Author Topic: [LP Series] WillLem Plays Through Just The First Rank Of A Bunch Of Custom Packs  (Read 3303 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline kaywhyn

  • Posts: 887
    • View Profile
What I've decided going forward is that I stop recording when I get to 1 hour, so the video (with edits) is always guaranteed to be under 1 hour. However many levels I can solve in that time is what goes into the LP. Ideally, it shouldn't take that long to get through the first rank of a pack anyway!

Great idea. As is the case of difficulty being very subjective, solving time of an entire rank will vary greatly with people, the most prominent factor being the skill of the player. Obviously those who are experts will be able to solve entire ranks in a much faster time than those who are not as experienced. For comparison, if I'm not mistaken it took me about 2 - 2.5 hours to complete the entire Soft rank of LOA :P Certainly the somewhat anticipated high difficulty is to blame here, and also with how a couple of levels took me longer than usual to solve. In contrast, I breezed through the first rank of Gigalems, Geofflems, and Copycat Lemmings in about half an hour each, where they also all have 30 levels in each rank (i.e, each level of the first rank took only about a minute) as well. To be fair, the difficulty of these packs are much closer or even easier than the original Lemmings, hence the much faster completion time of the first ranks. Finally, for packs like United and LWT, with 41 and 40 levels in each rank, they pretty much took me a good 3-4 hours and 2-3 hours, respectively, to get through the first rank. So, even with nothing overly difficult in the Pacifism rank of United, it still took someone like me several hours to complete, while in LWT's Noisemaker rank the difficulty jumps all over the place, with several levels that are too hard for its position.

Quote
Anyways, the main goals of this series are to a) find out what makes a "good easy level", and b) showcase as much custom content as I can. So, if I end up only playing a few levels within the space of an hour, it's still more than possible to achieve both of those goals even though I might not have LP'd the full group of levels.

Precisely! ;)

Quote
Thanks everyone for getting involved btw, it's good to know that people are interested in the series. I may well take Eric's suggestion and do Open Air instead of World Tour as Strato's pack for the series, but if namida's comment is anything to go by, it may end up only being a handful of levels in that episode! ;P

The only thing you give up is the extremely artistic levels by doing LOA instead, but for LOA Strato prioritized puzzles over artistic quality, where it's the other way around with LWT, given the premise of the pack of the lemmings being a band traveling to various geographical locations. Not to mention there's less levels in each rank in LOA than with LWT. Nevertheless, LOA might be the better choice to LP given that there's less levels in each rank and the difficulty isn't as over the place as it is with LWT's first rank. Also, almost every level in the Noisemaker rank of LWT has a pre-text, so that slows the LP even more and causes you to fit in less levels. Still, the somewhat high difficulty is also something to take into consideration when deciding whether or not to LP LOA's first rank. Of course, my completion time of 2 - 2.5 hours shouldn't deter you :P

Offline Strato Incendus

  • The King of Shimmiers (crowned by Flopsy ;D )
  • Posts: 1456
  • #FourMoreSkills ;D
    • View Profile
Thanks for providing those playing durations, kaywhyn! ;)

@WillLem:
Indeed, even with simple levels, don't underestimate how long it will take you to get through them all if there are 40 of them! :P

The criticism that the difficulty on the Noisemaker rank jumps all over the place is certainly partly justified. ;) The reason I say "partly" is because I see the same subjectivity of difficulty at work here that also applies between ranks.

In particular, I'd say difficulty on the Noisemaker rank of LWT is more subjective than on the Soft rank of LOA, simply because the Noisemaker rank is all about teaching skill tricks:

- If you already know a given trick, you will consider a level too easy (we can see this at work again e.g. with Soft 07 in LOA)
- If you don't know a trick, you will consider a level hard, possibly even though it's spelled out in the pre-level text

Note that I  updated the pre-level text to state their tricks a little more explicitly (since the Let's Plays) on two Noisemaker levels where I considered the tricks to be the most obscure ones (Noisemaker 08 and 39).

I did this so that those levels don't become early roadblocks when they're actually just trying to teach something. Thus, I hope that especially Noisemaker 08 will no longer be as much of a roadblock as it used to be (note that both LPers back then found alternative solutions, that I sadly had to break despite how cool they were, simply because it was necessary to teach this trick on this level - since it's required on a later one). ;)
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline kaywhyn

  • Posts: 887
    • View Profile
Also, as Strato has seen and if my LP of Lemmings Migration is any indication, I still ended up struggling on some of the levels, some much longer than usual. It goes to show how very hasty I was when I thought I wouldn't have any problems with any packs considered less difficult than United, which as we all know is probably the hardest pack there currently is. So, the whole point is this: Just because I solved all of the hardest pack doesn't automatically mean I won't struggle with less difficult packs than it. Quite the contrary. In the same way, there isn't any proof in the form of an LP or anything, but I still ended up struggling with an intermediate pack like Strato's LWT, most notably in the first two ranks. Same with some Legend and Groupie levels, while the rest of the ranks there was generally only 1 or 2 levels that gave me problems.

Offline Strato Incendus

  • The King of Shimmiers (crowned by Flopsy ;D )
  • Posts: 1456
  • #FourMoreSkills ;D
    • View Profile
Quote
United, which as we all know is probably the hardest pack there currently is

You see, I just accepted that claim for a while, but aren't you still stuck on NepsterLems? ;)

For the longest time, NepsterLems was considered the hardest pack in existence. Then Gronkling started working on a pack called Lemmings Evolution, which a lot of people somehow just "expected" to become the new hardest pack in existence. I think that pack never got out of its demo stage, but I did play those first five levels from the demo, and yes, it did indeed look like it was shaping up to become something extremely difficult.

I think with United, it took the top spot because a lot of people who had been here for a longer time (and who had therefore beaten NepsterLems) got stumped by it.
But if you have solved all of United, yet are still stuck on NepsterLems (granted, I don't know for how long you've been stuck) - meaning we now also have people who beat United, but not NepsterLems - those packs might actually be somewhat equal in difficulty.

What you definitely can say about United is that it's also more complex, because it makes use of all the skills up to the Shimmier, whereas NepsterLems only contains the classic 8, simply because it's so much older.
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline namida

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 11281
    • View Profile
    • NeoLemmix Website
Nepster and IchoTolot both make extremely hard levels (at least, when they want to; both have deliberately made easier levels on many occasions too), but there's quite a difference in their style of difficulty.

FWIW though, I haven't completed either NepsterLems or Lemmings United; however, in NepsterLems, I managed to get to the final rank with, until the level that had me stumped last time I played, usually not needing to spend too long on any single level. On the other hand, United, in the 2nd rank I'm already regularly spending ages on each level. So I'd say United is harder and it's not even close, personally.

Offline kaywhyn

  • Posts: 887
    • View Profile
Nepster and IchoTolot both make extremely hard levels (at least, when they want to; both have deliberately made easier levels on many occasions too), but there's quite a difference in their style of difficulty.

Absolutely, no disagreement there. From what I have played of Nepsterlems so far, Nepster had the tendency to make very small levels, usually 1 screeners or close to it, but they are still deceivingly hard. A lot of times I kept thinking I was a skill short. On the other hand, United has a lot of very large levels, and you'll certainly see that if you can finish and get yourself past the Neutrality rank. They have the tendency to appear to be very difficult levels, but I think they have the psychological effect of being very intimidating more than anything. Good example is the final level of LWT. Initially, I was very intimidated by the extremely wide map size, but I rose up to the challenge and found it's difficult and stressful only because you have to do a lot of skill assignments within the first minute of the level. Once you manage to do the first 30 15-20 skill assignments or so, then the stress is gone and you can more easily take in the level.

Quote
FWIW though, I haven't completed either NepsterLems or Lemmings United; however, in NepsterLems, I managed to get to the final rank with, until the level that had me stumped last time I played, usually not needing to spend too long on any single level. On the other hand, United, in the 2nd rank I'm already regularly spending ages on each level. So I'd say United is harder and it's not even close, personally.

Sometime ago, I asked if you ever completed Nepsterlems, and this here confirms to me that you haven't. However, you are still further than I am, as I'm currently stuck on the first level of Black Hole. I came back to the level last week but to no avail. I think it's all down to me just missing something really obvious on that level that's preventing me from solving it. And yes, completely agree that United is way harder and Nepsterlems doesn't even come very close. I'm also a bit bias in that I feel packs that only use the classic 8 skills are considerably easier than those that also use NL exclusive skills. Hence, this would mean that Nepsterlems is easier than United in this regard. Even then, levels with only the classic 8 skills can still be very difficult if done right.

I'm quite certain that you'll eventually be able to finish United. You did, after all, finish Reunion, although certainly not without a lot of struggling.

Offline mobius

  • Posts: 2457
  • relax.
    • View Profile
I agree the larger levels can be more intimating and feel stressful even if in the end they may not necessarily be extremely difficult, (though they may still be so).

It took me between two and four years to solve Devil's Right Hand (the only level from Nepster's final rank I ever solved), that is from the time he released that level in a small 10 level pack before he finished his big pack. I can't remember exactly how long cause I don't know the dates. And it wasn't for a lack of trying; I came back to the level many times during that time. But I'm proud of that. :D
"All things are empty... Whoever can see this no longer needs anything to attain."
-The Heart Sutra

"Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man"
-the Dude


Offline WillLem

  • Posts: 1600
  • #SaveTheGrenader
    • View Profile
Then Gronkling started working on a pack called Lemmings Evolution, which a lot of people somehow just "expected" to become the new hardest pack in existence

I can vouch for the difficulty of Gronkling's levels. I foolishly offered to playtest a mini-pack of 10 levels. Solved only 2 of them. Both solutions were backroutes :forehead: :crylaugh:

And - I was genuinely trying to solve those levels as well! My LP series has probably falsely given the impression that I give up too easily when presented with a challenging level, but I can assure you that this isn't generally isn't the case; I can be very tenacious when I've decided to engage with a challenge, and usually find a solution one way or another. However, this series is supposed to be about easy levels, so when I come across something that's above what I consider to be "rank 1 difficulty", I just skip it for the sake of time.

I'm intending to do a series where I solve just 1 level in the final rank, to show that I can do it (and because I've given a lot of air time to easy stuff, it'll be fun to take on a few challenges as well!)

Nepster and IchoTolot both make extremely hard levels (at least, when they want to; both have deliberately made easier levels on many occasions too), but there's quite a difference in their style of difficulty

Interesting comment. How would you describe each of their styles?

Online IchoTolot

  • Posts: 2909
    • View Profile
My difficulty report from Gronklings "Lemmings Evolution":

I think it's roughly the same difficulty as NepsterLems. I have beaten the complete beta version of the pack for a few fixing alterations until development was halted at the time. I would rate both packs as "Hard" in the rating. They definitly belong to the hardest packs out there despite only including the original skills.

I also picked up quite a few tricks and skills in there along the way. ;)

Offline kaywhyn

  • Posts: 887
    • View Profile
Quote
United, which as we all know is probably the hardest pack there currently is

You see, I just accepted that claim for a while, but aren't you still stuck on NepsterLems? ;)

I totally missed your post when I responded back. I guess that's the problem with having the setting of seeing the newest posts first that I forget that sometimes there are older posts than the most recent one I get brought to. Perhaps I should change that setting.

Yes, but I think namida, you, and I all are :P The earliest roadblock for me was Planet 13 I believe. Then the next one after that was Sun 7, then Sun 20, and finally my current one is Black Hole 1. Keep in mind that I generally don't skip around a pack, as I prefer to play levels in order. I believe you have skipped around Nepsterlems if I'm not mistaken :laugh:

Quote
I think with United, it took the top spot because a lot of people who had been here for a longer time (and who had therefore beaten NepsterLems) got stumped by it.
But if you have solved all of United, yet are still stuck on NepsterLems (granted, I don't know for how long you've been stuck) - meaning we now also have people who beat United, but not NepsterLems - those packs might actually be somewhat equal in difficulty.

It's been about 7-8 months since I started Nepsterlems, so almost the same amount of time it took me to completely solve all of United. As I have said before, there were plenty of things that made that happen: out of a job due to the pandemic, the fact that Neutrality 41 managed to stump me for 3-4 months, the longest that any United level has ever stumped me, among others. If I was still working a job since the time I lost it back in March, I wouldn't even be anywhere near done with solving United right now. I might still be plowing through the Genocide rank or possibly even the Bonus rank right now.

Since there have been levels that managed to stump me for months, by Icho's definition Nepsterlems would be given the extreme label as well. So, you might be right that Nepsterlems is closer to United in actual difficulty. However, as namida has said, the reason the levels are difficult are for different reasons. At least in Nepsterlems, there aren't any fancy tricks or anything due to being relegated to just the classic 8 skills, and this community as a whole seems to be most familiar with the classic skills. In this way, the levels are simply standard puzzles that are deceivingly tough, and I constantly felt like I was always a skill short in the later ranks. But, the same can be said about the NL exclusive skills, where one just needs to familiarize him/herself with them. Then levels that just use the classic 8 being easier won't be as accurate anymore.

In contrast, United demands a lot of tricks, as well as numerous super large levels to plow through. It's definitely a pack not for the faint of heart, and it's expected that you be able to commit huge amounts of time to be able to work these levels out. Yes, many of the levels took me a really long time, but I was willing to sit through them and get stuck, only to keep coming back and get myself unstuck. Now, I was able to work almost all of the tricks out on my own. The only one I wasn't able to was a particular one that was first needed in a Tension level. Then I went to play Wafflems in the meantime from the vague hint that Icho gave me for the level.

Since I'm currently stumped by the first Black Hole level, at this point it'll be an achievement if I solve even just 1 level from that rank :crylaugh:

It took me between two and four years to solve Devil's Right Hand (the only level from Nepster's final rank I ever solved), that is from the time he released that level in a small 10 level pack before he finished his big pack. I can't remember exactly how long cause I don't know the dates. And it wasn't for a lack of trying; I came back to the level many times during that time. But I'm proud of that. :D

Congrats mobius! :thumbsup: That's better than me since I haven't been able to solve any Black Hole level ever since I reached my current stumping point with the first Black Hole level. I don't skip around level packs, and so I'll be stuck there until I finally solve Black Hole 1, if I'm able to. I'm just not seeing how to possibly solve it, as everything I've been trying hasn't really gotten me any closer to a working solution.

I can vouch for the difficulty of Gronkling's levels. I foolishly offered to playtest a mini-pack of 10 levels. Solved only 2 of them. Both solutions were backroutes :forehead: :crylaugh:

Hey, at least you still managed to solve some of them! :thumbsup: The ones you did solve you probably were still able to offer Gronkling valuable feedback anyway. Even the ones you couldn't solve can still be helpful for him.

Quote
And - I was genuinely trying to solve those levels as well! My LP series has probably falsely given the impression that I give up too easily when presented with a challenging level, but I can assure you that this isn't generally isn't the case; I can be very tenacious when I've decided to engage with a challenge, and usually find a solution one way or another.

I have yet to see any of your LP videos of first ranks in their entirety, but the problem is that a lot of the packs you have covered in this series are ones I have yet to play, and I don't watch until I have played the pack myself first. If I'm not mistaken, only TMChallenges, Nepsterlems, and Lemmings Migration are all ones I have played before you recorded yourself taking on the first rank, and so I can watch those. I don't doubt the truth of your statements here at all, especially in regards to giving up easily :P

Quote
I'm intending to do a series where I solve just 1 level in the final rank, to show that I can do it (and because I've given a lot of air time to easy stuff, it'll be fun to take on a few challenges as well!)

Sounds like a great idea. However, I feel this would work best by asking for recommendations on what levels from last ranks to try, as it's easy to just take one look at a level from the preview screen and think, "This looks like one I can handle, let's give it a try" and then it ends up stumping you horribly. At the same time, since you're just doing 1 level and will keep videos no longer than an hour, this can probably still work since you can still afford to commit an entire hour to just a single level on video if it's a really hard one.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2020, 02:34:47 AM by kaywhyn »