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Europa Universalis IV Forum  /  Ruleset / Timing methods

hello !

would it be possible to finalize the rta/rta-ns5/igt issue, and perhaps tidy up the rules just a little ?

at the moment it's very confusing to know which category to submit to. it's also encouraging lots of duplicate runs, which are never nice to see.

can we remove rta, and set default to rta-ns5 for each category, igt as the second option ?

also, should igt (that is, eu4 igt) really be used ? it does seem to create more issues than it solves.

hopefully some of this will get resolved soon ! 🙂


I think our inclusion of NS5 was just a temporary bandaid to a larger time problem that EU4 seems to suffer from. Each timing category has its own issues, so it's hard to standardize. Regular RTA (with speed 5) is affected a lot by computer speed; I think mine runs it at ~3sec a month while others can get to 2 (which might be the hard limit for speed 5, though we don't know for sure). Compounding over the course of a hundred years, that adds an extra 20 minutes, not including other times like autosaves. For speedruns, that poses a problem since runs can be the exact same but one is still slower than the other due to the user's computer.

RTA with no speed 5 is designed to decrease the impact of computer speed, but it doesn't completely remove it, since a faster computer still has an edge due to the way speed is dependent on your computer in EU4. Also, with long runs like WC, NS5 could end up making it up to 3 times longer, which would theoretically make runs more than 24 hours long (using the current WR to compare). Forcing everyone to run on a speed 2-3 times slower than normal can be rough, especially for the longer runs.

IGT isn't exactly a true speedrun, since it shares more similarities with TAS runs, but I think it has its merits. Paradox games are inherently going to use IGT as a standard, so it make sense to "speedrun" in such a way. RTA is still the standard speedrun category, but I don't think there's much harm in leaving IGT as it is.

Ideally, in the future there would be a program that could remove autosave times and convert all runs to a standard speed (by measuring average time per month and converting every run to a standard baseline monthly speed), but the accuracy of such a method has yet to be tested. For now, we're focusing on filling up the empty categories, since there's no point in solidifying time rules when there's no runs to be ruled on.

Also, have you joined the discord? I think it's more conducive to ruleset discussion than the forums, so if you get a chance, hop on in and share your thoughts.


Hey man. First of all; awesome to see some EU4 speedrunning love! Feel free to join the Discord there’s always an answer if you have any questions. I’m always up for any discussion. If not then SRC-forums are fine too.

The amount of duplicate runs, i. e. runs that qualify as both NS5, any% and IGT-runs, is mostly due to lack of runs and runners overall. I'm pretty sure there would be a big difference between NS5-runs and normal speed 5-runs if the boards were filled.

To me the rules are pretty clear but I wrote most of them myself so I might be a bit blinded by that, I dunno. In any case you can submit all your runs to any%. If you never used speed 5 (like in your latest Japan-run) you have the possibility to submit your runs under NS5. The NS5 subcategories was mainly made to let runners speedrun competitively without buying a monster PC. IGT and why it was added is a special case that isn’t really speedruns. For one it breaks the one-sitting rule. But it is a way to competitively attack an EU4 singleplayer campaign, that to my information does not have any other organized leaderboard. Ideally this is more of a “highscore”-website thing than speedrun, but until such EU4-leaderboard is created I see no problem with hosting it.

At the moment I’m against removing normal RTA categories. Maybe in a hypothetical future where NS5 runs are more popular than normal RTA. Right now we need to be as open as possible to new runners and imo that is best done by letting them speedrun and upload at their own terms (well to some extent), then slowly adapting to a subcategory of their choice - be it with or without speed 5. If we make special rules for normal speedruns we exclude anyone that did a run without knowing the rules. And that can be somewhat demoralizing if that run is a 12 hour world conquest. This is why I find splitting them into two subcategories is a fine middle-ground solution.

EDIT @atom’s response: I’m pretty sure time standardization would be too complex a calculation. Sometimes even speedrunners use speed 4 and below by choice. If we wish to standardize I’m much more keen on doing it with direct limits instead of multiplicating the time with a more or less arbitrary factor. I think banning speed 5 or force runners to use an FPS limiter are better solutions. Speed 4 would be better but an external FPS limiter allows to define our own max speed.

Load removal on autosaves is fine though, that should be pretty easy to implement.


hello again !

that is a lot of information, and I appreciate the dilemma.

I can only comment as someone coming in, seeing the board for the first time. it is a little confusing as it is, and a bit daunting. I made a short run the other day, had a choice of 3 categories to choose from, and probably still chose the wrong one !

keep in mind I am still new to the EU4 board, so my impressions may not be entirely accurate. but, while there are issues with all 3 timing methods (time creep in RTA and so on), IGT does appear the one that stands out the most.

with IGT (even without saving and loading), and this is just a simple scenario, how can going afk for an hour mid-run produce a better result than someone taking 10 minutes in one sitting ? doesn't it become a playthrough category with incomparable times (that also need deciphering as they use a non-standard format) ? it tackles the speed 5 issue, enables super-long runs, but creates many others.

I agree it's a murky area, but at the moment it's enabled for all challenges, 10 minutes to 10 hours. there is a case for it in world conquest, possibly hre and similar as mentioned, but it still seems to go against the grain of the site.

also, if RTA-NS5 was created as an experiment, an effective if not trouble-free method of running the game fairly, and RTA remains, where is the incentive to play NS5 if RTA exists ?

as a suggestion, why not limit some of the smaller challenges (mughal empire/unite japan etc) to a single method ? it cleans up the rules for them, focuses the leaderboard, removes duplicate runs, encourages new players. if IGT was meant for longer runs, and the argument against NS5 was that it lengthened runs, for sub 1 hour runs that increase in length is going to be reduced anyway. you also have this more competitive, fair leaderboard you were looking to create.

I think the danger is people may feel unwelcome because you're trying to cover every base, with the rules, with the categories, rightly or wrongly with the best of intentions, and you end up not appealing to as many as you could.

there are some nice challenges on the board, fun to try in-game, and comparing times is big part of that. but it is being let down a bit with these issues.

these are just observations though. it looks like all 3 categories will remain and I hope it works out. at least there is some transparency, and people can appreciate the processes involved.

thanks for the feedback, hopefully I've given a fresh perspective 🙂


I think we agree on the IGT-boards. Essentially they don’t belong in here, but I see them more as an open invitation to IGT-runners allowing them to have a board somewhere. And if they started using this board some of them might gain interest in RTA speedruns too.

But facts are the IGT-boards aren’t used. I think it’s mainly due to lack of advertising, but probably also that is the last place IGT-runners would think a leaderboard was hosted. I don’t really think EU4-players expect to go outside the Paradox-forums for stuff like this. I think we should give it a couple of months and if they’re still empty we can consider removing them again.

You might be new to these boards but if anything that makes your opinion even more important. If runners are too scared (or daunted) to submit because of an overly complex design, that is crucial feedback that should be taken very seriously. We are a small community and whenever there is a new runner he/she shouldn’t have a hard time joining.

The incentive to play RTA NS5 is to find the fastest time on equal (or as close to equal we can get) running times. I don’t think the solution is to make different rules for different categories depending on length. If anything I think it would make everything more confusing to everybody. If we assume there is no IGT subcategory, do you still think it would be confusing to have speed 5 and a no speed 5 as two different categories? And what’s your opinion on a fps-limiter? It would level out the playing field (or at least give an upper boundary that is not defined based on computer power), but arguably make the learning curve a bit steeper as it's one extra thing to do before qualifying to speedrun, which is never good.

I’m always in for improving the boards and any input is highly valued.

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