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Category Drama

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May 12th, 2015
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  1. Category Drama
  2. written by some unknown person named Yadra
  3. (Version 0.12ND)
  4.  
  5. Introduction
  6.  
  7. I am not exactly sure who came up with the idea to use % counter in games that don't track your progress in percent (and it does not really matter anyway), but this leads to many problems when it comes to the definition of a category.
  8. Primarily I mean any% and 100% categories, but of course low% or max% (or insert random word here %) are affected as well (Not to mention that the latter causes some unhappy feelings among many people...).
  9.  
  10. Problems
  11.  
  12. I like to point out again that this is about games that don't have a percentage counter. Additionally, if I do need to point out I am talking about speedruns, you might want to stop reading right now.
  13.  
  14. There are a couple problems I like to discuss.
  15. Generally, using % in the category name will always add arbitrariness since there is no way of telling what increases the percentage counter, and therefore it is impossible to reach 100% (or any specific amount; obviously this applies to any other % category).
  16. For any% categories it can just be a bit confusing sometimes, but there are severe issues with 100% definitions. How serious the issue is depends on the game, but for some games it is basically impossible to create a satisfying definition.
  17.  
  18. About any%
  19. The easiest definition (or so one might think).
  20. "Beat the game without being restricted to the completion rate"
  21. It seems that oftentimes it is assumed that there are no other restrictions, but that's not necessarily true, though people's opinions diverge now.
  22. Personally, I think "any%" should mean "Beat the game as fast as you can without using cheats or any kind of external game modification", but that's not exactly what the category implies. Then again, it does not imply any restriction either.
  23. In any case, since we do not have an internal percentage counter in the first place, this name is just unfitting and leads to misconceptions and confusion.
  24.  
  25.  
  26. About 100%
  27. The real issue.
  28. There were, are and will always be problems and dissatisfactions about the definition.
  29. What is "important" enough to count towards our imaginary counter?
  30. Why do we need to obtain X and not Y, why do we collect this and not that?
  31. Why is this way of obtaining something prohibited?
  32.  
  33. In the end, you cannot justify everything, and end up with arbitrary decisions. And even if you could explain every rule and make it plausible, remember:
  34. The definition of the category itself is purely made on decisions by individuals or the community, and therefore arbitrary.
  35. Hence, by using the term "100%" it is impossible to create a well-defined category.
  36.  
  37.  
  38. About low%
  39. Low% is a special case, since usually it is not acknowledged as an official category (You could probably write an essay about this sentence, but I am not going to bother right now).
  40. The issue is obviously the same, which actions affect the percentage counter, how "low" can the non-existing counter drop?
  41. Surely this might be one of the reasons low% is not mentioned on your typical leaderboard.
  42. But at the same time 100% definitions are accepted. How does this make sense if there is a list of things that count towards the counter, and could be left out if possible to decrease it? Sounds like a good low% definition in this regard.
  43.  
  44. About other%
  45.  
  46. I don't have much else to say about max%.
  47. And no comment regarding Insert-random-word-here%.
  48.  
  49. Solutions
  50.  
  51. Now, as I already tried to make clear, the problem is not the arbitrariness itself (since a speedrun is arbitrary per se), but the arbitrariness of how the percentage categories are defined.
  52. The problem is using a term with % in its name. This causes all issues. Arbitrariness cannot be avoided, and it's not necessary to do so if we move away from the percentage categories. Acknowledging this is the key to create "well"-defined categories.
  53.  
  54. These "well"-defined categories are basically the same as before, but the major difference is that the category name does not claim something else. This might sound like no improvement, or just an annoying change, a hassle, not necessary and not efficient.
  55. But take a closer look at a 100% definition.
  56. Depending on the game's complexity, you will have plenty restrictions and instructions. The average viewer does not know all of them. 100% just means "Aha, this runner will collect a lot of stuff." Or, falsely assumed, this runner will collect everything (since it is 100%, right?).
  57. Changing the term does not reduce the efficiency, or causes more confusion for viewers. Moreover, now the community is free to decide what a "100%" run should include, and will or will not remove things on a complete arbitrary basis! (That's not too different from the present, but now the category no longer implies to obtain "100%", which never happened in the first place.)
  58. Obviously, it is necessary to change the category names.
  59. Here are my suggestions (more details below):
  60.  
  61. any% (no restrictions) => Quickest Completion
  62. any% (no OoB, no WW) => Restricted Completion (OoB,WW)
  63. 100% => Full* Completion
  64. low% => Lowest* Completion
  65.  
  66.  
  67. Quickest Completion (QC):
  68. Since the basic concept of a speedrun is to complete a game as fast as possible, this sounds like a intuitive name, and was always what I thought of when reading "any%".
  69.  
  70. Restricted Completion (RC):
  71. If going too fast is not entertaining enough, we can add restrictions which are put between brackets.
  72.  
  73. Full* Completion(F*C):
  74. The asterisk indicates instructions and restrictions that most "100%" definitions contain. This way it is clear though that not every smallest thing is included, and it is no longer necessary, as opposed to when saying "100%". Also, no more stupid % when there is no % counter in the first place.
  75. This doesn't mean you should skip everything you don't want to do or collect, but gives more freedom for the community to decide. Technically you could arbitrarily skip things, which would end up as a different category, so it is the community's job to create an appealing category most people agree with. Basically, just as it is now, but better.
  76.  
  77. Lowest* Completion(L*C):
  78. Same concept as with Full* Completion.
  79.  
  80. R.I.P.
  81. I assume most people will not agree with this at all, and changes are usually never welcome, but I just wanted to write down my thoughts on this. I welcome any potential discussion, if anyone cares.
  82.  
  83. Have a nice day.
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