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Old 04-02-2009   #1
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Default v2.0 Match/CTF Preview (Updated July 1st, 2009)

Welcome to the 2.0 Match/CTF preview!

SRB2 2.0 has a new match system, very significantly different from the old match system featured in 1.09.4. The new match system has a weapon select, emeralds, and some differences in the characters compared to 1.09.4. To help answer the questions we've been getting, this topic will detail the new system in length, showing all the new weapons and explaining the changes to the game. Please note that this just shows things as they are now. Things are subject to change as we attempt to balance the game.

To start out, we'll just show a screenshot:



The HUD shows the elements of the new gameplay. On the lower left, you can see that I've collected some of the Chaos Emeralds. More about that later. On the bottom of the screen, you can see the new weapon select and ammo display. SRB2 2.0 has a weapon selection instead of the weapon stacking system from 1.09.4. You can carry all 6 weapons at once, but you can only fire one at a time. Each weapon has both a panel and weapon rings.



The square with the black background is a weapon panel. Without the weapon panel, you cannot fire the weapon. This acts like the gun in a traditional first person shooter.

The weapon ring you're familiar with is now ammunition. Collecting more of the weapon rings will give you more shots with that weapon.

The timers from 1.09.4 are completely gone and replaced with weapon ammunition. When you fire a shot with a weapon, you lose both a ring and 1 shot of that ammo type. If you have no rings or don't have any ammo for a weapon, you can't fire it. When you get hit without a shield, you drop all your weapon panels as well as your ammo as weapon rings. To show all the weapons, we'll need a screenshot with all of them visible:



There are seven selectable weapons:
  • Red Ring – This hasn't changed any. If you have no weapons at all, this is the only thing you can fire. You can't run out of ammo for the red ring, and you can't drop it.
  • Automatic Ring – The automatic fires rapid-fire, but it depletes your ammunition rather quickly, so be careful not to run out of rings when firing it.
  • Bounce Ring – When fired, the bounce ring acts like a normal red ring, except that it will bounce off walls, ceilings, and floors for a bit before disappearing. Great for firing around corners and in small rooms.
  • Scatter Ring – Fires 5 rings that spread out as they go farther. The distance the opponent flies when hit varies depending on how far the shot traveled in the air. At point-blank range, scatter will send the opponent flying across the stage, leaving their items easily taken.
  • Grenade Ring – Fires a grenade that explodes by proximity. Great for guarding CTF bases and for chucking in places where you expect the opponent will run.
  • Explosion Ring – Fires an explosive shot. The explosion is bigger compared to 1.09.4, and the fire rate is MUCH faster.
  • Rail Ring – Fires an instantaneous shot at the target. The opponent cannot dodge a properly aimed rail shot. This is completely unchanged from 1.09.4.
Note that the weapons all share the same cooldown, so if you fire a rail shot and then switch to automatic, you still have to wait until the rail shot's timer ends before you can start firing the automatic shots.

To go along with the changes in the weapons, the characters have been tweaked as well. Sonic is basically unchanged. Tails runs significantly faster than he used to, and is also more easily controllable while flying. Knuckles can fire all the weapons faster to compensate for the jump height loss, and he also runs a slight bit faster as well. For Knuckles using Automatic, there is an exception in place to the normal firing to prevent running out of ammo excessively fast. When Knuckles fires automatic, he loses 1 ring for every 2 rings fired.



Finally, the Chaos Emeralds are now in match! Chaos Emeralds will spawn at random spawn points placed on the map, and will stay there until someone collects them. You can see who has which emeralds by bringing up the rankings display. When someone with an emerald gets hit with no shield, they drop all their emeralds along with their rings and weapons. If someone manages to get all 7 emeralds, 50 rings, and enough time to double jump, they will go super and the rest of the game had better watch out. To prevent Sonic from having all the fun, all three characters can go super in match and CTF, but the super forms are very different from S3K.
  • Super Sonic – Operates exactly the same as in single player. Holding spin while jumping will allow you to hover, which has some interesting applications in match.
  • Super Tails – Infinitely long flight. Also, if you jump-spin, you'll do an insanely high jump that can be used to hurl yourself basically anywhere in the map at will.
  • Super Knuckles – Spidey Knux is back! After gliding, Super Knuckles will go back into a spin to be able to glide multiple times in a single jump. He also will climb much faster than normal.
All the super forms lose 1 ring per second and move very fast. Touching another player while super will cause the opponent to be damaged as if you had invincibility. Super Sonic keeps his sprite from the single player game, but Super Tails and Knuckles both turn yellow with invincibility stars. If a super form is shot by a ring, they lose 10 rings for each ring that hits them, but don't experience any knockback. When a super form runs out of rings, they lose the emeralds and drop their super form, and the emeralds start respawning on the stage like before.

The final major change is one that you can't see from screenshots. All of the levels that are still in the game are non-symmetrical, and are designed more like traditional FPS match stages. There aren't any Mario Kart-style arenas in 2.0. Symmetrical stages don't work as well with the new design, and a few of the returning stages have been reworked drastically to make them less symmetrical for the new system. A few new stages have been made, as well.

Hopefully, this will alleviate your concerns about where SRB2's multiplayer will head in the future. I look forward to seeing the entire community playing with the new system and cannot wait to join random servers running SRB2ME.



Update! (May 1st, 2009):

2.0 brings major changes to the random respawn of monitors in match and CTF as well.

In 1.09.4, most stages use a Silver Ring monitor set to respawn as a random powerup in a central location in the stage. In 2.0, most stages have multiple weak random monitors (WRM), and one strong random monitor (SRM). The two different kinds of monitors have completely different selections of possible items.
  • Weak Random Monitor (Common): Super Ring, Super Sneakers, Elemental Shield, Whirlwind Shield
  • Weak Random Monitor (Rare): Force Shield, Attraction Shield, Teleport, Recycler
  • Strong Random Monitor (Common): Elemental Shield, Whirlwind Shield, Force Shield
  • Strong Random Monitor (Rare): Attraction Shield, Armageddon Shield, Invincibility, 1-Up
The rare items on the WRM are much less common than the rare items on the SRM, but since there are many more WRM boxes than SRMs, the actual frequency in-game is about the same for both. Unlike in 1.09.4, these odds are hard-coded and not modifiable. If you dislike the new system, you'll have to turn random respawn off or select the ? boxes option which allows you to modify the odds. The exact odds are still being worked out, but the goal is to make it consistent and more interesting than the old system.

The monitors themselves have also had some modifications done to them as well. Shield colors may change, but this is likely the final design.
  • Super Ring - This is unchanged, but there are a lot more of these boxes because the Silver Ring no longer exists.
  • Super Sneakers - Also works the same, but because it's common on the weak box, this comes up a lot in match now, and provides some new gameplay out of stuff we've had for years.
  • Elemental Shield - (Green) This shield protects from all elements, drowning, and drops fire trails when rolling. Basically a direct combination of the Liquid and Inferno Shields.
  • Whirlwind Shield - (White) This works like in 1.09.4, but you can also jump in midair even if you fall off the edge of the platform. No more of the issue where you jump onto a platform and fall off the far side to your death.
  • Force Shield - (Blue) This shield protects you from 2 hits instead of 1. It also can reflect projectiles, but the exact trigger for that is still being worked out.
  • Attraction Shield - (Yellow) This is more common in match than it used to be. Prepare to see it and deal with it a lot more.
  • Armageddon Shield - (Dark Red) Again, this is more common than it used to be, but not as much so as the Attraction Shield.
  • Invincibility - You can now touch people with invincibility to directly deal damage without firing, like how you can hit badniks with it in single player.
  • 1-Up - This provides 100 rings. This is in testing and may not make it through development.
  • Teleport - This works just like it does in 1.09.4. It's on the weak random monitor now, though, just at a very high rarity.
  • Recycler - This is like the teleport, only instead of switching locations, it switches all the items, including weapons, shields, and emeralds. This, like the 1-Up, is currently in testing and may not make it into the release.
The main goal of these changes is to discourage camping of the random monitor that was common in 1.09.4. It also encourages usage of the entire map to get more powerups, and increases the frequency of shields spawning in multiplayer modes. We've got all sorts of interesting powerups we've had for years, it's time to actually see them more often in match.



Update #2! (June 1st, 2009):



Capture the Flag has also gone through some changes in SRB2ME. The obvious thing is that all of these changes to the match weapons apply in CTF, but the emeralds are available in CTF as well. Super players cannot carry the flag, but are an incredible asset to your team if you can manage to pull it off. If you don't have the flag, you can use the drop flag key to drop the emeralds you're currently carrying, which can be used to pass emeralds between your team's members. Do be careful, though, as an opponent can just as easily grab the emerald once it's been dropped.

However, the big new addition to CTF are team rings. Team rings are rings that only one team can pick up, and each team's base is filled with them. This allows the defending team to actually have a chance at getting rid of campers in their base, as well as providing a way to allow people to spawn right next to plenty of rings right from the base. The new match weapons are also quite defensive, especially the grenade. The elemental shield still provides fire trail support and it's quite common on the new random monitors. All of this combines to make defense a viable strategy in SRB2 CTF. Your team's base is your base, not your opponent's, and it's time to kick those campers out. The new team rings may be changed in color slightly, but here's what they look like currently:



These changes dramatically increase the possible tactics the team can use in CTF, which is great for the balance of the game.

Finally, as a bonus, we've also included a bunch of new screenshots for the match mode in action. Because of the high resolution of the shots, they're located here to avoid stretching the tables: http://mystic.sepwich.com/image/junematchprev/

Enjoy the screenshots and I look forward to seeing you all at SAGE.



Update! (July 1st, 2009)

Well, less than a month is remaining until SAGE, and SRB2ME is finally starting to really come together. With that, I get to show off the new multiplayer stage rotation for SRB2ME. There are only 8 match stages and 6 CTF stages in SRB2ME, but they're all high quality, unlike previous versions where a few stages lagged behind in the quality department (Midnight Abyss, I'm looking at you)

So without further ado, here's the new multiplayer stage listing:

Capture the Flag
MAP80 - Lime Forest Zone
Lime Forest has received a major texture upgrade, and it's a little easier to jump out of the base now because as it used to be, Knuckles couldn't jump out of the base with the flag. Otherwise, this stage is virtually unchanged outside of the new weapons and ammo. The monitor bounce in the center still works, and the bases are still small and cramped, great for bounce rings and grenades. The team rings make defending your base incredibly easy in this stage, because of the inability to avoid things in the cramped quarters of the base.




MAP81 - Cloud Palace Zone
Many of the old stages had extra lines of symmetry that was a problem in the new match system. This stage was majorly revamped in the central area, breaking the symmetry across the y axis while adding new territory to put the new powerups. The base design is still intact, though. Note that with the new weapons in place, it's entirely possible to rail someone from clean across the map in this stage, so be careful about exposing yourself to the line of sight of others.




MAP82 - Silver Cascade Zone
Here's another stage that received the symmetry break treatment. This was a lot less drastic than Cloud Palace, but there was still a break in symmetry. The main change here is the alternate path across the water. It is no longer necessary for a flag carrier to go underwater to make it to the other side. There are now platforms in the center of the water and a spring to get up onto the other side, along with the previous monitor bounce trick. The underwater path still exists, but only on the right side. Also, the textures were replaced with some of the ERZ texture set, and the clouds and rain provide a very different look than the old version.




MAP83 - Icicle Falls Zone
This is a small, brutal stage with a new texture set. Unlike many of the CTF stages, the distance between the bases here is very small, leading to quick, high scoring games because the slightest failure can lead to the opponent scoring a point. There's almost nowhere to hide in this stage, so flag carriers need to practice extreme caution.




MAP84 - Twisted Terminal Zone
This seemingly simplistic stage has a very basic twist: The alternate path to the opponent's base is the ceiling of the main path under reverse gravity. With large bases with huge windows to the central path, there's no way to run between the bases without being seen. The flag runner will have to be exceptionally careful if they want to lose whoever is following them.




MAP85 - Nimbus Ruins Zone
Love it or hate it, it's back! Nimbus Ruins is virtually unchanged, but the changes in the game around it have drastically changed the way this stage plays. With rail and other high-knockback weapons, it's easy to literally hurl your opponent into the pit, and the addition of team rings here makes camping the base literally impossible.




Match
MAP90 - Jade Valley Zone
The new basic GFZ map, Jade Valley includes everything from wide open spaces to small tunnels. Several lakes hold items, and waterfalls add some extra scenery. Several rooms have upper areas, and height variance plays a big part in getting around this level. This stage has been seen before in previous versions of SRB2, but the level has been enhanced greatly and truly shines when placed in the match system it was actually designed for.




MAP91 - Noxious Factory Zone
Another returning stage from the past, Noxious Factory has been almost completely revamped. Half of the stage was completely removed, replaced with a new outside area that provides a nice complement to the frantic action inside. Slime still flows everywhere in this level, and the crusher path, while easier than it used to be, is still around to defend the SRM from potential thieves. This small level has a lot of rings and is generally insane, with near constant conflict and a really fast pace.




MAP92 - Tidal Palace Zone
Almost a polar opposite of Noxious Factory, Tidal Palace is a large, sprawling stage with plenty of territory to go along with the new texture set. Unlike most match stages, Tidal Palace comes with a twist: The shifting tides. For the first 45 seconds, the water is low and everything moves as normal, and then the water rises up nearly to the ceiling. 45 seconds later, the water drains, and the cycle repeats until the level is over. This constant shift with the tides can shift the battle immensely, and while bubbles are plentiful, it is dangerous to stop and grab air while someone is shooting at you. There is a small area where you can climb out of the water while it's up, but it's small and bound to be crowded in high water. Tails can always fly to the ceiling to catch a breath, and Knuckles can climb up there if he's feeling daring.




MAP93 - Thunder Citadel Zone
Finally, Thunder Citadel gets to use the weapons it was always intended to have. All the territory in the level gets a use now, even the sniper tower and the corners of the level with no purpose in 1.09.4. Other than the new weapons, the outside area has been revamped quite a bit, as the original version's outside was quite bland. The crusher sequence has been toned down a LOT, so it's now possible to reach the SRM with a ping above 3 ms. The indoor layout itself hasn't changed at all, so get ready to dodge behind chairs in the dining room some more.




MAP94 - Desolate Twilight Zone
This stage has barely changed at all. While the textures have been modified to give it a theme similar in design to Arid Canyon, the only change to the level itself is to add a few more rings, the weapons and ammo, and lots of tumbleweed. The tumbleweed is surprisingly good at fooling opponents who shoot at anything that moves, but otherwise this stage is almost entirely the same, but with new tactics. Placing grenades on top of the spring that leads to the SRM is great, as well as launching people out of that room with Scatter onto the stage below.




MAP95 – Infernal Cavern Zone
Fire is the name of the game here. Lava everywhere, flames spewing from the walls and fireballs leaping from the lava pits. This stage is small and full of hazards, and thokking uncontrollably will lead into lots of encounters with bright orange pain. More methodical play will be rewarded here, though, with many sight lines for shooting at foes who aren't in any position to dodge your shots and powerups for those who can time their movements around the fire instead of into it.




MAP98 – Sapphire Falls Zone
Sporting a new texture set and a new, non-symmetrical layout, Sapphire Falls has received quite an upgrade. The stage flow hasn't changed one bit, though, with the river leading to the lake still being inescapable as Sonic outside clever monitor bouncing, and the springs leading to the SRM above the water. New to this level is a third floor outside the water, as well as a large, flat area in the middle of the west side of the stage for the Automatic.




MAP99 – Meadow Match Zone
It just wouldn't be SRB2 without Meadow Match, and despite some additions to help with the new match system, the sector layout remains unchanged and as simple as ever. Surprisingly the stage still plays well despite being as old as SRB2 match itself.

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Old 04-02-2009   #2
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This is the coolest thing ever. Shame I never play online :(
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Old 04-02-2009   #3
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So your saying YOU will actually join random servers now? Thats a surprize.

One question though, how many new maps will be in the rotation? I don't need to ask about the gameplay, because I've already played the 1.1 beta.
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Old 04-02-2009   #4
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I can't wait to try out all of this. Hopefully, it will be as balanced as possible. This is going to get me back in SRB2 more, as well as playing more netgames.

Would it be possible for Super Knuckles to be pink? him being yellow as super form is a bit weird IMO.
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Old 04-02-2009   #5
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Righto, just a thought I had about the super forms while reading this. If it's possible to keep the super form up indefinitely by being able to dodge incoming fire and grab rings on the fly so you never hit 0 rings, wouldn't that make the Super form a bit overpowered?
Just a thought about balance here, unless the difficulty of getting all seven emeralds is hard enough for what sounds like an I.W.I.N. button to be worth it in terms of balance.
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Old 04-02-2009   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyperknux
Would it be possible for Super Knuckles to be pink? him being yellow as super form is a bit weird IMO.
The reason all 3 super forms are bright yellow is to make them more visually easy to pick out. Bright yellow is one of the easiest colors to see and is very incredibly noticable in all situations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whackjood
Righto, just a thought I had about the super forms while reading this. If it's possible to keep the super form up indefinitely by being able to dodge incoming fire and grab rings on the fly so you never hit 0 rings, wouldn't that make the Super form a bit overpowered?
Any time you're hit you lose 10 rings, and there is no flashing time for super forms. Hence, if someone unloads automatic into you you'll lose your super form rather quickly. Scatter and Automatic serve as very natural super form counters.
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Old 04-02-2009   #7
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Ahh, so it sounds like the Super system has indeed been improved upon for match. How is emerald spawning handled? Do you place the emeralds on the map directly or is there a new emerald spwan thing?
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Old 04-02-2009   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glaber
Do you place the emeralds on the map directly or is there a new emerald spwan thing?
There is a new emerald spawn thing. The emeralds spawn in a staggered manner at random spawn points, so it's not possible to even go super at all for the first 2 minutes or so, because all 7 emeralds aren't on the map yet.
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Old 04-02-2009   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic
Scatter and Automatic serve as very natural super form counters.
Take this from the receiving end of most of that fire, he knows what he's talking about. There are PLENTY of viable anti-super defense strategies thanks to the new weapon ring system.
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Old 04-02-2009   #10
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Talk about Match 2.0. Definitely sounds a lot more improved than I previously expected.
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Old 04-02-2009   #11
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It definitely looks awesome. I'll have to give this a go in May.
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Old 04-02-2009   #12
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I love you, dev team.
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Old 04-02-2009   #13
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Wow, this is a major improvement over the current Weapon Rings system, and I love how the HUD is arranged. And it seems like everyone will stand a chance against even Super Sonic/Tails/Knuckles as well. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how this plays in an actual net game, when SRB2ME is released this May.

Also, I noticed how SRB2ME's stages will put the newer palette to good use, in one of those screen shots. I feel kinda hesitant towards breaking those additional purples with a palette hack, now.
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Old 04-02-2009   #14
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Nothing like some tweaking to get more match servers online. I hope this makes match more popular when 1.1 finally comes out.
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Old 04-02-2009   #15
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Will placing the emeralds on the maps still be possible? Or in other words, does my level, Voiced Concern, still bring a valid point of possible Emerald abuse?
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Old 04-02-2009   #16
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This isn't much of a surprise coming from someone who played the 1.1 beta. All I can see that is changed is some HUD items moved around, and a few new maps. Regardless, this is kickass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glaber
Will placing the emeralds on the maps still be possible? Or in other words, does my level, Voiced Concern, still bring a valid point of possible Emerald abuse?
No, they can only be spawned with Random Emerald Spawners as Mystic says.
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Old 04-02-2009   #17
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THOSE.
TEXTURES.
PWN.
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Old 04-02-2009   #18
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But what about the netcode?
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Old 04-02-2009   #19
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Ten bucks say at least one of those textures are from Marble Zone.
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Old 04-02-2009   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueZero4
But what about the netcode?
This is a good question. Has it been improved?
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