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([zen3001])

Does anyone actually play the easier difficulties?

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On 7/5/2019 at 2:47 PM, ([zen3001]) said:

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Ehh. I don't really know anyone who plays on the easier difficulties. Hurt Me Plenty is the normal or the standard way to play (which me and others play on), and Ultra Violence is for the more experienced. But people do play on easy mode tho.

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Even back in the shareware days I would only play on UV because I felt having fewer monsters was "missing out" and that you weren't really playing the game properly without them.  

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To answer the original question, I always play on UV unless the map is by Ribbiks, danne, Demonologist or Dobu, in which case I play on HNTR. This is because, even though I am very stubborn, I recognize when I'm completely overmatched and prefer to enjoy the map rather than be frustrated. These mappers always do really cool-looking maps, and I'd rather see all that they've done than simply rage-quit.

 

An exception in the case of Demonologist is that he recently did a "normal" Ultimate Doom map that I played on UV. It was a lot of fun. And Dobu can sometimes be played at UV in community projects.

 

I'm sure I can add more mappers to my HNTR list. ;)

 

Also, on the rare occasion when I find a map is too difficult for me on UV, I drop to HNTR instead of HMP. This is because I've found that maps capable of discouraging me on UV generally give me all I can ask for on HNTR, so it's better to go all the way down than drop one setting only to discover that HMP is still too hard. I save a step, and also some precious time.

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The only two difficulties are UV and NM so, yes, I play the easier one most of the time. 

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35 minutes ago, supermarioultra said:

Hurt Me Plenty is the normal or the standard way to play (which me and others play on), and Ultra Violence is for the more experienced.

I think you'll find most people actually play on UV, and for a long time on most wads, it was the 'standard' way to play. It's a quirk I would attribute to UV emerging as the default difficulty for the iwads (for obvious reasons) so when people went on to make their own maps it very much felt like go UV or go home most of the time. It's not until more recently that putting effort into your difficulty settings has been encouraged, and to have HMP become the new UV so UV can provide a challenge for those really looking for one. Perhaps now the community is more diverse than it once was too, with casual players and Doom Gods alike wanting to be challenged by the same wads, we also now live in a world where we aren't so dismissive towards people who want to play comfortably their own way, we're less likely to tell them simply to 'get good' if they want to enjoy a wad, instead we accomodate those people now because supporting your fellow man is cooler than trying to be cool.

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2 hours ago, JadingTsunami said:

 

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

 

Not an example of a hidden area, but an interesting use of difficulty settings to control things besides monsters and ammo.

 

Things about Doom you just found out...

 

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, hella knight said:

we also now live in a world where we aren't so dismissive towards people who want to play comfortably their own way, we're less likely to tell them simply to 'get good' if they want to enjoy a wad, instead we accomodate those people now because supporting your fellow man is cooler than trying to be cool.

 

I wish more people would think like this.

 

I am saying this because I think that pretty much varies from game to game, and from community to community to be honest. There are plenty of obnoxious "elitists" (read: bunch of farts) out there who will very much prefer to mock you for sucking at a game, playing on easy, or "keeping it casual" (what the hell is that even supposed to mean?). Not everyone is playing games to become a legend, professional, god, or whatever, some people just want to have fun and enjoy their time rather than getting frustrated non-stop.

 

This attitude seems to be mainly prevalent in competitive games though. I've deviated from the subject but whatever.

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Good lord, yes! If it wasn’t for the easy levels, I’d have given up DOOM long ago.

 

With DOOM 2016, I like to play the simpler levels until they are trivially easy to beat, and then I notch it up. Every now and then, though, I sneak a level at Ultra Violence, but it doesn’t last long. I can see the legions of Slayers rolling over in laughter in the background as some Imp dances on me. The frustration makes me want to chew the wallpaper off the walls.

 

I can only drool with envy at those players who make Ultra Nightmare look easier than doing the laundry. But keep on playing, you champions! It is very inspiring to watch. I know I’ll never be one of you, and I’m OK with that.

 

I have NO chance of ever beating DOOM Eternal. But I’m buying it anyway.

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1 hour ago, Ribbiks said:

Putting work into difficulty settings is often laborious and unrewarding ....

Amen.

 

Quote

... here are some fun ideas for how to mix up difficulty settings, beyond just cutting or changing mobs:

A game designer after my own heart.

 

Quote

maybe UV has some platforming sections, but on lower difficulties some "helper" platforms are added to the mix which make it more forgiving

I'm curious about how this can be achieved in vanilla DooM. One way I can think of is to have a switch that activates a platform, but block the switch (say, by an electric pillar) on desired/higher skill levels. Another way is to allow players at lower skill levels to teleport to an otherwise inaccessible room that has a switch or linedef that activates the platform. And, of course, using the "change teleport destinations" option will allow players at lower skill levels to get onto platforms directly.

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24 minutes ago, ReX said:

I'm curious about how this can be achieved in vanilla DooM. One way I can think of is to have a switch that activates a platform, but block the switch (say, by an electric pillar) on desired/higher skill levels. Another way is to allow players at lower skill levels to teleport to an otherwise inaccessible room that has a switch or linedef that activates the platform. And, of course, using the "change teleport destinations" option will allow players at lower skill levels to get onto platforms directly.

 

A simple way would be to put blocking objects like torches on some of the platforms in higher difficulty, making it impossible to get onto them.  You can also use walkover lines that are only accessible in lower difficulties (or not accessible in lower difficulties) to raise/lower platforms).

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Thanks to this thread I'm now toying with the idea of making a map where the flow and layout are significantly different depending on skill level, including shifting architecture.  Kind of like a 3x-play writ large.

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2 hours ago, ReX said:

 

I'm curious about how this can be achieved in vanilla DooM. One way I can think of is to have a switch that activates a platform, but block the switch (say, by an electric pillar) on desired/higher skill levels. Another way is to allow players at lower skill levels to teleport to an otherwise inaccessible room that has a switch or linedef that activates the platform. And, of course, using the "change teleport destinations" option will allow players at lower skill levels to get onto platforms directly.

Easily enough. Include a separate area or series of sectors accessible via a key card or skull key not available on higher difficulties. In that area, provide a switch to assist the player. Obviously, there would be few, if any, monsters in this area and possibly, some items. Your suggestions would also work fine. 

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13 minutes ago, Capellan said:

Thanks to this thread I'm now toying with the idea of making a map where the flow and layout are significantly different depending on skill level, including shifting architecture.  Kind of like a 3x-play writ large.

 

Didn't Sin have some kind of randomizer that changed map layouts depending on player actions? Never tried that game myself.

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I think the best way to go about changing layouts based on difficulties is with voodoo dolls. Set up a bunch of voodoo dolls outside the playable area, and set them up like normal, with conveyors and walkover linedefs. Set the dolls to certain difficulty levels so that they only activate certain linedef actions on certain difficulties. That way it all happens as soon as the level loads, and there aren't any unsightly torches or pillars blocking switches. Lord knows if I saw a switch with a pillar in front of it or a doorway/opening with a pillar in front of it, I'd be fucking around trying to move it or otherwise get in, especially if the rest of the level also has some more obscure progression.

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Conveyers would be easiest solution to implement but require Boom compatibility, and I'm more inclined to map for Vanilla / Limit-removing :)

 

I wouldn't put Things in front of obvious switches, myself, I'd be more inclined to set up walkover lines that are only accessed on certain difficulties, or that are accessed in a different order on different difficulties, which causes the level to adjust in different ways.

 

 

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I only pay attention to UV and NM and don't really care if difficulty settings are implemented. It seems like a major pain in the ass considering how few people will even really notice.

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Normally, I'll run UV for everything.  In rare cases, I may bump it down to HMP if I'm not in the mood for a slaughterfest.  Further if HMP is still too tough.

 

I think I've only ever started a game in ITYTD once in recent memory.  I forget which map set it was, but damn was that opening map a nightmare.  800 something monsters.  I could tell this wasn't gonna end well, and... Welp, it didn't.

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I remember Run From It from Scythe used difficulty-level set torches to physically change the layout of the level (blocking off or opening up passageways).

 

This has got me thinking. "Extreme difficulty-level related map changes" might be a fun topic for a Community Project. Challenge people to come up with the most creative ways to alter a level based on difficulty.

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Posted (edited)

I like playing on HMP, and some wads are preferred even on HNTR. What's the point? Not really the difficulty. I just don't think playing against hordes of monsters are fun. Levels need some exploration, atmosphere, adventure. If the map doesn't play well with fewer monsters, it has no depth or such, than it's not made for me.

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9 hours ago, ReX said:

I'm curious about how this can be achieved in vanilla DooM.

One of the ways to do so could be difficulty exclusive voodoo + barrel setups or even pseudo conveyors but I suppose that would be painful to set up and/or test.

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Posted (edited)

Yes! As a matter of fact; I've had to play on a more "amiable" difficulty setting on

Spoiler

Evilution

and

Spoiler

Plutonia

Nothing wrong with playing on easier difficulties, especially if you are new to Doom. -- Play how you want to.

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i agree with what ribbiks wrote and have a really similar approach, except i play on ITYTD :))) if the level vibes with me i'll try and beat it on UV later

 

some time in 2037 I will upload my playthroughs of 20x6, 20x7 and nefertiti on UV i promise

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12 hours ago, Ribbiks said:

Putting work into difficulty settings is often laborious and unrewarding


Is it fucking what! Trying to remember which monster out of a group spawns on which particular difficulty becomes an absolute clusterfuck after a while...

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Are there any examples of trolling with the settings, e.g. on HNTR there's way more enemies than on UV?

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12 minutes ago, Maximum Matt said:

Are there any examples of trolling with the settings, e.g. on HNTR there's way more enemies than on UV?

zanspid.wad

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16 minutes ago, Maximum Matt said:

Are there any examples of trolling with the settings, e.g. on HNTR there's way more enemies than on UV?


I've considered putting 1 single zombie in maps on difficulties below UV just to take the piss... and only populate properly for UV. Makes players have to restart over and over on the next difficulty each time once they catch on after 2 maps that there's only 1 zombie to kill... then BAM!! UV drops like a ton of bricks.

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Posted (edited)

Fact 1: most people with video game experience who play Doom think that UV of vanilla Doom 1/2 is easy (if not too easy).

WADs that aren't significantly harder than vanilla Doom 1/2 don't need difficulty settings since the vast majority of its players will either already be more than good enough to do them or will have opportunity right then and there to hone their skill on said WAD. Maybe implement one difficulty level for ultracasuals / people who simply aren't good at video games - you could afford to do some quick and lazy difficulty flag changes and there's little chance anyone will complain about their quality.

Fact 2: most people that recently got into or returned to Doom and quickly went straight to Plutonia think it was too hard.

Plutonia level WADs could definitely use one difficulty level to let novice and casual players avoid said frustration. Whether it should be Doom 2 level ("easy") or in-between level ("medium") is debatable - preferrably both, but then you're implementing two difficulty levels instead of one, which means more work and more attention to detail required to keep the quality high. Again, you can afford to be lazy to a degree since anyone who takes Doom seriously will eventually try to progress towards Plutonia level anyway.

Fact 3: most veteran Doom players either don't play non-UV difficulties at all or just don't take them seriously - either something to play casually or a way to quickly learn the levels.

Anything significantly harder than Plutonia will be aimed principally at those players and will have a great deal of effort put into honing its UV gameplay. However, this difficulty will shut off majority of Doom's players - they could still play it, but only on ITYTD and/or with a lot of save scumming, which ain't exactly fun - quite a big loss since plenty of this stuff can have very appealing visual design (hi Sunder) and/or gameplay ideas. And here we run into three major problems:

1. How difficult exactly should lower difficulties be?

a) HNTR

There are two main approaches to this:

- keep the difficulty consistent at a certain level between Doom 2 (makes it accessible for casuals, but see fact 1 why it's difficult to justify) and a bit harder than Plutonia (intended for people who are already accustomed to Plutonia) - a "give the player a lot of material at a certain level to practice" approach

- make the difficulty significantly increase throughout the WAD, possibly up to a level significantly harder than Plutonia - an "increase the challenge as the player gets better while going through the WAD" approach

b) HMP

You need to decide what's the principle behind this difficulty - is this simply an in-betweener between HNTR and UV, something aimed at different playerbase than either of the two, or something aimed at the same players that would play UV, but without the most absurd parts that make the map a series of "either I lose or I go on" coin tosses even with perfect play? Then you've got the same considerations as given above.

2. How exactly should the difficulty be reduced?

There's a lot to be discussed here and some excellent ideas have been put forward in this thread before, but opinions will vary. One thing I want to focus on in particular is approach to sections that on UV require a very specific non-obvious strategy to have more than 0% chance of beating them. Should this still be the case on lower difficulties and have said strategies simply be easier to execute and survive through? Or should these sections be changed in a way that makes the most straightforward approaches viable? Different people may have different answers and it could also differ between HNTR and HMP.

3. Who's going to implement and test these difficulties?

This is certainly a major problem since mapping and playtesting is a lot of work and the main authors have to put the vast majority of effort into UV for reasons stated in fact 3. Good authors can still implement decently good lower difficulties (or at least one of them) with minimal effort and little or no playtesting, but due to all the different ways lower difficulties can be done the result may still be subpar and/or some people may not be happy with the result.

Which made me thinking: what if a project's main mappers hired auxillary mappers and/or testers whose sole purpose would be implementing/testing lower difficulties without touching UV at all? This seems at first glance to be the most efficient way of going about this and ties well to the main principle that lower difficulties (or at least HNTR if HMP is intended as simply "UV but reliable") should be aimed at different players than UV.

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