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Overdrive


Overdrive (OD) is the Game_RockBand Rock Band version of Star Power. Going into Overdrive generally doubles your multiplier, although it can instead save a bandmate who has failed out of the song.

In order to be able to go into Overdrive, your Energy Meter must be at least halfway full.
You can gain Energy by successfully playing/singing OD Phrases. For Guitar/Bass/Drums, OD Phrases are comprised entirely of glowing white notes. For Vocals, OD Phrases will glow and have orange pitch lines (instead of green). Playing an OD Phrase successfully fills your Energy Bar 1/4 of the way. For Guitar/Bass, extra Energy can be gained by whammying held notes during OD Phrases at a rate of slightly more than one beat of Energy per beat of whammy.

Unlike Star Power in the Guitar Hero series, a player can still collect Energy from OD Phrases while in Overdrive. Also unlike Star Power, a full bar of Overdrive lasts for 32 beats instead of 8 measures. To complicate matters further, this isn't 32 beats in the sense of quarter notes on the note track- there is another set of data in the song chart which indicates the rate at which Overdrive is consumed. A full bar of Overdrive lasts for 32 of these "beat units." Most of the time this matches the previous definition, but sometimes it is twice that or half that, and on even rarer occasions the pattern doesn't match up to anything logical. The good news is that User_ajanata ajanata's charts indicate these "beat units" as vertical red lines above the note track: A full bar of Overdrive will last for 32 "beat units."

In Band play, each member has their own Energy meter and is free to go into Overdrive at their discretion (unlike Co-op mode in Guitar Hero, in which both members must activate Star Power at the same time). When one member goes into Overdrive, every member of the band is affected by the x2 multiplier, not just the member who activated. OD multipliers stack- if two members were to have Overdrive active, the multiplier would be x4. The multiplier would be x6 if three members had active OD and a whopping x8 if all four members had Overdrive active at once. This produces an incentive for the band to "stack" overdrive activations; activating separately will produce a chain of 2x multipliers, or a 100% increase over the normal x1. Each additional Overdrive layered over the first, instead of increasing the score by 100%, increases it by 200% (2x to 4x,6x, and 8x).

In multiplayer charts, there are many sections of Overdrive that occur at the same time for Guitar, Bass, and Drums. These OD phrases are given a special modifier known as a "Unison Bonus" - if at least two of the three instruments are present (Guitar, Bass, Drums), the potential for a Unison Bonus appears. If all members (Vocals are never included in or are affected by Unison Bonuses) hit all the notes during their respective OD Phrases, then those members also receive an additional 1/4 bar of Energy (in addition to the 1/4 bar that normally comes from the OD Phrase). If one member does not successfully play their OD phrase, then the Unison Bonus is not applied. Note that the game takes "at the same time" to mean "the data in the chart indicates OD Phrases start and end at the exact same millisecond for all instruments."


Category: CategoryGameMechanics
 Comments [Hide comments/form]
I would still call this a 'stub' because it doesn't talk about how OD works in multi-player bands, and makes no mention at all of Unison Bonuses. That having been said, I'll take care of it in the morning if nobody beats me to it.
-- ajanata (2008-10-06 00:49:18)
I beat you to it.
-- Chozo01 (2008-10-06 01:54:47)
Multiplayer section re-written.
-- beingmused (2008-10-06 14:38:10)
Nice job, this is really informative.
-- viper565 (2008-10-09 17:28:52)
I would like to point out that tempo does have an effect on the appearance of your OD drain. I have played songs where it seems the drain either speeds up, slows down or both. After looking at ajanata's charts, if you can tell where you activated, there may be tempo changes, whether to accomodate a time signature change or just to re-sync to the audio. iirc there is a chart where you go from 175 tempo to like 140 tempo for a measure, then back up to 170 tempo.
-- daUbern00b (2008-10-10 11:35:02)
daUbern00b: It has *nothing* to do with the tempo itself -- it's all explained in the 4th paragraph of the page. It only has to do with the 'beat markers' in the data file, which I indicate as red lines above the note tracks in the charts. While most of the time it is related to tempo, it is not required to be.
-- ajanata (2008-10-13 19:12:16)
I just meant it would appear to drain faster in sections where there are drastic tempo changes. I will have to make a vid to show what I mean I guess.
-- daUbern00b (2008-10-14 10:12:29)
dauBern00b -
Yes, we're all well aware sometimes overdrive drains faster. But the formula for determining overdrive drain does not reference the BPM, it references, as ajanta said, beat markers. Which are oftentimes DIFFERENT. So bringing up tempo would be misleading.

If anyone has the information on how long it takes drum fills to show up (on rb1, and rb2, with its varying speeds), it would be nice to add it to this article. I can't find the data at the moment.
-- beingmused (2008-10-14 21:31:54)
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