Doom 3 Tweak Guide

[Page 4] Patches, Maps & Mods



Official Patch


It is traditional for any modern PC game nowadays - no matter how well it's coded - to receive at least one patch during the course of its life. The game's programmers often resolve certain issues, improve particular aspects of gameplay, or add new features through such patches. Doom 3 has also received a couple of patches, bringing it up to Version 1.3.1. The latest patch contains all the changes from the previous patches, addresses a few small game bugs and importantly adds improved Windows Vista compatibility with Doom 3. Note that this update will not ruin your current savegames, but if you are currently playing in nightmare mode, you will need to reenable nighmare mode using the g_nightmare console command (See the Advanced Tweaking section). The full list of changes is included in the file update_readme.txt in the \Doom 3\Docs\ directory after you have installed the update.


To make sure you are running the latest version of Doom 3 at any time, there are two things you can do:


  • Use the Built-in Updater: Make sure you are connected to the Internet, then start Doom 3 and on the main menu screen click the Update option at the bottom. The game will automatically contact to the main Doom 3 server, check the current version of your game and if necessary prompt to you to download and install updates. Make sure you install any updates that are necessary to bring your version up to the latest one.
  • Manually download and install patches: The latest patch can be downloaded from a variety of places, such as FileShack or FilePlanet.

  • Whichever option you choose, make sure you are running the latest version as this is a requirement for joining most multiplayer servers, and also ensures you experience the best performance and least issues when running the game. Keep an eye on this guide for notification of further updates, and their performance impacts, as they are released.


    Click to enlarge

    Resurrection of Evil Expansion Pack


    Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil (ROE) is an official expansion pack recently released for Doom 3. It contains an entirely new storyline, new monsters and some new weapons - however it is very similar to the original Doom 3 playing experience. Aside from the additional gameplay of the expansion pack, it also comes bundled with the official Version 1.2 patch for Doom 3, found under the \Patches\ directory on the Resurrection of Evil CD. This patch contains several changes and fixes which should improve Doom 3 single and multiplayer gameplay. One of the major changes of the patch involves the removal of the CD check for the game - see the No-CD section below for full details. The patch contains all the changes from the previous Version 1.1 patch, and must be installed before ROE can be installed. It also appears as though the patch is not available to Doom 3 users unless they buy the expansion pack, however there is now a more recent 1.3.1 Patch which anyone can download and install, with or withour ROE (See above).


    In general all of the tweaks in this guide apply equally to Doom 3 and Doom 3 Resurrection of Evil, since ROE is pretty much just an 'official mod' for Doom 3 and not an entirely new game. Note though that the settings in the .cfg files for the base Doom 3 game do not automatically apply to the expansion pack - ROE's config files are held separately in the \Program Files\Doom 3\d3xp\ directory. So if you've created an Autoexec.cfg file for Doom 3 (See the Advanced Tweaking section), you can simply copy this file into the \Program Files\Doom 3\d3xp\ directory and those tweaks will then also apply to ROE when it starts up. However you shouldn't copy the DoomConfig.cfg file across since there are differences between these files for Doom 3 and ROE. You can also copy the command line options from the Doom 3 icon across to the end of the target line in the ROE icon properties and they too will apply without any problems.


    No-CD Patch


    Important Note: As of patch Version 1.2 onwards Doom 3 has a built-in No-CD. Details of the latest patch is provided above, however if you are running Doom 3 version 1.2 or newer (which is strongly recommended) you will no longer need the CD in the drive to play either Doom 3 or Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil.


    Doom 3 has a protection system based primarily on a CD Key check you must have a valid CD Key to install and play Doom 3 and/or Doom 3 Resurrection of Evil. Doom 3 also checks to make sure you don't have certain drive emulation or CD copying software installed. Software like Alcohol, Daemon Tools and CloneCD can and will cause problems when attempting to install/run Doom 3, so if necessary uninstall this software to ensure Doom 3 runs without any problems. This is an unfortunate necessity with some of the latest games and it is up to you whether you tolerate such protection systems or not.


    Doom 3 Versions 1.1 and below also have a CD check, whereby you must have the game CD in your CD/DVD drive to launch the game. This is incredibly annoying, and long-time readers of my guides know two things that I don't believe in this crude protection system, and that while No-CD files are available to defeat it, I don't provide details about where to get them due to legal concerns.


    However as noted above, as of Version 1.2, Doom 3 and Doom 3 Resurrection of Evil no longer require a Doom 3 CD to remain in the drive to play. Instead now whenever you are connected to the Internet and playing Doom 3 (whether single or multiplayer), Doom 3 will verify your CD key online to make sure you have a legitimate copy of Doom 3/ROE installed. This is much better than the CD check which was annoying and thankfully this has been recognised and the check finally removed.


    Maps and Mods


    Aside from the official ROE Expansion Pack, Doom 3's incredible engine has spawned many user-made mods and maps. Just like earlier id games such as the Quake series and Return to Castle Wolfenstein, the engine driving Doom 3 is just too lush and malleable for any mod and map makers to pass by. Expect to see many more user-made and official Doom 3 mods, maps, add-ons, total conversions, etc. The main ones to hit the net are in these:


    Doom 3 Mod Pack #1

    Doom 3 Mod Pack #2

    Doom 3 Mod Pack #3

    Doom 3 Mod Pack #4


    Another great mod is the Classic Doom Mod, which allows you to play the original 1993 Ultimate Doom game on the Doom 3 engine - give it a try!


    If you have an itch to be creative, you can use the built-in DoomEdit editing tool included with the retail version of the game. To access this, start the game and open the console (See Advanced Tweaking section), and type "Editor" (without quotes). Note that the editor starts in a window, so if you want to use DoomEdit regularly you should set your Doom 3 resolution to the same as your desktop, then set Doom 3 to run in Windowed mode (r_fullscreen 0) before launching DoomEdit.


    When using DoomEdit the only thing limiting your creativity is a bit of a learning curve and your own imagination. Don't be scared to experiment. Take advantage of Doom 3's advanced lighting and shadows - think of an Aliens vs. Predator mod based on the Doom 3 engine, or perhaps a multiplayer Thief mod, or how about a fun mod which gives players giant heads and NERF weapons? Uh, forget that last one anyway just get to work feeding the gamers' frenzy for anything related to Doom 3!


    Rest assured that as other significant patches, mods, and maps are released, both official and user-made, I will link to them here and provide details for you to download and try them yourself. I would strongly suggest you check back here often.



    The next section of the guide covers In-Game Settings for Doom 3.