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Zulk RS

Does anyone else hate hot-starts?

How do you feel about Hot-starts?  

160 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you feel about Hot-starts?

    • I like it
    • I Hate it
    • Meh, I'm indifferent towards it


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5 hours ago, Steve D said:

I love a good hot start. Talk about getting your attention! It was Coffee Break that really made me like them. I had always done hot starts to some degree, but Coffee Break showed that if you take it up a few notches, beginning a map in a desperate struggle for life can be super fun.

Funny you say that, because Coffee Break had the same appeal to me. What a rush! Great map set.

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I prefer lukewarm starts

 

Edit:

 

There's too many variables to take into account that determine whether a hot start works or not so it's not really fair to dismiss them outright. 

Edited by Marn

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Depends on the situation. If the hot starts pit you with low-level enemies, not much to complain. Some others, on the other side...

Either way, would that count as "indifferent"?

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Personally, there's a right way and a wrong way to do hot starts.

A good way to do a "hot start" is add in low tier enemies and an easy way to escape but I've got to run and possibly risk taking 1-2 hits before I get to safety. Once I'm safe, a medikit or two is within grabbing distance. This basically forces the player to think fast and move quickly but not outright kill them instantly because "lol revenoots".

 

A really horrendous way to do a "hot start"? ANY THAT INVOLVES AN ARCHVILE. Also forcing the player against mid-high tier enemies is really bad. Unless you're doing a late map like 20-29 than the player should have a BFG9000 on them but even then, you still need to give them an exit. Trapping them in a tight room with like 4-6 barons right out of the gate is a fast way for me to quit and not continue play testing a wad.

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11 hours ago, Zulk RS said:

So I've been thinking about this for a bit and I was wondering if where and why this mapping technique (? Not sure what to actually call it) started and why it's somewhat  popular.

 

By "hot-starts" I am referring to that thing in WADs where the starting room of a map already has any number of monsters seeing the player as soon as the level begins without the player having even done anything yet. Zombies and imps on ledges that are facing the player start, a mancubus positioned behind the player start that's facing it, that sort of thing. I've seen this done on many PWADs. Granted, I don't remember seeing PWADs that did this every map but most PWADs that I've played tended to have 1-3 of these things every 10 Maps or something.

 

Am I in the minority of just hating "hot-starts"? What popularized this to begin with? If the majority like it, why? I've seen this being used in WADs both old (Hell Revealed) and new (Sunlust and Valiant). Why has it stuck around for so long?

 

Also decided to turn this into a poll too because why not.


Indifferent. Some of my favourite maps ever are hot-start.

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It depends. 

 

Sometimes, if the level's readme has a fun story that sets up the first level, then I don't mind it. If it's some random level that has short description that says something like "You're a lone space marine entering a dark hallway armed only with your trusty pistol." and then all of a sudden you're ambushed by imps and demons standing right in your face, that sucks.

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As a map designer, I get the appeal, a megawad is a lot of maps so having a few maps which begin immediately with some intense combat makes sense to mix things up.

 

As a map player, I really hate it, in many maps your first shot wakes up a lot of monsters and I don't like being rushed into deciding when to engage with the monsters, or being forced to find cover without having barely seen anything of the current map yet.

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It can be done well. I hate hot starts when they include hitscan enemies or when you're surrounded 360°, but I don't hate all hot starts. No good ones are immediately springing up in my memory, though.

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I can live with or without them. Not preferring them, but most of them are fine, they have regular enemies and make you run and hide or look around for armor and a good weapon if it's pistol start.

 

I do appreciate though when the first room of a level is empty and is more designed to create a first impression, like an outside atmospheric view or dread or something focused on the aesthetic/theme design, and throw me enemies already. When at least the first frame of your play has you appreciate the environment in peace (E1M1 from the original Doom was like that). Or at least it's fine if you start and enemies are facing the other way and not woken (like E4M2 for example).

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It entirely depends on my current health, ammo, and the weapon I have out at the moment.

Not a fan of facing 20 shotgun dudes at 40 hp with the shotty out.

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As for me, better die in the beginning than after 10~20 minutes or even hours of level.

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15 minutes ago, Deadwing said:

As for me, better die in the beginning than after 10~20 minutes or even hours of level.

Ummm, savestates?

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I'm kinda of not completely opposed to it but a bit? Mostly because I tend to save right after I start the level and in some levels that does prevent me from doing it right away, or if the enemies can see me but I can't it can be that oh so fun save that as soon as you load you get shot. And a shotgunner at close distance can make a mess of your unamored innards. 

So.. maybe I tend a little into the "not a fan" side, but I don't hate them. Always.

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From this thread, it feels to me like I am in the minority though most people don't feel strongly either way (Source: Polls). Also I think those that like to play Continuous are more likely to not like hot starts. As someone who doesn't enjoy pistol-starts and prefers continuous play, one problem I've had with some hot-starts is that if it comes after a particularly brutal level, I may be looking at a very bad time with the next map. In this thread, many people have said that hot starts become "bad" if the enemies used are things like Barons, Mancubi or other chunkier enemies. Having a dozen imps as a hot-start is not that bad. To that, I'd like to mention that it is possible for imps to become a major problem if you're starting a map with single digit HP. At that point things can become nasty with hot-starts.

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2 hours ago, Zulk RS said:

To that, I'd like to mention that it is possible for imps to become a major problem if you're starting a map with single digit HP. At that point things can become nasty with hot-starts.

That's a map design problem, not a hot-start problem. If the mapper took continuous play even slightly into account they could've provided health at the end of their maps to prevent situations like those.

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I don't mind hot-starts.

 

What do you call the opposite? It's a technique I don't see too often, but I noticed it frequently in Eternal's maps: a prolonged initial sequence of simply moving through the environment, with no monsters anywhere. It not something I want in every map, but I often find it quite compelling.

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How I view it is that the level at the beginning should be 100% guaranteed to give you a breather. Take into account the probability of the map in question being a slaughter map. A million goddamn enemies is okay, but forcing you to act is stupid design that just goes against planning. Wanna ape out and go in all guns blazing? Sure. But at least give the player the option to think their way through a horde of enemies.

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I don't think it's a bad trope, but I don't enjoy it much personally. I like to have a moment to breathe at the start of the map, and that's also when I do an obligatory save so I don't lose my weapons should I die. If the map starts hot I usually save the game, kill everything to make the area safe and then save again. It works but eehhhh, I don't like having two saves so close to each other like that, make me feel like I'm savescuming.

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I love hot starts! They gotta be done right though. I prefer to rely on strategy rather than chance.

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A little generated panic at the start of a level if tastefully done can switch up pacing. 

 

If you want to be a dink and use arch viles or surprise revenant closet you can balance it out with an invulnerability sphere and BFG. Chain gunner surprise a mile away with pistol start not so much. 

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Never hate them on my car or my bike. For Doom maps....it depends. Are we talking Chillax-level hot starts? Those can be fun, but, OMG, don't let any noobs in while you're trying to start as smooth as possible!

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Welp.  You'd hate me as a novice mapper if you hate hot starts.  I recently just went back and tested my first mapset entitled OverBuffed I'm working on and every single level is a hot-start (yes even MAP01 although it's just one enemy walking at you).  Never really thought that people didn't like it this much, but I'm a pistol start player/mapper so it is assumed that you're at least starting with 100% health and 150 rounds.  One of the first times I posted a map here which is currently in the MAP03 slot I got a fair amount of complaints in that you quite literally die once you start and that the enemies were extremely overpowered which is kinda funny since you're supposed to be doomguy.  Did a total overhaul of the enemies via dehackED and redid the map 3x over.

 

I will never not do hot starts and since I'll be working on map08, it's just going to get more frustrating. 

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Eh, I like a casual start to get the feel of whats around me because the starting rooms design can tell alot about whats up ahead. Having me shoved into a hot-start isnt as satisfying in my opinion.

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I don't mind hot starts. Some of my most memorable maps were hot starts.

 

It largely depends what kind of beef is thrown at you though. If there's a ton of Archviles and/or Cyberdemons stuffed in a box room right out of the gate then I'm probably not going to enjoy it, though I'll try to do it anyway. I will enjoy them if it's done in a similar fashion to O of Destruction, where I have a chance to escape or get into cover. So if it's fair, regardless of difficulty, then I'm fine....as long as the map gives me a decent chance of survival.

 

 

 

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I love them so much that i'm legitimately disappointed if there is none.

Ok, maybe not that extreme, but the feeling of madly dashing around, dodging the ongoing projectile hell and trying to carve out a save niche is one of the most arousing feelings that Doom has to offer.

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