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JohnnyTheWolf

Rebalancing Thy Flesh Consumed?

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Thy Flesh Consumed is by far the Doom episode I have played the least because of how frustratingly difficult its opening level is. The other maps are quite enjoyable, but are surprisingly easy by comparison. You would think the difficulty would increase with each level, not the other around...

I know of a mod that adds a proper intermission screen to Thy Flesh Consumed, but did anyone try to do something about its absurd difficulty curve?

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JohnnyTheWolf said:

I know of a mod that adds a proper intermission screen to Thy Flesh Consumed, but did anyone try to do something about its absurd difficulty curve?


All that would have been necessary is to switch E4M2 with E4M4, replace half of the shotgunners in the first level with the pistol zombie and put something useful into the NIN secret, instead of making it a death trap that's better avoided.

I tried such a setup and it plays infinitely better because you can actually start the current M2 with some decent weapons and better health. M4 is easy enough for a second level after finishing M1.

As it stands, entering M2 with low health and low ammo is a losing proposition.

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Just make that first goddamn map a *little* easier, maybe a few more shotgun shells and medikits...

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Maybe just put some Cyberdemons to E4M3-M5 and M7-M9, so that the gameplay would stay hardcore from the beginning to the end of the whole episode.

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Graf Zahl said:

I tried such a setup and it plays infinitely better because you can actually start the current M2 with some decent weapons and better health. M4 is easy enough for a second level after finishing M1.


So you are using a custom WAD? If so, would you mind sharing it with us?

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Well, that is my problem with the Episode: once you get past the frustratingly difficult first two levels, the rest is fairly easy.

I would have expected it to be the other way around.

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E1M1 has a lot more shotgun guys in it on UV than E1M2 does. I think its important to warn the player up front how hard a set of levels is going to be with the first level since its not as easy to change difficulties without starting over.

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I Feel like TFC was meant to be more difficult, like "Cool, you beat episodes 1-3 with relative ease, here's the fuck you episode." Still not a big fan heh.

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schmerr said:

I Feel like TFC was meant to be more difficult, like "Cool, you beat episodes 1-3 with relative ease, here's the fuck you episode." Still not a big fan heh.


Much like Final Doom.

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JohnnyTheWolf said:

So you are using a custom WAD? If so, would you mind sharing it with us?



No. All I did was change the MAPINFO in ZDoom to switch the two maps and a test edit to E4M1 - which I no longer have. Besides, since these are commercial maps I wouldn't redistribute them anyway.

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I'd say it's only easier later on because of the fact you have all the weapons at your disposal less than halfway through. I only find difficulty in the first level because of the complete lack of medkits and ammo and the fact there are about 6 barons in it.

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I beg to differ SavageCorona. If you do a pistol start on all maps it's still way easier later on (except for E4M6, it's on par IMHO). It still would have made more sense to put at least E4M2 at a later slot as the pistol start crowd could still enjoy it in its full glory, and the average continuous player would stand a chance.

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I feel the earlier levels only struggle with tedium since it's throwing about 500 barons at you in one area while you only have a piddly shotgun and 2 rockets to fight them off with.

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When it comes to E4M1, it's perfectly doable if you avoid the NIN secret. Actually, when I was new to Doom, after being raped with this thing I simply passed on it as it was the only real hurdle, and optional at that. I am sure it's the expected behavior for the average player. Absolutely getting 100% K/S is more of a completionist/maxrunner thing.

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I have extremely debilitating OCD that kills me inside if I don't get 100% kills and secrets. E4M1 is the worst map for this problem of mine.

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E4M1 is also quite cramped and has many teleporting enemies. E4M2 can be a pain too, because you often start with little health and ammo and the map does not give you much room to maneuver. Having to tread very carefully and use as few ammunition as possible strike me as rather counterintuitive in Doom.

Thy Flesh Consumed is quite frustrating to me, because it gets actually pretty enjoyable once you get past the first two levels. It does not feel right that a secret level like E4M9 makes for a much more fun and exciting first level than E4M1. That is why I am looking for a wad that would tweak the episode just enough to fix the absurd initial difficulty spike.

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Graf Zahl said:

Besides, since these are commercial maps I wouldn't redistribute them anyway.

A MAPINFO-based change of level order + a DECORATE-based Shotgunner-to-Zombieman randomizer + an ACS-library-based script to spawn something into the NIN secret = OK to redistribute.

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SavageCorona said:

I have extremely debilitating OCD that kills me inside if I don't get 100% kills and secrets. E4M1 is the worst map for this problem of mine.

If you absolutely want 100% just watch the current UV-max best time, and replicate the strategy. It's not that hard.

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It's also possible to quickly trigger the secret and run away before the walls trap you in, allowing you to avoid danger while getting the secret. That's just in case you wanted 100% secrets but not necessarily 100% kills if you knew that the remaining monsters were all Barons.

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That's the gist of it. For 100% Kills herd all the barons toward the grid around where the key was and pump the rockets to let splash damage do the magic (keep that one non-secret baron alive all along to maximize the effect). It's manageable by most players.

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The easier maps in E4 should have been harder. Real buzzkill outside of the first 3 and m6

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I also find the mild platform jumping in E4M2 to be a bit much because there's a huge parade of monsters trying to get you, plus when you do make it into that room near the beginning, you've suddenly got barons on your ass. The suggestion to make it a Doom 2 episode was a good one...not only could the map introduce the super shotty (perhaps as a secret, then out in the open in later maps), but about half those barons could be converted into hell knights.

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If you're desperate, you could always hop into the lava pit, quickly going for the radiation suit, and then bee-line your way to the soul sphere. Of course, then you'll have to deal with Imps on the way back up.

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What makes E4M1 harder than it really is is the fact that it is followed up by E4M2.

If I take too much damage or waste too much ammo before exiting E4M1, I usually prefer to start over.

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