Doom Co-Creator John Romero on What's Wrong With Modern FPS Games: "Too Many Guns"

Tsing

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Picking up and experimenting with new guns may be part of the fun in your typical first-person shooter, but Doom's co-creator thinks there can be too much of a good thing. In a recent interview with The Guardian, John Romero discussed what he thinks is one of the shooter genre's biggest problems at the moment: there are too many weapons. “I would rather spend more time with a gun and make sure the gun’s design is really deep – that there’s a lot of cool stuff you learn about it.”

This abundance of loot – which reflects how blockbuster games generally have become Netflix-style services, defined by an unrelenting roll-out of “content” – means you spend as much time comparing guns in menus as savouring their capabilities. It encourages you to think of each gun as essentially disposable, like an obsolete make of smartphone. “The more weapons you throw in there, the more you’re playing an inventory game.”
 

Dan_D

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I sort of agree. I think this is a problem with modern multiplayer games where stats, RNG, or simply having more time than other people to grind out unlocks creates an imbalanced system. This is massively apparent in looter shooter games like Destiny 2 or the Division 2. It's still a problem in Battlefield games where the unlocked weapons are vastly superior to lower tier weapons.

This creates a huge problem for more casual players who may be very skilled, but end up behind a weapon or stat curve thanks to the game's mechanics. Additionally, the person with all the time to grind will naturally be better at the game anyway, which widens the skill gap even further. This creates an environment where it often seems like those who aren't hardcore simply have zero chance of competing or even contributing to their teams. The end result? They don't want to play.

In single player modes or games? I say the more the better. Customization and guns that feel vastly different can lead to a rewarding and fun experience. I've never played a single player game and thought the customization or weapons choices were too deep or too numerous.
 

MacLeod

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Kinda makes sense. I still, to this day play Doom and Final Doom often and 90% of the time I'm using the single barrel shotgun. It may be the most perfect gun in video game history. A close 2nd or outright tie would be the plasma cutter in Dead Space. There again, I play those games often and will use just the plasma cutter the entire time.

I get the idea that having a bunch of different guns would be fun to try out in real life where things like weight, size, balance and fit come in to play but in video games, none of that really does.

Fortnite kinda has that going for it. You've got a shotgun, a SMG and an AR and that's really about it. Yeah there are better versions of each of the but they're the same gun just with higher accuracy and damage numbers. Games like PUBG where you've got about 10 different AR's and 5 different shotguns kinda makes it a little convoluted.

I think it's better to keep it simple. Make just a handful of superb guns like the Doom shotgun or the Dead Space plasma cutter and then concentrate the rest of your effort on the game.
 
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Brian_B

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Well, you have to be careful to distinguish between a pure FPS, and a FPS with RPG elements.

A pure FPS, like Doom/Quake - yeah, skill trumps all. And there, I agree with Romero - get a few guns, make them deep. Let players become specialists with them.

For RPG-esque FPSs... like Borderlands and such - half the fun in those games is just pushing your stats higher and finding the next cool gun. Those aren't meant to necessarily be fair or level playing grounds when it comes to PvP. RPG-based games almost universally reward play time, and allocate power to those that can play more, and that does allow those players to get around skill.
 

noko

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Just need games with some weapon failures, making one have to fix or use another one. Add a randomness to the outcome so choosing your backup maybe not so easy. Picking up weapons that immediately fail would also be kinda cool as well as frustrating at times.
 

Dan_D

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Just need games with some weapon failures, making one have to fix or use another one. Add a randomness to the outcome so choosing your backup maybe not so easy. Picking up weapons that immediately fail would also be kinda cool as well as frustrating at times.

It was done in Far Cry 2, but malfunctions happened way too often.
 

Peter_Brosdahl

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Just need games with some weapon failures, making one have to fix or use another one. Add a randomness to the outcome so choosing your backup maybe not so easy. Picking up weapons that immediately fail would also be kinda cool as well as frustrating at times.
Also done in the latest Metro. As the guns are used increasingly more they need to be cleaned. If not cleaned for too long they full on jam until virtually unusable. You can only clean them at workbenches or when you have a sufficient enough pack. You can also scrap parts from one to another as they become damaged.
 

Dan_D

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Also done in the latest Metro. As the guns are used increasingly more they need to be cleaned. If not cleaned for too long they full on jam until virtually unusable. You can only clean them at workbenches or when you have a sufficient enough pack. You can also scrap parts from one to another as they become damaged.

That's a pretty cool mechanic. How annoying is it?
 

Peter_Brosdahl

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That's a pretty cool mechanic. How annoying is it?
It's not too bad. It even has environmental factors. In a swampy/rainy/snowy area and it gets dirty quicker. Have to deal with multiple back to back firefights and it'll happen quicker. At first just an occasional jam here and there so no too bothersome but enough to let you know you're going to have to deal with it soon. There's one area in a desert with a lot of sandstorms and that also adds to it.
 
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