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kraflab

Max runs with difficult-to-obtain secrets

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There are some maps where secrets aren't obtainable from a casual player's perspective. For instance, they may require linedef skips, or archvile jumps, because they've been placed in error. However, those are still obtainable (some secret sectors are impossible of course, but I'm not talking about those). There seems to be an unwritten rule about these things not being required, but I wanted to open a discussion on that, because I think that is a completely arbitrary distinction.

There are some runs for instance that can't be completed pacifist without an insane trick. Does this mean we should be allowed to kill an enemy in the way, and still call it pacifist? Imagine a pacifist episode run, where you can't finish the map pacifist if you miss a linedef skip. Does that mean you can complete the map uv-speed after missing it and still call it pacifist?

Some runs require tricks. It's called doom.

I think these kind of arbitrary "degree of difficulty" changes to the rules have no rhyme or reason, and runs that miss secrets because of difficulty or luck shouldn't be considered max. It's like that for every single category except max (and related), so why is it allowed there?

I'm not saying that a doom 2 d2all that missed the linedef skip secret isn't a good run, but to me it isn't a true max run. That's unfortunate, but that's just how it is. How can we just decide the rules don't matter if something is hard?

What are your thoughts?

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You seem to be using Pacifist category to support your argument a lot. (Actually, it seems to be the only thing you use to support your argument.)

The thing is maps usually aren't created with Pacifist in mind at all. Pacifist is a category with a massive restriction created by speedrunners and mappers absolutely don't keep it in mind while creating their maps.

On the other hand, Max is a pretty natural way how to finish a map. If there's an unreachable secret that requires something like a linedef skip you know that something is wrong.

kraflab said:

How can we just decide the rules don't matter if something is hard?


To me, the problem isn't that doing this sort of tricks is hard but that it's annoying and time-consuming with minimal reward.

Should maxers really spend hours to figure out a perfect setup to get one stupid linedef skip in a movie run to tag a mistakenly placed secret?

Should maxers really spend precious 128 HP doing a rocket jump to a secret placed by mapper's error?


Either way, we're "breaking the rules" anyway.

If there's a Cyberdemon blocking the way and it's impossible to bypass him without killing does it mean we can kill him and still call it a Pacifist? No, it means Pacifist is impossible.

If it's impossible because of lack bullets in the map to kill all the monsters that can't be reached by fist and there's no way to make them infight does it mean we can use other weapons and still call it a Tyson? No, it means Tyson is impossible.

So, if there's a secret or monster that's impossible (actually impossible) to reach do we miss the secret or monster and still call it a Max? No... erm, wait, actually we do.

All could be considered mapper's errors for the respective categories but somehow in Max we ignore it.


At the moment discovering a new trick in a category doesn't invalidate the previous record, it just creates an opportunity for someone to make a better time. Should discovering a new trick to tag an unreachable secret because of mapper's error invalidate the previous record even though the runner had no chance of knowing at the time they did the demo?

According to your suggestion apparently it should. If you say that I'm wrong and that, of course, the previous record stays a record until someone breaks it then consider a circumstance that someone records a demo that reaches the secret that was previously considered unreachable but with a slower time. And let's say that the previous record's time was pretty close to optimum and the setup for the trick takes some time so it's pretty much impossible to beat the previous time while reaching this pointless secret. So... is the previous record invalidated because of this trifle?

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I'd allow all telefrags/crushers for pacifists and just call it a "no shooting" category. It'd remove a lot of unnecessary hassle from the category.

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In the old times there was an arbiter (Adam Hegyi and others before him) who would judge every controversial situation case by case. Nowadays we don't have such a person. I see 3 ways to deal with the problem.

1. We could try to choose a new arbiter. I believe most of us have a few good candidates in mind. But who knows if any of these candidates would agree to such an important role. And I think there will also be quite a few people that won't accept the idea of having some sort of a god with the ultimate authority.

2. We could try to follow the teachings of Adam Hegyi and others, try to understand the spirit of old Compet-N exceptions and, as a community, attempt to judge new controversial cases in Adam's style. This is what we are doing right now. It's not a perfectly satisfying solution because people won't always agree on everything, but I'd say it is working pretty well so far and allowing us to have fun with a wide selection of maps that otherwise would have been inaccessible for Max.

3. Forget about all kinds of exceptions completely and always follow the rules 100%. This is what kraflab wants I guess. To me it sounds silly to accept that some maps are ruined just because of one silly mapping error, but that just means that I'm less of a purist than kraflab is.

kraflab said:

How can we just decide the rules don't matter if something is hard?

For me the main argument would be the author's original intention. Of course we don't always know it, but often we can take a good guess. If dew makes a map where a linedef skip is mandatory to get 100% secrets, then that's probably really how he wants it to work and that's what we should aim for in Max. If a random guy registered in 2016 with no previous wads released does the same, there is a very high chance that he just made a mistake, in which case we can correct it by excluding that secret from the Max requirements.

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Keyboard_Doomer said:

You seem to be using Pacifist category to support your argument a lot. (Actually, it seems to be the only thing you use to support your argument.)


Pacifist is just a good analog because it is also something that isn't always possible. Every map that can be finished can be finished uv-speed, so referencing that is irrelevant. Other max categories obviously have the same problem as max. Tyson, as you mentioned, has the same deal.

Keyboard_Doomer said:

To me, the problem isn't that doing this sort of tricks is hard but that it's annoying and time-consuming with minimal reward.

There are plenty of doom runs like that though, that's just how the game is.

Keyboard_Doomer said:

So... is the previous record invalidated because of this trifle?

Of course, and this kind of thing happens everywhere. Was zm's first doom2 run that beat the old looper one "better"? No, it wasn't. A run with amazing movement that misses time-saving tricks is going to be slower, and that doesn't mean it's a "worse" run, but it does mean it's not the fastest. Of course, in this case the previous run wouldn't even be in the right category. Does that suck? Of course, but just because something is unfortunate doesn't mean we should just put on a blindfold and ignore it. I'd love it if everyone could pretend glides don't exist, but they do :P

kuchitsu said:

For me the main argument would be the author's original intention. Of course we don't always know it, but often we can take a good guess. If dew makes a map where a linedef skip is mandatory to get 100% secrets, then that's probably really how he wants it to work and that's what we should aim for in Max. If a random guy registered in 2016 with no previous wads released does the same, there is a very high chance that he just made a mistake, in which case we can correct it by excluding that secret from the Max requirements.


I understand this argument, but for me it is way too wobbly and subjective. Let's say I had marked a teleporter sector as a secret, and it sends you on top of a pillar where there is a health kit. You can't trigger the secret without a linedef skip, and you don't need the health kit. Do you waste time getting it? It is the intention that doing that is a secret and part of the mapper's idea for max, but it doesn't change the totals. What do you do?

Let's take another example. There is a series of teleportations, to different areas with various items, but no enemies. The secret is tagged on the original teleporter sector, which is the final destination - so the secret works. But, you could linedef skip to hit the secret without taking those teleports. Are you going to say a run that does that isn't max? It's obviously not the mappers intention for you to trigger that without going through the other areas.

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j4rio said:

I'd allow all telefrags/crushers for pacifists and just call it a "no shooting" category. It'd remove a lot of unnecessary hassle from the category.


I actually agree with this in a lot of ways but that's another thread :D

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Yes, you can come up with all sorts of examples that are hard to judge. You can make 100 maps with a slightly different kind of trick required to get a secret, from relatively easy to almost impossible, ask us to evaluate every single one of them and demonstrate just how unreliable and fuzzy our exception rules are.

To me it doesn't mean that we should give up our ability to judge completely. I think in general, rules should exist to make things easier. It is convenient to have a simple 100%/100% criteria for UV-Max, so most of the time we happily follow it. But occasionally it results in unwanted ridiculous situations.

So what do we do when that happens? Do we just blindly succumb to the rules that we ourselves invented and make our lives unnecessarily harder? Or can we maybe, as humans that are capable of rational thinking, sometimes place ourselves above these rules when it suits us? That's a question for a philosophy class I guess.

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kuchitsu said:

So what do we do when that happens? Do we just blindly succumb to the rules that we ourselves invented and make our lives unnecessarily harder? Or can we maybe, as humans that are capable of rational thinking, sometimes place ourselves above these rules when it suits us? That's a question for a philosophy class I guess.

I think that all runs are worth pursuing, but that a category is a category and it ought to be what it is. If you have 2 max runs for a map, and one of them is 2/2 secrets and the other is 1/2, and the first did a trick, how can you possibly call them both max? Is the first maxer?

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kraflab said:

Does that suck? Of course, but just because something is unfortunate doesn't mean we should just put on a blindfold and ignore it.


So do you agree that a map with a secret or monster that's actually impossible to reach/kill should be considered impossible to max? GG, none of IWADs can have a UV-Max movie. (Well, TNT can if you consider TNT31.WAD allowed but isn't that just another bending of the rules? :P)

If you don't then you're just distinguishing between "more unfortunate" and "less unfortunate" and putting on a blindfold when it fits you.

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Keyboard_Doomer said:

So do you agree that a map with a secret or monster that's actually impossible to reach/kill should be considered impossible to max? GG, none of IWADs can have a UV-Max Movie. (Well, TNT can if you consider TNT31.WAD allowed but isn't that just another bending of the rules? :P)

If you don't then you're just distinguishing between "more unfortunate" and "less unfortunate" and putting on a blindfold when it fits you.


The word "max" to me infers the highest completion possible though, so the actual percentage numbers are not relevant (obviously this is already the case for maps involving archviles).

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Keyboard_Doomer said:

(Well, TNT can if you consider TNT31.WAD allowed but isn't that just another bending of the rules? :P)

MAP15 has two monsters that might technically be killable, but current runs don't because it's, like, impossible, man.

Also, I agree with kraflab that it's quite arbitrary. I don't think we should elect some overlord or anything, but have some community consensus on certain maps with these sorts of issues. Maybe a thread dedicated to defining max for particular maps? List all known wads with these issues in one convenient place? That way people can easily refer to it, and then see the discussions on why that is in one easy place!

For old runs (Doom, Doom 2, etc) with pre-established rules on this matter, I think it's quite safe to just follow in line. Having done literally over a thousand of Doom 2 UV Max movie attempts, and have done MAP27 probably around 100-200 times on its own, I've only gotten the linedef skip around 5 times. Granted, I don't set up for it or anything, but still. Fuck that.

Also, I'm totally for pacifist allowing indirect monster killing. Seems arbitrary to allow infighting but not telefrags :P

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There's a way to kill those 2 monsters in TNT map15 with 100% reliability and (relatively) easily. I guess I should record a demo, I've discovered this over 3 years ago, lol.

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I would like to see a thread dedicated to discussion of such controversial cases. I can contribute with the names of some obscure wads where I had to decide what I can ignore. (for example, that cyberdemon at the start of blofeldx Map02)

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Cyberdemon531 said:

Also, I agree with kraflab that it's quite arbitrary. I don't think we should elect some overlord or anything, but have some community consensus on certain maps with these sorts of issues. Maybe a thread dedicated to defining max for particular maps? List all known wads with these issues in one convenient place? That way people can easily refer to it, and then see the discussions on why that is in one easy place!

For old runs (Doom, Doom 2, etc) with pre-established rules on this matter, I think it's quite safe to just follow in line.


This all sounds fine to me. I mean, I don't expect people to actually adopt my belief structure, it's just a theoretical discussion. In my chex max I killed all the out of bounds enemies I could, and I would do tricks for secrets as well if I happened upon them, whether it was required by the community or not :P

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Keyboard_Doomer said:

There's a way to kill those 2 monsters in TNT map15 with 100% reliability and (relatively) easily. I guess I should record a demo, I've discovered this over 3 years ago, lol.

You can do it only if you can shoot through walls or if you have grenades to throw at these two sleepy bastards... Nah

Also i don't see any problems to reach all secrets in Doom2 Map27 with 100% secrets... (IN TAS OF COURSE). But i see a problem for non-tasers and as Cyberdemon said - fuck it. Spending several hours to reach good time in maps from 01 to 26 and screw everything up and lose 2-10 minutes just to make that stupid linedef skip trick just to reach 100% which is unnecessary because this trick was discovered much later until uv-max demo was made on it.

And what else? If someone discovered the way how to get all secrets in Doom2 Map15 does it mean that all uv-max demos and including my D2ALL will marked as invalid just because we didn't knew about that trick? It's masochism... These who watches these demos doesn't even care about how much pain it costs to build such demo is. Such perfectionism is unnecessary.

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