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Thoughts on powerups in duel?

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its good and fine loads of good maps use health and armor in cool places. it is only good that you can have situations where players can choose between getting a ssg or getting green armor and players are given the chance to control items on the map rather than weapons only. this will also result in a dynamic map playing differently early on with all the items still there and late on with all the items gone. having good item placement definitely adds to the map and for sure players will be excited about it

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I don't have much experience, but IMO, powerups shouldn't be too much of a problem if the duel map is interconnected and has enough weapons on various places. If one player is disadvantaged (because his opponent took all powerups), he should be able to avoid his opponent, find a decent weapon and change strategy to "sudden attack" when he gets opportunity.

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Cato's rant is 100% spot on, respawning items are a massive problem. If you plan on supporting NS item respawn, maps need to be carefully crafted around the universal 30s respawn timer and mega items should only be placed after signing three copies of a form that states You Know What You Might Possibly Cause. If you don't, a skilled/map-trained player will grief anyone less in-the-know to frustration. From experience:

- Soulspheres are passable and cool as a central item of interest. They're not that much of an advantage, because they don't add any armor bonus and you can't replenish HP with health pickups when over 100. They become OP when mixed with any armor or an easy BFG pickup.

- BAs are actually stronger than soulspheres, because you can heal up for a very long time while enjoying the 50% dmg reduction. They're passable in busy FFAs where life is very much expendable, but they become the single most important item in duels. The best strat for the dominating guy becomes keeping his mid-to-far distance and sweeping all health for measly 30s before the BA becomes available again. It's possible to use them, but it takes a lot of precaution and balancing.

- Forget megas. They're waaaaaay too OP even for FFAs and they utterly break duels. The powered up player can troll anything to extinction with infinite +back strategy that would bore even QL players.

- Invis spheres are a big red fucking NOPE, they're possibly the most powerful respawning powerup. They last longer than 30s and trying to hit a superfast blur that doesn't run at you spectre-style is much harder than you can even imagine. That said, I've run a really hilarious tourney on a gw2 map that used invis. I called it Predator DM, because that's what it was. The map was map05, it's tiny and corridory, so it was possible to defend yourself with crazy RL/PG spam, but working with just hitscans gave you little chance. Point is, it's possible to make it work, but you need to "go for it" and it becomes the map's single most important gimmick. Unless you're playing doom2map07 and the other guy is spamming BFG from his megasphered ass.

- Invul is a joke. I can imagine a joke map centered around it, but I doubt anyone would play it more than once.

- Goggles and radsuits are pointless. Sure, you can try to work them in for some contrived map mechanism, but let's be honest: at that point you're already failing at Doom DM Design. You're diluting the action's pace and, by proxy, fun. No one wants to time a radsuit so they can go for a BFG in lava or whatever. Goggles are just a bad idea overall. If your map is dark or blinking, your map is a failure.

There are options to make everything work, even a combination of powerups, but they're quite tough to pull off and most of the time someone will find a disgusting cheese strat. I've run a lot of NS tourneys and me and my colleagues had to fix maps with dehacked files that replaced/shuffled/removed items almost all the time just to keep things balanced. Any skill or map knowledge advantage grows exponentially in a map with item respawn, because players get a wide variety of safety and fallback strats that are very hard to counter in Doom. You don't exactly "challenge" for items like in Quake, because you die in one shot and a powered up player does not.

edit: Classic altdeath simply doesn't work. Weapons disappearing for 30 seconds is far too cruel. Some maps are not entirely terrible with it, because you can run elsewhere or hide, but it's not 1996 anymore and we know better. For example, not to duel on huge mazey maps.

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Another issue is putting large powerups/weapons in hard to reach places.

Putting an item in slime/lava, semi-trap, or on a high ledge exposing the player is rationalized by having the player die or be easily shot. This only creates unlucky suicides if is slime/lava or powerhouse duel maps.

A player that does not aim as well will allow a better player to grab the item. While the less skilled player will never have a chance to grab the item as they would be shot while attempting. This gives players with slightly better aim a massive advantage to be the only person to be able to take the item.

FreeDM specifically is an OS mapset that has NS consideration, ideally. Building areas and gameplay around respawning power items is not OS. Items need to be very carefully placed, and to remember that the main gamemode does not even allow them to respawn.

Greenwar map20 is a perfect example of NS/OS balance, even if unintended. There are 4 medikits, but only one has slight coverage in a corner. These medikits being completely in the open do not allow someone to entirely hog them while +backing. All spawns are with an SSG creating a perfect balance with the medikits. The windows can also be jumped through which spices up the NS even more. One window even has a medikit, so jump to window for a medikit shortcut.

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DMGUYDZ64 said:

Only 1 Powerup per each DM Level will not hurt .... of course it must be hard to reach since it's kinda Not fair for others .

That is exactly what I just posted about. The players that can actually reach the item will be the only people that get the item. Or it can act as a distraction. A good player may never take it, to use it is bait for the less skilled player. The better player would have won the match anyway, but now just has more chances to catch the less skilled player attempting to get the item.

A powerup should be in an easy to reach place. All players will have a chance to grab the powerup. Laz map07 cannot be called a bad map. It has a soulsphere right in the middle, though does have cover. That cover can allow anyone to run through a bit more safely to grab. It is not only easy to reach, but also has defense.

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I think powerups can add a lot of fun, as long as they aren't overdone. I've heard people claim powerups reduce the game to a "no skill" competiton, which of course isn't true - Unless they're secret powerups! That's the biggst flaw with some of my DM turf, too many secrets with hidden orbs. "Powerup respawn" kills the gameplay badly in them.

As others have said, Invuln and Invis are just crap, 9 times outta 10.

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