Hey dude, not a question, just wanted to express how much I love the Killer Instinct site (I have shared it with some other players). I'm not a beginner, but still learned from it, and the design is clean and useful. Thanks!
Any plans on making your guide a .pdf file? So KI is my first fighting game, and well right now is 2 month since i started playing. i have done a lot of research on fighting games in general, should i be worried about frame data at my level or what should be my focus, just grind online?
The most important things to know, typically, is how unsafe your opponent's special moves are, and how fast on startup his reversals are. Did you know that TJ's Tremor is -6 on block at best? The medium and heavy ones are even more unsafe! And did you know that every character has a normal that is 5 frames of startup? This means you get to punish TJ's Tremor, every time you block it. This type of basic knowledge is important... it's less important to know some largely meaningless information like how many active frames TJ's jab has.
Those two bits of information (how unsafe are my opponent's special moves, and how fast are his reversals?) basically answer the same question: "is it okay if I press my fastest button right now?" There are some advanced applications for frame data that are important, but as a beginner you shouldn't be focused on them right now.
As for what your focus is, I would try to find someone around your skill level (either locally or online) and grind matches with them. If you don't know a person like this, next time you fight somebody in ranked who you think is around your skill level, send them a message and ask if they'd be willing to play some exhibition matches with you in a lobby. Fighting games are a lot of fun if you can measure your progress against a specific person and share lots of close matches together. You'll push each other to get better much more quickly than grinding ranked matches against random players of varying skill.
(No plans to make the guide .pdf right now, because the video files are important aspects of the site.)
I don't understand KI's neutral game. How can you play footsies when everyone has on-reaction 5-frame full-screen punishers? I whiff a jab and I get punished. It's even easier to punish fireballs on reaction, making them useless for zoning.
There's a few things I think are important to know:
1) Shadow counters are great. Most really strong offensive tools are susceptible to shadow counters on block, which means that even though they are safe on block and invincible to lots of stuff, they have weaknesses.
2) Most horizontal traveling moves, while safe on block, are negative (usually -2 or -3, some are even truly unsafe like TJ's tremor and Cinder's MK trailblazer), which means they are giving up their pressure when blocked. Putting yourself at negative frames isn't the end of the world, but it does mean that they need to block/backdash themselves after doing this move, or else risk a reversal or something; pressing more buttons afterwards is usually a recipe for getting hit. There are very clear moments of "now it's my turn" in KI when dealing with horizontal special moves, even if you don't get a strict punish.
3) Combo breaking works well in the KI engine because the tools are often *so* overwhelming that the game designers just expect you to get hit sometimes. It's why combo breaking is something all players need to get used to, because it's not just "a failsafe if you play bad", the game is fundamentally designed around it.
That all said, you can still play some really strong footsies in KI, once you establish a few base things (you can shadow counter obvious pressure, you will take control of the match back after your opponent puts himself at -2), but like all fighting games, if you're looking to play footsies with your typical online player, it might be hard to find the meat. It also might resolve itself a little faster than other games (like SF4), because the strong offensive tools means somebody will win the footsies war relatively fast. But the footsies game is definitely there.