SS/RTA Leaderboard Organisation


I’ve been thinking recently that for the HL leaderboards we could make some new categories so we can inspire people to try something new, instead of waiting for people to run a new category (which doesn’t actually happen) and then making the category on the leaderboard page when they do. I suppose the two main things that need to be discussed are the naming of the already-established categories and then the justification and naming for new categories.

Even though I personally only feel like this applies to original Half-Life (I can’t think of why different difficulties or versions would be interesting enough for SS/RTA on Opposing Force or Blue Shift), I’m going to say this includes the expansions in case anybody can come up with a good reason to create new categories there.

So first of all, here are the leaderboards:

Opposing Force
Blue Shift

[u]**Discussion List

[ul][li]Difficulty - Should there be both Easy and Hard categories or just one of them? Should they be merged?[/li]
[li]Version - Should there be both WON and Steam categories or just one of them? Should they be merged?[/li]
[li]FPS - Should fps_max be allowed at all? If yes, should it be allowed mid-run? If not, should intentionally lagging the game be allowed?[/li]
[li]“Scripts” category - What should be the limitations? What should it be called?[/li]
[li]“No RTA tricks rule” in Half-Life + Blue Shift - Should it be removed? Should people be allowed the freedom of RTA-based routes regardless if it’s faster or not?[/li]
[li]wait - Should wait be allowed?[/li][/ul]


I can’t contribute much naming wise, but here are my ideas (Half-Life only):

- SS, WON (, Hard (already exists)

Even though it’s the most popular, I see this technically as more of a “legacy” category nowadays mainly because it’s obsoleted both by version and by difficulty.

RTA vs SS: Save-glitches haven’t been proven to save time, so a separate RTA category can’t exist. I think that we should continue to allow people to submit runs that contain saves and loads to this category so that we’re not elitist towards people who aren’t up to the challenge of beating the game without dieing in this version and seeing as there isn’t an RTA category this would be their only option. Right now we distinguish the difference by using the labels ‘No SS’ and ‘SS’ when submitting runs.

Version: This version is obsoleted by Steam even in SS, but I think people would still enjoy it because of it’s differences (100fps cap and uncapped bhop, therefore some minor route differences).

Difficulty: There’s not much point running on Hard in HL due to it not being that much different and therefore not very interesting, but my guess is that some people would still want to follow the tradition of Hard because of the testchamber strats being very difficult on Easy and because of it’s popularity (41 runs at the moment). Maybe we should create an Easy difficulty equivalent of this version regardless since it technically makes more sense?

  • SS, Steam (latest), Easy**

SS vs RTA: SS because compared to RTA on this version the route would be quite a lot different (no quickgauss).

Version: Steam because it’s got a slightly different route to WON and is faster anyway so technically it should have more prominence.

Difficulty: Easy because Hard is not that much different (it’s not like Quake Easy vs Nightmare where the difference is huge) and so the fastest difficulty makes more sense.

- RTA, Steam (latest), Easy

Fastest category so doesn’t need any explanation.


For latest Steam version I think difficulty is irrelevant and should be chosen at the discretion of the runner. Easy is the faster difficulty and Hard is the easier difficulty because of the test chamber vortiguant boost. The superior strat on latest Steam version (SS and RTA) would be to do the object boost test chamber skip. My point is that Easy is the obvious choice for the higher level runners and enabling Hard/Medium in the category will let lower level runners participate too.

A thought I’ve had is to change difficulty during a run, which (I THINK, pls test) is simply just making this command (changing to Easy): Skill 1;save quick;load quick;
This would be exclusive to RTA because of save/load unless you can just run the Skill 1 command and make it effective by transitioning through a loading trigger (pls test).

If you can change difficulty during a run you could first be running on Hard and when you’ve done the vortiguant boost you can change it to Easy and potentially also change difficulty for suit management (you get different amount of suit from batteries/stations depending on difficulty and also different enemy attack damage values).

Edit: I forgot I actually can run HL on my laptop (its still a shitty laptop) so I could test the difficulty changing by myself. The skill command sets the skill for the current map but for it to come into effect you have to reload the map by either save/load or leave the map and re-enter OR you can do a changelevel delay and hit your hotkey for difficulty change (bind “key” "skill 1/2/3(/0?) after you’ve hit the changelevel trigger, hit your hotkey.


Good point about allowing people to choose difficulty, never thought about it like that. I guess the reason I suggested separating difficulty before is because people would complain that their Hard difficulty run wasn’t comparable to someone else’s faster run that was done on Easy, but in the case that you’re given a choice we could say that it’s the player’s responsibility if they deliberately decided to make it slower for themselves.

Though I’d imagine this would still be a problem in WON, where 41 people have performed their runs on Hard simply because the category only allowed that difficulty before, so if someone was to submit a run on Easy that beats the world record (or for that matter, any run that used Hard difficulty) then there would probably be complaints by many.

EDIT: Moving related stuff from difficulty changing thread here.

This is something I’m struggling to make my mind up about. Hard is mainly a tradition (even the first OP4RTA and BSSS runs were done on Hard but because nobody else did runs I decided to do what I thought made the most sense) in that people just copied what the old schoolers did and didn’t know any better. Now we have 41 submitted runs on Hard difficulty and this category is the standard right now despite Easy being the fastest (not to mention this version is also not the fastest, though I understand the appeal for uncapped bunnyhop).

When I look at it from a technical standpoint, it probably makes more sense just to establish WON/Easy as the default WON category. We could consider the WON/Hard category from now on as a sort of “Legacy” category (sort of like in Portal when save glitch came into play) and just make Easy the default for everything else (assuming that changing skill mid run isn’t allowed).

I’ve noticed alot of people suggesting fairness is the reason for the 100fps limit, but this is more of a convenient bonus rather than the actual reason for it. The reason the 100fps limit rule is in place is because the original WON engine was capped to 100fps, so in order to make using the DLLs in a different client actually legitimate we basically “pretend” that the limit is still there.

Then of course it is possible to have unlimited FPS in the actual Steam version, which is unfair but as discussed in this thread there isn’t really a way to set a limit without arbitrarily putting the version at a disadvantage against WON, so it’s just something that we have to deal with.

As for what I’ll call “modded” categories (i.e removing the bhop cap from Steam or uncapping the FPS in WON etc), I wouldn’t support adding these to the main leaderboards because they’re not possible without modifying the game, though I wouldn’t be against adding them to the mods section where Big Lolly is if there was actually a demand for them.

  • NoIHD%
    Even though I started this idea just for fun, I think it’s pretty interesting to see.
    Basically the only difference from any% is that runner mustn’t use IHD.
    Only 3 posters?


Quoted from other thread:

I don’t think we should base categories on how easy they are for newer players. There are of course going to be tricks that are not viable for SS/RTA but this is pretty much at the beginning and considering we allow saves/loads in the “SS” category for Half-Life due to lack of a separate RTA category it’s not like they can’t retry it a dozen times over.

By the time the player has gotten better they’ll probably have done it enough to do it at least semi-consistently anyway. As quad mentioned, the alternative is that they just sit through the cutscene and use the intended route, which would’ve been the case had Easy been the standard difficulty in the first place.


**RTA, Steam (latest), Easy and ****NoIHD% sound awsome and interesting.
now I know the point of ****SS, Steam (latest), Easy, but who would run it? it is too hard to make all the inputs scriptless for the test chamber obbo, u really need to get used to it.

btw, can bhop cap be turned off at latest steam version? (i mean would the rules allow it?)


Even without the test chamber object boost, according to my testing (rough segmented comparison of both versions’ routes for SS), Steam would still be faster due to the fast IHD. Though this was just before Maxam introduced all the new/adapted routes/strats, so this might no longer be the case. Either way they come pretty close to eachother.

No, this would be illegitimate as it would be modifying the game fundamentally.


I’m probably going to get berated for this but can we have an “any% (Scripts)”?

With allowed scripts like ducktapping, autojumping, objectboosting, triggerdelay, gaussboost, triggerdelays and just stuff available on the wiki? Disallowing scripts that run the game entirely for you I guess. I know people like Centuar1um run Goldsrc games but they do it scripted because it’s easier and more fun if you aren’t super into scroll wheel bhop. Being allowed to run at a higher fps would be cool too, but I’m probably pushing it now.

If ANYTHING, this would get me running Half Life, for sure.


There was a discussion quite a while back now between myself, SW, treetoon and others about a category that allows script/tool-assistance but only where logical; i.e +bxt_tas_autojump, +bxt_tas_ducktap and simple +use/wait spam scripts. The idea was that jumping, ducking, using and waiting are all things that can be spammed via the scroll wheel anyway and so would provide some sort of alternative.

The problem with extending that to allowing object boosting, gauss boosting and other more complicated scripts is that not only is it arbitrary beyond reason, but it is difficult to make sure that everyone is using the exact same script. People could change the amount of waits, add slight adjustments to the viewangles etc and these probably wouldn’t be noticeable enough to enforce a level playing field.

Going back to the first idea, in my opinion the problem with this is that it’s way too similar to the vanilla scriptless, so it’s hard to really justify creating a new category just for an alternative timing/spamming method.

That being said, I suppose all it takes is a good amount of people to want to run the category and if that’s the case then I guess it should be created anyway; just doesn’t seem worth it to me that’s all.


Well, can we just find solutions to these problems?

The main reason I asked for a scripted category is because I fucking hate bhopping with the scroll wheel, I just want to avoid using scroll wheel in HL. In HL2 it’s different because you’re mostly going in a straight line or curving slightly to the left or right, so you’re keeping the mouse stationary most of the time you’re ABHing. I know I’ve said before that Bhopping isn’t that hard and all you need to do is practice timing, but for me at least, doing it all the time for 30+ minutes white moving the mouse left and right vigorously while trying to maintain rhythm between jumps and strafes is ass and it kinda takes the fun out of it in the end, I just wanna bhop and go fast with ease.

Why is object boosting arbitrary? It’s not that easy, and scripts make it easy, more of it would make the game faster too.

You can apply this to many games, without demos, it’s pretty hard to tell whether or not you’re using autojump in hl2 or not, it looks pretty much the same going in a straight line, unless you stucklaunch off of something and go flying, then it’s kinda obvious, but then again it’s possible to stucklaunch and go miles with freescrolling too. I don’t see why anyone would want to do something like change the viewangle slightly anyway, object boosting with a script is pretty freakin’ easy, you’d have to be desperate as fuck to do something like that anyway.

We can just enforce the amount of waits as well, and have it so that when the game is started it embeds the config file within a dummy demo via commandline, which is fairly easy to do.

The “alternate method” makes everything so much easier, allows for alternate routes in some places, and is faster than normal scriptless HL runs so it may as well be its own category.
Also, what are your thoughts a higher fps?

Is anyone else interested in a scripted category?


It’s arbitrary beyond reason because there’s no justification for it. Also, personally I find object boosting pretty easy and other top players would probably agree.

Well considering we’re agreeing on the idea of allowing autojump that’s kind of irrelevant. However, jumping is different in HL2 so it’s not really comparable to HL. In HL, most of the time it’s obvious because you can tell just by the sound of jumps whether or not autojump is being used, but regardless I don’t think basing rules off of whether you can enforce them at the current time or not is usually a good idea because right now there’s a lot of other stuff you could apply that theory to such as extra HUD features which are kind of under a dispute at the moment. As for free-scrolling, well that’s already banned anyway.

Changing the viewangle for a gauss boost script would possibly prove beneficial for certain areas of the game.

Allowing things because they make the game easier or faster is an obvious slippery slope and not really a valid argument as pointed out in the difficulty changing thread.

My thoughts on higher FPS were already mentioned here:


I think I’ll just submit my runs to to my imaginary leaderboard, since only two people are interested in a scripted category.


It’d be cool to see a category for scripted. Having auto jump would make an incredible difference. I believe that there is actually a lot of people that would be interested in HL speedrunning with auto jump on. If/When I achieve my goals with HL I will probably do auto jump as I believe scroll wheel bhopping is a limitation to the “hardcoreness of the run”.

I think object boosting scripts should be allowed. Would it make sense to ban scripts that changes view angles and limit script length to no more than 0.5 seconds?


I will just continue to use autojump, duckroll and obbo for my own imaginary leader board also I believe… lol

But seriously, a scripted category should be considered by the almightys. Its always fun to watch a decent scripted run! I understand you’d get a lot of people, loads of randoms, submitting a half-arsed speedrun at like potato fps and some shit _special scripts. but it isn’t like you can’t just say “Sorry, keep trying”?


I’d say add it. Will certainly grow to more than two. Hard to set the exact rules tho.

I don’t see this as a problem. Nor a difference to the main category where 14 times are above 45 minutes.


I’m also in the scripted minority, so make that 4.

I’ve always been a little iffy on this, but it makes no sense to ban certain scripts this late in the game imo.



Well, there’s clearly more support for such a category than I thought. I must admit, I do find using autojump/ducktap fun. Looks like we just need to clarify the name and rules.

Not restricting what scripts can be used makes the category no different from TAS.


As mentioned, I don’t see any justification for allowing anything other than timing/spam assistance (i.e autojump/duck and +use/wait spam, what is already possible via keys/scroll wheel). Perhaps a way to have less mess would be to just allow the BXT commands only (+bxt_tas_autojump and +bxt_tas_ducktap) instead of allowing scripts; you probably don’t need a script to spam +use/wait as the scroll wheel is probably good enough for this kind of stuff (especially since you can lower framerate).

Another thing to think about: should the category be Easy or Hard difficulty, or should there be categories for both?

As for naming, I don’t think the category should be called Scripts or Scripted because we want to use tool assistance also, and Scripted sounds confusing because it makes it sound as if the game is fully scripted like a TAS.


Ah, good point actually.


I vote separate categories for the 2.

I suppose this would fall into tool assistance, if we’re going to be sticking with BXT.