Largely inspired by fraggle's excellent thread found here, I've recently finished working on a video debunking 4 common Doom myths!
So many places seem to spread misinformation about the old Doom games so this is my attempt to correct that.
Also, forgive me for shilling, but I've just started a Patreon page for Doomshack.org. It's pretty expensive hosting server clusters on all of the Doom ports as well as a website which allows users to upload their WADs / mods and such, I've started this page as an attempt to cover the costs. I know money is hard to come by but if you've got some spare change, please consider donating.
Last Edit: Jun 22, 2019 12:38:18 GMT -5 by DoomKid
DoomKid , regarding Myth #2: Even back when I first started playing Doom in 1994 I figured out quickly that keyboard + mouse was in fact a way to play. I think the big problem for me, and I would argue most other people, was that mouse support was so bad at the time that people basically had to get good with the keyboard-only in order to have any fun. I don't know if you've put in much time playing the original DooM and DooM II in DOS, but I've got thousands and thousands of hours, and let me tell you mouse support sucked back then. Any forward or backward mouse movement moved the player forward or backward! It was obnoxious and impossible to work with, and that's why NOVERT.EXE was created to stop that nonsense from happening. But even with the vertical mouse axis taken out of the picture, mouse support was never crisp and accurate. It was nigh impossible to find a sensitivity setting that actually felt good. If you don't believe me try it in DOS yourself, Christ it's bad! That's part of why the engine has a bit of autoaim in it, because the devs knew that the controls weren't precise enough to make sniper shots(and yeah obviously because you couldn't look up or down).
Another thing is that back in those days the WASD play style wasn't that common yet. You can find plenty of evidence of this by looking at the default settings for most FPS games released from 1992 all the way to 1998(and a few beyond that!). The movement control defaults set by the developers were not set to WASD in games until later in time, because they knew most casual players didn't play that way. This article talks a bit about how WASD became the standard.
Last Edit: Jun 23, 2019 12:10:30 GMT -5 by Bob Page
Another thing is that back in those days the WASD play style wasn't that common yet. You can find plenty of evidence of this by looking at the default settings for most FPS games released from 1992 all the way to 1998(and a few beyond that!). The movement control defaults set by the developers were not set to WASD in games until later in time, because they knew most casual players didn't play that way.
What's funny is that when I first started playing FPS games back in 2007 I used tank controls because that's how my dad played all of his games (and he still does to this day). I don't know if anyone else used this setup but it was the numpad keys to move, turn, and look up or down. Then A,Z, Ctrl, and Alt. I used this setup for games until 2012 when I got Call of Duty 2 where there were no keys to turn left or right so I had to adapt. I thought there was something wrong with the game, I never realized, at the time, most people played using Mouse and WASD by that point, or that the fact most games were designed like that.
Hey guys, sorry for my absence and thanks for the replies.
Bob, I've actually done a lot of Dooming in DOSbox in the last 10 years and I personally love the way the mouse feels, all I need to do is jack the sensitivity way up. I've never used a 90's ball-mouse and a true 90s rig running Win95 or something though, I'm sure that would have felt way worse too. From what I looked into the best deathmatchers and speedrunners were already using mouse+keyboard back in the early Doom days as well but despite that, the vast majority of players were using keyboard only. I'm sure that, for many of them at least, the reason was the same as yours.
Novert is of course a huge help and there were actually similar utilities and tricks to prevent forward/backward movement even before it came along, so there's some more evidence that the majority of mouse players didn't like the way it felt by default. As a kid I never used the mouse, I just jumped right in and the keyboard was good enough, but when I started wanting to play more 'seriously' the mouse really helped. By that point Doom's weird default mouse control wasn't an issue anyway though since most people were using CSDoom or Legacy for multiplayer.
naxgangrel, I can't even imagine playing anything beyond Duke3D with tank controls. That must have sucked!
Joe, I really should have, it's a very dumb myth. I'm sure a sequel to this will be in order at some point.