E2M8 – Kills – 100, Items – 100, Secret – 100. Time 1:43. End Health – N/A, Armor N/A. Death Count – 1
Well, it’s a boss map. :P Sorta reminds me of 2002:ADO’s E2M8. My death on the first try was a combo “Good at Doom” moment and a lucky shot by the Cyb. Moving right along . . .
E2M9 – Kills-100, Items – 98, Secret – 100. Time 40:17. End Health 136, Armor 85. Death Count – 3.
Lodi said this could be a polarizing map. I guess that would have to be because of the darkness. I saw light levels as low as 80. Luckily, I play on Risen3D, which handles such light levels very well, to the point where it looks really, really good. I’m guessing you play on PRBoom? That also handles the dark well. GZDoomers will be practically blind. ;D
I agree with Lodi, I thought this was a fantastic map. Very good looking, very atmospheric with a lot of tension and suspense, and very good use of subtle gradient lighting.
I think my first death came came in the big dark area with the red door. All those teleporting Sergeants and Spectres finally got me. Next time I went through a side door, which unveiled a Caco. I was able to draw it out and let the Barons up in an alcove kill it.
There was some good combat in the Sector 193 and 234 rooms. Nice job on having enemies placed in such a way as to fire at the player from above and at different angles. And then we have the Plasma Gun room. I died twice in there because I foolishly tried to fight the room from inside. Too many enemies, and too many hitscanners taking advantage of all the meat hemming me in. On the third try, I first checked that I could open the door from inside. Ah, well, now it was easy. In some ways, I’m disappointed by that. ;D
At some point, I teleported back to the start and was greeted by a mass of monsters coming up the hall, infighting like crazy. It was cool to watch the flash of the fireball monsters in the darkness, like watching a distant naval battle. I was able to handle the survivors very easily with the RL, although it took a lot of rockets to take down all the Barons.
Battles beyond the red door were good, with well-placed Sergeants drawing my health pretty low. I spent most of the map at between 50 – 80% health, but sometimes got as low as 20%. I never felt secure until I found the Soulsphere, at which point I started playing more aggressively. The final fight with the teleporting Barons was fun, and accomplished mostly with the PG since I was running low on rockets by then. I suppose I could have run past them to the exit, but couldn’t resist going for UV Max.
This is really an excellent map, very good-looking with nice flow and atmosphere. It isn’t super-hard, and BTW, I pistol-started your damned map, so I hope you’re happy now. :P ;D I actually pistol-started 3 of the 9 maps.
E2, overall, is successful. It’s more difficult than CBSpeed, which is a good thing. You still have the tendency to make your traps easily escapable – the final teleport trap in E2M2, the monster-flood teleport trap in E2M3, and – thank God! – the Cyb traps in E2M7, and finally, the PG room trap in E2M9. I mean, what’s up with all that? It’s like you’re swinging a sledgehammer at me, and at the last moment, you decide to miss, snicker, and say, “I almost got ya, laddie!” Well, why not go for it? Why not put something in my escape route? I, personally, like to open traps in front of and behind the player. Or distract the player with enemies in front while opening a trap behind. Then again, I usually don’t have traps as ginormous as the ones you’ve wielded here, so mine aren’t as likely to kill the players who stand their ground to fight. Just the same, when I hear teleports in your maps, I know the best thing to do is run back the way I came in, because nothing will be there to stop me. It’s similar to but different from the CBSpeed trap predictability, where anytime you saw a switch at the end of a hallway, you press it and haul ass backwards, because a small monster closet will open up on both sides of that switch damn near every time, and once again, there’s nothing behind you preventing escape. If there’s anything you need to work on, IMO, it’s that predictability. Take E2M3, for example. Imagine teleporting a couple or more Barons to the central pyramid during the big teleport monster flood. Now you have Barons in the escape route, and a mass of monsters chasing you from behind. That makes for a very different fight than just running to the central pyramid and waiting for a little casual rocket practice against all the monsters chasing you from just one direction, and funneled into a corridor, making them your helpless fodder. The only way such a trap makes sense is against continuous players, because you make them use up their rockets. On pistol-start, there’s nothing but a couple Barons to dust off at the exit.
I’ll be pistol-starting E3, so we’ll see how that changes the dynamic. I can certainly understand how you optimize for pistol-start. In my E1 maps, E1M7 is my favorite map, but you have to pistol start to get the full experience. Even walking in there with a shotgun and 2 shells is enough to ruin the beginning. I also had to work on bumping up the difficulty of E1M6 to prevent players from walking into E1M7 with too much health and ammo. But continuous players are going to play continuously, just as pistol starters will always pistol start, and you have to keep them in mind. By the same token, since returning to the Doom community and joining the Megawad Club, I have learned to keep pistol starters in mind, which includes making the heavy weapons secrets in many maps where continuous players already have them, the proper use of Zerks, and many other things that will help improve my maps for a variety of players, including speedrunners.
Of course, you can’t please everybody. On that note, my favorite map in E2 was the amazing, spirit-crushing E2M5. 20 deaths! It’s the kind of thing that’s so rough when you go through it, but you’ll never forget it, and the experience grows fonder in memory. The construction was masterful, and the E1ish areas, with all their cross-connecting corridors and non-stop frantic action, is Doom at its best for me. I even hope you leave the horrifying E1 nuke pit the way it is. Fuck it, this is Doom, not a Carnival Cruise. Swing that baseball bat full of razorblades! ;) If someone wants to rage-quit, let them! I got through it, and I suck! :D
I also liked E2M1 and most of E2M7, and of course, E2M9. I liked E2M3 also, but mostly the early part. Every map was expertly done, some just appeal to my taste more than others.
I’ll be starting E3 tonight, with write-ups starting tomorrow.
Last edited by SteveD on 07-07-13 at 20:55