2021 Category discussion and process to get community feedback

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Flo
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2021 Category discussion and process to get community feedback

Post by Flo »

Hello everyone,

in the past there were countless discussions about the different categories that records can be completed in.

At the moment, there are 3 categories (more info here in the Record Rules thread viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2004):
PURE: No tools (except a simple ingame timer) are allowed. No Texmods, no toolbox, no nothing.
Standard: Some tools are allowed, some are not.
TAS: Everything is allowed. That includes blatant cheating and things you can not do without tools.

While the rulesets for the PURE and TAS categories are mostly simple to argue for because they are just binary (nothing allowed versus everything allowed, see some further points about this below), the Standard category has been the subject of a lot of ambiguity and drama.

People opposing the Standard category's existence usually argue by saying that is an arbitrary made-up category that should not exist.
People in favour of the Standard category's existence usually argue by wanting to play with certain convenience features, but not wanting to be forced to use some invasive tools just to compete for the best time.

In the past there has been a vote to collect community feedback (http://gwscr.fbgmguild.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2083, viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2081). Some people argue that the community should not have been asked at all, while others argue that the vote was manipulated in some way. Both of those points of view are of course very subjective and even harder to prove wrong. To me, the only reasonable way to settle the issues around the Standard category would be to have another vote, or rather two consecutive votes. This is because we can save ourselves a lot of effort by clarifiying first whether the Standard category should exist at all, and if it does whether records using tools that were accepted in Standard up until now should be punished retroactively or not.

So the first vote would probably be quite short. Some questions that would most likely be included:
1. Should the Standard category exist?
2. If the Standard category exists, should we follow a whitelist (only tools that are explicitely listed are allowed) or a blacklist (everything is allowed that is not explicitely forbidden) approach? At the moment, we are using some middle ground solution with some allowed examples and some forbidden examples which sometimes requires moderators discretion when a new tool is introduced or used in a record. The individual items for whitelist or blacklist would be determined in the following vote.
3. If the Standard category exists, we will have another vote about which specific tools are allowed. Let us a assume a record that is currently classified as Standard used a tool that will be forbidden after the second vote. Should that record be allowed to stay in the Standard category or should it be reevalueted to the TAS category (retroactive punishment)?
4. If the Standard category exists, what should be the process to allow/disallow new tools? Votes every few months / moderators discretion / something else?
4.1 Same question, what about new mechanics that do not require a tool at all (for example a new coindrop/slowload)?
5. Should the TAS category allow everything, even if it is about performing actions not possible in the boundaries of the unmodified version of the game itself (dialogs, targetting minipets)? If no, then this would mean a full video requirement for TAS records needs to be enforced.

There are further questions that we could handle in the first vote:
6. What should happen to records for which all video coverage becomes unavailable?
7. Should we require full video coverage even for TAS records? At the moment this is only necessary for PURE and Standard records, because a TAS record can literally not do anything that is not allowed because by defintion everything is allowed.

If the vote for the Standard category ends with a majority of No, then we would be mostly done. Standard would be merged into TAS and we would only require a second vote if something needs to be clarified about TAS. If the vote for the Standard category ends with a yes, we would set up another vote to clarify the details about individual tools/mechanics.

For the votes themselves I propose to follow a similar approach as last time (13 pages of discussion btw: http://gwscr.fbgmguild.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2043). To avoid manipulation, I think it is reasonable to limit voting rights to people that meet either of the following criteria (softened version of the original vote): a) be registered for 3 months and have written at least 5 posts in the last 2 years b) participated in a record that was posted to gwscr within the last 3 years // We would then create a google form for the vote, and 1 question would require the link to the GWSCR profile and another question an arbitrary number that the respondent can come up with. Then when the results get released it would be anyonymous, and "your vote" can be referenced by you by just letting everybody know what your number was.

There are of course some issues with this approach, and a lot of them have already be discussed at length in the linked thread(s). Please just keep in mind that it is impossible to achieve a 100% satisfaction about processes or results among an entire community and that the goal should be to find a common middle ground, even if your individual opinion is not exactly matched by the opinions of others or the results of a vote.

Depending on feedback this thread will stay open for at least 1 week, probably closer to 2 weeks.

For my final words I can only recommend that people check out the 2017 threads about the original vote, there is some really juicy drama in there.

More links to the 2017 vote:
Step 1: What is a "valid vote"?: http://gwscr.fbgmguild.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2031
Step 2: Agreeing on Basic Statements: http://gwscr.fbgmguild.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2042
Step 3: Who gets to vote + DRAFT: http://gwscr.fbgmguild.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2043
The vote is live! Justifications, flame and drama! +Info!: http://gwscr.fbgmguild.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2081
Results: http://gwscr.fbgmguild.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2083
The tiebreaker vote is live!: http://gwscr.fbgmguild.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2085

Viscous Dreams
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Re: 2021 Category discussion and process to get community feedback

Post by Viscous Dreams »

I don't think a simple in-game timer should be allowed for pure - it should be completely vanilla GW. It's not like an in-game timer really makes any difference anyway.

Standard exists with the arbitrary set of rules decided upon, is there really a need to re-debate what these rules should be? There is no clear line between what is "convenience" and what is "cheating". I would vote to just delete it.

I am also against stuff like slow-load not being allowed in pure - so long as it is done with vanilla gw. Perhaps there is a case for splitting pure into 2 categories - "with bugs" and "bug free", but how would we define what counts as a "bug" (IMHO lots of things e.g. rez scroll spamming, glitch spots, and duping soul tormentors could be considered bugs).

Misty
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Re: 2021 Category discussion and process to get community feedback

Post by Misty »

1. nope - using any Tool to Assist a Speedrun should be classified as TAS
2. Since you can't predict every possible tool that will ever be invented, and allowing unchecked mod discretion apparently causes too much confusion and dissent, I think a whitelist is the only solution.
3. Re-classification is not the same thing as punishment.
4. When a new feature is created and people want it included within standard, it would either require a fresh vote or would be up to the mods to determine community consensus. Add some more mods to facilitate this.
4.1 Exploits that don't require any third party tool should be allowed within PURE.
5. I guess you could re-brand TAS as "standard" and add a new "cheating" category that allows dialogs and targeting minis etc, but does anyone actually want this?
6. If a record has been approved, it should stay on the table regardless of what happens to your YouTube account. It's unfortunate if we lose access to old records, but it doesn't change the fact that they happened.
7. One of the major advantages of the TAS category is that you can submit a record without needing everyone to record. Changing this would be terrible.
Viscous Dreams wrote:
Sun Feb 14, 2021 4:00 pm
I don't think a simple in-game timer should be allowed for pure - it should be completely vanilla GW. It's not like an in-game timer really makes any difference anyway.

Standard exists with the arbitrary set of rules decided upon, is there really a need to re-debate what these rules should be? There is no clear line between what is "convenience" and what is "cheating". I would vote to just delete it.

I am also against stuff like slow-load not being allowed in pure - so long as it is done with vanilla gw. Perhaps there is a case for splitting pure into 2 categories - "with bugs" and "bug free", but how would we define what counts as a "bug" (IMHO lots of things e.g. rez scroll spamming, glitch spots, and duping soul tormentors could be considered bugs).
yeah I agree completely - it could be amusing to have a category that doesn't allow stuff like glitching Dhuum, but I doubt there's enough serious interest to make it worth opening that can of worms
Flo wrote:
Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:56 am
Sadly, Misty is right.

Sylars
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Re: 2021 Category discussion and process to get community feedback

Post by Sylars »

1. I don't oppose the existence of a "standard" category, but if it exists, it must be called TAS. Anything that involves usage of tools is inherently tool assisted. The third category that includes things that could not be done without hacking will have to be named differently with a name reflecting that. In terms of my opinion on the existence of a third category at all: indifferent.
2. Mostly, neither. The rules whether something is allowed should not be up to interpretation of the rules. If for some reason there are some features that are doable without tools, but are deemed too ground breaking to be allowed, it must be done with a blacklist. A whitelist is absolutely impossible to keep up to date with new features spawning every other week/month. Even now, a whitelist would easily entail thousands of things. Surely nobody wants to type that all out or read it.
3. Re-classification isn't punishment. This isn't even a question, all records would have to be reclassified, including previous "TAS" records that would then be allowed in "Standard" (then TAS).
4. Shape the rules in a way that new features will automatically be categorized. For ground breaking things that would be banned in pure/tas, have votes.
5. No, tool assistance is assistance and cannot enable you to do things otherwise impossible. This is, unless there is no third category.
6. They stay approved. Clearly. Unless the moderator who approved the record loses all credibility and the general opinion becomes that the record was never legitimate in the first place.
7. Yes, clearly. I don't care for the extent of this (do all 8 players need to record?), but there should be some set rules that determine how hard this would be enforced (what happens if one persons video starts 10 seconds later, what if one video lost some frames like it often happens on stream?)

haskhasin
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Re: 2021 Category discussion and process to get community feedback

Post by haskhasin »

Just tag submissions according to how you decide to play the game, with a unambiguous set of very simple tags:
* unmodified game client -> [PURE]
* modified game client, but everything is possible (albeit slower) with an unmodified client -> [TAS]
* modified game client, anything allowed -> [TAS+]
* not using unintentional game glitches? -> [GLITCHLESS]

First 3 are mutually exclusive, of course.

This decouples client modifications with glitches (slow loading, door glitches), so you could have a [GLITCHLESS][PURE] run, a [GLITCHLESS][TAS+] run, just [PURE], just [TAS], etc.

[PURE] vs [TAS] vs [TAS+] is self-explanatory, for [GLITCHLESS] we should define a list of glitches, such as: slow loading, glitching through walls/doors, maybe others like targeting celestials. Probably not including glitching things like dhuum or stygians in veil, since that's been a basic tactics forever, even though we call it "glitching" :)

Edited.

Flo
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Re: 2021 Category discussion and process to get community feedback

Post by Flo »

I will write something longer on next weekend, but just a couple of things that come to mind:
a.) Further segregation into even more categories should not be the goal of this. Yes, we could have Pure, Standard, Standard+, Standard without glitches, TAS with only things are possible with client, TAS+ or whatever... but what really is the point of that except that things are not comparable anymore. One if the arguments I can see for removing Standard is that it gets more competitive because competition is less divided.
b.) It is crazy to me how people can at the same time complain about the ambiguity of Standard and then ask for a new category that needs to define what a "glitch" is. Obstructing arrows? Right wall blocking? Speedboost balling? Glitchspotting melees? That is a rabbit hole nobody will ever leave again.
c.) The names of the categories are the last thing we should worry about. We could name them categories A, B and C and it would not matter. The written out form of the abbreviation TAS never had any meaning whatsoever in gwscr.
d.) There are multiple way to go about a whitelist or a blacklist. // If we came up with an explicit whitelist of tools and glitches that are a allowed, that would be a larger one-time effort (because it would have a couple 100 items), but in the end it would not require any interpretation and if new tools were developed they would be banned by default because they are not whitelisted. So this means no ambiguity whatsoever, but also that new tools can not be allowed without another vote. The same approach could be followed for a blacklist, but that would then imply that any new tool that is not exactly the same as the one previously banned would be allowed by default. This gives some very questionable incentives and is the worst solution imo. // The next set of options would be to not list everything explicitely, but phrase a whitelist or a blacklist more generally (as it has been attempted in some parts of the current ruleset). The downside to that approach is that if something new comes up, someone has to decide whether the new tool/glitch is comparable to something that is already listed (current situation, which seems to be not satisfactory because it requires interpretation). // In conclusion, I think the most stable, unambiguous solution would be a detailed (as detailed as necessary, as general as possible) whitelist.

haskhasin
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Re: 2021 Category discussion and process to get community feedback

Post by haskhasin »

I’m all for removing standard and have just two categories, I’m just trying to think of a solution for all those people who say “yes but X should/should not belong here”. Decoupling glitches and tas stuff would fix that.

Is keeping things comparable even a goal anymore? We’ve had 0 second-based record submission after months of discussion to promote them. Do you expect anything different out of this?

I think the goal is to rework the rules/categories to promote simple and fair competition, that allows for new cool submission. I’m happy to have both TAS non-slow load doa and PURE with slow load. Both would be impressive and interesting records.

BayTwoBaySix3
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Re: 2021 Category discussion and process to get community feedback

Post by BayTwoBaySix3 »

"I don't think a simple in-game timer should be allowed for pure - it should be completely vanilla GW. It's not like an in-game timer really makes any difference anyway."

In game timer is actually an advantage imo. It can be used for pcon timing, area specific timings (doors in urgoz, quest takes in UW, patrol timings, etc).

Sylars
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Re: 2021 Category discussion and process to get community feedback

Post by Sylars »

Flo wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:17 pm
b.) It is crazy to me how people can at the same time complain about the ambiguity of Standard and then ask for a new category that needs to define what a "glitch" is. Obstructing arrows? Right wall blocking? Speedboost balling? Glitchspotting melees? That is a rabbit hole nobody will ever leave again.
The two are fully separate things. Although I oppose the existence of a "glitchless" category for this game, there are just far too many.
Flo wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:17 pm
c.) The names of the categories are the last thing we should worry about. We could name them categories A, B and C and it would not matter. The written out form of the abbreviation TAS never had any meaning whatsoever in gwscr.
I heavily disagree because having the name "standard" for some tool assistance and "TAS" for other tool assistance just makes the entire community and ruleset seem utterly mindfucked.
Flo wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:17 pm
d.) There are multiple way to go about a whitelist or a blacklist. [...]
Don't start with a 500+ item list for what's allowed. That's just a mess. Do you know the rules for maybe the most popular speedrunning game of all time?
120 Star:
Objectives:
Collect all 120 stars
Beat the game
Gameplay Restrictions:
None
See Game Rules for general rules.

Runs on Everdrive/flash carts are banned, as well as NTSC to PAL conversion.

70 Star:
Objectives:
Beat the game
Gameplay Restrictions:
All forms of BLJ are banned
Circumventing star door requirement via any method is banned (e.g. MIPS clipping)
See Game Rules for general rules.

Runs on Everdrive/flash carts are banned, as well as NTSC to PAL conversion.

16 Star:
Objectives:
Beat the game
Gameplay Restrictions:
SBLJ is banned
Any method to skip the 30 star door other than Mips clipping is banned
See Game Rules for general rules that apply to every category.

Runs on Everdrive/flash carts are banned, as well as NTSC to PAL conversion.

0 Star:
Objectives:
Beat the game
Gameplay Restrictions:
None
See Game Rules for general rules that apply to every category.

Runs on Everdrive/flash carts are banned, as well as NTSC to PAL conversion.
In other words, you have 0-2 banned features per category. Since we've never put such gameplay restrictions in the game, that's moot. We have no restrictions. For the TAS records, it looks similar. No restrictions other than the ones in the RTA tier, except that you're allowed to use tools to optimize inputs. The only limitation is that the run can be replicated (or played) on an official N64 console, so in other words no memory hacking. If we adopted this ruleset, we'd have a fully automated decision maker for what falls in which tier, no matter what features could ever pop up.

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Re: 2021 Category discussion and process to get community feedback

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