In many 3D games - particularly those that emphasize realism, like Urban Terror, Counterstrike, and Action Quake 2 - fall damage plays a major role in determining the flow of gameplay on a map. For example, Action Quake's popular Urban series is set in a (duh) urban environment, complete with high-rise buildings that are fatal to fall from. The careful designer will place a shorter building, a parking structure, a bigass truck, etc. next to a high rooftop, providing a one-way exit from a cozy camping spot. Conversely, bounce pads or elevators can be used to limit a player's escape routes, tilting the odds a bit in favor of the anti-snipers.

The presence or absence of fall damage drastically changes the feel of a game. If players' downward movement is completely unrestricted, high-up locations become even more advantageous, and the gameplay moves much more quickly, as those on lower levels can easily be rushed from anywhere on the map. With even a moderate amount of fall damage, the game takes on a much more rhythmic feel; tactical play becomes essential, and long hunts, punctuated by excited flurries of action, become the rule.

To sum up: understanding the importance of fall damage can provide a critical advantage to the online gamer. Recognize how it affects the movement of both yourself and your opponent, and you will be that much more prepared when the gauntlet is thrown down.

Doom, by the way, does not have falling damage.