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Mass Effect 2 (Any %) (Single Segment) (Casual)

Verifier Responses

I've watched this run twice now and the A/V is good, and I didn't see any cheating.

To put it bluntly, I'm of two minds about this run.  I wouldn't put it as an ironclad accept to begin with, and the route has recently seen a significant improvement (basically using Mordin and waking up Grunt).  Whether or not the recent route improvements should be held against this run is actually a tricky question for me.  If there is any precedent in such cases, I am not aware of it.

But on to the run at hand...  Biotic Charge is used extensively, as it should be, because despite all the bugs the runner mentions (and they happen, believe me) it saves a LOT of time and helps recharge Shepard's shield.  Power and weapon usage is generally very good: with one notable exception (a glitch), the Biotic Charging is very good; Shepard only has one ammo power so it's worth using regardless of strengths or weaknesses; and there aren't that many instances where a weapon is used against a defense that is strong against it - given the time it takes to switch weapons most of those were probably faster anyway.  The runner admits to not being the best shot, but by and large the combat is good, and only three or four spots are really ugly.  The biggest time losses are caused by glitches, and are pretty obvious.

I could ramble for quite a while about more specific things, but basically the decision comes down to this: if I ignore the recent route changes, it's an accept - not the strongest but not totally weak either; but if I factor them in, I'd have reject this run.  Don't get me wrong, this is a very good run and I wouldn't mind it going up on SDA, but the route improvements wouldn't have taken that much effort to test (even if the reason waking Grunt is good is not totally intuitive) so I'm inclined to reject this run.

One more quick point: the Cain is not DLC, as the runner states in the commentary, it just takes way too much time to get in a new game any%.

[omitted] summed things up quite well regarding the route improvements.

As for my opinions, I feel that the run falls just on the line of forgiveness for mistakes/other errors that I have for single-segment runs. There are a number of mistakes and unforced errors that happen, mainly in combat. I am having trouble deciding if the run deserves to be accepted or not.

Considering the route changes are not really groundbreaking, I find myself leaning towards reject. I think that the mistakes made, like the crate glitch attempts in Legion's recruitment mission, or the missed tubes in the Human Reaper hybrid fight, compounded upon the route changes, make the run not quite acceptable. However, this is just my opinion, and if another verifier disagrees with my verdict, I would ask that they tell me why, and try to show me their thinking, and I may change my mind. I've never been so on the fence about a run before.

Verdict: Shaky reject.

I've been waiting to respond to this because of the activity in the game thread, but I guess I should get my thoughts down.

The runner's comments covered most of the things that went well or not so well. A lot of them come down to luck, or at least are not easy to control. The luck factors could be better, but they could be worse too. As for opening doors in the middle of fights, I wonder if there's a way to get some of them more consistently in SS, if not quite as fast. Maybe killing some specific enemies on the way and positioning teammates to block doorways or shield Shepard from fire would more reliably allow some enemies to be skipped?

I did find it strange that the runner always picked Jacob until the end. There were one or two missions where Pull was useful, but it seems like Mordin's Incinerate would be better most of the time, since tough enemies tend to have lots of armor. Jacob's weapons are better with Incendiary Ammo, but I'm guessing the damage power is more relevant, since it's effective at long range and when the squadmate doesn't have line of sight or isn't shooting at the most important target. Garrus might be better against Geth. Miranda is a pretty obvious choice, but it's probably worth putting at least one point in Warp ASAP. I noticed the runner sometimes manually ordered her to use Overload against unprotected targets, but I don't think I ever saw him use it against armor or barriers, which works just as well (100% rather than the 200% you get against shields). Still, Warp would be better in those situations.

Shooting was mostly as good as can be expected in a third-person game with mostly inaccurate weapons, but there were a few spots where the runner used the Carnifex at close range where the shotgun or SMG would have been effective, then didn't have ammo for it later. The Vindicator was effective in the places it was used, but I think getting sniper rifle training for the Viper would be better. It has pretty absurd DPS, especially against big targets like Scions and Praetorians where you can fire several shots per second and ignore the recoil. It's also the best weapon you could ask for in situations where it's impossible or too risky to charge, which is where the Vanguard is weakest.

We do need to decide whether completion bonuses make a run a separate category. I really dislike the way they blur the line between NG and NG+, and make later playthroughs easier than the first (at a given difficulty). If they're not NG+, there's no reason not to use them. If they are NG+, there's no reason to do a run with a new character using the bonuses. If they're a third category, all three options are valid. Importing a character from the previous game could be another category too. I don't think it would be much different from NG with completion bonuses in ME2, but could make a big difference in ME3 with all those unskippable cutscenes that can be different.

In runs with the bonuses, the Cain would save a lot of time on the Reaper Core. Without it, the Viper might be the best option, but it's not a big difference since you have to wait for it to open three times.

A minor time saver would be to refuel only 1/4 or 1/3 of the way in a few places in order to jump back to the system with the relay.

Quibbles aside, I would lean towards accepting this run. I'm a bit more forgiving than some verifiers when it comes to long SS runs and I like to see games get runs up on the site (as long as they're competent, which this run is). But there's certainly some room for improvement and some new strategies, so I expect we'll see a better run soon.

I would put gaining control at 4:08 and losing it at 2:21:52, but there are a lot of load screens to cut out.

A/V quality is good everywhere.

I really enjoyed the runner's commentary throughout the run. From what it sounds like there has been some recent route changes which is kind of unfortunate to the runner who sounds like he put a lot of work into this. Personally, I think this should still be an accept because this is currently the fastest submitted run with no signs of cheating. However, I'm not a fan of a "no DLC" categories because if DLC is faster it should be used.

As for the run, there are several areas with noticeable mistakes such as trying to hack open doors before being shot at. I feel like the doors might be easier to open with more precise teammate positioning, but I can't really hold the runner against that since I've never tried it myself. Other areas include running out of power amo and the two instances of dying from a bug or glitch. It was kind of ironic that the runner mentioned loading an auto save would prevent the bug with samara teleporting away from him from happening, yet he doesn't do it in a good run where he could've potentially lost minutes instead of just about a minute he lost from not doing that in the first place. I'm familiar with the vanguard bugs in ME2 and I really can't hold the death caused from charging while getting hit against the runner, because it only happened once and overall the number of successful charges was pretty spectacular. Finally, the last notable mistake was the fight against the reaper core where the runner quickly ran out of power amo and struggled to do an OoB glitch on top of a crate. I feel like a better weapon choice or being more careful with his power amo supply would've saved some unnecessary time loss. The OoB glitch probably could've been looked into more by the runner to see if it was even worth going for in the first place if it's really as difficult to pull off as it sounds.

Overall, this is still a decent run. It sounds like there was a lot of good RNG in a heavily based RNG run. It seems like a very difficult thing to try and copy all the segmented tricks into a single segment run. I would like to encourage the runner to focus on practicing the later levels more because this is definitely an instance where the first half of the run is solid, yet the second half is really shaky from not getting many runs to that point. I also feel like the runner relied heavily on what he felt was faster, which is a good sign that more communication among the ME speedrunning community would likely ensure a better SS run in the future.

A/V good.

Play quality is good throughout. There are some instances of bad luck through the run, but also some very good luck. The only issue is with the route. The new route saves a good chunk of time off of this one. When this run was made, the conditions for advancing the game weren't as well understood. Hopefully hokorippoi submits something to obsolete this soon. Nevertheless, given the old route, this is a perfectly acceptable run of the old route. Not much else to say that hasn't already been said.

In-game time is 2:21. I'm pretty sure that's unreliable, though I haven't tested it personally. The 4:08 to 2:21:52 minus load screens seems to be the best bet.

A/V good
Cheating : Nope
Bonus points for the good commentary Cheesy

For a run that has any sort of luck in it there will always be rough spots.  I think the balance of Good v. Bad in this run is solid.  I feel all the issues I've seen have already been covered.  This is a solid run, and just because there is something in the works to obsolete it shouldn't mean a rejection.  I'm all good with going for an accept on this run.

Decision: Accept

Reason: Verifiers were pretty split on this, but it seems that the "pros" (play quality) barely edge out the "cons" (route selection). An improvement to this would be most welcome, but it's OK as-is.

Congratulations to Dustin 'Hokorippoi' Hanks!
Thread title:  
Yea, the changes to the route does save some time. With loading time I been able to cut down to 2:13:20. (~8 mins saved)
Sad that the best run I have with the new route, has the audio cut out 3 times (vs 1 time in the above run).