Forums  /  Diablo II: Lord of Destruction  /  We need to address -ns
  IndrekIndrek

Adding -ns to target line improves load times by a lot. Generally it takes 2-6 seconds after save & exit. Using -ns improves it to 1-2 seconds.


In one minute alone having -ns enabled can make the sorceress run an extra jail.

Currently only a thing for normal sorceress, but I can imagine it won't be like that for long and it will take over other categories as well.

I'm here to ask if we're cool with this, because I'm concerned about future diablo 2 records having no audio on any of them. It will be something you have to do if you're aiming for record times.

 
  WafuWafu

A similar thing is in The Elder Scrolls: Arena, where the game just overall runs faster with sound disabled. For me personally, I'd like to see it allowed, although yeah, it's weird to have soundless runs (and it makes splicing a bit easier)

But there's one thing I'm gonna ask, why time by RTA if the loads clearly are inconsistent? It's also not a thing that takes long time to implement.

 
  blazer-flamewingblazer-flamewing

I did no sound in my stream today, and it honestly didn't even feel like I was playing a game. The sound is just so iconic and key to my senses knowing what's going on in-game (audio cues of being hit actually make me aware of my health, for example). but there is no doubt a time save, even minutes across a hell run like Barb

 
  MekalbMekalb

I sort of doubt I'll ever use it, but I support letting this be allowed.

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  327327

Main goal of speedrun - show people how to beat the game quickly. If it faster with nosound - you should do it.

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  JymnasiumJymnasium

I agree with Mekalb.

 
  LaVLaV

I don't see why it shouldn't be allowed.

Just as other commonly used launch parameters like -w or -sndbkg.

Personally I would neither want to watch nor play the game like that, but it's up to anyone to do what they want.

Have you checked if reducing the sound & music volume to 0% ingame has a similar effect?
I know that especially in modded d2 people experience bad game performance in certain situations and that it can be fixed by reducing the volume to 0%

 
  KanoKano
(edited: )

@LaVLaV you could also argue the same for -seed but that isn't allowed in a regular speedrun.

The rules currently state "You must NOT use a pre-generated map."
What's the difference between having a rule that says "You must use sound."
There's always the option of adding clear exceptions for what is and isn't allowed

As for this entire -ns thing it would be really nice if there was a way around it besides having two shortcuts (and losing a small amount of time for switching)

The load times are definitely a frustrating aspect, especially for the Sorceress and the only way around this that I can see working is by either automatically or manually cutting out the load times from runs, but then it no longer becomes RTA. (and it also becomes a lot of work for the runners and moderators)

Also I've tried reducing the music and sound to 0% vs. using -ns and -ns is significantly faster. It instantly skips to the menu whereas any other method results in a slight pause.

To add: I'm not really a big fan of -ns being used because it's a huge drawback from the game, but since it's a command that isn't technically game-breaking (like -seed) I guess there's no reason for it not to be allowed

 
  LaVLaV

There is other communities on speedrun.com that differentiate between time w/ and w/o loads. 1, 2 3 4 5 or ingame time and real time 6 7

I bet something like that would be doable in D2 as well judging by how customizable livesplit is and by what's already been done with live equipment/stat displays and autosplitters, but if it was up to me I would never enforce the use of something like this and I would always use RTA timing.

To me speedrunning is something that should be doable with as little preparation as possible while keeping the game as vanilla as possible.

---

I am not a fan of adding rules for literally everything people come up with. That just results in the rules being super messy.

I feel like at some point we, as a community, should sit down and properly talk about all of them; not one after the other.

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  IndrekIndrek
(edited: )

-ns is definitely faster. I don't see any load time differences myself when I just lower volume in-game. Would two shortcuts be allowed? One with -ns and another without it to swap between the two when needed. Although I'm probably just going to run everything with -ns now.

 
  KanoKano

I think many of us would be happy for an in-depth discussion so we can go over the rules and make things clear for the entire community.

I agree with your view on making speedrunning easy to do with very little preparation, but it may get to the point where the runners and/or the community lose interest from something like having to play without sound, that's my main concern.

I know things like this are present in other games (such as using different languages and so on) so it makes sense that something like -ns should be allowed, but as a community we can definitely discuss everything in detail and see what best option for everything is (not just -ns) going forward.

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  WafuWafu

Regarding the preparation, I think almost everyone, if not everyone uses LiveSplit. So the preparation needed for switching from RTA to IGT would be like a couple of clicks, I don't think that preparation is much of an argument here.

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  LaVLaV

@IndrekIndrek: I don't see anything wrong with starting the game with whatever shortcut you prefer after closing it.

@WafuWafu: I'm not talking about how much effort it is to set everything up, I'm talking about it requiring more than just a way to record video and the game itself.

 
  WafuWafu

@LaVLaV Yeah sure, but again, most people who speedrun regularly use LiveSplit. And from my experience, if a run had fairness issues due to inconsistent loads, the only option was to remove those loads unless it's a console run. That's just the truth of it.

I understand you might have an idea of speedrunning requiring as little tools as possible and there's nothing wrong about that. But sometimes, you gotta live with the fact that even though D2 is an old game, RTA simply won't be fair for everyone.

 
  Teo-Teo-

Personally I am not a fan of -ns. Just because it looses a lot of the game for me. But if you want to use it... Feel free to. I would probably only use it to remove the loading times from Jail runs.

If you guys as a community want to do an overall talk about the rules. I would be happy to do so. There is however the big issue as to - When, where and who would parcipate?
Also... Managing such an event probably isn't very easy. 😎

I would prefere to make this game have no loading times in the times (or making it 2 subcategories once again) over -ns. That makes the verification process pretty tough though. Imo that would require 2 seperate splits where 1 is doing RTA and 1 is doing no load times. And even then it will require a super reliable tool to make this happen. And thinking about it there are probably a lot of issues to deal with.

----

Having said all this. I am in the middle of my finals for my traineeship - So I don't have much time to organize a "Let's talk rules event". Especially early to mid of June.

 
  Teo-Teo-

Addition:
It looks like there is a way to implement this into Livesplit:
https://github.com/LiveSplit/LiveSplit/blob/master/Documentation/Auto-Splitters.md

Just to keep this in mind.

 
  blazer-flamewingblazer-flamewing

If there were a way to detect when you are not in-game, say with Diablo Interface then an automatic game-time-counter could be made

 
  WafuWafu
(edited: )

@Teo-Teo- Yeah, that's why I was saying the only thing people would need is LiveSplit. I already found a way to remove the loading screen loads, but the issue is that clicking the "Save and exit" is inconsistent between -ns and no -ns, so I'd have to figure that out.

Edit: Another question is: Is the menuing part of the run? I assume you'd count that in, right?

 
  DrClicheDrCliche

My suggestion:

- Write an autosplitter that removes loading times.
- List both RTA and NoLoads timing simultaneously on the leaderboards.
- Re-time the top X runs for most categories. (Pain in the butt, I know, unless someone can automate this, too.)
- Determine the maximum and minimum ratio between RTA and NoLoads for all runs that have this information available.
- From now on, force all competitive runs to be submitted with both timings. (i.e. Make a rule that if you submit a top X run in any category, you must time your run using both methods.)
- Recalculate these ratios every time a new run is submitted which lists both times.
- Automatically worst-case-convert runs that list one time but not the other. (i.e. If RTA only is submitted, multiply by 1 / Min[ {RTA_i/NoLoads_i} ]. If NoLoads only is submitted, multiply by Max[ {RTA_i/NoLoads_i} ].)

This will allow new runners to submit runs using either timing method without hassle, and they will be approximately well-ordered on the leaderboards, while also ensuring competitive runners aren't hindered by inconsistent loading times and hardware differences. Furthermore, viewer quality-of-life won't be negatively impacted by competitive runners switching en masse to a sterile, soundless game.

Which timing method you want to give preference to on the leaderboard is a question, but not that big of a deal, in my opinion. In games (that I'm aware of) that already do this, they order the leaderboard by time without loads, and all competitive speedrunners use LiveSplit and the appropriate autosplitter without complaint.

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  WafuWafu
(edited: )

Addition to my last post: Actually did it, my script removes the loading and saving times, but not the menuing required to continue playing. Is there anyone who'd be willing to test this? Just message me on Discord if you can (Wafu#7264)

Edit:
Got input from Indrek and blazer-flamewing, seemed to be sufficient enough. So if there's interest, I'll polish it so that it works with commonly used versions and I could push it directly to LiveSplit so that it requires just a one-click setup.

WraithulekWraithulek, HCGilboaHCGilboa and 2 others like this.