News | Forum | People | FAQ | Links | Search | Register | Log in
Doom 3 - Deathmatch & Layout / Items
As Doom3 is still in its infantile stages of community releases I believe some discussion regarding item distribution and how they relate to deathmatch layouts is in order to ensure as many quality releases as possible.

First we have the weaponry:

- Pistol (default weapon) useless in DM, obviously want to get the player something stronger immediately to encourage them to hunt out the other players.

- Hand Grenades - Almost a novelty or a desperate attempt when you have no other weapon at hand. Their unpredictable elasticity after they bounce makes them such a gamble to use. You can't even count on them staying down a floor if your throwing them from above!

- Shotgun/MachineGun/ChainGun - I feel these three weapons are good to be located in the 'easy to get' areas they are the SSG, NG, SNG of quake. The players backup weapon when ammo is low.

- Plasma, Rockets - These two Weapons I consider to be the chosen options for controlling a map, and would be best in more central locations and more seperated from their ammo to prevent camping in these areas if possible.

- BFG - While this isn't in any of the multiplayer maps, I assume it would be a dangerous beast if ammo isn't kept in check

- Chainsaw - Also not in any of the stock maps (sadly) so I cannot comment on it's effectiveness in multiplayer. But I'd assume its more potent than say the Q3A gauntlet due to doom 3's more cramped quarters.

- Berserk - I suppose this is a powerup not a weapon but in the hands of a skilled player it would put others on edge. And it has the perk of refilling your health if hurt badly.


- MegaHealth - standard 100+ to your Hitpoints a tasty item indeed to stash in more central or precarious locations.

- Invisibility - Tends to be hidden as it is a sneaky item and has always been underused in previous ID titles. Will we see it more considering alot of Doom 3 is about sneaking around?

Items :

- Armor - Only 1 armor type. The stock maps tend not to have much focus on armor as an item that needs to be controlled.

- Armor shards - function as expected by adding 5 to your armor level up to a maximum of 125.

- Health - yup, its health

- Backpack - These seem to be in sneaky places in the stock maps as if they give a great advantage to the player. Its just ammo... wtf? Maybe I haven't played enough.

- PDAs, Security Clearance...etc... - Can these even be used in MP game modes? I can think of them being used as a form of powerup to give the player access to areas of the map that other players can reach. Or to trigger certain machinery/traps/etc... (ex: player gets security clearance then can access a control room. Control room opens air locks throughout the map that players can only avoid by either getting into the control room to kill the player (and switch it off) or find other 'safe areas' throughout the map...) Just an idea :D

The stock maps with Doom 3 unfortunately treat all the weapons as if they are almost equal. Putting in 1 of each all equally spread out. Then adding 1 armor, 1 backpack, and equal ammo for everything. I'd like to gather a census of information from all you players/mappers here what you would consider good balances of weaponry for the different game types.

1on1, 3-4 ffa, and 2on2 matches would benefit differently from different item layouts aswell.
(And i suppose player count can go higher so this might also be taken into account)

Also (sorry about length of post) to avoid starting another thread. What are peoples opinions on traps and other map novelties. Doom 3 opens alot more possibilites for some fun memorable map gizmos. While I'm undecided about deathtraps in DM I am favourable towards giving the players control over lighting in chosen areas.
I think the BFG might not be so bad, as it does take some time to charge up, and in the close quarter enviroments of D3 DM maps (the stock ones at least), there's always another room to run and hide in...

I could be wrong though, it's a long time since I played DM especially any DM with a BFG in.

Personally I want to see inspiring and more "traditionally" designed (i.e. atria and more open spaces) DM maps first, and worry about the weapons later....but I think you've got them pretty much summed up. 
Lights Out, And Explosive Clout 
I think that control of lighting, whether it be switched on/off or shot out, or both, could be very good if used correctly. Also the use of explosive moveable barrels/objects could also add to the mix. Perhaps with the ability to use the barrels to set traps etc.
I think I will always remember in D3SP when I came across the Revenants for the first time and took one out by rolling a barrel down the ramp and putting a couple of shots into it, kaboom, goodbye Rev, awesome.
Respawnable barrels would probably be required, not sure if they can respawn or not. 
A room full of barrels, where an important item or weapon is - and if even 1 shot is fired in this room, you risk blowing all the barrels up. Would have to be done just right though, instead of repetetive wall of barrels. 
Barrels Respawn By Default 
When players aren't looking at them, if possible. It's pretty neat. 
Barrels Do Respawn 
...and as I have it right now the sole Rocket Launcher in my current map is up a short flight of stairs, at the bottom of these stairs (alongside the handrails actually) stand a few barrels. a smart player would be wise to remove this threat before approaching the item. However the second method of dropping down onto the rocket launcher does not provide the right angle to shoot the barrels out before putting themself in danger , they have to leave the area without them exploding, or back against the wall (which in turn makes them a vulnerable target) ....apparently even monsters can make DM appearances (I read that somewhere, if this is untrue please break my heart)...

some quick scripting could make them do respawn checks...or even be parts of traps... (Open laboratory cages anyone?)

Btw, for moveable items I find they fall through certain textures of mine that I'm using for floor... I suppose a clip layer 0.1 below would fix that... 
Monsters in DM: Haven't tried. Theoretically possible; not sure how the networking code will like it ('co-op' doom3 breaks horribly, at least the simple mod we tried).

DM weaponry: at a recent LAN, I played a bit of D3 DM. Random thoughts follow:

- Rocket launcher: Almost as good as Quake's. Serious hardware; has weaknesses (5-round clip), but a damn fine weapon.

- Grenades: We found these surprisingly useful. The bounciness that's so irritating in SP turns lethal in MP; letting you employ them at longer ranges and around corners, and keeping them in motion and dangerous for a lot longer than your average id grenade. Mixes up initial-spawn fights quite nicely. It's probably a good thing they do only 75 damage...

- Shotgun: A full SG spread is 165 damage. Nothing else barring a BFG can inflict that much. Multiply by two for a headshot (which, in close quarters, is a real possibility), and you're looking at an instakill unless your target is soulsphere'd and armoured right up.

- Plasma: In more open maps its slow projectiles would pose much less of a threat. In the stock maps, it's pretty nasty. Shoots down rockets and BFG bolts, too (not that you'd notice in the close quarters it's generally employed at).

- Machinegun: Needs a steady hand, but its surprising accuracy ensures good damage potential at any range.

- Armour: Takes 0.6 of inflicted damage; pretty much the same as Q3's 0.66.

- Soulsphere: Not just +100 health, it increases your health straight to 200. 
Doesn't the Doom 3 BFG work in the same way as the Q2 one? I remember the BFG in Q2 causing the odd argument, but as long as there was some cover in the map in which is appeared, it was entirely possible to avoid vapourisation quite easily. The fact you can shoot the bolt down in Doom 3 makes it even weaker. It's better than the Q3 version, which was like a cross between the pg and rl.

The problem is that in Doom 3 DM you only have 3 other players to fry with the BFG, and getting the chance to get them all at once doesn't come up all the time. Seems like it could be a bit of a waste, although could potentially be useful in 2 on 2 for flushing the enemy out of the areas of high importance in a map. 
My Sneaky Question... 
...and answer I am trying to get out of this thread is how to lay these items out in a map for a balanced and fair enough method. Are there any weapons you would leave out entirely?
What weapons would be best to have at least 2 of in a map to prevent camping of the 'best' weapon... etc... 
The Purpose Of This Thread According To Me. 
It seems like the only reason to have a thread like this is to come up with a formula for a D3DM map. Just make your own style, test it, tweak it, and release it. If there is a particular set of items that makes for a better playing map, people will eventually catch on. But don't limit yourself based on what a bunch of people concluded in a thread where people haven't even tested anything. 
it's not about coming up with a tried/true formula although that would always be handy to keep in the back of your mind whilst mapping. It's more about opinions of how balanced the weapons are in accordance with eachother and should the maps reflect that to any degree. 
From IRC 
<RPG|h0t> pope: so you liked my inflammatory remarks?
<pope_atwork> ?
<pope_atwork> in my thread?
<RPG|h0t> Yes.
<pope_atwork> i suspected you were trying to pull my strings
<pope_atwork> usually your not so... blunt
<RPG|h0t> Not really, TBH.
<RPG|h0t> Oh really? I'll have to work on being more blunt, then.
<RPG|h0t> Also, I just feel strongly that mapping in a formula is plain silly.
<pope_atwork> well im not talking about a strict formula
<RPG|h0t> But my point is that don't even start with a loose formula.
<pope_atwork> but its difficult since the d3dm community is well... nonexistant yet so there are no favourite strateies
<RPG|h0t> Make up your own mind and have something unique.
<pope_atwork> well since there ARE no formulas thats a given
<RPG|h0t> "favourite strateies" = no. MAKE UP THE STRATEGIES YOURSELF.
<pope_atwork> but I'd like to hear from other people what they think of the balance and weapons and layouts...
<pope_atwork> because as we all know, making a map entirely for yourself... just doesn't work
<pushplay> 2pg +13cg * 7rl - pi = dm
<RPG|h0t> That's why you have testers, pope.
<pope_atwork> so are you saying my thread is redundant and shouldn't be discussed at all?
<RPG|h0t> Redundant? What does this have to do with anything? Wrong word I think.
<RPG|h0t> pope: when I read the introductory paragraph in the thread, it sounds like you're trying to artificially create set ideas of how DM maps should be.
<RPG|h0t> I do not believe that should be discussed.
<RPG|h0t> I believe that should be decided by PLAYING.
<RPG|h0t> Make maps, test them, tweak them.
<RPG|h0t> Then let others map other maps in other styles, and have those tested and tweaked.
<RPG|h0t> See which worked better.
<RPG|h0t> Create diversity.
<RPG|h0t> Don't just say "let's all decide on what weapon distribution would be best."
<RPG|h0t> Okay now I'm just repeating myself.
<RPG|h0t> Now part of the thread is discussing non-standard DM stuff (barrels, PDA, machines, etc.). I think discussing that could lead to interesting ideas (and merely ideas, and thus only inspiration instead of reference).
<pushplay> good soliloquy
* pushplay eagerly awaits the second act of RPG's one man show
<RPG|h0t> It would be better if pope would actually argue with me.
<RPG|h0t> �_�
<Zwiffle> i'll argue with you rpg
<pushplay> I sure hope the protagonist dies at the end
<pushplay> -_-
<Zwiffle> ^_^

To clarify: When I said "other styles", I didn't mean visual styles; I meant gameplay styles. 
I think this thread serves a worth-while purpose. Weapon distribution is very important to multiplayer games, especially deathmatch-based ones. Item/ammo/weapon layout can, in many cases, make or break the balance of a multiplayer map.

Having said that, for the creation of quality-map production to expediate, a general guideline for item placement is definitely useful. I don't think Pope is trying to necessarily create a definitive formula for item layout - after all, that would almost defeat the purpose of creating NEW maps.

Instead, I think Pope is trying to get a better idea of how items handle; That is, this is a new game with a different balance from Quake or Q3A, and the 'feel' of the game isn't the same. As with all aspects of game design, discussion offers insightful views one person alone couldn't possibly see.

Grasping a better feel of the game later on, designers can experiment more with their own unique styles, once they understand the basics - in this case, items. Without suitable discussion, MP design can fall behind as the level designers struggle to understand how the items best interact with each other.

A strict formula? No, of course not. It's more of a guideline to help protect from unbalanced design that can delay and lower the quality of level releases. Single player has the same principles in most cases, but is generally easier to balance because of an overall simpler focus. When a map's purpose is to support interconnectivity and openness, the item placement is much more crucial than would be in a singleplayer endeavor.

After the potential power of items/combinations is substantially discovered, and the designer has a solid feel for what the items do, then the experimentation of item layout can really shine - with the final product being a more thoughtful, creative, and balanced level.

But then, maybe I'm wrong, I don't design multiplayer levels so I can't say I've learned this from experience, it's merely just how I understand the thread. 
Monsters In DM Work 
As can be seen in Z13D3DM1...There's an imp in one of the corners, inside a test-tube. He's alive, and shrieks at you and turns to face you if you hug the glass. You can't kill him, and he can't hurt you, but he's there.

I wonder if he can respawn tho. Would make for an interesting gimmick for the RL: Drop a pinky down in the hole where you hide the RL :) 
What RPG said. 
I should add on: If you're going to map for Doom3, you might as well make it a single player map. That's what it was intended for, and that's what I would want to play anyway. But, I'm getting way off topic. 
But I like DM...

(Yes, I'm going to make SP stuff after rewired3. But I don't think your personal preference should dictate what type of map I should make. Or allow you to tell people what to make) 
RPG is full of shit.

1) The existence of a formula does not prevent people from inventing other formula's (formulae, whatever).

2) This is not a binary choice - formula or invent-it-all-from-scratch. There is a huge space of rules (don't have quad in 1v1), guidelines (avoid placing all powerful items in one part of map) and concepts (the dead end, the atrium, the crossroads) that can be used without forcing every map through a cookie cutter. 
Zwiffle is at least 20% poo. Did you forget q2? 
I Did 
thank christ. 
Maj rocks for having something interesting to say on the subject.

1) Humans are lazy. I agree that the existence of one formula does not directly prevent the creation of another; however, no one will bother to make a new one because the old one works.

2) Yes, there is a huge amount of rules, guidelines and concepts. But people still made hordes of DaPak style maps, didn't they? People still make DaPak style maps, don't they? 
RPG, the creative limitations of the majority of people making levels should not prevent people striving to find a 'formula' that works, or indeed the discussion of what works well.

And even above and beyond that, I think this thread was designed more to discuss the realitive 'power' of the different items in weapons in Doom3, which then allows a more experienced designer to greater understand the gameflow in D3DM and therefore make better maps.

It's not so much the creation of a formula as the creation of an understanding of the game mechanics. 
..this thread was created a little to early in the lifespan of the d3 dm community. As of yet there isn't a whole variety of maps released to either learn from or discuss gameplay mechanics. And the stockmaps really don't offer alot of variety between them. 
You are being wayyy too reasonable Blackpope. It is never too early to start an argument, even if the parameters of that argument only exist in our imagination. 
How often are we going to see innovative/different maps apart from more id base maps, like with the Quake series?? This has probably been discussed before but I haven't kept up. 
Probably see just as many innovative maps even once the formula is 'found'. Most of the maps are gonna be made by talentless hacks, so you might as well provide them a useful formula so that the derivative maps all have decent gameplay, at least. 
Dear God 
I agree with Grindspire. 
Isn't that 3rd sign of the apocalypse? 
It's Lonely At The Top, But It's Comforting To Look Down At Everyone 
Most of the maps are gonna be made by talentless hacks, so you might as well provide them a useful formula so that the derivative maps all have decent gameplay, at least.

If they're talentless hacks, they're probably not going to be able to use a formula well. It's like I said before; if you copy something that was good but you don't understand it, the thing you make is still going to suck.

P.S. Whoever sounds more elitist than I just did wins a cookie. 
They Aren't 
...going to suck AS BAD.... and maybe those 'talentless hacks' will at least embrace some aspects of succesful level design 
My take on this issue.

I feel the the layout of a d3dm map is where all the proof of the pudding is. Doom3's balance and reintroduction of things like exploding barrels and the beserk powerup means that weapon placement isn't as important.

From what I've played of d3dm, the game seems very chaotic and fun, while at the same time adding bits of 'strategy' to the mix with reloads. What creates this chaos? Basically it's the fact that all the weapons are perfectly capable of killing others in the right hands. There isn't any 1 'POWER' weapon besides the BFG, which is still somewhat kept in line with the fact that it can be shot down by any well aimed weapon, plasma being the easiest.

Unlike other Quake's, placing a rocket launcher in a room doesn't mean everyone will be sticking around there. The Chaingun is perfectly capable of mowing down foes. As is the Plasma rifle. and the Shotgun. Even the Machine gun and Bouncy grenades can be well used in the right hands. Haven't seen the Chainsaw in action in DM, but I suspect it's mid ranged in power, doing good damage, but requiring you to get close to others, which can be difficult if they're running away and shooting at you.

So since all the weapons can kill in their own ways, the gameplay is more based in how well players can move about the map, use cover when reloading in a firefire, and find health and armor when needed. Armor is now the best 'carrot on a string' to move players around the map, seeming as it does not max out with a single pickup. So the use of multiple armors placed in opposite sides of the layout seems ideal to me to keep the top player moving and not just camping the single armor. Ammo will also move players like it did with Quake, so placing differant types around will get the game moving.

As I said, layout design is what's important. Creating places where the player meets others and gets into battles is what it's all about. The old rules still apply, dead ends with heavy weapons mean a good bottleneck for combat to begin, multiple escape routes for wounded players and multiple ways for cutting them off while giving chase for great drawn out run and gun fights, and lots of good old 3d staulk victums from above and leap down at oppritune moments. Everyone is equally equiped to kill, so you must design so the using the level to the player's advantage is what will decide most battles.

Now, that's not to say weapon placement should be haphazard. Putting weapons where they have advantage is always great fun. Grenades overlooking ledges, plasma/chaingun in tight areas, rocket laucher in an open room. But this all comes down to the mapper's feelings on how the gameplay should work in their level. If there's most tight halls, rocket launchers overlooking the plasma gun will again force the great combat you want to see so the player receiving the advantagous weapon had to earn it. A machine gun left outside a deadend where a rocket launcher is kept could be used to pin who's even in there back so they have to fight their way out.

Again, the layout is the strongest point to look for in the design of the map. Designers should think about how the gameplay will act out and work to make it as fun as possible. Intelligent placing of weapons to acheive good gameplay is key, but it must work with the design to make things awesome. 
You're selling the grenades short, pope. They're not as wildly uncontrollable as you say, and are actually helpful ingame if used shrewdly. 
forgot to mention powerups! I feel beserk is great for sticking into main traffic areas of the map to further the chaos, which invisibility should by tougher to get as it's very powerful in this game. megahealth is up to the designer really, making it easy to pick up in it's own specfic area is fine, as is placing it on a ledge the player has to jump to or whatever. the powerups seem well balenced to give advantage without totally destroying the game, so again, intelligent placement is all that's needed. 
Just Out Of Curiosity... 
Why wouldn't you do the opposite, and put weapons into locations they're disadvantaged for? Like a machinegun in the middle of a long room, a rocketlauncher in the corner of a tight hallway, etc. 
Many People Do... 
...mand people do...

Damn Those Mand People 
It slows down the game. It's bad enough that I have to sneak my way to a decent weapon, but to have to sneak around further to be able to use it is annoying. 
Good post, my man! 
Doom3 DM MAPS? 
Any good D3DM maps around?? Want to give the DM game a try but only willing to do so on inspiring maps.

Have looked at Doom3world, seems pretty dry, and PlanetDoom's map section which has a couple of decent looking ones but not tried them yet.

Someone gimme some info here please =) 
Slant The Crate 
Obviously I haven't played D3DM, but there's a lot of informative opinion in the thread. I partly agree with RPG that it's dodgy to try and be explicit about gameplay early on - if you lay too much down in words instead of brushes, you could be working against your own inventiveness.'s always worth having a discussion because sooner or later some bright spark will actually say something useful.
In this case...I think scampie has answered your question most effectively, pope, in a way you didn't expect:

Everyone is equally equiped to kill, so you must design so that using the level to the player's advantage is what will decide most battles.

From the sounds of it, interactive world items are fairly common and sophisticated in D3DM. This probably moves the gameplay a bit away from QW/Q3 towards realism team-based games. In the former games, there are only two reasons to be stationary: 1. you're camping: 2. you're dead. Whereas in D3DM you may be stationary because, for example, you are:
hiding in shadows, of which there are plenty
waiting to use a world item ( e.g. barrels ) to spring an ambush
trying to find the lightswitch

In Q3, there are no dynamic lights and almost no moving parts - doors and crushers are very rare and usually not features that must be controlled to win. The weapons are the principal characters. QW/Q3 are mostly visceral, but what scampie is talking about is tactical. Not true mandatory-objective 'bomb the bunker' CS/ET type stuff, but closer to it.
The player is, in effect, a squad of 1.
So there are objectives that aren't predetermined for each map and do not grant instant victory upon completion, but they are part of the process required to win in the long run because each one properly executed brings a distinct advantage; blasting a cluster of barrels to clear a shortcut to safety or interception, using a PDA to gain access to a powerup, turning out the lights and lobbing grenades to where an opponent is surely stumbling in the dark or even releasing a monster and legging it to higher ground while it wreaks havoc in the basement.

To make a comparison to one of your own maps, pope, I'd say the switch/gate pent acquisition in Bloody Discharge is along the lines to be thinking about. Focus a little less on the weapons and a little more on the environment. 
Sounds like the only thing that could support D3DM is gimmick maps. 
that's what I was trying to politely as possible :P 
of gimmick maps, but more like something that makes the map unique in terms of playability.
the weapons still play the largest part of controlling the map. Especially if other goodes like armor and powerups are placed effectively. However Giving the player as many possibilities in a room to fight instead of simple an open arena or firing down from a floor is the gift I got from Kells post.

btw, I didnt think anyone played bloody discharge heh 
You must be logged in to post in this thread.
Website copyright © 2002-2020 John Fitzgibbons. All posts are copyright their respective authors.