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Theoretical Discussion: The Chaingun

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In maps packed with mid-tier opposition, the chaingun is mostly a clean-up or sniping option, and there are four true primary weapons -- the 'zerk, the SSG, the RL, and the PR/BFG complex.

I've considered replacing the chaingun in my future maps with a version that fires 133% faster. It would be about as strong as the SSG, I'm assuming -- 117 damage per second compared to 142, but with continual pain stun -- though I haven't tested it out yet. It would use the Valiant sprite, but I would not increase the default ammo capacity.

Having a fifth true combat option strikes me as a greater positive than turning the chaingunners (which I love to use) into Useful Ammo Dispensers is a negative. As is, I don't have a lot of fun using the chaingun against revenants, mancubuses, and hell knights. I would like to.

Anyway, what do you think about this? I'm curious about what people who like gauntlet combat think in particular. Especially Ribbiks.

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It should be good - balance/usefulness in the first place. Especially since you're going to change the weapon's sprites - then I'm going to easily accept the different "feel" of the weapon which I'd probably find slightly but noticeably odd if it used default sprites.

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I like it.

Here's a very speedmapped (15 minutes or so) cl 9 wad with some basic combat scenarios, where both the SSG and CG can be used as primary options.


Difficulty settings are there. HNTR is for those who are curious about the dynamics but don't want anything remotely challenging. UV is not too difficult.

I also included the afrit I've been working on -- it's in an optional fight accessed by pressing use on one of the green brick walls. It has an attack pattern that I enjoy because it can be evaded without cover, yet it can create crossfire chaos in small numbers if it's allowed to go unchecked.

My conclusion is that this new chaingun is still inferior in general to the SSG against the mid-tier monsters, but it's now actually a viable option. It's even superior in the scenarios where pain-stunning is very valuable. Cleanup is faster too, and it's possible to mow down low-tier opposition more quickly.

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I made up a bunch of reduced-tic chainguns in dehacked, and a test course to demo the effectiveness vs common mobs. Download

Honestly anything between 4-8 seems pretty fair and can substitute the original 8-tic CG in a mod that suits the adjustment via monster density and composition. A faster CG makes the CG a more valuable weapon, and as such it makes it less of an option and more of a tactical decision. Of course faster RoF = more ammo consumption and chances to miss, especially at decent range, which also counterbalances it's usage.

4-tic CG is equivalent to the Valiant CG, and that thing feels great to use, and kinda seems more powerful than the SSG in comparison. It shreds groups pretty quick, and reliably stuns most enemies. Personally, I'm partial to the 6-tic CG, and in fact that's the version I'm using alongside my current project.

Anything faster than 4-tic CG is just getting into lulz territory. 1-tic is pretty funny imho.

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Chaingunners aren't really Useful Ammo Dispensers in the same way shotgunners are.

It takes one shell to kill a shotgunner, and you can pick up four shells from his dropped gun. Net gain: 3 shells, with which you can kill three other shotgunners and make a net gain of nine shells, etc.

But it usually takes eight bullets, and often ten, to kill a chaingunner. Net gain: either two or zero bullets. Now factor in a hectic combat situation where you're likely to miss some shots while hosing down opposition, and using the chaingun to kill chaingunners becomes unsustainable, you will lose more bullets than you can pick back up.

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My main beef with the Chaingun is that it's basically a 'fast pistol,' but it doesn't go far enough. I'd go on to the say that the audio and sprite design is also unsatisfying.

That said, I respect its role in the arsenal. I'm just not a fan of the execution.

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there was a pretty good discussion about minor balancing changes in the phmlwep thread: https://www.doomworld.com/vb/wads-mods/67618-phmlwep-a-dehacked-bex-gameplay-mod-for-slaughter-enthusiasts/

his approach to the cg was to keep the fire rate the same, but have 2 bullets fire at once. Interesting in that it was a reasonable way to take down mid-tier mobs without zzzZZzz, though it had the effect of trivalizing setups that rely on a single enemy priority due to the sick stunlocking. The phmlwep pg was rebalanced similarly, but truthfully I don't have too many problems with the stock mechanics. the 6-tic thing seems like an interesting middle ground.

a buff cg (e.g. disturbia, valiant) acts as a great "safety" weapon. when wandering into unfamiliar traps it's often the best weapon to have out before unexpected shit goes down. mainly because of its ability to mow down initial waves of hitscanner damage, or stunlock spatial threats until you have time to get away. Outside of those wads I find myself tiptoeing around with pg for similar reasons. I'm not sure what aspects of a fight I would redesign to suit a faster cg, I think it might step on the toes of "electric chainsaw" pg-centric encounters where you plow through an imposing horde of trash-mobs in tight quarters. The notable benefit of cg over pg is the ability for it to hit more dastardly placed enemies that projectiles can't seem to work their way into, so maybe it could be showcased in fights with collections of mobs in awkward window/ledge setups? It's probably also better at hitting ranged threats.. Not sure, have to think about it more.

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Cool thread.

Phml said:

// Slot 1

Fist: poor without berserk, but OK with it, doing about half SSG damage per hit, but with much faster firing rate. It may not be quite where it should be; melee range makes things tricky, and so does the blockmap bug. Making it a double hit could work. To be honest, I'm inclined not to muck with it and leave it as a desperation weapon.
-> no change

Chainsaw: too little damage, interferes with the fist.
-> removed

Hmm. That's another thing I wonder about. I'm assuming the chainsaw's behavior is hardcoded? Otherwise it'd be nice to swap it out for an actual fun melee weapon.

Like an axe or something silly.

Phml said:

Zombieman: fairly pointless in slaughter maps, they kill each other more than anything. Changing their attack to an arachnotron plasma projectile makes them an alternative to imps.

Firing plasma? Yet another reason to find zombiemen funny. I actually like the zombieman as is, though, but this is a cool idea.

If I used a SS Nazi replacement in my maps, I'd actually want it to be Valiant's arachnorb or something like that, even though it would drop a clip, which is silly. The more flying monsters, the better. I could make the former human trooper fly too. Lol.


My latest 1-hr speedmap uses the new CG. It turns out not to be very useful outside of two fights, but the spot cleanup duty it gets is quite satisfying. I think I'm happy with that change. I wouldn't want the CG to be stronger than the SSG. The Disturbia CG was another one of the chainguns I was thinking about, but I feel that one is a bit too weird-looking.

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