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oneselfSelf

Is Hexen criticized too harshly?

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6 hours ago, magicsofa said:

At least it has hordes of enemies that release as well as environmental effects (floors sinking to lava and stuff). The map itself isn't that interesting but at least it does have some stuff to navigate, like a choke point in the middle that can quickly get flooded with minions, as opposed to the very boring field in D'Sparil. But, if you just rush the hell out of Korax I think you can kill him before he activates all of his scripts (so some of the monsters don't even get released). Both fights are easy, I think Korax is more fun though.

 

Well, that sounds a lot more interesting.

 

5 hours ago, Cruduxy Pegg said:

D'sparil is easily the hardest boss fight in the id tech 1 games if you are playing on skill 5. Heretic's NM doesn't have respawning monsters so a lot of people play that instead of bothering with UV. Once on skill 5 you have very little windows of opportunity to hit D'sparil and you might even run out of ammo if you mess up badly enough. You also have to waste a tome and ring of invulnerability if you want to quickly kill the serpent which means even less firepower to deal with d'sparil himself. This is even harder if you are playing on pistol start as you might waste too much ammo or straight up die in the ophidian\disciples rooms.

 

I personally prefer Smite-Meister, but I'm familiar with the fast monster behaviour present in Black Plague. It makes about any location with enemies on all sides, like E1M5, an absolute bullet hell. Then you get to the annoying areas like the iron lich lava pit in E1M8 or the entirety of E2M3 where you lose more health to terrain than enemies. The ice skate floors everywhere in E2 making dodging all these fireballs extra difficult. The ophidians. Maulotaurs god-mode charging at you every 5 seconds. If you got through 3 episodes of that, I imagine D'Sparil in his spacious and loot-laden arena would still be dissapointing, even if he's harder to beat than E5M8 on TAASM. So it's not so much D'Sparil being difficult, as it is BPPT being difficult, because it's a Nightmare knockoff.

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I just recently finished Hexen and enjoyed it enough that I immediately played it again as the other two classes. Would have liked some more enemy and weapon variety, but the exploration was fun, and the puzzles make a weird kind of sense after your first playthrough. It probably helped that I was playing it on a Doom sourceport on my Retroid (Android based handheld) so the novelty of playing Hexen on the go was part of the fun.

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Yes and it should get more support by DSDA-Doom because the modding potential is rather untapped.

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11 hours ago, Cruduxy Pegg said:

D'sparil is easily the hardest boss fight in the id tech 1 games if you are playing on skill 5. Heretic's NM doesn't have respawning monsters so a lot of people play that instead of bothering with UV. Once on skill 5 you have very little windows of opportunity to hit D'sparil and you might even run out of ammo if you mess up badly enough. You also have to waste a tome and ring of invulnerability if you want to quickly kill the serpent which means even less firepower to deal with d'sparil himself. This is even harder if you are playing on pistol start as you might waste too much ammo or straight up die in the ophidian\disciples rooms.


Can confirm, it turns into a bullet hell with all the Disciples he spawns in. Hitscan options are few in Heretic (untomed Elvenwand, both Dragonclaw modes) and you want to save ammo for them once you've exhausted all your projectile stuff. The tomed Ripper is therefore crucial to defeating him when he aggressively teleports around on low health.

I wand started all the maps in Heretic. The majority play like shit because you don't get all the weapons as well as nearly enough ammo to fight all the monsters. E4M9 continuous is tedious, but with wand start it's the equivalent of getting one of those Hexen spikes rising from the ground right up your ass. I had to result to utilizing the rarely seen crushers in a room and baiting the Iron Liches in there to kill them it was that bad.

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18 hours ago, magicsofa said:


At least it has hordes of enemies that release as well as environmental effects (floors sinking to lava and stuff). The map itself isn't that interesting but at least it does have some stuff to navigate, like a choke point in the middle that can quickly get flooded with minions, as opposed to the very boring field in D'Sparil. But, if you just rush the hell out of Korax I think you can kill him before he activates all of his scripts (so some of the monsters don't even get released). Both fights are easy, I think Korax is more fun though.

I believe you can softlock yourself if you kill Korax before he opens the second arena, since the end game trigger is accessed from said second arena.

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11 hours ago, Toxisploder said:

 

Well, that sounds a lot more interesting.

 

 

I personally prefer Smite-Meister, but I'm familiar with the fast monster behaviour present in Black Plague. It makes about any location with enemies on all sides, like E1M5, an absolute bullet hell. Then you get to the annoying areas like the iron lich lava pit in E1M8 or the entirety of E2M3 where you lose more health to terrain than enemies. The ice skate floors everywhere in E2 making dodging all these fireballs extra difficult. The ophidians. Maulotaurs god-mode charging at you every 5 seconds. If you got through 3 episodes of that, I imagine D'Sparil in his spacious and loot-laden arena would still be dissapointing, even if he's harder to beat than E5M8 on TAASM. So it's not so much D'Sparil being difficult, as it is BPPT being difficult, because it's a Nightmare knockoff.

Believe it or not E3M8 is still one of the hardest maps in Heretic on skill 5. E5M8 is actually a joke (just strafe run while holding hell staff fire), E4M8 is also a joke if you have hell staff and a tome of power, or even better you can kill all the liches while sipping tea and using a powered up firemace. The disciples with D'sparil are very annoying to deal with, if you push them around you can't circle strafe and have to keep track of their positions, D'sparil teleports faster and faster when he is near death and teleports the moment you fire a phoenix rod so your only useful weps are the dragonclaw and golden wand when he is closer to death. His lightning attacks are also very hard to see on lower resolutions among all the chaos so nothing really comes close to his difficulty as a boss fight. Maulotaurs are a joke compared to him you can just circle strafe them like a cyberdemon.

5 minutes ago, Gez said:

I believe you can softlock yourself if you kill Korax before he opens the second arena, since the end game trigger is accessed from said second arena.

Cleric can kill him before he even opens the doors for the centaurs with wraithverge, it is very badly balanced and I wouldn't be surprised if mage can do the same (but a bit less likely) with death arc.

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Absolutely. I treat Hexen as a Might and Magic 6 without the rpg elements and with far more involved dungeons. I get that people come expecting a high octane action game, but people having wrong expectations isn't the game's fault. As a kid I came expecting a slow exploration-focused game with grindy combat, just because it was fantasy (M&M conditioning), and I loved it and still do.

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8 hours ago, Lila Feuer said:

Hitscan options are few in Heretic (untomed Elvenwand, both Dragonclaw modes) and you want to save ammo for them once you've exhausted all your projectile stuff. The tomed Ripper is therefore crucial to defeating him when he aggressively teleports around on low health.

Yeah, his near-death teleportation is cheap and annoying. Makes you waste ammo, and Heretic non-tomed hitscan is puny. It just drags the fight out, but doesn't add any real challenge because D'Sparil is an easy target when he's just walking around.

 

1 hour ago, Cruduxy Pegg said:

E5M8 is actually a joke (just strafe run while holding hell staff fire)

With all those fire lines crossing the arena? Nah. They linger for a few seconds, and if you step on them, you're toast. I wouldn't call E5M8 super tough (it showers you in goodies right before the fight), but multiple Maulotaur fire lines are quite a bit more difficult to avoid than D'Sparil's single lightning bolt.

2 hours ago, Cruduxy Pegg said:

E4M8 is also a joke if you have hell staff and a tome of power

Unless you have a ring/shadowsphere on you to counter all the unavoidable tornado spam in that small room, it's a very cruel joke.

2 hours ago, Cruduxy Pegg said:

you can kill all the liches while sipping tea and using a powered up firemace.

Sounds nice in theory, but on practice, tomed firemace can't hit shit. Firemace is a pretty ineffective weapon in general and I don't like using it.

2 hours ago, Cruduxy Pegg said:

The disciples with D'sparil are very annoying to deal with

That they are, but in an open area like that, they're just mildly distracting. Better focus on the big bad and kill him ASAP so these dorks follow him.

2 hours ago, Cruduxy Pegg said:

His lightning attacks are also very hard to see on lower resolutions

Anything is harder to see on lower resolutions, which is why even vanilla-faithful ports often have higher res options. All in all I think this is just a matter of us playing the game very differently, which isn't surprising seeing how many ways of playing Doom and related games has come up in the past 3 decades.

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Hexen is a hard game to accurately judge from a modern perspective because it's sort of a wall-to-wall checklist of things that were considered acceptable fps design in the 90s but are NOT anymore. Is it a good game that's just contrary to contemporary fashion? Is it a game full of flaws we just didn't reckon with until standards had shifted? Probly a little of both. Raven had some off the hook texture artists, though.

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1 hour ago, Gifty said:

Hexen is a hard game to accurately judge from a modern perspective because it's sort of a wall-to-wall checklist of things that were considered acceptable fps design in the 90s but are NOT anymore. Is it a good game that's just contrary to contemporary fashion? Is it a game full of flaws we just didn't reckon with until standards had shifted? Probly a little of both. Raven had some off the hook texture artists, though.

QFT!

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3 hours ago, Toxisploder said:

Firemace is a pretty ineffective weapon in general and I don't like using it.

You are sleeping on a second hell staff when it is unpowered and a very easy sniping weapon when tomed. you don't even need vision for it to go hit things, just shoot in a cardinal angle and it will clear the entire room of anything weaker than a minotaur.

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2 hours ago, DiavoJinx said:

QFT!

 

There's a like button for that :)

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2 hours ago, magicsofa said:

 

There's a like button for that :)

Oh I already hit that... this just had to be reinforced. =)

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I have tried to play Hexen several times over several years and every time I get to Shadow Wood and just give up.

 

It's needlessly hostile, vague, poorly designed and (most criminal of all) not actually a particularly fun game to play because of said faults.

Combat is actually pretty fun, shame it is attached to maps made out of spite.

I've been told that it is actually really cleverly designed and that there are subtle hints on how to progress, rarely does it actually do this and most of the "hints" are referencing something you don't even know existed by the time you got there so really it's more like foreshadowing at that point.

 

Also being told "You've solved 1/9th of the puzzle" isn't a hint or clever, that's because your puzzle is nonsense and you couldn't fathom a way to explain it.

 

No they didn't learn from this, Hexen 2 is just as odd but now they have even more tools to fuck with.

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2 hours ago, DiavoJinx said:

Oh I already hit that... this just had to be reinforced. =)

 

What I meant is that the like button was purposely put there to minimize posts that aren't saying anything other than "+1" or "lol" or similar.

 

1 hour ago, mrthejoshmon said:

 

I've been told that it is actually really cleverly designed and that there are subtle hints on how to progress

 

Yeah, in a few rare cases there are hints, but as a Hexen fan I would say no, overall the progression is extremely cryptic, and you should definitely use a walkthrough and maybe even a little cheating if you just want to move on. 

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My first full playthrough of Hexen was a very surreal experience. My first taste of Hexen was from a demo where you only play the first level, and a little of the second; the winnowing halls. I liked it so much as a boomer-shooter, the atmosphere and the character selection was a nice touch. At the time the only boomer shooters I knew were Doom and Heretic and I based my conception of how those games should be like off of the two of them. When I got around to playing the full game and had to go through it all I was under the assumption that I was going to play medieval doom, which is just Heretic, but this time with nicer texture designs, sounds, light puzzle solving challenges and variety. It got overwhelming at first because of my false expectations and I just kept going and going until the game suddenly just ended, making it anticlimactic. 

 

After a long while of putting it down and coming back to it to try my second playthrough however, I went in with a sense of what it was. It was at that point that I enjoyed it as a fun puzzle based game, retaining a sense of all the things I initially liked about it; the atmosphere and sense of narrative progression. I didn't even remember the solutions to the puzzles too well so it was like playing it anew. So I think that if people went into it with more awareness of what it was then they would enjoy it, or at the very least not give it so much flack. It stood out to me as something unique and I even made my own Hexen map after playing a few others and getting the same vibe from them.

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A little too puzzley and not enough Doom-style action/combat. It's okay, but I think it could have been better. I used to play the crap out of it as a kid--don't think I ever beat it, but I loved the atmosphere and the engine improvements over Doom.

 

There's a reason we're planning a Hexen mapset after we're done with The I.M.P. Act. We'll be steering the gameplay more like Doom and Heretic than what you'd expect from Hexen, just to see how things are if Hexen was more like its predecessors.

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57 minutes ago, DoomerCheems said:

My first taste of Hexen was from a demo where you only play the first level, and a little of the second; the winnowing halls

 

Hexen's demo is fucking awful, it has Guardian of Steel missing for no good reason, so you cant actually complete the hub. Even if you cheat to get to the hub's exit portal, it doesn't even work. I don't know how the fuck they got away with releasing an intentionally broken demo, it probably contributed to the stories of it being too obtuse

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I consider much of Hexen's design (the puzzles/progression aspect) to be an acquired taste. Like others here have said: if you get it, you get it and if you don't, you don't. The only thing that's objectively sub-par would be the combat which, in the year of our lord 2024, can be remedied with gameplay mods.

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I have been playing Hexen since it was released back in the 90s. There was no Youtube with videos how good/bad this and that is.

We had to play the game ourself and we loved Hexen. And today i love it too.

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6 hours ago, Devalaous said:

 

Hexen's demo is fucking awful, it has Guardian of Steel missing for no good reason, so you cant actually complete the hub. Even if you cheat to get to the hub's exit portal, it doesn't even work. I don't know how the fuck they got away with releasing an intentionally broken demo, it probably contributed to the stories of it being too obtuse

 

If only they removed it from the final game, probably realized it is too crap when they released the demo. As in it will harm sales.

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I didn't realize it was criticized harshly at all. My friends and I love it. We preferred it to Quake.

 

Complaining about hubs is a bit odd; we didn't have much RAM you know...

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21 hours ago, Devalaous said:

 

Hexen's demo is fucking awful, it has Guardian of Steel missing for no good reason, so you cant actually complete the hub. Even if you cheat to get to the hub's exit portal, it doesn't even work. I don't know how the fuck they got away with releasing an intentionally broken demo, it probably contributed to the stories of it being too obtuse

In the demo the reason why they ended things on a cliff hanger is probably due to it making the demo a bit longer as the winnowing halls is a small simple hub. So by giving the player a taste of the real game’s difficulty it accurately represents what they are getting themselves into should they buy the game, while leaving the player wanting.

 

I’m beginning to see a pattern here anyone can correct me if I’m wrong about this assumption. I think that the majority of the dislike comes from players not understanding the direction of the game design from the perspective of Hexen. It’s a dungeon puzzle game that is reminiscent of a dungeons and dragons-esque adventure, evidenced in the gameplay’s slower pace. It’s refreshing as it is a break from the usual doom engine- run fps of the time.
It’s useful to ground yourself in the world from the beginning. You’re a warrior trying to save what remains of your ruined realm by going into Corax’s territory. The reason why the environment is hostile is because you’re basically playing against the dungeon master that is Corax. He wants to beat you with brain as well as brawn. It is with this  in mind that a person can understand the atmosphere a lot better with the traps and puzzles. 
 

I hope the helps clarify some things. The best thing you can do is go into it with knowledge, or at the very least an open mind. This game was made to cater to a different taste, which I applaud. Every boomer shooter doesn’t have to conform to the Doomesque formula of “take a rocket launcher and blow up a whole horde of enemies”, which I also applaud. The important thing is that these older games should allowed to be what they are. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/19/2024 at 12:20 AM, epg said:

I didn't realize it was criticized harshly at all. My friends and I love it. We preferred it to Quake.

 

Complaining about hubs is a bit odd; we didn't have much RAM you know...

 

Same here. From a technical standpoint Quake was a banger and sure, we played it alot back in the days. But we liked Hexen more than Quake.

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