Rowing and Skating

Discuss the Virtual-On series.
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Porcupine
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Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 23 Jan 2015, 18:35

Since I started playing again back in 2012, we noticed that the Japanese players with various VRs have a number of ways to move faster than we know how to do. We correctly guessed that they are various kinds of new rowing but never understood it. Well, about a year ago, I finally discovered the breakthrough trick. (Turns out it was posted on this forum in 2009 by Schooly D and anikingVOOT but I never read it). Furthermore, since then I have figured out more advancements and variations on them. My progress on this is continuing even as I write this, and at this point I may know more than even the Japanese players so I have to post it. I have told some of this information to Zaarock but I was hoping to hide it from Schooly D until I could rival him. Unfortunately the game is dying so I'll give Schooly D his powerups prematurely even though he doesn't need them. :3

First the old stuff. Rowing is basically a way to walk faster, typically rivaling or surpassing dash speed. It has been around since VOOM and VOOT 5.2 and was done by alternating the twinsticks from downleft+upleft, to left+left, to upleft+downleft, to left+left, to downleft+upleft and repeat, if you wanted to row left for example. It could also be done roughly equivalently by alternating the twinsticks from upleft+upleft, to left+left, to downleft+downleft, to left+left, to upleft+upleft, and repeat. Whether or not this resulted in a faster movement was VR dependent but quite a lot of VRs could row like this in VOOT 5.2 in any case. Other rowing directions are possible as well besides just left or right. For example, depending on VR you might be able to move faster by rowing from upleft+upleft, to left+left, to upleft+upleft, and repeat. Or maybe by rowing from downleft+downleft, to left+left, to downleft+downleft, and repeat. Or perhaps by rowing from upleft+upleft, to up+up, to upleft+upleft, and repeat. Any given VR might only be able to row beneficially in some of these directions. I will call all these types of rowing as 'old' rowing. The earliest examples I gave I will call 3-direction rowing because you move the sticks back and forth between 3 directions, while the other examples I will call 2-direction rowing. Generally speaking they perform about the same but potentially 3-direction rowing could be faster depending on VR attributes.

Now why does rowing work? It works when a VR's walking in a particular direction accelerates faster upon starting, than it decelerates when you stop. If you have the sharp, quick vision to discern this you don't even have to test rowing to be able to predict what directions will work with a given VR. If a VR's walking accelerates faster than it decelerates, by alternating directions you get the separate walking speeds to eventually add together and that is what creates rowing. So 2-direction rowing is adding the walking speed from 2 directions, while 3-direction rowing is potentially adding the walking speed from 3 directions. However in practice, because VR's do decelerate when you stop walking, adding in the 3rd direction does not help because the acceleration from the 3rd direction is probably not faster than double the deceleration from the other 2 directions added together.

From here on I will talk only about VOOT. It's commonly known that rowing was nerfed in VOOT 5.4 and later, it's a bug and the developers didn't want it. How did they remove it? Instead of properly fixing the underlying game mechanics, they did it by a lazy man method. They simply took the most problematic VRs and made their deceleration instant in one or more of the directions they could originally row in. As before, this can be seen with your eyes if you have a sharp vision. It makes no sense why some VRs now stop walking instantly in certain directions, but coast to a stop like they are on ice in other directions. Whenever you see this, you know it's a VR that used to be able to row traditionally in VOOT 5.2 and that ability was removed.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 23 Jan 2015, 19:33

Unfortunately removing rowing didn't do anything because eventually players figured out a new way to row. I suspect the discovery was made by Japanese players after VOOT 5.66 was released, because although there are many subtle VR-specific weapon and movement speed changes in VOOT 5.66, I don't think they changed any of the walking decelerations. Therefore VOOT 5.4 and 5.66 are mostly the same for the purposes of this thread.

The new way to row is to walk in one direction, then switch to another adjacent direction, then hit crouch to lock in the walking speed. As one possible example, walk left, then downleft, then quickly hit crouch right in the middle of the transition. Or walk downleft, then left, then hit crouch. For every VR only some combinations of directions will work, and the two examples I gave are NOT necessarily equivalent in performance, even though the final direction is the same. When 'new' rowing does work, the resulting speeds can be as fast as many of the old rows. And almost every VR in VOOT 5.66 can do 'new' rowing in multiple, but not all, directions. However, it is popularly used only by a few VRs in a few directions. The only VR that I think cannot row at all is Bal, which is ironic since he was originally one of the main rowers in the old games.

The new way is based upon the exact same underlying mechanic as the old way, that is why it is still correct to call it rowing and not just fastwalking. The key here is that with just the lazy man altering of particular decelerations to remove 'old' rowing, the developers did not remove enough because they left some directions untouched. With a given VR, as long as you can find one direction that has a slow, long deceleration, and an adjacent direction that has a fast, short acceleration, by transitioning from the first direction to the second direction, then locking in your speed with crouch, you can get a very fast 'new' style rowing walk.

Note that these conditions are less restrictive than the conditions for 'old' rowing. In particular the second direction can have the 'nerfed' instant deceleration. That is how 'new' rowing gets around the nerf. But it's still based on the exact same principle. Also note that if you try to do 'old' rowing using the same two directions, it probably won't work because it's been nerfed.

There's also another phenomena coming into play here too, the crouchwalk itself. I guess you could call that fastwalking. It's been commonly known since VOOT 5.2 that if you hold crouch while walking, some VRs walk faster. Really what it is though, is that there's some strange bug and holding crouch while walking turns your walking speed in any direction into your forward walking speed. (Unless your forward walking speed is slower than your current direction's walking speed, in which case you will just stay at your current speed). That is why only VRs with a fast forward walk can fastwalk/crouchwalk. Also that is why no VR in the game benefits from fastwalking in the forward direction.

As it applies to 'new' rowing, the increased speed from crouchwalking is added in synergistically. This is part of what makes 'new' rowing often as fast as 'old' rowing. With 'old' rowing, multiple iterations of rowing slowly builds your speed up faster and faster, up to the limit of two direction's walking speeds added together. You only get one iteration with the 'new' method so a slight amount of the full speed is not realized. But instead you get the crouchwalking bonus. Furthermore, the 'new' method allows you to try more directions and possibly have them work. And naturally some of these directions in the game turned out really good for some VR.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 23 Jan 2015, 22:31

(This post is mostly a digression and can be skipped or read later if desired. Highlight to read.)

When checking out each direction's walking acceleration and deceleration characteristics for a VR, don't get confused with the unique accelerating and decelerating animations of that VR. They are not necessarily an indication of how that VR is actually moving. So you have to blot them out from your mind and try to stare at the 'center' of where the game thinks your VR is. Or you can try to focus on the movement of the camera as an indicator of how your VR is actually moving.

For example, take a particular VR and walking direction that was nerfed after VOOT 5.2 to have instant deceleration when you stop walking. There will still typically be a noticeable decelerating animation, because there was originally a normal deceleration. When you stop walking the VR stops instantly, but still does a wiggle of some sort. That is what I mean.

Usually, weird wiggle animations themselves do not have an effect on gameplay but there are a few exceptions. Example #1: Grys-Vok's side walking acceleration animation. Every time Grys-Vok starts doing ordinary side walking from standing still, he does a deceptive leaning animation that due to a bug throws off all incoming projectile homing. He also moves faster for a short time before slowing down to his normal walking speed. He will dodge any incoming projectile if it arrives during this brief window. (In this respect, it shares some similarity to how Grys-Vok can dodge some projectiles by crouch attacking at the last second. There is a fast but short-lived movement. It is very evasive but if you do it even a couple frames too soon, you are a sitting duck, so attempting to utilize it actively takes a risk. Attempting to use it passively, as happens all the time for Grys-Vok, is free though). Note that Grys-Vok does not gain this beneficial walking startup animation if he does any walking attack. Also the brief increase in speed cannot be locked in by holding crouch at the right time, so it is apparently not 'real' speed. Example #2: Bal-Bados' full power Reflect Laser. The biggest damage one, jumping RTCW with all 4 ERLs out, not the other better one that only needs 2 ERLs out and is more commonly used. Bal does a stupid midair wiggly dance while he does it and even though he is standing totally in place, the wiggly animation can dodge a few attacks.

Example #3 is a global class of abnormal walking animation wiggles. Most VR's can trigger it by alternately walking diagonally downleft and then diagonally upright, back and forth, and (mandatory) passing through perfect neutral in between. Any other directions don't do this. Downright then upleft doesn't do this. This is a bug that was introduced starting in VOOT 5.4, I have no idea why. This weird animation does not seem to throw off homing or affect gameplay, but it may be related to Example #4: Cypher's side wiggle walk. By walking left, then walking right, and (mandatory) passing through perfect neutral in between, Cypher will do a strange special animation and move very fast to his right for a moderate distance. The speed of the movement is slightly faster than Cypher's crouchwalk/fastwalk but despite its tricky look the animation itself does not appear to deceive incoming homing attacks. So in practice it is just a fancier crouchwalk. With proper timing it can be repeated and perhaps make the opponent laugh. Walking right then walking left won't trigger it. The speed increase, although real for the purposes of moving and dodging projectiles, is not 'real' in the sense that it is not stackable with crouchwalking.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 23 Jan 2015, 23:48

Now to introduce Skating. I think this is my own discovery as I have never seen the Japanese players do any of them. As with rowing, although a lot of kinds exist with various VR, only a few may be powerful enough to use in high-level play. Originally I thought skating is like a different version of rowing but upon further thought it's more like a different kind of crouchwalk/fastwalk.

Basically the input is to walk in a direction, make sure you are at full speed, then let go of walking, and immediately hold crouch. With some VRs, this results in faster movement. Visually, your VR goes into its deceleration animation for that direction, but instead of slowing down gradually you instantly speed up and lock it in. The faster movement only lasts a very short while though, equal to the duration of your deceleration animation, after which your VR instantly stops moving. However, it's possible to extend the duration by repeating the input over and over, at which point it becomes apparent why I called this technique Skating. It both feels like skating and depending upon VR and direction, may look like skating.

Skating is far more difficult to do than crouchwalking. The speed of it, in the cases where it works, can be comparable to crouchwalking or dashing. The best thing about it is that some VRs and/or directions that can't crouchwalk may instead be able to skate. Some VRs can both skate and crouchwalk, in which case there is still a use as I shall explain later.

The duration of the skate is equal to the length of your deceleration animation but there is no general pattern for them, so you have to test each VR and direction individually. Longer skates are easier to use but in theory a super master doesn't care how long it lasts. There is no general rule for the speed of skating. If you carefully inspect your walking properties, you can usually predict what VRs and directions allow for skating. (That's how I discovered it). At the very instant you let go of walking, aside from the deceleration animation, and aside from the actual deceleration of your VR, an ultra brief jerk increase in speed may be visible. If you can see it, that means you can skate. If you can't, you still might be able to skate because the artificial nerfing of decelerations introduced in VOOT 5.4 visually hides whether or not your VR was originally able to skate.

When skating with most VR, it is crucial that the timespan between when you let go of the direction, and when you hit crouch, be as small as possible, preferrably one frame. For every frame you waste here, your VR will decelerate and your final skate will become slower, quite possibly slower than normal walking. Some VRs are more forgiving for this than others, namely those with slow decelerations in that direction, but you always want to minimize that time to get the fastest possible skate.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 24 Jan 2015, 00:50

Next I'm going to cover Angelan in-depth, but I will also be using her to explain more general game mechanics applicable to all VRs.

Angelan cannot crouchwalk/fastwalk but she can instead skate extremely well in all directions, plus she is the most forgiving for poor skates. Angelan cannot do any 'new' rowing. Instead, she is one of the few VR who can still do 'old' rowing. The only direction that works for her now is downleft, to left, to downleft, to left, and repeat. Or downright, to right, to downright, and repeat. She used to have more directions in 5.2 that worked.

As with all versions of 'old' rowing still in this game, it takes a long time to start up and must go through many iterations before getting the full speed. A certain rhythm is also required, too fast is no good and too slow is no good. That's not an issue with practice. The key thing to know is that you can't rush it when building it up. It takes at least a whole second to build up to the point that it is useful. This is one of the reasons dashing is usually better, it can be started instantly. Fastwalking and 'new' rowing is quick to start but it's not quite instant, as you still have to get up to normal walking speed first. Note that Angelan can skate, and skating is as quick to start as fastwalking and 'new' rowing.

Okay, so it seems that 'old' rowing sucks, right? It takes too long to build up. WRONG! There is a general way to (sort of) build it up instantly! This applies to all VRs whether they can row or not. Here follows a global, little-known rule of all WALKING, which also applies to every kind of rowing:

At ALL times during the game, no matter what your VR is doing, you can input walking motions on your controller and walk around in your imagination and the game will keep this state in its mind, and as soon as you are able to walk, you will instantly be walking at the full speed according to what you were walking in your imagination. You will still go through your normal startup walking animations, but the movement speed can be full from the first frame you can move.

Therefore, you can for example do forward dash RW with Angelan, and while it is executing you have plenty of time to start rowing sideways on your controller. Then, as soon as your dash ends, you will suddenly be rowing sideways at full speed with Angelan!! This is an extremely unintuitive way to move but I think that is how some japanese Angelans play. They are basically always rowing at any time that they can, even when it looks like they are doing other stuff, and so when they become able to row they are suddenly rowing. Even for those of us who don't use Angelan, the above 'imaginary walking' rule still applies and can slightly alter the way you input a few things if you want the best VR performance. I will give several examples for other VRs later.

It's now time to mention that rowing also works in the air. As far as I know, all VRs that can row on the ground can also row in the same ways and directions in the air. For Angelan, it's just 'old' rowing so you just do the same thing in the air. This is critical for her as she is the second most aerial-dependent VR in the game, yet she doesn't have as high an aerial maneuverability as Cypher (or Bal) does. Her normal aerial maneuverability while drifting down from the air is only second tier, tied with Temjin and Grys-Vok. So japanese Angelan players boost it by air rowing.

Finally, here is the one thing I've never seen any japanese Angelan do. She can skate and row at the same time. Skating and 'old' rowing adds together perfectly and synergistically. The resulting speed is faster than any normal dash in the game. And she can do it instantly at any time via the 'imaginary walking' rule. I guess the only limit is that skating has to be done on the ground and when you reach the edge of the map you'll have to do something else. In comparison, both 'old' rowing and 'new' rowing can be done in the air.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 24 Jan 2015, 15:10

Next let's talk about Grys-Vok and along the way discuss one more general game mechanic.

Grys-Vok is most similar to Angelan in this thread. He cannot crouchwalk/fastwalk, instead having a good skate, and can only do 'old' rowing. His rowing can be done either in a sideways direction or forward direction. To row left, the input is upleft, left, upleft, left, and repeat. To row forwardish, the input is upleft, up, upleft, up, and repeat. Rowing to the right is similar. His rowing and skating speeds are both slightly slower than Angelan, but just like her he can add together his 'old' rowing plus the skating for some super speed. The input is to slowly build up 'old' rowing first then transition to skating by letting go of the direction and hold crouch. The skate will only last for one step, but Grys-Vok's step is large like Angelan's. With some difficulty, the skate input can be repeated for multiple steps if desired. Four to six well executed steps can take him across a whole stage.

Grys-Vok has a second, unique way to speed up his rowing. Instead of adding the skate, he can add his dashcancel animation. As experienced players know, the dashcancel animation itself moves and has its own speed. For most VRs, the dashcancel animation speed in a given direction is exactly equal to their walking speed in that direction, or their walking speed in the sidewards direction, whichever is greater. (For this reason, VRs who dash backwards slowly, mainly light VRs, move faster while repeatedly dashcanceling backwards, than simply dashing backwards). Grys-Vok is unique in that his dashcancel animation is the same speed as his plain dash speed.

Furthermore, 'old' style rowing stacks perfectly with the dashcancel movement speed. So Grys-Vok can do rowing plus mash dashcanceling, and the effect is similar to rowing plus skating. It's much easier to do so I recommend this method, although technically rowing plus skating is better since you are free to transition into anything else while doing it.

Don't forget the 'old' rowing can be built up invisibly via the 'imaginary walking' rule. But due to having a different playstyle and flowchart than Angelan, it is harder for Grys-Vok to built up invisible rowing. Also, his walking decelerations are greater than hers (he isn't walking on as much ice as she is) so any imperfection or break you take in your invisible rowing (for example to shoot a crouching attack) hurts it badly and mostly resets it.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 24 Jan 2015, 16:05

Since he is similar I'll cover Stein-Vok but this can be skipped if you don't care about him.

Stein-Vok can crouchwalk and his is among the fastest in the game, it is equal to his side dashing speed. He can skate but it is useless since it is inferior to his crouchwalk. He can do 'old' rowing in the same directions that Grys-Vok can. His rowing is crazy fast, more than both Grys-Vok and Angelan. Furthermore, since he can also crouchwalk, he can do 'new' rowing as well using the same directions. Finally and unique to him, Stein-Vok can stack 'old' rowing and crouchwalking, by building up rowing first, then transitioning into the fastwalk. Stein-Vok just happens to be the only VR who can both 'old' row and crouchwalk. He can also stack 'old' rowing with skating, but it's not as good as his rowing plus fastwalking.

Stein-Vok's forward row is faster than his side row because his forward walking speed is just really fast to begin with. There is at least a limitation in the sense that his forward row does not really stack with his crouchwalking, because remember crouchwalking gives you a boost of speed based on your VR's normal forward walking speed. Since the forward row is forward to begin with, it doesn't get much faster. His fully built-up side row, which is already crazy fast, when stacked with crouchwalking becomes as fast as his forward row.

Stein-Vok has a more normal dash cancel animation so he cannot really use it for a boost of speed like Grys-Vok can, or stack it meaningfully with his rowing.

Stein-Vok's default aerial maneuverability is poor, but since his rowing is better than Grys-Vok, when both of them air row their speed is about the same. Stein-Vok can alternatively do crouchwalking or 'new' rowing in the air for similar results, I will explain how to do that later. He can in theory even do 'old' rowing plus crouchwalking in the air, but achieving this in real play might be impossible because both 'old' rowing and aerial crouchwalking separately need time to invisibly build up so that's just too long a build up added together.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 24 Jan 2015, 19:05

Huge Temjin section. He is not the greatest rower but is a good example to illustrate multiple new game mechanics.

Temjin can crouchwalk/fastwalk decently. Even though it is not as fast as his side dash, it has always been a useful way for him to dodge attacks because it is actually more evasive than his dash due to the fact that his dash animation has his long legs dangling behind him. For example, Temjin cannot dodge Fei-Yen's high-homing crLTLW by dashing when he is within 200m (all VRs move slower within 200m for all types of movement -- a topic for another thread for those who don't know this). Fei-Yen can really abuse him with that move. However, Temjin can dodge it by ordinary crouchwalking because his leg animation is different. I have seen some japanese Temjin players use fastwalking in this matchup so they know this too.

Temjin can also do 'new' rowing in the forward and sideways directions. The best version for him is upleft, to left, then crouch. This results in dashing speed. If done in the air it is as fast as Angelan's air rowing. Left, to upleft, then crouch doesn't work, it's mostly just fastwalking. To row forward do up, to upleft, then crouch. You can also do upleft, to up, to crouch but it is slower. Since both ways work, it is therefore also true that he can do 'old' style forward rowing. Upleft, to up, to upleft, to up, and repeat in the same style as Grys-Vok. However it is not as good as Grys-Vok. Also the timing is slightly different, it must be done faster than Grys-Vok does it, because Temjin's walking accelerations and decelerations are both faster than Grys-Vok's.

Temjin can also skate, and the speed of it is good. However the duration/distance of it is puny. This is how most VRs who have legs and actually walk/run with them are like. (Angelan has legs but she does not use them, she floats). Therefore pure skating is impossible in real combat unless you are the greatest master of execution in the world and can repeat the skate input with perfect timing ten times a second.

At this point let's consider the idea of whether or not 'new' rowing and ordinary skating can stack together. More precisely, skating would take the place of the crouchwalk. So the input would for example be upleft, to left, then direction to neutral, then immediately hold crouch. In theory this can work. But in practice it doesn't work. The reason is that the brief moment the direction is let go results in too much of a loss of speed with the 'new' rowing VRs. Oftentimes with 'new' rowing one of the two directions has nerfed instant deceleration, so the moment you let go you may lose all your speed from that direction anyway, leaving only a normal one-direction skate. Even if that's not the case, any imperfection with your timing during the window you let go will suffer from a double dose of walking deceleration from both directions, plus they are likely to be fast decelerations (that's how most new rowing VRs are).

However, I now introduce a second type of Skating. It turns out that you can press crouch to fastwalk during dash cancel animations! I only discovered this yesterday, I can't believe I never knew this before. The input is like crouchwalking. Say for example you dash left. Then you can watari dash or do whatever. Next, you want to dashcancel and move left during its animation. So you have to press and hold left again, then immediately press turbo, and keep holding left to move. But actually, you should press and hold left, then press turbo, then immediately press and hold crouch. This will give you a much faster movement. For most VR the resulting speed is equal to your dash speed.

So why do I call this skating and not crouchwalking? It's because the speed you get from this maneuver is identical to your ordinary skating speed (while walking). Except that there is no imperfection because you never have to let go of the direction, so it might look a tiny bit faster. Angelan can use this trick to make her dashcancel move faster, because she can skate, and remember she can't crouchwalk. Raiden, who can crouchwalk but cannot skate, cannot use this trick. Stein-Vok can use this trick (but it is not any faster than his ordinary fastwalk). Grys-Vok cannot use this trick because his dashcancel is already faster than his skate.

That's why it's good when a VR can both crouchwalk and skate, as holds for Temjin. He can use crouchwalking for faster walking, and skating for faster dashcanceling. Furthermore, the duration of the skatedashcancel is not the same as for the walking skate. It is instead the duration of the dash cancel animation. That's good for Temjin because his dash cancel animation is long, and lets you see him skate meaningfully. In contrast, Angelan's walking skate animation lasts longer than her dashcancel skate animation, so you might as well use her walking version.

Just as with ordinary skating, dashcancelskating is perfectly stackable with 'old' rowing. Better than ordinary skating, dashcancelskating is partially stackable with 'new' rowing but the effect is not going to be as good as with 'old' true rowing, because the dashcancelskate is replacing the crouchwalk which was part of the 'new' rowing. By combining dashcancelskating with forward 'old' rowing, Temjin can move similarly to Grys-Vok when he combines his dashcancel with his 'old' rowing.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 25 Jan 2015, 16:48

Previous section got bloated so Temjin decided to move some of his stuff into Fei-Yen's place.

Fei-Yen can crouchwalk/fastwalk very fast, though it's still not as fast as her side dash. She can skate rapidly in all directions but her walking skate animation is the shortest in the game and unfeasible to use except for making people laugh. She can dash cancel skate in all directions but her dash cancel animation is also the shortest in the game so it is up to you if you want to bother with flicking crouch every time she does a dash cancel.

Fei-Yen can do 'new' side rowing by inputting downleft, to left, then crouch. The other way around doesn't work. It isn't that much of an improvement but it rivals her dashing speed. More noticeably though she will appear to walk backwards when doing this which could confuse the opponent and might make her hitbox better. If done in the air, it will result in improved sideways movement, but since Fei-Yen's normal aerial maneuverability is poor it still may not be able to dodge the best homing attacks. I suspect pink Fei-Yen's poor aerial maneuverability in part arose from a desire to balance out the speed up she gets in hyper mode.

Fei-Yen can 'new' row very fast backwards by doing downleft, to down, then crouch. As well as down, to downleft, then crouch. She can therefore 'old' row backwards as well but it is pointless because it is slower than her 'new' rowing due to its fastwalk aspect. She can also 'new' row forward with upleft, to up, then crouch. The improvement in speed going forward is not as much as going backwards, due to the fastwalking rule. Up, to upleft, then crouch can also move just as fast but has a stricter timing window. Fei-Yen can 'old' row forward with upleft, up, upleft, up, and repeat but it's not that fast and the timing is strict. This can all be done in the air, though Fei-Yen's poor aerial drift maneuverability in all directions means the benefit may be more limited.

Time for another new mechanic. There is yet another replacement for crouchwalking and skating that can be utilized as the final input of 'new' rowing. Sliding crouch attacks. The power of 'new' rowing only partially adds into this variant, because the fastwalking is exchanged for the sliding crouch attack. Don't expect a huge improvement in the speed of your sliding crouch attacks when you precede them by a 'new' row input, it will only be the most marginal increase. The directions that can work for sliding crouch rowing are always the same as regular 'new' rowing. The reason I mention this here is that Fei-Yen's sliding crouch is not very fast so increasing the speed with a 'new' row input may help to dodge incoming attacks.

Another new mechanic I just noticed yesterday is that there are two kinds of sliding crouch attacks. One where you move then hold crouch and fire, and one where you move then just tap crouch and fire, then you move again instead of holding crouch. The speed between these two versions can be slightly different for some VR. For Fei-Yen, whose sliding crouch attacks are slightly slower than her normal walking speed, the version where you let go of crouch moves faster. It moves the same speed as her walking. Always use this version with Fei-Yen unless you decide to add a row, in which case holding crouch is better because her speed is only kept that way. Letting go of crouch loses some or all of the row momentum in an amount that varies by VR and direction.

In Temjin's case, both versions of his sliding crouch attacks are significantly faster than walking speed, and the version where you hold crouch is faster. So if possible always do the hold crouch version. If you want to change the direction of your slide you can always release crouch at anytime (your speed will also drop slightly). There is one danger of doing the hold crouch version. If you are standing still prior to doing the crouch slide attack (say after a jump cancel) and you suddenly do a hold crouch slide attack without walking up to full speed first, your slide will be ultra slow. This never happens with the non-hold crouch version because you'll build speed even after you slide. However, this is where you can use the 'imaginary walking' rule. Temjin can just do imaginary walking while he is standing still (in this example, imaginarily walk just before or inside the jump cancel) and that will always prevent those degenerated slow slides.

Fei-Yen has one final rowing trick but I don't know of a way to make it practical in a real fight. In CC range, all her walking directions get slow deceleration like she is on ice. Furthermore, her sidewalk gains a new animation and a speedup. Actually its speed looks the same as her normal walking, but a global rule in VOOT is that all walking gets much slower within 100m (dashing is not affected). Her CC sidewalk is uniquely sped up such as to negate that effect. Anyway, by rowing and wiggling around in CC range, in up to 8-directions, she can build some crazy speed. If you wander outside of CC range and press crouch at that exact moment, the speed will lock in and Fei-Yen will walk ultra fast into the distance. Note that her speed will get a boost outside of 100m and again beyond 200m due to the global speed multipliers, this is part of what creates the abnormal speed.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 26 Jan 2015, 14:50

It's time for the main event. Cypher is going to show the new way to air row. But first let's look at his ground speed.

Cypher used to be among the fastest VR on the ground in VOOT 5.45, but in VOOT 5.66 his ground dash speed was drastically reduced. It's still possible to see traces of his original speed because his walking speeds were not changed and remain the fastest in the game. His ground dash cancel animation's movement speed is also left over and so is much faster than his current dash itself.

Cypher can crouchwalk/fastwalk but it's only a little faster than his normal walking. His side ground dash is just a tiny bit faster. Cypher has one extremely good 'new' side row, it is done as upleft, to left, then hold crouch. The speed is very fast. Cypher can alternatively match this speed by mashing side dash cancel over and over. Cypher can also do a 'new' side row with downleft, to left, then crouch. It is slower than the other version but will make Cypher appear to be walking backwards if you want to look funny.

Cypher can do a very poor 'new' back row with downleft, to down, then crouch. There is a significant speed increase but it is mostly from fastwalking. Cypher can also do a 'new' front row with upleft, to up, then crouch but it's pretty weak also.

Cypher can skate very fast in all directions and his walking skate distance is medium. If the player is very skilled at repeated walk-skating, it is possible to use pure skating to move fast, especially in diagonal directions. Alternatively, Cypher can move around on the ground by mashing dash cancel, which is fast in all directions. Side is fastest, which is very unusual. An unfortunate thing here is that Cypher's side dash cancel animation is also short, so mashing side dash cancel is not as fast as it could have been due to wasted time in mashing. Normally though a short dash cancel is preferred if you aren't trying to abuse it for speed glitches. In the forward and sideways directions, Cypher's skate speed is slower than his buggy dash cancel speed so pressing crouch while dashcancel mashing doesn't do anything. In the backward directions, it increases his dashcancel speed slightly.

Cypher can do one last trick do get amazing ground speed. He can add his side row (upleft, to left, then crouch) into the dashcancel mashing. The speed is more than I would expect considering that it's only a partial combining (there is no fastwalk or skate bonus, only the mini-row). There is more than one way to input this that can work so players can experiment with various timings themselves. It's also possible to add in the front row when dashcanceling forward, for a lesser effect.

As with all VRs, any rowing direction that works on the ground also should work in the air. Even for 'new' rowing the air input remains exactly the same. Note that since 'new' rowing inputs end in crouch, they also make you fast drop. That's fine for starters, it's important to practice that so players realize air rowing even works while fast dropping. When rowing inputs are done just before dropping, lateral drift speed is increased throughout the drop, though it may be less visible due to the vertical speed of the drop.

But what about when you don't want to fast drop? The method to remove the drop is dumb but it works. Most players know that when you fast drop from very high in the air, the fast drop does not last all the way to the ground. The fast drop animation only lasts a half second or so, then it wears off. So if you input the entire 'new' rowing input early enough, at a time when you cannot fast drop, the drop will be worn off by the time you can fast drop, and all that will remain is the previously locked-in rowing speed. The most basic way to do this is to do a regular jumping attack, preferrably a long-lasting one, and input the 'new' rowing commands as soon as the shooting starts. You will not be able to drop while shooting, and when the shooting ends all or most of your fast drop window can be gone, leaving only the sped up and locked-in sideways motion as you slowly descend.

A more advanced way to remove the fast drop is to utilize the 'imaginary walking' rule which mostly applies in the air as well. You can jump up, then do either an air dash attack, or a plain air dash. While dashing, you input the 'new' rowing sequence (i.e. upleft, left, hold crouch) which won't do anything. Then wait half a second for the fast drop to imaginarily wear off. When your air dash attack ends, or when you press turbo to cancel your plain air dash, you will suddenly transition into your full rowing, and slow dropping descent. This is the most flexible way to utilize 'new' air rowing though there is a slight difficulty because you must have a decent imagination or muscle memory to get the invisible row input timing right. Some amount of pre-planning could be said to be required as well, though that's not really the case if you think about it, since most 'imaginary' movement is free.

Air rowing, especially in the sideways or backward directions, is very powerful for Cypher to runaway. The backwards version can be done either as a row or aerial crouchwalk, at your preference.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 27 Jan 2015, 22:38

The next couple posts are a skippable run-through of all remaining VRs starting with Specineff.

Specineff has a crouchwalk/fastwalk but it's not the best and only improves his side and backward directions. His skate is long but identical in speed and likewise only improves side and backward directions. That's fairly bad for a skate because most VRs skating is slightly faster than their crouchwalking. Similarly, applying dash cancel skating only visibly benefits his side and backward directions.

Specineff can only do 'new' rowing of average effectiveness and the valid directions are left to upleft for side rowing, downleft to left for a slower backwardish side row, and downleft to down for a back row. Nevertheless, considering the fact that his normal ground speed is so fast, Specineff's ability to do a (possibly rowed) side dashcancel skate should greatly enhance his standard runaway game, which is to just run away in circles with dash then dash cancel. I think I finally understand why some japanese Specineff players seem to be faster and harder to hit during their dash cancel animation than others. They must be using the dashcancel skate and/or row.

A few Japanese players add rowing to his sliding crouch attacks but I feel it is mostly for show as his sliding crouch is already ultra fast as is. If you add the backwardish side row to a sliding crouch RW and do the version where you let go of crouch, you can get the camera jitter effect. That suggests it could be the fastest version in this case but I don't see why that would be. Camera jitter is one way to see if you have rowed successfully or not, but not all rows or fast movements trigger it, so I've always thought it is more an indicator of glitchiness than true speed. The opponent can never see you jitter so it's purely a camera effect.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 27 Jan 2015, 22:42

Raiden has a crouchwalk/fastwalk but it's relatively poor. For the most part he cannot skate. He can do the input and get the animation of course, but the speed is not an improvement. So he is the only remaining VR with a long, vulnerable dash cancel animation. He has a fast 'new' style back row done as downleft, to down, then hold crouch. He also has an analogous front row with the exact same speed done as upleft, to up, then crouch. However most people don't care about that one as it's not as unusual to have fast forward moving options.

10/80 SP has his own movement characteristics fairly independent of Temjin, but is close enough that in this thread they have similar abilities. His crouchwalk/fastwalk is faster than Temjin's and is as fast as his side dash. But he cannot do any 'new' rowing. He still has Temjin's ability to 'old' row forward with upleft, to up, to upleft, to up, and repeat. His version takes longer to build up but has a faster final speed. He can skate the same as Temjin and apply it to his dash cancel in the same way, though he arguably has less need for it since his dash cancel animation is shorter.

Dordray has an okay crouchwalk. His walking skate is useless because the distance is short and the speed is low, but like most VR it can improve his dash cancel speed, if even a very short animation concerns you. Be warned that Dordray's sluggish sidewalk takes a whole second to start up, which also applies to his dash cancel movement. Unless you've already built full speed invisibly, avoid walking sideways and use diagonal-forward instead. Dordray can 'new' row backward with downleft to down to crouch, and forward with upleft to up to crouch, at almost the same speed as Raiden. Up to upleft does not work, but nevertheless Dordray can manage to 'old' row forward at the same speed too. Dordray's back row is also the method by which he does rapid sliding crouch CW rings when his back is to the edge.

Bal-Bados can neither crouchwalk/fastwalk nor skate. I did discover that he can do a poor 'new' forward row with up, to upleft, to crouch. As well as a poor 'new' backrow with down, to downleft, to crouch. The timing between inputs must be done slower than most rows to work. The speed is not that impressive and forward dash and back dash are faster. I did not test the other Bals. It is quite possible they could be different, especially space Bal since all the space VRs are the same as their 5.2 versions.

Apharmd B not surprisingly has a super fast crouchwalk/fastwalk, since it derives from forward walking speed. It seems roughly the same as his side dash speed. The only thing surprising is that his is only the second fastest in the game. Apharmd B cannot row at all, he is the anti-rower of this game as attempting almost any kind of row input doesn't even leave him the same speed, it slows him down drastically. He has a very bad skate which only improves his side and backward directions and can be used to increase his dashcancel speed in those directions if that matters to you, considering his dash cancel animations are short to begin with.

Apharmd C surprisingly has the fastest crouchwalk in the game. It is faster than his side dash. Apparently all his walking characteristics are an exact copy of Apharmd B with a speed up. As such, everything for him applies identically to Apharmd C. Now I do not feel as bad when I lose to Apharmd C players. His dashes are slower than Apharmd B though, in fact they might be derived from Apharmd S, perhaps with a speed up, because their dash cancel lengths are identical.

Apharmd S has a good crouchwalk. His walking characteristics are not an exact copy of Apharmd B but are quite similar, just slower. He has one very minimal 'new' row, downleft, to left, then crouch. It's barely faster than his crouchwalk. His skating characteristics are identical with all Apharmds. Their only use is to speed up side and backward dash cancels but this hardly matters since his dash cancel animations are among the shortest in the game.

Ajim probably didn't have much care put into his creation so his movement characteristics in all directions are equal. As such, he has no meaningful crouchwalk or skate. Dashing is only the tiniest amount faster than walking. His dash cancel animation moves slightly faster than his dash. He can 'new' row universally in all directions using any two adjacent directions (e.g. left to upleft then crouch). The improvement in speed is average. I doubt anyone cares since Ajim is broken fast to begin with. In theory he should be able to 'old' row even faster in all directions, especially since he has no fastwalk, but due to the particular acceleration and deceleration values of Ajim's walking, that's not the case. Doing 'old' rowing with him is essentially the same as a single 'new' row.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 27 Jan 2015, 22:44

Here's the finale. Up until now this thread primarily focused on movement, but today I discovered that you can row while doing any walking attack as well.

First let's revisit sliding crouch attacks. As explained earlier, there are two kinds. If you do the kind where you hold crouch, you can let go of crouch at any time to transition to the other type. Your slide speed may go up or down slightly depending on VR. Even rarer, the direction of sliding can affect the change, and possibly even reverse which version is faster.

It turns out that if you do the kind where you let go of crouch, you can press crouch again during the same slide to transition to that type. Your slide speed may change accordingly. Note the resemblance to crouchwalking/fastwalking. It's actually a variant of the same thing! Further, if you are doing a sliding crouch attack where you have let go of crouch, you can successfully row during the slide. If your VR can 'old' row, it works the same as normal. If your VR can 'new' row, just input the motion, and when you press crouch the speed increase still locks in. The only difference is that you lose the fastwalk aspect. In its place you get a transition to the hold crouch sliding speed, which could be faster, slower, or the same.

The same rules essentially apply to all walking standing attacks. Note that all walking standing attacks have a startup and a recovery, the same as sliding crouch attacks. This period can be identified visually as the time your VR's walking speed is altered. Most walking attacks reduce your walking speed slightly, a few leave your speed untouched, and a few force you to stop completely. You cannot shoot again during this time unless it is a chainable attack, such as walking RW. The main difference from sliding crouch attacks is that the recovery period of walking attacks can be canceled into a dash or jump.

If you press crouch to fastwalk during the startup or recovery period of walking attacks, your speed does not change. But the lock-in ability still works! Using this, you can 'new' row when doing any single shot walking attack, by simply inputting the 'new' rowing motion immediately after pressing the trigger(s). Note that the walking speed during the startup animation (before the projectile appears) can be sped up too, it's not just the recovery. For the best effect, input the 'new' row motion before pressing the trigger(s). You just need to make sure you don't press crouch until after you press the trigger(s). If using a chained attack like walking RW, with perfect timing you can release crouch and redo the 'new' row sequence for every subsequent shot, to keep rowing. This would be near impossible with machinegun-type RWs though.

There are a very few walking attacks that can actually be fastwalked. One example is Temjin's standing CW. The walking version barely moves at all, it can't dodge anything. But if you try to fastwalk it, the move instantly gains Temjin's full fastwalking speed! It's quite hilarious and I want to ask everyone to try it out at least once. Temjin players always prefer stationary standing CW, so they must not know this trick or are all very lazy. 10/80 standing CW can also be fastwalked, except his regular walking version moves at regular speed.

Applying 'old' rowing to walking attacks is simple, just row while doing them. It stacks perfectly. Note that if your walking attack slows you down, with 'old' rowing it will still become slower. But it will be faster than if you did not row. Applying 'new' rowing to walking attacks only adds part of the effect because the fastwalking contribution does not occur. Finally, don't forget that all rowing can be pre-built using the 'imaginary walking' rule.

This all seems potentially quite powerful to me so hopefully reading this will not waste anyone's time, whether they decide to row or not. I can certainly understand someone refusing to row at all, especially on twinsticks. Other things covered in this thread, such as pressing crouch to make dash cancels move faster on certain VRs, or knowing which kind of crouch slide is faster on your VR, I'd say is mandatory knowledge for anyone wanting to be at their best.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby MentholMoose » 30 Jan 2015, 00:05

Thanks for researching this and writing it up in extensive detail. I row with Grys-Vok but the result has always been inconsistent. From your analysis I will try to adjust my technique to see if I can get better results.
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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 31 Jan 2015, 00:00

After finding a few more walking attacks that can be crouchwalked/fastwalked I suddenly came to a realization. It's actually true that ALL walking attacks can be fastwalked. The rule is the same as for free fastwalking: the speed becomes your forward walking speed. But every walking attack has its own unique movement speeds in all eight directions, so it likewise has its own fastwalking properties. Since the developers were lazy, it just turns out that there are a fair bit of walking attacks that are uniform in all directions, thus appear to have no fastwalk.

Upon closer inspection, most walking attacks can be fastwalked very slightly, getting them roughly to ordinary free walking speed. This subtle change eluded my eyes all these years, but I can see why I was tricked.

The ability to fastwalk indeed extends to all crouch attacks, and is what creates the two kinds of crouch attacks. Furthermore the speed you get when you hold crouch is derived from the speed of your forward sliding crouch attack. The ability to fastwalk even extends to all jumping attacks, during their brief execution time at the peak, and again it can be different for each attack. Aerial fastwalking while floating down can likewise have a different speed change than the ground fastwalk.

Since I knew holding crouch made a few crouching attacks slower, I then wondered why holding crouch doesn't make some VRs ordinary free walking slower? So I checked again, and it does! It was just too subtle so my eyes weren't trained to see it before. Grys-Vok and Bal both get the tiniest bit slower when crouchwalking. It is easiest to see with Grys-Vok's diagonal forward walk, because it's quite fast while his forward walk is butt slow. Don't worry though because Grys-Vok's forward dashes are all fairly fast.

Meanwhile, Angelan's crouchwalk actually makes her the tiniest bit faster in the backwards directions only. This in part helps to give her some 'new' rows which I missed earlier. Downleft, to left, then crouch is almost as fast as her full 'old' row. Left, to downleft, then crouch works but is poor. Downleft, to down, then crouch also works and is okay but dashing is faster. Despite being 'new' rows these all still take a half second to start because Angelan's walk accelerations are slow.

Angelan has one more truly 'new' row I missed earlier. Left, to upleft, then crouch. Or right, to upright, then crouch. It gives a speed almost equal to her 'old' row and is quick to start up. So this technique is great for lazy Angelan players who don't want to break their hands and controllers, perhaps I'll use it. Since diagonal forward walking with Angelan has nerfed instant deceleration, you cannot reliably combine this 'new' row with a walking skate.

Because Angelan's side and diagonal back walking both have icy slow deceleration, she can combine an 'old' row with this final 'new' row, by building up the 'old' row and then throwing in diagonal forward as the very last input and quickly holding crouch. This is a 3-direction row as described in the very first post. The timing is very difficult to get the maximum speed, as the last walk direction is fighting to add in against two direction's decelerations. I'm going to call this her 'super row' since I don't know what Japanese players call it.

If you really want to be fancy, it is even possible to add a walking skate to the super row. Though not reliable, it is possible when crouch is hit exactly one frame after letting go of diagonal forward. Note that this input sequence requires not one, but two frame successive frame perfect inputs. I managed to do the whole thing just once and Angelan went crazy and the next thing I knew she was stuck in the corner of the map. The technique should be more achievable if you replace the walking skate with a dashcancel skate, but the duration will be shorter.

Anyway, after learning this I went back to study old replays and it turns out the Japanese players do know everything after all. I saw some examples of dashcancel skating and walking attack rowing. Most surprising of all, one japanese Angelan player moves so fast at times that I suspect he knows yet more core rowing techniques which I do not.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby MentholMoose » 31 Jan 2015, 18:47

Yes I'm sure some Japanese players know this stuff by now, but it's good to have it written down in English. I actually learned a little bit of this from watching Telepinoil (Grys-Vok). He played in the WATC tournament and you can see his Grys-Vok moving very fast at times. It was a video of gameplay only (so no inputs recorded) so I never knew how it was done until I happened to find a video of him playing at an arcade (showing gameplay plus inputs). The video quality sucked (it was on Nico Nico in 2009) but you could still see him rowing at times. I tried doing this myself and use it sometimes, but I'm not as consistent or fast as Telepinoil.
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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Zaarock » 01 Feb 2015, 07:45

Great writeup and research Porcupine, nice to see this stuff written down well in english. The japanese wikis seem to have had some basic info on it for each character but it's hard to understand with machine translation.

It's worth noting for Angelan that because the rowing direction is diagonal-back it's useful to combine the row inputs for air row with rotation right before locking it to get horizontal movement where you circle around your target. If you don't rotate it's often easy to run into the corners of levels which is bad. It works because the old-type row doesn't immediately disappear upon switching inputs.

Trying to do the same with Cypher's row I've found nearly impossible. As such it's hard to use the air row for any offensive purpose since you almost always lose track of your opponent during or after your attack comes out. Gliding around with air rowing is a great way to go for timeout though.. I remember many japanese cypher players doing it a lot, for example AZY TypeR. Air row is generally the reason why some Cypher players jump diagonal-forward or diagonal-back and hold it until their attack comes out.

Ground row is great for Cypher since his ground dash is slow. Combining it with attacks even the sliding cCW becomes sort of useful. First time I noticed the cypher ground rowing was SwordedShepherd using it in 'VO Whistling' back in 2013.

Didn't know about the diagonal-forward row for Angelan, have to try that out. Super row huh.. R.I.P. my controller.

edit: nevermind, the super row isn't really any more difficult. almost the same, just do
3,6,3,6,...,3,6,9 (hold)

It's easy to tell if someone uses it on ground movement since she goes into forward walk animation, but I bet some angelan players do use it in the air.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 01 Feb 2015, 15:25

I never thought about that technique with Angelan, thanks I just tried it and it works great. Usually the japanese Angelans and I have always used turbo rotation in brief bursts as necessary while descending from the air. Your technique can make that unnecessary. It's also an option to add locked turbo rotation to your technique but then it rotates way too much so it's useless except maybe at extremely close distances.

I'm not sure Cypher needs that same technique since he can just do an air dash attack to get auto-rotation. But a newly contributing factor to his failure with it is that Cypher moves super slow when side walking plus rotating at the same time, which applies to both ground and air. On twinsticks the input for left walk plus right rotation is upleft+downleft, so I theorized that maybe the speed is determined by the VRs diagonal walking speeds. But Cypher's diagonal walking speeds are both fine. So the reason that only the two girl VRs move fast while doing side walk plus rotate is completely unexplained.

Inspired by that mystery, I had tried to row weirdly with Angelan using twinstick controls in alternative ways such as left+downleft, to downleft+left, and repeat. Or pseudo 3-direction rowing as left+downleft, left+left, downleft+left, and repeat. While these all work I was unable to confirm an improvement thus far. I also tried left+upleft to upleft+left, under the idea that the nonstandard input could fix the nerfing of Angelan's forward diagonal deceleration but that doesn't seem true. Nevertheless these ideas are where my current suspicions lie, and I could easily have tested wrong or executed poorly. MIDORINO17 is the player who achieves the best speed. In his currently uploaded replay he does two long ground super rows, one where he stays in forward walk animation, and one where he alternates unintentionally a couple times between forward and back. Therefore I suspect there must be a way to super row manually as well.

I always wondered about our debates on how fast Cypher's sliding crCW or Bal's sliding crCW and crLW move. I always thought they move fast and others/neoken always thought they move slow. It's possible we unconsciously did different versions and I always did the ones that move faster (despite the fact that it's hold crouch for Cypher, and let go of crouch for Bal haha). Anyway I think Bal can at least consider doing sliding crouch attacks (and neoken would not have to complain about being out of practice for utilizing the stationary crLW ammo freeze removal glitch). With Cypher if you add rowing it moves as fast as his ground dash. There are still multiple situations for stationary crCW but I would expect them to become less now, especially considering you can buffer the row motion 'invisibly' before/inside a jumpcancel.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 01 Feb 2015, 16:19

I suddenly thought up an entirely different way to perform 'new' style air rowing without dropping! This method is dumb just like the main method, haha. Instead of holding crouch to lock in the row, just mash crouch. This method is inferior but you don't have to plan ahead, and you can transition between other things (such as aerial turbo rotation, or change your direction) as needed, similar to 'old' style air rowing.

In order to execute this method optimally, a precise timing is involved. Ideally, you want to hold crouch most of the time, and briefly let go of crouch for one frame only at specific intervals. The reason the method works is because fast drops, unlike the drop from a pure jumpcancel, don't begin instantly. They have their own downward accelerative period. And any time you release crouch briefly for one frame, you reset the fast drop back to zero.

This method works best for pure aerial crouchwalking/fastwalking. It can apply to a 'new' style row as well though by the time you reach the ground your row may have worn off. A modded programmable controller should aid in utilizing this. I am currently looking to buy one, unfortunately there only seem to be a couple options that offer the necessary level of sophistication and they cost a lot. I'm not doing it for Cypher though, powerful though this may be. I have another devastating technique in mind. :)

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Zaarock » 01 Feb 2015, 17:04

Porcupine wrote:I'm not sure Cypher needs that same technique since he can just do an air dash attack to get auto-rotation.


That leaves out jump attacks though, which get a much bigger difference from air rowing. Cypher jumping LW and RTLW are great attacks, if they could be rotated while air rowing like Angelan LTLW it could be very strong.

I played a ton of matches with Shamanic today, tried to practice Angelan's rowing a lot in the process.

The 'super' row is very useful, but because the speed from the additional row input decelerates quickly and the direction is diagonal-forward it doesn't seem to work that well with rotation. It's great for moving in a straight line horizontally. I'm pretty sure the normal diagonal back row is still better in the air if you want to have full rotation control to aim prediction shots or have better vision of your opponent.


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