Skill level

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Revision as of 17:00, 24 January 2009 by Illdo (talk | contribs) (Notes)


Each game skill level provides general difficulty settings that allow a greater variety of players to enjoy the game, allowing novices to face fewer opponents even with advantages for the player, and giving those who have mastered the game a challenge against many monsters, possibly with enhanced aggressiveness. Each skill level bears a colorful name suiting the character of the particular game being played and can be selected when the game starts or through additional options, particularly the -skill parameter.

Doom and Doom II skill levels

Skill Menu name Source code1 Thing placement2 Ammo3 Special
1 I'm too young to die. sk_baby The same as in sk_easy Double Players take half normal damage
2 Hey, not too rough. sk_easy Least numbers or strength Normal
3 Hurt me plenty. sk_medium Default numbers or strength Normal Used unless otherwise defined by the user
4 Ultra-Violence. sk_hard Greatest numbers or strength Normal
5 Nightmare! sk_nightmare The same as in sk_hard Double No cheats4, fast and respawning monsters5
  1. This is the name or tag for each skill level according to the source code.
  2. Each thing placed in a level (except for player starts) has cumulative bit flags (easy, normal, hard) marking on what skill levels it appears. The difference mainly amounts to larger and tougher comportments of monsters on the harder skill levels, but may also account for changes in the location of certain things. For example, in E3M6: Mt. Erebus the blue key is located in different places depending on the skill level.
  3. Double means twice as much ammo is added to the player's current total when a corresponding item is picked up. For example, a rocket will provide 2 rockets, 4 shotgun shells will be counted as 8 shells, and a box of bullets will provide 100 bullets instead of the usual 50.
  4. All cheat codes except idclev and iddt are disabled. Some source ports may change this or have internal workarounds.
  5. Additionally, monsters attack the player immediately on sight, instead of taking a couple of steps first.

Heretic skill levels

Skill Menu name Source code1 Thing placement2 Ammo3 Special
1 thou needeth a wet-nurse sk_baby The same as in sk_easy +50% Players take half normal damage
2 yellowbellies-r-us sk_easy Least numbers or strength Normal
3 bringest them oneth sk_medium Default numbers or strength Normal Used unless otherwise defined by the user
4 thou art a smite-meister sk_hard Greatest numbers or strength Normal
5 black plague possesses thee sk_nightmare The same as in sk_hard +50% No cheats4, fast monsters5

See the Doom and Doom II table above for specific notes, as there are no differences in general, except that +50% means one and a half times as much ammo is added to the player's current total when a corresponding item is picked up.

Hexen skill levels

Skill Menu name
(fighter)
Menu name
(cleric)
Menu name
(mage)
Source code1 Thing placement2 Special
1 squire altar boy apprentice sk_baby The same as in sk_easy Players take half normal damage
2 knight acolyte enchanter sk_easy Least numbers or strength
3 warrior priest sorceror sk_medium Default numbers or strength Used unless otherwise defined by the user
4 berserker cardinal warlock sk_hard Greatest numbers or strength
5 titan pope archimage sk_nightmare The same as in sk_hard No cheats4, fast monsters5

See the Doom and Doom II table above for specific notes, as there are no differences in general.

Strife skill levels

Skill Menu name Thing placement2 Ammo3 Special
1 Training The same as in skill 2 +50% Players take half normal damage
2 Rookie Least numbers or strength Normal
3 Veteran Default numbers or strength Normal Used unless otherwise defined by the user
4 Elite Greatest numbers or strength Normal
5 Bloodbath The same as in skill 4 +50% No cheats4, fast monsters5

See the Doom and Doom II table above for specific notes, as there are no differences in general.

Doom 64 skill levels

Skill Menu name Thing placement
1 Be Gentle! Least numbers or strength of opposition
2 Bring it on! Lesser numbers or strength of opposition
3 I own Doom! Greater numbers or strength of opposition
4 Watch me die! Greatest numbers or strength of opposition

Non-Doom engine games

Doom 3 skill levels

Skill Menu name Special
0 Recruit The Marine takes 75% of the base damage. Slightly fewer monsters than usual are encountered.
1 Marine The Marine takes 90% of the base damage.
2 Veteran The Marine takes 170% of the base damage.
3 Nightmare The Marine takes 350% of the base damage, and the player's health steadily drains until it's 25 or below. Starts with the Soul Cube in Doom 3, or all Artifact powers in RoE. Must be unlocked by first completing the game on any other skill level. More monsters appear in this skill level than usual.

Notes

  • In addition to the five Doom standard skill levels, in vanilla Doom a skill level of 0 can also be specified, but only using the -skill parameter. Doing this empties maps of all things apart from the player starts. This does not work in many source ports. It also renders many levels that have boss trigger effects, require keys or use teleporters impossible to finish without the aid of cheat codes.
  • Early versions of Doom did not support "Nightmare!" skill. The initial mail-order releases were version 1.1 and only included the first four skill levels. The widely circulated version 1.2 added "Nightmare!" skill support. "Nightmare!" was added with the characteristic dark humor of the Doom games in response to any comments saying the game was too easy on "Ultra-Violence." After selecting "Nightmare!" from the main menu, the player is asked "Are you sure? This skill level isn't even remotely fair." The player must then confirm that he wants to play on Nightmare mode, a step which is unique to this skill level.
  • In the Doom alphas, "I'm too Young to Die" was called "I Just Want to Kill", hence the name M_JKILL for the graphic for skill 1.
  • Some skilled players have created new challenges by defining custom rules, such as pacifist (not hurting monsters) and Tyson (fists, pistol, and chainsaw only).

See also