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M_W

How do YOU like to play cooperative?

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Believe it or not, in all the time I've played Doom, I've never played cooperative mode. In an attempt to bond with a friend of mine I haven't seen in person in a while, we booted up Doom 2 and Back to Saturn X: Episode 1 and got to shooting at some demons, but I noticed a few things that made the experience a little annoying:

With old-school style coop, with weapons stay and no respawning items, the penalty for death was extremely high if you had a lot of ammo and weapons on you, especially if you got those weapons on a previous map, and didn't know where to find them on the map you are on. This led to the final encounters of the map being a loop of slowing throwing your corpse at monsters, die, repeat, which wasn't very fun.

So, we tried with respawning items, which led to the opposite problem; death had no consequence, as you could start at the beginning of the map, arm yourself to the teeth with no monsters to stop you, and blow through the final encounters with little resistance.

I have thought about having respawning monsters and keeping the respawning items, but my friend is pretty new to Doom, and that might end up being a little too much. Would doubling ammo with items not respawning be a solution?

So, I ask the legions of Doomworld: what's your preferred way to play cooperative that is challenging, but not frustrating? Any tips on preferred settings, or maybe even self-imposed rules we can implement to make it work out a little better?

Edited by M_W : Confusing title LUL

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To be honest, most people just accept that resource abundance is a part of cooperative, lame as this answer is. Double ammo does help a little, but it’s still not really enough unless items respawn.

 

Some ports allow extra options, such a spawn with shotgun and spawn with berserk. If you have both of those and double ammo, it might just be enough resources, but still likely not after a couple deaths.

I would wager this was the main catalyst behind Zand and ZDaemon implementing survival where you can set a fixed number of lives. After 3 deaths by both players (for example) the map restarts, so despite having a ton of ammo when it respawns, you still have to be very careful not to throw your lives away, which is still pretty challenging even with a ton of resources.

 

Im sorry there’s no clean answer to this age old conundrum!

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Agreed with dk; while there may be no easy answer to this survival mode is a good compromise to prevent both situations where encounters stumble from not being balanced around players dying and being absent from the area for a while and situations where deaths happen after all the supplies have been taken.

 

My thoughts on this when survival isn't an option are that you're two basic choices are to either learn to not only share resources but also leave what you don't immediately need in the event of deaths (which really both doesn't fit the general gameplay style of doom and isn't likely to happen since most people instinctively take and hoard supplies, common cases being cell and rocket ammo), or to play with respawning items and accept possibly being a bit overpowered. In the end it is easier to just not go scrounging around areas you've already picked through for additional, respawned supplies than to try to ration out supplies between yourself and a teammate. Communication and coordination in doom is uncommon, not helped by the fact that coordination can be easily punished by the game when your friend dodges a projectile meant for them which you don't see and thus take the hit, as an example. Additionally, being loaded on supplies is probably the better of the two strawmen to stand by since it allows you more opportunities to make your own fun. A non-doomer might appreciate that more as well since they don't have all the intricate mechanics and a repertoire of understood encounters in their head. 

 

One cool coop implementation that I have seen which I would love to see become a real thing was in the mysterious port kbdoom, which allowed pickups to be on a per-client basis, so when I'd pick up something it would still be there for others to pick up. I'm surprised this never became a thing in other mp-oriented ports.

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52 minutes ago, Doomkid said:

I would wager this was the main catalyst behind Zand and ZDaemon implementing survival where you can set a fixed number of lives...

ZDaemon would have been my first choice if it had controller input (my friend has issues with pain on mouse and keyboard), Zandronum is...a lot, and I don't want to mess with changing seven thousand DMFlags (this is obnoxious even with Doomseeker's GUI) plus walking him through the obnoxious setup menus, Chocolate/Crispy seem to have inhereted some bugs from SDL 2.0.9 that make using a controller impossible at the moment, so Odamex was what I had left, lol.

It wasn't bad at all, quite the opposite. That said, I am a little relieved to see I am not the first person to have thought this.

6 minutes ago, Fonze said:

One cool coop implementation that I have seen which I would love to see become a real thing was in the mysterious port kbdoom, which allowed pickups to be on a per-client basis, so when I'd pick up something it would still be there for others to pick up. I'm surprised this never became a thing in other mp-oriented ports.

I found myself wishing instanced items was a feature on several occasions. I felt bad hoarding all the ammo, but at the same time recognized he is new and would just die with all the rockets and cells lol.

 

On an unrelated note, while I titled this thread to ask "How you, the reader, enjoy playing Cooperative?" I realized I may have accidentally made one of those "Hey DW how do I do X" thread titles, and that's probably why this thread doesn't have many replies. This made me laugh when I realized it.

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In that case, classic coop - just because I'm so used to it and there was no other PVE mode in Doom for so long, but I also love survival. My preferred way of handling survival is to have 1 life for easy sets, 2 lives for medium sets, and 3 lives for balls-hard stuff. Also, ZDaemon does survival in a much better way than Zandronum does, so if I'm in the mood for survival I'll always check ZD. In Zandronum, you can't join a game other than for a few seconds at the very start, meaning if a map is long, you can spend an eternity just sitting and watching others play. And don't even think about going to take a pee during that time, because you might be gone for the brief window where you can actually join!

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Good to know! I was about to give Zand a try just now, but that saves me the trouble of testing this and finding out the hard way.

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I think zand is still worth trying; leaving your options open also gives you the most flexibility on how to approach things. As for the dmflags: sure there are a ton of them and it is certainly cumbersome to pick through them, but on the other hand that also gives you a ton of control on how to customize your experience and once you set them once, if you write down or otherwise save the numbers you can use that to quickly set the flags for subsequent sessions. Even further, if you use a hosting service such as tspg, you can save your server settings and make setup for subsequent sessions super quick.

 

My personal preferred way to play coop is -solonet 🙃 Nah seriously I tend to like survival with 2-3 lives. With too many lives death becomes mostly meaningless other than that its only consequence is hampering fun by borking encounters and wasting supplies; I'd rather get a quick reset and the opportunity to try the encounters over fresh instead of constantly running back to infighting mobs who are not where they should be for the correct strategies to work. I mean you don't exactly play survival to learn and understand encounters but I at least like the semblance that I done good. That situation (from my perspective) leads to either watered down encounters or jankiness trying to get back into a popped encounter; the reset is just more fun to me at that point. With only one life mistakes become super punishing; it sucks to die early in a map then sit there waiting to play and as dk said, in zand you better be present at the start of the next round or you're sitting out again. Additionally, with network lag mistakes become easier for me to make as my internal timings of monster attacks and projectile speed/distance become less accurate, leading to more clumsy mistakes. And all of that still doesn't account for a partner that runs around arenas wildly and doesn't realize the importance of preserving space (mostly in terms of where the monsters are aiming and throwing projectiles, but to a smaller degree also in terms of herding mobs) or stepping out of a corner or into a room only to take a projectile in the face you never could have accounted for.

 

All of that said, beyond any of that, my most preferred way to play coop is in a small group, maybe even with just 1 other person, that is coordinated, not only in terms of sharing supplies but also in terms of tackling encounters or maps. It's more fun to me to work as a team than to work as an unruly mob of individuals. Even if the teamwork is just "you go there, I'll go here, and don't get in each others way" it's still a cut above the typical every-man-for-himself pug mentality one typically finds in (and perhaps arguably is what's best suited for) coop.

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You could try always communicating with each other about items (I.e. if you come to a soul sphere and he has 2% health and you have 90% make sure he is the one to grab it) but this might make the experience pretty dull as would slow everything down to a crawl. Don’t really know as haven’t tried it so might be worth a go?

 

Alternatively, yeah give double ammo a go and if that still isn’t helping, go with @Doomkid‘s suggestions :-)

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Yeah, we were definitely conscious of the obvious things like health and armor, but often enough there isn't enough time to have those discussions in BTSX :P (There's a LOT of extra Archviles in coop). It may have seemed overkill to start with a WAD that difficult, but he's played the Serious Sam series, and he really enjoyed plugging huge mobs of monsters.

 

I'm gonna see if I can't build him a preset in antimicro so we can play some ZDaemon survival, I think that's the way to go.

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Well, I don't play much coop, mostly because most of my friends play on xbox and those few who play on pc are not into fps but from the few times I played in coop (with some random guys met with doomseeker) I got to the conclusion that I prefer playing without respawing items because at least there is some kind of penalty if you fuck up or get fucked up

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I run 3 co-op Zandronum servers with custom map sets. I keep it totally vanilla other than respawning items, infinitely tall actors off, and friendly fire off. With anywhere from 2-12+ players, that's the trade off I make.

 

If I wanted to do *TRUE* vanilla without respawning weapons and friendly fire on, I'd want the server to be private and only with people who are mindful of these things.

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I don't always play coop with my fellas but when I do, I turn the difficulty to nightmare. In Plutonia... 

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