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Hisymak

Is Berserk pack used by map creators mostly as a healing item, or for its primary purpose?

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Posted (edited)

While playing many various Doom megawads and mappacks, I noticed, that Berserk pack is quite common item, which is present usually several times in most of maps, not rarely in secrets.

Despite the berserk pack's primary purpose, I always (with occassional exceptions) treat it as a healing item, that gives me full 100% health. The red tint and switch to fist after picking it up is just an annoying side effect for me, and main reason why I rather do not much like this item.

Not sure about others, but I never preferred using berserk pack to punch monsters. In early levels full of weak low-tier monsters (zombies, imps, demons) it can be quite useful and fun, but still, close-range fight is not my cup of tea as I usually take much more damage, than when I shoot monsters with weapons from a safe cover. In later levels full of tough high-tier monsters, it even does not make sense to use berserk to punch those monsters, you are dead earlier than you can even get close to them. However, still, berserk packs are placed even in levels full of big monsters by mappers, where their only usefullness is regaining health.

So I'm curious, what are mappers thinking when they are placing berserk packs in maps? When they want to use it for health, why not uing soulsphere or regular medikits?

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Because both medkits and soulspheres are better. 4 medkits \ 10 stims allow you to backtrack for free extra healing (berserk only competes if you are willing to get dangerously low on hp), soulsphere is straight up overpowered compared to the normal healing items to be used just for healing.

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I like placing this in my maps as a healing item and I also treat it as such while I play other maps. Very rarely I place a berserk in a map for punching stuff. I don't use medkits or stimpacks in their place is because of spacing. To get to 100% health, I will need 4 medkits or 10 stim packs. Sometimes, I don't want to all of those down in a small hallway. Plus, since the weird quirks of the berserk pack, I find that it adds another level of strategy. You can split 100% health up into small increments of healing if you plot it down as medkits/stimpacks but sometimes I don't want the player to be able to go back for added healing. I want them to decide whether they want to pick it up at 40% health and have that insurance or if they want to leave it for later. Plus in a battle, it can also add the question of: "Do I want to risk getting hit by that Arachnotron and die or do I go for the berserk to heal but then be forced to waste time switching to the fist and then switching back to a ranged weapon."

 

Usually when I do place a Berserk down for its intended purpose, 9 times out of 10, it has a battle built around it. Like picking it up and then having to fight through a bunch of Pinky demons.

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Posted (edited)

Sometimes it’s to lure the player into a punching frenzy, but usually when I place it it’s because I think the player is likely to need health. The powerful punches are just a sweet little bonus.

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Posted (edited)

What everyone else said re: why use a berserk pack instead of other combos of health items.

 

As for why it so often plays the role of health rather than powerup, my sense is that melee's quite a divisive gameplay style in the community.  Hence mappers' reluctance to force players to go that way to save ammo or avoid pea-shooting enemies with the pistol.

 

I'm not keen on melee except in short bursts.  Although I played one mod which replaced the fists with an axe that had doubled damage, that was so good with berserk I used it voluntarily.

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I prefer to use it for its offensive properties since there are other ways to provide the player with health.

 

It is a useful way to give the player an out if you are being tight with ammo, to make it more attractive to Tyson style speed runners and is a handy little bonus if you create a secret but are not sure what to put in there.

 

If I use it for health it is as a convenient way to re-set someone's health or give them a strategic choice of whether to save it or not.

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12 minutes ago, Ichor said:

It's also a good way to troll people. Imagine picking one up when you're in the middle of a rough fight

 

Nah, that's what the Invisibility sphere is for during a ranged fight... :)

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melee is the best! sometimes I put the berserk right at the start, sometimes I put it in a weird secret, sometimes I start the player off with the chainsaw then let them eventually graduate to the berserk kit, but I think it will always be an expected part of my maps. the fact that it gives your health back is something i forget from time to time, lol, I just plaster the place with medikits anyway

 

cuuuube - berserk as a weapon early on

sheer poison - berserk in a secret (pistol as a required weapon lol)

spidersilk - ...actually this one is mostly just about firing the SSG

northern powerhouse - early chainsaw

nato - berserk in an early, obvious secret

and i think every map in theresa had some amount of melee

 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Mordeth said:

 

Nah, that's what the Invisibility sphere is for during a ranged fight... :)

Berserk also works for that purpose. Deus Vult II literally has a map where a doll gets fed several berserk packs in sequence to force players to punch their way out instead of just using rockets/plasma/BFG. :P

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I'll speak on behalf of the mapper Sandy Petersen (DOOM.WAD):

 

In E2M2 it is there for beating up baddies: the level doesn't have enough ammo for you to shoot everything.

 

In E2M4 it is there for taking out all the specters (or demons? I can't remember) guarding the soul sphere in the bluetech/slime area. 

 

in E2M5 I suppose you could argue it's there more for healing than anything else. Though it's useful at the end of the level for taking out the large number of demons in the blue armor room.

 

In E2M6 it is there to top you off on health to ensure you can survive the slime but also for the purpose of giving you the option to pugilist your way through the halls of the damned.

 

In E2M7 it is there to combo with the invulnerability sphere in the containment area for taking out the demons there.

 

In E3M4 it is both to top you off on health and to give you easy means to dispatch the specters coming through the teleporter. I also like to combo it with the invulnerability sphere to clear all the nasties in the GSTONE area where the first baron/soul spheres and hanging corpses are. Doing so saves a lot of ammo. There's also a demon room a bit later where it is quite useful.

 

In E3M5 it's there for taking out the specters (or is it demons?) in one of the teleporter rooms.

 

In E3M6 it's for comboing with one or both of the invulnerability spheres and taking out large swaths of lesser baddies.

 

In E3M9 it's for taking out the the large number of specters (with the invulnerability sphere, though I save the sphere for nastier work). 

 

 

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I’ll treat it as a healing item. But sometimes you need to bonk the baddies on the head.

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Not a mapper, but generally I pick up the first berserk I find in the level for the fist boost, the others I only pick up when I need the health.

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Berserk punching is a viable strategy, and is especially useful for mopping up lone enemies at the end of a fight. I like to put a secret berserk at the beginning of my maps for exactly this reason. 

 

So I'd say the first Berserk is most likely for the powerup, while subsequent Berserks are for healing.

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Posted (edited)

The earlier it is, the more likely it's for punching. The later it is, the more likely it's for healing. 

 

Stark exceptions always exist. 

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E2M3 it pairs well with the invis spheres and is good for saving ammo on the baron without the invis (since less predictable baron balls will mess you up).   I also use it on the cacos by the beginning.

 

The berserk pack was meant for ripping and tearing!   I like to put a second one on the other side of map likely hidden in a secret, for another deathmatch start to get it, and for the health fillup.

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6 hours ago, rdwpa said:

Stark exceptions always exist. 

Hehehe, this is exactly what I like about the berserk pack, it's there for however the player wants to use it. You can save it for later if you dare risk the low health or take it for immediate pressure relief when you need it. Or you can just take it and start bashing things up. The berserk pack means however the player wants it to mean and I like to give players that option. It is also a great help to make continuous play-through a lot less frustrating, which is also why I have them at the start of most of my maps. Rather than punishing players by leaving them with low health and force them to struggle initially, reward them for having completed the previous level (especially if it was tough as nails)!

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I also like using its red effect to slightly light up dark areas for a short time.

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On 3/31/2020 at 7:04 AM, Nine Inch Heels said:

Berserk also works for that purpose. Deus Vult II literally has a map where a doll gets fed several berserk packs in sequence to force players to punch their way out instead of just using rockets/plasma/BFG. :P

 

Do you happen to know which map that is?

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27 minutes ago, Dirk said:

 

Do you happen to know which map that is?

Unfortunately not, but DVII doesn't have that many maps, so it shouldn't take very long to find. It's a red/hell themed castle map, so anything that isn't from that kind of theme isn't the map... if this helps...

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37 minutes ago, Dirk said:

 

Do you happen to know which map that is?

Map21

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I've wanted to make a new Berserk-like pickup that doesn't heal but grants you a time-limited PowerStrength punch. Then again, this new pickup would then be an almost-mandatory item to be used for this one specific fight. Not sure if peeps would like being forced to approach an encounter that way. You know, like you're being "forced into the fun-zone" stuff.

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For me I tend to think of it as it's intended use and the health side of it is a bonus~

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Basically as rdwpa said. When I place it at the start of the map, I intend it to be used for punching, but towards the end of the map, I like using berserks as a health topup in battles, as they provide a nice balance for medium-tier battles where stimpacks/medikits might not be enough, but soul/megaspheres might be too overpowered

 

On 3/31/2020 at 11:28 AM, Andromeda said:

Not a mapper

 

Never been tempted to start?

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1 hour ago, Horus said:

Never been tempted to start?

I won't lie, seeing how easy to use the mapping tools are nowadays it's quite tempting, but for now I want to play some more pwads. Who knows what the future will bring though, maybe someday I'll feel like opening Doom Builder and work on a map :)

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You know you want to.   But I gotta warn ya, it can be like crack.   Personally, I've never smoked crack, but it seems comparable.

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