World of Warcraft Player Speedruns to Level 60 By Only Killing Boars

In the speedrunning community, you can always find the strangest runs and attempts. These runs are often known as meme runs, and what is happening right now is just that, but with an amazing purpose. One player, Ian, also known as ianxplosion on Twitch is currently attempting to do a speedrun to reaching level 60 on World of Warcraft, but with a twist. He will do this by only killing boars. “My life sucks *** and I am going to kill some boars, and I want you guys to be there with me.”

A few days after AGDQ, one player joked that if the WOW patch 7.3.5 would arrive on January 16th, he would be leveling to level 60 by only killing boars. Blizzard inadvertently called his bluff and released the patch on said day. Ian, the guy who said this, decided to make good on his promise.

This is a clear callback to South Park’s “Make Love Not Warcraft” episode, where the group was continually killed by an impossibly high-level player. They had to hide in the forest, killing pigs in order to level up and fight back. However, this required a lot of time and is mind-numbing. It will take at least several days to reach level 60. As it looks like now, he is going to do this in segments, which is the smart choice to make here, considering this will be taking a lot of time.

While Ian originally planned to kill boars in Elwynn Forest like in the episode, the patch brought that plan to ruins. The patch added a scaling world and thus he can’t keep killing boars in that place, as he will end up getting no experience. The reason for this is that he got a mental breakdown recently, which resulted in him leaving his job and losing his girlfriend. He has lost motivation to do anything, and the last 3 weeks were hard on him. He is now trying to find himself again and has time on his hands. Those factors are his motivation for his journey.

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He isn’t figuring everything out on his own. People have planned to help him by doing various things. Fellow players routed the entire run for him, so he’d know where to go to get efficient boar leveling going. Others said they were going to donate to mental illness charities if he really goes on with this. Since a lot of people are excited about this, he plans to use this run to try and find his own happiness. Ian placed the donation link for the National Alliance of Mental Illness on his Twitch. If you want to donate to his cause, he prefers that you donate to them.

At this moment of writing, he has completed two days of boar slaying already. The first day it took him over 11 hours to reach level 17 and a half. He killed 1534 boars to reach this level. The second day he finished at level 20 after 8 hours and 55 minutes. We expect it will last more than a week before he reaches the desired level. All we can do is hope he won’t give up before he reaches his goal, and maybe, we’ll be seeing more crazy things happen in the speedrun community.

If you want to follow his attempts, we recommend you to visit his twitch.

AGDQ 2018 – Day Six!

Yume here with some more things that go on behind the scenes of AGDQ 2018.

Sadly, the big batch of tournaments and races are over, not much is left on the plate in that regard.

We still had a Puyo Puyo Tetris, Tetris only, tournament going on, but sadly only 8 people signed up for it. And I did awful there for sure.

I also promised an interview with a participant of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past randomizer race that took place today, but well… There are some complications with that as it is.

Not sure what A Link to the Past randomizer is? Check out our in-depth explanations and previous tournament coverage here.

As the race was not finished properly, I skipped out on this, but here some info I got from friends:

The race started about 30 minutes late, which doesn’t really surprise me for big ALttP randomizer races in the first place. The weekly races with over 100 participants follow usually the same pattern of never getting started earlier than 15 minutes after schedule.

This time around it wasn’t their fault, however. The people that had the room assigned to them before were 25 minutes late in giving the room up, so there was no helping it.

The seed itself was relatively friendly, giving them bigger batches of useful items in one location. That means that they had a lot to work with. That being said, it was a fast seed where you didn’t have to search for clues to progress all the time.

Unfortunately, the ALttP randomizer people were kicked out of the room because they were going over their assigned time, so there were only 2 finishes. ChristosOwen, one of the 2 racers for the ALttP randomizer showcase for the AGDQ stream, was one of them. The other person was Kohrek.

My friend couldn’t finish the seed, but was already in Ganons Tower and would have had a very good placing, which is unfortunate for him.

There is still the story for the Puyo Puyo Tetris Swap mode tournament that went viral, following the picture.

The story behind this is awkward and hilarious.

DevolitionDerby on the left side, one of the PuzzleGeneral community, forgot their batch at his house on that day and during the final someone from security checked the room. As he wasn’t allowed in the room anymore, they just changed the setup so they could play outside of the door and finish their match.

To the right is PiePusher11, the winner of the finals.

But that is all I have for today, tomorrow with a bit of a resume about the whole event.

Have a nice day.

 

AGDQ 2018 – Day Five!

Yume here, and we already got to day 5 of this years AGDQ.

As I had a non-existent amount of sleep, the coverage on tournaments will cut a bit short for once, but we’ll still talk puzzles for a bit.

But yeah, there’s a reason why the night was short and I had to sleep into the day. It was time for Awful Games Done Quick.

It is a kind of tradition where games with controls that are close to unplayable, or just really silly games, are shown in this block. It’s been a standing tradition over the last few GDQ events.

This year, the Awful GDQ could also be called “Animal Games Done Quick”, except for some games like Superman 64. Yeah, there are people that speedrun Superman 64.

Let’s go over some of the games though. And if you want to have a really silly and fun time with bad games, you should certainly watch and even play them at some point. The crowd is a big part of this as well. If you want to go over and watch the videos, the block started with Superman 64.

The first game I witnessed in the streaming room was the end portion of Arabian Nights. All I can say about this title is that it’s not really Rated-E and the dialogues are really silly.

After that, was the first game I saw entirely, Enviro-Bear 2000. Five speedrunners were chosen by the people that donate to the cause. The game’s graphics were made in MS Paint, and I’m not talking about the good version of it. You’re a bear that drives a car and has to eat fish and berries in a given amount of time to survive through the winter and enter your cave. “Eat the fish” and “To the cave” chants went through the crowd at appropriate times and made it a spectacle for everybody in the room. The atmosphere was awesome.

Following that, Dog’s Life was on stream. Standard setup: you’re a dog and your girlfriend was kidnapped by a cat lady to be processed into cat food. To be fair, this happens to me at least once a week. The game is rated E (3 years and older) but the dialogues and some cutscenes in the game are, well, questionable (for that rating to say the least). And as the first skip didn’t work as fast as expected, the dog we played was washed enough times so that fur and hide would have been gone. Also a great time and the runner made it a real blast to watch.

The last run I saw at the venue was Animorphs: Shattered Reality. It is a platformer with some kind of battle interaction that mainly consists of running into your enemy to deal damage and trying to not run into their attacks. The controls of the platforming sections were described by the runner Keizaron as this: “Take a Crash Bandicoot game and strip it off everything Crash Bandicoot does well and you have this game”. As a viewer, I have to say it couldn’t be more precise by what I saw. I also had a great time with watching this run, and it certainly deserved to be in this blog.

Next up, we head to the tournaments. Sadly, I slept in for the Puyo Puyo Tetris Swap tourney, where I saw a chance to be somewhat decent in. I caught some of the final rounds and the competition wasn’t really bad. But as a more or less all-rounder, this would have been my best shot at scoring a good placement today. For the ones who don’t know much about Puyo Puyo Tetris, Swap mode is where you play both games, Tetris and Puyo, in the same game. You have specific playing fields for each game and you play for 25 seconds on one game and change to the other until a winner is decided. The finals had some twist to it, PiePusher11 won the tournament. I’ll cover the twist in tomorrow’s article.

Right after that, the dedicated Puyo Puyo tourney took place where we played only Puyo from PPT. I kinda had bad luck with the bracket and got to play FFRPro21 right off the bat, and gave him a run for the money, but still couldn’t defeat him. In the losers bracket, I played against the organiser of the Puyo only tournament, HarpoonCanon, and tried to get around him with good tactics as I don’t hold a candle to him skill-wise. I can say I won 1 out of 5 games against him and gave him some problems, but I never stood a chance to win.

Also shoutouts to the Puyo Puyo Tetris community as a whole. They are a really nice and welcoming people. Be it speedrunners or online players of the game. Mainly, the respectful attitude towards others like me that are likely not the best players, but still give some top players a hard time.

And then I made the worst decision of this AGDQ, tournament-wise. I skipped the Rocket League tourney and instead tried out the Yoshi’s Cookie for SNES one. NEVER…EVER…AGAIN. I want to say I’m decent at the stage clear mode, but versus is not something up my alley. Heck, I tend to be a loud person and curse sometimes, and I could keep it together even in the Pokémon Puzzle League tournament, but this game has the potential to make me lose myself within 5 minutes of Versus mode. I have to admit that the players I lost against had more skill and more knowledge about the versus mode than I had, so there’s simply no need to go further into specifics or hate the game at all.

Well, that’s it for the tournaments that I had an eye on for today.

As for closing words. some communities hold workshops to teach other people some games or techniques to help them get better at designated games. And even I got some private lessons from a person I look up to:

Blinzer, the winner of the Pokemon Puzzle League versus tournament, taught me some techniques and it fried my brain and thumbs. His playstyle and the marathon mode (High score game) were too much for me. The training was a really nice treat from him though and is very much appreciated. In a mere hour, I learned a lot about the basic skills that I still lack as a player that’s only been playing for a year. I could double my speed for inputs in this short time to get it consistently, over what I’m used to. Hence, my thumbs didn’t appreciate it as much as I did.

This is also one of the reasons why these meetups are a very nice event to attend. People help each other understand the games better and show them skills they don’t have right now. It is good to see that people inside a community care for each other and try to help them in person when they finally meet.

Guess I’m signing off for today to get some decent amount of sleep again. A Link to the Past randomizer race coming up tomorrow with a short interview with one of the participants, as I won’t take part in it myself.

Have a great day!

Heres Day Six with some closing costs!

An Interview with Veetorp – Legend of Zelda Randomizer (ALTTP)

The Legend of Zelda A Link to the past Randomizer grew big in a short time. Today we will be having one of the developers of the program in for the interview. It is Veetorp, one of the lead programmers of this project. Without his dedication, this would never have become as good as it is today.

From several people I have heard that you are the one behind the randomizer code, who first started working on it. What pushed you to make that randomizer?

I rewrote the randomizer code to what it is today based on code that Dessyregt originally wrote in C#. He had written a Super Metroid Randomizer and adapted the ideas from that into A Link to the Past. It wouldn’t be fair to say I first started working on it, but I certainly made it what it is today. For me personally, I love this game, and I love the logic puzzles of all the ways the game allows you to get different things. I am a programmer by nature, so once I got my teeth into it, I couldn’t stop writing code and making it better.

A programmer by nature is a good thing to be these days, and that definitely made the randomizer into a piece of art already. I have seen many runs of this game and played a few randomizes as well. I can agree this is a great game for this. Yet while making the Randomizer, I am sure you have run into many hardships. Like changing the item location would require a lot of work. What was the hardest thing you have encountered so far in making this? 

We have a great team of guys around the project, really brilliant guys. A lot of the time, if something seems impossible, just talking it out with them or asking help has gone a long way. From a randomizer perspective, one of the hardest things has been working out a fill algorithm that is both fast and achieves the most varied results possible, as well as the logic involved in some of the more “interesting” dungeons. Palace of Darkness has had its logic overhauled countless times, including an eight-hour call between me and ChristosOwen, where we tried to figure out every possible way someone could key-lock in the dungeon.

The game itself was almost originally designed to handle moving around items around. Moving 1 item from a chest on one side of the world to another chest is surprisingly easy, but when you modify some of the more interesting item locations, that becomes harder. Bombos Tablet is an example of this. Karkat had to rewrite large portions of the item draw code to enable randomization of the standing items locations like that.

So the normal items itself were easy to move around. Were all item locations found already by the time you started, or did you have to dig deep into the code to find them all?

A fair amount of them were found or created. Most of the recent deep digging into the code has been for all the extras and added modes we have been working on currently and recently.

One of your recently added modes is Key-sanity. Was it easy to implement that, besides changing what the maps and compass do in the game? I can imagine it harder to make sure the keys and dungeon items stayed in their own dungeon.

For Key-sanity we had to create 58 brand new items to the game. The keys, maps, and compasses were tied to their dungeon. The game only had generic versions of these and based the item you got on where you got it. We also had to completely reimagine our randomizer to understand what it meant to find keys outside their own dungeon.

So it required a lot more work after all. Did this reimagining give you any new insights? Any possibility for new game modes or variations?

Very Much so, we have 2 larger variations we are working on right now. It also made the logic a little easier to maintain, although it is a little more complex.

Anything you can reveal about the two larger variations, or is it all a secret for now?

One involves a more Zelda1-esque key situation, currently named Key-Sanity-b. The other one will be a fun surprise.

Sounds interesting, and a possible new article as well when the surprise has been released. But to the other point, today in the daily race, I noticed that Christmas has arrived to Hyrule. While many online games nowadays do something for this season, what inspired you into doing this?

The whole team has thrown around ideas of special randomizers at different times: April Fools, St. Patricks Day, Valentines Day. It struck me this season to really just push for it. It certainly helped that many of the hackers of AlttP could help out with their specific areas of expertise. Plus, it is always fun to spice up the game, it is what we do.

The ice mechanics in the overworld is annoying, but the fact that you don’t need flippers to access several areas also changed the locations you can visit earlier. Did you account for this while making it?

Annoying? Festive! We had a discussion about having the logic account for iced-over lakes and rivers but decided the time would be spent better making all the features we did. I believe in the future we will adjust the logic when we make adjustments like this. The sequence breaks for not having flippers is mostly harmless.

It was an early decision to keep the Ice Physics only on the overworld. Dungeons would have been way too hard, and there would be countless bugs to solve.

And we are all glad that it stayed in the overworld, well maybe except Moldorm. With this festive edition, there is a poem on the site and at the ending as well. As a poet myself, I am wondering who thought up the poem.

That is our very own walking_eye, one of the newest members to the team. I asked for a short description of the mode without giving him too many details, and that poem arrived. It was like getting a gift myself, so amazing.

I can say he has talent. How long will people be able to enjoy the festive randomizer?

Currently, we are planning to keep it available until the new year.

That will give our readers a chance to try it out on the release of the interview. One subject that we did not touch yet, however, are the custom sprites. From what I know of trying to change sprites of SNES games, this is a hell. How did you overcome this?

Surprisingly, Link’s graphics are all in a single location and not compressed. With a few graphic editing tools out there it is actually relatively easy to swap them out for a different set. We also have a large active group of sprite developers that have been pumping them out like candy.

That is a surprise for a SNES game. And the large group is certainly helpful for that as well. What is your favorite sprite so for in this and why?

I really do like them all, laughably original Link is my favorite. It holds so much childhood nostalgia. I will say to try the updated Santa Link, he got a little spruce up for the season.

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Some of the sprites people can select for the randomizer.

Original Link because of the nostalgia is a good reason. Personally, I prefer to take the Touhou characters. While I will be waiting for more of them to appear, I heard that V28 of the randomizer will appear very soon. What can we expect in that one?

It certainly is getting closer, V28 is adding a feature on the site of a “Daily Game” where is pregenerates 1 game each day of different settings. This way people can play the same game at different times, or try new modes they hadn’t thought of before. We are also updating the link Entrance Randomizer to have some of the new features that Amazing Ampharos has been putting in, like Key-Sanity Entrance Randomizer. There will also be a slew of fixes for the Customizer we put in V27.

That would be very interesting to see. Do you have any tips for new runners of this randomizer? Anything they should begin with?

First I would suggest joining the discord, there are so many great people in the community that are very happy to help out. Then I would certainly suggest playing through the original game, getting a feel for the mechanics is very helpful. This also helps with the general knowledge of Vanilla locations. Then I would suggest watching a few people stream the game, they will give great tips on routing and how to get through certain sticky situations. Don’t get discouraged by your early runs taking over 2 hours, my first rando took me 5 hours. People who sub 1:30 randomizer regularly have played it a lot. And most of all, just have fun playing it.

My first 4 runs ended in unfinished runs, the 4th one sadly due to a crash of my console at Ganon. Crossproduct’s tracker did help me a lot in learning the different item locations and what is required for those. Would you recommend his tracker as well for beginners or do you have a different one in mind?

I would absolutely recommend Crossproduct’s tracker, that guy is both amazing and brilliant. The world map tracker is super valuable to new runners, just knowing where you can go is probably one of the most important things in item randomizer. He is also my roommate for AGDQ (Awesome Games Done Quick) this year.

That is great. We do plan to cover AGDQ as well, even if none of our team can be there. I did not check the schedule of it yet, but will there be a randomizer at it as well?

You’re in for a treat. Saturday night ChristosOwen and Andy will be doing a race.

Living in Europe, I guess I will miss the best stuff once again. Anyway, we are nearing the end of this interview. Do you have any last words to our readers?

Thank you all for your time, I hope you guys get a chance to try the randomizer and enjoy it as much as I do.


For more information about the randomizer, check our previous article where we cover the basics of it here.

Speedrun: McDonald’s Treasure Land Adventure

McDonald’s Treasure Land Adventure is a platformer for the Sega Genesis made by Treasure. It was released in 1993 and contains 4 stages. These stages are known as the Magical Forest, the Magical Town, the Magical Sea and the Magical Moon.

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In this game, your health is represented by gems. These gems are used to pay to get past certain parts or to be able to damage bosses. But the gems are not the only things that are related to health. Throughout the levels, you can find flowers. The Gold flowers represent half HP and the white flowers 1/3rd HP. If you get 2 gold flowers, your gems recover, unless you are at full health. Same with 3 white flowers. And to make sure you don’t lose your life if you accidentally jump into a death pit, you can get balloons as well. To increase your magic attack, you can collect magic upgrades. Level 3 is the max level you can have. If you lose a life, you lose all you have collected and end up with the initial values for everything, except balloons if you have more than 1.

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As for the plot of this game, it is not even related to food. There is also a rumor that it was intended to be a completely different game, and McDonald’s elements were shoehorned in at the last-minute. Considering the number of bugs, this is debatable. The plot basically goes like this: One Day, Ronald McDonald was walking in the magical forest, where he found a piece of a treasure map. He then goes on the hunt to find all pieces of the map, which will lead to the treasure.

This game can be considered a speedrunners worst hell. A large percentage of the game are autoscrollers or things you can’t control. A lot of getting a good time comes down to just nailing a precise input moment on the stuff you can control. A runner of this game known as WhoaConstrictor calls this game a “Negative Space” run for this reason.

This game has a considering lack of bugs to abuse. There is only one glitch that can be used in this game. It is known under the runners as Balloon boost. Basically, when Ronald falls into a death pit, he uses a balloon powerup. This powerup lets you float freely in the air for 255 frames. While Ronald is in balloon state, the game stops checking what platform he is on, since it assumes he is floating around. If you touch down on a moving platform during the state, the game engine assumes he is in the air, and on the platform as well. This increases his speed. This trick was found in November 2017, so it is a relatively new trick.

Balloons are abused a lot in the moon level. There is a section where there are long gaps of bottomless pits, and balloons decrease the time you need for that section. There is no need to worry about your balloon count since during the game you should pick up enough naturally.

Health management in this game is not as easy as in other platformers of that time. You need to keep in mind that you have to make payments or have enough for boss fights. The flowers are what makes the health management harder. If you are not at full gems, and you collect enough flowers, you get a gem. At times, you do want to avoid that, as you know there is a gem a bit further ahead you can grab. Beginner mode is mostly run because health management is easier than in Normal and expert. This also makes Beginner mode a lot shorter.

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While you can collect gold in the game, in a speedrun you won’t be using it. There is only one time where you enter a shop, and that is in the train stage. When you enter and then immediately leave the shop, the default screen position is ahead of where it would normally be if you waited. This saves one second of the run. The community of the game says that WhoaConstrictor hated that stage so much, that he found the 1-second skip.

The current World Record holder at the time of writing is Boon, who got a time of 20 minutes and 10 seconds. He achieved this time at 10 November 2017.

And this was the game that was chosen by the Speedrun Weekly community to be raced for the 7th race of the first season. With some runners joining the SRW discord and share all information required, the races were able to learn the game and set good times in the first race.

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After a week of practice, three runners entered the first race. After a lot of mistakes, problems on the restream with the racers starting early and other issues, the one who claimed the first spot with a good time of 20 minutes and 34 seconds was WhoaConstrictor. Second place was Knight with a time of 24 minutes and 56 seconds. Third and last was Legs with a time of 26 minutes and 32 seconds. WhoaConstrictor felt he cheated considering he already knew the game, but that is how SRW works. Knight messed the first stage up

The second race had 5 participants. The WR holder Boon entered the race as well and ended up first with an official SRL time of 20 minutes and 27 seconds. YumeTsubasaCH managed to get a new PB during the race and finished seconds with a time of 25 minutes and 36 seconds. Legs had entered this race as well and again finished third place. His time was worse this time around with 27 minutes and 59 seconds. The only one who went in blind in this Speedrun Weekly race was DarQ_Massacres. It took him 1 hour, 2 minutes and 8 seconds to complete the game. WhoaConstrictor entered this race as well but ended up with a forfeit.

When we take these two races together, only the best time counts for the winner standings of this week. With that, the clear winner of this weeks SRW is Boon, followed by WhoaConstrictor on the second place and Knight in the third place.

Standings
1. 0:20:27 Boon
2. 0:20:34 WhoaConstrictor
3. 0:24:55 Knight
4. 0:25:36 YumeTsunasaCH
5. 0:26:32 Legs
6: 1:02:08 DarQ_Massacres