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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.

Powerups:

- 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.
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Basically... 
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. 
Also... 
Zwiffle is at least 20% poo. Did you forget q2? 
I Did 
thank christ. 
Basically... 
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? 
Hmm 
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. 
Perhaps... 
..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. 
Nevah! 
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. 
But 
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. 
Phait 
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. 
Hmm 
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. 
Bah. 
You're selling the grenades short, pope. They're not as wildly uncontrollable as you say, and are actually helpful ingame if used shrewdly. 
Oooh! 
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. 
Scampie 
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. But...it'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:
reloading
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. 
Hm 
Sounds like the only thing that could support D3DM is gimmick maps. 
Lun 
that's what I was trying to say...as politely as possible :P 
Less 
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 
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