Rowing and Skating

Discuss the Virtual-On series.
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Porcupine
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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 01 Feb 2015, 18:18

If you try to input the last direction of your Angelan technique on a controller as diagonal forward plus rotate I think it will be really bad because that equates to left+up on the twinsticks. It's not diagonal forward on twinsticks.

Actually one of the nice things about your Angelan technique is that the final input before locking, side plus rotate, being equal to upleft+downleft on twinsticks, may itself already be half of a 'super row' since the input contains one forward-diagonal input.

Something else good to mention now, is that when Angelan wants to briefly turbo rotate while floating down in the air, she should use left+downleft plus turbo on the twinsticks. Rotation works a little differently in the air than on the ground, so the speed of rotation does not slow down with this input. Meanwhile, this input retains more sideways movement. However this input is only possible on twinsticks.

After further observation, I decided that Raiden has valid 'new' side rows, with either upleft, to left, then crouch, or downleft, to left, then crouch. These are slower than his forward and back row, and also take over a second to start because both directions have slow accelerations. If built up invisibly during Raiden's dash, they can be used to speed up his side dash cancel despite his lack of a skate.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 10 Feb 2015, 17:13

After lengthy testing I determined that Fei-Yen has excellent uses for air rowing after all. Most notably, despite her poor aerial maneuverability and below average side row, when combined it's just barely enough to enable her pink self to dodge some of the best homing attacks in the game. The side row allows her to dodge both Cypher's forward dash crCW and Grys-Vok's crLTCW. It's not that easy to do though because her side row has a small timing window plus it is to be done imaginarily in the air. Furthermore, her slow speed makes it difficult to discern with your eyes if you even got the row or not. In the heat of battle you certainly can't tell, so training the maneuver will take dedication, but it is possible to do reliably. This is important because it gives pink Fei-Yen a different way to dodge these attacks than fast dropping, which becomes predictable after a while.

Surprisingly, pink Fei-Yen using air rowing could dodge both those attacks even within 200m, where all movement including aerial drifting becomes slower. My explanation is that because I always did an air dash attack with Fei-Yen first, the auto-rotation curves and benefits the dodging trajectory at close ranges, enough to make up for the speed loss. Grys-Vok in turn can remove pink Fei-Yen's ability to dodge, by dashing to his side after shooting the crLTCW. It works because it changes her dodging trajectory to straight. However this is fine from Fei-Yen's perspective, because if Grys-Vok stays away and dashes to the side then she is safe to fast drop the crLTCW instead. Fei-Yen can also counter by performing a perfect timing row input, which can result in enough speed to dodge the crLTCW no matter what.

I tried plain aerial fastwalking with pink Fei-Yen, but while there is a very slight speed increase, it's not enough to dodge these attacks. I did find that an alternative 'new' style air row, upleft to left to crouch, enabled Fei-Yen to dodge as well, though slightly less effectively than her main method. So it might be a valid, but extremely poor row with Fei-Yen, such that on the ground it is impossible to see the difference.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 11 Feb 2015, 01:46

It's time to shift gears and talk about Virtual-On Force. Generally speaking Force and VOOT use identical underlying game mechanics, and we've discovered several advanced VOOT techniques by first learning them in Force. Usually these same techniques are just tuned to be stronger in one game so they are unnoticed or taken for granted in the other. Until recently we thought rowing in Force was totally different than in VOOT, but now that we have a much deeper understanding of how it works, it too can be explained together and even carried over between games. I now present my unified theory of rowing. ;)

Force has far less bugs than VOOT. They properly fixed and removed rowing from the ground up. The fundamental mechanic that creates rowing was rewritten so that changing your walking direction keeps your speed relatively constant. In turn, they restored all the 'nerfed' instant walking decelerations as they are no longer needed to remove the rowing. Also fixed is crouchwalking/fastwalking. You can still hold crouch to lock in walking speed, but there is no longer the senseless bug that increases your speed to forward direction speed. Naturally, fastwalking while performing walking or crouching attacks is also gone.

However they did not remove Skating, which is in fact what all Force-style rows are based on. Skating works the same as in VOOT, and most VRs get a speed increase. Remember that there are two kinds, the walking and dash cancel versions. During either kind of skating state, the power of rowing returns. So you can optionally add rowing to skating. But to row in Force, you must now skate first. How do you actually do that?

The dash cancel version is simple, just perform any row input during a dash cancel. For example, do a left dash cancel, then transition your input from left to upleft. Or left to upleft to up, whatever directions you want to go in. The duration of the dash cancel limits you to utilizing two or three inputs so you cannot 'old' row. The 'invisible walking' rule applies to Force, but you cannot invisibly row because now you can only row after you have skated. All dash cancels move at skating speed by default in Force so there is no need to press crouch.

Now the walking version. You can't build up 'old' rowing then transition to a skate as in VOOT, because the 'old' rowing does not work by itself. You can't even do a 'new' row input then transition to a skate. What you can do, is a novel input method which I had overlooked earlier. Walk in the first direction, then let the direction briefly go to neutral to activate the skate, then walk in another nearby direction. This will result in a momentary speed increase during the transition. It is not a permanent speed increase; most Force rows are limited as such.

Unfortunately this new technique comes with a new restriction. It usually requires the use of two directions which are perpendicular to each other, not adjacent. When transitioning to a second direction which is only 45 degrees away from the first (passing through neutral in between) the skate state ends prematurely before the row has time to kick in, and the VR returns to normal walking. By using a second direction that is 90 degrees away, the skate duration is extended and the row will occur. VRs with a naturally long skate animation can optionally press crouch afterward to both lock in the row speed and extend the skate duration to its full value. Since perpendicular directions are not as additive as adjacent ones, walking rows in Force are correspondingly weakened.

If you want to move faster permanently, some VRs can do a wonky version of 'old' rowing performed for example as left, neutral, up, neutral, left, neutral, up, and repeat. Your other options are repeated dash cancels, or repeated walking skates. This is easier to do in Force than in VOOT for several reasons. The whole game is slower, skate distances for short skaters are not as short, walk decelerations are less harsh, and finally a bunch of weird VOOT walking glitches are fixed. I described some examples in the greyed-out third post of this thread, but there are others. Their removal even allows you to just mash the direction you want to walk in, and get a loser version of skating.

Lastly, Force VRs with an ancestor that walked with its legs in VOOT have a way to crouchwalk/fastwalk. Do a chainable attack like walking RW, and after the projectile comes out, let the direction go to neutral, then hold crouch. This cancels your recovery period entirely and sends you into a fastwalk with speed equal to forward free walking. This technique also enables one type of machinegun trick. After a projectile from walking RW comes out, let the direction go to neutral, then immediately press the direction again and do another walking attack. This lets you do a walking machinegunned RW, or quickly chain your walking RW into any other walking attack. Some VRs in VOOT can use this too, but are selected by the properties of their RW instead of the properties of their legs.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 15 Feb 2015, 17:40

Yet despite the novelty, in Force I think walking skates and rows are of little use in serious play. Here's why.

In Force, dashing is much faster than walking, compared to VOOT. Even with walking rows or skates applied, the speed is typically much below dashing speed. Backdashes are fast in Force too, since there is less concern for runaways and a greater need to be able to dodge in all directions. Neither can you row in the air or while shooting something in Force. And with the more offensive nature of the 2v2 environment, it's rarely worth it for a player of average skill to just walk around without shooting anything. This sort of tactic is more useful in 1v1 where finesse, dueling skill, and reflexes are more prominent factors.

Meanwhile, dash canceling is something you are going to do anyway, so you might as well row every time you do one. However, you should also keep in mind your particular VR's dash cancel speeds in each direction. For example, Myzr and Apharmd T have an extra fast side dash cancel, it is equal to the speed of their relatively slow side dashes, and they should not bother rowing it. Fei-Yen has a very slow side dash cancel. It is so slow that she is often better off doing a plain forward-diagonal dash cancel, instead of trying to row her side dash cancel.

If you really want to try some of these walking techniques, Fei-Yen is a good VR to use. She has the longest skate in Force though it's only average in speed and extra slow to the side. Her forward diagonal skate is fast enough to use and easy to loop. It's equivalent in speed to doing forward diagonal dash cancel over and over, but more flexible since while skating you are free to transition into anything. Her backward fastwalk is also decently fast.

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Re: Rowing and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 18 Feb 2016, 14:00

Let's go back to VOOT and talk about other movement-related things I've learned or refined over the last year.

You can also use the Force method of doing walking rows to do walking rowed skates in VOOT. As a general VOOT example, if right, to upright, to neutral, then crouch gives a rowed skate on your VR, it can also be done as right, neutral, upright, then an optional crouch. This new input method can make some rowed skates easier to do. With Angelan this now provides a way to reliably do a super rowed skate, performed as downright, right, downright, right...downright, right, neutral, upright, crouch. Due to walking glitches, some instances of this new method only work in restricted directions, such as right but not left. It turns out that what I called Examples #3 and #4 in the greyed-out third post of this thread, are actually walking skates that arise from this new input method.

Yet another way to do a walking skate is at the end of any sliding crouch attack. If you continue to hold crouch after the sliding finishes, your VR will automatically transition into a skate, and the speed will change accordingly. When the skate is done the VR will instantly stop, as usual. This phenomena usually goes unnoticed because most VRs do not have exceptional skates. On Angelan, you can use it for an easy super rowed skate, just perform a super row with any sliding crouch attack, then hold crouch extra long afterwards.

In retrospect, all dash cancels being the same speed as walking skates in Force, suggests the same could somehow be true in VOOT. In fact, it is. The difference is that VOOT has the global phenomena where holding crouch changes your speed for various movements to the forward speed. When you hold crouch while doing a side dash cancel, the speed becomes the same as your forward dash cancel. For some VRs this speed happens to be identical to forward walking speed. In Force and VOOT, the direction of the initial dash is irrelevant, dash cancel speed is determined only by what directions you go in after the cancel. In contrast, dash cancel speed in VOOM is determined only by the initial direction of the dash.

On a pad, an easy method to utilize dash cancel skating in VOOT is to press crouch and turbo at the same time to cancel the dash. Don't forget to hold crouch for the duration of the cancel if you want to keep the speed boost. Depending on the player's hands, this might also make it difficult for them to release turbo, which may or may not cause a problem if they want to immediately follow up with a LT attack. Similarly, holding crouch for the dash cancel skate might make it difficult to perfectly follow up with a crouch attack. Thus in practice, some players might still choose not to perform the speed boost on VRs with short dash cancel animations.

When doing turbo attacks after dash cancels make sure you release the direction before the dash cancel animation ends. Alternatively, do a dash cancel skate and make sure you are still holding crouch when the dash cancel animation ends. (The drawback to this alternative is that you may have more wasted frames between the end of your dash cancel, and the beginning of your shot). If you continue to hold a direction even one frame after the dash cancel animation ends, your VR will transition into a walking state, and once this happens you will have to stop and pause for an additional length of time before firing a turbo shot. If you stop and immediately shoot, you will get a stationary non-turbo shot instead.

After walking, the length of time you must pause before you can fire a turbo shot is equal to the length of your deceleration animation. You can instead opt to rotation cancel by letting go of all directions and holding rotate. This changes the length of time you must wait into the time it takes to decelerate to zero velocity. Theoretically these should be the same, but if you weren't moving at full walking speed, or if your VR was changed in a game revision, the rotation cancel will be faster. Rotation canceling is the quickest way to fire repeated standing LT attacks, though it is more difficult than ordinary walk canceling or jump canceling.

Rotation canceling crouch attacks, such as repeated Grys-Vok crLTCW, is based on a different mechanical principle. There is no need to walk first, as is done for standing rotation cancels. After doing a stationary crouch attack, just hit rotate and immediately fire any other attack of your choice. However, there is a specific time you must wait before you can successfully input the rotation cancel, which varies for every crouch attack. With crouching LT attacks, depending on the particular attack a jump cancel could be faster, since you can cancel into a jump earlier than you can cancel into rotation.

Revisiting the walking RW chaining trick described earlier for Force and VOOT, the same VRs can also chain walking RW into stationary non-turbo shots, though that is usually less desirable. Fei-Yen Kn, Apharmd B, Bal, and Cypher need an extra step to do this. After shooting some walking RW, stop, walk, then stop again. From walking RW they can also just stop and walk again, to erase their lengthy RW recovery animations.

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Lurching

Postby Porcupine » 21 Oct 2016, 20:58

I have confirmed a third fundamental type of walk speedup, I'm going to call it Lurching. To perform it just stand still then walk in a direction. In general, walking accelerations are superimposed with a Lurch. If your VR has a Lurch, besides speeding up it will suddenly become slower when the Lurch period ends. Lurching is almost the reverse of Skating: it applies to the beginning of your walk instead of the end. For most VRs, Lurch speed and duration is equal to the speed and duration of their walking Skate. (Angelan is a clear exception).

There is no way to extend a Lurch, whether by holding crouch or doing it repeatedly. Lurching can be done after any action that leaves you standing still, such as a jump cancel, landing freeze, stationary standing shot, or dash cancel (you must not hold a direction at the last frame of a dash cancel). If you use imaginary walking prior to the Lurch it will be slightly faster than the basic version. Holding crouch or rowing can make Lurches slightly faster. Lurching does not apply when doing walking shots.

Cypher can Lurch in all directions. The effect is brief but enough to be a helpful dodge after a freeze. There's no special input so it's free and can be seamlessly transitioned into anything. It just helps to know that it's there.

Grys-Vok has the best Lurch. It is fast, long, and coupled with a startup walking animation which further deceives the homing of incoming projectiles. I actually described this earlier in the greyed-out post of this thread. Unfortunately since it can't be done after crLTCW he has minimal occasion to use it. It's possible to alternate Lurches and Skates but this isn't any better than repeated Skates.

Specineff has a Lurch but it's a minimal speed increase and not worth remembering.

Lurching exists in Force, and in VOOM influences additional things: you have to walk for the Lurch duration before you can do a sliding crouch attack, and the angling of diagonal dashes is affected as well. Since most VRs do not visibly Lurch the speed boost may be zero and the duration is likely the length of the startup walking animation.

Bal-Bas-Bow has a fast and very long Lurch. (Fortunately there is a trick to doing sliding crouch attacks from a standstill). He mostly air rows because his walking speed is slow, but he has an advanced ground rowing technique. Bal-Bas-Bow can add rowing to the end phase of his dash, then optionally continue the row seamlessly into a Lurch, then dash again and repeat.

Temjin has a Lurch which can be used passively, however dashing with him is way faster and more prevalent.

Belgdor has a negative Lurch; it slows him down and can help make him easier to hit while he is trying to build up his ground rowing, which is ultra fast. This is important because of the "imaginary walking" rule. Rowing speed can be pre-built to maximum, but every time Belgdor starts walking from a standstill he will at least have to contend with a brief negative Lurch.

Raiden has a slight negative Lurch. It's insignificant but explains why he can do a sliding crouch attack before walking to full speed.

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Lurching and Skating

Postby Porcupine » 18 Nov 2016, 23:40

I came to a new realization, in VOOT all dash cancels move at lurching speed by default. This holds individually for each direction. That is why dashcancel speed is usually equal to walking speed, as most VOOT VRs have no lurch. In contrast, most Force VRs do lurch in some directions, and dashcancel speeds are usually faster than walking speeds. (It is difficult to notice walking lurches in Force because VRs also have sluggish walking accelerations. To see lurches, one good way is to hold a constant direction at all times while jump canceling repeatedly. In between jump cancels you can see lurch-to-walk speed drops, as walking accelerations are removed via the imaginary walking rule.)

In Force all dash cancels move at lurching speed too, holding individually for each direction, because all lurches and skates are the same speed. Walking acceleration/deceleration, lurches, skates, and dashcancels do not need to have the same duration, though there are many instances where they are the same.

VOOT Angelan is an interesting example because she has drastically different skate and lurch speeds. She has a significant lurch in the forward direction only. She has no lurch in forward-diagonal, sideways, or other directions. That is why her dashcancel speeds are typically equal to her walking speeds, yet she has a fast dashcancelskate by holding crouch, despite having no ordinary crouchwalk. When she presses crouch during a dashcancel, the speed changes to that of her forward lurch.

Since VOOT has the bug where holding crouch changes your speed to that of your forward speed, there is only one dashcancelskate speed (unlike in Force). There is likewise only one walking skate speed, since you need to press crouch to do the technique. But what if you don't hold crouch and just consider the brief speed increase at the instant Angelan stops walking? It seems that a VOOT VR has only one walking skate speed even if you don't hold crouch, equal to its forward lurch speed.

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Boosting

Postby Porcupine » 27 Jun 2017, 20:36

With the new ability to study frame data, I confirmed the phenomena of lurching exists in general for all VRs and directions. In most cases the speed difference of the lurch is not clearly noticeable, but it is rarely zero. I confirmed that the speed of lurching in a given walking direction is always equal to the speed of dash canceling in the same direction. Walking skates are equal to the speed of dash cancel skates, minus a frame of deceleration.

My (not yet published) frame and speed data also reminded me of a phenomena I had forgotten. It is a simplification to state that holding crouch changes your walking speed to the forward walking speed. More precisely, holding crouch mirrors your back directions to your forward directions for walking, crouching, and skating. Back walking speed becomes the forward walking speed, but side and diagonal walking speeds can be slightly different (usually still similar to the forward walking speed). The side and diagonal multipliers for fastwalking appear to be global on a VR.

Speed data revealed a fourth fundamental type of walk speedup which I will call Boosting. To use it just keep walking in the same direction for a very long time. If you keep walking a VR will keep accelerating very slowly forever. This is likely a glitch. The amount of acceleration leak varies by direction and VR, but to give a typical example, after walking across a whole stage your walking speed could be comparable to dashing speed. Boosting can be done invisibly but the moment you let go of the direction you will rapidly lose all your boost. Boosting can stack with fastwalking, dash cancels, and 'new' rowing as long as it is performed first.


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