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dobu gabu maru
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http://i.imgur.com/YetTzzg.jpg

What is the DWmegawad Club?
This is a place where we settle down, have a cup of tea (or drink of your choice) and take a month to play through a megawad on our own, together! Any keen observations, criticisms, or frustrated ranting about it goes here in the discussion. As long as you want to say something about what you've played, feel free to speak your mind.

Can I join?
Sure. The only rule is that you have to play at least some of the levels in our monthly megawad to contribute, but you're generally encouraged to finish the whole thing, even if you've played it before.

What levels am I allowed to post about?
We’re doing a map a day, starting with E1M1 on May 12th.

Do I have to post an entry every day?
Nope, not at all. This is only for our more enthusiastic members. As long as you play through it with us you’re part of the club.

----------

The megawad we are playing through is HYMN

>>>DOWNLOAD ALPHA VERSION 2c HERE<<<

Hymn of the Fallen Lords is a Heretic community single episode replacement organized by Egregor in November 2012. It has been optimized for ZDoom but should play in other Boom compatible ports, and has a vanilla-design mentality. Please remember to post any bugs or issues as this is still an alpha!

The author & maplist is as follows.

E1M1 - Port Pavera by Pavera
E1M2 - Pathetic Reprimand by Boared
E1M3 - Badlands by EvilNed01
E1M4 - Temple of the Fallen Lords by Egregor
E1M5 - Optifort Prime by Optimus
E1M6 - Myth Falls by A.Gamma
E1M7 - Sacrilegium Surrexit by DooMAD
E1M8 - Anachronistic Metropolis by Xaser
E1M9 - Doomus by Cacowad
E2M1 - CastleZ by dilks (zdoom only)


And just for those that forgot
http://i.imgur.com/GMoQnmM.jpg

Bonus Content
Where's All the Data?'s playthrough: 1 2
----------
OLD THREADS
BF_THUD!
Community Chest 4
Jenesis
MAYhem 2012
Memento Mori
Interception
2002: A Doom Odyssey
Hadephobia
Coffee Break & Fava Beans & Double Impact
HYMN
Stardate 20X6 & Monochrome Mapping Project
Realm of Chaos
Back to Saturn X E1 & Favillesco E1
Kama Sutra
Unholy Realms & Zone 300
Vile Flesh
Ultimate Doom
Whitemare & Sacrament
Scythe
Epic 2
Whitemare 2

Last edited by dobu gabu maru on 04-02-14 at 06:49

Old Post 05-12-13 02:37 #
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Xaser
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Welp. Guess I may as well participate in this since I'm gonna be one of the victims anyway. D:

In the interests of full disclosure (because the authors will inevitably ask "WTF?"), "Port Pavera" and "Optifort Prime" are goofy names I picked off the top of my head since the maps were (and probably still are?) unnamed when I wrote the LANGUAGE lump. So that's my fault. :P

Old Post 05-12-13 02:50 #
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Memfis
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ZDoom 2.6.1.3794, 4th skill, wand start, no saves.

e1m1 - fda. Fun start, with a lot of space to move and some neat architecture to look at. I think the map is too bright though, outdoor areas have the brightness level of 224 which means that the faraway textures look pretty much the same as the ones near the player, so there is no depth to the areas whatsoever. Anything higher than 192 is too bright for large areas imo.

Old Post 05-12-13 03:01 #
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Capellan
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I usually use PrBoom+ for Doom, but for this I will be using ZDoom 2.6.1 (r3794).

Skill 3, continuous, frequent save and reload.

e1m1
Certainly gets off to a frantic start! :)

I'd forgotten how "busy" the Heretic textures are. It's quite a change to get used to, visually. The monsters also appear a bit clumsy compared to Doom's, but maybe that's just a lack of familiarity with them. Or perhaps its the palette.

I agree with Memfis that the map seems too bright. There should at least be some reduction in this, and I suggest making the more distant exterior sectors darker to mimic the loss of clarify when viewing distant objects.

The large secret seems extremely generous with what it gives out. I'd think about reducing that and maybe adding a little more ammo to the main map. Perhaps just wand crystals, so that finding the secret still has the benefit of making the bigger weapons more available.

Other than the start, very little of the map was threatening - it was easy to hang back and slaughter enemies with the crossbow and claw.

Somehow, I failed to pick up the Phoenix Rod, despite gathering everything else in that secret. Not sure how I managed that!

Old Post 05-12-13 03:45 #
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Egregor
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Cool! I'm glad to see this is actually happening, though I am also nervous to see just how harsh some of this criticism is going to get. Some of the levels seem (to me) to be much too difficult. Also, a few of them, like my level E1M4, have yet to have difficulty settings implemented.

Projects entering the beta phase really benefit most from a forum conversation about the WAD. I like the idea of the DWmegawad club being a built in community beta testing team for up and coming WADs, and with that in mind I'm honored HYMN is going to get first bat at this process. Thanks in advance. Hopefully the final project will be better because of this.

EDIT: I should also mention there is a new version of both E1M1 and E1M7 located over at the HYMN project page. Both guys were just a hair late getting their submissions in for the Alpha v2b and instead of confusing and frustrating everyone and creating yet another alpha to download I just included them there (though I suppose that is equally confusing and frustrating). Anyways, if your interested in playing the most up to date version you have to go there for M1 and M7. Sorry! Oh, and make special note of your post if you are playing the super current versions of those maps, thanks!

Last edited by Egregor on 05-12-13 at 04:19

Old Post 05-12-13 04:05 #
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Tarnsman
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Wow this month's WAD is going to be overflowing.

Old Post 05-12-13 05:42 #
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Xaser
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Hmm, I hate to do this since I'm not the official project leader, but I really don't think it's a good idea to not include the latest maps in this playthrough since feedback on the wrong version of the map is likely to be distorted and could possibly be non-useful.

As such, I've gone ahead and tossed up an Alpha v2c that includes updated versions of E1M1 and E1M7. It's no different otherwise, so those running A2b with the updated maps as loose wads are getting the same thing. It's much easier and less confusing to pack them all into one, I think.

tl;dr: Use this version. Sorry for the hijack, Egregor. :P

Old Post 05-12-13 08:02 #
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Demon of the Well
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Alright, I said I'd give this a shot, and so here I am. I'm using ZDooM 2.6.1, mouselook, and no infinitely tall actors/things. I'll be playing on the "Thou art a Smite-Meister" skill level, beginning each map from an elvenwand start.

It's been at least a couple of years since I've played Heretic, so let's see how much I remember.....

E1M1 -- Port Pavera - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Okay, I'm pitted against a large group of monsters right from the start, something I seem to vaguely recall being in line with the commercial expansion episodes to the original game. Right off the bat I've got some of those arcane IED-thingies, and have a pretty decent time watching them propel exploding golems across the floor as though it were an iceskating rink. The dragons and the golems on the ground seem largely unconcerned with harming me, instead preferring to bicker amongst themselves, but the nitrogolems on the various ledges and in elevated nooks do their damnedest to blow me away. This is actually my biggest compliment to the map--it makes quite effective use of both height variation and lateral distance, to the point where almost no matter where you go, there is something attacking you from on a different level, and sometimes from quite a ways away. Given the lack of hitscanning enemies, this placement prompts the player to stay in motion at all times, making the rather open, airy spaces comprising the majority of the map seem relevant despite the relatively low monster population. On the downside, I was surprised to run up against so many undead warriors and, worse, ophidians so soon. It's not that these guys stand much of a chance of killing you given all the space available; it's just that they have a lot of HP relative to the fairly low amount of damage that most of Heretic's (un-Tomed) weapons do, and grinding away at the groups of ophidians in particular quickly bogs down the pace a bit. Fortunately, the secret Phoenix Rod mitigates this somewhat, so I'd say it's a good addition despite how comically overpowered the secret which it's a part of is (incidentally, maybe I'm just being a dummy, but it kind of seemed like the room with the gauntlets should've been secret). Still, I reckon I'd rather have seen a higher monster count but comprised of more low-HP creatures, and/or perhaps a few more flying enemies taking the place of some of the sequestered ground-based meatshields. On that point, I really think that some kind of trap ought to spring when you take the green key--release some gargoyles (since I'm on that open deck), port in some weredragons or ophidians back at the other end of the walkway, something (maybe even both). I'm inclined to say ammo is more than a bit excessive (despite the relative weakness of the weapons), and I'm not sure I like how I have more than half the game's weapons before the first map is even over, but health seemed well-judged, particularly the scarcity of quartz flasks. Made a gratifyingly efficient use of the chicken-curse thingamajig on the last monster group before leaving; one of my personal goals in this playthrough is to break myself of the tendency to hoard the one-use items when I could be using them to speed things up. Starting every map fresh should help in that regard, I hope.

Aesthetically, while I'm usually one to complain about things being too bright, I actually kind of like how brightly-lit most of the main playable space is...in concert with the many visible torch/chandelier decorations and that vibrant ochre sky, it gives the place an oddly cozy and inviting character, like this place might've actually been quite a nice place to be before the advent of D'Sparil's minions. I do agree with Memfis that there is something rather unnatural about how bright the mountains/hills outside appear, and I'd go further and say that they look a mite regular/artificial even by the standards of the DooM engine. Additionally, despite the watery outside areas, they are all totally enclosed by walls/terrain, meaning that the Parthorians must have some pretty fucking magical ships indeed to be using the place as a port. Given that the name "Port Pavera" is just a placeholder, though, this is more an aside than a real criticism. ;)

Didn't encounter any actual technical bugs.

Edit: Oh, yes, I used the standalone current version of this map from the main HYMN thread, here, downloaded before Xaser's post above.

Old Post 05-12-13 08:07 #
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Xaser
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Hmm, my posts won't be quite as prose-laden as Demon of the Well's, I'm afraid, since I'm more of a chronic nitpicker than anything else, but I'm going to approach this from an alphatesting standpoint anyhow and focus on oddities and areas of improvement. So maybe that's useful to someone. :P

In the interests of full disclosure, I'm using ZDoom, playing on Smite-Meister (Heretic's "UV"), and not wand-starting mostly because I'm curious to see how the episode flows as a whole (since I've played most maps individually at some point). I'll be sure to keep this less-than-proper choice in mind in case I try and discuss things like ammo/enemy balance.

AT ANY RATE,

E1M1 -- Port Pavera

Damn the fool who named this map. As mentioned, it's not even a proper port! :P

First thing's first: I really like this one. Pavera's mapping in general has a sort of "bigness" and "openness" to it (see BTSX-E1's MAP05) and it shows here, what with the big overhangs around the exterior and whatnot. Definitely comfortable to run through (even given its orthogonality) and a good looker throughout.

Gameplaywise, it's pretty much on the money for an M1: Not too tough, not too easy. I had a surplus of arrows early on but ended up using most of them on those later packs of snaketroops. Finished with 7 arrows and 33 blastershots, so no troubles with ammo balance, I think.

It's also good to see that the updated version is no longer flooded with quartz flasks -- that was my one big complaint about the map originally, and it seems all well now. :)

In the interest of offering something nitpicky right off the bat, I did notice a texture misalignment on the rocks outdoors:
http://i.imgur.com/Edi29tGs.png
Minor, but it suggests there could be others. I guess I may also add that I'm not particularly fond of how the rock on the rightmost edge of the screenshot looks "layer cake-y", but this is coming from the guy who monotextures cliffsides anyway so I may just be a biased pig. But I'm sharing it anyway because I have a voice and can do that.

Finally, I ended up missing the Phoenix Rod secret, since I'm a densewad sometimes. Guess that would've been a good thing to do given my non-wandstart "let's see if anything breaks the episode" ulterior goal, so welp. I did find the tome, though, so let's see if that breaks things up. Maniacal laughter occurs at this point.

Next Time: Xaser presses onward into Hymntown, U.S.A. and hopes he will avoid being scathingly rebuked for his efforts.

Old Post 05-12-13 08:30 #
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Biendeo
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I'm gonna start contributing to this forum for the first time by getting into some community playing. Love it!

Anyway, I'm gonna talk about the first level right now. I'm gonna play the whole episode on Ultra-Violent, and I'm gonna take pictures here: http://imgur.com/a/ebOeO#0.

The first thing I noticed about this map was the yellow key sitting there right in front of me. The second thing was that there were a lot of enemies in the first area. I had found the first secret by complete chance. Success.

Generally I thought the map was alright. It gave pretty much all the weapons quite quickly, and there wasn't really a moment where I was too lost or anything. I was a little bit confused with the green key, as it was up in a side place away from the pathway.

I also thought finding both of the secrets was kind-of easy. The first one may've just been a fluke, but the second one was kind-of obvious. Otherwise, I think this map was pretty good. It used colours quite strongly, giving a unique feeling to each area of the map. I just wish it was a little bit more obvious with the ammo placement. I ran out for a while until I found the hidden ammo reserve up with the green key.

So yeah. There's my two cents. :)

Old Post 05-12-13 09:05 #
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Boared
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I also have an updated version for those who are interested. Fixed some bugs and added some extra areas. No skill implementation has been added yet.

http://www.mediafire.com/?hsuu6zzfshjgbhk

Cheerio!

Old Post 05-12-13 12:41 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Some minor background: I had the shareware version of Heretic when I was younger so I played through the first episode 5-6 times. When the series came out on steam I finally purchased the IWAD and got the expansions, playing through all of them in a week or two. I'm mentioning this because I am barely familiar with the "new" weapons or monsters, so my tactical prowess and knowledge is severely stunted compared to Doom. I will be playing through the mapset on skill 4, continuous play.

E1M1: Off to a good start. Since I'm uneducated when it comes to Heretic textures, this level looks great to me, like a traditional Heretic map if not for how enclosed it feels... and the massive onslaught of big baddies right out of the starting gate. They're easy to deal with once you pick up some good weapons and start laying some time bombs around, reintroducing me to item management. I found the Phoenix Rod secret in the map and honestly it feels pretty overpowered, although it came in handy when trying to run to the green key switch.

Not much to add other than that, as the rest of my mental comments are more about how different Heretic feels than Doom in control, color, enemies, weapons etc. Might be a bit frontloaded with enemies for the first map, but its nice to play an opener that keeps you on your toes.

Old Post 05-13-13 05:14 #
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Demon of the Well
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E1M2 -- Pathetic Reprimand - Kills: 176/176 / Secrets: 3/3
The version I played was the one posted by Boared, just above. This was a fairly straightforward outing in monster-killing and key-collecting, with a mostly even, steady slow-burn level of combat throughout, as opposed to being built on set-pieces or the like. It's only medium-sized and is probably fairly quick for regular Heretic players, but it took me over half an hour to complete (with no deaths or long periods of befuddlement, mind), as I'm still trying to get my Heretic legs back under me and was probably not exhibiting optimally efficient weapon/artifact usage (read: I probably spent a lot more time using the Elvenwand and crossbow than was necessary/wise). I liked the weapon progression and item placement more than in E1M1--starting out with the wand and the Dragon Claw and only getting the crossbow after the first couple of battles, and then getting the Hellstaff as a reward for the iron lich battle later gave the impression that I was gradually increasing in deadliness as the monster mash ramped up, as opposed to being loaded with weapons right off the bat in E1M1. Artifacts, especially quartz flasks and arcane IEDs, were placed with a strong sense of tasteful moderation, such that I neither felt like I could use them as crutches nor that they were lacking to the point of not making much of an impact on the gameplay. Ammo balance felt a bit better too, with the exception of Hellstaff runes, which are in gross overabundance, to the point where you can almost use nothing but that weapon after picking it up (although I didn't, as mentioned earlier, because I'm a stick-in-the-mud). For all this, I think combat itself feels a bit more makework throughout than in the previous map--there's still height variation, but most of the combat essentially takes place on a flat plane against monsters that appear in front of you or in smaller rooms where you can essentially aim at the center and hold down the trigger until they're dead. Several of the monsters that are on high, particularly in the early outdoor area, seem to have a problem actually being able to hit you from their positions, as many of their attacks hit nearby terrain instead--obstructive detail applies to monsters, too! The lich cave is probably the biggest battle, but it's easy to chokepoint if you are thus inclined--the lichs' best attack is the cyclone spell, but it can't pass over the stone slab initially separating the cave from the dark slime tunnel, which rendered the first lich little more than a sitting duck. The second was a little more of a threat (good choice making him deaf), but again, his cyclones seemed to have trouble with getting stuck on little bits of the room, and the sabreclaws proved surprisingly effective at trolling him. My favorite parts were the traps, namely the big crowd of nasties behind the bookcase in the upper areas, and especially the pincer trap on the darkened staircase leading out of the lich cave--loved it, don't change a thing about it, or I shall pitifully chastise you!

Aesthetically, well, I didn't see anything glaringly offensive or bland or whatnot, but I get no real sense of place here, and I can't really make out what the theme is.....some kind of ice-fire-slime....thing.....near a rectory? On second thought, maybe the blue key room is a bit garish....contrasting bright orange/red and deep blue is one thing, but throwing all of that murky grey-green into the mix right alongside made it look strange. Some of this is probably purely psychological, though--I'll bet if you told me what the general thematic idea was it'd probably magically start looking better to me, heh. The slimefall outside would probably look more natural if it were not perfectly flush with the surrounding rock, incidentally. On the plus side, I think there was a pretty good variation of light levels throughout, and outside of the strange three-fluid juxtaposition, the texture choices generally looked sensible.

I did see a couple of bugs, apart from the aforementioned lich issue. The first is in the lich cave; the thin strip of the pool under the green door into the blue key room is a damaging sector, but shouldn't be. The second is right at the exit, where there's a HOM or something right around the final teleporter.

Last edited by Demon of the Well on 05-13-13 at 08:18

Old Post 05-13-13 08:11 #
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DooM_RO
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Paragraphs!Use them!

Old Post 05-13-13 09:44 #
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Capellan
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e1m2
I played the version from Xaser's wad. I wasn't a big fan of this: the start was good, but once I got past the lich chamber the endless rushes of monsters became rather wearisome.

This looks like it doesn't have difficulty settings done as yet, so the difficulty is likely to come down for the final version? I think it needs to. I battered my way through in the end, but it took quite a lot of dying. The trap on the stairs leading out of the lich cave, and the acolyte fights behind the blue door, were particular sticking points.

Old Post 05-13-13 09:50 #
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DooMAD
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Guess I better hurry up then, as the slightly updated E1M7 (or possibly M8 if consensus is reached to swap it around) still isn't quite finished. Didn't realise so many people would be playing it before the final deadline, heh. :D

Old Post 05-13-13 11:26 #
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DooM_RO
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DooMAD said:
Guess I better hurry up then, as the slightly updated E1M7 (or possibly M8 if consensus is reached to swap it around) still isn't quite finished. Didn't realise so many people would be playing it before the final deadline, heh. :D


I just wanted to say that E1M7 is one of the best maps I've played from a visual standpoint. It's quite stunning! I also really like the way you made the architecture look realistic while still retaining that classic Doom/Heretic look.

The only thing that bothers me is that it's still rather easy to get lost in the map.

Old Post 05-13-13 11:48 #
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dobu gabu maru
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(Playing through Xaser's 2c still)

E1M2: Really fun, solid level. Playing continuously I have a bit of an advantage here with the Phoenix Rod for useful crowd control, but this level was really entertaining even with that head start. I like all the traps that force you to maximize room layout and your equipment, throwing a good healthy mix of baddies at the player for them to chew on. The underground cavern area was my favorite, seeing as it had plenty of things to look at, a scary lavafall to keep away from, and two iron liches happy to cast their dental spells. Balance all around was great although I wound up with 91 arrows by the end as opposed to the 35 I entered with. Wound up using some quartz flasks though!

And Demon, not to be as brazen as DooM-RO, but on monitors with <2k resolution it can be quite easy to get lost in your reviews, so indenting or breaking it up might help.

Old Post 05-13-13 19:28 #
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Demon of the Well
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dobugabumaru said:
And Demon, not to be as brazen as DooM-RO, but on monitors with <2k resolution it can be quite easy to get lost in your reviews, so indenting or breaking it up might help.


Sorry about that. Usage of big text blocks is a consequence of both my natural tendency towards windbaggery and my non-DooM (-Heretic) vocations, where such things are more ordinary, although not necessarily more pleasant because of it, of course....if you guys had said something sooner, I reckon I'd have obliged. I'll try splitting things like the first paragraph above in two/three, let me know if it doesn't work out any better.

E1M3 -- Badlands - Kills: 175/175 / Secrets: 5/5
A fairly interesting setting, this--a dilapidated old watchtower jutting from an inhospitable wasteland, overlooking an imposing gate to....somewhere sinister, I suppose. I felt a more strongly themed (though fairly simple) map progression here--after the protracted battle to clear out the area around the tower, the path forks, with each fork being an otherwise linear quest for a key to use on the main gate. Simple, like I said, but it works out alright, and the player is conveniently deposited back into the starting area after acquiring each key. Much like the last map, the two forks vary widely in aesthetic theme--between the two, there's lava, brown caves, libraries, grey caves, keeps, ice caves, etc. Despite the relatively eclectic texture selection, the cave/tunnel theme helps to tie it together, to the point where I didn't feel as nonplussed as to the theme as in the previous outing. The ice cave was a bit sudden, I guess, but that's neither here nor there. If we want to talk strictly in terms of aesthetic polish/flash, this is more noticeably "classic" in appearance than either of the two prior maps, but generally not to a jarring degree.

Structurally/technically, you can tell this is in an alpha stage, but I'll get to that at the end. The actual gameplay, for its part, seemed logical enough that I assume it's essentially complete, and hence can be commented on at length. Generally speaking, I found the battles palatable, if a bit incidental at times, largely as a result of the varying types of spaces throughout the map. All of the best bits were generally in the main area, fittingly--the opening brawl makes pretty good use of Heretic's various monster types, with nitrogolems sniping, gargoyles flitting about in the wide open space, sabreclaws chasing you all around the place, and warriors serving as heavy-hitters. Both the crossbow and the claw are here, but at opposite ends, inviting some incidental combat in between collecting both, which works well. My favorite battle of the map was the return to the main area after completing the green key leg, where a cadre of Disciples (by far my favorite Heretic enemy) appears to bombard your position on the overlook. By contrast, there's no return battle in the area at all after returning from the yellow key leg, which felt noticeably asynchronous--I would suggest putting one in, since the map's current ammo balance should be able to support one. The final fight's a bit spammy/anticlimactic--I just used a Tome and inundated the liches with the Hellstaff--adding some teleporting foes upon triggering the two switches clearing the exit might help, something like that.

Artifact placement continued to be tastefully restrained in regards to staples like Tomes, flasks, bombs, and so on. I used very few of the items this time, but I think that's because I benefited markedly from the shields (I'd forgotten how powerful these are in Heretic) and the open spaces, rather than because they were excessively placed. Ammo seemed reasonable for most of the weapons, although again there did seem to be a great (over)abundance of crossbow bolts. I commented on some solid monster use earlier, but one criticism I would have in this regard is that ghost golems/warriors seem placed largely at random, and right alongside their more corporeally substantial brethren. I suppose this is largely a matter of personal taste, but I think the ghosts should generally be used in situations actively designed around their ghostliness--in low light conditions, in conditions where their immunity to non-magical projectiles is relevant, or, alternatively, in places that seem like they might be inhabited especially by ghosts--cemeteries, crypts, alternate dimensions, whatnot.

To close, I did see a number of bugs, some of them serious:
*There's a missing/unknown texture on the doorframe of the lowering disciple-carved door near the library in the green key leg.
*You can get inescapably stuck in the monster closet that contains a lone sabreclaw in the room directly across from the gauntlets.
*You can get inescapably stuck in the switch-revealed alcove that the three Disciples come out of in the lava/yellow key room. The backside of the moving rock wall(s) is untextured, causing a visual error.
*You can fall into an inescapable 'illuso-pit' near the lone penned nitrogolem in the most westerly room of the yellow key leg. Some crossbow bolts are apparently down there, and render through the floor texture when you stand at certain angles.
*Throughout the map, curtains of vines and grates tend to bleed into the floor where they appear.
*The two undead warriors in the towers in the ice cave are almost completely incapable of hitting the player from their positions, and are difficult to target themselves. The one to the west literally cannot ever hit the player at all, and can only be effectively targeted himself with mouselook.
*Various texture misalignments; the most noticeable ones are on the brick walls inside the switch alcoves behind the keylocked doors.

Old Post 05-14-13 04:49 #
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Alfonzo
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Where's All The Data Likes a good Heretical mapset! Well, one half of it does anyway. Here's a complete playthrough of HYMN in two feature length streams.

Part 1: http://www.twitch.tv/st_alfonzo/c/2282382
Part 2: http://www.twitch.tv/st_alfonzo/c/2282401

Old Post 05-14-13 14:16 #
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EvilNed
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st.alfonzo said:
Where's All The Data Likes a good Heretical mapset! Well, one half of it does anyway. Here's a complete playthrough of HYMN in two feature length streams.

Part 1: http://www.twitch.tv/st_alfonzo/c/2282382
Part 2: http://www.twitch.tv/st_alfonzo/c/2282401



Leave it to me to criticize maps for getting me lost only to design one that leaves these two gentlemen puzzled for half-an-hour.

Thanks for taking the time. I thought the american voice of the two was more critical than constructive. He seems hate on a lot of things without backing up why. It was fun to see someone play through the map. I hope not everyone gets as lost as you two did (No offense, but you did get lost all the time). Also, you found some bugs, and alerted me to some missteps. One thing, for instance, is marking the cave entrance in the starting area more clearly, as you managed to pass it by several times, which is a sign that it just doesn't stick out too much.

Demon of the Well:

Thank you to you as well. You raise several good points about gameplay, as well as point out a few bugs of which I was not aware. You also have several good ideas about beefing up certain fights. I thank you.

Last edited by EvilNed on 05-14-13 at 21:32

Old Post 05-14-13 21:18 #
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Cacowad
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st.alfonzo said:
Where's All The Data Likes a good Heretical mapset! Well, one half of it does anyway. Here's a complete playthrough of HYMN in two feature length streams.

Part 1: http://www.twitch.tv/st_alfonzo/c/2282382
Part 2: http://www.twitch.tv/st_alfonzo/c/2282401



thank you for making that, and also thank to the DWM club for playing it, seeing other people make their way into the mapset is really helpful for all of us.

as autor of e1m9 i had a lot of fun watching you two struggling to get any progress into it, but it make me understand that the map simply does not work. hopefully the next version will be with a lot less monsters in and with a more understandable design...

Old Post 05-14-13 21:50 #
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Alfonzo
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EvilNed said:
It was fun to see someone play through the map. I hope not everyone gets as lost as you two did (No offense, but you did get lost all the time). Also, you found some bugs, and alerted me to some missteps. One thing, for instance, is marking the cave entrance in the starting area more clearly, as you managed to pass it by several times, which is a sign that it just doesn't stick out too much.

I have a remarkable ability to get lost, and as such it can be very difficult to tell whether the design of the map is at fault or if it's just me being absolutely terrible at navigation. In any case, if I were at least slightly better at the task I think the author (in this case your good self) would get a better indication of what needs to be highlighted more for progression. I hope it wasn't unbearable to watch. It's something I need to work on!

Old Post 05-15-13 01:09 #
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Capellan
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e1m3
The double switch double lift needs to die. It's a complete block to non-UV quality players finishing the map. Players like me :)

All of the map that I was able to access was good, with well-judged combat, but this completely blocks my progress.

I encountered these issues, like DotW:

*You can get inescapably stuck in the switch-revealed alcove that the three Disciples come out of in the lava/yellow key room. The backside of the moving rock wall(s) is untextured, causing a visual error.
*You can fall into an inescapable 'illuso-pit' near the lone penned nitrogolem in the most westerly room of the yellow key leg. Some crossbow bolts are apparently down there, and render through the floor texture when you stand at certain angles.

Old Post 05-15-13 08:03 #
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Demon of the Well
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E1M4 -- Temple of the Fallen Lords - Kills: 160/160 / Secrets: 5/5
This is the first map by Egregor I've ever played, to my knowledge. There are things I like about it and things I don't, but overall I'd say it's fairly well put together. I died at one point here, in the final attack of Disciples and liches right before the exit, of all places--reason being that I had been so badly worn down by sheer attrition by that time that I was quite vulnerable. As such, I don't think I'd say it's really much more difficult than the first three maps in terms of what it requires the player to do/execute, assuming that you know specifically what it is you're trying to do beforehand--but on a first playthrough, it's kind of an ordeal.

Or maybe I was just being a dullard. The never fully-avoidable lava carpeting the floor of the Temple itself is the most defining feature of the map, at least for me; the player is tasked with figuring out the intended route quickly enough that one's mandatory lava-slogging is minimized (incidentally, if Baron plays this map, he's going to blow his stack). This is much easier said than done, however, as the route is quite specific but not particularly intuitive, with timed switches sometimes activating platforms out of sight, and mandatory visits to what initially appear to have been simple monster closets and the like. Once you enter the Temple you can move in something like five different directions; two of these lead to useful items but are uninvolved in map progress, and while you can do useful things in each of the other three, if you don't do them in the correct order, you end up doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling your lava time, and Heretic's rapid lava damage and lack of a radsuit equivalent means that damage really adds up. With foreknowledge of the layout you can both tackle tasks in an optimal order and, in a couple of places, make use of a few lifts or teleporters to avoid some of the slogging, but again, this comes only with experience. Players insistent on that idea that a map should be accommodating to those on blind runs might be a bit irked; really, it's not unlike Chris Hansen's 'Obituary Written', which many DWMCers will remember from 2002: A DooM Odyssey.

Is this a bad thing? Well, I'm fairly open to this kind of play, so I didn't hate it, but I reckon you might see what a few of the other players think and then possibly consider making some small alterations. The least intrusive on the current gameplay/item balance that I can think of, and that would have more than sufficed to save my Sidhe's life, would be simply to make it so that you don't need to find an invisible secret teleport line (one only reachable once the puzzle of the Temple is essentially solved, at that) to return to the temple's exterior once you've entered--I had left quite a few crystal vials and a silver shield I didn't initially need upon finding them out there, but alas, the door was barred behind me, and I didn't discover the secret way to return outside until my second attempt, when doing so was no longer necessary.

A more simple/direct approach would be to just add a few more vials or flasks in the Temple proper, or perhaps replace the secret Morph Ovum on the rising waterfall with a Mystic Urn or even a Chaos Device, but don't go overboard--some degree of resource austerity is part of what gives this map its character. Ammo for stronger weapons was tighter here, and more crucially, I made use of every one of my items (although the Tome I'd been saving for the nasty exit battle I astutely smelled coming didn't save my life on that first attempt) except for one torch here, and was glad for all of them--this is exactly what I hope for a wand-started Heretic map to accomplish, and a consistent failure to do this is what I'd consider to be one of the original game's biggest failings, so good work on that.

The actual combat vs. monsters here was okay--nothing to complain about, but no particular fight was memorable or stood out from the others, unless one wants to adopt a very liberal definition of 'fight' and view the whole process of chipping away at the Temple's initially strong exterior defenses with mainly the wand and some selectively used bolts as one. Given that your greatest adversary in this map is the Temple itself, I don't think this is really such a bad thing; I'm glad the whole set's not like this, but here in this one map I'm not bothered. One small suggestion I would have is to make most of the fire gargoyles in the various vine-tunnels into regular gargoyles that you can kill with 3-4 wand shots instead of the beefier 7-9; neither creature is much more or less dangerous than the other in these environs, and grinding through the packs of the fire gargoyles at this early stage with just the wand mostly just extends the amount of time one spends in what is easily the least interesting part of the map.

I saw no bugs and no particular technical errors. I did think for a few moments that I'd become inescapably stuck in the dark cave with the lift floor near the blue key in the alcove that initially contains a weredragon and a quiver of bolts--only one small piece of the backside of the lift floor can be used to reactivate the lift here; all of the rest of the surface does nothing, and there is no visual cue as to where the player should use the wall. Other than that, all I saw were a few small texture misalignments, mainly in the vine tunnels, which are difficult to spot anyway, given all of the vine curtains growing in them.

Last edited by Demon of the Well on 05-15-13 at 09:22

Old Post 05-15-13 09:09 #
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A.Gamma
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st.alfonzo said:
Where's All The Data Likes a good Heretical mapset! Well, one half of it does anyway. Here's a complete playthrough of HYMN in two feature length streams.

Part 1: http://www.twitch.tv/st_alfonzo/c/2282382
Part 2: http://www.twitch.tv/st_alfonzo/c/2282401



That was pretty fun to watch, the Tarnsman/Alfonzo duo is really entertaining!

One thing I noticed on Pavara's stream and this one is that everyone misses the secrets! Maybe I should go and add more obvious hints to them.

I feel like I must add that it is incredibly motivating to see players like my map (E1M6) and not getting hopelessly lost.

Old Post 05-15-13 11:04 #
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Capellan
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e1m3 continued
No-clipped through the double switch / double lift thing, for the purposes of playtesting the rest of the level. Quite liked the acolyte fight at the top of the tower.

The fight in the end room is a waste. I ignored the monsters and ran around, flicking the switches needed to exit. I'd suggest block monsters on lines 4199 and 4212 unless the "ignore the enemies" strategy is intended to be a viable option.

I didn't find the progression quite as unfathomable as alfonzo/tarnsman, but it's often not all that intuitive, especially the sequence needed to open sector 653.

Last edited by Capellan on 05-15-13 at 11:50

Old Post 05-15-13 11:38 #
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DooMAD
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Just watched the part of the vid for my map, fantastic stuff, but a little disheartening to see just how easy it is to get so monumentally lost, heh. Will see what I can do to make the stairs more easy to locate after the green and yellow keys to get up to the towers. Also reposition the blue key slightly to make it more visible and nudge that switch for the lift near the blue key over a bit to make it more obvious that the lift has come down.

Thankfully that version of the map is already outdated and a few fixes have gone in. The yellow key switch has already been moved to see the floors raise. Other parts of the level have had some colour-coding and some visual cues added to them to make certain areas like keys and doors more memorable.

And yes, there's currently lots of flat rock walls which will be made more organic for the final version.

And when I get a bit more time, I'll watch the entire playthrough. :)

Last edited by DooMAD on 05-15-13 at 19:03

Old Post 05-15-13 18:45 #
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Tarnsman
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Well Alfonzo will get lost inside of a paper bag. When I played through these maps I didn't get anywhere nearly as lost. Unfortunately as the guy not playing the maps and watching on a scaled down stream picture with a 2 second delay from when something happens and when I see it happen, it can be difficult to tell him where to go a lot of the time. Like in E1M3 that vine cave that he missed 30 times, I loaded up the map and instantly found it, but due to the lower quality picture in the stream and the monotonous blending together that is Heretic's texture set, I didn't notice it when he was playing.

Old Post 05-15-13 19:06 #
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dobu gabu maru
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E1M3: I had the folly to play this map late at night so my memory on it is a bit hazy, which is unfortunate since I felt like I had a lot to comment on.

Demon covered most of the bugs but I had quite a different experience than him, as this map drained me of most of my ammo (and this is coming from playing continuously!). I found it to have a nice amount of difficulty, although I abhor the use of ghost creatures in dark spaces, seeing as they're nearly invisible and unlike pinkies, can cause quite a hassle with all their projectiles. Another aspect I didn't like is all the enemies that flood the timed doors, seeing as you have to hit the switch, run over, kill them, and then the door shuts. The sabreclaw in the library and the flood of gargoyles in the cavern are the prime examples of this, and add nothing but repetition to the gameplay.

And I'm with Capellen in the hatred of the double lift puzzle, seeing as 1) you're fighting against a current, 2) the edges of the area are jagged and change in elevation, and 3) the timing is far too tight to be fun. I'm a keyboard player so this thing was a nightmare for me; I tried 10 times before I just clipped to the top. Unlike Capellan though I did like the final battle, and even if it was obvious to use the tomb+hellstaff, I liked feeling powerful in that one moment. Rest of the level is mostly fine, again I didn't like the high number of ghost enemies, but it feels pretty balanced. Everyone else caught all the bugs I got.

Old Post 05-15-13 20:42 #
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