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Some in-depth questions about Portal Funnel.

Hey folks, I have a few questions that have been bugging the hell out of me for a few days here, and was wondering if I could get some answers.

I've heard from numerous sources that it's better to have Portal Funnel turned OFF because it apparently slows you down a bit if it's on, like when attempting a fling for example, because Portal Funnel thinks you're trying to aim yourself into the floor, thus you lose a bit of your velocity? However, Portal Funnel is helpful for doing a lot of the "least steps" challenges due to using floor portals to keep yourself suspended in the air while grabbing cubes and generally transporting yourself around that way. I also hear that Portal Funnel adds in a bit of a randomness factor to the game's.. physics I believe it was? But then again, I also hear that Portal Funnel speeds you up if you jump into the outer area of a portal? That's right, I heard that it slows you down and speeds you up. Obviously both of these statements are from different sources but I want to know what the truth is here because I want to know whether I should be using this setting or not. Here are my questions, please follow the same format as what I've provided below for the answers if you choose to do so (e.g. 1. No, 2. No, etc.).

1. Does Portal Funnel *really* slow you down a bit when doing a fling (as well as few other things)?
2. Does Portal Funnel *really* add any sort of randomness to the game's physics and other things?
3. Does SDA and its runners generally regard Portal Funnel as the auto-aim-trainingwheels-snorefest that pretty much every console FPS is plagued with? I assume that if some of the things I mentioned above are true, Portal Funnel probably isn't too popular with SDA.
4. What is SDA's ruling on the usage of Portal Funnel? From the look of the Portal page, there's no mention of Portal Funnel whatsoever, so I'm assuming that it's personal preference and runs with and without Portal Funnel are grouped together.
5. What are the pros and cons of using Portal Funnel?
6. What are the pros and cons of NOT using Portal Funnel?

Thanks in advance to the helpful replies I'm sure I'll shortly receive. If you have the time, give me the most detailed reply you possibly can.

I've never heard that Portal Funneling causes any decrease in velocity. I guess I can see it causing a decrease in velocity since it causes an artificial change in speed and direction, though I have no idea if anyone has done any actual tests on it.

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Thanks for your reply. Do you have any insight to the six questions I have in my original post? Thank you for your time.

EDIT: Also, would you consider Portal Funnel a method of auto-aim or aim-assistance? Because I'm the kind of person who simply cannot stand using something like that. I couldn't even play Halo (I know it's bad, no offense to those who like it!) when it came out because the auto-aim just made me wanna drown myself.

Well, I can give you the pros and cons of using funnelling.
Pros:
-You are less likely to miss a portal in a fling.
-It makes speedruns faster because you do not have to bother about moving about in the air and just let the computer make sure you are correct.
-In difficult flingy bits in custom maps, It is a very welcome feature
Cons:
-It is auto-assistance
-When you get better at flings, you often make last millisecond adjustments, which can cause you to miss the portal by a few units.
-THE MOST ANNOYING ONE - If you are doing a high velocity- crouch fling, it is a pain in the neck to get correct as you have to be constantly fixing what the computer is doing.

To explain the last one, a high velocity crouch fling is a technique that is often used to make you go faster and further through a portal, by going through the top third of the portal and occassionally crouching. The funnelling automatically makes you go to the centre of a portal, which means you have to fight the computer for dominance quite a lot.

In conclusion, portal funnelling is good if you are not doing complex flings or if you aren't very good at flinging.

As for questions 3 and 4, I am pretty sure I am the only speedrunner left on this forum, and I personally have absolutely no idea of what SDA thinks of portal funnelling. I think it would be up to personal preference.

I'm having trouble doing the "Least Steps" challenge on chamber 13 (first one), 10 steps is absolutely ridiculous for that platform-ridden god awful chamber. You're so often on top of a button or near something where you can't portal to transport yourself thus you have to make a step or two to get into an area where you CAN. What's driving me crazy is the part where I do an infinite loop in the ceiling and then slap another portal on the ground next to another to keep myself going up into the air to grab a box - with funneling turned off I end up hitting the ground and thus taking a step, it's hard to watch where you're gonna land when you need to focus on placing portals elsewhere. It's extremely annoying positioning myself going in and out of two floor portals, you're eventually going to hit the ground right outside of the portal and ruin yourself. Funneling makes this so easy, as well as much more fun but I can't help but feel that it's cheating even though it's on by default. Being a PC gamer and someone who cannot STAND console shooters due to the fact that they're all plagued with aim-assistance of some sort, it just feels wrong to me. Therefore I don't feel that I should turn it on even though it'd help with some major issues. Then again, if it makes speedruns faster, then it's clearly because it's an advantage, on top of that fact, it's a DEFAULT setting. So I think I'm gonna roll with funneling turned on from now on, and I guarantee you a few minutes of trying to do that challenge I'll nail it with funneling on.

Also thank you very much for that extremely detailed post. I feel that it's best I leave it turned off because it just feels like an easy way out.

EDIT: I turned on Portal Funneling and on my third try of chamber 13 (least steps) without quicksaving I made it under par (10) with 9, I feel stupid for not having it on earlier. Thanks to both of you for contributing to the thread, if anyone has anything else to add then please feel free to do so, but other than that it looks like I've made up my mind. I don't feel that it's really "cheating" anymore seeing as it's on by default and it's impossible to EFFECTIVELY (don't know the term for it but..) create speed through a loop, then mid-loop (ceiling -> floor) shoot the ceiling portal onto the floor so you have two floor portals, transferring from one to the other. It is SO HARD to maintain your height and positioning within the two portals with Portal Funneling turned off. If anyone's interested in trying it you'll rip your hair out within seconds of trying to do it, especially since Portal is pretty damn disorienting to begin with.

EDIT #2: I just realized how much Portal Funneling slows you down when it comes to many things, I did a little test and it DEFINITELY slows you down A LOT. The fact that I am using some form of auto-aim/aim-assistance/correction drives me nuts because I feel like a coward. I would think speedruns would be faster with funneling turned off, hanging_rope. Please explain how that statement is true, because after turning it off it makes you feel like a god. Because of the fact that funneling can majorly slow you down when it comes to flings and many other maneuvers. Give it a shot in-game (flinging, that is), it's pretty severe and easily noticeable and I'm pretty positive that in a scenario with two players of equal skill, the player with funneling turned off is going to finish before the player using funneling. Which I think is a fair thing to assume when you take into account what funneling IS - you sacrifice quite a bit of velocity for quite a bit of accuracy with floor portals, you almost never have to look down. I would recommend funneling to the console players and for the PC players to just turn it off like they would turn off auto-aim in any other game.

EDIT #3:

I wrote:
10 steps is absolutely ridiculous for that platform-ridden god awful chamber.

I did it in 6 after turning off funneling.

I wrote:
What's driving me crazy is the part where I do an infinite loop in the ceiling and then slap another portal on the ground next to another to keep myself going up into the air to grab a box - with funneling turned off I end up hitting the ground and thus taking a step, it's hard to watch where you're gonna land when you need to focus on placing portals elsewhere. It's extremely annoying positioning myself going in and out of two floor portals, you're eventually going to hit the ground right outside of the portal and ruin yourself.

I found a better way to do this that works all the time every time no matter the circumstances whether or not funneling is on or off, I tried this with it off and it works amazingly: Look straight up, fire blue portal, look straight down, fire red portal, as soon as you fall through the red portal.. fire a blue one ANYWHERE, as long as it's not on the wall or ceiling, it has to be on the floor. Voila, you're now in a loop gaining tons of height and can transport yourself around easily without taking steps using this method for the "least steps" challenges. The important thing is to NOT touch your movement keys while doing this, because it's the fact that you have no movement whatsoever upon falling through the red portal that makes this method work when funneling is turned off. I just thought I'd share this in case any players similar to myself wanted some insight on a way around the whole floor-portal-guidance-bullshit without sacrificing fling velocity by turning funneling on.

With alllll of this information in mind, funneling should always be off unless you're new to gaming or aren't very good at first-person shooters.

I apologize if this thread and my posts tended to seem like I was writing a goddamn blog, I had a lot to say and ask and I just wanted to get all of my questions answered by people who know what the hell they're talking about - people like you. I truly appreciate the help, my questions have been answered and my mind has been made up. Thanks again.