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Old 04-08-2020   #21
DirkTH
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What are your current feelings on Sonic's thok? Would you say with certainty that it's an unbalanced ability?
In my opinion, Sonic's thok has its ups and downs, depending on which gametype you play him on. In high-speed categories like speedrunning SRB2, he is a tool for beat zones in record times. That is if you have fast button inputs and know the best route for the zones. In race, with the thok, Sonic's a hard opponent to beat due to his thok. Most speedrunners who play as Sonic gets the upper hand at winning first place. In ringslingers, its hard to shoot Sonic down with weapon rings, again, due to the thok. Unless you have rail rings then you're job at shooting Sonic gets a whole lot easier. With 2.2's levels getting slopes added in, Sonic thok can be taken to whole new grounds rather than repetitively smash jump to go fast on flat grounds. And yes, the thok can be tiring for your fingers if you want to "Thok to win". Overall, Sonic's ability is hard to master, but the thok itself really doesn't belong to his genesis days.

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Would you change Sonic's double-jump to something else if you could? If so, what would you replace it with?
If I had to replace the thok with something else, it would be one of the abilities that Sonic had before his dreamcast era. Like the Insta-Shield or the Drop-Dash. Or something entirely new that make Sonic fun to play as.

Insta-Shield: Not entirely a good choice for a double jump ability. However, it does have its uses for something good. It deals enemies in a radius attack and it grants you invulnerability for a split-second. For the invulnerability part, it does requires timing skills on pressing the jump button at a correct time to dodge.

Drop Dash: Just like the thok, but a burst of speed when landing on the ground. It also sends Sonic into his spindash state when he lands while holding down the jump button. This technique may be skillful as the thok, but it will require players to think of times when to use it. Though this ability first initially made its debut in Sonic Mania, it did made an appearance in the Sonic 3 prototype.

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Everyone has already been a beginner once. So, in your first ever playthrough of SRB2, how hard was it to get adjusted to Sonic's playstyle? Was the thok so weird you were forced to play as Tails first, or could you handle it normally?
As a player who mains Sonic nearly all the time, I have experience with Sonic's playstyle for a long time. Back when I played v2.0, I did have to get used to Sonic's thok in competitive gametypes. When I had to dodge weapon rings and fight back in a way while using Sonic's ability to escape. With speedrunning, I had to get used to smashing the jump button to get good times. Except at parts where I had to be careful and not making one mistake. Once everything's planned out perfectly, I put the skills to the test and see what's the fastest time I can pull off.
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Old 04-08-2020   #22
CobaltBW
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1. What are your current feelings on Sonic's thok? Would you say with certainty that it's an unbalanced ability?
The advantages are that it's highly skill indexed and provides a strong sense of speed, which makes it ideal for adrenaline junkies.

The disadvantages are numerous: The thok bodes poorly in terms of verticality and platforming; its high degree of precision biases it in favor of FPS control setups and against most gamepad setups; the sheer horizontality of the ability creates for certain balance disparities that are hard to account for.

In terms of overall balance, though, it's decidely no less imbalanced than flight is, which has the inverse kind of polarity. Ringslinger is the obvious exception to this, though I think it could probably be discounted, since ringslinger is probably headed out the door eventually.

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2. Would you change Sonic's double-jump to something else if you could? If so, what would you replace it with?
I think it's important that, for whichever character the player picks up when they first start the game, they feel that the obstacles are fair and surmountable. It's no secret that Sonic is exceptionally more difficult than Knuckles and Tails due to his lack of platforming leniency. He's debatably the hardest of the entire extended playable cast, since all other characters have certain abilities or attributes which grant them some vertical advantage.

I believe the thok makes an excellent ability for expert players, but that Sonic is not the character which it should be applied to. Ideally I would move the thok onto Metal Sonic (or a hypothetical seventh character) and give the Sonic the double jump, perhaps with some additional attributes or abilities to incentivize playing him within the cast.

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3. Everyone has already been a beginner once. So, in your first ever playthrough of SRB2, how hard was it to get adjusted to Sonic's playstyle? Was the thok so weird you were forced to play as Tails first, or could you handle it normally?
It's been too long ago, but I know that I played Tails first. Sonic was already fairly difficult back when our three zones still had damaging, opaque water in them, but now the platforming in general is much more difficult, starting from CEZ3 onward. If anything, I think new players have it harder than my generation did, particularly if you consider what the game's expectations from its players are now compared to ten or fifteen years ago.

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Originally Posted by SeventhSentinel View Post
To replace it implies (to STJr, at least) remaking every map in the game and throwing out 20 years of muscle memory for the entire community.
I think it's worth mentioning that Amy and Fang have taller jump heights, the other three characters can defy gravity, and all of them have the same speed stats as Sonic, so I think this assumption that the level designs need to be overhauled with the removal of thok is... illogical. It assumes that every other character is an illegitimate metric by which to judge the game -- and if that really is the case, then what does that say about the rest of the cast?

That being said, I don't think the thok needs to be removed or modified, but we are not going to balance the game experience for new players without addressing the disparity in gameplay between Sonic, Tails and Knuckles. Rather than adjusting all abilities to match the thok, it is much more realistic to place the thok on an intentionally more difficult unlockable character and instead give Sonic something that makes platforming a little less terrifying for new players.

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Sometimes, though, I wonder if SRB2 is just a starting point for something else entirely; something better...
Probably a discussion and a sentiment for another day, but what brings me back to the community is its creative spirit. Long when this project is over, if the community members are no longer around, it will be because they are exercising their tools and their ambitions toward greater causes, be that in the gaming world or elsewhere.
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Old 04-08-2020   #23
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Originally Posted by SeventhSentinel View Post
Best bet is to stop discussing it and start prototyping a replacement. I find in most projects regarding this game, discussion leads nowhere 99% of the time. You either come out of the woodwork with something great, or at least workable, or you get stuck with what's already implemented.

I wish the community luck in creating a fun replacement for the thok that works well in the current set of levels. (You can skip over double jump, jump thok, and drop dash; these have been shot down multiple times.)

I'm sure I come across as cold in this response, but I really am hopeful for a change to thok. Ideally I'd like SRB2 to be a game about Genesis style platforming and physics, and giving Sonic a more appropriate ability -- or even no ability -- would go a long way towards that.
I actually thought of question 2 hoping that maybe a brilliant, more evolved organism would pop up and give us a perfect prototype for a solution. I myself don't really know how to fix this problem either - unique double-jump abilities are really rare nowadays, especially for a character like Sonic.

Regardless, I think I should input my own thoughts in the matter, since this thread has evolved more than I thought it would have-

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Originally Posted by Seaball View Post
1. What are your current feelings on Sonic's thok? Would you say with certainty that it's an unbalanced ability?
I'll be honest - I'm not really sure how much I like/dislike the thok. It's definitely really unbalanced, not in the multiplayer-ringslinger sense but in the sense that it tends to scare a lot of beginner players because of the sudden burst of speed, which leads to thok mashing, which then leads to bashing the controls. It's this really weird instant gratification ability that ends in half a second and eventually becomes nothing more of a hassle to someone that just picked Sonic up.
My main gripe with it is that Sonic is the titular character. He shouldn't be so hard to control... so, tying in to the possible revamp of Metal Sonic's moveset, I'd rather give the thok to him instead. He's the second-to-last boss, and a powerful ability is justified by being grouped in together with a powerful character.

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Originally Posted by Seaball View Post
2. Would you change Sonic's double-jump to something else if you could? If so, what would you replace it with?
If I could, I would. Sev himself has already pointed out that the majority of the dev team has already considered changing it, but to no avail, as expected. The thing with the thok is that, at this point in time, it's so ingrained in the image of SRB2 that taking it out of Sonic so abruptly would feel weird in a sense.
Now, this isn't really a replacement proposal, but just a personal thought: I've been playing this game for well over 10 years, I've gotten used to Sonic at this point in time, and I can say that I'm pretty good with the thok, but I tend to have a more enjoyable experience in a casual playthrough when I'm not using any ability at all. It just feels, I dunno, more grounded of a playstyle? Especially since Sonic is usually the first pick, not letting him out of ground for too long or bursting through the level design with his ability makes me want to actually take my time and explore. Which is... weird, because theoretically he's the fastest character and yet I prefer going slowly with him?
So taking that last bit into consideration, I guess if I could change something, I'd remove his ability and instead bring back another quirk of his from the 2.0 era: being faster than the other characters in runspeed.

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Originally Posted by Seaball View Post
3. Everyone has already been a beginner once. So, in your first ever playthrough of SRB2, how hard was it to get adjusted to Sonic's playstyle? Was the thok so weird you were forced to play as Tails first, or could you handle it normally?
This question is actually based on my own experience with the game, so I'll be blunt: I couldn't play as Sonic to save my life in my first few playthroughs. I only played as Tails and Knuckles. I couldn't handle the thok at all, and being the silly little child I was I had no idea how to do basic platforming. And, in a way, that made me really frustrated - not being able to play the titular character of your favorite Sonic game?, I mean, come on. ...

As Sev said, this is a really recurring topic, but opinions evolve, and so does the game, and so does the playerbase. It's nice to be able to discuss these things again like this, especially because it means that this game has become so much more than it was in 2.1 that it actually feels natural to be discussing about it like this...

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Originally Posted by CobaltBW
Long when this project is over, if the community members are no longer around, it will be because they are exercising their tools and their ambitions toward greater causes, be that in the gaming world or elsewhere.
...You almost made me cry there. I don't even want to think about when this project is over and everyone from the community just... dissipating. Wow.
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Last edited by Seaball; 04-08-2020 at 10:09 PM. Reason: crying at cobalt's post
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Old 04-08-2020   #24
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Originally Posted by CobaltBW View Post
I think it's worth mentioning that Amy and Fang have taller jump heights, the other three characters can defy gravity, and all of them have the same speed stats as Sonic, so I think this assumption that the level designs need to be overhauled with the removal of thok is... illogical. It assumes that every other character is an illegitimate metric by which to judge the game -- and if that really is the case, then what does that say about the rest of the cast?
Eh... I do think the rest of the cast do have problems with the level design. In the more open outdoor areas in the game, we see newbie Tails and Knux players fly or climb somewhere, both bypassing obstacles/sections entirely and finding themselves lost without a sense of which way is forward. ACZ has always been the worst offender in this regard, ever since 2.0 - the design is genius in the ways it loops back on top of itself so often, but it leads to this problem with the flying characters. Metal Sonic has less of an issue in terms of getting lost (being that he doesn't have vertical ascension and he's a lategame unlock) but still has plenty of opportunities to just forgo interacting with the level entirely.
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Old 04-08-2020   #25
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After reading through some of the other replies here and giving it some thought, I might have figured out a way to make the thok feel more skill based and rewarding.

My idea is this: Allow the forward momentum you get from the thok to be kept when you land on the ground. Yes, this means that you will keep your speed far easier, but it also means that people will not need to spam it to keep going fast.

Secondly, slow it down a little. Still faster than your usual top speed as Sonic, but not as fast as it is now. The idea I am going for with this is that while it would still remain as an easy source of speed, if you want true speed you need to earn it through skillful movement through the level. As an overall rule, just allow the player to keep their speed on the ground after they obtain it so long as they aren't losing it through being in their spin state or changing direction or not holding down movement buttons or etc. This would also make horizontal springs more useful and feel more akin to how they functioned in the classic games.

Thirdly, put a cooldown on it just in case so it can't be spammed anyway. Nothing excessively long, just like 2-3 seconds.

The overall effect of this is that Sonic players would have an easy way to go faster than their usual top speed and wouldn't be needing to mash it constantly. It could be used to quickly make sharp turns or to gain boosts of speed to clear gaps that would otherwise be missed, and could be used to gain a faster running speed through long straight sections, but it would require skill to keep speed in areas with more sharp turns or lots of hazards. It would basically be the boost if you weren't invincible while using it and without a meter.
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Old 04-09-2020   #26
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I find the Thok fairly iconic to SRB2, but I would be happy with it getting moved to Metal Sonic. Sonic, with the Thok, is my favorite of the vanilla characters to play as, but it's inarguable that his ability is by far the least useful for new players.

I feel that the Thok's general unwieldyness and difficulty to master felt appropriate for SRB2 back when SRB2 was nowhere near as polished or approachable as it is now; it was a niche game with a lot of clunk, so having this weird, wonky ability that got you into trouble more often than it helped was fine. There are oodles of obtuse, niche PC games brimming with mechanics like that.

2.2 has made absolutely incredible strides towards making the game more approachable, polished, pretty, and accessible, and the Thok feels like a relic of the past.

The main issue, then, is the Thok's replacement. From what I've seen suggested already:

Drop Dash: I've tried CobaltBW's Drop Dash mod, and I don't find it particularly exciting. The Drop Dash is excellent in Sonic Mania because of its level design. Mania has very little straight, flat land for Sonic to run across, so most of the time, he's either decelerating (because he's doing platforming or running up a slope) which encourages him to regain his speed with the Drop Dash, or he's going down a slope, which encourages him to roll down, and the Drop Dash helps that. SRB2's levels have a lot of room for Sonic to run straight forward, and he doesn't turn slowly enough to warrant using the Drop Dash for turning; the Drop Dash is harder to use than the Thok for turning, too, since one can only activate it the instant Sonic hits the ground, requiring the player to predict the turn longer in advance. It doesn't help with platforming, either, and Sonic's difficulty with the platforming was the original impetus for this discussion.

Double Jump: I understand that the Double Jump would make platforming easier, but it's just...boring. The Drop Dash, Tails's flight, Knuckles's glide, Ray's flight, Fang's Bounce; they're all easy to execute, mechanically, but have quite a lot of depth in how they interact with the Sonic franchise's iconic momentum physics. Tails can fly without ascending to preserve his speed, Knuckles's stutter-stop gliding and falling synergizes with the spindash. They're all creative platforming tools that aren't commonly seen in other games. The Double Jump is an overused tool in platformers, especially 3D ones, and it doesn't reflect the creativity of the rest of the game's moves. It only helps so much with platforming, too; if Sonic misses his target during an important jump, it's highly likely that he won't be able to reverse and reach that target during the double jump. He goes too quickly.

Homing Attack: I've heard a lot of vitriol towards the homing attack. I recognize that the existence of the Homing Attack has done bad things to the level design of the Sonic franchise. Why is that a factor? The people designing the levels in 2.2 have proven themselves to be highly-competent (more competent than Sonic Team has been in the last decade!) at making a fun level that doesn't rely on any of the characters' abilities to complete; why would the Homing Attack change that?

SRB2 is a 3D game where most of the characters are sprites and the characters move very quickly. It was very difficult for players to jump on enemies without assistance in Sonic Adventure, where everything had models, Sonic moved comparatively slower, and the camera was farther from the character, and it's significantly harder for newcomers to land on 2D sprites with SRB2's radical speeds.

One thing I have noticed, however, is that we've never had the Sonic Adventure homing attack, specifically, implemented in one of the 2.2 mods. Of the ones that do have the homing attack, there are two major differences:

Hitting enemies above Sonic: If I'm playing as Modern Sonic or Neo Sonic, I can hit enemies that are above my natural jump height. This breaks away from the Homing Attack's intended purpose as a tool for making it easier to hit enemies that could be bounced on and makes the tool a bit too strong and centralizing.

Preserving momentum: If I'm playing as Neo Sonic or Advance Sonic, there is very little reason for me to not Homing Attack an enemy. It is certainly fun to fly through a level and make my own homing attack chains, but it centralizes the entire experience around the homing attack. That loss of momentum after using a Homing Attack in Adventure does two things:

- It discourages the player from going out of their way to Homing Attack enemies, since it slows them down, somewhat similarly to Knuckles's forced crouch after a glide.

- It gives the player a short time to pick a direction to Homing Attack into, restarting their momentum.

If I lose my momentum when I homing attack an enemy, I suddenly get to make decisions as to whether I'm going to Homing Attack an enemy or get a proper bounce on it.

The Homing Attack, in its SA1/2 incarnation, also solves a problem that the Thok also solves, but in a better way; when the player does a bad jump off a platform they can Homing Attack/Thok backwards to return to where they were. Trying to use the Thok to save oneself in this way can often lead to the player overshooting their original platform. The Homing Attack's untargeted air dash isn't any faster than the player's natural run speed, so it's much easier to come to a stop after returning to their original platform.

If anything, I'd at least like a version of the Thok that simply launches Sonic forward at his top run speed (as the untargeted Homing Attack does in SA1/2) and no faster. That would discourage players from spamming it while making it a safer platforming tool. It is essentially a lateral double jump; the player gets to reset their speed in a more favorable direction.
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Old 04-09-2020   #27
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Yeah, I have a problem with the double jump...

But why can't we just apply a mod that changes it to the Homing Attack?
WHY CAN'T WE SAVE WHEN WE DO THAT?

It's not like it's an official game or something!
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Old 04-09-2020   #28
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Originally Posted by time gear View Post
My idea is this: Allow the forward momentum you get from the thok to be kept when you land on the ground. Yes, this means that you will keep your speed far easier, but it also means that people will not need to spam it to keep going fast.
Something I had been messing around with a while back was to implement this momentum conservation ala momentum mod or classic physics lua, but jumping would reset your top speed similar to the air speedcap from Sonic 2 and 3, though somewhat simplified - in 2 and 3K the air speedcap would only kick in if you tried to accelerate while in the air. I think here it would work best as a straight forward "the instant you jump off the ground, cap your momentum to normalspeed." It worked pretty well in regards to discouraging thok spam but it exaggerated the common criticism of the thok that it's an effortless way to gain momentum. This made it even easier to maintain speed whereas the current thok actually does require some timing.
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Old 04-09-2020   #29
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Originally Posted by Magnemania View Post
I find the Thok fairly iconic to SRB2, but I would be happy with it getting moved to Metal Sonic. Sonic, with the Thok, is my favorite of the vanilla characters to play as, but it's inarguable that his ability is by far the least useful for new players.

...

Homing Attack: I've heard a lot of vitriol towards the homing attack. I recognize that the existence of the Homing Attack has done bad things to the level design of the Sonic franchise. Why is that a factor? The people designing the levels in 2.2 have proven themselves to be highly-competent (more competent than Sonic Team has been in the last decade!) at making a fun level that doesn't rely on any of the characters' abilities to complete; why would the Homing Attack change that?

SRB2 is a 3D game where most of the characters are sprites and the characters move very quickly. It was very difficult for players to jump on enemies without assistance in Sonic Adventure, where everything had models, Sonic moved comparatively slower, and the camera was farther from the character, and it's significantly harder for newcomers to land on 2D sprites with SRB2's radical speeds.

One thing I have noticed, however, is that we've never had the Sonic Adventure homing attack, specifically, implemented in one of the 2.2 mods.

...

The Homing Attack, in its SA1/2 incarnation, also solves a problem that the Thok also solves, but in a better way; when the player does a bad jump off a platform they can Homing Attack/Thok backwards to return to where they were. Trying to use the Thok to save oneself in this way can often lead to the player overshooting their original platform. The Homing Attack's untargeted air dash isn't any faster than the player's natural run speed, so it's much easier to come to a stop after returning to their original platform.

If anything, I'd at least like a version of the Thok that simply launches Sonic forward at his top run speed (as the untargeted Homing Attack does in SA1/2) and no faster. That would discourage players from spamming it while making it a safer platforming tool. It is essentially a lateral double jump; the player gets to reset their speed in a more favorable direction.
Oh wow I love this idea. Thok to Metal and SA Homing for Sonic. Brilliantly simple. The more I imagine it, the more the Thok easily feels more in line with Metal's character than Sonic. SA Homing on Sonic means everybody has their most iconic* moveset**. Your full post is great, too, a very fair and clear assessment, logical, thorough, thoughtful, compelling argument, 10/10, A++++ would recommend

*
Spoiler:
Sonic has the homing attack in Smash Bros, which also blurs the line between classic/modern and feels like a definitive Sonic move-set, even though ironically the game is a completely different genre, Smash Sonic's abilities make him control like a rolly platformer whose agility allows him to spin and spring around like a [strikethrough]human[/strikethrough]hedgehog pinball. There's an elegance to it when developers get that feeling right. The classic series & Mania being the best examples obviously. Despite literally having a pinball level, Sonic Adventure's level design was not as successful in recreating it; they could only script the momentum, it felt like. Then, Modern traded pinball for rollercoaster, which is fun when well done, but offers less direct control of momentum and doesn't have rolling. Modern Sonic doesn't roll, really, whereas Classic is often all about rolling around at the speed of sound.

With SRB2, rolling is definitely more important than SA/Modern though obviously different from the 2D games, and the Thok/Homing are like one of your pinball bumpers and spindash being the other. I do like the Drop Dash in SRB2 but not over Homing or Thok.**


**
Spoiler:
I'm becoming increasingly fond of the idea of base Jump+Spin abilities for at least Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. (It makes sense that Amy, Fang, Metal wouldn't, because they are less powerful characters, and because the bonus characters should be more challenging). I wouldn't change the levels, just slightly overpower the base heroes by essentially giving them unique "perma-shields" for Jump+Spin. Then the overall difficulty curve is less steep and more of a natural incline and into a loop-de-loop, since Metal's thok as the last unlockable brings it full circle. The bonus characters new game+ hard mode.

SRB2, like SA2, has to have a roll button because you can't curl with the directional movement input. So already by the nature of being 3 dimensional it can no longer be 1 button gameplay like the classic series. So if it's already 2 button gameplay, and Jump+Spin is already a function with the shields, it's more intuitive to expect an ability to be there. Gameplay becomes a bit more varied, makes the shields more interesting and strategic.

For Sonic, his Jump+Spin could be the Drop Dash or the Insta-shield. (I was making the case for Thok before, but I now prefer the idea of Thok for Metal and SA Homing for Sonic.) I enjoy being able to keep Sonic rolling as much as possible, like I went on about above. I quite like the idea of Drop Dash in SRB2... not over Homing or Thok, but alongside.

Knuckles should have his dig/drill move from SA2 as Jump+Spin. "Digging holes" was a huge part of Knuckles character, especially the classic era. It's in his bio in Sonic Jam, and a lot of other classic era lore. It's in the OVA. Digging holes is the first move we ever see from him when he jumps out from a hole in the Sonic 3 intro. I guess it's like a reverse dig, it's the uppercut from underground, from a hole he'd dug out of. Knuckles' jump+spin could be vertically directional? Jump+jump is fists pushed horizontal (gliding, climbing) and jump+spin is fists pushed vertical (dig/uppercut).

For Tails, his Jump+Spin could be "grab"... he can pick up item boxes, like he picks up Sonic, and toss them at enemies, or drop them on it if flying. Jump+Jump+Spin is flying then decreasing height, but Jump+Spin+Jump means flying, picking up the thing in front of you, and carrying it upward. Like picking up Sonic. Tails becomes both even easier / more overpowered, but also more technical in a way where you could imagine pulling off a crazy pool shot once you master the throwing/grabbing, throw an item box at one Crawla who gets knocked into the Crawla behind them and so on. "Grabbing/carrying" is definitely Tails most iconic ability besides flying. And he can't do that in either SA1 or SA2, which makes the SRB2 Tails even more innovative, but also intuitive and logical and consistent with the character's established abilities in the "classic" series. Tails being a technical character in this way is also a fun way to incorporate one of his character traits into his gameplay. He's technical without needing to be in a shooting mech, but with how he's resourceful and inventive with the world around him. Also, IIRC, Tails had a "grab" ability in "Tails Adventure" on Game Gear. He threw bombs, I think?? Or there were ducks who threw bombs too. But it wasn't Bean***. Tails should buddy up with Fang and go all "ending of Fight Club" on Dark City, haha. It's like a reverse of the Tails SA1 ending with Station Square; this time, Tails helps bomb Eggman's factory to shit. Then he joins AVALANCHE. Read my fic! Just kidding.

***
Spoiler:
omg imagine Bean and Bark in one of the upcoming levels as bosses... after Arid Canyon, Fang returns with backup and the Hooligans reunite in Dark City or Red Volcano. Fang boss x 3****... they tag team and fight 1 at a time, then as the final pinch they all attack at once. It's both a nod to the Mania boss fight, and also an improvement on it for being both 3D and also it's not holograms, it's the actual characters, and it's a bit more rightfully challenging when they attack all at once at the end.

****
Spoiler:
These character boss fights, Fang and Metal, actually become so much more fun with a Homing Attack or Jump+Spin move, in a different way (Loop de loops!). The fights are shorter. Non-veteran players are still gonna take hits and need to recover rings, even with a Homing or Jump+Spin. But because Homing allows you to kick ass much more easily as Sonic (and more satisfyingly if landing an uppercut or downward dig as Knuckles), it's fun to imagine a boss fight or special mode that heightens the challenge through volume, like ... a 1vs100 mode or something. Closed boxing ring like Fang/Metal fights. And each new wave of Fang/Metal/Bean/Bark becomes increasingly difficult. You could add some cameo sprites get mixed in that 100. Recolored versions of the base cast + an accessory sprite would go a long way. Archie's Scourge the Hedgehog would be easy. Black out Tails eyes and he's the horrifying Tails Doll. Gold Knuckles with a mask is Enerjak. Silver Sonic, just Metal in silver. The classic SRB2 version of Shadow as a cameo, just black + red stripes + white chest recoloring. Recolored versions of any original OCs. Whoever! There are so many***** Sonic rivals and Eggman henchmen that could be part of a "Sonic Battle" mode.

*****
Spoiler:
Let's see. Without adding new sprites or abilities but just recoloring, we have a lot of fun extra universe villains and evil doppelganger cameo possibilities for our hypothetical Sonic Battle Royale mode: 1 player, 10 rings, versus 100 character fights within 1000 seconds (16 minutes).

The characters don't need to be identified. They're easter eggs.

Fang
Metal Sonic
1. Silver Sonic (Metal but silver)
2. Scourge the Hedgehog (Green Sonic with his smile... upside down.)
3. Tails Doll (Blackeyed Unholy Tails)
4. Dr. Finitevus (White Knuckles with black/red eyes and black chest emblem)
5. Enerjak (Gold Knuckles with blank white eyes and a dark blue chest emblem)
6. Nic the Weasel (Pink Fang with lipstick/red mouth; his sister from Archie)
7. Antoine D'Coolette (Brown Tails with yellow hair/muzzle, one fewer tail, and wearing navy-blue recolored versions of Amy Rose's clothes. He can't fly, only roll)
8. Breezie the Hedgehog (Reddish pink Amy Rose with black hair and black clothes)
9. Classic Shadow the Hedgehog (Black Sonic + white chest + darker beige muzzle + red stripes on top of quills. Red shoes with black stripe, white buckle, yellow socks. Turn Sonic's smile upside down.)
10. Geoffrey St. John (Black Fang with white muzzle, and purple hat/gloves/belt. His gun shoots arrows.)
11. SWAT Bot (Smaller version of Brak Eggman, all black/gray)

Obviously adding in original sprites means this could be much more varied, but even just with the assets available, these guys could just keep cycling out along certain tiers until 100 battles are won. And like, you don't start seeing Metal Sonic until you're in the last 25, and you stop seeing Antoine after the first 10 or so. The difficulty increases the further you go, as does the volume of combatants at a single time. The first 5 would go down with one hit and don't attack. The final 100th would be the full Metal boss fight from Black Core 2.

Hypothetical order of appearances:

1-5 (1 HP, -15 attack speed) - Antoine, Geoffrey St. John, Silver Sonic, Breezie, Antoine (2)
6-10 (2 HP, -5 attack speed) - SWAT Bot, SWAT Bot (2), Geoffrey (2), Antoine (3), Silver Sonic (2)
11-15 (2 HP, 0 attack speed, dodge) - Antoine (4), Geoffrey (3), Scourge, SWAT Bot (3), Fang
16-19 (2 HP, 0 attack speed, dodge, two at a time) - Nic (2) & Breezie (2), Nic (3) & Fang (2)
20-23 (2 HP, +5 attack speed, +1 dodge, x2) - Silver Sonic (3) & Tails Doll, SWATBot & SWATBot (4,5)
24-27 (2 HP, +5 attack speed, +1 dodge, x2) - Scourge (2) & Fang (3), Geoffrey (4) & Breezie (3)

Um... and so on, including the more powerful characters as you go higher, with some characters like Fang, Scourge, and the SWAT especially following you up along the ladder to the likes of Finitevus, Enerjak, and the final Metals.





Quote:
Originally Posted by EnderElectrics
Yeah, I have a problem with the double jump...

But why can't we just apply a mod that changes it to the Homing Attack?
WHY CAN'T WE SAVE WHEN WE DO THAT?

It's not like it's an official game or something!
There's a custom save data mod here: https://mb.srb2.org/showthread.php?t=45730

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Old 04-09-2020   #30
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I really don't want characters to have jump/spin abilities, because it inevitably means that ability will be replaced when you put on a shield. I'm fine with having Mania replace the drop dash when Sonic puts on a shield because the three shield abilities are just as good for momentum as the drop dash if not better, and basically always better for mobility as well. Having a cool separate jump/spin ability means that if you don't want to compromise the characters' movesets when a shield is on, you'll need to add an extra button to the game's controls, probably one that's never used for anything when you're not wearing a shield.

I also don't get why some people really want SRB2 to be more like the Adventure games. As fun as the homing attack is, I feel that incorporating it as a full-out character move would go against the entire design philosophy of the game. SRB2 isn't about cool-looking attack chains or levels carried by spectacle or gimmicky expansions on the existing characters' 2D movesets. The game as it stands does a spectacular job translating just about everything in the 2D games to 3D and while there is certainly room for improvement in some ways, I don't think incorporating moves from the Adventure games will solve the problem in the slighest.
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Old 04-09-2020   #31
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This is just my perspective, but I feel as though those pushing for the homing attack are misunderstanding the design mentality that goes into the game. The homing attack is a short-mid range instant gratification move that is void of any skill and rarely has any practical application within SRB2's design. SRB2 is designed around building up momentum and keeping it for as long as you can, not instantly killing it with an attack that busts a badnik and pulls you to a full stop.

I also really don't see how the thok is "better" or "worse" for either Sonic or Metal. They are both canonically perfectly capable of propelling themselves through the air in the same ways, with the only exception being Metal's more advanced flight capabilities, which is an advantage that goes away when Sonic goes super, and that he can compensate for with his superior skills even in base form anyway.

I may not think the hover is a perfect fit for Metal in it's current implementation, but I do feel as though it fits him more than the thok would. The hover is an ability that makes sense on Metal in his base form, while it wouldn't for Sonic. The thok on the other hand, Sonic has been capable of even in the mainline canon titles in some form or another for quite some time. The air dash, the air boost, etc.
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Old 04-09-2020   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by time gear View Post
This is just my perspective, but I feel as though those pushing for the homing attack are misunderstanding the design mentality that goes into the game. The homing attack is a short-mid range instant gratification move that is void of any skill and rarely has any practical application within SRB2's design. SRB2 is designed around building up momentum and keeping it for as long as you can, not instantly killing it with an attack that busts a badnik and pulls you to a full stop.

I also really don't see how the thok is "better" or "worse" for either Sonic or Metal. They are both canonically perfectly capable of propelling themselves through the air in the same ways, with the only exception being Metal's more advanced flight capabilities, which is an advantage that goes away when Sonic goes super, and that he can compensate for with his superior skills even in base form anyway.

I may not think the hover is a perfect fit for Metal in it's current implementation, but I do feel as though it fits him more than the thok would. The hover is an ability that makes sense on Metal in his base form, while it wouldn't for Sonic. The thok on the other hand, Sonic has been capable of even in the mainline canon titles in some form or another for quite some time. The air dash, the air boost, etc.
Big agree with all this. Moves similar in spirit to the thok (quick forward boost when double jumping) date all the way back to Sonic 3, with the flame shield ability that only Sonic gets to use.
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Old 04-09-2020   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by time gear View Post
This is just my perspective, but I feel as though those pushing for the homing attack are misunderstanding the design mentality that goes into the game. The homing attack is a short-mid range instant gratification move that is void of any skill and rarely has any practical application within SRB2's design. SRB2 is designed around building up momentum and keeping it for as long as you can, not instantly killing it with an attack that busts a badnik and pulls you to a full stop.
Tails's flight is misunderstanding the design mentality that goes into the game. The game is a platformer, and the ability to completely ignore gravity trivializes most of the challenges placed in the game. Flying around obstacles is void of any skill and does not complement SRB2's level design. SRB2 is designed around building up momentum and keeping it for as long as you can, and Tails's flight dramatically slows down his momentum, removing the element of acceleration from the game entirely when he ascends!

Knuckles's glide is misunderstanding the design mentality that goes into the game. Climbing up walls is void of any skill and invalidates most level design that takes place inside indoor locations. SRB2 is designed around building up momentum and keeping it as long as you can, but Knuckles's glide completely ignores the player's lateral momentum, resetting it entirely!

Nack's gun is misunderstanding the design mentality that goes into the game. Pressing the shoot button in front of a badnik is void of any skill and ignores how the badniks are designed to be fought by every other character. SRB2 is designed around building up momentum and keeping it for as long as you can, but the player has to come to a complete stop to use Nack's gun, and starting up his spring jump destroy's the player's momentum!
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Old 04-09-2020   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnemania View Post
Tails's flight is misunderstanding the design mentality that goes into the game. The game is a platformer, and the ability to completely ignore gravity trivializes most of the challenges placed in the game. Flying around obstacles is void of any skill and does not complement SRB2's level design. SRB2 is designed around building up momentum and keeping it for as long as you can, and Tails's flight dramatically slows down his momentum, removing the element of acceleration from the game entirely when he ascends!
Tails' flight is consistent with SRB2's design mentality. You are given the choice between maintaining your momentum, or killing it to gain a vertical advantage. It does not bring you to a full stop, and single tapping into a flight preserves your forward momentum at the cost of height. Sections designed specifically for his ability are following their own internal design logic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnemania View Post
Knuckles's glide is misunderstanding the design mentality that goes into the game. Climbing up walls is void of any skill and invalidates most level design that takes place inside indoor locations. SRB2 is designed around building up momentum and keeping it as long as you can, but Knuckles's glide completely ignores the player's lateral momentum, resetting it entirely!
Knuckles' glide is also consistent with the design. The same reasons that apply to Tails apply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnemania View Post
gun is misunderstanding the design mentality that goes into the game. Pressing the shoot button in front of a badnik is void of any skill and ignores how the badniks are designed to be fought by every other character. SRB2 is designed around building up momentum and keeping it for as long as you can, but the player has to come to a complete stop to use Nack's gun, and starting up his spring jump destroy's the player's momentum!
The entire point to Fang is that he is a slower character than Sonic and the others, advantaged in attacking enemies from a distance but lacking in speed much of the time as a result. Comparing Fang to Sonic is just silly.

It sounds to me like you are just desperate for some kind of excuse to implement the homing attack despite the fact it's a direct contradiction to Sonic's signature speed. Sonic is designed around maintaining speed, and the homing attack kills it. You didn't even bother to mention that if the homing attack were to be implemented, it would be the only move between the main trio that is pure instant gratification without any further practical application than just destroying a badnik.

The thok can be used to destroy badniks exactly the same way, except it requires the player to have more of a handle on the controls to pull it off. It does not bring the player to a full stop, and can be used in conjunction with badnik chains to gain great height and distance that Sonic isn't usually capable of, something impossible for the homing attack.
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Old 04-09-2020   #35
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I think there's a legitimate discussion to be had about the practicality of Tails and Knuckles' designs in the context of SRB2 when contrasted against the classics -- namely that 2D Sonic placed a much more heavy emphasis on sloped level design, especially in a way that aided the levels' verticality. I mean yeah, Tails fly is pretty easy to use in Sonic 3, but it's not as big of a deal if you can run up a vertical halfpipe to get to where you need to be. Furthermore, a key aspect of a lot of classic Sonic level design is that you can often still get to where you need to be regardless of how high or low you are on the map; SRB2 is a lot more limiting in this respect because there are many more areas where you can only progress by moving upwards and not simply by taking a spring. This type of level design inherently biases in favor of characters who can fly.

Knuckles is an even bigger question mark, because any sort of aeroplane mechanic becomes implicated by the addition of a third dimension; and in terms of wall-climbing, there's walls everywhere in 3D. It's much easier to block off Knuckles from certain areas when there's only two directions that Knuckles can move in. In SRB2, we can't even make sure that players take the Knuckles' paths we've already designed!



There is a much stronger argument to be made in favor of Fang's (Nack is a localization, the west has lied to you) game mechanics, because Fang is specifically designed to work in SRB2's environment. It makes much more sense to have a pogo ability because it guarantees that the player is still interacting with the environment. The popgun also works for the sole reason that it's designed around how powerful it would be in engagements and counter-balanced by its inflexibility.
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Old 04-09-2020   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CobaltBW View Post
I think there's a legitimate discussion to be had about the practicality of Tails and Knuckles' designs in the context of SRB2 when contrasted against the classics -- namely that 2D Sonic placed a much more heavy emphasis on sloped level design, especially in a way that aided the levels' verticality. I mean yeah, Tails fly is pretty easy to use in Sonic 3, but it's not as big of a deal if you can run up a vertical halfpipe to get to where you need to be. Furthermore, a key aspect of a lot of classic Sonic level design is that you can often still get to where you need to be regardless of how high or low you are on the map; SRB2 is a lot more limiting in this respect because there are many more areas where you can only progress by moving upwards and not simply by taking a spring. This type of level design inherently biases in favor of characters who can fly.

Knuckles is an even bigger question mark, because any sort of aeroplane mechanic becomes implicated by the addition of a third dimension; and in terms of wall-climbing, there's walls everywhere in 3D. It's much easier to block off Knuckles from certain areas when there's only two directions that Knuckles can move in. In SRB2, we can't even make sure that players take the Knuckles' paths we've already designed!
I think Tails' flight is fine, for the most part. Rather than nerfing the flight itself, following the design mentality of the 2D games where the upper path is faster, but also more hazardous would probably work great for this instance. Using Tails' flight to reach higher places would grant the opportunity to move through the level faster, but would also propel you into danger. The player would need to choose between the safer lower paths and the dangerous upper path.

The solution to Knuckles is simple. Not every wall is climbable. Make use of that more often, with some kind of visual cue as to which walls he can latch onto and which ones he cannot.
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Old 04-09-2020   #37
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The solution to Knuckles is simple. Not every wall is climbable. Make use of that more often, with some kind of visual cue as to which walls he can latch onto and which ones he cannot.
Unfortunately, that's neither feasible nor desirable. Communicating no-climb walls in a way that doesn't hurt the visual design of levels has already proven difficult, and in many cases the inclusion of no-climb walls at all has made gameplay more frustrating.

I think it would be more meaningful to simply accept the prevalance of climbable walls and to instead design levels and enemies in a way which makes Knuckles' gameplay feel more engaging and provocative.
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Old 04-09-2020   #38
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Might as well chime in to the Tails and Knuckles talk.

I think Tails' role as a playable character does exactly what it needs to, and quite well at that: a character easy for beginners to pick up whose flying is versatile but not very good for speed, which makes him not as rewarding in the long run as Sonic or Knuckles. But despite being the easy one, it does take quite a bit of skill to learn how to most efficiently use his flight abilities and not lose too much of your usual momentum, which is also something I like.

Knuckles' abilities, on the other hand, can really get awkward in the 3D levels sometimes. In some levels it's very tempting to climb up a wall behind you as high as you can and glide your way through a good chunk of the level, and it can get weird when that ability turns out not to work in some levels. Take the case of Greenflower Zone Act 2 for instance. When I first went through that zone as Knuckles, I tried climbing up as high as I could and gliding through but eventually figured out that I was going in circles and that to proceed through the level, I had no choice but to go through the cave room with all the springs and water. Most levels handle Knuckles' abilities reasonably well and don't let him get too overpowered, but it really shows at times that it's tricky to design levels in 3D to keep Knuckles balanced with the rest of the cast.

This thread is supposed to be about Sonic's abilities though, so I'll end the discussion here.
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Old 04-09-2020   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by time gear View Post
Tails' flight is consistent with SRB2's design mentality. You are given the choice between maintaining your momentum, or killing it to gain a vertical advantage. It does not bring you to a full stop, and single tapping into a flight preserves your forward momentum at the cost of height. Sections designed specifically for his ability are following their own internal design logic.



Knuckles' glide is also consistent with the design. The same reasons that apply to Tails apply.
The same rules that apply to Knuckles and Tails apply to the Homing Attack. One does not need to use it. It is a tool that serves as an optional crutch for new players, which is ideal for the starting character.



Quote:
It sounds to me like you are just desperate for some kind of excuse to implement the homing attack despite the fact it's a direct contradiction to Sonic's signature speed. Sonic is designed around maintaining speed, and the homing attack kills it. You didn't even bother to mention that if the homing attack were to be implemented, it would be the only move between the main trio that is pure instant gratification without any further practical application than just destroying a badnik.
The ability to reset your lateral momentum in any direction you want has no further practical application? The untargeted homing attack is a less frantic Thok, and the targeted homing attack is still a traversal tool. The only move in the game that is 'pure instant gratification without any further practical application than destroying a badnik' is Fang's gun.

Quote:
The thok can be used to destroy badniks exactly the same way, except it requires the player to have more of a handle on the controls to pull it off. It does not bring the player to a full stop, and can be used in conjunction with badnik chains to gain great height and distance that Sonic isn't usually capable of, something impossible for the homing attack.
Have you ever seen a new player use the Thok to destroy a grounded badnik? None of these applications are logical for a character designed for new players, whereas they make perfect sense for an unlockable character like Metal Sonic.

I do think there was a bit of a misunderstanding; I very much enjoy playing Tails and Knuckles in their current states, though I think Tails's flight duration could be cut down slightly and climbable walls may make more sense as an exception rather than the norm. I just fail to see how their ability to trivialize the game is somehow less dramatic than the Homing Attack's ability to trivialize badniks, particularly given that destructible badniks are generally much less of a threat in SRB2 than level gimmicks and pits.

Last edited by Magnemania; 04-09-2020 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 04-09-2020   #40
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On the topic of non-climbable walls, I think the game is very hit-and-miss in terms of handling them and making fewer walls climbable (or making climbable walls a rare exception) would just make the situation a lot worse and remove it too far from how Knuckles handles in 2D. Deep Sea Zone Act 2, for instance, has some instances of climbable walls handled well and some not so well. There's a few rooms with walls covered in vines that do a good job at visually conveying Knuckles can't climb those walls and has to find a different way through, such as the room near the beginning with the moving spiky blocks that only Knuckles or Amy can access. But then the same zone has some normal-looking walls that I have no idea why they can't be climbed, aside from being maybe scrapped attempts at a gimmick. This is more of a criticism of DSZ2's structure though, because it's by far my least favorite of the main campaign zones pre-Egg Rock.
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