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Corgian

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About Corgian

  • Rank
    Expert Battle Trainer
  • Birthday 07/26/1993

Battle Pokémon

  • Main
    Shadow Mewtwo

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  1. Corgian

    Field Phase Points

    Hey Kalon, just for clarification. SM2's Vortex has 10 FPP, correct? Is it 10 FPP for all levels of Vortex? Thanks in advance!
  2. Corgian

    Empoleon: Twitter Tech Catalog

    Welcome to Modern Day Fighting Games! Everything is posted on Twitter and lost to history! Hi everyone. I'm going to start cataloging all twitter tech for Empoleon (as well as Shadow Mewtwo) so we can have it in a permanent space, and we don't have to worry about players remembering to upload it to the forums. I do hope to have it ordered chronologically, but I may occasionally make mistakes. If you ever see any Twitter tech posted, feel free to post it in this thread or tag me on it on Twitter (my Twitter is @DoghouseCorgian), and I'll add it to the catalog. Thank you! bX SL X fp combo Lapras combo Mismagius OKI setup and combo 6YY confirm Empoleon Latios Phase Carry Latios Corner Pressure Setup Burst Empoleon Combo Injustice Style "Ay Ay Ay Ayyyy!" combo with jY 4X Anti-air Showcase Empoleon Nineties Setup Empoleon BA has iframes Empoleon vs Darkrai Defog Counterplay Anti-Empoleon Tech for Machamp Empoleon Corner Combo Thermodynamic Empoleon Collection Empoleon & Latios FP Pressure Yveltal 2X Wall Combo You cannot AJ the back of Blaziken BA Empoleon Hydrocannon FP... What? Defog Rock Smash Oki can combo How to Grab With Empoleon Rotom Restand Combo Empoleon's BA is... Not a low?? Empoleon and Mimikyu have a thing going on Empoleon Homing Cancel Rotom Concept Mismagius X Empoleon is a relationship for the ages. Mismagius Shield Break. Mid-High Invulnerability Abusing Combo Rotom Burst Attack Scary Mimikyu Bone Rush OS Stuff Lvl 3 Aqua Jet OKI + Surf Chip setups
  3. Welcome to Modern Day Fighting Games! Everything is posted on Twitter and lost to history! Hi everyone. I'm going to start cataloging all twitter tech for Shadow Mewtwo (as well as Empoleon) so we can have it in a permanent space, and we don't have to worry about players remembering to upload it to the forums. I do hope to have it ordered chronologically, but I may occasionally make mistakes. If you ever see any Twitter tech posted, feel free to post it in this thread or tag me on it on Twitter (my Twitter is @DoghouseCorgian), and I'll add it to the catalog. Thank you! Wii U Shadow Mewtwo infinite Wii U Emolga Duel-Phase Z-axis Glitch Interesting Burst Combo Route 5XX Unblockable Garchomp High-Stance Psystrike Glitches Wii U Reflect Shadow Mewtwo Low-stance Glitch Visual Cues for SM2 4X dash cancels Rotom Unblockable Proof of Concept
  4. Corgian

    BadIntent's Shadow Mewtwo Beginner Guide DX

    Thank you so much for this amazing resource, Bad Intent. This is going to be a staple of the SM2 for many years.
  5. I still am in love with this series! You are a blessing Midori, thank you for this insight into S-Ki!
  6. Bangi has been one of my favorite players since I first watched him, so I'm super glad that I got the opportunity to learn more about him. This is one of the coolest ideas I've seen in the FGC! Please continue this series as much as you can, Midori! I'll be rooting for you!
  7. I think it's pretty cut and dry. There's a 2 frame difference. It's not really a mystery imo. The only data that isn't 100% consistent with this is H2's which can be caused by a few things such as recording at 59.94 instead of 60 fps, or a frame drop from the game.
  8. “I put so much more time into this game than other players, but I’m still bad.” Hey guys, Corgian here. Today, I want to discuss how players practice, because I think that there’s definitely a disconnect in what makes for effective practice in fighting games. One of the most common complaints I hear in fighting games from low- to mid-level players is the above quote. It’s a genuine cry for help, and a logical fallacy that plagues so many players. Here’s the thing: The time you put into a game is not directly equivalent to your skill level. You don’t simply gain EXP at a rate proportional to the amount of battles you have, or the amount of time you spend in the lab. Legitimately, you don’t. A player can spend forty hours in the lab and learn nothing new. However, the same person can spend one hour in the lab, and completely change the way they play the game. The difference between case A and case B is the way in which this player practices. When it comes to practicing, labbing, and improving, the quality of practice is infinitely more important compared to the time spent practicing. Of course, with that said, a large quantity of high-quality practice will help you improve significantly more, but I’ll cover that soon. However, I want to first define what it is to practice, and what it does to your body and mind. What is Practice? Practicing is the reinforcement of a set of ideas, movements, or other tools so they can be accessed more readily when called upon in an official capacity. When you practice something, whether it be a complex set of inputs, or recognizing something by a visual or audio cue—such as the start-up of a move that gives you trouble—you are making changes to your body at the cellular level. Your brain is the central command of your neural make-up. The actions and reactions you use are dictated by the signals sent by your brain through your nerves to your muscles, and from return signals from your nerves to your brain. Along these neural pathways, actions that you use often begin to be reinforced, and as they do, your nerve cells begin building up their myelin sheaths—the insulation of the nerve cell—allowing this action to be called faster and more precisely than it was in previous attempts. (1) As such, when you’re practicing, you’re telling your brain, “This action that I’m repeating is important”, and your brain reinforces that action so you can use it more efficiently and with less error than before. If that’s the case, though, then why doesn’t the amount of time spent practicing directly increase your skill? The more time you spend reinforcing an action, the easier it’ll be to use in the future, so that should mean you’ll be better and more consistent, right? Well, yes and no. The quality of your practice will determine how effective you’ll be at successfully utilizing what you have learned, and the length of time spent practicing effectively will determine just how reinforced those actions are.(2) With that said, there are two caveats. First, after a certain amount of time spent reinforcing an action into neural makeup, you’ll have severe diminishing returns. Practicing an action for about an hour is a solid level of reinforcement for one sitting, but practicing said action for a little bit every day will show greater returns than if you attempt to cram the action in one sitting.(2) The second caveat is, if you’re not practicing in a way that promotes further growth, you’re putting yourself in a position to reinforce bad options. Focus on how to further what you practice—and, in turn—help further how you succeed. High-Quality Practice As mentioned earlier, how you practice is far more important than how long you practice. What makes for effective practice is a combination of exploration, motivation, and organization. These three traits are something that sets apart nonsense in training mode from structured improvement. Motivation This should seem rather obvious, but it needs to be said. If you don’t have the drive to practice or improve, there is nothing you can gain from doing so. Mentality while you practice is just as important as the mentality you have when you play. This is a universal concept, and if you don’t have the motivation to practice or improve, then you won’t push yourself to do so. (3) Cultivating motivation is a personal battle, if you don’t already have it. There’s no way to teach someone how to be passionate; however, there are things you can do to help motivate yourself. One of the best things I can suggest is writing down a list of reasonable and attainable goals.(4) These goals can be beating your bracket demon, improving your average placing at your local each month, learning all your optimals, or anything that seems just out of your reach. Create a list of these small goals that gradually escalate to your current greatest goal. By knowing that you have to work at those small things along the way, attaining these small goals can help improve your mentality and make you more driven to improve. Exploration Fighting games can sometimes feel completely mathematical and mechanical when looking at the game from the terms of frame advantage, damage, and inputs. That’s because these are the limitations of our creative expression. A dancer can only perform within the limitations of their body, a musician can only perform within the limitations of their instrument, and fighting game players can only perform in the realm of what their character, opponent, and game will allow them to do. However, the artistic extent of all of these is completely free to the expression of the artist. Training mode is your canvas to create. This may seem like a romantic way of looking at labbing, but it’s not a far off analogy. Discovering new tech, finding new applications for new and old tech, combining different tech to create a new method of playing, building, or optimizing a string off of the work of someone else—all of these are means of creative expression. If you want to see improvement, you have to get creative. This also means becoming creative with training exercises as well. A gauntlet of a series of different pieces of tech being strung into one another purely for the sake of a warm up is an excellent example of this. As weird of a concept as it is, you also don’t always need to play optimally when you practice either. It’s okay to create a really stupid combo just because you think it might be fun; that may be the way you discover something that is actually worthwhile and is unique to you. This is your time to be you. Organization Organized practice is practice that promotes consistency in what you aim to improve. There are several factors to this. Having a regularly scheduled time to practice, as well as a regular amount of time spent practicing will help you to improve your ability to perform what you aim to achieve. Even further, it’s helpful to split your practice time into time spent reinforcing something you’ve practiced before, and time spent working on something new. Doing so will allow you to get the most out of what you aim to do. I can’t stress this enough, but if you aren’t practicing in an organized fashion, you’re severely limiting your potential. Outside of the Lab All of the factors of effective practice are crucial both in and out of the lab. Whether you’re practicing a MU, a combo, or anything else, these factors are crucial to your improvement. When you sit down at a setup with the intention of learning, if you aren’t motivated to practice, being creative with new options, or organizing the time spent practicing, chances are you aren’t using the time to its fullest potential. For example, if you’re in a position where you’re struggling with a match-up, you’d ask someone who plays the character in question to sit down and play some games with you, as a means of familiarizing yourself with the MU. That said, if you sit down and proceed to continue doing the things you were doing when you were struggling with said MU in tournament, there is next to nothing being accomplished by playing against this person, other than reinforcing bad options in said MU. Times like this are when you get to work on changing the way you play to help improve yourself. Now, I’m sure it may seem that by asking someone to sit down and play against you means the motivation part of practicing is already there. This is not the case. There’s one huge thing that separates playing a MU from learning a MU, and that has to do with mentality. If you as a player are using most of the time practicing the MU complaining about “bullshit” about your character’s flaws or the opposing character’s strengths, you’re scapegoating your incompetence. I’m not saying that there aren’t MUs that are extremely difficult to overcome, actually quite the opposite. For the situations where it’s difficult but completely possible to learn a MU, if you’re blaming the character, you’re giving yourself a reason to be unmotivated and uncreative in dealing with your opponent’s options. You become a self-fulfilling prophecy; saying the character you are fighting is “bullshit” to fight against, makes the character bullshit to fight against. In the case of MUs that actually are close to impossible, if you aren’t changing characters to fight the MU but instead are simply complaining about the MU, then you really aren’t playing to win. That said, sometimes something that feels like a nearly impossible MU can become completely doable through creative exploration of a MU. Burnout Improvement in fighting games can be hard to see. There is no quantitative value for how skilled you are outside of your placements, and because of this, if your placements aren’t improving, it can feel like you aren’t either. That is completely okay. The amount of progress you make is dependent on many factors. The one thing that isn’t okay, is forcing your body to go beyond what it wants to do. You can’t force yourself to lab or practice longer than you’re able to. Much like in terms of working out, you have to let yourself recuperate. Otherwise, you’ll stress yourself out, which will hinder your play, preventing you from growing as a player. Be responsible. Whether its sports or esports, it’s just a game. Other Practice Tips The body is an amazing engine of organic efficiency. There are many things you can do to improve the way you perform by making slight changes to what you already do, whether it be before, during, or after you’re practicing. Something to consider before I give a list of general tips for practicing: the most important thing to remember is that your body is a tool for accomplishing your goals. As such, the better care you take of your body, the better your body will take care of you. All athletes—sports, esports, or otherwise—need to consider what they’re doing for their body before asking what their body can do for them. You will practice and perform better if the resources you give your body merit its growth. As I mentioned back in the beginning, practicing has an actual physical effect on your body. It gets more out of your practice if you sleep well, eat well, exercise, and overall take care of yourself. That said, for many people, competing in videogames is merely a hobby, and not something they are willing to change their life for. However, there are other things (outside of physically bettering yourself) that can make your practice more effective as well. One of the first things I can recommend is classical conditioning. The brain performs many procedures based on association. Because of this, you can condition your body to associate certain stimuli to your practice sessions, so you’re able to recall what you practice much easier. The easiest stimuli to utilize for esports purposes is taste, although sound, touch, and smell are also valid. The way it works, is that when you’re practicing, you expose yourself to certain stimuli, and you only ever expose yourself to it when you’re practicing. Then, you apply the same stimuli to yourself during tournament, and your body will associate the stimuli and put your mind into the same mindset it is when you practice.(5) Said stimuli could be a special type of snack, a certain music playlist, a special article of clothing, a certain posture, or more. As long as it’s a noticeable stimuli that is outside your norm, you’ll be able to condition yourself with it. Another thing I can recommend is using your body’s sleep functions to your advantage. The one thing that’s amazing about the body is how it uses sleep to compartmentalize information into more accessible and usable forms. Because of this, I recommend practicing difficult actions that you normally struggle with, before going to sleep. As long as you sleep, your body will be able to organize all the information you’ve been practicing. When it’s stored in your mind in a more organized fashion, it’ll feel easier and more possible to accomplish. This same principle applies to MUs as well. Chances are if you’re having trouble with it now, you’ll do better with it in the morning. (6) In Closing Practice is a quintessential part of improvement for most people. However, the important thing to remember is that the quality of practice is way more important than the quantity. If you lack the motivation, organization, and sense of exploration needed to practice effectively, you won’t get as far. Always remember that you have to be creative and willing to lose in order to win in the future, and it’s okay to do so. Don’t overwhelm yourself; it’s okay to improve at your own pace. It’s just a game. Remember to take care of yourself, and utilize your body’s quirks to help you get ahead. I really hope some of you found this helpful. Until next time, thank you! Sources 1. Hartline, D.k., and D.r. Colman. "Rapid Conduction and the Evolution of Giant Axons and Myelinated Fibers." Current Biology 17, no. 1 (January 9, 2007). doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.11.042. 2. Bengtsson, Sara L., Zoltán Nagy, Stefan Skare, Lea Forsman, Hans Forssberg, and Fredrik Ullén. "Extensive piano practicing has regionally specific effects on white matter development." Nature Neuroscience 8, no. 9 (2005): 1148-150. doi:10.1038/nn1516. 3. Lyubomirsky, S., King, L. and Diener, E. (2005). The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?. Psychological Bulletin, 131(6), pp.803-855. 4. Locke, E. and Latham, G. (2002). Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation: A 35-year odyssey. American Psychologist, 57(9), pp.705-717. 5. Pavlov and Conditioned Reflexes. (1949). BMJ, 2(4627), pp.584-585. 6. Peigneux, P., Laureys, S., Fuchs, S., Collette, F., Perrin, F., Reggers, J., Phillips, C., Degueldre, C., Del Fiore, G., Aerts, J., Luxen, A. and Maquet, P. (2004). Are Spatial Memories Strengthened in the Human Hippocampus during Slow Wave Sleep?. Neuron, 44(3), pp.535-545.
  9. Hello! This is Corgian, with another post, but this time about my favorite topic in the world Shadow Mewtwo. I'm posting here to cover the changes that have come in this DX form of the game. Preface Now, the first thing I want to cover is the misconception that Shadow Mewtwo was nerfed. Having played this character for about 28 hours now since release, I can easily say this character is no worse off than he was in 1.3. My personal conceptions for Shadow Mewtwo are that this is currently the best incarnation of the character to date, however, I always been noticeably extreme in my views of my characters. As such, take my personal view with a grain of salt, and use the information provided to form your own conclusions about this character. Now, before we cover the quality of changes, it's important to address what changes have occurred. As such, this is an ongoing list of changes found since v1.3 of the game: Shadow Mewtwo now has a controllable aerial teleport (Aj), that can we be directionally influenced by inputting 4/5/6 along with the input for aerial teleport. Any place Shadow Mewtwo can special cancel, he can use his aerial teleport, though it has slower startup than most of his other special moves. However, canceling into aerial teleport from the first hit of Psyslash (A~Y) drastically shortens the startup for this aerial teleport. The frame data for these actions is covered later on. All of Shadow Mewtwo's forward teleports, both grounded and aerial, have been greatly increased in the distance they travel. Shadow Mewtwo now has a dash cancelable 4X. The move has two dash cancel windows that can be activate by pressing R during the windows along with direction of a dash (i.e. 4X~R6). The two windows of the cancel are before the hit box comes out, which is a very lenient window, and after the hitbox has started which is a much tighter window. Shadow Mewtwo now can no longer frame trap the opponent out of homing attack phase shift with a 6X. After homing attack, the opponent has been given an earlier window to perform actions. Shadow Mewtwo burst attack has much less scaling. (Will be testing for the actual % change in scaling soon) Shadow Mewtwo 6Y pillar no longer has hitstun, but all other properties of the move are otherwise unchanged. If Miracle Eye is used the Enhanced Shadow Pillar does have hitstun. If Shadow Mewtwo has an attack buff, or Shadow Mewtwo is in Burst mode, the pillar will regain it's hitstun. [Possibly more. Until confirmed, leaving this space blank] There was also one more change that needs to be addressed, that has the entire Shadow Mewtwo discord kind of stumped, so I want to acknowledge it, in hopes someone can crack the mystery. Aerial Miracle Eye? With the addition of our new Aerial Teleport we've been given a really confusing mystery. Under Shadow Mewtwo's Pokémon moves in the moves list, Shadow Mewtwo's Miracle Eye has always said the same line which is, "Changes the properties of certain attacks". This is something that we can clearly experience, as Shadow Mewtwo Miracle Eye is a core focus of his gameplay. Miracle Eye is the only move that has ever had this description for Shadow Mewtwo. Needless to say, when Psywave > Midair Teleport was introduced many of us were excited. But then, one of my favorite players in the discord, snuffychris605, brought to our attention that in Shadow Mewtwo's Pokémon Moves, "Psywave: Slash ~ Teleport (Midair)" has the exact same descriptor attached to it as Miracle Eye. The problem is, we have no idea what certain attacks this new descriptor is referring too. After very thorough testing, I am under the impression that this was just a typo from the developers, but I was hoping if anyone want to try to lab this further to try to understand what this is referring to, we'd be very appreciative. That said, these are the things we have confirmed it doesn't affect: Moves that can be Miracle Eye'd jY jA Any jA cancels jX Frame Data of any of the above moves Block Stun of any of these moves Damage of any of these moves Opponent Phase Shift Points If anyone can figure it out, I'd be very appreciative. That said, there are more pertinent changes to Shadow Mewtwo now, in reference to his actual known changes, so I want to address what these changes to his moveset change about the character and his options. The Shadow of Hope Much of the tech that will be listed here was discovered and explored by me (@DoghouseCorgian), the god himself SpinCycleMechaSonicViper (@SCMSVx ), and snuffychris605 (@snuffychris605). The three of us have been working this entire release weekend to discover as much as we can about this new Shadow Mewtwo, and we're very excited to showcase what he can do. So first let me elaborate on the buffs as well as some other known tech, so all of the tech makes sense. 4X Tech First off, I'm going to cover the 4X changes. As mentioned above there are two 4X dash cancel windows, one before the hitboxes comes out, and one after the hitboxes come out. 4X has normally about 25f of startup. The first possible frame to dash cancel the first window of 4X is on frame 13, meaning it's barely on the cusp of being reactable. Because of this, this first window grants Shadow Mewtwo a new mix-up. Either you can go through with 4X, or you can dash cancel into grab, or for the 2nd level yomi, into 2Y or counter. This is an awesome new mind game option, and I've been making good use of it personally. The first possible frame to cancel the second window is on frame 44. This may not sound good at first, but the move's last hit box is on frame 43. You're able to dash cancel ONE frame after the move ends. Doing so makes you frame neutral on block, and +17 on hit (thank you to @MinsPokken for this information!). This is wonderful, until you realize this is the same frame data as being in burst. As such, this dash cancel is pretty useless in burst, but allows you burst mode utility outside of burst. I think this option needs to be explored more, but overall it's a neat change to the character. Also, according to Mins there is different frame data on the dash cancel depending on whether you decide to dash forward or backwards. I haven't tested the frame data on the backdashes, so I will be updating this thread once I get more information! Aerial Teleport Pressure & Mixups Alright, so this is the stuff I've been working on non-stop. Aerial teleport has a few intricacies. First off, let's get to the frame data. There are two ways to perform aerial teleport, either from Psywave stance (Aj4/5/6) or from Psywave Slash (A~Y j4/5/6). When performed from Psywave, the entire startup is vulnerable since there is no armor or hitboxes or anything. As such, assuming you are teleporting on the earilest possible frame, counting all the frames that lead up to the first invulnerable frame of the teleport, Psywave Aerial Teleport has 21f of startup. On the other hand, Psywave Slash into Aerial Teleport, having a hitbox changes things a little. From the hitbox, the Psywave Slash Aerial Teleport has 13f of startup. As such, using this option defensively is not as simple or braindead as our good friend 2A. The advantage, however, is aerial teleport grants immediate action. That's where this new option gets all of it's utility, but I'll get to that soon. First, I want to cover one more intricacy about this aerial teleport, and that's Aj6 crossups. The Aj6 crossups against about half of the cast. It is height dependent, and the taller characters are immune from this effect. However, against the characters it does affect, it can be extremely disorienting, as Pokkén isn't so great for compensating inputs, and as such, attempts to call out this teleport such as uni-directional 8Ys may end up in deadly commitments SM2 can punish. All of this considered, the options Shadow Mewtwo has while airborne is what makes this aerial as stupid as it is. Shadow Mewtwo's jY is one of his best combo starters, and jA is an aerial counter that eats most anti-airs. To make things even better for tennisball-toes, you can L-cancel his jY with reflect (jY:A) to make his jY -4 on block. This means characters that don't have 9 frame attacks, have no way of beating his 13f attacks, which I'll get to soon. This also, means that other characters 13f attacks will trade with SM2's 9f 2Y unless said 13f puts the opponent into an aerial state. From jA, SM2 has a 9f Flamethrower which is -8, as well as Thunder and EQ if your opponent is giving you the utmost respect, or attempted to anti-air you so now you can punish them for committing. Both Thunder and EQ are very plus as well, which allows to setup more pressure against your opponent if you can pull it off. Now, against characters that don't have 9f options to attempt to beat SM2's option on landing, and also as a way to get even more fun started, you can utilize BadIntent's (@BadIntentVGC) 5YY(8A)Y option select, as linked: The amazing part about this option select is the moment you're grounded against an opponent, you have the reliability of this incredible option select FROM WHICH you can aerial teleport into Aj6 mixups, and then start everything over again. That said, not everything is perfect about this. Since Shadow Mewtwo is negative after the jY and jX, it can be difficult to maintain momentum on block, and if the opponent guesses right with their 9f, Shadow Mewtwo becomes at disadvantage. You have to commit to going in to use this option, and that can be scary with the least health in the game, especially considering this whole scenario of using the Aerial Teleport and the Option Select can be costly in your own health. Also, some characters—Sceptile, I know off the bat—have immunity to abuse of this concept. Sceptile can call out any of Shadow Mewtwo's aerial options with Leaf Storm, and considering it's damage output, it's a good "please do not do this" tool against this strategy. Some other characters have other tools that can beat this out as well. In Closing Shadow Mewtwo has been given great new options in this game that he really appreciates. I think it improves the character significantly, and when combined with his other tools, I feel he has been what he needs to function in this meta more than he has previously. To recap, and as a TL:DR for those who just want to know the basics of this thread: Shadow Mewtwo has an aerial teleport with 21f of startup raw, of 13f of startup out of Psywave Slash that grants immediate action in the air. He can use this for mixups. Shadow Mewtwo has a dash cancelable 4X that can be dash canceled on frame 13, before the move comes out, or on frame 44, 1 frame after the move ends, making him 0 on block. Pillar nerf changed basically nothing. We have no clue what properties of moves SM2's slash aerial teleport changes. Burst has less scaling. The more this character gets explored the more annoying he is going to get. With all of the above addressed, I personally feel Shadow Mewtwo has been improved significantly from the stinky Wii U version of the game, and I will be working hard to advance this character beyond anything he's been before. I really am looking forward to knowing this character's fullest potential. Thank you all for reading! I will be updating this thread periodically as I put more work into the frame data.
  10. Corgian

    On Commentary: A Discussion

    This thread talks about all commentary, not just Pokkén commentary.
  11. Corgian

    On Commentary: A Discussion

    Fair enough. Still, really good points to bring up.
  12. Corgian

    On Commentary: A Discussion

    This really isn't an optional thing sadly. These ads are what are paying for your event. I personally have an issue with the way that a ton of commentators approach ads, to be completely honest. I feel that for events with scheduled commentary, commentators should have a script to read. Too many commentators poorly ad-lib (no pun intended) their way through these sections and it totally does break up the energy. It sucks. That said, time needs to be spent delivering these ads. However, my ideas of what makes a commentator is also under the expectation that commentators should be paid way better for their work—let alone at all in some cases. I would eventually like to see an esports commentator union formed to help protect the fiscal rights of commentators. That goes into a whole other topic of discussion though.
  13. Corgian

    On Commentary: A Discussion

    I'm probably going to add this to the main post, because this needs to be said because I see this at so many Pokkén events, and it is by far my #1 commentary peeve for larger events. DO. NOT. READ. CHAT. If you are in charge of a stream, stop letting your commentators read chat. There is absolutely no reason for your commentators to read chat at any point in time, and this is applicable for several reasons. The first and most important reason is because it kills all commentary bonding, because of the way it plays out. The commentators stop talking to each other, there's silence to read the actual chat, and then they say something that's not going to have any context to people who aren't reading the chat. You aren't there for chat. Twitch chat is not at all relevant to your commentary in the moment. It's unprofessional in every form. Commentators should also never know the viewer count. The amount of people watching should never dictate your performance. You should put on the same show for one person that you put on for one million. That consistency is crucial to becoming a viable commentator. It's okay to have minimal interaction with chat at a local level. However, at monthlies and above, please stop.
  14. Hi. Corgian again, here with another helpful discussion that we as a community need to have. Commentary. Commentary is a necessary aspect of any large scale competitive display. It's the Player-Viewer conduit, where people who have a history and extensive knowledge-base in the game discuss the game in a way that makes sense to people of all skill-levels and relevancies to the game. It's also the first impression of a community that the viewer receives. Commentary, when it comes down to it, is about knowledge and personality. Both traits are crucial to make commentary accessible and fun for the viewers. If the commentators can’t give an in-depth analysis of what’s going on currently on the screen, it’s just mindless drivel. If they can’t deliver this information in a way that is entertaining and engaging, it might as well be a lecture. There’s a balance that’s needed within a commentator that makes a commentator succeed. Roles of a Commentator Not everyone needs to know everything, but commentators need to be studying a variety of different topics so that they can cover the holes other commentators have. Too many people in the FGC simplify commentary as, "Play-by-Play Commentator is the one who knows everything and fills the space. The Color commentator is there to scream and be hype". It goes a bit more in-depth than that. A Play-by-Play commentator is essentially the lead commentator, the one who is able to steer a conversation about the match. It isn't describing every single thing that is happening on the screen. That's too much to do. It's about describing how the players are currently behaving around each other, what strategies they're implementing, touching on frame data, and the like. This is the person that sets the beat for the commentary, and that beat is the Play-by-Play. A Color commentator is the rebound, the reflection, the actual conversation of the commentary. They're the one that writes the melody of commentary, to the play-by-play beat. They add clever wit to the commentary, while adding to and refuting the Play-by-Play commentator’s information. This is the commentator that makes the whole thing feel natural. A commentary duo is not necessarily required to follow this pattern, but it is a helpful guideline. The reason there is a duo is because no one person is required to do it all. Two commentators may split the job of hype and play-by-play as they see fit, but roles make it easier to understand. It’s most important to notice how your co-commentator describes the game, and support them accordingly. If your co-commentator has strong jokes, you can take the wheel of analysis. If your co-commentator has been doing solid play-by-play, but is struggling with one character, support them with your own knowledge, or move the conversation to something else interesting about the match. Work to make your co-commentator and the match look good. Have big ears and a small ego. Commentary also extends beyond the game itself. As a commentator, you are representing a lot more than simply you. You are representing your co-commentator, as well as the stream/production you are commentating for. Beyond that, you are also representing the venue, the event, and the sponsors who helped pay for the event. As such, it’s important that your commentary is something that all these people and companies you are representing can get behind. All of this takes a lot of preparation and practice. Obviously, simply reading a guide about what makes a commentator isn’t going to improve your commentary overnight. That said, there are things you can do immediately to help improve the general quality of your commentary. Improving Commentary Mic Etiquette One of the most important things I can recommend to any commentator is learning proper microphone etiquette. Mic etiquette is a phrase used in the world of multimedia to describe proper behavior around a microphone. There are a ton of things that make up proper mic etiquette, but I’ll touch on some ones that apply directly to commentators. One general thing that really needs to be touched on is understanding the partnership between the sound tech and the commentator. The sound tech is there to make sure everything is perfect for you. They are your friend. When you get on the mic, you do not need to ask, “Are we live?” or “Is my mic on?” If you aren’t live or your mic isn’t on, the audio tech will let you know before anything else. Otherwise, assume everything is working perfectly and get ready to work with your co-commentator. There are several different mics that you may end up working with, but the most common mic used by commentators in esports is the Audio Technica BPHS-1. This is a very sensitive and specialized microphone that is specifically meant for broadcasting. First off, and as a general rule for all microphones, do NOT touch the microphone directly. A microphone is composed of two components, for the most part, a carefully placed magnet and a very fragile diaphragm. Touching the microphone directly can damage the microphone. If you need to adjust your microphone (which you will, since it’s connected to a headset), please adjust it by carefully bending the arm of the microphone into place. Now as for how the mic should be positioned, it just be about a thumb’s width away from your lips. If there is too much space, it won’t pick up your voice as well, and if there’s too little space, you’ll be eating the mic which is bad hygienically as well as from an audio standpoint. Additionally, I know several locals use Snowball mics. You won’t see these at larger events for the most part, but I want to discuss them as well. If you are using a snowball mic, you have a limited range that you can move around it. If you are speaking, keep your head at a fixed distance at all times while you’re talking into the mic. Rocking back-and-forward or moving side-to-side can make your voice fade, making the audio seem inconsistent. Also, please limit the amount of people on a snowball mic. I’d personally say that for commentary purposes, there should be a maximum of three players on a mic at any one time, and even that is stretching. I personally am not a fan of snowballs, but I understand why people opt to use them. Speech Tips Another thing I can suggest for improving commentary is general speech tips. One thing in particular that should be touched on is working on specifics. This tweet from a commentator in the Smash community alludes to this. The thing is, it’s totally okay to say, “Wow, this player’s neutral is wonderful” as long as you explain why. Elaboration makes your commentary sound more informed as well as helps the viewer to understand what to be looking at in terms of the players neutral. This applies for all generalizations on the mic. If you can further your statement, do so, but remember the match is still progressing. Informative but concise is ideal. Make your words count. To further this, I want to cover knowledge on the mic. As mentioned earlier, knowledge is a crucial part of commentary, and it’s important to know as much as you can when to take up the mic. However, there are times when neither you nor your co-commentator will know something that you want to mention. In those situations, there are only two acceptable things you can do. Either you simply DON’T talk about it, or say that you, “Don’t know”. It’s okay to not know things. No one is going to judge you for not knowing the frame data of obscure character #17’s jab. Whatever you do, however, do NOT make assumptions unless you are 100% confident of your information. Misinformation is the absolute, without question, worst thing you can provide on commentary, because that is the fastest way to spread misinformation. Example: You’re commentating Pokkén, and Gardevoir stops her opponent's approach with her 4Y. It may be tempting to flex your frame data here and say something like, “Oh, very nice job covering the dash with Gardevoir’s 4Y. I believe that move has 9 frame startup, so it’s really good for catching impatient players trying to get in.” Worst case scenario, you're wrong. It's also bad if your co-commentator says it's 13 frames and you two go into a confusing debate not relevant to the rest of the match. “Oh, very nice job covering the dash with Gardevoir’s 4Y,” says what you need to say, without risking misinformation. Another matter worth mentioning is condescending commentary. Many times a player will do something less than optimal on stream. In these situations, it can be tough to know what to say. However, there is a difference between saying, “Humberto 9000 gets punished for overextending” and “Humberto 9000 is not playing smart right now, what he should of done was…” The first response is an objective analysis of the match, which is perfectly acceptable, while the second response is demeaning and simplifies the player’s mindset. Avoid this kind of commentary at all costs. A possible alternative is if Humberto9000 made a mistake, you can comment on what the opponent chose as a punish. That brings the focus onto smart play. Speaking of overextending, commentators can be guilty of this too. A bothersome trend among some commentators is a desperation to define oneself by an overly exaggerated persona. This ties in with the previously mentioned misconceptions about commentary roles. Some commentators are so focused on living up to their notion of a “color commentator”, that they forget to talk about the match itself. Not everything needs to be hilarious. What it needs to be above all else is relevant and additive to the conversation happening on the mic. I haven’t really been discussing that many good things that you can do on the mic, and that’s mostly because of the free-form nature of commentary. This is your narrative to write on the mic with your co-commentator. As long as you are covering the events of the match earnestly and not trying to be something beyond what you can be, your commentary will shine. Commentary Excercises Finally, the last thing I want to cover is commentary exercises. Two important aspects of your voice are projection and diction. Projection refers to a person’s ability to speak loudly without straining their voice. This is something that comes with practice, but is very helpful for your sound tech. When you project, your sound tech doesn’t need to put your gain up as high on your mic. Gain is essentially your raw audio signal. The higher your gain is, the less clean it becomes because at a certain point it picks up more than just your voice. The less gain needed, the better. That said, as mentioned earlier, projection is making your voice louder without straining it. Don’t try to overdo it purely for your stream tech. Some gain will always be necessary. Another thing that projecting helps with is setting your actual audio levels. People who project, will have a more consistent range of volume than people who don’t. Since this is commentary for competitive events, you’re bound to get excited. When you project, your voice won’t be that far off from when you shout from excitement at an impressive play on stream. Since your audio levels will be set to the voice you’re projecting, you’re less likely to clip when these moments happen. There are exercises that you can do to help with your projection. I won’t go into those, but I can recommend this short article as a place to start. http://www.sltinfo.com/voice-projection-exercises/ Diction is the other attribute I’d suggest working on. Diction refers to two different things. The first thing it refers to is word choice and phrasing in how you talk, which yes is important. That can only be improved through studying and practice. The other definition for diction refers to how you enunciate, and that is something you can actively exercise before you go on commentary. Enunciation helps people understand you better. There are several exercises I’d recommend, but pretty much any tongue twister can help. I personally use, “Diction is done with the tip of the tongue and the teeth,” which isn’t so much a tongue twister as much as it is a sentence with a nice amount of hard consonants and syllables, which can easily be broken up. You want to be able to clearly hear your hard consonants above all else. I’ll put a video of what it should sound like soon, and add it to this post. Overall, commentary is a very important, multifaceted responsibility. It takes time, effort, and research to naturally fill the position of commentary. If you have any questions, please feel free to put them in comments, and I’ll try to answer them as soon as possible. I hope this has been helpful.
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