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Hert Malker

Phobos: Anomaly Reborn - What gameplay problems?

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When looking at several places, I've seen that a common review for the popular Phobos: Anomaly Reborn often says that the looks are some of the best ever, but the gameplay leaves something to be desired. I disagree - I think that P:AR's gameplay is very good. So my question - what exactly do you thing is wrong with the gameplay of P:AR? I don't want any of you to lie when you're answering this - I'm hoping that after reading you're responses, I can go back into the wad and see if I really think something is wrong with the gameplay. Thanks!

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First of all-I recomend that You PLAY the wad and check the gameplay Yourself.
Now My opinion:
Perhaps many were thrown away by the easy gameplay of early level-which is IMO good and feels the classic e1 mood-meaning, shotgun and a whole lot of dead zombies and imps. Later the gameplay progresses nicely into harder and finally the final battle is frankly insane :D I don't think there's anything wrong with P:AR Gameplay. One of the best wads made. Get it, play it, love it.

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Nmn said:

First of all-I recomend that You PLAY the wad and check the gameplay Yourself.
Now My opinion:
Perhaps many were thrown away by the easy gameplay of early level-which is IMO good and feels the classic e1 mood-meaning, shotgun and a whole lot of dead zombies and imps. Later the gameplay progresses nicely into harder and finally the final battle is frankly insane :D I don't think there's anything wrong with P:AR Gameplay. One of the best wads made. Get it, play it, love it.


I already have played the wad.

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Too complicated progression, architecture interfering with gameplay, too many bullet opponents in ambush positions with too little health.

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Erik said:

Too complicated progression, architecture interfering with gameplay, too many bullet opponents in ambush positions with too little health.




And that from someone who likes to create 'insane' maps?

I hate maps that are too hard but I never had any problems playing P:AR.

And please, which architecture is interfering with the gameplay? As I see it the player has to use the architecture to finish the maps.

Let's just say that these maps are unsuitable for the HR/AV kind of player because you can't finish them if you approach them in typical blastfest manner.

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NiGHTMARE said:

Absolutely. In my opinion, it's wads like HR and AV which suffer from "gameplay problems" :P.



I am in full agreement with this statement.

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NiGHTMARE said:

Absolutely. In my opinion, it's wads like HR and AV which suffer from "gameplay problems" :P.

uh, no. hr and av have excellent gameplay, the people who whine about it need to improve their dooming skills

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Erik said:

Too complicated progression, architecture interfering with gameplay, too many bullet opponents in ambush positions with too little health.


At first I had a hard time coming up with gameplay issues, I love PAR, but upon playing it again I did find that health was very low in most maps, and getting snagged on a railing or some crap in the floor is annoying during a heated battle. These kinds of issues clear up near the end of the episode. The last few levels are pretty awesome.

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Dron said:

uh, no. hr and av have excellent gameplay, the people who whine about it need to improve their dooming skills


Not true. Not everyone enjoys total madness in Doom levels. map26 of AV is okay for a laugh but to play it through takes serious concentration and a little luck. It doesn't have anything to do with skill, some people don't like those kinds of odds.

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Dron said:

uh, no. hr and av have excellent gameplay, the people who whine about it need to improve their dooming skills

Well, some of us don't already have "mad skillz0rz" that allow us to dodge bullets from 50 enemies at once, or spend 90% of our lives trying to gain said "skillz0rz." At the very least, wads should be beatable without too much hassle on medium skill. If you want a blastfest, put more monsters in hard skill, but not medium. The later levels of HR, Scythe and many levels of AV really piss me off because they expect too much from you on medium skill.

I think P:AR is good so far (I've only played up to E1M4). Architecture an impediment? I don't think I've ever heard such a dumb complaint...

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Dron said:

uh, no. hr and av have excellent gameplay, the people who whine about it need to improve their dooming skills



No. That kind of 'gameplay' is far too single minded and extreme for my taste. It's no fun for me and as a result I don't want to bother improving my skills at that.

It may be hard to understand for some of its fans but filling a medium-sized level with 600 monsters to make it hard takes no skill. Everybody can do that. As a result I can't appreciate such creations. Filling a large level with 200 monsters and making it challenging - that takes skill!

netnomad312 said:

Well, some of us don't already have "mad skillz0rz" that allow us to dodge bullets from 50 enemies at once, or spend 90% of our lives trying to gain said "skillz0rz."
At the very least, wads should be beatable without too much hassle on medium skill. If you want a blastfest, put more monsters in hard skill, but not medium. The later levels of HR, Scythe and many levels of AV really piss me off because they expect too much from you on medium skill.


Exactly! The problem with those making this kind of maps is that they absolutely don't have a feel for lower skills. Most of these maps have skill settings like 'extremely hard', 'insanely hard' and 'impossibly hard' but nothing below. Deus Vult is a great example of a WAD that is massively hurt by this problem. AV and HR logically fall in this category as well.
A good looking level doesn't do much for me if it plays like shit.

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Graf Zahl said:

Filling a large level with 200 monsters and making it challenging - that takes skill!


No it doesn't. I can fill a large level with 1 monster and make it impossible.

The issue here is many monsters, much health and ammo or fewer monsters, little health and ammo. I can recognize that not all people like the same style of gameplay, but please do not say that making a good slaughter level doesn't take as much skill as making a good map with sneaky gameplay.

Also, many monsters doesn't automatically mean hard gameplay, it all depend on the hardware provided. I would say that scythe2 map26 (40 monsters) is harder than scythe2 map24 (650 monsters) because there is much much less ammo, health and manouvering space. A lot of the fun in doom is slaughtering masses of enemies with rockets and BFG, this sets it apart from most modern games.

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Graf Zahl said:

Exactly! The problem with those making this kind of maps is that they absolutely don't have a feel for lower skills. Most of these maps have skill settings like 'extremely hard', 'insanely hard' and 'impossibly hard' but nothing below. Deus Vult is a great example of a WAD that is massively hurt by this problem. AV and HR logically fall in this category as well.
A good looking level doesn't do much for me if it plays like shit.

Naturally, you are entitled to not like these slaughter maps, but you also must realize that extreme difficulty comes in more than one flavor. I for one believe the Chord series posed a much tougher challenge than any of these HR/AV slaughter levels you complain about.

There are several ways you can make a map difficult: reduce the ammo/health/weapons/powerups, add more monsters, add heavyweight monsters, constrict the player's mobility, and/or add traps... etc etc etc...

Difficulty is a rather fluid concept to grasp, really, since it depends on the player and not the map. I personally didn't think AV was all that difficult, even on UV, so I don't know whether you're complaining about the ample monster count or that you're not having fun on the lower skill levels.

Your words implied that you have played Deus Vult at a lower skill level. Deus Vult was rigged to be laughably easy on skill 1/2, so to get the maximum impact of the map, try skill 3 or higher. Seeing how you utterly hate these slaughter maps, I don't expect to change ur opinion anytime soon.

I absolutely believe from experience, that difficult maps takes momentous effort to calibrate and made entertaining. To say that making impossible maps takes no skill is valid, but to say making difficult maps takes no skill is pretty ignorant. For each minute of gameplay, there probably are hours of testing to calibrate the dynamics of the level. Alien Vendetta was toned down in difficulty to be more demo recordable and entertaining, same can be said for DV; I didn't think the final version of DV was impossible by any means; some maps can be speedran through in a couple of minutes.

Part of the Doom fun is the ability to blast hordes of monsters, if AV and HR are deemed repulsive by this fault, then which wads can be deemed good from you?

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Ah yes Chord was awesome. Never finished them but played them many times and died happy everytime. :p


I found AV to be hard. Not impossible by any means. But hard. IMO it didn't have much of HR gameplay though..
I was in and gameplay tested it on some maps. I find AV to be a very entertaining wad. But I never got anywhere in HR. Mainly cause I couldn't enjoy the gameplay.

So. I dunno what to say. I enjoy P:AR
But I also enjoy AV. It's different gameplay. Noone of them are bad.

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Doom Marine said:

Your words implied that you have played Deus Vult at a lower skill level. Deus Vult was rigged to be laughably easy on skill 1/2, so to get the maximum impact of the map, try skill 3 or higher. Seeing how you utterly hate these slaughter maps, I don't expect to change ur opinion anytime soon.



Yeah - with 2000+ monsters! Granted, the selection is not as hard as UV but such maps are no fun for me. It's still a blastfest and I just don't like that kind of gameplay.

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Hey, I'll take a blastfest when it's not an impossible one. I realize that there's more than one factor that decides map difficulty, and I hope I didn't imply otherwise. But I'll just copy what I said on a little page of mine:

From example 1:
In single player, I always (except in rare circumstances) play in "hurt me plenty" mode (skill 3). Usually that mode is for those of us who don't want to be bothered too much with the monsters, but still want a slight challenge. And when I see medium-class monster ambushes (like revenants and hell knights) leaving you in a small space with no way out, that sort of puts up a red flag in my mind that reads "bullshit." That's usually about the same time I turn on IDDQD and tyson the whole squad to death just because I'm pissed off at the whole setup. Ever been in that situation? It ain't fun.

From example 2:
There's something else I should mention, though: those annoying ambushes would be a lot more tolerable with proper weaponry and health. But I've played levels (just recently, in fact) where the health item count is just pathetic. I played one map the other day where there was almost no health save for a few stimpacks, no armor whatsoever, a few sniping chaingunners near the start to whittle down your health, and then it turned into a teleport-fest where I'd end up in the middle of revenants, hell knights and the occasional mancubus, all with 52 health and no armor at all. Just perfect.

My only theory is that people are skimping on the health just because of how they play, which is understandable; every mapper builds to the style of play he or she is most comfortable with, whether they realize it or not. But if you only build your map to your specifications, this in my opinion is the mark of a bad mapper. I happen to lose a lot of health when I play. I'm not the super-stealthy type, and I'm not the greatest shoot-everything-before-it-hits-you freak either. So I'm always in a bad situation when I get put in unreasonable situations with 10 or 15 medium-class enemies, no health and nowhere to run.


I didn't copy all of these two points (that'd be way too much for here), but if you'd like to read them in full, this is the page. Beware popups.

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Great page! This should be required reading for every mapper - but I'll bet that half of them would dismiss it nevertheless.

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The page contains good basics except that it seems to equal many monsters with hard gameplay, which is clearly wrong.

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I don't really agree with point 4. If someone places a big pickup or weapon before a new area or teleport it's either one of two things:

1 a trap
2 absolutely nescessary

otherwise it's a reward, and you usually don't get them until after the fight.

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Graf Zahl said:

Great page! This should be required reading for every mapper - but I'll bet that half of them would dismiss it nevertheless.

Yay! Nice to know I'm doing something right after mapping on and off for two years - although you wouldn't know it because I've only released about 3 wads. I need to get my megawad finished... :-/

Erik said:

The page contains good basics except that it seems to equal many monsters with hard gameplay, which is clearly wrong.

I suggest you re-read point 2. I don't believe that... although sometimes it is the case. You just have to provide the stuff needed to kill them all. One rule I go by is to not only have slightly more than enough ammo to kill the monsters, but to not figure in the berserk or chainsaw kills. A lot of maps which require you to punch or chainsaw the demons to keep your ammo at a decent level just annoy the crap out of me... I'd rather give the player an option.

Szymanski said:

I don't really agree with point 4. If someone places a big pickup or weapon before a new area or teleport it's either one of two things:

1 a trap
2 absolutely nescessary

otherwise it's a reward, and you usually don't get them until after the fight.

The point I was trying to make, though, is that you should give the player a way to go back in case they want to save the item for later pickup. There are few exceptions to this (Icon of Sin is one), but not many.

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