At QuakeCon last weekend, id Software game director Marty Stratton surprised the audience with news that Doom’s new multiplayer DLC, Unto the Evil, would be available to buy that same day. The DLC contains two new modes: capture the flag and advance-and-control. It also has three new maps, a new playable demon, and a new weapon, among other fixes and changes.
While capture the flag has been added for all players for free as part of Unto the Evil’s game update, however, deathmatch is still in development. But Stratton knows how much it's desired.
“Deathmatch, obviously, is something that players want,” Stratton told us when we chatted at QuakeCon. “It’s my new favorite mode, honestly, and I know people have wanted it since we shipped. But, we were kind of focused on the team modes … you build a lot around that. You build a lot of the user interface and the way the lobby works and the way the scoreboards work, and all of that kind of stuff is geared around teams.”
If the team had realized how sorely deathmatch would be missed, they may have tried to reorganize their priorities. “We knew that we would do it, but given [the player feedback about missing Deathmatch], we’d probably go back and would’ve done it differently and included [Deathmatch].” When the second DLC pack arrives this year, it will bring along deathmatch and two other free-for-all modes as free additions.
Even with the new DLC and update and the updates to come, though, it seems clear that multiplayer has been eclipsed by the success of the main campaign, so I asked Stratton if he feels the same way. “I think the campaign actually surprised some people, which elevated it, I think, in a way because the multiplayer wasn’t as surprising,” Stratton says. “[The campaign] ended up overshadowing multiplayer.”
Stratton is pretty sure he knows why this is: multiplayer, basically, has to try to be balanced. “I think from a mechanics perspective and a gameplay perspective [multiplayer is] still really, really good, but we were able to do some things with the campaign that you just…” Stratton trails off and shakes his head.
I tell him about my favorite Doom moment: I fully upgraded the micro-missile mode on my assault rifle and unleashed a never ending river of explosives into every demon in hell. Stratton laughs and reminds me that an unlockable rune gives the player unlimited ammo if they have a certain amount of armor, meaning that I could just keep shooting missiles until I got tired of holding down the button. There’s no way that kind of overpowered, god-like ability would make any sense in a multiplayer setting. As a result, the multiplayer is a bit less gleefully ridiculous.
But that doesn’t mean Stratton is taking focus away from multiplayer. Three multiplayer DLC packs are planned for Doom, so at least two more updates like Unto the Evil are heading our way. As for singleplayer DLC, id isn’t sharing any of those plans yet.