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Boondorl

How would you rework partial invisibility?

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Not really a secret that this power up is bad, mostly because it's only useful against hitscan enemies. The random turning when attacking throws the player off because 99% of the time they just attack in a completely different direction anyway. Melee is also not affected by it at all despite appearances (same with the Arch-vile). I find not moving is the best way to make use of it which is counter intuitive to Doom's gameplay, but makes sense when looking in the context of "people were playing this on DOS with only a keyboard." Given the way shooters have evolved, though, it's aged terribly.

 

Doom has two different types of missiles:

  • Hitscan (instant, has to autoaim at any monster between the caller and its target)
  • Projectile

And six types of attacks:

  • Continuous (enemy will keep firing until target is out of line of sight or dead)
  • Singular
  • Burst (Mancubus and Cyberdemon style attacks)
  • Melee
  • Arch-vile (explosive attack that cannot miss unless the target gets the fire off themselves)
  • Combo (whether the enemy's attack is melee or missile is based on how close the target is when the function is called)

 

All of this in mind, how would you guys rework partial invisibility to affect these things?

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Heretic did some cool things with the Shadowsphere to make it more useful.  Not sure about the attacks ghosting through the player aspect in the context of Doom, but letting you sneak through line of sight of "sleeping" monsters or preventing revenant missiles from locking on would be good ones.

 

Also yeah, changing the "enemy seems to turn one way but then attacks in a different direction" thing when monsters are "confused" would in itself help.

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5 minutes ago, ETTiNGRiNDER said:

Heretic did some cool things with the Shadowsphere to make it more useful.  Not sure about the attacks ghosting through the player aspect in the context of Doom, but letting you sneak through line of sight of "sleeping" monsters or preventing revenant missiles from locking on would be good ones.

The Shadowsphere is definitely a more interesting version of the powerup; the stealth ability opens up interesting possibilities, and the fact that it keeps the Iron Lich tornado from tracking you is the most useful thing about it, so having it stop Revenant tracking would be a good add-on to the Doom item. It's a shame that the Shadowsphere is so random/unintuitive in terms of what it defends the player from, and I've never found any sensible way to resolve that problem.

 

The thing I really wanted to change about it is to make the ghosted player immune to melee attacks, but this doesn't seem to be possible (unless it can be done in ZScript).

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Not Jabba said:

and the fact that it keeps the Iron Lich tornado from tracking you is the most useful thing about it

I'd say it's the fact that it makes you fully immune to ranged attacks from undead knights that's the most useful thing about it; especially with custom Heretic maps that are borderline slaughterfestive. Nothing like not having to care anymore about that pack of 80 ghost knights spamming an endless flood of bloody axes.

 

14 minutes ago, Not Jabba said:

The thing I really wanted to change about it is to make the ghosted player immune to melee attacks, but this doesn't seem to be possible (unless it can be done in ZScript).

Oh it's most certainly possible since you can basically rewrite the damage-dealing and damage-taking functions.

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It would be helpful if it debuffed the Archvile's attack like it does to other hitscan attacks. Perhaps make it do less damage, or have a random chance to miss.

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Make non-alerted enemies not able to see you, as in, they wouldn't be alerted if you were to stand right in their face. I don't expect demons to have good eyesight anyways.

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So, inviso sphere in Doom, how to make it more useful.

  • Give chance not to be detected by idle monsters (like Heretic's shadowsphere). Simple but potentially useful.
  • Break lock of tracking attacks (revenant missiles, arch-vile flames). The powerup can then speed up the game by removing the need to seek cover while it is active. Just keep moving and you're safe.
  • If there's a spectre within 256 map units of you, have a 50% chance that monster attacks that target you will accidentally target the nearest spectre instead.
  • The usual reduction in aim capacity would be kept, too.

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20 minutes ago, Gez said:

I'd say it's the fact that it makes you fully immune to ranged attacks from undead knights that's the most useful thing about it; especially with custom Heretic maps that are borderline slaughterfestive. Nothing like not having to care anymore about that pack of 80 ghost knights spamming an endless flood of bloody axes.

That.  I only recently found out about the no tornado lock-on thing, and while it's handy, I can't really compare it to the number of times using a Shadowsphere as budget invulnerability against undead warriors has saved my butt in a hairy situation.

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Just now, ETTiNGRiNDER said:

That.  I only recently found out about the no tornado lock-on thing, and while it's handy, I can't really compare it to the number of times using a Shadowsphere as budget invulnerability against undead warriors has saved my butt in a hairy situation.

Being able to treat it as a "budget invulnerability" is super useful from a mapper's perspective too, as the arti makes players immune to the most basic horde enemy plus a miniboss that affects the player's behavior in complex ways. This creates interesting strategic possibilities when you're setting up or responding to fights throughout a map that has a Shadowsphere placed on it, and it is great to have as an option because Heretic's actual invuln, as an inventoried item, is so incredibly powerful that it's difficult to accommodate it. It's just a shame that most players won't know what the strategic possibilities of the Shadowsphere actually are.

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Posted (edited)

I think the Hexen version makes more sense to me so it can either deflect projectiles and send it back to its original target or rather a different monster or you can make it so projectiles pass through the player.

 

Or maybe make it a completely different item and when active, makes all enemies in-sight attack each other randomly.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

don't blur the player, blur the projectiles. :P

What if Doom powerups benefit enemies instead (eg: Berserk makes enemies' melee attacks deal 10x damage) ;P

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I'd have the enemies enter a more wandering mode as they lose track of you, but begin to pursue when the invisible target draws near.  That smell of human blood, and all.  Firing would allow them to return fire towards your position, since the sound would give you away.  Maybe have them pursue towards the last known position of the target.  It might add some pseudo stealth mechanic.

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Posted (edited)

The Arch-vile is an interesting one for sure. I currently have it set so chance to attack is based off range to target. I find it works well since at half of his normal max range he only has a 50% chance to attack, and it only gets lower from there.

 

Other tweaks I've already done:

  • Revenant missiles no longer lock on.
  • Accuracy is based on range from target. The further away they are, the more inaccurate they are. Beyond 1040 map units they stop attacking at all. The nice thing about this is that at close range they're almost perfectly accurate which is good because the RNG at close range can make it really hard to dodge normally.
  • Enemies no longer rapidly change directions but will pick a direction when starting an attack and fire at that angle.
  • Melee attacks no longer cause enemies to freak out since they always hit anyway (same with the Arch-vile).
  • For enemies that fire continuously, tracking speed is based off distance to target until eventually they lose track and just fire in bursts instead.
  • Alert range is significantly shortened and based on the angle to the target. The further to the side they are, the shorter the alert distance is. Touching monsters and shooting still alerts them because that just makes sense.

Other changes I'm interested in:

  • No idea what to do with burst enemies. Maybe just treat them the same way as continuous enemies.
  • Tracking based off line of sight where the cone depends on distance to target (e.g. if the target leaves the cone of sight for the Arachnotron, it'll stop tracking until the target walks back in. The cone gets smaller the further away the target is). This would likely go alongside the new inaccuracy system where, if a target is outside the cone, the enemy will choose a random direction in hopes the target is in line of sight there.
  • For enemies that have combo attacks, let them switch from projectile to melee only if the player is in their line of sight.
  • Using line of sight to determine whether enemies should instantly see the target during an attack if they drop partial invisibility when outside of it (this is mainly useful for burst and continuous enemies).
Edited by Boondorl

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those changes sound awesome, @Boondorl. do you have a mod that you're working on that incorporates these (given your usage of the terms "already done")?

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I'm one of those people who think Partial Invis is fine. It's the Light Amp which is almost universally awful.

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Light Amp is bad, because it demakes all the great shadings and visual feats of the map. I think it can be redone in the way of Duke's night vision goggles, with monsters showing up sharply in light green, the rest of the stuff around becomes dark green.

 

As for invisibility, yeah, the monsters from larger range will stop attacking but start chasing you like the pinky until they get into moderate sight and start aiming with inaccuracy. Spectres can instigate fights with other spectres, and Revenants stop homing missiles.

 

As for the rad suit, I think it also needs to be redone a little because that blurred screen is annoying. Not sure how, probably change the colour of the hub or whatever.

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I would probably only make it more effective against tougher enemies.

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Well, Revenant's homing missiles is one of the deadliest and most threating monster attack in Doom, along with Archvile's fire attack and Cyberdemon's rockets. Partial invisibility should really disable the homing missiles tracing you and make them act just like regular missiles. That would increase the value of partial invisibility 10 times. I was actually wondering all the time why it was not already implemented that way, and it was the main reason why I thought partial visibility was a useless powerup.

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On the other hand homing missiles don't have eyes, they follow your heat, which doesn't change with partial visibility. Having monsters not shooting at all, and charging you like the pinky would make more sense.

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Posted (edited)

I would replace "partial" with "temporary". And let it act like in Descent. The enemy will fire at your last known/heared location (where you have fired from...) until you fire again. But might be overpowered then...

Edited by xAn

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Posted (edited)

Causes projectile monsters to throw/fire twice as many projectiles because they panic and cant figure out where doomguy is.

 

..also cause a cyb to spawn whenever one is picked up.

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I think it'd be interesting to change it so that if you are standing still and not shooting, any projectiles and hitscan go right through you and hit whatever is directly behind you. Melee though would make contact with the player. If you move or shoot, enemies shoot at you with the same effect the regular partial invis does.

 

I can see this being very easy to abuse, though.

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It should make player go completely invisible and monsters walking around in a confused state, like

 

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