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Your opinion on Skulltag actors?

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^ Read that.

By actors I mean both weapons,monsters whatever else there is in the wad.

 

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Meh.  Passable I guess.  The monsters are generally nothing more than "buffed version of X" which could be better and could be worse.  The weapon behaviors are all right but the sprites for them leave something to be desired as I recall.  I don't remember much regarding the powerups aside from that there was some rune system in the style of that one Quake mod and those had some pretty cool item sprites as I recall.

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There wasn't much good in the entire wad. Stock DM maps were fun when you were just starting out playing, never having seen anything before, but it quickly became apparently how wildly unbalanced the power-ups and weapons are.

 

The monsters, eh, again neat at first to see different coloured demons if you've never seen them before. But they were just bullet sponges more than anything.

 

The textures/mapping resources led to a bunch of projects that at least didn't use just vanilla, but created a dependency on skulltag.wad which was not good practice.

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I remember really liking black imps that shot blue plasma and barons that were red instead of pink. These monster variations were sexier and they made invasion maps more exciting for sure. I don't remember the others so much, what else was there?

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19 minutes ago, Memfis said:

I remember really liking black imps that shot blue plasma and barons that were red instead of pink. These monster variations were sexier and they made invasion maps more exciting for sure. I don't remember the others so much, what else was there?

There's also a darker redish demon with double the health.

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I actually always liked custom monsters that had less health than the originals, filling in any holes in the bestiary in that direction. Otherwise, the stock weapons become, by extension, less powerful, and you need to beef them up. And that makes the original monsters, by exension, less powerful. It's an endless cycle. But, adding less-powerful monsters doesn't suffer from this issue. (And, you get to pick off monsters quicker too!) Win-win.

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Weapons are decent, filling spots for others like the SSG did for the shotgun, though require tweaking to make them more unique/useful. Enemies are generally quite nice, but have been done better since (artwork, similar monsters). I really liked the new pickups like the red armor, perma base stat boosting health and armor bonuses, and the runes, while potentially game breaking due to being permanent until replaced with another were fun, but you can't find any of these items on the Realm. You can find the power ups though, with my favorites being Doomsphere (Doom's own Quad Damage) and the Guardsphere (much more resistant to damage but not completely invulnerable). I used to use a skulltagstuff.pk3 to enhance my Doom experience and fine-tuned it to my liking, when Skulltag was still a thing.

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Skulltag's original content was great in it's time. You gotta remember, "Skulltag's content" as most people think of it was all designed in like ~2002 - 2004 with only very small updates/tweaks as time went on, made waaaaay before all the Brutal Dooms and Complex Dooms and all that fun shit that people take for granted now. It was quite amazing to see the weapon count/monster count almost doubled, even if many of the enemies were just "recolored skin and more HP" and some of the weapons a bit questionable. No mod of any sort had added quite this much in the way of new content while not removing a single vanilla asset, that alone amazed me. Skulltag's overall scope was truly impressive in it's earlier days.

 

The Railgun and Grenade Launcher are extremely fun additions for deathmatch, I thought so when I first used them and still think so today. There's a reason these 2 guns still show up quite regularly in maps/wads even today, they both brought some truly interesting and different strengths to the table rather than just being lazy duplicates like the minigun and bfg10k. Maybe it's just from being exposed to it at an impressionable age, but I still think Skulltag has the best Railgun sprite and decent spritework/artwork overall. Not perfect, but usually ranging somewhere between "okay" and "pretty damn good". The new textures were interesting and added some good red/clue variants for CTF maps, but there was a fair share of ugly crap that never got used, and for good reason.

 

EDIT: Rofl, I almost forgot about the included skins. Chubbs was funny, Phobos and Orion were pretty cool Doomguy variants, Crash could have been good but was never finished. The rest were jokey crap - funny for the first 5 minutes then never to be touched again. I can't rag on it for the skins too much as all my servers are hosted with custom skins, but they're all just well made Doomguy variants, not annoying mspaint crap featuring annoying, loud sound effects like the majority of the Skulltag skins. That was where the ST skins fell short for me, only small handful were quality designs.

 

Most of the new powerups are unbalanced but fun for gimmicky stuff that came muuuuuch later like Stupid LMS. I mean honestly, unless you're in the context of a wacky Doom-mini game, a Time Freeze Sphere is the shittiest idea ever. "All but one player in the server gets to be pissed off for 30 seconds with no way to defend themselves! Yay!" Pretty sure that one came a bit later on though, stuff like the runes (powerups that last forever? are you serious?) and Doomsphere (also generally too OP, but not as bad) were in place from a much earlier build.

 

Honestly, the only powerup that has aged well at all is the Turbosphere. I can see the appeal of sticking this in a "hard to access, easy to see" spot in a DM map or in a well-hidden secret in an SP map. It does open up some doors for creative "secret time-based challenges" in SP. Unfortunately, I've never really seen it used to it's full potential.

 

On 11/20/2017 at 11:33 AM, Decay said:

Stock DM maps were fun when you were just starting out playing, never having seen anything before, but it quickly became apparently how wildly unbalanced the power-ups and weapons are.

And you're referring to the extremely "polished" versions of the ST deathmatch maps.. In earlier builds the maps had far more design flaws such as bottlenecks and were way less detailed. All I had ever played to compare it to at the time was various Dwango wads, brit10, dweller and greenwar so they seemed up to scratch for a 12 year old's standards, but they have not aged well at all, even compared to the other DM wads listed. The addition of ZDoomy/Skulltaggy stuff like deep water, slopes, the new powerups etc etc breathed new life into them for a while, but they're dead these days for good reason - there's simply too many design flaws. Still, they were definitely the inspiration for many better DM packs that have come since, so I can't complain. From a historical standpoint, they did their job and did it alright at the time.

 

So overall, how has Skulltag aged? Other than a few weapons and basic ideas, not very well. A few ST guns and even enemy sprites are still seen frequently seen in other mods to this day, so clearly it's not all bad, but there are just too many annoying DM maps and about half of the new guns and enemies feel essentially pointless. The new content should have always come included as a totally separate package. Bundle it with the EXE so everyone has it, but don't make it absolutely necessary just to run the damn game. Oh well, that flaw has been realized and fixed for years now (since the Zand split).

 

Skulltag was/is very important from a historic perspective, especially when it comes to modding. I think it was one of the main forces, at least on the multiplayer side of things, that got people to really broaden their horizons beyond "hey it's vanilla doom deathmatch with vanilla textures for the 300th time". Of course many wads out there had already used custom resources here and there, but the mere existence and prevalence of Skulltag in the mid 00's seemed to put an emphasis on truly expanding the game beyond it's limits, and many modders did and continue to do exactly that.

 

(screw all u railgun haterz fight me irl ;-; )

Edited by Doomkid

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24 minutes ago, Doomkid said:

Skulltag's original content was great in it's time. You gotta remember, "Skulltag's content" as most people think of it was all designed in like ~2002 - 2004 with only very small updates/tweaks as time went on, made waaaaay before...

 

Let's not forget that it was also waaaay before ZDoom got DECORATE. In the beginning all those new monsters were defined in the EXE itself - they also were the core of the famous Monster Resource WAD that was made back in 2005.

It really needs to be put into context, none of this ever had the benefit of more advanced actor scripting features.

 

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The super shotgunner has a nice sprite set that is more than just a recolored sergeant. The BFG10K is fun to use (chaingun that fires hitscan rockets, basically). The grenade launcher was a welcome addition given how it allows indirect fire. Runes were an interesting mechanism (persistent powerups, but only one at a time). The rest is mostly meh but it was welcome variety at a time where custom monsters and weapons were hard to use.

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@Gez Yeah the BFG10k fills a niche for a hitscan weapon that deals splash damage, also ignores enemies with nodmgradius property so it can still be used against a boss, but it uses up ammo quickly so it cannot be recklessly spammed. The minigun is probably the most lazy, just a sped up chaingun, how about putting out more rounds per shot and using more ammo to balance it out? What I did with mine. Low damage still but very high suppression rate making it actually effective in a pinch against a strong monster, ensuring you're willing to burn through a lot of your bullet supply to do so.

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I Enjoyed the Skulltag actors for what it was, and I went out and used their sprites for my first ever Megawad, and it was fun while it lasted, then I realised not many like this mod, so I didn't use them again, I kinda miss these monsters and weapons, they were good.

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I have so much love for the invasion and death match modes that you could access from the main menu, it felt like a true expansion to Doom. What happened to skulltag anyway? 

 

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4 hours ago, Tompig said:

What happened to skulltag anyway? 

 

The project died, and then it was forked into Zandronum.

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