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ReaperAA

Recommended tweaks and mods for playing Doom 3

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Hi folks. Some years ago I tried playing Doom 3 but I gave up around 1/3 of the game. Now I have finally decided to give the game another chance. I am using the original Doom 3 (not BFG edition).

 

So I have some questions:

1) What are the must recommend tweaks or mods for the game. The Subtle Improvements mod looks good. What else do you recommend?

2) What are some recommended commands for autoexec.cfg?

3) Which source port do you recommend (Dhewm3fhDoom or any other)? Also can the ports be used in conjunction with mods like the above mentioned subtle improvements mod?

4) What other tips do you recommend (be it settings or gameplay tips)?

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Posted (edited)

Ah what, Doom 3 does have ports? I wonder how I missed them completely, I've looked for this back then but oh well.

 

1) Subtle Improvements should be just enough IMO, however the shotgun improvements got removed at some point because it was made too OP. Someone needs to take inspiration from Phobos I think. I found vanilla to be pretty reasonable though.

2) Just those that allow you to use your monitor's native res:

r_mode "-1" // allows different formats
r_aspectratio "1" // 16:9 is 1, 16:10 is 2, and 0 is 4:3
r_customheight "value" // (I assume 1080)
r_customwidth "value" // (1920)

3) Never used one, but fhDoom seems to be more modern, ported to GL 3.3. I'd go with that one.

4)

  • Try not to run & gun, this game doesn't like that approach to gameplay.
  • Sprinting sucks, the stamina bar drains very quickly.
  • Use the shotgun only at very close range or in the face of the enemies/point blank. This applies to the SSG as well.
  • Use grenades, they do make a difference here.
  • Armor is almost useless, its damage absorption is more-or-less nonexistent.
  • Take cover.
  • Beware the HKs.

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Change quality settings in video settings before you manually set screen resolution in the console, after you change your resolution use "vid_restart" command to apply them. You may also try Doom 3 CC mod alongside D3FE if you want subtitles, but you'd have to not use a sourceport because sourceports change the way they handle .dll mods, beyond that you're all set.

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7 minutes ago, sluggard said:

Change quality settings in video settings before you manually set screen resolution in the console, after you change your resolution use "vid_restart" command to apply them. You may also try Doom 3 CC mod alongside D3FE if you want subtitles

 

Thanks for the recommendation.

 

8 minutes ago, sluggard said:

but you'd have to not use a sourceport because sourceports change the way they handle .dll mods, beyond that you're all set.

 

Oh. So I take it that "Subtle Improvements/Fixed Edition" is not compatible with source ports.

 

Also I noticed that the link in your mod's thread is broken. Is the version on moddb the latest one? If not then link in the thread needs fixing.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, ReaperAA said:

Oh. So I take it that "Subtle Improvements/Fixed Edition" is not compatible with source ports.

 

Also I noticed that the link in your mod's thread is broken. Is the version on moddb the latest one? If not then link in the thread needs fixing.

It works fine with source ports too since it doesn't include source code changes / no custom .dlls, also yeah I'll update it now, just want to point out I forgot to change the chainsaw attacking distance when I changed the melee attacking distance so it's kind of broken in the current version, I'll need to fix that.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, ReaperAA said:

 

 

2) What are some recommended commands for autoexec.cfg?

 

 

Some important settings that enable optimal texture resolution (you can put those in your autoexec or just in your DoomConfig.cfg):

 

seta image_usePrecompressedTextures "0"

seta image_useNormalCompression "0"

seta image_useCompression "0"

 

This setting ensures that all sounds from a soundshader are played (for example, all the different attack screams a monster has):

 

seta s_maxSoundsPerShader "0"

 

Gameplay tips:

 

-Set the "sprint" function to an easy to hold key, like the right mouse button or space bar, so that you gain higher agility during battle. Since there is no "autorun" functionality in Doom 3, this can make a big difference.

(I disagree with Seed in this point, stamina drains slowely compared to other FPSs, and there is the unlimited stamina in hell levels).

 

- Conserve ammo for the stronger weapons. The pistol is quite useful against Lost Souls, Maggots, Trites, and Zombies.

 

- You can evade the Commandos tentacle attack by ducking in the right moment.

 

- Kill a Hellknight with the shotgun: get close, so that he stops to create plasma and instead tries to slash you with his claws or bite you, evade in the right moment, aim at his head.

 

 

Edited by Tetzlaff

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image_lodbias -2 

Enhance detail in the distance (default 0).

 

image_anisotropy 16

In the settings you can set the maximum value of 8.

 

g_showPlayerShadow 1

Off by default.

 

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Posted (edited)

If you use standard Doom 3, be sure that /image_downSize is at 0

It was stuck at 1 for me (blurry textures) despite trying several times the ultra setting and restarting the game.

When i tried auto settings the game was not detecting my GFX card memory (according to the msg in console). The problem was maybe here.

 

Or simply use dhewm3, everything should be fine without tweaking and you will get OpenAL sound (reverb effects, etc).

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I have no idea, i would play something that makes the graphics better or tweaks stuff to be better without changing anything, but i have seen little stuff that is worth it. Subtle Improvements sounds pretty cool, but it does not work.

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Posted (edited)

Since I remembered this topic and toyed with Dhewm3 today: https://www.pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Doom_3

 

I would absolutely suggest, besides what was said above and the graphical tweaks listed there, also:

 

seta gui_mediumFontLimit "0"

seta gui_smallFontLimit "0"

 

I've just tried these as well and it makes a night and day difference, you won't believe how good the font in menus, PDAs, loading screens and whatnot looks now, it's so HD. Had no idea Doom 3's fonts were actually nice but since they do not scale properly by default they look like shit in high resolutions.

 

I'd also suggest setting these if your game feels jittery:

 

seta r_swapInterval "1"

seta com_fixedTic "1"

 

Fixedtic is an odd one though. It caps or uncaps the framerate, but its values are a mystery to me. 0 seems to be default and with it the game feels jittery to me in Dhewm3, but not in vanilla, or I can't notice it there if it is present. -1 I have no idea what it does - could this actually be a Dhewm3 thing? - , some said it fixes the issue but it apparently works well for monitors with high refresh rates only, and 1 fixed it for me but again I don't know what that value does. It's stupid.

 

However, it is apparently a bad idea to go above 60fps in vanilla according to that wiki, since the game speeds up if it's too high, hence why keeping VSync on is a must, more or less. Funny, this reminds me of NFS Underground, which has a similar issue if you reach some 200fps and beyond, the game speeds up by approx. 20% or more.

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I played it vanilla style, without any enhancement, only the Doom3 CC, as i wanted to read what the characters said. I liked the overal experience a lot, but i found myself constantly coming back to the original Doom games and that difficulty me to advance on Doom 3. I had to restart it a few times because i get distracted from playing it a lot. Maybe it was because i felt that there wasn't much variation between levels, and that somewhat get me bored.

But after you reach hell, things start going smoother and more streamlined until the end.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, seed said:

I would absolutely suggest, besides what was said above and the graphical tweaks listed there, also:

 

seta gui_mediumFontLimit "0"

seta gui_smallFontLimit "0"

 

seta r_swapInterval "1"

seta com_fixedTic "1"

 

Thanks for the suggestions. I had already been using these commands. Note that these commands (or atleast the ones that deal with the GUI) also work for Quake 4.

 

8 hours ago, seed said:

However, it is apparently a bad idea to go above 60fps in vanilla according to that wiki, since the game speeds up if it's too high, hence why keeping VSync on is a must, more or less. Funny, this reminds me of NFS Underground, which has a similar issue if you reach some 200fps and beyond, the game speeds up by approx. 20% or more.

 

A lot of old games have issues that are tied to FPS. Unreal 1(pre-227 atleast) and UT99 also speed up when FPS is above 150-ish. Vanilla Quake 1 has physics issues when FPS is above 72. In vanilla Quake 2 and vanilla Quake 3, the jump height is increased with increase in FPS. Most older GTA games, particularly III, Vice City and San Andreas suffer from physics and other glitches when FPS is above 30. Original Descent games (Descent 1 and 2) have homing ability of homing missiles tied to FPS.

 

*Note that source-ports of Quake games may have these issues fixed.

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9 hours ago, seed said:

I would absolutely suggest, besides what was said above and the graphical tweaks listed there, also:

 

seta gui_mediumFontLimit "0"

seta gui_smallFontLimit "0"

 

I've just tried these as well and it makes a night and day difference, you won't believe how good the font in menus, PDAs, loading screens and whatnot looks now, it's so HD. Had no idea Doom 3's fonts were actually nice but since they do not scale properly by default they look like shit in high resolutions.

 

I wasn't aware of that setting, thanks! It really makes a difference.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, ReaperAA said:

A lot of old games have issues that are tied to FPS. Unreal 1(pre-227 atleast) and UT99 also speed up when FPS is above 150-ish. Vanilla Quake 1 has physics issues when FPS is above 72. In vanilla Quake 2 and vanilla Quake 3, the jump height is increased with increase in FPS. Most older GTA games, particularly III, Vice City and San Andreas suffer from physics and other glitches when FPS is above 30. Original Descent games (Descent 1 and 2) have homing ability of homing missiles tied to FPS.

 

*Note that source-ports of Quake games may have these issues fixed.

 

Ya, the more popular Quake ports do fix it, Quakespasm and its forks separated some things in the video and netcode side of things so physics are no longer tied to fps when it goes above 72. However physics breaking with high fps is unrelated to the game speeding up, I think. The game simply feels faster in some of these cases but that doesn't also equate to issues, whereas when the physics are directly tied to it, it can result in all sort of problems, some of which you have mentioned. Oh and BTW1, Quake 2 has a vkQuake equivalent called simply vkQuake2, you should really check it out, I love it.

 

I'd add to that the Elder Scrolls games, particularly Skyrim since that's one I've played extensively, and a consequence of too high fps in that game is that stepping on bones causes them to fly everywhere, and you can either damage yourself, or die when it's too high in the process. In DNF I've also noticed that when the fps is too high it makes jumping with the monster truck in some key sections impossible as the car won't jump nearly high enough. And in Max Payne, you won't be able to jump high enough in some cases, enemies may get stuck in each other in some parts, and they will also be horribly overpowered, one-shooting the player all day.

 

BTW2, if you're looking for Doom 3 mods, I've recently noticed this playlist. I've been messing around with Doom 3 Classic and Desolated recently, these 2 really caught my attention so far - single maps don't interest me that much, usually. I'm hoping to stream them on my channel in the future as well, and potentially more :D.

Edited by seed

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What a bunch of dumb developers. Doom 1 managed variable FPS just fine. It has NEVER been influenced by the superior FPS of new computers. To be noted that Wolf3D, before it, was also dependent on frame rate. Why were newer games still affected by this?

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1 hour ago, printz said:

What a bunch of dumb developers. Doom 1 managed variable FPS just fine. It has NEVER been influenced by the superior FPS of new computers. To be noted that Wolf3D, before it, was also dependent on frame rate. Why were newer games still affected by this?

 

Good question, I'd love to know why so many games of the 2000s had the physics tied to framerate as well, and whether it was a bad design choice, or just something that eventually surfaced once the advances in technology got big enough.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, printz said:

What a bunch of dumb developers. Doom 1 managed variable FPS just fine. It has NEVER been influenced by the superior FPS of new computers.

 

Well I question this statement. Firstly, you realise that the developers who made Doom also made Quake games. So indirectly, you are calling id software devs as dumb.

 

Secondly, I remember trying out *MBF 2.03 on DOSBOX (for curiosity sake, not for actual playing) and recall that when I increased the CPU cycles too much, the game started to run in "Slow-Motion".

 

*Ofcourse MBF isn't vanilla Doom.exe, but it could mean that Doom.exe might have this bug too.

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As far as I remember the problem with more than 60 fps and the speed of the game was solved in Quake 4, but the source code of this version of the id Tech 4 was not published.

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Huh, Subtle Improvements no longer recommended? Granted I didn't get to play around with them very much but I thought they were harmless.

I have two QoL recommendations: Trent Reznor sound pack and the shotgun model from the Doom 3 alpha. I prefer these to the retail game.

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54 minutes ago, Lila Feuer said:

Huh, Subtle Improvements no longer recommended? Granted I didn't get to play around with them very much but I thought they were harmless.

Should be fine as long as you don't load it with custom levels, because of different ammo balance.

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