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Simple character rebalancing
Version: 2, by TehRealSalt ((σᴥσ)) TehRealSalt is offline
Developer Last Online: Oct 2020

Version: SRB2 Rating: (5 votes - 4.20 average)
Released: 12-27-2019 Last Update: 12-31-2019 Favourites: 8
Characters Scripts

Not the most exciting add-on, but these are some extremely simple changes that help improve the gameplay flow of the new unlockable characters, while still attempting to stay faithful to their playstyles. The changes (and the reasoning behind each) are as follows:

Spoiler: Reasoning
- Amy was given a buff to enemy/monitor bouncing -- when she successfully times a hammer spin, she'll launch into the air, more-so if you chain multiple enemies!

Amy's appeal in vanilla is as a challenging platform character that respects the level design, so I didn't want to give her something too crazy, but she also was lacking in any tools to work with either.

However, after trying some Hammer Jump scripts, I thought it was too much & too easy to pull off at any time. I decided that buffing her bounces would give her an edge, call back to Hammer Jump-style moves, yet keep it more situational. While I did end up making it a bit strong, I think that's made up for with the situational opportunities to use it.

Ultimately, this ended up being one of my favorite move changes in this script!

- Amy was given a larger multiplier to her existing spring buffs. Previously, this ability did practically nothing; even the smallest skips would come just shy of reaching anything. Now this comes into play far more often!

- Amy's hearts were given bigger & more consistent hitboxes. Previously the hitbox size was pretty faithful to the sprite's size, but when trying to give other players shields in Coop, it felt really easy to whiff. Since the hearts have no use in PvP modes and are only used to help other players, I decided that it was fair for the hitboxes to be pretty big. The sprite was also previously offset into the ground, which only added to the disjointed feeling.

- Fang's gun has been sped up in several ways. It was given what I like to call "Quick Draw": if he locks onto a target, his next shot will be able to quickly lock onto another target! You can also use your gun at any speed, and keep your speed while you use it. Firing one shot too many, however, will give you an even longer cooldown and slow you down. If you chain multiple shots together, it'll also build a score chain!

The point of these changes were all an attempt to reduce the amount of "start & stop" when playing Fang. The score chaining is also to give it a bit of flavor from SA2, so you're encouraged to try and pick as many enemies off as you can in one motion. These changes mostly don't affect bosses, as the time window for Quick Draw ends before their flashing tics do. This is purely meant to make Fang's gameplay in normal levels have a bit more flow, without straying too far from what he's all about.

- Amy, Fang, and any custom characters that can't spin-jump can all use their abilities after taking a spring. This was done since the vanilla characters share their jump frames with their spring frames, so it feels more natural to me.

For Fang, this simply means he can start bouncing after a spring chain if he feels like it, not a huge buff but still a nice option. For Amy, it gives her a lot more options: she can hit enemies after taking springs (giving her hammer spin a trait that normal spin-jump characters don't have!), and it lets her decide which springs she wants to boost in a chain of multiple springs.

I might feel inclined to get rid of this if they ever do get their own unique jump frames, but I like the tiny edge it gives them in utility.

- Metal Sonic's Hover ability has been totally reworked into Jet Booster.

Instead of pure multi-ability Hover, he has Jet Booster. Once per jump, he can Hover for exactly 1 second. This short Hover is unable to be canceled, so you have to commit to it. Additionally, it takes all of your existing speed and redirects it in the direction the camera's facing, turning it into a way to keep more of your Dash Mode speed! This keeps what is enjoyable about Hover, but gives it some reasonable limits when using it on its own, yet enhances it when used in combination with Dash Mode!

- Metal Sonic's Dash Mode has been made way easier to keep.

You now only lose it when going below half of your run speed on the ground, rather than below your full run speed even in the air. Additionally, you can get Dash Mode when going above Sonic's thok speed, and you can keep Dash Mode through level gimmicks like springs and rope hangs.


Spoiler: Changelog

v3:
  • Replaced Metal Sonic's Jump Boost with a custom ability: Jet Booster. You can Hover for 1 second once per air. On use, it also redirects your existing momentum.
  • Made several changes to Dash Mode to make it easier to gain/keep.
    • Instead of always being lost when going below run speed, Dash Mode is only removed when going below half of your run speed while you're on the ground.
    • In exchange, losing Dash Mode is slightly more punishing -- instead of losing the timer over the span of a second, you lose it all instantly.
    • Dash Mode is instantly activated when you reach over 60 speed.
    • Dash Mode timer is frozen when using level objects, like springs, zoom tubes, rope hangs, minecarts, etc.
  • Amy has stronger spring multipliers. (Vertical speeds are from a x1.2 multiplier to a x1.33 multiplier, horizontal speeds are from a x1.33 multiplier to a x1.48 multiplier)
v2:
  • Characters without a spin-jump (Amy, Fang) can now use their abilities after using a spring.
  • Gave Amy's heart particles a larger hitbox.
  • Adjusted the sprite offset of Amy's heart particles to make them more consistent with their hitbox.
  • Amy's bounce is now additive instead of multiplicative.
  • Fang has less cooldown on his gun overall.
  • Fang's Quick Draw score chain now has a leniency period where it doesn't expire.
  • Fixed Amy's extra bounce not applying to monitors.
  • Fixed Fang's shooting sometimes being able to turn you around.
v1:
  • Initial release


I originally only made this for myself so that I could enjoy the game a bit more, but I figured other people might also enjoy these changes.

Download Now

File Type: zip VL_charsrebalance-v3.zip (5.8 KB, 490 views)

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Comments
Old 12-29-2019   #2
D00D64
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Welcome to releases!
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Old 12-29-2019   #3
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These are all fantastic changes! Amy's bounce gives her a much-needed tool for platforming (plus it makes crawla bouncing more fun than ever), Fang is now the most efficient character for wiping out groups of badniks quickly, and Metal doesn't feel so OP in a way that ruins my enjoyment playing as him anymore. I've only messed around with these abilities for a short time but I think these changes do quite a lot to bring the extra characters up (or in Metal's case, down) to the utility of the main trio. Nice work, I think this is one of those mods I'll be using almost all of the time now.


EDIT: I have a request:



Please don't nerf Amy's bounce it's too much fun lmao

Last edited by Jake; 12-29-2019 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 12-29-2019   #4
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I fully agree with the sentiments behind the changes and think the ideas are good, but the execution leaves some things to be desired.

Amy's boost to bouncing is definitely fun, but feels way too strong. This is highlighted in basically every gif I've seen of it: a single bounce completely skips a chunk of Amy's intended path in ACZ1, a single bounce largely bypasses RVZ1's second outdoor section, and basically any level that presents the opportunity for bounce chains just ends up with hitting the ceiling way too soon (it took me just three bounces in GFZ1, at least). I love enemy/monitor bouncing as a mechanic (I've added many instances of and rewards for it in 2.2's campaign) and I like the boost for emphasizing it more, but there has to be a compromise that respects the level design more while staying fun. Even if there aren't too many opportunities to use it, and it's not exactly easy to pull off most of the time, I'd rather not see it make a joke out of many areas that do have them.

The changes to Fang's gun I like, but the longer cooldown feels a bit excessive. It also doesn't trigger in all cases, at least it seems to break in cases where solid midtextures block the cork from hitting a targeted enemy.

Metal feels kinda naked without any active jump ability, even if that's an improvement over the overpowered floating. Even something weak or highly situational would help, I think.
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Old 12-29-2019   #5
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I agree Amy's bounce boost is fun as fuck but sorta ridiculous. I love the way Fang plays now though, but I wish he was still only able to aim at enemies in front of him. Too many times have I lined up a few enemies, only for Fang to snap 180 once he starts firing and it messes me up.
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Old 12-29-2019   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenhog View Post
I agree Amy's bounce boost is fun as fuck but sorta ridiculous. I love the way Fang plays now though, but I wish he was still only able to aim at enemies in front of him. Too many times have I lined up a few enemies, only for Fang to snap 180 once he starts firing and it messes me up.
Definitely agree. There also needs to be more of a cap on the vertical range of his gun too, since he tends to lock on to targets above/below the camera. Even with these fixes though, my main problem with fang (the gun animation) needs fixing. These changes would make gunning down enemies feel more fluid in my opinion:

- Shorter delay after firing
- More ground friction during the shot (right now it feels very slide-y)
- Give fang a higher acceleration value than the other characters, so he can get back to top speed after a shot
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Old 12-29-2019   #7
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@sphere:

The more I play with it the more I'm convinced the way I have Amy's bounce is perfect as is. It requires a long, *long* list of requirements. Good positioning, enemies to use, player skill, players in Coop not taking the good spots, so on. I've had to come to terms with Crawla bouncing being a niche skill that not a lot of people care to practice, so I think it's fine making it strong. Not to mention, it's basically competing with Hammer Jump, which reaches a higher base height with the press of a single button, compared to extra bounce being a weaker height gain against 1 enemy on flat ground that requires enemies to even use it on.

The current boost is x1.33, which is actually the spring boost given to horizontal springs, since I attempted the boost given to vertical springs (x1.2) and thought it was insanely weak and unnoticeable -- I don't want it to be something that's just there to be there, and doesn't actually impact the way you play the character. I may make it weaker, but probably not much weaker -- maybe x1.25.

----

By "miss", I mean "taking a shot without a target". I feel like actually giving you a longer cooldown because SRB2 has bad sight detection would be actually pretty unfair. "Whenever or not an arrow is on-screen before shooting" is much more fair from the player's perspective, because it's easy to identify what's wrong compared to sight-checking jank.

The literally just 10 more tics of cooldown is meant to cool down on over-aggression, since I made it even more aggressive -- if you don't waste your shots (like a Sniper would... just saying c;) then Fang is a extreme buff from vanilla. If you're hammering that Spin key, then he's only situationally buffed. I'm extremely happy with that balance.

----

I know a lot of people I talk to look at Metal's ability as a nerf... for how I play him it's honestly more of a buff. I actually think he's way stronger than before if you actually focus on Dash Mode. I mean clearly not having an enhanced Glide is a nerf overall, but the new ability combos with his Dash Mode way nicer.

That said, I don't mind giving him a primary ability, I just don't have any ideas. The only idea I liked (from Jeck Jims) was giving him Float again when he's in the water, since he doesn't have anything going for him in the water (and the bubble effect when he floats underwater is insanely cute), but I think that'd feel kind of inconsistent. "Something weak or highly situational" doesn't really give me any direction though sooooo

@Goldenhog: Fang's gun looking around 180 degrees was a simple oversight in the code -- this is fixed in the next version.

@Krabs: The whole point of the Fang rework here in the first place was to get rid of the need to stop. That kills any potential flow the character could have. The "slide" feeling is something I actually like, to the point I was considering implementing sprites where he's skidding on his heels while firing instead of standing. Needing to stop while firing makes the "needs to shoot his enemies with a gun" trait a downside, rather than a highlight or situational advantage of the character.
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Last edited by TehRealSalt; 12-29-2019 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 12-29-2019   #8
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Personally I think Metal's fine like this. Historically he hasn't had many playable appearances in the series, but I always liked the idea of him being a version of Sonic that's much harder to control yet potentially more powerful in certain areas. The high jump makes me want to use boost mode, and it's great seeing how many areas I can skip by keeping up my speed as opposed to something boring like hovering around obstacles with his vanilla ability. This still lets him reach areas that Sonic normally can't or would have a harder time accessing.



As for Amy's bounce being too powerful... I see what people mean by that and actually agree to an extent, but that gif I posted? You can clear that room in TWO bounces with any character. From how long I've been playing with this mod, I haven't encountered any area that I managed to break considerably more than I could have with any other character's crawla bouncing, although I wouldn't be opposed to it being weakened for the sake of balancing. I feel like her not being able to spin or take advantage of ANY momentum-based obstacles in the game is a huge sacrifice as it is, so if a player is good enough to crawla bounce then I think this is a very satisfying reward for playing as her.
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Old 12-29-2019   #9
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The problem with Amy's bounce is illustrated pretty well in the GIF of it on the release post. A single bounce skips a whole section of platforming in a way that other characters without free vertical ascension (Tails and Knuckles) can't. You can say it's okay because crawla bouncing is a high-skill technique, but this just means your buff is useless for people below a certain skill range and broken for people above it.

I think it'd be better as a constant (or capped to a constant) increase in bounce height instead of a multiplier that gets to a ridiculous height fairly quickly. Off the top of my head with no real testing, I'd start with (jumpfactor squared) units of extra height per bounce And adjust the number if it still feels useless. That would still allow a decent amount of extra height per bounce (and in particular would let her get directly to the end of RVZ's second room without needing the stepping stones at the end, if the extra height value is properly adjusted), but without reaching the point where a few bounces has you bonking any ceiling that isn't super high.

(If the problem there is "what's the math to get the thrust for that height?" the answer would be roughly newthrust = FixedSqrt(FixedMul(oldthrust, oldthrust) + additionalheight). Jump height is roughly the square of jump thrust in the normal gravity of 0.5.)

The logic: if the extra height is constant (as opposed to a multiplier or capped multiplier), it would convert a crawla bounce at any height into essentially a double jump. This would in particular benefit bounces from the same height as the start of your jump (or even closer to the peak), which would give the boost more utility for less-skilled players too!
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Old 12-29-2019   #10
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I didn't take too well to metal's rebalance at first, but after playing as him for a bit with this mod, I really like it! Haven't tried the other rebalances yet, though.
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Last edited by Scoobert; 12-30-2019 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 12-29-2019   #11
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@fickle: I think that logic is much more sound than other arguments against it. I'll tinker around with the idea!
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Old 12-31-2019   #12
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Having played with Amy so far, It's something pretty neat but I do have a request.

Have Amy's hammer function like an insta-shield, where it can protect Amy from hazards for a split-second as well as reflect small projectiles
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Old 12-31-2019   #13
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Updated to v2, check the release post for more info
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Old 12-31-2019   #14
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This seems really cool and all, but maybe a version without metal changes could be a thing? I personally like what you've changed with metal, but I know a lot of people (Specifically in online servers) would not be okay with losing their "Screw platforming" button. Apart from that, these all seem like changes that can only benefit these somewhat underpowered characters (minus vanilla metal he's borked af)


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Old 01-10-2020   #15
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Perhaps you could give Metal a version of the insta-shield like the other one released here in the Lua section? Give it the short invincibility and the extended attack collision, then you have a very skill based active, while still keeping the passive boost and jumping changes. You could make the graphics the yellow glowing aura he has in some games.
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Old 02-24-2020   #16
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Updated to v3; I had these changes ready for a while, but the Metal Sonic discussion thread prompted me to release them. Huge thanks to Chromatian for working with me on all of these Metal Sonic changes!
  • Replaced Metal Sonic's Jump Boost with a custom ability: Jet Booster. You can Hover for 1 second once per air. On use, it also redirects your existing momentum.
  • Made several changes to Dash Mode to make it easier to gain/keep.
    • Instead of always being lost when going below run speed, Dash Mode is only removed when going below half of your run speed while you're on the ground.
    • In exchange, losing Dash Mode is slightly more punishing -- instead of losing the timer over the span of a second, you lose it all instantly.
    • Dash Mode is instantly activated when you reach over 60 speed.
    • Dash Mode timer is frozen when using level objects, like springs, zoom tubes, rope hangs, minecarts, etc.
  • Amy has stronger spring multipliers. (Vertical speeds are from a x1.2 multiplier to a x1.33 multiplier, horizontal speeds are from a x1.33 multiplier to a x1.48 multiplier)
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Old 02-24-2020   #17
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While Metal Sonic's new ability is better than vanilla's mindless hover, it feels too stiff and a bit too much like a bootleg thok. The momentum override is more of a detriment than a boon in most cases, especially at low speeds. I think forcing the player to stay hovering for its duration is sufficient commitment for a comparatively weak ability. I'd enjoy this if it simply locked Z momentum to 0 for a short time and didn't modify XY.

The changes to dash mode are wholly welcome and do a lot to reduce the awkward start-stop of its vanilla iteration.

The increased size of the jet fume causes these ghost mobjs to obscure most of the view.


Also, here's a bug. I had to fix this issue in my own Metal Sonic revamp so I figured I'd check if it happened here.
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Old 02-24-2020   #18
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Metal Sonic no longer does that thing where bubbles come out of his torso when he's moving underwater :(
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Old 03-28-2020   #19
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Amy and Fang have an issue with horizontal springs, if they hit one while on the ground, their first jump while still on the ground seems to fail because the PF_JUMPED flag has already been set.
Adding "and not P_IsObjectOnGround(player.mo)" to the end of the spring check seems to fix this without breaking vertical/diagonal springs?
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Old 03-28-2020   #20
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Oh boy, I gotta say, this metal is SO much more fun then vanilla metal, and also absurdly fun with neo sonic. the changes to boost mode make it an actually good mechanic that you have a chance of keeping through an entire level if your good at the game.
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