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Dr. Zin

Super Shotgun is an über-weapon

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I have noticed in my latest mapping endeavor that the super shotgun seems to really effect the basic gameplay of the map. Allow me to explain:

To me, there seem to be two classes of main battle weapons (i.e. not melee or pistol) in Doom, with one exception. The first group includes the shotgun, and chaingun. They do moderate amounts of damage, and anything bigger than a demon (or groups of lesser monsters) requires some tactics to engage.

The second class of weapons are high powered, and let you kill numerous small enemies quickly, and allow abridged enagements with larger enemies. These are the BFG, Plasma Rifle, and SSG.

As an aside, you may have noticed that I have not mentioned the rocket launcher. This is because depending on the amount of ammunition available in the map. With a small supply of ammunition it is reserved for situations with large groups of small enemies or as a coup de grace for larger opponents. When ammunition is stacked high it becomes a weapon of mass destruction, cutting swathes through hordes of light fighters and quickly toppling all but boss monsters. In both cases the blast damage limits the rocket launcher's utility in CQB.

Anyway, though the SSG does not kill as quickly as either of the cell weapons, it changes how a map plays as much as putting in a BFG. This is because it offers the power of a rocket launcher at the ranges that rockets are unuseable, i.e. halitosis distance. Combined with the fact that it shares ammo with the regular shotgun, it dominates the battlefield.

As a mapper, this means to keep up a sufficient challenge you have to group larger monsters or try to swarm the player with smaller ones.

Thus, I am beginning to give the SSG later in the map, as I think a map works better when battles continually escalate, rather than starting big and trying to get into the realm of ludicrousness.

Monster placement can be used to negate some of the effects of the SSG, but when you are building a certain architechture (especially with open areas) this can be impossible to do. Even when architechture facilitates it there is a fine line between making something challenging and making something cheap.

All in all, I guess as a player I love the SSG because I need all the help that I get, but as a mapper it is a sort of nessecary evil that completely changes the dynamics of a map, and has lead me to see the piece as a kind of mid to late game armament along the lines of the BFG and Plasma rifle.

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Yeah, in DM the SSG is at the top with the BFG and the Plasma gun as well, and sometimes superior to these, especially during one on ones. And in single player it is quite useful as a sort of duelling weapon against large mosters, like battling a Cyberdemon in a relatively confined space when the BFG is not available (or doesn't have much ammo to go with).

I agree about the Rocket launcher, which is somewhat on the crossroads between the high powered weapons and the meduim ones. In DM this is also the case due to the splash damage danger to the user, and because it isn't too hard to avoid Rockets. So it's generally outranked by the three powerful weapons, but still relatively good against the Shotgun or Chaingun.

The Rocket launcher is to the Chaingun and the Shotgun what the BFG is to the Plasma gun and the SSG, more or less.

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You forget that the SSG is bad against monsters placed far away (worse than the SG and CG). And yeah the SSG force mappers to place monsters in strategic positions and/or add more of the bigger monsters.

In DM personaly I prefer the RL, as I get my ass kicked when there's only SSG (or hard to reach RL), as easier the RL and its ammo is to be picked up, the easier I tend to be a runner up. Of course if I'm fighting a pro no matter what weapon I choose, I die anyways, also my adiction to the RL cost me some frags from time to time. I remember the last duel that I killed the other player as many times as me (six times), the result was 10 to 0 :-(

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The lack or presence of the SSG, besides some monsters, marks the fundamental difference between Doom and Doom 2.

I also noticed the SSG is weak against revenants. It's easy to miss them or fire too many shots as required. Even the simple Shotgun is fine enough on Revenants at close range. The SSG is also a pain to use on Cyberdemons, because the Marine has to stay close. My prefered weapon in both cases is the Plasma Rifle.

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printz said:

I also noticed the SSG is weak against revenants. It's easy to miss them or fire too many shots as required.

Two or three shots at point blank range work pretty well for me. I tend not to use plasma against revenants, as it's harder to see what kind of missile they've fired with a screen full of blue stuff in the way. Chaingun at range and SSG up close.

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The best way to SSG revenants is to get close enough to touch them, because they will try and punch you, which you can quickly back away from, and two point-blank hits will send them on thier way. Of course they sometimes fire rockets at close range anyway, but the damage is usually worth it.
Another quirk of the SSG is fighting the Spider Mastermind, because its so vast you can fire the SSG at it from quite a long distance and all the pellets will still hit it, this is also true of the mancubus to a limited degree (as "Dead Simple" shows)

That said, sometimes i do like just having the SSG and a huge horde of weaker enemies to blast through, just getting quick glimpses of the death sequence with the blood from the shot coming out and imagining my own death sequence from seeing that. The first DSV is great for this, its probably the only Megawad i have not only played right through, but done so 3 times...

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2 Shells shot in normal shotgun = 14 pellets
2 Shells shot in SSG = 20 pellets, almost 3x the power, 'nuff said :-p

Maybe the SSG transforms normal cartridges into magnum buckshot ;-)

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Whenever there's an SSG on the map it is usually a valid option to go grab it first when recording a max, which makes it all the more interesting.

SSG only single player maps are lots of fun as well.

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Maes said:
Maybe the SSG transforms normal cartridges into magnum buckshot ;-)

I'd say it's a gamism representing two types of shells in one group (according to the DOOM Bible, Tom Hall had even considered putting bullets and shells in the same ammo category). After all, a similar thing happens between the Chaingun and the Pistol. One shoots from magazines while the other loads from belts. The bullets are probably of a different caliber, anyway.

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SSG is great. It's awesome as a up close rocket launcher w/o the splash. Sometimes I neglect the normal shottie because of this.

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Maes said:

Maybe the SSG transforms normal cartridges into magnum buckshot ;-)

Maybe it's only a balance change to make the SSG more attractive. It were already better with 140 damage than the shottie tho. It would still deal more damage per second.

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printz said:

Maybe it's only a balance change to make the SSG more attractive. It were already better with 140 damage than the shottie tho. It would still deal more damage per second.


I think this may have been the preferable way for me. If the SSG fired 14 pellets, it would still be a sizable damage increase, as I believe it reloads in 62 ticks (31 per shell fired) whereas the basic shotgun requires 44 per shell fired. Correct me on those numbers if I'm wrong.

The damage per tick for each shotgun would therefore be something like this:

Shotgun - 1.59
SSG(14) - 2.26
SSG(20) - 3.23

The current SSG isn't completely bad, obviously. I guess what it really comes down to is where it is placed, and whether it is balanced in the specific map that it is in.

What really throws a wrench into the works is that it uses the same ammo type as the original shotgun but is way more powerful and efficient.

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RoneKyakone said:
What really throws a wrench into the works is that it uses the same ammo type as the original shotgun but is way more powerful and efficient.

Well, think of the Pistol and the Chaingun; why use the former if you've got the latter? The Shotgun is more useful than the Pistol, in this comparative case.

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The difference between the Pistol/Chaingun relationship and the Shotgun/SSG is that the Chaingun is no more ammo-efficient than the pistol. In fact, you could say it is less efficient as it cannot fire less than two bullets each time you pull the trigger. Therefore, you will waste bullets here and there. Of course, this really doesn't matter unless your supply of ammo is incredibly tight.

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RoneKyakone said:
The difference between the Pistol/Chaingun relationship and the Shotgun/SSG is that the Chaingun is no more ammo-efficient than the pistol.

That's one difference, but on the other hand unlike the Pistol the standard Shotgun still has its uses, such as hitting weaker opponents found at longer distances (like sniping at a relatively distant ledge with a few Shotgun guys on it), or finishing off stray Imps and zombies (where the SSG would be slower and a waste of ammo). The only reason you'd use the Pistol is, as you implied, if you'd be treating your last bullets like drops of water in a desert.

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I placed the SSG fairly late in my last map. The majority of the map involved deciding between the chaingun and reg. shotty. Of course, when the SSG became accessible, you couldn't get by with the lesser weapons.

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