Ok, so I've let this sit for a decent amount of time now so everyone could get their opinions on the table. Shots are probably going to be fired during this so brace for that.
First things first, lets talk a bit about what it is that people think makes ROB broken. The list is pretty wide spread, but I'll give everything I've heard a fair shake. We've got:
And probably a few others, but the picture should be pretty apparent already. People have problems with ROB. Its worth nothing that only a handful of people actually complain about ALL of those above moves, but that's something I'll probably touch on later down. For now, lets just dive on in with
: Rob's bread and butter, even back in vBrawl. Wicked safe and very fast to act out of. I don't deny that its a very good move, but even if it was the best spotdodge in the game (and I'd wager its not) its far from being TOO good. In the end, its still just a spotdodge. You gain nothing out of it other than not getting hit, and even though the window at the end is small a HUGE majority of the cast have moves that can beat out that 5 frame endlag (and of course can just start their attack before the spotdodge ends since it has the same duration every time).
Conclusion - Great move! But not OP in any sense.
Another bane of many a grounded opponent. Comes out lightning fast, but beyond that accomplishes very little for ROB. The damage is good, but in the world of minus where most Dsmashes can put out upwards of 20% easily if all their hits connect this one is very very tame in both terms of damage AND knockback (you won't be killing until well
past 150% with it, even against lightweights). Its a very well balanced move, in that its a strong option to get people off of you but doesn't offer anything more than a moment to breathe in the long term. Oh, and did I mention that holding up during this this gets you out of the last hit? Then you can just bop ROB for free.
Conclusion - Its a ROB staple for a reason. But its not enough of a threat to merit any changes unless you're just actively trying to make ROB worse.
I was really
looking forward to talking about Fair in this post, mostly because its one that has been actively proven to be very easy to deal with by a competent opponent. The solution? Good ol' fashion american DI. Or Japanese DI if you're fancy. Regardless you just... move out of the way. I used to say 'down and away' but turns out you can even just hold back to get out, even at modest percentages. But there's another reason I was excited for this move, and that's because I've got a TON of replays showing that its not just possible but reliable
to DI out of it.
Here's it being done against me.
And here's me doing it to the second best ROB we have.
That second game is worth looking at because its effectively 'How to beat ROB' in video form. I'll be coming back to it a lot since its a perfect example of the reasons these moves are easily handled by a player who's familiar with the ol' robot.
Conclusion - Easily trumped once you know what you're doing.
Oh lordy lordy, the infamous nair. ROB's best kill move, but against a smart opponent also probably the most difficult one to land. Nair starts up too slow to just throw out unless your opponent is blindly rushing in (which is a big signal that they're not going to have a great time that match anyway), and primarily connects only if you manage to chase people with your jumps/up-b.
But thats ok! The move is not a guaranteed hit in those circumstances EVER. Its big, but you can spotdodge it easily thanks to its super obvious and long start up time. But the BEST response to this move is just conserve your double jump until ROB commits to using it. ROB can cover a ton if distance, but his speed in the air is abysmal compared to a hefty chunk of the cast. Meaning, you know exactly what ROB wants to hit you with, you know exactly where he's coming from, and you know exactly when he's going to use it.
'BUT WHAT IF THE ROB KNOWS YOU'LL JUMP AND JUST CHASES FURTHER?????'
Then guess what, that ROB player read your play.
You made a decision and the other player saw it coming and punished. That's what being good at smash is all about.
Conclusion - Hella obvious and easy to dodge if you're patient, a world ender if you're not.
This one frustrates me more than anything else on the list because its blatently just targeting ROB for the sake of being upset you couldn't beat him. EVERY character has a move that will combo out of at least one of their throws.
Conclusion - Get over it and accept that combos are a thing in minus
Man, really? This thing is literally one of the only moves in the whole game unchanged from vbrawl. Yeah its good at stopping meteors. So is jumping. ROB will take a few hits to put down, but he's also completely unable to air dodge during the use of it. Hover over his head, bait out an attack (or just hit him straight away) and he's already in a horrible position. This goes back again to his very mediocre air speed, meaning you can tell from the start exactly where he plans to go and take an appropriate action against it. Its not impossible to spike ROB, its just not as easy as hitting him once.
Conclusion - Its vBrawl already
FINALLY something actually worth a nerf! I've been very open about the fact that ROB getting a second gyro was the biggest buff he's ever gotten. A single gyro is a very manageable thing. It hurts, but takes a long time to charge up and can't even be messed with again until its offstage or times out. Two gives ROB something his projectile game never needed, sustainability. Normally ROB can set up a really solid projectile wall against an opponent with two attacks, obviously both being laser and gyro. But with a second gyro, he can pressure with the first and charge another while its in the air. And if they block that one, then you just have yet another
gyro on deck to charge up. Moving this back to one makes ROB's projectile game a much less frightening beast.
Conclusion - Gyro to 1
Lasers, much like nair, are easy to dodge if you know what you're doing and will devastate you if you don't. But, only if you're offstage. AND only if you're at a pretty decent percentage anyway. AND only if the ROB actually manages to hit it, which I promise is no easy task against experienced players.
Conclusion - Get out of the way or you deserve to be KO'd
I've seen this called a 'panic button' for ROB. If you're using this move as such, you're not playing ROB very effectively. This move is all out pressure. Its got great range and amazing speed, but does like, 4%. DIing up or away from ROB will get you out with minimal damage, meaning your only real threat is being tripped. That rate was being adjusted last I heard, but Dtilt was far from a game decider in the first place so nerf away if that's what you want.
Conclusion - If you think nerfing Dtilt will balance ROB you don't know what the problems are.
This particular point is probably the hardest one for me to work with. ROB's jumps aren't broken,
but they're certainly an incredibly valuable tool to him. Seeing them go wouldn't be the end of the world, but I WOULD certainly expect brawl minus to compensate for their removal with some buff to up-b.
Conclusion - Super duper useful and not game breaking, but not integral to ROB's play. Would require something to balance out their removal.
: This is another one I'm going to back to this video
on. ROB's side-b is good. It makes him go fast and that is scary. But its also ... a straight line. Out of which ROB will 99.9% of the time fair out of. Which means if ROB is waaaay over there, and he's not shooting things at you, be ready to block! Blocking shuts DOWN this approach, down to its followup dsmash/dtilts. (see 2:24 for what I mean). But thats not your only option at all. Getting above ROB means that approach does him no good, and don't forget he still has a giant hitbox on him meaning you can just attack him out of it and get free damage (which I do a ton of times that game).
Conclusion - Another predictable move that is easily dealt with once you're familiar with how to play aginast ROB. Are you noticing the trend?
I'm sure I've missed some key points in there but I'll feel a lot better having gotten this mess off my chest and into the public eye. But first, I do have to put a little story out there. About a week ago I tested out a new ROB build with another dev. This ROB had the changes I have listed here, and then some. On top of all the previous ROB nerfs, this one also: had only the standard double jump, only one gyro, and no laser on charged fsmash.
That's already a very steep decline from previous ROB builds, but sure, I figured I'd try it. It took some adjusting too but I still managed to pull out pretty handy victories in the games we played. I figured that hopefully that person would be able to see that my literal years of playing tournament level ROB were the problem he was seeing and not the character itself.
Instead we're now looking at a rework on ROB because they can't fathom that someone might be that
much better than them.
People like this do not balance with gameplay in mind, they balance around what they can and cannot beat. If it were for gameplay, we'd see significant nerfs to ALL the top tiers, instead of a constant stream on only one and small touches on the others (if any at all). In a sense I guess I'm flattered, but actions show people's true intentions clearer than any words could.
If there is a valid complaint raised against ROB following this post I'll be happy to answer it, but anything that's just rehashing things I've talked about here right now will be ignored.
EDIT 1: I imagine there will be several edits here as I remember stuff, but I DO want to address the post above this one and point out that all the weaknesses they point out for ROB are still present in minus. There's even a quote I love:
'He was considered a difficult matchup for many players, who weren't experienced enough at the time to get around his weaknesses, and he was very dominant, with his attacks known for being fast and having great hitboxes. However, as time progressed, R.O.B.'s weaknesses became more prominent, with players learning to get around the blind spots of his attacks, as well as the increasing dominance of Meta Knight
, the character which countered R.O.B. the most.'
We're sitting in 2008 thanks to our super tiny playerbase. If you need practice or advice on trumping ROB, I'm definitely the guy to talk to.