Lane consistency: New rules for charting Easy-Medium?

LuigiHannLuigiHann Stormtrooper
edited June 2010 in The Rock Band Network
Sayburr brought this up in the RB3 Rumors and Facts thread (for some reason) but since that thread is now overwhelmed with other things, and since this has no real definite tie to RB3, I figure it warrants a thread over here for discussion.

The Guitar and Bass Authoring Docs have been updated with a couple of new passages regarding Easy and Medium charting, which are pretty game-changing.
# Lane consistency: For each lane (color) that you use in Expert, you must use at least one gem of the same color in all the other difficulties. Thus, for the vast majority of songs Easy and Medium will have at least one gem of each color; in other words, at least one gem in each lane. In general, the focus for easy players is on the first three colors (Red, Green, Yellow), and the focus for medium players is on the first four (Red, Green, Yellow, Blue). Where and when you use Orange and Blue gems in Easy and Medium is up to you.

* In the rare cases where you do not use all 5 colors in Expert, you must also be consistent and use the same reduced set of colors in the other difficulties. In other words, in Medium and Easy there should be at least one gem in each lane used in Expert level.
This is pretty weird. They elaborate on it a bit more in the Medium section:
# Medium players will typically find it difficult to shift their hands from the first four buttons, so take care to find places to add orange gems that are appropriate, using the following priorities:

* First: a single gem during a unique section of the song. This could be a bass or guitar slide, the bridge of the song, an intro or outro section, during a guitar solo, the big final note of a solo or outro, or some other event that happens once in a song.
* Second: A section of the song that happens infrequently, or only a few times during the song. If possible, try to translate a riff or section into the top four lanes of the guitar (red yellow blue orange) to keep the player’s hand shifts as few as possible.
* Third: a sonic or rhythmic change to a section that is otherwise repeated frequently.
* Fourth: if there’s just no other way to find a unique section, simply choose an arbitrary part to alter.

# Again, restricting the pattern to four lanes at a time (including orange) is a best practice.
Now, here it sort of makes sense. It's the same logic as having bass pedal charted on Easy, it's to get people to learn the right motions early on, but using them only sparingly so that they won't fail the song just from messing up on orange. The only thing that really bothers me is the "Fourth priority" suggestion. The word "arbitrary" is horrible; if there's really no part of the song that's different from the rest of the song, I personally think it would be better to just leave it out, rather than throwing in some orange in a random single instance of a repeated pattern... Still, overall it's an idea that makes sense.

They don't elaborate on it much more under the Easy section:
Easy players will typically find it difficult to shift their hands from the first three buttons, so take care to find places to add orange and blue gems that are appropriate, using the same priorities as medium, but restricting any patterns you add including orange to the top three colors (yellow blue orange) in order to keep the player’s hand movements to a minimum.
Apparently this new standard will be showing up in regular DLC soonish too, and I'm curious to see it in motion. A couple of my friends still play on Medium, I imagine they will be quite alarmed but ultimately it will probably be helpful

Comments

  • HelloMasterHelloMaster Opening Act
    edited June 2010
    I can respect efforts to help ease players into the harder difficulties and to encourage fuller use of the peripheral. But from an outside view (I don't design charts), it seems much ado about nothing. Different but not necessarily better. Like Luigi said, if instructions have to involve "arbitrary" rules, something's off.

    Players naturally get better at the game, and when the same old challenge ain't doing it, they move up of their own will. They self-regulate. I don't know, I guess if it helps players avoid learning bad habits, maybe it's a good thing.
  • PheranPheran Opening Act
    edited June 2010
    Sorry, but I don't see how this is a good thing. Throwing a few random blue/orange notes at people trying to play on easy/medium is more likely to frustrate them than anything else. The original point of easy and medium was that you only had to play on 3 or 4 fret buttons.
  • greenzoid2greenzoid2 Road Warrior
    edited June 2010
    Pheran;3753549 said:
    Sorry, but I don't see how this is a good thing. Throwing a few random blue/orange notes at people trying to play on easy/medium is more likely to frustrate them than anything else. The original point of easy and medium was that you only had to play on 3 or 4 fret buttons.

    in this new system you still do use 3 or 4 frets, but switch hand positions rarely, it's to help easy-medium players to get used to the idea of moving your hand
  • EVIL DAVEEVIL DAVE Opening Act
    edited June 2010
    I like that they're making an effort to encourage lower level players to begin working with the other colors.

    Wasn't there a song on GH2 that had orange in Medium? Maybe I'm just insane, but I could've sworn there was.
  • axelkotheaxelkothe Opening Act
    edited June 2010
    EVIL DAVE;3754167 said:
    Wasn't there a song on GH2 that had orange in Medium? Maybe I'm just insane, but I could've sworn there was.
    iirc there is also a song in rb. I may be wrong though.
  • GeneralGilliamGeneralGilliam Opening Act
    edited June 2010
    This is being discussed a lot on the creators forums. So far the most believable theory is that HMX announced RB3 will have the option to switch difficulties mid-song, 1 note in each lane is needed by the engine to do so.
  • GeneralGilliamGeneralGilliam Opening Act
    edited June 2010
    Also, just because they are possible now doesn't mean they'll be common. Myself and a lot of authros are just finding 1 place in the song to put a single blue and orange to make it meet the new criteria. I'm putting them in solos, cause thats where they look like they belong the most.
  • FairwoodStudiosFairwoodStudios Road Warrior
    edited June 2010
    GeneralGilliam;3754627 said:
    Also, just because they are possible now doesn't mean they'll be common. Myself and a lot of authros are just finding 1 place in the song to put a single blue and orange to make it meet the new criteria. I'm putting them in solos, cause thats where they look like they belong the most.
    There's also some (myself included) that are taking the "groups of three" approach. So, on Easy, parts of the song would have Green/Red/Yellow, parts would have Red/Yellow/Blue, parts would have Yellow/Blue/Orange. (Sort of how Easy drums is split between kick/snare sections and two-hand sections.) One of the issues so far is that we're not all certain which approach is more correct.
  • SayburrSayburr The Always Informative Rock Band Forum Guru
    edited June 2010
    FairwoodStudios;3754996 said:
    There's also some (myself included) that are taking the "groups of three" approach. So, on Easy, parts of the song would have Green/Red/Yellow, parts would have Red/Yellow/Blue, parts would have Yellow/Blue/Orange. (Sort of how Easy drums is split between kick/snare sections and two-hand sections.) One of the issues so far is that we're not all certain which approach is more correct.
    I really like that approach. Instead of trying to shift for one note out in the middle of nowhere, you shift to three different note sections and play them for a while.

    GRY for the main parts of the song, maybe shift to RYB for chorus, and shift to YBO for solos... You would still only be using three fingers and hitting the same number of gems.
  • FairwoodStudiosFairwoodStudios Road Warrior
    edited June 2010
    Sayburr;3755226 said:
    I really like that approach. Instead of trying to shift for one note out in the middle of nowhere, you shift to three different note sections and play them for a while.

    GRY for the main parts of the song, maybe shift to RYB for chorus, and shift to YBO for solos... You would still only be using three fingers and hitting the same number of gems.
    That's pretty close to how we're approaching it. Our experiment so far is with Janie; it's got a lot of rhythms, but I think we're doing GRY for the first pre-verse and RYB for the second, YBO for the verses, RYB for the chorus, YBO for the break, and then all five (slowly) for the solo. But I'm not at my dev machine to double-check.

    Basically, yea, pick the right set of three notes for a section and then use it every time that section comes up. And no quick G-B/R-O/G-O jumps.
  • ForToday777ForToday777 Opening Act
    edited June 2010
    I think this gives the opportunity to allow a smoother transitions in difficulty, and in the end will just make it easier for everyone.
  • MickstafaMickstafa Unsigned
    edited June 2010
    One of the first songs with this new format will be available in the next few days: "I See Georgia" by Drivin' N' Cryin'.
  • GeneralGilliamGeneralGilliam Opening Act
    edited June 2010
    FairwoodStudios;3755494 said:
    That's pretty close to how we're approaching it. Our experiment so far is with Janie; it's got a lot of rhythms, but I think we're doing GRY for the first pre-verse and RYB for the second, YBO for the verses, RYB for the chorus, YBO for the break, and then all five (slowly) for the solo. But I'm not at my dev machine to double-check.

    Basically, yea, pick the right set of three notes for a section and then use it every time that section comes up. And no quick G-B/R-O/G-O jumps.
    I was reading about that approach, but it honestly won't work for a lot of the songs I'm authoring as a lot of them don't have obvious changes in sections such as giant shredfest songs. For regular songs though, I can see that working out really well. It reminds me of how the keyboard will be on RB3 :D
  • macamaticmacamatic Road Warrior
    edited June 2010
    GeneralGilliam;3754626 said:
    This is being discussed a lot on the creators forums. So far the most believable theory is that HMX announced RB3 will have the option to switch difficulties mid-song, 1 note in each lane is needed by the engine to do so.
    That doesn't make any sense at all.
  • FujiSkunkFujiSkunk Headliner
    edited June 2010
    macamatic;3759006 said:
    That doesn't make any sense at all.
    No it doesn't, especially when you consider they've already said RB3 will be compatible with all existing DLC and exportable tracks, most of which don't use all lanes in Easy and Medium.
  • macamaticmacamatic Road Warrior
    edited June 2010
    FujiSkunk;3759048 said:
    No it doesn't, especially when you consider they've already said RB3 will be compatible with all existing DLC and exportable tracks, most of which don't use all lanes in Easy and Medium.
    I hadn't even thought about that. I was approaching it as a programmer. The game really doesn't care what notes are in the chart, it's just a chart. Easy charts simply don't have the last two lanes. All you're doing when you pick a difficulty is setting some flags in the engine (how early you can fail, whether you can get gold stars, etc.) and loading the right chart. That's all there is to it. But you're right, we already have evidence that that explanation is nonsense.

    It's pretty simple...HMX wants to encourage progression. Many players try hard and find themselves frustrated because they've never moved their hand before. This gives them the opportunity to do it in smaller steps, because that really is the biggest problem: orange has as many notes as any other lane on hard, and while to an extent they focus on four-lane sections (GRYB or RYBO), many medium players can't handle that many transitions in that amount of time and don't have the determination, patience, and/or desire to learn it the way the rest of us did.
  • KariodudeKariodude Road Warrior
    edited June 2010
    GeneralGilliam;3754626 said:
    So far the most believable theory is that HMX announced RB3 will have the option to switch difficulties mid-song, 1 note in each lane is needed by the engine to do so.
    So people who people who play on lower difficulties have to suffer because of bad programming? I really doubt that's why they are doing it. Plus with over 1000 songs in the game's library already, are they just going to disable changing difficulties in all of those songs?

    I've said this over on the creators site but I'll say it here as well. This is only good for people who want to go from easy to expert. Not everyone who plays these games wants to be an expert player. Anytime I've convinced someone to play RB or GH with me, the line that hooks them is "on easy there are only 3 fret buttons" and then they decide to give it a try. This will probably help people who want to get from Easy to Expert quicker, but it will hurt getting new people into the game.

    On top of everything else, I hate the inconsistency. I have over 700 songs in RB2 right now and none of those Easy charts have Orange and Blue. A month from now, 2 or 3 will. That's just annoying to me.
  • GeneralGilliamGeneralGilliam Opening Act
    edited June 2010
    When this was being discussed as a believable reason it had not made it to the forums that past DLC would be compatible yet, so yeah, that debunks that theory :(
  • T-HybridT-Hybrid Washed Up
    edited June 2010
    Kariodude;3759313 said:
    So people who people who play on lower difficulties have to suffer because of bad programming?
    No, that theory is a bad one...and after reading the reasoning behind the theory it sounds even worse. Charts are charts. We know Blue/Orange tracks exist in the content even when played on lower difficulties because if people wanted to they could be putting gems there already (and in the case of a few songs HAVE). Not to mention that during BRE's you can hammer away on that non-existent lane to your heart's content.
  • NumanoidNumanoid Opening Act
    edited June 2010
    ForToday777;3756077 said:
    I think this gives the opportunity to allow a smoother transitions in difficulty, and in the end will just make it easier for everyone.
    Maybe, but it looks like you're approaching this as a seasoned player and not thinking about the new people. My wife and I often host RB parties for friends who have little (and very often no) experience with rhythm games and all of them get nervous picking up the guitar.

    A lot of them have trouble on just the GRY buttons, adding even a little blue or orange may discourage them to the point of not wanting to try.

    Medium is different though. If you have progressed to the point of playing on Medium, you should have no problem with a couple of added orange notes.
  • edited June 2010
    I like the idea of keeping to the established guidelines and then using a singlar opening, closing, or solo note for the orange.

    That's far less traumatic for a new person than telling them they need to switch hand positions for an extended duration.
  • SwivleSwivle Rising Star
    edited June 2010
    Maybe this has to do with Keyboard charting? After all, you can play all keyboard charts on guitar. Since Keyboard has you playing 5 buttons with 5 fingers, charting blue and orange on easy/medium makes sense, but still needs to translate into guitar, 4-fingered gameplay, so they're introducing this new standard.
  • Rock_StarmanRock_Starman Headliner
    edited June 2010
    What about people that are missing a finger and are even worse with lefty?
  • kevinsanokevinsano Opening Act
    edited June 2010
    easy and medium won't have wild transitions to orange. I don't think it would be too hard to manage if they were fine with the regular 3 and 4 lane versions.
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