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Refueling Base

Idea for new Multiplayer variant

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Hello all... I'm a long-time Doom fan, making my first post here at these fine forums because I have an idea that I want to share.

Now, this idea would involve, I'm sure, quite a bit of programming. I am talking about a fairly significant modification here, but I think that it would be pretty awesome.

For me, one of the most fun things about Doom is monster infighting. It adds a layer of chaos to many battles, and helps to create the sense of a larger world "out there" of which you, as Doomguy, are seeing only a part.

I am fantasizing about a variant of Doom in which you would be able to take control of groups or armies of monsters, like a general leading troops, and fight against another general who is controlling their own army.

The game would still be first person, using the Doom engine for graphics. As the "commander", you would play the standard space marine, but either unarmed or armed only with light weapons. At the start of a battle, both sides would select their army from all of the available monsters, paying for these "soldiers" from a pool of points. As you can imagine, a Cyberdemon would cost considerably more points than an Imp.

The two players would also select a map to play on...

The map could be any Doom map, but modified (specially tagged) so that two subsections of the map would be "starting areas". Each player would get their own starting area. At the beginning of the battle, each player would deploy their army in their starting area, using either the top-down "map" view or the first-person view, modified to have a special "place monster" command enabled.

The battle would then begin.

As the commander, you would run around in first person as usual. However, you would also be able to select any group of monsters within your line of sight and give them basic commands. Some basic commands would be:

1) "Go to this point" (as the commander, you would have to indicate the point to which the monsters should attempt to move, by clicking on it or at least in its direction)
2) "Open this door / press this switch" (self-explanatory... in this variant, the monsters should have the ability to open doors, press switches, trigger lifts, and so on).
3) "Attack these enemies" (you would have to click on the enemies in question)
4) "Clear commands" (this would cause the monsters to revert to their normal 'waiting' behavior)

Note: for the sake of commands which involve clicking on a map location, it may be useful to allow use of the top-down map view... however, it would still be the case that only locations that are in the commander's line of sight could be selected.

Note 2: you would be able to select a group of monsters by sort of sweeping your mouse across them, like in real time strategy games, but there should probably also be options such as "select all monsters of type X within line of sight", for example, to make things more fun and more strategic. You should also be able to bind a group of monsters that you have previously selected to a hotkey, and to select them again (only those within your line of sight, however) by pressing that key.

Just as is the case in many real time strategy games, the command that you give to a monster would expire once it has been satisfied (for example, the "go to this point" command would expire once the monster reached that point).

During times that they lack commands from you, monsters would follow their usual AI, with a couple of exceptions:

1) Monsters would not be able to hurt other monsters from their own army, and would not begin infighting with their own army.
2) Monsters would be able to hurt "enemy" monsters of any type, not just of a type different from their own.

As the commander, you would be able to sustain damage to your health, as usual, and you could be killed. However, when killed, you would respawn back in your starting area after a certain delay... perhaps of five to twenty seconds or so.

The soldiers in your army, on the other hand, would NOT respawn.

The idea here is that, as commander, you will naturally want to be "in the thick of battle" so that you can give commands to your troops (for which, remember, line of sight is needed). However, you will want to avoid dying, since dying entails having to wait out the delay and go back to the starting area, all of which take you away from the battle.

The side that destroys the other side's army wins.

(Note: this concept could, of course, also be implemented as single player "human-controlled army vs AI army"... it doesn't have to necessarily be multiplayer. Other variants are also possible... for example, in multiplayer, one player could control an army of monsters as a commander, while the other plays to win the level by reaching the exit, and can use all of the weapons, as in standard Doom.)

I think that this idea, if implemented, would be really fun, because it would be like a real time strategy game, but without tedious resource management, and in first person, with all of the Doom stuff that we know and love. And, perhaps most importantly, we would automatically have Doom's absolutely AMAZING monster design, which is a large component of why Doom's single player mode is still fun after all these years.

Alright... this is all just a rough draft. I just wanted to get this out there. None of this is set in stone. For example, I feel that the requirement of being in line of sight in order to give commands might be too restrictive. An alternative would be, perhaps, requiring that the soldiers be in line of sight, but that the destination, or "target" for a move command (for example) would not have to be, but could be selected from anywhere on the top-down map.

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Try Zdoom Wars mod in Zandronum source port. It's not as elaborate as what you propose here, but pretty close. Maybe you could build your own mod on top of it. You can't control mobs there, but you can spawn various packs in strategic places, depending on your manapool, which gets replenished by drops from dead monsters. After a while more and more monsters get unlocked for you to spawn (you start only with the most basic ones in your pocket). There are also few classes you can pick, allowing you to spawn non-doom actors. Teams start each at their base, and players cannot directly fight, but only can do that via their minions, but they can die themselves. When all players of a team die, the team loses.

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Interesting! Thanks, jongo... I'd never heard of that mod before. It certainly sounds like it's in roughly the same direction that I've been thinking of.

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ZDoom Wars is most definitely what you're after. 'Tis a pretty damn cool mod, if I may say so, if only for the scale and the fact that you can pick a faction from any of the official Doom games. Spamming gargoyles with Heretic is pretty rad.

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Wow, I just checked out some videos of people playing ZDoom Wars on Youtube, and it looks awesome. The two of you are right that it is pretty close to what I have in mind. Thanks for the recommendation!

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Refueling Base is a sick map. I always envied people who signed their name in on Doomworld with the title of a Doom level. Wish I had thought of that when I signed up :P

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40oz said:

Refueling Base is a sick map.

Agreed, of course! So many awesome things in that map. The invasion-style assault of monsters at the beginning, where you realize that, instead of attacking forward as you normally do at the start of a level, you are instead being attacked from two large rooms... The contrast in lighting levels of those two rooms... one is very bright, the other one very dark. The fact that you can see that dimly lit outside area past the dark room.... The nonlinearity... The multiple ambushes in that room with the three small nukage-drenched monster closets... That scary outside area itself, between those two big doors, where you can just sense that something bad is behind them... And, of course, the teleporting Cyberdemon near the exit, which can be terrifying on your first few encounters, especially if you don't know where the invulnerability is.

It's rather amazing how many different sorts of gameplay, and awesome situations, they packed into that one map.

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it's a huge inspiration for me as a level designer.

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