Why are slaughter maps looked down upon?

Unpopular opinion here, but I love slaughtermaps. Some of the best architecture and design I've ever seen in Doom come from slaughterwads like New Gothic, Sunder, etc. Slaughtermaps are usually very grand and intricate, and almost become a game of survival over anything else. Playing these in a limited-lives survival server online requiring teamwork from other folks is a whole different experience. As long as there aren't any children in the server who just try to rambo everything and hit all the switches, die, and then just leave, it's a really fun experience.

 

Anyone who remembers the Chillax servers on Skulltag/Zandro knows what I'm talking about.

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I wouldn't enjoy eating a bowl of soup just because it's hot, but that's also because eating soup isn't a game. If my primary pleasure in eating soup was derived from the challenge of pouring increasingly hot liquids down my throat, I might enjoy the result of someone working really hard to produce a particularly hot bowl of soup.

 

Welcome to a discussion on slowdermaps.

Edited by Cipher

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6 minutes ago, Agentbromsnor said:

quick to denounce

It's a good thing you're not like him.

 

7 minutes ago, Agentbromsnor said:

Slaughter-maps are very much one of the reasons why people outside of the community think of classic Doom as "just a mindless shooting-game".

People thought that long before the advent of slaughtermaps.

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2 hours ago, Agentbromsnor said:


I don't get it. How is it a challenge to circle-strafe around a million imps and hellknights until they all die from in-fighting? If anything, slaughtermaps are too easy because they rely on the monsters in-fighting mechanic for the most part.

It takes strategy to get the infighting going exactly how you need it to. One Cyberdemon decides not to attack the Revenant horde and it's GG. Didn't hug the wall at the right time and now monsters are seeping through into the other room? Cornered and RIP. You also need to learn the mechanics and design of the map if you plan on kiting monsters together. As for circle-strafing, I think only about 10% of the slaughtermaps I've played required circle-strafing to complete. Most of them are "hey don't wake those fuckers up yet or else we have to start al-" **ROOOOOOOAR OF 30 CYBERDEMONS AWAKENING**

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4 minutes ago, stru said:

 

Anyone who remembers the Chillax servers on Skulltag/Zandro knows what I'm talking about.

Griefing and shouting at people to not pick the soulsphere or open the door? Hours of waiting one guy to die so everyone get a chance to play?

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13 hours ago, Combinebobnt said:

it's much easier to call maps bad than admit you suck...

Me with Disjunction's Foundry map. @floatRand can support this 100%. 

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10 minutes ago, Pegg said:

Griefing and shouting at people to not pick the soulsphere or open the door? Hours of waiting one guy to die so everyone get a chance to play?

Ayyy! Glad someone else remembers! That was part of the experience!

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10 minutes ago, Agentbromsnor said:

Let me guess: you're one of those Dark Souls fans who is quick to denounce anyone who dislikes the game as "someone with no skills". There's this thing called opinion, you know.

The exact opposite. I hate Dark Souls with all my soul (mainly thanks to the PC port, but I also didn't like its atmosphere as a game). And anyone can play what game they want without me judging them. I will never say to anyone "Git gud scrub!", because a) Everyone can pick the difficulty they think is ok for them and b) I am not some kind of perfect player, so I can't start judging people about difficulty and I wouldn't want to either way.

And a game may have negatives or positives regardless of the player's skill.

 

Generally, I like levels with tons of exploration and monster counts from 50 to 200 in Doom. Plus, my favourite game from the series is Doom 1, if that says something about me. And the atmosphere plays a huge part in my tastes. I agree that slaughtermaps on the other hand usually have 0% atmosphere and greater amounts of monsters (they just focus only on gameplay, having a more arcadey feeling in them, in my opinion). I would normally hate them for those reasons, but as I said, I actually like the satisfaction I get from them, so I just don't like them as much in comparison to normal maps.

13 minutes ago, Agentbromsnor said:

I dislike slaughter-maps because they simplify Doom to a boring and predictable landscape of monsters.

Fair enough. I would put "arcadey" here to describe slaughtermaps, but I see what you mean. And trust me, if I got something out of beating ONLY one slaughtermap 100% (yes, I am no expert in them), is that the monster placement is not always predictable or random. Only circle-strafing won't help most of the time. You have to be aggressive, to shape the crowd in a way it benefits you and to make plans and decisions that will affect the whole run. Plus, you don't have to be a skilled Doom god to finish a slaughtermap. You need a good plan over extreme skill, so slaughtermaps are difficult in a weird way. It is not like Nightmare difficulty, where it is totally unfair. In slaughtermaps you need to know what you are doing and be totally aware of the map.

And that is why I don't play slaughtermaps often. I prefer to get immersed in the normal levels and have more fun this way.

21 minutes ago, Agentbromsnor said:

Slaughter-maps are very much one of the reasons why people outside of the community think of classic Doom as "just a mindless shooting-game".

Now I don't know about that (I have been playing Doom only for the past 3-5 years maybe), but still, the game has strategy in it from the normal maps to the slaughtermaps. And in normal maps, like I said, you also have exploration and atmosphere, that in some cases can't be rivaled. 

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One of the reasons I don't play slaughterwads is because my hardware is so astronomically crap that I can't even fathom the basic idea of a stable framerate outside of any port that isn't PrBoom, we are talking 500mb virtual memory here.

 

I'd like to give a low intensity one a go but the phrase "low intensity" is very debatable in its application.

Edited by mrthejoshmon

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53 minutes ago, Agentbromsnor said:

Slaughter-maps are very much one of the reasons why people outside of the community think of classic Doom as "just a mindless shooting-game".

Are they really?  I wouldn't think people outside the community know very much about PWADs in general.

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59 minutes ago, Agentbromsnor said:

I dislike slaughter-maps because they simplify Doom to a boring and predictable landscape of monsters. Slaughter-maps are very much one of the reasons why people outside of the community think of classic Doom as "just a mindless shooting-game".

Well, I have hard time controlling myself when I read claims such as this. You know what? Dislike them all you want, but if there's anything that makes Doom look like a mindless shooting game then it's maps that require people to corner-/doorcamp all the things.

 

If you think slaughtermaps are easy, there's a UVmax that needs to get done for Killer5's "dimensions" first map, for example. I'm looking forward to your demo.

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21 minutes ago, ShotgunDemolition said:

Now I don't know about that (I have been playing Doom only for the past 3-5 years maybe), but still, the game has strategy in it from the normal maps to the slaughtermaps.

Strategy in Doom is too subtle for regular players. Experience tells me that people rarely recognize barebones FPS mechanics as something worthy of attention. Add a complex plot, some "real" puzzles, maybe some openly gimmicky elements - now we're talking! Finally, FPS genre evolved!

 

And it was like this ever since Doom was "superceded" by a newer game for the first time. Ironically, only in recent years classic Doom started to get mainstream recognition again, which more or less coincided with this community shifting its attention from aesthetics to mechanics, slaughterwads being an extreme iteration of the idea.

 

Though most likely it was just Brutal Doom.

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Also, it's up to the players to have the option to play modded slaughter maps, considering that the map will be easy or hard...just saying

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2 hours ago, Graf Zahl said:

It is an insult if you blanketly accuse others of lacking skill just because they say they do not like some styles of gameplay. It's an assumption you make based on the expression of a personal preference and that's just rude behavior.

Yeah, because such behavior has never been observed in the context of any competitive game before.[/sarcasm]

 

Unfortunately, calling someone a "scrub" (this can also be done subtly and indirectly) it's a very effective way of killing and derailing discussions even on what would be legit technical matters, because, well, who's that above being called such, and not get in a flamewar with the "accuser" or feel that the burden of proof/focus suddenly lies on him, thus losing credibility? I think they call this "ad hominems", in other contexts.

Edited by Maes

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8 minutes ago, leodoom85 said:

Also, it's up to the players to have the option to play modded slaughter maps, considering that the map will be easy or hard...just saying

I'm all for letting players play the maps they way they would like to, but especially for slaughtermaps this is extremely misguided in my opinion.

 

Any Source port that allows for mods such as brutal doom to run is ZDoom and "higher", thus creating a larger overhead when it comes to internal things management. Many slaughter maps aren't really playable, let alone well playable in ZDoom and higher due to said overhead, which is also one of the reasons the people who just launch everything GZDoom crap on them due to performance issues.

 

To that you can add the the fact that the moment you play with OP-weapon mods of any sorts, you've essentially ruined the intended experience a given author spent hours on refining and playtesting.

 

EDIT: I always flinch a little bit when I see people recommend using more powerful weapon mods, if somebody wants to get into slaughter, for the purpose of easing people into the genre. The flow of combat changes so drastically that even "just" doubling the BGF's rate of fire ruins most maps that are centered aroung making the most of the "vanilla BFG".

Edited by Nine Inch Heels
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Just now, Nine Inch Heels said:

To that you can add the the fact that the moment you play with OP-weapon mods of any sorts, you've essentially ruined the intended experience a given author spent hours on refining and playtesting.

You know, I know, we all know that. I get that adding any mod will destroy the balance, let alone that some sourceports have issues with performance depending of the user...

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9 minutes ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

Many slaughter maps aren't really playable, let alone well playable in ZDoom and higher due to said overhead, which is also one of the reason the people who just launch everything GZDoom crap on them due to perfomrance issues.

Performance issues aside, this hasn't stopped people from playing e.g. Chillax without the intended superweapons mod, and even having success at it. IMO that shows that above a certain level, there's an art/technique even to slaughtermaps. Keeping up with Chillax, often starting a map or a room (esp. from a pistol start) requires a very precise, almost coreographed routine, as a direct approach won't work in most cases. The slaughter that comes later is just the icing on the cake, as without that initial precision approach, brute force won't work. Of course, that's not good if there are a bunch of lamers in MP that start shooting at stuff, aggravating mobs or activating traps as soon as they spawn...

 

Edited by Maes
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2 minutes ago, leodoom85 said:

You know, I know, we all know that

If I were to wager a bold guess, then most people do not know about these things at all. Most people simply download a wad, load it up with GZDoom (the source port most people use just by virtue of being "easy to use") and play away without having any clue as to what the difference between sourceports is, and don't get me started on compatibility settings.

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How did this turn into a source port discussion? in b4 GZDoom is for noobs. 

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XD...double message

Let's discard the sourceport topic then and return to the core topic...

Edited by leodoom85
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Just now, stru said:

How did this turn into a source port discussion? in b4 GZDoom is for noobs. 

I've seen slaughtermaps getting poor ratings due to performance issues, and it wouldn't be the first time somebody blamed a mapper, even though said somebody chose the wrong source port. But yeah, let's not get hung up on source ports.

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So, someone hates slaughter maps. He most likely does not understand them. My thoughts why:

  • Lack of experience. You don't understand most scenarios if you have played for 10 minutes. It takes a lot more to understand.
  • Tediousness in general is not a part of slaughter maps yet present in many of them. That's one of the main reasons for hatred towards slaughter maps imo. Hard maps could be done with small amount of enemies, removing the part of tedious cleanup after every battle.

I like slaughter maps, even though I'm not really good at them. I've met some interesting and fresh ideas in wads like phmlspd and sunder back in 2010 (gazebo was still wroking on map13), that made me try to understand them a bit better, and it took a lot of time for me to get better at slaughter to the point I can actually beat some maps myself. But nowadays I would prefer stuff like Stardate which is barely a slaughter in my opinion. But I'd still would like to see sf3 being finished as well.

 

Oh, and if someone actually want a good example of slaughter, try Combat Shock 1 and 2. These are the best I know.

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5 minutes ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

I've seen slaughtermaps getting poor ratings due to performance issues

Doom engine wasn't meant to have 4000 monsters fighting with each other at one time. I'm sure ports have done the best they could with optimization, but you could only polish it so much. 

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I don't like slaughter stuff, although I hate cover/door fights wads more lol

 

Anyway, slaughter levels are way too combat-centered for me, featuring large arenas and (very) long setpieces, which are somewhat boring. I remember enjoying the ones in Scythe 1, but these are shorter and simpler, while I didn't like the ones in Scythe 2, for example. I also hated the ones in Alien Vendatta. On other hand, I found quite fun if slaughter gameplay is mixed with other elements (casual combat, exploration, etc), where a good example would be Eden.

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2 hours ago, everennui said:

It's better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all. 

 

 

Here's to the finest crew in Doomworld! For ensuring this thread doesn't turn into a dumpster fire!

 

 

Edited by geo
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23 minutes ago, stru said:

Doom engine wasn't meant to have 4000 monsters fighting with each other at one time.

The obvious next question is, "Why not?"

 

As somebody already said, slaughter maps are very much in keeping with the premise of Doom. The world has been taken over by a demonic invasion -- here are 32 maps where you can kill 50 at a time. 50 x 32 = 1600 monsters. This isn't very many -- all the world powers should be ashamed that they couldn't stop just 1600 monsters from destroying them all.

 

I'm inclined to think that id would have toyed with the idea of Doom slaughtermaps, but the hardware of the time simply didn't allow for it. This was targeting machines with 486 processors and 8 megs of RAM. Try mapping with vanilla limitations, and you'll see why slaughtermaps weren't feasible. However, you can see that they began moving in that direction with Doom 2, where monster placement becomes more "free," the mappers weren't afraid to make you face multiple barons at a time in a non-boss context, and big traps are more "normal" (e.g. Suburbs, Tricks and Traps, Barrels o' Fun).

 

Just because the vanilla engine can't handle it, I would not conclude that it wasn't meant for it.

 

23 minutes ago, stru said:

I'm sure ports have done the best they could with optimization, but you could only polish it so much.

Even my cheese-ball laptop can handle up to 3000 monsters active at once (probably more, but this much has been verified). I'm currently trying to max a map that has over 21,000 monsters, and during the final fight about 15,000 of them are active. Amazingly, prBoom can run smoothly if I'm looking away from that monster horde, but chugs pretty badly otherwise. This indicates that prBoom's logic engine can handle that payload quite easily, but the rendering engine has a hard time with that many sprites. Compare this with the vanilla engine, and I'd say the port has done a pretty darn good job of "polishing" it.

Edited by 42PercentHealth
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They are a pain in the butt to play but with cheats such as fast weapons and infinite ammo they are more entertaining.

 

I will never ever make a slaughtermap.

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6 minutes ago, pcorf said:

They are a pain in the butt to play but with cheats such as fast weapons and infinite ammo they are more entertaining.

 

I will never ever make a slaughtermap.

sv_fastweapons 2 and sv_infiniteammo 1

well....if you know the "anubis" cheat....

 

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For anyone who has played Geometry Dash, think of a slaughtermap as a particularly long and hard level. One mistake and you're dead. That's obvious enough, but in Geometry Dash, you have to do a set pattern at the precise moment or you die. Now, let's say after a dozen tries, you made it halfway through the level and you died. You think you know how to get by it, but first you need to get back to that spot. Many times, you end up dying in places that gave you trouble earlier. By the time you get back to that halfway mark (maybe 10 minutes later), you forgot what you wanted to do, and you end up dying in the same exact manner. A couple of tries later and you do make it past the halfway mark...only to die at the 55% mark. Repeat the process until you reach the 75% mark. After about a hundred tries, you become too frustrated to continue (a broken controller lies on the floor, next to another one that you threw about 15 minutes prior).

 

A Doom slaughtermap is much the same way, except for a few differences: 1. You can save, but that's not always a guarantee, especially if a rocket is 10 feet from the back of your head as you save. 2. The maps are usually a whole lot bigger, and it can take upwards of a half hour to get back to the same place you were when you died (assuming you aren't saving). 3. There's a random element in Doom slaughtermaps. What might leave you with 15% health one time might finish you off the next time. What strategy you might try might work one time, but not the next time because of a stray fireball. Also, monsters likely will not follow the same path or do the same thing next time around. For maps that use infighting, if those monsters don't infight, well... Put all these things together and the rage level will go through the roof.

 

And many people just don't want to go through the hassle and aggravation of trying to complete a slaughtermap. They may try it, but after dying after about 5 minutes for the fourth time, they just quit and delete the wad. Though, of course, there are those that do it just for that very reason. Maybe they think it's fun. Maybe they enjoy the punishment. Whatever the reason, different people like different types of maps. Some people like the slower paced maps. Some like the super crazy fast maps. Some might even play a slaughtermap on Nightmare (good luck with that one).

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