Demon of the Well
Unholy Realms would be fine with me, as well, as I've looked forward to it as much as I have to Hellbound (which I can continue to vote for in December, if need be). I figure it's more or less inevitable that D2TWiD will end up the featured WAD when it's actually finished (as will the next installation of BTSX, whenever it descends to this plane of existence), and it has received quite a lot of alpha/beta feedback already, so there's no need to rush with that one. I'm sure that when Steve comes back he'll be full-bore for Concerned, and a lot of the shots from that look nice and spacious, suggestive of big battles. The whole 100 Lines deal, by contrast, doesn't really seem like it'd be my thing, but if I played a Heretic WAD for the club I could make my way through that as well, I suppose. Might even be good for me. I saw Deathevokation drop a hint in the UR thread that I'm going to cheerfully choose to interpret as being about his project with Darkreaver, and both NOVA and Devilution seem like they should be ready sometime within the next few months, so suffice to say we've at least got quite a hearty selection pool of WADs for 'new months' going.
Anyway, more Kama Sutra:
Map 22 -- Fire Play - 103% Kills / 50% Secrets
I pretty much agree with Cannonball about this. There's potential in it, no doubt, and I personally don't really mind the backtracking (the symmetry, though, is perhaps a bit overstated) since a lot of it involves more combat instead of just dead air.....but the whole thing is shot to hell (and not the good kind of hell) by completely excessive use of monster-blocking lines and some really thoughtless monster placement.
When the club played BTSX E1, one of the complaints leveled by some players at some of its maps was that several of the encounters therein were too easily blunted by use of camping or other safety-first tactics. In some cases this was/is true, but in those maps the safety-first approach was, most of the time, just one approach out of many that a player could choose--if you wanted to camp, fine, but if you preferred not to, you could take many other paths, instead. The problem with 'Fire Play' here is that there essentially is NO other choice but to camp/peekaboo your way through it. It's not even a question of practicality or survivability or probability, but simply one of physics--there are too many monsters crammed like soul-starved sardines into tiny little boxy spaces, such that there is literally no physical way to move past them without killing them, ever. This approach could probably work if it were executed differently, but there are so many monster-blocking lines scattered throughout the various passageways that monsters are almost never able to pressure the player, despite their potentially oppressive numbers--seriously, the imps in the first 30 seconds are probably the most dangerous enemies in the map, and that only because they can attack from two sides at once.
Because monster movement is so stunted, the level rapidly devolves into a series of honorless turkey-shoots, where you pound away with rockets or buckshot at perched, blocked, or otherwise immobilized groups of demons, until the way is clear for you to walk a few feet and then repeat the same process. Yawn. Like pizzaBob, I just ignored the cybers (still got 100%+ kills thanks to some vile action), and I usually kill as much as I can....tells you how entertained I was, that. Totally forgot about the counter-intuitive backpack secret until I was mostly done with the level, and didn't feel like walking back to get it. Again, telling, that.
It's a decent-looking map, again with the Hell-red masonry going rather well with the starry black sky, and a number of semi-ornate to fairly-ornate 3D bridges and other sector tricks to help build a sense of place, but this is really the only compliment I can pay it, and it's far from KS's most visually striking map. What it probably needed was far less ammo and either fewer monsters or a lot of weaker monsters (like the early imps) that could ACTUALLY CHASE YOU AROUND. Given the tight quarters, I could see that kind of scenario being potentially interesting, but as it stands, it's really not a very good map.
Fortunately, pizzaBob is right in that this piece is really just a warmup. Kama Sutra's best stuff is still to come, in my opinion, with my favorite part of the WAD being the stretch of maps from 24 to 27, with a monstrous 28 and an epic 29 before the wacky finale.
Last edited by Demon of the Well on 09-23-13 at 06:31