I apologize in advance - I don't know how to make this shorter without also making the argument less persuasive!
At this point, I'm definitely not trying to change any rules or minds, but hear me out and at least consider this point of view.
Procedural/technical arguments aside, and we can talk about those separately if we wanna, and I can see myself instantly losing this argument on other levels, I do nonetheless have a bone to pick with the "psychological advantage" argument against a "4 lives on 6+1 settings" scheme.
This argument is valid only if you take for granted as true the premise that the player shouldn't be allowed to exercise an option that gives him a psychological leg up on himself and/or others who play.
First of all, if the option is universally available, then anyone can take it, and there's no issue. Players can't take it for scores they set in the past, obviously, but past attempts suffer from disadvantages of many sorts (which I'll get to later, but in a nutshell, when it comes to competing on DK, being in the future is ALWAYS an advantage).
Regardless, 4 men on 6+1 still offers no material
advantage, and still conforms to the same underlying standard that's been there all along (ie, "get as many points as you can, with 4 lives, on the TKG-4 ROMset").
As far as I know, "it changes the psychology" has never been a basis for or against the establishment or elimination of a rule in classic gaming.
My motive: lately I've been considering experimenting with full games on 6+1. Lord knows I'm looking for something to make playing this game more fun for me, since at this point I only touch it every three to six months, for a few hours, before quickly fleeing from the relentless frustration and drudgery of it.
The hope that 6+1 might be psychologically-beneficial is exactly the reason why I want to try it.
One of the reasons anyway, another being that sometimes I simply enjoy a deep run for its own sake and want to keep going to see what might have been if not for that joystick fumble or the pie factory rape. (And please, by the way, stop telling me that screwings don't exist, or that "every death is your fault unless you're me and playing at 1 point ninety eighty jillion pace." This is not true, and is easily disproven
I've also just never quite gotten used to the mental/physical stamina required for a full 2.5-3 hour run, and the slow crawl that the game moves at once you start getting all the hammers, etc. The game feels very different and a lot weightier than the easy-breezy speedrun/top-hammer-only type attempt. Something about it has never agreed with me, and simply getting used to that by ensuring that I will go deep every time by having a lot of spare lives would be a huge help. This kind of practice doesn't have an equivalent in savestates.
My idea is to do 6-man runs and approach them as practice games/joyrides... and hope that a bunch of balls happen to bounce in my favor and I get a big score with 4 men or less. If 4 lives on 6+1 became an acceptable alternative, I could submit one of these "practice" games that accidentally ended up turning into something more. From the responses in this thread, it's not looking like that type of run would count for the community at large, which is fine, but it would count for me.
What I know for sure at this point is that I prefer the "let's just play and see what happens" mentality to the more typical "this is a 'goal' that I must strive and suffer for" paradigm that we all sorta absorb from one another and that I don't necessarily think is the best approach.
Is a run that starts as a 7-man attempt and gets redefined mid-game as a 4-man attempt any different than a 1-1 or Start attempt that gets redefined mid-game as a high score attempt? The rules for those tracks state that the player can continue their game as a full run... even though the player went balls-to-the-wall and played much riskier than he would "in a real game" up until the final moment of 1-1 or 4-5.
It can also be done the other way around: your high score attempt sucked, but your Start rocked, so you submit that. Doesn't matter what your initial intent was, and you didn't have to state it before the fact.
Many attempts start in one psychological place with one intent, but are then allowed to shift to another psychological place with a different intent.
Sounds good to me!
But I'm hearing a lot of opposition to that in this thread, even though that's not how any of the scoreboards here work.
Wes's first world record run can and has been described in a similar fashion: in Ethan's words "the game was played with the intention of getting a 1.1M score for [the DKO]." The balls, however, bounced not-unfavorably for Wes, he got to cash in a bunch of lives, and suddenly he was the world record holder... even though breaking the record in that run was not intended, planned, or expected until he was very deep, and certainly not when he pressed start.
The funny thing is, if the fear expressed in this thread turns out to be valid - that allowing players to use 4 men on 6+1 settings will somehow mentally enable them to play more boldly, and get better scores with their 4 men - then call me crazy, but that actually sounds like a really good argument in favor
What I'm hearing between the lines is, "we can't allow that, because then it might make it less mentally-traumatizing for some other guy to get a high score than it was for me."
Advantages have been conferred on today's players with the MAME save-stating, total information saturation, streaming/chatting/coaching/commisserating, etc. that Steve Wiebe didn't benefit from a decade ago. With every passing year, these factors, and others, make DK mentally-easier to succeed at, one of those factors simply being the very different perception of what's "hard" now, versus what was considered "hard" five years ago. Merely observing that there are 12 players with 1.1 million now makes it less intimidating, and seem a lot more achievable, than it did when there were only 3. Psychology again. Advantage: being in the future.
If you guys are right that 4 men on 6+1 will prove to be an effective method for making the game that much less of a mindfuck torture-rack than 4 men on 3+1, then it means we'll have found another way to increase the player's chances of success in getting 'x' score, while still playing under the same mechanics we always have. Can we discover a psychological safe-spot that works as well as the L3 wild barrel safe-spots, and make the game a little less of a grind? If so, we shouldn't outlaw the option. On the contrary, we should immediately legalize it and celebrate it as a huge victory!
Isn't discovering ways to help each other get the best score we can get before our 4th death, whether tactical or psychological, part of the point of this community?