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 Post subject: Re: Essential plays
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:43 am 


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Think the definitions need narrowing for open world discussion..
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 Post subject: Re: Essential plays
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 am 


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 Post subject: Re: Essential plays
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:08 am 



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Blinge wrote:
Hmm. Preferred vanilla DS2's method to Scholar tbh. You can chuck yourself down that pit quite early on if you save up and buy the cat ring. The Rotten was my second Lord Soul on my blind play.

Some of the higher HP classes can do it without even buying the ring, if they take their armor off (which reduces fall damage).


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 Post subject: Re: Essential plays
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:39 am 


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 Post subject: Re: Essential plays
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:55 pm 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
Giga Wing - how to implement shooting mechanics in a shmup. You can tap slowly to get a slow shot rate, or a slightly faster but still very relaxed tap speed (compared to most games) to get a maxed out firing rate.


Giga Wing did it first, but I think Mars Matrix refined it to.

Also surprised you didn't say Streets of Rage Remake, because that game is perfect. :D
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 Post subject: Re: Essential plays
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:18 pm 


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The AI of the Descent games provide a very interesting RNG factor to first-person shooters which you see nowhere else. Enemies in Descent are placed by hand in the levels and will guard their assigned station, but some of the enemies might decide to just go around the level and do their own thing at complete random, which is more likely to happen the longer you are playing the level, so you want to go clear the levels faster before the enemies move from their positions you have memorized and throw a wrench in your plans.

Sometimes enemies might start roaming the level and get you from behind, or move towards positions you normally wouldn't expect which gets you damaged. You may have remembered that the next room contains 2 medium hulks, a super hulk and a spiderbot. From the entrance to that room you clear out the hulks, but the spiderbot is nowhere to be seen as opposed to the previous level attempts where you had killed the spiderbot alongside the hulks. There's only one open passageway going upwards from the room, so that could mean only one thing...

Most discussion pertaining AI in first-person shooters usually revolves around enemies being able to behave like the player and trying to actually dodge and lead their shots (which the enemies in Descent and Descent 2 are more than capable of doing), but rarely do we have an enemy AI trying to attack you when you're off-guard. Descent doesn't really try to do that on purpose, but with random roaming behavior such situations can be played out.

I should also mention it is usually the good kind of RNG. After having memorized the enemy layout you know WHAT you have to face and probably HOW, but the unpredictability of the AI can mess up that HOW part and have you improvise on the spot. Unless it's a fucking Class 1 Driller or Red Hulk, you can often respond appropriately to stragglers without taking damage if you take in account that they're roaming about. With other old-school shooters like Doom and Duke Nukem there's not many situations to improvise in which you didn't arrive in by your own mistakes. Enemy encounters and set-ups would largely be static across each attempt. But in Descent enemy encounters can keep you on your toes even if you've played through the levels over a 100 times. It's not simply pure memorization. Platformers replicate this with randomly spawning zakos, but I wish we saw more RNG in first-person shooters (in terms of enemy decision making and placement, not stat numbers).
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 Post subject: Re: Essential plays
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:16 pm 


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I guess Zelda does taste of nothing :cry:
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 Post subject: Re: Essential plays
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:30 pm 


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Durandal wrote:
I should also mention it is usually the good kind of RNG. After having memorized the enemy layout you know WHAT you have to face and probably HOW, but the unpredictability of the AI can mess up that HOW part and have you improvise on the spot.


Well said! That controlled chaos is at the heart of several of my favourite action games.

Also, even in primarily static games, a small degree of chaos can be a valuable accent. Ninja Gaiden (NES)'s value is largely in pitting set, chokepoint-laden stages against a moderately flexible character. Demands practiced technique but never uniformity - very amicable to individual solutions. However there's a tiny random element to each run, via certain enemy behaviours; not enough to fundamentally alter the course, but (particularly in such tight confines) certainly enough to forbid complacency and occasionally force a deft do/die response. Keeps novices uneasy and veterans amused. The PCE remake fucked a whole laundry list of things up, but even if it'd been an otherwise straight port, its removal of RNG would've stood out to me.

This also reminds me of enabling IDSPISPOPD at the outset of each stage in DOOM, running around the map alerting all the monsters, then returning to the entrance, making a savefile and playing from there. Wasn't much, but the possibility of monsters invading a corridor as I approached their room, or being in position to intercept me as I ran for supplies, gave it a decent replay boost in my pre-internet days.
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 Post subject: Re: Essential plays
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:33 am 


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Durandal wrote:
Most discussion pertaining AI in first-person shooters usually revolves around enemies being able to behave like the player and trying to actually dodge and lead their shots (which the enemies in Descent and Descent 2 are more than capable of doing), but rarely do we have an enemy AI trying to attack you when you're off-guard.

Doesn't Black have some unusual [for its (sub-)genre] hostile A.I. behaviour? I couldn't be bothered playing it for long enough to find out, but from what I gather, enemies left forgotten in a "cleared" area might not forget that you were there and follow you, making for situations that feel improvised.

I verily remain impressed by the original Gothic's A.I. Not just enemies' teamwork, but all of the A.I.'s cohesiveness within the game's world (make no mistake - it's a very unpolished, glitchy one, easily "broken" irreversibly, but what an experience it was while any progress possible still). Well, I guess there are some other such ambitious in this regard, if basically unfinished, computer games. Boiling Point: Road to Hell? S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl?
I suppose FFCCh: The Crystal Bearers at some point had a chance of becoming their console equivalent, but mercantile demand to make it fool-proof would put an end to that. I've some hopes regarding Way of the Samurai left, though.
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 Post subject: Re: Essential plays
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:19 am 


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 Post subject: Re: Essential plays
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:05 am 


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Really great to see the Descent love here. My favourite first person shooter <3

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Unless it's a fucking Class 1 Driller or Red Hulk


Thankfully most of the time they're not very mobile and don't move too much. Even though Drillers are pretty fragile, damn they're annoying as hell. On higher difficulties you pretty much have to learn where they are in each level and take them out with homing missiles because the moment they see you, you're taking hitscan damage.

There's also clever AI in some of the robots that 'alert' other enemies, running away when they see you to try and bring more help along, and then there's the Thief in Descent 2 who is incredibly annoying, in part because of how good it is at sneaking up on you during a battle and robbing you of items. If you get mad and chase it down, it can lead you into danger pretty easily, so you have to corner it in an area you've cleared out already to deal with it.

Stevens wrote:
Also surprised you didn't say Streets of Rage Remake, because that game is perfect. :D


Nearly perfect. ;) I'd like a control option where the attack button uses your current level of star blitz and you can still use the 0 star with the special combo button. The only two settings currently are B button only (no special combo, so you can't throw out a 1 - 3 star at will) or X button only (the B button always does the 0 star blitz, you have to press the special combo button while running to use the star blitz). It's a relatively minor nitpick though, and it is definitely one of the best beat 'em ups ever made, if not the best fanmade game ever made.
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 Post subject: Re: Essential plays
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:37 pm 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
Nearly perfect. ;) I'd like a control option where the attack button uses your current level of star blitz and you can still use the 0 star with the special combo button. The only two settings currently are B button only (no special combo, so you can't throw out a 1 - 3 star at will) or X button only (the B button always does the 0 star blitz, you have to press the special combo button while running to use the star blitz). It's a relatively minor nitpick though, and it is definitely one of the best beat 'em ups ever made, if not the best fanmade game ever made.


That is a fair point. Some characters are better off with a lesser blitz. Shiva's two star is better than his three star. I recall Axel's two star being better also, but not entirely sure.
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 Post subject: Re: Essential plays
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:12 pm 


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Yeah, character blitzes basically fall into three categories (tl;dr ahead):

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1) Characters who will want to exclusively use their highest level blitz at all times because their 0 and 1 star versions are awful and have no real use compared to the 2 and 3 star versions (all versions of Blaze & Roo).

3) Characters who want to use their 0 star primarily because it's very fast for crowd control or simply chains better to a standing punch combo. Rudra is a good example as is Axel 1/2/3 (his spinny punches on the 2 and 3 star have weird hitboxes) and Mr. X (his 2 and 3 stars are good for damage but quite slow compared to the speedy knockdown on his 0 and 1 star).

3) Characters who have genuinely useful blitzes all around but want the three star blitz on their primary attack button so you can easily mash forward + attack to pull it off in a combo (instead of on the special combo button, which makes it slightly harder to link a standing combo to a 3 star blitz). Zan is a good example here - 2 and 3 star blitzes have amazing reach and priority, you can move diagonally, and are generally what you want to use in a combo to knockdown, but you want access to his 0 and 1 star in order to get quick knockdowns and fast horizontal movement.

On B button setting you get the highest star blitz on B/attack button only with the special combo button disabled which hurts categories 1) and 3), or on X Button setting you get the 0 star blitz mapped to your B/attack button but you have to use the X/special combo button to get the highest star blitz, which makes it trickier to use in a combo. The reason being if you press it while standing still it holds you in place awaiting directional input on the blitz, so to use a star blitz in a standing punch combo you have to doubletap forward and as soon as you start running press the special combo button. It's awkward, and if you want to easily link punches to a 2/3 star blitz it registers much more easily if mapped to the main attack button as on the B button setting.

All they need to do to fix it is enable the special combo button on B button setting so you get the highest level star blitz on the main attack button, and the 0 star on your X button.
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