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PsychoGoatee

Why do some not like classic combat/gameplay in new maps?

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One problem is that, a lot of the time, when people say "classic" it tends to translate into "E1 style" or "chew threw mid-tier enemies with a shotgun", both of which are dull as dishwater.

 

I wish people studied Petersen's maps more.  That sort of "under-armed and attacked from all sides while on the run and going further into danger" stuff in E3M2 and E3M3 is what "classic" should mean.

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Some of us love easier maps, especially in an episode or megawad. There are all kinds of arbitrary rules about difficulty curves, the 'right' and 'wrong' way to do traps and encounters, etc. I love seeing these rules broken. A more slow paced or easy going map in between two tough maps is a welcome change of pace to me personally.

 

This issue could also be avoided if more people bothered to implement all 3 skill settings. You're definitely not the only one who likes easier maps though, there's a wide range of challenge levels people are looking for in a Doom wad.

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Cynical, do you find the early Doom2 maps I mentioned dull for example? Personally I like chewing through low-tier enemies since it's fast paced run and gun, though I do want a super shotgun if I'm taking on Hell Knights and whatnot, just for the sake of time.

 

I agree Ep2 and 3 of Doom have great stuff, but I do love episode 1. I picked those Doom2 maps since standout Doom2 maps seem more comparable, since most user maps are for Doom2. But I do enjoy new UltDoom episodes of course, I just miss the super shotgun. But whichever flavor of classic combat they go for, I'd like more of it, and not always being tied to classic decor (though I enjoy that too). It's interesting that most really pretty new wads like Sunlust are so hectic (and impossible for me later on) that I won't be able to focus on the adventure of exploring that new environment.

 

Sometimes it's the map itself that can make it interesting to play, though I enjoy a well done encounter, just for me that would be something different than for more hardcore combat players.

 

And very much agreed there Doomkid! And difficulty settings don't seem to fix it much usually, since many modern wads are really really hard on HMP too, but it's fair that most mappers have one encounter in mind when making a map, and difficulty settings seem to be subtle extras. Sometimes it helps, and I appreciate it when they put that extra in, but wads made for that style are usually made for that style in general.

 

Which is all the more reason to have some classic style gameplay maps, and at least have people encourage them to exist as well, since we know hardcore intense combat wads are here to stay too.

 

Edited by PsychoGoatee

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4 minutes ago, PsychoGoatee said:

It's interesting that most really pretty new wads like Sunlust are so hectic (and impossible for me later on) that I won't be able to focus on the adventure of exploring that new environment.

 

Part of it is that good mappers are usually good players, and they want to make something that's challenging for themselves. But I think Sunlust is a good example of another reason why most modern mapsets are hard. If you want to create something that looks impressive, you have to make much of it large in scale; if you make it large in scale, it needs to have lots of monsters, or else it's just empty. The stereotypical heavy use of chaingunners, Revenants, and Arch-Viles is a good fit for the types of grand spaces that most of the top modern mappers are making.

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5 minutes ago, Not Jabba said:

Part of it is that good mappers are usually good players, and they want to make something that's challenging for themselves. But I think Sunlust is a good example of another reason why most modern mapsets are hard. If you want to create something that looks impressive, you have to make much of it large in scale; if you make it large in scale, it needs to have lots of monsters, or else it's just empty. The stereotypical heavy use of chaingunners, Revenants, and Arch-Viles is a good fit for the types of grand spaces that most of the top modern mappers are making.

The empty thing came to mind for difficulty settings, since HNTR on some huge maps made to accommodate a giant horde may feel empty.

 

That said, I don't think a map needs to be huge and full of open big places to be impressive. An intricate interesting adventure to me is more impressive for my taste, which could take many shapes. Suspended in Dusk for example. In that those maps are more intricate and not needing giant battles as much, and also the various examples of smaller maps done well out there.

 

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16 minutes ago, PsychoGoatee said:

That said, I don't think a map needs to be huge and full of open big places to be impressive. An intricate interesting adventure to me is more impressive for my taste, which could take many shapes. Suspended in Dusk for example. In that those maps are more intricate and not needing giant battles as much, and also the various examples of smaller maps done well out there.

 

No, it doesn't *need* to be, and you're right, that was a slight exaggeration. But there's a reason there's a general trend toward those bigger spaces; they look really good. There's SiD, and then there's Ancient Aliens, Sunlust, Sunder, Valiant, Resurgence, Hellbound, Counterattack, Water Spirit, Swim With the Whales...anyway, you get the point. I don't think anyone is going to outright tell you that simple, smaller-scale, classic-style gameplay is bad. It's just that there's this particular type of design that's evolved to hit the sweet spot for the most people, especially the more experienced players.

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40 minutes ago, PsychoGoatee said:

Cynical, do you find the early Doom2 maps I mentioned dull for example? Personally I like chewing through low-tier enemies since it's fast paced run and gun, though I do want a super shotgun if I'm taking on Hell Knights and whatnot, just for the sake of time.

The early Doom 2 maps were meant to be a gentle introduction to people brand new to FPS, not something fun to play for experienced players.  Underhalls ended up being decent regardless, and Entryway is supposed to be great for deathmatch (I personally can't attest to that, having never played Doom deathmatch), but otherwise, Doom 2 stars at Tricks and Traps as far as I'm concerned.

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"I want to flood my map with monsters, better not make it too long or it's going to be a PITA to play" is more like it.  No one really cares if people can exit their maps quickly (see: the number of "challenge maps" that intentionally have speedrunning shortcuts that let you skip most of the map).

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1 hour ago, Not Jabba said:

No, it doesn't *need* to be, and you're right, that was a slight exaggeration. But there's a reason there's a general trend toward those bigger spaces; they look really good. There's SiD, and then there's Ancient Aliens, Sunlust, Sunder, Valiant, Resurgence, Hellbound, Counterattack, Water Spirit, Swim With the Whales...anyway, you get the point. I don't think anyone is going to outright tell you that simple, smaller-scale, classic-style gameplay is bad. It's just that there's this particular type of design that's evolved to hit the sweet spot for the most people, especially the more experienced players.

The "most people" part might be a myth. I remember in various poll topics about difficulty levels on here, people were surprised to see how many play on HMP or lower. Everybody here says UV is the default for people playing maps, but that isn't true. Plus having well done encounters of this variety isn't necessarily simple, there are many different subtle ways to play with this without going for hardcore combat.

 

And while there's more than just slaughter/not-slaughter, since non-slaughter maps can be quite hard and busy too, you do see plenty of posters and reviewers express that they don't like slaughter maps for example. So while popular and with plenty of fans, stuff like Sunlust doesn't necessarily hit the sweet spot for most people who play Doom maps. (Nothing against Sunlust, it does what it intends and is incredibly well made, just not my thing.)

 

Point being, I don't see why people who prefer that seem to want to steer everything towards that direction, even in their feedback of less tough maps. Why not have both kinds of maps?

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1 hour ago, PsychoGoatee said:

Why not have both kinds of maps?

Sure, why not? And we do have both kinds, especially given that classic mapsets like Memento Mori are still around and haven't disappeared into thin air. But people are going to make the kinds of maps they want to make, so if nobody is making the kinds of maps you want to play, that may just mean you have to make them yourself.

 

Anyway, this is a minor distinction, but I didn't mean "most" as in "the vast majority of everyone who plays Doom," but rather, "the most" as in "a group of people that is larger than any other group of people" (or perhaps, larger than any other group that is actively involved in the community). And I could still be wrong, but those types of maps do seem to be the most popular based on output and community reception. I don't mean slaughter either (Sunlust is on the high end of the spectrum), just maps that are generally very difficult with high monster counts.

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What I mean there is, since there are posters who tell people their maps are too easy (when they are much harder than the base game), and sometimes they actually do change up the maps to make them harder based on that feedback. So that detracts from both kinds of maps continuing to be released, though it's true mappers will make what they like, sometimes they also will be influenced by what appears to be popular, kind of like you're saying.

 

As for me, I've made a couple Duke 3D maps, that's more up my mapping alley. And very true that the classic wads are like a fine wine, just discussing about the present and future of Doom maps a bit. I agree with you that tougher maps with more monsters are popular, but there may be a bigger niche than some realize that could be filled a bit more on the other side (more classical) of the combat spectrum as well.

 

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I feel I agree with your mentality, @PsychoGoatee. Sorry for essentially plugging my own work here, but when I was making Skulldash I was incredibly aware of this ongoing trend of slaughtermaps becoming the "in thing". When I worked on it I wanted to avoid this midnset and have a slow but steady difficulty curve that almost matched the IWADs. I also implemented difficulty settings on all of the maps, because what I may find easy is hard to other people, and I wanted to appeal to the widest demographic possible. By the end of the mapset you do have maps with a couple of hundred mobs, many being mid tier, but there's almost no BFG action because I feel the BFG promotes unreasonably large fights for the sake of it.

 

I also feel that if the first few maps are easy it helps to make the player feel like they're good and entice them to play further into the project.

 

I'm impressed when other authors have a similar mindset, it's great fun playing through a megawad which is easy to begin with. Scythe 2 has the full difficulty curve in my opinion. Map01 is very easy, map 28+ is insanely hard for me (on UV, at least).

 

With most projects I play on UV because that seems to be what most authors intended the player to play, and if I find it's proving too difficult but the mapset is fun enough, I'll restart on a lower difficulty (and/or save-scum, but that's another discussion altogether).

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One of the simple, over-generalized answers is that a lot of the people still playing Doom, and the people that are thirsty for more Doom content, are really good at Doom. They might also be making maps, for themselves and for others like them, so they tend to be tough.

 

Another factor is that mappers and players like to impress, and difficulty is one way for both mappers and players to impress. Sometimes.

 

The most interesting answer: players are mostly bad at using difficulty settings, and mappers are mostly bad at implementing them. These two sorts of badness reinforce eachother.

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Everyone has different tastes, different skill levels, different experience. Committee approval is always a compromise. Catering to the masses is a compromise.

 

So, you have to ask yourself, as a mapper, what is my goal? Mass appeal, or making a map I enjoy? The first option has the biggest chance of disappointing you, the second has the biggest chance of disappointing others. It's that simple. Choose your goal, and proceed accordingly. Just make sure you like the end result, at a minimum.

 

At lot of the discrepancy can be alleviated with the skill level settings. Mapping with the skills in mind, you can broaden your map's appeal significantly. But only to a point. You can also release multiple mapsets tailored to their own specific gameplay style. But, you'll never please everyone - it's just not possible.

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OP, I think I made one of the feedback posts that inspired your comment in that thread as well as this OP. But you missed the main point of that post --  I first described the mapset as being short on 'memorable encounters' and 'excitement'. About difficulty, I said: 

 

Quote

... And don't be afraid to be mean, occasionally ... A lot of the suspense disappears when it becomes obvious that a map won't throw anything harsh at you. I think the mapset would benefit from upping the difficulty on UV. By and large, the traps are very 'telegraphed', so there's a lot of upside for the opposition to be harsher without it crossing into 'unfair' or even 'hard'.  ... 

 

Very little it threw at me was a surprise at all. I could have stopped and told you 'okay, monsters will teleport here, or will be sprung from this closet' before almost every trap. So, in other words, what this amounts to is that this mapset is too easy for its own good. Underwhelming. There is a relationship between presentation and difficulty, namely that if you are generally drowning in 'modern tropes' as far as the staging of traps and set pieces, yet the action feels consistently very soft, there is going to be disappointment.

 

I don't think all easy maps have to be harder. Something like the recently posted The Molehill is a great example of this -- it's just as easy as anything in that mapset, but it clearly signals what it'll be from the very start, and thus never disappoints. Memfis's 'classic idolization' maps he occasionally posts in W&M threads are another example. His kuchitsu is a wonderful lighter mapset that has a number of surprises in each map. 

 

I was not trying to steer that mapset in the direction of Sunlust, as you are saying. The gap in difficulty on UV between that mapset and most of Sunlust's maps is pretty big. The mapset looked very skillsaw-inspired and had lots of parallels with something like Lunatic (which is still a somewhat easy mapset), but happened to be easier than it in systematic ways that made the experience pretty underwhelming. I felt it could have gained a lot from increasing its difficulty to Lunatic territory. No, not Sunlust. 

 

Also, I'm not sure when the last time you've played Doom 2 is, but I pistol started some levels this year, having forgotten much of where everything is, and the starts on some maps can definitely be tricky if you have forgotten where the important weapons are. So I'm in a position to disagree a lot that this mapset is noticeably harder than the base game.

 

Edited by rdwpa

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It wasn't a specific reply to your post, it's a general topic I've had an opinion on for a long time. I've also played base Doom2 recently, such as earlier today. I think that particular mapset is harder than the base game, but not just referring to that one map set. I've seen posts saying to make a wad harder in numerous topics over the years, sometimes those wads are made harder in updates as well. Which for my taste I disagree with, and if Doomers with different taste happened to be the ones replying in those topics, maybe those wads would have been tuned differently. But that's just one of the subtopics here. We have different taste in gameplay and would like different things, and in general there are Doomers into different things in Doom.

 

Agreed on memfis appreciation at least, superwad is a super wad.

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I think I sense some kind of undercurrent of implied victimization or marginalization in the way you're persistently choosing to word things, but I'm not inclined to speak to the points that would seem to invite, at least not right now, beyond saying that after 20+ years of community content it's simple truth that players for whom the IWADs are still deeply challenging are going to comprise a numerically smaller proportion of the playerbase than once they did--the world moves on, no stopping it.

 

Leaving that aside, though, one thing I will say is that I reckon closer inspection would very likely suggest that it's not so much that a great majority of players have some principal objection to what you've deemed "classic gameplay" per se, as that most folks want to see something big and bold and ambitious, or something that immerses as an experiential tour de force. It just so happens that vigorous, heated, occasionally desperate combat--Doom being a game with the activities of dashing about and shooting things as two of its core elements--is a relatively straightforward way to accomplish this, whether through WADs that are actually really tough as nails or through those that offer a lot of spectacle and high-octane action but are balanced to be a lot more approachable/accessible once one actually gets into them (i.e. the works of Skillsaw). Likewise, as ports and tool enhancements (along with the natural process of creative escalation through the years) allow for larger and more complex geometries and for smoother implementation of things like actual gameplay/balance changes, there is a natural tendency to revel in and explore these possibilities by testing the boundaries of the game possibilities they explore, often for good, occasionally for ill.

 

Of course, there is absolutely no necessary reason whatsoever why easier or "classic"-paced WADs can't partake in these same pursuits. But here's the rub: for one reason or another, really mild/casual stuff is often very understated or unambitious (for lack of a less inherently loaded term) in a 'total package' sense. This is particularly true of easy/casual stuff released in the modern era, where there's something of a risk of falling into a sort of no-man's land of safe and unremarkable action married to clean, tidy, and ultimately safe/unremarkable visuals and layouts, especially considering the wide or even preferential appeal that very concise, to-the-point levels currently enjoy, all in the context of a vibrant scene where there's more to choose from (and compete with, if you prefer to look at things that way) than ever before. Even to the extent this is true, though, it still seems to me there's very much an active audience for casual 10 minute maps, and so I don't really see what you're trying to get at speaking of them as though they're an underserved 'silent majority' or the like.

 

One point I would like to make is that the actual classic/iconic PWADs of the 90s and early 00s, to say nothing of the IWADs themselves, were certainly not designed to fit some ideal of "classic, balanced" gameplay, mind you. On the contrary, they were, more often than not, designed to push the envelope in both gameplay and general presentation, in precisely the very same spirit that the WADs of today so often do--it's just that we're a lot farther along the process of escalation now, as aforesaid. For my part, I still have a deep fondness for many old WADs ala Eternal Doom, easy/simplistic combat or no, because they bring a lot of other things of value to the table that make them immersive and enjoyable, featuring credible senses of exploration and riddling in a new (at the time), mysterious setting. To whit, I am just as receptive to easier gameplay in modern WADs if they offer me something similar. Many of the Russian community's WADs are fine examples of the principle, for example, where simpler action is accompanied by fascinating settings and strange diegeses overt or implied. Likewise, I am equally happy to partake in a new examination of an older-than-dirt PWAD concept, ala the endless succession of KDitD loveletters, if it can be done with a fresh new voice (as it often was in days of yore, to whit, with many of the oldest Phobos replacements being far more capriciously idiosyncratic than "authentic" for the sake of it).

 

However, as aforesaid, as Doom continues to age, the notion of what "classic" means is unavoidably becoming more and more of a rigid design precept or template rather than a term simply referring to a particular era of modding, with the result that I've personally found that stuff using the word for marketing purposes tends to be very, very predictable. Similarly, I find that a lot of the easiest content is often easy more through slip-up or naivete than by design--i.e. it's trying to be more challenging but not really succeeding for one reason or another, which tends to have nasty side-effects for the overall gameplay--though perhaps that's largely anecdotal. Being very familiar or traditional in form is in no way, shape or form and inherently bad thing, mind you (I see the contrary stance, lionizing novelty as the greatest of virtues, taken often enough in regards to one of my other hobbies that it now rings utterly hollow in my ears), but there's a subtle and all-too-crucial distinction between stuff which is a new message spoken in an old voice and that which is mere pastiche, nonetheless, and I've found that stuff which is more genuinely and delightfully old-fashioned in sensibility is often not actually spoken of as "Classic (TM)" by its purveyors, but perhaps that's largely anecdotal, again.

 

As for stuff that is actively designed to be histrionically easy/casual as one of its core creative principles, I have to admit that it generally doesn't really appeal to me unless it's tethered to a bigger, fleshed-out project with many other qualities to complement it, which is rarely the case (and understandably so, don't get me wrong). I will go on record and state that I found Kuchitsu to be about as engaging as a glass of lukewarm tapwater, for instance, and my reaction to casual Sunday-drive single maps (which are often the natural residence of the much-vaunted "classic" gameplay style) is often similar, simply because that kind of 'unplugged' experience is not what I personally want out of Doom most of the time. However, this kind of content obviously has a lot of appeal for a lot of players for a lot of different reasons, a truth self-evident both through the fact that it continues to be lovingly created and by positive recognition which it continually receives, both informally and in more lavish ways ala Cacowards and such, and so your apparent framing of it as an underappreciated, underepresented, or simply misunderstood style does not really ring true from where I'm sitting.

Edited by Demon of the Well

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31 minutes ago, Demon of the Well said:

I think I sense some kind of undercurrent of implied victimization or marginalization in the way you're persistently choosing to word things, but I'm not inclined to speak to the points that would seem to invite, at least not right now, beyond saying that after 20+ years of community content it's simple truth that players for whom the IWADs are still deeply challenging are going to comprise a numerically smaller proportion of the playerbase than once they did--the world moves on, no stopping it.

If you were not inclined to speak on something, the first step would be not mentioning it. And I didn't say the IWADs are deeply challenging here, though I mentioned I prefer HMP for various reasons, I find it more interesting and fun, I find filling those small spaces with monsters feels like a chore to me. I do think it's simplifying it a bit to look at it as just a skill thing, it's not a "git gud" type of thing like playing a specific prebaked thing (like Ninja Gaiden etc), we're talking about user maps which have many different approaches to them, and all get reviewed differently positive and negative from different Doomers.

 

I'm all for talk about why you for example find something I like unengaging or what have you, but let's try and keep it about the ideas rather than talking specifically about another poster.

 

It's to me kind of unique to the Doom community to have maps be so much harder than the base game, since this isn't the case in Duke Nukem 3D. Just seems to be a different philosophy to mapping, like more Duke mappers would agree with me that filling it up with tons and tons of monsters would be a chore. Though there are a few like that too, in general it happens to be more to my taste. So I don't think it's just a time thing, since Duke maps released in the past year or two don't go for anything resembing what recent popular Doom wads often do, in terms of difficulty and enemy density. Just for example.

 

And not saying there's anything wrong with liking very hard maps, just that if it becomes too uniformly that way, or feels like there's a pressure to do things that way, overall the classic style of gameplay (as in combat similar in difficulty and density to the originals) can come across as underrepresented. Just an observation, and since that's the kind of map I like most, would like to see it more represented. But we are talking about video game maps, so let's ideally keep a light tone.

 

Edited by PsychoGoatee

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These are my opinions. Don't take this as me de-legitimizing anyone's views or opinions because I think having a diverse community is much better than having one where everyone has the same likes and dislikes.

 

I am not a huge fan of classic gameplay simply because it really isn't my thing. Very straightforward classic maps to me aren't very interesting.

 

I guess some specific reasons why I personally don't really enjoy classic gameplay:

- There is always enough ammo/health (I really enjoy Bloody Rust even though it is still more classic because it is very restrictive in ammo and, more importantly, health pickups).

- I have no reason to look for secrets because a lot of the time I don't need any extra supplies in classic maps (so any reason to explore the map is lost on me). Secrets in quirkier mapsets are cool because they are normally interesting encounters (stuff I don't want to miss, not stuff I don't need to find).

- The visuals of the maps generally aren't appealing to me (Sunder got me into doom partially for its visuals).

 

It is awesome that people have so many different mapsets to play. That means that everyone has something to be happy with.

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8 hours ago, Cynical said:

...people say "classic" it tends to translate into "E1 style" or "chew threw mid-tier enemies with a shotgun", both of which are dull as dishwater.

 

I wish people studied Petersen's maps more.  That sort of "under-armed and attacked from all sides while on the run and going further into danger" stuff in E3M2 and E3M3 is what "classic" should mean.

 

8 hours ago, Cynical said:

Doom 2 stars at Tricks and Traps as far as I'm concerned.

 

Oh god, I love the opinions here. Probably it's somewhat a Sandy style vs JR (some)/American McGee style here. Although I don't like some of Sandy's maps (Ult Doom: E2M6, E3M5; D2: Map09), I still think Sandy's maps are more enjoyable to play, even nowadays. Map08 in Doom 2 is one of my all time favorite.

 

2 hours ago, rdwpa said:

Also, I'm not sure when the last time you've played Doom 2 is, but I pistol started some levels this year, having forgotten much of where everything is, and the starts on some maps can definitely be tricky if you have forgotten where the important weapons are. So I'm in a position to disagree a lot that this mapset is noticeably harder than the base game.

 

To me, I feel old school FPS games are puzzles. You need to see the whole and put pieces together, but you can't conclude the whole thing by seeing only one piece. If you can totally erase your memory, playing Doom 2 maps are not that easy in my opinion even though you have many advanced techniques at your disposal. I guess in my opinion, modern mapsets are usually harder than base game, but probably not that big now I think about it. If I play recklessly in Doom 2, I may still die. Hope I express myself correctly ;)

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11 hours ago, PsychoGoatee said:

 

If Doom2 maps 3 and 4 (The Gantlet and The Focus) were released in this forum as somebody's new release, some would tell them their maps are way too easy and maybe even boring. At least that's the impression I get when I see these posts. Do they just not like that kind of gameplay anymore? Anything even approaching that style of monster placement and combat difficulty seems to be "too easy" for a lot of players, and I guess they want every room to be an endurance test of combat ability. For pacing, sometimes it makes sense to not have huge monster density all over a map, and I find the exploration and adventure is a big part of the experience, not just the combat.

 

No, I don not like that kind of gameplay as much. Sure, blasting through some easy stuff is nice here and there, but unless a map threatens to kill me, there's a good chance I loose my interest in it, because beating it does not feel like an accomplishment. Sure, eventually every map can be beaten, unless of course there's no way to do that in theory, let alone in practice.

 

Also huge monster density is not an argument you can make, imo. I've UVmaxed maps with +1k monsters in sub 9 minutes. I even UVmaxed one of those calibers in less than 5 minutes. There's a good chance some doom2 maps will take 5 minutes if not more to max casually.

 

11 hours ago, PsychoGoatee said:

And personally, I like classic Doom combat, and I'm someone who still likes UltDoom/Doom2 on HMP. For me UV feels like it has too many monsters in a small space, like it's a chore to shoot them all. So you can imagine how I feel about the combat in some of these user maps. It's cool that there's something for everybody, nothing against people wanting a challenge, I just don't understand why they don't seem to want anything else, since you always see posts saying maps are too easy and have too much ammo.

 

Some of us want to get better at the game. I certainly do. So why would I waste my precious sparetime on something that does next to nothing for me in that regard?

 

11 hours ago, PsychoGoatee said:

 

Classic gameplay/combat, which is a lot less insane and is also faster paced since you can go through the maps quicker, has a big appeal too. And personally, I'd like to see more stuff like that. Or in general, just not seeing people discourage the posting of stuff like that by saying it should be harder, though they're entitled to their opinion as much as I am, just feels like Doom maps are becoming uniformly tough and overpopulated with monsters.

 

Classic gameplay may be lower in numbers, but it isn't necessarily faster. The idea of catered difficulty has been discussed several times over, with lots of arguments in regards to how monster density is a factor or not. In my opinion, UV should be difficult, that's what it's there for. And when you have nice difficulty on UV, HMP and HNTR suddenly have meaning.

 

I find it very irritating when mappers design maps so they can beat them on UV easily and reliably. Some mappers who aren't actually good players to begin with, should design HMP for themselves, and get a proper tester for higher difficulty settings, instead of making everything below UV a walk in the park for reasonably well trained doomers. This is also what played a huge role in the common perception of "UV or bust". If HMP is too easy already, then, yeah, UV or bust.

 

Also I feel like UV in classic doom doesn't make for a lot of fun for me personally, because it's very trivial, and mostly straight forward...

Edited by Nine Inch Heels

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It's cool getting different perspectives and whatnot here.

 

55 minutes ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

 

Also huge monster density is not an argument you can make, imo. I've UVmaxed maps with +1k monsters in sub 9 minutes. I even UVmaxed one of those calibers in less than 5 minutes. There's a good chance some doom2 maps will take 5 minutes if not more to max casually.

 

It's not an argument, it's describing what I like, much like you're describing what you like. For me having a big monster density generally is boring and unfun, much like what you're saying about the classic gameplay that I like. We all have stuff we like, and stuff we find boring. It's true that you can learn to speedrun any map, but if a map has normal weapons (no BFG) and you want to kill every enemy, it's going to take longer if there are 350 enemies than if there are 120 enemies of a similar makeup, in a similar sized map, etc. Not to make it an exact science, I just myself do find that "less is more" to some degree when it comes to monster placement a lot of the time, for my taste. You are right that a slaughter map might be fast-paced for slaughter fans as well though.

 

 

55 minutes ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

Some of us want to get better at the game. I certainly do. So why would I waste my precious sparetime on something that does next to nothing for me in that regard?

 

For me, I'm interested in the craft of the layout and flow of the map, how it looks, and seeing what the author took hours and hours, weeks, months or more to make. Though this also applies to slaughter wads, which aren't my thing gameplay wise but I do check out. And like I mentioned in the op, for me it's not all about the combat, I like combat but I don't want every room to be an endurance combat skill test. And for me it doesn't suit every location to be filled to the brim with monsters. I can see why you wouldn't want to play something that doesn't interest you though, like anybody. I can dig that we're interested in Doom maps for different reasons.

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After playing the innovative and ambitious wad Plutonium Sandpit (which I couldn't complete because the running/jumping puzzle near the end required to finish the wad was too difficult for me), I'm now enjoying the classic Doom gameplay of Fava Beans.  There is something to be said for vanilla wads though I do love to see new things from authors pushing the envelope.

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On 6/8/2017 at 4:44 PM, Not Jabba said:

Part of it is that good mappers are usually good players, and they want to make something that's challenging for themselves. But I think Sunlust is a good example of another reason why most modern mapsets are hard. If you want to create something that looks impressive, you have to make much of it large in scale; if you make it large in scale, it needs to have lots of monsters, or else it's just empty. The stereotypical heavy use of chaingunners, Revenants, and Arch-Viles is a good fit for the types of grand spaces that most of the top modern mappers are making.

 

I think Sunlust is characterized more by tight and moderately scaled spaces. It can be deceptive, because even the compact areas tend to be 'tall', but the truly large spaces are rare enough that they really stand out as 'out of the norm' for the mapset.

 

I also think Sunlust's monster usage can be explained in part by the fact that it wants to be roughly as hard as Sunlust is, which I'd say is at the level where it can still be challenging for skilled players with foreknowledge. 

 

To accomplish that there are some approaches one can take: serious resource deprivation paired with 'conventional' monster placements (imagine a BTSX map but with literally no health, or, for the harder ones, very little of it); serious restriction of movement through environmental hazards; heavy use of environmental hazards and obstacles for (e.g. intense platforming, or progression that requires SR50s or rocket/vile jumps or other 'tricks'); a low-mid density of lethal/oppressive monsters (viles and cybers in threatening spaces, heavy showings of chaingunners and PEs, too); highly opaque and puzzly progression; and so on.

 

Many hardcore mapsets have some elements of these, but the most flexible approach is to allow yourself the full range of the bestiary, but to use monsters densely enough to pose a threat. This density will have to be 'slaughtery', a lot of the time, in the absence of serious resource deprivation. The idea of 'smart 'less is more' monster placement' -- most commonly, a low-mid density of well placed monsters (often skewed towards projectile hurlers) that target a player that has a lot of space to move, complemented by a tasteful (as in, 'fair and balanced') use of hitscans and PEs and viles -- has merit in conventional mapsets, but it's far from enough for 'hardcore mapsets', simply because a skilled player will reliably avoid taking serious damage when they have a lot of space to move relative to the monster density, no matter how 'smartly' monsters are placed. (I'll add 'and can actually kill the monsters' before anyone cites the falling bookshelf encounter in Saturnine Chapel. That is clearly not a typical case. :D)

 

Another reason, I bet, is that Sunlust's designers enjoy it. There's something fun and satisfying about lots of gratuitous bloodshed. This is what even KDitD, the most 'classic mapset of them all' was good at -- who can forget rocketing those closets full of zombies and imps. Pointilist placement certainly can be satisfying too, especially with the right weapons, but carnage is what I'm really here for.  

 

16 hours ago, PsychoGoatee said:

And not saying there's anything wrong with liking very hard maps, just that if it becomes too uniformly that way, or feels like there's a pressure to do things that way, overall the classic style of gameplay (as in combat similar in difficulty and density to the originals) can come across as underrepresented. Just an observation, and since that's the kind of map I like most, would like to see it more represented. But we are talking about video game maps, so let's ideally keep a light tone.


Just for reference, can you name a lot of recent mapsets that give you the impression that releases are becoming 'uniformly' 'very hard'?

 

16 hours ago, GarrettChan said:

 

 

Oh god, I love the opinions here. Probably it's somewhat a Sandy style vs JR (some)/American McGee style here. Although I don't like some of Sandy's maps (Ult Doom: E2M6, E3M5; D2: Map09), I still think Sandy's maps are more enjoyable to play, even nowadays. Map08 in Doom 2 is one of my all time favorite.

 

 

To me, I feel old school FPS games are puzzles. You need to see the whole and put pieces together, but you can't conclude the whole thing by seeing only one piece. If you can totally erase your memory, playing Doom 2 maps are not that easy in my opinion even though you have many advanced techniques at your disposal. I guess in my opinion, modern mapsets are usually harder than base game, but probably not that big now I think about it. If I play recklessly in Doom 2, I may still die. Hope I express myself correctly ;)

 

Yeah, I understand you. I think there has been a movement in recent years towards mapsets that are uniformly 'fair' even when they are tough. In a non-linear map, for instance, the mapper might try to balance every possible path, so you can't end up seriously undergunned*. Personally I prefer a bit of unfairness, though. Stumbling into a bad path and trying to survive with the odds against you can be pretty exhilarating. Moonblood is a low-density mapset I enjoyed, partly because of the 'puzzle' aspect of getting through a level in FDA. The resource balance is also well calculated. 

 

 

*Undergunned as in 'wandering into a tough fight seriously unarmed, but getting a weapon afterwards for your troubles' is one thing, but 'having to chew through half the map with a SG' because you missed the SSG is another. I'm referring to only one of these. :) 

Edited by rdwpa

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There's a bit of subjectivity to describing difficulty, but most seem to agree that the majority of user maps these days are harder than the base game. On maps being uniformly tough, I mentioned various things and how to me it feels like they're becoming that way, to describe a trend. Just that across the board difficulty is going in that direction, and feedback from this forum is generally to make a map harder, remove ammo, etc. There will be a range from Plutonia-ish hardness on HMP to slaughter madness, not literally uniform. And we'll get something more up my alley here and there too.

 

The question is why some seem to not like classic gameplay, or why we don't see more releases these days focused on a relatively lower difficulty, similar to the original games on HMP for example. (Though further tuned difficulty settings are welcome.) And I have gotten some answers, some just prefer that harder gameplay and it seems to get attention more. But I do think there's an audience for classic gameplay, would be fun if it happened to become more en vogue in the community again, or something like that.

 

 

Edited by PsychoGoatee

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This discussion doesn't really jive well with how I see things -- the topic title laments the lack of classic gameplay, but the thread content immediately wrenches 90 degrees and starts talking exclusively about difficulty. These are two different axes.

 

Slight ego: No End In Sight is an oldschool project (in intent anyway; eye-of-beholder, death-of-the-author, etc.) that starts fairly easy but ramps up the difficulty in the later episodes without chucking the gameplay style out the window.

 

My point is basically just "why not both?", so there you go. :P

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3 minutes ago, Xaser said:

Slight ego: No End In Sight is an oldschool project (in intent anyway; eye-of-beholder, death-of-the-author, etc.) that starts fairly easy but ramps up the difficulty in the later episodes without chucking the gameplay style out the window.

 

That's still on my to-play pile, it does look more up my alley than other stuff, though perhaps the latter stuff in it may not be, I'll see sometime. On death of the author, I get getting something different from a book or film than the author had in mind, but did you and John Romero have a disagreement on mapping or something? :P

 

On why not both, do you mean being influenced by the encounter design and general gameplay flow of the originals while also being notably harder? If so sure there's nothing wrong with that, but let's have stuff that is also not harder, and ideally lower difficulties being more akin to the origin games etc.

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12 minutes ago, PsychoGoatee said:

On death of the author, I get getting something different from a book or film than the author had in mind, but did you and John Romero have a disagreement on mapping or something? :P

That was more of a fancy way of saying "your mileage may vary" in regards to the classic-ness. As one of the wad's authors, I'm a bit biased. :P

 

12 minutes ago, PsychoGoatee said:

On why not both, do you mean being influenced by the encounter design and general gameplay flow of the originals while also being notably harder? If so sure there's nothing wrong with that, but let's have stuff that is also not harder, and ideally lower difficulties being more akin to the origin games etc.

First sentence: yes, that's the idea. Second sentence: the right approach there is "hey mappers, don't forget about the lower difficulty settings." Which admittedly is hard. x:

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