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TecSpectre

TSB3 Training Manual

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I have begun writing a training manual for TSB3, here's the beginning:


 


Tecmo Super Bowl 3 – Training Manual


 


Understanding your Roster – This might be the most important aspect of learning the game. Each team has 37 players (17 offensive, 18 defensive, 2 special teams). Each player has a series of attributes that determine how good that player is. These can range from 6 attributes (offensive linemen) up to as many as 11 attributes (quarterbacks)


 


Let's break down all of the attributes first and then go in depth in them at each position, as they generally seem to vary in importance at each position.


 


First, let's break down the base attributes that every player in the game has:


 


Running Speed (RS) – has been determined to be a players starting speed. It is important to know that a player with 69 running speed doesn't start at a speed of 69. 69 is just a factor in the game that points at a factor in the games code that says “I'm this fast to start”. So while RS (for offense) generally will show higher than rushing power (discussed next) or maximum speed (discussed shortly) it does not mean they start faster than they can become.


 


Rushing Power (RP) – has been determined to be a players acceleration factor. This basically says that a player while moving will accelerate from his starting speed, to his maximum speed at a certain rate, and RP will point, again, to a table in the code that determines what that rate is.


 


Maximum Speed (MS) – has been determined... duh... to be the 'MAXIMUM SPEED' of the player. As mentioned under RS, this number will generally be lower than the RS of the player (on offense) but they do not relate in that way. MS points to a separate table in the code of the game that says what the players MS will be. ALSO, defensive players have a speed boost built into the game which means that while they may have a lower MS than an offensive player, they could still potentially catch them.


 


Hitting Power (HP) - unlike many other variations of Tecmo Super Bowl, in TSB3 Hitting Power has meaning; and that meaning is significant. HP is a players ability to tackle or break a tackle when they come in contact with a player on the opposing team. The higher the separation in HP between the two players, the more likely the player with the higher HP is to break free.


 


HP is one attribute that functions pretty much the same for all positions in the game. Where this is different is when the player is controlled by the computer or if he is MAN controlled. When a player has control of a player, his number seems to work as is. SOMETIMES, when the computer has control of a player the HP of players doesn't matter so much. The COMPUTER will just take you down.


 


Tapping the 'A' button in TSB3 is helpful in a tackle, but the impact it has is extremely marginal compared to the HP of the players involved.


 


Body Balance (BB) – has only been determined to do one thing for sure. Spinning. Spinning is a new feature to TSB (new being relative as TSB3 came out in 1995 and I'm writing this in 2014). Every time a player is about to come into contact with an opposing player there is a chance that he will spin. The higher his BB, the higher the likelihood. When a player spins, he moves in the direction he was going THROUGH the opposing players.


 


There is also some debate that BB has an effect on the movement of a player and the fluidity of his changes of direction on the field, but these have not been confirmed and are difficult to test.


 


Agility (AG) - another new attribute to Tecmo Super Bowl, and this impacts another new move 'Jumping' that was introduced with TSB3. Jumping occurs when a defensive player dives at the ball carrier, the ball carrier will jump, sometimes over the diving player. SNES pathing can make this look weird. Be wary of this because if you're running near the top of the screen, and your player jumps to avoid a diving tackle... he might just jump out of bounds! It's crazy, but it happens and it'll make you scream when it's right outside the goal line and time has expired. I promise.


 


Some debate has been made that AG is also tied with the ability to catch the ball, and might also impact a players fluidity of movement, like BB... but this isn't 100% confirmed. It has also been discussed that AG could impact a players ability to perform a jumping catch.


 


 


 


In the coming sections, each position will be covered and what the key attributes are for each.


 


So let's begin on offense as this is inherently where many football fans (especially you fantasy football people out there) gravitate to.


 


Quarterbacks – Easily the most important position on a team. Having a good quarterback (QB) can really open things up for you offensively and help to make even your mediocre running backs look better.


 


The QB has more total attributes than any other position in the game. In addition to the base attributes listed above, the QB has 5 attributes dedicated to them alone. Some quick notes on base attributes in relation to the QB before explaining those.


 


Maximum Speed (MS) – In TSB3 there are only two QB's with a MS of 44. This is as high as they go, and for good reason. A QB with 44 ms moves really fast. If a QB had a MS higher than 44 base, it would not work well within the design of the game. As it stands, 44 means the guy could very well be your best running option.


 


The standard MS for QB's is 13. Guys that have above this are few in general, but once you start getting to 31+ MS you're talking about a player who is a big time duel threat.


 


Passing Speed (PS) – determines how quickly the ball travels from the QB to the destination it will land. Having a high passing speed generally allows a player to hit open receivers before a man controlled defender can get in place. However, if a QB has a PS that is significantly higher than his other passing stats (Control to be discussed next, and Accuracy to be discussed shortly) it seems to cause an increased likelihood of throwing interceptions and passes that are off target.


 


PS isn't the most important of the passing attritbutes, but it IS important and the higher it is, the more you can do with it.


 


Passing Control (PC) – is probably the most important passing statistic a QB has. PC determines the likelihood that a pass will be complete and if a defender is present, the likelihood of it being intercepted or knocked to the ground. The higher this is the better. Period.


 


Passing Accuracy (PA) – the third of the passing attributes, PA determines how on target a pass is going to be. The higher this is, the more likely the pass is to go to the receiver, as opposed to going out of bounds, or being overthrown.


 


Avoid Rush (AR) – Avoid Rush is a QB only attribute that acts like a secondary speed stat that is only in effect when the QB is scrambling around in the backfield. This is a funny stat because a guy that could be flying around in circles in the back field avoiding defensive lineman that are in pursuit could look like he has all day back there... but once he tries to move up field with his 13 MS... he's going down. On the whole, AR isn't a really important stat in the game, but it's definitely a nice intangible on a guy.


 


I believe this stat also impacts the likelihood that a computer controlled QB is to run the ball on a pass play.


 


Coolness (Coolness) – coolness is so cool that it doesn't get abbreviated. BAM... how do you like dem apples? But for serious... coolness might do nothing? In TSB3 there is a thing players like to call “the B-button glitch”. This is where you are trying to pass the ball under pressure with your QB and the ball doesn't throw... so you slam your thumb on the button, over and over... and then you get sacked and you start shouting “PASS THE DAMN BALL”... and you might even use profanity.


 


This is where I believe coolness comes in. The higher a guys coolness, the less likely he is to suffer from this glitch. AND the less likely you are to snap your paddle in half in your hands.


 


Oh... and if you are a high strung kind of player who really does want to break things because of this glitch. I do not recommend that you ever play online. Just sayin!


 


 


Running Backs (RB), Wide Receivers (WR) and Tight Ends (TE) - the skill players that fill out the rest of your offense will all be lumped together here as they are all interchangeable in TSB3. Each position is built very differently however, so let's briefly discuss some key things:


 


Running Backs are built in two specific ways, running back and full back (FB), and when you see them in the game, they generally are built to match. RB's generally have a higher MS ceiling while FB's generally cap out around 38-44ms but can have HP through the roof (Craig “Ironhead” Heyward has 94HP, but is by far the highest in the game) but generally HP above 63 is rare on the offensive side of the ball.


 


Both styles of RB can be very effective in the game.


 


Wide Receiver and Tight End are both generally built to catch the football, and because of this they generally have a higher ability to do this than RB's, the difference between the two positions is that WR is generally better at catching and TE generally has more HP and a much lower MS ceiling.


 


There are 2 new attributes that are specific to these 3 classes:


 


Ball Control (BC) – this attribute determines a players likelihood of fumbling the ball. This number varies anywhere from 44 – 81 with those numbers being very rare. The standard (Average) is about 63. On a whole though, the variance in fumbling between a player with 81 BC and 44 BC isn't very high.


 


There is some debate that higher HP on a defender compared to the HP of the ball carrier can increase the likelihood of fumbling and that dive tackling also can increase the likelihood of fumbling. Neither of these have been proven.


 


Receptions (REC) – this attribute determines a players likelihood to catch a pass. The higher this number the better. WR's will generally have the highest REC among all offensive players, then TE's and some RB's will also have some pretty great REC statistics.


 


As mentioned previously, AG is believed to have some impact on a players ability to catch and pass, and this is most notable between TE and WR with the same REC stat where a WR will generally have a higher AG stat and is usually more likely to catch a pass in coverage or get a jumping catch.


 


That isn't to say that RB's and TE's cannot get those coverage catches or those jumping catches. They do, and when they do, it can be far more devastating as they are more likely to break a tackle and take off with the ball downfield.


 


 


That leaves us with Offensive Lineman. A position that is often neglected or ignored. It is the one offensive player you can NOT ever look at during a game.


 


Offensive Line (OL) – this position has no additional stats and is the only one in the game that does not. It is broken up into 3 different positions and each team has 5 players. One center, two guards and two tackles.


 


The primary attribute for OL is HP. It is far and away the most important attribute. Arguably, it's the only one that really matters. You can look at other numbers. For instance if one guy has 56 HP and another has 50, but the guy with 50 HP is 2-3 attribute bumps better in every other category, then it's very likely that the 50HP guy might play better over all.


 


However, since the only ways to change your OL are by using the trades/free agency and player creation aspects of the game, it's not a huge deal for getting into the game and I'll come back to that later when I discuss those aspects (because they're really neat and one of the best features of TSB3, in my opinion)


 


 


 


Ok... so that was fun, right? If you haven't pulled your kidney out through your nose yet... let's get this next part out of the way now so we can discuss defensive players.


 


Kicker (K) & Punter (P) – yeah... so every team has these guys and there are 3 total kicking attributes. K has all three of them, while punter only has two. They also both have the base 6 attributes and the numbers on them are always the same on every single player at their respective position. They are also the only other players whose attributes you can NOT ever look at during a game... so who really cares?


 


Kicking Power (KP) – determines the distance a K or P can boot the ball.


 


Avoid Kick Block (AKB) – impacts the likelihood that a defensive player will block the kick when he gets in line to do so.


 


Kicking Accuracy (KA) – a kicker only attribute that determines the speed that the field goal/extra point arrow moves up and down in front of the kicker when lining up a kick. The lower the attribute, the faster the arrow moves. In many cases, it is actually better to have a low Kicking Accuracy for this reason.


 


Congratulations... you have completed reading about offensive players AND kickers/punters...


 


I bet you're proud! Keep reading and you can find out about defensive players now!


 


 


 


Defense – There are either 3 or 4 positions on the defensive side of the ball. It depends how you look at things. When you're playing a game, there are 3. Defensive Line, Line Backers and Defensive Backs.


 


If you're looking at players individually, defensive backs have two sub categories, Corner Backs and Safeties.


 


All defensive players have the 6 base attributes and 2 additional attributes that are the same for ALL defensive positions. So I'll cover those two first and then go into the positions.


 


Interceptions (INT) – determines a players likelihood of intercepting a pass from a QB. Each position is generally more likely to pick off a pass than others and I will cover that below.


 


Quickness (QUI) – might do absolutely nothing. Like... for reals! However, I have done testing and have found a real difference in one thing between guys with QUI and guys without and I feel confident saying QUI does affect the following:


 


When a player is man controlled, and a pass is thrown, occasionally (often) the computer will take control of your player and move him toward the place the ball is going to. I have found that guys with higher QUI will move faster when the comp takes control of them for the brief moment than a player with a lower quickness.


 


I tested this by using the created player tool to create two players on a cart, on the same team, with identical stats, except QUI. One player had high QUI (75) and the other had min QUI (6). It wasn't always noticeable, but one some plays, the guy with 6 would just lose all momentum when the computer took control of him, and the guy with 75 would occasionally go faster.


 


So, is this 100% the real thing... no, it probably isn't. However, no one else has found QUI to do anything that I've read or heard of.


 


So to me, this is what it does, and it's really not a huge thing. But if I had to choose a guy with the same stats but one has high qui and the other has none, i'm taking the QUI, just in case.


 


Defensive Formations – There are 4 formations on defense in TSB3, however one of them can be different from team to team, so in a way there are five. I'll break them down real quick before getting into the positions


 


A big thing about defense is that you only control one player while on defense and that player cannot change once the play has started. So you hope to get the most assistance from the other 10 computer players on the field each play. That doesn't always happen though, and depending on what team you are, and how good that supporting cast is, you might sometimes get no help whatsoever.


 


Goal Line – this formation uses 5 defensive lineman, 3 linebackers and 3 defensive backs. It essentially puts 10 guys up front and 1 guy in the backfield and provides hands down the best run defense and the most pressure on the qb of all of the defensive formations.


 


The downside to the goal line defense is that you almost never get any assistance covering players, so against a passing play, you can often get picked apart by a decent play call.


 


Normal – this formation changes from team to team. At all times, there are 4 defensive backs on the field. Then the team will either run what is called a 3-4 or a 4-3 defensive scheme. This means you either have 3 defensive lineman and 4 linebackers or 4 defensive lineman and 3 linebackers.


 


The 4-3 scheme is far more common in the game, and there is no way to change this scheme. So each team is what it is. The 3-4 normal defense is the only defensive scheme in the game that allows up to 4 linebackers to be used and is also the only scheme that allows a team to get down to 3 defensive lineman.


 


Normal formation is arguably the worst formation in the game. It doesn't seem to give the run support that goal line does and it doesn't give the support against the pass that nickel or dime provide. But that is just my opinion, and I think all defensive formations are functional if you practice with them and they fit your personnel.


 


Nickel – this formation uses 4 defensive lineman, two linebackers and 5 defensive backs. The added linebacker helps to defend against the run a bit more than dime coverage at the loss of a defensive back. The extra linebacker helps most in situations where the QB is looking to move outside of the pocket.


 


Dime – this formation usees 4 defensive lineman, one linebacker and 6 defensive lineman. This is the ultimate pass coverage package. If your team is stacked with defensive backs, or they just happen to be better than your busted up group of terrible linebackers, then maybe this is the one for you. Assuming of course, you have a guy that can stop the run. In the dime formation, you are essentially charging yourself with taking down the running backs all on your own, because you will rarely get any decent help.


 


 


So there are those... now onto the defensive positions


 


 


Defensive Line (DL) – each team has 6 defensive line players of which they can start up to 5 of them. When a defensive line player is computer controlled, the stats that are most important are HP and then MS. That is pretty much all that matters. However, on the chance that you might want to use a defensive lineman (and with the use of audibles, which we'll cover more later, you can put DL players at both LB and DB positions on the field) then you also want to look at RP.


 


RP is a really big deal for players in the DL and LB slots on the field. In some cases, it might be more important than MS and when man controlled, the speed stats are probably more important than HP because it determines how easily you can move around the field and disrupt the offense.


 


Honestly, if you're using a DL, your options are already slim... so, good luck! (you know, unless you just prefer to use Reggie White yourself because he's a monster. A f&$%ing monster! No... no... not the one in New England.)


 


Linebackers (LB) – each team has 5 linebacker players of which they can start up to 3, or in some cases 4 of them. LB is very similar to DL in that the most important stats when computer controlled are HP and MS, though not necessarily in that order anymore. Computer controlled players generally will tackle guys even when they have lower HP. It's not guaranteed, but it happens, and because of it, i'd be more inclined to want a faster LB than a harder hitting one.


 


Again, when playing at the LB spot, if you're controlling the player, you want to look at RP as well. A big reason for this is that you need to move faster sooner because blockers and lineman will come gunning for you when the play starts, and if you get caught up on a block, or even worse, dumped on the ground, you're giving the opponent almost a free pass to score on you.


 


The other thing worth looking at with LB is INT. Though LB's don't generally have high INT's (they cap at 44), they can have considerably more than a DL and can be very helpful in coverage, if you're dropping back.


 


Defensive Backs (DB) – there are two kinds of DB: Corner Backs (CB) and safties (S). Corner backs generally are faster, more agile and have overall higher INT. Safties while slower, less agile and with lower INT make up for this with having higher HP. In some cases, S can have HP close to that of DL and LB


 


When looking at DB's to be computer controlled, you want to look at INT, MS and HP. Nothing else really matters. If you're looking to use a DB, you still look at those numbers, but also look at RP. While RP is not AS important at the DB position, you usually want a guy with 44 RP or higher.


 


 


Alright... so where to next. We've covered player attributes and player positions.


 


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bump... this is still showing 0 views for me... and I know that's not true because people have contacted me about it already.


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This is great man. A good start for total TSB3 noobs like myself.

 

weird... as soon as i replied on this it jumped to 51 views.

dat cache
 

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Yeah, I'm looking forward to the audibles section.


 


One thing that is tough about goal line D is that, just like in the NFL, if the RB makes ONE MOVE, they can be gone.  Everyone is bunched up at the line and one spin move and it's like they've teleported through everyone and are off to the races.


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The audibles section will be more of an advanced play thing... I've been studying them off and on the past year pretty extensively, but I need a bit more research with the 3-4 normal breakdown since I don't spend as much time on 3-4 teams.

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what percentage of this manual are assumptions versus proven game facts?  the write-up is quite long, and one of the first things I happened to glance at was "coolness" - where you appear to make some hypothesis on what it actually does.  I find the inclusions of hypotheses discouraging.


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Would you be less discouraged if perhaps he alluded to the fact that it is a hypothesis?  I swear I don't mean that sarcastically.


 


Out of curiosity, what would make it a proven game fact, or is it one of those things that can just never be actually proven?


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please disregard my personal opinion in my post - I unnecessarily added that to the real question, to my dismay.  


 


I am just wondering how much of this info is actually how the game works or if it is just his opinion or guess.  let's see how this reads:


 


what percentage of this manual are assumptions versus proven game facts?  the write-up is quite long, and one of the first things I happened to glance at was "coolness" - where you appear to make some hypothesis on what it actually does.  I find the inclusions of hypotheses discouraging.


Edited by buck

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So, what would satisfy some of these things to be fact?  And is it reasonable?  If not, then I guess we can never have 100% certainty.


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i think for the NES tsb some of the guys have run things through the debugger and seen how the numbers actually are worked through equations to determine on field play.  That might be what buck is alluding to as proof vs personal observation.     I know for me personal observation of TSB was that Bo Jackso was more injury prone than most other players.  But in fact just like everyone else it was shown he had 2/255 chance of going down.  things like that.


Edited by Dusto

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So, what would satisfy some of these things to be fact?  And is it reasonable?  If not, then I guess we can never have 100% certainty.

 

hey eroc, you can forget it.

 

to the author of the manual - regarding my inquiry, I am primarily referring to the sections on TSB III attributes and your description of them.  I  understand that your assessments on formations, strategy, etc are opinion.

Edited by buck

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what percentage of this manual are assumptions versus proven game facts?  the write-up is quite long, and one of the first things I happened to glance at was "coolness" - where you appear to make some hypothesis on what it actually does.  I find the inclusions of hypotheses discouraging.




 


This is Spectre's guide; the only thing I contributed was a once-over before he posted it (though we are planning to work together on a more extensive TSB III project down the road).  So, I can't speak for him, but I've worked and talked with him at length about the game over the past year or so to come up with the attribute picture he's painted here, and I think that despite a couple of minor disagreements, we're on the same page on just about everything. 


 


I think it's a valid question to ask how we know what we know, so I'll try and explain it here.  Keep in mind, though, that the purpose of Spectre's guide is to be readable and engaging, as well as informative, which I think he's done really well.  What follows in this post will be anything but that, but I hope it goes to prove that Spectre isn't pulling this stuff out of the sky - he knows this game as well as anyone I've ever met, and you can trust what he says.


 




i think for the NES tsb some of the guys have run things through the debugger and seen how the numbers actually are worked through equations to determine on field play.  That might be what buck is alluding to as proof vs personal observation.     I know for me personal observation of TSB was that Bo Jackso was more injury prone than most other players.  But in fact just like everyone else it was shown he had 2/255 chance of going down.  things like that.




 


Everything I'm saying here is empirically-based, but I'm not just talking about playing the game a handful of times and saying "Well, I guess Rushing Power does X' - I've done experiments with just about every attribute (except the kicker ones, because, well, who gives a shit?) for which I have created an experimental ROM.   This ROM includes a couple of "all-average" teams - their rosters have players with the median attribute for each position.  So, I take the median of all the TSB III linebackers' hitting power, say, and give that to every linebacker on the two teams.  And then I do that for every attribute at every position.  I also give the teams identical playbooks, as well as identical kick and punt returners.  I also schedule the teams to play each other, alternating home and away games, over the entire season (although playing surface and weather condition definitely affect players' behavior, I don't think teams in general perform any differently at home than they do away).


 


I do two types of tests - MAN-MAN and COM-COM.  First, I do the human tests, usually helped by CheapCatch.  Sometimes the results are pretty obvious, like they are for, say, Rushing Power.  For example, compare the median linebacker with an attribute line of 38-38-44-44-19-38-19-50 versus a high-RP linebacker at 38-100-44-44-19-38-19-50, and a low-RP one at 38-6-44-44-19-38-19-50.  The first one will feel, well, average: the closest guy in TSB III to this guy is Michael Barrow of the Houston Oilers - pretty freakin average.  The second one will be zipping all over the field with lightning-quick changes of direction - immediately you'd think he was the greatest TSB III linebacker ever.  The third, with low RP, would be so sluggish as to be absolutely useless. 


 


I call RS/RP/MS the three "movement attributes," and they are unique because, while you can tell that a high RP guy is better than a low RP one, it's hard to see exactly why until you compare them with some high MS guys and low RS guys and so on.  So, we did all that, too - we built a roster with a high RS guy, a high RP guy and a high MS guy, as well as low RS, low RP, and low MS guy.  This led us to the description of the attributes that Spectre had above: a high RS guy with average or lousy numbers in the other movement attributes will start out fast but be slow in accelerating and not particularly fast when he does accelerate; a high RP guy with mediocre RS and MS atts will be quick to accelerate starting out and when he changes direction (this is extremely important for a human-controlled player since you move around in different directions a lot); and a high MS guy with middling RS and RP won't start off great and will lose his momentum when he changes direction, but when you get him going he's blisteringly fast.  This leads us to the conclusion that for human-controlled defenders, RP is most important, MS is next, and RS is third - but all matter to the way a guy moves.  It may sound a little convoluted, but try it yourself - it's obvious, and when you know what they do, these numbers really reveal a player's "personality."


 


In addition to that, I simulate through hundreds of COM-COM games.  There's a lot of talk out there that there are MAN attributes and COM attributes, that certain attributes are only read when a player is AI-controlled, and that some attributes behave differently when MAN- or COM- controlled. In the many tests I have done I have found no evidence whatsoever to even suggest that might be true - what we find in the human tests is borne out in COM tests.  Now, as we know, humans play differently than AI players do - AI guys tend to run in straight lines, humans cut and zig-zag a lot more.  So, as Spectre said, MS is much more important to an AI defender than he is to a human defender, for example.  There are other cases where that's true.  HP is more important to AI guys than to MAN guys, since tapping still does play a role in TSB III.


 


If you're trying this at home, there's one important note about the SKP setting vs COM setting in Team Control.  SKP games tell you nothing about attributes, so don't use it for tests like this.  In SKP games, the program does not read individual attributes and run algorithms the way human or COM-COM games do; instead, each player has an additional, hidden "overall value" number from 0 to 15 that determines how well they perform in skp games.  Think of a pass thrown into coverage.  In a human game, we know that, as the ball arrives, the game runs an algorithm that incorporates the QB's Pass Control, the receiver's Receptions, and the defender's Interceptions (though, unlike TSB, we don't know exactly what the algorithm is).  So a pass from Troy Aikman (81 PC) to Jerry Rice (81 RC) is highly unlikely to be disrupted by Cortez Kennedy (6 IN).  On the other hand, Deion Sanders (81 IN) is likely to either intercept or disrupt a pass from Chad May (25 PC) to Lorenzo Neal (19 RC).  When you play a game against a human or against the computer, the game is running hundreds of such algorithms on every play.  But not so in a SKP game.  In this case, each player has an additional "hidden" number (hex from 0-15) that indicates his overall value and how he will perform in any game, independent of his attributes or the players around him.  So, Rice has a 15, and no matter who you put around him or what team you put him on, he'll put up sterling receiving numbers.  Try using a manager and give Jerry Rice all 6 attributes.  Trade him to the Giants, even - he'll still put up insane receiving yards every single season if he plays all SKP games.  This number does not come into play in non-skp games at all. You can adjust this number in the hex, but not in any of the managers.


 


For attributes that matter, the results in these COM-COM tests are pretty smart.  For example, in a test of 100 games where one team had linebackers with 6 RP and the other team had linebackers all with 100 RP, the boosted-rp team won 86 of them, and scored boatloads more points - just under 30 per game, versus just over 12 per game for their opponents.  That tells us that RP is highly significant for that position.


 


At the risk of sounding Rumsfeldian, I would categorize our knowledge of these attributes in three ways.  First, there are the "known knowns" - attributes whose function(s) we know, and we know that there are no other functions besides those we know.  For all players, these include the three "movement attributes" - Running Speed, Rushing Power, Maximum Speed - as well as Hitting Power (though one note on HP below).  They also include the first three passing attributes - Passing Speed, Pass Control, and Pass Accuracy.  Third, they include Ball Control and Receptions for offensive skill players and Interceptions for defenders.  All those have been empirically observed to be significant, and we know what that significance is - it's just what Spectre said above.


 


(A note about Hitting Power - there is a theory that higher-HP defenders are also more likely to cause a fumble.  I can't find any evidence in my tests that this is true.  And it would kind of defy logic, making CBs, who all have low HP, very unlikely to force fumbles, which they are not.)


 


Then there is another category of attributes - the "partial knowns."  And these are mainly Body Balance and Agility, which Spectre has described above.  We know that high BB makes a player carrying the ball more likely to spin, and that high AG makes him more likely to leap.  These have been clearly observed in human tests and proven to be significant in COM tests.  But other questions remain: What do they do for defenders?  We can assume they have their normal function if the defender is returning a kick, interception, or fumble (though I can't recall seeing a guy spin on a turnover runback).  But do they affect anything else? 


 


This is where you run into the problem of not being able to empirically prove a negative.  I am pretty confident that they don't do anything for non-ball-carrying defenders.  I have heard the theory that BB might affect a defensive player's "fluidity," so I gave one guy 100 BB and another 6.  I didn't notice that one was any more fluid than the other; they felt identical to me over a large number of plays.  Also, giving my test team high-BB defenders didn't really change the balance of wins and losses in the 100-game COM-COM test; the high-BB team won 53 games, which is well within the normal range, with similar offensive production.  And for this test, I raised the BB of ALL defenders, not just the linebackers.  Compare this to the RP test, where only the linebackers had a RP boost, and it raised the team's winning percentage to 86%. 


 


Then, you figure that for most defensive positions, these attributes are fairly uniform: most linebackers have the same BB, and AG differences happen mostly at the DB position (my theory is that these guys are eligible as kick returners).


 


It doesn't look significant to me, and I am ready to conclude that BB and AG don't matter at all for defenders who don't have the ball.


 


I've also heard that AGIL might control whether or not a receiver jumps for and catches a ball, which is tougher to test, since the COM-COM test won't work very well.  The reason for that is that we already know it will improve their winning % and passing yardage, since the receivers will be spinning out of tackles more.  And it did - 63 wins for the high-AGIL WR team.  But, interestingly, the quarterback's completion percentage was not significantly higher, leading you to think that he's probably not benefiting from more jumping catches.  But that depends on a lot of other factors, and we're starting to get away from Occam and his razor at this point.  Let's just say a strong "probably not" for now, but we could definitely use more and better tests than I've come up with for this. 


 


Finally, you have the "pure conjecture" attributes.  These are the two weird passing attributes, Avoid Rush and Coolness, and Quickness for defenders.  I'd looked thoroughly at QK before, but I hadn't done so for AR and CL, so I ran some tests tonight on those.


 


Let me start with Coolness.  I really believe that it does something, namely what Spectre said in the initial post.  Some quarterbacks seem to enjoy standing there like an idiot not throwing the ball while you hammer the B button and swear, and these seem to be the ones with low CL (see, Spectre, you CAN abbreviate it!).  But I can't find anything in it.  I ran dozens of plays with QBs of all different CL numbers, and can't find anything definitive.  And absolutely nothing interesting shows up in COM-COM tests.  In fact, in a series of COM-COM seasons between a 6-Coolness QB and a 100-Coolness QB, the team that opposed the 100-coolness guy had MORE sacks than the other: 163 to 155, over 100 games.  I think CL does what Spectre says, but I can't prove it.


 


Avoid Rush, to disagree with Spectre, I really believe does nothing, which is strange, since they put it in for some reason.  In human tests, I can't verify what Spectre says, which is that it makes a QB faster at running around in the backfield: a 6 AR guy feels just as fast to me as a 31 AR guy, as fast as a 69 AR guy, as fast as a 99 AR guy.  And in COM-COM tests, the 99 AR guy ran 3 more times than the 6 AR guy - 88 to 85.  Not statistically significant. 


 


Same with Quickness.  They put it in for some reason, as it had been since the original game, but if it does anything, I am absolutely unable to ascertain what it is.  I can't confirm that it affects a player's speed in getting to a thrown ball once it has been thrown and the player is under AI control: to me, a 100-QK guy is just as quick at getting to a thrown ball as is a 6-QK guy with the same atts in other categories.  Certainly, some players get to thrown balls faster, but I think that this comes down to RP.  I also have heard the theory that high-Quickness guys jump for and tip thrown balls more often than low-Quickness guys, but I'm also unable to confirm this.  And, again, there is no significant difference in the results of 100-game COM-COM tests for variances in this attribute.


 


So, there you have it.  As I said from the start, Spectre and I disagree about some minor points - I can't find AR and QK to do anything at all, and while I want to think that CL does what he says it does (I've blamed my losses on it too many times not to), I can't confirm it in any empirical tests.  But, more important than niggling disagreements like this is the fact that he bases what he says on a wealth of TSB III experience that, I believe, gives him expert-level knowledge of the game (if you don't believe me, play him sometime).  And, probably more importantly than that, he's distilled all that knowledge into something a lot more fun to read than what I've just written here.  I think that makes this manual very, very valuable - something we've been waiting 20 years for - and it makes me really hopeful for more of this project.


Edited by deadfaulkner

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If i ever get a chance ill start gather all my hex data and hook up with yall to come up with a gameplan on a detailed ratings test. Time is very limited right now.

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Deadfaulkner covered a lot of this.

But, to answer from my own perspective; my guide above comes from years of researching (on this site and with other fans of the game as well as on my own).

 

The research has not been done by reading code, but by manipulating the game both on a cart level and on a rom level. modifying player stats and using the created player functions on a cart to test stats. I have poured over any and all information I've been able to find online, both on this site and anywhere else I could find it. Testing other peoples theories and my own.

 

So, no, this isn't a list that is derived from running the rom code through the ringer and getting answers, the only people that I know of that have done that are drunken and hurricane.

I will be adding to and editing this manual over time based on future findings, but there are definitely some things that are not explained.

 

For instance, I point out above that quickness MAY not do anything. We don't know for certain what BB and AGI do for defensive players. I don't mention this above, but it's the case.

So, if you want to discount everything, that's fine. Your call. I feel very confident that I haven't posted any misinformation. The above information, I am fairly sure, is tested and accurate and will help anyone looking to learn TSB3 to become a better player with a better understanding of the game.

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Deadfaulkner covered a lot of this.

But, to answer from my own perspective; my guide above comes from years of researching (on this site and with other fans of the game as well as on my own).

 

The research has not been done by reading code, but by manipulating the game both on a cart level and on a rom level. modifying player stats and using the created player functions on a cart to test stats. I have poured over any and all information I've been able to find online, both on this site and anywhere else I could find it. Testing other peoples theories and my own.

 

So, no, this isn't a list that is derived from running the rom code through the ringer and getting answers, the only people that I know of that have done that are drunken and hurricane.

I will be adding to and editing this manual over time based on future findings, but there are definitely some things that are not explained.

 

For instance, I point out above that quickness MAY not do anything. We don't know for certain what BB and AGI do for defensive players. I don't mention this above, but it's the case.

So, if you want to discount everything, that's fine. Your call. I feel very confident that I haven't posted any misinformation. The above information, I am fairly sure, is tested and accurate and will help anyone looking to learn TSB3 to become a better player with a better understanding of the game.

 

hey, I don't want to discount anything anybody has said!  I was seriously asking how much of this stuff is just "hunches" and how you determined hunches.  tweaking ratings and that sort of thing makes sense to me.

 

it's like in NES TSB, QB Pass Accuracy and Defender Quickness don't do ANYTHING (don't ever even get loaded up by the game) - but you wouldn't believe all the bullshit people have come up with over the years regarding what it "really does".  you know what I mean?

 

I had already given you +1 for the manual before I even posted the question; however, I was wondering how much of your manual was assumed before I took the 10-20 minutes to try to read and understand it.

 

thanks for your replies, DeadFaulkner and TecSpectre.  Between you last posts, I have the answers I was looking for. 

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Well, I hope if you read through it, that you find it helpful.


 


I know when I decided to go backward and start playing in nes TSB events, I looked for all of the information that was out there and studied as much as I could to understand the game before I started going to tournaments and events. AND that the study that I did really was helpful in my ability to prepare and compete in those events.


 


So, I wanted to create something that would be helpful for people interested in getting into TSB3, as I feel it's the superior version of the game. It's not the beloved game that everyone remembers, but it's very similar with what I view as a lot of upgrades.


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I just started playing this on Sega. Perfect for a new player like myself. I've only played Tecmo Super Bowl on Nes and SNES.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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It would seem odd that every offensive player in the game (excluding Pete Metzellars and Jerry Rice) would have the same acceleration factor. Everything I've read and studied and gotten from others that have done the same says otherwise.


 


How did you do your testing?


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Hello, reviving a dead horse here lol.  But me and my family and friends have been playing TSBIII for a long time and wanted to throw some theories out there.

 

Agility:  I think agility does have a factor in movement.  I believe it's the ability to maintain maximum speed while changing direction.  If a player is running left to right, he will maintain his MS if he goes diagonally up/right and diagonally, down/right.  But if he changes direction that is sharper.  Say running to the right and then you go directly up or directly left, the game resets to the rushing power speed.

 

Avoid Rush:  I always thought Avoid Rush meant the QB's release and how quick it was.  Feels like when a QB has a low Avoid Rush he needs the full animation to throw the ball, but if he has a higher AR then he doesn't need the full animation.  (Haven't been able to prove this, just observation and theory)

 

Coolness: I always thought Coolness had some sort of correlation with Passing Accuracy/Pass Control/ Avoid Rush.  If a QB is under pressure and his throw animation gets interrupted by a tackler, his Passing Accuracy and Pass Control is decreased, and more likely of the pass to be overthrown or not caught.  Coolness I think maintains those numbers while Avoid Rush triggers the event.

 

Body Balance: Definitely is correlated with spinning, but i also think it determines how big a player's hitbox is when carrying the ball.  Characters with high BB seem to be more 'slippery', meaning you have to get deeper into the sprite to trigger the grapple animation.   

 

Quickness:  I think this is how fast a player reacts when being controlled by the CPU.  Players with high quickness, is when fooled by play-action, flea-flcikers, or draw players, seem to make up their mistake faster than with players with lower quickness.  I understand that picking a pass play will determine how the players defend that play but sometimes they still get fooled even when picking a pass play and if they have good quickness the faster they are at getting back to the receiver they were supposed to cover.  Same with linebackers and draw plays.  it's hard to prove since the formation and play you pick factor into this as well.

 

Anyone think any of these theories hold water?  How is it possible in this day and age that we can't look up the code of these things and figure out exactly what they mean?  Lol it's frustrating.  

 

Does anyone know how trades work?  It's also very mysterious but does have trends.

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Hey Rook are you and your family the group that plays in coach mode?

 

I think a number of your theories are legit.

 

One thing I've found to be true is that stats seem to have different functions sometimes based on computer control vs man control. I came upon this based largely on the TLL guys, like Deadfaulkner, who did all their testing by running computer sims and finding completely different responses for certain stats that I did through testing in man control.

 

As to the code research... there just isn't as much interest in this game, compared to the NES version and the code hasn't been studied as much.

 

While people have studied it for modding purposes, that's about all we've got.

In a way though, this maintains a level of mystery to the game and how it works that I'm ok with.

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