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Different Difficulty Modifiers
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Zombie_Plan
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:24 am
   Subject: Different Difficulty Modifiers
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I've been playing and watching a few games lately, and noticing how they tackle difficulty.

In Blood, Cultist enemies will switch from hitscan weapons to throwing explosives at the player in harder difficulties, making fights much more hazardous.
Survival games will make ammo and health pickups much more scarce, driving a player to be more careful and conservative.

These sorts of changes are genius because they do more than just make an enemy hit harder, or become a bullet sponge. They change how a player must approach situations. Instead of increased difficulty simply meaning "Keep doing what you've been doing, but a lot more of it on a per-enemy basis", maybe how they've been playing the level is no longer the way to go. Instead of just running in and shooting everyone, strafing around, you need to be more methodical or outright sneaky because you need to save ammo, or the result of the fight is worse than just letting them be.




Thinking about Wolfenstein 3D, the typical difficulty modifiers are the strengths of enemies, and more enemy spawns in a map. It's all fairly straightforward. But there's a lot more that could be done, simple things that change a lot.

End of Destiny had a clever approach to the idea, by replacing Lives with Saves. This gave players a difficult choice to face and they have to change strategy around it.

Throwing my own rather basic ideas into the mix, you could outright replace enemies in the entire game (Suddenly in Death Incarnate! all guards are Officers instead).
What if on harder difficulties, Guards have a chance to respawn as mutants 10 seconds after death. After all, Schabbs was creating a zombie army, right?
Maybe a key will spawn on a level, but only on a harder difficulty. It will unlock a door inaccessable on lower difficulties, giving you a different but ultimately more rewarding path (For example, a true boss only found on Death Incarnate).


These are just some basic ideas, but I was hoping to hear if other people here had ideas on the matter, or if you've seen fun ways difficulty has been done in mods.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:40 am
   Subject: Re: Different Difficulty Modifiers
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A few ideas that could also be considered for higher difficulties (I am not sure if all of them have been implemented or if some are yet to be introduced for the first time):

- Player's weapon randomly jams
- Enemies have enhanced aiming
- Enemies can take more hits
- Food and health items do not heal you as much
- Enemies can use food and health items too
- Enemies move faster
- Player's aiming needs to be more accurate (kind of like the transition you see from SoD/Wolf3D to DOOM, where in the latter you had to be facing the baddies in a real straight line if you wanted your bullets to him them)
- Levels have a time limit to be completed
- Enemies cannot unlock locked doors for you
- Player's health slowly decreases when you are down to, say, 10%, thereby forcing the player to find food or health quickly

Best,

Ariel

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:57 pm
   Subject: Re: Different Difficulty Modifiers
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Zombie wrote:
Maybe a key will spawn on a level, but only on a harder difficulty. It will unlock a door inaccessable on lower difficulties, giving you a different but ultimately more rewarding path (For example, a true boss only found on Death Incarnate).

You can sort of do this already in the original, by putting a Death Incarnate enemy inside a wall so the area can only be accessible on Death Incarnate. I did this on Chokage Level 10 because there's no penalty for not getting 100% treasure on lower skill levels in secret floors. Very Happy Having a save limit and time limit on higher skill levels sounds good to me too.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:23 am
   Subject: Re: Different Difficulty Modifiers
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I have had ideas over the years as to how different difficulties would affect how the maps would be played, but all of them circled around expanding the gameplay as a whole. One idea was the "Med Medkits", which is a Mutant-like enemy disguised as a medkit. These are too low to the ground to be hit by gunfire until they're revived. You attempt to pick them up, and then they rise up a couple of feet and start moving around and firing at you. If you destroyed them, their limbs and weapons would shatter, and it functioned like a regular medkit from that point on.

The difficulty setting had more medkits replaced with "Mad Medkits" the higher the difficulty was. I tried writing the code for this several times, but I never really got it working right, and knowing less about animation then than I do now, it never really *looked* right, either. But my biggest mistake was using the original Wolf3D graphics as a base for the enemy. I should've just done all the images from scratch and saved myself the hassle. The medical kit really isn't that hard to do an detailed image of - even with the Wolf3D palette.
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