Hi, I'm relatively new to StepMania (and DDR). I'm wondering if someone can explain how difficulty works in the game. It seems like whether I choose light, beginner, etc., the steps are the same because I can choose between different levels of feet.
Currently I'm pretty good at most 4 feet's and some 5 feet's. But I'd really like to understand how these things are measured, because some songs are REALLY hard on 5, and some seem relatively easy.
How do the feet numbers compare to the difficulty level that I choose when I first enter? Also, how could I get a steady stream of numbers 4 and 5? That's what I'd really like to have -- and then introduce a few sixes into the bunch, etc. Does this make sense?
Thanks for your answer axle. However, when i first choose between Beginner, Light, Moderate, Heavy... how does this relate to either the number of feet or the actual difficulty of the songs I get? I can't tell a difference between picking beginner or picking heavy.
With most music games, the numerical rating system is consistent with all difficulties. That means an Easy 6 is harder than a Medium 5.
Some of the earlier Pump It Up games worked differently. Their Normal and Hard difficulties were based on a 1-10 rating, but the Crazy charts used to be rated just amongst themselves. This meant you could have a Crazy 5 be harder than a Hard 7.
When most people give difficulties, they usually do so based on one system. The difficulty names are more thought of as guides here: the numbers are what you should use (along with the Groove Radar if your preferred theme uses is).
Beeginer is always easier than Light, which is always easier than Standard, which in turn is always easier than Oni and Heavy. Sometimes, Heavy is harder than Oni, but usaully Oni is harder than Heavy.
Also, difficulties can range fairly widely in each feet number. For example, Sakura has about 460 arrows on Heavy and The Legend of Max has 560, even though they're both 10 foot songs. That's why you can do only some 5 foot songs easily.
Beeginer is always easier than Light, which is always easier than Standard, which in turn is always easier than Oni and Heavy.
That's actually disputable with some songs. I've seen some beginner steps that seemed harder than the Light mode counterparts, and I've been creamed by Double Standard versions of songs when Double Heavy is smoother (mostly the ones from 1st and 2nd mix).
I got a medium 12 feet, and a oni 16 feet!!!
And I hate it when a song is wrong rated, in the editor I think I saw a recommened-level in the edit-song-info section, but this goes only to 10 so 12 feet songs are rated 10 and that's really ennoying!
Barely explanation of levels
Note that there may have exceptions and some cases uncovered, but this is my personal general assumption:
- Fewer than 100 steps, usually around 50-70
- Mostly one step for each 2 or 4 beats
- Not much jumps or diagonal jumps
- Mostly no holds (on beginner, just a very few have holds, or user creations)
- Usually from 100 to 200 steps
- Not many long stream sequences, mostly 1 step for each 2 beats
- For long streams, foot repetition (like "right right right down", for example)
- A few straight jumps (L+R / U+D)
- Some few holds
- For very slow songs (around 100~120), there may be long streams
- Beginner: I find these unusual... for DDR songs, it involves higher BPM songs
- Light: Has some short streams spans, like <v< > v ^<^ v > (on 4th notes)
- Light: May have some diagonal jumps (<^ or ^> or <v or v>)
- Light: More holds
- Light: There may be some hold involving other foot, like hold right, then hit left three times, then release hold.
- Light: May have a few 8th notes isolated
- For light: streamed songs of 4th notes
- For standard: there may be some "8th notes jumps" (2 notes on a sequence, where one is a 4th and other is an 8th), or very few 3 8th notes on a sequence
- Diagonal jumps are not hard to be found anymore
- There can be more complex hold sequences, like hold right, tap up, left, up, release hold.
- For light: may consist of 150+ BPM songs with some 8th notes short sequences (Good examples: If you where here from DDR2, Brilliant 2U from DDR2, Afronova from DDR3, Healing Vision AM from DDR6)
- For standard: may consist of slower songs with a few tricky sequences with 8th notes or holds/jumps.
- DDR Light: the hardest songs from earlier mixes (Paranoias)
- Out of DDR Light, they're mostly fast BPM songs with whole 4th streams and tricky sequences with jumps/holds.
- Standard: slower songs (100-150) with more 8th streams (not completely filled by them, just some short 8th streams). Add some jumps and holds.
- Heavy: usually tricky sequences off-beat, but not hard to follow and not very long. May involve the 1..2..3.1..2..3.1..2..3. rhythm pattern (Ex: El Ritmo Tropical from DDR2).
- Heavy: may be some slower songs crumpled of 8th streams.
- Usually the harder level from Standard. May involve faster songs (150+) with more 8th streams and may have some 8th runs.
- From Heavy: lots of short 8th streams, some 8th runs, some weird jumps, some weird arrow sequences... 16th notes usually appear on some part of the song, but not much.
- Songs with long 8th runs usually fall here. There may be some songs with broken rhythms, with more 16th notes or 8th-16th-8th sequences. There may be songs with easier steps with some trickier parts on them.
- Some twisting may be added, for example: <v>v^>< or >v<v>^<^> (of 8th streams)
- For ITG standards: mines may appear
- For challenge: must involve tricky sequences, and usually doesn't involve many 8th streams.
- The harder DDR songs from earlier mixes, may involve all the techniques shown above, mostly with long streams of 8th notes and more "broken rhythm" arrows.
- Heavy: May involve faster songs (170-200) with long 8th runs and may involve some 16th short runs, but they're not usual on DDR standards
- For ITG standards: mines may appear (on challenge they're pretty usual)
- Challenge: may be more stamina consuming than Heavy 9's (not a rule)
- Challenge: includes more twisting and turning sequences, opposed to speed sequences
- For heavy: the boss songs. Max 300, Unlimited and alike. Usually very fast songs with long 8th note runs (or anything that taps like it)
- For challenge: average BPM songs (130-160) where 16th notes become common (on streams or apart), or faster songs with long streams. Mines are common.
- Basically, the same as 10, adding more notes and sometimes mines. They're more stamina drainer than 10's, since there aren't as many "gaps" or the rhythm has more flow.
- Songs that usually don't have gaps, and are filled with streams, jumps, or with very quick sequences.
- Boss songs with very fast sequences, mines and long streams.
This is a kind of guide I use for creating my songs...
As for ITG, there's a "blur" between level 4 to 6 songs - there's not a real "separation" between these levels, so they may be confusing at start. Look at the amount of steps as a guide for these levels: usually, the fewer notes/jumps, the easier.
As for community based step files... there's no general rule. It depends on the step artist :D - but do I think they try to follow these patterns shown above, or just follow their feeling...