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Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer (pc) (pc) [Any %] [Segmented]

Decision: Accept

Reason: An unofficial patch (greyface) was used for this run. Despite quite a bit of discussion, it hasn't been clearly shown how fixes in the patch would influence the gameplay and timing in any significant way. However, if it's later (regardless of when) discovered that the greyface patch gives any advantages over the official version, this decision is subject to be re-evaluated. When the run is published, a note will be added on the game page about the patch being used.

Congratulations to 'Snabel'!
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Run Information

Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer (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.
A/V: 0:31 sounds garbled but that might be the game. Repeats a lot later.

10:00 there's some random load screens here and in the following part (looks like doing some save/load clipping) even though the rest had been cut. Could cut these too, esp. now before any encodes have been made, unless you specifically did that stuff inside the segment (why?)

10:40 typo loses a few seconds

Looks like there's a spell that lets you interact with portals from a distance. Why couldn't you have used it with the rest of them though?

Is there no mouselook option that you can use while moving?
Formerly known as Skullboy
I was going to verify the previous submission of this game (assuming it's the same runner which it appears to be due to character choice and naming) but questions arose by
someone who knew the game well and so I didn't verify. I did watch that run though before watching this one.

Video is fine. Audio gets garbled at a few points while talking to certain characters but that happened in the previous submitted run too so I'm assuming it's a compatibility issue or such. No cheating detected, provided that the quick saving is considered within the rules since the game doesn't have native quick save to the best of my knowledge (see previous submission for details)

Gameplay is pretty clean. I'm not sure if this would obsolete the current run or not since both have deaths but this one seems more like an RTA though I could be very wrong. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary or concerning as in the previous submission. Provided the quick saving is not a problem (and some rules are set in place for what can and can't be used for the patch since this game is a pain to get to work at times) I'm leaning toward accept though I'd like to hear from someone who knows the game better.
Might be magic...
The RNG issues have been fixed from the last submission, which is good. The audio garbling that people have noted earlier also happens in my version of the game, so nothing malicious there. Generally good execution throughout the run.

It is a bit hard to tell where segments start and end, as the save / load screens have been pre-cut. I don't believe this is an issue for SDA (please correct me admins) but agree with LotBlind that it's a bit odd to cut some of the loading screens but not all. I expect that those were left in to show that the "load clip" glitch was used, while the others were removed to give a better flow to the video.

To answer LotBlind's question on using portals from a distance, using that spell (Telekinesis) also cancels out any active Invisibility spell and there are some places where it's essential to retain the Invis status to survive the area.

The built-in Mouselook is also very clunky in this game, so I didn't use it in my run either. Especially on modern systems, it moves the view around way to fast to be practical. Greyface's patch adds more mouselook support but I've never tried it myself.

Here are the things I noticed through the run:

4:09 - slightly inefficient route taken through the Plane of Fire, but it's a bit tricky to navigate perfectly here because of the arbitrary flight height limit the game imposes

5:19 - There's a weird disconnect here between segments. Three things happen while walking down the corridor, all on the exact same video frame:
1. The viewing angle suddenly changes slightly (without any visible action from the user)
2. The Fly spell expires
3. Cauri (the second character) has her health decrease slightly - there's no reason why this could happen at that point in the game
All of these together indicate that the two segments weren't ended and started at exactly the same point. I can't see any significant benefit it would have made to the run though, so I believe this would generally be allowed by SDA rules?

10:00 - as previously noted by Worn_Traveler, quicksaves are used, indicating an unofficial patch was used to run the game (probably Greyface's). There's some more discussion on this issue in the previous verification thread

10:40 - as previously noted by LotBlind, typo costs a couple of extra seconds

11:16 - tiny yet noticable disconnect between the segments, when the turning angle suddenly changes

12:30 - small, potentially unnecessary pause here to cast Protection from Fire and then Invisibility again. I think this segment could probably have been done better (if Protection from Fire is cast earlier then there is no need to pause here)

Assuming that Greyface's patch is used for quicksaves, I'm not sure why there isn't any fall damage taken at 5:22 in this run? I can't see any reference to inside fall damage in the Greyface patch release notes, so not really sure why it happened in the previous run anyway, so seems fine to me.

Could you comment on all the above Snabel?
Edit history:
LotBlind: 2017-06-17 01:02:52 pm
LotBlind: 2017-06-17 09:35:34 am
LotBlind: 2017-06-17 09:35:23 am

pre-cut save/load screens: It's okay to cut them but as anyone can see here, it can make verification more difficult when there's no run comments either. The ideal thing to do is wait until you're past verification to edit them out, or write clear comments/audio commentary that indicate where the breaks are [and why].

Okay, that answers the mouselook question...

5:19 - so you're saying this stuff isn't normal save-load inconsistencies for this game? I know in some games the view may rotate before the first frame has been drawn. Maybe if you could quickly test that to see if you can replicate it (I'm assuming you have the game installed)? If it's a result of saving and loading it's something the runner should be abusing to the max or avoiding getting hurt by as the case may be. The character losing some health is curious... would indeed like to hear something from the runner. Also is the fly spell expiring helping the runner?

The runner isn't using that patch anymore I guess based on the fact they're doing menu saves for enacting the door clips? That's also what it sounded like they were going to do in their last post in the last verification.
Gammadragon I will answer the things you pointed out below:

4:09: I agree it is slighty ineffecient but I probably only lose around 1-2 seconds here
5:19: Sure a lot of things happen here, a new segment starts here to correct the fall damage you commented on earlier, I dont assume the things you pointed out have any effect on the run
10:00: I do use the grayface patch, which enables me to use quicksave
10:40: Are you serious? why does a typo cost extra seconds? that dosent make any sense...
11:16: Yes a new segment starts here, it is difficult to implement them perfectly since I quicksaved while I ran
12:30: This MIGHT be true, I was scared that if I cast protection from fire earlier I would attract enemies (since im not invisible) which could result in me losing the safespot where I can cast the invis spell

Again i will say, I dont know why i took fall damage, im sure it was just a bug in the game, since the grayface patch does not add fall damage to my knowledge.
Discussion ongoing. This is kept open for another week.
Edit history:
gammadragon: 2017-06-21 01:56:56 am
Might be magic...
LotBlind: I ran a couple of save/load tests and in all cases the viewing angle remained constant before and after. The Fly spell expiring is no help at all during the run, as it doesn't work indoors and would have expired after dying anyway.

From the SDA rules page:
There obviously needs to be continuity between segments in terms of inventory, experience points or whatever is applicable for the individual game. Note however that it's allowed for an SDA-submission to have discrepancies between two segments as long as none of it is to your advantage. This gives you the possibility to later redo segments that are in the middle of the run even in games where it's virtually impossible to end a segment with the exact same stats as before.

I think that there is a miniscule advantage in the character's health reducing at that point. It gives an increased chance to die faster after picking up the Fire Heart stone, potentially saving some time. In practice, the time saved would be so vanishingly small as to be insignificant, so I have no issue with this. It just looks odd when watching the video.

Responding to Snabel's questions:
10:40 - There is no penalty as such, just a slower overall time. A segmented run implies a higher level of risk, efficiency and perfection, as it's much easier than doing a run in one sitting. There is a higher threshold for run quality for segmented runs for that reason. Any mistakes or wasted time is generally noted during the verification and if there are too many mistakes the run can sometimes be rejected.
12:30 - You can cast Protection From Fire in an earlier segment, as it lasts a long time. In my run I did it straight after leaving Escaton's Crystal, as Invisibility needs to be refreshed at that point anyway.

The only thing that I'm not sure about is whether the use of Greyface's patch invalidates the run (for reasons outlined in the previous verification thread). If anyone can make an official ruling on this, that would be great. Otherwise, I didn't detect any cheating so I accept the run.
Well I could probably fix the mistakes, but I think it would take too much time just to shave off 3-4 seconds overall.
This is from the patch notes:
"Movement rounding issues fixed properly. Walking and strafes weren't precise because of these issues and jump height was lower than it should be. JumpSpeed option has been removed."

Judging by how the guy lists his own bugs separately, this must have been something that was happening with the unpatched game... and so there definitely are gameplay changes that sound like they're probably going to benefit runners. You have that one section where all you do is jump around the place don't you? Even if it meant you were losing time to it, it still wouldn't be cool because you should be running the fastest version of the game.

Judging by this page GOG hasn't adopted the patch into its release (it says you have to download it separately) so that doesn't make it official either for our purposes. Correct me if this has changed since the article was written.

For all we know, the patch could affect how much lag you get in different situations. This wouldn't be mentioned in any patch notes. Not that I can really see any lag here (loading times aren't timed anyway), but there COULD have been lag in v. 1.0 I guess. Just because you're not actively using any newly implemented features doesn't mean the game is certain to behave in the same exact way. Even something like "Limit on sprites count is extended." could imply more monsters might be spawning in (if that's how that works). The sheer amount of bugs the patch fixes makes me shake my head: we have even seen weird behaviour in your last run and possibly this one.

So yeah the jumping thing needs addressing now. Have I misunderstood something? Second thing is whether the game can be gotten to run in vanilla with the help of compatibility options etc. The patch notes say those are made unnecessary for Win2k or XP so it seems to have some effect on getting it to run on modern systems. I couldn't quite tell from the various forum posts whether people were getting it installed or running without the patch in the end.
Might be magic...
You're right that the release is version 1.0 and doesn't include any fan patches, though I think gog may have made their own modifications (like removing copy protection). I don't have any issue running the game with version 1.0 (on Win7), but some people do report having issues and the general response on the forums for compatibility issues is "try using Greyface's patch".

You are also right that this patch does a lot more than fix compatibility issues. Everything you have said sounds completely reasonable. I just generally hate to weigh in on matters like these because it can get controversial Smiley
To me this is quite easy. I have played the game vanilla and with grayface patch a lot and I can tell you, there is literally no difference. Bug fixes wont affect the speed in which i fly or run. I really cannot see how you can reject my run on the basis of me using grayface
Snabel: There is evidence that there IS a difference of some sort. Since it's a rounding error it's probably not a big one but could potentially make the part where you jump around using the walls a little bit easier for you.

So there might be some more discussion amongst the admins and ktwo will pass a verdict next Tuesday by latest I'd imagine.
Decision posted.