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SteveD
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Map30 – Hadephobia – by A.Gamma – Kills – 107, Items – 100, Secret – 100. Death Count – 6

The end at last! I wasn’t so upset with this as some others were. I had no desire for an IoS level, having already played – and surprisingly enjoyed – Map 20. My view of this map is that once again A.Gamma did a beautiful job with the overall design. It looked great. There was plenty of fighting, though once again I used up a ton of cells blasting away the monster closet baddies, and found myself caught out when the Cybs appeared, thus my deaths. I ultimately found the invul, and that was the end of my deaths. By this time, I had Always Run on, and managed some miracle rocket dodges because, without cells, I tried rocketing and shotgunning the Cybs to death. Rockets kept missing me by a whisker. I was thinking, “Damn, if I keep this up, and throw in the mouse, I might at least approach Memfis someday!” And then I woke up from my dream. ;D

The funny thing I realized is that I never had to fight the Cybs at all, I could have just run for the exit the second they appeared, because that’s what I ultimately did. Everything was dead except the 4 Cybs. So I packed it in, killed the PEs and their spit, and it was all over. To be honest, I was just relieved to have it all done on schedule this time!

Final thoughts: Hadephobia got off to a great start with its easy but atmospheric early maps. In time, the maps got more impressive, with purist and Melon becoming, in my view, the most consistently entertaining mappers. However, most of the maps suffered from the type of gameplay I dislike – switch-hunts, trap heavy (flick switch, monsters appear!), too many teleport traps, too much of the Hamburger Hill Syndrome where you get presented with enemies ahead of you, much like 2002:ADO, though more lethal in Hadephobia because of the monster mix. What was missing was good run ‘n gun action, monsters from multiple directions and heights, monsters already there and ready to fight, and interesting secrets that are an adventure in themselves, rather than a hump-wall-get-goodies deal. These comments apply mainly maps that were not made by purist or Melon, though the issue of relatively uninteresting secrets was common to all maps. No E1M3s here. I did like the impact the story had on the maps, though after awhile I paid no attention to the story itself.

My final verdict is that this is a pretty good megawad, apparently done mostly by new mappers. I was expecting the megawad to be more difficult, because I keep reading that old ‘90s maps are too easy and modern maps have a much higher monster count. Apart from purist’s Map29, this was simply not true of Hadephobia. Overall, it was kind of easy, and my high death count numbers are mostly the result of my playstyle rather than me being presented with one difficult fight after another. As long as I had the right weapon, I usually won.

My favorite maps:
Map07 by Cell – the first map with really good fights.
Map09 by purist – very attractive, with some nice fights, especially the crate room.
Map10 by A.Gamma – simply gorgeous, and a nice, tough test.
Map13 by Cell – Cell’s best map, a really fun blastfest.
Map15 by purist – I’m sort of on the border with this one, but there was more I liked than disliked.
Map18 by Brian Nox/NoneeLlama – Very attractive and with some really cool fights.
Map20 by purist – I hate IoS/Monster Spawner maps – except for this one! Great E1-style mapping.
Map25 by Melon – the single most memorable map, despite its flaws. I’ll never forget that desperate run.
Map28 by Melon – my favorite action map of the megawad.
Map29 by purist - because it's expertly copnstructed and I know I'd like it better on HMP. ;D

There were several other maps that were pretty good, either because they were gorgeous (Map24), or had a somewhat higher difficulty (Map23), but I had some issues with them. For example, the impassable 16-high sector in Map23 really is the stupidest thing I’ve seen in a map made by a clearly talented designer. On top of everything else, it violates Romero’s Rule that if a player can see outside, they should be able to get outside, so it pisses me off in multiple ways.

My least favorite maps:
Map06 by Vaporizer – Vaporizer takes on the thankless job of doing a ship both inside and out, and the result is rather stiff gameplay and unpleasant visuals.
Map19 by Cell – the infamous Satan’s fortress.
Map27 by Rambosee – Almost as crampy – and sometimes moreso – as Satan’s fortress.

A last note is that it has been fun to read the comments by the mappers. I’m a mapping geek and I do like the story behind the megawad.

And that’s all, folks!

Old Post 04-30-13 19:52 #
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Larzuk
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purist said:
!Because the level needs a fix to allow 100% kills, I might look at remedying this. If anyone has any good simple suggestions to make the level harder - without radically changing it let me know and I'll consider them. My own idea was to add a spawn shooter.!


To make things more of a challenge on UV skill you could always change the invulnerability into a megashpere.

Moving some of the teleport destinations to another location might be better. Possibly put some around the entrance of the battle room or just outside the doors. That way it won't be so easy to avoid everything. This may work with the already placed enemies or added new ones.

Since the IoS is in map 29, you could add some shooter spawns outside of the battle grounds (area where the red key is used) and possibly some on the outside starter area. Just make sure to change the door tags so monsters can also use them.

Other suggestions may be better.

Old Post 04-30-13 20:05 #
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Tarnsman
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I like how no one is playing to bonus maps.

Old Post 04-30-13 20:11 #
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SteveD
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dobugabumaru said:
^

I mean, if no one's really opposed to it, I suppose we could go a little crazy and put Hymn in beside another mapset. That way people who don't have Heretic/don't want to play it don't have to comment, while anyone who doesn't prefer one of the three episodes (Coffee Break, Fava Beans, Double Impact) can throw in Hymn (or they can play it alongside one of the episodes, as Coffee and Fava seem relatively short). The only problem from this is that the commenting may get a little busy with Heretic comments interspersed, but I think it's a better solution than leaving it out entirely since we have more than enough people that want to play it (as opposed to throwing in another episode that only 1-2 people will talk about).

Anyone for/against this?



I think some variant of yours and cannonball's views is a great idea.

On the one hand, one could say, "Doesn't a WAD team have their own internal playtesting? We sure did on Realm of Chaos." Of course, one reason I keep bringing RoC up is because, despite the extensive playtesting, we still came out with many mistakes, errors in gameplay logic, and so on. So I understand that the psychology of an internal playtesting team is different from external playtesters. Also, mappers can be stubborn (I was). Mappers may not know about Romero's Rules (I didn't). Further, a view can develop inside a team that anything goes as long as it makes life more difficult for the player, but that can result in stupid shit that's just irritating, aggravating, and pisses players off. Then there is also the issue that at some point in the process, you just need maps to get the damn thing done, even if they aren't the greatest. This, in toto, is why I was behind Capellan's idea to have the club do playtesting, at least every now and then. ;D

Alas, in this case, well, I played Hexen a million years ago and didn't like it. I bought Heretic when it came out for the Amiga, and didn't like it. I sold it awhile ago, otherwise I'd have the IWAD. But there is nothing of value I could say about a Heretic mapset, since I don't know the game.

Anyway, for those who want to play it, I say go for it! If you can do that and the other choices, all the better.

Old Post 04-30-13 20:12 #
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SteveD
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Tarnsman said:
I like how no one is playing to bonus maps.


I probably would, if I had the time. If I played like st.alfonzo, it would be a snap. ;D But . . . the 31 maps I played was enough to satisfy me.

Old Post 04-30-13 20:16 #
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Capellan
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dobugabumaru said:
Anyone for/against this?


For. Also four, as in let's just play Hymn as well as 'Coffee Beans Impact'. But then, I planned to play Hymn in any case, so that is no change for me :)

I suggest having separate threads for each of the wads. That'll help keep things getting tangled up too much. I think this would be a good idea even if we were doing only 2-3 episodes, since there is likely to be overlap between when people are playing the various wads.

Doing Hymn toward the end of the month would apparently work best for Egregor, who is responsible for putting together the releases.



Tarnsman said:
I like how no one is playing to bonus maps.


I watched alfonzo play them. That was plenty for me :)

Old Post 04-30-13 20:29 #
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Magnusblitz
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purist said:
It is slightly hampered by about a dozen monsters failing to teleport but even then it's not a serious challenge.

!Because the level needs a fix to allow 100% kills, I might look at remedying this. If anyone has any good simple suggestions to make the level harder - without radically changing it let me know and I'll consider them. My own idea was to add a spawn shooter.!


I forgot to mention this in my review, but in my port (playing Zdoom on default compat settings) the monsters didn't have a problem teleporting in - but they did keep telefragging the monsters that were already there (especially demons telefragging the smaller/slower shotgunners).

Old Post 04-30-13 21:44 #
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SteveD
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Capellan said:

I watched alfonzo play them. That was plenty for me :)



I haven't even caught up on alfonzo's playthrough, I've invested my spare time reading and watching vids in the CC4 thread. Last one I watched was Retog playing some beautiful and ginormous castle map that seemed a tad too long, but I look forward to giving it a go. Also, Matt534Dog's vid of Map07 was classic. :D

And your HYMN solution is perfect, IMO.

Old Post 04-30-13 22:29 #
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Capellan
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SteveD said:
I haven't even caught up on alfonzo's playthrough


The last one (maps 23-35) is the best, IMO. I was cackling away at his misfortunes :)

Old Post 04-30-13 22:42 #
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cannonball
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Well I briefly dabbled in map33-35 here are brief thoughts.
MAP33 - Pre-destined Mortality by Cell
Oww my knees....
This map is ridiculous in it's cramped/detailness. Ok this map made me rage, especially from pistol starting.

MAP34 - Hadephrenia by purist
Strange how this map pretty much is a simpler version of the eventual map30, a more primative and less detailed design using keys instead of voodoo doll sequences. The combat is a little more hairy but nothing difficult. This map needs a little polish though it was probably never properly finished to start with.

MAP35 - Scotch Bonnet by Grain of Salt
I knew what would happen if I played this. Death is the only thing here for doomguy. A doom 2 texture version of any GOS slaughtermap pretty much. Others might find it more appealing.

I might looks a Alfonso's playthrough before bed I think.

Old Post 04-30-13 23:03 #
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Demon of the Well
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Tarnsman said:
I like how no one is playing to bonus maps.

I played 'em. Comments were in one of the textbombs on the previous page. Surprised Alfonzo/yourself finished map 33, since that one appeared to elicit little more than agony (not the good kind) from the two of you the moment it started. I still say map 19 was worse.

Reading others' summations, there is one thing I definitely disagree with, that being Steve's view that the WAD as a whole lacks interesting secrets, being populated mostly by wallhump stuff. This was true of some of the maps, but several others were loaded down with all kinds of cool secret stuff, including optional hidden battles and entire areas that remain unseen in a 0% secrets playthrough. The strongest examples of this are probably A. Gamma's map 10 (e.g. the whole yellow skull subquest) and Cell's map 33, which is mined with a long, escalating chain of devious secrets that eventually lead to secret areas and, if you can follow the trail to the end, a completely different ending to the map, featuring an exploding Baphomet "hallucination." There were smaller but quirky/interesting secrets in Magicsofa's map 32 as well, e.g. the space-bending tunnel (e.g. silent teleporter trick) in Barrelworld that can quickly transport you from side of the canal to the other, free of danger.


purist said:
Because the level needs a fix to allow 100% kills, I might look at remedying this. If anyone has any good simple suggestions to make the level harder - without radically changing it let me know and I'll consider them. My own idea was to add a spawn shooter.

About map 30's issues, using Eternity, I don't think I experienced problems with monsters not showing up either (101% Kill score), although I suppose it's possible that that could have been off of a lot of arch-vile resurrections....I don't think I let them live that long, though. As far as the action goes, I agree with the suggestion to change the invuln to something else (soulsphere, maybe a megasphere). If you want to try out having spawn shooters, maybe you could experiment with having them become active around the same time the red key becomes accessible (or perhaps even a step earlier, when the BFG becomes available), with the landing spots for the monsters being back in the courtyard the player begins in. As long as the monsters can open the doors, they will then gradually begin to make their way towards your position, and you'll likely have a group of flying monsters to contend with when you finally make it up to board the shuttle, as well. I reckon this would work from a story standpoint as well, given that the monsters would appear to be emanating from the direction where Baphomet was in map 29. Hell, maybe you could even rig it so that Baphomet can be seen beyond the gates when you're trying to exit, like he's drawing nearer!

Old Post 04-30-13 23:41 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Capellan said:
I suggest having separate threads for each of the wads.


This is a much better idea, and gives Egregor more time to work. I'll throw it up when he's done putting it together. Also, bonus maps!

MAP33: I side a bit with both purist and Demon on this. I don't think the decorations and tightness of the rooms was as atrocious this time around, interfering with the all of the battles like they did in MAP19 from my experience. However, I prefer MAP19 over this one, mainly because this map has some utterly baffling fights (on pistol start, which might be a big factor). I never found the RL or PG (along with they keycards), so I had to take everything down with the SSG which was less fun than I expected. One room in particular, the red underground area that features a mancubus on the MARB face was really vexing. I couldn't fight the AV in that tiny space so I stood on his warp sector until I could use the tele out of there. Unfortunately after hitting the switch, two AVs pop up onto that space, raise the manc, and proceed to troll me as I camp in the opposite room, only wielding 30 shells to bring them down with. You can imagine my frustration as I sat idly by and let the manc friendly fire his yellow buddies, only to find revenants warping in after them. But perhaps this is what I get for skipping monsters.

And the blue key switch trap was absolutely terrible as well! You hit it and two mancubuses work their way over to you, backed by an AV and PE in a small corridor. I had to run out and wait patiently for the AV to slip past his fat-ass bodyguards so I could snipe him. That room is optional so again, I suppose I'm doing this to myself in a way. I liked the final area and I really enjoyed all the detail cell put into his map throughout, but due to my unfavorable experience, I still think I came away from the bumpy ride of MAP19 more positively than this one.

EDIT: Although as Demon mentioned, I do like the idea of it having a wild foray of secret sections of the map. That's always a cool thing to explore on a second/100% plathrough.

MAP34: An interesting outtake to the finale. Getting the initial monsters to infight wasn't that difficult but the quadruple cybers actually gave me some grief as I attempted to corral them together for maximum BFG damage. After that I had to retreat and resort to rockets. I think instead of placing PEs at the exit, AVs would've worked much better warping in after, or possibly AVs along with the cybers here since the layout is a bit more dynamic than the courtyard in MAP30. I'd say the original finale is better due to atmosphere and looks, but this one plays just about as well.

MAP35: Loved it. I've always enjoyed Grain of Salt's symmetrical brutality, and here she delivers the most difficult map in the whole set. It's a "small" affair that lasts a while due to a mountain of deaths the player racks up, but is quite enjoyable the whole time, forcing the player to make tough, on-the-spot decisions that the best slaughtermaps always entail. Great use of the lava to push the player away from circle strafing too. I would've preferred something like this to be the finale, where doomguy runs to find the spaceship just to fall into a hole and encounter this final, sinister trap Baphomet has set for him, although the difficulty jump would be quite steep for Hadephobia. Overall a great, challenging map that people really shouldn't miss out on.

Last edited by dobu gabu maru on 05-01-13 at 01:23

Old Post 05-01-13 01:17 #
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BaronOfStuff
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MAP19:
I didn't like this one. Cramped like you simply wouldn't believe, with all sorts of bullshit obstructions seemingly thrown down in places for the sole purpose of causing aggravation. I'm pretty sure that this pair of cunts are supposed to be sheltered until I perform some task somewhere else though:
http://imageshack.us/a/img199/7502/hadmp19a.png
But I don't feel guilty about this exploit. Fuck 'em.

Unfortunately it's one of those 'looks good, plays shit' examples. Harsh? Let me explain. Maybe it's just me, but the frequent collisions with decorations and often not even having enough room to swing a cat when I'm being hassled by fucking Revenants and Arch-Viles around every other corner and down the various narrow corridors just ruins the experience completely. It's not 'hard', it's cheap. It got to a point where I simply stopped giving a fuck about it, and just mindlessly blasted my way through everything hoping that my equipment and health would hold out long enough to reach the exit. The detailing is clearly where all the effort went on this one, which is a real shame because it's genuinely marvellous to explore this place (if you're just going around looking at all the finer points of visual design), but the adventure soon becomes a fucking headache when you're constantly getting into fights.

One good thing? That Megasphere at the end. Thank fuck that thing was there, and reasonably easy to acquire too.



MAP20:
This... this was very, very good. You cannot 'win' in the traditional sense here and will soon be swarmed by Hellspawn if you try being macho about this task. Really, just escape; find the keys (easier said than done depending on what's spawned!), kill the unfortunate hadephobic nutters (again, the randomly spawned minions might have something to say about your attempts at this), and get the hell out. I think I got really quite lucky; very few Arch-Viles were created by the... mound of flesh guarding the exit; rather I was often caught up in some increasingly bizarre attempts at swarming me with Demons/Spectres.

Seriously though, it's some fucking intense stuff thanks to some of the pre-set skirmishes. This, along with the slowly-mounting pressure caused by initially not knowing where to go, and combined with hearing those Spawncubes being launched all over the place, can easily create an ever-increasing sense of panic -- the map doesn't wait for you to go places, it just fills up areas while you do what you can to uncover the way out. Absolutely superb; if only so many of the obligatory MAP30 IoS fights came up with something this creative (instead of LOL ROCKET HIS BRAINS), the general opinion of the 'BossBrain' entity itself would probably be much higher across the board.



MAP21:
And so here we are, Hell at last. Suitable music track, that's for sure; creepy stuff.

Ah, fuck it. Less than 20 seconds in and there's an almost unavoidable Soulsphere laughing at me, one which is clearly placed for the benefit of Pistol-starters, as opposed to anyone who's doing the conventional thing and playing through matters consecutively. It's a cunt to get past this thing without brushing it; never mind the Baron Of Hell that shows up to try and con you into backpedalling onto the fucker. Oh, a Cyberdemon's been alerted now too. Gee, that's swell.

Fuck fuck and fuck again. Another fucking Berserk pack that can't be avoided. So let's see... I'm well over 100% health, so the healing factor doesn't even come into it. I'm in the dark, so the last thing I want to do is suddenly throw my SSG down and start swinging my fist around blindly. There's also a fucking Cyberdemon stomping around somewhere nearby. Yeah, great plan; because I (and anyone else) would be sure to try and slap him in the nuts if he rounded a corner. This may well be one of the worst item placements yet. It's completely useless. Trudging on, switches are hit and a BFG's somehow discovered, but I'm still questioning the purpose of that Berserk pack as though it's one of the great mysteries of the universe.

Well it might as well be; it's now several days since I played the map and I still can't work out why it was placed so shittily.

Now after reading some of the complaints about the Cyberdemon encounter, I thought I must have been playing a different version of the map. I think it's quite a reasonable placement, and is certainly unique in not letting the damn thing stomp around freely, getting up close and shoving rockets in your gob. Expectedly, he 'accidentally' causes a bit of trouble involving the other demons, and as usual makes short work of his comrades before turning his attention on me. Or at least attempting to; I'd fired the BFG at his stupid ass, reducing him to gory stumps just as he had killed off the last of his former allies. Key's mine now, so let's fuck off out of here an-.. oh fuck!

One last surprise in the form of an Arch-Vile duo. They're put away easily enough, but still quite effective as a jumpscare. Huh, what's behind this door then? Oh, never mind. For Christ's sake. The fucking exit's not marked, or even remotely obvious in function.



MAP22:
This one's okay. It's pretty short and doesn't really offer much resistance, but it's just enough to stay entertaining. I especially liked the view of Baphomet having his ruined face reconstructed. Sighting this smashed-up visage with a suitably moody background tune just worked. I can't explain it, but there you go.
http://imageshack.us/a/img839/9853/hadmp22a.png
I'm coming to get you. Again.

For anyone who didn't bother getting a better view:
http://imageshack.us/a/img543/9819/hadmp22b.png
Still less obvious than Michael Jackson's attempts at making a new face.

At this moment, from a story point of view, I was thinking "does the term Hadephobia even apply now?". Sure, I'm looking at something from the depths of Hell which thrives on creating misery and spits demons out like a heavy smoker gobs out phlegm, but Baphomet's sitting there with half a head, and the same guy who fucked everything up for Hell the last few times it tried doing anything funny has once more got involved, has currently caused more than enough setbacks for this latest invasion, and is standing only 50ft away. If I was Baphomet, I would be absolutely shitting myself in a blind one-eyed panic every time I saw anything green flash by the window.

Anyway, that's pretty much it, except...

A couple of things set my blood boiling:
a) The one-way Red Door section. Once again, we get a secret in here with a valuable item, but one that I didn't need yet. Lo! I can't come back for it later, but you know what? Fuck you, I'm sick of this shit. I'm IDCLIP'ing this bitch because that Mega-Armour is rightfully mine.
b) LAME.
http://imageshack.us/a/img16/2192/hadmp22c.png
This 'safe' ground is about as helpful as having dicks for toes when it's on the same level as the lava.

Bugs:
Sectors 309 and 228 don't/can't behave as intended.



MAP23:
"Gloom Keep"? What am I playing Quake now?

This map's okay too. It's based around some sort of central hub (but doesn't flow in the same predictable manner as so many of 2002:ADO's hub maps), with suitably moody lighting and a great choice of music from Memento Mori II. Fighting isn't exactly difficult, but there's decent enough action scattered throughout the area too keep you entertained and alert. But once more...

Unavoidable items? Check. Another fucking Berserk pack.
http://imageshack.us/a/img836/3808/hadmp23a.png
Hi! Do you need me yet? No? Ah well, tough shit I guess.

Unmarked exit? Check. This particular example is nothing short of deplorable. It is so far easily the worst unmarked exit in the WAD:
http://imageshack.us/a/img443/1121/hadmp23d.png
No, really. THIS is the fucking exit?


Also, what the hell is with this secret switch?
http://imageshack.us/a/img534/3858/hadmp23b.png

Wouldn't it make more sense to move it to the wall or something, so that we actually shoot the texture? I don't know, something like:
http://imageshack.us/a/img28/8215/hadmp23c.png

Last edited by BaronOfStuff on 05-01-13 at 02:25

Old Post 05-01-13 01:42 #
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BaronOfStuff
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MAP24:
There's something about this map that doesn't seem right at first; all these Cell Packs? Really?

Later on though it does dawn on me; they're the only source of ammo throughout the entire map. No Bullets, Shells or Rockets. Just a bunch of really big batteries to keep your Plasma Rifle and BFG warmed up and ready to fire. So as you can imagine I felt pretty stupid after being so reluctant to vaporise so many denizens within.

For MAP24 this is more than suitable enough in the visual department; we're certainly in Hell now, or Hell's at the very least definitely made itself at home. The second cameo from Baphomet was a nice touch, too.
http://imageshack.us/a/img90/386/hadmp24a.png
Holy shit, they fixed him already? No... wait... this is the reverse si-.. you mean he has TWO faces?!

Sadly though, difficulty left a lot to be desired for something this late in. I know I mentioned reluctance in using plasma weapons, but when there's a Cyberdemon standing in front of me then nothing else is going to get the job done. And I could have been less than half as efficient too, and still left with a surplus of Cell Packs littering the map. Maybe a tad too generous with these supplies?

The Hellknight maze was pretty cool, albeit ugly; hearing the Arch-Viles but not knowing how many were going to be released ensured I had one hand ready to hit '7' on the keyboard, but cue disappointment when only two emerged. That's the only real issue I have with this map -- difficulty. Enemy placement is somewhat lacklustre, and everything essentially stands around waiting to get pasted. The Spider Mastermind in particular is practically defenseless against anyone playing consecutively at this point, and serves only to quickly soak up 40 cells of ammo and suffer a meltdown for it.

...oh wait, one more issue. Yet another unmarked exit! I know everyone was aiming for a consistent appearance regarding level transitions, but a small exit sign to clearly mark things wouldn't exactly break the immersion. If anything, suddenly having the map end for apparently no reason is more jarring than seeing a subtle 'EXIT' sign displayed somewhere.

Stuff:
That Soulsphere secret is a real series of consecutive dick moves. Having to find a secret in order to access another secret? Which is only really noticeable if you first find yet another secret while getting access to another fucking secret? WHICH CAN BE MISSED ALTOGETHER IF YOU FALL OFF?! Oh fucking come on! I thought I was playing Doom, not Milon's Secret fucking Castle!

Cyberdemon/Berserk secret at the start. Are you deliberately trying to be unintuitive with this? One minute everyone's aiming for consistent transitions from map-to-map, but then we get a switch in a 'previously cleared' area which suddenly changes function just because we're on a new map. I wouldn't mind this one so much though if there was a way back up, but no! There isn't!

Bugs:
The blue doors (on the reverse side of the Yellow switch, leading to the Hellknight maze) only open once, but the switch is of the open-wait-close repeatable variety and will close these doors again. It's possible (however unlikely) to trap yourself in here this way -- more so in co-op.

Sector 384 is a secret.



MAP25:
Starts off pretty blandly, with a series of basic scuffles that pass by without concern, but then this map offers one of the most intense moments of the WAD. No, not the trio of Arch-Viles (although that did have me scrambling around for cover like a Jew chasing a penny), I mean the having an entire area sink into lava as you fight your way up the sinking terrain toward the teleporter, in an attempt to escape before your ass is turned into slag; maybe my single favourite segment of this playthrough so far, solely for how unexpected and unique it was.

This is immediately brought crashing back down to the realms of medocrity though with a boring Revanant assault through the next door. Switch these moments around, please -- let's go out on a high with this one, because the rest of the map really isn't memorable. The exit here's unmarked, but by the time you get there I guess it's obvious enough that you're about to leave. Still... need some exit signs.



MAP26:
More horribadly cramped nonsense, but nowhere near as hideous for control and manouevrability than MAP19. Pretty short too, which certainly helps given the narrow passages and constantly getting an overwhelming desire to turn sideways every time I tried entering a doorway.

Ah fuck my uncle, another unmarked exit which doesn't even look like the end of the level. Bollocks.



MAP27:
Fuck's sake. No, I don't like this one. It combines all the worst traits I can think of; cramped passages, total darkness, unavoidable pickups (another Berserk in the fucking darkness) a Radsuit in some nukage you have to wander around in -- IN some nukage you HAVE to wander around in! -- and one last big "fuck you" in the form of not being allowed to go back for supplies.

I actually replayed this map because of that last one; why does this mapset keep fucking punishing anyone who doesn't need a Soulsphere at the precise moment it's seen? What the fuck is wrong with you people?

In spite of all that bullshit, it does at least have a few nice touches -- there's a series of secrets that eventually lead to an area which was originally passed through long ago (but it's implemented in such a weirdly-cryptic one-shot monster-initiated manner that it's unlikely you'd find this in a casual run), you get another view of Baphomet's chamber at the end (albeit from the reverse angle, so you just see a big wall of pipes), and the Cyberdemon's first appearance is a good scare (although he has more than enough room to suddenly take aim and fire if you're 'unlucky', which is a bit shit). Arch-Viles are almost all used effectively (that one in sector 416 is a total waste though), and the end skirmish isn't bad on the action at all. If only that fucking door would open again; even if it was after a few minutes via Voodoo magic, it's a preferable option to missing out completely.



MAP28:
Short, fast, and eventually it's got potential to be pretty vicious.

At the start I was being trolled by some cunt of a Zombieman who scored three hits in a row. The shittiest, least-accurate sack of crap in the entire fucking game managed to score a hat trick using my face as the target. Fuck that RNG.

The rest of the map was largely predictable, but not dull. That Cyberdemon was pretty obvious, or at least the chamber being revealed was -- what was more surprising was all the other shit that teleported in, although a map with a name like 'Teleportation Centre' shouldn't really surprise me in that regard. This is soon followed by watching Baphomet sod off through the roof. A nice visual moment that ties in with the story, and one that leads me to think that I'll be hearing spawncubes get lobbed around at some point before the end of the WAD. Probably.

What else was predictable? The ending. I don't mean the sudden reveal of however many Hellspawn seem to just erupt out of nowhere -- I really didn't expect that abrupt an introduction but I certainly welcomed it -- no, I mean yet another fucking one-way door system. While the endfight itself isn't exactly problematic (plenty of room, more than enough to avoid any and all damage), there's still a bundle of ammo left in the bulk of the level that becomes unobtainable. And if you didn't need the Soulsphere or Mega-Armour before going through the Red Door, then you have no way of going back for them either! I really hate this sort of thing, it just seems lousy... and it's been in almost every fucking map lately! Why can't those doors open along with the bars? For a mapset that claims to be a 'progressive fiction', it sure seems more tuned toward pistol-starting with all this no-backtracking one-shot item chance bullshit.



MAP29:
Oh.

THIS is what we've been waiting for. All Hell's breaking loose (again) and this time it's taking no prisoners. The absolute chaos seen here makes Odyssey Of Noises look like a training map! I was slapped around and kicked in the balls almost all the way through this, barely scraping past some of the worst Arch-Vile encounters I've ever had the misfortune of experiencing. Seriously, any time I grabbed a good item, it was reduced to almost nothing within a couple of minutes by whatever materialised in the area. An exhilarating adventure through a truly lost city. And during all the time it took to blast and run my way through and around adversity, Baphomet was up there, laughing at me. Bastard.

I'm not entirely sure what the point of the final Cyberdemon and his Arch-Vile minions could be though. The other Cyberdemon in this area, the one guarding the exit, can (and should) be wasted before you raise the bridge. Is it some sort of trap to punish speedrunning? I went and killed the bastards anyway, because after everything else in the map, I felt I had to.

But spare a thought for this poor bastard. If not for his dozen sacrifices and constant distractions, the Arch-Vile would have been roaming freely:
http://imageshack.us/a/img191/8448/hadmp29e.png



MAP30:
A suitably ominous silence greets me as I stand before the final obstacle.
http://imageshack.us/a/img856/5503/hadmp30a.png
Anyone home? Hopefully not, but you know there will be hundreds waiting really.

Everything kicks off as soon as I get past the pathetically suspicious Shotgun Guy guards and start hitting switches. Thankfully the 'ambush' attempt here backfires spectacuarly, as on MAP30 anything can and will telefrag anything and everything else. Although... wait, this just makes things too easy! The obvious "pick this BFG up" area was broadcasting loud and clear that I was about to start tangling with some Cyberdemons, and... well, I wasn't expecting four of them. I also wasn't expecting to dodge a rocket, fall through a bloodfall, and have my vision go inverted-greyscale, but I'm glad it happen because the next rocket was a second from impacting on my face. Sadly, these four don't have to be dealt with at all; you can just grab the Red Kaycard, and run like fuck to the door. I didn't do this, but there are only two Pain Elementals guarding whatever it behind it, and by this point they can't and won't pose any threat whatsoever. Beyond them... what is this? Freedom?

http://imageshack.us/a/img42/1488/hadmp30b.png
Wait, you mean it's over already?

Well that was... okay I guess. I just ran around, hit switches, stumbled into the Invulnerability, massacred everything and apparently abandoned Earth, leaving anyone left alive to deal with it. No showdown with Baphomet, which was a bit strange considering all of the appearances the bastard made throughout the last episode, but in a way this is a good thing... I think? Certainly makes a change from sitting around on a platform and using the Rocket Launcher for 90% of the map. Eh, whatever.

http://imageshack.us/a/img407/1949/hadmp30c.png
I'm not so sure that this would be a 'realistic' time if this sort of thing actually happened.

Bug:
A Demon and a Baron Of Hell were invited to the party, but decided to just stand around in their 'off map' containment chamber (Sector 97).

Final thoughts:
http://imageshack.us/a/img405/2638/hadending.png
This is the most horrible 'downer ending' I've seen in any FPS, never mind a Doom WAD. All of that fighting through Hell itself (again)... and for nothing this time?

Okay, quite a solid mapset we've got here, but with some obvious potential to be better in places (and for various reasons). As for how the maps themselves flow and unfold, the quality does go up and down constantly, but it's all above an acceptable standard and nothing really stands out as being truly dreadful; even the worst aspects (snagged on scenery, forced item pickups, unmarked fucking exits) could easily be worked on to be less frustrating, and if all the one-way crap was sorted out then it'd actually feel more geared toward consecutive play, with the option of scavenging the remaining equipment before leaving for he next map.

One thing I can't help but notice is that it's certainly not a mapset that's been optimised for Co-operative (which is a huge disappointment) -- the starts are all there, but with all these suddenly-locking doors and bits and pieces that become inaccessible as you go on, it's more than likely that someone would get stuck somewhere. More so if whoever's taking the lead suddenly snuffs it, leaving the map unwinnable.

Worth playing? Of course. Some of the maps display a unique flair and give some memorable situations; the hadephobe-hunt on MAP20, the sinking landmass of MAP25, and... well alright, they are the only moments that I can actually think of right now. But it's certainly worth the time investment.

BONUS MAPS!!
Action 52. One of them apparently didn't work all the way through (various HOM effects and eventual quitting through needlessly constricted space), one was a lesser/alternate (but fully playable) version of MAP30, and the last was some sort of strange clusterfuck-style that wouldn't have fit in amongst the rest of the maps.

Old Post 05-01-13 02:20 #
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Capellan
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BaronOfStuff: map28 does actually have a way back out of the exit room, at least once you flick all the switches.

Old Post 05-01-13 02:49 #
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BaronOfStuff
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Capellan said:
BaronOfStuff: map28 does actually have a way back out of the exit room, at least once you flick all the switches.


It does?

Fuck. Guess that'll teach me to look a bit more thoroughly before flipping the desk.

Old Post 05-01-13 03:00 #
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mouldy
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ok, better late than never - time to finish this wad once and for all.

EPISODE IV - Demented Dimension

MAP21 - Constriction by Katamori/Death Egg

So, I've stepped into the demons world, and found a creepy temple oozing with atmosphere, and monsters. Something about this map really gave the feeling of entering into a nightmare, I think the combination of darkness and detail, and music helped. Catacombs filled with human bones, where will this lead? Will I see monster houses and gardens eventually? Or do they all live in sinister gothic temples?

MAP22 - Prime Mover by NoneeLlama

Moved to a less decorative and perhaps more functional underground warren of activity. Bit of a key chase going on here, and a great double archvile fight with specters - so tempting to pull out the rocket launcher.. I saw something through a window that looks enormous and demonic, think I will try and head to that chamber and see if it wants a rocket in the head..

MAP23 - Gloom Keep by Olympus

This hive of badness seems to go on forever, now it has taken on the flavour of a medieval castle. Maybe the monsters built this section earlier, who knows. Another devious double archvile surprise, this one had me down to 8 health but managed to survive somehow. I'm liking that these maps are kind of short, makes me feel like i'm rushing towards the finish line. Although now I've said that I'll probably get a long one.

MAP24 - Lifeblood by purist

Wow, being tooled up for a big fight here. Think this is the first proper exercise my bfg has got so far. Things are looking a shade more hellish here, and another glimpse at the mysterious big demon thing, but cant quite push my way through these curtains of green liquid.. i'll be back for him later. An enjoyable sequence of killathons, funnily the one that caused me the most trouble was the spectres in the darkness, even with spraying plasma in all directions.

MAP25 - Sacrifice by Melon

If I wasnt certain before then I'm pretty sure now that we are in hell, with rivers of blood and red glowing rocks. This map had some truly memorable moments, particularly the collapsing rock staircase which was terrifying. I couldn't hear any music, either it was very subtle or completely absent. Still, the silence added to the foreboding atmosphere. Looks like hell is testing me for some purpose, maybe they want me to join their team..

MAP26 - Pride of the Descent by Cell

A rare glimpse of daylight and some fresh air at last, though the landscape looks decidedly alien in places. I did see some clear blue water though as I crawled through some tunnels, maybe this is just some alien planet and not the hell of nightmares. And this building full of books, could this be where demons go to school perhaps? Learning how to kill and torture humans judging from these grim decorations. The difficulty stepped down a notch here, though it was a welcome breather to be honest. A fairly linear map but with interesting layout and nice variety of indoor outdoor and underground sections.

MAP27 - Drilling Station by Rambosee

Delving back underground, and I stumble on a silvery tech base carved from the living rock. Looks a bit too human to have been made by monsters, I see human corpses and signs of a fight, also what looks like a row of lockers - is this some human mining operation on an alien planet? Is that what pissed off the monsters and made them attack earth? The mystery deepens. This was a nice change of look and a well detailed map. There was a surprise cyberdemon behind a door that put a rocket in my face, dont think that was part of the plan as he teleported out of there the next time. Some evil chaingunner gangs roaming here too.

MAP28 - Teleportation Center by Melon

Whoever made this base originally and for whatever purpose, its definitely monster town now. I can see that the big demon room is getting closer though, and i'm wondering how interlinked the business of man and monsters really is, it seems that where one goes the other seems to follow. This was a short enjoyable blast with a nice bit of carnage at the end. Will map 29 break from this current trend and be a long drawn out epic affair I wonder?

MAP29 - Dead Planet by purist

Bloody hell that was monster city. Certainly epic in terms of architectural scale and onslaught but thankfully not too much of a slog, and bloody fun throughout, even though I got my arse kicked a fair few times. That last cyberdemon with archviles and co was interesting with only shotgun shells left.. Oh yeah the story, well, is this an actual city here? Are we still on earth or is this a town on the monster world? I've been through so many teleporters now I have no idea where I am, maybe I'm back on earth after all. But then there is the big bad demon wall thing, I thought that was in hell... Maybe it will all become clear once I find that.

MAP30 - Hadephobia by A.Gamma

Hmm.. Well I feel like I missed something there. There were monsters for sure, and a handfull of cyberdemons. But it felt a bit anticlimactic just pressing some switches and thats the exit. And 2 monsters escaped somewhere. Anyway, thats the end. I never did find the room with the icon of sin that was hinted at throughout this episode. Maybe thats in the bonus map, but I've had enough for now. Time to go off in this space ship and evacuate this planet which I guess wasn't earth after all, or hell. But the final write up tells me some other people escaped so I must have done something right.

Thats the end of this adventure for me, it was bloody good fun and consistantly entertaining from start to finish. I'm not going to say which bits I enjoyed the most because it was designed as a whole entity and was put together well enough to feel like one long journey, despite the various styles incorporated. I don't have a bad thing to say about this wad really. Perhaps it doesn't benefit so much from stand-out memorable maps like other collections, but it isn't really designed to be viewed in individual chunks, more as an overall story. Top effort all round I say. Ok maybe that spider mastermind battle was a bit lame..

Old Post 05-05-13 03:48 #
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purist
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I know the Club has moved on now but could anyone who played MAP30 please do me a favour and try the new version for comparison?

[[DOWNLOAD]]

I've fixed the issues preventing 100% kills & secrets in all maps so everything is now maxable. The only significant gameplay change I have made is in MAP30, which I've tried to make harder with as minimum changes as possible.

Larzuk has been kind enough to do some preliminary tested and says it is harder but still beatable and this is pretty much what I was shooting for but since it will hopefully be relatively fresh in the minds of the DWMWC I would appreciate some compare and contrast comments on this.

If A.Gamma is about I would appreciate your views in particular.

Old Post 05-08-13 22:17 #
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BaronOfStuff
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purist said:
I know the Club has moved on now but could anyone who played MAP30 please do me a favour and try the new version for comparison?



Done, at least on UV. I don't know if 'better' is the right word to use here, but it's certainly much tougher with the constant Spawncubes creating endless harassment, and the removal/replacement of the Invulnerability for a Megasphere prevents cheap victory -- a far more suitable difficulty for MAP30.

Wait.

Did I say this prevents cheap victory? Well, I mean "almost"... it's still possible to win without hitting the two penultimate switches that raise the platform/lower the exit switch panel -- you can just lower the two barriers blocking access to these switches, open the door, and mash 'use' like crazy as you go through the doorway. You'll still activate the switch and end up with a closing story that makes no sense (boarding the ark) when considering your prior actions (falling to the floor)!

Old Post 05-09-13 16:09 #
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Magnusblitz
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"It's harder but I'm not sure if I would say better" was pretty much how I felt, too. The spawncubes obviously prod the player to finish quicker instead of taking the battles one at a time, and if the player takes too long (or is just plain unlucky) the fight to get to the exit switch can actually become quite difficult. Still, it feels a bit awkward to have spawn shooters outside behind the player (especially since they probably won't activate until the player is inside the building) but it's probably a little late for a full redesign of that map.

Old Post 05-10-13 01:57 #
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A.Gamma
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Definitely harder than my version, and even though the layout was not designed to have such a monster overload it works well enough. One thing that I found awkward was the presence of the spawner outside the building.
Otherwise nice job, my map stopped being pathetic and actually feels like a finale now.

Old Post 05-10-13 02:29 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Didn't like it. Spawn cube harassment from behind is a good idea, but unfortunately it made my playthrough hell as the path to the exit was blocked by a ton of monsters and I was out of cell to forge my way through. This led to a very frustrating struggle that I wound up quitting out of, seeing as I squandered too much of my time picking up supplies instead of just finishing the level. It makes the map more frantic which can be good, but also felt severely punishing if you didn't know the ins and outs. And it makes the cyberdemon battle less of a fight and more like a "run away" scenario.

I'm not sure how it'd work, but having the spawn cubes activate when the player picks up the red key would be a neat idea, possibly teleporting two of the cybers into the elevator chamber to hold you off a bit longer. That way the player could be given time to scope the area out at the start and get panicked when they hear Romero, instead of just strafing past everything and hitting switches (and possibly conserve some of the more valuable ammo).

Old Post 05-10-13 04:16 #
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