Mystic removal discussion - The good and the bad

It's easy enough for me or anyone else to just say "fuck him, I'm glad it's over with" and move on, but I've never harbored any ill will toward him and I hope no one else does either. Many of us go through a point where deep soul searching is required, and I think it is past time that Mystic reflects on his own situation, what he really wants in life and how he is going to pursue it. Does he want to be a critic? An analyst? A teacher? Something else? Does he need love? Does he need to create? Both introspection and exploration are necessary to answer those questions. In spite of our disagreements, I sincerely hope that Ben finds what he is looking for.

I think everyone would agree, and I think that the best way for this to happen is for the SRB2 community to demonstrate and live the values that we're talking about. This thread and posts like these are a good start.

Arguing with Mystic in my experience was frustrating, but frankly, the more frustrating thing was how other (non-Mod) community members would act like toadies just to feel they were on the "winning" side. I'm not going to bother pulling up old posts (or even PMs) I received from random community members being extremely hostile and mean-spirited, but I bring it up to just try to clarify the lesson that everyone is talking about.

Mystic was a product of the community.

The SRB2 community. The Sonic online community. The message board dweller community. The nerdy American with nothing else going on & no clear direction to turn community. The edgelord community. Etc etc. Not all of these are organized communities, but they're the kinds of cultures that influence our thinking.

It can be very easy for all of us to point at the "wrong" person in any instance and want to distance ourselves from that. We should resist that urge, and realize that urge is in fact the real problem — our overall cultural reluctance to admit our personal failings — because we're conditioned to believe being wrong is equivalent to stupid or bad character.

IMO, Mystic will be back (if he isn't already under another name). Humiliation is a very powerful tool of change. When you are at 0 in your life, it can later be seen as the beginning of the good times — when you realized you needed to make a change, and begin to build the habits that lead toward a more successful and happier life. But humiliation can sour into resentment and grudges if it seems unjust.

What I don't want to have happen for Mystic is for him to lie to himself, to imagine that there was some... grand conspiracy against him, or that everyone is out to get him. He probably does feel paranoid right now. Who wouldn't? It's hard to accept that we were wrong.

So if/when he does return, and the SRB2 community is living up to these values, then Mystic will learn from the culture how to shape his behavior. That would be the best thing to come of it.

Also I wish everybody had easy access to therapy and that it was destigmatized and understood more. Therapy is simply just examining your own thoughts. Nobody can "fix" you except for you; you can do it at any time - open a Google doc, ask yourself hard questions, try to answer them honestly and don't cheat yourself. But you have to be comfortable seeing the ugly wrongness that is in your brain, in everyone's brain, and have the courage to identify ugliness/wrongness within yourself and then change your behavior from there.



...I've been trying to plant some seeds in the garden. There's a thread in SRB2 Discussion, and a thread in General Discussion, trying to build & strengthen communities ties and demonstrable actions. Would love to see more activity in those threads, and more activity like that.

How can we build this community into one that is built on an engine of Aggressive Kindness? I'm so bored of the "know-it-all dude" type (including myself) ... I want to be (and see) the "don't-know-shit-but-wants-to-help dude" more.

I want Nerds to stop feeling entitled to revenge and start being the "forward thinkers" we're theoretically supposed to be.
 

SeventhSentinel

STJr Team Representative
Administrator
Sonic Team Junior
Kart Krew™️
Judge
We're not here to discuss supers, guys. I think that warrants its own thread.
EDIT: Here, I unlocked that thread for you.

In fact, I'm still not sure if we ever got rid of the forum's ridiculous "they're/their/there" CAPTCHA system.

Yes, I changed this myself several days ago. Now newbies are asked very basic Sonic trivia! PM me suggestions of questions to add; there are only 3 right now.
 
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ash

formerly "ash"
a bit of a tangent from mystic, but was anyone else given the impression that rob actually did things? back in the day he essentially pretended to be part of programmer crew, and it's been really funny learning that he lied about pretty much all of his technical experience
 

Tatsuru

2.3 will have menus
Moderator
Sonic Team Junior
Judge
Mystic was a product of the community.

The SRB2 community. The Sonic online community. The message board dweller community. The nerdy American with nothing else going on & no clear direction to turn community. The edgelord community. Etc etc. Not all of these are organized communities, but they're the kinds of cultures that influence our thinking.

It can be very easy for all of us to point at the "wrong" person in any instance and want to distance ourselves from that. We should resist that urge, and realize that urge is in fact the real problem — our overall cultural reluctance to admit our personal failings — because we're conditioned to believe being wrong is equivalent to stupid or bad character.

I'm not exactly sure about the point you're trying to make here but it couldn't be farther from the truth. Reading all these testimonies about how Mystic was the bastion of that toxic culture, then SSNTails's own account of how he was the first community manager and somehow concocting the conclusion that the community itself is to blame for his behavior and the countless creatives he shut down through the years is probably not what you were aiming for.

You're free to believe that he's capable of change and to have all the hopes you want for him — it actually looks like you wanna shift blame away from him because of those hopes — but as not to directly ram into everyone's bad experiences with Mystic, their relief to see him out and their renewed motivation to work on the game by implying they somehow played a part on it, it would be for the best if you revised your thoughts. I believe you're misinformed at the very least.
 
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Cue

ALAM STOP BREAKING THE S
I'm pretty sure the community culture was a product of Mystic, not the other way around.
 

MK.exe

The one and only!
Kart Krew™️
Contest Winner🏆
a bit of a tangent from mystic, but was anyone else given the impression that rob actually did things? back in the day he essentially pretended to be part of programmer crew, and it's been really funny learning that he lied about pretty much all of his technical experience

To my understanding he did more mapping then anything else. I maybe 100% incorrect but i am also curious to get some insight on his role.
 

MellowJacket

The unreliable judge
Judge
a bit of a tangent from mystic, but was anyone else given the impression that rob actually did things? back in the day he essentially pretended to be part of programmer crew, and it's been really funny learning that he lied about pretty much all of his technical experience
I understand Rob is the one who created the NiGHTs special stages.
 

ash

formerly "ash"
i only learned of the special stage thing just the other day. that's good at least, though i'm still curious about the coding thing and the weird producer credit

i've heard bits and pieces, but i'd love insight in this thread
 

VelocitOni

KartKrew Dev
Sonic Team Junior
Kart Krew™️
The producer credit was something no one on the dev team actually wanted that was snuck in via a patch iirc. Rob did special stages, not much else. Mystic only did Aerial Garden (which by today's standards is arguably one of the worst maps in the game and should stop getting ported. It's just a ton of minecraft survival blocks over a pit that overstays it's welcome) and Azure Temple (which also has super questionable design choices). Mystic also backported THZ Legacy as far as I'm aware, which is literally objectively worse than the product in the game currently.

Prime...? ...Prime literally didn't produce anything at all, lol
 

CobaltBW

Community Noise Maker
Sonic Team Junior
IIRC the producer credit was added due to Rob wanting to "represent" SRB2 on any potential legal matters. To my knowledge it's been unanimously decided since then that it isn't an appropriate inclusion, particularly given the team's current structure.
 

cookiefonster

Wiki Admin
The producer credit was something no one on the dev team actually wanted that was snuck in via a patch iirc. Rob did special stages, not much else. Mystic only did Aerial Garden (which by today's standards is arguably one of the worst maps in the game and should stop getting ported. It's just a ton of minecraft survival blocks over a pit that overstays it's welcome) and Azure Temple (which also has super questionable design choices). Mystic also backported THZ Legacy as far as I'm aware, which is literally objectively worse than the product in the game currently.

Prime...? ...Prime literally didn't produce anything at all, lol
Honestly, "overstays its welcome" is a MASSIVE understatement about Aerial Garden. I'd be gleeful if it was removed from the game and replaced with an actually fun challenge level.

Also, Rob is credited as the director, not the producer. These terms are sometimes used interchangeably but are not synonymous. I can't speak for dev, but I am fairly certain he was credited as director because he was officially the lead dev during 2.2's development. I really think the director credit should be removed now that he's off the team, so as not to confuse people.

EDIT: God damn it, he actually is credited as the producer, I remembered wrong. I'm so stupid, and also I don't remember how to strikethrough text here.
 
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Mystic only did Aerial Garden (which by today's standards is arguably one of the worst maps in the game and should stop getting ported. It's just a ton of minecraft survival blocks over a pit that overstays it's welcome)

I would disagree there, while the level is tacky and shows its age in a few places it has definite role in this game, it's the level that tests your accuracy and mastery of controls to the limit. Some levels have signs of this, but this is THE level that is based on that concept. It's a true "challenge" level, for those who want a real challenge, especially when it comes to collecting the emblems. Updating it would be greatly appreciated, it could use maybe a couple of path spits or just generally emphasize that every character has unique ways of getting through the obstacles. The Minecraft Survival blocks analogy is not very effective, since the whole point of those is that Minecraft's controls are clunky and not at all designed for platforming, whereas SRB2 has much more versatile controls and the challenge is fair.
 

VelocitOni

KartKrew Dev
Sonic Team Junior
Kart Krew™️
SRB2's controls are clunky and not at all designed for platforming.

We're just used to them, lol.
 

Cyron

Actually a Waddle Dee
Holy shit someone else who agrees with me


Low-key feel that SRB2 needs substantial changes to its core to feel more proper, but I understand that'd be way too different
 

CobaltBW

Community Noise Maker
Sonic Team Junior
SRB2's controls are clunky and not at all designed for platforming.

We're just used to them, lol.

Incidentally, we're looking into any changes we can make to improve the physics, and that could have an impact on how AGZ plays out. Just something to consider.
 

Solid SOAP

Member
Honestly I hate Aerial Garden, lol. It's so rigid and unfun to traverse.

Regarding Mystic, I did not have many encounters with him so I can't say much. I did not like his level contribution though, ahah. Hopefully we will see more levity and looseness in levels moving forward?
 

VelocitOni

KartKrew Dev
Sonic Team Junior
Kart Krew™️
Incidentally, we're looking into any changes we can make to improve the physics, and that could have an impact on how AGZ plays out. Just something to consider.

It's actually really simple to improve SRB2's core control and fundamental physics problems by making it not feel like a slippery greased up eel, and actually having some linear acceleration/gravity changes and stuff.

That said...actually fun, committal gameplay that takes time to build up a run would make AGZ play significantly worse though (if that's possible to imagine), it's problems would just be on full display if the controls got more nuanced and interesting because it was built upon near-instantaneous movement and perfect jump-height platforming. No matter what, it's a level of thin lines hovering over pits in endless cloned/repeating rooms. If you're not falling in a pit, you're redoing a soul sucking section. Might just be smarter to scrap it rather than cause a sunk cost fallacy scenario, plenty of people I know feel really robbed just unlocking the thing. And if they don't feel robbed for that, it's...playing all those Special Stages to unlock even more Special Stages...bleghhh.............



Edit: OH, by the way, the fact that such a fundamental thing like controls is finally being looked into should be the brightest example of "this is all a good thing" that this thread needed an answer for. That's NEVER something that could've been done before, not something this reasonable that'd require one to actually fresh their brain up and take a step back rather than cling to old things. So I appreciate it at all
 
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Kaysakado

Member
And if they don't feel robbed for that, it's...playing all those Special Stages to unlock even more Special Stages...bleghhh.............
eh, I gotta disagree with this. It makes sense to me that the reward for putting in time on a specific subset of content is more of that content. You do well in the regular game to unlock the challenge stages, and beat each challenge stage to unlock additional challenging stages (though yes, AGZ fundamentally sucks and ATZ could use heavy retuning). You do well in the NiGHTS stages to unlock additional NiGHTS stages.
 
And if they don't feel robbed for that, it's...playing all those Special Stages to unlock even more Special Stages...bleghhh.............

Agreed with above. Ensuring that the player isn't locked out of content they enjoy by having to first do content they don't enjoy is actually excellent design. If you don't like NiGHTS gameplay, then it's a good thing that the only thing you're missing out on by not playing the stages is more NiGHTS.
 

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