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Old 04-23-2020   #21
Icarus
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No.


Also Tails is the easy mode by default so it doesn't matter.
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Old 04-23-2020   #22
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Tails has always been the easiest character in SRB2. That's by design, as the design is taken directly from S3K. The problem is that our flight setup is currently built with the assumption that Tails's stats suck like they always did. Hell, his original max speed was 24. Now that Tails has good stats, the flight setup desperately needs to be looked at again to properly gimp his speed when flying up, like how it works in S3K. The duration is actually as it was in S3K, which let you trivialize a lot of obstacles with it just like you can here. The cost from S3K, slowing you down, is what's missing.

As for why that cost is important, flight is the safest ability in the game; it should not be the fastest. A core part of making time attack interesting is the element of risk. Riskier strategies like the thok being generally more effective makes things both more interesting to play and to watch. That doesn't mean that there won't be occasional maps where the shortcuts Tails has access to still make him the fastest; it just means that Tails shouldn't be the obvious go-to best answer for almost every map.
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Old 04-23-2020   #23
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Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
As for why that cost is important, flight is the safest ability in the game; it should not be the fastest. A core part of making time attack interesting is the element of risk. Riskier strategies like the thok being generally more effective makes things both more interesting to play and to watch. That doesn't mean that there won't be occasional maps where the shortcuts Tails has access to still make him the fastest; it just means that Tails shouldn't be the obvious go-to best answer for almost every map.
That's where I'm at, and why I hope you nerf him in the next update. Learning how to "git gud" as Sonic is really fun, and it kinda bummed me out when I realized I could get the best times as Tails with minimal effort.

Like many have said and you recommended, his top speed must be lower. That and a reduction in his flight, if slight.
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Old 04-23-2020   #24
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For starters, I think basing any character design nerfs on "the speedrun meta" is going to accomplish nothing but pissing off a section of the community that's been proving instrumental for getting the game some outside exposure. (SRB2 has been on the Games Done Quick stream twice this month!) Any changes made to Tails should be based on making him more interesting, not just stopping him from flying through levels as quickly.
The reason why taking speedrunning into consideration is important is because time attack is embedded into our emblem system. I had brought this up in dev because I had learned while gauging the best times for record attack emblems that Tails was far and away the fastest character to use in most situations. This is a game balance issue that affects players attempting to 100% the game; because Tails is the easiest and most optimal strategy in almost all speedrunning situations, players have no incentive to experiment with speedrunning strategies for any other character.

I agree that we should make Tails more interesting, but what makes any character compelling is how their strengths and weaknesses impact a player's gameplay decisions. Record Attack viability factors into this.
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Old 04-23-2020   #25
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Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
Tails has always been the easiest character in SRB2. That's by design, as the design is taken directly from S3K. The problem is that our flight setup is currently built with the assumption that Tails's stats suck like they always did. Hell, his original max speed was 24. Now that Tails has good stats, the flight setup desperately needs to be looked at again to properly gimp his speed when flying up, like how it works in S3K. The duration is actually as it was in S3K, which let you trivialize a lot of obstacles with it just like you can here. The cost from S3K, slowing you down, is what's missing.

As for why that cost is important, flight is the safest ability in the game; it should not be the fastest. A core part of making time attack interesting is the element of risk. Riskier strategies like the thok being generally more effective makes things both more interesting to play and to watch. That doesn't mean that there won't be occasional maps where the shortcuts Tails has access to still make him the fastest; it just means that Tails shouldn't be the obvious go-to best answer for almost every map.
I agree with everything here. I feel like I want to add something, but honestly I think this pretty well covers it.
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Old 04-23-2020   #26
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The reason why taking speedrunning into consideration is important is because time attack is embedded into our emblem system. I had brought this up in dev because I had learned while gauging the best times for record attack emblems that Tails was far and away the fastest character to use in most situations. This is a game balance issue that affects players attempting to 100% the game; because Tails is the easiest and most optimal strategy in almost all speedrunning situations, players have no incentive to experiment with speedrunning strategies for any other character.

I agree that we should make Tails more interesting, but what makes any character compelling is how their strengths and weaknesses impact a player's gameplay decisions. Record Attack viability factors into this.
I actually had a roughly equal distribution of Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles in terms of which characters I first used to earn record attack emblems. I've done record attack plenty since then just for fun, but I tend to stray from Tails because his flight sort of takes away the enjoyment from the rest. Speedrunning as Tails isn't so much about strategy as it is about freely skipping parts of levels and I'd appreciate it a lot if that was changed—I've even restrained myself from letting Tails take over so many records because it wouldn't be as much fun that way. All five other characters have plenty of strategy involved when speedrunning. Sonic and Metal are obvious, Knuckles has to be economic with time spent climbing and find the most efficient gliding paths, Amy has to find places where she can use jump height and spring hammering to her advantage, and Fang's bouncing needs to be timed appropriately.
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Old 04-23-2020   #27
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If tails's upwards flight is nerfed while spinfly remains the same, he will be a bit too similar to knuckles in the horizontal mobility department. I'd like to see tails be able to fly upwards more quickly (but not nearly as far) in addition to applying some kind of maximum horizontal speed while flying (if tails is going too fast, slow him down gradually) and reducing the overall flight duration.

As a side note, I'm gonna try to keep this as my last post in this thread, since the thok thread suffered from many people replying upwards of 7 or 8 times and "hogging" the thread. I'm no moderator, so I can't stop anyone, but I hope others will do the same and let the conversation breathe a little.
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Old 04-23-2020   #28
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While watching the speedrun in question....



While speedruns shouldn't be the focus of the topic, this seems a bit wild. Cygnus nearly pulls off a 180 degree turn without losing any momentum, and he frequently uses flight to keep momentum that would have otherwise been lost by landing on the ground and hitting the speed cap. That all seems a bit counterintuitive.

This is probably more of an issue with SRB2's weird air physics, though.
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Old 04-23-2020   #29
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Originally Posted by CobaltBW View Post
The reason why taking speedrunning into consideration is important is because time attack is embedded into our emblem system. I had brought this up in dev because I had learned while gauging the best times for record attack emblems that Tails was far and away the fastest character to use in most situations. This is a game balance issue that affects players attempting to 100% the game; because Tails is the easiest and most optimal strategy in almost all speedrunning situations, players have no incentive to experiment with speedrunning strategies for any other character.

I agree that we should make Tails more interesting, but what makes any character compelling is how their strengths and weaknesses impact a player's gameplay decisions. Record Attack viability factors into this.
I am in complete agreement with this. Sonic, idealistically, should be the fastest character in most, if not all levels. He's the hardest to use, but through mastering him you should master the levels. I'm not crazy into speedrunning levels as Tails because it just feels so barebones compared to doing so as Sonic. I was also hoping for an awesome Sonic speedrun from AGDQ but they chose Tails; and rightfully so, he's the fastest in the game!

I'd love to see Tails rebalanced. Yes, obviously allow him to fly, but at a cost. Speed, height, or even all of the above. Let him be the easy character, but don't let him utterly decimate the levels. Even games like Super Mario 3D World which give you access to an "easy mode" with items like the Super Tanooki still make you go through the majority of, if not all of the game's platforming. For those who don't know, this item is allotted to players for dying a certain amount of times in a row, and the item gives you invincibility from enemies and the hover mechanic of the Tanooki. So platforming is easier, but you can't outright skip it.

I think that Tails can function similarly. Give him a bit of flight, but he should descend after a pretty short period of time. I'm thinking 2-4 seconds of flight total. This way you can go over a platform or too, but you'll still need to engage in the platforming in some capacity.

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I actually had a roughly equal distribution of Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles in terms of which characters I first used to earn record attack emblems. I've done record attack plenty since then just for fun, but I tend to stray from Tails because his flight sort of takes away the enjoyment from the rest. Speedrunning as Tails isn't so much about strategy as it is about freely skipping parts of levels and I'd appreciate it a lot if that was changed—I've even restrained myself from letting Tails take over so many records because it wouldn't be as much fun that way. All five other characters have plenty of strategy involved when speedrunning. Sonic and Metal are obvious, Knuckles has to be economic with time spent climbing and find the most efficient gliding paths, Amy has to find places where she can use jump height and spring hammering to her advantage, and Fang's bouncing needs to be timed appropriately.
Your explanation of each character's strengths makes it so apparent that Record Mode would really benefit from each character holding their own records. As it stands, I am not motivated to do many, if any levels as Sonic because he cannot get the best times. However, if everyone had their own identifiable records, I would be much more inclined to do so.

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Old 04-23-2020   #30
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This is probably more of an issue with SRB2's weird air physics, though.
At this point, maybe we have a strong argument in favor of fixing the physics code before attempting any major character rebalancing, lmao
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Old 04-23-2020   #31
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At this point, maybe we have a strong argument in favor of fixing the physics code before attempting any major character rebalancing, lmao
It would be nice if the end result felt a little closer to the Mega Drive/Genesis titles. 2.2 certainly improved on the physics that existed before, but there's certain things that just don't feel quite right such as the speed gained from grounded horizontal springs being lost pretty instantly if you aren't in spin state. Taking advantage of such things to go fast is second nature in a Sonic game.
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Old 04-23-2020   #32
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Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
Tails has always been the easiest character in SRB2. That's by design, as the design is taken directly from S3K. The problem is that our flight setup is currently built with the assumption that Tails's stats suck like they always did. Hell, his original max speed was 24. Now that Tails has good stats, the flight setup desperately needs to be looked at again to properly gimp his speed when flying up, like how it works in S3K. The duration is actually as it was in S3K, which let you trivialize a lot of obstacles with it just like you can here. The cost from S3K, slowing you down, is what's missing.

As for why that cost is important, flight is the safest ability in the game; it should not be the fastest. A core part of making time attack interesting is the element of risk. Riskier strategies like the thok being generally more effective makes things both more interesting to play and to watch. That doesn't mean that there won't be occasional maps where the shortcuts Tails has access to still make him the fastest; it just means that Tails shouldn't be the obvious go-to best answer for almost every map.
I cannot dissagree, but I don't think nefring Tails is the solution. Changing a little bit his stats so he is not the fastest might be the correct thing to do. I just don't want to see Tails being ugly to control, clunky and unfun to play, that's all I'm trying to defend.
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Old 04-23-2020   #33
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I cannot dissagree, but I don't think nefring Tails is the solution. Changing a little bit his stats so he is not the fastest might be the correct thing to do. I just don't want to see Tails being ugly to control, clunky and unfun to play, that's all I'm trying to defend.
Honestly I don't think there's anything to worry about. They wouldn't make a change that causes him to become clunky and awful to play, it goes against the entire point of designing a game, which is to have fun. It's just a matter of him being OP in speedruns and needing to be toned down. Basically, a nerf to make him balanced. Not nuke him out of viability entirely.
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Old 04-23-2020   #34
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A fundamental issue with comparing Tails' flight in SRB2 directly to S3K is the 2D/3D problem. Any form of movement is infinitely strong in 3D space simply because you can see much more of the level at once. It's the reason Hyper Sonic's thok doesn't work nearly as well in S3K as Sonic's does in SRB2, and why you don't see many players spinflying in S3K - unless they're hardcore players who are familiar with the level layouts. On top of that, you can easily ignore obstacles in 3D space that demand attention in 2D - e.g., a pillar would block you entirely in 2D and a flying enemy would force you to adjust altitude, but you can just go around either in 3D.

That said, I think adjusting flight to match S3K physics would be a great start, but maybe isn't the be-all end-all on Tails' SRB2 flight. I'm personally a fan of the direction Krabs' is going in but either way I think SRB2 needs flight mechanics that fit SRB2, not another game.

Someone brought up the point that, Well, Tails can't skip every level! This is a terrible situation to be in. A player who effortlessly flies through most of the game will hit a hard stop at Egg Rock (or even earlier: CEZ, RVZ?), having not built up the skills needed to navigate in tight situations.
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Old 04-23-2020   #35
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When I played SRB2 during the 2.1 days I had a lot of troubles with Sonic (a bit less with knuckles) but I managed to finish it with Tails.


Now that the level design is definitively more newcomer-friendly and that there's the Tails assist maybe Tails himself have become a bit overpowered.


But I don't think changing him would be good because of the other character's dynamic.
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Old 04-23-2020   #36
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Originally Posted by Solid SOAP View Post
Your explanation of each character's strengths makes it so apparent that Record Mode would really benefit from each character holding their own records. As it stands, I am not motivated to do many, if any levels as Sonic because he cannot get the best times. However, if everyone had their own identifiable records, I would be much more inclined to do so.
I want that so badly!!!!!!! I've kept a spreadsheet of per-character records because it's the fastest way I can check my record per character, not whichever one happens to have the fastest time. I wonder if there's a mod that changes how record time is displayed to a per-character basis that wouldn't block me off from doing Record Attack.
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Old 04-23-2020   #37
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After having messed around with CobaltBW's Momentum Mod for a bit, I think that the best solution would be both S3-style flying and cutting flight time down to 6 seconds. It wouldn't put a stop to spinfly completely, just make it not nearly as insane, and 6 seconds is still plenty of time for beginners to gently hover over to the next platform.
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Old 04-23-2020   #38
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After having messed around with CobaltBW's Momentum Mod for a bit, I think that the best solution would be both S3-style flying and cutting flight time down to 6 seconds. It wouldn't put a stop to spinfly completely, just make it not nearly as insane, and 6 seconds is still plenty of time for beginners to gently hover over to the next platform.
A part of me feels that even 6 seconds is too much. In the scope of the game's levels, that's really a lot of time to be suspended in air. I think between 2 and 4 seconds should be plenty.
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Old 04-23-2020   #39
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Two seconds is way too low. This isn't SA1's flight, you have to manually tap the button. 5-6 seconds feels very appropriate.
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Old 04-23-2020   #40
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Now that the level design is definitively more newcomer-friendly [...]
Is it? 2.2 seems noticeably more difficult than 2.1 overall, with the exception of Egg Rock / Black Core which has been made easier.
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