A Few Questions (Strategies, Official Scores, Uploads, ETC)

Anything to do with minesweeper...
Post Reply
Ax2Grind
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:31 pm

A Few Questions (Strategies, Official Scores, Uploads, ETC)

Post by Ax2Grind » Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:49 am

When I started playing Minesweeper long ago (95 or so), I developed the fringe technique, clicking the edges of the screen to begin a board. Recently, I tried several others (click one of the four center squares and, if it didn't break open, press F2 to restart repeatedly) and was moderately successful, but then returned to the fringe method at the center top to hone it. I deduced that the corner would aid me in giving every board a chance to open due to how I advanced the technique, but wonder if just random clicking, especially on expert boards, gets people further even if it means losing that low 3BV opportunity every now and then.

Though I first only continued this if the initial opening was a '1,' I concluded as long as the first two opens were the same it would work (the second can only be the same or lower). Open the square fourth from the corner and one away from the edge (I'll use the upper left corner moving horizontally for this example), then the one above it on the edge. If they're the same, the one below the first open must be clear as well, otherwise I just start clicking the edges until a mine or a usable break is found. By clearing the squares on either side of the third opening, you can usually determine where the mines from those first two openings are, and decide whether to click the three below that or what have you. Usually, it's possible to opening the edge squares all the way to the corner, and assuming they all say '1' then it's obvious the '2,2' square is a mine, and so on.

I'll agree random clicking might be more beneficial, but since I just started screwing around with this after years of not playing, I figured I'd throw it out and see what other styles exist. This leads me to...

I sent my three .mvrs (one was an INT 28 3BV, so I needed to complete a better one before I was listed) to the site administrator, but have noticed my times have been listed as one second over those in the actual demos. Is this an error? I've reviewed the demos and found them to start at 0.00 and scale appropriately, so if there's a bug in the official version recognized by this site I'd like to know.

Then there's uploading my own demos and notifying the admin about better times (I just recently bested my expert left-click-only time by four seconds using the mid-click style). How exactly does this work? The admin mentioned sending a password via e-mail to initiate this, but wouldn't my forum password be good enough unless I specifically wanted to change it?

Finally, if I can upload the new .mvr (along with the other two), you'll be able to see how my mid-click (left+right click) is and give pointers. Not sure how I'm doing technique-wise, but I'm sure I'm spending too much time raising flags. It's a habit formed from trying to make sure that last group of squares gives me an accurate mines-left count to help me determine where the ones left are. Last thing I want is to be near a nice score then lose it by not know only one mine was there instead of expecting two. Of course, if I can get intermediate and expert below 20s and 80s, respectively and consistently, then I guess I can risk it on that chance board.

Thanks.

NYMIKE
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:51 am

Re: A Few Questions (Strategies, Official Scores, Uploads, ETC)

Post by NYMIKE » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:39 pm

The reason your score is listed at 1 second more is because you use MSX which uses real time, clone and older arbiter use recorder time and start with one, it's always a debate in this community, but Damien kept the rules the same. Newest arbiter has options of what style timer to use. As far as beginning a board there is no wright or wrong technique, whatever you are comfortable with, you can check the videos of the top players they use different techniques.

Ax2Grind
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:31 pm

Re: A Few Questions (Strategies, Official Scores, Uploads, ETC)

Post by Ax2Grind » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:55 pm

Rounding up is the way I interpret that being done to be 'legacy' compatible, not outright adding a full second. In other words, my 3-3BV beginner time should read 2(1.78), while my new 30-3BV intermediate would read 21(20.10) and my new 132-3BV expert would be 85(84.62) for a total of 165-3BV/108s(106.50s).

I suppose I'll e-mail the new .mvr files and let the administrator know a password for me to be able to upload myself, but I'd like to add a question:

I'm having a bad case of the misclicks, perhaps related to cold hands/sweaty pits (is it poor circulation and should I exercise more?). Anyone have any tips on how to get rid of this?

NYMIKE
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:51 am

Re: A Few Questions (Strategies, Official Scores, Uploads, ETC)

Post by NYMIKE » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:22 am

Your score now should be the score you submitted.

EWQMinesweeper
Posts: 410
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:50 pm

Re: A Few Questions (Strategies, Official Scores, Uploads, ETC)

Post by EWQMinesweeper » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:34 am

Ax2Grind wrote: for a total of 165-3BV/108s(106.50s).
No Totals For 3BV

now seriously, damien is currently updating all 'scores' on his page to 'real time', meaning that eg your 21 (20.10) which would have been out as 21.10 and counted as 21 on the rankings will now be regarded as 20.10. if you bring your total down to sub100 (99.99) you can get world ranked.

about uploading scores: either you ask damien to create a folder for you (http://www.minesweeper.info/videoindex.php) or you can simply upload your scores as attatchments with your posts here in this forum.

misclicks: cold hands usually don't cause me to misclick. i'm just about 10% slower and can't play more than 60-90min without a break. i rather think it might be that your mouse sensitivity is too high. it can also be that it's the mousepad, how you place your hand on your mouse,..., which causes your misclicks.


starting boards: all sweepers i know do a few random clicks. only difference is where they click and how many clicks they do. kamil either clicks in the top row or in a corner and restarts after less than a second. i use minesweeper arbiter which has 'board clearance on middle mouse button': on int i move from the bottom left to the top right corner and back and do ~5 clicks in ~0.7s. if i don't get an opening i start a new board. on exp i do 2.5 circles (clockwise) in the middle of the board.

using flags: go by your exp high score. if you have 80s as best use no more than 80 flags. if you want a sub50 use only 40-60 flags.
Ax2Grind wrote:It's a habit formed from trying to make sure that last group of squares gives me an accurate mines-left count to help me determine where the ones left are. Last thing I want is to be near a nice score then lose it by not know only one mine was there instead of expecting two. Of course, if I can get intermediate and expert below 20s and 80s, respectively and consistently, then I guess I can risk it on that chance board.
always assume the fewset mines. only 1 in 5 squares is a mine ;)
„Das perlt jetzt aber richtig über, ma sagn. Mach ma' noch'n Bier! Wie heißt das? Biddä! Bidddää! Biddddäää! Reiner Weltladen!“

Ax2Grind
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:31 pm

Re: A Few Questions (Strategies, Official Scores, Uploads, ETC)

Post by Ax2Grind » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:15 pm

EWQMinesweeper wrote:
Ax2Grind wrote: for a total of 165-3BV/108s(106.50s).
No Totals For 3BV
I remember my first post to Seriouszone, after I belatedly bought Serious Sam 2 not realizing it had been released. After posting technical questions about real problems, I stuck a P.S. at the end to describe a bit of disappointment about the unserious nature of the game. What I got back was gunfire. Only some time later, when I spotted a description of the game on Wikipedia, did I realize how badly the title was rated and the reasons for its early shipment (reminded me of the entire Diablo 2 debacle). Needless to say when I got everything I needed from the forum, in short order, I left and never went back. I don't think I played SS2 much after that, especially considering they never really fixed the networking problems - private servers crashed too much.

In other words, I hope that was a joke, because I don't think higher 3BV is necessarily more difficult, as you'll read below.
EWQMinesweeper wrote:now seriously, damien is currently updating all 'scores' on his page to 'real time', meaning that eg your 21 (20.10) which would have been out as 21.10 and counted as 21 on the rankings will now be regarded as 20.10. if you bring your total down to sub100 (99.99) you can get world ranked.
Like I said, I don't mind the rounding up for compatibility, just good to hear the issue is being dealt with while still listing hundredth times.
EWQMinesweeper wrote:about uploading scores: either you ask damien to create a folder for you (http://www.minesweeper.info/videoindex.php) or you can simply upload your scores as attatchments with your posts here in this forum.
I think attaching them here is probably easier, if I can find the appropriate place for it, otherwise I'll stick to e-mail.
EWQMinesweeper wrote:misclicks: cold hands usually don't cause me to misclick. i'm just about 10% slower and can't play more than 60-90min without a break. i rather think it might be that your mouse sensitivity is too high. it can also be that it's the mousepad, how you place your hand on your mouse,..., which causes your misclicks.
I'm using Windows 2000 Professional which hasn't been re-installed in quite some time. If you know enough about Microsoft operating systems, you'll understand that my mouse sensitivity has altered itself numerous times since being perfect after fully updating. The degenerative nature of Windows forces me to inaccurately compensate for this, so I never have the proper control of my mouse regardless of what I do. If it's the only real issue, then I'm probably relegated to spending quite a bit of time just to get a combined sub-hundred.
EWQMinesweeper wrote:starting boards: all sweepers i know do a few random clicks. only difference is where they click and how many clicks they do. kamil either clicks in the top row or in a corner and restarts after less than a second. i use minesweeper arbiter which has 'board clearance on middle mouse button': on int i move from the bottom left to the top right corner and back and do ~5 clicks in ~0.7s. if i don't get an opening i start a new board. on exp i do 2.5 circles (clockwise) in the middle of the board.

using flags: go by your exp high score. if you have 80s as best use no more than 80 flags. if you want a sub50 use only 40-60 flags.
Ax2Grind wrote:It's a habit formed from trying to make sure that last group of squares gives me an accurate mines-left count to help me determine where the ones left are. Last thing I want is to be near a nice score then lose it by not know only one mine was there instead of expecting two. Of course, if I can get intermediate and expert below 20s and 80s, respectively and consistently, then I guess I can risk it on that chance board.
always assume the fewset mines. only 1 in 5 squares is a mine ;)
I'll assume the second-to-flag ratio is a post-board analysis I should do, since there are many factors and instances which may make using flags more efficient and simply can't add an 'am I adding too many flags this board' thought process while I'm clearing. Getting a long line of known mines in the middle of the board, for instance, would waste time marking and should probably be worked around, whereas along the edge of the board is perfect for opening individual squares and moving on.

Which brings me to the the 3BV issue. I've found the higher the minimum clicks the more of them I clear per second, especially with mid/left+right-clicking and flags. This is natural, I know, but it's almost like there's some unusual curve on efficiency. For instance, you can see my 30-3BV is barely over 20s, yet I could probably consistently score around 25-30s with twice that (50 to 60-3BV). Combined with the misclicks (which I meant to infer may be a nervous condition, like anxiety - hence the cold hands and sweaty armpits), it makes a sub-20 INT incredibly difficult. On EXP, it's really an issue of placing a flag in the wrong place and having to click twice more - once to remove the wrong flag and once to put it where it belongs (and this is if I actually get the mouse to move into the right place and don't repeat the whole flag misplacement again... and again - things go pretty fast).

Otherwise, things like recognizing advanced mine patterns seem to be coming along. I'm hitting better than one 3BV for every three clicks, and appear to be averaging 4.5 total clicks per second while frequently hitting over 5CPS. Are there other factors I should analyze so as to know where to concentrate on to improve, or is there already a thread/subforum for that here?

EWQMinesweeper
Posts: 410
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:50 pm

Re: A Few Questions (Strategies, Official Scores, Uploads, ETC)

Post by EWQMinesweeper » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:01 pm

Ax2Grind wrote:
EWQMinesweeper wrote:
Ax2Grind wrote: for a total of 165-3BV/108s(106.50s).
No Totals For 3BV
I hope that was a joke, because I don't think higher 3BV is necessarily more difficult.

i did not at all mean to offend you in any way by this (hence the 'now seriously' after the 'no totals for 3bv' to make clear i was joking). it's just that adding the 3bv from different levels doesn't make much sense - the gap betwen the avg 3bv of a record game on expert level and the overall avg 3bv of expert is bigger than the 3bv avg for a record board on intermediate.

3bv is only the minimum number of left clicks needed to solve a board. it is an approach to estimate the difficulty of a board and does not always represent how difficult or easy a specific board is compared to other boards. having won a few thousand boards on all levels (rough estimate: 9000 on exp and 12000 on int) i can tell you that in most of the cases a board with a low 3bv is easier and takes less time to solve than a board with a high 3bv. only 6 of my 18 previous int records had a 3bv <40 before i got my 2nd 13 but my last 2 records (10.99 and 9.82) were on 31 3bv and 30 3bv. it takes quite some time but after a while you will get used to low 3bv int boards and will be able to play them as fast as any other 3bv.
Ax2Grind wrote:I'm using Windows 2000 Professional which hasn't been re-installed in quite some time. If you know enough about Microsoft operating systems, you'll understand that my mouse sensitivity has altered itself numerous times since being perfect after fully updating. The degenerative nature of Windows forces me to inaccurately compensate for this, so I never have the proper control of my mouse regardless of what I do. If it's the only real issue, then I'm probably relegated to spending quite a bit of time just to get a combined sub-hundred.
that sucks. maybe try different settings for mouse sensitivity and see which one works best for you. in the past 3 years i had to sweep with 5 different mice (sup6 cls kills every mouse when you put too much energy into your clicks - it's also very unhealthy for your hand and wrist) and 3 different mouse pads. also i had to change the sensitivity of my current mouse 3 times so far. but it never took me more than a few days to get used to it.

the more you play the faster you improve ;)


Ax2Grind wrote:I'll assume the second-to-flag ratio is a post-board analysis I should do
it's only a rough estimate. my pb on exp is 39, avg is around 50 and i use between 40 and 60 flags. on int i'd say you should use no more than 10 flags. maybe up to 20 on high 3bv.
Ax2Grind wrote:there are many factors and instances which may make using flags more efficient and simply can't add an 'am I adding too many flags this board' thought process while I'm clearing.
only place a mine when it's efficient: 2 clicks for 2 or more squares. 1st click = place mine, 2nd click = chord (double click). if the chord opened only 1 square you should not flag.
Ax2Grind wrote:I've found the higher the minimum clicks the more of them I clear per second, especially with mid/left+right-clicking and flags. This is natural, I know, but it's almost like there's some unusual curve on efficiency. Combined with the misclicks it makes a sub-20 INT incredibly difficult.
low 3bv means lower 3bv density means that the squares relevant for 3bv may be further apart. fewer patterns are good for chording and it gets extrmely difficult to solve efficiently. it took my over 2 years to become good on low 3bv boards.
Ax2Grind wrote:On EXP, it's really an issue of placing a flag in the wrong place and having to click twice more - once to remove the wrong flag and once to put it where it belongs (and this is if I actually get the mouse to move into the right place and don't repeat the whole flag misplacement again... and again - things go pretty fast).
it's the sum of small flaws and mistakes that can add up to 10 seconds and more. 1 or 2 misflaggings should cost no more than 0.5s each.
Ax2Grind wrote:Are there other factors I should analyze so as to know where to concentrate on to improve, or is there already a thread/subforum for that here?
i'd need to see some of your games to be able to tell where you can improve. maybe you could put them on youtube?
„Das perlt jetzt aber richtig über, ma sagn. Mach ma' noch'n Bier! Wie heißt das? Biddä! Bidddää! Biddddäää! Reiner Weltladen!“

Post Reply