EDIT: Read the Edit/added quote on the bottom of this post first.
To change difficulty you put in the skill 0?/1/2/3 (0/Easy/Medium/Hard) command and then save and load (skill 1;save quick;load quick) OR go through a changelevel trigger, change skill, leave the level and then come back. The skill command changes the skill for the map you are currently in but needs to reload to come into effect. It is also possible to change difficulty by spamming wait commands, go through the loading trigger and press hotkey for difficulty change before the map loads.
For Latest Steam version Easy difficulty is to me the best difficulty. However if you could change difficulty during a run, that would be cool. Because Easy is the fastest difficulty and if someone chose to play on Medium or Hard difficulty then it wouldn’t be a big deal. On Hard difficulty the vortiguant boost is much easier but in the end it will come to where the fastest runs uses the object boost test chamber skip (meaning you can stay on easy difficulty the whole run and still be fast without doing the ridiculous vortiguant boost on easy). Allowing difficulty changing enables more people to participate in the category by letting them do the vortiguant boost on Medium/Hard difficulty and then switch to Easy difficulty.
Also there may be small advantages in difficulty changing when it comes to armor management, for example, you have 18 armor going up the elevator right before the grenade boost before getting captured, if you play on easy difficulty and pick up the battery it’ll give you a total of 33 armor which is not optimal. However, if you played on hard difficulty you would get a total of 28 armor which is pretty good for the grenade boost. This requires you to plan ahead depending on how the run has turned out so far and probably enables more strats. For me it makes the run more interesting.
How about Half-Life with WON dlls? As of now, the only category is Any% Hard. Technically Easy difficulty is the fastest but it’s too ridiculous in my opinion because of the Easy difficulty vortiguant boost (so from here I will just consider that Easy difficulty vortiguant boost doesn’t exist). I don’t think difficulty changing should be allowed with WON dlls as then you would change from a slower (Hard) difficulty to a faster (Easy) as opposed to when on Latest Steam version where starting on Easy difficulty is going to be the fastest through start to end (disregarding changing difficulty mid run for armor management purposes). When I say I don’t think that it should be allowed, I mean that I don’t think it should be a category. As far as WON Any% goes, Hard only is all that is needed in my opinion. You might as well just play Latest Steam version with removed bhop cap through BXT and unlimited fps. But I can understand if people want to have limited fps as it is more fair and I can imagine myself wanting that too. I’m having split opinions here as I come to realize that there are lots of interesting categories (all any%: WON Hard, WON multiskill*, Latest Steam multiskill unlimited fps with bhop cap, Latest Steam multiskill unlimited fps no bhop cap, Latest Steam limited fps no bhop cap and not so cool Latest Steam limited fps with bhop cap, SS/RTA, *multiskill meaning difficulty change is allowed, - to me, Latest Steam version without multiskill makes little sense unless you do object boost test chamber skip) and I’m just speaking my thoughts and I hope you see my thought process and that it brings a discussion.
If you want to share your thoughts about categories consider going to the SS/RTA Leaderboard Category Organisation thread https://forums.sourceruns.org/index.php?topic=2748.msg20667;topicseen#new
Also, maybe you should have read that thread before this one as they are kinda linked together. Sorry for being so hesitant. And ask if there is something that’s not clear.
What are your thoughts on changing difficulties mid-run?
EDIT:------QUOTING 3rd post on page 2