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Sakurai talks about why Brawl's online isn't thrilling anymore

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Sakurai talks about why Brawl's online isn't thrilling anymore

Post by Lugia2453 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:18 am

Recently, a fan wrote to Sakurai talking about why he didn't enjoy Brawl's online anymore. Here's what he said:

"The other day, I had my first run at Smash Bros. Brawl online play. What I found was that nobody ever went on the attack; it was like everyone was taking the approach of waiting for the other guy to take the offensive. There were no items, either. I wanted to shout at them 'This isn't how you do Smash Bros.'! As the producer, what do you think of fights like this?"

This may seem like a normal fan's complaint, but Sakurai actually responded to him. His response was as follows:

"The idea of Brawl's 'carefree brawling' motto was to get rid of as many restraints as possible and allow people to choose whatever play approach they liked. I'd like people to take some freer approaches with their gameplay, but the sort of battle style you describe in your letter is not interesting or fun. That's why I'll probably be thinking of a way to deal with that in the next game. We've learned a lot about net play since Brawl was released, after all, so a lot more is possible."

http://www.polygon.com/2013/3/13/4098010/sakurai-discusses-why-smash-bros-brawl-online-isnt-exactly-thrilling?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=t.co
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Re: Sakurai talks about why Brawl's online isn't thrilling anymore

Post by ZeldaFan996 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:37 pm

Brawl's online was just never good to me. I would spend almost an hour just waiting for an opponent most of the time, and even if I did get an opponent, it would often drop me in the middle of a fight. Plus, the people who do play online are generally idots anyway.
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Re: Sakurai talks about why Brawl's online isn't thrilling anymore

Post by Taidow on Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:40 pm

Hopefully they let us play online with Custom Stages in the next installment.
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Re: Sakurai talks about why Brawl's online isn't thrilling anymore

Post by ZeldaFan996 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:24 pm

Taidow wrote:Hopefully they let us play online with Custom Stages in the next installment.

Totally agree. cyclops
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Re: Sakurai talks about why Brawl's online isn't thrilling anymore

Post by halibabica on Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:55 pm

Brawl's online could've been its biggest selling point, but it was its biggest flop instead. I think they handled Mario Kart Wii's online much better. They gave it a separate Wii channel with more ease of use.

I'll be interested to see what solutions Sakurai has for its problems.
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Re: Sakurai talks about why Brawl's online isn't thrilling anymore

Post by DarkMarth on Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:54 pm

If you ask me, it isn't so much a play style that the fan described. I don't know about anyone else, but players have developed this new type of "sign language" that they use to communicate. In short, it isn't some new play style. In fact, that play actually lacks style. The events described in the letter had more to do with the majority of players' refusal to fight than anything else.

I'm going to cover both the taunt party dominance of Brawl's online sector and this exchange of these nonverbal messages, and their meanings.

Ever since brawl's early years, a nonactive player may be spotted in an online match. Way back in 2008, this usually signified that a player was either nowhere near the controls or just not participating. As a result, the active players would typically K-O him/her here and there to get some freebies. But this unintentional inactivity would later evolve into the force that would drive out a good majority of combatant players.

If I recall correctly, it was in mid-2009 that Taunt Parties began growing in popularity. At that time, it would typically start with one player repeatedly taunting during a match. From there, other players would decide to join the "party" and withdraw from combat, thus forming the taunt party.

While Taunt Parties were gaining fame in a really fast pace, the "alliances" we see today remain nonexistent. But that would soon change.

As the dominance of these taunt parties continue to grow, so did this idea that "you either leave us alone or we team up on you". At its early stages, where taunt parties were typically composed of two players (at most), this demand for exclusion from combat was hinted by the fact that if you disrupt one member of the taunt party, the other would aid him/her to fend off the attacker. This "you protect me, I'll protect you" policy would soon become the building blocks of the alliances we all know, and hate.

As time passed, taunt parties would continue their growth, which would later form a force that would have overwhelming power over any match. To give an example, I've been a part of a match that was very fast paced and competitive. That only lasted about thirty seconds. Yes, in just one-half of a minute, a taunt party was able to silence the combatants. It really makes you think "huh, what just happened?".

By late 2010, Taunt Parties had dominated the online sector. One out of probably every eight matches would be a real brawl. And the others, all taunt parties. At times, a player would attempt to crash the party to trigger the beginning of a real Brawl match, but many attempts were unsuccessful and often resulted in a 3-1 brawl, where three players would team up on the opposing player. (There are occasions where an opposing player is able conquer and obliterate a taunt party, but the ocurance of this is very rare).

This, from my experience is one of the ways taunt parties grew to what they are today. There was another approach taken however.

Another approach taken to expand the strength of taunt parties usually involved the most inferior player in the match trying to convince the most dominant (most skilled) player in that match that he or she did not want to fight him, for obvious reasons. And then the inferior player, with the strongest player at his side, would attempt to silence the rest.

While this method did contribute to the growth of taunt parties, it was not as widely used because the majority of skilled players probably wanted to fight. As a result, it was more common for such attempts to end with you getting K-Oed than it was for you to actually succeed.

Moving on to the whole message passing thing. Basically, players involved in taunt parties created signals that they used to convince others to join. The most common being the act of repeatedly tapping down on the joystick while near someone you want to recruit. This particular action, from my perspective, means "I don't want to fight" or "let's not fight at all". This action is what is most commonly used to invite other players in a taunt party.

There are others, that I have learned from those years of playing online. But this particular one is what is most associated with taunt parties.

So, there is my "book" on the history of taunt parties. Being someone who has played online daily for at most three years, I hope a lot of this is accurate and that it may never happen again in future SSB games.

I really believe that despite all the annoyances that came with Brawl's online connectivity, it had a lot of potential. It was the taunt parties that ruined it the most.


Last edited by DarkMarth on Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Sakurai talks about why Brawl's online isn't thrilling anymore

Post by halibabica on Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:03 pm

Huh. I guess every online game has its trolls.
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Re: Sakurai talks about why Brawl's online isn't thrilling anymore

Post by ZeldaFan996 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:04 pm

affraid

That must have taken a really long time to write.

But seriously, you do have a good point. I myself didn't stumble on taunt parties as much as other people, but they're still annoying. The biggest problem with this is that there is really no way to fix it, so I assume that the problem will stay the same in SSB4. Which is a huge bummer.
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Re: Sakurai talks about why Brawl's online isn't thrilling anymore

Post by Taidow on Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:18 pm

Yes Marth I also noticed the evolution of those wretched taunt parties. I once was battling with a group of friends and someone from AiB joined. During the match I taunted with the up taunt upon winning the match. That usage of the taunt was responded "LOLHE" "TAUNT" as the character names when selecting the characters. Just because I didn't follow in the idiotic mindset that competitive players don't taunt, except they couch up and down really annoyed me.

Those darn taunt parties annoy me as well as for some reason wasting 2 minutes doing that is somehow fun in an online game.

It's sad that the idiotic fanbase of a game can turn other players bitter about playing it.
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Re: Sakurai talks about why Brawl's online isn't thrilling anymore

Post by DarkMarth on Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:25 am

ZeldaFan996 wrote: affraid

That must have taken a really long time to write.

But seriously, you do have a good point. I myself didn't stumble on taunt parties as much as other people, but they're still annoying. The biggest problem with this is that there is really no way to fix it, so I assume that the problem will stay the same in SSB4. Which is a huge bummer.

It took me about an hour actually. But it was worth bringing up that point.
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Re: Sakurai talks about why Brawl's online isn't thrilling anymore

Post by ZeldaFan996 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:32 am

DarkMarth wrote:
ZeldaFan996 wrote: affraid

That must have taken a really long time to write.

But seriously, you do have a good point. I myself didn't stumble on taunt parties as much as other people, but they're still annoying. The biggest problem with this is that there is really no way to fix it, so I assume that the problem will stay the same in SSB4. Which is a huge bummer.

It took me about an hour actually. But it was worth bringing up that point.

You deserve an elephant for that. elephant
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Re: Sakurai talks about why Brawl's online isn't thrilling anymore

Post by DarkMarth on Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:00 am

ZeldaFan996 wrote:
DarkMarth wrote:
ZeldaFan996 wrote: affraid

That must have taken a really long time to write.

But seriously, you do have a good point. I myself didn't stumble on taunt parties as much as other people, but they're still annoying. The biggest problem with this is that there is really no way to fix it, so I assume that the problem will stay the same in SSB4. Which is a huge bummer.

It took me about an hour actually. But it was worth bringing up that point.

You deserve an elephant for that. elephant

Lol, didn't even know that existed.... lol!
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Re: Sakurai talks about why Brawl's online isn't thrilling anymore

Post by ZeldaFan996 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:09 am

DarkMarth wrote:
ZeldaFan996 wrote:
DarkMarth wrote:
ZeldaFan996 wrote: affraid

That must have taken a really long time to write.

But seriously, you do have a good point. I myself didn't stumble on taunt parties as much as other people, but they're still annoying. The biggest problem with this is that there is really no way to fix it, so I assume that the problem will stay the same in SSB4. Which is a huge bummer.

It took me about an hour actually. But it was worth bringing up that point.

You deserve an elephant for that. elephant

Lol, didn't even know that existed.... lol!

Well, that's cause I made it up. Razz

I give out elephants to those that deserve them....kinda like a good pat on the back....I guess.... scratch

I dunno, I'm kinda just making it up as I go.
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Re: Sakurai talks about why Brawl's online isn't thrilling anymore

Post by flamemetal3 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:58 pm

The only thing that needs to be fixed in SSB4 is the netcode. I hope it works well and consistently kinda like MarioKart Wii's at least. I'm sure they'll make it a top priority this time around and it will be a success as long as they get it right.

As for taunt parties, I would try to start a fight regardless of whether I won or lost, as long as I got to fight. They can taunt all they want as long as I go for one of my opponents and take him down with me. I was able to get a few fights going while breaking up taunt parties.

I hope Sakurai doesn't take out taunts completely
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Re: Sakurai talks about why Brawl's online isn't thrilling anymore

Post by halibabica on Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:55 am

I don't see why he would. It wouldn't solve the problem. Taunting may be what they're doing, but take that away, and they'll find some other dumb thing to do instead. Trolls just need to grow up.
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Re: Sakurai talks about why Brawl's online isn't thrilling anymore

Post by ZeldaFan996 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:15 am

halibabica wrote:I don't see why he would. It wouldn't solve the problem. Taunting may be what they're doing, but take that away, and they'll find some other dumb thing to do instead. Trolls just need to grow up.

They'll all just do ducking parties instead.
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Re: Sakurai talks about why Brawl's online isn't thrilling anymore

Post by DuxTape on Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:53 pm

ZeldaFan996 wrote:
halibabica wrote:I don't see why he would. It wouldn't solve the problem. Taunting may be what they're doing, but take that away, and they'll find some other dumb thing to do instead. Trolls just need to grow up.

They'll all just do ducking parties instead.

That noise that Samus and Kirby make.

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