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Lila Feuer

Your Doom tactics?

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In recent times I've noticed a distinct way of handling the game mechanics (which seems more like OCD than anything else), and although my playing style varies between maps (running around without a care in the world getting chewed up or moving at snail pace and being overly cautious), there's a definite concentration of tactics I employ like the back of my hand. Please share your methods of play so as to give others ideas.

Off the top of my head in no real order:

Not picking up and wasting ammo when I have nearly the full amount, I won't bore with the numerical details but typically with a backpack and near the maximum I'll refill shells when they hit 80, bullets at 350, cells at 500 (with a bulk cell). And if its 540 and I got a BFG I'll squeeze a shot in when possible. Basically I try to round my ammo numbers off as much as possible.

Using the "weakest" weapons in my arsenal as much as possible unless I absolutely must have splash damage (rocket launcher) or quickly eliminate a dangerous opponent or large group of enemies (plasma rifle, BFG). Its amazing what bullets and shells can get you through 80% of the time depending on the WAD you're playing. It's also lead to strange usage on enemies. Ever try chaingunning a Revenant, Fatso or Arachnotron?

Using the BFG at point blank range to maximize damage potential, this is the best way to cheese a Baron and Spidey and the Cybie will go down in two, though it does require a bit of fancy footwork and timing to charge shots in between his rocket volleys. A group of mid to high-tier enemies can also be felled very quickly. Nothing more satisfying than seeing two Barons die at once or four to five Cacodemons, for an example.

Weaken durable mid to high-tier opponents with a few shots from powerful weapons then finish them off with some bullets, saves you the extra shells, rockets and cells. An example would be a Pinky surviving two shotgun blasts but a bullet or two from the pistol / chaingun. Some rockets to lower a Baron's resistance (3-4) then some shells (4-5).

Picking up Partial Invisibility for hitscan heavy areas where applicable. Oh yeah, and about those projectile enemies ruining your mad strafing skills, try standing still while popping off at them, they will typically miss you and when they do throw one your way you'll only have to side step a little while continuing to gun them down. Can be more annoying when there's a lot of projectile enemies.

Picking up Berserk when I'm dangerously low on health and I want to keep Medikits around, for an emergency full health boost.

Keeping useful or powerful items (green and blue armor, soul/megasphere) available until my current armor depletes (then I'll grab the weakest of the two to replenish) or I'm ready to leave the level (soul + blue or a megasphere) and start the next map at maximum resistance. This got me through some tough starts on the Hell Revealed megawads.

Getting low-tier enemies like possessed humans and Imps to line up so I can wipe as many out as possible through a single SSG blast. Sometimes risky, as I may get hit once or twice doing so.

Chaingun tapping for enemies far away. This is a relatively well known "exploit".

Killing hitscan enemies in an area first before projectile based ones. Also in order of lethality via groups, chaingunners go first in Doom II, shotgun guys in Doom I, zombiemen last in both cases.

Opening a door to fire at a dangerous projectile enemy then closing it back down so their projectile hits the door, repeat until dead. Found out about this one recently and I sometimes forget about it.

(ZDoom only) Using static objects as projectile shields, probably cheating, so I try not to do it too often, but can be helpful.

Getting the Archvile to revive hitscanners so as to reap the extra ammo. Risky as hell if you don't got proper cover, but useful if your bullet/shell supply is running low.

That's it for now.

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Aside from DESTROY EVERYTHING, I am finicky with Ammo pickups and using Plasma / BFG much (unless I'm out of everything else). I don't run through maps, I usually take my time and explore with some caution. Also, I always try and start infighting as much as I can. Chaingunner and another, stronger monster against me? Let's double team and get the big guy between me and the Chaingunner.

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What I do:
- Use the rocket launcher basically any time it's useful. There are so many situations that it's too risky to use that if I "save" ammo I end up with more than I need. And against the Arch Vile, cyber and spiderdemons, you're much better off if you have cells anyway.

- Switching to the chaingun if I'm about to kill a bunch of monsters that will drop bullets, or SSG if I'm killing sergeants. When cells are low, I prefer to use the SSG, but switching to the chaingun is a great way to save shells at basically no cost.

- When fighting multiple strong monsters, concentrating on them one at a time and doing my best to make sure any stray shot also end up hitting something. I don't go out of my way to do it though, especially since at that point I'm concentrating just as much on surviving the fight.

- Prioritized kills:
1) Arch Vile
2) Revenants because I just can't dodge their missiles
3) Hit scanners
4) The rest

- If I see a hell knight and a baron, the hell knight goes first. Reduce the number of threats.

What I DON'T do:
- Wait for infighting monsters to kill each other. I want to kill. I do enjoy watching the huge fight in MAP16, though.

- Worry about picking up ammo when I don't have the room to carry it all, except in the case of cell packs which are usually in short supply.

- Along the same lines, I very rarely backtrack to pick up ammo I didn't need when I passed it.

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I used to be really finicky about stuff but I've relaxed over time. It doesn't bother me much if a chaingun guy doesnt go down in one shotgun shell, or a cacodemons doesnt go down in four. I've been more laxed about picking up a box of shells when I have 84, or a medikit when I've got 79%. It beats having to run all the way back for it.

Sometimes in maps with low ammo you gotta finish off an imp that doesn't go down in one shotgun blast with a final "headshot" with the pistol, or run up and jab him in the face with the fist. And sometimes make the concious decision on whether the berserk punching or health is more important.

I only use the BFG as an emergency weapon. Everytime I pick on up I feel that it's a little premature and keep it in reserve. There are few circumstances in maps where a trap will really try to kill the player, and a bfg is the quickest way to eliminate the hazard. Besides that though, I play as though the plasma gun is my strongest weapon.

Instead of switching to a bullet weapons when monsters are weakened, I just line them up like you would with imps and zombie men. It's especially fun with pinky demons. If you shoot three different pinkies twice with the shotgun, then line em up, you can waste all three of them with one shotgun shot. Pretty fun to watch.

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My best tactic: create chaos, an huge chaos. Infighting is a blessing from the God of Doom Himself with such a fast character. I trigger everything in my way and RUN FOR MY LIFE!!!

It works. Most of the time. I think.

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Generally seems to involve being quickly dropped to low health and then playing like a god until I get some more health. I do try and avoid wasting anything over about 20% of an ammo, armour or health pickup, but that always strikes me as common sense. Likewise I'll stick to the Blue Armour for as long as possible to get the better damage reduction on my (usually low) health.

Guns-wise I use everything at a sensible situation, based on ammo. I'll quite happily rocket or plasma my way through a room when a shotgun would do if I'm swimming in ammo, and I'll also resort to finishing off enemies with a bullet or melee weapon when the shell weapon didn't get the expected kill if ammo is low. As ammo is usually in high supply, I tend to work on the principle of the quickest kills and will gladly BFG a lone Arch-Vile to stop it doing anything at all quickly. In-fighting and exploiting crushers and barrels is also fine with me, as is running off and camping an advantageous position if I've just walked in on a huge hellspawn-orgy and they're all rather upset with me about it.


To summarise, my skill is almost entirely inversely-proportional to how much health I have and I will use every tool at my disposal to instantly dispatch anything in my way.

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Phobus said:
As ammo is usually in high supply, I tend to work on the principle of the quickest kills and will gladly BFG a lone Arch-Vile to stop it doing anything at all quickly.

I pretty much always use a BFG on an Arch Vile if I have 40 cells.

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Shoot players into a room full of monsters to distract them while you grab the key.

Sit on the spot for half a minute waiting for the health and ammo to respawn.

Repeatedly tap use on doors, preventing other players from exiting the room. This forces them to clear all the monsters out for you, or die. Whichever works best. Bonus points if the room has damaging floors. Also can be used to instigate infighting.

Shoot players in the back with a supershotgun to push them over a gap, skipping large portions of the map.

Lure a cyberdemon over a player start, then respawn telefragging it in the process.

Fire your supershotgun in a straddled sequence with another player to effectively double the rate of fire. Effective against bigger monsters with lower pain chances.

Never shoot an archvile in cooperative mode while it is in its firing sequence. Better that the other poor sod receives the damage instead.


All amusing yet dubious tactics I have observed that seem to work extremely well in cooperative mode. :P

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My tactic is too pretty much switch between the shotguns for everything and then use chainsaw on small groups of Lost Souls or Demons. Then I use Rockets on Barons and Mancubi and BFG Spidermasterminds and Cyberdemons. Bought it really.

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Captain Toenail said:

Shoot players into a room full of monsters to distract them while you grab the key.
..
Repeatedly tap use on doors, preventing other players from exiting the room. This forces them to clear all the monsters out for you, or die. Whichever works best. Bonus points if the room has damaging floors. Also can be used to instigate infighting.
..
Never shoot an archvile in cooperative mode while it is in its firing sequence. Better that the other poor sod receives the damage instead.
...
All amusing yet dubious tactics I have observed that seem to work extremely well in cooperative mode. :P

Why are you trying so hard to kill your partner?

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Huh. Toenail plays co-op like I do, except more practically. Usually, I stick to the tried-and-true "SSG someone into a teleport and frag them" technique. Pointless? Yes. Fun? Double-yes.

*ahem*

Odd thing with me is that once I get the BFG, I can't ever bring myself to using the Plasma Gun again. It's amazing how much ammo you save by sticking to the BFG. You can do so much more with 40 cells in a single BFG shot than you ever can with 40 plasma bullets.

I still love the PG, though, and will happily use it to heart's content if the next-tier gun isn't available yet. That's one of my favorite things about Doom's E2: Freedom to use the PG without ever having to worry about ammo wastage. ;)

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40oz said:

If you shoot three different pinkies twice with the shotgun, then line em up, you can waste all three of them with one shotgun shot. Pretty fun to watch.


I love it when that happens.

Not so much a tactic as just something I do, I tend to do some kind of weird rocket spam thing when I got plenty of them, I'll run forward moving side to side and holding down on fire then come to a full stop seeing all the rockets cover an area in a spread pattern at the same time, almost like I'm carpet bombing the demons. Usually toward higher regions containing the more dangerous monsters.

Usually if I see there's plenty of cell ammo in a map I'll happily use what I got on anything until the end then go and retrieve all of it to restock, hopefully at maximum.

I don't waste blue armor when its under 100 to grab a green armor, but thats just duh, no matter how much blue armor you have its still more resistant than the green variant.

I try to exploit barrels whenever for extra damage, so if there's some in a "usable" area I'll leave be until I lure someone in there.

Random note, I tend to be very comfortable (usually) when I got a lot of stuff and start getting all slow and paranoid when I'm almost dead. What I hate the most is when it seems like the entire map suddenly ran dry of health pickups and I'll backtrack for more and there isn't any, resorting in save-scum dumb luck. Speaking of whom, I should only have to such a thing on a slaughtermap, as IMO anything else is a simple player mistake. As a result I try to only save when everything has calmed down / safe zone and NOT in the middle of a heated firefight as I find I'll play worse when I do this.

I like using switches from the side for some reason, but not for cheat reasons, so as to quicker react to something that may change in the room. Also see getting spammed in a room by a sudden swarm of enemies, in that case I'll just run like hell out of the room (if it hasn't locked down on me) and retreat to a previous nearby location and then hold my ground behind some cover and pick them off one by one.

Keys seem to be symphonous (sp) with traps, so I'll whip out the best (safe) weapon I got and keep a wall to my back as to prevent being attacked from behind (unless its a monster closet!).

The Plasma Rifle is good if you don't want to risk the BFG double shot on a Cybie since some arenas don't work so well. A long stream of the stuff and some sideways movement will down him quickly enough. It's also good for holding Spidey at bay due to the somewhat higher pain chance she has.

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bfg is a good way to save ammo, as the bfg does much more damage with 40 cells than the plasma gun (mean damage 3130 vs 900 hp by this table. plus it takes less time to fire, during which you can be hit too.

however, i'm pretty reluctant to use plasma, i always keep it for the "next big fight" until i leave a map with several hundred cells, lol.

know your route exactly. the more difficult the map, the more important it is to get a suitable weapon, powerup etc. in slaughter maps you get reduced from 200/200 to 0 within seconds, so knowing where to go is critical.

in maps with clever enemy placement (like plutonia-style maps) you can come under fire from different angles. or the map tends to have monsters teleport in etc. don't run headlong into some room, it tends to get worse. try to create a safe corner where you can retreat.

what qoncept said about killing knights before barons. knight does the same damage, but is faster to dispatch.

archviles are not only dangerous because they hit you no matter how you dodge and revive corpses. their flame attack is distracting because that damn flame blocks the view.

align targets, obviously.

check if there are enemies left & right of the door you open. usually sergeants or chaingunners who shoot you in the back, often in pairs.


@ captain toenail: really amusing tactics ;)
especially the one with not shooting the archvile reminded me of some funny old coop matches.

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Shoot the [insert monster name here] until it dies.

If tactics are needed, I wuss out behind pillars or doorframes to draw monsters into my killzone while exposing myself as little as possible. If I find myself in an open area with no obvious cover... I just pull out the rocket launcher or BFG and clean house as quickly as possible.

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Thought of another one that involved infighting, if Cybie's out on the prowl and giving you trouble and the environment hates you get someone nearby to hit 'em so he turns his back to you, then swamp his ass with the BFG for an easy kill!

Like Maes' avatar for instance.

Another, getting behind items laying on the ground when there's Lost Souls, all these years of playing and never knowing that exploit / glitch in their behavior. Makes sense now why Lost Souls would stop in mid-flight for "no reason".

And I'm capable of chainsawing Revenants, Mancubi and Arachnotrons but I'm sure ZDoom makes this easier due to the fixed blockmap. I'll even shotgun (the regular one)/chaingun these pricks where it counts too.

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I'm a skirmisher. I spent most of my time when I was a kid using the SSG. I'm a lot better about it now, but the SSG is my weapon of choice for most practical encounters.

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Technician said:

I shoot bullets with my gun.


DIE-KNOW-MIGHT! YOU'RE COOKING WITH GAS!

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I like to 'tag' bigger monsters.

For example, shoot a cyberdemon once, then let it fire at you, hitting some other monsters on the way through. Then you get out of sight. These monsters will go fight it, clawing and hitting the cyberdemon, which won't shoot back because it is looking for you. Much more effective way to get other monsters to inflict major damage on the cyberdemon, rather than hit it once and then die straight away.

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KiiiYiiiKiiiA said:

which won't shoot back because it is looking for you


That's not quite how target thresholds work.

Monsters in general will only follow you (or a player) exclusively for 3 seconds due to the BASETHRESHOLD value of 100 ticks, ignoring other attacks only during that time.

After that time, they will suddenly "remember" to deal with those pesky monsters scratching and fireballing their ass, and unless you manage to continuously distract it with your presence (make it see you so that you renew that 3-second "deal" continuously), it will concentrate on disposing of all attackers without distractions.

So getting out of its sight entirely after you stirred a shitstorm is not a good idea if you wanted other monsters to kill it for you. If you wanted the cyberdemon to kill the other monsters effectively though, then yeah, it's the best thing to do, although it kinda spoils the fun of watching.

The Archvile is a major exception, as it will retaliate immediately against even the tiniest attack, and will ever instantly divert its attack on-progress, so it's never a good idea sticking around an Archvile even if it's obviously infighting with other monsters: if their target dies of other causes, they will INSTANTLY divert their attack on the next available one, which usually is the player, without any warning or flames buildup.

On the plus side, you can count on an Archvile disposing of a disproportionate amount of monsters if you leave it alone in a fuckfest, because the other monsters won't retaliate directly against it ;-) They eventually do die because of accumulated damage and their own self-damage at close range, though.

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This one's not new either, but attacking Pain Elementals at point blank range so as to prevent them from belching Lost Souls. They're Berserk/Chainsaw bait.

Just got to make sure to back up when they're ready to blow if you're low on health.

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Somewhat similar to Phobus, I tend to forgo consciously using tactics until I drop to low health. Too many maps can be made trivial if you play as good as you possibly can all the time, and I find being more relaxed about your playstyle gives more of a rollercoaster experience.

I like to quickly jerk the mouse around after firing a SSG shot so I can get a better idea of my surroundings.

I bump into monsters and immediately pull back as to control their movement better (starts their attack sequence which turns into a projectile you can dodge as you move back).

Wasting the BFG projectile to get the tracers out is a well-known use, but I'm fond of trying to get the most out of both whenever possible, i.e. by aiming the projectile so it hits a high-tier monster and move to have the tracers hit something else by the time it connects. The projectile alone is still better than every other option for DPS, and in hectic fights with plenty of ammo it can be a nice, safe option to thin the horde or get rid of a particulary troublesome monster while staying at range.

Shooting at walls with the rocket launcher, abusing the area of damage and infinitelytallness to get cheap kills whenever I'm low on health.

Avoiding the chainsaw so I can get a faster switch to slot 1 to use the berzerked fist.

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Cyanosis said:

This one's not new either, but attacking Pain Elementals at point blank range so as to prevent them from belching Lost Souls. They're Berserk/Chainsaw bait.


i played some plutonia revisited a few days ago, there's one in an open room behind the red door in m1 and that trick keeps it from flooding the room with souls. same for cacos, they can be cornered with berserk and killed with a few punches, although sometimes they have a nasty bite. the chainsaw works better on them, but generally the fist is preferrable.

Phml said:

[BFG tracers]


source ports with vertical aiming allow firing the projectile right at the ground, for a somewhat "cheap" tracer attack. anyway, the projectile itself is so powerful it should be used too (unlike in DM where you rarely hit a nimble player with it).
tracer only attack is needed against cybers in close spaces or groups of archviles (think plutonia map32)

with vertical aim it's possible to shoot rockets at the feet of archviles, since their quick running makes it somewhat hard to hit them with level shots. if low on rockets it's safer to wait for their attack sequence so they stand still.

elevators: i always switch to a rapid fire weapon (chaingun, better plasma) on elevators in unknown maps. there's often an ambush, and it's easy to get cornered.

stay near the wall in a narrow hallway so you have room to dodge. against mancubi, keep some free space to your left, for dodging their first shot.

sergeants can be annoying due to their behavior: sometimes you bump into them and they just turn away trying to get in a better position, the next one shoots immediately. they shoot on sight when the player is almost done reloading the shotgun / ssg, so finish reloading before peeking around the corner when low on health.

try straferunning all the time, it makes a difference even when not attempting speedruns.

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Phml said:

Somewhat similar to Phobus, I tend to forgo consciously using tactics until I drop to low health. Too many maps can be made trivial if you play as good as you possibly can all the time, and I find being more relaxed about your playstyle gives more of a rollercoaster experience.

I bump into monsters and immediately pull back as to control their movement better (starts their attack sequence which turns into a projectile you can dodge as you move back).

Shooting at walls with the rocket launcher, abusing the area of damage and infinitelytallness to get cheap kills whenever I'm low on health.


First one only applies to me when I've never played the map(s) before, I was slow as molasses when I played the IWAD maps before I run through them now. I've played IWADs more than any megawad, even the ones I hold in such high regard. If I played them more and knew where everything was I'd be faster for sure.

That second one is a good exploit, I actually do that with Pinky demons to get them to bite then backup to avoid damage, then go back up to them and repeat, so as to "hold them" while some shmuck with a projectile hits them from behind and get a bit of infighting going.

The Z-axis abuse doesn't totally work properly in ZDoom does it? At least with the RL (good example would be E4M3 red key area, damage the monsters below by shooting the walls) though I notice barrels blowing up under a monster on a high platform (or the player) will get injured so it must work to some degree.

I like to pull a switch that lowers a platform underneath you and move back so you don't go down with it and then fire a shot to get enemy attention then just pluck them off from higher ground until its safe to fall in. Easy with mouselook.

Pirx said:

Try straferunning all the time, it makes a difference even when not attempting speedruns.


Do you mean Strafe 40 (< > / A D) or Strafe 50 (alt)? I always do the former when moving around (strafing around corners) and its what makes circle strafing. I never use the latter, though I know the alt variant is a little faster, but its tricky to use properly in my case.

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I generally only play PWADs nowadays... occasionally, I'll play through the original DOOM but I can't really stand DOOM 2, so I never play through it anymore. Thus, all of my tactics apply primarily to DOOM 2 PWADs designed by people around these parts.

-Assume that there won't be enough health and ammo. A common, cheap tactic used by map designers to artificially ramp up the difficulty.

-Assume that every column or wall could hold a trap of some kind.

-Expect a Cyberdemon or Arch-Vile and try to save some powerful ammo for when they eventually appear (although, see point 1). You know they're gonna.

-Study the layout of every location carefully. Look for things that have been placed in your way to be a deliberate roadblock for when you're fighting off 100 Revenants at once in a 128x64 sector or something equally ridiculous.

-Don't use rockets against a Cyberdemon unless it's all you have left. Use the chaingun instead.

-If the megawad uses Arch-Viles in the first map, it damn well better be a huge, sprawling map that takes an hour to finish, and not an hour of backtracking either. If the megawad is 30 quick levels and it has an Arch-Vile in MAP01, delete it... it was made by someone who doesn't understand the concept of difficulty leveling.

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First point, precisely the reason why I am so careful in foreign territory, I make sure I get my ammo's worth and treat Berserk Packs as emergency health refills.

Definitely the third point you made, hence why I use bullets/shells most of the time, I forgot to mention actually that if I MUST have some "bare bones minimum" ammunition for all weapons I try to have my lowest (with backpack) be 30 shells, 100 bullets, 10 rockets and 100 cells. Rockets are IMHO very specially reserved thanks to their splash damage properties and work in a pinch against tougher foes (Archvile, Baron of Hell) when cells run dry. If I somehow round off my numbers like that at any point in a WAD I'll rely on infighting or Berserk/Chainsaw if I have them.

Sometimes it's not possible to kill everything (E4M1), and you shouldn't waste ammo period on an enemy that cannot get to you directly and you're fast enough to avoid it. Since Doom lacks a score system like Wolf3D a kill ratio isn't enough to make me want to 100% a map if there's inadequate ammo supplies and there's a heavy reliance on BS gimmicks to knock everyone off for bragging reasons.

Also the first level of Number One Kill: The Next Generation is pretty surprising for difficulty and monster usage (everything but bosses) but there's enough health and ammo to get you through if you aren't careless, didn't deter me from completing the megawad. I treat 1killtng like Hexen's Deathkings of the Dark Citadel for Doom II.

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Cyanosis said:

Do you mean Strafe 40 (< > / A D) or Strafe 50 (alt)? I always do the former when moving around (strafing around corners) and its what makes circle strafing. I never use the latter, though I know the alt variant is a little faster, but its tricky to use properly in my case.



strafe 40, to run faster. it's funny when i hold my gun at an angle in other games because i'm used with it from doom ;)

strafe 50 of course is even faster, but is too awkward to activate in many situations. however it's a nice skill, as it can give one the extra boost needed for some jumps.

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Eponasoft said:

-Assume that there won't be enough health and ammo. A common, cheap tactic used by map designers to artificially ramp up the difficulty.

Either I'm awesome or you've been playnig some really nasty maps, as ammo is incredibly rarely an issue for me. Especially in megaWADs or episodes I'm used to being massively overstocked in a continuous playthrough. Health is a bit of a non-issue with me because, as I said earlier, I tend to take loads of damage until I'm on low health anyway.

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Phobus said:

Either I'm awesome or you've been playnig some really nasty maps, as ammo is incredibly rarely an issue for me. Especially in megaWADs or episodes I'm used to being massively overstocked in a continuous playthrough. Health is a bit of a non-issue with me because, as I said earlier, I tend to take loads of damage until I'm on low health anyway.

Probably a bit of both, I reckon. For every awesome map out there, there's at least 5 "why did I download this?" maps. Maybe I'm just spoiled though. :)

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