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Memfis
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Magnusblitz said:
I noticed this too... I said to myself, didn't I just see this Rocket Launcher area in another level? Sure enough, it's straight outta MAP28 from Memento Mori.

It seems that Michael really likes that area, you can also find it in his Reverie map04. :)

Old Post 02-05-13 00:09 #
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BlackFish
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MAP06
-Teleporting cacos in my face!? What has the world come to!?
-I love the use of stock Doom 2 textures here. The architecture works well in many of the areas.
-I love this overly symmetrical room, (and the outside area after of course).
-Chaingunner trap near by the rocket launcher secret, waah! I still survived it though.
-Despite the hard traps I managed not to die.
-I heard an archvile go off but I wasn't attacked by it. Was it hiding behind the imps?

Old Post 02-05-13 01:36 #
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CorSair
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Map 7:
Another short one. Layout looks linear, but map itself looks nice.
Ammo itself is quite abundant and enemies bit varied. The revenant right in front of you can give you trouble, and chaingunners here and there can rip good chunk of health.

Old Post 02-05-13 08:18 #
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Capellan
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Map07

Short, easy level. Nothing very exciting in terms of layout or design. Makes use of Arachnotrons and Mancs, but only in a fairly desultory manner.

Not a bad level by any means, but not memorable.

Old Post 02-05-13 09:08 #
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cannonball
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Map07 - Floodgates by Matt534Dog
Short, linear, easy. Not very exciting to be honest. Rather forgettable as nothing really stands out, this fact is probably made worse as it's in the map07 slot to be honest. It looks ok though

Old Post 02-05-13 11:00 #
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Kristian Ronge
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Map 7 -- Floodgates
A short, intense map with a mildly chaotic start. It settles down after that, though, and from there on in it's pretty easy to get through, especially since there are no traps and you can choose to play it safely. Progression is simple and suitable for such a small map. It was surprisingly challenging to fight those Arachnotrons from above without getting hit -- a nice touch. I also like that you can play the penultimate room very daringly: dash in, go for the plasma rifle or rocket launcher and mop up. I wouldn't have minded getting at least one of those weapons "for free" and facing even fiercer resistance (throughout, or at the end), but it's fine as-is. Getting to the blue armour was very obvious. After I killed the last two monsters I figured I'd go back and try to access the soulsphere and found it was already accessible. I don't know what triggered it, maybe killing the last Mancubus? In that case it's a well thought-out secret for people who are doing a continuous playthrough. Ammo balance is nicely planned and the map looks okay to me. --3/5

Old Post 02-05-13 17:46 #
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mouldy
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07 - Floodgates by Matt534Dog

Wow, thats a bold send-off for a pistol starter... having to barge past a rev and a demon in a narrow corridor to get the SSG. Somehow I made it on the second attempt, I wasn't exactly healthy but managed to mop up enough health kits to get back to 100%. A few more big bad guys and switches to press and it was all over. Very short and to the point. Still, short makes a nice change after the last adventure. There was a bit more of the shooting me through the bottom of the grating texture which I find irksome from a design point of view, and the big guns were a bit superfluous after everything was already dead, otherwise I have no complaints.

Old Post 02-05-13 22:12 #
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Sp00kyFox
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map 7
well that was weird. map start was nice and all of a sudden.. there is the exit, end of this level. like cannonball already said, it's not like that this map is bad. but it's way too short.

Old Post 02-05-13 22:45 #
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[WH]-Wilou84
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07 - Floodgates by Matt534Dog

Cool little map, a welcome variation from your typical map 07 arena. A bit too linear maybe, but that's ok for a map this size.
I didn't get why we're given a Rocket Launcher and a Plasma Gun at the ending, but hey, why not... May be helpful for a continuous demo.

The starting fight for the SSG was the highlight here, difficulty-wise.

Old Post 02-05-13 22:52 #
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Demon of the Well
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Greetings all. Longtime lurker, first time poster. Reckoned it had been too long since I participated in a forum, as opposed to just watching over one, and the MegaWAD club seemed like an enjoyable, easygoing pursuit, so here I am. I had actually meant to join for the playthrough of Memento Mori, as that's a WAD I've played through on a few different occasions in the past, but turns out I was indisposed for most of last month. Ah, well, Interception it is, then.

I have played a little of Interception before, via inter-beta.wad. At the time, I played four maps, warped to at random. Of those four, I remember being satisfied enough by two of them, pretty unimpressed by one of them, and I greatly enjoyed the last of them, so suffice to say I'm looking forward to a pleasing variety of styles and sizes in the full experience. I'll be running the set in Eternity (my port of preference), with what I like to think of as an 'honorable' mouselook--that is, I won't be hurling pinpoint rockets at any distant, elevated sniper perches sitting well outside the reach of Doom's autoaim (I still leave the autoaim untouched, even with the mouselook on), or anything like that. I also like to play with infinitely-tall actors disabled, but this being a vanilla-compat set, I will gladly go back and replay any map I manage to break or any scenario I can metagame out of in this way with the setting re-enabled. Oh, and I'll be playing on UV, starting each map from scratch. I generally avoid the use of saved games, as well, although I have no ironclad personal rule against this. Finally, as this set seems to use just the original texture set, I think I'm going to try out Sigvatr's "PalPlus" palette modification, just to see how it looks during real gameplay.

Alright, with all of that windbaggery out of the way, on to the maps.

Map 01 -- Excavation Site - 100% kills / 100% secrets
This did feel a lot like a proper "Map 01" to me--just the right size, offers a few different possible routes, etc.--although the very first encounter involving a pair of shotgunners teleporting behind me was unexpected (though not unwelcome). I thought the crate room with the dirt textures and the open pale sky looked nice, as did the scenery beyond the fences (although the rivers of blood on what is presumably an earthly setting were a little odd--perhaps it's seepage from a massacred camp nearby, or something?). I played it a few times, and by the end I'd worked out a route wherein I used the chainsaw and the blur artifact to blitz the last room, which was fun.

Map 02 -- Research Facility - 100% kills / 100% secrets
Ah, this is one of the maps I'd played before. It seems to have gotten a bit nastier since then, with entrenched groups of sergeants behind shutters in the opening room and the sudden teleport snare which drops the marine in the midst of a zombie jamboree as new additions. That latter encounter might have been pretty rough (I was a little banged up from rambo-ing the opening room), but I'd located the hidden blur artifact right before, and so got off pretty easy. Aesthetically, I enjoyed the persistently dim lighting and the juxtaposition of the dark metal, lacquered tiles, and brown masonry, although the whole doesn't really communicate "Research Facility" to me in any real way. On the whole, it's not a bad map, although its play theme of narrow corridors without much in them (including a secret section I don't remember from before) is a little dry, so it's probably for the best the map isn't very long. My compliments for that pair of Barons at the bottom of the small lift at the end, though--having to suddenly quickdraw that rocket launcher I hadn't previously found a use for helped the experience feel more complete.

Map 03 -- Flooded Caverns - 100% kills / 100% secrets
More of that dim lighting, and the verisimilitude factor is back up. This felt like a pretty easygoing romp. I was feeling pretty saucy, and so after killing all of the monsters that had immediate access to me at the start, I had a nice jog through the roomy eponymous cavern, largely ignoring the various cacodemons, demons, and lost souls floating around in there. I even skipped the commandos in the cubbies up on the wall (they didn't seem terribly interested in shooting at me, for whatever reason) and went right into the RL/bridge room, which was my favorite bit in the map--one of the mystical little joys of Doom is certainly rocketing contained pockets of zombies and imps through windows (bonus points if the elevation is different), and this was no exception. Immediately thereafter I found the lengthy mud-tunnel secret which culminates in the invulnerability artifact, so everything worked out perfectly--I got to do some demented pointblack rocket spam against not only the horde of cacodemons that had been released at some point, but also against the crowd of monsters I'd ignored during my initial grabassing around in there. After that, things were pretty rote for what little of the map was left. Overall, I had a good time with this one, although I reckon that's at least in some part up to dumb luck leading me along a very efficient/ideal route. If I'd played more conservatively, things might have been rather less heady...all the more reason not to play too conversatively, I suppose!

In the interest of not throwing up too huge a wall of text, I'll wait a bit before posting about some of the other maps.

Old Post 02-05-13 23:04 #
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Capellan
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Map08
Frantic start, with enemies on all sides. That's something you'll need to get used to, with plenty of crossfire situations to navigate. It's a level that is free of any cheap tricks, though: the pressure comes from the number of monsters and the good positions they hold, rather than unmarked teleports or other nonsense like that.

The final battle before the exit was a memorable one, though the last two monsters were pretty toothless. Useful speedbumps to stop a mad dash for the switch, though, which was probably why they were there.

Looks and layout were OK. Never any problem working out where to go next. There were a couple of cases of distant, high chaingunners, which is a black mark, but they were manageable.

Old Post 02-06-13 07:11 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP07 - FLOODGATES

Meh. A bit easy/short for my tastes. I actually prefer small monster counts (~100) to sprawling maps with 500 monsters, but this one still felt a little too short. Other than perhaps the start none of the fights are challenging - small rooms at the end of long corridors make for each rocket launchering. I liked the visual cohesiveness of the large skull switches opening stuff up, but never really felt like they were doing anything - I mean, I knew I had to hit them to advance, but I just didn't get the feeling of "oh good, unlocking something now." I dunno. Overall the map probably needed to be doubled in size, too short to make much of an impact. What was here is "a good start."

Also, there's a typo in the text screen between maps 6 and 7 ("hoard" when it should be "horde").

Old Post 02-06-13 08:08 #
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cannonball
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Map08 - Panopticon by purist
Nice map, pretty open and easy when not pistol starting. Lots of annoying long range chaingunner snipers. Map looks neat despite being quite large and open which can expose some flaws when vanilla mapping. I liked the rocket launcher secret, pretty inventive.

Old Post 02-06-13 09:20 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 04 - Medical Center - 100% kills / 66% secrets
Of the first four maps, all by Matt534Dog, this is the one that I enjoyed the most. Standing stock still at the start while the commandos quickly get into a scrap with the imps and revenant across the way (which the revenant inevitably wins) is some cheap entertainment, and things get even better moments later with the berserk pack sitting a few feet away. Freshly juiced up, in this map of persistently cramped corridors and lightweight enemies, I found myself using the fist more than a gun throughout most of the proceedings. The surroundings, mostly characterized by that dingy grey paneling most typical of Phobos and by a number of elevators (indeed, the play space often feels taller than it is long, though of course it isn't), looked fine, although again, they didn't really seem to bespeak a "medical center" in any way, even by the whimsical and abstract standards of Doom. Ended up missing a secret on my first play; on a second play (where I played in true Tyson form, just for shits and grins) I saw that it was a pushwall with some ammo boxes behind it right at the start, which I doubtlessly missed the first time on account of squirming with eagerness to go and introduce somebody to that knuckleduster.

Map 05 - Rail Terminal 38 - 100% kills / 100% secrets
This one was not much to my taste. Despite using stronger monsters far more than previous maps, this is by far the easiest outing in what has so far been quite an easy set in general, which is wholly down to thing placement--when I wasn't stubbing my toes on cases of shells, I was tripping over unhidden soulspheres, and nearly all of the opposition is in front of the player, often positioned so that they are more likely to harm one another than the marine. There weren't even any traps to speak of, not so much as a humble monster-closet, unless you want to count that blind lift near the start that drops you down near a revenant or two....but also a combat armor, a berserk pack, a soulsphere, and a rocker launcher. I guess the start might be a little tense for a minute or two if one missed the unofficial SSG secret before first dropping down (this isn't a secret, but that platform with a rocket or two and a couple of piddly clips is...?), but I didn't, and so the combat was pretty paltry from beginning to end. After everything else was done, I ended up backtracking to the start of the map in search of a couple of monsters I'd missed, eventually finding that they were a couple of deaf pinkies positioned down mirrored halls near the entrance. Sort of the final insult, that. Perhaps with different thing placement--maybe just the basic shotgun and a chainsaw, less ammo and health in general, and either a smaller number of non-deaf strong monsters or a larger number of lighter, faster monsters--this might've been more interesting, but as it stands, I don't reckon this is one I'd be inclined to play twice.

Map 06 - Dangerous Curves - 102% kills / 100% secrets
Even without looking at the Readme text, it's pretty easy to tell after a few minutes that this is a Valkiriforce map, as there are very few other contemporary mappers that wear the influences on display here--Nielsen, Moeller, maybe a touch of Flynn--on their sleeves so openly and proudly as he does (the use of that voodoo doll to suggest the presence of another marine is also telling, and a quirk more distinctly his own). If all of the beige stone, wooden struts, and iron-barred windows don't call Memento Mori to mind, the heavily switch-oriented progression certainly will. I was sloppy at the start and took a hard hit from that first teleporting cacodemon, and so ended up limping around for the first half of the level or so, as medical supplies seemed surprisingly scarce. Still pretty easy, though, as the map quickly establishes a theme of chaingunners either in closets at the ends of hallways or standing just out of sight around sharp bends (presumably where the map takes its name from), and these tricks become pretty easy to anticipate after the first couple of times. I eventually found a secret soulsphere without too much trouble, and had no more health concerns for the remainder of the duration. The layout has a pretty accommodating flow to it in spite of the many switches, to the point where I don't think most of those arrows on the floor were really necessary, although I reckon I'd have left out the teleporter near the blue card--it's an anti-backtracking aid, sure, but the alternative fork shortly before also guides you neatly out of the area, and gives you a few more heads to bust while it does it. I liked the timed trench run for the yellow key and the wall of deathless imps, though the hidden telefrag-chain that lets you get rid of their arch-vile benefactors is another one of those things that seemed like it ought to have been tagged as a secret, but it wasn't. I see the author has decided to put an SSG in there somewhere; I thought it played fine without, myself, but I guess I don't reckon having the extra firepower would really spoil anything (except for those poor monsters' day, of course).

Last edited by Demon of the Well on 02-06-13 at 10:18

Old Post 02-06-13 10:11 #
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BlackFish
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MAP07
-The two initial big switches don't quite advertise what they do.
-Chaingunners suffer from the window problem again.
-I like what the 666/667 tag monsters did.

MAP08
-Very tense but...
-A 10 second loop for a 20 minute map is a horrible idea. It does bring tension, but having to hear it for the 100th time is almost as bad as Call Me Maybe on loop.
-Initial area can get hectic if you start at low health, but the medkits help.
-Last encounter was difficult, but I like the speedbumps.

Old Post 02-06-13 15:28 #
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Kristian Ronge
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Map 8 -- Panopticon
A simple layout, really, but set on a grand scale. The gameplay is interesting, with creative ways of creating a challenge by placing monsters and designing the surroundings in a way that the player is disadvantaged. The traps are good (the Arch-Vile trap especially caused me a lot of headache but put a smile on my face while I cleaned up after it) and the secrets are well done -- in particular the RL run and the soulsphere secret-within-a-secret with its "leap of faith". The plasma rifle secret had me scratching my head for a while, until I went back to basics and thought:"It just has to be triggered by something in the vicinity". Tons of monsters around but given the scale it does seem a little empty here and there. The difficulty is easyish, and you have an ample supply of ammo, but like I said the environment often benifits the monsters. Progression, or should I say exploration, is excellent with sufficient clues on where to go next. Loads of fun! --4/5

Old Post 02-06-13 17:40 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Lost a few days but found some free time and caught up. Decided to go with pistol starts from now on.

MAP05: An interesting map that is labyrinthian in nature. It has a non-linear layout with a similar metallic theme throughout, sans the outside area. I enjoyed it although the gameplay gives me little to write about since you can play more or less any way you want (corner shooting, reckless, infighting...), which can actually be very fun on its own. Getting any of the secrets certainly negates quite a bit of challenge though...

MAP06: Loved it. Was a little rough in the beginning when I didn't know exactly how to proceed, but once I got some weapons it was a pretty fun romp through this large complex. Health felt too tight for my tastes, as hitscanners always eat away bit by bit and I couldn't heal myself about half health the whole time, but the level is balanced enough that running around near death was somewhat fun and exciting. Visuals are very impactful for being so sparse on detail, showing how great a level can look with excellent texture work and lighting. What I enjoyed most were the little quirks & loop arounds thrown in and all the switches that raised stairs... I should definitely get to Reverie sometime as valkiriforce's style is absolutely exceptional.

MAP07: A short but exciting map that starts you off by stealing a shotgun in-between a revenant's legs. The danger doesn't let up as all sides are host to baddies firing at you, but once the PE is dealt with there is a bit of a breather. I'd say this is one of Matt's most balanced maps, although the manc pit at the end feels a bit weird as it's too cramped to fight them in, leaving the player to use the doorway as cover. Always nice to see the MAP07 gimmick used in a less obvious way.

MAP08: A somewhat strange map whose appeal rests on the player never being too sure what is going on. From the frantic, disorienting start the player is forced to deal with multiple enemies that harass you for pretty much the rest of the level, making sure that you never feel too safe within the confines of this brown prison. Color scheme is kind of muted for me but I really enjoyed the layout and some of the firefights, finding the ammo and health almost perfectly tuned to my tastes. I thought the chaingunners in the towers would be annoying but since they don't hassle you too much, they serve as a nice reminder to keep moving. AV fight was fun without the SSG as I had to keep baiting him into burning me rather than rezzing his allies. And the final battle was deliciously tense, offering me the ability to jump down and spread out the cacos at the cost of wasting my own time, but giving me one hell of a firefight if I stood my ground. The windows for the arachs to shoot out of were an excellent touch that kept the battle quite kinetic. It was a pretty great map overall.

Glad to see new faces posting here.

Old Post 02-06-13 19:50 #
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mouldy
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08 - Panopticon by purist

I really like this map. The start was hectic and disorientating as hell, and the layout is so interconnected that the first job was dealing with a constant trickle of monsters from every direction. The layout is ingeniously designed to be both compact and complex, and the fights are superbly orchestrated - my favourite battles both involved archviles, which is something i don't say very often. The highlight for me was the finding all the secrets (i just wish I'd found the plasma rifle one sooner). Yep, I don't have a bad word to say about this one, a real piece of doom craftsmanship, and a joy to play from beginning to end.

Old Post 02-06-13 21:59 #
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[WH]-Wilou84
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08 - Panopticon by purist

A good map, larger than the previous ones, and with an interesting start. purist did a good job with the map's theme, it blends perfectly with the rest of the mapset so far.

Secrets were all enjoyable to find, but even without them the ammo / item ratio

I don't know if it has already been reported, but I've noticed a HOM effect which happens when you activate linedef 141 : sector 150 goes down to the lowest floor height, and two untextured linedefs are thus revealed. Fortunately, the player will be too distracted by the released Arch-Vile to even notice. :p

Also, why is linedef 280 textured with SUPPORT3 ?

Anyway, "Panopticon" has a clever and opened layout as well as good SSG-oriented gameplay, I liked every second of it. Even the sniping Chaingunners weren't too much of a hassle.
The only downside here would be the repetitive music - which is stressful, but just too short.

Old Post 02-06-13 22:40 #
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purist
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Thanks in the most part to Capellan I finally got the YK in Dangerous Curves. I could quite easily have got myself killed afterwards despite Valkiriforce being rather gentle with the encounters just because I'd become so unused to gunfights for so long. I don't have a great deal to add from my previous post about this level except that the passage between getting the red key, opening the red bars, getting the blue key and going back to the blue door felt extraneous. Swapping the red for a blue key would have been better in my opinion.

MAP07 - Floodgates by Matt534Dog

Very concise and in HMP with the benefit of a built up arsenal, very straightforward to beat. I could see how the rev and demon at the start might cause bother but in my playthrough they got into a quarrel giving me the advantage of being able to attack first. I liked the big skull switch theme as those are seldom used. Fighting arachnatrons through midtexture grates has legs as a set piece but I think they should have been on a more level grounding as it was difficult to see them at times and difficult for them to hit me at others. I killed the mancs at long range with the RL.

Good map, no real complaints and some fun to be had. I personally love short maps but even I think this could have gone on a little bit longer.


I've replayed my Panopticon to refresh by memory but I'll spare you my self indulgent design notes until tomorrow.

Old Post 02-06-13 23:02 #
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CorSair
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Map 08:
Probably most likable of maps so far. Map layout is clear and spacious yet it still offers some cover. And a fitting name, too.
We got good load of enemies, All ranging from zombies to imps and demons. Arch-viles comes back to you to resurrecting enemies you killed, pain elementals gives you things to worry about. Biggest gripe is those chaingunners, especially those who get into the towers.

Very good map. Also, I like the music.

Old Post 02-06-13 23:03 #
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Kristian Ronge
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It's the 7th here (since about 12 minutes), so...

Map 9 -- Chemical Laboratory
A thematic change from all previous entries, this small map looks like a tribute to the late 90s/early 00s designs... it resembles a first episode map from... HR2 perhaps. The starting area (including the trap when grabbing the blue key) is, I think, an homage to Community Chest 3 map 6, "Foregone Destruction" by Daniel Gimmer.

Difficulty is firmly in the medium category if playing from scratch, hard even, if you miss the well-hidden armour secret, because then you can't really afford a single slip-up. I replayed the map without taking the armour and, yep, I had to *really* watch my step. The fights aren't terribly interesting (except for the excellent Baron set-up where I retreated into the dark tunnel and it came after me...). The traps, though, are the highlights here: they are many for such a short outing, and deadly. I went with my gut at the YK trap, rushed towards the Mancubus and teleported out of there, but I suspect that's one moment where many first time players will die. At other times, the player must instead be cautious not to get into trouble, as with the deaf twin Arch-Viles in eiher corridor past the blue door. The Arch-Vile trap after returning from the Baron fight can, unintentionally, become very harsh, as there is a risk of that AV creating ghost monsters (and the map does not contain any RL). The ammo balance is carefully planned, there's just enough to get by unless you let AVs resurrect a bunch of imps/HKs. (S)SG and chaingun all the way, but I don't mind that at all.

By the way: what's up with the title? Where are the chemicals? Where is the laboratory? --3/5

Old Post 02-06-13 23:15 #
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vdgg
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I don't know if I catch you or if I finish 32 maps, but let's see.

MAP01 - I know nothing about the WAD, only that some not the best maps are supposed to be in the beginning. Well, it's a nice surprise here. A dangerous HK trap, but I was conscious enough for it. After that I just returned to the beginning, as there was no other path, and a red key was lying on the ground. I guess some people would complain about this not obvious progression?

0 deaths, K/S 83%/20%, 2:43

MAP02 - Nice looks again, especially the first room. These maps remind me of Tolwyn's creations on Insertion. Not the best ones, but solid. Almost got killed when teleported (I was about to switch to a chaingun, which I...didn't have ATM). Very tired, I found the BK, but forgot about blue doors, so it took ages before I made progrees.

0 deaths, K/S 93%/33%, 9:44

Old Post 02-07-13 01:52 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP08 - PANOPTICON

Seems like most people here liked the map, but it didn't hit the right notes with me. I hated the start (always dislike a start with enemies facing you closeby) followed by teleporting into an identical room, followed by another blind teleport). The rest of the map was nice to look at, but felt overly empty. I think the map might have played a lot better/tighter if you took the same layout and just made it, say, 50% size. As it is, none of the fights are too challenging simply because the rooms are so large, and there's lot of annoying parts of getting shot by a hitscanner far away. I did like the Arch-Vile teleported into the area you need to backtrack through, and the final battle was good (except for the Barons that serve as nothing more than blocking players from just running to the exit switch - there are better ways to do that, I think).

Still a decent map, and the craftmanship is nice, but I'm definitely not as high on it as everyone else. Might go through it again to try and find the secrets (I only got 1/5).

Last edited by Magnusblitz on 02-07-13 at 04:53

Old Post 02-07-13 04:39 #
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Demon of the Well
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After midnight here, too.

Map 07 -- Floodgates - 100% kills / 100% secrets
This is another of the maps I sampled from Interception's beta--the one I didn't care much for. It doesn't seem to have changed much (although maybe the body count is slightly higher...?), and neither has my opinion, I'm afraid. The best part is the first two seconds, where you dive for the SSG that a rather oblivious revenant is using as a footstool--be quick or be....moderately injured. After that.....well, you blast a few clusters of lightweights in a tiny corridor or two, blast another (slightly less oblivious) revenant balancing on a pillar, blast a couple of arachs who are only able to do any real damage to you if you stand on the edge of their enclosures and gawk at them like a little kid goggling at the bear pit in a zoo, and then blast a couple of mancubi who are only a little less harmless than the arachs, and then it's over. During all this there's also some dithering about with a bunch of those nifty-looking jumbo skullswitches, I guess, but I would certainly agree with Magnusblitz's observation that they don't feel very important, since you'll probably hit them all before running up against whatever it is that they activate. Similarly, I think that the implementation of the map 07 special tags here feels more like an afterthought than an important part of the progression. Overall, it kind of feels a bit like a filler map, to be frank, and even the main secret is only of any use for a person doing a continuous playthrough. What it needs more than anything else, I reckon, is a bit more scope...or maybe it would have benefited from being more of an atmospheric 'story map', ala some of the episode replacements of yore.

Map 08 -- Panopticon - 104% kills / 100% secrets
The first sizable map in Interception, and it surely is welcome. I've got nothing against small maps, but given my choice, I generally prefer something I can really sink my teeth into...hell, I'd probably gleefully play a complete megaWAD full of Jade Earths, if such a thing existed. Anyway, I'm going to echo a lot of the sentiments of the other players on this one, as there isn't a lot to find fault with here. I liked the clean looks of the austere masonry comprising most of the complex (looked very classy with the palette mod), and it was a joy to have a lot of open, airy spaces to run around in...didn't need the chaingunners in the towers to twist my arm, heh. I, too, found the secret-searching a pleasure, as each featured a unique method of concealment or a special trick to its discovery. Health aids were well-judged, and ammo was pretty generous, though the evident room for some significant variation in weapon progression depending on how one plays the map might mitigate that a bit. The main arch-vile was used well, as I ended up killing most of the group of monsters inhabiting that series of rooms with the gravel pads in alcoves nearly twice over on his account, which is always satisfying. Still not a very hard map--I reckon I probably took more damage in the first 60 seconds than in most of the rest of it--but it felt like a good workout nonetheless, particularly the effort of holding one's ground on the elevated terrace during the final fight.

Map 09 -- Chemical Laboratory - 98% kills / 100% secrets
This was the third of the four maps I sampled from the beta. Tellingly, it's really no sweat once you've seen it before, but I remember thinking it was fairly cheeky the first time I played it. The reason for this is that it's a map based on two things: traps, and tight spaces. The traps range from the level of a slap on the wrist (the imps that teleport in when you take the blue key from the map's hub) to more potentially harmful affairs (the rapid-reveal commandos near the red key) to setups that will almost certainly kill you if you don't make the right choice (the much-vaunted decoy mancubus trap protecting the yellow key). All of this certainly gets the blood moving well enough (the fairly tight ammo balance from a pistol start helps in this regard), but as it's a very small and very linear map with only one real method to tackling most of the challenges, it has little replayability and probably won't prove particularly memorable, unless you've not seen many maps based on booby traps like this one is before. Looked okay--I liked the gradually deepening darkness of the tunnel behind the red barricade--but again, neither the textures nor the structure suggest either chemicals or laboratories in any real capacity. The monster I left behind was the mancubus, I'm certain--guess I forgot to plug him before starting to run during the yellow key trap, this time (didn't let the various arch-viles raise any corpses this go-round, but I remember I ended up having to evade a ghostly hell knight last time, just as Kristian Ronge surmises).

Now I'm all caught up, and looking forward to the interestingly-titled map 10.

Old Post 02-07-13 07:20 #
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cannonball
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Map09 - Chemical Laboratory by C30N9
Quick and pretty difficult with no armour and plenty of nasty surprises. The area past the blue door had me feeling a sense of doom with 2 arch viles and many other monsters roaming a circular corridor. But somehow I survived. The yellow key trap might make some people call foul play but the monsters in that room are killed with having to fire a shot so it's simply a case of running like heck and hoping the mancubus doesn't get in the way. Overall solid map.

Old Post 02-07-13 07:47 #
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Capellan
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Map09

A bitsy map, texture-wise, that doesn't seem to really match up with the look of those that came before it. Thought the long, dark passage to the baron was kinda pointless, and also illustrated one of the issues with the map: switches that do something elsewhere, with no indication what. It wasn't a huge problem to work out what they did - but that's because the level was very linear.

Lots of traps in this one, but they were generally either minor, or flagged in some way - I kind of liked the Mancubus/Rev trap at the yellow key. Goofy, but amusing. The double Archvile fight was a fun one, too, though I wouldn't like to try it from a pistol start.

Overall, I'd call this one OK, but nothing special.

Old Post 02-07-13 07:48 #
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vdgg
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Posts: 1592
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MAP03 - The best looking level so far, but I hate this ultra-symmetrical monster placement...

0 deaths, K/S 87%/0%, 5:36

Old Post 02-07-13 10:44 #
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purist
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Author notes on Panopticon


The theme came first for me on this one and that came about because Matt wanted the first episode of the megawad to be ancient techbases. I already had an idea kicking around in my head about doing a take on the old Dickensian Poorhouses/Workhouses in a level and making a spaceage version seemed to fit the spec of the project quite well.

Having done a bit of lazy Google research for layout ideas I came across a webpage describing the panopticon, which is a building designed so that all or most of the area can be seen from one place for the purposes of monitoring the occupants. This planted a seed for the layout, which is why it is so compact. The problem with the idea was that seeing a lot of a level at once has VPO implications and also spoils gameplay surprises. For this reason I made two observation towers that you teleport between at the start and left some areas unseen from them. Still, an unusually large portion of the map can be seen from those two places if you hang around long enough. The rest of the areas are based on pseudo-realistic areas of a futuristic workhouse, such as the sleeping quarters and court yard.

Unusually for me most of the architecture was created before any fights were planned. As a result I just tried to pick the most effective monsters for each scenario. The chaingunners that teleport in the towers are supposed to act as sentries. I did intend to include a way to allow the player back into those towers to allow the player to take revenge up close against them but it never worked with any of the progressions I tried out. Maybe I should have added it as a secret. The barons at the end are indeed blockers so you can't skip the last fight. The two boxes of rockets bookmarking them is a clue for a quick way of disposing of them once the rest of the monsters have been cleared out of the way.

Even more unusually for me was that I changed the progression route from the original plan, which was much less linear but I think I scrapped it as the pacing did not work as well. I added the teleports so you could see what the switches did for the same reason around this time too. This latter decision had a double bonus of improving the AV fight in my opinion. It's supposed to be a race back to him before he can raise too much of the dead.

I started being inspired by gameplay elements of the platform games my son was playing around this time also. The RL secret and excessive amounts of health and armour bonuses are examples of this.

Overall I am quite pleased with the map but it does look a bit bright and dreary. This along with the relatively large scale and open spaces put it a little at odds with the other E1 maps so far in my mind.

Old Post 02-07-13 20:12 #
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mouldy
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09 - Chemical Laboratory by C30N9

This felt a bit more old school than the previous maps, a basic hub layout where each key opens up the next arm. Very much a linear affair, I found ammo to be a bit sparse considering things like pain elementals, invisible spectres and resuscitating archviles were causing extra bullet wastage. But apart from that it was all pretty straightforward barring a few surprises - I wasn't even going to bother saving midway, but I'm glad I did because the teleport before the yellow key ended up killing me (i jumped off the catwalk when the mosnters appeared and found a pit of death waiting for me). I found the secret thanks to a suspiciously misaligned texture and managed to kill everything thanks to some handy crushers (no way there would have been enough ammo to otherwise).

By the way, I have to say that title pic causes me much amusement every time i load this wad, i'm not sure how intentional that is.

Old Post 02-07-13 21:29 #
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