Originally Posted by BunniesFromHell
TL;DR - I feel the perception of this is worse than the reality of it, that few knowledgeable competitive players consider one frame links, combos, etc. to be a measure of skill, and that on top of that, a small few games which are more well known are more or less partially to blame for the common misconceptions regarding the elements that are considered the basic skills, or the elements which best demonstrate skill in competitive fighting games.
I disagree. I think the perception of this is not nearly as bad as it is.
You seem well versed in SF4 so I'll use that as an example(it's also generally considered by the scene to be a fun and well balanced game and gets huge participation).
SF4 is the most new player friend SF game ever. I mean that literally. SF2 is less friendly than this game and everyone basically was new when that came out.
Now SF4 is in spite of this extremely poor from a learning perspective.
Arbitrary game quirks leads to a ton of situations that a non-pro player will never figure out through natural game play(unblockables, options selects).
The entire combo system is punishing to anyone not intending to spend 20 hours a week on fighting games(casual audience for a game is like 5hours a week). Even two frame links will take a new player weeks to learn to do with any kind of consistency.
Worse the footsie system is non-intuitive as well. Hit boxes and hurt boxes rarely line up with graphics(crouching hp for sakura). You generally have to be told what moves are worth using because frame advantage/disadvantage is an invisible thing that is very hard to pick up on through actual gameplay.
Hardcore fighting gamers seem to think it is okay to require hours and hours of research outside of playing to learn how to play a game. The thing is a game shouldn't need that. A game shouldn't even need a training mode, outside of just as a place to mess around.
Let's look at a game that is immensely popular with casual players, League
League is forgiving to a fault. Last hitting, the supposedly hard mechanical skill test of the game is a laugh compared to even easy fighting game combo's. Research is really only a big deal when learning how to rune/mastery and can be completed in less than an hour, and honestly both runes and masteries are terrible because they fail to provide the customization that is their reason to exist.
The entire rest of the game is only strategic thinking that you learn while playing.
This is equivalent to a fighting game where position, footsies, counter picks and reads were the only things tested. No such fighting game exists and never will. Why? Because as much as competitive players say they like those things the games people like to play and watch, are games like marvel and KoF and even SF4. Games that de-emphasize strategic thought behind execution, broken mechanics, and overpowered mix ups. SFxT, the game that tried to focus less on these things, was a massive flop competitively and that was with unprecedented Capcom support. If this game had come out for any other company or any year other than the 25th anniversary, it would never have gotten another moments thought.