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The Importance of Balanced Gameplay

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Well it seems that there're some people here who don't understand the importance of a balanced deathmatch. Deathmatching in Doom was a game of speed and item acquisition. Many of the weapons were rendered obsolete by others, proving a showdown between a chaingun and a plasma rifle only leaving distance the challenge factor.

In Quake 3, all of the weapons are very well balanced. The only weak weapon is the default starting equipment and the only strong weapon is the BFG. The only deciding factor with all of the other weapons was your skill behind the trigger. Granted, at a huge distance you have a better chance with the railgun over the grenade launcher but most of the areas in Q3 are fairly tight.

Balance is not important, in fact, it stands as the enemy of single player. It's a necessary gameplay factor to have some weapons that are just rediculously strong but have limited ammunition.

Considering the damage variance in Quake 2 single player vs deathmatch it only proves that you can have it both ways.

No matter how many pistol shots it takes to down the weakest enemy in the game, it's always taken a whole lot more to take out an enemy in deathmatch.

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A very interesting matter, indeed.
First than all, let´s separate SP balancing from MP balancing.
What´s the idea of MP weapon balancing? Designers spends most of their time developing weapons on make them fair artifacts. On MP, 2 guys on a 1v1 with same health & armor, but different weapons should have the SAME chances to win (discarding their skills). This is defined by properly modifying the variables that defines a gun (some are ROF, projectile speed, ammo capacity, clip capacity, damage per shot, splash radius, splash damage, spread, things like that).
It looks easy, just a little change on the numbers, but it isn´t that way. You can´t just shape this numbers to meet the requirements because the weapon effect must combine with the model. Machine guns with 10 bullets per clip or Rocket Launchers with 2 rps as ROF are ridiculous.
If the designed weaponry don´t works, you have to scrap some of them and bring new ones to the scheme.

Plus, you have to keep in mind SP. In SP, the weapons are meant to be useful. They´re have to be designed so all of them have advantage above the others while facing some specific problems.
This leads to another problem, because of AI, not all the weapons works the same way for enemies than for humans.
Balancing is not the right term for SP, lets call it "qualifying"

Well, DooM 3 is single player focused, but iD would never do a single only game, so i sincerely hope that they solve this matter without falling in their classical iD´s Standard Game Equipment. We all know them, shotguns, rockets, grenades and machine guns.

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I don't agree. In doom, it also comes down to skill, unless one player has only a chainsaw, beserk, or pistol. I have taken out bfg and plasma gun users with a shotgun. I have also been taken out at close range by a chaingun weilding opponent when I have had the plasma gun. Like I said skill. A rocket launcher, ssg, or chaingun is not rendered obsolete in any way shape or form by any other weapon.
Sure some weapons are more useful in certain situations, but that is true in Quake3 as well.

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There are two solutions I can think of:

1) Have weapons that are only available in single player and not deathmatch, and visa versa.

2) Make the same weapons have different properties in single player and deathmatch.

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This subject is a very important one to bring up. I posted like a 30 paragraph article on this already so ill get to the point, I think iD should focus on singal player right now with the time they have to release this, Then release a mission pack bassed on multiplayer that has Deathmatch, Capture the flag, Domination, Tournament, bot play, and so on. But the regular game should still have multiplayer, but with a addon they have more time to focus on weapons. I really hope the weapons are balanced like they were in quake 3 arena, but, its hard to say wtf is going to happen. Far as we know they could have a whole new list of weapons that has never seen the light of day in an iD game. It pisses me off that there will be no rocket launcher because its way to weak (play q3a and turn nockback all the way up, just a little nudge from a rocket sinds you like 30 ft in the air.) But heres my prodiction, doom3's multiplayer, and weapons balance will be like half-life if there going for that realistic approuch. But I'm 75% sure I'm wrong.

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Perforator said:

This balance bulls shit is getting on my nerves.

It has been said that HL doesnt have balance because the mp5 is the glory weapon there.

It has also been said that UTs weapons dont have balance either because it only takes a few shots with any weapon to kill the player (sounds to me like they all t the same damage, but I don't play UT so I don't really know what you are talking about).

Realisticially a shotgun blast would kill you instantly, and it would only take a few shots from a pistol to kill someone too (if even that). Since this tends to get boring quick we introduce another factor into gaming that keeps realism in check - gameplay.

With the gameplay factor we can warp things to suit playability. Making the player take 10 shots to kill with a pistol instead of 3 or 4 (like wolf3d did) makes the game more fun because it doesn't cut your gaming experience off so quick. But even with this compensation, some things are just too powerful to realisticially knock down to a playable level.
There is no way in freezing hell that Flynn Taggart could take a hit from a 105mm howitzer... or a bfg for that matter.

And now you say: "So why is the bfg there in the first place at all then?"
Because the other aspect of gameplay is unlimited possibility. If you are short on armaments like Hexen made you, you feel sort of claustrophobic. But when there is a seemingly endless arsenal you feel more at ease to experiment around instead of just chase around.

And now you say: "So why dont they just put in alot of cheeze guns?"
put simply: There has to be a "King of the hill" (not the show). Basicially there has to be a MPW (most powerful weapon), and it must be radicially more powerful than the rest of the weapons. Power doesn't mean damage, it can mean extreme fire rate or some other bizarre effect.

My suggestion is not to get rid of the BFG, but instead make it more impotent, remove the spray damage attack and just have it as a single projectile. Maybe have it spread fragments all over the place on impact like those freeze balls the iron lics shot in heretic. Have it do splash damage like the rocket, I dunno, but it has to be there.

The neat thing about the bfg is that it is an assured kill if you are directly hit by it, but it is a slow moving projectile. The railgun from quake2 (and 3) was unbalanced because it always had perfect accuracy and no travel time - it was hard to avoid, it wasn't a bad thing because it killed instantly (most of the time), but because it didn't give you a chance to dodge it (especially if the attacker was realy steady).

The bfg has travel time and kills instantly, and is not very accurate because it takes so long to shoot it, that by the time it shoots the guy could move out of the way.

All I have to say is that the big guns are there to pose two paths of gameplay, the high road or the low road. Do you want to use the fast, automatic weapons that you have to chase people around with. Or do you play better with large, slow, high damage weapons that you have to surprise with. It allows room to decide what your style of gaming will be. I would hate to be forced to play under rules I didn't like. Im a sniper of sorts myself, and while I do have fun with the railgun, I also recognise that I could jump down hand hit a guy close range with an insta-kill weapon like the bfg.

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Why is everybody acting like the rail gun is such a bad weapon? If you cant dodge someone who has it, here is a type, Straife Jump. The rail gun was intended to be a weapon of choice, and it is, if Im playing quake 2, and I dont have a rail gun, I start to have that not so fresh feeling (hehe). It may do instant kills if you have no armor but it does 100% damage, In quake 3 arena you start with 130% health which slowy moves down to 100%, I think they should make it fair for all people in some aspect, like skull tag does, make it take like 3 shots to take down someone, but theres also insta gib (I love them one shot kills) theres always a cheap killing weapon in a game, that adds to the gameplay, I dont know how many times I jump on a server and some dumb ass is standing still on a ledge waiting for people to come by so he can rail them, I sneak up behind them and give them a rocket innema. Its not the power of a weapon, its the skill of the person on the other side, if you have a rail gun and are fighting against a experinced person with the rail and stand still most of the time, your gonna die, the idea is to move around.

There should be weapons that will kill in one hit, and some that take 3-4 or even 10. Like amke the chaingun have to land 10 bullets to kill. I really dont want some gay ass weapons that take for ever to kill someone because newbies bitch to much (Im calling the quake community newbies), they bitch at people for using these weapons cause they dominate the arena with those guns that they suck to much to dodge. It is very easy to escape a bfg attack, you have to know where you can run and hide, but it is easy most of the time. The railgun is easy to dodge, and if someone hits you everytime with it dont bitch at them for it, its called good fragsmenship (yeah I made this up, I know it sounds stupid), mabye they are better then you, mabye you just suck in that map or there hogging all the weapons. I think the bfg, railgun, and plasma gun should be in doom 3, not so mucht he rail, but the bfg has to be in there, its the orgion weapon of doom, the one and only, fuck clones cheap rip offs. This is doom, lets balance the weapons but make some supior ones too.

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I am not saying that there should be no insta-kill weapons in the game, actually I said they are REQUIRED. Have about 3 insta-kill weapons:

1 that is slow and fairly low tech (SSG did this fairly well)
1 that does just enough damage to kill (rockets)
1 that does insane damage but has some other bitch of a drawback.

Long ranged, zero travel time, insta-kill weapons are downright cheating - there has to be some bitchass drawback to them. First of all they must have travel time.

RULE #1: No weapon should be allowed to have no travel time and instant-kill capabilities.
This totally kills the concept behind the rail-gun and the spray attack of the BFG (the 7-rays thingy that kills people indirectly). It doesn't count on the SSG because the damage is quite variable depending on how on target the shooter was.

The railgun should no longer be designed the way it is currenty. Making it leave a fairly visible and bright incandescent trail behind it and do 2x the damage of a bullet, with machinegun speed sounds like a good compromise.

I tend to shoot people in the face with the railgun rather than sit up on a ledge and snipe around. It is shocking to come around a corner and get blasted all over the walls by a railgun. I rarely use the bfg because it takes so long to shoot it (talking q2 here, cant play q3). If someone sees you shoot the bfg and miss, you had better change weapons because they will take you for being defensless.

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