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aldiboronti
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First let me clarify the title. I love secrets in Doom wads and I get a real kick hearing that 'secret revealed' sound (the one you get when using a sourceport like GZDoom). And I don't mind if they're particularly tricky to find, in fact one of the things I hate are those secrets in plain sight in some wads, like you pick up a shotgun sitting in the center of the room and bing! you've uncovered a secret! What is it with that? I can't imagine why people do it, it's dumb.

No, tricky to find is OK. It's when they're next to impossible to get to that bugs the hell out of me. I can't recall the megawad but there's one map where you can see a soulsphere sitting inside a crate which has a jagged hole in the side. Doomguy can't quite fit into the hole to reach and to this day I've never found out how to get it. And then of course there's that sound you hear of something opening when you pass over a particular spot. But where is it coming from? I spent ages hunting for the source of a sound once until I eventually realized it was a lift operating behind a wall that opened later in the level and wasn't a secret at all!

Any secrets that drove you guys crazy?

Old Post 09-15-09 20:53 #
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Nomad
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Osiris and I spent the better part of an hour running through NDCP1's MAP31 looking for the last secret hoping to get to MAP32 only to finally give up and find out that the regular exit went to MAP32 anyway. We still never found the last secret, though.

But yeah, the "secrets" that aren't really secret at all are kind of retarded. Especially the ones that are necessary to find to progress through the level; like Doom 2 MAP07. What's the point?

Old Post 09-15-09 20:57 #
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Ichor
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I've seen secrets in wide open areas, even at the start of maps (i.e. Plutonia map 32). I think they do this so that there can be 100% secrets at the end. Before source ports, there was no sound, and no way to really know if that sector you just walked over was a secret or not.

On the other hand, it is slightly annoying to have a powerup or whatever in a non-secret area that is harder to get to than actual secrets.

Old Post 09-15-09 21:04 #
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printz
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I loathe secrets that can be missed forever in the level, like the way to the Hell Revealed secret level. Conversely I don't like that so many other Doom 2 secret exits are so easily given away.

Old Post 09-15-09 21:40 #
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Gez
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I don't like secrets when they're:
- impossible to reach because of a bug. Like there's a tiny triangle in a corner behind a lamp that's a secret. Huh? There are many variants of that;
- impossible to reach after a certain point. Like if you cross a linedef, the door leading to it gets closed forever. Or there's a time limit. It leads to frustration as you then futilely roam the cleaned-out level, trying to find that last secret before you activate the exit switch;
- impossible not to reach, like when they're at a passage where you will have to go to in order to finish the level anyway;
- ridiculously redundant, like you have a secret door that hides a secret stairway leading to a secret room, and every of the 47 sectors involved are tagged as secret. It also makes it obnoxious if the port plays a sound or displays a message when a secret is discovered, because this cue gets spammed severely.

Old Post 09-15-09 21:41 #
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myk
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aldiboronti said:
And I don't mind if they're particularly tricky to find, in fact one of the things I hate are those secrets in plain sight in some wads, like you pick up a shotgun sitting in the center of the room and bing! you've uncovered a secret! What is it with that? I can't imagine why people do it, it's dumb.
Most likely by assigning the wrong sector type, by mistake.


Gez said:
ridiculously redundant, like you have a secret door that hides a secret stairway leading to a secret room, and every of the 47 sectors involved are tagged as secret.
Yeah, E4M3 has that issue.


It also makes it obnoxious if the port plays a sound or displays a message when a secret is discovered, because this cue gets spammed severely.
Heh, especially when that sound itself is obnoxious :p (Fortunately it can be turned off in newer versions of ZDoom, along with the message... I used to hack zdoom.wad to replace it with a null sound, back when it wasn't.)

Old Post 09-15-09 21:49 #
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LogicDeLuxe
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Gez said:
- impossible to reach because of a bug. Like there's a tiny triangle in a corner behind a lamp that's a secret. Huh? There are many variants of that;
Having the sector behind a one way teleport line tagged secret is a common mistake of this kind.

Gez said:
- impossible not to reach, like when they're at a passage where you will have to go to in order to finish the level anyway;
I think, this case is okey, if it is the only secret on the map. It prevents vanilla Doom from displaying 0%, so you can be sure that you didn't miss any.

Missing on the not to do list:
- Items marked secret which you only can pick up under certain conditions. Like a stimpak, which would force your to loose health bellow 100% to be able to pick it up. For extra annoyance, put a unavoidable megasphere right in front of it.

Old Post 09-15-09 22:02 #
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Enjay
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I can't say that many secrets bother me. I like secrets but I'm not really that good at finding them so not finding them doesn't upset me because not finding them is the norm. :P

But yeah...

The worst secrets for me are essential secrets - ie the ones that, if you don't find them, you can't complete the map. Given that I have already said that I'm bad at finding secrets, then this makes it doubly bad for me. :P

Multiple tagged sectors are annoying, as has already been said. Mainly because if I don't find one secret that happens to have 10 sectors tagged inside it, then the end of level tally looks like I missed loads instead of just the one that I actually missed.

And, yeah, secrets that aren't really secret at all are... well, just untidy really.

Old Post 09-15-09 22:29 #
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Pavera
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I like to think that secret areas should be tough to find, and they should reward the player depending on how difficult to reach they are.

For instance, if the player simply has to lower a wall, the reward might be a backpack or a berserk. Having the player use a little more cunning and intuition should reward them with something like a blue armor or even something like a megasphere or an early BFG.

When I make maps I like to wait until the end to add secrets. This way I can make sure there's enough ammo in the map to complete it without too much trouble, and the secrets are there to make the player feel more powerful for finding them.

Old Post 09-15-09 22:34 #
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scalliano
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One of the Master Levels, The Combine, actually tells you that you've found a secret as soon as you enter the level O_o

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Old Post 09-16-09 00:02 #
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40oz
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myk said:

Yeah, E4M3 has that issue.



TNT MAP10 has that too.

I'm no too bad at finding secrets, I'll target them if I see them, but for the most part I'm overlooking anything that maybe considered a secret. My reasoning for this is that many people make their maps fully playable from start to finish, and the items you can find in secrets often drastically reduce the difficulty.

If a map is designed so that you have to use a regular shotgun to take out demon, imps, revenants and hell knights the whole time, and I bump into a secret room that has a plasma gun, the map quickly gets boring. At least in my eyes.

Old Post 09-16-09 01:22 #
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Super Jamie
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Assuming someone is not stupid enough to put a crucial item in a secret (a key, real 94 style there) I hate secrets that unbalance a level. There's nothing worse than having fun not dying only to be handed a megasphere and BFG with 600 cells.

I also hate frustrating secrets where one random switch (or triggered lindef that doesn't animate) does something across the other side of the map where you can't see or hear. Even moreso if they tease you with a megasphere you can't reach like like that annoying yellow-brick spanish-music map that appeared on idgames a few weeks ago.

Mr Chris' episode is a good example of mostly well-done secrets. They are thought out well, varied in their layout and obviousness, and make the hard levels a little easier but still challenging (if anything, they just make it fair instead of really hard).

Old Post 09-16-09 02:16 #
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Vegeta
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Secrets that are very hard to find but contain essential items to make the map playable (like weapons or vital health).
I remember about playing maps that lacked a lot of ammo, or had poor weapons, and then reading the author explaining that the needed items are in secrets.

Old Post 09-16-09 02:38 #
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vdgg
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aldiboronti said:
I can't recall the megawad but there's one map where you can see a soulsphere sitting inside a crate which has a jagged hole in the side. Doomguy can't quite fit into the hole to reach and to this day I've never found out how to get it.


The Darkening - MAP06? I couldn't find out how to get it, either.

Some items that are soooo hard to reach are annoying, too.

Icarus MAP16 - Blue armor (not sure if it was a secret)
Darkening 2 Final map - Blue key (essential to complete the map) and a soulsphere (I always skip it, I can imagine myself trying 70 times to get it).

Old Post 09-16-09 02:49 #
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The Green Herring
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vdgg said:
The Darkening - MAP06? I couldn't find out how to get it, either.
I've attached a demo to this post which shows how to get it. Definitely rather obscure there.

As for the topic, I've nothing to add other than that unmarked secrets are a big peeve of mine. In many cases, the author forgot to put the "Secret" flag on the linedef, so I end up finding it by looking at the automap (which I often check when playing a new level,) but other times, I can never find one without throwing on the allmap cheat. In particular, there's one level in 2002: A Doom Odyssey (not saying which one, to avoid spoilers,) where a secret door is placed right next to the exit switch, with no clue towards its existence. What kind of secret placement is that? I mean, even in my first published level (CC3 MAP27, if you're wondering,) there are hints to where the secrets are if you look very carefully. Even worse, as mentioned in this thread, is when these unmarked doors are required to finish the level, more so when they're not secrets to begin with.

Also annoying is when you can't get a secret not because it's too obscure, not because it's too small for you to get into, not because it's otherwise unreachable in some way, but because the secret sector was improperly deleted thanks to an editor bug. By far the most ridiculous example I've encountered was on STAIRS.WAD by Jason Whittington, which has no less than 51 secrets, and yet you can only collect 5 of them, because only 5 of them are actually used on the map. Not even Memento Mori II is immune; on MAP26, only 6 of the 7 secrets can be reached for the exact same reason. I don't think this occurs much anymore, thanks to the rise in the quality of level editors over the years, but it's still rather annoying when I encounter it.

Oh yeah, let's not forget that a sector flat/effect change can wipe out a secret. Definite annoyance there, especially if it occurs in a place where you can never reach the secret in time before it disappears. This is especially inexcusable in a Boom level, where a generalized floor effect can be customized to change only the sector's flat and not its effect. There's actually one error like this on CC3 MAP05 (which at least can be countered by stepping on the pillar before it lowers all the way,) whose mere existence can be chalked up to an oversight on my end as the WAD's compiler (and to being newer to Doom and PWAD editing.) ZDoom corrects this effect, but it's still a problem if you mostly play in PrBoom+ in proper compatibility modes like I do.

Attachment: dk06mega.zip
This has been downloaded 11 time(s).

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Old Post 09-16-09 04:07 #
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Super Jamie
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The Green Herring said:
As for the topic, I've nothing to add other than that unmarked secrets are a big peeve of mine.

Do you mean fake wall-doors which are the same texture as their surroundings, or a secret-activating computer terminal among many terminals? Do you mean when the secret sector is not the sector of the fake door but the sector behind it? Or do you mean areas which should be secret but have not been marked Type 9/1024 (Doom/Hexen) by the author like in KDiP?

Old Post 09-16-09 04:35 #
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40oz
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Secrets are also great when it comes to deathmatch, when everyone knows how to easily get the BFG in every map.

Old Post 09-16-09 04:41 #
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The Green Herring
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Super Jamie said:

Do you mean fake wall-doors which are the same texture as their surroundings, or a secret-activating computer terminal among many terminals? Do you mean when the secret sector is not the sector of the fake door but the sector behind it? Or do you mean areas which should be secret but have not been marked Type 9/1024 (Doom/Hexen) by the author like in KDiP?

Those fake wall-doors, specifically. The ones that have not even a single, subtle mark on them to distinguish them from the rest of the wall. If I wanted to hump every single wall in the level to find secrets, I'd play Wolfenstein 3D. However, areas that would be considered secret, but aren't marked as type 9 (like the aforementioned Darkening MAP06 megasphere crate,) are pretty damn silly, too. :p

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Old Post 09-16-09 04:46 #
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Ragnor
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Secrets that are hidden doors, only marked by the slightest texture difference, so subtle you need to be specifically looking for it. I had this problem on Plutonia's Tombstone level, only level I couldnt get 100% secrets on my own

And of course, secrets that you trigger as soon as you start a level, secret areas that arent tagged secret, and staircases with each step tagged as secret (Plutonia's "The Twilight" does this too)

Also, secrets that are teleporters. Its quite hard to trigger these. Even worse is when the secret is an exit teleporter. While playing the PSX Doom TC, several Hell levels that the "exit hole" marked like this, and it made me rage.

Old Post 09-16-09 06:01 #
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leileilol
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Good thing you're not playing Slige levels then. The very start of the level is a secret!

Old Post 09-16-09 06:28 #
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GreyGhost
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I wonder if that was done as a joke? One thing I don't like is pointless secrets - where there's no reward or hidden switch, just an empty sector.

Old Post 09-16-09 08:52 #
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printz
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No, it's done to ensure that the level has secrets.

Old Post 09-16-09 10:09 #
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Ichor
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GreyGhost said:
I wonder if that was done as a joke? One thing I don't like is pointless secrets - where there's no reward or hidden switch, just an empty sector.

Yeah, Bloodfalls (map 25) is notorious for this. It just about ruins the whole map for me. Fortunately, by that point, the map is almost over with. In that bland marble room after the elevator, there's a secret there that leads to...nothing. On easier difficulties there's a BFG, but you'd think they would have added something for the harder ones, like some cells or maybe a berserk pack or anything.

Old Post 09-16-09 13:04 #
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Gez
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If at the end of a level you have found 0/0 secrets, you've found all of them, but Doom and many ports consider this to be 0% rather than 100%. So when the starting sector or the ending sector are tagged as secret, as in Dead Simple, and are the only secret on the map, it's just to please the completists who would otherwise be rewarded by a screen telling them they missed all of the secrets.

But when these obliged sectors are in addition to a bunch of normal secrets, then it's just a WTF thing.

Old Post 09-16-09 13:25 #
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Pavera
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Hah, I always wondered why that happened. Thanks for the insight.

Old Post 09-16-09 13:46 #
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LogicDeLuxe
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Gez said:
If at the end of a level you have found 0/0 secrets, you've found all of them, but Doom and many ports consider this to be 0% rather than 100%.
I know, that's what vanilla Doom does. But didn't Boom change it to 100%? And since most ports are Boom compatible, shouldn't they do it too?

Old Post 09-16-09 14:10 #
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printz
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Ichor said:

Yeah, Bloodfalls (map 25) is notorious for this. It just about ruins the whole map for me. Fortunately, by that point, the map is almost over with. In that bland marble room after the elevator, there's a secret there that leads to...nothing. On easier difficulties there's a BFG, but you'd think they would have added something for the harder ones, like some cells or maybe a berserk pack or anything.

Like MAP25 wasn't already a screwed up map... But that's news for me, because even Paul Falstad didn't find any secret in MAP25 to put in The "Official" Doom FAQ.

Let me also mention the stupid locked secret from E1M5... or the given away hallways from E2M6 that count as secrets...

Old Post 09-16-09 14:35 #
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Ichor
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printz said:
Like MAP25 wasn't already a screwed up map... But that's news for me, because even Paul Falstad didn't find any secret in MAP25 to put in The "Official" Doom FAQ.

Let me also mention the stupid locked secret from E1M5... or the given away hallways from E2M6 that count as secrets...


Another fun fact about map 25 that few might know about : That center blood pillar where the revenant stands on can be lowered by walking up to it and using it like a switch. There's no secret there or anything. I suppose you could lower it to let the revenant run around, but by the time you get to it, you'll probably either be dead because of all the chaingunners, or you will have already killed everything in the room anyway.

Old Post 09-16-09 16:21 #
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gravitar
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- Unmarked secrets. The larger the map, the more fun it is. Also when a map plays really fast-paced, it's great having the rhythm totally f***ed up, running around humping every wall just to get that damn 100%.

- Secrets/Doors that work only under a certain port or -complevel

- Secrets where you get the certain feeling the mapper spent ages to hide that stuff to keep you playing as long as possible, and really gets off showing you the middle finger

- The "teleport and move in a certain direction to get teleported to secret". So zZZzZ but I always seem to miss those.

Old Post 09-16-09 17:00 #
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aldiboronti
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Ah wall-humping! What a joy it is! Even greater fun when you have little ammo left and you have to decide whether to waste it shooting at the damn walls to see if that triggers the secret.

I think there should always be some kind of clue, some slight variation in texture, for instance, secrets should be designed to be found by careful observance and investigation, not just dumb luck.

And a thousand thanks, Green Herring. I finally got the megasphere in Map 06 of The Darkening (or soulsphere at my wimp difficulty level of HMP.)

Old Post 09-16-09 17:15 #
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