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Shadow Training Manual, V1.0

Posted by Alex Jebailey -

Hey everyone, Derek Neal, our IG Producer and Designer who you met in this has put together a great training manual that will help you get the most out of your Shadows:

SHADOW TRAINING MANUAL, V1.0

So you want to train the strongest Shadow Fighter possible?  Here’s a guide on how to train it and how the system works!

THERE IS NO TRULY “BEST” MATCH DATA

Shadow Fighters become better and better at mimicking you the more data they have.  Your Shadow Fighter’s memory is made up of all the matches you’ve chosen to save.  For best performance, record matches that the Shadow can learn a lot from. This means longer fights, and close matches against strong opponents with lots of good back-and-forth. Short matches tend to contain little data, especially defensive data. Remember: Winning isn’t important, showing your Shadow how you play is!
Note that the ‘best’ matches aren’t necessarily the ones where you steamroll over your opponent!  These matches tend to be short, and contain very little data (especially defensive data). Again, it’s better to record close matches against strong opponents, with lots of good back-and-forth.

ALWAYS FIGHT SERIOUSLY.

Trying to train your shadow by doing something outside of the context of a serious fight will tend to make it less accurate to how you actually fight!
For Example: If you want to improve its combo breakers, the best way to do so is by doing better and more consistent combo breakers in actual matches.  If you try to train against a friend who you let hit you with combos just so you can break them, your Shadow will learn to stand around and get hit by combos.

RECORD EVERY OUTCOME.

Your Shadow Fighter can learn to mimic your footsies, mixups, combos, option selects, and more. Have fun with it! Just keep in mind that it needs to see all possible outcomes of a given situation before it can mimic them.  A Shadow tries not to guess at how you would act.
For Example: If your recorded matches in which your opponent always blocked your overhead attack, the shadow will know to repeat the block sequence that followed.  But if the opponent gets hit by that overhead, it won’t know the proper combo to do.  Make sure you record instances of all possible outcomes, so your Shadow can learn what you do in each outcome of each situation.

RECORD ANSWERS TO JUMPS & PROJECTILES.

Make sure your Shadow knows what to do when the opponent throws a projectile, jumps, or tries to hit you with an unblockable attack.  Just like real life growing pains, if it has never seen these situations before, it won’t know how to properly counter them. However, it should only need a few examples of the correct counter before it will be able to respond correctly most of the time.

RECORD MATCHES AGAINST EVERY CHARACTER.

If your Shadow doesn’t have at least 3 matches recorded against a given character, it will import data from another character to patch it up.  We affectionately call this a ‘Brain Transplant’! While this will allow the Shadow to fight back competently, it won’t be especially good against that character and also won’t fight just like you.  For best performance, record against a wide variety of characters. Train early and often!

TRY TO MAKE AS FEW MISTAKES AS POSSIBLE.

Shadow Fighters copy everything you do, including your mistakes.  If you drop combos, they will drop combos.  If you fail to punish an attack, they will fail to punish that attack.  The single best way to level up your Shadow Fighter is to level up your own game!

FUNCTIONALITY

This section details some basic truths about the Shadow Fighter system, for those who might be curious.

SHADOW FIGHTERS TRY NOT TO REPEAT THE SAME ACTION.

Shadow Fighters will naturally avoid trying to select the same action over and over.
Note that each time you record something, that new recording counts as an additional “action.”  So if you record something just once, it WON’T ALWAYS do that thing in that situation.  If you want the Shadow Fighter to do that action more frequently, record more instances of yourself doing it.

SHADOW FIGHTERS HAVE HUMAN REACTION TIMES.

Shadow Fighters do not react faster than humans can.  When they choose to block, reversal, shadow counter, counter breaker, or otherwise try to counter an attack, they are guessing in the same way humans do.  This is core to what makes them fight ‘fair’, unlike standard AI. This means they can be defeated with the same tactics that will defeat human players.

SHADOW FIGHTERS CAN LEARN TO ADAPT LIKE YOU.

Shadow Fighters are aware of the general context of the fight, and they can adapt to changes in strategies by your opponent – but only if you have shown it how to adapt!
For Example:  if you notice your opponent has been attacking with overheads a lot, and you change your defensive options to compensate. your Shadow Fighter will also be able to notice when opponents do this, and change up its responses once it has.

SIMPLER CHARACTERS ARE EASIER TO IMITATE.

The more complicated the fighting style of a character becomes, the more data the Shadow Fighter will need to reach optimal performance.  So this means complex characters like Maya and Sadira greatly benefit from more than just the first 3 training matches to get good performance.  In particular, Maya needs to know what to do when she has different numbers and types of daggers.

COMBO BREAKERS

Several people have inquired about how Shadows learn combo breakers.  Shadows start off not having much exposure to all the possible moves, so initially they just occasionally “guess” in response to moves they’ve never seen.  When they decide to guess, they have a fixed success rate of 33%.  This gives newly created shadows a chance to break anything, even if you haven’t yet taught them how.  Over time, as your shadow watches your reactions to various moves, it will slowly stop guessing, and learn to mimic your responses to each of those moves.

Note that currently, when a shadow guess-breaks a Shadow linker, they always break the first 3 hits.  This is something we are looking to change in a future update.

YOUR SHADOWS RECORD

Each Shadow’s leaderboard standings only update when their owner logs in and claims their rewards or checks their activity.  This means you may not see your opponent’s records update immediately after you complete a challenge.

THE LEADERBOARDS

Many people are asking how the rankings for the Leaderboard are calculated.  Please note that the formula being used for this is currently being evaluated.

HELPFUL TIP FOR YOUR SHADOW’S PRIVACY SETTINGS

If you’ve been enjoying Shadows but not sure why you’re not getting challenged more often, it could be your privacy settings.

Here are the full steps:

•   Go to the dash
•   Push Menu button (three lines one) -> Settings
•   Select “Privacy & Online Safety”, on the left.
•   Select Custom
•   Go over to “See your game and app history” and make sure it’s set to “Everybody”


 

Discuss the Shadow Training Manual here: http://forums.ultra-combo.com/t/shadow-training-manual-discussion/3248

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