Forums  /  Left 4 Dead series  /  Left 4 Dead 2  /  Custom campaign category
  TheMasterTheMaster

Wheeeeeeelp, that sure does make Ravenholm 2 a lot easier, wow... how consistently are the bots right behind you when you reach the exit, and have you tried with the director on to ensure they don't get stuck on zombies?

Very nice find.

Just about done with trick checking (as you saw last night), once I have the rough time estimates done I'll be ready to get my final list together that we can cross-reference with each other to figure out what goes in and how much time it takes. About to be in the middle of my apartment move so I'll need a little bit to get the rest done, but we're almost there.

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  bill_play3bill_play3

The bots never seem to be too far away from the saferoom: 2-3 seconds at most, if they walk straight into the saferoom... but well, can't do much about bots dancing or contemplating life right before the saferoom. And I did try it with the director. The bots didn't seem to get stuck at all on the zombies. They can't path to you after you get back inbounds so the warp should be as quick as an idle teleport is usually.

Also, on the finale, I kinda doubt if it's worth to go for the jesus spots, as the setups take a bit long or are too brutal to execute consistently (without dying to commons or specials on Expert or having your barrel flung away or your box broken). Using the bots made the finale about 4min long last time I tried and using one setup that I found it took almost 5min. You could argue that the setup wasn't well executed, but the point is that if it's too hard to execute maybe you shouldn't go for it or else you will probably lose time in the process.

Hopefully none of these setups is too much faster if done well, or else the IL's gonna be a pain...

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  DarkosszDarkossz

actually i validate
We don't go to ravenholm 2
Yama

 
  TheMasterTheMaster

Death Aboard 2 has some significant solo skips, I must say. Level 1 has a pretty nifty and easy common jump at the crescendo where you jump up the side of the hanging railing and then wait for a common to climb to get a little boost up. Level 2 has some more nice movement, either a small common jump or a good crouch hop to get on a door, then you walk along a clip with a weak pusher, aiming against the pusher to avoid falling off (it's easy). I was so happy to foil the author's attempts to stop me from getting across! Level 3 has another common jump to go OOB which skips a fair bit, and in co-op can skip a ton with an extra throwable boost or especially grenade launch. This common jump is hard, though. Level 4 has a nice propane tank fall cancel near the end that saves a ton of time and isn't too difficult. All around quite a bit going on.

Highway to Hell isn't too bad, mostly movement optimizations and tricky jumps. Level 1 has a skip to a fence right away by jumping out of a window, then an easy jump to a railing to skip a horde being called. Level 2 has a potential skip over a fence with a horde next to it but it may not be worth it. Level 3 has a very small movement tech at the end to get over a fence. Level 4 is the big one, with a common jump to get on a fence and pretty much right to the exit, it may be a minute to run the map.

Trick checked everything I needed to! Next, and last, is to finish going through the campaigns with the director off to get a rough estimate on how much time it takes based on the tricks we currently know. I have to admit, ordering this list in the Blood Tracks through Highway to Hell range is a bit difficult. The list now includes the time estimates next to each campaign that I currently have.

Yama (beautiful, solo optimizations, skillful scavenge finale) - 17:00
Drop Dead Gorges (nice solo optimizations with some difficult jumps) - 10:00
Warcelona (ridiculously strong in co-op skips, nice solo skip in map 3)
Ravenholm (nice common jumps in many places, good grenade launcher potential)
Blood Tracks (light movement tech mostly in solo)
Urban Flight (nice big and small optimizations spread throughout)
Dark Blood 2 (many solo optimizations, scavenge finale heavy on can throws)
Death Aboard 2 (big solo skips on every map)
Detour Ahead (potentially most difficult solo movement tech)
Highway to Hell (small optimizations mostly)
Suicide Blitz 2 (Pretty skipless and many corridors, this may keep falling down in placing)
I Hate Mountains 2 (Designed well but entirely trickless)
City 17
Energy Crisis (this looks worse as time goes on)

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  TheMasterTheMaster

THE FINAL LIST!

After 41 days, many hours trying 20+ campaigns (probably), trick checking the good ones, and an apartment move thrown in for good measure, we have finally arrived. My final list! For a very brief explanation of what each campaign offers, see my post above as I've removed that here to fit in other info.

The dry run times are extremely rough, trying to simulate the skips we currently know as accurately as I can and with no horde in the way. After optimizing some (most) are likely to go down, and without the director on some could be difficult and go up, but it gets an idea across of what to expect hopefully. Each finale type is listed so we can see what variety the final roster has. I've removed the four lowest campaigns as I wouldn't consider them myself when much stronger campaigns exist. First, let's calculate their total time...

Yama - Scavenge - 17:00
Drop Dead Gorges - Holdout - 10:00
Warcelona - Gauntlet - 9:30
Ravenholm - Holdout - 10:00
Blood Tracks - Holdout - 11:00
Urban Flight - Scavenge into Holdout - 15:30
Dark Blood - Scavenge - 9:30
Death Aboard - Holdout - 12:00
Detour Ahead - Gauntlet - 14:00
Highway to Hell - Holdout - 12:00

TOTAL: 2:00:30

Pretty long! We'll need to remove some, and here is where it gets difficult. What follows is my final recommended list with campaigns painstakingly taken out. This considers all tricks and how each campaign feels to run, I did almost all of them tonight so I'm pretty fresh on it. That said, deciding to take some out was not easy...

Yama - Scavenge - 17:00
Drop Dead Gorges - Holdout - 10:00
Warcelona - Gauntlet - 9:30
Ravenholm - Holdout - 10:00
Urban Flight - Scavenge into Holdout - 15:30
Death Aboard - Holdout - 12:00
Dark Blood - Scavenge - 9:30

TOTAL: 1:23:30

Detour Ahead is long and a bit weak for overall solo skips so I barely passed on it, while Death Aboard ended up having some really cool solo skips with an awesome propane tank drop on map 4 so it went way up in my mind. Dark Blood has interesting optimizations with the most difficult Scavenge by far, and Urban Flight has some nice optimizations throughout. I'm flexible on the last three on the list if a consensus wants to replace one with Detour Ahead or something. Possibly even drop one campaign, although once we're practiced I don't think the runtime will be too bad. The more opinions the better!

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  TheMasterTheMaster

Opinions time! There has been some development with the method to rotate campaigns in the coming Custom Campaigns category that strings all these together.

It turns out that you cannot change the server to another custom map while in one, it looks like it unloads the other VPK's while in a map? Not sure exactly, but it says it can't find the map, so you need to go back to the menu to load a new campaign. At least this makes our choice easier.

- We can require that you go through the campaign menu, select it, start the lobby, pick your character if you'd like, and start it (all while the timer keeps running). The advantage to this is that it's more fair to co-op players that can't host their own server?

- It works if, while in a campaign, you use in the console "disconnect; map <whatever other campaign>" as this brings you by the menu and then immediately loads the selected map. This looks far cleaner to use, but has the disadvantage of not being usable by players unable to host their own server, unless there is a command that can launch a "local" server through the console the same as the campaign lobby does.

Either way this requires other players reconnect each campaign in co-op but there isn't any way around that. I like how the second option is more elegant and less a pain in the ass, but the first makes more sense from a purist point of view.

 
  bill_play3bill_play3

i think that the first option is better. having people to reconnect when someone is waiting on the server just so you restart the campaign after people connect sounds more clumsy than the first option i think

 
  bill_play3bill_play3

Now that i think about it, should we require people to do one or another? Couldnt we accept both?

 
  MrFailzzMrFailzz

Are we going to be taking out the time where we disconnect/make a new lobby when finding the time without loads?

 
  bill_play3bill_play3

the autosplitter currently puts title screen time into the run, if that means anything

 
  TheMasterTheMaster

Do note that, with the option where you go through the lobby, players will still have to reconnect either to the lobby before it launches or while it is loading, likely while loading being the fastest route. I think you can join while a lobby is connecting? Either way, people will have to rejoin the server each campaign. Likely everybody can get in before the intro finishes (besides Drop Dead Gorges which has none), but if they don't load in time then I guess bots will have to be acceptable until then. As long as something crazy doesn't happen like different players come in, that shouldn't have an affect on a run's legitimacy.

As for taking out time while in the menu, ideally it should really count into time. Generally RTA categories start timing when the player takes control (after the first intro flyby), and stops when they lose it (when the escape vehicle sequence starts) at the end of the run. You do still have full control in the menus and can potentially go through them to launch the next campaign faster or slower than another runner. That is why I'm wondering if allowing both might be unfair, since if none of the players are able to host their own server with the disconnect command, it will impose a penalty on the team that has to use the lobby. The only way to avoid that situation would then be to discount time spent in the menus and have the disconnect command be the recommended way to do it, but, time should be counted there...

Rawr, so complicated! Stupid lack of campaign voting.

Considering that menu time really should count and that it is unfair to require a team to be able to host a server, I'm leaning just a bit towards just using the menus myself and banning the use of the map command to switch campaigns. I need to try switching them via the menu myself to make sure it feels alright and there isn't anything weird I'm not accounting for.

By the way, no matter how we work it out, if we ever find a bug like Dark Carnival that kicks bots we won't be able to take advantage of it without votes, boo! I really hope that doesn't happen, that will be painful knowing we can't use it.

 
  bill_play3bill_play3

Aren't you required to host the server since it's a custom campaign? I thought you had to. But still, I think that going through the menu should be required at least on coop: everyone should be there when the campaign starts. Even if every player in the team can load during the campaign load, people with bad computers or connections might not be able to do it. Then we would have competition again because of hardware quality. Going through the menu seems like the most fair way to tackle the situation. For solo you could just use disconnect and map. I don't think that that would create any trouble for low-end computers.

 
  TheMasterTheMaster

You actually can still connect to a dedicated server on custom campaigns, I just got into Drop Dead Gorges on one. And then had a lovely perk selection menu on the side. I hadn't even considered that as I never used these servers, so, I guess it should definitely be a requirement to use a local server.

Now, I know there is a difference between the lobby local server and the map command as the lobby doesn't allow cheats, I think it may set up a dedicated and then connect to it, while the map command is a true listen server? I am honestly not sure really on their exact differences and if it really matters.

Either way, hosting a server will be required... I think the next step may be to test joining servers both with the map command and the lobby mid-load to see what happens. Ideally, if it allows them to join during the poster, and it waits for everybody to be fully loaded like it does when you vote campaign, it will be consistent with the other categories and everybody will be in when the campaign loads. I'm not expecting that, but... it sure would be nice.

Solo would work well with the disconnect; map method, although I would like to try and keep the methods consistent across the categories if at all possible.

Fair point on hardware being an issue again if somebody can't get in quickly enough, although this is already something that can happen in loadless co-op runs on any level but the first. There just isn't a way to even out all of the loading times, so it has to be a "good enough" kind of thing by resuming time on the first-loaded player. I wonder if time taken to join the lobby can be affected by hardware as well? And then everybody will be a different character which is confusing if they don't choose, but choosing takes time. Hmm. You know, there isn't another way to keep everybody the same character otherwise, is there... well, let's get some mid-load joining and stuff investigated first so we know more about how it will work and then pick it up from there. We still have a lot of individual runs to do so there is time to take on this to get it as right as we can. Who knew that figuring out how to best switch between campaigns would be the hardest part of the whole deal? Good googly moogly are there a lot of variables to consider.