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Fuzzball

Just curious - Pistol

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How many of you use the pistol in the original games once you get better weaponary?
I'll assume these kind of questions have been asked before, but I haven't exactly been on the site for a long time so feel free to moan~ :P

Personally I rarely do, maybe for the odd shooting switch but to be honest unless I am down to my last bits of ammo I don't bother~

What about you guys?

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The only thing I use the pistol for is to clear the first few enemies before the inevitable shotgun. Also, if I run out of shells before getting the chaingun or other better weapon excluding the rocket launcher, I will use the pistol over the fist. Though I must add it is always a tough decision.

Otherwise once I get the chaingun the pistol may as well be non-existant, as the both use the same ammo.

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Pretty much while we're on the subject, how do you feel about being made to use the pistol, such as a map that does not give a shotgun or chaingun for some time, or even not at all- can you stand using it as your only defence?

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FuzzballFox said:

Pretty much while we're on the subject, how do you feel about being made to use the pistol, such as a map that does not give a shotgun or chaingun for some time, or even not at all- can you stand using it as your only defence?


No sweat for me. Unless CyberDemons and Masterminds are in the picture, then I may have some problems.

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Shootable triggers, mostly. And sometimes along side a humerous quipp muttered under breath as I bury a single bullet into the head of some mangled Imp. The pistol has class. Real class. And it's only a matter or time before you too see the light.

Yes, you'll come round soon enough. They always come around!

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It could be interesting to have as weapons only the pistol and maybe the rocket launcher. You'd use the RL when appropriate (pack of monsters, tough monsters like the baron, etc.) but there would be several types of circumstances in which the pistol would be more appropriate (close range, very long range, vs. sparsely-placed weak monsters, etc.).

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I use it sometimes, when unfamiliar with a level, especially if ammo seems scarce, and mostly instead of the shotgun. If the chaingun is available it becomes somewhat useless but it can still be used to finish off some monsters when I can tell they barely survived an attack.

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AlexMax said:

Pistol is 95% useless once you get a chaingun.

Fixed.

If low on ammo using pistol only takes 1 bullet, chaingun 2. So pistol a few monsters will save a couple bullets.

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Catoptromancy said:

If low on ammo using pistol only takes 1 bullet, chaingun 2. So pistol a few monsters will save a couple bullets.


This. Only this becomes boring really quickly, so I would probably be wasteful with the chaingun anyway.

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Catoptromancy said:

Fixed.

If low on ammo using pistol only takes 1 bullet, chaingun 2. So pistol a few monsters will save a couple bullets.


Why is 2 so much more wasteful than 1? I don't think that there's a single enemy in Doom that can be killed in a single pistol shot (former human takes 2 from the chaingun to kill on UV?). Saving a couple of bullets is almost useless unless the wad has ridiculously tight ammo balance.

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bgraybr said:
Saving a couple of bullets is almost useless unless the wad has ridiculously tight ammo balance.

You can save about 1 shot per monster finished this way, not just a couple of bullets in total, which may indeed make a difference when ammo is tight. Ammo may not be tight on most maps, but sometimes, when you're not familiar with a level, it may be necessary or at least wise to save ammo until you reach the next ammo cache.

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Pistols fine to use untill you end up getting to the more tougher monsters. I hate using the pistol against pinkys and above. It's really a gun for if I run out of every other ammo I'd go to.

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I like the pistol. I never really liked it because the sound effect was pretty lame but once I started using perkristian's hi-res sound pack the pistol sounds a bit more like a hand gun and less like a BB gun.


Usually with the addition of better weapons comes harder monsters. Doom tends to lack in weak monsters that the pistol is actually capable of bringing down. Zombiemen are ideally the best monsters to fight in pistol combat since they die in just a couple shots. Shotgun guys maybe, except that they reward you with a better weapon which lessens the point of using a pistol. Imps take 4-6 shots which can get tedious just as people describe fighting Hell Barons to be pretty boring. Not to mention it's not even very accurate, and even does about the same damage as punch of the hand.

If I ever use the pistol, it's mainly just for the entertainment value. When an imp or a chaingun guy doesn't drop after a full shotgun blast, I'll quick swap to my pistol to give them a single "head shot" to bring them down. But other than that the pistol does come off kinda useless against anything other than zombiemen. It's certainly possible to create a map that relies entirely on pistol usage, but you're kinda limited to Doom 1's episode 1 monsters + barrels.

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It's always useful in those situations where you must conserve ammo and/or shoot an odd number of bullets: CG will always spend a minimum of two unless you run out of ammo.

It's pretty much like the shotgun vs super shotgun argument, although more specialistic.

A specialty use for the pistol is strategic barrel displacement by firing single pistol shots at barrel barricades, in order to make them move without exploding. This can lead so some nice tricks e.g. leave a room full of barrels without exploding them, and then let e.g. teleporting monsters get stuck/caught in the barrels and THEN explode them ;-)

All barrels can surely take 1 hit, if you're unlucky they'll go off in two, but the average is 3. This can also be done with bare fists (WITHOUT berserk!), but it's safer to do with the pistol. If you are good you can clear a wide enough passage between two adjacent barrels by shooting them in opposite directions.

Finally, the pistol is a good way to activate shootable switches without wasting 2 bullets, or to "toy" with charging lost souls using the minimum amount of ammo to delay their flight, allowing others to bump into them.

Everything in Doom has its usefulness ;-)

bgraybr said:

Saving a couple of bullets is almost useless unless the wad has ridiculously tight ammo balance.


You have never played a Jodwin map, have you? :-p

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Maes said:

You have never played a Jodwin map, have you? :-p

You ever learned to shoot at the enemies rather than walls, did you?

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If it was up to me, I would have made it so that the pistol always has pinpoint accuracy, and the chaingun will always spread. The chaingun has already use (high pain chance monsters in single combat, groups of weak enemies) but the sniping niche would be good for the pistol, in my opinion.

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That's what the pistol is for, for being disposable. It's still useful as a sniping tool if you only have the shotguns otherwise, though, but its idiotic sound and Wolf3d-like graphics make it have to go. If the pistol were more useful than it is, the gameplay would have been more like Quake's than Doom's.

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Jodwin said:

You ever learned to shoot at the enemies rather than walls, did you?


But then

Jodwin on gmail said:

Joddo: what, if you're low on ammo would you waste shells on imps on ledges and danger wasting 3-6 pellets a shot? :-p


OK, so you ACKNOWLEDGE that there are situations where the player is expected to save every last pellet.

That's not a problem in itself if a particular map comes with warnings that hint to the player "Achtung, this IS an ammo conservation map, so play accordingly".

And to clear this up once and for all:
this whole "Jodwin maps are ammo tight" story started when I helped Jodwin playtest what would become Ode of ressurection.

Now, if you played that map, you'll know that there are two possible initial routes. I took the "easiest" one down and to the left, and then left and up inside the building complex.

Soon, I ran out of shotgun shells, which was not pretty when soon after I had to face Hell Knights and other assorted threats. Just by killing every monster I found in front of me, and after collecting every readily available ammo box, I couldn't save enough shells for that confrontation no matter what.

Notice, that was during INITIAL PLAYTESTING, aka, NONE ELSE BUT ME AND JODWIN had played the map, which would undergo further changes since then. Therefore I DID NOT know the map beforehand (Jodwin did, but he created it!), I did NOT know it was going to be ammo tight, and thus I considered this a case of poor ammo balancing.

At first I just told him "Joddo, so and so, there's not enough ammo for that first part".

"Sure there is" he said, and sent me a demo where he skipped several monsters and started fucking pistol-sniping the imps on the ledges in order to save on shells, and then proudly declared "See? Now you HAVE enough ammo! Stop wasting it like you did".

Let's see the WTFs here:

  1. Claiming that there's NO ammo problem or even "challenge" at all, yet engaging in ammo-scrounging tactics.
  2. Calling normal gameplay where you just shoot whatever you find in front of you "wasteful".
  3. Criticizing the playtester or "lesser player" for not having beforehand access to information that the mapper or "greater player" has, most notably to ammo amount, enemy placement, alternative routes etc.
Let me stop a while on point 2. Me, as an old time Doom player, more or less know what "typical" ammo balancing is, and don't skip monsters/acts like Scrooge McDuck with ammo unless I ALREADY KNOW that there might be a problem with it, in terms of quantity. Otherwise, I just pump a shell through every zombie and imp I find.

Please note, I would NOT have a problem with ANY of the above if Jodwin had told me before hand "Maes, watch out, this is going to be a tight map, so skip some monsters/try saving up on shells because you'll need them". In that case I'd say "Okey dokey, thanks buddy" and play with that in mind.

Or even if after I reported my findings, he told me "Yeah, it can be somewhat ammo-tight if you take that route but that's intentional" or "It's supposed to be that way ;-)".

But instead, I got a -very forced- demonstration that this particular section of the map was possible to pull off if someone already knew what he was doing, and a "reprimand" for being "too wasteful of ammo", on a map where one "wasted" shotgun shell (even through wasted pellets) could indeed make a difference, and a claim that there was "no ammo problem at all". I guess that's why ammo was rebalanced then, eh?

While I respect Jodwin as a mapper and he is undoubtedly talented with regards to architecture and monster placement, that same pattern with ammo "frugality" or "essentiality" transpires in almost all of his works. I even coined the term "4 shells for 5 imps" Finnish Frugality Formula just for this sort of ammo "balancing" :-p

Is it possible to pull off? Yes.
Is it challenging? Yes.
Is is immediately recognizable so that the player can adjust? No, it's not, and that's what causes most problems.

Marginal ammo pickups, reliance on high pain chances, and dependence on previous knowledge of routes, item and monster placements are common elements in Jodwin maps.

Neither of which is bad, per-se, but denying their existence is, as is considering the player a noob if he/she doesn't have access to previous knowledge about a map before playing it.

Just my 2c :-p

And... OH NOBLE PEOPLE OF DOOMWORLD, SEE WHAT PAINS AND SACRIFICES I'M GOING THROUGH FOR YOU, SO THAT YOUR MAPS WILL BE ENJOYABLE ?!

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I think the chaingun shoots twice even with 1 bullet. So you could use it to save a bullet. Plus pistol is basically fists 2.0, and time matters so just use the chaingun to kill something faster, then punch it instead of hording 1 individual bullet which won't matter (unless something is across lava or something and unpunchable).

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gggmork said:

I think the chaingun shoots twice even with 1 bullet. So you could use it to save a bullet.


There's a bug that makes it play back the firing sound twice, but it won't actually fire a second bullet. Also the animation doesn't look any different when that happens.

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I use the pistol as jewelry, because it is beautiful. Other than that, it is just a matter of finding a good weapon/berserk pack and shoot triggers.
When I'm stuck on a map, I shoot at walls that look suspicious with the pistol, in case it opens like that.

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I use the pistol all the time as a finishing weapon, even on levels that I know well. It is just habit for me.

Having played so much quake arena over the years (though I suck now), cycling through weapons and particularly using a finishing weapon was the only way to play that game. And now I use the pistol in the same way. It's just automatic.

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Hardly use the pistol myself, surprised at the number of people who switch to use it - mostly ZDoom users I suppose ? I can't imagine you'd want to spend about 6 seconds locked in the "lower whatever weapon you're using, raise pistol, lower pistol, raise whatever weapon you were using before" animations in the middle of a fight.

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