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CasualScrub

Noah Caldwell-Gervais's analysis and critique of Eternal (Warning: very long)

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Thought you guys might enjoy. It's very long, but you can put it on in the background while doing something else if you want.

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It was OK until he started moaning about the Marauder about half an hour in, and I had to stop the video because the annoyance was distracting me from my work. He says that Doom is all about being aggressive, but that's never been 100% true even in Doom 2016. The way the Marauder forces many players (myself included) onto a defensive footing doesn't break the Slayer's character, because the Slayer isn't just a dumb brute, even if one might mistake him as such. I think of the Slayer as more the ultimate combat pragmatist; he's vicious and aggressive the majority of the time because that's the best way to deal with most of the demons in the majority of circumstances. If fighting defensively is what gets a particularly troublesome demon killed, then the Slayer won't let his pride get in the way of his objectives.

Maybe it's because I played the classic games differently to this guy, but defensive tactics never felt entirely out of place in Doom. There are a number of opportunities for pop-and-shoot and bottlenecking in the classic games, and in Doom 2016 and Doom Eternal it's still possible to kite enemies, it's just that doing so won't carry you through the entire adventure.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, NoXion said:

It was OK until he started moaning about the Marauder about half an hour in, and I had to stop the video because the annoyance was distracting me from my work. He says that Doom is all about being aggressive, but that's never been 100% true even in Doom 2016. The way the Marauder forces many players (myself included) onto a defensive footing doesn't break the Slayer's character, because the Slayer isn't just a dumb brute, even if one might mistake him as such. I think of the Slayer as more the ultimate combat pragmatist; he's vicious and aggressive the majority of the time because that's the best way to deal with most of the demons in the majority of circumstances. If fighting defensively is what gets a particularly troublesome demon killed, then the Slayer won't let his pride get in the way of his objectives.

Maybe it's because I played the classic games differently to this guy, but defensive tactics never felt entirely out of place in Doom. There are a number of opportunities for pop-and-shoot and bottlenecking in the classic games, and in Doom 2016 and Doom Eternal it's still possible to kite enemies, it's just that doing so won't carry you through the entire adventure.

His complaint about the Marauder is more about the fact that the way he's designed is such a departure from the rest of the game, and it's becomes especially frustrating when they start placing him in areas with other enemies. And the fact that it's such a specific way you have to kill him no alternatives, it does break the flow of the combat.

 

His point is that, if the Marauder was a boss then it would great, but the way they've implemented him can detract from how the game has established it wants you to play, especially in a game like Eternal that doesn't give much room to breathe.

 

And I'm sorry, but Eternal does play much more aggressive than past games. It's much more vicious and requires you to be much faster than the the previous entries; you be on the defensive and you die an easy death.

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Posted (edited)

I agree with his defense of the game against critics who say it forces you to play a certain way.  I think he says something like, "the game bends over backwards to make sure you feel like the bada$$ the Doom Slayer is supposed to be" or words to that effect, and I agree.  The upside of the game being very liberal as far as changing difficulty and utilizing cheats is to ensure that, at any given moment, you are able to enact necessary tweaks to the game to ensure that you 'feel' the way you're supposed to while playing.

 

I happen to agree with his criticisms of the Marauder and the lore, though I feel less strongly about the Marauder.  (To me he's not much different than the Buff Totem or the Archvile, each of which you have to prioritize and set aside differently than other enemies.)  I do agree with general criticisms of the lore, specifically how it puts you (the Doom Slayer) at the center of it all.  I like feeling there's a whole big conflict between forces greater than you, than humanity, than Earth, etc. and that you're just one bada$$ who's decided he's had enough of it.  Doom Eternal makes the lore almost entirely contingent on your (the Doom Slayer's) role at the center of it all, and that somehow cheapens it to me.  It also runs counter to the Doom Slayer's attitude in Doom 2016, which I thought the developers struck gold with and felt somewhat missing in Doom Eternal.   

 

Also, I have absolutely no idea how anyone could make it through the entire game without even acquiring the Precision Bolt mod.  That's just...I don't know.  I mean, in his defense, it looks like he's playing on the PS4, and as someone who plays on XBox One, I will say that converting head shots with the Precision Bolt--especially on Maykr drones--is, um, not particularly fun or easy on a console.  But still; not sure how he was able to do that. 

Edited by Sitting on a cornflake

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21 minutes ago, Sitting on a cornflake said:

Also, I have absolutely no idea how anyone could make it through the entire game without even acquiring the Precision Bolt mod.  That's just...I don't know.  I mean, in his defense, it looks like he's playing on the PS4, and as someone who plays on XBox One, I will say that converting head shots with the Precision Bolt--especially on Maykr drones--is, um, not particularly fun or easy on a console.  But still; not sure how he was able to do that. 

TBF, unless you're always going for the weakspots on the demons, you don't have to have the Precision Bolt. He was most just going at them normally because that's how he chose to play.

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4 minutes ago, CasualScrub said:

His complaint about the Marauder is more about the fact that the way he's designed is such a departure from the rest of the game, and it's becomes especially frustrating when they start placing him in areas with other enemies. And the fact that it's such a specific way you have to kill him no alternatives, it does break the flow of the combat.

 

His point is that, if the Marauder was a boss then it would great, but the way they've implemented him can detract from how the game has established it wants you to play, especially in a game like Eternal that doesn't give much room to breathe.


I just don't understand how any of that is actually a bad thing. Especially since the guy makes it clear that he's not one of those people with a planet-sized "hardcore gamer" ego that insists he only plays the hardest difficulty, no matter how many times his ass gets kicked. He makes a lot of surfing analogies that I'm largely unqualified to analyse closely, but I've swum in the sea before and you do sometimes get these massive waves that smack you about more than the others. The Marauder is one of those waves in my opinion.

The Marauder is clearly intended to push players outside of whatever comfort zones they may have built up over the course of the game, first in the one-on-one encounter as a test of one's mastery of the basic combat loop, and then in each encounter again the Marauder tests your adaptability, as he is accompanied by bigger friends in larger numbers. I'm OK with that, and I don't consider myself an especially skilled FPS player.

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2 minutes ago, NoXion said:


I just don't understand how any of that is actually a bad thing. Especially since the guy makes it clear that he's not one of those people with a planet-sized "hardcore gamer" ego that insists he only plays the hardest difficulty, no matter how many times his ass gets kicked. He makes a lot of surfing analogies that I'm largely unqualified to analyse closely, but I've swum in the sea before and you do sometimes get these massive waves that smack you about more than the others. The Marauder is one of those waves in my opinion.

The Marauder is clearly intended to push players outside of whatever comfort zones they may have built up over the course of the game, first in the one-on-one encounter as a test of one's mastery of the basic combat loop, and then in each encounter again the Marauder tests your adaptability, as he is accompanied by bigger friends in larger numbers. I'm OK with that, and I don't consider myself an especially skilled FPS player.

Because when you're having to juggle both him and everyone else around you, two separate kinds of gameplay going on, it can be both overwhelming and frustrating. Maybe not to you, but clearly for a lot of people.

 

And again, it wouldn't be an issue if there was any other way to kill him, even if it meant having to use one of your super weapons, but the fact that you have only one way you're able to with no other alternative rubs many, including myself, the wrong way. There's nothing necessarily wrong with an enemy that puts you on the defensive, it's the execution that frustrates many of us.

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2 hours ago, Kronecker–Capelli said:

Okay. Who that? Im from fifth circle of Virgil hell and dont know who is that.

He does long-form video critique's of video games. He's one of the best at it.

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I'm so glad someone has finally compared this game to God of War 3. Since the first full walkthrough popped up on youtube I've felt that, tonally and in regards to plot at least they both feel like they're cut from the same cloth.

 

This was a very fun analysis to listen to, and even when I don't agree with him he does bring up some compelling points. Great stuff!

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Sitting on a cornflake said:

It also runs counter to the Doom Slayer's attitude in Doom 2016, which I thought the developers struck gold with and felt somewhat missing in Doom Eternal.   

 

 

I don’t really think the Doom Slayer is that much different form 2016 though. He still doesn’t give a shit about what’s going on and just walks away or shoots anything that tells him otherwise. His goal is to stop the invasion and he just ignores all the celestial beings telling him not to interfere.

 

It’s different now that they are exploring his past and some of the characters are more relevant to him than Hayden’s blabbling in 2016, but the “yeah I don’t give a fuck” is definitely still there. He was willing to lose his sovereignty in Sentinal Prime just to kill the priest for example.

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He claims the Doom comic is the pivot point for the transition of the series and even mentions that most fans have never seen one IRL. Oh so where did they see it then NCG???

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Noah's the best. I felt less strongly about the marauder than he did, but his analyses are always incredibly well researched and thought-out. Thoroughly enjoyed his thoughts.

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If the Marauder shows up in combat encounters with other demons, do NOT target him at first - otherwise everything else will kill you while you're trying to duel with him. Keep out of his reach and kill everything else so that you can focus on him in a one on one. This is crucial, and I cannot emphasize it enough. The vast majority of the complaints I see about the Marauder stem from the fact that people don't know how to manage him when other demons are around - well, that's how. It's not the game's fault that people don't use their brains to figure out how to deal with different enemies in the same arena - I get sick of hearing this criticism of the game.

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45 minutes ago, Phobos Anomaly said:

If the Marauder shows up in combat encounters with other demons, do NOT target him at first - otherwise everything else will kill you while you're trying to duel with him. Keep out of his reach and kill everything else so that you can focus on him in a one on one. This is crucial, and I cannot emphasize it enough. The vast majority of the complaints I see about the Marauder stem from the fact that people don't know how to manage him when other demons are around - well, that's how. It's not the game's fault that people don't use their brains to figure out how to deal with different enemies in the same arena - I get sick of hearing this criticism of the game.

Keep some fodder alive at least.

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Phobos Anomaly said:

If the Marauder shows up in combat encounters with other demons, do NOT target him at first - otherwise everything else will kill you while you're trying to duel with him. Keep out of his reach and kill everything else so that you can focus on him in a one on one. This is crucial, and I cannot emphasize it enough. The vast majority of the complaints I see about the Marauder stem from the fact that people don't know how to manage him when other demons are around - well, that's how. It's not the game's fault that people don't use their brains to figure out how to deal with different enemies in the same arena - I get sick of hearing this criticism of the game.

I always did that but also felt the Marauder went from a nice boss fight with some kind of nemesis to an irritating obstacle that stops progression and the flow of the game. I felt like i was fighting against myself the first time, it was exciting and intense and then they quickly diluted that feeling by overusing it. 

Also, waiting for the inconsistent distance of when he flashed his eyes was boring, running around him waiting for the animation to randomly appear (despite the tutorial saying otherwise) was just not fun, it was a waste of time, it takes you out of the game.

 

Next time the testers should be aware of things like that and let the people at ID know so they can fix it, i fear that they played the game and they went "yeah this is awesome" and they looked for bugs but did not have enough time to realize stuff like this.

Also, this:

On 4/5/2020 at 11:38 PM, TheRedTide said:

 

What part of it is fine? The indestructible shield? The always-oscilating distance at which he telegraphs his attack with flashing eyes? Or maybe it's the annoying wolfhound that flanks your ass as he maneuvers to pin you against a corner of one the terrible arenas in which he appears, all the while you're having the ever loving shit bitchslapped out of the back of your head by the fodder that constantly spawns outside of your FOV? What about when he triggers the melee attack animation, and when he's about 80% through the animation loop, you shoot him in the face with the SSG but his shield magically somehow comes back up even though you knew you still had chance to hit him? The Marauder is a waste of great art assets and a cautionary tale to all those who fall to the "punishingly difficult is fun" meme propagate by the popularity of souls-like games

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31 minutes ago, User Name said:

Keep some fodder alive at least.

Zombies respawn infinitely while the fight is active. Fodder isn't a problem.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Phobos Anomaly said:

If the Marauder shows up in combat encounters with other demons, do NOT target him at first - otherwise everything else will kill you while you're trying to duel with him. Keep out of his reach and kill everything else so that you can focus on him in a one on one. This is crucial, and I cannot emphasize it enough. The vast majority of the complaints I see about the Marauder stem from the fact that people don't know how to manage him when other demons are around - well, that's how. It's not the game's fault that people don't use their brains to figure out how to deal with different enemies in the same arena - I get sick of hearing this criticism of the game.

Well I'm sorry you're so sick of it, but if enough people have been having this much trouble with the Marauder, than it's clearly an issue.

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There's a really slippery slope there, though, in that there are plenty of people who do love the marauder. It's an extremely polarizing design, and you'll find probably equal amounts on both sides honestly. Anything major id does to the marauder in either directions is going to be at the expense of someone's fun. But honestly, I doubt id would do anything unless there were bugs in the implementation or the response was overwhelmingly negative, after all, in Hugo Martin's own words, they're willing to frustrate the player so long as they have something to teach the player, and that thing people had to learn apparently involves ballista-SSG high burst damage combos and proper target selection.

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