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Hacks Section Difficulty Rework Suggestions Thread
Forum Index - Important - Announcements - Hacks Section Difficulty Rework Suggestions Thread
Pages: « 1 2 »
Okay so, first of all, let me apologize for not doing something about this sooner or giving an update or something, but lately (read: last 3 months or more) I've been kinda swamped in stuff to do between a bunch of IRL things.
My mental state has also not been the greatest partially due to said IRL things. So that has prolonged stuff even longer than they should've been. I'm gonna finally pick up some of my slack.
Starting tomorrow 18th of March, I'll be writing and trying things up to make the proposed changes as well as prepare a mockup of what things could look like after those changes, I'll also talk to admins and other staff about this to ensure everyone is on the same page. Expect a post in a week or so explaning what will be changed and how. Hopefully everything goes smoothly and I hope we can all be happier after said changes. After posting the mockup I'll obviously try and gather feedback if anyone has some.

Sorry again for the delay with this, I really wanted to get this done sooner but bigger stuff has held me back on it, however, since I'm stuck at home I'll have more time to act on it and finally finish this project.

Thanks for the patience guys.
Thanks for the updates!
Hi Atari,
Sorry for being late on the topic (found the thread just now) but I felt like leaving my two cents here in case it's still welcome.

First off, I am greatly in favour of 'Kaizo: Light' hacks being clearly separated from hacks that were intended to be played with savestates in the middle of a level or with TAS scripts or frame advance (currently Kaizo: Hard and Kaizo: Pit), since the differences in their level design styles typically lead to them feeling like completely different sub-types of the 2D platformer genre in general. Moderators are currently doing a great job at separating Kaizo: Light from Kaizo: Hard/Pit (and 'Standard') hacks, however these moderation standards have not always been the same in the past and as a result we currently have roughly about 15 (old) hacks listed as Kaizo: Light that would definitely not have been listed as such with todays moderation standards. I know this is being worked on by the moderation team and I know this is not the exact issue of this thread, but I do like to stress that relabeling these hacks under Standard: Hard or Very Hard (and perhaps a new 'Puzzle' category) should go before any potential future difficulty relabeling of kaizo hacks.

I feel that the majority of the kaizo community is unhappy with with current labeling of 'light' vs 'hard' in kaizo. 'Light' vs 'hard' are labels that most people associate with difficulty, rather than what it really is - a genre distinction. 'Kaizo: RTA' vs 'Kaizo: Tools' would be a much clearer distinction.

As for difficulty ratings within the current Kaizo: Light category, I am against any further subcategorization here. As you stated, this is highly subjective. Everyone would agree that Robfather World is easier than Elephants and Snakes and Crocodiles, but if we want to clearly distinguish between difficulty categories, we need clear guidelines on how to do so, and I can only see a bigger debate arising as a result of this than the one we're having now. Moderators would be the most objective agents to analyze hacks in this regard since they've played many different hacks, but then again they might be biased because of their long-time experience with them and overall high skill level as a result of that. The alternative would be a community-based difficulty rating system similar to the 5-star one we currently have to rate the quality of the hack. However, this 5-star system is currently not being used much at all, with the great majority of hacks having 0 up to less than a handful of ratings (while in the meantime their download counts aren't low at all). If somehow a difficulty rating would be magically much more popular than the quality rating system, it would still be greatly skewed towards the expectations and therefore skill level of the player. A player who would try Akogare Mario World as their second hack after Quickie World 2 would rate it much higher in difficulty than someone who has played Elephants, Search For Salmon and Precision86 would rate it. I think the hack descriptions on this site as well as people's stories on Discord/Twitch etc. should provide adequate information for new players on roughly how difficult a hack is.

Please don't stress yourself working on this, but I'm looking forward to this issue being resolved some time in the future; hopefully we can reach some sort of consensus in the community.
Originally posted by katun24
Hi Atari,
Sorry for being late on the topic (found the thread just now) but I felt like leaving my two cents here in case it's still welcome.

First off, I am greatly in favour of 'Kaizo: Light' hacks being clearly separated from hacks that were intended to be played with savestates in the middle of a level or with TAS scripts or frame advance (currently Kaizo: Hard and Kaizo: Pit), since the differences in their level design styles typically lead to them feeling like completely different sub-types of the 2D platformer genre in general. Moderators are currently doing a great job at separating Kaizo: Light from Kaizo: Hard/Pit (and 'Standard') hacks, however these moderation standards have not always been the same in the past and as a result we currently have roughly about 15 (old) hacks listed as Kaizo: Light that would definitely not have been listed as such with todays moderation standards. I know this is being worked on by the moderation team and I know this is not the exact issue of this thread, but I do like to stress that relabeling these hacks under Standard: Hard or Very Hard (and perhaps a new 'Puzzle' category) should go before any potential future difficulty relabeling of kaizo hacks.

I feel that the majority of the kaizo community is unhappy with with current labeling of 'light' vs 'hard' in kaizo. 'Light' vs 'hard' are labels that most people associate with difficulty, rather than what it really is - a genre distinction. 'Kaizo: RTA' vs 'Kaizo: Tools' would be a much clearer distinction.

This I agree with 100%

Originally posted by katun24
As for difficulty ratings within the current Kaizo: Light category, I am against any further subcategorization here. As you stated, this is highly subjective. Everyone would agree that Robfather World is easier than Elephants and Snakes and Crocodiles, but if we want to clearly distinguish between difficulty categories, we need clear guidelines on how to do so, and I can only see a bigger debate arising as a result of this than the one we're having now. Moderators would be the most objective agents to analyze hacks in this regard since they've played many different hacks, but then again they might be biased because of their long-time experience with them and overall high skill level as a result of that. The alternative would be a community-based difficulty rating system similar to the 5-star one we currently have to rate the quality of the hack. However, this 5-star system is currently not being used much at all, with the great majority of hacks having 0 up to less than a handful of ratings (while in the meantime their download counts aren't low at all). If somehow a difficulty rating would be magically much more popular than the quality rating system, it would still be greatly skewed towards the expectations and therefore skill level of the player. A player who would try Akogare Mario World as their second hack after Quickie World 2 would rate it much higher in difficulty than someone who has played Elephants, Search For Salmon and Precision86 would rate it. I think the hack descriptions on this site as well as people's stories on Discord/Twitch etc. should provide adequate information for new players on roughly how difficult a hack is.

Please don't stress yourself working on this, but I'm looking forward to this issue being resolved some time in the future; hopefully we can reach some sort of consensus in the community.

Now I think you've got some solid points here, but I have to disagree for two main reasons. The first is that looking at non-kaizo hack difficulty categories (easy, normal, hard, and very-hard) shows that moderators are in fact capable of distinguishing between hacks with varying difficulty, which certainly takes a degree of subjective reasoning, and I'm sure the same could be done for kaizo.

I think the skill of a player can be disregarded when we look at playtime comparisons. For example, I'm way worse at kaizo than ldad. Let's say I take 20 minutes to beat a quickie world 1 level, 50 minutes to beat an Akogare level, and 5 hours to beat an Elephants level. Then at the same time, ldad beats the same quickie world 1 level in 5 minutes, the same Akogare level in 25 minutes, and the Elephants level in 2 hours. He's better than me, and the levels were easier for him, but the bias doesn't matter because the time comparisons still stand. Each hack falls into a nice category of kaizo: easy kaizo, regular kaizo, and hard kaizo.

Second point is that dode has already managed to rank many kaizo hacks with a difficulty rating and didn't seem to have too much difficulty, so we know it's possible already. It's just a matter of translating it successfully into the site's smw hack section scheme.

I also want to make the point that this work wouldn't just be to satisfy our collective OCD when viewing the hack section. There is a real problem with difficulty not being portrayed in the slightest for kaizo hacks. Every day, there is at least 1 person (either on twitch or discord, or sometimes in the forums) asking for an "easy" kaizo hack to practice their skills. They have to ask because it's extremely unclear from the hack section. There's a massive amount of kaizo hacks and no one knows if they're about to play a baby kaizo or a storks unless they ask around. Sometimes, the description will state the difficulty, but that's quite rare.

It goes the other way as well. Experienced players appreciate the difficulty rankings because it lets them sift through the hundreds of hacks on the site to play the hard and very-hard hacks they enjoy. With kaizo, you can't do that. Again, you gotta ask around.

The rankings exist to help players navigate the site and download the hacks that they want to play and will suit them best, so I think it's worth making the system better.
This table contains all the suggestions, the section that they plan on acting on, if more than one person supports/suggested that change and if they are feasible on the coding side.
After making this table, I'll start thinking about a way to reorganize stuff if we have to do and I'll finalize a decision on what to do in a week or 2.


Suggestion Section More than one person said this Feasible on the coding side
Instead of 1 difficulty, we have 2 difficulties that suggest how the difficulty curve works, alternatively, just what are the difficulties of the easiest and of the hardest levels. Or leave the second difficulty as optional for hacks with a normal difficulty curve Every No Easy (as two independent fields)
Moderate (displayed as one field)
Type and difficulty should be separated, one label that says the type (Kaizo, Standard, Troll, Pit) and the other one that says the difficulty, like "Easy, Hard, Very Hard" etc. Every Yes Easy (as two independent fields)
Complex (if the possible difficulties depend on the type)
Number based difficulty, 1 being very easy and 6 being hard (also suggested to be 1-10 instead of 1-6) and then attach to that a type (as the suggestion before, basically making the difficulty and type totally detached from one another, and possibly adding a "Puzzle" type. Image showing the possible ranks: IMAGE Every Yes Easy
Possibly rename kaizo light to kaizo RTA. Kaizo Yes Easy
Add a checkbox to indicate that a hack is kaizo. Just simply a "Yes" or "No" thing while keeping the difficulties shared between kaizo and not kaizo (Easy, Normal.. Etc) Kaizo No Easy
Ranking hacks should be done by comparing them with each other to partially eliminate the "subjective" side of the difficulty Every No N/A
Instead of having a difficulty curve with 2 difficulties just have 1 difficulty that's the "main" difficulty of the hack, maybe implement the difficulty with some simbols. Image showing the proposed simbols: IMAGE Every No Moderate/Complex
Yes, I'm here again, I'm not sure if someone still cares but...
Things are going a bit slow here for a couple reasons.
Mainly because this quarantine has been hitting me really hard lately. There's stuff going on in my life that I choose not to disclose here but that has left me pretty demotivated to do stuff, both moderation, generale site work (such as this), and other non-site related stuff. Last 2/3 weeks have been pretty rough.
I'm really sorry again for the delay. Hopefully I can get this done but this time I'm not giving any ETA because I genuinely don't know when my moon will give me a break to work on this with the right amount of willpower and attention that it deserves.
My two cents:

Ideally, I'd like to be able to use the category/difficulty scheme to find hacks similar to hacks I know that I already enjoy and are at a difficulty level I can handle. Right now the category selector is pretty much useless for that in Kaizo and Puzzle hack realms. Obviously "Kaizo Light" being "any kaizo hack anyone's ever beaten RTA" means there's no filtering internal to that category, so that's right out, and there is no puzzle category at all. So there's two points I'd like to make:

1. The "light" and "hard" category split for Kaizo hacks makes sense, but the names could probably use work, since there seems to be perpetual confusion among stream viewers about this point. (Renaming the categories to "Kaizo RTA" and "Kaizo TAS" would work.) I'd split the "light" category into 3-4 sub-categories/difficulties, with "easy" being the beginner kaizo hacks like QW2 and friends, "hard" being things like GPW2 and Storks, (and possibly a "medium" in between if there can be agreement on where to draw this line), and "extreme" for hacks which were made back in the "kaizo is meant for savestates" days but have technically been RTA'ed by a handful of people.


2. Puzzle hacks should have their own category. Notable well-known puzzle hacks such as Keytastrophe Rebirth Remix and the MLP series of hacks can be moved over by staff all at once upon creation of the category, lesser known ones can be moved by their own creators or upon request as people point out older mis-classified hacks over time. The "puzzle" category should be for hacks which are almost entirely puzzle-oriented; I think we pretty much all have a decent handle on what this means. A puzzle kaizo trap or a single puzzle level in an otherwise traditional/kaizo level wouldn't get a hack moved over. I'd also support an "RTA/TAS" split or similar difficulty scheme here, for similar rationale as Kaizo: just because I enjoyed Keytastrophe Rebirth Remix doesn't mean I have any desire to put up with the nonsense that is MLP2.
Originally posted by Atari2.0
Yes, I'm here again, I'm not sure if someone still cares but...
Things are going a bit slow here for a couple reasons.
Mainly because this quarantine has been hitting me really hard lately. There's stuff going on in my life that I choose not to disclose here but that has left me pretty demotivated to do stuff, both moderation, generale site work (such as this), and other non-site related stuff. Last 2/3 weeks have been pretty rough.
I'm really sorry again for the delay. Hopefully I can get this done but this time I'm not giving any ETA because I genuinely don't know when my moon will give me a break to work on this with the right amount of willpower and attention that it deserves.


Yeah I was actually wondering what the progress was a few days ago, but take all the time you need for personal things.

--------------------
NewPointless
Just want to post that I support the idea of 2 separate difficulty fields to represent the difficulty curve.
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Forum Index - Important - Announcements - Hacks Section Difficulty Rework Suggestions Thread

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