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TheNoob_Gamer

Your opinions on custom enemies?

Your opinions?  

86 members have voted

  1. 1. ...

    • I like them, they serve their purposes well / They are a welcome breath of fresh air
    • They suck, the original roster is perfectly balanced already
    • Depending on the talent of the creator and/or the enemies' placements in maps


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Posted (edited)

I'm making a WAD with custom resources all over the place (please don't derail pointing me what to do about this, by the way, I'll post a new thread if necessary), and I have noticed a diverging reputation of the custom monsters over my time playing Doom, particularly on the more vanilla-oriented side. 

What's your personal opinion on this matter?

Spoiler

This topic may be duplicated, though the predecessors may as well be outdated.

 

Edited by TheNoob_Gamer

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It really depends on how they're done, personally I'm not a fan of really high power monsters unless I'm given weaponry that can face them, or they're a boss.

However if you're having them on the more vanilla side, I always welcome them.

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I am a big fan of any monster that has novel behavior beyond just throwing a really fast projectile. new monsters used in fun ways is what keeps me playing doom :D

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I incline to vanilla-ish gameplay, and they're usually welcome.

 

They're best IMO if they shake the formula up or fill a particular role more squarely than existing options.   E.g. D4V has some great monster behaviour that alters gameplay and opens up mapping possibilities. Sometimes it doesn't even have to be that radical. Look at the robo pinkies in Eviternity -- standard behaviour, but their carefully chosen stats gave them a unique role in encounter design.  Or the RPG zombies in Rowdy Rudy's Revenge: the danger of revenants without the grind.

 

As long as they aren't just recolours or superhealthy time, ammunition and patience sponges, a bit of freshness is always cool.

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Posted (edited)

It depends. Most of the time, I welcome the custom monster roster because they bring something new and exciting to the table (Eviternity, Valiant and Ancient Aliens are the best examples as they have custom monsters that add to the combat chain).

 

On the other hand, I am not too fond of the changes in STRAIN. But that is because most of Doom 2's unique monsters are thrown out of the window to bring those custom monsters (in which many of them fire in a straight line). I guess the devs of STRAIN.wad didn't like Doom 2's monsters.

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Doom without the monsters iD created is simply not Doom. Period. If adding new enemies, why not directly playing a different game? Just don't call it Doom. 

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dehacked rules

zscript rules
 

incredible new enemies with good spriting rule

amateur enemies with silly spriting rule

enemies with sprites stolen from daggerfall rule

nonsense enemies rule

new single frame turrets rule

enemies without attacks rule

 

The thing you added is always good, whether you added it for gameplay reasons, thematically, or just for the hell of it, so don't get discouraged and make the thing you want, and don't let anyone force you to justify its existence when it's made!

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Posted (edited)

I've always been a fan of custom enemies, because it's just fun to create a challenge with a single enemy, since it is something that doom lacks, battles against a specific enemy i infinitely prefer a battle against a new boss rather than an level with icon of sin, my favorite examples would be the final boss of valiant and eviternity.

 

Now as the others said, if used well, they can also be a new element to the gameplay of the megawad, such as is the case of Ancient aliens and valiant

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I'll take any enemies except ones that are bullet-spongy and are liberally used on all of the map, because that just causes a tedious slog, unless you are given an equally strong weapon to deal with them.

 

If you want an example of how NOT to do custom enemies, Super Sonic Doom has some terribly spongy enemies that will easily drain your ammo. Monsters like D4V however, ones that include new behavior and very slightly altered health are my absolute favorite kind of new monster. Also, monsters like those in Rowdy Rudy's Revenge are also very welcome, I'm all for any monsters that change up things a bit.

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1 hour ago, Tango said:

I am a big fan of any monster that has novel behavior beyond just throwing a really fast projectile. new monsters used in fun ways is what keeps me playing doom :D

 

This.

 

Besides, it's an odd question really. Of course they are, in theory, nice additions to the roster (or replacements), to keep things fresh and exciting, but it depends on how they're used, just like vanilla monsters.

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I think it does depend heavily on what exactly these enemies are and how they are used. STRAIN is an example of where extensive custom monster usage really doesn't work too well for me. The monsters themselves are rough around the edges and their uses are frequently questionable. On the other hand, the likes of Valiant, Ancient Aliens, and Eviternity are examples of where one should look if they are looking for how to properly use custom monsters. They generally complement the other monsters and bring new combat scenarios to the table

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I recommend the Titan series of wads by Ixnatifual as an example of custom enemies done right. They are used with surprising restraint and don't detract from the original lineup in any way (my personal favourite is the Plasma Rifle Guy).

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Yes, put them in. I prefer DECORATE additions (or whatever the newer stuff you can do with ZScript is) rather than DeHackEd replacements, but the DBK have come out with some pretty good DeHackEd stuff as of late.

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My personal opinion is that if you want to try something new like that you should go as crazy with it as you can.

 

You don't even have to release it. But I think you should, and even if everyone hates it, you still have upped your modding XP by a lot.

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Let me start off by saying that, yes it depends on the modder's skill and finesse to craft a monster that is both engaging, and also challenging. I will take an imp with more health over a baron that shoots one-hit kill AOE projectiles any day. This is a problem for me regarding a lot of the boss-level monsters on Realm667, where they can just make you go from 200/200 to 0/0 with a single attack. I do think though that the resources they provide can be used and balanced creatively to great effect.

 

That out of the way, I'm gonna be the first to say that creating monsters is my favorite part of modding Doom. I may not map, or create guns nearly as much as I'd like to, but boy, you can bet your ass I'm always looking to create one creature or another just so people can dump lead into them!

 

But as far as my personal philosophy regarding the use of custom monsters in maps and TCs and gameplay mods, I'd say that:

  1. Doom's balance is great, but that doesn't mean you can't create a balance just as good should you choose to replace the whole roster with new enemies. With a lot of playtesting any little bit of problem can be ironed out. And even if it's not perfect, hey, Doom isn't perfect either.
  2. There's plenty of ways to incorporate new faces into the vanilla lineup of baddies without upsetting or stepping on any other monster's niche.
  3. Like Scalliano said above, restraint is always appreciated. It's easy to be excited about your super cool new cacodemon that teleports and fires area-denial bile everywhere and you want to use it as often as possible, but remember that encounters should be crafted minutiously. It should give each creature a spot to shine, and also be fair for the player. Think of it like a painting. I love black, for example, but if I'm painting a beautiful portrait of a landscape at day time, I will probably not wanna splash black everywhere in places it doesn't fit.
  4. Custom bosses are one of the easiest, and most effective ways to incorporate custom monsters into your mod. You have to craft just one big awesome battle with it, generally don't have to worry as much about how it fits into the rest of the enemy roster, and it just adds that extra layer of personality to a mod that tedious IOS battles generally fail to. But crafting a good boss in and on itself also requires a level of restraint:
  • One hit kill attacks are seldom fun, specially if they're hard to dodge. Refer to the vanilla boss monsters: Cyberdemon packs a huge wallop, but his salvo of death is easy to dodge generally speaking. The mastermind on the other hand, fires her chaingun continuously. As is with hitscan, dodging it is hard without cover, but each tracer individually does only 3-15 damage.
  • Bosses are powerful, and should be able to take a lot of abuse, but up to a point. If you give your new boss 50000+ health, there ain't a soul in this planet that's gonna have the patience to whittled it all down. It'd say that depending on what type of weapons and how much ammo you give to the player, 10000 should be pretty much a hard limit.
  • Lastly, fine tune the encounter to perfection. Boss battles are in my opinion often the highlights of games, but they should be the payoff to an equally engaging map/episode. Focus on making the lead up to them fun, and only then you worry about the peculiarities of the boss battle.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ReaperAA said:

I guess the devs of STRAIN.wad didn't like Doom 2's monsters.

They didn't, or at least Charlie Patterson didn't. There's a section of this interview where he talks about the D2 monsters and why they chose to get rid of them that has always amused me -- he felt they were all too hard and added no tactical value to the game and that the new monsters in STRAIN add more interesting niches. Personally, I agree with you -- the STRAIN monsters are, for the most part, less tactically interesting than the monsters they replace, which is kind of ironic. The flying cube is definitely a better monster than the SMM, to be fair (or at least more widely usable/versatile).

 

I love custom monsters, and I think they always add value if used well -- not just ones that have their own unique combat niches, but also ones that exist for flavor. A good example is the super-Pinky in Avactor; it's literally just a tougher Pinky, but it's used appropriately, looks cool, adds to the setting, creates a bit of extra variety, its existence is forecasted through the use of corpses long before you actually encounter one...it's really good monster usage and it serves its purpose perfectly.

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It seems like most often, custom monsters are basically copies of original Doom monsters but with more HP and more dangerous attacks. Like the tanky pinky in Eviternity. Its just unnecessary and uncreative. And it kind of goes against the spirit of Doom - it's more fun to fight multiple low/mid-strength monsters than just one really tanky monster. The best custom monsters are ones that fill a new combat niche, increasing the variety. Mentioning Eviternity gain, the plasma soldier is a good example, since there's no monster with a role like that in Doom.

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As long as they are balanced & challenging enough, I'm cool with them.

If they aren't, then I'm not too fond about it. lol

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Posted (edited)

Using custom monsters is fine as long as they are used tastefully and with purpose, not just to have them in there. Also don't use too many because then the monster roster just becomes and unbalanced cluster fuck. I wouldn't go beyond like 3. Making sure that they also work well with each other as well as the original monsters is important too. All monsters play on the strengths and weaknesses of each other so make sure the custom monsters fit well in the mix.

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Mostly positive, I always welcome them. If they are used in a more creative way than just random placement because new enemy than all the better.

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For the megawad i been making i have only used original doom2 assets so far, as i wanted it to be playable with all engines, however when i do complete it, i would most like to try and learn how to add new enemies such as the monsters from hexen,heretic,blood and duke nukem without replacing the old ones, so that i can put out a special version of it which would spread out some more unique encounters here and their.

 

As for edits of vanilla enemies, once i learn that side of doom modding, i would really love to creat a blue baron that the only differences from the normal one would be, that he is friendly to the player and attacks the other enemies (not sure if such a thing could be created ai wise?) but if its possible, i would use them in scenairios where you have to free them to get there help.

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I really like custom monsters, but I think that they often don't get a good introduction, which makes it hard to tell what they can do. Take imps in Hangar for an example of a good monster intro: they're standing up on a platform high up, making them seem more important than the riflemen, this also allows them to throw their projectiles easily, teaching you how they work, while not putting you into too much danger. You'd probably notice their higher health as well. 

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Posted (edited)

Custom enemies are like custom music, custom weapons, custom textures, custom maps: they can be high quality or complete crap, they can be skillfully used or haphazardly piled in, they can make the mod that much better or frankly worse, but they provide welcome variety.

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I enjoy custom enemies most when they are done via DeHackEd. With DECORATE or ZScript I feel an odd disconnect where it feels less Doom-y. There's just something about seeing custom monsters in choc/crispy/prb+ that hits a spot for me that ZDoom ones never have.

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I honestly love custom Monsters!

The current project I'm working on with friends, TCTOA, is planned to have a complete new beastiary void of Vainilla monsters (So far, for example, we have new Imps and a forest-like Ranger that replaces the Zombiemen, with their own lore and all, along other enemies!).

 

However, ourselves are aware of something very important that everyone has to remember always: Quality is always better than Quantity.

Before adding a new monster, you have to think of this important question: "Does this enemy benefit my mod on any way?" "Does this enemy have a specified role that can differentiate it from the rest?".

If the answer to either is no, then you have to think on HOW you can make it BE benefitial for your creation.

For example (And credits to @HorrorMovieGuy for this guy, it's been a great addition to the mod since I found it on Realm667, I fully credited you and the rest who made it!), the Blind Pinky as its name indicates can't see at all, and it wanders aimlessly until it stumbles upon their prey, from this moment they start to attack based on where you or anything else is found, until it loses sight of you! Can you see how it has its own gimmicks, and makes it very unique?

It has its own role, and there are many custom monsters out there that fulfills those two questions too, however... How can you implement them to fully fit your mod?

 

Most of the Realm667 monsters can be used in any way you wish, however depending on what your mod is, they can be much weaker or much stronger than expected, balance is a big priority on this case and at the same time, creativity can really help you further.

I'll repeat again an example, this time I'll use our team's project TCTOA so you can see.

 

See, on our project the Pistol is replaced by a totally different handgun, the Colt 45, it is semi-accurate, has a decent fire rate and does use of recoil and all.

It's a balanced, useful and loyal weapon throughout all (future) experience, specially against the earlier enemies.

The Imps are three, being it the Skulltag Imp, Void Imp and Abomination Imp (Yeah, they are also from Realm667, heh.), they deal a set amount of damage instead of a random interval and each have different statistics and "role".

The first is pretty fast but dies on two hits (The Colt 45/M1911 also has a set damage of 30 points per shot), the Void Imp is an in-between, having a decent amount of health and damage per fireball, it is also a bit slower, lastly the Abomination Imp has a higher health pool and damage but it's much slower.

All of them are a threat and you have to be careful on how you deal with them before directly rushing.

 

The Ranger (Or Corrupted Ranger here, as there's some Lovecraftian Lore on this) has the same HP as the Skulltag Imp, however they can snipe from afar, fire three bursts up close, etc. (Also from the same site as the rest, but some are tweaked on way it's completely balanced and fulfills a specific role), but that's not all, however due to a few issues on the present time we can't do soooome further advancement with it.

 

As you can see, there are many creative ways to work on your custom monsters, and if you need help with it, I'll be more than happy to help you with it! I can't code or sprite, but hopefully my ideas help you a lot!

 

If you want me to tell more hints, examples or anything else, be free to tell me here or by DM, your choice.

HorrorMovieGuy also mentioned important points, specially about Bosses and all.

 

Bosses are indeed the highlight of a game most of the cases, and their fights should be challenging and unique, but overall it should be fun for the player.

The planned Bosses for our Project, while far from what we have right now, can also be an example for what you'd want to accomplish, and for not-derailing-this-thread motives, I can tell you if you want.

 

Anyway, I really wish you good luck on whatever you are working on @TheNoob_Gamer, I'll be here to help ya!

 

 

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I agree with a lot of people here: custom monsters when balanced and used intelligently are as applicable to any map as the classic Doom 2 roster.

 

I do slightly get the impression though that when many people think about "custom monsters", they think about the mods and maps that grab a load of Realm667 creations and pop them into maps.  The issue with Realm667 Monsters is (in my opinion) that many of the monsters aren't made with specific maps in mind, rather the monster itself is the goal of the author.  As such, they tend to put a lot of work and effort into them, which can make the monsters complex, somewhat over-worked, and potentially a bit OP.  But ironically that actually works as a detriment to anything other than a boss monster.

 

I've used plenty of Realm667 monsters in my upcoming maps (with the proper credit, of course), but many of them I have had to simplify or otherwise tone-down to make them fit more neatly into the general roster.

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Extremely fond of seeing new stuff so long as it is designed well and the mapper takes it into account so it isn't unfair. All is fair game with a randomizer, but even those have to be balanced well in order to be fun, and is certainly harder to do than manual placement.

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It's good to have them (Only if they fit Doom or the WAD, of course) It's probably one of the things i want to do some time, along making a MegaWAD and a custom weapon.

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