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There are a few rules that I've objected and questioned about a while back as some of you guys may already know. I'd like to discuss them for real.
Rule: Times in the GX Max Speed Ladder must be set at 100% Max Speed settings ONLY.
I vaugely remember one player quit time attacking this game because of this rule implementation way back when. I know at the time some players were setting times with Hardbanger or a machine similar to it on Sonic Oval with 0% settings (I did the same to beat the staff ghost for the first time). Settings that low should never be allowed in max speed due to the massive speed benefits of snaking with many other machines. But the same doesn't happen at higher settings. 50% is still too low because Mad Wolf and perhaps a few other machines still gain significant speed. This number can always be debated, but 70% seems to be the point where the benefits of snaking with any machine becomes minimal at most compared to driving straight on lap 1. Whereas in boost laps there may not be any use for it at all except for lining yourself up after or before a turn or for times where you aren't boosting in places where it isn't good to MTS chain.
Some may think there's no point to using anything other than 100% settings. But certain original machines operate better at non 100% settings for non-snaking abuse play. There's Dark Schneider and Space Angler whose top speed are at their highest at non 100% settings, and improve its awful acceleration. Black Bull might be the most notable example. Lowering the settings slightly improves acceleration, which helps with his pick up speed when boosting, and increases the speed it gets from shift boosts. It also loses less speed when quick turning considerably since the drift accel stat is higher at lower settings. On any machine where their base drift accel stat (50% settings) is over 1, at 100% settings, its drift accel is 10% of the base value.The main drawback is lower top speed, which is possibly negligable considering the acceleration gains and how Black Bull wants to be MTS chaining anyways. The other drawback is deceleration is faster. How impactful that is is hard to say, but with MT exisiting it is most likely very minor.
The Thunderbolt -V2 and perhaps other A rated custom boosters could possibly see more use too, as they can achieve higher boosting speeds compared to Titan G4 at high speed courses much more quickly at slightly lower settings. And as for the non-top tier machines, machines such as Red Gazelle and other machines that lose drastic amounts of speed when quick turning will likely be be able to set better times.
We will never know these things for sure unless this rule changes. And I think it could encourage additional activity by allowing players to experiment with different settings and try out different machines/custom boosters. No other F-Zero category in any game only allows a single specific setting. And for the reasons stated above I think the GX should allow more settings for the max speed category (and perhaps the snaking category as well, but I cannot speak for the category since I don't play it).
Rule: 3. Quickturn alternations with custom machines with a body of E/D are banned, unless if it is naturally required by the track, either by a curve, or to align a certain position and angle. This rule has been done to prevent snaking with custom vehicles.
I'll be honest. I think this rule is silly and has no reason to exist anymore. While 100% snaking is faster with such custom machines, and perhaps slightly more so if settings down to 70% were allowed, there are very few circumstances where it is better to snake instead using MTS or MTS chains. But disregarding that, I don't see any issue with allowing players to snake as much as they want in this category, whether its due to a player's preference or even if it's faster at certain parts of the track.
It is certain that it will not change the MTS chain spam nature of many opening laps, which if you think about is similar to snaking input wise except there's more to it. Some players already have physical issues with MTS chaining and/or spaming side attacks for large dives. Max speed snaking is much tamer compared to 0% snaking because it is much slower. Even for me, who can't handle 0% snaking for very long, doing repeated snaking motions in max speed isn't much worse compared to chaining and SA spam.
But the biggest reason I dislike this rule is because it needlessly handicaps a subset of machines when it isn't necessary at all. Quick Star currently holds only 4 3 lap WRs when it used to hold over 10. The few advantages light customs have pales in comparison compared to heavy machines mainly due to shift boosting, side attacking and large jumps. Giving light machines the chance to snake will not significantly change the so called meta anyways.
I know that at the same time, changing such rules that have been in since nearly the beginning is perhaps a big enough reason to not mess with those rules. But the "to prevent snaking with custom vehicles" reasoning does not hold much water at all to me because MTS chaining and techniques utilizing side attacks are much more beneficial at settings closer to 100%. And I personally think restricting movement options for SOME machines instead of either all or none of them is just not a good rule to have under any circumstance. Some people dislike snaking, but there are some who also dislike MTS chaining and side attack spam. So why single snaking out for max speed play? This rule sounds like a preference that some players have, just like with how players don't side attack or don't MTS on the straights and ban D and E rated machines. Except that it would have very little impact on how players would drive if this rule was eliminated.
Some quick testing can be done to see how much benefit, if any at all, there is to max speed snaking compared to driving cleanly with no tech at all. Various settings can be tried as well. Perhaps based on those results views on the matter would change or perhaps be affirmed.
I can see how what I said can be used to argue that there is no issue with keeping the rule if it would have next to no impact at all with removing/amending it. I just simply don't see why this rule still exists unless it turns out most players just don't want to see snaking at all in the max speed category.
EDIT: Here is some info and data regarding the Drift Accel stat
The main stat that allows for snaking is the Drift Accel stat. It needs to be above 1.0 for snaking to be very effective.
There are machines with a drift accel stat of exactly 1. If a machine's drift accel is 1 or less, its drift accel will stay fixed at that value until 50%, then it steadily rises it reaches its peak when going below 50%.
For machines that have a base drift accel of over 1, starting at 51%, it gets reduced the higher the settings are until 100%, where the drift accel is 10% of the base (50% settings) drift accel. Mad Wolf for example, has a base drift accel of 1.9, the highest among original machines and custom boosters. It reaches its peak drift accel value of 2.3 at 23%. But at 100% it is 0.19, which makes it lose a lot of speed when snaking/quick turning
At 70% it has a drift accel of 1.216, where it will benefit from snaking in both lap 1 and likely on boost laps as well after a quick attempt.
At 75%, it's 1.045. Most likely for every other machine and custom booster, the value would be below 1 at this point. (Just tried with Red Gazelle. Its base drift accel is 1.8. At 75% it's 0.99)
At 80%, it's 0.874 for Mad Wolf.
I think if we were to select a setting, it would be a setting where the drift accel for every machine is 1.0 or less. Mad Wolf is the only machine that exceeds 1.0 at 75% and it only barely does so. But I think we need to work with multiples of 10 since it can be very easy to mess up what setting you set, while for 70%/80%/etc settings, there's an audible clicking noise that tells you you hit a multiple of 10 setting.
EDIT 2: Some videos showing snaking of some C and B rated customs and Quick Star at 100%
Silver Sword Custom machine - Ghost is non snake
Quick Star-G4 - Ghost is non snake
EDIT 3: Snaking videos at 70%. Not representative of the full potential of snaking, just to give some idea.
|All of my GX times with various machines: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12c92zTykQvGwPoCU6yGuOb7lwxFENUC9ELbHZcse1qE/|
I think it's fair to say that Max Speed ladder was created for a very specific purposeful reason and not just randomly; namely because people strongly did not want to do specifically snaking, spaceflying or HSSA when playing this game. The Max Speed ladder was and is by far the most popular ladder out of them all which proves the need was there and continue to be there, and that to me is a very valid reason to continue not allow snaking or these other techs in the Max Speed ladder.
I think for a lot of people there's at least intuitively clearly a difference between what superSANIC is doing before his SOSS fast-lap attempt and for example what AfterDawn is doing in his MCSO attempt, even if it's hard to exactly pintpoint what that difference is in words. The challenge as I see it is to find out exactly what that difference is and then hold on to it. Obviously that's not an easy task, but I don't necessarily think it's an impossible task. Perhaps though it's not possible to find a perfect definition to what the difference is, but I don't think that means we should just simply start allowing full-fledged snaking in the Max Speed ladder, because again that's just not the purpose of the Max Speed ladder.
There's also a possible consequence with allowing snaking in the Max Speed ladder: If one feel like it's arbitrary to not allow snaking in the Max Speed ladder based on people simply disliking the tech, then doesn't that mean that one should also agree that it's arbitrary to not allow spaceflying or HSSA? Spaceflying is possible with 100% and is basically just an extension of snaking, and HSSA is basically just taking Side Attacks to the next level by pressing the buttons even faster. Furthermore, if you're okay with reaching that conclusion, shouldn't one also be okay with using the best settings and the best machines to take advantage of those techs as much possible? As a consequence, doesn't this mean that ultimately the Max Speed ladder should transform into the Open Ladder on this viewpoint? Using this way of thinking, it seems to me that if the goal is to set as fast of a time as possible, one should only want to do spaceflying with the fastest machines and best settings when playing this game (and maybe even use a turbo controller) because limiting yourself for some reason or another would just be arbitrary and thus not valid.
I'm curious if you agree with this way of thinking or not. Something tells me you wouldn't be okay with reaching this conclusion, but to me it seems like that's the path it leads us to when looking at your arguments for why snaking should be allowed in the Max Speed ladder.
When I look at it this way, it seems to me that allowing snaking in the Max Speed ladder would make the existence of both the Max Speed and the Snaking ladder completely purposeless.
Spaceflying is personally fine by me because of the No Checkpoint Skipping rule that's already in place.
Yes, in the end, what superSANIC and I would like, the snaking ladder and the max speed ladder are going to have arbitrary rules. We think it makes much more sense for the max speed ladder to be slightly less restrictive. I think a category that allows snaking and perhaps spaceflying, allows settings down to 70% at most (or when the Max Speed color font changes at 72%) is worth being established and it is something I will heavily consider attempting if there are no changes made to the max speed rules. Considering the likely fact that this category's purpose was to not allow snaking, it seems that's the only avenue left to allow snaking with max speed settings unless several notable staff/players express otherwise.
And even if snaking is allowed, I still think a new category worth making to allow 70%-100% settings.
I've read your post many times but I'm not making the jump that you have with how allowing snaking would make both of those ladders lose their purpose when there will always be a setting restriction rule for both ladders.
As for Quick Star snaking in Cylinder Wave, I did some crude testing. While it was predictably faster than non-snaking in lap 1, it's unclear to me for boost laps due to my lack of snaking skill.
And as for lower settings being faster with Fat Shark, I'm fairly confident it would be faster to use lower settings in Sonic Oval after trying it out. Further reasoning to not mess with that rule in this category.
|All of my GX times with various machines: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12c92zTykQvGwPoCU6yGuOb7lwxFENUC9ELbHZcse1qE/|
Btw, I just want to say I think you guys rock. It's nice that there's an F-Zero community out there, even if it's small. You have certainly allowed me to understand the game mechanics better and improve my game. As a gamer, one can only show to respect to the level of skill and endurance on display here.
I didn't read deep into the particulars of the last few posts, but suffice to say that with GX it's not easy to draw the line of what's allowed and what's not, due to some of the deeply embedded mechanics.
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