# The secret of the consistency

Thread in 'Strategy' started by Amnesia, 2 Feb 2009.

1. ### Meroigo

Or are there? Do fool people buy sticks?
I sold my six months old HRAP3 for 1000 SEK (around 118 USD today) excluding shipping. That's not cheap nor expensive, so it's what to expect to pay for it if buying it on the used market. I think... =P

(I'm going to buy the MadCatz Street Fighter IV Fightstick Tournament Edition instead, that's why i sold my HRAP3. =P)

4. ### m:)Unregistered

thats about 30 bucks for the iron, desoldering gear, and soldering gear if you don't have it.
i just modded a stick. fun stuff.. $30 usd for the stick$3/button 60 in parts for me and $40 for the stick i modded. it's bluetooth.. 5. ### AmnesiaPiece of Cake Ok ok, I will buy it, for ~100$ and will be sure that everything will be ok..
Try to understand c_t, I don't want invest in a model at 100\$+, and then regret because another model would have been better..So I will stay on the HRAP3.

But it seems that the destiny will prevent me for ever to get a stick, because this week, I am living with 6 euros in the pocket, I have to wait for my new credit card !!

EDIT : got my new credt card, I just wait know few days that my paid falls into my account to order.
Please don't hesitate to gives me any interesting link for ordering in waiting..

6. ### DIGITALUnregistered

The lack of my presence has caused you to place doubt on the speed perspective, Amnesia? One of little faith, you are quick to dismiss what you don't fully understand.

Sorry for the huge wall of text.

First off, let's talk about some misconceptions about speed. Speed is not limited to "playing fast." When I say playing fast, I'm referring to the term in the physical sense. It's often the case that people connect speed to playing without thinking. This is untrue. The primary objective of learning to play fast is exactly so that you will have more time to think.

Here's how I would define playing for speed:
1. Improving mental processing
2. Improving mental reaction
3. Improving physical reaction

Next, there seems to be some weird idea that playing for speed does not result in good stacking. From here on out, I will call "good" stacking strategical stacking. Strategical stacking is not limited to building neatly for all tetrises, although that may be the preferable output. This type of stacking can come in the form of really unconventional placements that at first glance, seemingly places the player at a disadvantage. I won't go into details as it's too complicated for me to even explain, but I'll just say that strategical stacking is "playing to win from your perspective".

So how does playing for speed fit into all of this? Let me ask you one thing. How do you improve your speed if you are playing for strategical stacking? It's a simple answer, right? Through repetitive motion, you develop a stronger confidence in your arsenal of techniques (muscle memory) and through patterns of placement, you obtain an intuitive sense of placing tetrominoes in manners that fit with less thinking. Well, if we think about it this way, then can't the same apply to playing for speed? The repetitive nature also applies to playing for speed and thus muscle memory is developed. To make up for a lower developed strategic manner of stacking, speed gives you more time to think and react. If you have more time to think than a strategical player at the same speed, then you can spend that extra time to make an equally wise choice of placement and thus improve your pattern recognition.

The number one reason why speed players often are seen making really messy placements is because they are not slowing down or slowing down enough to think things through. But doesn't slowing down contradict what you are trying to achieve by playing fast? In a way, it does. There are two extreme paths to the goal of perfection.

1. Improving speed before improving strategical stacking
2. Improving strategical stacking before improving speed

You cannot improve one without sacrificing efficiency in the other. If you are playing so fast that you are casting away thoughtful placements, then you will improve the three qualities I listed above but you will not improve strategical stacking. If you think so much at strategically stacking, then you will not have enough time to react to the immediate danger of a speed minimum. By not reaching for an extreme, you can improve both simultaneously. This non extremity is what ct is talking about, not a strategical stacking only point of view. ct emphasized that you should still play at the edge of your comfort in speed. Basically, just slowing down does not mean you are ditching the speed aspect or are supporting only the strategical stacking aspect. What it means is that you are incorporating both, regardless of whichever one you tend to lean towards.

Now, let's talk about consistency. I'm sure you've noticed a lack of consistency when you are concentrating solely on speed. This problem is two-fold.

1. Consistency is inherently lacking in speed.
2. Having the ability to react to a speed does not guarantee survival/efficiency.

For the first problem, there's no other way around it other than to improve your strategical stacking. I am not the pure speed freak that you think I am. Even though I lean more towards speed, I do exert a certain amount of effort to stack strategically.

Adressing the second issue, even if you can react to a speed, if your strategical stacking is below the minimum required, you will still inevitably die. This is true at level 0, level 100, 200, 300, whatever. This means that if you put more focus on speed and reduce your focus on strategical thinking below what is required in any single game (run), you will not be able to survive in a consistent manner. You may wonder how you can survive at level 300+ in Shirase and still manage to die below 300. The minimum amount of strategical thinking required to survive hasn't changed. What has changed is that you have increased your speed limit beyond what you can handle in terms of strategical thinking. Remember the relationship between speed and strategical thinking? The more you focus on one, the more you will decrease the other. In order to get around this limit, you have to increase your base amount of strategical thinking. If you can raise your speed to the max while decreasing your strategical thinking base by the same margin and still have enough to satisfy the minimum strategical thinking requirement, then consistency will be gained. Obviously, just satisfying the minimum is not enough to achieve maximum consistency.

On the other hand, for strategical stacking, if you cannot satisfy the minimum speed requirement, you will obviously not be able to survive. The difference is that you will die consistently. Once the minimum speed surpasses what you can handle, you would need to either degrade your strategical stacking to increase speed or continue stacking in the current manner and die a swift death. That brings me to two more points.

1. Lacking minimum speed = fast death
2. Lacking minimum strategic stacking = fast or slow death

That's why if you lean more towards strategical stacking, you tend to die at a certain range of levels often. If you lean more towards minimum speed, then your death will be inconsistent since lacking strategy doesn't guarantee death. You may die somewhere in level 200 if you're unlucky or you may die somewhere at 800 if you're lucky. What's important to note is that these conditions apply only when you lack one or the other, not if you have less of one than the other.

Finally, let's talk about what path to choose. It doesn't matter as long as you don't focus ONLY on ONE extreme. You CAN integrate training to the extreme into a path distributed between speed and strategical stacking. The advantage of training to an extreme lies in the idea that it will hone that certain trait more quickly. However, you cannot survive on one trait alone. You need both speed and strategical stacking. You can choose to focus on one more than the other but keep in mind that you will eventually have to train the other ability. Training to an extreme helps you on the path to balancing both traits. Hell, you can even train to the extreme on one trait and then vice versa to balance the other skill.

Congrats to whoever read through all that.

7. ### m:)Unregistered

read it, great post.

I am one who is trying to improve my speed. i need to, i finally broke 7 min to level 500 in Texmaster special TI

this game kicks my ass, and I'n no where near alot of the players on this board. I took a 15 year hiatus from tetris, and just started again in october. i got on TGM right around the new year.
i can lay tetrises until the speed passes my ability, and my NES days taught me how to skim strategically.

i'm trying to force speed, and then switch back to more strategic playing, so far it is helping me to boost my times.

I've just started clearing TAP levels under 1:30, before i took a break to just force speed I was clearing them around 1:45.
so for me it's been working to force the speed, then slowing down alittle.
when i slow down a little to be strategic I'm faster then i was before because I have pushed my own envelope up a few notches.
the hold piece in texmaster gives me some better power, I started getting cool's this week.

right now I'm that unlucky at 200 lucky at 800 (700) player you described

8. ### colour_thief

I can only imagine what it's like for Amnesia... I gave your post 3 slow readings, and I'm genuinely incapable of understanding it. I'm no English major so I don't really know what you should do, except to point out some of the most confusing passages of your post:

strategical
I was going to say this isn't a word but apparently it's a real adjective that means strategic, making is one of the most useless words in existence. It's out of fashion for good reason, so don't use it.

playing to win from your perspective
This makes no sense at all. Who else's perspective are we conceivably winning from?

..."good" stacking strategical stacking. Strategical stacking is...
M-M-M-MONSTER COMBO!!

1. 2. 3. 1. 2. 1. 2. 1. 2.
The first list you used was ok, but the other 3 are just a reflex you're using whenever you want to contrast two things. An actual sentence would better contrast them.

"When I say playing fast, I'm referring to the term in the physical sense."
The word fast is pretty unambiguous. By clarifying a disambiguity that doesn't exist, you manage to make the reader have no clue what you're talking about.

"The primary objective of learning to play fast is exactly so that you will have more time to think."
Playing faster gives you less time to think, period. There is no way you mean what you are saying here. Also this sentence might work when spoken, but it's very awkward when written.

Maybe you should slow down as you write, so as to make every word count. Not unlike how I'm recommending that Amnesia slows down and makes every piece count. But seriously though, I'm not trying to be an ass. As far as I can tell what you wanted to say boils down to:

Reflexes and muscle memory alone will not make you a fast, consistent player. I emphasize these aspects more than ct, but strategy should not be neglected. Also, it is possible to strategically make holes or overstack.

If there was anything else in there it's lost on me after 3 slow readings.

9. ### DIGITALUnregistered

I'm no English major either. I'll admit that I was writing it fast because I had something important to do. However, no offense ct, but I think you overanalyze and overlook the simple implied meaning. I don't want to turn this into a grammar, organization, or semantics conversation.

You're not competing against another perspective. You're competing against the game. Playing to win means to do whatever is conceivable to win. What you have to do to win varies from person to person. Can you honestly tell me there is one perfect way to stack?

I disagree. I find them much more direct and easier to read. They also make the wall of text much more manageable.

The simple message I am trying to get across is that physical reaction is not the only aspect of speed. Don't complicate this please. I don't find it that hard to understand with the context around.

It looks like another semantics argument here. Please consider what I said before about how playing fast is not limited to just physical reaction.

To be honest, this was kind of offensive. That's all I have to say.

You managed to butcher my whole post down into a few oversimplified statements. I'm sorry but I'm not going to bother reiterating everything that I've said.

10. ### colour_thief

I didn't intend this to be a semantics debate. I honestly can't understand you, and I tried very hard to. I literally spent half an hour reading and re-reading your post because I care about what you have to say. I'm a little disappointed that you interpreted this as a personal attack as I was hoping for you to express your ideas more clearly.

11. ### DIGITALUnregistered

Well, since we resolved the whole coincidental thing on TC, I won't take your previous post personally.

If you sincerely do not understand what I tried to convey, then you can start by asking me more questions. I'm not sure where you're coming from so I can't even imagine where to begin explaining.

But please, don't critique me on my grammar, etc. I know my writing is not perfect but at least try to be a bit more understanding and not so satirical.

12. ### ryanheiseUnregistered

Interesting. I suppose your intuition would also develop away from certain triple spins and synchro moves that don't fit with less time (as opposed to less thinking).

But is there a better way than just letting the intuition develop unaided? E.g. Can we develop software to help train a better intuitions?

13. ### AmnesiaPiece of Cake

ok, just to be sure :

Is it really shitty ?

14. ### K

don't trust the box picture.... the game experience will probably be something like that

un truc de tapette quoi

The ball looks too big, and you never know what's inside of that thing.

>___<

17. ### AmnesiaPiece of Cake

thanks for both of you DIGITAL and c_t, I read everything, and have to admit that it was complexe to get the whole meaning, then I am not skilled enough in english to judge the quality of the explanation you did DIGITAL..You still need to be a bit more synthetic maybe. But I still understood lot of thing. The conclusion I could keep is that I must not reject the pure speed or the pure strategical stacking, but managing intelligently and balancely both of them will bring me the best improvement.
I am not sure, but it seems evident for me that you have not been as consistent as you are today DIGITAL, I am pretty sure that you passed by the same pb than me in the past, and I am interesting to understand how you and c_t have solve this problem, even if your two opinion are differents.

I am sure that the pure speed would allow me to get SHIRASE 1300, and c_t will stayed blocked if he continus to think that way, because he doesn't realise how fast it is, but I am also sure DIGITAL that you could not be m8 qualified as c_t with an average time of 5:40..

Anyway, I have been really surprised by the first results of my "10 TGM1 run" punishement yesterday, and will continu to follow the advices of c_t and jago for a while..But for sure, I will go back into the dark side of the force sometimes, to make improve my pure time delay reaction, if I want one day to get SHIRASE 300..The main thing is that I have to balance the two ways you defend..

18. ### jujubeUnregistered

i think this stick is for space invaders, not tetris.

and i really don't see what the big deal about Digital's post is. i didn't find it confusing. i also don't understand the purpose of attacking someone's writing style (choice of words, repetitiveness, sentence/paragraph structure, etc).

19. ### Zaphod77Resident Misinformer

TO sum up.

if you are dieing around the same spot every time, it is either because you can't handle either the speed or the mobility restrictions being forced on you by the speed.

If you are loosing at various times, then you need to improve your stacking, until you start dieing at the same spot every time, at which point you need to switch back to improving speed.

20. ### colour_thief

I'm not attacking him. I made an genuine attempt to read it, and found that it was poorly written and unclear. If I wrote something that didn't make any sense I would want people to tell me. Just like how I appreciated being told how much better I could be using hold in the Shirase thread yesterday. It's like telling someone their fly is undone or they have chocolate on the side of their face. Do you guys really want me to smile and nod and pretend I understand? To develop as a community it's important to actually discuss this sort of stuff and exchange ideas.

If it's so clear to everyone else, then for starters someone explain to me how playing faster gives you more time to think.