How would you change Doom bosses?
...with the exception of the cyberdemon, boss monsters are lackluster;
The baron's HP is not worth its very basic attack that the cacodemon has too, I'd replace them with the Afrit, a floating baron that shoots a big wave of fire projectiles.
The cyberdemon is perfect.
The mastermind feels like a lazy leftover from Wolfenstein, it's an oversized monstrosity with a basic hitscan attack, I'd change its hitbox to be smaller, make its pain chance much lower, change its attack to be a volley of fire like the afrit's, but make it rapid, with a gap in between that randomizes its position; that way it creates a huge bullet hell all on its own.
The Icon of Sin is honestly just annoying if anything, I'd replace it with an enemy that can fly and manipulate the environment around the player, one attack could make the floor below the player lower and turn into damaging lava for a few seconds, another attack could spawn blocking hazards around the player to trap them in a 256x256 square for a few seconds, in addition to all that, it would also spawn monster cubes just like the original IOS, but for the sake of fairness it won't spawn archviles.
Baron - Reduce HP by ~20-25%, add splash damage to fireballs.
Cyberdemon - No change except might add a health indicator of some kind, or a palette swap at 50%.
Spider Mastermind - Reduce physical size by a lot (up to 50%), fix blockmap issues so it doesn't get stuck on literally everything, decrease pain chance, increase hitscan damage but limit to 3-shot burst, add flamethrower AOE attack if the player gets too close. Forces the player to keep distance but stay in cover. Needs the most overhaul.
Icon of Sin - Move to a phased encounter. Phase ends are transitioned by via special attack cube(s) that teleport all players to the next phase encounter. Phase 1: cube spawns are slower, limited to Episode 1 bestiary (minus Baron of Hell). Phase 2: Cube spawns now slightly faster and include some attacks, like an explosive cube, or a cube that slows player movement momentarily if not dodged. Phase 3: Normal dual-spawn Icon of Sin encounter but with a more challenging landscape to work against. Higher difficulties would add pre-placed monsters to increase difficulty.
I think it's not that simple. Every single enemy in DOOM has their uses in specific conditions. If we are looking at flat terrain room, then yes, these enemies would need some changes.
That said I wouldn't change a thing about:
- Cyberdemon is by far the most universal boss.
- Baron is a tank, so when used as a barrier that is no supposed to harm the player, then it's the ideal enemy.
- Spider mastermind is perfect boss, when used as constant threat to the player throughout the map.
I almost forgot...
- Icon of Sin is not an enemy. The problem I have with this one is that it is less like an enemy and more like a map feature. You could make a map, that would feel like Icon of Sin, but tailored to the specifics of the map. Enemy comps would be balanced, because they would have been monster closets. Icon of Sin is imho just lazy in today's mapping. So my suggestion would be to get rid of it and design some good fight from scratch.
Mastermind: Make her more beefier and with a much more powerful attack that doesn't use hits an
Icon of sin: Turn it into a properly moving monster instead of a stationary thing
If I could, I would bolt on (or patch in) a full blown RTS AI. This AI would control all the monsters in the level, do the path finding for them, quell infighting (put it on a cool-down to give the player a chance), setup routing to minimize the chance of infight creating crossfires and carry out various tactical maneuvers to bait, mislead and ambush the player. Here the AI is really trying to kill the player and may do something such as pull back all forces and make a single overwhelming attack or something equally effective. If the Spider Mastermind is killed, the AI is switched off and all monsters revert back to their basic DOOM AI.
Icon of Sin;
This one would require some serious work on the internals of the DOOM engine. May not even be possible. Make map geometry moveable. Like in Duke Nukem 3D where you had moving platforms such trains (or in Shadow Warrior with the tanks). The IoS would roam the map on a set path and would constitute a miniature level inside the level (perhaps you travel through its exposed rib-cage as it craws about) so the fight would be more of a platforming/movement puzzle. It would still spawn enemies.
Wait... this forum has downvotes