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rdwpa

n-monster rosters

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You are restricted to using n of the monsters in the D2 bestiary for your typical mapping. Which monsters make the cut for every value of n (i.e., are added to the existing roster of n-1)? I'll run through my list.

(EDIT: feel free to use different combinations for each n, as scifista did, if you find that more interesting.)

n=1: revenant

The revenant doesn't get my vote for best monster -- that honor goes to the arch-vile -- but it is unquestionably in the top three and the most versatile among them. It can function as a foot soldier and a turret, in groups and and in hordes. It has low HP and a fun attack. Somewhat easy choice for me. The first AV-only level might be more fun than the first rev-only level, but I think the former would sooner get old to map and test. n=1 isn't going to be particularly great with any monster.

n=2: revenant, arch-vile

Another fairly easy choice. The AV adds another versatile monster to the team -- one even more versatile than the rev, working well on the ground and on turrets; alone, in groups, and in hordes; and adding a vulture element to various setups. It's a pairing that works well with the revenant, as Cynical has described.

n=3: revenant, arch-vile, mancubus

This was my first non-trivial decision, but not a particularly hard one. I opted for the mancubus over the chaingunner, because it enables balanced infighting-heavy setups with the rev and adds another tricky projectile to the mix. The manc is less versatile than the rev but not by a huge margin.

n=4: revenant, arch-vile, mancubus, chaingunner

And following not too far behind, the first hitscanner, a high-priority threat that is especially useful for small-scale traps and functional in a number of roles. The chaingunner adds the first fodder monster (albeit a lethal one), one that can be very satisfyingly blown away in large numbers.

n=5: revenant, arch-vile, mancubus, chaingunner, hell knight

I'm a fan of claustrophobic gameplay, and the HK is especially versatile in tight quarters, where it can be used in a variety of supplementary threat roles (infighter, meatshield, low-priority nuisance turret, door) and occasionally, if spaces are tight enough or their numbers are large enough, as a primary threat.

n=6: revenant, arch-vile, mancubus, chaingunner, hell knight, cacodemon

In a format characterized by the gradual filling of niches, the first flying monster can't go too late. Especially useful in platforming-heavy maps and in large swarms. Their big hitbox is a bit of a liability as far as their threat level is concerned but makes them fun to fight.

n=7: [...], imp

At this point, with a solid core in place, the precise order starts to matter to me a bit less. I'll choose a low-tier monster that can be both a serious attrition threat in large groups and an enjoyable fodder monster. Fewer comments now because I'm tired of writing.

n=8: [...], cyberdemon

n=9: [...], pain elemental

n=10: [...], arachnotron

n=11: [...], baron

n=12: [...], spectre

n=13: [...], demon

n=14: [...], spider mastermind

n=15: [...], former human sergeant

n=16: [...], former human trooper

n=17: [...], lost soul

The format hurts the three tail-enders more than anything -- on a "best monsters list" I'd place them all somewhat higher. The chaingunner and imp fill the weaker former humans' fodder roles very well for my sake, and spawned lost souls are already packaged with the pain elemental. The former human trooper does make a great boss monster, however, so it might deserve a higher spot.

Anyway, that's my order. What about yours?

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it'd be something like Arch-vile - Shotgunner - Revenant - Pain Elemental - Chaingunner - Imp - Cacodemon then season with other monsters to taste for me. Baron's my least favourite, but I like the idea of using exactly one a map. also I don't entirely agree that the shotgunner's role overlaps that of the chaingunner because you can often find reason to dive the shotgunner for its shells whereas bullets are way less crucial in a big fight. although I could be overthinking that... also I just like their being multiple squishy enemies on a map... in a more permissive, playful doom community I would include the SS dude as semi-crucial too, heh.

n = 2 on my list is teh most important thing anyway - complimenting the Arch-Vile with a hitscanner gives you a lot of tricks, plus pairing the slowest attacker in the game with one of the fastest is a great complimentary set-up, plus it takes a set of Shotgunners a long time to inadvertantly kill an Archy, PLUS you get the pleasant clicking underfoot when you take out an enclave of them =P vile + shotgunner is my favourite tactile combination! n = 1 is basically a joke but, well, if I had to endure one monster gameplay I'd be thinking about something like Hunted in any case...

the problem with the Revenant is that it's TOO usable... if you try to set up an interesting scenario with the lesser-used monsters and it sucks, you know that on some level you are just going to delete a bunch of arachnotrons and replace them with mr skeletrons because they always create gameplay, haha. Meanwhile the other monsters are running wadspy and seeing none of themselves and they type *sulk* into demon IRC

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rdwpa said:

You are restricted to using n of the monsters in the D2 bestiary for your typical mapping. Which monsters make the cut for every value of n (i.e., are added to the existing roster of n-1)?

So, do the "new n'th monsters" need to be "added to the existing roster", or can the combinations be totally different for each n? (Example: n=1: Shotgunguy, n=2: Archvile+Mancubus, n=3: Chaingunner+Revenant+Cacodemon... because you know, combinations of greater n's add a whole new dimension of factors to decide by, while with only small n's the decision priorities could work differently)

This thread's idea is similar to my older thread about arranging monsters from most to least favorites, but it would make a major difference if completely different combinations for each n were allowed here (as in my example for n=1,2,3...).

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scifista42 said:

So, do the "new n'th monsters" need to be "added to the existing roster", or can the combinations be totally different for each n? (Example: n=1: Shotgunguy, n=2: Archvile+Mancubus, n=3: Chaingunner+Revenant+Cacodemon... because you know, combinations of greater n's add a whole new dimension of factors to decide by, while with only small n's the decision priorities could work differently)


I had the former in mind, but if the latter is more interesting, people can respond that way.

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rdwpa said:

The former human trooper does make a great boss monster, however, so it might deserve a higher spot.

Excuse me, was it a joke or what?

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OK.

n=1: Shotgunguy --- Low health / high threat, hitscanner, can infight, randomized damage, basic walking pattern => all of this makes Shotgunguys the best solo-type enemies IMO, I believe that (specially in higher numbers, in combination with good level design, and if the player gets appropriate health to cover "average expected damage" from them) they can challenge player's reflexes, spacial awareness and health/item management skill just as well as projectile enemies, everything just depends on their placement.

n=2: Archvile + Mancubus --- My 2 favorite Doom enemies. The first one has unique attack mechanics (fire + resurrection) that challenges player's awareness of both space and time. The second one fires projectiles in multiple directions, and dodging higher numbers of them can make a fun challenge too. If you want to make them deadly, place them so that Mancubi cannot hit the Archviles, so that there won't be infighting - but you can also do the opposite as an opportunity for the player to exploit!

n=3: Revenant + Chaingunner + Cacodemon --- Power trio of different abilities that can complement each other excellently: Medium health + strong homing projectile; low health + persistent hitscan attack; and high health + slow projectile + flight. With support of other monsters, Chaingunner obsoletes Shotgunguy, IMO.

n=4: Archvile + Revenant + Chaingunner + Cacodemon --- Archvile would complement the abovementioned trio very well, too.

n=5: Archvile + Mancubus + Revenant + Chaingunner + Cacodemon --- No need to explain.

n=6: Archvile + Mancubus + Revenant + Chaingunner + Cacodemon + Imp --- Basic enemy added for easy encounters to keep the player busy and always on his toes, because even Imps can turn out to be threatening (in high numbers, when their presence or their projectiles go unnoticed by the player, etc.) and/or work well with other monsters.

n=7: Archvile + Mancubus + Revenant + Chaingunner + Cacodemon + Imp + Cyberdemon --- Let's put some decently powerful and dangerous enemy into the roster! Splash damage of his rockets can be strategically used by both the mapper (endangering the player) and the player (tricking Cyberdemon into damaging other monsters).

n=8: Archvile + Mancubus + Revenant + Chaingunner + Cacodemon + Imp + Cyberdemon + Hell Knight --- Medium powerful enemy added for variety.

n=9: Archvile + Mancubus + Revenant + Chaingunner + Cacodemon + Imp + Cyberdemon + Hell Knight + Shotgunguy --- Added for variety.

n>=10 --- Continue adding enemies according to my arranged list of favorites.

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1 to 3 = core

1: rev

For reasons previously mentioned. Their homing projectile makes them the best to disrupt basic strafing as a catch-all defense mechanism, their small width makes them the easiest to use.

2: rev, HK

The HK is perhaps my favorite monster. It has the right amount of health, the right amount of damage, satisfying looks and sounds. Their basic attack is not a weakness but a strength; you want to have that baseline level of challenge sometimes.

The rev+HK combo is a particularly strong couple. Infighting opportunities galore, as against each other their threat level is similar.

3: rev, HK, cacodemon

Another angle of attack with this first flying enemy. It also synergises well with revs and HKs when it comes to infighting, every permutation works well enough. These three types of monsters alone give you a wide range of options.

4, 5 = support

4: rev, HK, cacodemon, cyberdemon

Now that the core is in place, cyberdemons make for a nice addition to the cast, whether as boss monsters, or towers, to speed up infighting or to mix with any of the other monsters.

5: rev, HK, caco, cybie, AV

AVs have similar area of denial capabilities as cybies, and their game-changing abilities make them a worthy inclusion at this point.

6 to whatever = rounding up the cast

6: manc
More cool attack patterns, more chaotic scenarios.
7: chaingunner
Continuous hitscan, new kind of challenge.
8: imp
Adding a misc threat, and with the previous introduction of chaingunners there can be smaller scale fights.
9: demon
Lower tier area of denial
10: lost soul
Another new low tier attack pattern.
11-17: whatevs gotta go take care of things now

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