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About Ubik

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  1. Ubik

    Post a picture of yourself!

    Dunno if I ever posted any pictures of myself back in my most active days way back when, but there've been a few changes.
  2. The first time I ever played Doom and the first time I ever owned Doom were the same: My mom bought me the full six-episode version of Wolfenstein 3D in 1994 or 1995, and it just happened to include a floppy with the original Doom shareware on it. I'd heard of Doom before, and seen a few disgruntled employees of a computer shop deathmatching each other in E2M1, but never played it before I had the shareware in my sweaty little teenage hands. I basically blew off Wolf3D episodes 2-6 to play Doom E1 over and over and over again. Then she bought me Doom 2 not too long after and it's been with me ever since. I'm sometimes moderately horrified by how many hours and how much mental real estate Doom's taken up in my life, but I still love the damn thing.
  3. Ubik

    If you were to remove a Doom II enemy...

    Arachnotron. Doom 2's greatest strength over Doom 1 is that it has a fully fleshed-out mid-tier, rather than jumping directly from Cacodemon to Baron of Hell. And it executes the mid-tier in a number of different ways: Glass cannons (high damage/low HP) in the form of Chaingunners and Revenants; slow tanks in the form of the Mancubus; "mook-plus" enemies in the form of the Hell Knight; and the hellish pest of the Pain Elemental. (The Arch-Vile obviously counts as an upper-tier monster) So where does the Arachnotron fit in to all of this? It doesn't have a special gimmick, and it doesn't have a "job" that any of the other Doom 2 additions don't do. The only thing it does differently as act as kind of a "mobile turret", but most Doom maps are either too close-quarters for that to be effective, or large enough that other monsters can do that better (like the Mancubus or Chaingunner). Their hitbox is comparatively enormous, they're slow, they have a high rate of pain frames, and their firing delay makes them largely ineffective. The Arachnotron has cool visuals and sound effects, but it doesn't fill any slot in the gameplay that another monster doesn't do better. Plus, it more or less just looks like a shrunk-down Mastermind. And I ultimately think that's why it's not unique or memorable enough to have made it into another Doom game. Maybe if they had redesigned both the Mastermind and the Arachnotron so that they had some sort of a queen/drone gameplay element, it'd be more worthwhile to have them, but in the meantime I think it's more or less redundant. I think most map designers think so too, since you see it so infrequently in PWADs.
  4. Ubik

    So where does it rank on your list of DOOM ?

    Tough call, but... 1. Doom 2 (if we include user-made content, it easily lands above, but the original levels are solid and what I grew up with) 2. Ultimate Doom (although if individual episodes came into play I'd put Doom E1 above all else) 3. Doom 2016 4. Doom 3 + RoE 5. Doom 64 (never played the N64 version and never got very far in the fan-made port)
  5. Ubik

    DOOM - User Reviews

    Hey, so it's been a while, eh? I think I'm about 80-90% of the way through the game, so I'll only judge it by what I've seen so far. But what I've seen is every damn thing I was hoping for from Doom 3 that I never got, and then some. Background: I've been playing Doom since shareware days, and have spent more time playing PWADs than I care to admit. I even did some music stuff for some Doom things back in the day. I don't keep up with modern games very much, but still put in lots of time on older games and the occasional new release... like this one. The first thing I'll admit: Yeah, its combat is a bit different from that of Doom/Doom II. But after 23 years since the shareware first came into being, how could it not be? So many new game styles, programming tricks and gameplay elements have come into being since those days that it'd be impossible to make something feel *exactly* like the old, and why would you want that from an entirely new game? What I feel is that the game took some of the best elements of the original games and added a lot of modern touches on to it. At the same time, however, it does rely on an arena structure more than expected, which means it feels quite a bit like Serious Sam or Painkiller. I don't consider that a bad thing, though, and it definitely plays more like Doom than either one of those. I'm just glad we're past the point of monster closets and flashlighting that one random Imp to death. In any case: The combat is wonderfully varied, complex and meaty. While arena setups are common, there's also a pretty wide variety of setups that often entail some different tactics. The weapons are excellently balanced between a variety of different tactical roles, even if certain later weapons tend to become mainstays after a while. And the monsters! It'd be impossible for this game to play like the original games, because their monsters worked more on slow inexorability than combat tactics. But in Doom 4, while you're almost as mobile as the original Marine, the monsters are more mobile than they've ever been, with far better tactical prowess. It's hard to just circle-strafe everything to death anymore, and it makes for some really amazing fights here and there. There are enough interstitial skirmishes to keep it from feeling entirely arena-based, but that tends to be the mainstay of the game's combat. I also enjoy the hell out of the mechanics of the Chainsaw and Glory Kills, which add super-visceral satisfaction while playing up an innovative mechanic that's the exact opposite of the "hide somewhere and regenerate health" thing that's been in games for a while now. The risk/reward balance of the Chainsaw is particularly awesome, if you ask me. I love the enemy and weapon design. The weapons, again, are nice and varied, and the upgrade trees just make them even more fun. And they FEEL very visceral and meaty, in a way that Doom 3 just couldn't accomplish. The monsters keep nicely to the original roster while introducing some new elements, and give the existing monsters lots of new touches. And again, the speed and mobility of the monsters makes the game entirely new and different. There are just enough callbacks to the original games () to invoke a giggle every once in a while. Level design relies on that arena setup quite a bit, which ends up making the game more linear than the originals. But the environments are awesomely designed and executed, and flow very well. The detail and atmosphere are great, although the game borrows heavily from Doom 3 on that front. I love the sound design, from the changes in music cues to the beefy-sounding weapons to the little musical tics of the Glory Kills. The graphics and the detail are just gorgeous, and although they sometimes tax my 650Ti I can still play the game very smoothly most of the time. I particularly enjoy the fact that the game has an okay plot, and that the game lampshades it fully as something you can more or less ignore. I love how the Doom Marine , as he's really only concerned with ripping and tearing. I mean, that's what we're here for too, right? But it has more flesh and nuance to it that any of the previous Doom plots without enslaving you to it quite as fully as Doom 3 did. Part of what I love about this game is how ardently it resists modern FPS tropes, including many that were used by Doom 3. Fall damage? Not really. Regenerating health? Nope. Duck-and-cover combat mechanics? Get outta here. This game is all about no-holds-barred aggression, but even in that it introduces and demands more sophisticated tactics than the original Doom did. I'd say the game's weakest point is its linearity and reliance on arena fights, but that really hasn't hurt it in my mind. It doesn't feel exactly like the original Doom games, but it feels like a progression of them, and that's just what I was hoping for. 9/10 for me so far. And by the way:
  6. Pretty much always HMP these days. If it's something I've played a bunch of times before and I feel like a challenge, I'll up it to UV sometimes. And if a WAD is very difficult and I need to adjust, I'll drop it down to HNTR or even ITYTD as I see fit. Sunder forced me all the way down to ITYTD and even then it was super-difficult for me. But HMP is definitely my default, even for the IWADs. However, coop Nightmare! can be absolutely hilarious if you're playing with the right people.
  7. Ubik

    Is the Tower of Babel in Deimos or Hell?

    I can't believe that I've been playing this game for almost 20 years and haven't noticed that until now.
  8. Ubik

    Doom Chess

    I just don't see the Spider Mastermind working in any case - it's too wide and the scaling would ruin it, one way or another. So my personal Doom chessboard would be: Pawn - Imp Rook - Bulldemon (or Mancubus) Knight - Cacodemon (or Revenant) Bishop - Baron Queen - Arch-Vile King - Cyberdemon Or, if you wanted the whole shebang to be Doom I compatible: Pawn - Lost Soul Rook - Bulldemon Knight - Imp Bishop - Cacodemon Queen - Baron King - Cyberdemon
  9. A lot. Like, several hundred. I've never played a single game as much as I've played Doom in my lifetime. Getting a more accurate figure would probably just depress me. If we did a chart of hours played per month, there'd be a giant Everest-like mountain in 1994-1995, with ragged foothills from 1996-2001, then a series of huge, craggy peaks from 2002-2004, followed by gentle hills and valleys from then on. I still play my fair share of Doom, but not nearly as much as I did when I was a teenager... which is terrifying.
  10. Ubik

    What was Doom missing? Opinions here

    Honestly, in retrospect I don't think Doom needed a single element added to it. Some better maps and music, maybe, but at its core the gameplay is incredibly tight and enjoyable. However, there were definitely some things I wish had been added just for personal enjoyment: -A grenade launcher. -A railgun, or powerful rifle-style weapon. -Tripmines/landmines - some more tactically varied weapons. -More monsters! I honestly wish Doom II had at least made the Hell Knight something other than a Baron recolor, but I always like more variety in monsters no matter what. The game could have done with one or two enemies at a tier between the Baron and the Spider Mastermind/Cyberdemon. Source ports have come up with some great substitutes, but the original games could have put in some interesting moments with them. -Bosses! Doom II could have used some boss fights other than just tossing a Cyberdemon in here and there. Basically, all I really wanted was more things to shoot, and more things to shoot them with. :P
  11. Ubik

    What CAN'T run Doom?

    I'm currently working on porting DOOM to rocks and boulders. The API really sucks.
  12. I have a confession to make: I LOVE Sunder's architecture, but I HATE its gameplay. The layouts are superb, the flow is excellent, the atmosphere and detail are phenomenal. Hive Mother has some of the coolest detailing I've ever seen in a Doom map. But, since I'm not a super-├╝ber-hyper-skilled player, the difficulty leaves me cold. I've beaten HR and HR2, and DV and DVII, entirely legit, but I find some maps in Sunder completely impossible. Maybe it's because I simply don't play as much Doom as I used to, but there are portions where I'm stymied as to how it's even halfway possible to survive. The second-to-last arena in MAP12/The Zealous Machine, for instance, just makes no sense to me: All the Revenants appear already activated, and even rushing to the switch and getting all the Barons/HKs/Cacos/Cybers into the arena still leaves you swamped by the Revenants, no matter how much tiresome BFG circle-strafing you do. And forget about the dozen-plus AVs later on in Hive Mother. That wouldn't frustrate me so much if every map weren't a hunt-and-peck switch hunt, forcing you to zoom across the map squinting to see some microscopic switch to continue. The number of strangely-located/distant switches in maps like Furnace just makes it a giant chore, and the teeny-tiny-microscopic switch in the last arena of Hive Mother is unforgivable. I literally thought the map was bugged and uncompletable until I started wall-humping everything and happened upon the switch by accident. That's simply bad design, if you ask me. The infighting isn't even well-implemented. In several maps, groups of monsters are arranged and activated in a way obviously intended to instigate massive infighting, but things play out much differently. I'm again reminded of the part of The Zealous Machine I already mentioned, but also of the Caco/Arachno/Cyber trap in MAP08/Pale Monument. Infighting between those groups is obviously intended, but the Cacos are packed so densely and deeply that 90% of them never get hit by the other monsters and immediately home in on the player. Likewise, many fights in Hag's Finger, Hive Mother and elsewhere result in numerous leftover Cybers, resulting in more endless bouts of BFG circle-strafing. HR, AV, DV and many other "megahard" WADs tend to have better-executed monster infighting and arena fighting. Some people have argued against implementing difficulty levels, but I think it would go a long way towards giving the maps a larger audience. There's no need to drastically cut monster count, but cutting it by a certain percentage and putting more health powerups down would go a long way towards making the maps more feasible, and more appealing to a larger audience. Not everything has to pander to the super-elite speedrunners - a lot of us just play Doom in our free time when we're not occupied with things like, you know, jobs. I would like to be able to enjoy Insane_Gazebo's obvious talent without having to be a military supercomputer. You can still have the gigantic arena slaughter fights that make up Sunder's focus without having them be unreasonably difficult. I know this is a lot of bitching, but it's frustrating to see design this excellent marred by what I see as ridiculously unfair difficulty. I'm sick in general of the "difficulty inflation" I keep seeing in game modders and indie designers, from ROMhacks to Doom WADs to other small projects. I believe it takes a lot more skill to make a genuinely well-balanced and enjoyable gaming experience than something stupidly difficult for the sake of being stupidly difficult.
  13. Somebody please make this. One that's been bugging me for ages that I ran into yet again tonight: That trick with damage floors/Icon of Sin/voodoo dolls/whatever that kills you but still sends you to the next level, taking away all your weapons and ammo. It totally kills any sense of progression and accomplishment, and usually ends up being frustrating rather than "clever." It's especially infuriating when a megawad does it multiple times - it makes you wonder why you bothered to manage or save your ammo at all. Vanguard, Scythe 2, I love you guys, but... yeah.
  14. Ubik

    The Doom Confessional Booth

    I can't stand Doom II now. After I get 4-5 maps in, I get incredibly bored and give up because I know exactly how it plays out from there. I suppose I just played it far too many times when I was a teenager, but one way or another I simply get sick of it really quickly. Whenever I get frustrated with a map after dying 29385 times, I have to kill at least one more monster after the last time I die before I quit. Have to get the last word in, you know. I found Doom as shareware included with Wolfenstein 3D, then immediately got my parents to get me Doom II for Christmas that year. I ended up not playing E2 or E3 until 5-6 years later when I was in college. I'm tired of slaughter maps. I no longer find anything particularly fun about circling a giant group of enemies and BFG-spamming, or huddling in a corner waiting for most of the monsters to kill each other. I got halfway through the Doom 64 port for jDoom before moving on to something else, and I haven't gone back to it since. I should find a way to play Doom 64 and finish it at some point.
  15. Ubik

    What disappointed you about Doom?

    Not a specific texture, just the fact that Doom 2 has so many boring "brown/gray/green wall" textures in place of some of the cooler ones from Doom 1.