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WildWeasel
Resident Castlevania Super-Fanboy


Posts: 2768
Registered: 07-03


This idea spurs from seeing a lot of self-proclaimed "Doom Gods," and regardless of what WAD we're talking about, there are equal numbers of players complaining that a given map is either too hard or too easy.

What we really need to see is a "benchmark" WAD (or perhaps several) that puts players in a lot of varied situations and grades them according to a handful of factors, depending on the situation. Due to the nature of how this sort of thing is graded, it might be wise to either base this on a source port that supports scripting or customize one specifically for the tests (maybe some variant on prboom-plus). If we're going for the custom port route, perhaps it should default to always output a demo when the game starts.

Ideas for tests:
-- Movement. Everything from running laps around a track to SR50-powered gap jumping, with and without rockets. The player would be graded based on time between checkpoints, and in the case of rocket jumping, how much health/ammo they have left.

-- Marksmanship/Weapon Efficiency. Test the player on the various weapons for how many targets they can take down in a specified amount of time, and how much ammo is used in the process.

-- Infighting. Clear the room of foes using no ammo. Grading based on time and how many barrels are left in the room, as well as health.

-- This can't be everything. I'm likely forgetting something.

The idea is to give us some actual numbers to work with in regards to how skillful a person is at playing Doom, and hopefully put a stop to these ridiculous arguments over whether a mapset is too hard for its intended audience.

Old Post 12-23-13 03:20 #
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ArmouredBlood
Senior Member


Posts: 1908
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Interesting. I don't think you can get rid of the arguments of how hard a mapset is for its audience, that's all up to the author and what he/she considers his audience. I'll throw out some ideas though.

- Mob management. Avoid a group of hell knights around obstacles and little space.

- Cyber-demon 2shot. Any good slaughterlover will know how to do this.

- Precision movement. Fight archviles in alcoves along a 32x32 steps staircase with enough space to fall between steps.

- Map memory. Create a map with a very confusing theme with lots of backtracking and twisting turns. Fastest time wins.

- Figure out a trick to a fight. This is very difficult to gauge because everyone has different experiences and could find similarities between the fight and what they've done before.

Old Post 12-23-13 03:49 #
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Memfis
Forum Legend


Posts: 5416
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Expired License

Put on some pants and bring your wallet with two pieces of ID because it's time to renew your Dooming license. This wad starts off in a crowded DMV. Behind the first door, you can practice your fighting skills with different weapons against each of the Doom2 monsters in identical undetailed rooms. There's also an extra level where you practice your BFG skills against a cyberdemon by trying to maximize the amount of damage you deal to him.

Behind the second door, you begin your final exam. The exam is 37 very short (and sometimes tough) scenarios you may find yourself in while playing various pwads, such as wallrunning, fighting hordes, pressing switches, jumping, aiming, etc., and is designed for ZDoom physics. The design of the exam is also undetailed.

The goal of the wad is to finish the final exam without cheating or saving with 100% kills. Post a demo of your successful completion of the final exam and your new Dooming license will be mailed to you within 4-6 weeks.

Old Post 12-23-13 11:13 #
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myk
volveré y seré millones


Posts: 15177
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WildWeasel said:
The idea is to give us some actual numbers to work with in regards to how skillful a person is at playing Doom, and hopefully put a stop to these ridiculous arguments over whether a mapset is too hard for its intended audience.
I'm not saying it would be entirely useless to designers or players, but I wager you will fail at that and that the benchmark WAD itself will be subject to the "ridiculousness".

If anything, arguments will increase because it will give another tool with which to debate the arguably important topic.

Old Post 12-23-13 13:14 #
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Maes
I like big butts!


Posts: 12269
Registered: 07-06



Memfis said:
Expired License



For that matter, any of ToD's WADs (especially those under the anigav alias) are a test of extreme Dooming.

As for benchmarking...what, good old Doom Honorific Titles not good aneough?

Old Post 12-23-13 13:23 #
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40oz
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myk said:
I'm not saying it would be entirely useless to designers or players, but I wager you will fail at that and that the benchmark WAD itself will be subject to the "ridiculousness".

If anything, arguments will increase because it will give another tool with which to debate the arguably important topic.



I think so too. Something like that would require an extreme amount of refining and testing and unending philisophical debate that could go on for centuries.

Old Post 12-23-13 16:01 #
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Ribbiks
Senior Member


Posts: 1229
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Maes said:
As for benchmarking...what, good old Doom Honorific Titles not good aneough?


with the exception of weird stuff like tyson/reality/etc I don't think iwad content is a very good metric, given the average player skill has likely increased significantly since '94.


To me one of the most telling indicators of skill is the duration that a player can maintain consistently strong gameplay. For example, see any of the lengthy demos by j4/oku/anc/tod/ggg etc. So if such a crazy hypothetical benchmark map ever comes into being it should have a section requiring player to repeat a hard scenario a few times to average out the luckiness. Though perhaps it need not go as far as ToD's map where you 2-shot like 100 cybs in a row :p

edit: I really do need to check out expired license though, seems like it's up the right alley for this topic. Thus far I've only watched tod's playthrough but it seems interesting.

Old Post 12-23-13 16:12 #
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j4rio
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Posts: 2514
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Tyson is cool. You should try it with iwads. Especially TNT.

Old Post 12-23-13 16:20 #
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Phml
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Cool concept. Yeah, it might be impossible to do accurately, but even trying to think it through and seeing what other people rate as relevant is interesting.

One thing worth mentioning IMHO, Doom gameplay is varied enough you can make up for a deficiency in any area (or even a lack of twitch skill in general) through other means. I'd suck at every test proposed so far, yet I can tackle many of the hardest maps. Well, unless you stick me in a Plutonia-style megawad, in which case I just crawl in a corner and weep.

In the context of player reception to mapset difficulties, perceptions may be just as interesting as objective performance. Sometimes you find out the guy who thinks the map is too hard considers even a single death as failure, and the guy who thinks the map is too easy dies a dozen times but shrugs it off. Expectations probably vary per audience, I'd wager slaughtermap fans as a whole have a greater tolerance for mashing the space bar, and speedrunners probably even more than that; and per type of map as well, i.e. in a purely mechanical map people might be more willing to approach it as a puzzle to be solved and don't mind needing a few tries, whereas in a level telling a story, or experienced for its looks or atmosphere, getting killed at all, replaying areas of no value on a subsequent playthrough might be seen as a negative.

Ideally you'd want to just record and keep track of people while they play normally. Honor system works well enough for demos after all; but then the notion of "skill" might be too loaded and bring people to cheat, who knows. My cat jumped on the keyboard, I got a hand cramp, I was distracted because I thought of something else, just like in our appreciation of difficulty we differ when it comes to our definition of fairness as well. But on a personal level, I'd love to see a ZDoom/PrBoom+ fork tracking my stats locally and spitting out at the end of a level and/or a session, say, how well I did in terms of deaths, damage done, damage received, ammo efficiency, compared to my average stats in general and on that particular map.

Last edited by Phml on 12-23-13 at 21:29

Old Post 12-23-13 21:10 #
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schwerpunk
Senior Member


Posts: 2048
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Some pretty brutal ideas so far. I'd be interested in running this test myself, just to see if I can even finish it.


ArmouredBlood said:
- Map memory. Create a map with a very confusing theme with lots of backtracking and twisting turns. Fastest time wins.


Neat. Would you also hide the lines so the player can't use the automap? I wouldn't, because I consider quick map-checks an integral part of a Doomer's arsenal. Although 'map memory' and quick map recognition are too different things.

I think gggmork should make this map. >:-D

Old Post 12-24-13 00:01 #
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fraggle
Filled with the code of Doom


Posts: 7483
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Ribbiks said:


with the exception of weird stuff like tyson/reality/etc I don't think iwad content is a very good metric, given the average player skill has likely increased significantly since '94.
.

Probably correct; the best response would be to devise new DHTs using a carefully-selected set of levels from PWADs that are known to be tough. Not much sense in making new levels.

Old Post 12-24-13 00:16 #
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Zed
Forum Regular


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Registered: 10-11


I always thought in wads like 1 Monster like some kind of skill test rather than "normal" works. Or Phouse: The Great Arena.

EDIT: In fact, from the description in phtga: Phouse: "The great arena" is a rather special wad created especially for an lmp competition.

Old Post 12-24-13 00:28 #
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Demonologist
Member


Posts: 443
Registered: 08-09


First of all - who are these Doom Gods you're talking about?
And by the way - people will always be complaining. Don't listen to them, there are only very few of them who speak useful things worth your attention. And your time.

Memfis said:
Expired License

Meh. Besides - it's about zdoom's behavior, and zdoom sucks.

Ribbiks said:
ToD's map where you 2-shot like 100 cybs in a row

That's more like it, unforgettable. Ouch...

Old Post 12-24-13 15:01 #
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ducon
Régulier du Forum


Posts: 1317
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Maes said:

As for benchmarking...what, good old Doom Honorific Titles not good aneough?




It’s actually dead.

__________________
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Old Post 12-31-13 14:53 #
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