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roadworx

are secrets that the player can get locked out of really all that bad?

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No, learn the map. Replay it. You don't get a medal or anything else for 100%'ing a map first go, and most people don't.

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On 1/8/2024 at 4:30 AM, roadworx said:

it's something that only prevents you from getting something that's completely optional and doesn't affect any of the actual progression of the map while providing extra replay value, so i really don't see why it's such a disparaged practice. is there any legitimate reason other than "i can't 100% this map blind this sucks fuck you" that makes this so horrible? from where i stand, the sole downside is that it pushes certain people out of their comfort zone a little.

edit to add something to clear up confusion: no, maps that solely use a secret that can lock you out isn't suddenly replayable just because of that. it simply compounds replayability that's already there is all

 

A lot of people want to only have to play a game once, especially in these days when there's so many different wads and games to play (how long is your Steam backlog + your #TBP wad list? Be honest!).

 

In this case, it's fairly reasonable to want to at least have a shot at being able to figure everything out without needing to use a walkthrough (or the map editor) to spoil everything (hi, Final Fantasy IX, I love you but you have issues, mostly of precisely this particular kind). Depending on the length of the map and how well clued the secrets are, one might easily be looking at Sierra or Infocom level screwery under such conditions, and there's a reason those fell out of favor and things like the Interactive Fiction Cruelty Scale came to be touchstones.

 

Granted, the Sierra/Infocom level stuff meant you couldn't even complete the game if you missed one of those obscure little things, but for a completionist who wants to minimize the necessary number of playthroughs, it's almost the same here.

 

If there's one thing I lament pretty heavily about modern gaming culture, it's the reliance on guides (which becomes almost forced in many cases ... trying to play any kind of cooperative multiplayer game without one is generally a good way to get someone to want you on the other end of their SSG). Don't attempt to discover things, just look them up. (What's worse is that this frequently contributes to the deterioration of gaming community: the fact that not only is guide use expected, but the guides have increasingly moved from Googlable web sources to Discord means that you can't avoid giving the control freaks their power fix because in modern gaming you practically have to maintain a membership in good standing in the right community - who often have very insistent opinions on how the game is to be played and regard any consistent disagreement as "negativity" or "trolling" to provide an excuse to remove dissidents - meaning that being able to "git gud" is as much about your rapport with a small cadre of moderators as it is about your learning capacity ...)

 

On 1/8/2024 at 6:50 AM, Garland said:

 

If I do use a missable secret, I probably won't flag it with sector type 9.

 

This is (mostly) the way. Things like the Steve Cohen tribute room in CC4 MAP08 are nice little touches, but if something like that was actually an official flagged secret that you had to get for 100%, I expect there would have been quite a different reception to this map (especially since not only is there the tight timing in a complicated map, but you also have to play on UV to be able to get to the 5 minute door).

 

Though if there's a clear enough clue, it may pass (e.g., Eternal MAP05, JPCP MAP32, where you get clearly visible indication that something will happen at a particular spot in 5 minutes).

 

On 1/8/2024 at 7:19 AM, SCF said:

This whole discussion reminds me of Suikoden. For those who aren't familiar with it, it's an RPG series where each one has 108 recruitable characters. Getting all of them is not just required for 100% completion but also unlocks the 'true' ending. However, some characters are permanently missable. One of them requires you to speedrun the game, and many others are simply no longer available after a certain point in the story. Does that add replayability? Kind of, in the sense that if you want to fully complete the game you probably have to play it a second time. But is it actually fun? I don't think so, and certainly not more fun than if I could just solve the puzzles without a complete restart. Plus, it likely caused many players to use a guide on their first playthrough, robbing them of their enjoyment of finding things on their own, ultimately having the opposite effect.

 

Yep on the guide thing, see above minirant about guides (and their impact on gaming culture, as well, although this is less in SP games).

 

Story sawtoothing is reasonably excusable in most cases though, it is mostly like complaining that you can't get a secret on MAP10 when you've already moved on to MAP11, as long as there's fair enough warning that you're about to hit the big "chapter breaks" (save point and big obviously bossy looking door? Sure! Walking along a corridor a half hour from the last chance to save with no warning that you're about to run into a major story shift? Yeah that can be sus if it means stuff is permanently locked out after that).

 

"One of them requires you to speedrun the game" type gimmick challenges are when I start to get a certain level of irritation, on the other hand. Depending on how implemented, you easily wind up picking up a game because you wanted to play a certain genre, only to find that what you actually picked up was the gamer decathlon and you can't 100% (or sometimes even beat it at all) unless you're good at practically every modern type of game (this seems to be becoming somewhat more common lately, I'm guessing it's a business strategy to attempt to sell the game to more different sorts of gamers ... remembering that in AAA these days firms tend not to GAF much whether or not you actually like the game after you paid for it, LOL. If anything, if you try to express any discontent, you'll usually run roughshod into fan solidarity, get run out of gamer communities - see above about "negativity and trolling" - and if you succeeded in anything it's usually managing to help advertise the game, go figure ...). A similar pet peeve (I see this quite often in RPGs) is when there is a difficult one off challenge that does not rely on any of the skills you naturally built in the process of progressing through the game, but instead requires you to learn something completely different (i.e., you have to spend a lot of non-overlapping time getting good at something that you will do only once and then never again for the rest of the game after you pass that one spot).

 

Also there are speedruns and there are speedruns.

 

Challenges that clearly focus on simply being to the point about getting to the objective while avoiding clear setbacks and distractions? That force you to engage more strategically with things like RPG battlesystems because you don't have the time to grind extra power? That's reasonable (as long as you're not forced to be so underpowered that you need excessive amounts of luck, anyhow).

 

Challenges that require loads of meta/degenerate gaming and figuring out how you can break things because the former approach doesn't save you nearly enough time? Those usually annoy me, in a similar vein to "puzzles" that are more about trying to figure out the headspace of the designer instead of logically solving things. If I want to figure out people's headspaces to proceed, I can play Among Us or CAH, tyvm. :)

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7 minutes ago, Amarande said:

#TBP wad list

 

0 lol

 

backlogs and to-play lists encourage superficial skim-like playthroughs, going through the motions just to tick off a checklist, and quantity over quality, and I'm pretty suspicious of them

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23 hours ago, Amarande said:

 

A lot of people want to only have to play a game once, especially in these days when there's so many different wads and games to play (how long is your Steam backlog + your #TBP wad list? Be honest!).

zero. i don't sit here going "OH MY GOD I HAVE TO PLAY ALL THE NEW RELEASES OR I'M GONNA DIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEeeee", because i see no point in playing as much as possible when i could instead just play what peaks my interest and savor those instead of diluting everything to the point where it all blends together.

 

23 hours ago, Amarande said:

Granted, the Sierra/Infocom level stuff meant you couldn't even complete the game if you missed one of those obscure little things, but for a completionist who wants to minimize the necessary number of playthroughs, it's almost the same here.

it's not even remotely the same thing? you only get locked out of something completely optional; unless you're gonna start hyperventilating because you don't get 100% on your first blind run, then you can just...replay the map. completionists like to take their time getting everything anyways, so why not? besides, if the mapper values replayability, then you'll likely still have fun even on your second playthrough of the map :)

Edited by roadworx

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9 hours ago, Amarande said:

A lot of people want to only have to play a game once, especially in these days when there's so many different wads and games to play (how long is your Steam backlog + your #TBP wad list? Be honest!).

I will join the 0 backlog people here as well. Never really had a need to keep a list of things to play be it doom wads or other games.

 

I wouldn't claim that this approach is necessarily the best, keeping a list of noteworthy things to play later actually sounds like a pretty good idea (I'm just lazy), but I think in that case it's best to view it as "a list of potentially interesting doom wads" with some notes about them, so when you are in the mood to play a wad of certain style (let's say, I want to play easy techbases today), you always have something stored for yourself. This is different from having "a backlog of wads to play in order" - you don't _need_ to play all the wads in the list, the list is just here for your future reference (and it might so happen that i will never want to play easy techbases, for example).

 

Also when it comes to doom maps specifically, I don't think most people only play them once? I very often replay the maps I particularly liked several times (or a thousand times in case of speedrunning but that's out of scope ofc), and I think that's common for other people in the community. I mean, why wouldn't I, if the map really stuck with me? I would want to see it in more detail, but it's more fun to do that from the start, because things may play out differently or I may do a different route through the map, or I can get the secrets earlier, etc. Well, and demo recording is a nice bonus on top.

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On 1/14/2024 at 1:25 AM, Faceman2000 said:

It must be possible to complete a map without finding any secrets.

Unless you like the level design of SOD Mission Packs and Wolf 3D E4M5, then yes.

 

On 1/14/2024 at 1:25 AM, Faceman2000 said:

You should be able to find all the secrets first try.

I'm more in the "you should have some small visual clues for secrets" group

 

5 hours ago, roadworx said:

"OH MY GOD I HAVE TO PLAY ALL THE NEW RELEASES OR I'M GONNA DIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEeeee"

I mean tbf there could be multiple WADs that peak your interest

 

I'm not saying every map must be 100%-able on the first try but it shouldn't go insane either

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No, and anybody who broadly labels it as bad is likely massively entitled. If you're upset about not being able to have everything, you should play the Dead Money DLC for Fallout: New Vegas to hopefully learn a lesson.

 

I believe having the very ability to lock players out of areas is a welcome option for a mapper to have, and can add a fresh challenge.

 

From a pure gameplay perspective, the main incentive you have to find as many secrets as possible is to simply help you win against the game. Your reward for finding secrets is whatever the secrets give you. Getting 100% secrets does not give you any added reward beyond the secrets themselves.

 

"100%-ers" though, what they do is going out of the way for superficial, self-serving bragging rights, whether that's to prove some arbitrary challenge to themselves, or to others. I challenge 100%-ers to open their minds and acknowledge not everybody agrees with, or cares to kowtow to, their ideology.

 

If you're melodramatic enough to make a fuss about not being able to find every secret, I'd then challenge you to open a map editor, replay the map, and/or route. If you don't do anything about the "problem," then not only am I going to consider you massively entitled, I'm going to hold you in contempt for complaining about something that you have the agency to readily fix.

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On 1/15/2024 at 7:01 AM, genitalgrinder said:

"100%-ers" though, what they do is going out of the way for superficial, self-serving bragging rights, whether that's to prove some arbitrary challenge to themselves, or to others. I challenge 100%-ers to open their minds and acknowledge not everybody agrees with, or cares to kowtow to, their ideology.

 

This is a silly, polarizing, overly combative way to put it. I'd say, instead, that all point in life is technically an arbitrary challenge we put in ourselves; we give meaning to life in finding our own missions.

 

If some people have more fun testing themselves to see whether they can get everything in a level, that's perfectly fine. Not all reward in a game has to be intrinsic to the game mechanics themselves. If you think that, you really should question the existence of the speedrunning scene as a whole, for starters.

 

On 1/15/2024 at 7:01 AM, genitalgrinder said:

If you're melodramatic enough to make a fuss about not being able to find every secret, I'd then challenge you to open a map editor, replay the map, and/or route. If you don't do anything about the "problem," then not only am I going to consider you massively entitled, I'm going to hold you in contempt for complaining about something that you have the agency to readily fix.

 

You forget that people like to do blind runs. But usually they do check the map editor or iddt/iclip after a while looking around fruitlessly, and I haven't seen any bitching online about secrets that were locked on them lately.

 

On the other hand, I agree that the added pressure from having marked secrets that also might become impossible to be reached after a point or event or condition in the level, is fairly unhealthy, and some people are too harsh on themselves about the whole 100%ing thing.

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The thing that bugs me about permanently missable secrets is that it's so easy to alleviate it anyway. As a mapper, it takes me maybe five minutes to add some mechanism at the end of the level that makes the player able to backtrack and try to secret hunt if that's what they're into. Even secrets that were previously timed can be made accessible in this manner, with the tradeoff being that the secrets are likely less useful now that all the enemies are dead.

 

I don't care about finding 100% secrets that much, but if I increase other people's enjoyment of my maps by making sure it's always possible to find every secret even if they have to wait until they've beaten the rest of the level because they missed something, then you're damn right I'll do it. I want people to enjoy what I create, and I can try to do that while also staying true to my vision.

 

I'm not going to judge authors for having missable secrets, but they aren't to my taste, and I'm not going to go back and replay a map just because I missed one or two.

Edited by bofu

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18 hours ago, wallabra said:

I haven't seen any bitching online about secrets that were locked on them lately.

I take it you haven't read the comments on Sigil 2 YouTube videos. Either that or you don't consider YouTube commenters to be people, which is fair.

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9 hours ago, Shepardus said:

Either that or you don't consider YouTube commenters to be people, which is fair.

 

They're not, they're hellspawn.

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On 1/19/2024 at 8:17 AM, wallabra said:

But usually they do check the map editor or iddt/iclip after a while looking around fruitlessly, and I haven't seen any bitching online about secrets that were locked on them lately.

as shepardus said, a lot of people absolutely hate that sigil 2 did it...but then there's also the really obvious example of doom 2's map27, monster condo. one of the things that always seems to get brought up whenever people talk about that map is the fact that there's a timed secret, and it's always spoken of as though it's some sort of cardinal sin. so people definitely complain about it, heh

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Monster Condo's secret is evil because theres no real hint its there, and its the ONLY time that type of secret is used. Normal people wouldn't reach that room that quickly and assume its bugged. I always did. The prima strategy guide I had back then (and still do!) also never mentioned it

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I don't know a single person who actually thinks the Monster Condo secret was well done, and I'm not particularly sure I'd like to.

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what would it being "well done" involve? a big arrow pointing to it or something?

 

(edit: teehee)

Edited by yakfak

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15 minutes ago, yakfak said:

what would it being "well done" involve? a big arrow pointing to it or something?

 

Literally anything that doesn't punish the player for exploring the rest of the level first. Having the ceiling start to slowly lower once you enter the area where you can see it, having decorations like torches near the wall that match some torches in the starting area where the player can see that themselves get closed off when the timer runs out so at least there's a visible indicator that they missed something for the future... the only way for a player to find that secret is to either blindly stumble into it or to know it's there ahead of time, and that's just a terrible way to do secrets. There is no skill involved with getting to that area before it closes, but it's just such an awkward path that forces you to ignore every other door you pass on your way there.

 

There is a big arrow pointing to it, but by the time a player sees it, it's either still a wide open corner with goodies or a nondescript wall that they have no chance of opening.

 

Someone could easily make a good timed secret by having, say, a difficult platforming section where there's a visible open door at the end with the secret behind it, but the player can actually see the door close if they're too slow, so they get some feedback. Even if they can't ever get into it as a result, at least it becomes a skill issue at that point.

 

"Random wall that a player cannot reasonably expect to know is timed that people only stumbled into because of dumb luck, level editors, and online guides" isn't well-done, and we should stop pretending it is just because it's in an IWAD. By that logic, having sectors marked as secret that the player can't even access without cheat codes is good level design, too (and I'm sure some contrarian edgelord will think it is).

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1 hour ago, bofu said:

I don't know a single person who actually thinks the Monster Condo secret was well done, and I'm not particularly sure I'd like to.


You do now. I love it.

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re: bofu, the secret could certainly be made more fair, more logical and more game-like! but i disagree that foreknowledge is bad for secrets, i disagree that hints are important and don't think they should necessarily require skill either. the mapper should imo give me an ineffable brick wall from time to time with no amount of goodwill or explanation at all. it changes things up, adds mystery and, if the map turns out to be one i love i'll eventually find the thing. i plugged away at NEIS E3M7 until I knew my way around all the lock-outs and i think that level has a lot of Monster Condo to it and I'm glad it was inspired by something so unreasonable

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On 1/8/2024 at 9:12 AM, roadworx said:

it's called a puzzle! you're supposed to think!!!

 

No Thinking Allowed!

 

Only Pew Pew!

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By contrast to Map 27 tho, Romero's 30-second secrets in Sigil II are quite intuitive to find if you have the instinct for it, possible exception being the one in E6M6, but that's one up a lift on the left to the beginning, which someone under pressure may not take.

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4 hours ago, yakfak said:

what would it being "well done" involve? a big arrow pointing to it or something?

 

You just gotta leave it cooking for longer.  [runs]

 

 

1 hour ago, LadyMistDragon said:

By contrast to Map 27 tho, Romero's 30-second secrets in Sigil II are quite intuitive to find if you have the instinct for it, possible exception being the one in E6M6, but that's one up a lift on the left to the beginning, which someone under pressure may not take.

 

Those are actually pretty fun to look for by listening for the cue of the closing door by the 30 second mark and restarting the map over and over. It's like playing hot and cold. I'd argue there could be worse examples of locking secrets, like W1 close-and-stay lines.

 

 

6 hours ago, roadworx said:

as shepardus said, a lot of people absolutely hate that sigil 2 did it...but then there's also the really obvious example of doom 2's map27, monster condo. one of the things that always seems to get brought up whenever people talk about that map is the fact that there's a timed secret, and it's always spoken of as though it's some sort of cardinal sin. so people definitely complain about it, heh

 

Okay well, but that's a very specific example, even though it's like, arguably the biggest one, and for good reason.

 

 

4 hours ago, Jayextee said:

I love it [the MAP27 timed secret].

 

The stake, no parole. /j

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