Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Discuss policy guidelines for the community and whether something needs to be changed or not.
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Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by Keizaron » Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:03 pm

For those of you who aren't aware yet, in Red/Blue, an oversight (not going to define it as anything else except that for now) was found by Swaph_. If you talk to the owner of the Bike Shop without the Bike Voucher, and clear his text by pressing B, you gain instant text until your next menu/next Center/next Yes/No dialogue box. This has the potential to save about 27 seconds as of this post, as defined by what k3v227 has outlined here. It can save a ton of time, apparently.

This thread is designed for the community to discuss their opinion on this find (IE should it be allowed, should it be removed). I want good, clean discussion here. Post your opinion on it and why it should/shouldn't be allowed. For the time being, it is banned until further discussion/ruling.

~UPDATE~

After discussing it both publicly and amongst the staff, we've come to the conclusion that this IS allowed. It's clear that while there are varying degrees of opinion, the vast majority of the community agrees this is something that should not be banned. The temporary ban on the rule has been lifted and runs may immediately begin incorporating this new strategy.

I want to thank everybody for the very civil and informative discussions
Last edited by Keizaron on Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:19 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by Decon082 » Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:05 pm

Posting my pastebin on the research I put in as to why this occurs as well.
http://pastebin.com/H7cA9hNp
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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by Zewing » Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:22 pm

Is glitchless honestly meant to be "glitchless?" You guys do the clefairy doll to skip the casino, that could arguably be a glitch (and the JP community does indeed ban it). So what draws the line for what is and what doesn't get into "glitchless?"

I honestly can't make a decision here but I figured I'd leave this feedback since it could possibly help in determining if it should or shouldn't be used.

IMO let it be used, seems as legit as clefairy doll.
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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by Shenanagans » Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:25 pm

I think we as a community need to define what is a glitch and what is "Glitchless"

We allow things like Badge Boosts, Fast Menuing Techniques, Using repels while a repel is currently active (removed in later gens) and Redbar Skips that are all clearly not developer intended, but would be hard or impossible to avoid in runs. These are clearly Oversights.

We allow Pokedoll Skip, despite it being more of a borderline "glitch" interesting video displaying some mechanics of the glitch: https://youtu.be/pcCxN0T-QQ0

So where does that leave us with other "glitches"?

Underflow, Trainer Fly, and cinnabar coast should all be banned for sure (for obvious reasons). But what about getting grass encounters in the water on route 22? Should I reset if I get an encounter there due to forgetting to repel? What about avoiding tiles that give encounters in the forest, which is clearly unintended. What about DSUM?

Having a clear definition for a glitch is clearly the next step in providing a solution for this argument, and its time that we as a community decide what "glitchless" means
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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by Decon082 » Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:52 pm

Decon082 wrote:i think you need to make sure you look at this not from a speedrunning perspective but from a game design and mechanics perspective, if you define something as a glitch or not a glitch just because of how it affects the speedrun then you're just being subjective and open to bias
I'm going to try to be as comprehensive and give as much objective information in this post as possible.

Let's first look at the instant text effect in question before trying to compare it to other "glitches". The effect is the result of a "text delay override bit" not being reset after one particular script.

- Caused by one out-of-place line of code
- A one-off case where every other time this bit is modified, it is reset afterwards
- Can only be activated during one event in the game
- The effect goes away when performing one of many common gameplay actions

I don't see how this can be defined as a glitch. The best word to describe this effect would be an "error" or an "oversight", but error sounds more accurate due to the first point above. This is what you see if you disassemble and step through the game's code.

Now let's compare this to some other things that are allowed in Glitchless that aren't considered glitches.

"Poke Doll" Skip:
The game's code sets the ghost to be removed when the battle ends with the Battle Result bit set to "completed". Going into the battle engine's code, this can be attained in two different ways, either by defeating the opposing Pokemon, or by escaping the battle by a method other than the Run option. Method 1 can only be done with a Silph Scope in the inventory, since you cannot successfully use a move against the ghost. Method 2 can be performed with the moves Teleport, Roar, Whirlwind, or by using a Poke Doll. Using moves without the Silph Scope is still impossible, but items still work in battle, allowing the Poke Doll to be used to skip the ghost battle.

The Poke Doll has its normal effect based on the battle engine, and the only reason this is considered an oversight is because Game Freak may have overlooked that the battle can be completed without defeating the ghost. Either way, this is technically not a glitch, and is once again an "error" or "oversight".

Digging from buildings:
When using an Escape Rope or the move Dig, the game runs the same code to check the current map's tileset. If the tileset is one of several options, you are able to Dig out. These tilesets are "forest", "cemetery", "cavern", "facility", and "interior", which are ambiguous names, but include the expected places such as Viridian Forest, Pokemon Tower, Victory Road, Power Plant, and Cinnabar Mansion.

The problem is that some of these tilesets are used in other places as well, for example Blaine's Gym copies the tileset used in Mansion, allowing you to dig. You can see that the developers noticed this if you look into the code, because there is a specific check in the Escape Rope code if the current map is "Agatha's Room", preventing you from digging out of the Elite Four because her room shares Pokemon Tower's tileset. They probably did not see it as being important enough to keep you from being able to dig out of other weird areas such as Bill's house. From a code efficiency standpoint, extra unnecessary checks don't make sense, and from a casual standpoint, it doesn't make much of a difference whether you can dig out of a random building or not.

I would consider this to be more of a glitch than the other two things listed above, but I still would group it as an oversight. If it didn't save time in a speedrun, nobody would care if it was a mechanic or not.

Redbar and Badge Boosts:
Okay, there's nothing we can do about this one. While these are certainly oversights and errors in programming, you can't just say to disallow these if they happen in a run, because they're uncontrollable. And saying that you can't actively go for them in a run makes even less sense, because it makes things super unnecessary and stupid.

I know that nobody's arguing to ban redbar and badge boosts from speedruns, but these still have to fall into the same category for comparison's sake.

The Conclusion:
None of these things should really be considered glitches. If you want to disallow the Bike Shop instant text effect from being used in "glitchless" speedruns, that's fine, you're just being arbitrary and maybe the category should have a different name. I do agree that setting up the effect the way we have routed it so far is pretty stupid to experienced runners of this game, but if you disallow it purely because you consider it a glitch, you're disallowing it for the wrong reason. If you disallow it because of how it affects the speedrun, then that's a much better reason, imo.

Note that I have no real opinion on whether this should or should not be banned, I just have information. OpieOP
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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by ExtraTricky » Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:55 pm

Short answer:
I think that the spirit of the English rules says that this should be allowed, and the spirit of the Japanese rules says that this should be banned. Therefore, I want this to be allowed.

Longer answer:
It's very hard to define what is a glitch and what isn't. How do you determine the difference between what the game was supposed to do, and what the game actually does? The common response in the speedrunning community seems to be that there's no way to determine what the developers intended, so everything that the game allows you to do should be allowed. The Pokemon community (including myself), rejects defining their categories this way because the Any% run would be not very fun (about 1.5 minutes including a hard reset, meaning that it also depends on the console). In a sense, you could say that the No Save Corruption runs are consistent with this viewpoint, since turning the game off is outside of the game (for a parallel, "tilted cartridge" glitches are generally banned). However, our community still wants our "glitchless" categories.

I came up with what I call the "TPP Test" to determine if something is a glitch. The idea is that a glitch must have some timing element -- if you're just interacting with game elements (menus, NPCs, etc) the way that it was intended, then the resulting behavior cannot be considered a glitch. So to apply the test, you ask whether you can execute the trick when you only get one button press per second. If you can, then it's not a glitch.

The TPP test tells us that Pokedoll, extra badge boosts, TrainerAIModification2 working on the second turn instead of the first, encounterless tiles in the forest, etc. are not glitches. However, it also tells us that the Old Man + Cinnabar Coast trick is not a glitch. Even more worrying, you can get a stack of 255 and do dry underflow from missingnos on the coast without violating the rules of the TPP test. I don't advocate for unbanning that, so the TPP test isn't perfect.

So if we want to say that Old Man + Cinnabar Coast is a glitch, let's think about what might distinguish it from the others like Pokedoll. One possibility is to say that the data being read while surfing the coast wasn't written when you started surfing the coast. Along those lines, the Bike Shop instant text would be banned because the text boxes where you fight trainers are checking wd730 and changing their behavior based on it, but didn't write to it themselves. However, I feel like extra badge boosts also fall into glitch territory with this line, because your attacks use your attack stat, but the last time they were written to was when you speed was modified from string shot.

I think a definition that gets all of these cases right is whether the memory location is being used for the "same thing" at both write location and read location. Badge boosts are fine in this case, because the loop that applies badge boosts is certainly writing to your attack stat knowing it's the attack stat (questions about the defense/speed badge mistake aside). Old Man + Cinnabar coast is a glitch in this case, as the Old Man is using the memory as backup for your name, while the coast is using it as encounter table data. And Bike Shop is not a glitch, since both the bike shop and all the other text boxes are using bit 6 of wd730 as an override to display instantly.

If you want the Bike Shop trick banned, I think it's important to understand what the defining aspect of it is that warrants a ban compared to Pokedoll and extra badge boosts. If anyone comes up with something along these lines, please post it so that it can be discussed.

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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by werster » Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:17 pm

Honestly, I don't really care either way. But just because so far people are posted why this should be allowed, I'm just going to give my process as to why it would go the other way, to me anyway.

Things like digging out of places are an absolute no brainer to me, it baffles me that people bring this up. You're specifically granted access to dig out of a place, of course that is fine.

Using Poke doll of Marowak feels kinda the same to me too. You're allowed to do this thing, and it has no prolonged effect on the game that would suggest it is a glitch. And there in lies the difference. If using Poke doll on Marowak for some reason gave you access to Poke doll on Trainer Battles and win, it would be banned straight away. Having a prolonged altering effect on what's going on is the huge red flag to me that says yeah, this is obviously messed up. And that's what this is, it's not giving it for that one textbox, the whole point of the trick is prolonging it to places it was clearly never meant to be in.

On a purely selfish note Red could use new stuff and who likes text lmao :3

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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by Amoeba » Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:35 pm

werster wrote:On a purely selfish note Red could use new stuff and who likes text lmao :3
This would basically be my argument. For me, Pokedoll Maraowak skip is a glitch, but it's nice to allow it because the rocket hideout section is boring as fuck. The instant text thing looks cool, and speeds up less interesting parts of the run. I don't like the thought of bogging down categories with more and more rules just to fit a definition. People will always run what is more fun.
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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by Exarion » Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:37 pm

I cannot stress these two points enough:

1) There is no reasonable way to determine what is and is not "intended" by developers. Saying a feature was removed in later gens doesn't prove anything. Maybe the developers intended for it to be in Gen 1, but they wanted the later gens to be different. Maybe they intended it, then regretted it after years of watching people abuse it. Maybe they intended for it to have a specific effect on gameplay, but they knew because of the way the code was written that it would have other effects, and they didn't bother charting all of those effects because the game played fine in testing.

2) Whether a feature was intended has literally nothing to do with speedrunning. As speedrunners, our goal is to go fast within the rules of our categories. The rules are in place to make the speedruns fun, challenging and intuitive for everyone, not because we need to honor the developers' intentions as closely as we can. We have a glitchless category for Red/Blue because playing "warp to credits as fast as possible" is not as fun or challenging for most people as figuring out battles, item management, menus, etc. -- not because the former is "cheating." We have "beat the game" categories because a game's ending is a logical stopping point -- not because beating a video game by itself has any significance.

By extension of #1, a glitch also cannot be objectively defined. And if you were to define it subjectively, you'd still do things in runs that people could consider glitches (forgetting to repel and getting a grass encounter below Pallet is a good example of this).

So rather than making a decision based on the words "intended" or "glitch," we should think about whether this feature would enhance the category. And yes, that is subjective as well, but if we're being subjective, it makes sense to do it in a way that maximizes the fulfillment we get from our speedruns.

My take: Undecided. The 15-second detour detracts from the goal of the run, but the effect is essentially the same as red bar, which is one reason many people prefer Red over Yellow and Gen 2 titles. Think of it like setting up red bar on Koga's Weezing, a favorite strats of many runners. However, a second red bar isn't really necessary. The current red bar saves just the right amount of time -- not so little that it's not worth going for (e.g., Yellow), but not so much that you have to play ridiculously risky to get a good time. We would all hate red bar if it saved twice as much time as it did.
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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by ExtraTricky » Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:59 pm

I think the comparison with extra badge boosts is more useful than the comparison with pokedoll (even though the method of execution is closer to pokedoll). The extra badge boosts have a prolonged effect that affects every aspect of the battle until something resets it.

Badge boosts:
* Triggers when another stat is modified.
* Affects every turn of battle while active.
* Continues until the stat in question is recalculated.

Bike shop instant text:
* Triggers when you use B to exit the bike shop.
* Affects every text box while active.
* Continues until the flag in question is reset.

The only real difference here is that extra badge boosts are unavoidable, while bike shop instant text is something you have to go out of your way to do. But we go out of our way to get extra badge boosts in addition to the ones that are unavoidable. I don't think this difference is a good basis to make a decision on.

As a side note, the guidelines I proposed in my previous post suggest that getting grass encounters in water is not a glitch, since both the grass that wrote the data and the water that reads the data are treating it as encounter data.

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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by Sanqui » Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:05 pm

Possibly unpopular/niche opinion incoming.

My definition of a glitch is undefined behavior. This is distinct from bugs. Glitches may happen as a result of a bug, but there are also bugs that do not result in any glitches. Redbar is such an example, as long as other mechanics, such as Gen 1 miss and Badge boost. Indeed, Poké Doll skip does not result in any glitches - it is just a bug, an oversight that was forgotten to account for. Meanwhile encountering MissingNo. is distinctively a glitch - undefined data is being read, calculated, drawn, and used to write to memory locations.
Trainer Fly is a bug, but once a Pokémon gets read from the memory location containing unrelated data, it's undefined behavior - a glitch.

As a result of this line of thought, it would make sense to consider Bike Pwner merely a bug, not a glitch. So it has its place in Glitchless.

However, to me personally, there's something different at play here.
I think the discussion of glitches is slightly misleading. What do you think the primary category should be like? Obviously, it's subjective, but to me, the primary category should entail a playthrough similar to the baseline intended one, only as fast as possible. It should be within the expected boundaries of the game. It should not do any skips.

Skips are I think the keyword here. Banning skips will rule out glitches that let you warp around and achieve lv. 100. It will also ban the Pokémon Doll skip. But it will not ban Bike Pwner, because it doesn't skip any portion of the game.

This "Skipless" category would be the ideal situation to me.

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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by werster » Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:56 pm

ExtraTricky wrote:I think the comparison with extra badge boosts is more useful than the comparison with pokedoll (even though the method of execution is closer to pokedoll). The extra badge boosts have a prolonged effect that affects every aspect of the battle until something resets it.

Badge boosts:
* Triggers when another stat is modified.
* Affects every turn of battle while active.
* Continues until the stat in question is recalculated.

Bike shop instant text:
* Triggers when you use B to exit the bike shop.
* Affects every text box while active.
* Continues until the flag in question is reset.
To me this is still different. Badge boost only applies for as long as the relevant application of it does (even less, actually). In short, it doesn't flow onto other trainers. This does. The synonymous translation for badge boost would be you get instant text for this one NPCs textbox, and that stays for his entire dialogue.

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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by entrpntr » Tue Nov 03, 2015 2:41 am

I always interpreted the Glitchless categories of the main series Pokémon games to mean No Bullshit, where the 'Bullshit' of a game feature is a function of 'how glitchy it is' and 'how dumb it makes the speedrun'. Both of these things are of course highly subjective/intuitive. Making policy solely on 'glitchiness' (or under the premise of removing arbitrariness) is a good way to threaten the fun of speedrunning these games for no particularly compelling reason. I'd cite LADX and VVVVVV as games that had top runners lose interest when the main categories got bastardized by originalist interpretations of speedrun categorization policy following new discoveries.

My thinking is that things that the vast majority of the community agrees are glitches should be disallowed, regardless of the 'dumbness'. It also makes no sense to me to change things that are already established the current ruleset, since there is nothing egregiously violating the spirit of the category. For instance, banning the Marowak doll glitch at this point would undermine the stability of the ruleset for something that is at best marginally 'dumb' (fwiw, I think 100% accurate OHKO moves are the 'dumbest' thing currently allowed that some might consider a glitch, but like the Marowak doll, this ship has clearly sailed and shouldn't be up for reconsideration).

I believe new discoveries like this that are in a gray area in terms of glitchiness should be weighed against the subjective 'dumbness' criteria. All this appears to do is make text faster (not 'dumb' at all), so I'd need to be convinced this is glitchy enough to warrant banning (by my thought process anyway). In any event, I'm more interested in sharing how I'd think about these issues now and in the future, since only Exarion's thought process seems close to resembling my own, from what I can gather (whereas Shen's is downright baffling to me).

This is almost certainly something where not everyone is going to agree on the final decision, so I'd encourage everyone to accept whatever decision is eventually made and avoid dramatic/incendiary reactions. I have faith we'll all pull through this together, comrades. ;)

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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by HorouIchigo » Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:27 pm

Short version: Do not ban this.

Long version:
Right now as I see it, there's a lot of arguments for not banning this exploit and not a lot of valid arguments to ban it.
First and foremost, we are speedrunners. Talking about what the game developers or designers or even programmers inteded is just non-sense. Rules are applied to categories for various reasons: a) so that categories are different enough between them, b) so that all categories have a logic end-goal, c) so that the run is actually playable. So we should actively search for a rule-set that applies all these factors without being overly arbitrary. Since gen 1 is a mess, this is of course a little subjective, but for me it is quite clear.
Right now, we all know the category known as "Any% Glitchless" is NOT glitchless at all. But it couldn't ever be truly glitchless, cause no one would ever finish a single run due to badge boosts and red bar skips (and gen 1 missing, but that's a lot rarer than getting hit by a status move).
So one could state that the category rules should be defined for us to be able to allow glitches that are "unavoidable", such as gen 1 misses and badge boosts. The problem in that rule-set is that the current route is actively abusing said glitches to save time, namely badge boosting and red bar. So people who defend this should actually ban X item usage and don't actively manipulate redbar (and this whole rule has a ton of issues too as well), as it is a way to avoid abusing glitches, which is of course just making the category slower for no actual reason. Because both mechanics (for the most part at least) require routing, risk management, knowledge of the game and are rewarding speedrunning-wise, they are good mechanics to have on a speedrun. Does it matter that they're minor glitches, if even you want to consider them as such? I mean, not really. Red bar skips and badge boosts in my opinion are just coding mistakes and oversights, so they are much more bugs than glitches.
The other issue that comes from this discussion is the infamous PokéDoll skip. People who consider the Doll not a glitch but consider this one a glitch are just non-sensical and are just being conformists hoping that nothing will change cause they don't want to adapt. Either you consider both a glitch or neither, since they both are oversights on the programming that are exploited by doing overall normal stuff, such as talking to NPC or using an item in-battle.
You can also go into really silly arguments such as ban the B button cause it can cause glitches or other silly arguments such as those.
So, regarding the acutal exploit/bug/glitch/whatever you want to call it: It's a strat that, like red bar, entails routing, risk management, knowledge of the game and is rewarding speedrunning-wise. It's not a brainless strat that makes all runs immediately 50 seconds faster at no cost. What it also allows is less runs to die at cans cause you'd have more time to do them if you're saving 20-50 seconds on surge split from the bug. It also affects something that isn't essential to the gameplay, you can say it matters way less than badge boosts cause those actual effect battle outcomes. You're just skipping text faster with this. You can say it's the same optimization as holding B to clear text on the 1st possible frame. I don't know why people can be against this.
So, actual solutions:
A) For people who think instant text is a glitch and want to keep the category "glitchless": Ban bike text, also ban PokéDoll skip cause they're both supposedly glitches (i don't consider them to be fwiw). Keeping one or the other is just absolute non-sensical and arguments such as "let's just grandfather the PD skip" are laughable at best. Yes, this will void every single run in the leaderboards, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's necessary to adapt to new discoveries.
B) Define the category rules (you can even change the name to something like No Major Glitches or something not as stupid) as "Beat champion while having the 8 gym badges obtained by beating all 8 gym leaders in a single segment. No major glitches such as Trainer Fly, Old Man Glitch, Item Underflow, Experience Underflow, Cooltrainer and Warping are allowed. All other minor glitches/bugs such as Gen 1 Miss, Red bar jingle skips, Badge boosts, Pokédoll Skip and Bike Shop instant text speed are allowed." I think this set of rules doesn't break the spirit of what a "glitchless" run should be, and it solves the issue of defining what a glitch is or isn't by just throwing all the subjective stuff into the same bag and saying it's okay. Which imho, is by far the best choice.

Fwiw, the japanese community has decided that they're allowing the instant text speed bug.

I had so much more to say, but now i can't come up with a constructive text to make it valid, so I'll just stick to this for now.
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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by Exarion » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:38 pm

For what it's worth (possibly nothing), I'm pretty sure allowing this would change the entire strategy for using the two early Rare Candies. There is a strat that allows you to skip trainers in Mt. Moon and delay candying to Lv. 23 until the trainer before Bill. It was previously disregarded because it added a lot of risk to Nugget Bridge and the Misty fight, although with good luck, it saved 15+ seconds over the standard route. With instant text, this would save more than a minute with good luck. There are probably similar late candy strats that save less time and are safer. Keep in mind that because menuing to heal would kill the instant text, you would often have to YOLO some fights (such as the Lv. 18 Mankey) to make the strat worthwhile.
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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by entrpntr » Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:42 am

Thinking about this has been a fun exercise, and I have thoughts a bit more organized now, so I figured I'd take another stab at this.

Speedrunning is a competitive hobby, not an academic discipline. The idea, I think, is to work towards categories that are fun to speedrun and offer meaningful competition. This should be the starting point; rulesets should be as simple and non-arbitrary as possible, but primarily cater to the above tenets. Unless the fundamental thing that people find enjoyable about the main Gen 1 categories is the lack of glitches, arguing technicalities about what constitutes a glitch seems to me to be missing the point.

What makes a game 'worth speedrunning' emerges from community tastes, and the various game communities clearly differ in their approach. Some games have only 1 leaderboard category, others have a bunch, and some games are simply not conducive to a speedrun. Many games with major glitches have categories that honor 'intended' gameplay to various degrees, but there is no hard and fast rule that must be adhered to. Runners generally seem to like the current Gen 1 ruleset, which clearly welcomes many things on the glitch spectrum. People getting wrapped up in the category name are losing focus on the important considerations (though this may be an indication of a confusingly named category, as Horou alluded to).

I'm not going to opine on what the ruleset (or category name) should be, but my observation of the current one is that it honors the core gameplay elements, doesn't skip the core content (8 badges, Elite 4/Champion), and reserves bans for things that fuck with the game to an unreasonable degree. Runners also clearly value the routing and execution challenges that Gen 1's shitty programming allows for. So, while we are speedrunning, [newly discovered] glitches that enable time to be saved but detract from these aspects in a major way should probably be open for ban consideration.

I glossed over the full extent of this discovery previously and didn't understand the overall impact. I don't have any stake in the specific matter, but my revised stance is that for a ban to be consistent with (my interpretation of) the current ruleset, you'd need to convince me that it either (1) fucks with the game to an unreasonable degree, or (2) detracts from the category to an unreasonable degree. But anyway, as I said in my previous post, the main thing that concerns me is the way people want to approach the ruleset. The fact that badge boosts, redbar, and dig mechanics made their way into this discussion is very strange to me (might as well throw in all jingle skips and sound glitches at that point).

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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by gifvex » Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:26 am

The player (1) intentionally performs an isolated sequence of events (2) that alters game memory not intended to be player-controlled (3) which changes how a seperate sequence of events works. I may have used some debatable vocabulary in this statement, but it should fall in line with what's currently allowed and not allowed. I personally don't think the bike shop text is a good fit for the category.

But I love how it was found and it's super cool.

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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by ExtraTricky » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:41 am

The reason I brought up badge boosts is because they seem to follow the same (or very similar) pattern to what Gifvex just described. I'm not bringing them up because they're a "glitch". The opposite: I'm arguing that neither one is a glitch by pointing out similarities.

The player:
(1) intentionally performs an isolated sequence of events
(2) that alters game memory not intended to be player-controlled
(3) which changes how a seperate sequence of events works

The player:
(1) Uses an XSpecial while facing Pidgeot
(2) that alters the player's pokemon's speed stat (by an amount that is not meant to be possible by player actions)
(3) that causes the Nidoking to outspeed Alakazam

I think some people see a difference here because they feel that two turns within a battle are "connected" while talking to the bike shop and then talking to another NPC are "separate". I don't see a reason for a line to be drawn there. One trainer battle is connected to the next by how it affects your experience, stat exp, health, inventory, etc. Understanding those effects is part of routing. Similarly, when you give an item to one NPC (e.g. Saffron guards), that affects what happens when you interact with another NPC (e.g. do you acquire TM06 or not?). This is what routing is for. To me, two turns in the same battle are connected, and interactions with two NPCs are also connected. We discovered a new way in which NPC interactions are connected, so we should incorporate that into our routing, just like how when we found that extra badge boosts connect different turns of a battle, that was incorporated into our routing.

Meta-question: What's the path forward from this discussion to a final decision? I think it's probably for the best that the discussion period is relatively short, regardless of what the decision is.

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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by gifvex » Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:46 pm

Badge boosts can happen unintentionally due to luck, which is what I meant to cover in criteria 1. If it is near impossible to enforce outside of TAS it is much easier (read: sanity) to allow it as a mechanic to be mastered. The goal was to illustrate how bike shop text is much more similar to the old man and trainer-fly than it is to red bar and Poke Doll.

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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by entrpntr » Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:18 am

Responding to some cool people whose IDEAS I wish to CHALLENGE.
Sanqui wrote:Possibly unpopular/niche opinion incoming.
I think the discussion of glitches is slightly misleading. What do you think the primary category should be like? Obviously, it's subjective, but to me, the primary category should entail a playthrough similar to the baseline intended one, only as fast as possible. It should be within the expected boundaries of the game. It should not do any skips.

Skips are I think the keyword here. Banning skips will rule out glitches that let you warp around and achieve lv. 100. It will also ban the Pokémon Doll skip. But it will not ban Bike Pwner, because it doesn't skip any portion of the game.
FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH, the SDA ruleset (which is where we presumably inherited our 'glitchless' ruleset from) essentially calls for 'no game-breaking glitches/skips'. I think we should be more flexible than this, since we're setting policy for one game/series rather than trying to fit a uniform policy for hundreds of games, but it's not a bad starting point for cutting down on arbitrary criteria and judgment calls.

But even SDA's guidelines are still subjective at some level. For instance, Marowak Doll was not considered a game-breaking skip when the game-specific rules were established, whereas Pewter Gym skip was. Anyway, I don't think the vast majority of runners believes mandating the Rocket Hideout would enhance the category, so Marowak Doll should almost certainly be left alone.
HorouIchigo wrote:B) Define the category rules (you can even change the name to something like No Major Glitches or something not as stupid) as "Beat champion while having the 8 gym badges obtained by beating all 8 gym leaders in a single segment. No major glitches such as Trainer Fly, Old Man Glitch, Item Underflow, Experience Underflow, Cooltrainer and Warping are allowed. All other minor glitches/bugs such as Gen 1 Miss, Red bar jingle skips, Badge boosts, Pokédoll Skip and Bike Shop instant text speed are allowed." I think this set of rules doesn't break the spirit of what a "glitchless" run should be, and it solves the issue of defining what a glitch is or isn't by just throwing all the subjective stuff into the same bag and saying it's okay.
I agree that it is useful to think about what the core content of the game is to make future judgment calls a bit less subjective. I also agree in principle that there are "major" glitches and "minor" glitches (and that Any% Glitchless should be taken to mean "No Major Glitches"), but you seem to be saying that discerning between the two can be objectively done.

A dumb hypothetical that may or may not be useful to consider: say it was discovered that buffering the menu while stepping to the Marowak tile skipped the trigger that loads the "Intruders" textbox and skips the fight. I'd guess this hypothetical would have a lot stronger support for a ban than either Bike Shop Instant Text or Marowak Poké Doll. Hard to spell out the exact guiding logic, but the indicators to me would be the player actively fucking with the game to cause normal gameplay to "break" in a major way (I'd argue Bike Shop Instant Text only displays the former part, and Marowak Poké Doll only the latter part). Yes, this criteria uses a ton of subjective terms, and where exactly to draw the line is subjective as well, but hopefully the example informs why I think in terms I laid out in my previous posts.
ExtraTricky wrote:The reason I brought up badge boosts is because they seem to follow the same (or very similar) pattern to what Gifvex just described. I'm not bringing them up because they're a "glitch". The opposite: I'm arguing that neither one is a glitch by pointing out similarities.
Okay, well I was referring to early posts in this thread that raised them as instructive things to consider in isolation, not the posts drawing parallels between glitch mechanics. But I do think retrograde analysis on glitch mechanic patterns to explain what is currently banned/not banned is misguided. Most formulations offered so far strike me more as overthought classification systems that are overfitting the data (and some are still flawed in spite of this). For example, yours was:
ExtraTricky wrote:I think a definition that gets all of these cases right is whether the memory location is being used for the "same thing" at both write location and read location. Badge boosts are fine in this case, because the loop that applies badge boosts is certainly writing to your attack stat knowing it's the attack stat (questions about the defense/speed badge mistake aside). Old Man + Cinnabar coast is a glitch in this case, as the Old Man is using the memory as backup for your name, while the coast is using it as encounter table data. And Bike Shop is not a glitch, since both the bike shop and all the other text boxes are using bit 6 of wd730 as an override to display instantly.
You are prescribing an overarching approach that "thinks" like a digital computing system to classify glitches. It goes heavily against common sense and will only lead to confusing explanations of why certain things are banned or allowed. Human intuition is a remarkable tool we have at our disposal; we didn't need disassembled ROMs or emulator debugging tools to come up with the current ruleset.
gifvex wrote:The player (1) intentionally performs an isolated sequence of events (2) that alters game memory not intended to be player-controlled (3) which changes how a separate sequence of events works. I may have used some debatable vocabulary in this statement, but it should fall in line with what's currently allowed and not allowed. I personally don't think the bike shop text is a good fit for the category.
I agree with your inference of DEVELOPER INTENDED BEHAVIOR that instant text wasn't meant to be exploited by the player, but so what? In a vacuum, does anyone really think an exploit that causes instant text is a banworthy glitch? Or is it only relevant because it materially affects the route in a significant way?

As for something in the current ruleset that violates this criteria: giving 1-character names to the player character and player's Pokémon alters game state that surely was not meant to be in the player's control when certain jingle skips are triggered (underground Full Restore, HM01, level-up jingles in redbar). The naming process is also completely within the control of the runner (i.e. not subject to any luck elements).

=-=-=-=-=-=

For the most part, people are giving worthwhile considerations of what constitutes a "glitch" and what mechanics are relevant when considering the game-breaking potential of a glitch. (The factors in gifvex's test and ExtraTricky's TPP & read/write location tests are certainly things I think are relevant.) But the all-in-one solutions are rife with arbitrariness themselves and/or get bogged down in technicalities that don't align with common sense. The perceivable impacts on gameplay are the most obvious consideration, but somehow not getting accounted for in a number of posts.

People clearly have dozens of different criteria for making judgments on these things and we're not going to find a set of completely objective precepts or criteria that everyone agrees upon—the ways you can fuck with Red/Blue are numerous and diverse in both the method and the impact. It's a community effort to discuss and rule on this stuff the best we can, but we can't make everyone happy. Even trying to avoid absolutes, I'm sure I've said a few things people disagree with.
ExtraTricky wrote:Meta-question: What's the path forward from this discussion to a final decision? I think it's probably for the best that the discussion period is relatively short, regardless of what the decision is.
Good question. If general sentiment in the thread or Sanqui's strawpoll results are any indication, the community certainly seems to be leaning one way on this. Would be nice to hear more from ban advocates before a ruling, but the foot-dragging will start to get old before too long.

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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by Amoeba » Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:38 am

I've got no idea how this might be perceived, but I had a thought today that might be interesting (or it might make everyone roll their eyes, who knows). Could you not have 2 leaderboards for Red, one "English Glitchless" rules and one "Japanese Glitchless rules", where English ruleset is as the current ruleset stands now, with this new instant text exploit allowed, and japanese ruleset bans it, along with pokedoll on marowak and other exploits banned by the japanese community. Not only would it give people an option to choose between the two, but would also open up red to foreign speedrunners, something I've seen people mention before (not sure if the jap ruleset allows running on other languages, but I can't see why it wouldn't when japanese is going to be the fastest). Could also provide a nice way to bring the english and japanese pokemon speedrunning communities together?
~

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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by entrpntr » Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:13 am

Amoeba wrote:I've got no idea how this might be perceived, but I had a thought today that might be interesting (or it might make everyone roll their eyes, who knows). Could you not have 2 leaderboards for Red, one "English Glitchless" rules and one "Japanese Glitchless rules", where English ruleset is as the current ruleset stands now, with this new instant text exploit allowed, and japanese ruleset bans it, along with pokedoll on marowak and other exploits banned by the japanese community. Not only would it give people an option to choose between the two, but would also open up red to foreign speedrunners, something I've seen people mention before (not sure if the jap ruleset allows running on other languages, but I can't see why it wouldn't when japanese is going to be the fastest). Could also provide a nice way to bring the english and japanese pokemon speedrunning communities together?
I think this is a neat idea that would probably make a lot of people happy (I'm assuming the category with the Japanese ruleset would be added to miscellaneous categories). Bike Shop Instant Text introduces some interesting routing challenges so it would be cool to see it in a category, and we already know runners generally like the current English ruleset. Also, the Japanese ruleset is a more compelling add when there is more than 1 rule difference in gameplay from the English ruleset (which I think is the case currently?). (**EDIT: Oops, assumed Amoeba said English w/ban + JP w/o ban, i.e. current rulesets for both.)

But I wouldn't want to go this route because it sets a pretty bad precedent for the process of deciding such things in the future. It avoids the need to make a judgment call in the face of a discovery of questionable impact, and instead effectively blows up an long-established category to create two new arbitrary categories (even though one would be a category with the current ruleset).

I think the proper thing to do is ignore external considerations and rule on whether Bike Shop Instant Text fits within the spirit of the existing Any% Glitchless category. If the ruling results in significant community fracture or a longer-term effect of decimating activity/interest in the category, then in the interest of enhancing fun and healthy competition, I'd be open to solutions that introduce new categories to address the problem(s).
Last edited by entrpntr on Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by Keizaron » Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:38 am

I've been avoiding discussing anything because I'll admit I'm rife with bias on this (I think it's incredibly stupid), but just a couple things real quick.
Amoeba wrote:[...]japanese ruleset bans it, along with pokedoll on marowak and other exploits banned by the japanese community.
Japanese community has allowed the instant text, though.
Could you not have 2 leaderboards for Red
There are no plans to make two leaderboards. At that point, category separation begins to look arbitrary and avoids the simplicity that we (I?) strive for on the leaderboards. With all due respect to the Mario community, we don't need 0 Star/1 Star/16 Star/69 Star/420 Star style categories. The most likely outcome is the current leaderboard just adapts the instant text.

Poke Doll, on our end, is still adapted for use because we have grandfathered it in. In the same vein, Japanese community (from what I've gathered Punyuta said) has grandfathered in non-Poke Doll. There isn't much of a point in making two completely different leaderboards just for one item's use. We are better off waiting for the speedrun.com update that will allow multiple languages, which is currently in the works last I heard. Once that rolls out, it won't be difficult at all to just click on "Japanese" and adopt that specific leaderboard's rules. While that may create a precedent for games (in general) having a "French-style" or "Ugandan-style" of rulesets, we're not silly enough to get crazy with it. The biggest division once that occurs will literally just be Poke Doll (since that's also banned in gen 2 for Japanese runs) and IGT vs RTA.

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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by ExtraTricky » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:00 am

entrpntr wrote: But even SDA's guidelines are still subjective at some level. For instance, Marowak Doll was not considered a game-breaking skip when the game-specific rules were established, whereas Pewter Gym skip was. Anyway, I don't think the vast majority of runners believes mandating the Rocket Hideout would enhance the category, so Marowak Doll should almost certainly be left alone.
I don't know the history here, but it's also possible that Pewter Gym skip was not part of the category because runs were done single segment and using in-game time. (Currently, even if it was not banned as a glitch you'd be unable to do it because of the single-segment rule). Does anyone know what the reason was (or maybe both?)?
entrpntr wrote: You are prescribing an overarching approach that "thinks" like a digital computing system to classify glitches. It goes heavily against common sense and will only lead to confusing explanations of why certain things are banned or allowed. Human intuition is a remarkable tool we have at our disposal; we didn't need disassembled ROMs or emulator debugging tools to come up with the current ruleset.
That's fair. I often find that things that I think are confusing are intuitive to other people and vice versa. I try to keep toward precise definitions because different people have different intuition a lot of the time.
Keizaron wrote:I've been avoiding discussing anything because I'll admit I'm rife with bias on this (I think it's incredibly stupid), but just a couple things real quick.
Why are you calling that bias rather than your opinion? I don't see why you would be any more biased than the rest of the people in this discussion.
Keizaron wrote:
Amoeba wrote:[...]japanese ruleset bans it, along with pokedoll on marowak and other exploits banned by the japanese community.
Japanese community has allowed the instant text, though.
Could you not have 2 leaderboards for Red
There are no plans to make two leaderboards. At that point, category separation begins to look arbitrary and avoids the simplicity that we (I?) strive for on the leaderboards. With all due respect to the Mario community, we don't need 0 Star/1 Star/16 Star/69 Star/420 Star style categories. The most likely outcome is the current leaderboard just adapts the instant text.

Poke Doll, on our end, is still adapted for use because we have grandfathered it in. In the same vein, Japanese community (from what I've gathered Punyuta said) has grandfathered in non-Poke Doll. There isn't much of a point in making two completely different leaderboards just for one item's use. We are better off waiting for the speedrun.com update that will allow multiple languages, which is currently in the works last I heard. Once that rolls out, it won't be difficult at all to just click on "Japanese" and adopt that specific leaderboard's rules. While that may create a precedent for games (in general) having a "French-style" or "Ugandan-style" of rulesets, we're not silly enough to get crazy with it. The biggest division once that occurs will literally just be Poke Doll (since that's also banned in gen 2 for Japanese runs) and IGT vs RTA.
Well, there are currently two leaderboards. The English leaderboard is at http://www.speedrun.com/pkmnredblue and the Japanese leaderboard is at http://www64.atwiki.jp/pokemonrta/pages/51.html . You can already submit times to whichever leaderboard you want, or to both, or to neither. I agree that there's no need to change the leaderboard situation.

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Re: Bike Shop Instant Text Discussion/Ruling

Post by Keizaron » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:09 am

ExtraTricky wrote:Why are you calling that bias rather than your opinion? I don't see why you would be any more biased than the rest of the people in this discussion.
I'm bias because Lemon's an idiot and ruined game-date night with Claire by bugging me on Steam constantly about it happening. I want it dead and non-existent. I am biased.
Well, there are currently two leaderboards. The English leaderboard is at http://www.speedrun.com/pkmnredblue and the Japanese leaderboard is at http://www64.atwiki.jp/pokemonrta/pages/51.html . You can already submit times to whichever leaderboard you want, or to both, or to neither. I agree that there's no need to change the leaderboard situation.
We are aware there are two leaderboards for the two languages. I'd imagine the plan if speedrun.com finally rolls the update out is that we try to contact whoever deals with the Pokemon stuff on atwiki (if there is even a singular person that's moreso in charge than the rest) and try to integrate their times to speedrun.com.

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