I understand that the mods are working on the new categories and leaderboards for the Plus update. But I've just wanted to talk about suggestions for the current categories of the game. I know I mentioned this in the discord but I wanna talk about it here too. I'll start with facts first.
Beat The Game rules are: Timing is done by real time, and begins when you select your file, and ends when In-Game timer freezes after defeating the Titanic Monarch 2 boss. You may start from a file with save data already, as long as it has no emeralds, you start at Green Hill 1, and you complete all stages in order.
All Emeralds rules are: Timing is done by real time, and begins when you select your file, and ends after delivering the last hit on the Egg Reverie boss (prior to the cutscene starting). You may start from a file with save data already, as long as it has no emeralds, you start at Green Hill 1, and you complete all stages in order.
From what I've heard and seen, All emeralds is "technically" faster than no emeralds. And ive been told that they are roughly the same. It makes sense because the high speed cap and invulnerability and quick boss kills compensate for how much time it takes to grab the chaos emeralds rather than using normal IL strats.
I'll use Sonic and Tails leaderboards as an example. As of now, WR for both beat the game and all emeralds has the same exact video collecting the emeralds. Now according to the ruleset, yes he Beat the game from starting at Green Hill and after the Titanic Monarch Act 2 boss.
Beat the game leaderboards has a second place runner who did not collect the emeralds but still would compete with the WR runner who collected all emeralds. Essentially, that makes all of the emerald runners for the All Emeralds Category have the option to submit their same video in beat the game if they really wanted to. The reason why I'm saying this is all emeralds seems to be a hanging category while the emerald runners can just submit inside of the beat the game. Sonic & Tails and solo Sonic only have those categories but Tails and Knuckles dont have that.
I have suggestions/options but dont take these to heart as they are only suggestions:
1. Separate no emeralds completely as a category while keeping all emeralds category as an individual. Dont have emerald runners compete with no emerald runners in the same category. Like the common any% and 100%.
2. Take away all emeralds as a category and merge them together like Routes. Tails and Knuckles leaderboards have this.
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I think we now have enough hard data to say that no emeralds and all emeralds for Sonic are pretty close in potential, and therefore that whichever method you choose should be considered just a matter of preference and be on the same board. (Incidentally, you also bring up the valid point that the rules need to be clarified around when timing ends if the boards are merged.) For Tails and Knuckles getting the emeralds is clearly faster due to lack of Egg Reverie and that's why they've been on one board for a long time.
As for how this would play out on the Plus leaderboards, it isn't up to me but if I had to guess: Encore has longer emerald stages where it may not be worthwhile getting them, for Ray there's conjecture over whether they are faster and for Mighty there's conjecture over whether anyone will care.
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