Why no Emulator Category?
7 months ago
Ottawa, ON, Canada

I understand not allowing Emulator and Console on the same leaderboard (load times, inaccurate emulation, I get it) but why not just separate Emulated and Console runs while allowing both? Is Dolphin really so inconsistent that there would be significant discrepancy even between 2 emulated runs done on the same version?

With the cost of original hardware only becoming more and more prohibitively expensive every year, wouldn't allowing emulators foster growth in the community by lowering the significant upfront cost of even attempting a submittable run?

Edited by the author 7 months ago
England
ModeratorMuzYoshi
He/Him, They/Them
7 months ago

Please view this thread, as even though old, it covers this topic in detail: https://www.reddit.com/r/speedrun/comments/4tql3o/since_dolphin_50_now_simulates_load_times_can_emu/

Florida, USA

[Spoilers for the most recent Nintendo Direct]

I understand the issue with getting your hands on the original hardware can be tough, I'm really hoping that the remasted version coming out next year will spark that growth that you're asking for.

Ottawa, ON, Canada

Hey Muz, I'm sorry if I'm being annoying asking about this, I'm really not trying to be, but I'm still confused. Everything Zeph and Sjorec mentioned had to do with discrepancies when comparing emulator to original hardware, but wouldn't separating them into different leaderboards avoid those issues entirely? Or is it primarily because emulated runs would be so significantly faster that running on console could become less popular?

MuzYoshi likes this
France

It's something that was decided by top runners and moderators a long time ago. I always thought this was not healthy for the community.

If I'm not wrong, the main point is that these runs would end up being so far from reality that they would not be considered legal. And I'm completely alright with that, but who said they were legal in the first place?

Personally I find it questionable aswell. In my eyes, making an entire category extension for emu & nintendon't or whatever version would be a great way to open the community up for more people. Should top runners be scared of someone having a better time with Dolphin, then moderation would just have to make it clear: their time wouldn't count on legal versions' leaderboards. Simple as that.

"But then what's the point if their time is not considered legal?" Fun, perhaps? There's many people who just want to give it a try but can't manage to get their hands on the correct version of the game. I've seen so many of these comments from people who are literally getting a 'No. Don't.' answer whenever they want to get their emu run listed on some leaderboards.

"Then they could just run Dolphin for personal purposes. Their run would just not be listed on the website, it's only for fun after all" But that's exactly what people need: have fun with other people, together. One of the most important things we pursue out there is this sense of belonging to a group. Would you honestly run a game for multiple years if your time wasn't listed on any website, thus making you unable to have experiences with other people?

Adding a separate forum, a separate leaderboard for these people, is exactly what they just want. Sure their time won't be considered as official WR. But if they really did want to get that record, wouldn't they just go for these 35$ and buy the correct version?

Speaking of WR, bringing more people might bring more (healthy) competition and more mutual help between runners. That's exactly what's happening between runners from Pokemon's console runners and Emu's runners, for instance. There's no separation between runners from different platforms but rather support between them.

In the end, I feel like this doesn't cost anything to do that, while it could bring many people to just enjoy the game, instead of just shutting the doors right in front of their eyes, before they could even try opening them. The only cost I see would probably be having to 'monitor' more runs from more people, especially with the multiple options that emulation might bring. I admit this could be rather difficult at first sight.

I'll finish with this: I don't hope for change, I don't run this game, I'm not part of this community. I know all of it was decided many years ago. But I just want people not to refuse the idea that having fun is pretty much the main thing when it comes to play videogames. Perhaps this will ring some bells, perhaps not. I just hope that 'competition' itself is not the reason why these category extensions won't exist. If runners are worried about someone having a better time with Dolphin, so be it. I just think this is rather unhealthy for people who want to actually get along with the community.

Edited by the author 7 months ago
England
ModeratorMuzYoshi
He/Him, They/Them
6 months ago

Hi Cortex! I apologise for not fully understanding your question at first. I've written up a full, more up to date answer, because honestly just throwing an 8 year-old Reddit thread at someone doesn't feel fantastic, and didn't fully address your queries.

If we discount all of the problems that arise simply from comparing Emu to Console, there are still a myriad of issues with this whole point, to me.

For starters, it would already bring an element of unfairness as not everyone has a good enough PC/processor to run Dolphin at the same speed and power as everyone else. "Emulator = accessibility" is a bad argument when you should possess a copy of the game to rip your own ISO (although realistically, yes, people will just pirate it, that's not the point). An accessibility argument should not be founded on the implication of piracy, and more than one of us are uncomfortable with this being the case.

Another big problem is CHEATING. Even if it is an emulator focused leaderboard, you would still want it to be fair right? Now imagine how incredibly difficult it would be to moderate those runs. It would be incredibly easy to cheat in ways that would be near unidentifiable as a viewer. For example, as Sjorec mentioned in the aforementioned thread: the ability to view certain memory addresses during a run. By opening Cheat Engine during runs, a player could view normally unknown information, such as enemy positions before they appear on screen, whether you have Jump Storage or not, monitoring your stick angle for tricks like TRE... those are just a few examples, but you get the idea; it would simply be far too hard to manage the legitimacy of these runs even amongst each other without console comparison.

Secondly, leaderboards are essentially just bragging rights. Our Discord is extremely friendly and active, and welcomes & encourages new people all the time, whether they plan to run or not. You can do runs on emulator and share your time, and join in with the races held almost every week, the runners will hype you up and have fun with you regardless of if your time is legal for the boards. Nothing is also stopping you from documenting your times (whether just personally, or alongside others running on emulator), but if the argument is simply having fun with other people together, there is nothing hindering that from happening as things stand currently. Being able to have your name on a big list of other names isn't going to suddenly solve that.

Another thing to note on accessibility & the remake; you can get a Japanese copy of TTYD for around $30 USD. The remake will likely be $60 USD. It will be twice the price, then you're (probably) going to want an HD capture card which is more expensive, and then of course the console itself which is astronomically more expensive than a Wii. Technically, the original is far more accessible than the remake will be for speedruns, and yet I guarantee we won't hear the emulator argument for that game. A lot of us are going to be working on routing, glitch hunting and running the remake though, so if you're interested in that, that'd be great!

I apologise if I'm coming across as blunt, but this argument is extremely tired for us and I wanted to at least offer some perspective on this. Thank you for understanding our decision!

Edited by the author 6 months ago
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