Block monster lines can be kinda lame

I remember I once made a room where a hell knight was guarding the switch that you needed to press in order to progress. To make it foolproof I surrounded the monster with block monster lines. I thought it was a good solution, but then I watched a letsplay video and in that spot the guy said "heh, this HK seems bugged, why is it stuck like that?". And it made sense to me. Indeed, how else are you supposed to react when an invisible wall prevents monsters from moving? What a way to break the immersion.

 

So if you absolutely have to use the block monster flag, I believe you should at least try to do it in style. I haven't thought about this too much yet, but I'm fairly certain that for example this is more acceptable than this. What do you think?

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1 hour ago, Memfis said:

I remember I once made a room where a hell knight was guarding the switch that you needed to press in order to progress. To make it foolproof I surrounded the monster with block monster lines. I thought it was a good solution, but then I watched a letsplay video and in that spot the guy said "heh, this HK seems bugged, why is it stuck like that?". And it made sense to me. Indeed, how else are you supposed to react when an invisible wall prevents monsters from moving? What a way to break the immersion.

 

So if you absolutely have to use the block monster flag, I believe you should at least try to do it in style. I haven't thought about this too much yet, but I'm fairly certain that for example this is more acceptable than this. What do you think?

I would tend to agree that the former example looks better aesthetically than the latter example. The small ledge at least provides a visual reason for why the hell knight doesn't want to move. It has a section that he's patrolling or guarding or something like that. The same thing could be true with it just standing in the nukage, but it's less visually clear.

 

Overall, I think block monster lines are best implemented as a means to force monsters to move in certain ways without having to resort to putting up walls or other things that might block the player's mobility. Or if you planned on having walls that would rise up later and don't want a monster to end up dead on top of a patch of floor that will later rise up, you could add block monster lines to the areas that will become walls. Those sort of things. But I agree with @Memfis that you should probably be mindful about how you use block monsters lines, just like you would want to be mindful of how you use impassable lines.

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2 hours ago, Memfis said:

So if you absolutely have to use the block monster flag, I believe you should at least try to do it in style. I haven't thought about this too much yet, but I'm fairly certain that for example this is more acceptable than this. What do you think?

I'd phrase that as "So if you absolutely have to use the block monster flag in a non-"janitorial" context ...". Blocking lines are pretty useful for keeping things tidy: e.g., preventing cacodemons from drifting off into the horizon on open maps; keeping monsters from falling halfway off turrets; preventing monsters from falling into inescapable pits in cl9, particularly when there are no flying monsters that can be obstructed in a silly-looking way; preventing a mastermind corpse from straddling a computer panel against all logic. Situations like that account for over 95% of proper monster-block line usage, and maps that don't attend to it are very slightly worse off, at least, for the apathy.  

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I really wanna make one of those bad bois from hexen or whatever that hide underwater until you get close and then they jump up and attack you

 

the only problem is that while it would be super easy to do dehacked, it would kinda hard to implement, since you'd have to use monster blocking lines around liquids to keep the monster from swimming on land, which would then make areas awkward as other enemies would be unable to enter these spots, breaking up combat and messing up monster pathing :c

 

so yea they're lame as heck

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I've noticed that, because of the square non-rotating hitboxes, monsters move pretty fluidly and efficiently in narrow orthogonal corridors. There are some maps in Kama Sutra and in Alien Vendetta that take place in these overdetailed ashwall caves, and they're pretty cool to look at but they're kinda ridiculous to maneuver in, and the monsters can barely figure out how to move. I haven't implemented this into any maps I've made yet, but if you were to cluster a bunch of monsters together in a map like that, they might jam up at the choke points and not be able to move very well, but if I created these orthogonal railways out of monster block lines, they might be able to form single file lines and actually move around in a cluttered natural-rock map like that.

 

I haven't tried it yet but I'm fairly sure it would work better than to let the monsters free roam on their own.

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1 hour ago, rdwpa said:

keeping monsters from falling halfway off turrets;

What do you mean by halfway?

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Being pushed onto the turret's edge without fully falling off and getting stuck there, I suppose.

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4 minutes ago, 40oz said:

What do you mean by halfway?

getting stuck with one leg on the tower/ledge/platform, and leg off of it, causing the monster to become nothing but an animated punching bag

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Yeah, they're bad when demons and lost souls are around. Those monsters get no benefit from this line. It's more useful if you want to prevent monsters from following you, but still, they're static, and a good player will figure out it's an artificial setup.

 

I've got a better idea for tactical monster blockers: use small illusio-pits (untextured pits) instead of blockmonsters lines! They block ground monsters just as well, and you can dynamically add and remove them even in vanilla Doom by lowering and raising floors, so that you can "script" monsters to start pursuing you when it's no longer good for them to stand ground.

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