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Platinum Shell

Partial Invisibility VS. Computer Area Map; which is more useless?

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In my humble opinion, I can't pick either; they both have their situation of use, it just how the mapper uses them.

PI's are incredibly useful against hitscan enemies. (especially shotgun guys, as they deliver their damage in a singly-placed powerful shot.)

And CAM's are good for maps that use well hidden secrets, or maps that disable progressive automap detailing.

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Platinum Shell said:

And CAM's are good for [...] maps that disable progressive automap detailing.

Uh?

How do you do that other than by marking all linedefs as hidden? Which makes the CAM entirely useless?

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Discounting pwads for the moment, I never cared too much for the PI in the iwads. Generally those maps were so easy anyways that PI just felt like another secret pickup that I needed to get just to be a completionist. And sometimes PI can even be a bad pickup, especially versus projectile enemies. However, I always liked the CAM. Knowledge is power, and it just felt good to know that I had an item that gave me full knowledge of the map's layout.

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Gez said:

Uh?

How do you do that other than by marking all linedefs as hidden? Which makes the CAM entirely useless?


Plutonia's HUNTED disabled the automap, but I believe doing the cheat (not the iddt cheat, mind you) that gives you a CAM did show the entire map.

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I prefer PI because I like picking up spheres :)

Otherwise, PI is more useless.

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I'm with Vordakk on this. PI is only useful for hitscanners and makes multiple projectile firing monsters confusing to dodge against. No downside to the computer map.

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Neither are 'pointless', but the PI's got obvious drawbacks which can result in death. Sometimes the CAM is completely useless for areas of a map, but it's never got anyone killed.

I utterly loathe unavoidable PI placements. They're largely worthless items in PWADs, placed just to add fake difficulty. Fuck 'em.

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BaronOfStuff said:

Sometimes the CAM is completely useless for areas of a map, but it's never got anyone killed.


I once walked into a nukage pit using the CAM.

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PI + Arachnotrons = probable death.

IMO, I always thought the Lite-Amp goggles were pointless. They were used a few times in Doom to good effect, but I don't think I've ever seen them in custom-made levels, bar one or two times.

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Aldaraia said:

IMO, I always thought the Lite-Amp goggles were useless. They were used a few times in Doom to good effect, but I don't think I've ever seen them in custom-made levels, bar one or two times.

I love how in Heretic the early occurences of the torch are almost always followed by a pitch black situation. The player is tempted to use the torch as soon as it gets only a little dim, thereby wasting it.

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printz said:

The player is tempted to use the torch as soon as it gets only a little dim, thereby wasting it.


Another reason why Heretic is so cool: an Inventory system that allows the player to save items and use them at his discretion.

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The computer map is only any use if it shows secret areas. Making secret areas not show up on the map and then providing a computer map is pretty redundant.

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Aldaraia said:

PI + Arachnotrons = probable death.


In my maps, I forced a PI before fighting arachnotrons to make it more challenging, and then found out that PI just makes it goddamn EASIER. Even projectile enemies are missing so badly that it's barely possible to get hit unless you have ADHD and you're unable to stand in place for a while.

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I keep hearing that PI is good against hitscan enemies, but honestly, thinking about it, I don't think I've ever really come into a situation where I had a PI with a large group of hitscan enemies.

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I'd go with Partial Invisibility. I think the maps are pretty useful, especially since I find the automap incredibly underrated. I wish I got paid any sum of money every time I went into a co-op server to find all the players have been lost for the last twenty minutes on an easy level. Bonus points if it's the default iwad.

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Partial Invisibility since you never really actually need it whereas the Computer Map can sometimes be invaluable for when your trying to find your way around a big level or locate some hard to find secrets.

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Unless the map is very linear and doesn't contain secrets, I think the computer area map is pretty useful. The partial invisibility might not be very useful in IWAD maps most of the time, but there are many pwads where they are placed to help you through areas full of hitscanners. Also, they are a fun item to use for traps, as I have done so in two of my maps so far (one in which it is fed to a voodoo doll before a confrontation). You may have learned to circle-strafe the cyberdemon by heart, but try that technique now!

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The Partial Invisibility powerup actually has a couple more uses than it is usually given credit for, depending on how savvy the map designer is, such as in corridor combat where the opponent flanks the player at the 12 and 6 o'clock positions; or in areas where one would otherwise not take the risk of dodging for fear of falling off ledges or into damaging sectors. It may also be used to better provoke infighting in herds of monsters from great distances, where the player is less able to manipulate the monsters' attacks into striking one another.

The usefulness of a Computer Area Map is really put to the test if the player is already familiar with the map -- inside and out -- and to this end it plays a good part in aiding in the player in remembering where he has been, where he has yet to go, and which areas he has insufficiently explored. Its usefulness increases with the non-linearity and size of the map.

Both can be very useful indeed, and in more ways than one!

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I actually like both powerups a lot. Invisibilty is super useful in obstacles like the catwalks in The Chasm, or other areas where there isn't a lot of space to move. I've found Computer Area maps especially helpful in finding secrets and navigating very mazey complicated levels and finding secret areas. I don't think neither powerup is useless at all.

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Modern wads are predictably placing Partial Invisibility artifacts wherever hitscan ambushes are expected to happen.

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They do, although they still look around as if they're in with a chance of missing.

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Phobus said:

They do, although they still look around as if they're in with a chance of missing.

Their false modesty in this regard really pisses me off. If you're going to act like you're having a tough time then at least have the decency to miss every once in a while!

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It's reverse psychology. They're sitting there going "Oooh, where is he? I can't see him! I'll never hit him no- AAAHHH got him again! Can't believe he fell for that! What a n00b!" :P

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Partial Invincibility would be more convincing if instead of making monsters spread their sights and attacks, it would simply make monsters perceive your coordinates as offset from the real position.

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Pure Hellspawn said:

Same with Demons.


I think the demons can miss and chew on the demon next to it, and then the other one starts chew back. Suppose it could also critically fail and chew a barrel instead.

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It could pre 1.5, when Demon attacks where short hitscan's. Post 1.5, it was changed so that damage was done directly to the target.

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I found the map useful for secrets in quite a few user made maps. Switches that activate lifts/secret walls that aren't in sight but can be heard, easy to spot in the automap.

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