News | Forum | People | FAQ | Links | Search | Register | Log in
How Hard Is Too Hard?
What balance of level difficultly should be present in a well designed Quake map?

Should mappers gear singleplayer maps played in 'normal' skill play as easy/hard as id's original maps? Or have we reached a point where everyone is a great Quake player?

Whose opinion should take preferance? The Mapper's love of 'tricking' or 'beating' the player? Or the Player's goal of defeating the map? Are mapper's who skillfully provide challenge to player's better? Or would you rather maps be walks in the park with action and fun and some simple skills? Is there a perfect mixture of the two worlds?

Discuss. [i](c) Shambler[/i]
First | Previous | Next | Last
In That Case... 
It's too hard when the calluses split. The resultant sharp edges aren't pleasurable for either of you. 
Nightmare : Kell 
Just to clear up a small point in something you said earlier. On skill 3 the monsters don't fire twice as fast. If they have line of sight on you they will attack relentlessly until you're dead or they lose line of sight. They will not try to move closer (as they do on most skills), just attack attack ATTACK!

Also, they are much more deadly at close quarters since they will not go into their pain frames for an additional 5 seconds on top of any normal delay for the type of monster.

Also, vore balls move faster. On 0,1 and 2 they move slower than a running marine, on 3 they move faster so you can't just outrun them.

Um, I think that's all. :-)

Anyone told a stiffy joke yet? 
your knowledge is useful
didn't know about voreballs, but i had a suspicion ;) 
Hehe I Didnt Know All That 
i knew not to play on nightmare skill though :) 
i still say for the most part you cant try and make broad determinations for skill levels , all you can really do is try to make each skill level consistent throughout the level, and really just use your own skill level and method of playing as a guide. i did this in my map and in retrospect i think it turned out pretty well. my approach to it was that i made hard skill the skill level i would play on, normal just slightly intensive, and easy a relative cakewalk (again, for me) 
To Clarify 
this is not to say i didnt consider other players and how they would play my map, just that when developing the skill levels/combat i thought of how i would play it, what health i would need, etc, not what the invisible 'casual quake player' would

also, lets not forget beta-testing, this contributes to getting rid of alot of the minor/major inconsistencies in skill levels and its really the best step to negotiate between how they view the skill and what you (the mapper) think it should be like 
Impossible... too hard. 
Fat Controller LOL 
oh god! you're too good at that! 
Let's have some words of reason in this thread. And mass func_tag b0rkage, no doubt.


but I still had reports from people that they couldn't beat the map; even on easy skill setting!

Yeah but of course there's no way anyone should warn them that it could be a bit hard, the snivelling little sods, is there?? Let wade in unawares and suffer, eh!!


Scampie, your sm58_scampie was really hard there at the end. I had to run through the Spawns there after killing the Shamblers because I was out of nearly everything.

OMG, PUSSSSSY! Were you playing in some wanky custom engine that removed power-ups or something?? Run in, grab the Quad, get the Smablers fighting the spawn and then gib anything left over.


So if you fire up a quake map after playing lots of say q3, it takes a while to adjust.

Pah, if you're playing lots of Q3A, you deserve everything you get, including the likely loss of skills and brain cell deterioration.


I totally missed that thread the first time round. woops.

Wow, civil contrition from someone online. Don't worry it will never catch on.


but his treatment of the Quake skill divisions was characteristically egotistical of the little twat.

LOL, that sort of comment gives me a warm fuzzy feeling =).

gameplay where only a precisely timed maneuver coupled with killing of monsters in a precise order or the use of only one weapon against a given opponent is not only hard, it is boring. It requires that the player learn an exact sequence pre-determined by the mapper, and the interactive quality that all games are supposed to be about is ultimately the loser.

Words of wisdom indeed. Although, maybe there is a place for that as a very specific form of gameplay (if one is forewarned, of course).

Still, UWF wrote in his review, "I find the map challenging but sometimes frustrating (especially in terms of replay value). Make no mistake this is a difficult level which requires much patience and skill to complete, (and frequent saving as well)."

WTF, UWF highlighted the map's difficulty and warned people it might be tricky?!?! Holy shit that's a disgrace, actually reviewing the gameplay and providing information to potential players....lynch the fucker!!

P.S. Nice tab b0rkage Kell, especially over two posts =).


Hard SHOULD be hard

Well quite. And if Hard is hard, and someone playing on Hard finds it hard, then they might well end up commenting that it is indeed, hard. Not....hard to understand, even if common sense isn't one's first language.

Morfy & Von:

blah blah blah

I, on the other hand, did know all that :P. In fact there is the odd, rare possibility where a certain combat could be easier on nightmare due to monster's different combat tactics.

Oh actually, Morfy, are you sure the Voreballs are slower than a non-bunnying player on Easy-Hard, and not just the same speed?

Etc. Now let's see what the tags do. 
My Opinion 
Games before 2000:user maps shall be 1-level-more difficulty than original titles
Games after 2000:the same the best
Thank you. Fuck you. Go map =) 
Did as suggested, much better result, experiencing growth in me lower quarters. 
I Was Not Speaking From Experience 
#37, touche, good last word. 
My Halloween Map 
Hard and Normal skills did not differ nearly enough. I ran out of time but I'm happy enough with what went out. Still - I consider that a notable shortcoming.

Some good notes are posted here. Enough to make me think more about what I've done on a map that is almost done. 
How Hard Is Too Hard 
When you wake up with a boner and a full bladder and you can't aim the damn thing to piss downward, that is too hard. 
Solution Time 
handstands are your friends 
Piss Out Of The Window... 
...that's what I do. Not so good if your toilet window opens out onto a busy street, I suppose.


Normal player running speed = 320
skill 0-2 vore ball speed = 250
skill 3 vore ball speed = 350 
Tried it on waking up this morning and I only wound up pissing in my own face (for a change). I wont be trying that again as I already do too much to entertain my neighbors as it is. 
Damn, Thought I'd Solved It Then 
maybe the next step is to try the handstand while wearing a helmet! 
Tommorrow morning I'm going to try the handstand against the bathroom sink; sure that is where people brush their teeth but I have been thrown out of worse places. 
Just Don't Ask Me To Clean Up 
for best results, just get a new bathroom each time 
A Players Opinion :) 
Until now there have been two Q1sp levels
which i found too hard (on nightmare):
-the secret level of prodigy_se; four shamblers
in a small room with no cover and no quad /o\
-the end platform of Ne_sp04; shamblers and
fiends on a small platform with almost no cover
surrounded by scrags.Although i LOVE necros
maps and style i dunno how this should be beatable; didnt find all secrets tho.
I think it depends only on the number of shamblers in certain situations whether it is beatable or not,because they never miss ,so
without cover or powerup the taken damage is
too much.
For example there is a custom map that starts
with four fiends in a small room and theres not even the ssg.I found that great fun and
a great challlenge.
Also i like it when ammo/heatlh is tight,
sometimes this leads to tense almost thief
like gameplay(classic "15 health before the next attack"-situation), but sometimes its
just not enough.
And another point is: sometimes a map is "too
much thought out", full of traps and assaults that are unsurvivable first time, which is
frustrating.I hate quickloading ;)
But tbh its better if its too hard than too easy, makes me want to come back and try again;
where a too easy map i just put away as "done". 
Part I of post

There are lots of good opinions regarding Quake and other games here, which I will not go into (why tarnish gold?).

I recently played one of the half-life expansion packs from start to finish on hard mode. I didn't care enough to remember which one it was (the one with the grappling hook and the green end boss you have to shoot 3 times).

It was way easy. I do not consider myself to be a leet player. I'm good, skillful, even intuitive, but COME ON! The only enemies that ever gave me trouble were the Black Ops, and that's only because I didn't encounter them enough to learn how to deal with them (I learned that shooting them worked best ;p ). Other monsters ranged from easy to very easy.
On the monsters that were actually ridiculously hard (considering the time and ammo needed to defeat them), I usually lured them into an area they wouldn't follow me past, such as a corner of narrow doorway, and patiently beat the life out of them with my infinite-ammo blue electricity shooter thingy.

There were a few places I had to retry a few times, but that's what I expect from Normal difficulty. This is Hard for heaven's sake.
Bah. I actually did enjoy it.

BTW, I've noticed that on many quake maps, people talk about causing monster in-fighting as if it were a strategy that everyone is born with. It's something I've always been aware of (ever since logging onto the internet), but it wasn't until I heard it talked about so much here that I actually came to rely on it as a real strategy. I personally do not think this should be expected of the player in easy or normal skills. Nor any power-jumping strategies such as rocket jumping, strafe-jumping, grenade-jumping, bunny-hopping, etc. Reserve those for secrets. If a map requires such bizarre jumping strategies to beat it (which the player may not be aware of at all), that's a major turn-off to me. For monster in-fighting, I'd better be able to blast away those monsters with my own two hands to beat that map, at least in normal skill. In-fighting is a luxury. In hard skill, it certainly helps to do that, and in Nightmare, this strategy fits right in.

My impression on the skill levels I've seen in most games other than Quake1 (sad but true):

Easy: If the player has found the attack button and movement keys, he should be concievably able to beat this map, given a couple months or so.

Normal: The player is of average intelligence, and is now quite comfortable with the attack and movement keys. He might know how to strafe too, but let's not push him too hard.

Hard: In most games, hard is normal with a different name and maybe less defense for the player. If the player has played any other game before in his life, he should be able to eventually beat this skill.

Nightmare: Quake is one of the few games that doesn't stop at hard. Bravo. For those games that do bother to add another difficulty level, they probably also took the time to make the other skill levels intelligent, and thus Hard really will be hard and Nightmare really will make most unskilled players wet themselves. That's how it should be, but most games cater to the so-casual-I-only-play-one-hour-a-month gamer. 
Part 2 Of Post 
How I think skill levels should be:

Easy: The player recently lost his fingers and eyeballs in a tragic accident. He now plays with his stubs for arms, and listens for sounds in the game to cue him in on enemy attacks. Then he stands still and spins around shooting until the monsters stop making noises. He doesn't run out of ammo doing this. Then he pulls out the axe and swings it while walking. When he finds a wall, the axe makes a clanking sound and he knows he needs to turn left. At no point does he die during the process.
To be more specific, Easy skill for new maps should be original Quake's Normal skill.

Normal: The player has played these new-fangled video games before, and has gotten quite good at bouncing that ball back and forth. He's now developed the visual and mental coordination he needs to take on something more complex. This type of player should be traumatized by the difficulty of Hard, and at the very least turned off by the difficulty of Normal. He should go play in Easy skill, and then come back and try normal again. Specifically, Normal skill should be hard enough that a casual gamer actually has to use his brain on the first time through. He should be challenged just enough to be enjoyable, and should occasionally have to try an area over again.

Hard: The player is a convicted murderer that pleaded insanity and was released early to free up room for more recent prisoners. He has just gotten a hold of a computer and is looking for something to terrify him and unleash his rage on. Hard mode should definitely challenge him. He should often run out of ammo in his favorite gun and be forced to switch. He should be required to think and take different angles of attack, because the first two tries failed. He should not get too frustrated though, because it's not a good idea to anger people like that with something that has your full name attached to it.

Nighmare: The afore mentioned sadistic deranged lunatic should wet his pants and hold out a cross, screaming desperate pleas for mercy. At the very least, the leetest of players should have a challenge in defeating this. 
First | Previous | Next | Last
You must be logged in to post in this thread.
Website copyright © 2002-2024 John Fitzgibbons. All posts are copyright their respective authors.