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The DWmegawad Club plays: Dimension of the Boomed & MAYhem 2016

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@tmorrow Are you beating all these maps so far blindly and without dying (since you mention 'no saves, first time played')? If so that's a whole lot better than my blind runs have been going. :D [Though for Level 4 which I'll post on later I came very close to not dying.]

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11 hours ago, FrancisT18 said:

@tmorrow Are you beating all these maps so far blindly and without dying (since you mention 'no saves, first time played')? If so that's a whole lot better than my blind runs have been going. :D [Though for Level 4 which I'll post on later I came very close to not dying.]

 

No, I haven't been able to finish many of these maps first time blind. I ain't no doom guru, my skill are average at best! "No saves, first time played" just means I've never played the wad before but it may take me several tries to uvmax without any saves. When I die I restart the map again. Some maps take some analysis to practice difficult sections, develop strategies and explore for all secrets before doing a pistol start, saveless, uvmax run.

 

I knew going in that I wouldn't be able to beat some of the maps. There's a Ribbik's map that I expect is a ballbreaker. I've played up to map14 so far and I've only failed to do map13. I expect there will be several more DNF's though toward the end where the harder maps tend to be.

 

Edited by tmorrow

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MAP02 - “Will o’ the Wastes” by Alfonzo, Tarnsman

A polish and quality romp from the dual. The lighting and texturing skill displayed here is rock solid, pun intended, which really gives this level immersion and a sense of place. Crazy structure and layout angles too, as it works to benefit of showcasing stunning visuals and leaving room for some good gunfights. Ammo is controlled tight here with some berserk work required, and mistakes will be punished badly by many deadly encounters. Blue key trap is a big fav for me with a room that looks good and the baron-av-specters setup that provides some great moments of tension and pressure (The baron is even giving you an ominous warning by munching on a cropse!).

I really wish i could write and analyze this more, but i'm out of steam now :P TLDR: good hard level, play plz.

Some screenies:

9gCoJ0M.png

RJBFKSx.png

y0JFB3a.png

 

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@tmorrow I usually use saves playing blind (see posted videos) as I don't like to keep redoing the same thing over and over. It's still all just playstyle preference though and there's no right or wrong necessarily. 

 

I haven't played nearly as far as you but I did see Ribbiks' map is a measly 30 monsters (intended Level 3?) so seeing how he'll deliver the pain in a low monster count map should be interesting! Still the secret level looks the most menacing to me.

 

Level 13 is called CyberCrusher. That definitely doesn't sound like an easy map either. 

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MAP04 - “Affinity” by Jimmy

After the past couple of maps this was a nice change of pace, a nicely designed and fairly straightforward map with a few traps here and there but nothing over the top. Not really much I can say here as this is your typical solid Jimmy map. 

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MAP03: Gibbous Grotto

 

This one blends the moisture-slick caverns of E1M4 The Grisly Grotto with the terracotta-toned masonry of E1M5 Gloom Keep in the WAD's largest and most intricate level yet, and is the first to offer meaty gameplay outside of the void spaces around which the layout is wrapped, instead offering up a pair of substructures in the north-west and south-east corners of the map that vomit forth enormous swarms of enemies upon the acquisition and later the use of the silver key.  It's engaging, it's fun... I find myself wishing I had more to say here because this WAD is consistently delivering fantastic environments and atmosphere with solid gameplay built around them, but it's doing what it's doing so well and sticking so cleanly to its concept and aesthetic that I'm struggling to put words to it other than "this is a damn good hybrid of Doom and Quake."  Signs are that the next level is going to deliver more for me to verbally chew on though.  :)

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Mayhem 2016 Level 4

 

Here we get a fun, fluid, and fairly casual stroll from Jimmy, with the Darkening E2 textures being used for the first time. Difficulty is medium (it seemed not as harsh as the last two levels); you should watch your ammo but have both melee weapons to resort to as well. I found one secret that helped me a bit for ammo as well.

 

 

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Map06: Malign Masters

 

I've always liked that music track from Quake, and in this level it helps create a threatening atmosphere, accentuated by the fact that spider

monsters are unique to Doom (i.e. alien to Quake.)  The large open area beyond the silver key is cleverly designed, as you have nearly no cover

whatsover, and have to find safe spots to hide until you start clearing out the area.  The room with the crushers is a wee bit daft though, as you

can approach from the side and the monsters inside pose no threat whatsoever.

 

On the subject of spiders, I like the modified spider mastermind.  It's still tough, albeit less of a tank than it usually is, and having it fire

plasma makes it less of a headache than it usually is.

 

When heading south I had no cover whatsoever and repeatedly got my arse kicked, until I remembered there was an invulnerability earlier on.  D'oh!

 Progression is not always obvious but I figured it out in the end.  The ending is a nice nod to Doom episode 1.

 

Time to finish - 12:19

 

Map07: Elsewhere

 

A recreation of Quake's START map, minus the 'nightmare' room, not much to add.

 

Time to finish - :58

 

Map08: Ziggurat Mayhem

 

This one feels more obviously like a Doom map with Quake textures than the others, but doesn't suffer for it.  It's non-linear, and can be played multiple ways, which is a good thing in my book.  The pitch-black slaughterhouse with the glowing lights was a nice touch.  Given that the music track was used only twice in Quake (for "The House of Chthon" and "Azure Agony"), I was expecting something horrible to crop up, e.g. more tar babies, but there was nothing particularly unexpected.  The big fight at the end was great fun, and a memorable finale.

 

Time to finish - 8:50

 

Map09: Swim Hungry

 

The end.

 

Time to finish - n/a

 

Overall, I enjoyed Dimension of the Boomed.  If there's more of it in the pipeline, I eagerly look forward to seeing it!

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MAP04: Affinity

100% kills, 2/3 secrets

 

Fun map here, has that nice interconnected layout with some interesting connections as well that I associate with modern style mapping. Everything is neatly signposted, with the switches/keys easily visible (I like the use of the floor lights) and the laser grids as well. Probably a mite too far on the easy side, but there's still enough here to fight without getting bored. Overall it probably won't prove to be the most memorable map but it's solid.

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OK, time to get my ass in gear and finish Dimension of the Boomed

 

MAP06 - Malign Monsters

OK, so I got pretty lost first time through and honestly had no idea how the hell to finish this map. But thanks to some of the other players posting videos I could figure this one out. This map bears a resemblance to episode 3 of Quake with the textures and all the lava around and it's a bit of a gimmick map consider you only fight Arachnatrons and a new Spidermastermind that fires plasma balls. This map was pretty damn rough and I felt from a pistol start there wasn't enough rockets for all the enemies so it was definitely a Save Scum level for me. The idea was pretty cool and the whole map design and architecture was something else but I felt the gameplay didn't quite hold up.

 

MAP07 - Elsewhere

This is the Start map from Quake recreated in Doom, Not too much to say. Go through the Episode 3 portal if you want to play the bonus map.

 

MAP08 - Ziggurat Mayhem

So this is a map based off of everybody's favorite level from Quake, Of Course considering it's Doom there's no low-gravity but that's Okay. This is probably the best map in the set to playthrough for me as it's rather close quarters and filled with plenty of action even if it doesn't have the highest monster count of the wad. It's still got some great atmosphere to like the super dark bloody area, You can bet I got my ass the hell out of there when I heard the Shambler wake up. The design's a bit non-linear but the map's small enough and well designed enough you probably won't get too lost, And there's plenty of interesting fights here like the Cyberdemon trap behind the gold key door which was certainly an intense moment.

 

MAP09 - Swim Hungry

Not really an actual level but one of those Thank You for play maps instead so once again not much to say. Overall this wad was top quality. Of Course the Atmosphere was some of the best you can find in a doom wad and the whole thing was mostly enjoyable to play through as well even if I felt the gameplay wasn't quite to my style at times.

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MAP04: Necropolis

 

This is without a doubt my favourite level in the WAD so far.

 

Though it borrows its name and some of its thematics from Quake's E1M3, this is a map that very much possesses its own identity and is self-assured in displaying it to the player.  The opening sequence - a free-roam around the titular city of the dead, with its tombs, graveyards, and hints of sepulchral grandeur sprawling off in all directions from a demi-labyrinthine tangle of streets - takes place in silence and utter stillness; the meat of the level is there, waiting for you to explore at your own pace, with a fairly significant degree of freedom in just which chunk of it you wish to tackle first.  At the centre of it all is the gold key, close enough to its corresponding door, and a chamber of eight rune-scribed obelisks which serve as a progress indicator, each corresponding to a matching obelisk hidden elsewhere in the level.  Find and press all eight, and you can grab the gold key and make your exit.  It's a nice mechanic that does depend somewhat on the player investigating that chamber first; if you wander off into the far reaches of the map without first finding this indication and explanation of its setup, it's easy enough to spend a good bit of time exploring, killing monsters, and pressing at obelisks with no clue why you're doing it or how it corresponds to your progress.

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6 hours ago, FrancisT18 said:

Mayhem 2016 Level 4

 

Here we get a fun, fluid, and fairly casual stroll from Jimmy, with the Darkening E2 textures being used for the first time. Difficulty is medium (it seemed not as harsh as the last two levels); you should watch your ammo but have both melee weapons to resort to as well. I found one secret that helped me a bit for ammo as well.

 

I'm not so sure about that. Wasn't MAP01 filled with it? And there were some in MAP03.

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@CatphoNow that I think of it you're right; there may have been a few. However, I recognized most textures in both those levels from Vengeance (an Ultimate DooM megawad) and neither from Quake 1 nor Darkening 2. Level 4 is the first where I can clearly identify most if not all textures are from Darkening 2.

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MAP05: The Witch House

 

The WAD continues to stretch its creative muscles and define its own identity with this level, which deviated further from a resemblance to any particular Quake level than any which have come before; in terms of overall atmosphere I'd place it somewhere in late E2 or maybe E3, and if pressed to match it to a specific level I'd say E2M4 or E2M5, but really it's very much doing its own thing within the Quake idiom of gory, Lovecraftian grandeur.  The placement of a central structure which the player can circumnavigate at the centre of a barren exterior plain is much more something you'd see in Doom rather than Quake, and the star-dappled void is really neither.  Combat gameplay has a stronger emphasis on structured progression and choreographed battles than the preceding maps; there's not much in the way of freedom of flow here, just one carefully managed encounter after another once you're within the titular house itself - quite a change of pace from the preceding map and its free-roaming, take-it-as-you-please gameplay.

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map05: Vaalbara Reborn, by Argent Agent [category: mapslot x10 = monstercount = 80, designed for map08]
zdoom2.8.1, uvmax, pistol start, no saves, first time played

Our marine has an open facility to navigate. If you look on the map you will see that the facility is circumscribed by a huge sea of blue. There is even an unreachable rocky island to the north that is even bigger than the entire base. You do get to go outside the base to hunt for the yellow key in a rocky area ending at a pumping station. There is a lovely view to distant mountains below an azure sky to enjoy before heading back inside.

The encounters are fairly easy up to the point where you unlock the exit, after which all hell breaks loose with 2 cybies and 2 pesky archviles that want to resurrect everything in sight. There are 4 secrets to find and you want them all since they give you a super shotgun, rocket launcher and plasma rifle as well a soul sphere. Beware of the sneaky archvile guarding the exit!

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MAP05 - “Vaalbara Reborn” by Argentum

 

There are a lot of mid tiers once you get to the blue key and beyond and without secrets you are stuck with the basic weapons. Luckily instigating infighting is pretty easy which I think is the best strategy here. The SSG secret isn't really one since it is a case of remembering that there are two places where you can use one of the keys. This map plods along until you activate the switch for the exit door where things get ridiculous, to be honest the archviles are okay but the cybers just are overkill in terms of using up your available ammo, simply put there isn't enough unless you find the secrets. 

The pain elementals I found annoying but grabbing the SSG would have helped here, in the end the map was okay until the end where it just felt like throwing the biggest monsters at you for the sake of it which isn't a good thing as seen here in my opinion.

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4 hours ago, FrancisT18 said:

@Catpho However, I recognized most textures in both those levels from Vengeance (an Ultimate DooM megawad)

 

Those textures are actually from Malice, a TC for Quake.

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I was familiar with the Scourge of Armagon and Dissolution of Eternity TCs, but not previously with Malice. So thanks for pointing it out.

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Mayhem 2016 Level 5

 

I found two secrets - the RL and SSG - and still found ammo a touch tight for much of the level. But I actually made it all the way to the switch to open the exit door without dying. Then - I'm not quite sure what the author was thinking here. The last fight has far more monsters than you can manage unless you found all four of the secrets, which I didn't. It might have been good without the two Cyberdemons or if they could easily infight the other monsters, though you'd still need at least the RL or Plasma secret for a decent chance. I ended up just running to the exit after grinding the Archviles and most of the Revenants away. It was a decent map until then in both visuals and gameplay although needing to find a secret for enough firepower was a negative mark throughout.

 

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I had this wad on my "to play" list anyway so why the hell not join in now. GLBoom+, UV pistol starts, casual (blind) playthroughs, no attempts to max the map. I'll probably just review in chunks whenever i feel like writing something.

 

1 - Xsshsss Zone

Interesting concept based map built around pacifist gameplay initially, something i haven't seen much of before, followed by some tyson cleanup. I had fun with this, dodging fireballs while staying out of sight of the Vile was entertaining and i always enjoy punching things out.


2 - Will o' the Wastes

This map felt very... meticulous, for want of a better word, in terms of resource distribution and monster placement. This therefore felt like i was being pushed towards playing the map in a certain way, the intended way of the mappers perhaps. I am not always in the mood for this style of gameplay, and became frustrated after a certain point. A recently developed Doom pet-peeve of mine is the pseudo-content that consists of viles being released into a previously beaten area with the sole purpose of ressurecting everything, so that you just have to kill it all over again. Therefore, once i pressed the red switch and saw this happening, i made a beeline for the exit and ignored the remainder of the enemies. That said, the Vile/Spectre/Baron trap was cool, and the lighting on this map was great.


3 - Steel Coffin

This map was ok enough, kinda one dimensional though, with largely obvious, easy-to-telegraph traps and much of the combat comprising of taking out mid tiers with the SSG over and over. I quite liked the environment however, as it had a fairly grandiose feel to it - like you were in one small section of this absolutely huge industrial building.


4 - Affinity

This was probably my favourite map of the first six. It somehow managed to feel simultaneously compact and very open, thanks to the multiple connections/tiers that gradually opened up for navigation through individual spaces. Combat was relatively relaxed but still engaging and varied enough for me.


5 - Vaalbara Reborn

Started off fun enough but then became the same old shotgun vs mid tiers combat, which served to slow the pace right down. Then, pressing the 3-key switch... what the fuck? An insanely out of place trap, made more ridiculous by the fact that i could easy just run to the exit, ignoring every single monster contained within said trap on my way out.


6 - Ziggurat Mayhem

Despite being very square, a gorgeous map thanks to moody, cohesive texture work and particularly fantastic lighting. The nature of the layout lent itself to some quite corridor-y type combat where you just shoot what is in front of you in places, but the set up traps were good fun.

Edited by Scotty

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MAP05: Vaalbara Reborn

99% kills, 2/4 secrets

 

Another nice, modern-style techbase with a big spike in difficulty at the end that seems to be controversial. I think there's a lot to like about this map - I like how the layout winds around, and the different areas both manage to feel different but still thematically hang together. And there's a lot of little details I like, especially those planters under heat lamps. It's a very nice looking map, my only complaint being the outdoor areas are a bit too bright for what looks like a night sky. Some good secrets too, clever but not unfair.

 

I'm not opposed to the final battle in concept, but I do think the execution is a bit off, mainly because the map isn't really suited for it as planned - both of the ways out are blocked (the original way in by a cyberdemon, the windows by a bunch of hell knights) and if you do manage to escape, it's not very well built for running around since another cyber blocks the bridge and a lot of the traversing is one-way (and it's hard to get back to the ammo trove at the switch). The monsters don't infight well either thanks to the height differences. This ends up meaning the player will need to just sit back and do a lot of sniping from windows, instead of being able to run around and really have fun. Maybe this was intended by the author, but to me it feels like a missed opportunity.

 

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MAP06: Malign Masters

 

This one's not a lot of fun for arachnophobes.  And it's interesting just how dramatic a shift it represents from the (relatively) close quarters in which much of the combat in MAP01 through MAP04 takes place, to this battlefield with its large dimensions and long lines of sight.  I've had a bit of a running commentary here about the use of void versus structure and the two are probably most in balance here; or, at the very least, there isn't the same clear divide and contrast between "this is a structure," "this is a void space," the components instead flow smoothly into each other.  It's a nice way to do a big, episode-ending climactic battle without having to either create a new boss monster that feels faithful to the traditions of both Doom and Quake, or somehow re-interpret either Chthon or the Icon of Sin in a way that's both technically feasible and satisfying to confront.

 

MAP07: Elsewhere

 

Cool little recreation of Quake's episode selection hub and nary a mancubus nor an arachnotron in sight.  Can't complain as I skip my way through this.

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map06: Ziggurat Mayhem, Urthar [category: mapslot x10 = monstercount = 90, designed for map09]
zdoom2.8.1, uvmax, pistol start, no saves, first time played

Everyone will immediately recognise this as the final playable map08 of Dimension of the Boomed that we played earlier in the month. Urthar has tweaked it to be suitable for a map09 entry with 90 monsters but it was finally placed in the map06 slot. Some monsters have been removed from the "Dimension of the Boomed" version and there's been some changes to the secret areas to look out for. It certainly has not lost any of its magic though and is my favourite map of the Mayhem 16 set so far.

The soulsphere and megaarmor have been swapped in 2 of the secrets for some reason. The imps in the lava section of the bfg secret have disappeared as well to cut down on the monster count, no doubt. The trigger for opening the shotgunguys secret has been made a little more obscure.

The cybie encounter for the blue key is a little tougher this time around, with cybie at his regulation 4000 hit points. You have an opportunity to show off your 2 shot cybie skills here.

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Mayhem 2016 Level 6

 

It's Ziggurat Mayhem -- again!

 

Unlike the rest of Mayhem 2016, which I'm playing only now, I played this level immediately after finishing DotB just to see what the differences were. Surprisingly, even before receiving special treatment to fit right into Urthar's 'Quake atmosphere meets DooM gameplay' masterpiece, this was already a rock-solid level as a Mayhem entry.

 

Now I do think DotB holds the definitive version of this map, and, unless you want a somewhat less Quake-like atmosphere, then you should play that version if you're interested only in seeing it once. The main differences here are the lack of Quake non-texture assets, the swapping of two secret items, and a few of the larger encounters from DotB's version are not present here. But otherwise what I said about this level before largely applies here as well. If taken on its own merits, it would be my favorite or tied (with Level 4) favorite of Mayhem 2016 so far.

 

No video because I wasn't blind to this level by the time I started recording this wad.

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MAP06: Ziggurat Mayhem

100% kills, 0/4 secrets

 

A map I've played before but not this month since I haven't done DOTB yet; this one does a good job of representing the Quake E1 design IMO. While it certainly can't capture that 3D feeling of 'Ziggurat Vertigo' from Quake, this one does do a decent job of actually feeling 3D, with lots of staircases giving the feeling of the rooms potentially existing over each other in 3D space. Ammo was running a bit dry near the end (especially since I found none of the secrets) but still a fun map. Half the difficulty for me was remembering that in Quake you need to shoot switches as there's no use key... I think I killed every monster before realizing I could crush them.

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And now it's onto Mayhem 2016.

 

Map01: Xsshsss Zone (or if you believe the text file, "Xsshsss Zsss")

 

Blimey! This one had me on the back foot straight away.  An unconventional map01 with a very steep learning curve, though once I'd got the knack

of it and worked out how to beat it, it was incredibly fun in a perverse and dangerous kind of way.  It's not often that I've had to punch an

archvile and a mancubus to death.  Initially frustrating, but eventually enjoyable and extremely memorable.  Top bananas.

 

Time to finish - 2:19

 

Map02: Will o'the Wastes

 

A good-looking map set amongst some ancient ruins with Quake textures that don't feel particularly Quakeish.  Ammo shortages throughout the map

encourage strategic usage of rockets at close quarters; in the case of the first archvile trap, this was uncomfortably close, as my health went

down to 3%.  The second archvile trap is relatively easy if you catch him early and don't let him run wild.

 

As an aside, I'm really digging the music for this map.  In fact, I like Stuart Rynn's music in general.

 

Time to finish - 8:26

 

Map03: Steel Coffin

 

Oldschool and relatively simple industrial map, very shadowy and atmospheric.  It has some nasty ambushes involving revenants, but it's generally

easier than the first two maps.

 

Time to finish - 8:36

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Mayhem 2016 - MAP03 Steel Coffin - Angry Saint
HMP - Continuous - ZDoom

 

With a project like Mayhem, every mapper brings something new, which is great, but at the same time there's no consistency from one map to another. I imagine Angry Saint uses a GL renderer with a fairly high gamma, because I'm fairly certain this map isn't supposed to be pitch black. Once you do boost the gamma to compensate, a lot of well textured architecture suddenly becomes visible, and it looks pretty nice.

 

It's an interesting level, in that it seems to be set up for speed. You don't have much in the way of resources, much of the opposition can be dodged and evaded, while certain enemies definitely discourage the player from hanging around to fight.


Mayhem 2016 - MAP04 Affinity - Jimmy

 

It's basically a Jimmy speed map, with that vanilla-limits sensibility that both he and Tarnsman have sort of perfected. And it wouldn't feel out of place in BTSX or Square, except that it's not really up to snuff for a 'proper' project. On the whole it's an easy going map that doesn't out stay it's welcome, and works well within the restrictions.

 

In summary: You probably won't love it, but you certainly won't hate it.


Mayhem 2016 - MAP05 Vaalbara Reborn - Argentum

 

Like MAP03, taking out a few key enemies and running past the rest tends to pay dividends. However, if you do elect to stick around and fight, then the map definitely lives up to the 'Mayhem' moniker. And if I had worked out how to grab the plasma gun I might have done so, though health packs still seemed a little scarce.

 

Visually, the map evokes the sense of being stranded on an overrun techbase in the ocean, and does it pretty well. Though, from a quick peek in the editor, it looks like the author may have been pressed for time, and that there were more ideas they wanted to explore.

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MAP08: Ziggurat Mayhem

 

This one is a rather different offering indeed, with at atmosphere that's more Netherworld than Dimension of the Doomed and a rooms-and-corridors layout that breaks down neatly into its component chunks.  The whole thing is ultimately something of a loop of connected encounter areas, giving the player long and short paths to the gold key depending on which of the two means of crossing the "lave room" they choose; I'm sure it's quite possible to skip a significant chunk of the map if you're just making as short and as quick a path as possible toward the keys and then the exit.  Despite that, there's a sense of the free-flowing that was significant on earlier maps that is missing here; it's much more restrictive and claustrophobic, with short lines of sight and abrupt corners and reverses that focus the player's attention on the immediate scene of carnage in front of them and less on the big picture.

 

MAP09: Swim Hungry

 

The ending is a little abrupt but considering this wasn't presented as a full-length megaWAD and the climactic action was already delivered by MAP06 and its endless spider swarms, I'm not sure what else I was expecting.  MAP08 was a nice little bit of bonus action that, outside of the restrictive Doom II level structure, might have been a secret level of sorts?  And so here we are, all done as confirmed by the friendly Dopefish.

Edited by TheOrganGrinder

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