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Game Page: http://speeddemosarchive.com/MechWarrior3.html

MechWarrior 3 (pc) (pc) [Any %] [Segmented]

Decision: Accept

Congratulations to 'Falconer Gray'!
Thread title:  
Run Information

MechWarrior 3 (pc) (pc) [Any %] [Segmented]

Verification Files

http://v.speeddemosarchive.com/MechWarrior3-20220719/Mechwarrior%203%2030.44%20Segmented%20Speedrun.mp4

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). If you wish to remain anonymous, you can also send a pm with your reply to 'sdaverification' (please state clearly in that case which run you have verified). This is not a contest where the majority wins - Each verification will be judged on its content.
A/V: mostly good; however the audio was a little quiet for me, even on max (but that could partly be due to my bad hearing). Visuals were good, apart from some anomalies, e.g. at 0:20, 3:54, and 15:10 - which appear to show the taskbar. I'm unsure as to the severity of this, but it may break the clean video rule.

Cheating: none

Gameplay: No complaints - solid, as to be expected of segmented runs. Comments are well done too, certainly helped my comprehension of the game (having never played it before).

Accept
Quote from ImEliteGlitches1608:
A/V: mostly good; however the audio was a little quiet for me, even on max (but that could partly be due to my bad hearing). Visuals were good, apart from some anomalies, e.g. at 0:20, 3:54, and 15:10 - which appear to show the taskbar. I'm unsure as to the severity of this, but it may break the clean video rule.

Cheating: none

Gameplay: No complaints - solid, as to be expected of segmented runs. Comments are well done too, certainly helped my comprehension of the game (having never played it before).

Accept


Thanks for the feedback. Especially regarding the comments. I kept thinking I was writing way too much, but I wanted someone who had never seen the game before to feel comfortable with what they were watching.

Regarding the video comments, that seems to come up on the transition between menu and gameplay. From talk in the old thread on this site, people were suggesting that the menu and game run in different resolutions. That may have something to do with it.
I'm can't think of anything I can do to eliminate this when recording, but I suppose if it's an issue those frames could potentially be edited out? Unfortunately I wouldn't know how to do that properly.
Quote from Falconer Gray:
I'm can't think of anything I can do to eliminate this when recording, but I suppose if it's an issue those frames could potentially be edited out? Unfortunately I wouldn't know how to do that properly.


Out of curiosity, what are you using to record?
Quote from ImEliteGlitches1608:
Out of curiosity, what are you using to record?


Recorded in OBS.
When figuring out how to make this work, I trialled a couple of different recording programs. I had tried to use the 'game capture' feature (that captures directly from the game itself, rather than just whatever is on the screen) but wasn't able to make that work in any of the programs I tried.

Mechwarrior 3 is from that weird time right after DOS and has major problems with running on current systems. It takes a bit of effort to get running properly and doesn't play nicely with modern things!
I'll give proper feedback later but the showing the desktop/taskbar thing is a common issue when games change resolutions. (You guys should see Deus Ex Invisible War! That game literally has to reboot itself to start a new level.) So anyway we've accepted that kind of thing in the past so probably not an issue here either.
No watermarks, gameplay was pretty clean. Shame about OP4M1. OP2M2 was really good with all the headshots. OP4M3 was really nice as well with the elemental handling. Overall, incredibly solid run. My only gripe is how quiet the audio is, but they will definitely fix that if they accept it.

Overall, I don't see a reason as to why they wouldn't accept it this time. The watermark earlier made some sense, but I really don't think they have an excuse not to this time lol
Thanks Prox.

The audio annoys me as well - that's actually the real volume that I get when playing. All volume settings are maxed, no idea of what causes it to be so low.

Your comment about OP4M1, is there something up with the run, or is it more just about the nature of the mission itself? Figuring out the right strat balance was an interesting challenge. I can get there sooner with a faster mech, but then can't get as close to the train because I wouldn't be able to avoid the enemy mechs. Going heavier means I wouldn't have to worry about them, but then I wouldn't reach the train in time.
I trialled a bunch of different ways to approach this before landing on the end result. I enjoyed doing it. Funny how much work goes into literal seconds of gameplay - but that's speedrunning!
Quote from Falconer Gray:
Thanks Prox.

The audio annoys me as well - that's actually the real volume that I get when playing. All volume settings are maxed, no idea of what causes it to be so low.

Your comment about OP4M1, is there something up with the run, or is it more just about the nature of the mission itself? Figuring out the right strat balance was an interesting challenge. I can get there sooner with a faster mech, but then can't get as close to the train because I wouldn't be able to avoid the enemy mechs. Going heavier means I wouldn't have to worry about them, but then I wouldn't reach the train in time.
I trialled a bunch of different ways to approach this before landing on the end result. I enjoyed doing it. Funny how much work goes into literal seconds of gameplay - but that's speedrunning!


When you fell off the mountain before the second relay station. Everything else was solid for that mission. When you fell off the mountain, was it intentional?
Quote from PROX:
When you fell off the mountain before the second relay station. Everything else was solid for that mission. When you fell off the mountain, was it intentional?


Ah yep, I know what you're referring to. It wasn't intentional, but it didn't cost any time. As it happened I realised it meant I couldn't receive fire from the mechs on the right, so it's something I might actually look at using intentionally in later runs.
Formerly known as Skullboy
A/V is fine. No cheating detected.

As this run is apparently segmented and on the same difficulty as the current SDA run, I've watched the currently published run and provided mission times to compare and contrast between the two runs.

SDA Published Run Run in Verification
O1M1: 00:01:50 O1M1: 00:01:41
O1M2: 00:02:13 O1M2: 00:01:16
O1M3: 00:03:26 O1M3: 00:03:22
O1M4: 00:01:55 O1M4: 00:00:40
O2M1: 00:02:14 O2M1: 00:02:01
O2M2: 00:02:59 O2M2: 00:01:29
O2M3: 00:00:53 O2M3: 00:00:42
O2M4: 00:01:24 O2M4: 00:00:36
O3M1: 00:03:00 O3M1: 00:02:56
O3M2: 00:02:21 O3M2: 00:01:27
O3M3: 00:03:06 O3M3: 00:02:21
O3M4: 00:01:53 O3M4: 00:01:02
O3M5: 00:01:13 O3M5: 00:01:00
O3M6: 00:01:47 O3M6: 00:01:02
O4M1: 00:03:31 O4M1: 00:03:09
O4M2: 00:01:13 O4M2: 00:00:35
O4M3: 00:03:27 O4M3: 00:02:26
O4M4: 00:01:25 O4M4: 00:00:44
O4M5: 00:02:02 O4M5: 00:01:32
O4M6: 00:01:01 O4M6: 00:00:42
Total: 40+ minutes Total: 30+ minutes

This run in verification crushes the previous run by using better strategies and being more aggressive.

I think the current run is listed as 42:53... I wonder if the time spent on the salvage menu (which the submitted run either skipped or didn't record) gave the extra time there.

Regardless, this run should obsolete the current one barring any problems

Accept
Decision posted.
The decision here isn't going to change based on my feedback but looks like this was closed a little early this time. Thanks for everyone who verified it including Worn Traveler with the time comparisons. Maybe you could even work that table into your comments so everyone who saw the old run knows how much time you saved in each mission?

A/V: Was there any talk about the framerate? Briefly glancing at forums I can see this game benefits from it being limited? And that's why it's a steady 25?

I see you're playing on "hard" difficulty. Since it's not the default setting (assuming), I just edited it into the run entry so it'll show up on the page like the old run had it. Are the other settings in the options menu that you show the defaults or did you for any reason deviate from those? Might want to mention that you did/didn't in the comments. And maybe someone would like to know how the difficulty affects how the game works if you wanted to address that too.

You're only runner I can remember using "we" to describe the action in the notes. Very professional. The only step that's even left to take along that path is to start a strategy guide *wink wink*. Tried to make the template as easy to use as could possibly be without codework being involved.

Also before I forget (I may have pointed you at this already), there's this challenge that PROX found of interest so maybe it'll amuse you as well.

C1M4: Wow, that firefly is like a velociraptor.

C2M1: Can't believe you can dupe the enemy like that with nav points! Nice jump shots.

C3M2: "One in a million shot!" Did someone just perform... the Holdo Maneuver?

"As the story goes, there are other friendly mechs on the planet in a similar situation to us. One of them is carrying artillery weapons, and is happy to fire off a few shots when we call for it." That's a pretty neat piece of world building... or world destroying I guess. And the glitch where the mech bulldozes the building on its own is interesting too.

C3M6: So nowhere else you could have used the trick where you set a nav point and enemies attack it to destroy some building faster? I suppose it's usually more than one building that needs destroying in the same area. Did you see if other missions have the same restart trick where some enemy mech can bulldoze a target down if you just set the nav point next to it?

C4M1: I suppose this could be topped by launching the missiles before the thing has even spawned. If you went to some location on the hills next to the tracks (with a lighter mech maybe) and used the time you have to set up a dumbfire shot from a longer distance, could you in principle kill the train a second faster?

C4M5: I think your comments cut off here after where it says "Getting stuck on the terrain".

Yeah so at any rate, even if there was something in what I said that could improve on some mission, this is already more than up-to-par, so let me spell it loud and clear

*ACCEPT*
Thank you all for the comments, and for supporting speedrunning in this way.

Quote from LotBlind:
The decision here isn't going to change based on my feedback but looks like this was closed a little early this time. Thanks for everyone who verified it including Worn Traveler with the time comparisons. Maybe you could even work that table into your comments so everyone who saw the old run knows how much time you saved in each mission?

A/V: Was there any talk about the framerate? Briefly glancing at forums I can see this game benefits from it being limited? And that's why it's a steady 25?

I see you're playing on "hard" difficulty. Since it's not the default setting (assuming), I just edited it into the run entry so it'll show up on the page like the old run had it. Are the other settings in the options menu that you show the defaults or did you for any reason deviate from those? Might want to mention that you did/didn't in the comments. And maybe someone would like to know how the difficulty affects how the game works if you wanted to address that too.

You're only runner I can remember using "we" to describe the action in the notes. Very professional. The only step that's even left to take along that path is to start a strategy guide *wink wink*. Tried to make the template as easy to use as could possibly be without codework being involved.

Also before I forget (I may have pointed you at this already), there's this challenge that PROX found of interest so maybe it'll amuse you as well.

C1M4: Wow, that firefly is like a velociraptor.

C2M1: Can't believe you can dupe the enemy like that with nav points! Nice jump shots.

C3M2: "One in a million shot!" Did someone just perform... the Holdo Maneuver?

"As the story goes, there are other friendly mechs on the planet in a similar situation to us. One of them is carrying artillery weapons, and is happy to fire off a few shots when we call for it." That's a pretty neat piece of world building... or world destroying I guess. And the glitch where the mech bulldozes the building on its own is interesting too.

C3M6: So nowhere else you could have used the trick where you set a nav point and enemies attack it to destroy some building faster? I suppose it's usually more than one building that needs destroying in the same area. Did you see if other missions have the same restart trick where some enemy mech can bulldoze a target down if you just set the nav point next to it?

C4M1: I suppose this could be topped by launching the missiles before the thing has even spawned. If you went to some location on the hills next to the tracks (with a lighter mech maybe) and used the time you have to set up a dumbfire shot from a longer distance, could you in principle kill the train a second faster?

C4M5: I think your comments cut off here after where it says "Getting stuck on the terrain".

Yeah so at any rate, even if there was something in what I said that could improve on some mission, this is already more than up-to-par, so let me spell it loud and clear

*ACCEPT*


Great feedback LB.

The framerate is important, in that the physics engine is tied to the framerate. One of the issues people have with modern systems, is things going completely haywire when running at a higher framerate, such as mechs and vehicles flying through the air as if they were weightless. Good old 1990's programming I guess.

My writing style is based on wanting to bring the reader along for the journey, hoping to make it somewhat immersive. Might also be some crossover from my day job - I author documents for a living (procedures, guidelines, FAQs, etc).

The "One in a million shot" is just a random line of dialog, which then gets a chuckle from me as I have had it said multiple times in the one mission.

There's a lot of details about how the game works that still isn't understood. Using the enemy AI to attack targets seems straightforward, but then there are also instances where they just don't do it at all. For example, in O4M4, the two mechs guarding the final objective turn to face the target, but they never attack it.
The scenario in O3M6 is something of a perfect storm, where everything falls into place to make this strategy viable. It's a small, single target rather than multiple buildings, and the enemy mech is in the perfect location.
Off the top of my head, I can't think of another mission where this trick would be quicker than the player doing it themselves. At least, not in any reliable way. I've tried to use the AI (both friendly and enemy) more in other missions (such as O4M2) but it never worked out for me.

The restart trick is hard to pin down, as every single mission in this run involved restarts, so it's difficult to say where exactly the differences might occur. I realised what was happening in O4M2, as destruction of the buildings is early enough in the mission that there normally will have been no need to restart at that point. My previous strategy on this mission was to use lasers, until by chance I noticed a friendly mech do a lot of damage with their missiles. This then led to me trialling a missile loadout of my own, which worked to great effect. However, when I then reached this mission on this current speedrun and made my first attempt at it, this loadout was very ineffective. Puzzled, I restarted the mission and everything worked as expected. From there, I realised something was going on and was able to replicate this by launching the mission from the main menu and then replaying from the in-game menu.

I was using the same trick in O3M4 without realising it was happening. It was only after the above discovery that I was able to understand it better. The building destruction in O3M4 happens because an enemy mech spawns inside one of the target buildings. When it activates, it moves forward and bumps into the structure. This collision damage is what destroys the objective for us, but only if the game has been restarted. I knew the AI was destroying the building, but I had thought it was due to the nav point trick. Once the restart trick was found I was then able to understand that's actually what was happening.

Dumbfiring at the train before it spawns would be possible in theory, but the shot would be extremely complex to calculate and pull off.
My strategy was to get as close to the train as possible, so as to reduce the flight time of the missiles.
The train spawns in at 3:00, my missiles hit at 3:02. So there is the possibility of a timesave by closing the gap between those two points, but pulling it off would be extremely tight.

But of course, to all those points - never say never, I hope that someone is able to improve on these times one day.

I've updated the commentary file to reflect the points above.

Cheers all!
Framerate: I figured that might be the case here. Same as MechWarrior 2 then.

One in a million: maybe the run as a whole is that?

Quote:
For example, in O4M4, the two mechs guarding the final objective turn to face the target, but they never attack it.


Whenever you have something like that, typically it's because the AI is not in its normal state at the time so it doesn't charge out or otherwise reveal itself before the designers intended. Meanwhile, making sure you can't easily blindside those mechs by just approaching from behind might be why they're still turning to face the closest target. That's my first intuition. If so, might wanna check what the trigger exactly is to make them activate. Probably just proximity or line of sight or specific trigger boxes. Maybe after that they CAN be gotten to attack the nav point target? I'm sure this is all too easy to have been overlooked here though.

Mission restart: Weird weird weird. Needless to say, the restart code is slightly different from the just-start code. Or something.
Quote from LotBlind:
Whenever you have something like that, typically it's because the AI is not in its normal state at the time so it doesn't charge out or otherwise reveal itself before the designers intended. Meanwhile, making sure you can't easily blindside those mechs by just approaching from behind might be why they're still turning to face the closest target. That's my first intuition. If so, might wanna check what the trigger exactly is to make them activate. Probably just proximity or line of sight or specific trigger boxes. Maybe after that they CAN be gotten to attack the nav point target? I'm sure this is all too easy to have been overlooked here though.

Mission restart: Weird weird weird. Needless to say, the restart code is slightly different from the just-start code. Or something.


The mechs in O4M4 will stay put even after I've been attacking them, as long as the nav point is closer to them than I am. They activate by proximity (I should say activate rather than spawn, all the mechs loaded into the game when the mission starts, but they are dormant until triggered) - sometimes depending on speed or path taken I can see them turning around to face the nav point as I'm jumping up the structure. They have line of sight on me, but turn to the nav instead and sit there doing nothing. Very strange.

As for the restart, weird indeed. I don't like not actually knowing what's happening, but everything to do with that is basically guesswork an assumption on my end!
The game carries *some* information over when restarting a mission. If explosions (from missiles, etc) have left craters in the ground, those craters will stay there for each time you restart a mission. I've had speedruns where I've had to back out to the menu because after a high number of restarts, the ground is so bumpy from craters that it impacts my movement.

But there are obviously other things that are supposed to reset. Buildings, enemy mechs etc. If they're destroyed and you replay the mission, they're all reset properly.
So we can assume that the damage thing is from something carrying over or changing that wasn't supposed to.
I don't know why it uses this method - maybe so that the load times are shorter? That is a noticeable difference (when playing a mission for the first time, it takes a while to load everything up. When replaying, you can jump into the mission much quicker).

Another detail is that the game seems to carry over certain things from the last frame when restarting. When restarting a mission, if there was previously smoke or other particle effects on the screen, they'll still be there for a moment. Missile plumes, are another. You can restart a mission and for a moment appear to see missiles, which then disappear.
It happens with sound as well, where I've restarted missions and had a laser firing sound play immediately when no shot was fired. Sometimes even in the menu, which is weird.

Here are some videos I made to demonstrate this to the MW3 discord. They show off the village destruction in O4M2, the fortress in O3M4, and then the carry over explosion in O4M5.


Craters: For what it's worth, the much shorter load times sounds like a good theory as to why they would have left it like that. They just figured it wasn't enough of a difference in casual play. I've noticed that whenever a game has carryover from mission to mission, or e.g. an RPG has the carryover of all the items, doors, enemies etc. in their old positions whenever you revisit the same area, the amount of data to store in save files grows very very fast. Divine Divinity is one such game. This game also seems to have a carryover as evidenced by how you destroy stuff ahead of time in some missions. I don't know if there's some link there as I've lost my train of thought. But yeah, loading times are always a concern.

As for the splash damage glitch. I'm thinking something along the lines "the buildings have specific hitboxes that aren't the same as the shapes that they're built out of; after a restart, these hitboxes are abandoned for whatever reason in favor of a default hitbox". The DOS game I'm studying myself has had so many inscrutable things about its behavior of the kind I can't see myself having had any chances of ever getting to the bottom of without the guy I'm working with (a coder) having studied it on the code level that my confidence in my theorycrafting prowess has probably net dropped since the beginning. One relatively common theme in the glitches I've seen is stuff reverting to a default behavior from a more specific one that was set by a piece of code that's no longer being executed.

In case my guess about the hitboxes being affected was right, you might be able to see a difference if you shoot at the buildings with non-explosive weapons too. Or if the explosions happen further away from them. Maybe the game tracks damage dealt per-polygon instead of using hitboxes though? Seems like the kinda game that does that. Otherwise maybe the buildings go from not hurting each other into damaging each other as they explode (maybe there's a value that determines the damage dealt to surrounding things). Maybe they lose their ability to block the explosion for some reason.

Or are you saying the LRM splash damage is what's changed? In that case do you see an effect on other targets as well? If it is the splash damage that's increasing, you should be able to see that in a RAM watch utility if you knew what the initial damage was. In theory. Somehow.

Did you try bringing the kind of behavior on generic DOS forums as well just in case there's a wiz kid in the house?

BTW: Using the replay bug to your advantage might prompt a "NG+" category? Can you fire off lots of missiles at targets and make them blow up at the start of the mission?