Suggested Changes to Improve Ike

Discussion in 'Ike' started by Bent 00, Jun 4, 2014.

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  1. Bent 00

    Bent 00 Longtime Limit Breaker

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    At Pin Clock's suggestion, I'm moving the discussion here...

    Here's what I don't like about Ike's No Sympathy Mode in 3.5:

    I.) When Ike deals 75% sword damage, he enters N.S.M.; his attacks are powered up at the cost of damaging himself with almost every attack.
    What if I don't want to play Ike as a glass cannon? Sometimes I'd prefer to have N.S.M. not activate, so I can keep my damage at a minimum, and stay alive longer by playing defensively. Sure, you can cancel N.S.M. via D-Taunt + A, but that's still annoying if you never wanted to use it in the first place. N.S.M. is supposed to be a reward for Ike playing offensively, but it's more of a burden if your focus is self-preservation.

    II.) While in N.S.M., Ike can no longer charge Eruption or use a standard Counter; pressing B will use his N.S.M. charge to execute a fully-charged Eruption, and landing Counter will execute Ike's Flourish finishing combo instead.
    Being able to charge Eruption is useful against approaching opponents, and the standard Counter is a great defensive move that is more reliable than Flourish currently is. Losing two of his best means of defense upon entering N.S.M. is frustrating, since you are basically forced to play offensively; if you don't hurry up and K.O. your opponent, your damage is going to rise too high, and Ike will be K.O.ed easily.

    III.) The pressure to play aggressively is even higher now that Ike loses his N.S.M. charge upon being K.O.ed. He has only a small window of opportunity to make use of his increased strength before he must begin focusing on dodging attacks or spamming Aether (see IV).
    Other characters (except Pichu) can damage their opponents enough to K.O. them, while remaining undamaged themselves if they play defensively. As-is, a good Ike player is going to enter N.S.M. fairly quickly no matter what; even if he avoids most of his enemies' attacks, he's going to put himself in danger of being K.O.ed before long. It feels like Ike is being punished for doing too well.

    IV.) In N.S.M., Aether spam is encouraged, even without its healing properties, because it's one of the few moves that Ike will not damage himself with.
    Encouraging spam is never a good thing. Aether's healing effect was added in to compensate somewhat for all the self-damage (and as a nod to the way it healed Ike in the Fire Emblem games he starred in), but it's not enough to keep Ike's damage from increasing steadily once he enters N.S.M.

    My suggestions to improve Ike:

    I.) Ike must still deal 75% sword damage to be able to enter N.S.M., but he no longer enters it automatically. Instead, once Ike deals 75% sword damage, he says "You'll get no sympathy from me", and he gains one N.S.M. charge to use whenever he wants. There is no visual indicator that Ike has a charge stored, only the verbal warning. This stored charge will not be lost if Ike is K.O.ed. However, Ike can only hold one N.S.M. charge at a time. His N.S.M. Meter will not reset to zero and begin refilling until Ike exits N.S.M. via being K.O.ed, spending the charge on Flourish, or cancelling N.S.M. via D-Taunt + A.

    II.) If Ike has a N.S.M. Charge available, he may enter N.S.M. by pressing Up Taunt. A powered-up version of the taunt will begin; similar to Lucario's Ultra Taunt, this variant of Up Taunt will have fire graphic effects, a hitbox, and a weak windbox surrounding Ike. Instead of his usual yell, Ike will say "Prepare yourself". It will differ from Lucario's Ultra Taunt in this way: instead of pulling foes in with delayed, highly-damaging, repeating hitboxes, it will have an immediate, constant hitbox that deals moderate fire damage and hits foes away, to just outside the windbox range. This variant of Up Taunt is faster than normal; it should last no longer than it takes for Ike to finish saying "Prepare yourself". Since it's so short, this taunt should not be cancellable. Ike may be knocked out of this N.S.M. activation by ranged attacks, but he doesn't lose his stored charge when this happens. Ike enters N.S.M. the moment the powered-up Up Taunt ends.

    III.) Eruption's charge meter exists entirely separately from Ike's N.S.M., and he may once again store a fully-charged, instant Eruption by cancelling it via Shield at max power. In N.S.M., Eruption remains unchanged; it gains no extra power or range, and it only damages Ike if he continues charging it past max-charge, as usual. Charge time is the same, and a stored max-charge will carry over from before when N.S.M. was activated. Eruption's charge level resets to zero if it is interrupted before reaching max power. However, a stored max-charge Instant Eruption is not lost if Ike is K.O.ed. Also, Ike will flicker white as long as he has a max-charge Eruption stored, just like D.K. does with a fully-charged Giant Punch.

    IV.) Ike's Flourish finishing combo will only trigger in N.S.M. if the B button is HELD during a successful counter. Flourish will link into its hits much better, on the ground and especially in the air. Ike yells the "HRRRAAHHH" from his Final Smash during Flourish, and each sword hit has a satisfying SFX. If B is only tapped, Counter will function exactly as it does in Normal Mode. N.S.M. Counter will not damage Ike, since it is a defensive move. It will not have the amount of stun or the ability to cancel into Eruption that it had in MAX 1.01; it will just be a regular Counter that reflects the strength of the move it counters, as usual.

    Ike will still damage himself in N.S.M., but now entering that mode is a choice, not something forced upon you. To clarify, if Ike is K.O.ed while in N.S.M., he respawns in Normal Mode with a N.S.M. Charge level of zero. Stored N.S.M. Charges and stored max-charge Eruptions are not lost upon being K.O.ed. Ike's sword, Ragnell, still catches on fire in N.S.M..

    Ike players are no longer encouraged to spam Aether as much, since they have two more N.S.M. Special moves that will not damage them or waste their N.S.M. Charge.

    BONUS (take these a bit less seriously)

    V.) When Ike does not have a full N.S.M. charge ready to use, Up Taunt will look and sound like normal, but it will now fill up the N.S.M. Meter a moderate amount if it is completed without interruption.

    VI.) Another way to use a stored max-charge Eruption: If Ike has one fully charged, and he then fully charges and lands Quick Draw...

    A.) In Normal Mode, Ike goes through his opponents, and each one that was hit is stunned for about two seconds, before they fly off over Ike's head with a strong amount of knockback. Opponents below 50% damage or so may not be K.O.ed, but they'll be in a position where Ike can follow up with an aerial attack; Ike can cancel the last few frames of this Quick Draw variant's ending lag.

    B.) In N.S.M., Ike goes through his opponents, and each one simultaneously explodes from the max-charge Eruption animation about one second after Ike stops moving. Affected foes are very unlikely to survive this, so Ike says his "Hmph" from D-Taunt. Ike cannot cancel the ending lag of this version.

    Both "A" and "B" use up Ike's stored max-charge Eruption if they connect, even if they are shielded. If Ike does not hit anyone with a max-charge Quick Draw, his stored max-charge Eruption is not used up. "Why would I ever use regular max-charge Eruption over this", you ask? Because Eruption has super armor frames, and max-charge Quick Draw does not, while both use up your stored max-charge Eruption. It's impossible to shield max-charge Eruption, but it's easy to shield Quick Draw if your shield is full; Ike will go right through you, wasting his stored max-charge Eruption. In N.S.M., he'll even be left vulnerable in ending lag. "Hmph", indeed. Perhaps max-charge Quick Draw should have some armor too?

    If you don't have a max-charge Eruption stored, max-charge Quick Draw will function as it normally does.

    Well, there are my best ideas for Ike. What do you all think? Is any of this just not possible?
     
  2. Bent 00

    Bent 00 Longtime Limit Breaker

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    Replies from the original topic:

    Except in cases where a character is designed to specialize to the extreme in one specific playstyle -- like Bowser (Grappler) and Zelda (Sniper) -- I think it's great if a character can be played in several different ways. Offensively, Defensively, Ranged, Close Proximity, Mindgame-y, Straightforward, Fast, Slow... Not knowing exactly what to expect from your opponents keeps the game fresh.

    It frustrates me when certain playstyles of a character (that are not overpowered or too annoying) are disabled by the devs because those styles offered a viable alternative to the main playstyle they intended. If they don't interfere with each other, why not encourage both? Consider characters like Snake, Link, and R.O.B.; they can use their varied movesets to attack you in a variety of different ways. You have to watch out for shifts in playstyle. Isn't that interesting? It gets old playing as or against simple, straightforward characters after a while...

    I never said that getting a free instant Eruption in N.S.M. is a bad thing; it's Eruption being tied to N.S.M. that I don't like. I think it and Counter should be constants for Ike, being defensive moves; they should work exactly the same way inside N.S.M. and outside of it.

    I'm glad you like it! By the way, suggestion VI in the BONUS section is built off of an idea started by Gold_TSG in this topic: http://brawlminus.net/forums/threads/suggestion-for-ikes-nsm-counter.146/

    Right, Ike's Eruption charge is only useful as a defensive tool against opponents coming in for physical attacks -- that happens often, though! You should shield out of it if you see that your opponent is going to throw ranged attacks at you, then try a different approach.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2014
  3. Darxmarx

    Darxmarx The Learning Star Warrior

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    I'm a fan of tap DownB for regular Counter and hold DownB for Flourish when in NSM.
    I'm not really sure about any other ideas, though, since I don't play Ike often enough to decide.
     
  4. justadood

    justadood Just a dood with ideas

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    i think that after the certain amount of damage, his sword should just glow, and from then, you go into no sympathy mode if you taunt "prepare yourself" ...it should take longer too, but maybe help him out a little more... also, i think his FS should heal him :p like, for a lot more than his regular Aether... and i think you should be able to use a "super Aether" against foes if you press neutral B during your landing from your regular Aether, as if to imitate the FS, and if you do this, it should end NS mode immediately, and heal you for more than the regular Aether, but the eruption from it should not do as much damage or not be as strong....
     
  5. Kien

    Kien A Meaningless Circle Minus Backroom

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    I never saw this thread until I was linked to it. I'm gonna do that.
     
  6. Bent 00

    Bent 00 Longtime Limit Breaker

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    Looks like the makers of Brawl Minus Zeus had a similar idea. Skip to 06:47. Check out 6:08 too.



    Looks pretty awesome, eh?

    Anyway, Kienamaru (who codes Minus Ike) likes the dual input Counter / Flourish idea, but none of the other ones. If anyone would like to voice support for suggestions I, II, III, V, and VI, now's the time to speak up.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2014
  7. Gold_TSG

    Gold_TSG Can't stop The Dorf Train.

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    The thingy in that vid for Ike is similar to what I suggested for his NSM like a month or so ago. The marth version after it is closer to what I had in mind tho.
     
  8. Bent 00

    Bent 00 Longtime Limit Breaker

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    Right, I already credited you for that:
    Not that it matters, since the Brawl Minus Zeus team thought of it first... Regardless, I hope we can get some form of fancy Quick Draw on Ike in regular Minus.

    Does anyone have anything else to say about Suggestions I, II, and III?
     
  9. Gold_TSG

    Gold_TSG Can't stop The Dorf Train.

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    Juuuust sayin. D:
     
  10. Bent 00

    Bent 00 Longtime Limit Breaker

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    No offense; just thought you didn't see where I credited you.

    Back on topic... I thought there would be more support for ideas I-III:

    I.) Making N.S.M. optional and storable
    II.) Up Taunt activation method
    III.) Storable Eruption separate from N.S.M.
    V.) Up Taunt adds a little to N.S.M. meter if it's not already full
    VI.) Max-Charge Eruption + Max Charge Quick Draw Combos

    Come on Ike mains, wouldn't you like to be able to store a maxed-out Eruption again? And have N.S.M. be a choice? I've thought a lot about suggestions I, II, and III, and I'm certain they would work well.

    If these suggestions don't make it into Minus officially, I'll try to implement them into a custom variant of Ike when I have time to learn PSA. If anyone wants to help, let me know.
     
  11. NEWB

    NEWB New Member

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    Well.... It's not that I don't support those ideas, I just don't really care because Ike does 90ish percent fine without ns mode entirely.

    I wouldn't mind seeing eruption become storable.

    The taunt activation method is interesting indeed. I like it. However, I don't like the idea it having any hitbox. Graphics should suffice to demonstrate the transformation. It shouldn't be an attack, so the taunt should be fast like you said. I also don't like the idea of being safe on whiff. If Ike is stupid enough to try and activate it in front of link, he deserves to lose it on whiff, especially if it's a fast taunt.

    Ike is hulkishly strong in NS mode. Him having a small window to abuse it is fine, since he will get a beefed up counter. They obviously mean to fix or rework flourish. With that done, it should be a fair exchange.

    Ike is foolish for spamming aether. It is a weak move that is fairly easy to land and doesn't set up for anything. Timely fairs plus heat wave in NS mode are all you need to keep foes away and they kill too.

    Up taunt charging ns meter is a neat idea, but encourages NS mode use. As has been said elsewhere, NS mode is icing on the cake. It compliments Ike without being a central aspect of his playstyle. It's one thing to ask for freedom, it's another thing to make a character who doesn't have a clear, consistent playstyle. Having up taunt charge NS may lead players to hit foes away from Ike in favor of following up and doing a combo. This harms players by having them not learn as simply how to play without NS mode. The idea here is to try and find a balance where Ike spends most of the time as himself while making NS mode more usable, but not centralizing. Ness' bat mode gave ness more tools, but took away from ness himself. So did lucario's ultra taunt and metal Mario, and using those things are now more discouraged for balancing purpose and to put focus back where focus is needed. NS mode should certainly ns user friendly, but it shouldn't be so optionally as you say.

    Dat critical hit from Zeus is amazing and canon! Putting something like that in should be a priority. I also think Marth should get something similar to Zeus critical hit.

    Sorry for not responding sooner bent. I wasn't looking forward to reading and replying to that... Lazy....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2014
  12. Gold_TSG

    Gold_TSG Can't stop The Dorf Train.

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    I wasn't even looking for credit, just mentioning xD
     
  13. Bent 00

    Bent 00 Longtime Limit Breaker

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    Thanks for the detailed reply, NEWB.

    Agreed! That's one reason why I'd like to have the option to play without N.S.M. activating automatically. If I'm playing well enough that I don't need the power boost, I'd prefer to not use it so that I don't damage myself.

    If N.S.M. must activate automatically (why), at least let Ike save it for later. If Suggestions I and II don't get officially adopted, I think Ike's Down Taunt + A cancel (or Down Taunt alone) should STORE N.S.M. instead of just wasting it. Ike could then re-activate it with Up Taunt anytime, even if he's K.O.ed while N.S.M. is stored away.

    This should not have been disabled in the first place, IMO. At least 7 other characters can charge up a Special move and save it for later. I recall the devs wanting to discourage Ike players from running away to charge up Eruption, back when that activated N.S.M. -- but that's an easily-punishable strategy unless you charge up between K.O.s., so I don't see it as a problem.

    Yeah, it doesn't really need any hitbox since it's so fast. A harmless windbox (like the one on 'Dorf's Up Taunt) would be a good substitute.

    I disagree about losing the whole N.S.M. charge if Ike is knocked out of the activation taunt, though. He shouldn't be discouraged from trying to activate it when he needs it because he's close to his opponent -- unless he's charging up Eruption, Ike should always keep his foes close, since he has no long-range attacks. It's fair for characters like D.K., Samus, and Lucario to lose their Special move's full charge if they whiff it, since it's easy enough for them to quickly charge it up again. Ike, on the other hand, has to work much harder to get his N.S.M. fully charged. Characters with projectiles could easily make Ike waste his N.S.M. charge. "Prepar--" *BONK* "Argh, my charge...!"

    IMO, that window is currently too small, since Ike is likely to be at high damage himself by the time he deals 75% sword damage. Plus the fact that he damages himself with nearly every blow, N.S.M. Ike winds up about as vulnerable to K.O. as a Lucario at the same damage, but Lucario's benefits at that point are much greater than Ike's. This issue would be alleviated if Ike could store N.S.M. and use it when he wants, or if he at least would not have his sword damage meter reset to 0% when he's K.O.ed.

    It's the lesser-experieced players who spam Aether (particularly while planking) once they find out it's one of the very few moves that will not damage Ike (it heals him on-hit) in N.S.M.. If they knew Eruption and Counter wouldn't damage them either, they would mix up their game a bit. I know we don't balance Minus with lesser-skilled players in mind, but Suggestions III and IV would conveniently fix the temptation to spam Aether as a bonus.

    I wasn't so sure about Suggestion V, which is why I listed it as a bonus ("take these a bit less seriously"). You have a good point here; Up Taunt charging up N.S.M. might put too much focus on the "icing" when it should be on the "cake". Ike should be encouraged to play aggressively, but not forced to.

    Agreed.

    I always appreciate detailed replies and feedback.
     
  14. justadood

    justadood Just a dood with ideas

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    i don't particularly like ike's eruption, tbh :p it's just not usable at low charge, being how slow and low range and WEAK it is, and not to mention it doesn't belong with Ike in the first place xP
     
  15. Darxmarx

    Darxmarx The Learning Star Warrior

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    I like to use eruption just to throw the opponent off. I don't really use it otherwise.
     
  16. Bashdemears

    Bashdemears Jiggs2stronk

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    what if NSM required a taunt input of up-right-left-down with some kind of visual clue for the timing? You can only go NSM when at least at 75% and messing up the input will give you a weaker NSM. When done correctly, Ike will do a short but invincible animation and say "You'll get not sympathy from me!"
     
  17. Kien

    Kien A Meaningless Circle Minus Backroom

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    Why do that? NSM is fine as is.
     
  18. Lucis Perficio

    Lucis Perficio Radiant Hero of Blue Flames

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    It would be really nice if Ike could turn around after releasing a quick draw, or simply retain his momentum when using it. For example, chaining a down smash from a quickdraw, with him retaining his momentum and possibly being able to turn around, would result in an attack that tosses targets further, then attacks them again on the way past them with the second slash.

    I've actually found it to be useful, albeit, situational, in its mindgame. Many times opponents may expect a faster attack and simply be tripped up by it. It also kills at extremely hit percentages and if spaced properly can be chained into aerials at lower percentages, so long as the endlag doesnt get in your way.
     
  19. Gold_TSG

    Gold_TSG Can't stop The Dorf Train.

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    That's strike two.
     
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