what would you change in Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Ride

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what would you change in Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Ride

Postby Lagi » Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:22 am

Official expansion to Heretic that bring after 1,5 year only more maps :? .
What would you change in Heretic?

I would:

  • remove, nerf or alter function of Ring of Invulnerability - godmode trivialize the game
  • reduce ammo income from gold wand crystals +5/+20 and ethereal bolts +3/+10 pickups.
  • make default Pistol Start (very easy and easy diff could be set to off)
  • Mystic Urn boost player HP past 100
  • Chaos Device teleport you to random location nearby, instead to start of level. (work like Blink spell from rougelike)
    ---
  • bag of holding last only for current level
  • improve timebomb of the ancient (128>160 dmg, 128>192 range)
  • add berserk, to make staff a useful melee weapon (like berserk in Doom. Implemented in Wayfarer). Basic staff range 44>105, dmg (15:30)
  • add Voxels for items pickup and map decorations (like in blood, Reikal pack is flawless here - with option to turn off for weaker rigs).
    -----
  • rethink the weapon concept, so they feel less like a doom reskin
  • Add some type of medieval melee weapon. Fantasy with guns is fun, its just not what you expect. Hexen hit the nail here.
  • add alt fires (not tome). Basic melee would be good. f.ex Gold Wand is phew phew, Alt is instant staff swing (could be used for Hellstaff and phenix rod as well).
    -----
  • I would like to freeze monsters. So I need freezing weapon. (quick cheap idea: make DragonClaw freeze target)
  • Id like to burn monsters. Make Hellstaff and Phenix rod set them on fire (like in Strife)
  • Ultimate weapon need to be ultimate. Wraithverge from Hexen would be dope in this role. Replace Mace with Dragon claw.
    -----
  • add destructive environment. Decorations and walls (like in DukeNukem)
  • if you walk, you behave like invisible. Cheap stealth, but it would work.
  • Extra damage for hitting unaware monster, staff not alarming.
    ----
  • add more animation for monsters
  • add ice death
  • add fire death
  • add multiple death variants
    ----
  • add melee attack to every monster (it have the gameplay implication that in close quarters the monster will punch instead shooting, which may be favorable for player)
  • increase speed of melee monsters (sabreclaw 25, melee golem 20)
  • reduce running backwards from 2.0 to 1.0 "speed". Running backwards and shooting, make melee monsters redundant, if they has 0% to catch you.
  • create a gap between activation of melee attack, and melee attack range (activation << attack range), so small step back dont take player away from harm.
    ---
  • reduce monster HP (all gargoytle 40, all golem 80, all knight 160, Disciples[180>100], Ophidians[280>180], weredragon 220>300, sabreclaw 100)
  • add more (2x) mid-boss tier monsters (there is only IronLich and Maulotaur)
  • utilize ghost variant more. By reducing number of weapon effective against ghosts monster. Switch Mace with DragonClaw.
  • let some monster drop early weapons. Like Sergeant drop shotgun in Doom.
Last edited by Lagi on Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: what would you change in Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent

Postby leileilol » Fri Oct 23, 2020 6:43 pm

Lagi wrote:remove running backwards from Player. Running backwards and shooting make melee monsters redundant.


So what if you apply this to Hexen when a centaur comes? And how would you logically convince that elven legs have no physical means to backpedal? :???
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Re: what would you change in Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent

Postby Rachael » Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:21 pm

The greater majority of this is doable in GZDoom as a mod (a lot of ZScript would be required but much of it is doable), but some of these concepts I don't think would work in a gameplay sense.

Indeed, the lack of backpedalling being one - if melee monsters are trivialized by walking backwards perhaps you can make a concept where they charge at you, and in doing so have an increased melee range for a short period of time. This would make a lot more sense than simply removing backpedalling. And on that note, you can also reduce the player's speed while backpedalling, which is very easy to do by simply monitoring the player's input and altering their speed when the backpedal key is pressed. These two together should solve your "melee monster problem" without doing something completely short-sighted like removing it entirely.

As for the whole idea of making this an expansion - there's a reason why radical changes to gameplay generally isn't done in game's expansions. This is perfect for a gameplay mod though - as long as you are willing to put in the effort to make it a reality.
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Re: what would you change in Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent

Postby Lagi » Sat Oct 24, 2020 5:44 am

thanks for answers,

I mean running backwards with Shift or Capslock On, should move player with speed 1.0 (as walk speed) instead 2.0.
If you looking for logic; how any humanoid can run backward as fast as forward ?

Hexen Centaur is not fun enemy, its flaw design because of his defense. I dont see your point, but if you have stuff like necro gauntlets from Heretic it should be doable.

====


Rach: yes reducing speed is what i mean.

in th 96 there were no modding communities and developer should feel responsible for upgrading his product, esp. if he has big audience. I see it as cash-grab. compare to Starcraft Brood War (terran medic, zerg lurker, protoss dark templar). Or to Doom2 (new monsters, berserk,SSG)

Except damaging walls, I already know how to do all this changes, but I personally already makebest mod for me or my doom reskin even. I was really hoping someone would share his opinion about Heretic gameplay.
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Re: what would you change in Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent

Postby Rachael » Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:00 am

I don't have much of an opinion, I know Heretic is generally considered easier than Doom, especially given that the highest skill level doesn't even have respawning monsters (which, in my opinion, might actually be a good thing).

At any rate though, I generally play for the scenery and music, anyway, not so much the gameplay.
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Re: what would you change in Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent

Postby Lagi » Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:05 am

i agree highest skill level is playable compare to doom. And the difficulty spike come from faster projectiles, not respawn.

hmm.. I often forget to turn on the sound :D (my computer in 90 was deaf :'-) )
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Re: what would you change in Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent

Postby sinisterseed » Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:08 am

I'd change the entire bestiary and probably some weapons.

Radical changes, I know, but I simply find Heretic's enemies and weapons absurdly boring thanks to their speed, and the weapons rarely ever carry much of a punch apart from the crossbow, not to mention their not-so-epic sound effects. Despite its flaws I think Hexen was overall a better game, and even Hexen II was more fun, but Heretic is one of the most boring games I've ever played.
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Re: what would you change in Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent

Postby Lagi » Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:26 am

the Dragon claw sound is annoying as duck. And yes.. you shooting and shooting to single dude and nothing happens.
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Re: what would you change in Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent

Postby Lagi » Sun Nov 08, 2020 5:36 am

Thanks to the Jabba, i twist the Wayfarer gameplay, to make heretic less of a chore play.
amber_wayfarer




what it changes to Wayfarer:

reduce all monsters HP
Spoiler:


staff damage 5,20 > 15,30 [min,max]
staff increase range 44 > 105
staff is not alarming monsters

gold wand damage 7,8 > 7,18
replace DragonClaw with FireMace [ ghost monsters have more edge. Its different to doom chaingun]
replace FireMace with Lightbringer
replace Lightbringer ammo with goldwand ammo [ also fix lightbringer damage]
reduce gold wand ammo pick up +5/+20 [small/hefty]
reduce crossbow ammo pick up +3/+10

powered goldwand is not a hitscan, consume 2 ammo
powered crossbow consume 2 ammo
powered firemace consume 2 ammo (instead 5), the big ball (less dmg, more speed) is now exploding into ripper balls (from powered DragonClaw), that dont affect ghost monsters

time bomb 128 dmg 128 range >> 160 dmg and 192 range


recommend using pistol start
Last edited by Lagi on Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: what would you change in Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent

Postby Lagi » Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:04 pm

I play some maps (that i know) with above mod setting (a-wayfr, pistol).

1. the monster hp are still too much. f.ex weredragon is too commons enemy to grant him 300 hp. with 220 he is ok.
2. i use custom mod mutator to reduce monster hp to 50% and 75%. 50% is a little too low, while 75% feels more like it should be.
3. i play some doom. there you quickly get shotgun, and 1shot all early enemies. If you stick to pistol, you find out zombies are dying from 2-3 shots... which make fist and gun feel weak, but its not a tragedy.

I think majority of people would agree doom have better weapon damage to monster HP - Fun Factor. Trooper having only 20hp, is literally punch bag. Sergeant with 30hp is more rationale gameplay wise.
Last edited by Lagi on Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: what would you change in Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent

Postby Baratus » Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:02 pm

I think the main issue I have with Heretic's gameplay is how beefy the enemies are and how weak and inconsistent the weapon damage feels. I think this is due to the damage randomisation, since most weapons are projectiles they can do anywhere from x1 to x8 their base damage. Most weapons have a fairly low base damage, with the only exception being the Phoenix Rod, so most weapons feel equally piddly and ineffective.

That, and the Firemace is an utter joke of a weapon. Even its Tomed version which does the most damage out of any id tech 1 game is a still pain in the arse to use. No effect on flying, ghost or boss enemies, AND evaporating in water...!

Good thing it's a fairly easy job for modders to alleviate these issues somewhat. Fixing the damage values alone may still make the difficulty feel trivial, so I like your other suggestions about limiting the use of the more powerful items, and making the enemies feel challenging, and less dumb and tanky.

The game is a great base for modding, and I'd say it still holds up pretty well as an experience on par with Doom, and offers a lot more, but lacking polish. The challenge that the game offers doesn't quite hold up after 25 years of experience.
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Re: what would you change in Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent

Postby Lagi » Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:00 am

indeed all monsters are too beefy. I dont perceive heretic damage as too random tbh.

agree that Firemace is an underwhelming weapon. On my test it works well as Dragonclaw swap. Its early and common weapon. Balls not affecting ghost emphasis the ghost monsters feature. Still powered Firemace is worse than the normal fire mode.

Ghost monsters in vanilla dont have enough impact on gameplay, because almost all weapons are hurting ghost. With Wayfarer Crossbow change, lack of side bolts damage start making a difference, which incline player to use Gold Wand f.ex.

I think nice twist would be if powered Weapons have its disadvantage, like with Hellstaff rain or Firemace big balls or Phenix Rod flamethrower.
If we add similar quirks to goldwand, crossbow and dragon claw this would make an decision whether or not to launch powermode.
f.ex:
powered goldwand - lose hitscan ability and become projectile weapon.
crossbow - use more (3x?) ammo per shot
claw - spiked balls dont affect ghost


making enemy less dumb, is a very difficult task. However just by increasing speed of golem and sabreclaws, make them become finally some threat. Player vastly outrun all monsters (even projectiles).
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Re: what would you change in Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent

Postby Matt » Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:17 am

I HAVE SOME THOUGHTS ON THIS

Spoiler:
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Re: what would you change in Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent

Postby Lagi » Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:39 am

Matt wrote:Much, much lower range of random damage.

Make everything take a lot less damage overall.


?! Heretic gameplay is already about shooting endlessly to kill anything bigger than gargoyle.

Beef monster are ok, if they have a thresholds of damage. Like after some time shooting Maulotaur will get visible wound. Bonus if wounded state affect monster performance (making him slower, attack less often f.ex). Then player see that all his actions make some effect.

Matt wrote:Reinvent all the weapons:

1. Staff - can deflect some projectiles, better knockback, better pain chance, does more damage if you swing while thrusting and if you're moving into your target, can launch yourself if you hit a wall or floor. Has passive weapon collision so you can block things and beat things to death without even needing to hit the fire button. Heals the player slightly each time it deals a killing blow. Altfire uses a power crystal to make the staff shoot a beam of fire, at a cost of 1d6 health.

overcomplicated
staff as last resort weapon work ok. I would like it to not be magic.

Matt wrote:Uses ectoplasm:

2. Phantasmic Throwing Axe - taken off the skeleton dudes. Carry max 3 but they regenerate after you throw them as long as you've got ectoplasm ammo. Altfire swings the axe.


i always like in Doom that Sergant drop shotgun. That make sens, and is fun. In Heretic, the only options are Knight dropping axe, and Ophidian (snake) dropping his trident (but there is no such weapon in Heretic - make it a Hell staff maybe?)

Matt wrote:3. Ethereal Crossbow - actually takes some time to load each shot. Can go through multiple targets if not all the damage is used up on the first one. Altfire loads/unlaods.

Uses power crystals:

4. Dragon's Claw - blasts a steady stream of blue flame. Limited range. Altfire blasts like an SSG.

5. Phoenix Rod - rocket launcher that leaves lingering famaging flames. Altfire is flamethrower.

6. Wings of Wrath - fly. Altfire shoots tornadoes. Butterly wings rather than bat.


loading manually each shot is quite wearing, esp. if crossbow is not some doom weapon (nuke launcher equivalen).
what would be the point of unloading crossbow?
wings are artifact, you want to make wings a weapon?

Matt wrote:Allow player to keep all items between maps.

all doom maps are created for pistol start. You are perfectly fine starting only with Wand, and find each weapon each time on each map. Its fun, the joy of finding weapon occur on each map. Plus you dont have to hoard supplies before each level end.

Matt wrote: Make the shield an actual shield that you can hold in your off hand. Protects your back when not held. Using it makes your staff and axes weaker, your crossbow longer to load, and your PRod fire more slowly as you take longer to recover from the recoil.

thats interesting idea. i always dream about sword and shield combat in heretic when i was a kid.

Matt wrote:Make time bombs take longer to detonate, shoot lots of glass fragments all over the place, and be generally highly unpredictable, dangerous and scary, to the point where monsters actively avoid them.

its overdoing the bomb. Dmg & range increase is enough

Matt wrote:Ghost variants use the Doom spectre fuzz effect, disappear for a while on "death", are non-solid, can pass through walls, never drop anything and have 1/4 the health of a regular type. Vulnerable to any weapon and each "death" counts for a kill.

All gargoyles can shoot fireballs, big ones shoot more often, dodge like afrits.

All golems can shoot skulls while they are at perfect health, and continuously regenerate as long as they're over 50%.

good ideas

Matt wrote:Make any and all "big" monster variants really obvious - more vivid colours, visually up to 20% bigger.

Forget this silliness with the red axes, just let the green ones do more damage.

Weredragons smaller and more aggressive.

changing monster size would affect their level placement (low ceiling)
green axe dmg is ok, its nice that red axe with higher dmg, looks different.

weredragons looks tanky, if you want them smaller then you have very uncommon concept. IMO problem with weredragons is that they are turrets, they should shred player to pieces in melee, and just spit fireballs, while not being able to reach Corvus.
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Re: what would you change in Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent

Postby Lagi » Wed Nov 18, 2020 5:10 pm

I just play wayfarer (i absolutely cannot beat without quicksave the onyx citadel) and hymn (metropoly crush me) by few days with above changes, which make game much easier.

dragon claw as ultimate weapon is underwhelming. Plus its just a ghost hurting hitscan which copy the purpose of goldwand. I would change it with Lightbringer.

I think I would switch powered big balls from Mace, with horizontal spiked balls from Dragon claw. Powered balls are absolutely atrocious to play with, because of inertia when straging hard to hit anything, obstructing view (U eat projectiles trying to stand in place to aim at something). I also think about adding bounce to Mace small balls.


I was wondering about adding more Berserk powerups, but... it make the powered staff a redundant (because the same damage is constantly available from berserk), otherwise its sometimes worthy to use Book with staff.

I find new lower monster HP much more fun to play with. Sabreclaw is some challenge now.
Melee golem is still just a dummy :/, i thinking this:
All golems can shoot skulls while they are at perfect health, and continuously regenerate as long as they're over 50%.

maybe a good idea to try

edit: green txt is updated in link
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