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Doominator2

Does Partial Invisibility really work?

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It also makes projectile enemies more annoying because you can't easily predict where they will shoot :P

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It works better with hitscan enemies because they will miss almost all the time. For projectile enemies, it can actually work against you since you won't know what direction the next shot will go. Far away, it's no real big deal, but at close or medium range (i.e. map 07), it can cause more problems than it's worth.

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It confuses enemies and makes them attack you at random angles. Given the slow speed of many projectiles, it's actually more of a downgrade because they might throw it toward where you're headed than where you were when they attacked.

EDIT: Ninja'd, and really hard. I had this page open in a tab before anyone responded and didn't check to see if anyone already had. Oh well.

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An example of where the PI's randomization is exploited is MAP27 of Scythe, where you have to pick one up before fighting 3 Cyberdemons. It's a devilish little trick on Erik Alm's part.

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my thoughts on partial invisibility

it helps when fighting
zombiemen
shotgun guys
chaingunners
spider masterminds

it has no effect when fighting
demons
spectres
lost souls
pain elementals
arch-viles

it hurts when fighting
imps
cacodemons
revenants
hell knights
baron of hells
cyberdemons

undecided if it helps or hurts when fighting
arachnotrons
mancubi

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I have mixed feelings about the fact that some source ports upgrade partial invisibility to prevent monsters from waking up on sight. On the one hand it makes the powerup behave way more as one might expect it to, but on the other it's not in line with the way the powerup works traditionally which fucks with the game a little bit.

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I think the point for it is it's supposed to have both downsides and upsides depending on the situation it's used in, the player should only pick it up when needed.

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I don't know about having know effect vs Demons. They tend to jab left and right in your general direction when partial, and I don't believe they always hit either. It's been a while, so while maybe they juke left and right they may always hit.

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It almost seems like its presence in MAP07 is to indicate that the item can be just as much a hazardous obstacle as a powerup, which would have been a great way to use it. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like that is the case :/ I could see it being used like ROTT's powerdown items effectively.

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Every time I play through map 7 of Doom 2 I always have to make sure I strategically maneuver so I don't pick up the stupid partial invisibility. It's just such a pain in the ass against anything that isn't a hitscan enemy - even Romero himself said it's the worst powerup in the game. In fact, 99% of the time I see it I don't pick it up. It even makes shooting look less interesting.

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It can have applications against projectile-throwing enemies as well, though granted only very situationally. One example would be getting one in an area where you have to traverse a narrow, zig-zagging catwalk or something while lots of imps or the like fire at you from a distance: because of said distance, the powerup's main drawback (making dodging fireballs and such a twitchier affair) is mostly negated, and due to the enemies' resultant poor accuracy (again, an effect only exaggerated by the distance) you're likely to be able to concentrate on your movement-related task without having to worry much about projectiles ruining your day.

It's certainly not the most coveted or versatile powerup in the game, granted, but I suspect a lot of the reason so many players have such a dim view of its value is that it hasn't tended to be placed very well or very thoughtfully in the history of PWADs, or in the original games for that matter.

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Marcaek said:

"Romero himself" also likes Brutal Doom, so don't appeal to authority too much.


You got a point there. His favorite engine is also Doomsday oddly enough.

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Doom_user said:

my thoughts on partial invisibility

it has no effect when fighting
lost souls
pain elementals

You're very wrong, check again! Their aim is affected too! It's funny to see lost souls charge in a wrong direction and miss you, or bump a wall. Even lost souls spawned upon PE's death are affected!

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Technician said:

The power up simply makes enemies aim less accurate. By random intervals, specifically. I like Quake's equivalent better.

Didn't really notice that ..

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Clonehunter said:

I don't know about having know effect vs Demons. They tend to jab left and right in your general direction when partial, and I don't believe they always hit either. It's been a while, so while maybe they juke left and right they may always hit.

That's right, only their sprite's angle jukes left and right, but their (and every monster's) melee attack always hits, as long as the distance from the monster's center to the player is lesser than 64.

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One very specific application is during the map07 uv-speed rocket jump, you have to stand still to align for for the jump, and partial invisibility stops the mancs hitting you when you don't move

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LogicDeLuxe said:

I read somewhere that there is a chance that a demon would accidentally bite a nearby monster when it tries to bite a player with partial invisibility.

Only in old versions of Doom. It was fixed in v1.5. Source.

v1.5
...
Replaced short-range hitscan by melee range check in A_SargAttack. This made demon-triggered infighting impossible.

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Well, it does work in at least two ways:

  • It alters the appearance of Doomguy's sprite and weapon view
  • It changes the behavior of some monsters
But other than that, it comes with no guarantees of performance or fitness for a particular purpose ;-)

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I find it terribly gimmicky when a blur artifact is placed right before you're ambushed by gunmen. I'd much rather they get placed just like any positive powerup, simply requiring you to make the best of it.

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It was probably made up by the team going like, "We need another poewerup in there."

"There's always the invisibility..."

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Yeah, the Blursphere is pretty...meh. It has uses for areas that are very hitscan heavy, but I don't recall any vanilla maps that have one placed in those situations. The ZDoom ports make it so you don't alert enemies on sight alone, bringing it a bit closer to the Ring of Invisibility from Quake, so there is that.

Heretic's Shadowsphere is actually far better, not only keeping the erratic aim of enemies, but giving immunity to a lot of projectiles as well. It would've been nice if the Blursphere worked like that, but I don't think it would fit thematically.

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Doom_user said:

it helps when fighting
...

Doomguys. They get really confused and cry in the chat.

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In some cases:

No it doesn't "work". It's a map makers way of sneakily conspiring against you especially when forced to pick it up and there are nothing but projectile enemies in confined sectors.

Yes it does work against the bulky negro zombies, bald bucks shooters, and the poor crackhead riflemen, as they'll end up causing massive infights especially at range.

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Doom_user said:

it has no effect when fighting
lost souls
pain elementals

except it does: lost souls have a chance of charging the wrong direction than towards you, and PEs could shoot them off in the wrong direction, as well.

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