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Best way to Utilize the Pain Elemental?

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So I just recently started crafting my own maps and I'm really enjoying it! But as the thread title suggests, what is the most effective way to make use of the Pain Elemental?

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Ha ha, that's a Sunder map, isn't it?

Bear in mind that getting into close quarters with a Pain Elemental neutralizes them fairly well. A decent bit of distance is needed to utilize them well, but too far away and you'll have a cloud of Lost Souls when you get into shooting range. And don't let them infight, it makes things messy.

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When I started mapping again some months ago, I started experimenting with unusual things (barrel chains, ghost monsters, etc.), but I had (and still have) a lot of problems with PEs, especially since I can't really consider them a monster, since I know that if there's a PE in a tricky position/far away/etc., I'm gonna have to consider a bunch of Lost Souls as well, and given how unpredictable they are, I have a lot of trouble balancing the ammo and health. As a result, I really don't use them, at least for now, and I prefer sticking to "standard" monsters until I have some more experience.

But anyway, leaving my own experiences apart, I consider them a fun challenge when using a RL, but unfortunately, I can barely remember two, maybe three maps that use them properly that way (sorry, no names). I would just like to give you a special advice: beware of crushers if there's an AV nearby, because if one of them gets resurrected (as a ghost), the player is going to be in serious trouble.

Another thing that I consider important too: they tend to fuck up a lot of maps for some of us who sometimes play on -fast, so you might want to consider that as well.

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Put them in a place where they're unreacheable by the player, and too far to be effectively shot by conventional weapons. An example is a large yard which the player can't drop into because of a fence. The Pain Elementals (often two) are on the far side of the yard on a rock, aiming Lost Souls at the player.

They definitely are monsters and can be used. Similar to Archviles, the best tactic is taking cover when fighting against them.

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Ragnor said:

[IMG]
Not this way.

That's a perfect usage of pain elementals.

One thing that's worth to remember which ports have infinitely tall objects checked, since they can shoot over the enemies if they are high enough, or lost souls ramming on enemies.

For devastating effect; long range, not easy to reach as a plus, about 256 units or higher off from ground (loses altitude when closer though), and no enemies near the pain elemental, instead they are placed on sides, or in flanking positions. And preferably cacos as chasers. That should teach a lesson for players to respect pain elemental. ;)

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Ragnor said:

stuff
Not this way.


What do you mean? It's exactly that way!

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I just needed an excuse to post that screenshot :p

I had quite a bit of PE trouble while finishing off Hell to Pay today. One of them sandwiched between barons and infighting created a nightmare VERY fast. Must have died about 5 times to lost souls in that scenario...and it was the first room!

And yes Obsidian, its Hollow Icon.

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Pain elementals are a high priority for players to kill, so adding them to an ambush with monsters that require immediate evasion can be interesting, also placing it in a position where players have to dodge around other monsters to get to it first. Putting them alongside other high priority monsters like chaingunners and archviles makes for interesting tactical choices.

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I haven't used a lot of pain elementals....my first one I used to ambush a player in a secret room, I only put the one there thoughand he is easily dealt with.

The next ones I ever used were at the end of my last level guarding the exit, there are only 2 of them there. You can skip them if you want as the fight would take place on a narrow ledge.

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While I'm not a Doom mapper, I'd guess a good use of Pain Elementals is placing them somewhere where they can't be easily targeted (at least not initially) down with "stunlocking", and perhaps with other enemies blocking them (they seem to mainly work well with Cacodemons).

I once saw a good Pain Elemental trap in Coffee Break- Episode 1 on the 'Fort' map, where MTrop had 3 PE's hidden behind a wall of Pinkies in a room. Needless to say a fair bit of chaos happened!

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I like to use them to draw a player into the heart of a battle. When I set up a choreographed fight one of the persisting problems to solve is discouraging the player from camping and pot-shotting from afar and the PE is a useful monster for this as they punish players who do not get in close by spamming the area with lost souls.

Also, I'll say it for Tarnsman: in ambushes triggered by picking up a rocket launcher :-)

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Put them behind a walk-through wall that the player can't reach, so that Lost Souls keep flying through the wall into the player. Actually, don't do that, the last person who tried it had his tiddler cut off. ;)

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I love Pain Elementals. Unlike many of Doom's monsters, Pain elementals are the least threatening the closer you get to them. So you want to avoid letting the player abuse that trick where if you stand right in front of its face, the lost souls it spits out automatically die, making it an easy kill with little mental stimulation in its encounter.

My best suggestions to do avoid this are:

-An encounter with two or more pain elementals at the same time, each very far apart from one another.

-An encounter with one Pain elemental accompanied by other monsters that would effectively defend it, such as archviles, chaingunners, or revenants.

-An encounter involving physical factors, such as damaging floors, narrow catwalks, or other deep pitfalls where the player would prioritize staying in a safe and known area versus getting too close to the Pain Elemental.

Also keep in mind that the Pain Elemental exhausts more of the players ammo the more effective the trap is, which makes them tricky to gauge a tense ammo balance.

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MajorRawne said:

Put them behind a walk-through wall that the player can't reach, so that Lost Souls keep flying through the wall into the player. Actually, don't do that, the last person who tried it had his tiddler cut off. ;)

Not reliable because MBF, PrBoom, Eternity can deny it under certain game settings.

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Well that's jolly unsporting of them ;)

In my Panophobia map Acid Reign, I've got a Pain Elemental who attacks from behind a pair of Spectres and he is actually quite a threat in combination with those two. He generally gets at least 1-2 Lost Souls out before I corner him and I'm yet to win that particular fight without getting hurt. The combat area has room to retreat, but out of all the monsters in Doom, retreating is the last thing you should do when you've got a Pain Elemental coming in.

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I like to make it so the infight with other lost souls, that way if the player doesn't deal with that shit then there will be a HUGE problem waiting for them.

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Your best use for them is probably something along the lines of the player trying to navigate some kind of precarious bridge. Pain Elementals will be a good pain in the ass. So use them in those situations.

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At long ranges over inaccessible terrain. A good example would be D2TWID map22 imo. You can also use them in raised monster closets or on their own with other monsters to provide pressure from above.

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Thanks for the input guys! I'm going to try integrate some of these idea's into my maps. I doubt they'll actually see the light of day, but oh well!

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I just use it for distraction, so it'll be the first thing the player will want to kill, I put them in hordes of other monsters so the player will have to shoot it from far away, so he won't get damaged by the other monsters making him an easy target plowing a PE in the face.

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purist said:

I like to use them to draw a player into the heart of a battle. When I set up a choreographed fight one of the persisting problems to solve is discouraging the player from camping and pot-shotting from afar and the PE is a useful monster for this as they punish players who do not get in close by spamming the area with lost souls.

Also, I'll say it for Tarnsman: in ambushes triggered by picking up a rocket launcher :-)



this, a hundred times. they're used to force the player to seek the fight instead of plinking distant targets.

i like playing certain maps for warming up. prcp m01 is one of them. there's a lone PE behind the locked door and it'll spam you full of souls if you stay away trying to ssg it. jump down right in its face and it's harmless.

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Clonehunter said:

Your best use for them is probably something along the lines of the player trying to navigate some kind of precarious bridge. Pain Elementals will be a good pain in the ass. So use them in those situations.


This is a good use of them, a bit cheap though. I'm guilty of doing it.

But generally they seem like good ambushy monsters but I think they are bit lame...I get a bit sickly feeling when I see one, not a fan. But in small amounts they are decent...one of the reasons I tend not to play maps that make heavy use of them.

Lost souls are good to fight, I find that fun when there isn't a source generating more of them.

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Hmmm, what if Pain Elementals were burning and damaging everything around, so you couldn't just come up to them to prevent them from spawning lost souls?

Or maybe that would just turn fights with PEs into camping exercises.

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40oz said:

...An encounter involving physical factors, such as damaging floors, narrow catwalks, or other deep pitfalls where the player would prioritize staying in a safe and known area versus getting too close to the Pain Elemental.


Oh, God. I have no idea why, but you just reminded me of The Chasm. Thank GOD there weren't any Pain Elementals there.

Speaking of which, you could have Chasm-type catwalks, and, when the player reaches the middle, a closet door opens revealing some. YES, SOME.

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