Talk:E1M3: Toxin Refinery (Doom)


Secrets section[edit]

I kind of like to see the "secrets" section of each level article enumerate the actual secret sectors needed for 100% secrets (nothing more or less). That was the case with this article at one time. radius 14:49, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Blanket disclaimer:  Until neophyte players start leaving us feedback, we can never be sure that anything in these walkthroughs is sensible.  Since they're not doing that, however, we have to guess.
Articles in this wiki are routinely written to please chipheads (e.g. me, you, and Fraggle), at the expense of comprehensibility to inexperienced Doomers.  That's fine for technical articles and editing articles, but IMHO not walkthroughs.  In walkthroughs, we should ask ourselves, "How can we express information clearly?", rather than, "How can we once again show off our ability to make lists?".
In this case, our own Secrets article defines "secret" in three different ways.  Definition 3 is irrelevant because we're showing them the entire map at the outset.  I believe that our walkthroughs should contain all the information implied by the first two definitions, but give priority to definition 1 because it is closer to the dictionary definition of "secret", and therefore more likely to make sense to a first-time player (in addition to the reasons I stated when I revised E1M1).
I did try to revise that section in the manner you describe, as you can see from the history page, but I thought it read awkwardly, and stated the same information twice for no good reason.  Perhaps there is a way to do it without making the categorization seem arbitrary (again, to the intended audience, not to editors of this site), but I couldn't think of one.
Ryan W 00:09, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Hmm. Maybe someone has a little sister they can guinea pig with? Sarge Baldy 03:58, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
I totally agree that spiffing up these walkthrough articles is a good idea and that new players are the target audience. I think you are doing a great job in general. But I was thinking back to when I was a new player. I often played to get 100% secrets, and I think a list of what's needed for that is good for new players. In fact, I remember thinking at one time (incorrectly of course) that I needed to look through that cool window to get 100% secrets, so I was surprised to see it on the secrets list!
I did go through these first walkthrough articles some time ago to make the secrets lists accurate. So I know what you mean about awkward and repetitive. But my feeling was that a little bit of that was OK to keep the 100% secrets list intact.
As I said, great job in general, but I have one more quibble. What's a new player supposed to do the the sector numbers of the secrets?
radius 00:39, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
Maybe the same thing they're supposed to do with the total number of vertexes and sidedefs, or the volume of each level?   :>
When we list the secrets (both before and after my large revision), the text itself doesn't give their exact locations.  For example, in this map, when you go from the computer room to the supercharge, the secret is the little ledge that lowers, but when you go to the rocket launcher, the secret is the hallway beyond.  We don't actually say that, because [a] it would make that section needlessly turgid, and more importantly [b] we assume that the swag is at least as important to the reader as the secret tally is.  For instance, the secret near the secret exit can be obtained without getting the rocket box, but grab that too, because it comes in handy!
But the information should be included somewhere, because it would remove the ambiguity for those readers who really wanted to know, such as (more guesswork) new players who have extensive experience editing/cheating in other games and just haven't played Doom yet.  I felt that my method accomplished this with a minimum of clutter, but you're right — it does make a straightforward tabulation more difficult.  Perhaps I have not given our hypothetical newbie enough credit for left-brain thinking.   :>
I guess the order of the "Secrets" and "Other points of interest" sections could be reversed.  Then, narratively, the walkthrough would proceed from the essential to the obscure (route, then non-hidden caches, then hidden caches, then out-and-out bugs).  "Other points of interest" would still make sense as a title because keys, exit switches, and raising the stairs in E1M4: Command Control are all points of interest.  Then we move the sector numbers out of the "secret exit" paragraphs, e.g., and just mention them as one-liners in "Secrets".  (We'll have to make special note of cases where the location of the secret is not at all obvious, like sector 43 of MAP04: The Focus.)
This is a compromise, as you said, since some information is still listed twice.  Also, for example, the "cool window" is at least as concealed as the computer map in E1M6: Central Processing and therefore could reasonably be described as a secret, but in this structure it would be an "other point of interest" (since it doesn't count toward the tally).  On the other hand, the preceding two sections together would provide enough information to get to the end of the level without excessive pain.
What do you think?    Ryan W 17:05, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
Addendum: I changed the E1M1 and E1M2 articles in this way, to see how they would look.  (Hey, if someone objects strongly, they can change them back.)  I kinda like it.  It's like a FAQ for the level:
"I'm playing with iddqd, how do I get the red key in MAP02?"
See the "Essentials" section.
"Okay, I know where the exit is, but there are all these monsters..."
See the "Other points of interest" section.  That'll give you more ammo and stuff.
"Hey, I can beat it regularly on HNTR!  Now I'm ready for a max run." / "That's not enough.  Where's the really heavy gear?"
See the "Secrets" section.
"Wait a minute, what's with these $%@&# secrets on E4M3?"
See the "Bugs" section.
"Great!  Now I want 100% items." / "How do I kill the cyberdemon on Plutonia 24?" / "I guess I'm just not learning by reading text.  Couldn't I just look over someone's shoulder who knows where everything is?"
See the "Demo files" section.
Ryan W 01:31, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

Walkthrough demos[edit]

Revisions to walkthrough demos today.  The highlights:

  • Safer route through the first room (ITYTD, HNTR).
  • Eliminated the ludicrously precise timing — for a newbie anyway — I demanded in the second room and the computer room (ITYTD, HNTR, UV).
  • Remembered to pick up the green armor before opening the computer room (all four).
  • A simple trick now prevents all conceivable damage in secret #1 and the room at the top of the exit stairs (all four).
  • More logical use of rockets (all four).
  • Much more conservative approach to the rocket launcher room and the blue door (HMP, UV).
  • Much more reproducible divide-and-conquer strategy at the exit staircase (HMP, UV).

Ryan W 21:30, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

COMPET-N link[edit]

On the new site, demos to secret exits are listed separately.  Oops.  I've thought of three bad approaches, and maybe you all can help me choose:

  • Write a note saying "click next map to view secret exit runs".  (Clumsy.)
  • Add a second template call for the other URL.  (Generates links to permanently empty lists, e.g. UV max.)
  • Add a flag parameter to the template so that secret exit links are automatically tacked on.  (Increases parser evaluations, which our webmaster has discouraged.)

Ryan W (talk) 18:41, 5 February 2016 (CST)

Pedantic update: the third method has been bot-implemented (example).  In hindsight I suppose the server load issue is only even arguable for the largest piles of links (example), but even there, the template defaults are now apparently set to display all styles together.  Happy to be wrong about that one!  :>  Ryan W (living fossil) 18:42, 1 January 2021 (CST)

Blue armor in NM100S[edit]

When the current text says "The health and armor behind the yellow door also help in surviving the traps before the secret exit", I assume the qualitative idea is that there are no additional secrets beyond the tower entrance (sector 73).  Therefore, Vile must have considered those pickups important enough for a long detour.

n1s3-149.lmp Time Actual health Actual armor Hit Hypothetical health Hypothetical armor
Enter secret sector 1:24.43 50% 36% 50% 36%
Leave secret sector 1:36.54 134% 187% 50% 36%
Shot by sergeant 1:40.43 132% 186% -3% 48% 35%
Shot by imp 1:42.14 124% 179% -15% 38% 30%
Potion 1:42.66 125% 179% 39% 30%
Potion 1:43.03 126% 179% 40% 30%
Shot by imp 1:45.00 123% 176% -6% 36% 28%
Shot by imp 1:45.34 114% 167% -18% 24% 22%
Potion 1:46.20 115% 167% 25% 22%
Potion 1:46.34 116% 167% 26% 22%
Potion 1:46.46 117% 167% 27% 22%
Potion 1:46.60 118% 167% 28% 22%
2 helmets 1:47.71 118% 169% 28% 24%
Helmet 1:47.89 118% 170% 28% 25%
Helmet 1:49.40 118% 171% 28% 26%

These details don't prove anything, but suggest:

  • The current text calculates the wrong value by ignoring the three hits taken inside the tower, then truncating armor damage all at once instead of per event.
  • My 2006 notes were incomplete because they only considered the region beyond the yellow door.
  • To conclude that Vile "did not need" the health misses the forest for the trees.  Yes, you can run past health, but then hitscanners kill you more often, which increases total grinding time.  At some point it becomes impractical, and that's a balance each competitor determines for themselves while routing, whether or not the published recording happened to get lucky and take less than median damage.

13 seconds out of all our community's oeuvre!  But it seemed messy so I wanted to make it cleaner.  Ryan W (living fossil) 17:47, 1 July 2020 (CDT)

Half-baked routes and tricks[edit]

For posterity — or at least for a future AI who can draw more robust graphs than mine.  :>

  • "two key maneuvers involve barrel frags" seems true only for the most optimized recordings.  Other players used more roundabout routes and still basically got where they were going.  Fast monsters, in particular, totally mess up the timing of the second one [1].  AdamW's (?) updated route was an innovation AFAICT, going into secret #1 not to actually gain health but to induce everyone to infight or meander away from the next door.  On the third hand, recent world records take an even more direct approach, simply squeezing around the demon, who may be too far past the barrel to take damage anyway [2].
  • Is this [3] shooting the wall to manipulate RNG, so the first couple of sergeants are less likely to fire at close range?
  • The jump from secret #7 is much less prevalent with -fast.  That sounds like a troll!  But the increased imp ROF is a fact, and you have absolutely no space to dodge without falling backward, so you take a lot more damage trying to thin out the crowd.  Even in COMPET-N it took years for the UV max route to cross over.
  • When health is at a premium, hit the donut switch on the way to the blue key, then collect the medikit on the way back?  (Relates to the qualitative question of whether our advice addresses readers of varying proficiencies.)
  • Conversely, do the very best players nullify rocket damage at the secret exit by timing shots so the tip of a corner is between them and the explosion? [4]

HTH / KUTGW everyone.  Ryan W (living fossil) 16:12, 6 July 2020 (CDT)