Dienstag, 23. Mai 2017

"I'm too lazy to learn new categories" adventures

People who read this blog (why you would even check a blog that never gets updated is beyond me though) will know that I have been playing Imperishable Night extra for a long time and it has been my main project since Autumn 2014. I have occasionally played other things in the meantime (like IN normal or Phantasm) but did not manage to get good or consistent at any other categories. My fixation on this extra stage has a few reasons:

1. In the days and weeks after I got my current high score, new strategies emerged and quite a lot of smaller improvements. Some found by other players (mostly t1100), some found by myself and others were suggested to me as possibly being possible so I tested and found those guesses to be accurate. Some of these strategies were slight tweaks in what was done before, others were complete overhauls compared to the previous ones and then some were simply new things no one had done before. In light of all those discoveries, it is very easy to see that my run is simply lacking in a lot more departments than previously thought. As a result, I feel the need to improve my score.

2. Learning a new category is a tremendous effort. Learning a new category to the point where I would satisfied with my results is even more difficult. There have been attempts as previously mentioned which failed and there are categories on my mind which I would like to attempt to learn but I don't know if my interest in Touhou as a whole is strong enough for me to actually invest the time necessary to sufficiently learn a new game, especially knowing that the category I am thinking of is very difficult already. Aside from interest, I am also going to start working, which naturally reduces the time I have to even play in general. 

3. I am not a grind heavy person in general. It is a bit of a miracle I have stuck with any category for as long as I have with this one, to be quite honest. I recognize that a lot of practice and many resets are necessary for good results, which is why I don't whine about this issue like other people do. This however does not mean that I like doing it and my play times reflect that. They are very low compared to other good players. Honestly speaking, the most fun time I have with Touhou is when I practice something completely new until I have learned it. The time I spent learning the new route for Imperishable Shooting, Yukari's final spell or Yu-suke's strategy for Reflowering were among the most fun times I had in Touhou. At the same time, once I learned how to do a pattern, it becomes a grind for consistency and I don't particularly like those but they are as important as learning the trick in the first place. This point is important because even if I had all the time in the world, it is questionable whether I have the dedication necessary to learn everything in a new category. My laziness is also the main reason why I am uncertain that I will actually ever beat my high score in IN extra.

That's it for the game related parts. This entry will now go into community meta so it's probably best to just skip this part because no one cares about it.

Let me preface this by saying that I do not hate all of you. There are individuals I dislike, some strongly. My biggest problem, however, lies with what individuals act like within a community. To put it simply, many Touhou communities have a strong emphasis on being fake. Whether it's heaping fake praise on someone or being artificially nice as to make sure not offend someone. You can't be honest anymore without there being some sort of backlash by people who firmly planted some feel-good philosophy into everywhere they go. Though the communities are very split and there is much segregation between certain groups, this kind of behavior I have noticed happens independently across many of them. This disgusts me on a personal level because I believe honesty is important. Of course, there is a difference between being honest and being rude. I've been called honest many times but it's more a mix of frustration at this fake behavior and honesty that make me sound as it does. It's led me to contemplate just leaving them behind as a whole because I believe that even those largely unaffected by these fake niceties will eventually have the same issue. 
Naturally, as one who knows me would expect, that is not all. Many other things also annoy me. People argue about inane nonsense all the time. They complain about the smallest thing, e.g "oh no I lost a run to pattern x after all this hard work of 4 credits". They make weird excuses for when they're not good at something or failed something in a run. They cry when they don't get as much attention as they want for their runs. Weird stances on how they view the game. In the end, it is a bunch of children seeking validation and attention from those they feel are their elders in the communities. So much so, in fact, that the more I thought about everything, the less I cared about being part of these communities.
I want to take the chance and prevent any fingers pointing at me. I know I am not excluded for all of these things. I have been in pointless arguments before and there were times where I was facetious to keep the peace and did not say the truth. I apologize for those times. It will not happen from now on.

Of course these faults don't apply to everyone. There are people I enjoy talking to and I think there're respectable individuals even among new(er) players. However, it's not worth it to me staying in environments so full of shit on so many levels just for those select few, especially since I can just talk to them privately anyway. Thanks for reading.

Samstag, 18. Februar 2017

DRC adventures

This entry will get updated daily for the following two weeks, sort of like a badly written diary, starting today. Contents are going to be about the seventh round of the Dodging Rain Competition. Each individual day won't be very long but as there are two weeks worth of content, I hope that in the end the entry size will be acceptable. The contents may also be very dry in nature but I hope you will be able to understand that this is merely a sort of outlet for me. I thank you for your patience.

Day 1:

Dear diary,

I started with some spell practice, because if I don't practice everything first I'll die to each spell at least once before I capture it. Makes no sense but that's how it works, somehow. I was really shit at Keine's third spell today but everything else was bearable. Bearable in the same way as you might be able to bear having your hand in the door when someone else tries to slam it shut with all their might. That kind of bearable, you know. In short: The results weren't encouraging.

But it was all irrelevant anyway. When I started credits, I didn't get to do any spells anyway. Endlessly resetting due to either shit cancels or death was something I knew would happen so I wasn't bothered by it. Very occasionally I'd make it to Keine albeit getting past her was impossible for me on this day. How did this really bad meme go again? C A V E D

Result of today's battle:

Day 2:

Dear diary,

today I had a run which entered keine with 14.4k time and 207m score. I've had that much time before but not very often. The score was an all time best, I believe. One might think that this is a reason to be happy. I got an all time best! How amazing is that? Well, play on Keine on that particular run might have suggested that I was trying to die (which I obviously also did). I think due to not having played much in recent times, my ability to work under pressure are near an all time low. Surely I haven't been this bad all this time I was playing this stage. Then I remember I have had failures worse than anything that happened today and I can only concede that, yes, I have always been inconsistent poop at every pattern this extra stage has to offer. My goal for tomorrow is not to get a good run or anything. My goal for tomorrow is to make it past Keine. Just make it past the mid boss. But I wonder if that's not asking for too much.

Result of today's battle:

Day 3:

Dear diary,

allow me to preface today by saying that, yes indeed, I got past the mid boss. Twice, in fact. So on that front, I was satisfied. I had reached my goal I set for myself. What went beyond my wildest imagination, however, was that I even got to Mokou and furthermore got to Honest Man's Death without failing anything (albeit not with optimal strategies). Funnily enough, the only spells I failed where the ones I practiced before doing runs. Actually that's not quite true. I'll touch on that in just a minute. First I want to say some general things about the run I actually ended up finishing:

It was a very bad run by my standards. Bad grazing, cancels and items meant that I was actually slightly worse than my PB entering Mokou. That is ridiculously bad as I should have at least 1000 more time and 10 million more score. Therefore, to me, the run was shit to put it simply. Of course, being just slightly behind my run entering Mokou meant it was actually still potentially a new personal best but it would not be satisfactory run no matter how it ended. On top of that I did have the competition in mind and as a result decided not to do everything as I would in a serious attempt. This meant no spins on the second non spell and it also meant not going crazy on the grazing and other milks. I won't go into some hypothetical numbers as to what the run could have been because that's pointless, especially given that I wasn't truly serious. 

To give a short summary: I failed Honest Man's Death with less than 10 seconds left as well as Imperishable Shooting somewhere in the middle. Now to elaborate on this whole "only failed spells I practiced". I did capture Fujiyama Volcano but in an unfortunate manner that cost me its items. Those were the three really big mistakes I made. Either way: I have a run that is very likely to win me my match and from here on I can set my normal standards and do everything without having to worry about not being in time. 

Result of today's battle:

Day 4:

Dear diary,

I did not do any runs today. The urgency of putting credits into the category was given due to the competition, which for me is secondary at this point. Instead, I tried to identify parts of the stage with which I had particular troubles. This self reflection boiled down to three different attacks: Mokou's second non spell, Honest Man's Death and the final non spell. There were other, smaller, issue spots which I'll also practice but those are the main three. The time I want to dedicate solely to practice is the remainder of this week. On Monday, I will start doing runs again and hope that the practice will have helped in some shape or form. 

Result of today's battle:

Day 5:

Dear diary,

I did not play today. Good start to my "intense" practice week.

Result of today's battle:

Day 6:

Dear diary,

I played today! It started really well with the final non spell. I got a lot of captures in very little attempts but the longer I played, the worse my rate became. This leads me to assume that I just got lucky, good RNG, both or that I become worse the more I practice. I have yet to decide which it is. I'll see about it. Maybe tomorrow will bring some light on that.

Result of today's battle:

Day 7:

Dear diary,

I just got lucky yesterday. Today I tracked my capture rate through 100 attempts. Ended on 19/100, which is pretty shit. When next week is over and with it DRC, I will extend my practice period, I assume. Having capture rates this low on more than one or two things is not acceptable. I want to raise my chances as much as possible. Fortunately I've been feeling really good about Imperishable Shooting recently. Maybe consistency improvements can still be made for everything. But certainly, I am bad at dodging.

Result of today's battle:

Day 8:

Dear diary,

today's results were slightly better. I did another 100 attempts and finished on 24/100. 30 to 35 out of 100 is the goal. of course, I'll take anything higher than that, too but I do not believe more to be very realistic for me. I think my main issue with the pattern is my sloppy movement, rather than my reading abilities. I'll have to try and work on that. 
Furthermore, I also did 100 attempts of Honest Man's Death. That was pretty straining. Ended on 29/100, which surprised me, if I'm being honest. I expect to finish somewhere around 15/100. This is a pleasant surprise but the spell is very form dependent  so I do not know if I was just in good form today and therefore got "lucky" or if today was truly average form. There is also the matter that I have to change of how I evaluate the pattern. Recent changes in movement have shown that the spell is actually far harder to do than I ever anticipated - not because of dying but because being pixel precise actually gains more graze. Naturally, height is still a big factor and it varies a little bit every attempt. However, I've noticed a difference of several hundred graze due to not being precise with my taps. It's entirely possible that I might get 6500 or even 6600 graze and gain a lot of score over my PB, or I could get only 6200 graze and gain only a little. To give a picture, 100 graze is 3 million score, so missing 300 graze is 9 million, roughly. Since this is IN, some people might think this isn't so bad but for me that's a lot. I want my future run to be as good as possible and this really doesn't help me. I can only practice and see what happens.

Result of today's battle:

Day 9:

Dear diary,

I really don't want to talk about today. Let's just say today's results were extremely discouraging. I'm actually a bit disgusted at myself.

Result of today's battle:

Day 10:

Dear diary,

due to sleep deprivation and yesterday's disaster, I decided not to play today.

Result of today's battle:

Day 11:

Dear diary,

I did not get past the mid boss today. It wasn't a good day of play. I'll try harder tomorrow.

Result of today's battle:

Day 12:

Dear diary,

I did not do any runs today. I did some more practiced. The daily 100 last non ended on 22/100. That's not very good. I've been having problems sleeping so maybe that affects my play somewhat. Depending on how sleep will be tomorrow, I might not play for the third time in these weeks. Most likely I won't be able to submit a new, better run before the deadline.

Result of today's battle:

Day 13:

Dear diary,

Sleep was not good. I did not play today.

Result of today's battle:

Day 14:

Dear diary,

I did not play today either. This was not due to sleep. I was busy all morning until afternoon and did not have the energy nor the motivation left to actually play. This also confirms that I will not play at all during the remainder of DRC which is half a day until tomorrow afternoon for me. 

Result of today's battle:

Day 15 or 14.5:

Dear diary,

as already mentioned in my aforementioned post, I did not play. This is due to my brother celebrating his birthday and I could say no to delicious cake. I was there until very late in the evening. This concludes DRC which my team won anyway. I'll try to play more often than I have in the coming days but I will neither track those nor promise anything. At this point in time I believe it to be fairly unlikely that I'll ever PB again due to low play times. The route is too hard for that but it doesn't really matter. I don't want to pressure myself into playing so much that I end up disliking the category. Only time can tell.

Result of today's battle:

Thank you for reading. Sorry for a boring entry. Then again, the same goes for all the others. 

Donnerstag, 28. Januar 2016

World record adventures

Earlier today my culminated effort for Imperishable Night Extra bore fruit and I broke the overall world record for it by 55 million points. I have played this category more seriously starting October 2014 and played it for much of 2015 until today. To start out with this blog entry, I will go through the replay step by step more or less; I won't go into detail for every grazed bullet and will kind of skip over simple attacks that went as they should but you get the idea. I may refer to ASL's run for comparison in terms of time and maybe graze (but probably not graze). The run is available here.

Ignoring the opening furballs, the stage starts with a frame perfect cancel which I miss as I was 2 frames early. The desired time after it is 750, but I got 658 but anything over 600 is alright to me at this point. Following this is killing the fairy that spawns together with the one I just killed. My method for it is slightly different from everyone else for it: I shoot the fairy directly at the right side of the big fairy that spawns as I go for the kill which cancels bullets from the big fairy. This allows the familiars to spread out more as opposed to killing the fairy by shooting the familiars it spawns. My way is slightly more optimal but only marginally so.

The three large fairies that follow are very simple. I delay killing all of them a bit (for the first and third I misdirecting my option whereas I stop shooting for the second). This allows for bigger cancels on all of them due to more bullets having been spawned. For the fourth and last large fairy, I once again stop shooting after dealing appropriate damage to allow the furballs to shoot their pellets and cancel them for a cancel twice as large as if I had just killed the large fairy on its own. After this section my preferred time count is 6,500 (ASL reaches 6,150), which I reach comfortably.

The following cancel has several parts to it. The first part is position myself properly (horizontally is more important than vertically, but too high or low can cause some time loss) as well as deal some damage to the middle fairy and the right fairy that spawn without killing them. Part two of this cancel is as follows: they shoot their familiars, I move over to the left side of the screen and kill the leftmost fairy. I killed it a few frames (two or three at most) early so the familiars didn't cancel out as many bullets as they should have, which cost some time. The damage dealt to the middle and right fairy wasn't perfect either so I destroyed familiars on both of them before actually killing them. The third part of this cancel simply entails killing the two fairies that spawned later. In total this can be done for 2,300 time in my experience, but this time I got just below 2,000, leaving me with about 8,500 time thus far (8,250 for ASL). Preferred time here would be 8700 but I decided that 8,500 was enough to continue.

The next cancel is very similar to the previous one but tighter with the timing as all five fairies spawn at once. The angle for my option is different this time and the angle to directing the familiars has to be steeper but the procedure in killing the fairies is quite close to what I did before: After they shoot their familiars at me I move over to the left side and kill the two leftmost fairies. Just like before I now have to kill the middle and right most fairy, leaving the fairy second to the right alive. I kill it afterwards. In total, this cancel can give as much as 2,700 if everything was perfect (positioning, damage control, timing and RNG for the bullet density) but in my case I get about 2,300 which brings me up to 10,850 time (ASL has 10,600 here). The time I want to have at this point is 11,200 but again, I wasn't so low that it warranted a reset.

The last cancel before Keine is the hardest in the stage and a complete mess to be honest. This part spawns a total of eight fairies, all of which spawn the first six familiars, whereas only five of them spawn the second set of familiars and this cancel aims to kill six of them with familiars spawned. Unlike the previous cancels, I start at somewhere around the middle on the screen in height and aim my option towards where the rightmost fairy is going to spawn. As soon as they start shooting I tap down to have my option sweep toward the third fairy on the left. I now move over immediately to kill the three rightmost fairies. After they died I move back to the left side of the screen to kill fairy number one, three and five from the left with the second set of familiars spawned. Unfortunately my damage control was bad so the fifth fairy dies as I go back, which it shouldn't. Moreover, my failed damage control also led to some familiars being destroyed where they should not have. If this cancel is done perfectly, as much as 3,500 time is possible but I only got 2,850 in this run, which is pretty bad. However, my total time was over 13,800 which is the minimum I want to have when I enter the midboss (ASL has 13,400). So in that sense, the run had the worst possible stage portion before Keine that I would have accepted. My goal to reach for this is normally 14,000 time because it's a round number but what I really would like to have here is 14,200-14,300 as that was as much as I had in my previous high score.

Previously, Keine's first spell was a speed kill where the only thing worth paying attention to was the cancel but recently I looked into the attack and found a profitable way to graze it. The graze nets me slightly over 1,000 graze and a total of 3,700 time due to the fact that I start the spell at -50% but can quickly go to 30% on the gauge as well as the slightly larger cancel as opposed to 2,200 time (and like 100 graze) compared to what was done before. Comparing the strategies, grazing the spell is this manner is worth over 12 million points but there doesn't seem to be much room for optimization. Small cute detail: I go from 50% to -50% with the time gained by the familiar cancel to collect the items and then switch bad to 50% with the time gained from capturing the spell so I can immediately start grazing the next spell. After this attack I had 17,500 time (ASL has 15,600).

Keine's second spell went rather well in this run. My goal for Ichijo is to get 8,000 time if at all possible (ASL gets 7,400) and in this particular run I managed to get as much as 8,200 which is pretty good even by my absurdly high standards. The highest I have gotten is 8,500 time so this run didn't have bad grazing here at all. Upon finishing the spell I have 25,700 time (ASL has 23,000 roughly).

Neither ASL nor me actually use the best strategy for grazing the third spell. But I have a good excuse: I didn't know about it. It was only after I had gotten this replay that I saw a new replay uploaded by the player t1100 who improved on this spell by an additional 300-400 time compared to me. But be that as it may be, my way is a slightly tweaked approach to ASL which isn't a huge improvement but it translates into 350 more time if done properly. My gain on this spell is 4,200 in this run (ASL gets 3,850). In addition to the time and graze, my spell bonus is 1.3 million points higher, which makes this improvement somewhat sizable overall. I finish the mid boss with 29,900 time (ASL has 26,850 at this point).

Following Keine is a cancel identical to the very first cancel of the stage with the same idea behind it, too. The only difference is that I now have full power - so of course I mess it up. I actually never took note of how much I gain from those two fairies in total but it was 1,100 in this run; so about the same as it is in the beginning of the stage if done badly. And just like in the beginning of the stage, what follow are four big fairies. This time I do not stall for extra bullets to spawn because that would kill me. Each one of them is 1,200 time if no familiars are destroyed and after this section I have 35,600 time (ASL has 32,500). I personally would like to have 36,000 here but that doesn't really add up with my wanted numbers everywhere else so I'm satisfied with anything over 35,500.

Now comes the only part in the stage where every player loses items. How many differs depending on how many fairies escape. Taking ASL run as a basis (who enters Mokou with 668 items), I let three fairies escape. The highest item count realistically should be 671 or 672 but only if you really get everything realistically possible which doesn't happen very much if you're me. This PoC section is pretty annoying because of that because I sometimes had great run dampened by a really low item count. My average is 666 items entering Mokou. I'm a mischievous child.

The cancel before the final big fairy is identical to the cancel where five fairies spawn at once, except they have less health now for some reason, which makes this cancel easier than the other one if you have found a working approach. It goes well in this run too; the large fairy before Mokou also always gives the same amount of time. I enter Mokou with the following:

Score: 776,264,850
Graze: 8,575
Items: 665
Time: 40,541

Score: 766,936,560
Graze: 8,780
Items: 668
Time: 37,904)

The reason why I have less graze is because before the cancel before Keine there are some furballs which shoots tons of pellets like in the opening and ASL grazes those unlike me, who instead sets up for the cancel.

Overall this run is very average if I put together everything individually. The cancels in the first half of the stage weren't very good but I made up for it with a good Keine fight and the second half wasn't particularly bad or good. As far as time entering Mokou goes, I could get as high as 42,000; maybe more. But that's also only if everything is really good. I didn't have any gripes with the run and had no qualms continuing like I would have on a bad run. So I did.

The first non spell was good. I got 4,000 graze; 3,800 time because I have to start it at -50%, which is as much as ASL also gets. Depending on Mokou's vertical movement, it's possible to lose a bit of graze but it fortunately wasn't the case here. Iwakasa went by without a hitch.
For the second non spell, I actually included spinning around Mokou into my route and have to start the attack above her but I was somewhat absentminded and forgot to position myself. This lose me a fair bit of graze worth up to 1.5 million points, albeit slightly alleviated by the fact that in return I got to shoot Mokou with her armor for some extra time instead. It doesn't quite make up for it but makes the loss less painful. I still milk the attack for the whole duration for graze. Flying Phoenix, much like Iwakasa, went by without trouble or problems.
Much like the second non spell, I milk the third non spell just for graze. Unlike the second non spell, I did not forget to position myself for this because there are no spins for this attack. And again, the spell following this non spell, in this case Flaw of Forgiving Shrine, was all okay. Following these three non spell and spell cards, my time is at 51,259 and my graze at 14,559 (ASL is at 48,720 and 13,503). As far as time gain is concerned, there isn't any big difference between us, considering the fight so far has been quite uneventful for this point.

The fourth non spell sort of heralds the start of the great milks for time. Of course, neither the fourth nor the fifth non spell give all that much graze but the spells in between do. For me, xu-fu is the hardest spell to match ASL on. It has quite difficult optimization and it took me a long time to be able to actually match him. I did well this run as far as grazing is concerned but my mind blanked out somewhere in the middle. This is problematic because at one point I just "woke up" and heard the counter and just finished the spell in a hurry, which was one swing too early. This missing swing lost me about 100 graze. I do believe the cancel was worse than it would have normally been but I'm not convinced about that part. In the end, my time gain on Xu-fu was 13,000 (as opposed to ASL's 13,600). My personal goal for Xu-fu is always to at least match ASL. This was not good and one of the more annoying mistakes to me because it was a brain fart and nothing more.

The fifth non spell is just a slightly harder version of the fourth so I'll leave it at that. Honest Man's Death is my biggest improvement in this run and is also the biggest improvement I had in theory. The reason is very simple and obvious: I'm much higher on the screen than ASL and graze a lot more bullets. My practice result indicate that as much as 20,000 time is possible on the spell (ASL gets 16,200). Of course as this is a run I don't go balls deep and settled for a reasonable height. Obviously as everyone knows this is the most difficult spell in the stage so whether something is actually a "run" to me depends on whether or not I capture this. Much potential has been lost for me at this spell but this time it went well. I finished this spell with an extra 18,900 time (and anything over 18,700 is fine to me). After Xu-fu and Honest Man's Death I have 84,679 time, 25,339 graze and my score is at 1.547 billion (ASL is at 79,869 time, 23,583 graze and 1.513 billion score). Already my score advantage is very large.

Starting with the sixth non spell, I don't milk then anymore for graze but just finish them as quickly as possible. As I always make known: I can't dodge so this part of the run is very scary for me. Until after Fujiyama Volcano, every attack has dodging of some kind and it's freaking me out every time I get this far. I was fortunate that the RNG didn't force me to do anything wacky on this non spell.
I was pleasantly surprised by this Woo, to be honest. It rarely goes so cleanly. I don't know if this is RNG or me becoming better at the spell but I have died to the parts I refer to as RNG in it less often than I used to which is nice.

Seventh non spell was very nice to me just like the sixth, which I was very happy at. Phoenix Tail on the other hand wasn't. When I started the spell I contemplated whether I should just shoot Mokou's wings by angling my option and all. This is actually surprisingly profitable and nets up to 500 more time but makes the spell last notably longer so I didn't do it. But the RNG in this spell forced me to dodge a lot in quick succession which ended up forcing me above -30%. This was actually a quite large loss as I lost around 3 million from the low spell bonus alone. I don't know how much time it was that I lose but it was rather substantial I assume. Even after watching the replay I don't really see how it could have been avoided other than looking into the future and knowing I would be forced to dodge that way. The only alternative I can think of would be to just dash to the side unfocused but there is a high chance I would have hit something on the way. An unfortunate incident.

Following Phoenix Tail is the hardest part as far as dodging is concerned and I'm always scared on the last non spell that I just die to something I didn't expect to die to. Fortunately the RNG was forgiving in this run so I was able to capture it. Incidentally, this is my first capture on the attack in a run so that's a quite funny coincidence.
Fujiyama Volcano has two viable ways to cancel it. I've talked about this before. My cancel is a big improvement for something so short, and if done on one of the two best frames it may be a 5 million improvement with my graze. There is a risk though: If you cancel too early you lose your items (45 items at a bit over 1.5m value each). If you're a bit late then it doesn't matter much. The score increase is just going to be a little smaller when compared to the optimal cancel. Now, I don't care about the risk but I need Mokou to cooperate a little bit with her movement in order to deal enough damage so I can comfortably choose the cancel timing. She unfortunately didn't do it this time which left me with no choice but to go for the scrubby cancel everyone else uses. Unfortunate. After I captured Fujiyama Volcano, my time was at 96,431, my graze at 26,289 and I had a score of 1.951 billion (ASL was at 91,903, 24,697 and 1.916 billion). My score advantage increased a bit more but I lost a lot of points due to the mishaps in Phoenix Tail and Fujiyama Volcano.

At this point in the run, I was rather nervous. I had visions of failing the streaming in Possessed by Phoenix but then I remembered the spell is free. It was an okay capture too.
Hourai Doll is the spell that has killed most potential new high scores and I was understandably worried it might happen again. That actually led to me avoiding graze in the beginning. But as I saw the bullets fly past me, I remembered the horrible grazing on my previous high score and recollected myself a little. The grazing still wasn't good in the end but let's use the word acceptable here. Some euphemisms are necessary. my desired amount of graze for Hourai Doll is 3,000 but I ended up with 2,850 this time (ASL does get almost 3,000. He's at 2,980 or something).

Imperishable Shooting is the final spell and at this point I knew I was going to get a new high score but to have a chance at a satisfying score I needed to capture it with not horrible grazing. I think I managed that well. I finished the spell with a spell bonus of over 38 million. 38 isn't good for me if it's in spell practice. I usually aim for over 40+ then. But I was a nervous wreck and couldn't really go for it somehow. Bullets scared me. However, this wasn't spell practice and there was actually something to lose this time if I failed the spell so I think 38 is adequate. The final numbers of my run are as you can see in the screenshot. An overall 55 million improvement over what was a very long standing world record.

That's the run in a more of less detailed manner. I have difficulties saying how I felt when I got it. Predominantly, I was quite happy. This is my best score by far and saying I'm not proud of it to some extent would definitely be a lie but the same goes for the mistakes I made. I can't say they don't annoy me at least to some degree. But still, I think this is the kind of score one could be satisfied with in the long run and just leave the category behind. I have spent many fun hours in this stage, learning new things and improving upon them. Understanding the nuances of certain cancels better than before and improving upon the grazing. Those were very fun aspects. Also trying out new grazes was fun. I didn't find very many new things on my own (The only thing I found by myself are Keine's first spell graze and the wacky Fujiyama cancel), which is somewhat unfortunate but I'm not very creative I suppose. Overall I believe scoring this stage as seriously as I did has helped me improve as a player on some levels (precision and understanding mainly) but I can't really be sure about that until I've tried other things. And that's what I plan to do now. My next main project is going to be Phantasm with ReimuB. Along with it, I will continue to play EoSD lunatic as a secondary project. I do not know how far I want to push either but I hope I can enjoy them enough to get somewhere kind of relevant. However, this does not mean this category is dead to me. I will come back to this more likely than not and then try to improve this score further. More people should play this stage for score in my opinion. The step to a really high level score is steep but starting it is quite pleasant in my opinion (compared to like SA, let's say). Looking at how new things are still being found (by other people mostly), I think 3.18+b would be nice as a final score.

So please wait warmly. Girls are preparing.

Sonntag, 27. Dezember 2015

Adventures of the past, adventures of the present and adventures of the future

2015 is almost over and I haven't made an entry for nine months now. So let's write an entry about what happened this year, what happens now and what I want to happen next year:

First of all, 2015 was mostly uneventful as far as my Touhou career goes. Playing Imperishable Night extra carried over into the year and it wasn't until March that I got a score of 3 billion. My last blog entry is about that particular run. Afterwards I tried to relearn Imperishable Night normal but ended up dropping it quickly due to my desire to play extra more, after all. But just as I had made the decision to play extra again, my computer broke and I ended up not playing at all during the summer (somewhere from late June to the beginning of October). Ever since I started again, I played extra and improved my everything on it.

That brings us to the present: I am playing the extra stage as we speak trying to reach 3.1 billion. Of course, this strongly implies beating ASL but that is not the goal itself. My plan is to get a NMNB full milk with decent numbers across the board. That sort of thing should translate into a score of a high 3.12 billion and above. But here is where I say that I am not sure I can grind out the NMNB part. I'm pretty horrible at dodging and the last non spell is very close to the end of the run with me having done some difficult things at that point. The room for error increased a lot because I included milks I didn't do before (adding three minutes of dodging to a run that used to be 18 minutes long) so random deaths happen more often than they used to. There is also the fact that my capture rates on some of the spells are somewhat mediocre so getting them all right in the same run is going to require tons of resets or a lucky run. With all that in mind I can safely say that I assume that this is going to take longer than it did for me to initially reach 3 billion (going from 2.9 to 3 took me half a year).

Let's move on to the future. I already have some categories in mind that I want to play after I'm done with Imperishable Night extra. In fact, I have two categories I want to try and play after. The first one is Perfect Cherry Blossom phantasm with ReimuB. It looks pretty fun and it doesn't seem like it has a difficulty spike as large as Imperishable Night extra or Perfect Cherry Blossom extra have (Honest Man's Death/Imperishable Shooting for the former and Blue Oni Red Oni/Shikigami "Chen" for the latter are just completely retarded in terms of difficulty compared to the remaining stage if you want to do them well). Seeing how I have never looked into the category before, I don't know how far I want to take it. Certainly it's going to be quite difficult seeing how it's Perfect Cherry Blossom.

The other category I want to try out is Great Fairy Wars extra. This is something I have been wanting to do for a while but I've always just gone back to Imperishable Night extra instead of learning something new. Out of the three categories listed on this entry, this is most likely going to be the toughest for me. To begin with, I am not familiar with the typo of milking you do in that game. There is no graze milking and that's what I'm used to so this new type of milking (which is just as active, if not more) will likely be difficult to get used to. Not least because I actually have to dodge for it. Most extras don't have a lot of difficult dodging. Outside of Great Fairy Wars, the most difficult dodging is probably either Flandre's Q.E.D or Mokou last non spell. Neither are attacks you milk in any way whereas against Marisa you have to dodge difficult patterns for a long time. Moreover, there is a lot of RNG in involved with the freezing mechanic which isn't something very common for graze patterns. Again: I am not familiar at all with this category so just like with phantasm, I am not sure how high I want my score to be.

Most likely I will play Perfect Cherry Blossom before Great Fairy Wars. This isn't set is stone just yet as there is likely going to be a lot of time before I can start something new but my preferences seem to make me want to play Perfect Cherry Blossom first. But for now, it's all about Imperishable Night extra.

Donnerstag, 5. März 2015

Imperishable Night Extra 3 billion adventures

A few days ago, I broke the 3 billion barrier for Imperishable Night Extra. Overall, I believe this run to be quite average for me. Neither the stage portion nor the boss fight were exceptionally good or bad. But let us start in the beginning:

The first half of the stage portion was okay, leaving me to enter Keine with about 12,900 time orbs (and, less importantly, 4700 graze). I could have entered the midboss with about 13,500 time, but I greatly messed up the last cancel, gaining only 2200 time, instead of 2700+.
Keine's first spell card is trivial to capture, but I slightly mess up the cancel, gaining 2100 time from the spell instead of the the optimal 2200. It is, however, a calculated loss because I haven't put any thought into how it exactly works. My grazing on Ichijo was quite solid and I managed to get 7600 time from it, which is 200 more than what ASL gets (The comparisons to ASL will only be used as a point of reference for you, the readers, as it was not my intention to try and beat the current world record with this run). The last spell card did not go well, but similarly to the first, I can't put my finger on what it is. I should have gained 3800 time, but only got about 3500.
The stage portion after Keine was not as good as I would have liked it to be, mainly because I greatly messed up the cancel before the last deathfairy. I enter Mokou with 8876 graze, 666 point items and 36654 time (ASL enters with 8780 graze, 668 items and 37904 time).
The first non spell was quite alright. Mokou's movement wasn't terrible, even though she moved left when she should have moved right near the end. It is realistic to get 4000 time on this attack, albeit neither I (3600) nor ASL (3800) reached that much in our runs. Iwakasa is a very easy spell with Youmu so capturing it isn't an issue; it is harder to keep the gauge below -30% to maximum time gain. Often have I risen above the threshold and lost some score that way, but it went well this run, and so did the second non spell. It is possible to milk the second non spell for graze by staying below -30% and timing the attack out, but it is something I chose not to do because it increases the room for error and lengthens the run for a small increase, and the same goes for the non spell after. They are simple attacks, but I did not want to start optimizing here when there were far bigger things I could have done.
Flying Phoenix is another spell card that is a very easy capture, but what is important is to pay attention to the cancel. You will want to finish the spell after Mokou shot the six phoenixes in quick succession. The window isn't super tight, but because I take one cycle less than ASL (2 cycles vs 3 cycles), it is easy for me to be too slow with the damage and get a bad cancel. I got a good cancel in this run, however. Maybe a bit early, but I got a lot of gold on my screen when I finished the attack. That means it had to be good, right?
Flaw of forgiving Shrine is an attack I do not need to say much about. Very straightforward, very easy. Don't fail it. The only thing to pay attention to is the same as it is during Iwakasa, except it's easy to stay below -30%.
The fourth non spell is something I milk due to sheer bullet density and the fact that I have to be at 30% for Xu-fu anyway. But it is also not very difficult and dying to it is quite rare. Overall, it's about 500 time I gain through milking this. Xu-fu itself was alright. During practice, I always try to graze as much as I can, and naturally that makes it quite a bit more difficult. During runs, however, I tend to take it a bit more safely. My gain on Xu-fu this time was 12,500 time which is what I usually get in runs. ASL has much better grazing on this spell in his run (13,600), though and if I do plan to beat him, I will have to leave out the safe movements.
The fifth non spell is the same as the fourth, except it's harder so I don't do it, which actually means it's not the same at all. ASL does milk it for about the same amount of time as the non spell before it, and I used to time it out too, but I have died too many times to it for me to deem it worth it risking the run for. Now, Honest Man's Death is what many people believe to be the most difficult attack, and the make and break of a run for this stage. And they would not be wrong if they say it's the hardest attack. It most certainly is. But it absolutely is not the make or break part. Doing Honest Man's Death successfully means you're halfway through the fight and there is still half an extra boss worth of fight to make mistakes on. But more on that later in this entry. My Honest Man's Death was quite good (17,500), especially if you compare to ASL's (16,200). It is the one attack where I gain more time than him every time I capture it, simply to me being used to be higher up on the screen than he is. it is nothing to be super excited about, and by no means a surefire way to beat his run when the time comes, but it is a nice improvement over the current world record.
Following Honest Man's Death is one of the three difficult non spells. Especially in more recent runs have I died to any of them quite often. I was fortunate enough to escape the first one of those three non spells without any loss of resources, albeit I did rise above -30% near the end because I had to focus to dodge. Woo is ass. Probably my most disliked attack in this stage. There isn't much RNG in Imperishable Night Extra, but Woo is an attack with RNG in it and it can completely shit you over. It fortunately did not do so this run. One other thing to pay attention to is when you finish the spell. Optimally, you will want nine familiars on the screen when you deplete the health. It is another improvement over the world record, as ASL did not do so, or even attempt to do so (why, I don't know. It was already known in 2009). But yeah, Woo is ass.
Te second to last non spell had the biggest mistake of the run and, in my personal opinion, makes it look a little silly. I could not dodge the attack and was forced to bomb. I was late with the bomb though, and consequently lost two bomb in form of a death bomb, losing over 20 million points on the spot. A tragedy I have to live with now, but a tragedy nonetheless. Phoenix Tail is another RNG heavy spell, but I can concentrate on just dodging here fortunately. I had some risky dodges too, which I didn't realize until I watched the replay.
The last non spell is something I bomb every time, and the 10 million I lose from the bomb is a calculated loss I was willing to take every time. I am simply not good enough to dodge this attack and did not want to lose hundreds on runs to it. I would normally have been willing to use two bombs on it, but due to the death bomb on the non spell prior to this one I had decided that there would be no second bomb on this one, even if I would die. It did not come that far and I could enter Fujiyama Volcano with my two last bombs intact. Fujiyama Vulcano is a spell card I do not quite understand. It is quite a simple attack, but it hits you far more often than it has any right to. And by that I do not mean anything like chaining the hits, but just randomly touching a bullets seems to happen a lot of this spell. Now, it didn't happen to me in this run and it went smoothly. I even damaged Mokou enough for my cancel to work (and I didn't mistime either causing me to lose all my items). This cancel is the only thing I found myself for the stage, seeing how everything else is copied from other replays. But it is not a huge improvement over ASL's cancel. A mere couple million I get extra, but it is those couple million that helped me break 3.04 this run (more on this later in the entry).
The first survival, Possessed by Phoenix, is the easiest attack after Honest Man's Death in my opinion. The only thing I have to be careful of is not over tapping on the streaming phase, which does not happen very often in the first place. I believe failed a run to it once, but not more than that. A very simple attack indeed.
Hourai Doll on the other hand is quite difficult. Not only is it late into the run, but it also becomes very tight, especially if you want to optimize your grazing. Fortunately, it starts out quite easy, only becoming difficult in the last 30 or so seconds. I'm very prone to failing the spells in runs, though, so I was worried. My movement was very bad. I was avoiding the stream of bullets in other to set up for switching directions a lot, losing a lot of graze (and therefore, time) in the process. I believe to have given up around 1000 time in order to make the spell safer for myself. I captured the spell, and was quite sure that I would get 3 billion with this run, even if I failed Imperishable Shooting.
However, Imperishable Shooting did not go as I would have liked. Why, you may ask, and the answer is very easy: My grazing was atrocious. Normally, I consider a 37 million Imperishable Shooting to be alright, even if it's not very good generally speaking. However, I didn't even reach 36 million. my movement was bad, and I lost a lot of graze. I was simply scared, you could say. I ended up finishing the run with an Imperishable Shooting that reached 35,4 million. The run was finished, albeit with many flaws.

That's the run. I went through it in a more or less detailed manner (except the stage portion. Didn't feel like I wanted to deal with that, even if it might have been more interesting for some of you). Now I want to touch upon my own thoughts more closely. Many of you no doubt follow me on Twitter or visit the same IRC channels as I do, and will know that near the end of my journey, I was fairly burned out on the stage. I pushed myself harder for this than ever before, even though some may say it was a normal effort considering the goal. I don't want to say that I put an inordinate amount of time into the category and I believe the time I spent reaching my score to be quite normal, but I jumped into it too quickly I believe. when I started Imperishable Night extra, I already went into the mindset that I would not quit completely before I have 3 billion. I did take a break after roughly 100 hours, but I knew that I would continue playing.
You know, throwing myself into a category with the route the world record uses is something I have done a lot, and I usually leave out some things that seem annoying or hard, but that wasn't much the case with this stage. Sure, I didn't do Honest Man's Death right from the beginning, but believe me, I tried. Back then, I didn't have the patience the grind out learning the spell, that is all. It is not that I will be quitting this stage for forever. I would like to improve this run further, maybe beat ASL, but it will be a while before I go back.

Another thing I felt while I was playing was that "teh urn" felt elusive. The sort of thing that should not meant to be. Even with my score sitting at 2,99b, I felt like getting 3 billion was somewhat out of my reach (and I don't think I felt that way because of my many resets). It felt like a magical number that only some very very strong players (2 only, in fact!) had reached before. And now comes along a small loli, inexperienced as she was trying to get that magical number. It didn't feel real whenever I said "I want 3b". I don't even know how many people believed I would really get it, but I wasn't one of them, to be honest.
But now, here I am, with a score well over just 3b and...it just feels like any one of my runs. The sort of SA normal or PCB easy kind of run. Sort of like a rushed "do everything, fail it all still beat 90% of other players". Pretty much as soon as I got the number myself, it lost all its magic. It feels like it just became the sort of number anyone could get if given time and effort, not some crazy super player score like before. I don't mean to say it's a bad score or that I am not happy overall. I know that, objectively, it's a solid run, but there are things about it I don't like and that seems to put a damper on the whole run to me, making it go from a good run to something...average? I know my standards are high, abnormally so, but it seems like I may be reaching a new level in that regard.
A thing I told myself (and maybe mentioned it in IRC before) was that I definitely wanted to have a score somewhere in the middle of 3 billion, not a run just barely rising above that mark like AM did and I considered everything above 3,04 in the middle of 3 billion and anything above 3,07 a high 3 billion score. And thus, I wanted at least 3,04, which I got. But knowing it could have been much higher if I could dodge makes me want to rethink what I originally wanted. I'm glad that I did not end up in the 3,03x, of course, but something about me really wanted to be way above my personal threshold. But you can't have them all.

One last thing I want to mention is that a lot of people seem to think 3b is a matter of getting Honest Man's Death and then the rest is free. Or so was the impression I got from people watching me. And even when discussing the topic of Imperishable Night Extra, people tend to mention Honest Man's Death first. But I must say, that's not all you have to do. Sure, it is the hardest attack in a scoring run, and getting past it may indicate a run, but that doesn't mean you will get 3 billion even if you captured and milked all spells from here on onwards! I have watched many runs and there were some that captured all spells and milked every spell and still did not reach 3 billion because they didn't optimize their grazing. I have seen some horrible, horrible grazing on Xu-fu and Hourai Doll in particular. And on Ichijo too, you need to have adequate grazing. To me, all those things are natural to practice and include in my runs, but I feel like people who know the stage through watching replays and watching me don't realize that much. To them, it is natural that, if I captured all spells and didn't die, I would get 3 billion, but why was that so? Because I optimized my grazing to the point where even if I did badly, I would still do better than most replays have. Many players hadn't gotten to that point and thus had horrendously bad Hourai Doll, or Xu-fu or both and lost too much score that way. Of course, there are other, smaller optimizations that can be done after the grazing is adequate (9 familiar Woo cancel or the new Fujiyama cancel), but those are just minor improvements meant for when you level of stage cancels and grazing surpasses 3b.
This may sound "hurr durr, praise me, I'm good at this", but this is not what I'm trying to say at all. I just want you to remember, the next time you discuss scoring for this stage, you should keep in mind that Honest Man's Death, even while the most difficult attack, is not the only thing that can screw you over. As people have seen watching me (and some viewers were there regularly, thank you!), I failed many runs after Honest Man's Death, dying do every attack afterwards at least once. A lot of things are difficult (though not to the point where they become ridiculous), and I just want discussions regarding the stage to be kept in a full view, not just be concentrated on one attack only.

Donnerstag, 13. November 2014

Imperishable Night extra adventures

Originally I had planned to write up a post when I had reached a score of 3 billion for Imperishable Night extra. However, as the plan of simply getting 3 billion have gone out of the window, I will write something up now, mostly about what will happen with the category and such.

What do I mean by saying that the plans for 3b have been thrown out of the window? Well, I don't mean that I'll quit. I couldn't quit if I wanted to knowing that I have some really shitty things in my personal best. What I mean is that I won't be shooting for just 3b, but rather to beat ASL, which means 3.1b. Now, ASL's run has been the world record for over five years - and for a good reason, I might add. It's a very strong run with few actual mistakes. Add to that that only two different people have achieved a score of 3 billion (to my knowledge) and one can maybe see why it's been a world record for so long. "But then," you might wonder. "Why are you trying to beat it? Are you crazy?" In short, yes, I am. The long version of that is that while his run is strong, it's still old. New, better strategies have been found and his grazing isn't unbeatable either. Which is funny because that's a part of why his run is so strong. With the exception of Honest Man's death, I haven't seen someone graze better in a run. It doesn't even matter which attack. He has strong grazing on all of the ones you milk. But as I practiced, and practiced and practiced some more, I noticed that his gains aren't super amazing. And that everyone else just didn't have a good strategy for grazing or just simply weren't good at it. ASL's time-gains on the big spell cards are as followed:

Ichijo: 7,400;
First nonspell: 3800;
Xu-fu: 13,600;
Honest Man's Death: 16,200;
Hourai Doll: 10800;
Imperishable Shooting (not really that big, but I'll list it anyway): 3600

Out of those gains, Xu-fu is most likely the strongest followed by Hourai Doll; and Imperishable Shooting the weakest, followed by Honest Man's Death. And to me, it's understandable why those two in particular were the weakest spells. Gaining time on Honest Man's Death is dependent on how high you are on the screen, but this naturally makes the attack also quite a bit harder, in a different way than it does for Ichijo or Xu-fu. Once you've set yourself on a height, you can't back out and go lower, while on other attacks, you can go a bit slower and less risky if you feel that it's needed at that moment. And Imperishable Shooting should be obvious to anyone who's ever had a good run near the end. He was obviously shaky, and did not want to take unnecessary risks. Even if ASL had done a 40 million Imperishable Shooting capture (which is roughly 4400 time), he would have gotten around 10 million more than he did. Not a very worthwhile risk on a run that would beat the world record by almost 100 million at the time. Some of you reading this may be thinking to themselves now: "Well, by how much can you beat his time-gains, or the score overall?" And sure, I'll touch on that now. Let's start with the specific time-gains; I'll go by my best performance in practice, which obviously means that it's unlikely that I'll match that in a run. Imperishable Shooting in particular is questionable, so I will add a number for each spell which I think is realistic for me to get in any given run.

Ichijo: 8,100 (7,600-7,700 in a run);
First Non-spell: I don't really know, actually. I never saved a replay with a good first non, but I should be able to gain around 3,500, which admittedly is less than ASL, so I have to work on it;
Xu-fu: 14,300 (13,600; I should be able to match ASL, maybe slightly worse, but I'll make it up!)
Honest Man's Death: 18,000 (Anything from 17,000 to 19,000, really. My height is slightly different every time, but virtually never so low that I get below 17,000. 18,900 is the highest I've seen, but should also be doable for me with some luck. Maybe I'm being optimistic here though. Even with a mid 17,000 it's most probably my biggest improvement over the world record still.)
Hourai Doll: ~12,300 (11,500+, Hourai Doll is a bit difficult to tell because at this point in the fight, Mokou has spawned over 1,400 familiars during the course of the fight. If I go by the formula 0 < a <= 4 familiars: 16 * a + 6 * a * a + 2 * b, I should gain something over 2,800 time during the cancel of the attack. "a" being the familars on the screen and "b" being the familiars that have been spawned during the fight overall. I am not sure this is 100% accurate though; maybe I am overestimating the cancel here)
Imperishable Shooting: 4,500 (4,000-4,200. It is not unrealistic for me to get a 40 million Imperishable Shooting, which again, would be 4,400 time. But I think once I am in a run, being shaky and all, that I would not dare go for it. 40m needs solid character control, and some more risky grazing which I am not too sure I could do being undoubtedly shaky at that point in the run, so I'll opt for something less extreme)

And do keep in mind that every bit of time gained over the world record also means more graze, as well as some more score in the end-bonus. Beating ASL by 300 time on everything would add up quite nicely. Another thing to know is that while we're pretty even on most other spells, I have better strategies on at least three of them. Those are Flying Phoenix, Woo and Fujiyama Volcano. The time-gains aren't very big (100, 200 and ~300 respectively in that order), but still worth nothing, especially since I also kill Flying Phoenix and Fujiyama Vulcano faster, thus losing less spell card value. There is a bit more to it for Fujiyama Vulcano, too. My bullet cancel is larger as well by a few millions. To me it seems silly to say this myself, but at this level I plan to play at, a few millions is significant enough to go for it. There are other attacks where I have the potential to gain time or score on ASL, such as Flaw of Forgiving Shrine or Phoenix Tail. With some luck, you can cancel with more familiars, but it's not worth it waiting for it, since you would lose too much spell card value. It's also risky on Phoenix Tail, since it's easily possible to get hit. So I'll leave those up to luck.

Now for the things I am worse at and that I urgently need to improve. I already established my weakness on Mokou's first non-spell, I'm also really bad at the last non-spell. As it stands, I bomb it at least once every time, which is over 10 million points every time I face it. I can not allow that. The other thing I am much, much inferior with is the stage portion. It may seem obvious that if my boss fight is much stronger that my stage has to be worse, but it's just that I am a lot worse than I really should be. Out of the top five runs, my stage portion is the worst by a bit, and by far if we leave out AM's run. It is not only bad generally, but I'm very inconsistent in getting even acceptable cancels. And my stage cancels are also the reason why at first I wrote off the chance of beating ASL and settled for just 3 billion. But people rooting for me set ablaze a new flame and I want to at least try to do my best and not be lazy with the stage portion. First, I have to see what I am doing wrong fundamentally. It's not a matter of execution right now. It's a matter of understanding how to reach the numbers I currently need  and only then does it become a matter of executing it. How consistent I will be at the end of the day, I can't tell. I don't even really know if I'll actually find out how anytime soon.

I talked about what I am better at (Mokou's fight) and what I am worse at (the stage portion, 2 of the non-spells), but assuming I break even on the stage, by how much can I beat ASL? I didn't do the hard math, and doing it would actually take quite some time I am not willing to invest for something as silly as that. I can give an educated guess though, but I'm not sure how accurate it will be. Parts of it might end up being nonsense, I will admit, but here goes: Imperishable Shooting alone has room for improvement by 10 million, and assuming that I got 1000 time more on Honest Man's Death, that is roughly another 5 million. If we say 1000 more time on Hourai Doll as well, that would again add about 5 million. Those three improvements alone would gain roughly 2800 time which would be added in the end-game bonus (which is time x 1000), so again, another 2,8 million. Overall, I believe I can potentially save up to 35 million, if I broke even entering Mokou (and the stage portion can be actually improved by ~1500 extra time, which is about 2 million just from Mokou's items + end-game bonus, albeit this implies an absolutely, astonishingly good stage portion and Keine fight). In a game like Imperishable Night, that isn't a lot, but if I improved it by only half of that, it would me a tremendous success to me, so I'll definitely try my best.

Mittwoch, 27. August 2014

Future adventures

I have written and entry on Perfect Cherry Blossom easy and how I do not wish to spend all that much time on it. But then what? That is what this entry is all about and I personally assume that those future plans will keep me busy for at least a year, likely longer. But what exactly are the categories afterwards? Well:

After I quit PCB easy mode, my plan was to wrap up extra mode. I have been playing Imperishable Night extra on and off quite a bit which my personal best standing at 2.73 billion and it is probably my strongest IN score. My goal for this one is 3 billion. That is a score I believe myself to be capable of, especially once I have practiced some of Mokou's attacks more. My current personal best has every supergraze in it aside from "Honest Man's Death", which I have already learned. Although the long downtime will force me to relearn it, probably. I actually expect this to take several months, to be frank. IN extra is an intuitive category to me, but still quite difficult and to reach my goal, I can't fail any attacks, bar perhaps bombing the last nonspell, not that I want to bomb it, but it's very stressful to dodge it, especially on a good run.
Note that at this point in time I quit PCB easy earlier than I anticipated, and after I finish up extra, I'll see if I want to play PCB again or not. Perhaps I'll improve it, but probably not.

The next category I will play is IN normal. It's a category I have played before and it's a category I never planned to take a break from, but things happened. This will probably take up most of the time, since my goal for it is very very high. In fact, I was thinking that for as long as I still enjoy the category, I might try to best st's run (4,412,460,930). Now, those of you familiar with the run will know that this is crazytalk. However, me even seriously trying is simply a maybe. I only want to pursue the score for as long as I enjoy it and won't push myself any further than that. Right now I can't tell for how long I will be able to retain the enjoyment I had from playing IN normal, but I assume that it will last for quite some time, as it is my favorite category to this day.

After normal mode is yet another Imperishable Night category. My easy mode score is in serious need of an improvement as well. Right now it's at pretty much 3 billion flat, but I would like to raise it by maybe 200 million points. The world record for this category is at 3.3 billion, but I don't think I want to go for that score. Not only is easy mode a bit duller than normal mode, but the run is likely more optimized than the one for normal mode too and 3.2 billion is a respectable score in itself, I think. Easy mode was my first category I have scored more seriously, so once I get back to it, it may be going to be slightly nostalgic. I do look forward to it.

After the Imperishable Night marathon I will try Ten Desires. It is the only Youmu game left that I have not yet tried and the plan is to score my first hard mode. It is another game I have no experience with, and I don't have a concrete goal for this yet (it won't be too high, I don't think). I did get some advice from someone who's played the game before, so maybe it won't be as much of a steep entry as it was with Perfect Cherry Blossom.
Another thing I will want to add in here is that at any moment in time I could start playing Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream again. Never was PoDD scoring planned, but always did it happen. It's nothing I plan to play, but it happens when I feel like it. So amidst all that, I might also be playing some of that.

Those are my plans for now. I've said in the beginning that I will likely be stuck on all of this for a year, but it's probably going to take much much longer to work out all of this. And whether I actually have the patience for all of the goals is uncertain. Personally, I hope I do, alas experience has shown that my patience oftentimes runs thin.