Poll

What angle do you prefer?

45 degree angle (1:1 slope)
As steep as possible while still walker-friendly (6:1 slope)
Other

Author Topic: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laserer  (Read 2780 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Strato Incendus

  • The King of Shimmiers (crowned by Flopsy ;D )
  • Posts: 1328
  • He who usually only makes it up to rank two
    • View Profile
[Discussion][Player] New skill: Laserer
« on: April 10, 2020, 11:14:06 pm »
Apparently, according to namida, the Laser Blaster got the most votes in our recent poll and was thus moved to the "strong contenders" list for the 20th and final skill, together with the Slider and the projectile skills. So let's discuss it's potential separately from the constructive projectile (Spear Thrower) and destructive projectile skills (Bazooker / Mortar).

For those who don't know: The Laser Blaster shoots a straight line upwards that destroys terrain, creating a perfectly vertical shaft like the Digger, but from below. Steel stops the laser beam, as it stops any other destructive skill. While actual Laser Beams are endless, in Lemmings 2: The Tribes the Laser Blaster does have a maximum range beyond which it just stops naturally, whether there is steel, terrain, or empty space.



Personally, I honestly think the Laser Blaster has more puzzle potential than the Bazooker and Mortar. ;) Let me illustrate why:

Possible applications for the Laser Blaster include
  • the standard: send a pioneer ahead, blast the crowd out from below (see Lemmings 2: The Tribes)
  • the setup: create a shaft from below that Climbers can use in the following
  • the setup: make a Stacker tower Climber-friendly from the rough side (since several stacks can never be placed exactly on top of each other): Have a Laser Blaster approach from the other side and cut off the protruding edges!
  • the setup: use 2-3 Laser Blasters right next to each other to create a shaft wide enough for other lemmings to build / jump / reach (Shimmier) / glide through (the latter with updrafts); for an application of this, see the Lemmings 2 level "Evolution of Lemmings" from the Cavelem tribe, or "Spinny Thang" from the Shadow tribe
  • the setup: cut through a pioneer's Platformer or Builder bridge from below to prevent the crowd from following the pioneer
  • affecting terrain at a distance: dent the ceiling to make a Shimmier fall down
  • affecting terrain at a distance: create a Digger-like holding pit for the crowd, but from below! How you could prevent the crowd from falling all the way through the shaft would depend on its width - if it's quite thin, a Stoner would suffice; otherwise, a Platformer or Builder might be needed in addition. But Digger pits also require at least one other skill aside from the Digger to create (unless they are created by digging into steel).
  • affecting terrain at a distance: free a Blocker from (far) below, rather than having to bash / fence / mine right beneath him
  • affecting terrain at a distance: if a Laser Blaster can shoot through objects, i.e. including water, he could create a shaft through water behind or on-terrain, which Swimmers could then swim up through :thumbsup:
  • affecting terrain at a distance: create a lethal-drop shaft for Zombies - such a splat-height drop will at the same time usually be long enough to allow the Laser Blaster to walk away safely before the first Zombie falls through the shaft, so that the Zombie doesn't touch the Laser Blaster's head and infect him



The Laser Blaster is essentially a combination of the much-desired upward Digger (previously named Tunneler / Driller / Twister, i.e. an upward Digger that takes the lemming performing the skill with itself) and the ranged destructive skills Bazooker / Mortar. Thus, it combines the added potential of both!

Bazooker and Mortar are essentially just non-lethal Bombers at a distance. The distance aspect in and of itself isn't an advantage over the Laser Blaster. Also, since the crater they produce just has the size of a slightly larger Bomber crater, the impact they can have on terrain is minor. I generally have a hard time putting Bombers to good use (in contrast to Stoners, which are much more powerful!). But when I do, it usually involves falling Bombers, or Bombers otherwise not standing on solid ground. Bazooker and Mortar would always have to be performed standing on solid ground.
Thus, the distance aspect would basically just fill in the role that the option of assigning the skill while falling gives to the Bomber. This point also applies to the Spear Thrower when compared to the Stoner, in my opinion. (The only application of the Spear Thrower I've seen so far, which was in Lemmings 2, was on the Space level "The Lunar Olympics", where it's used precisely in the same fashion where we would use a Stoner in NeoLemmix. You could basically replicate that level with a Stoner pickup skill at the end of the level; this would still require you to send a pioneer ahead to collect that skill, so that you can't just assign a Stoner right at the beginning - but the throwing-from-a-distance part wouldn't be necessary for the solution).

Meanwhile, an upward Digger would just be another distructive skill that takes the lemming with it - especially if it were set up in such a way that not only Climbers, but also regular Walkers could still make use of the shaft. This would be the case with a steep but not vertical shaft that basically forces the lemmings passing through it to do constant 6-pixel-ascensions. The resulting shaft would still be slightly diagonal, basically making the upward Digger much less different from the already existing Fencer skill.

The Laser Blaster would add the complete novelty of being able to alter terrain at a distance in general, while still being able to affect large chunks of terrain comparable to the other non-lethal destructive skills (Basher, Miner, Digger, Fencer). It would also add a new direction of movement that so far doesn't exist at all for destructive skills.



Overall, while others have convinced me of the Slider's puzzle potential and its countless interactions with Climbers, Jumpers, and Shimmiers make my head spin enough with new and creative level ideas for it to probably still be my favourite - the Laser Blaster was my original first choice. And I think I'd still be happy if we got the Laser Blaster instead of the Slider! :thumbsup:

The case for the Laser Blaster contributing more novelty to NeoLemmix than the Slider, especially given that it's a ranged skill, can certainly be made, in my opinion. ;)
« Last Edit: November 07, 2020, 05:26:50 am by namida »
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline IchoTolot

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 2843
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2020, 11:40:58 pm »
Quote
The distance aspect in and of itself isn't an advantage over the Laser Blaster.

I think the laser blaster is inferior to a bazooka/mortar, because it is lacking 1 essential thing: The projectile arc.

The projectile arc is the main reason for much of the versitility. It helps in reaching terrain levels above, below and on the same terrain level. The laser blaster just goes straight up.

Also, the narrow tunnel of the laser blaster is quite hard to traverse through. Purely vertical tunnels are more difficult to ineract with especially from below. The explosion of a bazooka/mortar projectile does not destroy as much terrain, but it can be ineracted with more easily as they are not just purely vertical.

For the issue that they don't destroy as much terrain you can often just make the terrain walls you want to destroy thinner (which would also have the nice side effect of smaller levels).

So if we would choose between laser blaster and bazooka/mortar I would definitly go with the bazooka/mortar option.

Offline GigaLem

  • The Dog That Brought Lemmings to Avalice
  • Posts: 1313
  • Discord Server Owner
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2020, 01:52:37 am »
I'm more in favor of a blaster rather than a motar because I rather have something shoot straight up rather than an arc.
The fact that we're lacking something that's more of an upwards digger surprises me and I don't see myself using a mortar or something similar instead of something less fiddy.

a Projectile arc destructive/constructive skill is too situational for me imho.

Offline Dullstar

  • Posts: 1866
    • View Profile
    • Leafwing Studios Website (EXTREMELY OUTDATED)
Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2020, 01:57:17 am »
Also, the narrow tunnel of the laser blaster is quite hard to traverse through.

I suppose the tunnel would be narrow no matter what, but the exact thickness would of course be up for discussion, right? I think both skills have potential, but I'm not fully convinced either way. I do think both the projectile destructive skill and the upwards destructive skill are more worthwhile than the slider, which, while admittedly different from the floater/glider, doesn't seem to me like it's different enough to justify its selection as the final new skill.

I do have concerns that the laser blaster would be too obvious when to use, but maybe that's just Lemmings 2 not using it to its full potential.

Offline Strato Incendus

  • The King of Shimmiers (crowned by Flopsy ;D )
  • Posts: 1328
  • He who usually only makes it up to rank two
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2020, 08:18:18 am »
Quote
The projectile arc is the main reason for much of the versitility. It helps in reaching terrain levels above, below and on the same terrain level. The laser blaster just goes straight up.

Then you must be in favour of the Mortar specifically, since the Bazooker shoots horizontally, with maybe just a slight drop-off of the curve at the end. The Mortar is the only one with a parabolic curve.

And on that, I'm with GigaLem: Too situational and fiddly, and I can't imagine too many levels where I could use this that I couldn't also recreate with a (falling / jumping / gliding / climbing) Bomber instead.

Quote from: Dullstar
I do have concerns that the laser blaster would be too obvious when to use, but maybe that's just Lemmings 2 not using it to its full potential.

That's why I listed all these NeoLemmix applications in the starting post ;) . L2 hardly does any particular skill justice; the Spear Thrower is featured even less than the Laser Blaster on L2, yet it's being considered as a strong contender here.

Yes, of course the width of the tunnel would be debatable for the Laser Blaster, as would the size of the crater for the Bazooker / Mortar or the length of the Spear Thrower's spear.

Quote
For the issue that they don't destroy as much terrain you can often just make the terrain walls you want to destroy thinner (which would also have the nice side effect of smaller levels).

The problem with thin terrain pieces in general is that they're just as prone to Bomber usage, and thereby to backroutes. Bombers can bypass one-way arrows, meaning the same would also be true for the Bazooker / Mortar.

The Laser Blaster, in contrast, would be subject to this like every other non-lethal destructive skill. Thus, it definitely shouldn't be able to go through one-way down arrows. Whether it can go through horizontal arrows would be up for debate; it would be plausible to assume this, since Diggers can also go through horizontal arrows at a 90-degrees angle.

But the point is, terrain intended for removal by a Laser Blaster can't be as easily destroyed by other skills as those thin terrain pieces can that would be required for single-use Bazookers / Mortars.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 08:28:24 am by Strato Incendus »
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline IchoTolot

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 2843
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2020, 09:05:35 am »
Quote
And on that, I'm with GigaLem: Too situational and fiddly, and I can't imagine too many levels where I could use this that I couldn't also recreate with a (falling / jumping / gliding / climbing) Bomber instead.

I continue to hear that despite it being not true. It's not much different from placing a builder in reality. Hover over a lem and see immidiatly where it lands. Even more precise throws don't require more action than a builder stretching does. Also, does falling / jumping / gliding / climbing remove or create terrain now? I think not.

Another problem here:

Most use cases of the laser blaster require lemmings to be on a different level of the map. The setup is often the same: Some lemmings are on a higher elevation than the blaster. Blaster blasts and does one of the use cases (free a crowd, blocker, make a zombie drop, cut through a builder/platformer, make a shimmier fall).

That is connected mostly with the fact it can only affect terrain right above it and as the lemming cannot walk upwards through the tunnel, it usually needs a second group of lemmings to be at a higher level.

Strictly vertical destruction just is the most difficult to gain value of as lemmings often cannot act while traversing straight upwards/downwards. In the case of the digger you still have the advantage of the lemming slowly destroying the terrain while always standing on solid ground right in the middle of the action.

Quote
The problem with thin terrain pieces in general is that they're just as prone to Bomber usage, and thereby to backroutes. Bombers can bypass one-way arrows,

Then don't provide a bomber. Also the bomber needs to be directly present at the site.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 10:10:27 am by IchoTolot »

Offline Strato Incendus

  • The King of Shimmiers (crowned by Flopsy ;D )
  • Posts: 1328
  • He who usually only makes it up to rank two
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2020, 01:20:35 pm »
Quote
I continue to hear that despite it being not true. It's not much different from placing a builder in reality. Hover over a lem and see immidiatly where it lands. Even more precise throws don't require more action than a builder stretching does.

Sure, skill shadows, rewinding, and framestepping would make this a lot easier. You would still have to spam several Mortars though to get through obstacles that are a little thicker. There are several levels in L2 where you have to do this, and even though it's not difficult to execute, it's still quite annoying.

People are used to having to spam constructive skills (Builder / Platformer fests), but destructive skills usually have the advantage of only needing to be assigned once. The only destructive skill that's an exception is the Bomber. Is shaping a tunnel with several Bombers in a row fun? Or the infamous Stoner staircase that also just changes tiny pieces of terrain? ;)

Quote
Also, does falling / jumping / gliding / climbing remove or create terrain now? I think not.

Did you read the full sentence? ;)

Quote from: Strato Incendus
I can't imagine too many levels where I could use this that I couldn't also recreate with a (falling / jumping / gliding / climbing) Bomber instead.

Obviously, you will need a Bomber in addition. But then you have a workaround - and the question of whether an existing workaround is really so complex that it warrants the introduction of a new skill which does it by itself is precisely the logic you used against the Slider. ;)

Quote
Most use cases of the laser blaster require lemmings to be on a different level of the map.

Well, duh, this applies to pretty much all cases of a range skill - why would you need the range otherwise? ;) Even if you have two crowds or lemmings at the same altitude, they will then be in different horizontal hemispheres of the level (left vs. right), and you shoot across a gap. Thus, the Bazooker would always require a target at the same horizontal level, because it never shoots up.

The Mortar in turn couldn't be used for horizontal shafts at the same level, because once the projectile hits ground again at the same altitude as the Mortar lemming, it will make a dent into the ground, i.e. like a Bomber standing there, not into a wall, like the Bazooker.

Being able to interact with lemmings in completely different spots of the level is the whole point of range skills. Otherwise, you could simply assign a "proximal" skill to one of the target lemmings himself. ;)

Quote
The setup is often the same: Some lemmings are on a higher elevation than the blaster.

Now you've just blatantly ignored all the following applications I listed:

Quote
the setup: create a shaft from below that Climbers can use in the following
the setup: make a Stacker tower Climber-friendly from the rough side (since several stacks can never be placed exactly on top of each other): Have a Laser Blaster approach from the other side and cut off the protruding edges!
the setup: use 2-3 Laser Blasters right next to each other to create a shaft wide enough for other lemmings to build / jump / reach (Shimmier) / glide through (the latter with updrafts); for an application of this, see the Lemmings 2 level "Evolution of Lemmings" from the Cavelem tribe, or "Spinny Thang" from the Shadow tribe
the setup: cut through a pioneer's Platformer or Builder bridge from below to prevent the crowd from following the pioneer
[. . .]
affecting terrain at a distance: if a Laser Blaster can shoot through objects, i.e. including water, he could create a shaft through water behind or on-terrain, which Swimmers could then swim up through

All of these refer to the crowd being at the same elevation as the Laser Blaster.

In the "cut off the pioneer's bridge" example, of course the Laser Blaster is technically a couple of pixels lower than the Builder or Platformer, but that Builder or Platformer would obviously come from the same crowd as the Laser Blaster, otherwise there wouldn't be any need to isolate him. ;)

Even in the Swimmer example, where the Laser Blaster would have to be beneath a water area and the Swimmers within that area, they are just a couple of pixels apart in height.

Quote
That is connected mostly with the fact it can only affect terrain right above it and as the lemming cannot walk upwards through the tunnel, it usually needs a second group of lemmings to be at a higher level.

Strictly vertical destruction just is the most difficult to gain value of as lemmings often cannot act while traversing straight upwards/downwards. In the case of the digger you still have the advantage of the lemming slowly destroying the terrain while always standing on solid ground right in the middle of the action.

This I think is the fairest point against the Laser Blaster. However, it's also one of its main appeals regarding the design of more complex puzzles, since the player needs to think more carefully about how to not cut themselves off from a path to the exit, compared to if they simply had a Fencer.

Quote
Then don't provide a bomber. Also the bomber needs to be directly present at the site.

a) The Mortar can't stand too far away from the target either - a little lower perhaps, or on the other side of a small gap. Nothing that a Jumper / Shimmier / Glider / Climber / Swimmer couldn't also get across, in most cases.

b) The target position will still have to be accessed by some other lemming someway in order for the Mortar's action to have been useful. Meaning, while you won't have to get the Mortar himself there, you still need to provide a Jumper / Shimmier / Glider / Climber etc. for the other lemming to get there - if he is from the same crowd as the Mortar. So why not simply provide two iterations of each of the skills required to get across? Now you can get a Bomber and his follower on the other side an still achieve the same result. Meanwhile, you can't say the same for the Laser Blaster, since getting a Shimmier in position and then assigning a Digger from below is not possible.

c) The Mortar is only hard to replace if the target position affects a different crowd than the one where the Mortar comes from, AND you don't have a Bomber (or Bomber pickup skil,l to be collected at the point where you would otherwise assign the Mortar, so that the puzzle path would still be the same). But then again, this "affect a different crowd than your own" is precisely what you criticised about the Laser Blaster, so I don't see how this would be a point in the Mortar's favour? ???
« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 01:29:05 pm by Strato Incendus »
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline IchoTolot

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 2843
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2020, 01:44:59 pm »
Quote
Sure, skill shadows, rewinding, and framestepping would make this a lot easier. You would still have to spam several Mortars though to get through obstacles that are a little thicker. There are several levels in L2 where you have to do this, and even though it's not difficult to execute, it's still quite annoying.

That's why you don't create levels that do this. Again, as we now said many times before, L2 is a bad example.

Quote
Obviously, you will need a Bomber in addition. But then you have a workaround - and the question of whether an existing workaround is too complex and therefore warrants the introduction of a new skill that does it by itself is precisely the logic you used against the Slider.

As I also said many times before, the range and the arc of the projectile is the point here (with varying workarounds), I also mentioned in the final skill topic:

Quote
We talked a bit in discord and in the special case of the mortar it could be argued that it is still an active weapon compared to an exploder. So it's not that unlogical for it to have a lemming killing side effect and I would be ok with that.

Making the mortar crater different and maybe a big bigger compared to a bomber could also help to distinguish it further. Maybe also rounder so it is shimmier friendly when firing it at a ceiling.

But let's get back to the laser blaster as this is its topic after all. Further discusion of the mortar is better placed inside other topics.

The other cases on why the laster blaster is too weak in my opinion can best be answered by kierans post in the final skill topic:

https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=4686.msg81290#msg81290

Quote
The Laser Blaster - The Laser Blaster is a skill that asks you to specifically hunt down reasons to make it useful. It is very poor at providing general purpose utility. In QFK2 the Circus Tribe tries very very hard to come up with ways to make the Laser Blaster good according to the specific properties it provides, and it actually struggles. Vertical shafts are hard to use in interesting ways, and this is especially true for ones that also have no floor. Yes, there are some specific use cases you can come up with, but they are so specific as to not be worth the addition, so I'm going to have to vote NO on this one.

Even the other cases you provided are very very specific, especially the stacker tower and you can always find very specific usecases for nearly everything after all.


Offline Strato Incendus

  • The King of Shimmiers (crowned by Flopsy ;D )
  • Posts: 1328
  • He who usually only makes it up to rank two
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2020, 04:10:28 pm »
Well, I would hardly call isolating a pioneer lemming a fringe use, that will probably be a very common application. And sure, that alone wouldn't warrant the introduction, because there are lots of ways to cut off bridges.

However, the more important frequent use would be getting through a ceiling from below. With Builders, this has always been a major hassle in original Lemmings (see "Call in the bomb squad", where you have to do all that with Bombers).

Even with the NeoLemmix Fencer, the shaft is usually too small for a Builder to approach the ceiling normally without bumping his head. Fencers and Platformers interact a little better (see my Lemmings World Tour level "Iron Maidan"), but only if you approach partly from the side, i.e. already start fencing before you reach the actual ceiling. For example, you platform towards a pillar that touches the ceiling, then start fencing into the pillar from the side until the Fencer eventually continues into and through the ceiling.

Laser Blasters can shoot into the ceiling straight from below, and the path is still accessible to everyone, because it is created by Builders. Laser Blasters can also be placed next to each other much more easily than Fencers, so widening the shaft is easier, and then you can build through it easily.

While the same can of course also be accomplished with Mortars (which would make it more like "Call in the bomb squad" again), it would depend very much on the relative angle of the Mortar to the ceiling whether the projectile could hit it or fly past it underneath.

Thus, the Mortar is a skill which changes its purpose constantly based on the specifics of the surrounding terrain. While this can make the skill quite versatile, it also makes its behaviour harder to predict during the player's level-planning phase (not during actual execution, because then you will see the skill shadow once your in the right spot).

The trajectory of the Laser Blaster is easy to memorise, on par with the other destructive skills.

While kieran's opinions as a creator of an entire L2 pack are obviously valuable, he is just one of the few forum members who have had the chance yet to try out the potential of the Laser Blaster. With the collective creativity of the entire forum toying around with ideas involving the skill, there is going to be a much larger variety of solutions.

Furthermore, of course anyone designing levels for L2 faces the same challenge as the original creators: If you want to do every skill some justice, you're almost guaranteed to do no skill full justice within your pack.

So just because kieran didn't find much use for the Laser Blaster, while of course his puzzles are more clever than the original DMA ones, I don't think this weighs that much heavier - because if we agree we shouldn't base our judgment of a skill's potential on the original L2 levels alone, why should we base it on QFK2 alone? ;)

Whatever the 20th skill may be, it will cause the entirety of the NeoLemmix community to come up with brand-new ideas focusing exclusively on that one new skill, rather than on over 50 different ones at the same time, as it happens to anyone who starts designing custom levels for L2.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 04:16:26 pm by Strato Incendus »
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline IchoTolot

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 2843
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2020, 04:27:50 pm »
Quote
However, the more important frequent use would be getting through a ceiling from below. With Builders, this has always been a major hassle in original Lemmings (see "Call in the bomb squad", where you have to do all that with Bombers).

Even with the NeoLemmix Fencer, the shaft is usually too small for a Builder to approach the ceiling normally without bumping his head. Fencers and Platformers interact a little better (see my Lemmings World Tour level "Iron Maidan"), but only if you approach partly from the side, i.e. already start fencing before you reach the actual ceiling.

Laser Blasters can be placed next to each other much more easily than Fencers, so widening a shaft is easier, and then you can build through it easily.

That task alone is a level on its own and sounds incredible tedious to do!

Placing multiple blasters next to each other and then building up with tons of builders, nope not wanting to play that level.

Even with diggers now this is tedious. I rather take the fencer or even a basher stircase there.

The purely vertical tunnel is just too impractical to get lemmings upwards without tons of other skills involved or climbers.

Quote
because if we agree we shouldn't base our judgment of a skill's potential on the original L2 levels alone, why should we base it on QFK2 alone?

Nobody said that, but it is still an important factor in my opinion as I would say kieran has made some incredible levels and showed quite a few neat tricks in the process.

Quote
With the collective creativity of the entire forum toying around with ideas involving the skill, there is going to be a much larger variety of solutions.

This counts for outright every skill, but the general usefulness of the skill plays a factor too and the laser blaster is just very situational.

Offline Strato Incendus

  • The King of Shimmiers (crowned by Flopsy ;D )
  • Posts: 1328
  • He who usually only makes it up to rank two
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2020, 04:40:46 pm »
Quote
That task alone is a level on its own and sounds incredible tedious to do!

Placing multiple blasters next to each other and then building up with tons of builders, nope not wanting to play that level.

Who said tons of Builders? ;) You could have a ceiling just e.g. 32 pixels above the heads of the crowd, so that 2-3 Builders are enough to get up through that ceiling. The ceiling itself might also just be between 16 and 32 pixels thick (think of the normal rectangular blocks from the Pillar tileset).

So without the Laser Blaster, this level would be tedious, because you'd have to bomb through the ceiling, which would constantly destroy parts of your own staircases, or you'd have to use a bunch of Shimmiers and bomb them beneath the ceiling.

With the Laser Blaster, getting through the ceiling would be much more straightforward.
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline Proxima

  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2020, 04:43:46 pm »
Placing multiple blasters next to each other and then building up with tons of builders, nope not wanting to play that level.

Even with diggers now this is tedious. I rather take the fencer or even a basher stircase there.

The whole point of using multiple laser blasters (or diggers) is that you can build up a shaft with only a few builders! :P

This can be tedious when overdone, but in moderation it's a very nice trick that can be used as part of a puzzle. For example, one of my Lix levels (I'll put the name below in a spoiler tag) uses the trick of interrupting a digger, then making one additional digger shaft next to him so that you can get back up with the number of builders given (which, if I remember correctly, is 5 for the entire level, and some are used in other parts).

My only caveat about adding the laser blaster to enable this kind of trick is that it can already be done with diggers.

Name of the level in question (click to show/hide)

Offline Strato Incendus

  • The King of Shimmiers (crowned by Flopsy ;D )
  • Posts: 1328
  • He who usually only makes it up to rank two
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2020, 04:59:37 pm »
Quote
My only caveat about adding the laser blaster to enable this kind of trick is that it can already be done with diggers.

But ironically, this indeed requires a second crowd or at least inidivudal lemming on top of the ceiling, so that you can dig through it. Which is what IchoTolot criticised about the Laser Blaster.

Quite the opposite, though, for this example, it's the Laser Blaster that allows the player to get through the ceiling from the same side as the crowd. Meaning you don't need a lemming in a different place to get through the ceiling, as you would if you tried to solve this level with Diggers.

And since we're talking about going through a ceiling here, getting a lemming on top of that ceiling in the first place, in order to dig through it, might be much more difficult than simply getting a lemming across a gap or up a wall and bomb there, as you could do to emulate the ranged effects of a Mortar.

This is where the Laser Blaster would fill an important niche.
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline IchoTolot

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 2843
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2020, 05:02:37 pm »
Quote
So without the Laser Blaster, this level would be tedious, because you'd have to bomb through the ceiling, which would constantly destroy parts of your own staircases, or you'd have to use a bunch of Shimmiers and bomb them beneath the ceiling.

That is just wrong. There are way better options than the bomber for this.

Reaching a ceiling can be done with builders and maybe one or two stackers for the final connection. Then you can go with a fencer or a basher staircase, or even a digger/miner from above. I rather have a sloped tunnel than a vertical one for that task.

After all of that, this is still one very specific use application which still needs support from a bunch other skills. We don't need the laser blaster for that.

I still stand by the statement that a purely vertical tunnel fired from below is way too situational.

Offline namida

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 10992
    • View Profile
    • NeoLemmix Website
Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2020, 07:38:56 pm »
In the main discussion topic of new skills, it came up that an angled laser blaster could be a good idea. I see this as superior to the vertical one. I still envision a fairly steep angle - one that walkers can ascend, but fairly steep nonetheless, perhaps 3:1 or 4:1 (though I'm open to all the way up to 6:1). This is yet another differentiation from the digger or any other existing skill (it would have similarity to, but still significant differentiation from, the Fencer or Miner as well), on top of the starting position, range and speed.

Is there anyone who honestly feels that a straight-vertical laser blaster might actually be the better option than angled laser blaster and any of the other ideas under consideration (projectile constructive / destructive; slider; jetboarder)?