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Mr. Kong

Popularity of Pistol Starts

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1 hour ago, RDETalus said:

How do you balance a mapset for both continuous play and pistol-start play anyways? Do you just try to balance the maps so that the player ends each map with roughly 100 health, 0 armor, and 50 bullets worth of damage? Presumably the continuous player wouldn't have a huge resource advantage over the pistol-start player that way.

I've actually never seen any WAD say it was balanced for both, I've seen them say balanced for pistol starts with some consideration for continuous players.  And the ones that say that typically mean they threw some medkits at each map exit.

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Well really, any map balanced for pistol starters is also balanced for continuous players, in the sense that they will be able to finish it without throwing their keyboard (or, if they aren't, it won't be for lack of supplies).

 

If you're playing continuously you pretty much accept that you'll probably have more ammunition than you strictly need.  Conversely, if that scans as a problem for you, then you're probably already in the pistol starter demographic whether or not you know it.  I say this as an inveterate continuous player.

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Posted (edited)

Since the op wondered what the community associations with pistol starting were before this new generation of pistol starters (lol idk what to call it), I'd say ambivalence? Young lil' me came into the community around the time Skulltag was still big but beginning to peter out (think GvH and AoW days) and maybe even slightly before. In my SP ventures at the time, I hardly even remembered that pistol starting was a thing!

 

Mostly because I played with Z-family ports that autosaved by default. My experience before this was purely with PSXDoom, for which pistol starting was a penalty for dying, but I could reload the level with all my gear with a save code obtained from finishing the previous map; something I was all very happy to do at like...8 or 9 years old, lol.

 

This also meant I was completely unfamiliar with the PC cheats like idclev. In short, pistol starting had negative associations and the ports I used at the time saved my guns for me across maps, so I barely even knew I could force pistol starts! When this became the "defacto" way for some people to play? Couldn't tell ya. If anything, it never mattered to me, at least, but nowadays I do a pistol start if I want the "max-challenge" (notice, not the "optimal experience" or anything like that) out of the map on my chosen difficulty. It's also a very good tool for playtesting individual maps in a set!

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As sort of a cross-pollination with the TeamTNT nostalgia thread going on at the same time, I remember that Eternal Doom was my first encounter with the idea of a death exit being used to force a pistol start within a megawad, even for would-be continuous players.  The death exit map was a gimmick map whose only real purpose was to have the death exit (albeit in a whimsical way, as typical for the WAD), and was even called "Drop 'em." The map following the death exit was called "Pistol Only."  It was a time when this was a big shiny novelty!  Now, wads like Scythe 2 and Eviternity just have unremarked death exits between their episodes like it ain't no big thing.

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I myself only started pistol starting somewhat recently. I've been playing for some time but, as I didn't really use to be surfing the web much, and didn't even know about this forum, I played the "default" way, which would be continuous, for me.

 

Once I finally registered here and began to be more involved with this awesome community I discovered new things about the game, one of them being pistol starts, which I began to pick up on Doom related videos. This was mostly due to speedrunners so, pistol starting popularity isn't exactly ipso facto.

 

These are all just opinions, and you know what they say about opinions. What's important for me, and I can't stress this enough, is that everyone can enjoy the game, that there's room for all tastes, shapes and sizes, and that elitism and egotism don't clash with the overall enjoyment of experiencing the game.

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Posted (edited)

Only have pistol started some levels recently to be exact... today, in Eviternity because of heading to that level with low health and knowing the level had enough resources for pistol start, so yeah, I might pistol start other megawads and levels

 

 

 

Update: I’m pistol starting map 14 mainly for wanting to do so because you get a bunch of health at the beginning, only reason I did that was because of Dean of Doom, I kinda wanted that experience MtPain27 describes, never ever have I’ve thought of pistol starting before and even less on a map I know is going to be difficult 

 

 

 

 

Edited by 1Destro3456

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Pistol-starting has been very recent for me. And I don't even do it constantly, just for stuff that's easy to navigate or the DW Megawad club because especially for newer stuff I've got to review, it's not an efficient use of my time to do shit that makes no narrative sense. Right now, I'm doing Doom 64 pistol-start, fast-monsters since that game is quite easy otherwise (other than the Lost Souls - oh my fucking god, they are absolute MAGNETS).

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On 6/10/2021 at 2:40 PM, RDETalus said:

Actually I think it refreshes the sense of progression. There is hardly any progression in Doom to begin with, collecting weapons is about the only thing that's going on. If you get all the weapons within the first 3 maps, there is no sense of progression for the next 27 maps.

But don't you think it is the fault of the map designers not based on players. I mean your statement is true if the error based on designer only.

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On 6/10/2021 at 10:00 AM, HAK3180 said:

stuff

 

I think the point about Dis rings true for a lot of maps.  You get a greater appreciation for the particular item placements by pistol starting. 

 

I just played Downtown from a pistol start, and I always hated that map, but after having to route around picking up weapons and ammo boxes, I have a greater appreciation for it.  It's not rock and roll like some of the other Doom 2 classics, like Refueling Base.  It's more about survival and rationing.  All semblance of rationing disappears when you enter the level fully stocked.

 

I think the episodic structure of Doom 1 does kind of push you to play single segment through each episode, so going off of that, Tower of Babel and Dis both are destined to feel anticlimactic.

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On 6/10/2021 at 10:00 AM, HAK3180 said:

"Why am I going through all of this for a rocket launcher that I have had for 12 levels already?"

 

1 hour ago, garudave said:

I just played Downtown from a pistol start, and I always hated that map, but after having to route around picking up weapons and ammo boxes, I have a greater appreciation for it.

 

Haha, 12 was not an arbitrary number. I actually had Downtown (MAP 13) specifically in mind, thinking of that demon trap. 

 

1 hour ago, garudave said:

I think the episodic structure of Doom 1 does kind of push you to play single segment through each episode, so going off of that, Tower of Babel and Dis both are destined to feel anticlimactic.

 Yes, good point; you are somewhat internally encouraged toward continuous, but from a 27-level standpoint, at least you are forced to pistol start every 9 levels and you can't get a plasma gun until level 10 or a BFG until level 21. Doom 2 throws everything at you long before the sky even changes. 

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The only time I like a pistol start is MAP01.

Nothing pisses me off more than building up my arsenal only to have a death and a pistol only start forced on me halfway through a WAD. In my 27 years of playing Doom I have never understood why this is a thing... 12 maps in and having all your weapons taken away. Stupid...

Then again, I like and use inescapable death traps in maps which people don't seem to like so I guess we're even! Ha!

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A challenging continuous 30 maps set would be hell to map, test, balance and even beat if it is remotely challenging. Balancing for pistol start at least lets continuous players enjoy some down time at the start of each map. Also the progression system in Doom 2 can't support such a large number of maps. You will have everything sooner than later and the only type of progression is how hard the mapper is going to whip you now.

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4 hours ago, HAK3180 said:

Yes, good point; you are somewhat internally encouraged toward continuous, but from a 27-level standpoint, at least you are forced to pistol start every 9 levels and you can't get a plasma gun until level 10 or a BFG until level 21. Doom 2 throws everything at you long before the sky even changes.

 

35 minutes ago, Pegg said:

Also the progression system in Doom 2 can't support such a large number of maps.

I wholeheartedly agree with you guys.

That's one of the reasons why I find Doom's episodic structure much more appealing.

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I'm sorry but many maps are trivialized by a BFG blast.

 

I mean, obviously it's just a game and you can play it how you like. But the maps weren't designed around having all the weapons. You played through them, but I'm not sure you beat them.

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5 hours ago, Kute said:

I mean, obviously it's just a game and you can play it how you like. But the maps weren't designed around having all the weapons. You played through them, but I'm not sure you beat them.

no, you beat them. you got to the exit without cheating, therefore you beat it.

 

there's no other requirement for beating a map other than that

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What I do is finish a WAD continuously the first time around, and if there are certain maps that really stuck out to me, I try to pistol start and no save those maps as an extra challenge to what I enjoyed. I've never finished a megaWAD pistol starting every map, nor do I think I ever will (mostly because I'm not that good at the game), so really for me it's a map by map basis. Is the map well balanced to make the experience challenging, yet fair? Is it anymore fun to play this map from pistol start than it is with continuous play? How many times do I see myself failing at this map before it just gets repetitive and exhausting? I just ask myself questions like these before I decide to dive into the pistol start gauntlet because sometimes it just doesn't work out for me. Of course, most maps nowadays are tested to make sure they're able to be completed from a pistol start, but that just doesn't stop some of them from feeling unfun to me. After pistol starting several maps myself, I do definitely understand the appeal, I enjoy doing it myself most of the time, but I just feel like I wouldn't be able to complete a full 32 map WAD pistol starting every map because most maps just don't feel refined enough to be enjoyable to beat from a pistol start. Still good maps, of course, just not enough for me to make it worth the stress that comes with pistol starting.

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I've got the worm in my brain which makes me pistol start saveless uvmax all the maps and I like it. I feel like balancing around pistol start is easier so playing from a pistol start to me feels like the """intended""" way to play some maps. Cause it's easier to know what I'm coming into the level with when it's the same each time. Of course I do go back to maps and at times just don't pistol start em in a continuous playthrough, but for a first time I always pistol start.

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9 hours ago, roadworx said:

no, you beat them. you got to the exit without cheating, therefore you beat it.

 

there's no other requirement for beating a map other than that

Oh yea, for sure. Just that people know it wasn't very hard. If you care about being on a level playing field to see how you stack up, it matters. And there's nothing wrong with that. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with playing the game however you want to as well.

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On 6/12/2021 at 12:39 PM, LadyMistDragon said:

Pistol-starting has been very recent for me. And I don't even do it constantly, just for stuff that's easy to navigate or the DW Megawad club because especially for newer stuff I've got to review, it's not an efficient use of my time to do shit that makes no narrative sense. Right now, I'm doing Doom 64 pistol-start, fast-monsters since that game is quite easy otherwise (other than the Lost Souls - oh my fucking god, they are absolute MAGNETS).


The only level I haven't been able to beat that way has been Hectic, specifically the hell knight room. Perhaps if I did it with saves I would have an easier time haha. But damn I stink at balancing those pillars and fast monsters prevents too much cheesing by the door.

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