What defines "cheap"??

Discussion in 'Junky's Jungle' started by gaishou, Jan 3, 2002.

  1. gaishou

    gaishou Well-Known Member

    I've always been curious what everyone thinks being "cheap" is. What makes a person a scub?? Is it newbie button mashers?? If so, why do the programmers make the games so these newbies can actually win by mashing? I'm pretty sure I have a grasp of what I think "cheap" is, but what do you all think?
     
  2. CreeD

    CreeD Well-Known Member

    Hrm, this is an interesting concept for discussion, I have never seen it before on a video game message board.
    Well, I'm stumped.
     
  3. Adio

    Adio Well-Known Member

    Re: What defines

    People who try to ring out opponents rather than taking advantage of the action when it arises. By this I mean players who try to force you out with P rushes rather than deplete your energy bar.

    That's an example of "Cheap" to me.

    I believe a "Scrub" is someone who can have little or vast knowledge of the game but abuses a certain move or sequence to the point that it's boring to play against them. For example, i'd brand an Akira player who just double Palms. crouch dashes and then throws all the time a Scrub.

    Or, any player that abuses the low punch.
     
  4. Chanchai

    Chanchai Well-Known Member

    Re: What defines

    I personally believe "cheap" to be an object of weakness that is thrown around as a justification for losing and a tool towards dumbing down the way a game is played.

    But that's just me.

    Other than that, the only thing I could really consider "cheap" (as it's been used anyways) is something that is completely unpreventable and would actually win a round completely in one use or shutoff/restart the machine, or do something obscenely and clearly unintended in the design.

    Ring Outs in VF, throws in SF2, etc... are completely fair game and in fact have often created a form of balance or direction towards the use of certain characters and created tactics and strategies that, imo, move the play of the game forwards (not backwards).

    Remembering a conversation I had in my trip to Vancouver two weeks ago: "If you don't know how to throw, you don't know how to play Street Fighter 2 (and the fighters that followed)."

    -Chanchai
     
  5. UnCauzi

    UnCauzi Well-Known Member

    Re: What defines

    cheap is buying government cheese or the beans in the can with the white label.
     
  6. feixaq

    feixaq Well-Known Member

    This was an interesting link that someone posted a couple of weeks back:

    URL: http://www.sirlin.net/Features/feature_PlayToWinPart1.htm


    In the world of Street Fighter competition, we have a word for players who aren’t good: “scrub.†Now, everyone begins as a scrubâ€â€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. 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.

    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 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. 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. The entire purpose of the throw is to be able to damage an opponent who sits and blocks and doesn’t attack. As far as the game is concerned, throwing is an integral part of the designâ€â€it’s meant to be thereâ€â€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. Why? Exploring the reasoning is futile since the notion is ridiculous from the start.

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

    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? 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? 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.

    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. 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. 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. (See my article on Yomi layer 3 for much more on that.)

    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. 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. 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.

    [ ... ]

    The scrub has still more crutches. He talks a great deal about “skill†and how he has skill whereas other playersâ€â€very much including the ones who beat him flat outâ€â€do not have skill. 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. 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.†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. 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. He cried cheap when I threw him 5 times in a row asking, “is that all you know how to do? throw?†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. 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’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.†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? That person y has “no skill†of course.

    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. 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 an arcade game that lasts years in an arcade versus one that lasts 4 months. This is the difference between a PC game that lasts years on the shelves (Starcraft) versus one that quickly becomes boring (I won’t name any names). 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. 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.

    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. 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 possibleâ€â€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. 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.

    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 “CCâ€Â) 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. 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 pointhen 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. 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 one player side of the game. There are a few esoteric tricks in various fighting games that are side dependantâ€â€that can’t be performed on the 2nd player side, for example.

    [ ... ]

    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. So practice, improve, play with discipline, and play to win.
     
  7. Llanfair

    Llanfair Well-Known Member

    Re: What defines

    hmmm...guess we're all scrubs then. Damn, and I thought I was being innovative too.

    The above essay on scrubs, btw, is a fantastic read. Really - thanks Chris for digging it up. :)
     
  8. Robyrt

    Robyrt Well-Known Member

    Re: What defines

    Hehe, nice article, although Sirlin does let the logic slip a little in favor of derisiveness. Just because fireballs and throws are cheap doesn't mean anything that wins is cheap.

    As a former scrub myself (still a Tekken scrub), I'd say that something is "cheap" if I can win with it without learning the rest of the game. For example, throws in SF2 are just fine, because doing nothing but throws and basic attacks will get you killed. On the other hand, Cable's AHVBx3 is cheap because any fool can hold his own with that single move and some decent anti-air. You can win with a handful of XPD attempts with Jeffry, but that doesn't make him cheap because to use XPD effectively you have to know when your opponent isn't expecting one, and that requires you to be a real VF player. :)

    On cheap tactics in VF: There are new anti-LP tactics practically every week, and while an Akira who plays 50/50 games with shrm/throw all the time is very powerful, doing it correctly IMHO requires a certain amount of knowledge and skill with VF in general.
     
  9. CreeD

    CreeD Well-Known Member

    Re: What defines

    Dude,
    if you play under the assumption that ring outs are cheap, then you not only will lose, you take away respect from a player who deserves it. If someone pushes you to the ring edge and then tries a predictable ring out technique, they can be instantly fucked themselves. The aoi in the most recent daioh movies proves it nicely with her inashi reversal that takes her from the person in deep shit to the person with the advantage. Being able to push someone that far without them using dodge or eight way walk to avoid it means that someone is either playing really well or playing like crap. You see good players all the time start to dodge towards the center of the ring when they're still 1/3rd of the way out from the edge. Failure to do that is your fault. It's a basic skill since VF3OB.

    As for abusing low punch, that's not cheap. How do you "abuse" a move anyway? If a move is damned good, you MUST use it. If you don't use it, you lose to someone who does. You might find a SF super that does good damage and is uncounterable and has crazy priority, which on paper sounds cheap, but you can't expect someone not to use it.

    Anyway, low punch has already been fixed. You can make a GREAT case for it being cheap in VF2, but since VF2 it's been tweaked a lot and it's not really cheap anymore.
     
  10. Yamcha

    Yamcha Well-Known Member

    Re: What defines

    Word. Sure it's frustrating if you're pounding you're opponent only to get ringed (rung?) out, but that's entirely part of the game. I know that if the opponent or I am near the edge, I'm gonna try and utilize it to my advantage.

    The Sirlin article isn't bad, but it's clearly "Capcom mentality". and sounds very elitist. Call me an idiot or weaksauce if you must, but I don't think winning isn't everything. If I have fun with the guys I'm playing with, that's the best. For certain tactics, if you want to abuse them it's fine, but for something like say, ticking in SF, I don't see the point in overly exploiting it against someone who doesn't know how to get out of it. It's not fun for either person. Whoring a powerful followup everytime isn't cheap, but I don't think it's very interesting either. Cheapwise, it's hard to draw the line for what the programmers intended to be included. Capcom didn't even know 2-in-1 cancels were in Street Fighter 2. I'm gonna say something like an infinite senbon or Guile's handcuffs crosses the line, but I don't think anyone uses those in real competition.
     
  11. CowsGoMoo

    CowsGoMoo New Member

    cheap adj.

    1. Relatively low in cost; inexpensive or comparatively inexpensive.
    2. Charging low prices: a cheap restaurant.
    3. Obtainable at a low rate of interest. Used especially of money.
    4. Devalued, as in buying power: cheap dollars.
    5. Achieved with little effort: a cheap victory; cheap laughs.
    6. Of or considered of small value: in wartime, when life was cheap.
    7. Of poor quality; inferior: a cheap toy.
    8. Worthy of no respect; vulgar or contemptible: a cheap gangster.
    9. Stingy; miserly

    For the most part?... Seems to me that (4) is the standard definition of "cheap". The more the reward outweighs the effort, the cheaper it is. I guess if you're being diplomatic, you could say it's "efficient" or "economic". In general, anywhere beyond the intermediate level of gameplay, techniques are considered "cheap" if their reward GREATLY outweighs the effort, in the stylings of the SF2 classic tick-throw; Simple to do, nearly impossible to avoid totally, strong as all hell.

    Since we're talking about VF, it's tougher to judge... had there been fewer ways around the option select in VF2, I'd say *that* was cheap. If the Senbon Nokku wasn't so damn hard to do, it might be cheap. In VF4, some techniques may be "broken" or "unbalanced" (that is to say that their reward isn't balanced with the risk), like Akira's Shrm, but hey... perfect balance is hard to do. In CCG game mechanics, cards are often referred to as "broken", the politically correct term for "cheap".

    Why do programmers make the games so that newbies can win by mashing? How about accessibilty? Not everyone is ready (or equipped) to jump on-line and memorize move lists over two hours before going out to the arcade... recall that arcades cater first and foremost to a "spontaneous" clientele. So if a random person walks up to the machine, you want them to be able to guess what to do in order to win... instant gratification. Meanwhile, in order to maintain a high level of complexity (and fairness!) at high levels, the game has to have DEPTH that overrides this accessibility.

    VF4 happens to do this really well in some ways.... the "window shopping" player will get smushed quite soundly, but anyone with a reasonable grasp on fighting games actually has a very good chance of doing well. Think about techniques like Lion's pounce-pounce-pounce techniques and Jacky/Sarah freebie pounces... they make beginner-to-intermediate players much more dangerous, but once you learn to tech roll, these techniques become nearly useless. It's a way of hooking players into the game. Makes great sense to me, actually.



    *moo*
     
  12. LittleWild

    LittleWild Well-Known Member

    Cheap? If there is a technique that is easy to use and makes everyone that use it to win, don't call that cheap. Blame it on the bad game design.

    Then again, would you all consider the 99 combos or its variants from other fighting games cheap? The kind that once connects makes you feel like leaving. (eg. Marvel Superheros)
     
  13. BK__

    BK__ Well-Known Member

    IMO of "cheap":
    ________________
    it's normally not even the player's choice of playing cheap, but "cheap wins" do exist...

    ------------------------------------------
    Interceptive Attacks:
    ________________________
    players constantly intercept your attacks with a sloppy tap combo or low jabs, mostly jacky & sarah are my worst because they have an unfair balance of speed & incredable power moves which can be used cheaply with no effort at all..

    -----------------------
    Ring Outs:
    _____________
    the easiest way to win and i have seen people wait
    at the edge of the ring ready to throw people out as soon as they are near them...

    -------------------------------
    Back-Away Technique;
    __________________
    some people play extremely defensive and back away, they
    only come in to sweep or do a powerful knock down as thay
    use the time also to help them get a *time out*
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    those are the techniques i find cheap, agree or not....
     
  14. SeriousGround

    SeriousGround Member

    I used to love Street Fighter Alpha 2 until I told my friend about Gouki (Akuma) and his Level 3 only super which "kills you instantly!"
    The way he used this was to sweep me first then initiate the Raging Demon so it would connect as soon as I got back on my feet. For a while I considered his tactic cheap (especially since he used it in every match) but then one day I threw him before the RD connected - I had made his ultimate tactic useless to the point where he considered me cheap.
    The point of my story is that no matter how cheap a move appears there should always be a way of countering it, its just a matter of finding it. If there isn't one then the game is poorly designed and if it pisses you off that much then don't play the game.
    The thing I love about Virtua Fighter is that there aren't really cheap moves, there is always a way to get out of something. If you don't like Ringouts then don't put yourself in a situation where your opponent can gain a Ringout.
     
  15. CreeD

    CreeD Well-Known Member

    the easiest way to win and i have seen people wait
    at the edge of the ring ready to throw people out as soon as they are near them...


    LOL, I wish my opponents were this "cheap" ... I could walk into the arcade with a dollar and never leave the machine.

    Has it occurred to you that you that someone who backs themselves really close to the edge of the ring has just done 90% of the work needed for YOU to ring THEM out? You only need to find a way to push them another couple of inches for a win. Let me guess, you'd never do that - it's cheap.

    An alternative then is to sit in the middle of the ring and wait. If they want to sit there near the edge of the ring, make it clear you have no plans to follow them there.

    some people play extremely defensive and back away, they
    only come in to sweep or do a powerful knock down as thay
    use the time also to help them get a *time out*


    How come you're letting them get away with a sweep or powerful knockdown? Moves like that are risky. You can't block even ONE sweep correctly and punish the opponent? It sounds like you're the defensive player. An opponent who backs up is begging for a wall combo, wall throw, or ring out. If the opponent wins by time over, he's hitting you more than you hit him - so he's probably the more aggressive player.
     
  16. CreeD

    CreeD Well-Known Member

    Re: What defines

    For certain tactics, if you want to abuse them it's fine, but for something like say, ticking in SF, I don't see the point in overly exploiting it against someone who doesn't know how to get out of it. It's not fun for either person.

    I have a blast ticking scrubs :)
    But seriously, if someone is getting fucked over and over by zangief doing something like J d+forward kick, then SPD ... they have two solutions:
    1. Ask the other guy how to get out of it. If the other guy is a decent person he'll tell you. If not, quit the machine and wait for someone else to challenge the guy and show you. As a last resort, you can go home and look it up on the internet.

    2. Even pros don't reverse jumping knee ---> SPD on a consistent basis. In fact I'd say that unless the Zangief player mistimed something, people will rarely escape it, even if they left scrubbiness behind 1,000 quarters ago. They beat Zangief by not being put in a position where they're forced to block or get hit by the knee, because knee --> SPD might as well be a true combo when the Zangief player's good. While capcom's not perfect at balancing moves, I notice that they made regular throws escapeable while SPD-type moves (unescapeable) tend to knock the player or the thrower far away, making repeat ticking hard to do.
     
  17. MADrox

    MADrox Well-Known Member

    Cheap is when i first played tekken3 with eddie gordo. I literaly stayed looking at my opponent as he concentrated on the game , yet he didnt' win one match. He felt like slapping me, but i was trying to show him how much effort I was putting in.

    BTW, I love aoi sweeps. I do at least 15 per match sometimes , is this cheap if they can get me excellents????

    sweepmaster-aoi
    dumb-stino
     
  18. Yamcha

    Yamcha Well-Known Member

    Re: What defines

    Heheh well I suppose it is fun in a sadistic sort of way /versus/images/icons/smile.gif. Gief is kinda an exception though since he is all about Screw Piledriver. I was thinking more along the lines of a simple jab(blocked)->throw or maybe Blanka's jab/strong ball -> bite.
     
  19. CreeD

    CreeD Well-Known Member

    Re: What defines

    heh, blanka ball into bite is more a trick than anything mean... if you're thinking regular old throws, that's just lack of knowledge on the opponent's part if they don't know to hit forward or back +2P... It'd be like a VF player eating Stumbling trip over and over again because they didn't know you could struggle and didn't know the ST was escapeable.
     
  20. Sausage Man

    Sausage Man Active Member

    Re: What defines

    Actually, what I consider cheap would be using a fail safe 100% sure way to win. e.g. VF3's freeze player glitch, Guile's magic throw, Guile's handcuffs. These are the only real things to call cheap because there is really no defense for them. Tick throws aren't really cheap, they can be countered. So, cheap is really just any tactic that guarantees victory regardless of how good the opponent is.
     

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