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Good-Old

Do you usually pistol start?

Do you pistol start?  

71 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you pistol start?



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Yes I do, even if it sometimes makes a map hard for me. I conserve rockets and cells a bit too much, even when I have like 20 of them. I just don't want to use them until I actually encounter a too powerful guy(cybies and stuff) I know this is a shitty habit and I need to get rid of it. Pistol starting helps me use my  ammo free of worry at the end of a level. Also helps me judge weapons by their availability, due to which I think SG>SSG.

Anyway, to the point - Do you pistol start often?

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No

 

The thing for me when it comes to playing mods and maps is I like to play the maps in it's original difficult state (I default all doom Mods on UV mode). However, it also means I want to play as many levels as possible with the best chance of success because of my habits. 

 

Thus I don't pistol start levels, because it restricts me on how many levels I can complete. If anything, I would only pistol start the original Doom maps as I am most comfortable with them.

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didn't we have this topic a couple weeks ago grumble grumble

 

I like to pistol start since maps are designed around that. Sometimes you can totally cheese an encounter by bringing weapons from an earlier level.

 

Example: There's this one part of a map in Valiant where after you pick up a key, the path back is filled with hell knights. It's normally quite challenging since valiant buffs HKs but if you bring a BFG from map31 it's really easy.

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I agree sg is better than ssg, but no I don't pistol start (right now), I use sg most of the time.

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No. My compulsive urge to hoard heavy weapon ammo extends beyond individual levels.

Although I have recently been trying out a kind of half-way house between continuous and pistol-start play; selecting a level after the beginning of a WAD and then playing from there. It's an attempted work-around for my terrible habit of starting WADs and not finishing them.

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I pistol start most maps, the exceptions being mid 90s wads and cohesive/modified sets (Blade of Agony, Cold as Hell etc).

 

 

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Personally, I don't, since continuous play is the normal way to play Doom, and mappers thus design around by default. I might try my hand at it sometime, though.

 

2 hours ago, Tartlman said:

I like to pistol start since maps are designed around that.

As I understand it, the intent is that maps should be playable from pistol start, in the sense that it's not utterly unplayable; it's advice given in the same vein as "make sure the textures are aligned"; but not necessarily that that's the optimal intended way to play. This basically just means that each map in a set should still provide at least basic weapons early on, even if it's redundant from earlier levels.

 

As for cheesing encounters with carried-over weapons: that is your reward for having played through the prior levels and gotten them. With continuous play, a reward has more value because it can pay off for the rest of the mapset rather than just the rest of the current level. A mapper targeting continuous play (which, again, they should do by default) is thus likely to be more reserved with rewards: make it harder to earn them. A mapper targeting pistol-start play would be more generous with them because they're not as useful.

 

It also makes UV-Episode runs more interesting than the sum of their single-level runs, because you might take a detour in a level to obtain a weapon earlier, sacrificing a bit of time now to save more time later; while a single-level run wouldn't find it worthwhile.

 

I'm of two minds about the topic, though. I don't care much for the pistol-start mindset, and continuous play makes a mapset a bit more interesting than the sum of its parts in isolation, and continuous play lets the player hit the ground running with each level rather than having to start at the base of the tech tree every time, interrupting their momentum. However, one of the things I like about Doom 1 over Doom 2 is that each episode is a fresh start, and thus gives the mapper more opportunity to play with the overall progression, like how the player obtains their first shotgun, or doing things like making a weapon a secret in an early level but given openly in a later level. With a whole-game mapset like Doom II, a mapper may be eager to present these cool toys to play with so you're not forced to play half a dozen levels with only a shotgun to your name just so they can spread out the progression across the whole mapset; but then they can't reward you with them later on.

 

So the Episode structure strikes a nice balance, I think. More chances to write opening chapters without having to cold-start every time.

 

Heretic and Hexen add a plot twist to all this: in those games, powerups are carried as inventory items rather than activated on pickup. But in Heretic, you can only carry up to 1 of each type across levels (so if you've stockpiled 5 Quartz Flasks, you'll only have 1 at the next level). Everything else (health, weapons, etc) carries over as usual. In a sense, it forces you to semi-"pistol start" every level, in terms of powerups. I find this takes away the player's choice of how to manage their stuff: personally I play carefully, using low-end weapons as much as I can get away with, not using powerups if I can avoid it, and so on: I play as weak as I can get away with, precisely so I can be strong when I need to be. So Heretic's inventory sweep doesn't suit my style, and encourages you to play more aggressively and recklessly. Nothing wrong with playing that way, but I'd rather do so by choice than by force.

 

In Hexen, everything carries over, even between hubs. You start with your first weapon, get your second weapon early in the first hub, get your third weapon in the second hub, then get your fourth and final weapon in the third hub, so there's a gradual progression of power as you work your way through the game. Oddly enough, Shadow Wood (the second hub) gives you your third weapon early on, but also gives you your second weapon again, but later in the mapset. So it's like it allows for hub "pistol starts" but in a weird way I guess. Likewise, you can obtain your ultimate weapon again in the final hub.

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8 minutes ago, Rainne said:

Personally, I don't, since continuous play is the normal way to play Doom, and mappers thus design around by default.

 

Nope. Mappers customarily design around pistol starts. That has been the case for a while. 

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1 minute ago, rdwpa said:

 

Nope. Mappers customarily design around pistol starts. That has been the case for a while. 

There are ways to force pistol starts, such as forced death exits, ResetHealth/ResetInventory in ZDoom MAPINFO, and so on. Those make the mapper's intent clear. There's no way to force continuous play, or to express that as a mapper's intent through level design, because there doesn't need to be: that's just how the game works normally.

 

They could also simply state their intent in the mapset's readme, which is a simpler approach that allows for cleaner level design... although then it creates a notion of "mapper intent" that exists separately from what's actually in the level, and which players should respect even when the game technically allows them to do otherwise. 🤔 But that shouldn't be a problem.

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1 hour ago, Rainne said:

Personally, I don't, since continuous play is the normal way to play Doom, and mappers thus design around by default.

Are you confusing this with the "controversial opinion thread" where being straight up wrong is fair game?

 

What styles of play are intended/supported is for the mapper to decide, and different mappers have different approaches. Most of the time, mappers will put for example "intended to be played from pistol start" into the txt that comes with their releases, if that is what they indeed intended.

 

Also, it's usually reasonable to assume that for example maps from community projects are meant to be played from pistol start, because these maps exist "in isolation", and therefore have to be built and balanced for pistol starting to begin with.

 

And since you're so adamant about maps being played the way they're "supposed to be played", to the point where you feel like you need to put in gimmicks to keep the evil speedrunners away, you surely are aware that now you're basically obligated to see if the stuff you played thus far was played "as intended by the mapper", right?

Edited by Nine Inch Heels

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No, otherwise where's the fun in carrying 600 cell ammo over 9 maps because you might desperately need it all on the next map?

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As far as IWADs and officials releases, yes I would most certainly pistol-start since official releases tends to be really easy anyway due to the fact that I already know the levels by hand so playing them continuously will makes things way too easy. Also I'm a sucker for ammo deprivation style gameplay and I like to start with a clean slate. Regarding PWADs, it depends whether the author intended it to be played continuously or not. I would probably try to pistol-start it anyway until I encounter a map that's deemed to hard for me from pistol pistol-start. Then I would play it continuously(from the previous map) and try to come up with strategies on how to beat it from pistol-start, based on the knowledge I've gathered from playing it. Resource management and guerilla tactics are my thing.  

 

It also applies to Blood, Duke, Heretic and Shadow Warrior.

 

 

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Never. I treat mapsets as an ongoing adventure and pistol starts kill the sense of progression. Plus it's a pain to have to do it.

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14 minutes ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

And since you're so adamant about maps being played the way they're "supposed to be played", to the point where you feel like you need to put in gimmicks to keep the evil speedrunners away, you surely are aware that now you're basically obligated to see if the stuff you played thus far was played "as intended by the mapper", right?

If the play is intended to be taken seriously as a show of respect for the mapper, rather than just for fun, then... yeah, actually that's a good idea. I mostly play IWADs but lately I've been trying out some multi-level mapsets. I'll look them over. I take my time enough that there isn't much momentum to lose anyway. 😅

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To each their own, but if you do not pistol start, ye are cursed.

 

         FLA

FUR            BIS

         FLE

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1 minute ago, Rainne said:

If the play is intended to be taken seriously as a show of respect for the mapper, rather than just for fun, then... yeah, actually that's a good idea.

Look, the thing is, quite a few mappers actually and genuinely put a good deal of effort and thought into how a fun pistol start on their maps could be made. That being said, and despite me being a bit rude about it, chances are that you're actually missing out on some of the fun that you could have had if you pistol started some maps.

 

Also, the idea of enforcing pistol starts with ACS or death exits looks good on paper, until you realize that all it will accomplish is alienated players. There is no value in having every map end with a death exit, only to keep people away who would have enjoyed the maps if they could have played continuous. Plus having every map end basically the same way can also get boring, so even when pistol starting is intended, there are artistic merits to other methods of exiting the maps.

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1 hour ago, Rainne said:

There are ways to force pistol starts, such as forced death exits, ResetHealth/ResetInventory in ZDoom MAPINFO, and so on. Those make the mapper's intent clear. There's no way to force continuous play, or to express that as a mapper's intent through level design, because there doesn't need to be: that's just how the game works normally.

 

They could also simply state their intent in the mapset's readme, which is a simpler approach that allows for cleaner level design... although then it creates a notion of "mapper intent" that exists separately from what's actually in the level, and which players should respect even when the game technically allows them to do otherwise. 🤔 But that shouldn't be a problem.


That the game defaults to continuous play doesn't mean people are actively designing for it to a greater degree than they are designing for pistol starts.


You are focusing too much on end-level mechanics. Instead, you should be thinking about content everywhere else. Weapons that are attained in a previous map that are nevertheless placed in this one again? For pistol start. Same with ammo? For pistol start. Previous map is an HP/armor windfall but I'm still going to place armor early at the beginning of the next one? For pistol start. 

 

Fights that -- by their very nature -- are designed to be beatable and well tuned for a pistol starter even though a continuous player, in much stronger shape, could trivialize them? Yep, for pistol start. 


Purely continuous affordances tend to be much more restricted: health placed near an exit so you don't enter the next map in dire condition with potential unavoidable damage, backpacks that are deleted at the behest of a project runner, etc. A map might have a secret fight with resources, or a death-exit skip, only useful for a continuous player. Stuff that embraces continuous play to that extent is rare, these days. Yet close to everything goes out of its way to make pistol starting viable. 

 

One of the reasons people don't balance for continuous play as much is because you don't really need to, to that same degree. If a map falters from pistol start, the result can easily be a 'broken' experience: a map has cells as its main ammo type, and lots of beefy monsters, but no plasma rifle or BFG? Can easily be unplayable. For continuous play, as long as the mapper avoids potential unwinnable starts, there is not much risk in taking continuous play as it might fall.

 

It is also much more convenient to test a map from pistol start. Want to test your set continuously as thoroughly as with pistol starts? Well you're going to have to be really smart with gauging the possible state of a player (to place 'testing piles' of resources to emulate carryovers) or otherwise play continuously a bunch.

 

The net effect of all that is these days, people actively cater to pistol starts far more, and continuous play is often supported 'passively' in a 'whatever it happens to be' way. 

 

 

There is also an error in your reasoning. To force pistol starts, via death exits between each map or ZDoom Reset scripts, is not just to express a preference for pistol starts. It's to express a yet stronger preference to block off continuous play entirely. The absence of such devices doesn't indicate a preference for continuous play. 

 

Yes people sometimes point out that their maps are 'balanced for pistol starts' in text files. No, it doesn't create lead to the issue you're speaking of because there is a community norm that players are going to choose what mode they prefer -- whether it's pistol-starting or continuous play -- and the text file is more of a 'suggestion'. 

 

The problem with your thinking is you seem to be arguing purely from 'first principles', without knowing the Doom community's specific norms and ways of doing things.

Edited by rdwpa

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If I was playing a mapset and got an enforced pistol start on the next map, I would actually be quite annoyed. It is like if you are playing a full game and there's a contrived excuse to take your weapons away. Sometimes it can serve a dramatic purpose if done with great care. But for me to lose my weapons at the begging of every level of a mapset? Yeah, not a good time in my opinion. If you want pistol start make individual levels not a map set. It's far easier to exit and load up the next map with a quick double click of an associated WAD file than to force a clumsy pistol start.

 

DISCLAIMER: My subjective opinion. Please do not take this as a critique of you personally if you disagree. Disagreeing is fine. Live and let live, whatever blows your skirt up etc etc.

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I play continuously unless the mappers specifically stated that their map was made for pistol starts, or I have played the mapset in question before and now want an extra challenge.

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6 hours ago, Tartlman said:

didn't we have this topic a couple weeks ago grumble grumble

 

I'm ok with topics being duplicated lol.

As for me, I pistol start but only when needed to.

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TBH, no i don't. I play continuously. But if the mapper states that their map was only made to be played from pistol start than i suppose i'll play it that way. Most maps i tend to play aren't like that though.

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I looked at the readmes for the Heretic map packs I got; none of them mention anything about pistol/wand starts. Which is good because I'd really rather not have to figure out where to go in Hymn E1M3 all over again. 😖

 

6 hours ago, rdwpa said:

To force pistol starts, via death exits between each map or ZDoom Reset scripts, is not just to express a preference for pistol starts. It's to express a yet stronger preference to block off continuous play entirely. The absence of such devices doesn't indicate a preference for continuous play.

 

True, but it's my understanding that "test the level from pistol start" is one of Romero's design guidelines (or someone's, anyway), and I take it to mean that it shouldn't depend on continuous play: if you die and start over, it's feasable to try again. By this guideline, there'll be redundant weapons, armor, ammo, etc in the maps even when designed for continuous play: the presence of such things doesn't indicate a preference for pistol starts. For example, a mapset could be calibrated for continuous play, and pistol starting is basically a penalty (your punishment for dying), but the mapper has ensured you have a chance to overcome the penalty and restore your good name. In a mapset like that, voluntarily pistol-starting is a self-imposed challenge atop the challenge of the map itself.

 

Point taken that it's more difficult to design mapsets around continuous play. (Although I maintain that it presents more possibilities too.) However, most maps are released as standalone levels, which are necessarily pistol-start; so to release multiple maps in a single WAD suggests they're meant to be taken together as a unit: That's why I play continuous by default (or at least feel it's justified to do so), in the absence of a reason to do otherwise (such as mapper intent or just wanting more challenge).

 

In any case, if mapsets support both styles (even if they don't necessarily play to the strengths of one or the other) -- which seems feasable enough, and which seems like that should be a good design guideline to follow in general -- then both types of players can enjoy the mapset. 👍🏻 In which case it comes down to player preference.

Edited by Rainne : rephrasing a bit

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I do continuous play because that’s the Doom mechanic whether or not it’s the author’s intention and also because I’m not a “good” gamer, I just play games for fun. It’s probably going to be challenging enough for me so I don’t need to make it artificially harder to fulfill someone else’s alleged vision. When I was younger I had almost OCD levels of worrying that I was playing through something “correctly”, but the idea of that is now extremely foreign to me.

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I like the challenge of pistol start, but I also like to feel the progression throughout the mapset, so... I consciously choose to use a weapon only if I already found it in the level. Kind of a "pseudo" pistol start.

 

Forced pistol start (like it's done in Scythe) is all right for me, as it's part of the adventure.

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I never play PWADs so I always start each level with whatever I've got from the previous one, unless of course it's Doom 93 where it's episodic and you don't have a choice unless you use a cheat code. The reason I play like that is because I first played Doom on Playstation where it's more like a survival horror experience.

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