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Author Topic: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er  (Read 20864 times)

Cotonou

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2012, 11:07 »

DoomRL is just where it needs to be in terms of death issues, with one exception.  I would really appreciate a warning (like the Arena continue) for when you're about to step into harmful fluids when at very low health.  This is a stupid, avoidable mistake which has claimed more characters than I can count and is never even slightly fun.  Lava is just really hard to see sometimes, especially when its a single tile amidst a sea of blood.  It makes me sad.

As for other games, Nethack is completely idiotic for how many ways its come up with to kill characters without any warning or feedback.  The game is unreasonably frustrating and I have no idea how anyone plays it.  Malice is not a design feature.

On the other end of the spectrum Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is just about perfect.  It allows you to die -- but those deaths are all of your own making.  Are you too weak to fight that ogre?  You die.  Did you try to play cheap on the health potions?  You die.  Did you just try to walk into deep water without knowing how to swim?  You... don't die.  It won't let you.  Did you wander close to said deep water while confused so you can't fully control your movement?  You.. don't die.  It asks you if you really want to do that.  Answer:  you don't.

This is how the games should be:  they let you die through *expected* game mechanics, but don't blindside you with idiotic instakills and prompts you when you're about to do something spectacularly stupid, even if you don't know you're about to do it.  You're playing the game, not the game engine.

As for the specific debate going on overhead:  if you hold down the run key you deserve everything you get.  Do not do it.

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Matt_S

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2012, 11:23 »

It is also honestly not that hard to stop leaning on arrow keys to move; I did it, and I'm an idiot.

As for the specific debate going on overhead:  if you hold down the run key you deserve everything you get.  Do not do it.

If I wanted to walk from point A to point B, stopping when I saw any enemies, what are my options?
  • Use "," but force it to stop and change directions all the time because my destination probably isn't going to be in a straight line.
  • Use mouse motion, which automatically means I have to take a hand off the keyboard and move my mouse to where I want to walk, hope that the pathfinding doesn't just run me into a wall, then put my hand back on the keyboard.  Also, I'd better be playing the graphical version.
  • Moving one space at a time using the regular movement keys, making sure after every single move that there aren't any enemies in sight, taking far longer than it has any business to.

What you don't seem to understand is that just about every single one of the safety features being requested already exist in the game, and I've never heard any complaints about it.  The only thing is, they put the steering in the hands of the game and they can be awkward to use.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 11:26 by Matt_S »
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Demetrious

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2012, 11:29 »

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'.

This happened to me a few nights ago - this exact situation - while I was doing a HMP Tac Launcher run, for the sake of trying it out. I'd been tired, I saved the game, and it tells you to hit "enter" to leave after saving - but I tapped it twice, and so the god-damned thing reloaded the game! Sigh. Had to finish one more level before I could re-save and exit.... and thus I died with an inventory full of large med-packs.

I deleted my 9.9.6. folder after that. All medals, badges, etc, I just clicked on it, dragged it to the trash, then emptied the recycle bin.

I've suffered ragequits before - you've got to me Mother Theresa to play Nethack and not rage-quit occasionally - but this is the first time in my life I've actually deleted a game folder. And it's percisely because of what Napsterbater said - Doom RL is so fun because it really is suited to a quick-and-dirty playstyle. Sometimes you have to slow down and think, but when you come down to it Doom RL is a lot more straightforward then most other Roguelikes out there. There's no herb-growing system, there's no complex potion miscibility tables, there's no alignment system and altars to convert and spell/skill advancement system: you've got a few trait trees and a ton of demons to kill, that's it. So when you get killed for playing fast - when playing fast got you to level 6 of Deimos without a problem - that tends to piss you off.

Doom RL is not your average roguelike; which is a good thing. So to say "that's typical Roguelike interface quibbles suck it up" isn't an argument I've any sympathy for. At the very least a full reload by pressing shift-R should be interrupted by a monster appearing in vision - it takes the exact same time as pressing 'r' five times, it just saves some wear on your keyboard, is all. But since it is not interruptable, you recognize shift-R as AN EVIL COMMAND THAT WILL GET YOU KILLED. So you get into the habit of tapping 'r' incessantly... and it gets you killed.

And the Run command, which never saves anybody.  It's not neglecting the Run command that gets you killed; it's the one time you hold the arrow key down for two seconds because you're tired, or your cat jumped into your lap, etc. I can't tell you how much I love losing hours of patient, grueling gameplay advancement because I held a key down for 2 seconds instead of 1.5 seconds, then coming to the forums to be called stupid. I play games to have fun, not to be kicked in the balls. I play IL-2, and that takes intense focus and concentration and effort, to keep a fighter in the air, on the razor-edge of the performance envelope - but when I die, I just re-plane and hop back in. And I'm focusing on the game, not on the interface. IL-2 doesn't kick me in the sack and steal my pocket change if I bump the joystick wrong. 

Setting up the key-buffer to automatically stop you, and force a new key-tap for every action once an enemy comes into view - that'd be amazing.The key-buffer idea would actually save you frustration in those situations.

Oh, and the Run command.

Quote from: Matt_S
The only thing is, they put the steering in the hands of the game and they can be awkward to use.

Indeed. A feature so awkward that nobody ever uses it  is... useless.

If we wanted Doom RL to be a game designed to extract our tears and rage, designed to exclude everybody but the most demented, cave-dwelling neckbeard from our secret club, we'd be playing Nethack with Chain-Guns, which is demonstrably not the case. The fact that Kornel put in tooltips - freaking tooltips - and the entire graphical version speaks to this, I think. With the difficulty levels and numerous challenge modes Doom RL is a remarkable game in that it scales to many different levels of player competence and difficulty, and that's really neat - but interface pitfalls can and will ruin your day on ITYTD just as easy as on HMP. I've experienced it myself, many times. I wager we all have. We're not asking for the game to compensate for our stupid decisions or Cat-Who-Dances-On-Keyboard pow-wows; nothing can do that, but a few simple, obvious interface improvements that would really cut down on the incidence of rage-quit inducing deaths. The loss of hours of gameplay, with NO SAVES ALLOWED, make this a priority.

And while we're on the topic of improvements: the game's first four levels badly need re-balancing. Most of my runs require five or six deaths/restarts until I get a character who doesn't get RNG raped on the first few levels. After that it's actually easy, unless the stairs dump me next to eleventy-billion formers on the next level. How many Sergeants you see on the first two levels determines if you've enough ammo to do Hell's Arena, which is a pain in the ass when you're gunning for medals or badges, which you'll be doing soon enough if you're a decent Roguelike player. Once you get past the start, Doom RL is lovely fun, but the start is just a bitch.

Quote from: Cotonou
Malice is not a design feature.

Quoted for truth, justice, and the American Way.
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Murkglow

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2012, 12:39 »

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.

And that's the thing, this is just your play style, that doesn't make it the correct one or the one everyone should or does play, nor does it signify what type of game DoomRL is.  You call it "fast and furious" but that doesn't make it so.  Me personally?  I think if you spam "r" without looking at what you're doing you should die.  Period, the game should not save you from your own foolishness.  If you step in lava because you didn't look first or hit the wrong key, you should die.  You made a mistake in doing so and that's your fault.  You refuse to accept this and repeat "That wasn't my mistake" or "I wasn't zoning out" but the truth is it was and you were.  If you hadn't made the mistake of not paying attention you wouldn't have died.  Blaming the game for your personal mistakes (pushing a button too much or being too tired to play correctly) and asking it to hold your hand isn't how I personally think the game should be handled.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 12:41 by Murkglow »
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Ander Hammer

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2012, 12:52 »

Quote from: Demetrious
stuff

Wow. Okay. There are several coherent points in there which I hope I can touch upon satisfactorily.

Moving one space at a time using the regular movement keys, making sure after every single move that there aren't any enemies in sight, taking far longer than it has any business to.

This is not as hard as you're making it out to be, and is in fact a valid strategy for not wasting dozens of games because of lazy moves; you're going to save time in the long run if your games take twice as long, but you die less than half as often/early. Making sure after every single move that there isn't an enemy in sight involves simply watching the LOS squares you're going to reveal as you walk, and listening to monster cries and slowing down if one is loud, and remembering, if monsters are nearby, where they're likely to be lurking. Or getting Int2.

---

Okay. So. DoomRL is a Roguelike. It controls like a Roguelike. Okay, sure, it's probably possible to get a keypress buffer interrupt doohickey in to prevent mistakes like this, but arguing about it is not going to manifest it in the game, and if and until it's a feature, it's not going to make holding down or hammering a command in a turn-based game any less of a bad idea.

I understand where you guys are coming from. I have a few stings from early on when I accidentally moved too fast or held down a key. Alt-reloading for some guns is pointless in a lot of situations, and I agree that saving should probably require a key besides 'enter'. I think save-anywhere will probably be implemented at some point, too.

I don't think you understand where I am coming from. I'm going to re-iterate here: DoomRL is a turn based game, one that tends to reward caution regardless of build, and this is from someone who likes shooting rockets indiscriminately when he's not in melee. In almost any game besides, like, Sonic, what happens if you do things with potential punishments without thinking them through? Instead of asking that the game be changed and continuing to play as you are, give changing to suit the game a try in the interim and see how it works out. (Not to imply that every move you make is a stupid hold-key dash - just try catching yourself before you do it.)

Now, I'm going to go shave my neckbeard.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 14:04 by Ander Hammer »
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Napsterbater

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2012, 13:59 »

This is not as hard as you're making it out to be, and is in fact a valid strategy for not wasting dozens of games because of lazy moves; you're going to save time in the long run if your games take twice as long, but you die less than half as often/early.
Forget strategy. This is about fun. Sure, it's technically the 'right' choice to waste a tenth of a second before every move and ascertain whether it's the right one or not. But is that fun? I don't think so. I'm arguing that a more forgiving interface makes for a funner game.

Quote
arguing about it is not going to manifest it in the game
Err, yes, it is. Discussing these things on the forums is exactly how Kornel gets the idea for new features. If there's enough of a demand, and the feature is well-defined enough, it can also be taken to the bounty board to incentivize Kornel to implement it.

Quote
I understand where you guys are coming from.
I don't think you do. "Taking a few stings from early on" is not what we're talking about. My focus when playing DoomRL is not to win. This might seem counter-intuitive but I don't play to win. I play to have fun. Taking a few stings due to overzealousness is just part of the game.

Quote
I don't think you understand where I am coming from. I'm going to re-iterate here: DoomRL is a turn based game, one that tends to reward caution regardless of build, and this is from someone who likes shooting rockets indiscriminately when he's not in melee.
DoomRL does not reward caution. At least, I don't feel rewarded when I have to exercise it. I feel punished. I feel like, rather than walk the tight tight line between life and death, I have to fight an interface. It's no longer me and Mancubi and Arch-Viles, it's me and the effing reload button. Rather than making decisions like, "can I make it to this pillar before the Vile rounds that corner, revives the Mancubus and it blows up the pillar?" I have to scan for enemies for a fifth of a second after every time I hit 'r'. Every time I have to find the comma key so I can run rather than just do what every other roguelike does and let me shift-move to run, it breaks the feeling of fun. Now I'm fighting a keyboard.

If you want to sit around and take half a second between moves that's up to you. You might think that's fun, I don't.
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Matt_S

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2012, 14:03 »

If you step in lava because you hit the wrong key, you should die.
I'll keep that in mind whenever I walk into lava after fumbling with my laptop's awkward numpad feature, and I will curse myself for not having a proper keyboard.

And I'll keep that general idea in mind when I accidentally double tap u, or hit i and u, and waste that brand new hatred skull because there's apparently no longer an option to change the menu behavior.

And in the past I would have kept that in mind if I pressed f without any bullets in my gun, and then accidentally walked into the open and die when I try to aim.  But now the current version is babying people because it allows a prompt if you try to fire without any bullets in the gun.  Come on, they deserved to die!

This is not as hard as you're making it out to be, and is in fact a valid strategy for not wasting dozens of games because of lazy moves; you're going to save time in the long run if your games take twice as long, but you die less than half as often/early.
I never said it was hard, but it's far more annoying and time consuming than it ought to be.  Consider auto-travel and auto-explore in DCSS.  Consider the heavily detailed auto-inscription system and remembering potions and wands and scrolls.  Is it "hard" to play the game without these? Why not just move one space at a time?  Why don't you just grab some paper, or open up notepad and keep track of items yourself?  What about map memory?  In the old days people kept track of that on graph paper (not roguelikes, but other rpgs)!  I don't always like the direction they go with development, but I very much agree with DCSS's philosophy that choices should be interesting and meaningful.

Going back to DoomRL, let's say there's a health globe several spaces away that I want to grab.  If I'm playing the graphics version, I can click it and Doomguy will walk towards it as long as it's safe - the game automatically looks out for enemies and dodges lava tiles.  If I'm not, I have to avoid lava and watch out for enemies myself.  I already made the interesting choice to go get the health globe; playing screenwatch until I get there isn't interesting.  If I encounter an enemy, then I have an opportunity for another interesting choice, but if I don't then the game just wasted my time.  I'm just asking for the same safety of mouse movement with the keyboard.

Okay. So. DoomRL is a Roguelike. It controls like a Roguelike. Okay, sure, it's probably possible to get a keypress buffer interrupt doohickey in to prevent mistakes like this, but arguing about it is not going to manifest it in the game, and if and until it's a feature, it's not going to make holding down or hammering a command in a turn-based game any less of a bad idea.
If all unbound keys made Doomguy shoot himself in the foot, it would certainly be a bad idea for players to accidentally press any of those unbound keys.  The question is whether it's a good design decision, and that discussion is kind of what the discussion forum is for.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 14:07 by Matt_S »
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Ashannar

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2012, 14:39 »

I'm arguing that a more forgiving interface makes for a funner game.

I'm not sure how the feature you want is able to be implemented. What if I want to lean on the keys while an enemy is visible? What if I can see an enemy but it can't see me? Then your feature is actually a hindrance.

Quote
I don't think you do. "Taking a few stings from early on" is not what we're talking about. My focus when playing DoomRL is not to win. This might seem counter-intuitive but I don't play to win. I play to have fun.

Then why are you so bummed when you die?

Quote
DoomRL does not reward caution. At least, I don't feel rewarded when I have to exercise it. I feel punished. I feel like, rather than walk the tight tight line between life and death, I have to fight an interface. It's no longer me and Mancubi and Arch-Viles, it's me and the effing reload button. Rather than making decisions like, "can I make it to this pillar before the Vile rounds that corner, revives the Mancubus and it blows up the pillar?" I have to scan for enemies for a fifth of a second after every time I hit 'r'.

As opposed to what, exactly? It seems absolutely absurd to me that you complain about getting hit if you reload while enemies are in line of sight. What else is supposed to happen? Reloading is part of the tactics in this game. You have to do it intelligently. That's why there are traits to improve reloading time. And that makes it a fun consideration for the majority of us.

Quote
If you want to sit around and take half a second between moves that's up to you. You might think that's fun, I don't.

I'm not sure why this is such a problem. In the graphic version, at least, the move animation allows plenty of time to scan for enemies, and prevents the key buffer from queuing moves.

I will agree with you that full reload is pretty sketchy in this game and should either stop when an enemy comes into sight, or be scrapped entirely. But I have no sympathy for you when you complain that tapping 'r' while enemies are in sight gets you killed. Or walking into lava gets you killed. Where do we draw the line? "Are you sure you want to walk around that corner? You might get hit if you do! Y/n" ?
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 14:46 by Ashannar »
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Napsterbater

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2012, 14:44 »

Not sure if I can better articulate my playstyle so you could understand why I'm complaining about these things. Oh well.
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Ander Hammer

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2012, 14:46 »

Okay, I have to apologize. I read through the whole thread and came in late and was pretty biased.

I agree that a lot of the things you people are saying - a better run function, some streamlining of awkward commands - would be nice. It's just that a lot of it is cloaked in words that I perceived as whining which read 'I pushed (key) too many times and died, fix it' so you can potentially have more fun with a run and gun playstyle.

Also, things like this.

Quote from: Napsterbater
forget strategy

This game is all about strategy. Yeah, you can play it how you want, and if you don't mind getting killed rather than winning most of the time, there you go, have fun.

re: pillar archvile mancubus firestorm: The definition of 'caution' seem to be different between some of us; mine is more akin to being proactive, shotgun scouting, listening to monster calls, and I guess spending a tenth of a second per move checking to see if there are monsters. Yours seems to be waiting until you're in trouble before trying to play it safe, which might just not be fun for you.

re: manifesting the feature: yeah, arguing about it gets discussion going, I kinda worded it wrong. If/Until something like it gets implemented, you're going to have to play as you are and possibly wind up with preventable deaths, or not play and wait.

I might recommend cleaning up the ideas in this thread and posting the basics in Requests For Features.


I guess I kind of like old-school roguelikes, where anything beyond shift+direction was a single move that you had to think about.
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Demetrious

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2012, 14:55 »

It's just that a lot of it is cloaked in words that I perceived as whining

Yes, we must distinguish between conscious gameplay decisions and unintentional actions input into the program because of human/machine interface issues. If we're expected to devote time to making proper use of the interface as-designed a second-nature habit, then I'll probably never play Doom RL again. I'm an adult, you know? I've got a job, and responsibilities, and the paperwork and everything. I have enough time to play games but not enough time to make a fucking study of them. Which is exactly why I don't play Nethack anymore; games I used to play when I was a basement-dwelling CHUD of the highest order.

You diamond-badge earning Roguelike ninas; I respect and fear your skills. We surface-dwellers may speak glibly, but at night we tell of your exploits in awed whispers. But at the moment, the price of following your steps is too high.

Quote from: Ashannar
What if I want to lean on the keys while an enemy is visible?

Nice strawman. Because I'm sure there's people who really really really want to commit guaranteed suicide. I'm sure there's legions of people who consider the current ability to do that a feature they'd sorely miss.

And it's a silly argument anyways, because that's what .ini files are for, toggling options like that. Like the first-level tooltips.

Quote from: Ashannar
It seems absolutely absurd to me that you complain about getting hit if you reload while enemies are in line of sight?

The point is that the interface itself ferments the habit of tapping 'r' really fast, because that's the only halfway safe method of reloading when shift-r is guaranteed suicide most days. The interface helps form the bad habit. But if shift-R would interrupt you mid-reload if an enemy becomes visible, you'd use shift-R for the cleared-room reloads and never develop the bad habit of tapping 'r' fast, because you'd only use 'r' when in actual danger.

Quote from: Ashannar
and prevents the key buffer from queuing moves.

So why isn't this an option for the console version? Dear Mr. Kornel, please add this feature to the console version for next release, if possible. Love, Internet.
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Ander Hammer

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2012, 15:02 »

From what I understand, they were really pushing the graphical version. I had read in places before that the feature was intended for DoomRL 1.0.0.0. The game's not perfect yet.

I don't really count myself among the super pro, but you might come off as a little less hostile if you reined in some of the metaphor.
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Zalminen

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2012, 15:07 »

UAC Diamond. Pacifist Gold. Speedrunner Gold/Silver/Bronze.

The game idea and UI may push the player towards slow and cautious play but the badges certainly also require fast and furious.

I wouldn't mind some UI improvements since currently doing any speedrunning is a bit aggravating...
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Ashannar

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2012, 15:09 »

Quote
Going back to DoomRL, let's say there's a health globe several spaces away that I want to grab.  If I'm playing the graphics version, I can click it and Doomguy will walk towards it as long as it's safe - the game automatically looks out for enemies and dodges lava tiles.  If I'm not, I have to avoid lava and watch out for enemies myself.  I already made the interesting choice to go get the health globe; playing screenwatch until I get there isn't interesting.  If I encounter an enemy, then I have an opportunity for another interesting choice, but if I don't then the game just wasted my time.

Each move is potentially important in DoomRL. In most roguelikes, your moves don't matter until enemies are visible. In DoomRL, the very next move you make could be a dodge. Maximizing this potential is one of the hallmarks of a veteran player.

I'm not opposed to an auto-explore function or improved run command by any means. But I am pointing out that it is disingenuous to say that 'the interesting choice has already been made' when there are still several more interesting choices to be made to get there.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 15:13 by Ashannar »
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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2012, 15:10 »

Yes, I posted this to get discussion going, and it seems the best way to fix this would be to add three things:

1) Have Shift-R on combat shottys interrupt when an enemy comes into view.
2) A smoother Run function. I suggest making shift-move work.
3) Make the character confirm moving into a fluid that will damage him. Optionally, only make him confirm when it would do a certain amount of damage or percentage of current health.
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