2P or not 2P?

Discussion in 'News' started by Myke, Jul 7, 2017.

By Myke on Jul 7, 2017 at 2:31 AM
  1. Myke

    Myke Administrator Staff Member Content Manager Kage

    Every now and then the topic of the Low Punch makes the rounds, and when it does it seems to polarise the community. This debate recently surfaced again on the VFDC Shoutbox, where criticisms of the 2P varied from the functional (nerf 2P or should players just get better?) to the aesthetic (does punching someone in the shin look ridiculous?) From a simplistic RPS analogy, the Low Punch is the "paper" that beats the Standing Punch "rock" which makes it universally important to the core of Virtua Fighter and has been subject to a number of refinements over the entire series. Let's revisit this age-old philosophical debate and let us know where you stand -- or sit (hah!) -- on low punching!


    Here's the recent Shoutbox conversation below that inspired this article. It has been slightly edited for layout and relevance:

    social_ruin: Ups at ytpme. i say that as a mediocre vf player. btw nerf 2p. it's vf achilles heel.
    MarlyJay: I'd like 2P to be changed to a low jab to the body. keep it as a special low and have the character doing it stumble or have a special animation so it still loses to airborne frames. Similar to sidekick and backdash
    BLACKSTAR: wow thats a cool idea
    BLACKSTAR: in that way, everybody would have there own version of sway, in a weird way
    MarlyJay: Yeah. It could function the same but be far better looking and more realistic
    Superkh13: I don't really have an issue with it currently, but this is nice idea.
    oneida: nerf 2P?
    BLACKSTAR: from my impression, what marly was talking about is mainly changing more of how 2p looks rather than how it functions
    BLACKSTAR: that would be a good change, imo, because the game would still play the same, but you wont see people trading crotch punches back and forth
    BLACKSTAR: it would look less silly
    Ytpme_Secaps: The look of 2p is so old. Id be worried to change it, but maybe it could work
    Tricky: change is the spice of life
    MarlyJay: BlackStar gets it. 2p is the dumbest looking move in the game, but functionally important. So change it to look like an actual move used in fighting, but keep the function the same.
    Stl_Tim: What animation would 2p changed too exactly?! Low backfist already exists, so a contorted looking 2p perhaps?
    MarlyJay: Tim, I said in the original post "low jab to the body". This, rather than a crouching punch to the knees, which is what the move essentially is now

    Wait! Before you chime in on the low punch, here are some great discussions from the past to give you some food for thought!

    Game design decision behind the 2P mechanic
    by @Mlai, Jun 12, 2012.

    Mlai started this thread questioning the design decision behind the 2P. From his new player's perspective he states that "it feels overpowered for such a stupid-looking move", and ultimately has concern over the first impression it leaves for new players:

    A valid concern, no?

    There are some thought-provoking replies shared in this thread, including advice in how to deal with / improve one's response to the low punch. Of particular note is @Krye post sharing insights into demystifying the power of the 2P (incidentally, this was the draft to an unfinished article - shame!), and @White_Worm's part-philosophical-part-tongue-in-cheek analysis of the symbiotic relationship between 2P, P and… Tekken!?

    Interestingly, this conversation which is approximately 5(!) years old is still pretty relevant today. But if you're willing to delve deeper into Fighting Game design theory, then the following thread might also interest you:

    High, Mid, Low blocking - A different approach
    by @El_Twelve, Jun 16, 2011

    This greatly detailed thread by @El_Twelve is a general discussion on alternative approaches to the traditional High, Mid, Low blocking mechanic prevalent in most (if not all) popular, competitive Fighting Games today. He shares examples from Fighting Games of the past that used a different mechanic, which may open your eyes and mind to other possibilities, while pointing out the deficiencies with the traditional guard system:

    I highly recommend you take the time to read this thread, but the big take-away is the ability to guard while moving forward.

    The most recent game to exhibit the advancing guard mechanic was Ubisoft's For Honor which also employed a 3-point guard system. Is For Honor's failure to crack into the big-time competitive Fighting Game space (ala esports) indicative of poor fighting game mechanic (i.e. the 3-point advancing guard system), a poor implementation of a good concept (i.e. overcomplicating the meta game), or a combination of both?

    In Closing
    The Low Punch, as benign or powerful you think it to be, is but one simple part in a much larger, more complex system. And it stands to reason that the overall success, or value, of the Fighting Game is greater than the sum of its parts. That is to say, it's the combination of all the different parts, their relationships and interactions, that make the Fighting Game what it is.

    So before you're quick to complain, criticise or get frustrated over one thing like the Low Punch, the answer isn't necessarily to change it, but perhaps to change your understanding of how it works within the bigger picture. Because unless you're working for SEGA, you have a 0% chance of changing anything within the game, but 100% chance to change and improve yourself.

    Let us know what your position is on the Low Punch and/or fighting game design in general!

    If you're a non-registered reader, then you're probably not even aware of the VFDC Shoutbox. It's a little gadget that lives in the sidebar of the site where you can chat in real-time with other registered VFDC users.

    It's really useful for organising matches online, general chit-chat and the occasional philosophical debate! Registration is free, and the site remains ad-free thanks to donations from its generous users.


Discussion in 'News' started by Myke, Jul 7, 2017.

    1. Modelah
      LOL. That 2P animation has always bugged the hell outta me. I'm glad Marly brought this up, I totally agree with his SB comments. I'll jump on the aesthetics bandwagon and say yeah, 2P looks utterly ridiculous.

      While I agree some moves seen in VF can be rather :rolleyes: the strategic importance of 2P and the frequency its seen makes me yearn for a more sensible looking move. Keep the properties the same but change the animation, I'd personally like to see it as a low-uppercut akin to the second hit of Jeans' 3PP.

      Ellis likes this.
    2. 40i4
      There are a lot of anti-low moves in VF. Generic ones like all jumping attacks, and character specific.
      If opponent abuse 2P exposing her/himself to be pushished and one doing nothing with that.
      Then who is guilty?

      To me this is simple as the above and obvious.
      Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
    3. daRockReaper
      I do agree about 2P looking so stupid But the only advantage of 2P over most characters jabs the ability to attack quickly while lowering your hit box. I'm worried about if you changing the animation means your hit box is gonna change too, thus killing 2P. So I guess it has up be some ducking hook to the body maybe to retain those properties, or some move similar.
    4. erdraug
      From a functional point of view:

      Low punch is part of the core VF guessing game. As long as the frames are the same it doesn't really matter what the animation looks like. In fact, with the advent of VF5FS, some characters' (such as Akira's, as per Myke's linked picture example) low punches were redesigned to be ankle punches instead of groin punches.

      The shoutbox discussion quoted above does not mention the redesign - even though most participants in the discussion have played earlier versions of the game and are certainly aware of this fact. Thus, I believe, the point of contention was not functional but aesthetic.

      From an aesthetic point of view:

      Nowadays most VF moves look like something a martial artist would perform in a fight; the low punch is unfortunately not one of them. There's a bunch of moves in the game that require the spectator to suspend their disbelief (eg. some of Wolf's throws only work with the active participation of the other fighter, which would not occur in a "real" fight) or flat-out unrealistic moves (Kage's 8P+K anyone?) but NONE of them are used as frequently as low punch. I am willing to bet the last martial arts movie or sports event you watched did not consist of 30% ankle punching action.

      So, to use another fancy term, the repeated use of low punch, a distinctly "non-martial arts" move, "breaks the immersion" for some players.

      However aesthetics are subjective.

      For old-school veterans who sunk their teeth in VF1-VF4, iconic animations ARE what keeps them immersed. Given that these veteran players constitute the (vocal) majority of VFdc forum-goers I fail to see the point of Myke's thread; his own conclusion is the archetypal "git gud" reply one has come to expect from seasoned veterans when the subject of low punch is brought up.

      Personally I don't know where I stand. I'm not old-school, but then again I am not convinced that VF is trying to be "realistic" on purpose either - the game still has floats and rebounds after all. If I were to direct the VF live-action martial arts movie I would probably call it "Dr. VirtuaFighter or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the 2P".

      But, to humor Myke, and for the sake of argument, I would like to point out some possible alternatives:

      A standing special low with no upper body hitbox would still fill in exactly the same role in the rock-paper-scissors game. Aoi's 43P is practically a 2P in its execution speed. Vanessa's DS 1P could be made faster, special low and lose the sabaki. The same properties could be extended to other moves eg. Lau's downward palm, or Jeffry's 2P+K - or any move that looks evasive really (Eileen twirls around when doing her 3P right? Slap on those 12f exe, -5/+2/+5 frames and, presto, instant low punch replacement).

      Alternatives to a lack of upper body hitbox include:

      Deflecting: think Akira's VF5vanilla [3][P][+][K][+][G] but for all highs.
      Armor: Not an integral part of VF mechanics but developers have shown they are willing to experiment with the latter eg. Wolf's RAW or Taka's taunt... thing.
      Upper body invulnerability. That's a staple in 2d games but I'm pretty sure we don't have something like that in VF. I could see short range power moves such as Goh's 6P+K having invulnerability frames though. But maybe that's akin to opening the Pandora's box...

      ...it's downtime at the uni ATM so I apologize for the wall of text. Hope someone finds this an interesting read. Thx for the opportunity Myke :holla:
      Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
    5. Jason Elbow
      Jason Elbow
      As annoying 2p is, it's still a vital part of stifling offense, and setting up the guessing game of attack or throw. And there are ways of to deal with it. Hell you can even block it standing. And as far as the aesthetics of it goes I'm cool with changing it or keep it the same. It really makes no difference to me the looks of it.
    6. steelbaz
      2P is -5 on block, offline that's a free 17f launcher for anyone that has one and any 17f or under move works. Online 2P isn't -5, it varies, sometimes people can crouch and hammer out 2P's on block and you can't do shit, that's online. Tekken has the same kinda shit, SF has DP spam online. I agree with Jason you can standing guard 2P and it looks fine. If you can't figure out what to do with a +5 situation offline i'd suggest improving.
      og23, Tha_FeauchA and Ytpme_Secaps like this.
    7. social_ruin
      i really like marly's idea of changing the ascetic. One of the things i've come to love about vf is character moves overlap. back handspring- lau/pai/kage/eileen?. Well you get the idea. However, if they changed the animation characters could have unique or semi unique "2p's", that fit either their martial arts or personality. Goh's could be a foot stomp (i realize he already has one), aoi could be a thematically correct shove on the hip, etc. It would definitely improve the look imo.

      Just to clarify my statement of nerf 2p. I posted that after watching shag vs drift ft10 on youtube. No doubt 2 very good players but that match is a brutal 2p-fest that is hard on the eyes. I mean just watching it one can almost feel/imagine both players are having a miserable time with no fun in sight.

      In game balance i respect the importance of 2p, and that it is basically everyone's best all purpose low. If that wasn't the case you might end up with a situation where the strongest character was simply the character with the best 2p alternative. That would be a bummer.

      So when i say nerf 2p i don't mean destroy it's utility or effectiveness. i mean trim a situational edge very slightly. I know we have all seen very high level play devolve to a 2-fest where both great players thoughts are getting trumped by sheer 2p volume (offline even). When you see grand finals tournaments where both participants double or even triple 2p in a row.

      The type of tweaks i had in mind would ideas like:

      *consecutive 2p's can't yield counter hit, or perhaps the 2nd is 0f on hit. It would still retain all functionality towards interrupt and brain freeze, but would punish a panic 2p based defense.

      *doing 2p after having a move blocked that leaves you at -6 or greater either is a 13f 2p, or has 1-2f more recovery to reduce it's effectiveness as an initiator after having a combo blocked. Moving it to a more defensive role in that situation.

      I'm not saying nerf it every way possible. Anyone one (and i mean only one) of those tweaks was the vein in which i meant by 'nerf'. Or some better idea, not saying i have the answer.

      The important part being that you don't remove 2p as an absolutely integral part of the vf guessing game. Something small like this would just make it another part of the vf guessing game. The decision on how and when to you 2p would be ever-so-slightly less rote, and more important while simultaneously leaving 2p just as important as an interrupter and a freeze move (2p throw/mid alive and strong). At the same time the decision to not 2p would become more strategic.

      I am not saying my suggestions would even necessarily work in practice. But thematically i would like to see the importance and threat and thought in a given match around 2p be essentially as great as it is now, without the sheer number of 2p's being used to achieve it. That might not even be possible though.
      El_Twelve and Kruza like this.
    8. Ytpme_Secaps
      I understand the desired outcome. I just disagree with how we get there. I think the system (as is) is perfect. In my theory, the match you cited could be "fixed" not thru a 2p change , but through better traditional VF yomi (reads) , either 2p crushes, or straight up +4, +5 counter moves (15,16 frame moves)

      And when thinking of ST (side turned) I am even more convinced. As this 2p "issue" does not occurr in ST , in ST you are hoping the opponent tries to "escape" with a 2p, the whole meta starts there.
      Myke likes this.
    9. Ytpme_Secaps
      The ONE suggestion that peaks my interest on aesthetics (spell?) Aoi's 43p (double palm) imagine if 2p looked just a bit more like that, I could get with that. But not a standing low cuz it needs to "look" like it goes under highs.
    10. Dhaval Katbamna
      Dhaval Katbamna
      Aside from the visual aspect, the main problem with 2p arises when people try to use their online experiences to form their opinion. Ofc 2p is going to be broken when its + on block (bc lets face it, we've all had our elbows stuffed after blocking an opponents 2p online). I personally see no problem with it, mechanically speaking, from an offline standpoint. Its the game's universal tech crouch.

      Now, should players be punished more for throwing it out? would it be a good idea to make it -6 and result in nitaku? I could see that as a valid option. A common situation I see is with jacky's 2_3p. -6 on block so on and so on. many times jacky players will 2p after it to beat high and throws or delay ch launchers. Using this situation, I would say that its fair that a blocked 2p should be -6. Because the player thought it would be a good idea to "squirrel" out of nitaku with a 2p, having their 2p blocked should put them back in nitaku. Thats the only mechanical change that I think could be acceptable.

      Once again, I definitely like 2p the way it functions already. I dont think it needs to be changed in that aspect.

      But I do think that Am2 needs to reconsider the animation. Just give everyone johnny cage nut punches like the namcops did with feng lol.
    11. I.M. Amazon
      I.M. Amazon
      I (alongside my friends who really enjoyed VF5FS) didn't have any qualms with the shonky 2P since it suited how the game played. That said, a visual change wouldn't be the end of the world. So long as it "looks" like a high-crushing S.Low then it really doesn't matter. Perhaps a squatting midsection hook?
    12. Stl_Tim
      2p look is classical and should be given a choice to have new/old look option.

      2p mechanic is fine where it is right now. The issue is that there is no 14 frame mid stagger to follow it. Honestly, it should have never been taken out. Along w/ that the light weights power, p(ch)guaranteed throw.

      Back on topic, 2p can be crushed in this game against some characters even when their disadvantage is high. It's not as tightly programmed as other versions.

      Fs in a nutshell is sideturn lock to deter 2p from happening during st lock. Pretty much that's what you want your opponent to do so 3k crumples them.

      I like 2p a lot! 2p reminds of when navf learned the term, "abare!" At first, abare seemed like a demeaning term, but as the translation was uncovered, "recklessly attacking from disadvantage or reverse nitaku" it was openly accepted.

      All in all, 2p is tight and gets my respect!

      Don't worry 2p, I love you!
    13. Superkh13
      Haha. I didn't expect you'd make a thread about it.

      2P itself, I have no issue with(Other than how it looks).A quick interruption of the opponent is always useful.
      The USE of 2P is what I have an issue with. Throwing it out every other chain while at hitting range is just annoying, and I have seen two opponents spam this back and forth throughout an entire match.

      The only real change I would do with it is increase the disadvantage on block from -5 to -7 or -8(At least if you yourself are blocking low.)

      I don't expect anyone to agree with me on this, though.
    14. MarlyJay
      I just wanna chime in,

      If i'm constantly throwing out 2P and my opponent starts doing jumping attacks to beat it i'm gonna feel like i'm winning the guessing game because now i've got you using jumping attacks, which tend to be slow(er?), instead of properly using your advantage.

      This is part of the reason that 2P is so strong. The solution definitely isn't jumping attacks. It's fast mids.

      Functionally though the move makes near enough perfect sense. You need a move that can consistently beat jab, the fast move that gives advantage on block.
    15. Jason Elbow
      Jason Elbow
      Can you use the plus frames to land a launcher?
    16. Jason Elbow
      Jason Elbow
      So basically 6p?
    17. Tricky
      or the variety of 9P's
    18. Jason Elbow
      Jason Elbow
      I think there's no 9p quite like Eileen's.
    19. Tricky
      You're right, Lion and Sarah get a variety of jumping kicks that work like her 9P Kappa.

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