On July 26, seven top speedrunners will be competing to beat the Doom Eternal World Record with no major glitches in Break the Record: LIVE. It promises to be incredibly competitive as the record has already been broken a number of times in qualifying.
Luke 'Bloodshot' Hoffman was one of the players who broke the record when he clocked a time of 1h 16m 47s. Since we spoke to him, he's beaten his own time by four minutes, but even that's not enough to put him on top of the leaderboard, with ShiningFace (1h 11m 36.7) and bowsr (1h 10m 30.63) ahead of him. Can Bloodshot shave more seconds off his time and return to the top? You'll have to watch Break the Record: LIVE on Twitch to find out.
Ahead of the big event, Bloodshot told us how to beat the Doom Eternal world record and become a great speedrunner in the process.
Luke 'Bloodshot' Hoffman: It honestly just takes practice. If we're talking specifics, good combat is essential. You can know all the tricks/skips, and those will save you a lot of time, but to be a top runner, you need to know how to handle every combat in the best/fastest way possible. But no matter how good you are (or think you are), there's always some improvement to be made, and that only comes with practice.
Bloodshot: For a glitchless run, there are a lot of tricks that use the Meathook/Super Shotgun Grapple. The grapple can be used to give yourself an extra jump, or it can give you a massive boost that flings you over a large distance.
This is used for a few specific tricks/skips, but it can also just be used in certain areas to give yourself insane speed that you then don't have to walk across. These tricks are actually what I really enjoy seeing in the runs, because they look so cool when done well.
Bloodshot: I usually just make sure I have some time to do a run (runs are about an hour and a half, so I give myself at least two hours since I won't necessarily get a good first level right away). Other than that, I make sure I'm feeling healthy and good enough to play for long stretches of time — grab a large cup of water for if I need it, and get into the game.
Get in the right mindset
Bloodshot: Honestly, it changes daily. Sometimes I'm stuck on the first few levels and I feel like crap, since it's demoralizing to start over a run within five minutes. If I've gotten a good early game, then some nerves start to get to me. If I make one mistake somewhere, I tend to focus too much on making up for it later down the line, which starts a downward spiral of losing time.
The best thing for me to do is to just try and not focus on the times or beating a specific time, because the moment I think about it, the moment I start to play worse. I should probably start hiding my times from myself while I play to be honest!
How to practice
Bloodshot: I just do runs, honestly. And that's probably not the best method. I should be practicing certain arenas or skips that give me trouble, and sometimes I do that, but considering you need to do everything in one go, I find it better to just do runs over and over. If I practice a skip a lot and think I have it down, chances are that by the time I get back to that point, I'll forget what I'm supposed to do and just wing it.
Run first, learn later
Bloodshot: If anyone's trying to start speedrunning Doom Eternal, I'd say just do runs first, learn the run later. I started by playing the game and getting something like a three-hour run. I then watched one of the only other runners at the time who had around 2:18:00, and started incorporating stuff he did. The reason I say run first, learn later is because without knowledge of what the game wants you to do normally, you won't have any idea of what or why you're skipping something, or doing something in a specific way. But all that aside, I think learning how to do combat fast is the most important thing, and I can't stress that enough.
What separates the good from the best runners are their ability to fight fast, and while you might not see the biggest time saves right away by focusing on combat, once you learn a skip you've learned a skip, whereas combat you can apply to the entire game. The biggest piece of advice I could give, as cliched as it is to say, is to just have fun. I've put in almost 400 hours and I still enjoy it, which is what allows me to keep going. If you don't enjoy it, it's not worth putting in that much time.
Break the Record: LIVE takes place on July 26, live on the ESA Twitch channel. Watch to see who can beat the Doom Eternal world record and win the biggest share of the $8k prize pool.