Specific issues you had with Hexen

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Specific issues you had with Hexen

Postby zrrion the insect » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:46 pm

I am wondering what things people felt like hexen did wrong. Specifically why wasn't it fun to play. What about each weapon/monster/mechanic did you feel made the game a flop? I'm not asking for aesthetic critiques or musical critiques, so "texture X is ugly" and "the music sux!" are not things I'm looking for, nor do I care about the maps, since that's just bad level design and altering levels is outside the scope of a gameplay mod, but everything else is fair game. Related to this is what did it do well? What redeeming factors are there for the game? I'm asking because I'm working on a gameplay mod that will attempt to address the issues of Hexen while still staying true to the spirit of the game, and I'd like to know what people actually think needs done to the game.

So what did hexen do wrong that a game play mod could fix to make the game less wrong and what did it do right that a gameplay mod could expand upon to make the game better?
Last edited by zrrion the insect on Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Specific issues you had with Hexen

Postby SamVision » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:59 pm

Gameplay wise Hexen is alright, nothing spectacular but it does things well enough to hold my attention. Hexen truly effed up with regards to level design. Key and switch hunting in Doom and Heretic was always a bit of a chore, but Hexen took it to the next level. Confusing claustrophobic levels spread across hubs, with absurd "keys" and doors that may or may not open ever, not to mention that one obscure switch I spent looking for in the first hub and made me throw up my hands and scream "THAT'S ALL FOLKS". Hexen wasn't a terrible game, but it made some mistakes that ticked me off, and of course Raven Software didn't think they were mistakes and brought it all back in Hexen 2 tenfold. Heck, even Doom 64 had puzzle elements that felt more like Hexen than Doom.
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Re: Specific issues you had with Hexen

Postby Hellser » Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:05 pm

Solved Puzzle 1563 out of ∞.

Just didn't get into Hexen due to that. But I'm with what SamVision said.
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Re: Specific issues you had with Hexen

Postby xenoxols » Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:09 pm

The melee combat sucks.
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Re: Specific issues you had with Hexen

Postby GooberMan » Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:30 pm

Slippery slidey barely-modified Doom movement code that expects you to precision navigate precarious narrow ledges with instadeath drops.
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Re: Specific issues you had with Hexen

Postby Peter Bark » Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:35 pm

HeXen is like a headache game, when we all played it when it first came out we would spend hours playing and later feel like we wanted to be sick, having to run back and fourth and in circles didn't help.

I really dislike the fact that the Etiins spawn in every few minutes.
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Re: Specific issues you had with Hexen

Postby xenoxols » Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:39 pm

Peter Bark wrote:...when we all played it when it first came out...

I didn't play Hexen until about 2 years ago. And I didn't play doom until about 4 years ago. I used to play a lot of console games, then I played doom shareware, really liked it, then bought the full version and was hooked into PC gaming. Only play console games with friends nowadays.
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Re: Specific issues you had with Hexen

Postby Graf Zahl » Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:45 pm

I never had problems with the puzzles.
Back in the day the only major issue I encountered was the Heresiarch. Since I didn't understand how his invulnerability shield worked I wasted all the mana on him, effectively accomplishing nothing. This is one of the most obnoxiously badly done monsters I ever encountered.
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Re: Specific issues you had with Hexen

Postby Enjay » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:31 pm

For the most part, the "puzzles" aren't really puzzles IMO. They are mostly really just extensions of a key or switch search. There was very little working out of stuff to be done. But when the search is spread across a number of maps and you are given pretty meaningless messages about what it going on, it just becomes tedious IMO.

I also remember one key being tucked away in a barely noticeable alcove in a cave somewhere remote from the map where it was needed that I literally wandered around a hub for hours trying to find until I stumbled upon it by accident in the darkness.

Then there were the scripts that sometimes didn't work: the first time I fought the Heressiarch and finally defeated him, the script that was supposed to do stuff and allow me to progress didn't trigger.

However, the biggest downside for me was the weapons. It's a big game with quite a bestiary and you only get 4 weapons. OK, in total there are more weapons and some are quite interesting but in any one single game there are only 4. Quite simply, that's not enough IMO and each class has at least one (i.e. 25% of the available weaponry) that isn't very satisfying, or is even a bit tedious, to use.

It's a real shame because there is a lot about Hexen that I like and I think it raised the bar for Doom engine games in a number of areas but the final implementation wasn't that great. I don't think it's awful but it's just not as good as it should be.
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Re: Specific issues you had with Hexen

Postby Shadelight » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:40 pm

Given how ridiculous the weapons actually were I don't really think there needed to be more, although more variety with say, the Fighter would've been nice.
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Re: Specific issues you had with Hexen

Postby BouncyTEM » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:46 pm

I have horrible navigation. I am very, very easily lost in a map.

Hexen, with its hubs and obtuse "puzzles", has given me many a headache.

Honestly, all of the complaints above apply. I don't like the puzzles, I find it tedious, I didn't care for the Heresiarch and his stupid shield, I didn't care for the precise jumps or instadeath, I didn't care for the weapons.

As far as the weapons go, you know what would've helped? A lot? That both Heretic and Hexen 2 had?

TOMES OF POWER.

Why weren't they in this game?!
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Re: Specific issues you had with Hexen

Postby Remmirath » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:12 pm

I love games where exploration and a fair dose of backtracking is present. (hell, I'm a huge fan of metroidvania games). But basically what SamVision said about it sums it up for me as well. The maps are confusing as hell, and some puzzles took too much effort to go through. I know, it's mostly a switch hunt, but it's a tedious and very boring one. To make things worse, weapons are a total letdown for me, for all 3 classes: boring and uninspired, they were a major contributor to me abandoning the game halfway through.

Enemies-wise, though, the designs are actually really cool, and are one of the positive things about the game, IMO.
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Re: Specific issues you had with Hexen

Postby leileilol » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:41 pm

GT Interactive's marketing department for being so vague on what it actually was. They tried this same treatment to the rest of their 1996 lineup (Amok, SPQR, Bedlam, Final Doom) and was equally as vague and not convincing of even what genre most of those were. Of those that survived their marketing torture was Quake because of technological merit alone with its hype levels, and the multiplayer boom after it.

This is contrast to Duke Nukem 3D which was marketed by FormGen, who made it clear what its product actually was.

BouncyTEM wrote:TOMES OF POWER.

Why weren't they in this game?!


Let's not forget the target system having 8mb RAM minimum. Doing Tome for all classes would be murder, and they already used a lot of it on monster sprites and ambient sound, and they have to make room for Korax's words too
Last edited by leileilol on Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Specific issues you had with Hexen

Postby NeuralStunner » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:53 pm

leileilol wrote:Let's not forget the target system having 8mb RAM minimum. Doing Tome for all classes would be murder, and they already used a lot of it on monster sprites and ambient sound, and they have to make room for Korax's words too
And yet the Dark Servant which replaces it (even having the same editor number) is an inferior, bloaty piece of crap. Where those graphics and sound were, anything needed for Tomed mode could have been. There's also a few unused graphics that might have been powered-mode-related at some point.

I think they just didn't want to do it for some reason.
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Re: Specific issues you had with Hexen

Postby zrrion the insect » Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:24 pm

So far we've got poor melee combat, boring weapons in general, and The Heresiarch is broken. Not quite sure what to do in regards to melee combat, I have improved the weapons but I'll leave elaboration on that for later, and an almost complete redesign of the Heresiarch may be in order. At the very least the invulnerability thing needs a reworking. Those are the types of issues I can attempt to address with the mod, but the level design of the original game is a bit less flexible and that is the sort of thing I'll leave up to mappers.

The Tome of Power issue is a thing I've heard before and seen in several Hexen mods, but I'm not sure what they could replace (dark servant is the most obvious candidate), nor am I sure what they should make weapons do.
In keeping with the "some items do different things for different classes" idea, the tome could power up the weapons in different ways for each class.
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