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Old 02-18-2015   #65
Mystic
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The only way the match super mechanic could be fixed is completely redoing it entirely, and honestly, I'm of the opinion that our match and CTF gameplay is already too complicated. For some details and way too many words, read on:
  • First and foremost, the mechanic helps the player that's winning because of the central mechanic, where players that get hit drop the emeralds that they're carrying. This mirrors all the other things players drop when hit, but it has a few other quirks when applied to the emeralds:
    • Because the player has to be in melee range to steal the emeralds, the mechanic completely excludes Tails. I have NEVER seen a Tails manage to activate Super. The only time I've ever seen Super Tails in match is when you could change character and therefore switch to Tails after getting all the emeralds.
    • Emeralds push stealing the opponent's stuff even more than our mechanics already did. While stealing stuff from people should be a relevant gameplay mechanic, it shouldn't be the most important mechanic in the game.
    • Emeralds scale very badly to different game sizes. In a 1v1 game, the emeralds are basically the ONLY important part of the game. Once you have all seven emeralds, you win. In a ten player game, they're completely irrelevant and it'll never happen, so don't even bother. Even if you DO get lucky and pull it off in a large game, it's incredibly weak in such a game.
  • When I noticed these problems, I started trying to come up with some alternative methods of triggering Super to try to handle this issue, but in doing so I realized the problems go way beyond just the method of acquisition of the super mechanic.
    • Super forms are all incredibly overpowered. While originally we thought that the counters in place were enough to handle super, that was because we hadn't figured out how to optimize the mechanic yet. A properly played super can continue the effect as long as they want because the permanent speed boost gives them the power to control when and where to engage other players. Any time a super form is lost in a smaller game is a play mistake of the player who went super.
    • Even worse than just being overpowered, fighting supers is a completely lost cause. Your best play choice facing an opposing super player is to completely ignore them and try to beat them to the pointlimit by attacking everyone else in the game. If you're already so far behind that that isn't a reasonable option, you might as well just AFK until the round is over because it's completely hopeless. It's extremely unfun to be stuck in a game where you already know the result but you have to wait until the game finally tells you the result so you can play again. It's like when a racing game doesn't end when the second to last player comes in and forces the person in last to finish even though there's absolutely no question anymore what the results are.
    • Super Tails and Super Knuckles have TERRIBLE design. This is partly because we never really got around to giving them proper designs but partly because it's incredibly hard to give them mechanics that fit with their abilities and actually give them some real benefit in match. Tails is by far the worse offender with two abilities, one of which is completely useless because of the other.
    • Even in the case where a bad player gets lucky and has the entire set of emeralds recycled to them, they can't take advantage of it. Because the player needs enough experience with match to know how to use the mechanic to be overpowered with it, they'll quickly lose it and get no benefit from it. I once saw someone get recycled all seven emeralds, go super, and lose it literally within two seconds. It's really bad to have a mechanic that is both completely overpowered for some and completely useless for others.

While it sounds like the answer is to then limit the duration of super forms and other similar nerfs, brainstorming comes back to mechanics that are already in the game with similar functions, and are already two fully designed, classic Sonic mechanics that are fulfilling the same role: Super Sneakers and Invincibility. Super Sneakers give players the temporary ability to choose when to engage other players by giving them an increased max speed and acceleration. Invincibility gives players the temporary ability to ignore damage and attack players without fear of repercussions. Both of these are standard, old mechanics which have been around since the beginning and are filling the same niche a temporary super form would carry, only with FAR less complexity and no teaching required.

So while yes, the concept of super forms in match is legitimately cool and I will miss the concept too, I think removing it entirely is for the long-term benefit of the game.
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