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 Post subject: What do you think D1 beats D2 at?
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 5:30 pm 
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IMO it's the textures. Although the level design in Descent 1 suffered too much from unchanged standard cube dimensions in its level layouts, the textures themselves were much better than in D2, imo. They were more realistic and much more technical/industrial-oriented. Textures from Descent 2 were too damn colorful, a good example would be the desert world of Baloris Prime - its sandy walls literally remind me of honey. And Descent shouldn't remind anybody of honey. That's why I loved levels such as 12 and 26 of the original game. Very raw, but had that spartan charm of a hostile installation.


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 6:15 pm 
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interesting points Xfing. Now, i think that could be true, but back in the day with 3DFX, ya didn't seem to notice texture colors too much, but I have to side with you there even still.

My main thought is weapon balance. D1's weapon balance was superb. And i think that there were no afterburners made a big different in the game. That changed a lot of things.

However, I think many of us came to enjoy D2 as much as D1 once we got used to the wierdness of it all. ..or just got tired of ranting about them. ;)


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 6:30 pm 
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Right Duper the weapon balance and the gameplay. D1 is all about strategy and tactics. Just like Nascar. It is far superior to the other 2. All are a blast to play but only D1 will make you a real killer :).


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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 5:42 am 
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About the weapon balance... I think that in Descent 2 the weapons aren't as much as unbalanced, I'd rather say that Parallax aimed to restrict each weapon's particular use to a single area. With that many weapons that would be the logical thing to do.

For example, Gauss is suited (among other things) to taking out bots with plasma shields, Helix is the best for bosses, Phoenix bounces around walls but still packs a better punch than the Plasma, and Omega, despite being almost useless in general, blinds robots like Flash Missiles. The halving of Fusion's power was probably necessary in order for it not to become overused for one-shotting hordes of robots, but it still retains its uses of one-hit reactor blowing and clearing swarms of Red Hornets and Spawn. The missile additions were all superb, even though Flash missiles aren't all that useful outside of multiplayer. In general, my only complaint about weapon balancing in D2 is the virtual uselessness of Omega, the supposed new ultimate weapon. Ultimate weapon my ass! Perhaps the damage cut of the lasers also deserves the flame.

I'm not saying that D2 level design sucks, IMO it's much better in most cases than D1 levels (with the exceptions of genius levels such as 12, 24 or S3). The colorful textures are very pleasing to the eye, but as I said before, they take away from the unhospitable feeling of the levels. You feel more like you were on a cave sightseeing exploration than in a life-threatening situation, that's mainly what I mean.


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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 10:06 pm 
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What D1 did better:
#1 - it was a better head-to-head multiplayer game. D2's added complexity didn't necessarily improve it, and many of the extra weapons kind of broke the pace of multiplayer, and made it less demanding (e.g. shakers may still be used better by a more skilled pilot, but there's still a lot more pot-luck than you'd see with most primary weapons, or even smart missiles).
#2 - Art direction was better. Sure, it's possible that D1 didn't have much of that either, but it did feel more like mines, and it also felt more creepy. That only lasts so long before players start obliterating everything in their path like superheroes, but at least it was there to start with.
#3 - the thiefbot was not a good idea.


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 1:30 am 
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What D1 did better:

1) Weapons balance. In multiplayer, all of the primary weapons are on a similar level of power and usefulness. Some are better in certain circumstances, but none are particularly overshadowed, and none are particularly dominant overall. In D2, many of the primaries were either nerfed or superpowered.

2) Thematic textures. D2's levels felt like huge caverns, but of the sort you'd find in a cartoon. D1's levels looked like they were carved out of rock (very carefully in square shapes, but still...)

3) Levels were more appropriately sized in single player. D2 levels were often ridiculously oversized and overcomplex, and often had stupidly large rooms full of stupidly many enemies, or stupidly complex areas where you had to chase the stupid thiefbot.

4) Bots were more iconic. All the bots in D1 seemed unique. Several bots in D2 seemed like remixes or mishmashes of other bots. I used to refer to D2 as a \"Bobby game\", after my little brother who could conceive of nothing more awesome than \"quad homing fusion earthshaker vulcan missiles\". It seemed like the designers just kept sticking random things together that a six-year-old would find cool.


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 2:26 am 
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good point about the bots Lothar. That is one thing that I've always loathed about D3. The bots didn't have the same feel. The lou Guard was the closest to a D1 bot that we got from D2 (imho), D3 ..eventhough it's not really part of the discussion.. really was a radical departure from Descent on a whole. Maybe the tailbot, but .. meh.. The bots there had almost an \"anime\" feel to them.

I really missed the mini bosses in D2


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 3:44 am 
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Speaking of balance, I strongly disagree about d1 being perfectly balanced. Fusion was too powerful. Though, in D2 the fusion was a joke. There could have been a happier medium, IMO.

Also, I think most of the textures in D1 were also included in D2 (but may be wrong on this point).


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 6:07 am 
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Most of them were, yes (though not all), but they weren't used much in the Descent 2 levels.


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 10:59 am 
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I generally like D2 better than D1, but there are some things that I think D1 did better.

1. No thiefbots.

2. The level design looked more alien, especially on the later levels (level 21 is a good example). It was as good as D2 but in a different way. The greenie levels were definetely better than the final 4 levels from D2.

3. The texture schemes weren't what I expected from reading the strategy guide (I got it to try and beat level 7, but I still wasn't able to defeat the boss until I got D2X-XL).

4. Level 25 is at least as cool as D3 Mercenary level 3.

5. Re-using level structures... e.g. a lot of level 19 looks very similar to level 4.

On the other hand, I actually like the D2 textures (and D2 robots) better. They're easier to use, for one thing... when I try to build a level for D1, I can never find the right kinds of textures.


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 3:56 pm 
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Now I didn't say perfect. I said superb. I've yet to see a game with perfectweapon balance. In light of D2, it was (again, imho) much better.

It has been my experience that in every game there are folks that don't like this weapon or that weapon for whatever reason. :) MD and tri fusion in my case for D3. ;) I can grief all day long about that... but won't :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 4:38 pm 
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Trifusion reminds me of when I was a kid and I'd go outside with a plastic bat up under the apple trees and indiscriminately kill all manner of bees and wasps. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:55 pm 
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From a designers standpoint, I give Descent 1 kudos for much better ROBOT balance. Every robot had its job. Descent 2, it was kind of mis-matchy and chaotic. Additionally, I like to try to play Descent 1 without saves or deaths. In this sense, the game becomes much more like a puzzle. You know what every robot can and will do, it's weakenesses, etc. Descent 2 is more random. Additionally, many robots felt extrodinarily weak compared to similar bots, or just plain odd. The complexity of the Descent 2 levels was a bit neat, but became more annoying then anything else at a lot of times.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:51 am 
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Exit sequences and secret levels.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:48 am 
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Descent 2 Secret Levels were more annoying than anything else.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:23 pm 
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See, I actually like the way D2 handles secret levels...
It gives level authors a lot more creative freedom.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:32 pm 
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Alter-Fox wrote:
See, I actually like the way D2 handles secret levels...
It gives level authors a lot more creative freedom.


Well, looks like now we have the chance to implement both kinds of secret levels in a single mission. We'll see how it turns out.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:02 pm 
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both kinds?


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:04 pm 
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Duper wrote:
both kinds?


Yeah, it's actually possible. Read more in the ZappaFan's Level Spotlight, maybe you'd help out a bit if you're into level making.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:24 pm 
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no, no.. what do you mean by \"both kinds\"? of what? aexit sequence WITH the secret level exit/entrance?


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:03 pm 
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Duper wrote:
no, no.. what do you mean by "both kinds"? of what? aexit sequence WITH the secret level exit/entrance?


No, I mean that we want to include both secret levels accessed by teleporters and by alternate exits. In D2 it's not physically possible to create alternate exits per se, but it is possible to create invisible teleporter cubes hidden behind doors coded to open upon the destruction of the reactor.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:34 pm 
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Just remember that the player is going to advance to the next level if they die on the secret level... they won't be able to go back to get their powerups.

For this reason the first few secret levels shouldn't be too hard. The difficulty can spike on the D2 style ones though, because the player will be able to go back and get their powerups.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:46 pm 
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Isn't it possible to add a file to the .HOG which would prevent the game from throwing the player out of the level upon death?

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:03 pm 
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Xfing wrote:
Duper wrote:
no, no.. what do you mean by "both kinds"? of what? aexit sequence WITH the secret level exit/entrance?


No, I mean that we want to include both secret levels accessed by teleporters and by alternate exits. In D2 it's not physically possible to create alternate exits per se, but it is possible to create invisible teleporter cubes hidden behind doors coded to open upon the destruction of the reactor.

oh..

ok.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:07 pm 
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Xfing wrote:
Isn't it possible to add a file to the .HOG which would prevent the game from throwing the player out of the level upon death?


Descent usually hard-codes that kind of thing.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:03 pm 
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Like others have said here weapon balance was a big key. Nirv struck on a key point, yes Descent 1 wasn't perfect. Fusion was very powerful. So was Spreadfire. In regards to pure head-to-head combat Descent 2 demanded you become as handy with a gauss and mercury missiles as you did the previously mentioned weapons.

For me Descent 1 was a pure multiplayer game. Probably one of the reasons why it won me over after having started with D2. Descent 2 graduated into using the trend of more \"gimmick\" weapons that we see even in modern games.

Smart mines, shakers....blah. Great fun for Free for all but that's about it. Still miss the shot of adrenaline you'd get from a hard fought 1vs1 D1 match.

btw...Hi =P Long time no see.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:37 am 
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Indeed Tyr! Good seein ya! =D


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:04 am 
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flip wrote:
Right Duper the weapon balance and the gameplay. D1 is all about strategy and tactics. Just like Nascar. It is far superior to the other 2. All are a blast to play but only D1 will make you a real killer :).


Flip know his stuff, although in some ways Descent2 has superior 1v1 games.
I think D1 got the weapon balance down pretty well. Like, no overly powerful weapons. No helix, phoenix, no smartmines, and a fusion that was useful.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:04 am 
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One of the things I liked so much about D1 is that it still feels incredibly dark and atmospheric. D2 felt too bright and flashy and, with the exception of a few missions like Level 3, loses the immersive environments.

The bots in D1 are generally a lot more threatening. The Class 1 Driller and Red Hulk are flat-out menaces.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:50 am 
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Ashes wrote:
I think D1 got the weapon balance down pretty well. Like, no overly powerful weapons.


I guess you never really tried out the fusion in D1, then. I think D2 was much more balanced if you kicked out certain items (well, one could argue this about any game, I suppose). If you took out the fusion in D1, it's basically the same. But, those particular items could be balanced if used properly by the level designer (see "Die To Phoenix, D1 Boy!" for an example, not to toot mine and Sirian's horn ;).

The Fusion was definitely nerfed too much in D2, but because of it's power in D1 I don't think one can possibly call D1 balanced with a straight face. Just my opinion, of course.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:15 am 
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Each Installment had their pluses and minuses, not one of them were perfectly balanced... To say that a certain version is perfect shows that you lack experience in the others, or should I say choose not to.

Seeing people complain about how the Fusion in D2 sucks, D1 Needs more weapons.... what they are really saying is they do not want to learn a new crutch weapon... :P

It's like comparing checkers to chess to weiqi, then seriously trying to make a valid argument about it.

Play with Level 1 lasers and concs then... show us your skillz and give us your skewed opinions

See you in the mines

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:02 pm 
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Nirvana wrote:
Ashes wrote:
I think D1 got the weapon balance down pretty well. Like, no overly powerful weapons.


I guess you never really tried out the fusion in D1, then. I think D2 was much more balanced if you kicked out certain items (well, one could argue this about any game, I suppose). If you took out the fusion in D1, it's basically the same. But, those particular items could be balanced if used properly by the level designer (see "Die To Phoenix, D1 Boy!" for an example, not to toot mine and Sirian's horn ;).

The Fusion was definitely nerfed too much in D2, but because of it's power in D1 I don't think one can possibly call D1 balanced with a straight face. Just my opinion, of course.
Not all Descent weapons are meant to be created equal. Fusion is not supposed to be balanced. D1 made fusion a rare and contested pick up. The person who holds the fusion cannon has an advantage, and it's up to the opponent to take that away and use the fusion strategically. On the other hand, it's very possible to kill a fusion player with lasers, spreadfire, plasma, and vauss.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:21 am 
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D1 doesn't have vauss... that was only D3. :P


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:22 am 
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D3 on the brain??


Vulcan : this is also the deadliest weapon in D2 too if you know how to use it

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:52 pm 
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D1 to me felt like the more complete game, all of it's features are well implemented. Sure, fusion is a little overpowered, but its supposed to be a very powerful weapon. And in order to use it in multiplayer, you need a certain degree of mastery. I never reached it with fusion, but I was nasty with plasma in a way that I feel was close to top tier when I was at the top of my game (before the last time I quit the IDL).

D1 textures seem more like they belong there. A lot of D2's levels had a cartoon-ish feel to them because of the textures.

D1's robots also felt a lot nastier. Each one of them gives off a certain impression that D2's robots just dont. Most of the D2 bots in the first few levels feel like knock offs of D1 bots.

D1's weapons were also better balanced. Lasers, Spreadfire and Plasma were all on the same level, and Vulcan was hard as hell to use because it was continuous fire. Meanwhile the only D2 weapons that ever show up in a D2 one on one match are Guass and Mercury Missiles. Flash missiles are too hard to use (and I believe d2 3dfx nerfed their effect), smart mines are overpowered, guided missiles are useless, shakers are reserved specifically for shaker levels (one of the few d2 specific levels I like...I need to play hoard in UES sometime) because theyre so devastating. Megas also get left out, but in a Dogfight those are pretty easy to dodge too.

The other guns also suffer some problems. Omega was too framerate dependent at the time to be a fair gun, phoenix was too clumsy, and no one besides me seemed to like the Helix cannon. I thought the helix cannon was probably the most finished new primary in D2. Guass seemed overpowered because of its kick when it hit you, also its lower rate of fire made it slightly easier to use, so everyone used it. And then the nerfs that D1 weapons got in D2 are just infuriating. Spread got nerfed (I believe in addition to the slight damage hit, at max you could only do two bolts of damage), D1 super lasers do less damage than d1 level 4's (50 vs 52 iirc), and fusion was castrated. This lead to D2 dogfights consisting mostly of plasma vs guass, with the occasional laser user.

So in D1 matches you have Lasers, Vulcan, Spreadfire, Plasma, Fusion, Concs, Homers, Proxmines, and Smart Missiles.

And in D2 matches you have Lasers, Guass, Vulcan, Spreadfire, Plasma, Concs, Homers, Proxmines, Smarts, and Mercs.

Personally I would have loved it if a few of the popular D2 levels included everything but the Earthshaker. Phoenix and Helix are both interesting guns that make for amusing dogfights.

I guess what frustrates me the most about D2 multiplayer is that even the people who played D2 over D1 didnt use a lot of the D2 features and weapons. They all tried to make it like D1 with afterburners and an improved vulcan cannon. What was the point?

Back to single player...

The secret levels in D1 also seem better. Theyre insanely hard without any gimmicks. The D2 secret levels often felt akward.

Also, forcefields and shootable switches were hard to figure out a lot at times in D2. Hit a switch and nothing apparent happens...you may have to go through the whole level and even then sometimes you wont know what that switch did. Some kind of indicator, like a blinking cube on the automap (for what good it does, see below) would help to figure out what the things do.

The level designs in D2 are non-intuitive as well. The very fact that they had to add a guidebot so you'd know where to go is testament to that fact. One of my favorite things to do when I play cheat mode for kicks its to just nuke that jerk as soon as I blow open his cage.

One aspect that sucks in both games is the automap. The thing becomes unuseable in any level of a decent size. The D3 automap is a little better, but not by much. I hope one day we figure out a good 3-d automap some day, or just abandon it like pretty much every other first person game newer than doom has done.

D1's breifings add a lot of atmosphere that D2's lack. In D1 you get to hear about the level before you enter it, along with robot intel. In D2 its just robot intel and some cutscenes between palette- er- level sets.

And as fun as the Earthshaker is in multiplayer, that level 24 boss seems just excessively overpowered, even at lower skill levels. Oh, and dont get me started on homing flash missiles... And whats the point of those diamond claws producing smart globules if you hit them with anything but guass? Did they put that in so the robot could fight back when youve got it held stunned with continuous fire?

Okay, rant over. D2 is still a very good game... in single player. D1 is very good in both. D2 could be good if less of the weapons were declared \"lame\" by the community.


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 Post subject: D1 vs D2 robots
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:27 pm 
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I didn't like the D1 robot designs. They were so anthropomorphic that they didn't seem to have any creativity.

I loved the designs in D2, the E-Bandit, the Fox, the TRN Racer and the BPer bot were just a few of my favourites. Though I agree that the diamond claw looked like the medium lifter, I'm not complaining.

I liked the D1/D2 automap better than the D3 one. In D3 it just looked... ugly. Also in D3, half the time I get a bug where it's impossible to rotate the map. Wireframe just looks cooler, imo.


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 Post subject: Re: What do you think D1 beats D2 at?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:48 pm 
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Just started another D1 run after finishing D2 on Ace. The things that have struck me again:

1) Descent has better feel. More retro, sure, but better. The factors that contribute to this are:
- the music. Descent has great briefing music, that tune is simply sick. Also the midi music in the levels is great. The D2 midi music practically matches this, but the bland redbook CD audio tracks don't.
- the robot sounds. Damn, each robot in D1 has grown to be very closely associated with its "cry". You hear a Class 1 Driller - that's terror. You hear a Super Mech - that's terror. You hear a Class 1 Heavy Driller - you think "oh, it's that vicious bastard". You hear a Fusion Hulk - you shit your pants. I don't even need to mention the bosses. In D2, on the other hand, not only were the robot sounds infinitely more unmemorable, they were also very alike and confusable. Almost as if the designers put absolutely no effort into them, or had to make them hastily. No robot comes off as scary, menacing or even a nuisance. Descent 2 is as thrilling as Teletubbies.
- The door sounds. Although it seems to be a small detail, the sounds that doors make opening and closing are also quite an important detail. In D1 they're simply perfect, and fit each door to a T. In D2, once again, they're much more confusable and unmemorable. They even had to change the great secret door sound. That one ruled. Damn, I'ma dig around in descent2.s22 for sure.

EDIT: The doors sure sound better in 11 khz, though.

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 Post subject: Re: What do you think D1 beats D2 at?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:27 am 
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 Post subject: Re: What do you think D1 beats D2 at?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:57 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: What do you think D1 beats D2 at?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:54 pm 
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Man this thread is old...

On the D1 vs D2 weapon issues, D2 came out at a time when video game developers were sort of hooked on the concept of "more weapons is always better!" but the result was there were a lot of games with 20+ halfassed weapons. I can only speak for single player because I never played any significant amounts of D1 or D2 multiplayer but single player D1 had a better ratio of useful to useless weapons, probably partially because D1 had fewer weapons overall. In D2 because of all the new weapons, the older primary weapons returning from D1 really started to feel halfassed in most cases to downright horrible (eg: nerfed Fusion). The result was less than half of the primary weapons in D2 really felt useful most of the time compared to D1 where all of the primaries were readily useful most of the time. While the D1 secondaries fared a bit better in D2, homers and concs still dominated general usage and not just because they were the most abundant, while smarts and megas were still the go to secondaries for many tough spots. D2 arguably did secondaries better than D1 because most of the additions were pretty good (Smartmines, Mercury missiles) or useful in in a reasonable number of places (Flash missiles). Of course Earthshakers were the ultimate marriage of the utility of a smart missile with the destructive power of a mega missile. The only flop was the guided missile which was only useful for annoying grate puzzles where you had to fly the missile through obstacle course and hit a switch to open some wall/door/forcefield somewhere, terrible gameplay mechanic.

D1 seemed to have more choke points in the level design where either you needed near perfect timing and trichording to clear an area undamaged or you needed to lob munitions through the door for 5 minutes just to be able to enter the room and survive at all. D1 robots were also more memorable than D2 robots, I can remember a half dozen times in D1 where I turned a corner and a class 1 driller or a red hulk appeared where they weren't before and caused me to almost jump out of my chair. The fact that the robots hardly ever moved from their set location in the level made it that much more of a shock when they did move somewhere else. Class 1 drillers were trouble because of their borderline impossible to defeat aim (level 6 where they are introduced is one of the levels I love and hate the most because of them). Red super hulks were a pain almost anywhere mostly because the terrain usually wasn't favorable for dodging even a concussion missile, let along a homing missile or 6 (never mind framerate dependencies). The green military platform bots that spewed concussion missiles like a fire hose turned up to 11 and had a bad habit of roaming about then appearing at the worst possible times also left a deep impression. And the fusion hulk, while not actually as scary as some of the smaller bots was memorable just because the amount of damage it could cause in the right location and their durability. The memorable robots in D2 stuck mostly because they were tedious, rather than terrifying like the D1 bots were.

The cutscenes and presentation in D2 were largely fluff, D1 was pretty much right to the point and didn't waste much time on scenery. Of course D2 wasn't as bad as some more recent games like Portal 2 which is mostly scenery porn with a few puzzles and some amusing dialog in between, but D2 still suffered a bit from trying to look better than D1 rather than trying to play better than D1 (although D3 really takes the gold medal at that).

D1 also did music better with the number of MIDI tracks it had, some of the background songs still pop into my head years later. While D2 only had 4 MIDI tracks that repeated through every palate swap which made them more forgettable. And while the redbook audio wasn't a complete loss, it didn't measure up to the overall atmosphere that the D1 music contributed to.


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