Gate Keeping

It’s like I was always told.
"You’re leaving FREE damage on table"
Whether if it’s 5% or 100% . Damage is damage so why not inflict it especially if it’s free (guaranteed)?


With regards to the Season 1 ranked style, I can’t say I would enjoy going back to that entirely. The main issue I had with it is the fact that (even at LOW ranks) you could take 8 to 10 wins to rank up, and then immediately get demoted by losing one or two. It was far too punishing in that regard.

I wouldn’t mind the back and forth of ranking up and down, but ranking down (outside of high ranks) has to require more losses than S1 did.

Fair argument.
If anything Brandon just needs to not include Ranked period for KIWC points.

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My bad , I interpreted that as “why anti air to begin with if it did no damage in S1”

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To address the neutral/footsies aspect of your thread. I think that in season 2 and 3, the ongoing variety of character archtypes has swayed the perspective of people who play a “traditional” honest game. Characters like Kan-Ra, Cinder, Eyedol, Rash, and Gargos make people believe that ppl who play them bypass solid play AND still win. This is not the case.

Every character in KI has tools that makes them absolutely nuts but with those things they have fundamental flaws in them. This is why most grounded characters do more damage, because they struggle catching the tricky characters but once they do their damage will make up any life defecit. The problem is, since a lot of the player base does not correctly address these “problem character” tools, they think for the most part that it is unfair and cheap.

For example: Gargos’s neutral is actually solid if he can fly in the air. He has many options to control his space during flight and can bait you to make mistakes. On the ground however he has terrible slight movement. A lot of people do not know how to approach a flying gargos and get intimidated, which leads to frustration and bad decision making. If we can just focus as a community (i’m piggybacking off of what you said about the community banning together for gate keeping, i like that a lot) on developing how to beat those shenanigans, then im pretty confident that youll be able to see that they actually DO have their own form of neutral.

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I’m pretty sure this was fixed the month after you proved it was real, and was fixed because you proved it was real.

I agree with you that the level of play is, generally, not as high as desired. I think the lack of informative content and the actual disinformation campaigns probably have a lot to do with that.

I agree that stream numbers are down. I could tell you why I stopped watching people play KI outside of big tournaments. It isn’t because people’s anti airs and punishes are sloppy. Its a reason many people I’ve spoken to in person share. Its also probably plays a big part in the level of play not moving forward terribly quickly.

I appreciate you taking the time to articulate your thoughts and have a discussion. I’d like to see more players do that with an open mind. A willingness to be wrong and to learn is mandatory for improvement at anything. For me, that is game dev. For you guys, its pushing KI to its limits as a competitive game.

(Also, the term Gate Keeping in fighting games has historically meant keeping a well known player from placing as high as they should by taking them out in the bracket, usually by someone who definitely can’t place that high but just beats that player for whatever reason (style or counterpick or whatever). This isn’t a game mechanic at all.)


Yeah, I think the focus on fundamentals in S1 is largely misplaced. I watch a lot of S1 footage (even in S3) just to remind myself of what the game was; it was a hodgepodge of different things, but it was not more fundamentals based. It may have seemed like it, because a lot of good players from other games came over and the game was brand new so we knew very little about its actual dirt at the time. How does a good FG player from multiple games win at a new game? They play fundamentals, until the game’s actual direction manifests itself. For S1, that was Sadira doing wacky air stuff, Wulf doing Marvel-style dash mixups, Thunder doing DP DP, etc.

By many accounts, S2 and S3 are more fundamentals focused than S1! Anti-airs and grounded normals hurt a lot more and the wacky mixups hurt a lot less (Sadira web, Wulf instinct, etc; usually starting with a hard to block mixup is a low-damage special so the 200% damage bonus doesn’t hurt much). Things like keeping your cool and anti-airing or punishing fast -7 moves are much more valuable in later seasons. In S3, you play neutral after a combo breaker, but in S1, you had to guess a vortex. Is that more fundamentals based?

Basically, I think there is virtually no proof that S1 was actually more fundamentals-based than other seasons. It just felt like it because of new game syndrome.

As far as gate keeping goes, which is the real topic of this thread… eh, I dunno. I don’t think Tokido being gatekept from a premier spot by Infiltration made him more hungry to win. He trained hard because he just wants to win regardless, and because CPT had lots of money in it. If Tokido auto-qualified earlier in the year because of a 2nd place finish, I still think he trains just as hard, because the money + the competition is what keeps him going.

I also agree that S1’s rank system is better kept in the past. It basically made exploring with other characters impossible, and the punishment for losing was so extreme as to undo a lot of its benefits. Maybe everybody making it into Killer in S2/3 is a little extreme the other way, but moving back to S1’s system should be avoided.

As far as how to encourage the KI community to get better at the game… I dunno that there is an answer here. If they don’t want to anti-air and get 10-12% free damage, how is changing the ranked system going to improve that? I will definitely agree that our community has lots of room to grow as players, but I think the drive has to come from within them. KI is actually a pretty difficult game to play competitively, and because it’s so hard, just making average decisions consistently tends to do pretty well. FG players should be excited about hard optimization problems and keep working to improve their decision making, though. That should be why we play these games.


I’m not here to argue or be rude, and I wasn’t around for S1, nor am I a tourney player, nor will I be any time soon for a whole list of reasons, I just want to advocate accurate usage of numbers-based evidence.

While it didn’t break 1k viewers, not even close, it did in fact break 400 - that much I saw with my own eyes. And I think I recall Brandon saying on stream that there were WAY more people in physical attendance than previously, which is really good. There’s too much doomsaying from our upper-echelons, and too many new players showing up and attending events to really validate the doomsaying, so I don’t understand the phenomenon.

Not trying to be confrontational or start a conflict, just saying. Carry on. :smiley:

EDIT: Oh wow, as usual I was super duper late to the discussion. I’m an asshat. Whoops.:cold_sweat:


This is what I’m thinking. As far as gameplay goes, KI should always celebrate what makes it different from other games, rather than what makes it similar to them. Being more like someone else is a good way to get yourself lost in a crowd.

Remember all those god awful Mortal Kombat knockoffs in the 90’s? How many can you name off the top of your head? Could you think of any that were actually good? No, because trying to ape Mortal Kombat isn’t a good idea, because Mortal Kombat will always be the Best at being Mortal Kombat.
Meanwhile, Capcom games in that time were all vastly different from each other, even with sequels. Street Fighter, MvC, Darkstalkers… and then you had SNK putting out their own style of games, and American devs like Midway and Rare putting their own spin on FG’s. And that’s not even getting into 3D fighters, or arena games like Smash!
And each one of these games has its own group of fans, large or small. Why? Because people like what’s unique about them!

A few more general points:

I think this is a big one. Being the best doesn’t necessarily correlate with being good, necessarily. I’m not saying that the poeple winning tournaments in KI don’t deserve it, but even I notice when they make mistakes. The competitive scene for KI is really young compared to the competitive scene for, say, Street Fighter. On top of that, the game is ever expanding with new characters and features coming each year, and it’s always changing with balance adjustments and additional mechanics. A lot of the things that make the game worth owning can make competitive players squirm.

I think what KI needs is time, and people will eventually max out the tools they’ve been given. Hell, if we can have a Top 32 with every single character represemted like at the last KI world cup, I think we’re off to a good start.

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War Gods, Time Splitters…

That’s about it.

I might want to add to the discussion, which is very interesting and I am woefully underqualified to add anything of value, but I would like to say as far as the “Gate Keeping” thing is concerned, a struggle that motivates one person to get better won’t necessarily motivate another in the same way. Some people respond to being challenged, some respond to trash talk, some respond better by aquiring a status, others prizes, so there is not going to be any 1 “do this and everyone will aspire to greatness” solution. I for one was rather put off by S1’s ranking system. I really didn’t like the idea of working towards a goal only to be hit by a string of bad matchups and get put right back down at “Button Masher”. No what helped me get better was that safety net that wouldn’t let me fall back. And keep in mind, I didn’t start out with KI as anything other than a casual passer-by. Now through a combination of things (tiers, color 9 on each character, shadows, the forums) I am now playing fairly well with some of the higher ranked players in the game. But yeah, there is no one solution to aspiring people to greatness. A combination of things might, but there are no guarantees.

Timesplitters was not a MK knockoff. It wasn’t even a FG. It was a pristine arcade shooter well worthy of my time.

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…sorry, I meant Time Killers.


Well, okay then…

I think this game can benefit from 4-6 months with no balance changes at all. Give some time for the pros to spend their energy maxing their tools instead of ocusing on adapting to patches. Add some colors, skins, etc. but leave the balance alone for a bit. We don’t have enough time to maximize the game we have right now.


Please don’t feel like I’m trying to be insulting or anything but I think the argument of,

“This game’s community doesn’t have fundamentals; therefore, this game isn’t entertaining to watch”

Is one of the absolute worst arguments to make about any fighting game ever. I have a couple of examples in regards to both ways to disprove this.

  1. There exists a game on PC that is the “holy-grail” of fundamentals; it requires Third Strike levels of hit confirming and parrying reaction and KOF levels of being able to react to mixups to throw off your opponent. That game is called Yatagarsu: Attack on Cataclysm and I cannot even begin to tell you how that game is actually dead. It has stellar netcode and a good variety of characters. It also has multiple supers that you had access to all of them at all times but choosing one at the beginning of a fight gives you a 20% damage increase to that specific super. You were rewarded for teching throws on the earliest possible frame and were punished by being heavily negative if you teched late meaning that the opponent could meaty you for free afterwards if you didn’t tech properly. UltraDavid, James Chen, and Maximilian are in the game as commentators as well. Guess what? That game is utterly dead. I don’t think any of those 3 people I just mentioned had even said a single word about that game after the IndieGoGo campaign started. It was to be the holy-grail of what people wanted in a fighting game and guess what, none of the things like fundamentals saved it. I’d be surprised if anyone here had even heard of the game before this.

  2. When people talk about “fundamentals” based games, what game are they talking about? It’s usually a SF game so lets go through those. Third Strike? Good luck trying to play Q against Urien and then being susceptible to unblockables for the entire duration you’re in the corner. Makoto vs Q is so in Makoto’s favor that it’s (I think) a 9-1 or 10-0 matchup. Q could literally do nothing against her. Chun-li? Lol, good luck ever fighting that unless you were Ken or Yun as her fundamentals (or as I like to call them, ‘Chundamentals’) were so strong that she actually invalidated almost the entire cast outside of the highest tiers. Yun? He was able to build Genei-Jin so fast that he could use it several times in a single round if he somehow didn’t manage to kill you after activating it. Not only did he get insane juggles off of it, but all of his hits had Super Art priority (Super Arts being the highest priority moves in the game). This meant that you could not challenge him in the neutral at all unless you had godtier parrying skills and even then, that doesn’t save you from being thrown. So maybe people aren’t talking about Third Strike, what other SF games are there? SF4 where unescapable/unblockable vortex was the dominant strategy for years until delayed wake-up was introduced? You might as well have put down the controller if Seth or Akuma knocked you down once as they could hit you with a slew of moves that were unreactable. What about Alpha? Lol no, juggle infinites ended up being the primary strategy so there’s no fundamentals there. Surely then people mean ST (Street Fighter 2: Super Turbo) right? The game where throws were 0 frame startup, certain moves had randomized damage, chip was absolutely insane, you could anti-air with low attacks, actual inescapable throw loops (getting thrown in the corner several times in SFV isn’t “”""“throw loops”""", that’s just getting outplayed several times), Super attacks that left you heavily advantaged on block, and getting stunned within a few hits if you managed to land a full punish combo with certain characters. None of these games are solely fundamentals based outside of people brand new to them, they are all extremely dirty to certain degrees that people don’t understand. They just think it’s all fundamentals because it’s Street Fighter. Yet it’s still the most popular fighting series to date.

This isn’t even going into the topic of how fundamentals are different for literally every single game. What’s the difference between R. Mika using St.HP that’s +3 on block vs a character in this game using a special move that’s (+) on block? The answer may shock you, but there is no difference. Yet one is called fundamental skill while the other is YOLO.

So please, do not ever say that a game turns away people because the players lack fundamentals, it could not be any further than the truth.


Yeah, last time I played it online (around St. Patties Day) I had to leave it running in the background searching for a match, and after 5 hours I gave up. That game is the definition of a game for fundamentalists, and it is DEAD DEAD DEAD. Sucks, cuz it was actually REALLY fun.

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It’s still one of my most favorite fighting games of all time. It’s amazing! It’s at least still got a (small) scene in Japan.

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This is another thing I wanted to touch on. Street Fighter doesn’t get more views because its players have better fundamentals. It gets better views because more people know what Street Fighter is.
With the exception of 3 people, no one I’ve talked to had any clue KI existed until I brought it up. I search for Killer Instinct news and half of what I see are articles describing Football teams (of both the American and the The Rest of the World variety) rather than the game.
If people wonder why KI doesn’t get much attention, it’s because fact of the matter is we aren’t very popular. Not just KI though, all FG’s are pretty niche. SFV has sold about 1.4 million units over the course of its first year, MKX sold over 5 million by last October… And CoD:MW3 made half a billion dollars on day one with over 6.5 million copies sold.
KI recently hit 6 million total players, but that’s after 3 years and being technically free.

If people want to look at why people don’t watch the game, it’s because people don’t know there’s a game to watch.


That and it’s just not “hip” to follow any games that aren’t generally Capcom games. I feel that SF has become so segmented from the rest of the community that it should be called SFC (Street Fighter Community) instead of the FGC. Same thing with games like KI and Skullgirls. Skullgirls calls themselves the SGC because they knew they were never going to get recognition from anyone but their own community so they started only focusing on events that would have them like Combo Breaker (which is their EVO by the way. To them, EVO doesn’t even exist) and I don’t mind calling us the KIC either. This isn’t trying to be a diss to any other game, but there is hardly any interaction between the several game communities anymore that I feel the term FGC doesn’t actually exist in this day and age. I watch a lot of KI but I don’t stay and watch Guilty Gear and Smash even if it’s at the same tournament. Not that I dislike them, it’s just I’m more interested in only watching/playing KI at the moment. I know I’m part of the problem in terms of fragmenting communities but I believe that it’s universally true. I can elaborate further on that but I universally think the FGC is dead in terms of trying to interact with each other and that the ‘[Insert Game] Community’ will be the model moving forward in the future (as it’s already in practice but no one actually calls it that yet outside of Skullgirls).