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SteveD
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Salt-Man Z said:
That's fine, I'll take the blame. :) I actually did 20X6 on HMP (though I've got a couple maps left) and it was brutal, but manageable. Amazing wad.



Thanks for doing the honorable thing and taking the blame like a man. It's much appreciated. ;)

I haven't finished Stardate, either. I had to take a break on Map06 when real life intervened, and by the time I returned, I became hopelessly lost trying to find the red key. Thankfully, DoTW provided instructions on how to do it, and I will use them when I get back to it. And yes, amazing wad!

On the issue of that end-map Zerk, I was leaking blood all over the place, too, and really sweating it when I saw that lovely power-up. A real mood-changer, that was. ;D

re; the GZDoom chugging, that's a recent problem for me. I use my computer for CPU-intensive work, and my guess is that it's beginning to break under the strain. I can play big maps when I do a clean restart and run nothing except GZDoom, but if I have Chrome and/or Firefox going, chances are good that GZDoom will become a slideshow at about 25 minutes in or whenever there's a bunch of monsters. This often happens with GLBoom, too, which I also launch from ZDL, but The Almighty Risen3D just keeps on going.

My guess is you probably won't have problems with your new machine. My machine is a bit low on RAM, so that could play a part, too. Although I'm sure you'd do this anyway, if GZDoom does chug on you, save at that point, reboot, and try running GZDoom from that spot. It's worked for me.

Old Post 05-02-14 23:19 #
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Demon of the Well
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Bravo, Salt-Man and Steve. That's what I like about you guys, not too proud to get you asses kicked. Incidentally, there are some maps in Sunder where that's going to apply to me, too. But hey, getting out of your comfort zone is one of the best ways to improve, and also 'bleeding builds character', 'chicks dig scars', etc. etc. etc.

Map 02 -- The Burrow - 104% Kills / No secrets
This is probably the least memorable/most understated map in the current iteration of Sunder, although not necessarily the least enjoyable while it's actually happening, mind you. I wouldn't say that it's significantly less pleasing aesthetically than most of the other maps--I fully agree with Steve that the lighting is what really makes this setting work, and now that I'm playing it again I do think the TNT music is a decent fit here--but it probably is visually less impressive, with far fewer cyclopean megastructures and no vast vistas to speak of. It also uses one of the most 'orthodox' texture combos we'll see in Sunder, that being redrocks/lava/some flesh (although there are little bits of iron and masonry to break it up), which perhaps makes it stand out less in one's memory after it's over. Nevertheless, I think it's suitably immersive while it's going on. The setting this time is as aforementioned some hot, shadowy red caverns under a blasted plane where fell beasts lurk; I imagine the level as taking place in one small part of a tunnel system under an unspeakably vast mass burial ground, where titanic carrion-crawlers fattened on a rich diet of the nameless dead tunnel through the earth in search of the few undespoiled mausolaea that remain.

The similarity between the opening battle here and that of map 01 is obvious, but it hadn't struck me until someone here pointed it out that a lot of the other fights are kind of analogous as well. It's quite an accurate observation, though, e.g. the stampede of pinkies is not unlike the imp horde (complete with last-ditch stairway chokepoint), the dual-cyber return battle in the first main cavern is not unlike the first cyberdemon introduction in the little bunker, etc. Even the final fight against the slew of revenants stuffed into that last sepulcher like sardines in a can could turn out to be somewhat of a doorway-bogarting affair not unlike the return to the bunker in map 01, depending on how one plays it. While the monster mash is a little more formidable here, it's arguably not much deadlier than map 01 overall, on account of the larger supply of rockets and medikits. Most of the major fights can also be effectively chokepointed in one way or another; it's still early days yet, and Insane_Gazebo hasn't even begun to really apply pressure.

I can't say I really like the hell knight room. Because none of the knights can actually reach you, the scenario feels very contrived, and because there are a fair few of them it bogs down the map's pace a bit, even with all of the rockets strewn about. Other than that, though, I think the layout, while really quite simple, is well-suited to the action that it hosts. I particularly like the side-tunnels that loop around the sides of the main areas (initially they both have zombies in them); because they don't really contain much of value (either practical or scenic) it's kind of easy to forget about them....right up until the point where a gaggle of faster monsters like revenants or pinkies uses one of them to flank you. About that final group of revenants, with some foresight/foreknowledge one pretty effective tactic to use against them is to once again employ a cyberdemon to do your dirty work. You can accomplish this with relative ease with the roaming cyber from the cavern return--the differing heights of cave mouths in the area mean you can kite him into the end of the big side-tunnel nearer the dead carrion worm, and ditch him there while you waste his brother/flip the switch, then kite him back out again and employ him against the horde of bonemen. There are enough of them that he's unlikely to survive, but he does an excellent job of taking some of the pressure off of Doomguy while he lasts.

Old Post 05-03-14 04:25 #
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SteveD
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Demon of the Well said:
I imagine the level as taking place in one small part of a tunnel system under an unspeakably vast mass burial ground, where titanic carrion-crawlers fattened on a rich diet of the nameless dead tunnel through the earth in search of the few undespoiled mausolaea that remain.



Positively Lovecraftian. Two thumbs up, DoTW!


Demon of the Well said:
'chicks dig scars'


Then I reckon I'll have my own harem by the time I finish this . . . ;D

Old Post 05-03-14 05:16 #
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Cynical
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You know what? This is Sunder, I'm joining in (but skipping "Precarious", "The Furnace", and "Obsidian Nightmare", because, really, fuck those maps).

Map 01: Remember earlier, when I said that Sunder was pretty inconsistent? Yeah, this is what I was talking about. Sunder gets off on a pretty bad foot, to be honest; this map blows. You run circles around one large room while monsters kill each other and the Doom Marine barely even needs to pull the trigger. Yawn.

Map 02: Ok, first things first, EVERY ASPIRING MAPPER, LISTEN UP: see how those power-ups are scattered at the start? To grab them efficiently, instead of running one nice line, I have to turn around, grab the armor, double back, grab the Shotgun, go forward to grab the backpack, and then double back to get the other two shellboxes. Seriously mappers, stop doing this shit. Plan your power-up placements better.

This is one of my absolute pet peeves, and Sunder's second map starts me staring at it.

And, the first two-thirds of this one is only mildly more entertaining than the previous one. The first fight is dead-easy once you realize where the SSG is, the next fight can be won by just standing on the stairs, the Revenant tunnel can't apply any real pressure because it's so easy to escape from either end, and the HK Arena is just a stupid timewaste.

And then, the Cybies come out to play, and Sunder finally wakes up.

The Viles entice you to move forward to take them out ASAP, but the turreted Cyb is in the perfect spot to snipe you to punish you for your little bit of aggression. Then, you've got the choice of trying to kill the turret while letting the one on the ground live, or facing a tough ammo drought when finishing off that massive Revenant group. And even that massive Revenant group at the end has some fangs, with those two carefully-placed turret-Viles sealing off access to the end area of the map.

These two fights are absolutely brilliant and a perfect example of what Sunder can do when it's in peak form. There's some real crap in this wad, but when it's good, hot damn is it great.

Old Post 05-03-14 06:04 #
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Ragnor
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Cynical said:
You know what? This is Sunder, I'm joining in (but skipping "Precarious", "The Furnace", and "Obsidian Nightmare", because, really, fuck those maps).



*waits for the awkward review of Obsidian Nightmare by Obsidian*

Old Post 05-03-14 07:10 #
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Obsidian
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X-D Now if only I could do a commentary on it with Nick Baker! I might actually give Obsidian Nightmare a shot now, thanks for that. :P

Old Post 05-03-14 07:34 #
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Ragnor
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*bro fist*

Anyway, I gave this wad a try myself. Holy shit. Initial thoughts: "Only 100 monsters? Isnt there a zero missing?" and "What the HELL am I listening to?"

Even more surprising:
http://i.imgur.com/BrJPcQbl.png

WHAT? I finished a Sunder map? On UV? It was kind of fun, but only because of its small size. I could not do that on a larger scale. Devilution/Revilution testing had me screaming murder and obscenities, and that's a far far smaller level set monster-wise

Old Post 05-03-14 12:29 #
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Veinen
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Map03: The Dreaming Garden - 21:34 - 109% kills

The Dreaming Garden, my nemesis. It was exactly like I remembered, otherwise doable but then that one part killed me a dozen times to compensate my relative success in the earlier (and later) parts. The other fights aren't really trivially easy either though so I feel overall the difficulty is definitely curving upwards. Visual theme changes again completely and now the main texture is the pretty ugly looking bathroom tile texture. To me the one thing that really sticks out aesthetically in this map are the uneven floors and staircases just everywhere. Even the tiniest bit of height variation makes huge difference both visually and in regards of gameplay too. Even if the uneven floor doesn't restrict you, it does make controlling your movements just a little bit harder, which in turn makes things a little trickier when you have to rocket 50 middleweights while constantly moving.

More enemies with their backs turned at the very beginning of the map, a gesture by the author I do appreciate since it gives the player a chance to strategize his/her first moves in peace. No Archie in the immediate vicinity this time but a turret Cyber and some hard to reach Mancubi along with the ground level Noble squad. The Cyber is not very helpful in terms of actually killing the other guys but it's perfect for being used as a means to distract the Nobles and give you a little room to shoot the switch required to reach the next room. Aaand there's the first AV too, quite the harmless one though this time. The next fight with the teleporting horde I like and it's actually quite easily handled with the correct strategy. A lonely Cybie follows, then a Manc tunnel and a trio of resurrection machines that ate more of my ammo supplies that I would have hoped. I'd have preferred a good sized supply of rockets for the next big set piece but it didn't really go as planned. Turned out I had just barely enough to get through.

But yes, the next fight is, for me, by far the hardest one in the wad up to this point. A shit ton of Nobles and Cyber higher above so you'd think it's easy to get a good infight going but I just couldn't do it effectively at all. Instead I got cornered or splash damaged or rocket suicided multiple times before managing to thin the Noble herd enough to breathe again. It's the uneven terrain that really fucks up my playing since it's an additional aspect to be mindful of. Like enemy fire from all directions wasn't enough. Still, I don't hate the battle at all and it's a nice feeling when you finally pull it off succesfully. The HKs and Mancs combination shortly after is a cakewalk compared to the fight before, then off to slaughter a million helpless Imps to feel powerful again before the final encounter. The final set piece in the wooden hall is a fun one to close off the map. Got through that in my first attempt as well, the only part where I died was the Noble battle as I predicted, but I did remember where the switches were so I kind of knew a good strategy to survive and be effective. I mean using the Invuln to get rid of most of the Archies at least and then it's just an easy enough cleanup operation when you're a mortal again.

Whew, got through and without much frustration if any. I still don't really have a good strategy to the bathroom valley battle but got out of it alive anyway. I can say that I enjoyed the map overall though perhaps the bumpiness is something that I can see some disliking. It adds a little twist to the combat so I didn't really mind much. When it adds a twist to platforming though (I'm looking at you, Precarious), it can fuck off.

Last edited by Veinen on 05-03-14 at 13:20

Old Post 05-03-14 13:08 #
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Salt-Man Z
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MAP03: The Dreaming Garden
Sooo many deaths. The first thing you notice is that architecture. So bizarre. Very memorable. (Now I want to lapse into Doge-speak: "Very architecture. Such memorable.") Erm, anyway, I'm trying to think of which fight stood out the most, and it's difficult for some reason. That initial Cyber kept throwing me off when he would disappear down the hallway behind him. (I thought for a while that maybe he was teleporting back and forth from somewhere.) The second-room revenant ambush was one of the most shocking, but it only took me a couple tries to get a handle on--the weird height variations in that room made moving around actually easier, oddly. The massive noble swarm wasn't too difficult; I began by camping in the teleporter stations and 'porting back and forth between them at need. Once the herd had thinned a bit, I made for the supercharge, then headed back to the entrance for the high ground and it's narrow-ish approach. It was a grueling fight, but not particulary difficult. I loved the imp room; there's really nothing I love more than mowing down swarms of low-level baddies en masse, and that's a scenario I don't see enough in the slaughter-y maps I've played. The final room was a challenge, but most of my strategy devolved into hiding in a tunnel and waiting for the in-fighting to do my work for me. And I totally spaced on the invulnerable sphere at the end, so when I dropped down and saw 4-5 viles and a Cyber I totally panicked. After a couple attempts, though, I cleared my head enough to just head up the stairs and into the tunnel again; all I had to worry about were a couple curious cacos, and the Cyber that was the only thing left at the end.

These are certainly not easy maps (even on ITYTD/continuous) and I don't know how much longer I'll be able to keep up, but the feeling of accomplishment they give at the end is just great.

Old Post 05-03-14 16:10 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Salt-Man Z said:
Is it really that bad? I know I've heard about ZDoom/GZDoom slowdowns on big, busy maps, but I've yet to experience such a thing.


IDCLEV to MAP10 ;) granted the whole map doesn't stay like that, but there's quite a few points where if you look in a certain direction, you're dealing with significantly less frames.

MAP03: Ah, this is more like it. A handful of rough encounters over a jagged, unsymmetrical, strange land. All phases of the map gave me quite a hassle so there was barely any breathing room, although I think Veinen's noble hell is definitely the most stressful part (I wound up hiding near the entrance and turned any HK following me into mush). I think my favorite area is the (pre-AV) wooden mansion at the top, being a nice contrast to the spearminty cement structures dotting most of the map, and containing a slow but overwhelming flood of demonic creatures. I'm not a fan of the invul though since it's less tactical and more necessary to survive the golden idol onslaught, and then it just feels like a lot of luck as you get jostled around, hoping you land somewhere near them. There's some clever stuff in this map with only obnoxious AV placement to bring it down (and overwhelming bumpiness, but it doesn’t bother me too much).

Old Post 05-03-14 17:04 #
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mouldy
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Map03 - “The Dreaming Garden"

Where the first 2 maps have foreshadowings of where we are heading, this is where Sunder really begins for me, with the complex and abstract fractal design which has become the "architecture of fear" synonymous with the wad. This map in particular is visually striking for the way the textures are repeated in striped patterns almost like a danger signal. Straight away we are presented with the fight or flight choice, the temptation to get the hellknights arguing with the cyber and leave them to it (which I generally do). Then comes the revenant onslaught, which is one of the most memorable fights of the whole wad for me, as when I first played it I found myself really scratching my head trying to work out how I was meant to survive. I'd not really had much experience of slaughter maps at the time, and it seemed crazy to put the player into such seemingly impossible scenarios, but I soon realised that each fight was like a puzzle to be solved. The battle behind the red door is also quite memorable for the same reason, though I discovered a new technique to dealing with it today which made it a lot easier.

Then my favourite section of the map, inside the wooden castle where I like to activate all the switches at once and hide in an alcove watching the ensuing carnage. In a way the map starts hard and gets easier as you go along, as the bigger hordes require more space to run around in. This map also introduces bumpy floors in a bad way, some of the maps really suffer from this and it might have been a conscious decision to make the gameplay more awkward, but you don't really need to be fighting the scenery when there are this many monsters to deal with. The uneven floors do add to the alien visuals though, you almost feel like this is a place that has randomly generated itself. Very cool and memorable map.

Old Post 05-03-14 18:02 #
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j4rio
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I'll just post some casual walkthroughs because I owe sunder for forcing me to learn how to actually play doom. I love all maps as they are although I'd really wish some mild bugfixing would have happenned before Gazebo vanished.

Map 1 - http://www.mediafire.com/download/8...ff/sunder01.lmp
Map 2 - http://www.mediafire.com/download/a...19/sunder02.lmp
Map 3 - https://www.mediafire.com/?7ut1xv6d8bhcn1l


Just curious, can anybody make that macabre wad work in boom ports? It crashes any wad editors I opened it with.

Last edited by j4rio on 05-26-14 at 10:09

Old Post 05-03-14 18:13 #
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Magnusblitz
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MAP03: The Dreaming Garden
94% kills

Kinda strange in that the first part is the toughest, and the fights seem to get progressively easier as the map goes on. Die over and over at the start (multi-tiered fireball tossers are really difficult), but finally get the cyberdemon to thin out the hell knight herd for me, kill the manucbuses and then the cyberdemon. The next room turns into abusing the easy transfer between the two corridors - stand as far away from the revenant/noble gate as possible, slam rockets down the corridor until the fireballs are gonna hit you, run to the other corridor, rinse and repeat. I left the next Cyberdemon alive, thinking I could use him later, but never did. The next hell noble area is tough, but mainly just because the Cyberdemon doesn't do a very good job of infighting due to the height difference (those nobles like to mill around at his feet). I hit the switch and hightailed it out of there, ignoring the new wave of enemies. The imp/baron room is pretty easy since the imps don't move off their ledge, and the fights in the wooden area are almost pathetically easy by Sunder standards (mainly due to the monsters' inability to figure out how to climb the 90-degree staircase). I do enjoy the invulnerable sphere fight though, nice to have a time limit on trying to kill all the AVs before getting fried.

This map certainly stands out looks-wise, with its jagged cubist nature and use of steps. I've rarely seen maps use the green/white tile texture well (usually for bathrooms or subway stations) but it works well here given the cube theme.

Old Post 05-03-14 21:02 #
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Ribbiks
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I think I'll follow j4's lead and post some casual playthroughs. I fucking love this mapset.

demos, map01,02,03

It's really not overly difficult once you learn some viable strategies, and playing through this wad is a good way to learn the basics of crowd management / infighting. Watching the old max demos by j4 and oku was my first glimpse into the rabbit-hole of just how good some people are at this game, which fed my downward spiral into difficult map addiction :)




Anyways:

map01: python, 5:32 (0 deaths)

fun opener. real easy, lots of room to move around. hurray single-shotgunning a horde of imps.


map02: the burrow, 12:44 (0 deaths)

probably the ugliest sunder map. Still fun though, still very easy (relatively speaking). The highlight of the map is obviously the final fight. I think completing that encounter should be mandatory for the doomers who complain about revenant usage in other wads :p


map03: dreaming garden, 17:32 (0 deaths)

I didn't remember this map very well so I played through quickly with nomo to find where switches were and etc. The hardest part of the map is probably the fight after the red door, mostly because it's awkward as fuck moving around that terrain. Overall this map is very straightforward, some basic slaughter setups, a lot of them can be cheesed by quickly escaping the rooms. I don't really think any complaints about difficulty are warranted yet, these first 3 maps are all very doable. iirc the next map ramps it up pretty hard, so that will be fun to revisit.

Old Post 05-03-14 21:47 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 03 -- Dreaming Garden - 111% Kills / No secrets
I think this is one of the most aesthetically striking Sunder levels, although probably one of the least nuanced from a combat standpoint. The setting is a surreal, open-skied maze of tiled walls and terraces, variously sunken in chiseled relief or rising in hard-edged hills, the chaotic whole having the semblance of both something highly artificial and yet somehow organic. Other than the mossy ground the 'garden' aspect of the place seems pretty dubious, but certain details in the environment are darkly suggestive; the place seems to be thoroughly webbed by terracotta piping that feeds into the soil, and damage to one of the walls near the second cyberdemon sees a mess of flesh and corpses spilling out from behind the tiling. Could it be that the tiling is analogous to suncones or wire mesh in a mundane garden, and what is truly being nurtured and ripened here remains mostly unseen, even as it is being thoroughly watered by the blood of men and demons?

Seems like a number of folks view that green/white lacquered tile texture (aka spearmint bathroom tile) with bemusement, but it's one of my favorite DooM II textures, up there with the library/mansion set. Also noteworthy is the wooden shrine at the heart of the garden; only a minority of the maps in Sunder attempt a marked thematic shift like that partway through, and though small, this stylistic sojourn plays well in this case, as it lends the strangeness of the rest of the map some kind of context, at least for those given to reading into these thing. So, suffice to say, the visual aspect of this place has always been compelling to me--aside from the matter of texture usage, this is also the first time in the WAD we start to see that really chunky, cuboid, monolothic Sunder architecture, although the overall scale here is still only a fraction of what's to come.

Speaking of scale, once again the overarching theme of the combat here is space management. The irregular terrain plus the mounting numbers of the opposition mean that simply running around willy-nilly waiting for infighting to take its toll will not always work reliably here (although I guess that is kind of what you do in the baron/imps fight), and so you have to have more of a definite plan in your movements to succeed. That being said, the action remains highly manageable because most of the major fights feature either little hidey-holes or safe zones with two exits you can camp in (useful in the wooden shrine), or alternately, small teleporter booths that, assuming you're brave enough to reach them early enough, will blink you back and forth between opposite sides of the various battlegrounds, giving you ample opportunity to pour your artillery into the horde.

This is most important in the first main fight in the yard with the red portal, as optimal firing lanes are few and the enemies tend to close in fast and are difficult to circumvent damage-free without using the teleporters. From this point, I think the map gets easier as it goes on, to the point where the baron/imp slaughter and the V-sphere-cushioned romp around/in the wooden shrine almost feel anticlimactic....I've never really had much of a problem with crowd of nobles in the steps/ditch region, my strategy has often been to get them to bunch up near the riveted iron steps down into the area and then have them aggro on the cyberdemon in large clusters by guiding his rockets into the walls. The bumpy terrain here doesn't bother me either, since it's a consistent trough shape, although this feature is a bit bothersome in other small parts of the map--it has cost me my life against the lone second cyberdemon several times in the past. Incidentally, since I've played before I'm still feeling pretty comfortable with the action here, only died once this playthrough fucking up that first big fight with the red portal. Map 04 has always given me a lot of trouble, though--moreso than the next few maps that follow it, really--so we'll see how I do there this time.

Old Post 05-03-14 22:55 #
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Veinen
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Well it's the fourth already here in Finland and I have nothing better to do so lets do map four.

Map04: Metal Descendants - 25:01 - 100% kills

I just fucking loved this map, simply great all around. Didn't even think it was that hard at all even though I did die a few times. Very much manageable and thankfully the deadlier parts are early in the map. So manageable actually that I felt I could do a max of some quality. Couldn't produce anything concrete yet though.

The theme in this one is, surprisingly, dark grey metal and crushers. Crushers are present in every battle and their part is either crushing the enemies or limiting your movements, not so much to actually kill you. Didn't get crushed once in my initial playthrough and even in my maxing attempts it's only the ones in the platformer part that got me a few times. It's the price to pay when going faster I guess.

As for the combat, well like I said the early fights are the harder ones. The first set piece against the horde of Hell Knights and sniping Chaingunners is a tough one and what killed me a couple of times initially and what kills me most frequently in my max attempts. There's of course a strategy to evade the HKs but the Chaingunners will get their shots in no matter what with the way they are placed. There's really not much you can do but to keep moving and pray. Getting the YK from it's shrine can be a little tricky but I did manage to find a consistent way to survive it and get out alive. Died in there a few times before that though. And if I leave the first Cyber alive it might camp in the doorway and instantly shoot me when I exit. Next up slaughtering Imps, my favorite pastime. It's another pretty easy fight and I have to say I was delighted to see that the tactics I came up myself and used in the fights were largely the same that j4rio used in his max. In the Imp massacre and other battles as well.

Grabbing the RK unleashes a massive horde of Nobles and Revenants but the fight is easily handled by circlestrafing and with the help of the gigantic crusher in the center. The platforming under crushers part after the red door is what it is, take it slow and it's not much trouble though. The finale features more Nobles and Revs, and even more crushers. There's a lot of room though and the crushers aren't that hard to avoid so it's not a terribly difficult fight either. And there you go, that's the map.

Like I said, I enjoyed this very much. Every fight was fun and I felt really comfortable in this environment for some reason, which makes a huge difference. Slaughtering 900+ enemies is fun in itself and even more so when they offer enough resistance to provide a moderate challenge, yet a challenge I can "comfortably" beat. Fucking excellent.

Old Post 05-03-14 23:58 #
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j4rio
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Most of those sunder maxes of mine are old, rather clumsy. Nothing to be really proud about. Watch Okuplok's ones instead.

Here's casually completed map 4 - https://www.mediafire.com/?wh3mawwvfb3a9lv

Don't like those HKs and barons teleporting in after getting yk much, cool otherwise.

Old Post 05-04-14 00:13 #
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Cynical
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Am I the only person who thinks that The Burrow is one of the most visually attractive maps in Sunder?

It's not "hyperdetailed", sure, but it's got a great use of color and lighting, which is waaaay more appealing than the "endless brown" that much of the wad falls into.

(Also, doing a quick survey of several of the maps here reminds me of just how awful Insane Gazebo's item placement is in general. Expect to see a lot of rants from me on that; he *really* sucks when it comes to this).

Old Post 05-04-14 01:04 #
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Ragnor
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I thought Python was uglier. The Burrow had me jawdrop in comparison. Obsidian Nightmare and Hivemother are the best though, visually. Best till last I guess.

Old Post 05-04-14 02:01 #
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SteveD
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Cynical said:
Am I the only person who thinks that The Burrow is one of the most visually attractive maps in Sunder?



Ahem . . .


SteveD said:
Much to my surprise, I actually liked this map. I also liked its looks better than other reviewers. Maybe that’s because I still haven’t played a lot of cavern maps, but to me, this is well-detailed with great use of light and shadow, and the intestine tunnel is pretty damned cool.


I feel so ignored! :P

And of course, we both said pretty much the same thing re: my emphasis;


Cynical said:
It's not "hyperdetailed", sure, but it's got a great use of color and lighting, which is waaaay more appealing than the "endless brown" that much of the wad falls into.



I appreciate how you state contrary opinions on this mapset. Go, Cynical!!!!

Old Post 05-04-14 02:11 #
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Cynical
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Map 03:
To start, see all of those Cells and Health Boxes in little tiny alcoves in the wall?

Yeah, that REALLY sucks. Mappers, take note- leave your walls flat and just put those against the wall!

I also really HATE how Gazebo is inconsistent with his item stacking here. I never know just what a pickup is going to be until I pick it up.

As far as the rest of the map goes, it's fine, aside from that stupid "stadium" with the Barons + third Cyber. That would have even been fine, were it not for the awful bumpy-floor making maneuvering nearly impossible. That three Vile teleport-trap early is a bit of a dick move. Without foreknowledge, that's pretty much a guaranteed kill. Guess it's not like anyone is expecting to survive most of Sunder on first sight, though.

The armor placement here is WTF-tastic. There's a green, followed by a blue about 10 seconds later with no fights in between? Huh? And then no armor until the end other than a lone Megasphere? WTF, why?

I was going to disagree with everyone who said the wooden building was easy... then, after I killed the second wave, I found those linked teleporters. Damn, I'll bet that would have made this a LOT easier.

Visually, I really like the exterior areas of this one, even if the spot where the Revs and Barons teleport in from in the second battle looks like goatse. The interior of that wooden building is ugly as shit, though. And what's with those tiny inescapable pits in there, anyways?!?!

EDIT: Hey, let's do the next one while we're at it.

Map 04:
I disagree with Demon of the Well as far as the difficulty of this one goes; IMO, this is much easier than map 03 and more on par with 1 and 2... aside from one kinda dumb bit.

Anyways, this is clearly a "conceptual" map, and it's fun enough for what it is. Most of the fights here can be dealt with by simply running one simple route over and over and over until the hellspawn commits suicide underneath the crushers; luckily, the monster counts are low enough (and the crushers large and numerous enough) that this doesn't really have time to turn into a grind.

And then there's that platforming bit.

Yeah... that part is basically the antithesis of fun, carefully edging around the very outsides of the platforms, timing your jumps carefully, waiting, waiting, waiting... waiting for the crushers to line up to make the next one.

Seriously, fuck that bit. (And for those of you reading this wondering "heh, wait until he sees the next map if he's so pissed off by this", I'm skipping Precarious, because, seriously, fuck that too).

Last edited by Cynical on 05-04-14 at 05:11

Old Post 05-04-14 03:21 #
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mouldy
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Map04 - “Metal Descendants"

Great theme for a map, the darkness and ever present crushers give it a real oppressive menace. I totally didn't remember the cyber fight at the start, maybe because its pretty easy to get them infighting and leave them to it. The action for me starts in the first battle chamber caught between hellknights and chaingun snipers. This wasn't as hard as I remembered it though, maybe I just got better at dealing with herds of hellknights. After running around dropping most of the chaingunners it was fairly simple to herd the HKs under the crusher. There were other fights like this, particularly in the room with the large central crusher where the battles hardly needed a shot fired. Next memorable section was the imp horde, which took a few experiments to find the best method, the main threat being from your own rockets. Actually I nearly forgot about one of the biggest pain in the arse fights in the yellow key room which killed me several times, I found the best solution was to just press all the switches and run out without even firing a shot though. Much of the difficulty early in the map stemmed from having no armour, so a couple of rev missiles was certain death. (edit: actually I just realised there was an armour in the starting room, must have used that up entirely on the chaingunners in the second battle)

Without a doubt the biggest nightmare of the whole map for me was the platforming crushers. I bloody despise platforming at the best of times, and with crushers and chaingunners it became a savespamming chore getting through that section. The cyber at the end of it seemed kind of arbitrary, I felt like leaving him behind but figured I may as well shotgun around a few pillars with him in case he gave me trouble later. The finale was so much easier than I remembered it, it was almost an anticlimax. The first time i played this map it was a nightmare of dodging crushers and getting cornered by the hordes, but this time it was a breeze. The mancubi in the cages only seemed to be there to distract monsters away from me while the crushers did all my work for me, but hey, I'm not complaining. Its a cool map, and the crushers add an interesting dynamic in a lot of the fights. That platforming section can go fuck itself though.

Last edited by mouldy on 05-04-14 at 14:29

Old Post 05-04-14 14:15 #
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dobu gabu maru
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MAP04: I remember this map well—crushers are the name of the game here, and everything can and will be smushed, smashed, & squished. The gimmick ends up being more of a boon than a hinderance however, as leading monsters into the crushers pauses them momentarily, leaving you a lot of room to move around and evade. This is most evident in the red key battle, where continuous circle strafing around the outside of the arena leads to a giant meat pie in the middle, with not so much as a single scratch from the player and nary a shot fired (having the teles face outwards would’ve thwarted the player somewhat).

We also get our first bitter taste of platforming here, as chaingunners assail Doomguy while he's trying to avoid being ground into paste. Not fun stuff, but luckily it’s short enough. The final arena has a great, foreboding atmosphere, but again the crushers do most of the work against the legions. It’s a cool map, but I think it’s far and away the easiest yet; an odd contrast to MAP03 since that one rarely gave me a reprieve, while this was basically “Run Around and Win: The Map”. Perhaps trying to fight through the hordes and do the fights as fast as possible would complicate the fights more, but playing it slow and safe seemed like the most viable option.

Old Post 05-04-14 19:30 #
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Demon of the Well
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Map 04 -- Metal Descendants - 100% Kills / No secrets
Ah, yes, this map. As predicted, I had trouble getting started here; the room with the knights/crushers killed me a few times, and a few of the times where I passed it I was killed in the yellow key room...although, most of these deaths I attribute more to that first crusher room than the YK room itself (okay, and I.....also blew myself up once). It's neither the knights nor the crushers that were the problem, mind you, as basic sheepdog tactics will see them turned into so much infernal slurry before too long; no, it was the chaingunners. The fucking chaingunners. I swear I must've gone from 200% health to 30% or so in mere seconds several times on account of those bald bastards, and many of these injuries indirectly led to a number of deaths in the YK room (I wasn't picking up the medikits in the first area with the cyberdemon because I was leaving that whole lot alive in order to see how the random noblefest that happens there after the YK would go in that scenario). My usual approach had previously been to try to negate being eroded by a cloud of bullets by killing the chaingunners as fast as possible (read: charging and SSGing them in their windows), although it seems trying to weave through the crowd of knights/crushers (thereby using them as shields) is the better approach, despite being much riskier should one misstep. Anyway, first time I made it out alive with the key I was able to complete the rest of the map smoothly with no further deaths, though (incidentally, leaving that first cyber alive didn't make much of an impact in the long run), so it's definitely one of those that's nastiest at the start.

The repeated crusher concept gets easier and easier to weaponize in the player's favor the farther into the map one gets, to the point where the only members of that final huge horde I personally took an active part in killing were the caged mancubi (who are pretty damned pointless inclusions, by the way) and the last handful of stragglers. Of all of the main encounters, I think it's actually the imp horde with the large central crusher that's the most interesting--since you essentially have to play king of the hill on the little ring-platform between the crusher and the lake of spiky brown flesh that quickly floods the floor--but it's that last battle that's the most entertaining, dodging through, around, and under monsters and the tall crushers at approximately the speed of light. The chaingunner platforming bit, bane of so many, has the potential to be quite cruel depending on the whims of RNG, but it can also be cheesed very easily by triggering the gunners to appear and then hopping into the teleporter down in the lava, which will take you back to the start of the run and allow you to carefully peck them to death at range and at your own pace as you hop and skip along. Yes, I did this, too. It's not like me, but using my brain a little bit (also not like me) suggests that the reason I've probably tended to have a hard time with this map, which most other players seem to feel is one of the easier maps in the set (if not the easiest), probably comes down to my aggressive playstyle being a significant liability in these particular environs.

On the visual front, the theming is as strong and decisive as it is in any other Sunder map, but I don't find it nearly as striking as most of the others, either in terms of layout or structure. The lack of height variation in much of the action, which actually characterizes a number of the Sunder maps (although in most of them it's aesthetically disguised effectively or otherwise rendered a non-issue), is very evident here because the mechanics of the crusher gimmick sort of demand that most of the areas be open, functionally flat-floored, tall areas with the only real structural elaboration being token detailing set into the walls. Some of this looks nice enough, mind--the techlamp insets, some of the flashing/strobing/scrolling lights behind the wall-grates, etc.--but it's a poor substitute for the capricious geometric vibrancy of so many of the other Sunder maps. In some ways the play also seems more padded....the aforementioned mancubi cages, the droll noble slaughter after getting the yellow key, hell, the first monster group in that area in general, which seems totally unrelated to anything else in the map, and especially the blue key cyberdemon, who is easy to fight all by his lonesome, easier to ditch, and makes no real contribution to any other battle. The result is that the map feels more slapdash/less refined than many of the others, so much so that I will say this is probably the weakest map in Sunder's current form. Or maybe I'm just sore about those damned chaingunners, hell! You be the judge.

Old Post 05-05-14 03:39 #
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Cynical
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Demon of the Well said:
The result is that the map feels more slapdash/less refined than many of the others, so much so that I will say this is probably the weakest map in Sunder's current form.

I've played ahead a bit, and I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you don't remember "The Cage" or "The Furnace". "The Hag's Finger" is also pretty pedestrian (and has the bonus notoriety of being the one truly ugly map in the wad, IMO).

Old Post 05-05-14 03:54 #
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I remember The Cage being something of a case of all suit/no trousers (read: something that's significantly more interesting aesthetically than it is to play), and of course both The Furnace and Hag's Finger are very prolonged affairs that have some sloggy bits (though also some fun bits), but all three are more thematically interesting and less one-note than map 04. The map I'm actually not sure about, that may or may not make me eat my words, is 'Hollow Icon'; it seems that at the present moment I can't remember jack shit about that map other than that it's the one where the monster count really skyrockets for the first time.

Old Post 05-05-14 04:12 #
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Cynical
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Heh, I also barely remembered "Hollow Icon", but I found myself really enjoying that one (the other "I barely remembered this but it blew me away!" map was "The Zealous Machine").

"The Cage" plays so poorly that it's absolutely unbelievable. There are exactly two types of fights over the rather long map, and they both suck: one is "find the right spot to camp and then snipe at monsters 50 miles away", the other is "lol time to V-sphere hop!"

Old Post 05-05-14 04:16 #
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mouldy
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Well I had a little go at map05 and gave up pretty quickly. Its just stupid. I've had a proper go in the past and fought through a few of the platform areas with copious spamming of saves, before reaching a set of platforms that no amount of tedious trial and error could get me across. Removing the platforming-hopping element wouldn't leave much behind in terms of fighting, but while I can understand its a concept-map I'm pretty sure that concept could have been implemented in a way that was more fun to play.

If a map makes you wish you had a rocket launcher, not for fighting the enemies but for killing yourself more quickly when you fall off the edge, then its a bad sign.

Old Post 05-05-14 12:41 #
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Getsu Fune
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mouldy said:
Well I had a little go at map05 and gave up pretty quickly. Its just stupid. I've had a proper go in the past and fought through a few of the platform areas with copious spamming of saves, before reaching a set of platforms that no amount of tedious trial and error could get me across. Removing the platforming-hopping element wouldn't leave much behind in terms of fighting, but while I can understand its a concept-map I'm pretty sure that concept could have been implemented in a way that was more fun to play.

If a map makes you wish you had a rocket launcher, not for fighting the enemies but for killing yourself more quickly when you fall off the edge, then its a bad sign.



now I remember why I didn't want to play this, this map and its god-awful platforming gave me extreme rage and caused me to quit playing. Didn't even skip it either, for I was afraid some maps would have similar platforming bullshit (I believe MAP10 does too, I watched j4rio's demo).

I wonder how dobu will handle this, seeing as how the furthest he got previously was MAP05 and he's a freakin' keyboarder.

Old Post 05-05-14 14:01 #
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mouldy
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I don't think there are any other maps with such obnoxious platforming in them, though I do remember map 10 having a few annoying bits. Its definitely worth skipping this one and carrying on though.

Old Post 05-05-14 16:03 #
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