With the most recent update (3.5), I think it is time to revive this thread and begin a new/old ring of players in an effort unlock the new Shadow Skins. From my limited playtime with the new update, I can already see that unlocking the new skins will be a slog (75,000 pts for a Jago Shadow skin?), but I also noticed that you can rack up a seemingly decent amount of ‘Shadow Points’ through the bounty system (125 pts with each bounty win).
I’m not sure how many people are still active from the list below, but in the coming days I hope to get back in to the swing of things as far as the Shadow Lab goes, and maybe refine the list just to find the most efficient route to racking up points.
I hope there are some who are still down for some Shadow Lab battles, so I’ll see you all online!
Hello to all the new players!
This thread has been a place to gather XBL tags in order to get the most out of the Shadow Lab mode, and with the influx of new PC players I’ve decided to update the OP a bit for the new blood. Most of all though, I want all the new players who are interested to understand what the Shadow Lab is, and why is it one of the best tools to become a better / more proficient KI player…on top of it being one of the best single/multiplayer player modes in any fighting game.
##First watch this…
Now, I know that was a pretty dense info dump (at least it was for me at first), but trust me, it is much easier to understand in practice.
As was stated in the video, Shadow Lab is essentially a mode where you fight against AI that has been “trained” by various players. THIS IS NOT LIKE FIGHTING THE CPU IN THE TRADITIONAL ARCADE OR SURVIVAL MODE, these AI are more organic, and fight more human-like. You are essentially fighting the online avatar of another player.
##What is it like to fight a Shadow?
The short and sweet answer is, like it is to fight a regular human online: it can be very fun, very challenging, and very informative if you are looking to improve.
Each “Shadow” can hold up to 40 “match recordings” for each character, which makes up the overall “matchup knowledge” for any given Shadow. All the data gathered is from players playing either real people, Shadows, or the traditional AI in the game, and them saving that data to their “Shadow Brain.” As such, each Shadow gets trained to fight all the characters in various ways depending on who and how that player plays.
Note: Shadows learn EVERYTHING from their creator, thus they can taunt, tea-bag, and generally do anything that a normal player can do.
Each time you challenge a Shadow, you fight in a best 2 of 3 match where you earn all the same XP you would from a regular online or offline match. Besides just straight up challenging a Shadow, you can also play in the ‘Shadow Survival ladder,’ and just like in normal Survival you can skip up the ladder (at the cost of shadow pts mind you) to challenge the harder matches earlier. Each match you win in Survival, creates a “bounty” like it would in a normal challenge, thus you can potentially trade matches with random players that you’ve fought in Survival too.
(More on ‘Shadow pts’ and ‘Bounties’ latter…)
So, what does all this mean? It means that in the Shadow Lab, each shadow you fight is different, and distinct, just like every player you’d potentially match up with online. Some Shadows are weaker in certain matchups, and some Shadows are stronger in other matchups. Furthermore, some are just generally under trained, while others are just monsters.
##So why play in the Shadow Lab?
For me, the Shadow Lab has become THE way I train.
There are various ways that people practice KI, and every other fighting game for that matter. Some players like to go online and learn matchups by playing in Exhibition, or Ranked. Some players like making Lobbies and playing head to head against friends or Randoms in a “king of the hill” style session. And further still there are those “Lab monsters” who just like to go into the dojo and grind out tech. Shadows mode is yet another place to train and learn, as it allows you to challenge shadows of various difficulty, that encompass the entire cast, so you can potentially learn at your own pace.
Each Shadow is ranked and given a point value of: 50, 100, 250, 500, or 1000. The point system is how you challenge a Shadow, as in order to fight them you have at “wager” the specified amount of points. (You can also freely “spar” against shadow, but you won’t earn any Shadow pts.)
If you loose the match, you loose those Shadow pts, and if you win you get them back, plus some. A Shadow worth 50 pts is essentially a beginner level shadow, where as a shadow worth 1000 pts can be a monster.
All this means is that you can play how you want to, against Shadows / other players of the skill level you choose. If you are just beginning, the 50pt Shadows are for you, and as you learn more and “rank up”, you’ll find that you are challenging higher level Shadows, and you’ll begin to see your improvement.
##Why is playing Shadow Lab better with friends?
Playing alone in the Shadow Lab can be a fun way to get some competitive matches in for sure, but trading matches with friends can make the experience that much better.
After challenging ANY shadow, the match is recorded and sent to the owner of said Shadow. Whether you win or loose, the owner of that shadow can watch the match for entertainment, or to analyze your play style in order to get revenge…as you see, in the case that you’ve won against their Shadow, a bounty is created, thus giving other player the chance to get a run back.
Bounty matches are probably to best part of the Shadow Lab, as after each bounty that you successfully win, another bounty is created and is sent back to the other player. The best experiences I’ve had with the bounty system have been when other player(s) have been online, and you consecutively trade matches back and forth. Each time a wins are traded, the stakes are raised as after each match (if the other player is uploading the match data to their “Shadow Brain”), the Shadow is learning from the previous match, and thus “adapting” to you.
Just like playing another player online, where they are trying new things and adapting your play style in consecutive matches, so to do the Shadows as players are “teaching” them in real time.
##Creating your Shadow…
Like the video pointed out, when you first go to create a Shadow, you’ll first fight Jago in 3 consecutive matches. In each match, the Jago AI will fight with different styles: zoning (more fireballs), rush down (pressure with a lot of overheads, lows, and manuals), and a lot of jumping. Depending on how you fair, your shadow will be created having learned what you taught it thus far. The final test will by YOU vs. YOUR SHADOW.
Note: at this point your Shadow only has matchup knowledge about Jago. Your shadow is highly under trained as it has no idea how any other character fights, let alone what to do about the various types of players it will encounter. So what do you do next?
##Training you Shadow…
After its creation, your shadow is released into the “wild” where anyone can challenge them. You can train your Shadow by fighting in any mode and saving the match data to the Shadow brain. As I said above, your Shadow can have up to 40 “match recordings” for each characters; that is over 800 data points (800 matches) that can encompass your Shadow. How well your Shadow does online, is completely up to you and how much you play, who you play, and ultimately what you teach them.
It is an understatement to say that training your Shadow can become a game unto itself. Each time you load up the Shadow Lab, you can see how well you Shadow has done in your absence, and it is an awesome feeling to have those wins rack up.
The Shadow Lab in many ways in one of the most compelling modes of KI. If you are looking to learn and improve your skills in KI, not only is the Shadow Lab a great way to do that, but it is fun to boot. I can’t express to you enough how good it feels to get online and see your Shadow doing well (it is a reflection of you overall), and likewise how good it feels to also be able to go online after solely playing in the Shadow Lab, and actually compete against those who only play online.
The Shadow lab is a VERY viable place to hone your skills, and learn new things, and to do so at your own pace. My GT is: Uncappedwheel82, and there are many others in the thread who share my sentiment about the Shadow Lab. Add my GT, and all the others, and join the fun!
[spoiler]Edit: As of the Season 3 update, some people’s Shadows have become “unavailable”; my Shadow is one of them. The Dev’s (@rukizzel @TempusChaoti) have been notified of the issue, but some people’s Shadow’s can’t be Challenged at this moment in time. That being said, there are plenty other Shadows that can be fought, and plenty of other players to trade matches with.
Edit #2: As far as I’m aware, the Shadow Lab issue outlined above has been resolved.[/spoiler]
##“Easy” 1,000 SP fights!
- Maximilliondood - Fulgore
- Rolly2891 - Shadow Jago
- Probably all of the Shadows fall under this…other than @SonicDolphin117, Lol! (My opinion)
##List of GTs:
Active Forum Members who may return bounty matches:
- REYNOSO FUA11
Archived Forum Members with Shadows:
- BKD coffeedad
- Ghost Haunt
- Mic Blades
- mine is broken