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posted
Drace too ET.

On a more serious note, tackling on what I've read on the advanced tips, some players (including me) has mixed results doing physical training for the search of faster finger pressing and individuality. From personal experience, I haven't noticed a concrete/large change with or without physical training. However, different people might have different results.

Take a look at ABCD, a BMS top ranker, for example. Gets enlisted for mandatory one year military service, and when he came back, he got even better and started hard clearing Overjoy 6 charts.

There are gods among men, and they do finger pushups while eating greens for power.
posted
couldn't do any patterns on the lv.00 or lv.01 BMS maps for a whole week and then the next day i can. I don't get how this skill progression nonsense works
posted
Nice write up, and thanks for the plug!

The very first thing I want to say is do not be afraid to be bad. If you've only ever played Osu!'s standard maps, learning mania can feel very difficult and take a little while to really get into, but if you keep practicing, you'll get it eventually.

I've been doing some research into what actually happens in your brain when you learn to play games like this, and you've done a good job at identifying the important points at each level of skill. The current generally accepted learning process involves 3 stages: the Cognitive Phase, the Associative Phase, and the Autonomous Phase. (This page explains it a bit) This actually matches up very well with the stages you outline in your post, actually. I don't think that is a coincidence.

I want to point out one thing. You mention how learning to recognize patterns is extremely important, and it is. But you don't seem to mention that being able to recognize a pattern does not mean you can actually play that pattern. These two things don't progress at the same rate. Sometimes you can hit anything, as long as you can recognize it in time, and other times, you may find yourself thinking everything looks easy, but you can't seem to hit the patterns. Both of these are normal.

For beginners, the single most important thing is associating your fingers with the columns on screen. Even if you think "oh, I can hit notes on any column" that doesn't mean you've passed this point. If you find yourself hitting the key beside the one you want, or panicking and mashing a few keys trying to hit the one you want, you're not out of this part yet. Don't worry, once you do get out of this part, you'll find things a lot easier. When you're in this stage, you're response time for hitting the right key is usually pretty slow, even if you're pretty accurate.

For mediocre players, the goal here is to begin learning patterns and to improve your ability to hit those patterns. The only way to really improve your ability to hit patterns is to play them enough, so all you really need to do is practice to improve that, but to learn patterns, you definitely want to find as many different styles of map as possible, in order to be exposed to as many different kinds of patterns as you can.

For advanced players (which I consider myself, because I'm nowhere near as good as players like Entozer), random is incredibly helpful at this point. I regularly practice with pretty much every mod except Fade In, but I think random has had the most actual benefit.


I just overcame a skill wall in the past few days, and I think it'd be good to share the changes I made in how I play that are responsible for getting over the wall.

The most important change I made, which has allowed me to play much faster and more accurately than I used to, is to keep my fingers resting lightly directly on the keys, and keeping my hand relaxed the whole time. It's incredibly easy to tense up when playing fast stuff, and I had a bad habit of pressing the keys really hard and pulling my fingers back really far when I'd lift off, almost hovering over the keys. Now I make an effort to keep my fingers resting directly on the keys, and keeping my hand relaxed, and it's made a huge difference.

The other part that helped me break my wall was that I practiced on Davteezy's BMS conversions (I still need to download all your ones Doorknob T.T). Reading those patterns helped me get better at handling chords, and layered patterns, and the change in technique both had a noticeable impact.
posted

Doorknob wrote:

Drace too ET.

On a more serious note, tackling on what I've read on the advanced tips, some players (including me) has mixed results doing physical training for the search of faster finger pressing and individuality. From personal experience, I haven't noticed a concrete/large change with or without physical training. However, different people might have different results.

Take a look at ABCD, a BMS top ranker, for example. Gets enlisted for mandatory one year military service, and when he came back, he got even better and started hard clearing Overjoy 6 charts.

There are gods among men, and they do finger pushups while eating greens for power.
Yeah, I made sure to clarify that the methods in the advanced section may not prove to be helpful to everyone. I put it in there anyways due to hearing couple instances of it and of course I do it myself. My own experience were positive, just takes a practice song or two to adjust your accuracy after taking the gloves/weights off since it makes your fingers feel so lite haha

Bobbias wrote:

Nice write up, and thanks for the plug!

[...]
Thanks! And those are great points, I'll make sure to add those in the first post in a bit.

And about pattern reading/pattern playing. I tend to consider pattern "known" or "recognized" only when I can play it properly. But you pointing that out shows that different interpretations could lead to certain misunderstandings. I'll make sure to clarify this point.
posted
Nice and thanks for the tips, that was interesting and good to read.
posted

Drace wrote:

And about pattern reading/pattern playing. I tend to consider pattern "known" or "recognized" only when I can play it properly. But you pointing that out shows that different interpretations could lead to certain misunderstandings. I'll make sure to clarify this point.
Ahh, that makes sense. When I look at patterns, the degree that I actually recognize it can be kinda determined by how many "sub-patterns" I can recognize and how automatic my respone to them is. What I mean by that is that on harder stuff with layered patterns, especially layered hold patterns, you can often be at a point where you more or less recognize what you have to play, but can't really figure out what the individual components that make up what you're seeing actually are. This also seems to be in line with the research I've done. It's effectively a process of "chunking". We've heard the whole "your brain can only handle 7 things at once" line, but it's actually true. The way we get around that is by "chunking" patterns into a "heirarchy" (each pattern can contain other smaller patterns, but can also be thought of as a whole object by itself). Just like we know that a car is made up of wheels, an engine, etc. and we know that wheels are round, and engines are made of metal, etc. you can consider the entire collection of notes visible on the screen as a singe pattern made up of various "sub-patterns", which are then made up of notes (or even other sub-patterns!). Often times I can read the individual notes, but not be able to really break something into "sub-patterns". When that happens I can still play it, but it takes more mental effort to read, which increases the chances of missing notes or playing poorly.

My understanding is that this process is naturally how we learn to be able to read these patterns, whether we're conscious of the process or not. The better you get at breaking what you see into patterns made up of "sub-patterns", as opposed to having to pay attention to each individual note one at a time, the less mental effort it takes to recognize the proper response.

Just to clarify, when I say "sub-pattern" I just mean shorter smaller patterns.

Here's a color coded image showing the 3 main "sub-patterns" I would identify in the pattern shown:


This is how I would actually think about that pattern when I play it.

You'll notice, however, that the right side is almost all red. That's because that section gets further broken down into separate nested "sub-patterns", which I learned to identify and play much earlier on, and are now have an entirely automatic response:


(The site I used to create these is in this thread, I just colorized them in paint.net)
posted
That's some great stuff right there, there so much to be said about the technicalities behind how we learn, read and interpret patterns. Better understanding of the fundamentals behind this could very well help people improve. Give people an idea on what to focus on when there's patterns they're trying to learn. I might include something like this in the guide if I figure out how to implement it without making look like too hefty of read. Don't want to scare away the people this thread was intended to haha

That's why we hide stuff in boxes... it's a trap :roll:
posted
Haha yeah. I've wanted to put together a "The learning process, and how it applies to learning music games like osu!mania" type document for a while actually. Making it look less intimidating is definitely something we need to keep in mind.
posted
quick question
Is it normal to go from not getting 10 seconds into a song to getting a b ten minutes later?
This happened a few days ago and after i finished i was like holy cow i actually beat that map
posted
At lower skill levels that sort of improvement can be pretty common. The amount of time and effort it takes to improve increases as you get better, so until you get fairly good at something, there's a good chance you might hit a point where you improve like that. Sometimes all it takes is one little thing to improve for you to go from failing something immediately to passing it.
posted

lolpoi wrote:

quick question
Is it normal to go from not getting 10 seconds into a song to getting a b ten minutes later?
This happened a few days ago and after i finished i was like holy cow i actually beat that map
I like to refer to such situations to a "click". It's more common in the early stages since you haven't yet explored many patterns. Although it may not seem like it, you are sometimes closer than you think to be able to read a certain pattern. It just takes that missing something, then "click" the pattern makes sense. It's not at all uncommon, I can think of a couple patterns in which I myself learned this way.

And also, sometimes songs have a high enough drain speed to make you fail with a B or even an A grade accuracy. So it's possible you were just playing a song with a high drain speed.

Either way, both are completely normal ^^
posted
Nice post Drace.

I'd like to sum it up.

All there is to this game is attitude: if you want to be good at the game, play to get good at it. That means getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things. If you are a bad player and will just spend the whole day complaining about how everything is out of your reach, find a new hobby- even more so when there's people actually improving. If you're not, you're the only one to blame.
posted

Drace wrote:

I like to refer to such situations to a "click". It's more common in the early stages since you haven't yet explored many patterns. Although it may not seem like it, you are sometimes closer than you think to be able to read a certain pattern. It just takes that missing something, then "click" the pattern makes sense. It's not at all uncommon, I can think of a couple patterns in which I myself learned this way.
Yeah, I usually call those moments "clicking" as well, actually. Haven't been able to think of a better word lol. And yeah they tend to happen more often earlier on, but they can still happen at any time.

Agka wrote:

All there is to this game is attitude: if you want to be good at the game, play to get good at it. That means getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things. If you are a bad player and will just spend the whole day complaining about how everything is out of your reach, find a new hobby- even more so when there's people actually improving. If you're not, you're the only one to blame.
I wouldn't quite say that's summing up what Drace posted, but it's still true. It's entirely possible to only ever play music games on a casual level, but you cant expect to get good without legitimate effort.

Personally, my mindset is that I want to improve, not to be highly ranked, not to get top 50 scores so people can be amazed by my "l33t skillz", but because I find that I have more fun playing harder things. The more challenging a map is, the better I feel when I finally pass it. Ranks are nice in that they make you feel like you're competing with other people, but as far as I'm concerned the only person I'm truly competing with is myself.
posted
Where was this guide when i first started >.<! Solid tips mate, really enjoyed it and very thoughtful to read. It's been only a month only a month since i started mania, but i can say start getting a feel to the harder songs, try em(especially un-ranked ones!)
posted
Thank you Drace for the information written here, it was indeed a good read.

Also, thanks to Bobbias for the o2jam converts. :)
posted
First off; thanks for the great feedback! It's really great :D

Now I got the general tips on progression pretty much done. But if anyone thinks anything should be added, corrected or clarified; please tell me. I want this guide to be as complete and as helpful as it can possibly be. And it's not really something one can expect to accomplish on his own :p

I also got some noteworthy advances in the new pattern repository, tips directed to specific patterns classified by skill level. The beginner patterns shows what I'm aiming for in this section; a name, an example, a brief explanation, and a couple tips for players currently trying to get comfortable with that specific pattern.

But I gotta admit, finding specific tips for every pattern out there on my own has proven to be quite difficult. But I think it'd be great to have such a thing completed properly. Players having trouble with something in particular will hopefully be able to find a wide range of tips from players all over! Hopefully providing a positive result. If only I had such a thing in the past xD So I'll gladly take tips or personal experiences from anyone into consideration, so don't be shy to help out ^^

Also a big thanks to the ones who've helped so far, I decided to keep track of em all so I added a little 'special thanks' box at the bottom of the first post.
posted
Great guide!

I would like to also point something interesting on advanced / expert level:

Practice deep into one ability when necessary.
While there are a lot of patterns existing in osu!mania with many things to be learned, it's really hard to be a god who is good at everything. Many "ET" (Super expert players) can just play a few styles like god; when they meet styles they are not good at they would just perform like advanced players. I would list a few abilities "ET" hold to perform unbelievable scores. To be honest, each of them needs years of practicing before you get great improvement.
These ability includes:
(1) Single-key rushing

Jackhammers are hard for both beginners and experts. When jackhammers become quick enough to an insane level, it would transform into "one-second killing" period. A typical example is Identity II in O2Jam, where in a special period of song (~3 seconds) you would have to press like 20 times per second on each key to FC it. Since no one can really have such high hand speed, to miss little in order not to let the HP gauge empty becomes the playing target for these songs. If you practice a lot on this ability, you would finally get used to slow (~5 hits per second) jackhammers and are able to pass a few songs with long period of 20 key per second (KPS).

(2) Sightreading
SV changes are hard, extremely when they come in long period. When you face a 20~30 second of x0.3 SV, it's really hard to catch up the note because of too high density on the board. Try to play a random song with mania speed 1, and you would face the challenge.
If you practice a lot on the ability, finally you would find it easy to read any map, especially on these parts that are full of notes. As a side effect, you would have slightly better judgment. (Some O2Jam ET told me to practice super low speed; They told be you would raise your judgment level quickly but I finally give up on that crazy practice :o)

(3) Multi-key rushing

Unlike single key burst, double or triple streams may last for minutes or just the whole song (mostly in BMS songs where they don't use LNs). To have a stable output when smashing your keyboard for minutes, having each note accurately hit and no note wrongly pressed is a really tough task; This need high level of endurance. If you practice a lot on the ability, you would be able to play, you would not only pass these maps which is full of heavily placed notes, finally you would be able to FC them. (It is really hard for players not having a mistake each 100~200 notes)

(4) Accuracy
Since MAX need really strict timing, getting a song perfect is really hard. when you see your SS score only 990k and are overtaken by 991k S score, won't you be sad? It's a good target to get 999k on each song despite of its difficulty, but is it possible...? (999k is nearly 98% EX Score comparing to LR2, where a lot of ETs have proved difficulties on this task and some of them finally made it on nearly every song.) If you practice a lot on the ability, finally you would found your S overtaken others' SS :)

(5) Long notes (LN)

Many people love immerse LNs; many people hate it, but the fact is many ET are able to play immerse maps that is already insane difficulty on their un-immerse version. To practice in this style means you would enter a fresh new world, when you find nearly every experience on former play unusable. For many players the typical scene is after years of practice, when they meet the easiest immerse LN maps which un-immerse version is just beginner level they would easily fail. If you can struggle on this and practice a lot on this ability, you would find anything LN easy. Not only on immerse maps, you would found you having no difficulties playing maps with LNs combining with other hard patterns. (Actually immerse LNs are initially designed as a finger practice to normal "hard LN maps".)

As seen in my experience, any one of above abilites needs years of practice to conquer, which make it really hard to get everything good. It's wise to mainly practice one or two abilities when not giving up other abilities, but keep in mind that you would struggle to make progress on this level. Don't worry, any one of these abilities would grant you an honor place on the ranking :D
posted
Wow that's some great stuff! Exactly what I was looking for, a big thanks! I added stuff in the guide right away xD
posted
As a complete beginner, there's one thing this guide didn't explain to me - what key bindings to use, what styles are there (symmetrical/ltr) and what's their advantages. I picked sdf space jkl because that's what most people seem to be using. Also, the link to Entozer's map list should be a little bigger, I didn't notice that when reading the first time x_x
Besides that it's nice :D Great job, thank you
posted

Tear wrote:

As a complete beginner, there's one thing this guide didn't explain to me - what key bindings to use, what styles are there (symmetrical/ltr) and what's their advantages. I picked sdf space jkl because that's what most people seem to be using. Also, the link to Entozer's map list should be a little bigger, I didn't notice that when reading the first time x_x
Besides that it's nice :D Great job, thank you
Can I humbly ask why people keep asking what key bindings to use?
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