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DooM_RO

It's not about the number of enemy types, Id.

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Posted (edited)

https://www.vg247.com/2018/08/15/doom-eternal-gameplay-changes-marty-stratton-hugo-martin-interview/

 

So I was reading this interview and I was quite happy to see that they took the criticisms regarding the second half of the game. Maybe they truly read the Doomworld forums.

 

Hugo mentioned that they plan to fix this by adding more enemy types into the game. However, I'm not so sure about this approach. It's not about cramming in more and more enemy types into the game, it's about using what you have in NEW AND INVENTIVE WAYS! Remember, the original Doom and Doom 2 had a more limited roster of enemies, with less interesting attacks but it still managed to create very compelling combat experiences. Even to this day, modders continue to make incredible combat experiences in Doom. Put enemies on pillars, how about fighting nothing but 25 imps in one giant room? I've never seen more than two Barons in one room. How about spawning 6 Barons and on high, inaccessible ledges you put some Imps? Place devious traps that spawn enemies where the player least expects them. Don't be afraid to use monster closets from time to time. Maybe I'm totally wrong about this but just adding more enemies seems more like applying a bandaid than truly fixing the problem. I'm not saying don't add new enemies. What I'm saying is don't add more than what is needed.

 

I suspect you guys are not really familiar with Doom modding beyond Brutal Doom so I suggest trying the best of the best WADs to see how much you can do even with a limited roster. I recommend stuff like REKKR and Adventures of Square both of which are freeware games made by the best of the best of our community. Don't forget about Ancient Aliens and other amazing WADs like BTSX too!

 

Simply adding more enemy types might not only not fix the problem but also has the potential to make the game bloated and make it really hard to balance.

 

Doom 2016 didn't start to get boring after the first half of the game because you didn't introduce new things, it started to get boring because you didn't use what you had in new and interesting ways. 

Edited by DooM_RO

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The best use of enemies I saw honestly was in quake. That ogres with bouncing grenades created some hilarious situations, especially when 3 of them where raining grenades on you from a vantage position above.

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I don't imagine new enemies would be added if they didn't have some sort of specific, creative use for them. That's kind of the point of adding new enemies.

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10 minutes ago, Marn said:

I don't imagine new enemies would be added if they didn't have some sort of specific, creative use for them. That's kind of the point of adding new enemies.

 

Not my point. My point is that just adding new enemy types does not prevent the game from being repetitive and can cause balancing issues.

 

It would be like adding tons of Realm667 monsters because you can't figure out how to make the map more interesting.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, DooM_RO said:

 

Not my point. My point is that just adding new enemy types does not prevent the game from being repetitive and can cause balancing issues.

 

It would be like adding tons of Realm667 monsters because you can't figure out how to make the map more interesting.

 

I don't know that's really a fair comparison though. If your team is designing a monster, you have specific purposes and abilities in mind for it and you're going to be testing what spaces it works best in, and in the case of a game dev company like id, that's a collaborative effort by the entire team.

 

In the case of realm667, you have one level designer working on his own who's grabbing enemies already made for him by another guy who was working on his own. Party one doesn't know how they're actually supposed to work and party two may or may not have had a purpose in mind for the monster at all.

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The last third of the game suffered from linear level design and the lack of new monsters to kill.  I will even play doom wads and find my self getting bored if they don't at least ad some new monsters from the vanilla roster.  At the very least give me a few reskinned variants that have some different attributes.

 

In the last arena fight of Argent D'Nur, you can get three barons to spawn.  This is the only spot in the game where you see more than two.

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Posted (edited)

The combat system in the new DOOM games is very specialized. Every component works towards the goal of creating an aggressive, push forward gameplay. It's state of the art at what it does. However it's fundamentally a one trick pony. The number of diverse encounters that you can design around it is very limited.

 

The original DOOM games had very simple and very slow AIs. However ironically that has allowed designers to exploit this simplicity and create a huge number of unique and memorable encounters by using level design. You will never see a horde of demons creeping towards you as you try to dodge enemies sniping you from the ledges on the sides in the new DOOM games. This will never happen because the new AIs are designed to support the push forward combat - they're extremely fast and agile, they can always reach you and they can do it very quickly.

 

Everyone knows that the problem with the last few levels in DOOM4 was not the lack of new enemies. The problem was the combat system that is primarily designed around arena gameplay + lackluster level design that deteriorated into a string of challenge rooms and nothing more. Adding more enemy types may mitigate some of the effects of that but it's not gonna fix the main issue which is a severe lack of encounter diversity.

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1 hour ago, Touchdown said:

The combat system in the new DOOM games is very specialized. Every component works towards the goal of creating an aggressive, push forward gameplay. It's state of the art at what it does. However it's fundamentally a one trick pony. The number of diverse encounters that you can design around it is very limited.

 

The original DOOM games had very simple and very slow AIs. However ironically that has allowed designers to exploit this simplicity and create a huge number of unique and memorable encounters by using level design. You will never see a horde of demons creeping towards you as you try to dodge enemies sniping you from the ledges on the sides in the new DOOM games. This will never happen because the new AIs are designed to support the push forward combat - they're extremely fast and agile, they can always reach you and they can do it very quickly.

 

Everyone knows that the problem with the last few levels in DOOM4 was not the lack of new enemies. The problem was the combat system that is primarily designed around arena gameplay + lackluster level design that deteriorated into a string of challenge rooms and nothing more. Adding more enemy types may mitigate some of the effects of that but it's not gonna fix the main issue which is a severe lack of encounter diversity.

 

@Touchdown

 

Not only that but Id seem to have actually reversed the way the game works. The player is slower but the monsters are faster this time. 

 

 

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About the number of monsters...

 

I don't see how it's even possible to have a huge number on screen at once with modern graphics. The only reason we saw this in the past is because sprites were still the norm back then. This could actually be argued to be one of the only advantages that the Doom engine has over modern engines.

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Posted (edited)

@Touchdown

 

Also, the complexity of the AI in the new games may prevent the level designer from making new and unpredictable combat scenarios. There might be too much new information coming towards the player from the monsters so adapting to a new situation might be harder. This is no issue in the classic games because not only are you much faster but the enemies are much slower both in attack and in movement. Not to mention more predictable.

 

So it would seem that unpredictability clashes somewhat with encounter diversity? A lot of monsters in classic Doom are basically turrets. The player sees where they are and then they don't have to think about that anymore. That is obviously not the case in the new games but not for a bad reason. I am not suggesting they get rid of the complexity at all. That would be absurd and regressive but there has to be a way to make the monster compositions more interesting.

 

Actually, there was an encounter where the level desiger used level design to create an interesting combat situation. In Argent Tower, you have Imps stationed on the bridge leading to the tower. Most weapons are ineffective at the distances the imps are located and they can just harass you with fireballs from a great distance so you have to be careful all the time. I wish there were more moments like that. 

Edited by DooM_RO

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I think I can count the amount of encounters where Spectres, Lost Souls, and Summoners appeared on one hand. Let alone encounters where Barons of Hell weren't relegated to spawning on their own in the final wave. Hopefully we're seeing more of them at least (and with a New Game+ mode where late-game enemies appear in the earliest levels. I loved that shit in Overload)

 

If you want to see how to improve encounter variety utilizing only AI-driven enemies, you only need to look at beat 'em ups like Golden Axe, Alien vs Predator or Streets of Rage 2. Very little stage gimmicks are involved, it's just different sets of enemies at different parts of the screen, all the way through. Take a look at The Ninja Warriors Again and see how the enemy types synergize:

 

Then take a look at a Hard Mode replay. Hard Mode in TNWA only changes up enemy encounters to include tougher enemy types more often, and increases the health for some bosses a bit, yet it can result in a completely different experience:

 

Encounters start feeling samey because the enemy types can't synergize in a way where you really have to change up how to play as most enemies are variants of projectile throwing enemies or melee chargers. This happens because arenas are too spacious, and enemies are not designed in a way to really restrict your movement and make you go oh shit, I can't mindlessly run in circles while shooting everything anymore. Else it's like a large open level in Doom with only Imps and no hitscan enemies.

 

Remember that rising earth wall attack in the Cyberdemon boss fight and how it restricted your movement between the walls? Remember the spinning laser in the Hell Guard boss fight and how it forced you to play hopscotch? Remember the floor-is-lava attack from the Spider Mastermind fight? Imagine things like that, applied to regular arena fights, on top of other enemies. Enemies should have attacks more oriented around disabling your movements rather than simply attacking you, since relying on numbers and less space doesn't seem to be an option. This you will actually need to prioritize targets, and we can work things out from there.

 

Arena design shouldn't be completely neglected either. This is a 3D FPS and not a beat 'em up after all. So far arena designs came down to different arrangements of platforms, but that doesn't really affect how combat plays out. If anything, arena size or the movement space in the rooms plays a larger factor by giving you more space to move around in. Arena design should again play into disabling player movement. This can be done through more environmental hazards, like damaging acid pits (screw instakill-pits, at least teleport me back up with some damage taken like in Metroid Prime) and more platforming (moving platforms, platforms which disappear if you stand too long on them, etc.). The Phobos demonstration gave me an idea where you need to periodically hide under cover in safe zones to avoid taking damage from the Big Gun heatwaves, except the demons are immune to it. It's gimmicky, but what options do you really have with arenas like this?

 

Arena design suffers a fundamental problem where each arena needs to support several waves, and as a designer you can't know where the player is at the start of each wave to design an encounter around that, other than shrinking arena size massively. I hope they ditch that idea for Eternal.

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Posted (edited)

@DooM_RO

 

I think you will love watching this (I sure did): GDC 2018 Embracing Push Forward Combat in Doom

 

Warning: it might spoil your perception of being a bad-ass slightly if you learn the underlying mechanics of encounters and AI.

 

They are aware of the criticisms of 2016 having explicitly acknowledged them and have constantly emphasized that gameplay and good mechanics come first in DE so I have a good amount of faith they will tackle the weak points of D'16 wherever possible.

 

However, its not going to be nearly as "simple" as designing unique scenarios through level design with really basic AI.

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@redrage

 

I've already seen that. I do hope they fix it but just increasing the enemy types might not cut it.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, DooM_RO said:

I've already seen that. I do hope they fix it but just increasing the enemy types might not cut it.

 

@DooM_RO

 

Sorry perhaps I should have been clearer. I -highly doubt- they are "just" going to increase the enemy types. As other people have pointed out, designing a new monster is not as cheap as it once was, each monster will have a specific goal, a role in the dance. Everything is tied together. This is essentially why I linked that video.

 

They mention specific scenario "rules", such as not mixing certain monster types or setting maxes on specific types. Creating more, different combat scenario's can be done by adding more enemy types that are more widely compatible with other types which is what they've told us. I am certain there are more subtle changes they plan to implement to alleviate this issue which are less simple to explain than "we added more monster types". Don't forget they also added location based damage which actually effects monster behavior. In addition to that they buffed melee, making it an actual part of combat where you can jab monsters to interrupt attacks/stun them shortly.

 

All in all it sounds like you will have many more tools during combat (offhand item use, dash, meathook, new melee, AOE stun in the form of the flamethrower), more enemies to fight and more locations to fight them in. They even mention how they plan to improve arena's, since while they cant remove them, they realize it makes encounters feel boxed in and samey.

 

I mean, its not proof or anything, but to me it seems like they are tackling the issue's of D'16 pretty much head on. :)

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@redrage

 

Thanks for posting that video, it was incredibly interesting to see the amount of thoughts going in the concept of doom. I see they took all the old game concepts and realaborate them to fit in their press forward combat idea.

 

I think the final product is something different from classic doom, because in classic doom you can either kite enemies to say, a corner, and then pop and shoot, or cheese fights (like the pinkie bait or pain elemental mouth occlusion). Also I think what I saw just put a tombstone on the hitscanner enemies question. They don't want them and have a reason to not wanting them. Basically they don't want the player to feel like he need to run for cover ever. Some people dislike it but I think there is a very good reason to do so, they wanted their product to be different by cover shooters like gears of war.

 

I have a bit of doubts regarding monster infighting since apart from scripted sequnces I didn't see it happen. I think it's about the fact if you shoot something the monster turn immediately against you and in the middle of the action is very difficult to not shoot things. I understand the choice however, since the player should feel like he is at the center of the attention and not just a spectator, apart when they want it to happen (scripted infighting). 

 

All their decisions are really sound even if then some AI behaviours aren't rewarded. A monster who flank a player will not be able to shoot at him since he his not going to get any attack token of they're all stolen from the monsters in front of the player. So if you have a number of monsters on your front view, you don't need to worry much about the ones of the side, since they will never shoot at you.

Just a thought (and probably is something stupid since they put a lot of thinking into this) is that the token stealing system could have been a bit more refined. Instead of just letting monsters in front of you steal the token, let it happen according to the monster class. A big guy, like a hellknight or baron mancubus will always steal a token. A small guy, like a imp, will not steal it when he is in front of you and will try to scramble away to flank instead, while the guys on the flank will shoot. In this situation you have imps constantly moving on your sides and a big monsters using a more direct in your face approach. Of course if a imp in front of you is the only guy who got the token he will shoot, like he is doing a sort of last stand instead of moving, so players don't feel frustrated if they need to chase a single enemy. I think I would like something working so. 

 

After watching the video, I feel like some stuff are not in the game not because they didn't think about it or they were not able of doing it but just because they decided it wouldn't fit their concept or some mechanics and left them out. 

 So monster closets aren't useful to the game, because they will probably never or very rarely get a token, unless you face them. And I doubt they want turret monsters because they don't want a player to hide from the monsters or not be able to glory kill them. 

 

Now speaking of the vilified gargoyle (small flying monster in doom eternal) I think he has a very precise role, and is to allow players to meathook them to initiate air combat. Probably they wanted a sort of small flying fodder enemy for this purpose instead of using only cacodemons and pain elementals.

 

And, if I can go a bit out of topic, how cool was that test sequence with persistent corpses and environment use to glory kill enemies? Can we have that in the main game please?

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"I suspect you guys are not really familiar with Doom modding beyond Brutal Doom so I suggest trying the best of the best WADs to see how much you can do even with a limited roster. I recommend stuff like REKKR and Adventures of Square both of which are freeware games made by the best of the best of our community. Don't forget about Ancient Aliens and other amazing WADs like BTSX too!"

 

Pffft! Lol what?

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I think his point is it's ridiculous to assume id aren't familiar with modding beyond Brutal Doom. I would probably agree with that.

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29 minutes ago, Caffeine Freak said:

I think his point is it's ridiculous to assume id aren't familiar with modding beyond Brutal Doom. I would probably agree with that.

 

I don't think it's too ridiculous. I mean they are very busy after all. 

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On 8/16/2018 at 7:55 PM, hardcore_gamer said:

About the number of monsters...

 

I don't see how it's even possible to have a huge number on screen at once with modern graphics. The only reason we saw this in the past is because sprites were still the norm back then. This could actually be argued to be one of the only advantages that the Doom engine has over modern engines.

 

Left 4 Dead did it ten years ago with fast moving zombie hordes, in an online coop game no less.

 

I have no idea if id will introduce a horde type enemy in Eternal. I certainly hope they do, if only to emulate some of the really big fights from DOOMII. But while nothing in the footage suggests anything along those lines yet, it's been well within the technical capabilities of modern PCs to do so for at least a decade.

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1 hour ago, Urthar said:

 

Left 4 Dead did it ten years ago with fast moving zombie hordes, in an online coop game no less.

 

A few dozen vs hundreds or even thousands...

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16 hours ago, Caffeine Freak said:

I think his point is it's ridiculous to assume id aren't familiar with modding beyond Brutal Doom. I would probably agree with that.

 

1 hour ago, hardcore_gamer said:

 

A few dozen vs hundreds or even thousands...

Anyone who is a fan of DOOM should know about modding. Anyone working on a DOOM game certainly does.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Urthar said:

 

Left 4 Dead did it ten years ago with fast moving zombie hordes, in an online coop game no less.

 

I have no idea if id will introduce a horde type enemy in Eternal. I certainly hope they do, if only to emulate some of the really big fights from DOOMII. But while nothing in the footage suggests anything along those lines yet, it's been well within the technical capabilities of modern PCs to do so for at least a decade.

 

The AI in L4D were quite simplistic in comparison with Doom's monsters, though---not just in terms of their polycount, but also their behavior. Doom AI isn't what you'd call supremely intelligent, but it's much more varied and tactically advanced than the L4D zombies, who all had the same exact behavior, with the exception of the special types. For as much flak as it's gotten, even the AI in Doom 3 was more complex in some of it's behavior than the AI in L4D.

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lmao when people think AI calculations consume any considerable power from the computer. It's a joke compared to other things like graphics/rendering.

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2 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

lmao when people think AI calculations consume any considerable power from the computer. It's a joke compared to other things like graphics/rendering.

I agree. There’s no way the issue with sizeable enemy counts is the AI.

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I think it's related to the fact that 100 enemies with refined AI will probably kick you ass way more than 100 enemies with very basic AI you can cheese.

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A really basic AI would make the gameplay less fun. If anything, the AI should be advanced, or else the gameplay would actually look kind of dumb and unfun as it would turn the whole thing into a "mindlessly keep shooting" kind of thing.

 

Also, what's really wrong with keeping the enemy types high?

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11 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

lmao when people think AI calculations consume any considerable power from the computer. It's a joke compared to other things like graphics/rendering.

 

You really don't know anything, do you.

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Also, I don't understand why would the OP don't need the new enemies. It is a Doom 2-style situation, so why not introduce new enemies?

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