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Blastfrog

Lost Soul health

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In the Jaguar version and all derived from it, the Lost Soul's health is 60, instead of 100 as in the PC version.

It's honestly a lot more fun with this change, why didn't id backport it to the PC game?

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Because the Jaguar couldn't handle 3-digit numbers?
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Just kidding. I think that was probably to make things more balanced. Weakened maps, weakened enemies.

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Not sure if you're kidding, but I'll respond seriously. No other monster health was altered, just the lost soul, and there are many monsters with >100 health.

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TBQH, with the crippled controls of most console ports of the time, it made sense to nerf at least the most annoying monsters. The Lost Soul was annoying both in terms of mobility and HP. Since making it slower in order to make it easier to track with gamepad controls was not considered, the next logical step was giving the player a reasonable chance of killing it with 1 shotgun blast.

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you're not alone in this, I recall reading a few posts some time back agreeing their hp felt bloated. this particular thread is what jumped to mind, but I know I've read it elsewhere as well. I haven't tested the idea enough to form my own opinion, but I imagine the nerf would rather drastically reduce the urgency to take down PEs, which is a bummer.

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Ribbiks said:

you're not alone in this, I recall reading a few posts some time back agreeing their hp felt bloated. this particular thread is what jumped to mind, but I know I've read it elsewhere as well. I haven't tested the idea enough to form my own opinion, but I imagine the nerf would rather drastically reduce the urgency to take down PEs, which is a bummer.

Probably why it spawns two of them at once in Doom 64. Also why it explodes them like rockets if you try to spawn-block them ;)

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ChekaAgent said:

I think lost souls with 100 health are ok. They're meant to be annoying, that's the whole point. Even their look is annoying.

You didn't played DOOM enough if you think so. It's such pain in ass when these souls more than 30 which were spawned by pain elemental and after kill their all.

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Honestly, the lost souls are annoying enough with their numbers and their attack. Bloated health just makes it unfun and frustrating, which shouldn't be a feeling you get from playing video games. Combat situations are so much more fun when I can generally count on a single shotgun blast taking out an individual Lost Soul.

I think id made this decision out of pure rebalancing, not to make it "easier for console players".

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I much prefer the gargoyle from Heretic, which acts as something of a Lost Soul equivalent but which dies to a single crossbow shot. Not sure how you'd add in the PE component, because I do agree with Ribbiks that a change to Lost Soul HP would significantly lower the danger PEs represent.

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Besides, you still have about a 1/64 chance of killing a healthy Lost Soul with a single shotgun blast. Seems fair enough ;-)

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"They're meant to be annoying, that's the whole point"

"You know this game were working is going great. Everything is good and fun. I think its time to offset this perfection with something annoying"

Its awfully retarded what some people think is going on in a game designers head.

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Lost souls are among the best Doom monsters the way they are. If you don't like killing them, ignore them; they don't count towards the kill count. Just don't be summarily upset when they fail to leave you alone ;D

If they had less health it would also reduce the effectiveness of using rockets against them, something I particularly enjoy.

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To all those who think the Lost Soul is too strong: find an SSG or learn to dodge :o)

With that said the 20 Lost Soul limit is really effective at keeping them from fucking you over in an entirely unfair way due to the sheer number of them. I'm convinced all server hosts who disable the limit are black-hearted masochists.

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My problem with the 20 LS limit is this: what if I milk a PE out for 20 LS's in the beginning of a map and just don't kill them; move on so they get left behind? That destroys the usefulness of any PE's in the level thereafter. This is especially complicated in large-to-extra-large levels where there might already be 20 LS's already placed in the map, a decent portion may very well be towards the end of the map. Idk, limiting LS's is a bad idea to me.

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I think a limit on how many LSes any individual given PE can spit out would be better. Unlimited is a bad idea, the map could become unreasonably swamped.

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Fonze said:

My problem with the 20 LS limit is this: what if I milk a PE out for 20 LS's in the beginning of a map and just don't kill them; move on so they get left behind?

That makes you a strategic player with a sound knowledge of the game's mechanics! It also means, unless the map is enormous, there must be some odd design choice where all enemies in that area of the map are stuck there even after the player leaves. I'd wager that, generally, a good chunk of them will be able to creep their way to wherever you are eventually. It's also bad practice to add more than ~15 Lost Souls to a non-ZDoom map ;) Though in ZDoom with all restrictions turned off, the sky's the limit of course.

That said, 20 made sense for the IWAD maps and for most 90's pwads. ZDaemon actually supports the ability to set the limit to whatever number you want so I think Zand/ZDoom can do the same. Allowing an unlimited number of them to spawn has a much higher chance of screwing up a map's balance and making it unrealistic for a human to beat, VS making some encounters slightly easier (only those involving PE's and Souls though). Either way balance can become a bit screwed, but it's still better for an encounter to be marginally easier than impossible to complete.

I like the idea of making each individual PE have a limit! 8-10 souls per PE regardless of preexisting Lost souls would be a cool modification.

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Avoozl said:

Doom 64 Lost Souls seem to have less health but they appear to be faster and deal more damage.


Does anyone know what their code is? I've tried to emulate a D64 Lost Soul, reduced health by half (thought it was 50, is it really 60?) made their bite hurt a little more (damage from 3 to 5) and their facetarget the same amount of tics as their attack cycle (4 instead of 10) so they have less delay and can repeatedly bite.

Quasar said:

Probably why it spawns two of them at once in Doom 64. Also why it explodes them like rockets if you try to spawn-block them ;)


That last bit would be cool to implement for a custom Pain Elemental! I always found this monster in its PC incarnation non-threatening soon as you get up in their grill.

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Cyanosis said:

Does anyone know what their code is? I've tried to emulate a D64 Lost Soul, reduced health by half (thought it was 50, is it really 60?) made their bite hurt a little more (damage from 3 to 5) and their facetarget the same amount of tics as their attack cycle (4 instead of 10) so they have less delay and can repeatedly bite.

You can check info.c from the Doom 64 EX source (search for S_254 to find their state definitions, and MT_SKULL to find their thing definition). Keep in mind though, I believe the tick rate in Doom 64 is 30 opposed to PC doom's 35, so the game runs slower, and I have no idea how different the individual functions like A_Chase, A_SkullAttack, and the like are in Doom 64.

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I definitely see pain elementals used more liberally than lost souls which is a bummer. With a size of 32x32 you can densely cram a lot of them in a small space. I consider traps with tons of lost souls to be more dangerous than pain elementals sometimes. It sucks for me though because if I wanna use pain elementals early in the map and a super crazy lost soul ambush later, it paralyzes the pain elementals in the beginning.

For now on I'll probably just go all in with lost souls and no pain elementals.

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If the lost souls are effectively 'gibbed' like a telefrag upon being spawned inside the player, you could give them an 'XDeath' state in decorate (or an 'Exploding Frame' sequence in Dehacked) and make them explode when they die like that.

Of course, that means incidentally telefragging a lost soul would be like telefragging a barrel, but you could use a custom 'A_Detonate' in Decorate (or use the MBF Dehacked 'Detonate' frame codepointer) to create a weaker explosion effect.

The other side effect is that the pain elemental will likely take that damage too since it's right next to you when that happens, but if you made the explosion small enough (32 radius/damage?) it might not make a significant difference and still deter a player from kissing the elemental.

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Fonze said:

My problem with the 20 LS limit is this: what if I milk a PE out for 20 LS's in the beginning of a map and just don't kill them; move on so they get left behind?

They could have kept care of that by limiting 20 Lost Souls per area. They could share the sound propagation code which is used for alerting monsters for that, ie. don't count any Lost Souls beyond the second "block sound" line or closed doors.
On the other hand, they wanted the game to run on a 80386 and had to keep the algorithms simple due to that.

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Fonze said:

My problem with the 20 LS limit is this: what if I milk a PE out for 20 LS's in the beginning of a map and just don't kill them; move on so they get left behind?


That was actually a legit tactic, and it happened involuntarily in "The Pit" many times.

LogicDeLuxe said:

They could have kept care of that by limiting 20 Lost Souls per area.


You mean per Sector, as it's the closest concept in Doom? Great, in a game which has an aversion for dynamically allocating stuff, introduce yet another structure which depends upon level geometry. Had id done that in 1994, they'd probably have used a static array of 200 integers or somesuch, so maps > 200 sectors would lead to all sorts of interesting behavior ;-)

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Doomkid said:

I like the idea of making each individual PE have a limit! 8-10 souls per PE regardless of preexisting Lost souls would be a cool modification.


http://jinotra.in/downloads/mods/doom/assorted/cappedpe.wad

it's zdoom-only (2.8.1 and up, so no zandronum compatibility), and obviously won't work with any DEHACKED, but this does exactly that

change pe_soulcap in the DECORATE to change where the cap is (default 8)

edit:
http://jinotra.in/downloads/mods/doom/assorted/cappedpe_v2.wad

this version works in zandronum 3 (and therefore zdoom 2.7.1), and has three cvars:

cappedpe_maxsouls (default 8): how many souls each pain elemental can have tethered to it (0 means infinite)
cappedpe_maxsouls_total (default 0): how many pain elemental souls can exist in the map at once (including ones spawned on death) (0 means infinite)
cappedpe_uncappeddeath (default true): if this is false, the souls spawned on death are also capped by the above two cvars

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