Dance Dance Revolution Arcades website. Seattle, Tacoma, Portland DDR and Arcade Games forum.Get New Topic Alerts
PNWBemani RSS PNWBemani on Twitter
Pages: 1 [2]
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
September 12, 2011, 12:43:19 PM - ORIGINAL POST -

As some of you know, the ITG difficulty ratings were somewhat based off of rock climbing ratings.  There are a lot of other similarities too, as I've discovered in the past month or so, such as how different routes play to different strengths.  I'm super flexible and lightweight, so I'm good at routes that play to that, while Tom (ddrcoder) is good at routes that need sheer strength and long reach.

But when talking about how good you are at climbing, they talk about what difficulty you can "lead".  Basically, what difficulty can you always climb, regardless of what type of route it is.  For example, I can climb this one 5.10b route at gym that requires flexibility, but I can't climb other 5.10b's that require a lot of upper body strength.  So I would say that I actually can only lead at a 5.8 or 5.9 level.

tl;dr What difficulty can you pass every single song for on ITG?

I would say that I am a 10's leader, even though I can pass quite a few 11's and a couple 12's.
Read September 15, 2011, 04:31:44 PM #26

I think the situation you just described is still part of "everything else being equal."  If both Ben and Tony had never seen a new chart they would both have to guess at speed modifiers and would thus both be equally screwed by that component of playing this new chart.  Ben would probably still adjust faster (sorry, Tony.) 

One could also argue that reading at speeds one is uncomfortable with is in and of itself a component of being good at gimmick charts.  I know that if Tony and I both pick the wrong speed mod on the same song in such a way that we are theoretically equally handicapped by percentage, I do way worse than him and sometimes even fail. 
Read September 15, 2011, 04:53:43 PM #27

I would disagree to an extent.  Obviously people are going to be much better at gimmick charts they've already played, but some players are even better at sightreading gimmick charts than others. 
First time I played (can't remember the name, but it's a chart from SPERGIN with constant jitter steps), I almost did the entire thing with a blue combo. I saw two others play it on their first run and, while they also did well, they both missed at least two steps before adapting to it. I was able to predict the beat/pattern and avoid a misstep.

I think gimmicks have gotten an incredibly bad rap because when done right, they're awesome. Unfortunately, they're often done very VERY wrong.
Read September 15, 2011, 05:57:36 PM #28

One could also argue that reading at speeds one is uncomfortable with is in and of itself a component of being good at gimmick charts.  I know that if Tony and I both pick the wrong speed mod on the same song in such a way that we are theoretically equally handicapped by percentage, I do way worse than him and sometimes even fail.  

I'd say this is true to a point; what one is comfortable reading is usually pretty close to the maximum that they can feasibly read, with performance dropping off a lot more quickly on the "too fast" end than on the "too slow" end.  As in my example, forcing someone who normally reads 480 to read at 960 would be very hard or impossible; however if it were the other way around (mostly 80 bpm song with a 320 bpm burst somewhere), they could probably read 240 fine, just not FA as well as they could at their ideal speed.

If the gimmick forces someone to read a speed slower than their ideal, I'd say that's a gimmick, but anything significantly faster than their ideal speed crosses the line of "gimmick" and into BS.  And overall, predicting what speed mods to use on an unclear BPM is more luck than anything.

« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 06:00:48 PM by tadAAA »
Read September 16, 2011, 10:01:51 AM #29

In some cases though, even being able to adjust to gimmicks may not be enough.  Say there was a never-before-seen chart whose BPM was listed as 80-320.  You really can't tell what this means.

This is less an issue of inherent skill and more an issue with the chart's creator being lazy.  If a song is dominantly 160, but has an 80 BPM opening steo (HVAM-style) and later does some stuttering by jumping to 320, the display BPM should be 160, not 80-320.  My personal rule would be to set the display BPM according to the rhythms you actually have to play, so 80 BPM leading up to the first step can be ignored, stuttering can be ignored (it's meant to act as 160); basically, the display BPM should reflect the speed(s) at which the note coloring would be meaningful, regardless of what BPMs are actually used - for example, most chart makers are very good about making sure than a stuttered 8th note section is actually red-blue-red-blue when played, so the double BPM required to make the arrows stutter should be disregarded, since what you are reading acts as if it were unchanged and usually wouldn't require someone to pick a different mod than if there were no stuttering.

Of course, this assumes everyone does things correctly, and many don't.  To make matters worse, I believe (but may well be misremembering) that Stepmania nixes the display BPM value when you save a chart in the editor, so display BPM is necessarily an afterthought and therefore usually forgotten.  But, anyway, the theory is that sightread scores should not be hurt by misinformation, because there shouldn't be misinformation.
Read September 16, 2011, 10:35:03 AM #30

I guess BPMs could be considered under the "gimmick" category given proper information about the BPM.  Songs like A where the song (roughly) doubles in bpm about halfway through the song, or songs like Hand of Time where the speed is double/half for a significant part of the song would be "gimmick".  As long as reasonable information is given by the BPM reading, I'd say it's "gimmick", otherwise it's just BS.  Only BPMs where the chart is scrolling at that speed for a significant part of the song should be registered; stutters definitely shouldn't be counted.

And then you have those charts where the speed gradually increases, like Wild Rush, Hardcore of the North, and it's taken to an extreme in deltaMAX.  I'd definitely call them gimmicks in the purest way possible.

« Last Edit: September 16, 2011, 10:45:00 AM by tadAAA »
Read September 17, 2011, 10:23:07 PM #31

I thought the intent was to draw broad strokes with the three categorizations of songs, obviously one could break down each one, especially technicality. I also didn't say timing wasn't an aspect of skill by any stretch, but it's not itself an aspect of a song. There's no such thing as a "timing song" unless (as Hollie well stated) it really just has the absence of everything else, hence an easy 9 or 10 basically (or easier if you want to consider sub-9s). For me it's "do I have the ability for my peak timing or does the technicality/speed/stamina requirements of the song at hand compromise my timing" on every song, regardless of difficulty. Hence why certain 13s I have 99s on (pure stamina or technical 13s) and certain 12s (Determinator, or other purely speed songs -.-) I have 91s on...

Also, gimmicks don't make a song hard, they just make a song more "interesting." When I first played "Loco" I could like 90 it. Now I don't even really notice the gimmicks and there's not really a time I dont SDE it. Same with Epileptic Crisis and lots of others. Once you learn where the stop(s), speedups, etc is/are in a song it's trivial, so yes a song can be "gimmicky" but that doesn't itself usually make the song difficult, unless those gimmicks introduce a level of technicality (such as all the slow stuff one has to read with Vertex 1/2, Epileptic Crisis, etc).

Also regarding technicality, yes one could break down a song into "is it technical with" hands, crossovers, foot switches, irregular beats, whatever. Yes certain people are better at different of those, so one who's good about hitting hands (or stomping them) might suck with crossovers, but this is actually pretty rare. Generally doing technical stuff well seems to be a product of a certain degree of experience, hence why many new players love doing the streamy Flash stuff but they crumble when you introduce even the simplest crossover song, and why people who are actually good at reading arrows and associating them to the correct movements (like you all Wink) can handle it fine. Since skill at technical stuff comes from experience, that experience tends to help with many aspects of technical stuff, not just one.

So basically if you're one who tends to play crossover songs, chances are you can handle things with teals/irregular purples, hands, rolls, etc. Extremely rarely is someone only really good at one aspect of technicality, and rarely is someone weak in more than just one or two aspects of technicality. Hence why I consider technicality to be able to be all lumped together.

Lastly, and not to ramble, who cares about sight reads. Sight reads are but a very small isolated measure of skill, like 'how fast can you warm up?', or "how sober are you right now?" Some people tend to be better than others but it has no real bearing on scores, in or out of tournaments (unless one was unprepared for the tournament by having not played all the charts, or by not warming up, or getting totally wasted beforehand, etc).

Anyway I still stand by one could classify each chart in terms of speed, stamina, and technicality, even if it does draw broad strokes.

Read September 17, 2011, 11:07:38 PM #32

I certainly think gimmicks would be a valid difficulty category now; somehow I forgot the very obvious gimmicks, which are mines and hands.  In this respect, I'd say songs like Young Man and several Keby's Pumpin' Kicks charts would rate high.

"Technical" to me would mean crossovers, foot-switching, etc.
Read September 18, 2011, 01:18:25 AM #33

@Gerrak:  I think the reason we're talking about sightreads a lot is that they are the easiest way to compare two players' skill levels while controlling for as many confounding variables as possible.  If Player A and Player B play a chart that Player A has practiced hundreds of times and Player B has never seen, that's not really a fair comparison to make.

I think that ability to sightread well isn't the only thing that makes somebody a good dance game player, but I do think it's something important to factor.  Case in point: There used to be a guy at Illusionz back in 2002 who only ever played Tsugaru.  Like literally, that was the only song I ever saw him play the first several times I saw him.  He was pretty good at it and would probably have won against most of our local players at the time on it.  Then one time I saw him play some 7 foot song and totally suck - turns out he specialized so much by only practicing Tsugaru that he never actually got better at the game as a whole.
Read September 18, 2011, 09:10:11 AM #34

It really depends on the number of songs available; with MAX2 and Extreme, it was possible to have familiarity with every song on the machine (made even easier by the fact that the majority of the songs on the machine were revivals, and in the case of MAX2, about 1/3 of the song list was revivals from the MAX1 that all of us IZ goers had gotten very sick of).  Tournament packs work much the same way; if there's only 40-50 songs that can potentially come up, familiarity is possible.

However, with just general play on our current ACME ITG... it's pretty much impossible to memorize every song on the machine.  Which in turn would make a tournament where every song on the machine is fair game ridiculously unfair; more often than not, the song chosen by a given player would be a song they've played and a song their opponent hasn't, unless we did it the same way we did it way back in the days of the DDR Magic (and IIRC, Narrows) tournaments and had song cards; it would still favor familiarity with more songs, but not to the ridiculous extent of "I know this song and you don't so I win".
Read September 19, 2011, 09:52:42 AM #35

they are the easiest way to compare two players' skill levels while controlling for as many confounding variables as possible.  If Player A and Player B play a chart that Player A has practiced hundreds of times and Player B has never seen, that's not really a fair comparison to make.
I disagree; a sight read does not account for one major confounding variable: infamiliarity with the chart, which tends to swing scores wildly depending on what's in it and what the players are good at. The best way to compare two players is obviously not to have them both play a chart where one has played it a lot and the other not at all, but nor is it to have them both play a chart neither has seen. The best comparison for two players is for them both to play a chart they both know well.

I should also note that I have not yet had to sight read anything in an ITG tournament (since I play every available song beforehand), and only a few very obscure songs in SN1 tournaments.

I certainly think gimmicks would be a valid difficulty category now; somehow I forgot the very obvious gimmicks, which are mines and hands.  In this respect, I'd say songs like Young Man and several Keby's Pumpin' Kicks charts would rate high.

"Technical" to me would mean crossovers, foot-switching, etc.
an ingenious or novel device, scheme, or stratagem, especially one designed to attract attention or increase appeal.
a concealed, usually devious aspect or feature of something, as a plan or deal: An offer that good must have a gimmick in it somewhere.

Hands and mines are not "gimmicks", they fundamentally alter what you are supposed to do in the chart. A Gimmick is like a temporary change in BPM (stops, temporary slows or speedups, "jerky" steps, etc), visual effect (like the Gimmix pack), or other aspect of a chart that changes how it appears but not how it is actually played. Robotix for instance has a speedup gimmick in the middle, however Queen of Light and Charlene are not "gimmicky" charts, they are simply a hand song and mine-dodging songs.

That being said, few of Keby's Pumpin Kicks are what I would consider "gimmicky". Cinema has speedup gimmicks, but I can't think of too many others. Even Lala song (Just do it do it do it!) is not "gimmicky" it's just got a lot of hands. Americano isn't 'gimmicky' it's just very technical timing.

Anyway because gimmicks do not fundamentally alter how the song is played, but rather alter how the arrows appear or scroll up the screen or whatever, it doesn't truly alter the difficulty of the steps. Once one learns the gimmicks of a song, it's as if the gimmicks weren't really there in the first place. Hence why the first time I played Epileptic Crisis on Hard I got like an 80, and now I dont get below a 98. It was never that 'hard' I just didnt really know the gimmicks. Also no one is really (much) more skilled at "gimmicky songs"; it's not like one person (typically) predicts when the song speeds up or suddenly stops better than another, however one person can definitely be better than another at dodging mines, or hitting hands. Gimmicks should be considered much closer to mods than their own type of step.

Anyway hands and mines are, like crossovers, foot switches, and irregular timed notes an aspect of technicality.

Edit: woah sorry for the novel -.-
Read September 19, 2011, 11:02:51 AM #36

12's. Hate playing most of them though (I think Tell is the only one I still enjoy). 10's are still the best difficulty in ITG.
Read September 19, 2011, 01:04:58 PM #37

Yeah, I guess it makes sense for hands/mines/freezes to be in the "technical" category.

So what is the difference between "speed" and "stamina"?  Are you referring to speed like DDR referred to voltage (i.e. maximum "shock" speed; charts like Determinator or Euphoria would rate high here)?
Read September 19, 2011, 05:06:33 PM #38

"Speed" is along the lines of voltage - Determinator and Euphoria are perfect examples of songs that got their 12 rating via foot speed.  Actually, Foy told me the entire point of Determinator was to make something that no one could dispute as a 12, and that was going to take some training to pass, but which you recovered from almost immediately; that's a pretty good explanation of speed as a challenge - around the time I started passing it, Determinator left me breathing hard for only a few minutes afterward, whereas the other 12's tended to make me sit down for awhile afterward.

On the physiological side, charts which put you near your maximum footspeed are putting you through anaerobic exercise, so that speed isn't sustainable for long runs.  For example, the first time I tried Strike of the Ninja, I had a gold combo until just a little way into the first long 24th note run, and my legs literally stopped moving (and I failed immediately) just a few steps after my first (and only) great - the shorter 24th note runs earlier on are no problem for me, and I even time them fairly well, but I can't actually maintain that kind of speed for more than a measure, whereas 16th note stream at the same speed is something I can now maintain almost indefinitely.

"Stamina" is a general concept of endurance.  Stream obviously falls under this umbrella, but a series of shorter runs punctuated by a few quick jumps and anything else that causes the screen to be filled fairly consistently is stamina intensive as well.
Read September 19, 2011, 07:26:17 PM #39

Looking at jumps being a part of "stamina", couldn't mines be a part of stamina too?  They basically force you to make extra steps, if not a jump.  Maybe I'm biased as a no-bar player, but the moves that mines force upon you can be pretty exhausting over time.  It almost takes more stamina to force your foot off an arrow rather than to hit one.
Read September 19, 2011, 08:38:57 PM #40

Mines are weird because they can be used for all kinds of things; foot switching and forced crossovers are technical elements that use mines.  A lot of mines are completely irrelevant and you'd have to almost intentionally hit them.  When there are mines that force extra steps/jumps, I tend to to step onto the metal plates rather than try to get my foot in the air until the mine passes, which makes it a simple extra step.

Jumps are a stamina element in that they make you move.  If you do enough jumps rapidly, you get tired.  Jumps can also be used as part of a strange pattern to make it more of a technical challenge.  The only point I was making was that stamina is more than just simple stream - any prolonged sequence with a lot of arrows makes for a stamina chart.  Nothing says the extra steps from mines don't count as stamina elements as well, but very often those steps are unnecessary as there's some trick to not hitting them without just jumping off between every step.  TechLo is a good example - the first half of the chart is one long crossover pattern, and if you don't know that you will either hit the mines or need to do some awkward extra steps/jumps to avoid them.
Read September 20, 2011, 09:42:18 AM #41

Speed, stamina, and technical proficiency are needed in some degree for all charts, and do often affect one-another. Both speed and technicality do make a song more stamina intensive, but as was pointed out, a song can be not that stamina intensive but very fast and/or very technical. A song can also be so stamina draining one can't maintain the speed (your Strike of the Ninja example for instance) or execute the technical portions (Bloodrush for instance), or a song can be so technical one can't hit the notes well at high speed (Brainfog's up up down down up up down down foot switches for instance, or fast crossover songs).

All these aspects affect one another, people just have a certain level they can basically execute each aspect of play. I, for one, am very good at technical stuff, and pretty good with stamina, but my speed's very unreliable a lot of the time. Compared to like Tuan (YES YOU BUDDY) who's clearly much faster than I and comparable or better stamina, but I might outscore on a technical song (and hence that's what I'd pick in tournaments). In return he picks Etude for a Dragon (you bastard), which he'll most likely outscore me at since it's more of a speed song.

So to answer the original question I'm now modifying with a somewhat made up scale:

I lead:   
Technical 14s (difficult foot switches, corner stomps alternating with singles, FEC 99-ing Groovin Motion without using hands Wink, etc is what I'd classify 14-level technicality)
           Stamina 13s (We all know these... Infernoplex, Classical Insanity, songs like that)
           Speed 12s (Accurate to ~200bpm runs, past that I become somewhat unreliable or can't always maintain; drills difficult for me as well)

 Grin Now your guys' turn! What do YOU "lead"?
Read September 20, 2011, 09:54:44 AM #42

Amazing thread. It'd be sick if we could track this on a USB somehow.

I say I lead
Techinical 12's (not super good at footswitches, but hands omg bring it on)
Stamina 15's (you know....dragonforce..... :/)
Speed 14's
Read September 20, 2011, 11:20:07 AM #43

I'd say technical 11's (Battle 2 from FFMQ is about my limit as far as technical charts go; medium-speed 1/16 note footswitching FTL)
Stamina 12s (There are some stamina 13s I can't pass)
Speed 12s (I know I can pass Euphoria and Gerrak's Stomp To My Beat) (significant runs [more than 2 measures] faster than about 11 Hz kill me).

« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 01:53:10 PM by tadAAA »
Read February 24, 2012, 12:34:22 PM #44

A lot of what everyone is saying in this forum boils down to the very core and essence of dance games in general. How hard is this chart really? How does it compare? What rating should it be?

There was talk of speed, stamina, technicality, gimmicks, etc. The way I see it is that these are all aspects of the dance game and all can be tested individually at different levels. Saying a a chart is an 11 does NOT mean that it is an 11 in stamina, an 11 in speed, an 11 in technicality, or even an 11 in reading gimmicks and trickery, but more has the vague concept that this song is harder than a 10 yet easier than a 12.

I understand that that might be frustrating to players and devilishly difficult to define, but you simply can't force all charts to be well-rounded representatives of their difficulty tier.

Everyone here should know how to calculate foot speed. Take the BPM of a given section and multiply by the rhythm in that given section, for example 8th notes at 300 = 600 Arrows Per Minute, whereas 24th at 115 = 690 Arrows Per MInute, or APM. You can further calculate that to Arrows Per Second by simply dividing your APM number by 60 (Max 300 has 10 APS streams, Summer has 12.33 APS Streams, and Determinator has a short but deadly 14.7 APS stream).

But after speed, the other factors are MUCH harder to calculate, like stamina for instance. Burst stamina works differently than endurance stamina, so that's sometimes hard to factor [For example, the difference between Delirium (burst or short end) and Disconnected Delight (Endurance or Long end)]. The 16 measure 16th stream in Delirium solidifies itself as a 12, yet the rest of the chart is MUCH easier and not very 12 like at all, yet that doesn't matter because if you can't pass the ending, you can't pass the song. Disconnected Delight Doesn't have a whole lot of really challenging sections that jump out and haunt you in your dreams, but when it comes to how many steps are in the chart versus how ridiculously SHORT the song is (less than 100 seconds), you can conclude that is more relentless than an 11 throughout, even though there isn't one famous part that kicks your ass.

Technicality and gimmicks are damn near impossible to calculate the difficulty of. Period. If you don't believe me, look at Dream to Nightmare or Epileptic Crisis. Everyone should agree that they are riddled with reading gimmicks. If you memorize the chart, these reading gimmicks do not affect you, yet these songs are notorious for giving players low scores despite the FACT that the charts are NOT very intensive for their respective difficulties (12 and 13), at least on single. So are the reading gimmicks the things responsible for their high rating? If that were so, why is the Hard chart for Dream to Nightmare only a 9? Did those Gimmicks magically get easier to read with less steps? Puzzling, and frustrating to rate difficulty wise indeed....

My personal philosophy is that the difficulty ratings are a best attempt at labeling on average the difficulty you will have to pass a chart, but as this thread has pointed out, the person rating the step chart cannot factor in your personal strengths and weaknesses. There are many factors that can be tested, but almost no chart in dance games tests them all equally.
Pages: 1 [2]
Jump to: