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Old 02-24-2020   #41
Rob
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I think you're extremely wrong about lives. Lives serve a very important purpose. You can, easily, get a lucky break on portions of levels that are otherwise challenging, only to hit a wall where you can't beat a section in order to progress because you never learned what those previous areas were trying to teach you. If you consistently fail at a single challenge, there's a solid chance it's because you failed to grasp how the game works or how a challenge is supposed to work. I've seen many a YouTube video where someone manages to skip easier sections of maps only to hit a hard point and say "this is bullshit" when they aren't actually engaging with the level in the first place. Having a hard restart to force you to re-learn things is a strong benefit and saying "lives are obsolete because they're old arcade things" isn't actually an argument. Spending extra time on a map may not actually be a waste.

I'm of the opinion that the old save method provides a similar benefit by going back to the first act, but it's also very clear that people play the game in small bursts so it's a bigger detriment than benefit.

Last edited by Rob; 02-24-2020 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 02-24-2020   #42
RomioTheBadass
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I really like this change, It actually made me go back and finish the game with the rest of the characters because now I can exit the game and come back later to the same act where I left.
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Old 02-24-2020   #43
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I'll say that I'm not against lives as a general mechanic and I think it serves a useful purpose depending on the game medium, just as health serves a useful purpose.

Health and lives are effectively your "chance" systems, where you can make a certain number (or a certain "severity") of mistakes before having to redo a certain portion of the game. No different than if you were to take a test, really. Lives are not that fundamentally different from health, they're just another layer added onto the same system. Lives are an extension of the health system, and continues are an extension of the lives system.

One of the issues that needs to be explored here is the permanency of failure. While there are some design advantages to the "restart from the beginning" nature of old games in that it forces the player to take death seriously, it also has significant accessibility drawbacks for players who don't have either the time or the skill to work with that system to progress through the game. Most games nowadays don't even bother with it precisely because it hurts accessibility.

If we're making the value judgment of "we want more people to have good experiences with our game", it's important that our game is accessible to some degree. Per-level saves is a good compromise here because it diminishes some of the permanency of failure by making it so that players don't have to redo the fifteen minutes of platforming they may have just completed. While this breaks down the continue system, the most elegant solution could be to preserve the continues system as part of the no-save playthrough while removing them from the save files.
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Old 02-25-2020   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
I think you're extremely wrong about lives. Lives serve a very important purpose. You can, easily, get a lucky break on portions of levels that are otherwise challenging, only to hit a wall where you can't beat a section in order to progress because you never learned what those previous areas were trying to teach you. If you consistently fail at a single challenge, there's a solid chance it's because you failed to grasp how the game works or how a challenge is supposed to work. I've seen many a YouTube video where someone manages to skip easier sections of maps only to hit a hard point and say "this is bullshit" when they aren't actually engaging with the level in the first place. Having a hard restart to force you to re-learn things is a strong benefit and saying "lives are obsolete because they're old arcade things" isn't actually an argument. Spending extra time on a map may not actually be a waste.

I'm of the opinion that the old save method provides a similar benefit by going back to the first act, but it's also very clear that people play the game in small bursts so it's a bigger detriment than benefit.
This is basically how I feel about things. I have a strong disagreement with the entire premise of the "Lives are a relic of the past from arcade cabinets eating up your quarters" I have seen people throwing around since Crash N.Sane came out in general. I'm fine with certain genre's not using lives systems, but most platformers benefit from such a system, as running and jumping on it's own is rather dull and boring. It's the challenge that provides the entertainment value, and punishment that provides the incentive to improve. There's no value in getting to the end with infinite tries because assuming you never give up, there's a 100% chance of you doing so.

I feel the same way about starting at the beginning of an act after a game over. Especially in a platformer like SRB2 with more than one way to get through each level even as the same character. It gives you not only the opportunity to improve and rethink your approach, but also the opportunity to take a different pathway and explore some areas you missed the chance to before, perhaps even have an easier time.

Even for experienced veterans, it's not really difficult to go and get into other things for months or even years at a time, get rusty, and find that now the game is kicking your ass when you get back. This is especially the case when level layouts are no longer what you remember, new zones are added, and therefore you can't rely on old muscle memories to be your backup guide.

Overall, I feel like the argument that gets thrown around a lot of "This doesn't effect you so you shouldn't care" isn't really entirely truthful, and kinda feels to me like saying "You don't deserve to have a say in this because I can't think of a reason this would ever impact you as a player".

I can understand making this change as a "quick" fix as Mystic put it, but I don't believe it should be a permanent one. If there is an unwillingness to compromise and implement options to make the game more punishing for those who want it, then I really hope something else gets figured out.

To finish this post off, I just want to caution against stereotyping players of any level of experience and using that as a basis to discredit their say in feedback to any sort of change like this. Even if a change is more likely to impact players of a certain skill level than others, that doesn't mean that their opinions are the only ones that matter, or that a majority of them even feel the way those you have interfaced with directly do. I feel as though this controversy is evidence (Not to be confused with proof) that the development mentality is starting to shift focus in a way that has potential to alienate long time fans of the game to bring in new players.
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Old 02-25-2020   #45
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As someone who has been playing this game for near decades of my life, I can confidently say: I never want to have to do an entire zone over from scratch ever again. Egg Rock's extreme difficulty + having to do the whole zone over on failure prevented me from completing the game until 2.2, and while I didn't need per-act saving for it on 2.2, I will note that part of that is thanks to the separation of the boss levels into Black Core, giving a save after clearing Egg Rock 2.

I am perfectly willing to try my hand at tough challenges over and over - on my terms, and usually not for segments beyond 5-10 minutes each. I've beaten most of F-Zero GX Story mode on Very Hard and all of Perfect Dark on Perfect Agent, I'm no stranger to hard games - but when individual attempts of a challenge demand upwards of 15 minutes each time, I'm going to lose my patience very fast. The two aforementioned games benefit from relatively short attempts, usually taking 5-10 minutes each. The easier and quicker it is to jump back in after a failure, the more palatable. If I had to restart all of Egg Rock or even if I had to re-do all of Black Core after a potential failure on Black Eggman, I would've almost certainly dropped the game, potentially not coming back to it for a long time.

I like repeating challenges until I get them right - but I don't like being forced to repeat something I already cleared, and considering the length of most acts, having to repeat 20-35 minutes worth of game (accounting for both acts of a zone + potential time in the boss fight) I've already beaten is a fast way to strip me of my motivation to continue.

I'm perfectly okay with continues being made pointless because of this change to saving - shoot, I think they should just be gone straight-up. I can't imagine most people outside of this thread are going to miss them, and I feel like someone who's willingly playing no-save probably doesn't need the extra safety net.
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Old 02-25-2020   #46
Shockey Rai
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I for one like this change, i never did like the save per zone system, i wasn't really thrilled at having to redoing Castle Eggman after getting a Game Over on the Castle Eggman Boss. (Oh god, i HATE that boss.)
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Old 03-03-2020   #47
LuminousNeon
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Nonsense.
The act save is glorious.
I play classic Sonic games a lot and that's what I've always wanted.
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Old 03-04-2020   #48
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Well, it sure sounds like per-act saving is here to stay.

Does that mean we can have the ERZ3 boss back?
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Old 03-05-2020   #49
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As a new player I can't imagine how much of a pain certain parts of the game would be if I had to replay the entire zone upon a game over, it very well could've killed my enjoyment of the game as a whole. The game's levels became time consuming for me very quickly, I definitely would've gone from enjoying the game's levels to hating them if game overs forced me to replay entire zones from the beginning, Arid Canyon in particular would've gone from being a highly enjoyable zone to being intolerable if Fang giving me trouble had resulted in me having to replay both acts numerous times. Enjoying the levels and being able to see all the branching alternate paths is incentive enough for me to want to replay the game's levels, the game has enough content in it, and is difficult enough in the later levels that it doesn't need to rely on forcing you to replay levels to artificially inflate your playtime.

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Old 03-07-2020   #50
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I am kind of shocked this controversial. Like yeah traditionally you would start back at beginning of a zone but srb2 is not your normal traditional Sonic game. I was on Egg Rock Zone trying to beat it as Sonic and after well over an hour I finally ran out of all the lives on Egg Rock Zone Act 3, this before 2.2, and had to restart way at the beginning of Egg Rock at which point I was like yeah screw this. Based on that it mass improvement.
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Old 03-14-2020   #51
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Disclaimer — I've only played 2.2.0 on Mac, and have not actually experienced the act save system.

That said... I was actually quite glad that the saves were only for each new zone, rather than each new act.

On my initial playthroughs, I got stuck (at least for a bit, not necessarily always continues or game overs) on basically every level from Deep Sea Zone all the way until the end.

One reason I liked this system was that in re-playing, say, DSZ1 or ACZ1 to get back to where I was struggling in DSZ2 / ACZ2 meant that I not only got to see myself level up in skill (conquering challenges that once vexed me on the way to the then current vexing section), but I also had another opportunity to find Emerald Tokens.

The first file save I cleared was maybe the 5th or 6th one that I'd started, because once I had eventually learned where enough of the Emerald Tokens were and how to complete the special stages, I knew when I finally completed the game I wanted to do so with all 7 Emeralds.

So that first cleared save file was a lot of fun, because I'd replayed all of the levels up to Egg Rock Zone Act 1 enough times that I could confidently clear them, and also comfortably collect all emeralds along the way.

I think the only portion of the game where I would've liked to save between each act is the final three bosses. My suggestion would be to keep the "save after every zone" system (as it is in S3&K and Mania) and then, for the ending, instead of it being Black Core acts 1-3, make each a separate 1-act zone?

Maybe it's "Black Core Zone" / "Metal Drop Zone" / "Space Death Zone"
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