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invictius

Looking for wads that utilize lower skill levels

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I've run one of the community chest maps and slaughterfest through wad spy, they seem to all have the number of monsters. I've always felt as if most wad-makers ignore difficulty down this low, have just not confirmed it for myself yet. Not that many people play on ITYD and HNTR I guess...

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Implementing skill levels is one of those tedious and thankless tasks that is nonetheless considered critical if you want your level to truly be "complete." It's too bad no one has ever made a GZDB plugin that attempts to help ease the author's burden, e.g., by having authors place things for UV and auto remove / replace enemies and items for lower skill levels using logic controlled by various sliders.

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Epic 2 is so gentle and atmospheric on HNTR, it feels almost like Hexen where your adventures are merely punctuated by battle rather than defined by it. contrasts with UV where it's a constant barrage of Chaingunners, suddenly-appearing Arch-viles and Revenants who live in cupboards, while you're scraping by on not enough ammo, trying to find an angle from which to use the rocket launcher without blowing yourself up & all that good gameplay-based stuff. still has a few slaughtermaps (16, 26, 29 I think) but they are rather casual compared to their UV forms.

You could say something fairly similar about Sunlust, too!

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Monsters aren't a very good indication of difficulty. For reference, Dead Simple is easily the hardest map in Doom 2 but it only has 19 monsters in it. While Knee Deep in The Dead has over a hundred in each map.

The number of monsters is usually a better indicator of how much time you'll spend on a map. I carefully implemented skill settings in all the maps in Mutiny, but much of it was making weapons and armor accessible earlier in the map. I also peppered in some extra medikits and changed some chaingunners to imps, revenants and mancubi to hell knights, etc. to make the traps more manageable without taking away the monsters.

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Linguica said:

Implementing skill levels is one of those tedious and thankless tasks that is nonetheless considered critical if you want your level to truly be "complete." It's too bad no one has ever made a GZDB plugin that attempts to help ease the author's burden, e.g., by having authors place things for UV and auto remove / replace enemies and items for lower skill levels using logic controlled by various sliders.



that would be great. something like zombieman (hntr) / imp (hmp) / hk (uv). that's just as example for such auto balancing, because in-game it gets more complicated because of other factors.
as 40oz said, monster count is hardly relevant (1 cyb >>> 100 zombiemen),
some drop ammo,
placement is crucial (cyb in the open vs cyb in cramped space),
and hitpoints also doesn't tell the full story (revenant far away > baron far away, despite the latter having over 3x more health).
it doesn't relieve the author from playtesting his map, but at least one can quickly implement lower skill levels.

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40oz said:

For reference, Dead Simple is easily the hardest map in Doom 2


By what metric?

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For what it's worth I pretty much always implement difficulty settings. I used to be lazy about it but all my maps in the last few years are substantially easier on skills 1-3

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rdwpa said:

By what metric?


In my humble subjective experience ive died more times on that map than any other map ive played and I usually am put under pressure for the largest percentage of the maps length.

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That surprises me. I'd expect one of the maps that hides all the shit to be hardest by modern standards (i.e. pistol starts, no foreknowledge).

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I was confused too :) maps 23, 24 and 29 immediately jumped to mind in terms of pistol start difficulty, while Dead Simple gives you a super shotgun from the word go with heavy supplies a few clicks away

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The last time I played doom 2 with no foreknowledge was in 1996. There's no way for me to fairly assess it that way.

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rdwpa said:

I'd expect one of the maps that hides all the shit to be hardest by modern standards (i.e. pistol starts, no foreknowledge).

In what way is this "modern standards"?

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All my previous efforts (Cabal through Plasmaplant) have implemented difficulty by varying monster counts. For my latest project, a 30-map megawad, I'm considering letting weapons availability be the extent of play balancing difficulty...

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Soundblock said:

For my latest project, a 30-map megawad, I'm considering letting weapons availability be the extent of play balancing difficulty...


Keep us posted! I look forward to seeing you open a thread for it, when you're ready, of course. ;)

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40oz said:

Dead Simple is easily the hardest map in Doom 2 but it only has 19 monsters in it. While Knee Deep in The Dead has over a hundred in each map.


Your "no foreknowledge" for the first time through argument has merit. I remember dying like a dog on that map first time through. I'd never experienced the spray fire of the Mancs or the fast plasma bursts of the Arachnotrons before, so they all had me for lunch. ;)

Nowadays, I'd rate Industrial Zone and The Living End as the toughest maps, the former mainly for ammo starvation and the latter for all the angles the enemies get on you. But Dead Simple was definitely deadly on the first few go-rounds.

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yakfak said:

Epic 2 is so gentle and atmospheric on HNTR, it feels almost like Hexen where your adventures are merely punctuated by battle rather than defined by it. contrasts with UV where it's a constant barrage of Chaingunners, suddenly-appearing Arch-viles and Revenants who live in cupboards, while you're scraping by on not enough ammo, trying to find an angle from which to use the rocket launcher without blowing yourself up & all that good gameplay-based stuff. still has a few slaughtermaps (16, 26, 29 I think) but they are rather casual compared to their UV forms.

You could say something fairly similar about Sunlust, too!


Epic 2 is kind of confusing, the first map is definitely not a map 1.

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^ Why not? Just because it doesn't fit the "short, compact, easy-ish, fast-paced" cliche trope found in a lot of other wads?

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