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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:25 pm
by Avder
Figured I would update people since it's been half a month since the last post in this thread.

I'm still working on levels. Am still stuck on level 8, but I've made a few breakthroughs and I should be able to get a time I'm happy with sometime in the next couple hundred attempts. Thats right, I said couple hundred. Level 8 is just that nasty.

I've also been working on improving my level 6 time, and I'm happy to report that I've shaved even more time off of it and the time is now below 6 minutes. It's good enough that I think when I start posting levels as speedruns, if I have not improved on level 6 by then I will post this run.

I've also been tinkering with levels 20, 21, 27, S1, and S2.

I think I've found a way to exploit the gophers in level 20, so that section of that level is no problem. The problem for level 20 is the four platform bots in the next section, and then finding and destroying all the class 2 drones and level 1 drones who lay mines. After that the rest of the level is pretty academic.

Level 21 I'm still looking for a good route. Right now my route contains a very low percentage trick about a minute in that I would like to find a different way to do, if possible. The problems after said trick seem to be the red hulks that guard the yellow key card. Even worse, the fusion cannon in that section may not be accessible with all the brown hulks that spwan in from the matcen there.

Level 27 is actually pretty straightforward, but the problem I am having is energy management. Once that is solved, it should be pretty easy to get the whole level done, what with all the invulnerabilities, cloaks, and mega missiles laying around. The boss room should be pretty easy. None of the bots in that room are mandatory except for El Capitan, because all of the bots in that room aside from El Capitan are spawned in by El Capitan. The cloaked lifters in the super secret room off to the side are mandatory however.

S1 I have a route for, and I can usually make it pretty far in the level. I just seem to screw something up every time and end up getting killed. Not even a fraction as frustrating as level 8 however. One point of concern tho is the supervisor bots in the reactor-triggered door near the exit. One of them contains platform bots, so I have to fusion the supervisors and then somehow live through fusioning the platforms as well. I have a plan for it, I'll see how it works once I get that far in my run.

S2 is cake. Cloaks everywhere + quad lasers off the bat = dead drillers and super hulks. I just need to optimize it down to an impressive enough time. That could be tricky.

I've also got pretty decent runs of levels 1-5, and 7. 7 I'm trying to get my time down another minute or two before I am happy with it, but the route is completed and I think its pretty optimal. Level 1-5 I also have routes for, just have to get them down to times I am happy with. Once I finish level 8 I will start optimizing the first 5 levels and level 7, and then I think once I have runs of the first 8 levels I'll start posting them as speed runs on youtube.

I'm going to call them "Insane-Max" runs, like how some Doom runs are called UV-Max. The rules I'm going to be following for these runs are as follows:
-No Deaths
-All 1-ups must be collected
-All hostages rescued
-Secret exit taken, if applicable
-All reactors destroyed
-All robots that are on the level to start with must be destroyed

And I am unsure or not, but I am considering exempting any robot that requires you to trigger the reactor to gain access to him from the kill rule. I am also considering adding D2's full map powerup to the 1-up collection rule.

You can also see that I am thinking ahead toward D2 with these rules, specifically the all reactors rule which applies to secret level 6 in that game. I also am technically differentiating between D1 and D2's secret level entrances by saying "Secret Exit" since D2 uses teleporters. This would allow either the regular exit or a secret teleporter to be used to exit a level, which would allow for faster times if the secret teleporter is closer (like in level 20, right there in the boss room).

D2 secret level runs would also be a little different since you can not save or restore while in one. The run would need to start on the base level right in front of the secret teleporter, with a ship that has exactly 100 shield and energy, 3 concussion missiles, and level 1 lasers. I also think that because of the way some of the d2 secret levels are structured, it should be allowable to go through a return teleporter as long as you instantly go back through the teleporter to the secret level. Otherwise it might not be possible to get everything on the Insane-Max checklist.

But D2 is a LONG way off. And some of the levels I have checked out in D2 are just a bitch to get started in. D2 level 6 for example is nuts on insane from a cold start, what with an ITSC and diamond claw in the starting room with you, the thief immediately coming in to harass you, and several sidearms in a row by the blue key and blue door. That level looks like it will be worse than D1 level 8, by far. And starting level 21 without an Omega cannon is going to be very annoying. Why does every bot in the Descent series that has the name "spider" in it have to be of the demonic variety?

For D2 I also need to figure out the full damage and energy usage table for the primary weapons. D2 energy management is going to be much, much worse than D1 because of the presence of the afterburner in some levels. Acquiring it obligates one to use it all the time due to the nature of a speedrun. That's going to just suck the Pyro's energy reserves dry.

And thinking ahead past D2, Vertigo, and possibly the PC conversion of Descent Maximum, D3 looks like it might not be realistically possible to do a D3 version of insane-max, simply because of how large and sprawling the levels are, how frustratingly difficult it is to hit even bots that are slow to dodge (especially outdoors), the random deaths that seem to happen for no discernible reason (I swear there are a few rooms in various levels that you can fly into, there are no robots there, and then you can just randomly explode, regardless of your shield), and the fact that D3 likes to randomly crash, especially when using powerful weapons which would be used near the end of a long level (especially the Hellion Assault Mech in D3 level 15, and the Gatling mech at the end of Mercenary level 7).

If I do D3 after D1 and D2, it would probably be Insane-Fast, where the only objective would be to end the level as fast as possible without dying. Also there would need to be a separate category, which I would call Insane-Fast+ for using ships other than what you would normally have by that point in the campaign. For example, using the Phoenix before level 7, the Magnum before level 10, and the Black Pyro before level 3(I think? Its been a while) of Mercenary.

So, anyones thoughts on this? Part of the reason I'm doing this is because it looks like no one else has ever done stuff like this. The only speedrun of Descent that exists is stx-Vile's hotshot pure speed run of each level in Descent 1 (which is pretty amazing btw), and I think there needs to be more in the way of Descent Speedruns out there. D3 I could even potentially get published on the Speed Demos Archive, considering that D3 is the only one of the three Descent's that does not require either a source port (Rebirth), emulator (dosbox), or old assed DOS machine to run. If SDA ever changes their policy about dosbox, it would be worth it to get D1 and D2 for Dos set up in it and do some runs there, just to get them on to SDA.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:37 pm
by vision
Oh I have a question! How can you do a cold start on the Secret Levels? Do you need to extract them from the HOG file or whatever and re-save them as a separate mission?

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:37 pm
by Avder
vision wrote:Oh I have a question! How can you do a cold start on the Secret Levels? Do you need to extract them from the HOG file or whatever and re-save them as a separate mission?
I clear a path to the reactor in the level you get there from (10, 21, 24), kill myself in a location where I would have to go out of the way to get my powerups, blow the reactor with level 1 lasers and 3 concs, and exit the level with 100 or less shields and energy, and no powerups.

I then make a savegame the instant I materialize in the secret level and then record from there.

I imagine the procedure with the D2 secret levels will be similar, just making sure I get to the teleporter with EXACTLY 100 shields and energy, 3 concs, no accessories, and no guns or vulcan ammo. Recording would begin from a savegame directly in front of the teleporter and the first thing to happen in the demo would be entering the teleporter.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:45 pm
by Top Gun
I was about to mention Speed Demos Archive, but they have a policy that even excludes DOSBox? That's super-lame, especially considering how many DOS-era games flat-out don't work on any Windows version newer than 98 or so.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:07 pm
by vision
Avder wrote:I clear a path to the reactor in the level you get there from (10, 21, 24), kill myself in a location where I would have to go out of the way to get my powerups, blow the reactor with level 1 lasers and 3 concs, and exit the level with 100 or less shields and energy, and no powerups.
Man that's a lot of work. Can someone with a level editor just extract them, make a 3 mission set, and load it up to DMDB or something? I could probably do it myself but I don't have an editor installed right now and it's going to be a few weeks before I have time to do this.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:54 pm
by Avder
Top Gun wrote:I was about to mention Speed Demos Archive, but they have a policy that even excludes DOSBox? That's super-lame, especially considering how many DOS-era games flat-out don't work on any Windows version newer than 98 or so.
That they do, or I would be doing all of this in Descentr.exe in dosbox. I discovered SDA's "no emulator" policy after I had configured it to be playable and have a manageable framerate. Just limit cycles to 75,000 and D1 should run between 24 and 40FPS in 320x240. D2 also works in Dos Box just fine. If you want to run that at 640x480, set cycles to 175,000 and you get about 25-35 fps. And interestingly enough, lower variance.

How did I figure out the cycle number for D1 if it does not have an FPS meter? I ran D2 in 320x200, found the cycles needed to get THAT to hover right around 30-35fps, and then dropped it down about 10k or so, loaded up level 10 and did homer-dodging practice with that super hulk in the first room. Dodged them all and the picture seemed like it was running right around 30. I then went down to the bigger room with another super hulk and dodged them all again, seemed like it was around mid 20s or so which seems right for a large area like that. I start to notice choppiness lower than 30fps.

I used to cap my D1X right around 30 back in the day to make homers manageable, and it seems like a lot of video games of that era were built to get around 30fps (Doom for example has a hard framecap of 35, sure would have been nice if D1 or D2 had a hard framecap back in the kali days), so that's what I targeted when I configured dosbox.

And yes, I even got my 3d Pro working in Dos Box as well. For D1 since it does not have a native cycle secondary button, I mapped my hat directions to send 7, 6, 9, and 0 on the up, down, right, and left toggles. In D2 I would have left it as a hat as that one does have a functional secondary cycle.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:57 pm
by Avder
vision wrote:
Avder wrote:I clear a path to the reactor in the level you get there from (10, 21, 24), kill myself in a location where I would have to go out of the way to get my powerups, blow the reactor with level 1 lasers and 3 concs, and exit the level with 100 or less shields and energy, and no powerups.
Man that's a lot of work. Can someone with a level editor just extract them, make a 3 mission set, and load it up to DMDB or something? I could probably do it myself but I don't have an editor installed right now and it's going to be a few weeks before I have time to do this.
I already did it. It was not that much work. Levels 10, 21, and 24 are not that hard on insane if you just take your time and play conservatively.

I might re-do my S2 save file however as I did not hit the save button until the materialization sparks had vanished and I consider that to be a marker that I am starting from immediately as I spawn.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:07 pm
by Avder
Also, I just did a fusion reactor test in the current version of rebirth.

It takes one fully charged fusion shot to kill a reactor in Levels 1-6, and S1, S2, and S3.
It takes two fully charged fusion shots to kill a reactor in levels 8-19.
It takes three in levels 20-26.

I then loaded up an older version of rebirth, version 0.53, warped to level 26, and killed its reactor with one fully charged shot.

I need to ask Zico what he did, because I can think of at least one level where I am going to NEED to kill the reactor with fusion: Level 21. Otherwise I am going to have a death mob of pissed off robots by the time I open that door enough times to kill the reactor with fusion, or any other gun.

Then again I might be able to get there with a mega missile and manage to get the missile to hit the reactor while I am pelting it with quad 4's. Maybe that will let me kill it in one cycle.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:24 pm
by vision
Avder wrote:
vision wrote:Can someone with a level editor just extract them, make a 3 mission set, and load it up to DMDB or something?
I already did it. It was not that much work.
Ha, I was kind of hoping someone would do it so I can play them cold-start without running through the previous level, haha. :D
Avder wrote:I need to ask Zico what he did...
I really wish he would set up rebirth so you can configure a few things either as command-line arguments or by reading a config file. I would like the ability to make the homers more like the original Descent. It would be nice to have easy access to some of his modifications. Oh well.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:13 am
by Avder
You want the homers to be FPS based again?

On insane they're a bit of a challenge, but that's why you have to outsmart the red hulks.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:02 am
by vision
Avder wrote:You want the homers to be FPS based again?
Whatever it is, I don't like it. I used to be able to dodge homers easily on the DOS version, but the Rebirth version is so difficult I don't even try any more. Which sucks, because I spend all my time sniping, and you know, it really slows down the game.

Speaking of slow, I can't figure out a fast way to get through Level 8. Since you started going Rambo I thought I would give it a shot too. And I can complete level 8 but ugh, so tedious. There are so many bots roaming I can't even keep track of them all. The only way I can get through is if I cause them to pool up in a couple key areas, then go after the stationary ones and hope I got all the roamers.

Yellow key is a bitch. I charge the blue doors near start (1) and keep shooting until I can't coax anymore out. Then I make my way toward the blue door on the lower level. Before I reach the Plasma Cannon (3) there is a narrow path I can fire down (2) and take out a dozen bots as they come after me (though sometimes the evade and sneak up around the corner). After that I head downstairs and blast my way to the Yellow key. The rest is easy.

Well, not too easy. I wind up using a lot of Proximity bombs on the way to the Yellow Key to cover my backside. I takes forever. I'll be glad when someone reveals the secret.

Image

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:11 am
by Avder
The thing about those blue doors near start is that the ones facing away from the start will ALWAYS have the same two bots behind them: a lifter and a driller. This is the door you should open and start with.

In the blue section there are three bots that are absolutely critical and need to be destroyed ASAP: Two drillers and one spider. The first driller is the one you kill when you open the blue door. The other driller starts at the bottom of the pit, across from the brown hulk. The spider starts in the little alcove with the two class 1 drones who never move. The spider is critical to kill because its projectiles are huge and do 18 damage each, and he fires 6 of them at once, meaning if he blindsides you, he can one-volley your ass.

One of two things will happen when you open the blue door and kill the lifter and driller, and you will know what is happening within moments with at least some certainty:

1. You get bumrushed. Usually the first bot to show up when this happens is a secondary lifter or advanced lifter, but class 1 drones, the spider, and that driller should not be far behind. When this happens, switch to lasers (I'm assuming all you have is lasers and vulcan at this point) and back up to the platform where the three secondaries you fought at the beginning of the level are and fire into the open blue door so you can nail stuff as it comes up. Keep firing until no one comes.

2. Absolutely nothing. No one will come rush you. When this happens you can take some initiative depending on if your balls are made of steel or sponge. If you've got balls of steel (Ive been watching a lets play of Duke Nukem 3d lately, heheh), make sure your vulcan cannon is active and head in and head down toward the bottom of the pit. Take out ONE of the class one drones down there as fast as you can and then immeditately head where he was, launch one homer into the little area where the other driller is, and if you are lucky you should only take 4-8 damage. Take out the second drone and BE AWARE that each time the missile hulk sees you, he will fire a volley of missiles. Assuming no other robot has jumped in yet, take the missile hulk out, and make sure you grab the prox bombs (And I'm assuming you already have the set from earlier). IF YOU STILL HAVE NOT BEEN RUSHED, you can take the initiative again. If you still have vulcan, keep it selected and head out of the pit and TURN LEFT while DROPPING ALL YOUR PROX BOMBS.

When you get to the lower blue door, make sure you are turned to the right before you come around that corner, because thats where two drones hang out. Work your way down that hallway, you should kill two more drones just past the next junction but DO NOT GO MORE THAN ONE CUBE LENGTH PAST THAT JUNCTION as that will trigger the matcen. But you should not even get a chance to cross that junction as you should run into an advanced lifter and at least two secondary lifters. Kill them, likely with lasers at this point because your vulcan has probably run out now, and once they are dead set yourself in that junction so you are looking down towards the area where the super hulk and yellow key are. There should be an advanced lifter here, kill it, but DO NOT head into the super hulks view.

Start backtracking at this point. If you were fast your prox mines may still be here. Be careful going around that corner because if that spider has not killed itself on your mines, it will often be waiting at the 4 way junction. If it is, kill it. If not, head back into the pit where the two drones and a driller were, and look back at the junction. If the spider still does not appear, rotate yourself in place and start to shoot the supervisor. Doing this usually flushes out any hold outs and you should get the spider at this point, along with any secondaries who you did not run into. If the spider shows up, forget the supervisor and kill it. Once the spider is dead, head into the junction and head UP to the alcove with the two drones who never roam. Kill them and collect the homing missiles and head back down to the junction.

Move into the narrow hallway that leads to the super hulk and yellow key. Shoot the secret door open, and make sure you can not be seen by the super hulk. Cord up and to the left VERY SLOWLY so he is in your reticle and as far away as possible. You may now do one of two things: 1. Shoot him and run away, making a right at the junction so his homers cant follow or 2. Shoot him and run FORWARD and INTO THE SECRET COMPARTMENT. If you do this, 5 laser shots and 3-4 homers usually kill him. And if you are fast you can get in the alcove and be shielded from his homers. You may take some splash damage depending on where the homers hit. Once this is done, go collect the yellow key, the dropped homers, and the shield powerup. If no bots make themselves known as you head back to the blue doors near start: glance into the matcen alcove, and then kill the supervisor bot (if hes not dead already), and then fly out the way you came, like a boss.

If everything goes absolutely as expected (which it does maybe 1 time out of 10), you can actually do this whole section and leave with more shield than you came in, which is absolutely vital for surviving the yellow section, and the section near the other plasma and red door.

At this point I always do the yellow section with the cloak and pick up my plasma there, then do the remainder of the level with plasma. It stops lifters dead in their tracks, which is something that lasers just can not do.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:55 pm
by vision
Sounds good. I've tried that pattern a few times, but I guess I haven't got that magical 1 out of 10 times it works yet. What is your best time? I can't do it in less that 20 minutes, which is embarrassing.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:59 pm
by Krom
The trick to it is that blue supervisor bot, whenever one of those are around all the other bots will be more aggressive/unpredictable. Kill it first and everyone else will probably start behaving a little more like normal (although it doesn't always work).

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:34 pm
by Avder
vision wrote:Sounds good. I've tried that pattern a few times, but I guess I haven't got that magical 1 out of 10 times it works yet. What is your best time? I can't do it in less that 20 minutes, which is embarrassing.
10:01 with no deaths, 8:15 with one death.

I believe 7:10 is optimal. I'm not shooting that high tho.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:35 pm
by Avder
Krom wrote:The trick to it is that blue supervisor bot, whenever one of those are around all the other bots will be more aggressive/unpredictable. Kill it first and everyone else will probably start behaving a little more like normal (although it doesn't always work).
I tried that at first. The issue is at that point, unless you have plasma (never tried with plasma), lasers cant hold him still, and neither can vulcan, so he just heads down into the pit while the rest of the bots come to his defense.

Hence why I've developed my strategy based around killing him on the way out rather than on the way in.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:40 pm
by Avder
And I'm running into some major homer issues in level 10. Corner shooting all of the red hulks is completely impractical, so I *NEED* to be able to dodge homers. I can dodge *A* homer with no problem on insane. The problem is that red hulks fire at least 3 every time and while you dodge the first one, the other two get to track you perfectly and you ship goes splat.

It's gotten so bad on this level that I have reverted to rebirth 0.53 and framecapped it to 30 just to make homers dodgeable again.

I think something needs to be decided on homer behavior once and for all before I start putting up times that I would like to consider official.

Does anyone happen to know what the homer (both player and red hulk) did on each specific difficulty in the dos version? Any homer solution that makes homers non-fps based would need to be based on those behaviors, and I think Zico's non-fps solution is kind of arbitrary.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:53 pm
by Avder
I'm taking an alternate approach to this problem. Rather than try to litigate homers back to normal, I've extracted level 10, deleted every robot except for super hulks, deleted every robot maker trigger, and set a few of them to "Still". Makes for an excellent practice facility. Going to be a while before I learn how to dodge homers well enough that I can pull off what I have planned for this level. The good news is once I figure out how to annihilate these two specific ones quickly, that will mean the hardest trick in the level will be completed.

Altho I still would like to know the inner workings of homers in D1 dos.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:07 am
by Avder
Once I start doing the actual speedruns, I'd also like a couple of people who would be willing to watch them and verify that I have met all the goals in them. Ideally I'd like 3-5 people who would watch and make sure I get every robot, 1-up, hostage, and also that I'm using an optimal or very near optimal route.

One of my hopes is that maybe this starts to generate some interest and more people besides me start to make these runs, and in multiple categories.

Ideally we could end up with something like Doom's compet-n database, which hosts various runs of all of the retail maps, plus some of the higher rated player made megawads. They have many categories including UV-Fast, Nightmare Speed, Nightmare 100% secrets, UV-Max (which is what I'm sort of basing my "Insane Max" concept on as much as possible, just on the highest skill level), Tyson, UV-Fast, Pacifist, and so on. I have no idea how many categories we would eventually be able to come up with, but I can think of three off the top of my head: Fast - End the level as fast as possible and move on to the next; Full - Complete all secondary objectives (In D1 that would probably mean hostages + 1-ups + secret exit, D2 hostages, 1-ups, full map, and possibly kill the theif?, D3 any secondary and tertiary objectives that are in the level, even if bugged and not completable according to the game such as the bonus objective in level 13), and what I'm doing: Max.

The big difference would be that Doom's demos are extremely compact. For example, the current UV-Max record for Doom II is 114 minutes long and the demo file for it is just under 1 megabyte, whereas my current level8 demo which clocks in at 10:01 is close to 12 megabytes in size. So if we did get enough interest to get a site up it would potentially be very high bandwidth if it caught on.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:11 pm
by Avder
Anyone here familiar with the D3 Demo format?

I decided to play a little D3 today as a change of pace and got some pretty good times in levels 2 and 7. The level 2 demo plays fine, but the level 7 demo plays for a few seconds and then acts as if its hit the end of the file. If I hit "loop" it goes further and says "unable to load demo file" and I have to use the task manager to kill main.exe. I went back further and looked at several of my failed attempts (Since D3 makes you name the demo file when you start recording rather than when you stop), and not a single one that I have looked at has played past the point where I blow up the power source for the force-fields that keep you from getting in to the level below the surface.

Does anyone have any idea why this is happening? I am quite proud of my level 7 time and would like to try to improve on it, but what point would there be if no one would be able to see it?

And the demo files are all properly sized. The successful run is 18 megs.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:21 pm
by Alter-Fox
Yeah, D3 has a bunch of problems with demo files even within the Outrage-made campaigns. I honestly don't think there's anything that can be done about it.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:48 pm
by Avder
.....★■◆●.

So I did level 7 in 3:26 and no one will ever see it.

God dammit.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:27 pm
by Top Gun
Maybe just go right to video-capture while you're running it live?

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:46 pm
by Avder
Top Gun wrote:Maybe just go right to video-capture while you're running it live?
Considering how much trouble I had to go to to get D1 Demo replays to capture right, and considering that D3 takes much more power to run, I have no idea if that's even a feasible idea. Especially considering that D3 likes to change resolutions all the time rather than scale its graphics properly. And also there is the fact that if you framecap D3, it never actually caps at the frames you set it to. The way I ended up making D1 runs captureable in decent quality was to framecap rebirth to 30fps while replaying the demo for capture, and rebirth does that exactly so there is minimal mess up during the recording. With D3, I tried to framecap it to 60 to play it since I like a games framerate to match my monitor refresh because screen tearing just drives me nuts, but when I tried framecap 60 it would alternate between 58.something and 62.something and there was tearing everywhere. I had to use my graphics cards control settings to force wait for vertical refresh and then set D3 to framecap 999 in order to lock it down to exactly 60. I have no idea how well that would work for 30, and I have no idea if D3 would even be playable at 30 fps.

Isn't there some utility out there that could look at D3 demo frames and maybe extract any frames that would make D3 screw up? I really don't want to delete this demo of level 7 without anyone seeing it.

Edit: Yeah I don't even see an option to set my monitors refresh lower than 56hz, and I know if I put framecap 30 in the command line, it will probably alternate between like 36 and 48 or something, cause D3 is just glitched like that, and it will probably just look terrible.

I really wish they would have delayed D3 a couple more months and ironed some of the bugs out better.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:18 am
by Krom
You can probably get an effective 30 FPS cap out of D3 by forcing vsync in the driver, disabling triple buffering for D3, AND setting the framecap to 30-31. It should kick it down to a consistent 30 FPS because of the nature of a double buffered vsync (actually any framecap between 30 and 59 with vsync enabled should result in it locking to 30 FPS).

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:58 pm
by Avder
Krom wrote:You can probably get an effective 30 FPS cap out of D3 by forcing vsync in the driver, disabling triple buffering for D3, AND setting the framecap to 30-31. It should kick it down to a consistent 30 FPS because of the nature of a double buffered vsync (actually any framecap between 30 and 59 with vsync enabled should result in it locking to 30 FPS).
I'll try that later today, thanks!

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:16 am
by Avder
So apparently, after much tweaking with many, many settings, it worked. I also re-ran level 7 and got a 3:28 after a few tries, only two seconds longer than the one in the broken demo on my hard drive:



Would appreciate feedback on the video quality and whatnot.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:45 pm
by vision
vision wrote:Can someone with a level editor just extract them, make a 3 mission set, and load it up to DMDB or something? I could probably do it myself but I don't have an editor installed right now and it's going to be a few weeks before I have time to do this.
Aaaaaand done. I figured some people don't play these as often as other levels and it's nice to start them fresh. Cold starts let you see the balance of the level better than entering with big guns.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:40 pm
by Avder
I have broken 8 minutes on level 8.

BOOM.

Will give it a few more hundred attempts to see if I can get closer to what I believe the optimal time is. If not, I'm going to call this level done and the run will be underway starting from level 1 onward.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:16 pm
by Firewheel
These are some seriously impressive videos. Considering that I've been playing Descent since I was seven, I should be this good. I've beaten D1 on Insane with cold starts on each level, but not without dying.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:10 pm
by Avder
Thanks!

Sorry about the delay in updates btw, real life has had me bogged down for the past couple of weeks, and when I get time to play I'm too burnt out most of the time to devote the concentration and focus needed to run properly, so I've been spending a lot of my free time just playing other games casually.

The good news is that it seems like I'll be getting some free time soon, and I should be able to crank out a bunch of levels and start posting the "official" runs to youtube... well hopefulyl sooner rather than later. I just hope interst has not dried up entirely by the time I finally get to a point where I've got enough done that I feel I can start posting.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:02 pm
by Avder
Allright, I could use a little help.

I am stuck, perpetually, on level 9. This is way worse than level 8 was. Not for any areas the get hairy when you first go into them, but for the fact that you do not have the equipment needed to start with the big open section that you start in, and by the time you come back to it from getting the blue key, plasma, and spreadfire, the robots have started to roam to such a degree that hunting them effectively is almost impossible, and I almost always end up the victim of a random ambush by a bot that has traveled across the whole level to kill me.

I would love suggestions from anyone on how to approach this level from a different angle, because this is holding up the whole damned run and making me want to ragequit.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:04 pm
by Alter-Fox
You could try grabbing the plasma cannon from the secret near the shaft down to the blue key and then clearing out the entire upper floor before you actually go down and start the lengthy process of killing the bots from the matcen. There's an energy center nearby as well which contains lots of concussionness and homingness. Aaand it also sounds like you could use some cloakingness... too bad there definitely aren't any cloaked lifters in the upper area to drop that cloakingness for you... OH WAIT, THERE ARE LOADS OF THEM!!! Mostly they won't drop cloaking if you've already killed one and haven't picked up its cloaking device yet; so... I guess try to only kill one at a time? The only really absolute thing I have to offer is the idea that staying cloaked as much as possible is definitely a good idea.

I've never tried that map on insane though so this is just blind conjecture. I know that if you do die you're pretty likely to keep dying.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:03 am
by Avder
Alter-Fox wrote:You could try grabbing the plasma cannon from the secret near the shaft down to the blue key and then clearing out the entire upper floor before you actually go down and start the lengthy process of killing the bots from the matcen. There's an energy center nearby as well which contains lots of concussionness and homingness. Aaand it also sounds like you could use some cloakingness... too bad there definitely aren't any cloaked lifters in the upper area to drop that cloakingness for you... OH WAIT, THERE ARE LOADS OF THEM!!! Mostly they won't drop cloaking if you've already killed one and haven't picked up its cloaking device yet; so... I guess try to only kill one at a time? The only really absolute thing I have to offer is the idea that staying cloaked as much as possible is definitely a good idea.

I've never tried that map on insane though so this is just blind conjecture. I know that if you do die you're pretty likely to keep dying.
I've tried that a few times actually. The problem with grabbing the plasma and coming back out is that, at that point, I'm usually pretty low on energy from having to blast through the enemies right outside that areas door, and when I come back there are usually several bots in the lava area that I have to blast through in order to get to the upper areas energy center.

Still, worth a few more shots I suppose.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:06 am
by Alter-Fox
Well there's also that lower energy center with the cloaking device and all the concs and homers. There are only a couple of secondary lifters and drones as guards.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:42 am
by Naphtha
That's what I was thinking too. But then I gave the level a run on Insane from a cold start (mind you, I wasn't speedrunning, just trying to be a little brave so I could try to map out some tactics in my head), and clearing out everything there left me with only a couple seconds to rush into the room with the matcen. Of course, I'm probably not as fast or coordinated as Avder so the tactic I might suggest is clearing out a path to the lower energy center, using the cloak to slip by the robots and quickly recharge, and then rushing back to the area around the blue key.

I'm not sure how much time that strategy might leave on the cloaking device when you get back near the yellow door, but if it gives you enough time to get a jump on the matcen and possibly grab the Spreadfire (I forget if you prefer this to the Plasma), it should be worth it IMO.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:19 am
by Avder
NaphthaTurisas wrote:That's what I was thinking too. But then I gave the level a run on Insane from a cold start (mind you, I wasn't speedrunning, just trying to be a little brave so I could try to map out some tactics in my head), and clearing out everything there left me with only a couple seconds to rush into the room with the matcen. Of course, I'm probably not as fast or coordinated as Avder so the tactic I might suggest is clearing out a path to the lower energy center, using the cloak to slip by the robots and quickly recharge, and then rushing back to the area around the blue key.

I'm not sure how much time that strategy might leave on the cloaking device when you get back near the yellow door, but if it gives you enough time to get a jump on the matcen and possibly grab the Spreadfire (I forget if you prefer this to the Plasma), it should be worth it IMO.
Thats mostly what I have been doing. The problem is you don't always get cloaks from the lifters around the blue key, and when you return to the open area on your way to the yellow key, often the shortest path is blocked by a couple damned nosebots or drones. Additionally, it's common to be running below 50 energy at that point because of all the shooting you have to do in the area around the blue key.

Regardless, as soon as you re-enter the open area from getting the yellow key, the hallways around either the normal door or secret door are usually packed with enemies at that point, so even the cloak you get near the hostages is rendered mostly useless since you physically can not sneak past everyone.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:35 pm
by Avder
Figured I'd post an update since this is taking forever. I'm finally getting to a point where I'm finishing level 9 every so often, but nowhere near a reasonable time. I have to develop a good route to go through the big open area and hunt down all the roaming bots there, and that is extremely problematic. I would still appreciate any ideas any of you have. I'm at a point where I'm ready to throw crap at the wall and see what sticks here.

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:23 pm
by vision
Level 9 is the messiest one of them all. I played it for two weeks trying to find something resembling a "solution," but there is just too much roam. The only thing that seemed to work is what everyone else does, go for the Plasma cannon then slowly work your way around the mine. You have to cross over the same points a few times, which eats up the time, but what else can be done? I don't know. I gave up, haha!

Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6.

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:51 pm
by Avder
I've tried to switch up the start of the level a few times. Instead of going after the plasma, I've occasionally tried going after the vulcan cannon in the huge trap near the start. That...sometimes works. but obviously it leaves me with far fewer shields than I like.

An additional strategy I've been tinkering with is getting a cloak right off the bat from one of those cloaked lifters in the lava pit on the way to the plasma (happens pretty frequently), and just blasting my way into the area with the plasma, but giving the plasma a miss and heading down to get the spreadfire cannon in the room with the hostages, and then trying to get back into the roaming area before the cloak wears off to start hunting before the robots really get a chance to go roaming. I've had....some? success with it.

The never ending problem tho is still that big roaming area. I've gone through the level in cheat mode trying to pin down an efficient route or search pattern and I just can't find it.

Suffice it to say my "best" times on this map are ugly as sin. Not even remotely worth capturing.