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Redeemer812

Ed Dille's "Infantry Tactics" Guide

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Hi,

A long time ago (about the time my brothers picked up Doom II) they also got themselves a copy of the official Doom II Strategy Guide. Written by Ed Dille, published by Prima Tech, and sanctioned by GT Interactive, the whole book is basically the Doom II manual + maps and a walkthrough for every single level in the game (as can be expected from a strategy guide).

But one chapter in the book describes the various "infantry basics" that all "veteran" players are supposed to know when they play a game of cooperative Doom. From the book:

A fire team is composed of two to four members (note the avoidance of the word "individual") who work collectively to accomplish the mission. A well-trained fire team is poetry in motion. Each member may have his own special areas of expertise but, in the field, the unit moves as one man. Each member knows exactly what to expect from every other member, regardless of the tactical situation encountered, and there is a level of mutual trust and admiration that is unattainable outside the profession of combat arms.

The book then goes on to describe all things such as the fire team leader, chain of command, marching orders, formations, the "right" way to clear a room, and even proper FNG treatment. (demon bait, hehe)

Now of course that all sounds very neat and makes cooperative Doom sound very tactical and organized, but to this day I've never once played a seriously organized game of cooperative Doom with anyone. I think my older brothers tried it once, but the whole process of giving and taking orders and making robotic movements through the levels got tiring fast.

So, I have a question: has anyone *ever* managed to organized a tactical session of cooperative Doom the way Ed describes?

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doom cant and wont work like that.

I laughed merely reading the thing.

Thing is, DOOM is not a military shooter, and to arrange people in that way only to take out (often unarmed) demons with the AI of an attack dog seems far fetched.

To do this online, also, no one will follow it. From what I know, you'll get the lone wolf that pushes his way from everyone and does everything by him self.
The guy who gets lulz from shooting people from edges or firing weapons at others moving them about.

Even when you got people who do play this game normally, I still cant imagine them doing this.

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Years ago, my friends and I would try to play tactically in co-op. This was back when the base game was still challenging for us on UV, before we had figured out how to use the mouse, or to hold the run key down all the time, or to strafe properly.

We had informal roles to take in combat, but we didn't really have any organized communication system, or a chain of command, or anything. Of course, it often degenerated into a huge clusterfuck before we finished a map, but it was still a lot of fun.

I remember that I was usually the guy who snuck behind the hordes with the chainsaw while they focused on everyone else, though. Good times.

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I wonder if it'd be feasible to play DooM this way with the Real Guns Hardcore mod, preferably on the Tactics difficulty where everyone can only carry two guns by default.

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Me: "Where the heck are you?"

Wife: "I have to go back to get this secret."

Me: "Aw, screw the secrets! I'm at the exit."

Wife: "YOU BETTER NOT HIT THAT EXIT!"

"tactical"...Let wife hit exits.

:/

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There were some attempts to use Doom as a fire team level combat simulator, like this one:
http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?id=7918

But it doesn't work so good. The enemies still act really dumb, and anybody can just use any weapon they pick up (instead of having one guy with light machine gun, another with grenade launcher, a couple with rifles, each with his defined role). Well at least you can die easily in this mod...

The closest I experienced tactical play was in CTF Quake I games. But it was a lot more chaotic than resembling any kind of real military structure. It just amounted to part of the team staying behind to guard the base/flag and the other part rushing the enemy base. Occasionally you had the guy who would setup camp somewhere on the map and just snipe away...

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You may laugh at how convuluted and unnecessary it sounds to have attack formations and whatever when playing Doom, but every cooperative game is tactical to some degree. The best way to make the strategy manifest in front of you is to play Cooperative on Nightmare mode.

A lot of people get the false impression that Cooperative is just a bunch of nobodies shooting everything around them, including each other and getting the most kills and getting to the exit first. This is usually because people who play Cooperative don't treat Nightmare mode like an actual skill level and play on Ultra Violence instead, then proceed to complain about how Cooperative is too easy and in turn, boring.

The way I see it, if players are allowed to respawn, monsters should be allowed to respawn as well. And if the monsters are going to have to defend themselves against waves of fast-moving intelligent marines, they should be allowed to fight as ruthlessly as possible.

The passage you quoted from the stategy guide sounds exactly right. There may be more than one player but essentially you all have the same goal, so you must move together as a unit and cooperate. The fun really starts in Doom 1's E1M3, where the players must crash their way towards the blue key, then backtrack through swarms of respawned monsters. A good strategy would be to send a player to advance toward the key, another player to follow closely behind him, taking out any squanderers he left behind and defending the leader when he is in a perilous situation, then have the other two players stand guard in the center toxin pit and keep the route clear for the convoy to return with the key.

The players running blindly into the fray, trying to be heroes and selfishly fending only for themselves will yield undesirable results. They need to work together in a uniform fashion to complete their tasks. 100% health and a pistol won't get you very far but with teamwork you can outsmart the hellspawn and escape from the disaster safely.

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40oz has hit the nail on the head.

Nightmare! cooperative is where it's really at, as the mechanics pretty much necessitate tactical and rational play in order to make it through the map in one piece, as opposed to an incessant and incurable disregard for any and all sorts of team play. While modes such as survival do have their charms, the focus remains almost exclusively on how to tackle each area in succession rather than, as 40oz pointed out, holding back to maintain clear passage or suppressing an otherwise insurmountable horde of monsters - tactics made fundamental by the monsters' -fastness and ability to respawn.

If you haven't tried it out with a friend already, I recommend you give it a shot. You're missing out!

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I remember Tricks and Traps being a difficult but satisfying map to beat on Co-op (2 players).

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40oz, that actually does sound pretty cool. I never thought about cooperative Doom that way, but it makes perfect sense and sounds like a lot of fun. Too bad all my older brothers hate Doom now and just play MW2 all the time. :(

I own this book, its full of lulz. Its good toilet reading.

Hehehe. Anyone who doesn't feel man enough for this mission should step forward now . . . so the rest of us can eat you alive. We'll need our strength.

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st.alfonzo said:

40oz has hit the nail on the head.


I never even thought of playing Doom coop that way, but it sounds fantastic. Unfortunately I have just one coop partner right now and he'd rather play RTS's.

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Doom 1, especially Episode 1, is the best to play in Nightmare mode. This is due to the abundance of chainsaws (compared to Doom 2 anyway) lightweight monsters, and shotgun guys. Doom 2 is playable but features significantly hearty monsters that take longer to kill than they do to respawn. If you play in a sourceport that allows infinite ammo and more than four players I'd reccomend it but otherwise its more exhausting than it is fun. MAP09 is a killer for example.

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i've played lot of coop in the past, recently had one session again, more for the nostalgia factor as the other guy has changed hobbies meanwhile.

but anyway, on UV you can say you take this room, i'll clear the other or save some health / ammo for the partner. one thing that works well in coop is hitting a big monster so it chases you and the partner can work on it unopposed.

more accurate planning makes sense when you're aiming for a coop run without dying or generally playing on nightmare. that will quickly turn into a mess without organized play, a bunch of players stealing the stuff from each other, running into a horde of mosnters and losing their precious ammo upon dying.

that author makes it sound like doom is a military simulation, which luckily it's not, but that doesn't mean that doom coop consists in running headlong into the demons, just with more than one player.

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Maybe just -respawn on skill 4 would be good enough. I guess it depends on the WAD. Anyway, no way in hell you'd get me to play on skill 5. If I'm going to die constantly, I'd rather have time to think about, like when playing Rogue (that ASCII game where you only get one life...)

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Yesterday I convinced my youngest brother to play cooperative Doom II with me, and man, it's been a blast! We're playing through all of the original levels in Skulltag, and it's been difficult, but we've set up our server in such a way that it's quite beatable.

When players die, they respawn where they died to avoid back tracking and other annoyances. In addition, they only lose half of their ammo and none of their keys, so players can continue fighting where they left off. They lose all of their weapons, but drop the one they were using when they died, so when they respawn they can continue fighting. This works great, because it kind of forces a specialization onto a player: if you die with a BFG, for example, you're the new BFG man, 'cause that's all you've got.

The respawning monsters really makes it necessary to hold positions and make judgments concerning what's important and what isn't. For example, in MAP05, after you get the red key you have two choices: you can move back the way you came and run through the open courtyard to the red door, or you can run through through the water logged tunnel to the south to get to the red door. We chose to move back the way we came, since going through the tunnels would've put us in a very dark, cramped environment flanked with shotgun zombies and demons. However, if we had chosen the southern water tunnels, we would've had to choose whether it was important to retrieve the rocket launcher from the small room in there, or loot the bunker all of the shotgun dudes are hiding in. All of this planning was absolutely necessary, since you are so vulnerable in Nightmare mode.

At any rate, this has been great fun, I'm glad you guys have pointed this out to me. I just wish I had more people to play with. :(

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Redeemer812 said:

When players die, they respawn where they died to avoid back tracking and other annoyances. In addition, they only lose half of their ammo and none of their keys, so players can continue fighting where they left off. They lose all of their weapons, but drop the one they were using when they died, so when they respawn they can continue fighting. This works great, because it kind of forces a specialization onto a player: if you die with a BFG, for example, you're the new BFG man, 'cause that's all you've got.


So then whats bad about dieing? If you just respwan where you're killed than you might as well be plying with god mod.

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It's so your screen turns red when you get shot so you at least feel like you're losing.

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Nightmare was the only difficulty that added any real challenge to the original level sets in coop. Unfortunately you make one false move and you're completely screwed.

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