Latest frustrations with ranked

I’ll say right off the bat that I know this game is designed for sighted players and that I’m in the minority. I felt I had to express my frustrations somewhere though and this seemed like a reasonable place.

I’ve been playing ranked, slowly trying to make my way to Killer tier since day 1 s3. However, with the recent changes to gold tier, I feel like I’ve been fighting more and more players who I personally don’t feel should have got into gold (which I believed was one of the reasons why the reset was done, to prevent such occurrances).

I would be happy to provide examples of matches (if I can retrieve the clips in time) and take opinions on how best to deal with the strategies, but I feel like the road to Killer just got a large amount harder and that won’t stop being an issue unless I’m very very lucky.

I want to get Killer again to say I’ve done it (partially for those who recognise me for the achievement and partially to prove everyone else wrong and myself in thinking that I might not be able to get to Killer again and that I don’t need to). However, I’m partly at a crossroads - do I leave ranked for a few months then resume my journey, do I abandon it alltogether in favour of a less stressful time with the game?

I’d appreciate any advice members of the community would be willing to give on this and please keep it civil.

Thanks in advance for any help.

I wouldn’t stress about it since Ranked is purely cosmetic and doesn’t do you any favors outside of personal glory. With the recent changes in the Ranked system, there are bound to be Smurfs now and again. Playing and getting stressed out will leave you with a bad overall experience in what is a fun fighting game.

I’m sure some would disagree with me but play the game for fun, not to win.


What do you mean by this, exactly?

Basically players using tactics that should’ve kept them out of the higher tiers, or so you’d think.

What tactics? Cheating?

If you’re saying these tactics aren’t good enough for gold, then say you want advice for how to beat them, doesn’t that mean…

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I’ve seen cheap tactics in numerous FGs before (Kabal in MK9; Superman/Deathstroke in Inustice, etc.), but they’re particularly rare in KI, due to the game’s wonderful 2-way system, so I’m curious about this and want to hear about specifics. If it’s cheating, though, then that’s an entirely different matter and should be reported post-haste.


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I don’t believe it’s specifically cheating, but lag+cheap tactics. By cheap tactics, specific to my circumstances I mean jumping (not just to be safe from a move, but to avoid pretty much annything, pretty much constant jumping broken up with attacks), overuse of shatter with no penalty (which for a person with no sight you have to guess that they’re going to do it which then means that on landing from a jump they can catch you in it again), Cinder using his arial trailblazer near constantly without penalty to avoid any and all attacks… The list goes on but those are some of the ones I’ve seen recently, in addition to Shago’s overuse of pizza cutter (which I understand is getting modified in the next patch, though how much this’ll change it is uncertain).

Not necessarily. Just because a player is in gold tier doesn’t necessarily mean they’re “good enough for gold”. I nearly gave up on a match earlier because I felt overwhelmed and like I wasn’t going to be able to beat my opponent, something I will only do if I’m super salty+frustrated+on a losing run. Just because I wasn’t good enough to beat that particular opponent with those tactics I tried to use, doesn’t mean they’re not good enough for gold tier. The reverse applies for the tactics I’ve seen on display that prompted me to write this post, which are mostly I feel prompted by the AI being the programmed in such a way as to encourage jumping and avoidance of moves rather than actual combat against your opponent.

I do not mean to offend, but this is like arguing for the satisfaction of an achievement without any obstacles to get there. Except without the obstacles and challenges, there is no achievement. It sounds like you don’t want to lose, or at the very least, dictate the terms of your opponents’ combat. However, that’s not how it works. You can’t fault your opponents for making full use of the resources they’ve been legally given. You also must consider that your opponent most likely has goals just as you do, most likely involving a win. Considering your set of circumstances, your achievement is significant indeed, but your opponent isn’t there to fulfill your goals, they’re fighting for their own. Losing can suck when it gets in the way, but learning from a loss can produce longer lasting results.

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A valid point, but that is not what I am trying to do - I’m not trying to “dictate” my opponent’s strategies. I feel like I can’t learn from losses as others might (by going into practice mode or the dojo for example, simply due to easy-to-solve accessibility issues that could be rectified by just copying and pasting strings from the game into accessible formats for inclusion in a resource like the KICG). Moreover, the frustration is worsened by the double edged sword of ranked points and their lack of accessibility:
I can’t view ranked points therefore:

  1. My frustration with not knowing how close I am to Killer and how many matches I need to win makes it feel like a long, near endless grind with no clear completion in site.
  2. If or when I do get to Killer, the shock and surprise at managing this is genuine and unmotivated by looking at a large amount of statistics.

I believe the cons of the first outweigh the pros of the second and I have a solution as to how to solve it that has been discussed before (namely create an opt-in stat system that outputs a player’s information (shadow data, fights won/lost, ranked points accumulated, along with anything else that might be useful).

I understand that the opponents are using resources that have been “legally given” to them, however the fact of the matter is that the disfunctional AI doesn’t help matters when newcomers are learning the game - they pick up habbits that only serve to make them less friendly in my view. I have nothing against the people behind the character, but simply the fact that they seem unwilling to actually play the game as it was intended - actually engaging in two-way interaction. That’s what frustrates me. I’ll try and get that glacius set where the game thought it’d be a good idea to put me aginst the same guy in 2 out of 3’s, twice (I had a strong dislike for him the first time and absolutely despised the playstyle the second time)…

OK, rant over. I just wanted to get my opinions out there somehow.

You know he’s blind, right? That’s a pretty damn big obstacle and challenge, if you ask me, and he has been doing an awesome job of getting around it. Every win is an achievement as far as I’m concerned.

@SightlessKombat: whether or not you continue playing ranked (it doesn’t really matter), please don’t quit the game. You’re an inspiration even to people wtih no disabilities to speak of. Keep it up!

I don’t understand what this means. The game as it was intended to be played involves two character attacking one another, and that’s kind of the extent of it. Anything you can do within the rules of the game (for the most part) is “the game as it was intended”.

I definitely sympathize with your disability, and you have way more resolve than I would have in your position, but we need to be careful how we describe the game. There are a lot of strategies that are especially difficult for a blind player to deal with, but I don’t think it’s the fault of the game, the game’s AI, or the player himself.

Don’t mean to get in the way of your rant, though, since everybody needs to rant sometimes.


What Infil said.

I think it’s worth quoting Patrick Miller’s ebook on this:

In rather broad strokes, fighting games are about imposing your will on your opponent. Your goal is to make a series of intelligent situations that constrict your opponent’s options, forcing them to make evermore-dangerous gambles until they do something you can punish them for. You want to put your opponent in these situations over and over until they lose, and then you put them in these situations again and again until they don’t want to play with you any more. Basically, you’re making the game as tortuous and awful as possible for your opponent while they try to do the same to you. It’s a beautiful thing.

It’s not what you want to hear, but if your opponent is “not playing the game properly”, then in part that’s your own fault. Bad strategies are bad because they lose to better strategies. If you can’t, or don’t, demonstrate that their strategy is bad by punishing them for it, then it’s not actually a bad strategy – or atleast, it’s a great strategy to be using against you.

Mind, I’m not great at putting paid to a range of obvious strategies for which there are hard counters to, either. One of the pain points for getting into fighting games is that you kinda need to learn a lot of skills that you’ll make seldom use of in high-level matches, because they deal with the laundry list of flawed strategies that require specific, but for a well-trained player guaranteed counters. Things like anti-airing jump-ins: jump-ins might all but disappear from high-level play because both players can see, react and punish them reliably – and a match where jump-ins are infrequent is, I think most people would agree, a whole lot more fun than one where you’re playing against some idiot who jumps all over the place – but if you can’t anti-air reliably then your opponent can make the game very unfun by just jumping around all the time. That sucks, because it forces players to get good at entire subgames that aren’t fun and that they’ll never use once they’re good at them, and it means that newer players have to go through a lot before they can understand what this awesome game is that the high-level players are playing and raving about.

Unfortunately this is really how it is for every fighting game, and you’d have to dramatically overhaul how fighting games are made in order to remove the busy grind of beating the flawed stuff, so we kinda have to just live with the grind.


In fact, I’d argue it’s the case for every competitive multiplayer game, full stop.

There are a lot of strategies that beginners implement because they aren’t good enough to do all the amazing stuff yet, and they haven’t had the experience of losing repeatedly because they keep doing the beginner strategies. It takes a long time to sort of graduate from beginner to intermediate to advanced, learning to counter the easy strategies that have answers easy to describe on paper, but that are just rooted in basic reaction and muscle memory.

In actuality, it’s kind of fun to do this progression, to see how far you’ve come. When you finally do learn to anti-air jumps, it’s rewarding to play against a jump-happy person and win because of your free anti-air damage. That signals progress. Once you’re past that and you’re trying to learn the next-level skills, then it can be irritating to play someone who jumps all the time and is giving you tons of free damage, but I dunno that it’s any different than just beating someone with lower skill in any game.

I imagine Sightless’s frustration comes from the fact that he can’t easily tell when people are jumping and from what distances, and therefore he can’t easily anti-air them (if I’m wrong, he’s free to correct me). And this, I’m afraid, doesn’t have an easy answer because the game is built to expect players to respond to visual cues.


Right. The game has often been described as promoting two way interaction. HOwever, when I@m fighting these players, it doesn’t feel like two way interaction - it feels like one way interaction from their side to mine that I cannot prevent no matter what I try.

I’d be willing to practice matchups and get advice on things like how to punish Glacius as Fulgore (as that matchup is one of the most problematic even against these frustrating players), but I feel that I’m winning by luck rather than any skill I might have, which defeats the whole purpose of ranked I believe.

The way the game is built, there really aren’t too many things that are like this.

But the problem comes from the fact that you need to be able to visually react to certain things. If I were to watch a match against this frustrating Glacius player, I’m sure I could point to a lot of things you could do differently, but I don’t know how you could do them better without vision. But then again, I have no idea how you have gotten as far as you have, so maybe there’s a way, I dunno.

But I don’t think the game is functioning incorrectly here.

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I disagree that we just have to “live with the grind” and that jumping can’t be easily punished (not in KI at least). THe xample I’m using here, though it does change based on pace etc, is MKX.

Opponent jumps in.
I attempt to block and then counter, but for whatever reason, miss the counter completely regardless of whether I use light, medium or heavy DP.
The opponent can easily continue this thus making me wish to really stop playing ranked.

Opponent jumps in whilst I’m blocking.
I see the jump and can easily HIt my opponent out of the air even at the peak of the jump. Game is reset to neutral and if my opponent keeps jumping I can keep uppercutting accordingly.

I think it’s the fact that anti-airs are now near impossible for Fulgore with his new changes (lack of Heavy laser that goes upwards, that has made the grind, for a person with no sight whatsoever, almost insurmountable without large quantities of luck that the game will match you against what I will loosely term as an “honest opponent” - someone who, though they play at a higher level, understands an idea I’ve tought to people in exhibition sets. Most of the time “if you jump, you die”. If there were modifiers in this game, I’d suggest one that completely blackens the screen so that noone can see what they’re doing (not for ranked as this would make things broken if applied incorrectly), but as a demonstration of how the game can use sound to inform the gameplan of the players (if done correctly).

I understand why people are saying “don’t blame the AI, it’s not the AI’s fault as the players are just doing what they do” but where do you think they get the idea that jumping is everything from? I’d say it’s highly likely that when playing the game for the first time they notice the AI jumping a lot and think “ooh! That’s a fantastic strategy!” and thus integrate it habitually into their gameplay.

How we solve this would be an interesting discussion that I believe needs to be had - also so that casuals can enjoy a proper fight. Seeing a large number of players just jumping and winning by that alone isn’t “fun” for anyone. It’s the moment that the fighters are grounded by the other guy’s anti air attack that I cheer at in such battles.

I appreciate the support that you’ve given by replying to this thread. I’d be very happy to work through strategies etc with any of you to make this easier to cope with.

I can see when opponent’s are jumping. That’s not so much the issue. It’s when they’re out of my range and wheneve I try going in to anti air, I am just out of range or just can’t connect it because they block whilst they’re landing basically meaning they’re invulnerable to a blind player. Moreover, when an opponent can see you jumping, it just doubles the emphasis on you not making any mistakes at all as one wrong move, they get a free combo that you wouldn’t get if you anti aired them in return, just because you wouldn’t get the timing right to continue it.

I hope I’m making myself clear. I’ll try and get footage of that Glacius up on youtube as well.