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Hacks Section Difficulty Rework Suggestions Thread
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Hacks Section Difficulty Rework Suggestions Thread


The purpose of this thread is to create a healthy discussion on how to make the hacks classification in the section better.
Please be aware all I want in this thread are civil conversations/discussions - General Behavior rules will be strictly enforced here: no attacking each other, no extreme insults. If you feel enraged that much by the topic or from someone else’s reply, just leave this thread and go chill somewhere else instead of replying with an aggressive post. Any posts that are not strictly on topic will be deleted.



Some time ago a post was made which contained a section regarding this topic; I’ll just link it here, in case someone wants to see it. I really recommend reading it and reading my replies there before making a post here. Some Hacking-Related Suggestions for SMWC - Site Questions, Feedback & Bugs
Let’s break this down in 2 parts that we’ll tackle differently:
  1. Standard (this includes everything from Easy to Very Hard)

  2. Kaizo: Light


Everything else in the section (Kaizo: Hard, Pit and Troll) doesn’t really need discussion since they’re already pretty strictly categorized, at worst some name changes to keep consistency as I will explain later in the thread.


Standard


I think we can all agree to some extent that the current categorization for the Standard hacks could use some improvement. It has already been discussed in some form or another in staff forums a couple times but every time some problem arises (how much coding was necessary, how big would the remoderation be, etc). I’ve seen various proposals on how to change the difficulty system but now I’m making this thread to hopefully collect the majority of the opinions on how to make it better than what we have now. The main problem I’ve seen people talk about with the current system regarding the standard hacks is the fact that a mostly “normal"-difficulty hack with some very hard level at the end might get classified as “Very Hard” while not being Very Hard for the majority of it and hence will dissuade people from playing it even before downloading it, being scared by the difficulty. There are various possible fixes for this, one being the one suggested by Gbreeze in the thread linked above. What are your thoughts on this matter? How would you like it to be addressed? Do you have any reasonable suggestions?
Changing how a hack difficulty is defined on the site poses various problems, some of which I’ve already briefly touched on earlier in the thread, but I’m gonna list them all again so you can get an idea of how we could approach something like this:
  1. Remoderation, of course, to change the current difficulties of the hacks that don’t match them (which are not all of them) to something that better suits. We’d need to somehow remoderate them. Putting this weight on the moderators shoulders is not feasible because there are over a thousand hacks and nobody on the mod team has the time to replay the first levels of 200+ of them, it could be feasible with some userbase helping, maybe in the form of helpers along with the moderators themselves. Do you have any ideas of how to fix this problem?

  2. What is the best way to classify hacks while keeping at least a good portion of the userbase happy? I think it’s reasonable to say that finding something that makes everyone happy is almost impossible, so I’d at least try to stick to a good percentage of the users. What’s a good middle ground to make sure everyone has a good experience while browsing the section and searching for a hack that’s fit for them?


However, even though the categorization for Standard hacks is not ideal, it’s not where the elephant in the room is because at least it has a bunch of subcategories to differentiate different hacks.
The Kaizo: Light category, however, is another story since it’s just one category for everything that’s considered Kaizo (this is another ordeal that I don’t want to touch on now) and beatable RTA, and that’s a huge chunk of hacks. So let’s start on that topic:

Kaizo: Light

First off, let’s explain the context behind why it was called "Kaizo: Light" in the first place. When the category was created, not many kaizo hacks existed and they were all extremely hard so one difficulty was very much enough for them. But now, the community is bigger than ever before and kaizo hacks are coming out at a very fast rate, so a change is needed.
I’ve seen multiple people complain in a lot of places (SMWC discord, RhR community etc.) about how the Kaizo: Light hacks only have a single difficulty to place all their creations under, which makes it hard to see if a hack is easier or harder than another. Let’s take for example two extremes. Right now hacks like Storks or Grand Poo World, which are under the same difficulty umbrella as Robfather World or Quickie World 2, are incredibly different; one is extremely hard while the other is on the easiest side of Kaizo. This makes it hard for new folks trying to enter the community to have a good place to start off as they don’t necessarily know what’s best to start with; they’ll maybe try to play an extremely hard hack and be scared off quickly.
To fix this problem, a lot of people have started compiling spreadsheets with Kaizo hacks that they’ve played, categorizing them in difficulties, and sharing them in places where people who are starting out can easily see them and consult them when needed. I have compiled some examples of those spreadsheets for whoever wants to consult them and see; keep in mind this is not all of them, but rather every one that I could find:
But why force people to use spreadsheets when we can make the existing system better? Hence, my question to everyone who’s complaining about the current form is: what do you think would be better for kaizos? A categorization like the Standard hacks (with less difficulties of course) or something entirely different? Or maybe you have a different idea. If so, what is it?
Of course, even here, there are some problems which we’ll have to think about:
  1. Remoderation is something we need to consider here as well. However, since Kaizo hacks are only a small portion of the hacks on SMWC and some of our mods have already played a good chunk of them, this should be an easier task.

  2. Subjectivity of difficulty. In kaizo more than anywhere else (while some levels are universally considered hard) level difficulty is highly based on what a person is skilled in. For example, while somebody might find a shell level extremely hard and a cape level extremely easy (a better/more complete tag system might be a fix for the “trick-focused" hacks too), there will be people who will think the opposite. This makes for a hard time when trying to be accurate with difficulty categorization, so here too I ask for your ideas.

  3. If we plan on using names similar to the Standard hacks for difficulty, will Hard be used? And if so, will Kaizo:Hard need to change its name to something more fitting, like Kaizo:Tools or similar? Do you think this will cause too much confusion to be worth the hassle, or no?


Finally, please make sure to keep the suggestion within the realm of reasonable site coding wise, because while it’s true that with a lot of coding you can do a lot of changes my intent is not to overwork or ask anything too unreasonable from our Site coders whom are already pretty busy with other stuff but to improve things while keeping them feasible to code.
That is about all I could think of. If you have any ideas on other matters within the Hacks section that are not taken into consideration in this thread, you can direct message me on here or in Discord. I usually reply to everyone as long as the message isn’t rude.
I'm not going to throw my hat into the "Kaizo" ring as I've been too far outside of the Kaizo hack trend to really offer a concrete suggestion. Instead, this is a general proposal for both (I guess?)

What if instead of labeling a hack as just one difficulty, you have two that suggests how the difficulty curve works? Say, your hack is easy in the beginning, and very hard at the end. You'd select "Easy" for the first difficulty, and then "Very Hard" for the next. Then when the hack is submitted, you can see that the hack is labled "Easy to Very Hard" so the player knows how it starts, and how it ends.

I can see a couple of problems, and I have a couple ideas. Say, a hack starts easy, then it gets hard, then back to easy? My answer to that is mention it in the description, and you just select the difficulties from easiest to hardest. The other problem is, what if the hack is just easy, or just medium, etc? Well, you could either set both difficulties to the same so it displays as "Easy" (instead of "Easy to Easy"). Alternatively, you could have the second difficulty as optional, and leave the second difficulty as blank or "---".

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I've brought this up in the past and just want to state it again.
I feel that hack type and difficulty should be separated so you could have Standard, kaizo, troll, etc... with corisponding difficulties but idk how that would effect the ability to search for hacks in the hack section.

That being said like Daizo Dee Von pointed out how do you handle a hack with a large difficulty curve. It's easy to label a hack that starts easy and goes to normal as normal but easy to hard is harder to categorize.

I do have more to add but typing on mobile is taking forever, I'll add more thoughts later.
I'm the opposite of Daizo - I don't want to get into the standard side of things, because that's not my wheelhouse.

Kaizo has come a long, long way from "Asshole Mario", in the sense that the people making the levels and the full hacks are making their creations in order to watch people overcome and succeed as much as to troll or embarrass them. I'm not saying the latter doesn't happen, but to classify Quickie World in the same bucket as Elephants and Snakes and Crocodiles does both a disservice.

Additionally, while "kaizo" is not shorthand for "stupid hard", there is still a sense that the easiest kaizo hack is still significantly harder than most non-kaizo hacks. That sense is not always accurate, though - there are several examples of hacks that, while not kaizo, are considered as hard or harder than their kaizo cousins. Sometimes that's because of bad design, but sometimes that's on purpose. We should allow creators and players the chance to voice their intent.

My suggestion would be to create one difficulty scale: Easy - Very Hard, and split "kaizo" off of difficulty into its own metatag of sorts. If this is a "kaizo" checkbox on submission or some other classification, it doesn't matter to me the semantics of it. Kaizo:Hard becomes something else (Tool-Assisted?), Pit and Troll stay as is.

Granted, I don't know how hard it is to just add a Y/N column to the database, so I understand if this is more than I'm bargaining for. My overarching point, though, is that kaizo is less a "difficulty" and more a "genre", and we should reflect as such.

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I'm not a doctor.

Thanks for making this thread atari, and I definitely agree with everything you've said. It's tough because there's a lot of changes that would make things easier for players coming to the site and looking for hacks to play, but we have to balance that with the re-moderation and site coding workload.

Like Ninja Boy, I'm a proponent of adding a "type" category. These would be the best types to use, in my opinion: Standard, Kaizo, Puzzle, Troll, and Tool-Use (which encompasses kaizo:hard and pit).

Currently, separating hacks by difficulty is not the most perfect way of categorization. It has a lot of flaws; for example, very-hard hacks are listed below kaizo-light, even though they are often harder, and puzzle hacks are simply not accounted for at all. I hope this won't be too much of a site coding issue, but for re-moderation, this shouldn't be too bad. It's fairly easy to tell what the style of a hack is; much easier so than deciding the difficulty.

I know the tag system exists, but I personally feel that this is a better version of the tag system. The tag system still lets players filter for more specific things, such as ASM use, graphics use, etc, so it does have its own merit.

Now, for difficulty: I agree with you in that there's 2 main problems to tackle. The first problem is that the current system doesn't account for difficulty curves, and the second problem is that the categories aren't "wide" enough to account for varying difficulty. However, if we decide that kaizo is now a "type" and not a difficulty, that will help tackle the second problem.

One idea that I didn't mention in that linked thread is number-based difficulty. For example, every hack would be ranked from 1-6 or something, 1 being the easiest hacks, and 6 being hacks unanimously considered the hardest, like Search for Salmon, Hyper 6, Storks, or Bits and Pieces. Notice that 6 includes both kaizo (Search for Salmon, Storks) and standard (Hyper 6, Bits and Pieces). Thus, the numbering method avoids confusion between kaizo and standard.

I have noticed that many people think that kaizos are automatically harder than standard hacks, which simply isn't true. This would hopefully avoid some confusion? Curious what people think of this idea. If we wanted to include difficulty curves, there could be an option to put down 1-6 or 2-3, for example. Maybe this is too confusing? All-in-all, I think that numerical rankings are a good way of ranking difficulty. You'll find that many other sources use this method: for example, the VIP difficulty charts, the JUMP chart, and the various docs used by Kaizo streamers all mostly use numerical rankings. The VIP chart in specific is exponential; the gap between difficulty scores becomes exponentially larger as the difficulty increases. I have no idea how much of a burden this is to site-coding, so if this is a ridiculous suggestion, please ignore it lol.

As far as re-moderation goes, I want to avoid as much re-moderation as possible for everyone, both users and mods. Thankfully, the biggest amount of work will be for very-hard and kaizos. Dode has already kept record of nearly every kaizo hack, and almost every very-hard hack is well known by avid players. Recent hacks also shouldn't be a big deal. For the older easy/medium hacks, perhaps we can just mark easy as "1" or keep it "easy" and same for medium, to avoid all that extra work. Regardless, the majority of work is already done because we have quite a few numerical scores for pretty much every kaizo hack, and those will be the ones that are gonna be re-categorized.
Ok time to continue my thoughts.

So my thought on separating type and difficulty in some manner would address the current concerns that have been brought up on how not all Kaizo hacks are harder than Very Hard hacks but at the same time it can address the fact that something like Troll isn't really a difficulty and more like a type or hack.

My biggest worry is, is the site set up in any manner to allow for another field both for searching and just how the section is structured. Maybe we could use the tag system for this better than actually adding in a new field so you would have actual types under the Type: field which could be decided on by either the most uploaded or chosen by the user base I'll just use Gbreeze's list as an example: Standard, Kaizo, Puzzle, Troll, and Tool-Use

The benefit to the above idea is the Tag system already allows for multiple words at a single time and you could specify difficult ranges with a couple tags so you have a like like music, vanilla, asm, easy, hard. Users can easily search for a desired difficulty all we'd need to do is decide how to name then like will the basic SMW difficult be normal or medium.

Personally i'm torn on a numerical ranking system like Gbreeze suggested because it seems like it could work but currently, for standard hacks, we work with a 4 rank system and adding more to that just seems unneeded in the long run.

As far as remoderation goes I don't think that's really needed maybe we can add in a remoderation request button or something were if a user disagrees with the current difficulty they can request a remoderation BUT they'd need to fill something out as to why it needs remoderation to give specifics to try and avoid people just being salty that a single level was too hard and them being mad over dying a lot.
First off, why "Standard" to categorize hacks that aren't kaizo? I think it is both irrelevant and hard not to differ between normal and kaizo (at least to me). I disagree with a remoderation cause it would take too much effort just to change a difficulty type.

As far as the kaizo categorization goes, it is the elephant in the room. The numerical rating system is a nice idea but I'm afraid it will cause even more confusion than there is. Someone suggested Kaizo: RTA somewhere for kaizo hacks that require no tool usage and I think it's perfect. Though if we do this, then we should think of a different name for Kaizo: Hard to follow suit.

If not, Doctor No's suggestion is the best so far. Adding to it, we should ditch the categories entirely and instead resort to checkboxes that indicate whether the hack is kaizo or not, imo. If you mark "yes", two (or more?) checkboxes show up with tags that reflect the difficulty type, such as "tools", "without tools", and it goes on. If you mark "no", tags such as "normal", "medium", "hard", "insane", "troll", etc. should suffice. I don't know how reasonable it is coding-wise, but that's just me thinking too much outside the box. I'm also afraid that if we do this, we would have to do the extra task of remoderating everything, but I doubt it.
Then again, I've grown tired of the current system anyway, but I can't judge much due to my recent inactivity.

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Another problem that has been brought up is cross-genre hacks like My Little Puzzles. This is a puzzle hack with kaizo obstacles that is intended to be played with tools. It had to be submitted as kaizo: light and beaten without tools as is customary.

I myself am creating a hack with both standard and kaizo levels. I want to create what I'm passionate about, but I don't want to burden moderators with content outside their expertise.

I think the solution is tags, like others have said. I can check #Kaizo and #Standard. If anyone checks every tag to get their level at the top of search lists, that is something that can be dealt with in moderation. My Little Puzzles can check #Puzzle and #Kaizo maybe even #Tools.

Tags can also apply to the difficulty curve. We can have #Easy, #Normal, #Hard, #VeryHard, etc. Or the 6-star ranking that Dode uses. We can choose multiple difficulty tags to represent a difficulty curve or special world.

Finally, the current system can be applied to the tag system without any loss of knowledge or remoderation. A very hard hack can automatically gain the #VeryHard tag. If it deserves other tags, then remoderation can be done on it, but the issue is no more urgent than it is now.

This will also deal with the explicit segregation of the community into camps like troll (even though many non-troll hacks have trolls) and kaizo (even though many kaizo players love JUMP and recommend it highly and say it's one of the best hacks ever made).

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NewPointless
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you see it, I don't think you can just include "kaizo" as a tag in the same bucket as things like "puzzle" or "chocolate". A hack with 100 levels that features 99 easy levels and 1 kaizo level still needs to be marked as "kaizo." If we create these categories, they should be rigid.

Additionally, the type of kaizo obstacle matters. Are you asking players to do shelljumps? Double shelljumps? Precision cape? Massive regrabs?

A perfect "kaizo difficulty" scale would be tagged with different things that lend themselves to that difficulty. Two "medium" kaizo hacks can be very different experiences for a player if one is a cape hack and the other is an item abuse hack. Additionally, it would give players a chance to both see what awaits them from a gameplay perspective and seek out hacks based on the type of kaizo that awaits them.

I think this would be way too hard to implement now by the current kaizo moderators, even with Dode's kaizothon. To me, the most effective option is still to split kaizo off as a "category" or "type" and, as GBreeze said, unify the difficulty scale in a way that allows for everyone to have the same expectation of a hack's challenge.

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I'm not a doctor.

Originally posted by Ninja Boy
The benefit to the above idea is the Tag system already allows for multiple words at a single time and you could specify difficult ranges with a couple tags so you have a like like music, vanilla, asm, easy, hard. Users can easily search for a desired difficulty all we'd need to do is decide how to name then like will the basic SMW difficult be normal or medium.

Originally posted by NewPointless
I think the solution is tags, like others have said. I can check #Kaizo and #Standard. If anyone checks every tag to get their level at the top of search lists, that is something that can be dealt with in moderation. My Little Puzzles can check #Puzzle and #Kaizo maybe even #Tools.

Tags can also apply to the difficulty curve. We can have #Easy, #Normal, #Hard, #VeryHard, etc. Or the 6-star ranking that Dode uses. We can choose multiple difficulty tags to represent a difficulty curve or special world.

I've been wondering: wouldn't the selection panel with the "Hold Ctrl to select multiple" feature do the same thing? It's a structure already coded in the site and in fact, it's what's already being used for the current difficulty selection system, and I feel it looks much cleaner and easier to filter than tags. I feel like the hack's Type and Difficulty are too important classifications to be mixed with 50 assorted tags used for the more miscellaneous filtering purposes and should be easily spotted by the user wishing to play a hack. Keep in mind too that the Tags field is a text box and doesn't show what words can be used to fill it with. Therefore, if Type and Difficulty were turned into tags, they'd be pretty much completely hidden.
Originally posted by Doctor No
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you see it, I don't think you can just include "kaizo" as a tag in the same bucket as things like "puzzle" or "chocolate". A hack with 100 levels that features 99 easy levels and 1 kaizo level still needs to be marked as "kaizo." If we create these categories, they should be rigid.


While I don't care about Kaizo too much because it hasn't been my thing before the values change with streamer Kaizo being a thing for the past 5 years that encourage savestateless play (and yes, for that reason I do agree with Doctor No's earlier post that Kaizo has came a long way). Why it hasn't been my thing is because Kaizo levels generally aren't designed in a way that one would expect out of a traditional Mario level as it has its own rules and structures that the average SMW player would be unforgiving in any other context on the surface, even among Very Hard standard hacks (Standard Hacks generally play by SMW's rules when it comes to level design just getting that out there). Didn't help the fact that before the standards changed they looked like that you have to play TAS before QoL patches such as the modern Retry Patch used in JUMP came to be. That explains why it hasn't been my thing. However in spite of that, there are a few other things ill weigh in on here.

Yes, categories should be rigid, no exceptions and standardized definitions of what constitute a hack as being x thing is a must. That's why I liked BeeeKaay's definition of what constitute a hack as Kaizo in his "What is Kaizo?" document because it is narrowly tailored to describe the characteristics of hacks that fall into such categories. It is also that reason I felt confused on the difference between Troll and Joke hacks because I believed there was a lack of a clear distinction between a Troll and a Joke hack when I had to ask on the difference last year.

I can't help but disagree with the part you said that the hack should be marked as Kaizo if it contains 1 kaizo level. Because by that logic, JUMP would be considered a Kaizo hack just because 2 levels in the postgame are Kaizo. That would be deceptive. Its also why I have problems with classifying TSRPR as Very Hard just because isolated levels such as Chaos Complexx and Bowser's Starship are marathon levels or levels like Ice Bomb Bridge being a difficulty spike when the brunt of the experience is slightly harder than SMW. When I think of Very Hard would be hacks such as Bits and Pieces in which the majority of the levels you will be playing levels that essentially are back to back difficulty spikes or in the case of Colossus, maingame levels from World 5 onwards is both long and difficult that represents a clear curve deserving of that Very Hard category classification that stems from the author not streamlining their difficulty from those levels (which I do think that they are unfair in the Colossus example). Evaluating a hack's difficulty should generally be based on maingame completion in counting the critical levels required instead of a completionist run counting on the hardest levels appearing.

Though I will say that there are hacks that do toe the line between one or more categories and I do think having a category called "Hybrid" may be useful for instance - hacks that combine Kaizo design elements with those that are from Troll hack designs. Hybrid should be used in which these designs seen in two or more other categories aren't isolated off into a hack's postgame but make up the feature of the hack on normal gameplay (when they appear in critical, required routes to progress or as a gameplay option). I think this can solve the problem regarding difficulty classification for hacks that do not cleanly fit into one category.

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So just to clear some things up about my suggestion, I agree with gbreeze that the type field should be separate from difficulty and general tags. But to make things easier to code, and account for hybrid hacks, AND hacks with difficulty curves, we should use the tags system for each field. Just copy the tags system over to type and difficulty and change the options for each field.

What qualifies as a hack that deserves a "kaizo" or "troll" or "puzzle" type tag can be a dialogue between the community, but I suggest it deserves a tag if it's required content to complete the main game and is significant enough in length and difficulty to potentially deter players.

Edit: And this isn't about just My Little Puzzles and other fringe examples. Puzzle is a hot new meta, and trolls are no longer something that can be taken for granted in a kaizo hack. Allowing taggable types would allow creators to use this variety and still connect with players.

So some examples:

My Little Puzzles:
Type: Kaizo, Puzzle

Easy hack with a marathon final level:
Difficulty: Easy, Very Hard (or 1, 6)

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NewPointless
My idea is that people should make it simple and organized.
Remember: "if it is not broke, do not fix it".

In the past you would go to the forum and look for a hack by difficulty* and it would give you an impression of what it was like overall. If it has one or two super hard or long levels they become an exception, as if it were an extra challenge, you know?

Regarding kaizos, when people download a Kaizo: light they expect traits that define this difficulty (otherwise they would have downloaded a harder one). But if you apply this rule to casual hacks the situation gets complicated because what is easy for you can be difficult for me, you know?

I suggest that difficulty should be analyzed according to the full gameplay and not only if the game gets tough in the final world (at least for casual hacks, not kaizo). It would be good to ask yourself:

"What makes a smw hack hard/very hard?"
"Is there a difference between easy and normal?"
"Are there traits that define a difficulty for casual games just like Kaizo have for them (i presume)?"

*Easy,Normal,Hard,Very Hard

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"If you imitate someone, you can never surpass them."

Welcome to the Abyss!
Originally posted by TheMorganah
"if it is not broke, do not fix it"


Speaking only as a passionate fan of the games and the community, I think many kaizo players and creators would argue that the difficulty system is, in fact, broken. That's why we're here.

Originally posted by StrikeForcer
Evaluating a hack's difficulty should generally be based on maingame completion in counting the critical levels required instead of a completionist run counting on the hardest levels appearing.


100% agree, but even this requires deliberate thought and is a great example of the differences between standard and kaizo:

Take Quickie World. Widely suggested as one of, if not the, first hack you should play if you want to start playing kaizo Mario hacks. With practice, players develop the skill and technique necessary to beat it consistently. Kaizo mods will have those skills in spades, and should be able to properly evaluate difficulty for experienced players. For someone new, however, "easy" kaizo may still be an investment of dozens of hours to beat (*cough* Sawfring Castle *cough*).

So, is it easy? Or is it hard?

It's both, but that is why easy in this case means something very different than easy in the "standard" way of thinking about it.

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I'm not a doctor.

I think the essence of a hack should be considered for categorizing purposes. While genre-blending is a great thing that should be encouraged, it's pretty easy to tell the "true essence" of a hack. For example, JUMP is non-kaizo despite having several kaizo levels, and Foss World is clearly puzzle despite having kaizo elements.

Also, I think the problem with difficulty being subjective (like quickie world) doesn't matter if difficulty rankings are just comparisons between other hacks. All the difficulty rankings for hacks will be relative. As for the split between kaizo and non-kaizo causing issues with comparisons, I think we would need consider time spent per amount of progress, accessibility, etc, to accurately compare. For kaizo, perhaps we should assume the player has a very base knowledge of kaizo tricks. After all, the "kaizo" tag/category should let the player know to expect those tricks.
I fully agree with you, Gbreeze. I think, then, the answer is a numerical difficulty scale that goes 1-10 instead of 1-6.

If we are going to create a universal scale that we can use to compare every SMW hack on the site to every other hack, then I think it will need to allow for more nuance than "easy/medium/hard/very hard" currently allows. 1-10 is simple enough to understand while allowing for kaizo hacks to find a more accurate place on the difficulty spectrum compared to non-kaizo hacks.

Unfortunately, this is a massive change to the structure of things, and I don't know how feasible it is. If we just take "standard easy" - "kaizo:hard" and make it "1 - 6" and leave Pit and Troll as their own distinctions, that may be a much more palatable change from a logistic perspective.

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I'm not a doctor.

Hmm, this is tricky lol. So rn we have easy -> very hard, which is 1-4. And dode's kaizo doc is 1-6. Let's say we want to make a 1-5 scale. Easy could remain 1, medium as 2, hard as 3, and then very hard would be split into 4 and 5. For kaizo, dode's 1-6 could be compressed into a 1-3 scale, and then put into the new 1-5 scale, but maybe starting at 3. That was super confusing lol but basically like this:

1 - easy hacks
2 - medium hacks
3 - hard standard hacks + easy kaizo
4 - very hard standard hacks + medium kaizo
5 - insanely hard standard + very hard kaizo

Doing this, there would be no remoderation at all. We would probably need to seek a consensus on dode's doc though.

Idk what to do for kaizo:hard and pit. It makes no sense to rank them by difficulty because you are supposed to use tools.
Originally posted by Gloomy
I've been wondering: wouldn't the selection panel with the "Hold Ctrl to select multiple" feature do the same thing? It's a structure already coded in the site and in fact, it's what's already being used for the current difficulty selection system, and I feel it looks much cleaner and easier to filter than tags. I feel like the hack's Type and Difficulty are too important classifications to be mixed with 50 assorted tags used for the more miscellaneous filtering purposes and should be easily spotted by the user wishing to play a hack. Keep in mind too that the Tags field is a text box and doesn't show what words can be used to fill it with. Therefore, if Type and Difficulty were turned into tags, they'd be pretty much completely hidden.


I guess what I said didn't come off super clearly my though it you still have the type drop down but instead of being like Standard:Easy, Standard:Hard, Kaizo:Light it'd just be the type Standard,Kaizo,Troll,etc... and then have the actual difficulty in the tags #Easy,#Medium,#hard but like you said it might get a bit muddled like that.

I did think of another option more so for the hacks that have a curve to them so they start easy and end hard you could have a number scale so hacks are labeled with a primary difficulty so overall it's an Easy hack but has a hard post game.

Ok here's the idea It's an easy hack and would be a 1 on a 5 point scale but the post game is hard or a 3 on the same scale you could have something like this

•○♦○○

The filled circle represents the main overall difficulty while the diamond represents outlier difficulty so players know it's mostly easy with some hard levels.

I'm really not sure if I'm getting this idea out very well I'm typing this up while being sick so my brain is a bit all over the place right now.
I've been reading and making notes about all of these suggestions. Keep em coming. I like the development on this discussion. I'm gonna keep reading stuff from this thread for a couple of weeks (or a bit more, depending if anything else arises) and then I'm gonna gather everything in a nice manner and I'll decide on what's the best way to handle things between my ideas, the hack mods and these interesting suggestions. After some decision time I'll do my best to start the rework as soon as I can.
Thank you all.
UPDATE:
Due to an unforeseen amount of work plumped on me by my university professors (I've got 5 exams instead of 4 now all in the span of a week approximately), I won't be able to really do anything about this topic until at least mid february, expect real, proper updates with conclusions around the end of February/start of March
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