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 The Idiot's Guide to Effective HP and Counter-Play

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ThatLunaticFeline

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PostSubject: The Idiot's Guide to Effective HP and Counter-Play   Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:17 am

Ok then, here's my noob's guide to Effective Health Points and Situational Thinking. In it I'll help you (yes, you) to understand the strengths of each character and how to analyse and counter your opponent in-game and learn the unfathomable power of barriers and the maths behind why Krystal is stupidly bulky.

EFFECTIVE HP
---------------

The term 'Effective Hit Points', or EHP for short, is taken from my background in DotA in which it represents the total amount of damage can be soaked up by a character based on their armour and base health. In SFA the principle is similar - how much the character can take based on their barriers.

To calculate EHP you follow this simple equation:

THP + BMEHP

It's that easy. THP stands for Total Hit Points (how many hit points the character has as soon as they spawn) and BMEHP means Barrier Minimum Effective Hit Points.

Barrier Minimum Effective Hit Points is the maximum amount of damage a barrier can block.

To figure out BMEHP, we use the GGun, which has the highest DPS (damage per second) rate in the game aside from the Demon Sniper (which I'll discuss later). Firing the GGun at the same time that a Barrier is activated and measuring the time tells allows us to calculate the maximum amount of health that is blocked by the barrier.

Here is the average time taken to destroy a barrier by a GGun:

3.66 seconds

And in one second the GGun does 20 damage (average).

20 x 3.66 = 73.2 damage

So, a barrier takes 73.2 damage from the GGun before it is destroyed. This means that the barrier has a minimum of 73 Effective Hit Points.

As the characters don't have a barrier when they first spawn they only have their standard HP as EHP, but when they respawn after death they will have one (or two in Krystal's case). Let's add these figures together to find the EHP of one life with a barrier on each legal character using the following formula:

a + 73b

Where a is the character's hitpoints and b is the number of barriers after death.

This means that, based on HAXage's data on character HP:

Slippy has 117 EHP in one life (with a barrier)
Fox has 113
Peppy has 105
Falco has 105

And finally, Krystal has a whopping 178 EHP after one death.

Let's calculate the total EHP for 5 lives then, where

a + y(a+73b)

Where y is the number of extra lives.

Krystal: 744 EHP
Slippy: 512 EHP
Fox: 492 EHP
Peppy: 452 EHP
Falco: 452 EHP

Even Wolf has only 532, meaning that if both Krystal and Wolf dealt exactly equal damage to each other with barriers Wolf will die 7 times when Krystal only dies 5 times.

But this situation only exists theoretically - in practice, damage will be dodged and people will be using Demon Snipers and Pods and whatever else they fancy. However, I do not conisder Demon Snipers reliableenough to take into consideration when calculating, so that's all I have to say about them.

Another thing is the problem (or blessing) of barriers and health packs spawning as items in maps, which is a benefit to faster characters as long as they are lucky enough to grab them before an enemy does.

However these barriers do little else than provide a minimum of 73 HP. Not to say that these cannot be infinitely useful, but as a maximum of only two (correct me if I'm wrong) will spawn in a 5-minute game, and even then only on certain maps and with some RNG involved, it's too unreliable to count these into learning EHP. The health packs are a more reliable form of EHP but they're useless in learning the usefulness of barriers, which is in the most part the point of this mini-guide.

So that's all you need to know about EHP. Why do you need to learn this? Simply, you don't! It's only useful for learning if you want to understand the metagame and barriers and why Krystal is a powerful pick despite her horrible stats.

Speaking of stats...

SITUATIONAL PLAYING
--------------------------

Each character has their own sets of strengths and weaknesses. To understand the most basic aspects of situational playing you must first know the counters to each character, and to know this you must know these strengths and weaknesses.

Fox: Can take a few hits and is quite fast, but his RCB takes a long time to charge and his animations for rolling are slow.

Falco: Very fast and has quick rolling animations, but is very squishy and his RCB takes a long while to charge.

Slippy: The bulkiest legal character with tons of HP and his RCB charges faster than Fox+Falco, but he is slow and collecting better weapons than just your RCB can be challenging against a faster opponent.

Peppy: Ridiculously quick RCB charge and a great roll+jump, but he has pathetic HP and runs slower than any other character in the game.

Krystal: The most EHP of any character and  she also moves reasonably fast, but she has low base HP and bad charge for her blaster.

Now that we know these basic facts, let's consider natural counters and why they are so.

Fox counters Peppy. Although Peppy's RCB is a ton of damage, Fox is the only character except Slippy who can wall 2 blasts from it, allowing Fox to take advantage of Peppy's sluggish movement and blast Peppy a wee way past retirement.

Peppy counters Falco. Despite Falco's speed, the damage output from Peppy is too high for Falco to be able to live through while trying to deal damage himself.

Falco counters Krystal. "What?!?!" you may be exclaiming. Well, it's true - because Krystal's charge is the same rate as Falco's, Falco has the wonderful ability to outmaneuver Krystal and survive long enough to waste her barriers.

Krystal counters Slippy. Obviously, this is because Krystal has an extra wall of defense - even Slippy's nice fast RCB isn't enough to penetrate through the defenses of the much faster Krystal who'll beat Slippy in a race to a GGun any day.

Slippy counters Fox. And thus, it all comes full circle. Slippy beats Fox purely because of the bonus bulk, not to mention the quicker RCB. Fox's speed is definitely useful but Slippy is able to output more damage and quicker.

Now that we know this, we can start thinking about countering these counters. This is known as situational decision-making and situational playing. Let's say you are playing Falco and you're up against a Peppy. How are you going to deal with this?

Well, there's 2 ways. One is to learn and understand the Boxer-Smasher-Techer triangle created by HAXage (which I'll leave you to go learn elsewhere), and the other is to analyse your enemy's game.

Ever watched a replay of another player and thought, "I don't think that was a good idea." I have. Plenty of times. This is already a good start in learning how your enemy plays, as what you need to do is to capitalise on your opponents' mistakes. Watch your opponent more than you watch yourself, simply, and make a mental list of any muck-ups or weird playsthat happen.

"He rolled too early when the HL was fired."
"He's coming up close to me when we're in a firefight."
"He activated his barrier accidentally."
"He walked straight into a sensor I dropped."
"He runs away with his back to me."

Now cross off the accidents.

"He's coming up close to me when we're in a firefight."
"He walked straight into a sensor I dropped."
"He runs away with his back to me."

These three are the core mistakes you should focus on. Let's look at each of these and how you can make these an advantage over your enemy.

1 - "He's coming up close to me when we're in a firefight."

Use a barrier and drop a HL right underneath you. Boom! Tons of damage in that AoE, meaning you've taken a reasonable amount of damage to your barrier, but you don't have any recoil, which the enemy does. Use that recoil time to get into a better position, ie. charge up your blaster.

2 - "He walked straight into a sensor I dropped."

Use more sensors! They do a nice amount of damage! Hiding them around corners and at the top of ramps are the best places. Alternatively, drop them under the spawn of an item when you pick it up - if your opponent wants that item when it respawns, they'll run straight into it.

3 - "He runs away with his back to me."

Give him something to remember you by - a Missile is always a nice gift, because of its wide area splash.

This gives you an idea of how to be thinking when playing in a match. But as I mentioned in Point 2, you will need to be in control of your positioning at all times for any of these to be effective in punishing mistakes.

If you go and read my short analysis of Simp3 you'll notice my emphasis on the importance of maintaining a strong position. In an example I gave I detailed a Fox chasing down a Falco who runs head-first into a sensor. If the Fox wasn't behind the Falco at that time then Falco might have gotten away with his mistake.

When waiting for a slip-up of any sort you must be ready to punish it as soon as it happens, which could be any time. So, you must be prepared. In the three points I showed above the player will need the following to punish the mistakes the other player makes:
- A barrier
- A HL
- Sensor Bombs
- A Missile Launcher
- An RCB

But spending time to get all these weapons is in itself a mistake that is punishable, and should you die, then you'll lose all of these. In order to make this a much simpler and safer task, let's eliminate the first mistake and just run away when getting into a close-up fight. Now you only need Sensor Bombs, a Missile Launcher, and an RCB - for those who are aware of item spawn locations, this is a quick diversion that ultimately pays off.

---------------

That's the end of the guide! Basic, I know, but I wrote it to help newbs get into the advanced game as I myself found understanding everything a challenge at first. Also, the EHP stuff may look pointless but that's no reason to dismiss it - it's just as pointless-sounding in DotA but everyone talks about it. So give it some time and eventually we may find a use for it.
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HAXage
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PostSubject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to Effective HP and Counter-Play   Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:25 pm

very cool! i'd be further interested to see how EHP stacks up in more realistic scenarios, too; if you don't get any (or much) damage put on your barriers, do you still get such a huge bonus from using Krys?

ThatLunaticFeline wrote:
character counters
mostly accurate based on what we've learned although we've always seen the core countering triangle to be Falc > Krys > Slip > Falc, with Pep and Fox floating somewhere outside (although Peppy does assuredly counter Fox).

Pep > Falc is the only one here that i really disagree with; you could make a case for Slip > Fox for sure but PvF is a bit of a weird matchup and i'd be more inclined to tell you that Falc comes out on top although it really can be anyone's game.
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PostSubject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to Effective HP and Counter-Play   Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:48 pm

It was definitely difficult to come up with these counters but as is true for the majority of my work on this site anything involving characters is not only theoretical but less informed than someone like you who's had plenty more opportunity to get to grips entirely with these characters. Thanks for your help.

I think you raise a good point on the Krystal matter, but there's one thing that makes it redundant. As every character has the same 'problem', it's less of a concern but your point is about how her double barrier almost appears to be her only real strong point. This is true, but your worry about its effectiveness if ignored is needless, because there's really no reason not to shoot a a barriered Krys, unless you want to just run away from her and waste time. Time is the factor of importance here - in a 5 minute match, you're not gonna run from a Krys that has 2 barriers if you have 1 minute left on the clock and the score is 4-4. There is definitely a point to be made about earlygame skirmishes and this would be a good example of situational play BUT Krystal never came across to me as an earlygame powerhouse anyway.

And should a Krystal be aware of how fragile she is in the earlygame, then she could simply choose not to play aggressively - play my style, where you make a prod then get out before there's any good time to react - and the stages that you would see Krystal played on would reflect this playstyle, with maps like Sarg and ApCity being good places for Krystal should she wish to play a passive game.
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PostSubject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to Effective HP and Counter-Play   Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:28 am

I don't know the record for Pep vs Falco matchups, but I'd almost always give Falco the edge. He can just run to some red weapon away from Peppy and kill him with it. Peppy's that slow.
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PostSubject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to Effective HP and Counter-Play   Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:46 pm

Major bump here...
The lifetime video record for Pep-Fal is tied 2-2!

Here's the boxscores:

HAXage(Pep) 5 > Cac(Fal) 3
Points era, friendly on Titan. Grain of salt.

Yosh(Pep) 3 > STG(Fal) 1
Yosh got ran around in the first 2:30.

STG(Fal) 3 > Yosh(Pep) 2
More runaround, though it was a second of hitstun from being a draw at 3.

AKP(Fal) 6 > Yosh(Pep) 1
Simp 3 takedown. One of the most dominating wins in a tourney late round.

Pep looks totally outclassed to my eye, the only things going for him are a match from 2010 and the best shooter ever in his prime.

Paying attention to what's been written about (quite eloquently!) here, I'll post my personal char matchups that I've used since '07:
if A is picked on me --> then i pick B

Fox --> Fal
Fal --> Sli
Kry --> Fal
Sli --> Kry
Pep --> Fox

On all stages.


Last edited by Cac on Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to Effective HP and Counter-Play   Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:44 am

to be pedantic: first match you listed was 5-3 not 5-2
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Cac
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PostSubject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to Effective HP and Counter-Play   Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:19 am

Not anymore.
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PostSubject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to Effective HP and Counter-Play   Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:45 pm

I've got to say I've never been a fan of Peppy anyway. In games vs. slower characters (other Peppys, Slippy) I can see him being an effective counter if played correctly, but Fox and Falco just outrun him far too easily. Considering the above two's metagame dominance, I'd say that Peppy is quite likely to be phased out in almost all games.

Then again, he takes out fragile characters like Krystal well too with his super-quick RCB, so the teching game would have to be perfect for an effective match with Peppy.
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PostSubject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to Effective HP and Counter-Play   Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:09 pm

IMO the stage is set for a Pep renaissance the next time we play. AKP and Ganon have been driving the bus in the last few tourneys and they're both speedsters who hate him, so someone could start relying on him and make a lot of noise. Nobody would know what to do if one of our top-10 players went all Yosh 2.0.

I'd bet $ that hax mains him. xD
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PostSubject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to Effective HP and Counter-Play   Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:04 pm

One question.
Cac wrote:
HAXage(Pep) 5 > Cac(Fal) 3
Points era, friendly on Titan. Grain of salt.
HOW THE HECK DID PEP WIN ON TITANIA AGAINGST FALCO!
I have peronally found that falco counters Pep on large stages, ESPECIALLY Titainia. WTF happened that match?
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PostSubject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to Effective HP and Counter-Play   Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:06 pm

weird, old game with many mistakes made would be my guess. haven't watched it in a while. it's THE TITAN (friendly match) if you really care to look for it lol

a semi-reliable strategy vs fast characters as Pep has been to get REALLY aggressive, try for an early point, and then camp like hell while keeping the opponent out of where you don't want them to be with a million RCBs... needless to say it's a lot harder on Titania where you can't see your opponent 90% of the time. dumb stage tbh, i'm glad it's gone in 1v1s
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PostSubject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to Effective HP and Counter-Play   Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:59 am

So, i watched it, and basically what I think happened was Cac played a bad first point, Pep got some lucky spawns from both him and falco (including a top level spawn), and Pep simply landed more hits. Basically, disregard this game, nothing to see here.
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PostSubject: Re: The Idiot's Guide to Effective HP and Counter-Play   Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:14 pm

it's also points era which was a huge game changer especially with regards to character mobility... c.f. the 18 minute game which i had to heavily edit between Ganon and Rambler on Titania in Kelowna 2010
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