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Sallan

I don't get DOOM II

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I finished Doom II this week as a first-time 2017 player. I wound up being much less enamored with its level design overall than I was the first game, or either Final Doom wad so far.

I may have made a mistake jumping straight into UV, as the level design at multiple points is set up such that you can flood the stage with enemies simply by walking around; I didn't really anticipate the different playstyle its wide open areas would require in comparison to the first game. I frequently found myself struggling with low ammo, and a lot of the game blurred together.

Downtown, Monster Condo, Spirit World, and The Living End were probably the highlights for me. Suburbs, The Chasm, Refueling Base, and a handful of bland earlier levels were the lowlights.

I felt like I just had to get lucky against the final boss, eventually getting a run where the random enemy placement wasn't too dangerous. I'll have to figure out a better strategy for that in future playthroughs.

I'm around halfway through Evilution and six or so levels into Plutonia (starting out on HMP on both of them), and having finished The Ultimate Doom and Doom 64 EX beforehand, I think on first impressions Doom II ranks at the bottom of the five official campaigns for me.

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Why don't Doom players like to even the odds by forcing the monsters to fight one another?

I've got a Doom II map I made back in 1996 called "The Cyber Fort" which is a huge single room with a Cyberdemon on a pillar in the middle, guarding the keycard for escape. All around him in the walls are Barons of Hell and Imps, and I made the map so that you have to defeat the Cyberdemon by going up a lift and running on the raised platform all around his pillar, causing a crossfire between him and the walled monsters. Then you simply wait for them to battle it out until he dies, then collect the key and get out, with an option of collecting rockets to use against any remaining monsters.

I showed someone the map, and they came back with "Doom is not a spectator sport".

But I don't care, I'm willing to allow monster in-fighting in my maps, so why don't others?

I can share the map, if you're interested.

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There's a difference between "setting off infighting is a useful strategy" and "infighting is the only viable way to finish the level".

Many Doom players enjoy the former. Relatively few enjoy the latter.

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grommile said:

Many Doom players enjoy the former. Relatively few enjoy the latter.

More like a technique that's rarely, if even, used. Popular things are generally accepted into society, basically making whatever the popular thing is, to become something we can get along with, understand, expect in our daily way of life.

Infighting required to finish levels, that's something I have never seen in any maps. If I have, it didn't make an impact on me (or the execution wasn't good enough to create an impression). But, like every other strange thing in the universe, it can be utilised to be something mindblowing, just that no one has either found out how or even bothered trying, thinking that players will get confused.

If such a technique is to be used, it should done in such a way that the player has to take action also and still be in a risky position. A poor (?) example:

Circular arena (with few obstacles to make things challenging), no ammo or weapons, some stimpacks littered here, two megaspheres next to player spawn. Two (three, four, IDK) Cyberdemons, facing each other, player spawns in the middle. Cyberdemons get instantly alerted and fire rockets at player, player naturally takes a megasphere and runs, rockets hit each Cyberdemon instead, infighting begins meaning an exchange of deadly rockets begin, with the player trapped in the arena.

Having only a pistol with 50 bullets, it's futile to fight them. It's upto the player to dodge the missles and explosions that happen (blast radius is dangerous).

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Some of D2's maps weren't great, but the sheer size and openness of some was something to marvel, even if it wasn't much fun to play. It showed us that there was more than just corridors and enclosed buildings to muk through (I mean, Doom had a few bigger levels too, but nothing quite on D2's scale). So add the monsters and SSG to the expanded size, and Doom 2 comes off as something very fresh and new for when it came out.

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The living End is pretty scary the first time you play it with software on. Death and darkness everywhere!

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Foebane72 said:

I can share the map, if you're interested.


Do whatever you want. I mean that in an encouraging, positive way.
I'm reviewing this UnAligned megaWAD at the moment, well that thing is full of gimmick stuff. Do you know how is the first map of the WAD called? "Infight Central". Nobody seems to complain.
The same author's "Absolutely Killed" got a Cacoward, and it has nothing but gimmicks.

What I'm getting at: make maps like that for yourself and the two freaks that enjoy that kind of stuff. For the relatively few. Do you know what does Mr Relative Few think right now? "Damn I'm so fed up with this overhyped overdetailed slaughter Ancient Aliens/BTSX/Sunlust/whatever, I want a map where you have to infight!".
Make at least Mr Relative Few happy and you've accomplished your mission. :]

Everyone else can go play their Ancient Aliens, BTSX, Sunlust and Whatever if they don't like it. :]

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UnAligned is fantastic. My own Nex Credo was full of gimmicks and was pretty well-received. Some (myself included) like to keep things fresh, I dare say the "Doom is not a spectator sport" guy could do with a more open mind.

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Foebane72 said:

ShotgunDemolition, you forgot the Revenants, the BEST new enemies in Doom 2 by a massive margin. Who could forget that horrible scream of theirs when they spot you? Especially a GROUP of them!


Although I don't find Revenants being the best enemy addition in Doom 2 (I'm that Arch-vile guy) they are some of the best enemies in Doom games and I seriously don't know how I forgot them previously. And yes, their scream is horrifying. In Epic 2 they are used particularly well, enhancing the overall atmosphere. Also, I will never forget one level in Scythe (I think), where there were like 100 of them (around 800 enemies overall).

roadworx said:

there is, its capped at 21

I didn't know that, so thanks for telling me. :) But still, Pain Elementals are high priority enemies due to being tanky monster spawners.

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DooM II gave us the same yet different experience.
Same core gameplay with same engine but new things were added & a new premise. Earth! Demons evading our home planet. That's something I thought was really cool.

Bigger levels, more challenging ones too. Plus secret levels easter egg bonus with a cameo in map 32.

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grommile said:

There's a difference between "setting off infighting is a useful strategy" and "infighting is the only viable way to finish the level".

Many Doom players enjoy the former. Relatively few enjoy the latter.


Unless you're referring to a pistol start, I can't think of a single Doom II map that would require infighting to get through it, even on UV.

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MetroidJunkie said:

Unless you're referring to a pistol start, I can't think of a single Doom II map that would require infighting to get through it, even on UV.

Where the stock IWADs are concerned, I'm sure you're correct, though even from a tooled-up start beating MAP20 without infighting sounds like an exercise in masochism :)

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bzzrak said:

Do whatever you want. I mean that in an encouraging, positive way.
I'm reviewing this UnAligned megaWAD at the moment, well that thing is full of gimmick stuff. Do you know how is the first map of the WAD called? "Infight Central". Nobody seems to complain.
The same author's "Absolutely Killed" got a Cacoward, and it has nothing but gimmicks.

What I'm getting at: make maps like that for yourself and the two freaks that enjoy that kind of stuff. For the relatively few. Do you know what does Mr Relative Few think right now? "Damn I'm so fed up with this overhyped overdetailed slaughter Ancient Aliens/BTSX/Sunlust/whatever, I want a map where you have to infight!".
Make at least Mr Relative Few happy and you've accomplished your mission. :]

Everyone else can go play their Ancient Aliens, BTSX, Sunlust and Whatever if they don't like it. :]


This 'Relative Few' is rare because it exists at the union of people who dislike AA/BTSX/Sunlust and, more importantly, think AA and especially BTSX are slaughter mapsets. Hell, there might not be even one person other than you who thinks BTSX is a slaughter mapset. :D

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I find doom 2 way more fun to replay than doom 1. the only maps I hate are the pit, tenements, CITADEL (Fuck that stupid map, really) and map32.

I like maps like refueling base because there is so much shit to do you forget your goal is finding the exit. Same with chasm (The only annoying thing is that last acid room full of lost souls). Compared to doom 1 maps that list is very small. I don't think it is fair to compare episode 4 to doom 2 when it got released after it.

Doom 2s annoying maps are mildly annoying compared to doom 1 irritating shit ones too. At least they tend to be filled with fun side stuff to do instead of a bigger switch hunt than even hexen. (Hence fuck citadel, stupid "puzzle").

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I'm replaying it now and it does strike me how memorable each level is. For better or worse, the designs and themes stick with you.

I had to do Refueling Base from a pistol start after expending almost all my ammo and health on The Pit, and I still feel like it was really ill-considered to place those levels back to back. It creates a huge difficulty spike, and Refueling Base becomes harder to enjoy while having to sneak around it, especially with some haphazard sound blocking that can bring enemies in prematurely from neighboring rooms. I got through it without saving, which felt great, but it required figuring out the absolute quickest way to grab the yellow and blue keys, avoiding interacting with about half the level.

Thankfully map 11 lets you restock quite a bit, and I found myself really enjoying its layout this time.

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Map 11 is definitely a highlight of the entire first third of Doom II for me. Romero really flexing his map-making muscles to create a pretty linear experience that doesn't feel so -- but an enjoyable one at that.

It's also visually very interesting, too - probably one of the reasons it was included in the demo roll.

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DoctorGenesis said:

And slow imp that uses a gun.

Let's not forget the bulky imp with a rocket launcher.

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I've said it before and I'll say it again, Doom 2 makes me feel sick. As well as Plutonia and TNT.

I love what Doom 2 has added to the series, the enemies and the new shotgun and so on. Nothing against those things as they are fun to use in map making and they add a little more variety.

It's just the actual game, a couple levels in I get queasy and I can't play comfortably. I haven't done a complete run though Doom 2 in years.

Doom 2 and the Final Doom games set me off. No idea why, never feel this way with the other Doom games, and gaming in general.

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Out of curiosity Xegethra, are there any megawads you play that don't make you feel queasy?

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Xegethra said:

It's just the actual game, a couple levels in I get queasy and I can't play comfortably. I haven't done a complete run though Doom 2 in years.

Doom 2 and the Final Doom games set me off. No idea why, never feel this way with the other Doom games, and gaming in general.


Check your settings, you're getting motion sickness. Nothing wrong with Doom 2, just YOU.

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If it's me then changing the settings won't matter....

But really though, any WAD can play the exact same, no effect. Like my WAD, my old 4Doom one, is basically Doom 2, I didn't change anything settings wise, the gameplay, movement, the same but it doesn't make me feel bad.

If it is motion sickness, then I don't know why it is biased towards Doom 2. Doom 1 handles the same but nothing, other people's WADs are fine too. Just Doom 2 and the final Doom levels.

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Perhaps the early level design is trippier for you, like those steps at the beginning of Entryway? They sure look very unusual in the perspective angles you see them at.

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grommile said:

Where the stock IWADs are concerned, I'm sure you're correct, though even from a tooled-up start beating MAP20 without infighting sounds like an exercise in masochism :)


Sure, the Spider Mastermind and Cyberdemon are there specifically to provoke them into infighting, it was done that way on purpose, but you could conceivably beat it without doing that, especially if you're well armed.

Jayextee said:

Map 11 is definitely a highlight of the entire first third of Doom II for me. Romero really flexing his map-making muscles to create a pretty linear experience that doesn't feel so -- but an enjoyable one at that.

It's also visually very interesting, too - probably one of the reasons it was included in the demo roll.


It's certainly a very nostalgic one for me and, since the big O serves as a sort of central hub to go back to, there's a very real sense of progression. I also kind of dig the Healer Stalks music, to me it sounds like cool jazz more than anything else.

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I don't get Refueling Base. It's boxy/canned-feeling shovelware that started out in one of the alphas. Tom Hall was eating pizza and was distracted when he started the design. And this is coming from someone who thinks Monster Condo is one of the better Doom II maps.

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I love Refueling Base for its sheer population, yet I also love Monster Condo for the endless monster traps in the darkness, too! :D

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I agree most of Doom II maps are a challenge mostly because of their size -not because of their complexity. However, I understand that people prefer it to modding because of the new monsters and weapon that can extend the possibilities for their mods. I just can't imagine Ancient Aliens without Arachnotrons, for example.

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