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

Decision: Reject

Reason: A watermark from the recording is present in the videos uploaded for this submission

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

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

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). 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.
Please note that there is an inventory continuity error evident at the start of O3M6, O4M3 and O4M5. This is due to a change in strategy for other missions when completing revisions in the run, resulting in a different set of mechs being carried in inventory. I have reviewed the SDA rules and believe this to be acceptable, due to the continuity having no impact on the outcome of the run, or providing me with any advantage. However you should be aware so that you can review and consider when verifying.
Edit history:
PROX: 2022-05-26 12:55:09 am
PROX: 2022-05-25 10:59:45 pm
Very nice runs, very clean gameplay. No framerate issues from what I've seen. Resolution is fine even though it can be tweaked anyways regardless. Audio is quiet, but they can fix that with editing. Nice use of the firefly in OP1M4. The strider kill in OP2M1 was really nice. It's not easy shooting legs from that distance. I like the mech design and the use of armor to make your mech either faster, or add more ammunition. I don't detect any cheating. As far as I'm concerned, it's a pass.

Funny thing to note is that SDA doesn't seem to take menus into consideration for the overall time, so I really don't think this puts you at an advantage over other players
Edit history:
Worn_Traveler: 2022-05-27 07:58:41 am
Formerly known as Skullboy
There's what appears to be a watermark in the bottom right hand corner of the game capture. 
Quote from Worn_Traveler:
There's what appears to be a watermark in the bottom right hand corner of the game capture. 

That's dgvoodoo. It helps allow this game to run on modern hardware. It doesn't really affect anything gameplay wise as far as advantages are concerned.
Formerly known as Skullboy
It's not a gameplay concern. It's more of a clean video concern.
I don't believe there's a way to remove the watermark from the run. If that means it doesn't meet AV quality, then it would have to be rejected and re-run. Would prefer not to, but if that's how it is then so be it.

As for the continuity error that I mentioned in the notes, continuity is important due to this being a full game run, rather than an IL scoreboard. Although you can play any level at any time after the campaign is completed, the persistent nature of the campaign means you can't just fire up a level and use whatever mechs or equipment you want - you have to have gained and carried that equipment up to that point.

The strategy change involved using giving my lancemates Bushwackers in O4M6. I had originally used Thors, but theorized that it may be quicker with Bushwackers, as their higher speed might mean they engage the enemy sooner.
To test this out, I couldn't just play O4M6, because I didn't have any Bushwackers in my inventory. I had to go back to O3M1 and play the campaign through again from there keeping 3 Bushwackers until the end.

It turns out that the strategy was faster for that mission, but the way I interpret SDA rules is that for me to be able to use that it in the run, it can't have had a negative effect on other missions.
As in, if switching the Thors out meant that other mission times were slower, then it wouldn't be acceptable as a full game run.
Fortunately I was able to match or slightly better times for all missions, except the ones mentioned in the notes. I believe they're still acceptable as I don't think that using Thors instead Bushwackers is where the time difference comes from, but it still needs to be mentioned.

The easy way to think of this, is by looking at O1M4 and O2M1. I complete O1M4 in 40 seconds without taking out any mechs. If it turned that taking the time to salvage the Orion in O1M4 meant that O2M1 was quicker, I wouldn't be able to use an O1M4 run that doesn't capture the Orion and say that it's a full game speedrun as that just isn't how the game works.
If anyone has a different view or if I've got it wrong, please let me know.
Yeah, so the watermark does run afoul of the "clean game video" rule. "The video needs to contain only the gameplay footage" as it says in the rules which are, for sure, quite a handful to take in. You can avoid problems like this in the future by submitting a quality test first.

Oh, wait, do you mean you have to use that patch or whatever causes that watermark to appear to make the game run right? But is there a setting to remove it?

Audio definitely is very quiet so you might as well adjust that if you re-record. That also lets you do the run from the start without any discrepancies with the continuity, though your argument for why would have been allowable in this case might hold water anyway. It's not a case that comes up very often, this kind of thing. Usually it's just some numerical figures like health and ammo counts that are more easy to assess if it's to your advantage or not.

Post any further questions here. Good luck if you choose to redo this! Sucks to have to but it's a slippery slope argument why we can't really allow anything extra on the game video. Thanks to that there aren't any divisive cases that piss some people off while others are about okay with them.
Edit history:
PROX: 2022-05-31 01:58:34 pm
I do find it strange that it isn't listed as an example in the rules regarding watermarks. If it's such a big issue, then shouldn't it be mentioned? I guess it could be classified as an unspoken rule in a sense, but even so, the rules are still pretty vague about that sort of thing
There is a setting to remove the watermark, so I will be able to re-do the run without it appearing. It is a patch that is required to get the game run correctly on modern systems, with guides recommending to have the watermark on so that you are aware it's working (weird things happen in MW3 if it isn't setup correctly. The game might still play, but with lots of issues).

To be completely honest I had completely forgotten it was there until it was mentioned in this thread. I started this whole thing without having a full understanding of SDA and what it stands for (I found my way here through the 2008 SDA MW3 run), but after having spent some time to read through older threads, discussions, guides etc, I understand the scenario and don't feel any negativity to the situation at all. I'll take it as an opportunity to try and squeeze a few more seconds out of it!

I may have some AV questions - the audio has always been quiet for me as well. I know I've got the in-game settings maxed, but haven't looked at it much more than that. If I can't figure out a way to make it louder, I might ask for suggestions.
I also wanted to ask about the screen size. You might have noticed there is black space around the video area. This is how it appears in OBS. Is this an issue? I know I can adjust the recording area, I might try and make it as close to full screen as possible and then submit a quality test covering both that and audio.

Any other feedback is appreciated, I'll keep you informed as to my progress.
PROX: Rules vs. clean audio/video: Well, we do occasionally rephrase the rules when necessary. You might be right that watermarks are one of the more common ways in which extra stuff gets introduced to the video (though still not common), but you've also got things like LiveSplit data, random stream overlays and notifications and keyboard input visualizers. It's one of those things where whoever wrote it COULD have been more elaborate but every time you do that it makes the rules even longer. We can't list every thing someone could cover the game video with. If these problems start to crop up more often, we'll definitely make it more explicit.

Falconer: I see this game is from that period just after DOS got phased out. Those games are always difficult to get to run so not surprised you need such a patch. In such cases even unofficial patches are accepted on SDA, though if there are extra options that change the gameplay, those we prefer to be switched off I believe. I just took a look at your comments: superb stuff! Might wanna mention the patch and what it does in those as well btw.

Glad you're not discouraged! You're not the first or the last to have their first submission rejected for various reasons.

Sound volume: if I had to guess, it's something specific to this game. Yeah, just post a quality test in Tech Support and nate (who reads those posts) may or may not be able to help. The screen size isn't hugely important since we can always crop out the extra. However, I just looked it up and it seems you should be able to type in the exact canvas resolution that you need into the relevant field in OBS, i.e. it doesn't have to be widescreen when you record.

I can't immediately see any other problems with the recording (if 25 FPS is the native framerate), and I can't easily comment on the run in this case. Your notes etc. give the impression you know the game inside and out and have put in effort to study how to optimize it on different fronts. I will definitely watch the next submission in full though.
I've played around with some settings which I believe should see a slight improvement, as well as the removal of the watermark. Quality test has now been uploaded, I'll await the result of that before beginning the run afresh.

I did have a quick trial of a slightly different approach to a pair of missions that could save in the region of 10-15 seconds of time. Maybe more, depending on how helpful the AI decides to be.
But after that, I'm all out of ideas. If I'm able to pull everything together for this run I'll be more than happy.
Edit history:
LotBlind: 2022-06-04 01:17:23 pm
Out of curiosity, does the Voodoo patch thing make this game better-looking? Cause I'm kind of in awe at some of the lighting effects especially.

You can either cancel this submission yourself or do nothing, in which case it results in a reject. No practical difference really. For the verification admin's benefit I'm going to write this:

Due to the watermark in the video, this seems like it has to be a

I'm not that good on the technical side, so probably should have been more careful in my choice of words - dgvoodoo isn't a patch for the game, but rather is a separate program that runs whilst the game is playing to allow things to translate properly between the game itself and modern hardware.

The internet says: "dgVoodoo 2 is a graphics wrapper that converts old graphics APIs to Direct3D 11 or Direct3D 12 (as of version 2.7) for use on Windows 7/8/10."

We run the game with an official patch from back in the day, and then either a 3rd party program or an unofficial community patch to cap the frames to 30FPS (I believe the physics engine is tied to the frame rate, things get horribly broken when the game runs at a high frame rate). But that's it for things different to the original game. I agree that it looks great and has many excellent effects, but I don't think what we're doing today has changed that. I played the game when it came out in 1999 and remember being blown away by how good it looked. It was almost certainly the best looking game I had at the time. Mechwarrior 4 followed in 2000 and (IMO) never looked anywhere near as good as MW3.

I plan on beginning my new run sometime this week. I won't be in a rush to get it done, but that will also mean that I'll be able to ensure the gameplay is a good as I can pull off.

Cheers all for the feedback.
Okay, sounds like the dgVoodoo thing is necessary for compatibility and also doesn't affect gameplay so no problamo there.

I'm still working on my first run years and years in. So yeah, haste makes waste. Some games are more complex than others of course.
Decision posted.