Console Timing | RTA vs IGT | Data and Stuff
3 years ago
United States

There are a few threads on here already talking about loading issues with console but they’re more talking about dealing with those issues. So, I wanted to centralize the conversation about RTA vs IGT on console since it is something that is in consideration and bring some data/known info to one single thread to talk about it.

A recap of what we already know: Pausing the game, having your inventory open, having your map open, having the key items or treasures inventory open, time spent in the Dukes shop, and some very specific cutscenes stop IGT from progressing while all the other cutscenes keep the IGT moving and would need to be skipped quick no matter the timing method. Additionally, there are hidden loading gates in specific doors and elevators that keep players with slower hardware back while the next area loads. There is also a loading issue when pressing pause to skip cutscenes or opening any of the inventory menus mentioned above, where on less powerful hardware you can be forced to wait before being able to do anything in these menus.

Let’s take a closer look at the elevators. The elevators before the Beneviento Doll house, in the Windmill on the way to Moreau’s reservoir, and the one that you place the Giant Chalice in on the way to Heisenberg all hide the game loading the next area. I spent quite a but of time over the last couple of days recording footage of these elevators to see what the differences are depending on hardware. I have a PS5, PS4 Pro, Xbox Series X, Xbox One X, and a Xbox One Base Console that I tested, additionally I tested the PS4 version of the game on the PS5 because it is not the same as the PS5 version on PS5. For each console I took footage 15 times on each elevator, except for looking at the Moreau elevator on the Xbox One Base Console which needed additional testing so I got 25 testing attempts on that one. I summed up the results of these tests in the following video, you can pause it in the first 5 seconds to see all the data laid out or continue watching to see one capture of each platform running next to one another: Look strictly at the elevators, we are looking at a 13 second difference on current gen consoles (Series X and PS5) and at best a 1 minute and 16 second difference, at worst a 2 minute and 1 second difference, between best and worst last gen consoles. Additionally, there are doors that seem to have this same behaviour where they will open at different speeds to cover for the next area loading. Another loading related issue that has been commented on in the discord and on these forums is that some people are experiencing black loading screens in various areas of the game. And as I mentioned at the start, there’s also a loading delay that can occur when opening menus or pausing to skip a cutscene, you can see an example of this here: There’s a 1.333 second delay once the pause screen is brought up before any player input can be done in that specific example. The length of this loading can be affected by what’s going on in the scene before you pause to skip or open any of your inventory menus and you can have different lengths of time in the same areas. Some are as low as half a second, some are 2 full seconds. When you take into account the number of times you have to open your inventory to use a key item or pause to skip a cutscene throughout the run, these short .5-2 second delays can add up quickly.

Then there are the loading screens that pop up after skipping certain cutscenes or using a restart. On current gen, these don’t exist on PS5 but they do on Series X. On previous gen consoles, it occurs on every console but the length of the loading time is different depending on the console. I made a video that was posted in the original RTA vs IGT post, the one that was primarily meant for discussing PC, but I’ll post it again here for anyone that did not see that one. It shows the loading time differences due to skipping cutscenes at the very start of the game, but this same kind of difference can be seen in the loading times throughout the run: It’s quite obvious that these issues, the loading time issues, are going to be a major deciding factor for RTA vs IGT and how either can be implemented.

Looking at RTA as an option: This is console, RTA is not going to come with load removal which would fix all of this. Lol. So we are looking at real RTA where you start the timer when the run starts and end the timer when the run ends and every second between is captured. Even if the categories are split by console generation, we run into the issue that parity in loading still doesn’t exist between consoles of the same generation. So how do we make RTA work with this. Splitting each console into its own set of categories is one way but it creates a mess on the leaderboards and would leave a lot of empty or way under-run categories. Grouping by console generation brings more parity but doesn’t get rid of the differences within the generations. This would lead to one platform being OP for running the game on each generation. This is actually fairly normal in speedrunning, where one specific platform or version is king over the others for a game. What RTA does well is get rid of the potential “squatting” in inventory menu or with the Duke, or people taking time to skip the cutscene after they press pause since the timer is still running. It would also allow for using some of the Restarts that teleport ethan forward during the run, but only on certain platforms where loading times are less than the time saved from the teleport.

Looking at IGT as an option: IGT has a couple of issues. The first being the potential for people taking time in the menus/with the duke/skipping cutscenes while paused to skip. The next being that IGT runs during the hidden loading elevators and doors and potentially during the black loading screens. The first issue I mentioned is easily fixed with a rule for consoles that states that all menuing, pauses to skip cutscenes, and merchant visits must be done hastily and tactfully or it could result in rejection. This leaves the loading issues to be dealt with because a 68 second elevator ride RTA is still a 68 second elevator ride IGT. In RE7 we used pause buffering to get rid of the exact same issue that existed in that game, and from the comments I’ve seen in other threads and on the discord it seems like you can achieve parity in these loads by allowing pause buffering in RE8. This would require that pausing be allowed to use these buffers so that consoles of the same generation could have parity in IGT. This type of pause buffering would need to be allowed for areas that are known to create those black loading screens as well. IGT would get rid of the loading issue when pausing to skip or opening an inventory menu that forces you to wait because IGT stops at the time the game is paused and the loading and delay occur during the paused IGT. It is still early in the life of this game so we do not know if IGT has other strange behaviours. Something else that IGT would require is that no one could use the pause option to restart at any point because it reverts IGT to whatever it was at the time of your last autosave. This also happens when you die in the game, continuing on resets your IGT to the time it was at the autosave, so dying in the run would likely have to kill the run as then it becomes more like a segmented run.

Anyhow, I just wanted to have a more focused spot for discussing this since it seems to be spread between multiple other threads and discord discussions. Please, everyone weigh in on this with your thoughts. RTA and IGT both come with some serious issues because of the nature of the game, before the boards go live it comes down to figuring out which is the “least bad” option. Lol. Thank you all for reading this novel.

Tolerant_Madman, FelixFranco and 9 others like this
Oklahoma, USA

As someone running on PS4 I support the IGT timing method with tactical pausing/limited pausing. That would also make all console versions similar in time too correct? Sadly I wish we could use restarts like RE7 but as it's been stated restarting resets IGT, so I'm okay with just the pausing. Anyways thank you for doing all this research for console seriously very great stuff here.

Missouri, USA

For IGT my biggest concern is definitely the pause buffering. I have most of my tests on moreau's elevator and have gotten it down to 20 seconds IGT (which might be faster than ps5 dunno) and the amount of pausing it takes is ridiculous, then it becomes an issue of constantly spamming the pause button so you don't lose 1 precious second of IGT, that mixed with the retry nonsense of re2r and re3r sounds like a nightmare for the mods and is pretty ridiculous for everyone involved to sit there for 2 minutes for each elevator looking at a pause screen for however many minutes it takes throughout the run. Sadly, I think at this point we deal with this and broken IGT or RTA where we split each console and ban pause buffering all together, which also would require runners to buy an SSD. So at the end of the day console runs are going to be rough, but I have faith the mods will make the right call so it's fair for everyone playing.

SniX likes this

I run on og xbox and I def agree with separate console categories.

United Kingdom

I think whichever way it is done, is going to result in console being a complete and total mess.

If RTA is chosen, SSD is gonna reign and anyone on Xbox One / Xbox One X will simply not be able to be competitive full stop due to SSDs not being officially supported, leading to them always having longer elevators, loads, etc,

If IGT is chosen, menus aren't timed and a lot of the sections of the run simply aren't included full-stop which isn't ideal. Then you have to utilize the pause every time the game loads in the background nonsense.

Ideally, some kind of hybrid method would be used, but honestly I think this game is going to be a shitshow on console no matter what happens unfortunately, which is sad. Made even worse by the fact the PS5 shortage is looking to be lasting until into 2022...

edit: In the end though I would vote for RTA. Not counting menus is dumb in my opinion. They're a major part of the skill barrier in Resident Evil games.

Edited by the author 3 years ago
DIABLERIE, Kaori_3, and zgl like this
United States

Out of curiosity, I assume your PS4 Pro has the stock HDD in it, and you haven't upgraded to an SSD @zgl?

I'm also now curious if base PS4 is comparable to base Xbox One

Edited by the author 3 years ago
United States

@deserteagle417 Yes. All of the consoles I used were with stock storage devices.

Connecticut, USA

Did a NG+ Casual Speedrun on Xbox One to test this and I lost around 5-7 min from just load times. Maybe there's a chance current gen consoles will have their own category?

SniX likes this
United States

Yea, PS4/XBOne and PS5/Series X will be separate. There's no way those are competitive with each other

SniX, DIABLERIE, and zgl like this
United Kingdom

If you're on base Xbox One the unfortunate thing is not only are you gonna get hit by much longer load times, but also worse framerate.

zgl, SniX, and DIABLERIE like this
Connecticut, USA

Yeah, even though I'm not too into speed running with perfect inputs or anything like that, its still annoying that I don't even have the chance of getting a good run bc of that. I think my In Game time for my run was abt 1:51 and the loading screens made it longer than it should be. That was with no glitches tho so maybe some of the strats coming out will compensate for it, even if its just slightly.

Ohio, USA

external ssd on xbox and ps4 fixes a lot of this. i don't have the load times and is similar to my xbsx. never actually timed it but feels about the same.

Edited by the author 3 years ago
New South Wales, Australia

What if the timing method was IGT but the runner and/or mods time it themselves? That way it becomes fair for each console. Maybe even stopping or adjusting the elevator timing segments.


An interesting alternative we could try is having load removal compatible with captures of console, like the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy does. It detects the black of the loading screen to stop the timer, if this is viable for RE8 then we could use RTA and remove load, and even try to have It recognise the elevators so that's taken out altogether. (Although I'm not sure how this would work with RE8, unless you can give it the loading images too) As a base xbox runner i'd hate to see the 'pay to win' sort of situations just using RTA would create without any tweaking for console, but i agree that IGT is a bit ineffective for what we want to achieve with a run. (It's a shame the Microsoft store doesn't have both the box and pc versions on it like 7 or I'd just run PC but alas). The idea of not approving runs if too much time is spent in inventory is a good one, and might be what we need to do if we use IGT. Either way the leaderboards will be a mess, so we might just need to suck it up and separate the consoles entirely if we can't find another option

Edited by the author 3 years ago
Portland, OR, USA

This is a hard one. Of course IGT would be ideal for simplicity’s sake, and I feel like there’s been disadvantages for certain consoles for these games for a while now anyways and for the most part we all seem to be okay with it. In fact I specifically bought a PS4 last year just to run RE3R because I felt like I was at such a disadvantage playing on the Xbox One base console. Sure it sucks, but I just kind of accepted that one console was just better and I was okay with that.

But due to the nature of the game and the introduction of the new consoles I can definitely see the appeal of having separate leaderboards for different consoles just to even out the playing field. But either way seems to come with pro’s and con’s like you’ve pointed out. I’d hate to complicate the leaderboards but I’d be in favor of having them separated and using the IGT. But if the community chooses to go a separate route then I think that people will get used to the advantages and disadvantages of their console like we have in the past. I would definitely like to see a way that RTA wouldn’t have to be necessary though.

Oklahoma, USA

Splitting consoles by generation seems like the best way to address the issue. It's not too much different from how RE2make has PC splits for 60fps and 120fps, for runners who don't have enough power to get the game to run at 120fps and so can't enjoy the buzzsaw knife effect.

FelixFranco and SniX like this
United States

EDIT/UPDATE: My personal thoughts have shifted on this. I posted a new response that reflects these changes in my thought process. Rather than delete this response, I figured I'd leave it up as I still think some of the points I make are still valid and should be considered, but basically, I am now very much favoring RTA over IGT.

If we go the IGT route, I think I personally would be fine with pause buffering more or less being required to be super competitive. While that kinda sucks, I also think you'd need your runs to be very optimized otherwise to really have to stress out about them too much. Yeah, the elevators are gonna end up adding a couple minutes on average if you dont pause buffer them, but unless thats basically the last couple minutes you need to start saving, you're probably gonna have time save elsewhere, so it would probably, in my opinion, end up being more of an issue for the people higher up the board.

With IGT the main issues I think would arise are definately the issues with pausing/meuing/talking to the duke and, obviously, the IGT resetting upon death or retries or whatever. So, obviously we can just say "hey, since pausing, being in your inventory, talking to the duke, etc, all stops the IGT and this run is timed by the IGT, you can't just hang out on these menus". Like, just make it so you have to be, not necessarily lightning fast but at least obviously doing something other than buying/wasting time. Again, this isnt perfect, but I think its a rule I personally would be fine with and I dont see it having much pushback, though I suppose I could be wrong about that. The next issue though would be the fact that we would have to make the runs deathless. No retries is whatever, but if you mess up in one spot and die and that kills the run, that's a big ouch. I think most of us would be able to deal with this as I think most of us would have deathless runs anyways, but this seems like it would be more problematic for the VoS runs, whether you are talking NG or even NG+. Is it possible to no death VoS NG? Probably. Will most people be able to do that just to be able to start running the category? Probably not. But that aside, making the rule of runs having to be deathless would be a barrier or entry and THAT I think is the worst part of the IGT idea. I think we can learn to deal with the other issues, but having to make it deathless to be valid is gonna end up putting a lot of people off who otherwise would eventually pick up the run and join the community.

RTA... my main issue with RTA is that it makes it kinda pay to win. As has been pointed out, consoles of the same generation are gonna have an instant advantage and even then, people who have upgraded their console's storage device would have even more of an advantage. I could be wrong about all of that, but if even any of it is true, it turns using RTA into a pay to win situation. And as ZGL pointed out, at that point the console boards would have to be broken up even more than just generation and thats gonna fragment the console community, potentially.

Ultimately, after spending a little over a week with the game and even using my RTA timer a couple times, even with the idea of making the runs deathless not really ideal in my mind... I think IGT with the no death/retry policy and a rule about not using menu's to buy time is probably gonna be the better option.

Edited by the author 3 years ago
DIABLERIE and SpooDitt like this

I think what would help is counting how many IGT time you spend trying to skip cutscenes while its possible to just count the IGT with gameplay only until Miranda, but it required to know how many IGT keep going in Cutscenes.