Dora losing to a lambda <_>
To me, this video is an excellent example of what is horribly wrong in this game.
The Lambda there was very very good. But notice exactly how long the match has to draw out anytime the zoner wins.
The zoner is forced to play a better game and make fewer mistakes. Anytime they do about 1/3 of their hp is the price. What is the price when the melee oriented player makes a mistake? Why does it take so much longer for a zoner to win?
Look at the difference in the round time left over. If that was the only piece of information you knew about a round you could probably guess who won.
In fact, you could mathematically break down those matches into how much damage Lambda did while she was in her comfort zone, and then do the same for Bang. The difference in the results would be staggering.
In Blazblue it seems to come down to this: Either the zoner can effectively keep their distance and slowly wear down their opponent, or the melee character gets in your face and ends the match in 3 or 4 combos.
This might not be a bad design if it was a lot easier for the zoner to keep distance compared to the melee getting in your face, but clearly that's not the case. A good amount of time in these matches was spent with the zoner blocking very long combo strings before slipping away again.
To put it in another way...
The easier it is for melee to get into a ranged character's face the less damage melee should do. They have more up time, or time on target.
The easier it is for a ranged character to keep their distance, the less damage they should do.
Thus, theoretically, if a match took place between 2 evenly matched players and one used ranged and the other melee, each should be in their comfort zone about half the fight. And both should be doing about the same damage (this of course ignores other variables like speed and hp totals).
The point I'm trying to make in all this is that the easier it is to put your opponent in a position that grants you the advantage, the less you should be rewarded for it. The harder it is the more you should be rewarded.
To me, it seems that melee characters get far too much for how easy it is to stay in someone's face.
Ok let me take a stab at this.
The classic close range vs long range character isn't exactly like that. As far as zoners go, Lambda is very good IMO without being cheap in anyway and while Bang can pretty much combo off of anything he does, he too isn't that bad. In that video both players were just really good but once reason Lambda went down faster than Bang could be that her hp total is less than his. I'm pretty sure she still retains Nu's low health so it's not surprising that Bang can take her out faster than she can him.
Secondly I agree that anything that gives you an advantage should have a draw back to it. If a particular move gives you a big advantage when you hit with it, then it should leave you at a big disadvantage when whiffed or blocked. Case in point would be Tsubaki's 236ABC attacks. If blocked this move is easily punished but if it hits she can lead into some nice combos. Same with Noel's 3C. It starts most of her most damaging combos including the haida loop but if blocked or whiffed, she can eat big damage. It's a matter of risk and reward; some characters have a low risk/high reward style and some have high risk/low reward style.
But I think Lambda falls pretty even in that regard. She doesn't seem to have trouble doing damage and is able to still effectively zone even quick characters like Bang. It does take a bit of work on her part but the melee character has to block each sword for fear of being comboed and not get predictable with their rush ins or they can get easily shut out. Trust me I beat so many people simply because they didn't know how to mix it up and didn't have alternate ways to approach me. So in regard to which is easier, I would have to say it depends on the players. There is really now way to judge how "easy" something is until you've experienced it for yourself. For example it may be easier to shut Noel out with Lambda than it would be to stop Ragna or Jin from getting in.
I'm not shooting down your opinion Shal I'm just saying that you should look at both sides of the spectrum on this. But you make some good points and I wholeheartedly agree with some of what you said but I have to respectfully disagree with some also.