Hi, please give me some general advice


[08] Mercenary
Hi all, I lose about 95% of my games online (sprout-rank), and I could use some advice.

I think my problem is that I have no idea what the opponents moves are, and I react very slowly even when I finally figure out what's probably happening. To me the entire game is not knowing whether it's "my turn" or whether I'm about to be hit mid or low or grabbed.

I'll use my last match against Nightmare as an example. Maybe I played a few games against a nightmare before, but basically I'm approaching this match totally ignorant. This char seems to have some advantages my char (Raphael) doesn't---longer range, more damage, long-range lows that knock down, and better ring outs. My char looks faster, but often when I attack even at advantage, my opponent often turns the tables somehow. I'm able to win a round occasionally, because my opponent doesn't seem to know all the Raphael stance transition BS.

After losing about 4 straight, I search for some nightmare videos. The ones I find are useless though---they're all about combos, or too-detailed analysis of individual moves. Ok, next plan. I look on my phone at Nightmare's frame data, and I find that he is indeed much slower than Raphael. I assume many of the moves I lost to, like 1A (imp32), are intended to be reactable and punishable. And indeed when I set up the training mode dummy to do that move, I can react to it. However, most of the startup frames are telegraphed only by relatively subtle ways he moves his shoulders prior to the swing---the actual swing is fast. There's no way I'll be able to crouch-block and punish that in a real match on reaction unless the other guy is totally spamming it. I look for a few more of the moves that I lost to, and discover that many of Nightmare's moves have some kind of auto-GI property, where you get damaged if you hit him during his startup. That's why many of my attacks didn't work even when I had frame advantage. But I can't tell from my app which frames have this property, so it's still not clear to me when I can safely attack. I do learn the properties of a few of his strings, like that I can duck the second hit of 6KK. But I doubt I could identify an attack as a 6KK in time.

Every character has about 100 moves. Maybe only 20 moves per character come up regularly, but just memorizing them and practicing reactions to all those moves would probably take me hours per character. It might take me 10 hours to analyze a single matchup, and then get a bit comfortable recognizing the different moves. There are 24 characters, so that's 240 hours. If I play 6 hours a week (I have kids and a job), that's about 10 months, which seems a long time to devote before you can feel like you're even really playing the game. Also who knows how many people will still be playing this game in 10 months.

So anyway, am I looking at this all wrong? I like the game's visuals, animations, and mechanics. But I'm not sure I have the reactions or memory to ever feel like I'm actually playing this game, instead of a punching bag getting hit with stuff I don't understand.

Thanks for any advice!


[14] Master
For starters, welcome. Secondly, no one gets good overnight so relax. I would suggest taking your time and learning Raphael and characters you want to beat using him. No short cuts, just take your time and figure out what popular strategies Nighty does that trouble your Raph.

The Raphael Soul Arena may answer your questions on what you need. If not, hit up some peeps here online to get some pointers.

I wish you the best.