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Giomancer

Stealth Archvile Fight?

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Let me begin by saying that this is something of a thought experiment, as I'm stuck with just a chromebook and a tablet for the forseeable future. I'm currently working on a map (on paper, *real* old-school), and I'm trying to design a midboss fight that is somewhat different from what I usually see.

 

So here's the idea: a completely invisible Archvile. A field of corpses. No BFG. Sparse cover. Maybe a few Pain Elementals to keep people busy?

 

Good idea? Bad idea? Suggestions?

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Posted (edited)
On 7/4/2018 at 1:55 PM, Giomancer said:

Let me begin by saying that this is something of a thought experiment, as I'm stuck with just a chromebook and a tablet for the forseeable future. I'm currently working on a map (on paper, *real* old-school), and I'm trying to design a midboss fight that is somewhat different from what I usually see.

 

So here's the idea: a completely invisible Archvile. A field of corpses. No BFG. Sparse cover. Maybe a few Pain Elementals to keep people busy?

 

Good idea? Bad idea? Suggestions?

 

What format/port are you planning on mapping for?

 

Since archviles can't resurrect sprites (in that context, a dead body is essentially just a differently shaped candle), you would need an actual field of dead monsters (that had actually been killed during play). In that case, this becomes a variant on the "archvile gets released into an area you've already cleared and so you have to kill everything you already killed again" trope that players love so much. (See Deus Vult II Map 23 for an example.)

 

That being said, it could be interesting. These are my thoughts.

  • Since this invisible archvile will be a boss, you'll need to modify it so that the level ends (or something else happens) when it dies. And you don't want to just have an exit on the other side of the field of corpses, otherwise, you could possibly just run to the exit and avoid much of the fight.
  • Ideally, the invisible archvile will also be silent.
  • The way I picture this is that you return to the scene of carnage. Unbeknownst to you, the stealth archvile has been unleashed somewhere in the field. All you know is that you see random monsters start to come back to life.
    • Personally, I would start this on the far side of the field.
    • I would also suggest having the stealth archvile teleport in, so there isn't a door or something else opening. Just the dead being invisibly resurrected.
  • I suggest having the pain elementals come in sporadically, to divert your attention away from the field for long enough for the stealth archvile to resurrect a few more monsters. In fact, I would have the pain elementals not come immediately, but to come in no earlier than around the same time as (or shortly after) the first monster or two are resurrected.
    • You could even wait a little while. One monster comes back to life. You kill it. Then another. You kill that one, too. This goes on for some time. Then a pain elemental appears, forcing your attention away from the field. When you can turn your attention back to the field, you know have a small army to deal with, and more are being raised all the time. You start to kill them and then another pain elemental appears.
  • You'll want to have plenty of ammo available, because, depending on what dead monsters you have in the field how long it takes you to find the invisible archvile, this fight could end up sucking up a lot of ammo.

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17 hours ago, Pegleg said:

What format/port are you planning on mapping for?

 

This specific map is for Eternity.

 

However, I believe that this encounter could be easily designed using the post-DECORATE ZDoom family, Vavoom, 3DGE, or any other port allowing for custom enemies and basic scripting (apologies if I missed any!). Ports with scripting capabilities such as Legacy, Delphi, and Odamex (again, apologies) would only require Dehacked work, and it's possible sufficiently extensive and skilled Dehacking would make this work in Boom.

 

More on your ideas in a moment later.

Edited by Giomancer : Because 'in a moment' implies 'soon'

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Posted (edited)
On 7/5/2018 at 10:59 AM, Pegleg said:

you would need an actual field of dead monsters (that had actually been killed during play).

 

Correct. The plan here is to kill the monsters prior to the player's arrival; I'm currently leaning towards spawning the mobs, crushing them, then moving the corpses via conveyor to a teleporter which deposits them in the room. The actual teleportation would be controlled by a script that would change the destination after each activation. Theoretically.

 

ACS should be able to do damage to a bunch of marked mobs, no? I'll have to check.

 

 

Quote

Ideally, the invisible archvile will also be silent.

 

Hm. I'd have to test this; I was slightly amused by the idea of the archie "laughing" at the player as it moves around.

 

 

Quote

The way I picture this is that you return to the scene of carnage. Unbeknownst to you,

 

Well.. the premise of the map is you're coming to the aid of another fire team (I say "another" because you and your co-op buddies are a fire team). You fight your way through the level, enter the room, and have to deal with Mr. Vile & Friends.

 

 

Quote

I suggest having the pain elementals come in sporadically, to divert your attention away from the field for long enough for the stealth archvile to resurrect a few more monsters.

You'll want to have plenty of ammo available

 

Definitely plenty of ways to tweak this fight with reserves spawning in. Ammo, though.. that could prove difficult to get right depending on how the mechanics of the actual fight work with regards to an invisible enemy.

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26 minutes ago, Giomancer said:

Hm. I'd have to test this; I was slightly amused by the idea of the archie "laughing" at the player as it moves around.

 

Definitely plenty of ways to tweak this fight with reserves spawning in. Ammo, though.. that could prove difficult to get right depending on how the mechanics of the actual fight work with regards to an invisible enemy.

"Laughing at the player?" Interesting touch.

 

Just be careful with the ammo. With an invisible enemy resurrecting waves of monsters (so the monsters are seemingly unkillable), if the player can't sort out the whole invisible archvile angle and kill it, you'll end up with a bunch of players running out of ammo and being forced to punch and chainsaw things to death (including an archvile). Granted, some people might like that, but I could see a lot of others getting frustrated.

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Posted (edited)

An example script to damage all the monsters:

script 900 OPEN
{
 Thing_Damage2 (256, 1000, "Normal"); //Anything not imps or zombies
 Thing_Damage2 (257, 100, "Normal"); //Imps and chaingunners
 Thing_Damage2 (258, 30, "Normal"); //Zombiemen and shotgunners
} //These lines will do 1,000, 100, and 30 damage to things tagged 256, 257, and 258, respectively.
//The extra tags and lines are to prevent the fodder from gibbing, unless you want that to happen.

I use Thing_Damage2 and not Thing_Damage, because Thing_Damage2 allows you to write a specific damagetype string, here, "Normal".

If you wanted a standard vile to do this, you could also write this simple script:

script 901 OPEN
{
 SetActorProperty (260, APROP_ALPHA, 0);
} //This will render the vile invisible, but not unable to attack, which could be very frustrating

It's an interesting idea, but as noted in the above comment, an invisible vile attacking the player could be frustrating.

You could define a new actor using DECORATE or EDF to make a vile that only resurrects, never attacks.

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52 minutes ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

You could define a new actor using DECORATE or EDF to make a vile that only resurrects, never attacks.

That would be nice and still sinister. Imagine nothing hurting you, but watching a field of dead enemies slowly rising from the dead, one by one.

 

While a regular archvile would likely resurrect dead monsters as it came across them without attacking you, it would probably start attacking as soon as you started attacking it. An invisible something hitting you with a flame attack seems a bit on the unnecessary side.

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Posted (edited)

You could use DECORATE to make monsters that come back to life on their own after a certain length of time, or even mix in some ACS to make it a random length of time. Then, no arch vile would be needed.

 

EDIT: You could give the monsters 9 lives, or some other number. Once you kill the last one for the last time, the map ends.

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22 minutes ago, Empyre said:

EDIT: You could give the monsters 9 lives, or some other number. Once you kill the last one for the last time, the map ends.

enough i have of he is stealth

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1 minute ago, Gaia74 said:

enough i have of he is stealth

I do not know what you mean. Something was lost in the translation.

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4 minutes ago, Empyre said:

I do not know what you mean. Something was lost in the translation.

ups, my error xd :

Enough I have if the archvile is stealth

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22 minutes ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

@Empyre, here's my interpretation:

It is enough for the archvile to be stealth.

correct , sorry my english is bad :"v, (and i no have much time using the english xD)

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My only issue with the idea is that the archvile is *completely* invisible, in that the only clue you have as to his whereabouts is when a monster is resurrected. I always felt that this made stealth monsters unrealistic and kind of lame.

 

But this could be alleviated a few ways:

  • The archvile could drop blood after it was hurt
  • It could spawn something, like smoke every few seconds or so
  • It could fade in to, say 80% translucent, every few seconds or so
  • It could fire traditional missiles occasionally
  • The archvile's fire blast state could be made somewhat visible

Of course, this is just my opinion, and, who knows? You might make a really fun game out of it. But, without experiencing the finished product, I am guessing that I'd like it better if I had even just a slight chance of being able to see the enemy.

 

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Posted (edited)

Honestly, this could be possible, and a good idea, with a lot of DeHacked work.

EDIT: Just looked and realized this is for eternity, use DeHacked if you want to, though.

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Oh, I didn't notice it was for Eternity. My suggestions were for ZDoom and its modern children. I don't know what is possible in Eternity.

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I think Valiant Map32 does this in the exit area.

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Honestly, even as somebody who loves AVs, this sounds like the opposite of fun to me and is yet another great example of boss mobs being unnecessary. Imagine how players are going to react when the average player 1: dislikes AVs in general, 2: considers it lazy design in modern times to do the trope of releasing an AV at the end of a map in a sea of corpses, and 3: hates stealth monsters.

 

Here's an idea: how about making a large-scale encounter that isn't so flat from a gameplay perspective?

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Posted (edited)

You will probably find this surprisingly underwhelming unless you modify the archvile in other ways. A single invisible vile in a field doesn't sound too intimidating when it has 700 HP and a field of corpses to preoccupy itself resurrecting and the default infighting behavior, allowing those monsters to distract it. I'd expect not having to do much a lot of the time -- keep distance while the vile gets itself killed somehow.

 

 

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Uh... sure buddy.

 

Calls Security

 

"We got another insane Doomguy over here, send in the E4M2 squad!"

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For me, it really begs the question: Why does the archvile have to be invisible? Or, better worded: What is gained by making the archvile invisible? How does that dynamic make the game more fun? Is it to make the archvile hard to kill or dangerous to fight? Or to make it more frightening?

 

When Doom was new, seeing monsters coming back to life would indeed be quite frightening. Nowadays, Doomers will recognize that it's probably an archvile somewhere. So, the reason I am asking the questions above is to suggest that, whatever is being gained by having an invisible archvile could be done in different ways that may not be quite as annoying, to some people. I don't think it would be boring, but it might be frustrating!

 

I mean, once I realize that it's a stealth archvile, I think I'd just have to start spamming rockets everywhere, until the monsters stop re-animating. How do you even know you got the archvile? The level ends? Seems unsatisfying.

 

But, maybe I'm totally wrong, and this could be fun. I want it to be fun. As presented, though, I'm not sure. Good luck with whatever you come up with.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/7/2018 at 4:04 AM, Fonze said:

Here's an idea: how about making a large-scale encounter that isn't so flat from a gameplay perspective?

 

Explain 'flat'.

 

On 7/7/2018 at 4:04 AM, Fonze said:

do the trope of releasing an AV at the end of a map in a sea of corpses

 

Explain why tropes are automatically invalid; for example, would the encounter make more sense at the beginning of a map?

 

On 7/7/2018 at 4:04 AM, Fonze said:

considers it lazy design in modern times

 

*zap*

Edited by Giomancer : Because I apparently don't remember lazy has multiple meanings.

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Posted (edited)

Flat means that something lacks depth and can typically be viewed from one perspective. This can be encounters that are set up in a way that gives them little to no real variability, strategy, or prioritization required to win, or in this case quite literally just a flat area, as per your description, which I'll relink for you since apparently you forgot your own OP:

 

On 7/4/2018 at 1:55 PM, Giomancer said:

So here's the idea: a completely invisible Archvile. A field of corpses. No BFG. Sparse cover. Maybe a few Pain Elementals to keep people busy?

 

 

 

7 hours ago, Giomancer said:

Explain why tropes are automatically invalid; for example, would the encounter make more sense at the beginning of a map?

 

Tropes aren't automatically invalid, but saying something is a trope implies that it is at least a relatively common pattern, and let's be honest, we've all played the 'AV released at the end of the map in a sea of corpses' hundreds, if not thousands of times, but to top it all off your example brings nothing new to the table.

 

Personally I don't mind that particular trope, indeed it is one of the niches AVs fill, but it is undoubtedly lazy design if your final fight is 1: supposed to be climactic and 2: tries to achieve that through this trope alone.

 

7 hours ago, Giomancer said:

Truth be told, if I ever finish this, I don't give a damn if you and people like you consider it 'lazy' design or not. Good design, bad design—that works. But lazy? After hours of sketching mock-ups because that's all I have to work with? Posting for actual feedback (and thanks to those of you that provided such)? Suck an egg.

 

Truth be told your a special little snowflake who has the memory of a chipmunk on crack. Put down the drugs and reread your OP; here I'll link it for you again after this next paragraph:

 

More truth be told, if you ever finish this, I wont have or care to make the time to play it; I'm surprised I'm even wasting the time to reply seriously to you right now instead of just making fun of you and leaving it at that. Lazy design is not mutually exclusive with good/bad design. 

 

On 7/4/2018 at 1:55 PM, Giomancer said:

Good idea? Bad idea? Suggestions?

 

See this part where you literally asked for opinions? That's what I was responding to. 

 

Now, I didn't mean to hurt your fee-fees; it's obvious you consider you and your ideas to be one in the same but good news that's not the case; we all have underbaked ideas at times. You even just said the exact reason why I even bothered to respond to this stupid thread in the first place:

 

7 hours ago, Giomancer said:

After hours of sketching mock-ups because that's all I have to work with? Posting for actual feedback

 

This ^ 

 

After hours this is all you have to work with because you don't know any better, which is why I was trying to educate you a bit on how veterans will see/approach playing or designing a map's "final" encounter. Just like the newproject tag keep in mind we've already seen thousands of wads take the same cop-out you detailed here. I've done it a few times, except with non-invisible AVs because I want people to generally like my shitty maps.

 

This all goes back to the "flat" comment in that the encounter you describe requires enough literally flat land in order to accommodate both 1 a sea of corpses and 2 and AV to be able to walk over all of them. If you focus more on establishing a good flow with fun height variation it may set you up to build an encounter even you will find more satisfying.

 

Now I could have said "wow that sounds awesome breh!" but it would have been a lie that would have only set you up for a worse failure in the form of your map's ultimate encounter flopping among players than simply an unimplemented or at least unreleased idea hitting the cutting room floor; you're welcome. It wouldnt have done you any good (and arguably could have done more harm than good) for me to be anything but honest when you literally asked for opinions, and what I said is not only my views, (though my views have trended towards the "DW-center" over time) but also the same views I've seen expressed by a great many people here more knowledgeable than me and stuff that's even been said specifically towards me, once again by people far more knowledgeable than I.

 

And im sorry for not taking the time before to fully detail why i said what i said, but by the same token if you just play more pwads you'll see exactly why on your own, so I figured it was pretty self-explanatory.

 

I just want to know why you responded this late to my reply in the disrespectful, asinine way you did. Please be a bit more humble in the future, respect the knowledge of others, and don't insult me or tell me to suck an egg when I was actually being helpful, even if you were too ignorant to realize it earlier. That (being a dick to those trying to help you) is just gonna cause people to not want to interact with you. Good luck to you in the future; play pwads.

Edited by Fonze

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Posted (edited)

@Fonze Your first post wasn't helpful. Well, no, that isn't true. It was partially helpful; you cleared things up. After re-reading your post, I realized I had confused 'lazy design' with 'lazy', so my sincere apologies. While I'll try not to take your second post personally since it's a fair reaction to my misunderstanding, I'd appreciate if you cleaned it up; make it less 'noisy', if you will.

 

Why are you against boss monsters?

 

@kb1 Your posts, in particular, have made me rethink the design of the enounter, which made me go back through the episode and rework some of the basic design. Probably not what you intended, but I've found it useful. As far as this specific battle goes, you changed my mind regarding the invisible archvile.

 

I've been toying with a customized archvile—translucent, not invisible—that doesn't have a fire attack but possibly a melee one. I'll have to test it and see how it plays with Doom's AI.

Edited by Giomancer : proper tags; add second part; emphasis

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8 hours ago, Giomancer said:

@Fonze Your first post wasn't helpful. Well, no, that isn't true. It was partially helpful; you cleared things up. After re-reading your post, I realized I had confused 'lazy design' with 'lazy', so my sincere apologies. While I'll try not to take your second post personally since it's a fair reaction to my misunderstanding, I'd appreciate if you cleaned it up; make it less 'noisy', if you will.

 

Why are you against boss monsters?

 

@kb1 Your posts, in particular, have made me rethink the design of the enounter, which made me go back through the episode and rework some of the basic design. Probably not what you intended, but I've found it useful. As far as this specific battle goes, you changed my mind regarding the invisible archvile.

 

I've been toying with a customized archvile—translucent, not invisible—that doesn't have a fire attack but possibly a melee one. I'll have to test it and see how it plays with Doom's AI.

First of all, I have to acknowledge you for re-reading the above posts, and responding honorably. I don't see that too often, and I think it was courageous and appropriate. It's easy to misinterpret text conversations at first - cause text is a poor substitute for a real conversation. It takes a lot of time to type up 'delicate' kind criticism, and, we're all Doom players...we shouldn't have to be too delicate :)

 

Regarding my posts: I'm thrilled to have been able to help, if I did. Don't worry about 'what I intended' - it's your map. All I wanted to do was to let you know how I might perceive such an encounter. I didn't want to dismiss your idea, instead, I just wanted to point out the one aspect of it that might be a bit annoying (but I don't really know until I play it).

 

I'm no mapper, but I know how things make me feel. Yet, there are lots of avid mappers and players here, and if they are offering their knowledge, by all means take advantage of it.

 

Good luck with your maps.

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