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Spectre01

Effective Demon/Spectre Use

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Alright, so the Pinky really sucks as a monster: pathetically long attack animation, can't infight for shit and dies to Imps. Mostly exists to get in the way, waste ammo or give you something to punch with the Berserk. I like to employ monsters in a way that pressure the player and I find deploying Masterminds easier than Demons. Dropping a few Pain Elementals seems like a much better alternative for annoying the player and complicating rocket use. So aside from flooding the area with them like a wall of meat, what do y'all find to be a good use of the Demon in a way that engages the player and not just make him backpedal and waste shells?  

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pinkie walls are good if you want to pressure the player from getting to something like a archvile or pain elemental in a timely maner. Clostrophobic spaces are good for them as well, perferably with many corners so they'll have an easier time getting attacks off. they're good at slowing a player down, so plopping a few in a situation where you need to be quick can change a lot.

 

I guess the way I see them is, if you like at your maps flow like a river, pinkies are a current that can push the player around, whether it be towards danger or to slow them down for killing certain things.

Edited by MrGlide : clearification.

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I don't mind pinkies, but I find "effective use" of spectres just annoying, since it pretty much translate to a bunch of virtually invisible monsters combined with other monsters and probably in a situation where the otherwise sensible weapon of choice is the rocket launcher, which happens to be my favourite weapon to use.

 

Can't really think of the worst offender for it, Resurgence MAP01 had some awful spectres where visibility is concerned, but given the situation they're encountered in there it's far from the most annoying.

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Not a bit fan of them but they can be useful in reducing the player's maneuver on an encounter

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You already mentioned it in the first post but you shouldn't underestimate the threat of needing to waste valuable ammo on Pinkies, especially if the player is put under pressure by them and has no Berserk / Chainsaw available.

For example if you can control the ammount of ammo a player has at the start of an encounter, you can put the player under threat of getting cornered and running out. To avoid it, the player needs to keep moving and look for ammo around the room while avoiding the Pinkies.

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make them wander in an inescapable death pit of radioactive lava, and put a platforming section just above them. Like 2000 units above. players will be stopped mid-jump like Wile E. Coyote, and be chewed to death during their fall.

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I don't know if the way I use them in my current project is "effective" per se. But the idea is that I put the player in a moderately confined place, which I then flood with "popcorn-enemies" like former humans and imps, while revenants deliver damage from specific positions (No lame long-range sniping, though). So in a scenario in which the RL is the only weapon to stem the tide, I put some demons into the "batteries", just because they behave in a different manner. Instead of providing time windows for the player, like imps do when attacking from range, the take that time away by charging right at him. They also tend to survive the blast radius of rockets a lot better, so they really can make you think twice about where you aim your rockets.

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I'm new here, so hi 

 

Pinkies can be funny when they get attacked by accident and then they go and bite their target randomly, but regarding to your question, either demons or spectres should be in maps where you can get the berserk and/or the chainsaw, so you just don't waste your ammo if there is not much. Probably if the aim is to put pressure on the player, then a possible way to avoid the demons to get more ammo and then return to them idk. A wall of demons with an archvile behind them is a bad use IF there is no cover or you don't have a high-level weapon... Personally, my favourite combination is an ambush of different kind of monsters feautring a couple of demons (not spectres), so you can get them to an infighting. Also spectres in dark caves or low-light nukages like the others said is a good choice. What else... if you put spectres in nukages, make sure they can be killed and you can get out of the nukage, I remember a level from Memento Mori where the opposite happened.

 

 

Edited by galileo31dos01

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Some good replies here. Spectres seem to have a clear advantage, especially in software ports, i.e. PRBoom+, where they are more difficult to see. I tend to go with a 50/50 ratio of Demon/Spectre when unleashing a larger group to make gauging the threat more difficult.

42 minutes ago, rdwpa said:

Don't forget about combat that exists just to be enjoyable. Maps that forgo it entirely personally aren't my thing at all.

I tend to forget that point a lot. ;) When doing thing placement, I always think about whether a particular monster has a high chance of damaging the player as well as avoiding dying to infighting.

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Here's another thought I just had. When used along with Cybies... Like, you can drip-feed them over the place or nearby, to have something that runs up to the player, and serves the purpose of detonating rockets near him, rather than having said rockets fly off to noman's land and do nothing.

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With The Becoming I found myself typically unveiling a pack of pinkies whenever I wanted to block the player from backtracking out of a fight. They certainly take up the space.

 

With spectres, I'm of the opinion that if they're easy to spot they're not being used well. They fuzz for a reason, after all.

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Step 1.  Player grabs rocket launcher.

Step 2.  Sudden close-range teleporter trap of Pinkies on all sides.

Step 3.  ???

Step 4.  Pelt!

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Pinkies are the pawns of Doom; they are support units. On their own in open turf, they don't pose much threat. However, if you pair them with higher threat mobs, like a couple of knights, they can be your downfall. Their low stature puts them in a unique role that most other pieces simply cannot fill. Bulls, much like pawns, are effective area-deniers when combined with higher-tiered pieces that keep (in)direct pressure on the opponent (Doomguy). Much as they provide support, they require it as well. Much as pawns pose more of a threat (and who's value increases) as the area of play gets tighter, bulls benefit from situations which limit the player control, be it through the layout/architecture or through (in)direct pressure applied by other monsters.

 

In chess, time is measured in moves; Doom is a bit different being in-real-time, but the time aspect is still prevalent in a similar way: 'one can only do so much in x amount of time.' In Chess, that means that if I want to move my unit two moves, I have to account for your move in-between my moves, as well as after. You also don't want to waste your 'good' units on 'lowly pawns.' Pibbilty pibbilty and all that aside, sometimes the situation is so dire that refusing to sacrifice a big piece for a pawn will cost you the game. In Doom, when I fire my SSG at a pinkie, that's time I have to wait and survive/dodge until the gun is ready to fire again. Slaughter-type scenarios exaggerate and exacerbate this issue since that 1 shot plus reload time is added cumulatively with each target chosen, is addition to the mobs taking up more space (defining slaughter as 'dense'). As such, some demons in a mess of an encounter with other, higher-threat mobs would likely be the least likely targets for a player to choose. Knowing what a player will typically choose gives the mapper another avenue of tricks to utilize in their never-ending quest to kill all pacifist trolls. Joking aside,but seriously... this means that using pinkies gives mappers the opportunity to use more interesting and dynamic distractionary measures as players prioritize the usual suspects.

 

I was gonna type up more, but I see this topic has many replies now and rdwpa has it right on the head.

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Also, Spectres (a.k.a. "The Resurgence Experience"):

 

Step 1.  Rocket Launcher.

Step 2.  Large crowd in mid-sized to large area.

Step 3.  Dim lighting.

Step 4.  Spectres.

Step 5.  ???

Step 6.  Pelt!

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It's silly to put Spectres in broad daylight, but I also hate suddenly running into them in a uniformly dark room because there was basically no way to know they were there. My favorite Spectre usage in wads I've played is when they're in a primarily dark area with brighter patches or slow flickering light, so you can see them at times and know they're there, but then they pass into the darkness and you have to either triangulate or use gun flashes to keep track of where they are. It makes for a more tense situation.

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Also not that if you don't have the Supershotgun, the pig fight dynamics will change. Especially when faced with a horde. With Supershotgun you can easily punch a hole in the crowd and use the freshly available space to move through. Without the SS, pig hordes can more effectlively be used to corner the player.

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enlarge an unnecessary room and fill it to the brim with spectres to the point where they're stuck in the walls. this must be a good design technique because it appears in E1M6 and MAP17 and those maps rule

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5 minutes ago, yakfak said:

spectres to the point where they're stuck in the walls. this must be a good design technique because it appears in E1M6

 

To be fair to E1M6, this only happens on UV -- and I'm becoming increasingly of the opinion that the setting was merely tacked on as an afterthought than given any real attention or testing (and E2M6's stuck pinkies would appear to corroborate this).

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I was gonna make a post but rdwpas #4 covers the most important point. In a map or a room with a lot of space to move, pinky demons turn a big room into a small room. Aside from dealing damage to you, they provoke how you move in such a way that take your focus away from oncoming projectiles like mancubus volleys and revenant missiles, especially if those particular monsters have a height advantage. They block you from getting to your goal, which could be a good weapon, a key or a good vantage point to sink some strong SSG shots in other more pressing targets. All in all, the longer they can keep you from doing what you want to do, the more dangerous things can get.

 

EDIT: I have nothing to say for spectres though. I think they're annoying as fuck and not in a "oh this map is harder than I thought" way and more like a "oh here's a clear path through this horde of monsters" then STOP, -40% health for seemingly no reason.

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12 hours ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

Here's another thought I just had. When used along with Cybies... Like, you can drip-feed them over the place or nearby, to have something that runs up to the player, and serves the purpose of detonating rockets near him, rather than having said rockets fly off to noman's land and do nothing.

This reminds me of a trap in Resurgence map 18 where a horde of spectres spawns in front of you, and a cyberdemon spawns behind you. The spectres force you to rush the cyber so that you don't eat all the splash damage from his rockets hitting them. It was an interesting fight.

 

Another good example I can think of is map 9 of Speed of Doom... the game loads you up with rockets, then springs a trap of pinkies, spectres, and PE's on you. That was also an interesting fight.

 

In short, play Joshy maps. He'll show you how to use any monster effectively. ;-)

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I think you shouldn't overanalyse demon usage. Demons often change encounters in a pretty subtle way, which is hard to put your finger on but really noticeable if you try taking them out. Don't only use demons when you think you know exactly what they're adding to the gameplay, because you'll be missing out on a lot imo.

 

Spectres are a different kettle of fish. A lot of people seem to only use spectres in situations that really emphasise the danger of not seeing them, making the encounter a bit of an all-or-nothing type thing. I think it's better to take it down a few notches, and just use the risk of not seeing spectres as a bit of spice... ideally for an encounter involving other, more fun monsters.

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Pinkies are the monster I use least in my maps. I also don't like how they are mostly used in other maps, TBH haha

 

Normally they're spread around like fodders like Imps and humans, but unlike these, they're too bulky, slow and offer little threat, so killing a pack of pinkies slowdowns the gameplay a lot. You can oneshot them with a SS, but then SS itself has slow fire-rate, so if you have too many pinkies, they're still slowing down a lot the progress.

 

They can be useful in ammo management scenaries, though, so you'll want to spare some or kill with your punch, but still, it's a more specific playstyle and it's not everyone's appeal.

 

Anyway, I like using more Imps, Lost Souls or Spectre's instead of Pinkies. You can trade a Pinky for a pack of Imps, and then have similar hp pool, while being more rewarding for killing them, taking more space and a deadlier ranged attack, although they're slower. If you want a more specific melee thing, you can trade it for a lost soul, which is more aggressive and a bit less bulky. It flies though, and there's also the in-fighting thing lol, so it can be a disadvantage on some scenarios. If you really need a pinky, Spectres may be more interesting, especially if you make the room where they are a bit more darker, so players will have a little extra challenge (also pay more attention to the sounds, which is always a good thing, IMO). You can mix pinkies and spectres though, so the player will have the numbers confused.

 

IDK, TBH. Ih the few scenarios I've used them it was mostly to push players around (although Cacodemons can also do this) and living walls (Caco's, HK or BoH can also fulfill this). I like the Valiant's version, though.

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paraphrasing Cynical:

 

Step 1.  Rocket Launcher.

Step 2.  Large crowd in mid-sized to large area, including at least one ledge baron or hellknight

Step 3.  Dim lighting.

Step 4.  Spectres.  One gets dinged by stray shot from ledge baron and goes to yip ineffectively at it

Step 5.  Player completely forgets about spectre, goes to take potshots at ledge baron with rockets.

Step 6.  Good At Doom on a monster that wasn't pursuing the player, didn't see that one coming.  Captured on recording for added fun.

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In addition to all the good points above, I enjoy springing hidden pinkies on players when they're otherwise distracted.

 

There was an example in Foursite I was particularly proud of.

 

The player is walking along a corridor and reaches a door at one side. They open it and imps attack them. The noise of the firefight attracts a pair of pinkies from the other end of the corridor who come stomping down towards the player.

 

I watched more than a few streams of the map where the timing worked perfectly. The player would finish with the imps, and turn around just as the demon reached them and took a bite out of their face. A couple of guys actually jumped with fright. It simply wouldn't work well with anything else, as being shot from behind just isn't as frightening as turning around and having that giant pink mouth all up in your grill.

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Demons work good in tight ambushes, especially unexpected teleport ambushes in a quiet room and Spectres work well in blood/water/nukage/slime or darker areas and also with teleport ambush traps.

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