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

Don't listen when feedback says your map is too easy

Recommended Posts

Hear me out here. In many work-in-progress map sets I see seasoned vets saying the level is too easy. The mapper listens and says okay I removed a bunch of ammo and health made it harder etc.

For somebody just starting to get knee deep into lots of wads recently, almost every custom WAD is difficult. They're all designed with much less room for sloppiness than the original games.

I generally play on HMP. So at least I say if somebody is saying it's too easy, tailor UV for them. But let HMP be the "normal" or even normal to beginner difficulty.

And it's not survival horror, so I really don't get the point of ammo starvation in your usual Doom style wad, but that's another topic possibly. I've made a couple maps so I can dig that this is part of difficulty balance, but ultimately it's better to have too much than too little, at least of shotgun shells.

I also know there are a couple easier choices for me to try than HMP, but I find it seems mappers pay the most attention to balancing UV and HMP, and I can sympathize since it's a lot of work to fill in four or five difficulties.

In a nutshell, just saying I disagree almost always when somebody says a user wad is too easy.

Share this post


Link to post

Perhaps not enough mappers properly lower the monster count on medium to easy difficulties. I personally play on medium all the time and I agree most maps I download are rather difficult. But for the Vets it can get too boring if they don't need to move and dodge like it matters and in Doom World, well... it's pretty much the hub of Doom vets lol.

Want to play a wad that people claim is too easy? Play mine, I always look for new players and feedback.

Share this post


Link to post
PsychoGoatee said:

Hear me out here. In many work-in-progress map sets I see seasoned vets saying the level is too easy. The mapper listens and says okay I removed a bunch of ammo and health made it harder etc.

For somebody just starting to get knee deep into lots of wads recently, almost every custom WAD is difficult. They're all designed with much less room for sloppiness than the original games.

I generally play on HMP. So at least I say if somebody is saying it's too easy, tailor UV for them. But let HMP be the "normal" or even normal to beginner difficulty.

For a lot of the most difficult wads, that's what HNTR is there for. For a typical modern "challenge wad", HMP is still going to be quite a challenge, probably on par with the UV of a wad like HR or AV, simply because UV is soooo far above the difficulty of the classic hard wads.

And it's not survival horror, so I really don't get the point of ammo starvation in your usual Doom style wad, but that's another topic possibly. I've made a couple maps so I can dig that this is part of difficulty balance, but ultimately it's better to have too much than too little, at least of shotgun shells.

It depends on the dynamics of the map in question. Forcing the player to run away from a group of monsters is a valid map dynamic, and ammo starvation is an excellent way of achieving that. Maps that want to encourage Berzerk usage are also good candidates for ammo starvation, for obvious reasons.

Share this post


Link to post

Hear me out here. In many work-in-progress map sets I see non-seasoned players saying the level is too hard. The mapper sometimes listens and says okay I added a bunch of ammo and health made it easier etc.

For somebody who isn't just starting to get knee deep into lots of wads recently, many custom WADs are easy. They're all designed with much more room for sloppiness than the experienced players find engaging-enough.

I generally play on UV. So at least I say if somebody is saying it's too hard, tailor HNTR or HMP for them. But let UV be the "normal" or even normal to experienced player difficulty.

And ammo management is one of the game's challenging aspects, so I really don't get the point of ammo overstocking in your usual Doom style wad, but that's another topic possibly. I've made a couple maps so I can dig that this is part of run-and-gun focused pacing, but ultimately it's better to have too little than too much, at least of shotgun shells, because that can make up for an interesting challenge, provided the map is actually completable to begin with.

I also know there are a couple harder choices for me to try than UV (namely UV -fast, Tyson playstyle, Pacifist playstyle, Nightmare...), but I find it seems mappers pay the most attention to balancing UV (and sometimes HMP), and I can sympathize since it's a lot of work to fill in four or five difficulties.

In a nutshell, just saying I rarely agree when somebody says a user wad is too hard.


THE POINT: No matter what feedback the mapper listens to and how he reacts to it, there will always be somebody unsatisfied with the difficulty of the finished map, be it easy or hard, probably actually easy for one person and hard for another person at the same time. That's because there is no universally good balance. It all depends on the target audience group, which means players who prefer a certain level of difficulty, whether a given wad is suitable for them or not - and in fact, it boils down to individual player's preferences as well. This is where comes the mapper's judgement of his intended target audience (and his personal preference when it comes to both playing and making maps), which (along with the feedback, of course) should allow him to set the difficulty bar as high as he feels like and reach his goals at the same time, whether the goal is to please other people or himself with the maps he makes.

Share this post


Link to post

My map is aiming to be a little more difficult than classic was. However I am avoiding HP and ammo starvation. If you explore enough, you will find enough ammo and health/armor to sustain yourself. If you don't you will probably die.

Monster Count when compared to vanilla:

1/2: HMP
3: UV
4/5: UV plus about 20%.

Share this post


Link to post

Ammo starvation doesn't really make Doom more hard as much as it does make it less fun. I think its okay as a way to push berserk punching but on maps with no chainsaw or berserk its just annoying.

Usually if a map is not very hard to begin with, making it hard doesn't always have a very simple remedy. More monsters just makes a longer map and less ammo health just make things more meticulous.

Share this post


Link to post
40oz said:

Usually if a map is not very hard to begin with, making it hard doesn't always have a very simple remedy. More monsters just makes a longer map and less ammo health just make things more meticulous.

Simple remedies: make monster groups in open areas more homogenous, replace monsters with Arch-Viles.

Share this post


Link to post
scifista42 said:

Hear me out here. In many work-in-progress map sets I see non-seasoned players saying the level is too hard. The mapper sometimes listens and says okay I added a bunch of ammo and health made it easier etc.


I haven't seen that happen much. I'm not making up theoretical scenarios, just commenting on what I've seen. There are better ways to communicate your opinion than a weird full post parody of somebody's opinion.

And even if you do have an example in mind, you know what I'm talking about is a lot more commonplace. And these topics definitely hear from a player such as you a lot more often than they do one such as me, so I feel like they're not getting an accurate sampling of the hundreds of people or so who could be playing it.

Cynical said:

For a lot of the most difficult wads, that's what HNTR is there for. For a typical modern "challenge wad", HMP is still going to be quite a challenge, probably on par with the UV of a wad like HR or AV, simply because UV is soooo far above the difficulty of the classic hard wads.


That's true, I try HNTR on WADs I hear are shockingly hard. In those ones they mention it in the readme saying HNTR is the HMP of that one, and UV fans should play HMP, UV being insane etc. But for ones that don't specify, I just assume UV and HMP are the difficulties they put the most time into testing. So I go with HMP usually.

Share this post


Link to post

There is of course a balance to be struck, and as scifista pointed out that will depend on a mapper's target audience. I will say that when I have seen people say maps are too easy, it does tend to be a speedrunner or very skilled player, and that mappers should bear in mind that their 'too easy' is not everyone's.

By all means read feedback and use it as part of your decision making process, but if you are making a map for a reasonable majority to enjoy try to ensure an appropriate difficulty level. If a map is much too easy some players may not enjoy it, if a map is much too difficult many more may not play through it at all. What's an appropriate difficult level? That's ultimately for the mapper to decide, but through feedback a consensus of sorts can be reached.

Personally, unless maps are particularly short and it's clearly the central conceit (such as with maps like Chaingunner or Chaingun deviant), mechanics such as excessive ammo scarcity and massive amounts of high HP/low threat monsters are more of a tedium than elements of difficulty. Then of course there's the divided opinion on slaughter or slaughter-style maps.

Ultimately, you can't please everyone but you can judiciously interpret player feedback to help realise your own goals for your map.

Share this post


Link to post

Interestingly enough, most maps that are too hard for my tastes on UV becomes too easy as soon as I switch to HMP.

Share this post


Link to post

Here's another advice: don't make the player miss out on cool stuff that are UV-only, if they play on HMP.

The problem if you design and test your maps on HMP, and just pile monsters like crazy in UV, is that now Nightmare becomes too hard and not fun. I wish there was a way to customize nightmare monster placement. UDMF fixes that...

Share this post


Link to post

I sometimes casually like playing easy maps with not a lot of monsters so that I can enjoy the level design or just doom and chill along the day.

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
×