Playtesting Report from Qaatar
I want the victim to feel a little on edge and wary...so I opted to not include any weapons higher that a pistol for this map. and ammo will be scarce as [insert any vulgar word here] In fact i daresay you will only start with the 50 bullets that begin the game. (and those may very well be gone before you even reach the chainsaw).
Read: my playtesting reports will only concern the playability and demo-recording capabilities of the maps on UV. I don't give a shit about misaligned textures or anything aesthetic that does not affect my gameplay. If required, I will also test on the other difficulties.
I will refrain from injecting any personal opinions or tastes regarding architecture, overall level design, et cetera, since most of that is up to the mapper's discretion.
* MAP01: Graveyard Shift by TheMionicDonut
- You can still retain that "haunting atmosphere" without making the start a pain in the ass. I'm speaking from a speedrunner's standpoint, but shooting a demon with a pistol is not difficult or fun, just annoying and time consuming.
Include a berserk pack in the beginning room, or move the demon in the first narrow corridor somewhere else, since one cannot move past him.
At the very least, if you think a berserk pack negates some of the difficulty in UV (I can't see why, since it offers you no health bonus at the start of the level), move the chainsaw from the first teleporter area to the beginning room. ANYTHING is better than using a pistol to shoot benign monsters with high HP.
- Having to chainsaw revenants is just not good gameplay. The reason for this is that it offers you no reliable way to avoid damage, since it requires constant touching of the sprite in HOPES to inflict pain chance that disrupts its attacks. Using a berserk pack to kill them offers much better results, since it actually requires a bit of "skill" to constantly move back and forth to avoid the revenant's punches while hurting it, and also speeds up the killing process.
Yes, Doom requires luck in almost every situation anyways, but a good map strives to take away as much of that luck factor as possible, so the player feels like he can manage the outcome to a greater degree given his skill. It offers more flexibility, and above all, more fun. Just my opinion of course.
- I don't have as much of a problem with the cacodemon room, since you can hide a little bit and wait for him to come to you. Chainsawing cacos is actually much easier than punching cacos as well, so it's an even bigger incentive to include a berserk pack earlier and exclude the chainsaw if you want to ramp up the difficulty.
- As justanotherfool said, make the secrets in the yellow/red key room a bit more conspicuous. Having to find two stacked secrets that have the same wall textures as their surrounding area is a little hard without prior knowledge.
- Change at least one of the pain elementals in the red key room into a cacodemon. Having to punch out an elemental while THREE others are spitting out lost souls is ridiculous. The two elementals in the yellow key room were bad enough, but 4 is just too annoying.
- The trigger for the bars that lower (under the red skull key/green armor) should be moved to maybe the back end of the room, or change how the trigger works. I accidentally stepped on it, and it lowered the bars again, forcing me to wait.
- I love the last part of the map. Very well balanced (infights ended up doing 95% of the work for me).
- I couldn't find the last secret. Ones I found are: soulsphere at the beginning, megaarmor in the crates, berserk, and the computer map. No clue where the last one is.
The map, as it stands now, will probably receive very little demo recording attention from any speedrunners. Has nothing to do with difficulty, but just annoyingly designed gameplay.
Of course, besides everything that I just said, the map is perfectly fine on UV as a casual playthrough type of map. Not difficult at all provided you have prior knowledge of monster placements and secrets. It's just not very balanced for demo recording/speedruns. :)
Basically, the main point that I'm trying to make is: include the berserk pack at the start of the level, instead of as a secret past the midway point of the level. Perhaps change the berserk secret into a chainsaw or a partial invisibility. Hell, a partial invis would make some parts of the level harder.