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Old 04-09-2020   #41
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Originally Posted by Magnemania View Post
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.
Sonic is not the starting character however. Tails is. I can understand the appeal to making Sonic the beginner character, but then this would also imply making Tails more difficult than Sonic, something much harder to do. Tails is the easy mode character, the sooner the player comes to accept this the better.

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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.
Homing attack does not allow you to reset lateral momentum in any direction you want. It requires a target, usually a badnik. You cannot home in on that which isn't there, or isn't within range. It is incredibly limited, and does not help the player to navigate anywhere they can't walk or jump to in about a second anyway. This is why it is pure instant gratification. You are moved quickly to an enemy that is already within your range, and then your forward momentum is halted entirely as you bounce straight up.

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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.
Not only have I seen it, I make use of it quite frequently. Sonic is the single best character to do badnik bouncing chains with for this reason alone. Once you get to the point that you are bouncing really high, a well timed thok during your decent aimed at a badnik causes you to rocket off at high speeds, rewarding you with a height and distance combination not usually possible for Sonic. This is, again, impossible with homing attack.

Even new players are encouraged to toy around with this by the mechanics handed to them, it's just not flashing on a neon sign anywhere or anything.

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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.
The reason is because Tails and Knuckles actually cover distance not possible on foot with their abilities, reaching places otherwise out of reach. The homing attack does not, with the sole exception of when a homing attack chain allows for it. This would require the game to be designed around homing chains for Sonic to make use of, which is not at all the devs intentions. When these chains do not exist, Sonic is only able to use it to move to where he can already reach on foot or via jump, due to the limited range of the attack. Thok simply works much better as a tool to propel Sonic forward in situations in which otherwise getting that speed would be difficult, and thus certain jumps become more possible as him.

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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.
I feel as though it depends on the specific zone, or even act. It's much easier to convey in a level like Techno Hill Act 2 that certain surfaces use a texture that can't be climbed on while others use a texture that can. Something akin to the portalability logic from the Portal series, in which dark walls can't have a portal on them but white walls can. More natural environments on the other hand it is more difficult to create this visual distinction.

It makes sense that levels further into the campaign would be more inclined to limit Knuckles in which walls he can and can't grab onto. However, what you are talking about also makes sense for specific zones too, overall the freedom Knuckles is given from zone to zone and even act to act is something that can be toyed with to give each zone it's own "personality" while playing as Knuckles. In my opinion, despite the late nature of it's positioning into the campaign, I imagine Arid Canyon as being the best level for freedom, with lots of wide open areas to make the most use of the glide and climb ability, though at the occasional risk of being smacked by a flying badnik and falling into the bottomless pits below.

Last edited by time gear; 04-09-2020 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 04-09-2020   #42
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What are your current feelings on Sonic's thok?
I feel the move in 2.2 to the new Standard playstyle, where the player's sprite faces the direction they're inputting, has made Sonic's thok feel less intuitive. In Legacy, Sonic will always point in the direction he will thok to, making things easier to judge when strafing and the camera moves from side to side. At the moment (if I'm in Standard playstyle) I prefer playing Sonic in first-person, which isn't the intended main way to play.

Last edited by Turret 49; 04-09-2020 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 04-09-2020   #43
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Sonic is not the starting character however.
Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles are all starting characters and we need to be treating them as such.
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Old 04-09-2020   #44
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Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles are all starting characters and we need to be treating them as such.
I meant Sonic isn't the starting character. The game has always marketed the three characters for years now as Sonic being the hardest of the three, and Tails being the easiest. Yes, you do start with Sonic available, but he's not encouraged.

There is merit to the idea of making at least one of the unlockable characters harder than him (Though in my opinion this is already achieved through Amy) but Sonic being an advanced character in his own right, especially compared to Tails, doesn't contradict any design conventions the game is going for. Aside from Sonic 2 in which Tails played as a clone to Sonic, Tails has always been easier to play as than Sonic, and as such was the starting character, the character recommended for beginners. It's not enforced, but it's recommended.
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Old 04-09-2020   #45
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Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles are all starting characters and we need to be treating them as such.
Strong agree with this. The 2.2 title screen shows all three of them instead of just Sonic, almost as if telling players that it's totally fine if they want to start off playing as Tails or Knuckles.
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Old 04-09-2020   #46
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The direction I feel like this conversation is moving in implies making it so that all three of the characters you start out with are easy mode, and that you have to unlock characters to get any kind of challenge out of the game. This is something I strongly am against. Sonic existing as the advanced character when you start out works very well for having something for veteran players to use right off the bat, while Tails and Knuckles are fantastic starting choices for players not yet ready for Sonic's more advanced movements.
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Old 04-09-2020   #47
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Homing attack does not allow you to reset lateral momentum in any direction you want. It requires a target, usually a badnik. You cannot home in on that which isn't there, or isn't within range. It is incredibly limited, and does not help the player to navigate anywhere they can't walk or jump to in about a second anyway. This is why it is pure instant gratification. You are moved quickly to an enemy that is already within your range, and then your forward momentum is halted entirely as you bounce straight up.
Have you not played a Sonic Adventure game before? The untargeted homing attack is a simple air dash in any lateral direction the player chooses. It does not require an enemy to target. Unlike the Thok, it does not move the player faster than their maximal run speed, so there is no incentive to spam it and it's much easier to use for precision platforming. This is something I covered in my original post.

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Not only have I seen it, I make use of it quite frequently. Sonic is the single best character to do badnik bouncing chains with for this reason alone. Once you get to the point that you are bouncing really high, a well timed thok during your decent aimed at a badnik causes you to rocket off at high speeds, rewarding you with a height and distance combination not usually possible for Sonic. This is, again, impossible with homing attack.
"I make use of it quite frequently." Are you a new player? My post addressed new players using it, and I highly doubt that you are new to SRB2, and you seem unwilling to sympathize with those who are. Everything you've said continues to support putting the Thok on an unlockable high-skill ceiling character (like Metal Sonic) and not on one of the three starter characters.

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Strong agree with this. The 2.2 title screen shows all three of them instead of just Sonic, almost as if telling players that it's totally fine if they want to start off playing as Tails or Knuckles.
The game's title is "Sonic Robo Blast 2". The main character is Sonic. The player has the option of picking from three characters at the start, but most players are intuitively going to pick the main character as their starting character unless actively told not to pick Sonic by an external source.

The mainline Sonic games tend to be very easy, too. Anyone with enough exposure to the Sonic games to go out of their way to play a fan-made Doom mod is going to be somewhat familiar with Sonic's game mechanics and the low difficulty of the games, so they are unlikely to pick 'easy mode' without foreknowledge of how much more difficult SRB2 is than the average 3D platformer.
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Old 04-09-2020   #48
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Sonic is the hardest character and also the one basically every single person who plays the game will start with because...it's a Sonic game. This is actually one of the biggest problems with SRB2 for new players that's basically impossible to fix because it's really strange for the eponymous character of a game to be the hardest character. It'd be like a Mario game where Luigi and Peach are playable and Mario was the hardest character. Everyone would pick Mario anyway and be baffled as to why he's so damn difficult compared to idk Luigi having higher jumps and floatier physics and Peach being able to hover.
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Old 04-09-2020   #49
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People will start as Sonic regardless of how many times his character description says "difficult for newcomers." Thok is just far too difficult to control to be put on Sonic, who is the character most people will pick first. To be honest, I'm kind of disappointed that we're still having this discussion after so many years of improvements to the game. Platforming in srb2 is really difficult, but only if you're not playing as Tails or Knuckles. I understand that it's nice to have difficulty options in games, but we're not talking about hard, medium and easy. We're talking about very hard, easy, and extremely easy. Sonic needs something new to help him traverse these levels since jump heights are so low in this game.


I'm not opposed to the idea of giving metal a thok, by the way. The problem is that it would make metal hands-down faster than Sonic, which just "feels" wrong. It's never too late to make tweaks to that ability.

Last edited by Krabs; 04-09-2020 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 04-09-2020   #50
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Yes, Sonic is the title character. Yes, players are more inclined to try him first for that reason, and yes, they will be punished for it if they ignored his in-game descriptions as being more advanced than the other two.

I fail to see this as a problem. Sonic being the title character implies that he's the main hero of the story. Tails exists as a sort of sidekick to him, so it's only natural that Tails would be the character you are encouraged to start with while you build up your comfortability with the game controls until you are ready for Sonic.

This isn't a Mario game, Sonic has always been directly against that kind of logic. Sonic's your angsty too cool for school type character that is fully willing to sass the player if they simply don't move him for a few seconds. Sonic is meant to be a more difficult character, and always has been. If you aren't ready for him, here. A little floofy puffball to play with while you work on being cool enough to be the radical blue dude.

Sonic being an advanced character allows the game to be accessible regardless of how long you have played the game. Whether you are new or old, you have a character that appeals to your skill level without having to unlock them.
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Old 04-09-2020   #51
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Nobody cares who the game tells them to play as first. They're gonna pick sonic and then go on some youtube comments section and complain about slippery controls and then never finish the game. It's actually not their fault, it's the game's fault. The main character shouldn't be an expert character.
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Old 04-09-2020   #52
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Nobody cares who the game tells them to play as first. They're gonna pick sonic and then go on some youtube comments section and complain about slippery controls and then never finish the game. It's actually not their fault, it's the game's fault. The main character shouldn't be an expert character.
If they are complaining about slippery controls, it's because they don't have autobreak on, not because they are playing as Sonic. Sonic also isn't even that difficult to play as, even if you are a beginner. His thok is less useful when you don't have experience using it in more advanced situations, but it's not that hard to grasp the concept of "Press jump twice to move forward fast".

That's the beauty of Sonic's design in SRB2. He's a fairly simple character to understand, but that you can do more and more with as you improve. I feel like people acting like he's this super difficult character are exaggerating quite a bit for the sake of making their argument. The only thing I would probably change is have it so that while jumping Sonic's sprites always face forward so that the thok feels more intuitive, since many players more used to the official titles will expect him to thok in the direction he looks like he's facing in the moment, rather than the direction the camera is facing.
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Old 04-09-2020   #53
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I meant Sonic isn't the starting character. The game has always marketed the three characters for years now as Sonic being the hardest of the three, and Tails being the easiest. Yes, you do start with Sonic available, but he's not encouraged.
Considering that Sonic is the title character, and thus the character that players will naturally gravitate toward, I submit to you that making him the hardest of the three wasn't such a good idea in the first place.

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There is merit to the idea of making at least one of the unlockable characters harder than him (Though in my opinion this is already achieved through Amy) but Sonic being an advanced character in his own right, especially compared to Tails, doesn't contradict any design conventions the game is going for. Aside from Sonic 2 in which Tails played as a clone to Sonic, Tails has always been easier to play as than Sonic, and as such was the starting character, the character recommended for beginners. It's not enforced, but it's recommended.
Amy isn't harder than Sonic solo. She may have a bit more difficulty in combat, but her higher jump makes her much less volatile in terms of general platforming and campaign progression.

The only character who I would say is harder than Sonic is Fang, but that's only because of the complexity of his moveset, not because the campaign works against his abilities in any way.

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Yes, Sonic is the title character. Yes, players are more inclined to try him first for that reason, and yes, they will be punished for it if they ignored his in-game descriptions as being more advanced than the other two.

I fail to see this as a problem. Sonic being the title character implies that he's the main hero of the story. Tails exists as a sort of sidekick to him, so it's only natural that Tails would be the character you are encouraged to start with while you build up your comfortability with the game controls until you are ready for Sonic.

This isn't a Mario game, Sonic has always been directly against that kind of logic. Sonic's your angsty too cool for school type character that is fully willing to sass the player if they simply don't move him for a few seconds. Sonic is meant to be a more difficult character, and always has been. If you aren't ready for him, here. A little floofy puffball to play with while you work on being cool enough to be the radical blue dude.
Just so you know, "It's supposed to be this way" isn't really an argument against the notion that "Having it be this way is proving to be bad for the game."

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Sonic being an advanced character allows the game to be accessible regardless of how long you have played the game. Whether you are new or old, you have a character that appeals to your skill level without having to unlock them.
This probably isn't your intent, but you're beating down a strawman here. The argument is that the title character should not also be the hardest starter character in the game -- not that all starter characters should be the same difficulty.


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I'm not opposed to the idea of giving metal a thok, by the way. The problem is that it would make metal hands-down faster than Sonic, which just "feels" wrong. It's never too late to make tweaks to that ability.
I'd argue that if there's any character that would make sense moving faster than Sonic, it's Metal Sonic. I also think it's an important distinction if we're to make Sonic less polarizing in terms of gameplay.



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If they are complaining about slippery controls, it's because they don't have autobreak on, not because they are playing as Sonic.
I've gone over this elsewhere, but our acceleration code is actually pretty fucked up and doesn't work in the way that would make it easy to control. The only reason many of us are used to it at this point is because of muscle memory, but the game would largely benefit from a rewrite of the acceleration and friction code.


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Sonic also isn't even that difficult to play as, even if you are a beginner.
This is demonstrably false.
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Last edited by CobaltBW; 04-09-2020 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 04-09-2020   #54
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I don't mean to be rude, time gear, but autobreak has nothing to do with it. If you've spent any time watching newcomers play srb2, you'd know the thok just doesn't work for those people. It almost always reaches a point where the give up and stop using the move entirely.
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Old 04-09-2020   #55
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I've never had as much difficulty with Sonic as many people here are making it sound like. People in my social sphere confirm that they haven't had any problems with him. Even people that I have suggested the game too and tried it out have varied in which character is their favorite, but aren't actually complaining about Sonic. Granted, the people I hang around aren't children, but I certainly was one when I first started playing. I may have bumped into walls a lot at first, but I have zero recollection of it being frustrating or difficult as a result. If it was, I probably wouldn't have stuck around all these years, I would have dismissed the game as trash and moved on.

I don't know what data you have available, but Sonic is a simple character to grasp. An ability that propels you forward at great speed might have some subtle advanced applications for those who look for them, but it's not inherently complex to the point that it should be making the game too difficult for anyone. Sonic is only hard in comparison to Tails simply because Tails can fly, so of course Sonic is going to seem difficult when that's the standard people are comparing to.

I do agree that the movement in SRB2 as a whole could probably use some work though, not only in regards to acceleration and the like, but also in regards to how momentum works. 2.2 made great strides towards making the game feel more like the 2D classics, but it's not quite there yet.
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Old 04-09-2020   #56
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I don't mean to be rude, time gear, but autobreak has nothing to do with it. If you've spent any time watching newcomers play srb2, you'd know the thok just doesn't work for those people. It almost always reaches a point where the give up and stop using the move entirely.
My statements earlier regarding the thok biasing in favor of Mouse+KB setups also applies here. Prior to simple controls, it was very rare that I would actually use thok in the campaign while playing on a gamepad, since I just don't have the camera flexibility necesary to utilize it.
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Old 04-09-2020   #57
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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.
I don't think the climb is comparable to just platforming, it punishes you with the level design, if you choose to climb you might get slower your goal because there is a spring or something that pushes you high faster.
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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!
But what if the game is focused in platforming? (obviously it is focused on both platforming and momentum). Maybe you don't only have to zoom into the stages all the time.
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Old 04-09-2020   #58
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My statements earlier regarding the thok biasing in favor of Mouse+KB setups also applies here. Prior to simple controls, it was very rare that I would actually use thok in the campaign while playing on a gamepad, since I just don't have the camera flexibility necesary to utilize it.
I do agree with you at least partially here. Prior to simple controls (Or rather, it was Fickle's exe when I started using it) I never played using a controller because I couldn't make it work for the life of me. Now I prefer it.

This does make me wonder just how big of a factor the camera is regarding so many people apparently having trouble with the thok, however... Perhaps if there was an option to move the camera up and back a little, and point it down more so that the player has more visibility of where they are going to land? Not as like, a permanent camera position, but as a toggle similar to look up/down.
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Old 04-09-2020   #59
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I don't mean to be rude, time gear, but autobreak has nothing to do with it. If you've spent any time watching newcomers play srb2, you'd know the thok just doesn't work for those people. It almost always reaches a point where the give up and stop using the move entirely.
You said it yourself, NEWCOMERS; these are the people who just got into the game and have to get used to the way it's played, and also Sonic is described as an advanced Character and that it's harder to use because it's "uncontrollable".

---------- Post added at 01:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:56 PM ----------

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Perhaps if there was an option to move the camera up and back a little...
You are totally right, that option shouldn't be hidden or command exclusive.
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Old 04-09-2020   #60
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I don't know what data you have available [...]
I imagine that a lot of people in this thread have been watching various YouTube playthroughs.
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