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RHhe82

I choose the impossible. I choose: Hurt me plenty.

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50 minutes ago, RHhe82 said:

I have a nagging feeling that my mediocrity as a Doom player robs me of exhilarating experiences designed by the mappers for their intended UV difficulties, and if I first play on HMP or lower, the subsequent playthrough won't provide the sense of awe as in some UV-blind run.

 

Even in static forms of media (movies, books, etc.) people come away with wildly different experiences of this or that scene, add in the variable experiences that happen in video games and I find it crazy to expect most people to have the same good or bad feeling about anything.

Seeing a level talked about in a "top 100" list or something can inspire feelings of missing out. But know that there are just as many detractors, or people who were looking the other way when the cool thing happened, etc.

My suggestion is to play a bunch of wads on your backlog on Skill 1 until you feel like you want a bigger challenge, not that you feel it's expected of you

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I think its fine to mix it up. I am not a good player but I played through sunlust in UV - with many, many saves - because I wanted to experience what people talk about.

 

Next I'm playing Valiant on HMP because I want a more casual play through.

 

Mix it up, I say, depending on what you feel you want at that time from that wad.

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Sadly it has become widespread in the doom community that ultra violence is the intended experience, many players will have a better time playing on lower difficulties.

Edited by El juancho

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Welp, there are a handful of WADs out there that UV is intended for unfairness, so yeah. Despite me not playing on lower difficulties, but I totally see the needs of lower difficulties.

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5 minutes ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

You're not "very, very used to playing doom on UV", you're very, very used to what the WADs you have beaten many times over do on UV. That's an important distinction.

 

I don't think it's a good thing to argue that UV is "the intended experience", even if it is the skill setting most mappers design first. UV is what you should be picking when you're familiar with the WAD you're playing, regardless of what the mapper's methodical approach to difficulty settings may or may not be. You can always "dial up" if you feel like something is way too easy to be fun and engaging, and it's always going to feel "better" than turning it down, because you dial up with the underlying notion that you're good enough to do it, but you turn it down with with the underlying notion that you're in above your head. You do one thing out of confidence, and the other because your confidence is shaken.

 

Lots of goods points brought up so far, I think this sums it up. It's so easy to be not only blinded, but somehow brainwashed by treading the familiar territory with ease, and not realize, on some deep enough level, custom wads are not that way. I mean, even a child knows that modern wads are tougher than the originals, but somehow you trick yourself to assume playing on any other difficulty than UV will be too easy. I mean, for some of us it'll be, but I think another blunder comes from watching great players' practiced outings, how they make it look so effortless that you think you should be able to do the same without serious effort and hours of work put into it.

 

I totally agree that it's anyway better to dial up difficulty when deemed a viable option rather than the other way down. Yet another reason for me to start considering HMP or HNTR (for the wads that declare themselves challenging) the default option.

 

32 minutes ago, DuckReconMajor said:

My suggestion is to play a bunch of wads on your backlog on Skill 1 until you feel like you want a bigger challenge, not that you feel it's expected of you

 

Skill 1 might be so easy as to deflate the experience -- in most cases. But I don't know. On the other hand, I did play Scythe's final map on ITYTD. Anything else would have been impossible at this stage. Come to think of, if I wanted to play Sunder (not sure if my computer would handle it), skill 1 would most likely be the only viable option. In any case, hopefully this experience will also teach me not to dismiss skill 1 straight away.

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1 hour ago, RHhe82 said:

I have a nagging feeling that my mediocrity as a Doom player robs me of exhilarating experiences designed by the mappers for their intended UV difficulties, and if I first play on HMP or lower, the subsequent playthrough won't provide the sense of awe as in some UV-blind run.

What everyone else has said is great, I just want to reply to this bit with a post I made on another thread that got into the difficulty topic: here

Plenty of WADs are being designed with HMP as a "base" difficulty, or even being designed so that each difficulty level is a different experience for a different kind of player. No shame in playing the way that makes you have the most fun.

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I think the very 90s trend of giving the lower difficulty levels insulting names probably contributes to this feeling. Not that HMP is saying that you're a wimp, but it's saying that ITYTD and HNTR are, and if those ones are for weaklings, then the highest difficulty (that isn't a "joke" difficulty) must be for ~real men~.

 

If I ever put out a WAD I'm renaming skill 1 to "chill dude mode" because it's the mode people who want to relax with some chill doomage play.

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I really appreciate mappers who go out of their way to say that HMP is the intended experience.

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55 minutes ago, El juancho said:

sadly it has become widespread in the doom community that ultra violence is the intended experience, many players will have a better time playing on lower difficulties.


Honestly I feel that in recent times people have adopted the idea that difficulty settings should be implemented in most projects if they are to be considered "polished." Maybe it's just me but I thought that in the earlier 2000s the trend was more about "git gud" than it is now... even with the persistence of slaughter wads.

Also, the settings make a difference whether the mapper used the actor flags or not. So even if someone says "UV only" you can still try it on something else.

ALSO,

2 hours ago, RHhe82 said:

I still find myself tackling wads on the default difficulty, which is Ultraviolence.

Actually UV is not the default. When you first go through the menu, the cursor starts on HMP!

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When I'm trying a new map WAD for the first time & I don't have a clear idea of the general difficulty, I will pick HMP because I assume UV will just pile on the challenge & I'll end up getting stuck & drop it before finishing it.

 

Picking HMP instead of UV as default is something I've done for about a year now & has resulted in me finishing & enjoying a lot more of the community's output.  Ultra-Violence to me is something you try once you've beaten a WAD on a easier difficulty & you know where the traps are.

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49 minutes ago, Ragu said:

I think the very 90s trend of giving the lower difficulty levels insulting names probably contributes to this feeling. Not that HMP is saying that you're a wimp, but it's saying that ITYTD and HNTR are, and if those ones are for weaklings, then the highest difficulty (that isn't a "joke" difficulty) must be for ~real men~.

 

If I ever put out a WAD I'm renaming skill 1 to "chill dude mode" because it's the mode people who want to relax with some chill doomage play.

in one of the wads I helped I guy with I changed itytd to normal and hntr to mild

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Personally, I prefer playing on HMP since it typically comes with extra ammo, weapons, health and armour as well as less enemies.

ITYTD is stupidly easy with 2x ammo and on rare occasions I do play on HNTR if a map is giving me problems.

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38 minutes ago, gwain said:

in one of the wads I helped I guy with I changed itytd to normal and hntr to mild

 

If I was going to have custom difficulty levels, I would name them:

 

- Plutonia

- Hell Revealed

- Sunlust

- Sunder

- Chillax

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i don't think there's anything i "default" to difficulty-wise since the spread is so wide. one WAD's UV will be another's HNTR. i'll generally start on HMP and if i feel it's too comfy i'll step up to UV, and if it's too hard i'll dial down to HNTR. if i'm enjoying myself (which for me includes playing a bit beyond my skill level), then i'm good.

 

i try not to think of them as easy/medium/hard and more variations on the map provided by the author. sometimes those variations aren't even necessarily presented in order of difficulty and are more like "remixes" for different skill sets. that's an approach i really like.

 

i feel like calling any setting the "intended" experience as a designer suggests that anything else is a compromise, which is very weak. saying "the primary/original design was [x] and the others were built around it" makes a lot more sense and is far less adversarial - it helps to have this in mind while actually mapping, too.

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I suppose someone could make cool WAD Characterization Tools to help navigate the noise? I hear MTrop has some cool wad-ripping libraries ready to be leveraged (I haven't dug into them though).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's a fun model for fun:

Replace the difficulty setting graphics: "Hey Not to Rough", "Hurt Me Plenty", "Ultra Violence" with a suitable graphic that conveys the WAD better:

-Create a weight for each: monster; health/powerup; ammo type
        i.e:
                (imp:7 < revenant:40 < cyberdemon:350)
                (medkit:25 < soulsphere:120 < megashpere:300 < invuln sphere:400)
                (shell:10 < cell:40 = rocket:40 < BFG:9000)
-Comb each difficulty (HNTR, HMP, UV)
-Print out a graphic to replace each respective difficulty graphic.
        i.e: "Hey Not to Rough" becomes an ordered horizontal stack of layered monster icons; with a similar stack beneath it laying out pickups
        "Hurt Me Plenty" becomes one too, but hopefully in a way that shows a different gameplay spread than HNTR and how it differentiates itself.

-Maybe add another degree of complexity for other difficulty intricacies (without getting carried away)
        i.e: split the graphic into episodes?; Scythe and AV are backloaded as heck with difficulty and it's sometimes good to know that before digging in (unless you like the surprise).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also, on topic of the thread, other tertiary factors on my mind because I like typing:
-I notice people tend to shy away from HNTR (the lowest difficulty) altogether. People like to feel above average at the things they do, or else why would they start or continue doing them in the first place? I always see "I play on UV and downshift to HMP if it's a hard WAD", but never HNTR. In this context it might be a faulty bias sometimes, though, because Doom Wadology is so chaotic.
-Difficulty settings are often put in limp-wristedly, if at all. Contributes to the UV coalescence effect.

 

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7 minutes ago, Xaser said:

At this point, I'm not even sure where the "UV or bust" mindset even comes from -- certainly not from Doomworld.

It'll be from Reddit.

 

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Starting classic (DOS) Doom with -warp (and without -skill), also defaults to HMP.

 

I only mention this to provide context for the theory (and I am probably wrong!), that when Doom first released, a lot of folk likely started their first game on HMP. Not all, but many. After one or more play-throughs did we progress to UV. By that time we were more familiar with the maps. This familiarity should not be discounted, i.e. playing an unknown map on UV is going to be more difficult.

 

Also any map worth its salt, should give you a few extra surprises on UV, if you only played it on HMP before. If this is the case, then you get more value out of map by playing it on two skills.

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I feel that what makes a WAD fun on different difficulties has a lot more to do with the designer's approach to difficulty than it has to do with much else. Some people make easier difficulties as an afterthought and it is very noticeable, while on the other hand people will make UV have a very steep rise in difficulty compared to lower ones to the point it is near unplayable. So I think the idea that you HAVE to play on UV is silly. Just play on what you want. Look, playing SP does take skills, sure, but anyone who thinks that playing on anything less than UV makes you less of a player should stop running their mouths and see how quick their skills are shattered in Deathmatch. Ultra Violence isn't going to prepare you for being SSGned point blank in the back, or being berserk fisted into a pile of goo, or being rippled with bullets by a maniac who's chaingun fire is dead-on accurate because they know some trick or two you don't. That takes a whole different skill set and it doesn't make a bit of difference what difficulty you play on SP. I imagine if more of these elitist would quit hiding from DM they'd become quite humbled and maybe tone themselves down a bit. Just my opinion anyways.

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I like the masochistic feeling of accomplishment that comes from beating stuff on UV. I'm not too hard on myself about NM because it's an RNG fest a lot of the time. I rarely choose other difficulties because I'm a stubborn asshole.

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7 minutes ago, BigBoy91 said:

I'm not too hard on myself about NM because it's an RNG fest a lot of the time.

Additionally, Nightmare was not made to be well designed. It was a joke difficulty that got implemented after original release which was dedicated to those who thought Ultra-Violence was too easy.

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The solution is simple, we just rename the difficulties to UV, UV, UV, UV, UV. Jokes aside, sometimes I default to lower skill setting for learning new wads. The UV from IWADs is a lot more forgiving and there are not as many (if any) lethal traps that require prior knowledge or doom god level skills to survive. Sometimes this is completely unplayable for players not ready for it. Skill 1 provides damage reduction and double ammo so you don't get "soft softlocked" with too little health or ammo to progress without save scumming or having to non-zerk punch out 20 cybers just because you don't know the map and couldn't plan ahead for them. I disagree with the notion UV being an intended difficulty to always play on. I don't care if that's what the mapper says, I see it as UV is the "intended target difficulty" that you would eventually learn to play the wad, but does not need be your starting point on your journey, or even, the difficulty that you ever choose to play. UV is an expert level difficulty for the wad. Some players can handle that right off the bat, others can not, but you don't have to. Difficulty is an option, not a mandate. There is no shame in that.

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2 hours ago, gwain said:

in one of the wads I helped I guy with I changed itytd to normal and hntr to mild

This has inspired me to make a hot-sauce style ranking for difficulty levels

 

ITYTD: Ranch

HNTR: Mild

HMP: Buffalo

UV: Habanero 

Nightmare: Black Mamba

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luckily, you're not gonna find very many elitist scumbags here who think that ultra-violence is the only way to play :)

 

typically i find that when dropping down to a lower difficulty and then revisiting it on uv when i'm a bit better at the game, the two experiences still feel more or less the same cuz they're usually both reaching my skillcap. so dw about whether or not it's the "intended experience" or whatever tf, if the mapper balances difficulty well then it won't make a difference

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