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GoatLord

Element of surprise

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I just got done playing Rising Blood, which strangely reminded me of Dissolution (both wads worth playing in my opinion). Their similiarities came in the form of the element of surprise. Instead of simply bombarding the player with wave after wave of enemies, there was a real sense of uncertainty, and at no point do either wad feel predictable. Any recommendations for wads that continue to surprise the player would be helpful.

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Every .wad should have the element of surprise. After a while, wave after wave of hell spawn gets tedious.
Being genuinly surprised when a pinky or fireball comes screaming out of darkness at you is what makes games worthwhile 8)

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Not only that, but if the map is for Doom 1, it really needs surprise. The Doom 1 monsters by themselves can't represent any threat. Do you think meeting a Former H., Imp, Demon, Spectre, Caco, Soul, Baron at the other side of the room is any big deal? It's not, and this is why cramped corridors, hidden alcoves, spawn-ins are needed.

Most Doom 2 monsters are tough enough: Chaingunners, Revenants, Elementals, Arachnotrons, Mancubi, Archviles can kill you if you're drunk or mad and miss a few shots or are improperly armed.

Both bosses count as tough, most of the time, however.

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GoatLord said:

Instead of simply bombarding the player with wave after wave of enemies, there was a real sense of uncertainty, and at no point do either wad feel predictable. Any recommendations for wads that continue to surprise the player would be helpful.


I think Asylum of the Wretched fits that description.

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The element of surprise is lost after the first couple of plays through a wad, which is for the most part exploratory playing. It should also likely lead to the player's death if the wad's relatively challenging. So, in a good wad, while it should be present to spice things up and add variety, it ranks beneath making any set of encounters worth (re)playing tactically and strategically.

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GoatLord said:

.... the element of surprise. Instead of simply bombarding the player with wave after wave of enemies, there was a real sense of uncertainty, and at no point do either wad feel predictable. Any recommendations for wads that continue to surprise the player would be helpful.

As others have pointed out, surprises really only work best the first time around. Of course, maps built on source ports that allow scripting (such as ZDoom) can incorporate surprises that change randomly, such as different monsters that appear in the traps. This will serve to "continue to surprise the player".

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