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roadworx

give me a good reason as to why the pain elemental is a "bad" enemy

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it's fairly common to hear that the pain elemental is a "poorly designed" enemy that's absolutely terrible because it's annoying, it's hard to deal with, bla bla blibbity bla. i just wanna ask those who love to say this: why does that make it a bad enemy? being a pain in the ass is the entire point - they're a high priority target and a ticking time bomb, a role they play exceptionally well, which can be an incredibly useful asset when designing fights. so what about them makes them so poorly designed?

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Just because they're good at being annoying and draining your ammo by flooding the arena with popcorn doesn't magically make them fun to fight. It's like taxes: They do what they're ostensibly supposed to, but you still feel hollowed out on a spiritual level after filling them out.

 

Compare this to the Arch-Vile, who is also an annoying high-priority target, but in a way that's much more fun to fight due to how its devil magicks force you to take cover, think on your feet, and use the environment to your advantage while also dealing with all the other monsters trying to skin you alive. At its best, the Arch-Vile pushes you out of your comfort zone and denies you tactically advantageous areas until you take it out. At its best, the Pain Elemental kills ammo balance and clogs up a corridor.

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41 minutes ago, Kinsie said:

Just because they're good at being annoying and draining your ammo by flooding the arena with popcorn doesn't magically make them fun to fight. It's like taxes: They do what they're ostensibly supposed to, but you still feel hollowed out on a spiritual level after filling them out.

 

Compare this to the Arch-Vile, who is also an annoying high-priority target, but in a way that's much more fun to fight due to how its devil magicks force you to take cover, think on your feet, and use the environment to your advantage while also dealing with all the other monsters trying to skin you alive. At its best, the Arch-Vile pushes you out of your comfort zone and denies you tactically advantageous areas until you take it out. At its best, the Pain Elemental kills ammo balance and clogs up a corridor.

and just like taxes, they play an important role :)

 

arch-viles are absolutely more fun to fight and are one of doom's most interesting enemies in general, but they aren't able to perform the same job as pain elementals in many cases. pain elementals are a guaranteed enemy spawner that, outside of the lost soul limit in vanilla, don't have a finite source of corpses to allow them to bring in enemies. not to mention that they actually shoot the enemies at their target; the arch-vile simply resurrects them, putting the monster in the exact same spot that they died. this means that the pe can be incredibly useful in inhibiting the player's movement or blocking their attacks, much more than the av can.

 

the most crucial thing that the pe does that the av - and all enemies really - simply cannot do, however, is force the player out into the open. it has similar functions to the av in its status as a high priority time bomb, but instead of forcing them into cover, it draws them out. that's an extremely useful tool to have

Edited by roadworx

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My only gripe with the pain elemental is the three lost souls it spawns when it dies. 400HP for the pain elemental itself isn't so bad, but unless you block or ignore the lost souls that's another 300HP's worth of monsters to deal with, and it's inefficient to take them out with the SSG and slow with the chaingun. It makes pain elementals annoying even if you prioritize them right away. They're much less of a pain in WADs that nerf the lost soul's HP, and I reckon they'd also be better if they spawned only two or one lost souls upon death (or none at all).

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More like give me a reason why anyone should take people who hate pain elementals seriously lmao PEs are fucking great no matter if it's a single one to make you zigzag through everything else before it becomes a problem or enough of them at once to blot out the sun

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They can be annoying on their own, but they fill a very useful role of forcing the player to engage in a certain way, making them an effective ingredient when used together with other monsters.

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I think a big part of the PE's bad reputation is that Boom and all its descendants removed the 21 Lost Soul spawn limit which can really screw up the balance if things get bad. At least with the limit they stop spawning new ones if things get too crowded.

 

It has happened more than once to me that I ran out of ammo on MAP09 with the limit disabled.

 

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my biggest frustration would be the auto aim making them impossible to hit when the lost soul cloud gets too crazy unless youre using BFG, but that more a criticism of auto aim.

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1 hour ago, esselfortium said:

They can be annoying on their own, but they fill a very useful role of forcing the player to engage in a certain way, making them an effective ingredient when used together with other monsters.

thats an elegant way of saying "they make you facerocket if you spam rpgs"

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25 minutes ago, fruity lerlups said:

thats an elegant way of saying "they make you facerocket if you spam rpgs"

Not what I was saying at all actually, just that they serve a similar "if you don't engage them quickly you'll have more to deal with later" high-priority-target function as the archvile, while still being different enough from the archvile in how they behave.

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People tend to freak out when they're in the battlefield, it's even a bit similar to arch-villes, but PE imo are a lot less scary than they appear to be. They add more meat to kill but Lost Souls usually are heavy in-fighers which will either kill each other or annoy other enemies in the battlefield. The equation becomes more complicated if available space for the player is limited, though.

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13 minutes ago, esselfortium said:

Not what I was saying at all actually, just that they serve a similar "if you don't engage them quickly you'll have more to deal with later" high-priority-target function as the archvile, while still being different enough from the archvile in how they behave.

i was making a silly soz i wasnt implying thats what u meant!

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A lot of ammo is wasted killing the lost souls, also you have to give priority to kill pain elementals first.

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Look at this happy little guy:

Doom-Pain-Elemental-Plush_1cc3927c-4fde-

He may not be the perfect enemy*, but he's a best fren 😋😍

 

*is actually a perfect enemy

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It's not a topic I think that strongly on, but if I were to take a stance, it would be that Lost Souls are the problem, not Pain Elementals. If PE's spawned Imps instead (and maybe a little bit more slowly?), I believe that would instantly "fix" the enemies in a lot of peoples' eyes.

Lost Souls block rockets shot either far above or far below them. Cacodemons and PE's suffer the same issue as far as "below" goes of course, but they take up enough screen space that you can (usually) see them.

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The fact that they annoy players makes them a *good* enemy IMO. So are lost souls, a fact evidenced that you can stick a single-figure number of them in a DOOM map and someone will still complain that there are "lots" of them.

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Personally speaking, Pain Elemental itself isn't a badly designed enemy; quite far from it actually. My gripe is against the Lost Souls themselves. They're the ones that're peculiarly designed to begin with. Looking like the most fragile of the bunch, yet packing a whopping 100 hit points, and having the elemental constantly flooding the room with them doesn't translate to a good experience for me. It becomes extremely tedious; this slow moving brick constantly floating across the room, not only wasting your ammo, but being particularly lethal to you as well due to their extremely unpredictable charging.

 

But if I've to point out one particular flaw in the pain elementals, is that they should've been excluded from the infighting. They're never targeted in a firefight, but however if they ended up being wounded, they'll keep filling the room with lost souls without stopping. Of course, it's up to the lost soul's personal mood to actually decide to attack a target, which leaves maps flooded with unattended lost souls.

 

Pain elemental itself isn't the problem, the lost souls are.

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I never had an issue with the Pain Elemental. Since it lacks the ability to defend itself, you can safely chainsaw it to death and in doing so prevent it from spawning more Lost Souls. Also, if I am not mistaken, it only shoots Lost Souls at you if you are in its line of sight and the habit of Lost Souls of getting in the way of attacks dramatically increases the chances of monster infighting.

 

So as far as I am concerned, it is the least dangerous addition of Doom II.

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Now, when playing in a sourceport with the lost soul limit removed, getting a PE infighting and just leaving it there to do *whatever* whilst you're off adventuring elsewhere in a map, that's pretty hilarious and you should try it.

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How much is the Lost Soul not counting towards the killcount annoying to yall? I personally don't like it when I see 40 monsters and then it turns out there's like 100 Lost Souls as well, but I could not look at that counter going down. Perhaps thats an issue with me tho. Is that an issue with others perhaps?

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Frankly my only issue with Pain Elementals is how stupid Lost Souls are. Unlike Cacodemons and other flying enemies, once they get pushed and are unable to collide with a wall they'll just drift out into the nothingness, unable to do anything of value. At the very least Cacodemons can still fire at you.

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5 hours ago, ebrl said:

More like give me a reason why anyone should take people who hate pain elementals seriously lmao PEs are fucking great no matter if it's a single one to make you zigzag through everything else before it becomes a problem or enough of them at once to blot out the sun

you'd be surprised at how divisive of an opinion this is. there's people who're better mappers and play than i (or you!) will ever be and who i respect greatly that think they're a poorly made enemy

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I think it would be better if the lost souls spit out by pain elementals had half the hit points of a regular lost soul. That would make pain elementals a lot less irritating, I feel.

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6 hours ago, ebrl said:

More like give me a reason why anyone should take people who hate pain elementals seriously lmao PEs are fucking great no matter if it's a single one to make you zigzag through everything else before it becomes a problem or enough of them at once to blot out the sun

 

You require less pain elementals and more punctuation elementals.

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