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Old 02-10-2020   #21
V1ral
 
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Maybe I'm a bit late to the party, but on the Force & Element shield overlap... I'unno, seems like they're both getting the short end off each other.

Force's whole deal is to just tank an extra hit, which really overshadows the other effect of stopping on a dime midair. Granted, these both make the thing feel sturdy - Mighty Glacier trope, kinda - but most of the time you'll just forget you have it. Perhaps to double down on the defensive aspect, the stop could apply some measure of knockback to anything near it? The activation already looks like the barrier is pushing outwards, and pushing away players and/or rings in Ringslinger could lead to opportunities to make use of stage hazards with good baiting and timing.

With the Element shield, I think someone already mentioned the shield & ability revision mod. Honestly, I prefer its change to the shield letting you chain a stomp into an immediate roll - its environment immunities already encourage players to boost forwards where they'd normally need to wait (either on safe ground or on air bubbles), so being able to keep momentum just feels natural along with making further use of the spin trail. This could also open up chances to stomp onto a slope and just blast ahead.

....but I'm no game dev, so what do I know? Besides, they all work nicely enough as is - definitely on the "Element is really strong" team for it showing up in the most convenient places all the time in comparison to all the other shields.
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Old 02-12-2020   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic
The reason it does not do this is because if you walk off a ledge and press jump too late, trying to jump, jump is the key that the player would expect to use. If the player walks off a ledge and hits spin too late, they probably were trying to roll into something and don't want to jump unintentionally.
I just wanted to add onto your comments about Amy's problematic design around shield with this: Because Amy's fall and spring frames are the same as her jump frames, it is not always visually clear what state Amy is, and this makes it even less clear which button will trigger the whirlwind jump.

Consider what happens to button inputs in each situation
On ground: S = Hammer, J = Jump
Jumping*: S = Hammer, J = Hammer
With whirlwind*: S = Jump, J = Hammer
With whirlwind, fall state*: S = Nothing, J = Jump
* All share the same sprite animation

This is part of the reason why I was advocating during beta that Amy's aerial button inputs are straight-up inverted from most other characters. While I realize the obvious inconsistency this would create between Amy and the rest of the cast, I think internal inconsistencies, especially those that aren't visually indicated, have a worse impact on the player's intuition. At the very least, hammer = hammer = hammer and jump = jump = jump means that the player never has to guess what their button is going to do so long as they keep in mind what character they're playing.
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Old 02-19-2020   #23
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Gonna weigh in my thoughts on this. Probable overlap? Definitely. Do I care? Nope.

Whirlwind Shield: The ol' trusty. Double Jump is nice and this shield gives just that. I think the only thing I'd change about this shield is to have the fall-state require [Spin] to Whirlwind Jump instead of [Jump]. Keeping the Whirlwind Jump on one button helps with consistency, and it always confused me as a kid that sometimes I'd Whirlwind Jump when I didn't expect to.

Otherwise, the shield's pretty perfect.

Elemental Shield: Another nice shield in the arsenal. Resisting fire-based and water-based hazards makes it seem a little overpowered, but it's not like the shields are designed to be even in power. The fire-trail is nice for dealing with ground-based enemies (especially those turtle-bots), though the Stomp feels a little lacklustre - but that may be because I'm already very used to the game's physics and don't need any extra aid landing on platforms. I could see new players using it well. Overall, one of the better shields.

I always found it odd that the old Fire and Water shields were merged however, and when I was streaming 2.2 with a friend watching who'd never even seen the game, he instantly thought it was just a fire shield. Didn't even see the water element within it. There's gotta be a better way to indicate it has the elements of both...

Armageddon Shield: Eh, I'm honestly middling on this one. It's a good shield, don't get me wrong - having a barrier which eliminates all enemies around you when you take damage is extremely nice, as it often ensures they won't hit you again. However, I can't help but feel like this shield is more fragile than the others, especially when a single accidental air-spin can break the entire shield.

I kinda wish that it would turn into a Pity shield upon manual use, so that you'd still get the protective properties.

Force Shield: Unironically my favourite shield. Resisting two hits instead of one is huge. The ability of this one is honestly really lame (stopping momentum, woo) and has overlap with the Elemental shield to boot, but honestly? You're not getting this shield for its ability. You're getting the shield for the ability to resist two hits. And that's really nice.

Kinda wish it had its old reflect-on-hit though, and it's almost impossible to tell a half-used Force shield from a fresh one. (Honestly, I just switch to first-person to check if the icon is flickering, if I've forgotten...)

Attraction Shield: A series staple, and for good measure. Being able to attract nearby rings is awesome! And it's balanced by shorting out underwater. The new ability - the Homing Attack from Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island - is also really cool. I'm a little sad that it can't be chained, but having it keep your momentum on boop honestly makes up for it. Plus, it gives characters like Amy and Fang the ability to spin-attack.

Pretty dang perfect.

(Not gonna mention the Sonic 3 shields as they're more a bonus used on secondary stages anyway, they aren't in the main campaign)
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #24
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If you go into the settings, there is an option to show the 1st person item icons in 3rd person.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #25
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I like how SRB2 doesn't just use the same shields as 3&K, but all but one I have some problems with. Usually I can ignore this issue because I can just pick up a better shield if I don't find use in the one I have, but I'd still like to give my thoughts on each shield.

Whirlwind shield: Usually my number one choice shield, double jumping is a godsend when playing any Sonic game that gives a whole new layer of gameplay depth and additional paths. It's the only shield I don't have any issues with.
Attraction shield: Attracting coins is again a godsend in Sonic games, and objectively speaking it makes more sense for its additional ability to be magnetically attacking enemies rather than double jumping like in 3&K and Mania. This equivalent to the homing attack is very fun, but I feel it's a bit lacking compared to the Adventure games (ironically enough, because in almost all ways I find those lacking compared to SRB2). I wish the attraction shield would allow for chain attacks, rather than only attacking one enemy at a time; if this change was made, the attraction shield would be just as cool as the whirlwind shield. I'd also love it if the attraction shield let you home in on springs and item boxes, again like the Adventure games; it makes sense because both of those things are made of metal.
Elemental shield: Having a shield that allows protection from fire and water is a cool concept, but it only ever seems to appear in the water context rather than fire. I wish Red Volcano Zone had occasional access to elemental shields to bring out the fire access more (hope I'm not wrong in assuming there are none. I sure haven't found any). And as cool as the speed fall ability looks, I only ever find it useful when collecting goodies under goop in Techno Hill Zone, and only through reading forum threads did I learn that the fire trail left behind is apparently deadly to enemies. Maybe if I experiment more I'll be able to integrate that ability into regular gameplay.
Force shield: As far as I'm concerned, the only benefit to this shield is taking two hits instead of one, which is a good advantage for tricky levels and perhaps excuses the shield's basically useless special ability. I find falling in a 100% vertical direction inherently at odds with the nature of Sonic games, especially in three dimensions. I think allowing the force and elemental shields some freedom of movement would make them more redeemable, but still not as good as the other two shields I mentioned.
Armageddon shield: In theory, this shield is an excellent concept that invites players to think strategically: it can kill all enemies nearby, either on your own will or when getting hit by an enemy, but you can only use it once so you need to be careful where to use it. Unfortunately, this shield is found rarely enough that usually when I find it, I have a different shield that I'd rather be using, and if I do pick up that shield, I often don't find a good opportunity to use it before losing that shield, again either to getting hit or willfully taking a different one. Killing all enemies in an area is mostly useful for points (and indirectly extra lives), because once you use the shield to kill all enemies, you're vulnerable to lose your rings all over again once you get past the nearby area. I wouldn't mind if that shield was a bit easier to come by.

One thing I do like about the SRB2 shields is that every level has a variety of shields scattered throughout, which means if you know what you're doing you can pick up whichever shield you find most convenient for getting through a level. One of the problems I have with Mania is that a lot of levels only ever give access to one type of shield, maybe a second if you're lucky; makes sense because of the creative shield interactions, but only in Encore Mode can you enter bonus stages to take a shot at whichever shield you want like in 3&K. SRB2 has a worthy substitute for this freedom as a 3D game, because varied shields are one of the many rewards you get for exploring levels.

I also like that you can use shields in SRB2 to their fullest as all characters, not just Sonic, and that the shields never override existing abilities, except arguably in Amy's case where you can't use jump + spin for hammer while jumping anymore, only jump + jump which is a little awkward but not hard to get used to.

Last edited by cookiefonster; 3 Weeks Ago at 05:46 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #26
Mystic
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Originally Posted by cookiefonster View Post
This equivalent to the homing attack is very fun, but I feel it's a bit lacking compared to the Adventure games (ironically enough, because in almost all ways I find those lacking compared to SRB2). I wish the attraction shield would allow for chain attacks, rather than only attacking one enemy at a time; if this change was made, the attraction shield would be just as cool as the whirlwind shield. I'd also love it if the attraction shield let you home in on springs and item boxes, again like the Adventure games; it makes sense because both of those things are made of metal.
So, since this keeps coming up, I figure it's probably worth explaining why we intentionally chose not to do this. The reason is to preserve our game feel. That's a hard thing to explain concisely, but the core concept is that we don't want to feel like modern Sonic. So why did we go with this specific answer to preserve game feel? There's unfortunately no easy answer to that but I'll give it my best shot.

First off: attraction preserves your horizontal momentum after usage. While a lot of people might not have noticed this, a common feature of movement-generating effects in SRB2 is that they do not reset anything that they do not need to. For instance, when you touch a vertical spring, it doesn't need to reset your horizontal momentum for it to work, so it doesn't. When you thok, your vertical momentum is also not reset. Diagonal springs need to reset your momentum entirely, though, so they do. Hence, when you use the attraction's ability, your momentum is reset to start the homing attack because that's necessary for the effect to work, but your horizontal momentum is not reset after hitting the enemy. Vertical momentum is fixed here because otherwise the effect turns every enemy into a stronger double jump than whirlwind.

This is also part of why it doesn't work on springs and monitors. You would end up gaining a huge amount of horizontal momentum and then have it reset upon hitting a diagonal spring, while not having it reset upon hitting a vertical one and suddenly you go flying, hopefully in a direction you had planned for. We actively want this ability to not encourage the same play pattern that the homing attack does, so just constantly activating it over and over again because it applies everywhere isn't the way to go. The intent is to emulate the gold shield from Sonic 3D Blast more than the modern homing attack, but add some of the parts of the homing attack that genuinely are important, such as the lock-on cursor apparently added to the ability in newer official games.

The other notable thing is that the ability cannot be chained, like Sonic 3D Blast, which is a common complaint in this thread. This also creates a very different feel from the official homing attack, primarily it means that horizontal momentum you just gained cannot be ignored. You're going to need to land on a platform with that momentum and then use the ability again if you want to use it to kill multiple enemies. Yes, this makes using it to kill multiple enemies significantly less efficient time-wise and if you're playing time attack you're likely better off not.

However, the most important reason it can't be chained is for game feel. The key point here is to avoid the "mash homing attack" feel from modern Sonic, and especially avoid homing attack chains in level design. Homing attack chain level design is an easy temptation in introducing the homing attack, and by explicitly forbidding it we're cutting that source of linear level design off at the source. We want to encourage players to approach the levels and hazards they encounter in their own way as much as possible. Stuff like homing attack chains force you to engage in them precisely as the level designer intended instead of letting you choose how you want to approach it, and thus I personally consider this to be the worst possible result from adding the ability to begin with and thus needed to be prevented at all costs. In fact I'm pretty sure the initial description of the ability when we were testing activated abilities for all the shields included the word "unchainable" for exactly this reason.

I want SRB2 to keep the unique feel that it has polished over the years. Thus it's really important to make sure that we stay away from certain parts of the homing attack that SEGA has embraced. If it helps, think of the attraction shield as a refinement of the gold shield from 3D Blast, because that's a lot closer to what the intent is.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #27
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Originally Posted by cookiefonster View Post
Elemental shield: Having a shield that allows protection from fire and water is a cool concept, but it only ever seems to appear in the water context rather than fire. I wish Red Volcano Zone had occasional access to elemental shields to bring out the fire access more (hope I'm not wrong in assuming there are none. I sure haven't found any). And as cool as the speed fall ability looks, I only ever find it useful when collecting goodies under goop in Techno Hill Zone, and only through reading forum threads did I learn that the fire trail left behind is apparently deadly to enemies. Maybe if I experiment more I'll be able to integrate that ability into regular gameplay.
There's one Elemental Shield in RVZ that I know of, which is the one by the diamond emblem. The way it trivializes the entire rest of the stage is amazing. I love it.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #28
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I'm still not sure what I think about the attraction shield's momentum. I'm okay with the fact that it's kind of a double-edged sword, but the momentum after attacking feels a little extreme at the moment, if only from a game feel standpoint. I think it would feel a little more comfortable if momentum at the end of the homing attack was halved, that way players aren't as forced to commit to their trajectory and can reasonably move forward or apply the breaks.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #29
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I think it would feel a little more comfortable if momentum at the end of the homing attack was halved, that way players aren't as forced to commit to their trajectory and can reasonably move forward or apply the breaks.
I agree this would be a good change and my shield mod already does this if you want to see how it feels in practice. It also makes the ability chainable as long as you don't whiff the attack, similar to how the Twinspin works in vanilla. That's mostly for the sake of fun though, since chaining is not very useful outside of crawla hordes.
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