So, before I get all the negative comments of the maybe ~10 or so people remaining on this site, I'd like to preface that I backed this game and have been a beta player for a long time. I started with this game as my first fighting game, and quite honestly, I'm thinking about dropping it. I decided in the beginning that I would main Arizona since she resonated with my play style the best. I played near exclusively against the AI and alone for a few months because I could never figure out when people were online, but once I did, I started getting significantly better. I never gave up, I kept playing, and in the current day, I hear other people call me one of the top Arizonas in the game, so I guess I made it pretty far. The issue now is the fact that Arizona isn't worth playing anymore. The latest patch and the 'stagger fix' was hot garbage for half the cast, a buff for a character that didn't need it, and a nerf for a character that needed it badly. Tian is so overpowered right now that she's near impossible to play against as Ari, but I'll save that for later. Why did stagger change? There was nothing wrong with it, it actually gave Arizona the chance to do any damage at all in a combo and now getting upwards of 1500 with her in a PvP setting is about as rare as finding a Pom main. Paprika can do everything Ari does with less effort and easier combos, and the average damage for one of hers is somewhere around 2100 per combo off of just about anything as long as she has 1 magic. She was even reimbursed for the stagger changes by having a command grab that now extends her combo. But that's fine, it's whatever, at least I can reach her. I can fight back against Paprika. I cannot fight back against most of the cast. My normals are tiny, getting push blocked means I have to start over, and to get in, I have to bet on something I do actually working. If my opponent has a stable connection and a remotely decent understanding of what Ari can do, then I don't have anything. Tian can get away with anything. As a matter of fact, because of the recent change to supers, Tian can 7D away from any super I use AGAINST her block strings. I can't punish her for doing unsafe moves because she has a get out of jail free card. "But that requires magic!" I hear the nay sayers in the distance, and sure, it does, but how does she get magic again? Oh right. She just kinda does. She can get away, stall for time, and once she's back to full, she can come in from places I can't reach, and what do I have to fight back? An anti air that I get punished for using on block if I don't guess right. Good Tian players will just bait it out. Not to mention that she now has a 4 frame overhead that when used after a low is next to impossible to guard against since absolute guard only works half the time. Or the fact that half of my attacks are useless against Tian because she can literally escape them just by being a pixel off the ground. So, what's the point of playing at all? Hope I get lucky and they're dumb enough to keep getting reset by me by not using that get out of jail free card that I have to predict to even keep the pressure on? Sure, that sounds like fun game play to me. Velvet is a game of no mistakes. If I screw up even once, I'm in it for 2.5k every single time. I cannot make a mistake. I cannot get hit by anything, and to get in, I have to play as unpredictable as possible because there is zero guarantee that I can do even that, and the moment I get hit, it's over. Oh, and let's not forget that the strongest character in the game also happens to have a reversal that leaves her INVULNERABLE for the start up of the attack. But no, totally fair character here. She's fine, I promise. I can get in for maybe 1.5k and then get push blocked and have to jump through a wall of ice and snowflakes to make my way back, or guess with a rope that will get me punished for guessing wrong, and we can always bait out the ropes, and the ropes themselves are slower than the entirety of a , but it's fine. Arizona has reset potential. Isn't that great? I have the potential to get in. You have projectiles and one hit for 2.5k and I can maybe get in once. Sure sounds like fun game play to me. Oleander is a game of do I rope, do I anti air, or do I jump? The Biggest problem here is that I can't do anything against and unless I somehow manage to get in close enough to hit my and hope to god it isn't the latter of the two. And this all is made worse by the fact that blocking them at all sets me back and out of range for all my attacks, not to mention that she can just stay in the air for half a minute where I can't reach her and just read or something off of a block. The crazy teleports were locked away behind magic, and that was nice. One less thing I have to worry about I guess. It's too bad that I can't get in for garbage unless I get lucky or have their movement on lock down. I'm the only one who has to go out of my way and try unsafe things just to get walled out by keep away tactics and projectiles. But it's fine. Can't forget about good ol' reset potential. Sure sounds like fun game play to me. Paprika is the only match that isn't crazy skewed out of my favor just by existing, but that's only because she wants to be in close and doesn't have the tools to just escape the moment she needs to. As a matter of fact, Pap has a horrible flaw in that using almost any of her magic gets her caught in a rope no matter where she is on screen, or worse. But at least this match is usually a back and forth, and I don't have to guess and pray that I get a hit in 100% of the time. She's got bigger normals and an overhead that covers half the screen, a ploy to lock me out of a button and tricky teleports that can be hard to anticipate, but none of that is egregious enough to really complain about. That? That isn't so bad. Pom is just... of all the players that play pom, I think I know of one by name and there may be a few others floating around. And that's just kinda sad. I've seen... one in the past month, maybe longer? I would love to be able to point out flaws with Ari v Pom, but I honestly don't have enough matches to to say anything about it. Sure, her j.C is still difficult to deal with, but... Who plays her? I had no real background in fighting games before this, and I'm honestly not sure I'll go to another one instead of just letting this die all together at once. But of the things I do have a background in, it is the souls series. I was punished, made to learn, and taught to keep trying in the face of overwhelming adversity, and to never give up. I haven't given up yet. And I don't want to give up on this. But honestly? It's getting hard to care about it anymore. When half the entire cast of the game is a match up in my opponent's favor, one is the only thing close to even but still unfair, and the other is next to non existent, what's the point of playing when skill can only take the tools so far? With as bad as the last patch was though, I'm starting to lose hope that anything will improve.