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SteveD
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Map31 – Hell’s Armoury – by Death Egg – Kills – 101, Items – 100, Secrets – 100. Time 46:35. End Health 200, Armor 0. Death Count – 6

This map was kind of Wolfensteiny flat for most of its area, then became almost – hell, not almost, but in actuality – bizarrely vertical once the flesh wall was opened. Flat maps often deliver flat fights, and this is no exception. One shooting gallery after another. However, some of those flat fights delivered enough enemies to cause serious trouble.

I don’t mind linear maps with central hubs. At least I know where the hell I’m going. The teleport to the marble section caught me by surprise, and I must say, that was one of the better-looking areas. They sure had enough Floating Skull Rocks for exterior decoration, didn’t they? ;D I was surprised to note, as others have, that the keys weren’t trapped. I expected it, got my guts all up in a twist waiting for it, and then it didn’t happen. Good joke on me. :D

My first death came at the bigass Archie trap in the room with two squillion boxes of bullets. This map does not lack for ammo or health, that’s for sure, and even I more or less acquiesced to the occasional Medikit in front of a switch. There was at least one, I know it! ;D This room was also generous with the rockets, which came in handy for those pesky Archies. I saw only one the first time, until the second one killed me. On the second run, I just floored the RL trigger and kept hosing those bastards until they died.

My second death came from fighting the red key Revvies in a shockingly stupid way, first from up on the platform, and then trying to dodge behind crates in the outer room. On the next try, I learned that if you race towards the key and keep going, you’ll be gone before the Revvies know you’re there. I was all the way in the Armoury, patting myself on the back, when I said, “Fuck it!,” went back, and killed them. I learned that they were deaf, so by standing to one side of the doorway, I could activate them one wing at a time and rocket them to death. It was very satisfying.

The BFG secret was one of those annoying “press the special panel” things that I hate almost as much as the “shoot the special panel” ones. I only tried so hard to find that panel because I had advance knowledge of the BFG from the story text. I wanted that mofo something awful, and I humped so many walls that I should have been arrested. And, just like DOTW, I was shocked when grabbing the BFG failed to activate a trap. Yet another coitus interruptus!

I spent a lot of time at the end tempting the Mastermind into killing Mancs for me. Not exactly thrills and chills. Then I died 4 times in the zigzag canyon at the hands of Herr Cybie. I just could not circle-strafe for shit in that area. I had plenty of plasma, too, 250 cells. Two good BFG blasts should have done it, or most of it, but I shot from too far away and missed a couple times, again and again. And when I finally prevailed, I did it without taking a hit or even any blast damage. Doom is weird that way.

I flubbed finding the secret exit, so I went straight to Map16. Overall, Map31 is not a terrible level. It had its moments, but it was too flat for a modern Doom map, IMO.

End-map ammo; 400 Bullets, 99 Shells, 21 Rockets and 105 Cells.

Last edited by SteveD on 04-17-13 at 04:01

Old Post 04-17-13 01:55 #
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dobu gabu maru
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17 - COMMUNICATION TOWER
...Once reaching the top of the Communication Tower you find that all the equipment is gone. All that remains is the power generator. Well, gazing past the generator you spy a wierd looking building. At fist glance it looks like a typical tech base but on closer inspection you notice that the bas of the building is an ancient ruin. Looking around futher you find that there is nothing else around. You jump down off the tower and start the trek towards the building...

MAP17: Finally introduced into the megawad is a full-blown action packed level. There’s rarely a moment’s rest when you’re not blasting demons or collecting pick-ups, and I think this works very well coming off of the long slog of MAP16. Visually, this level is phenomenal—there’s a consistent use of different textures hewn into the wall, and the combination of BRICK10 and MODWALL1 work very well together! And similar to purist’s style, most of the areas are all interconnected, leading to some very fun and organic fighting on the player’s end. Enemy placement and ammo are all ace too, especially the frantic fighting within the red key area… I really like the interwoven pillars in that place (and its a good example of how to use block monster lines).

Biggest problem IMO is once you go into the red key area you can’t go back. This is especially problematic if you take damage from the revenants (like I did) and would like to go into the next map with more than 19% health. That and the armor is unnecessary sitting on top of the blue key and may even mislead the player. Congrats to Malinku though for a damn, damn fun level.

Old Post 04-17-13 05:06 #
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Magnusblitz
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Argh, what a day to go out of town and fall behind - when we cram the secret levels in!

MAP14 - POWER UP

I'm a big fan of the "search the whole level for the five XYZs" design in Doom, probably because it's somewhat underused (whereas it's overused in many adventure games/RPGs - find the seven orbs! Now find the six stones of power! Now rescue the 10 princesses!) That said, this level isn't really that "open" since it's roughly divided into two main wings, but there's enough branching paths to make it interesting. The biggest and most interesting fight is at the beginning with the cacos/hell knights streaming in from the left and zombies to the right; the map quiets down a lot after that. I think the idea of "power up the generator" could've been done better in-map by having the generator more central and accessible, as it is, the player only sees it at the end and might not figure out what he's doing until then. Also, the end felt a bit weird - I know it's hard to create a "generator powers up and blows up the ground" effect in Doom, and this is a good attempt, but still. Maybe a crusher blowing up some barrels for explosions? I dunno.

MAP15 - SEPTIC UNDERBELLY

Pretty good map. I really liked the base parts of this map a lot, lots of nice clean lines, great lighting, and nice use of space. Having a Spider Mastermind only 4 levels after MAP11 does feel a bit weird, but she also helps show the size of the area. For some reason, the "hell invading" parts didn't really click for me, just felt like too much of a sudden switch in certain areas. (Maybe because hell flesh now comes with it's own marble? Heh.) But I could play a whole level or two in the style of the dark slime area.

None of the fights are very challenging, the only time I really took damage was blowing myself up trying to use the rocket launcher in close quarters when I was getting impatient with the chaingun/SSG and not wanting to waste cell ammo. There's a fair amount of teleporting enemies, but usually not more than 2-3, which is good, and some are placed behind the player. The only one that really caught me off guard was the cacodemons after the blue key. Nice delayed trap there.

Having the exit to 31 be optional and not secret was a bit strange, but it works. And yeah, using the EXIT sign to make an XXXI sign is a moment of genius.

Old Post 04-17-13 06:59 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 17 -- Communication Tower - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Judging by the story segment, this appears to be another transition (or "filler") map; something to resolve the dead-end "comm tower" story arc and set up a pretense for doing some more subterranean devil-nest maps. Don't be fooled, though--despite its short length and inconsequential position in Hadephobia's storyline, this is one worth seeing. The story led me to believe that this would be a techbase with some hellstuffs in its basement; in actuality, it's a discrete standalone base between a couple of rocky hills, with the entrance to an old temple complex positioned nearby (the end of the map, which incidentally just looks like another techlatch). It has a fairly distinct look in comparison to other techbases in Hadephobia, using a base of cement and green masonry (a texture I rather like, personally) with various pieces of circuitry, electronics, and other tech trappings set into it; this gives the impression that the structure was an old building that was converted to serve as a comm facility, rather than a purpose-built techbase (if this is what the story was trying to suggest, or if it was simply referring to map 18, I'm not sure). The monster count is fairly modest, but once the shooting starts, it simply doesn't let up until the end of the map. Most of the opposition is entrenched ahead of you as you progress, often with a slight height advantage (the map has a restrained sense of vertical scale) to spice up the combat; monster closets and teleporter traps both see only limited use here, but where they do appear they are effective, particularly the arch-vile that beams in when the yellow keycard becomes available, likely very near some fresh mancubus carcasses. Speaking of the yellow card, its application treated me to a nice heartstarter; a legitimate surprise, that, although not too difficult to handle. The final area is a bit awkward to assault smoothly given its wall-less structure which exposes you to fire from imps on the ridge while stymieing you with big chunks of demonic HP on the walkways, but it's short, and so doesn't drag down the pace too much. All told, this is an unpretentious, clean-looking base map with spritely, well-tuned mid-difficulty gameplay.

Old Post 04-17-13 07:07 #
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Capellan
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Map32
Well, it's certainly different.

Old Post 04-17-13 08:59 #
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cannonball
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MAP32 - Sirenum Scopuli by magicsofa
Yeah this map is different. It is split up into 3 sections, tech/hell tech and hell, all very abstract and full of craziness. Definitely works well for a secret map anyway. Gameplay on the whole is ok with the middle section being the weakest in my opinion due to very slow teleporting monsters which caught me out quite a bit as I was surrounded. True to be told this map might be a pain to uv max for sure.
Oh well finally I have to take that silly elevator up to the communications tower.... oh wait...
MAP16 - Eisenhower Heliport by walter confalonieri
Long map is too long, add to that the gameplay isn't exactly engaging I found myself bored at times I'm afraid. When the gameplay did liven up at times it just resulted in some ridiculous bad luck like an imp surviving an ssg blast to the face as you want to press on and end up instead with a hellknight ramming it's fist up my ass.
Not a great experience for me, made worse by some stupid rng at the end which made me spend another 5 minutes trying to replenish my health back from about 15%

Last edited by cannonball on 04-17-13 at 11:44

Old Post 04-17-13 10:31 #
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SteveD
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Capellan said:


This, basically.

There are three ways to engage the Mastermind right now:

1. infighting.
2. peak out, shoot, hide, repeat a billion times.
3. find the invuln secret (is this something else on UV?), waste it without risk.

All of these options are really rather boring.

A cyber would work better, as splash damage makes peak and hide from the area near the invuln a dangerous proposition, and engaging it in the nukage area would actually be a fun fight.

Alternatively, put walkover lines down in the nukage, so that as soon as one of them is crossed, the player gets more monsters to fight. "Oh look, teleporting monsters" can be a bit overdone, though. Maybe just make it an AV monster closet, near where lots of monster corpses are likely to be? That way the AV (or AVs) gets to do its monster-rezzing thing.



I like the Cyber idea. You'd get to hear its roar from close-by in that situation, always good for making the heart race. Not so keen on the Archie option, but that's because I hate Archies, which, along with Pain Elementals and Barons, are my least-favorite monsters, while Sergeants, Chaingunners and Revvies are my faves.

It's all up to purist, of course, and EvilNed really enjoyed the Mastermind. He managed to exploit the situation to his advantage, rather than just blasting the bitch like I did.

BTW, the secret invuln is there on UV, too. Pressing that switch brought a load of Spectres teleporting in to chew on my ass, a big "Fuck you!" to the player. :D I never found that secret, or the Soulsphere. All I got was the Blue Armor.

Last edited by SteveD on 04-17-13 at 17:38

Old Post 04-17-13 16:10 #
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SteveD
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cannonball said:
It does occasionally :P



Has anyone ever caught a frozen Cyb on a demo? I've never seen that.

Old Post 04-17-13 16:11 #
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cannonball
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SteveD said:


Has anyone ever caught a frozen Cyb on a demo? I've never seen that.


Not sure about monsters but here is a demo where the player freezes the cyber rendering it helpless.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNbErWofd4s
same theory applies, monsters get inside the boss monsters hitbox rendering it frozen and helpless.

Old Post 04-17-13 16:25 #
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SteveD
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cannonball said:

Not sure about monsters but here is a demo where the player freezes the cyber rendering it helpless.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNbErWofd4s
same theory applies, monsters get inside the boss monsters hitbox rendering it frozen and helpless.



Oh, the indignity! Ass-punched to death. :D Thanks, that was hilarious.

Old Post 04-17-13 17:17 #
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EvilNed
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MAP31 Hells Armoury

Nice level. Nothing memorable tho. It didn't really feel that "secret" to me, but sure it was a nice ride. I can't really say I have much concrete to say about this map, as I played MAP31, MAP32 and MAP16 in one go and this one took maybe 10 minutes to finish, whereas I spent a better part of an hour on the others two combined. So what's been said has been said and I'll move on.

MAP32 Sirenum Scopuli

Big map, lots of enemies. Being thrown into that bloodied river and thrown forward had me hoping that this would be the map, and that you had to somehow survive facing enemies while sliding down this river of blood. No such luck, but hey.

The Techbase part was neat, as was the following open arena with all the demons and hell knights and barrels. Pretty easy, so far, I have to say, however, despite the large number of enemies. None of them really surprised me or anything like that, everything is just thrown at you. I saved the invulnerability that's given to you until after I'd triggered all the monsters. After that me and the BFG went hunting and it was a pretty easy mop-up.

I enjoyed the Cyberdemon fight, however again, too easy. Why not throw another one (or two) cyberdemons into there? That would've kept you alert!

I figured out the "Keen doll" maneauver pretty quickly. As soon as I saw a scientist I shot at it. Who didn't? Then I remembered the map slot I was on and kept shooting.

The end arena, the big lava crusher site, was annoying at first. Very annoying. I play without looking up and down, so it was damn tough seeing or figuring out whenever I was about to be crushed. I subtract points for that, ye know! At first I was just skirting along the platforms, trying not to get squashed. However after a death by squashing or two I did find all the soul spheres and megaspheres lying about. Then I just ran for the marble stairs. Nice map.

MAP16 Eisenhower Helipad

I feel bad about joining in on the hating, but I did not enjoy this map. It was too long, too "unintuitive" and no real exciting fights. I spent as much time trying to figure out what to do next as I did fighting enemies and pushing onwards. On a couple of occasions I was just plain stuck. By the end of it I was so fed up that I just IDCLIPed past the very final bars at the end after failing to figure out how to raise them... So that's not a good sign is it?

What's interesting is that I was down to 5HP at this point, and I just ran past all the enemies. Worked just fine until I got to the arch-vile. He targeted me with his magic and blew me to pieces - and into the exit. Thus, I finished the map dead... And MAP17 loaded as a pistol start. Interesting, didn't know that could happen.

Old Post 04-17-13 20:30 #
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purist
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MAP17 - Communication Tower by Malinku

It's interesting to me that dobugabumaru saw something of my style in this level as this was another collaborative effort in a similar vein to Hull Revealed and Descent into Underworld. Malinku was part way through when he asked for some help so I took it on and I was pleased as his layout was a joy to work with. When I got the map most of the layout up to the blue door was done. Structurally I think I just added secrets, traps and details. After the blue key most of the sector work is mine but it's pretty much a duplication of the first area already built by Malinku. In regards to monster placement I was more influential, instigating all the major traps and the outdoor skirmishes.

The most complex part of finishing this map was correcting the exit to Eisenhower Heliport. Walter did Malinku no favours by showing space all the way around the building you originally exited to, which looked nice but restricted the mapping area of Communication Tower to a small space. To get around this Malinku tried building upwards using a silent teleporter but the effect was difficult to hide in this instance and it hindered the otherwise great mapflow. So I removed the teleport and chopped out sections of walter's exit area so there was no limits to build into. For the time being the transition exit between MAP16 and MAP17 was a simple corridor that I originally considered a placeholder but never got around to improving.

I love this map. It's probably my favourite in Hadephobia and this is down to Malinku's great layout. Yet, there are some things I wish I did different such as add a little more lighting variance, provide routes back to earlier parts of the map and improve the entrance/exit transitions. Luckily none of these really get in the way of the gameplay so they aren't big regrets.

It was Malinku's idea to have the communication equipment removed and I was a little disappointed that this is less of a story progression than a story delay - like passing the buck to the next contributor and saying "you close it". By this point though I was not overly bothered about the story being anything more than something that makes sense.

Old Post 04-17-13 22:31 #
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Capellan
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SteveD said:
BTW, the secret invuln is there on UV, too. Pressing that switch brought a load of Spectres teleporting in to chew on my ass, a big "Fuck you!" to the player. :D


Yeah, you get the spectres on HMP too.

The actual switch to access the invuln is in the nearby crusher, which I thought was quite a cool secret.

Old Post 04-17-13 22:37 #
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dobu gabu maru
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18 - ALTAR OF CHAOS
...Upon entering the ruin, you realize that whoever- or whatever- took the comm equipment from the tower must have taken refuge here. While the UAC's presence seems sparse, you know that they've done significant research here.

As you make your way through the subterranean complex, you come across some sort of place of worship. It has the look of an abbey for Satan... What such a structure would be doing in such an ancient ruin is an answer you can't come across. A subtle sign gets those wheels in your head 'a-turning. The equipment rests atop the altar. Still, there's a faint notion running through your head. Is this the original place of human contact with Hell?

There's no time to ponder that. As you approach the altar, chaos erupts around you. They knew you were coming. In a blink, the equipment is damaged. In disgust, you spot the only other way out... and it goes deeper into the ruin...


MAP18: This was a very enjoyable, large nonlinear level split up into two segments (keys & switches). While initially tame the map does ramp up in difficulty and deviousness, throwing in some truly nasty traps towards the end (a Knox staple). It continues the Hadephobia trend of being pleasing to the eye, with “Satan’s abbey” as the centerpiece. I kinda wish the key caverns weren’t quite so… square, but the mood and atmosphere make up for any orthogonal gripes I have.

I think there’s too many little moments that I enjoyed that it’d be hard to recount them in full… the cyberdemon was unexpectedly lethal in the abbey as his rockets would explode on the pews nearby, and there were plenty of hitscanners revealed from wall closets to chip away at my health. The underground lava area towards the end that releases the AVs was tricky to navigate through with enemies all over the place and no cover barring the lava below, and the AVs being released by walking over a door trigger was a great idea (although they can quickly assault the player once they’re revealed on their pedestals, and the trigger can be skipped thanks to the warp). This map may have had too much health and ammo for a later map IMO, but it was still quite a rockin’ journey.

Old Post 04-18-13 06:03 #
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Capellan
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Map16
This map reminds me a lot of Karmacoma from MM: lots of big, square buildings; plenty of sections with pretty sparse detail; rather flat lighting; often unintuitive progression; and going on and on and on far after I'm ready for it to end.

Walter C throws pseudo-real furnishings into the mix. This is something I very rarely like, and it doesn't do much for me here, either. I appreciate the time and effort, but I'd rather the time and effort had been spent elsewhere: like sprucing up the large areas, which are often bland.

Oh, and more time for playtesting. Which might have tightened up the gamplay, and might also have turned up the fact that it's possible to get irreversibly stuck in the yellow key section (teleport up the ledge and flick the switch the lower the bars. Another platfrom rises, but you can drop down behind it. However, the inner door also has bars, so you end up stuck).

Old Post 04-18-13 09:54 #
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cannonball
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MAP17 - Communication Tower by Malinku
Fairly short but very sweet level. Nice green brick interior with a rocky/metal exterior. It looks nice and plays very well with a constant threat from start to finish, but nothing too over the top given the weaponry at our disposal now. The yellow key door surprise is a heartstopper, nice people do play this trick sometimes still.
Few deaths in the final area due to stupidity and pr-boom crashing once for some reason.
Miscellaneous info - Killed 3 barons with one bfg shot (I don't think any of them were particularly injured when I hit them), I've never really seen that happen.

MAP18 - Altar of Chaos by Brian Knox/NoneeLlama
Non linear map split in two, the first is a mix of tech/subterranean/marble area where you can collect 3 keys in any order, the combat is on the light side as you would only be given ssg as the best weapon here. This part is pretty quick and easy going. Then when you get past the 3 key door, then things ramp up as rocket launcher and plasma gun are there to be collected. 4 switches must be pressed to unlock the exit with an assortment of baddies to come at you after each switch is pressed. Whilst the ambushes are pretty tough, there is plenty of ammo and health to go around so this tames the threat a little bit (for the record I left the soulsphere and blue armour in the chapel room until everything was dead). I missed 4 kills, these were cacodemons which appeared very late, not sure what happened there as they were not there when I left the 3 key area.
Overall a very fun map to play and I think this would be one of the picks to do uv max runs on.

Last edited by cannonball on 04-18-13 at 10:47

Old Post 04-18-13 10:04 #
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Capellan
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Map17
Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Fun level. Lots of action, tightly packed, with obvious traps of obviousness bringing all the high octane Doom action one could wish for. A real romp of a map.

... well, up to the blue door, anyway. Once through there, I did think things went off the boil a little. It was a bit too easy to camp at the start of this section and pick off everything bit by bit, and the barons in the centre were just so much easy fodder, since they couldn't fireball you effectively and you could hammer them easily.

The run to get into the barons' area was pretty easy for always run / mouse. Probably tougher for a keyboarder. I'm sure SteveD will let us know how he does :)

The end area, with the revenants on cliffs, was laughably easy to avoid. I ran around siphoning up ammo, ignoring them completely, and then exited.

Old Post 04-18-13 11:57 #
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purist
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MAP18 - Altar of Chaos by Brian Knox/NoneeLlama

Pretty much a NoneeLlama map. This was assigned to Snakes but he only made a draft version of the altar room before he had to bail out. I was disappointed about this as Progressive Fiction was an inclusive community project mainly attracting newer mappers and Snakes was one of the only people signed up to the project who's work I was familiar with beforehand.

Still, I'm pleased with what NoneeLlama did with it. Some of the more hellish areas are not aesthetically pleasing to me and the keyhunt section could be more action dynamic but overall it is a good job.

The best thing this map does is make repeated battles in the same arena interesting every time. It never feels like a chore or as though it is needlessly elongated.

The story makes a decent effort to wrap up the communication equipment story arc, linking it in to the central theme that links the demonic hive mind to the warped Hadephobes. I think this could have been more strongly represented in the map but if it's a good level that's good enough for me.

Old Post 04-18-13 20:16 #
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EvilNed
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MAP17 Communications Tower

Sorry, I didn't like this one. After releasing the cyberdemon I ran around trying to figure out how to progress but after ten minutes I gave up. It's a small map, and how I managed to not figure out how to progress is beyond me, but I simply got stuck and couldn't find the blue key anywhere. I don't think this map was particulary intuitive on as where to go. I first IDDT:d for any obvious map routes I might have missed, but there were none. So in the end I just IDCLIP'd through the blue door. Subtract points for that.

The fight behind the blue door was OK, but having to resort to cheating left a foul taste in my mouth.

I ran by the final revenants. Didn't bother with them.

MAP18 Altar of Chaos

I like this map. This is the kind of maps I really enjoy, and in many ways it reminded me of a good old Romero map. Non-linear and interesting map layouts with easily recognizeable areas.

The first segment, the key search, was the non-linear part I guess. I ran around these dark, well designed caves and had no problem finding my way around. A very nice cave / temple system. Lots of fighting to be done.

The Abbey / Church that followed was impressive. I love well executed hellish architecture and design like that, and Doom truly excels at it. The author managed to create an infernal set piece worthy of Doom, to be sure. Lots of marble, lots of red, lots of shadows and darkness. I'm a big fan of the map being compact but still bringing you back to the same place time and time again. This is what this map did.

Also, I'd like to point out that the red cave with the teleporters was really good. A nice, hectic fight. Was a pleasure.

Alas, in the Pain elemental attack I managed to let them let loose dozens of lost souls. I think the original monster count is 320 but I ended up with 410+. That's a lot of lost souls... Due to this, I simply skipped that fight. I left the lost souls roaming the church, fighting each other, and when I came around for one last time, there were arch-viles and demons everywhere. I just ran by them all, leaving all the arch-viles and at least 50 lost souls behind.

An arch-vile sent me flying into the exit. Alive this time, however.

Old Post 04-18-13 21:21 #
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cannonball
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@Evilned regarding map17
blue key is in front of you when you open the first door of the level (on the pole with a combat armour).
http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/8260/idjkji.png
:P

Old Post 04-18-13 21:25 #
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EvilNed
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I checked it out in Doom Builder, yet I can't explain why I couldn't see the blue key. I ran by that area a dozen times at least.

Most likely, enemies corpses lay in the way of it, blocking it from sight.

Old Post 04-18-13 22:49 #
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SteveD
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Capellan said:
Map17
The run to get into the barons' area was pretty easy for always run / mouse. Probably tougher for a keyboarder. I'm sure SteveD will let us know how he does :)



Just finished playing the map, and did just fine, but was still annoyed by the very "Fuck you!" idea of it. After 2 attempts to make the run using the Shift key, I turned on Always Run and made it on the 2nd try, about 10 seconds before I would've laser-vomited all over my screen. ;D

Old Post 04-19-13 03:08 #
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Demon of the Well
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EvilNed: It could've been the green armor vest, which sits in front of the key from some angles (including the one you can see when you lower the pole). If you don't happen to need it at the time you lower the pole (very possible if you found the secret blue armor a bit earlier), you might not ever feel compelled to walk over to it, and may not realize there's a key there unless you happened to notice it while killing stuff at the start of the map. Maybe that armor should be moved up to the ledge overlooking the key room (where the revenants are at the start of the map) in the revision? Players would gain access to it at about the same point in the map, and it wouldn't obscure the key anymore, that way.

Map 18 -- Altar of Chaos - 103% Kills / 100% Secrets
Hmm, I've only played a couple of maps each by both Snakes and NoneeLlama, so I don't really have a strong grasp of either's style, but with Purist's clarification of the matter, I guess I can see a lot of what I do recognize from the latter's style in this--the squarish, open rooms and the propensity for using a central space that the player returns to at various points--in this case, the titular Altar. This is in a similar thematic vein to the excavation site from map 10, and although it doesn't look quite as good (the first half is maybe a little too subtly squarish at points), it's still a solid iteration of a cool theme. The Altar itself is appropriately the centerpiece, both visually and in terms of gameplay; it's always satisfying to see a big, flashy room like this contain enough action to justify its aesthetic ostentatiousness, and relevant revisits of one or more main areas also tend to make maps feel more like actual places than like carnival rides. The other main aspect of the map is that it's a bit schizoid in terms of playstyle. The first half, where you travel around tunnels and smaller marble shrines and the like looking for skull keys, is basically open-ended in terms of itinerary, and has a pretty leisurely pace to its combat, not unlike what was seen in the Eisenhower Heliport. The second part, at the Altar itself, juxtaposes heavier arena-based combat in the Altar area with small set-piece battles in the side areas. Basically, this is both a combat-oriented and exploration-oriented map....but not both at the same time. I thought the contrast was interesting, but I can see where others might find it jarring. My one major complaint was mentioned by someone else already--the setup with the arch-viles in the lava room that teleport into that box near the Altar is unlikely to work fully as intended most of the time, and when it doesn't, it presents an awkward situation in the lava room, since nothing other than jumping into the lava will shield you from the spell attacks of any viles that don't teleport correctly (although you can mostly nullify them by humping the side of the marble dais for dear life). Overall, this is a solid two-in-one map. In terms of the story, I'm not quite sure I really understand what this is trying to say, though...presumably the comm equipment explodes because an evil power doesn't want the marine using it, but why is it sitting on the Altar in the first place? Was it just a trap, or were the demons using it for something?

Old Post 04-19-13 03:48 #
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dobu gabu maru
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19 - SATAN’S FORTRESS
...The evil temple is just left behind. In front of you lies the dark, hellish cave and all you hear is infinite roarings coming from various angles and sources. Despite being a bit worried, you still decide to continue your trek ahead. Your steps are echoing on the surface of the rough stones. Soon, a chaotic crowd surrounds you. Wiping the sweat and brainpieces off your forehead, you start thinking about getting overground but first you have to run the guantlet of the underground fortress. It is by far the worst place you've encountered on your journey, but it's the only way you can go in order to get to the spawning vat in which the invasion is blooming. It takes all of your efforts but finally you feel the cool fresh air on your skin and realise you're near the surface. You hit a switch and step onto the lift to take you to ground level and prepare yourself for what you expect will be the fight of your life in the Breeding Grounds...

MAP19: Yet another lengthy level which is the inverse of MAP18—instead of being large and non-linear, it’s claustrophobic and super linear. After the initial fight in the caverns (which is a good use of the insta-raise lifts IMO), the player is introduced to a cavalcade of clumsy fights, starting with the bumpy and tight blue key room. To his credit, Cell creates perhaps the most detailed and exquisite map in the whole set, with dozens of nicks in the floor, grooves in the wall and all around tasteful use of architecture… the room with the skull switch near the end perhaps being the best one to look at. Unfortunately this comes at the cost of mobility and comfortable orientation, as the player will be forced to strafe in very tight hallways and battle with rapidly ascending/descending heights.

Two fights stood out to me: the aformentioned skull switch room and one part where you’re in a small circular enclosure that releases a revenant and hell knight once you hit a switch. Everything else, however, feels pretty clunky to play around and can get frustrating when you unleash a mancubus/chaingunner to your side with a hair’s breadth to get out of the way. It at least looks stunning as you claw your way through it, so it’s okay in my book.

Fun fact #1: The map also halved my entire supply of munitions, so I can assume its pretty rough from pistol start. Fun fact #2: I found absolutely no secrets this level :(

Old Post 04-19-13 07:42 #
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EvilNed
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Demon of the Well said:
EvilNed: It could've been the green armor vest, which sits in front of the key from some angles (including the one you can see when you lower the pole). If you don't happen to need it at the time you lower the pole (very possible if you found the secret blue armor a bit earlier), you might not ever feel compelled to walk over to it, and may not realize there's a key there unless you happened to notice it while killing stuff at the start of the map. Maybe that armor should be moved up to the ledge overlooking the key room (where the revenants are at the start of the map) in the revision? Players would gain access to it at about the same point in the map, and it wouldn't obscure the key anymore, that way.



This, I remember this part. I remember running back and forth, looking for the blue key and I remember seeing the Green Armor just where the blue key was at. I remember looking at it thinking "I don't need it now, I'll save it for later".

It did block the view of the Blue Key. Or at least I remember seeing the armor. But not the blue key.

Old Post 04-19-13 08:38 #
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SteveD
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Map16 – Eisenhower Heliport – by walter confalioneri – Kills – 100, Items – 93, Secret – 75. Time Sucks. End Health 195, Armor 0. Death Count – 7

Perhaps surprisingly, I didn’t hate this map as much as everyone else did. Maybe I’m on Team Walter. But this really is a tale of two maps, and I think it serves to illustrate that Doom is, first and foremost, a corridor shooter. The map starts nicely, with a well-rendered corridor filled with Chaingunners who took a fair piece of my health. It then transitioned into a vast, open plain, where I thought I might meet Tars Tarkas and a horde of Green Men on thoats. The peculiar buildings might be an ancient ruin of Barsoom. There were irritating fights with distant Revenants, Arachnotrons and Cacodemons who took forever to get close. And after that, Revvie rockets continued to appear from some unguessable location. I reached into my multi-dimensional pocket and whipped out the giant telescope I stole from Palomar Observatory – which I keep handy for situations like these – and scanned the heavens. Ah, there they were, Revvies on the moons of Jupiter, somehow able to see me without telescopic aid, and to target me with unerring accuracy across the vast cold depths of space.

This was the most awful section of the map. I wandered around, wondering, “Where am I? What am I doing here? Where am I going?” And most important, “How do I get the fuck outta here?” I finally reached a corridor where openings gave a view of a shitload of Pinkies in a room, and Risen3D crashed. This turned out to be a good thing, because I was very irritated by now, and it was another day and a half before I got back to the game, and this is where it started getting better.

Once I had the blue key, the game turned into a corridor shooter again and the fights became a lot better. There were some good traps. There was some good enemy placement, especially the Chaingunners in murder-holes up in the metal walls of that central hub area. I had to play that area very carefully to avoid getting whacked by those bastards. There was an irritating room with Hell Knights and Barons up above on a long, fenced platform. I found the best approach was to wake them all up, draw them to one side and BFG them. Oh, and the fight where you telefrag a Caco, and then face one Caco after another. I fought the whole thing rather stupidly with the SSG and survived with only 3% health. Pretty exciting!

For me, the best fight came in the final area when I jumped into the nukage searching for a secret, only to discover that it was, I believe, a necessary operation which unleashed an Archie and 2 Revvies up above, and I teleported up to meet them. I died 6 times in that fight. I kept going for the Archie first, but the Revvies were off to the side, so I killed the Archie and got bombed by the Revvies. I tried hiding behind the cover walter provided, but he rounded that cover, obviously with the evil intent that Revvie rockets would circle around it and get my ass – yes, he had me personally in mind :D -- as they did again and again, because these were like DeHacked Revvies who only fire homing rockets, no ballistics. I kept wondering when I’d get a fucking break. Never did. Finally, I BFGed the Revvies first and then BFGed the Archie and survived without taking a scratch. Congrats to walter for designing a fight that is really nasty for walking keyboarders. The only other time I died was when I opened a door to all those Revvies on the moons of Jupiter. ;D

The argument can be made that in a megawad with more than its share of switch-hunty maps, this is the most complicated and switch-hunty yet. Walter was almost too clever for his own good, as we seemed to have an endless series of highly involved actions. This map is also an enormous undertaking by walter, with over 2,000 sectors and 302 monsters on UV. Kind of a small number for all those sectors, actually, and to be honest, the map didn’t feel like a 2,000 sector detail-fest. I think this could have been a fantastic map if that huge open area had been turned into a much smaller group of corridors with occasional open areas and good-looking rooms. Worth noting is that this map seemed very well-tuned in the health and ammo department. I spent most of the map hovering between 30% and 75% health, and was constantly low on high-test ammo until the ending sections, when walter provided enough cells and rockets to deal with the tougher monsters.

So in the end, I really liked the corridor sections, and hated the open city section. I was happier and happier towards the end, so I guess I kinda liked it overall.

End-map ammo; 86 Bullets, 96 Shells, 19 Rockets and 156 Cells.

Old Post 04-19-13 14:29 #
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Map17 – Communication Tower – by Malinku – Kills – 99, Items – 100, Secret – 0. Time 30:10. End Health 100, Armor 42. Death Count – 7

I’ll be a bit of a contrarian and say I didn’t enjoy this map as much as most of you. First thing I noticed was the weird placement of the blue key and Green Armor on a narrow pylon. In Risen3D, the items flash, so one flash is Green Armor, the next is Blue Key. I can see how EvilNed missed the key. This was definitely a bad idea, and should be rectified in any future revision.

The gloves come off in this map, at least for a little while, as you soon face Revvies and whatnot, and the layout is really nice, giving good shooting opportunities to the monsters and multiple heights. I enjoyed everything like crazy up to the Cyberdemon, but before that, I faced another Archie/Revvie trap, quite similar to Map16 inasmuch as they came from different angles. This time I only died twice before choosing to BFG the Revvies first. That was a kickass trap, I must say.

Opening the yellow door to find myself face to face with Herr Cybie was an almost pants-wetting experience. Fear lasted only a second, as death arrived by express mail. I then strategized the next door opening, which naturally meant opening it from the side and running like hell. First, I ran to the platform with a switch on it in the next room over, and hid in the little area that previously contained a Revvie. This was the beginning of a horrible slog. When you’re a walking keyboarder who doesn’t use the mouse, you cannot sidestep at Mach 5, so I had to do the peek-and-shoot thing I did in Map15 with SpiderBitch. Didn’t work as well here, and I died at least once from splash damage. Then I decided to leap into the room with the blue key pylon, where I could use rockets without killing myself. I died at least twice there, but knew I was on to something, so I turned on Always Run, since all I had to do was run towards the wall shooting, while Cyb’s rockets passed overhead, and then back up to start shooting again. No queasiness ensued, but titanic boredom did. It took forever to rocket, shotgun and chaingun that fucker to death. ;D

The next significant trap was the Revvie/Manc attack when you grab the blue key. Died twice there before I switched to the BFG to take out the Revvies quick.

And then . . . I went through the blue door.

I hate to say this, but this led to nothing more than a beautifully architected crap fight. Just awful. Barons were nothing more than ammo sinks. The most dangerous enemies were those damned Imps on the ledges behind you. I lost plenty of health in this area, and used lots of saved games to determine the best path. For me, it was getting the Mancs and Revvies to in-fight on the right-hand wing, then the Mancs and Hell Knights to the left. The important thing was to have enough rockets to kill the Revvies that spring out from the monster closets on the left-hand side. After that, it was a painfully dull matter of blasting away at Barons who couldn’t blast back. Killing the ledge Revvies after you get the red key was a much better fight. Which is too bad, because the crap fight occurred in a cool-looking area. And then there’s the switch-and-run trick at the end of it. Jeez, I don’t feel so bad about Map23 of Realm of Chaos anymore, though that was actually worse, since it was designed for Turbo 255 speeds. Still, in some perverse way, I’m actually overjoyed to see people still doing this kinda silliness in the modern era.

I also noted a Romero’s Rules violation; changing floor textures without changing floor heights.

Even though this map killed me in 3 different places, overall, I thought it had more negatives than positives.

End-map ammo: 321 Bullets, 80 shells, 20 Rockets and 20 Cells.

Last edited by SteveD on 04-21-13 at 23:24

Old Post 04-19-13 20:06 #
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Map18 – Altar of Chaos – by Brian Nox/NoneeLlama – Kills – 98, Items – 84, Secret – 33. Time Sucks. End Health 115, Armor 131. Death Count – 1

Finally, a map I enjoyed almost without reservation. The only reservation is that I think the Ashwall/Marble area Needs More Detail. ;D

Some have said that the Ashwall/Marble area is non-linear. Not really. You can choose the order of acquiring keys, but you still need all three keys to open one door, so it’s more of a variable forced progression, which is about as close as you’ll get to non-linear in Doom. It was a fun section, with moderate opposition. There was some nice enemy placement, though, especially those Chaingunners and Sergeants waiting for you when you go down to enter the temple. Hah! Very cool.

The temple itself was wonderful to look at. No need for more detail here. And what a cool series of fights you get in that arena, all of them benefitting from wonderful infighting opportunities. The side battles were good, too. I was over the moon about this map.

Obviously, I didn’t get murdered as much as I like, but I came close to death on may occasions, and it’s exciting to fight your way back from -- dare I say it? – the brink of doom! :D There were plenty of heavies to fight, but hitscanners were not forgotten, and I took most of my damage from Chaingunners and Revvies, as usual.

There was another Cyberdemon shocker here, but at least he teleported away, and I was able to make him kill all the Mancs for me in another great feast for infight lovers like me. The weakened Cyb fell easily after that.

At this point, I grabbed the Soulsphere and Blue Armor, and all the weapons and ammo goodies. I couldn’t wait ‘til the end like cannonball did.

Another good shocker was when an Archie teleports into a cage that held Chaingunners. I hate Archies, so whenever I see them I ignore everything else and go after ‘em. Little did I suspect that a full brigade of Revvies and Hell Knights was approaching me, until too late. I opened a saved game to avoid death, and on the next try, was able to – you guessed it because you probably did the same thing – get them all infighting. Not one Revvie survived, and the weakened HKs fell like zombieboys to the SSG blasts. What fun!

I died in the lava area when I teleported to the HK platform, got blasted, and dodged straight into the lava. I enjoyed this area, too.

And then another big shocker, a one-thousand plane raid of Cacos and Pain Elementals. Jeez, it never ends in here. BFG time, baby! I sorta lose the plot at that point, because I forget if that was when the 3 Archies came out and started reviving everything. I hauled ass to the exit when that started happening.

Just a really fun, kickass map here. One of my faves in the megawad.

End-map ammo; 258 Bullets, 91 Shells, 66 Rockets and 260 Cells.

Old Post 04-19-13 21:24 #
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purist
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MAP19 - Satan’s Fortress - Cell

Hmm, this is the first map we've reached so far that I really dislike. Worse, I dislike that I dislike it because it's abundantly obvious a load of work was put into this level. Hopefully, this will mean that there are people who can extract a lot of enjoyment out of the intricate, imaginative detailing but for me the level is suffering from acute Cellism: an exaggeration of Cell's stylistic quirks, which do not happen to fit within my own personal taste. This level is long, linear, claustrophobic, busily detailed, littered with obstructive décor and misbalanced to heavily favour secret hunters - including one, which broke my rule of no BFGs until E4, unless you play the optional maps.

So it's not my cup of tea but I can at least appreciate the visuals and atmosphere of the map. There was discussions on the team around this point that E3 should involve the construction of a Hellish city on Earth with the fortress being built on the site of the asylum you originally escape from. I think Cell was just intending this to be another passageway map but I like to think of MAP19/MAP20 as the blueprint to this fortress.

Old Post 04-19-13 22:22 #
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Capellan
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SteveD said:
Still, in some perverse way, I’m actually overjoyed to see people still doing this kinda silliness in the modern era.



Honestly, I suspect it was done purely to make the player go to both 'wings' of the area. The run is trivially easy for mouse with always run, which I imagine means 98% of players these days. I also suspect that very few modern level designers have walking keyboarders in mind when they make their maps.

It's probably just as well you didn't join us for CC4, as it has a far more egregious use of the gimmick, and would be pretty rough on keyboarders in general. :)

Old Post 04-19-13 23:00 #
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