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Onin: 2015-03-31 04:12:45 pm
Onin: 2015-03-31 04:11:19 pm
Because of course this game deserves to be broken to bits.

The most obvious note: This game is not made in Infinity Engine. None of the Infinity Engine glitches apply. Most of the systems work entirely different. So it's gonna have to be routed from scratch. Luckily, it's already pretty busted.

Stat duping - Whenever you save and reload in the area where you pick up a follower (i.e. Gilded Vale for Aloth and Eder), all passive buffs from gear stack up. This can be done as much as you'd like. It's trivial to make Eder practically invincible with the two protection rings from the shop, or to buff their damage through 100 Might.
Thaos one-cycle - Thaos cannot channel himself into the statues while he is stunned or prone. It is possible (probably trivial) to nuke him down within a single trip.

Route details:
Right now this is just speculation.

We have to figure out what stat is the best to dupe. Having 50 Might only increases damage output by 120%, which isn't really that much considering how long that takes. There's also the problem that the armor recovery penalty seems to stack (or at least for melee?). Aloth gets a massive AoE boost which is nice, but there's gotta be a better source of DPS than just Might.

I have a feeling making the main character Rogue would be the most beneficial. Invisibility could probably be used to skip or break out of otherwise mandatory fights. Perhaps having two of them is even better. Eder and Aloth are obvious pickups just to stat dupe two people at the same time (plus, Eder becomes an invincible tank and Aloth becomes the DPSer). Durance is great just to get his spamable trip spell. The others are probably not very useful, but their gear sells for decent gold if required.

Quest progression seems to be:
1. Go to Gilded Vale, sleep at the inn, chat with the dwarf, pick up both followers, continue to Caed Nua.
2. Build the way, explore every area because you might as well, then enter Defiance Bay.
3. Pick a faction. I feel the Knights offers the fastest quests, just two easy fetch quests, though there's mandatory combat.
4. Simultaneously, progress the Woedica questline in whatever way is efficient.
5. Do whatever for Lady Webb.
6. ୧༼ಠ益ಠ༽୨ NOW WE RIOT ୧༼ಠ益ಠ༽୨
7. Go to Twin Elms. If a Deity quest is required, Hylia is quick and easy, no combat required (except in the wild).
8. Kill Thaos, pick whatever ending.

Of course the details are still to be explored. What companions are useful, how much gold is required to get useful items and where to get that, whether hirelings are useful, and whether we can find sequence breaks.
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Onin: 2015-04-01 06:49:25 pm
Onin: 2015-04-01 06:48:19 pm
Onin: 2015-04-01 06:45:19 pm
After some further routing, I got a decent starting point to work off.

Roll an elf Rogue, +1 Might background, +1 Mechanics/Athletics profession. Max points in Might, max points in Resolve, decent points Intelligence, take out of the others.
Rush through most of the prologue as expected. In the ruins, ignore the traps, go the down way, and grab a Hatchet from the big urns (I think it's always there). Also pick some flowers outside, and grab the camping gear en route.
Get Aloth, sleep, talk to dwarf, get Eder, give him the hatchet. Go to Magran's Fork, get Durance. Go to stronghold, get Kana, kill things. Loot the cool sword. Level-up and camp before Mael.
Go to Dyrford. Get Grieving Mother, check the apothecary, buy binding copper if she has any.
Go to Defiance Bay, buy 2 bloodstones, get into the catacombs. Run past the first fight. Get some of the cash pickups along the way. Get the secret area in the temple, if it's not a defensive item, cry. Get the second binding copper from an urn.
Pick up the crucible knights quest while here. If the apothecary didn't have a binding copper earlier, go there and check again (also do part of the Cliaban Thingy questline). If there's still no binding copper, reset.
Travel back to Gilded Vale, buy the ring of protection, enchant Might on Aloth and Eder, give Aloth Kana's hat, give Eder a dagger alongside the hatchet. Dupe stats until Eder is around 150 resistances, so like 25 times.
Crucible Knights quests > Heritage Hill > Cliaban Whatever > Sanitarium > Riots > Twin Elms > Hylia quest > End.

I haven't been able to find any other passive stat that's fruitful for duping. I can't find a good source of Dexterity, or the reagents to craft it with even if there was room for it. After the duping, it's not worth pausing for anything at all, everyone is underleveled so any gear upgrades have marginal increases, while Eder and Aloth are invincible so you don't have to waste any time doing irrelevant shit.

Being a Rogue is only useful in two areas, and it's a little risky. You can skip the last encounter on the burial island by running in with only the rogue, using his vanish, probably aggroing them again and vanishing again, then reaching the pit. The same method can skip one encounter inside the pit, just before the big soul crystal cutscene (which then teleports your party along with him).
Also Rogues get a total +2 Mechanics so you can get 9 skill points into there before Cliaban Something and skip a bunch of sidetracking.
If none of that proves useful in the end, Druid is easily the second choice. Massive damage spells, massive melee damage, makes the earlygame trivial instead of actually dangerous.

There's two important points of RNG in the run, being the Dyrford apothecary and the Temple of Woedica loot, but that's the only parts that can lose the run. The second binding copper is really required, and a defensive item from the casket is a major help though not entirely mandatory. Because of this, and no real significant RNG manipulation available, you might as well run it single-segmented.
Did a bit of an exploratory run which ended up clocking in at around 2 hours, 26 minutes. With as much as I could optimize, I don't see this run going below 2 hours without some major sequence breaking. And I don't think this game has the kind of infrastructure to allow that to happen. :/
Probably should've properly explored this before, but the way the game handles vital NPC death is really inconsistent. In some cases it's useful, in others it isn't. I'll have to look at every single important NPC and see if killing them is faster.

Killing the entire caravan at the start is much faster than doing the questline. But only if you're a Druid, so all the Rogue invisibility skips are trashed. At least that makes the earlygame a lot easier.
Killing Lady Webb causes a bad ending to credits. Pretty funny.
Killing some quest objective NPCs will just make them respawn, either immediately or on re-entering the area.
Killing the Duc does not trigger anything, but it will cause the hearing cutscene to fail to run. You'll just regain control, and the game will be softlocked because you can't continue.

So so far, the caravan is much faster, and it turns out just aggroing all three Defiance Bay factions lets you skip the fetch questing, so that's a nice time save. That leaves investigating the Caed Nua guy, the guy atop Heritage Hill's tower, npcs in the Sanitarium, the Dyrford priest, and several people in Twin Elms. Also wondering if Galawain wouldn't be faster than Hylia, killing the bear shouldn't take very long and it's much less traveling.
Edit history:
Aqfaq: 2015-04-06 01:59:29 pm
Yeah, hi Onin! This is interesting, indeed. This is easily one of the TOP-10 TOP-20 games I've ever played, so seeing a speedrun would be awesome.

There is already a patch that fixes some of the bugs you mentioned. I hope you are using that one. Finding bugs in 1.00 version of any game makes it all too easy. Wink
I'm sticking to the 1.00 version. The difference is massive. Without the stat duping glitch you basically can't survive anything past Defiance Bay, you'd have to do a bunch of side-quests to level up, and waste a ton of time. It's really not interesting to run at that stage.

I played around with skipping the detour to Dyrford, and instead pick up the Ranger companion and only dupe Might on Aloth. Not worth it. It caused me to have immense difficulties killing things in Sun in Shadow, losing me a whopping 10 minutes of time. Though part of that was forgetting to level up in timely fashion.

Also, Hylia is definitely faster than the other gods. And you can do her quest before actually talking to her, which saves time backtracking.

Still, PB down to 2:04. Sub-2 should be easy. Preferably if Maerwald stops trolling me.
Quote from Onin:
Preferably if Maerwald stops trolling me.

Haha, how does he troll you?
Quote from Aqfaq:
Quote from Onin:
Preferably if Maerwald stops trolling me.

Haha, how does he troll you?

Just by murdering my party. All the fights in Caed Nua are very difficult with everyone at level 2.
Edit history:
Onin: 2015-04-06 09:38:07 am
1:50:40 is my latest PB, and probably where I'm gonna keep it for now. It's a good starting point for anyone else interested in giving this game a run, but it shouldn't be very hard to beat.
Edit history:
Aqfaq: 2015-04-06 01:40:26 pm
Major stuff:

To trigger the "dream visions" dead dwarf cutscene in Gilded Vale, you can enter the town, go back to Valevood, use camping supplies. No need to visit inn. This also skips the long cutscene when entering the town. This should save about a minute? Nope. I messed up with the savestates. The cutscene is not skipped, only inn is.

Also, test this everywhere imaginable: Move two characters close to two different event triggers. Pause game. Give both characters the task to activate their triggers. Unpause. Now two conflicting events occur at the same time. I haven't tested, but hypothetically aggroing some faction and exiting the house at the same frame might skip fighting? So far I only tested it in the beginning of the game on these two events:

1. Picking up the berries with one character while talking to the caravan merchant with the other causes soft lock.

2. If you attack the caravan guys and trigger the waterskin cutscene simultaneously, your character slots get messed up strangely. Your female companion is marked as enemy (red cursor), but still fights for you. Your main character loses spells (until the fight ends). If you now help the caravan merchant and enter the first cave, this is the result: Your female companion will be gone, you and the merchant are in character slots 2-3 (the first character slot is empty). Even though the female is not present her dialog is played, but when she speaks your main character portrait is shown instead of hers, which is funny.

Minor stuff:

There is a free bloodstone near the exit of the very first cave. Not useful at the moment or too slow?

Some of the first spiders in Caed Nua can be skipped by walking/sneaking near the bottom wall.
Edit history:
Onin: 2015-04-06 01:45:14 pm
Mmh. I tried a little bit with exiting areas while doing other stuff, but the only thing I managed to do was make Aloth's rolling fireball spell permanently disabled because the game thought it was still "in progress."

The bloodstone isn't really useful cause I really want two, I tried a run with only one and it was substantially slower in the lategame. Though there is a random chance to loot one extra from Maerwald's containers, but RNG seems to vary extremely wildly.

Camping in Valewood would save a little time running around the place. I'd really have to get my money route in check to do that, though it's already an issue right now.
Edit history:
Aqfaq: 2015-04-06 01:57:24 pm
I tested shooting somebody at the smithery with a bow and I managed to exit the house. They got angry and I lost reputation without a fight.

Edit: By the way, really nicely played there with 1:50:40. Your mouse movement is admirable. You also improvised really well when there was trouble.
Edit history:
Onin: 2015-04-06 01:57:16 pm
Cool. Another three fights skipped then. I can't really think of any obvious ways to use this further, but maybe one of the many ways to break things could randomly turn out useful. Perhaps leaving the palace while triggering the audience, or activating two area transitions at the same time (ie in heritage hill).
Edit history:
Aqfaq: 2015-04-06 03:02:40 pm
Hahaa, we can skip any doors in dungeons by knocking a character out next to the door and bringing all other guys near him, so that he has no space to stand up, so he is teleported to the next free space, which is behind the narrow door. So, are there any keys you would like to skip? The problem is that you may need to kill the rest of the guys to proceed, because it is difficult to get more people beyond the doors. Oh!! Now I get it! We need rangers, lots of rangers who bring their pets with them. These pets take space, so we can easily bypass doors with them. Also, level 1 ranger costs only 250 coins and they can be killed.

Edit: I believe the force field at the final boss is also a narrow wall, so knock out and revive near it might enable escaping the boss fight. Worth testing.
Edit history:
Onin: 2015-04-06 04:26:45 pm
Onin: 2015-04-06 04:26:11 pm
Onin: 2015-04-06 03:50:26 pm
Onin: 2015-04-06 03:47:49 pm
Onin: 2015-04-06 03:29:18 pm
Onin: 2015-04-06 03:12:34 pm
Uhm, I'd like to get into the animancy audience without doing any quests at all. That would be pretty nice.

I don't get the dwarf cutscene if I immediately rest in valewood, seems you need to activate the cutscene in gilded vale before resting, at which point you might as well do it in the inn for free.

Some documentation:
Triggered Maerwald's cutscene while leaving the area. Screen turned black, softlocked.
IT WORKS! I just bumped myself into the balcony at the ducal palace and it triggered the audience! And it resolves as normal, despite not doing any of the quests. Awesome.

Edit: I don't know what happened, but for some reason on this save file Aloth didn't get his stats duped. But Eder did. That makes no sense o.O. Edit2: Oh, wait. Maybe the game thinks I picked Aloth up again on the bridge out of the city!
Hahaa, nice work! Maybe with 6 rangers and 6 pets, we could teleport over eastern barbican? That would skip Maelward. It is a long shot, though.

I've also had some strange save file behavior. One pet got glitched and when I loaded an earlier file, it was already glitched.
Edit history:
Onin: 2015-04-06 07:04:35 pm
Onin: 2015-04-06 06:32:27 pm
Skipping Maelward means not getting Icy Fog, which would kinda suck. But I don't think there's any way to get enough gold to buy the ring and start duping before completing Defiance Bay; Lady Webb's house has a bunch of gold lying around that adds up to just enough for the ring and one Might enchant. So maybe I should get the cloak from the first dungeon, and start duping before even entering Defiance Bay.

If you can find a brass wiring before caed nua, that'd make everything sooo much easier/faster, but that's rather doubtful.

Edit: You can't get the cloak if you murder the caravan because you never pick up the water skin. So I'll have to find a way to get the required money. I have some ideas though. Edit2: Alright. You just kill the Ranger girl in Woodend Plains and take her stuff. All of it sells for 1000cp but you can keep the hatchet for duping Eder.

I didn't manage to bump through either the barricade or the door to Maerwald's room, so the early game will stay mostly the same. Only gonna have the reagents for one Might enchant but it'll have to do.
Edit history:
ogam: 2015-04-06 11:29:40 pm
ogam: 2015-04-06 11:28:03 pm
Not sure if this will save time but if you're strapped for cash you can enter the catacombs in Gilded Vale for a minor ring of protection

there's a blocked passage in burial isle to cut down the amount of spectres and shadows you need to kill
it's a 17 con check or use a plybar
Thanks to Aqfaq's trick (I call it deathporting after BG2's polyporting) and some further route optimizations, I cut the time down to an unbelievable 1:08:28.

There's a couple mess-ups in it but the gold route worked out perfectly (though it's RNG based). Sub-1 is probably possible with better loading times Tongue
Edit history:
Aqfaq: 2015-04-07 01:26:08 pm
Aqfaq: 2015-04-07 01:25:33 pm
Wow, gonna watch now!


"Now a quicksave just to make sure I don't die on this guy 'cause he can be a bit of a troll."

LOL. You're the troll here, not him! You're trolling the whole game to death.

Nicely played, indeed. I can't think of anything new to improve the run, but I would not be surprised if there was some way to skip some of the fighting in the last screens before the boss. Anyway, awesome run already and really solid mouse work. Speedrunners Gloves give you +3 dexterity or something...
Yeah you could skip the last fight before the Thaos room, just have everyone stand by the door, then your main guy trigger the lights. Click on the door before battle mode is entered. There is boots of speed (+3 move speed) from the second body on the same room. That might save a tiny bit of time running around in the Thaos room.
I'm pretty sure movement speed only applies while in combat in this game.
I found something interesting while I was toying around in this game, which may or may not be helpful. If you kill the main character and immediately do a transition to a new area they will be replaced by a character named "Player" who is a level 7 Cipher with amazing stats (Except if you do this and travel to Dyrford Village, in which case you get a level 0 barbarian as the new MC). This also causes some other side effects, such as teleporting the main character and companions to various locations at the new area and duplicating/adding characters to the party. In addition, you will have 50000gp after your character is replaced. Until you get some exp, you cant cast spells with Player. However, once some exp is received he will get all his spells and talents, including two level one debug spells. These two spells both have +100 accuracy and one stuns for 25 seconds while the other knocks them prone for 15 (with some interesting spell effects to to say the least). They cost no resource and are relatively spammable.

The first opportunity you have to execute this glitch is just before you go out and see Thaos' ritual in the prologue. This is actually excellent for dealing with the fact that your two party members get duplicated and teleported beneath the map if you do it here, as after you get knocked out the game simply removes them for you. You can basically breeze through every encounter with this character and glitching stats may not be necessary (at least from what I tested, which wasn't very much to be honest).

The sheer power of the debug spells and the free money may save some time and frustration in a speedrun. I still havent beaten the game so I'm not going to explore it for myself quite yet. Just thought I'd offer up something new for you guys to consider.  If theres any confusion I can make a video showing how to get it done as well.

That's ridiculous.
Movement speed works outside of combat also, it's pretty noticeable