My blog devoted to Tekken, Fighting Games, and the FGC.

9/06/16 - Lee Chaolan pre-release thoughts

posted Sep 6, 2016, 11:24 PM by Tyler Bustinza

My Lee preview video is now available, check it out already!

8/17/2016 - Lee Chaolan trailer

posted Aug 17, 2016, 8:33 PM by Tyler Bustinza

Everyone's favorite adopted son has been shown bringing back a fan favorite with plenty of old JFs and new ones.

I'll probably do a preview release for Lee like I did for Master Raven.

7/31/2016 - Master Raven pre-release thoughts

posted Jul 31, 2016, 8:35 PM by Tyler Bustinza

Just when you might have thought I'd never make another video, here's a new video.

These are my first thoughts on her changes and buffs, right in time to beat out her official release. Let's see how close I was.

7/18/2016 - Raven announced for T7!

posted Jul 18, 2016, 12:28 PM by Tyler Bustinza

In a somewhat surprise reveal both Bob and Master Raven were shown off before the SFV finals at Evo 2016.

Raven that we all known has been replaced by his superior, "Master" Raven but overall she seems to share the same animations and movelist.

I currently have a thread going on TZ discussing the changes that have been shown as well as a little theorycrafting regarding potential changes and other buffs. Please feel free to add to the discussion:

Otherwise, I'll be talking more about her once I get back from Las Vegas.

7/12/2016 - New Reddit QnA, Evo edition!

posted Jul 12, 2016, 11:55 PM by Tyler Bustinza

Get your last minute Evo questions in during this week's TTT2/T7 QnA

Also an update to last week's article, it sounds like the original (pre-T7) characters supposedly lost their unscaled hits against grounded opponents which is a great step in the right direction but also note that I read this after watching Lucky Chloe for a good 20 minutes straight seeing her inescapable grounded, unscaled hits still hitting. So I still need to investigate it further.

7/05/16 - Shaheen nerf and the unevenness of Tekken

posted Jul 5, 2016, 1:30 AM by Tyler Bustinza

Well Tekken 7: Fated Retribution has now been officially released and an interesting development with Shaheen has come to light, namely that his WS+3 no longer hits grounded opponents. Now I said it earlier in the year but I still stick by it, "f+3+4 and iWS+3 because without either he'd just be high-mid tier at best". While I haven't wrote much about Shaheen on here, I have done quite a lot of writing regarding him on /r/Tekken because he's a new character, is somewhat unique, and was arguably the best character in the game. Now while frustrating to get hit by WS+3's unscaled damage post combo, it does have some executional requirements that aren't immediately beginner friendly.

S!, dash up, f+3+4~d/f,d/b,WS+3

There's two real barriers to the ender. 1) On longer combos, the dash up needs to end with a forward-buffered f+3+4, which requires both hits of the f+3+4 to hit to guarantee the follow-up. 2) f+3+4 must enter stance but more importantly must cancel out of stance and end with WS+3. There's a few points of failure there but worst case scenario, you're looking at a shallow f+3+4 into stance 3, completely leaving you BT, open to punishment.

Which leads me to my two major complaints about Tekken 7 (or more accurately 7.0):
1) Unscaled damage
2) Non-generic 3+4 while grounded

Now for those unfamiliar with "unscaled damage", it refers to damage scaling and combos in general. Basically the longer a combo is, the less damage your attacks do. This has been so ingrained into Tekken that even airthrows now do scaled damage when previously in every game prior to T7, they didn't. So dealing "unscaled damage" is bypassing the scaling system and hitting the opponent with a 100% hit, as opposed to typically a ~15-20% one. This tags on extra explosive damage at the end of the combos that turns a slightly less optimized combo into a 100% necessary one. Now while Shaheen appears to be getting the boot losing his WS+3 ender, it's looking to be a nerf unique to him.

See the main problem is there are a good amount of characters in T7 that can deal unscaled damage with a significantly lower entry barrier. It's not hyperbole when I tell you that there's characters out there that can pretty much do the same combo enders they've done all their life and get a bonus unscaled hit on the end of the combo. Characters like Lili, Ling, and Hwoarang immediately come to mind. Then there's somewhat unique cases, such as King, who can tag on unscaled damage to the end of NC attacks which brings him into another stratosphere.

Of course of the new characters, all of them in 7.0 could deal unscaled damage and while by definition could be construed as "cheap", it was a flavor that could have been unique to them alone. Now in FR, of the new characters, both Claudio (the input is now a completely different move) and Shaheen have lost their ability to deal unscaled damage, so the question should really be... why? If it was frustrating to play against, why are they the only ones to lose this mechanic.

If anything, this really highlights Namco's inability to approach certain balancing decisions effectively. It seems like an "all or nothing" type approach instead of making smaller changes to modify the dynamic or approaching the problem at the root. For instance, lets say that Shaheen WS+3,3 deals something like 15+20 damage for 35 damage total (I don't have the exact figures and aren't on Ina). Now you want to adjust Shaheen's unscaled damage but don't want to completely negate WS+3,3 as a viable punisher, so the easiest way to start would be to redistribute damage from the first hit and instead put it into the second, such that the end result (sum) is the same.

Life is also a little trickier because you can't completely negate the initial first hit due to more fringe cases such as using WS+3 as a pickup post CH f+3, for instance. So instead of going to 10+25, a good starting point would be 12+23 taking into consideration that an initial 13 damage would be rounded down during the example combo while still leaving most of the explosive damage, which in this case we're obviously trying to avoid.

 Unscaled 1st HitUnscaled 2nd HitScaled 1st HitUnscaled change
Scaled change
Just right1223680.0%85.7%

So to surmise, we reduce the "explosive damage" by 20% (3 points) while only affecting the combo damage by ~15% (1 point), a good compromise. Now also keep in mind number balances don't require a complete system rewrite, which honestly the other unscaled hits might require, but the point being that completely removing Shaheen WS+3 is a very poor decision and hopefully an accidental one.

Lastly, another somewhat new mechanic for FR is the change to the b+3+4 wakeup option. Now only requiring an 3+4 input out of FUFT, it's one of the strongest options for getting up off the ground, especially with the wall to your back. Crushing mids and a good amount of lows, it's basically a "get off me" card when you're in trouble; It's a huge change to the Tekken wakeup meta. The problem is there are still characters in the game without 3+4 an instead still have the old roll to acrobat roll. This animation does not have any of the invincibility and can be floated in certain situations, so is a double whammy of trash when comparing it against the new generic FUFT 3+4.

While I do, once again, appreciate the flavor of having different characters with different options. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to who gets which and while bigs/ultra bigs typically have special, unique ways to get off the ground, the normal size characters don't and get the worst of both worlds.

7/01/2016 - Reddit QnA

posted Jul 1, 2016, 3:33 PM by Tyler Bustinza

Just a reminder that I'm running a TTT2 and T7 QnA on the /r/Tekken sub-reddit, so if you have any questions about Tekken that you want answered, I recommend going there.

Also I'll running another one the week of Evo too.

6/14/16 - Free TTT2 for XBL Gold users

posted Jun 14, 2016, 10:13 PM by Tyler Bustinza

Too good to pass up on, even if you own the game as a physical copy. Microsoft is giving TTT2 for free for use on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, the only caveat is that you need an XBL Gold membership but you'll likely have one anyway. The free version unlocks on both consoles, so if you have a stick compatible with only one of the systems, you aren't out of luck.

5/30/2016 - Tournament updates and the future

posted May 30, 2016, 9:08 PM by Tyler Bustinza

Hey guys, I realize I haven't done an update in a while so here's an update.

First things first, tournament updates. I wasn't planning on going to Northwest Majors (NWM) but watching it on Twitch made me 100% regret not going. As such I'll be going to more tournaments this season than I've ever gone to in the past. Like last year, if you're going to be in the area and want to play casuals, hang out, or meet up, just holler at me.

Tournaments I'll be attending:
Evolution 2016 (July 15-17)

Tournaments I'm planning on attending:

Secondly, I have a couple of topics I want to post about including a sequel to Dragunov's best moves you aren't using. I hope to have a couple of those ready for you this week.

3/20/2016 - Congrats to Saint (thoughts on Tekken commentary)

posted Mar 20, 2016, 10:21 PM by Tyler Bustinza

Congratulations to Saint for winning Tekken 7 at Final Round in Atlanta. Now normally I wouldn't make a post about this... and that's correct, I'm not. Instead I want to talk about somethings that troubled while watching the TTT2 and T7 streams from any major (not just Final Round):

1) Character unfamiliarity and misinformation
In the case of TTT2, for the most part it's understandable. When there's 50+ characters in a game, each with 100+ moves, each with 60+ unique options, the complexity increases really fast. So fast that it's understandable to not know everything. With that being said, it's safe to say on average there's about 20 attacks that are "key moves" and of those ~10 would be considered "top moves", so the complexity is cut down 85% for things that you should arguably 100% know.

So let's do a quick exercise. I'll list a move and you match the frame data, number to letter:

(1) Dragunov b+4,2,1
(2) Heihachi d/f+1,2
(3) Kazuya pEWGF
(4) Lars f+1+2

  Frames Block NH CH
A i13 +5 Launch Launch
B i15 +4 +8 +8
C i15 -14 Launch Launch
D i13 -14 KND KND

v v v Answer Key below v v v

Answer Key:
1 -> B, 2 -> D, 3-> A, and 4 -> C

If you got 0 right, you need to study more
If you got 1-3 right, you're on the right path
If you got 4 right, your training is almost complete

Now if you noticed that the frame data on (D), Heihachi TP is incorrect, then you succeeded in the test. I purposely gave you incorrect information to hopefully show you not to trust someone just because you're listening to them and you're inclined to believe them.

I try my best to research everything I post on this website and YouTube before I push it to the public. That's actually the main reason I still haven't released the Tekken 7 Rage Attack video. What I had and was speaking about was based on bad, namely incomplete information. In the last week I've gone of over 20 hours of FR footage, looking for evidence of Leo and Feng's new rage attacks and their properties on block. My first inclination was that rage attacks are effectively the same attacks with added properties and the rage attacks that Namco has shown in the trailer with additional properties are the only ones to do so. So for instance with Law Dragon Tail RA, I thought the same as everyone else but I've found that to not be the case and I will not release my video until I can draw a more conclusive view of the game.

Commentators are in a similar boat as I but with a much smaller timeline, namely they need to act more with a stream of conscious than deep analysis simply because there isn't enough time. So it's great when they're right but grating when wrong, especially when there's a string of wrong information in a row. The problem is that two commentators act as the liaison to the audience, they are the vocal majority and provide insight and tidbits to the viewer. What they say is taken as gospel and to the uninformed then go onto take everything at face. So when a commentator says something isn't punishable a certain way and they're wrong, the uninformed will subconsciously remember that as fact and be worse off than they were just a few seconds prior.

2) It's okay to say you're not sure
Seriously, if you're not sure, just let the audience know. Unless you're 100% sure, it's better to differ than state something as fact.

It's okay to say things like:
"I think he could have gotten a better punish there"
"Looks like he was a little late with his punish"
"I'm pretty sure that's unsafe" or "I'm pretty sure he could have launched there"
"Not sure why that missed"

One of my biggest pet peeves is when a commentator at a tournament says "good punish" when it's clearly not a good punish, for instance they'll jab punish a -14 when they have an i14 launcher. The same is true on the flip-side, a commentator will complain about the lack of punish when it simply wasn't available or even worse, when an attack is completely safe. Context means a lot and when the average player cannot thoroughly grasp context, namely taking multiple variables/situations into consideration, it's up to the commentator's experience to pull through and properly explain it for the audience. This is particularly confusing in generic situations universal to the cast, where the only variable is the character's options to punish. These are situations where the commentating about frames and punishment accuracy should be near 100%, no real reason they can't be.

Lastly it's weird we still haven't reached the point of correcting our mistakes. If you make a mistake while commentating, go ahead and correct yourself to the audience when the time is right. This can happen immediately after or after the match but if you have a brain fart and catch it, it's the commentators' responsibility to do so.

3) Analysis of the neutral and verbally repeating what's on screen
I have no problem with this at all, actually if anything this should be the default way to commentating since it's hard to be wrong when you're analyzing what everyone can see without delving into specifics. The difference is that you, as a commentator, should be able to see what the average viewer cannot. You've been playing the game for 5+ years and you know more than frame data, so why devolve your commentary to that?

I want to know what's going through the opponent's head. I want to know the history between two players. I want to be told when a player is getting corraled. I want to know what moves a player will be using as an adjust versus a certain character. I want to be told a player's bad habits and tendencies, then immediately see you were correct.

I want you to tell me something before it happens, what's going to happen next, and why it was sick after it happened.

Yipes commentary in a nutshell but with more "ooh", "aah", and "goddamn"

In the same vein, there's absolutely nothing wrong with color commentary and similar to overall match analysis, it's much harder to be incorrect which overall strengthens it as an option. So bring the hype, there's already a stigma against Tekken as being boring and overly complex, boring commentary doesn't help anyone out. Follow the sport commentating strategy, color commentary to take care of the lulls in gameplay and an analyst who paints a picture of the overall match.

4) Tailor your commentary to the audience
This is a huge deal and might make the difference between a game succeeding and failing. If you're commentating a Tekken exclusive tournament, you go into great detail about theory and high level strategy, yomi, or meta. If you're commentating a tournament where Tekken isn't even close to being top-tier, commentating the match as a whole without delving into details is probably the best approach. For the most part, it's safe to say that commentators should take the latter approach than the former. Make mentions of high level strategy without explaining everything, skim just past the low/mid level strategy surface and that will (by definition) sate over 50-90% of your audience. Going back to point #2, if you're not comfortable with doing this, then don't try and fake it. Play to your strengths and don't fall into the trap of saying things just to fill the time.

Be confident, try your best to be correct and if you can't be, at least be hype.

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