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([zen3001])

Does anyone actually play the easier difficulties?

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18 hours ago, Doomkid said:

It's not quite the same, but one thing I did in a super old release of mine called UAC Rebellion was have two exits on certain maps, usually hard ones. If you took the early exit while there were still 50 or so monsters running around, it would take you to a whole other optional map. If you took the later exit, the path leading to it would be a lot tougher to get through, but you would skip the optional map entirely. By the end of the set, you could have played as many as 15 or as few as 10 maps depending on which route you took.

This sounds like an excellent concept. It reminds me of Li'l White Mouse's Chibi Rebellion, which, upon completion of a map took the player to random maps in the hub. I'm off to download UAC Rebellion now.

 

But to stay on topic, and to add to the discussion on the non-traditional uses of skill levels, let me present this idea: You could have a player progress through a map using different paths, depending on skill levels. You could even have only parts of the map accessible, based on skill level. I did a map many years ago for vanilla DooM (I forget what it was called, but it was in the "Wicked" series) where the player starts in an area with 3 teleporters. Only one teleporter is accessible for a given skill level (achieved by the simple expedient of blocking the other 2 teleporters with, say, a Column (Electric) flagged with those two other skill levels). The player then "starts" the actual progression at a different part of the map, depending on skill level.

 

Come to think of it, I did the same thing for a map in December 2018. It's called "3 Ways to Die", and from the text file: "Features 3 different progressions, depending on skill level chosen. Weapons, keys, and power-ups are also placed in different locations. All skill levels pose a reasonable challenge, and many fights are different, lending this map some replay value."

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As I've said in other threads, I use a Linear Reduction method i call The Power of Threes, which is quite similar to the old IWAD method. Monsters come in clusters of 3, either 3 individual monsters or multiples of 3. A full compliment of 3 represents the UV condition, then 2 for HMP and 1 for HNTR. Health and ammo remain the same. My rationale for doing it this way is that it saves precious time. I want to make a lot of maps and I do very intensive playtesting. This takes a tremendous amount of time which I simply cannot devote to every setting as I do for UV. Linear Reduction means I can be assured of 2 things; the easier settings are in fact easier, and because reduction is linear rather than haphazard, players won't run out of ammo since I don't mess with it. Also, since I try to make UV reasonably difficult, even moreso in my hardcore maps, I'm confident that HMP is a good challenge for people who prefer that setting. None of my HMP testers has ever complained that HMP is too easy, though an overabundance of ammo was noted once. HNTR tends to be an unknown territory in most cases, as finding HNTR testers is very difficult.

 

However, 40oz, @Fonze and @dobu gabu maru have persuaded me that perhaps I should alter my approach. I still want to do it the easy way rather than with super-clever gameplay changes unless at some point I get tons of spare time. So . . .

 

It seems to me that the easiest way is to stop applying The Power of Threes to all of the monsters. Instead, I can leave the lower tiers the same and only reduce the mid and upper tiers. This is basically a species of what I call "Troublesome Monster Theory," but less sophisticated. I know that many mappers like to fine-tune items, for example, if there's a Soulsphere on UV, make it a Megasphere for HNTR, and so on. That doesn't really fit my mindset, and it also introduces the possibility of missing items on certain difficulties, meaning more testing and polishing, which I'd like to avoid. I've also been playtesting an episode that seems to work in the above-described way, where HNTR in some maps is harder than most maps on UV. And i like it. But this begs the question of whether players who prefer HNTR would find it overwhelming and unpleasant.

 

There's no perfect method, although mappers who get enough testers to include those who habitually play on the easier, or "more relaxed" settings, have a better chance of fine-tuning based on the ideas of testers. Anyway, I plan to try out reducing only mid and upper tiers in the relatively near future to see if it works out.

 

 

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45 minutes ago, Steve D said:

I use a Linear Reduction method i call The Power of Threes....

I do very intensive playtesting. This takes a tremendous amount of time which I simply cannot devote to every setting as I do for UV.

I didn't realize it had a name: Linear Reduction/Power of Threes has a nice ring to it. To some extent, this is what I do, as well. To mix things up, I'll occasionally pick a different enemy for the higher skill levels (e.g., swap out the shotgunner for the chaingunner).

 

As for playtesting, which (like you) I find to be extremely time-intensive and tedious, I grit my teeth and test each map at each skill level. By that point, I am utterly fed-up with looking at my map, and I tend to simply go through the motions. Hurray for external playtesters, bless their souls.

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31 minutes ago, Spectre01 said:

Considering the aging population of Doomers, I propose renaming "I'm too young to die" to "I'm too old for this shit".

That's actually one of the best ideas I've heard on this forum, ever.

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On 7/6/2019 at 12:48 AM, DoomSpud said:


I stand by that unpopular opinion. Sorry, but what's the point of even playing if you're going to remove half the enemies and have enough health and ammo to never die? What challenge is there in that?

Play dimensions. Upload video footage if possible. I wanna see if you've got something to back up your tough talk.

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Another HMP player here. If a wad said it hadn't implemented difficulty settings I probably wouldn't play it. I just don't have enough free time to 'git gud' on a tricky UV-only wad when there are a thousand others out there with difficulty more suited to my ability.

 

It's always worthwhile implementing difficulty settings. 

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3 hours ago, ReX said:

As for playtesting, which (like you) I find to be extremely time-intensive and tedious, I grit my teeth and test each map at each skill level. By that point, I am utterly fed-up with looking at my map, and I tend to simply go through the motions. Hurray for external playtesters, bless their souls.

 

I know what you mean. There are times I want to projectile vomit over the mere thought of looking at my latest map again. ;D

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Posted (edited)

I often try HMP when a PWAD is too hard. It's also useful to have lower skill levels when I'm impaired -- like when using touchscreen, or only in control of one hand. And it's annoying how many PWADs lack difficulty settings.

 

Like the Quake example, someone suggested to design levels with HMP difficulty in mind and overpopulate them in UV, so that both newbies and masters will have good opportunities. But then what about Nightmare? It will be insanely tough. Also, like Graf said, overly populated isn't always hard, it can be just a chore SSGing ten cacodemons from a room...

 

Actually I'm thinking of a hint that the wad you're playing wasn't designed for UV, but for HMP: make ammo and health feel too tight in UV to be much fun for casuals.

Edited by printz

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2 hours ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

Play dimensions. Upload video footage if possible. I wanna see if you've got something to back up your tough talk.


Ive made it clear already it's because I've been playing this game for 25 years.

Don't go trying to restart old arguments that have already been shutdown mate.

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3 hours ago, Spectre01 said:

Considering the aging population of Doomers, I propose renaming "I'm too young to die" to "I'm too old for this shit".


Hahahaha!! How do I do this? Where is the code to change this? I will make this a thing!

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I did when I first started out with DOOM back in the day , but not anymore. I imagine most maybe started that way and will continue to do so.

I'd consider the lower difficulties are still very important to have.

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Someone needs to build a difficult WAD balanced around HNTR. Then we can have the other difficulties as challenge mode and fuck you mode. Because fuck you mode sounds both really fun and also really not fun.

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I only play on HMP and design my maps around that then scale up or down on the difficulties; though in my latest map I used alternate monster mixes in some situations instead of just cutting or increasing monster percentages.   I also added items for the lowest difficulty and have started using arrows made up of potions/helmets on the lowest difficulty for the less obvious secrets (either the player can see them in the editor and play on their skill setting of choice or see them in game on the lowest difficulty).

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I tend to design on the basis that:

UV should give at least some challenge to Demon of the Well 

HMP should be something I can batter through using saves, without excessive frustration

HNTR should be something I can fairly comfortably deal with with few or no saves

 

With additional some up/down variation due to map #, in a multi-map set (so m1 is going to be easier than m5, overall, etc)

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3 hours ago, Bauul said:

Another HMP player here. If a wad said it hadn't implemented difficulty settings I probably wouldn't play it. I just don't have enough free time to 'git gud' on a tricky UV-only wad when there are a thousand others out there with difficulty more suited to my ability.

 

 

For stuff like this I tend to use a litle MAPINFO script that defines skill levels by reducing monster health and increasing player's damage resistance based on skill selection (or the opposite if something is too easy throughout even on UV.) Many times that helped a lot with 'expert-only' mapsets.

 

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Here's what my approach looks like in a map from a year or so ago:

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 S1    S2    S3   S45 |    M1    M2    M3   M45
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Play modes:
        Single player
        Cooperative (4 player)
        Deathmatch (5 starts)
    Monsters:
        Chaingunner              14    14    16    21 |    14    14    16    21
        Imp                      10    10    10    10 |    10    10    10    10
        Demon                     3     3     3     3 |     3     3     3     3
        Spectre                   2     2     3     3 |     2     2     3     3
        Lost Soul                 2     2     4     4 |     2     2     4     4
        Cacodemon                33    33    36    42 |    45    45    48    54
        Hell Knight               1     1     1     1 |     1     1     1     1
        Revenant                  1     1     3     3 |     1     1     3     3
        Arachnotron               1     1     2     2 |     1     1     2     2
        Pain Elemental            0     0     0     1 |     0     0     0     1
        Mancubus                  2     2     2     2 |     2     2     2     2
    Weapons:
        Chainsaw                  1     1     1     1 |     1     1     1     1
        Shotgun                   1     1     1     1 |     5     5     5     5
        Super shotgun             1     1     1     1 |     1     1     1     1
        Chaingun                  1     1     1     1 |     1     1     1     1
        Rocket launcher           2     2     2     2 |     2     2     2     2
        Plasma rifle              1     1     1     1 |     1     1     1     1
    Equipment:
        Radiation suit            2     2     2     2 |     2     2     2     2
    Expendibles:
        Bullets                 590   590   610   660 |   590   590   610   660
        Shells                  152   152   152   152 |   184   184   184   184
        Rockets                  26    26    26    26 |    26    26    26    26
        Cells                   340   340   340   300 |   340   340   340   300
        Armor points            100   100   100   100 |   100   100   100   100
        Health points           219   219   199   179 |   219   219   199   179
Difficulty:
        Total monster hp       1823  1823  2102  2417 |  2303  2303  2582  2897

 

(of course I picked a map with lots of cacodemons.  I don't believe in false advertising :)  )

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On 7/6/2019 at 4:23 AM, DagothKronk said:

I'd love to see more level designers experiment with placing keys in different locations depending on difficulty. Like, earlier difficulties even going so far as to have areas that can be entirely bypassed on lower difficulties perhaps?

 

Mordeth E1 map03, "House of Shadows", optional red key and area on lower difficulties, enabling player to exit just after finding the blue key, back in 1997.

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The earliest example of such an approach would be Doom's E3M6: The blue key is not hidden and a lot easier to find on easy settings, enabling skipping large parts of the level.

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Posted (edited)

HMP is always my go-to difficulty because I consider it moderate difficulty, If a map is too hard even on that difficulty I just retry a couple of times until I get bored and just give up. It's not worth it.

Edited by tempdecal.wad

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6 hours ago, Spectre01 said:

Considering the aging population of Doomers, I propose renaming "I'm too young to die" to "I'm too old for this shit".

 

ROFL. So true. One has less time and incentíve  to grind.

 

If I get my ass kicked on UV,  then perhaps I'll learn the map well enough for "proper" playing  on HMP.

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7 hours ago, Spectre01 said:

Considering the aging population of Doomers, I propose renaming "I'm too young to die" to "I'm too old for this shit".


Thy will be done...

Image1.jpg.e1483b977fdaeb168ebdecb8af205607.jpg

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22 hours ago, Graf Zahl said:

Somebody really should do a mod where difficulties are swapped around to fool the UV junkies... :P

 

That would also allow for fighting the hardest set of monsters with double ammo and half damage, kind of like Brutal Doom's Power Fantasy skill level... or the opposite, getting the thrill of fast respawning monsters without the difficulty of Ultraviolence. I wonder if this could be easily automated? Just a tool that swaps around the Easy and Hard flags in the Things lump.

 

I always play on HMP by default, since that's what I assume my skill level to be in relation to other doomers. It serves me well most of the time.

 

Also, ITYTD was highly useful when I tried to play Doom on Android. I wonder if I could get up to HMP with enough practice, or if that control scheme is just inherently inferior.

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I play the IWADs + No Rest for the Living and Master Levels on UV, all other PWADs on HNTR, be it Fava Beans or Sunder.

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4 hours ago, Graf Zahl said:

The earliest example of such an approach would be Doom's E3M6: The blue key is not hidden and a lot easier to find on easy settings, enabling skipping large parts of the level.

When I first encountered that, I thought the game is broken. Not knowing about cheats, I just quit playing that session, moving to another episode. It only occurred to me once I figured out Doom can have Wolf3D-like secrets that I can solve it. Also, that building which traps you should have given me a hint… I was just thinking it's a dead-end trap requiring me to reload or commit rocket suicide. It's really a sample in DOOM where you need to prove you're a human (not a dumb animal) and use your brain. To my credit, I was a young child back then.

 

Of course, in custom wads, when you get stuck in a building, it's more likely that it's author's error and not intended, but I digress.

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14 hours ago, Steve D said:

As I've said in other threads, I use a Linear Reduction method i call The Power of Threes, which is quite similar to the old IWAD method. Monsters come in clusters of 3, either 3 individual monsters or multiples of 3. A full compliment of 3 represents the UV condition, then 2 for HMP and 1 for HNTR. Health and ammo remain the same. My rationale for doing it this way is that it saves precious time. I want to make a lot of maps and I do very intensive playtesting. This takes a tremendous amount of time which I simply cannot devote to every setting as I do for UV. Linear Reduction means I can be assured of 2 things; the easier settings are in fact easier, and because reduction is linear rather than haphazard, players won't run out of ammo since I don't mess with it. Also, since I try to make UV reasonably difficult, even moreso in my hardcore maps, I'm confident that HMP is a good challenge for people who prefer that setting. None of my HMP testers has ever complained that HMP is too easy, though an overabundance of ammo was noted once. HNTR tends to be an unknown territory in most cases, as finding HNTR testers is very difficult.

 

However, 40oz, @Fonze and @dobu gabu maru have persuaded me that perhaps I should alter my approach. I still want to do it the easy way rather than with super-clever gameplay changes unless at some point I get tons of spare time. So . . .

 

It seems to me that the easiest way is to stop applying The Power of Threes to all of the monsters. Instead, I can leave the lower tiers the same and only reduce the mid and upper tiers. This is basically a species of what I call "Troublesome Monster Theory," but less sophisticated. I know that many mappers like to fine-tune items, for example, if there's a Soulsphere on UV, make it a Megasphere for HNTR, and so on. That doesn't really fit my mindset, and it also introduces the possibility of missing items on certain difficulties, meaning more testing and polishing, which I'd like to avoid. I've also been playtesting an episode that seems to work in the above-described way, where HNTR in some maps is harder than most maps on UV. And i like it. But this begs the question of whether players who prefer HNTR would find it overwhelming and unpleasant.

 

There's no perfect method, although mappers who get enough testers to include those who habitually play on the easier, or "more relaxed" settings, have a better chance of fine-tuning based on the ideas of testers. Anyway, I plan to try out reducing only mid and upper tiers in the relatively near future to see if it works out.

 

 

I used to do the 1/3 method for difficulty but yeah lower difficulty end up being too easy and the map very depopulated so I use an enemy ratio of 50% for HNTR, and 75-80% for HMP so I'd say I work with groups of four or five same type when applying difficulty settings, even if they are not in the same area when needed.

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1 hour ago, JadingTsunami said:

 

Yes, there is also E1M3 where path-guiding lamps are not shown in harder difficulties after getting the blue keycard.

Whaaat? Why am I only discovering this today? Anyhoo, I just opened up E1M3, and sure enough those Electric Lamps are only present at Skills 1-3. Excellent find!

 

[Now I'm going to be thinking of other creative ways by which skill-specific things can be used to shape gameplay.]

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