Melee Skill Tiers Analogy

Last night I was wondering about how I could compare Melee skill tiers to another game.

Normally, when someone asks if I will win X regional tournament, I always say that I have no chance, and they get confused.

I try to explain that Melee is a game of levels – each level has players that will almost always beat the players in the level directly below.

For example, let’s say Level 1 is the highest skill level. This would be the top 6, namely Armada, Hungrybox, Leffen, Mang0, Mew2King, and PPMD.

They have had such a high reign that they’re expected and usually do beat people in Level 2, namely players like Westballz, Axe, SFAT, Shroomed, and Lucky.

These players will be expected to beat Level 3 players like Wizzrobe, S2J, and Chudat. And the cycle continues.

It continues all the way through the lowest skill tier of players, AKA the players that just play for fun and don’t know that you can hog the ledge to kill someone.

The lower you go down, the more of a chance of a 4-stock in between levels.

I’d get 3-stocked by someone who got 4-stocked by someone who got 3-stocked by someone who got 3-stocked by someone who got 3-stocked by someone who got 3-stocked by Armada.

In this case, I’d be on level 7, and truly I see myself as a level 7 Melee player.

So last night I came up with an analogy that connects Melee skill tiers to World of Warcraft levels.

World of Warcraft is a game where you create a character and level it by completing quests and killing monsters. As you level, you acquire new abilities that expand your skill set to help you kill higher level monsters.  Also, leveling increases the power of your current abilities.

When World of Warcraft launched, the highest level was 60. The game has had 5 expansions so far, increasing the level cap to 100.

Each expansion made the previous content a bit easier and a bit faster, and also raised the bar for experience and attributes at a multiplied level.

For example, here’s the estimated health for the max level at each expansions:

  • Level 60: 5,000 HP
  • Level 70: 10,000 HP
  • Level 80: 30,000 HP
  • Level 85: 100,000 HP
  • Level 90: ???
  • Level 100: 500,000 HP

I propose that Level 60 is the level of player that have learned about the competitive scene, know what most of the tech is, and want to become good. A person must level from 1-60 to gain this knowledge, to be filled with inspiration, and to be prepared start the rest of their journey of Melee.

On the complete other side, the top 6 players are Level 100. They’re at the level cap, but not at the skill cap, because Blizzard will continue to release expansions that will increase the level cap (Legion, which comes out in August, will increase it to 110).

The players right under the top 100 that sometimes take sets off the top 6, like Axe and Westballz, are also level 100, but they still have better items to acquire.

To level up, you must fight others of similar or higher level by going to tournaments and practicing, and through this experience you gain new skills are solidify your old skills.

As time passes, it becomes easier to level up, because there are better practice techniques, more tutorial channels, and more frequent tournaments.

Thanks for reading. Does my analogy make sense? Leave a comment with your opinion!

SSBM Streaming Guide – Part 7: Helpful Software and Hints

In this final segment, I will offer tips for streaming and recording.

1. Easily editing the scoreboard for tournaments.

When I found this little program for Windows, it made my life a whole lot easier.

SBE – ScoreBoard Edit. This program has an interface that easily lets you change the players, scores, and other text sources on your stream.

2. Reduce the bad look of interlaced video sources (capture card).

Right click on your capture card source, and hit properties. Near the top, there will be an option for Deinterlacing.

Each of these options in this menu are different strategies to deinterlace your interlaced video source. In my opinion, the best one is Yadif2x, but you should try them all to see which one you like the best.

3. Adding multiple microphones/audio sources.

There’s a plugin for OBS Classic that allows you to add an audio capture device just like a video capture device.

Here’s the link: DirectShow Audio Source Plugin.

To install it, just pick the right version (64 bit vs 32 bit), and unzip the files into your plugins folder.

4. Using 32 bit or 64 bit

I’d recommend using 64 bit unless you encounter some problems. Some video sources work better or only on 32 bit mode.

5. Correct Game Resolution

TL;DR: Melee is not 4:3, Melee is 73:60 (584×480). PM is not 4:3, PM is 19:15 (608×480). Make your stream layouts represent this. (Source)

6. Diamond VC500 Tip

Whenever you start to capture using the Diamond VC500, the next time you try to capture, the audio will be muted. To fix this, after you end capture, exit OBS, plug out the capture card, and plug the capture card back in.

Also, if you want to use S-Video on the Diamond VC500, you’ll need to open EZ Grabber (the software that it came with) and in the settings you can change it to S-Video from Composite.

7. My Current Setup

Currently, I am using this streaming Setup:

I have a Wii with Melee. This Console has a cable that has both Composite and S-video. The S-video is plugged into the capture card, while the Composite video is sent to the player TV. I use AV splitters to split the audio.

This capture card is the Elgato Game Capture HD. The HDMI out port of the Elgato is sent to an HDMI monitor for the commentators to watch in real time.

This capture card is connected to a computer with an i5 processor and an GeForce GTX 670. Also connected to the computer are a Blue Yeti Webcam, a Logitech C920 for the players, and a Logitech C525 for the players.

Software wise, I coded a custom scoreboard software that is suited specifically to my stream layout. I run OBS 64-bit.

Here is the result: video.

This ends the SSBM Streaming Guide. Over time I may add things here and there, but if you have a question leave it as a comment. Good luck!

SSBM Streaming Guide – Part 6: Customizing Your Stream

Now that you’ve got all your stuff together, it’s time to make a scene.

Make sure that all your devices are plugged into your computer. Install any necessary camera, microphone, or capture card drivers and software.

Open OBS, and select Global Sources… at the bottom.

Here, add all of your cameras and your capture card. They should be in Video Capture Devices. Name them appropriately.

Press preview stream to start adding and manipulating sources.

You should see a black screen, because you haven’t added anything yet. Try adding your capture card by right clicking in the sources box at the bottom and selecting Global Source -> Your Capture Card.

You’ll  need a console connected to the capture card to see anything, but this will be your first vision of the game screen.

You can add as many sources to your stream as you want, including text and images.

I’d recommend exploring all of the right click options as well as source properties (I’ll go over some of those in the last segment about tips).

Also, try to resize sources my clicking on the edges or corners. When dragging, try the shift, alt, and ctrl modifiers, which can be used in conjunction with each other.

I’d recommend going into Photoshop or your favorite graphic art program and creating a stream template. Make sure it has the same resolution as the one you set in OBS in the last tutorial.

You can also add extra scenes so that you can fade between cameras or screens. I use this a lot for switching between views for tournaments, with my two cameras and capture card.

By right clicking on a scene, you can add a Hotkey so that it’s quick and simple to shift between scenes.

Most of the options are self explanatory. In the final part of this guide, I’ll be giving hints and providing other useful tools that can tremendously help you manage your stream layout.