Posted by: forwardarrow | May 7, 2015

A Big Retrospective of ForwardArrow’s MYM Career Part 2: MYM13-MYM16

So MYM12 was bad personally, but MYM13 was just bad for everyone, if we’re being realistic. The contest was incredibly slow, there were extensive in thread arguments that detracted a lot from actual commenting, and a few people made the horrible mistake of trying to make Capture the Flag a thing again. From a personal standpoint though, I at least think I did finally figure out what was missing from my MYM12 material, and for that matter finally was able to surpass the better Praetors in terms of quality for the first time. That said, while a couple people did perform well in MYM13, it was a pretty miserable contest for a lot of reasons. Though it was unlucky number 13, so I dunno what we expected.

I was absent for the first week of MYM13, because I was stuck in some weird program my parents signed me up for to prepare me for college or something. I thought I’d at least have some way to access the internet there but I basically didn’t and ended up not being able to contact MYM at all which was kind of frustrating. Regardless, the main reason I bring this up was while I was on break, I got my chance to read a few movesets out of sheer dumb luck, as on one of the trips I ended up in a place with wi-fi and managed to get the page with Ashens, Mike Dawson, Thief, and Kammy Koopa on it before I had to go. I later read the sets back in my room since I had the page up. I sort of wonder if I could have picked a better page since I hated all the sets on it, but all things considered there was little to like in early MYM13 that it may have been better to have an opinion on Ashens and Dawson as soon as I got back.

HN Elly

Unlike with MYM11 and 12, on account of being on vacation so long and not really having a ton of ideas, I didn’t post a set for quite some time. I ended up starting on H.N. Elly pretty early in the contest because, fairly simply, I wanted to take my own stab at the Fly concept. A decent sized chunk of MYM thought transportation to an alternate stage was a really awesome concept, and I did see the appeal of creating an alternate stage to have a whole new dimension to every move in your set because they’d be better in that context. I always had a major problem with it though, and that was the fact that most characters with Fly stages could just drag other characters into them super casually, and the process of getting them into your alternate dimension was never all that interesting, and those sets were always broken, linear, and boring.

So H.N. Elly was an attempt to fix that, as she created fairly weak little minions that you had to get on the opponent grabbing them all at the same time, and then drag them to one of your TVs to put them in the alternate dimension. The slightly disappointing thing about the alternate dimension is it didn’t really give Elly that much other than stronger minions and an instant and powerful set-up, but I guess it was a decent way of solving that she would have some trouble getting nearly that far on a normal stage.

I do feel H.N. Elly had some actual strong stuff outside of the alternate stage, and that’s where most of my fondness for the set comes from. You had TVs with a bunch of adjustable settings on them, serving as portals to the alternate dimension, constant sources of electric hitboxes, or explosives, and they can be carried around by minions and spun in the FSmash to serve as constant projectile reflectors. You can even make big chain reactions of TVs exploding or shooting out electric bolts, which is hard to set up on the regular stage but easy in the alternate dimension. You can also create neat little formations out of TVs with your aerials if you have enough set up or are in the alternate stage.

In hindsight though, I don’t really like Fly as a concept, there are very few things it can accomplish that can’t just be done through straight set up, and it’s very intrusive to force opponents to play on the same stage in every match. Most of the time it’s hard to resist the temptation to make it extremely powerful in favor of the user, and when it’s not like in DM’s Great Dusknoir set, it instead comes across as so pointless it may as well not be there at all. I actually do think H.N. Elly in the alternate stage is too strong, even if she’s weak enough without it and the alternate is hard enough to get them in that the set isn’t OP on a whole, but I doubt anyone who was playing against the set would be having fun in the alternate stage. I still think H.N. Elly is pretty decent because of how the TVs and minions work having any depth and the Fly being probably more balanced than any non-Dusknoir attempts. Though that being said, her out of Fly game isn’t anything amazing either, her grab game is terribly awkward outside of the somewhat cool pummel and the whole set suffers severely from having hitboxes with tacked on effects on your set up, rather than making any use of the actual hitboxes like a proper fighting game character. I’m not going to deny that complain is something that holds ground with a lot of my sets, but it is especially noticeable here.

Reception wise, the initial reaction to H.N. Elly wasn’t very positive. DM immediately told me it was nearly as bad as Ashens and Clayton, two sets he passionately hated, which I kind of expected but it still hurt. He never even said that much about the set other than “you didn’t even improve on Dutchman” which was pretty offensive to me back then and still is now, Dutchman was literally pushing the opponent into the fly on every single move, at least I tried to introduce some variety. As little as I usually paid attention to Warrior of Many Face’s criticism, I still kind of wish he could’ve gotten more interested in the set, and Kat also said it was kind of mediocre. As the contest went on, I got a lot more positive feedback from basically everyone who wasn’t those 3 though, because it does at least flow well without being boring/OP/flowchart-y. Regardless, between the awkward reception, how hard it was to actually make the set good despite having this supposed “amazing” concept, and how much the set had to go out of its way to differentiate itself from other Fly sets when all the Fly does is set up for you, I kind of came to realize that Fly was a pretty stupid concept after posting the set, though I was never especially vocal about it because I didn’t think my work here was all that great anyway, and maybe I was missing something.

Lizard

Shortly after finishing H.N. Elly, I decided to work on another moveset, because I got a burst of inspiration from a pretty ridiculous source. You see for whatever reason I stalked the GameFAQs contest message boards, and after a while of having canon fights between characters from basically every fictional source they could find, they decided that wasn’t enough and made up a bunch of characters of OCs to have duke it out. It was surprisingly well done considering that, since they tried not to make anyone insanely imbalanced and make the powersets interesting. Lizard’s whole appeal was that he treated magic like a science, and could with time replicate any spell another individual used with his own modifications on it, as well as pull off some crazy flight and transmutation tricks while having a very obvious weakness on account of his pathetically small and flimsy form. I mean I thought that sounded cool, and nobody had really done that much with move copying, so over the course of a day I brainstormed the set, and then wrote it up the next day.

Lizard is one of the wackiest sets I’ve ever made conceptually, because he basically has to witness an opponent’s move to copy it and I had to come up with some clever ways for him to do that while keeping him insanely light/small. So I gave him rubble to hide him and constructs the opponent would want to destroy so that he’d have the chance to observe their attacks, perhaps multiple times. If there were moves that were particularly huge problems for this gameplan, again because of his pathetic stature, he could disable them if he countered them successfully with Down Special. He also had some insane flight, the ability to transmute his rubble into different materials like fire, water, and magic gemstones, and between all this the set ends up insanely open-ended despite the seemingly limiting premise. It only got better with some later edits where some of the moves were combined to free up space for him to do new stuff, and the Down Special no longer permanently disabled the moves it countered to give him more ability for the opponents to properly play against him.

The set was mostly positively received up on release, because of the incredibly open-ended nature of it and how unique it was. It did have a couple detractors, Warlord hated the old input use and way the counter worked until I edited it to be properly balanced. The biggest one was JOE though, who thought the set was way too wacky to work because he thinks that on account of playing competitive Smash a lot of MYM materials would just not work rather than just change the meta. I think some of his points hold ground, like how Lizard is too hard to pick up and play compared really(though he doesn’t require pitch perfect play, you can make mistakes as him and still live to tell the tale), he was too low to the ground to grab, and some moves were too broken. I don’t think his complaints are without merit and I do wish I made it easier to grab Lizard, but I think he judged it too harshly because on account of being super competitive stuff that exists outside of what you’d usually expect from a Smash Brothers set is kind of alienating to him because it changes the nature of the game. And to someone who has been perfecting fighting similar styles of opponents over and over, change is kind of unappealing and scary. That said I’m not going to say he’s necessarily wrong regardless, I doubt Lizard’s balance is exactly perfect and some things would definently need to be tweaked before he was actually put into a game.

That being said, I was addressing his complaint specifically because this is the first set I’m going to talk about where I legitimately really like it, rather than the somewhat lukewarm appreciation I have for sets like H.N. Elly and Jin-Gitaxias. It’s extremely unique even amongst MYM sets with the closest comparison out there being Ameno-sagiri, on account of both dealing in customizing movesets. Lizard does a ton to differentiate itself from Ameno in how he gets and customizes those moves, exists in a non-boss context, and is extremely small and flimsy rather than huge and durable. I also honestly think the set is surprisingly well balanced, each aspect of Lizard’s game has counterplay yet isn’t so easily stopped that opponents can casually defeat him a couple seconds into the match, and his set ups even outside the context of opponent’s copied moves are really neat. I mean you can make 3 different kinds of golems, leave lingering or projectile versions of their attacks along a structure you made out of rock, which can also contain water pits or walls and fields of fire. You can even build your own battering item, I mean how cool is that? Way cooler than anything Urabrask can do, that’s for sure. I also had a total blast writing the set and reading responses to it because I had no idea how something like this would be received(I didn’t even know if it flowed or not when I started working on it), this is one of the movesets I have the most fond memories of on a whole. I will throw in that yeah, while I talk about all these nice qualities the set still has its share of dumb moves like the tornado I edited in to fill an old input, there’s a guessing game aspect to it that I’m not terribly fond of even if it’s basically necessary, and I feel like some of the moves are honestly pretty wonky, like the Nair tornado or the levitation/de-levitation moves.

I was on a bit of a high after writing Lizard, and actually started on another set shortly after, which we’ll get too but I’ll just say I got some very excited reactions as I showed people small previews of it. But while I was working on it, I got asked to join another movement, this time a Team Fortress 2 movement. And I don’t even like TF2, so naturally I was pretty resistant, but I got begged and begged and repeatedly told “it’ll be so easy”. Because you see, it is in a game mode Warlord designed back in MYM7, Capture the Flag, which was a huge online-exclusive 10 vs 10 mode that heavily emphasized making nigh-unbreakable fortresses of traps. It was literally made because Warlord made a character with the purpose of deconstructing said mode for fun, and like the mode, said set had aged horribly by the time MYM13 came around. I don’t know what could’ve possibly convinced me to join this terrible movement, much less Smady and Warlord who were both aware of how bad Spy was, but none-the-less, we all did it, and I had to postpone my big project until it was done. The worst part is the guy in charge was David, who it was established I had some serious issues with, so I don’t know why I’d join a movement with him in it, but here we were. I guess it was maybe because having Kupa there as well made me think it could turn out okay?

So, before I even get to my contribution, the movement turned out an absolute disaster, with immediate mockery of almost every set posted in it barring Sniper and Heavy. Even the “good” sets of the movement weren’t terribly liked, and Smady and Professor Peanut weren’t able to finish their contributions in time. This was because Peanut was busy in college and Smady wanted to, god forbid, make an actual decent set for the Soldier. David got enormously angry with both of them over “not meeting the deadline” or something and basically said both of them were subhuman scum over a movement. I’m amazed Peanut decided to put in apology to David at the end of the contest with his Demoman set, because frankly after David sabotaged his movement its surprisingly Peanut ever gave him the set at all.

Scout

I really should stop going off about David because he might read this or at least skim for his name, but I’d rather note this stuff because this is the context of the movement and what I decided to do recently. You see, my contribution was Scout, but it no longer exists, as I deleted it. This is because I hate the movement it stands for, it holds no comedic value, it was a horrible set, and I would rather not be associated with a mode I don’t think should exist. Regardless, Scout was a moveset where the entire core of the set was “hit around traps with your bat” when in TF2, that has nothing to do with how Scout works, because if anything his attacks are less effective against constructs in the game. It also featured 3 drinks on specials, a grab game written in literally 5 minutes, the Baby’s Face Blaster of all things being used as a Down Smash, no Sandman despite it being extremely iconic to the Scout, and an ability that so horribly murders traps that it may be worse for the enemy team to set them up than not too. The main thing that prevented the set from being my worst ever, which I thought it was for a little while, is it wasn’t the worst thing ever to play against or anything, but Scout was so stupidly powerful in the context of the mode the set was imbalanced regardless. There is honestly extremely little to say about this set too, as even when it did exist, every move was just a bat swing or a gunshot with no additional thought put into the properties to make them interesting.

So I hated Scout, and while it wasn’t made into as much of a meme as Pyro and Medic were in chat, on account of those 2 somehow being even more bizarrely characterized and imbalanced(and also using the terrible Pyrovision in the former’s case), the set was pretty widely considered awful and one of my absolute worst. I obviously wanted to move on from it as soon as possible, as it was holding me up from finishing my other project, but I had another movement set I also had to complete, as Halloween was approaching.

Killerman3

After all, a long time ago I had talked to Smady about the prospects of me joining a future Illbleed movement, as I did like Banballow and I thought the idea of joining a movement for characters from the same series was a decent idea. This spawned Killerman, a set that was probably a terrible idea for me to make for a number of reasons. For one, in a similar case to the Scout, I didn’t know that much about the source material, having basically just watched a video of his boss fight and not much else. For two, unlike Banballow, Killerman has literally nothing interesting to manipulate, but I thought I had to make him complex anyway on account of how the other Illbleed sets were handled. In hindsight, Zodick was probably a much better example of the type of execution I should’ve gone for.

So the idea with Killerman was, and I thought this was okay because of assorted Killerman costumes around his area, have Killerman create duplicates of himself to create a “murder mystery”. From there, Killerman can make the clones real with his laser beam, reflect the laser off stars, and start doing a bunch of bizarre and generic trap/projectile stuff with the heads by storing mass stars and lasers in them. Some of it makes any sense, like the Down Smash heads eating projectiles to build up a huge one, but then it gets into some bizarre stuff like freezing stars into platforms and channeling them through a kick somehow.

So obviously this set is pretty tacky, but there are 2 fundamental things wrong with it. I’ve already gone over why duplicate mindgames are bad, it’s just a big guessing game for the opponent and Killerman’s “mindgame” stuff is about as generic a guessing game as Doc Scratch’s. There’s any depth to it compared to said set as exposing a fake Killerman is pretty easy, but when he can easily have 4 duplicates out at once, they won’t exactly have made much progress regardless, especially when Killerman can fairly easily reshuffle them. Aside from that, Killerman’s also really poorly characterized, he’s much more brutish than this set would have you believe and the duplicates aren’t really fitting, especially as the very core of the moveset. I actually think that unlike Scout there’s a good amount of salvageable stuff here, the projectile game is vaguely interesting once you get over how weird it is, and the idea of making duplicates real was one that, while I didn’t use well, was eventually made into a pretty good set. That set was Froy’s Reisen, which narrowly missed Top 10 in MYM14 and I found much more appealing to me than Remilia, slightly lacking air game or no. It’s worth giving a read if you’re interested. But back on Killerman briefly, I also want to mention that while I guess I made remotely okay if horribly awkward use of the heads from his boss fight, I really should not have included the rain of maggots at all if I was going to use them like I did, they were so painfully boring and forced in their application.

So Killerman sucked albeit not as much as a lot of my old sets, and got it was draining of my energy to write it. It took multiple months to complete, partially because I had a power outage around when I was trying to finish it that killed a lot of my motivation, and partially because I just had no idea how to write the character. It could be argued Smady practically jointed the set with me since he gave me so many of the ideas. It seems Killerman wasn’t the only Illbleed set to be finished slowly, the whole movement took multiple months longer than expected to complete, which a lot of people used to emphasize their supposed point that MYM was dead. Here we are 3 contests later after 2 pretty decent ones, so their talk of MYM’s end was incorrect, but at the time it was at a height it never really was before and it got rather unbearable to listen too as I knew we had some good sets in the backlog just waiting to be posted, but we needed everything finished first.

So Illbleed did come out eventually, and yes it was a pretty huge success when it did. Reynolds/Cashman/Trent are all some really fantastic sets to this day, and Zodick was pretty solid too. Killerman was the weak link, but not something that came across as insufferably bad, though it made a pretty convincing case Smady and Warlord should’ve done the movement without me and I should’ve just worked on what ended up my end of contest set. The real thorn in our side though was Junahu’s Cutey Mary, which he decided would be perfectly acceptable to make into a PSABR set without asking anyone’s permission.

I’ve made my stance about alternate game sets clear, but since Cutey Mary was the subject of discussion and there was a fairly annoying in thread argument about this at the time. I don’t think we should really be making sets for games other than Smash, and I know I’m going to get some people who want to argue 3v1 bosses aren’t in Smash, but you could at least replicate them just by going to multiplayer and pitting 3 people on a team against one. The game isn’t balanced for that obviously, but the option exists. I think it was in light of Capture the Flag that people suggested it, but CtF was honestly a horrible idea to make sets for and is still using the same engine if nothing else. As was emphasized by Cutey Mary’s use of measurements and several other things in the set, most of MYM doesn’t really have a strong knowledge of fighters that aren’t Smash, I think SSB4 terms should even be used with caution right now, let alone PSABR ones. Between the weird terminology and mechanics, I also think even if we did try to branch out to other engines, as exhausting a process as that would be, Smash is by far the most appealing one because the engine allows for more open ended stuff than most fighting games do. Also, we’d probably get moved to the Light House or some other weird discussion forum if we started doing sets that weren’t Smash Brothers related, and that’s a pretty far off section of the forum that not as many people check and take interest in.

As a final aside on Illbleed, aside from just being a generally very high quality movement, there was one key thing I want to point out about it. 2 of the sets, Reynolds and Cashman, made use of a system where they placed many traps on one input, and I think this was actually a pretty genius idea. I don’t know if the system they used to allow you to select them was perfect, but we’ve seen this can work fine with Pac-Man’s many projectiles available on just Neutral Special depending on charge. I think Sho kind of perfected the system, by basing which object you get off charge rather than off some slightly less intuitive(though still solid) mechanics, but what Reynolds and Cashman did was extremely important, as they laid the foundation. So yeah, it was a long time in development, but having a long spanning useful influence on sets by allowing us to have more than like 3 options for traps or minions in a single set is pretty important. I mean you could arguably do it before, but you’d have to sacrifice some pretty important defensive inputs to do so.

I haven’t mentioned chat happenings in a while, and that’s because after a certain point fairly early in MYM13, there really wasn’t a chat. The primary thing worth mentioning, and we have factual evidence on this now, is that David got Warlord banned, and later on our chatroom basically exploded. I was made the OP to replace Warlord, meaning the one time I got to OP an MYM was as an awkward replacement for Warlord. Which I guess is fine, being OP is a super high honor and all, but if I earned that title sometimes I wish I could’ve done it in a different context. But sometime after I was made admin of the chat, it basically stopped functioning because xat is a terrible, old, sorry excuse for a website, and in reaction most of MYM moved to Phatchat.

It was a pretty terrible time, and around that period a good chunk of us started using Skype instead of xat, because I’m not sure some of us were comfortable with the idea of having Phatcat run the primary MYM chat when he’d basically left MYM 2 contests ago. This move to Skype was pretty important, though xat wasn’t really abandoned entirely until MYM14, it was definitely the beginning of the end for our time on that site. Most of chat discussion just amounted to constant spam that between Illbleed and the chat explosion MYM was truly forever doomed. It couldn’t have helped matters though that Kat had enough of leadership and basically “retired” from MYM, having been going through a huge slump in his setmaking that was really peaked when he made Mukae, a set which experienced universal revile, especially after nobody even really bothered with Ryota and Mistleteinn despite it being a huge effort on his part and me bothering to endorse the set at all. I don’t think I helped at all, for reasons we’ll get too in the next set. On the plus side, we did invite Froy into leadership, and it was long deserved when he was making 10 sets a contest and commenting like crazy.

Jarad

So my final production for MYM13 was Jarad, and it was a big one, as I felt I finally had made a set to truly surpass Praetors because apparently Lizard didn’t already do that. I finished the Specials and a few other moves early on and previewed it to a few people, and I don’t think I have ever seen such a positive reaction to one of my sets until Vector was posted. I was pretty convinced that I could win this damn contest as soon as the set was posted, earn 10 million stars on everyone’s rankings, and probably be hailed as the second coming of Jesus Christ. The problem was I was a bit low on inspiration after writing some pretty meaty Specials/Standards/Smashes, and that slowed progress a fair bit until the last day. At that point I basically had to rush the last 10 inputs or so, and I would say its pretty clear which ones they were because they often involve doing some weird stuff with spores or projectiles, or are just kind of arbitrary and way less interesting than what came before them.

Jarad’s concept was a pretty strong one especially at the time, he creates beetles on Neutral Special that are very underpowered on their own, but when they die, he can salvage pieces of their body via Down Special stick them onto other beetles, or a giant worm summoned with Down Smash or a flying beetle made with FThrow(and I’m not gonna lie, that was still some weird decision making on my part). These minions can be imbued with spores, which are tiny poison damage causing projectiles that stack in a horrifically powerful way, but you need a lot of them to build up damage. Jarad then more material for them to work with, like an Up Special tentacle that you can attach to a minion to give it a means to grab, buff them up, create debuffs on the opponents based on their spores, create Jab projectiles that he can also imbue in minions and supplement his otherwise weak melee game, and plenty more. It added up to a set that got a lot of people hyped, and if you’ve ever bothered to look at the MYM13 Top 50, you’ll know that this was the moveset I won a contest with.

And yeah, full on winning an MYM is a huge deal, and more importantly I was the first person to join past MYM4 ever to do so. This was an insanely big accomplishment for me, and even before I had it I saw I had the opportunity to do it from how previewers and some early readers reacted. I mean Warlord was one of the most negative people about the set, and the only things he ranked it under were Cashman and Reynolds and he loved the concepts and animations.

So if what you’re expecting me to say now is I love this set and I love that I managed to win MYM13, you’re actually wrong. I’m not that proud of either of those things, for different reasons. I mean, I think Jarad is a perfectly reasonable set, but I’m going to be honest when I say in the span of only 3 contests, age has not been kind to it. Minion sets have been a huge deal since MYM12 and people have been constantly trying to outdo each other at them. While Jarad can customize minions, so can Three, so can Sho(sort of), so can Judge Nemo, and arguably Lizard even did it first. Jarad’s is decently open ended because you can place each limb wherever you want, but that’s just the thing. On account of that, Jarad’s minions are really, really underwhelming. It’s a big beetle with a couple weak limb swipes, a weaker flying beetle, and a relatively cool worm that’s mostly just there to serve as a canvas to place limbs on and doesn’t really provide much for the rest of the set. I mean, yeah they serve the purpose intended, but could you imagine doing this kind of stuff with like, Sho’s minions or Nemo’s? It might actually be as deep as I thought Jarad was despite being about as minimalist as you could get with the actual materials. It could be argued that’s okay because the system of building a minion is kind of complex anyway, but in a way it just means minions just amount to big blobs of hitboxes and not anything with even slight sophistication to them.

Jarad is also pretty flawed in a several other regards. For one, I tried to force melee on the set because I thought that just having a slow projectile instantly makes any melee game interesting on the basis I was still a huge fan of Negi. As the few commenters who actually criticized the set pointed out, that wasn’t really as strong an arguing point as I thought, especially when it denied Jarad what he’d want, a necessary means of stalling for set up. As is, the set feels pretty underpowered, with Jarad’s main way to actually get the kind of minions and materials he wants being to try to convince the foe to run away by not getting too many spores stacked on them. That’s not too convincing when Jarad’s KO percents are so obscenely high because oh man this poison damage can potentially stack like crazy better make certain that players pull off a crazy amount of poison or they literally will never kill you. It also had the “actual hitboxes not being relevant, just using them to modify minions and having a token hitbox attached” problem that H.N. Elly had and just as bad, and some last day inputs like the random puncture wound on a throw that are pretty irrelevant to the set. At the very least, I do still like the animations on the set a good deal, it does some pretty disturbing decay related stuff to the foe, with one of the highlights being a beetle literally bursting out of their insides and the Forward Smash and Up Smash causing them to rot alive or get infected with a giant mushroom. And I mean, the actual concepts are pretty good, albeit I don’t think they generate as much depth as I thought since its basically just relocating your traps around on a slightly mobile surface. Also the boss mode is absolutely awful because it was rushed and in no way worthwhile on this character, and randomly I manage to screw up the 3v1 Final Smash of all things by making it summon an absolutely enormous monster and then having it do basically nothing in particular.

But honestly, what gives me a lot of negative stigma around this set is that I thought I so deserved to win that I was free to ensure it by any means necessary. That meant being pretty disturbingly difficult with any form of competition, so when Kat made the most glowing, thrilled endorsement of Koala Kong he could possibly muster, I got kind of furious and ended up talking to people about what could be wrong with Kong. I mean it didn’t DESERVE all this praise and a win over the oh so amazing Jarad right? So I went to DM in particular, who admittedly found some very worthwhile talking points about Kong’s flaws, such as the fact that basically every attack deals downwards knockback, the awkwardness of some of the animations like the ground chunks basically fusing into the stage as Kong threw them along the ground, the excessive prevalence of pitfalls, how ridiculously broken a solid object is as a projectile(which in retrospect, was another thing that was dumb about Urabrask too), etc. I ended up basically broadcasting these showing points rather than keeping them to myself, and while in some ways it was healthy discussion to bring proper criticisms to a once barely criticized moveset, I don’t approve of the fact that I basically used it to try and get people to move Kong down to RV or a tier lower than what they were planning. The plan worked too well in some regards, I don’t think Ace Trainer JOE was really deserving of its insanely high placing which Kong could’ve at least competed for before. And really, I know its “honest discussion” of the set but it may have just been better to let Warlord coast to a win with a set he was so proud of, when before Kat’s ad I felt no reason to criticize it and the guy was banned at the time, practically sabotaging his set was a pretty heartless thing to do in those circumstances.

But I shouldn’t leave out Kat here, because frankly it wasn’t just his Kong ad, Kat also said to me “oh I didn’t really enjoy Jarad that much in chat” and between that, his Kong ad, and him leaving leadership, I got unnecessarily pissed at the guy. So I basically went back and dropped a ton of his sets on my rankings out of anger, justifying it with problems that I had been admittedly putting out of my mind because I wanted to appreciate the good aspects of them, but there was no denying there was a hand of frustration with him in there, and holy hell that’s just not a fair thing to do. I mean I often try to put set’s problems on the backburner to enjoy concepts and bits of execution I’m really fond of, why should I suddenly turn on them just because he says one bad thing about one of my sets. He wasn’t even competition but I was a spiteful prick anyway. For that matter, I also basically didn’t bother to campaign at all for Reynolds at the end of the contest because “oh Smady shouldn’t win three contests in a row” but really it was a far better set than Jarad, instead focusing on sets which seemed less likely to win like Cashman or Sakuya, though that might just be me overanalyzing my actions at the time.

So yeah, I won MYM13. Well done asshole, you won a horribly unpleasant contest at the expense of a guy who was banned from one of his favorite hobbies and forced to use an alt under heavy suspicion(which ended up getting banned later anyway) and a guy who was clearly depressed the whole contest and didn’t have any shot at winning anyway. It wasn’t even a great contest to win, it was an unpleasant mess in thread and in chat with almost no sets outside of a small group of 5 or so that even looked particularly threatening to win. And of course I felt great about it at the time and I thought I was winning for “new people everywhere because this was the first time someone outside of the terrible MYM3-4 cult had won” when most of those people had already left or were in the process of leaving. So looking back on it now, me winning MYM13 was meaningless, hollow, and shows I was kind of an asshole in the end. I guess I still am.

So that was MYM13, a pretty rotten contest with a rotten winner(hell the set that won literally involved rotting). Unlike MYM12 I can’t really think of that much positive to say about it, if anything some people regressed in terms of quality that contest. Look at Kupa, Kat, and Froy, they couldn’t make anything on par with Jarvis, Luxord, or Alice. Illbleed was great and all, but what sets are even worth talking about outside of it? There were huge stretches of in thread arguing about nothing and spam, a few people left or got severely discouraged if nothing else, and we really needed to do something to fix this mess. But you know, as a favor to Warlord and Kat since I shafted them back then, I’m going to talk about 2 of their sets that were pretty interesting.

Deathborn: So this set was actually pretty popular, but did you know it was a huge inspiration for Don Thousand? It tried a completely unique concept I haven’t really seen since, with the idea being to basically split the foe into a brain and a main body, both of which function normally but if either dies the other is KO’d. Deathborn can abuse his powerful gimping game on the duplicate, turn them and their moves on each other, give them a dangerous and powerful buff, and for the most part it even uses mind control in a fair manner(the pummel’s a bit broken, but that’s not the point here). I even pretty strongly reference this set’s Bair in Don Thousand, it’s somewhat revised but the idea is the same, doubling the strength of the projectile but making it hard to hit the original owner with. Also while the boss mode looks like a throwaway at the end of the set, Deathborn translates so naturally into a 3v1 it is kind of amazing.

Ryota Ijima and Mistleteinn: This was a set I found really fascinating when it was posted, and it was partially because my god that presentation was fantastic. It did a great job of making the character seem extremely intimidating despite her anime schoolgirl design, emphasizing the way the two of them work together in their slightly creepy way, and providing a really unique kind of match to play, what with the constant transitions between her dream world and the regular stage. The gameplay is also kind of interesting, as she basically has extreme free-range terraforming and enormous, almost unstoppable levels of power and speed, but is hindered by her pathetic weight for a boss and the fact that opponents get time out of the alternate stage to set up. I honestly think the set isn’t particularly good nowadays, partially because of my dislike of Fly type sets and how her dynamic becomes a lot less interesting when nobody in the match has set up, basically requiring she fight MYM characters. I mean Kat kind of violently disowned it in his article, it might not be right for me to say it’s good here even if I did like it. But you know what, it is still a unique reading experience, and for those who aren’t super concerned with execution like me, you’ll probably find this a pretty enjoyable read for the unique atmosphere and design. And I mean, it’s the closest we got to Katapultar making Freddy Kreuger. Japanese anime high school girl Freddy Kreuger, but I’ll take what I can get.

So that wraps up MYM13, a contest where I did what I wanted to do for a long time and surpassed Praetors, but won in a pretty terrible manner with a set that doesn’t even age well. I think MYM14 was my punishment for it though. MYM14 was a long, long contest, not even a particularly bad one because a lot of old members old and new got involved and we eventually even got Warlord unbanned, but one where I didn’t have a lot that of sets that were too my taste. And more importantly, it was an absolute goddamn embarrassment. I made 2 sets, one of which needed shifts to place Top 20. The other set was Avalugg, a set that was pretty much turned into a meme as soon as it was posted for the “flips over and crushes the foe” Dair and how goddamn insufferably boring it was. I mean it somehow placed but I didn’t even want it too, and it was for a boring ass block of ice. I should probably reserve more of that for the write up though.

Dark Falz 3

So Dark Falz 2.0 was the first of those sets, and in all honesty I think it might be my most underrated set. I mean it takes the soul stealing concept from Falz 1.0 and finally gives it the use its been waiting for, as it has a full set of throws that take actual really interesting advantage of stealing the foe’s soul, makes the mechanics more fair, and adds in its own new mechanic. Falz takes the “you can charge a move as long as you want” mechanic and combines it with Chaos Sorcerer minions, who can help you charge up your Smashes way faster. What’s cool about this is via FThrow, you can put your souls in a chaos sorcerer, and even double the damage it so that if a foe’s attack hits it, they’re hitting their ally with a buffed up attack too. It’s a bit set up heavy for a 3v1 boss, but he actually can get there more easily than most because it is inherently somewhat dangerous to attack him on account of the soul steal mechanics. And it even balanced an instant death attack, in my opinion, pretty well.

And I said it was my most underrated and I really do feel that, it didn’t perform nearly as well as sets like Urabrask, Chakravartin, H.N. Elly, and Jarad in the Top 50 despite being stronger executed. That said, I talked about stuff I liked earlier, so I should probably just go and nitpick it some, though I guess the flaws might be too big to qualify as nitpicking. For one, the Smash charge mechanic is cool, but the moves I added to play off it really aren’t, not so much being generic as not actually contributing much of anything. There was also the problem that I feel the set might’ve diverged away too much from the soul stealing as it went on, which was the big thing I was trying to sell in this set. And last but most importantly, I’m not going to deny that the Grab Game being more the centerpiece than the Specials is kind of ridiculous, and if I made the set today I probably would’ve made the Grab a command grab and given him a more normal grab game in its place. Would’ve required me to write fewer specials that were a bit less relevant than I would’ve liked, and I think I could’ve done some interesting things with a more traditional grab game on this character.

But you know, I did like this set, but it seemed MYM on a whole really wasn’t that big on it. Obviously a 3v1 boss with weird input placement and fairly little emphasis on traditional Smash techniques compared to something like Ultron wouldn’t be terribly popular, but more than that I think the problems I mentioned were just a bit too much for people who did like the set to not pick other sets to vote over it. I’d be a bit less annoyed if MYM14 had literally any sets I particularly liked that aren’t named Sho, Marin, or Gluttony, but whatever. And as a final note, this may not be the last you see of Dark Falz. He does come back over and over, never dying, and has several more incarnations he could take on…

And then there was a very, very long stretch during which I posted absolutely nothing. I mean I commented, but there wasn’t a set to be seen for a painfully long period, which I felt awful about especially when Falz 2.0 wasn’t all that well received. That being said, some important stuff happened during this period. For one, we switched out leaders, this time Kupa for JOE. Kupa spent a long period of the contest not posting any sets, and the general consensus was that his MYM13 was a very, very bad contest for him. JOE, meanwhile, posted a huge wall of “rankcoms” that were basically bullet point breakdowns of every set he read with a ranking attached.

And honestly, I’m going to probably get called insane for that, but I think that decision was a mistake. Kupa might not have had the greatest output in MYM13, but he tended to have “off” contests and the only reason Skowl was bad is Kupa’s been far too distanced from MYM to really know how the standards of balance and redundancy have changed. I’m pretty sure Skowl would’ve been considered pretty great in MYM13 or earlier on account of the strong concepts presented, even if the execution was a little strange in places(well, worse than a little strange, but I’m talking in MYM13 terms here). JOE, meanwhile, basically stopped his commenting shortly after he joined leadership, and honestly given how scattershot parts of his votelist are, it makes you wonder how much he really read after he stopped. He didn’t really comment at all in MYM15 either, and I think being kicked out of leadership was probably a real drain on Kupa’s motivation. If it was Kat coming back in, I’d be more for it, but JOE’s output in terms of comments and sets was usually pretty underwhelming and not worth killing Kupa over. I guess we couldn’t see the consequences at the time though, and there should be any punishment for the level of inactivity Kupa had, but it still bugs me. It especially bugs me because if Kupa was still there, that shifting period wouldn’t have been an absolute nightmare. It’s not something I terribly want to talk about honestly, as it’s still pretty recent and a backroom thing, but I really hated the shifting period of MYM14.

So aside from that, we finally did make the move to Skype, and banned David, Tirk, and Twilt from chat for getting Warlord’s alt banned from Smashboards. It was a long time deserved for David as far as I’m concerned, but the Skype move was more important. We were able to bring a new community together with the ability to discuss things in a much calmer setting, as well as bring some people back in who were separated for too long, like Darth Meanie, who had spent most of his time off isolated in Steam chat before that. We also had a log that didn’t just vanish, no obnoxious Youtube player broadcasting, and an actual stable method of communication rather than one that’d glitch out every few days. It has been an improvement though Skype likes to keep updating to make itself worse and worse over time.

Honestly though, this contest was extremely uneventful on my end. After the skype move fairly little happened other than David, Twilt, and Tirk having the token annoying reaction to their ban where they tried to post an early end date entirely to be annoying, which was apparently headed by Agidius(and why did he think it was a good idea to have DAVID post it when he was pretty hated by this point), which I honestly reacted to in a pretty unprofessional manner in the typical fashion of me fucking up just about anything remotely political I do. But in the grand scheme of things, I just kind of sat around doing nothing this contest, and was pretty depressed about it. But on the last day, I posted my final, glorious contribution to MYM14. And by glorious I mean I’m pretty sure most people forgot it 5 seconds after finishing it, but who’s counting?

Avalugg

So Avalugg was a set I made because I was constantly getting prodded to at least finish something. At the time the default thing to look too when you’re desperate is just “oh, do a Pokeset” and no part of me wanted too I’ve spent my time on Pokemon. I know I hate the series, I especially hate Gen 6, why would I ever bother with it again? But by some horribly alignment of the stars I ended up writing Avalugg, because in my mind I figured “well people liked Necky whose back was a platform, so if I make a set for Avalugg with his back being a platform everything will go well.” Except there’s one problem with that, I hated Necky. So by nature, I could never get enthusiastic about the “back is a platform” concept and did some really dull stuff with it. He could tilt his back to roll a boulder back and forth, create snow to keep people on his back… and that was basically it. The rest of the stuff was extremely generic “push the opponent onto your back” so a couple moves that are generically strong against opponents on there could be used, or just mediocre generic defensive stuff to compensate for the fact that he’s so huge. There’s almost nothing in the way of flow here, and on account of how slow-paced and flowcharty the set is I really doubt anyone would get enjoyment out of playing as it.

The set’s reception was at least slightly fun, as it was mocked for the ridiculous original name I had on Bair, which was longer than the actual move. It was eventually shortened to “kick”, and I also asked people in chat for suggestions as to what Avalugg could do for the final smash. I literally copypasted one of the suggestions verbatim for it, but everything was a variation of “Avalugg flips over and crushes the foe”. Because honestly what else would you even do with that body type, it’s the current Dair but he does like nothing else. While I’d like to say nobody actually liked the set upon reading it, but that would be a lie, as Junahu voted it higher than Dark Falz 2.0 for reasons I can’t even fathom and a couple other people also voted it, getting it on the Top 50. It was a case where I ended up downshifting my own set(which was ASTONISHINGLY difficult) because I didn’t think it deserved any form of praise at all, given it was something I literally just made to fill space. That was also true of Doc Scratch earlier, but that wasn’t out of flat hatred of the set at the time so much as I thought it was too high for what it was.

And that ends MYM14, a contest of positive trends, but one I didn’t enjoy because it lacked many sets that appealed to me, I did nothing, and we had a month long DDOS that prevented literally any MYM activity so it went on for ages and ages. I guess part of the reason I did so little was because at the time I was adjusting to college, but I did write Don Thousand later that year so it’s not really that good an excuse. That said, since the contest hasn’t really aged that much on account of being very recent, I should probably talk about some sets from it that aren’t my own, since I contributed little myself I may as well give you a taste of what else was around.

Reisen: As I mentioned, this was FrozenRoy basically taking a few concepts from Killerman and improving them until they were no longer recognizable as related to the original. It had “mindgames” in some sense of the word, but they were brief hallucinations at worst, none of the nonsense that a lot of bad mindgame sets have where their whole set is dedicated to it. Rather Reisen focused more on the bullet hell aspect that was partially in Killerman but finally fully realized here, by creating lots of projectiles via her duplicates and actually having effects that play into the projectile game. The mindgames here are also done in a way I actually find them appealing, they’re not something the opponent won’t be able to see through pretty quickly, and there are a lot of hints the opponent can gather which will allow them to break the illusion, but there is enough of a confusion aspect that it can still work and adds depth to playing as and against her, rather than subtracting it. This is arguably true of JOE’s Zoroark too, but I find this set a lot more likable because the way the illusions works actually operates on logic I find remotely reasonable.

Marin: I always kind of wanted to write an OC set one of these days, I actually have been remotely establishing a potential universe I could work with in my time off MYM though I doubt it’ll ever amount to anything. The stuff you do when you’re bored. Regardless, Marin is a pretty fun set, with her creating bubbles which have some pretty interesting inherent defensive properties, and then building on them from there. You can create different climates in which they’re more effective, generate different types of them like explosive or wind hitbox or magnetized versions, combine them into a big bubble, and plenty more as the set goes on because it really never runs into filler problems. Arguably some moves don’t really contribute that much but he never stops trying to make the set stay interesting and the options never are as shallow as say, Falz 2.0’s ways of playing off Smash charge.

But another reason I wanted to bring up Marin is because it was one of the most pleasant previewing processes I’ve ever had. UserShadow was super receptive to criticism, and whenever I mentioned something didn’t feel up to par he changed it to something I liked better. The guy’s got tons of natural talent, and was always very polite in reaction to criticism, and in the end the final product was good enough to get 2nd place. I really wish he’d write more sets honestly, even his super rushed work like Producer has exciting ideas in there and whenever he really sets out to make a set good, it works and it works well.

So that ends MYM14. Not my favorite contest, though I’ve been saying that about basically every contest since 12. But you know what, all that time in MYM really paid off for me in the next one, because MYM15 was a great contest all around, especially for me. Like, give me a moment to brag here. I got first and second again, this time with two sets I’m completely and utterly satisfied with that I think put Jarad in his goddamn place. Four out of 10 of the Top 10 was mine, and it wasn’t like I was going up against poor competition, this contest had great sets like Albert Wesker, Jodie Reynolds, Funny Valentine, Sloth, and more, you could dig way deeper into this and still have good stuff to read than in MYM13 or 14, or for that matter any older contest on account of aging. I mostly have at least some problems with the sets here, so we’re going to go into those too, but this was my time to show that I’m not just in leadership for show.

Don Thousand

The start of MYM15 was a pretty slow one, and in a similar case to back in MYM14 I was having trouble writing much of anything. During that period I went back to check in on what Yu-gi-oh, the anime and otherwise, was doing somewhat ironically. I mean ZEXAL was garbage but I could probably enjoy it for some dumb cheese factor if nothing else. I was kind of enjoying how over the top and stupid Don Thousand’s fight was and then realized he could probably have a legitimate moveset, given he’s pretty much a deity who only chooses to play card games with people because he’s a moron, and some of how he operates in his duel was actually pretty unique as far as how it’d be implemented in a set. So I ended up writing it and to my surprise I actually quite liked my work, though I was wondering how people would react to the character choice. Turns out nobody really cares if you picked a pretty stupid character if the set itself is likeable. I mean personally I think this was a much better character choice than another goddamn Pokemon or a character whose game is slowly descending into a hell of meme hats who I don’t know anything about but that’s just me.

So Don Thousand was my third attempt at a 3v1 boss, and it continues in the trend of how I executed previous boss sets where the main appeal is making the opponent’s attacks get redirected at each other. This time, Don Thousand doesn’t do it through a soul extraction status effects, he does it through his constructs and counters. He can counter an opponent to simultaneously teleport them and change the attack they’re using in one of his specials, which even turns off friendly fire on them. He can summon giant “gates”, semi-minions that are pretty dangerous for the opponent to try and attack as they can reflect said attack back at him, or perhaps more importantly, will hatch into something far more dangerous in the case of the Neutral Special gate. That’s another detail of the set, by 3v1 standards, he’s pretty weak even if he does have a lot of constant pressure from the gates, but if he actually gets his win condition, the colossal minion from the Neutral Special gate, he can spring back from such a huge deficit.

And I think this set turned out pretty great in all honesty, it basically takes the concept of Falz of making foe’s attacks backfire on each and amps it up to an incredible degree, and in particular I think the first 2 throws of the grab game are really interesting material for capitalizing on that. It’s also a pretty rare set where I think I actually think I made it pretty satisfying to play against while having a unique concept, because Don Thousand is pretty easy to kill as far as 3v1’s go so even if he’s deflecting your attacks well you’re never pushed into some kind of unwinnable corner unless he manages to summon Numerronius, and given that’s actually a remotely hard objective, he’s earned his win if he pulled it off. At the same time, he gets to have enough fun toying with his opponents and the win condition exists, so I think it’s a good balance, especially when he doesn’t have a lot of the lockdown you might expect out of a 3v1 boss. Mostly though, I’m just glad the set finally makes fully realized use of the concept of making your multiple opponents’ attacks backfire on each other and themselves, while not having all the filler and awkwardness that made Dark Falz 2.0 not as insanely popular.

I do have my gripes with this set though. I’m kind of disappointed the grab game didn’t end up as great as I wanted it too as the last 2 throws were pretty underwhelming last minute additions to the set, while the first 2 are possibly the best grab game related material I’ve ever written. And while the Smashes are good stuff and pretty unique in their applications, I can’t help but wonder if having those things on the Smashes was ideal, as it kind of limits Don Thousand’s versatility in melee combat. I don’t feel the flow is exactly perfect either, some moves in the standards/aerials are a bit underwhelming as far as connecting back to the original counter game even if those sections are stronger than they usually are for me.

Reception-wise, the set was a smash hit. It was pretty universally liked and while the reception was pretty slow, when it finally did happen most people heavily approved of what the set did. I do remember some people thought the departure from traditional 3v1 tropes wasn’t really doing the set any favors and might’ve made it a bit too weak or unable to execute the playstyle, which might not be entirely wrong, though it also made some fans for those exact same reasons. It was one of the most positive receptions I’ve gotten and I still hear this set reference as one of the more definitive 3v1’s, which is quite the honor for me when I’ve always liked the genre even if the execution on a lot of them is somewhat iffy. Main thing was like with a lot of my later sets, I didn’t get a ton of in thread comments because they stopped being as common in more recent MYMs. Come on step your game up guys, I don’t really care how you word it I enjoy seeing what you have to say about my(and others’ sets), so don’t feel nervous about your comment quality or whatever is preventing you from doing them.

I will throw out a mention that the images on this set basically all broke and I should probably go fix that sometime. The same is true for Vector. Oh well, what can you do.

Usami

Let’s take a brief detour and talk about a joke set. I made Usami a bit into MYM15, as a means of mocking Winnie the Pooh and other “no damage and knockback” sets with a character who literally has no desire to win the match herself, instead with the goal being for everyone to make friends and have the results screen end in everyone being a winner. Almost all her moves benefit everyone else I the match more than her, and while at points the set tries to take a weird stab at actual flow to mimic the sets its making fun of, it also features moves where she does literally nothing like the Fair and Jab. I’m pretty sure viewed as a serious moveset its just about the worst thing ever conceived though it might be funny for someone to bust out in casual matches, but generally people enjoyed the humor here, especially people familiar with the character and their obnoxiously cutesy friendship attitude. It was probably the first time I tried to do humor in a moveset and had it actually work out, and I would come back to that later.

Three

So the next set was another character I didn’t really think I’d end up making, though unlike Don Thousand it was a case where I actually really like the character in question, probably the most of any I’ve made since MYM11. I honestly didn’t expect that much of Three when I first came up with the idea for it, I remember in one of those long car drives to and from the university I thought of the idea that she could activate a berserker mode like all Intoners do in game by getting enough blood on her, and she could attack her own minions for said blood. I mean, she literally has an entire DLC mission dedicated to her murdering her own minions even if she supposedly “likes” them, so it definently doesn’t feel out of place. It wasn’t a concept I thought I could pull off that well when it was a character whose powers outside of her melee weapon were largely nothing too complex, but after typing up the Specials and a standard or two, I felt way better about it the concepts and wanted to see if I could turn it into something great.

The core as mentioned is Three can summon a variety of minions via a similar charge special to Sho, and can then modify them on Side Special to specialize them to the situation at hand. More importantly, if she gets enough blood, be it from hacking away at the opponent or getting some blood off one of your minions, she can activate Intoner mode, which gives her a massive boost to all her combat abilities, with each attack having unique changes in the context of Intoner mode to make them more powerful and exciting. She can also summon human hybrid minions, which are variations on the default minions that grow stronger as they take damage, but are aggressive to Three in addition to the opponent. And then course the set has some melee moves that can be used to combo and simultaneously harvest blood from both targets, or get better in the context of having a minion try to turn on you and attack you like Nair and DSmash.

And I’m going to put this out there, I think this is my favorite set I’ve ever made, even if I think it could be argued its not objectively the best(we’re getting to that one). I always wanted to make a set where the melee game was a big selling point, and I’d say Three’s actually is legitimately pretty interesting and has plenty of depth before the minions are involved, and that is far truer afterwards. She’s also never just fighting her constructs like one of the set’s sources of inspiration (Lucio Fulci), the set is a rare highly aggressive set who, even if she does need a little set up time on occasion, is mostly fighting the foe along with her own minions. And frankly, I think this is a pretty perfect set to represent the series, its violent and sadistic against absolutely every party up to and including your own allies. More than that, I think the set takes a lot of material that MYM doesn’t find appealing and tries to work with it in spite of that, like combos and super meter mechanics, kind of like how the franchise it comes from almost deliberately tries to make its gameplay frustrating so the players can get to the unique story involved. And there’s a ton of cool subtleties too it, like how Three can use the great DACUS properties to catch a minion projectile that she wouldn’t be able too with it otherwise, or how some of the more negative properties of her minion modifications can be used to make dealing with a human hybrid minion more reasonable. As far as actual flaws go, I will say the grab game is a bit weak compared to the rest of the set even if it still has some interesting material, and honestly with how the damage and knockback stacks at some points in the set I’m worried Three will have too many random blowout wins where she just kills the opponent from 0% out of nowhere, even if I don’t think the set is OP. Though at the same time, that stuff would probably feel pretty awesome to pull off so it might be better to just have it in. I will say that a lot of the more crazy things she can do actually do feel somewhat impractical when she has practically no ways to make time for her own setup, I don’t feel Warlord was entirely right about how limited she’d be in a normal match but it’s still at times rather frustratingly limiting.

The set was actually preferred to Don Thousand by many participants, on account of it having a much deeper playstyle and general better execution than “giant gate constructs on smashes”. Hell a couple people, US and Froy notably, feel the set was a good deal better than my contest winner Vector. The most critical of the set was DM, who didn’t really feel some of the animation stuff was tuned to the tone of Smash Brothers and found the minions/buffs to be a bit too extreme, while Warlord cited her not being able to set up enough as his main complaint with the set.

As an aside, I tried to write match-ups for the first time in forever on this set, never heard too much feedback on them but I thought they were pretty well written compared to the awful ones back in Elsa Maria. Also, this is by FAR my longest moveset ever, being over 14,000 words in length, and I don’t even think I overelaborated, so if you go to read this its going to take you a while, but I hope you find it wort your time.

Divinity of Pride

So considering that last writeup, it is pretty fitting my next set is called Divinity of PRIDE. It was written when one night, late in the evening, I decided I had to write another set, and basically wrote this thing up over the span of 4 hours. The idea was a pretty straightforward one, the Divinity had some healing established early in the set with its ability to create an enormous storm of projectiles and turn them into mist, or just heal via the counter. But the Smashes allow it to channel its healing to make those moves more powerful, undoing the health restoration in exchange for far more attack power. It’s an interesting balance, and the rest of the set does some decent play off the rather unique projectile storm.

Now it was an interesting set to write as I literally had no idea where I was going with it aside from “expend healing to power things up” at the start, but it turned out pretty well given the fairly lacking sense of direction it had. I mean the set flows, especially in the earlier input sections, makes good use of the barrage of semi-random projectiles he can make, and the ways he can expend the healing feel reasonably powerful for all its worth. I don’t feel I always hit the mark though, some of the later sections are a fair bit less interesting or weirder than the first 2, and I felt my attempts to try to use the slight obscuring smoke he leaves around were, while somewhat interesting, a bit forced. It’d be a very easy set for me to improve that I sadly never got around too, namely I could’ve allowed him to tweak the projectile storm by expending healing to give the set loads more versatility, and for that matter make it so the grab game had any good throws besides the one somewhat interesting tether.

Reception wise, this wasn’t nearly as popular as my other MYM15 works, and I can only ask so much when the others did so insanely well, especially when this one is as obviously flawed as it is. DM and Froy thought the balancing act with the healing might’ve been poorly done but found the set interesting regardless, while Warlord liked it but felt the good points were generally underelaborated on and it clearly shows that the set was made so fast. I’d say all those complaints are pretty valid, and I really should’ve gone and edited the set to make it more of a competitor because I think it could’ve become one, but I never really got around to it sadly.

Metroid Prime

So I talked about what I think is my most underrated set with Dark Falz 2.0, so I think it’s about time I talk about my most overrated, as Urabrask and Jarad are old and I doubt anyone’s really been able to read them recently enough to look into their flaws in real detail. Metroid Prime was a set that I started on relatively early in the contest, and abandoned because I was way more excited to work on Three, and eventually came back too later because I got a few ideas for how to finish it. The basic idea of the moveset is Metroid Prime creates phazon, which is poison goop that will infinitely stack its damage over time, but also buffs the opponent’s damage and knockback while they’re in it. Metroid Prime can also manipulate it in a variety of ways, like making waves of it that deal damage and knockback based on how much poison the opponent’s already taken, sending currents through it, producing red phazon which is a more extreme version of it, or suspending it in the air to make it harder to get away from. He also can summon Metroid minions who can drain the opponent over time and make it more difficult for them to escape the phazon.

Now I think the concept on this set was kind of interesting, but it was honestly pretty poorly balanced, though I’m not terribly sure if it’s too weak or too strong. On one hand, Metroid Prime has obscene damage over time capacity thanks to his Phazon and Metroids, and his smash attacks have enormous range and power when used over Phazon. On the other hand, the power boost given to opponents is huge and he doesn’t have a lot of ways to force the Phazon to stack barring the Metroids, so if the opponent is able to outplay him at all they’ll shred him in seconds. I think the idea was cool but the way the numbers were balanced was pretty poorly done, though it’s possible the set was conceptually imbalanced. Aside from that, the set’s strong points basically end after the Smashes and Specials, with a couple decent standards and pretty lousy aerials and throws that are either pure filler or trying painfully hard to be relevant and just come across as awkward. I also think I exaggerate Metroid Prime’s abilities some, the Smashes are kind of magic syndrome-y in a way that is really bizarre on the character and probably not terribly fitting on a whole.

The reason I say its overrated is that the reception was insanely positive from everyone outside Froy, Warlord, and Smady. I think the concept of the backfiring goop appealed really strongly, or the character choice did, but either way the set got a shocking amount of Super Votes come the voting period to the point it was boosted all the way into 7th place. It could’ve been worse too, DM said he was going to WV it but forgot, and I’m glad he did as I don’t think I could’ve accepted this set beating Bashmaster and Don Thousand. I think UserShadow made the most compelling case for the set, arguing the way the goop stage control works is really fascinating especially in the context of other stage control characters, because of how they basically have to take advantage of the limited boost they have against Metroid Prime or die trying. And I don’t think the set’s all bad, its conceptually pretty interesting, I just think it’s the weakest of my MYM15 works and it didn’t deserve a Top 25 placing, let alone Top 10.

So before we get to this contest’s end, I may as well discuss chat happenings in this contest. We introduced Kiwi and Bionichute to chat, and they provided a good amount of activity to get us through slow periods, but generally amongst the people who hang around in MYM, we’ve been able to have decent amounts of conversation daily. It’s a little slow compared to the ridiculously fast chat days of MYMX and 11, but it’s also more reasonable, with less accusations and passive aggression than there used to be, and we still have our crazy bursts of activity, like when basically any new SSB4 information came out. I’m not going to pretend we always get along, I mean “fuck you” has practically become Bionichute’s catchphrase, but it’s a much nicer environment and I’m glad the times have changed to allow for a community without political turmoil.

VectorPlaystyle

My last MYM15 set was made over a few days scattered about the last week of the contest, and was intended as something of the sequel set to Don Thousand. I mean, Vector was the only character in that series I thought was objectively good, with how smart he was compared to the rest of the cast and how entertaining his personality was, but god his screen time was such a blatant highlight of that series. His set contains a lot of connections to Don Thousand’s too, he has an all-important counter, a summon with a mechanic that utilizes “charges”, and the FTilt/DTilt are pretty similar aesthetically. They also use “minions” that are more or less hitbox extensions rather than actual minions, though Vector’s are a lot less present on the stage than Don Thousand’s. That said, Vector’s playstyle is very different, as he basically spawns 4 different varieties of projectile, a laser beam, a sword, exploding bubbles, and a giant laser orb that can store all of the above. From there, he has a minion which can absorb all of them to create an effectively infinite combination of insane effects on the Smashes, or tether to them to have them carry him around, abusing his aerials from this powerful new vantage point. The standards/aerials/grab game also have a ton of neat stuff you can do with the projectiles, I don’t think I have enough time to really cover it here.

And you know what, like Three this set is one I consider pretty insanely good, with the Smashes on this set being three of the best moves I’ve ever written and the remaining inputs never descending into anything even remotely resembling filler, the worst being some slightly awkward aerials and an underwhelming dash attack. His projectile manipulation never descends into just “keeping projectiles around” like Chakravartin’s to such a degree that he doesn’t have to put in a load of work to do so, but unlike Chakravartin whose projectiles amounted to a single KO move, Vector can use them in a ludicrously versatile number of ways. On account of how powerful his counter is too, he’s not some pathetic set up character who will never get to a far stage in his set-up, and he provides instant flow into it with his projectile game as it lures the opponent into aggressing him, which in turn makes his projectile game stronger once he does counter them. It was great to come back to projectile manipulation after all this time to create a set that really gets all the mileage I want out of the genre and makes the most standard stage control method of fighting games just as, if not more exciting than traps or minions. If I had any regrets with this set, I think he has a lower skill ceiling than Three and would be a little less interesting to put into practice, and the Grab mechanics are a little awkward, but this is a set I feel I basically managed to succeed on every level of execution I’ve wanted too.

So yeah to wrap up this annoyingly bragging filled write-up, Vector won the contest. There was no underhanded context around it either, he won entirely fairly, though at points I wonder if I should’ve pushed for a tiebreaker for Three instead. Regardless, this set was a smash hit with many people, Warlord and Smady said it was easily the best thing I’d ever made and while some people were less insanely fanatical about it, most everyone Super Voted it. Even DM gave me a Regular Vote and a detailed match-up in Negi to show he clearly read and enjoyed the set, which was pretty shocking to me. I mean this wasn’t even a set I expected to appeal to him, and DM had almost always thought my sets were lackluster up until this point. I mean there was the odd complaint here or there about the grab, but for the most part it was incredibly well liked.

So that caps off MYM15, the blatant high point of my career that I doubt I’ll ever reach again. It was in this contest we really strongly noticed the trend of my contests being bad on even numbers and good on odd numbers, which turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy in MYM16, though not nearly as bad as in prior even-numbered contests. It was very fulfilling to finally work out the kinks in my setmaking process here, and even if Prime and Divinity of Pride weren’t the best, I still think they were far better than most of my pre-MYM15 material. I feel kind of bad for bragging so much, like a couple contests down the line it might be clear these sets don’t deserve as much praise as I give them, but I was literally 4/10 of the Top 10 and had 2 sets tie for first. I mean if that’s not something worth bragging about, at least in MYM context, I dunno what is.

So before I end, lemme talk about other people’s cool sets too, and I know these are from MYMers I already covered, but these are sets I loved for their unique use of Smash mechanics.

Albert Wesker: This was a pretty popular set, and it’s very different than Smady’s usual material, in that it’s mostly a set of standard punches, kicks, and gunshots. But you he manages to play off something really interesting with it, by allowing Wesker to instantly teleport via superspeed to any of his projectiles, mainly his bullets but also the sunglasses introduced later in the set, partially for comedic value but partially as an easier to use reference point than the riskier bullets. This warping capacity leads to him having a very powerful and aggressive combo game, one with tons of variety too it as well because of the projectiles flying around at the same time, and unlike most sets that do that he doesn’t prolong the projectiles but simply uses his positioning in relation to them to make them matter. He also has a surprising amount of great material even with his basic martial arts, such as him being able to catch his bullets if he teleports ahead of one of them, or being able to ricochet himself off a projectile in Up Smash. There’s also fun stuff like Down Smash to abuse Albert Wesker’s ability to stand on the undersides of platforms and the stage in general, it’s a really unique take on the combo genre and possibly the best pure combo set in existence.

Iku Nagae: Fun fact, this set was a pretty big inspiration for Vector, what with how big parts of it are dedicated to manipulating her projectiles and having a counter that allows her to gather charge to empower her attacks. The empowerments are, in fairly smart fashion, always unique and have merit beyond a standard damage and knockback buff. The set also gets into some interesting spacing stuff, kind of reminiscent of Negi earlier but doing things in a more unconventional way, like trying to space into the “prison” lightning bolt that functions like a Pikachu thunderbolt but curves around the center. There’s the ability to slow down and speed up projectiles via the wind effect on Down Tilt, which I honestly find more interesting than just reflecting them, and it’s a common thing but with the cool way the Forward Smash works I think it’s especially interesting here.

So now we reach the end, specifically the present day as I’m not leaving MYM just yet, and I doubt for a good while longer either. MYM16 was the most recent contest, and for me it was no MYM15. If you want to talk about people who did amazing this contest, go look at Warlord and Kat(in a weird repeat of MYM12 in a way), or even Froy with his ambitious Naxxramus movement and Viktor. I posted 2 sets and I don’t think either of them are really standouts for me, but they both at least are somewhat interesting to talk about. But you’re in the home stretch folks, after nearly 35 thousand words of torture you’re almost free if you’ve been reading this whole thing.

Grandmatriarchs

So let’s start off with Grandmatriarchs, because after Don Thousand I realized I could get away with literally any character imaginable and made, of all the horrible things I could make, a Cookie Clicker set. I figured if nothing else people would be entertained by the character choice and they were, and I will say if nothing else especially early on in the set it captures the ridiculousness of the character rather well. It’s a bunch of grandmas in a huge dough blob sliding their amorphous mass around, shooting monsters made of wrinkled flesh at the opponent, creating satanic pentagrams, causing the stage to be swimming in cookies with their every attack, and firing prune juice as a projectile. It’s a very comical set but it also has a very serious concept, a giant, superheavy character who sheds healing items on a lot of their attacks to make the match more even. The healing items they shed can then be expended on the Neutral Special to create structures which manufacture more cookies and serve as decent traps, and give Grandmatriarchs a “long game” where they can gradually gain an advantage in the long match, though it is balanced out by a mechanic that was admittedly suggested to me of having the Grandmatriarchs take extra damage and knockback if a move hits multiple grandmas at once.

Now conceptually the set is pretty strong, but honestly I can see a big part of why people like it as much as they do. Rool once said not to admit you’re not proud of a moveset until after people have voted, and there are still some MYMers who have yet to vote, but I’m going to break that rule. I don’t think Grandmatriarchs is very good, because after the Neutral Special it doesn’t really have that much well done material. I mean it has an awkward imitation of Reynolds’ jab where it buffs all the structures but in pretty disappointing ways, most of the stuff introduced later in the set ignores the mechanics in the Specials because I didn’t want the set to get so insanely set up heavy it would instantly win any long game, and a bunch of sweetspotting moves on a character who is far too slow and clunky to take serious advantage of them. What makes me like the set at all is the parts of it where its fighting over the cookies it produces on its attack, which I feel like has any actual depth to it as the Grandmatriarchs and the opponent compete over whether the Grandmatriarchs get more set up or the opponent gets to stay at a lower percentage. But honestly, I think I may have overdone that aspect of the set to the point they’re too good at getting cookies and it’s not as much of a downside as it should be, and while they’re setting up literally all they can do is just use their massive weight and resilience to just tank the hits.

So I don’t terribly like Grandmatriarchs, but I will say that, with most active MYMers, the concepts went over really well. I mean I’m sure DM would hate the set if he took so much as one passing glance at it, but most people liked the Neutral Special concepts and the fights over cookies enough to vote the set highly. The main critic was Froy, who never commented it, but found a lot of how the set worked to be impractical and hated their game before the Grandmatriarchs have any set up, points I basically agree on. I mean awkwardly one of its ads spends most of the time criticizing the set and I’m pretty sure that’s not what ads are for, but aside from that, I get the impression people like it a lot. And that’s cool, but I don’t particularly. Really doesn’t help that this set took so, so insanely long to complete and was literally in the works since before HALLOWEEN, and held up my ability to finish any other sets until I could get it completed. I have to say working with this particular body shape and concept is much, much harder than it sounds.

So approximately 5000 years after the contest started I posted Grandmatriarchs, and tossed around a bunch of ideas in my head for a set to post by the end of the contest but couldn’t really get one done. Eventually, in a Skype call I had I was discussing Akame Ga Kill of all series and a lot of my complaints with it, and I eventually brought up the goofy idea I had for Prime Minister Honest and his son Syura. I got a surprising amount of encouragement to just write the set and see how it goes, and I did think it was a pretty good idea for something I could make last day.

Honest

So thus spawned Honest and Syura, my first ever multi-character set and one of a very small number of Ice Climbers-style multi-character sets posted in MYM lately. The idea of the set is that Honest can summon guards to replace Syura as his primary partner, and then send Syura out as a minion to fight the foe for him. This allows Honest to pull of tricks with Syura desynced that he never could with him as a partner, but he has to watch out as Syura’s AI is pretty awful, and needs to be trained over the course of the match. Syura’s teleportation is also taken advantage of as a means to manipulate projectiles, some thrown by the guards, one produced by Syura himself, and also food Honest doesn’t actually get around to eating.

And honestly, I feel I did a pretty good job on this set, as I doubt either of these characters could get much of a set on their own because Syura just has nothing to really teleport by default and Honest is obviously too old and fat to be much of a fighter himself, but together they complement each other’s weaknesses. By which I mean Honest gives Syura fodder to teleport and gets more minions when Syura inevitably screws up and dies. It’s a pretty interesting multi-character dynamic that I think adds a lot of depth to the set compared to Ice Climbers, and without all the unnecessary infinites. I also think I finally got humor down with this set, as from what I’ve heard a lot of people found it a blast to read and it was a pretty entertaining mockery of both these characters for their weaknesses. Obviously, while I feel filler was toned down when I edited the set to remove the worst of it, there’s still some filler and stuff that’s only barely better than filler. Also on account of how bland they are to start with, the guards don’t really give Honest much of an interesting moveset when they replace Syura.

Reception wise, I basically already went over it, but people generally seemed to like the Ice Climbers dynamic being explored in new ways a good deal. I’ve heard Smady say a lot more could be made of the concept than is in this set and I believe him on that, so hey, if anyone wants to try and improve on this set be my guest, I wrote it in like a day. That said I do feel what’s there is at least taking decent advantage of it and it is probably my most successful attempt at comedy in a moveset. I knew some day I’d be able to pull off the Wang Chan/Zak Gramayre genre, I just needed the right character.

And that is the last of my sets, you’ve done it, you’re through, and no I’m not done the article yet what are you doing sit back down. I want to highlight a couple sets from MYM16, but these 2 not because they’re particularly good. One of them I ranked in one star, so I think that should give you an idea of what I’m talking about here. But I wanted to talk about failed ambition, because sometimes you put a ton of effort into a set and it doesn’t come out well liked. And that sucks, but there are lessons to be learned from big projects that fail or at least don’t hit their ambitious high marks, so here’s 2 sets that dreamed big and tripped and hit their heads, and what we can learn from them.

Neku Sakuraba: I have a lot of respect for DM as an MYMer, but I don’t think this set was the wisest move he ever made. Its basically a super direct translation of The World Ends With You into Smash Brothers, replicating its control scheme with the touch pad and using the partners and pins from the game instead of traditional smash inputs. And I personally don’t think the set works, because it limits him to a total of 6 inputs, but in order to balance for the smaller input selection he can spawn stuff with those inputs from anywhere on the screen if he picks the right pins, like the Aqua Cores that are absolutely an absolutely ridiculous projectile trap combination. He doesn’t even have to do anything to get them there, he can just make them appear wherever he wants, whenever he wants, via the glory of the touchpad, ignoring a couple cooldown mechanics he arbitrarily ported from the game. With the kind of spam he’s capable of from any angle at any time, I doubt any mileage would really be gotten out of the melee pins, and it would be very hard to fight back against the projectile ones at all. Honestly even if he did nerf them severely, it would reach a point where Neku would have to go into melee range with his crappy partners and 1-3 mediocre melee attacks which would end up in him getting slaughtered by Ganondorf let alone an actually competent character.

The set goes through a ton of work to include everything it can find from TWEWY though, with tons of little details done to serve as a huge tribute to the game, something I can respect but I think the set takes it too far. We’re not meant to port the mechanics of other games into Smash directly, we have to adapt them over time. While this is an extreme example, directly porting a super meter from MvC3 would also probably be a pretty bad idea, because Smash is not the same fighting game as MvC3, and what makes the super meter compelling there probably won’t in Smash. I’m not saying don’t take inspiration from your source material, but know when to take liberties. And by the way DM, sorry for not commenting this set earlier, I was going to get around to it but you ended up having some serious IRL issues so I doubt you’d have much time to check the thread for a late comment on it.

Kel’Thuzad: This set isn’t as clearly a screw up as Neku, and on the surface it probably looks like a pretty amazing moveset. Its loaded to the brim with minions, unique and exciting properties on every move, an elaborate system of interactions off his ice, chains, minions, and enemy shields. It even has 2 grab games with full sets of throws, and he didn’t skimp out on designing any of them. This is a set he just intended as part of a movement, a project like this sometimes almost feels like a movement and in and of itself. But therein lies the problem, the set honestly just tried to do so, so much at once. Those different sections of his game I all mentioned interact together, but it’s a pretty loose connection in most cases. But perhaps the most important detail is just, on account of how many effects he has on the grab game/minions/millions of throws, he ends up really unfun to play against because he just is throwing out so much different material for the opponent to deal with at once. Its not nearly as flowing, deep, or open ended as it looks as you end up just stacking up status effects and other woes on the opponent that they can’t handle to ridiculous degrees. For that matter, the set forgets Chain Frost and Death and Decay because Froy can’t contain all the ideas he has in his head for how the set can play, so he ended up forgoing two of the character’s iconic abilities.

So what can we learn from Kel’Thuzad? Know when to reel it in, basically. At points you may think just adding this new fancy thing to a set with tons of new and fancy things might be a good idea, but there reaches a point when the amount of effects placed in one moveset is too much. This is why achieving the perfect moveset is so hard, you can have too much in addition to too little, and Kel’Thuzad is an example of that even when it lacks traditional stuns and other such annoying qualities. With Grandmatriarchs at one point I had to cut out a grab game I was initially pretty fond of because it made them too powerful in long matches, giving them even more set up when they already had a stupidly extensive set up game as is.

And that about wraps it up, and now that I’ve covered all my sets, I’ll give you all a final self-ranking of most every set I’ve ever made, barring unsuccessful joke sets like Klaue and Real Money Auction House Man, and sets that were made outside the context of being in the competition like Bill Nye the Science Guy and Slugworth. I won’t deny there’s probably some hand of character bias and context bias with some of these rankings, but what can you do, I don’t think anyone can 100% objectively rank movesets, especially their own.

  1. Three
  2. Vector
  3. Don Thousand
  4. Lizard
  5. Dark Falz 2.0
  6. Prime Minister Honest and Syura
  7. Jin-Gitaxias
  8. HN Elly
  9. Grandmatriarchs
  10. Divinity of Pride
  11. Jarad
  12. Metroid Prime
  13. Vorinclex
  14. Homura
  15. Chakravartin
  16. Urabrask
  17. Hoppip
  18. Usami
  19. Killerman
  20. Elesh Norn
  21. Kyoko
  22. Grim Poppet
  23. Elsa Maria
  24. Avalugg
  25. Gamzee
  26. Kyubey
  27. Dark Falz 1.0
  28. Cofagrigus
  29. Fruity Yummy Mummy
  30. Gatstaf Shepherd
  31. Vol Opt
  32. Sheoldred
  33. Slaking
  34. Scout
  35. Doc Scratch
  36. Wailord

And that’s the end of my history in MYM, and I hope that you guys enjoyed the read. If you didn’t, well that’s fine too I guess. I still have some things I feel I need to achieve myself, I was once told by Junahu that if I really wanted to be a great MYMer, I needed to make some kind of great lasting impact that’s not just a single moveset. That stuck with me, even if I don’t agree with Junahu on a lot of things, I feel like the reason people like Warlord, Rool, Smady, Mendez, and Junahu himself are so famous and interesting within the context of the community is because they did just that. And you know what, I still haven’t done that, mostly I’ve just been a big commenter and setmaker, but nothing more. I eventually want to do something else to change this community for the better, and I don’t know when that will be, or how it will happen, but moreso than making any specific character well, that’s something I feel I need to shoot for in my remaining time with MYM.

You’ve all seen me at my worst after this, maybe seen some of me at my best too, but I hope you’ve at least learned some things about modern perspectives on sets, old perspectives on sets, how to be a good community member, and how to not be a good community member. I’ve said a lot of things about myself that’ll probably make you think less of me or maybe just make you cringe a little in general, but I didn’t want to leave that stuff out, as we’ve all made some bad decisions and now you can see mine. And you know what, if someone as idiotic, self-centered, and dickish as I am can succeed in this community, why can’t you succeed too. Go out, make mistakes, get better from them, and then show the world what you’re made of.

And lastly, I don’t even know if you guys particularly want to do this, but I’m open to any questions you have, about me, about some of the weird stuff I said in the article, about past experiences. So if you want to ask, go ahead, I might not have covered everything you wanted to know.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. I found it especially interesting how, unlike in my article, you actually spoke about other sets and the overall condition of MYM during those times, even talking about your activity in the chat. Mind you, I had very little chat presence until MYM11-12 and even then I still wasn’t all that active. so I had almost nothing to talk about chat-wise.

    There’s lots of little things I want to say, so I’m just going to list them here in whichever order I can think of them:

    ~ I didn’t know you and Dave were even friends to begin with. I am surprised.
    ~ I’m happy my article inspired you to make your own. Maybe Warlord, Smady and Froy will make their own? Maybe even JOE?
    ~ I’m intrigued you still like Homura, Kyoko and Kyubey, and that the latter is one of your favorite villains.
    ~ Despite what you say about out-of-place characters, I (and I assume other people too) still think the Grandmatriachs fit well in the FAverse.
    ~ I assume that Intoner Three is your favorite character among all the sets you’ve made.
    ~ You have a funny habit of making sets for final bosses in their final forms: Vol Opt, Dark Falz, Chakravartin, Don Thousand, Metroid Prime, The Grandmatriachs.
    ~ Oooooh, another Dark Falz moveset? You have plenty of Phantasy Star games to pick from. Fresh in my mind is Dark Falz Luther from Phantasy Star Online II, who has an absolutely epic boss theme and is like Dark Falz cross Chakravartin given his time-stopping powers.
    ~ Speaking of Phantasy Star Online, I might be the only other person who has played Phantasy Star Online: Episode I and II. I never got to play online, but I spent a hell of a lot of time on that game as a kid and have a lot of fond memories of going through 2 files of Lv120+ RAcasts and FOnewerals (I consciously and stupidly deleted my first set). I played with my brother and friend who claimed that he lost his Lv40 character when his dad pulled the plug on the game while it was saving. Lol. That same friend thought I was the one who made Warlord’s MYM4 The Joker years ago. I misplaced my Gamecube memory card, so I haven’t touched my file since like, I joined MYM.
    ~ I am probably the only other person who has watched Akame Ga Kill!. I would probably do a set for Esdeath if I didn’t feel I had to get screencaps.
    ~ Did I indirectly get you into Madoka with my Charlotte set? Wow. I am so awesome.
    ~ I didn’t know I was so loved back in MYM12.
    ~ It’s interesting to hear somebody’s opinion of the me prior to MYM12.
    ~ 3v1 stuff like Don Thousand makes me wanna do a simple boss set of my own, and I have like a dozen characters I could use from my favorite franchises.
    ~ Have you watched Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion yet?
    ~ You seem to like the Drakengard series given you used a piece from it for your music header in the OP this contest.
    ~ Do you still like the Fate series/FateZero? Still waiting for that Caster set where you kill children to summon eldritch abominations though I can totally see that not happening concept-wise and stuff.
    ~ I always thought that maybe you weren’t happy with winning MYM13, if only because that contest was the pits set-wise.
    ~ I wouldn’t say I outright disowned Mistelteinn as I still like the character, her series and think that the set is an experience for what it’s worth. And no dude I am not ever making Freddy you can go ask Kiwi for that. 😉
    ~ I didn’t know you ranked-down my MYM13 sets, let alone out of emotion, if mostly because I did not look at anything on yours or Froys at the time that was below a high 6 because I knew I would have stuff really low and was too scared to look because it would make me feel sad, despite looking at Warlord and WoMF’s rankings in full. I only heard that you came to not like Young Xehanort as much as you did when he was first posted. The whole rank-down thing doesn’t actually bother me at all, and is interesting to know. I commend you for admitting this when you could have easily hidden it.
    ~ While we’re being honest here, my only gripe with you back in MYM13 was that there were times in the chat where you talked smack about some sets you didn’t like in a way you wouldn’t in the thread, which did hurt me a little back in the day in regards to Tabitha, Yukiki and Mukae. You’re not like that anymore though, and that was probably just a MYM13 thing with how miserable the contest was to some people.
    ~ The Jarad thing might have been me wanting to go against a really popular set and find a flaw within it, as I think my opinion of the set improved after a re-read. I think at the time I felt that he did too much basic manipulation with his spore clouds but then again I liked some really weird stuff back in the day like Willy Wonka. When I think of it that way, I can understand your frustration over why I would like something weird like that and not Jarad.
    ~ It’s interesting to hear how Michael Reynolds and Cashmen practically invented “All-Purpose Specials”. No wonder our setmaking has developed to where we are now.
    ~ I’m surprised you still like Lizard as much as you do, if at all. Understandable, though.
    ~ I feel for you with having to remember MYM13 stuff you would rather not remember, as I had to do the same when writing my article.
    ~ I have always imagined a Story Mode for all your sets where Homura is the heroine and is attempting to travel across the universe to kill (or possibly become) god after failing to save Madoka. Walpurgis Night is the first boss, and after defeating her you are sent back in time where Homura then decides to somehow leave her world. She encounters Lizard, the secondary hero, who is a jerk who wants to analyze her time-stopping powers in full but is unable to do so because you can’t analyze anything in frozen time and is tagging along with her until he can. From there, the two go around kicking butt in different worlds, sometimes with the assistance of random Pokemon from Pokeballs you find in the levels, and while this is happening evil gods are fighting amongst themselves. There would probably be multiple endings, because there are so many different final bosses in the FAverse that you can’t just pick one. The story would be dark and edgy, of course.

    That’s all I can think for now, because my brain is out of commission after having typed all this up in one go. Hopefully some more people will comment on this, as I have only scratched the surface with what I’ve said.

    • I’ve waited too long to reply to this, sorry
      -I doubt Warlord would ever make one of these since he’d have to cover something in the range of 120 movesets. I mean this one was like 55 pages in a word document and it covers, I’m pretty sure Warlord would have to write a literal novel. Froy said he was considering writing one to me though.
      -Yeah I still like Madoka, though I’ve come to really dislike Sayaka over time, and think the series fights are kind of underwhelming compared to something like Jojo. I still like the three characters you mentioned though.
      -Grandmatriarchs really isn’t that much goofier than something like Don Thousand I guess. Its mostly just I’m pretty sure most other characters I’ve made are at least possible to take seriously.
      -I’m not actually sure who my favorite character I’ve made is. Kyubey, Homura, and Three are basically the primary candidates.
      -I never played PSO online either, it was pretty pricey if I remember right. Fun game though, I always found it absurdly difficult for some reason though. I’m pretty sure De Rol Le is like the longest I’ve ever spent trying to kill an individual boss, though that might just be because I’m pretty bad at videogames.
      -I’d actually be sort of interested to see an Esdeath set. She’s got a pretty good powerset for one even if I don’t like the character that much. I might ever make another set from that series too despite my issues with it. The primary ones I’ve been considering are Seryu and Dr. Stylish.
      -It seems like you’ve caught onto me as I actually have a few moves written on the particular version of Dark Falz you mention. I’m not fully satisfied with what I have written though, so it may be a bit into MYM17 before it actually gets posted.
      -I’d love to see more boss sets. Don Thousand is somehow the most recent one at the moment, and I think that’s just because they’re pretty hard to balance in a satisfactory way.
      -I have seen Rebellion, and I’m considering the character you’re probably thinking of pretty strongly, but her powerset is so undefined I doubt I could really come up with that much. Maybe just a really souped up version of her regular abilities?
      -Drakengard is pretty cool, the appeal is kind of similar to Illbleed though more towards my tastes than Warlord’s/Smady’s.
      -I don’t particularly like Fate/Zero anymore(my opinion of it has gone down a lot over time, a lot of the cast is pretty damn boring and the worst ones happen to be the final antagonists of the series), but I still really like Caster and ever want to make him. He’s really difficult though, which is why I haven’t yet.
      -Well it really doesn’t help that we had like 9 voters in MYM13 voting, but yeah it was a weirdly unsatisfying win even at the time.
      -Well with Freddy I was just making a joke anyway. And I’m glad you at least appreciated my, admittedly far too late, endorsement of that set since I was going to advertise.
      -Yeah I really shouldn’t have been as vocal about my distaste of sets in public chat, something I kind of learned as time went on. Its kind of terrible when its not even a set that was getting much in the way of good reception(or reception at all) regardless. I think I was just disappointed in your output after I liked your MYM12 so much back then, but that doesn’t really excuse it.
      -Well at this point I don’t particularly like the spore manipulation in Jarad all that much either, so I can kind of understand your complaints on that. And the temptation to randomly oppose a popular set is pretty strong, I know I used to do that early in my career(Kang, Krillin, Chaos 0, and Mike Dawson were all examples of that, though I guess looking at them now I can claim I was totally right).
      -Lizard was really well-recieved and probably the most fun I’ve ever had writing a set, and I think unlike a lot of my other popular early sets I don’t think its outdated today conceptually. I can see how it’d be surprising when the set is so out there and if we’re being totally honest, its pretty imbalanced.
      -In some ways I wonder if I talked too other people in MYM less if I would’ve quit sometime in the MYM12-14 period. None of those contests were particularly fun for me, though they did provide a lot of important development.
      -It is pretty interesting to see how you think all my sets would interact, I basically agree Homura/Lizard would be the blatant major protagonist figures. The one problem I’ve always had with a setup like that is an actual main villain would be hard to figure out, it’d blatantly have to be someone from Phyrexia trying to corrupt the various deities, Vector trying to take their powers, or Doc Scratch because he’s generically the strongest, and I don’t really want to do the last one on account of not terribly liking Homestuck nowadays, while the other 2 have their own problems. Its interesting to think about though.

  2. I found myself re-reading parts of this massive and impressive retrospective, remembered I’ve yet to comment on them. But it’s hard to know what to add, as there’s so much I could say in general about you and your sets.

    When you first arrived even I had my suspicions you were DM. It’s pretty hilarious looking back on it how sure certain people were about this. Although I will take some credit in that I saw you had potential earlier than a lot of others.

    Hoppip stands up fairly well as a newcomer set, just because it has a playstyle and never does anything actively bad. It’s probably more of a stand out than Grandmatriarchs as far as fitting in your “FAverse”, because it’s such a cutesy Pokémon design compared to your usual.

    What was funnier than the initial suspicions was when you posted Homura, and I can confirm this put the chat into overdrive suspecting you were DM. He did end up making your favourite Madoka so you can’t blame us for the suspicions, right?

    It really took until Praetors to convince everyone, and by everyone I mean Warlord, that you had tonnes of potential, but even then I didn’t feel you were really at your peak yet. Back then I still felt that Urabrask had some flaws, though if I didn’t know how to properly convey that because balance was not a thing yet. Jin was easily the best in hindsight though I had a soft spot for Vorinclex.

    I guess MYM12 started the even numbers curse for you, but at the time it was super awkward trying to help you out of the slump. One of the toughest things is trying to motivate someone who’s pretty burn out like that. For what it’s worth I probably was overly harsh on Chakravartin but it’s more like I should’ve been just as harsh on other sets I let off the hook.

    The MYM13 write-up here was one of the more illuminating ones in terms of actual new details, and a very insightful commentary from you on your win among other things. It was definitely shitty of you to move down Kat’s sets in your rankings and how you acted about Koala Kong was just retarded. Especially in the aftermath, you seemed to goad on criticism in an almost masochistic way and try to get your win disqualified, even though that wasn’t going to happen.

    Although at the same time, I do think Jarad gets a bit too much slack from you, even if it’s far from perfect. It has aged but it does some stuff that no other set has really done since. You say putting extra limbs on movable minions is not that interesting for flow, but honestly it’s a pretty fun concept nonetheless. You just have to use your imagination a little to see why. Granted it’s more indirect than your usual interactions and I do think it’s not one of the best minion sets anymore, but it’s a great idea.

    The one aspect that has aged is the execution. At the time, slapping on hitboxes to every awkward move was considered balanced, but that’s a pretty stupid rule to try and balance every awkward move, and I’m pretty sure if you really looked into all the moves in the set you’d find some newly awkward inputs that don’t fit. That was your problem for the longest time, making clunky characters with clunky input placements and mechanics, and it took a long time for you to get over that.

    I do agree that Lizard ages a lot better than Jarad, despite it being more of a difficult concept to balance it manages to make this more of a normal match up for opponents than Jarad. That it works that well is in of itself an achievements giving the great difficulty attached, but it actually goes out of its way to have interesting minions and a very fun move stealing concept comparable to Ameno’s, but in a singles setting. I do think this should’ve won over Jarad in hindsight, but hey, it still got second.

    MYM14 was incredibly awkward for you in that Dark Falz 2.0 wasn’t that much worse than some of your other top ten places, it was arguably better than Urabrask, but at this point we were on a pretty big balance binge. I mean, we had Joe and Roy coming into leadership, and as underhanded as it might have been the Koala Kong discussion actually was very relevant, because you could nitpick a lot of non-Warlord sets at the time for similar problems.

    I never did think Falz 2.0 was that great though, and you cover why really, it’s all in the input placement and awkward mechanics. It has a tonne of good ideas but the implementation is just clunky. I also still didn’t feel like you got all that much out of the soul steal or worked it that well into the other aspects of the set. Honestly, soul stealing is a hard concept to work into any playstyle that isn’t centred on it, which isn’t going to happen because it’s also a fairly boring concept. Maybe it’ll happen someday.

    Of course after that and Avalugg you did have one of the most impressive contests in recent history. And really this performance was a significant part of why MYM15 was such a good contest.

    Even some of the stuff lower down the ladder like Divinity of Pride and Metroid Prime were still very decent.

    It’s hard to argue why Vector is better than Three because they’re both such good sets, but I did argue at the time that Vector is a more deserving and fitting winner. Even down to the nitpicky details like the fact Vector was made in a day and from one of your most definitive franchises, as well as a fitting character for what kind of sets and characters you make, it always felt the more fitting winner.

    But on top of that Vector actually manages to juggle the grab game which summons a very complex minion, in with the projectile manipulation and have good melee, it feels like the ultimate culmination of your style and fixing the flaws. There’s no filler despite it being made partially on the last day like Jarad, and while it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it manages to refresh a lot of old concepts.

    Of course I can’t really bash Three though because as you said very coherently and accurately, the set is a perfect summary of its own series. It also actually manages to juggle these myriad of minions and a focus on melee comboing, which is pretty insane really. It also is really hard to nitpick anything in this due to how polished it is.

    The more modern day stuff from 16 I can’t really comment on as well, you know my opinion on those already. In the least though, despite how long it took you to make the sets, they at least did manage to far outdo your MYM12 or 14 showings. I can only hope that next contest you pull off another MYM15. Great article, FA.

    • Nice to see you reply Smady, I really do not care how late any response I get to this is as its probably a bit hard to reply to something of this length anyway. I’ll just reply to each point individually so this might come off as a bit disjointed, but it seems like the best way to respond.

      Well I mean when all I did early was make Pokemon and a Madoka character and he left like a month before, the possibility of me being DM was pretty high. I can’t really blame anyone for thinking that, though for all its worth DM would’ve needed to adopt a completely different writing style for him to have been me, which isn’t something that historically alternate accounts have been able to pull off well.

      I was always kind of harsh on Hoppip, probably because I didn’t really want to be associated with Pokemon and because I wanted to move on from it, but it was just about the best possible set I could’ve entered MYM with in hindsight. That being said I disagree with you about it not doing anything actively bad, I mean its missing throws and a pummel, which is probably a big part of why the set always felt kind of shallow. And I absolutely knew Homura tipped off the chat about me being DM, but sadly I wasn’t around to see the reactions because it probably would’ve been pretty funny.

      I didn’t really post anything before Praetors worth talking about. Its funny that Jin turned out to be the best one a few contests later when you and I both had our problems with Jin back then, I guess the thing is the issues with it just were not as big as the ones we missed in Urabrask and Vorinclex. You were also very right to suspect Urabrask of not being that great but the flaws in it were the kind of things that would usually get ignored back in the MYM11 era, when a moveset that was pretty much entirely mirrored wind hitboxes on every move was considered Top 10 material(and it was another set you were suspect of from the start, I swear you have some kind of precognition with these things).

      In hindsight I wish you were a bit harsher on Doc Scratch and Elsa Maria, it would’ve been more motivation for me to analyze what was wrong with my style, but giving feedback on someone who already has a clear grasp of flow/playstyle but isn’t actually making good sets is hard. I remember I had a similar problem with Froy in MYM13 and ended up making the blanket statement I’d never SV anything he ever made. Ended up eating my words later as I’ve SVed something of his in every contest since, but at the time I had no idea how to tell him what to fix.

      I still don’t think I’ve entirely gotten over the “clunky characters” problem because Grandmatriarchs still plays like driving a large piece of farming equipment while severely intoxicated, but I like to think I’ve gotten better about it. Honestly I think I may have not gone into enough detail on the numbers part of Jarad though, he just needs so much set up and there’s no way he’s ever going to get there with how crappy all his attacks are. Honestly the set’s history is a big part of why I don’t like it much anymore, but while you bring up the limbs construction on minions being at least kind of fun, you can basically accomplish the same thing with Michael Reynolds’ traps of having a slightly mobile thing with hitboxes stapled to it, and get much more interesting hitboxes out of the deal. Obviously Reynolds is a great set but when they were both posted in the same contest having a 5th place set have pretty much objectively more interesting set up results than the winner is kind of bad. I will say I don’t hate Jarad but given its general reception if I was going to justify ranking it as low as I did I needed to be pretty harsh. Glad you still feel Lizard holds up pretty well though, if anything it may have been the better use of custom minions that contest despite Jarad being the popularized one for being more open ended.

      One of the more awkward things I found looking back on Falz 2.0 is that the best aspects of the set didn’t really care that much about the soul steal itself. I mean the main cool application was just using them to defend the chaos sorcerers so you could charge your smash attacks, but if anything that felt like the high point of the set moreso than the soul steal. Probably because that concept actually is hard, I remember it was used in a few old MYM sets that were well liked at the time and never contributed to anything but got praised anyway(see Spadefox 1,0, Flying Dutchman). I still think there’s any potential there, unlike with Fly concepts, but I’m done with that concept given how much trouble I’ve run into with it up to this point.

      I have to wonder if my preferring Three to Vector is just me starting to become weirdly contrarian given I also think the same thing about Lizard vs Jarad and, for the longest time, Jin vs Vorinclex. Maybe Rool’s rubbed off on me or something? Regardless, I definently respect your stance and honestly I’m surprised Three and Vector were ever competing, I’d think most people would be more interested in the kind of thing Vector does. Its also nice to hear even after the fiasco with it placing 7th somehow, you still think Prime’s a decent set.

      Hey, this is an addendum to the article but I placed in Top 10 for the first time in an “even numbers contest”. Maybe that curse will be broken once and for all in MYM18? Who can say.

  3. This has little to do with anything, but upon reading FA’s above reply I just realized that Metroid Prime and Prime Minister Honest both have Prime in their names and they both placed 7th back-to-back, lol.

    Also, just for posterity’s sake – as this was brought up in the chat by others long ago – all of FA’s serious MYM15 entries have a mathematical reference in their name (One thousand, 3, divinity/division, prime, vector). It’s funny because Don Thousand wants the Numeron Code. This must be because Sho won the previous contest, and really makes you think of how freaking awesome an ongoing MYM story would be with each contest being a chapter that is based off that contest.

    • Do it, Kat. Make us all proud.

    • I could. I actually have something of an idea, but I don’t want to pour it all out here because otherwise the reply section would get too long. Maybe I’ll make a placeholder article with my ideas and/or rough story written on it…


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: