Author Topic: Level 4 bottom hammer strategies  (Read 5690 times)

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Offline up2ng

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Re: Level 4 bottom hammer strategies
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2013, 10:52:49 PM »
Quote from: marky_d
Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the difficulty switches 33 seconds into the screen, so usually by the time you use the bottom hammer the switch will have already occured.

I think this is correct.  It's important to note that this is 33 "real time" seconds.

Quote from: LMDave
The difficulty switches when timer gets to 6000.

This is much less accurate.  The reason is that the switch is based on "real time" seconds.  The rate at which the Timer ticks down on a Barrel screen can be highly variable based on how many wild barrels are released and especially based on how many objects are smashed, which pauses gameplay (including the Timer), but does NOT pause real time.  Because of this, the switch can actually occur within a pretty wide range of Timer values (say, between 5600 and 6500 perhaps) although it's still good enough to give you an idea that you should be looking out for the switch.  Remember, the switch affects all objects on the screen simultaneously, including objects that are already "in play".  So, a wild barrel which was behaving like a Level 4 wild barrel during it's first 3 bounces or so off of the upper girders can suddenly convert itself to a Level 5 wild barrel on the last bounce of of the girder directly over your head and instead of bouncing wildly out of the way, it can just drop straight onto your head instead.  Watch out for this transition.

Quote from: JeffW
L3 and L4 wild barrels also behave identically and use Mario's position to determine the direction in which to bounce. The speed is influenced by randomness.

Interesting analysis Jeff regarding how Level 3 wild barrels are working.  However, I wonder if you can take another look through that portion of the code when you get a chance.  You are using the term "speed" in your description of what is variable through randomness.  My suspicion is that this is not accurate.

I believe that what is variable through randomness is more closely related to "angle".  If I were to guess, I would bet that the vertical speed of a wild barrel is fixed.  Meaning, there is probably some code that is reused often that handles the physics of gravity -- I'm betting that Vo is always the same (initial vertical velocity after a bounce -- y-direction) and the acceleration due to gravity is applied to the object in a close approximation of what would be expected by gravity (notice that bombs, which do not bounce and therefore do not reset their Vo, accelerate noticably so that their vertical velocity near the bottom of the screen is much faster than near the top).  What I'm not clear about is whether the actual vertical distance between bounces is variable (due to the ramping of the girders) -- it appears that they are -- and so it might be true that not all wild barrels reach the bottom of the screen in the same amount of time.

Anyways, if the "angle" of a bounce becomes sharper, and the vertical distance is always traversed in the same amount of time regardless of whether it's a shallow path or a sharp path, the result is that a sharper bounce will yield a faster object.  I actually believe that this was an oversight by the programmers, but they left it in after testing because it was just another way to kill the player faster in a manner that is only slightly unfair.
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Offline marinomitch13

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Re: Level 4 bottom hammer strategies
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2013, 08:56:45 AM »
After about 2 hours of running as many tests as I could think of using the Wild Barrel Hack and the normal DK rom, I am ready to say I agree 100% with Jeff's conclusions. Level 1 and 2 wild barrels are the exact same, and only have 1/2 the potential mobility of level 3 and 4 wild barrels. Likewise, levels 3 and 4 wild barrels are the exact same as well.

I realized, after running the tests, that the supposed 'difference' I thought I had seen between level 3 and 4 wild barrels was simply me having experienced a significant amount of very 'sharp-to-the-right' wild barrels (due to the innate random element in the wild barrels' angle producing that specific sharp angle) and me thinking that, therefore, level 4 wild barrels had even greater mobility than the ones on level 3. However, even after having almost been fooled by this very same thing in my tests (I had several very sharp level 4 wild barrels right away during my tests), I eventually realized my error. I did a handful of tests by parking Jumpman in certain unsafe and safe locations on both the normal rom and the hacked rom and all the results came up consistent with what Jeff stated. There were no statistical differences I noticed that would merit saying level 2 or level 4 wild barrels are their own 'type'. I'm certain now there are only 3 types of wild barrels: levels 1 and 2, levels 3 and 4, and levels 5+.

Thanks for setting me straight on this issue everyone! :) Now to go re-edit a certain portion of the DK manual... ;)

« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 08:58:30 AM by marinomitch13 »
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Offline Jeffw

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Re: Level 4 bottom hammer strategies
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2013, 11:25:53 AM »
Interesting analysis Jeff regarding how Level 3 wild barrels are working.  However, I wonder if you can take another look through that portion of the code when you get a chance.  You are using the term "speed" in your description of what is variable through randomness.  My suspicion is that this is not accurate.

When I refer to "speed" I am referring to horizontal speed, and when I say direction I'm referring to horizontal direction (either left or right). I agree that vertical speed is likely determined by fixed gravity alone and is always deterministic. The code actually has no angle calculations for wild barrels, it just adjusts the horizontal speed of wild barrels. When it sets the horizontal speed to greater values it will result in a steeper angle, as well as a faster overall barrel speed.
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Offline marinomitch13

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Re: Level 4 bottom hammer strategies
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2013, 04:18:00 AM »
Maybe he has just started doing this more frequently or maybe he has been doing this for quite a while and I just now noticed it, but I noticed the other night how Dean grabs the bottom hammer. Instead of kinda dancing around and moving between the left and right sides of the bottom hammer as the fireball gets closer to the ladder below it (as people often do, when they are trying to prepare for when the fireball will climb), Dean simply positions himself on the left side of the hammer and waits (unless the fireball is not near the ladder, in that case, he is busy grouping barrels and jumping them as need be -which often means he is further away from the hammer). Once the fireball starts to climb the ladder, he scoots over just a bit, so that Jumpman is kinda half-way under the hammer, and then jumps to grab it. Because of how the hammer hitbox works, he is able to grab the hammer without being perfectly below it. This gives him the necessary room to be able to land in time to smash the fireball.

Again, I don't know if it is just me noticing this technique for the first time, but it seems so simply and efficient that I can't believe I never thought of it. Here I was, doing all this silly running around under the hammer and trying to find the best position to be in in order to grab the hammer when the fireball climbs but still be able to jump barrels. Silly me!  :P  Thanks Dean!
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