Author Topic: Changes in Level Difficulty  (Read 1747 times)

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Offline xelnia

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Changes in Level Difficulty
« on: July 30, 2013, 03:06:10 PM »
Does anyone have a clear idea on how the difficulty of this game changes as the levels progress? For example, in DK the barrels are different in level 1-5, but are identical in levels 5+. In DK the fireballs increase in speed up to level 5. The spring difficulty is the same from level 4 onward.

I'm hoping to create a series of practice save states like I did for DK and I only want to include the minimum amount of boards necessary.

Thanks!
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Offline xelnia

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Re: Changes in Level Difficulty
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2013, 04:18:48 PM »
D2K buddy, not DK.  :P
"Do not criticize, question, suggest or opine anything about an upcoming CAG event, no matter how constructive or positive your intent may be. You will find nothing but pain and frustration, trust me. Just go, or don't go, and :-X either way!" -ChrisP, 3/29/15
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Offline ChrisP

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Re: Changes in Level Difficulty
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2013, 04:25:45 PM »
1. Foundry - L1, L2, and L3 are all distinct (0, 1, and 2 shooting fireballs), but, other than for the timer (which is important) this plateaus at L3.

2. Barrels - exactly like DK in terms of speed and wild barrel behavior, so you'll need up to L5. The D2K-only triple fireballs start on L2.

3. Refinery - Plateaus at L5, but L1, L2, L3, and L4 are all specific due to fireball speed and the timer.

4. Conveyors - Plateaus at L5.

5. Incinerator - Plateaus at L5, but this board changes the least. The pattern for the "garbage" at the bottom never changes, so as long as you have that down, all you have to deal with are the fireballs. Their speed on L5+ definitely makes a difference though.

6. Springs - You're gonna need a state for every single one of these because the spring movement is level-specific. L14 springs is the D2K kill screen. There's no way to get up the ladder in time.

7. Mixer - L1, L2 and L3 are distinct, but L4+ is the same as L3. In fact, the fireballs even stay at L3 speed.

8. Rivets - Plateaus at L5, as in DK.
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Offline xelnia

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Re: Changes in Level Difficulty
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2013, 04:52:47 PM »
Thanks Chris! I'll make a save-state run through this game soon. I've save-stated through L3, so it won't take too long to get through L5. Then the long march to the L14 springs.  ;D

On a related note, I can get through the Mixer pretty much every time now, so the next big hurdle for me will be the shooting fireballs on the Foundry.
"Do not criticize, question, suggest or opine anything about an upcoming CAG event, no matter how constructive or positive your intent may be. You will find nothing but pain and frustration, trust me. Just go, or don't go, and :-X either way!" -ChrisP, 3/29/15
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Offline up2ng

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Re: Changes in Level Difficulty
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2013, 06:16:37 PM »
1. Foundry - L1, L2, and L3 are all distinct (0, 1, and 2 shooting fireballs), but, other than for the timer (which is important) this plateaus at L3.

2. Barrels - exactly like DK in terms of speed and wild barrel behavior, so you'll need up to L5. The D2K-only triple fireballs start on L2.

3. Refinery - Plateaus at L5, but L1, L2, L3, and L4 are all specific due to fireball speed and the timer.

4. Conveyors - Plateaus at L5.

5. Incinerator - Plateaus at L5, but this board changes the least. The pattern for the "garbage" at the bottom never changes, so as long as you have that down, all you have to deal with are the fireballs. Their speed on L5+ definitely makes a difference though.

6. Springs - You're gonna need a state for every single one of these because the spring movement is level-specific. L14 springs is the D2K kill screen. There's no way to get up the ladder in time.

7. Mixer - L1, L2 and L3 are distinct, but L4+ is the same as L3. In fact, the fireballs even stay at L3 speed.

8. Rivets - Plateaus at L5, as in DK.

Chris pretty much nailed it here but I'll expand on his comments.

Keep in mind that on most screen types which contain fireballs, there will be differences in Levels up to Level 5 due to the fireball speeds.

The "fast" Timer which begins on Level 4 is VERY significant.  There are many screen types where you will be in serious danger of running out of time beginning on Level 4.

I'm fairly certain that the "internal difficulty" mechanism which advanced players are familiar with in DK is also in effect in D2K and functions the same way.

Another small detail is that on many screen types there are two different ways that the prizes can be layed out on the screen, and these alternate back and forth each Level.  So, in that way, Level 6 could be considered to be slightly different from Level 5, although not necessarily harder.

Foundry -- I'm trying to remember if the fireball which roams the top section ever gets up to Level 5 speeds, or if it has somehow been capped like how it works on the Mixer as Chris mentioned.  My feeling is that it DOES, which would make Levels 4 and 5 unique from each other and unique from Level 3 (in addition to the fast Timer beginning at Level 4).

Springs -- Although it's technically correct that they are all unique, I think having a save state for all of them is overkill.  I would probably set up a save state for Level 4 and Level 5 Springs since there is a pretty big jump in fireball speeds there which is actually pretty significant to this screen's difficulty.  Also, if you care, having these two save states will let you play with both prize positions.  The basic approach for ascending Pauline's ladder is the same beginning on Level 4, but your positioning will change based on the difference in the spring's positioning -- again, probably not worth having seperate save states for this.  The other thing that eventually gets tough is the jump across the long gap in the top right portion of the screen due to the spring's position creeping further and further to the right -- so, for completeness, you might want to save state one or two high levels like Levels 10 and 11 or something since that jump is very straightforward on Levels 4 and 5.

Well, that's all I can think of to add.  It's cool to see some interest in this game.
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Offline ChrisP

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Re: Changes in Level Difficulty
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2013, 01:28:37 AM »
You will also have noticed this already Jeremy, but conveyors and rivets play significantly differently in this game.

Fireballs being able to climb down ladders when Jumpman is above them is a big deal. In almost all situations this works to the players benefit, vis-a-vis DK, and when you play for a while (especially at the higher/faster levels) it becomes clear pretty quick why the designers of the original DK restricted their movements in that way. I'm not sure why Jeff made that change. He compensated on the rivets with the "extra fireballs" thing, but even extra fireballs is still easier than five fireballs that won't go down.

On conveyors, the fact that you are safe from fireball harrassment once you've climbed onto the retractable ladders (ie, they can't climb up your butt) is an important thing to be conscious of. You can make your approach in ways that you never would in DK.

Also note that the fireballs on the barrel screens are 100% jumpable because they only turn when they hit an edge. Since you're always going to have to deal with "live" fireballs on the barrel screens in D2K, you're also going to have to get used to jumping them, and to learn how to "line up" barrel/fireball combo jumps.

Dean is right about the timer. Believe it or not, this actually becomes the biggest problem in the game once you get to L5. Specifically on the refinery. One thing I like about D2K is that there are fewer screwings, but you CAN and will get timer-screwed on the refinery boards.

You also have to learn the fastest possible conveyor pattern on the incinerator. With the fireball speed and trickiness, you can't afford to waste any timer ticks on the conveyor section. Luckily the pattern is fixed and it's just a matter of knowing/executing it right.

The timer will haunt you on the foundry too. You have to be more aggressive about dancing around the shooting fireballs than you'll want to be.
http://donkeykongblog.blogspot.com

4 Quarters :-* - 800K Avg. Per Qtr. :o - No Restarts 8) - No Proof :'(

7/26/2013   Coin 35,946   710,800   18-1
7/28/2013   Coin 35,947   903,700   22-1
8/16/2013   Coin 35,948   694,100   17-6
8/17/2013   Coin 35,949   893,100   22-1

3,201,700: the $1 World Record?
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Offline xelnia

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Re: Changes in Level Difficulty
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2013, 01:37:35 AM »
Thanks for the tips Chris! I would say the level I'm most comfortable with at this point (of the new levels) is the incinerator. I know the quickest path to the top so I think I'll be ok as long as I can manage the fireball ballet that occurs trying to grab the top left heart. I've watched Ben and Dean play, and watched your INP from MARP.  ;D

I save-stated through level 5 tonight and it took me quite a few tries to get through L5 Refinery. I'm at 48,900 right now, but if I can get comfortable with the speedy Refinery and with making quick and proper decisions on L2+ Foundry then I think I can get into the 150k range fairly soon. "Soon."  ::)
"Do not criticize, question, suggest or opine anything about an upcoming CAG event, no matter how constructive or positive your intent may be. You will find nothing but pain and frustration, trust me. Just go, or don't go, and :-X either way!" -ChrisP, 3/29/15
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