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ixfd64

estimating durations of multi-level runs?

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Is there a way to estimate the completion time of a multi-level run, based on the duration of single-level ones? For example, is it possible to guess how long it will take to play through the first episode, using the times for E1M1 to E1M8? We can't just add them together because the player starts each level with just a pistol, and it will take longer to kill the monsters - at least until the player gets better weapons.

However, are there any rules of thumb for determining the length of a potential multi-level run? It would be helpful for a player to know how much time they should allow for a run before attempting it. Of course, this applies to most first-person shooters, and not just Doom.

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I couldn't guess if we are talking about UV Speed (because of a word "Run") or just any speedunning category.

Actually adding the times of current records is a good starting point.

In UV Speed, the final time should actually take longer than the sum of the components unless this is something as easy as the first three episodes of Doom.
- the longer the run, the more difficult is to maintain a perfect or near-pearfect quality
- some shortcuts are attainable in a big number of tries, which makes them impractical in episodes (because you don't want to spend the whole life in a run, do you?). In case of Plutonia MAP01, the jump could be worth trying, but it's a trade-off: you miss the armor and the backpack. However, the pacifist route of MAP07 of Doom II is not too reliable to be performed in episodes even if your skills are one of the highest. The greater the level number of the trick, the more likely you won't take advantage of it.
- related to the points above: safety and taking risks. Look at the UV Run of Memento Mori done by Stx-Vile: the closer to the end, the more prophylaxis is needed (detours to some power-ups). In Memento Mori II, the UV Speed route from MAP01 is suicidal in episode run, as you rather cannot complete MAP02 with 5% health and no armor at the start.

On the contrary, in UV Max, the final time should be indeed shorter than the sum of the components, but as I checked Requiem 1st episode, it is not. The same points apply as in the case of UV Speed. But bear in mind that in this case the rocket launcher is not to be found until MAP05 and there are few rockets in the episode, so even if you keep your weapons from the previous maps, they don't help you that much.

I hope I did at least signal some of the important factors to be taken into consideration. (+) means they work to your advantage.
(+) weapons available: BFG, RL, plasma, SSG
(+) weapons available very early on
(+) powerups at the end of the maps
(+) (this is rare): tricks which are only possible in episodes - with rocket launcher or with health and armor (AV jump, rocket jump)

(-) difficult tricks
(-) medium or difficult tricks near the end of the multi-level run
(-) length of the run (30 maps - more influence; 10 maps - less)

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