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RonnieJamesDiner

Monster you find the hardest/easiest to use effectively?

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I’ve been happily creating random, unreleased maps for a little while now, and slowly discovering an unexpected element to the process – using the varied members of the Doom bestiary effectively.

 

I was just curious, which monster/s do you find the hardest – and the easiest – to use effectively in your maps?

 

 

Though I would not have thought this, I actually find the Spider Mastermind to be one of the most challenging enemies for me to use. It’s bounding box is outrageously large, and yet it can’t seem to cover ground very quick. It’s damage output feels... awkward? It always seems like the bullet spread is a mile wide, right up until it almost instantly narrows to the eye of a needle. And, despite begging to be used in a boss-like scenario due to it’s threat potential, a single BFG blast from close range is enough to bring it down.

 

Also, the Lost Soul. It's to the point where, I almost forget sometimes that it exists independently of the Pain Elemental, by the sheer lack of use I give it. I can never seem to find a place where I think, "This could really use some Lost Souls", without first thinking, "A Pain Elemental would be perfect here, because this could really use some Lost Souls...". Perhaps mapping for a while with Doom 1 exclusively might help teach me how to use those things.

 

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On the other hand, I seem to find a million ways to use the Revenant. It just has this balance and versatility in it’s strengths and weaknesses, which seems to lend itself to so many different situations. Need a low HP monster that does enough damage to be a genuine threat? Revenant. Need something that can cover ground in a hurry? Revenant. Need a reliable turret, but don’t want to use hitscan? Revenant. Need a dangerous projectile enemy, but it has to fit inside of a 64x64 space? Revenant. Need 20 dangerous projectile enemies, but don't want to grind the pace to a halt due to the time it takes to kill them all?? Revenant!! I could go on and on... it’s just incredibly versatile, which is probably why I seem to have no trouble finding ways/places to use it.

 

Also... the Arch-Vile. I just absolutely, completely, love using this monster. The sheer effect that it has on a room, or arena, or wherever, is just so impressive and perfect. And really feels unequalled.   

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Hardest (outside of boss-type enemies, they're a pain to implement in new and effective ways for everyone) would have to be the Mancubus. It's so hard to find places where they'd fit thematically, and where a Revenant or HK wouldn't accomplish the same task. I never seem to be able to find a place for the Mancubi.

 

Easiest would be Imps. I stuff them everywhere. No need to worry about their dropped ammo being retrievable, they don't present that much of a threat, and they fit in with any theme.

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Posted (edited)

Spider Mastermind without a doubt. It should have had more HP and a lower pain chance. Just hold down fire with plasma rifle and it can almost never get an attack out and is dead in 5 seconds. Also you mentioned the tendency to cause infighting. As if that weren't enough the Mastermind can infight with ANOTHER one. I think it's due it's bullet based attack since the zombies and Lost Souls follow the same rule. Regardless using 2 together is basically pointless unless you want to stop playing the map to watch them shoot eachother for a couple minutes. Actually, that gives me an idea for an encounter. 

 

People also seem to not know how to use Barons effectively in general. 

 

Archvile is my fav to use since its mechanics are so unique and can derail an encounter very quickly if you're not expecting it. Choosing how often to use it is important though. 

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Spiderdemons are the ones that i've very rarely used for the reasons mentioned (too big, creates much infighting), it requires a well thought arena were it could do something interesting (such as taking advantage of it's propensity of creating monster infighting, or an efective placement where it becomes a legit threat to the player)


Also another monster i find hard to use, are barons. They are identical to hell knights except for the health points, i tend to place hell knights in place of barons since a part of me kinda fears a map would feel grindy, and also 2 hell knights make a more interesting fight than one and can be a higher threat if used correctly. I don't dislike barons at all, and i think they can be used very cleverly (such as on map02 of TNT: Resistance ), but i tend to switch back to HK most of the times i place one

Easiest monster type to use has to be imps for me, they are really versatile!, a bit basic sure, but they are easy to use for a lot of situations, not to mention their low health make them a good target for high tier weapons hehe, it's always satisfying to have a small horde of them and a rocket launcher nearby

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Ah yes, the infighting, that was another aspect I forgot to even mention. I suppose this could be used to create an interesting arena setup, perhaps if the player is under-equipped to handle the Mastermind, and the infighting is necessary to deal with it. As far as the SM's being able to infight with each other, very frustrating, because it's almost is if they just look at each other the wrong way, and it's instant duel time.

 

1 hour ago, Bauul said:

Lost Souls I think you've overlooked one very specific benefit though: they are the only enemy without a wakeup sound.  This makes them brilliant for ambushes, especially given their physical attack makes them pretty effective as a blocking mechanism.  You can use a group of Lost Souls to pen the player in, and they won't even notice until the charge attacks begin.  You have to be careful not to let the Lost Souls attack each other, but they can have some pretty cool applications.

 

This helps a lot, actually! I never considered the fact that they don't have an alert sound, which is quite interesting now that I consider this. Using them as a blocking mechanism makes a lot of sense, especially in an ambush scenario. Thanks!

 

@Schism487 @DMPhobos You guys certainly make great cases for the lowly Imp, and I have to agree completely. I really loved some of the Imp usage in Eviternity, most notably the ruthless ambush on MAP22: Viscera. Pretty much had to utilize the rocket launcher during that, which made the whole encounter both intense as hell and utterly satisfying, all at once.

 

1 hour ago, Super Mighty G said:

Archvile is my fav to use since its mechanics are so unique and can derail an encounter very quickly if you're not expecting it. Choosing how often to use it is important though. 

 

Could not agree more! But yes, moderation in all things. I think that may be the most difficult aspect of using the Arch-Vile, strangely - knowing when not to use it!

 

 

As far as the Baron, I always considered that monster as an intentional bullet sponge. Almost like a roaming obstacle that can attack you, especially when one gets dropped into the mix of a close-quarters ambush. It's pretty much guaranteed to be the last thing you kill due to it's high HP and easily avoidable attacks, so to me, it's function has only ever really been, like I said, a dynamic obstacle that you still need to be mindful of (because they certainly hit hard). All of that said, there are likely many other ways of using the Baron, such as where a beefy turret is needed. 

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I find the simple way to make the Baron a threat is to drop him in a tight space where you must kill it to escape before it backs you into the corner. I played a map in Bloodspeed recently that had 2 Barons in a very small room and it was very hectic.

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I find Pain Elementals hard to use simply for the fact I don't want to bog the player down with annoying flying potatoes. Plus, all the lost souls that come with it. I also find Archviles a little hard to balance for since I want it to be a little hard to kill but not brutal.

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For me I think it's the Pain Elemental...

Being the only monster that can spawn other monsters it's easy to lose control of your monster limits as there is no way to know just how many extra Lost Souls they could potentially create (especially in a port that removes the Lost Soul limit bug). Placing a few Pain Elementals in an area with other monsters could veery quickly end up in an expectedly massive swarm that wasn't intentional and could cause huge fluctuations with difficulty settings. There's just no way of telling what's gonna happen with them.

Having said that I do like to set them behind false walls to make Lost Soul spitters ;)

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Posted (edited)

Revenants are toughest for me, mainly.  A lot of my maps are kinda cramped and tight, so most of the time, I've got no way to utilize them except just make bigger areas just for them.

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Hardest for me is the Spider Mastermind; I've only ever used it in one map and I'm still not 100% convinced it was a good use of the monster.

 

Easiest is the imp, there's almost no wrong way to use an imp.   

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The Wolfenstein SS is hard to use simply because it really only fits in Wolfenstein Themed levels

They look out of place in Normal Doomlike Levels

I wonder there is a sprite and sound replacement to reskin it as a zombie type enemy so they could be used in Doomy levels

 

My Favorite Enemies to use are Archviles and Revenants because I like their attacks and mechanics

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7 hours ago, Mystic 256 said:

The Wolfenstein SS is hard to use simply because it really only fits in Wolfenstein Themed levels

They look out of place in Normal Doomlike Levels

I wonder there is a sprite and sound replacement to reskin it as a zombie type enemy so they could be used in Doomy levels

 

Enjay did just that in Enjay Zdoom 2001. Replaced them with a bald trooper wielding a machine gun. Worked fairly well, like an intermediate step between sergeant and commando. 

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8 hours ago, Mystic 256 said:

The Wolfenstein SS is hard to use simply because it really only fits in Wolfenstein Themed levels

They look out of place in Normal Doomlike Levels

I wonder there is a sprite and sound replacement to reskin it as a zombie type enemy so they could be used in Doomy levels

 

My Favorite Enemies to use are Archviles and Revenants because I like their attacks and mechanics

 

The Realm667's Rapid-fire trooper is mechanically identical to the SS (At least, that's what I could figure from using them in my own maps. I didn't actually compare the coding to see if they really are identical. Point is, they're close enough) and it looks similar to the zombie man. Maybe you can try downloading that and using it if you map in UDMF.

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i always forget to use Doom ii monsters. Despite fighting literally thousands of them over time they dont exist in my head when I think of doom monsters when mapping. To me the OG roster is perfect

 

hm...maybe plus the arachnotron ;)

 

I find the revenant really difficult to use

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21 hours ago, RonnieJamesDiner said:

Though I would not have thought this, I actually find the Spider Mastermind to be one of the most challenging enemies for me to use. It’s bounding box is outrageously large, and yet it can’t seem to cover ground very quick. It’s damage output feels... awkward? It always seems like the bullet spread is a mile wide, right up until it almost instantly narrows to the eye of a needle. And, despite begging to be used in a boss-like scenario due to it’s threat potential, a single BFG blast from close range is enough to bring it down.

Just a minor nitpick, unless you're playing on a ZDoom-family source-port, it is quite unlikely to one-hit kill a Spiderdemon, more precisely just a 3% chance with one perfect BFG shot (as opposed to 62% on ZDoom and derivatives).

 

Source

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8 minutes ago, Andromeda said:

Just a minor nitpick, unless you're playing on a ZDoom-family source-port, it is quite unlikely to one-hit kill a Spiderdemon, more precisely just a 3% chance with one perfect BFG shot (as opposed to 62% on ZDoom and derivatives).

 

Ohhh my... I had no idea! I guess it's clear what source ports I use the most ;P

 

Thank you for sharing this, though. That is actually really cool to know!

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I've started to mix barons of hells with barrels if I don't place them with infighting potential to drain their hp.

 

The easiest monster for me to place is imps. My maps are almost always 60/40 imps then hit scanners and a few heavier monsters thrown in.

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I find Pain Elementals the hardest to use, as I find their lost soul spawning hard to balance. They're almost certain death in confined spaces and infuriating in wide open areas.

 

As most of the others have said, Imps are the most versatile as they work well both as solitary ambushers/snipers and in massed hordes without drowning the player in hitscan.

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Leaving aside spiderdemons for previously said reasons, i find Barons quite difficult to implement due to their 1000 hp. Hell Knights on the other hand are easier to properly use because their hp is half as much. Being ambushed by four HK in a medium sized room it's much more challenging and fun than facing two Barons in the same situation.

I find imps, zombies, spectres, demons and lost souls the easiest to use in mapping.

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8 hours ago, NeptunesTyrant said:

I find Pain Elementals the hardest to use, as I find their lost soul spawning hard to balance. They're almost certain death in confined spaces and infuriating in wide open areas.

Certain death in confined spaces? Only if you're unable to reach melee range to prevent them from spawning Souls. Or if you have no ammo, but that's the case for every monster.

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Pain Elementals can certainly be tricky. I think the most interesting use of them that I see, is placing them deep into a room, knowing the player will likely rush to kill it before allowing it to spawn an army of Lost Souls. Now, the player has effectively stirred up the main horde of monsters, and can no longer just simply walk back out of the room without a fight. I guess you could consider the PE a good "bait" monster for traps/ambushes.

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Sunlust shows how to use barons when 2x their number in HKs would not be an improvement. The last fight of m19 is a great example. Those barons refuse to die even against RL spam; avoiding being smooshed is quite an involved process. Replace them with 2n HKs or even 3n (the surplus warping in because the arena lacks space otherwise): now you have the bail-out option of carving through HKs, and when you are in a corner it's much easier to hold them off. Clearing out the imps and revs and making a stand in their cubby ASAP is very dangerous with barons, but would win with the HKs. 

 

Masterminds aren't too difficult to use as long as you don't get too technical and use them rarely. That rare appearance adds flavor. Design for the spectacle and cinematics, rather than precise mechanics. As a climatic boss fight they will be a letdown unless you make an actual good fight, but less important spots grant more leeway.

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I find zombies hard to use. I also find tech base maps hardest to make.

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Posted (edited)

Hard:

Demons: not the hardest to use but frequently wrongly used. Set ups that make them surround you almost mandatory, that plus little armor makes them work fine, also usable in crowds with other types, I'd like a thread about good pinky use.

Barons: hard to use in open spaces, they work fine in closed spaces blocking your way out of a fight.

 

Easy:

Sergeants: Small, easy to hide behind pillars or ledges, also fun because they inflict considerable damage but easy to kill.

Revenants: small and fast moving with 3 attacks and moderate health, the adjust to almost every situation.

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