How Super Smash Bros. Has Evolved Over The Last Decade

This is an amazing piece of work. Amazing. It's an in-depth look at the competitive rankings of Super Smash Bros. throughout time and it's incredibly detailed.

It was put together by Forrest Smith, a Senior Software Engineer at Uber Entertainment and it comes complete with some super detailed, brilliantly designed graphs that show how the competitive consensus on the rankings of Super Smash Bros. has evolved as the game has evolved. It's actually really beautiful.

The data is focused on Super Smash Bros. Melee, which is almost universally seen by core Smash players as the best for competitive play. What I find really interesting is that, despite the fact the game was never patched or changed, or 're-balanced', the player rankings changed almost consistently through the game's tenure from 2002 until today.

Mew Two, for example, was considered one of the lowest tier characters until about 2008, when competitive players began using it again. Sheik was considered the absolute best character to use until 2006, when she started to drop a few places in terms of rank.

Basically, as the game evolved and strategies evolved, the way players were using characters changed dramatically, and this is constantly changing.

Its an absolutely fascinating study, and I recommend you check it out. I'm not even a big Smash player and I found this super engaging.



    Tiers are useful, but the fact is that they're heavily dependent on the knowledge available. There are quirks in the engine that wasn't discovered for many years that led to changes in how characters are perceived. As a community-based effort, tier lists determine the current best approximation of a character's hypothetical maximum potential.

    Now that Smash Bros is receiving patches, it'll be very interesting to see how tier lists move over time. There was very minimal communication between the developers and the community regarding the changes (for starters, there is no official changelog), so it's very interesting to see how the perception of specific characters differs between devs and players. For example, Little Mac was considered underpowered by devs and received several buffs in the patch, whereas the community thought he was too strong. For the most part, it looks like the devs and players generally are in tune with what needs changing though (e.g. Rosalina nerf, Shulk buff), which is good.

    Last edited 20/11/14 12:17 pm

    I was always under the impression Kirby was OP. How wrong I was.

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