lightbulb In Defense of Qualify Times

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15 Nov 2022 06:34 #1 by Doomblah
In Defense of Qualify Times was created by Doomblah
There has been some criticisms of Qualify/Par Times in Discord lately and I jumped into the discussion in defense of Qualify Times just to see if I could. And the more I thought about it the less I seem to understand the hate for them and I seem to favour levels having them over not.

Qualify Times are to put it simply the lowest level of the so called Challenge Times. Starting at the most difficult of these Challenge Times, Awesome Times: An achievement that requires complete mastery over the level and indeed the marble itself; utilizing every trick, and shortcut at your disposal; and making zero mistakes along the way. Ultimate Times demand a strong understanding of the marble and the level; a basic grasp of the advanced tricks; and maybe room for a mistake or two. With Platinum and Gold Times few if any advanced tricks will be necessary, often you can play the level normally at a decent pace and achieve these times with room for a few mistakes, but not too many. And lastly, Par Times. In my estimation they require nothing from the player except that they play at a casual pace and make fewer mistakes than they achieve successes. If a level has five checkpoints, six sections, and each section takes about ten seconds to complete then a two minute par time leaves enough room to mess up as much as you succeed and still make it to the finish in time. Not exactly a "fast" run by any measure, but a bare minimum acceptable level of speed to consider the level beaten with any semblance of speed.

This game is designed around going fast, beating the levels quickly, demonstrating mastery over the marble and the level it finds itself in. The very fact that there are these levels of challenge times reinforces this style of gameplay, playing a level multiple times until you conquer it in a faster time than you did previously. Not everyone will beat the Awesome Time and that's okay. But in my opinion anyone who dedicates themselves to this game with enough practice could beat every Platinum Time, and maybe even the Ultimates as well.

Achieving a twenty minute time on a level with a two minute Qualify Time is hardly a demonstration of having played it speedily. But beating a level just the one time is not the goal of this game, now that you've made it to the finish, you've proven you can do each section of the level on their own. Return to the level, play it again. Now your time isn't spent learning how to play the level, understanding what movements get you past certain obstacles, you can make fewer mistakes and complete the level markedly faster than before. Any Qualify Time, excepting a gimmick level or two (I'm looking at you, Assembly Line) is certainly easily achievable. If you're happy with only having made it to the finish at all, regardless of the time, then the Qualify Time is irrelevant to you anyways and it wouldn't bother you at all not having achieved it. But at the heart of this game is a desire to go faster, and this game is rarely so difficult that achieving a Qualify Time is beyond achievability.

Par times aren't a detriment to anyone playing this game, to say otherwise seems to show a lack of understanding of what makes this game fun in the first place.
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  • Yoshicraft224
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15 Nov 2022 06:45 #2 by Yoshicraft224
Replied by Yoshicraft224 on topic In Defense of Qualify Times

Qualify Times are to put it simply the lowest level of the so called Challenge Times.

Qualify Times aren't challenge times at all. They're a requirement to beat the level. The player is required to engage with them no matter what.

Not exactly a "fast" run by any measure, but a bare minimum acceptable level of speed to consider the level beaten with any semblance of speed.

That's what I'd usually use Platinum Times for, at least for PQ and maybe MBP levels.

This game is designed around going fast, beating the levels quickly, demonstrating mastery over the marble and the level it finds itself in. The very fact that there are these levels of challenge times reinforces this style of gameplay, playing a level multiple times until you conquer it in a faster time than you did previously. Not everyone will beat the Awesome Time and that's okay.

Exactly. They're there to reward the player for going for faster times. They're there as a sort of achievement, not a requirement. The only thing challenge times are required for is bonus levels. However, putting them there and especially labeling them bonus shows that access to these levels is also a reward for a player who wants to achieve it, but, as the (also bonus) colored name requirements echo, they're not required to beat the game.

But beating a level just the one time is not the goal of this game

ah fuck we need to make 20 more mbg tutorial levels to really hammer this one home. Where's my 4th Learning to Roll?

If you're happy with only having made it to the finish at all, regardless of the time, then the Qualify Time is irrelevant to you anyways and it wouldn't bother you at all not having achieved it.

kid named 80% of pq content not even counting bonus:

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15 Nov 2022 07:14 #3 by Doomblah
Replied by Doomblah on topic In Defense of Qualify Times

Qualify Times aren't challenge times at all. They're a requirement to beat the level. The player is required to engage with them no matter what.

The challenge is to put it mildly not all that challenging to non incompetent player but it is a challenge nonetheless. And I presume you mean it's a requirement as in that is the game as it is currently, but not necessarily as it should be? Do I understand you correctly? Why should it not be that?

That's what I'd usually use Platinum Times for, at least for PQ and maybe MBP levels.

That's a pretty low bar for the first actually challenging Challenge Time imo.

Exactly. They're there to reward the player for going for faster times.

And the reward for passing a bare minimum standard of speed is unlocking the next level?

ah fuck we need to make 20 more mbg tutorial levels to really hammer this one home. Where's my 4th Learning to Roll?

I don't understand what this means. Do you want more short straight-line levels? Are you mocking those who like those levels? Do you think that's good level design or are you mocking it for being bad level design? What does this have to do with Qualify Times?

kid named 80% of pq content not even counting bonus:

If what I think you're saying here is that PlatinumQuest's Qualify Times already are so easy that you can beat them without having to try for a fast time then we agree, but I'm not sure I really know what this is saying.

I think the only thing PQ got right as far as challenge times goes is the Awesome Times. The Ultimates are halfway between what I think the Ultimate and Platinum Times should be and the Platinum times are halfway between what I think Platinum and Qualify Times should be and the Qualify Times are largely a joke. Levels setting their Challenge Times poorly doesn't change what I believe they should be if anything it reinforces it. I think MBP's Challenge Times are set perfectly, just the right amount of challenge for the levels. The levels themselves are also more challenging but setting the times relative to the level itself, rather than an objective standard of difficulty is I think more important.

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15 Nov 2022 07:27 #4 by Yoshicraft224
Replied by Yoshicraft224 on topic In Defense of Qualify Times

And I presume you mean it's a requirement as in that is the game as it is currently, but not necessarily as it should be?

It is and should be that way.

And the reward for passing a bare minimum standard of speed is unlocking the next level?

The reward for beating the level is the next level

I don't understand what this means. Do you want more short straight-line levels? Are you mocking those who like those levels? Do you think that's good level design or are you mocking it for being bad level design? What does this have to do with Qualify Times?

no I was joking about how you said beating levels isn't the goal of the game

If what I think you're saying here is that PlatinumQuest's Qualify Times already are so easy that you can beat them without having to try for a fast time then we agree

Then why even have them in the first place?

The Ultimates are halfway between what I think the Ultimate and Platinum Times should be and the Platinum times are halfway between what I think Platinum and Qualify Times should be and the Qualify Times are largely a joke. [...] I think MBP's Challenge Times are set perfectly

PQ is meant to be easier than MBP. More beginner friendly. Aside from the actual intended difficulty, MBP was made for people already super into Marble Blast, while PQ seems more or less meant to stand out as more of its own game, while just being heavily connected to MBG. "Its own game" isn't really the right way to put it, but it's meant to not require prior experience playing MB (the important part in this context) nor is it meant to feel so much like a mod of it

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15 Nov 2022 10:26 #5 by Kalle29
Replied by Kalle29 on topic In Defense of Qualify Times
I support qualify times for the simple reason that it allows a level maker to make a level around the theme of doing something fast rather than doing something that is hard. The two styles of making a level are different and makes the game more diverse.

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15 Nov 2022 10:28 #6 by Yoshicraft224
Replied by Yoshicraft224 on topic In Defense of Qualify Times
This seems to mostly be about putting QTs on all levels just in general. I definitely agree that they're a useful thing to have to base a level around, but they shouldn't be present if they don't need to be.

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