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UnknDoomer

Easiest difficult is a thing?

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Posted (edited)

I played on the "I'm Too Young Too Die" difficulty when I played DOOM for the first ever time (mid 90s) then I switched to Ultra-Violence and stayed on it since. 

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"Normal" is the intended experience a lot of the time so I usually do that on a first playthrough. If it's a genre I'm proficient at, like FPS games, I may play a harder setting. I have played easier difficulty settings when it's something I'm not used to playing, such as grand strategy games. I like to think it is a reasonable approach to the problem since there's not much fun or progress to be had failing over and over in a game I have no idea how to play with no signs of coming to grips with it. I would try a harder setting on a subsequent playthrough if I like the game enough to seek a challenge.

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I try to beat a game on hard or hardest on my first try, but that's because what I expect from myself. I've been playing games all my life and beating something on easy would be a shame. Well, would it? No, since noone cares, and it's also hammers my enjoyment... So basically I ruin my own playing experience. Difficulty settings should be a thing and people should use it. Don't be like me, don't be stupid. I recently... "recently" started playing Descent. (omnidirectional space-corridor shooter from the 90s)... On the hardest difficulty. I've never beaten the game back when I was young so I just have to get it done. And why would I try some easy difficulty?! Just go right for ~insane~... And according to Steam I'm 50 hours in... and only 2/3 done... But there are only 30 maps!

 

So. Yes, easiest is a thing and should be a thing. How else would anyone get into gaming? But also, super duper-hardcore should also be a thing.

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10 hours ago, UnknDoomer said:

Not. Well. In two words. Not care / count myself as so called "doomgod" (especially when know at least three folks who really are) / will not go "die hard" to deal with specific game if things will go "too far". Interested why others do and

 

like to compain about a lot here and there sometimes, from point of view / what I've seen by other hand, like @Major Arlene and @Final Verdict

 

mentioned also.

 

But, seems to, suddenly currently none of that folks joined the thread. Or prefer to remain silent?...

 

I think P41R7 simply meant it's easy to view it that way.

 

People who play on harder settings tend to talk about it more, or even brag, so it can be misleading if you only go by threads/posts on that subject. On the other side of the spectrum people who play on easy don't really talk about it much. Probably because of how some people judge them for it or pressure them into playing on a setting they do not enjoy. I'm talking about on the internet in general, not so much Doomworld.

 

Thus, going by the forums/internet alone isn't really painting a clear picture. That, I think, is what P41R7 was attempting to convey. 

 

Plenty around here play on easier settings and they shouldn't have to defend that position in my opinion. Which I stated in my post earlier, games are a form of entertainment and escapism. If they're having fun then they're playing it correctly. 

 

Whatever floats your boat.

 

The only wrong answer is to play a difficulty when it's more frustrating for you than fun.

 

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Posted (edited)

I always play on Ultra-Violence, which I generally find still too easy (except for maybe Plutonia), but I do not see the problem with people playing on easier settings: if anything, it helps new players get used to the gameplay and if they get good at it and feel like tackling a greater challenge.

 

If anything, I wish Doom had harder difficulty settings as well, like one where you get less ammo and/or face even more enemies; 'Nightmare!' does not count, as it is more of a gimmick mode that encourages speedrunning and makes it impossible to get 100% stats on levels.

 

Or heck, what about a difficulty setting that turns Doom into basically a survival horror game, with fewer but deadlier enemies?

Edited by Rudolph

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In theory, I would have no issue playing maps on lower difficulties, but in practice everything below UV is often treated as an afterthought by mappers, myself included. Creating good combat is quite difficult, being able to create three different variants of the same encounter without losing its core appeal is harder still. Some mappers do bother with this, and their works are better for it tbh. Sunlust is a good example of this, allowing lesser players (like myself at time of writing) to experience it without sacrificing much in the process (to my knowledge).

 

Reading this thread has encouraged me to think of the player for once with regards to my own mapping, so in future I will try to implement difficulty settings that retain the essence of the map while making it accessible to less skilled players (or to myself when I'm not in the mood for a ball-busting experience or a delirious murderfest).

 

Frankly, I think everyone stands to gain from properly-implemented difficulty settings, at least in most cases. I don't think wads like Italo Doom need an ITYTD, for example.

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When I played Doom back in the 90s we all played on HMP because it was the “normal” or “standard” setting. When I came back to the Doom scene I was actually surprised to learn that people these days mostly use UV. However, I still play using HMP.

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1 hour ago, Omniarch said:

In theory, I would have no issue playing maps on lower difficulties, but in practice everything below UV is often treated as an afterthought by mappers,

That is patently untrue. obviously it depends from mapper to mapper to difficulty balance at all, but if they're making an effort to balance then it's not really an afterthought, imo. This would really only hold true if they first released a map on UV, and then after a bunch of complaining then did the lower difficulties. Sometimes it's really hard to figure out how hard your map is supposed to be in compares to other mapsets that may be more well known, and not everyone has the time to make completely different encounters based on difficulties. Everyone has their way of doing it, most of mine consists of HNTR/HMP first and then adjusting for UV and ITYTD last, which generally boils down to monster/health ratios but can also include other modifications to the encounters (monster placement, etc). 

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9 minutes ago, Major Arlene said:

That is patently untrue. obviously it depends from mapper to mapper to difficulty balance at all, but if they're making an effort to balance then it's not really an afterthought, imo. This would really only hold true if they first released a map on UV, and then after a bunch of complaining then did the lower difficulties. Sometimes it's really hard to figure out how hard your map is supposed to be in compares to other mapsets that may be more well known, and not everyone has the time to make completely different encounters based on difficulties. Everyone has their way of doing it, most of mine consists of HNTR/HMP first and then adjusting for UV and ITYTD last, which generally boils down to monster/health ratios but can also include other modifications to the encounters (monster placement, etc). 

In my limited experience, UV seems to be the default, with other settings being of secondary importance. My statement was based partially on this, but also on sentiments I've observed elsewhere on the forum. That said, I am but a noob, and will gladly defer to more experienced members on such matters. In hindsight, my post does come off as overly perspective, even though that was not actually my intent.

 

In your experience, what would you say is the most common approach?

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16 minutes ago, Omniarch said:

In your experience, what would you say is the most common approach?

I think a lot of people take the hard ratio approach of less monsters for lower difficulties, balancing with health and ammunitions. Pure numbers is generally the easiest way to do it. 

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I'd disagree that lower difficulties are an afterthought, even if it was designed from UV down. Most mappers seem to implement them in one way or another. Your beef would be with the mappers that didn't implement any lower difficulties at all. It tends to be more or less monster count for quick and easy difficulty scaling. In some instances, certain monsters get replaced. An example that comes to mind is Ancient Aliens Map01 on HNTR, where the Cyberdemon is replaced by a Mancubus. Another notable example is Italo-Doom, on Map01 you are surrounded by Cyberdemons on "not UV" instead of the usual monsters, and that's just the player being memed on.

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Posted (edited)

Depending on the wad, i do play in HMP since i'm not really interested in overcoming a challenge first and foremost, but i do always like to play on the highest difficulty setting i'm comfortable with. I tend to avoid NM or UV+ because i just start getting annoyed at that point. But different people might just be interested in a more carefree experience, i can see for example a streamer not wanting to die too many times to a boss, someone just getting used to the game for the first time, or people with some kind of limitation that still want to enjoy the game.

I think people just end up playing doom in the higher difficulty settings because the IWADs are just not really that hard by today's standards (well, except final Doom), and a lot of the people playing megawads already are quite experienced with the game.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Adun said:

I'd disagree that lower difficulties are an afterthought, even if it was designed from UV down. Most mappers seem to implement them in one way or another. Your beef would be with the mappers that didn't implement any lower difficulties at all. It tends to be more or less monster count for quick and easy difficulty scaling. In some instances, certain monsters get replaced. An example that comes to mind is Ancient Aliens Map01 on HNTR, where the Cyberdemon is replaced by a Mancubus. Another notable example is Italo-Doom, on Map01 you are surrounded by Cyberdemons on "not UV" instead of the usual monsters, and that's just the player being memed on.

What I was trying to say is that it is hard enough to create interesting and well-balanced encounters for just one difficulty setting, therefore doing so for all three is even more difficult. The end result of this being that UV is generally going to be the best-optimized out of the three, even in cases where the mapper has made some effort toward accessibility.

 

Where I went wrong, I think, was in simply assuming that most mappers would choose UV as the default, a point which Major Arlene contested. None of what I said concerned how the difficulty settings are implemented, merely the effectiveness of said implementation.

 

AA MAP01 is a good example, though, thanks for bringing that up. Since the manc has a similar turrent/area-denial role to the cyber, whilst being far, far less lethal, it makes for a perfect replacement.

 

32 minutes ago, Major Arlene said:

I think a lot of people take the hard ratio approach of less monsters for lower difficulties, balancing with health and ammunitions. Pure numbers is generally the easiest way to do it. 

Is there an optimal form of difficulty implementation that you'd recommend, or must it simply be evaluated on a case-by-case basis?

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Posted (edited)

Difficulties make the game more accessible. Plenty of folks have fond memories of playing Doom as a little kiddo in the 90s, and I bet they wouldn't have such a great time if the only difficulties was UV and Nightmare.

Edited by LudicrousFPS

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If I gonna test something, I choose UV

If I want to enjoy the wad just running and gunning, I choose ITYTD to have no problems with ammo and health

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2 minutes ago, Reelvonic said:

where the love for nightmare

its fun

there is none

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Final Verdict said:

 

I think P41R7 simply meant it's easy to view it that way.

 

People who play on harder settings tend to talk about it more, or even brag, so it can be misleading if you only go by threads/posts on that subject. On the other side of the spectrum people who play on easy don't really talk about it much. Probably because of how some people judge them for it or pressure them into playing on a setting they do not enjoy. I'm talking about on the internet in general, not so much Doomworld.

 

Thus, going by the forums/internet alone isn't really painting a clear picture. That, I think, is what P41R7 was attempting to convey. 

 

Plenty around here play on easier settings and they shouldn't have to defend that position in my opinion. Which I stated in my post earlier, games are a form of entertainment and escapism. If they're having fun then they're playing it correctly. 

 

Whatever floats your boat.

 

The only wrong answer is to play a difficulty when it's more frustrating for you than fun.

 

Pretty much this, as i only pointed to the OP on the first sentence.
As i stated, it was completely inacurrate.

Then i talked in general.

And last, just in case the OP take its personal, i properly pointed out that the last sentence wasn't aimed to him, but to whoever think that playing in hard make him a better person than other players who play on lower settings...
 

Still, seems it was kinda personal :/
But since i can barely grasp what the OP said on by quoting me, i didn't even bother to reply.
I have better things to do, and i already pointed my opinion respect to this theme in particular.

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1 minute ago, roadworx said:

there is none

but its great

fast monsters

respawning

and its hard

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3 hours ago, Omniarch said:

Is there an optimal form of difficulty implementation that you'd recommend, or must it simply be evaluated on a case-by-case basis?

Honestly, whatever's comfiest for ya, fam. I've done it a few different ways but tend to ratio because thing placing/combat is like.... my least favorite thing to do and I'm lazy :P I'm by no means the most experienced with mapping and still haven't really settled on what I feel like is the best way to balance.

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There's no optimal or recommended way to "calibrate" the map difficulty other than getting feedback from testers that can offer gameplay by using all difficulties available....

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