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Author Topic: What are the most common abuses of DoomRL?  (Read 15657 times)

Kornel Kisielewicz

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What are the most common abuses of DoomRL?
« on: September 05, 2010, 18:31 »

I'm preparing some plans for the future of DoomRL and I noticed that some recent topics about strategies include a lot of what would be considered abuses of DoomRL's mechanics. There's a soft border between what would be considered abuse and what would be considered tactics. If you can imagine such a tactic working in real life then it would be considered fair (corner-opening doors is surprisingly one such example), but if not, then it's abuse (gift-dropping).

I'd like to make this topic serve as a list for me of abuses that shall be removed some day from DoomRL.

I understand that some of the abuses may be life saving, but still, please report them truthfully -- we'll work on returning the balance from the lack of them. Hence, please report how the difficulty would change if such an abuse were removed, and what ideas you have to counter them.
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Re: What are the most common abuses of DoomRL?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2010, 18:40 »

Hm.  Does that mean that Rocket Jumping counts as abuse since it cannot be conceivably achieved in real life?  =P

But I suppose what you mean would be bugs in game mechanics as opposed to bugs in the program code itself.
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Re: What are the most common abuses of DoomRL?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2010, 21:43 »

I'm not really sure if this counts as abuse but;

The enemies that do not know your presence always move to the middle point of the map. Always. This alone allows me to easily clear rooms with just knowing the fact they are moving to middle.
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Re: What are the most common abuses of DoomRL?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2010, 01:25 »

Honestly, I don't see why any Barons or Hell Knights (and probably Bruiser Brothers, thank god that isn't often) would ever pick up items like the formers do. I can understand that, even with their zombie-like intelligence, that type of enemy would be genetically and perhaps intuitively aware of the mechanics of med-packs and phase devices, not to mention that they're the correct size to wear the armor correctly. Barons and Hell Knights wouldn't be disposed to such equipment, so why they would ever carry it around, let alone understand how to take advantage of it (let alone be physically capable of wearing the armor). At best, let them carry the items but don't let them use any.

As for gift-dropping in general, I don't think it's too much of a problem to let it go. Alternatively, however, you may want to introduce a sound mechanic that alerts enemies of your general whereabouts based on the noise coming off your gun (depends on the weapon, too: rockets would really only make noise at the source of the explosion, fists would be almost mute). This way, in AoB you could potentially lure enemies by throwing knives onto the floor or into a wall...not a loud noise, of course, but enough to catch the attention of anything pretty close. (Or just give the chainsaw an alt fire of revving the engine, heh.)

Other abuses I can think of:

- The AI pathing found in Barons and HKs will end up really predictable from the other side of a wall. Same goes for Bruisers, perhaps even to a greater extreme. AoD should be a LITTLE more aware that he's entering lava, too...I wouldn't remove the lathbath exploit entirely, but if he can move away from the lava and still be on target toward the player, let him do that.
- There are a few "one-way safe" shots that allow the attacker to cause harm without the victim getting sight the attacker. I see it most commonly along diagonals between rooms.
- Shotgun bullet pathing sucks half of the time, perhaps literally. As I mentioned in another thread, you're fine shooting down a hallway in some directions but not in others.  At the same time, however, you might want to cap how far you can actually shoot down a hallway, maybe drastically reduce damage for shotguns (in the same way that accuracy is drastically reduced for normal weapons). Right now, corner-shooting down a hallway some ten tiles seems a LITTLE extreme.
- Using knockback with pistols to repeatedly shoot enemies out of your vision makes you essentially immune to them, as they always simply come back into view, only to be knocked away again. Though, I can't really think of a fix, except that the enemy stop chasing you after a few attempts or something.
- I know that in Hell's Arena N!, if I am zerked going into the level, I usually kill a few enemies close to each other, then lure a Cacodemon and stand in the middle of the corpses. Cacodemon hits me with a plasma ball, corpses are gone. This (almost) always gets rid of corpses, but I don't know if it should be as reliable. At the same time, however, I kinda wish there was a more reliable way of gibbing and corpse-removal in general...you'd think a double shotgun to a former's face would do the trick.
- There are some killing strategies that remove corpses unconventionally, namely stacking enemy deaths on the same tile or killing them while on a door. If you lower the respawn rate a little to compensate, consider fixing these.
- Most enemies don't know how to remove themselves from acid/lava. Barons/HKs/formers/Arachs all will continue to stand in hazards as long as you remain in their vision to fire, and basically everything will stay it if they're also surrounded on all tiles.
- Lost Souls + Vampyre = instant 200% health. Reduce the health gain for Lost Souls to 1 HP per kill and this should make it so you actually have to think about it, rather than running into the room gung-ho.
- Ammochain is an abuse in general, and alternatives should be considering during a beta test (there's a thread for it if you want some ideas). In my honest opinion, MAc can be appropriately nerfed as long as you remove the 100% chance of getting agility mods in the Chained Court.
- Juggler, according to the game, works with both the prepared slot and quick keys...excluding exotics/uniques (but including chainsaw and BFG), this lets you insta-swap any weapon you own. If you happen to need two of the same weapon (usually shotgun-type), that's all the prepared slot needs to be used for.
- Revs, Mancubi and Viles need better melee, considering I've NEVER been attacked by one up close in all the time I've been playing. If I recall the original game, Revenants are really nasty punchers...the other two either need to know how to run away better or have an attack they feel like using (maybe Mancubi can have a low damage but knockback hit).
- I'm fairly certain nuking JC gives you a full win, even if you aren't invulnerable (and hence die with him). Might want to consider reducing it to a standard victory, considering you didn't really defeat the true evil. At the same time, however, anything short of killing him conventionally should ALSO grant a standard victory (though I think this part is already a known bug).

That's all I can think of right now. Thankfully, there aren't a lot and, if anything, the game needs a few saving graces to make it a little easier (cross-monster infighting?).
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rchandra

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Re: What are the most common abuses of DoomRL?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2010, 21:59 »

I think the best way to stop giftdropping would be to have enemies no longer pick up / care about items at all.  it always feels like such a kick when an enemy uses your medpack/homing phase or you pick up armor at 14% from all the filth that has worn it first.  That would maintain some balance as well, removing a trick and a hindrance.
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Re: What are the most common abuses of DoomRL?
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2010, 04:23 »

1) Line of Sight quirks.
It's amusing to imagine your person using walls as cover, but it's not clear to non-veterans exactly what precise positioning is required to take advantage of it (or that it even exists to be taken advantage of). I think it's an interesting mechanic worth saving, but needs to be clarified. Not sure how exactly though.

2) Intuition 2 is too powerful.
Int 2 totally breaks most challenge in the game. It is exceedingly difficult to lose once you get int 2, unless you spawn in the middle of a pile of arachs in a cave.
I'd suggest either watering down the effect (ie: only giving a vague idea of enemy location, not precise); or providing a serious downside (ie: all enemies become aware of your location as well, and beeline towards you); or changing it to something else entirely (ie: give full computer map each level start).

3) Ammochain is too powerful.
Having both infinite ammo and no-reloading is too powerful, and needs to be toned down to just one of those. I personally prefer just infinite-ammo, since then the various reloading traits and mods remain useful.
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Re: What are the most common abuses of DoomRL?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2010, 11:58 »

3) Ammochain is too powerful.
Having both infinite ammo and no-reloading is too powerful, and needs to be toned down to just one of those. I personally prefer just infinite-ammo, since then the various reloading traits and mods remain useful.

That doesn't make sense.  If there's infinite ammo, why would we need to reload at all?
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Re: What are the most common abuses of DoomRL?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2010, 17:20 »

3) Ammochain is too powerful.
Having both infinite ammo and no-reloading is too powerful, and needs to be toned down to just one of those. I personally prefer just infinite-ammo, since then the various reloading traits and mods remain useful.
That doesn't make sense.  If there's infinite ammo, why would we need to reload at all?
The idea is that the weapon would still "deplete" to zero, and then you'd have to add new ammo from your infinite supply. In the context of the name itself (a big ol' chain of ammo) it doesn't make literal sense, but, then again, we COULD change the name to describe its new feature. Just saying.

If you're looking for a quick to-do list for some (hopefully) easy changes, Kornel, I would propose the following:
- Either change or allow randomization for the hidden agi caches in Chained Court
- Either lower the reach or damage of shotgun-type weapons along walls
- Give Revs/Viles/Mancubi a melee attack that they use whenever the player is adjacent (doesn't mean they'll prioritize it, but it should be up there)
- Fix AI to tell monsters that leaving acid/lava is a top priority, even above attacking the player (it introduces a different abuse, but one much harder to pull off and therefore plausible)

Based on what I've heard, aiming and shell pathing have already been worked on, so I didn't include it. Personally I would include that enemies can't pick up stuff, too: if nothing else it's a quick fix to gift-dropping. Alternatively, they pick up stuff in their spare time, just don't use it (at best it's an unexpected surprise; at worst you never knew it happened).
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Re: What are the most common abuses of DoomRL?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2010, 19:25 »

For gift dropping a good fix could be that they only pick up items that were originally spawned in the level, make them "blind" to the new appearing items that weren't generated along side with the level.
Not sure if possible to script though.
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Patashu

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Re: What are the most common abuses of DoomRL?
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2010, 20:53 »

For gift dropping a good fix could be that they only pick up items that were originally spawned in the level, make them "blind" to the new appearing items that weren't generated along side with the level.
Not sure if possible to script though.
Sounds easy enough. Just have a flag for every item on the level indicating whether it was dropped or originally there.
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Re: What are the most common abuses of DoomRL?
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2010, 08:10 »

I do not consider gift dropping to be an exploit anymore. When Barons would go out of their way to pick up worthless items like pistols then it was an exploit. Now they can use everything they pickup.

And not allowing enemies to use armor and Medpacks would be lame. I like the occasional surprise of finding a hard to kill Former Human because it found some Red Armor. And although I hate it when a nearly dead Baron uses a Large Medpack, it adds challenge to the game.

I think the gift dropping is balanced by the benefit that the enemies get.

The biggest meta-game exploit IMO is the moving to the center of the map issue mentioned by Fanta Hege. It means if I know the layout of the map I almost always know where the enemies have ended up.

Along those same lines, knowing what doors have opened on the unseen portion of the map is also a huge help. It lets you know where the enemies are wandering and I believe that most advanced players (especially on Nightmare) are in the habit of closing doors behind them so they can see where enemies are moving.

IMO, Ammochain and Intuition are not abuses since they are "working as designed". Discussions of how they should or should not be nerfed are probably better in other threads so they do not clog up this one. I personally believe they are fine as-is because of their cost and the limitations on what traits are excluded.

I also do not consider shooting around corners to be an abuse or exploit. People do it all the time IRL. It is like shooting from cover. I just wish that the shotguns would be consistent in all directions as has been mentioned by others. If anything needs to be changed about it, you could drop the accuracy of the shot as though shooting beyond sight range. When to use this could be determined by calculating LOS both ways (shooter to target and target to shooter). If only one is clear then apply the "shooting from cover" or "shooting around a corner" penalty. There should be a warning of some kind to the shooter though. Ammo can be precious and I would hate to unload a volley from a Plasma Rifle at 50% (or less) accuracy without knowing it.
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Re: What are the most common abuses of DoomRL?
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2010, 12:10 »

I also do not consider shooting around corners to be an abuse or exploit. People do it all the time IRL. It is like shooting from cover. I just wish that the shotguns would be consistent in all directions as has been mentioned by others. If anything needs to be changed about it, you could drop the accuracy of the shot as though shooting beyond sight range. When to use this could be determined by calculating LOS both ways (shooter to target and target to shooter). If only one is clear then apply the "shooting from cover" or "shooting around a corner" penalty. There should be a warning of some kind to the shooter though. Ammo can be precious and I would hate to unload a volley from a Plasma Rifle at 50% (or less) accuracy without knowing it.

Firstly, shooting beyond your vision does impart a 50% accuracy penalty (at least according to the wiki), which is very obviously noticeable when you use a chaingun to corner-shoot HKs or Cacos down a hallway. I have no problem with that, and forcing ANOTHER 50% accuracy penalty just because the enemy can't see you is too much.

What I DO have a problem with is that combat shotguns can effectively make use of corner-shooting by not having any accuracy at all, thereby eliminating the accuracy penalty.  Adding a damage penalty would bring it to par with other weapons, while a range penalty would act similarly in that trying to blinding fire a shotgun down a narrow hallway simply won't hit anything but wall after a certain distance.

I could take your point further, however, and argue that corner-shooting should still entail some risk. Mind you, shooting from cover in practical cases decreases your CHANCE of being hit: it doesn't reduce the odds of retaliation to zero. What players seem to be able to do (ala visualization of the situation) is overextend their arms and fire the weapon without allowing any other parts of their body to leave the wall/cover. This is unrealistic to do with a 20kg weapon as it rattles from each shot. Firing from cover would be shooting at a diagonal from the wall such that CAN see each other, but the enemy is going to miss a lot because you're able to hide a good portion of your body while firing.

However, I wouldn't say no to a corner-shooting "mode" that lets you view around corners and shoot accordingly, at the cost of a reduced but non-zero chance to get hit (which would depend on the weapon you're wielding).
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Re: What are the most common abuses of DoomRL?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2010, 19:00 »

Beating a dead horse, but lemme do it anyway.

Corner shooting can be considered vital in a ranged combat-heavy roguelike like DoomRL.  The grid world where everything is based on is extremely Wolfenstein like, which means that if you are playing strictly by the book what one can and cannot see, then the doors into any room become death traps for the player, which in real life is hardly true since you can hide and shoot from there.  As far as I see, corner shooting is a very nice [and important!] feature, not an abuse.

What becomes an abuse from corner shooting is when we have buggy weapons that misbehave.  Ever hit and killed things that hugged so close to the wall on the other side that you ought not be able to hit them given your LOS and the firing arc with a double shotty?  Or how about the sweet spot where you can shoot at the enemies without impunity even though you are directly in the LOS of the enemy?

As for the corner-shooting "mode", I think it just complicates things.  If we want to be hyper realistic about things, observe that DoomGuy still moves as fast when wielding his chaingun and carrying nearly 1120 rounds of 10mm bullets, a couple of blue armours, 20+ rockets, a rocket launcher and quite a few med-packs.

That aside here's a suggestion I have.  Rework the calculation for scoring hits.  For straight firing weapons, that's sort of clear how it might work out -- just associate an extra modifier on top of the current ToHit calculations that scales according to whether the target is within the weapon's effective range or not.  For things like shotguns, reduce the arc of fire and introduce the idea of "pellets" ala Doom.  The key observation is that shotgun fire in DoomRL have a much much larger spread than that of Doom, which is why we seem to have all these abuses related to corner firing and the like.

Okay, I'm losing my train of thought from this 6-line edit box, so I shall stop now.
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Re: What are the most common abuses of DoomRL?
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2010, 03:52 »

Along those same lines, knowing what doors have opened on the unseen portion of the map is also a huge help. It lets you know where the enemies are wandering and I believe that most advanced players (especially on Nightmare) are in the habit of closing doors behind them so they can see where enemies are moving.

I'd file this under abuse, unless previous memory/Computer Map is really supposed to act like the old Doom map. In that game, you WERE notified when doors opened and closed, noises aside. However, one thing that should certainly be fixed is seeing when ammo/equipment/packs are picked up by enemies: the map memory should remain committed to how you saw it last, until you're in range to see whether or not it's there. Same goes for barrels...if they explode, you shouldn't see them disappear. If liquid fills the room/map, it shouldn't be present on any tile you haven't explored since releasing it.

This might be a little advanced, but I'm wondering if a monster's vision is updated only when it's their turn to act. I ask because this is almost certainly the case with the player (I can't tell you how many times I've tried to enter a room and a sergeant shoots me out before I can see anything in there) and I believe I have managed to abuse this when it comes to explosion knockback. Hard to say, really, because most enemies keep charging anyway after enough damage. I know this will be a concern when zerking, however, because speed is significantly reduced in it duration.

I've been finding that most enemies are extremely predictable after taking enough damage. As a result, I can usually lure them into view by taking into account the whole "same row, then same column" rule and keep myself in relative safety. On the other hand, there are a LOT of times where, were this not the case, I would have no way to attack without taking massive damage. Can't think of an easy work-around, either, aside from a keeping their patterns slightly erratic in addition to lure-resistant. (Frankly, the best AI is probably Revenants/Arch-viles, or at least in their context of playing keep-away, with Imps in second.)

Since I've posted, I may as well add another two cents regarding corner-shooting and one-way shots. In any current case where both enemies can see each other (but the monster doesn't attack), I think there should be a "cover bonus" to dodging/evasion to whoever is hugging the wall, thereby keeping the advantage alive but reducing the abuse heavily. In cases where one can see/fire on the other without vision from the other, I believe that should be fixed entirely. From my understanding, it only works in certain directions, so it's related (somewhat) to the corner problems of shotguns.
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Re: What are the most common abuses of DoomRL?
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2010, 07:17 »

I would literally completely give up on playing doomRL if corner-shooting and giftdropping were removed. They allow for 90% of the tactics in the game, and it's not like the game is too easy right now.

To put it another way, these 'abuses' make the game fun. Without it, doomrl would just be a mind-numbing excersice in walking around and pressing the 'f' key, with little thought behind it.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 16:35 by Sylph »
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