Opinions of slaughtermaps?

There are mixed feelings about them and just want to know what everyone thinks

Share this post


Link to post

There are some good slaughtermaps. And there are some shit ones.



herp.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not very good at Doom, so slaughter maps are usually fairly literal for me. Or rather, I'm the one being slaughtered.

I respect them as a form of mapping, but I don't think I could play one normally.

Share this post


Link to post

I enjoy slaughter maps that you can actually beat without attempting it 500 times beforehand.

Share this post


Link to post

I suck at slaughtermaps, therefore I hate them. Nah, not really. I can appreciate the effort that goes into them, but for a cautious player like me they're an absolute nightmare.

Share this post


Link to post

Slaughtermaps and speedrunning when I want a challenge.

Regular maps when I want to simply enjoy playing Doom. (Which is what I want most of the time.)

Share this post


Link to post

I'm unsure where many people draw the line and start calling things 'slaughtermaps'. to me the term conveys encounter-based mapping where each room is intended to create a unique and difficult challenge that can be reliably beaten with enough skill/practice, not necessarily just maps with 'X or more' monsters.

The big allure to slaughtermaps for me (aside from my tendency to enjoy masochistically difficult things) is how so many different and interesting situations can be created for the player out of relatively simple elements (basic monster AI, arena layout). It's sort of a gestalt thing, fights can become complex battles for positioning, crowd movement, health/ammo balance, and it's all typically very fast-paced. Beating them, especially speedrunning them, requires a lot of 'macro' skills (crowd management, health/ammo), and 'micro' skills as well (dodging reflexes, cyb 2-shotting, etc), and I find that challenge extremely enjoyable.

Like anything that ever came into existence ever it's obvious that not everyone is going to enjoy the same thing, so I could see doomer's more used to traditional dooming finding them frustrating, but personally I love them (most of them) so I hope the slaughtermap players and mappers stick around for some time :)

Share this post


Link to post

The reason for the mixed reaction is that it's a mapping style that's easy to get wrong. Sometimes people misunderstand the point and spam hordes of monsters, most annoyingly sometimes not even ensuring they can beat their own map.

The inherent difficulty of slaughtermaps can also make it hard to judge whether the gameplay is bad or just above your ability, though if the author has taken the care to balance all skills this is less of a problem.

Share this post


Link to post

Large number of monsters allows creation of some impressively huge maps that don't look and feel empty.

Slaughter maps should be played in moderation that's for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Pottus said:

Only fun with a large crew of players in survival mode.


This, but with the inclusion of co-op for the newbs. :)

Share this post


Link to post

They can be fun, but are usually like a parody of what makes a slaughtermap and therefore shit... Or like a meatgrinder (also shit).

Share this post


Link to post

I enjoy slaughterish sections mixed with normal ones (see Deus Vult). I don't like pure slaughtermaps because they are boring and tedious.

Share this post


Link to post

Slaughtermaps can definitely be fun if the maps are done right, if not you can end up with the tedium of clearing several hundred hellknights or just unplayable gameplay. It does allow for the creation of macro-scale environments which are clearly (Sunder, Combat shock 2 etc) some of the most beautiful environments in all doom pwads. You just can't get that sense of scale in most normal pwads as creating huge arenas will result in a very empty level.
Slaughtermaps like all natures great things should be enjoyed in moderation of course unless you are a doom god of course :P

Share this post


Link to post

I can't bear them in larger amount. (like Slaughterfest WADs or Sunder)

Share this post


Link to post

I think most of them don't approach any type of interesting gameplay at all. I don't want to rely on infighting every monster in the map in order to win.

It's also kind of ironic that some people prefer slaughtermaps because its more 'hardcore', while it is in fact mostly boring as shit. I mean, is it really interesting watching hundreds of monsters infight while you run circles around them? It just sounds senseless to me.

It's like a mapper's 'easy way out'. Almost as if somebody made an okay looking level and didn't know what to do with it, so he thought: "screw it, just put monsters everywhere!". Sure it takes alot more time to structure a well designed map and to flesh it out with gameplay, but its a lot more rewarding and alot more fun to play as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Agentbromsnor said:

I think most of them don't approach any type of interesting gameplay at all. I don't want to rely on infighting every monster in the map in order to win.

It's also kind of ironic that some people prefer slaughtermaps because its more 'hardcore', while it is in fact mostly boring as shit. I mean, is it really interesting watching hundreds of monsters infight while you run circles around them? It just sounds senseless to me.

It's like a mapper's 'easy way out'. Almost as if somebody made an okay looking level and didn't know what to do with it, so he thought: "screw it, just put monsters everywhere!". Sure it takes alot more time to structure a well designed map and to flesh it out with gameplay, but its a lot more rewarding and alot more fun to play as well.


I think what you're describing here is bad slaughtermaps - not all. I know you qualify your comment by saying 'most' but I think it's fair to say that the style is as legitimate as any other, possibly just harder to execute well.

Share this post


Link to post

I think most of them don't approach any type of interesting gameplay at all.


Nope. Gameplay in them is probably one of the most complex you can implement in doom and requires extensive testing to get right.

I don't want to rely on infighting every monster in the map in order to win.


You also have weapons. And you know, monsters of the same kind usually don't infight. You're probably doing something wrong.

It's also kind of ironic that some people prefer slaughtermaps because its more 'hardcore', while it is in fact mostly boring as shit.


It's also kind of ironic that some people prefer non-slaughter because its less 'hardcore', while it is in fact mostly boring as shit.

I mean, is it really interesting watching hundreds of monsters infight while you run circles around them? It just sounds senseless to me.


If you tried to implement running in circles as a magical strategy to beat through all slaughtermaps, I'm honestly not surprised you dislike them. You probably haven't managed to beat too many by now.

It's like a mapper's 'easy way out'. Almost as if somebody made an okay looking level and didn't know what to do with it, so he thought: "screw it, just put monsters everywhere!".


A vast majority of casual maps is made exactly with that in mind. Except they don't place monsters in hundreds, just a lone monsters here and there or in groups without knowing what to do with them or how to use them properly. Ironically, I have yet to see slaughtermaps made with that in mind.

Share this post


Link to post

I thought j4rio would just say "heh". :) Anyway, he is 100% right, gameplay in the vast majority of slaughter maps is way more complex and thought out than in your average "casual" map. But maybe most players can't notice this since they don't care about gameplay that much? I did the whole thing placement for my latest map in like 40 minutes and nobody complained about the gameplay lol.

Share this post


Link to post

I like them, generally. The idea of hordes of monsters comes immediately to mind for a game with DOOM's plot, and these maps pretty much realize that, even beyond what they may offer in playability.

I find some of them to be somewhat frustrating or too hard, but that doesn't stop me from appreciating the feats of some players on those maps, such as surviving a tough slaughter map in a first demo attempt, without or with few deaths.

Lots of the negativity about slaughter maps is tied to their general difficulty, and I don't approve that. Yes, a map with 300 imps in a room may be boring, but most slaughterfests are much more hectic than that. This just attempts to use the worst levels of the type to mark the definition, ignoring all the complex and difficult maps being praised by slaughterfest fans. It's deceptive and hides a cowardly critique against that general difficulty. Saying you're bored by killing 1000 monsters when you're given equipment to smash them relatively quickly if you're good is a bad argument, and killing less monsters with a minor arsenal isn't necessarily quicker or more fun.

Something many explain some conclusions, though, as the better slaughter maps tend to be the harder ones, meaning that weaker players can only play the ones that tend to rely on easier, even stupid, strategy. But that doesn't stop these people from watching others play and seeing the levels they are generalizing about don't fit the definition drawn from their more limited experience.

^ Edit: this fourth paragraph was inserted after Phml's post below, although I had not seen his post yet, so we started talking about the same issue at about the same time.

Ribbiks said:
I'm unsure where many people draw the line and start calling things 'slaughtermaps'.

I think it just refers to the amount of monsters, after that it's a matter of appreciation. For some "slaughter map" or "slaughterfest" is a kind of insult and for others it's an ideal, and then that ideal can vary. This simple definition also leaves room for a good or bad slaughter map. A level with "unique and difficult challenges" tends to be a good map, as that is a positive appreciation, and all genres have low points. That can also be done with few monsters, anyway, so it's not a quality specific to "slaughter" scenarios.

Share this post


Link to post

If you tried to implement running in circles as a magical strategy to beat through all slaughtermaps, I'm honestly not surprised you dislike them. You probably haven't managed to beat too many by now.


To be fair, you can beat many slaughtermaps by mindless circlestrafing and waiting for infights - just like you can beat most classic maps by ducking and shooting behind every single door before entering a room. In either case, this makes for a much slower and much more boring experience*.

The reason some people choose to inflict such a tedious playstyle* on themselves in slaughtermaps whereas they wouldn't on classic maps isn't too hard to figure out: the skill level required is generally a little higher. Throw in some ego from people who feel, since they beat Doom on UV, they know everything they need to know about this game and can't possibly learn new tricks or improve their current skills, and there you have it. Nobody can possibly be better than them, so those other folks who get through slaughtermaps much faster by playing much more aggressively are obviously just "lucky", and the whole genre is flawed because it "forces" you to play defensively. ;)

Not to say there can't be legitimate reasons to dislike slaughtermaps, but there is, no doubt, a significant amount of naysayers who fall in the above.

*admittedly, there are people who enjoy that, i.e. that one guy who did a 3 hours demo of E1M1 where he played conservatively as to never get hit; more power to him. However, if you choose to play that way despite not having fun with it, that's your problem.

Share this post


Link to post

This is a topic that could really benefit from an in-depth essay or something, but I'll pull up short in pointing out just a couple of personal titbits.

Slaughtermaps can be very enjoyable, I think, granted the way in which they are arranged as part of a larger mapset. Dotted between more moderate numbers they do an excellent job in changing the pace of play and making a definite impression. However, large scale mapsets or megawads whose maps are made up entirely of slaughtermaps I don't feel are very enjoyable to play through on the whole (save for when the layout or architecture of the maps are unique enough in accommodating for this brand of play to oggle at -- Sunder, for example, or when there's a credible crescendo in difficulty or a sense of progression made -- HR) because of the gameplay becoming almost necessarily monotonous without allowance for the more intricate balancing in gameplay that comes with a moderate approach.

While a good slaughtermap will make the best use of a monster type in conjunction with the layout, understanding their pros and cons, I personally prefer to see how the designer can create the most varied or interesting encounters with a fewer number of monsters. Again, of course, it's fun to occasionally throw all of that out the window and just blow stuff up, but it has to be juxtaposed somehow in order to make that encounter realy work. It has to be a departure! I almost invariably become desensitized to combat when monsters are used in this way for an extended period of time, otherwise.

In short: I like slaughtermaps, perhaps more than most... but they need to function as a break in the pace of play or be otherwise facilitated in a way that makes them feel more unique among a series of slaughtermaps, otherwise I glaze over and become depressed and numb.

Like a toffee apple in a very busy parking lot!

Share this post


Link to post

I feel slaughter maps are just very boring and drain away all the fun, I found the invasion gamemode originally from skulltag better because the difficulty slowly gets harder so you're able to be ready for it and because of all the new powerups and weapons being made available at later waves, I also prefer stronghold too.

Share this post


Link to post

Honestly I think most slaughter maps are stupid.

It's like

one Mancubus is placed at a tricky spot, and you have to take him out. Cool. But, he's not alone and there are 9 other Mancubus' there too. So, you do what you would do against one, but repeat it nine times. No thanks.

I love Plutonia, and I appreciate high difficulty and frantic gameplay. But whenever I have to repeat something, such as killing not just 5 revenants, but 50, it's immediately a turn-off.

Share this post


Link to post

I hate slaughtermaps because you can't even peel them, you just cut them in half, they spray juice EVERYWHERE and they don't even TASTE NICE

Share this post


Link to post

I like them to an extent, but I tend to avoid full-on slaughter megawads or just play them in small doses, from time to time. A couple of slaughter maps for a megawad is enough, I reckon, but I do acknowledge the fact people have different tastes and some might enjoy them on the whole.

A slaughter map doesn't have to be extremely difficult. Let's have a look at Speed of Doom - there's a map that has almost 3000 monsters (Twilight Massacre) and a map that has less than 100 enemies (Resurrection). Anybody in their right mind who has never played SoD would take a guess the former is a thousand times harder than the latter. It seems like a no-brainer. But, in fact, it's quite the opposite, as Twilight Massacre with its unlimited BFG ammo, lots of space and tons of megaspheres pales in comparison to Resurrection where the player is supposed to punch arch-viles, barons of hell, revenants, etc. Really painful.

There's also a question whether slaughter maps are an integral part of Doom. One could say they aren't and it would make sense in the end. Out of all the IWADs, there is only one full-on slaughter map (Go 2 It). Well, maybe two, if The Courtyard can be called a slaughter map as well.

Share this post


Link to post

Feniks said:
Out of all the IWADs, there is only one full-on slaughter map (Go 2 It). Well, maybe two, if The Courtyard can be called a slaughter map as well.

Counting only the id IWADs,* maps like Suburbs (level 16) and Mt. Erebus (e3m6) already start to draw an incipient slaughter map idea because of how many monsters can get bunched together, giving the impression you're fighting an enemy horde. But, conceding slaughter levels are mostly the work of the community, they were something many fans would feel the need to add given the nature of the game, and a good part of the reason we didn't see greater numbers of monsters in DOOM narrows down to technical limitations back then.

* I'd classify the Final DOOM WADs closer to PWADs notwithstanding id's publication because they were made by community people independently of id.

Share this post


Link to post
Ribbiks said:

I'm unsure where many people draw the line and start calling things 'slaughtermaps'. to me the term conveys encounter-based mapping where each room is intended to create a unique and difficult challenge that can be reliably beaten with enough skill/practice, not necessarily just maps with 'X or more' monsters.

[snip]

I like this definition, because that's basically the kind of maps I attempt to create, and end up enjoying the most. It's just that my twitch skills are somewhat less on-the-ball than many Doomers'. As a result, the maps I play/make would probably be seen as too easy by most on this forum. [:

Ideally, a map will give you just enough ammo/health to beat that level on your chosen difficulty.

Share this post


Link to post
j4rio said:

Nope. Gameplay in them is probably one of the most complex you can implement in doom and requires extensive testing to get right.



You also have weapons. And you know, monsters of the same kind usually don't infight. You're probably doing something wrong.



It's also kind of ironic that some people prefer non-slaughter because its less 'hardcore', while it is in fact mostly boring as shit.




If you tried to implement running in circles as a magical strategy to beat through all slaughtermaps, I'm honestly not surprised you dislike them. You probably haven't managed to beat too many by now.



A vast majority of casual maps is made exactly with that in mind. Except they don't place monsters in hundreds, just a lone monsters here and there or in groups without knowing what to do with them or how to use them properly. Ironically, I have yet to see slaughtermaps made with that in mind.


I completed all slaughtermaps I played thus far. Am I hardcore enough now? I'm not impressed of any slaughter map, sorry.

I'm not trying to be 'less' hardcore, what kind of argument is that? Haha. I'm trying to encourage people to bring innovating gameplay, and to put some feeling into what you're making. And before you or somebody else complains that Doom is too limited for that; most modern sourceport bring plenty of features that allow you to make interesting levels with idem gameplay. But it requires time and effort to make that sort of mod.

Do you think Half-Life would be playable if someone created a map with 5000 headcrabs and combine? Would it be challenging? Probably, but its simply unplayable no matter how you put it.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now