Sunday, April 15, 2012

More Doomfoolery

Here's the latest anonymous accusation posted on my infamous file upload:
So with that I issue this challenge to anyone, friend or foe: find anywhere in this blog (or anything else I've ever typed anywhere on the internet, for that matter) where I have boasted that I am "the best" or that any mod I have ever made for any game is "the best" and point us to it. I'd love to read it.


  1. I have to admit, all these claims of you using the term "the best" to describe your randomizer, or any other of your works that I have had the pleasure of using, has been confusing me. Never once in any documentation, e-mails or any other form of communication between us have I seen you say "the best" in regards to your own work. You did mention that, due to the creatures used, the difficulty of any given map could very well increase some what.

    What were these people expecting? To have a random group of monsters that would make the game easier?

    Again, I have to wonder if these people are even using your mod, let alone actually reading any documentation on it.

    1. Judging from the comments I've received on this particular project regarding balance and difficulty, I can only reiterate an assertion I made a while back:

      Most Doom players apparently want their game to be predictable and not very challenging. The fact that I continue to use and enjoy the mod every time I play suggests to me that some players simply are far more skilled than others.

      As for the rest of the "reviews", I can only assume that the Doom community doesn't want any new members to play in their reindeer games... which baffles me since the game is quite old and newcomers submitting new content would seem to be something the community would want to encourage rather than do their damnedest to discourage.

      Either way, I'll always love the game and continue to play it, whether or not I'm accepted as a contributing member of the country club.

    2. "Either way, I'll always love the game and continue to play it, whether or not I'm accepted as a contributing member of the country club."

      Interesting you should call it a country club. I think that's a perfect allegory for DOOM.

      In golf, people have "their club" and/or "their course" -- where they've been playing regularly for years; decades, even.

      They know about the sand trap on hole three; why the par four is a bitch on hole seven; and how to avoid the water hazard before the twelfth green.

      Said golfers also love to brag about their score and hold it up as an accomplishment; despite the fact that they've played the same course nine out of ten Sundays since 1989. It's got nothing to do with skill or adaptability... it's just rote and optimization -- the sports equivalent of a "speed run".

      I see DOOM as much the same. The players know where the blue card is; where there's a Cacodemon hiding; the fastest way to get a rocket launcher.

      Randomizers fuck that up. It's not about memory anymore; it's all improvisation and adapting on the fly to whatever got spawned this time the map loaded.

      Having all your carefully cataloged memories and playthrough paths rendered invalid is a huge blow to the comfort zone of most players.

      In my experience, there are basically two types of gamers: you've got the rote-players. These are the ones who buy strategy guides and are generally obsessed with every secret and 'Easter egg' and nuance of the path as laid out. They revel in being able to do it faster and more completely than anyone else.

      Second, you've got the explorer. The explorer longs for something like Oblivion or Morrowind; but where every quest is randomized. Something where it's all new, every time; and you have no idea what's coming until it's there. The explorers revel in the discovery -- it's the journey and not the destination.

      As they say, you can't please everyone all the time... but I still think it's sad the complete and utter lack of social graces the DOOM community seems to display -- and yes, even hold up as "proper example" for others to emulate. Even if something isn't your bag; isn't your play style, that doesn't mean you have to trash it every chance you get.

      I'm fine with dishing some hate on something that's obviously technically flawed and/or bug-ridden... but being a hateful prick just because something's outside your playing comfort zone? That's asinine, plain and simple.

    3. Very insightful and accurate as I see the current state of things, and articulated much better than the attempts I've been making. Thank you, Nos.

    4. Ah, don't mind me. I'm apparently just having a lucid day.

      I'm sure I'll be back to being random, scatter-brained, and offensive soon enough.

    5. You clearly have no idea how many people still playing Doom actually feel about the game, do you?

      First and foremost, as evidenced by the thousands of mods, we haven't been playing the same stuff over and over again. Sure, there are speedrunners, but just as there are people who like mods that change the essence of Doom, that's more of a niche of the community than an actual representation of it. What's more is they're also constantly playing new wads to seek out different and new challenges. They like surprising traps and unpredictability. The most popular maps to speedrun are typically those that require the player to adapt and change they're strategy constantly. That's where the challenge comes from - NOT memorization (and I say this as a part-time speedrunner).

      Secondly, and this is something I must stress, most members of Doomworld love, more than anything else, a nonlinear set-up. No, it isn't 'exploring' in the sense that there are millions of things to be done to effect the outcome of your actions. It is, however, a style of play that alters little things for the player each time they run through it. This adds to a refreshing experience with potential for replayability.

      There are also plenty of community members who aren't these elitist snobs that you paint all Doomers out to be. Sure, they're there. It channels through the entire community. Just like the Tea Party in politics, though, the most extreme tend to be the loudest. Most others go about there business and elect not to comment on wads/mods that don't cater to their interests.

      Does that mean that most of the comments on /idgames are unnecessary? Probably not, no. For the record, I've never used your randomizer because it's just not in my "interest zone" so to speak. I've also never voted on it in /idgames. However, I'm sure a lot of the comments stem from the fact that there are people out there who enjoy provoking defensive responses. That's basically what a definition of what a troll is, and I'd recommend not buying into it. Clearly, it hasn't accomplished anything.

      One quick, final note - have you tried the zDoom forums? I imagine they'd be a lot more open and friendly towards your randomizer. Most members there (and it is quite active) are looking for something that changes the essence of the game. Not all Doomers post on Doomworld.

      Hopefully this at least helps paint a clearer picture of the community.

  2. I admit, that part of the reason I play some games is the sameness of it. When I want to be able to do just mindless destruction, playing the same level with the same creatures with the same "treasures" appeals to me.

    Since having gotten into playing games that can be modded to provide new content, change the "map", opponents or "treasures" though, I welcome the newness and, in the case of the infamous Randomizer, the chaos of these changes.

    Some of us are more resistant to change than others, and maybe that has something to do with how the Randomizer has been received. A "fear of the unknown" response, as it were. I am just speculating of course, as I don't have the proper educational background to "analyze and diagnose" this properly.

    Now if you will excuse me, I have some Doctor Who mods for Fallout to explore :)

    1. Did you know that there are Doctor Who mods for Doom?

  3. *blink blink* Buh? Wha? Seriously? *blink blink* I wuv you Herculine! XD

    1. There are actually a few others in the Archives IIRC, but IIRC the one I pointed to was the best. You could do an archive file search and more results will pop up.

  4. Thank you, I will keep that in mind :)

  5. quote "I died too many times" unquote
    quote "I died ALMOST in every map, WTF?" unquote

    These people are probably Too Young Too Die :p

    Seriously I don't understand the complaints about the raised difficulty. If they are veteran doomers they should by now have developed certain survival tactics. If they aren't, they should leave Ultra Violence alone and try something easier first and get some training.

    Many times I encountered rooms where I died a few times, but instead of crying IMBA, I tried a different approach and always solved the situation, often without taking a scratch at all.
    It's all about tactics, I played through dozens of maps (vanilla, custom and oblige'd), and I have yet to come across a hopeless situation which required a level restart to get a new random seed.

    Oh while I'm at it, here's some feedback. There actually are a few things that could be improved for the next version of your mod, if there will ever be one.
    -The shield-wielding lion-like monsters which throw magic swords, they don't fit into Doom imho, and could be removed completely (or at least those swords, they really seem out of place)
    -That machine gun with a vertical stray seems a little bit overpowered (it saved my ass many times, but still...)
    -There's this Cacodemon which sometimes stops all movement (except its own and doors/elevators) for a few seconds, it's a mean monster and I like it but it's very annoying when the Cacodemon is roaming around the other side of the map completely out of sight and you can't reach it. It should only use the ability when in line of sight.
    -The Quake2 shotgun throws most enemies back which is nice, but the distance is sometimes ridiculous. Makes kinda sense and looks cool with smaller enemies, but a Mancubus shouldn't fly across the map when hit.

    That's all, apart from these minor annoyances it's a great mod. I rated 5 stars but didn't write a review, and afaik I can't make up for that until got a new IP adress, or can I?

    Btw, the only other monster/item randomizer I ever tried was Aeons of Death. It was fun for a while but certainly lacked the original DooM feeling, which your mod still retains.
    Many "reviewers" compared your mod to other (seemingly similar) randomizers, and gave yours a bad rating because they they like the others better. That is totally stupid, just because one mod is good doesnt make another mod worse. Anyway, I think one day I'm gonna try those other randomizers too, I wonder what's so great about them that people always mention them (probably nothing, but I'll see)

    1. Thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart for some actual constructive feedback. Now, where to start?

      The Cheshire Cacodemon (the one that freezes time) can indeed be annoying, especially if he's active on the other side of a map. I left him in there for the occasional increased challenge, but in the end I reduced his spawn frequency to a 1-in-10 chance so he really shouldn't appear often enough to make things too unbalanced IMHO. If he seems to be appearing too frequently or even twice in the same map, all I can say is that it's the random luck of the draw. I have no plans to remove him at this time; since DoomGuy can pick up a time-stop sphere, I think the Cheshire Cacodemon fits the overall flavour of the mod even with his annoying special ability. He can be a SOB, but I like him for it.

      The Hunter Shotgun does indeed have a ridiculous kickback and the NecroVision Machine Gun can seem overpowered, but I left those in as an (apparently unsuccessful) attempt to quell the cries of: "It's too hard! I died!" If I remove the powerful weapons like these and the Devastator, I think the monsters would then indeed be too powerful and the mod would be unbalanced. I think I gotta leave 'em in.

      The shield-wielding monsters could possibly be removed in a later version (if I ever decide to make one). I threw them in to add a bit of a Gothic feeling without going the route of every other randomizer I've tried and just randomly throwing in every flying wizard from Heretic and Hexen. I suppose I wouldn't miss them too much if they were gone; the Imp Warlord can indeed be annoying. I will say though that the Hell Warrior did not originally throw the Scimitar; that was something I added to him on my own. I'll definitely keep him in mind for a possible cut if I ever decide to open the WAD up with an editor again.

      Again, sincere thanks for the feedback!

    2. No problem!

      The Cheshire Cacodemon did appear quite often on some non-vanilla maps, sometimes there were even two in a single room. But don't worry, I already got my strategy to get rid of them quickly, there were only very few occasions where the CCs woke up after the first gunshot and started time-stopping, no big deal but I thought it's worth mentioning. Your randomizer does not randomize the "deaf" flag of monsters, does it?

      The Necrovision gun damage is fine, but it could consume a little bit more ammo, so you have to save it for the really mean monsters, just a thought. The Hunter Shotgun is great as it is, in fact it's my favorite gun, it's great for kicking Arch-Viles and other real threats out of sight. It just seemed a little bit weird that a two-ton Mancubus is affected by the kickback as well. But it's a video game so who cares ;)

  6. As far as I know, my randomizer should not change any tags on any monsters, which is why killing any Cyberdemon replacement in Doom's Tower of Babel map will still exit the level as it's supposed to and Doom II's Dead Simple still works the way it should regardless of what monsters are spawned. So if a monster is tagged as "deaf" by a map's author it should still be as such even when a monster variant is spawned. (It could take a bit to explain why this works so I'm not gonna.)

    I kinda thought the NecroVision Machine Gun already ate bullets pretty fast so I didn't change it. The one that I still feel doesn't burn as much energy as it should is the Devastator.

    Is it the game's default Mancubus that's not holding his ground against the Hunter Shotgun? I haven't noticed it having much of an effect on the other multi-colored variants. If so, I can easily adjust his mass to compensate. Maybe I'll do some editing next week; I'm sure my fans over at DoomWorld would be thrilled to see me upload yet another version of this...

    1. Just tested it on Dead Simple, all Mancubi get kicked back. Can't say for sure, but it seemed like some are kicked half across the map while others just move a few feet, might be because of different shooting angles or something like that.
      Btw I remember encountering that grey stone Baron of Hell for the first time, I shot it with the Hunter Shotgun but it kept moving towards me, a little shock moment :)

      The NecroVision does eat ammo pretty fast, and if you spam the bullets like Rambo it's all gone very quickly. Maybe it's just me and my style of playing (short controlled bursts that never miss :P), but it feels like I got more ammo left after killing certain monsters with the NecroVision, compared to killing them with the other machine guns (maybe because of different bullet spread?). Well, in the end it doesn't really bother me. I guess you are right, it keeps the balance with powerful monsters.

      All in all I can say the mod IS balanced. Sometimes there are very hard fights and sometimes there are very easy fights. There's challenge and there's relief, in the end it all adds up to a balanced gameplay experience. Ultra Violence feels like it should feel, just like the name suggests ;)