Author Topic: Proxima's notes on Ramond's streams  (Read 3892 times)

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Offline Proxima

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Proxima's notes on Ramond's streams
« on: December 16, 2022, 08:34:48 AM »
I've started watching Ramond's streams and every so often I'm going to pause and note any comments I have, whether it's issues I think should be fixed or just general reflections. This will include my feedback on Simon's comments from the other topic. (Simon -- feel free to merge the topics if you think it's better that way.)

L4 Diamond Dash: This should provide a few walkers instead of imploders and blockers.
L8 Climb to Freedom: It was suggested that we should separate the two snow levels. L8 is very simple so maybe it could even move earlier?
L10 Escape the Pit: Unintended solution by digging and bombing horizontally through the terrain. I checked and this is even possible with imploders alone. I think it's fine to leave multiple solutions so the player can exercise some creativity, but the replay collection should showcase the intended solution (platforming over the pit).
L11 Beneath the Lab: There was a suggestion to move this later. Maybe switch it with L17 Solar Eclipse?
L15 Put Your Lix on Ice: Hacky unintended solution by repeated mining to break through the pillar. Again probably best to leave this alone. Pillar just before the exit should be less precise to find the place where a miner can break through and then stop herself.
L19 Let's All Go Down the Strand: The crowd can be turned around at the very top or on the second step. Any solution is fine here, but the "main" solution is to have the entire crowd go down and build back up.
L20 The Borderland: Requirement of 30/60 allows saving either group while ignoring the other, with the assumption that doing so is a bit tricky and first-time players will be nudged towards saving most of both groups. Is this okay, or should we just make it 40/60?

Offline Simon

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Re: Proxima's notes on Ramond's streams
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2022, 04:43:14 PM »
Edited Diamond Dash: Blockers 5 -> 0, Imploders 5 -> 0, Walkers 0 -> 10. Earmarked for 0.10.3.

Edited Borderlands: 30/60 -> 40/60, I agree that it's less confusing and more interesting this way. Earmarked for 0.10.3.

I'm good with moving Climb to Freedom earlier. I'm good with moving Beneath the Lab directly after (or before) Solar Eclipse, but I'd rather not move Solar Eclipse to an earlier spot. It's not trivial to see every assignment in Solar Eclipse. In total, this would be the new order; I've earmarked it for 0.10.3 but feel free to barge in:

4. diamonddash.txt
5. hrududu.txt
6. +climbtofreedom.txt
7. everylix.txt
8. blocked.txt
9. goblincity.txt
10. escapethepit.txt
11. canadianglade.txt
12. letsblockandblow.txt
13. anecklaceofraindrops.txt
14. putyourlix.txt
15. alternative.txt
16. solareclipse.txt
17. +beneaththelab.txt
18. littleminerpuzz1.txt
19. letsallgodownthe.txt

I loosely have something for Put Your Lix on Ice, but it's not presentable yet. I agree with all of your ideas for it. Different approaches will work here even for new players, and the point is to not make a good approach annoying to execute.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: December 19, 2022, 04:49:21 PM by Simon »

Offline Proxima

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Re: Proxima's notes on Ramond's streams
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2023, 10:06:49 PM »
(All previous issues have been addressed, except for having the proof collection contain the intended solution to "Let's All Go Down the Strand". I decided to make changes to "Put Your Lix on Ice", and the new version is accepted.)

I have now watched up to Quirky 20.

L25 Ferry Tale: This has already been discussed elsewhere and we agreed to move it to Quirky, maybe with skillset changes.

L28 Walk Them Golden Stairs: One of the weakest levels. In today's stream, Simon discussed the number of any-way-you-want levels in Lovely, and called out this level as possibly worth keeping because it introduces the mesh terrain to a beginner. However, it's possible to turn around with two bombers at the start, saving the blocker for the top-left, and so completely avoid interacting with the mesh. This level's repeat (Cunning 4, Once You Pop You Can't Stop) is weak for similar reasons and will probably be cut, or at least suggested for cutting. Maybe if we cut both, this level's position could be filled by constructing a better mesh level? Or keep this level and improve the skillset?

L34 The Road Not Taken: Another weak level; the main reason for keeping it is similar to L28 -- it's the only wrap level in Lovely. Its repeat (Vicious 36, Dream the Impossible Dream) has backroute issues but might be fixable, so it's too early to guess whether it will be cut or not.

Simon has suggested bringing Q13 Time to Change the Road down into Lovely, in which case a space must be made somehow. We could either remove one of the weaker levels, or move one up -- definitely not L40, which was designed specifically to be a rank closer. Maybe one of L33 Don't Leave Me Hanging, L35 One-Way Road or L37 You'll Get Over It is a candidate for up-ranking? None of these really "feels" like a first-rank level, but my instincts are not adjusted to the needs of a pack with 40 levels per rank, which blurs the distinction between late first-rank and second-rank considerably.

Q8 Land of Rainbows and Unicorns: Ramond has a very fiddly solution, isolating one lix by precise selection and placement of the basher. (The solution I assume to be intended is to have the miner emerge slightly higher, so only the climber goes back up the tunnel.) Not sure this can be prevented, except by more lix and lower SI. The level might need to move a bit later.

Q10 Can't Reach It, Don't Need It: Simon suggests upranking slightly (I assume to the seond half of Quirky). Seems reasonable.

Q12 Downpour: Never liked this, would be happy to remove it if one of mobius's new levels is around the right difficulty for a switch.

Q18 Forest of Fears: Really beautiful level, maybe deserves moving to the Q20 slot.

Q19 Another Lix in the Wall: I recall discussing this with Simon a long time ago. The question was whether to remove the platformer, which would kill an unintended timing-based solution (similar to the one Ramond found). I don't have strong feelings about this, since the ideas in the two solutions are very similar, and the player is just making things difficult for themselves when they don't have to.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2023, 10:15:09 PM by Proxima »

Offline Simon

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Re: Proxima's notes on Ramond's streams
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2023, 08:38:47 PM »
Quirky in 0.10.4 is now: (click to show/hide)

I'll reply with more details and plans.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: January 09, 2023, 11:02:54 PM by Simon »

Offline Simon

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Re: Proxima's notes on Ramond's streams
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2023, 11:01:35 PM »
About these reorderings in Quirky:

Downpour: This became easy from untimed exploders. It's practically a second fling tutorial now, after Let's Block and Blow?. For now, I've ranked Downpour much earlier in Quirky, and it's a candidate for downranking to Lovely. I can also live with removing Downpour entirely, although it's cute.

Can't Reach It: Moved to late Quirky, although I'd also be happy having it in early Cunning. I'll keep it in late Quirky unless somebody else pipes up and also wants it in Cunning.

Forest of Fears: Moved to position 20 as you suggest. Now, there is a loose story to Quirky 20-23: You're getting lost in the Forest of Fears and aliens abduct you. They fly once all around the world, then drop you into the (indeed surprisingly hard at first sight) Land of Rainbows and Unicorns.

Another Lix in the Wall: The fidgety ideas make it a candidate for slight to moderate upranking, but I don't have good ideas for how much, and thus I've left it as-is. No recommendation, but I'll happily apply what you deem right for it.

About Lovely:

Walk them Golden Stairs, Once You Pop You Can't Stop: You're the author, and if you'd like to cut them, let's cut them. You'll improve your average!

The Road Not Taken: Moderately weak, hmmmm. To me, mainly weak because it's a repeat without thematic connection; feels like a filler after you know Dream the Impossible Dream, but only afterwards. No recommendation by me yet.

Maybe one of L33 Don't Leave Me Hanging, L35 One-Way Road or L37 You'll Get Over It is a candidate for up-ranking

Another candidate to uprank was Snow Really. Tricky trial-and-error-style level with miners to gain height, athough it's possible without miners.

Out of these four (your 3 and Snow) I picked You'll Get Over it. Both its wallbombing and the one-way gadget in One-Way Road are classic Lemmings tricks, but where One-Way Road is only that trick, in You'll Get Over It, you'll also have to realize how follow with the zig-zagging staircase with blockers, and how you can climb everybody.

-- Simon

Offline Proxima

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Re: Proxima's notes on Ramond's streams
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2023, 05:21:31 PM »
Watched up to the end of stream 2 (Cunning 12). Things should go a bit faster now, as any time Ramond spends a while on one level, I skim over it lightly to get an idea of what ideas were tried and then watch the successful attempt.

Ordering changes look good. Maybe move Little Miner Puzzle 2 to Q18 for symmetry with LMP1?

Q27 Impetus: Ramond felt he had backrouted this. I believe this is an anything-goes level that is still moderately difficult to find any solution, so doesn't need fixing -- though obviously we can make changes if Steve prefers.
Q29 Prelude: Can't find the post now, but I think geoo felt this was a backroute? Honestly I am amused by how often this has happened on this level. But just to confirm, there are no backroutes on this level, any solution is acceptable, it's in the second rank for a reason.

C4 Once You Pop: We should cut this in favour of A Break in the Platform (from mobius's post), which is a much better level and about the right difficulty for a simple one-for-one switch. Walk Them Golden Stairs can stay for now, but remove the blocker.
C5 Lix Cannon: Needs fixing. The cuber replaces a blocker in the Cheapo original, probably to deal with another backroute, but has evidently brought in new problems. I hope we won't have to drop the level, but that is a possibility.
(I am not yet looking at mobius's other candidates, Leave No Lix Behind and Locked and Loaded, as those would definitely belong in Daunting or higher.)
C11 Babylon Fading: mobius wanted to cut this. The route is obvious, and it's a bit annoying because you have to keep assigning floaters while the route is prepared. We can definitely cut if we have a good replacement candidate (or cut this first and leave C4 until we have a good replacement?)
C12 Cry for Me: Possible candidate for downranking if one is needed. I remember we felt Q34 The Pit might need to move up.