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Author Topic: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er  (Read 20257 times)

Napsterbater

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Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« on: March 31, 2012, 00:05 »

So, I like to play Ao100 and go for Malicious Blades. It's my favorite because I love being able to look at a Vile-Pack and be like, "only three Viles with those Mancubi?" with nothing more than a pair of not-even-fully-modded knives, nanofiber armor. and cerberus boots. Being able to charge right at a Revenant un-zerked without even blinking puts a wonderful feeling in my gut. 70 levels of pure, God-like bliss.

I'm even learning to like the game of getting there. It's just the pain of the stupid death that makes me think every time, "there's gotta be another way." Just today I was 70% to MMB bliss, just about to make the decision between a WhizKid detour or straight for the Blades. I was sitting in a cleared room reloading my Combat Shotty when a former commando comes in and wastes me while I'm busy pressing 'r', 'r', 'r', 'r', 'r'.

I know, I know, I'm supposed to not slam on the keyboard in a dangerous area like there isn't a care in the world. But DoomRL is fun precisely because I can get that feeling like I've merged with the '@' and I'm slaughtering those 'i's and 'M's and such personally. And it just really breaks that feeling when the game doesn't let me play like that, simply because of some silly interface wiggles.

DoomRL is not my first roguelike. I played Nethack and Angband before this. Angband is interesting because the interface, in its own way, can reward both playstyles. If you dive, then every keypress could be your last, so you don't make a single step you're not absolutely sure of. If you clear levels, well, you can march right through them like they were so many ants without a care in the world, within reason of course. Personally, I thought diving was more interesting. But that's Angband.

I never got good enough with Nethack to be able to really analyze playstyle.

There's gotta be a good way to make fast and furious play in DoomRL not so retardedly dangerous. I really think the game should stop me if I hold the right button down and a chaingunner shows up in the hallway. Or marching right into lava by accident when your guy has 10% health remaining or there's enemies present.

Please please don't just tell me to learn how to play more patiently. That's not why I play DoomRL. Ask yourself, do you really think it should be necessary to hit the button 20 times to get across a long hallway? Yes, I know there's the run command for that, I really wish I could make it shift and direction instead of comma, but shouldn't the interface work with the way your brain wants to work with it instead of forcing you to unlearn admittedly-bad habits? DoomRL is really about tactics, right? I never mind when I die to a bad tactical decision.

Doomguy would not keep loading his shotgun if a commando showed up in a doorway. I don't see why I need to be held hostage to a key buffer. I think 90% of the problem could be solved with sensible decisions to clear the key buffer and not let any more actions go through until the danger is acknowledged on certain criteria. Enemy present, you have to hit 'y' to move into acid. Or not even 'y'. It could be a remappable key close to where your fingers are where you wouldn't ordinarily hit. I like the space bar, I don't usually have to hit it ever since I turned off the more messages prompt.  Call it "acknowledge danger". Certain events make you hit it before you can proceed.

I think, if the criteria are carefully selected, it will yield a much more playable game. Especially for newbies unused to roguelikes. That is the idea behind the graphical version, isn't it?

Any ideas?
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Napsterbater

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2012, 00:23 »

Take the reloading thing with enemies in view. Maybe, for certain weapons, reloading with enemies in view while there's still rounds in the magazine requires you to hit the "acknowledge danger button." If you hit the 'r' button in this situation, nothing happens, and you might get a message saying, "Danger, enemy in view, are you sure?" You can then hit the space button if that's where it's mapped, and then the game will reload. If you didn't see the danger, then you could choose to move instead. This would be jarring if you had to hit the 'n' button, breaking flow. But if there were just one button that basically means "yes, I know this is stupid, and I'm doing it anyway." So you're running around and suddenly your guy just stops moving. You can just hit the space bar and keep moving, if it's a false positive or something you wanted to do anyway.
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LuckyDee

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2012, 00:35 »

The 'acknowledge danger button' should be at the start of the game, so's you only have to press it once. From that point on, you should acknowledge that you're in danger. I know you specifically said not to say it, but if you don't want to play just a slight more patiently, then YASD you shall reap.

By the way, you can also press 'R' instead of 'r''r''r''r''r'. It saves wear and tear on the keyboard, but the net result will still be your death.
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Napsterbater

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2012, 00:53 »

Quote
if you don't want to play just a slight more patiently,
Is this, or is this not Doom?

It's not that I can't play more patiently. Sure I can. It's that doing so sucks. Anti-Doom. Every time I have to do it, I whine a little. "Do I have to?"

I love DoomRL's game design. Really I do. It's a hell of a lot of fun as-is. But this feature could, I believe, turn a great game into quite possibly the perfect game. All it really needs to do is compensate for information which a player would never ignore were he really there, but the interface makes it really really easy to.
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LuckyDee

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2012, 00:59 »

Don't get me wrong btw - I'm still pretty much of a newbie myself and I'm not taking a swing at you, but the way I see it, asking for this game to be fast and furious is sort of like asking for a boxing match without punches - it makes no sense. The reason I'm so totally hooked on this game is the fact that it does require you to take a moment to think about your next move instead of the think-on-your-feet attitude of the original.

And different styles of playing may well satisfy different urges. If you're going to use a shotgun, you'll likely be furious, but you're going to have to select your traits carefully if you want to be fast as well.

As this was written while you were replying yourself, the answer to "Is this, or is this not Doom", frankly, is "Yes". Yes it is, and yes it's not.
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Creepy

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2012, 01:25 »

In graphical mode, if you click a tile down the hall and an imp wanders into view while you're marching, you stop marching. It won't let you make long movements while an enemy is in view, so mouse-users don't get splattered if they click the wrong tile and send Doomguy marching across the level while in a crossfire. This is already a thing. And the pathfinding system it uses will route you around lava, at least when you're trying to navigate through a patch with 'islands' on it, making it easy to navigate around static obstacles like those safely. Since my laptop doesn't have a keypad and the Home/PgUp/PgDown/End keys are arrayed vertically, using the mouse is essentially the only way to navigate both safely and quickly for me. I find this helpful.

But I don't ram keys even when I use the arrows, because that's stupid. In Doom, you didn't last long if you got tunnel-vision and ignored things while running to the end of a hallway, and the game didn't stop you if an imp took a potshot while you were wandering around and not paying attention. Doom was not button-pounding repetition and the game wouldn't hold your hand if you didn't keep an eye out all on your lonesome. Situational awareness was a key factor.

If you're pounding reload a billion times and not paying attention to what it's going to do, you'll die here. You'd die in Doom for that too; there was no timeout while the shotgun reloaded, you dodged like a mofo or you died. Same here; you have to manage your actions yourself, so pick the right ones. This doesn't mean "play with patience". This means "don't zone out like a putz." Taking a quick look at the screen to see that an imp hasn't wandered into your line of sight doesn't take more than a split second.

You can TOTALLY do the "no patient planning" thing here; go running in without any idea of what badges/medals you want. Pick staircases when you see them instead of planning which levels you want to hit before you play. Grab your traits on what you think is cool right now instead of aiming at a specific build. All that stuff works; this isn't Nethack, you don't have to spend time planning your run or ascension kit if you don't want to.

But if you're reloading and zone out while pounding that 'r' key, you'll die. Not because you aren't patient, but because you zoned out.
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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2012, 02:46 »

I play Intuition builds for basically this reason. It gives me more time to react to something when I'm rolling around carelessly.
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Napsterbater

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2012, 03:01 »

In graphical mode, if you click a tile down the hall and an imp wanders into view while you're marching, you stop marching. It won't let you make long movements while an enemy is in view, so mouse-users don't get splattered if they click the wrong tile and send Doomguy marching across the level while in a crossfire. This is already a thing. And the pathfinding system it uses will route you around lava, at least when you're trying to navigate through a patch with 'islands' on it, making it easy to navigate around static obstacles like those safely. Since my laptop doesn't have a keypad and the Home/PgUp/PgDown/End keys are arrayed vertically, using the mouse is essentially the only way to navigate both safely and quickly for me. I find this helpful.
Graphics. Ick. Mouse control. Ick. What I do with the laptop thing is I use standard roguelike keys. Sucks doomrl doesn't have a separate keymap for this, and that the binding language gets changed with every release, but at least you can do it. If you've never used roguelike keys before, you should definitely give them a shot. Once you get used to them, you'll never go back to a mouse. Then maybe you'll actually understand what I'm complaining about. I play fast. I try to be hyper-aware of everything, but my laptop screen sucks and sometimes I miss an enemy that shows up out of nowhere. Usually it doesn't kill me. But sometimes it does.

Quote
Not because you aren't patient, but because you zoned out.
I don't zone out when I play. I just like to play on the edge. That means that every mistake has more potential of killing me. Most of the time this isn't a problem. No matter how sticky the situation, I can deal. Technicians can use medkits with no time, so unless I string together so many of them that I run out, I can usually stay alive a little while longer. It's the stupid mistakes that kill, for no good reason. I'm arguing that a lot of these things that we call stupid right now could be easily fixed with a bit of programming. Sure, it's stupid to hold your finger on the left key. But it doesn't have to be. That's what I'm arguing. It's only stupid because of the interface. Well, interfaces are easy to change. I'd do it myself but I don't have the source.

Think about it this way. What if holding your finger on the left key did the same thing the run button did? Moved you until an enemy came into view, then stopped you. Wouldn't be so dumb then, would it?
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 03:04 by Napsterbater »
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Creepy

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2012, 03:51 »

Here's where I think we're having a bit of a communication breakdown:

Quote
It's the stupid mistakes that kill, for no good reason.

That's your statement, while my own (And most other DoomRL players, from what I gather) would think the mistake IS the reason you get killed. And that it's a pretty good reason. If you don't want to die, you learn to make less mistakes. None, preferably. It's not really an interface issue here; the whole "compensate for information which a player would never ignore were he really there" concept is already there, in that it gives you all the time in the world to examine the situation before acting. You simply aren't using it, because it's not your "style". You even acknowledge that it's a bad habit, but you do it anyway. You know it's a mistake and that the game will kill you for it, and that the game has a way to not have it happen, but do it anyhow because the game's solution isn't one you like. That... isn't really a flaw in the game.
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MaiZure

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2012, 07:29 »

That... isn't really a flaw in the game.

Yup that's what makes this Doom 'the Roguelike' - The hallmark feature of (fun) roguelikes is instant, unexplainable/unavoidable death.
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Ashannar

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2012, 09:09 »

By the way, any NetHacker will know that NetHack has very, very many more so-called 'interface wiggles.' ;) I'm surprised just how forgiving DoomRL is in comparison.
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Napsterbater

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2012, 10:19 »

Yup that's what makes this Doom 'the Roguelike' - The hallmark feature of (fun) roguelikes is instant, unexplainable/unavoidable death.
I disagree. Sure, that's one of the classic features of roguelikes. But that's not a defining or even necessary feature. And DoomRL doesn't even really have it.

 I've played Angband almost as much as I've played DoomRL. Angband is much, much more dangerous than DoomRL in this way. There are so many enemies which, if you're not aware of their abilities, can bring you from 100% health to 0% health in one turn. That's instant, but not unexplainable/unavoidable. You can almost always avoid death in Angband by being prepared and using detection spells. It's the rare, one in a dozen games or so, that ends any way other than an avoidable mistake on the player's part. The control interface is cohesive in giving you all the tools you need to do so. It's streamlined. It works with your playstyle, not against it.

Sure, if you step out in front of a bunch of Mancubi/Revenants without fire protection and a lot of health, you're dead. But you (almost) always know what's around because of the sounds. Instant death in this fashion is practically non-existent. Angband does have it, but it's rare, and the monsters that can do it are (almost always) easy to detect and avoid. Sometimes you get into real pickles, but then that's what escape spells are for. They don't always kill in one blow.

And that's not what I'm complaining about. I submit that DoomRL is hampered by being tied down to this old roguelike chestnut. "Thou shalt not hold down arrow keys!" Why is that? There's only one reason, the key buffer, and that can be changed. Angband has a trap system. Angband's traps can kill you. You can also detect traps. There's a neat green line that delineates the area you've detected. Angband does the decent thing and makes it so you can't run willy-nilly over that line. You have to confirm.

All I'm asking for is that DoomRL give the player the same courtesy. It won't make the game any easier. But I do think it will make it more fun.
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Napsterbater

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2012, 10:34 »

It's not really an interface issue here; the whole "compensate for information which a player would never ignore were he really there" concept is already there, in that it gives you all the time in the world to examine the situation before acting.
DoomRL's gameplay is geared towards fast play. There's certain situations where you know to slow down. You first start hearing Revenant screams and you slow way the hell down, because getting out in the open with them when they first start appearing is very very dangerous. So you stick to corners and scan the screen after every move.

But that's not the default mode. The default mode is, you know (generally) what kind of danger you're in. Excepting commandos, every truly dangerous enemy can be heard. And you know the general pattern enemies move in. So you move in ways that diminish the number of opportunities they have to waste you. Sticking to cover, or not depending on what you're up against.

Most of the time, these decisions can be made fast. So you play fast. Or, I do. And it works great. Slowly I work on those tactical decisions, (which kill me half the time) but I'm having loads of fun doing so because speedy play is ten times funner than slow play.

But when you play fast, you make mistakes. DoomRL is a game that you could play fast the whole way through, if you just had enough help from the game to mitigate some of the more dangerous of those mistakes.
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Matt_S

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2012, 10:55 »

For a while now, I've had an idea for a "safety mode" which I haven't suggested because I figured most people would just say to be more careful.  Basically you hit a key to activate the safety mode, and then you cannot walk on dangerous fluids (unless maybe you have 100% resistance, but then it should stop you if you have an envirosuit pack about to wear out) or move when there's enemies around (or out of sight enemies that shoot at you from weird positions) until you hit the key to deactivate the safety mode.  Or maybe things like shooting would also deactivate it since you're clearly acknowledging danger.  It would have basically the same safety features that the game already has for mouse motion and automove except you control the movement the normal way.

By the way, I really wish that there would be an option for intuition symbols to stop automoving rather than have the game run down a hallway, sense the enemies from out of vision range, then walk until they can see you as well.  And maybe having tracking data should stop automoving when enemies are right outside your vision range, as well.
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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2012, 10:58 »

So basically, you're suggesting they implement a no-punishment clause for sufficiently stupid mistakes.

I don't know, man, maybe you should learn to play a tiny bit slower. DoomRL is not exactly Doom, and both are more games of tactics and patience than you might think. It is also honestly not that hard to stop leaning on arrow keys to move; I did it, and I'm an idiot.

Play slow, learn how to react to (or prepare for) various situations, and eventually you can probably go back, making those decisions you've learned about while taking your time faster and furiouser.
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