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Koff3Katt

Discussion on the current state of classic DM/Duel.

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Posted (edited)

Is it just me, or has the core of Doom's deathmatch stagnated over the years? When it comes to Dueling or Deathmatch, personally, it seems other contenders have far more to offer than what Doom has been able to give, sans extreme* mods. Duke Nukem 3D, for example, will see most if not the entire arsenal being viable during a Dukematch, a few examples. Your pistol, an excellent tool for sniping as it's 100% accurate as long as your crosshair is upon your target, with decent damage and quick firing speed, in the hands of a capable player this pistol isn't too shabby. Contrast this to Doom's pistol, which is little more than a white surrender flag in any given situation. In Dukematch, the shotgun has great powerful bursts of damage up close, not enough to flat out one-shot opponents with ease, will cause you to think twice before mindlessly bum-rushing into danger shotgun in tow. Over in Doom, however, your mighty boomstick is quickly forgotten as it's twin-barreled brother does everything it can but better. The Chaingun Cannon is comparable in balance to Doom's chaingun. While it does see use in Duke, it is quickly overshadowed in Doom by how the SSG can cover above-average distances and is capable of sniping players. The Rocket Launchers of Blood, Duke, and Quake with their increased speed and slightly reduced damage for balancing purposes feel more useful than the slow-moving and easily dodged rockets of Doom.

 

Even in Blood, you will see more than just Caleb's sawed-off and Tommy Gun in constant use for Bloodbath. To me, it feels as if Doom deathmatches all devolve into a battle of who doesn't screw up with the SSG first, instead of a method oriented struggle of finding the right tools for a given situation. Someone once said the weapons of Doom were like tools; in deathmatch, it feels as if the whole workshed is garbage except for one amazingly useful but underwhelmingly dull tool. Other Doom engine games too, such as Heretic and Strife, have more than one useful weapon for Deathmatch and see a variety of the arsenal used therein. 

 

These are just my brief thoughts on the lackluster engagement I feel from Doom's Deathmatch. I'm curious to know how you all feel about its current standing.

 

*Edit: My lack of understanding the full spectrum of the blanket term "mods", and my findings of Eon Weapons. By mods I meant more extreme weapon and game-play changes in DM such as Brutal Doom deathmatch.

Edited by Koff3Katt : My lack of understanding the full spectrum of the blanket term "mods".

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5 hours ago, Koff3Katt said:

one amazingly useful but underwhelmingly dull tool.

How dare you insult the almighty SSG!

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1 hour ago, DSC said:

How dare you insult the almighty SSG!

Nobody badmouths the SSG!

image.png.c091cc59e83f215987cc932ed4ca0ffd.png

*Shoots, misses and needs to reload for a long time*

image.png.0980fd9bae4e7f50d3e9fbe704be1d14.png

Ahh, piece of crap.

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1 hour ago, DSC said:

How dare you insult the almighty SSG!

It's a great weapon from a design standpoint and the logical evolution to your arsenal, it was well integrated into singleplayer with the stronger enemies that were introduced!

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Posted (edited)
 
 
 
 
12 minutes ago, SirJuicyLemon said:
 
 
5 minutes ago, SirJuicyLemon said:

*Shoots, misses and needs to reload for a long time*

On average the reload time for the SSG is one-and-a-half seconds. 

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This reads like you hardly ever play DM. Not that you're wrong, SSG domination is lazy mapping and problematic, and it has stagnated, but this is not the main reason (that being lower playerbase). In PVP the other hitscan weapons are, by and large, mostly useless and lack the power to do much in big FFAs (not getting you frags) and in 1v1 not having dominant SSG play is boring as fuck. There's a reason nobody plays Doom 1 DM. CG and SG accuracy is god-awful and not reliable in any way. Plasma is good in FFA scenarios but otherwise serves primarily as BFG ammo. Rockets are also very circumstantial.

 

It also has a lot to do with mapsets as well. If you do not strike a balance with weapon placement you risk the map being boring for too much SSG or too little. Various responses to this include Eon Weapons by @Ru5tK1ng and mapsets like ProgDuel and AeonDM or NeonDM which try to balance this while integrating new features. While they are well-received and enjoyed to play, they also highlight the endemic problem of DM, and that is simply "not enough people to sustain a variety of play"

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2 minutes ago, Decay said:

This reads like you hardly ever play DM.

I have been driven away over time from what I felt was an increasingly less engaging DM compared to the other titles I now play. This is why I want to say thank you for taking the time to give your thoughts! Another viewpoint is all I could ask for.

 

The SG's accuracy isn't too bad at close to mid-range. The horizontal spread should also help in clipping a moving target, barring any significant ups and downs in terrain. The power is actually comparable to Duke's if a bit stronger. Even when acquiring a Chaingun in Doom DM, I've seen players tap the fire button for accurate shots against their target. I've done that myself even. As long as you can lead your shots, aim ahead of your target; it's an effective strategy for the weapon.

 

 

I agree for larger-scale DMs, most notably over the originally imposed limit of four, the base weapons do become laughably week and is where the SSG and BFG carry the weight, this I had overlooked in my original post.

 
I also agree with your point that poor mapping is probably an enforcing factor in the over-prevalence of SSG mentality in DM.
 
(Eon weapons is fascinating, I haven't heard of that one before. Thanks again for linking that and showing me!)

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Koff3Katt said:

On average the reload time for the SSG is one-and-a-half seconds. 

Okay.

Thanks for the fact.

I still consider it a long time.

But thanks.

I appreciate it.

Seriously.

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NO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

no

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22 minutes ago, Koff3Katt said:

The SG's accuracy isn't too bad at close to mid-range. The horizontal spread should also help in clipping a moving target, barring any significant ups and downs in terrain. The power is actually comparable to Duke's if a bit stronger. Even when acquiring a Chaingun in Doom DM, I've seen players tap the fire button for accurate shots against their target. I've done that myself even. As long as you can lead your shots, aim ahead of your target; it's an effective strategy for the weapon.

 

It's really useless. And truly nobody here cares about comparisons to other games, so making that comparison is pointless.

 

Doom's SG fires 7 pellets for a maximum damage of 105 if the RNG rolls all 15s. It is exceedingly rare to one-shot someone with a SG. You are more likely to take 2 shots, sometimes 3 even if all the pellets hit.

 

The SSG on the other hand fires 20 for a maximum damage output of 300. It is far more likely you are going to connect with more pellets than the SG (you must account for port netcode and lag, both of which hinder a horizontal only spread). Even if you pit 2 competent players against each other SG vs SSG, SSG user is going to win every time. This is evidenced in defacto standard 1v1 maps such as judas23_, SSL2, Pobla8, Dweller2 Map11, all of which have a purpose for the SG, but the SSG still dominates. Vanilla SG is garbage in pvp and it is delusional to think otherwise (and I am a big advocate of less SSG game play).

 

CG suffers greatly as well, even more so when you factor armour in. Chaingun tapping can only get you so far when the distance between players is closed extremely quickly and then the slow weapon switch does you in. It does have a role, but it is a very circumstantial one.

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I think its fun to frag ssg worshippers with other weapons. Yeah it does a ton of damage, but you do get a hefty window after they fire it. Perfect balance isn't actually fun, the fact that there are significant advantages and disadvantages in the weapons and map situation is what compels you to make strategic decisions. As stated above, the map itself might lean toward boring play, so it's up to you to avoid those maps unfortunately. Also, vanilla dm isn't gonna change so... play mods

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It's unfortunate to see such simple shortcomings invalidate, or come really close to invalidating, a majority of your arsenal. It would seem a much-needed balance such as Eon Weapons would've taken off with the more competitive side of this community, right?

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Posted (edited)

No, the competitive pool of players all use almost exclusively vanilla guns, and have virtually no interest in FFA other than a once in a blue moon bout. And I get the strict use of vanilla guns, it’s ostensibly a test of who’s best at “vanilla Doom”, but what’s odd is that many very questionable non-vanilla DMflags are often added even during some competitive maps, so the question then becomes, if we can change some crucial elements of vanilla behaviour in the DMflags, why is changing crucial weapon behaviour such a taboo idea? It seems inconsistent to me, but this is a digression anyways.

 

When it comes to weapon balance: this only becomes apparent in large maps and with multiple players, but as OP as the SSG is, soon as you’re about 10-15 meters away it’s utterly worthless. In a no-lag setting that means the SG and CG actually become viable in that instance, but if your ping is anywhere approaching or over 150 accurate shots are a pipe dream, so that really hinders the one scenario where those two weapons should shine.

 

Still, distance is the SSG’s greatest weakness. Unfortunately it’s also the greatest weakness of all projectile weapons, too.. So the only even slightly viable weapons at range are SG and CG, and wide open spaces like that in DM maps are pretty rare overall.

 

I like Eon’s approach to balance and my own approach is conceptually kinda similar. Speed up the ROF of the SG and CG just a tad to make them more viable against the SSG. EonWeps increases the number of pellets the SG fires, but a slightly increased ROF feels more satisfying imo. I also think increasing the speed of rockets and plasma by about 20% to make them not utterly worthless on large maps is a great tweak. Doing this really does result in an “arguably more balanced” Deathmatch.

 

This is why I love FFA over Duel, really. In a big brawl, all the supposed “poor weapon balance” levels things out and it becomes more of a game of reaction time and situational awareness. If you can track multiple players at a time and accurately predict where they’re going you can head them off at the pass, or even use their approach against them to rack up multi-kills.

 

To conclude my spiel, Doom’s greatest “weakness” in FFA is arguably its greatest strength. A game where every time you’re in scenario X, gun X is the best and every time you’re in scenario Y, gun Y is the best actually gets more repetitive and boring to me. Despite all the non-SSG weapons being inferior to the SSG, different maps give you (often unintentionally) cool spots where the Plasma or SG or whatever actually becomes totally viable, simply due to map geometry. Then on the next map, that’s not the case at all. It forces players to approach different levels in different ways, rather than relying solely on the stats of the weapon to decide what to use at any given moment.

 

Plus, Doom is way faster and has way better movement than literally every other game (Sorry Quake, you’re in super close 2nd I promise)

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Most vanilla weapons are rapid fire, so it's not as satisfying to use in DMs, if they were more like the shotguns and had reloading + quicker projectiles + higher damage, they'd be more fun to use.

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I see; I like that perspective of FFA Doomkid! This outlook puts my thoughts of my second to last post into a new light.

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17 hours ago, Doomkid said:

When it comes to weapon balance: this only becomes apparent in large maps and with multiple players, but as OP as the SSG is, soon as you’re about 10-15 meters away it’s utterly worthless. In a no-lag setting that means the SG and CG actually become viable in that instance, but if your ping is anywhere approaching or over 150 accurate shots are a pipe dream, so that really hinders the one scenario where those two weapons should shine.

 

Still, distance is the SSG’s greatest weakness. Unfortunately it’s also the greatest weakness of all projectile weapons, too.. So the only even slightly viable weapons at range are SG and CG, and wide open spaces like that in DM maps are pretty rare overall.

I still disagree with this, which is proven in popular CTF maps with open fields such as ZDCTF01. Nobody is traversing with the CG or SG, it's SSG all the way due to Doom's weapon switch. It takes so long and it is easy to close the gap in that time. Plus, even if you take a shot from a relatively small distance you are likely to do upwards of 30-40 damage, meaning once you get closer that second shot for the frag is even more likely. Doom's greatest weakness isn't even the weapons, it's the weapon switching which takes eons and renders other weapons less viable unless it's all you have. But then you have no choice anyway.

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The weapon switching is why Quake is more known for its deathmatch aspect than Doom is.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Decay said:

Doom's greatest weakness isn't even the weapons, it's the weapon switching which takes eons and renders other weapons less viable unless it's all you have. But then you have no choice anyway.

6 hours ago, joe-ilya said:

The weapon switching is why Quake is more known for its deathmatch aspect than Doom is.

This actually seems super likely, to me. Doom's weapons switch is so slow - In deathmatch, a solid second of being totally defenseless may as well be an eternity, most of the time!

 

I'm glad there was recently a universally-compatible method of faster weapon switching discovered, I'm definitely gonna be loading a "twice as fast weapon switching mod" on a handful of the Doomshack servers soon.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/13/2020 at 9:49 AM, Koff3Katt said:

Is it just me, or has the core of Doom's deathmatch stagnated over the years? When it comes to Dueling or Deathmatch, personally, it seems other contenders have far more to offer than what Doom has been able to give, sans extreme* mods. Duke Nukem 3D, for example, will see most if not the entire arsenal being viable during a Dukematch, a few examples. Your pistol, an excellent tool for sniping as it's 100% accurate as long as your crosshair is upon your target, with decent damage and quick firing speed, in the hands of a capable player this pistol isn't too shabby. Contrast this to Doom's pistol, which is little more than a white surrender flag in any given situation. In Dukematch, the shotgun has great powerful bursts of damage up close, not enough to flat out one-shot opponents with ease, will cause you to think twice before mindlessly bum-rushing into danger shotgun in tow. Over in Doom, however, your mighty boomstick is quickly forgotten as it's twin-barreled brother does everything it can but better. The Chaingun Cannon is comparable in balance to Doom's chaingun. While it does see use in Duke, it is quickly overshadowed in Doom by how the SSG can cover above-average distances and is capable of sniping players. The Rocket Launchers of Blood, Duke, and Quake with their increased speed and slightly reduced damage for balancing purposes feel more useful than the slow-moving and easily dodged rockets of Doom.

 

Even in Blood, you will see more than just Caleb's sawed-off and Tommy Gun in constant use for Bloodbath. To me, it feels as if Doom deathmatches all devolve into a battle of who doesn't screw up with the SSG first, instead of a method oriented struggle of finding the right tools for a given situation. Someone once said the weapons of Doom were like tools; in deathmatch, it feels as if the whole workshed is garbage except for one amazingly useful but underwhelmingly dull tool. Other Doom engine games too, such as Heretic and Strife, have more than one useful weapon for Deathmatch and see a variety of the arsenal used therein. 

 

These are just my brief thoughts on the lackluster engagement I feel from Doom's Deathmatch. I'm curious to know how you all feel about its current standing.

 

*Edit: My lack of understanding the full spectrum of the blanket term "mods", and my findings of Eon Weapons. By mods I meant more extreme weapon and game-play changes in DM such as Brutal Doom deathmatch.

The thing is, a few of the weapons in Doom were treated as mere upgrades rather than being new and different. That's not what I think, but there are a lot of people that do. Compared to Duke Nukem 3D where every weapon is different and has their own pool of ammo, Doom's are faster and/or deadlier versions of each other that share ammo types. id Software seems to think that making their weapons upgrades rather than being unique is the best choice.

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On 4/13/2020 at 8:07 PM, magicsofa said:

Perfect balance isn't actually fun, the fact that there are significant advantages and disadvantages in the weapons and map situation is what compels you to make strategic decisions. As stated above, the map itself might lean toward boring play, so it's up to you to avoid those maps unfortunately. Also, vanilla dm isn't gonna change so... play mods

The problem, in terms of DM,  is that your strategy is pretty much defined by the map. You can play a brit10/exec style map and just win by rushing the BFG. Most of the Dwango5 maps were won with spamming rockets and plasma with minimal thinking while searching for BFG or camping. You don't have time in DM to map out any strategy deeper than 'where is the BFG' or 'is the guy in 1st place controlling something I'm not'. If you run into someone in DM, one of you is gonna die and there's no running away trying to exploit any vanilla weapon disadvantages. Even if you did win a chess match encounter, you'd probably die from a stray rocket or someone sneaking up behind you anyway. But you're absolutely right about mods being the way to go if you want a different DM experience.

 

 

On 4/13/2020 at 9:46 PM, Doomkid said:

No, the competitive pool of players all use almost exclusively vanilla guns, and have virtually no interest in FFA other than a once in a blue moon bout. And I get the strict use of vanilla guns, it’s ostensibly a test of who’s best at “vanilla Doom”, but what’s odd is that many very questionable non-vanilla DMflags are often added even during some competitive maps, so the question then becomes, if we can change some crucial elements of vanilla behaviour in the DMflags, why is changing crucial weapon behaviour such a taboo idea? It seems inconsistent to me, but this is a digression anyways.

Part of the reason why I created ProgDuel was because I pretty much understood no one was going to run EonWeapons with CTF maps or vanilla duel maps. Changing up the weapons resulted in a changed dynamic of some of the maps off Duel40 and we all know a lot of folks aren't going to want to change the way they play a duel map. Over the years on Zandro/Skulltag there were a few topics popping talking about weapon imbalance. There were roughly about 6 or so other people before me who created their own balance patch for people to try out. None of ours went anywhere when it came to the competitive scene. Aside from like 1 or 2 people who actually wanted to try out more balanced weapons, no one really cared much. Most players just want their SSG to 1 hit kill every time they play Duel or CTF which is a shame because I'd argue some CTF maps would benefit from a better CG and SG...but another topic for another day.

 

On 4/13/2020 at 9:46 PM, Doomkid said:

 

When it comes to weapon balance: this only becomes apparent in large maps and with multiple players, but as OP as the SSG is, soon as you’re about 10-15 meters away it’s utterly worthless. In a no-lag setting that means the SG and CG actually become viable in that instance, but if your ping is anywhere approaching or over 150 accurate shots are a pipe dream, so that really hinders the one scenario where those two weapons should shine.

While this is true, majority of deathmatch maps aren't won with CG or SG dominance. Even if you out class a few SSGs with CG, you're not going to rack up enough frags to win just doing that unless it's a CG/SG oriented map. If you're one of those types that doesn't play to win, you're going to die a lot more than you frag as well. Furthermore, you still have to account for people who always get that GOOD-RNG, and hit you for 40-50 from a distance while you only hit for 5-10 with SSG.

 

I wouldn't call the SSG worthless at longer distances because like @Decay said, you can always close that gap quickly. Plus you can always get a good roll on damage as well. The SSG is just really damn good overall.

 

On 4/14/2020 at 4:03 PM, joe-ilya said:

The weapon switching is why Quake is more known for its deathmatch aspect than Doom is.

Agreed, that's why I sped up switching as well in Eon. There is no such thing as reacting to a situation if you take forever to change your weapon. On the other side of the spectrum, instant switching is just broken. You just have to strike that, balance.

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if you want to break the SSG dominance in a map play it in alt DM. there weapons respawn and are simply not there for some time. thus you have to collect other weapons too.

 

Also I do not like SSG from the start maps. E.g. take entryway and dwango. Changing entryway into a SSG fest very easily. For sure 80% of the frags in dwango are due to SSG. In entryway I would guess not more than 30% which I prefer by far.

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1
19 hours ago, termrork said:

if you want to break the SSG dominance in a map play it in alt DM.

That is an interesting way to go about SSG dominance! It seems most servers just use regular DM rulesets, I haven't seen alt DM used in a long time.

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Because it sucks. Doom game play is too fast for bullshit like respawning vanilla weapons.

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Weaponstay is the defacto way to play duel and deathmatch. No one really cares about the Alt-Death settings. In fact, I'd wager the odds of GZdoom getting C/S is higher than being able to build a large playerbase favoring alt-death settings.

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Posted (edited)

Just to expand on why it sucks: There are usually about 8 spawns and somehwere between 8 and 12 weapons on most maps, just a rough average. In deathmatch, someone dies every few seconds. Items don't respawn for 30 seconds. Add all this up and you get players respawning and running around with the pistol for a solid 10-15 seconds before even one gun respawns.

 

Not to mention, it sucks balls being in a situation where you know where an RL is, so you go to the part of the map where it's meant to be, only to find nothing. It really does destroy any chance of the split-second strategizing in Doom DM and turns it into a pure game of luck.

 

There are 2 common deathmatch types:

Oldschool, where jumping is off, freelook is off, item respawn is off and weapon stay is on

Newchool, where jumping is on, freelook is on, item respawn is on and weapon stay is still on

 

There are different flavors of course and different settings that get mixed and matched like air control, silent west spawns etc but people just flat out stopped playing Alt-Death because it's boring, unfair and simply turns it into a game of luck.

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SSG-centric gameplay is a commentary on level design rather than Doom as a duel game. I've played a lot of maps where not every battle was ssg vs ssg.

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my suggestion for alt DM was for duels in which the no weapon problem isnt such a problem. imo for usual DM with a lot of players there is not such a thing as SSG dominance because other weapons are usually way better (also due to spamming). also if you look at quake 3, there it was alt DM from the beginning and imo it works great. I like it for doom too because it makes duels more tactical.

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46 minutes ago, termrork said:

also if you look at quake 3, there it was alt DM from the beginning and imo it works great. I like it for doom too because it makes duels more tactical.

 

For the record Q3A/QL is the single best duel game in the history of AFPS, bar none. Now we have Diabotical to carry on the legacy of perfection.

 

On topic - altdeath just doesn't work in Doom, it's so fucking boring and annoying.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, xvertigox said:

SSG-centric gameplay is a commentary on level design rather than Doom as a duel game. I've played a lot of maps where not every battle was ssg vs ssg.

Of course there are plenty non-centric ssg maps out there aimed towards dueling. But not all of them are good and the good ones usually won't get adopted by the duel community. But that's a whole different problem on it's own.

 

11 hours ago, termrork said:

also if you look at quake 3, there it was alt DM from the beginning and imo it works great. I like it for doom too because it makes duels more tactical.

Of course it's great for Quake3 because it's a game built up and design for multiplayer. Different weapons and different mechanics and different outcomes. You want to try mirroring that design in Doom? Your first hurdle is designing maps around that game play. Then you have convince people to actually try it. You would probably be told 'if I wanted to play Quake I would'.

 

10 hours ago, xvertigox said:

On topic - altdeath just doesn't work in Doom, it's so fucking boring and annoying.

Agreed.

Edited by Ru5tK1ng

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if anyone is interested in that I actually remade a quakelive map (cure) in doom named adeath.wad and let it play with alt DM. I really like it, I even prefer it to usual duels since it is more tactical (like you have to know when soulsphere and blue armor spawns, go for weapons etc.). if you want to try, there is an [SDA] server for ZDaemon running it.

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