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Obsidian

What is it that you don't like about IoS battles?

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As you might know, I'm relatively fond of Icon of Sin maps, mainly because I'm a sucker for boss battles. It seems that I'm in the minority in this aspect though. So tell me: why exactly don't you like the Icon? Personally I've never been keen on the split-second timing elevator style that you see in the original, hence you probably won't see it in any of my ones. But what about the rest of you?

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Actually I don't dislike icons themselves, I dislike infinitely spawning monsters. Killing them feels pointless/unrewarding since more will appear anyway, so they encourage just running through everything as quickly as possible and somehow usually this isn't fun. One exception: "survive for X minutes" scenarios, like in Speed of Doom map30. There you don't really have any choice but to fight the spawning monsters, so you actually want to kill as many as possible to not get overwhelmed by them.
tl;dr IoS battles usually encourage ignoring monsters, which is kinda against the spirit of the game imo.

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I'm not a fan of either thing already mentioned, and the Doom 2 Icon is too obviously a wall. (The Plutonia 2 Icon, on the other hand, was great. I'm sure there are other good examples of making it look like an actual monster).

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As Creaphis and Zero Punctuation have said, a well designed boss fight should be a sort of 'test' of the skills you have developed while playing through the game. And the whole 'firing a rocket through a small hole, usually while riding up a lift of some sort' is not a skill that has been developed, or even needed, anywhere throughout the rest of the game.

Also, what everyone else has said so far I pretty much agree with.

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I like to take my time, I like for things to stay dead, and I like having some wiggle room when it comes to aim or movement. IoS brings Nightmareish gameplay to my non-skill 5 game session and ruins all that. I don't really enjoy shooting immobile objects either.

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KiiiYiiiKiiiA said:

And the whole 'firing a rocket through a small hole, usually while riding up a lift of some sort' is not a skill that has been developed, or even needed, anywhere throughout the rest of the game.



... not to mention that you need a certain amount of luck with the monsters that get spawned. The entire thing is just annoying. Even more annoying is that 99% of all Doom 2 mods using the Icon of Sin setup haven't managed to do anything with it that wasn't already there in the original (large demonic wall - check; tall pillar used as a lift - check; remote switch to initially lift the pillar - check.)

All you need is some luck to hit the tiny hole while not being ambushed by a newly spawned monster at the wrong time that pushes you off the pillar. This was (and still is) the worst boss setup I have ever seen.

The Cyberdemon, now that's a great boss where it's the player's skill that allows it to succeed. (and to this day for me the best boss ever because it's neither too hard nor too tricky to make it frustrating while at the same time challenging enough to make it too easy to beat.)

Strange that Doom both managed to produce the high and low in this regard.

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Graf Zahl said:

The Cyberdemon, now that's a great boss where it's the player's skill that allows it to succeed. (and to this day for me the best boss ever because it's neither too hard nor too tricky to make it frustrating while at the same time challenging enough to make it too easy to beat.)

The cyberdemon was great in the early and mid 90's when people weren't as good in FPSs. But the fact that it's, functionally, just a glorified imp doesn't make it a very interesting boss. It's not challenging because it's tricky to fight; it's challenging because if you forget to move you'll die in one hit.

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The old conumdrum; should the boss do something new or be a harder version of what has already come.

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Basically, the great thing about doom is you can play it any way you want, and the terrible thing about the IOS is that it dictates exactly how you have to play it. Timed lifts and infinite monsters are not fun and not the reason people play doom, but this is also the reason I hate any map that throws the standard running and shooting gameplay out the window and suddenly requires you to hop across some difficult platforms or memorise some switches or run to get through a timed door.

Its the map maker saying "right you had your fun, now press your control buttons in exactly this order at the right time to progress"

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The Icon of Sin is a way to script challenges and add more to an encounter than good placement, but like most scripting is mainly just used to make the player do stupid things until an archvile kills him because he's on a lift in the middle of a football field.

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That most of the difficulty is negated when you can aim up and down.

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By the way, the original IoS battle exploited one of the game's limitations in an annoying way. "Haha, you can't aim up or down, now try to fit a rocket into that tiny hole!" Not a very good idea. Besides, it's just really dumb that the main protagonist can aim at any "regular" monster, but can't lock on one particular target of infinite importance.

Sure, you can't lock on an empty place. The engine won't allow you. Basically, that battle underlined an initially insignificant design flaw and asked to accept it as a part of the game mechanic.

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I don't like it because it just spams too many monsters which just pushes me off the lift and fucks up the whole thing, resulting in my health dropping like a rock you threw off a building, splattering some poor guy down below because of the damaging floor at the bottom and the mass of Arachnotrons that tend to spawn down there.

Plus most source ports allow mouse aiming so that sort of takes away the whole point of it.

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TBH, my big beef with the IoS is not the fight itself but more the fact that it's used at the end of pretty much every megawad ever with almost no variation. It's the penultimate Doom 2 cliche (second only to Dead Simple clones).

Also, I'm more of an Android guy, myself.

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It actually pisses me off when people make Dead Simple clones. It's almost like some sort of secret pact or rule I don't know about.

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The demon lottery that plagues every speed runner. Not that I speed run, but if an arch spawns - you're going to have a bad time.

I'd like to see an icon of sin level that pits you into a well thought out survival arena. Instead of racing to rocket, have a timed crusher over Romero. Have timed reward sectors open up as well to balance things out.

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Jodwin said:

The cyberdemon was great in the early and mid 90's when people weren't as good in FPSs.



In what other context would you rate a boss?
Hindsight is nice but to make any judgement you have to make it in the context of time.

Of course it's a glorified imp by technical standards, that doesn't change anything that back in 1993 or early 1994 this was precisely what a boss monster needed to be.

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I only dislike the "figure out the precise height and angle you need to fit a rocket through the hole / manage to time it just right on a moving lift or in some other ridiculous situation" aspect of IoS. I actually don't mind, and even like the concept of infinite monsters pressuring you for time and creating "haste and chaos".

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I tend to be more disappointed if a 32-level mapset doesn't end with some sort of IoS fight (because ending on a standard map is lazy), although even then they can be so poorly-planned that all the fun is sucked out of playing them.

The Good:
Memento Mori - Alright, so it doesn't really fight back itself, but throwing a Cyberdemon in as a rocket-launching shield that would try and put you off aiming was a nice touch.

Khorus' Speedy Shit - No bullshit aiming rockets down a hole, just collect three keys and let a crusher do the hard work while you concentrate on not getting pasted.

Demonfear - Simple stuff, shit spawns around the place while you aim for a specific area during a ride on one of many possible platforms... but without the 0.3 second timeframe to get your shot on target.


The Bad:
Doom II Reloaded - Yes, run across these pillars while everything below you blocks your movement with their infinite height. By far and away one of the biggest oversights in map design ever. I fucking hate this one.

Alien Vendetta - Be honest, this one just flat-out sucks.


The Ugly:
Marswar - For bringing nerdy "my OS is better than your OS" bullshit into Doom. Just fuck off with this.

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In theory, I'm totally for IoS battles. The idea of taking down something (even if it's a set of wall textures) 30x the size of an average monster is climactic, and I don't mind if it's a little simple -- to me, the final boss is the first part of the ending and has to feel climactic and action-packed even if it isn't in reality.

However, if such a battle is too fiddly (or too insultingly-simple) it can detract from this fun.

In context of when it was released, the Doom 2 IoS was something quite awesome; big demonic face that wouldn't succumb to conventional weapons but needed a little trickery to get its weak point? Great, even if replaying it is a little tedious. TNT Evilution? No. The lead-up (with the famous torch puzzle and such) is okay, but the Icon itself is dumb. Then again, Plutonia's was nice and ramped-up -- you've got to defeat a goddamn Cyberdemon in order to even get a shot in!

On the other end of the scale, Realm of Chaos (recently played by the Megawad Club) had the worst type of Icon battle; really, you can shoot it with the pistol if you really want - and without firing a single shot at any other monster (it's actually easier if you do this).

Variations on the theme are all cool with me, too -- the 'survival arena' idea sounds pretty damn cool for example.

I would hate to see a regular level as a final stage. I guess I do fall into the same category as Obsidian here in that I love boss battles (I even welcome MAP07-alikes).

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When reviewing/rating a WAD, I don't take MAP30 into consideration. I hate them all / I don't play 98% of them.

I would hate to see a regular level as a final stage.

I bet you don't mind "regular" levels in 10+ map episodes, like Darken2. If these mapsets can end without IoS, why 32 map WADs cannot? This is something I fail to understand.

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vdgg said:

If these mapsets can end without IoS, why 32 map WADs cannot? This is something I fail to understand.



Actually the reason for this is very simple. The more 'classic' minded Doomers have very rigid perceptions of how the game should work.

Among other things this means that:

MAP07 MUST be a Dead Simple clone (you got to use that monster death action feature, don't you?)
MAP30 MUST be an Icon of Sin showdown. Again, since the feature exists it must be used, right?

I have to admit I've grown tired of vanilla maps and especially vanilla megawads. They stopped being creative a long time ago.

Since you mentioned Darkening 2, boy were that good times when people actually created something DIFFERENT with the original engine that didn't try to slavishly recreate stuff from the original levels.

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Graf Zahl said:

I have to admit I've grown tired of vanilla maps and especially vanilla megawads. They stopped being creative a long time ago.

That's the same way I feel.

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Something of a double-standard going on stating on the one hand that the classic mindset is 'rigid' and then flat-out decrying all MAP07/30-alikes to have 'stopped being creative a long time ago'.

Off the top of my head (and to keep it on-topic), Doom 2 The Way id Did has a nice twist on the Icon of Sin theme.

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In doom 2 the pillar is too tiny to avoid projectiles from the sides so I never made it without those godspheres in the easiest difficulties.

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