Training Amiibos

Before I begin, a quick shout-out to this thread, which is what I used to train my amiibos.

So, when the new Super Smash Bros. was announced, Nintendo also announced Amiibo, a figurine that could interact with games on the Wii U through an NFC touch point built-in on the game pad. In Super Smash Bros. Wii U, this scanning translated to a fighter that you could then fight with/against. I saw it as an opportunity to train these fighters and pit them against other amiibos because that sounded really fun to me (as a competitive Smash player it’s at the heart of what I find the most fun about training an amiibo).

So, I quickly bought a Kirby amiibo, named him H U P BOYZ, and got to work training him. I played with my brother in amiibo + player teams until he got to 50 (the max level for an amiibo), and then I realized that H U P BOYZ used Inhale too much (Neutral B move for those who don’t know). He also used a lot of grounded Rock (Down + B special) and Up Smash, but not too many aerials. He used some, but I wanted him to play like I did with Kirby.

So I started doing some research, and found a couple articles with some training tips. A few of them were very similar. CPU mirrors 1-10, you vs them mirrors 10-20, 20-30 playstyle chars, 30-50 your main + CPU mirrors to see how they’re progressing. It sounded pretty good, so I gave it a shot. I reset H U P BOYZ and started training him.

Spoiler alert – H U P BOYZ still sucked.

He still used too much Inhale and grounded Rock. he also spammed jab a lot this time. So I went back to researching when I came upon that thread I linked in the beginning of this post. It was pretty much eye-opening for me.

Let me break this down for you:

Amiibos basically have a hit % variable stored inside of it for every move in its arsenal (probably not including pummel, which is guaranteed out of a throw). From what I’m theorizing, whenever they hit with a move, the % for that move goes up. If they use a move and it whiffs, is blocked, or is outright beaten or punished, the % goes down. No one has truly found out everything about amiibos, but this sounds the most logical to me given that thread confirmed data tables. Anyway, amiibos will use moves with a higher hit % more often. However, they won’t use it all the time, just more than a normal level 9 CPU would. And this data table updates even after they’ve hit 50.

So what does this mean? Basically, the amiibos will use moves more based on what opponents they fight. That means that if you let a Kirby amiibo get off Inhale or Rock against you, it’ll think it’s better than against a player that never lets a Kirby amiibo get away with it. Amiibo do have slightly different styles, it’s just based off of hit %, and the placebo effect takes it from there because of that subtle difference between amiibos.

So, I did my second reset on H U P BOYZ and trained him from 1 – 50 against just me, except this time I literally air camped so that H U P BOYZ would be forced to take to the air and use aerials against me. Every time he tried to use Rock, or Hammer (Side + B special), or Inhale, I would punish him. And to top it off, I would literally let him hit me with aerials and tilts so that he thought they were better moves.

And it actually worked (a little).

See, amiibos still have that core AI ingrained in them. They’re going to do some stuff no matter what, but you can influence them. H U P BOYZ does the standard Power Shield and then a grab or smash attack, but sometimes he’ll throw out three Forward Airs in a row or use Up Tilt twice in a row or even do Up Tilt to Back Air instead of Up Tilt to Forward Air (which is a level 9 Kirby combo implemented into their base AI).

So that’s how I train amiibos. I let them hit me with the moves I want them to use and try to punish them for using moves I don’t want them to use. H U P BOYZ barely uses Hammer or Rock, although now that he’s fought other amiibos and CPU’s he uses Inhale a fair amount (although not nearly as much as the first two times), but overall, training him was a success.

I think this is the best way to train them right now. Let me go over how I do it in terms of levels.

Levels 1 – 20: Beat them down. Amiibo aren’t very smart here. Sure, they’ll throw out attacks, but it’s best to just beat them down so that they don’t throw out anything bad that’ll hit you. Even if you let them hit you, they won’t be borrowing from the data table too much because their base AI at this point is, well…dumb.

Levels 20 – 30: This is where I make them start learning. At this point they should be borrowing from level 4 or 5 AI, so they’ll be throwing out attacks, but they won’t be utilizing the hit % table a lot unless you let them hit you a ton in the earlier levels. You won’t see certain attacks because the 4 or 5 base AI just doesn’t choose it. If you see them throwing out any moves you’d like them to learn, let them hit you. This can be tricky with aerials and tilts (especially if you don’t want them using smash attacks); my advice is to jump around a LOT for aerials. Tilts are much harder and I have no safe way to get hit by them without being hit by a smash attack. It takes a lot of patience.

Also, don’t forget to beat them. They level up faster losing.

Levels 30 – 40: This is where most of the learning happens. At this point, they’re borrowing from level 6 or 7 AI and so will most likely be using every move. They’ll also be borrowing from the data table so you’ll find them using certain moves less and certain moves more. Just keep letting them hit you and maintain victory over them so that they level up faster. This is probably the longest phase for me because I take a lot of time making sure they learn what moves are better than others.

Levels 40-50: This is where the amiibos’ inherent buffs (yeah, they’re stronger than normal fighters even without equipment) start to become noticeable. You’ll also see a noticeable change in how they fight compared to level 8 and 9 CPU’s. If you’ve done your training correctly, you’ll notice them using moves you let them hit you with more often. That means it’s time for some crazy positive reinforcement. Let them hit you A LOT. Sure, you still need to win or else leveling them up takes longer, but make them extra close. Let them take you down to that last stock (if you’re using time, make sure you maintain a point lead).

This is a good time to pit them against any level 50 amiibos you have, also.

Level 50: You’ve done it. Your amiibo is now max level! A couple things to note here:

– While you’ve been training them, don’t fret if they use a move you’ve been punishing a lot or never let them hit you with. They are, in theory, at Level 10 if there was a Level 10 AI in the game, and so have hard-coded scripts that they simply can’t ignore.

– They will start rolling, spot-dodging, air dodging, and perfect shielding a LOT, and usually right when you use a move. They will punish you with a smash or grab after perfect shielding a LOT, even if you trained them to think smash attacks are bad. It’s part of their script. Don’t let it bother you.

– You should notice that they’re very rarely using moves you’ve punished them for using and using moves you let them hit you with more frequently. However, there will be no drastic change in their move selection unless you let them hit you with the same move over and over from 1 to 50. Then they’ll spam a move way more than a level 9 CPU would.

– Amiibo buffs are pretty apparent here. H U P BOYZ does over 20% with one Back Air. That’s as much as a normal smash attack with an aerial!

And that’s how I train my amiibos. So far I have 3 trained amiibos (H U P BOYZ the Kirby, a Mario that likes Up B, and a Pikachu that doesn’t use Thunder a lot). They’ve all been trained using this method and they’ve all shown good results, so I think this is a really solid training method. Give it a try next time you want to train an amiibo. I’ll end this with a few more notes:

– Because amiibos learn after 50, it’s impossible to stop them from landing a certain move. If you let them fight another amiibo, a CPU, or a person, they might land that move and increase the hit % of it. The nice thing is that that hit % has to contend with the other ones you’ve trained, meaning they’re not suddenly going to start spamming that move, but you will see them try and use it more. If you see them using a move too much, just play them and punish it whenever they do. My Pikachu spammed Thunder between levels 30-40 and I literally sat there for two games and punished Thunder. After those, he never spammed Thunder again because of how low I made the hit % after that and from levels 40-50. He still uses it, but he hasn’t used it twice in a row since.

– Amiibos only update their hit % after a match is completed. This is really important. If you don’t like how a match is going, just quit out of it. I can’t tell you how many times I had to do this because H U P BOYZ landed Inhale on me.

– Amiibos level up insanely fast on a different Wii U. Not really important, just thought I’d let you know. They also level up faster fighting CPU’s and other amiibos than they do against humans.

Have fun with your amiibos! I can’t wait to enter these guys in amiibo-only tournaments!

Just Sayin’

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My take on the HIMYM series finale

It’s hard to put into words the disappointment and confusion I felt Monday night after the How I Met Your Mother series finale aired. I didn’t really think about what I didn’t like, I just jumped to the “I don’t like Ted and Robin together” argument and stuck to it. But now that I’ve had some time to think and read tons of blogs and (unfortunately) comments on blogs about the series finale, I think I can actually articulate just what I didn’t like and why I think the finale was – simply put – awful.

This finale had a message to send. A message about life’s twists and turns, about how you can move on from tragedies and good can come from them. It’s a good message and I respect the finale for that. Unfortunately, this message is ripped apart by the execution of the episode and the way the show grew in the past couple seasons and is replaced with a message about if you wait long enough, the girl you’ve been wanting for years will finally give in and you’ll live happily ever after.

This ending is not a bad ending. It could be a feasible ending, but the way the show grew, it wasn’t. Had, say, Ted never pined over Robin for so long and figured it was worth a shot years down the road, had you seen Barney and Robin struggle through their divorce (or had them not marry at all), had you seen Ted and his kids mourn over Tracy’s loss – these things, I think, needed to be included in either extra episodes or the finale. As it stands, the show jumps through time too much, too fast, while the entirety of Season 9 is one weekend. Season 9 could have easily been the wedding early on and then what happens as life progressed for them – how they split up and came back together.

Instead, we have the current series finale.

This show ultimately hit its lowest point when the kids told Ted that his story was about how he loves Robin. The same Robin that the show told you wasn’t a good fit for Ted. The same Robin that Ted finally gets over in the last few episodes of Season 9. The same Robin that has always been the superior choice according to the show. It makes sense why the finale progressed the way it did when you look at it as a story about Ted’s obsession with Robin. The show needed a way to get to this ending from where it was, and it needed to do that through Barney and Robin’s divorce, Ted having kids, and Tracy’s death, and that’s exactly what the show did to achieve it.

For a show that’s always been about a personal journey of moving on and dealing with life’s struggles, Ted certainly has life go his way at the end. He gets the kids, and gets the girl the show has told you, the audience, that he’s been in love with the whole time after telling you, the audience, the she would never love him and he would never love her that way again a few episodes back.

And I hate that.

Just Sayin’.

P.S: The kids scene was horribly acted and they look like they’ve completely gotten over their own mother dying. That’s awful.

P.S: While Barney and Robin regress believably in real life based on the time leaps, it is way too fast when it comes to storytelling, which is why I think so many people are mad they grew them so much in seasons 8 and 9 and then threw it all away in 15 minutes. A show can’t be all realism.