Author Topic: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills - what is their potential like?  (Read 327 times)

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Offline namida

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[DISC][PLAYER] New skills - what is their potential like?
« on: November 26, 2020, 06:05:03 PM »
Alright, so, feedback time!

We've spent a bit of time messing around with the new skills, and likely come up with far more ideas than we had before about them. So, let's start getting some initial feedback.

One reply per person at this stage, please. I realise there will be things other people have posted that you may want to debate - either take this to the general, or hold on to it for later (there will be a time for it).

Please give your input on the following points:
- What is your favorite trick you've seen / found involving one or more of these new skills? (Use your own judgement as to what constitutes a "trick".) As a courtesy to other members who may want to discover tricks on their own, please spoiler tag this.
- If all four skills were to make it in, but you were allowed to make exactly one change to how one of them worked (not including bug fixes - assume those will happen regardless), what would your change be, if anything?
- If you were responsible for picking which skills do or don't make it, and were told you could only pick one skill to make it in, which one would you pick? Why?
- If you were (same), and were told you must pick exactly one skill to reject while keeping the others, which one would you reject? Why?

Please note that again, we are focusing on physics here, not cosmetics. Cosmetics can be changed to fit better if need be. And please avoid "cop out" answers - I realise many of you want to accept all the skills and reject none, but treat the above as if they're a "you absolutely must pick one" type situation. This does not mean only one will make it or that one will get rejected, it's just to try and dig out a bit more in the way of feedback!

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills - what is their potential like?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2020, 07:09:54 PM »
My reply (I might do some editing to update things):

Quote
- What is your favorite trick you've seen / found involving one or more of these new skills? (Use your own judgement as to what constitutes a "trick".) As a courtesy to other members who may want to discover tricks on their own, please spoiler tag this.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Quote
- If all four skills were to make it in, but you were allowed to make exactly one change to how one of them worked (not including bug fixes - assume those will happen regardless), what would your change be, if anything?

I am happy the way they are currently, except the thing where the laserer sometimes does not make a clean 45 degree cut when exiting a block of terrain. :)

Quote
- If you were responsible for picking which skills do or don't make it, and were told you could only pick one skill to make it in, which one would you pick? Why?

If I had to pick favorites if only a limited ammount could make it in:

Laserer > Grenader/Spearer > Slider

Although the gap between Laserer and Grenader/Spearer is close and is mostly because the laserer is very easy to deploy and can cover a lot of terrain. I still haven't explored the possibility of canceling a laserer as I just remember. :P
Why this distribution? - See answers in the spoiler tag and the last one. But to sum it up I see more unique potential in the Laserer and Grenader/Spearer especially because of the range. Also the fear that the Grenader/Spearer could be very precise has been nullified for me during testing. While on the other hand I still see many slider usages that can be substituted by existing skills.

If I had total control I would let all 4 new skill get in. I think they all would get used enough to be justified and they have enough combination potential with other skills as well.

Also, I think all 4 new skills have more potential than every proposed new object and would also be easier to introduce to new players on top of that.

Quote
- If you were (same), and were told you must pick exactly one skill to reject while keeping the others, which one would you reject? Why?

This would still be the slider for me as it still has too many cases where it can be easily be replaced by existing mechanics as I explained/showed multiple times - there was still no level that showed me otherwise as I just recently elaborated here as well after looking at Strato's levels: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5215.msg87540#msg87540:8():   
Almost always I just could have used a simple glider against a wall, a swimmer or another object/skill to emulate the behavior that was presented and we just have soooooooo many ways of turning lemmings around already. Even for singeling a lemming out of a crowd there are already plenty of ways to do that.
No argument across all topics related to the discussion so far has devauled these claims!

The area I see the most potential for the slider are many sharp back-to-back turn which also change the "floor" the lemming is currently operating in.

Also, currently there is a majority of movement skills (10) while even combined the destructive(5)/constructive(4) skills are in the minority and as I remember a sentence Simon said in the past to me: The core of Lemmings is the manipulation of terrain.
So if there would only be one option it should be a destructive or constructive skill and not another permanent movement skill.

Buuuuuut:
Again, as the inclusion of the slider does not nessesarily mean that another skill does not make the cut, the non-inclusion would not be my preferred option like in the past where the "only one" situation was assumed. :)
« Last Edit: November 26, 2020, 07:18:55 PM by IchoTolot »

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills - what is their potential like?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2020, 07:28:49 PM »
Great questions :thumbsup: I'll do my best with them....

Favourite trick:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

If I were allowed to make one change to one skill: The laserer's range should be much less. At the moment it's around 240 pixels, which is larger than most levels; I would suggest at most 80.

If I could choose only one of the skills: Slider. The spearer and grenader are fun to play around with, but I'm not yet convinced they will be the best to work with long-term, because their backroute potential will be very hard to control. The slider is really interesting because it gives the lemming a different way of moving around the level, which can be both an advantage and a disadvantage; it can get to places other lemmings can't, and easily separate itself from the crowd to gain distance for working, but it will also turn away from the path set up for other lemmings and may need to find its own path to an exit.

If I could keep three and had to reject one: Laserer. It's ridiculously overpowered, especially with the current range, but even if the range were something more sensible -- upwards mobility is usually hard for lemmings to achieve, but the laserer gives it to you for free. Add to that the overlap with other skills... I just can't get excited about the laserer and don't see myself ever using it.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills - what is their potential like?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2020, 08:29:46 PM »
Favourite Trick(s) (click to show/hide)

If I were allowed to change 1 skill: I'd give the ranged skills more distance and less height, to make them more useful at close range as well as over distance.

If I could choose only 1 skill: Probably the Slider. I like that it gives the lems more movement options, and it's way more than just another way to get down from a height. It has quite a lot of quirks, such as always turning the lem around whether you want it to or not, which have to be taken into account. The Laserblaster would be a very close second - I like that it has a long range, so you can use cancelling skills to make the tunnel as long or short as you need it to be without worrying about a limit. It's very user-friendly and, although I wasn't particularly interested in this skill prior to the experimental, I definitely find it the most intuitive of the lot, even more so than the Slider.

If I had to reject 1 skill: The Spearer is probably my least favourite of the bunch. It's a great idea in principle, but its execution is messy and its arc is too steep, making it not very useful at close range. I can see it relying way too much on its skill shadow and needing to always pause the game to position it perfectly. Granted, this can also be true of the other skills, but I think the Spearer is one which leans very heavily in this direction, and that makes it my least favourite.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2020, 12:15:41 PM by WillLem »

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills - what is their potential like?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2020, 08:30:44 PM »
Alright! I have deliberately not read any of the previous comments yet, so that I don't feel the need to reply to anything, but can just state my "unbiased" opinions first. As this is ehat I understood namida asks from us here. ;)

Quote from: namida
- What is your favorite trick you've seen / found involving one or more of these new skills? (Use your own judgement as to what constitutes a "trick".) As a courtesy to other members who may want to discover tricks on their own, please spoiler tag this.

Favourite tricks (click to show/hide)

Quote
- If all four skills were to make it in, but you were allowed to make exactly one change to how one of them worked (not including bug fixes - assume those will happen regardless), what would your change be, if anything?

Most likely, I wouldn't change anything; I'm perfectly content with the current arcs of the Laserer, Spearer, and Grenader. And regarding the Slider, the only required changes I am aware of are indeed bugs.

However, if I had to offer one thing up for consideration, it would be the size of the Grenader's crater, making it smaller, closer to that of the Bomber. Maybe that would make it less prone to causing backroutes by just nuking away huge chunks of (even one-way) terrain.

I haven't used the "dent the ceiling to stop a Shimmier" application yet, especially since I've now found out that can be done with a single Spearer to the ceiling as well. (Only at least two spears are enough for the Shimmier to land on them; a single spear will be something the Shimmier bumps into so that he falls down.)

Quote
- If you were responsible for picking which skills do or don't make it, and were told you could only pick one skill to make it in, which one would you pick? Why?

Tricky. I'd have to coss a toin between Slider and Laserer. But at this point, if you held a gun to my head, I would probably prioritise the Laserer. I have found ways of simulating some very specific Slider behaviours with Floaters falling through one-way fields. But I haven't found any way yet of emulating a Laserer.

That said, the Slider is still my very strong second, followed by the Spearer. And as said above, my favourite trick(s) involve(s) the Slider. If it weren't for the Laserer having a 45-degree angle and therefore allowing Shimmier interactions as well, the Slider would still be first.

Quote
- If you were (same), and were told you must pick exactly one skill to reject while keeping the others, which one would you reject? Why?

The Grenader. For the following reasons:

- Backroutes featuring the Grenader are hard to prevent because they are like Bomber backroutes, i.e. can ignore one-way arrows, but the crater is much larger. Spearer backroutes are easier to prevent because they are similar to Stoner backroutes (except the Spearer isn't quite as broken). The Grenader however has an upside compared to the Bomber, because it's not only larger, but also not lethal. Thus, the Spearer is a weaker Stoner, but the Grenader is a stronger Bomber. At least when he stands right next to or right below his target, so that the grenade immediately explodes. Of course, you can't abuse the Grenader as a Bomber where there is a lot of space.
I for one like to design around certain limitations. This is why I like the Spearer more than the Grenader right now.

- The Grenader is the only new skill that isn't part of Lemmings 2: The Tribes, so I would be less bothered by losing it compared to any of the others. Sure, comparable to the Bazooker or Mortar, but still quite different flavour-wise.

If one skill had to get cut, I don't know if the Spearer would still have a chance of getting implemented if the Grenader had to go, or if Spearer and Glider would count as one skill that would also get culled together.

But I think this "2 in 1" approach only made sense when it came to programming effort; now, both skills can justify their existence independently of each other, with the only connection being that they should share the throwing arc.



TL;DR: My priority list is 1) Laserer, 2) Slider, 3) Spearer, 4) Grenader. But I want to stress very strongly that I still hope to see all four skills implemented.

And I'd be happy to toy around with the Grenader much more when I can be certain that it will stay. Instead of all my levels featuring it being... well... blown up by its elimination. :'(
« Last Edit: November 26, 2020, 08:39:29 PM by Strato Incendus »
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Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
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Offline mantha16

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills - what is their potential like?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2020, 09:16:32 PM »

Please give your input on the following points:
- What is your favorite trick you've seen / found involving one or more of these new skills? (Use your own judgement as to what constitutes a "trick".) As a courtesy to other members who may want to discover tricks on their own, please spoiler tag this. well im not sure how to do spoilers but the only semi trick ive done involves a slider and a shimmier
- If all four skills were to make it in, but you were allowed to make exactly one change to how one of them worked (not including bug fixes - assume those will happen regardless), what would your change be, if anything? nothing in particular but maybe the spearers spear a bit thicker
- If you were responsible for picking which skills do or don't make it, and were told you could only pick one skill to make it in, which one would you pick? Why? if I had to only pick one it would be the slider since I can see the most use for that
- If you were (same), and were told you must pick exactly one skill to reject while keeping the others, which one would you reject? Why? the laser blaster because i dont really see any benefit to it over the fencer other than not needing to touch terrain to make the tunnel



Offline Gronkling

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills - what is their potential like?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2020, 12:20:24 AM »
Favourite trick
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Change: The arcs of the throwing skills are too big IMO.

My choices go like this:
Slider >> Throwing spear > Laser >> Throwing explosion
The slider just allows for a lot of fun interactions, and is by far closest to the spirit of other skills. The other three allow for terrain alteration at a distance, whilst every other skill requires a lemming to be right there, and I don't think I like that change. The explosion thrower I feel is especially egregious as it simply takes the bomber skill, and makes it way, way more powerful. A jumper+bomber is a much more fun combo.

Personally I would only pick the slider to add, though I tend to be very picky.

Offline Dullstar

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills - what is their potential like?
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2020, 09:44:43 AM »

If all four skills were to make it in, but you were allowed to make exactly one change to how one of them worked (not including bug fixes - assume those will happen regardless), what would your change be, if anything?: The Laser Blaster's range is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too large, and should be much smaller - in its current iteration, I'd have to use a lot of steel to really properly work with it. I agree with Proxima's suggestion of 80 pixels as a starting point.

If you were responsible for picking which skills do or don't make it, and were told you could only pick one skill to make it in, which one would you pick? Why?
Probably the slider. I agree with Proxima's reasoning for this and don't have much else to add.

If you were (same), and were told you must pick exactly one skill to reject while keeping the others, which one would you reject? Why?
I'd reject the throwing skills, rejecting the Grenadier first. The Grenadier's arc means it can do several different things in such a way that it's difficult to work with because of the number of things a player could try to do with it, while the Spearer seems much less exploitable, so that's my reason for rejecting the Granadier rather than the Speaerer. They are also the ugliest in terms of animation, and making them look nicer would be non-trivial since a lot of the issue is that their animations are choppy due to the projectile speed. Of course, I've been a bit biased against these for a while due to how their Lemmings 2 iterations were used in that game: I hate that level where you have to blast through the sand castle.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2020, 09:49:49 AM by Dullstar »