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invictius

How did deathmatch without monsters become the standard?

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I was surprised to learn that in the early days, deathmatch with monsters was the norm. How did altdeath come to be the standard with Doom and later FPS's?

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Because it focuses on the main goal of deathmatch fun: Fighting against human opponents.

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-altdeath and -nomonsters are completely different things. They can be used together, of course, but you can play -altdeath with monsters, if you want.
I guess, many players just want to hunt each other without being distracted by monsters.
Back in the days when we carried our PCs to friends for a LAN session, we usually played with monsters on. I liked to have some diversion that way. We usually spend quite some time on a single map, so when we finished, monsters were gone away long time ago anyway.

Btw, idmap01 has no monsters in it. And that is as official as it can get.

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The best way to find out is to play some DM then try to imagine it with monsters. It's fun to have them in some situations, like one or two 32in24 maps which use cyberdemon turrets to keep people away from the center for example, but generally they just ruin the competitive balance of a DM session, distracting you from your opponent or taking your hp so you can be finished off easier.

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I don't get it either. Monsters can be used as a 'hostile environment' just like how crushers and acid pools are.

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If you are merely wondering why deathmatch with monsters was the norm back in the day, that may be because it was a novelty, seen as a cool thing. That was before the game mode got established and polished for the most efficient and fun human versus human competition.

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printz said:

I don't get it either. Monsters can be used as a 'hostile environment' just like how crushers and acid pools are.


Yeah, a spiderdemon or two watching over the open field that leads to the BFG can make you think twice about taking the risk.

Even just a few weaker monsters (imps and former humans) respawning at various points in the map can add a little uncertainty element and some variety to the game. Plus they're useful cues to tell where another player is (that's shooting at or being shot by something).

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I think only the aforementioned boss monsters like a cyberdemon or spider mastermind work. Most monsters are annoying distractions. I think because Doom was the first deathmatch game, mappers who put monsters in their maps did so because they didn't know if it was the right or the wrong thing to do. But in most circumstances they just take the focus off of killing the other players.

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I would like to see a deathmatch level with a central hub where most of the useful items are. In this hub, perhaps even on a timer, a random upper tier or boss level monster(s) spawns. It would create a sense of urgency, strategy and another level of gameplay.

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The idea of using a Cyberdemon/Spider Mastermind to deter people from going into a map's "sweet spot" is actually a damn fine idea.

As others have said though, the little monsters just distract from the "main" action. I don't mind them all that much as long as they don't respawn and there's like 3 or less.

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How did deathmatch without monsters become the standard?

Because fighting against Controlled monsters isn't as fun as Fighting against real players .

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I think. Maybe they add an element of randomness to an otherwise more or less controlled game mode. Will you be able to run past that chaingunner without him hurting you? Go go slot machine!

I like them though because when I download a DM wad just to look at the design, it's a pleasant surprise when it offers at least some action too.

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Memfis said:

I think. Maybe they add an element of randomness to an otherwise more or less controlled game mode.

This is the main issue I think. Monsters aren't really equivalent to environment hazards like damaging floors - they're a far more unpredictable and unstable element. It can't really be called a fair tournament if the two (or more) players are having to deal with this extra unpredictable element.

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Maybe because Nightmare difficulty became another DM standard, it makes monsters an insufferable distraction. Even in small numbers their furious quickfire and unpredictable respawning shift priorities to something only vaguely resembling DM and properly populated SP maps become unplayable.

Then there's the dealbreaker: getting killed by monsters doesn't count towards frags. That's a free restart of your stack where death by nature or a suicide gives you a -1. The consequences of that are dire as players heal themselves by getting killed whenever their health drops or spam weapons run out. Getting actual clean frags on your opponent becomes pretty frustrating, trust me. Only very small maps where ceding area control matters a lot can (roughly) work with this. That, or full retard gimmicks.

We even tried it once and it was a funny experiment, but it didn't exactly make us change the status quo, heh.

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