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Old 12-17-2019   #1
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Knuckles received a lot of changes in this patch, including the following:
  • Stat normalization (everyone now uses Sonic's stats)
  • Changes to glide turning and momentum that are more in-line with Sonic & Knuckles mechanics
  • Allowing Knuckles to carry pre-existing momentum into glide
  • Rebounding when gliding into multi-hit enemies.
  • Landing frames after gliding
  • Climbing changes (Speed adjustments + camera angling)
  • Updated sprites

I want to ask everybody who's played the character the following:
  1. From a general control and gameplay perspective, how does it "feel" to play as Knuckles?
  2. How well do you think the game and levels are designed to accommodate for Knuckles?
  3. How strong do you think Knuckles is in terms of overall character balance, and in which game modes do you think he excels or struggles?
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Old 12-17-2019   #2
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Originally Posted by CobaltBW View Post
[...] I want to ask everybody who's played the character the following:
1. From a general control and gameplay perspective, how does it "feel" to play as Knuckles? [...]
Very good and fluid, as with any other character, really. Even slowing down/briefly stopping in place after landing after gliding doesn't feel bad to me. Different from 2.1, sure, but not bad at all. (Though that specific point might be a bit more controversial among others.)
I'm not sure how to feel about Knuckles (and Tails) now being equally as fast as Sonic rather than each character having different speeds, though, but it's not something that I really notice outside of BCZ1.

However, there's one thing that I don't like. That's the lack of a "swap turning and strafing controls when gliding" option.
For keyboard and mouse, sure, still using the mouse to turn while gliding is fine. For traditional platformer gamepad setups (using the right stick for the camera and a face button for jumping), and maybe also some keyboard-only setups, such an option would be very appreciated.

Allow me to quote a post that I've made in the "Suggestions" thread, as it's relevant here:
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Originally Posted by Zwip-Zwap Zapony View Post
Suggestion: A (disabled-by-default) option that swaps the strafing and turning controls when gliding as Knuckles.

With a gamepad set up with the left stick for [player] movement, right stick for [camera movement], and face buttons for jumping [and spinning], the above option would make it possible to comfortably turn with the left stick (instead of the right one) while gliding, and also still allow strafing with the right stick if necessary.

Without the above option, one should either use a bumper/trigger to jump/glide with a different finger than the right stick/turning finger, which is comfortable but very unlike most other platformers (and therefore a bit more time-consuming to teach a buddy for split-screen or such), or move the right stick to turn while simultaneously holding a face button down to glide, which is just uncomfortable.


Edit: I won't comment on point #2 (level design), since I don't feel qualified to speak about such non-straightforward topics.
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[...] 3. How strong do you think Knuckles is in terms of overall character balance, and in which game modes do you think he excels or struggles?
Stronger than Sonic and weaker than Tails, which feels intended, feels good, and feels hard to non-"forcedly" get around in a game like this. So... good. Knuckles doesn't feel too strong nor weak (and nor does Sonic).

As for game modes... I don't play any of the multi-player game modes (besides occasional split-screen co-op), so I'm not one to comment on that.

Last edited by Zwip-Zwap Zapony; 12-17-2019 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 12-17-2019   #3
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He feels good as-is, don't think he needs any changes really
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Old 12-17-2019   #4
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I suppose I might have internal bias because I'm so used to playing as Sonic, but I found his campaign harder than Sonic's, which I don't think is intentional. His reduced jump height made platforming more challenging in the later levels in a way that his glide and climb abilities don't help him with.

For example, jumping across rocks floating in lava in RVZ is often more difficult than even Amy because his jump height leaves very little room for error, and gliding doesn't work because you're already too close to the lava for it to help. As another example, CEZ3 feels almost broken for Knuckles compared to the other characters.

In previous versions, I would have recommended Knuckles for new players, but I don't think I would anymore.
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Old 12-17-2019   #5
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Knuckles feels pretty good. More like how he was on genesis than on Dreamcast so it takes a while longer to turn. Otherwise he has a good feel.

Even with the Super Everyone addon he still feels good to control while transformed.
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Old 12-17-2019   #6
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Originally Posted by CobaltBW View Post
  1. From a general control and gameplay perspective, how does it "feel" to play as Knuckles?
  2. How well do you think the game and levels are designed to accommodate for Knuckles?
  3. How strong do you think Knuckles is in terms of overall character balance, and in which game modes do you think he excels or struggles?


1) Knuckles feels and plays like Knuckles. He's heavy, has a more difficult time with basic platforming, and gliding and climbing are essential to his ability to gain speed and retain forward momentum. Landing frames give him that extra amount of commitment gliding has seriously needed, and an "autobrake" when landing on small platforms.

2) Outside of Castle Eggman Zone 3, Knuckles feels as well accommodated for as Sonic, I rarely found platforms that had to be climbed up that Sonic would otherwise just jump to. The increased amount of no-climb and Knuckles specific routes make each level feel very engaging as you treasure hunt for spots that look good to climb and get some air time from.

3) While he feels more in-character, Knuckles is probably one of the weakest characters in the game because of those very same attributes. Forced landing lag is killer everywhere that isn't an Aerial Garden Zone FoF, and the lack of instant momentum shift that glide used to have makes him an easy target in the air. Climbing is much faster than before, so he can keep up with Tails in vertical speed, but Thok is the fastest ability in the game, and Metal Sonic can glide with zero loss of momentum or height.

Here's what I'd like to see from Knuckles:
  • Landing animation can be canceled with a jump or spindash once Knuckles is crouching.
  • Gliding accelerates faster than it does currently
  • Gliding uses Turn-to-Ability by default, or an option to allow glide to Turn-To-Ability. It significantly improves gliding's potential in every gametype.
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Old 12-18-2019   #7
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Landing animation can be canceled with a jump or spindash once Knuckles is crouching.
You can already do this, actually. You still get the momentum cut from initiating those landing frames though. Something we just recently started throwing around in dev is maybe allowing Knuckles to do roll-landings by holding spin as he lands.
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Old 12-18-2019   #8
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I love the new glide, the perfect control the player had over Knuckles' glide in previous versions of the game and the ability to do immediate course corrections with the glide never felt quite intended and somewhat janky to me. So a glide that takes a moment to turn is appropriate, and carrying existing momentum into the glide is fantastic.

I don't really like Knuckles crouch on landing on the ground. It stops his forward momentum a little too much in my opinion, slows down his game-play more than I'd like for no discernible reason as far as I can tell. I'd love to hear what the game design logic behind giving him the landing crouch is though.

As far as Knuckles balance goes, I mainly play in Single Player where I don't consider balance to be that big an issue so long as each character is fun to play, and Knuckles is fun! His paths are interesting (THZ2 was a great surprise) and while a weakness his lower jump height regularly got me to approach a problem in a new way and that's exactly what should happen when playing as a different character.
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Old 12-18-2019   #9
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I like the whole momentum glide knux has going on now but crouch landing honest to god just feels terrible. In a sonic game you want to keep the flow going but this crouch landing is the opposite of that. I get knuckles is more about exploration than sonic is but even in exploration you want to keep that flow going.

Well on the level design side he feels fairly accommodated especially with all the knuckles exclusive routes added in.

Well honestly all I can say here is ringslinger modes. In ringslinger modes if knuckles glides and then lands he becomes a sitting duck which is as you can guess not ideal in such a mode.

If removing crouch landing makes knuckles too busted maybe it could be made so glide only keeps like half the momentum? I'd take anything over crouch landing atleast.
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Old 12-18-2019   #10
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Crouch landing feels right to me. It was a little annoying at first, but once you start to come to expect it it's not so terrible anymore. The only situation I can imagine myself growing annoyed by it would be while speedrunning levels, but honestly I wouldn't be speedrunning as Knuckles anyway so that's not a problem I have to worry about. I don't play the pvp gametypes either, so whatever problems it might cause there... Well, there's other games in which more mobile characters have shortcomings to balance them out against less mobile characters in a pvp setting so honestly it's probably for the best, even if people are inevitably going to complain.

Overall, Knuckles now properly feels like... Well, Knuckles. It's almost like you guys somehow plucked Knuckles straight out of S3K and dropped him in the (modified) Doom Engine, which is very impressive.

The levels generally accommodate Knuckles very well, and the new physics work very well with his playstyle. He feels properly like a more "hard mode" character, forcing you to slow down and think more about how you approach a variety of situations you would otherwise blaze past without worrying. This is a positive thing, as it's in line with the original conception of Knuckles back on the Mega Drive/Genesis.

Honestly if I had to describe how strong he feels, I would describe it as "A carefully controlled force of nature". That is to say, he generally feels really strong but held back. His gliding and climbing give him the mobility of Tails without the stamina problems, and his ability to break open character specific pathways without even spinning gives him the general feeling of incredible strength, but if someone plays him recklessly they are going to find themselves having a lot more trouble than with most of the other playable characters. He's a general well balanced character with proper upsides and downsides.

The only thing I think I would change is I don't think he should be completely normalized to Sonic's stats. I can appreciate wanting to keep things consistent, but Knuckles simply isn't Sonic and should have trouble keeping up with him in a foot race. The slower top speed would also help a lot with aiming where he lands after a jump, something that can be tricky when combining his lower jump height with the new momentum.
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Old 12-18-2019   #11
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I'll real with y'all: I didn't even realize the crouch landing was a thing. Whenever I wanted to exit a glide as Knuckles, I'd end it in the air which cuts his momentum in half, but he then quickly regains speed with his natural air acceleration. So I don't really care about the crouch landing because I just do that anytime I'm done gliding.
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Old 12-18-2019   #12
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He can stay like this if you ask me... But you might have your reasons for asking, so I'm going to just answer:
1- Momentum makes him really fun to play, I like knuckles as it is though he could get a little help by making the landing frames cancel-able.
2- Levels could get a little help by making Knuckles's routes faster, 'cause some of them just make him feel slower in comparison to other Chars.
3- He struggles in Ring Throwing game modes, Competitive/Race. If there was more stuff where he could get momentum, he'd be able to keep up with Sonic.
Sonic is too OP...
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Old 12-19-2019   #13
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1) I'm okay with Knuckles' changes in speed and momentum when it comes to gliding. I don't even mind that it feels a bit harder to control. I just have a big problem with the crouch after landing.
I think being vulnerable and greatly slowing you down is punishment enough for stopping the glide, Knuckles doesn't need to be punished further by completely stopping after landing. It always felt to me like adding insult to injury in the classic games, honestly. In those, you always lost nearly all your speed when you stopped gliding and then they just stopped you. It's kind of frustrating.

2) The way the levels are right now, I very rarely had any issues going through them as Knuckles. One big exception was the end of CEZ1, where it feels like Knuckles can't make any of the jumps without climbing. Though it definitely feels like it adds to the chaos of the whole event if you're not ready for it.

3) It's hard to tell how balanced Knuckles is, he always felt like a "Jack of All Trades, Master of None" character to me. Not quite as fast as Sonic or Tails in running speed or exploration but not a bad pick either. I wouldn't really know how to balance him though, especially since I mostly play Single Player.

Basically, I like most of the changes to Knuckles and how he plays, but I don't think SRB2 needed the crouch.
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Old 12-19-2019   #14
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1.) From a general control and gameplay perspective, how does it "feel" to play as Knuckles?

Knuckles finally feels like the bulky character he's supposed to be. In previous versions of SRB2, he used to feel extremely light, floaty, and had a lot of... not over-powered, but weird & ghetto exploits. I really hated gliding through bosses as the best way to damage them, and I really really hated that, without the landing lag, you could use the glide as a really shitty thok that was slightly better than walking forward to get some of your speed back fast. I also like the speed-up changes, and being able to look around while climbing is a god send.

I always played him back then regardless, though, as he was my favorite of the main 3. I remember liking Sonic a lot more before, but over time I dislike it more and more because thok just feels like too much and it feels uncomfortable to play Sonic "effectively"; nowadays, I only use thok for platforming than speed, and I always end up holding back and not using the full power of the move. Tails was fun every once in a while, especially if you use him to experience as much of the level as possible, but I just find it all too easy to skip everything. Nowadays, Knuckles is my go-to, and all of 2.2's changes only make me satisfied to call him my main. (Some of the new characters want to fight for that spot, though!)

I like the crouch for getting rid of the exploit I described earlier, but I'm open to it being changed as long as that it doesn't come back. I would be perfectly happy in its current state though because it makes Knuckles feel extremely bulky & unique -- he's not at ALL like playing Sonic, and I don't want him to feel light or fast again.

Now, the normalized stats... I actually really dislike them, because part of the reason I picked Knuckles was to avoid Sonic's janky acceleration issues. In SRB2, your character accelerates faster the faster you're already going. This is particularly noticeable when you're moving at top speed forward, and then start strafing -- you will awkwardly jut to the side faster than you expect. A thrustfactor of 5 makes this issue extremely noticeable, and I personally think it causes a lot of "slippery controls" complaints. This bug also makes underwater acceleration feel extremely heavy, even with thrustfactor 5, even though the code suggests it's not as heavy as the 2D games. Tails' thrustfactor of 3 was like driving a garbage truck, but Knuckles' thrustfactor of 4 felt very reasonable and natural to me. I'll live with a thrustfactor of 5, but I can't help but feel like it was nicer to run around before.

2.) How well do you think the game and levels are designed to accommodate for Knuckles?

Knuckles feels like he has a lot more focus in 2.2 more than ever. In 2.1, he had literally 3 alternative paths in the entire main campaign, 1 of which was nerfed into the ground until it became an empty climb. Now it feels like alternative paths for all characters in general are just stuffed into the levels, so I think Knuckles is worth a playthrough almost as much as he was in S3K. The only thing I really dislike about Knuckles' design is that the subtle jump height differences lead to that ugly hole structure (mainly in AGZ) that the camera really doesn't like, or stepping stone blocks that even the normal characters wouldn't reach if not for step-up. I'm also still unsure about how to feel about climbable walls because they have no telegraphing -- sometimes they're even inconsistent between acts of a zone, sometimes they're inconsistent in the same level! However, I can't think of a really good way to fix this without limiting mapping potential. Any paths split off by proper breakable blocks feel great to find and explore, though!

3.) How strong do you think Knuckles is in terms of overall character balance, and in which game modes do you think he excels or struggles?

I only truly am interested in Single Player/Coop, and in those modes it doesn't really matter how "strong" your character is as long as they play interesting and/or get unique content. Knuckles checks off both boxes now perfectly, so even with a lot of things that could be seen as "nerfs" he feels much more worthy of a separate playthrough than before.

I used to play a mix of all modes, but I don't enjoy myself on them anymore. I've played a little bit of each mode as my favorite characters, and I think he has the same balance as every other character, the same as every previous version of SRB2: everyone's great in Competition, it's map-dependent in Race, and only thok matters in Ringslinger. The extra passives in Ringslinger didn't really help anyone, they're far too weak and thok's ability to change direction instantly above max speed with no predictability is leagues above anything you could give the other characters in those modes. In particular, I feel like Knuckles' passive of "fire rings with less cooldown" since 2.1 has only required you to collect more ammo to be able to use Automatic, and it's situational if it helps for other rings.
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Old 12-19-2019   #15
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Now, the normalized stats... I actually really dislike them, because part of the reason I picked Knuckles was to avoid Sonic's janky acceleration issues. In SRB2, your character accelerates faster the faster you're already going. This is particularly noticeable when you're moving at top speed forward, and then start strafing -- you will awkwardly jut to the side faster than you expect. A thrustfactor of 5 makes this issue extremely noticeable, and I personally think it causes a lot of "slippery controls" complaints. This bug also makes underwater acceleration feel extremely heavy, even with thrustfactor 5, even though the code suggests it's not as heavy as the 2D games. Tails' thrustfactor of 3 was like driving a garbage truck, but Knuckles' thrustfactor of 4 felt very reasonable and natural to me. I'll live with a thrustfactor of 5, but I can't help but feel like it was nicer to run around before.
As far as single player, goes having all characters use the same stats makes it easier to design platforming sections, because then you know that all characters will be moving through them at the same pace without using their abilities. I think we've also established at this point that it's possible to make a character feel faster or slower through their ability design. In general I feel like this will simplify balance in the long run. (And while this shouldn't necessarily be a sticking point: it's worth mentioning that all characters had the same stats in S3&K singleplayer. So we are technically in parity with the classics by doing this!)

But this raises a really interesting point: it seems like we get a lot of mixed feedback regarding acceleration, and I'm wondering if our current acceleration curve has something to do with the fact that characters are constantly working against different types of friction while moving. I would be curious to look into the technical specifics of how fast the character is moving at each frame before reaching full speed, and comparing on-land acceleration to underwater acceleration. Now that all characters use the same acceleration curve, it will probably be a lot easier for us to test and get more feedback on this.
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Old 12-19-2019   #16
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I was less contesting that normalized stats happened, and more which stats were picked to normalize to, if that makes sense. Knuckles' acceleration felt incredibly nice, and Sonic has thok to instantly accelerate anyway.

I made my own code tweak for 2.1 to figure out the amount to cancel out friction, then add an unchanging single acceleration value to that. Felt insanely good.
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Old 12-19-2019   #17
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I was less contesting that normalized stats happened, and more which stats were picked to normalize to, if that makes sense. Knuckles' acceleration felt incredibly nice, and Sonic has thok to instantly accelerate anyway.
That's a fantastic point. The base acceleration could be made slower than it currently is (which would help with the "slippery controls" complaint) without significantly affecting Sonic at all.
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Old 12-19-2019   #18
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As far as single player, goes having all characters use the same stats makes it easier to design platforming sections, because then you know that all characters will be moving through them at the same pace without using their abilities.
While this makes sense, I would also bring up the point that Knuckles has a lower jump than the other characters, and this could have an impact on the pace he goes through platforming sections due to players needing to be more careful and potentially being unable to reach certain platforms without using his gliding and/or climbing.
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Old 12-24-2019   #19
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Oh hey, a bit late to the party on this one.

First off, I'd like to say that I absolutely adore the fact that the glide can now fully retain your momentum upon using it. This is something I'm truly surprised that's never been in any sort of official game, It just makes gliding so much more fluent and rewarding, especially when you have the level design memorised and know how to truly take advantaged of certain gimmicks! (looking at you red spring and chain swing :p)

Also on the topic of gliding, I do see why reduced air control or something else in that vein would need to be a factor now, as without it, the new momentum based glide would be very easy to abuse, and it does help make Knuckles feel subconsciously heavier like he should be. However I think this was really over done, as now even simply trying to glide around in close quarters at a slow speed can be a chore in itself, as it now feels like the glide has ice physics in the air, and it just feels really unreliable at times. Instead, what I believe would have been a better and more fluent trade off while still staying similar in vein, would be to have it so that the glide still has the same turning as it did in 2.1, but then turning too drastically at high speeds could briefly reduce your glide back to it's default speed and have it build back up to what it was before over the span of one or two seconds after you've made the turn. This I feel would make Knuckles glide a lot more reliable and fun to use overall, while still discouraging too much sharp turning and still having Knuckles glide feel like it has some weight to it.

Now for the real kicker and meat of this post, I'm just gonna say it, I really... REALLY dislike the crouch landing. It almost completely breaks the flow of gameplay on his end, as it removes any sort of fluidity from his movement and just overall makes playing as him feel very stop and go. Which completely contradicts the new momentum based gliding in the first place, as its main purpose was to make Knuckles a more consistently fluid and fun character to play, where as the crouch landing just completely goes against this new gameplay philosophy, and makes it feel like he took one step forward and two steps back.

It also just puts you in a lot of unnecessary and unwarranted danger as well, especially in close quarters with a lot of enemies, which is saddening as in pre 2.2 I felt he was the best choice for tackling those obstacles. I can count plenty of times where me and several friends have taken inevitable and unjustified damage in singleplayer or ringslinger that would have otherwise been completely avoidable if the crouch landing wasn't there.

It also just overall feels really unnecessary and cheaply tacked on. Something that I've seen Mystic state a few times on some other topics is that if the classic games do something, Srb2 shouldn't be obliged to do the same thing. This in my opinion applies in spades regrading this topic, as even in a 2D space, it felt very tacked on and unnecessary, and it feels even worse in a 3D space. Coming out of your glide state already cuts your speed in half as it is, that I feel was drawback enough. Now with the crouch landing also added into the equation, it just rubs salt in the wound and it's just completely unwarranted.

The best scenario I can give is imagine if Tails for some reason did the same thing after descending from flight. There, it would feel just as tacked on and unnecessary. As both Tails and Knuckles spend a lot of time in the air, and in turn need to land very often. However Tails (thankfully) doesn't have such a debuff for landing, which helps him strategically maintain his speed better. Where as Knuckles, a character that has an even harder time building up speed and maintaining it due to his lower jump, does get this debuff. Some food for thought!

Overall, I do think the changes to Knuckles are undoubtedly a step in the right direction! However I feel the issue's I have mentioned above really do weigh it down, and contradicts a lot of the good aspects. If I could some up the crouch landing in one word, it'd be, "Unwarranted"!

On a more positive note however, Knuckles's (and by extension everyone else's) new acceleration and normal speed matching Sonic's, is a very nice and welcomed change in my opinion. As now for the most part, everyone's abilities is what truly defines them. Which I think does wonders for having the character feel more constant with each other, while still having them retain what makes them unique in the first place!

So yea, there's my two cents on the whole thing so far! :p
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Old 12-24-2019   #20
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Perhaps what might make the crouch on landing from a glide less jarring to people who are trying to keep up a flow state would be to have him still come full stop when he lands into the crouch, but instead of just crouching, he kneels like a runner and then resumes running at top default running speed.

This way, there's still the factor of needing to think through when it's better to glide and when it's better to just jump, and Knuckles still feels heavy compared to the other characters on landing from a jump, but he still manages to keep up a fair pace instead of just losing all speed.
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