Now, I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this one. But I like to play a game how it was meant to be played. Follow the course. Call me a purist.
It’s super annoying when I’m following the course, and I’m doing super good, and going super fast, and maneuvering through it perfectly, just to get to the finish and find out 1 or 2 people have already finished ahead of me because they took some dumb shortcut.
What’s the point of having the whole rest of the course if you can go and fly off the side of it to another course, and finish on that one instead? I’m not complaining about shortcuts that were built into the course, I’m just complaining about ones that players have made/found.
But then you just follow the same path again and again anyways. You follow that shortcut path again, and again, and again, The point of following the course again and again and again, is to eventually be able to beat everyone you play with, and then work on a faster and faster time.
And it’s super unfair to newer players who don’t know the shortcut. Can’t tell you how many times I got in front of everyone because I was the one person who didn’t fall, and then all my excitement is killed because I actually end up finishing third because some expert players took some hard to follow shortcut through something players weren’t meant to get through.
Learning the shortcuts and practicing executing them is where Ballrace’s skill ceiling comes from. If you want to have the advantage, learn and practice. I hate that my answer is basically “get good”, but can you imagine if this was applied to a real racing game? What fun would something like Trackmania be if you couldn’t:
Drive off the track at all?
and you just had to follow the track as the creator intended? There would be nothing to improve on apart from just… pressing W better.
Right, so hi. I’m one of those people who loves and regularly uses shortcuts in Ball Race.
After reading the post a few times I can see where you’re coming from. You’re doing
your best and still manage to get beat out by some rando who happens to know a
cut and flies by. Their win feels unearned, they didn’t do what everyone else was doing
and was rewarded for it. It’s frustrating yes, but it adds replayability to the game and
gives you something to work on.
Instead of seeing looking at those people who win in seconds each round and get angry,
get motivated and strive to learn how they’re doing it. This is a competitive racing gamemode
and learning the cuts is a part of it. You learn to cut corners and improve your technique,
they’ve been here since the GMT days.
Most of my time in TU came directly from my drive to learn and play Ball Race better, and if
you don’t like the cuts then I’m sorry to say that you shouldn’t be playing a game world
based around racing for best times. It’s happening here in Ball Race and it’ll most likely happen
when Accelerate comes out.
some of the ball race courses have challenging shortcuts built in. I like those. It’s the cheap shot ones I don’t like.
See the thing is, I don’t mind some shortcuts, like if you squeeze by one of those posts that bounce you back, or if you go around something to gain a second or so, but I hate the ones that cheat the whole entire course and give you the win in seconds. Those are less shortcuts, and more cheats. Shortcuts are supposed to gain you a second or two at a time, not allow you to skip almost the entire course, or finish on a different course entirely.
Knowing the ins and outs of a course only to be cut off from itmattering with a stupid wall phasing in to stop you is really aggravating. If they didn’t want the shortcuts to be possible, why not redesign the damn stage? A wall popping in is the wrong approach. I’m against this.
Invisible walls are implemented in some ball race courses to cut off otherwise accessible shortcuts. It’s annoying since players will see a potential shortcut, only to have their seemingly clever discovery cut short by a wall they could not have known was there suddenly appearing and blocking them.
On the topic of shortcuts being good/bad, I’m personally fine with them. My time as a TrackMania mapmaker has taught me that you must always design a course with cuts in mind. If you want them, make sure that they’re not essentially random (for example, needing to land on a rotating blade you can’t see when jumping). How visible they are and how much time they save are other aspects to think about when deliberately designing cuts. A course with good cuts can essentially have an easy route for players learning the map or playing with a more casual mindset and a hard route for those hunting the best possible times.
However, it’s also true that not all cuts are intentional. When I make a TrackMania map, I do intend for the player to take the main route I set forth and expect them to find and perfect its line; players finding cuts can sometimes be a letdown, but sometimes it’s just impressive what people have done. Being conscious of where potential cuts could be and testing to find out if they’re possible is a natural part of making courses, especially ones that wind back around on themselves. The lack of required CPs in Ball Race complicates this, since there’s no way to force players to go anywhere that isn’t the end except through raw course design. When the goal is as straightforward as “get to the end as fast as possible,” players will always find the fastest route whether it was intended or not.
At the end of the day, though, shortcuts usually show the skill of the player. If you can find and execute a shortcut, chances are its a lot riskier than taking the standard route. Failing to execute a shortcut has the potential to be disastrous, so consistent execution is just as important as knowing what you’re supposed to do. I think the bigger question isn’t so much if shortcuts are good so much as if each shortcut is fun and challenging; if a shortcut isn’t, then the course designers should try to find natural ways to prevent the cut from being possible. Those are my thoughts on the matter, anyways.
Well the shortcuts seem to be pretty easy for the people doing them. Never really seen a death come from them.
Like I said, smaller cuts are fine. I actually agree with you, they’re kind of cool and impressive. But ones that skip the entire level are just a bit cheap.
And I never said using invisible walls was the way to solve the problem, although I wouldn’t mind that. I don’t see them as being that bad. If you play video games, you should be used to them by now. As someone who explores a lot in singeplayer games (especially Halo, I’ve been in places where you really shouldn’t have been) I’m used to invisible walls. You go to jump for something and you get blocked. It’s just part of exploring and trying new shortcuts. You live and you learn.
This is fair. Skips of this magnitude should need to be really risky and challenging to be worth leaving in.
I’d agree, but I think this is more about the consistency of their appearance. The frequency of invisible walls depends on the game you look at. For example, most linear games tend to be filled with invisible walls. The developers of those want the players to stay on the expected path, so they use invisible walls to prevent players from getting lost or breaking the game. However, this breaks down in a game more focused on exploration; no one expects to run into an invisible wall in Breath of the Wild, for example. That game prides itself on its open world, so invisible walls are practically nonexistent.
Ball Race doesn’t have many invisible walls, and the ones that do appear serve one of three purposes: as an obstacle, as cut prevention, or as a kill plane (which could be argued to be its own thing). The problem is that there’s an inconsistency with the second option. I don’t play Ball Race much, but my understanding is that these cut-prevention invisible walls are seemingly random until found. It’s one thing to expect invisible walls in a game which constantly uses them to keep you in bounds, it’s another thing entirely to suddenly stumble upon one with no precedence.
It’s not really my place to say whether this means that invisible walls should or shouldn’t be removed; I personally think there’s probably better and more natural ways to preventing cuts than unexpected walls, and you make a similar note yourself. That said, when a stage designer wants to prevent a cut, invisible walls are a tool that can be used to do so.
In ball race they really don’t seem all that challenging since I never see anyone falling from doing them. Defeats the purpose of even designing the course though, really. That’s why I don’t like them.
Also, ball race is, for the most part, designed to be a linear game, which means it should, in fact, have invisible walls and other obsticles to keep you in the play area. I mean, ball race is the definition of linear. You are supposed to go from start to finish.
I agree with Plokit this will be more forgiving for new player’s, and sometimes I feel bad when there is that one guy that does not do the shortcut. Granted this will be a long time to fix due to many shortcuts not being intentional.
Yeah, there’s plenty of things to be fixed before this, but it’s a bit unfair to newer players that don’t know the shortcuts, because they’ll rarely get that first place bonus, and I feel like new players need it the most as you start out with 0 units and big plans lol.
A lot of the cuts are actually pretty challenging. I fall quite often when attempting them because I don’t play BR enough. It goes back to what’s already been said. Practice. The people who are good at them have practiced them. The cuts have been here since GMT and they should definitely stay. You’re taking this game way too serious. Just let people have their fun. So what if you don’t get first every single time.