Ok, it's time that we were honest. This series has a lot of problems when it comes to speedrunning, and a lot of them are rooted in how we, as moderators and runners, are treating it. I think it's finally time that we listed some renovations that need to be done for this series as a whole.
This post might be a bit long, so if you want the TL;DR, take a look at the bottom of the post.
I'm going to start with some broader topics that apply to multiple games in the series.
First things first, load times need to be completely untimed in all categories of every game. Your performance as a runner shouldn't be determined by how good your computer is. I don't feel like this needs much explaining. If you've run FNaF World, you know how much of a difference this change made once we introduced it. It makes these games so much more enjoyable to run, take my word for it.
Second things second, all "Skip" runs (ex. FNaF 1's "Any%") need to be removed from the leaderboards. They're just... not interesting enough to warrant a spot. Most of them just include pressing the same three buttons five times, and then the game ends. If you're lucky, some of them might include .5s of menuing. That's it. There's no skill involved. I've run these categories. There's nothing to them. They're a waste of time to watch, a waste of time to run, and I'm sorry, but they're a waste of time to verify.
Given these changes, I think that FNaF 1, 2 and 4 should be mentioned. A good majority of the categories in these games depend on load times to have diversity in the runs, and some of the most popular categories in these games are the "Skip" runs that take about a minute to pull off. I would like to argue that, A.) Multiple runs having the same time isn't a problem, and it's not unheard of for a speedgame to have that predicament. And B.) I can guarantee that EricParker2007 doesn't care about his 88th place 2:53.3 FNaF 1 Any% run, where the majority of the time spent practicing was googling how to skip a night. Just because a category is POPULAR doesn't mean that it's any good or worth keeping, nor does it mean that any of the runners even care about their runs, because there was no work put into them. I've run these categories. They're just dull. In my eyes, removing load times and "Skip" categories is a much better alternative than just completely removing the games from SRC, or even worse, keeping them in their current form. And I'd be willing to bet that you agree.
Now, let's start getting into the narrower topics. I'm going to go game-by-game, talking about what changes need to be made.
Before we start, I'd like to point out that I am NOT going to be talking about FNaF 3, FNaF 4, FNaF SL, FFPS, UCN, FNaF VR or FIS 2. This is either because I understand the game well, and I know that there are no issues, or because I don't understand the game well, and I have no authority to talk about it.
FNaF 3 (Troll Game):
I understand that copies of this game are hard to come by, but if we could include a download on the leaderboard, I don't see any problems.
The biggest change that needs to be made is that Unscrew, and other one-shotting moves, need to be either removed from all runs, or they need to have their own categories. Many people, including myself, have written extensively on this subject, but I'll paraphrase here:
Unscrew makes this game incredibly unfun. It's effectively just throwing yourself at a wall until you get the one run out of 2000 that finally goes through and is good enough to stand up to the other runs on the leaderboard. Other than that, it makes runs monotonous and entirely luck-based. No one wants to do it. It made me quit this game entirely for about two years. It's terrible.
On the other hand, as speedrunners, we have a duty to beat this game as fast as possible. And if that includes a 1/2000 chance for every boss you fight, we should at least give runners the option to use this method. But it also shouldn't be impossible to get a nice, shiny WR without using this method. This is why I suggest splitting all runs where Unscrew (And other one-shot moves) into their own separate categories, similar to Adventure and FP. Alternatively, we could also throw these categories into Category Extensions, and leave Unscrew-less runs on the main boards.
FNaF World Category Extensions:
Skipping over FNaF 3, FNaF 4, FNaF SL, FFPS, UCN, FNaF VR and FIS 2.
FNaF World Category Extensions: