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Bemani/Music Game Discussion
Pad modding to the extreme: Do scores even mean anything anymore?
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The Almighty Tallest
September 19, 2012, 05:23:42 PM
- ORIGINAL POST -
So, I've been seeing a lot of pad modding talk on AIJ like this lately:
I can't help but face palm a bit when I see just how far people are modding these machines. It's one thing to want a responsive pad, but some of what they're doing just seems a bit excessive. When you raise the panels, remove brackets to minimize the need to raise your feet, remove the decent and way off timing windows to prevent ghost hits, and do some of the other crazy shit their doing, is it even the same game anymore?
This is one of my biggest problems with the ITG scene over the last few years. With DDR, if someone AAA'd Boom Boom Dollar on a DDR cabinet, you knew how hard that must've been (give or take the differences in pad condition at various locations). But presently, it seems like ITG machines are so damn customized it's impossible to call it a level playing field.
Is getting a tri-star the same on a stock machine vs one that is running OpenITG and has the pads modded to the extent some of these guys go to? I'm not asking for a call to arms over this issue, I just wanted to bring it up as a topic of conversation. So, what say you all?
September 19, 2012, 07:00:25 PM
Well, ITG was always about trying to get the highest score... so if you can do that by modding your pad, why not? Also, I think the only people who would be really up in arms about it are the players who are trying to get the highest scores.
September 19, 2012, 10:49:16 PM
The concept is making perfectly sure that the machine is recording EXACTLY what you do. Eliminating ghost hits makes perfect sense, ASSUMING you're good enough to legitimately know you'll never have a Decent or Way Off. However...I'm not so happy about getting rid of brackets myself even if brackets have annoyed me before.
With the first one, you are attempting to eliminate the scores that are FFC except for 2 Way Offs (and this TOTALLY happens on some pads, I've seen scores like this.) The second one actually decreases stamina drain, making it PHYSICALLY EASIER, not just more accurate to what you're putting into it. You can make the argument that the brackets were never intended to be a gameplay issue, and you're probably right, but it does somewhat take things out of a level playing field, so yeah I agree with you there. For personal play? Do whatever you want. Period. It's a game, and ESPECIALLY if you own the machine, you have absolute freedom. Play it exactly how you want for maximum fun/performance/whatever you're going for. But, when comparing scores machine to machine, I definitely see things as differing. This is not an easy problem to fix because some machines are just more finicky even after putting in new sensors, but I have always thought that scores are hard to compare machine to machine. That's why tournaments are played on one machine most of the time.
Puttin' that rage on the stage...
September 20, 2012, 10:15:03 AM
Pad modding only helps on the hardest stuff, like 12 or even really 13+, and when we've entered this difficulty threshold, we've completely left the realm of DDR altogether. Because it's all heel-toe bar-rape madness at high-speed at this difficulty, raising the arrows allows you to keep more flat footed and hit speedy stuff slightly easier/more reliably. This is also why some of these guys baby powder the pad, because they feel it helps them move faster/cleaner. Consider the difference between a Dedicab and an Upgrade cab. On like 9s, it's pretty much irrelevant, but as you get higher up the quality and style of the pad starts to make a bigger difference. And there are those that claim that the difference is negligible, in agreement with those who find that modding the pad is somewhat negligible. The point is, we're not talking about modding it for 9s, it won't help at all on that difficulty; these guys are doing it for 14s and 15s and on, and having reached that point, I can definitely see some of the appeal. Also, if you consider it as not trying to 'do whatever they can to get a higher score' and make it a 'finally really comprehensive look at the design of the pad by world-class players, and upgrading the original design to make it more conducive to ITG's style of play' it sounds more reasonable
I understand the desire to eliminate ghost hits, if you recall, in the final song of the Round Robin tournament at Acme I had a ghost hit on the first note of Lipstick Kiss that wasn't my classiest moment having to win on a recalc, was like 12e 1 decent to 17e or somewhere in there. However if you eliminated this altogether I feel like it could skew scores (higher or lower, depending on how you changed the windows I guess), especially on hard stuff one might not necessarily combo.
Well, ITG was always about trying to get the highest score... so if you can do that by modding your pad, why not?
I resent this statement slightly
ITG for me was always about trying to *pass the hardest songs* (or execute them well), which is the focus of such modding. Eventually I brought competitive timing into it, years later.
Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 10:21:37 AM by Gerrak
September 21, 2012, 11:13:14 AM
I think even the results on two unmodded cabs of the same type (dedicab or upgradicab) wouldn't be fair. There still are a whole bunch of other variables. Sensors, temperature, arcade/home ambiance, etc. could all affect scores.
September 21, 2012, 02:03:18 PM
So I guess this has been on my mind a lot lately as well.
We've got an upgrade cab at our house and I just spent over 4 hours of work, swapping, cutting, taping, sensors. Moving housings, rotating panels, and trying two different styles of foam modding.
I can say that for someone who takes this game a little to seriously, it helps A LOT.
Like Gerrak said, it's mainly for things 9 and above.
our Player 1 side seems to have deeply recessed arrows and the arrow panels slide around (almost as if they don't fit) and have only 3 working sensors in each side.
I managed to cut and tape a lot of sensors into working again, and foam modded the corner holders the arrows sit on as well as the brackets and now the whole pad sits flush and level, and they are so sensitive that I've only got two brackets per arrow.
the Player 2 side is a different story. All sensors work and the arrows naturally sit more flush with the pads so all I had to do was foam mod the brackets and everything feels great. The arrows also don't slide around when in place.
once I did a bad job modding and the foam slipped off the inside brackets on the P1 side and not only did the recessive arrows make it really hard to stream, but they were under sensitive and very painful on the knees. Your stamina would drain a lot more quickly and your scores would suffer the consequences.
The first day I redid the P2 side, I 91'd Chromatic Blitz on a first pass. The reason was because I could score better on the first half which out putting TONS of effort into stepping before the stream. I knew I had the foot speed but not the stamina. All my attempts before the mod would result in stomping the first section before the stream, still with pad misses and then getting puckered out during the stream.
Basically playing 13's,14's,15's and above are now only limited by my stamina.
The pads will hold up their end.
Now do I think this is wrong? Yes I kind of do.
The Reason being that I remember putting tickets under sensors with my local arcade manager, to help with pad issues. We hardly had problems but I played a lot harder on songs like Max 300 or PSMO in order to get accurate scores.
I just saw something on AIJ with Krushrpants(who I seriously respect a lot) telling Rynker or someone on that level that it must be nice to be able to just restart a song if you get an excellent early on in a song.
That guy beasts SO HARD on a local arcade, with pads that give him shit all the time, and he still beasts through with scores one 14's with zero excellents and a pad way off. That guy honestly knows how to play the game well because he doesn't play it at home under perfect conditions.
I've even noticed myself that when I go to a local arcade I have to press much harder to get the reaction I want. And I find myself doing sensor tests with the lights to see exactly where I need to step, and with how much pressure I need to get a responds.
Also I recently when to Kyle Wards hows to play on his "ITG3" cab.
It's beautiful but is seriously neglected. It was running OITG and didn't have the original drive in it, and he claimed there MIGHT be a bit of lag, but it seemed fine to me, and compared to played my upgrade cab it seemed almost easier to score well. HOWEVER, he said the sensors were in great shape, but I had to press WAY harder on his machine ,than say the dedi in Seaside. I'm not sure if it's because it sits on carpet and shakes a little, or if it's just not modded in any way, or because it's not very broken in. Either way I was getting LOTS of pad misses on things above 11's because my step weren't hard enough to trigger a response. To me this feels more like my fault than the machine because of what I've done to my machine.
He also kinda of laughed when he say me play because he can't heel/toe. He plays on his toes more. And he made me realize that a lot of the charts for the officials were meant to have spins and hands, and he said he never really liked the streamy hard songs.
He's a no bar DDR player at heart, and was designing a game that had that a little in mind. And he had no pad issues playing in his style of playing.
Sadly with the direction of the way the game has gone, it's more about how fast you can move your feet and how long you can do it. That being said you need a machine that can accurately keep up with you.
I felt like i didn't really have any point in that whole thing, but it's all just kinda on my mind.
The Almighty Tallest
September 21, 2012, 10:42:38 PM
RE: Kyle Ward's play style
Most people in the area know me for my no-bar play style. I use it on 10+ step songs (because at my size it's REALLY hard to move fast enough without the bar), but I don't like it as much as playing 9's no-bar. The game is so much more fun without the bar (IMO) and I LOVE songs that make you do spins and stuff.
This is one reason I'm so behind the times on custom charts. My impression is that 8/10 of them are made with stamina streams in mind, while I like crazy shit like Under Arrest and Super Star.
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Pad modding to the extreme: Do scores even mean anything anymore?
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