32in24-13: A Thanksgiving Without Burgers
Thought this one would slip through? Guess again! 32in24 strikes back, and the YEDS team, despite its strong internationalism, manages to defy an American stereotype by NOT skipping number 13, but also confirms an American stereotype by setting the topic to Thanksgiving and disgusting, but so very tasty food. Which some mappers clearly understood as "the repercussions of".
It's hardly necessary to introduce the concept of 32in24, but let's go through the motions. Shaikoten decides to pay the community a visit and as a celebration of his passing people quickly assemble maps for 24 hours to create a megawad. The rules stretched over the years and -13, spawned on the 20th birthday of Doom, took over a week to polish, test and balance the layouts created on day one. Also there are 47 maps, making it one of the worst misnomers since the last session.
You'll have to pardon my bias in this case, because I've helped with the project, but this is one of the best 32in24 sessions to date (up there with -4 and -11) and also one of the coolest FFA mapsets in recent years. Its biggest advantage over the competition is the variety that comes with all the wonderfully different mappers opting in. People from Doomworld, all three major online port communities, even a /vr/ pioneer; some of them elite superstar mappers, some taking their first wild stabs at speedmapping; some grizzled veteran DM players, some utter DM newbies or sworn casuals. All that coming in almost every combination possible, the maps show a lot of creativity and out of the box thinking you won't see in a tightly run project by a specialized team skilled in the business. When all the cats are herded, this is what we can do in the United States of Doom for frydom, my friends. Even the Carnevil jokes were reduced to just one.
- TerminusEst13 and co.
What is Push? It is a comet. It appeared in our solar system in November and quickly became brighter than many of the good old stars of the multiplayer sky. A gust of fresh air among the same old classics and ambitious but lacking non-Doom experiments, if you will. Push is also a snowball, because it quickly engulfed all players and mappers that got in its way and they kept rolling with it. (I'm not sorry.) It started small in 4chan's /vr/, but the word spread out even before official announcements were made, and all sorts of Doomfolk from all corners of the world were drawn to it. I think the Friday Night Fragfest session for Push peaked at around 60 players at once. How impressive is that?
Enough with the history lesson. Push is a Last Man Standing mod for Zandronum created by TerminusEst13 after, and I paraphrase, he played on a coop server with no friendly fire and observed with curiosity as players gleefully shot each other off platforms and ledges with well timed SSG shots, hoping their hated ally would land in a hard to escape corrosive pit of death. Term decided to let our basest cravings find an outlet. It's actually Mockaward worthy, because it reads like a parody on player stupidity, but the concept is actually brilliant. Push as a mod gives you just one gun with a pathetic pew-pew laser that pushes your opponents only very slightly and a slower firing secondary mode that shoots grenade-like energetic blasts with considerable splash force. As a bonus you can use your fists to send you opponents into high orbit (quite literally) if you can somehow hit them. There's no damage involved, just pushing. It sounds very simplistic, but this is a wonderful case of "easy to learn, hard to master" gameplay.
You obviously can't play something like that on regular maps, so this is where the community embraced Term's idea and went into creative overdrive. First it was the semi-anonymous mass of thuggery and unchecked creativity that is /vr/ of 4chan, then members of other communities chimed in, resulting in goodness like the lovely maps by Tango or the special contribution Kurashiki cooked for us. In just a few weeks, Push got its own full megawad and even started overflowing. This cannot be overstated - we finally got an original MP mod with its own rich mapset and skill ceiling that's potentially sky-high. Way to go! When Terminus receives his authentic gold-and-platinum Cacoward statue, he should chip off bits of the horns and send them to his mappers. Now let's hope Push isn't an annual flower and survives the winter.
- Mechanix Union
Unlike the other two victors, Rage CTF is not a wellspring of originality or a quirky explorer of genre frontiers. No, Rage CTF is a schematical mapset by a bunch of unsavoury characters with questionable hygiene and unconvincing rapping skills. No, not UD.
The Mechanix Union is a crew of talented mappers that are also competent deathmatch players, which makes their releases consistently good. Their Velocity CTF release was harshly snubbed two years ago, which in turn is why you're reading an extended page of DM 'wards. Rage CTF is pretty much a sequel to Velocity, and if anything, it's even better. There has been a really long testing phase that saw maps tweaked over and over, so the final product is consistent and thumbed up by many reputable CTF players.
I've said "schematical", but it should be read as "standing on the shoulders of giants", or "sticking to proven formulas." CTF gameplay is a house made of glass, and it takes any small detail to make or break a map for it. The ones in Rage are built on general concepts found in the most popular maps and they all work just fine. Only time can tell how many of them will work great and stick in the most played map rotations, but I'm sure you can expect some to appear in the next IDL compilation and one of the leagues' schedules. That's as high as a CTF mapper can hope for these days, because the next step to immortal popularity requires the dreaded intangible je ne sais quoi. May it be uncovered in as many of the Rage CTF maps as possible.
Espi Award for Lifetime Achievement
Top Ten - Page 1
- Going Down
- The Adventures of Square
- Back to Saturn X: Episode 2
Top Ten - Page 2
- Shadows of Cronos
- Monster Hunter Ltd. 1/2
Top Ten - Page 3
- Mayan Mishap
- Urban Brawl: Dead of Winter
- Thy Flesh turned into a draft-excluder
- 32in24-13: A Thanksgiving Without Burgers
- Rage CTF
- Best Gameplay Mod
- Mordeth Award
- Mapper of the Year
CTF Not Dead Yet In 2014 AD
After declaring the IDL dead, the community saw a shocking rise of three different leagues this year. What's trending?
At #idl we saw a migration to Zandronum and its potentially bigger playerbase. IDL's 15th season also introduced modest monetary prizes for the victors for the first time, making Jenova's champions, the Berserker Packers, and Stallion's runner-up's, the Shotgun Kings, the first Doom CTF professionals in history. They then blew the money on League of Legends credit.
At #wdl, Ralphis decided he couldn't stay away from running stuff and he filled the void left by IDL's departure from Odamex with his new organization, the World Doom League. His team, the Superchargers, succumbed to Watermelon's Adderall Drunk Drivers in the establishing final game.
Finally at #iefl, Dragon ran a Zandronum-hosted invitation-only league based in Europe. I wasn't invited. Last time I've heard of it, everyone involved lost decisively. #staystrongdew
Gotta Go Fasterer
In a surprising turn of events that can probably be attributed to KingDime's evangelical Doom speedrunning streams, a large amount of fresh meat joined our no-lifer ranks. One of them, a certain Zero-Master, stunned the community by first acquiring the world record for the Plutonia single segment run in 25:23 back in August. Then he truly dropped the 23:03 bomb mid-November by beating the illustrious Looper on the most sacred 30uv run of Doom 2, often considered unbeatable unless a roll against sanity succeeds. The feat was widely recognized even in various mainstream gaming media.
But it gets better! Another speedrunner called eLim, also not of the traditional Doom circles, mentioned he also beat Looper's run almost concurrently, but with a slightly slower time than Zero-Master's. He plans to finish the job.
Finally, Looper himself was stirred from his slumber and went back to grinding. He already reclaimed the record with 22:45 on Dec 8th, but due to a massive screwup on map30 he didn't even upload the demo officially. 30uv race is on, baby! What a blessed time we live in!
Check it all out here.