Forums  /  Left 4 Dead series  /  Left 4 Dead 2  /  Setting up a difficulty subcategory

Firstly, any changes currently being experimented with on adding difficulty is being done on the Death Toll Solo category, so you can check there if you'd like to see what the current state of this looks like.

I'm looking to finally add a difficulty subcategory to all categories so that there can be a default category for the way we've been running, and another category for the highest difficulty for completion's sake to say "I did all of the things!" There seems to be some demand for Expert runs seeing all of them uploaded to YouTube and the comments on GDQ runs, and I do see the value in speedrunning the game in its most complete state. It isn't unusual for a game to have separate categories for other difficulties, or at least the one for the highest.

Mechanically, the run will work by being classified as the lowest difficulty ever played for any amount of time during the run. Voting for Easy accidentally would invalidate it being submitted as the higher difficulty, and this will be stated in the rules.

Normal and Advanced difficulties will not have their own categories as that just clogs up the place and realistically won't be run as they aren't much different.

There are just a couple more things to figure out...

What to name the default, lowest difficulty category? It could be named "Easy", but that may be odd since we switch difficulties to kill AI. It could also be named "Any", "Any Difficulty", "Noob". There are some options, and feel free to suggest others if you can think of any. This name can be changed retroactively so it isn't dire to figure out immediately, but I would like to solve it right away if possible.

Should the higher difficulty category be Expert....... or should we go all out and make it Expert Realism? For completion and to match other uploaded runs, Expert Realism would actually make more sense. I'm on the fence with this one.


"Easy" is patently wrong if you change difficulty at any point throughout the run. "Any Difficulty" only works if you're going to call the other one "Expert Difficulty" or "Expert Realism Difficulty", but it should be clear enough that the extra verbosity is unnecessary. I assume "Noob" is a joke, so "Any" is the only option I can see.

If we're creating a new difficulty for the express purpose of creating a challenge, then Expert Realism to start with, and add the tweener(s) later if there's enough activity. As usual, I don't want to bloat the leaderboards with watered down categories.


I don't think we should really have any more categories lol, we already have enough that make the leaderboards confusing and messy enough to look at, especially for anyone new. The difficulty change doesn't really add much or change much about the route or strategies in this game unlike something like HL1 or Halo, it just means you die faster if you get hit by things mostly and can do slightly less things.
Whatever the current difficulty we run is should be called any%/any.

MrFailzzMrFailzz, mariorules64mariorules64 and 3 others like this. 

Any% implies a completion metric, which doesn't exist in L4D. It wouldn't make sense.

Some aspects being difficult on Easy won't stop some people who won't shy from a challenge.

The Tank, Sacrifice 1 and non-Jesus finale strategies certainly change on Expert, as well as how handle enemies throughout the whole run. Doom, back when its speedruns and Compet-N were active, had UV, UV fast, and NM categories amongst others, even when the path doesn't change at all, and I don't see a problem with that.

Maybe not many will run Expert, but the challenge it offers is way better than LMOE, which in terms of tricks is just a regular run with a bunch of missing tricks, as opposed to a run whose difficulty increased for the challenge. Despite holding many of the LMOE records, I'd be quite happy to see it replaced by Expert.


I also don't see many people running Expert, but it has been requested in the past so why not. I like the idea of "Any Difficulty" and "Expert Difficulty". Don't really mind the extra words in there.


Very cool, can't wait to see the difficulty category for LMOE because it plays very differently in expert compared to easy mode.


We used to have a separate easy and expert category for LMOE and it made basically no difference, actually.


Waiting to see more runs in expert then ;D


I would defiinetly run in LMOE Expert


At least no tank boosts in expert Kappa. But smokers would fuck you up.


Same amount of people run lmoe tbh. I understand the reasoning behind expert being added, and it's not going to do any real harm by doing so. My main worry is about solo runs still. I can't see how you would ever complete sacrifice on expert, or basically anything where you have no choice but to go through a horde event (dead air 2, passing 2+finale, carnival 4,no mercy 4, crash course finale). Dealing with expert specials (which I believe 4 can spawn on expert), and commons that kill you in 5 hits is going to be stupidly difficult to do by yourself. Bots will be even more useless than they already are, especially when it comes to tanks. Granted, this is all speculation on my part in how it would play out. I've never personally tried to run through on expert, nor have I seen anyone do it other than with scripts of course. I might try and test the levels I mentioned on expert just to get a better idea of what it would be like.


The current Dead Air route is currently all on expert. It's not that big of a deal, you shouldn't be getting hit in the first place anyway even on easy and most of the events aren't a problem if you do them properly.

Time to do all runs on expert to show off OSsloth


Dead air 2 you can skip the horde event though, and 2 spots where not much will be able to hit you right? My point was never about just commons. It's about having to deal with both commons and specials during events where you have to holdout by yourself, and then there's tanks that you won't be able to avoid in such circumstances also. I wasn't trying to say it would be impossible either, but some of those levels definitely seem like they would just be stupidly annoying to get through. Again, I'd have to see how painful those levels are and if it's anywhere close to how annoying I think it would be.


Dead Air 4 has 2 back-to-back events with common spawning in front all the time, which can't be skipped.


Well wouldn't Cash4Runs also have to run it? So thats 3 people if so.

JohnSimmonsJohnSimmons and mariorules64mariorules64 like this. 

Well! This sure has been a while. Yay busy.

Here's what we'll do. I'm going to link a poll with a simple yes or no on if the Expert Realism subcategory should be added now or not. In a week when this timer ends ( its fate will be decided. Please take your time, mess around with it a bit, try to get used to common health and give it a chance, then come back and vote as you'd like. If it does come out to no I do want to revisit it again in the future, so if you aren't against it but don't want to say yes right now feel free to put in a no anyway. I know we have some stuff coming up like the bi-weekly challenge so I want to keep it open like that. Please do vote seriously.

Now for my own responses,

I wouldn't want the reason for not adding an Expert Realism category to be that there already exists other categories. To be blunt, I strongly believe that a subcategory for highest difficulty has much more business being there than LMOE and especially more so than using a bunnyhop script, especially considering how often people seem interested in watching a run on the highest difficulty, from my own observations. I wouldn't want using a script to stop the inclusion of something that exists already in the base game.

Running Expert on LMOE wouldn't change as much there (IMO), although I think the only way to really apply it would be a blanket setting that will cover all categories including LMOE, otherwise it would have to be applied to individual categories many times over as the site doesn't seem to have an easy way to only apply Level Leaderboard subcategories to certain tabs. Its main purpose is for regular runs, of course. EDIT: Derp, obviously this wouldn't apply to LMOE since Realism isn't a thing you can stack with LMOE. There would have to be another one that's just Expert if it were to be added to LMOE as well.

It wouldn't be so bad to deal with commons, I think our recent Expert Realism experience with the new strats there has proven you can overcome it. I wouldn't really worry about the runs not being possible, even Sacrifice 1 Tank which you'd have to come up with a new plan to kite it around efficiently (and that is a good thing, different strategies). If anything, it would probably train you to better handle things on a lower difficulty once you get used to it. I know once I get done with Realism the regular game seems so much easier in comparison.

DzEwokDzEwok, CreeperGamingHDCreeperGamingHD and burhácburhác like this. 

Vote's over and the results are in, with an ending tally of 9 to 6, Expert Realism has been accepted. It was a landslide for a while sitting at 9 to 4 for quite a few days, then two no votes came in towards the end. Wonder who was holding out?

I'll add the categories in next chance I get, and once I figure out how best to get it to only the categories they need to be in. LMOE will likely not have an Expert category (that will require even more values be added, plus no Realism), unless it's super requested, I suppose. It has a far greater chance of not being run, though, since it's an offshoot of what's already a miscellaneous category.

Solo, Solo Bhop (I guess?), and Co-op will all have the Expert Realism subcategory, and I'll see about separating the Realism column out of it as well since that's obviously redundant.

The regular difficulty category will be called "Any Difficulty", for now? So it's "Any Difficulty" and "Expert Realism", since I don't think we settled on anything that made more sense. This can always be renamed.

burhácburhác likes this.