I will play every level in Marathon and comment on them

For topics about the story, help in a certain level, game discussion, or finding/discussing content.

Re: I will play every level in Marathon and comment on them

Post Apr 10th '18, 14:44

ravenshining wrote:Colony Ship, despite its deficiencies, stands out for it's great writing.

Neither High nor Low was fun, but kind of pointless.

G4 is of course excellently designed.

Two times Two equals... the best of the Pfhor levels

When I played through Marathon for the first time and got to Neither High nor Low for the first time, I actually never found the shield regenerator-. I don't know how or why, I just couldn't find it. It was a nightmare for me as I had to play through the level with only one tick of health left, and with the constantly respawning wasps it was EXTREMELY frustrating. Of course, after I found the health regenerator on my subsequent playthroughs, it wasn't that bad...

Also no love for Pfhoraphobia? I love that level. No save stations, no health regenerators, no ammunition. It really felt like I was trapped in this alien ship. I don't know, I personally loved it anyway. It's tied with Bob-B-Q for my favorite M1 level. Although, I was disappointed the cybernetic Pfhor isn't even a real enemy. It's a bit far into the future but I wonder if you have any ideas for making the encounter more exciting or is the plan at the moment to leave it as is?
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Flowers

Post Apr 10th '18, 22:01

CluckyInventor wrote:you could pressurize the chamber (use that liquid trick that has been mentioned before), blow up the fighters, and then maybe depressurize it as well if you want.

Why not punch a switch to pressurize the chamber really high
then punch the switch again for an explosive depressurization
and watch them explode a la the Tempus Irae level I Haven't Killed Anything Since 1485
I just play 'em; I don't know how they work.
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HelviusRufus

Post Apr 10th '18, 22:08

Flowers wrote:I was disappointed the cybernetic Pfhor isn't even a real enemy. It's a bit far into the future but I wonder if you have any ideas for making the encounter more exciting or is the plan at the moment to leave it as is?


I like the anticlimax, you go in expecting a stereotypical boss and it's actually defenseless. But, it's too easy to accidentally kill it while trying to take out it's enforcer guards. I want the player drawn it, to emphasise the moment, so I plan to
Spoiler:
have the controller be tough hit-point wise while making it weak to fists & shock staff, and still be harmless. Maybe give it a pathetically weak melee attack.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Apr 11th '18, 16:24

ravenshining wrote:I like the anticlimax, you go in expecting a stereotypical boss and it's actually defenseless. But, it's too easy to accidentally kill it while trying to take out it's enforcer guards. I want the player drawn it, to emphasise the moment

Over the last year I've been able to get a handful of Doom fans to check out Marathon. A common point of confusion I often heard afterwards is that they never encountered the cybernetic Pfhor and they didn't really understand what was going on too well in the end levels. I would have to explain that they did indeed kill the cybernetic Pfhor, but they often confused it as a statue scenery prop and didn't even directly kill it, with it dying accidentally in crossfire. While making it weak to melee in combination with giving it more health would be a good idea, I'd consider making the encounter more cinematic. Possibly give it a large, intimidating room of its own- similar to the one found at the end of Two Times Two Equals. Of course, anyone playing Redux would already know what the cybernetic Pfhor is, but I think it's worth addressing anyway.
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Flowers

Post Apr 11th '18, 18:20

Flowers wrote:Over the last year I've been able to get a handful of Doom fans to check out Marathon. A common point of confusion I often heard afterwards is that they never encountered the cybernetic Pfhor and they didn't really understand what was going on too well in the end levels. I would have to explain that they did indeed kill the cybernetic Pfhor, but they often confused it as a statue scenery prop and didn't even directly kill it


This is probably exarcerbated by how the mission doesn't necessarily end once you've killed the cyberPfhor, you might still have to explore or kill other enemies before you'll get teleported out.

My personal suggestion for making this fight work (the weak-to-fist method might not work unless you make him immune to all other damage and keep him low on health) would be to, A) have no other enemies in the cyberPfhor's throne room, put the emphasis on fighting in a longer hallway leading up to him, so you go through this gauntlet only to wind up in an empty throne room and you kill him easily, or B ) have the cyberPfhor's throne be behind a platform-wall, and when you open the platforms it reveals the cyberPfhor and you kill him quickly. An interesting narrative choice would be to make him only take damage from Enforcer weapons, suggesting he's controlled by the enforcers who guard him.
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philtron

Post Apr 11th '18, 19:58

philtron wrote:This is probably exarcerbated by how the mission doesn't necessarily end once you've killed the cyberPfhor, you might still have to explore or kill other enemies before you'll get teleported out.

Good point. I think another thing to note is that you expect the S'pht to be on your side, yet after you kill the cyberPfhor they're still enemies. Of course this is due to engine limitations, but the player doesn't necessarily know this.

My personal suggestion for making this fight work (the weak-to-fist method might not work unless you make him immune to all other damage and keep him low on health) would be to, A) have no other enemies in the cyberPfhor's throne room, put the emphasis on fighting in a longer hallway leading up to him, so you go through this gauntlet only to wind up in an empty throne room and you kill him easily, or B ) have the cyberPfhor's throne be behind a platform-wall, and when you open the platforms it reveals the cyberPfhor and you kill him quickly. An interesting narrative choice would be to make him only take damage from Enforcer weapons, suggesting he's controlled by the enforcers who guard him.

I had not thought about making him immune to everything but the Enforcer weapon. I like that idea a lot, as you would be killing this unholy, alien abomination with its own weaponry. Another idea I thought of off the top of my head is to surround the room in plasma and allow the player to flood the cyberPfhor, although I like this idea a lot less.
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Flowers

Post Apr 11th '18, 21:46

Have the controller cyborg behind bulletproof glass in a room just barely tall enough for him, and have some wires somewhere nearby (behind a panel so they don't get accidentally smashed) that, when smashed, trigger flickering lights and other effects like that, as well as moving the ceiling down on him by an imperceptibly small amount, crushing him to death? (The implication being that you fried the larger system of which the cyborg is a part, frying him in the process).

Although at that point you may as well just put him behind a wall of bulletproof glass separating him from the danger of the firefight, but with a door you can walk through to get behind the glass to kill him. Keeps him from dying in the firefight, makes clear that it has to be deliberate.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Apr 12th '18, 01:37

I like the "weak to Enforcer weapon" idea too, though in my mind it's less that the Enforcers are in charge, and more that the Controller is dangerous and the Enforcers need a way to protect themselves (based on my idea of the Controller being a threat in his own right).
welcome to the scene of the crash
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General-RADIX

Post Apr 12th '18, 20:58

Pfhorrest wrote:Have the controller cyborg behind bulletproof glass in a room just barely tall enough for him, and have some wires somewhere nearby (behind a panel so they don't get accidentally smashed) that, when smashed, trigger flickering lights and other effects like that, as well as moving the ceiling down on him by an imperceptibly small amount, crushing him to death? (The implication being that you fried the larger system of which the cyborg is a part, frying him in the process).


Personally - I like this idea the best. It makes the action deliberate and the result cinematic, which is precisely what's needed. It also makes for something that's kind of unique in the Marathon trilogy: allowing the player to directly interact with other characters/enemies in a meaningful way without using a gun.
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PerseusSpartacus
Somewhere in the 19th Century...

Post Apr 12th '18, 21:40

PerseusSpartacus wrote: It also makes for something that's kind of unique in the Marathon trilogy: allowing the player to directly interact with other characters/enemies in a meaningful way without using a gun.


This is a biiiiiiiiiiiit of an exaggeration. You're still just mercing the guy. I don't think "squashing a bug" counts as a "meaningful interaction."
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philtron

Post Apr 12th '18, 21:46

Lots of great ideas here.

Another deathtrap mechanism, if I go that route, it could be with goo - put it in a chamber, as suggested, with a goo texture on the floor but no actual goo- actually, this is already the case in the stock level. Then goo rises imperceptibly into the chamber when you smash the wires, causing it to die without having to have a platform over it's head.

Having a deathtrap might also make scripting easier. If there's a way to Lua the S'pht to change allegiances, or remove all monsters of a type and replace them with a new monster of a different type, in such a way that would be compatible with cooperative play, I'd love to hear it. Otherwise, I may omit S'pht entirely from the level - no sense giving your slaves access to their yoke, after all.

It'd also solve the problem where you can kill every Pfhor on the level except the controller, and still get beamed out.

In regards to the concerns that a new player would not necessarily know who the controller is, that's what terminal art is pfhor! I was also thinking of dressing up it's dais slightly to resemble a compiler.

stock dais for reference:
Pfhoraphobia_0000.jpg
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Apr 13th '18, 08:03

@HelviusRufus Troopers are vacuum enabled though, and I don't think whatever vacuum chamber is just lying around in an engineering chamber is powerful enough to outright explode a trooper. Part of the fun with "I haven't killed anyone since 1845" is that the enforcers fly away, not just explode. There's nowhere for the enemies inside said chamber to fly to, since we look to be in the middle of the Marathon (at least, not around the edge)

Level 12: Fire! Fire! ...
Perseus Gets Salty at Lava Link: http://forums.bungie.org/story/?read=63498

There are a lot of wasps hiding behind pillars on this level. Good thing I have a bug zapper. I say they hide behind pillars since if you step carefully you can snipe most of them without activating them. Since they are all major wasps on TC, their visual is decently large and you can often see a small bit of a wing poking out signaling you to shoot an empowered fusion bolt, which then results in a satisfying squeak and all other wasps totally dormant. Rinse and repeat. It doesn't help that Marathon's hitboxes make things like the edges of wings or even the corners of their models valid places to take out the wasps, (But that's not something you are likely to fix, and I'm not sure if I even want that fixed).

I like how you start off with a 1x charger (in case you were careless with your health) before giving you 2x health.

As for the rest of the level, I'm gonna go off into the whole lava argument. Whatever this liquid is (Hey, maybe they do need lava on the Marathon for some unforeseeable reason, but it could be molten metal, coolant, or some liquid just designed to look like lava to signal to anyone looking at it that they shouldn't jump in), some of the placement of this lava looks deliberate. Like, what's the point of this architecture (and that way around the canal) if the lava is not supposed to be here?

Hidden_advantage.PNG


I'd also like to say that having the lava be a solid texture, even if there was actually depth to it, allows for the illusion that lava flows under the walkway in the above picture, almost like one could imagine they were walking on a thin platform over the lava. Having a transparent lava texture might ruin this (minor) effect.

Of course, in any of the large rooms allowing the player to see the depth of the lava is a benefit.

Because some of the lava placement is quite deliberate, it makes one wonder what purpose the place has. Is this place also engineering? Does the lava have some engineering purpose (there was some on the engineering level SBU)? What does this place do, why were we sent here?

I should also note that some of the lava looks accidental; why would there be stairs into (or out of, as the case is) lava?

In summary, I'm thinking this place is some sort of facility for dealing with this strange "lava." However, in the attack, there was damage and lava has spilled into some places it shouldn't be, getting in your way. The teleporter from SBU sends us here since this is also an engineering facility that needs to be accessed by engineering staff (even if we don't have to do anything here, personally).

I'd like to see at least one more terminal, even if it doesn't explain anything relevant to the mission.

If lava stops being a surface we can walk on, what's gonna happen to our favorite hidden ammo cache?
CluckyInventor

Post Apr 16th '18, 15:33

I've had the pleasure (horror?) of playing with and walking on real lava in real life - that's a river of lava flowing behind me in my userpic. Generally, if you are capable of even getting near the stuff, it's more solid than liquid, and M1 is more realistic in that respect - except that it's bright orange, by the time you can walk over real lava it's got a few inches of black crust on top. If lava is as orange and yellow as it is in M1 and M2, you would totally sink in, and totally die instantly - I mean, trees *explode* when surrounded. It'd still be too thick to swim in if you had the Marine's miracle shield though.

Disclaimer: When I say can, I do not mean safe! I was quite insane and had no regard for my personal safety back then. You will very likely die or be horribly, horribly injured if you attempt to walk on lava. It's like treading on thin ice, but more deadly.

What does any of this have to do with Marathon? As a vauge and extremely remote nod to realism, I may have two separate textures for solid and liquid lava.

Now, obviously the Marathon isn't filled with the basalt lava I've had experience with. I've studied nuclear power a bit, and I think it's worth noting that the best nuclear reactors actually use molten metal as a coolant. We don't use them in the US because politics, but Russia, India, and China are into them. Granted the coolant would catch fire and possibly explode if exposed to air, but this could be Future Technology, air-and-moisture-safe reactor coolant, or it's not supposed to be exposed and that's why it's burning. I could even make "lava" levels "vacuum" levels, say they're pressurised but oxygen-deprived.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Apr 16th '18, 20:41

ravenshining wrote: I could even make "lava" levels "vacuum" levels, say they're pressurised but oxygen-deprived.

It is odd to me that Bungie implemented such a cool system using oxygen but only used it on one level. I've read that Neither High Nor Low has open windows (and I think it may have had oxygen recharge stations too but I can't remember, don't quote me on that) suggesting it might have originally been planned as a vacuum level. Anyway, I'd love to see more vacuum levels.

Also that's crazy that you walked on lava. I can't even go to the beach without my feet burning on the sand.
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Flowers

Post Apr 17th '18, 02:26

According to the original level notes, Neither High nor Low and one of the two cut endgame levels where Try Again now is were both also going to be vacuum. Instead, it seems they pumped air into Neither High nor Low, added in Ain't Got Time Pfhor This, and condensed the ending battles on the Marathon from 4 to 3 levels, leaving us with only a single vacuum level instead of three.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Apr 23rd '18, 16:55

Walking on lava in real life make me wonder if I should be (1) impressed or (2) questioning your intelligence/common sense. Seeing how you are alive, it should probably be the former, but given your later warning I can't but help shake the feeling that it is the latter.

I love the idea of making Fire x 100 a "vacuum" level. I used the fusion pistol most of the time anyways, only used the assault rifle to fell a few troopers. An interesting question that this raises is "What weapons work in an oxygen-deprived environment? Is it the pressure or the oxygen that matters for the weapons?" Doesn't something somewhere say that the Assault Rifle uses oxygen-hungry ammunition?

Though this raises the question of "How are the wasps/lookers breathing if there is no oxygen?" Maybe they breathe nitrogen or something???

I also like the idea of having solid/liquid lava. Since the lava obviously has a purpose, it's possible that the liquid lava was modified to be less thick so that it was easier to transport.

Level 13: Colony ship for sale, cheap!
Tour of Duty Link: http://forums.bungie.org/story/?read=63529

This place. It winds back and forth in the most inefficient ways, has no thinkable use, and is just generally unrealistic. Sure, none of the architecture in Marathon is particularly realistic, but I don't even want to try to come up with a use for this place, a reason for this architecture. I'll let someone more imaginative and skilled do that.

Perseus seems to be impressed with the difficulty, but I wasn't. I start the level just shooting things with pistols. The accuracy helps to hit the lookers, and you don't need damage to explode the things. And when you shoot one, they all come running, so you just take a defensive position and gun them down from a safe distance. Okay, one did manage to sneak up on me, but it still was quite an underwhelming force.

And all those times the lookers are in a group and running straight at you... really? It only takes one pistol shot.

Lookers being intermixed into other enemies is kind of fun. It can end as "The looker got blown up and damaged his friends." or "His friends distracted me and let that looker sneak up on me." I'd say this is generally more interesting than having lookers solo.

There's a lot of places where there is a looker hiding right behind a corner where it can easily blow you up if you aren't paying attention (or be close enough to damage you when you shoot it). I mention this not because I'm mad at it (I was a little annoyed), but because I'm not that mad. Why? Because even despite my carelessness, the three or so lookers that blew up on me didn't threaten my health bar too much. They just do so little damage they are generally non-threatening, and I was hardly punished for my carelessness.

This level also suffers from a desperate lack of chargers/saves. Could there be one more of each? It's really annoying how you have to go all the way back to the beginning to recharge/save your game. This long walk only emphasizes the emptiness of the level after you have cleared it. Why don't you just put the charge/save at the very beginning term to rub it in?

To address the difficulty of the level, I have a few possible suggestions which you could take one or more of.

(1) Make the charger only 1x. Instead of making the lookers do more damage, just give the player less health. Then the lookers will feel more threatening since they will do a greater % of the players available health.

(2) Or you could just make the lookers do more damage/have a bigger explosion radius or something. Consider how this affects the balance of other levels and the case where you blow a looker up in the middle of a group of baddies.

(3) Make the lookers sneakier. Add air vents and crevices for them to crawl out of after the player thinks a room is clear. Make them drop on his head from the ceiling.

(4) Make the lookers infinitely respawn. This would help keep the level from feeling empty, though I understand this could also be very cancerous.

(5) Just buff the normal enemies. If the normal enemies are more threatening the lookers might go unnoticed. I'm not a fan of this one since this level is, in my mind, supposed to be about the lookers. Besides, this level is supposed to be somewhat down tempo. Leela just died, sad music is playing, and the player might appreciate a break from the last few levels which could all be sort of epic battles. (Of course, I still support some increase in normal enemy difficulty, it just shouldn't overshadow the lookers)

(6) What if this level were in vacuum? This raises all sorts of questions (how do lookers survive in vacuum? Wasps? ????). However, if it could be done, it could make the puzzle more interesting since you are pressured (how? there isn't even air) into getting the puzzle right the first time. From a purely gameplay perspective, I think this level would do quite well in a vacuum (unlike cool fusion). The problem would be finding a way to make the player not able to just whore the O2 chargers and effectively negate the vacuum effect. Maybe put a charger in every switch room, but when you activate the switches it kills the charger?

---
I personally recommend 1, 3, and 4, though I hope the ideas I have thrown out there help.
CluckyInventor

Post Apr 24th '18, 15:40

CluckyInventor wrote:(3) Make the lookers sneakier. Add air vents and crevices for them to crawl out of after the player thinks a room is clear. Make them drop on his head from the ceiling.

This is a decent idea. Having vents on the ground/near the ceiling that hold Lookers would be a good way to shift the tone and style of this level. And with monster triggers, invisible monster triggers, and deaf/hearing monsters you can create interesting "staggered" waves of Lookers that attack the player.

The opening areas of this level are just giant empty rooms, so I always thought of them as storage warehouses. From that perspective it would make sense to have boxes and high shelves, which then could be additional places the Lookers drop down from.

(4) Make the lookers infinitely respawn. This would help keep the level from feeling empty, though I understand this could also be very cancerous.

This is a damn terrible idea. Don't ever do this unless your level design, from the start, revolves around infinitely spawning suicide bombers.

As for the notorious puzzle. In any remake it would have to be completely redesigned or completely neutered. I always thought a way to redesign the level would be to have a few much larger platforms that the player rides, but that while the player rides them, waves of wasps come out to fight.
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philtron

Post Apr 25th '18, 04:04

I'm now imagining Surprise Lookers in conjunction with dark levels. Meep.

(Definitely would not recommend Respawning Lookers, though. Besides not being very fun to deal with, there's also the danger of the player running out of ammo if it doesn't also respawn. This is a problem for any level with infinite enemies, but especially ones that explode in your face)
welcome to the scene of the crash
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General-RADIX

Post Apr 25th '18, 08:22

I had an inkling that infinite respawning enemies was a bad idea. I should have listened to myself. Perhaps I should revise #4 to read as follows:
4: Create pockets of lookers that get released into the map when the player is far away.

This should repopulate the map and keep the player on his toes without having to venture into the dangerous waters called infinite respawning.

By the way, how are you not swimming in more ammo than you can spend? At 40 AR clips right now. Of course, you can't carry that much on non-TC difficulties, but you don't need as much ammo on those difficulties, and that doesn't change the fact that I've found there to be plenty enough ammo. (The Juggernauts on Try Again may be the only exception to this)

I like the idea of shelving, but whoever can make convincing looking shelves in Aleph one that drop lookers on the players head deserves an award. Maybe I'm just bad at drawing things, though.

Level 14: Habe Quiddam
Tour of Duty Link: http://forums.bungie.org/story/?read=63612

It's just a fact about this level that you can't talk about it without mentioning how you learned about assimilated BoBs the first time. (Please don't question my intelligence too much while you listen to this story.)

At first, I was just shooting all the Pfhor without caring too much and didn't notice the BoB blow up. I noticed the yellow corpse though, and wondered if the Pfhor had developed some new weapon that made BoBs die yellow or something. All I saw was: "Wow, these Pfhor hurt," "Wow, this BoB died yellow," and "Wow, BoB AI is just as bad as always."

And the second assimilated BoB was easily confused as innocent. Even the third one, which is much more obvious with its intentions, still evaded my radar somehow. I ended up dying like once or twice (no surprise seeing how I ignored the assimilated BoBs), then decided, "Okay, I'll take this slow and steady and do it right." This time, I noticed that the BoB self-destructed on me, died yellow, and did a lot of damage, and was finally able to draw the right conclusion.

Speaking of BoBs, I'm very glad this isn't a rescue level. It's nice to not have to worry about saving BoB for once. (I know it's my sworn duty, but still.) Besides, this level is kind of like Bob-B-Q in that the BoBs are generally in hopeless places to begin with, so it is realistic to save them anyone. And why would Durandal care about BoB's welfare? Wasn't he the one that made us have to work so hard on The Rose in the first place?

The combat on the level would be more challenging than one would expect given that it's just fighters and wasps (with a few lookers) against a 2x health player. The architecture allows for all kinds of unexpected angles of attack that turn normally trivial enemies into surprise threats. Still, an additional compiler here and there or maybe a trooper wouldn't go amiss. Particularly, I think the moment that the player grabs the alien interfacer thingy (what is this, even???) presents a great opportunity for a compiler ambush, particularly if the player hasn't seen any compilers on the level as of yet.

Another thing one could try is to use this teleportation capability that Redux has. The player thinks he's cleared the lower levels, but as he walks on the upper ledge suddenly a platoon of projectile fighters assault him!

The architecture on this level is something else. Sure, it's not particularly realistic, and won't ever be (I can't think of a use for this area), but it still is really good. The way the level loops on itself and makes the player revisit areas he has already been from new viewpoints is good design. If one had to change this level, I would ask that the second floor be expanded and twist into new areas. (such as maybe the first 2x charger the player encounters.

If I have to give a complaint with this level, it is the elevator-in-the-left-pillar thing. There is no indication of this at all. That pillar doesn't flicker slightly, doesn't have any odd doodads or markings, it just looks identical to the right one. Seeing how we all know it's there at this point, why not give some tell on the off chance a new player plays Redux? (How long did it take people to figure out it was even there in the first place?)

Overall, this level really is a gem of the series. I'm sure that's been said before. I'd also like to point out that the automap of the level looks more beautiful than some modern art you see these days. Who thought modern art was a good idea?
CluckyInventor

Post Apr 25th '18, 14:36

having main areas re-populate can work really well when the player has a reason to pass through again. Enchanting New Mexico in Marathon: Phoenix does a really good job of that using different triggers + some platforms.
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$lave

Post Apr 25th '18, 19:33

There are many instances in Phoenix where enemies will repopulate a room, but it's usually under the circumstance that the player has to cross through a room again, and usually from a different angle than last time. The purpose was predominantly to get extra mileage out of the larger and more complex rooms, especially if it's one that the level is kind of centered around (like the main courtyard in Nottingham Lace).

It certainly wasn't to continuously needle the player while they're trying to do other things.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Apr 26th '18, 01:08

Yeah, I don't remember the layout of most of the M1 maps very well. I like having multiple monster spawns in rooms that have multiple exits that open up as you progress through the maps. I guess the original Marathon mostly just had confusing/sprawling corridors tho that would be extra frustrating with multiple waves of bugs coming at you from rooms you already cleared.

I still don't love the idea of adding ~detail~ to M1 but I think a lot of the levels (especially in the mid-game) could be re-worked to be less, um, terrible.
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$lave

Post May 2nd '18, 09:52

Sorry it's taken a while for me to catch up. But, lookers coming out of vents, and newly-spawned enemies on the player's second pass through rooms on Habe Quiddam are great ideas!
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post May 9th '18, 02:57

There's a lot to talk about here

First,

Respawning of enemies (infinite or just one time reinforcements) is a mechanic that can be used to good effect but one has to find the right balance. Having no respawning isn't bad, but for long levels where the player has to backtrack much it does leave things feeling awfully empty, and rather predictable if you know enemies are only ahead of you. On the other extreme, infinite respawning can be very cancerous, and can leave the player (1) never having a free moment and (2) feeling bad about clearing rooms since it is ineffective in the long term.

A balance may be the most effective solution. Infinite respawning on large or closed maps can work (Redux G4 for instance, even though the compilers infinitely respawn (I think), the player still does get free moments and isn't hounded 24/7. The doors on Neither high nor low prevent the wasps from hunting the player down 24/7 so it isn't as cancerous there, either.) On the other hand, SLN,TLC, the "I just recharged after killing an infinitely spawned wasp, oh wait there's another) is more frustrating since it is open and generally hard to not have to nearly constantly deal with the things.

One time resupply of monsters (say, some baddies teleport in) is a good compromise, particularly if it is not used frequently. It is true that if it used frequently it could feel as if the designers are constantly trying to needle the player in the way infinite respawning does. However, if used infrequently enough, say, once every few levels, it could help keep things interesting and be an added challenge.

I mention the idea on Habe Quiddam because the winding architecture would allow the player to see the teleportation. Apart from showing off feature that Redux has that M1 doesn't, this allows the player to immediately mop up the newcomers if he doesn't want to deal with them later, whereas having monsters repopulate a room on the other side of a map allows for sneaky ambushes but could be more annoying. Maybe there could be a few levels where that would go well.

Perhaps another area where the player could see the respawning would be fire x100, the player reaches the control room and sees compiler teleport in that he will have to deal with later in the level.

Second, @$lave
I've become a little more appreciative of your concerns ever since I tried to work on a few modifications to Never Burn Money myself (plz don't ask to see, it is still in very early stages and I barely have time to do the commentary as is). I've found that some things that I thought would look good end up looking out of place (though maybe that's just because I am really bad at recreating M1 architecture). That being said, I have seen plenty of details/visual improvements (say, the exterior vistas of Redux's BGN) that do look appropriate for M1 and do make things look better. Visual improvements (even small scale ones that are just details) can look good but they need to be taken with a critical eye. If they don't fit the style or look out of place, they shouldn't be included. In this sense, you may be right that say, adding chairs, wouldn't help things at all, but since the point of this thread is to get ideas out there (even if many of them aren't good), I'm still going to suggest things and hopefully at least some of them will make the game better.

I also try to mention what purpose a section of the ship may serve to help let someone more talented than I am do the creative improvements.

Level 15: Neither High Nor Low
Tour of Duty Link: http://forums.bungie.org/story/?read=63728

I'll start out by mentioning the infinite respawning wasps, which gave me much pain on SLN, TLC. On this level, however, they have a habit of hanging out in the central room so they aren't nearly as annoying if you know to expect them in there. The doors prevent them from hunting the players down and leaving them no free moments.

There's a debate whether this should be a vacuum level. Here are some pros/cons that come to mind:
Pro Vacuum:
-It seems to be originally intended to be vacuum
-Marathon 1 needs more vacuum levels
-The level could use more spice

Against Vacuum
-What about the wasps? Wings don't work in vacuum.
-Has the player ever had a straight up fight against hunters (without vacuum or having to save BoBs or anything) I guess there are opportunities for this later.

Thinking about it, since the alien ship levels are probably not gonna be vacuum ones, this one probably should be just since it is the last chance (barring some strange things like making BOLFDD vacuum). In just the very next level we get a fair fight with hunters anyways.

As for the level itself, I can understand why Martin would later think that this is just a barrier. It's just one linear (albeit convoluted) path from start to end, which can ben entirely skipped if one "jumps" around the pillars in the stairs.

I think the best way to fix this level is to give the player something to do other than just "get to the end." If you've read the final terminal on Habe Quiddam, you'll read something-something-I-know-how-to-extend-the-range-of-the-Marathon's-teleporters-something-something. Shouldn't that take some hardware upgrades too? He says it's a "complex software enhancement," but it's not unreasonable to modify that slightly to a "complex enhancement."

After all, Defend THIS! is the only M1 repair level where you have to run around with a bunch of chips. Apart from giving the player something to do (finding chips that may not be placed in front of his nose), this may be a very convenient time to introduce some of Redux's boss monsters. This also circumvents the ability to skip the level with the staircase because the player will have to find uplink chips hidden around the map while still allowing for skipping of completed parts of the level if he falls down/goes back to recharge.

Of course, Durandal is still going to be as non-helpful as always and avoid talking about the mission while still talking about how the universe collapses in 15 billion years (which isn't even that much longer than the Earth has been alive, for an immortal AI it makes sense for it to be on his mind). Maybe he'll scold the player if he hasn't figured it out by the end.

Here's a fun fact, this is one of the few levels where the infravision is actually useful (since there are no compies)

As a final note: Time to make somebody pay!
CluckyInventor

Post May 9th '18, 08:03

Infravision is extremely useful for dealing with invisible compilers.

Hm. While I don't like big plot changes like making this an uplink chip level would be, linking it to the teleporters poses an interesting...
Spoiler:
...way of solving how you go down to the colony to work for Tycho. Durandal could claim that he needs access to the engineering network in order to perfom the upgrade, but Tycho won't give him access and so Durandal needs you to insert a chip somewhere. Obey Durandal, and he takes you to the alien ship, refuse, and Tycho takes you down to the colony. However, I may do something else as it's a bit too similar to the choice in Rubicon.
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ravenshining
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