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What Is Wrong With Monster Design In The First Place??
Quote from Lunaran about Kiltron's D3SP map:

It still suffers from all of the things I see wrong with the monster design in the first place, however. No SP map can escape that without accompanying coding.

Do you mean D3 or any SP game, Lun??

Either way, what's the feedback from the floor - is monster design in most FPS games (or perhaps just D3) fundamentally flawed?? If so, why/how, and what could be done to improve it??

Bonus points if you manage to discuss something other than just "Improve AI".
Well Tbh Ssg Gtg Bbw 
I think what Lunaran meant is what was written on his website: http://www.lunaran.com/news.php (In the same news update as Pissboat)
Quoted Relevant Bits:

Needless to say I'm not done with Doom3 yet, spending so much time in the Leaky City, but so far I'm bothered by the same stuff a lot of other people are.

Some of the combat is really cheap. The goal of level design is not to hurt the player however you can, id. It's to put the player in danger of being hurt. Survival should be up to the player's reflex and ability in avoiding that danger. When you leave spring-loaded monsters that cannot be dodged and hitscan enemies that do too much damage for their accuracy, you leave survival more up to luck of the draw. Even if you know all the little surprises and tricks they use in each little scene (especially the oh-so-lovely 'monster randomly shows up behind you while you're shooting something else' device this game beats to death) you still have to play it over and over, quickloading until you're satisfied with how much health you lost.

That, of course, will need to be fixed. When crafting the Byzantine project, I vow to never cheaply spawn enemies directly behind you and not make any noise or anything to announce it. I also vow that should an imp get too close and use its claws, your vision won't be thrown off by a whole fucking radian, just so you can, you know, actually still have a chance of killing it. Also, when they jump at you there will be a slight pause to recognize it, and if you sidestep in time they will jump past you. Remember fiends? Those guys were awesome.


So basically what I think he's getting at is whining that id in their maps used a lot of cheap tactics of having, say, imps lie prone just on the other side of a door so they could spring on you the instant that door slides open. Almost hopeless to avoid unless you crouch up to every door and throw a handgrenade under it and run away.
Lunaran is also a bit put off by the fact that imps can jump at all I recall reading somewhere, but I think it's kewl dud3 ^__^.
Although, I too am a little bit annoyed how insane the damage feedback is; Being nibbled by a trite will make your vision throw back 120� as if the player had some sort of vertical owl mutant neck.

...

In other news, the little test map I've been making for d3 already has a monster spawning behind you. Doom 3 makes baby jesus cry! 
Oh 
Either way, what's the feedback from the floor
!!! 
LOL 
Being nibbled by a trite will make your vision throw back 120� as if the player had some sort of vertical owl mutant neck.

"Vertical owl mutant neck", ROFLMAO!!!!! Funniest D3 quote so far =).

Too true though. The damage thing is mental, basically if you get hit once in close combat by something you're certain to get hit at least 3 times trying to recover your damn FOV from up your arse where it just got knocked. Kinda frustrating but also kinda appropriate, it get's rid of the easy "Oh I'm being torn limb from limb but can still casually aim my shotgun and blow the enemy's nads off" feel of most games.

In other news, the little test map I've been making for d3 already has a monster spawning behind you.

Well, that's YOUR own fault, silly mapper :P.


*******

P.S. If Lun's comments are solely about D3, feel free just to turn this into a discussion about D3 gameplay which could be pretty useful.

******
 
The Game... 
is supposed to be FUM!! That's why it's called a game, not a simulation. I think the quote from Lun mentioned above from:

http://www.lunaran.com/news.php

is quite appropriate. Many of the attack's were cheap shots. I kinda said it before in the Doom is gold thread. And I stand by what I said earlier.

As I see it, when the engine was limited (Quake), it took creativity to give the foreboding(sp) of trouble. You did recoil (fov wise) in Quake. But you did have a chance of recovering.

Now if you use flickering shadows, 5.1 sound, random soumds from hell, really dark corners and a really big fov change when you are hit faster than you can react (and your aim is thrown waaay off iregardless of the strength of the hit while your opponent is seemingly unaffected when you hit them BTW). It IS a cheap shot.

I can't beleve that id didn't test play this. I can beleive that id test played it and mostly ignored input from anyone who was not a hardcore FPS game player. (I am not btw)

That leads me to think that Doom 3 is nothing more than a marketing ploy for the engine itself. They totally ignored the SP player's with Q3 and I think it showed. Now they are trying to go back to their roots but missing the quality gameplay designer's.

It was well over a year after it was released before I bought Q3. Why? I was not interested in the MP game. I wanted the SP game. The MP game was supposed to be the gravy on the meat (as I saw it).

Doom 3 is (game playwise) not really different from Un-Real 2, Halo, hell even Dikatana. Open a door = get hit before you can react. Cheap shot. Cold Cocked.

Stop focusing on the pretty sparkly part's and re-focus on the gameplay!

(I cannot understand why the Q-Map old-timer's accept this piece of crap as "Ground Breaking" when they have made much better maps (play-wise) in the speed-mapping genre) 
Did I.... 
rant enough? 
Great Rant Quaketree! 
I want more! If it includes a discussion of how Id underappreciated the brilliance of American McGee and their SP game play has been souless and mal-directed ever since, I'll sign up for your blog. 
I'm With HeadThump There 
more praise of AM!

Anyway. I also read Lun's update and felt that it had the most balanced and interesting opinion about D3 so far; most else I've heard is either unconstructively glowing praise or uptight nitpicking - both of which may be entirely valid.
But I can well imagine the gameplay trick that, to quote the unibrowed-one "this game beats to death".
This is less to do with monster design and more to do with map design i.e. what monsters are used, where and - most importantly I feel - in what combinations.
Being harrassed by multiple small/weak/fast monsters while one larger-but-slow-moving monster lumbers towards you can be cool. It can induce a sense of panic, even though player-death is actually a long way off. Cacking on the player without any possible means to detect, avoid or at least retaliate against the attack, closely followed by an 3v3n m34n4r m0nst4r is simply using the game as a mechanism to bludgeon player's into submission before the designer's awesome poly-pushing achievements.
I don't know if D3 really is like this all of the time, or most of the time, or some of the time. But I know both pro and amateur designers are guilty of it often enough.

Trying not to give anything away, necros and I have been dealing with these issues extensively for the last few weeks. A lot of this issue relates to the older thread Shamb started: How Hard Is Too Hard. And I reiterate the comments I made then.
The important thing that must remain, however 'challenging' you intend your SP experience to be, is the number of options available to the player. The speed at which they have to deal with a threat can increase, the severity of the penalties if they fuck up can also increase. But the player must always have multiple options as to how to act and react. Telespawning the largest monster you can fit in the corridor immediately behind the player when they're already suffering does not leave them a lot of options :P Severe damage is inevitable, as is the inability to retaliate for a predetermined number of seconds. That's not a game, that's a 3D movie.

I have more to say on this I'm sure, but for the moment I have mappage to map.
It 
It's A Bit Like Any Kind Of Surprise 
I think a good test of any "eek" moment in any context -- film, book, yes, even computer game -- is that when you come across it the second time you go "wow, yes, I should have seen that coming".

Kinda like Sixth Sense (although, I figured that one out the first time through) or Iain M Banks' Use of Weapons (the end of which I certainly didn't see coming).

I have no experience of level design, but I can well believe that this is pretty hard to pull off... 
An Example Of Good Monster Usage Is 
Kiltron's Trite Breeding Facility. I didn't get very far through it, but the flaming skulls at the beginning are fun, and the fight with the 2 mancubi felt really oldschool. I think that map beat the pants off of doom as far as plain old gameplay is concerned.

But trite wasn't trying to propel much of a story. 
Yep, Gotcha Is A Cheap Trick. 
Throwing a few suprises to keep the player on his toes is good, as long as the player has a fighting chance, but what really works -- and DaMaul did this a few times in Beastial Devestation, is to draw the player into a trap and fuck him over in slow motion.

If it is good, the player will salute you while he is sinking into the lava, 'bravo, you magnificent, level design god bastard, -aiiee!!.' 
For What It's Worth. 
All the moaning about surprise attacks behind doors, monsters jumping out and appearing behind you and whatever...

Well. It is cheap in some places, but bear this in mind:

1. It's still pretty easy on Medium. They don't do much damage at all and there's plenty of health and armour around. So you get unavoidably hit a few times, in the end it hardly affects the gameplay.

2. It doesn't happen that often. Really. You tend to remember it because it's a bit more memorably and "surprising", but it's very rare that it's an "unavoidable" shot in the way people are pretending.

3. I think some of the cheap shots can be outwitted anyway. Imps jumping behind doors?? Learn to dodge, duck, or shoot straight away. Monsters appearing behind you?? Check your fucking six, marine. So this makes you more tense and panicked, shooting at shit and glancing around?? That's how it's supposed to be... 
Doom 3 Enemy Design 
Let me say first that from an actual art perspective I think id did a fantastic job with the enemies in Doom 3. The each move fluidly, sound great, and look menacing.

The issue for many is how they are utilized within the game structure. During the first few levels you are subjected to many attacks upon opening the door. The prone imp attack I thought was excuted well for the most part. It only happened a few times that I remember and it never damaged me enough that it was an issue. On Marine setting, as Shambler pointed out, the game is probably too easy and id could afford those "cheap shots" for some surprise.

The issue I ran into time after time was the reward system for fighting monsters. Through out each map there is always a situation where some health and ammo are laying about, and if you retrieve them you are given an imp from behind to deal with. Or an imp is revealed from a door in the wall. Here these cheap tricks ran thin on me because you were never rewarded beyond that.

One example I can think of specifically is in the Alpha labs. You enter a room with a ledge, a ZSec solider runs arross the opposite side of the room, hides behind a box near a barrel and proceeds to use it's machine to try to pin you down. Mean while a room is revealed with a imp and marine to your left. After destroying him, and clearing out that storage room, if you look over the edge of the ledge you see a piece of armor on a catwalk. I knew if I went and got that armor something would happen, and it did. An imp attacks me just as I pick up the armour. The situation was easy enough, and I wasn't damaged but those things kept happening to the point sometimes I just wouldn't pick up stuff. I've read other people doing that as well.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that the actual design of the game doesn't give enough rewards for those cheap encounters all the time. Had I been able to gotten that armor then been forced to take another route it would of broken up the linear structure of the level and been welcomed. Remember there is no monster count at the end of each level so you can afford to have monster's in different sections of maps and not disapoint people. It creates replay value really.

Those complaints of monsters spawning behind you though is more complicated. Sham points out well that the intent was to make you question your surroundings, even rooms you thought you cleared out. I personally never had an issue with them cause I could always hear them behind me. But that is just the issue, not everyone has a 5.1 surround sound setup for their computer. I truely believe this gives those with 2.1s a severe disadvantage and would generally piss those people off.

I know I'm rambling but it's really hard just to say the monster design in Doom 3 specifically is bad. I think it is flawed in some respects, and made worse in a few situations when you are just rewarded with more of the same. I am replaying the game now on the Veteran setting and enjoying the game a lot more. The enemies aren't any faster, and there only might be a few extra monsters in each map. What makes the difference is how much damage they inflict. It really give you a sense of your mortality in the world and makes for a much more tense experience.

Finally as far as the actual screen distortion when being attacked I think it is a great design choice. Without it, those zombie's wouldn't carry near as much weight to the experience. I mean if you get a bite taken out of you by a pinky, there should be some repercussions for letting that happen.

In the end though I think the problems with the foes in Doom 3 are how they were utilized as I said before. As more custom maps come out I think we'll see more varied use and some of these complaints will be forgotten.

Anyways I'll stop here cause I'm sure most of you didn't read this anyways and this is just a jummbled mess of thoughts. Hope someone took something from this post. 
Borderline Spoiler 
People afraid of spoilers have probably long since stopped watching this thread though.

While we're talking about cheap shots, has anyone else noticed that you never get attacked while climbing up a ladder or crawling through a vent. The former is definitely a good thing since you can't even look behind you while on the ladder. I don't know about the latter though. It would have been cool to have hordes of small and none-too-damaging vent monsters. Would have been a great change from the mono-e-mono style which is most of the game.

Also, I didn't have a problem with getting attacked from behind. I do have a 5.1 setup. I don't think that's a coincidence. There's a certain point where you stop supporting old technology though. Hell, you'll soon be able to buy mobos with onboard 7.1. 
Getting Attacked From Behind 
Wasn't really a problem for me either, but I'm only playing on a 2.1 setup (I own a 5.1 system, but no space to set up the rear speakers). There is always some sort of 'cue' when monsters spawn in. The screen shakes, it plays a sound, and if you're standing on the actual spawn location you get damaged a bit and tossed away. If any of these things happened and I didnt' see what spawned, I strafed, turned around and looked for enemies. That trick did have me checking my back often though.

The screen effect when you get hit? Not an issue, really. The only time it really started to 'interfere' with my killing was when I was cornered by 3 or more monsters. Otherwise, I would take the hit, stop firing, and wait till I could line up a shot again, because you almost always get enough time to line up a shot in between hits. Then, the shotgun usually took care of whatever was nibbling on my ankles. All in all, it seems like a good gimmick to have, because it sure as hell kept me from letting those things get anywhere near me if I could help it. 
Vents 
that ticked me off a bit, because mid way through, i figured it out and then the vents just weren't fun anymore because all the suspense and scariness was gone... 
Meh 
1. It's still pretty easy on Medium. They don't do much damage at all and there's plenty of health and armour around. So you get unavoidably hit a few times, in the end it hardly affects the gameplay.

Oh, it does though. Sure, its pretty easy - I played on the medium setting and rarely even had to pick up armour jackets as I often seemed to have at least 90 armour when I encountered them... and of course I'd soon worked out that picking up item = cheap monster spawn trigger bollocks.

Its not the difficulty that's the problem though. Its the feeling that there was nothing you could do to avoid getting hit by some monster that spawned behind you/next to you while you're distracted and whacks you in the back of the head before you even know they're there.

In a world like Doom3 the player should feel powerful, or at the very least capable of dealing with most scenarios that you encounter. The way they spawned in monsters all the time made me feel somewhat powerless and not in control of my destiny in the game world: I had no ability to reasonably predict or avoid a lot of the cheap shots, and my only option was to quicksave/quickload often. Thereby breaking the immersion and the fun.

2. It doesn't happen that often. Really. You tend to remember it because it's a bit more memorably and "surprising", but it's very rare that it's an "unavoidable" shot in the way people are pretending.

It does though. Perhaps you didn't notice because it didn't irritate you as much as it did me. But they constantly spawn monsters behind you and beside you, and often do it seemingly soundlessly (or at least while you've got other sounds and monsters distracting you). So the first indication you have that there's an enemy behind you is when you get clobbered by it.

It gets worse the further the game progresses, too (so perhaps that's another reason you haven't noticed it as much yet, Shambler, if you have not finished it yet). Not only do they start doing it more often towards the end of the game, but you as a player obviously become more aware of it the more it happens, and start to expect it.

And that's when it gets really irritating... when you know they're going to spawn monsters behind you... when you know as you walk in a doorway there will be monsters spawning behind you... when you know that and you try to counter it by running through doors and quickly try to turn around immediately to face the inevitable cheaply spawned enemy... and yet you still get unavoidably hit, either because it just happens too damn fast to react properly, or you get hit once and then your view goes spaz and you're powerless to react properly.

It got to the point where towards the end of the game, I'd quickload in the same spot 5-10 times sometimes just to try to finally avoid getting hit from behind by yet another fucking cheap shot which was all but impossible to avoid. Or at least reduce the damage taken from that annoying encounter. It was spoiling the game for me... and sure, I was spoiling the game for myself, too... but I just could not accept getting hit and losing half my health just because some asshole designer spawns enemies in really annoying spots all the time. Its not fun, its not scary, after the 9999999th time, its just fucked.

Its not even about it being too hard or whatever... the game really was too easy on the medium setting, and getting hit often only took away 5 health or something. That's really not the point. Its the principle of the thing. If I was taking hits from something I didn't see, could not have reasonably predicted and was extremely difficult to avoid, then I'd get incredibly pissed off. What's the point of playing if you can't influence the outcome of situations like monster encounters? So I'd save all the time, and if I got hit by some cheapss spawning tactics, I'd reload and try to eliminate or reduce the amount of damage taken. If it didn't work I'd do it again... and again... and again... until I avoided getting hit, or at least minimised the health reduction. Again, I did that not because it was too hard otherwise, but because I simply could not and would not accept getting hurt by such lame tactics. 
On A Side Note... 
in the Caverns level, while riding the Akira freight elevator down, did anyone else keep expecting to see headcrabs come sliding down from above? I kept turning around thinking something MUST be coming, since that scene in Half Life was so ingrained in my mind. 
Ah, The Argue With Frib Thread. 
Albeit somewhat easier than usual because you're wrong =).

In a world like Doom3 the player should feel powerful, or at the very least capable of dealing with most scenarios that you encounter. The way they spawned in monsters all the time made me feel somewhat powerless and not in control of my destiny in the game world:

No shit Sherlock. Ever thought that's how it's supposed to be?? That you're not supposed to be an omnipotent superhuman rampaging through the base in total control of what's going on?? That you're supposed to feel intimidated, out of control, nervous, unsure what's going on?? That you're a hero not by virtue of being powerful but being a survivor in a situation where you're well out of your depth??

It does though. Perhaps you didn't notice because it didn't irritate you as much as it did me. But they constantly spawn monsters behind you and beside you, and often do it seemingly soundlessly (or at least while you've got other sounds and monsters distracting you). So the first indication you have that there's an enemy behind you is when you get clobbered by it.

Ballsac. I'm taking an objective view on it because my perspective isn't tainted by being irritated. Anyway - the monsters make sounds, their appearance makes sounds. Okay you get clobbered sometimes, but a lot of the time it's avoidable if you're playing with care. I open doors from the side, I keep spinning around me before and after most combats. Do I feel "this is tedious there's bound to be some lame trick here"?? No, I feel nervous and on edge and that I have to continually watch my back (not for fear of dying but for fear of attack). I think that's how it's supposed to be.

BTW, are you playing with mouselook on??

Again, I did that not because it was too hard otherwise, but because I simply could not and would not accept getting hurt by such lame tactics.

Oh boo hoo. So you have to get hurt sometimes. You're on a base that's being overrun by the hordes of hell FFS - they have bestial cunning and the guidance of a malicious intelligence. They're going to lurk, they're going to appear behind you. What do you want, a nice shooting gallery of all the monsters ahead of you (perhaps facing the opposite way, just in case)??



I'm not an evanglist for the gameplay, I'm not saying it's revolutionary or mind-blowing or flawless, I'm not claiming some of the cheap shots aren't a bit boring. What I am saying is that a lot of people moaning about them are quite wide of the mark and not thinking about the overall effect of that gameplay mechanic. 
One More Thing... 
The "Monsters lurking in some random unexplained cabinet or box waiting to get you when you pick up an item" issue.

This is something I think that is a bit different to the normal "shock" mechanic and doesn't fit into what I've written above. It took me a little while to realise that it's a direct tribute to the original Dooms. Whether the nostalgia of that link is enough to compensate for it's artificial feel is open to debate. But at least it has some reason behind it. 
Shamb Vs. Frib = Picmip 0 Vs. Picmip 10? 
Isn't this a matter of what people want from the gameplay mechanic?

Focusing on the unavoidable damage, it's a trade-off between negating the players skill and bumping up the atmosphere. Whether it's a good choice depends on whether you prefer skill or atmosphere. Oui? 
I'd Prefer... 
... to have both skill and atmosphere... This is the "trademark" of best maps...;) 
Metl 
Yes...I was checking both up and down looking for stuff to come flying at me. 
My Thoughts (not That Anyone Cares :) 
When I first started playing Doom 3, I was too impressed by all the graphical goodness going on around me to care about the gameplay that much. Later on, as the thrill of the shadows and bumpmapping wore off, I started to notice how old skool the game is.

At first, I did think that perhaps the monster spawn on ammo pickup and walls opening up, revealing monsters several times were a tribute to the original Doom, as Shambler mentioned. Later on, however, I began to think that perhaps id just didn't have any better ideas, and wanted to compensate for the decrease in difficulty from having 20 monsters attacking at once, to around 6 maximum.

I found that the fact that the gameplay was such a throwback detracted from the imersiveness that id so obviously wanted to give to the game. Finding monsters standing around in dark waiting for me to walk in front of them made remember that I was just playing a game, and that the monsters had been placed by id. Very rarely did I feel that I was on a Mars base being overrun by demons.

I felt that the game was flawed because it wasn't often that I was given the impression that monsters were running around in the air ducts around me, or breaking in through the walls, because they were introduced in these way so rarely. On just a handful of occasions did an imp clamber down from a darkened spot on the ceiling in front of me, or pinky smash through something to get to me. Almost every other time the enemies just spawned in, or a door opened up.

The trites, on the other hand, very rarely spawned in, they crawled out from under machinery, from vents and dropped down from the ceiling. The trites, did, very frequently, scare the shit out of me. Still, I felt that the trites were not used well in many situations. I usually just heard one spawn, located it, and found a safe spot away from the obvious grates were I could easily pick them off as the hobbled toward me.

I felt the accuracy of the chaingun guys was slightly unfair. There was one at the bottom of the big lift in the caverns that seemed to devastate me even though he was a long way off. The chaingunners take a lot of damage to kill and can shoot down rockets fairly easily, so I felt kind of trapped without much cover (I used the lift activation panel) and unable to retaliate without getting hit.

Still, I enjoyed the game generally and didn't feel too let down by it, despite my high expectations. 
Thanbler. 
I felt that the game was flawed because it wasn't often that I was given the impression that monsters were running around in the air ducts around me, or breaking in through the walls, because they were introduced in these way so rarely. On just a handful of occasions did an imp clamber down from a darkened spot on the ceiling in front of me, or pinky smash through something to get to me. Almost every other time the enemies just spawned in, or a door opened up.

I agree with that. So far (just finished HELL), there could have been a lot more done a lot better as far as monster shocks go. More varied monster usage for a start, better monster lurking, more varied attacks, more Imps crawling across the ceiling, more monsters in vents etc etc. However as I'm saying I think the current "shock" gameplay mechanic is okay and works - but yes more could have been done.

The Trites are cool. I like almost all the monsters.

Personally, I have felt like I'm in an overrun base. This game has got me immersed more than most games, which is great. A lot of that is due to incidental things though, rather than convincing monster attacks. 
 
More varied monster usage for a start, better monster lurking, more varied attacks, more Imps crawling across the ceiling, more monsters in vents etc etc.

I think one of the problems is that doing this sort of thing is very heavyweight in terms of art resources - each special Imp attack, for instance (crawling down walls, climbing up ledges, jumping from things) is implemented as its own unique animation, usually suitable for only the single place where it's used. If they made the animations and AI more general purpose and flexible, this sort of thing would have become a lot easier; it's a real pity they didn't.

Oh well. More fodder for the mod crews, I guess. 
Yeah, I Think That's It 
Although I haven't played the game yet, I suspect that the reason more scripted monster introductions weren't used was due to time constraints and stuff. If there's one thing to be said about id, it's that they're generally pretty good at getting their games finished. 
Wow, I Spawned A Thread 
Sorry for my late entry: I was distracted by my last few days of work for the summer, so I guess you could say it spawned behind me. I'll also warn you that it seems I've written a fucking essay on the topic here, so maybe get a glass of water or something before you start.

Before I continue I'll say I haven't beaten the game yet. I'm playing on Veteran, and I've gone through hell. I'm in I think the CPU (I just passed the homage to the computer maze in E1M2, which actually warmed the cockles of my heart to see), but I really just haven't felt like playing the game very much. It feels too much like work.

I blame a combination of design and implementation for the monsters. They often don't lend themselves to good implementation at all - they're not often very versatile - but id's effort to use them erred on the side of making the game hard for the wrong reasons.

Monster's strengths are often played to a little too well. The imp, for example, being probably the most versatile monster in the game, capable of being dangerous at any range, is almost never used at a distance in a grenadier fashion. They're always stuck in your face (or up your ass), where you've got a lot less chance to avoid the fireballs and even less chance of getting away in reasonable shape should they get close enough to use their arms.

The chaingunners are another example. The farther away they are, the more of a bitch they are, and id's designers tended to throw them in far enough away that dealing with them was a chore and not a challenge. There is no decent way to avoid being hurt by these guys, and if they're at a sufficient distance it's even harder to retaliate effectively.

I can only remember one case where this isn't true: at the bottom of a lift in delta labs (I think), you're treated to a pile of boxes, and a door. Chaingunner comes in, and you're clearly meant to crouch behind the boxes where he can't see you. If you try and stand up to take potshots at him, you're almost instantly treated to damage. I flung hand grenades over the top of the box until I heard his body sizzling away. Once again - a chore.

After my third or fourth one, I was struck with a thought: "Hey, the chaingun takes time to spin up. Maybe that's the weakness I'm meant to try and exploit." I tried it, but to no avail - spin up time is slim to none. Having some would have been a great addition to this monster, in the same vein as the bit of warning you get before a Shambler's lightning attack, but alas, such is not the case.

Take trites. The melee monsters in this game all fall into two categories: the kind that come toward you slowly, then leap directly into your face, and the kind that come towards you at the exact same speed as your sprint, without stopping. Trites are the first kind, as are those GOD DAMNED MOTHER FUCKING WINGED INFANTS. Pinkies, tentacle-grunts, and maggots (the two-headers) are in the second. The lost souls are in a much more horrific category all their own.

Now, let's break this down. We already seem to have basically agreed that melee damage is far too difficult to recover from thanks to mutant owl neck syndrome. The problem is compounded by the fact that melee encounters are also far too difficult to avoid in most cases. With trites and cherubs, the leaps cannot be avoided because there's almost no anticipation cue to let you know it's coming. Besides the fact that they always hit you a little above eye level, the fact that they're so small (and therefore also difficult to hit, conveniently enough) means they then drop out of your field of vision altogether and are now somewhere around you. After your neck recovers, you search frantically, find it by your right ankle or something, but by the time you're ready to shoot it IT DOES IT AGAIN.

Then pinkies. Oh, pinkies. I'm mostly through the game and I could count the number I've encountered in this game on one hand, and I can see why. It almost feels to me like the designers are going so far as to acknowledge that they know there's nothing you can do about these damn things so they're trying to be nice. You can maintain the same distance with them if you backpedal at full speed. This is all well and good if you've encountered the monster on the fucking Talladega motor speedway. In the game, you are going to back into walls and railings and have to go backwards around corners and through doors and more often than not wind up in a corner. Then what? There's no room in this monster's design for any actual gameplay.

more after the 5000 character limit ... 
Chapter Two :P 
For the melee creatures, the plan of attack never changes, and always consists of "back the fuck up until they're all dead." This alone is bad enough - %100 of the player's attention is sapped by dealing with one monster. If you add any second monster, in the close quarters of a UAC base, you're basically fucking the player over. id in true form goes and makes things even worse by always sticking that monster behind you. (As an aside, does anybody else who doesn't have money laying around to buy an entire surround sound system find it completely unfair the game more or less requires one?)

The eventual upshot of all these things combined is that the player winds up having to find exploits and "safe methods" to deal with the monsters, because playing with them in what I will go out on a limb to call 'normal' fashion is just too damn unrewarding to be any fun. You don't want to try and tackle a monster by putting yourself in danger because even though that might make it easier to deal the damage necessary, you know that the arrangement will be far from fair.

Here's what I've always been under the impression that monster combat in an action-oriented FPS like this should consist of. You enter a situation, and there's monsters. They're in different places, and attack you in different fashions, and you should have to keep moving, using cover when you have to, and use your brain to avoid as many attacks as you can while balancing that with polishing off the monsters. In what order and with what weapons adds to the reflex-strategy of the whole thing. Yes, I am basically describing Q1SP. We all like Quake, don't we? The challenge to the player is in knowing how to use the options his environment presents him to avoid damage. Greater difficulty levels should mean greater difficulty in avoiding damage, but never impossibility. You could, if you were fucking Fred Astaire, play through Quake on nightmare without getting hurt very much at all. It wouldn't be easy, of course, but that's the idea.

As you progress through a game, your health is slowly worn down, depending on your skill, and the amount of health the designer gives you along the way to offset that. Thus, on higher difficulty, you spend a lot more time in poor shape, and thus each encounter has higher stakes. If you get lumped into some big final combat in Quake with 13 health and a nail, and there's some shells on the other side of a room past a bunch of Ogres and Scrags, it might take you a few tries but Quake's design inherently doesn't discourage you from trying because you know it's doable. If you're quick, and the Elder Gods happen to smile on you, you can clear the room and still have 13 health. Once you finally pull it off you're on cloud nine.

Doom3 isn't that forgiving. Quake, and even the original Doom, would always have me saying "Man, lemme try that again." A session of Doom3 usually consists of me angrily stabbing F9 and going "Come on, what the fuck was that?"


Here's what I propose.

First of all, there's owl neck. Shambler, frankly, I don't care how much it contributes to the atmosphere, if it ruins the gameplay mechanics then it's wrong. Fiends still scare me in Quake because they really hurt when they slam into you, but you can recover. They don't fuck you over in one shot. A lot of the monsters in Doom3 will do that.

I've got a simple solution to this problem. Instead of skewing the player's view up/down or left/right, roll it. You can tilt it until the player's head is on sideways, and it'll still give the player that sense of a hard jolt, but don't you dare move the crosshair. I'm surprised this was even an option, but taking away control of the crosshair during combat, I would think, should be an absolute fucking paramount no-no.

That alone might help things considerably IMO. The monsters, though, could use some tweaking. You should always be able to avoid attacks. If I'm in a big empty box map with any one monster and a crate in the middle it should be a cakewalk avoiding damage. Mentally put yourself in a map like that with any Quake monster, and think about what you'd do. The challenge comes from how those monsters are used - what space is presented in the level design to deal with them, and what other monsters the player has on his hands at the same time.

I can't picture any kind of scenario in Doom3, as it is out of the box, that allows for that. Any kind of room, any kind combination of what monsters come with the game. If the monsters' modes of attack are changed it changes how they are best implemented by an enormous degree. I've already written enough, though, and I'll be taking time later to determine exactly how the monsters that I want to use for my project will be changed. 
Inannaran 
That's looks like an impressive essay on the matter; certainly long enough to satisfy. Unfortunately, I can't read any of it because it's blatantly full of spoilers :P necros has though, so he can filter me the relevant details. 
Hrm 
I haven't finished the game yet, but so far I agree with most of what Lun said. I end up saving after almost every monster encounter and definitely after ever major monster encounter, obviously so I minimize the duplicated gameplay after a 'what the fuck that wasn't fair' encounter. Takes quite a bit of immersion away and since I started doing that a while into the game I haven't really been able to get 'into it' as much and be adequately tense/scared. I'm guessing thats not what iD was going for.

Instead of skewing the player's view up/down or left/right, roll it.
Word. Also, theres all this cool (ragdoll?) physics, with the little boxes and barrels you can move and orange pylons that get kicked every which way. But when a monster melee attacks you, do you get thrown every which way, abiding by a somewhat real sense of physical cause and effect? No, instead you get some red celophane shoved in your face and your eyes poked. 
One Can Come To Only One Conclusion 
It would have been worth paying Lunaran his weight in gold for Id to have had him as Boss Beta Tester.

It wasn't the difficulty that bothered me, or even losing control of my mouse when a pinky collided with me either. It was the utter predictabilaty of the encounters that pissed me off. I could start firing a centi-second before a complete turn around knowing my ammo would not be wasted on empty space.

It deserves high ratings on atmosphere though; the old school playing style didn't bother me -- in fact I think if Doom3 had turned out to be a hi-rez repackaged version of Ultimate Doom it would have been the greatest game ever made; instead it has to share the patheon with others instead of knocking old Yahweh off his throne. 
Yeah 
What Lun said. Also...

It would have been worth paying Lunaran his weight in gold for Id to have had him as Boss Beta Tester.

Fuck that. Just make him a designer. They clearly need help in that area. 
Lol! I Missed The Big Picture 
 
 
If you try and stand up to take potshots at him, you're almost instantly treated to damage. I flung hand grenades over the top of the box until I heard his body sizzling away. Once again - a chore.

...

use your brain to avoid as many attacks as you can while balancing that with polishing off the monsters

Sounds like the time that you did you bitched.

I think a lot of complaints boil down to the fact that Doom isn't Quake. I welcome the ensuing flaming. 
Well 
Pushplay makes a valid point. Doom3 is definitely NOT Quake. In fact, it's not even an action-oriented FPS. It is much slower and relies more on tense atmosphere/environments for its adrenaline rush than it does on straight action. Combat is slower.

Although I do agree that crouching imps hiding behind doors is cheap, its more of bad gameplay design than monster design (same with owlneck.) Whenever I was in a 1-on-1 with an imp I always knew when he would get ready to spring, and could dodge it accordingly. Most of the combat situations I thought weren't hard at all (I played veteran.) Yeah, I died a lot of times, but I never got stuck in any area because it was "impossible to beat."

(SPOILERS AHEAD)


It took me about 3 tries to beat the Vagary. Once I learned I could just duck under the spiky blob things after you heard the sound it became ridiculously easy.

The hardest enemy in the entire game I thought was the chaingunner. Whenever I saw one, I busted out my RL and in a couple hits they weren't too much of a problem anymore. They don't really chase you like maggots, so rockets are ok for them, and if you had tons of pistol ammo, like I had, sniping them was easy too.

Pinky demons. They're NOT hard. Honestly. 1, maybe 2 shotgun blasts (just like imps and maggots) and they're dead.

Trites/Cherubs aren't very difficult. Yes, they're small and speedy, but they always make sounds so you know that they're SOMEwhere, and it's not that hard to figure out they're on the ground somewhere. They also can't take too many hits, so a machine gun clip can take out about half a group usually, and if they get too close switch to shotty.

I totally just forgot where I was heading with this. Something about Doom3 not being Quake, so don't treat it like Quake, or something similar. Realize that it's not about strafing around at 100 mph in open areas, it's a much more methodical, slow paced game. Take your time, let the tension build up. That's what the goal is.

Personally, I don't think the monster design is bad at all, far from it. It's really how the designers used the monsters (the implementation) that's cheap. The "spawning behind the player" thing is kind of cheap, but very predictible (-able?), and rarely, if ever, seriously dangerous. The worst thing they did was just putting imps behind doors.

On a side note, I think the Plasma Gun is so fucking cool, 1st place weapon. Props on that weapon. Soul Cube comes in a close second. 
... 
not really. crouching in a corner where the monster can't get to you and tossing grenades at him is exploiting two things: 1. the monsters are too stupid to get out of the way of grenades and 2. the fact that monsters can't fit into certain areas (or bend over to aim their guns in that particular direction or whatever) and will tend to sit and wait for you instead. (or roam)

yes, it's using your brain, but i think lun meant using your to avoid attacks while still playing normally, not camping crouched in a corner exploiting the weak areas of the ai and game. 
Okay, Veering A Bit, But It Does Tie In 
How do Doom 3 monster/weapons compare in quality, use and design with PainKiller monster weapons (I have only played the demo to the later so far). Any opinions? 
 
Pushplay makes a valid point Worst. Flame. Ever.

I think the weapon design in D3 is some of the best. Just about every weapon feels useful, both in sp and mp. Of course, having grenades on 6 is useless because it's so far away. I put grenades on M3, rl on Q, pg on E, fists on 0, and everything else was shifted left one accordingly. SC doesn't apply in MP. Unless I'm carrying a pistol, I'm never wandering around in MP thinking oh know, I have the ____________ the same way you might say shotgun in Q3 or nailgun in Q1. 
Oh Know 
Oh no. Whatever. 
I Was Waiting For That 
Yeah, Doom3 isn't Quake. I wasn't trying to say that it should be. I was only using Quake as an example of how gameplay could be engineered, to illustrate how Doom3's could have been done better.

Quake's not without it's problems. When you're up against a single vore for example, the only real method to defeating it is the old hide-and-shoot, which systematizes the combat and thus makes it a chore again. A vore and two fiends, though, then you're in for it. :)

Sounds like the time that you did you bitched.

What necros said. Hiding like that was the only way I could clear that little stage safely. I think there's a lot to be said for the basics of moving around your environment, and it's an important enough element that I don't think a game would benefit from having it removed from the gameplay by engineering the monsters to keep it from being an effective aid.

Quake2 seemed like a step halfway from Quake to Doom3 - the monsters were still a little more fun, but most of them were so damn slow each one was just another hide-and-seek. The Tank Commanders were about as effective as a heavily armed toaster.

Pinky demons. They're NOT hard. Honestly. 1, maybe 2 shotgun blasts (just like imps and maggots) and they're dead.

The shotgun has enough of a spread that it's almost uselessly weak after a very short distance. Good luck hitting it enough to stop it before it gets to you.


Maybe I'm a stupid git but the monster-behind-you trick rips me within 10% of my health every time. I've also never once noticed a sound cue for something appearing behind me, and not just because I'm playing 2.1 - I never hear a sound at all. Being predictable doesn't justify it, it just makes it even worse. Ever hear "two wrongs don't make a right?" I don't see unfair gameplay as being benefitted by consistency.

I did notice what Shambler meant - I do find myself nervous that there will be a monster in an area I had already cleared - but the reason I'm nervous is not because I'm going to fight it, it's because I'm going to be hurt by it no matter what I do. It's fun if it's a series of challenges, but not if it's just a continual sequence of the designers bludgeoning me into submission until I stop playing for the night. 
ID's Gameplay Design Choices And Goals 
i think ID deliberatley chose to design the gameplay to be simplistic. As if the last 10 years evolution in FPS gameplay had never happened.

I think this was their deliberate goal, and in terms of that goal they suceeded.

If i come down on one side, [i have only played the first 5/6 levels and am not going to play anymore until i upgrade my graphic card], i think they made it to simplistic.
The basic-ness of the gameplay is somewhat surprising given the long development cycle of the game.

Now of course whether that original goal i mentioned at the start, is itself is good or bad thing, is open to debate [see this thread]. :) 
Also 
Kell's post #7 is really good. 
Hmmm 
I'm just glad that I am not the type to analyse everything, I just play the game, and had the best gaming experience I have ever had, bar none. Most of the stuff talked about in this thread seems a bit foreign to me (like I played a different game),at least to the point of it distracting me from the immersion of the game, I didn't have any trouble with it.

The shotgun has enough of a spread that it's almost uselessly weak after a very short distance. Good luck hitting it enough to stop it before it gets to you.
Downing pinky with the shotgun was to easy, 3 shots max and he's down. I found the shotgun to be useful in many conflicts.
As far as monsters spawning behind you, I never had a problem with it after the first time. I mean, once bitten twice shy. I just loved being confronted with a monster/monsters head on, and always being aware that there could be an attack from behind at any minute, flicking around to check your back while in a fire fight. Just twitching, dodging, turning, moving as fast as possible, using cover, managing available stamina, while in the midst of it all was exhilarating. Then when the fight was over, and you settled back into the slower paced nervousness of the game, excellent. The way the screen reacts when a powerful monster straight from the bowels of hell rips into you with all its might, I thought was both good, and deserved. The atmosfear is magnificent.

means they then drop out of your field of vision altogether and are now somewhere around you. After your neck recovers, you search frantically, find it by your right ankle or something, but by the time you're ready to shoot it IT DOES IT AGAIN.

I don't know, but to me this just seems natural. In my younger days (now 41) I was a boxer. If you have ever caught a decent hit from anyone, you'll know that for a time you loose it, and if you have not got your whits about you, and don't recover quick enough, your going to get hit again, and deservedly so. Thats the best way to a KO, and the usefulness of a combination, the first stuns you, the following hits take advantage of that,whack, whack, and it's lights out.

lunaran, it may seem as though I am aiming at you, quoting you etc, it is not so. Just next to the last things I read

To many things been said in this thread, can't comment/remember them all, but everybody is different, we play different ways, we expect different things, we will all have differing experiences. I'm just so glad I had mine. Anyways, I'm back into it, on my third time through the game, and loving it. 
Yes 
i think ID deliberatley chose to design the gameplay to be simplistic. As if the last 10 years evolution in FPS gameplay had never happened.

They were remaking DooM, not the wheel. 
Hmmmm 
Can someone paraphrase Lun's essay so I have a chance of reading it before HL2 is released and we're all arguing about that?? 
Okay, I Read It. 
Lun, you're wrong. Retaliatory essay time. I'm just past Hell too, on Marine difficulty.

The imp, is almost never used at a distance in a grenadier fashion. They're always stuck in your face (or up your ass)

Not on Marine skill. They're used far more often at medium range where you can avoid fireballs than at really close range. There's even a fair few at longish range, probably the same amount as at very close range.

The farther away they are, the more of a bitch they are, and id's designers tended to throw them in far enough away that dealing with them was a chore and not a challenge.

Not on Marine skill. Very easy with rockets, sometimes you won't get any damage, sometimes you might take a bullet or two. Pretty easy with plasma too. Or as you say, grenades.

With trites and cherubs, the leaps cannot be avoided because there's almost no anticipation cue to let you know it's coming.

Errr, generally one avoids the leaps by killing them before they attack. Given that both of them move slowly, and Trites at least are so puny that they tend to dissolve if you so much as reload your weapon, if you're letting them hit you there's something wrong. And there is a little bit of a warning before the leap - enough to dodge on Marine skill.

In the game, you are going to back into walls and railings and have to go backwards around corners and through doors and more often than not wind up in a corner.

Or, just possibly, if you're using your wits, find something to dodge behind or lure the pinky around. I admit there are a couple of occasions where you can get trapped (of course, one does know that the shotgun is very effective against pinkies at close range), but the majority you can run around something and avoid the pinky.

I wish they were used more. They're cool. I did get a bit shocked at first by getting trapped and getting mutant owl neck. So I learnt from that - OMG learning from a gameplay experience and tackling the challenge in a better way, what a novel idea, you should try it sometime.

For the melee creatures, the plan of attack never changes, and always consists of "back the fuck up until they're all dead."

Or use the scenery, dodge around things, lure monsters into more favourable scenarios. Okay and then you might get another monster thrown in - cunning little bastards eh, attacking you when you're already busy - live with the challenge.

(As an aside, does anybody else who doesn't have money laying around to buy an entire surround sound system find it completely unfair the game more or less requires one?)

Not at all. Never even think about it.

5000 yadda yadda 
The Retalitory Essay Part 2 
You don't want to try and tackle a monster by putting yourself in danger because even though that might make it easier to deal the damage necessary, you know that the arrangement will be far from fair.

Boo. Hoo. Cry me a fucking river. So the monsters and where they appear don't make things easy and simple for you?? So they try their damn hardest to damage you?? Here's some late-breaking news: That's the fucking point - they're demons and possessed zombies and they're there to rip your bowels out by whatever cunning, malicious instruction, and nasty attacks they can muster. So you have to be more cunning and learn their weaknesses and try to outwit them and react quicker than they appear?? That's how it should be.


As you progress through a game, your health is slowly worn down, depending on your skill, and the amount of health the designer gives you along the way to offset that.

Doom3 isn't that forgiving.


Loads of health and armour on Marine skill. Of course, you have to hunt around a fair bit, which is good.

You should always be able to avoid attacks. If I'm in a big empty box map with any one monster and a crate in the middle it should be a cakewalk avoiding damage.

I can't picture any kind of scenario in Doom3, as it is out of the box, that allows for that. Any kind of room, any kind combination of what monsters come with the game.


Not on Marine skill. Here's what I've faced so far and to what extent they'd pass your arbitrary box test:

Zombie - avoidable
Chainsaw Zombie - avoidable
Possessed Security - just about avoidable but hard.
Imp - avoidable
Pinky - avoidable
Cacodemon (?) - avoidable
Trite - avoidable
Cherub - avoidable
Those two-headed things - avoidable
Geezer with whip arm - unavoidable
Chaingunner - unavoidable
Mancubus - avoidable
Revenant - unavoidable (although possible to shoot rockets)
Hell Knight - avoidable but hard

pwx0red.

So.......


There are two strong points that are striking me about this:

1. There could be a VAST difference playing on Marine compared to playing on Veteran. I'd be interested to know if there is. I chose Marine skill because I was after immersion rather than challenge, and I go for "Medium" skill with any new game.

2. I think the main issue is: You people complaining are struggling to adapt to a new gameplay style. Pretty much all of what you're complaining about is something you can learn about and adapt to, instead of expecting a smooth ride through UAC Mars to be handed to you on a plate. Stop your moaning and start adapting, learn that this is a different challenge and you have to fight and react in a different way. D3 isn't Quake, Quake2, HL, Unreal, etc. It's it's own gameplay style - not that that gameplay style is revolutionary or necessarily better or excellent or what-have-you, BUT that pretty much all the complaints can be nullified by learning to play the damn game and accepting it's different.

Now where's that damn Reset button... 
I Love This Thread. 
No sarcasm at all--I think it's great. I disagree and agree with various points from just about everyone, and may well reply with an essay of my own when I finish the game, but this thread is excellent food for thought. 
Shambler: 
just want to point out some things:

Geezer with whip arm - unavoidable
Incorrect, ducking just as he jumps to wack you avoids the damage. From there, you fill his face with shotgun ammo before he attacks again.

Chaingunner - unavoidable
Chaingunners have always been unavoidable, and it makes sense. They have fucking chainguns. Now quit saving your rocket ammo like an idiot and blast them.

Revenant - unavoidable (although possible to shoot rockets)
Rocket dodging is difficult, but wholly possible. Just need to work on some timing to start moving when they're near so they can't adjust quick enough. And shooting the rockets is very easy using a rapid fire weapon aimed at his head.

Hell Knight - avoidable but hard
These guys are basically Shambler's with a range attack that's easier to avoid. Also, the chainsaw can make quick work of them if you're willing to take a small bit of damage.


I've found, after playing the game and going back to screw around, the enemies are much simpler than I'd anticipated. Chainsawing Hellknights is one idea I picked up from god modeing around. Also, did you know it takes a single punch to kill a Lost Soul? Not useful to know when they attack... but whip out a pistol and it's simple to snipe them. Pistol is also good for spiders.

Btw... don't attempt chainsawing mancubi, it's almost impossible in god mode due to their very quick melee attack that has a ton of knockback. 
To Reintroduce My Point 
Here's some late-breaking news: That's the fucking point - they're demons and possessed zombies and they're there to rip your bowels out by whatever cunning, malicious instruction, and nasty attacks they can muster.

Calm down, sizzle chest. Follow that train of thought for a few more miles. If the point is to be as nasty to the player as possible, why don't we just go even farther? Let's make all the monsters move faster than the player, and be able to kill him in one hit, unless he's got more than, say, 100 armor. Oh, and throw in some instant death traps with no warning signs for good measure. Does that sound fun?

No?

I know damned well it's a different style of gameplay. But I'm expecting there to be an actual game to play, and I so far haven't enjoyed much of one. If the player is hardly given a chance then it's not fun, and there is no game. When I play QUAKE AND OTHER GAMES a sticky spot is never impossible because there's always inherent chances for me to get the job done. Doom3's design tries to achieve difficulty by circumventing so much of that charity to the player that I find the game reduced to nothing more than irritation in seven rendering passes.

Difficulty should say to the player "Keep at it," not "Too bad." So many friends I've talked to have all independently shared with me that playing this game just feels too much like work, and I agree with all of them. 
Hmmn. 
I have a few minutes at lunch so:

It seems to me that many of the people in this thread (including Shambler and Lun) aren't really disagreeing so much on how the game plays, but are simply disagreeing on whether they like it or not.

Lun, It seems to me (and I know you'll correct me if I'm wrong), that the whole concept of "Sorry, you're going to take damage (to at least some extent) no matter what you do." really seems fundamentally wrong to you, and that there should *always* be some way for the skilled/intelligent player to avoid damage.

In playing the game, I get the impression that there are particular spots where the designers said, "Okay, time to beat on the player a bit right here. They're going to be bloody and battered after this, so we'll throw in some health and armor in the next room."

Expect for the occasional bit of out-and-out prison rape where you are quite likely to end up dead--which I've only hit two or three times now (currently in Delta Labs)--I don't really mind inevitable damage. But. It is a very different game mechanic than many games I have played, and it's something I had to get used to. And I can really understand why some folks might simply just hate it. In a way, it's designed so there's no way to "win" (i.e. take no damage), and it makes no attempt to disguise it.

I haven't really found the game to be super difficult, but I'm certainly getting slapped around a lot more by monsters than in most games I've played. <--Those are two very distinct things. 
., 
revenants are very easy to kill, even if you were in an large, empty room.

as the missiles approach, backbedal, say 64 units, the sprint forward, towards the missiles, and sidestep to either side (about 128 units). this way, the missiles don't have time to turn and hit you like they do if you simply sprint to the side -- same as in doom2.

they'll circle around back of you and usually hit the back wall or somesuch. 
You Really 
play FPSs waaay too much dude O_O 
Lol... 
i remember making a doom2 map which was one huge open area, and doing that trick to see how many revenant missiles i could get following me. :) 
Necros 
You win the thread. Have a cookie.

Quake encourages me to take my licks. If I come out of a fight and the quake dude's face at the bottom is grim and bloody, I'd sooner keep playing than reload because I know even without health I can get through the next bout if I just straighten my socks and pour on the effort. Doom3 I've gotta do everything right, because I can't leave a cushy margin. Thus, too much F9. I think Frib feels the same way.


I'm still going to have damage roll in Byzantine though. :P And if I do put a monster behind you there's gonna be so much god damned noise it'll vibrate your desk beneath your mouse and turn you around anyway.

Oh, and miles of crates. 
Edit 
I mean, pjw. But, necros, I guess your posts were reasonable as well. 
Lol, 
thanks, i guess. :P 
 
Doom3 I've gotta do everything right, because I can't leave a cushy margin.

That's what I mean about options. The first time I wrote about it too :P 
Ha! Necros, You Are Reasonable. 
I remember back in the hayday of CD Rom based games, there was one title that was literally a sequenced movie which you simply pressed buttons to go forward and you had no game based choices.

Now Doom3 was no where near that bad (and 'bad' isn't a word to associate with Doom3 evilness ('goodness', nevah!) either) but it is the most restricted FPS in terms of choices that I have ever played. I understand the argument that they did this for the purpose of emmersion, but look at System Shock 2; emersive and scary as hell, but full of options for the player to explore.

Lunaran's argument about the monsters boils down to the restrictions imposed in the fight scenerios. The AI can use some improvement so that it is flexible and less exploitable, but allows the player to figure out his own approach. 
S To The G 
The shotgun has enough of a spread that it's almost uselessly weak after a very short distance. Good luck hitting it enough to stop it before it gets to you.

For me the shotgun was a huge part of the game. Dancing around and getting into just the right range is my default method. 
shotgun became a staple midway for me. i was using the machinegun quite a bit, but was always short on ammo, and cells were becoming a problem too. then i noticed i had 140 shells. hehe. ;) perfect for imps, pinkies, revenants and mancubi. sg was ok for lostsouls too, but sometimes i'd miss and they'd hit me, then M.O.N. and so on... 
And Stuff... 
PJW - w3rd. Good points man.

Scampie - well thanks for proving my point further. BTW, in the general spirit of the game I have tended to avoid approaching any 12' high brick-shit-house demonic plasma-spewing badasses with just melee weapons =).

Necros - aye, I managed to dodge a rocket that way, by running towards it. Pretty damn cool. 
Speaking Of 
Okay, now that that's settled, here's something else we can bitch about. :D

look at System Shock 2; emersive and scary as hell, but full of options for the player to explore.

I thought Doom3 was pretty disappointing in that category as well. The PDA's, emails, and audio logs could have done so much to add to the experience, but all they wound up being was joke spam, guys worried about scary voices, and the code for a nearby supply locker.

They had this awesome vehicle for relaying information to the player and hardly used it at all. Workers could have made little notes to themselves to remember where they left certain keys or necessary inventory doodads, made reports about repairs/malfunctions in machinery that the player would need to be aware of to get through/past them, all sorts of stuff. What little story was given across with the PDAs was obvious and had no consequence to the game anyway.

Aside from opening lockers and doors, the PDAs are basically non-essential. They could have done so much. :( 
PDAs Are Basically Non-essential 
I think that was the whole point. Not everyone wants to have to read through text to play an fps game and I don't blame them. I liked the fact that they fleshed out the world and rewarded the player for caring without forcing all kinds of back story on you. 
I Agree. 
With both points of view. Although the spam email and reports of hearing voices were cool. 
Yeah 
But it is kind of annoying to have to listen to a whole minute long audio log 2 or three times because you miss/forgot the keycode and its mentioned only during the last few seconds. That only happened maybe two times though.

shotgun became a staple midway for me. i was using the machinegun quite a bit, but was always short on ammo, and cells were becoming a problem too. then i noticed i had 140 shells. hehe. ;)

Seemed like I've had to use the shotgun all the friggin time, mostly from lack of other ammo, particularly chaingun ammo seemed very hard to come by (I'm about 2/3rds into the game). I don't think I've had any less than 225 shotgun shells. It's seriously ridiculous.

Plasma gun does rule though. I really love how the ammo is some sort of glowing jar you shove into the back of the rifle, and makes that little humm when its reloaded. 
Shotty Was My Weapon Too 
Because MG ammo was so damned hard to come by.

Don't feel bad Ray...I don't think there's enough Chaingun ammo in the entire game for you to ever get a full load, even if you don't fire the gun once. 
Weapons 
Mainly SG (due to ludicrous amounts of ammo), with MG when ammo was available (there's quite a bit. it's usually with the health, under the stairs. yes, there. you missed some) and PG when things Just Needed To Die. CG wasn't that useful - it'd be great for hosing down roomfuls of monsters; pity there weren't any. RL, of course, was dead handy vs chaingunners, and anything more than four feet away. Pistol was surprisingly useful against Lost Souls, Trites, and zombies.

Ducking vs tentacle commandos works with one of their attacks, but they have another where they jump into the air and whip, and their tentacle drops below crouch height when it comes back. Also, the sight of corpses with bloody shotgun wounds to their groins is slightly disturbing. 
Doom3 Had One Flaw Really. 
I played on veteran and it was rediculously easy. Most of the guns were maxed out on ammo, so I had to leave clips, shells, and cells laying about at times. After hell you are also almost swimming in chaingun belts... And what's with the fucking overload of armor. I was rarely under 80 armor since on veteran skill the protective factor is only 0.2.

And after getting the soulcube it got just silly. You never were in a real risk of dying, unless something dealt you close to 100 damage at one go. Don't get me wrong here tho, I loved the game, good running & gunning, but it could have been more challenging. 
... 
the thing with the soul cube was that you knew you could always take out 1 very powerful monster, so it reduced even hellknights to nothing. after the introduction of the cube, they should have started to really throw the powerful monsters at the player, so that one would always be taken out by the cube, but the rest would have to be dispatched as normal. 
What 
I cubed imps for kicks. Hellknights are funnier to shotty-dance to death. :) 
yeah, imps don't give much health though, so it's why i generally restricted my cubage to stronger monsters. 
The Psychological Impact Of Excesses Of Armour 
I always figured the idea was to scare veteran players of FPS's. Usually in games when they give you lots of armour suddenly, it means that you're in for a tough fight fairly soon. The more subtle scare factor comes from having plenty of armour, but low health. You can start to worry that you're missing obvious caches of health and only finding the armour ones, so you'll be too weak to deal with the upcoming combats. Well, that was my rational for the armour, it certainly wasn't needed for survival... 
Hm... 
i always feel nervous when i'm low on armour. in fact, i got so used to have 80+ that when it was dropping below 60, i'd because very cautious while playing. infact, half of the time it was 100+...

maybe i just found a lot of the armour secrets? 
Nah 
There just is a _lot_ of armors in the game. 
Armououour 
I was rarely under 80 armor since on veteran skill the protective factor is only 0.2.

Are you serious? 0.2? No wonder armor seemed so damn useless in this game. Why didn't they just include less armor on the harder difficulty levels? Was it easier to just change a variable than actually go through the maps and flag some of the items as NotOnHard?

Why must they keep pissing me off like this? >( 
0.2! 
Yes. Check your .cfg file, it reads right there. Don't know what the factor is for other skill levels, but it's indeed 0.2 for veteran. In MP it's 0.6. It was kinda odd design decision.

Makes me wonder what it is on Nightmare. Haven't tried that yet, but I've heard it's 100% barrel-o-fun. :) 
Yeah, That's Bad Design 
they should just have the armor pickup give you less "armor" becuase the amount of armor you have is numeric and visible to the player -- any variance will be immediately obvious and the player can account for it. The relative absorbtion of armor is hidden from the player, so it should never vary. 
And... 
even on marine skill, i usually had 75-100 armor even when my health dipped way down. I had to pass over every third armor becuase i was already full.

Ammo, on the other hand, seemed perfect. I preferred the shotgun early on and the shotgun or plasmagun later on, but was forced to pretty much use all the guns regularly throughout the game. 
Armour 
Way too much on veteran. I think they left all those armours in, because nearly every single one of them was booby trapped with an imp or some shit like that - so removing them would have made the game easier on veteran.

By the way, another shit bit I need to point out. During one of the later levels of caverns you are walking across a rickety old platform ,suspended above lava. At one point, the platform is divided into a sort of figure of eight type layout by some pillars, and in one direction you can clearly see a pile of power ups. When I played this section I was fairly low on health, and so sauntered over to the power ups. As I do this, one of those shit teleporting mutant things appears next to me, and I back off. The next thing I know, the floor gives way and I fall through. THANKS, id.


Actually, while I'm on the subject of those shit "teleporting" mutants, what was the point in them? They only ever attacked whilst visible, and moved as normal whilst invisible, so I never really felt under threat from them. Also, they seemed overly similar to those weird multiple headed crawling guys with the exception that they moved a bit more slowly and could become pointlessly invisible for short periods of time. 
Wracked Sould Trapped Between 
two demensions, helpless to which one they ex nihilated from, at least that is what I assumed. I maybe reading too much into it ;) 
Than 
Would it be better if they attacked while invisible? There's no indicator AFAIK as to where they are when they're cloaked, aside from sound, and as I may have mentioned not everyone has surround sound. I didn't notice that they could be hit while invisible either. Perhaps if they could be shot, and still cast a shadow?

The next thing I know, the floor gives way and I fall through. THANKS, id.

I fell through the floor in that same spot, but on my way over, before anything teleported in. This was about thirty minutes after I made my post about how fun instant death traps would be. :P 
... 
i liked the teleporting monster... hm...

i think they could have been cooler if they were still hitable when invisible, and if hit would turn visible.

i'm probably a bit biased here though... 
I Didn't Say That... 
I just think that those invisible guys seem a bit pointless. You can kill them when they are turning visible again - at this point they can't move anyway. If they phased in and out of existence it might be nicer. So They would run toward you invisible and appear with a moment to spare before they attack - of course, then it would be annoying if you couldn't hit them whilst invisible.

Oh I don't know. I'll just stfu. 
I Like Than's Idea 
Especially if they still cast shadows while invisible. Of course, they'd have to be damageable while invis, just for balances sake. But it would be hella creepy to see these things blinking in and out, circling around you. 
Okay 
So, they phase in and out while moving, are shootable while invisible, and possibly cast shadows as well?

/me writes that all down 
Make The AI Better Too... 
When I first saw them, I'd hoped they'd do some cool dancing fighting, kinda like demonic ninjas or something. Instead they were just rush in and wack you monsters, but were invincible for the rush in section, and had a delay in attack. BORING! 
How About... 
recreating the spectres from the original doom? take like an imp or something, and put that glass shader on it that does that ripple post-effect in the framebuffer. 
GRRR 
It just really pissed me off the way you saw imps crawling around on the ceilings and walls during pre-AI animations, then as soon as they hit the floor they would just walk around without any more sophistication than the Quake 1 AI, with the exception of much better routefinding.

If the games monsters had very good AI, could use the scenery more effectively, reach you when you ran and hid in a crack behind a crate somewhere, or jumped onto something, and were used less cheaply and more effectively in groups then Doom 3 could have been truly amazing. As it stands, I enjoyed it, but I don't think I will replay it, as the other 50% just started to feel like hard work.

Also, I didn't use quicksave that much on the earlier levels, but by the end I was quicksaving after almost every monster because I couldn't be bothered to repeat any particular situation again. Not that I died very often anyway.

By the way, Lun, I found that the revenant rockets were easy to avoid. In addition to the fact that you can shoot them (like the cacodemon plasma,) there was usually some cover to get behind somewhere, even if it meant running away to a doorway someplace. The closed nature of the environments meant that only very rarely were you ever caught with no nearby cover anyway.

The big pinkies weren't a particular problem, but there were few situations where I was caught off guard in a small space by one spawning in when I had an inappropriate weapon selected. A lot of the time, I just made them chase me round an obstruction of some kind and leisurely beat them down. Would have been nice to see the smash through barrels and pillars from time to time.

The real problems for me was any bad guys with hit scan weapons and the whip guys. Pretty much everything else was fine (with the exception of all the cheap sceneraios id put in the game to suck my health.) 
Scampie 
Just curious, but how did you find the assasins in HL? I fucking hated those bitches. The fights were fairly good fun, but the way they moved so fast was annoying, especially as I only ever encountered them in dark areas.

Still, I'm sure that sort of AI would have been cooler in Doom 3 than the following:

*spawn (preferably behind the player)
*wander toward the player non-threateningly
*dissapear at some random position on route
*walk along as normal, but now INVISIBLE!!!
*reappear somewhere near-ish the player, but not so near to actually provide the player with any feeling of being under threat.
*walk toward the player some more
*eat some buckshot
*walk toward the player
*die 
Please Don't 
have shadows on invisible monsters... the monster goes to another dimension but the shadows stays? 
How About This? 
Check this effect out:
http://www.doom3world.org/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?p=46438
I think that would look downright sexy on a monster. 
Than: 
don't remember them honestly. I quit playing the game part way through because I hated it. 
Cybear 
Yeah, leaving a shadow would look kinda weird...but I think it would be a neat addition anyways, to have those 'blinkers' just bemone invisible but still physical. It would certainly make them more threatening than they are now, where they disappear, reappear a few seconds later, and they're immobile while they're phasing in. They should just instantaneously blink and still be present, and that would be much cooler, imho.

If you put that blur shader on them, I would personally shit my pants. 
Request. 
Can a moderate please change the icon to the DOOM icon, cheers, word. 
OH FUCK 
I just hit the fucking reset button again!!

Metslime FFS get rid of it, it's utterly useless...


Anyway, the point was: Wraiths aren't invisible nor do they turn invisible, they disappear entirely and respawn elsewhere and I liked them because the constant teleporting was unnerving. 
Keep The Reset Button 
I thought the Wraiths were a waste of time. Teleporting was too slow to do any good, because you could kill them when they were in their "frozen" teleport state, and they never teleported behind me. They're basically just maggots with a bad ability. 
Wraiths 
They don't teleport and respawn elsewhere, they move while invisible. I went over the code for the wraith last night - the functions called are literally hide() and show(), plus a bit extra for the silly effects. They still move normally.

Apparently it was such a critical design decision that they also be nonsolid while hidden (so you can walk through them ... ?) that they had to make them stand still for a few hours while reappearing for collision purposes, then had to apply the spawn effect to try and hide the fact that the thing is completely still for so long.

I commented out a few lines and rendered the wraith a hell of a lot more effective right off the bat. It cloaks on the fly with a quick version of the death sizzle, and reappears the same, without stopping. This is fun! 
Bletch. 
So they are invisible and non-solid whilst they move??

And for the purposes of the player, how exactly is that different from them disappearing entirely and reappearing?? 
... 
actually, i thought it was stupid because it clearly looks like it's teleporting, yet you can still hear the footsteps when it's invisible. didn't make sense, and plus the monster was dead easy to kill. just wait until it starts reappearing and give it a nice buckshot. 
Lunaran 
That's interesting. After reading your info on the wraiths, it struck me that I had created an almost identical monster in QuakeC years ago - a variant of the Death Knight that I haven't used in a release yet. He basically cloaks by becoming invisible and non-solid, but still uses normal movement ai. After a set time (or when in melee range) he uncloaks. Because of the way Quake's movement code works, he will never willingly move through another monster, but others may walk through him. A collison check is thus necessary for him to decide to uncloak, but I still haven't perfected it - he still gets telefragged a little bit too much for his own good :P 
Kinn: 
you can use the same trick id used on the zombies to detect when it is ok for them to get back up and become solid again:

<Q>
self.solid = SOLID_SLIDEBOX;
if (!walkmove (0, 0))
{
self.think = zombie_paine11;
self.solid = SOLID_NOT;
return;
}


walkmove(), although a movement function, it can also be used to determine wether it can mvoe or not. if it is false (0), then it can't move, otherwise it returns true (1).
this should never result in telefragging and is pretty fast. 
Awww... 
i borked the tags. :\ 
Necros 
very useful info - thanks.

However, I always did a very thorough line-tracing bbox check which seemed foolproof (although your method looks much faster).

The problem was not the collision checking, it was related to the lifetime of the teledeath box; there was always a chance that something could touch him in the 0.2 seconds before the teledeath removed itself ^_~

I guess I could just not spawn the teledeath, but I just get the feeling it should be left in... 
... 
well, are you talking about the actual teleport killing where it gibs what was on the position?

or are you talking about the teleport flash?

if it's just the flash, you can easily place that in with:
spawn_tfog (self.origin);

if you want the teledeth box to remove itself after the first touch, then you can put a remove(self) or SUB_Remove() into the touch function at the end, so as soon as it's finished the killing, it will go away.

also, a note, the method i described above for checking if it can become solid or not only works for monsters that walk. swimming and flying monsters don't work... some limitation of the code because walkmove requires the FL_ONGROUND flag set, which it obviously isn't for flying monsters. i briefly talked to FrikaC about this... apparently, you can trick it with setting the FL_PARTIALGROUND flag or something, but didn't really experiement with it.


as a final alternative, you can make a findradius look for any monsters within a certain radius. the findradius is more robust than walkmove, but more complex.


... now, back to the regular d3 monster design thread... 
Necros 
Yeah, i'm quite familiar with the ins-and-outs of QuakeC, it's just that I guess I wanted to leave the teledeath in for "realism" or something. I guess I can take it out no problem, seeing as the walkmove check is pretty safe.

Interesting point about walkmove not working for flymonsters - it's called in ai_run_slide(), which is used by the scrag, so i dunno.

Btw, isn't it about time we a had a permanent QuakeC thread? Considering the number of Q1 mappers here that dabble in QC, i'm sure it would be useful.

anyway, back to Doom... 
Wait, One Last One: 
well, i didn't really explain properly... walkmove is half broke.
it will move the monster, but the actual check is busted, so using walkmove in an if (walkmove) won't work and always returns true, no matter what. 
 
The death knight should telefrag whoever's in his way, except the player. I'd find that to be a cool monster. 
necros: aha. that makes sense.

scampie: what, you mean a monster should gib if he crosses the path of a cloaked deathknight, even if the deathknight isn't uncloaking? That would look freaky, but possibly make balancing combats a bit difficult. 
No 
I mean the deathknight should actively attempt to "uncloak" where other monsters are, and gib them. Just a fun idea, and really, it's that what it's all about? 
The Idea 
of a deathknight cloaking and just strutting through a wave of tiny imps as they gibs under his wake would be pretty fun.

as for actively uncloaking where monsters are... why would it do that.

It seems more in character for such a huge beast to act as if the other baddies aren't even there and aren't even worth the time to check if they're around before he shoots,frags,kills etc...

/me imagines waves of zombies being thrown into the air... 
Hmm 
I think the hellknight tossing other enemies aside would be far cooler than just gibbing them. Just use the ragdoll to send them up and slightly backwards and play the swipe animation at the same time.

Imagine a seeing hoard of zombies shambling towards you and then a couple of hellknights charging through them to get at you :) 
We Should... 
recreate the battle of Helm's Deep with imps...
yeah. THOUSANDS OF IMPS!!!# 
Metlslime 
consider it done.

^_~ 
What, Like This? 
That Excites Me. 
Seriously.

Yes, in that way. 
Czg 
Wow.. defeating thousands of imps just using double barrel shotgun is really challenging... If you are able to survive to this battle, I just can say bravo !! 
Meh.. 
imps in doom weren't that hard. thousands of spider masterminds, on the other hand... 
Extreme Scrag Hordes Show Shortcomings In Flymonster Movement Code 
Ok, I did some more extreme spawner testing, this time using Scrags. I found that after a while, the hordes showed up some serious shortcomings in the flymonster movement code, possibly related to the infamous "Scrags fly through walls" bug.

http://kinn.spawnpoint.org/randompics/scragmerge1.jpg
http://kinn.spawnpoint.org/randompics/scragmerge2.jpg
http://kinn.spawnpoint.org/randompics/scragmerge3.jpg

Sweet dreams >:D 
yeah, that's about right. x.x 
Kinn, The Great QuakeC Code Spelunker 
his legend will live on long after the PC is gone 
Lol HeadThump 
Well, if someone can show me an engine out there that has fixed this issue, I'd probably be so excited, I'd end up "Spelunking" all over my keyboard. 
Hellboy's Attempt 
Being so freaked out by the movie I tried to wrap the thing out of it's vertices and screwed it out so far.
Must say it still has a nasty 1462 triangles, and 771 vertices but for a start I can live with it.

http://members.home.nl/gimli/gnerk.jpg

Further more I'm afraid it will look a lot like the demon fiend as its shape has a lot of it.

http://members.home.nl/gimli/gnerk.mpg

lol! 
Um 
ok? 
Ah 
Hope I didn't disturb anyone. 
Oh The Huge Manitee! 
Kinn's Fly Monster Test 
The infamous scrags fly through walls bug was fixed in DarkPlaces years ago, I don't recall anymore how I fixed it, I made many bugfixes to the collision code, might be worth comparing the sv_move.c code if you want to patch another engine, it may also involve fixes in SV_Move in world.c (mostly the proper combining of trace_t results). 
Doom3 Gameplay 
Doom3 gameplay seemed to consist largely of the following situations:
1. Seeing imp-like things (who cares if they're imps, wraiths, twin-headed things, or whatever) and running up to them as they spawn and firing the shotgun at point blank before they can begin an attack, causing them to vaporize in one shot.
2. Hearing one or two imps spawn behind me (if two they were at diagonals) and whipping around to the exact direction of the sound (thanks to Zalman 5.1 headphones) and firing before I even saw the turn occur, and turning forward again to move on before they even finished vaporizing.
3. Seeing a pinky and waiting until it got close enough that I knew I could only get two shots off with the second one being at nearly point blank, then holding fire and watching it vaporize on the second shot.
4. Seeing a hellknight and thinking "big imp" and running up and circle strafing it with the shotgun blazing until it vaporized from 4 shots.
5. Hearing cherubs (the winged babies) or Trites and planning a route of retreat and basically holding fire until they were all dead as I retreated, sometimes taking a couple hits where they were particularly defense, choice of weapon being either plasma, machinegun, or shotgun.
6. exchanging pistol or chaingun shots with lost souls (yes I really did use the chaingun on lost souls at times, with every shot hitting it's a decent use of ammo) or cacodemons.
7. firing and taking cover repeatedly.
8. dying and quick loading repeatedly on nightmare hoping to get lucky (particularly when dealing with zsec, chaingunners, pistol zombies that I didn't expect, and those tentacle guys).

The only parts I liked in the game were when it stopped throwing monsters and let the spooky ambience sink in.

Fights are the least tense parts of Doom3 for me, it's basically a series of arena battles (like Serious Sam) and it won't throw any surprises at me while fighting (unlike Serious Sam).

There is a complete lack of freeform roaming battles that keep you on the run and scared and wishing for a respite.

Doom3 seems to purely use monsters as roadblocks. 
Tricerops Tribolitus 
Yeah, what's right with monster design in the last place?
Another try, texturing isn't yet done. I think it is still too "blocky".

http://members.home.nl/gimli/gneirk.mpg 
Yeah. LH. 
Even though I really enjoyed DOOM3, that's exactly what made it go stale so quickly -- no variation in gameplay, no different action based on environment or situation, at all. I really hope id has since figured out that while its cool to have great graphics and a strong sense of setting, it's the gameplay that makes a game. No news there though, right?

Of course, I'm sure their new racing game is gonna be great. 
Tired Old Argument, V1.99999999(r) 
The best play in Dm3 was in the leaked beta and early levels - enemy came from everywhere, crawling out of ducts, smashing through walls and even the buggy 'there goes a hellknight' scripted sequence. Gameplay linked into the environment; fluid, scary and very engaging.

They made a great engine, just a shame they couldn't keep up the excellent design of the first few maps / beta.

Instead we got spawning imp and running quickly imp, ad nausium. I waited until I reached the hell levels, saw the pretty prerenders and dropped a few hellknights, then gave the disc away.

And what the fuck was up with the story? Design is based on story, you can have level design without, but you need both to make something great because they spur each other on.

A fifteen year old stoner wanking off in his parents garage could come up with more.

I wonder how much Id are paying him, or just keeping him in supplies.

Madfox: Your Gnerk update appears to be corrupt , 178K and unplayable. Also, did you get the email I sent? 
Ijed 
it's a mpg file and I have no problem with it.
maybe it's your mediaplayer10 or something?
here's a gif file of it.
http://members.home.nl/gimli/gnerk.gif

and no, I did not get the email you sent. 
Funny, The Mpg 
played just fine for me; could rename that fellow the fiendflayer! 
Heh, Looks Cool 
Thinking a really cool attack set could be made - like when an enemy killed you in Undying and you got a 'finish him' of a skeleton ripping your heart out or something.

The email was about a project idea, but I've decided to shelve it for now; it was a TC for Q1, remaking Q2 as it should have been made.

Suffice to say, pretty ambitious and a hell of alot of work. 
Ijed 
That TC sounds marvelous, no matter which way I interpret the sentence... 
Something I Noticed 
I reinstalled this the other day to try and give it another fair shake to see if it's as awful as I remember it being.

It is.

I noticed something about the pacing - the game isn't really relentless so much as it is monotone. It's always dark, combats are always the same size and the same distance apart. The real problem with that re: the darkness is that the player isn't really encouraged to delve further into the dark because after a while it becomes really apparent that there ain't nothing but more darkness after it. It sure sounds great on paper to say "This game NEVER LETS UP and the player feels TOTALLY HELPLESS ALL THE TIME YEAH ARRRG ROCK" but without any kind of safe zone to reward the player for dealing with the difficulty of fighting in the dark, eventually that next relaxation point the player is trying to get to becomes the end of the game and not the hypothetical next room. At that point you're playing just to be through with it and not to continue unrolling the experience. 
Uploaded The GDD 
If anyone's interested;

http://shub-hub.quaddicted.com/files/misc/OMAGDD.7z

This may be an abuse of the lovely ShubHub, since its a .txt 7zipped; let me know if its the sort of thing I shouldn't upload Spirit. 
Read It 
I have some thoughts, but my shift is about to end and then I have some errands to run. I don't know if you are in #terrafusion much as I mostly idle there, but if I spot you I'll send you a pm. 
Lunaran 
I still need to replay Doom3 with a good videocard, my ti4200 doesn't quite cut it... One thing that would add a lot is just simple exploration, not necessarily make it this huge world, but just have other paths... sure they may ultimately dead end, but put something in them, maybe beyond that darkness you do find some health or armor (that doesn't spawn an imp!), but sometimes you find the remains of someones last moments, or zombies feasting on something, or the site of some ritual. Of course these random side paths could just as easily reconnect later on in the level without interrupting flow but... ...I don't know. Aside from detail, the level design in that aspect just seemed kinda lazy (why didn't they do more ghostly things? "They took my baby" was a great moment). 
So... 
Lunaran, scar3crow, you guys mention things which are level-design-solvable, which intrigues me. Could these monsters with their current AI and the standard combat work if put into a level that was better designed in terms of navigation, pacing, lighting and objectives? 
Ijed 
That's an interesting list of suggestions. I thought of something that may be useful to keep with some of the few Quake 2 design improvements over Quake, a way to fake crouching with the plain old Quake bsp hull.

As you probably know, adding crouching isn't difficult as far as being useful for combat purposes, but you can't use it to get into actual crawl spaces because all it does is change the position of the camera but the hull/bounding box relation stays the same.

To get around it, some ingenious QuakeC master
could create a special trigger that forces the
player to crouch while inside the trigger area. If you think about it there is a certain elegance to this design. The player goes over to what looks like a crawl space, he keeps pressing the forward key and he is automaticaly shifted into the crouch position.

The bounding box would be the same, but from the player's perspective he is crawling through an area. You may have to fake an illusion wall above the crawl space to avoid clipping though. 
Quake2 Improvements.... 
one thing i always liked about quake2 was that unaware monsters took more damage. This meant that you always wanted to sneak up behind them for that first shot. A simple change that added a nice extra dimension to gameplay. 
 
The crouching thing idea good - I always reckon that its the designers and coders who should do more work, rather than the players.

Kind of like when Zelda moved to 3d; the controls were great because there was basicly one main action button but it was contextual. If you ignore the various gadgets the A button could do everything, and when in a fight (+ the the lockon) it worked beautifully. Dodge left / right, heavy attack, backflip.

One of the good ideas in Doom3 was having the targetting reticule become the mouse pointer when interacting with keypads / whatever. They killed it there though, making the mechanic fiddily; granted the whole game was based on the same premise, but they could just have easily made a holographic representation spring out of the door lock with bigger buttons for easier use.

Ok, that sounds like a crap idea, but its like what they did with the torch - was the player only supposed to have one hand or something? A good twist which would have made the pistol a more viable weapon would have been that it was possible to use pistol + torch, but not use if for rifles.

The 'sneak' thing in Q2 was good; double damage to unaware enemies, but it also allowed th cheap tactics of hitting enemies from miles away with the RG - enemies nearby wouldn't noitce thier mates splattering across the scenery.

I constantly bang on about this, but the Lazarus mod had some great features (just a shame they made it for Q2 and not Q1) one of these was damage groups - when an enemy is grouped with one or more others (ie. all have the same damage group name) and one is hit they all react as if hit by the player / entity that made the attack. This can be different creature classes.

Example; a group of gouped Grunts and an ungrouped Tank attack the player. The Tank splashdamages one of the knights when aiming at the player - the whole group then turns round and attacks the Tank.

This would need some refinements, like a delay of 1 second between changes attack targets to avoid the creature never getting off an attack.

The upshot is that it uses the AI systems that already exist in Q1, slightly modified, and give the mapper alot more power in setting up the battle sequences. The above example could just as easily have all the creatures grouped and patrolling outside a base - when one is picked off they are all alerted and the player has to either sneak past the whole group to get a better weapon inside the base, or else find a good sniping position from which to pick off each creature individually.

There's loads of other ideas that could be included, stolen from other stuff that's been great. Like Nehahra enemy teleportation, which never happens in sight but is configured for monsters individually.

I'll start a thread for comments and keep working on the doc, uploading it as new suggestions come in.

That'll stop me from making stupidly long, rambling posts. 
Hmm 
Could these monsters with their current AI and the standard combat work if put into a level that was better designed in terms of navigation, pacing, lighting and objectives?

If only I had some idea for a doom3 single player map. :( 
Hrmm 
metl: I believe so, granted I would still like to see some changes made (namely spin-up time for the chaingunner, fix the whip attack on the commando guy (I've been whipped through walls before)).

One of the big hindrances to me was that the place didn't feel infested with hell, it felt like it was undergoing a very very small invasion. A few imps at a time in fact. I would avoid monster closets as we know it (unless its done in a way where you open up a bay door to an inhabited area and it surprises both of you - like in Saving Private Ryan where the wall breaks in the French village, and the group of Allied soldiers who were standing outside are suddenly facing a group of German soldiers who were resting inside, both inhabited their spots naturally, and then a change of stimulus revealed how close they were). Monster closets to me imply that the monster is waiting (and thus know when you will be coming by, and can see you before you can see it). If you want monsters lying in wait, don't do it often, don't always make it item related, and provide clues... Rounding a corner to a long hallway with a few connecting passageways? Up ahead have an imp scurry from one area to another, and in a logically connecting place, have that imp be hiding in the shadows, only attacking once you get so close, if hurt, or has a light shone on him. In a non-linear map, the player won't be able to predict where the ambush will be, but he will know there is a threat nearby.

Don't do these things frequently. Another thing is don't rely on teleportation of monsters. With the red glow and the huge sound... it didn't feel like I was being attacked, in fact I half expected to look up and see a giant Tim Willits looming over me, wearing a wizards hat that says "Dungeon Master" doing Betruger's goofy evil laugh. Rather than inhabiting a hostile world, I felt like I was just springing trap after trap after trap. And they were never ever creative.

Want to spawn in an enemy for getting an item? Do it differently. Player grabs an armor off the path? Spawn an imp on to the path just behind where he got off, that follows patrol points down a little bit past where the player turned off, then depending on how quick they are, they may run back out and BAM imp in the face, or they experience one further down the line that they hadn't the last time they played and not found that armor. Player takes a shotgun from a corpse? Open up an otherwise sealed door to a connecting area of the level with some z-sec who make their distinct radio chatter (I did like that) and put them on a patrol point through the main flow of the level.

Use more of the monsters. Not a higher quanity, just a wider variety. Hell, do a level without imps! The ai and monster behavior in Doom3 isn't hot, but what makes them practically cold is how they don't vary from their formula even for the sake of good scares or gotcha moments.

False leads. Don't be so predictable. Put in some vents that don't spawn trites, actually GIVE the player armor that doesn't come with an easy imp kill, or better yet, only provide armor in secret places so it truly feels like a reward (or keep it locked up exclusive to those security cabinets, so players get excited at the sight of a PDA). Don't starve the player, but do have him regard additional items as a boon, rather than taking it, and the trap, for granted. Make consequences for actions, give the player a visible choice "This button unlocks the security doors on this level, including the stock room which has some health, a good bit of ammo, and armor, but it also releases some z-sec in another room who are detained if you do not press the button."

This turned into more of a "how to improve Doom3 without recoding it" response, sorry about that. 
Quite Fine 
This turned into more of a "how to improve Doom3 without recoding it" response, sorry about that.

I think a lot of us probably spend at least a bit of time thinking of ways of modding and changing the game play of Doom3; few ideas -- like you say, get rid of the imps, I'd get rid of Hell-Doom altogether and go for a more Naturalistic, High-Tech/CyberPunk theme.

Leaves you with grunts, sentries and robots, but you can script in enough variation in those to make it interesting. 
Natural Limitations 
like those can go very far, much in the way that many Diablo players do, such as instead of "Im playing a warrior" it is "Im playing a boshido classic warrior", boshido meaning once they get it, they only use two handed swords, never use a shield, and favor the katana. Classic in that they are a warrior, not a mage, and thus can not learn spells, and do not invest stat points into Magic. This can breathe some life and different challenge into the game.

I think a lot of us probably spend at least a bit of time thinking of ways of modding and changing the game play of Doom3;
Definitely, Doom3 to me felt like it was constantly showing the potential of being great, the tech was good, the setting had plenty of opportunity, but it felt like they were always fine with a C effort... Doom 3 has enough variation in itself to be done in all kinds of interesting combinations (shiny base, broken base, sewers, excavation, hell, and gradients within), and blending, or restricting, the monster sets within those.

A shame it is apparently an utter bitch to mod for, it would benefit well from an imaginative community. I've got map ideas for it now in fact, but aside from my superpower of no level editors ever working (as in crashes, not recognizing games) for me, I simply don't have enough machine to REALLY work with Doom3 (I played it on Low detail with a decent framerate that plumetted during the harder battles, and I had to dip into my skills of Quake on a 486 to still fight competently when the going gets slow). 
The Only Parts Of Doom3 I Liked 
1. Hell - this area was just plain good, I didn't know what to expect, it didn't suffer the monsters in a closet syndrome, and it used less imps (especially less imps spawning in), it was a genuinely alien place that made me feel uneasy. I also really liked the eternal running, it was another reminder that this was not normal reality, this was a warped place. I cried "NOOOO" when I returned to the base.
2. Ghostly bits - the voices about the baby and such was just creepy, if only this had been taken further.
3. Visions - these were good, but could've been much better if you could really play through these nightmare visions, FEAR and Prey did a better job on the 'weird experiences' stuff. A big improvement would be if the nightmare visions would last upwards of a minute, and would come on more sporadically (rather than at clear trigger points along your ONLY path), imagine if you saw these visions only when you got near a corpse or skeleton in the corner.
4. The beginning - until hell broke loose it was a pretty interesting place, I liked all the NPC chat and silly UAC promotional materials, people reporting weird things, this was a good part of the game, the rest of the game should've continued this sort of thing to a larger extent (more survivors, more temporary peace, people you actually care about would've helped a lot too).

Not part of the game itself but... I liked the Doom movie far more than Doom3, THAT story would've made a pretty decent game. 
Hm 
They basicly cancelled the Doom3 story for the film - demons and hell weren't allowed, so it became 'genetic modification' (this generation's radioactive spider).

A couple of films have used a very similar storyline - Event Horizon comes to mind. Just a shame the plotting was complete bollocks.

Doom3 was basicly a tech demo. A game in a similar vein but much better was Painkiller, even though it was horde battles instead of lurking fear it showed about fifty times more imagination.

All the bits that were good should have been pumped up a million times. Made a great engine for light? Then use it. The only time I remember when light was genuinely a keypoint of play (apart from the constant messing about with the flashlight) was when following the glowing imp cryotube through the darkened section.

When you were in an area with darkness you just backed into the nearest lightpool and waited with the shotgun. Predictable play, but that's what they gave us.

Hell was another nice tech demo for me. Great artwork, but all it showed was how far normalmapping could be pushed.

Id've liked it better as Doom III, not Doom�.

I'll never post about it again. Probably. 
Ijed 
Actually the "virus" thing had been done before in dozens of movies, but what hadn't been done was the fact the virus turned good people into superheroes, that fit the Doom1 style perfectly, demon-blasting goodness, better storyline for something called Doom3 than what id pawned off as Doom3's storyline (which as Lunaran has pointed out is a rehash of HalfLife). 
Oh God 
I half expected to look up and see a giant Tim Willits looming over me, wearing a wizards hat that says "Dungeon Master" doing Betruger's goofy evil laugh.

o the tears of joy they drown me 
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