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Debunking the Myth that Doom is meant to be played keyboard-only

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On 8/2/2020 at 8:32 PM, Doomkid said:

Someone who says you can't play well with a controller is a goofball.


Doom with a gamepad is friggin' comfy.

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15 hours ago, Hellektronic said:

Doom was before all of that, they didn't expect people to circle strafe, they didn't plan for it. They also didn't plan for rocket jumping in Quake, or bunnyhopping... the god-forsaken PVP community poisoned us with these nuances, haha.

No kidding. I cringe now every time I see a shooter that has to have neon-glowing brightskins or make stupid little PLONK hit sounds because the developers couldn't bother to use a cloud of blood or better visual feedback to indicate a hit. -_-

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2 hours ago, Dark Pulse said:

No kidding. I cringe now every time I see a shooter that has to have neon-glowing brightskins or make stupid little PLONK hit sounds because the developers couldn't bother to use a cloud of blood or better visual feedback to indicate a hit. -_-

 

You mean everything Quake Live stands for? Haha... I miss the old days.

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21 hours ago, Hellektronic said:

I honestly think it was designed for a keyboard, because with a mouse you can pretty much run circles around any enemy in the game. Monsters are slow, like... really, really slow. Same with fireballs. I'm not so sure that's a coincidence.

 

And if you play with a keyboard for even a few minutes, you start to realize that if they weren't that slow, you'd get your ass kicked and wouldn't be able to dodge fireballs... it makes the game a lot harder. I think monster speed was slowed on purpose to give people using keyboard a chance to react and strafe, you know. So in a way, yeah, I think it was meant to played on keyboard. Or it was, at least, deliberately balanced for people using keyboard, making monsters slower moving.

 

Obviously you get a huge reaction and aiming boost from a mouse, so the slow enemies are pretty much helpless. I'd almost go so far as to say fastmonsters is the only way to get a challenge in Doom 1 using a mouse, otherwise you shred even the hardest enemies in the game on ultraviolence. Thy Flesh Consumed and Doom 2 are a bit of a different story though- I think the new Doom 2 enemies were made precisely for people using mouses, and hordes of enemies reduce how weak the other individual monsters are. So as a result, Doom 2 is obviously better suited to people playing with a mouse.

 

I mean, this is purely just my own speculation here, but it makes a lot of sense if you've tried playing both ways. Try an experiment for me here: fire up you favorite sourceport and switch your dedicated key strafes to "turn left" and turn right" instead. Bind a strafe key. Then try to play that way without moving the mouse, lol. I guarantee you'll be glad those fireballs move at the speed of smell.

 

But at the end of the day, I think it's just a consequence of how the first game was designed compared to the second. Maybe they didn't expect playing with a mouse to be such a hit? It was like the second FPS ever made, other than Wolfenstein 3D. Did people play Wolf3D with a mouse? I dunno, probably not, lol. It's just one of those things that I think only the original id people can confirm or not. I saw Robert Prince playing Doom 1 during an interview, mouse right there, but he never touched it. Not once. He was playing like a soiled diaper but that's beside the point, lol. Both hands on keyboard. Maybe he's just really bad at it, but I would assume he knew a thing or two about the game considering he scored it.

 

I don't believe that keyboard-only is inherently an inferior control scheme and that id software designed the game for it. The difficulty of the game is more tied to how proficient you are with your control scheme. For instance, I started playing Doom using only the keyboard and when I eventually caved in and switched to keyboard+mouse it was like I was back to square one, I didn't magically improve much less started running laps around the enemies overnight, it took some time before I reached my skill level before the switch.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Andromeda said:

 

For instance, I started playing Doom using only the keyboard and when I eventually caved in and switched to keyboard+mouse it was like I was back to square one, I didn't magically improve much less started running laps around the enemies overnight, it took some time before I reached my skill level before the switch.

 

The question is whether you were able to run laps around your enemies before you switched to the new control scheme, and if your overall skill level improved after you completed the switch.

 

Exactly like the aforementioned High Jump athletes, if you trained your entire career with e.g. the scissor kick technique, then switching to the Fosbury Flop would seem harder and unfamiliar at first, but it'd also be the only way to remain competitive past a certain point.

 

Otherwise, well, there's still time for organizing a "Keyboard-only COMPET-N League" :-)

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It's not totally impossible to be good with a keyboard but here's my take:

 

One, at least with older PS/2 keyboards it would be impossible to do certain button combinations. If I held shift, and tried to straferun in circles for example, I wouldn't be able to turn, and my computer would start beeping at me.

 

Two, the default control scheme isn't viable on a lot of modern keyboards anymore, because the arrow keys are flattened and in some cases merged into other keys.

 

Three, turning is slower. There's simply no way around this. There's the "build up" time when you're turning and that affects how quickly you can react to certain threats. On UV it won't matter a lot of the time, but on Nightmare you have cocaine pinkies that can zigzag across your entire screen in a fraction of a second when they're close by, and you have hitscanners that will shoot at you the instant you're in their line of sight. Being able to turn instantly where you want to be looking mitigates a TON of unnecessary damage.

 

I can also tell you from personal experience that I used keyboard all my life until I tried playing deathmatch on ZDaemon for the first time and I got my ass kicked. I immediately saw a massive improvement the very moment I switched to using a mouse.

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Eventually I got good enough with the keyboard to be able to perform circle-strafes, but let's say that only proves that it's technically possible to perform them, not that it's easy to pull them off consistently. And because of the reduced reaction speeds, they only really worked by anticipating situations way ahead, and only really worked vs UV monsters, not Nightmare or DM.

 

But as I said, debunking the inherent superiority of WASD + mouse through a formal competition is a glove nobody has dared pick yet...

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5 minutes ago, Maes said:

The question is whether you were able to run laps around your enemies before you switched to the new control scheme, and if your overall skill level improved after you completed the switch.

On a technical level I think I'm about as proficient with keyboard+mouse as I was with keyboard-only, though I've changed my playstyle over the years to a more aggressive one which has definitely improved me as a player.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Wagi said:

One, at least with older PS/2 keyboards it would be impossible to do certain button combinations. If I held shift, and tried to straferun in circles for example, I wouldn't be able to turn, and my computer would start beeping at me.

That is not a matter of connection type but of how the underlying circuit matrix of the keyboard is made and laid out. Generally, only the first key pressed out of the keys on the same circuit will be registered. The first key occupies it, so if you press another one, it will not register and you might get a beep. With the usual cheap office keyboards, you can hit this limit after pressing just 2 or 3 buttons at once. Typical combination for Doom would be Shift+Alt+Up Arrow+Left Arrow. On shitty keyboards, the left arrow won't register, because the circuit is already occupied by either Shift or Alt.

 

You can get around that by getting a mechanical keyboard, which does not have this limitation. Speaking of, Doom is actually the reason I got myself one as a keyboard only player.

Edited by idbeholdME

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Meh, the way games are "meant" to be played doesn't matter much (or at least it shouldn't).

 

Halo was "meant" to be played with an Xbox controller but that doesn't mean you have to restrict yourself to that or somethkng to get the full experience.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/6/2020 at 12:31 PM, Andromeda said:

inherently an inferior control scheme

 

[long sigh] ...If you think that's what I'm saying, I'm not. I play this way, so obviously I don't think it's inherently inferior. It's just inherently slower. Your reaction time is roughly cut in half using keys to navigate, and obviously id wanted people to be able to survive playing this way. Especially if this was set to be the DEFAULT control scheme, ya know?

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2 hours ago, InDOOMnesia said:

Dwars just made a video on this topic yesterday!

 

 

Just watched that and immediately jumped on here to see if anyone else saw it :-P

 

Is a good vid and Dwars even credited @fraggle which I thought was pretty cool :-D

 

Cos all the info is “open source” I didn’t expect him to credit anyone and was really cool to see him credit fraggle. Good job @Dwars :-D

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Hey I remember that I played keyboard only until I started with Duke3d multiplayer. I was fairly decent at it but I had to use PgUp etc to look up. So the older guys told me that I have to use the mouse so I could be able to look up and down correctly and strafe. I had to learn how to strafe!

 

I didn't strafe in Doom or even use the mouse. But I remember that I tried the mouse and noticed that holding one of the three mouse buttons, or the alt-button made me go sideways when either using the mouse or the arrow keys. That wasn't really a useful strafe as I still couldn't look around freely when strafing. 

 

And there wasn't even a WASD standard back then, so we made up our own control settings. 

 

In Duke3d I jumped with A, movebackwards with S, strafed with C and X and crouched with Z. Forwards with Mouse2!

 

Some time later I developed RDFG in quake. Move forward with mouse 2, jump with R. The rest is like WASD but I used my rocketjump alias on Space. Weapon binds to QWETY. 

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I was an early adopter of WASD. I used to play with WASD for forward/backward and strafing. I use the arrow keys to turn. Space to shoot. I can't remember which key I used to open doors.

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52 minutes ago, ChopBlock223 said:

So how do you people feel about using mouse and gamepad at the same time?

I'm guessing a few people played PS1 Final Doom like that back in the day.

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19 minutes ago, chungy said:

Something like this

Open your mind.

789841562_fragchuckmouse.jpg.d4dfe963f9aa4e45b32871b7d7967461.jpg

 

6 minutes ago, unerxai said:

I'm guessing a few people played PS1 Final Doom like that back in the day.

That was an option, yeah, don't know how good the Playstation Mouse was though.

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10 hours ago, DooM Bear said:

Cos all the info is “open source” I didn’t expect him to credit anyone and was really cool to see him credit fraggle. Good job @Dwars :-D

Credit where it's due. You can sorta tell one's competence by that. ;)

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On 9/12/2020 at 11:31 PM, InDOOMnesia said:

Dwars just made a video on this topic yesterday!

That's a good video! I'm guessing he never saw mine from a bit over a year ago that was pretty damn similar:

 

 

We even used this exact Fraggle thread as a basis for our claims! (at 4:24)

Edited by Doomkid

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3 hours ago, Doomkid said:

That's a good video! I'm guessing he never saw mine from a bit over a year ago that was pretty damn similar:

 

We even used this exact Fraggle thread as a basis for our claims! (at 4:24)

I did see your video, and also linked it in the description of my own. It's great! I still wanted to make my own take because I still saw people on other sites still purveying this myth, and I think it deserved its own dedicated video with even more evidence against it. I'm considering making a part 1.5 proving that even a more proper WASD setup was possible back then.

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Another possible factor in the myth is that newer players on dosbox may not even think of using the "setup" program and assume the options in the game menu are the only ones available. Since separate programs for configuration havent really been a thing for a long time.

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1 hour ago, whirledtsar said:

Another possible factor in the myth is that newer players on dosbox may not even think of using the "setup" program and assume the options in the game menu are the only ones available. Since separate programs for configuration havent really been a thing for a long time.

 

This...  A lot of fake "old school" and "1337" gamers.... that just need to be hardcore 

"Hey if you don't play doom on an old 486dx with a 14" CRT you are doing things wrong maaa dude!!"  Doom is so simple when it comes to controls that it plays great with a gamepad...

 

Forward, Backward, strafing with the left stick    turning with the right stick..  No need to aim up or down..  RT to shoot.  A to open doors...  LB and RB to switch weapons

Gamepad for quick weapons.

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11 hours ago, Dwars said:

I did see your video, and also linked it in the description of my own. It's great! I still wanted to make my own take because I still saw people on other sites still purveying this myth, and I think it deserved its own dedicated video with even more evidence against it. I'm considering making a part 1.5 proving that even a more proper WASD setup was possible back then.

You definitely should! I've been entertained by all of your Doom videos I've seen and it's great to have people out there dispelling misinformation, because there's just so much of it out there.

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On 9/14/2020 at 2:26 AM, whirledtsar said:

Another possible factor in the myth is that newer players on dosbox may not even think of using the "setup" program and assume the options in the game menu are the only ones available. Since separate programs for configuration havent really been a thing for a long time.

 

that's possible, since you have so many options in-game now.

 

yes, when i first played doom in early 1994, i used keyboard only because that's what i was used with from wolf3d.

and i was used with it because mouse aiming wasn't something popular back then. we played everything with the keyboard, arcade games, flight sims, racing games, and a good joystick was rather expensive, so the keyboard would suffice.

the 3d genre was in its infancy, keyboard only seemed enough for wolf3d single player, i mean, what did i do, peek into a room, backpedal and wait for them to come to the door, lol. and savescum a lot of course. and i didn't have my own pc yet, so i couldn't experiment much.

 

i still tried the mouse in wolf3d (yes, it had mouse aiming before doom, but allowed only a very low sens that didn't quite work with the tiny mousepads everyone had back then), so i stayed with my keyboard. 

anyway, i used this setup.exe to set up my keyboard only controls, being well aware of the mouse, but ignored it as something complicated and unnecessary. 

it took quake and a good beating to get me on the right path. 

we take so much for granted now, but today's popular control scheme is the result of an evolution of fps games.

 

anyway, i'm a bit at a loss how this myth came into being actually. i mean, if there's the original setup.exe, the mouse slider in vanilla doom, word and demos from the developers, and some people still doubt it? that takes some flat earther quality imo.

Edited by Pirx

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