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Serious Sam 3: BFE (pc) (pc) [Any %] [Segmented] [Mental]

Decision: Reject

Reason: Playing on 'mental' difficulty is challenging and it's understandable if everything doesn't go right, even in a segmented speedrun. However, some shortcuts were left out and some of the fights were improveable beyond what can be explained by playing on 'mental'.

https://queue.speeddemosarchive.com/verificationfiles/2081/

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

Serious Sam 3: BFE (pc) (pc) [Any %] [Segmented] [Mental]

Verification Files

http://v.speeddemosarchive.com/SeriousSam3-20170713/SS3_Mental_SP_fix.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.
Well this is a fix of mental alright...

What does the game mean when it gives your "saves" in the stats screen? Are you literally skipping almost all of the autosave checkpoints?? Are you also doing safety saves? Does reloading affect your level time?

Under the Iron Cloud - 0:04:26
Rockets on harpies as counter-intuitive as ever. Seemed like you were really mowing them down with the chaingun but it's difficult to tell with the invisibility.
The Silent Riddler - 0:06:58
I wanna think this specific kind of OOB is almost a tradition for Serious Sam by now. These types of levels certainly are. 21:46 - felt like there was this kind of slight inaccuracy with the movement at times such as here, on other maps mostly, made me think there had to be some trigger skipping of invisible walls or something around the place.
The Dark Bride - 0:02:32
32:20 - What happens here? Is it mostly the exploding suicide guys propelling you? Or wait, is this what you guys call "horizontal rocket launching"? Is it a health management issue or why don't you use more of it (I just read about it on the forums)?
The Guardian of Time - 0:05:55
Wait, can you explain this last level a bit... What's all the waiting around circling the mountain about? What about the lag at 52:40? And what about 54:27 with the sound cutting off?
Just Programmer and Just Speedrunner
Firstly, I apologize for my English (Google Translate)

About fix, it's just another video rendering (The first video was unsuccessful and was processed with an error).

Now, this run, if for you it is not known and you did not look at the title, is segmented and all the unfortunate moments were cut (as in the SS3 on the Mental it's very difficult to play, especially since the first time)
21:46 - in this segment, this is the best, in my opinion, action, as it is possible to jump off and go the other way, but I will spend 2-3 seconds more, aiming for jumping or other invisible walls is not there.
32:20 - in this moment is called, by me, the "Reverse Rocket Jump", more often it makes sense to use a Tourist Difficulty, but not on a Mental. Health in this particular complexity is more important and it is the only victim of health for the sake of time. It would be stupid and time-consuming to fool this trick, as again, to deceive the whale and other manipulations. You can skip the level at the very beginning, but immediately remember about the health and complexity of the passage.
52:40 - this is me personally found a bug with a whale, in theory, he had to eat me, but this did not happen and this bug happened. Due to the fact that the eating scene had to be played, and the worm appeared, but we deceived it, there is a load on the game and the FPS falls, but you can play. 54:27 - I will remind you about the segmented run.
I don't know why I thought this was in single segment. It might have been the "SP" in the filename that made me think of "SS". It does look like you needed some very serious luck, no pun intended.

"fix of mental" means it's a helping (a fix) of something crazy. That was the joke there.

So the "saves" count shows how many segments each level is split into, nothing else? Do you mostly segment at autosaves or are there some manual saves used as well? I might watch this again tomorrow (or soon anyway) to possibly point out a few more moments here and there mainly to see if I agree with your segmentation or if I think you should have used more segments.
Just Programmer and Just Speedrunner
The number of saving does not show the number of segments, if you look carefully, you can sometimes notice that the saving is going on, sometimes the moments are cut out, as they ended in failure. And when gluing the run, it is better to cut off saving moment, as it turns out not very beautiful.
Yes, I see now there's 35 segments. My bad. How much health does rocket launching cost you on Mental? It doesn't hurt you at all on Tourist looks like (except the fall might).
Edit history:
ImFuryPro: 2017-08-29 11:07:37 am
Just Programmer and Just Speedrunner
On Mental 50hp (if without armor and not the fact that from the first time it will work out) + Damage from falling, on the tourist only the threat is falling
Edit history:
LotBlind: 2017-09-07 12:40:46 pm
I hope no-one will have trouble running the game at 120+ FPS because I read that this is required for the rocket launching to work.

I see that there's an option in the game to enable auto-aiming if you're playing on a controller, which you may switch to and away from at any time. It's the most useful on lower difficulties though. Can it be used to target enemies when they're invisible? If so, it might save time during some of the fights.

Okay, so I'm gonna make some very detailed notes here, for myself, to get a better idea about this run.

1:14 - What happens here? Do you activate something through the wall?
1:16 - Could have started this attack a little bit sooner.
2:44 - Seeing as you start this level on almost full health (and there's a 50 hp drop not far in) it feels like you could have used the extra health for something in the first level. Of course you don't have the rocket launcher yet so I don't know what it could have been.
2:47 - To point out an example of slightly sloppy movement, here you veer to the right too far. At 3:08 you lose a second to failing a movement trick the first time.
3:33 - In several places it feels like you start the sledgehammer attack a little bit later than optimal.
3:39 - If it's faster to cut the corner on the way there, it must be faster on the way back as well. More importantly, there's about 5 seconds of time to save simply by falling off down into the yard and climbing the statue up again, according to Detress' notes. Unless you take so much fall damage that you just can't. However, there's another 50 drop at 5:40 so I don't believe this can be the case.
4:09 - Again, could cut the corner.
4:12 - Can you give me a reference for how much fall damage you would have taken if you had jumped down here, if you land on some object below?
4:18 - Don't know about this one but might be able to climb this faster? Looks like Detress does the same route from here to end of level in SS whereas you do an extra segment, and you're no more than a second faster.
5:00 - This level has a whole faster route (see Detress' run). He's 10 seconds faster to get to the shootable thing AND it looks safer. I think it's a no-brainer.
5:39 - Another slop (difficult to make out but the runner ends up in the corner for a few moments). In fact he JUMPS first. I think he was trying to get through the crumbled wall.
6:04 - Even this shot could be taken faster without aiming it, and should in a segmented run. That's precisely what you use the segments for.
7:30 - This whole fight goes pretty well but again, I feel it can be done faster. There's a few missed shots here and there, and if it's possible, using the exploding enemies to kill other enemies would be a way to save more time. However, I don't know how much of it is on a global timer, how much of it is about clearing each wave fast so it might not be relevant to be faster before the boss fight itself. Killing the very last regular guy faster at least would have helped.
8:00 - Looks like Detress KNOWS where the monsters will spawn each time at least for the several first ones so unless it's different on Mental, you could definitely have killed the last guy faster by being there when he drops off.
10:10 - Yeah, the boss fight could definitely be faster (20 seconds easily) and should definitely have been a segment of its own. Looks like you can even manipulate the boss to hurt itself with those rockets so that's another thing that can be abused more. In fact, I wonder why the SS tourist strategy wouldn't work for a segmented Mental run: yes, you probably die instantly if he hits you but that's why you get to segment your run quite liberally.
12:00 - Detress does this parkouring better in his single-segment run...
13:10 - You took damage in the arena part in the previous level - also don't you have the ammo to shoot some of these guys so you don't take as much damage here? They even drop more ammo when killed. I wanna say you could probably have avoided this armor detour or some other detours. It's a ten-second detour AND you even take more damage while going for it. I don't know if I like it.
14:12 - Missed a rocket on the helicopter? Detress mentions some kind of rocket launch that might save 15 seconds because you get to the heli faster. If this avoids having to stand in the middle of all those enemies, I'd be surprised if those 50 hp aren't a good investment.
16:33 - So you 40 seconds longer to reach the boss fight. I don't know if you could do ALL of the rocket launches but I feel with the amount of damage you're taking throughout the level again, it should be worthwhile sacrificing those 50 hp to do at least the first one, which looks like the most potent one.
18:26 - Less missed shots here please.

I think in the part where you fight another big fight outside some pyramid later on, at the end of the fight you should be standing much closer to the entrance to the next area than you do in this run. Other than that I won't sink any more time into watching this run. There are many other moments where the runner either gets caught on something for a tiny bit or chooses what looks like a sub-optimal path (going a bit more right or a bit more left than seems necessary) as well as not being as precise with beelining (moving directly in the exact right direction you need to move) as they could be. There are many much more obvious problems though and the runner has to start looking at other people's runs (instead of making us have to do that). If you want to keep working on the game, post your run (or just segments from it) in the thread before submitting it so you can get feedback. It's a waste of time to submit something like this, even though it has fairly good execution. Oh, and of course, I might be wrong about something, but there's no way I'm wrong about all of it.

Do you know about all these secrets in No Place to Hide? Rocket Launcher, Laser Gun, C4. Do any of them do anything for you?

Here I wrote something in Russian about what segmented runs are supposed to be for. If you like you can ask me for clarifications in Russian.

reject
Just Programmer and Just Speedrunner
What was the point then to interrogate me, if all the same rejected? FPS 120+ for my computer is a problem. Many comparisons with the player Detress are not relevant, because he played on tourist diffuculty, and on mental difficulty played in the co-op, and not single.

About secrets in the level of No Place to Hide I know about them, but they will only slow the passage. I tried.

I will not insist on changing the decision, but I believe that Mr. LotBlind, he interrogated me initially, because he himself did not know much about this game, for he would immediately make a decision, and not interrogate, and still make decisions based the run on tourist difficulty, on many forums and more.
Edit history:
ImFuryPro: 2017-09-07 02:31:29 am
Just Programmer and Just Speedrunner
I feel that this run will no longer be looked at, so reject is so reject.
ImFuryPro, no decision was posted yet to give you the time to comment on lotblind's reply. There doesn't appear to be much speedrun history for the 'mental' difficulty of SS3 and your run comments don't provide much information either. If you feel the comments are not applicable for your run, you're welcome to address them.
Just Programmer and Just Speedrunner
ktwo, I tried to explain to him, answered his questions, the result you see yourself
It's up to you how many question you want to answer. I don't usually give a verdict if there isn't already a very hefty amount of evidence against the run, and I do take into account that (as I said) I might be wrong about some of it, but I don't think I can be wrong about everything. I'm supposed to have a very difficult time pointing out even single mistakes in a segmented run, and I've seen many runs that really are like that, including the ones I linked in that Russian message. This segmented run is slower than a single-segment run in places where it has nothing to do with playing on a harder setting or using rocket launching. E.g. the rooftop parkour section.

It's a fact that the Google-translated English isn't that easy to understand 100%. Still, you completely failed to point out why you didn't use the rocket launch trick (am I supposed to be telepathic?). That makes the whole game a very unfortunate one for speedrunning and the community should discuss the situation. Usually first person shooters don't have a separate "with major skips" category so it's difficult to rule out rocket launching completely, but it's also not great for runners like you... Of course you could argue that you have to have sufficiently good hardware to be able to run the game and record it in the first place. I have no opinion about it.

But yeah, if you were wondering why I'm asking you questions but already gave my verdict, it's mainly because I came to my conclusion half-way through watching the run again and felt it wasn't constructive to delete everything I'd written. If you do take the time to answer the questions, at least I'll know exactly which parts I was right and wrong about, which will make any re-submissions easier for both of us.
Just Programmer and Just Speedrunner
I answer: I did not use the rocket jump, because it is the mental difficulty and health I need for further run. For I somehow do not want to run and collect first aid kits or get stuck in one place. It's not as simple as it seems at first glance.

I repeat, I played on the mental difficulty, and not on the tourist, on the mental. The third part of the game is more difficult to play than the classic series. Here rocket jumps do not run up.

You are wrong that you compare my run with the run of the player detress, and he played (as far as I know) on the tourist and on the mental, but in the cooperative. And I played on the mental, but in single player, and the difference we have in 2 minutes as far as I remember.
I thought you said you didn't do rocket launches (rocket jumps are where you aim downwards) because you can't do over 120 FPS? 50 HP looked like an acceptable loss for the time saved elsewhere, and you could have mitigated that much damage had you used more segments.

I repeat, I understand that you played on a different setting. I repeat, I've compared parts of the run where you're slower than him and it has nothing to do with the difficulty setting. I repeat, a segmented run shouldn't be slower than a single-segment run in such parts. But now I'm not going to repeat myself anymore.
Reply received through a chat conversation with a speedrunner of other Serious Sam games.

Quote:
> Initially I thought he wasn't rocket jumping because his computer couldn't run it at a high enough framerate
> Serious Sam 3 has some really shitty physics and they're framerate dependant
> This manifests itself in things as simple as jumping, where if your FPS is high enough you can trick the game into letting you jump higher than you should be able to
> It also allows you to launch yourself off walls and trees with rockets
> There were rocket jumps in the run
> In places that would save significant time
> There were not rocket jumps in places that would save moderate time where subtracting 50 health would not cause the runner to die
> Additionally, the route chosen through some levels is slower than existing run's routes and I'm not sure I'd be convinced it was down to a difficulty choice.
> The arena fights are slower than they could be, but I am willing to give the runner a pass on that as the random invisibility mechanic of Mental difficulty makes them real annoying to do well.
> I'm not willing to overlook the lack of health planning for the whole run though.
> The runner mentions that he doesn't want to go running after health kits
> I can respect that
> But there are times where rocket jumping would save more time than the health kits cost
> The run is solid
> and I'd probably estimate that he could cut two minutes off from better routing and movement
> I'd also like to see him switch up his route a bit to be closer to the Tourist run route
> There is time to be saved here
> I'd say the gameplay was of a high enough standard
> But the routing and planning is not
> I do disagree with LotBlind about some of his comments
> Things like "did not beeline to point x from point y" and "lost a second due to missing a jump" aren't things I consider significant when judging segmented runs unless it's a replacement of a previous run that did not have them
> and in most cases, the lack of beelining is explained by sandworm mechanics and the lack of a crosshair when sprinting
> Missed shots aren't an issue for me except in extreme cases
> I did not see any in this run aside from losing a couple seconds vs the helicopter
> I'm not sure whether to reject or accept
> I haven't run the game, I don't know how much time is lost to not using rocket boosts
> I know they're finnicky and irritating
> and FPS dependant
> The runner can probably give you a better answer there
> I'm not feeling strongly either way at this point though
> It'd be a weak accept or weak reject if its anything
> It depends on how much time rocket jumps would save.

ktwo:
Do you have any example(s) of where he avoided a rocket jump, which clearly seemed feasible from a health perspective?
"16:33 - So you 40 seconds longer to reach the boss fight. I don't know if you could do ALL of the rocket launches but I feel with the amount of damage you're taking throughout the level again, it should be worthwhile sacrificing those 50 hp to do at least the first one, which looks like the most potent one."
In case you didn't write it down on your own, would you at least agree with this one?

Quote:
> I did not write them down, sorry
> I would agree that he could save at minimum 10 seconds using one of the rocket jumps from lotblind's example though
Edit history:
ImFuryPro: 2017-09-10 02:48:50 am
Just Programmer and Just Speedrunner
In short, if you do not want to accept this run, do not accept it. I realized that you will not be surprised at anything and you will always find any arguments to reject the run (in spite of the fact that this is the first run on the mental difficulty, in a single player)
I think I verified another Mental run not too long ago that was rejected? I don't really mind anymore, just saying that Mental is same as Hard but with invisible enemies so it's more difficult than Hard but easier than Serious.

General: Uses no object boosts which requires a high fps but not that much higher than rocket launching really. Loses a lot of time on The Lost Temples of Nubia because of that, for example. The runner also tends to go for Kleer jumps to get over walls instead of rocket launching, which doesn't make much sense because it only saves 20 HP which is really nothing compared to the seconds you lose. And as usual in segmented runs I expect optimized arena fights, saving before big ones so you can redo until you get a good fight, but I don't see any of it here. Might as well be an RTA run if you only quicksave before difficult tricks.

Into the Spider's Nest: Outdated strat, new one is to fall down and go up the statue again after having opened the secret door.
Broken Wings: In the final fight, using the pistol to kill the Headless Rocketeers is faster than using the shotgun.
Unearthing the Sun: No rocket launch here, instead takes a slower route to the final area. The runner had overkill with HP/Armor so 50 HP less would be no issue.
The Dark Bride: Using rocket launching at the start saves a lot of time on this level. Two of them isn't a big deal.
Power of the Underworld: Again, the HP saved from the Kleer jump here compared to a rocket launch is irrelevant. Costs a few seconds.
The Guardian of Time: Hmm. This looks like an old glitch only possible on an early version, unless the runner has found a new way to avoid the sand worm. It's pretty slow either way, but I imagine running through the first section of the level on Mental might not be possible.

@LotBlind
1:14 - The game forces you to look at the spaceship, so that's why he turns around.
4:12 - You take 30 damage falling to the floor, so should be possible even without landing on any object.
5:00 - Oh yeah he's using an outdated route on this level.
10:10 - I don't think you can use the Tourist strat (Sledgehammer to the face) on the boss because the rockets hurts a lot on higher difficulties but I could be wrong. There might be some way to circle around him.
14:12 - I think a rocket launch is a good idea here to kill the helicopter faster, it's a matter of finding a safe spot where you take no damage from enemies.
16:33 - This is hard to say without testing myself but I agree finding some extra HP/armor at the start and then doing two rocket launches to get to the final area should be worthwhile. But I've not seen anyone try it on Normal+ (because no one really runs on those difficulties). Oh yeah, also the spaceship boss can be done using Tourist strats and there's some RNG involved in getting the best pattern for the boss in order to get the "quick kill" (I think it has three patterns).

Decision: Reject because I feel like this is a run which is beatable without much effort, particularly by optimizing the arena/boss fights better you can save minutes alone.
Edit history:
LotBlind: 2017-09-12 09:17:43 am
Freezard: Thanks for those notes! It's very useful to know for sure, even though I knew this can't be that good. As I said before, it's a real bitch when games have framerate-dependent stuff. I know that with some games (Oblivion) the runners agreed on a max FPS. In their case, though, I believe it's an effect that gets better and better the faster your computer whereas in BFE, it's more like you have to reach the plateau and you're good.

10:10 - Even if it takes 5 segments just to kill the boss that way, it's still something the runner needs to do because... as you said yourself... we want different categories (SS w/ or w/o resets and segmented) to be as different from each other as possible. That's the whole point of doing the run in segments, it's not just cause it makes things more convenient. That's the standard by which we have to judge them as well. I'm sure you know this full well, but don't be afraid to apply it in your verifications. Otherwise, why aren't we accepting runs in both a "somewhat segmented" category and a "heavily segmented" one.

I see some runners were saying "ILs are better than segmented" for this game in previous verifications. Is there any other reason than that's what the community has always done? I honestly don't think that's a good enough argument by itself because, most of the time, I can only imagine the sole reason people started doing ILs was "looks like there's a level timer". There's also significant continuity in almost any FPS game from level to level. The third thing is ofc being able to use the most optimized strats possible, even beyond what you can do in ILs. But is there some particular reason why this game shouldn't be run in segmented mode (it wasn't you saying this I don't think)? SDA will accept both ILs and segmented runs for some games.

Anonymous verifier: "small things aren't an issue" depends on the overall picture. Small missed tricks give away a careless attitude that usually also reflects on the routing. As someone with no direct experience on the games, it's the kinda stuff I have to be on the lookout for. Furthermore, as I said, a segmented run shouldn't look worse than a single-segment one basically anywhere, which it does here. That's one half of what the segments are for. If the routing was any good, I may still have accepted the run despite some of that sloppiness.

ImFury: I hope you didn't really think just because it's the first run, you can afford to be sloppy? If we accepted any "whatever" runs it would make the whole site look bad, and also it's always a bit of work for us to process and verify the runs (as evidenced here) and so we don't want to have to receive a trivial improvement a month later. You, "Mr. ImFuryPro", seem to have a history of missing strategies that goes back to several of your earlier submissions, so I suggest you get over yourself (if you know what that means) and start seeing things from somebody else's point of view for a change. Smiley
Edit history:
ImFuryPro: 2017-09-12 01:33:49 pm
ImFuryPro: 2017-09-12 01:28:54 pm
ImFuryPro: 2017-09-12 01:28:39 pm
ImFuryPro: 2017-09-12 01:20:19 pm
Just Programmer and Just Speedrunner
I understood. In short, it takes a long time to explain the above written, so... Thank you for giving me a try and good luck everybody.
Decision posted.
Edit history:
Freezard: 2017-10-01 05:41:44 pm
Quote from LotBlind:
I see some runners were saying "ILs are better than segmented" for this game in previous verifications. Is there any other reason than that's what the community has always done? I honestly don't think that's a good enough argument by itself because, most of the time, I can only imagine the sole reason people started doing ILs was "looks like there's a level timer". There's also significant continuity in almost any FPS game from level to level. The third thing is ofc being able to use the most optimized strats possible, even beyond what you can do in ILs. But is there some particular reason why this game shouldn't be run in segmented mode (it wasn't you saying this I don't think)? SDA will accept both ILs and segmented runs for some games.


Generally I think if you can select individual levels in a game then it's better suited for ILs than segmented. The only exception is if the game has enough continuity from level to level or difficult tricks to make the run much different, like you mentioned. Serious Sam kind of has, because you get to keep your weapons so you can do some early rocket jumps in TFE for example if you pick up the secret rocket launcher on the first level. But I don't know if this alone is enough really, people do these tricks already in single-segmented without much trouble, plus it only works on Normal or higher.

In the end, asking yourself: "How much faster would a segmented run be compared to the sum of ILs?" is probably a good rule of thumb. In the case of Serious Sam it won't be much faster on lower difficulties. I have done one segmented run and it's F.E.A.R. (it's on SDA). That game has no level select and even if it had, the tricks I use in segmented would probably be too difficult to do even in ILs. So that's a good example of a segmented run.

However, I think segmented runs on Serious difficulty is acceptable (and maybe Mental too) because even doing ILs on Serious is a nightmare, so there would be a lot of time to save by optimizing fights. But there would have to be a lot more segments used than in this run.
Thanks for the input! If what you're saying is there's a level select feature (and IMO a level warp isn't really quite the same because it doesn't give you the feeling the game was intended to be played that way and most people definitely wouldn't have), then that's more of an argument for ILs for Serious Sam, for example. Out of all the FPS games I've seen, I only know of Alien vs. Predator the original that has it with no continuity in-between. On the whole though it's probably been too skewed in the ILs direction because of history: Doom and Quake wouldn't have allowed for segmented demos etc.

You don't have to tell me about that general stuff, I've been around after all, but my feeling after watching this run is there certainly is room for segmented runs on those tougher difficulties for this particular game: so much damage manipulation to avoid health detours for example. Why are you saying "maybe Mental too"? Do you mean the other way around?
No I mean that Serious is more difficult than Mental because like I said Mental uses Hard difficulty settings but with semi-invisible enemies. There are more enemies on Serious and they are faster and deal more damage. In the case of SS3 they deal 250% damage on Serious and 150% on Mental. It's a pretty big deal since rockets from mechs can instagib you if you're anywhere close to the explosion on Serious and stuff like hitscan weapons from the machine gun enemies really hurts. But imo both of them are difficult enough for segmented runs.