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rdwpa

Wads balanced for TAS'ing.

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I don't know much at all about TAS'ing but reading a vdgg post got me curious about certain things.

Are there any wads that were designed and balanced specifically to be TAS'd? If not -- or even if so -- what would that sort of wad look like? Presumably it would have design elements that preclude human play: elaborate combos of archy/rocket jumps, deflecting rockets w/ lost souls, etc., and/or ridiculously unsurvivable fights that require specific and non-trivial and artistic strategy to surmount even in TAS.

(Let's leave out the infamous ultra-hard wads that were designed either for human play or merely with no deeper purpose but to exist.)

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MD922 said:

I believe Deus Vult 2 had a bunch of tricks intended for speedrunners.

Those were removed in the later version of the wad.

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rdwpa said:

Are there any wads that were designed and balanced specifically to be TAS'd?

So curiously? With all my 100% confidence i can say it are AVJ (Archvile Jump) and Chillax.
Some maps like MAP28 and MAP30 from AVJ are extremely hard and without Super reaction these maps impossibly beat. I will keep silent about MAP32. Just watch demo by termrork :D
Chillax is just another story. That wad was created for suffering. Killing 400 imps by shotgun or 500 Pinkies by fist i don't admit as enjoyable.

But.... But... Quite stupid. If i was MapMaker (haven't tried) I would create these maps for non-TASers.

First - Not so much TASers here. Less than 20 persons i guess. Several are professional, others are just amateurs like me.
Second - I like to play with mods like "Brutal Doom" and there are (GZDoom) no exist any tools.
Third - Not everyone like TAS and TASed demos + i doubt that they will be play in such wads.

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Great idea, rdwpa! I never even thought about this in the context of Doom, even though I am familiar with the extra hard Super Mario World hacks designed for TASing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D27IkB3-dHg

The level of difficulty of a "Doom WAD for TASing" should be as insane as possible. Here are some ideas:

* The completion of the level might require triggering the all-ghosts bug.
* There could be traps that can be escaped by arch-vile jumps, but the time frame is very narrow, so that you need to manipulate the arch-vile, so that it attacks the player immediately. Otherwise you get crushed or something like that.
* Intricate slime tunnel mazes that require precise player coordinates and hard glides to squeeze through.
* In map 07, make an area where the player can't reach a mancubus. The mancubus can only be damaged by one zombieman on a flat arena. The player needs to manipulate the RNG, so that the zombieman wins the mancubus. Make it also completely dark, so that the player can't see anything.
* In e2m8, construct a map where a single imp needs to infight a cyber demon to death.
* Design jump puzzles that require multiple well-timed arch-vile jumps in succession, Guitar Hero style.
* Make every sector's light level 0. (This is actually a bad idea, because it makes the runs less fun to watch.)
* Give the player only the rocket launcher and force him to fight in tiny rooms.
* Design a jump puzzle that requires being hit by two/three/four cyber rockets simultaneously.
* Put a fast crusher in a room where the only escape is the most difficult glide you can imagine.
* Make an extremely long bridge maze with hitscanners all around it. The player must dodge bullets.
* Construct 50 shootable switches or something, so that the player is forced to have 0 ammo. Then put him in a timed cage trap with unreachable hitscanners on every side. The player must dodge bullets.
* Construct an area where an unreachable shootable switch needs to be triggered by a long sequence of hitscanner infights.
* Put monsters everywhere.
* Put crushers everywhere.
* Put damage floor everywhere.
* Use math to verify that your super hard puzzles can be completed in theory, so that you don't need to record the TAS yourself.
* Don't give any hints to any players on how to complete the map you make.


Alternatively, just boost some existing maps for TASing:

* Edit IWADs, so that every sector in every map is a crusher. Then wait and see how many levels can be completed by TASers.
* Edit IWADs, so that every sector has a damaging floor.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-6a2sQcLeU (DSDA)

This case: not "designed" for TAS, just bad map design. But it worked.

Edit: also MAP05 from that Squadron thing.

There were also two maps considered impossible to Max "humanly" for a while... Talosian MAP17 and inf-lutz E3M8 (both cases: too little ammo for too many cyberdemons).

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rdwpa said:

Are there any wads that were designed to be TAS'd?

I wonder whether wads like Ksutra and, let's say, Pl2 can be considered as such. They got a nice variety of not-so-easy-to-pull-off tricks and i've never seen an unassisted UV-Speed D2ALL of them.

Aqfaq said:

* In map 07, make an area where the player can't reach a mancubus. The mancubus can only be damaged by one zombieman on a flat arena. The player needs to manipulate the RNG, so that the zombieman wins the mancubus. Make it also completely dark, so that the player can't see anything.
* In e2m8, construct a map where a single imp needs to infight a cyber demon to death.
* Construct 50 shootable switches or something, so that the player is forced to have 0 ammo. Then put him in a timed cage trap with unreachable hitscanners on every side. The player must dodge bullets.
* Construct an area where an unreachable shootable switch needs to be triggered by a long sequence of hitscanner infights.

That's brutal. Also, will it be interesting to watch?

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Personally PL2 is what came to mind given how many tricks were intentionally put in for speedrunning. As for the damaging floor idea for IWADs, I believe it'd be possible to make a Dehacked patch that causes the player to lose 10 health every second. But I'd love to see some the ideas mentioned come to fruition.

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Cacatou said:

a Dehacked patch that causes the player to lose 10 health every second

Can we have that, please! It would make a funny category for speedrunning. Maybe -5 health per second for regular speedrunning?

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I remember a wad a while back called mb.wad I think. It may have been made by Cameron Prosser. Anyways, there were some comments that the wad was made for TAS because of its difficulty. In particular, the second map with the lowering platforms was very difficult.

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Aqfaq said:

The player needs to manipulate the RNG, so that the zombieman wins the mancubus.

OK how does this work. Do you just record different segments over and over again until you can sort of paste them together into one incredibly lucky string of events?

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Yes, that is what TASing is about anyway. This kind of activity is generally called "luck manipulation" or "RNG manipulation". You could just manipulate the RNG, so that the mancubus is often in the pain state and the zombieman shoots often and with high damage. The player movements affect the RNG, so it should be possible to move around in a way that the fight ends well.

Oh, but I don't know what kind of TAS tools are available for Doom at the moment, so it might be very difficult and laborious to record stuff that requires extreme RNG manipulation. Some TASers solve problems like this by making bots that test millions of possibilities automatically. I'm sure somebody at Doomworld would be capable of programming a bot that manipulates the RNG for specified goals. In this particular example the bot would produce random input and check whether the zombieman is dead or not at any given moment, it would also check how much damage was done to the mancubus and it would save the branches that have good damage output. If some branch would eventually lead to the zombieman always dying, the bot would backtrack and try a different input pattern. I suppose the Doom RNG is flexible enough for a zombieman to win a mancubus. If there were 1 zombieman against 10 cyber demons, then there might not exist any input pattern that produces an RNG such that the zombieman wins.

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Aqfaq said:

I suppose the Doom RNG is flexible enough for a zombieman to win a mancubus.

I'd like to see it. Can be in a pre-arranged WAD. However, one more requirement: no tricks like making the mancubus unable to move, like in j4rio/Aqfaq recent Tyson demos.

For something much less demanding, pt07... a chaingunner has to defeat several fatsos.

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Cool. I think in about 10-15 years when I'm too slow to make proper speed runs anymore I want to get into TAS and Doom programming, if it is/I am still around. The way I understand it is that currently, making a TAS is really slow and requires extreme patience, so the idea of programming a bot, sitting back and letting it do part of your work for you sounds intriguing.

My other question is whether such a bot would use only heuristics (try one by one until the optimal decision is found) or if some form of machine learning can be applied, so that it gets better over time with choosing specific actions.

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i think in a normal DOOM situation i've seen a regular demon be able to trap a cyberdemon in the correct circumstance. cyberdemon moved but never attacked and the demon killed it.

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Azuruish said:

So curiously? With all my 100% confidence i can say it are AVJ (Archvile Jump) and Chillax.
Some maps like MAP28 and MAP30 from AVJ are extremely hard and without Super reaction these maps impossibly beat. I will keep silent about MAP32. Just watch demo by termrork :D


thank you for considering AVJ, all maps were considered for speedrunning. further already before release I thought that we will never see nontas demos of the following:

07 tyson, 28, 30 and 31s

32 was never considered to be tas only, in the last weeks I am also trying it again in a different category... but even if each trick by itself is not difficult, the length of the map makes it a battle against your brain which tells you not to fail, but then you do (that is why the last trick is the most difficult one, cannot tell you how often I died there). If you do not know the map, just imagine you are running doom2 from map01 to map30 and you HAVE to do map30 in <32s.

edit: 32 nm is ofc tas only

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I have an interesting idea as well for anyone crazy enough to try this out in a TAS

I'd like to see how far it's possible to get on Doom/Doom II/Final Doom, or any custom .wad file of your choosing...

Without you (The marine/TAS player) taking any damage whatsoever from any source, such as hitscanners, projectiles, slime/lava, rocket or archvile boosting, etc. Consider it a sort of "Take damage/One hit from anything and you're dead" challenge.

The idea is that you would play on UltraViolence, or perhaps even Nightmare difficulty (Would that even be possible?). Standard rules apply, you may not make use of cheat codes (Not that you'd really need them in a TAS, but still.).

You are free to use whatever resources are available within the level. Kill as many monsters by whatever means necessary and use whatever speed tricks you have access to complete the challenge as fast as possible.

Special Rules off the "No Damage" Challenge:

The Invulnerability powerup is banned globally in this challenge. You are not allowed to pick it up under any circumstance unless there is literally no other way to progress within the level without getting it (Such as if grabbing the powerup triggers a floor line or script required to continue on with the level, like releasing a key, switch, trigger, or script that cannot be completed by any other means).

Some levels may be impossible to complete without taking damage, such as E4M6 "Against Thee Wickedly" beginning lava area may not be possible to cross without taking damage. In instances where levels cannot be completed without taking some form of damage, the objective changes to taking as little damage as possible.

In the event of level exits that cannot be triggered without some form of player damage, such as the E1M8 ambush, exits that require an ArchVile Jump, damage boosting yourself with a rocket launcher or other source, suicide exits such as Alien Vendetta map10 and map20, or any other instance that forces player damage as an exit function: The challenge is considered complete when you reach the exit of the level when it becomes no longer possible to continue without the player taking damage.

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