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Empire Earth (Any %) (Segmented) [Campaign: Greek]

Decision: Reject

Reason: Some of the missions have some major missed time savers.

This run will be available for a month. After that these link(s) will no longer work.
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Run Information

Empire Earth (Any %) (Segmented) [Campaign: Greek]

Verification Files

Please refer to the Verification Guidelines before posting. Verifications are due by Sept. 7, 2014.

Please post your opinions about the run and be certain to conclude your post with a verdict (Accept/Reject). This is not a contest where the majority wins - I will judge each verification on its content. Please keep your verification brief unless you have a good reason otherwise.

After 2 weeks I will read all of the verifications and move this thread to the main verification board and post my verdict.
Youtube playlist, if anyone prefers.
Edit history:
AlecK47: 2014-09-07 03:01:17 pm
I have no experience with this game, but I finished the public verifications I wanted to do pretty quickly and I'm not clueless with RTS's so I guess I'll give this a go.  Once I finish I'll edit my response in here.
Edit history:
Soliduz Znake: 2014-08-31 04:48:50 pm
Soliduz Znake: 2014-08-31 04:40:14 pm
Soliduz Znake: 2014-08-31 09:38:51 am
Soliduz Znake: 2014-08-31 06:22:59 am
Soliduz Znake: 2014-08-31 05:56:09 am
Soliduz Znake: 2014-08-30 06:55:57 pm
I'm not very experienced or knowledgeable in RTS games like this except Total War but I'll give it a shot at verifying.

The Early Helladic Peoples:
don't know what is actually happening. I read the comments it explains a faster way to complete an objective by sneaking.

Warriors from the Sea:
nice use of the chariot to draw out enemy units away from your main attackers. is that possible in other RTS games? looks good here.

Trojan War:
again well luring most of the Trojans away from the their gate. funny how the would abandon their posts for a few chariots. I wonder if the trick could also work inside luring them out while the rest of army break the building. looks good.

The Rise of Athens:
nice use of archers as distraction. the volcanoes were extremely effective like the runner said. can't see any flaws in this.

The Peloponnesian War:
the elephants are so over powered Tongue great use of them.

Young Alexander:
so it was volcanoes that win Alexander's battles, it makes sense. jokes aside this mission seems good but I'm slightly doubting if the runner picked the most suitable units for the battles. I'm not sure about this.

A Conqueror is Born:
pretty straight forwards fighting enemy units and chasing them. chasing remaining enemy units seems to be a minor flaw but can't be skipped it looks like. how come no volcanoes this time? the catapult ship glitch worked well it seems. nice use of catapults demolishing the building quickly. overall good.

And Alexander Wept:
has this gate glitch done before or is this the first been put to use in a speedrun? either way the gate glitch probably shaved off minutes.

not much to say about the run except for sure any RTS game would take hours to complete so I guess this run is acceptable?! I'm not sure so I give it a weak accept. I only watched on the YT link since the videos are all blank with only audio seems to work fine. is it encoded incorrectly?! am I only one having this issue?
Not a walrus
Looks like the IQs are encoded using a different colorspace that Chrome (at least) doesn't support. I was able to play Greek 1 in VLC, at least, so anybody else wanting to watch these should probably use VLC for now.
They're ordinary Fraps captures endoded in Yua. Same method as used for the previous two campaigns, although different hardware/OS, but that shouldn't make a big difference.
Not a walrus
I believe than Yua will use 4:2:2 for IQ when given Fraps files, but I could be wrong on that. I do know that I couldn't get them to play in MPC, but they played fine in VLC, which is a sign that the colorspace is 4:2:2. Gives better quality, but isn't as compatible.

The HQ and below should be fine, so I wouldn't worry about it.
Edit history:
Crow!: 2014-09-05 12:08:46 pm
Crow!: 2014-09-04 09:32:03 pm
What's that gemma?
These videos are unplayable in Windows Media Player, Firefox, and Chrome, with only VLC having a clue what to do with it.  I've consistently had these sorts of problems with all IQ quality videos I've tried to encode via Yua; thankfully, my videos from the SNES don't need that sort of quality.

The quality is beautiful in VLC.

Mission-by-Mission critiques:
The Early Helladic Peoples:
He ditches all units beyond one transport load full, then bolts for the dock rather than actually completing the military and resource collection objectives the game intends.  I do wonder if a second transport could be constructed in time for a second load of civilians to assist with the construction of the temple to save a few seconds.

Warriors from the Sea:
Nice job distracting all the enemy military units with only the initial set of heroes.  There is time to be saved (my guess is 30-60 seconds) by building two Barracks at home while waiting for the first transport to be made; a second transport can then ferry 4-6 Sampsons plus one Son of Pelops to defeat the western town center while the usual landing crew (plus one worker compared to his route) builds two Barracks to take out the eastern town center.  I was able to tie his run with this strategy despite some pretty serious execution problems.

The Trojan War:
Lots of opportunities to improve little increments of time throughout the setup; in particular, a lot of units are never upgraded all the way, which is strange given the large amounts of downtime available to resource glitch.  I like the transport deletion micro.  The AI failing to lock the gate, and the subsequent failure to defend during the Trojan Horse event is hilarious.

The Rise of Athens:
He fails to upgrade his Athenian Nobility units, which is a pretty serious error given how much of the mission hinges on them.  I also don't think his army composition is very good for this mission.  I like archers as much as the next guy,  but there are some tasks that they aren't the best at (particularly, hitting targets that are moving).  Mixing in a stable or barracks worth of something would have improved his army's performance by a lot.  The very cheap Population Cap Bonus might have been worth picking up here.

The Peloponnesian War:
He resource glitches almost 4k more Gold than he uses, and he never upgrades his his Phalanxes.  Both of those delay important bottlenecks (obtaining 10k Food, killing the siege weapons).

Young Frankenstein Alexander:
Yet again he refuses to upgrade his infantry.  I get that he doesn't have much faith in their abilities, but it only takes a few seconds of downtime to make it free to do so.  I'm not at all sold on those volcano positions - in this case, trapping a couple units cost him some time at the end, and it seems like he could score a lot more hits if he put one of them further north.  More importantly, why doesn't he fight the last army from the north?  Given infinite resources, options as extreme as "construct 20 stables, delete your whole army from the second to last fight, then make a new one from scratch right where you'll want it" are available but not utilized.

A Conqueror is Born:
First two thirds of this mission went great.  The last portion, however, was a disaster, essentially because he made two transports short of what he needed.  His first force got wiped out, with only the acquisition of targeting for two ships to show for it, and without the timely arrival of the second wave of units.  He also never upgraded his catapults, which is confusing given that the final victory condition of the mission is to destroy a building, which catapults wreck.

And Alexander Wept:
"But Gold and Iron would be harder to come by."  The runner disagrees with you, Narrator.  He delays his civilians for about 20 seconds in a village for reasons I cannot figure out.  I suspect the battle with the assassins could be notably faster if he had made a few more units at the start of the game; fast units would definitely catch up to the army in time since it has to wait around for civilians.


Looking for errors in these videos started rather difficult, and got progressively easier as the campaign wore on.  It didn't seem like the runner was making nearly as thorough use of infinite friggin' resources as I would expect in a speed run.

I'll try to find some time to try my hand at a few of the later missions (my current installation doesn't have them unlocked at present) to see if there's something that makes them much harder than I think they are, but right now I'm leaning toward a reject.
There's two things about the refund glitch I perhaps should've included in comments.
1. It's really difficult and awkward to use it for buildings. You'd have to put the building in the very top-left corner and enter the menu immediately after clicking, which is very inconsistent. If it's worth doing once, it's worth attempting. Just building 20 stables is not feasible, it'll waste a LOT of time.
2. Far as I know, it's impossible to refund upgrades. There's no hotkey for the tribute menu (or if there is I've failed to find it) so you can't open it fast enough to refund them.

So in a mission like A Conqueror is Born, I can only upgrade so much to keep enough resources to build the ships I need. Perhaps I could've budgeted upgrades better in some missions, but generally I just upgrade things that actually speed up the mission noticeably, rather than potentially waste time upgrading things that don't matter. And the same principle applies to some of the other criticisms (though others are sound and really make me wish you'd give this input on the EE thread before I submit my runs :c)
I completely forgot about this one... my bad.  if you'd still like a response from me I can get to it in the next day or so.
Edit history:
Crow!: 2014-09-08 01:03:17 am
Crow!: 2014-09-07 09:25:10 pm
Crow!: 2014-09-07 09:24:50 pm
Crow!: 2014-09-07 09:22:04 pm
Crow!: 2014-09-07 09:15:27 pm
What's that gemma?
Some more mission notes, after playing through them myself:

The Peloponnesian War
- A LOT of time can be saved by holding shift while resource glitching.  This lets you assign 500 resources at a time in the alliances menu, rather than just 100, cutting the time spent spamming clicks by 80%.
- A small amount of time can be saved by casting Battle Cry.
- Another small amount of time can be saved by deleting the gate before it locks, so that your citizens can make the archeries closer to the battle; you can also start the fight early this way, though you'll be fighting while resource glitching.  (My instinct is to say the fastest is to start the fight the instant Heracles shows up and renders your elephants effectively invincible).

Young Alexander
- It is faster to aggro the assassins and lead them to the rest of the guards rather than fighting them youself.
- The Colosseum can give you the ability to generate more units to intercept the Spartan army.  Make a couple citizens to complete it faster, then delete all your citizens.
--- As a corollary, if you haven't picked up the Population Cap bonus by this point (it should taken as of Rise of Athens), you really need to.  9 additional supply of units is a big deal.
- Building volcanoes in a vertical formation rather than horizontal, and building them farther from the coast, forces the enemy army to walk through more total hazardous terrain.
- With about an hour's worth of effort, I beat Onin's time on this level by 15 seconds.  I'm expecting an improvement of 2 minutes to be possible here.

And Alexander Wept:
- A pack of 4 additional Companion Cavalry can in fact arrive in time to assist with the assassin cleanup.
- The civilians build walls faster if you spread them out among the wall segments, rather than requiring them to all move from one section to the next.
- Making sure the civilians never stop moving is the top priority here; queue up commands with shift if you have to.

I'm willing to give The Rise of Athens and A Conqueror is Born passes on their macro mistakes because they're particularly micro-intensive and he did a good job with that portion.  However, before I'd recommend an accept for this, the Peloponnesian War and Young Alexander need serious work.  And unfortunately, I very strongly suspect that the proper choice in Young Alexander will involve, in part, taking the Pop Cap civilization bonus which he did not take previously, which will in turn require that the last two missions be re-done, as well.

So, my vote is to REJECT for now.
Not a walrus
Onin, do you want to redo the missions that Crow mentioned?
I don't really have the free time to fully reroute and redo everything from that point. If it's all too sub-optimal for people's tastes, then so be it.
Decision posted.