People used to think fighting game move interactions were all based on a priority system that never actually existed

Imagine what you'll know tomorrow...

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • August 18, 2017 at 2 p.m. PDT

Okay so to clarify, it may have a been a little longer than 15 years, but the point remains.

We tend to want to jump to conclusions the very second we have half an idea about something, and while such inclinations do often flesh out, history has shown that they can sometimes be very, very wrong.

I was recently discussing this with the creator of EventHubs, Jon "Catalyst" Grey, and he actually let me on to such a sentiment that spread the breadth of the entire community back in the Street Fighter 2 days.

We in the FGC today discuss hitboxes and frame data daily, understanding them as crucial components of character interaction.

Jon, having had an eye with a journalist's attention to detail on the community for quite some time now, recounts a time wherein people thought they knew a lot more than they did.

"Back in the Street Fighter 2 era, people weren't familiar with the frame data and hitbox systems that power these games, and so they thought moves had some kind of 'priority' value that would make say Guile's crouching medium kick beat Ken's standing heavy punch."

While we do see priority systems that deal with moves that clash on the same frame implemented into some games such as Street Fighter 3 and Street Fighter 5, we know more specifically that it's the interaction of hit and hurtboxes that determine who gets hit.

Even an invincible Shoryuken doesn't win because of priority, it wins because it doesn't have a hurtbox, making it an invincible move.

As more and more was revealed to the public, people found out about boxes and frame data, but even that didn't end the priority argument right away.

"It wasn't until years later that people learned about frame data and hitboxes, and even then, many in the community argued that moves still had priority values in there, that determined how effective they were," explains Catalyst.

"Despite evidence to the contrary, people held to a perception that wasn't accurate, because it's what they knew."

We're in quite a different time today in terms of the speed and ease of information and communication, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't check ourselves every now and again on our policies, lest we make an "Earth is flat" mistake.

Maybe we'll find out F.A.N.G is actually the best character in SF5 after someone discovers some special tech for him. I'd just like to caution people not to jump to conclusions too quickly, and to maintain open minds even after such conclusions are made.

While we're on the subject, you can learn more or get a refresher course on hitboxes in fighting games, posted by Catalyst himself back in 2009.

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