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The "zoning" myth vs. the reality of pro-level skill

God Confirm

We're all from Earthrealm. If not, cool pic brah.
1. Fighting games are different online and offline.
1.a. Casuals who play online experience difficulties that are in part due to their skill level, which is influenced by their lack of offline experience, and in part due to online latency forcing them into bad habits, or those who have good habits will experience the latency in their own way.
2.b. Pros who play both offline and online are aware of these discrepancies and awareness helps you overcome or acknowledge issues and either work around them or accept them as is.

2. Fighting games are vastly based on shifting meta and are no less grindy than mmorpg or moba, except the "xp" here is that you need to get a feel for your character and the entire cast so that you can learn.
2.a. Your level of skill is directly influenced by the skill of those you play. If you never face a vortex you will never need to worry about it. If you're a casual put in the blender of a pro, you have little to no chance of winning.
2.b. Pro level of skill, thus, is a result of meta and of high level players "grinding one another" as well as having ample knowledge to apply in the lab and develop situations and technique for themselves and the community.

3. The above issues are more the source of Injustice 2 being poorly represented and called out by so many people than zoning itself. Zoning is an easy way to avoid "honest play" but it's not a necessarily bad thing, as workarounds always evolve the meta and strengthen the high level play as a whole.
3.a. Problem with zoning begins with online being unforgiving. For example, when I play Starfire vs a Supergirl if I try to zone I'm literally free to her teleport. I labbed it, I still can't respond in time a lot of the time or I don't respond correctly. I'm casual.
3.b. Problem with the meta is not that it's stale but that there is no reason to evolve it because the community, pros and casuals alike, were conditioned into discarding nrs games based on lifecycles, poor communication from the company and the knowledge that beyond a certain point no matter how broken something in a game is, (coughmkxjasoncough) it will not be patched and the game will become abandonware.
The community is waiting for mk11 so the meta is not really showing any massive evolution anymore, save for potential fans with private scenes who may do so at their own discretion but not as part of the community at large.
I have no idea why you choose to format your post like this but it made me stop reading as soon as I realised that it served no purpose
 

GLoRToR

Green War Activist
I have no idea why you choose to format your post like this but it made me stop reading as soon as I realised that it served no purpose
That's the exact reason. I wanted you to stop reading and make a stupid pointless shitbaiting comment so that we can hate on each other over the internet like our combined IQ remains smaller than our shoe sizes combined.
I'm glad you fell for it, dip shit.
 

Skedar70

Noob
How prevalent? Well, the game has a lot o zoning but theres also a lot of rushdown. Whats your point? There are a lot of zoning and a lot of rushdown. There are strong zoning and strong rushdown.

Enviado de meu Moto G (4) usando Tapatalk
Is it still so hard to understand? Zoning and rushdown are not 50/50 in inj 2 its more like 70/30. How prevalent? I've said it before and I will say it again for the last time. Probably around 75+% of all games follow this workflow "Does my character outzone yours? Yes, move back and start zoning; No, duck projectiles from your opponent zoning you while you walk forward trying to get in".
 

Madog32

PSN: ImaGiveItToUBaby
As a day 1 canary main and loyalist, even I feel like this whining about zoning is just nonsense.

Take the time to walk in.

Its pretty easy to do.

Some of the comments in here make is sound like the idea of walking in is outrageous. If you need to run in and hit buttons all day, MKX is still alive and well.

Different strokes for different folks
 

God Confirm

We're all from Earthrealm. If not, cool pic brah.
That's the exact reason. I wanted you to stop reading and make a stupid pointless shitbaiting comment so that we can hate on each other over the internet like our combined IQ remains smaller than our shoe sizes combined.
I'm glad you fell for it, dip shit.
damn I walked right into your trap. You truly look hyper intelligent now
 
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God Confirm

We're all from Earthrealm. If not, cool pic brah.
this is the second time you walked into someones trap though.
this first one was way more funny though, the guy wrote a wall of text explaining you how it was all a trap lul.
do you remember it? ;D
LOL yes


People setting up traps for me everywhere, it's not safe to walk these forums anymore
 

GLoRToR

Green War Activist
damn I walked right into your trap. You truly look hyper intelligent now
Let's argue over the internet about which one of us is more hyper-intelligent now.
It will be fun.
It's what every dumbass on these forums does, so we don't even need to be unique or imaginative.
 

Wigy

There it is...
Everyone's getting mixed up here. The opinion isn't that it's not beatable. It's just the way the game mechanics work all the skill is on the character who has to come in, it's also boring to watch and play. Which is why the community died overnight.

Up until the highest level zoning is seriously dominant. Very hard to get into a game where you get ROFL stomped by any decent zoner.

Also stop making polarised comparisons to mkx. The community equally hated that, it was just less boring cause you didn't have pew pew walk back all game in 75% matchups.
 

Marlow

Premium
Premium Supporter
"If I get mixed by Firestorm its stupid but I know if I blocked that I'd of had a chance. But with fate you get to a life deficit and I'll just put the controller down. Nothing worse than finally getting in only to get glyphed.".
What I don't get is that if players have the "If I had blocked it I'd stand a chance" mentality why they don't also have a "If I had gotten in I'd have had a chance" attitude. Players seem (supposedly) willing to lab mixups, setups, corner combos, and stuff like that, but they can't take the time to lab how to get in on zoning matchups? Zoning seems way more predictable than dealing with a tough mixup. It's not like help or other resources aren't out there. I think Reo put out a video on how to punish Darkseid pretty early in the games life, and Theo just came out with a tutuorial on how to deal with some of the more notorious full screen zoners in the game. And it's not like Walk & Block is the only option. Most characters have things like a zoning option of their own they could punish with, teleport, leap, full screen tracking move, divekick, or something of that nature they can use. The characters with limited options generally have a good enough corner game or explosive offense up close that even though it's a pain to get the reward for doing so is pretty heavy in their favor. I understand that dealing with zoning can be frustrating, but I think it gets blown up out of proportion.
 

Madog32

PSN: ImaGiveItToUBaby
Everyone's getting mixed up here. The opinion isn't that it's not beatable. It's just the way the game mechanics work all the skill is on the character who has to come in
Does it truly take THAT much skill to patiently walk in? Its kind of a day one concept.

it's also boring to watch and play. Which is why the community died overnight.
That's 1 opinion. Another is that its quite fun/challenging to test your patience and reactionary skills closing in on your opponent and taking your turn with close combat pressure.

Also stop making polarised comparisons to mkx. The community equally hated that, it was just less boring cause you didn't have pew pew walk back all game in 75% matchups.
Another opinion. I actually found MKX to be one of the most boring NRS titles to participate in. There was very little reward for playing defensively. Almost everyones game plan was to run in and apply heavy offensive pressure. Perhaps the only thing that kept it "less boring" was the fact that it was gory and fun to watch finishers and brutalities?


I2 is the most balanced NRS title to date. The fact that we're here whining because it requires too much "skill" to get in is troubling. Perhaps it should be somewhat expected from a crowd who is coming off a game like MKX? I'm not claiming it to be perfect. Of course there are things I would like to see tweaked, but even in its current state its one of the most entertaining games to watch at a high level (for me) and claiming any character that PEW PEW PEWs is an easy-mode win is just frustration manifesting itself as nonsense.

P.S. - Not quoting you to single you out or start an argument. I respect your opinions, and don't expect to change them. Play what you enjoy! And have the courtesy to allow others to do the same without discrediting their wins because you don't like the way they won.
 
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God Confirm

We're all from Earthrealm. If not, cool pic brah.
Everyone's getting mixed up here. The opinion isn't that it's not beatable. It's just the way the game mechanics work all the skill is on the character who has to come in, it's also boring to watch and play. Which is why the community died overnight.

Up until the highest level zoning is seriously dominant. Very hard to get into a game where you get ROFL stomped by any decent zoner.

Also stop making polarised comparisons to mkx. The community equally hated that, it was just less boring cause you didn't have pew pew walk back all game in 75% matchups.
They aren't getting mixed up. They know the argument being made.

They just know its difficult to argue vs the actual complaint and much easier to argue against a twisted version of it, so they act like the complaint is zoning is too imba so that they can link tourneys to disprove it, when nobody is saying zoning is unbeatably strong at all. It's been explained 100 times over now yet every page someone comes back with this same irrelevant "checkmate atheists" garbage about zoning not being OP.
 

jcbowie

...more deadly than the dawn.
Everyone's getting mixed up here. The opinion isn't that it's not beatable. It's just the way the game mechanics work all the skill is on the character who has to come in, it's also boring to watch and play. Which is why the community died overnight.

Up until the highest level zoning is seriously dominant. Very hard to get into a game where you get ROFL stomped by any decent zoner.

Also stop making polarised comparisons to mkx. The community equally hated that, it was just less boring cause you didn't have pew pew walk back all game in 75% matchups.
I would say characters like Superman and WW seriously weaken this argument. Their simplistic but powerful rushdown options are just as easy to execute as zoning and about as challenging to circumvent, especially at lower skill levels which seems to be where the problem would be.

It's not hard to spam projectiles with Dr. Fate just like it's not hard to do flowchart f2,3 offense with Superman/chain simple plus strings with WW. Similarly, I'd argue that it's not hard to patiently duck and walk or dash through most zoning nor is it hard to adapt to straightforward attacks with good frames in rushdown defense. At lower levels if you want simple rushdown to contend with simple zoning then you have it in characters like that, and the choice to play characters with more complicated execution or tactics is up to you. Everyone just wants to play Flash at lower levels and if you do that you're gonna have to accept that you'll be zoned out if you're not good/patient enough.
 

Marlow

Premium
Premium Supporter
So what is the argument being made? That zoning is too prevalent and has killed the casual scene? I just don't see how that's true. I get that there's plenty of people who don't like Injustice and would rather stick with MK, and that's fine. Play what you love. But there's clearly still people playing and enjoying Injustice 2 right now.
 

Gooberking

Solidly Mediocre
I would say characters like Superman and WW seriously weaken this argument. Their simplistic but powerful rushdown options are just as easy to execute as zoning and about as challenging to circumvent, especially at lower skill levels which seems to be where the problem would be.

It's not hard to spam projectiles with Dr. Fate just like it's not hard to do flowchart f2,3 offense with Superman/chain simple plus strings with WW. Similarly, I'd argue that it's not hard to patiently duck and walk or dash through most zoning nor is it hard to adapt to straightforward attacks with good frames in rushdown defense. At lower levels if you want simple rushdown to contend with simple zoning then you have it in characters like that, and the choice to play characters with more complicated execution or tactics is up to you. Everyone just wants to play Flash at lower levels and if you do that you're gonna have to accept that you'll be zoned out if you're not good/patient enough.
I'm just going to toss into this that, as near exclusive WW player, I had to work my ass off to be trash at the game. When I toyed with Superman (and Atro) just to see what would happen, life was a lot easier in the slums. Getting someone to rage quite just by seeing if they could blow up air lasers, wasn't that difficult to do.
 

Obly

Ambiguous world creator
I still feel new to Inj2 but have played enough to agree that yes, zoning is pretty prevalent in casual-level play. As others have pointed out, it feels possible to master ways to deal with it effectively--but if you're someone bound and determined to play a rushdown heavy style, sure, I understand why the game might feel frustrating and boring.

That being said, I do feel like the amount of hate that's been heaped on NRS about this is unjustified and kind of ridiculous. Consider that:

1. Character design is highly constrained by the source material. Most of these characters "zone" in the comics, so naturally they're going to zone in the game. It's nonsensical to think of Green Arrow without arrows, or Superman without heat vision. So zoning just kind of goes with the IP. It is what it is.

2. Pretty much all the characters have good tools of some kind to work within the zoning game, be it by controlling space yourself, countering enemy zoning, or using advanced mobility. The game feels pretty well-balanced in this respect (one of the reasons we saw such a wide variety of fighters at the IPS grand finals). Sure, there are some bad MUs, but not many. So it feels like most characters can be successful despite the zoning if their tools are used well.

3. Seems like many people piss and moan about all the "counter-picking" but I'm not convinced that's a bad thing. Sure, Inj2 does not seem like a game that really lends itself to exclusive character loyalty, but it also doesn't feel that hard to learn a few different characters, to cover for weaknesses and be prepared to counter-pick yourself. Isn't being adaptable and mastering several characters a sign of a strong player?

Anyway, my thought is, if you accepted those facts, gave the game a real try, and still hated it--hey, you know, no big deal. There are other games out there sure to fit your style better. I just wish more folks in that boat would accept it and move on. What it seems has really harmed the Inj2 community is when those folks instead look for any forum they can to whine and spread toxic negativity about how the game isn't what they want it to be (Not talking about anyone here, btw... the comments on this thread have been very thoughtful).
 

BurdaA

Frost-Byte
I’m tempted to pick it back up a little, I miss Brainiac. Congrats to scar, his form was immense. Beta conversions endgame against semiij (iirc) we’re od.

Whole finals were fun to watch, give or take some D grade lower-school editing skills (twitch version). Character diversity was hella good.