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Author Topic: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laserer  (Read 2778 times)

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Offline Strato Incendus

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[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 »
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Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2020, 11:40:58 pm »
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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

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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

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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

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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 »
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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

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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

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2020, 01:20:35 pm »
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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. ;)

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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.

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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 »
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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

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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.

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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:

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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

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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 »
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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2020, 04:40:46 pm »
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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:
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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

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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

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2020, 04:59:37 pm »
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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.
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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2020, 05:02:37 pm »
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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.

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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)?

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2020, 05:38:27 am »
I don't think it's a better idea than the other skills under consideration (particularly the slider), but I have concerns that the angled laser blaster would overlap too much in functionality with the fencer, which I already don't find particularly useful. It sounded nice in theory, but in practice I've found miners more versatile since I can make getting the miner to its starting point part of the puzzle and can actually be turned around with blockers. I can't imagine very many situations I'd use the straight laser blaster that can't already be accomplished by placing a digger pick up skill at the assignment location for the laser blaster, and the angled laser blaster seems like it would mostly just be useful for additional terrain layout flexibility since it has a steeper angle.

I suppose it could be used for stopping shimmiers (either laser blaster option), but it doesn't seem worth giving up any of the other options available.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2020, 12:29:35 pm »
I don't think it's a better idea than the other skills under consideration (particularly the slider), but I have concerns that the angled laser blaster would overlap too much in functionality with the fencer... I suppose it could be used for stopping shimmiers (either laser blaster option), but it doesn't seem worth giving up any of the other options available.

+1 for this. Of the four options currently being considered as strong contenders, the Laser Blaster is probably bringing the least amount of new potential.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2020, 03:40:14 pm »
Quote
+1 for this. Of the four options currently being considered as strong contenders, the Laser Blaster is probably bringing the least amount of new potential.

I would strongly disagree here even though I did not vote for it.

The added range and therefore the ability to fire across open space and gaps is something a lot of people seem to underestimate here.

The fact that a lemming does not need to be at the site of the effect can be a huge gamechanger.

Also the speed factor compared to the fencer is often not taken into account enough. A fencer takes a lot of time and time is very precious in lemmings even if there is no timer. An angled blaster can accomplish thing much faster.

The only case where I have the fear and certainty of overlapping functionality and redundancy is the slider.

The angled laster blaster would definitly be my second choice after the projectile skills. :)

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2020, 05:30:48 pm »
The only upside of the straight vertical Laser Blaster that I can think of is that a Climber would be able to climb both sides of the shaft (like a Digger's shaft).

With the angled version, there is a bottom and a ceiling of the Laser Blaster tunnel.
The bottom can of course be walked by Walkers, which is what makes it more versatile overall.
The ceiling, meanwhile, will be too steep (with that 3:1, 4:1, or even 6:1 ratio) to be used by Shimmiers, since they can only deal with 1:1 ascensions.

Just something to keep in mind. ;) I still think the case for the angled Blaster interacting with normal Walkers, and therefore being more universally applicable, can easily be made over the vertical Blaster interacting with Climbers.
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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2020, 11:38:32 pm »
Just did up this mockup of possible laser blaser angles. Consider red ruled out, it's there for reference only.

This is more about the angles and less about the exact origin point (and certianly, not about the thickness).

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2020, 09:18:05 am »
I would suggest setting the angle to 45 degree as then a shimmier can use the tunnel (if it's also wide enough).

Imagine blasting a hole in the ceiling from below to make a path for a shimmier for example.

So I would suggest pink as it's compatible with the shimmier and still quite steep.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2020, 12:46:23 pm »
Thinking about it the laser blaster and to a part the ranged projectile skills have another thing we are currently lacking: Upwards movement.

It is very hard to get lemmings effectively upwards with relying too much on climbers or long builder bridges. Only the fencer is very effective in that.

We have TONS of ways getting lemmings downwards:

- Using the long fall distance of 64 pixels. (in contrast we can only step up 6 pixels)
- Floating
- Digging
- Mining
- Gliding (extremely strong and can be combined with OW fields and updrafts)
- Updrafts
- Mid air stoning (very strong)

That is also quite a part of the reason I am strictly against the slider. ;)

Upwards we are quite limited (builder, climber, fencer and to a part shimmying/stacking) and the angled laser blaster would greatly add to the coverege there. On top of that it can be quite fast and provides range, which is a thing we lack as well.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2020, 03:20:16 pm »
I certainly appreciate IchoTolot's support for the Laser Blaster, especially since it now sounds like he might be favouring it over the projectile skills? ;)

My question would indeed also be whether the pink trajectory would be 45° and therefore Shimmier-compatible.

This might make the Laser Blaster more similar to the Fencer in some cases, if it's applied at a close distance. Note that the Fencer tunnel is Shimmier-friendly as far as its angle is concerned; it's just too narrow on its own. However, by sending a Basher down a Fencer tunnel (which he will automatically do because of the Basher's sloping behaviour), you can widen the tunnel enough for a Shimmier to pass all the way through. A Laser Blaster with a 45° angle could potentially accomplish this on its own.

Therefore, I think we would want to try and prevent a Laser Blaster from acting just like a Fencer if you assign it e.g. with a lemming right next to a wall. The terrain destruction should definitely not start "in front" of the lemming and then simply be extrapolated until it hits a ceiling. In other words, it should not be that easy for a Laser Blaster to just go on and walk up into his own tunnel.

Instead, if the Laser Blaster held his cannon above his head, then the lowest altitude at which the tunnel could start would be 9 pixels above the ground, i.e. 1 pixel above the lemming's head - therefore too high for a regular Walker to just walk up from the ground. Instead, at least one Builder would be required to make it up to the entrance of the Laser Blaster tunnel.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2020, 03:55:41 pm by Strato Incendus »
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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2020, 03:46:15 pm »
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I certainly appreciate IchoTolot's support for the Laser Blaster, especially since it now sounds like he might be favouring it over the projectile skills?

At this point I would support both skills, as I see potential in both of them and they both add things we lack. Also, the standard laser blaser is one of the most prominent L2 skills and quite recognizable even among new players. Lasers just have a natural "cool" factor. ;P

Quote
My question would indeed also be whether the pink trajectory would be 45° and therefore Shimmier-compatible.

The 45 degree angle is 100% Shimmier-compatible. As long as the shimmier only has to traverse 1 pixel vertically at the same time it will go on. Example: In 16 pixels horizontally the shimmier can at max traverse 16 pixels vertically. The 45 degree angle is therefore the steepest angle the shimmier can traverse and that angle is visualized by the pink color.

We just have to make it wide enough.

Quote
This might make the Laser Blaster more similar to the Fencer in some cases, if it's applied at a close distance.

In the pink mode the laser blaster has still double the height gain of the fencer. The fencer traverses 1 pixel upwards for every 2 pixels horizontally. The 45 degree angle doubles the height gain.

Quote
Therefore, I think we would want to try and prevent a Laser Blaster from acting just like a Fencer if you assign it e.g. with a lemming right next to a wall....

In other words, it should not be that easy for a Laser Blaster to just go on and walk up into his own tunnel....

Instead, if the Laser Blaster held his cannon above his head, then the lowest altitude at which the tunnel could start would be 9 pixels above the lemming's head - therefore too high for a regular Walker to just walk up from the ground. Instead, at least one Builder would be required to make it up to the entrance of the Laser Blaster tunnel.

I would disagree here. I think everyone would expect the laser beam to start right before the lemming. Doing otherwise could be very confusing.

Also, as this is the only major skill overlapp we have and it does not even have the same angle or execution time, I don't think this is such a bad thing here. In the absolute worst case it is a faster and steeper fencer and speed + another angle can alone be quite a game changer. Especially the speed difference is very large. I am not even including the range ability to go over empty space here!

Also, 9 pixels above the lemming's head would lead to the skill often only be useful in combinations and not on its own. I wouldn't majorly hinder the skills self sufficiency over one single similar use case.

Personally I would set the step to like 6 pixels above the lemming's feet. Reason: Then a player can seperate a lem from the crowd with a single builder slap on top of the step and this brings more distance to the fencer use case as there you are not able to accomplish this easy seperation! :)
« Last Edit: October 22, 2020, 04:00:55 pm by IchoTolot »

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2020, 03:55:15 pm »
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In the pink mode the laser blaster has still double the height gain of the fencer. The fencer traverses 1 pixel upwards for every 2 pixels horizontally. The 45 degree angle doubles the height gain.

Oops, sorry, I wasn't even aware of that! :thumbsup: Yes, of course that would make a huge difference. It would make the Laser Blaster oftentimes even more powerful than the Fencer, though, I'd assume.

Quote
Also, 9 pixels above the lemming's head would lead to the skill often only be useful in combinations and not on its own. I wouldn't majorly hinder the skills self sufficiency over one single similar use case.

Personally I would set the step to like 6 pixels above the lemming's head. Reason: Then a player can seperate a lem from the crowd with a single builder slap on top of the step and this brings more distance to the fencer use case as there you are not able to accomplish this easy seperation!

Sorry, I didn't write this clearly enough: I meant 9 pixels above the ground, i.e. 1 pixel above the lemming's head, because a lemming is 8 pixels tall. ;) I corrected this in my previous post now, for clarity.

So I'd actually place the starting point of the laser even lower than you would. ;) But, keeping closer to the original L2 design, starting right above the lemming's head, instead of in front of it.
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Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2020, 04:03:25 pm »
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Sorry, I didn't write this clearly enough: I meant 9 pixels above the ground, i.e. 1 pixel above the lemming's head, because a lemming is 8 pixels tall. ;) I corrected this in my previous post now, for clarity.

So I'd actually place the starting point of the laser even lower than you would. ;) But, keeping closer to the original L2 design, starting right above the lemming's head, instead of in front of it.

Didn't catch that as well.  I also mean 6 pixels above the lemming's feet/ground and not the head - so even lower. ;P     Then a single builder step would increase it to a 7 pixel high non stepable step.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2020, 06:14:40 pm »
I would suggest setting the angle to 45 degree as then a shimmier can use the tunnel (if it's also wide enough).

+1 for this. The tunnel should also be walk-uppable, so any angle that allows this (and shimmying) gets my vote.

Offline Proxima

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2020, 06:24:38 pm »
In the pink mode the laser blaster has still double the height gain of the fencer. The fencer traverses 1 pixel upwards for every 2 pixels horizontally. The 45 degree angle doubles the height gain.

And that's not nearly enough. The fencer is already one of the more redundant NL skills, and turning the laser blaster into just another fencer at a steeper angle would make it a very disappointing 20th skill. Especially since, from the above discussion, it seems the only reason the 1:1 slope is even being considered is to make it shimmier-friendly? We already have fencers, miners and bashers for making shimmier-friendly tunnels, as well as builders and platformers. How about having one skill that's deliberately not shimmier-friendly so it can break a ceiling at a chosen point and make a shimmier fall there?

Quote
Also, as this is the only major skill overlapp we have and it does not even have the same angle or execution time, I don't think this is such a bad thing here.

Skill overlap is bad because this is a candidate for the 20th skill and very likely the last new skill. "Another, slightly different fencer" really isn't something I can get behind when we could have had something completely different like the mortar or slider.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2020, 06:45:15 pm »
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And that's not nearly enough. The fencer is already one of the more redundant NL skills,

I have no idea where you are coming from here.

We have near to no upwards mobility and the fencer (and the laser blaster) is exactly providing that.

If you would say that a miner does the same it's just wrong as you need to get a lem up and around first for that.

I would say the complete opposite: The fencer is one of the least redundant skills in NL!

Quote
We already have fencers,....for making shimmier-friendly tunnels

That is wrong as a fencer tunnel is too narrow.

Quote
The fencer is already one of the more redundant NL skills, and turning the laser blaster into just another fencer at a steeper angle would make it a very disappointing 20th skill.

Here you are completely disregarding the aspects of a very fast digging speed and more importantly range. The steeper fencer would just be a small part of the applications and I think you are underestimating the 45 degree angle here and the difference it can make.

Quote
Especially since, from the above discussion, it seems the only reason the 1:1 slope is even being considered is to make it shimmier-friendly?

Aligning angles and widths of skills to be compatible to other skills is highly benefitial in general. When mechanics naturally intertwine with each other the game just plays much better and we have more combinations to choose from.

Miner, fencer and builder angle for example.

Quote
Skill overlap is bad because this is a candidate for the 20th skill and very likely the last new skill. "Another, slightly different fencer" really isn't something I can get behind when we could have had something completely different like the mortar or slider.

That's why I stated that the fencer at a wall situation is the only bigger overlap. With this measurement, for example, that one overlap is too much the slider needs to be disregarded instantly as there we have even more overlaps (floater, glider, updrafts,...etc) and it's basically just the skills we already have and nothing really different.

We most likely cannot avoid 1 or 2 overlaps with a new skill. Yes, we should minimize that number as much we can, but here it should be just this one that is from the slightly bigger nature.

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"Another, slightly different fencer"

Again, this only holds true if you completely disregard the speed and range aspects. Especially range here and with a shimmier compatible angle this aspect only increases in importance.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2020, 07:23:32 pm »
Thanks, IchoTolot; I still don't get either how people can make the case that the Fencer were supefluous. But I know there are a couple of them.

Regarding "making a dent into the ceiling to make a Shimmier fall": Yes, this was one of the things we thought projectile skills could do. Of course, a vertical Laser Blaster (or near-vertical) could accomplish the same thing.

I'd support three different options, all of which would have different uses:
- a completely vertical Laser Blaster like in L2 (but this is represented by the red line, so as far as I understood namida, it's already ruled out)
- a 6:1 ratio, i.e. the maximum vertical gain at the shortest horizontal distance that is still Walker-friendly
- a 45 degree angle, i.e. a 1:1 ratio

So nothing in between (5:1, 4:1 etc.), since this would just unnecessarily flatten the angle of the tunnel and make it more similar to that of the Fencer, but not enough to make it usable for Shimmiers.
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Offline namida

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2020, 07:39:26 pm »
Quote
I'd support three different options, all of which would have different uses:
- a completely vertical Laser Blaster like in L2 (but this is represented by the red line, so as far as I understood namida, it's already ruled out)
- a 6:1 ratio, i.e. the maximum vertical gain at the shortest horizontal distance that is still Walker-friendly
- a 45 degree angle, i.e. a 1:1 ratio

Completely vertical is not going to happen. L2 has already proven it has limited uses, and at any rate, discussion alone has shown that an angled laser blaster has much more uses.

Vertical is included in the image for reference purposes only.

EDIT: Attached the image again to this post, since it's on a new page. Nothing has changed in it, it's just re-posted for convenience.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2020, 09:09:21 pm »
So nothing in between (5:1, 4:1 etc.), since this would just unnecessarily flatten the angle of the tunnel and make it more similar to that of the Fencer, but not enough to make it usable for Shimmiers.

If you look at the diagram, the 6:1, 5:1 and 4:1 lines are very close together. Regardless of gradient I would still have a concern that it's yet another straight-line destructive skill, but the 5:1 and 4:1 suggestions aren't nearly as bad as 1:1 in terms of overlap with the fencer.

(Incidentally, an example of a 3:1 slope is the "cone" from the Fire tileset, if you want to look at it on some actual levels.)

I think either 3:1 or 4:1 would be the best choice -- steep but not too steep. Still, take that with a grain of salt, because laser blaster is and will remain my least favourite of the options still under consideration, no matter what gradient we choose.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #32 on: October 23, 2020, 12:31:54 am »
How about having one skill that's deliberately not shimmier-friendly so it can break a ceiling at a chosen point and make a shimmier fall there?

Since the laser blaster is a ranged skill with (I'm guessing) an instant effect, as long as the ceiling is thin enough, even a shimmier-friendly tunnel could be used to stop a shimmier, provided that there is a gap between the ceiling/shimmy pipe and the top of the level.

Generally speaking though, laser blaster isn't exactly my favourite idea either. But, I can see the benefits of having another height-gaining skill which also has instant effect/other potential uses.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2020, 12:45:17 am »
I agree with Proxima that this would be a disappointing final skill.

I am not opposed to it when this is not taken into consideration, because as long as every individual skill can justify itself I have no issue with there being a lot of them, as long as it's not an L2 situation where they were basically throwing stuff at the wall. But if you say that the Laser Blaster would be the last skill we get, ever, full stop, then I must oppose the Laser Blaster. I know what kind of levels I like to create, and the Laser Blaster is too situational for my level design, due to its similarity to the Fencer, which I also don't use much. It's not the same as the fencer, but it's not different enough for me to be interested at the expense of the Slider.

I also reiterate that, due to the fact that there's a limit on how many skills can be in any given level anyway, I don't think it's important that the number of skills be a nice number like 20. 21 skills to implement the Slider and Laser Blaster, or 23 to implement all 4 candidates (Slider, Laser Blaster, projectile constructive/destructive) would be fine.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2020, 09:53:06 pm »
Something to keep in mind about the angled Laser Blaster, which has both upsides and downsides, I guess:

The L2 vertical Laser Blaster is the upward counterpart to the Digger, much like the Fencer is our upward counterpart to the Miner.
In L2, while the maximum non-splat fall height is increased compared to regular Lemmings, one potential danger about the vertical Laser Blaster is that you can create a lethal drop when you're just trying to blast the crowd out.
With Diggers, this can often be avoided because the entire crowd will gather in the Digger shaft and go down together with the Digger - with the Laser Blaster, however, this is not possible, and might be used for additional challenges.

A diagonal Laser Blaster always breaks the fall, at least as long as there is enough terrain. Of course, if the distance between the ceiling he blasts into and the ground the lemmings from above will land on is larger than splat height, the Laser Blaster can't do anything to change that. But he generally won't accidentally create splat height where there was none by removing too much terrain, resulting in too much of an uninterrupted vertical drop.

Even a non-Shimmier friendly Laser Blaster shaft that is very steep (e.g. 6:1 or even more) will have the lemmings passing through it from above repeatedly switching back and forth between Faller, Walker, Faller, Walker.

Thus, dropping through a Laser Blaster shaft that is in any way diagonal can never result in a lethal drop, whereas dropping through a Digger shaft can easily lead to this result.

Just something to keep in mind. I think this is yet another thing that would make a diagonal Laser Blaster more useful - but also more powerful, i.e. potentially broken. It also increases overlap with the Fencer a little more, since Miners and Fencers are usually the skills you'd prefer if you want to ensure a safe passage down by creating a slope, compared to a Digger. The Laser Blaster would thus join the list of "safe drop" skills, leaving only the Digger and (possibly) the Bomber as "high risk" methods of creating drops.



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But if you say that the Laser Blaster would be the last skill we get, ever, full stop, then I must oppose the Laser Blaster. I know what kind of levels I like to create, and the Laser Blaster is too situational for my level design, due to its similarity to the Fencer, which I also don't use much. It's not the same as the fencer, but it's not different enough for me to be interested at the expense of the Slider.

I understand where you're coming from, because Laser Blaster and Slider are my two clear favourites. ;) If we're considering two skills for projectiles (destructive and creative), I'd of course love to see the option of having the other two as a combination as well (Laser Blaster + Slider). But I think namida has already stated that the "2 for 1" deal can only work for projectiles specifically, because a lot of the coding would be the same (including the arc of the projectile's trajectory), and the only thing that would change are the sprites and the attribute "destructive" vs. "creative". Slider and Laser Blaster, in contrast, are two very different skills.

At least with the diagonal Laser Blaster, we don't have to worry about possible interactions between Laser Blaster and Slider that we are now going to miss out on. (In L2, for example, you could create a vertical shaft with the Laser Blaster, and then send a Slider down that shaft, since Sliders require perfectly straight walls, just like Climbers.)

A lot of my love for the Slider stems from its interactions with Shimmiers and Jumpers. Having been crowned the "King of Shimmiers" by Flopsy recently :D (with him historically being the "King of Blockers" ;) ), of course I favour anything that increases the potential of this particular skill, which I believe was the best addition to NeoLemmix in a long time.

Hence, if I had to choose between a vertical Laser Blaster and a Slider, even though I agree with IchoTolot that lasers just seem to have this natural "cool" factor to them that the child in all of us prefers, I would probably still prefer the Slider because of its greater interaction potential.

However, the idea of a 45°-angle Laser Blaster changes this, because such a Laser Blaster would indeed provide interactions with Shimmiers as well, just like the Slider. And not just any type of Shimmier interaction, but a very particular one that is hard to achieve otherwise:

Since a Shimmier can't perform any destructive skills (aside from bombing), the only way to carve a Shimmier tunnel into a ceiling to send a Shimmier into would indeed be from the distance, i.e. from the ground. Obviously, this is something that the Fencer can't do either, a) because it requires the fencing lemming to stand on solid ground, and b) because the resulting tunnel is too narrow (at least without additional support from a Basher going down the Fencer tunnel from above).

Thus, this particular proposal for the Laser Blaster poses some serious competition to the Slider in one of its main dimensions of appeal. Which makes the choice a lot harder. ???



I'm not saying I'm dropping my support for the Slider yet. But let's say if the Laser Blaster were to become the final skill instead of the Slider, I would at least not be unhappy about it.


While I have repeatedly argued against comparisons between the Slider and the Floater in the past, comparing the Slider more to a downward Climber instead, I will concede that, in direct comparison with the Laser Blaster, the Slider's behaviour indeed seems to be easier to emulate with our current NeoLemmix tools than the (angled) Laser Blaster's behaviour.

For example, a couple of levels I created for my L2-inspired pack "Lemmings Hall of Fame", which could use an actual Slider, of course, currently tries to approximate this behaviour by using one-way fields in combination with Floaters, anti-splat pads, or updrafts. This locks Slider usage into specific locations within the level, of course, and doesn't allow for any transitions from Jumper to Slider or Slider to Shimmier, but at least it's a start for breaking falls and turning the lemming around.

In contrast, I had to create a classic "send a pioneer ahead and laser-blast the crowd out from below" level, which is very typical of Lemmings 2: The Tribes, I wouldn't know how to do it. Possibly with a Bomber from below, but that's hard to enforce (why wouldn't you simply bomb from above? Bombers don't care about one-way arrows, after all). Or with a Fencer. The latter is something I tried to do on a level from Lemmings Open Air, but that level has been giving me one backroute after another. So that isn't easy to enforce either. ;)
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Offline namida

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2020, 10:51:50 pm »
Quote
In contrast, I had to create a classic "send a pioneer ahead and laser-blast the crowd out from below" level, which is very typical of Lemmings 2: The Tribes, I wouldn't know how to do it.

I'd ask what it directly adds. If it's a case of "use a very obviously-placed laser blaster", this is no harder than "use a very obviously-placed digger" (once splats are dealt with, but you can make those a concern with a digger too). Simply being able to make "use laser blaster at the end" worker lemming levels would not be enough reason to go with the laser blaster over the other skills.

I am far more interested in this idea of the 1:1 laser blaster + shimmier interaction, though...

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #36 on: October 26, 2020, 03:36:03 am »
Now that, according to namida's latest post in the final new skill topic, it sounds like the remaining contenders no longer need to compete with each other for inclusion. Thus, I feel I can now explore this Laser Blaster idea in more detail than simply "I think the Slider is a better idea."

I am also interested in the 45 degree angle suggestion due to the shimmier interaction potential. You could use it either to move a shimmier above terrain, or you could use it to stop a shimmier, depending on which direction you're facing. The Laser Blaster should, of course, be affected by one-way left/right arrows as well as stopped by one-way down.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #37 on: October 26, 2020, 08:19:16 am »
Experimental laser blaster suggestion time! :)

I will propose some stats for the blaster here that could maybe be used for the experimental.

Angle: 45 degree to test the shimmier combination possibilities and see if it's steep enough.

Width: Wide enough for a shimmier as a result.

Starting point: I propose the hole starts 6 pixels above the feet of the laser blasting lemming. This way a single builder could be used to block the hole and it still would be accessible with any additional skills. Again thinking about easy combination methods.

Range: Hear me out here, it should be huge! :8(): Reason is that the range is a big selling factor and it should be able to go through a few terrain layers. If you want to stop it early a level designer can still put a steel layer in the way. Also, it would provide a reason not to use it over a fecer in certain cases! Just put a terrain layer above the possible activation point that a player can't allow to be riddled with holes as he needs to traverse it later.
For a 45 degree angle we gain 1 pixel of height for every horizontal pixel. Let's messure with 16x16 blocks. I would propose that the blaster should at least go through 8 of those if they are put diagonally in front of the blaster. Let's do the math: 8x16=128. Let's round it up to 130 for now.
Again, this seems very large, but the skill shines more on vertical levels. Also it is often not a big deal when it's too large, but it's a deal when it constantly falls short. As I stated above you can always stop it with steel or place vital level areas above it that should not be destroyed.

Steel behavior: This is a bit tricky. I wouldn't propose it to be overly sensitive and cancel if the outer edges barely hits steel. I would still offer like 1-2 pixel steel margin at the blast's edges, but not much more. I would also argue that these 1-2 error margin pixels at the edge can get cut off by steel --> the blast will become narrower when barely hitting steel as that part of the blast is blocked then. As a result, cleverly placed steel can affect the hole you are blasting out and make it slightly narrower. When a non edge area hits steel it immediately stops of course.

Speed: Maybe around 1 16x16 block per second or so.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 08:29:18 am by IchoTolot »

Online kaywhyn

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #38 on: October 26, 2020, 08:26:10 am »

Let's do the math: 8x16=126. Let's round it up to 130 for now.

You might want to recheck your calculation. If I'm not mistaken, 8 x 16 = 128. End result with rounding is still the same, rounds up to 130. Sorry, math teacher in me couldn't resist :P

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #39 on: October 26, 2020, 08:29:51 am »
You are totally correct and I should not do math right after I woke up. :XD:

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #40 on: October 26, 2020, 12:29:25 pm »
I very much appreciate IchoTolot's suggestions for the skill behaviour! :thumbsup:

Especially with regards to the interaction with steel. I think what he has proposed is most consistent with what we are used to from the Digger: That skill is also only cancelled when pretty much the entire path of the skill shadow is blocked by steel. A mechanic that is also frequently used to break falls within Digger shafts (the Digger removes terrain above, next to, and below the steel, so that the steel block remains as a "step" the lemmings can land on in between). So for a vertical Laser Blaster, this definitely would have been the way to go.

With the diagonal Laser Blaster, it will be somewhere in between traditional Digger and traditional Miner behaviour: Miners can also pass by steel in such a way where they only remove terrain under the piece of steel, even though technically, the pickaxe seems to be moving "through" the steel without damaging it.

I like the idea of the blast being partially blocked - this is different from both Digger and Miner behaviour though, because those tunnels don't become smaller beyond the piece of steel. I'm also not sure how easy this is to code, because there would have to be a gradient of width for the laser blast: Anything between the standard width of the blast and a width of just 1 pixel would be possible this way.
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Offline namida

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #41 on: October 26, 2020, 06:30:10 pm »
I had actually been thinking that same thing with regards to steel and so have already been giving consideration to how to implement it. I'm pretty sure it's feasible.

Regarding range and timing - I had actually been imagining the extreme scenario on both. Infinite range, outright instant effect (at least as far as destruction goes; there would be a few frames' delay before the destruction, to show the lemming "firing up" the laser). It's a laser, after all. But with that being said I'm certianly open to other ideas.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #42 on: October 26, 2020, 07:02:02 pm »
Infinite range I think would be too extreme. Especially on very large levels. I am still for a max range, but I would propose a very large one nevertheless.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #43 on: October 26, 2020, 07:12:14 pm »
A further thought that came to me is that if the laser-blaster does get infinite range, this would effectively be ruling out wrap from ever happening, or at least, ruling out a single level wrapping in both directions (as in such a level, a laser blaster would never end unless it hits steel / a wrong-way OWW). So yeah, perhaps a range limit is a good idea just in case.

I do still very much like the idea of the entire laser being instant, though.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #44 on: October 26, 2020, 07:20:42 pm »
Pardon me if this was already discussed and I missed it, but was it ever mentioned that the laser blaster should stop after a certain amount of time, eg, after 5 seconds?

Offline namida

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #45 on: October 26, 2020, 07:48:03 pm »
Pardon me if this was already discussed and I missed it, but was it ever mentioned that the laser blaster should stop after a certain amount of time, eg, after 5 seconds?

Basically, the flow I currently have in mind (and to be very clear, this is 100% up for debate, it's just the image of it I currently have in mind):
1. Skill is assigned to a lemming. Lemming begins "prepare laser blaster" animation.
2. Said animation lasts a very short time, perhaps 3 - 4 frames.
3. Blast begins. It covers its full range immediately.
4. Blast continues for X frames - haven't thought about what X should be. Any new pixels of terrain created in the laser's path during this time would be immediately destroyed.
5. Blast stops, lemming reverts to walker.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #46 on: October 26, 2020, 10:34:20 pm »
What about the idea of the Laser Blaster possibly being able to kill Zombies (but not regular lemmings)? ;)

I think the easiest way to achieve this would be for Zombies inside the area of destruction to simply respond with the "frier" animation. :evil:
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Offline namida

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #47 on: October 26, 2020, 11:55:16 pm »
What about the idea of the Laser Blaster possibly being able to kill Zombies (but not regular lemmings)? ;)

I think the easiest way to achieve this would be for Zombies inside the area of destruction to simply respond with the "frier" animation. :evil:

Quote
Ruled out
...
- Anything that includes, either as the primary effect or a secondary effect, killing lemmings other than the user (zombies or otherwise)

Online kaywhyn

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #48 on: October 27, 2020, 02:22:48 am »
Basically, the flow I currently have in mind (and to be very clear, this is 100% up for debate, it's just the image of it I currently have in mind):
1. Skill is assigned to a lemming. Lemming begins "prepare laser blaster" animation.
2. Said animation lasts a very short time, perhaps 3 - 4 frames.
3. Blast begins. It covers its full range immediately.
4. Blast continues for X frames - haven't thought about what X should be. Any new pixels of terrain created in the laser's path during this time would be immediately destroyed.
5. Blast stops, lemming reverts to walker.

Sounds like however it's done, that the plan is for the laser blaster to be much faster than its L2 counterpart. Of course, what the mechanics are are still under discussion, so not all the physics is set in stone yet.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #49 on: October 27, 2020, 05:21:06 am »
45 degree angle sounds nice. You really want to make the skills work together.

2^7 is a much nicer rounder number than 2*5*13, and a multiple of the 16x16-blocks, too. >_>

If the map wraps in both directions, since both dimensions are integer, eventually an infinite laser will fry the lemming's own butt, which can be used as a stop criterion. Depending on the ratio of the dimensions, frying your butt will or won't delete all terrain in the map, and lead to elliptical epileptical seizures. Related puzzle: Youtube: TED riddle of the vampire hunter

For a slow laser blaster (e.g., 1 or 1/2 diagonal pixels per frame), you can build puzzles where he has to fry through lots of terrain merely to delay himself.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 05:35:03 am by Simon »

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #50 on: October 27, 2020, 05:41:13 am »
2^7 is a much nicer rounder number than 2*5*13, and a multiple of the 16x16-blocks, too. >_>

*cue bringing out the math teacher in me again* Sorry Simon, but I will have to disagree with your math terminology. You have it the other way around. Instead, 16x16 is a multiple of 2^7. What is correct is to say that 2^7 is a factor of 16x16. At least that's the way it's taught here in the USA and hence what I teach my students.

Sorry for the digression from the actual topic again :crylaugh: 

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #51 on: October 27, 2020, 06:14:22 am »
2^7 is a much nicer rounder number than 2*5*13, and a multiple of the 16x16-blocks, too. >_>

Instead, 16x16 is a multiple of 2^7.

What I meant: 2^7 diagonal pixels is a multiple of the length of the diagonal of a 16x16-square.

If we pick something close to 2^7 but not exactly 2^7, it shouldn't be because the number is rounder, but because we want something else than an exact multiple of 16x16-blocks. It might even be desirable to avoid the exact multiple:
  • Avoid off-by-one planning errors both by designer and player, and
  • In a tileset consisting of mostly 16x16-blocks, the blast hole shouldn't look like it stopped exactly at an edge of a terrain block. You want the dead end inside random-looking terrain instead.
-- Simon
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 06:20:27 am by Simon »

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #52 on: October 27, 2020, 06:32:12 am »
What I meant: 2^7 diagonal pixels is a multiple of the length of the diagonal of a 16x16-square.

Ah, got it. When you specified that you meant the diagonal length, now it all makes perfect sense. 45-45-90, hence length of diagonal is 16 radical 2. Thus 2^7 is not an exact, but close multiple. Otherwise, it should be flip-flopped as I mentioned before. Thanks for the clarification. Definitely important to make sure that diagonal length is meant here, as we mathematicians are quite precise in our terminology and definitions :P

Quote
If we pick something close to 2^7 but not exactly 2^7, it shouldn't be because the number is rounder, but because we want something else than an exact multiple of 16x16-blocks. It might even be desirable to avoid the exact multiple:
  • Avoid off-by-one planning errors both by designer and player, and
  • In a tileset consisting of mostly 16x16-blocks, the blast hole shouldn't look like it stopped exactly at an edge of a terrain block. You want the dead end inside random-looking terrain instead.

Again, all this makes perfect sense to me on the level designer/player front ;)

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #53 on: October 27, 2020, 07:50:19 am »
Instant could work, but another idea is that it could take a bit of time to destroy terrain, but pass through air instantly (that might be what it does in L2, tbh - can't remember exactly). It is a laser, which is made of light, so it should travel at the speed of light (basically instant on the scale of Lemmings), but it does have to work its way through the terrain, after all. On the other hand, that could lead to some fiddly timing puzzles, so maybe instant is better (although to be fair, that can already be done with the other skills that also all take time).

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #54 on: October 27, 2020, 08:46:40 am »
@namida: Thanks for the reminder, I had forgotten about the Zombie killing already having been ruled out in general! ;)

I like the idea of the Laser Blaster with wrap cancelling himself by "frying his own butt", as Simon put it. However, "frying" in this case must not be taking literally, since as just established, the laser won't turn any lemming into a "Frier" (i.e. kill him). He will simply remove the terrain under his own feet eventually, and thus cancel himself like any other lemming performing a destructive skill when he loses the terrain under his feet.
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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #55 on: October 28, 2020, 05:33:24 pm »
I do think that allowing both an infinite range laser blaster and wrap is potential for design headaches later.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #56 on: November 04, 2020, 04:36:30 am »
Put up a poll regarding the propagation speed.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #57 on: November 04, 2020, 06:51:42 pm »
I had to check again to see what original Lemmings 2 behaviour looks like, but it's exactly as option 2:
Empty space covered instantly, removing terrain takes time.

So I voted for that ;) .
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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #58 on: November 04, 2020, 07:35:07 pm »
Taking time through terrain doesn't seem to make sense, since it's a laser rather than a drill. It should be instant - ZAP!

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #59 on: November 04, 2020, 07:59:36 pm »
Well... we could just call it a driller so the name and skill are a better match :P

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #60 on: November 04, 2020, 08:40:16 pm »
Quote
Taking time through terrain doesn't seem to make sense, since it's a laser rather than a drill. It should be instant - ZAP!

I havent seen a laser in any movie or series that cuts everything instantly. Even in real life: It highly depends on the thickness of the material and the power of the laser! So I through the ball right back that always instant makes no sense! ;)

It moves through empty terrain with lightspeed, but cutting through something takes at least a short bit if the material is thick enough.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #61 on: November 04, 2020, 10:08:14 pm »
yes, that is why I also voted for no. 2, instant thru empty space, and take a little time thru terrain.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #62 on: November 05, 2020, 01:41:27 am »
Alright, well it seems that the overall preference is enough in favor of "cross empty space instantly, take time to burn through terrain". This does mean a new question arises of the laser's duration - should there be a time limit, or should it keep going until either the laser reaches the length cap (or level edge) or hits steel?

While we get some starting points for that via discussion, I've put up a new poll regarding the angle, mostly focused on the two options that seem the most worthwhile based on discussion so far.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #63 on: November 05, 2020, 03:08:21 am »
1:1 has the potential for using a laser blaster for both stopping a shimmier or for allowing it to pass through the obstacle, something that isn't currently possible to do because of the miner cancellation physics.

6:1 can only stop a shimmier (which can already be done with an extra shimmier + bomber), which IMO makes it little more than a steeper fencer with a range gimmick.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #64 on: November 05, 2020, 06:07:57 am »
Time limit to cut short before length limit: Theoretically interesting, you could even make shadows that compute this -- but I fear that this is much harder to plan for both creator and player. I would stick to a length limit, then you can have rulers, too.

L2 beam extends in steps, once per second, cutting through air instantly in one step, which still looks like it's non-instant. I suppose you want to extend the beam every frame, in smaller steps. At least I recommend to extend every frame in smaller steps, unlike L2.

I'm 50:50 whether we should cut through air instantly, which physically makes sense for a laser, or merely faster than through terrain, e.g., 6 diagonal pixels/frame, because in video games, laser beams are fat and travel in slow motion.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #65 on: November 05, 2020, 07:52:32 am »
I'm mostly staying out of this since whatever is decided, laser blaster is my least favourite of the remaining candidates, and it makes sense that the people who really want the skill should have the most say in how it works.

Still, I feel I should make my views clear while the question is open.

The angle of the laser blaster affects how valuable the skill is in itself and how distinct it is from other skills, and these should be the main features of the discourse around it. It's absurd that something as minor as the shimmier interaction has seemingly become so prominent as to become the main deciding factor for some people.

A 6:1 laser blaster is not "little more than a steeper fencer", it's a much different skill with different mechanics and use cases. It's far more distinct from the fencer than the fencer is from the basher.

As I've said previously, I would favour any other gradient over 1:1 because the latter is too close to the fencer. I think even 2:1 is distinct enough for that not to matter. I certainly don't believe that steeper is better.

Mostly out of a mixture of aesthetic and functional considerations, my top preference would be for 3:1 or 4:1, and I think it's definitely premature to reject these without even putting them on the poll (though as they are very close to 6:1, if the poll is redone to add them, then we should be allowed to vote for more than one option to avoid them "splitting the vote").

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #66 on: November 05, 2020, 02:12:15 pm »
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1:1 has the potential for using a laser blaster for both stopping a shimmier or for allowing it to pass through the obstacle, something that isn't currently possible to do because of the miner cancellation physics.

Thanks for pointing this out! :lem-mindblown:

I always thought this was one of the downsides of the 45°-angle - that it couldn't stop Shimmiers, even if you wanted to. But of course, it can - you just have to shoot the Laser Blaster in the opposite direction.

Then the slope in the ceiling is created above the Shimmier's head, instead of in front of it. Thus, instead of shimmying into the tunnel created by the Laser Blaster and continuing, the Shimmier reaches the bottom of the slope created by the Laser Blaster, finds empty air above himself, and lets go of the ceiling.

Thus, I think this is definitely the more versatile option.

My only argument in favour of the 6:1 range would be that it's closer to the original Laser Blaster (which was purely vertical), while still being more widely applicable because Walkers can use it (instead of just Climbers & Floaters).
The 45° tunnel can be used by both Walkers and Shimmiers, but it's less similar to the classic L2 Laser Blaster, and indeed more similar to the NeoLemmix Fencer.

Climbers can of course use both types of tunnels, too, but the mere fact that they are Climbers doesn't change anything about that behaviour.
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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #67 on: November 05, 2020, 05:43:06 pm »
Quote
Mostly out of a mixture of aesthetic and functional considerations, my top preference would be for 3:1 or 4:1, and I think it's definitely premature to reject these without even putting them on the poll (though as they are very close to 6:1, if the poll is redone to add them, then we should be allowed to vote for more than one option to avoid them "splitting the vote").

The "Other" option is there for that, in case there's wider support for them than I've thought. At the time of this reply, no one has yet voted for it - though the other two options are exactly an even split. (Of course, the poll is just one factor; reasonings will be taken into account too, and there's always the "put my foot down and just pick one" option if all else fails. I should do some mockups too, although do not expect an actual experimental for both angles.)

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #68 on: November 06, 2020, 12:56:24 am »
I'm strongly against a time/length limit for the laser blaster, I think it should continue through the terrain until it hits steel or the edge of the level.

One potential use case is that it can destroy multiple areas of terrain, even with space in between, if it is simply allowed to carry on through everything. This also makes it more distinguishable from any other destructive skill. I also see this as being more consistent with the concept of a laser beam.

Perhaps it could even destroy steel as well! :lem-mindblown: OK, that may be going too far, but I definitely think it should continue through anything it can destroy, until it reaches steel or the very edge of the level.

As for the angle, I voted 1:1 simply because I agree that compatibility with other skills is important, but to be fair I'd be equally happy with 6:1.

And finally, as for speed, if the decision is for it to take time through terrain then I'd vote for it to be fairly quick, about 2x the speed of a falling lem.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #69 on: November 06, 2020, 02:28:11 am »
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I'm strongly against a time/length limit for the laser blaster, I think it should continue through the terrain until it hits steel or the edge of the level.

Two issues to be aware of here:
- This could potentially mean that a laser blaster continues for a VERY long time, if the level is quite large. Doubly so in light of that it will almost certainly take time to burn through terrain. This is not necesserially a bad thing.
- The tradeoff for an infinite-range laser blaster being accepted would be wrap is ruled out. Those two mechanics combined would get far too messy (on the implementation side, not even thinking about gameplay concerns). "Infinite time, but capped range" does not have this issue, though.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #70 on: November 06, 2020, 06:28:19 pm »
I think the range is capped in L2, so that's what I would support ;) . In L2, this is relevant because of the increased fall height, even though there is no wrap.

And I would definitely rather see wrap coming back (or at least maintain the possibility of it coming back) than having an infinite range Laser Blaster.
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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #71 on: November 06, 2020, 06:43:21 pm »
Okay so, regarding the angle, this is a tricky one. 1:1 is winning, but there's enough support for 6:1 that I don't feel I can call it on votes alone.

However, reading the various discussions around it - and despite initially favoring 6:1 myself - I do think 1:1 has slightly more potential, in particular due to the shimmier interaction. Very long 6:1 slopes could also get a bit awkward from a gameplay point of view, due to constant ascender / faller (depending on direction) transitions; 1:1 will be nicer. (2:1 would be okay too in this regard; 3:1 and steeper start having problems. However, 2:1 loses the Shimmier interaction.)

I don't intend to start work on the laser-blaser exp just yet (Slider is the current focus there), so discussion can continue, but short of a very strong argument or a change in the general opinion, it looks like 1:1 will be the way to go.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #72 on: November 06, 2020, 07:46:46 pm »
isn't 6:1 too tall for the lemmings? IIRC, the highest a normal lemming can ascend is 5 pixels

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #73 on: November 06, 2020, 07:54:20 pm »
isn't 6:1 too tall for the lemmings? IIRC, the highest a normal lemming can ascend is 5 pixels

Nope, it's 6.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #74 on: November 06, 2020, 08:16:34 pm »
1:1 has the horizontal range and the shimmier interaction.

6:1 makes the most unique hole, even before considering the fencer.

2:1 was the original proposal, to give the laser horizontal range at all. But if that's the primary goal, then 1:1. The question is if 6:1 is better than 1:1, and I don't have a strong opinion with 6:1 and 1:1. Probably weak preference for 1:1 for the skill interaction. But I haven't thought about this much. I remember thinking about the 6:1 laser blaster as a replacement for the tunneller (steep 6:1 upwards continuous terrain remover with lemming always the tip of the tunnel).

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #75 on: November 07, 2020, 01:26:42 am »
- The tradeoff for an infinite-range laser blaster being accepted would be wrap is ruled out

Couldn't it simply stop at the edge of the level proper, i.e. not continue into wrap-world?

So, the rule would be that the Laser Blast continues until it reaches the edge of the level, steel, or a wrap point.

I'm aware that this could look a bit odd if someone has infinite-scroll-mode engaged (rather than glowing-edge wrap, which would be my personal preference).

If the answer to this is basically "no", then I'd be in favour of a very long length limit, something like 1000px or even more.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #76 on: November 07, 2020, 03:15:31 am »
- The tradeoff for an infinite-range laser blaster being accepted would be wrap is ruled out

Couldn't it simply stop at the edge of the level proper, i.e. not continue into wrap-world?

So, the rule would be that the Laser Blast continues until it reaches the edge of the level, steel, or a wrap point.

I'm aware that this could look a bit odd if someone has infinite-scroll-mode engaged (rather than glowing-edge wrap, which would be my personal preference).

If the answer to this is basically "no", then I'd be in favour of a very long length limit, something like 1000px or even more.

No. Any wrap will be "everything wraps", not "some things wrap, some don't".

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laserer
« Reply #77 on: November 07, 2020, 05:27:46 am »
The name "Laser Blaster" (or even "Laserblaster") will cause issues with the skill panel (or rather, the text above it) due to its length, so a shorter name is needed.

For the experimental phase, the name will be "Laserer". Permanent name will be discussed if / when the skill is chosen as one that makes it in.

Also - this doesn't have to have a final decision right now as such but, where would Laserer go on the skill panel? Two possibilities come up that make sense to me - between Digger and Cloner; or between <Stacker / Spearer / Grenader> and Basher. Any thoughts, or any other suggestions?

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laserer
« Reply #78 on: November 07, 2020, 08:51:52 am »
I would place it closer to the Digger in general, because that's the historical origin of the Laser Blaster.

Where exactly does the Fencer go right now?

Because logically, the following order would make sense to me (from left to right):

Basher, Fencer, Miner, Laser Blaster, Digger

So always the analogous upward skill first. I'm not sure whether this alligns with the current skill panel setup though.
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Offline namida

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laserer
« Reply #79 on: November 07, 2020, 05:31:45 pm »
The current order is (including one skill either side) Stacker*, Basher, Fencer, Miner, Digger, Cloner.

* Grenader if it makes it in. Spearer if it makes it in but Grenader doesn't.

A directly-upwards laserer might be an upwards analog of the digger, and perhaps one could extent that argument to a 6:1 laserer, but a 45 degree laserer is not.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laserer
« Reply #80 on: November 08, 2020, 12:45:52 am »
That's why I'd put it in between the Miner and the Digger, because it's still diagonal :P . 45° should still be steeper than a Miner, right? Thus, the angle would get continuously steeper from Basher (flat) to Digger (maximum).

Alternatively, it could also go between Fencer and Miner, I guess.
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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #81 on: November 08, 2020, 12:51:40 am »
No. Any wrap will be "everything wraps", not "some things wrap, some don't".

In that case, I'd be in favour of a very long length limit, something like 1000px or even more :lemcat:

The name "Laser Blaster" (or even "Laserblaster") will cause issues... so a shorter name is needed.

What about "Blaster"?

Offline namida

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laserer
« Reply #82 on: November 08, 2020, 02:35:51 am »
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In that case, I'd be in favour of a very long length limit, something like 1000px or even more :lemcat:

That is one option - have a limit that's so high that it's "unlimited in practice, in most scenarios", while still meaning there is ultimately a limit, thus preventing the technical issues for wrap levels.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laserer
« Reply #83 on: November 08, 2020, 10:09:03 am »
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What about "Blaster"?

I remember proposing "Blaster" as a name for one of my joke skills: A lemming that makes other lemmings he touches turn into Bombers. :evil: But of course, that ultimately doesn't matter because it won't ever be introduced, so except for people who have read that thread, there won't be any confusion with regards to what a Blaster does.

I agree that both "Laserer" and "Spearer" sound a little weird.
If neither "Laser Blaster" nor "Spear Thrower" fit on the panel, the equivalent of "Blaster" would be just "Thrower" for the Spear Thrower.

Although that might be confusing, because the Grenadier also throws his grenade, and most likely, that skill will be introduced alongside the Spear Thrower.
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Offline namida

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laserer
« Reply #84 on: November 08, 2020, 05:53:38 pm »
Just to be very clear about this: The names will remain as is (Grenader, Spearer, Slider, Laserer) for as long as the skills remain in experimental status. You're all free to discuss your preferences on names, I might weigh in, but don't expect any actual change until if/when the skills get confirmed to make it in - at which point we'll decide on final names before any RC release.

Same goes for graphics, unless there's a really good argument that current ones interfere or mislead with regards to the functionality of the skill. Basically - only the physics are really up for discussion at this time.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laserer
« Reply #85 on: November 19, 2020, 03:04:51 am »
Finally got to the point where I can show something. It's a very early implementation, and in particular, is lacking most of the graphics at this stage... but it's something!

https://youtu.be/6EUmwuNxs5E

EDIT: Newer, better one, which now does have graphics: https://youtu.be/4ek29MxpOIM
« Last Edit: November 19, 2020, 04:44:30 am by namida »

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laserer
« Reply #86 on: November 19, 2020, 07:16:13 am »
EDIT: Newer, better one, which now does have graphics: https://youtu.be/4ek29MxpOIM

Great music! ;P

This is looking fantastic! Without the graphics, it did look a bit slow. But it's more clear that the laser is instant through air and then slow through terrain with the animation included. I'd probably vote for it to be a shade faster through the terrain, but otherwise it's looking awesome as it is.