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Vader

I'm a believer (Doom theories)

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No, this is not meant to be a religious discussion :P

I'm pretty sure most of you already heard about the infamous "swingshot-theory", and I've got to admit that although it has been proven to be wrong (I think one of the threads discussing this issue even showed that in a direct comparison between killing demons with two "normal" shotgun blasts versus two swing-shots didn't show a significant difference in terms of damage being dealt), I still believe that "swing-shots" do have an effect!
Likewise, there're three other "doom-theories" that I believe in, but are propably equally unfounded (not sure if any of those have been discussed before though):

-increasing pain-chance;
I've been playing Doom(2) for 20 years now and after all this time I think I noticed that monsters are more likely to enter their pain-state the closer to death they are.
Most notably the Cyberdemon. When fighting a Cybie with a SSG (wich I rarely do because it's boring), I seem to be able to interrupt its attack-sequence more frequently the closer to death it is. The last couple of shots (3 or 4) always seem to take it into pain-state.

-lazy monsters;
When playing, I always try to inflict as much infighting as possible (sometimes I try so hard that I die as a result :P), but I just can't get past trying when a setup theoretically allows for it. However, it seems to me that everytime I try to make enemies fight each other, the monsters behind another enemy just refuse to shoot most of the time, as if they are aware that they would hit a friend.
For example; I lure a bunch of HK's in front of a Mancubus, but once the nobles are in front of the Manc, it has a hard time attacking me as it seems. But when I eventually die trying to cause infighting and restart the scenario with the intention to just shoot the crap out of the monsters without caring about infights, the Manc would fire at me like there's no tomorrow!
This happens way too frequently to me to call it just a coincidence.

-evading projectiles;
This one is propably the most weird of the three, but I believe that trying to evade projectiles (even though they hit you) reduces the damage taken. I've noticed it numerous times while playing that an enemy projectile seems to deal much more damage if you run straight into it (because you try to evade some other attack for example), than a missile that barely hits you because you're trying to get away from it.
I know about the random damage calculator and it might just be bad luck on my side, but on the other hand I've played way too much Doom to ignore this, as it seems to happen quite frequently (same goes for the other points I made).


So yeah, I'm pretty sure none of those points are really true and there's propably nothing in the code that would confirm those theories, but still, I believe in those things and even my style of playing is influenced by those things to a certain degree.
I know it's mostly my weird brain, but do any of you have similar theories that you believe in, even though they appear to be nonsense?

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The swingshot theory actually has a rational explanation: strafing around the target, and shooting it from 45 degree angles (with hitscan weapons, SG and SSG most notably but also BFG) cause it to "show" more frontal area to the player, because of the square hitboxes, and therefore "catch" more pellets/tracers.

The increased pain chance effect, especially in the conditions you described, may simply be because the closer a monster is to dying (even a Cyberdemon), the bolder you get and the closer you approach to shoot it. The SSG shoots 20 pellets at a time, so there's quite a good chance to cause pain (heh) regardless of health status. It's just about how far (or close) you're ready to go in order to make sure that all 20 hit ;-)

The "lazy monsters" and "evading projectiles" phenomena however have no grounds in the source code. A few types of monsters (Archvile, Revenants, and maybe Lost Souls) do have more complex, distance-based rules on how/when to (counter)attack, but most just don't care: if they can see their targets, they will attack it.

As for evading projectiles, the most plausible explanation is that if you keep moving, you simply get hit less than by staying put ;-)

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This reminds me of that idea that punching the air makes monsters more likely to fire (and therefor making it easier/faster to provoke infighting). I don't know if this was ever confirmed or disproved, and I can't say I've experienced much of an effect from this method while playing, so I tend not to bother.

Something I believe without much [recent] evidence is that looping general midi tracks can crash prboom-plus. Idk if that fits the theme of this thread particularly well but hey.

Vader said:

-increasing pain-chance;
I've been playing Doom(2) for 20 years now and after all this time I think I noticed that monsters are more likely to enter their pain-state the closer to death they are.
Most notably the Cyberdemon. When fighting a Cybie with a SSG (wich I rarely do because it's boring), I seem to be able to interrupt its attack-sequence more frequently the closer to death it is. The last couple of shots (3 or 4) always seem to take it into pain-state.

I have actually noticed this one a bit, but like you I kinda doubt that it really happens. Like you, I always thought cyberdemons particularly hardly ever flinched at the beginning of fights, and then started flinching noticeably only when they were about to die.

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Heh, I noticed the cyberdemon getting weaker towards the end of the fight as well.

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Vader said:

-lazy monsters;
When playing, I always try to inflict as much infighting as possible (sometimes I try so hard that I die as a result :P), but I just can't get past trying when a setup theoretically allows for it. However, it seems to me that everytime I try to make enemies fight each other, the monsters behind another enemy just refuse to shoot most of the time, as if they are aware that they would hit a friend.
For example; I lure a bunch of HK's in front of a Mancubus, but once the nobles are in front of the Manc, it has a hard time attacking me as it seems. But when I eventually die trying to cause infighting and restart the scenario with the intention to just shoot the crap out of the monsters without caring about infights, the Manc would fire at me like there's no tomorrow!
This happens way too frequently to me to call it just a coincidence.

-evading projectiles;
This one is propably the most weird of the three, but I believe that trying to evade projectiles (even though they hit you) reduces the damage taken. I've noticed it numerous times while playing that an enemy projectile seems to deal much more damage if you run straight into it (because you try to evade some other attack for example), than a missile that barely hits you because you're trying to get away from it.
I know about the random damage calculator and it might just be bad luck on my side, but on the other hand I've played way too much Doom to ignore this, as it seems to happen quite frequently (same goes for the other points I made).


These two I have also experienced. Particularly the first. And your example of the mancubus seems the laziest of the lazy monsters! I think it's a psychology thing though as I don't notice it happening when I watch others on streams.

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Even though it is all bullshit as far as the game's code is concerned, this...

Vader said:

-lazy monsters;
...
I try to make enemies fight each other, the monsters behind another enemy just refuse to shoot most of the time, as if they are aware that they would hit a friend.
...
This happens way too frequently to me to call it just a coincidence.

...is evidence of the videogame gods conspiring against me because it happens all the fucking time. One species in a room? FIREBALLS EVERYWHERE. Trying to line up some crossfire between species? lolno

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I've been playing in GZDoom a lot lately and, switching back to something vanilla compatible, I feel like I take a lot more high damage hits back to back in ZDoom. This is playing a vanilla wad with ZDoom's compatibility settings on strict. I assume it has something to do with changes ZDoom made to the RNG, but maybe it's just all in my head.

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I believe in lazy monsters. In fact I thought that there must be some (unreliable) code to make THINGS obstruct the monster's line of sight. Is it really just an illusion? Even if it is, it... it just happens.

Also, is it a known "feature" of the RNG table that revenant's missile scores its MAXIMUM damage more than half of the time? I'm experiencing this all the time (I admit, I mostly play in Zandronum). It doesn't happen when I change the missile's damage via DEHACKED to another value than 10. Again, is this false?

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They are all true if you ask me. I don't know what the swing-shot is tho

EDIT: Now I know what it is. I never even noticed it, so I really can't say

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Well, I once had a belief that the Archvile didn't resurrect monsters that it had killed itself, which also made perfect sense to me. I based this belief only on ONE instance, where a persistent Archvile kept chasing me instead of stopping to reanimate some monsters it just killed. I swear I had seen it walk right over them (which should have caused it to stop and do his thing) but he didn't...

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In the very past I was playing doom E1M6 in the labyrinth with many imps. And sometimes I killed an imp with 1 shotgun and sometimes 2. My brother then said "heh, they must have different hitpoints, or more stronger and more weaker imps" and I almost believed it. That was years before I discover doomworld and the wiki and read all the random weapon stats and stable monster HP.

But this swing-shot theory I never noticed before. And the axis aligned bounding boxes for things collision, I didn't even know that. I always assumed circle/cylinder bounding as I am used to see in all the editors. I really want to try this now, make a room with 10 imps and shoot them from specific distance straight or 45 degrees. It could prove useful, sometimes I shoot imps from some short distance not close but not far away and succeed at straight kills. If this improves on 45 degrees then it's more frequent straight kills ratio. Maybe I would switch to playing this sometimes, preferring the 45 degree when possible.

Funny I am still learning interesting stuff about doom.

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It is such a shame you know that the source code for Doom will never be released, leaving us to ponder theories based solely on confirmational bias and less-than-thorough statistical analysis.

HEY WAIT A SECOND! :V

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Nooo the code lies! We should shoot hundreds of imps from all angles to get definitive results!

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It's kind of ironic: Most superstitious beliefs cannot be proven true or false. But in this case, the truths CAN be proven, but it just shows that belief is stronger than truth.

I think, when looking for a specific behavior, one can be slanted towards seeing that behavior.

In other words, when you're trying to see if a particular behavior exists, you set things up to where it becomes more feasible, and you're more tuned towards seeing that action occur.

Who knows?

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kb1 said:

It's kind of ironic: Most superstitious beliefs cannot be proven true or false.

Unfalsifiable Hypothesis?

kb1 said:But in this case, the truths CAN be proven, but it just shows that belief is stronger than truth.

I don't actually believe any of what the OP said was true. If there is no evidence supporting a claim then there is no reason to believe it.

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If you play Doom for long enough, some deep, fundamental Truth of the Universe will be revealed to you. I truly believe that.

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kb1 said:

I think, when looking for a specific behavior, one can be slanted towards seeing that behavior.

That's what confirmational bias is, yes. We, as a species, preferentially look for evidence to support what we already believe to be true.

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TendaMonsta said:

Unfalsifiable Hypothesis?

Not sure what you mean...seriously.

TendaMonsta said:

I don't actually believe any of what the OP said was true. If there is no evidence supporting a claim then there is no reason to believe it.

Using that logic, there's no reason not to believe, either :). Besides, the OP claimed to have plenty of evidence. He said he's played for 20 years (making him somewhat of an expert), and he's claimed to see certain behaviors occur again and again. And, personal feelings *are* evidence, at least to the person having the feeling.

(Oops...old post)

Quasar said:

That's what confirmational bias is, yes. We, as a species, preferentially look for evidence to support what we already believe to be true.

Yes, exactly. And, even moreso, for example, when looking for an infight to occur, maybe the fact that you're looking alters your playstyle just enough to change the outcome somewhat, or maybe you're just more focused while testing a theory vs. just playing the game.

I, for one, do believe that there is something to the swingshot theory, but I think there's a true reason for it: Many levels have rooms and corridors at 90 degree angles, so non-swingshots tend to be along compass directions, which may make the intercept checking bug occur a bit more than normal.

It would be neat to set up some type of diagnostics within demo recording to check this out scientifically. Something like "number of pellets that *should have* hit", vs "number of shots that *did*".

Anyway, keep on believing! The way it feels to play is really the point, anyway.

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