Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
_memyself

General thoughts on the Spider Demon/Mastermind?

Recommended Posts

I beat the Spider Demon the other day and I felt SUPER underwhelmed, since it literally just took a few shots from the BFG9000 to kill it, which I was surprised by, since, well, it's the FINAL boss. I feel like it should take more than just 3. And don't give me the rare excuse for the BFG, it is not rare. Neither is the ammo needed to use it. You can have about 200 by the time you get there. Also, they just randomly added other enemies to the arena. Somehow, the Cyber-Demon would've been a better final boss. What do ya'll think?

Share this post


Link to post
9 minutes ago, bejiitas_wrath said:

Such a big target, you can not miss her. And easy to bait other monsters to hit her and start infighting.

Yeah, makes me wonder what they were thinking making the fight. 

Share this post


Link to post

As they're used in Doom 1+2, sure. They didn't really know what to do with her, they relied on her being something you haven't seen before to spook you. But in custom WADs she can often pose a credible threat with something other than a massive flat room and a couple random monsters. Her size makes her vulnerable to the BFG tracers so if you're playing continuous then it's an easy fight. Try and stand in her line of fire though and tell me her DPS isn't outrageous, or better yet try a tyson run vs her and a cyberdemon and tell me which one is more viable. If you put her in the proper situation then her threat level can be high, it's just that the boss monsters are an afterthought in this game. I've never played a boss battle in any WAD where I really gave a shit about it, especially if it's so heavily built around a single monster. Doom combat shines when it uses interesting terrain and diverse monster types to build the fights. Monsters like archviles that are actually unique in their abilities are a lot more interesting than a single big dude who fires rockets and has lots of health, or 3 chaingunners in a giant spider suit with 3000HP.

 

A big problem for her is the size of her hitbox really doesn't work properly in terms of moving around. A lot of her sprite can be exposed without being able to hit you behind cover, she can't navigate around any kind of terrain or other monsters, and she can be paralyzed by them clipping into her hitbox. Plus due to the way she spreads her hitscan and how auto aim works, she's a magnet for infighting if there's anything else in your general direction.

 

It doesn't take 3 BFG shots either, you can often one shot them if you do it properly. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
49 minutes ago, _memyself said:

Yeah, makes me wonder what they were thinking making the fight. 

 

Try E3M8 again with a pistol start. It makes it much more climactic.

 

Something to keep in mind:

 

Quote

[Sandy] Petersen regrets how easy the game was to complete. "Most people started levels with some kind of significant equipment. However, almost all our playtesting was done starting each level with just a pistol. We made the game too easy for the average player."
 

https://archive.is/EWaJ5#selection-345.0-345.256

 

Pistol starting Doom 1/2/Final Doom is a lot more challenging and fun, especially knowing it's ultimately the intended (or at least, tested for) experience.

Share this post


Link to post

Feels like a rush job compared to the rest of the enemies of classic doom. Looks cool, but compared to the cyberdemon feels a lot weaker. A chaingun boss after facing one with a rocket launcher? Just seems a bit strange, though, maybe the point was it’s meant to be weak. This is the “mastermind” but not the best fighter, and its hellspawn seemed to leave it behind since there’s only a few demons sticking around to protect it. Still, I think there’s plenty of ways it could’ve been more intimidating without even having to add or change any graphics. Seems they had some ideas that were cut for it too, so that just makes me think this boss was definitely rushed. 

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Lucius Wooding said:

Plus due to the way she spreads her hitscan and how auto aim works, she's a magnet for infighting if there's anything else in your general direction.

And since she is a hitscan enemy, she can also potentially hit other Spiderdemons (if there's more than two Spider Masterminds in the map) and infight with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Just now, BonJoviStatue said:

And since she is a hitscan enemy, she can also potentially hit other Spiderdemons (if there's more than two Spider Masterminds in the map) and infight with them.

Bruh, speaking of two masterminds on one map that one map on Doom 2 suuuuuucks. Most of Doom 2 sucks, so it's expected, but STILL. The final boss of the last game, TWICE, IN THE SAME ROOM.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, tony_mke said:

 

Try E3M8 again with a pistol start. It makes it much more climactic.

 

Something to keep in mind:

 

 

Pistol starting Doom 1/2/Final Doom is a lot more challenging and fun, especially knowing it's ultimately the intended (or at least, tested for) experience.

Ok I tried it, but It just kind of slowly turned into a game of peekaboo. Not a lot of stress in the fight. Just kind of did it. No thoughts. Just A, left mouse button a little, D, repeat.

Share this post


Link to post

lmao at the person suggesting that pistol starting will make the fight anymore interesting. if anything, it makes it tedious.

 

the issue with the smm has nothing to do with the bfg, it's entirely a problem revolving around the concept of the enemy itself. it's just a big, slow, tanky hitscan enemy - not only is that boring, but it's also really limited in its uses in a game like doom. you have to be creative if you wanna make something like that threatening, which...yeah, doom 1 did not absolutely do it in a creative way.

 

btw @_memyself - you can quote more than one person in a single post, and you really should do so because double/triple/nth-posting is heavily discouraged on forums.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, tony_mke said:

Try E3M8 again with a pistol start. It makes it much more climactic.

It's still an underwhelming fight even from a pistol start, you just get the other monsters to infight with the spiderdemon and/or stand at a distance to make it hard for it to hit you while you dump your ammo.

Share this post


Link to post

it's a lot more interesting to try and place a mastermind in a map than to fight it usually. Danne's maps in Sunlust generally use them well I feel, specifically the one by the red skull key in Map18 (UV), both masterminds in map27 (UV). Masterminds are tough to place (to make them engaging and effective) because they:

 

a) have the biggest radius of any of the enemies so it's mandatory that they are in a medium or large or XL room

b) in open spaces with no cover are OP if the player is in close range more than any other enemy

c) in tight spaces (for instance a room that is barely big enough to fit one) can be completely abused if there's cover

d) their super large hitbox and doom's collision cause her to get paralyzed more easily than any other monster, so if she starts infighting with other monsters (which she is extremely prone to) then it's common for her to get paralyzed

 

So the mastermind kind of has issues in a lot of common scenarios, I think it's really difficult to make a room and fight and then decide to throw a mastermind in without the mastermind either completely destroying the player or being a complete afterthought. The mastermind does have some upside though:

 

1. Capable of insane DPS (which a lot of other monsters lack)

2. Lots of health

3. More versatile as an area of denial archetype than most other monsters (basically only possible due to 1. and 2.)

     3a. Along with the archvile, the only "moving area of denial" monster due to its LoS based attack (low tier hitscanners don't count as "moving area of denial" monsters because they have so little HP that basically anything can kill them almost instantly)

4. Not used often compared to some other monsters so it's always cool to see one in my opinion

5. Large sprite which is also cool to indicate it's a boss monster

     5a. The death animation is one of my favorites

6. Immune to splash damage

 

I think the best way I've seen to use the mastermind is to use it as a turret in open spaces (works well with slaughter) and monsterblockline it off so enemies can't melee-abuse and paralyze her. You can extract more value out of her insane DPS if you design the area so that monsters and the player can/have to approach close to her, where that autoshotgun just tears every single base-game character into mince meat, even cybers.

 

With dehacked, you can also modify the mastermind to be more flexible by decreasing her size, because IIRC the sprite is actually larger than the actual radius. This both allows for more flexibility with different map geometry and also makes her a little less prone to paralysis. 

 

Share this post


Link to post

A part of me wants to suggest a map setup for them that relies on the blockmap bug, which would make it so that the BFG tracers (and really any hitscan tracers, for that matter) aren't as effective, but another part of me is kind of shunning myself for even thinking of suggesting using a bug to make her artificially difficult.

Share this post


Link to post
41 minutes ago, JustAthel said:

A part of me wants to suggest a map setup for them that relies on the blockmap bug, which would make it so that the BFG tracers (and really any hitscan tracers, for that matter) aren't as effective, but another part of me is kind of shunning myself for even thinking of suggesting using a bug to make her artificially difficult.

 

This is actually how it normally is already, without blockmap trolling you can consistently kill a mastermind in 1 bfg shot (works in gzdoom for instance), but in ports that use the blockmap it almost always takes 2 shots.

Share this post


Link to post
11 hours ago, roadworx said:

lmao at the person suggesting that pistol starting will make the fight anymore interesting. if anything, it makes it tedious.

 

11 hours ago, Shepardus said:

It's still an underwhelming fight even from a pistol start, you just get the other monsters to infight with the spiderdemon and/or stand at a distance to make it hard for it to hit you while you dump your ammo.

 

I think the issue here is that y'all are looking at an old thing through a current lens instead of through the lens that this was new at the time. You can't fairly compare an original work to a rehashing of the original; nobody had made the idea a concrete thing to inspire others to later refine yet. E2m9 is also an infighting fest and we all know infighting solutions to combat puzzles in 2024 is old news... but these were made likely before both of you were born lol and at the time, they were really innovative and interesting. Pistol starting e3m8 takes some small level of game knowledge that e2m8 doesn't, as e2m8 comes down to shoot the siegecow until it dies, which btw, can also be seen as tedious in 2024, along with any level from the iwads. Totally dismissing e3m8 as tedious just makes you sound willfully ignorant.

Share this post


Link to post

E3M8 from a pistol start was an interesting challenge back in the day for folks who hadn't built up any skill at playing FPS games (i.e. everyone, 'cause they were so novel). You've got to manage limited resources, use infighting, and move around the central pillar as cover (which is tricky when you haven't mastered the art of moving around in first person).

 

That said, the key phrase there is "from a pistol start". Neither of Doom's big boss monster maps (E2M8 and E3M8) have aged well, but at least the cyber is much more difficult for a brand-new player to just end the fight immediately with the BFG. That's a skill that takes practice -- not so much with the spidey, where you can drunkenly stumble forward with the trigger held down and come out victorious every time. :P

Share this post


Link to post

I have this theory that perhaps people weren't generally used to sidestepping, let alone circlestrafing or whatever, back in the day when this released fresh off the hype of Wolfenstein 3D. As such; and with the aforementioned pistol-start testing; the resulting game of high-stakes peekaboo may well have been a mini-ordeal for players of the time.

Share this post


Link to post

The Spider Mastermind has, imo, 2 major flaws in terms of enemy design:

First, there is the contradiction between the fact that it is most dangerous in tight cramped quarters... until you look at the fact that it's hitbox essentially prevents it from being used in that context.

Second, it is too fragile to stand up to the BFG, but is tanky enough that it can stand sustained fire from everything else.

 

It's the main clear holdover in terms of design from Wolfenstein 3d, it is just a wolf3d boss in doom, that's its main problem.

 

Best case use scenario, imo, is in a mid-power level, where you have to juggle visibility/LOS between 2 or more of them, or between one of them and other LOS=Danger type enemies like archies, chaingunners, etc. Maaaybe you could make a really wide maze with tight corners where it can sneak up on you.

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, Fonze said:

 

 

I think the issue here is that y'all are looking at an old thing through a current lens instead of through the lens that this was new at the time. You can't fairly compare an original work to a rehashing of the original; nobody had made the idea a concrete thing to inspire others to later refine yet. E2m9 is also an infighting fest and we all know infighting solutions to combat puzzles in 2024 is old news... but these were made likely before both of you were born lol and at the time, they were really innovative and interesting. Pistol starting e3m8 takes some small level of game knowledge that e2m8 doesn't, as e2m8 comes down to shoot the siegecow until it dies, which btw, can also be seen as tedious in 2024, along with any level from the iwads. Totally dismissing e3m8 as tedious just makes you sound willfully ignorant.

Yeah, but you know what else was out at the time of Doom episode three? Doom episode two, which had the Cyber-Demon. And in episode two, I'm sure there are BFGs, but I sure didn't find any. Plus, even If I did, the Cyber Demon would take WAY more shots than the Spider Mastermind would. More health, an arena with barely any enemies, the only ones being lost souls, which, you know, are WAY weaker than Barons and cacodemons, basically eliminating infighting, a FAR better atmosphere, the Cyber-Demon feels like the REAL final boss. Also, no, pistol isn't interesting. It's not that we are willfully ignorant, it's that the fight IS tedious. When there's an enemy that just immediately attacks when it sees you, and you can't avoid unless you're behind a wall, it becomes a repetetive game of Peekaboo. I'm sorry man, this boss just sucks compared to what was before it.

Share this post


Link to post

Basically my thoughts on all the bosses:

 

Baron duo: Good starting boss, and good as minboss of sorts.

 

Cyber-Demon: AAAAAAAAAH I LOVE IT!

 

Spider MasterMind: Meh.

Share this post


Link to post

I have heard someone call the Mastermind "Miss F-Tier", and that moniker has stuck with me ever since.

Sure, it has a pretty deadly hitscan chaingun that can shred me in seconds, but usually it is fighting with other monsters and not with me lol. If her chaingun had zero spread and perfect accuracy it would probably be a lot more serious of a threat, but as it stands it basically an infighting machine. I find the arachnotron quite a bit more threatening even though they only have projectile attacks and die fast.

 

I don't even necessarily think of the mastermind as a "boss", I think of it as free help for whatever horde of monsters I am kiting at the moment. IMHO the mastermind should have an infighting exception somewhere in the code. It's pretty funny to have the "boss" kill a significant number of monsters on the level and then flop over and die to a demon bite or imp fireball (all while I stand behind a pillar and watch). Now come to think of it, I usually love seeing these gals unlike the dreaded Cyberdemon, which can and will kill me even behind cover, with extreme prejudice.

 

To all the mappers out there please continue to make liberal use of the Mastermind, especially when there's lots of other monsters around. I am never quite sure if the people who place this monster in a map take the infighting potential into account for the difficulty of the fight. When I see a Cyber I usually do a 180 and run the other way just as fast as I came to try and cook up a plan, but the Mastermind? I want her to shoot at me, and everything else around me, 95% of the time every time! She's basically a chaingunner with extra health and worse mobility.

 

I really have to go back and play her debut map again, it has been so long since I've been there that I don't recall how the fight shakes out at all. The above is mostly a general observation about the Mastermind as a regular enemy you encounter playing pwads. The fact that I don't recall her debut map off the top of my head doesn't bode well though. I do remember E2M8 though, the first time I got a rocket up the rear end. Come to think of it, maybe it was at the end of Inferno that I met the Mastermind the first time? Hard to tell.

Edited by ObserverOfTime : font size

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, _memyself said:

And in episode two, I'm sure there are BFGs, but I sure didn't find any.


Small aside, but you may be interested to learn that there actually aren't.

Share this post


Link to post

There are no BFGs in episode 2. Against the cyber demon on e2m8 the plasma rifle is one of the best options. Bosses do not take area of effect damage from the rockets, arch-vile fire etc. This reduces the damage of the rocket launcher by a fair amount. The cyber also has 4000 hp while the mastermind has 3000. You have to use a lot of rockets to kill the cyber. It feels tankier than it is.

They could have solved this by making the spider mastermind immune to BFG tracers. Then you would have only the 100-800 main ball to kill her with. You would then need on average 6.66 direct hits to kill her. 7 balls would mean 280 cells. That would have made her feel a lot more formidable. It would also give the plasma a secondary usage area, one of the most efficient boss killer weapons. Plasma guns often get relegated to simply being BFG ammo. You get a lot more bang for the buck using cells in a BFG. And most smaller monsters/groups where the plasma would be more cost effective, you can use the chaingun or shotgun instead.

As for the mastermind gun, it is a chain shotgun, not a shotgun. It fires the same style of hitscan as shotgun guys do. It is roughly three times as high dps as the player chaingun. On paper this is quite powerful. However due to the higher pain chance and lower hp, it will usually lose against a cyber despite not taking area damage.

If they had swapped the hp/pain chance the spider would feel a lot more like a true end of the game boss.

They could also have implemented the 'magic attack' as a teleport feature. Would make sense both lore-wise and gameplay. Have her every 10 seconds or more teleport to a number of pre-set locations and attack the player. That would make her move a lot more unpredictably. She would dodge projectiles better etc. Teleport to the farthest node where the player is in LOS. If none of them have LOS, teleport to the closest node, but not the one she teleported to the last time.

This version of her would be scary as hell on e3m8.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×