Geometry Dash's upcoming platformer mode is pretty controversial for one main reason; it's playstyle is a huge departure from what we've been used to for the past 8 years. To many, platformer mode feels like an entirely new game being shoved into the current one. This opinion isn't at all without merit. Platformer mode doesn't only change how you play a level, but how you play the game.
Currently, levels reward you with mana orbs based on how far you get into a level, and stars when you reach 100%. The amount you are rewarded with depends on the difficulty of the level. But the difficulty of platformer levels and normal levels aren't comparable. The concept of getting X% through a level doesn't even necessarily exist in a platformer level, which means platformer mode offers entirely new ways to collect rewards and get on the leaderboards.
Let's first address star rewards. The amount of stars you receive at the end of a normal level is determined by the difficulty rating of the level. Because it is difficult to rate platformer levels and normal levels with the same metric, RobTop has opted to reward players moons instead of stars for beating a platformer level. Moons would be a separate category on the leaderboard, birthing a new type of player; The Moongrinder. It's been a while since a new leaderboard category was added to the game, so the battle for number 1 is certainly going to be a hot topic to follow with ranks fluctuating at every moment.
Now what about mana orbs? Giving orbs when you die at a certain percentage doesn't really work in a platformer level. There seems to be multiple ways to earn mana orbs in platformer mode aside from simply reaching the end of a level. Again, because platformer mode plays so differently from any current level, RobTop has implemented different methods of scoring levels. In 2.2, the amount of orbs awarded to you can be set up to be based on your completion time, or a number of collectables you get in the level!
Depending on which method the creator chooses to have their level scored could drastically change how you play the level.
Levels which reward you for completing it quickly will encourage speedrunning. Speedrunning isn't a thing that is really possible in GD levels right now, since a level has a constant length and completion time. No doubt, the community will be trying to find optimizations and bugs that'll help to beat levels faster and earn the most rewards. The level leaderboard serves as a nice motivator to be the very fastest and rank at number 1.
Alternatively, levels scoring you on how many collectables you got will encourage a 100% completionist playstyle. This would have players taking their time to find every hidden collectable in the level. Given how talented creators have become, collectables may be hidden for months with players having to discover new techniques to reach them over time.
The combined time + collectable scoring option seems potentially the most fun type. It forces players to attempt to 100% a level while also going as fast as they can. Balancing the time it takes to get a collectable vs the potential score that collectable provides will add additional layers of complexities to level runs.
Due to the platformer mode alone, at least three new types of players will be able to enjoy the game. Moongrinders, speedrunners, and completionists! The communities around these playstyles could balloon the game's player base several-fold.
Being a Stargrinder has always appealed to me, but I always felt too late in the race to ever be at the top. With everyone starting fresh with moons, I may now be able throw my hat into the ring of Moongrinders. Where will you try to compete?