Of course, there are some stages where even if this was eradicated somehow, the best move would still be to intentionally die (such as by jumping into nearby lava) to achieve the same result. Switching to spectate is simply the fastest way of invoking this intentional death mechanic, which works on any checkpoint at all as long as you know where its boundary is. Effectively, in time-trial mode it acts as a second flavor of suicide key: "die and go back to last checkpoint" vs. "die and go back to start".
(In fact, on purge
I used to try to use three spectate-switches instead of four: at the second checkpoint, my goal is simply to fling into that thin row of derez material below the platform. In that video, I saw that I was probably aimed too high for it and reached for the spectate button to avoid losing too much time.)
The idea I've had to "fix" this, insofar as it needs fixing at all, is simply to crowd out the use cases where these unconventional moves might have been profitable. If dying from a checkpoint or nearby will cause a restart at that checkpoint with a full impulse meter, why not simply have the checkpoint give an automatic impulse refresh as soon as it's triggered? The checkpoints themselves could receive a light-colored particle effect (by default, without having to go back and edit every single map) to symbolize this "energy recharge" power, and that would actually allow players to see where the checkpoints are, so they have a concrete idea of where to go without having to study the map from within edit mode. It'll also discourage ridiculous maps with 100 checkpoints or whatnot, since it won't slow players down any more to refuel between one section and the next.
An issue that's more important than this is the fact that some checkpoints are just so huge that spectate-and-back (or another die-and-back) is good for more than energy refill: the trip from the edge of the checkpoint to the center would take more than the half-second delay involved in respawning
. For example, the first checkpoint in purge
has a radius of 192 (24 meters), so if you know where the top is located, you can pull the trigger right there and actually get a shortcut down to the platform unless you're traveling at more than 48 m/s. Even more egregious is the fourth checkpoint, which only has radius 107 but is positioned such that its edge reaches through walls. In that old video, I used it to skip a hurdle and a medium-sized falling section, but upon closer examination, it can be used to skip even more (see attachment).
's fourth checkpoint is just barely large enough that pieces of it stick out beyond the grates, which themselves are there to block off a remnant of its former life as capinox
. By spectating from right up against the corner, , skipping the entire air duct section. I suspect things like these are partly due to, again, players having no way to determine where exactly the checkpoints are in-game, so map designers get overeager and make them large enough to encompass any possible line the player could take, never mind that they may just open up some unintentional new lines. Visible checkpoints would allow them to be shrunk down to a more reasonable size where they don't poke through walls they're not supposed to, without evoking reactions of "Hey, I got that far, why didn't I respawn in place like everyone else does?" simply because they swerved out of the way of an invisible target.
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