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Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising () (pc) [Any %] [Individual Level]

Decision: Accept

Congratulations to 'BadJim'!
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Run Information

Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising () (pc) [Any %] [Individual Level]

Verification Files

Please refer to the Verification Guidelines before posting.

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.
A/V: Good

Gameplay: When I saw this game up for verification, I got curious and started reading up on it a bit. It seems like a somewhat forgotten gem. Everyone seems to like it, but it also seems to have passed by fairly unnoticed. The game looks really fun with a mix of several game style elements and the combination seems to be overall well done.

Ok, that was a lot of words for something quite unrelated to this speedrun. The fact is that there isn't much I can comment on. A lot of the stuff goes on off screen with the support units and knowing how the ai will react and the exact completion requirements are things that you just can't evaluate without playing the game. Still, the execution looks good and it's quite obvious that the runner knows very well what they're doing. There is a forum thread for this game and this run seems to have been in the works for some time. Unless someone knowledgeable about the game comes along and points out new information on how to do things faster, I'm going to say that this is a well done speedrun.

Thank you.

Unfortunately, the direct command interface is a bit of a double edged sword. It is usually the fastest way to issue commands, but it is very opaque for anyone watching it. If you're uncertain about specific cases, ask and I'll try to fill you in on what I did.
Edit history:
LotBlind: 2015-11-25 12:03:27 pm
LotBlind: 2015-11-24 12:33:13 pm
LotBlind: 2015-11-24 12:31:12 pm
Looks like a more refined more arcadey version of Ground Control.

Mission 4 : did you just kill someone off to save a little bit of time? That's the spirit!
Mission 8 : for a bloody mess that's bloody fast!
Mission 9 : Just dropping the tanks doesn't blow them up?
Mission 10: "I'm an A-VI-A-TOR." I feel this mission is a little bit off somehow. Did you need to wait for the EMP chopper to get blown up before switching to the tank to destroy the last building or did switching to it have no impact on the finish time? Cause the chopper doesn't seem to be doing anything for several seconds.
Mission 15: Have you thought of doing a Fastest controller Down on this one? Would it involve more changes than just not shoving the trucks along? Actually is there no faster ground vehicle to give them more speed? My intuition tells me there's a few seconds to shave there somehow. Could you hope to push multiple trucks at once like you do for a short while?
Mission 16: Didn't the death waste any time?
Mission 17: Any lazy playthrough possibilities here or is the EMP gun too important? Is it really impossible to do any fast-command micro here or anything at all to make it go any amount faster? You're just hovering for the large part of it. Couldn't you have saved the number 5 (and number 1) guy by giving them orders that make them become detargeted? You lost firepower with that didn't you? At 10:30 your units are attacking a structure that was about to get smashed by the artillery anyway wasn't it? Why didn't you lead them towards the next target instead?

When there's so much idle time in a mission it just makes you wonder about all such things. I'm not quite sure if this one was as good as it could have been.

Mission 18: Again I'm not sure if this looks optimized... Like at 2:20 you're harvesting a thing, you wait for it to be harvested and only then start turning. 3:12 a pointless second or two lost looking for a clear shot on the harvest beam. Then you turn your tank towards the target appearing next to you. Correct me if I'm wrong but you can move the turret around totally independent of the tank so long as you don't touch a movement key right? So you didn't need to turn the tank at all, it was already pointed the right way. It just doesn't seem like you're thinking ahead the whole time. That's something you really gotta get in the habit of doing for speedruns. If there's something I haven't taken into account about the controls or otherwise feel free to point it out but otherwise I'm gonna say this looks too casual.

Is there no chance you could have skipped a more out-of-the-way piece of debris before reaching the tower structure you needed to identify and shooting and harvesting something on the way to extraction? Is that too risky?

Mission 21: "I'm under attack and there's nothing I can do about it... but bitch."

Out of curiosity, do the different pilots have any differing abilities or stats?

Basically I can see all the evidence of planning etc. The single other weakest point in this run (that's not bad per se) is little mouse control and movement things. I don't think it wasted much time (some lost firing time on occasion) but it looks a little bit sloppy now and then, in the earlier missions, when the runner isn't taking the beeline at times when nothing much else is happening. Especially in choppers when terrain is no concern. Even though it's not big time-wise or doesn't lose time at all it decreases the visual appeal. Also the menuing was solid, no misclicks, but looked like it could have been faster throughout seeing as it stopped the gameplay each time as I understand.

Shoot the guy who thought they'd nailed the Russian character. Her NAME even is wrong, it should be Korolev-A with the stress on the e. Hahahaha...

I'll try to take another look at this thread by latest on the Saturday.
Mission 4 : Thank you!
Mission 8 : Thank you!
Mission 9 : What are you? Some kind of physics teacher? No, if you drop the fuel tankers from maximum altitude, what you get is a tanker on the ground that you'll probably have to pick up again.

Mission 10 : My last few seconds with the EMP chopper were spent targeting two artillery salvos on the hybrid ground and air facilities in the south east base, which are mission objectives. Unfortunately, ordering one salvo means that you cannot order another one until that little shooting animation that appears under the minimap disappears. So I order a salvo on the ground facility, wait a few seconds, then move forward and just manage to order a salvo on the air facility before getting destroyed. I hang back because the area I fly into is pretty dangerous as you can see, so I don't want to fly in until I can order the second salvo. I could have moved forward maybe half a second earlier, but if that chopper gets prematurely destroyed the run is over.

Mission 15 : Fastest controller down would indeed be different. I would probably destroy the hybrid base and get the turrets down ASAP, then destroy the alien base, harvest a decent amount of energy, and defend the convoy in the southeast. I need to destroy the rocks manually, but then I could just order an expensive army into spawn-campy positions near the dock and leave the game running. I might push the trucks, depending on how much time I had and how many trucks you need to trigger the alien spawning and falling rocks.

The rhino(tank) moves the small trucks rather nicely, as the treads fit around them and the rhino moves quite fast. But it doesn't work on the large trucks, which complicates the procedure as you have to order a second vehicle to move them. Another issue is that you have to let the trucks move by themselves to hit the waypoints, unless perhaps you're making a TAS. 10:10 shows the dire consequences of pushing a truck past its' next waypoint, as it slowly turns around to get that waypoint properly and nearly gets in the way of another truck. It takes longer to get the rhino away from the truck it's pushing and therefore takes longer before truck starts moving of its' own accord. I'm not really sure whether the rhino or the scarab is ultimately faster, it's difficult to measure because the main thing governing speed is the degree of human error.

The salamander(hovercraft) and puma(stealth vehicle) bounce the small trucks around too much and are not very useful.

Pushing two units at once only works on long stretches. This is because the trucks won't drive bumper to bumper, and you have to let them drive through the waypoints themselves. When you bring two trucks to a waypoint, the second truck will wait until the first truck is sufficiently far away before moving off, which takes too long and the first truck is usually near the next waypoint by the time you catch up with the second. It's better to push trucks on their own, as the boosts tend to stick.

Mission 16 : Shooting the alien derricks spawns a lot of alien turrets, and the best way to handle them, IMO, is to destroy the existing turrets first, shoot a derrick with an expendable unit, like a 400EJ hornet, and once they start spawning use EMP to disable followed by units with guns. I don't remember ordering Madsen to get involved with his flamethrower, I think he just wandered in. I think losing Madsen did waste time, about 45 seconds at the end with four damage dealers, would have taken maybe 36 seconds with five I guess.

Mission 17 : The EMP is essential, as my choppers will get ripped apart by the AA towers if they aren't disabled. I could possibly have one or two AIs with the EMP instead, but I can't avoid the EMP without completely changing the strategy. I used the EMP myself because the AI is terrible at picking targets.

I found that just putting my units in follow mode and hovering over enemy targets was a fairly simple control solution that generally put me within range of other targets to disable. I'm not really sure what micro would help. Although I should have sent a single unit to destroy the radar at 3:30 instead of dragging the whole squad over. That was a mistake.

As for losing a unit, I think it's hard to avoid. The enemy seems to focus on the weakest unit, and the only way to save it is to pull it out of combat, which basically means not using it, in which case it becomes effectively dead before it is killed. I maybe should have rebuilt it as soon as I lost it, but I was the other side of the alien base and would have had to set a bunch of waypoints on the map screen where the action is paused.

I did waste a bit of firepower on a building I had targeted for an artillery strike, but there wasn't time to lead them away. Maybe some rapid fire hotkey use could have pulled them away, but in follow mode they will keep fighting until I am quite some way away.

Mission 18 : Actually the tank turns to point where the turret is pointing, unless you press the strafe keys, in which case the tank moves sideways relative to the turret. You use WASD+mouse to control all units, with the Q and E keys to go up and down on flying units.

At 3:12 I'm not looking for a clear shot, I'm left clicking, which is the quickest way to recycle scrap with a scarab, but with the tank just fires the guns. Yes, that's still an error.

You need to harvest 4000EJ to activate the emergency beacon on the communications tower. There is no reason to visit the tower without 4000EJ, and no need to harvest once you have activated the beacon.

Mission 21 : In fairness, I do need to support them on that mission. And I'd do anything for Borden . . .

In general: I haven't really noticed the different AIs having different behavior/stats, apart from the fact that Ransom tends to die first.

And thanks for verifying!
Mission 15: Is the number of waypoints too high to memorize so you'd know how far you can push the trucks?
Mission 16: I guess you're splitting the units to take down two bases at once (sorry it's already been several days), and Madsen was over on the other side, then that base was fully destroyed before the one you're at? Or is calling him in something you just didn't think of? Or what? If you can get those 9 seconds with any kind of consistency, I'd like to suggest doing so for a 6:30 run. Pretty short after all.
Mission 17: So when you order a unit to retreat a little ways and send it back in, it becomes targeted again regardless of where the enemy's attention is in the meantime? Not like some kind of RTS?

I see about the wasted firepower thing.

Mission 18: So you're saying this couldn't be done a bit faster just by planning your movements so you're already moving ahead before the current action (harvest or destroying something) is finished? Looks like such a straightforward mission... or is there RNG? I think because it's a solo run, it really shows through if you don't pay attention to that stuff as opposed to most missions.

Whenever a unit is about to be destroyed (in whichever mission) have you looked for opportunities to send them to destroy undefended structures instead? Is that practicable anywhere? How about taking a near-dead unit, sending them back to base for scrapping and building another one? Anywhere?
Edit history:
BadJim: 2015-11-29 02:12:40 am
BadJim: 2015-11-28 05:38:04 pm
There is some RNG in most runs, in that my troops will do better or worse in combat from one run to the next given the same orders. In general, this means that my fastest run isn't necessarily the run where I play my best. It is perhaps a bad habit of mine to reset when I see the mission going badly, as I don't always get the necessary practise to beat it cleanly. On the other hand, it gives me more attempts, which means I get a run with better luck in whatever early RNG there is.

In Mission 18, there is RNG in how the enemy flyers move when I'm fighting them. They play peek-a-boo, popping up from behind hills, taking pot shots then ducking down. On this run, they seemed to be popping up right into my crosshairs in an incredibly convenient way. However I destroy and harvest most resources in set order. Note that the artillery pod that I destroyed at 1:04 spawns when I harvest about 300EJ. I did not forget to destroy it when I drove past, it wasn't there.

I was slightly surprised by the suicide runner and walker that appeared on my radar at 0:50, as you never quite know when they will show up. That bit doesn't look very elegant, but I was thinking on the fly. It would have been faster if I had ignored them and destroyed the artillery pod first, but the suicide runner would probably have hit me and I've finished a lot of good runs for that mission on a tiny sliver of health.

I can and do start moving forwards when I am about to finish harvesting something, although not always and usually a bit late. But while there is a lot of leeway, if I point the tank directly away from the scrap it will stop harvesting, so if I need to recycle something in front of me then go back, the best I can do is point sideways and turn around fully when it is done.

On Mission 15, I do kind of know where the waypoints are, but they are invisible and I don't know exactly where they are. You can see where they are by watching the convoy, and if you think like a level designer you can usually guess. I usually stop short of waypoints because if the truck ends up left or right of the waypoint it turns rather slowly to get it. Pushing trucks really close to the waypoints is asking for trouble imo, as you'll have them frequently turning round and wasting time. Being too aggressive can easily end up slower than not pushing the trucks at all.

On Mission 16, I did not order Madsen to assist me, he just started moving south at about 4:30 and attacked the AA tower. I left him in the northern area and expected him to help destroy it along with the other units.

Also, why should I go for a 6:30 run? The verification video is only 6:25 and the run itself is about 6:13 . . .

Mission 17 : I don't think the enemy actually switches targets mid fight to focus on nearly dead units, as my AI units certainly don't and I don't see why they would have different behavior. However, I do suspect that when enemy units select their targets, they tend to focus on nearly dead units. I find that when I save a unit with a quarter of a health bar and send it back into combat, it dies fast, even though my other units will survive long periods without taking much damage.

The real mistake was not that I lost the unit, it was that I didn't replace it immediately. Unfortunately I have struggled to beat the time. I'm not quite sure why.

In general : Sending nearly dead units back for recycling is generally a waste of time because I do not need the energy. It means the unit has to fly back and recycle itself, so it spends a lot more time out of combat not meeting any mission objectives. One scarab generally provides all the energy I need, and on many missions I don't even bother harvesting. Holding a nearly dead unit back for demolition work might be sensible in mission 17, but I still have enough energy to replace one unit and replace a second with a hornet (the weaker chopper). One must be careful that the demolition chopper doesn't spend too long sitting on the sidelines waiting for something to safely destroy, especially if I can afford to replace it with a healthy, combat ready unit.
Mission 18: Yup. I noticed that the pod spawned in, the thing I noted was you temporarily turn the tank to face it half-way during shooting it, then you have to wait for it to turn around to be able to continue. It was just an example. In case you also harvested it, I see now as per your comment that you do in fact need the tank no to point directly away from it so ignore that, that's what I wanted to hear.

Mission 16 haha. I meant a 6:30 run (I looked at the video length and rounded up) is pretty short and redoing it isn't as much work as if it was 30 minutes.

Okay, I think I've satisfied my curiosity. Sometimes verifiers can ask to redo a few missions in an ILs pack but I can't see good reason knowing all that about the RNG and other mechanics that weren't totally clear at first.

Accept! And if you do lazy runs I'm certainly gonna watch them again.
Borderlands 2 Glitch Hunter/ router.
A/V : Good
Cheating: None
Game-play: Read the above essays lol

Decision posted.