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Your Thoughts on Enemy Usage/Placement

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Do you think that zombiemen would be a much more useable enemy if they didn't drop any bullets? In fact I've made a (never released) DEHACKED patch which (among tons of other changes like new enemies) makes zombiemen AND shotgunguys to not drop anything. Then they'd be used just as minor distractions, which you shouldn't underestimate though. The real threatening foes would be placed along with them (-> possible infighting). I thought it would result in a more fun gameplay if zombie bodies weren't just ammo-givers, and therefore the mapper didn't have to always limit their numbers. On the other hand, when you imagine the insane mass slaughters of humanoids...

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scifista42 said:

I thought it would result in a more fun gameplay if zombie bodies weren't just ammo-givers, and therefore the mapper didn't have to always limit their numbers.

Why not limit the ammo numbers instead? :)

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Zombiemen: Plenty of them in corridors or outside areas.

Shotgunners: When Zombiemen ain't enough... Also use them in CQC encounters and earth themed maps

Imps: Main cannon fodder

Chaingunners: Up high, you die. Also secondary cannon fodder.

Pinkies: Cramped areas and tunnels.

Specters: Dark cramped areas and tunnels.

Cacodemons: Ambushes across large gaps, outdoor areas, large open areas and high places.

Lost Souls: hide them in computer terminals, on your trek back they will catch em off guard.

Pain Elementals: Ditto as Cacodemon

Arachnotrons: Outside, inside - Where ever I can fit em <3

Hell Knights: As the wad progresses, the chaingunners (secondary cannon fodder) get replaced by these.

Barons: "Commanders" (At the front of Hell Knight "Squads") and occasional "Tough guy" usage.

Revenants: Kills quick, dies quicker. Use them in CQC for a good rage or two from Suitepee :P (Or general annoyance to players)

Mancubi: Give him not much to move but a great viewing angle and prepare your save games!

Arch-vile: I don't know how to use this guy, I have been experimenting and the good old kill the same monsters you killed 5 rooms ago seems to work. Also ambushes from behind.

Cyberdemon: 1 in a map tops for me, none of that 20 Cyberdemon bullshit.

Mastermind: rise out of the floor into a destroyed street for some hectic little fun weaving in and out of buildings.

SS: MAP31 and MAP32, otherwise he can stay out of the affair.

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Cool tips, though all this depends A LOT on what the player is carrying... For instance;

Demon: becomes a complete pushover once the space marine is armed with a double-barrel, since they are now one-shot. While a couple of these will push the player back in an Ultimate Doom level, in Doom II you hardly miss a forward step against a small pack.

Spectres: Work well as a surprise element within a roaming pack of Demons - where their sound and movement gain extra camouflage.

Barons: story-wise, a good way to mark a point of importance, or approach to the map's climax. Good allies in in-fights. Trite as fodder. Deadly in close quarters, if you can corner the player.

Archvile: Serving him up as easily one-shotted BFG fodder, or otherwise trifling him downgrades the feeling of import of the entire demonic hierarchy, since he's top brass. Should always be a difficult/lucky kill, to build atmosphere. Often deserves the treat of custom surroundings.

Zombiesoldier: too low rate-of-fire to consistently be of any notable measurable threat, particularly in packs, where they'll start infinghting easily. Builds atmosphere though, and if one should ever manage to frag you, there's no more miserable defeat for a space marine. Some maps manage to wring a little tension from these guys, but I find them tough to place within a game-balancing framework.

Zombie Plasma Tank: Moves too fast, but otherwise a great and entertaining opponent. If he could be slowed down to half the movement speed and maybe fire a little less plasma, this guys should be made part of a new and officially expanded monster-set. Doom2 1.999 anyone?

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Most guides are too simple and too fixed to be relevant for the kind of maps I make.

For example in FreeDoom Map19, the zombie on the castle wall are the early threat. The player won't last to reach the top of the wall if they don't move fast. The reason is all those zombie defenders on the wall, and the player must go through the central court. The two chaingunners in the central tower also contribute, but the player can try to minimize their damage since they know which direction it comes from.

If they were imps their attempts would just be a light show.

Another example is Freedoom Map09, where there are a mass of zombie on the mine floor. They make good chaingun fodder (if you find it). But up on the dark walls they would be invisible. In this case the imps and revenant are on the wall because they become visible when they fire and watching for that is part of the excitement. Put too many shotgunners up there and the play choices would be too limited.

How the monster fits with the local sight lines and distances makes all the difference.

A distant chaingunner can make you miserable if you should stand still, but it is apparent they cannot reliably hit you if you keep moving.

There are some general limitations to the larger monsters.
The larger monsters require room. I never use them in a small space.
I don't use them in areas they could not have reached due to their size.

A small room at the end of small twisty caverns with some mancubi in leads me to wonder how it got there. Why would it be there at all.
Just plopping a monster in a room because you like the spread of its weapons not only does not contribute much to the level story, but pretty much kills the immersion when the player thinks mostly of the incongruity.

Cyberdemon has the most range and should be on a battle field, not in a central court. In most levels he is in places where it is not possible for him to have reached.

The SpiderMastermind is huge but has a weak weapon for open battle. It requires a large area to move in, but is better suited for battling near cluttered areas.

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