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Best Ring system

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Cap, Aug 20, 2009.

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  1. Cap

    Cap

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    Originally it was a simple case of, Sonic gets hit, sonic loses all his rings, and 20 rings go flying that you have to re-collect

    But most lately, Sega and friends have mixed up the formula. The question is, do these really help the experience, and which ring system works the best


    Original - Once hit, you lose all your rings, and you can re-collect up to 20 of them again

    Rush - Once hit, all your rings are lost, but your able to re-collect the same number of rings that you lost

    20 ring lost (SATSR)- Once hit, you lose just 20 rings, but you can't recollect those rings

    Unleashed - Once hit, keep losing half your total ring count until it reaches 20. Unable to re-collect rings

    Other - can you think of a better system than Sega
     
  2. trakker

    trakker

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    Original worked fine all the way up to around the Sonic Heroes period, they just can't stop tinkering with all the classic tryed and true formulars
     
  3. Flare

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    In 3D I felt Shadow the Hedgehog made most sense while in 2D the original is better because the problem I have is with the 3D games its hard to recollect your rings let alone be able to regain most of what you lost.
     
  4. Knuckles' Chaotix's, wher if you're dumb enough to keep getting hit you just lose more and more rings permanently each time. Made it somewhat more challenging.
     
  5. Herm the Germ

    Herm the Germ

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    I think in 3D, I, too, liked the way Shadow the Hedgehog dealed with it best. Maybe they could have it vary so that certain enemies take off more rings than others... dunno.

    In 2D, I GUESS the classic way works best, although it makes getting to special stages in Sonic 1, 2 and CD a real bitch.
     
  6. FireStar

    FireStar

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    Somewhat liked Sonic triple trouble's(or was it sonic Blast?) ring system, where you lost only a certain amount of rings and they were re-collectable.(To a point) Though that was mainly done due to the GG's limits. But I'd love to see it in a new 2-d sonic game, where there isn't really a sprite limit.
     
  7. Kurosan

    Kurosan

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    I'd have to go with the original system; lose all rings, can recollect up to a relatively small amount. Here's my reasoning: Let's face it, Sonic has it easy (as far as health goes) compared to several other platformer-oriented characters. Let's use Mario as an example.

    In the 2D games, Mario starts as his short, basic form. That is considered his vulnerable, "one hit to die" form. Among the multitude of items he can grab, most of the power-ups will transform him in some way, giving him additional chances. Based on the western SMB3, you first need to collect a Super Mushroom in order to then upgrade to the Fire Flower; the game rewards you for surviving without getting hit long enough to get a more powerful upgrade, which you will lose if you get hit, but you'll still be the big (Super) form. The better you perform, the stronger you become.

    In the 3D games, Mario has health points, which are self-explanatory. The number of health points varies, but should he lose them all, he loses a life. The max health to danger ratio is usually well balanced; for instance, you have more life in Super Mario 64 than you do in Super Mario Galaxy, but there's also typically more chances to get hurt. Mario can regain his health points by different means, such as coins, but they are somewhat scarce.

    Now, let's take a look at Sonic. Typically, his levels are a little more dangerous than Mario's; Badniks vary a lot, but the amount of traps set around stages is usually pretty high. Sonic typically has no way of gaining extra health, instead losing a life after any damage is received; he is always vulnerable, just like Mario's smaller form. To make up for that, collecting and carrying rings (in addition to bubble shields in most games) will afford him a chance to recover from an attack, reverting to his vulnerable self. However, unlike Mario's various means of recovering life or power-ups, rings are usually very abundant.

    So why would I prefer the original ring system over the others? Because losing only some of your rings is pretty insignificant, merely a nuisance but no real danger due to the abundance of rings and the fact that you kept some of those that you already had; after all, it makes no difference whether you carry 1 or 999 rings, as far as health is concerned. Add the ability to recollect some (or all) of your lost rings to that, and you've got a pretty broken and overly easy system.

    If instead you use the original system, then here's how I see things: You can gather as many rings as you want, and as per typical, you gain extra lives and a better score for getting and keeping as many as you can; it rewards you when you play well. Should you get hit, you lose it all, but the game at least makes up for it by allowing you to pick some of them back up which was very useful because you typically needed a certain amount of rings to enter Special or Bonus stages, and you can last longer against bosses, assuming you're willing to take some of your time to run to your scattered rings quickly while avoiding attacks. If you get stuck without rings at any point, the danger also exponentially increases from "Whatever, I have rings to cover my ass" to "OH FUCK I'm OUT OF RINGS", adding pressure onto the player. Those are some things I think have been missing in more recent games.



    TL;DR: I think the classic system is both more rewarding, and depending on how you want to play, safer or more challenging.

    EDIT: Corrected the amount of recoverable rings for accuracy; thanks to OL for pointing out my mistake. I'm pretty sure that 20 was the amount recoverable in SA1 and 2 though, but anything between 20 and 32 would be great.
     
  8. Overlord

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    I thought in S1-3K Sonic lost up to 32 rings when hit? 16 for the outer circle, 16 for the inner.
     
  9. Jayextee

    Jayextee

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    The lo-spec version of Unleashed has collectable dropped rings.
     
  10. RedStripedShoes

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    I like complexity, as long as it doesn't affect the actual gameplay. In this case, no matter how complex you make the ring loss system, the same rules apply to the player: Avoid getting hit; if you can't, pick up whatever rings you dropped.

    So, here's my idea:

    Sonic has a maximum number of rings he can carry (say 100).

    A Ring Gauge is used to represent how many rings Sonic has. It fills when he collects rings, and drains when he loses them. Because it's displaying the amount of rings he currently has. Obviously.

    But the gauge fills with two colors: Gold and Bronze. This is because Sonic can collect both Gold and Bronze rings.

    Bronze Rings are not found lying around in the level; they are powered-down Gold Rings. When Sonic is hit, some of his Gold Rings scatter, and those scattered rings turn bronze.

    Both types of Rings keep Sonic immune from damage. The difference between Gold Rings and Bronze Rings is that when Bronze Rings are lost, they disappear. Which means a single Gold Ring is good for 2 hits before it disappears (Gold --> Bronze --> X)

    If the Ring Gauge is full, but Sonic still has bronze rings, then collecting more gold rings will replace the bronze rings.

    The amount of damage Sonic takes is first subtracted from his Bronze Rings, then from his Gold Rings. Example: if Sonic has 93 Rings, 56 Gold and 37 Bronze, and a Badnik attacks Sonic for 60 damage, Sonic will lose all of his Bronze Rings (60 > 37), and 23 of his Gold Rings will scatter and turn Bronze (60 - 37 = 23). If Sonic collects all of the Rings he lost, he will have 56 Rings (33 Gold and 23 Bronze). If the same Badnik hits him again for 60 damage, he'll lose all of his Bronze Rings, and all of his remaining Gold Rings will scatter (60 > 56 > 33). Sonic collects them all again and now has 33 Bronze Rings. Getting hit by this Badnik again means all of his rings disappear (60 > 33). Now he has no rings at all, and as in every Sonic game, when you have no rings and get hit, you lose a life.

    THE TL;DR VERSION:
    Sonic collects Gold Rings.
    Gold Rings turn Bronze with damage.
    Bronze Rings are destroyed with damage.
    Sonic can have both Gold Rings and Bronze Rings.
    All Bronze Rings must be destroyed before Gold Rings are dropped.
    Having a Ring Gauge just looks better instead of having two separate numbers.

    THE ADHD VERSION:
    Don't drop your rings too much or they'll go away forever.
     
  11. The Bronze Ring idea is pretty complex, but I like it for limiting the number of times you can be hit. Probably would work best as an option that awarded a score multiplier or something for going through the levels with that handicap.
     
  12. Polygon Jim

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    SA1's system worked perfect, they need to return to it.
     
  13. muteKi

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    Cut this mainly because it was long. I see your point.

    In some cases -- at least, normal levels, anyway, in the original games -- losing one's rings is a lot harder on the player if they intend to get into the special stages. In Sonic 1 it's fairly easy to get hurt; I at least consider the game more challenging than its sequels. Considering with this that basically one has to collect at least 50 rings between the start and end of the level, and once there are fewer than I guess 30 rings in the level getting hurt will prevent you from reaching a special stage. Given the few chances there are to access the special stage it's a decent challenge, particularly in Marble Zone. Since I equate the bad ending in that game with basically getting a game over/failing as I've mentioned before, it's a significant matter. As a result I don't think I'd find Sonic 1 suddenly becoming piss easy if I didn't lose ALL my rings in one go.

    (The special stage system in Heroes by the way -- that is, the system by which one would reach a stage -- was easily the hardest of them all as it required the player find a key and at least for the last third or so of a level NOT GET HURT OR DIE AT ALL before finishing, as the key could not be re-grabbed. Really freaking difficult by the later levels, at least if you played as Team Sonic or Team Dark, who had their work cut out for them in not getting hit -- though the red emerald stage (the last one) is easy as piss as Team Dark probably for that very reason.)

    Similar to the bronze ring system, I'd say that any rings that the player grabs after being hit ought to not be re-collectible after, say, 2-3 drops, at least until the player has grabbed 25 or so "fresh rings". This way they can't re-grab the same ring to stay alive forever. Then again games like Mario Galaxy usually have a 1-up conspicuously placed near, say, a boss (like on the stairs right before Bowser) which allow you to something similar, though you start from square one against the boss, rather than being able to re-grab the ring, stay alive, and continue to knock it down to size.
    The idea is basically this:
    Let's say I have 50 rings. I get hit and lose them all but, say, 25 fall to be re-collected. I grab all 25.
    If I grab 5 rings then I'll have 30. I'll only be able to re-grab 25 rings again, but 5 of these rings will be basically "fresh" and have a couple more losses to go (in the previously mentioned system I'd lose 20 bronze rings and 5 gold rings). If I had 50 or more rings then the rings I'd lose would have an otherwise full life span (all 25 would be gold).
    If I get hit a couple times more, the 20 rings that were basically "stale" would bounce into the background or foreground, where Sonic can't reach them. He'd only be able to regain what were the 5 fresher rings. Getting hit again would cause the same to happen to them -- I would be entirely without rings.

    A system like this already has an analogy to a situation in the Genesis games. Though the rings bounce up a bit after you get hit -- and if you only have one it goes quite high -- only occasionally will it bounce along the ground, whereas at other times it will fall off the stage if you are not fast enough to grab it. This doesn't seem like a large enough departure from that system to be a huge sin against how Sonic plays, nor would it complicate the game too much, IMO: it's a bit cumbersome to explain but probably easier on the player as a whole and not necessitating more space on the screen for a bronze ring HUD. (Of course, it could be more than 25 as the limit, just saying.)

    EDIT: More I can add. Ring placement is also equally important to this matter. If I don't place rings near a boss, then being able to re-grab rings or take multiple hits becomes a godsend. It's hard to get rings before Mystic Cave's boss, for example.
     
  14. OKei

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    Wait. Something that makes sense in ShTH? :psyduck:


    Also, Original. I find it more challenging to lose all your rings and being able to recover a maximum of 20.
     
  15. Mercury

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    Shouldn't this be a Poll? Anyway, I'd go for the classic Mega Drive method.

    I think of it like this. In a game like Ristar or Mario where you accumulate health, your chances of survival in the present are dependent on what has happened in the past. In Sonic, he has pretty much the same chances with one ring or many, so that you are always forced to live in the present - it is your skill in the now that dictates how many times Sonic can be hit, not how carefully you played before, stocking things up. This may in some way add to the speed and immediacy. I've also always found it funny how Yoshi's Island, the first Mario game to come after Sonic, uses a very similar health system. As long as you grab Baby Mario back, you survive, but the more stars you collect, the easier it will be to grab him back. This is pretty darn similar to Sonic, where the more rings you have, the easier it will be to get one back, but you only need one to survive.

    I'm actually using a modified system for my game, though, but this is mainly to replace the need for Lives and Game Over, and really doesn't affect the basics.
     
  16. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    ^this one

    I had always assumed the reason why there was a set number of re-collectable rings in the MegaDrive games was due to the system's limitations, I.e. if there were 24809423 rings on screen everything would freeze. Now that time has passed, I can't see why this would be an issue.


    all the "only lose x number of rings but you've still got y remaining" stuff is only appropriate for Game Gear/Master System/whatever hardware (I.e. hardware that couldn't even handle a FEW extra re-collectable rings on screen).
     
  17. STHX

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    May I add this also fits Sonic's attitude (living the present, always moving onward) better?


    For me, the classic style works the best (get hit, lose all rings, but you need at least 50 rings to enter a special stage, so you still have to try to not get hit). Other methods doesn't feel so rewarding (consider Unleashed: you don't get additional 1-ups after 100 rings, even if some stages have more than 800 rings), or are too easy (ShTH: you lose only 10 rings, and you can recollect them, thus they don't feel crucial for survival). Sonic Adventure is just the classic style in 3D (minus the special stages, so rings are used only for survival and 1-ups), Adventure 2 instead favors collecting Rings because you can then spend them in the Chao Garden (not really useful for the main game though). SatSR doesn't even had the need of lives, so Rings aren't really useful (they still protect you from damage, but you still have infinite lives). It also doesn't feel fair if you can recollect every ring you lost (you got hit, you have to be punished. Bit rough, but this is a videogame after all).

    So yeah, classic for me.
     
  18. Clutch

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    This, for the same reasoning.

    Also, I'm getting a bit sick of the tease in games where you can't actually pick up the rings you're shown dropping. It's one of the reasons I thought Unleashed showed signs of the play-style going too far off track.
     
  19. Kurosan

    Kurosan

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    My bad; corrected it in my original post.
     
  20. PC2

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    Eh, it depends on the game. The original and Rush system works best for the classic and Adventure games, and the other systems worked best with their corresponding titles. I'm not really sure there is any one universally perfect system.
     
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