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Old 04-22-2020   #1
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Default Tails got buffed in 2.2, is he just too powerful now?

The reason I post this is that there's been on and off discussion on whether Tails is too powerful, but most of that is in Discord and any points made can't be readily accessed the next day.

In 2.2 there was an equalization of stats, Tails is now as fast as Sonic and Knuckles on the ground, but an issue came up where his potential flight distance is absolutely insane. That is not only during the actual flight part, but his glide when he gets tired can allow you to skip large chunks of outdoor levels due to how fast he gets. It can get even worse if flight is preceded by a spindash.

The zones worst hit (in terms of being cheesed and in no particular order) Are CEZ1/2, RVZ1, and ACZ 1/2. In the latter especially, you can skip around to the point where you get lost because you never actually followed the path intended by the devs. Time Emblem challenges in record attack are also hard hit, I managed to get the Emblem in THZ2 with up to 30 seconds to spare.

For mappers, the only way to prevent tails players from cheesing their creations so much is to fill the levels with tight spaces that are mandatory to go through. Normal looking outdoor layouts can't stop him because he's perhaps 100 feet in the air before he starts descending.

I know he is easy mode, but here are some ideas to tone him down while not crippling him altogether. These ideas should also not break existing levels.

- A progressive slowing of momentum while in flight, momentum slows down faster if started right after a spindash.
- A slower speed for the tired state
- A reduced vertical speed just before the tired state
- (This was suggested by Krabs on Discord), flight becomes more of a hovering move lasting maybe 5-10 seconds (but the ability for beginners to skip tough sections might be reduced too much).

Is he overpowered, how much power should he lose, how easily should an easy mode character beat levels anyway?
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Old 04-22-2020   #2
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For the sake of discussion (This could also apply to the Sonic abilities topic as well, come to think of it), I feel like what it means for a character to be "easy" in SRB2 needs to be defined, so that "easy" characters can be distinguished from "overpowered" characters properly. The sooner we reach a consensus on this, the more smoothly the rest of the discussion can go.

The distinction especially needs to be made in light of the recent SMS release, since SMS is clearly an overpowered character, yet still manages to remain challenging to play and is by no means an "easy" character.
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Old 04-22-2020   #3
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On one of the many Discord discussions about Tails's ability I voted for reducing his flight duration and capping his horizontal speed in the air so that spinfly doesn't reach absurd levels of velocity. Although I'm not sure if this was ever considered by the developers, CobaltBW did share that SRB2's wonky acceleration code is to blame for some of the speed issues, but I still stay by what I stand.
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Old 04-22-2020   #4
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Circa November 18, 2019:
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Originally Posted by CobaltBW
I'm surprised more people here don't know this, but the way Tails' maintains flight speed in SRB2 is nowhere near the same as Sonic 3's. In Sonic 3, so long as you're gaining altitude, you will quickly lose horizontal speed. Conversely, if you're losing altitude you'll gain speed. In SRB2, you only lose a small amount of horizontal speed for each "ascending" action, and you can't pick up speed again until after your flight meter has depleted.
What that means is, in Sonic 3, you have to balance your horizontal speed with your vertical ascension at all times. But in SRB2, if you're already moving at a slow speed, there is no strategic benefit to letting go of the flight button.
If we were to integrate Sonic 3-style flight, Tails would not be able to sustain his insane horizontal momentum from spindash flight if he ascends at all, but to compensate, he would be able to pick up speed again if he decides to lose altitude, regardless of whether his flight meter has depleted or not.

I think this is worth consideration, particularly because Tails' currently trivializes Time Attack to an extent where it makes the speedrunning meta less interesting. A faithful reinterpretation of Sonic 3 flight balances him in this regard by diminishing his reliance on spindash strats, but it also adds depth to his playstyle by giving the player more strategic control over his flight speed after losing that momentum.
I also believe we need better anti-air enemy design and to incorporate this with our level designs -- keeping in mind that the goal shouldn't be to make the campaign significantly more difficult for Tails, but to make it more engaging.

It may also be worth considering that our game environments perhaps are not well-suited to the amount of verticality and horizontality that is granted to Tails. Open question as to whether artistic liberties should be taken with Tails' game design in order to match the flow of levels better.
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Old 04-22-2020   #5
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Originally Posted by time gear View Post
For the sake of discussion (This could also apply to the Sonic abilities topic as well, come to think of it), I feel like what it means for a character to be "easy" in SRB2 needs to be defined, so that "easy" characters can be distinguished from "overpowered" characters properly. The sooner we reach a consensus on this, the more smoothly the rest of the discussion can go.

The distinction especially needs to be made in light of the recent SMS release, since SMS is clearly an overpowered character, yet still manages to remain challenging to play and is by no means an "easy" character.
Difficulty is not that hard to consider in terms of the cast we have at the moment.

Strictly speaking between the three default characters (barring Sonic & Tails), you can easily define Tails as the easiest, Knuckles to be "intermediate", and Sonic as the more "challenging" of the default cast.

What makes each one more "difficult" is their capability to traverse the map with their abilities, with Tails being able to soar past all obstacles as long as you mash spacebar and Sonic requiring skill with timing and control in order to do the same. Knuckles falls inbetween as he requires a bit of time to climb and get to the point where he can be the same as Tails.

If we translate that to being overpowered, then Tails is most certainly "overpowered" by that standard as he trivializes the game entirely to the point where it quite literally does not matter what is in his path, since he will fly over it.

Difficulty of a character only comes down to how easy it is to utilize their abilities. SMS isn't exactly the best example given his bloated kit and ability to do a lot of things at once, but he does fall under both the "Overpowered" category and "Difficult" category because he requires a lot of time and effort to be utilized at his full potential.
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Old 04-22-2020   #6
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I don't know if some of you know about this already, but Tails can't skip complete stages; Tails can surely skip them until THZ2, what does flying matter in a "inside"/"inroom" stage? It doesn't do anything, it can skip some obstacles, but there are punishments that the devs thought of, like making it slower and putting a death pit that's inevitable if you just fly around.
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Old 04-22-2020   #7
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I've whined about this plenty on discord, but I'll put my thoughts here too - on both Tails and Sonic&Tails.

Is tails really that broken?
Yes, absolutely. Just because you need to touch the floor for one entire frame doesn't mean you aren't skipping the entire level.

SRB2 openly invites players to, essentially, cheat
Many would agree that SRB2's best quality is its level design. Unfortunately, not enough players get to fully experience these levels, or even learn how to play the game at a high level. Characters don't jump very high in SRB2, and platforms tend to be somewhat small. Death pits are common. The threat of a game over makes players decide to play safe and take advantage of any "cheese" they can get away with. In the short term, these players avoid dying because they avoid all threats by flying over them. In the long term, they are very unlikely to get a handle on the game's physics or get used to making complex jumps.

On the subject of "but he's easy mode!"
I am not opposed to having tails be the easiest character - however, his flight mechanics result in a character that is the bad kind of easy. Because Tails flies for so long and can cover an insane amount of distance, playing as him removes lots of the fun of playing the level. A fun 3D platformer, in my opinion, should force the player to make many meaningful decisions each time they approach a challenge. As tails (or S&T) the decision is almost always "find a place to fly to and skip this bullshit, it's too hard." I know many have expressed that being able to fly anywhere is fun - this is true, but is that really the type of fun SRB2 should be pursuing? All those thousands of hours that were put into the level design have resulted in an insanely fun game, but the level design doesn't matter if you can fly over most of it. Allowing players to skip these levels simply does not play to SRB2's strengths - in fact, it highlights the game's biggest weaknesses by discouraging the player from learning how to control their character properly.

Tails causes players to get lost far more often
Because there are basically no bounds to tails's flight, new players will often fly so high above the level design that they miss important visual cues that guide the player towards the next starpost. Not only that, but it will take far longer for them to realize when they're moving backwards since they're not required to interact with the ground level or see which starposts are already activated.

On the subject of anti-air enemies
Not the worst idea, but this is a band-aid fix that requires a ton of work on the part of the level designers. SRB2 stages are gigantic in a vertical sense, with lots of empty air that would be filled with tons of anti-air enemies. Not only that, but these enemies would require very careful design, since getting hit out of the air just once would result in a very frustrating plummet down to the bottom of the map's death pits. Compared to the monumental task of creating new character-specific challenges for tails above every open-air level, it would be far easier to just nerf tails.

Tails's flight is clunky and unfun
Tails is in a hilarious predicament because he's both too fast and too slow at the same time - spinfly makes speedruns look more like objectplace flythroughts of levels, yet when pressing the spacebar to fly upwards he loses an incredible amount of horizontal speed while moving upwards incredibly slowly. It just feels bad.

Last edited by Krabs; 04-22-2020 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 04-22-2020   #8
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To be fast with Tails also requires technique and really good memory and muscle connection, just so you can know what inputs do in certain parts of some stages. For me Tails makes the campaign easy, but it doesn't completely kill it (doesn't even come close. I didn't see the difference with playing as Sonic or Tails. Also, consider it's my second favourite Char in the game, because it's not clunky).
I don't believe Tails needs a nerf, it'll just force people to play something else or pick another char, what's the point of that? Tails is fun as it is and it's not faster the Sonic nor is better, he just flies and doesn't requiere too much precision (for low level gameplay, at least).

---------- Post added at 06:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:24 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krabs View Post
I've whined about this plenty on discord, but I'll put my thoughts here too - on both Tails and Sonic&Tails.

SRB2 openly invites players to, essentially, cheat
Many would agree that SRB2's best quality is its level design. Unfortunately, not enough players get to fully experience these levels, or even learn how to play the game at a high level. Characters don't jump very high in SRB2, and platforms tend to be somewhat small. Death pits are common. The threat of a game over makes players decide to play safe and take advantage of any "cheese" they can get away with. In the short term, these players avoid dying because they avoid all threats by flying over them. In the long term, they are very unlikely to get a handle on the game's physics or get used to making complex jumps.

On the subject of "but he's easy mode!"
I am not opposed to having tails be the easiest character - however, his flight mechanics result in a character that is the bad kind of easy. Because Tails flies for so long and can cover an insane amount of distance, playing as him removes lots of the fun of playing the level. A fun 3D platformer, in my opinion, should force the player to make many meaningful decisions each time they approach a challenge. As tails (or S&T) the decision is almost always "find a place to fly to and skip this bullshit, it's too hard." I know many have expressed that being able to fly anywhere is fun - this is true, but is that really the type of fun SRB2 should be pursuing? All those thousands of hours that were put into the level design have resulted in an insanely fun game, but the level design doesn't matter if you can fly over most of it. Allowing players to skip these levels simply does not play to SRB2's strengths - in fact, it highlights the game's biggest weaknesses by discouraging the player from learning how to control their character properly....
It removes the fun for you, some people like flying around and have fun when they think of an strategy to do something in a better way.
Only those who know the levels get to skip parts, I don't know why do we keep relating that to new players, they can't do that; they are slower still whether they skip or not.

---------- Post added at 06:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:27 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krabs View Post
...Tails's flight is clunky and unfun
Tails is in a hilarious predicament because he's both too fast and too slow at the same time - spinfly makes speedruns look more like objectplace flythroughts of levels, yet when pressing the spacebar to fly upwards he loses an incredible amount of horizontal speed while moving upwards incredibly slowly. It just feels bad.
I can agree with some of that, Tails is clunky but not as clunky as Knuckles.
Spinfly is hard to do, you gotta be precise and know the level; try to replicate some of those speedruns yourself, if they are so objectplace and easy.

---------- Post added at 06:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:30 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krabs View Post
...Tails causes players to get lost far more often
Because there are basically no bounds to tails's flight, new players will often fly so high above the level design that they miss important visual cues that guide the player towards the next starpost. Not only that, but it will take far longer for them to realize when they're moving backwards since they're not required to interact with the ground level or see which starposts are already activated...
How can you fly above THZ2? or The whole Egg Rock and Egg Core? It doesn't happen in a lot of stages, because some of them have "interiors".
Tails flight is not infinite, they have to interact with the ground. If people get lost, they'll most likely start walking and recognizing the stage, so it completely defeats one of your statements: "Tails skips leves therefor players don't get to experience them".
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Old 04-22-2020   #9
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I will say that I vividly remember constantly getting hopelessly lost as Tails back when I first played in 2.0, and those levels were much more linear than 2.2's.
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Old 04-22-2020   #10
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I think Tails in 2.2 is mostly fine, but quite a bit too powerful with the more open levels (looking at you, Arid Canyon Act 1). Most of the time he's a suitable easy mode who is good for beginners, which I can confirm from experience, having first played as Tails then trying out other characters after getting used to how the game works. Tails is less rewarding to master levels as than Knuckles, and much less rewarding than Sonic (please note that "rewarding" isn't a synonym for "hard", I find Amy much harder to play as than Sonic but not quite as rewarding). Though Tails works well with most levels, when levels are too open without many aerial threats, his flight is a borderline game-breaker that can either make the level either too easy to beat, or too easy to get lost in.

That said, I don't think Tails' flight should be reverted straight back to pre-2.2. I've tried out older versions of the game, and it feels unnatural that entering flight barely affects Tails' vertical momentum if he isn't already going downwards, and only keeps him descending a bit slower like there's a heavy rock stuck in his tails that he can't get rid of until he reaches the ground. If a level's design allows Tails to go pretty much go wherever he wants whenever he wants, I think the best course of action is to modify the level to be more balanced across characters.
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Old 04-22-2020   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jona View Post
Difficulty is not that hard to consider in terms of the cast we have at the moment.

Strictly speaking between the three default characters (barring Sonic & Tails), you can easily define Tails as the easiest, Knuckles to be "intermediate", and Sonic as the more "challenging" of the default cast.

What makes each one more "difficult" is their capability to traverse the map with their abilities, with Tails being able to soar past all obstacles as long as you mash spacebar and Sonic requiring skill with timing and control in order to do the same. Knuckles falls inbetween as he requires a bit of time to climb and get to the point where he can be the same as Tails.

If we translate that to being overpowered, then Tails is most certainly "overpowered" by that standard as he trivializes the game entirely to the point where it quite literally does not matter what is in his path, since he will fly over it.

Difficulty of a character only comes down to how easy it is to utilize their abilities. SMS isn't exactly the best example given his bloated kit and ability to do a lot of things at once, but he does fall under both the "Overpowered" category and "Difficult" category because he requires a lot of time and effort to be utilized at his full potential.
Putting Tails in the same category as SMS is an insult. (Not the difficult part, but the overpowered).
Tails just flies, that doesn't mean it's overpowered.

I define an overpowered Char as char that completely ignores any obstacle and doesn't have to deal with some stuff because it's really fast, can fly, it doesn't struggle with the level design, which neither Tails does.
After you know parts of the level, it doesn't make it overpowered; you know the game and how to use your favourite chars to completely ignore the obstacles (which I do with Sonic and Tails).
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Old 04-22-2020   #12
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Originally Posted by XleederTH View Post
I define an overpowered Char as char that completely ignores any obstacle and doesn't have to deal with some stuff because it's really fast, can fly, it doesn't struggle with the level design, which neither Tails does.
What the.....

1) Tails is really fast - you said so yourself, look!
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Originally Posted by XleederTH View Post
To be fast with Tails also requires technique and really good memory and muscle connection, just so you can know what inputs do in certain parts of some stages.
2) Tails can obviously fly?
3) Tails doesn't struggle with level design at all. Reason being, he can just fly over everything.

If a character can fly, that means they DO have the power to completely ignore every obstacle and, consequentially, not interact with the level design.

So, yeah, you just basically confirmed everything that makes Tails overpowered. Because he pretty much is.
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Old 04-22-2020   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookiefonster View Post
I think Tails in 2.2 is mostly fine, but quite a bit too powerful with the more open levels (looking at you, Arid Canyon Act 1). Most of the time he's a suitable easy mode who is good for beginners, which I can confirm from experience, having first played as Tails then trying out other characters after getting used to how the game works. Tails is less rewarding to master levels as than Knuckles, and much less rewarding than Sonic (please note that "rewarding" isn't a synonym for "hard", I find Amy much harder to play as than Sonic but not quite as rewarding). Though Tails works well with most levels, when levels are too open without many aerial threats, his flight is a borderline game-breaker that can either make the level either too easy to beat, or too easy to get lost in.

That said, I don't think Tails' flight should be reverted straight back to pre-2.2. I've tried out older versions of the game, and it feels unnatural that entering flight barely affects Tails' vertical momentum if he isn't already going downwards, and only keeps him descending a bit slower like there's a heavy rock stuck in his tails that he can't get rid of until he reaches the ground. If a level's design allows Tails to go pretty much go wherever he wants whenever he wants, I think the best course of action is to modify the level to be more balanced across characters.
I agree, though I don't ever get lost because I already know most stages (including mod stages), but I can understand how people do get lost. That's the level's fault and not the chars, I often get lost as Sonic and as far as I know, Sonic can't fly.
Tails' flight is "OP" on open stages, but only if you think completing the stage is the only purpose, if you actually like being fast and not waste time, you do actually go on the ground and do some platforming; depends on the player and what they wanna do.

---------- Post added at 06:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:53 PM ----------

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Originally Posted by Seaball View Post
What the.....

1) Tails is really fast - you said so yourself, look!

2) Tails can obviously fly?
3) Tails doesn't struggle with level design at all. Reason being, he can just fly over everything.

If a character can fly, that means they DO have the power to completely ignore every obstacle and, consequentially, not interact with the level design.

So, yeah, you just basically confirmed everything that makes Tails overpowered. Because he pretty much is.
I forgot to add: fast for me, means that the char can break speedrunning records easily.
It might seem like I'm contradicting in some cases, but it's just because my vocabulary is small and I don't wanna use technicalities such: "OP char's speed: 50
Tails' speed: 30-45"
So I just keep going back to the same words and repeat "so/really/fast/slow".
Again: overpowered doesn't get challenged, Tails does get challenged, then Tails is not overpowered.
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Old 04-22-2020   #14
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Originally Posted by XleederTH View Post
Putting Tails in the same category as SMS is an insult. (Not the difficult part, but the overpowered).
Tails just flies, that doesn't mean it's overpowered.

I define an overpowered Char as char that completely ignores any obstacle and doesn't have to deal with some stuff because it's really fast, can fly, it doesn't struggle with the level design, which neither Tails does.
After you know parts of the level, it doesn't make it overpowered; you know the game and how to use your favourite chars to completely ignore the obstacles (which I do with Sonic and Tails).
I don't think you'll find a lot of people voting to cripple tails, just tone him down a bit so you have to at least follow the path in the large open levels and maybe even interact with a few things. He will still be the easiest character by a long shot and it will still mean some of the game's tough obstacles being skipped.

CEZ 1 and 2 for instance, the way Tails currently works mean you can complete both while never touching a rotating swing, something you couldn't do with the other chars (which might even include Metal Sonic).
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Old 04-22-2020   #15
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2) Tails can obviously fly?
Tails' flight has limitations, the type of flying I mean is not an unlimited one either, but a flight that can be gotten back easily. Tails has to go back on ground so he can fly again; in some cases it's pointless because you have to go into a room and flying in rooms is just disgusting.
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Old 04-23-2020   #16
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Originally Posted by XleederTH View Post
Tails' flight has limitations, the type of flying I mean is not an unlimited one either, but a flight that can be gotten back easily. Tails has to go back on ground so he can fly again; in some cases it's pointless because you have to go into a room and flying in rooms is just disgusting.
Regardless of limitations, Tails's ability to fly is the ability to fly no matter what.

Fly over spikes, fly over crawlas, fly over liquids, fly over intended map obstacles (swings in CEZ)...which is skipping obstacles that other characters are not exactly able to.
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Old 04-23-2020   #17
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I don't think you'll find a lot of people voting to cripple tails, just tone him down a bit so you have to at least follow the path in the large open levels and maybe even interact with a few things. He will still be the easiest character by a long shot and it will still mean some of the game's tough obstacles being skipped.

CEZ 1 and 2 for instance, the way Tails currently works mean you can complete both while never touching a rotating swing, something you couldn't do with the other chars (which might even include Metal Sonic).
I don't know why do you all want to make tails worse/nerf him, it'll just make it a poor char to choose and none will like him.
We started with taking Sonic's thok away and throwing it somewhere else to "make Tails' flight worse because people skip platforming". People will always find a way, unless you just make Tails unplayable.

---------- Post added at 07:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:03 PM ----------

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Regardless of limitations, Tails's ability to fly is the ability to fly no matter what.

Fly over spikes, fly over crawlas, fly over liquids, fly over intended map obstacles (swings in CEZ)...which is skipping obstacles that other characters are not exactly able to.
Are you being serious? Crawlas are laughable, I also fly over them with Sonic (any char actually). I also skip parts of stages with Sonic (the thok and slope is a really good combination for that).
Badnik bouncing makes Sonic skip platforming too, are we going to take that away too?
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Old 04-23-2020   #18
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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.

As far as mechanics changes, I would start by decreasing his flight time (maybe to 4-6 seconds?) and see how people take to that before considering any more sweeping changes. I think doing that by itself would help tremendously with the issue of getting lost, since he won't be nearly as capable of flying up to any ledge he can see, and will typically end up lower to the ground and in a better place to see where the level geometry is guiding him.

I'm concerned about the proposals to nerf spinflying because it's the only engaging movement option Tails has to himself. Normal flying is slow and kind of boring, while spinfly rewards careful altitude management and air control. Forcing all flight to be slow on ascent removes a lot of that dynamic and, I think, would make Tails much more boring to play. If it did need nerfed, I think a more interesting solution would be to reduce his air control while flying at high speeds; capping the speed in the (accelstart + acceleration*speed) formula for horizontal thrust while flying, or whatever other solution, would make high-speed flight more challenging to maintain without practically getting rid of it.

Aside from that, I think level design takes most of the blame for Tails getting lost. Arid Canyon is a particularly egregious example, since the acts fold in over themselves so often, and wildly disparate sections of the map are connected with long expanses of canyony pit that are begging to be flown through. A lot of level design in general seems to only consider Sonic's abilities, with periodic concessions made to the unlockable characters or a Knuckles path here and there.

On that note, I would suggest just... closing in the level design a bit, in places where reducing Tails' flight time doesn't cut it. The atmosphere of a wide-open canyon can be maintained without having every level section connected to one another; if blocking off some canyons prevents Tails from flying to a section three checkpoints ahead and landing backwards, it's probably worth losing a bit of openness.
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Old 04-23-2020   #19
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Originally Posted by Jona View Post
Regardless of limitations, Tails's ability to fly is the ability to fly no matter what...
Tails' ability will always be a fly, so if any fly is any fly, then will Tails always be OP? Because flying is broken either with or without limitations :v.

---------- Post added at 07:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:07 PM ----------

I have an idea, why not give Tails the Jump Thok? Or FSonic's moveset? I think that'll make Tails not skip stages...
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Old 04-23-2020   #20
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Something that might help with getting lost not just as Tails but as any character would be highlighting up to two checkpoints while holding tab (Or the equivalent binding) even through level terrain. The last checkpoint you touched in red, and the next checkpoint in order in green, with visual indicators for which direction they are in if they are off screen (Could also have options for color blindness). This would help players quickly get a sense as to which direction is "Forward" based on where the next checkpoint is and the structure of the level design ahead of them.
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