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Endurance Maps

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Some maps Ive played (and made) have a really tall floor or gate with super tall bars that take several minutes to lower before the player can pass. Meanwhile, the player is trapped in an enclosed space while monsters teleport in surrounding the player. The player has to hold the monsters off long enough for the floor to reach the bottom floor so the player can escape.

These are maps such as Hell Revealed 2 MAP09, Survive In Hell MAP02, or Mutiny MAP31.

If you like to complete maps as impressively fast as possible, you probably dont like fixed time-based things of that sort. I'm curious however if people consider them fun or tedious or if there is demand for improvement in those types of maps. I personally enjoy them a lot but id like to hear other thoughts on it as well. Can they be better? Should they not exist? What are your favorite ones?

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I don't like 'lowering floor' fights in principle (i.e., speaking of the aesthetics of fight staging). They strike me as a cliched way of staging "creative" set pieces when the Boom triggers aren't available. The fights themselves can be enjoyable, of course.

My preferences (not exhaustive, of course):

- If the player should use the rocket launcher, mark teleport destinations, even if the 'spot' is obvious.

- Cramped escalator fights that progressively cubbies of cacos almost always suck. It's often the case that the main cause of death, if any, will be infinitely tall bites. In good fight design, death shouldn't come in really hacky ways, imo.

- It should not be possible for a really girthy teleporting monster such as a mancubus or arachnatron to unexpectedly pin the player in a disadvantageous position.

- These fights are crude when they expect you to rely on infighting to handle a significant percentage of densely packed monsters. Even if the fight is easily survivable, the average damage you take often ends up being dependent on how infighting goes, which always feels like crude design.

- Cell spam, yes! (I personally replace the PR firing sound personally so that it isn't so cacophonous.)

- Basic circular and square elevators are totally played out. I'd like to see these fights mess around with more unique shapes and composites.

- Use health and ammo placement to shape the player's strategic choices. On the periphery, resources are easier to grab. The baseline resources could be best off there. In the center, the player will be forced to take risks and carve through the crowd if there is one to get it. Good spot for resources that won't be so useful at the outset or early on.

- Nearly always err on the side of reaching the bottom too early. It's good for maxrunning and for people who happen to be playing with carry-overs that allow monsters to be killed much more quickly. It's also good for conventional pistol start play: A descending elevator fight can tie in nicely to an encounter at the bottom, for example, when the monsters keep warping in and the player is forced to seek out safety and resources out in the open, unable to camp in the elevator.

- Try to give the player strategic choices (e.g. "Do I kill all of these pinkies in the first wave, or should I leave some alive to serve as meatshields later, at the risk that they might interfere with infighting or eat up valuable space?" "Do I use my cells now to clear out these chaingunners safely, or do I save them for the tough monsters surely to come later?").

- Later waves should often play off of earlier ones, repeatedly shifting the player's focus and thwarting their plans. (e.g. starts off with a few HKs, suddenly a PE warps in, omg let's kill that, crap now sergeants are showing up around it, so charging straight into the PE might be risky, let's clear out some of the sergeants, now revenants, maybe if I charge the PE, the HKs will get caught in between and infight with the revenants, okay it's dead, clear up these skulls, oh crap an archvile!). Of course, simple "shit warps in and you try to kill it quickly" fights can be fun too, especially if they are mechanically satisfying. Those fights depend on being either satisfying or sufficiently panic-inducing.

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I prefer timed gates/barricades that slowly lower as the fight commences over alternatives like "press 5 switches on opposite sides of the arena to escape", or even worse, the "press a switch that lowers a wall concealing another switch" that ends up wasting the player's time after he's done clearing all the monsters in the encounter.

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I'm not opposed to time-based triggers, but I wish mappers gave more leeway in their usage. i.e. if your fight is supposed to take 4 minutes for the average player, do the lowering bars need to last longer than a couple minutes, or even 1? By all means, force people to bear the brunt of the encounter; but once this initial part is done, it's nice to have the choice to get away should you choose to do so. It doesn't have to be easy or even practical, it just have to be there. Doom is about control for me, the doomguy being such a nimble character, responding to your inputs perfectly. It's more fun to see a switch in the distance and get blasted to shreds trying to get to it (proactive) than to wait for bars to lower (reactive).

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Don't like such fights usually. Feels very forced and inelegant, bad for speedruns, and I want to explore new areas instead of being stuck in a single one for a few minutes. So for me these arenas are kinda against what makes the game great.

Also I think I don't like the fear of not knowing what's coming next. Phml talks about strategic choices, however they are only fully possible when you know the rules. But if I already finished the map once and know how the arena works... I'll probably just pick another wad and hope that it doesn't have time-based fights. :p

For some reason I kinda liked the one in Map10 of Arxangels. Maybe because it had a monster spawner so it always played very differently and it was fun to pray "please not arch-vile!". But I don't want to see this fight again in another wad.

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