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I had basic knowledge of versus fighting games, but never tried to play one seriously (first experience was with SF4 on Xbox 360 and pretty confusing). I loved Skullgirls's graphic style, so I decided to buy it with the recent Steam discount and I enjoy trying to chain combos in training mode (the lowest level AI still crushes me, though).

I spotted an odd thing while playing Ms. Fortune: a 9 hit combo damage total (as displayed in the training mode) is lower than a pretty similar 8 hit combo. The base combo is Standing Low Punch → Standing Low Kick → Standing Medium Kick (2 hits) → Crouched High Punch (Launcher) → Aerial Low Punch → Aerial Low Kick → Aerial High Kick.

I tried squeezing another Standing Low Punch at the start to do one more hit and potentially more damage, but the final result is 2844 for 8 hit combo and 2812 for 9 hit combo. Damages are adding consistently (8 hit total < 9 hit total) until the final Aerial High Kick.

Is it a feature? Or a glitch?

Subsidiary: is it worth adding an air dash cancel at the start of the aerial part of the combo to do one more Aerial Low Punch?

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This is a pretty standard mechanic in fighting games.

Each hit in a combo scales down the damage of all future hits in the combo. This mechanic is in place for a few reasons. Primarily, it dissuades the use of infinite combos (if they even can exist in the game), and keeping shorter, hard-hitting combos more lucrative allows your opponent to get back into the game faster and start playing again.

Therefore, throwing in an extra weak hit early in the combo is almost always a bad idea, because the extra damage you get from it isn't going to overcome the lost damage on later hits from the scaling down.

A natural evolution in gameplay from this mechanic is what's called a "reset". A reset is where you intentionally end your combo, potentially earlier than you might have normally, and use a mixup to try to trick your opponent into letting you start a new combo. This resets the scaling and you will hit for full damage again on the first hit, subject to scaling again. A character who makes frequent use of mixup resets is known as a "vortex" character.

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    This mechanic is commonly called "proration". In addition to dissuading infinite combos, it allows hefty moves to be thrown in the end of combos without being overwhelmingly unbalancing - comboing into a super would make it generally easier to land that super, so the damage is reduced to accommodate that.
    – Grace Note
    Jun 4 '15 at 14:13
  • wiki.shoryuken.com/Skullgirls/Game_Elements/… explains the damage scaling system in SG and also links directly to other complex topics like their infinity breaker rules.
    – StarWeaver
    Jun 4 '15 at 22:38

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