Forums  /  Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE  /  Emulation
  legrandgrand

As the quetion was raised in the discord and we have had some submissions of emulator runs, I'd like to make a post about it to clarify it.

As we mentioned before in discord, both mods for the game, me and Ghoul sees it as pretty negative and unproductive to allow Emulator runs on the leaderboard, even on a misc new leaderboard.

Even if it is a nice category to run and play if you have the means to, it is in the end just the same run as the Wii U version but with incredibly smaller loadings. So then what would be the point of running the official version, now that it is slower and with smaller QoL? The only thing for it would be it's the official version, and that would make emu runs more attractive than console, whichis not the objective when it comes to having a time in a game. Knowing how to go faster in an official version of the game is.

The inconsistency of Wii U emulation makes comparison between 2 runners pretty much impossible as well. Have one person with a smaller setup than the second runner and suddenly it's impossible to compare just because of performance issues. and we have seen how Emu is just so much faster; your run is faster by 7 minutes (and latest attempt faster by 10 minutes.) Provided that timesave stays the same, and it doesn't since there's more loading screens later on, that makes at least 1h30 of time difference. And what about newer versions of the emulator, that makes emulation more accurate to the console? Suddenly we are facing a record that is objectively impossible to beat, considering the amount of timesave (that is really just artificial timesave, again) that was done on a worse version. Now sure you could stay on a less accurate version, but then what's the limit? Find the most inconsistent emulator to save more artificial time? How do you make a leaderboard of that mess?

Now obviously the problem is software inconsistency we can't control on a leaderboard unless we start making BS rules. And why is that? Ultimatly a leaderboard is to compare runs. That is all. I am not denying the quality of the run, but denying the interest it has to make a leaderboard for it.

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TL;DR: Emulation is not allowed on the leaderboards for this game as it is too inconsistent. But reminder that you can always do runs without submitting them to leaderboards.

 
  HeroMystic

Let me first start off by talking about how cataclysmically awful it is to tell someone they're allowed to submit a run but then deny it.

How are you researching how much Emulator saves time by loading alone? You are making some very extreme implications about run differences here. But honestly that isn't the point I'm going to make here.

I've avoided saying this on the discord but the "what if emulator changes?" argument is completely stupid. Many, many leaderboards allows emulator runs on specific emulators and versions. The same can easily be done here.

And what the hell is this about "interest"? Emilybrooks talked to me about it and is completely fine with it because this board has no activity, and other people have shown support for running emulator for reasons I've already stated on discord when I first brought this up, where it was not denied that I can run and submit an emulator. Let me stress that I was literally told that a run needs to be submitted before a subcategory needed to be made.

Needless to say I feel very livid, as I feel very led on even after my attempt to be cautious and talk about it on the discord first before committing to runs. If you're going to make decisions like this you need to be 100% clear in the future, especially if you aren't going to discuss it with others.

 
  Xritsken

After watching HeroMystic play this game on his stream, I was strongly considering actually running this game. But due to financial reasons, I can't afford a Wii U or the game itself. But with Emulation being banned for such frivolous reasons I think I most likely won't be running this game, which is unfortunate because it looked like something I would've enjoyed if given the chance to do it. I don't run games that can't be submitted to the leaderboard, which is similar to several other people who speed run games.

Honestly; Emulation being banned probably just stopped this game from becoming anywhere near populated with runners. Because a lot of people have the same issue. This game isn't as readily available as the others and because of that and the fact the Wii U is outdated and old, being able to use Emulation was kind of a godsend =\ it is a real shame that the Leaderboard won't be allowing it. I'll just have to find another game. C'est la vie.

 
  Neviutz

"I've avoided saying this on the discord but the "what if emulator changes?" argument is completely stupid. Many, many leaderboards allows emulator runs on specific emulators and versions. The same can easily be done here."

You say the argument is completely stupid and bring up other boards (without game references) that probably almost exclusively allow accurate emulators and their versions, or ones that are probably slower than their official hardware counterparts. Emulators that have been around for decade(s) and have been updated to reflect console load times and lag as much as possible in most cases.
To me that doesn't seem like a very good and accurate comparison in this situation.

It's inevitable that you'll have to switch the allowed version of the emulator at some point once this emulator becomes more accurate and consistent unless you're really expecting people to purposely run on a more inaccurate and inconsistent version of the emulator.
If that happens what will you do with older runs that ran on a faster, more inaccurate version of the emulator? It's a can of worms, as already stated in discord by someone else.

 
  HeroMystic

The Mega Man (X) series uses time conversions to keep an accurate leaderboard, or just make subcategories between versions.

And any game that uses IGT uses that instead of RTA to rid of the issue of emulator (and console differences) completely. Obviously I wouldn't allow IGT to be the main timer of any SMT game, but the point is it's been done before.

 
  Neviutz

I looked at some of the X series games and what you described didn't seem to be a thing and all versions, including Emulator were just thrown in together. At least nothing pointing at time conversion or similar things were described anywhere in the rules.

Using IGT with inaccurate emulators is also a problem as there's a very high chance that IGT will also be faster depending on how it is calculated in the game.

 
  datxfire

I don’t see why you can’t just default emu runs to hidden. It’s obvious of course that Wii U emulation is far from perfect or accurate, which is problematic in comparison to runs on original console. But if you just leave the default comparison for the boards between console runs, and then people can look at the emu runs if they want as well, then the issue disappears altogether. Sure as improvements and changes to the emulators are made, these comparisons might not be truly accurate, but this can be standardized via emulator version as needed. When the game’s last accepted run was nearly 8 months ago, with 6 runs on the board total altogether, there’s hardly anything to compare to in the first place. One would think it would be more important to encourage accessibility in this case than it would be to enforce leaderboard integrity to the point of banning runs.

 
  HeroMystic

Accessibility vs leaderboard integrity has always been the main issue but it seems as long as Cemu continues to be faster than the official console then it won't be allowed.

 
  legrandgrand

Once again I never said I was allowing you to post the run on the leaderboard. And if you interpreted my mostly negative posts about the subject then I'm very sorry. But again, you can just run the game and have fun without having it on leaderboards! Hell, we used to not have board for 90% of the speedgames out there before SR.com was a thing; and speedrunning was still very much alive!

The problem with having emu runs as hidden on the leaderboard is that they have no reason to be on the leaderboard if they just save 1h30 or something. It just makes no sense. The time difference is just incredible. And yes, emulation saves a bajillion time, it's incredibly obvious if you compare loading times. I've done enough runs to know that a sub 1 hour is straight up impossible on chapter 1 with the strat I use, which is already super light in the stuff to do. Hell, I can see it dropping to 1:02, and with your strats I know you used to have good times with a 1:06. And you get a 59, 57 and 54 minutes in 3 consecutive runs? That is how I determinated you can save 10 minutes every hour. Which, on a 8-9 hours run, end up looking like 1h30 or so. Now obviously that's extrapolation, but you get the point: the timesave is crazy big.

Now again, speedrunning isn't just about leaderboards. In the current scope that it is in, it is somehow a big deal, but the main reason for it to exist is to compare people's time, and you need accuracy for that. And once again you can run games without video proof/on emulator/pause the timer, and comeback/Just not submit your runs cuz you don't care/All of the above/ and be speedrunning a game! it just doesn't fit the information a leaderboard carry and care about.

Now if in like 10 years the emulator is pretty damn stable and like only save 5-10 minutes if you do a run, I would start heavily thinking about it and probably come with a positive response. I still wouldn't like the idea but the arguments would surely be more balanced

 
  HeroMystic

My Ch1 has been re-routed to cut a lot of grind. That's why you can't just look at splits and compare. My route has changed.

Either way when I first brought this up I already opened that the emulator saved a lot of time to the point it was unfair to compare to console. So having a subcategory was the only way. In the event that it was not, I already said I would just do WR runs on console.

And yes I found your post, while negative, to just be from only you. Despite being a mod you aren't the only runner of the game. So with you more or less being "I don't like it" and Emilybrooks being for it, there was no definitive answer.

There's also Ghoul02 leaving with this: "If you and the other runners would like, I can add an emulator leaderboard for it but I would like to see a full run completed for emu at minimum before doing so."

As you know I already have the game on console, but I brought up the idea because it can be more accessible for players interested, so having emulators denied doesn't hurt me, but perhaps now you can see where the confusion came from.

 
  Xritsken

You keep saying "You don't need the Leaderboards to speed run a game." But a lot of people speed run the games for the leaderboards. You are literally pushing people out of the community by assuming people will be content for their hard work to never be recognized because you don't want to put a leaderboard specifically for Emulation up. Not everyone will be like you, as I said in my original post, I don't run games I can't show my hard work in routing and playing the game, and I know at least 20 other people who feel the same way.

If you want to deny a leaderboard or emulator for your reasons, at least stop acting like its as simple as "Run it without the leaderboard" because that's not how it is. It may be that way for you, or for others, but the majority of people I know want their work to be shown and recognized as official and have outright avoided games that either doesn't have accessibility or doesn't have a leaderboard.

It's not that simple, it'll never be that simple. I've heard about how people want more runners for Tokyo Mirage Sessions; but you limiting the accessibility of it is actually really hurting that cause. Nobody is going to buy a 200+ Dollar console for a single game to run it, especially since TMS and the Wii U were financial Failures.

 
  datxfire

“So then what would be the point of running the official version, now that it is slower and with smaller QoL? The only thing for it would be it's the official version, and that would make emu runs more attractive than console, whichis not the objective when it comes to having a time in a game.”

You say this but have also mentioned several times that “speedrunning isn't just about leaderboards.”

This is highly contradictory to me. If speedrunning isn’t just about leaderboards, then there would be no reason to care about a distinct separation/sub-category for emulator. You continue to play the game on original console in the main category and standard for the game because after all, the leaderboard isn’t everything, right? The reality is that making decisions to not allow people to submit only affects those people who want to play the game because of the leaderboard. People who run offline or don’t submit will continue to do so regardless of what you say or do to the leaderboard. Therefore it’s irrational to make changes that affect people who want to compare their times and try to tell them that they can just play the game, when that wasn’t their goal in the first place.

There doesn’t seem to me to be a reason to keep emulator runs entirely off the leaderboards. Just because it’s faster isn’t relevant in comparing to other emulator runs. Picking a standard version and settings for the emulator allows fine comparison for now, without waiting for some nebulous date in the future when the emulator becomes adequately accurate. Surely those who run on emu wouldn’t mind if their category becomes deprecated with a major emulator update as a compromise for running on it? The important thing is that they can play the game and compare fairly at the time. A default view with only console runs would show the relevant standard comparisons for the game, and people can look at emulator runs if they wanted as well. The same kind of thing happens with a different sub-category, where you have the default board with the console runs, and a separation for emulator.

 
  legrandgrand

I get that now Hero, once again sorry about the misunderstanding. And I guess I'll check out your run again, since that improvement you mentioned of the route is apparently not in your notes. It did look like you were a level behind what I usually have there so I guess that could be some of the timesave you had over me!

I agree that it sounds contradictory. And it does feel like it to me when presented like that. The thing is as a leaderboard mod, I want the boards of my speedgames to be accurate and somewhat tidy. Thatmeans versions that are close to the original gets a pass: they are comparable, and they aren't going to make me change the structure of the board every 3 weeks, and Wii U emulation doesn't allow me to do that as it exists right now.

Now as a speedrunner, if I want to run games, I don't really need to know what mods want to do in order to do runs. I think that should make the difference understandable.

I do understand how buying a 200€ set up sounds annoying to have a game on a leaderboard. But it would only move the problem somewhere else; I'm pretty sure I would need to buy a better PC to run Wii U Emulation properly on my current computer, and that's quite a lot of more money to invest into; and I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one with that kind of issue.

About the recognition side, well discussing things on discord or twitter, showing your time and investment, streaming it is already a good part of the recognition. I do genuinely believe that this is where most of the recognition comes from, but I guess this is really just my opinion. And if you really want recognition, I don't think spending money for it wouldn't be such a bad idea.

And yes, obviously allowing emulation and making another board for it would make it more accessible. But emulation is still a giant hot mess for the Wii U, it still is for platforms as old as the GBA, that finally had something that is getting close to accurate (and yet still not there), so I'm very much still negative on getting it on leaderboards that are there to compare runs and runners.

HeroMystic and touchmyblowfish like this. 
  Ghoul02

Sorry, I've been away dealing with family matters and this seems mostly resolved so it might be better not said anyway, but I figured I'd clarify a few things...

Legrand approached me before doing anything on here, and my opinions stand the same as his; I don't believe Wii U emulation is accurate enough to compare across different computers running the emulator given that I don't believe any emulator past the SNES (or game boy color for handhelds) is accurate, and even SNES I know has issues with games that were heavy on internal chips added to the cartridge... which was a lot of SNES games). Heck, most modern games have issues with someone's console being faster or slower at random which is one of the unfortunate side effects of the modern era of speedrunning. I'd imagine a $5000 PC would blow a $1000 PC out of the water in emulating a Wii U game, for example

However, if the game release is official, I can walk to the store, buy a Wii U and the game, point a camera at the TV and play and the game is running as intended; unless the Wii U is hacked, there are no doubts that the game is running as it is intended. It is the default version of the game and should never be impermissible or suboptimal to run on, unless there is another version of the game with an official release. That's not the case with emulation; it's impossible to know that the RNG is running properly, or that the game is rendering things, not even mentioning load changes which obviously save tons of time. What's worse, this can vary from computer hardware to computer hardware and settings to settings, which gets even worse when you factor in an emulator in active development. Put shortly, it's a nightmare that would require the boards to, for fairness's sake, be either separated for each version of the emulator used or wiped with each new iteration of the emulator... which feels outright awful. If it's the former... what is the point? Who are you competing with that you need a leaderboard for? The leaderboard is literally your splits at that point if you're competing against a field of one. There are games that I think emulator specific leaderboards are okay, but even those are less moderated and problematic at times, on consoles much older than the Wii U.

All of that is to say that I echo LeGrand's sentiments on the leaderboard itself.

As for my comments, I'm sorry I wasn't more clear and that it caused confusion and probably a bit of heartache on your end, and I'll clarify a bit. The "AND the other runners" is the key phrase, not the "I need a full run before I do this". Since I haven't done much more than very early routing on the game, I don't want to overly dictate what can and cannot be on the boards; if the other runners of the game were all for "let's make emulator the default" (not what is intended here just going with the most extreme example first), I'd begrudgingly accept (until I got around to running the game myself... at which point I probably don't submit to the leaderboard at all to avoid drama or dealing with it). In this situation, legrand, who is a runner as well, has very valid reasons for why a emulator leaderboard is problematic, which I 100% agree with and would have said unprompted. In that situation, I'm going defer to my initial judgement. That said, I'm really really sorry that was interpreted as consent/approval - I'll be more careful with that in the future.

I'd also like to echo that again, there are lots of reasons to speedrun and my goal as a mod is never to block someone from running a game; I try to be very laissez faire there. I think that if emulator is the way you enjoy running a game or if it allows you to stream the game and you'd enjoy that, please by all means, do so. People ask for things like "IL categories" in Persona 5 to which I say the same response "It's impossible to moderate effectively or create a standardized ruleset so a leaderboard in the traditional sense is not a fit... but if that's what you'd enjoy most, please run it in that style to your hearts content".