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 Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World

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Taiyz
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PostSubject: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:32 pm

Hey, so recently I've gotten curious as to how Ghost Miis are recorded and uploaded in Super Mario 3D World, because I want to know how Nintendo is representing me online.

I know that Ghost Miis are saved if you clear a level without dying, and there appears to be a Ghost Mii of yourself saved locally on the console (or maybe it loads your Ghost Mii from Nintendo Network itself, I'm not sure) and it appears to be replaced any time you clear a level without dying (I proved this by beating the level in World 3 with the Peach switch: my original Ghost Mii ran after the rabbit and hit the switch. This time I ran straight to the flag pole and got a better time, replayed it and the Ghost Mii did just that. I ignored the rabbit, hit the button again, beat the level with a time slower than the second run and replayed it, my Ghost Mii was now ignoring the rabbit and hitting the switch again. Every time I completed the stage without dying, a Ghost Mii was saved)

There is some condition that will cause a random Ghost Mii with a faster time than yours to appear, with its time above it in a black speech bubble on the level start screen. I'm also curious what causes this. (That always seems to be the third slot, with a friend filling in the second slot. If I remember right, if you don't have a Ghost Mii saved for a level, you get another random Ghost Mii.) Keep in mind that, if my memory isn't failing me, you have to complete the game first for the timer Ghost Miis to appear, and I will need you to confirm that you can see these kinds of Miis for testing.

Here's what I plan on testing:
-I need somebody to pick a level that they have a poor time on.
-I will start the level, stomp twice (so we know which recording is being displayed) and beat that time.
-That somebody needs to then load up the level, and see what happens with my Ghost Mii. Does it display a faster time? Does it at least do the double stomp at the start?
-After confirming these details, I will replay the level, stomp three times and run around in circles, then finish the level slower than that somebody's original time
-That somebody then will load the level again and see if the slower recording was saved.

Ultimately I'm just curious if the game cares what you do during a level, either it records only your fastest playthrough for time trial purposes, or it records ANY playthrough without losing a life each time you complete a level. I am also curious how quickly the Nintendo Network updates this information, so I'd like to schedule some sort of time to experiment so we can do it all in one go and communicate via Skype or Miiverse.


Bonus: I know that the Ghost Mii setting is stored in the Nintendo Network menu and they don't seem to appear if you turn them off, so it might be an online only thing. Has anybody played 3D World offline? Does it save Ghost Miis, at least your personal ones locally? Or can you not display them at all? (I assume the NN network would be greyed out or inaccessible and no Ghost Miis can be saved/uploaded or displayed if that's the case.)


Thanks for any help, BTW I'm not planning on doing this today as I had to work and I'm really tired.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:02 pm

I am not quite sure how everything works, but I will help. I just ran through World 2-3 without dying and took my time on it. I eve saw your ghost pop up in it after starting the stage again. I will go ahead and run through the stage a second time just to follow my own mii, but keep the time just as slow.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:20 am

Okay, when you're done, let me know what your time is. Thanks for the help BTW.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:59 pm

I am done. My time for the stage was 160 seconds. For the record, there were two other ghost mii's. One of them was you, but no time was given. The other mii was some random lady and her time was shown in a black bubble. That time was 111. I hope this helps.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:41 am

That's exactly what I needed to know. I'll try and beat 111 with two stomps at the start, I'll post again once I've done that.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:19 am

Done, time of 74 seconds. I saw my own Mii, you and your double stomp, and someone with a time in the late 60s.

I replayed the level and noted that my double stomp run was saved, so go confirm if you see it too please!

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:58 pm

This is weird. When I start the stage, your ghost mii does the same thing it did when we started this. No double stomp. Your mii seems to be going slow. I even followed it through the stage and the time was approximately 205 seconds. However, if I ignore the mii's at the start, every time I go through one of the doors on this stage, regardless of how far ahead of the ghost characters I seem to be, the ghost mii's are right behind me through the door. Maybe it has multiple ghosts per se and the faster recording will show up if you are going fast enough? For the record, I beat the black bubble time of 111 seconds, but the same mii is showing up. Only the time is gone. Perhaps we should pick a stage without doors or multiple parts. Also, to try and have a faster time, I did switch from Peach to Mario. What characters did you use?

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:42 am

I play as Peach.

Also the multiple ghosts thing is intentional. It's kind of like how some racing games record your fastest times between checkpoints. Each time you have to load a different "screen" the game will show all the Ghost Miis loading in at the same time so you can tell if there's one specific "screen" on which a player is really beating your time.

Even if all the Ghost Miis beat you to the end of one screen, you'll see them all appear with you on the next screen so you can try and beat their times on that section of the level.

It's still kind of an arbitrary system because they don't all load simultaneously, but one after another.


I'm now curious if maybe it saves Ghost Miis based on score as well, that was a mechanic that I forgot about. Maybe because the game has already selected another Mii for your time trial Mii, it's showing my Mii because it has a good score?

Also, there could be a delay for uploads, like 24 hours maybe. Try 2-3 one more time tomorrow and report back please.

(It was World 2-3, right? The shadow stage with the potted piranhas.)

Edit: I checked on my side, my new Ghost Mii still shows up, and so does your the first Ghost Mii of yours that I saw.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:37 am

When I originally set out to do this, I used Peach since I knew she was a bit slower. The recording of me that you have watched was me using Peach. Then, to keep up to speed, I switched to one of the other characters. Today, I used Peach again. In my first play through of the level, the ghost mii's were the same as they had been. I decided to go ahead and beat the level with a faster speed, and ended up beating the level in 79 seconds. Then, when I started the level again, I saw your character do a double stomp.

I think to get updated ghosts, one needs to use the same character and then beat their previous time. I don't think there was any correlation that we were both using Peach, but I could be wrong. Finally, with your updated ghost mii, I also got a new random ghost mii with a faster time than my 79 seconds. I hope this is the information you are looking for.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:00 pm

Interesting, I'll try doing the same thing and see if your Ghost Mii gets replaced once I beat mine. Great detective work, unfortunately I was sloppy and didn't notice you had replied until now, my bad!

Also, next time you get a chance, could you check 1-1 for me and see if my Ghost Mii does a double stomp? I started a new save to see if a new file would keep ghosts associated with my NNID, and I'm kind of curious if you can even save Ghost Miis if you haven't unlocked the ability to see them yet (I think that happens in World 2.)

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:23 pm

So when I first loaded today your previous Mii was still active. I did a triple jump at the start, beat my Mii, but not the time Ghost Mii, and upon reloading the stage your Mii was replaced, you now crouch at the start for a few seconds (was this a Peach playthrough?) I'm also not convinced that characters change anything, since I have overwritten a Peach Mii of my own with Toad, and saw the Toad Mii with Peach.

This makes me wonder...I established earlier that the game appears to save ANY Ghost Mii upon level completion with dying, so does it also download new Ghost Miis for the stage at that time?

Two more tests:
1) My current Mii stomps 3 times at the start of 2-3 and gets a time of 70. I'm going to replay the stage once more, stomp once and do a spin jump, then finish slower than my current Mii (edit: got 71 seconds.) I then need you to tell me which of the two you can see: first thing you need to do is use a different character from Peach, finish slower than your current Mii and do something identifying toward the start. After completing the stage, reload and one of my two new Miis should be there. All my Miis during this experiment have been Peach BTW.

This will confirm if time or character matters, and when Miis are downloaded.

2) After you do that, I'm gonna play the stage and die, then complete it, and see if merely finishing the level updates your ghost Mii.


Edit: Okay, so I guess I was wrong about my first point, which is odd because I tested that thoroughly by itself (see first post.) I did my single stomp + spin jump run, and while the time Mii updated after completion (a time of 65 was replaced with a timer of 67, different Miis entirely,) my Mii did not update on my console. Either way, still follow the above tests, if my death test doesn't update your Ghost Mii we'll have you beat your time again, still using a different character.

Keep in mind that since my original test was wrong, maybe that Peach/Toad incident was also incorrect, that was tested on a stage with a Toad switch, much like the initial test I ran. You may be right about the time requirement (maybe score is involved too and a higher score is how I overwrote my Miis in these Peach/Toad switch levels,) but I want further proof. Time is easier to test than high scores, after all.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:34 am

When I played stage 2-3, your character did a stomp and then a really high jump (probably the spin jump). I decided to simply run back and forth between the two walls a few times and then went through the level. My time for this run was 89 seconds and I used Luigi.

I can't see your ghost mii for 1-1, unless you decided to change your name to Richard without telling me.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:20 am

Were both jumps at the starting point, or did I go near the upper wall, slightly forward to the right, to do my spin jump? Because if you jump immediately after a stomp you do get a larger jump than usual, so that has happened in some of my previous attempts.

Also, did you have to finish the level first like I mentioned to get my Mii, or was my latest Mii just there when you loaded up the game from your last attempt?

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:47 am

Both jumps were at the starting point from what I could tell. You didn't do a triple stomp. The updated ghost was there waiting on me when I started the game.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:54 am

That's not a new Mii though. That would have been my first recording, with the double stomp at the start. Could you load up the level again, now that you've finished it once, and see what my Mii does now?

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:00 am

I loaded up the level again. It now has my new recording along with you doing a triple stomp.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:16 am

Okay, that's good, now we're making progress. So we can almost confirm that the game downloads new Ghost Miis EVERY time a level is completed (I just need to confirm if deaths matter for that.) This also pretty much confirms that character does not matter, because you got my Peach playthrough after beating it as Luigi. I think it's safe to say that you only ever have one Ghost Mii per level on the server at one time.

Also, it's good that my online Ghost Mii is synced with my local Ghost Mii (remember, my system saved the triple stomp but not the stomp then spin jump afterward) That way you always know what Ghost Mii is representing you online, though people could still have an outdated Mii if they beat a level after one of your previous uploads and haven't beaten it sense. The question is what conditions allow a Mii to be saved...

I'll move onto step 2 when I can.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:58 am

Okay. First playthrough, no changes. I played as Rosalina, died, then beat the level. I now see you pacing back and forth after reloading as Peach.

So, character is irrelevant, Miis are always downloaded when you finish a level, and only for that level.


Now how do we prove when the game saves Ghost Miis? The game saved your pacing Luigi with 89 seconds, over your previous 79 second attempt (if I'm keeping track correctly.)

When I first started testing by myself in the OP, I was able to overwrite my Mii with a slower time on another level, and you've achieved that now...So why didn't my stomp and spin jump playthrough save? (It was a slower time after my triple jump.) Maybe a connection thing and my Ghost Mii failed to save?

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:28 am

I figured it out. The game will save any no-death run, but only one time for each level until you close the software.

My Rosalina playthrough didn't save because of the death, so I played as Peach several times finishing slower each time.

1) First Mii saved without issue.
2) Mii did not save.
Played the slots, maybe the game only saves Miis if you've played another level before retrying?
3) Mii did not save.
Went to title screen.
4) Mii did not save.
Closed and reloaded the game.
5) Mii saved again, finally.

I tried closing and playing again after all that and it worked, so I don't think it's a fluke. So, while there still may be some arbitrary time passed/other levels completed requirement before you can update a certain level again in one launch of the game, and who knows what happens if you go to title, d stuff in another save, THEN return, what matters is that we now know what governs uploading.



In conclusion: only after unlocking Ghost Miis, you can upload a single Ghost Mii for each level by completing it without dying, with any character, time, or score. You can overwrite Ghost Miis, but during one launch of the game you can only upload a new Ghost Mii for each level once. Your offline and online Ghost Miis are always the same, but other users may have an outdated Ghost Mii of yours if they downloaded it previously and have not completed that specific level since your latest upload on the same level. Ghost Miis are downloaded for a specific level any time that level is completed.


Other ideas I will test just in case:
1) When I unlock Ghost Miis in my second save, does it load my existing Ghost Miis immediately, and do saved Miis from that file appear in my original, and vice versa, in other words are Ghost Miis NNID or filed-based?

2) Does beating a level after dying waste your session's chance to upload a Mii on that level? (Pretty sure I confirmed "no" tonight, but I forget if I closed the game after my Rosalina run.)
3) Do character changes circumvent the one-per-session save rule? (Probably no.)
4) Do Ghost Miis upload/download/appear without an internet connection? (Another likely no.)

Something I can't really test since I don't want to delete all my progress:
5) When Ghost Miis are first unlocked...What happens with all the World 1 stages? Does the game download Ghost Miis for World 1 right there, or do you need to replay all those levels? (I don't remember having to do that, but I've got this nagging feeling that I did.) I know that the game doesn't show Ghost Miis for stages you haven't completed (presumably it's because they haven't downloaded yet, not because Nintendo wanted to avoid spoilers) but what about stages completed without having them unlocked, enabled or without an internet connection? (Also does using the warp to World 2 unlock Ghost Miis early?)

Something I will need minor assistance to test:
6) What happens if you disable Ghost Miis, complete a level, then re-enable them? Does this circumvent the one-save-per-boot rule, does this delete previously-downloaded Ghost Mii data? Presumably this prevents new data from being downloaded and uploaded, so what if you were completing a new stage in World 2 and beyond offline, would you have to complete it again to download the data? Does disabling and enabling Ghost Miis circumvent the one-save-per-launch rule, and does that download new Ghost Miis from the map? (Again this is tied into Step 5, if the game is capable of downloading World 1 Ghost Miis from the map once they are unlocked...If it's not, and you have to replay those stages to download Ghost Mii data, then this is all kind of irrelevant.) I also JUST realized that we tested World 1-1 wrong, since you just launched it and didn't beat it (updated latest reply with a request.)

I don't care enough to figure out the rules behind what Miis are downloaded and why (I assume it's always your Ghost Mii, if available, one random or most-recently-uploaded friend, if available, and one Ghost Mii faster than your best time once you've unlocked those, and again, if a faster Ghost Mii is even available. If the above conditions don't fill all three slots, presumably they are filled at random. Can't remember if I've ever seen two friends or time Ghosts simultaneously, or if you only see two Ghosts at a time before unlocking time Miis.)

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:19 pm

Interesting. Well, I was glad that I could help.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:39 pm

Your help was invaluable, thanks a million.

Edit: Actually I just thought of one more thing I need your help with. Please complete World 1-1 and do something identifying at the start. Let me know if my Mii downloads, and what it does. I just realized that I had you launch World 1-1 but you probably didn't complete it, so that may be why you didn't see my new file's Mii, if it uploaded one. At the very least old data should be on the server, not doing a triple/double jump at the start.

Once you've done that, I want to play to World 2 then check World 1-1 on that new file and see if the game downloaded your Ghost Mii data before unlocking the feature.

Let me know when you've done this, and what identifying thing you did (currently you walk forward and slowly stomp twice in two different spots,) so I can proceed with that. That should be the last bit of assistance I need.

Even if you did complete it before during these tests, do this please, and if my Mii appears during your initial load of the stage, let me know what it does (should just run forward, grab a Super Bell then slowly work its way right, it also climbs over the twisty pipe before the big drop, it's something I do >_>) Again, my new file Mii stomped right at the start.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:39 pm

I replayed World 1-1 with Mario. This time I immediately ran to the left and just followed the fence until it ended. Upon reloading the level, I still don't see your ghost mii.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:42 pm

Okay, thanks again. That should (fingers crossed!) be the last thing I needed assistance with.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for some assistance to test something in Super Mario 3D World   Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:07 am

When playing offline, Ghost Miis are completely unavailable. You can toggle NN options but they don't appear nor do they download or save upon level completion.

Playing online with Ghost Miis disabled, Ghost Miis appear to download at the end of stages (at least my time Miis would switch between two guys) but your Ghost Mii does not save. If you enable Ghost Miis mid-level then they will save, as long as you finish the level with them enabled. BTW when you disable Ghost Miis mid-level they disappear immediately; every time you enable Ghost Miis mid-level they will not appear.

I wonder if the game has two time Miis in reserve, because it always seems to switch between two people unless you beat them or wait a couple days. It's worth noting that the only way I could get the two time Miis to switch between each other was by completing the level, but it was always the same two guys.


Edit 1) I finished 1-1 with my new file, still before unlocking Ghost Miis, and loaded up my original file, your new Mii that follows the fence in 1-1 was there. Therefore, when you haven't unlocked Ghost Miis, the game has Ghost Miis set to "off" behind the scenes, and as I theorized earlier, as long as you are online, Ghost Miis ALWAYS download upon level completion, regardless of settings. Additionally it seems that Ghost Miis are NNID-based.

Edit 2) Warping did allow me to unlock Miiverse stuff early, you just have to beat Conkdor Canyon.

1-1) Mirrored my data from original file, no Mii saved by the new file.
1-2) Did not count as completed since I didn't reach a flag, no Ghost Miis appear whatsoever; on my original file, an old Mii of mine still existed so no Mii was saved with the new file.
2-1) Both files have same Ghost Miis, Mii did not save after replaying level after unlocking Ghost Miis. I tested this further and I learned that beating a level with Ghost Miis disabled uses up your chance to save a Mii for that launch.

Edit 3) Miis are NNID-based. Beat 2-3 with new file, that saved a new Mii for both files. During same launch I beat 2-3 with original file afterward, no new Mii saved. That must be why the one LAUNCH rule is in place, since Ghosts are shared across all files. I should note that the new file has a random Mii separate from the two time Miis my original file is still switching between. (This random Mii does switch with another one upon additional level completions.)

Scores and times are still saved to the different files seperately.

Edit 4) Dying, completing the stage, then completing it again during one launch saved NO new Miis.

We can now conclude that ANY level completion (while online) initates a download and will also burn your chance to save a Ghost Mii until you relaunch the game.

Final edit) Played a stage with Peach, then Rosalina. As expected, Rosalina did not save a Ghost Mii


So at the end of this, all I'm not really sure of is:
1) How the game switches between the same Miis when you keep replaying stages and why Ghost Miis don't appear offline. I have to assume that there's a local save because if you play a level online, complete it offline, then play it online again, and the same Miis are kept, the game is remembering this SOMEHOW, but maybe it downloads NNIDs only and the Ghost Data itself syncs with the server every time you start a level, hence why they won't load mid-level or offline. The fact that the game tends to switch between a small pool of 2-3 Miis is probably just a search engine mechanic, also considering that older Miis may be overwritten with slower or faster times by their owner at any time and the game seems to want Miis roughly 3 seconds faster than you.
2) Co-op. Presumably the game just picks one player to make a Ghost Mii out of, maybe just player 1, since the Wii U only supports signing into one NNID at a time, right?

Based on all this evidence we can assume that with a fresh GAME save, as long as the levels before 2-2 were completed while online, Ghost Mii data will be downloaded already, but you will not have any Ghost Miis saved.

Presumably if you beat a level offline, there simply won't be any data, like a new stage you just reached. Ghost Mii activity of all kinds happens at the ends of levels only (apart from the possible server sync at the beginning that I suggested.)

WE'RE DONE! (I may write a clearer conclusion later but the research is done and the evidence is all here. Whew!)

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