Formalities and Respect

A follow up to my Got Read post, sort of.

In a lot of games it's quite common to run into formalities. What I mean by that is a series of events that you absolutely know both players are going to do because they are the absolute most ideal or optimal plays in that situation.

For example, let's say player Bee gets in and throws a projectile in a game with airdashing. Player Eff jumps to avoid the projectile then airdashes forward, but player Bee turns around and attempts and anti-air, knowing that player Eff with air backdash to avoid the anti-air and is put back into the corner.

Basically, everything that occurred after the first move was a formality and returned back to neutral. Even though player Bee could have attempted to read the airbackdash it was not ideal to do so because of the risk the player might not air backdash and get out of the corner with just the singular forward airdash. Likewise, player Eff should never really just forward airdash because of the risk of getting anti-aired, put back into the corner with okizeme, and then rushed down with mixups/pressure.

But, every once in a while you get people doing completely random things that go way outside of the formal movements, and this makes good players go "What? Why would you do that?". We call this a lack of respect.

Lack of respect can also mean other things though, like not respecting the opponents options. Such as being put into a frame disadvantage; the aggressor now has control and has a ton of options for mixup, continued pressure, or baiting the opponent into doing something stupid. A lack of respect for these options would cause the defender to do an aggressive attack in retaliation, even though they were at disadvantage. A very foolish choice, yet it doesn't always fail.

With high/low/block/throw mixup options that can't be consistently reacted to you get people trying to guess their way out of the mixup with a counter instead of trying to defend against it, and you either succeed or fail based on luck. It's disrespectful, and while complete lack of respect is easy to counter (because it's predictable), varying levels of respect and disrespect can be really annoying at times. We call it a lack of respect because the defender did not respect the potential punishment for doing a counter-action -- like doing a DP to get out of a mixup -- only to have the aggressor block and punish the DP. When you don't respect your opponent you are not respecting the risk, and you are not respecting their ability to play, you believe that the counter will work and you'll be fine.

This is also part of what separates mixups(guessing) from mind games(reading). It is an assumption that has the potential to be incorrect, but the odds of it being incorrect are very slim, so it's more of an educated guess.

To use a chess analogy it would be like intentionally placing your pawn in a bad spot as bait so that it can be taken, only to use another piece to take whatever piece the opponent used to take your pawn; a simple trap. Now, on a more specific scale, pinning the opponent on the board to where they have no choice but to act a certain way, a way that is favorable to you.

I think Viscant probably said it best when he said: "Forcing your opponent to choose from a tree of all failure".

Unfortunately it's incredibly common for gamers to confuse the differences between guessing and mindreading. For some reason people feel mixups and yomi are synonymous, when they aren't really.

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