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Kristian Ronge
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Map 24 -- Abyssmal Affliction
First off, this map is gigantic. I mean, gigantic in the sense that a -nomonsters run-through takes me almost 4 minutes (knowing the route, although 40 secs of that is waiting for the lift at the red key). Gigantic in the sense of 540 monsters, who are spread evenly throughout. It's also quite hard from a pistol start, unrelenting throughout most of the first 20 minutes, and ungenerous in terms of ammo until about two thirds of the way in (after you get the blue key), when you start building up reserves. Most of it looks gorgeous. The progression is simple: a fairly large part of the map is accessible right from the get-go, and there are three side areas requiring keys, so once you find the first key it's a very linear affair. The gameplay is for the most part okay but oftentimes you're pitted against opposition where you are at a severe disadvantage (Revenants, HKs, Barons, Cacos, and shotgunners firing at you over large distances, PEs released in a cluster of monsters in large rooms, so on); sometimes monsters are simply thrown at you with a "good luck!", as in the red key trap -- by far the most difficult fight where you're susceptible to (homing) missiles and fireballs from all angles with so-so chances to escape them -- and there are fights aplenty which are just pointless.

Who is going to jump down into hurtful blood and fight those demons? Who is tediously going to pick off the strangely placed Arch-Viles in the YK area one by one using a hitscan weapon (because they are placed in such a way that you waste a lot of plasma/rockets if using those weapons)? etc. Well, I am, because I play 100/100. Which brings up another problem: the secrets. As far as I can tell, getting 100% secrets involves opening a back door to the starting room, which lands you right in the lap of three Hell Knights. The two empty secret sectors in that back door aren't accessible later -- you *must* jump in there with 100/0 and a pistol. If you aren't scratched to death quickly, you run out to be greeted by a dozen or so Mancubuses and some PEs, but it's survivable... with enough attempts. The third secret is a chainsaw (which you can grab without having to release the Arch-Vile BTW, and which, I guess, can be used on the imps on those ledges to conserve ammo at the beginning. Don't understand why it' so valuable as to count as a secret compared to the goodies found just outside). The fourth contains nothing but a few chainguns, or should I say chaingunNERs if you haven't killed them when going in. Finding it may let you lessen the severity of a trap which I'll get back to, but that's purely up to chance for first time players, who might easily arrive to that secret from the other direction. The fifth, a megasphere, is very helpful, as you can get it early on and it just might keep you alive long enough to get far enough where things get easier.

There are three Cybers, curiously all of them are killed for you. The one at the start I just fled from and when I came back it was dead. Go figure. The second is killed by a crusher in a sequence where you are supposed to dash past it to grab the BFG which activates the crusher. Surviving splash damage from rocket(s) is mostly down to luck, unless you took that megasphere in which case survival is 20% luck or so. I guess you could kill it by shooting it with the (S)SG/chaingun but considering how tight the ammo balance was for me until I got past the BK door, I doubt you'd have enough to comfortably play on. Maybe by chainsawing all the imps? The third is released in the yellow key trap but I don't think any player would stick around inside that cage -- I just vaulted out and stayed close by, provoking infighting (which made this trap very easy, I left it with about 190/190, think I got hit by a chaingunner just as I was running out of the cage or something). The Cyber was killed by the other monsters and I could mop up the handful of remaining monsters with the BFG.

What else? Oh, yeah, the chaingunner/crusher trap was a shock and I was lucky I had just picked up the megasphere as I was low on health just before. Lots of players will hate the author for that one. The rest of the fights, well, picking off the monsters on the ledges at the start was all right, the HK army teleporting out past the BK door was kind of funny, the invisible imps were annoying as hell, there was a curious AV reviving a Revenant in one of the corridors which just felt gimmicky: I didn't even notice it when running past. What was the point? By the end I had almost full health and full rocket/BFG ammo and so nothing about the last fights caused me any trouble (but I wouldn't label them as fun). I guess you could accidentally be blasted into the exit if you're a bit slow in killing those last AVs, which would suck if maxrunning and having spent a lot of time in the map.

All in all: looks absolutely great, plays so-so. I'll dock an extra point for the needlessly annoying start if playing max. Bug report: There's a strange ceiling texture on the switch out by the Mancubuses which opens up access to the cage where you get the YK. --2/5

Last edited by Kristian Ronge on 02-21-13 at 23:43

Old Post 02-21-13 23:33 #
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Capellan
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Any thoughts about next month's wad, by the by? We just did wads from 1996 and 2013, so maybe something roughly in the middle, release date-wise, like Scythe (2003)?

Old Post 02-22-13 00:33 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 24 - Abyssmal Affliction - 101% kills / 80% secrets
Here we are, a Hell map that plays a mite more hellishly than its predecessors, representing the biggest spike in difficulty thus far in the WAD (or even in the WAD, period, in fact). The marine begins in a quiet marble tower situated on a large island rising out of a massive bloody sinkhole surrounded on all sides by jagged, ash-caked hills honeycombed with spacious imp-infested tunnels. The final goal is a teleportation gate resting in the inner reaches of a large marble fortress across a gorge to the north. Between you and this gate are a slew of pitched battles in assorted infernal locales, from a marble dais floating in a lake of lava in a subterranean cavern so vast that its walls and ceiling are lost in darkness, the inexplicably fleshy bowels of the mountainside the marble fortress is built against, and the great stone keep at the heart of the fortress itself. So, in sum....it's rather a large map, with a notable sense of theater and scope in its construction.

Kristian has already done an excellent job of laying out the nuts and bolts of the map's flow and general style of play, so I'll just make a few comments on my particular experience, and perhaps add a little detail about some of the odd set-pieces he mentioned. Note that if you've not played yet, my next comments will be more spoiler-heavy than usual.

Now, as he said, it is a challenging map, and it took me a significant number of gruesome deaths to come out the other side, but it strikes me that the lion's share of this hardship is frontloaded--that is, by far the most difficult task is gaining a foothold in the map in the first place, as the starting area is extremely dangerous for a pistol-starter's unarmored and woefully underarmed self. Whether you take the main exit from the starting tower or the secret alternative, at first all you can really do is run from the hordes of angry creatures slavering for your blood, until you can grab a shotgun from a freshly-pulped sergeant and retreat to the relative safety of the imp tunnels, which early on house the majority of the shells you'll have access to, as well as a relatively toothless soulsphere trap and the route to the leap for the SSG. But, I felt that once I finally had figured out a good itinerary for the first 10 minutes or so of play, most of the rest of the action, while intense at points, was not nearly as demanding--there are a number of bloody mass-teleportation ambushes, but within the context of this particular breed of gameplay, they are quite manageable, and I feel, legitimately beatable for a person seeing them for the first time....for example, the bloodbath in the keep gave me no trouble, as a combination of an infighting clusterfuck and the BFG cleared it up pretty promptly. So really, I suppose what the map really is is a sort of punishing puzzle early on--looking at all the different ways you can go, learning where things are, how the secrets work, etc--followed by some euphoric vengeance for its later two-thirds. I did feel the ammo pressure a bit early on, especially on the first couple of attempts, but I stopped noticing it about halfway through on my successful attempt....it's actually shells and especially bullets that feel like they're in limited supply, whereas if you live long enough to get a rocket launcher and the BFG, they generally stay pretty well-stocked.

But that start--well, it's a doozy, and it'll probably frustrate some. At first sight the secret exit to the beginning chamber seems more like Pottus is taunting you than anything, as the secret contains no material reward and deposits you in a very dangerous situation, point-blank in close quarters with a group of HKs, with an arch-vile behind some bars nearby, and a squad of angry mancubi outside the building. All you can realistically do here is run, and the only really viable route here takes you out to where you would have been if you'd used the starting tower's main exit--but, if you've tried it both ways, you'll notice that the cyberdemon won't be present if you come at his cage from this side, as he only appears when you cross a trigger just outside of the first tower's main exit. This means taking the secret route makes the starting area significantly less dangerous (though it's still pretty damned dangerous!), making your fight for a foothold and gambit for the SSG on that metal pillar significantly more consistently doable. But wait, there's more! The secret route is actually the first part of a two-part secret that results in that cyber's eventual death (although it's all the same to you if you never cross the trigger that raises him up)--the second part involves the chainsaw. If you can find a way to lower the bars that the arch-vile mentioned earlier is hiding behind, the switch behind him builds a staircase up to the platform, behind which is a door back into the starting tower. This is trying to guide you to cross the trigger which raises the first cyb into the play area; if you've done everything else right up to this point, when you do so, he will be able to cross a teleport line seconds after appearing, which results in his being taken to a distant crusher-box where he meets a most undignified end. This whole setup underscores what I said earlier--despite all of the violence, the first third of this outing is really a sort of puzzle where monsters and the interconnected layout of the area are the pieces. Other examples of this same theme are the cyb which gets smooshed near the BFG, or the weird camouflaged revenant/arch-vile setup in the tunnel to the flesh cave that Kristian mentioned, which you can actually defuse by shooting an exposed bit of red pillar through a crack in the wall, which results in the two of them being crushed somehow. I found the whole thing to be another fascinating change of pace, myself, and I'm glad I played it, though it does feel clunky at times (like the arch-viles behind the rocket-proof torches K. R. mentioned), and it definitely climaxes early.

On a technical note, it's apparently pretty easy to pass through the secret outlet from the first tower without the engine registering your presence in the smaller/thinner of the secret sectors comprising it--reading through Kristian's enumeration of the secrets, this is apparently what happened to me, hence my 80% in that field.

Last edited by Demon of the Well on 02-22-13 at 04:48

Old Post 02-22-13 04:22 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP24 - ABYSMAL AFFLICITION

Yeowch. This one definitely ups the ante, but (aside from a few fights) it's not really more challenging so much as its just quantity. Other than the imps in the caves and the shotgunners around the red key teleporter, there's almost nothing in this map that takes less than 3 rockets to kill. The layout is pretty nice and spawling, with lots of distinct-looking areas that tie together well, and having most of the map open to the start, with the key areas at the end. Feels a lot like a Hexen map, in that regard.

Wasn't really a fan of the gameplay, though. There are a few interesting aspects - I liked the red key battle (I found it pretty easy to just do a couple of loops around the arena without firing a shot, by that point most of the monsters will be infighting, you can pick off the few that aren't, then finish off the thinned-out herd). I also liked the Cyberdemon on the BFG crusher, and being able to "defuse" the chaingunner trap on the crushing ceilings. But in-between all that is a large slog through 500+ enemies (my playthrough ended up over 600 easily with Lost Souls). There are also lots of places where the monster variety isn't great, which doesn't help - the caves are pretty much all imps, many parts of the green temple with all the keyed doors are filled with nothing but barons and hell knights, the area before the yellow key is lots of manucbi. Hiding Arch-Viles behind lampposts to force the player into using hitscan weapons might've been interesting once or twice, but doing it 10 times gets boring quick. I actually took a break midway through playing this map, AND I was able to grab the yellow key without setting off the trap the third time around... and was fine with that because I was ready for the map to end. There's some interesting ideas here, and the map aesthetic is pretty dang nice - you can definitely tell there was a lot of love put into this map - but in the end there was just way too much mindless monster volume for me.

Old Post 02-22-13 05:55 #
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cannonball
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Map24 - Abysmal Affliction by Pottus
Jesus Christ, this is like having an arm wrestle again your kid sister and then following that with an arm wrestle against the worlds strongest man!!!
I would never dare pistol start this map, mainly as you probably have to run through hordes of enemies just to get the ssg and hopefully the cyber won't decide to shove a rocket up your ass.
The major fights are around the keys though, these are more slaughterfest than anything else. I skipped the red key fight as that kind of no cover fight does not appeal to me whatsoever and unlike others above me the monsters decide that taking damage off each other should not detract on their bloodlust for my face on a pike (no infighting :()
The yellow key area with the archviles are an unnecessary pain (there is also a bug with part of the outdoor section using a marble ceiling texture by accident).
The chaingunner/crusher trap will probably kill everyone the first time around haha. The ending with the archviles isn't too bad though.
Not my cup of tea at all this map i'm afraid :(

Old Post 02-22-13 11:33 #
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Pottus
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I did provide an update for MAP24 that didn't seem to get into the final release for some reason. I would probably like to do some more work on that map and MAP12 in particular as both were actually speed maps and I think that is probably a reflection of the unrefined game play people are reporting.

Just one thing, I don't see why people have such a hard time with that cyberdemon trap on MAP12 it's really, really easy maybe not on the first run but it's not that hard at all. I made that part so your not actually supposed to kill the cyberdemon the trick is to run towards him when he appears then he teleports behind you hit the switch then activate the end level detonation switch while dodging a rocket or two.

Old Post 02-22-13 14:30 #
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BaronOfStuff
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MAP31:
How quaint. Although relatively short, it's well-designed, fun to play, and the method and execution to acquiring that secret exit is so technically simple but abstract that it's nothing short of genius.

Old Post 02-22-13 16:11 #
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Kristian Ronge
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cannonball said:
I skipped the red key fight as that kind of no cover fight does not appeal to me whatsoever and unlike others above me the monsters decide that taking damage off each other should not detract on their bloodlust for my face on a pike (no infighting :()

Yes, I too was surprised to see so many comments making light (so to speak) of the red key fight. I went in before I got the BFG, played with doom2.exe compatibility, and I thought it was tough. Maybe the RNG said "fuck you" to me or something but I hardly got any infighting going and was bombarded with Revenant missiles from ... everywhere. *shrug*


Pottus said:
I made that part so your not actually supposed to kill the cyberdemon


I kill everything when I play casually, or at least attempt to. If something is intentionally or unintentionally unkillable (due to severe ammo shortage, some gimmick or bug) then I make a note of it and may think less of the map for it.

By the way, reading D.o.t.W's account of the way the secrets in the start of map 24 work, I need to retract some of my criticism, as the setup makes more sense to me now. OTOH, the system described is so complex that players may go blissfully unaware of it even if playing the map dozens of times. I'm not convinced that is a good thing.

Old Post 02-22-13 21:34 #
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Demon of the Well
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The fight for the red skull is the one that's on the large cross-shaped platform floating in lava with demons attacking from beyond the barred walls, right? Yeah....can't say I really had much trouble with it. Given the way the monsters teleport there, though, the random element in how they end up pathing/when they fire can probably make a large difference in how well the infighting there goes (if it goes at all).

By the way, Pottus, one small suggestion I would have is to reposition the hell knights in the room just beyond the first secret so that they can't see you and close in while the floor is still lowering--maybe put them all down in a group near the bars with the vile behind it--this would make that very first part a little more consistently survivable, and in turn, still offer some kind of reward of sorts (that is, a less crowded path early on/potentially easier SSG grab). As it is, I imagine a lot of people will play it, find that the secret path isn't really any easier to survive than the normal way (hell, the first 60 seconds are harder, if anything), and then just stop using it even though they know it's there, losing out on the opportunity to finish the chain of secrets that begins there.

Old Post 02-22-13 22:34 #
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cannonball
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Actually another gripe with me about this level is the inconsistent use of damaging floors. Some blood does damage, some doesn't. I don't know why I find that annoying but I do :P

Old Post 02-22-13 22:36 #
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Kristian Ronge
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Weren't the damaging floors consistently textured slightly different? I believe you if you say they weren't.

About the next WAD: I wouldn't mind "Scythe", the maps are very small except for three of them and I've played them many times. If you're up for an Ultimate Doom WAD from the same era then how about "2002: A Doom Odyssey"?

Map 25 -- Demon's Spite
Very cool, difficult map. The setting is a small hell base. Gameplay is fast paced, and quite good. Monsters are used well throughout, and I loved the traps, especially the insta-appearing demon (a take on similar traps in MM2 map 14 and Requiem map 15) and the chaingunner trap -- marvellous in its simplicity. I sensed something was wrong but wasn't prepared for that! There are plenty of tough situations, often when the player is restricted in some way, and with a very carefully thought-out ammo balance you can't afford to waste much ammo. Secrets are well done, too, I stumbled upon both of the teleport ones, the last one at an inopportune time (I would have liked that health at the very end). The backpack secret additionally gives you a place to dodge into if you want to snipe the monsters from the alcove where it is placed... a nice touch. The ashwall area fight was great, since the area is almost circular the monsters can surround you if you stand still, and the Arch-Vile spices things up. The Cyber showdown was okay but was probably the least interesting moment in the map. By the way, it's possible to lure the Cyber into the teleport and telefrag it, but it is tricky, especially without getting hit by a rocket. The ending is very violent as the Arch-Viles beaming in can easily drain your remaining ammo supply, but I pulled through with a handful of shells left. On a second playthrough I saved the blue armour for when I came back to its platform with the yellow key and that made the fights at the end slighty less challenging. The map looks old-schoolish great and presents a challenge worth accepting. Very nearly a 5 from me. --4/5

Last edited by Kristian Ronge on 02-22-13 at 23:18

Old Post 02-22-13 23:10 #
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Demon of the Well
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On the subject of the club selection for next month, there are very few serious megaWADs I've played that I'd have no interest whatsoever in revisiting (in fact, as I type this, I can only think of two off the top of my head, although there's probably a couple more I'm forgetting about), so I'm up for almost anything.

Just to throw a couple of ideas out there, though....if it's going to by a Scythe, Scythe II would be my personal preference.

Another interesting WAD that I've been meaning to revisit, also made by one person, and from the around the same time period, is Vile Flesh.

So, I guess those are my suggestions, but anything else mentioned thus far--the original Scythe, 2002ADO, etc.--would be quite alright with me, as well.

Old Post 02-22-13 23:47 #
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Pottus
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cannonball said:
Actually another gripe with me about this level is the inconsistent use of damaging floors. Some blood does damage, some doesn't. I don't know why I find that annoying but I do :P


That was actually fixed but, for some reason as I mentioned Mattdog missed putting the updated version of that MAP in. However I think I'll probably go through all maps once this thread finishes up and do a overhaul of all the complaints as long as the corresponding authors don't mind. (I know Valkiri and ProcessingControl prefer to do their own touch ups)

Old Post 02-23-13 00:38 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP25 - DEMON'S SPITE

Not much to say about this map. I played through it earlier in the day, didn't feel like writing anything, and just did another quick runthrough. Still not much to say. Old-school design, but still nice enough looking. I liked the design of the secrets with the teleport and the blue armor near the start. Didn't like chaingunners in total darkness. Rest was kinda meh... decent battles, nothing great, nothing bad. Arch-Viles can be a little tough at the end after grabbing the blue key (blindly, which I didn't like) if you're not ready for them. I do like placing this map right after MAP24, it makes for a nice breather. Decent.

:::::::::::::::

As far as next WAD, I'm open. Been a few years since I played the Scythes. Never did beat MAP30 in the original... did like the rest of the maps; but I'm not sure how people feel about its difficulty (I like it, personally, but from reading others reviews here I'm not sure others would).

Old Post 02-23-13 02:48 #
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valkiriforce
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Pottus said:
That was actually fixed but, for some reason as I mentioned Mattdog missed putting the updated version of that MAP in. However I think I'll probably go through all maps once this thread finishes up and do a overhaul of all the complaints as long as the corresponding authors don't mind. (I know Valkiri and ProcessingControl prefer to do their own touch ups)

Yeah, I already touched my maps up quite a bit. I posted them in the thread for Interception and I'm just waiting for a number of other fixes from other authors (the crash at the end of MAP29 in a vanilla source port).

Old Post 02-23-13 03:29 #
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dobu gabu maru
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MAP17: This is a bit of a strange, unorthodox level that plays really well with some excellent traps. Couldn't pin down a consistent theme and got lost a bit through the swirling complex, but I found the ammo, health and monster placement all excellent so I didn't mind the visuals so much. And there are some neat parts, like the whole background segment that's easily missed if you run straight past the windows. And Stewboy provides excellent music tracks as always.

Old Post 02-23-13 06:07 #
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purist
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Personally, I'd prefer the club to stick with current megawads rather than revisiting old ones because it's more likely to be a first hand experience for everyone and the authors are usually still present for discussion.

If this is agreeable I'd suggest either BtSx, 3HA or DtWiD: Lost Levels.

Feel free to discount my opinion on the grounds that I never keep up :-p

Old Post 02-23-13 07:44 #
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Capellan
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I'd definitely prefer that we try megawads from all periods of Doom's history, not just recent ones.

Old Post 02-23-13 09:22 #
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cannonball
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Map25 - Demon's Spite by C30N9
This map was a lot easier than the last, though saying that yet again would have been a lot tougher from pistol start.
I like this map, nice texturing with varying themes but nothing which goes over the top. Found most of the secrets and the combat was pretty decent

Old Post 02-23-13 09:53 #
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Kristian Ronge
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Capellan said:
I'd definitely prefer that we try megawads from all periods of Doom's history, not just recent ones.

I concur. Looking back at past and current playthroughs I see:
BF_THUD! (1995)
CC4 (2012)
Jenesis (2011)
MAYhem 2012 (2012)
Memento Mori (1995)
Interception (2013)

There's a wide gap there, 1996-2010, which could be explored. :-)

Old Post 02-23-13 10:15 #
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purist
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17 - Antidote by Processingcontrol

I never finished this one, however I did enjoy it to a point. It suffers from the same problem as Vertigo Plant in that you can't save without crashing Chocolate Doom, which ruined my continuous progression. I tried switching to PRBoom+ but found the start too difficult with a pistol start but I was quite enjoying it so I knocked the difficulty down to HNTR.

The map plays as a non-linear adventure around a diseased hospital. I found gameplay to be thoughtfully applied. I especially liked the rocket bias and the gangs of imps. Aesthetics was less composed with nice horrific visuals nested away behind bars or windows but the actual play areas looked quite bland and the mishmash of styles gave the map a 90s PWAD vibe.

I eventually came unstuck when I couldn't find the blue key but I think I saw the brunt of the map.

Old Post 02-23-13 13:12 #
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Processingcontrol
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Purist: You can use chocolate-setup.exe to remove the vanilla save size limit in Chocolate Doom.

Old Post 02-23-13 19:45 #
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dobu gabu maru
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I do agree with purist that I like sticking towards recent releases so authors can see near-instantaneous feedback, but I along with many others still haven't gotten around to a lot of classic greats or have a sore need to replay them to see how our opinion has changed. For the next megawad we play through, it's a toss up between Scythe and 2002:ADO. If you guys could, please say which one you'd prefer at the end of your next post so I can keep a tally. I'm throwing my vote towards 2002 since I've played Scythe recently.

------

MAP18: A good, reliable skirmish from valkiriforce that takes the standard city level and buries it hundreds of feet underground. It's a huge breather after the malignant traps set out by Processingcontrol a map prior, only getting difficult when the player lets down their guard. I liked some of the rooms, like the chilling white one with a single river of lava cutting through it, and how the map loops back around quite a few times despite its enormous size. The final fight was a let down since the cyber wouldn't let me into his arena, forcing a hallway duel but the rest of the map was quite enjoyable.

MAP19: A smaller, quant level that's shockingly difficult from pistol start. I like the outset and some of the traps, like the big SSG battle, but I did feel archvile fatigue from the small amount of time this level lasts... the one near the PG was probably the most egregious. Yellow key battle was a lot of fun too, although it felt odd to continue through the rest of the level relatively unharmed after the climax. Liked all the little detail and asymmetry.

MAP20: Since this was Beta Tower I was expecting a long level with a lot of resistance but this was surprisingly short. Although I had fun trying to scrounge up some weapons and ammo at the start, no fight really sticks out that much. Good lighting variety, with a bunch of bright, dark and flickering areas. Also, wasn't I supposed to destroy this tower like I did to Alpha?

Onto hell for me.

Old Post 02-23-13 19:59 #
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Capellan
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We haven't done a Doom megawad yet, so 2002:ADO sounds like a good plan.

Plus with a Doom wad, if I actually write over my save while dead, and I can always rejoin for the next episode :)

Last edited by Capellan on 02-23-13 at 20:34

Old Post 02-23-13 20:11 #
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cannonball
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I'm up for 2002ado, it's one of my favourite wads of all time, done a lot of demo activity a year or so back. Will be nice to revisit this mapset.

Old Post 02-23-13 20:26 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 25 -- Demon's Spite - 103% kills / 100% secrets
This is another entry by the author of map 09, in a generalized UDooM-flavored Hell theme, reminiscent, I think, of Hell Keep--probably the combination of ash and compact areas made out of the red masonry. It's a very abstract play space, and feels somehow especially 'video-gamey' at points, like in the area with the elevated blood walkway/blood arrows and the shootable switch, or the timed run to the teleporter out of the area where the cyberdemon is fought. Like map 09, it's quite quick and very linear, but I think this one plays a bit better. Most of the action I found to be pretty easy, though in my brashness I was also caught out by the chaingunners standing in the deep shadows, and only just barely survived that room (got brought right back up to speed again by the first berserk pack on the flesh dais soon after, though). The outdoor battle in the symmetrical area was the most involved piece of fighting, as I ended up with a Baron flanking me and constantly worrying at my heels while I was dealing with the vile and everything else. The dual-vile ledge attack might've been nasty, except I'd already found out that the blood in the bottom of the wooden hub-room was harmless, which provides a good safe spot. My favorite aspect of the map was actually the secrets here, as their discovery was nicely paced with some pleasing variety in access methods, particularly the combat armor secret being hidden within the teleporting corpse/ledge secret. 'Twas a solid map, nothing more, and nothing less. It does do well as a relatively easygoing interlude between Pottus' two maps, though.

If the choice of next month's WAD is going to be between the original Scythe and 2002ADO, I guess I'll go for 2002ADO, as well. I do quite like Scythe.wad, and all, and in broad form it's the kind of thing that's more to my taste than 2002ADO.....but it has been a lot longer since I've played 2002ADO, and I think I'd probably run into a snag with Scythe because the majority of its maps are small/quick, so I'd probably play way ahead of schedule and then end up with a big backlog of posts to write.

Old Post 02-23-13 22:42 #
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BlackFish
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MAP23
-I liked the layout of this one. The blood floor matched what the design intended to be, bloody.
-Dual Cyberdemon battle was a bit hectic, but was fun.
MAP24
-This map is huge!
-And is hard as balls.
-I might have heard the midi in a previous map, but after going through the first 300 monsters (up to the blue key mobs in the flesh room) I remembered how annoying midi guitar is, so this happened. Many of the midi instruments are still present, but the guitar stands out more. Probably the best midi of the bunch so far.
-Archvile torches were a doozy.
-After picking up the yellow skull, you are able to charge out without much effort, ditching most of the mob. The mob should have teleported out of the exit you hop on after dealing with the archviles if you purposely miss them. :P
MAP25
-Felt like Episode 3 and Episode 4 had a love child and threw some archviles in it as well. The room where the exit is located is probably the biggest example.
-Good challenge.

Tomorrow, MAP26, another big map.

Last edited by BlackFish on 02-24-13 at 05:14

Old Post 02-24-13 03:56 #
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Kristian Ronge
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Map 26 -- Blood Siege
Another gigantic map: the bits behind the red key door could make up a (more than) medium-sized map on their own. The idea is that you start, and finish, in the centre and go to other parts of the map to unlock weapons and ammo (the chaingun and SSG are accessible by switches close-by, the RL and plasma rifle rooms are opened in remote areas, and the BFG room is unlocked at the very end). While this idea is very cool, the execution was a letdown for me. Too much of the progression and surviving the fights/traps is trial and error, and the map is just too long for that to work here. I spent the first ten or so minutes frantically running around dodging Revenant missiles, Cyber rockets and fireballs, trying to wade as little as possible out into the sea of hurtful blood surrounding the central pentagram, while attempting to figure out what the hell I was supposed to do. I found by complete chance that I along the way had opened access to better weaponry than my shotgun (which, by then, I had spent seemingly ages battling the monsters heroically with).

After spending some time dying at various stages throughout the map I decided I didn't want to start over after being killed by some trap 35 minutes in so I used savegames to finish it. Difficulty wise, this one is right up there with some maps in, say, HR2. Needless to say, this is a complete change of style and direction for the WAD as a whole (which is a matter in itself... was this map even made for this project or added as filler?). The difficulty, though, comes mostly from fights being completely awkward, and there are several staged fights which place the player in the lap of the RNG. Some fights I dare say are practically unsurvivable without a priori knowledge, which some players may like but I don't care much for that (and I've never liked crusher traps either, for the same reason).

After you've found the red key (a rather cool cavern sequence there, BTW) and get into the red key chapel, the diffculty ramps up and becomes a gauntlet of battle arenas. If you make it through those (the last one was a strange mega-imp encounter, more curious than difficult) you are beamed back into the central area where half a dozen Arch-Viles have done their best to revive all the monsters you spent the first 30 minutes killing (in various visits). Whoopee-doo. At least there's a fairly generous supply of ammunition throughout the map, meaning the author isn't a complete sadist. ;-) There are six secrets: two megaspheres, two invulns, a soulsphere and a computer map. Another mega-sphere by the coffin Cyber is sort of secret, in the sense that you might miss it. All but two (computer map and opening access to an invuln by pushing on a random pillar) are pretty easy to find for the keen observer, thankfully, but like I said earlier, knowing when to use the invulns is a bit of trial and error, and I didn't save one until the last fight, which I, in retrospect, should have.

I got through in roughly an hour (with 548/552 kills, see below), but by then I'd seen too many Revenants and had too little fun. To be fair, I liked some things about this map, especially the red key area and the fights leading up to the blue key ambush in the stone temple, but overall, not a map I'll play again soon. --2/5

Bug report: Two Arch-Viles (thankfully) didn't teleport into the towers surrounding the pillar arena... the one outside, with imps surrounding the ledge -- surprised those weren't chaingunners BTW! ;-) I was quite busy with their Arch-Vile brother in one of the other towers, the Mancubuses, Barons, HKs, and the Cyber, so I didn't mind too much. Also, two Barons didn't teleport out when I passed the annoying imps-shooting-at-you-through-bloodfall corridor.

Old Post 02-24-13 11:25 #
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purist
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18 - City of Burning Sulfur by valkiriforce

Another cool map from valkiriforce, which for me was almost on par with The Cataclysm, which means I really enjoyed it.

The level is themed as a hellish subterranean city and I suppose it fits the bill but it feels more like a series of large dungeons than a city. I still regard it as the most aesthetically satisfying map of E2 - detail is often spared but the large architecture is satisfying enough and the overall package is as a result grand and atmospheric without being visually noisy.

Progression is fairly straight forward but the sheer distance you travel plus the large scale of the outdoor areas provides for the feeling of an adventure. Backtracking can be a bit annoying if you happen across a locked door before finding the key as the imp/sergeant combos is repetitive the first time around and not repopulated on return visits.

Valkiriforce does not really put a foot wrong in any of the battles but that's more on account of him playing it safe rather than especially clever THING placement. Some of the traps could have been spiced up by adding threats from multiple directions. I was quite happy for the mercy after the previous map however.

Old Post 02-24-13 15:18 #
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Capellan
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cannonball said:
I'm up for 2002ado


If 2002:ADO wins (as seems likely), I'd suggest a one episode a week timetable, rather than scheduling level by level.

e.g. from Mar 2nd you can play all maps from episode 1; from Mar 9th episodes 1 and 2, Marc 16 is eps 1-3, and from Mar 23 any of the eps.

Some folks will doubtless do entire episodes in a weekend, this way, but others of us will just do 1-2 levels a day and keep the thread ticking over :)

Old Post 02-24-13 21:20 #
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