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Demon of the Well
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Map 03 -- Foxhole - 101% Kills / 100% Secrets
Well, first off, let me say that I also encountered the problem of the hell knight and arachnotron waves in the last circular arena taking a long time to trigger. I thought I'd just missed some kind of linedef cue somewhere when the HKs finally arrived after clearing out the mancs/revs/imps, but I didn't even realize the arachs were in the mix until I encountered them when I was ready to exit, having spent a few minutes beforehand backtracking to look for the secret I had missed after defeating the cyber/PE wave (real dick move, that....bravo!). Thanks for that, by the way--I imagine the first instinct of a lot of mappers would be to make that final arena inescapable.

While this was again heavily scripted, it did offer me a little more in the way of the 'incidental' combat I've been talking about, in the course of exploring the claustrophobic cave sections earlier on. This variety was appreciated, but the highlights were, unsurprisingly, still amongst the set-piece battles. The most memorable of these is probably the cyberdemon/revenant box puzzlefight; my tip for Purist is get the cyb started in on the revs, and then jump into his box and hit the switch to let him out, which will promote optimum infighting when the other trash starts teleporting in. The extra few feet of space this affords, as well as the enclosure's usefulness in detonating tracking missiles also make a big difference. If that one was the most memorable, I think the most fun for me was actually the yellow card battle. I kept going to that area first before getting the RL from the puzzlebox, and fighting the group of viles and revs with just the SSG was quite exhilarating--just enough ammo, just enough cover. The activation of the crushers with the knights and imps was just the icing on the cake, like the second wave in the piston room from Mud Bunny. The big arena fight was alright, with its climax being the introduction of PEs and cybers as aforesaid, but was pretty rote other than that. Of course, I reckon things would've been different if it had worked as intended.

Aesthetically it feels like a natural continuation of the previous map, with brown dominating over the purple even more here, and more of those strangely smooth curves in the natural caves/caverns. This is all well and good and doesn't offend the eye in any way (again helped out by subdued middle-range lighting), but I'm hoping that one of the later maps will invert the color ratio here, being almost entirely purple with very little brown/grey. The arena for the last fight is suitably ominous, at least, and that spinning blade motif on the floor in the plasma rifle secret does a good job of catching the eye and enticing one to actively try to figure out how to get in there. The method of accessing the teleporter to do so is really quite devious, and builds on the secret switch theme established earlier in the mapset, just as I'd hoped, although the other three secrets are less interesting. I found the hidden cell pack in the plasma rifle secret solely via dejected wallhumping; at least this gave those arachnotrons time to make their appearance back in the arena, as aforesaid. Yet again the music track itself was cool on its own merits, although I don't think it fit the actual setting nearly as well as the BGM on the previous two maps (perhaps a mite too much drive and buildup to it).

If you're going to do an update to repair the arena fight, I might as well mention that I saw some texture misalignments on the sides of the shaft for the lift that takes you down into the yellow card room, from that upper level where the secret teleporter to the PR area is located.

Didn't grab me quite the way the previous map did, and is not helped along by the technical difficulties, but it's still a worthy inclusion, I think.

Old Post 06-04-13 01:54 #
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SteveD
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cannonball said:

Urgh there are traps and then there was this trap. This was about as rewarding a secret as catching a ball in a cup................ and then being mauled to death by bears.



Well, I might or might not find out tonight when I attempt Map03. First, I may not survive that far, and second, even if I do, I have really sucked at finding secrets in these maps. For once, that might be a good thing. ;D

Old Post 06-04-13 01:56 #
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Ribbiks
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DotW, may I ask what port you're playing in?


I just tested map03 in prboom+ 2.5.1.2, prboom+ 2.5.1.4, latest gzdoom, and zandronum, and it all worked perfectly.

Apparently cb was playing in 2.5.1.3 and experienced the problem.

I'm perplexed by what's causing this issue as I can't seem to replicate it on my end.

You're playing with -complevel 9, yah?

Old Post 06-04-13 01:59 #
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SteveD
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Capellan said:


Don't know what the situation is with this particular case, but there have been levels in the past where I've found a secret, been bushwacked when I entered it, compared the reward on offer to the threat it came with, then loaded a save and skipped opening the secret.

Putting monsters in secrets is fine if the reward is worth the fight. But if the player is better off not finding the secret, then IMO something is wrong.



I completely agree. The toughest secret fights I've ever done are on my E1M7. A secret Plasma Gun unleashes a horde of enemies, but there's one move that makes it quite beatable almost every time. The BFG secret unleashes 2 Cybs, but again there's plenty of room and it's actually easier than the PG secret. After playing the first 2 Stardate maps, I think maybe I should add a bunch more monsters to that BFG trap, maybe a Caco swarm. ;D

Old Post 06-04-13 02:07 #
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Demon of the Well
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Ribbiks said:
DotW, may I ask what port you're playing in?

I was using Eternity, the named iteration that was released before the newest one from a couple of days ago. While this port lacks a -complevel command line parameter (that I'm aware of), generally it handles all complevel 9 maps and demos (including those using dolls on conveyors) without issue, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. I don't know what factor actually causes this, but IDCLIPing into the mechanism sector and watching things play out reveals that, for whatever reason, the voodoo doll either develops much more friction with the ground when he hits the second and third conveyors after teleporting in this port, or the conveyors themselves are somehow parsed as being slower by the engine; playing with comp settings (emulate DooM floor motion behavior, etc.) doesn't seem to help. This is definitely a complevel/simulation issue; trying it in prboom+ it works fine on -complevel 9, but not on -complevel 11 (MBF?) or 12 or some others that have the same basic feature set, for example. If Cannonball had a problem in a particular version of PrBooM+ even with the specific complevel set, I guess that'd be the best clue as to what the issue is, but hell if I know what that'd be....I have an older version of PrBooM+ on this system at the moment (2.4.8), and the arena setup still worked fine on it. I notice that the doll starts out facing east, but faces south after he teleports each time (and the first conveyor seems to work fine once the switch raising the obstacle holding him in place is thrown in all ports), and that the triangle representing him in IDDT view sort of jitters about in place on the conveyor in prboom/complevel 9, but remains still (apart from the slight motion of the conveyor) in Eternity. Those are about the only possible clues I can offer.

Unless someone knows what the issue is/a fix for it, I guess you've got little recourse but to specify the exact complevel needed in the text file of the final version....I didn't see one in the R3 draft, but I might've just skimmed over it too quickly. For my part, no hard feelings...this kind of stuff comes up from time to time when one makes the choice to use a nonstandard port.

Last edited by Demon of the Well on 06-04-13 at 03:16

Old Post 06-04-13 02:48 #
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Capellan
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map02
And we're done. Got to the blue key fight; died about 15 times there while only once surviving long enough for the switch to appear.

Old Post 06-04-13 09:02 #
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gggmork
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Ribbiks said:
testing it in prb+ that scrolling floor goes way slower than I remember.


looked at it in doombuilder quickly. I've had a similar problem before and the solution was always make "scroll floor move things" lines at least 64 long. Shorter can have unexpected speeds if I remember. Longer can mess up too like 256 might be too fast causing the dummy player to pass a linedef but not trigger it. I pretty much always make them 64, then adjust the total "hall" length as needed.

Old Post 06-04-13 09:25 #
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Melon
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Re: Slow scrolling floors. This is a problem I butted heads with in Hadephobia and the solution is to always ensure the linedefs with the scroll action on them have a length that is a multiple of 32.

It seems that behaviour is inconsistent between ports. Some ports (e.g. ZDeamon) will scroll voodoo dolls much more slowly if they aren't a multiple of 32. Why? No idea.

Old Post 06-04-13 09:45 #
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cannonball
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right the final room works in complevel 9 so yet again this is another default compatibility bug in pr-boom. I'm guessing eternity is having the same issue here.

Old Post 06-04-13 09:57 #
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SteveD
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Map03 – Kills – 87, Items – 29, Secret – 25. Time 45:08. End Health 24, Armor 33. Death Count - 8

This one got a little rough towards the end. ;D

This map continues the cavern theme of Map02, but IMO isn’t quite as successful looks-wise, mainly because it lacks the grand arenas of Map02, and in closer quarters, the brownness of it all was a bit dull.

Like DoTW said, there was a good deal of incidental combat, some of it fairly rugged. The early parts were more like a standard Doom map where you encounter Revvies and Archies in relatively tight spaces. All of a sudden, it isn’t so easy to dodge their attacks. My first death came in the big slime pool area. I was just about to enter when I saw a small room to my left with a lift in it. I rode that lift up, battled some Chaingunners, some Cacos teleported in, I jumped into the slime pool, drew fire from Arachnotrons and Hell Knights, dodged around, woke up a Pain Elemental, and was attacked from every direction. Score one for the monsters. Once I defeated all these scum by attacking them sequentially, I met a series of Chaingunners, Revvies, Sergeants, a Baron and a couple Archies in the twisty caves. I was managing the issue until one last Archie got me down to 1%. I decided to see how far I'd get. Not far, actually, because after killing some more critters I made a bad dodge against a Revvie.

After re-fighting all of that area, I killed the Mancs above, triggered another Revvie trap, and was killed again when I dodged back down the stairs and some rockets followed me. Next time I woke the Revvies and jumped off the platform into the slime pool and rocketed them from below. Easy fight that time. Then I rode another lift to a room where pressing a switch unleashed a Baron, some HKs and Revvies. Jumped off the platform again, and easily rocketed the Barons/HKs after they’d killed the Revvies. Not exactly exciting.

The yellow key fight was interesting, and the first of the successive-wave battles. I killed the initial batch of Revvies and took only one hit. Then the teleporting started. Then the crushers were moving. I did the usual thing and circled around to get the infighting going. And I gotta say that while it was interesting, it was not tremendously fun. I’m already tired of the “circle around a bunch of monsters and whittle ‘em down through infighting” trip. I almost feel like I’m not in the fight. Once it was down to just HKs, I killed all but the last one, and then dodged around to lure him under a crusher. It took awhile, but I got ‘im.

I was a bit disappointed that the big battle with Revvies at one end and a Cyb at the other had the Cyb replaced by a bunch of HKs on ITYTD. I did get killed at least once in the regular fight, and once again when I found the Berserk secret. I saw immediately that the Berserk was not worth the combat, and, as Capellan would, I passed. However, I did put my nose into the area to get the secret credit.

This brings us to the exit battle where the rest of my deaths occurred. This was a cool-looking area and constructed like a Swiss watch. It seemed to work just fine in Risen3D’s Basic Doom Mode. It was quite amazing, really, how the first batch of Imps and Revvies teleported in, then a wee bit later the columns came down to deliver the Mancs, then a wee bit later some walls came down to disgorge angry Hell Knights, then more structure came down with a bunch of Arachnotrons, then finally you press a switch and in comes the Cyberdemon and a bunch of Pain Elementals.

The early parts of the fight were yet another easy circling of the room while monsters fought each other. I did fine until the HKs came out and performed their designed function of eliminating my running lane. After a few deaths, I started rocketing them, then used the Plasma Gun, but it wasn’t enough because too many monsters survived the initial infighting, so I changed my strategy and pumped a few rockets into the crowd as I circled, before the HKs came out. That did the trick, because now I’d punched a few holes in the swarm and was able to bob and weave my way through, so that when The Arachnotrons arrived, it was mostly them and Hell Knights. I kept circling and rocketing until only a bunch of HKs were left. I was getting a bit low on health and was also suffering trigger fatigue at this point, and wondered when the Soulspheres and Blue Armors would finally come down. I also made a few bad moves and was really getting nervous about survival when the Cyb and PEs showed up. I was hating on Ribbiks as I ran frantically, mainly trying to avoid the Lost Souls. The Cyb wasn’t even on my radar and I honestly had no idea what the hell it was doing. What did happen is that every now and then a Lost Soul would get a bite on me. I kept watching the descending bars at the exit and wondered which would happen first – the bars finally come down or me ending up as Lost Soul Chow. Well, the bars came down first and I hauled ass outta there.

Overall this was another beautifully-crafted map with a sweet, looping layout. However, it lacked the grandeur of Map02 and the fights weren’t as much fun. Even though I greatly admired the technical craft behind the final fight, I did not greatly enjoy the fight itself. I’m already getting sick of the repetitive circling combat. Maybe too many set-pieces also. The most enjoyable fights were the more standard ones, up close and personal. But at least everything worked fine and, unless my description indicates otherwise, I did not suffer any breakdowns.

Keep in mind also that my commentary, and the way I reacted to the map, might have something to do with the hay fever attacks I’ve suffered today, general fatigue, and the fact that I was called, late at night, just before starting the map, and didn’t start playing until about 3 AM. I was pretty damn tired and not very sharp in any sensory category. ;D

Old Post 06-04-13 11:37 #
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Memfis
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Melon said:
Some ports (e.g. ZDeamon) will scroll voodoo dolls much more slowly if they aren't a multiple of 32. Why? No idea.

Are you sure / can you make an example wad that is not related to this?

Old Post 06-04-13 12:04 #
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Ribbiks
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ahh. well I'm happy at least that it works on the intended ports, with intended settings (it was indeed marketed as a cl9 wad). In the future I'll try to craft my scrolling closets to be more universally friendly

Old Post 06-04-13 12:33 #
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Melon
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Memfis said:

Are you sure / can you make an example wad that is not related to this?


Here you go, the version of the level (MAP25) that gave Thursday Night Survival's Hadephobia playtesting session problems. Go straight ahead at the start into the marble archvile trap room, you get locked in when you try to leave and it takes a couple of minutes for the bars to raise back up in ZDaemon when it should only take like 10 seconds. It was fixed by simply changing the scrolling linedefs to be length 32 (and resizing the scrolling sector the voodoo doll is in to keep the timing the same, of course!)

Also, here are the demos produced by TNS session if you wanted to double-check what happened on the day.

Old Post 06-04-13 14:20 #
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Memfis
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But the problem on that map is exactly what I linked to: in Boom the scroller is faster because for some reason if you scroll a few sectors with one linedef, the speed like combines or something. And in ZDaemon that doesn't happen. But if you say that you fixed this by changing the length... hmm, maybe this combining stuff only happens with certain lenghts? I'll have to investigate this...

Last edited by Memfis on 06-04-13 at 14:36

Old Post 06-04-13 14:31 #
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Melon
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Memfis said:
But the problem on that map is exactly what I linked to: in Boom the scroller is faster because for some reason if you scroll a few sectors with one linedef, the speed like combines or something. And in ZDaemon that doesn't happen. But if you say that you fixed this by changing the length... hmm, maybe this combining stuff only happens with certain lenghts? I'll have to investigate this...

No, it's not what you linked to. I have managed to very quickly cook up a test wad that shows the issue. Download

Load this in ZDaemon (MAP01). Note how the voodoo doll moves extremely slowly compared to the visible speed the floor texture scrolls at. If you move onto the scroll floor, you move much faster than it.

Now load it in PrBoom+. Notice how it also moves slowly, but as soon as you move, the voodoo doll speeds up to the correct speed. It's bizarre, but that's how it goes.

EDIT: If you change the map to alter the linedef length to 32, the problem goes away.

Old Post 06-04-13 15:08 #
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Memfis
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Heh, it never occurred to me to try moving during the tests. That's freaky.

Old Post 06-04-13 15:25 #
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cannonball
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MAP04 - Tanagra
Well this map is a bit different, set in a more tech based theme which means everything is structured a little differently.
This maps first big set piece fell rather flat though I was faring better than the 3 cybers who got slaughtered with very few baron/HK casualties, bearing in mind I am playing consecutively I had just about ran out of ammo after this fight.
Actually short on ammo was pretty much the going trend though it didn't feel as bad. The fights continue in the same vain but I feel they are better constructed and don't have some bizarre luck based randomness to it. You are surrounded many times but there is always an aggressive way of fighting yourself some space. There were some excellent battles which took a few attempts to master, the blue key has me swamped with lost souls in an instance which meant death but nothing frustrating.
The end battle I loved,in two waves in an l-shaped room. The first wave involves revenants and pinkies coming from opposite directions. You need to keep an eye out for the demons whilst pelting an endless wave of revenants before you duck into the demon horde with plasma. Fantastic and only one death in the final room. I feel happy :)

Old Post 06-04-13 15:53 #
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Wordy
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Map 03 - Foxhole.

Ah, here is a great map. I liked the use of space throughout, from tight fights with revanants and arch-viles in caves to the amazing corridor'cyber vs revanants with uninvited guests' scenario. The aesthetic is still working for me, and its things like this and the small adjustments made to the monsters which make level-sets really stand ou for me. A good status bar (with purple in, perhaps?) would suit this wad nicely.

All in all a fantastic, fun map. The only real issue I had was the last fight between the Cyberdemons and Pain Elementals. By the time I'd hunted down all the PEs the urge to fight 2 cyberdemons on near full hp with just a SSG while the exit lay open right beside them had me just strolling out, The Living End style. I'm usually a 100% kills guy so this last bit of the fight could use a little adjusting maybe.

Map 04 - Tanagra. A very interesting non-linear design for a slaughter map. Like Foxhole, it favours a cramped architectural vibe that is distinct from most slaughters I can recall. That said, the very sunder-esque 'square stairs' and light patterns on the floor are here and seem to have become a staple in the slaughter genre. Not that its a bad thing, it looks great.

Anyway, the map itself is hard. Fucking hard. I've played my share of maps like this and the traps come thick and fast, setting you up in a terrible posistion if you don't start quickly and deftly to defuse whatever situation you've been thrust into. Fights were not dissimilar to map 09 of Sunder 'The Cage', where you're surrounded at all sides, have very little breathing room and one wrong move has you cornered and killed, or hit by a stray Cyber rocket. If the previous maps haven't I'm sure this will be the one which those of us who aren't big slaughter fans will get a big turn off from the wad set. Which is a shame since there are some good ideas and design here, but this is essentially a 'choose your slaughter room' set of engagements all of which you'll be lucky to not have to reload a fair few times from.

With this in mind I enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to finishing off the rest of the wad.

Old Post 06-04-13 15:58 #
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dobu gabu maru
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With my mapping pressure momentarily off, I get to sink my fangs into this. Playing in ZDoom, UV, keyboard, pistol start.

MAP01: We're off to a comfortable start with a relatively laid back map light in nasty traps. Maybe it's just what I've been used to playing of Ribbiks' stuff so far but I got fidgety picking up items and pushing switches, expecting the worst. But everything is smartly balanced and feels very manageable, so I can enjoy this brief reprieve.

Standout moment for me is the cyb in front of the red key door, placed in such an awkward position that the player has to sit down and think just exactly what his/her method of attack will be. Since I foolishly killed the cacos released earlier, I only had an elevated stand of imps and HKs to provide my some cover fire, which I couldn't promote without going up there first. After attempting that, the cyber was still left happily blasting away and one of my stupidest ideas proved to be most useful—I just took the elevator up to him and fought him point blank. As long as I could keep my back to the open air, all I had to do was strafe. Shame the final fight didn't quite hold up to that one, as besides failing to lead some revenant rockets once, it was a pretty standard affair of "let daddy handle the monsters".

The first noticeable thing about the mapset is the obvious titular purple that really comes across as striking, contrasting it against a host of dull browns and grays. While I would like some more vibrancy as the metal textures here always feel too drab IMO, I do think balancing it around such a regal color is a clever idea. The second thing I noticed, which is indicative of all of Ribbiks' maps, is the wonderful use of asymmetry. It's always easy to map with symmetry in mind (nearly all of my boxy arenas are such), but Ribbiks uses symmetry very sparingly, opting for more twisted and bent rooms that still maintain a decent amount of elegance and fluidity. It's a nice mixture, one I don't think I could properly emulate and really exemplifies his own particular craftwork. Nicely done overall (especially the RL room, quite mesmerizing).


SteveD said:
I might be wrong, but slaughter maps, I guess, are geared to the kind of players who like to do speedrunning, which entails playing a map over and over to find the best route, and dying and dying and dying until it’s demo time.


I can't speak for the runners themselves, but I like to think of slaughtermaps as a sort of a meta puzzle. Often you're presented with a big room, a big number of enemies, ammo spread afar and you have to think to yourself "how do I get all these things dead?" A lot of traditional Doom maps may contain this idea but they're essentially more survival oriented, letting the player explore a complex and find the goods he needs for each encounter.

Slaughtermaps on the other hand (generally) discard this concept and instead present you with the meat n' potatoes of the gameplay, giving you a mixed teleporting horde or hundreds of perched enemies or only rockets in a close-encounter styled room. Therefore the onus is on the gameplay, and more importantly, how the player deals with situation at hand. I know some may see this as glorification of mindless circlestrafing, but the best ones really do require the player to assess the situation and have split-second reactions to some crazy encounters. That, and finally overcoming a challenge while staring over the shaken landscape of corpses can be very alleviating.

Last edited by dobu gabu maru on 06-04-13 at 19:01

Old Post 06-04-13 18:34 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 04 -- Tanagra - 108% Kills / 100% Secrets
A return to the base/facility theme from map 01, although this one looks more official/advanced, being comprised chiefly of riveted metal and broad walls of stark grey composite, with a few bizarre purple power nodes here and there, such as those inscrutable cubes on the yellow key terrace. It's not as constricted as most of Foxhole was, but there's not an excess of open space, either; most of the arena-based fights feature enough floor space to facilitate consistent damage evasion if you execute them as intended, but not enough to allow much leeway for mistakes/alternate strategies. Similarly, while you can tackle the main areas in the order of your choosing (although you have to do at least the red or blue key areas before you can reach the yellow key terrace), the actual strategies to be used in each area don't seem like they'd be much affected by this.

The main themes of the action here are limited ammo reserves (until the end fight, anyway) and the importance of instigating infighting, and the berserk pack is also more relevant here than in the previous offerings. I felt this to be the first map in the set where Ribbiks' warning in the textfile that UV would require use of this technique to succeed rang true; I haven't looked at the numbers in a utility or anything, but it's pretty clear that if you tried to kill everything yourself, you'd be out of ammo well before the end, largely on account of the cybers/nobles room guarding the red key if nothing else. This room is a prime example of the infight-based nature of a lot of the challenges here; use the three cybers that beam in as muscle to cut through the huge number of goat dudes on the ledges while trying to stay out of everyone's way yourself. The cybers actually didn't fare particularly well when I played, so I had to come back and clean up later, when I had built up more of an ammo stock. It's not an unreasonable setup (fairly easy to execute, in fact), though not particularly fun or interesting in comparison to some of the other scenarios Stardate has offered us thus far.

Although the above room is the map's low point, most of the other major encounters are a bit less involved, as well. I'm comfortable with semi-pacifistic infight-based tactics and with using the berserk fist at opportune times to help maintain an ammo buffer, and so overall Tanagra ended up feeling like a bit of a 'breather map' for me; I think the only fights I felt pressed to engage directly were the blue key fight (mainly on account of PEs) and of course, the final battle, somewhat redolent in execution of the famed "revenant curve" areas from the Deus Vults, though of course this is an "L" and not a curve (and once again, I like that the fight has an easier, cathartic second part, vs. imps and viles). Finding the secrets probably helped out a lot (particularly the blue armor), of course; given that they are still evincing a very consistent theme four maps into the set, I think it's quite reasonable mapping practice to consider them as part of the standard balance.

Not a bad map, but for its relative length perhaps themed a bit too strongly around indirect/passive-aggressive approaches to combat situations to be consistently fun and engaging (or at least to suit my tastes, anyway). Somehow I reckon I'd have enjoyed it more if there'd been more emphasis on the berserk pack and less on infighting.

Old Post 06-04-13 19:49 #
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purist
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Map 03 - Foxhole.

Take two. I restarted in HNTR and warped to the map. The alley is more manageable now the cyb is replaced by HK's but I still struggled a little until I remembered the RL alcove, which helped wipe the revs out nice and quick plus provided somewhere to run to when the rockets started trailing.

After this it was rockets most the way. I quite liked the crusher area, especially the rev/imp mix before the crusher actually started.

The last fight didn't really work for me. It was more like what I expect from uninspired megawads. I felt overpowered and had enough room and cover to easily slam the monsters once I'd cleared a little space to manoeuvre. The cyb/PE was trickier due to the lack of a cell weapon and the sheer volume of lost souls that gradually filled the area like sand in the bottom of the hourglass. I just played along for long enough for the exit to clear then did one.

My least favourite of the maps so far, despite it having some nice incidental fights that were more naturally staged than the big set pieces Ribbik seems to rely on.

I think I've had enough of the timed format of the fights and am ready for a less choreographed map flow. I'll hold off playing MAP04 until tomorrow.

Old Post 06-04-13 20:32 #
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Veinen
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Map04: Tanagra - 100% kills/ 50% secrets


Like others have already said, this map is a non-linearly built slaughterfest in a tech base. With purple things of course. Non-linearity does not mean confusing here as the main area is small and the key zone entrances are pretty close each other. Continues the gameplay style from the previous maps with a couple of big fights and then smaller enemy groups in between. Not much spare room to maneuver, similarly to Foxhole, which suits my style fairly well. Getting the monsters to infight is definitely the way to go in this map.


First go I didn't even notice the ssg up on the pedestal but somehow slayed through almost half the map with just the shotgun/RL combo. Died eventually somewhere in the blue key section after finally grabbing the ssg but for some reason knowing that the ssg was there just complicated things and I kept dying at the first room over and over. Got out of there alive after a bit of strategizing and did the key fights in red/blue/yellow -order. Died a few times in red (stray rockets) and I think once in blue (just general stupidity), yellow went pretty much flawlessly with the first attempt. I have to say though, that after what cannonball and DotW wrote about the red key fight with cybers/hks/barons, I must have got very lucky there since the cybers slaughtered almost all of the nobles and I even had to put the final nail in the coffin for one of the cybers myself. Overall the fight felt a bit lackluster I guess since you don't really have to do much else than run around in circles dodging rockets here and there. Blue key zone was less slaughtery and relatively easy if you play it conservatively. Much better than the red zone in my opinion since you have to engage in battle too to clear the areas. Really liked the way it was designed as well. Yellow key zone had more enemies but also slightly more room to move around. Releasing everything as soon as possible proved to be a working strategy yet again and I survived the fight without taking hardly any damage. The infights went perfectly here as well and pretty much the only shots fired were finishing touches against the two cybers. Final room was cool for sure with the way it was structured and after reading cannonballs description of it I was a bit worried I might not fare so well there since I'm prone to accidental suicides with the rocket launcher. Well, the revs and the demons were not much of a problem after all and the fight was a fun one. Semi-forced plasma rifle usage is always appreciated. But on the other hand, the second wave with the imp army and their archvile friends was just a massacre and not in a good way, must've died there like ten to fifteen times.

An okay level all in all. Had some good fights (blue, finish line) and some less good (red). Less difficult than the previous two so I too felt this was somewhat of a breather map. Looks as nice as the previous maps and the change from brown caverns to tech theme was welcomed since the brown architecture might have grown a bit dull eventually. Not as good as map02/03 but it's still in line with the high standard set by the first three maps.

Old Post 06-04-13 21:47 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 05 -- Sector 8 - 102% Kills / 83% Secrets
A bit of a departure, this one. Bit more of a ballbuster, too. Again, Sector 8 has a lot more of that 'incidental combat' thing than any previous map in the set, but referring to it as "incidental" is really something of a misnomer in this case--now that more of the opposition is openly presenting themselves, they've taken the opportunity to occupy some very advantageous positions, affording them all manner of nasty firing angles, which is evident from square one via the revenants on the high ledge overlooking the player's starting position. Monster closets and teleportation attacks still play important roles, but outside of the keycard set-pieces they tend to be used to unleash only small numbers of foes; the catch is, they tend to unleash them at very inconvenient moments, ala the arch-vile/cyberdemon pincer attack that occurs just as you scramble for the all-important rocket launcher.

The player's itinerary is similarly semi-customizable as it was in Tanagra. Either the red or blue keycard can be gotten first, and both are used in concert to acquire the yellow card, which opens the way to the last big fight. Sector 8 takes this a bit further, though: relevant progress can be made along a number of paths well before you can actually complete them (e.g. you could theoretically take out the coven of arch-viles in the master switch room before acquiring any of the keycards), and the smaller, blue-locked, pillared arena in the south is, near as I can tell, an entirely optional area--the first of its kind in Stardate 20X6. Given the greater emphasis on pre-placed monsters and the fact that (from a pistol-start) the player is not likely to have enough ammo to entirely clear out the main thoroughfares all in one go, I reckon that this modicum of nonlinearity makes a much more relevant impact on how a player might experience the map than it was likely to have done in Tanagra.

Yet, the tightly-controlled set-piece battles are a foundational element of Ribbiks' style, and so they still have a place in this map. I have to admit that the cacodemon/pain elemental gallery fight for the blue card gave me all kinds of grief; it wasn't until the fourth or fifth attempt that it dawned on me that this is a battle best escaped from at the earliest opportunity (especially since the pain elementals get all kinds of unanswerable soul-spawning done as they're initially introduced well out of weapons range), an interesting inversion of the time-limit mechanic that has been used so much thus far. Didn't really see the intended tactic in the mastermind/nobles fight, but I was able to brute-force it without much issue (although I shotgunned the spider before discovering he could be telefragged). Naturally, the biggest battle is the last one, a grim struggle to stem a veritable tidal wave of revenants and PEs that pours out of the last airlock, using mainly the rocket launcher. The optional area was kind of strange--while it uses mostly small monsters, it's possibly the most dangerous encounter in the map, to the point where it's really not a viable proposition unless you figure out how to get the nearby invuln sphere before starting it up. Even then, the rewards seem pretty small--gree...uh, I mean, 'purple' armor, couple of soulspheres, some cells. I did miss a secret this time, though, so maybe this area was concealing something more. I had 100% items when I finished....is there a hidden BFG somewhere in this map?

Oh, and it looks pretty good, too, not that that's terribly surprising at this point. This is something like a return to the theme of Amethyst II--an abstract conglomeration of tech, industrial and wood, mined with all manner of glowing purple power conduits. Indeed, I feel like this map does a better job of driving home the purple color scheme than the last few have done, particularly in the caco gallery and in the leadup to the final area, which uses pitch darkness and bright purple tiling to create the illusion that the walkway is building under the marine's feet as he climbs.

Looking back on it, I guess this map feels maybe a little bit 'patchwork', although perhaps that's just because I'd become accustomed to the style of the earlier maps. Whatever the case, it's still mostly fun, and I was glad to see the purple theme being played up more again.

Old Post 06-05-13 08:12 #
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SteveD
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Map04 – Kills – 102, Items – 58, Secret – 25. Time 55:20. End Health 95, Armor 79. Death Count - 2

An easier, but in my view, more fun map than Map03. I liked the techbase theme, if you can call a place without any computer panels or obvious electronic equipment a techbase, more like a poured-concrete abstract fortress, I guess. It sure used acres of that Grayvrak texture. ;D

The early fights were nice, more up-close, personal, and standard Doom-style, albeit with a much lighter use of hitscanners than in a standard map. Still, there were more Chaingunners, and even Sergeants, than we’ve seen so far, though they were never used in such a way as to make impossible the ring-around-the-rosie tactics of the big set-pieces. I might have died in one of these battles somewhere, not really sure, as it’s harder to remember them than the big “brawl for it all” and “the only way out is through” set-pieces.

The fight in the room where, on ITYTD, 2 Cybs appear while a shitload of HKs materialize on the upper deck, was very well staged but not very dangerous. At least it allowed me to up my health, given that I’d started the map at 24% and decided not to do a quick in-and-out of IDDQD to refresh myself. Once the Cybs had diminished the HK population to a certain point, I started pumping rockets at them, because from time to time they broke away from killing HKs to shoot at me, and I took a couple hits. It wasn’t as easy to promote infighting, so I grabbed the last Soulsphere and the invuln and took them both out -- they were quite weakened by then – and then finished off the similarly drained HKs, most of whom fell to a single rocket. BTW, I was glad to be playing continuous on ITYTD for the double ammo, so I never faced a serious shortage as other players did.

The yellow key battle is one where I for certain died the first time charging the Cyb platform to grab a Soulsphere. Playing a little smarter, I survived both waves, though the second, with a Caco swarm and PEs, saw me cornered near the entrance, and using a lot of plasma to punch my way through all those damned Cacos. I also had to worry about getting a rocket from the roaming Cyb. I was lucky, that didn’t happen.

The exit fight started with the first wave of Revvies and Pinkies. I used up a lot of plasma killing, first, the Pinkies and then the Revvies. I didn’t trust my skill in getting them to infight. The next wave of Imps and Archies went pretty easy, though I took some damage. I mostly used rockets for this encounter, once I got some distance. I should note that I also leaned heavily on the chaingun in this map and made relatively light use of the SSG.

After the two exit-area monster floods were over, I had a problem – the exit path had not opened. I kept looking around for switches but didn’t find any, so in the end I clipped through the wall after examining the map in DB2. That also allowed me to teleport back upstairs, since otherwise I might have missed the switch for the teleport closet. It was nice to grab some rockets and cell charges I had left behind.

I’m not sure what the problem with the exit was. Maybe I missed something, or maybe something didn’t work right in Risen3D v2.2.18, which is not the latest version. Perhaps I should upgrade to 2.2.20.

Aside from the exit problem, I enjoyed this map. It was something of a breather compared to Map03, and I thought the fights were more fun, if somewhat less dangerous. I was happy to be away from the 50 Shades of Umber color scheme of the first 3 maps as well. I also enjoyed the layout. Lots of loops, with overlooks into future areas. I sucked at finding secrets again. I don't even remember which one I found. I do recall jumping onto the chaingunner platform after I grabbed the red key, and saw a tiny, embedded switch at floor level. I pressed in the area and used mouselook to shoot the switch, but I have no idea what it did. All in all, a successful map, and, much to my surprise, I’m still hangin’ in there. ;D

Wait, I did forget one thing, the appearance of unavoidable items in front of switches. I began to notice this in Map03, and perhaps earlier. Most of the time, I needed these items, but I'm still opposed to the practice of making them unavoidable.

Last edited by SteveD on 06-05-13 at 11:26

Old Post 06-05-13 11:18 #
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cannonball
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@Steve D, the final switch is in one of the imp alcoves, the one nearest to the demon spawn pad on the left hand wall. When you enter the area there is a 32x32 piece of the wall missing covered with a metal grate. That will lower revealing the switch which opens the exit.
That secret switch you pressed lowers a wall near the start containing a mega armour. Wish I had found that switch myself :P

Old Post 06-05-13 11:31 #
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SteveD
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dobugabumaru said:

I can't speak for the runners themselves, but I like to think of slaughtermaps as a sort of a meta puzzle. Often you're presented with a big room, a big number of enemies, ammo spread afar and you have to think to yourself "how do I get all these things dead?" A lot of traditional Doom maps may contain this idea but they're essentially more survival oriented, letting the player explore a complex and find the goods he needs for each encounter.

Slaughtermaps on the other hand (generally) discard this concept and instead present you with the meat n' potatoes of the gameplay, giving you a mixed teleporting horde or hundreds of perched enemies or only rockets in a close-encounter styled room. Therefore the onus is on the gameplay, and more importantly, how the player deals with situation at hand. I know some may see this as glorification of mindless circlestrafing, but the best ones really do require the player to assess the situation and have split-second reactions to some crazy encounters. That, and finally overcoming a challenge while staring over the shaken landscape of corpses can be very alleviating.



Thanks for this explanation. Of course, the obvious response to the idea of a "meta-puzzle" is to say, "gimmicky." And some of these fights have seemed that way, but overall, I've liked this mapset to a surprising degree, given my feelings coming into it, and most of the fights have seemed well-constructed and fun. As my intro to slaughtermaps, this has been impressive.

It's also true that standard maps can have slaughtery elements. I began moving in that direction back in '96/'97 with my E1 replacement, especially the nasty yellow key trap in E1M3, and in a more recent one, the 96-monster trap in E1M7, which I did last October, where "the only way out is through." I also look forward to the playtesting phase of the Team Mapping Project to see how the raw brutality of the yellow key area goes over. ;D

All these maps we're playing are having an impact on me, and will inspire me to keep ratcheting up the bloodthirtiness of my own maps. ;D

Old Post 06-05-13 11:40 #
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cannonball
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Interesting points there Steve, for a start I really hope Alfonzo plays through this wad.
I know I guess there is a certain stigma to this wad because of the author and it's obvious degree of difficulty but one thing I've noticed so far which is a general theme of Ribbiks's mapping style is that you are rarely pitted against a large amount of monsters. Sometimes it breaks 3 figures but certainly a lot less than most slaughtermaps. In fact I've probably got traps in my ultimate doom wad which have larger numbers of monsters than these maps. Of course the type of monsters in this wad do make the difference but still I really appreciate Ribbiks for his map designs so far and that the most powerful weapon so far I've had is the plasma gun and I'm halfway through the wad.

Old Post 06-05-13 11:55 #
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SteveD
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cannonball said:
@Steve D, the final switch is in one of the imp alcoves, the one nearest to the demon spawn pad on the left hand wall. When you enter the area there is a 32x32 piece of the wall missing covered with a metal grate. That will lower revealing the switch which opens the exit.



Oh, for fuck's sake! C'mon, Ribbiks, why not put the switch on the wall facing outward? Who wants to explore every Imp alcove? Well, perhaps everyone but me. ;D Still, that's kind of a jagoff move. But thanks to cannonball, I opened a saved game just to make certain everything works right, and it does.

And thanks, too, cannonball, for explaining that secret. It turns out that I didn't actually activate the switch the first time, as I realized when I searched every room for the Blue Armor and failed to find it, so I tried again. I got the Blue Armor, alright, and had to fight an Archie for it to boot! ;)

Old Post 06-05-13 11:56 #
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SteveD
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cannonball said:
Interesting points there Steve, for a start I really hope Alfonzo plays through this wad.
I know I guess there is a certain stigma to this wad because of the author and it's obvious degree of difficulty but one thing I've noticed so far which is a general theme of Ribbiks's mapping style is that you are rarely pitted against a large amount of monsters. Sometimes it breaks 3 figures but certainly a lot less than most slaughtermaps.



I also hope alfonzo plays this wad, for the simple reason that the alfonzo/Tarnsman show is so damned entertaining. I know going in that I'll laugh my ass off. On top of that, they also make interesting comments about the maps and Doom theory in general.

As for the stigma attached to Ribbiks, I guess one nice thing about having recently emerged from my Doom time capsule is that I had never heard of Ribbiks until now, and had no idea there was any stigma. Having played this far, the only "stigma" I can personally attach to Ribbiks is that he reliably delivers expertly-crafted maps with great layouts and a large number of extremely fun fights. We should all suffer from such stigma! ;)

Given that Ribbiks provided fully implemented difficulty settings in this mapset, there's nothing to really dog him about in terms of how hard the mapset is. I was able to look at the issue and make the decision I did based on my perceived abilities as opposed to the challenge. It turned out to be a good call in more ways than one, because I accidentally started playing my modified Realm of Chaos maps on ITYTD and was happy to see that there was still some good fighting to be had.

And of course, I am waiting for the public beta of Concerned. I'm guessing that CBspeed will form the E1 for a full megawad in the end? As you know, I really enjoyed the hell out of CBspeed, I just wanted that difficulty a notch or two higher, but having played a bit of CBpandemonium, and watching your videos, I fully anticipate to be crying for mercy, because I will play on UV.

Old Post 06-05-13 12:14 #
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Alfonzo
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Where's All The Data? returns for a date with the stars! The streamthough is complete and the death count... well, it's astronomically high.

Part 1 = http://www.twitch.tv/st_alfonzo/c/2381650
Part 2a = http://www.twitch.tv/st_alfonzo/c/2381669
Part 2b = http://www.twitch.tv/st_alfonzo/c/2381677

Perhaps unusually, the reason that the second part is split up into two is not because of my internet deciding to keel over and die. It's because during my playthrough of Magnus I became absolutely, irredeemably lost. 20 whole minutes were spent bumbling about the map like a rogue pidgeon until finally the way was revealed to me -- right beneath my nose.

My co-host informs me that this is not an exception to the rule, and that it will probably happen again.

The revelation upon my discovery of the correct route has been preserved at the beginning of part 2b for historical purposes.

Old Post 06-05-13 12:17 #
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