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Cyanosis
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Ultraboy94 said:
If I've never played a level before, ITYTD or HNTR, depending on how hard I'm expecting it to be.


Good way to play actually, I made an exception to play most of Alien Vendetta on HNTR because it was essentially a more challenging Doom II with better visuals and I wanted to have an easier time the first go before coming back to kick its ass.

Old Post 05-01-12 03:57 #
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KiiiYiiiKiiiA
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As a player, always UV.

Though, as a mapper, HMP is the difficulty I spend the most time balancing. HMP should be really well balanced, because that difficulty is for players who really want to enjoy the level. UV is for people who want to get hurt. So suck it up, UV'ers.

Old Post 05-01-12 13:16 #
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Gez
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enter-enter-down-enter. It's muscle memory at this point.

Old Post 05-01-12 14:05 #
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Alfonzo
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Gez said:
enter-enter-down-enter. It's muscle memory at this point.
Haha! Yep, this is me I'm afraid.

It pleases me to discover that an author has placed time and effort into balancing out a mapset for all difficulties, though, and after suffering death at the hands of fair competition I will almost always slink down a notch to HMP -- perhaps lower. But it does sort of depend on what sort of difficulty in gameplay we're talking about here. The sorts of encounters that are more luck-based or which will swindle you of health over a lengthy period of time will more that likely cause me to second guess my selection, but encounters that make death seem more of a personal slip-up -- getting distributed by a cyber's rocket or head-bashed by a revenant barrage, for instance -- will just make me sullenly repeat the map over on UV, remembering this time to keep my wits about me and write a personal letter of complaint when the deed is done and dusted!

Old Post 05-01-12 14:53 #
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purist
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Cyanosis said:
For me, if I don't play on UV I feel like I won't get the true experience that was intended.


This is why I used to struggle in vain in most PWADS and why I know very little of classics like Alien Vendetta and Plutonia after the first half dozen maps.

Now, I'm more prepared to risk playing on HMP and a less finely tuned version of the map in exchange for actually enjoying a challenge instead of frustration. If the mapper has gone to the trouble of making it fun to play in the lower difficulties I might play again on UV armed with prior knowledge of layout.

I would only play ITYTD or NM! in extreme circumstances.

As Cyanosis and Kyka said I agree that HMP should be the mappers default skill level with tweaks made either way for the better or more casual players. However, I am guilty of perpetuating this state of affairs. Usually, I playtest in UV, either reduce or replace monsters for the lower difficulties.

Old Post 05-01-12 18:04 #
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C30N9
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UV, or nothing (I never played with a lower difficulty other than testing purposes).

Old Post 05-01-12 18:30 #
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KiiiYiiiKiiiA
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Gez said:
enter-enter-down-enter. It's muscle memory at this point.


Heh. Back in the old DOS days, at the C:\ prompt, I could type "cd games\doom2 -> enter -> doom2" almost faster than I could blink.

Old Post 05-02-12 09:49 #
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Phml
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As Cyanosis and Kyka said I agree that HMP should be the mappers default skill level with tweaks made either way for the better or more casual players.


I used to do that, specifically mentioning HMP was the intended and most balanced difficulty, and got complaints from people who wouldn't drop down from UV about the maps being too hard. As a mapper you can't win on that one, too many players overestimate their own abilities or have misplaced pride about difficulty selection. It's one of these situations where so many people do the stupid thing you end up accomplishing nothing but wasting time if you take a moral stand and balance things "the way it should be".

Best to hide higher difficulties in obscure settings like HNTR coop. :)

As for me, I have no problem dropping all the way down to ITYTD if needed.

Old Post 05-02-12 10:40 #
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bytor
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wait wait wait...I've always thought that all you mappers were creating your levels based on UV and I've felt like I might get short changed on how you meant the level to be played by dropping to a lower skill level. Your vision cheapened. Plus, I don't mind it fairly hard (short of slaughterfest). I'll just keep pluggin' away at it. It's just that I thought UV had become the default.

I want the exact monster that you intend, how many, and how you introduce that monster(s). I love good monster introduction and seein' how you've placed weapons and ammo, etc. I like to play a long time without dying once (doesn't count when I die because I'm looking up at architecture doh!). It doesn't have to be hard, I s'pose as long as I'm getting what you intended and it's done well. I want how you've envisioned it. Even if it's a single Revenant that jumps out at me and you've led up to this with creeping me out and making me jumpy, I'm diggin' it.

Just state it in the text file. I, for one, will start looking for that.

Old Post 05-02-12 13:02 #
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KiiiYiiiKiiiA
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I used to make my maps 'perfect' for UV and then just remove some monsters for HMP and then remove some more for HNTR.

I still make my maps for UV, as I play my maps on UV, so this is the easiest difficulty to balance for me. But I just find I spend a lot more time balancing for HMP and HNTR, even adding weapons or health if necessary.

But overall, UV is probably still the 'default' difficulty. Though having said that, this thread has really surprised me, as in just how many people play on difficulties other than UV. I just assumed EVERYONE played on UV; an assumption which shows, once again, why we shouldn't make assumptions.

Old Post 05-02-12 14:02 #
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Jodwin
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As a mapper, there really isn't the "right" difficulty level to balance for. That's simply because all of us have a different level of skill. One person's UV can be an other person's ITYTD, someone else's HMP could be a fourth person's NM. Other than that, unless you have someone who's better than you to test I'd say you should always balance the hardest difficulty to your own ideal level. Because if you don't, and if you don't have someone whose play style you know well and who's better than you, you'll have problems at balancing the harder levels. For example, if you know you're really bad making UV so hard that you can not beat it is a terrible idea, because it might as well be that it's impossible for anyone to beat.

Also, because there's no right difficulty level for a mapper, there's also no right difficulty level for a player: It's impossible to judge a map set that you've never played before to choose the exactly right difficulty to provide the exactly right level of challenge for you. I guess some people try to use qualitative measurements like monster count for that, but everyone should know that those ways of determining difficulty are faulty as heck.

Old Post 05-02-12 15:27 #
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Daiyu_Xiaoxiang
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Usually UV, because most demos in DSDA are in UV difficulty, and I always send demos to DSDA.

Old Post 05-03-12 02:38 #
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Philnemba
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I mainly play UV for 90% of the time but there is those rare times I'll feel like enduring Nightmare difficulty.

Old Post 05-03-12 03:49 #
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Snakes
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I always enjoy a bit of the ol' Ultra-Violence, but I'm negotiable. I think SOD pushed it to the limit, for me.

Old Post 05-03-12 03:52 #
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Pure Hellspawn
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I play on the -NoMonsters difficulty level. Jokes aside, I really play HMP during normal sp sessions. boss maps i prefer uv however, but it largely depends on the map.

Old Post 05-03-12 05:22 #
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purist
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Jodwin said:
As a mapper, there really isn't the "right" difficulty level to balance for. That's simply because all of us have a different level of skill. One person's UV can be an other person's ITYTD, someone else's HMP could be a fourth person's NM. Other than that, unless you have someone who's better than you to test I'd say you should always balance the hardest difficulty to your own ideal level. Because if you don't, and if you don't have someone whose play style you know well and who's better than you, you'll have problems at balancing the harder levels. For example, if you know you're really bad making UV so hard that you can not beat it is a terrible idea, because it might as well be that it's impossible for anyone to beat.


Good point. It's also worth noting that, in my experience, you are normal much better at your own maps than other peoples. Therefore, if you can beat it in a sweat, it's probably harder for other players than other levels you can barely beat. The exceptions being players who find exploits in your map and other peoples levels you've played until you know inside out.

Old Post 05-03-12 06:40 #
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DuckReconMajor
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Skill 1, 2, or 3, depending how hard the wad is.

I tried that whole skill 4 only stuff for a while, but got so frustrated I almost quit Doom forever.

Old Post 05-03-12 07:42 #
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sgt dopey
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Ultra Violence

Old Post 05-03-12 08:07 #
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KiiiYiiiKiiiA
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DuckReconMajor said:
Skill 1, 2, or 3, depending how hard the wad is.

I tried that whole skill 4 only stuff for a while, but got so frustrated I almost quit Doom forever.



So you would have gone to -nomonsters. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOOOL!!!



Sorry.

Old Post 05-03-12 08:58 #
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Graf Zahl
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KiiiYiiiKiiiA said:

But overall, UV is probably still the 'default' difficulty. Though having said that, this thread has really surprised me, as in just how many people play on difficulties other than UV. I just assumed EVERYONE played on UV; an assumption which shows, once again, why we shouldn't make assumptions.



How true.

How anyone can even make the assumption that everybody plays on the hardes level is something I really can't understand.

That'd be the same as not having skill levels at all - and would clearly not be the motivation behind implementing them in the first place.

Old Post 05-03-12 09:40 #
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Maes
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Graf Zahl said:
How anyone can even make the assumption that everybody plays on the hardes level is something I really can't understand.


BECAUSE NOBODY WANTS TO BE CALLED A FUCKING PUSSY, THAT'S WHY!!11!!!!

Old Post 05-03-12 11:34 #
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KiiiYiiiKiiiA
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So anyone who doesn't play on skill 4 or 5, or at least plays with the -fast parameter on lower settings, should really be posting in the Doom confessional thread rather than here, surely. ;)

Old Post 05-03-12 12:45 #
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DuckReconMajor
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I save my god-moding habits for the confessional thread.

Old Post 05-03-12 13:51 #
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Gez
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Usually, if the difficulty is a bit too hard for me, I get around it with save-scumming.

If that would just be tedious (like having to save every ten seconds or so, instead of two or three times a minute), then I downgrade difficulty, usually to find out it has not been implemented...

Old Post 05-03-12 14:10 #
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Maes
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Gez said:
If that would just be tedious (like having to save every ten seconds or so, instead of two or three times a minute), then I downgrade difficulty, usually to find out it has not been implemented...


Well, even if monster placement and numbers aren't any different, you still get double ammo/half damage if you play on ITYTD, which is often a dramatic change in difficulty.

After all, the differences between hand-crafted difficulty levels still rely on the whims and gameplay balancing skills (or lack thereof) of the map's author, while the ITYTD changes are always there for you.

Old Post 05-03-12 15:01 #
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DuckReconMajor
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It's still not enough to make Sunder easy, heh.

Old Post 05-03-12 15:17 #
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Jodwin
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Maes said:
After all, the differences between hand-crafted difficulty levels still rely on the whims and gameplay balancing skills (or lack thereof) of the map's author, while the ITYTD changes are always there for you.

Well, there really isn't such a thing as gameplay balancing skills, simply because there are no set difficulty levels to target. The closest you can get is saying something arbitrary like "HMP should always be like Doom 2's HMP", but even that is ineffective and, more to the point, completely bland and it leaves out the fact that player skill doesn't improve in increments and doesn't have any specific boundaries. This thread reminds me of Battle for Wesnoth, which has a bunch of campaigns each with a difficulty level label such as "For beginners", "For advanced players" etc. Then in addition to that, each campaign has a number of difficulty levels to choose from. So is the hardest level of a beginner campaign easier than lowest on an advanced campaign? Is it equal to an advanced normal level? Do these difficulty levels take into account the player's varying skill with different races? Or skill fighting against certain races?

No, that information is, all things considered, mostly useless, as are difficulty level labels useless in Doom.

From the sound of it a lot of people expect certain skill levels to play in a specific way, like "HMP gives the most balanced experience", etc. Well, how do you know? You're assuming that the wad's difficulty levels relate to some arbitrary expectations you have from earlier wads, most probably the IWADs, but there's no guarantee that's going to happen. And you know what, that's a good thing. Because if we were stuck to some ridiculous expectations of what skill should be, we wouldn't have the same level of speedrunning we have today. Nor would we have the more extreme wads aimed at people who are better at the game than others are. The whole Doom "scene" is enriched by that, and anyone thinking that a specific difficulty will always be the best for them is just being silly.

Old Post 05-03-12 15:18 #
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Maes
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Well, difficulty can also come from other factors than mere number and types of monsters present in a map. Monster placement, linearity, compulsory fighting and ordeals, weapon availability, ammo, armor and health balancing also play a major role.

And I agree that the IWADs (at least Doom/Ultimate Doom) are not really a good indicator of difficulty: they feel easy, at least compared to stuff like HR and once the benefits of WASD+mouse came to be widely recognized.

TNT and Plutonia OTOH, are debatable, but they were developed by Doom gamers that grew up in the community and had a quite different view of the game than the developers themselves.

In any case, difficulty labels and how they translate to actual gameplay are 100% subjective. The only limit most people should expect is common sense: imagine a level that's harder on ITYTD than it's on UV ;-)

Old Post 05-03-12 16:13 #
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_bruce_
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UV

Old Post 05-03-12 16:57 #
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TheMionicDonut
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UV since 03

Old Post 05-03-12 17:49 #
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