HEROES OF MIGHT & MAGIC
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The economy thing is quite nice about Scorched Earth, but it also is a pretty big potential game breaker.
Once you win a couple of rounds and get enough money to buy shields, you are practically indestructible. Very few things can penetrate a shield (especially the heavy-duty one), and it is likely that the other players don’t have them yet.
Thus, if you are not unlucky enough to get killed before your first turn, you activate the shield, which gives you at least 80% of winning the round (90% if you also bought parachutes!), which means you will get more cash, with which you can buy… more shields, and run away winning almost every round.
When playing with other friends we sometimes agreed to not use shields, just for this reason.
You expressed it very nicely, sorceress. I had similar feelings when I played the game ages ago, but never managed to put my finger on it. To date I can barely remember the designs of most E2 levels – they are like a blur in my mind – whereas most E1 I remember quite well. E3 is a little better in this regard, but not as good as E1.
All E1 levels except E1M8 where designed by John Romero, whereas none of E2/E3 where. Many of the things that positively distinguish E1 from E2 are straight out of his “design rules”:
I guess this shows you that his reputation as a master designer is at least partially deserved. :
The original DOOM levels are really quite easy, even with keyboard only. However, if you are not used to playing keyboard-only, you will feel somewhat handicapped by that.
Once you go to DOOM2 and the 4th episode of Ultimate DOOM, and then Final DOOM, things start getting quite a bit harder; however, it is still perfectly manageable with keyboard only. All of the original levels in the original games are. It is when you go to the user-created level packs that you find some really hard ones, for which keyboard-only can become an insurmountable handicap.
The fact that the game can be difficult despite “dumb” straightforward enemies shows that good “smart” AI is not the only way to make a game challenging. Early FPSs like DOOM, Quake etc. (and similar concept games like Serious Sam) succeed mostly by presenting overwhelming numbers of tough enemies. Many modern FPSs will put you against smaller groups of smarter enemies instead. These are just different approaches and personally I don’t find one better than the other – it depends on how well a game implements whatever approach it chooses.
Yes, the evil soldiers are possessed humans.
I don’t remember exactly where it was explained; possibly in the manual, possibly in some FAQ. But even the sprite names used for them in DOOM.WAD make it clear:
Pistol Soldier – POSS (Possessed)
Shotgun Soldier – SPOS (Shotgun Possessed)
Chaingunner – CPOS (Chaingun Possessed, DOOM2 only)
You can totally play DOOM with the mouse and WASD, just like you would any modern FPS (minus the fact that there is no vertical freelook). However, this requires manually setting the mouse sensitivity to a very high number (40+?) in the configuration file. The maximum setting available in the in-game Options menu would make the mouse too slow to be usable.
This is a great example of how the community figured out better ways to play than was envisioned by the original designers. DOOM was intended to be perfectly playable with keyboard only (and to be fair, it is perfectly playable with keyboard only). But once folks realized they can be much faster and more efficient playing with the mouse, the game changed. This opened the door to higher level deathmatching, and much harder, moster-packed levels, which are very difficult (some probably impossible) to beat for keyboard-only players.