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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]
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Are You Sure? This Skill Setting Isn't Even Remotely Fair... 
PuLSaR: as far as I'm concerned, because nightmare isn't a separately implementable skill setting and because it's just meant to be 'omfg' difficulty, you shouldn't be concerned about whether the map is completeable or not. That's for players to decide themselves. Or die trying.
Speedrunners choose to experience the game in a very personal way, so their success is based on their own input not yours. Frankly, they deserve everything they get ;) 
That makes sense, if the game doesn't allow you to tune Hard and Nightmare seperately ... in Unreal I find the engine bumps the difficulty too much (from a high starting point), skill 1 is the hardest map until the engine gets ahold of it, or 1-3 are identical.

Oh and I think plenty of people play on nightmare, I used to when Q1 was all I played. 
I Used To Play On Nightmare 
But I realized that nightmare was too frustrating, so I started playing on hard because it was more fun but still challenging. 
Probably The Latest Response Ever... 
but i thought i'd respond anyway:
the end platform of Ne_sp04; shamblers and
fiends on a small platform with almost no cover
surrounded by scrags
refering to #48 posted by Sielwolf [] on 2003/11/30 17:44:29

it's possible, but sometimes depends on a bit of luck at the same time. it's advisable to save before the tube lowers. taking out the first monsters is easy as there's cover, but once there are a lot of shamblers, you need to keep moving no matter what and incite as much monster infighting as possible if you take two or three hits from lightning, just keep going, and simply take out the stragglers. also, remember that if you time it right, you can run back just as the shambler's claws are coming down and it's possible to continue doing so. if you practice at it (or just play a lot of maps and fight shamblers with SSG) it becomes almost second nature, which makes taking on one or even two shamblers out in the open not difficult at all.

out of curiosity, how many people actually use the method of killing shamblers i described? i've seen it in some demos but not always.

i think a good fight would be two shamblers in the open with only the ssg and maybe green armor (w/100 hp) i think that should be plenty beatble since all a player need do is keep on of the shamblers stuck in it's melee attack, keeping it interposed between the other shambler and himself.


also, what do you guys think of multiple vores in wide open areas with no cover until the vores have been killed? normally, i would think it be a simple matter of continue to move as you take the vores out one by one, then taking cover and getting the voreballs to explode somewhere... again, opinions? 
I would always expect there to be some cover (or hallways to duck back into, whatever) wherenever you encounter a vore.

If I saw a map with vores placed out in the open and no cover I'd have to consider that poor monster placement. 
in the open are NOT hard you just have to circle around when the spiky things follow you. If you can accumulate a bunch of em run behind the vore then let all of em smack into the vore and blow it up. 
i forgot about using other vores as voreball removers :)

i actually hope my comments will incite mappers to do more fights with vores in no-cover situations. there was a knave map made recently, i forget who made it (whoever, please forgive me! :P) which ended in a small room with two vores, no way out, no cover and the exit. it was cool because you had to keep moving to stay away from the voreballs then once you had killed the vores you could then jump through the exit and be home free.

that's the kind of fights i'm talking about. :) 
In my upcoming map there will be a fight with 4 vores in the rather small area with no cover (the alternate final battle), but there will also be quad there (probably I'll remove it in hard).

I think vores are fun boys (girls) =) 
What About Fights... 
that aren't hard because there is a lack of ammo, but because you have to make sure you don't get cornered?

imagine if you will a hoard of 20 hell knights. there are dozens of nail boxes lying around, but they are in out of the way places. the challenge isn't in killing the hell knights, that's easy, just hold down the fire button and watch them fall. the challenge is always being free to pick up more nails to continue the slaughter.

i've been experimenting with this type of gameplay a lot and i think it's got potential... more opinions? (i love good opinion :P) 
That sounds like fun, and its exactly the kind of GOOD challenge you want to add to a map - in that kind of situation, you will usually only blame yourself (as a player) if you get cornered. 
I did the "vore with no cover" in The Crawling Chaos back in 1997! You had to jump into the exit to escape the voreballs. I'm a pioneer, baby!!!!1 
Not A Big Fan Of Vores Myself... 
Although I did have them in early versions of Bastion. You know the bit where you get the gold key and an ogre rises up through a trapdoor? That used to be a Vore until I realised that was possibly the worst situation to encounter one :) 
Never managed to get it to work, the Shambler thing, necros... 
I Always Try To 
kill all monsters with mainly the DBS (with some help from the Perforator) and some footwork. Shamblers are very hard to kill without taking any damage at all, but I find it easy to kill them with the DBS. It's actually much harder to kill them with explosives (if they're not far away).

Vores are annoying because they don't have any melee attack you can provoke, but the spin around dance is most of the time effective and either the vores themselves will get the ball cluster or some other unfortunate monster ...

Higher-Synth (ch1sp1) by Apollo is a good example of challenging but very exciting
end arena combat. 
Voreballs + Shambler Exploitation (Is That A New Type Of Porn?) 
I didn't think voreballs could hit the vore that threw the ball; they could only hit other vores (and obviously any other monster or player, too). This strategy becomes a lot more difficult on Nightmare skill when voreballs travel at a much faster rate.

Also, I usually use the melee exploit on shamblers. It's much faster and more challenging (and thus entertaining) than it is to shoot, duck behind something, pop out, and shoot again. 
Shambler Exploitation 
so then forcing the player to use the melee exploitation of the shambler would probably be considered too hard, i'm thinking. it would sort of be like forcing the player to do a trick jump to beat a map because not all players know how/can do it, so players like Shambler would probably be faced with an insurmoutable fight. :\
i'm thinking the mapper could place columns that only appear in hard/nightmare to aid players who cannot do the exploitation thing... but then it's too easy for the people who can.

I Always Thought 
Forcing the Shambler to cycle its close combat melee and pulling back was a necessary technique because even in the original Id maps you are not always given good duck and cover options.

I remember when the first episode demo came out, and the Shambler seemed like the boss of bosses. I would literaly get him to chase me in e1m5 to the moat area so I could shoot up at him without exposing myself. Such tactics seem more than a little whimpish to me now but then it made perfect since. 
well, it could be argued that it was a good strategy... make the shambler play the game by your rules, not it's own.

but there was cover in th GK room, those 4 half pillars to run behind, so i don't really understand. (?)

and i remember the first time i played doom2, after having beat doom... and there were cyberdemons and masterminds (supposedly the bosses of the first game) littered all over the place. :P i think that's really funny now. 
Shambler Melee Exploit 
so then forcing the player to use the melee exploitation of the shambler would probably be considered too hard, i'm thinking.

Neil Manke's Starship was the first level that i remember doing this, and that was the level that forced me to learn the technique, actually :)

I don't think it's too big a deal, maybe put a func_wall pillar for Easy skill. 
The Shambler thing....

You run into the Shambler, initiate it's melee attack and then run back and either:

1. You don't run back far enough (because you've got to get back in quickly) and it gets you.

2. You run back far enough but run back in too quickly and it gets you.

3. You run back far enough and it has time to start the lightning attack.

So WTF? 
Okay okay, I just tried it in a "pure" situation a few times. I'm not entirely wrong, the Shambler consistently gets in one lightning attack before dying....but I see how it works.

I guess in theory if you got the times and distances perfect... 
I Never Have A Problem With Shamblers 
Just run up to them when they're near melee attack, attack them, run back - they melee attack and miss, repeat till dead 
Re: Mhe. 
The shamblers usually get one or two lightning attacks on me too, but one or two isn't so bad unless you're already really low on health and armor. 
Hehe... sm Wind Tunnels rip-off had 4 vores in the open in the final room. Of course those HKs and knights came in handy as damage takers at the beginning and end of the vore fight.

I found surviving the 2 fiends down the hole in House of Spikes a lot harder than any vore situation I've come across...damn that biff! 
Shamblers, Vores, Nightmare And Speedrunning 
I'm just catching up on this thread from #64 onwards and have a couple of, probably banal, observations.

Of shambler lures. This is not a difficult technique to master for anyone that's played the game as much as we probably all have. Just remember that you only have to move NEAR to him, not touch him, and he'll melee you. And you only need to move back a little to get him to miss. Watch his arms to see which attack he's using as the overhead smash allows you to shoot him twice as much before moving back in. Also watch out for him paining and run in immediately he does otherwise he'll lightning.

Of vores. I adore fighting vores in the open on Easy skill just to see how many balls I can get chasing me as I strafe round in a circle. Then, when it gives up and dies, trying to keep them active until I can find a monster to explode them on. But this does require a deal of movement skill and awareness that can't be assumed in the casual player. On nightmare you need to assume that the player can bunnyhop like a bastard otherwise vores in the open are certain death. Maybe mostly relevant to speedrunners who, as you pointed out, deserve everything they get.

For a good example of how impossible nightmare shambler and vore fights can be speedrun watch the Nightmare 100% on bbelief7.

As for Necros and his "not getting cornered" thing (#78) I personally love this type of combat. But he's already done it very close to perfectly in ne_os1 :-) 
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