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Author Topic: New special levels  (Read 2296 times)

Shoop da Whoop

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New special levels
« on: July 11, 2011, 09:40 »

Maybe, this shall go for DoomRL 2. Yes, we already have a plenty of special levels. But still, variability = replayability. Maybe, once upon a time we'll have 30 (or more) levels instead of 25 - so we'll need them...
...Well, enough of prologues!


Phobos Laboratory
Depth: somwhere between Chained Court and The Wall.
Difficulty: Hard
Entrance Text: "There are coloured lights everywhere. Looks like Christmas!"
Exit Text: cleared: "Science must serve people!"; not cleared: "Well, somtimes knowledge can harm."

Idea of level: several rooms in a row, representing labs, beautiful and symmetrical; can be decorated with 1-tile boxes. Doomguy begins at the exit, going from left to right. Each next room is opened with lever (maybe, even in classic colours: yellow, blue and red). Walls are unbreakable. Enemies (formers) strength increases from room to room. At the last third (or fourth) of them there is cage, easily breakable (same as wooden crate, or even less) and can be seen through...
......
....##
....#m
....##
......
...with strong monster inside, difficulty dependant. Or, perhaps, this is secret superhuman prototype. In the same tile there is a treasure lever.

Rewards: plasma rifle (there is no special level with it, so...), ammo, random simple mod, some healing items (medpacks or globes).


Bridge over Styx
Depth: same as Hellgate; replaces it
Difficulty: Medium
Entrance Text: "You hear massive flow."
Exit Text: "Alea iacta est!"

Idea of level: instead of gates, there is bridge to Hell! One side (entrance) is side of base, with regular floor and some supplies for Doomguy. Other side is hellish, red, covered in blood and all the things. Bridge itself is 5 tiles wide (maybe even 3 tiles on harder difficulties!); made of white "=". And it comes over sea of lava. Most enemies are lost souls and cacodemons. There can be also some imps on little islands. Exit (not portal, regular ">") is guarded by one bruiser brother (because without cover pair of them will be too painful) and, maybe, some nightmare demons.


Other unformed yet ideas:
Barrels o' Fun - special level... with barrels!
Cerberon Square - arena level with Quake enemies and unique Quad Damage powerup.
City of Bones - counterpart of City of Skulls. With revenants.
Spawning Vats - room with some indestructable "spawners" and energy generator on other side. Destroy it, before there are too many of them! (phase packs doesn't work)
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 09:45 by Shoop da Whoop »
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ParaSait

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Re: New special levels
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2011, 09:45 »

You know, maybe some slightly varying hellgate layouts would be cool. Like dlvl1 has.
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Shoop da Whoop

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Re: New special levels
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2011, 09:47 »

Variations of classic levels is fine too.
Also, we need to remember previous proposals. Alas, I only remember mentioning of Spawning Vats and Tips and Tricks somewhere.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 09:49 by Shoop da Whoop »
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tehtmi

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Re: New special levels
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2011, 16:56 »

I think DRL already has a pretty good number of special levels.  If more were added, I would make them mutually exclusive with already existing levels that fill the same role.
(e.g. Mortuary = HARD, Halls of Carnage = BFG, The Vaults = WEAPONS!)
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Ander Hammer

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Re: New special levels
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2011, 20:03 »

I think DRL already has a pretty good number of special levels.  If more were added, I would make them mutually exclusive with already existing levels that fill the same role.
(e.g. Mortuary = HARD, Halls of Carnage = BFG, The Vaults = WEAPONS!)

Nothing wrong with more variety, more content, more gameplay, more interesting rooms...
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Thexare

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Re: New special levels
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2011, 21:28 »

I think DRL already has a pretty good number of special levels.  If more were added, I would make them mutually exclusive with already existing levels that fill the same role.
(e.g. Mortuary = HARD, Halls of Carnage = BFG, The Vaults = WEAPONS!)
Perhaps to keep more than the current number of possible special levels, when there's more of them added, have them appear in pairs. For example, take a level I was drafting a concept for, Hell's Barracks. Full of formers, including some unique types only seen there and a Former Human boss (glass cannon type; really fragile, but rather good at killing you to death) and its drops would be mostly armor and ammo, with the chance at some unique and exotic armors. It would spawn on the same level as Hell's Armory, forcing you to pick which one you wanted.

Another example of how this concept could work would be adding a level that guarantees the Unmaker (from Doom 64) for completion; it would be the ranged equivalent of the Unholy Cathedral, including spawning on the same floor.

This would add special levels to compensate for the fact that so many are useless for certain builds - this concept would eventually pair most of the "exclusive" levels with another option that works well for a different build, so everyone gets a decent shot at a variety of special levels.

However that would require some changes to the map generation, as current generation forbids two red stairs on one map. To say nothing of the work in implimenting all the extras.
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Re: New special levels
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2011, 22:00 »

One of the ideas thrown around was the possibly to create special level "sets".

Start by building a set of special levels that should be guaranteed. I would put Hell's Arena, Chained Court, The Vaults, Unholy Cathedral, and the Mortuary in this position currently (given the way they're sort-of connected).

Now we create sets of special levels that are randomly determined upon level generation. Some examples:

1. Two sets: (The Wall, Halls of Carnage, Spider's Lair) and (Hell's Armory, City of Skulls, Lava Pits), then have the game randomly select one of those sets.

2. Three sets: (The Wall, City of Skulls), (Hell's Armory, Spider's Lair), and (Halls of Carnage, Lava Pits), then have the game randomly select two of those sets.

3. Two sets: (The Wall, Hell's Armory, Halls of Carnage) and (City of Skulls, Spider's Lair, Lava Pits), then have the game randomly select two levels from each set.

This would make every run have the same number of special levels, although which levels generate are still random to some degree. If we were to produce additional special levels, we could reorganize the sets to make sure there's still a good balance. In theory it would allow for a lot of different special levels (maybe even twice the number we already have) while keeping the number of special levels in a given run at a relatively stable number.

There are a few reasons I'd rather not simply stack on additional levels without discretion. First and foremost, it would throw the amount of experience you're gaining over time out of whack (and I would consider that one of the more balanced parts of the game right now) if you're the kind of person who will definitely go to every special level. Explorer/Conqueror runs would become increasingly harder (they're already difficult enough IMO). Easy special levels allow for reliable rewards, making the game easier overall, while hard special levels are often not nearly as hard once you've collected said rewards.

Though, if some of you want to suggest special levels, I would eagerly point you to the sandbox. You can build them yourself and, if a lot of people really like them, it improves the chance of adding them to the real game significantly.
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Thexare

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Re: New special levels
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2011, 22:44 »

There are a few reasons I'd rather not simply stack on additional levels without discretion. First and foremost, it would throw the amount of experience you're gaining over time out of whack (and I would consider that one of the more balanced parts of the game right now) if you're the kind of person who will definitely go to every special level. Explorer/Conqueror runs would become increasingly harder (they're already difficult enough IMO). Easy special levels allow for reliable rewards, making the game easier overall, while hard special levels are often not nearly as hard once you've collected said rewards.

A fair bit of this is why my idea called for two redstairs for most levels, instead of making the levels more common.  Explorer/Conquerer would be accomplished by going through a red stair on every floor that had one, rather than going through every red stair, in order to keep them possible. This also helps avoid the Longinus problem - melee builds pretty much need that (or the Scythe, same level), and if UC were ever to not spawn, they'd be moderately screwed, barring lucky Dragonslayer or surviving Ao100 long enough to get a Double Chainsaw or Ripper. This could potentially come up with any new items, as well, if they had odd functions that worked really well in certain builds.

The only drawback to that plan, other than the need to rewrite at least part of the level generation code and tweak Conqueror/Explorer, is that it will have an overall impact of making the game easier, as you're almost guaranteed to be able to clear special levels most of the time one appears, and the rewards tend to be quite useful. This could be rectified by making all of the "choosable" levels harder than the ones where there's only one option; you're more likely to be able to clear one of them, but you'll need to have a better handle on what you're doing and you'll likely need more (or more specialized) supplies.
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Re: New special levels
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2011, 23:19 »

Wait a second, UC is an optional special level?

I'm always under the impression it was one of the special levels that would always spawn, regardless of what Angel and/or build.

I'm not really in favour of the two-special-level-stairs-spawn-choose-one approach.  While on the one hand it would appear that there is more choice for the discerning player to decide what to go for, on the other hand it would require an almost full exploration of the level in order to "discover" the choice, which in most cases are contraindicated by the various acid/lava rivers and/or the massive guards that are present from the monsters.

I think a single stair case to a special level drawn from a set of possible special level spawns is more exciting and fits into the DRL1 mythos.

As for the multiple special levels choice, might really be a good idea for DRL2 (which hasn't taken much shape and form as at now).
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Re: New special levels
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2011, 23:34 »

I'd like some new special levels, but I'd also prefer if every special level always spawned.
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Shoop da Whoop

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Re: New special levels
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2011, 07:05 »

At first I also thought about idea of "chose" levels. But additional exits increase your chances of successful runthrough, and that changes balance. And also makes things more complicated (when there is no this level but there two of that ones).

UC seems always-here to me at Phobos Hell 1. Also, Hell's Armory is guaranteed to appear on difficulty UV and higher.
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Thexare

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Re: New special levels
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2011, 13:12 »

At first I also thought about idea of "chose" levels. But additional exits increase your chances of successful runthrough, and that changes balance.
Which is why I suggested making the levels that you can choose between harder than their one-off equivalents. Not quite to Mortuary levels of medpack drain, but that's the general idea.

As for the "full exploration" argument... maybe it's just me, but computer maps seem really common now.

Quote
And also makes things more complicated (when there is no this level but there two of that ones).
No level would ever appear twice.
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Shoop da Whoop

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Re: New special levels
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2011, 14:44 »

Then we should not have non-appearing special levels.
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