DoomRL > Requests For Features

Challenge mode ideas


I know the game's not in active development, but I still think crafting theoretical additions to the game is fun. So here's two challenge modes I came up with:

Angel of Opportunism
"They say if you seek, nature shall provide. And what you seek is more guns! Every time you reload a weapon it becomes weaker. Oh, and don't bother with melee, infinite-ammo guns or the ammochain skill, unless you LIKE dealing 1 damage."

Reloading a shotgun, pistol or miscellaneous weapon would lower damage or sides by 1, whichever's higher (like an inverse power mod). Reloading any RPG or burst weapon does this twice (so rocket launcher becomes 5d5, then 4d4). Reloading a BFG does it 3 times since the numbers start so high. This continues until they become 1d1.

To avoid cheating: Weapons with regenerating ammo do this whenever the regen starts. Ammochain causes affected weapons to weaken once every time you shoot, as do infinite-ammo guns. Melee attacks all do 1 damage no matter what.

The idea is that you have to constantly replace your guns with new ones, mostly those dropped by enemies. It would still be an "easy" angel though. The higher tier badges could include 100% kills, conqueror, and combining it with angel of light travel. For balance purposes it should probably guarantee Mortuary and Halls of Carnage, since they include lots of human enemies while their counterparts have none.

Angel of Sloth
"For those who love to play cautiously. All player actions take 2.5 times as long. To compensate, you get +4 accuracy."
Archangel of Sloth
"2.5 times as slow isn't enough for you? How about four times as slow? Here's a protip: Don't miss."

"Very hard" and "blade" level challenges, or maybe even another tier up from that. Any mistake will be punished severely, dodging is useless, and you won't be able to reload fast enough to shotgun cornershoot. I'm not sure how you would even beat this except maybe racing for the Shottyhead trait. So obviously the highest tier badge will ask you to do it without finesse and/or as a Marine (also giving up the technician's quick item use).

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but both of your proposed challenges look utterly unplayable to me.

Angel of Opportunism: You would simply run out of weapons in Hell, where most of the monsters consist of VMR (viles, mancubi and revenants) packs, with a few barons and knights thrown into the mix. These drop no weapons at all. For all intents and purposes, you would not want to use weapons at all, and such a challenge already exists, called Angel of Pacifisim. Now consider that you have a limited inventory, and ... Well, just no. Sorry. Unless you throw in a greatly increased ammo capacity for any and all weapons.

Angel of Sloth: Well, on N! difficulty your speed is already cut down by 10%, and this makes the game a _lot_ more dangerous. Cutting it down by further 50%? Even Phobos Base would be a hell to survive (imagine those guaranteed sergeants firing their shotgun, reloading and firing again between your actions), and if you start any level surrounded by monsters, you could just quit right there. Accuracy is not worth a dime until you find something else than the starting pistol (which already has and accuracy bonus) and a shotgun (which completely disregards accuracy).
I could imagine such a challenge working with, say, 10-15% speed penalty (20-30% for Archangel).

Yeah, I went a little overboard on the sloth challenge. The initial idea was just to just ruin the player's walk/run speed, because there's a god in Dungeon Crawl who does that and it makes for interesting gameplay. But then I thought that given the nature of this game, "stand still and shoot things" would be a bit too easy. Maybe the first version of the idea was better.

As for the accuracy buff, that wasn't so much an actual bonus as me realizing "missing a shot with the RPG would be certain death, better make that unlikely".

So revised version of the challenge: Movement speed is x3, all other actions normal speed. Probably reduce the difficulty to "hard". No point in an archangel version that raises movement speed any further, but maybe archangel would be "movement x3, everything else x1.2".


As for Opportunism, I'm not convinced that it would be impossible. My vision is that the player is carrying around spare guns instead of spare ammo clips (a plasma rifle in particular has almost as much ammo as a clip without the backpack). Realistically each chainfire gun is good for 2 clips and other guns for 3 before you need to throw it away.

However, I do concede that it would be A: Luck based and B: Harder on the higher difficulty for the wrong reasons, since they affect enemy spawns. Nightmare, ironically, would let you farm any captain/commando you find and thus cheat the system. Maybe if you tweak the item spawns so that all ammo piles are replaced with an equivalent common gun (but enemy drops are unaffected, so arachnotrons and revenants are still not helpful and you'll still see more bullets than guns).

edit: It just occurred to me though that Conqueror as one of the higher tier badges would be impossible since melee is blocked. So scratch that bit.

Cheibriados in DCSS makes some interesting gameplay, true, but that is because he compensates the movespeed loss by a massive boost to basic attributes, some active skills to hinder faster enemies, and the movespeed penalty itself is capped at 50% (i.e. doubled move time) scaling with piety growth. DCSS is also not as ranged-combat-focused as DRL is - here, moving slowly presents a much greater danger. Overall, this challenge would pretty much force a camping behavior (not that this is a bad strategy even now - I have some nice Sharpshooter wins that utilized camping to a great effect).
Perhaps if the movespeed penalty was more gradual? Say, 10% at the start, +5% at each levelup, capped at +100%? This would make the starting parts of the game playable, and you should be well equipped by the time the penalty starts hitting hard.


As for Opportunism, I see problems both if the early and late game. With such a degradation, shotguns are good for some three or four shots - almost useless. This leaves you stuck with pistols, until you happen to find something better. Now, chainguns start lying around on the floor at depth 5, so outside of vaults and (on higher difficulties) captains you have next to no chance of acquiring a better weapon before that.

Changing ammo drops to weapon drops might help more in the early game - with greater depth, more items enter the dropping pool and ammo drops seem to be less frequent. So this would only be a partial solution.

How's this for a better solution to Opportunism in the late game: Just directly add level/2 extra captains and commandos to every non-special floor. 10 guns good for two clips each should be enough to clear one endgame level. Then add to the description "Fortunately, extra soldiers show up on each level ready to give you their guns."

In the early game, reliance on pistols and on shotguns that you have to throw away after four shots seems in line with the goal of this challenge. Other than pink demons and hell knights, a player conserving ammo can pretty much get a 1-1 ratio of shotgun blasts to kills on the early floors. Pistols CAN kill weak enemies without the specialized skills, they're just an that you try to avoid on most runs. As long as you're guaranteed to find a chaingun before you find a hell knight, you shouldn't be in the position of literally not having enough shots to kill it, though you may be forced to take some damage if you run outta shotguns. So it's definitely possible on HMP, but maybe luck-based on UV.


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