I received a PM from Zeupar this morning about Sonic Forces. In this topic, all players interested in seeing charts for Sonic Forces added to the site can show their support and discuss the game's competition rules if it were to be added to the site.
I never really intended to be the lead guy on this, but here I am.Now, to quote Zeupar's PM to me, he states that "To add Sonic Forces, we would need a sensible set of rules and at least two people willing to submit to all the charts."
I'd be more than willing to step up and be that first person, as I've done a reasonable amount of competition on all three of the main categories of competition in this game, those being Time Attack, Ring Attack, and Score Attack, so I'd have some stats to submit for all of these categories of competition, (especially RA) but this is where other interested players need to step up and show their support, otherwise this will go nowhere. With that out of the way, let's move onto the next part;Creating a "sensible set of rules"
Now I've thought about this before, and can toss up a general set of rules, but there are some things that need to be discussed for all the categories on this game before a set of rules can be agreed upon. General rules for the game should be pretty simple, the first major rule that should seem pretty fair is this; Use of Super Sonic in all Classic/Modern stages is banned.
For those unaware, Super Sonic in Sonic Forces is a free downloadable DLC that allows you to select Super Sonic before you enter a stage, and when you obtain 50 rings, you automatically transform into Super Sonic, giving you infinite boost and the ability to magnetize rings. It doesn't even record your time anyway, so it would have to be taken from the end of the run right before the results screen. Maybe we can have a Freestyle category where Super Sonic is allowed if anyone is interested in using Super Sonic.
It should be noted that if you have the Shadow DLC, you can play as Shadow in all of Modern Sonic's stages as well, (except boss fights) but since Shadow does not play any differently than Modern Sonic does, I don't see playing as Shadow as an issue for competition in any way. And speaking of the Episode Shadow DLC, this contains three additional levels aside from the main game, and it's possible in the future that more DLC levels could be added to the game, so it should be discussed whether or not to add charts for any DLCs. I would love to see charts for any future DLC stages, but it's understandable if the DLC stages get left out from the charts, since there's over 40 levels to compete on as it stands already.
Anyway, getting back on track, the next logical rule is this;For all charts, the game's difficulty setting must be set to Hard.
The difficulty menu lied to you. Normal mode is easy, and Hard more is normal. In normal mode, the rings are capped at 100, and you don't lose all of your rings upon getting hit, only 20. In hard mode, it works how you'd expect; one hit costs you all of your rings, and rings are capped at 999. I'm not sure if Normal mode alters the bosses in any way to make them easier, but I think the not losing all your rings part should be reason enough to include this rule. It's just common sense. So with that, now we get to the toss up stuff that needs to be discussed, the first one being The Score Multipliers
In Sonic Forces, you receive simple daily missions that, once completed, trigger a score multiplier of up to 3x depending on how many of them you complete in a row that lasts for a half hour of real time to boost your score. This has allowed me to hit over 10 million points on two different stages in the game. The question is though, how should this be handled? Should using score multipliers from daily missions be allowed, or banned? I personally think this should be fair game for the Score Attack category, as it can easily be obtained, and is readily available for 30 minutes every consecutive day you log in to Sonic Forces. The major drawback to this is that it takes five straight days
of logins to regain this 3x multiplier if you lose it, and it would limit competition to only those patient enough to keep this daily streak going, so it might be healthier for competition to ban this, or have players submit the score shown on the results screen BEFORE
the multiplier is applied, since it would level the playing field and keep things fair for all players looking to do Score Attack but don't have the patience to wait five days. The next thing that needs to be discussed is The SOS Missions
In Sonic Forces, you will sometimes see a blue, green or red SOS symbol on a random level, and you have one chance to complete it. Before we get into how this affects competition, let's talk about what each one does first, since each of these SOS missions features a different gimmick.
one spawns an animal capsule somewhere in the level that needs to be opened before you complete the level. If you complete the level without opening it, it will still count as a fail, and your stats won't be displayed.
one gives you a randomly generated Avatar character to play as to finish the stage. You fail the mission if you die, pretty straightforward.
one also gives you a randomly generated Avatar character to play as to finish the stage, but the major difference is that you can swap to your current selected Avatar character, effectively allowing you to play as two Avatar characters at once. You fail the mission if you die, also pretty straightforward.
So now that you're familiar with how these SOS missions work, let's get into how they affect competition. The only one that affects competition in a noticeable way is the green
one. Being able to play as two Avatar characters gives you the chance to do things that would otherwise be impossible, like collecting otherwise out of reach rings, or performing otherwise impossible tricks on bosses. See these examples below if you want to get an idea of what I mean. Stage 16 Capital City SOS Mission RA - 779 Rings
by yours truly compared to Stage 16 Capital City RA - 703 Rings
also by yours truly. Stage 27 VS Infinite SOS Speedrun in 1:45.79
by E-121 DSF compared to Stage 27 VS Infinite Speedrun in 1:49.97
Just by looking at the stats, you can see that there is a HUGE
advantage to having two Avatar characters at your disposal. The problem is how much of a MASSIVE PAIN
it is to set up due to the random nature of the SOS missions. You have to wait until you get the right
SOS mission on the right
level, and it has to be an Avatar that will work
with what you are trying to do, and if that's not enough, as discussed earlier, you only get ONE SHOT
at trying the level this way, so if you make a mistake, you have to set this up all over again, which could take hours.
With all that said, the question remains; should SOS missions be allowed or banned? I personally am leaning towards banning them, due to the insane amount of RNG that goes into these setups that would otherwise deter A LOT
of potential players and make competition less accessible, but some might not consider it fair to ban them from competition because of this, so that's why this needs to be discussed. I think allowing them would only stifle competition, but maybe you can change my mind. Finally, the last thing we need to discuss isThe Wispons
The Wispons are the key to competitive success in all Avatar missions, since there's some Wispons that have beneficial perks, like earning extra rings from defeating enemies, giving a boost of speed upon stomping, letting you stop on a dime regardless of speed, a short invincibility every 100 rings, and in my opinion the most broken perk of all, DOUBLE POINTS AFTER 100 RINGS,
the list goes on. These perks have benefits that affect all categories of competition, so it should be decided whether to allow them or not. I personally think these are similar to collecting all the Chaos and Super Emeralds in S3&K and Mania, in that if you want to compete, something as simple as collecting the right Wispon for the job would be child's play.
As for the Avatar itself, the species you play as should be geared towards whatever is most beneficial to whatever you're doing, so the Avatar species should be free game, since setting up separate charts for every species in the game would just be redundant.
And on that note, there should be four divisions for the charts, those being Modern Sonic, Classic Sonic, Avatar, and Tag Team, since these are the four types of levels in the game. You could lump the Tag Team stages with the Avatar stages though, so that would make things simpler. The only level that would be difficult to categorize is the final boss, since this boss fight features three of these four types of gameplay, those being Classic, Avatar, and Tag Team. You could lump it together with Classic Sonic, since he's the one you initially play as in Phase 1, but I'll leave that up to the one who makes the charts to decide that. Heck, the boss levels are clearly designated throughout the game, (Except Metal Sonic) so it wouldn't be a problem to make a separate category for the bosses. The last thing I want to discuss is version differences
One major difference I can think of right away deals with a glitch discovered by our very own sitewide champion, DarkspinesSonic.
In this video
he published back in mid November of 2017, he showcased one of two methods that can be used in stage 14 to walk on the first waterslide and infinitely kill respawning enemies to maximize both score and rings, which are 99,999,999 for score and 999 for rings respectively. The thing is, it's not clarified whether or not this is possible to do on the current version of the game, 1.01, and since some games require the latest version of the game to be used due to difficulty with downgrading to a previous version, it should be discussed whether or not stats should be done on the latest version of the game. If it can be done on the 1.01 version of the game, then the discussion should shift to whether or not to allow this.
There was also a time-stop bug found on stage 24, which is used to freeze the in-game timer throughout the entire level, so it should be discussed whether or not to allow that. This one is CONFIRMED
to only work on the 1.0 release of the game and was patched in the 1.01 update. Here's the video in case you want to see it for yourself.
There were other things adjusted and fixed in the 1.01 update, like certain boss fights, certain Wispon abilities, and the player character's reaction when taking damage, so this means that some levels of the game will play differently depending on what version of the game you are playing, making the discussion about this all the more critical. I personally think the 1.01 version should be the one played, and make it so the current version of the game is to be used for competition in the future. Okay, I'm about done with this mega post, and I've discussed about everything I can think of at this point. This took me all morning to write, and quite a bit of research, so if you think I missed something, let me know, and more importantly, tell me your thoughts for Forces competition down below. I'm excited to be the one to bring news of potential charts for Sonic Forces to TSC, I just hope I'm not the only one who feels this way. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read all of this, and I'll see you all on the charts!