Character Balance Discussion

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ZarroTsu

Over The Speed Limit
(Was originally going to put this in the suggestion topic but I feel it's more of a discussable thing than just saying "yo fix the characters brah"):

Character balancing for future SRB2 builds

I wrote an overly complicated post in the 2.2 discussion topic regarding player character balance in concern to Match and CTF modes. To make it brief in introducing it for discussion here:

Tails and Knuckles' special abilities are unintuitive to use in Match or CTF modes ("Combat Modes"), and parallel to this, Sonic is a stronger, more preferred character since his ability is both (a) easy to use, and (b) arguably the most powerful, since most stages are designed around it anyway (and frankly should be, imo, because "not crashing into walls" is more fun than cramped or jagged hallways any day).

If I'm more specific about exactly why this is:

  • Tails sticks out like a sore thumb in the air and is difficult to control while flying, and when his timer is up while flying he becomes even more vulnerable.

  • Knuckles faces the wall when climbing and it's very difficult to see where enemies are "behind you" (or below you) in this situation. Plus you can't actually shoot while climbing.
Both are balances based around the individual character from a 1P perspective, but not a balance around multiple characters interacting in a perspective of the current Combat Modes. As a result, Sonic excels at Combat Modes, because his ability is the most beneficial with no drawbacks. Tails and Knuckles' abilities are strong in their own rights, but the drawbacks of both of them results in making for easy targets unless they hide out in a corner. Which doesn't work for the exact opposite reason (nobody to shoot), and requires spending time climbing walls or trying to fly a significant altitude into the air, instead of shooting at enemies. And you can't do either of these things anyway if you happen to snag the flag in CTF.

And I've seen people suggest in the past to just nerf Sonic's thok in such a way as to leave him vulnerable, but I feel that that just doesn't work. The best character should not be forced into a significant nerf to satisfy the weaker characters. Rather, the weaker characters should be buffed to make their usefulness much more apparent without significant reasons to ignore that usefulness.

However, I've been known to make one-sided or unclear suggestions in the past regarding balance, so rather than take it upon myself to flub the idea dramatically, I've opened this as a topic for discussion. Whether or not you feel any of the three characters are in need of significant changes to how they function to make them more desirable to play than they currently are. How these functions could be balanced so that none of the three characters overpower or dominate either of the online Combat Modes.


Two important pieces of information, however:

1) If you make a suggestion, make it about a specific game mode, or modes, and not necessarily "in general". I'm aware Mystic and others were reluctant to change character dynamics in the past regarding the late 'race' mode. However, that isn't to say it's impossible for different game modes to change how characters act in that mode (seriously you just do an if statement. or two. or five.). Please, discuss how characters could differ between the regular and Combat Modes as to not make it too easy or too hard to play in either mode (or too unintuitive).

2) I am not implying people do not already accept the characters as fine or fun as-is. I've seen many people play Tails and Knuckles in Match and CTF modes. Many people are already very good at either of these characters. Many people may feel they are not in need of changes. This is perfectly acceptable. Use this expertise to help bring out the potential in ideas, rather than hand-wave them away as simply unneeded (How could you NOT want your character to be better?).


Topics to start:

  • How could Tails' flight be made easier to use or less punishable in Combat Modes without turning the game into "Tails Robo Blast 2"?
  • Should Knuckles be able to shoot while holding a wall in Combat Modes?
  • Should Knuckles be able to see what's behind him or under him better while holding a wall? How could this be handled?
  • Should flag-holding penalties in CTF be changed? Should they be unique to each character?
  • How could Tails' can't-fly-anymore vulnerability be remedied in Combat Modes? Should he be given infinite flight (NO)? A visual indicator of how much time you have left?


Idea Vault:

Knuckles needs better mobility options from his glide/climb ability. One idea I had was to give Knuckles a strong vertical jump off of walls, so that the player could make like Mega Man X when doing speed runs, but also so that Knuckles could possibly use climbing in combat to instantly gain height advantage against an opponent.

CTF's flagrunner rules need to be reformed. I think instead of blacking out the usage of abilities, limiting their effectiveness would be more balanced (i.e. thok speed is reduced, Tails can't ascend as well in flight, Knuckles' glide, climb, etc. are slower).


http://i.imgur.com/YKuVnxk.png

Add new obstacles specifically designed for Tails, for use in the air in a 3D setting.


Obstacles that come to mind:

a) Ring of spike balls, or similar. Like a NiGHTs hoop, only touching the edge is painful (and a broader radius to make it easier to pass through). Can go through it or around it safely without negative consequences. In combat modes, these could block projectiles, and give Tails a form of (risky) aerial cover.

b) A NiGHTs hoop. Give Tails (or anyone who reaches it) a boost in speed for flying through it, and/or increase or reset his flight time. Could respawn shortly after use so it can be used again. Would actually be pretty useful for Single Player mapping, too.

c) Sonic 3's Sky Sanctuary clouds. Those little clouds that go "bwoohp" and hurl you into the air a short distance. Not something to force the player into a full helpless state, but it would make them helpless for a short while. Could also be used tactically in combat modes to screw up other people's aim, since one minute you're moving horizontally, and the next you're doing a vertical arc.

Actually, in regards to knuckles facing the wall or not, why not change the way Knuckles' glide works so he automatically glides in the direction the player is entering, rather than always 'forward'? For example, if he were to jump off the wall, let's say he automatically faces away from it so he can shoot. Then, if a player holds the backwards key ("towards the wall") and glides, he immediately glides back towards the wall. This would dramatically change the way he plays in combat modes without necessarily screwing up single player modes. Although it might take getting used to.

what if Knuckles converted his falling speed into gliding speed when starting a glide? That way if he falls a bit and then starts gliding, he'll move faster than if he just glides immediately.

If Sonic's strengths stem from map design for fluid movement as Sonic, then Tails and Knuckles need similar stengths. Fluid vertical or diagonal movement that Sonic cannot achieve, but that won't affect Sonic's existing mechanics as a hindrance by adding. Mid-air rings is a sort of band-aid at the moment, but I feel Tails might benefit from additional floating platforms, and Knuckles might benefit from additional secret passages.

Increased knockback power, for Knuckles perhaps. You know how annoying Rail is guys, you know how crazy that knockback is at least. =V Not sure if this would mesh well with increased firing rate though, then again.

With that said, I wonder if changes to ring weapons between characters would be beneficial if such changes were based around their abilities. For example, what if the Scatter Ring shot straight downward while flying as Tails? Alternatively, what if there were a shoot-ring button that shot straight downward?

Vaguely thought out idea regarding Tails' mobility while flying: What if he felt recoil from his shots while flying? e.g., Tails is flying West, sees someone on the ground shooting towards him. The player has time to react, but under the current mechanics can't redirect Tails' momentum fast enough to avoid the shots, resulting in frustration. Under this suggestion, the player would have the opportunity to fire some rings West, helping Tails redirect his momentum Eastward.

I'm beginning to consider the biggest pain in the ass in combat modes being "lose all rings when struck". I get it from a "Sonic The Hedgehog game" perspective, but it kind of screws the momentum of characters a bit too much, and Knuckles/Tails feel it the hardest since momentum is something that Sonic gets freely (Thok), and something Knuckles and Tails have to earn. This is especially obvious when Knuckles/Tails are in the air, where their skills tell them to go... Only for their rings to plummet uncollectably to the ground (and back into the air in all directions) when struck. If anything, that's the biggest deterrent from playing either of those characters, even if it's an uncommon occurrence.

Has it been considered in the past to have players only lose a portion of their rings or weapons, instead of 'all of them'?

the thok needs rethinking. Maybe instead of getting max top speed instantly, it takes your current momentum and reorients it in the direction you're thokking in (with a minimum speed, so you still get some minor benefit from doing it from scratch). That way, a Sonic player can't immediately rush away far more easily than Tails or Knuckles players; they'd already have to be moving fast to get a fast thok, as a standing thok would be relatively negligible. Alternatively, it only works in the direction you're already moving in (I think that is a terrible idea for the record, but I'm throwing it out there anyway).
 
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CobaltBW

Community Noise Maker
Sonic Team Junior
My opinions on character balance:

* Sonic is conditionally optimal for time attack/race, and primarily optimal against bosses, in match, and in CTF. Sonic has the most trouble with the single player levels, but this is compensated by his reward for beating the special stages. His dominating strength is his thok, which is an incredibly powerful mobility tool for changing direction, overriding Sonic's natural acceleration, and even overriding Sonic's max speed. His thok is also the best tool any of the vanilla characters have against bosses. His weakness, of course, is his lack of vertical mobility, which forces him to climb terrain or use springs to gain height. I'm not happy with Sonic's current design, as it is overcentralized around his thok, and frankly the entire online "metagame" is centralized around Sonic because of his thok. But I think multiplayer's problems go deeper than just thok being too powerful, and nerfing one aspect of Sonic's character isn't enough to fix them.

* Tails is optimal in single player, conditionally optimal for time attack/race, and conditionally optimal for collecting secrets. Tails has the most trouble in general combat, both against players and single player enemies, and in CTF. His strength is obviously his ability to fly, which is practical for long term positioning, but his immediate positioning ability is very bad, as Tails' flight has lackluster maneuvering and his ground speed is also the worst of the cast. Furthermore, Tails' role in CTF is limited to an almost strictly defensive position that other characters can fulfill, whereas his flagrunning capability is neutered by his lack of flight, effectively giving him no advantage over other characters as a flagrunner. I understand some of the developers are trying to balance him by making certain areas accessible only to him, but I honestly don't think that's enough. It's one thing to give a character powerups no one else has access to -- the question is, can he use them effectively?

* Knuckles is conditionally optimal for collecting secrets, and is fairly average in regards to the single player campaign. Knuckles is a bit lackluster in time attack/race and deathmatch against enemy players. Knuckles is really by design a character with few major strengths and weaknesses, but his problem is just that climbing is slow and unsafe. Tails has an edge over Knuckles in speedruns because he can cut through the air more frequently, and Sonic has an edge over Knuckles in combat because Knuckles's immediate mobility is trumped by Sonic and has nothing more to offer. Knuckles does have the advantage of a faster firing rate, but to be honest I don't think this does much except lower his skill floor. What he really needs is the ability to make his shots count more and the enemy's shots count less, and some minor improvements to his overall mobility to make him competent all-around.




So basically what I'm saying here is that every characters' set of strengths and weaknesses boils down to their mobility options. While Sonic's lack of vertical mobility makes him more difficult to play in the SP campaign, in multiplayer this doesn't matter: what matters is how fast you are, and currently there is no contest. Sonic is the master of jukes, he can get from one room to the next quickly, and he can most easily control the terms of engagement due to his ground speed. As such, he is the best in combat, he gets the most reward from combat, and he is as good as anyone else at collecting things out of combat.


What I would change:

Sonic should receive the changes laid out in MotorRoach's thread. Thok's speed is lowered, and in exchange Sonic receives an insta-shield and speed boost mechanics. It's a minor nerf in some instances, but what's more important is that this makes the character more compelling to play; it makes him less about pressing thok at the right time and more about maintaining speed, and his skill ceiling is raised by the insta-shield's high timing requirement and high reward.

On a side note, I actually think the boost mechanic should be universal, because its momentum-based mechanics are perfect for SRB2's gameplay. I don't see this as a balance issue, regardless.

Tails needs better maneuverability in the air. Changing vertical direction should be instant, and horizontal changes in direction should likewise be more responsive. While this does make him even easier to play from a single player standpoint, I think this would increase his juking potential in match without overpowering him in the single player campaign. I think having better immediate mobility in the air is fair for match as it gives him an actual way to dodge incoming projectiles, but still presents an opportunity to counter him with rail.

Knuckles needs better mobility options from his glide/climb ability. One idea I had was to give Knuckles a strong vertical jump off of walls, so that the player could make like Mega Man X when doing speed runs, but also so that Knuckles could possibly use climbing in combat to instantly gain height advantage against an opponent. Also, I don't know what Knuckles' current glide speeds are, but maybe increase the minimum glide speed amount and reduce the maximum, so that the speed benefit Knuckles gets is more immediate.


I think the increased firing rate Knuckles gets should be done away with entirely, or else every character should get some sort of ringslinger alteration. It seems awkwardly asymmetrical that Knuckles has faster firing slapped onto him, yet a character like Tails doesn't have a ring trait that he would benefit from, like splash radii or projectile speed. Personally, I think it should just be done away with; I think it'd be cleaner to avoid game mode specific strengths/weaknesses as much as possible (less rules the player has to memorize). But individualized ring traits could make game balance easier. It could go either way, really.

If we were to add match-specific character rules, what might be interesting is if we changed the rules a bit for getting hit:

* To counteract the fact that Tails receives the least reward for hitting opponents, perhaps Tails could also receive the least punishment for getting hit; I think this could be accomplished by making him only drop one of his special weapons rather than all of them (perhaps the one he had currently selected would be most logical).
* To give Knuckles more "power" in his attacks, perhaps his rings send enemies more upward than backward, extending their stun time. (Also, if this goes through, the ability to shoot while stunned needs to go.)
* To make Sonic "lighter" and more of a glass cannon, perhaps getting hit sends him farther away than the others.

We actually have a lot of design space with our current deathmatch mechanics, we just have to play with them a little bit.


CTF's flagrunner rules need to be reformed. I think instead of blacking out the usage of abilities, limiting their effectiveness would be more balanced (i.e. thok speed is reduced, Tails can't ascend as well in flight, Knuckles' glide, climb, etc. are slower).
 
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MascaraSnake

Maybe out of retirement?
If you make a suggestion, make it about a specific game mode, or modes, and not necessarily "in general". I'm aware Mystic and others were reluctant to change character dynamics in the past regarding the late 'race' mode. However, that isn't to say it's impossible for different game modes to change how characters act in that mode (seriously you just do an if statement. or two. or five.).
To say that the dev team is reluctant to change character behavior per gametype is putting it mildly. In fact, they're adamant not to do this under any circumstances. The minimum requirement for any change in the character mechanics is that it's consistent with all other gametypes. So suggestions like lowering the thok strength for combat gametypes only are right out the window. Behavior changes that don't affect other gametypes, like Knuckles' firing speed buff, are fine though.

Sonic should receive the changes laid out in MotorRoach's thread. Thok's speed is lowered, and in exchange Sonic receives an insta-shield and speed boost mechanics. It's a minor nerf in some instances, but what's more important is that this makes the character more compelling to play; it makes him less about pressing thok at the right time and more about maintaining speed, and his skill ceiling is raised by the insta-shield's high timing requirement and high reward.
I strongly disagree. I got the chance to play as "FuckingSonic", and I made two observations:
  • The thok is so weak that it becomes almost entirely useless. When I'm running at any significant speed, using the thok actually slows me down, making it more of a detriment than a special ability. The only scenario where it allows me to gain any speed is when I'm thokking from a standstill, and even then, getting a small running start and jumping normally is more effective. Any jump that required a thok now requires a spindash, which makes the right path at the start of Azure Temple Zone almost completely unplayable as Sonic. Basically the only use that the thok still has is the ability to quickly change direction in midair, but at the expense of much of your speed. In single player, this is almost never useful.
  • The boost mechanic is pretty much only relevant for speedrunning. While you do get a slight jump height boost, there are few areas beyond GFZ where you have enough space to charge a boost easily, and even fewer where the small jump height increase would actually help you. I'm sure it would be possible to design single player levels where the boost is more useful, but in SRB2's single player campaign, it mostly isn't.

So overall, the changes make the single player campaign even harder for Sonic. They nerf your strongest ability to the point where you can't really use it to make platforming easier, and to compensate, you get an ability that is much more difficult to use and doesn't really make things easier if you do manage to use it. Whatever this would do for character balance in multiplayer, it definitely makes things worse in single player. That's not a good deal.

I think the increased firing rate Knuckles gets should be done away with entirely, or else every character should get some sort of ringslinger alteration. It seems awkwardly asymmetrical that Knuckles has faster firing slapped onto him, yet a character like Tails doesn't have a ring trait that he would benefit from, like splash radii or projectile speed.
Funny you should mention it, because in fact the dev team does plan to give Tails an increased projectile speed.
 

Sryder

'That brit'
Kart Krew™️
The abilities aren't the only things that need fixing, acceleration is, and has been, unbalanced for a very long time.

YKuVnxk.png


I did this chart yesterday which shows a character's speed over time as they go forwards in a straight line, we can clearly see that Tails and Knuckles reach their max speeds, which are lower, later than Sonic.

I do also think something should be done about abilities though, having a character that is slow and predictable in a fast and unpredictable games makes them incredibly difficult to use, and even more difficult to get good results in unless you have perfect accuracy with the rail ring.
 
Since the idea is keeping abilities consistent between modes, I'm against the idea of increasing the minimum glide speed for Knuckles. Having just played a bit of SRB2 to check something unrelated, keeping control over the glide in small areas is rather cumbersome. And before anyone compares that to the thok, the difference here is that the glide leads directly to another very important ability: the climb. The thok is just "go fast" as far as I'm concerned, so there's no incentive to use it in cramped areas, whereas the climb would potentially reveal new areas.

I'm also against nerfing the thok. Like ZarroTsu mentioned, I think the other character should get on Sonic's level (heh), although I'll be totally honest, I don't really have any ideas on how to go about that.

But on the subject of Knuckles, I wonder if something as simple as allowing him to turn around while clinging to a wall would help with vulnerability. As it stands now, the most you can do is shoot up and down (if you can even manage), and you can see the wall around you (which is most certainly an improvement over the old method). I think there would need to be some visual representation for that though, and that means more work for MotorRoach =P.

I guess the problem with that idea is that you're still pretty slow, and even if you can turn around to shoot before being shot, the likeliness of getting out of there without taking damage by climbing seems really slim.

There's my pre-bed-8AM two cents.
 

ZarroTsu

Over The Speed Limit
My thoughts on Tails are:

1) Improve maneuverability and/or the speed in which he can get up off the ground and into the air. Maybe his vertical acceleration starts fast, and slows down as his time off the ground increases?

2) Relax how vulnerable he becomes when flight time runs out. I mean good lord plummeting helplessly to your death is awful. I don't know how to address this, but maybe his flight time starts to come back after he becomes vulnerable? Not a full reset, but in small spurts.

3) Add new obstacles specifically designed for Tails, for use in the air in a 3D setting.


Obstacles that come to mind:

a) Ring of spike balls, or similar. Like a NiGHTs hoop, only touching the edge is painful (and a broader radius to make it easier to pass through). Can go through it or around it safely without negative consequences. In combat modes, these could block projectiles, and give Tails a form of (risky) aerial cover.

b) A NiGHTs hoop. Give Tails (or anyone who reaches it) a boost in speed for flying through it, and/or increase or reset his flight time. Could respawn shortly after use so it can be used again. Would actually be pretty useful for Single Player mapping, too.

c) Sonic 3's Sky Sanctuary clouds. Those little clouds that go "bwoohp" and hurl you into the air a short distance. Not something to force the player into a full helpless state, but it would make them helpless for a short while. Could also be used tactically in combat modes to screw up other people's aim, since one minute you're moving horizontally, and the next you're doing a vertical arc.


IRC Quote regarding Knuckles:
<Speedwagon> would love for knuckles to go faster and faster as he glides
<Speedwagon> instead of being at a set speed
<Speedwagon> but that's just me

Edit:

Knuckles needs better mobility options from his glide/climb ability. One idea I had was to give Knuckles a strong vertical jump off of walls, so that the player could make like Mega Man X when doing speed runs, but also so that Knuckles could possibly use climbing in combat to instantly gain height advantage against an opponent.

This sounds really damn cool and I'd totally play Knuckles more if I could play him like Megaman X.

Actually, in regards to knuckles facing the wall or not, why not change the way Knuckles' glide works so he automatically glides in the direction the player is entering, rather than always 'forward'? For example, if he were to jump off the wall, let's say he automatically faces away from it so he can shoot. Then, if a player holds the backwards key ("towards the wall") and glides, he immediately glides back towards the wall. This would dramatically change the way he plays in combat modes without necessarily screwing up single player modes. Although it might take getting used to.
 
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- Actually, in regards to knuckles facing the wall or not, why not change the way Knuckles' glide works so he automatically glides in the direction the player is entering, rather than always 'forward'? For example, if he were to jump off the wall, let's say he automatically faces away from it so he can shoot. Then, if a player holds the backwards key ("towards the wall") and glides, he immediately glides back towards the wall. This would dramatically change the way he plays in combat modes without necessarily screwing up single player modes. Although it might take getting used to.
That's already in the game, and a "recent" patch made it available in network modes as well. Just go to Options > Setup Controls > Player X Controls, and enable Analog Mode.


- IRC Quote regarding Knuckles: -
Edit: Provided the quote is from the 2.1 era... What does SpeedWagon mean by that? Knuckles already speeds up slowly when gliding.
 
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fickleheart

ms reflec beat stan
That's not what he's suggesting at all. He's suggesting that gliding work on an input-directional basis regardless of control setting, and for first-person gametypes. I like the concept, but I'm kind of wary as to how it'd work for people who use turn keys instead of strafe. It'd take experimenting.

Also
<Speedwagon> would love for knuckles to go faster and faster as he glides
<Speedwagon> instead of being at a set speed
<Speedwagon> but that's just me
-someone who's never played as Knuckles lol

Knuckles' glide could definitely stand to be more maneuverable. I wonder if using his movement speed for his initial gliding speed (with a minimum value) instead of a fixed value would be a good gameplay mechanic, letting him take better advantage of speed shoes. Along with letting the player slow him down and speed him up at will (though limiting his max speed to whatever initial speed plus whatever time factor) with the backward and forward keys, though that wouldn't really be compatible with ZT's suggestion... or with analog mode.
 
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That's not what he's suggesting at all. He's suggesting that gliding work on an input-directional basis regardless of control setting, and for first-person gametypes. I like the concept, but I'm kind of wary as to how it'd work for people who use turn keys instead of strafe. It'd take experimenting.
I know, I was just saying it's already implemented as an option (although with some disadvantages (like lack of sideways strafing)).
 

fickleheart

ms reflec beat stan
It's not the same thing at all. For one, analog mode only works in third-person, which makes it useless in shooter gametypes, and for another, it changes your entire control setup, in a manner highly impractical for said shooter gametypes. Suggesting he turn it on in response to a suggestion about character balance in shooter gametypes is incredibly dumb.

Anyway, talking on IRC also gave me an idea that I completely shamelessly stole from Majro: what if Knuckles converted his falling speed into gliding speed when starting a glide? That way if he falls a bit and then starts gliding, he'll move faster than if he just glides immediately. It'd give him a mechanism with which to catch some speed, though not as much or as easily as Sonic gets (which is good cus he's more mobile overall), and time attacking with him would have more depth insofar as placing a focus on finding ledges to dive from for speed.

Honestly, I think a lot of balance issues in shooter gametypes stem from, or at least aren't helped at all by, map designs that cater to Sonic. While I don't like Granite Lake for (IMO) being awkward to navigate as Sonic, it does do a good job of making the other characters more viable, as they have more options for places to go than Sonic does at most points. (Frost Columns does a bit of this and is much easier to navigate as Sonic, but could stand to offer a bit more to Tails and Knuckles maybe?) While character attributes definitely don't help things, level design needs to try to avoid giving Sonic the same navigation options as other characters, or at least make some of those options much harder to use. (I'll admit that my maps are usually very bad about this as well, but I like to think I'm getting better...)
 
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ZarroTsu

Over The Speed Limit
While I don't like Granite Lake for (IMO) being awkward to navigate as Sonic, it does do a good job of making the other characters more viable, as they have more options for places to go than Sonic does at most points.

On the subject, I freaking hate Granite Lake for being awkward to navigate as Sonic, since I've almost always played Sonic in Match modes. Something I feel most maps need above all else is a sense of flow; being able to go in circles or figure 8's or similar between multiple rooms as Sonic, to keep the fluidity of your movement constant. To be able to keep moving and know where you can go at a moments notice. Granite Lake fails to do this in at least one particular part of the map where the walls become narrow. At least, that's what I remember about it. I'll admit I've only played there once or twice, and dismissed it as a map I'd rather not play on ever again.

If Sonic's strengths stem from map design for fluid movement as Sonic, then Tails and Knuckles need similar stengths. Fluid vertical or diagonal movement that Sonic cannot achieve, but that won't affect Sonic's existing mechanics as a hindrance by adding. Mid-air rings is a sort of band-aid at the moment, but I feel Tails might benefit from additional floating platforms, and Knuckles might benefit from additional secret passages.

However, reaching such things fluidly is a problem in character dynamic as previously stated. Even if more floating platforms or secret passages were added, being able to utilize them on the same level as Sonic can utilize fluid rooms and hallways is where character changes are definitely required. Even if more skylight platforms and secret passages existed, being able to reach them efficiently is where Tails and Knuckles fail even within their own strengths. By the time you utilize the map changes, Sonic's already dashed around the map three times and scored an additional 50 rings and 100 points.

Finally, in the opposite sense, removing room fluidity from Sonic is, I feel, a terrible idea. It would make Sonic significantly less fun to play as.
 

Lat'

Absolute territory where
Kart Krew™️
Well, maybe that's just me but the characters are not always unabalanced themselves, it's also the map you're playing in IMO.
For instance a map like GFZ1 is pretty much a Sonic Thokfest as the map can be completed without any vertical platforming. However, maps like DSZ1 offers to Tails players a way to be able to "outspeed" Sonic, like in the start section where Tails can just fly up. I didn't talk about Knuckles because this character isn't really useful for races, the fact that the glide is slower than its running speed is just "meh..." it's just -sometimes- useful for match as he can fire rings faster. Then again in match it's entierely up to the map you play, as said before, Granite Lake is more tedious as Sonic than with other characters, but maps like the overplayed Meadow Match are just Sonic Thokfests once again, Meadow Match is just a big flat area where you can rail flying Tails player whenever you want, and the same goes with Knuckles climbing walls.

Getting back on character balance, I'm totally against nerfing Sonic's thok to a point where it's slower than your actual running speed tough, it would be ridiculously useless. Its only use would maybe be to change direction. Tails & Knuckles should both have a way to gain speed more easyly than moving forward IMO, like a kind of Miniboost that would thrust them to almost their running speed or something like that which could maybe let them a chance to face Sonic players more easyly, but that's just me.
 

VelocitOni

KartKrew Dev
Sonic Team Junior
Kart Krew™️
The thok is so weak that it becomes almost entirely useless. When I'm running at any significant speed, using the thok actually slows me down, making it more of a detriment than a special ability.



I just found this funny because it doesn't do that at all, lol




Dunno what version you've been even playing.










iPiqWkcjh9GnC.png
 
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Katmint

‫‬‭‮‪‫‬‭‮
The boost mechanic is pretty much only relevant for speedrunning. While you do get a slight jump height boost, there are few areas beyond GFZ where you have enough space to charge a boost easily, and even fewer where the small jump height increase would actually help you.
I'm not sure if the version you played had this or not, but charging a spindash gives you instant access to the boost mode. It makes it a lot more useful.

Also, I don't understand what you mean by ATZ's right path becoming unplayable. It seems fine to me.
AnxiousWearyAlligatorgar.gif

Knuckles' glide could definitely stand to be more maneuverable. I wonder if using his movement speed for his initial gliding speed (with a minimum value) instead of a fixed value would be a good gameplay mechanic, letting him take better advantage of speed shoes.
I tried that once and it was pretty overpowered.
 

Saturn Ross

The Local Bird-Brain
Personally, Knuckles could have his glide speed the same as his normal running speed, and gradually increase during the glide. As for Sonic, his Thok speed should be the same as his normal running speed, like Knux, and possibly make it more controllable. Tails? He desperately needs a buff, probably several. Maybe he could get a mid-air boost or a quick drop.
 
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CobaltBW

Community Noise Maker
Sonic Team Junior
Siding with Katmint and Iceman. In my experience, it sometimes makes Sonic easier to play in the SP campaign, as the thok is easier to control and the character can also take advantage of the increased jump height during boost to complete certain level segments easier. It's a better rendition of the character because it keeps his extreme speed intact, but makes it more of a reward than a given, and also makes the character more well-rounded and strategically deep.

The fact of the matter is that the thok shouldn't be as fast as Sonic's max speed, because it's overcentralizing to his character and reduces his gameplay depth. All that matters about the current Sonic is how much you thok and how you're thokking. In FuckingSonic.wad, you can still thok to immediately change direction or give yourself a headstart, but speedrunning is more about keeping your momentum and taking advantage of your toolset occasionally to give you the edge. Your notion that FuckingSonic's thok is "almost useless" is ridiculous, it's just not the be-all end-all to the entire character, nor is it supposed to be.
 

Monster Iestyn

Fangtastic
Administrator
Sonic Team Junior
Kart Krew™️
Judge
...*cough* my image there was supposed to be a mockery of what character balance discussions usually boil down to here or on IRC, but there we go.
 

Ors

Custom User Title
In my opinion Sonic is the most powerful character for time-attack and races since Tails was nerfed. And now Sonic is the only character that I like to play as. It's fun to find creative ways to cut obstacles as Sonic because it's the only character that can't do it intentionally. The thok is powerful but not too much. It's the only reason Sonic is playable. I would never forgive nerfing the thok! Still people seem to suggest it. I don't think it would make sonic game play better. I think nerfing usable abilities would be worse than making other characters better.

I think Knuckles' gliding speed could be faster. Now I actually never use Knuckles. Knuckles can glide slower than Tails can usually fly and climbing is not more powerful than flying. It makes him more like weaker version of Tails. I think it could be a little more powerful. By a bigger jump, or faster glide for example. The worst thing you can do is to nerf Sonic and Tails to make Knuckles playable. (Not at least Sonic!)

Tails is good for match, tag, etc. It's horrible for time attack (except for a few cases) since his fly was nerfed and the maps are full of underwater monitors, enemies and if not, there's big long areas with no big height changes. Sonic is the main character for time-attack. Tails is still powered in coop and 1p and I think it makes a lot of things visible. It's a great start for starters but I think it's crazy because you can just skip many areas in the maps. I think it can be avoided well by making some places with not-flat ceilings and cave areas. Then the ability wouldn't need to be edited. ERZ2 is a great example of a good map where even Tails isn't overpowered because of the lasers that move between floor and ceiling and even flying isn't overpowered in space or gravity changes.
 

VelocitOni

KartKrew Dev
Sonic Team Junior
Kart Krew™️
All you people saying Knuckles should accelerate when gliding. Sometimes I wonder if we've been playing the same decade old game.

And the people suggesting buffing Knuckles and Tails ridiculous amounts to match a ridiculous person because you're scared of a Sonic nerf, lol.
"No one will be underpowered if everyone is overpowered!"
 
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