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Thread: Suggestion: KeeperFX 'Competitive' mode

  
  1. #1

    Default Suggestion: KeeperFX 'Competitive' release/mode

    Before I begin, let me start off by saying that this will unlock a lot of KeeperFX potential, and imo, this feature is really needed.

    What would it be? Simple. A KFX release/mode that will never be updated, never be changed. It doesn't have to 100% mimic the OG DK, as long as it stays constant, it's fine.
    Updates are great, sure, and it keeps the devs busy, but they're not good when it comes to competitive play (speed running mostly, you want to keep the versions between the players 100% identical).
    This is for obvious reasons, like I could do a full game any% run today, and then tomorrow some update comes along, such as selling/building entire rooms with 1 click, queueing up long lines of rock digging for imps with 1 click, or what have you, to basically make beating my run much easier for whoever tries it in the future.

    This is actually the one thing that's been keeping me away from doing a full game any% WITHOUT transfer creature run (which has never been done before, by the way, and therefore could be very interesting).

    Now, before anyone mentions this, there is a big difference in officially implementing this feature via a command line parameter, or some sort of box you can tick in the launcher, or even an entire different KeeperFX release (called KeeperFX Comp or something), vs downloading some sketchy .cfg files from god knows where. Even editing existing .cfg files is too 'informal'. Only discord regulars would even consider downloading stuff like this, the general population would never go for it.

    This is why it has to be implemented IN the game somehow, or like I said, as an entirely different KFX release.

    Another project which I've been meaning to do, but am hesitant with, is creating my own campaign, which will have some extreme levels. A slight variation in an update could potentially break my level, making it impossible to beat (like removing wall clipping or diagonal running or whatever for example). Or it could make that extreme level quite a bit easier, therefore undermining the accomplishment of beating it and my efforts of fine tuning the gameplay to suit a particular version of the game for a particular level of the game.

    So this wouldn't just benefit speed running.

    And one more thing, while we can agree that horny was 'broken in OG', horny might be too op in KFX, at least for the speed run version (if it were to ever be made), as he can slay the samurais in level 15 in just 4-5 seconds without pretty much ever missing, it's barely even a fight. In the OG speed run of level 15, horny missed plenty of his shots on the samurais which kinda added a level of unpredictability/excitement to it.

    What are your thoughts?
    Last edited by 12114_v2; April 15th, 2022 at 03:30.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Suggestion: KeeperFX 'Competitive' release/mode

    Well, I can just be clear in that I will never implement a mode that stays 100% the same for all time. If KeeperFX is ever done, that would be the version that never changes. It would add a lot of extra work (to build AND maintain features) in making sure there's an off button for everything. If people want a version that never changes, play a specific old version and that version will always be the same.

    As for the Reaper, I guess it's a matter of preference in how good you want them to be, and if you like em clumsy, that's a valid opinion. As for balance, right now in KeeperFX a Horned Reaper is about as strong as a Bile, Mistress and Troll combined. With the horned reaper having the benefit of taking less space, but the other 3 having the advantage of being much easier to use and much cheaper and faster to train. Now in the original game 3 mid level beetles would kill a lvl10 horned reaper, so I think the balance is better now. For normal players that is, for a speedrun there is no contest and horny would be the best unit almost always. So if you release a special challenge version of keeperfx, stuff like this can be balanced however you want.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Suggestion: KeeperFX 'Competitive' release/mode

    Quote Originally Posted by YourMaster View Post
    Well, I can just be clear in that I will never implement a mode that stays 100% the same for all time. If KeeperFX is ever done, that would be the version that never changes. It would add a lot of extra work (to build AND maintain features) in making sure there's an off button for everything. If people want a version that never changes, play a specific old version and that version will always be the same.

    As for the Reaper, I guess it's a matter of preference in how good you want them to be, and if you like em clumsy, that's a valid opinion. As for balance, right now in KeeperFX a Horned Reaper is about as strong as a Bile, Mistress and Troll combined. With the horned reaper having the benefit of taking less space, but the other 3 having the advantage of being much easier to use and much cheaper and faster to train. Now in the original game 3 mid level beetles would kill a lvl10 horned reaper, so I think the balance is better now. For normal players that is, for a speedrun there is no contest and horny would be the best unit almost always. So if you release a special challenge version of keeperfx, stuff like this can be balanced however you want.
    Actually, just some sort of official one time KFX release that's supported by you would be enough (and that would be never changed in terms of gameplay). So like, you could rename Keeperfx 0.46 (which is a good stable version IMO, used to play it in 2017, or it could even be 0.48 if it's more stable) to KeeperFX speedrun (or SR), maybe do some creature re-balancing if you wish, keep it hosted here somewhere and it would require VERY little effort on your part as well as keep everyone happy. As long as you officially support it it would work, even SDA could adopt it. The only updates it would need is if like, we're on windows 12 or something like that and the Comp KFX version stops working (or if you need to add a new campaign). Anyway, we could further discuss what changes should be made to that version and how it could be tweaked, that's more of a side-issue rather than the main one.
    Last edited by 12114_v2; April 15th, 2022 at 03:20.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Suggestion: KeeperFX 'Competitive' release/mode

    Somebody in discord raised a specious point regarding "Don't you want to run the latest build with all the new upcoming features like 1 click large room building in order to improve the times??"
    Answer is no, nor is it desirable.
    First, to make an analogy, this would be akin to releasing auto-bhop in quake 1, where power bhops would be as simple as only pushing space down (rather than releasing it and timing it for each bhop) and strafing (which is far easier to manage than timing all the keys together).
    Would this enable faster times? Absolutely. Is this a good change to q1 speed running? Absolutely not. It takes less skill, therefore it is less impressive, therefore it's not as fun to watch for the audience.
    Building tiles 1:1 click to tile ratio fast and accurately actually takes a little bit of skill. A good example is level 8 when you need to build a bridge in 2 different places, and where I failed runs simply because I couldn't build the bridge fast enough. Adding 1 click large room building or 1 large line of tiles building would dumb speed running down.

    To make a second analogy, this is similar to 'frame skip' in KeeperFX (as well as OG), a concept which enables to beat map 1 in 5 seconds. Oh wow! Impressive isn't it? On paper that is. 5 seconds for map 1? The runner must have been insanely skilled and pulled off some incredible gameplay to achieve that!
    Nope, not even close. He used frame skip, which is toxic to speed running. Times themselves in absolute terms mean absolutely nothing unless they have skill and effort behind it. Ironically, the time of 2.59 on speedrun.com for level 1 is far more impressive than a time of 5 seconds, even though it's 'slower'.
    What we should be promoting in DK speed running is time relative to skill (which is what I explained above) as well as another concept, time variance magnitude (or room for improvement to keep it simple, RFI).
    RFI (room for improvement) is another important aspect of speed running (which also improves aesthetics for the audience), and it is why I'm proposing to nerf melee across the board for the KFXSR version (were it to be even released).

    So again, back to my level 15 example, the 2 samurai fights. In the latest KFX version (as well as the full game speed run of 2 hours and 20 min by BNDR), the two samurai fights take/took 4 and 5 seconds, for a total of 9 seconds. Let's assume in general they take just about that, 4 or 5 seconds.
    The amount of min maxing and improving the run (and therefore the RFI) is very little in this case because of so few combinations. We are working with only 4,4 5,5 4,5 and 5,4 (which is essentially the same as the 3rd combo).
    So only 4 possible combinations and it wouldn't take a long time to perfect the samurai fights and therefore make speed running level 15 kinda dull (sure there's other aspects to level 15 that can be improved, but we're moving in the wrong direction), both for the audience and for the runners themselves.
    With a bit of a melee nerf, on a scale of perfect to very sloppy, the fights could take anywhere (for example) from 10 seconds for a perfect fight, and 17ish seconds for 'very sloppy'. The combination possibilities would be too long to list here. It would have so much re-running potential and it would take years to perfect just the 2 samurai fights in level 15 (for a full game run that is, because of such a large time variance magnitude). It's something we should be striving for in dk speed running (imo), since the larger the min-maxing possiblity, the more entertaining it is to watch and speed run. Ideally whether the fight takes 10 or 17 seconds should be a combo of skill and some RNG, but I'm not so sure if it could be skill based to a large degree in this specific instance, so even mostly RNG could be ok I think. Although I'm not sure how people feel about RNG, it's still more exciting than the 4,5 combo I'm pretty sure. Increasing RFI is something to consider.

    So to the argument above, if we nerf melee by introducing some 'melee misses' for KFXSR version (optional and subjective, sure), we're already slower than pretty much any KFX version released out there, never mind missing out on your upcoming 1 click large room building feature (and lord knows what else is coming), and it's not a bad thing.
    And of course, to ensure fair competition, the KFXSR version shouldn't ever have gameplay updates.
    Last edited by 12114_v2; April 15th, 2022 at 03:33.

  5. #5
    Demon Spawn Necror's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestion: KeeperFX 'Competitive' release/mode

    here's a counter suggestion,
    get rid of the optional config rule to make kFx into some kFx dk1 hybrid
    this would already remove some of the variance between builds

    and let people pick whatever unmodified stable version they want (maybe some cutoff so they wouldn't play v0.1 to be identical to og, maybe check what version the oldest fx run is from and pick that version as a minimum)
    this would favor older versions which might dynamically lead to a version most runners use,
    without it being centrally enforced as the speedrunner edition


    and some other things
    also could use packets to verify runs are done in an unmodified version
    and fill in the actual version of Fx instead of 'KFX (any version)'

    and for the frameskip thing I wouldn't allow it in most categories but a separate frameskip category next to the "any%" "any%" -no possession" etc could do if people want it in runs (no idea if enough people want it but it's an option)

    and I'd also treat Fx and Dk1 as seperate games if the site allows, this would also invalidate any comparisons you make between fx and dk1 imo
    Last edited by Necror; March 20th, 2022 at 14:29.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Suggestion: KeeperFX 'Competitive' release/mode

    Comparing something with horny is never the way to go, since he was completely broken. But indeed, in the original game, melee units suffered worse from the strength bug and the health bug and the dexterity bugs. With those fixed melee units became stronger, to compensate ranged units did get a buff. They got a 'damage growth on xp', which before only happened on melee. This made ranged units too strong, so the growth was scaled back to what seemed to restore the balance between ranged and melee units. This could of course be tweaked if it is found to still be off. By say, arrange a battle versus 10 trolls (lvl 1~10) and 10 Warlocks (from all levels) and see how the battle plays out and how quickly, compared between DK1 and KeeperFX. Personally I do not know the outcome for such a situation.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Suggestion: KeeperFX 'Competitive' release/mode

    Making a quick reply here. Marketability and objectivity wouldn't be solved with Necror's suggestion, it's only a mildly better solution where people just state their version.
    Furthermore I no longer argue for the melee nerf just because yeah, YourMaster had a valid point that it is indeed subjective, and also it's a different subject and I don't want the main issue (not having marketability/objectivity) to get derailed (Map makers can adjust creature balance themselves anyway as far as I'm aware if need be, just like in Ancient Keeper FX campaign).

    So anyway, just for fun, I still made a creature balance test between OG and FX:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqDcOa7q_4Q

    My argument about battles being shorter in KFX panned out to definitely be correct, as well as the argument about melee creatures (almost?) never missing. It seems that whatever attribute makes melee characters hit their target (dex or skill or whatever) is just capped at 99999 (perhaps not literally but it's basically the effect of it) for all creatures. Could be cool to see other opinions on whether they prefer shorter/longer battles (but not required for this thread as it's off-topic).

    The ranged vs melee balance turned out to be not so different, wizard definitely deals more damage in KFX, in fact, all creatures just kill faster in KFX, with the exception of the mistress?!

    Mistress, basically the most powerful ranged character, is the only one who kind of remained the same, she even perhaps deals less damage to the barb as seen in the video in KFX (or maybe it's within the margin of error, all fights were 1 try). Not quite sure what the explanation behind it is. Perhaps leech beam's dmg as well as lightning's has not been buffed? But meteor, hailstorm and the Missile that the wizard uses has? I don't know.
    Last edited by 12114_v2; April 16th, 2022 at 08:18.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Suggestion: KeeperFX 'Competitive' release/mode

    Then yes, we're back to one of the points I made on the discord: Best way forward would be to work on the creature stats in FX to get similar hitrates as in the original game. Matching it would not be possible (it suffered from an overflow problem, we don't want to get that back in FX), but in the same ballpark should be manageable I hope.

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