Why is Valve always trying to fix speedrunning?


#1

[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Hello world,

[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]I would like to hear your opinion on the fact that Valve is always trying to control the speedrunning phenomenon. Throughout the years, games and engines, our community has been suffering from constant bug and glitch fixes which only led to speedrunners being even more motivated to exploit any error they could find. Fixing in-game errors is totally understandable since we - the players - actually pay our money for the game; it would mean that we demand that the game is developed according to certain standards, i.e. no such game errors that may thwart positive game experience.

[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]But think again: does speedrunning/jumpbug/ fall into this category? Most of the bugs described on SourceRuns wiki are difficult to use, non-producible on any map, require scripting and thorough understanding of game mechanics - which means that only an experienced player, a player who has dedicated quite a lot of his time to a certain Valve game, would be able to use them to their full potential. This type of a player is the best client a company can ever dream of: he is loyal to the game and willing to invest even more time so as to promote it (“Half-Life in 20:41” currently has 1,857,083 views). The speedrunning community produces works of speedart, the commentary sections on YouTube/gaming magazines (representing a generalised player) start a shitstorm which clearly states this fact:
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]***Speedrunning is a privilege. ***

Most of the bugs that have been fixed were not “critical” because nobody used them to crash the game. Almost nobody even knew these existed in the first place! These bugs were not bugs, but rather, say, some interesting game features which provided an opportunity to look at your favourite game from a totally different perspective. These bugs, being simply programming errors, managed to bind a whole lot of players from all over the world in their determination to be in control: to study the game engine, the mechanics, the maps and finally - to show that it is you who defines the limit. These bugs gave us an amazing feeling of freedom, as one day, hours and days of hard work finally paid off - you were not feeling like a puppet, guided by the invisible hand of game developers, oh no; you were a swift piranha, hungrily biting the hand that feeds you, ignoring the narrative waypoints and choosing your own path of completing the game. I have yet to speedrun myself but I am pretty sure: mere milliseconds of a successful trick were enough for a speedrunner to think and feel “I have just created something.”

I will repeat myself: speedrunning is a privilege. Most of the players will never even know of these bugs and even if they did, they would think it is not their cup of tea. It is equally hard and great, but it is the burden we chose by ourselves. It has been almost 17 years since Half-Life`s release and we are still playing it. So yeah Valve, good luck fixing that.


#2

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#3

I wouldn’t say that we’ve been suffering.

In most cases an older version is going to be out there somewhere which essentially becomes the “speedrun edition” of the game. Older versions are often pretty easy to get a hold of too. For example, in Half-Life’s case you can buy a copy of the pre-Steam release and then just apply whatever patch you like to it, or copy the unmodified DLLs over to the Steam client to take advantage of the newer engine’s conveniences like continuous demo recording and more stability/optimization.

Let’s also not forget that newer versions and attempts to fix bugs can actually lead to the game being faster or even creating new bugs altogether. The obvious example here would be ABH in Half-Life 2/Portal, which was created directly as a result of a poor attempt to fix the original bunnyhopping from the older version.

An example of a newer version still being faster even with a successful bugfix would be Half-Life + expansions, where generally the Steam version still tends to be faster due to the unlimited framerate capability (more air acceleration), meaning that by performing a single acceljump followed by duckhops, the movement becomes faster than in the older versions where the jump-speed wasn’t capped but the framerate was.

This kind of thing only really bothers me in multiplayer where the players are usually forced to stay up to date with the latest version to continue playing. My opinion is that when “happy accidents” occur that add an extra element to the gameplay and overall skill curve (see bunnyhopping/strafejumping in Quake series for example) that aren’t too brutal, they should be preserved. However in multiplayer’s case if the developers decide to patch this kind of stuff out, a separate promod is often created by the community to reverse this anyway which is fine since you’re not working towards an inevitable goal like you are in speedrunning where tweaking the game would just give you false timesaves over the original game.


#4

Valve doesn’t fix speedrunning glitches, they fix multiplayer glitches that affect game balance. Example: they fixed ABH in hl2dm and kept it in singleplayer. For HL1 the mp movement code happens to be the same as sp therefore every mp fix is also applied to singleplayer.


#5

My opinion is Valve is a company built on the very simple concept of making money, therefore they apply updates to their games to serve this purpose somehow. I don’t see how or why it matters that they fix glitches within their own games, especially since they’ve been so wonderful to us so far by leaving a lot of glitches in SP games.

Also, this topic is completely ridiculous in my opinion, and I couldn’t bring myself to read through all of this.


#6

I still think it was misplaced for them to patch out the bunnyhopping scripts used in HL:DM and TFC a decade after the games had been out.

Also, the trend has been less and less air acceleration with each game, which I dislike. I hope the next Half Life doesn’t have restricted movement.


#7

Airaccel in Source is the same in goldsrc. Less speed gain comes from the 0.015 tickrate (equivalent of 66.6666… fps in goldsrc) which they added for very good reasons and not to reduce aa.


#8

I’m curious, what are these reasons?


#9

tl;dr

lol kidding but I had to read like half of it the other day n the rest just now because I am bored.
But, I agree with Centaur1um, the fact of the matter is they are literally just trying to make money like any other company, game developer or business w/e

They label “speedrunners” as customers, and regular players, youtubers and tutorial guys etc, as customers. we’re all just customers at the end of the day. They want to make the best games possible with minimal to no bugs.

However, like yalter said, they didn’t patch out ABH in sp but they did in hl2dm? So from that you could easily gauge that they have some idea what goes on in each separate community of players etc etc.


#10

Stable tickrate has a lot of advantages, some of which are rendering fps not affecting the game physics, everyone updating at the same rate (thus eliminating all cases of potential advantage of some players over others - think 1000 fps vs 100 in goldsrc, and making all the dumb rules like fps caps redundant) as well as ability to process stuff less times per second (to direct more power towards rendering and therefore increasing the framerate). I’m sure there’s a whole lot more to it.


#11

I was more thinking Portal 2 compared to Portal, CS:GO vs CS:S/1.6. Also I probably should have talked about movement in general rather than just air_acceleration. KZ in 1.6 had a huge player base and was the vanilla game. CS:GO has needed to mod itself a fair bit to get the same experience.

And I understand why they want to get rid of things like wall running a duckspam, but from a movement enthusiasts perspective, it is still sad to see things like that go.

I’d be surprised if we ever saw a Valve game with bunnyhopping as a feature, despite the fact that there are bunnyhopping mods/plugins/communities for pretty much every single one of their games.


#12

Portal 2 contains built-in online leaderboards and CS is straightly a game built for competitive play. As I said, they fix bugs in those games to remove unfair unintended advantage. It would also be strange for a game company to just leave a huge thing like ABH imo.


#13

Short answer: Cause dipshits complained

Long answer: They were porting the games to Linux, and it would look bad if 15 year old glitches were still not fixed


#14

Half Life 2, HL2EP1, HL2EP2, and Portal, you can ABH. In HL:Source and Portal 2 (Even in Coop) you can bhop. If Valve is trying to “control the phenomenon of speedrunning” then they aren’t doing a very good job. They added a bhop cap and removed _special in GoldSRC because, as Yalter said, they wanted multiplayer to be more fair. The only reason bhopping or ABH isn’t present in Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 is because those are intended for multiplayer. And besides, even if Valve were trying to ruin the phenomenon of speedrunning, It’s very wrong of us to judge them for that. No offense intended, but you’re practically saying “Oh no! I hate Valve because they want to make games that aren’t buggy and glitchy. Somehow, Valve is being rude just for giving their very best shot at making a nice smooth glitchless bugless game.” Someday Valve will release new games on Source2. Most likely, there won’t be a whole lot of bugs and glitches, and that might ruin it for us speedrunners, but we can’t judge them for that. If they were deliberately trying to fix speedrunning, then they would update their old games and add ABH speed caps and Bhop caps, but they clearly aren’t doing that. It’s not like they are making the games so that people will find exploits and do speedruns. In closing, I would simply like to state that Valve is only fixing multiplayer exploits and singleplayer speedrunning is sometimes an innocent bystander to that.


#15

Adding a bunnyhop cap and removing _special doesn’t make multiplayer any more fair; anyone can learn to bunnyhop and anyone can use _special.


#16

That is true, but as UnrealCanine said, “Cause dipshits complain”


#17

Should be on the front page. I’d love to read more chronicles along the sourceruns lines.