Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
rdwpa

Theoretical Discussion: Afrit/Balrog

Recommended Posts

This monster fills a clear niche in D2's bestiary, that of the upper-tier flying monster and, if you use Resurgence's version, the demi-boss class.

I noticed it's not exceptionally satisfying to fight, however. It has the subtle pain animation of the stock hell nobles, with a lower pain chance to boot. Pain-stunning monsters who telegraph it dramatically, revs and mancs and trons and archies, is one of the pleasures of fighting easy to take for granted. This actually doesn't affect the HK/baron as much, however, because it's fun to pop full SSG loads right into the chest of the groundbound brusiers or empty rockets into a cluster or horde -- but that's not happening with the afrit anywhere as easily.

This is possibly why we don't see it in mapsets so often, even though implementing it in non-IoS wads is as simple as borrowing Scythe 2's DeHackEd lump and making choice changes. Speaking of those changes: I lowered its HP to 800, raised its pain chance to 80, raised its speed to I think 16 or 20 (it can't move too much faster without looking odd), and raised its mass to 1000 so it wouldn't be so caco-like in its propensity to float halfway across the map after taking a hit. I liked this version better, but still left my experiments thinking, "Good monster, but I don't really feel like using it".

Anyway, what do you guys think about the afrit?

Share this post


Link to post

mr x and the afrit are the only dehacked enemies I recall being legitimately afraid of encountering. both are boss-like, do a bajillion damage, and are hard as shit to dodge fire from out in the open. I agree with nerfs they're probably more interesting (think halfway between s2 and resurgence), I almost wonder if altered stats feel out of place because people are "used" to their implementation in s2, for example when I was playtesting resurgence I remember leaving afrits on the map because I didn't think I had enough ammo to kill them, didn't know that the hp had been reduced.

Definitely worth playing with more though, I'm sure there are some novel as-of-yet-unexplored scenarios that can built around them.

Share this post


Link to post

The main reason why Afrit is unfun to fight IMO is that his attack animation is short. He fires his extremely powerful volley of projectiles soon after entering the attack state. His "attack preparation time" to "damage" ratio is ridiculously out of balance in comparison to other monsters. It would be bearable if his health was low - but for an enemy who withstands getting hit by multiple rockets, who has a relatively small radius and also can float (which both makes him hard to hit), this can make him annoying to fight, and definitely easier to defeat by camping than via outrunning him. Outrunning even a single Afrit's attack is very hard, specially if there are obstacles and other monsters around, which also spoils his potential for good usage in elaborate encounters. His practical function seems to be to force the player to either hide from him, or run like crazy to firstly survive and only secondly to fight. Or you know, spam the BFG.

If Afrit's "pre-attack" animation was elongated, the player would get more room to prepare and/or deal with other annoyances (for example other enemies) than this single enemy poses himself, and I also think that it would reduce the amount of "cheap deaths" by Afrits sneaking on the player. His pain chance would better stay low, so that the player doesn't have it easy to pain-lock him while trying to attack. To make it not boring to wait for his attack while watching the animation, maybe he would use new sprites to show him concentrating energy or flame on the whole body or something like that for a full second (or so) before he actually fires.

Share this post


Link to post
Ribbiks said:

mr x and the afrit are the only dehacked enemies I recall being legitimately afraid of encountering. both are boss-like, do a bajillion damage, and are hard as shit to dodge fire from out in the open. I agree with nerfs they're probably more interesting (think halfway between s2 and resurgence), I almost wonder if altered stats feel out of place because people are "used" to their implementation in s2, for example when I was playtesting resurgence I remember leaving afrits on the map because I didn't think I had enough ammo to kill them, didn't know that the hp had been reduced.

Definitely worth playing with more though, I'm sure there are some novel as-of-yet-unexplored scenarios that can built around them.


I actually thought <1000 health would be ideal. I had fun fighting clusters of 500-health versions, even though that setup is more limited wrt what monsters can fight alongside them.

scifista42 said:

The main reason why Afrit is unfun to fight IMO is that his attack animation is short. He fires his extremely powerful volley of projectiles soon after entering the attack state. His "attack preparation time" to "damage" ratio is ridiculously out of balance in comparison to other monsters. It would be bearable if his health was low - but for an enemy who withstands getting hit by multiple rockets, who has a relatively small radius and also can float (which both makes him hard to hit), this can make him annoying to fight, and definitely easier to defeat by camping than via outrunning him. Outrunning even a single Afrit's attack is very hard, specially if there are obstacles and other monsters around, which also spoils his potential for good usage in elaborate encounters. His practical function seems to be to force the player to either hide from him, or run like crazy to firstly survive and only secondly to fight. Or you know, spam the BFG.

If Afrit's "pre-attack" animation was elongated, the player would get more room to prepare and/or deal with other annoyances (for example other enemies) than this single enemy poses himself, and I also think that it would reduce the amount of "cheap deaths" by Afrits sneaking on the player. His pain chance would better stay low, so that the player doesn't have it easy to pain-lock him while trying to attack. To make it not boring to wait for his attack while watching the animation, maybe he would use new sprites to show him concentrating energy or flame on the whole body or something like that for a full second (or so) before he actually fires.


What do you think about reducing the # of rev missiles? I played around with a version that fired eight manc volleys instead of three and three of manc/rev.

This wad is basically an empty room with afrits and ammo/health. Skill 1/2 have one afrit, skill 3 has two, and skill 4/5 have five.

http://www.mediafire.com/download/tdyvjinandih4qn/57_%28Afrit_Testing%29.wad

I don't like this version that much, but it seems interesting. I actually just want a flying monster that is way more threatening than the caco but not quite a boss. So three manc volleys and one rev missile, fired as slowly as the afrit's animation can manage, might suffice for that.

Share this post


Link to post

I thing he actually works well with Mancubus fireballs only. I just despised the timing. So I took your version and did my own tweak on it. Here is the result:

https://www.sendspace.com/file/nd2pkj

I kinda like the result, except that the preparation animation is erratic.

I also fixed his death sound and added a B frame for idle animation, because both had bothered me.

Share this post


Link to post

Afrits are fantastic enemies, though I don't like them too much in Scythe 2 mainly because of the health. I decided to take some advice given here and increase the time it takes for him to fire off his attack (not by much but it gives you a bit of warning now), since I'm using them for a mapset of mine (I also gave it archvile health, as I like having threatening enemies that die fast).

Share this post


Link to post
scifista42 said:

I thing he actually works well with Mancubus fireballs only. I just despised the timing. So I took your version and did my own tweak on it. Here is the result:

https://www.sendspace.com/file/nd2pkj

I kinda like the result, except that the preparation animation is erratic.

I also fixed his death sound and added a B frame for idle animation, because both had bothered me.


Haha oops. I was messing around with the sounds and forgot to change it back.

Share this post


Link to post

Random musings:

I was thinking about how revs are so often by far the best choice for a mid-tier ambush monster in tight but not quite ultra-cramped spaces (and are at least equal to HKs/etc. in ultra-cramped spaces). They go down quickly, so they are good for injections of fast-but-intense action in a way HKs/mancs often aren't. There are a lot of ways to make these ambushes work, especially if you allow yourself to use clusters of low-tier monsters with mid-tier support, but odds are if you want the ambush to be threatening but really small in terms of monster count, you're going to be using revs and chaingunners and AVs, and that can be a bit repetitive.

So there might be a lot of merit to a 400 HP afrit that only fires a bunch of manc fireballs, at a slower rate sort of like what scifista has in mind but not so slow that the animation looks odd. Or even the original manc/rev mix, since going down in 2 SSG or RL shots means that you can YOLO fight them even in clusters instead of needing to frequently hug cover. It can play a lot of roles, relieving the rev from the sole "adrenaline ambush mid-tier" duty and while being a flying monster to boot. And it has low enough HP that it won't always just wreck the rest of your setup in infighting.

It does feel weird to give it 400 HP when it looks like a baron, but hey, it doesn't even have legs. Legs have to count for something HP-wise, right. :p

Share this post


Link to post
scifista42 said:

I thing he actually works well with Mancubus fireballs only. I just despised the timing. So I took your version and did my own tweak on it. Here is the result:

https://www.sendspace.com/file/nd2pkj

I kinda like the result, except that the preparation animation is erratic.

I also fixed his death sound and added a B frame for idle animation, because both had bothered me.


AD_79 or Scifista, any of you got a working link to your mancubus-missile, medium hp version of this guy, including placement thing in the decorate folder? I'd like to check out the results you've rebalanced.

In general, after sifting through a lot of Realm 667's monsters, I find a lot of them to be poorly balanced to be honest. For general use purposes anyway. Lots of HP, ridiculously powerful and often spammy attacks, little signalling to react against. But with supremely cool sound effects and a lot of effort laid down in the sprite work, with lots of wasted potential as a result. Someone with a mind for this might to good effect tune a selection of them down to better fit into the original roster, and put out a Doom additional monsters, redux pack. Might add a lot of spice if it became popular. Anyway, I'm drifting into musings and reveries... but how about a working link to that Afrit please?

EDIT:
Checked out rdwpa's version and it seems a good addition, even if to use infrequently. He seems a little too fast for my liking, and the lack of a loud death rattle is a letdown. Frequently, you'll hit him through a wall of fireballs, and by the time the firework's died down, he's nowhere to be seen. A better death SFX (just the standard baron one would be better) would make it a lot more satisfying to off him, allowing you to spend the next few milliseconds planning for the remainder of whatever encounter you're in, rather than wondering where the hell he went and not being sure whether he's still around or not. The great speed of him adds to this disappearing act potential.

Also, might be better iof he had a centered stream of missiles, rather than the wide, angles everywhere that's the mancubus' signature. That way you'r not forced so far away from him, which can narrow the options in a fight.

Share this post


Link to post

Ahhh, of course. The 667s are ZDoom only. What a shame.

I guess you could replace the Wolfenstein soldier for another non-ZDoom monster add-on through dehacked? If Afrit is you guys' number one pick, what would be number two?

scifista42 said:

Reupload of my wad: http://www.filedropper.com/afrit-edit-scifista

It's not DECORATE based, it's a DEHACKED work, which means that possibilities are more limited (Mancubus missiles literally must spread, the Afrit himself replaces Commander Keen) but it will work in non-ZDoom ports too, unlike Realm 667's monsters.


Much better with the baron death shriek! other than that I didn't notice a huge difference to rdwpa's.

Share this post


Link to post

As I said earlier in the thread, I was experimenting with sounds and forgot to put the baron trumpet back. That wasn't a change I'd use in-game.

Share this post


Link to post
rdwpa said:

As I said earlier in the thread, I was experimenting with sounds and forgot to put the baron trumpet back. That wasn't a change I'd use in-game.


Ah. I just dove in for the wad. My bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Soundblock said:

I guess you could replace the Wolfenstein soldier for another non-ZDoom monster add-on through dehacked?

Depends how many states remain available (in DEHACKED, all monsters must share the same pool of animation states, and there is a limited amount of these states). In this case, enough. In fact, this (rdwpa's/mine) DEHACKED is derived from the one in Scythe 2. There is already the fast plasma marine replacing WolfSS.

Soundblock said:

I didn't notice a huge difference to rdwpa's.

I think the timing of the attack would make a difference during medium-range combat in open space and in presence of other monsters. Rdwpa's concept was too fast and overpowered IMO, while my concept was supposed to be more dynamic-battle-friendly (for reasons I described in my first post in this thread).

Share this post


Link to post

I did some playing around with the afrit last week and also watched a few Scythe 2 demos to see how good players handled them, and I'm getting the sense that the small period of time between the attack sprite and the attack is fine. It seems like the player should play a game of anticipation -- be on the lookout for the telegraphing sprite and preemptively get out of the way, instead of trying to react when the fireballs start to come out. This is important in other scenarios (e.g. against multiple mancubi in close range, or when berserking anything), but I think it's especially important against afrits and also makes them more fun to fight.

So for that reason I prefer nerfing the HP a lot (to 400) and not changing the attack much, instead of slowing down the attack significantly and bringing the HP down to ~1000 or so. Although I think doubling the delay is fine; that isn't much anyway. Lowering the HP a lot helps them fit in better in setups with other monsters. 300 HP might even be better.

Soundblock said:

I guess you could replace the Wolfenstein soldier for another non-ZDoom monster add-on through dehacked? If Afrit is you guys' number one pick, what would be number two?


I like the idea of monster replacements in theory, but I'm pretty big on the design fitting thematically with the rest of the bestiary. For example, Valiant's bruiser demon* is a great monster, I think, but it looks kind of silly and cartoonish even though it was clearly designed to fit in with the hell noble family. (Although it also has the limitation of using a lot of non-stock projectiles, meaning you have to change existing resources to use it.) Also the HK/Baron are very good and underrated monsters, imo.

But luckily, the zombie variants tend to fit in well, I think, and I'd personally choose something like Valiant's suicide bomber zombie**. The stock bestiary is pretty good as it is, so the only non-cosmetic reason to augment or change it would be to make a complete different sort of combat scenario possible. I like the type of spatial awareness challenge the suicide zombie can introduce.


* A video of the bruiser demon, so that the post is understandable even if you haven't played Valiant yet.

** https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyda7Q8w69U#t=60s

Share this post


Link to post

I have a fairly old project in my GZDoom folder that incorporated a lot of R667 stuff, and nearly everything received modifications of my own in order to bring it better into line with the stock bestiary as well as maybe provide a more balanced experience. I can share it if a few people show some interest in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Rayzik said:

I have a fairly old project in my GZDoom folder that incorporated a lot of R667 stuff, and nearly everything received modifications of my own in order to bring it better into line with the stock bestiary as well as maybe provide a more balanced experience. I can share it if a few people show some interest in it.


+1

Share this post


Link to post

Sorry, I let this slip through my schedule a little longer than intended. I cut out everything that was superfluous, and only included the added decorate items and a single MAP01 the exhibit all the decorate things.

I know it works in the latest GZDoom, so use that to guarantee compatibility.

Here's a link: http://1drv.ms/1LpjqSS

And here's a description of most changes regarding monsters + added weapons:

Spoiler

Weapons Added:

Heavy Rifle
-DPS: 10(3d3) MAX: 90
-Ammo Used: Rifle Ammo
- Fires a group of bullets that can appear to go through multiple zombies for multikills. But is essentially meant to be firing high caliber rounds with pinpoint accuracy at a slow ROF.

High Frequency Plasma Rifle
-DPS: 13d8 MAX: 104
-Ammo Used: High Frequency Cells
- Basically a souped up Plasma Rifle that fires faster, stronger plasma. Ammo should be provided very sparingly, as it's meant to be a very costly weapon to deploy on the field, and only in the most dire of circumstances.

Fusion Rifle
-DPS: 10d8 MAX: 80
-Ammo Used: 2x Cell
- Fires the bouncy projectiles of the Fusion Spider at twice the cost, twice the damage, and half the rate. Great for clearing rooms from a safe position, but at the cost of ammo consumption.

SMG
-DPS: 5d3 MAX: 15
-Ammo Used: Bullets
- A fast firing bullet hose that uses bullets. Only downside is that you have to be close the hit reliably, thus making use of it dangerous in more situations.



Monsters Added:

Bruiser Demon
-HP 3000
- Generally reduced his destruction, and brought him into a better space as a mini-boss. Has three main attacks now, a flurry of fireballs(low damage), strong large fireballs(high damage), and floor hugging explosions(mid damage) that are slightly less difficult to dodge. He's also immune to splash damage so the rocket launcher doesn't destroy him to quickly.

Chainsaw Zombie
-HP 30
- Is a bit faster than normal, and can definitely rip you apart faster. Original didn't seem dangerous enough for how slow and obvious of a threat he was.

Plasma Zombie
-HP 80
- Fires 5 round bursts of full speed and damage plasma gun at the player. Easy to dodge if attentive, but can be deadly in the right conditions. Also made is possible to have him drop the Plasma Gun OR a regular Cell.

Rapid Fire Guy
-HP 30
- He's pretty much unchanged. I may have made him more accurate.

SMG Guy
-HP 40
- This guy is proportionally more deadly according to how close you are to him. He fires full damage bullets like any other zombie, but the spread on the SMG is pretty insane.

SSG Guy
-HP 120
- He's slower and a little tankier, his shotgun fires 12 pellets at full damage, and if he gets you up close and personal it's instantly game over. (usually)

Auto Shotgun Guy
-HP 80
- This guy is kinda out of place, seeing as he doesn't drop his weapon and there isn't a similar one in the game. But he is basically a regular shotgun guy with a refire on him. Also he is tankier at 80 HP.

Rocket Zombie
-HP 80
- Fires a single rocket from quite a long range, however I gave him a melee attack up close to limit friendly fire and cheap shots. Although A OHK rocket with no warning can be pretty cheap. Use with caution.

Zombie Tank
-HP 500
- Agile and moderately bulky, I don't think I did too much here except tweak the damage down a bit so it doesn't chew health down too quickly.

Afrit
-HP 750
- So this guy is one of the topics of the thread, and I made him an inbetween for the HK and Baron. Also he flies, but his primary attack is a large explosive comet that can do heavy damage. He also has a standard baron ball as well. I don't remember the original entirely, but I think he had lots of attack patterns, some that were downright unfair in confined areas. The Dehacked version is also wayyyyy to tanky imho.

Agathodemon
-HP 400
- Essentially a recolored cacodemon with a fast projectile attack. Although this one is very slippery, phasing in and out of existence after firing. Can actually be quite a threat if he dances around in a crazy enough pattern.

Berserkerdemon
-HP 400
- I think I borrowed the Enhanced Cacodemon sprites and completely undid the decorate for it. Now this cacodemon variant is essentially a big scary lost soul who homes in on you and can absolutely clothesline you from 100HP to dead if you can't stop him. I think he is kinda scary in all honesty.

Fallen
-HP 250
- That one monster from Hexen or Heretic or w/e it came from. I like the way it behaves already, I just made him a bit harder to kill so he provides more of a threat in a closed area.

Hellion
-HP 70
- I don't really think I made many changes to this one. He's an ok guy.

Lord Of Heresy
-HP 1500
- Major work done to this one. Originally I intended to make him fly, but I couldn't really do the spritework to make that happen. So I opted to make him a summoner akin to the Pain Elemental, except he can spawn the lowest class of baron as his children, the Squire. The Lord himself has a few different attack patterns, mostly just angled shots like the mancubus, and a nasty triple attack that is hard to squeeze between up close. He is also immune to splash damage, making him a sort of mini-boss encounter as well. Couldn't come up with a way to limit his summons reliably, so definitely take caution with that.

Squire
-HP 150
- The lowest class of baron, has a small amount of HP, but has a decently damaging projectile attack that is moderately fast. Good for low level encounters or swarming in greater numbers than HKs.

Nightmare
-HP 100
- I don't think I made many changes here either.

Nightshade
-HP 150
- Again, very small if any changes.

Warlord of Hell
-HP 1500
- A big angry baron, who throws a lot of fireballs, and if he enters pain state, he quickly retaliates with his own attack, making close combat slightly more dangerous.

Death Incarnate
-HP 300
- Hitscan attack is less damaging than a revenants, but his double punch melees like a pro boxer. I lowered his chance to get back up to around 50% so it doesn't get up way too many times and screw with ammo balance, and also he still can spawn a Hadesphere on death if he isn't Gibbed.

Hadesphere
-HP 100
- Chases you down and attempts to blow you up. Simple enough.

Diabloist
-HP 1300
- Major tuning here into essentially just a badass arch-vile whose fire hurts even more (can OHK from 100HP) and can occasionally enter a barrage of fireballs with moderate damage.

Nivalist
-HP 1000
- I recolored the Diabloist and changed his flame attack into a freezing spell that can hold the player in place for a couple of seconds. Can be quite deadly if caught out in the open. Also retains the flurry of projectiles, this time iceballs. I could probably submit this to R667 myself as a support role monster akin to the Weakener.

Railbot
-HP 100
- A silly little ceiling turret thing. I don't really like it, I changed his HP and attacks into a hitscan burst.

Fusion Spider
-HP 750
- Now instead of a large flurry of slow moving projectiles, his shots bounce off of walls and as fast moving. Basically an even more dangerous area denial monster than his brother Arachnotron and cousin Mancubus. Might have tweaked the HP value to be higher than original.

Daedabus
-HP 1000
- He is even fatter than the mancubus, and attacks with a flurry of poorly aimed fire blasts. Which probably works in his favor, because it's hard to dodge random shots in a 50* cone.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't know if it would actually be allowed to upload a collection like this of just monsters and a few weapons without any maps or lacking any of the credits for the original authors.

Speaking of which, what exactly is the procedure when dealing with R667 resources? Is it explicitly required to do all the credits for resources used or is it just necessary to mention the came from R667? I would think the latter, considering they've provided them in the first place and credits are given per item in the repository.

Share this post


Link to post
Rayzik said:

I don't know if it would actually be allowed to upload a collection like this of just monsters and a few weapons without any maps or lacking any of the credits for the original authors.

Lacking maps = no problem, pure resource wads are usually accepted onto /idgames. Lacking credits = more of a problem.

Rayzik said:

Speaking of which, what exactly is the procedure when dealing with R667 resources? Is it explicitly required to do all the credits for resources used or is it just necessary to mention the came from R667? I would think the latter, considering they've provided them in the first place and credits are given per item in the repository.

I think it's preferable to explicitly credit all particular authors of your assets in the textfile, just stating "the Realm667 repository" is more of an evil, considering that the repository may theoretically be taken down anytime, while the wad might be preserved on /idgames forever.

Share this post


Link to post
scifista42 said:

Lacking maps = no problem, pure resource wads are usually accepted onto /idgames. Lacking credits = more of a problem.
I think it's preferable to explicitly credit all particular authors of your assets in the textfile, just stating "the Realm667 repository" is more of an evil, considering that the repository may theoretically be taken down anytime, while the wad might be preserved on /idgames forever.


I agree in theory, but the monster files are rarely well documented as to their author, even on their home; Realm 667.

Share this post


Link to post

Each of the entries has a Credits tab on the right from the Preview, and most of them also have a CREDITS lump inside the wad.

Share this post


Link to post
scifista42 said:

Each of the entries has a Credits tab on the right from the Preview, and most of them also have a CREDITS lump inside the wad.


Doh. Silly old me is used to looking for credits in a zip-appended text file. On the upside, that means the monster megamix wad shouldn't be impossible to compile a credits list for.

Share this post


Link to post
Soundblock said:

On the upside, that means the monster megamix wad shouldn't be impossible to compile a credits list for.


I did exactly that once. Just be mindful to do it as you go, otherwise you'll have a LOT of typing to do come the end.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×