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DooM Bear

How do you feel about forced pistol starts in WAD’s?

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Just started replaying Eviternity which reminded me to ask, how do you feel about forced pistol starts / death exits in WAD’s?

 

Personally, I don’t mind a few (like 2 or 3) in a 32 level WAD but find it a little annoying when it seems to feel like it’s every other level or every time you get the BFG :-P

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love Eviternity and think the creator/s did an amazing job of fairly restocking the player with what the need but I still find the whole forced pistol start thing just a little annoying :-P

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They're great, I love em, and they help making the journey more interesting and also easier to balance for the mappers.

 

Besides, they can be used in a variety of ways, for instance Scythe used them to mark an increase in difficulty, while AA and Valiant used them to mark the end of an episode and a major change in the landscape.

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I am fine with the forced death exits as long as the level I have to pistol start has been designed so almost everyone can beat it that way.

 

In some maps, there are hot starts where you have to know where the shotgun or chain gun is to get past them. The pistol start maps should have a decent sense of weapon and difficulty progression, not just a "jump right in headfirst" type of gameplay. 

 

<tangent>

This leads me on to something else: Pistol starting wads like Sunder, Abandon, etc. must be the proper ways to play them. For example, if in map17 you exit with full BFG ammo but map18 has no BFG, then you have pretty much trivialized the gameplay/challenge of the latter map. But I'm in no place to judge the way others play the game. 

</tangent>

 

TL;DR I am okay with forced pistol starts as long as the map designer had that in mind. They need to have a good sense of weapon and difficulty progression because, after all, it was not my choice to play them that way.

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I always pistol start unless the wad specifically calls for continuous only.

 

I would not want a see a megawad that expects pistol starts for every map force it on me because I may want to blast through it on easy someday and because it takes two seconds to IDCLEV or rocket suicide. The critique of the player who refuses to do what's intended can simply be ignored (like if I decided to offer advice based on my HNTR continuous speed-max).   

 

Even if a megawad expects pistol starts for every map anyway, I have no problem with them being forced a few times throughout for storytelling / to create that episodic atmosphere. 

 

If a continuous megawad expects you to pistol start at, for example, maps 12 and 21, then I would definitely want to see that forced. 

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They're obnoxious and I hate them. It's especially grating when it's every few levels like Scythe. I enjoy continuous play, and I often save Megaspheres and Combat Armor until I'm ready to move to a new map, and it's especially annoying when SURPRISE VOODOO BARREL FRAG LOL!

 

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If a wad allows me to play continuous I tend to, just because I'm not great at Doom so every little helps. But I have absolutely no issue with forced pistol starts: if anything that just means I am confident the next map is properly balanced the same for everyone. 

 

I made the decision early on that Elementalism should be pistol start for every map, as it allows the mappers much more control over balancing, and not having to worry about catering for both continuous and pistol-start mappers. So far it's working out great, and I'm glad we're doing it that way.

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i use to pistol start anyway, so they're not disturbing  ;)

 

they're useful as they allow the mapper to build the map more gradually, rather than throwing monsters right from the start at you because anything else won't do if you brought your bfg and those 600 cells.

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If it's part of a narrative where you lose your gear and have to restart with a pistol, sure.
If it's just out of nowhere after managing to find everything it's a bit of a piss-off.

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All for it if it is used for creating episodic structures in a megawad, although getting pistol starts forced down upon me when I enter every map does suck in my opinion.

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I was used to it in Ultimate Doom, plus I love how the episodes are done.

 

I don't mind Doom II's continuous method though, but I did miss the episodic nature of Ultimate Doom and its pistol starts. They added challenge, story and kept you hunting for better weapons. In short I think it helped to keep repetition to a minimum.

 

Really though, when it comes down to it I don't mind either way. But I do have a soft spot for episodic pistol starts.

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Honestly I think all it does is alienate people who just want to play continuous. People who want to pistol start will do that with or without mappers interfering. 

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I like forced pistol starts because it makes people get used to pistol starts in general. It teaches important Doom skills, so that you don't end up killing two cacodemons with a pistol while a shotgun is right behind them, like this guy:

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Pseudonaut said:

It teaches important Doom skills, so that you don't end up killing two cacodemons with a pistol while a shotgun is right behind them, like this guy:

Or like this guy trying to kill a cyberdemon with the shotgun and limited ammo:

Jk. DraQu is a beast.

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4 hours ago, pcorf said:

I design all my maps for pistol start in mind.

 

So do I, and I always play-test them to make sure they're reasonably possible for pistol starts, but that doesn't mean I like getting surprise barrel-fragged every two levels. Especially when the author uses the forced pistol start as a way not to reset the difficulty, but to punish you by increasing it to ridiculous levels.

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I completely understand all the people that always play pistol start and that it makes it easier for the map maker but that said, some times it’s just plain stupid :-P

 

Like in some WADs where it happens every couple of levels, the majority of the weapons you loose from the death exit are on the ground in front of you at the beginning of the next map :-P I sometimes think “well what was the point of taking my weapons away if your just gonna give them back straight away / almost straight away?” :-P

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I design all of my maps to be possible from a pistol start, I see this as necessary in case a player dies on a map but they've forgotten to save. When I first started mapping forever ago I didn't realize people would force pistol starts on themselves, but it never impacted my mapping since I always designed around it anyway. I almost always play megawads or episodes continuous, unless they're absurdly easy.

 

If it's a megawad and it forces death exits/pistol starts more frequently than every 5 maps or so, then yeah, that's getting pretty tedious imo. It's not the end of the world, but it's nice to be able to make the choice on my own terms. If it's being done to separate distinct segments of a wad up into episodes though, I can't get too annoyed by that, if anything it helps immerse me more to see that much thought put into progression.

 

To summarize, I guess it goes both ways.

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Well I design my maps to all be beatable from a pistol start. But I strongly dislike having my inventory reset at the beginning of each map. I'd honestly rather just play continuously than pistol start each map.

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