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Hellbent

MAP01 DM design Philosophy

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Umm.. so this is a topic that was relevant 25 years ago, but every so often I like to edit map01 for an alternative DM experience since I never really got into MAP01 DM. I know there were some "purist" DMers who, for them, MAP01 was the definitive DMing experience. I think Ralphis (and maybe Modders?) were such people. But I'm wondering if anyone here today still possess forgotten knowledge of MAP01 DM design. What I'm specifically curious about is: was the power in the map intentionally lopsided? It seems one end of the horse shoe is by far a better place to spawn after death than the other. On one end you have an easily grabable BFG (and potentially RL and SSG as well) and on the other you have a plasma rifle, but it's not necessarily easy to grab, which brings me to my second question: was the SR50 plasma grab an intentional design element?


I'm asking because it's tempting to put a weapon on the window, but I'd like to hear arguments related to balance against doing that. Although, honestly, in my current version of MAP01 for DM this point is kinda moot since I've removed the horse-shoe design by causing one of the walls on the lift to lower, allowing the player to pass through from the lowered lift to the start of the map. Nevertheless, I'd like to hear reasons for not adding an SSG or chaingun, or even chainsaw on the window. 

 

Thanks!

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Balance/Imbalance/fun factor or however you define it, is virtually always an accident. Professional devs dont have the luxury of 10, 20, 30 hours of testing per map that we do as us modders, and we STILL mostly fail at achieving the fun factor.

 

Even when a studio breaks it down into a formula and has a team of 30 testers iterate and iterate and iterate, that only guarantees that a map isnt garbage imo, doesnt help a map achieve the truly addictive fun magical quality.

 

tl;dr it's a happy accident

Edited by Vorpal

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4 hours ago, Hellbent said:

Umm.. so this is a topic that was relevant 25 years ago, but every so often I like to edit map01 for an alternative DM experience since I never really got into MAP01 DM. I know there were some "purist" DMers who, for them, MAP01 was the definitive DMing experience. I think Ralphis (and maybe Modders?) were such people. But I'm wondering if anyone here today still possess forgotten knowledge of MAP01 DM design. What I'm specifically curious about is: was the power in the map intentionally lopsided? It seems one end of the horse shoe is by far a better place to spawn after death than the other. On one end you have an easily grabable BFG (and potentially RL and SSG as well) and on the other you have a plasma rifle, but it's not necessarily easy to grab, which brings me to my second question: was the SR50 plasma grab an intentional design element?


I'm asking because it's tempting to put a weapon on the window, but I'd like to hear arguments related to balance against doing that. Although, honestly, in my current version of MAP01 for DM this point is kinda moot since I've removed the horse-shoe design by causing one of the walls on the lift to lower, allowing the player to pass through from the lowered lift to the start of the map. Nevertheless, I'd like to hear reasons for not adding an SSG or chaingun, or even chainsaw on the window. 

 

Thanks!

I don't believe for one second there was any real thought given to MAP01 as a DM map. The only reason it hung on as a map to play as rose-tinted nostalgic stockholm syndrome inducing glasses. D5M1's popularity stems from better a better flowing and more balanced version of that. It's also a symptom of the culture of PVP and who defines what is or is not a legitimate/good/competitive map. MAP01 is none of those things, it's merely a best "worst option" from Doom2.wad that isn't a circle (MAP07) or shitty labyrinth (Map11) that other people allegedly enjoyed playing. By this point it's a pretty tired design trope though (seen in many more popular 1v1 maps and enough FFA remakes) and most people are pretty tired of it.

 

In any case, to answer the questions as best I can - #1 It's probably lopsided because they didn't give it any real thought. I don't think any Doom2.wad map is "balanced" for DM, whether it be 1v1 or FFA. It's worth keeping in mind that the concept of balance is also radically different now than it was back then, as expectations have changed and I'd say the average player who plays consistently is better than the average player of 1994, equipment being a big thing.

 

#2 it's not likely SR50 was a deliberate design, because although SR50 was possible, it required very specific equipment in 1994, and wasn't SR40 in itself simply miscalculations in the engine? SR50 in PVP was made more popular via CTF where it eventually became more mandatory to have if you wanted to play seriously. SR40 "jumps" may be a bit more deliberate but still highly unlikely in doom2.wad

 

You're probably thinking "plasma bump" which is a bug, which may or may not be intentional but it's also gimmicky and unreliable between ports. Port inconsistency alone makes it a design gimmick that should not be done.

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Thanks for the detailed reply! I'm actually not familiar with the difference between SR40 and SR50. I thought SR50 had to do with running diagonally which I assumed is how one grabs the plasma rifle (by pointing the player at an angle and thus having the 'corner' of the player bump into the plasma thus grabbing it), but I guess I'm confusing concepts.

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Sr40 is just a shorthand and simplified way to say basic straferunning, (running forward and strafing at the same time) sr50 is straferunning with an extra (2nd) strafe input being added in, which in turn takes away your ability to turn.

 

On-topic: i find map01 dm's/duels to be boring and personally I either avoid the map, sit the round out, or immediately stop caring about match results when it comes up. The only exception to this for me is if I'm playing against a skilled player I respect, in which case the match becomes more of a learning experience than anything else.

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1 hour ago, Fonze said:

Sr40 is just a shorthand and simplified way to say basic straferunning, (running forward and strafing at the same time) sr50 is straferunning with an extra (2nd) strafe input being added in, which in turn takes away your ability to turn.

Some ports simplified SR50 to enable turning, the ZCC is known to make SR50 with turning an easy bind to make, though allegedly it can be done with stock Zandronum as well.

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2 minutes ago, Decay said:

Some ports simplified SR50 to enable turning, the ZCC is known to make SR50 with turning an easy bind to make, though allegedly it can be done with stock Zandronum as well.

 

That seems like cheating to me in a setting where people should all be on equal footing, unless that's just one of the more obscure flags or settings types of things of NS stuff? What is ZCC btw?

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47 minutes ago, Fonze said:

That seems like cheating to me in a setting where people should all be on equal footing

I think PrBoom+ 2.514 can enable you to do this, but it seems in the speedrunning community, at least it's not encouraged to do it (or maybe you shouldn't do this at all).

 

Also, I read some material, saying that you can't turn off 2-key SR50 in PrBoom+ 2.514, but it's not the case for me. Some SR50 gaps still requires me to do a proper 4-key SR50 in order to get through. If anybody knows this, please enlighten me with proper knowledge.

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48 minutes ago, Fonze said:

 

That seems like cheating to me in a setting where people should all be on equal footing, unless that's just one of the more obscure flags or settings types of things of NS stuff? What is ZCC btw?

ZCC is the "zandronum community client" aka what most try-hards use when the stock client isn't good enough. It has a checkered history to say the least. It's getting off-topic and is probably something @dew @Ralphis @DevastatioN might more valuable input on regarding sr50 with turning in competitive games.

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I'm going to do a quick rundown, not a full explanation/sourcing.

 

SR40: Straferunning. It is a mathematical error on John Carmack's part. When you press forward while running, your movement is defined by a vector of maximum possible length in the forward direction. When you press strafe right, you get a vector of the same length with rightward direction. If you press both of them, you should get the forward-right direction of the same length, because your "reach" in any direction creates a circle. Carmack was a self-taught programming savant and ignored this fact, so you reach the forward-right corner of a square. Your reach is a hypotenuse instead of a cathetus. This is a bug.

 

SR50: Straferunning+. I don't know the code behind it, but by jamming about all of the directional keys at once, you overload the poor engine and get extra length of the movement vector, at a strange direction that doesn't really make sense to me. And you lose the ability to turn, because it's locked up by the strafe on key. This is absolutely a bug.

 

Turning on SR50: Cheating. It is impossible to turn on sr50 via regular input. The only case it ever occurs without hacked inputs is using the Logitech Wingman Warrior joystick, most likely because of a bug in supporting this extremely rare hardware. Finding turning on sr50 tics is the easiest, most common of detecting cheaters in speedrunning and if ZCC enables this, ZCC should be considered an illegal tool and people using it should be banned.

 

Automated SR50 turning: Still cheating. Modern ports often allow players to automate sr50 - either via keybinds, or by automatically substituting sr40 with sr50. An extra port feature (still considered illegal in speedrunning) could detect that the player is trying to turn, temporarily turn off sr50 for the turn tics, then instantly go back to sr50 after the turn is completed. This doesn't result in illegal tics, but it's obviously automating perfect movement that a normal player wouldn't be able to achieve. Detectable by demo movement analysis, illegal in speedrunning, should be illegal in DM as well in my humble opinion.

 

map01: An incredibly poorly designed map DM-wise that magically becomes the ultimate testing grounds because a long list of engine bugs that somewhat level the playing field for the non-ledge player, if they're so good that they can exploit these bugs whenever they wish. Oldschool DM players love map01, because on top of twitch skills and tactical thinking it also requires intimate knowledge of Doom engine's quirky behaviour.

 

I think it's a foolish quest to try to replicate map01, because it's the ultimate luckshot at the buzzer, from your own half, back to the net, one-handed between your legs, hitting three opponent heads before going in. What you can do is take lessons from it and implement controlled imbalance into your maps, a sort of gradient of desirable areas. Some positions are good, some positions are awful and you wanna control the former. Plenty of maps do this in minor ways, but map01 amps it up to 11 and as an abstracted concept it's noteworthy, but I don't recommend using pistol starts in the current millenium.

Edited by dew

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