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Hisymak

Do you think Super Shotgun should have got introduced in later level in Doom2?

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Doom2 was my first "Doom" game I played as a small kid (I was probably less than 10 years old when I got it). During the very first time I played through it, and most likely several more times I replayed all through it, I had absolutely no idea there were two types of shotguns: a "normal" shotgun and Super Shotgun. For 100% of the time I played just with Super Shotgun, not knowing pressing "3" key for the second time would switch to normal one.

The reason is obviously that I can get SSG way tooo much early in the game: in the second level, and with basically no effort (i.e. fighting for it, finding it on a secret or some significant or highlighted place) so I even did not notice I picked up a new weapon at all among many other things and corpses laying around. I even remember, that once I found a "normal" shotgun in a secret in the first level, and I barely noticed that the shotgun "somehow looks and behaves differently than I'm used it to be", then it got "fixed" once I played through the second level. Finally, it took me some time that my young childish brain finally realized there were two types of shotgun!

But back to the main topic. I think, that the SSG is very significant and important addition in Doom2, which fundamentally changes the gameplay from Doom1. It's something that people who played Doom1 first, would value the most on Doom2 when dealing with baddies, considering SSG is one of the most popular weapons in the game at all. So being so much important and significant thing, I really believe it should have received much more attention and significance in terms of when, where and how you get such weapon. Meaning:

- It would be first found in (slightly) later level in game, something about 5th level, so that newbie Doom2 player (like me) would realize "ok there's a normal shotgun, but later I can find the better one that is much stronger and changes the gameplay"

- Its first occurence would not be placed in a dark, narrow tunnel full of zombies and other garbage items (including those that drop off the zombies), so that casual players would easily overlook it and not even notice they actually picked up a new weapon

- Its first occurence should be placed on some significant and highlighted place, so that first time players would get a feeling they found some "special" and very important item (pretty much like it is done in some custom megawads)

- Optionally, it could be even available in some earlier level than a casual player would find it in regularly, and it would be well-hidden in some hard-to-find secret, so that more skilled and explorative players would find it earlier to get some early advantage (like how a BFG9000 is hidden in Doom2)

Do you have similar opinion like me?

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Considering how powerful the SSG is, you indeed get it very early in the game, long before the problematic enemies actually enter the stage. A good place for it could have been "Dead Simple", placed on one of the Mancubus platforms. But well, I guess the id guys wanted to show off the only new weapon of the game as early as possible.

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In the same room in MAP02, but closer to the wall.

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Posted (edited)

On a side note, re:  PSX Ultimate Doom..always thought that it was odd that you can't get the SSG until you reach the second Doom 2 map...with Doom 2 enemies appearing in Doom 1 maps in PSX Ultimate Doom (you have a chaingunner and a pain elemental in The Hanger, so not like PSX UD is at all shy or deliberate about introducing D2 enemies very early on in D1 maps), and D1 and D2 basically playing as two continuous halves of an extended campaign, it would have made a lot more sense to have the SSG available in some of the D1 maps as well.  I'd say Phobos Anomaly or Deimos Anomaly would've been a good first map to make the SSG available.  Guess you can make an argument for the Military Base for an earlier appearance (maybe in one of the secret areas of that map).  

 

EDIT:  Totally forgot, you can get the SSG in the first half of PSX UD, but very late, and it doesn't appear in any other D1 maps...there's a secret level accessible from Twilight Descends (called The Marshes) that has it.  Both maps are PSX/Saturn exclusives.  

Edited by Devils950003

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It is a poweful weapon introduced too early in the game indeed, making the first maps a piece of cake. I would probably added it in the last section of the sixth map inside the teleport room where all the monsters are waiting for the player to grab the yellow key.

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Perhaps the SSG could have been in Map 3 instead of the chaingun and the chaingun in Map 2 instead?

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SSG is the new weapon. So it should be presented on Map01 as "Hey, we got the new weapon here! Beware the new monsters...something starting on Arch...and ending as Vile".

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I feel like something so powerful should be reserved for... sometime after the second level. The problem is that the game is balanced too much with the SSG in mind; most encounters are either a hoard of weak enemies for the SSG to tear through or a group of tanky bullet sponges. So SSG should be later, but if that were the case much of the game would need to be rebalanced accordingly.

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Imo the ssg is not actually directly presented as such until m5, its in an optional area in m2, and if I remember correctly, on my first ever play through of doom 2 I actually missed it

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I would probably introduce the SSG in MAP03 or MAP04 as MAP02 is sufficiently challenging, even for Max speedrunners, to beat that map to 100% without the need to use the SSG there. 

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I think it would have been nice to have given it a more dramatic entrance. As it is, you just need to kill a few zombies in MAP02 to pick it up. A couple of options might have been to have had a more significant detour in one of the earlier levels (eg. "here's an optional challenge, but at the end of it is a powerful new weapon as a reward"), or it could have been introduced later in the game. As an example, imagine if the SSG was introduced in MAP07 - you're given a powerful new weapon but it's balanced out by the fact that you're immediately faced with two new powerful types of enemy that you must defeat.

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It's been a long time (~25 years) since I first played Doom 2, so I don't remember on which map I got the SSG. What I do remember is killing a cacodemon with the SSG in two shots and realizing that it was similar in strength to the rocket launcher1. That does change the dynamic in terms of dealing with enemies, but one has to keep in mind that the power of the SSG is balanced by the significantly longer reload time. Don't think it's that long? Try taking on a couple chaingunners with the SSG. If you fail to kill them in one shot, and they're not stun-locked, you will take a decent amount of damage during the time that you're reloading.

 

 

1 (Yes, I know, there's no splash damage with the SSG. But this is something I know now, not back in the mid-90's.)

 

 

 

Now, for the OP's question, I think the introduction of the SSG is handled well. As dt_ wrote, you can get the SSG in Map 02, but it's in an out-of-the way spot. The same is true for the SSG in Map 04. In Map 05, you get the SSG at the beginning of the map, but only in HMP and above. The SSG then shows up for ITYTD and HNTR in Map 06.

 

The introduction of the SSG in the main flow of play is done correctly based on the enemies encountered. On HMP and above, the chaingunner is introduced in Map 03 (in that context, Doomkid is right--they wanted to introduce one of the new enemies as soon as possible), while they make their debut in Map 04 on ITYTD and HNTR. It's certainly handy to have the SSG in hand when you face the chaingunners, but it's not essential; you can handle them with the regular shotgun until they start gathering in small packs. Even the demon and spectre are dispatched well enough with the regular shotgun. The SSG makes it easier to kill them quickly, but players from Doom 1 would be used to dealing with packs of demons and spectres armed with only shotguns and chainguns.

 

The way I see it, the first enemies where there is a clear advantage having the SSG is the cacodemon and the Hell Knight. Yes, you can take on both with the regular shotgun and, considering that the Hell Knight is just a Baron of Hell with half the health, players of the original Doom will have experience taking care of them using weapons other than the SSG. However, it is much less tedious to dispatch them with the SSG, particularly the Hell Knight. Don't believe me? Go play Back to Basics (Espi's great Episode 2 replacement) and play the middle levels, where you have to take on Barons and Cacos armed with the shotgun. Doable? Yes, of course. Can it be tedious? Also yes. A lone cacodemon appears on Map 05 for HNTR and below, while multiple cacos appear for HMP and above. The Hell Knight appears on Map 05 for HMP and above, and Map 06 otherwise. Additionally, the Revenant is introduced in Map 06 (only 1 in HNTR and below, so the SSG is a reasonable reward for defeating it on HNTR and ITYTD).

 

Given the pace of introduction of the monsters for which the SSG is more advantageous, I think the way the SSG is introduced is handled very well. It's introduced for players who explore a bit, and is introduced in the main flow of play when it will really start to make a significant difference. If you didn't have it by the time you started Map 07, that map, with the mancubi and arachnotrons would either heavily focus on the use of the rocket launcher, or be a tedious slog with a combination of the chaingun and regular shotgun. Similarly, you'd probably want to have it introduced by Map 10, especially on higher difficulties. The latest that would make sense to introduce the SSG would be Map 11, as your reward for defeating the Archvile. But as it stands now, I think the introduction of the SSG was done well.

 

By the way, it's taken me so long to write this that Maximum Matt, Huncd6814, and fraggle all had the chance to post their thoughts. Incidentally, I like fraggle's idea of a longer optional detour that provides more resistance, but that rewards you with the SSG. That would almost be like a side quest. But, barring that sort of approach, I think the overall timing of when the SSG appears is good.

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Posted (edited)

I think the SSG should of been introduced later because it doesn't fit the map. It's slow and less effective at range compared to the normal shotgun. This makes it worse against all the hitscanners. Up close it’s too slow and at a distance it doesn’t always kill in one hit. It is also less effective when aiming at monsters above or below you, like at the outdoor base section or shooting down into the sewers. The regular shotgun proves more useful on map2. 

Edited by NaturalTvventy

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The room with the SSG is optional, but, who doesn't want the SSG?

Now, to the topic, i guess it was in Map02 because in Map03 there where chaingunners, and with a single shot from the SSG you can kill a chaingunner, that or maybe id wanted to show THE SUPER EPIC NEW WEAPON!!!!111!!!!!11!

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I always thought it was too early and in a map that does not really demonstrate its effectiveness (as NaturalTvventy says) but DoomKid makes a good point that I never considered before - that they felt they had to show their new feature early in the game.

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Definitely think Map07 would have made a better introduction, pacing and balance-wise.

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MAP04: The Focus is the second-earliest place you can obtain one, and it's contained in a secret.  I feel it's definitely necessary for at least MAP05: The Waste Tunnels... tons of tight corridors and chock-full of enemies on harder difficulty.

 

I would've had the Super Shotgun show up no earlier than MAP04, but I do get why they'd want to introduce it so early.

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Jeez, all levels are supposed to be done from pistol-start anyways, as we discussed in the other thread.

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no, the ssg is not that OP, it's just 1 more sg blast, nothing that super about it. If they had a mid-range weapon with the amount of damage of a ssg and a rocket launcher (same amount of damage) I would put that in later, but the rocket launcher doesn't work close, and ssg works too close, also the reload time sucks. 

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Personally if it WAS meant to be moved, I recommend map 5 or 6 when some of the new mid-tier enemies like Hell Knights and Revenants start appearing.

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I would have preferred for the SSG and the new additions to be introduced later too. But at the same time, as a sequel it needed to differentiate itself from the predecessor almost immediately, hence why the player finds out what the game is up to so early into the game.

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Almost triple.  One pellet short of triple.

 

What makes it OP as well is that it fires the extra buckshot at the cost of 2 shells (so, ammo economy) and you can fire the Super Shotgun about 50% faster than you can fire the Combat Shotgun (it takes about 1.5 seconds to fire and reload the Super Shotgun, but a little over 1 second to fire and pump the Combat Shotgun).  All three of those attributes together (more damage yield per shell, which means more ammo economy per shell, plus faster speed per shell) is what makes this Shotgun Super. ;)

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