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scaled

How would you redo Strife's levels?

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The title should be self explanatory. If you were told to rework any of the levels and you would get whatever help needed to make it happen within current engine constraints/remains Chocolate compatible what would you do?

Me? Turn a lot of the green doorframes into yellow ones. While the officer's uniform is easy to find it is something that can be missed. Plus the green frames should be used sparingly. Plus it would be nice to see the yellow frames show up before you have a way to make them irrelevant so they're a known obstacle and only introduce green frames once a way around the yellow ones has theoretically been found.

Example: the prison. As of right now Montag's pass is basically useless. I could see the alarms going off when you go down the elevator, but right as you go in? While you can get around montage raising the alarm it's something players might not realize they can do at first, so reward a little bit of forethought by allowing a chance at exploration. Plus those spider bots don't care about alarm state anyway, which translates to 'do I sacrifice health and dagger punch to remain sneaky, or do I go in guns blazing?'

The power plant actually does this well. Going in the main way allows a little exploration before alarms go off, but if you poke around a little you can get much farther til an alarm is triggered.

Another thing I would want to do is reexamine level design to try making the latter levels less mazelike. There are interesting design choices and some enemy placement bits make it look like they do something other than stand around waiting to kill passers by, but then you have the factory levels where it's a confusing mess, and dear bloody god the Proving grounds. Just.... The proving grounds. I originally almost gave up because of that level.

The sewers actually were pretty straightforward to me, ditto for the catacombs. Both of those areas it made sense to be a little maze-ish and neither felt too bad. The oracle's temple was... Meh. It looked interesting, and going through the front door leads you through a few switch puzzles, but it's OKish. I mean I never got a 'temple' vibe other than the front door and the inner sanctum. Then again the back way in cuts out a ton of travel time which is further reduced by the teleporter.

I like the liberal inclusion of teleporters to eliminate a lot of the back tracking. That's a design element that I love about this game.

Will agree with Ross in that I wish the borderlands had more to them rather than the tower lined pathway between Tarnhil and the oracle's complex.

Would have been nice to have a 'post assault town' map that had a rebuilt town hall, a new governor, andaybe some side quests, but eh.

Lastly I never got a feel that destroying the power crystal did anything. Would have been nice either to see some new areas open up, or during the assault see what could have been turrets or larger machines simply sitting there.

I would say the same about killing the programmer since supposedly he handled the acolyte's AI, but later in the game points to that just being an excuse to kill him for his sigil piece.

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scaled said:

...and dear bloody god the Proving grounds. Just.... The proving grounds. I originally almost gave up because of that level.


Proving Grounds isn't that long, I never had a problem with it.

I don't think I'd change anything, Strife's overall design is pretty good. Maybe The Lab, as fighting the Loremaster is a bit of the pain in that area.

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Actually liked the lab itself. It plays to an interesting quirk the Loremaster has while not being too nutty.

It's just getting there that leaves me aggravated.

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Eeeh, more 'how can we redo strife while staying within Chocolate's limits.' Except since my own mapping skills are rudimentary it seems unfair to go to the community with 'hey! Do this thing!'

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I'm a fan of shooting action, so that I would remove elements of slow RPG completely, instead I would rebalance the maps for a Doom-like fast paced playability.

Well, you asked. :)

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I'm sure if I thought more about it I'd have more stuff to say but for the time being, these are my three biggest gripes with Strife's design:

1. Hostile monsters in areas that should have the option of being peaceful. Really, there's sections with dialog and important stuff to do, sometimes even important acolytes to talk to, all while one of their less intelligent robot buddies is trying to fill me full of lead just because I dared enter the fucking lobby.

2. Tarnhill doesn't feel too lively. I get it, it's post-apocalyptic and in the Doom engine, it's not gonna be the most lively town ever. But there's what, like 5 peasants in the whole area? The tavern seems like it was designed to be a central setpiece (the entire map plays a song named after it, all the ambient sounds and textures made just for it) but it feels really unimportant and empty as implemented. Eh, a lot of things do.

3. Inconsistencies in transition areas. I don't really care about how the maps don't line up perfectly (non-euclidean space is cool, dawg) but I'd at least like the texture choices, alignment and map geometry to be the same when walking over a map change trigger. Too many sections where I see the entire wall shift, or gain/lose features (like the big sewagefall going to the sewers from the castle). That and how the sewers are 180 degrees from the rest of the world and the flats don't align because of that.

scifista42 said:

I'm a fan of shooting action, so that I would remove elements of slow RPG completely, instead I would rebalance the maps for a Doom-like fast paced playability.

Well, you asked. :)

Conversations and stat upgrades do not an RPG make. Strife is action-adventure. The slower pace is more because you start really disadvantaged and the enemies do a lot of damage in general so you've gotta take cover more than you would in typical Doom gameplay.

To change that I'd beef up the weakest player weapons, slightly increase pain chance (any maybe health) on the weakest enemies while slightly reducing the amount of damage they give the player.

Strife is not a slow game, it just starts you off as a shitlord in a misguided attempt at jamming an "RPG" feel into where it clearly didn't belong. Once the pace picks up I find it to be more enjoyable from an action perspective.

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I'd enable a few more opportunities for a stealthy approach to areas. The green alarms in particular kill any chance for this to happen on several occasions, which is a shame to say the least. ("Steal a uniform and blend in!" Blend in?! Bit late for that tactic, Blackbird.)

As for changes beyond chocolate compatibility or mere mapping changes, there are a few things I thought of during my recent sprees. Maybe a few entirely optional side-quests or whatever, much like the extra mission in Veteran Edition. Even if it's just for stuff as seemingly-trivial as a bit of extra gold.

I'd also change it so certain robotic enemies wouldn't automatically try to turn me into galactic sausagemeat the moment they see me, but instead give them some sort of detection radius, or at the very least lock them away behind a door/wall which opens once the alarm is triggered. As mentioned, it can get aggravating to go around looking for NPC's when some shitbag tincan won't fuck off.

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Hence the idea of having severe of the green doors swapped out for yellow. I do like the idea of a few robots in areas to force players to try picking between stealth and guns. However... Is a patrol route doable in vanilla? Then again spiders and floaters aren't that hard to kill by knife unless it's a bunch of them piled together.

I find it annoying the yellow door you can use the officer's uniform to spoof is behind a green door you're screwed if you enter. Before then is a bunch of robots that unless you knife or just tank you have an alarm anyway. Again i 'm fine with the tincan aggression so long as I can reasonably either avoid or risk melee to kill.

Would be amusing to see instances of them attacking other non-acolytes, even if that means seeing random peasent death.

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I would remove the teleporters from the prison to the rebel base.

Because they don't save that much time and they really ruin MUH IMMERSHUN.

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You're trolling right? Sure the prison teleporter is kinda wtf. However the castle/oracle complex teleporter is nice, and the teleporter to completely skip the oracle complex other than the audience chamber is flipping sweet.

Anyway anyone feel like doing basic changes to maps to see if simple things like changing out a few of the green security strips would be game breaking?

If that works could poke around to see what streamlining could be done without drastic edits. After all sometimes just texture cues to help you orient can make a huge difference.

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EffinghamHuffnagel said:

Are you suggesting "Strife The Way id Would Have Done" - re-doing Strife as a Doom-in-Hexen-format megawad?

More community-made Strife content would be fantastic, but it would be a total waste to use Hexen format when a gorgeous new dedicated engine exists for Strife. (Also because Hexen format is even deprecated for ZDoom mapping.)

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