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> "Playing to Win", A Guide by David Sirlin
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post Aug 8 2009, 02:49 AM
Some of you may already know who David Sirlin is. For everyone else, just visit his creatively-titled personal site, Sirlin.net, and let the wonders within educate you about the sweeping saga of love and justice that is this man's life. Or don't. In order to understand the following article review, you really only need to know two facts about David Sirlin:

Fact #1: He's really good at fighting games.
Fact #2: He's a colossal douchebag.

Mind you, this isn't just my personal opinion. He's participated in a number of high-level gaming tournaments including EVO, and he was employed by Backbone Entertainment to work on the HD Remix revision of Super Street Fighter II Turbo, so it's hard to refute fact #1. As for fact #2, I have yet to meet another human being in real life or on the internet who knew who David Sirlin was and did not agreed with the notion that, yes, the man is a colossal douchebag. He's even widely regarded as a douchebag among members of the hardcore fighting game community—a group of people who themselves generally exhibit a level of douchebagginess that is equivalent to a small planet populated exclusively by clones of Kanye West.

In addition to his l33t gaming skillz0rz, Sirlin also fancies himself quite the writer. Several years ago, he combined these two talents to create "Playing to Win", an ambitious multi-part thesis on game design that also acts as a guide to teach struggling players how to be better at video games. I first read the article a couple of months ago when I was looking for some tips I could use to improve my fighting game talents, and amazingly, one read-through of Playing to Win increased my skill level and knowledge regarding competitive gaming by an astounding 0%. It was like every unhelpful post ever made on the GameFAQs message boards all combined into one essay of complete and total time-wasting pointlessness.

I don't want anyone to take my word for it, though. After all, it's entirely possible I'm just one of those unteachable people that quantum physics professors are always bitching about to their peers. Feel free to read through Part 1 of Sirlin's article and decide for yourself how helpful it really is. Of course, I've added in some of my own commentary to make your reading experience that much more illuminating... It's not very funny, but man was it cathartic to write.


=============================================


Playing to Win, Part 1

Playing to win is the most important and most widely misunderstood concept in all of competitive games.


Many believe it has something to do with whale sharks and the mysteries of the pyramids of Egypt. This, however, is simply a popular misconception.

The sad irony is that those who do not already understand the implications I'm about to spell out will probably not believe them to be true at all. In fact, if I were to send this article back in time to my earlier self, even I would not believe it.

Young Sirlin: "Oh, hell no, there is no way I turn into that much of an obsessive douche later in life."

Apparently, these concepts are something one must come to learn through experience, though I hope at least some of you will take my word for it.

Ah know Ah can't hope tah fully grasp most of these complicated eye-dee-ears y'all be throwin' mah way, good sir, but All try mah best tah keep up an' trust yew with what Ah can't unda'stand.

Introducing...the Scrub

In the world of Street Fighter competition, there is a word for players who aren't good: "scrub."


Named after the way they often "scrub" up and perform surgeries on homeless people as a way of distracting themselves from the humiliation of being defeated in video games.[citation needed]

Everyone begins as a scrub---it takes time to learn the game to get to a point where you know what you're doing. There is the mistaken notion, though, that by merely continuing to play or "learn" the game, that one can become a top player.

It also requires mind-boggling amounts of free time devoid of social interaction and an ego that could blanket a good portion of the continent of Africa.

In reality, the "scrub" has many more mental obstacles to overcome than anything actually going on during the game. The scrub has lost the game even before it starts. He's lost the game before he's chosen his character. He's lost the game even before the decision of which game is to be played has been made. His problem? He does not play to win.

He WHAAAAAT!?! You mean, people like that actually exist!? But that defies the very nature of video games!

The scrub would take great issue with this statement for he usually believes that he is playing to win, but he is bound up by an intricate construct of fictitious rules that prevent him from ever truly competing.

These rules prevent shortcuts to success including but not limited to the consumption of performance-enhancing drugs, the intentional injury of an opponent, the exploitation of loopholes in our nation's legal system, blackmail, and insider trading.

These made-up rules vary from game to game, of course, but their character remains constant. In Street Fighter, for example, the scrub labels a wide variety of tactics and situations "cheap." So-called "cheapness" is truly the mantra of the scrub.

The scrub is a whiney bitch, but also very frugal when it comes to financial matters and a master of finding good bargains.

Performing a throw on someone often called cheap. A throw is a special kind of move that grabs an opponent and damages him, even when the opponent is defending against all other kinds of attacks.

Thank you for explaining that, David Sirlin. As a borderline retarded moron, I was previously unaware of what a "throw" was.

The entire purpose of the throw is to be able to damage an opponent who sits and blocks and doesn't attack.

Whoa, whoa, slow down there! What the hell are a "block" and an "attack"? Write in English for Christ's sake.

As far as the game is concerned, throwing is an integral part of the design--it's meant to be there--yet the scrub has constructed his own set of principles in his mind that state he should be totally impervious to all attacks while blocking. The scrub thinks of blocking as a kind of magic shield which will protect him indefinitely.

Haha, oh scubs, when will you learn. Blocking doesn't make you permanently invincible! That's not why blocking is in the game at all, you silly scrub.

Why? Exploring the reasoning is futile since the notion is ridiculous from the start.

It's much too crazy to even contemplate! That's scrubs for ya; they're nature's greatest mystery as well as nature's greatest mistake.

You're not going to see a classic scrub throw his opponent 5 times in a row. But why not?

Because scrubs don't know how to set up Dhalsim's FUCKING corner throw loops or Zangief's GODDAMN tick throw combo that does like 80% damage because what the fuck I hate this game.

What if doing so is strategically the sequence of moves that optimize his chances of winning? Here we've encountered our first clash: the scrub is only willing to play to win within his own made-up mental set of rules. These rules can be staggeringly arbitrary. If you beat a scrub by throwing projectile attacks at him, keeping your distance and preventing him from getting near you...that's cheap.

The skilled player knows that every match involving Ryu should sound like a broken record titled "HADOUKEN! Greatest Hits"

If you throw him repeatedly, that's cheap, too. We've covered that one. If you sit in block for 50 seconds doing no moves, that's cheap. Nearly anything you do that ends up making you win is a prime candidate for being called cheap.

So, the man who claims to be educated on the subject of psychology thinks this is an example of genuine misinformation rather than people simply venting their anger over losing? Interesting.

Doing one move or sequence over and over and over is another great way to get called cheap. This goes right to the heart of the matter: why can the scrub not defeat something so obvious and telegraphed as a single move done over and over?

After all, if you know someone is going to shoot at you, it's your own damn fault for not catching the bullet.

Is he such a poor player that he can't counter that move? And if the move is, for whatever reason, extremely difficult to counter, then wouldn't I be a fool for not using that move?

Oh shit, I can't counter his ironclad logic! Well played, Sirlin... My only remaining option is to call you a fag and win a moral victory.

The first step in becoming a top player is the realization that playing to win means doing whatever most increases your chances of winning. The game knows no rules of "honor" or of "cheapness." The game only knows winning and losing.

I think this paragraph was stolen from the teaser trailer for any dramatic sports movie that's been released in the last thirty years.

A common call of the scrub is to cry that the kind of play in which ones tries to win at all costs is "boring" or "not fun." Let's consider two groups of players: a group of good players and a group of scrubs.

Okay, I'm envisioning a room full of unwashed, pale nerds with neckbeards and t-shirts referencing internet memes standing next to a bunch of guys looking really confused and unsure like they deeply regret a recent decision they made.

The scrubs will play "for fun" and not explore the extremities of the game. They won't find the most effective tactics and abuse them mercilessly. The good players will. The good players will find incredibly overpowering tactics and patterns.

The good players are the reason most game developers don't sleep at night and usually opt for early retirement despite having no money in the bank.

As they play the game more, they'll be forced to find counters to those tactics. The vast majority of tactics that at first appear unbeatable end up having counters, though they are often quite esoteric and difficult to discover. The counter tactic prevents the first player from doing the tactic, but the first player can then use a counter to the counter. The second player is now afraid to use his counter and he's again vulnerable to the original overpowering tactic.

All this talk of guys overpowering one another and taking turns being vulnerable... I think there were slightly fewer homoerotic undertones in that other online guide Sirlin wrote called "How To Perform Oral Sex On Other Men And Really, Really Enjoy It"

Notice that the good players are reaching higher and higher levels of play. They found the "cheap stuff" and abused it. They know how to stop the cheap stuff. They know how to stop the other guy from stopping it so they can keep doing it.

This pattern continues to gain layers until both players are so knowledgeable about the game that their attempt to fight each other results in the machine exploding from their combined levels of just being so motherfucking good.

And as is quite common in competitive games, many new tactics will later be discovered that make the original cheap tactic look wholesome and fair. Often in fighting games, one character will have something so good it's unfair. Fine, let him have that.

"Koko desu ka? Koko desu ka? Koko desu ka? Koko desu ka? Koko desu ka? Koko desu ka? Koko desu ka? [...]"

(If you don't know what that's from, then consider yourself lucky.)

As time goes on, it will be discovered that other characters have even more powerful and unfair tactics. Each player will attempt to steer the game in the direction of his own advantages, much how grandmaster chess players attempt to steer opponents into situations in which their opponents are weak.

Such as leading them to realize that they've thrown their lives away playing a board game.

Let's return to the group of scrubs. They don't know the first thing about all the depth I've been talking about.

Scrubs are all hopeless idiots who can't comprehend the first thing about simple concepts like getting better at video games because they have the minds of infants. And I don't even feel bad about typing that because I'm pretty sure all scrubs are illiterate anyway. Please do not read this aloud while in the presence of a scrub, since it will only hurt their feelings and God has already been cruel enough to them as it is.

Their argument is basically that ignorantly mashing buttons with little regard to actual strategy is more "fun." Superficially, their argument does at least look true, since often their games will be more "wet and wild" than games between the experts, which are usually more controlled and refined.

Who in the hell calls a game of Street Fighter "wet and wild"? If I heard a guy say that in person, I would kick him in the balls. Not out of anger so much as to make sure he actually had a pair.

But any close examination will reveal that the experts are having a great deal of fun on a higher level than the scrub can even imagine.

"Yay, we're briefly validating months of time spent meticulously studying a game that ultimately has no relevance on any aspect of life outside of this one fleeting moment."

Throwing together some circus act of a win isn't nearly as satisfying as reading your opponent's mind to such a degree that you can counter his ever move, even his every counter.

I like how he uses the analogy of a circus act—something extravagant and flashy and intended purely for entertainment and fun—to describe something he doesn't want his readers to think of as being fun. It's like Sirlin is hating on circuses just because there's nothing arrogant or self-gratifying about them.

Can you imagine what will happen when the two groups of players meet? The experts will absolutely destroy the scrubs with any number of tactics they've either never seen, or never been truly forced to counter. This is because the scrubs have not been playing the same game.

Probably not, considering how damn many versions of every Street Fighter game there are! Hahahahahaha easy joke.

The experts were playing the actual game while the scrubs were playing their own homemade variant with restricting, unwritten rules.

That seems for work just fine for the Super Smash Bros. community...

The scrub has still more crutches. He talks a great deal about "skill" and how he has skill whereas other players--very much including the ones who beat him flat out--do not have skill.

They actually have something more important than skill: the ability to notice and memorize things!

The confusion here is what "skill" actually is. In Street Fighter, scrubs often cling to combos as a measure of skill. A combo is sequence of moves that are unblockable if the first move hits. Combos can be very elaborate and very difficult to pull off. But single moves can also take "skill," according to the scrub. The "dragon punch" or "uppercut" in Street Fighter is performed by holding the joystick toward the opponent, then down, then diagonally down and toward as the player presses a punch button.

I love how this entire article instructing people how to think when playing Street Fighter is written for people who have never played Street Fighter. For those people, you could theoretically substitute Street Fighter for almost anything and it would have the same impact. For example: Reshingling Your Roof To Win: A Guide To Love and Life By David Sirlin

This movement must be completed within a fraction of a second, and though there is leeway, it must be executed fairly accurately. Ask any scrub and they will tell you that a dragon punch is a "skill move."

I have actually never heard anyone say that. Ever. I think Sirlin is basing his entire argument on things he dreamed about at this point...

Just last week I played a scrub who was actually quite good. That is, he knew the rules of the game well, he knew the character matchups well, and he knew what to do in most situations.

He was still a scrub, though, because he made the fatal mistake of possessing humility.

But his web of mental rules kept him from truly playing to win. He cried cheap as I beat him with "no skill moves" while he performed many difficult dragon punches.

That dude must have been a real trooper.

He cried cheap when I threw him 5 times in a row asking, "is that all you know how to do? throw?"

"He again cried cheap as I yelled 'FIRE!' in an attempt to distract him, and again when I produced a handful of salt from my pocket and threw it into his eyes so I could land a crucial super while he was busy clawing at his face and screaming in pain."

I gave him the best advice he could ever hear. I told him, "Play to win, not to do 'difficult moves.'" This was a big moment in that scrub's life.

Realizing how to play video games like an elitist douchebag became the most single most significant and life-altering moment in his existence up to that point, immediately overtaking the day he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.

He could either write his losses off and continue living in his mental prison, or analyze why he lost, shed his rules, and reach the next level of play.

I joke, but David Sirlin really is dangerously insane and I will fear for my own safety as well as that of my loved ones for as long as he continues to walk the streets a free man.

I've never been to a tournament where there was a prize for the winner and another prize for the player who did many difficult moves. I've also never seen a prize for a player who played "in an innovative way." Many scrubs have strong ties to "innovation." They say "that guy didn't do anything new, so he is no good."

You know, everybody says the same thing about Carlos Mencia, and he makes like seventeen wahjillion dollars a year. Maybe the scrubs are making a statement.

Or "person x invented that technique and person y just stole it." Well, person y might be 100 times better than person x, but that doesn't seem to matter. When person y wins the tournament and person x is a forgotten footnote, what will the scrub say?

"People actually keep track of that shit!?"

That person y has "no skill" of course.

Depth in Games

I've talked about how the expert player is not bound by rules of "honor" or "cheapness" and simply plays to maximize his chances of winning.


That's some kind of understatement, goddamn.

When he plays against other such players, "game theory" emerges. If the game is a good one, it will become deeper and deeper and more strategic. Poorly designed games will become shallower and shallower. This is the difference between a game that lasts years (StarCraft, Street Fighter) versus one that quickly becomes boring (I won't name any names).

He's not going to sully the integrity of this article by listing the titles of any games that don't fit the imaginary standards of the elitist fighting game crowd (read: those can be played and *gasp* even enjoyed by scrubs!).

As for StarCraft not getting boring, ironically, I used to love playing that before the online scene devolved into Protoss Players Rushing Zealots On Big Game Hunters: The Game. And no one ever wanted to play on a different map or adhere to a five-minute "no rush" policy because those were scrub noob rules.

The point is that if a game becomes "no fun" at high levels of play, then it's the game's fault, not the player's. Unfortunately, a game becoming less fun because it's poorly designed and you just losing because you're a scrub kind of look alike. You'll have to play some top players and do some soul searching to decide which is which.

So the "good" players are the ones who get to decide which games are worth playing based on their own preferences. Yeah, somehow that actually makes a lot of sense.

But if it really is the game's fault, there are plenty of other games that are excellent at a high level of play. For games that truly aren't good at a high level, the only winning move is not to play.

Coming soon, beloved author David Sirlin writes his first advice guide for children: "Never Play Games You Can't Win At"

Boundaries of Playing to Win

There is a gray area here I feel I should point out. If an expert does anything he can to win, then does he exploit bugs in the game? The answer is a resounding yes...but not all bugs. There is a large class of bugs in video games that players don't even view as bugs.


That is to say, bugs which they find convenient when it comes to winning and are therefore viewed not as true gameplay glitches, but valuable tools required to help them nurture the growth of their e-penises.

In Marvel vs. Capcom 2, for example, Iceman can launch his opponent into the air, follow him, do a few hits, then combo into his super move. During the super move he falls down below his opponent, so only about half of his super will connect. The Iceman player can use a trick, though. Just before doing the super, he can do another move, an icebeam, and cancel that move into the super. There's a bug here which causes Iceman to fall during his super at the much slower rate of his icebeam. The player actually cancels the icebeam as soon as possible--optimally as soon as 1/60th of a second after it begins. The whole point is to make Iceman fall slower during his super so he gets more hits.

And yet, despite this, Iceman still sucks, just because he's Iceman.

Is it a bug? I'm sure it is. It looks like a programming oversight to me. Would an expert player use this? Of course.

Oh, well of course. Anyone who still honestly believes there's anything an expert player won't do to win obviously hasn't been paying attention to this article.

The iceman example is relatively tame. In Street Fighter Alpha2, there's a bug in which you can land the most powerful move in the game (a Custom Combo or "CC") on the opponent, even when he should be able to block it. A bug? Yes. Does it help you win? Yes. This technique became the dominant tactic of the game. The gameplay evolved around this, play went on, new strategies were developed. Those who cried cheap were simply left behind to play their own homemade version of the game with made-up rules.

So the "homemade" version is the version that the people who designed and programmed the game intended it to be, while the "real" version is the one based around a glitch that the fans discovered and exploited? I— ju— you do— ge— WHAT.

The one we all played had unblockable CCs, and it went on to be a great game.

But there is a limit. There is a point when the bug becomes too much. In tournaments, bugs that turn the game off, or freeze it indefinitely, or remove one of the characters from the playfield permanently are banned.


Pulling out a firearm and shooting the cabinet is also banned in tournament play. Unless the game is Killer Instinct 2, then it's allowed.

Bugs so extreme that they stop gameplay are considered unfair even by non-scrubs. As are techniques that can only be performed on, say, the player-1 side of the game.

I don't even see how that would work, but rather than question it, I'm just going to sit back and enjoy this fascinating exploration of hypothetical technicalities in video game tournament rules hosted by David Sirlin. It's like taking a tour of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, except way crazier.

Tricks in fighting games that are side-dependent (that is, they can only be performed by the 2nd player or only by the first player) are sometimes not allowed in tournaments simply because both players don't have equal access to the trick--not because the tricks are too powerful.

NEVER because the tricks are too powerful.

Here's an example that shows what kind of power level is past the limit even of Playing to Win.

Yeah good I really care about this please explain it to me.

Many versions of Street Fighter have secret characters that are only accessible through a code. Sometimes these characters are good, sometimes they're not. Occasionally, the secret characters are the best in the game, as in Marvel vs. Capcom. Big deal. That's the way that game is. Live with it.

Okay okay, fuck. I feel like I'm being berated for a complaint no one ever actually made outside of the twisted world of Sirlin's imagination.

But the first version of Street Fighter to ever have a secret character was Super Turbo Street Fighter with its untouchably good Akuma.

You mean Super Street Fighter II Turbo? "Super Turbo Street Fighter" is what some kids' dad calls the game when he tells them to turn it off and do their homework.

Most characters in that game cannot beat Akuma. I don't mean it's a tough match--I mean they cannot ever, ever, ever, ever win. Akuma is "broken" in that his air fireball move is something the game simply wasn't designed to handle.

You just tell yourself whatever you need to hear to feel okay, man.

He's miles above the other characters, and is therefore banned in all US tournaments. But every game has a "best character" and those characters are never banned. They're just part of the game...except in Super Turbo.

Super Turbo is the ONE AND ONLY EXCEPTION TO EVER EXISTS IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE.

It's extreme examples like this that even amongst the top players, and even something that isn't a bug, but was put in on purpose by the game designers, the community as a whole has unanimously decided to make the rule: "don't play Akuma in serious matches."

That sounds like the attitude of someone who isn't playing to win, to me. But hey, whatever. You go right ahead and ban Akuma in your screwed up, retarded "homemade" version of the game.

Sometimes players from other gaming communities don't understand the Akuma example. "Would not a truly committed player play Akuma anyway?" they ask. Akuma is a boss character, never meant to be played on even ground with the other characters. He's only accessible via an annoying, long code. Akuma is not like a tower in an RTS that is accidentally too powerful or a gun in an FPS that does too much damage. Akuma is a god-mode that can't coexist with the rest of the game.

I can just picture Sirlin waking up in the middle of the night screaming "AKUUUMAAAAA!!" at the top of his lungs, his sheets soaked with sweat and urine, his bed shaking visibly as he shutters upon remember his horrible nightmare of losing to an Akuma-using scrub in front of all the popular kids who rejected him in high school.

In this extreme case, the community's only choices were to ban or to abandon the game because of a secret character that takes really long to even select. They chose to ban the secret character and play the remaining good game.

The Counsel of Elder Nerds debated this subject with an intensity not seen since they discussed which installment of the Star Wars trilogy was the best, but the end, it was decreed for all present and future nerds that the power of Akuma was too great to be wielded by mere mortals and must be sealed away. And so they would await the day when the prophesized Power Player would arise to vanquish the beast by defeating Akuma in mortal combat with a low-tier character like Cammy or Blanka. Time continues to move forward, and the legend awaits fulfillment...

If you are playing to win, you should play the game everyone else is playing, not the home-made Akuma vs. Akuma game that no one plays.

My Attitude and Adenosine Triphosphate


Two things which few people fully understand or care about.

I've been talking down to the scrub a lot in this article. I'd like to say for the record that I'm not calling the scrub stupid, nor did I even coin that term in the first place. I'm not saying he can never improve.

Really? Because I'm pretty sure you said exactly that. In fact, I'm pretty sure you took up somewhere around four paragraphs explaining how scrubs were scrubs because of the sole fact that their mentality prevents them from ever improving.

I am saying that he's naive and that he'll be trapped in scrubdom, whether he realizes it or not, as long as he chooses to live in the mental construct of rules he himself constructed.

I'll give Sirlin this: he has mastered the tactic of winning arguments by making points that are so absurd and confusing that people can't even figure out what they mean well enough to challenge them.

Is it harsh to call scrubs naive? After all, the vast majority of the world is scrubs. I'd say by the definition I've classified 99.9% of the world's population as scrubs. Seriously.

Seriously, folks.

All that means is that 99.9% of the world doesn't know what it's like to play competitive games on a high level.

What heart-wrenching loneliness must haunt your soul as you stand atop your ivory tower...

It means that they are naive of these concepts. I really have no trouble saying that since we're talking about experience-driven knowledge here that most people on Earth happen not to have. I also know that 99.9% of the world (including me) doesn't know how the citric acid cycle and cellular respiration create approximately 30 ATP molecules per cycle. It's specialized knowledge of which I am unaware, just as many are unaware of competitive games.

That's an awesome comparison. Yes, being good at video games is just like being a scientist.

In the end, playing to win ends up accomplishing much more than just winning. Playing to win is how one improves. Continuous self-improvement is what all of this is really about, anyway.

I submit that ultimate goal of the "playing to win" mindset is ironically not just to win...but to improve.


If that was honestly the whole point, I think a better title for this guide would have been "Playing to Improve". I also think a better title for this guide would have been "David Sirlin Licks His Own Asshole For Eight Pages".

So practice, improve, play with discipline, and Play to Win.

--Sirlin



=============================================


In closing, I love video games. I love playing them, either alone or with friends, and I'm always trying to get better at the games I love to play the most—not because I'm afraid of being seen as a scrub, but because I find it immensely satisfying to improve at something and overcome my own limitations. I have a lot on my plate, though... Work, school, chores, daily errands, keeping in contact with friends, personal projects, and a wealth of other obligations prevent me from playing games as much as I'd like, and when I do play them, it's to relax as much as anything. Some dedication is required to develop your skills at any game, but the cost of time and energy should never outweigh the payoff of enjoyment you get from improving. There's a fine line that separates a hobby from a job you don't get paid for, and it's a line that what little sanity I have left demands I never cross.

I said before that Playing to Win was totally unhelpful as a guide, but the truth is that I did learn one thing from it; I learned that I should never feel bad or inadequate because I'm not as good at some video games as I'd like, because even though I might suck at any number of popular fighters I wish I could play competitively, at least I'm not as much of a douchebag as David Sirlin. Honestly, that's about the most inspiring thought I've ever had.


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post Aug 8 2009, 03:16 AM
Holy shit, what an unerring, arrogant, self-righteous asshole. Fuck, I want to punch him in the mouth. That being said, it's good to see you haven't lost your touch, even after being so long out of the tooth
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post Aug 8 2009, 06:59 AM
Man, this guy would make one excellent supervillain.

QUOTE
"He again cried cheap as I yelled 'FIRE!' in an attempt to distract him, and again when I produced a handful of salt from my pocket and threw it into his eyes so I could land a crucial super while he was busy clawing at his face and screaming in pain."

Ha ha ha, awesome...


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“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.”

- T.E. Lawrence.

"Know pain, no gain. No pain, know gain."
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post Aug 8 2009, 07:18 AM
That article can be summarized like this: "I need my ass kicked. Here are plenty of good reasons why."

Seriously, this guy is even worse than the fuckwits you see in the Smash Bros. community! Holy fucking shit, he is an even bigger conceited douche than the Smash fags! Dammit, fuck, I did not think that was possible! How the hell is that possible?!


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post Aug 8 2009, 09:15 AM
Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Man, that guy's ego is hilarious. I thought games were something that you did to y'know...have fun in your free time, and stuff? Not that I should be devoting my every waking moment and a fair portion of my sleeping moments, to. Guess that makes me a scrub?
Subject of, love the mock, but you failed me on one front:No TLC reference? sad.gif

This post has been edited by stjimmy: Aug 8 2009, 09:18 AM


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post Aug 8 2009, 10:49 AM
Holy crap. This man's ego will soon rival the planet in size.

And that is my sole comment.


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wait they legalized gay marriage i thought they legalized hay marriage what am i gonna do with this bale of hay
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post Aug 8 2009, 12:04 PM
Before I comment on anything...

QUOTE
I gave him the best advice he could ever hear. I told him, "Play to win, not to do 'difficult moves.'" This was a big moment in that scrub's life.


My god, what a fucking ego on this guy! Jesus fuckung Christ! This kille dyour immediate joke, because the shock of the ego it took to write this sentence has to be astronomical! I want this man beaten! Physically! In real life!

The ego on this entire article is horrible, but that sentence stunned me...

As for the article, first off, nice jab at the Smash Bros. community (who I continue to find are are as hated by the mainstream fighter community as they should be) at reference to Goenitz's SvC brokenness. The Power Player bit had me cracking up, too. And the scientist bit was fuck-all hilarious!

I wonder if Sirlin plays BlazBlue.... And if so, I wonder if Hellfromabove has ever raped his video asshole? I'll have to ask him next time I play him. If he does, ten bucks says he uses Nu.

QUOTE
I said before that Playing to Win was totally unhelpful as a guide, but the truth is that I did learn one thing from it; I learned that I should never feel bad or inadequate because I'm not as good at some video games as I'd like, because even though I might suck at any number of popular fighters I wish I could play competitively, at least I'm not as much of a douchebag as David Sirlin. Honestly, that's about the most inspiring thought I've ever had.


Someone put a giant, waving American flag behind this man!

This post has been edited by Shmeckie: Aug 8 2009, 12:05 PM


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post Aug 8 2009, 02:35 PM
QUOTE
But any close examination will reveal that the experts are having a great deal of fun on a higher level than the scrub can even imagine.


This reminded me of a moment on The Simpsons (pre-sharkjump) where Professor Frink is talking up a children's toy like it's a high-tech, cutting-edge piece of finery. A kid asks if he can play with it, and he replies "No you may not; you won't enjoy it on as many levels as I do."

David Sirlin has achieved enlightenment through gaming--something we must all strive to imitate, lest we be forced to live decent, fulfilling lives and feel the touch of a woman.


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QUOTE (theabhorrentatrocity @ Aug 15 2015, 02:25 PM) *
daddy longleg spiders are scary as they're one of the most poisonous spiders so not much of an over reaction.


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post Aug 8 2009, 05:23 PM
...WOW

Does this guy really think he's that awesome?

He thinks he can teach for some reason when some parts of his SFII tutorial were flat out fucking retarded. I especially hated his insult to the viewers with "If you forget the motion just wiggle the stick up and down really fast" when talking about picking old Sagat.


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post Aug 8 2009, 06:43 PM
The people at SRK apparently have a running gag about him now, since he claimed the world went into bullet time during a tournament match he had (he tried to describe his video game match like it was some epic showdown). Now everyone jokes about his power to apparently slow down time.


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post Aug 8 2009, 06:46 PM
QUOTE (Shmeckie @ Aug 8 2009, 01:04 PM)
I wonder if Sirlin plays BlazBlue....
*

As a matter of fact, yes, he has played the game!

From Sirlin's Twitter page:

QUOTE
BlazBlue is out, and it features some clear issues, such as two button throws and many balance problems. Arc System Works, I'm available.

And some more in-depth bitching from one of this homepage posts:

QUOTE
BlazBlue: Throws Are Bad

The makers of Guilty Gear just released a new game called BlazBlue. Evolution did feature a BlazBlue side tournament, with the top 2 players playing on stage on finals day. I mention this game because I wonder if it will replace Guilty Gear in next year's Evolution lineup. I will now tell you why this game is kind of a disaster, in my opinion. At least it's *easily* corrected, but I wonder if the developers will be willing to do it. The problem: throws are terrible.

Street Fighter 4 throws have 3 frames of startup (way too long compared to the 0 frame startup of SF2 and Guilty Gear). Also, you can tech (throw escape) and take zero damage, and you have plenty of time to tech. Compare this to SF2 where you can only reduce the throw damage by about 50%, or all Guilty Gears before Accent Core where you can't reduce throw damage at all. If you thought SF4 throws were ineffective though, you haven't seen anything yet!

How about 7 frames of startup on throws! Also, you have 13 frames to tech for zero damage. Also, if you enter the command to tech, even if you weren't thrown yet, you become unthrowable for the next 11 frames. Now, it's also true that once those 11 frames are over, there's another window (not sure how long, some say 12 frames, some say 24, I don't know) where you cannot tech throws at all. This is to prevent you from mashing throw tech. Solution: don't mash throw tech, just easily tech throws in the 13 frame window + 11 more frames of leeway. Better yet, easily jab throws out of their absurdly long startup time. Or jump, because pre-jump frames (the time it takes you to leave the ground after you hold up) are 3 or 4 frames, depending on character. So if you repeatedly jump, air attack, jump, air attack, etc, you actually can't be thrown because you're never in a throwable state long enough for these slooooow throws to work. On and by the way, teching a throw pushes you almost full screen away from the opponent for some reason.

It gets worse. Maybe you want to play the throw guy, Tager, to get some decent throws. Tough luck, because his throw startup on his two normal throws are 6 and 7 frames, too. He also has two special throws. The high damage one is 8 frame startup (even longer!) and the low damage, but long range one is 11 frames! It's true that frames 3-11 of that are invulnerable, but you can't use the throw as a reversal (Potemkin in ggxx can, Zangief in SF2 can) and the opponent can easily jump out because 11 frames is a long damn time.

Just for completeness, there's also a new system where you can throw the opponent out of hitstun or blockstun. This is kind of a non-feature because the opponent has 27 frames (not a typo) to tech out of that. It's possible to make a sandwich or pitch a tent, then tech the throw in that case. Why are these developers so afraid of anyone throwing each other? I've played jaby, jab games before (CvS2) and I've played games where throws are good (SF2 and GGXX) and throws being good is just better all around. More offense, more mixups that matter, more strategy. Dear Arcsys: please implement 0 frame startup throws and damage scaling to reduce post-throw combos if necessary. Thanks. I'd hate to have to play this no-throw game as it is at Evolution 2010.

So yeah, don't expect to ever see me playing this game on Xbox Live ever again. I never realized it until now, but Sirlin is absolutely right. Seven frames of startup on throws!? Holy fucking horse vomit! I can't believe I ever played that shit game with it's bullshit no-throw gameplay. I mean, have you ever seen anyone get thrown in a BlazBlue match? No, you haven't. Don't you fucking lie to me you godless lying sack of shit! You have never seen anyone get thrown in BlazBlue because the concept is utterly crazy nutty absurd!


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post Aug 8 2009, 07:13 PM
Did... Did this guy seriously write a short essay about how much he hates the fact that it's impossible to spam throws in BlazBlue? This guy not only has quite the ego, but the maturity of a big baby as well.

This post has been edited by Gamer-e: Aug 8 2009, 07:14 PM


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post Aug 8 2009, 07:15 PM
...wow. Is this guy an accurate representation of these "tourney fags" that I keep hearing about? If so, I'll be sure to never play a fighting game in public, lest I run into someone like this guy...


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post Aug 8 2009, 07:44 PM
Actually, he's a mainstream fighter player with the mentality of a Smash Bros. player. He's totally throw obssesed, too.

I've read some players laughing about his essay on throws, and BlazBlue players essentially mocking him for wanting Street Fighter II mechanics in a GG-style fighter.

Post-throw combos are a big element of the game, which he wants scrapped. Yeah, ASW won't be talking to him anytime soon.

Oh, and Dustloop hasn't even dignified his insanity with a discussion about it. He barely fuckin' exists to those guys, and rightly so.

This post has been edited by Shmeckie: Aug 8 2009, 07:49 PM


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post Aug 8 2009, 07:56 PM
Bullet time... Does he think he's the fucking Neo of Street Fighter or something?

Also, WTF mate? With the speed you can close in on Blaz Blue do you have any idea how useless everything except throws would be if they worked like that? Especially since projectiles are so easy to dodge when your not in the middle of recovering or attacking.


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post Aug 8 2009, 09:32 PM
Even as the scrubbiest of all scrubs, I understand how full of shit that essay is.


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post Aug 8 2009, 09:48 PM
"Scrubs" is such an elitist, dickhead thing. The whole concept is completely relative and arbitrary.

You know, in my experience, it's the people who spam the same move over and over and exploit cheap strategies that would be counted as less-skilled gamers. So I really can't tell where this idiot is coming from.


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QUOTE (theabhorrentatrocity @ Aug 15 2015, 02:25 PM) *
daddy longleg spiders are scary as they're one of the most poisonous spiders so not much of an over reaction.


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post Aug 8 2009, 10:01 PM
I had never even heard the term before. That's just how much of a scrub I am.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go stare at a blank television screen and contemplate how much I want to go on living without being good at video games.


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post Aug 8 2009, 10:25 PM
Quick question, what do you think about Seth Killian? Search for domination 101 articles.
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post Aug 8 2009, 10:28 PM
Who are you and why are you talking about something unrelated.


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