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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky (Any %) (Segmented)

Decision: Accept

Reason: This one is a bit close, so I encourage the runner to submit an improvement with some of the suggestions mentioned, but for now this is good enough.

Congratulations to 'cortez'!
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Run Information

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky (Any %) (Segmented)

Verification Files

Please refer to the Verification Guidelines before posting. Verifications are due by Jan. 31, 2014.

Please post your opinions about the run and be certain to conclude your post with a verdict (Accept/Reject). This is not a contest where the majority wins - I will judge each verification on its content. Please keep your verification brief unless you have a good reason otherwise.

After 2 weeks I will read all of the verifications and move this thread to the main verification board and post my verdict.
This run follows my route, so I guess I'll have to comment on it.

The starting cutscene has been cut out for some reason, but good to see the audio desync from the youtube upload was fixed. A/V is good.

To clarify on the route:
In the base, this is the only viable route. The barman refuses to trade with you until you've spoken to Lebedev, while the trader refuses to trade after you've gotten your equipment. It looks totally unoptimized but sadly it's the only way. After this run was completed I found out you can dupe the starting equipment by just talking to the trader twice in rapid succession, but that's more convenience than a real time saver (mostly for the extra medkits).

The first mission in the swamps is supposed to get you knocked out and sent back to base due to an emission. But it functions like a normal emission, so by getting to shelter it'll skip the triggers associated with it. It also means there's no time wasted until then, since you can't move out of cover until after that trigger.
The part with the railways is the only place in the area to go out of bounds, everywhere else has really high invisible walls. Out of bounds is also where the game stores its area transition triggers; whenever you ask a guide to lead you to another area, it uses that trigger, but by going oob you can use them manually. It takes a while, but it practically skips 90% of the game, so yeah.

From there on it's just following the linear part of the game, combined with some grenade jumps, funky platforming, and the amazing weapon bumping glitch Rayvex found in Call of Pripyat, which can knock away movable props and skips a LOT of waiting time.

As for the run quality itself... I may be biased, but for a segmented run, I don't find it too great. Menu management isn't the best, minor route optimizations are lacking.
0:30: Wastes about a second running around the house instead of jumping over the gap between them.
~2:50: Doesn't manipulate the bandit corpses to carry useful items (some items on killed enemies are generated on kill so it's relatively easy to manipulate).
4:40: Could take a slightly faster route here, though he'd have to deal with radiation damage.
9:09: I've rarely had one of the CS soldiers spontaneously die on entering this area, which would give a free powerful weapon. Just an idea.
9:15: I have no idea why he takes the right path, instead of the left. You need to jump over a landmine and a fence on the left side but it's still slightly faster.
9:33: Far from the best items to manipulate off this guy. It's hardly worth the time.
9:52: Better manipulation, kinda slow menuing.
10:17: Wastes a second waiting for the grenade to explode. It's an easier jump this way, but segmented runs aren't about ease.
10:30: Skips a body that can contain really good loot. (Loot on corpses, however, is rolled on level creation, so it's harder to manipulate.)
10:40: Great grenade jump, great manipulation of the soldiers.
10:55: I actually didn't find this grenade jump, though I have no idea how I missed it :P. May be a bit slow as well, though.
12:35: This bump is hard, but hard enough to take 4 seconds in a segmented run? Not really.
12:52: A lot better, though still not entirely optimal.
13:18: Same as above.
14:20: I honestly don't know what a perfect kill time on Strelok would be. From my testing this looks pretty fast, but I haven't grinded it out. There is definite variation in it as the Gauss isn't 100% accurate, but you can't confirm a hit without unzooming to check his health bar which risks losing focus, so you wouldn't want to do that.

I'm not sure how much faster this run could be. Probably at least 10 seconds, possibly twice that. Corpse looting could be optimized better so that every corpse has the optimal amount of useful items. The weapon bumps could be smoother. Some of the grenade jumps could be done faster by going for riskier throws. Some basic movement could be faster.

Is that enough ground for a rejection? I feel I can't say so unbiasedly, so I'm just going to leave this assessment here and let other people cast the verdict.
Edit history:
Eternalspirit: 2014-01-17 03:55:16 pm
Since everything before the run starts is not included in the run, isn't that grounds for an auto-reject since we cannot reliably 1) determine if any cheating occurred beforehand and 2) time the game in real time if necessary?

So, provided there is nothing wrong with the way the video starts, I give this an accept.
The video starts at the moment the he gains control of the character. I have no idea why he cut out the rest, but the raw gameplay is all in there.
Hmm.. well, hopefully he still has a version of it without that part cut out. If SDA is cool with it, I am as well, but it would make me feel better about it if it was in there.
yes, i still have that part but i wont add it.
Quote from cortez:
yes, i still have that part but i wont add it.

May I ask why?
I basically agree with everything Onin said. The run is okay and there is room for improvement, so it can be beaten and I don't think it would take that much effort. The run is also pretty short and there are not many hard tricks, so yeah Smiley

I incline more to Accept status, but it's really close.
Quote from Eternalspirit:
Quote from cortez:
yes, i still have that part but i wont add it.

May I ask why?

causes audio desyncs
Quote from cortez:
Quote from Eternalspirit:
Quote from cortez:
yes, i still have that part but i wont add it.

May I ask why?

causes audio desyncs

Fair enough. I guess it will be up to the judgment of the powers that be. Maybe nate can somehow fix it?
Not a walrus
If it's not gameplay/timed footage we don't need it. Wouldn't be the first time an SDA video jumped right into the game past any non-timed intros.
Looks pretty solid, the route is optimized, some very minors flaws. Accept.

IIRC the edited out intro is an "interactive" cinematic/scripted scene where you can just look around but no way to move or speed up things.
Not a walrus
Yeah, sounds like the HL1 intro in that case, and I don't think we've ever timed that.
You can't even move around, it's just the camera panning around and some voice-acting. Though there's also a little dialogue at the start that you have to click through, but afaik those aren't counted in SDA timing either.
BTW, comments on the run woud be appreciated, especially for the glitche used ( Thx Onin for your post.)
Not a walrus
There are comments if you click "Download Run Comments". Whether they cover what you're asking about I don't know.
A/V good, no cheating detected

I'm on the fence about this run too.  The route definitely seems solid, but apparently here were some reasonable optimizations that were left out of this run.  And with 20 segments in a roughly 15 minute run you really should expect a high level of optimization.  I watched the run before I read Onin's first post and I was already wondering if the runner could have taken a faster route in the long run or done some of the tricks faster.

I guess I'll give this a weak reject because of the lack of polish, but it really is close
Decision posted.