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cannonball
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MAP08 - Archives
This map gave me no problem whatsoever. It flows really well with a strong layout. The gameplay is quick and fun and is less clogged up with hitscanners compared to previous maps. At the end I just released everything for a fun semi slaughter showdown which I survived first time.
Really good level this one with good traps, less hitscanner tedium. Strong layout and flow and to cap it off really good looking too. The secrets are also better in this map.
I found it strange how I felt the same feeling difficulty wise as I did when I played this in survival. The last couple of maps have been easier compared to the earlier ones.
Best map so far and agree fully with the other comments on this map.

Old Post 05-08-13 00:22 #
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Crusader No Regret
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Map 4: 100% kills, 100% secrets, 3-4 deaths Time: 22+ minutes for the successful attempt

I expected a trap at the SSG; there was none. Easy to see the theme, lots of barrels and toxic sludge. Actually there's none of either beyond the yellow door. My personal, unsubstantiated theory is that area was built first before the theme was decided upon.
The barrels add to the gameplay here. Red key area can get a bit random the way I took it on though strangely not frustrating to die there. My doom senses actually worked and the very first secret I find has a computer map which aids me in finding the others. Didn't notice the hint for the mega armor until after I found out how to access it.
What else? Close range chaingunners chew off lots of health though close range revenants get most of the kills on me. By the end of the map, I expect a chaingunner ambush and am ready for it. Then I proceed to get reduced to single digit health by the exit guards. Exited with 29%

Map 5: 100% kills, 0% secrets, 4-5 deaths Time: about 20 minutes on exit.

First attempt goes fairly well until I die to a hitscanner that I didn't notice tagging me from behind. Several more deaths follow at earlier points with a suicide or two from losing too much health in the opening volley. I try to get creative with the route on the successful attempt and nearly run out of ammo. That ambush at the top of the steps is mean and I get very lucky with the infights that break out. At the time I grab the berserk pack, I had one shell at my disposal (and under 40% health before too). Then comes the SSG and the rest of the map proves no trouble. The final door can be opened while the blocking bars are still there so it's easy to pick off the enemy behind it. I try to strafejump to the Megasphere several times without success. I consider rocket jumping but decide not to risk it while recording.
Really like the use of height variation here. Ammo trouble was my fault for wandering so far off the beaten path.

Old Post 05-08-13 03:57 #
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Suitepee
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Map 08: Archives (100% Kills, 89% Items, 0% Secrets. Played on UV, Death Count = 2)

http://youtu.be/_BsoyTZkJEc = my playthrough of Archives.

Boy this opening proved somewhat tricky, like Checkpoint but with less chaingunners.
You start off in a nice outdoor place (with trees and vine textures) with most of the enemies having their backs turned to you as you navigate your way over towards the shotgun. Several enemies are designed to face the shotgun area, and then you fire a shot and they all wake up and want you dead. I die once to this but then do alright; was expecting another Checkpoint-style painfest but was different and not as annoying, perhaps because there weren't 80 billion chaingunners around.
No I will not forgive or forget Checkpoint's opening, ever.
I can spy an invisible orb up on high, which must be one of the secrets I don't get this time.

Inside is some nice bookcases, candles and carpets and also a timed switch door. The tone change continues from Deadly I see. 3 Hell Knights and Pinkies lie beyond, as I also spy a Red Skull door. Nice to see the key style has changed also.
A rocket launcher on a demonic slab lies ahead in a room with several hitscans (mostly pistol men) and a Revenant, that overlooks an interesting 'garden' area. More bookcases and a mixture of monsters ahead, then the Super Shotgun is acquired next to an orange skull door. A Berserk pack lies next to a door that has the blue skull key inside, which in my opinion acts as a warning that a nasty trap is about to happen.
Which indeed proves the case; grabbing the blue skull lowers the bookcases nearby, revealing two Revenants, chaingunners, Pinkies and an accursed Archvile! I get lucky they don't completely block me from escaping the blue skull room and manage to pick off the Archvile's crew comfortably, although I can imagine several players getting bumrushed in the skull room and being Archviled to death here! A nicely executed trap.

Through the blue skull door lies an orange skull key surrounded by health potions; grabbing it opens the metal barricade nearby and lowers another bookcase revealing a Revenant and a chaingunner (alongside shotgunners) that I threaten to get infighting, but the chaingunner remembers that I hate their kind and focuses more on me instead. Then I take a Revenant rocket to the face. Then I get mad. It seems we've come around in a circle back to the previous area in this building, as a secret Soulsphere teases the player in another room.
Backtracking around shows that more bookcases have been lowered in previous areas. An interesting level design quirk here, making the player backtrack around the map whilst keeping things interesting with new enemies to fight.
Finally some armor appears from a lowered bookcase area. An area I just noticed as I type this that had its gridded sides previously closed off, but on the backtrack route the sides open up to act as windows so that the chaingunner hiding in the bookcase could prove to be deadly. Complex level design abundant here indeed as others have stated, and the polar opposite of the dead simple previous map.
Through the orange skull door lies the final red skull (also surrounded by health potions), and grabbing it lowers a wall nearby to reveal two Revenants.

Now I can go through the red skull door, a Pain Elemental steps in the way and is quickly dispatched. Onwards to the interesting looking garden area! And interesting it proves to be; once you jump down here, you can't get back up again, so it's a one-way trip to the finish.
I'm running low on ammo so some infighting would be nice here. An Arachnotron guards the plasma gun in some water, as Chaingunners lerk around and Pinkies/Imps wait to die. A Revenant and a Hell Knight are also in the mix here.
I think going past the centre of this area (near the part of the building that had the Rocket Launcher in it) triggers some floating Cacodemons behind us, and up ahead lies a Pain Elemental and yet more Cacodemons, alongside a Revenant and a Pinky. The PE starts infighting the Cacos, but I kill it quickly. And then die quickly shortly afterwards to a Cacodemon as I get blocked trying to evade a Revenant rocket. On my second attempt I clear this lot, then round another corner and have yet more Cacodemons (and a Hell Knight) to deal with. I like the Cacodemon majority here as it suits the outdoor area perfectly with their floatiness, yet another interesting horde to deal with that isn't chaingunners.
Generous ammo drops aplenty out here by the way, and a berserk pack also. Flipping a switch somewhat hidden on one of the vined up pillars opens the final door, revealing a nice mixture of monsters including Revenants, Pinkies, Mancubi and an Arachnotron.
With no way back up and (disappointingly) no secrets found at all for the first time in a Coffee Break map, I close out the level.

Overall this was a nice complex map with interesting start and end areas. I really liked the outdoor garden at the end particularly, since it both visually interesting and contained a healthy mix of monsters to deal with whilst having the majority monster type be appropriate to the area (cacodemons!). I wonder if I will be seeing anymore complex level designs for the remaining 3 maps..... (I hope so)

__________________
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http://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/ = Going Down part 3 livestream coming soon...

Old Post 05-08-13 06:13 #
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Capellan
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Suitepee said:
With no way back up


There is actually a completely random, completely unmarked linedef that lowers a wall and lets you get back to the rest of the level. It's not Coffee Break's finest moment, and I shall complain about it when I post my thoughts on the level :)

Old Post 05-08-13 06:50 #
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Capellan
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MAP08 – Archives
Well, I'm going to have to deduct a bunch of points for having an exit area that you can't leave once you're in it (well, unless you psychically know that an unmarked line somewhere is a switch, anyway). Sorry if you left any power-ups behind for later, you're just out of luck.

This level continues the visual evolution of the maps, behind mostly BSTONE and the "library" textures. It's amazing how many demonic invasions seem to include a bibliophilic contingent! :) Everything looks pretty good, with the vine-ridden exit area being probably the most memorable location.

Gameplay is pretty easy, again. Only the blue key trap (revs and chaingunners) has much in the way of teeth before we get to the exit. Said exit makes up for this deficiency with an enjoyable selection of adversaries, including a flock of flying tomato monsters: always a sight to warm my heart!

A solid, fun-to-play level marred only by the inescapable-without-psychic-powers exit area.

Old Post 05-08-13 07:53 #
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Melon
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MAP08: Archives

I know a lot of people always joke about "FPS games are brown!!1" but I think Doom has a nice variety of brown textures that look really good and so the looks of this level doesn't disappoint. I also liked the light strip on the bookcases and the vines hanging from the ceiling here and there.

Gameplay was solid and this was my favourite map so far, although Matt let himself down by not bothering with ammo balance. I went through this entire map using only shotguns, us rubbish players like weapon variety too! No-one would accept it for UV, the same design principles still apply for HNTR.

But I'm nitpicking, all round this level was great. Very enjoyable.

Old Post 05-08-13 09:15 #
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SteveD
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Map08 – Kills – 100, Items – 76, Secret – 100. Time 31:39. End Health 157, Armor 147. Death Count – 1

I guess this is the rest and recreation map, because this one’s so easy it’s not merely a walk in the park, but also a picnic and a couple games of softball with the kids. The only two difficult areas were the start (as usual), and the end, where you encounter a horde of enemies that serves as a warning of what’s to come in Map09. You know, pain, at least in my house.

I would have hated this map if it wasn’t so nice-looking and well laid-out. Well, the layout wasn’t that great, what with a series of keys behind bars all in one area, setting off some fairly mediocre traps. The best one was the Pinkie/Revvie/Archie trap, which for some reason had a Berserk in its area, as if I’m going to start punching Pinkies while an Archie’s about. Another key trap featured Revvies around a corner, giving you altogether too much time to launch a rocket barrage at them.

The secrets were okay, but still nothing great. I mean, wow, the Soulsphere is in what amounts to a bigger closet. Bestill my heart. I also grabbed the Blur sphere in hopes of getting 100% Items – I failed at that – even though this item usually does me more harm than good.

I guess the reason I disliked this map to some extent is because it’s geared so much to pistol-starters. It’s kind of a yawner for continuous players, even on UV, though perhaps that was Matt’s intent, giving you a breather before the really serious maps.

Of course, one problem with this map is obvious – not enough Chaingunners! :D Seriously, that’s the most likely reason I only died once, when I made a mistake in the final garden area.

The map’s saving grace is its beauty. Matt sticks to the template of modest-to-moderate sized rooms and low height, to get the most visual clarity from the Doom engine. Even source ports tend to look better in smallish rooms. As Capellan noted, we also have the classier, more well-educated hellspawn in this map, a bunch of library toughs, it seems, perhaps upset by your analysis of Plato’s Republic. Matt renders this all very well, and even manages to make the monkeyshit brown Floor7_1 borders pay off. The hanging vines looked great, and were used just enough to be decorative without being annoying.

This was the first map I played entirely with Always Run, and I was beginning to feel invincible – until Map09 brutally reacquainted me with my limitations. Yowza! Anyway, Map08 was alright, pretty but kinda toothless, but the fights were good enough to maintain interest, and you had to step lively at the beginning and end.

Last edited by SteveD on 05-08-13 at 11:15

Old Post 05-08-13 11:09 #
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MTrop
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Capellan said:


There is actually a completely random, completely unmarked linedef that lowers a wall and lets you get back to the rest of the level. It's not Coffee Break's finest moment, and I shall complain about it when I post my thoughts on the level :)



Actually, that line is almost guaranteed to be activated in deathmatch.

I say "almost" because there may be one contingency that I didn't plan for, looking back.


I AM reading this thread, by the way, and I'm delighted to see that everybody's criticisms about the maps in Coffee Break are similar to my own, which I talk about here. You're basically playing a set of maps that spanned a point in time throughout which I was getting better at mapping, so there are going to be plenty of missteps and blunders. During that time, I was making maps for PRCP and Back to Saturn X Episode 2, which are arguably some of my best, so there's a noticeable quality change.

Old Post 05-08-13 15:34 #
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dobu gabu maru
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MAP08: Favorite one so far. The atmosphere, outset, design, detail... everything about feels excellently crafted. The pistol start is the best so far, letting the player move around and plan what weapons to get/who to promote infighting with, and once the player is inside the library it's like a mortar maze. It was a bit confusing at times but a good sense of confusing, like I just didn't understand the layout enough to slide through it. And those lights on the bookcases, brilliant! It really livens up the archives even if it is just simple copypaste.

Fights were all generally good and well paced too, the AV one (naturally) being my favorite, as I really had to think about what my plan of attack was (the cubby he emerges from is the safest place to loop around in, but the pinkies can easily trap you inside). Less perched chaingunners which I guess means that we've finally moved out of that phase, and a lot more revenants and hell knights in their place. The outer courtyard was a touch easy due to infighting, but as long as the monsters keep me on my feet I'm a happy marine. I'll probably revisit this level to get ideas when I'm working on more level design stuff; my hat's off to Tropiano.


SteveD said:
The best one was the Pinkie/Revvie/Archie trap, which for some reason had a Berserk in its area, as if I’m going to start punching Pinkies while an Archie’s about.


I found the berserk really useful as a healing item since I squeaked out of that fight on my third try with literally 1% health.

Old Post 05-08-13 18:37 #
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Capellan
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MTrop said:
Actually, that line is almost guaranteed to be activated in deathmatch.



That's not much use in single player :)


MAP09 – Channel
This is a fine brick and wood complex built around and over a canal. I can even forgive many of the monsters rising out of the floor, because they're done on liquid flats. A few are from solids, and I am forced to roll my eyes at those, but it's a fairly small quibble overall.

I liked the backpack secret, the entrance to which is open, but quite hard to spot. I rocket-jumped to the blue armor secret. Not sure if it is possible to strafe-run it but figured I didn't need to as there was plenty of health I could go back for.

Looks-wise, everything in the map is solid. I thought the canal was used well, allowing you to loop back through the map to revisit the start (which is now repopulated with ammo and monsters). The rocky natural areas were also done well.

Gameplay in the first half of the map features several crossfires and enemies surrounding you. Godd stuff. The final section is a lot more 'straight up the middle' in its monster placement, and you also have the BFG for it. So stylistically it shifts a lot, but it works well because it's not like that for the whole map.

This is definitely a contender for my favourite map of the set.

Old Post 05-08-13 20:00 #
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cannonball
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MAP09 - Channel
Perhaps not as detailed as the last map but everything works well together. The gameplay feels more level in this one as in the player is under pressure for more of the time instead of more isolated fights. There were some nice touches to the gameplay with monsters well placed. Still it didn't feel too tough.
I don't know about the blue armour secret, it doesn't feel as rewarding for a rocket jump. Glad I saved the beserk pack at the start :)
Music good, detail good, gameplay challenging but not irritating hitscanner mess. Another very good map.
No deaths since map 5 :)

Last edited by cannonball on 05-08-13 at 22:10

Old Post 05-08-13 20:39 #
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SteveD
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Map09 – Kills – 96, Items – 100, Secret 100. Time 32:40. End health 100, Armor 200. Death Count – 10

Back into the high death numbers here. For my playstyle, this map was basically perfect. Shooting, shooting and more shooting, a bloodsoaked brawl from beginning to end. I don’t think I played kamikaze on this one, but I’ll have to wait for the Memfis and Suitepee videos to know for sure.

Anyway, this map was pure evil. Well-placed enemies and Really Big Traps. Yeah, it wasn’t as pretty as Map08, but it made up for that in raw carnage. I was sliced, diced, pounded and pureed so many times and in so many different ways that it became a blur, but I do remember some of the encounters. For example, I was killed twice at the blue key trap that released Matt’s toxic mix of Pinkies, Chaingunners, Revvies and an Archie. He’s gone to that well a few times in this mapset, but this one was especially in your face. I think it was more luck than strategy that saw me through on the 3rd try, because Archie was re-animating something, the Revvies and Pinkies were already rocketed to death, and I had a clear shot at his ugly ass with my RL.

Another good one was the big trap at the Plasma Gun that lifted a full rifle company of Imps, Cacos, Revvies and a fucking PE out of the water to splatter my ass. I survived the second try because in my raw panic I accidentally blundered into the invul secret. Thanks, Matt, that was very thoughtful of you. ;D And then, two batches of Imps rising from water to defend the BFG while Revvies, more Imps and a few Shotgunners battered you from above. I think I died twice there.

The final trap had monsters rising from the earth itself – 2 Archies and 4 Revvies on UV. I almost beat it on the first try, but on the second attempt I elected to run for the exit like the chickenhearted sleazebag I am, in order to conserve health and ammo for Map10 – a wise decision, as it turned out. ;)

So basically, I found this map to be good-looking, well laid out, with tons and tons of dangerous (for me) action. What more can I say? I fucking loved it!

Last edited by SteveD on 05-08-13 at 22:08

Old Post 05-08-13 21:37 #
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Ven
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Woah, gotta catch up a couple maps already.

Map08 - Archives | 10:10 | 100% kills, 98% items, 100% secrets | 0 deaths

A pretty damn awesome map. Green/brown Plutonia with some water surfaces. Yet another rape-styled entrance, but the lack of health and ammo dragged me by the edge until I found some medikits, and the soulsphere/mega armor secrets saved me.
The lacking item is on purpose - I didn't find myself needing the berserk at the first archvile pack. This map easily picks up the awesomeness of the wad, and can really put you on an edge if you don't play carefully. The music is yet another overused track, but it fits well to the flow of the map. Very fun and so far my favorite.

Map09 - Channel | 11:42 | 100% kills, 100% items, 66% secrets | 4 deaths

Ouch. The brown continues on, but the lack of early SSG and decent ammo prevented me from taking out the slightly-heavy amount of revenants at the beginning. Bam, two deaths already.
Pushing forward through the map, it gets even more evil. I found the invulnerability secret after clearing the mob near the plasma. Luckily the map gets a bit more fair after that part, and the BFG trap is very well used. The ending trap was also pretty easy with the BFG, and the chaingunners at the bottom were used cleverly.
The music, however, I found pretty awesome - I don't remember it using a midi version of the ZDoom Community Map 1 song! And it is actually really good. The sinister theme fit very well to the brutality of this map.

Nearing the end of this, I can't wait. :P

Old Post 05-08-13 21:50 #
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walter confalonieri
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map09: All right, now this level will change another time from brick levels to another theme,like medieval, hellish,city or i don't even known, so let's see this n-

http://i.imgur.com/muj7Lbo.png

(LOL colour palette been screwed for some hilarious reason...)

However theme is kinda of mixed with a mountainous canyon filled with waterfalls and stuff, joined with the usual brown brick theme, maps reminds in style the above level, but with a easier attitude, gameplay is focused on puzzle action and teleport traps, and follows the easy nature given the fluid layout, but still have a imprint of slaughter-maps, actually i liked this much more the above maps (although the great detail and stuff, you know) but this map have a kind of fluidity and detailing that liked me a lot...

Saved at MAP10 start, tomorrow feedback!

Old Post 05-08-13 23:19 #
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Memfis
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09 - no demo, lazy again, died on the yellow key trap. The level is similar to map08 but the layout is less neat maybe and there are more dull moments. Not sure what's the purpose of revenants on 4 pillars for example, you can just kill them from the entrance. Didn't like the overdramatic music.

Old Post 05-09-13 00:18 #
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vdgg
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MAP09 - 2 deaths, DNF.

This is probably a good map. I say probably as I liked it when playing for a while, then when watching my demo with a chasecam, I saw there would be later some monsters appearing "out of nowhere" from the ground (I start disliking these just like Capellan). The blue key trap was nice, disorienting, I died there, then right at the start, and then... I had 104 monsters killed (74 left), red and blue keys, 1 out of 3 secrets and couldn't figure out what to do next. Is linedef 1575 a "clear" satyr switch? Maybe it looked like a decoration for me, maybe I kept missing it several times, I don't know, but after maybe 10 minutes of helpless wandering I gave up and quit.

Old Post 05-09-13 06:49 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 08 -- Archives - 101% Kills / 100% Secrets
There have already been a number of comments about the tendency of Coffee Break's maps thus far to have their toughest moments early in the proceedings. Looking back, I think this is a mostly accurate observation, but it's here, eight maps in, that I felt this on a visceral level for myself for the first time (in this playthrough). The first 60 seconds or so are probably the most dangerous in the map (though some might make a case for the last 60 seconds as well)--I was badly wounded by all manner of bullets and buckshot in the short space of time it took me to grab the shotgun and dash indoors to secure the first room of the Archives...and this was with me not trying to do any fighting outdoors to speak of! And yet, after this initial scrape, I took no more damage until the final outdoor area, where one of the chaingunners nicked me for minor damage. One of the dangers of starting out a map like this is that doing so might make the later parts of the map feel uneventful or anticlimactic in comparison to the opening act, but I think Tropiano has avoided that here, as there's enough action throughout to sustain interest. I think what struck me most about this is how casual yet cohesive progression feels--it's a very door-laden affair, and some of those doors are inevitably keylocked, so your task is to get the keys, all of which are located in the main archive. Sounds totally ordinary, right? Well, that's kind of my point....after the endless procession of keydoor hubs in 2002:ADO and the very story/switch/linedef-driven character of Hadephobia, it's been a while since I've played a basic key-driven building-based map like this one, and it felt pretty good, which I attribute mostly to the way you're almost always given something new to fight during your backtracking trips. Following up on what I said earlier, there's no issue of anticlimax here, as the last outdoor battleground is ripe with opposition, including some well-placed caco groups that float up from behind the outer wall, and a big angry mass of HP in the exit room. Despite the numbers, though, it is still considerably easier than the opening moments of the map, considering you are much more well-armed by this point. The secrets here are also a step up from the simple cubbyholes of previous maps; my favorite is the two-part combat armor secret. On the aesthetic side, libraries are actually one of my favorite themes in Doom, so this one didn't have to try very hard to endear itself to me. Others have pointed out the hanging vine details; for my part, I particularly liked the way soft floodlighting has been subtly simulated in each individual bookcase. Funny Memfis should mention not liking the choice of music in map 09--I have a similar complaint here, as I don't think the escalating character of this song (map 09/intermission track from Requiem, right?) suits the relatively subdued atmosphere very well. Nevertheless, an enjoyable, well-rounded map overall.

Map 09 -- Channel - 107% Kills / 100% Secrets
Another fairly tight start to this map, although his one has a more steady stream of major battles throughout than the previous map did. I fought a lot of things from the doorway of the start room with the pistol (even after all of these years it still tickles me the way monsters occasionally hurl themselves forward over ledges as they die) and took some hitscan damage in return, but fortunately, there's a berserk pack right there to heal up with, which is something of a theme in this map. I'd say I played fairly sloppily over the course of this one--took a lot of damage, had a lot of poor shotgunning and inefficient rocket use, to the point where I was under 8 shells on a couple of occasions, etc.--but there are actually quite a lot of healing items available, and ammo is pretty finely balanced until near the end, when it swings to being a little excessive. Two of the three secrets are rather potent, as well--incidentally, to those who've asked, it is indeed quite possible to straferun over to the combat armor. The upshot of all this is that I would say it's a fairly easy map, despite the mounting presence of more powerful monsters, but it's never boring. There are more group monster reveals here than in any previous map in the set, and this is handled in a variety of ways--closets, teleports, in-floor lifts, etc--to keep things fresh. About the monsters rising from the ground here, insofar as I'm not particularly troubled by this general device to begin with, I'll disagree with some of the previous comments and say that I think this map has particularly inoffensive examples of it, in that there is a definite theme apparent in where it will happen--monsters always rise either from water or from distinct patches of soft dirt, the latter essentially being that flat's only use in the map. That aside, despite the BFG/rocket-based finale, my favorite encounter was actually one of the earlier ones--the arch-vile & co trap near the blue skull turned into quite a clusterfuck, as he must've raised each chaingunner and one of the revenants twice while I kept dancing around the hallway supports, trying in vain to get a clean shot at him (demons and revenants kept heroically leaping in front of rockets on his behalf); at the end, I actually punched his lights out, because all of my rockets and most of my shells were gone. Fun stuff! Aesthetically, the modest Plutonic ruin theme continues to be handled well enough, this one naturally with the addition of the channel and a bit of nature scenery to add depth. I reckon it's not as good-looking as the previous map, though, which I'd attribute to flatter lighting throughout, although there's nothing actively offensive in any way about the way it looks. Another modest yet legitimately enjoyable little map.

No deaths yet, although I was close at the start of map 08.

Last edited by Demon of the Well on 05-09-13 at 08:58

Old Post 05-09-13 08:49 #
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Melon
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MAP09: Channel

While the previous level was very interconnected and looked mazey but in practice the layout was so straightforward even alfonzo couldn't get lost (probably), this level felt much more labyrinth, but not in a good way. Despite its linearity I actually ended up lost and wandering around for a while. It turns out I'd missed a switch in the rocket launcher room that I honestly thought was a secret when I found it. Throughout this map I never felt like I knew where I was supposed to be going despite the fact that the progression is basically one long never-branching path. Maybe that's something worth studying and figuring out why.

Gameplay was the usual solid affair I have no complaints about. The visual theme continued the trend of the previous two maps. The rocks in the outdoor area were hilariously circular though, reminds me of my own attempts at trying to do outdoor areas. On that note, you've reminded me to go study Speed of Doom to learn how to make outdoor areas look awesome, brb.

Old Post 05-09-13 09:24 #
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Kristian Ronge
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Map 9 -- Channel
A slightly larger map than the previous ones (took me about 20 minutes to play through) with a varied set of fights and traps. The setting is a beautiful brick structure built into the side of a mountain, with a channel running on one side.

Again, the start is tough, but expecting that I saved the berserk and could heal up after the initial scuffle. :-) Unlike for example map 8, here you are given a safe place from which to fight the monsters and I used that to my advantage.

This map lets the player exlore the surroundings a bit freely which was neat. Progession is for the most part clear-cut; like vdgg I got lost after opening the blue key bars but only for a moment, as I realized there had to be some reason for me to go into that area, and that's when I found the switch there. I blame mostly myself for this but seeing as it happened to another experienced player, that switch might be not so obvious. Its action (raising the bars allowing access to the YK) isn't clear-cut either but this is a minor complaint.

I cleared out most of the early sections before I got my hands on the red key... I had no real incentive to grab the chaingun which lowers the RK pillar, so it took me a while to find it. I'm glad for this because that meant I faced the BK trap well-equipped; it would have been brutal without the RL.

Apart from the very intense BK trap the difficulty is... medium maybe, but then again by now I've become used to much of Matt's modus operandi. There were several spots where the traps could have been made more devilish. For example, the AV beaming in behind the YK door was a nice shocker but pretty harmless by itself. The monsters released by the plasma rifle I could take out by just running back through the corridor and rocket spam + mop up with the SSG, and if my escape route would have been closed off when approaching the mancubus hill at the very end (like it was closed off before you get the BFG) I would have been cooked, being armed at that time with only the chaingun.

The secrets were helpful but again easy to find. I didn't even contemplate a RJ to the blue armour because it was so easily reachable with straferunning. The invuln I felt was a bit misplaced, though it did help me to conserve plasma and rockets by taking out the arachnotrons and revenants in the starting area with the SSG. It's IMHO overkill to have it at all, but if so I would have liked to have it before reaching the plasma rifle room fight, and not after.

Anyway, the fights were mostly very well executed (especially the BFG fight), the traps were mostly fun, ammo balance was again near perfect up until the very end... And seeing as how the map as a whole is so inoffensive, with no bullshit setups, no awkward fights, great visuals, etc., I'll reward it. --5/5

Old Post 05-09-13 10:03 #
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SteveD
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Posts: 1292
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Demon of the Well said:
No deaths yet, although I was close at the start of map 08.


Man, I would love to see a demo of you playing.

"You never got me down, Ray!" ;D

Old Post 05-09-13 10:12 #
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Suitepee
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Map 09: Channel (100% Kills, 98% Items, 66% Secrets. Played on UV, Death count = 1)

http://youtu.be/z7sWUZnZh1k = my playthrough of Channel. (Hot off the Youtube presses...I recorded this a few hours ago today, only just uploaded the video right this minute on HD)

This map continues the general theme set out by Deadly and Archives, with wooden doors, plants/trees and candles. There seems to be a bit more green marble around here though than previous maps. I start out in a room (that has a nice cross-shaped roof opening) with a berserk pack in it alongside two small stimpacks and 50 bullets. I'll be revisiting here later.
The opening gambit is somewhat similar to Archives, only without as many hitscanners and no initial 'stealth' time. A lone chaingunner bumbles around the corner to provide some threat, then the rest of it is acquiring the shotgun (in a grille on some water) and blasting the other shotgunners away before clearing the rest comfortably. I get the impression that the lone chaingunner here was deliberately placed so that the player would acquire the chaingun on startup (at least from a pistol start perspective), in which case neatly placed!
Moving towards a building with two chaingunners on sentry duty and a marble slab demonic goathead raises up a Revenant and two Lost Souls from a patch of brown ground nearby. A nice effect, and one I will see a few times throughout Channel. Some armor lies up some stairs in the overhang that overlooks the start area.

Through the marble slab overhang door lies several Revenants on pillars, and Pinkies behind said pillars. This proves a waste of shotgun ammo on the Revenants, and am forced to punch out several Pinkies. Grabbing the chaingun lowers the pillars and access to the red skull is granted. Yawn.
Through the next door is a nice thick staircase, that contains chaingunners, Pinkies and a Pain Elemental. Around the base of the staircase is a 'tower' area with some shotgunners and imps overlooking the place. Up the stairs lies a room with various marble pillars and a super shotgun in the middle. Grabbing this weapon triggers Revenant and Hell Knight teleport traps from the lowered marble pillars (it also removes some metal barricades nearby), which costs me a death because I hate Revenants.
After that is another room with marble pillars, windows on both sides and two Revenants hiding behind said pillars. It's like I'm playing Reservoir again with all these Revenants, for Matt's sake!
Opening the red skull door leads to the blue skull key in the staircase overhang 'tower'. Now time for some evil; grabbing blue skull lowers walls and releases an Archvile and some chaingunners/Revenants/Pinkies! Perhaps this trap is again simpler than I make it look in the video, but needless to say I'm forced to retreat as the Archvile chases me outside to the starting area. He resurrects a massive 11 enemies before finally dying to my shotgun. I think what made this trap particularly hideous was that I had no rocket launcher or clear shot at the Archvile, and thus clearing out the rabble was trickier than expected! Was definitely my hairiest Archvile encounter in the wad thus far!
After grabbing the previously mentioned berserk pack, time to move on.

Secret number one was also lowered with the blue skull, that is outside on the vines near the thick staircase. Two backpacks lie inside.
More of the outdoors ahead, with some cliff designs not seen since Storage. Through an orange skull barricade in the water below I glimpse the first sighting of the BFG 9000! Oh boy, things are going to pick up in this level!!!
After getting briefly stuck forgetting about the switch in the room with the rocket launcher, said switch teleports in some Imps and Hell Knights. Through the Blue Skull door I go, which overhangs the other side of the BFG section. The water seems to flow throughout most of the level and guides the player towards the exit, a nice level detail.
Armor and a blue switch ahead, which lowers blue skull barricades. Go back and flick another switch, which lowers some metal barricades that isn't immediately obvious to figure out. A brief moment of KdizD-ness here, but I eventually stroll on.
Down in the water two imps rise up from the water, and just before you acquire the plasma rifle more monsters rise up from the water, including Revenants and a Pain Elemental. I wisely decide to use rockets at close quarters here to deal with the Revenants (wisely as in OUCH!), then switching to the SSG before having a close call.
Grabbing the orange skull opens the way back to the starting area, teleporting in a Mancubus and 2 Arachnotrons below, with several Revenants up top. I deal with them all, and enjoy using mouselook to SSG the Revenants above. Take that scumbags! Once again for the umpeenth time I notice that the previously established map pillars are lowered to allow for monster spawns/reveals, which seems to be something Matt likes doing a lot in this wad. (having players go to previous areas in a level and have previously established walls/structures lowered to expose monsters)

Through the orange skull door lies a candle that teleports in an Archvile, and the switch lowers the orange barricades in the flowing water stream below. BFG area time!
Entering the area raises up many Imps, reactivates the barriers behind you and it's time to use the rocket launcher to clear your path! (nice placement of rocket/plasma ammo here to hint at the player what to do) Nice trap here. Cacodemons enter the fray to float overhead, Revenants and Imps lerk above. A 'ladder' guides me upwards to flick a switch that lowers the barricades on the other side, whilst some Megaarmor lerks on a cliff on the opposite side. (which can be 'rocket jumped' over to for secret 2 of 3) Grabbing the BFG underneath what looks like an incomplete metal structure triggers no trap, surprisingly.
The final area awaits, as chaingunners and Hell Knights/Revenants rise up from the water's end whilst several Mancubi and Hell Knights fling projectiles from the land ahead. Up the top here next to the exit door I expect some kind of grand finale since there's a similar brown 'hole' here that was used earlier to rise up some enemies. (foreshadowing!) And I have a BFG.
So I walk towards the door, enemies do indeed rise up from the dirt; two Archviles and several Revenants. Two BFG shots later they're all dead, as are the chaingunner duo that appear on the ground below me that would have been irritating to deal with if I didn't have the BFG to clear out the final ambush.
This was a disappointing ending; I have a BFG and was expecting something bigger, like a Cyberdemon. Had I known a couple of pests were waiting, I'd have blown some of its ammo earlier!
I close out the level, noting an oddly placed medkit INSIDE the exit room that seems to serve little purpose. I fail in finding the third secret. This map also took me the longest time to beat in the wad thus far, clocking in at 28 and a half minutes.

Overall, this level was nicely designed much like Archives was. I was truely disappointed at the ending ambush; since the BFG was acquired here, I was expecting something big. In all honesty, this level could have done without having the BFG in it; it would have made the final ambush a lot trickier!
Two maps left to go....

__________________
www.youtube.com/JohnSuitepee = I like to Let's Play doom wads.
http://www.twitch.tv/johnsuitepee/ = Going Down part 3 livestream coming soon...

Old Post 05-09-13 18:19 #
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Capellan
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MAP10 - Fort
The more 'medieval' stylings continue through the use of bstone, brick and metal. The level looks nice throughout, and I enjoyed the use of height to create a couple of different planes of action.

Said action is solid throughout the level, with the possible exception of AV use. But we'll get to that. I enjoyed the start, with enemies mostly above you, but enough at ground level that you had to clear that out first, while trying to keep moving to avoid the plunging fire. Good use of pressure from two directions.

Then you head upstairs, and engage in mostly corridor shooting, while raising platforms to allow you to cross previously impassable gaps. It's far from a unique idea, of course, but it is well executed and on the whole very good fun. The fireplace teleporters – which I guess may stymie some players for a while? – lead to a particularly cool environment. The battle there is rather easy, with the imps and sergeants actually presenting more threat than the more distant, larger enemies, but it was a 'wow, that looks nice' moment in the level.

My only real complaint, as noted above, is the AV use. The one in the berserk room was fine, I thought, but the others were kind of helpless, over all. The 'super-slow' ooze didn't really protect the one in that room: it was easy to pick him off without risk. Ditto the AV released when you flick the switch there. And the exit AV was similarly dispatched without any danger to the player.

I know we all love to hate the AV, and enjoy seeing them die, but this level was in danger of making me feel sorry for the blighters! :)

AV quibbles aside, another good level. Coffee Break seems to be heading toward a strong ending.

Old Post 05-09-13 20:26 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Posts: 1145
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MAP09: Although these Plutonia-inspired maps have been easier, I've been finding myself enjoying their layout and enemies more. This structure, while winding like the library, doesn't have quite the atmosphere or style to it despite the similar browns. It's still however a marvel to look at, with plenty of open ceilings to let the doom marine breathe in the fresh scent of pinky corpses.

While Tropiano throws the player a berserk pack at the start, it actually pays off to lure the enemies to your position and take out all the baddies on the ground before moving out. No noticeable encounters here for me, other than the AV that pops in during the blue key fight (where I struggled to keep chaingunners off my back and him out of the little cubby). It was still a fun ride full of blunders as I played, including a very poor reaction to the finale from me. I'm still astounded by this Tropiano's abilities to make really smooth, cohesive level flow.

Also, I joined walter in the madness.
http://i.imgur.com/g1T6zUf.jpg
(Assuming he's mad at lost souls and not texture themes)

Old Post 05-09-13 21:23 #
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purist
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MAP08 -- Archives

I like the new theme, Tropiano shows there's more to him then techbases. He can do Plutonia-esque vine-ridden brick fortresses too.

The layout was pretty good too. The key motif fell just on the right side of repetitiveness so this level does not suffer the apparent laziness that marred my enjoyment of the previous two maps a degree.

My main issue with this level is the pedestrian gameplay. I'm not exactly challenging myself fully by playing continuous HMP but even in the context of the levels so far this one felt tepid. I got the feeling I was being let off the hook as each trap passed by and advantage was not taken of the open layout.

MAP09 -- Channel

This one looks similar to Archives but not quite as aesthetically charming in my opinion. Still the rocky outdoors and gushing creek are a nice change a scenery to the brown bricks.

This one has more teeth than it's tame predecessor too. Revenants were given a free range, PEs were placed at range and AVs accompanying by distracting cronies.

I would like this one more if it wasn't for the unnecessarily confusing progression. It was the first map in Coffee Break that felt like a switch hunt and it didn't feel like it had a definite direction about the mapflow.

Old Post 05-09-13 23:07 #
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cannonball
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MAP10 - Fort
Can't remember how long this took me but it wasn't much more than 10 minutes. I think the consecutive playing is showing here as I simply breezed through this without much concern, only near death experience was the hellish area where rocket damage depleted to almost nothing (thanks rng) leaving revenants still standing after 3 rocket hits??? And me being stupid and trying to kill the final archvile with the fist (I forgot I didn't have the berserk pack and got stuck on the door track :P)
Anyway another fine map with very few irritations. No hitscan pain again which is nice. Good monster placement. I do agree about the friction water section. It's a nice concept but the archviles are still too easy to take out. The two previous archie encounters were well done, especially the one near the zerk pack. The layout is perfectly fine with you being guided throughout.
The main highlight of course is the silent teleporter through the fireplace into hell. Really nice touch.
Another very good map this one.

Old Post 05-10-13 00:52 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP08 - ARCHIVES

Definitely better than the last few maps, both in aesthetics and gameplay. I did like the nice touches with the lighting on the bookcases, though it did start to feel a little overused by the end. The vine look is nice though. Definitely starting to see the author's style come through - it's lots of similarly-smalled sized rooms connected by doors in a tight area. This map provides a nice progression though, with a good amount of retracing steps, but not in a boring manner. There's also the outside areas at the start and end to mix things up a bit. The start is, again, the hardest part, due to Tropiano's penchant for placing hitscanners on ledges surrounding an entire area. Didn't like being the one-way nature of the end, though (apparently there is a way back, but it seems like it was meant for DM only).

MAP09 - CHANNEL

This map felt very similar to Archives, both in aesthetics and general layout/gameplay. The start especially almost feels like the same map - enough to wonder if they were two different drafts. Don't think the layout is as good here, and I'm not a fan of the "monsters suddenly rise out of the ground" trick though I suppose it's better than teleporting. (I know some people don't like it just because it looks weird, and Tripiano tries to avoid that by having them rise out of water or dirt, but I dislike it from a gameplay perspective). I also got a little lost after the blue switch, wasn't clear that it opened the bars in the water.

Old Post 05-10-13 02:23 #
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Memfis
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Just a quick update from me, after 9 minutes of fun and intense gameplay on MAP10 I finally performed my trademark move and killed myself with a rocket. Kind of frustrated here so I think I'm done with this wad. I will also probably skip Fava Beans since it's just a typical E1 replacement, a bit tired of these to be honest. I'll return for Double Impact, which is not so typical, especially in terms of gameplay, and I'll play it with that new setting that dew suggested. See ya.

Old Post 05-10-13 05:50 #
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ArmouredBlood
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Fava beans is not your typical E1 replacement, unless your typical E1 replacement has crazy interconnectivity and awesome flow.

Old Post 05-10-13 09:06 #
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Crusader No Regret
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Map 6: 100% kills, 100% secrets, 2 deaths Time: 14+ minutes on exit

I'll admit, the symmetry made for predictable gameplay. Somehow it didn't bother me when recording. It's really easy to lure enemies into positions where they can be goaded to staying out of melee range. First death comes early due to accurate hitscanners and me being clumsy. Rather silly for HMP which has zero chaingunners sniping away in the opening area. Next attempt brings death at the top of the lift. I anticipate something mean behind the door so set up to pump rockets into whatever is there and close range chaingunners end that attempt. Found backpack secret by chance, the Doom senses actually worked there. Not much changes in the successful run. I know the enemy behavior on the map and exploit the heck out of it. The spiderdemon creates a tense situation since I don't realize where I can safely tackle the PE and HKs. The spider tags a HK and it demonstrates where to stay out of its line of fire after landing a retaliatory shot. (thinking "I don't have all day." before killinng the spiderdemon and HK myself) This time, I'm ready for the trap that killed me last time though using the Pain Elemental as a shield was not planned.

Demo derps: Forgetting about Hell Knights until one smacks me in the side with a projectile.
Exiting with 200/200 because I didn't find the mega armor until after everything was dead. 200% health is intentional.

Map 7: 100% kills, 0% secrets, 4 deaths Time: 11+ minutes on exit
Chose to be stubborn and tried to finish the map without using the armor. Death by Arachnotron (and my fire button not responding). I have a plan after this but it takes two more deaths and a suicide after taking too much damage in the start room before it falls into place. The very first attempt, I take no damage from Mancubi; the others see me getting hit by at least one fireball.

Way too similar to Dead Simple after taking the plasma gun, zzzzz. That last Archvile could have ended me as I was still dozing but didn't.

Map 8 Did not finish, 4 deaths
With all the monsters waiting to be awoken, I go for the silent approach to lessen the number of hitscanners shooting at me. I die three times attempting this. Find one secret before snagging the blue key. Chose to stay in the chamber; get overwhelmed. I end the recording at this point.

On my very next try a bit later not recording, I exit intact. Found 2 out of 3 secrets. Not so happy about being trapped in the last area unable to return for supplies.

Old Post 05-10-13 09:29 #
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Ven
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Map10 - Fort | 12:20 | 100% kills, 100% items, 50% secrets | 2 deaths

Oh man. This map really does it for me, as the difficulty is already in a high level and it shows right from the start. The first area is as usual pretty brutal, with hitscanners and high-ranked monsters sniping at you from the top, while you still have to dodge some low-tier monsters on the ground level. Monster placement in this map is really clever basically everywhere, and I didn't find any part which was unfair.
Design wise - Another brick-brown map, which kinda looks like a fort, except not really. It shows perfect designs of height variation, a moderate amount of detail and how traps should function. The Archvile traps (except for the one in the exit door, that's getting old already :P ) were all clever and quite intimidating if you didn't react fast enough.
The slime part was something you don't see everyday - I nearly killed myself with the RL trying to get the Archvile down.
And then there's my favorite part in the map - The one after you get the plasma, where you jump into the fire and there's the hellish landscape out of nowhere. That part was extremely well done and really got me by surprise the first time I played this.
The deaths were both by Revenants this time, the first one caught me off guard while the second time I had around 4 HP and tried to dodge multiple shots at once, that didn't go so well, haha.
So far my favorite, but then again there's the final map awaiting. :P

Old Post 05-10-13 10:53 #
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