Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
([zen3001])

Does anyone actually play the easier difficulties?

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Speaking for myself, I almost never use skills 1-3 (and 5 nearly as rarely, fwiw), unless I'm specifically/personally asked to in the course of providing feedback about a given WAD. This can (and will), I suppose, be interpreted by some as empty thickheaded machismo, perhaps even not entirely without reason. I've been playing Doom since it came out (I was 8 or 9 years old at the time), and very early on I noticed that UV had a lot more monsters than the other skills. Hunting and being hunted by the monsters was the main draw of the game as far as I was concerned at the time, and so it could be said that I naturally gravitated towards and 'grew up' with the "more = better" (or "more" = "more true", if you will) way of looking at things, for better or worse.

 

So, when I began playing PWADs, I always chose UV for similar reasons. Periodically (read: frequently) I'd encounter something that would kick my ass, of course, but without really giving it much deeper thought, my conclusion always tended to be "that's just the way this one is I guess", much the way that some levels had drastically divergent concepts from anything seen in the IWADs, and I'd eventually figure out a way through one way or another, using lots of savegames or restarts or w/e. That user-created levels might not follow similar patterns of logic re: skill levels as the base game, and that I thus might have had a 'smoother' experience with some of these levels back then if I had changed skill settings, is a notion that never really entered my sweet, simple little head, simply because I was unaccustomed to thinking of this as a real and ever-available option. Not because I felt I was being silently judged by "my peers" or anything like that, mind you; more just as result of a not-very-deeply-examined ongoing assumption as regards my own particular way of enjoying the game, a sort of inertia, basically. But a comfortable inertia, for the most part! Naturally there were times of frustration, and many many more times of failure, but generally speaking I don't remember the great majority of those experiences, even the ones where I was struggling to survive/gain ground for a while, in a negative light--quite the contrary in many cases. This is "just how I am" about games; not everyone is the same, of course, but I'm also far from the only one.

 

As a result of all these years of (handily deserved) ass-kickings, over time it started getting at least a little harder to kick my ass, and this eventually reached something of an escape velocity, such that now I don't use skill settings not out of some *philosophical* commitment, but simply because I don't personally need them much anymore (whereas in the past it could perhaps be argued that I needed them but lacked the self-awareness to use them). This is not to say that I always want an ultra-tight/hardcore experience every time I boot up the game, mind you; rather, I don't really have to expend a lot of thought on tailoring each game of Doom to my personal ideal comfort/entertainment at any given time via skill levels (or more drastic measures like gameplay mods or code changes) because the boundlessly varied and creative community already does it for me. In a given year I play all kinds of stuff, from the extremes of very, very easy My Grandma Would Find This Quaint (R) to Actually Out of My League (TM) balls-hard, all just by defaulting to skill 4 as the baseline. When I pick "Hard" and get something that's legitimately hard my response is "well okay good!, this is what I asked for after all", but I'm also pretty content picking "Hard" and getting something a lot more leisurely as well as a matter of course, as over time my enjoyment of the game has developed somewhat beyond being measurable simply by how many monsters per square foot I'm shooting (or how much I'm actually pushed to stretch my abilities). :)

 

It works well for me, and I reckon at this point pretty much the only potential way to get me to willingly play on a lower skill setting (vs. the very fringe case of 'unwillingly', ala @Ribbiks's unusual PWAD Magnolia) is not to use the skill settings as ways of varying the level of challenge in a given map, but rather as a sort of backdoor workaround for creating significantly different play experiences in the context of one single layout--i.e. maybe HMP and UV are not "normal" and "hard", but rather "survival horror" and "slaughter" respectively, something like that. There are a handful of PWADs that do this to some degree--oldest one I remember encountering is !BEWARE!.wad (also found as E2M6 of darkhell.wad IIRC), which had different key placements between skill settings which changed the path through the level somewhat--but it is by and large still largely unexplored territory, across every genre of the design space.

 

Of course, for many many more players, the traditional purpose of the skill settings still hold a great deal of value, allowing more space for more players to experience the many and varied virtues of user-made levels without as much of a barrier to entry based on fine gradations of game skill and knowledge. I don't think it's really incorrect to say that historically Ultraviolence has tended to be treated as the baseline (the conveniently varied experience I described above probably wouldn't have happened if this were not the case); this has not inconvenienced me much personally, but I know that if things had been different and HMP had historically been the default, as a player who willingly chooses the harder setting I would certainly have warmly appreciated the extra effort on the part of mappers to create a harder/more intense version of their maps, and that consideration absolutely goes both ways.

 

I would stop well short of saying that implementing skill settings (or all skill settings vs. just some, etc.) should be considered an obligation--seeking to create a very painstakingly specific/particular experience is as valid a design goal as trying to ensure that as wide/varied an audience as possible is served in some capacity in my eyes--but broadly speaking, taking skill settings seriously is something that will never not have some value. Even if you make a WAD, implement skill settings, and then find that everyone who plays it all pick the same setting (which does not happen to nearly the extent that some believe, if this and similar threads are any indication), the pure 'theory practice' that doing this entails can and will aid you in your own future mapping.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

I always play UV. I think UV 'feels' the best for the original iwads. And, please correct me if I am wrong, but most mappers design their maps around UV, and then work downwards from there to do the other difficulty settings,

 

The only thing that changes for me on really hard maps is that I save more often. So on NEIS.wad, I might save every few minutes. And on Sunder.wad I might save after each fight, or even if I get breathing room mid-fight. And on Death Destiny maps, I might save every 3 or 4 picoseconds, just to be sure. Maybe it is pride, but I don't mind a challenge, even if it is a little (or a lot) beyond me.

 

Much respect to those people on this thread who play how they wanna play, irrespective of difficulty.

Share this post


Link to post

I should clarify that I agree with @Demon of the Well and others in that there should be no obligation to implement difficulty levels. There's always skill 1, savescumming, and a ton of other ways to modify the experience to help you out. If you have a different experience in mind for more casual players, I think it's appreciated when someone puts work into that, though by a smaller audience.

 

I don't think only playing UV is "empty thickheaded machismo" at all, and I think my reaction in the opposite direction is just as silly. My only qualm was just with the "it's UV or -nomonsters, no in-between" sentiment, which I think just shows a lack of imagination. There are a million and one ways to have fun in this game.

Share this post


Link to post

I used to play on the lowest difficulty, then went up to HNTR and later UV. I tend to lean towards HNTR as it is a nice balance between lots of monsters to kill without being overwhelming.
I would hate for a WAD not to have true difficulty settings, though. Feels wrong not to.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, tchkb said:

Stuff about maps and settings and principles and whatnot

 

It's precisely as ribbiks said, if you gut the maps too hard, you end up with an underpopulated "husk-map". And all that's going to get you are players who feel patronized by these empty maps, and just IDDQD on UV settings to at least "see" the action. I have wasted enough of my time on participating in "difficulty level threads" to know that people don't give a crap about lower settings precisely because the lower settings fucking suck in most cases.

Your idea of who these lower settings should be aimed at, and how they should be done is exactly why these people see it that way: You're looking to castrate fights, even to the point where no actual method is required to win, which consequentially means people also don't learn anything. You can't make everybody happy anyway, so there's no reason to water down maps in hopes of "winning" at what's basically a zero-sum-game in the first place.

Don't believe me? Use the search engine, there are several threads per year where people say they...
...don't wanna learn/practise, and simply cheat/"savescum"
...pick UV, because HMP and lower is lame, even in popular PWADs

...simply discard the WAD because it's not for them, and live happily ever after

 

Just to add a small point of data:
My "Ultimate Doom In Name Only" contribution, which is E3M6, has the exact same fights on UV and HMP, all I did was building a different platforming section to accommodate for less platforming-enthusiastic players and keyboarders, as well as nerfing a later "timed" section by way of adding time in favour of players. It turns out a keyboarder beat said sections on HMP, so let's just assume I have a slight idea of what I'm talking about for a moment.

HNTR is almost the same as HMP, it just provides a BFG instead of a plasma gun, and has a little bit of meat removed in places. I have gotten one demo for hntr, and besides that the only feedback I received was for UV or HMP by several people (in the project thread or on discord). Nobody really cared about hntr, even though it was supposed to be the "accessible setting", at least not to the point where anybody felt like providing extensive written feedback.

It's not like I gutted the map on HNTR, and I was very upfront about it as well, but people have their expectations, and that's why feedback for that setting is as rare as feathered unicorns. If you wanna make people pick these settings, you have to take off the kiddy gloves, and give them something better than a ramshackle shooting gallery.

Share this post


Link to post
22 minutes ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

 

It's precisely as ribbiks said, if you gut the maps too hard, you end up with an underpopulated "husk-map". And all that's going to get you are players who feel patronized by these empty maps, and just IDDQD on UV settings to at least "see" the action. I have wasted enough of my time on participating in "difficulty level threads" to know that people don't give a crap about lower settings precisely because the lower settings fucking suck in most cases.
 

[...]

It's not like I gutted the map on HNTR, and I was very upfront about it as well, but people have their expectations, and that's why feedback for that setting is as rare as feathered unicorns. If you wanna make people pick these settings, you have to take off the kiddy gloves, and give them something better than a ramshackle shooting gallery.

I'm rather surprised to hear this; in feedback I've gotten on my maps, I've found that HNTR is actually the most commonly picked skill level.

 

Anyways, mappers like to talk about "I make UV for myself and then ignore other difficulty levels because I'm selfish", but I'm at an entirely different level of selfishness.  It's not enough to give myself one level of fun; I have to give myself two.  I calibrate UV and HMP both to myself, UV for when I'm in the mood for a real challenge and success isn't assured, and HMP for when I want to sweat a bit but I know I'll get it within two or three attempts.  Then I just make HNTR "Plutonia-hard" as a failsafe because anyone playing PWADs can handle Plutonia and, hey, who doesn't like Plutonia?  This approach means I can also still have some fun testing HNTR, even though I mostly recruit other people for that.

Share this post


Link to post

I play on HMP because in all honesty i just can't beat UV on anything that isn't Doom 1.

Sometimes i play on HNTR, but that's only when i'm playing on the Wii or my Tablet (which is extremely crappy and slow but at least it has a very good touchscreen) or when the mapset in question is BRUTALLY hard, or if i'm playing with a difficult gameplay mod.

 

IMO i don't really need extensive map changing on HMP or HNTR, just making simple adjustments like giving some more ammo, moving and taking out some monsters (mostly hitscans, more so if they are sniping) or giving keys early if the next section is a very big puzzle or a tough platforming section. Perhaps even throwing in an Invulnerability sphere if the next fight contains many powerful monsters.

Taking out 80% of the enemies makes the map extremely boring and empty, and also takes more time compared to the adjustments mentioned above. It's something that should be saved only for HNTR and even then less monsters should be removed but instead replaced, like just replacing 1 Baron with a Knight or a Revenant with a small mob of Imps.

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, Cynical said:

I'm rather surprised to hear this; in feedback I've gotten on my maps, I've found that HNTR is actually the most commonly picked skill level.

I like what your approach to balancing HMP and UV is like, but I'm surprised to read this, haha.

I suppose it depends a fair bit on what people expect from your maps, and who you give these maps to when looking for feedback. If you have an image as somebody who makes difficult stuff, and you're not exactly trying to fit into a community project, then sure, people might be more eager to pick a lower setting to start with.

Funnily enough, and even though I guess my maps lean more towards difficult in general (which people seem to be aware of) hntr feedback almost doesn't exist for me. My JoM05 map has been played on hntr by suitepee during a stream (which I recommended in his case), it went well enough for him in spite of all the revenants, and that's the only hntr feedback that map has ever gotten... And then there's the udino map I mentioned earlier: 1 hntr demo, rest HMP and UV feedback. So I dunno... It's not a lot of data, I must admit, but I find it hard to misinterpret what little data I have. Add to that the many folks who throw themselves headlong into trouble by checking UV first and only "dialing" HMP when it's too hard... Suddenly things seem to add up like that. Perhaps it's confirmation bias on my part, I've just seen people go for UV in spite of their shortcomings too many times by now.

Share this post


Link to post

It may be a case of self-fulfilling prophecy.  During private playtesting, I seek out folks who I know can't handle UV/HMP for HNTR testing, and when I include them in the "Credits" section of the text file, it's possible people see that and say "oh, people who aren't demo runners tested this at HNTR wheras every other playtester was DotW or a speedrunner, I should probably play this on HNTR".  The fact that it's pretty well known that I play a lot of stuff at HMP (or occasionally even HNTR if it's hard enough), and am very vocal about wads that do a poor job of it and accidentally make their lower skill levels harder than their harder ones because they just blindly remove enemies, probably doesn't hurt this perception.

 

I don't think I've ever played any of your maps, but just knowing what I do of you as a player, I'd probably default to HMP.

Share this post


Link to post
33 minutes ago, Cynical said:

I'm rather surprised to hear this; in feedback I've gotten on my maps, I've found that HNTR is actually the most commonly picked skill level.

 

33 minutes ago, Cynical said:

I calibrate UV and HMP both to myself, UV for when I'm in the mood for a real challenge and success isn't assured, and HMP for when I want to sweat a bit but I know I'll get it within two or three attempts. 

 

35 minutes ago, Cynical said:

I'm rather surprised to hear this

 

I wonder why.

Share this post


Link to post

Here's a question: has anyone dropped down to HMP and beaten the level, only to find out difficulty settings weren't implemented?

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, DuckReconMajor said:

Here's a question: has anyone dropped down to HMP and beaten the level, only to find out difficulty settings weren't implemented?

Looking for "placebo skill"? It's a good question though, wonder if anybody experienced this.

Share this post


Link to post

when making maps I test almost everything on hey not too rough. To me thats the bassline experience of a map. If its not still fun on HNTR its not fun at all. 

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, DuckReconMajor said:

Here's a question: has anyone dropped down to HMP and beaten the level, only to find out difficulty settings weren't implemented?

 

Not with that one, but I did this with a few wads in the past, only to then see in the readme: "Difficulty settings: Not implemented."

 

Out of the more notable wads, I have also played Sunder on HMP during my first playthrough, only to learn it didn't have any difficulty settings so what I got was actually UV.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

I play lesser difficulties. My days of Ultra Violence are done. Some such as @Fonze's wad turns out to be far more challenging due to different enemies on lesser difficulties.

Edited by geo

Share this post


Link to post

I think a lot of the grief about implementing difficulty levels is down to tooling. If someone wanted to mess with the Lua scripting feature of Doom Builder X, a script to take the UV item placement and algorithmically remove / replace stuff for lower skill levels would probably not be THAT difficult to implement, and you could tweak the output to your liking.  You could also do stuff like a script to add identical things on top of each other for separate skill levels, so you could then filter by skill level and actually delete / rearrange stuff without messing with the other skill levels.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

If you wanna make people pick these settings, you have to take off the kiddy gloves, and give them something better than a ramshackle shooting gallery.

 

>95% of Plutonia (that infamous mapset a lot of novices "hate") either already is a ramshackle shooting gallery or can be trivially reduced to it if you know the maps and act accordingly. Same with almost all 90s maps and a very large portion of modern ones as well - almost anything that has neither slaughter nor puzzle gameplay and even quite a lot of Plutonia-level content. "Ramshackle shooting galleries" is simply the standard Doom gameplay - what everyone learns when they begin playing it and what a significant portion of players has trouble moving past unless you ease them into it with carefully tuned difficulty of nonstandard setpieces. And it's not like these RSGs are inherently easy - there's quite a large difference in play experience required between Doom 1 RSGs and Hell Revealed 2 RSGs (these are probably the hardest ones you can get away with before they turn into obnoxiously long one-dimensional patience tests). I do admit that the skill ceiling we're talking about here is an order of magnitude or two lower than that of modern high-level Doom gameplay, but like I said a few lines above - you have to introduce that gameplay gradually and in a way that is comprehensible for relatively new players, and like I said in first post - lack of sufficiently reduced difficulty in lower skill levels will alienate these players because to them it will be a trial and error where they can't even tell error from non-error apart because they'll be constantly dying even if they happen to do something close to what map designer intended for a particular section.

 

Yes, a lot of these "alienated by UV" players will cheat, ITYTD or just not play it even with lower skill levels available, but what you appear to suggest ("can't appeal to everyone, then appeal only to one side") sounds absurd to me for reasons which should be logically obvious, and your argument's premise may not even be entirely correct. Lack of feedback on lower skill levels (not just when testing WIP stuff, but also well after releases) may come from several additional factors in addition to what you mentioned. Beating something on lower skill level is not exactly bragworthy. Many could also treat is as simply stepping stones before moving on to UV. Doomworld is also one specific community. Its playerbase is different from that of Zdoom forums, Reddit communities, Youtube/Twitch letsplayers, randoms who just grab stuff, play it and don't report back, etc. If you ask people elsewhere, chances are you may get a different statistical distribution of responses. Speaking of which - has anyone on even gathered any statistics on this topic?

 

"Gutting" is a very relative concept. From a certain point of view anything that is at all changed from the "intended experience" of UV is "gutted" to one degree or another and certainly isn't the "intended experience" anymore. But is "non-intended experience" automatically bad?

From another point of view "gutting" is what you get if you change too much. But what about changing too little? My personal opinion is that it's better to change too much than too little because it's better to have a subpar but unique product than one that does almost nothing while still being not intended/not bragworthy. Of course ideally you'd change the right amount of things in the right way to get the intended result with said intentions also being what the most players will want.

There are a lot of different ways to gut, or whatever you consider it/however you want to call it, a level, and many of them can be combined together. You seem to be of opinion that heavy reduction of monster counts is a cheap, usually subpar and inherently invasive method of decreasing difficulty. But consider a simple math problem - lowering number of monsters from 1500 to 500 in a certain fight still leaves the number of monsters thrown at you higher than anything in Plutonia. Depending on what exactly is cut, different variants may have wildly different results in what is now allowed/required to do to beat the section and how difficult doing so is, but that's kind of the point of difficulty levels and it's up to mapper and testers to decide what's best - it could indeed be doing something different than cutting anything, or doing cutting plus something else. I've seen a lot of veteran players disagree with me on this matter, but we haven't had a proper analysis with empirical evidence on this issue yet, just generic statements from both sides.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

All I gather from all of this is that every wad maker does their own thing and everyone, who plays it is does their own thing with it. There are some guidelines of what difficulty should have what, but no one can really enforce any of those. Every wad is a new game. It's Doom, but their version of Doom. Their wad, their rules. Be sure to write down the rules somewhere though to avoid wasting people's time and good mood, that's all you can do really.

 

Now saying that I still have expectations when playing a new wad.

1.I expect the wads difficulty to be consistent through out or at least scaling upwards slowly. Meaning it doesn't go fucking crazy after map 20 because you liked Scythe so much. If you mention it in big bold letters its fine, but otherwise it pisses people off. Hard to also do when you have many different authors, but then again not every megawad has to be 32-35 maps long. Way too much work for people doing it on their free time.

 

2.There is one difficulty that is the sweetspot. It means someone, who plays your map for the first time doesn't have to savescum through it, but it's still challenging for the average fps player. Otherwise you're making this for 12 people. What's the point? Doesn't have to be a total crowd pleaser, but I'm tired of seeing wads so hard only a coked up Gollum could beat it.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not sure if this is relevant to the topic but, I read somewhere that Shigeru Miyamoto encourages game developers to switch dominant hands to feel how the game is played by someone new to it and is less experienced. Has anyone ever tried to, for example, test lower difficulties keyboard-only? With that handicap you may be able to feel how a map feels to someone who simply isn't skilled enough yet.

 

3 minutes ago, Doomkid said:

As for me, I’ve always tried to be inclusive with my Doom maps and I don’t think I’ll ever stop. Not everyone has to be great to enjoy my turf, all that shit seems like a big ego scene man, dig? *hits blunt*

 

I am thankful for guys like you, I actually switch skill levels all the time and use them all depending how I am feeling.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, tchkb said:

you have to introduce that gameplay gradually and in a way that is comprehensible for relatively new players

We have entry-level slaughter. What's still missing is a good reason to castrate maps which aren't supposed to be suitable for entry level players, so far you failed to deliver one.

.

1 hour ago, tchkb said:

lack of sufficiently reduced difficulty in lower skill levels will alienate these players because to them it will be a trial and error where they can't even tell error from non-error apart because they'll be constantly dying even if they happen to do something close to what map designer intended for a particular section

Good, because that's what's supposed to happen when something is beyond people's reach. Play something that is less difficult, then pick up the harder maps.

 

If you want people to be able to develop a sense of how stuff is supposed to be approached, you accomplish nothing by removing the intended approach from the equation. It's that simple.

1 hour ago, tchkb said:

it will be a trial and error where they can't even tell error from non-error apart because they'll be constantly dying even if they happen to do something close to what map designer intended for a particular section.

that's the point. Hard maps are aimed at players who can perform certain things on autopilot, while they can execute and stick to a plan they have developed.

 

1 hour ago, tchkb said:

Yes, a lot of these "alienated by UV" players will cheat

Point missed. People aren't alienated by UV, they're alienated by the notion that they're missing out on lower difficulties while playing a set of maps they can't handle properly. And that's when they flip the switch and simply cheat in order to see what's up.

 

1 hour ago, tchkb said:

but what you appear to suggest ("can't appeal to everyone, then appeal only to one side") sounds absurd to me for reasons which should be logically obvious

Well it seems I'm not the only person to disagree with you on that.

Let me get this straight... I have two contributions to community projects under my belt, which were playable by and enjoyable for people who aren't exactly uber doomers, actually make that three, because mayhem19 also happened. And you're looking to tell me that my approach to balancing difficulty settings is logically flawed even though it has obviously worked more than once? Meanwhile you're inflating your opinion with catch phrases like "should be logically obvious". It seems we're in wonderland already.

 

1 hour ago, tchkb said:

Many could also treat is as simply stepping stones before moving on to UV.

Why do you think is it that I'm against gutting maps on lower settings to begin with?! It's to provide stepping stones that actually work. You can't provide stepping stones in sets like dimensions while also catering to new players with just the 4 difficulty settings you have at your disposal, because the top end of the WAD is way too fucking high for that. Stepping stones always need to account for where the WAD's top end is, and the "logically obvious result™" is that its audience will be limited in some way shape or form as a consequence. And that's where I'm dropping the anchor and repeat: You can't please everybody, so don't even bother trying. It's also pretty good advice for real life, by the way, so I suggest you take it.

1 hour ago, tchkb said:

My personal opinion is that it's better to change too much than too little because it's better to have a subpar but unique product than one that does almost nothing while still being not intended/not bragworthy.

If you change too much you're jeopardizing your stepping stones. If you change "too little" you loose broad appeal.

It's a pick your poison situation, and when in doubt I'd rather "sacrifice" the broad appeal (of a niche product, by the way) in order to provide stepping stones for those who want them.

 

1 hour ago, tchkb said:

lowering number of monsters from 1500 to 500 in a certain fight still leaves the number of monsters thrown at you higher than anything in Plutonia

So? Monster count isn't the only source of difficulty, and the fact that you pull off extremely dirty napkin math in order to make a point has disqualified your opinion on the matter for me personally. And yeah, cutting more than half the monsters in congestion based fights is the very definition of gutting.

 

1 hour ago, tchkb said:

I've seen a lot of veteran players disagree with me on this matter, but we haven't had a proper analysis with empirical evidence on this issue yet, just generic statements from both sides.

Wow... More experienced players, some of which also make maps every once in a while disagree with you based on their personal experiences. Meanwhile you think that what these more experienced people say is nothing but a generic statement, and your only line of defense here is that nobody bothered providing a spreadsheet? Alright, I'm moving on, this is ridiculous.

You think you know better? Go right ahead and build a few maps that are about as difficult as mine are, and show us how it's done. Good luck with your napkin math, you'll need it.

Edited by Nine Inch Heels

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, tchkb said:

There are a lot of different ways to gut, or whatever you consider it/however you want to call it, a level, and many of them can be combined together. You seem to be of opinion that heavy reduction of monster counts is a cheap, usually subpar and inherently invasive method of decreasing difficulty. But consider a simple math problem - lowering number of monsters from 1500 to 500 in a certain fight still leaves the number of monsters thrown at you higher than anything in Plutonia. Depending on what exactly is cut, different variants may have wildly different results in what is now allowed/required to do to beat the section and how difficult doing so is, but that's kind of the point of difficulty levels and it's up to mapper and testers to decide what's best - it could indeed be doing something different than cutting anything, or doing cutting plus something else. I've seen a lot of veteran players disagree with me on this matter, but we haven't had a proper analysis with empirical evidence on this issue yet, just generic statements from both sides.

You're totally missing the concept of "space control" here.  A battlefield with 1500 monsters almost certainly is giving the player more open space than anything in Plutonia, at 500 monsters the raw monster count won't matter; you'll have so much space to evade it all that you might as well populate it with a single imp for all the good it's doing.

 

22 minutes ago, pulkmees said:

2.There is one difficulty that is the sweetspot. It means someone, who plays your map for the first time doesn't have to savescum through it, but it's still challenging for the average fps player. Otherwise you're making this for 12 people. What's the point? Doesn't have to be a total crowd pleaser, but I'm tired of seeing wads so hard only a coked up Gollum could beat it.

And I'm tired of seeing players so entitled that they expect to beat a map without saves on their first attempt despite not having any skill.  No, the entire community isn't going to slow down because you suck.  Git gud.

Share this post


Link to post
On 7/8/2019 at 7:11 AM, Ribbiks said:

I sympathize with the view that playing on skill 2/3 is missing out on the full or intended experience, for several reasons:
- Most pwads are not well honed to be fun on every setting.
- Designing around UV then cleaving out monsters is the most common way difficulties are done
- For easier wads the lower settings are often empty and unsatisfying

- Design sensibilities from iwads --> present span such a wide range of difficulty, and there's such a huge amount of user-made content, that perhaps it's easier to hold the skill setting constant and discard the wad if it's not your cup of tea. Our time on this planet is finite and not everyone wants to invest that time into every mapset.

 

Putting work into difficulty settings is often laborious and unrewarding, with little feedback if they were ever used or if anyone appreciated the subtler changes. Sometimes it's worth it, sometimes it's not, depends on the specific project and its intended audience. Assuming you're motivated to do a good job at it (or want to impress the 0.01% of players who will play your map on multiple settings), here are some fun ideas for how to mix up difficulty settings, beyond just cutting or changing mobs:

  • change teleport destinations: add extra areas or make the player do things in a different order
  • rethink weaponry: maybe on hmp it's a RL-centric map, maybe on UV it's ssg/zerk
  • rethink progression: move keys around, maybe an area that's mandatory on UV to get a key is now an optional area on HMP that gets your armor/weapons instead.
  • change fight mechanics: maybe you have less blocking pillars to deal with AVs on the UV version of a fight, or timed arenas advance at faster rates, etc.
  • add/remove movement related challenges: maybe UV has some platforming sections, but on lower difficulties some "helper" platforms are added to the mix which make it more forgiving. maybe UV has inescapable pits, but HMP has teleporters that let you out, etc
  • add/remove environmental threats: e.g. -5% dmg floor on HMP, -10% on UV. Maybe one difficulty uses fast crushers, another slow.
  • add/remove navigational elements: maybe you have a complex/obtuse layout, on lower settings you could add some glowing lights or other landmarks to coax the player into discovering how to progress more quickly.

For the record I mostly play on skill 2/3, and will check out multiple settings if I really like something. It's rather rare that the gameplay of a pwad aligns with my interests so I have no qualms missing the "full experience" if it lets me scope out the visuals and etc with less meat in the way.

 

I'd just like to interject to say how much I appreciate your approach to difficulty settings. I played through Sunlust on HMP (And finishing it was one of the hardest things I've ever done - Took me 6 months of playing, quitting and replaying God Machine to finally get it done) and played a little bit of it on UV with IDDQD. Map30 was completely different on the two settings. It wasn't just less monsters - The yellow key got moved around and one set piece dropped. Arch-viles in the final area got replaced with barons of hell - Still dangerous, but less. 

 

--

 

I tend to play on HMP for a more "Casual" experience. For the original IWAD's I'm playing on UV because they are easier. However, something like Scythe 2, I get to a certain point and the slaughter nature of the maps gets to be too much. 

Share this post


Link to post

I personally play Ultra Violence and sometimes UV Fast unless it a wad i'm unfamiliar with or just want a chiller playthrough ill play on Hurt me Plenty in those cases

 

I don't play Nightmare though because the hitscan enemies get way too annoying and respawn faster than any other monster, and it becomes frustrating.

 

Recently, I do try my best to design my own wads with different difficulties in mind.

On thing I'm experimenting with is tech pillars blocking paths on certain difficulties for variety between difficulty settings but also making sure the level is maxable on all difficulties. 

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
On 7/5/2019 at 2:47 PM, ([zen3001]) said:

when working on maps I first place all entities for ultra voilence and then start removing monters for lower difficulties, I'm pretty sure quite a few people play with hurt me plenty but when I was removing some monsters for my last map for the lower difficulties, I started wondering if anyone would even care.

Don't want to mock anyone for it but is anyone out there who prefers the easier mode?

 

*has a mental image of the two lowest difficulty levels having one monster per level.*

Share this post


Link to post
56 minutes ago, Master O said:

 

*has a mental image of the two lowest difficulty levels having one monster per level.*

 

*has a mental image of Malcolm Sailor reading this post and saying "hold my beer."

Share this post


Link to post

Depends on the map and my aims. If I want to really focus on it, I will use Ultra Violence. But if I want to kick back and just have a spot of fun, I might play on Hurt Me Plenty. Honestly anybody who gets uppity about what difficulty settings someone plays a game on needs to reassess their priorities in life.

Share this post


Link to post
12 hours ago, Pavera said:

I think you'd find that "taking the piss" with people in doom mapping in 2019 isn't going to get you the reaction you might think.


Yeah I've noticed not many around here have a sense of humour or can take a joke...

Share this post


Link to post
13 hours ago, Pavera said:

It can be hard to get feedback for lower difficulties.

 

For the record, I am happy to test stuff on HNTR or HMP (though probably not both, due to time constraints), as long as it's playable in PrBoom+ and doesn't fiddle too much with the core Doom gameplay (adding a new monster or two is fine, but if you've changed up a bunch of stuff I'm probably not interested - and yes, I realise the irony of someone who worked on STRAIN saying this).

 

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×