble while small characters don’t block often since they are so mobile and they have faster dodges.

Now for the most important part of this fix adding physics to shields basically like Luigi’s shield. When you block an attack with your shield you should get pushed back and the stronger the attack the farther you are pushed from Weak to Devastating accordingly which is based on your (Defense). The more (Defense) you have the less distance you are pushed and the maximum distance you can be pushed in 1 hit is half the distance of a form stage. If you are pushed off the edge of a stage you will fall off but if there is a ledge you should automatically grab it. Attacks that do higher damage to shields like Marth’s (Shield Breaker) should have the most push while projectiles and aerial attacks have the least push because of lack of leverage.

Now for the finalizing fix so my shield physics work the best. It should take longer to release your shield time has been increased but it still doesn’t look like enough you can still use a dash attack after blocking an attack nullifying my push mechanic to prevent out of shield punishes on weaker attacks. If you shield while dashing you should do a front roll dodge to avoid projectiles or get behind opponents I try to do this all the time but it’s too slow since you have to shield stopping your dash then roll to do so and can prevent you from shielding during a dash so walking is relevant and cannot perfect shield projectiles during a dash repeatedly anymore. Finally finished.

Now if you shield you will be knocked back so you will lose stage position and you can no longer punish attacks. Attacks that move you forward like Dash Attacks can still be punished because you’re moving toward the shield even after hitting it. If you want to punish attacks dodge or avoid the attack like you were intended to do. Since they no longer shrink larger characters can use them too, it is also based on your (Defense) so heavier characters can benefit from it even more since they are big targets while smaller characters have less and they don’t use it that often anyway they have faster rolls as well. Getting stunned isn’t as huge of a penalty anymore at low damages. This is a Game Changer now you can attack shields without having to worry about punishes when they are the defender you are the offender.

<(Grabs and Throws)>

Since Shields are overpowered Grabs and Throws are too. This basically traps you into a K.O or Combo Throw which is inescapable after the animation starts, People barely use pummel because of it and they usually deal a free 10% damage. They can also pummel you before using a throw is activated since it’s inescapable and it’s even worse if they have a combo throw which can combo into over powered Aerial Attacks like Captain Falcon and Mario’s Front Aerial or R.O.B and Palutena’s Up Aerials. If you pummel, combo throw then finish it off with an Aerial you can easily get a 30% damage combo unless you’re a computer and break out before the first pummel even hits. There are also Special Moves that are grabs that are inescapable which I call (Special Grabs) or (Special Throws). There needs to be a way to escape even after a throw is activated and throws should be weakened damage wise so pummels are relevant.

When you are being grabbed and thrown you should still be able to break out of it even during the throw animation but certain throws will have different breakout animations and should be a stalemate so neither of you can punish after breaking free. Special Moves that grab like Bowser’s (Flying Slam) and Wario’s (Chomp) can be broken out of too in some way. Another mention but they did make grabs clash like attacks now in Ultimate so you can stop them altogether so I don’t need to fix that anymore.

I will list different type of throws below and fixes for each of them. I will also make additional fixes to specific moves in the (Character Balancing) section.

All Throws: Should only deal around 5% damage to encourage pummeling if they aren’t a Damage Throw or K.O Throw.

Combo Throw: These are weak and usually bounce foes off the ground to a favorable spot to combo into an Aerial knockback should be Weak. These should be the fastest but you should be able to DI this heavily and I mean heavy so you can appear behind, above or in front so they have to read which way you DI to combo. These should not lose knockback when becoming (Stale) so it won’t work as long if you keep spamming it.

Normal Throw: These are standard throws like most Front and Up Throws that are not strong enough to K.O but knocks the opponent back off stage. Regular speed and knockback is Medium. Up Throws should be able to be angled diagonally more heavily to escape Up Throws into Pikachu’s (Thunder) or Sonic using his (Spring Jump) to K.O you off the ceiling so they have to read which way you DI but at high damages you can bend it so those combos won’t work at all.

K.O Throw: These are usually Back Throws having high launching power which can K.O just a little weaker than a Smash Attack knockback is Strong. Up Throws like Kirby and Charizard’s should return to the platform they used it on when launching not landing on a platform higher up so you can no longer get early K.Os and be immune to being pushed by wind so you can’t do suicide throws. I would rather just make these types into a suplex.

Damage Throw: These do high damage like Meta Knight, Kirby and Bowser’s Down Throws but take a long time and have Medium knockback. They don’t do high damage right now but I changed them so they would in the (Character Balancing) section. These do constant damage up to 15% over 5 seconds before launching unless you break out of it to avoid the knockback and take less damage or Bowser’s body slam deals 15% immediately but it is slow. Breaking out of it has you roll backwards to escape and you both have cool down so there’s a stalemate and nobody can punish right after the escape.

Special Grab/Throw: Special Moves that can grab like Robin’s (Nosferatu) or a throw like Lucario’s (Force Palm) cannot be escaped at all but Bowser and Ganondorf’s can bring you all the way into the pit ending both of your lives and there is nothing you can do about it. You should be able to break out during these throws cancelling it for both you and the opponent so you have a chance at surviving if your recovery goes high enough and avoid the knockback of Bowser’s (Flying Slam) because it is very powerful and unavoidable once you get grabbed right now. Since Bowser’s is slow it should be hard to break out of, Robin’s is regular and safe so breaking out of it is medium while Ganondorf’s is extremely fast so should be easy to break out of fix them accordingly based on speed so they can only be completed at high damage percentages.

Aerial Grabs: Remove these can only grab ledges as a (Special Grab) Special Move but should no longer damage opponents it’s a cheap extremely long distance attack that can be spammed right now with low jump fast falling and you can dangle from the ledge giving you double the invincibility.

<(Custom Moves)>

Moves that are already K.O moves should not have an even more powerful version just slower and vice versa weak moves shouldn’t get even weaker. I don’t like basically being lazy and copying the same move twice with stronger and weaker versions as customs as I made fixes in the (Character Balancing) section I winded up combining customs with the original move and all of a sudden they were actually good it feels like they we’re being held back for a custom.

If it isn’t an Up Special to increase height or one that can be used as an attack make it a brand new move or just remove them the defaults are usually better anyway. Palutena and the Mii’s are the only ones with unique Custom Moves I would also would have liked custom Final Smashes. Bowser having his (Fire Breath) and custom (Fire Ball) I consider different moves since one is a stream of fire close ranged while the other is a ball of flames a projectile. If you just change the launch angle like Fox and Falco’s Phantasms it’s still a clone to me It’s just like Mario and Luigi’s Up Smashes.

<(Rage)>

This is a big issue. This increases the launching power of all your attacks based on the amount of damage you take allowing your K.O moves to K.O extremely early, weak characters having the knockback of strong characters and large characters being too over powered if they manage to hit you. This benefits small characters more than large ones because you’re getting their knockback so they don’t struggle to K.O anymore like their supposed to while keeping your fast movement and attack speed.

I think the best solution is just to remove it because it is not fair and comebacks are not really comebacks anymore because you K.O earlier which this is supposed to help with just like in Mario Kart. No matter how well you drive and cut corners while in 1st a blue shell will always seem to get you beat right before the finish line, I’ve been hit by 3 in a row in the same spot to many times to count. My favorite racing game is Excite Truck much more balanced and challenging a mix of Mario Kart and F-Zero every time you crash a truck it looks like I’m watching an episode of the A-Team and the A-Team is a more grown up version of Scooby Doo 2 of my favorite shows. It will basically be like training mode all the time without it but I do have a replacement for this though right below this and it’s already in the game.

- Black Mage, White Mage, Freya Crescent, Gabriel Belmont for Smash!


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About ABowlOfCerealone of us since 6:45 PM on 04.24.2019

Ohaider I'm not really a writer I just write about stuff I care about for the most part things that I felt I had to do. Dunno what to write here really trying to be Anonymous but I eat Cereal for dinner sometimes and play and listen to rare video game music just give me a song I can usually counter it with a much better one. I collect rocks make smaller ones into necklaces I draw a bit do low key pottery and play Maplestory M daily my mains CerealKnight a Hero class on the Croa American Server in the guild called "Luv". I played some real life sports when I was younger so no I'm not a nerd trust me I'm probably also one of the only people that hasn't seen Star Wars or Game of Thrones I'm 19 btw. Been trying to post every Wednesday at 2:30pm EST but things happen and i'm a perfectionist I'm always working on the next one and days are to short. I am finishing up on (Smash 4 Blueprints) about to get into PVZ Battle for Neighborville I probably won't be posting here I need a break but I'll upload some songs though.

Maybe impossible and I maybe a fool for trying but Shia LaBeouf has helped me move forward a lot with his "Just Do It" speech. He said Don't let your dreams be dreams, make your dreams come true. One of these days your going to work hard at it nothing is impossible. You should get to the point where anyone else would quit but your not going to stop there JUST DO IT. Which I have many times I don't care what people think of him that speech came from his heart.