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

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1 hour ago, Eris Falling said:

Zone vs Zsss -> Someone has difficulty reading weird map names.

I didn't see anything ;)

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map07: Darkvault, Pinchy [category: 160 things]
zdoom2.8.1, uvmax, pistol start, no saves, first time played

Pinchy is experimenting with a wide range of texture combinations with his first submission for Mayhem 16. Each area has a distinctive layout. You can't get lost in this place. There are 3 switches used for progression, opening a new area and altering the layout somewhat. The switches are also used to trigger more beasties to the party. Parties are fun!

Enemies have been placed to keep the player on the move right from the get go. At first sight the enemy horde appears to be overwhelming but after trying a few various routes you should find that its bark is worse than its bite. Pinchy has been very generous with health and armor placements almost everywhere you go and has provided ample weapons for the task at hand. One decent and easy start involves swiping the super shotgun from under the nose of the mancubus guarding it and then racing for the stairs down into the west side of the map with the rocket launchers and the megaarmor. This will set you up quite nicely to dish out some good old fashioned payback. "So revenant, you think you can fire homing missiles at me and get away with it! Here, eat some lead and let's see how you like a rocket in the face!"

The secrets are all accessible right from the start. Of course you need to find them first and then decide on the best time to raid them. One holds the plasma rifle and the others have extra ammo.

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Ziggurat Mayhem

 

E3M6.png.83307ec0eb5e6e3a5f9a4448a453e6d6.png

 

Before starting Ziggurat Mayhem, I played through the entire 3rd episode of Quake for some inspiration, and to see what I could pinch. American does some great design through out this episode, and it's definitely my favorite, but E3M6 was the map I studied the most. And I was very conscious of wanting to build something that felt like a Quake map, rather than a Doom map with some Quake textures applied to it.

 

So Ziggurat has a lot of right angles for a Doom map, a strong focus on lighting, and pseudo-brushwork and slanted walls. It was build fairly quickly with no particular regard to layout, other than to make sure everything joined up at the end. I just kept adding whatever sprang to mind next, and tried to ration out monsters as I went to stay under the map's restriction of 90. There's generally more mid-to-upper tier monsters than I would normally use, since I felt I needed to get the most out of everything, and the map is probably better for having had that focus.

 

Still there's some oddites in there as well, due to the very ad-hoc design, and I would try to iron a few of those out for the DotB version. So the Cyberdemon for example was added to the map very early on, and it had these 3 red rune switches to shoot as an escape mechanism. But I realised I would need to teach the player how to use them earlier in the map, so I stuck one right outside the Cyber's door that crushed a few unfortunate shotgun guys, and I placed another to activate a secret to telefrag a Mancubus, and I thought that would be enough. It wasn't. After watching a few streamers run back and forth in confusion after killing the Cyber, I realised I needed more. So the DotB version has those rune switches plastered everywhere I could think of using them.

 

And there also quite a few things I wasn't entirely satified with. I knew I could take the custion palette a lot further if I was able to ditch support for the Doom2 texture set and just focus on the sprites. And I really wanted to make those doors slide horizontally, and I discovered this really old wad that showcased how to make sliding doors in Boom. So I played around with both ideas after Mayhem had finished, and that was how Dimension of the Boomed started.

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MAP06 - “Ziggurat Mayhem” by Urthar

Not really much point in going into too much detail, but the design choices made after this version of the map was released were pretty much positive in every aspect, the gameplay at times here was a little sloggy, especially the outdoor area where spiders are more dominant in this version as opposed to the weaker warp ins in the DOTB edition. Still is a solid entry into this set.

 

MAP07 - “Darkvault” by Pinchy

This one annouces its intentions rather rudely with chaingunners firing down on you from the start, trouble is with starts like these is that sometimes you can reach cover without taking too much damage or you are dead within two steps depending on how quick the chaingunners are to draw and of course how accurate they are going to be. I guess the rest of this is fine, it certainly isn't the most pleasing on the visual front though it isn't ugly either. I must admit the archvile placement was a little odd in places, the final ones at the exit seem more worthwhile to skip than fight. It's an okay map but felt a little too crude at times both in visuals and gameplay.

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Mayhem 2016 Level 7

 

I found this to be a fairly enjoyable outing that puts you under pressure right from the beginning, but is balanced fairly. The design and visuals are more basic than I've come to expect from Pinchy but both aspects are good enough regardless. I occasionally didn't know what a switch did (especially the last one) but it wasn't too bad.

 

 

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MAP07: Darkvault

100% kills, 3/3 secrets

 

Pretty compact map here, but still plenty of teeth with lots of mid-tier baddies crammed in. Pressure right from the start in typical Pinchy style, might take a few attempts to figure out where to run without getting trapped. Lots of Quake textures used here but architecturally doesn't try to be a Quake level (like last map was), but also feels different from a lot of modern Doom levels too, with some interesting area transitions (the eastern area with the little half-circle ledges is certainly unique). Only letdown for me was that I think the final fight is a bit disappointing, it makes for a good 'oh shit' moment when you're racing to jump up the bookcase only to be accosted by two AVs, but your choice will probably be 1) blunder into the exit teleport by mistake or 2) retreat and easily take out the AVs from safety. Also, dick move having that teleporter go straight into a lava pit.

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map08: Lodi Eno Rebmun Si Ocin, by Tarnsman [category: 160 things]
zdoom2.8.1, uvmax, pistol start, no saves, first time played

Tarnsman is trying to find new ways to kill our hapless marine. We are given a map where if you blink or sneeze, you're dead! With 3 cybies to take care of in a wickedly nasty map where you don't have a lot of room for movement and the ammo is counted down to your final clip. Progression is linear as are the key pickups.

This map is cleverly designed so the player can arrange for infighting in the main lava area with a craggy walkway around one side. If you are pistol starting then you will need some infighting or you may well run out of ammo. Of course the monsters are often not so helpful because they keep missing their queues and keep forgetting their lines. "Was I supposed to go fight the arachnotron? But I wanted to shoot at the marine! Damn!". Pain elementals are particularly thick and often won't follow instructions: "Duh, I just know how to make lotsa lost souls! Har, har, har!"

In the end the strategy that worked for me was to juice infighting with the 1st cybie as much as possible then finish him off with super shotgun. This meant visiting the revenant/archvile trap, triggering the fight but then teleporting out immediately (usually the archvile on the teleporter lets you through). Next was to take out the hellknights, arachnotron and archvile guarding the yellow key. If you get to the left side of the yellow door and open it, most times you can get away with running straight past the 2nd cybie, and then collect the megasphere and bfg and exit the room. You have enough for 6 bfg shots and you want to make them count. I used 2 shots for the 2nd cybie, and a single bfg shot for the 3rd and then finished him off with super shotgun. That left 3 bfg shots remaining for the revenant/archvile trap area. After that, mopping up and taking the exit was fairly easy. The map did take me 20-30 tries to finally uvmax, I ran out of ammo 3 times after all the cybies were dead but couldn't finish, having to resign from the futility of fisting the final arachnotron in the lava or left over revenants.

Edited by tmorrow

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All right, let's crack on with this.  ZDoom, Hurt Me Plenty, continuous play with saves as and when I fancy.

 

MAYhem 2016

 

MAP01: XssHsss Zsss

 

Huh, this isn't how MAP01 usually goes is it?  There's very little that's conventional and a lot that's refreshing about this one, with its high-tier monsters and lack of any weapons beyond a berserk pack that compels the player to go mano-a-mano with the back half of the population, after the Cyberdemon has picked off a handful of nobles and a chain of teleporters has been used to take out the boss and one of his underlings.  Granted, as a community project with a wide variety of map authors to interpret its theme and work within its restrictions, this isn't a map that I expect to establish a consistent tone for the rest of the WAD, but even so, it's a fun surprise to find right at the start of the project.

 

MAP02: Will o' the Wastes

 

I'm of a mind to concur with what others have previously said about this not really feeling like a Quake map, which, y'know, that's fine?  How many of the maps that we played through a couple months go in MAYhem 17 felt like Super Mario Bros. levels after all?  What it puts me more in mind of is something like Ancient Aliens, with the chilled-out, understated music and ruined structures that manage to feel simultaneously jumbled and meticulous.  And on the other hand this one is all about ammo starvation which, with arch-viles and pain elementals abounding as they do, I just can't say I'm a fan of.

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Mayhem 2016 Level 8

 

It's a relatively small or barely medium Tarnsman map, and you get exactly what you'd expect - tricky and tough from start to finish. Most of the time you are in the view of at least one Cyberdemon, and they are not easy to kill, so try to use them for infighting wht possible. Even then, you can rarely stand still. Sometimes it is best to try and blow past a fight; other times making sure everything's dead is more beneficial. I think I had more deaths in the disconnected section you teleport to relative to any other single fight. The Archvile on your teleporter out is evil but hightail as soon as it's dead.

 

 

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MAP02: Will o' the Wastes

This map has an almost uniquely frustrating combination of ammo starvation, archviles with ample opportunities to ressurect monsters, and pain elementals. It's always a pleasure to have a rocket launcher-oriented map, but less so when enemies warp in immediately in front of you as they tended to do on my run. It's an attractive map, but I found the gameplay tiring and was seized the chance to skip the last fight altogether. I never got so much as a whiff of any secrets.

 

MAP03: Steel Coffin

I haven't played The Darkening 2, but this seems to be an attractive use of its textures. The difficulty of one or two fights here seems a little overcooked even on HMP (particularly the wall of chaingunners with a fearsome elevated firing position) and again I could simply avoid or ignore some of the monsters that arrived last, but this was a fun excursion. I'm not sure the outdoor areas added much to the look - the interiors are much more pleasing.

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4 minutes ago, Rook said:

MAP03: Steel Coffin

I haven't played The Darkening 2, but this seems to be an attractive use of its textures.

I think this level uses Malice for the textures. Level 4 definitely uses Darkening 2 though.

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MAP04: Affinity

A strongly interconnected map with a tricky opening that can cost a great deal of health - I very much appreciate the fact that the player can go backwards from the spawn point, as well as forwards. I would definitely liked to have had more ammo: a couple of times I was reduced to fumbling with a near-useless chainsaw. As per usual, no idea where any of the secrets are and (as is seemingly a trend with this WAD) I was able to skip the last fight, even juking around a barely-glimpsed archvile.

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map09: Blood From a Stone, Benjogami [category: mapslot x10 = monstercount = 140, designed for map14]
zdoom2.8.1, uvmax, pistol start, no saves, first time played

Benjogami gives us a good old mountain shootout with a ton of dangerous enemies everywhere you go. You start up on the plateau on the west side of the map. You make your way up the mountain heading north. A huge natural rocky spire rises high out of a huge blood sea below. There are dozens of enemies with keen sight all around the spire that start firing at you incessantly while you are helpless to respond.

There's a humongous blood sea below, preventing your access to rocky spire. It's worth exploring the blood sea once with the rad suit to pick up 6 shells, a box of rockets and a computer map.

Benjo makes sure the player pays for daring to touch each and every switch that progresses the map. More enemies are added to the mix as you open up new areas and has our marine running for his life.

The intention seems to be that you run the gauntlet to open up the way to get inside the building where you are safe from the horde outside. Temporarily safe from the outside maybe but not for long as you hit the switch that allows you to collect the blue key guarded by 2 archvile and a bunch of mobs from both inside and out.

At this point I should mention that the secrets are pretty damned important to find to help you against the tsunami of enemies that you face. There's 7 secrets to be found. The rewards are energy cells and a bfg, backpacks, lots of shell and bullet ammo, health, soulsphere, megasphere, megaarmor, a rad suit and an invulnerability. The bfg secret has to be earned since after picking it up, 4 archviles will spawn near 6 cacodemon corpses that Benjo must have carelessly placed nearby since I'm sure he would never have deliberately endangered our marine in this way!

If you can get past the bfg trap and find the invulnerability, you can use it to wipe out the remaining 3 archviles that are making your life hell out in the plateau area and outside the building. You can then raise the catwalk bridge to access the rocky spire and plan for an assault on the spire, you've got some revenge to dish out to those missile firing scumbags. Paybacks a bitch!

The trip up the spire is fairly easy except at the point where 10 cacodemons spawn halfway up. I found it easiest to run back the west plateau area along the catwalk or just drop into the blood sea and take a teleporter. Then wait for the buggers to slowly waft over to where you can take them out. My only criticism of the map is the inevitable problem you face with floaters getting hit and backing up out over the blood sea and taking quite a while to come back to where you can finish them off. Even with careful play, it's difficult to prevent all of them from wandering out there after getting hit.

Once you've found all the secrets, the hardest part of the map is the fight for the blue key. This part can ruin your run very easily with 2 archviles, barons, hellknights, cacodemons, lost souls, a mancubus to contend with in a fairly small area. The bfg trap comes a close second if things don't go your way. It took me a dozen attempts or so to finally pull off a uvmax.

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Mayhem 2016 Level 9

 

You'd better be prepared, because this is the toughest level so far. And it doesn't come across to me as being made to be friendly for blind players, either. For a good chance you want to find every secret; I found 4/7 and by the end I was pretty miserable. Having that trap @tmorrow mentioned for the BFG (which I didn't find) kind of sounds a bit too harsh to me given how tough things are already. I tried later on to run from some fights but that only made it way worse on the far area. It would be a good bit more 'accessible' difficulty wise if the blood didn't hurt.

 

Aesthetically it's a pretty good looking map of a decent scale - for what little time you have to actually just look at it. I found progression a little confusing at times, but mostly down to finding supplies and a few not so obvious switch locations. I definitely have the feel overall this map leaves a better second impression than first although I'd prefer if the BFG could have just been a free and much needed reward for finding its secret in the first place. 

 

 

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Mayhem 2016 - MAP07 Dark Vault - Pinchy
HMP - Continuous - ZDoom

A small and surreal level, that's fairly straightforward to dismantle with the surplus ammo from previous maps. The progression is a bit obtuse and lacks focus, but this is such a short map that it's not really a problem. The ending is quite abrupt, but honestly I had no interest in tangling with two archviles at point blank range with no cover anyway.


Mayhem 2016 - MAP08 Lodi Eno Rebmun Si Ocin - Tarnsman

I remember dying a lot here when I was playtesting the maps. So I took some small satisfaction in gratuitously BFG'ing some of the nastier elements with surplus ammo. Sadly, I had forgotten all about the additional two Cyberdemons at the end. Still it's a fair map, all the tools you need are there, and the whole thing is short enough that it remains fun even after dying repeatedly.

Visually, it's a good looking map with some nice transformations and progression. I like it.


Mayhem 2016 - MAP09 Blood From a Stone - Benjogami

There's quite a bit of the Living End's DNA in this one, and it works very well. Possibly the strongest map in the set, with a very clear direction, and visually appealing with the exterior directional lighting. I wouldn't want to UV pistol-start this sucker, but on HMP continous it's quite manageable if occasionally fraught, so long as you find a secret or two.

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MAP03: Steel Coffin

 

I can't say that I was really a fan of this one, with the mismatch of its gloomy atmosphere and ambush-laden gameplay to a music track that's all grinding metal urging the player ever forward; it's like it wants to deliver a slow burn, except there's someone constantly talking in your ear to goad you forward.  The tendency of the map to spring ambushes by teleporting monsters all around you, occasionally sealing off the exits too, quickly gets kind of old, and by the time you've hit one-third of the way through the level's running time you've seen most of what it has to offer; everything beyond that point is just variations on a theme.

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MAP08: Lodi Eno Rebmund Si Ocin

93% kills, no map secrets

 

Decently entertaining little map here with some usual tricky encounters, given the small size. Ammo is again at a premium here, and can make some moments more difficult than they might first appear (such as the dance I had to do with the quad of hell knights by the RL to reach the shotgun shells they were hiding, as I had no other ammo). Didn't have enough ammo to finish off the last few monsters (lava pit cyber, some of the manc/tron snipers) so just ran for the exit. Funny enough I died zero times on the AV/rev fight but died plenty elsewhere, especially trying to two-shot the cyber up the staircase.

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map10: Piston Hurricane, Pinchy [category: mapslot x10 = monstercount = 160, designed for map16]
zdoom2.8.1, uvmax, pistol start, no saves, first time played

Pinchy's second installment is an enemy infested warehouse hidden away in a vast ocean as far as the eye can see. This is possibly the easiest map so far. You need to work your way around the outside of the processing plant, while the monsters, perched on boxes, crates etc are trying to dampen your spirits. Once you head inside, you will find that the plant is producing health packs, barrels and chainguns in copious quantities. Both the blue and yellow keys are inside and both produce new waves of enemies around the facility.

Pinchy has been extremely forgiving on the player and provided ample ammunition and health for his battles against the enemy. The 2 secrets on the map provide a soulsphere and an early plasma rifle and cells.

When you collect the plasma rifle after lowering the blue and yellow bars you are treated to a show of alternating lava and toxic waste lifts circumscribing the area out in the water, doing a dance of raising and lowering for your pleasure. Finally the exit is a cute little boat at the waters edge.

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Mayhem 2016 Level 10

 

You get a bit of a breather here, especially after the last level, and it is a bit smaller too, but there are still dangers - most notably some cramped areas and the number of Chaingunners. Those can be much more dangerous if you don't find the early Plasma Gun, which eluded me for a while, even in spite of finding there secret lift that you can access it from. Also there are plenty of projectile enemies along the exterior. You should be sure to take them out before grabbing the non secret Plasma Gun, as you'll be on a raised platform at a distance and height where they can shoot you but you can't effectively shoot them.

 

Aesthetically it's quite good, particularly the inside center area, with lots of conveyors and the Chaingun used to an interesting display effect. The show at the end is also a treat for your eye although I'd have liked it to be a bit more clear you just have to stand on the platform until the show is over & then you'll come back down with newly-granted access to a boat that will get you out.

 

 

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MAP05: Vaalbara Reborn

A curious map which takes the form of a good-looking base within a large sea. Finding the secrets is presumably mandatory in order to defeat any significant portion of the ending horde, which doesn't seem suited to the map's geometry. Once again it's fairly easy to skip around these reinforcements, even the imposing pair of cyberdemons. It's a well-crafted map up until the strange ending, which just doesn't fit.

 

MAP06: Ziggurat Mayhem

To be honest I didn't fancy playing another version of the same map so soon after the first instance. I may return to it.

 

MAP07: Darkvault

More like Brightvault, amirite? This is barely dark at all, which makes its title seem quite surprising. I can't honestly say that I find much that I like about this map - its aesthetics are quite ugly, with 8-tall ceilings stuck awkwardly under the sky and thin slivers of lava in the floors. There's an annoying platforming-oriented area and the fights don't grip me. Finally, the progression is obtuse for such a small map and I eventually gave up trying to find out how the exit is accessed.

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