Ambushes, how do you prefer them?

Most wads have ambushes that make monsters appear out of nowhere, be it teleporting into the room, opening a monster closet etc.

So is there a particular type of ambush you prefer? Or enjoy making? Any kind that you hate?

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In the end I don't really have a preference, the least favourite is probably the linedef action 19 (monsters appear immediately), but I do use it for areas where monsters would be able to move and cause disruption before you reach that particular area. In those cases I trigger the sector well before you reach the area so it's not really a trap.
In the end you need to mix the types up to keep things unpredictable. Monster closets, teleport traps.

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Technician said:

Monster closets are easier to make.


Granted, although there are some places (like big outdoor areas) where they don't really work.

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I prefer obvious ambushes. Monster closets tend to be just that, but not necessarily, and you can make some fairly telegraphed teleport ambushes as well.

Maps where the gameplay relies primarily on surprise are inevitably either too hard on the first playthrough or too easy on further replays.

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Heh, I'm sort of the opposite: it's nice to have a decent surprise, provided it isn't too overwhelming. The obvious traps (eg: beserk=horde of demons) kind of get predictable after a while.

On a side note, Revenants still scare the heck out of me if I'm not expecting them.

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You know, I don't mind as long as I'm not met with an ambush EVERY... FUCKING... TIME... I pick up a key. Variety, guys. It goes a long way.

Having said that, teleport-ambushes are great for repopulating an already-explored area if there's any kind of backtracking required.

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Technician said:

Monster closets are easier to make.

Monster closets are ridiculous. How are they supposed to breathe in those closed dark spaces?

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Monster closets let you give the player health or other items, and open new routes through the map. If they're literally just a box with monsters in them (which I know I'm guilty of over using), they're not very interesting, but done well they're much better than teleporter or instant appearance ambushes.

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I like ambushes that span across several rooms or areas, they really give the feel that Hell is pissed and wants to get you.

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I like surprises, but really you only get surprised once and then you'd need to make sure the ambush has replay value for future playthroughs.

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While I used them in the past, I've grown to just dislike ambushes in general. This is probably because of Doom3 where the entire game was a continuous ambush.

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How about decorate some key/weapon/powerup area with all kinds of ominous stuffs, so that player expects a trap, but then nothing happens. Player walks away from that area feeling safe, then when he least expects it.. BAM! hit by a falling piano!

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printz said:

Monster closets are ridiculous. How are they supposed to breathe in those closed dark spaces?

They teleport demonic air from Hell into their lungs.


Seriously, are you going to object to monster closets because of biological considerations about demons/undead/magical mutants/robots and whatever else is typically faced in Doom-engine games and mods?

Maes said:

Those that I can disrupt.


Yeah, it's great when you can find a secret passage or something to eliminate opponents in a safer way before the "intended" confrontation.

A good example is in Heretic E1M2, where you can surprise ambushing undead warriors.

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Gez said:

Seriously, are you going to object to monster closets because of biological considerations about demons/undead/magical mutants/robots and whatever else is typically faced in Doom-engine games and mods?

Someone should make a survival coop scenario where some players need to stay in the box until the right moment.

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ComicMischief said:

You know, I don't mind as long as I'm not met with an ambush EVERY... FUCKING... TIME... I pick up a key.

This. I'm actually elated when I pick up a key and there's not a bunch of teleporting beasties / monster closets opening. It's like a birthday surprise. :P

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TimeOfDeath said:

Every single linedef you cross should release more monsters.


Actually, as a one-level gimmick, this could potentially be neat. Tiring to make though; and would get really old if used for more than one level. ;)

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TimeOfDeath said:

Every single linedef you cross should release more monsters.


This creates a paradox doesn't it?

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printz said:

I really like ambushes that recycle corpses.


Yeah releasing an Archvile or two on in a room full of dead foes is an excellent way to make ambushes the player won't expect (or at least i never do).

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printz said:

I really like ambushes that recycle corpses.


Say what you like about the mod, but Legacy Of Suffering did that in style. The first map has you dander around the military sleeping quarters with the dead bodies piled on top of each other. You grab the kay and just as you are about to leave they proceed to get up and start putting holes in you. And not an Archie in sight.

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scalliano said:

Say what you like about the mod, but Legacy Of Suffering did that in style. The first map has you dander around the military sleeping quarters with the dead bodies piled on top of each other. You grab the kay and just as you are about to leave they proceed to get up and start putting holes in you. And not an Archie in sight.


Heh, that was a really nasty (and really creative) ambush, wouldn't believed it was possible if hadn't experienced it myself.

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Mix it up. You have dropping floors, doors, raising and crushing ceilings, teleports, insta-move sectors (used with restraint), monsters rising from liquids, damaging sectors, and hundreds of combinations therein (UAC Ultra is a good example of this). I try to vary not only what traps I use, but how often I use them. UR's second episode is far less trap-oriented and more about tense, map-long battles.

Seriously, this keeps things interesting.

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Snakes said:

Mix it up. You have dropping floors, doors, raising and crushing ceilings, teleports, insta-move sectors (used with restraint), monsters rising from liquids, damaging sectors, and hundreds of combinations therein (UAC Ultra is a good example of this). I try to vary not only what traps I use, but how often I use them. UR's second episode is far less trap-oriented and more about tense, map-long battles.

Seriously, this keeps things interesting.

Totally agree. If only Doomworld had a "like" button. :P

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Considering that ambushes are ways to be challenging to the player and it's meant to kill them I like risen monster closets which holds chaingunners or revenants.

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Only when the amount of appearing monsters is relatively low. Getting stuck with hundreds of monsters on a narrow hallway or room is super annoying. :/

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Damn, now I gotta remember to add ventilation shafts in all my monster closets. I've come to always expect SHTF situation on E1M3 BK grab (lights out, horde of monsters comin' at you) or else it feels like a letdown... Although, it might be interesting to have some empty closets open up (just some corpses inside, wtf?), or even a jammed mechanism that only works partway, and there they are: all pissed and nowhere to go.

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