Character States - Observations, Questions, and Suggestions
FlipdUp here. Like a lot of us who are here in the forums, I had the pleasure of watching last week’s Breakaway stream hosted by none other than FilthieRich. Initially I was “watching” the stream in the gym on my phone so I didn’t get a close look and was more listening to some of the commentary from Rich (thanks for the shoutout by the way!) and participated in the chat when I could.
The next day I sat down and watched the past broadcast at home where I was able to pay closer attention and noticed something in the very beginning of the first match that really intrigued me. I saw Thorgrim (played by JustCallMeBau) launch Black Knight with his Ram’s Head and then (although I’m not sure he connected) he went for a follow-up jump attack. When I saw this I thought about the possibilities of juggle combos that could exist off of attacks that launch an opponent.
I then started to wonder about the “launched” state and what that means. Then the questions started coming in. Can a character be infinitely juggled as long as they are hit before reaching the ground (gravity permitting)? What about OTG combos once they land? Are there any opportunities for setups off knockdowns/launchers? I then started to keep an eye on the different character states as the matches continued and took down some notes.
In these notes are some observations, assumptions, and questions I have about character states. I have a quote from Rich in an earlier posts asking what additional information would help understand specific characters more (I’ll quote that below this paragraph) but this is more asking for general information that I feel would help me understand a little more about combat as a whole.
Quote from Rich:
I could read about character stats, frame-data, etc, and we hope to share that with the community here. w/ character specific threads that can let us get really detailed. I'm curious to know what are additional data points that can help you understand the character more.
A tiny bit of background...
Just to preface my incoming block of (shaved down) notes, I’m coming into this game as someone who has just recently started getting into Street Fighter at the beginning of this year with hopes of being competitive (at least enough to be competent in my local scene) so I’m interested in the concept of character states as far as what I am able to do to that character and what THEY are able to do in any given state. (I also can’t wait to see frame data as mentioned above to see if there are possibilities for punishes, frame-traps, setups, etc. But that’s for another time/post.)
So let’s dive on in...
What are the defined character states?
I feel that a finite list of possible character states along with their definitions would be a really helpful resource as a player. For example in Street Fighter you have Standing, Airborne, Stun/Dizzy (along with many others) and in other games such as League of Legends you have Stun, Silenced, Slowed, etc. Each of these states allow a character to perform or be affected by a certain amount of actions. Below are some notes I have about character states I've seen in Breakaway that I took as I watched the various matches played in this past broadcast.
Character States I’ve Seen (Assumptions):
Neutral/Standing/Grounded - Character is free to move, attack, use abilities, target-able, etc. Not much to see here..
Launched - Character is airborne and in a combo-able juggle state. I am assuming that the character is able to be hit until they hit the ground. I noticed this one right off the bat with Thorgrim’s Ram’s Head to knock that BK off the map.
Knockback/Hitstun - Character is unable to move or attack due to an opponent damaging them. (This duration is usually fairly short.)
This state is when you’re taking damage from an ability and your (vulnerable) actions are interrupted. Knockback implies the character is being displaced a significant amount. I wasn’t quite sure if Knockback and Hitstun were the same thing as I couldn’t think of any examples of a character being knocked back without also being unable to act due to hitstun and it also seems like most attacks have some sort of pushback.
Invincible (Immune/Invulnerable) - Character is invulnerable to any attacks from an opponent, denoted by glowing white.
Basically you’re untouchable for the period of time that your character is glowing white.
[Side Note] - I also noticed that on knockdown a character has invincibility on wakeup (possible meaty setups?) which appears to happen instantly. Due to that discovery I didn’t include a knockdown state (unless mashing buttons makes you quick-rise and everyone happens to do it, but I just assumed the simpler case of immediate wakeup.)
Character States I have Questions about:
- Unstoppable - I see this used as a descriptor in Spartacus’ For Glory ability. Is this a character state? If so, is it safe to assume that he can’t be interrupted by any actions once the ability is activated?
I left out some of the simpler character states/statuses from the detailed section because I feel they’re a little more self explanatory, but I have a few suggestions.
Additional Colors to denote Character State:
I know that right now a character glows white to denote invincibility, but I didn’t really see anything else that suggested a character's state or if they had any status effects applied to them at any given time. I was watching the match where Rich was BK and the opposing team had a Morgan. I had a tough time telling if he was ever being slowed, silenced, or debuffed. Sometimes I would see a white swirly icon over his health bar but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what that meant. I think it would be helpful to see other colors/auras implemented such as Red for “Unstoppable” (if that is a state) or Blue for “Slowed”, etc. It would be helpful to know when to engage on someone if I see they are slowed or silenced and when to avoid someone like a glowing red, Unstoppable foe.
(If there is some way to tell the status of the characters and I missed it, please let me know as I would appreciate the help! I just couldn’t figure it out myself.)
Distribute Character State Terms throughout Warrior Overviews
It would be helpful to have the official, standardized Character State terms used and somehow emphasized in the Warrior ability overview screens so that we know exactly what abilities can do (and so we can think of creative ways to use them). I know this general idea was mentioned in another forum post, but I just want to emphasize how helpful I feel this information would be.
I think information about all possible character states along with a way to easily tell which of the states a character is in at any given time would be very helpful as a player. I'm no game designer or anything so please excuse any improper terminology I might be throwing around and keep in mind a lot of my assumptions are just what I happened to perceive. I'm just someone who is very excited about learning as much as I can about this game and can't wait to get in there.
I would like to say thanks in advance to anyone (dev or not) that can provide any answers or feedback to my questions. Also let me know if you see something that I might have misunderstood or could explain a bit better. Maybe add on some thoughts you may have that I didn't cover. I’m happy to discuss.
As a lot of other people are doing in their more lengthy posts I offer my contact information in case anyone has any feedback concerning anything I might have said here or just in general.
Feel free to get at my twitter (@UpFlipd) or catch me on my channel where I'm planning to stream this once it's available (twitch.tv/flipdup)
Thanks for reading and I look forward to playing with all of you!!
P.S. - This is only a fraction of the notes I have, so expect some more questions and posts in the future. Can't wait to start contributing to the community. Hopefully I can get to the point where I can help get some good discussions going. Until that time there is much more research to be done.
Firstly, ah the Thorgrim combo. Tossing someone over your head then timing a jumping Rib Splitter and finishing with Ragnarok if you need to, knocking someone off the map that wasn't really close to an edge to begin with is so satisfying. Still regret not being able to play him on stage, I would go 10+ kills and assists with little to no deaths every game. Throwgrim is King ~
Fun stuff aside, the words used for different effects, CCs, and etc. are indeed NOT consistent, and I'm glad to see someone else pointing it out.
For invincibility, there are actually 4 different terms used, all on different warriors (invulnerability, invincibility, immunity, and intangibility). It's as if different people wrote the descriptions for every warrior. Here's hoping they at least look at some of the suggestions here and on my "efficient information" post because I totally agree with you on how helpful this could be.
As for the colors for character state, I think that may be a bit difficult to discern, especially for newer players, but some sort of distinct animation for each is definitely necessary.
Great post Flipd, can't wait to see more!
@Kalology thanks for the feedback! And yeah. Different color or not, I agree some sort of animation/visual indicator of character state is necessary in order to make well-informed decisions in combat. Last thing I'd hate to do is waste some sort of CC or long cooldown/recovery move on someone who would be virtually unaffected.