Lou Guards vs Super Medium Hulks

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Re: Lou Guards vs Super Medium Hulks

Post by Sirius » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:12 pm

It is quite easy to dodge. But it's not really fixable unless you convince the Rebirth and/or Retro devs to modify the value or, more plausibly, add a toggle for it. Which doesn't feel like something players will opt into.

They wouldn't have to if a per-mission setting were added to either the level format or .mn2 file, but by that point you're heading off into D2X-XL-land. I don't expect either project would agree to incorporate it.
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Re: Lou Guards vs Super Medium Hulks

Post by Xfing » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:36 am

Well, if D1 boss robot AI has been brought back, then why not this? :P
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Re: Lou Guards vs Super Medium Hulks

Post by Sirius » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:05 pm

The main reason I can think of is that it makes the in-built missions significantly harder than they were designed to be by Parallax. Rebirth historically has been very reluctant to mess with existing gameplay.

Since the in-built missions didn't use the D1 bosses, that change has less impact.
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Re: Lou Guards vs Super Medium Hulks

Post by AlexanderBorisov » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:20 am

Sirius wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:05 pm
The main reason I can think of is that it makes the in-built missions significantly harder than they were designed to be by Parallax. Rebirth historically has been very reluctant to mess with existing gameplay.

Since the in-built missions didn't use the D1 bosses, that change has less impact.
If done on per-mission basis I don't see how it could break anything. Yet better, if one could have a new property for homing weapons (acquisition cone) to modify, but I guess it would break backward compartibility with old version because of saves and demos format. But I think it can be compensated by other means, for example to make a homer harder to dodge you can make it faster. Has nearly the same effect. Or go AF way - "waves of Red Hulks in a single room". But to me those easier to dodge homers make the game better, not worse. Who likes to hide and corner snipe everything like a tunnel rat? Also you can consider the room geometry where you place those homing missile bots, in limited spaces even those easy homers are not easy to dodge... Fourth solution is to use Defence Robots in later levels (like in AF), which were designed by Parallax but not used in stock missions, they fire like 5 homers, are fast, and have the plasma pulse, too.
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Re: Lou Guards vs Super Medium Hulks

Post by Xfing » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:12 am

That's why we could just use a toggle, like an ini file parameter or something like that.

Oh, and Lou Guards are usually placed in wide open spaces in D2, so the impact on Counterstrike itself wouldn't be quite as big (can't speak for Puuma levels yet though, haha :D)

I'd really like to have this option because I miss D1's lethal difficulty. In D1 if you know how to play, you'll take no damage at all - but you make a mistake, you die. In D2 you'll take damage anyway, slowly. I really miss those moments of terror from D1. Though I should probably halt my judgment until Puuma sphere, as Boarsheads tend to do just that. Looking at it that way, D2 does provide a smoother and more adjustable difficulty curve for sure. Still, a toggle wouldn't hurt for all those of us who like things Nintendo hard. I was able to beat all of D1 on Insane without dying, and even though I'm currently struggling to do the same with D2, I still think I had more fun playing D1 just for the emotions. Being forced to be wary of Super Hulks at all times certainly was part of the experience.
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Re: Lou Guards vs Super Medium Hulks

Post by Sirius » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:41 am

Yeah but the question is how to do it on a per-mission basis. The most natural way would be to modify the weapon type format, but then you need to patch users' .HAM files, and that would stop other versions of D2 from loading them. So you'd need some extra files somewhere that only Rebirth understands... something like what D2X-XL did with e.g. its .lgt/.clr files.
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Re: Lou Guards vs Super Medium Hulks

Post by Xfing » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:48 am

I think an ini file parameter would be the best solution, just like the old -legacyhomers parameter.
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Re: Lou Guards vs Super Medium Hulks

Post by Alter-Fox » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:03 pm

Could be, and it's nice to dream, but I don't think it's likely to actually happen -- at least not in time. May have to settle for the damage upgrade. And remember those trainee players probably can't even dodge D2's homers.
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Re: Lou Guards vs Super Medium Hulks

Post by Xfing » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:05 am

Alter-Fox wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:03 pm
Could be, and it's nice to dream, but I don't think it's likely to actually happen -- at least not in time. May have to settle for the damage upgrade. And remember those trainee players probably can't even dodge D2's homers.
I actually got word from kp (Zico's new handle perhaps?) that it could be implementable on a per-mission basis.

https://forum.dxx-rebirth.com/showthread.php?tid=1029
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Re: Lou Guards vs Super Medium Hulks

Post by Alter-Fox » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:32 pm

How soon though? Our own progress is, I think, faster than we expected.
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Re: Lou Guards vs Super Medium Hulks

Post by Xfing » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:41 pm

No idea. I don't think it's that essential though, it's not something that couldn't be implemented retroactively afterwards anyway
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Re: Lou Guards vs Super Medium Hulks

Post by Woolie_Wool » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:21 am

Xfing wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:34 pm
I did some tests and the results confuse me, to say the least - they make no sense at all. First off, the player homing missile is just as good as it was in D1, if not better. In D1 it would take 6 homers to blow up a super hulk, in D2 it takes 5. That would suggest they've actually become stronger in the sequel, of course apart from their turn rate (that's a whole other topic, amirite).

And yet, player homers (as wielded by the super hulk) do 43 damage to the player in D1, and 30 in D2 - even though in the latter their power rating in the data is 40. There must be some damage scaling algorithm at play in D2, because even on Insane, player homers when used by robots only do 4 more damage on direct impact, and have a projectile speed of 90, as opposed to the variable speed of the robot homer, capping off at 80 on Insane (it's 60 on all other difficulty levels).

I have no idea why a missile with the listed power of 40, only does 30 damage to the player. Might be a bug from the nightly versions of D2x-Rebirth, so testing under a stable version might be required, but this gave me a whole new idea:

Maybe we should give the player homer to the Lou Guard instead - it's only marginally more damaging and marginally harder to dodge on Insane than the default robot variety. Of course that would make the robot a bit tricky on Trainee etc, since player weapon values generally don't change throughout the difficulties - but then again the robot so dopey even on Insane that the player is usually able to pick it off before it even gets to fire once, so Trainee players will also probably be fine.

And then, we'd fine-tune the robot homing missile instead, bringing it to values identical to D1 on Insane, and then give it to the red hulk. That way we'd accomplish basically the same thing while sacrificing very little. Either that or we find out why the heck player homers do much less damage than they're stated to do.

EDIT: Just tested this - when fired by the player at a wall point blank, the homers do the same amount of damage in both D1 and D2 - around 31-32 points. That's more than getting hit by a player homer from a robot! There must be some mistake in the code, seriously. I'll test it on a DOSBox installation and see.

Aaaaand nothing changes. Even on a vanilla installation the homers do 30 damage to the player, while they clearly should do more.
I would quite strongly urge against adding player weapons to robots that don't have them! As a Rookie player, one of my top priorities when designing my custom HAM was giving robots that used player weapons their own variants that scaled based on difficulty to balance out lower difficulty levels. Personally, if you must do something to Lou Guards, I suggest giving them robot smart missiles--it complements their color scheme and it gives them a role distinct from the red hulk.
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Re: Lou Guards vs Super Medium Hulks

Post by Xfing » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:10 am

I'd never do that though, seeing as how everything except bosses is supposed to be vanilla, so the only changes I'm making are such that things work more like in D1.
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