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Lord of the Noobs

I need some "training"!

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Well, here's my little problem (no pre-amble this time, thank God): I suck, IMO, at DooM. Horribly. I can beat DooM on UV, and DooM II on Hurt Me Plenty (barely)... whoopie. Some of you guys can beat them on Nightmare.... I need some help so I can improve at DooM. If any of you guys could give me pointers, I'd love to hear them... my playing style at the moment is mainly running around shooting things at point blank with the SSG or strafe with rockets or Chaingun if I'm outgunned. I usually run a lot, I only play cautiously and slowly when I need to. TTYL!

~Tony

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Learn to not get so close, i usely find my self doing comlplete circles around my enemies with the strafe key. And don't waste items...like, if you have 189 life, don't grab the soulsphere, and learn to draw the enemies to you...this is what i do, and i can beat nightmare fairly quickly.

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Nightmare tactics are somewhat different from "normal" dooming. But generally speaking, you've got to develop a quick reaction time. Using the mouse helps (though I've done ep3 in nightmare on the keyboard). If you prefer to move about slowly, note that the chaingun can be used as a sniping weapon (and the pistol as well). The first shot fired will be perfectly accurate. So if if you tap the fire button, instead of holding it down, you will increase your accuracy.

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When using the SSG, hide behind a corner after each time you shoot so you can reload. This will give the enemy less time to fire at you.

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I'm no demomaker, but I'm no slouch at Doom either. But there are several fundamentals that one should know fairly intimately in order to play Doom masterfully:

-Ammo management: While not often applicable in the original Doom WADs, it plays a really key function in most PWADs today. It comes down to using what's necessary to bring down monsters while anticipating what may be ahead and using ammo intelligently. Do you really need to use the SSG on two Imps, when you can use the regular shotgun and line the two of them up for a simultaneous kill? Do you need to SSG a whole flock of demons when you can guide them down a hallway and kill them off individually with the chainsaw? Do you use rockets on Hell Knights and Mancubi when you have enough shotgun shells and are anticipating tougher monsters ahead? Do you take that box of shotgun shells nearby when you have 92 at the moment? And so forth. This applies to health and armor as well.

-Tactical monster management: There's more to Doom than just plowing headfirst into monsters. In more difficult and complex WADs, the best strategy is often fairly conservative in nature. Manipulating the active nature of monsters is a vital part of this. It may be possible to go into that next room and take out all the Arachnotrons at once, but it might be more efficient in terms of health and ammo to activate them and let them come through the door individually. You can take out all those demons in a big cluster using rockets or the SSG, but it might be more beneficial to guide them down a narrow corridor so you can take them out individually with the chainsaw. Arch-Viles and Spiderdemons may be best approached with the "poke-and-hide" approach instead of charging them with the BFG and hoping for the best. Using the environment to your advantage - ducking just behind walls to avoid archie attacks and staying behind trees to avoid non-hitscan projectiles - is helpful too.

-Monster infighting: Really, this is a subsection of the last one: why waste your own ammo on monsters when you can let them do the work yourself? Sometimes it's as simple as opening a door, activating a group of monsters and letting nature do its thing, but sometimes you need to "guide" the monsters into hitting each other. Play Pied Piper to some Revenant rockets, guide a hitscan attacker's line of fire right into a group of monsters, circle around big groups to get as many of them to hit each other as possible. Which brings me to my next point...

-Circle-strafing: It comes in many forms, but the basic circle-strafing technique is really the meat-and-potatoes of advanced FPS success. Basically, you strafe while slowly twitching the mouse focused on a group of enemies, constantly taking yourself out of their line of fire while leaving them in your sights. This is not only important for attacking while avoiding projectiles, it's an efficient way to start monster infighting and leaves your potential for escape more open. Variations include (all terms are mine) the "bouncing ball" (circle-strafing while occasionally "bouncing" to point-blank distance to get in SSG shots), the "sqiggle" (weaving through Cyberdemon rockets while making a continuous forward approach), and the "donut" (strafing in tight circles while facing a group of monsters far outside the circle, often to avoid Revenant rockets).

-Poke-and-run: Basically, getting point-blank range to a monster, hitting him with the SSG, then retreating when he counterattacks. Very effective against Barons and HKs.

-Terrain management: Monster management is really a part of this - using the architecture of the level to your advantage. In general: hitscan monsters are bad in open spaces, whereas groups of any kind are better in open spaces. Either way, always have a line of retreat, and a wall or something to hide behind to avoid attacks.

Stuff like this is something you should always keep in mind. Granted, this isn't really a complete list, but I'm not really trying to write a strategy guide here. ;)

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I second Ryback.. Watch as many demos as you can. By watching how others play you learn tactics of specific maps, and tactics in general (i.e. it's inefficient to use the chaingun on cacos because it takes a long time to kill them that way, OTOH it can be very useful when used to remove packs of lighter monsters such as shotgun guys or chainguns guys, or when you're low on health because it keeps monsters in a pain-state).

Another idea is to make up specific tasks (i.e. entire Ultimate DooM episode 1 on UV in less than 10 minutes, DooM II map 32 on UV and -respawn, killing the cyber three times, and exiting in under 2 minutes, DooM II map 7 SSG only) etc. Gradually complicate the tasks. This will help you improve and at the same time you'll have concrete goals which means fun and the benifit of actually being able to clearly see your skills improving.

Just my $0,02.

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Or just play DOOM 2 on Ultra Violence and save as many time as you need. Gradually you'll need less saved games.

Each time you play a wad, play it on Ultra Violence, saving as many times as you want. Consider yourself a looser if you play on a lesser skill and you'll improve fast. It's not like in Quake 3 where the bots become deadlier, in DOOM there are just more monsters to kill, that's all. Look at your ammo, don't use the SSG with monsters that can be killed with a single shot.

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Hmm.

Well, some stuff I can say is only really basic. But... they are good to remember.

Flat out turning and running from a horde of monsters to find some advantageous ground is not just stupid, but deadly. Backpedal and fire a weapon of some sort at them as you work your way back. This lets you take a few of em out on your way to a better position, as well as see and dodge any counterattacks they send back.

When using the plasma rifle. Cut your fire into bursts of 5 to ten shots. I usually take on enemies in bursts of 5. This helps me conserve precious ammo for my favorite weapon.

Revenant missiles come in 2 flavors. Homing and dumb. Watch the missile closely: Homing missiles have a smoke trail following them. Take tight corners, even weaving against a wall and then pulling away really quick can fool the missile into slamming right into it.

The invulnerability artifact's freaky white vision makes invisible enemies stick out clear as day.

Enjoy, and good luck.

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Turn on always run and use a lot of strafing. Try to avoid ammo and health pickups if you can. Picking up a box of shells when you have 49 and no backpack is a waste.
Also try pistol/chaingun-tapping and using rockets when you're dealing with groups of enemies, preferably ones that are still asleep if you don't have to open a door to be able to aim at them (since opening doors wakes up enemies).
And don't forget your good friend the chainsaw.
BTW you should try to make enemies hit each other aiming at you, they'll start fighting.

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Take advantage of the natural cover. (walls, pillars etc. and scenery things if you're using ZDoom and/or playing Heretic/Hexen)

(and use unnatural cover - ie. other monsters - as well, if you get a chance)

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To conserve ammo early, punch out some enemies that you would normally use the pistol or shotgun on, especially demons. It takes two shells or about 15 bullets to kill a demon or spectre, but if you can punch a few of them, even not using the berserk, you can get a head start on the ammo situation. This is especially effective on map with a tight ammo balance or even insufficient ammo. Punching imps and zombies are a bit tougher without the berserk. Once you do get the berserk, you can really conserve some ammo. Even punching one or two Barons of Hell will make a vast difference. Do this enough and you will have more than enough ammo for the rest of the map.

Another fun trick is to lure an Arch-Vile near a group of dead zombies and kill any that are revived. It takes one shell to kill a shotgun guy, but you receive four when he dies. Just watch out for the flame attacks and any stray bullets.

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Well... thank you guys very much for helping me out! I usually just use the SSG (unless it runs out of ammo, then I use the Chaingun) and rockets for gaggles of Cacos, etc. I'll try to use my weapons more tactfully. I'm usually good at the pick-up thing. I rarely pick something up if I don't need all of it. I'll give all of your tactics a try... then set tasks to see if I did anything right. Well, I'm off! Thanks for the help! TTYL

~Tony

P.S. Is it just my brain working overtime, or do monsters do more damage on UV... they also seem to be on the speed drug in NM... they were moving impossibly fast (and no, I did NOT have -fast monsters on)! They also seem to be a bit more intelligent, too.

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No, the only changes in the skill 2, 3, and 4 are what object will be spawned in a map (more medikits, less demons in skill 2, vice versa for skill 4).

In skill 1 you receive half the damage, and in skill 5 cheats are disabled, the monsters are -fast and respawn, as well as giving twice the ammo on every pickup (to contend with the respawning demons :) ). No skill level increases damage (I think).

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If you are facing a group of projectile-shooting monsters whose projectiles have to travel to you to acutally hit you (Imps, Baron of Hell,), in a not-so-narrow hallway, then you have to learn to strafe. Like, if you know they're going to shoot, strafe to a wall, and when they shoot, strafe over to the other one while shooting them back. NEVER EVER try turning around and dashing for the door you just came out of like someone said. Always face your enemies!! Strafe is god to you, use it well. :)

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I think fast monsters is turned on automatically when you play Nightmare. And I think the only difference in difficulty modes (apart from what things appear) is the player's strength. I don't think monsters get any stronger, the player just gets weaker (hence so many people do deathmatches on Nightmare).

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I am not sure about that but I think the damages a player takes are proportionaly higher with the skill setting.

About the -fast parameter and Nightmare! skill, I felt that monsters have faster reaction time in Nightmare! than in mere -fast.

I noticed that in -fast the monsters will often take a step before starting shooting, in Nightmare! they do not seem to move much before shooting.

I might be wrong, that was mainly a feeling while playing both styles (NM and FA)... maybe a port programmer could help us on that :)

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VinceDSS said:
About the -fast parameter and Nightmare! skill, I felt that monsters have faster reaction time in Nightmare! than in mere -fast. [...] I might be wrong, that was mainly a feeling while playing both styles (NM and FA)...


You of all people should know, Vince! :-)

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Vince is right. Play map23 on -fast and nightmare and see how much damage you take running down chaingunner alley. There's a substantial difference.

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Play a couple thousand deathmatches, and SP will seem like a cakewalk. I don't think you should bother if your goal is finishing the game in NM... unless you're that dedicated to having your name on countless websites. Judging from a past thread, most players haven't even beaten a few levels of Doom2 on NM. However, if you can get through E1+E2 on NM in any way possible, you're basically on par.

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Oh, okay... so I'll attempt to beat the first 18 levels of DooM... I'd like to consider myself an average DooMie, rather than a wannabe. The speed of the monsters makes it all the more difficult... bleh, Demons are bad enough on UV, but that many moving at NM speed that respawn... ouch =\

~Tony

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Numbermind:
UV is definatly easy to learn when you are mainly a DM player... but handling NM skill without savegames take a bit more time, practice and planning.

Almost any morons can record demos for doom2 in UV... getting a complete collection of Doom2 NM speedruns is rather different.

Also EP2 + EP3 are rather easy to do without saves. EP1 is trickier but doable. EP4 is just hell, actually less people did EP4 than full Doom2 NM

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I went to that demos site one of u listed (sorry, forgot who :P )

and i got some demos, but what port/application is best to run them without them going out of sync? (every time i run them with Legacy they go out of sync only like 10 seconds into the game)

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Lord of the Noobs said:

Since I have Windows EP, DooM II.exe won't work, so I just use DooM 95... the demos work fine there.

~Tony

Uhh... Windows EP? Sorry but I don't know what system is that. Do you refer to something like Windows XP?

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Lord of the Noobs said:

I just use DooM 95... the demos work fine there.

See myk's post here. Desyncs are less likely with Prboom and Eternity - in fact it is very rare to find a compet-n demo that desyncs with recent versions of those two ports.

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Lord of the Noobs said:

Some of you guys can beat them on Nightmare....


I am one of them. and i have a pointer, play doom alot, anilize the levels. find the monsters weakness' and above all else, be one with the game. (I mean that you should act like doom gu while playing, and you will get better at it.)

WARNING: These pionters are not garonteed to work!!!

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Just a little tip: practice dodging of different projectiles. When fighting mancubi, good way to dodge its fireballs is to first strafe just a little to the left, then right for the second pair and finally to the right again. Of course you can't do this always for example when you must fight more than one mancubi at the same time or you don't have enough room.

Dodging cyberdemon's missiles becomes very easy too when you learn how to zigzag between them, running aroung the cyberdemon of course is good way too but sometimes there isn't room for that.

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Hmm I always go Right Left Right, I suppose you can dodge manc shots both ways though.

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