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40oz

Frugal Living: Ammo Conservation Tips?

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Some maps are just super dry of ammo sources considering the massive HP of the monsters they make you fight. What are some unorthodox survival tips to really maximize the damage among monsters whilst reducing the amount of ammo spent on shooting them?

Abuse that infighting timer threshold, so when an uneven fight happens, say, between a hell baron and a cacodemon, go and chainsaw the hell out of the baron while hes distracted by the caco to try to even the playing field the best you can with little risk of getting hurt.

If a pinky demon doesn't die in two single shotgun shells, usually a punch or two by an unberserked fist will finish him off.

Rocket launcher sometimes does less damage than a supershotgun on an individual monster, but a rocket launcher against a dense horde of monsters in a small space can do as much as quadruple damage as a super shotgun would. Especially if said monsters form in a C shape and you fire into the cave of the C.

Archviles who infight with bigger monsters can eventually blow themselves up with the splash of their own attacks after many blasts if they are standing in close proximity.

Switch weapons often. Sometimes the most economical way to conserve ammunition (if time isn't a priority) is to use the most powerful weapon that wouldn't kill the monster in one shot, then go down the weapon tiers using weapons that are most likely to reach the damage needed to kill them without going too far over. Rockets, cells and super shotgun first, then move to bullets or chainsaw or fisties to avoid overkill.

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My tips for ammo conservation: (mileage may vary)

In most typical situations where rockets are less useful than shells as the go-to weapon or shells are just tight in general (ie lets say you don't know what's coming up and maybe there are a good amount of claustrophobic encounters ahead where switching to the RL would not only be a bad idea, but would also eat too much time switching), it's a good idea to use rockets against pinkies, lost souls, PE's, and pretty much anything else with health in that range. Always count shots and don't waste rockets tho; switch to a CG to down that last, weak enemy and save the extra rocket for a cluster.

Know the numbers for monsters; shouldn't waste more than 3-4 rockets on a manc, and I'd only waste 4 if either the situation called for it or is really tough and that manc needs to die now.

Always, always use rockets on groups of enemies when available. It's the only weapon which does splash damage, so treat it like it! On that note, aim in-between monsters rather than at the specific target's center.

Of course a lot of this is situational and highly dependent on the author's balancing, but rockets are one of this biggest variables in terms of real damage output and thus can make or break ammo balancing.

As 40 said, avoiding overkill is a must, as are recognizing infighting opportunities and helping the weaker monster along, or more-so hurting the stronger monster during the infight.

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Learn and memorize the exact damage + randomization + spread of each weapon, and health of each monster type, and for that matter, learn and memorize also the exact pre-attack + reload delay of each weapon, and movement speed + attack delay + behavioral quirks of each monster type, and all features and quirks of monster AI and collision detection physics, and all possible mapping tricks and features, and common mapping tropes and styles of particular map authors, and history of Doom's development, and professional + personal biographies of idSoftware members, because you might need any of that to make ammo-efficient decisions in the game - but the earlier-mentioned things in this sentence tend to be more critical to remember than the later-mentioned things.

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I love watching players with exacting ammo usage. It's always satisfying for example when you're PG spamming a cyb and you preemptively stop firing, then it gets killed with one of the last few bolts of plasma you shot out. or shotgunning a mob the expected number of times, noting your bad RNG when it doesn't die then finishing it off with a single pistol shot. basically everything scifista said above, I imagine is engrained in the subconscious of a lot of DooM players by now :)

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Chainsaw everything. Get in there and weave and duck and bob. When it's all said and done, take a salt tablet and you'll be fine.

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If using the CG, when close to finishing an enemy, switch to the pistol. This way, in case it needs an odd number of bullets to die, you won't waste that one extra bullet with the CG.

When using the shotgun against groups of imps or zombies, try lining up two or more of them (preferably slightly offset to the sides) so that no pellet goes wasted. That goes even more when using the SSG. Speaking of which...

...don't be afraid to switch to the plain old Shotgun from the "NEWER AND ENHANCED!" SSG: there are plenty of situations where this makes sense, esp. "sniping" from a distance, where it has a clear advantage. Besides, the plain old shotty has no vertical spread, so it won't waste pellets hitting walls or ledges over/under your target. Yeah, the SSG may still kill monsters faster even in this situation thanks to the larger number of pellets per single shot (20 per 2 shells rather than 14, and only 60% slower to reload), but this is only really viable if ammo conservation is not an issue.

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One thing you can try. Who said that you actually need to kill the monsters? Maybe you could damage them for like 80% of their HP and only kill them when they corner you and you have absolutely no other options. This should save you quite a lot.

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Learn how to apply your BFG correctly. Proper usage of this weapon can thoroughly increase the value of your cell ammo. However the converse is true, where you can easily waste that ammo by mishandling your shots.

Also, don't do that wall blast thing unless necessary, the BFG ball itself can do 100-800 damage (in 100s) with a direct hit.

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Memfis said:

One thing you can try. Who said that you actually need to kill the monsters? Maybe you could damage them for like 80% of their HP and only kill them when they corner you and you have absolutely no other options. This should save you quite a lot.


So, the best ammo-conservation option is to become a Pacifist or Tyson master? ;-)

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Let them get close. It is hard to miss when half of the screen is covered by a Pinky's face. Combine this with hiding behind corners, so you can ambush monsters at close range.

If there is too many enemies in a single room, use teleport loops (if available) to get in few hits and retreat before the monsters can retaliate.

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The first, most basic step necessary for ammo conservation is to memorize the monster health and weapon damage ranges. This will allow you to estimate the remaining health of the target after each hit. As a result, you can ration ammo and kill them with the correct amount of ordnance, switching weapons as needed. It will also allow you to plan how you will use ammo placements throughout the level in the future. Using this as my primary strategy, among others, I often find myself flush with ammo on most maps.

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Lots of excellent points here, and I just want to add: Always use the chaingun as a sniper. The first two pellets being 100% accurate can save you insane amounts of bullets!

Rayzik said:

Also, don't do that wall blast thing unless necessary, the BFG ball itself can do 100-800 damage (in 100s) with a direct hit.

Absolutely this. Said tactic is only viable in Deathmatch/Duel.

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Doomkid said:

Lots of excellent points here, and I just want to add: Always use the chaingun as a sniper. The first two pellets being 100% accurate can save you insane amounts of bullets!


Adding that specifically: if you tap the trigger repeatedly, you can make the chaingun always only fire the two bullets perfectly accurately, therefore increasing DPS. Hence 'chaingun tapping'.

Absolutely this. Said tactic is only viable in Deathmatch/Duel.


Mmmm, not to be picky, but it does have it's place in regular play. For example, a group of hitscanners around a corner where charging the BFG and waiting for impact while in their line-of-sight could result in lots of damage being taken in the mean time. Although this is typically a high-level tactic in either case too.

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I generally use the pistol to finish something off if the usual required shots don't do the trick.

Punch/chainsaw melee-only enemies (pinkies, lost souls) or low-tier enemies (former humans, imps) whenever possible if isolated or an easily controlled small group.

Harm the stronger opponent in an infighting and exploit infighting-prone monsters (fatsos, arachs).

Rockets against groups of low-tier foes to save other ammo.

And I always maximize damage potential with the BFG at point blank range, to 1-shot Barons and Archviles, and 1-2 shot Cybies and Spiderdemons.

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*in my super-fake Japanese old-kung-fu-movie-style voice*
RayziikSenpai hah hah oooOOooooh...

*bows*



Few additional things worth adding:
Kind of along the lines of infighting and pacifisting, I'm also a big fan of not firing upon entering an area for the first time; I don't want to mess up any infighting oportunities or unnecessarily pull aggro my way. This typically also gives me some breathing room and time to absorb my surroundings/projectiles (kek), though I notice that the Ribbiksian mappers tend to make many areas with fairly immediate player fire and crowd control in mind, lest risk being overrun.

As for pistol over CG: I think it takes a special situation to warrant such self-trolling of one's own time; one bullet isn't much damage potential and is about the most disposable resource in Doom. Do even a tiny bit better with literally any other weapon and saving that one bullet means nothing. That said, chaingun-tapping is one of the most important ammo-conservation tricks there is. Every little bit adds up, but once or twice in a typical level trying to save one bullet here and there is most likely going to do nothing. Of course there always are those really ammo-stingy maps where every bullet needs to be saved, but those are rare and even then, use of more infighting is likely the better route.

Re:BFG: something that hasn't been mentioned here yet (but plenty on other threads, heh) is BFG/PG vs AV (totally isolated). On one hand, the PG might conserve a small handful of cells, but on the other you have a guaranteed, quick kill, which might save you precious health or time when it counts. Given that most AV's appear somewhere near dead bodies, that BFG starts to look a bit better, even from the perspective of ammo conservation.

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Fonze said:

As for pistol over CG: I think it takes a special situation to warrant such self-trolling of one's own time; one bullet isn't much damage potential and is about the most disposable resource in Doom. Do even a tiny bit better with literally any other weapon and saving that one bullet means nothing


It seems you never played a Jodwin map balanced according to the Finnish Frugality Formula, also known as "two shells for three imps". In his maps, EVERY BULLET COUNTS, and letting yourself waste them by the pair with the chaingun even when one could be spared, WILL MAKE YOU CRY WITH BLACK, BITTER TEARS OF REGRET, SORROW AND DESPERATION sooner rather then later.

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My tips for ammo saving:
1. Always finish off monsters with the pistol. If a monster survives something that he shouldn't have (e.g. Imp survives point-blank shotgun shot, LS survives 2 shots, etc.), then he probably has very, very few HP.
2. Always fire the Plasma Gun in short bursts. That weapon is quite powerful and mindlessly holding the button is just a waste.
3. As someone here said, use the BFG carefully.
4. Improve your Berserk/Chainsaw skills. This particular one means a LOT. It can turn a tough map into something really easy.
5. Always use the punch or pistol on gunfire-activated doors/switches. Though, I'm one of the rare mappers who actually use such actions, so you might not ever use this.
6. Of course, don't pick up Shellboxes if you have > 30 shells. (or 80 with the backpack.)
7.

Spoiler

idfa

8. Make as many monsters as you can infight. :]

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bzzrak said:

2. Always fire the Plasma Gun in short bursts. That weapon is quite powerful and mindlessly holding the button is just a waste.
(...)
6. Of course, don't pick up Shellboxes if you have > 30 shells. (or 80 with the backpack.)

Plasma Gun is not suited for firing in bursts, as it requires a cooldown-recoil phase each time you release the trigger, no matter if after a single bolt or 200 in a row. This feature can turn into serious disadvantage in close quarters, where you do not have time to fire in short bursts. For this reason, PG usage favours engaging bigger crowds - Chaingun and Rocket Launcher work better for smaller ones.
That another thing I quoted is irritating. Adds nothing of challenge to the game, instead making it a tedious element of 'DO NOT NOT STEP HERE IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO WASTE SUPPLIES" dance. More menancing actually than hazardous floors. All health or ammunition items should give you only as much as you can take, leaving the rest of supply in the item for later. But that would be probably rather complex and unfun to make, like making an extra 24 copies of the medkit, each one healing a different amount. At least there is the Smart Scavenger mod, which will force bigger items to divide into smaller ones if the big item alone would cause a waste of ammo/health.

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Maes said:

It seems you never played a Jodwin map balanced according to the Finnish Frugality Formula, also known as "two shells for three imps". In his maps, EVERY BULLET COUNTS, and letting yourself waste them by the pair with the chaingun even when one could be spared, WILL MAKE YOU CRY WITH BLACK, BITTER TEARS OF REGRET, SORROW AND DESPERATION sooner rather then later.

Fonze said:

As for pistol over CG: ... takes a special situation ... Of course there always are those really ammo-stingy maps where every bullet needs to be saved,...


You're right, I must have missed something.

Still, if that's the case, rather than cry black, bitter tears of regret, maybe get to punching or running past monsters. You still have to remember it's bullets you're talking about. A bullet being close to the same damage as a punch; it's gonna take a little while for that 50% chance of 1 bullet wasted to add up into something even halfway substantial. What's a decent number of bullets? Lets say 20; can't kill much with that, but you could take out a couple quick chaingunners or maybe even 3 imps. How long does it take to reach that point? With +1 only occuring 50% of the time, it would take, on average, 40 enemies to reach those 20 bullets. You want to tell me you didn't miss with 10 bullets while killing those 40 enemies? This is all just splitting such insignificant hairs that in the end it comes down to "not seeing the forest for the trees." saving pennies and spending dollars.

And of course this is all to assume that in doing so you are still having fun.

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FWIW I'm playing the newfangled Ancient Aliens from newstuff...and...well, it's one of those mapsets. Not quite to the level of single-bullet sparing (also because bullet ammo is really rare, compared to shells, so you don't use it much to begin with), but stingy enough that often a pistol start (!) is actually preferable to a reguler carry-over start. Because there often ain't much to carry over.

Some things mappers often do to inflate the perception of ammo stinginess:

  1. Delay giving the player a SSG over a SG, and throw mid-tier Doom II monsters at him. Guaranteed waste of shells and protracted fights.
  2. Don't give a player a backpack, so not much ammo can be carried over anyway.
  3. Create situations where the player feels pressured to trade health for ammo, and risk tysoning/chainsawing.
  4. Anger players by forcing them as above, but also throw in monsters who are dangerous to take on by melee (mixing zombies and imps works great, esp. if you also do the next thing:)
  5. Litter maps with low-level monsters, esp. hitscanners. They don't even have to be chaingunners: if coupled with low health, even zombies can be annoying as they will force players to dispose of them quickly, thus forcing the waste of a shell per single zombie. Delay giving the player a chaingun and/or make bullet ammo rare for the same reason.

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Doomkid said:

Lots of excellent points here, and I just want to add: Always use the chaingun as a sniper. The first two pellets being 100% accurate can save you insane amounts of bullets!


This one is great, but it's the other 22 bullets after the first two that screw me!

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glenzinho said:

This one is great, but it's the other 22 bullets after the first two that screw me!


You gotta tap it repeatedly, but yes this is another good tactic to employ even when you're not having ammo problems for dealing with pesky hitscanners from a distance.

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Chaingun tapping, other than saving ammo, also manages to deal slightly more damage per time unit than e.g. the Shotgun (the time it takes to tap 4 times is slightly faster than a single shotgun round), esp. over distances where the horizontal spread would be an issue. Also, it is more effective at stun-locking many enemies precisely because all shots are on target, and with some training the fire rate while tapping is almost as fast as holding down the button.

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Looper said:

Don't miss.

This. Before firing, always take that extra split-second to ensure that the enemy is in the center of the screen.

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The plasma Gun has a wide range of variable damage, firing at trash or singled mid teir monsters can be a waste of effecient damage dealt to ammo spent ratio. I personally only Use plasma gun on monsters with 800 hp or higher to maximise effectivness or last ditch effort. I try to save at least 50 cells for an archvile. I save at least 6 rockets at all time if possable in case of an archvile gone wrong.

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JudgeDeadd said:

This. Before firing, always take that extra split-second to ensure that the enemy is in the center of the screen.


ever so slightly off centre; doomguy skews his shots slightly to the right :p

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