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Nancsi

Why the first 3 maps of Plutonia are so bad?

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Just wondering, why the first 3 levels of Plutonia play and look so bad? I mean, the gameplay of this wad is intentionally bitch, but the first 3 maps (Congo, Well of Souls, Aztec) are some of the harder levels here, and then, they look pretty bad too. The maps after them (like Caged, Ghost Town, Abattoire etc.) look much more professional. There were some bad looking maps later on like Hunted, but that was for example a concept level, a divisive one among fans.

 

Weren't they aware people might turn off seeing those poorly crafted maps? I, for example switched off in the middle of Well of Souls for the first time, and probably the second time as well. That level is the worst of the three, and probably my least favourite in the entire wad. It looks like a 5 year old child had been mapping, and an adult added some traps for lulz.

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Sorry for my bad English, do you mean Map01 through 03 are quite hard out of those 32 maps? Where do you rank them in terms of difficulty?

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13 minutes ago, GarrettChan said:

Sorry for my bad English, do you mean Map01 through 03 are quite hard out of those 32 maps? Where do you rank them in terms of difficulty?

 

They are not the hardest of course, not Go 2 It hard or Speed hard, but much harder than most maps through those slots.

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3 minutes ago, Nancsi said:

They are not the hardest of course, not Go 2 It hard or Speed hard, but much harder than most maps through those slots.

I mean, can you raise some examples that which map(s) is/are easier than Map01 through Map03? BTW, I don't understand what the meaning of "through those slots". Do you mean early maps? Or Map01 through Map03 for other WADs?

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Level 1 can get a better spawn, all the doom wad (1, 2 and TNT) are more walk forward and go exit, where here is take boths sides, and see what doors are the exit.

Level 2 it's good to teach the player what is going to be.

Level 3 it's all good, except for the invisible bridge. 

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I actually agree with OP.  I like Plutonia, but:

 

Map 1 is way too fucking hard for the first map.

 

Well of Souls does look kinda garbagey compared to the rest.

 

Aztec, I just never liked for a lot of reasons.

 

And the the rest of the wad is great!

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Almost all maps are hard until you learn them. Ultimate Doom e4m1-2 were impossible on UV for me, but now i have great fun in them. Tough maps helps you to level up as Doomer. :D

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Map 01 is awesome and it's the easiest of the batch, IMO.

Map 02 is also as good as it is. The only thing I would change is that bridge setpiece lol

Map 03 is also really awesome and very plutonish

 

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The only relevant information I can find on the wiki is the following:

 

Quote

They created 32 levels for Plutonia in four months' time, and submitted them in January 1996. Unlike their contributions to TNT: Evilution, which were substantially edited after submission (four being rejected altogether due to being too large), these turned out to be the final revisions of the levels. Dario later commented, relieved that no further changes were required, "thank God because I was ready to throw my computer out the window at the time."

 

Were these 3 maps created first, before the Casali's got into their stride? Were they build last by burnout creators? Is it the case that some players (such as myself) only become acclimatised to Plutonia once they've reached MAP04? I don't really know.

 

The only objective thing I can remark upon is that they contain a lot of dick moves for an opening set of maps, and that in high resolution they look pretty rushed and janky (at 320x200, like a lot of Plutonia they're sort of passable.)

 

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Map01: say hello to dickish chaingunners

Map02: say hello to dickish revenants

Map03: say hello to dickish viles

 

The perfect intro to the wad really.

 

I don't really like map02 much myself but can't really see what's so wrong about map01. Map03, ok the layout is meh but i like the big blue key area and the complete middle finger that is the two vile traps.

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Eh, I just prefer that even if it's meant to be a hard wad, that things start off more slowly.  Immediate chaingunner hitscan death is an annoying way to start off.

 

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I recommend that you learn how to strategize each encounter you face and to play with saves for the time being. If you feel like you shouldn't be in an area yet, then don't go there right away because you're gonna likely get chewed up. Taking it slow in Plutonia is okay since every level is pretty small anyways.

 

And if you are looking for the real dickishness in Plutonia, you'll be seeing it starting at MAP10 with the chaingunners that get revived from arch-viles hidden in walls.

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Map 10 is dickish indeed. But it looks great. I think some of you guys didn't get the point. Not that the first 3 maps were the hardest, but they were hardest compared to expectations with no build up time. By the time you reach map 10, you got used to this gameplay.

 

The biggest point was: the first 3 maps lacked quality. Badly. Map 2 is an instant game stopper for many IMHO.

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8 hours ago, leodoom85 said:

Maps 01 to 03 are the best "practice" maps to hone your skills and, to discover how Plutonia is for the rest of the levels. It's just some effort needed to invest time on those 3 maps...really...

This.  You really do cut your teeth on those first three and learn how to best approach Plutonia as opposed to TNT.  It's interesting how different each of the two are from each other in play style and general approach.

 

5 hours ago, NuMetalManiak said:

And if you are looking for the real dickishness in Plutonia, you'll be seeing it starting at MAP10 with the chaingunners that get revived from arch-viles hidden in walls.

2

Still manages to piss me off to this very day lol

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11 hours ago, NuMetalManiak said:

And if you are looking for the real dickishness in Plutonia, you'll be seeing it starting at MAP10 with the chaingunners that get revived from arch-viles hidden in walls.

 

... and this was the moment when i truly started HAAAATING Arch Viles.

 

Also, who else thinks that Map 17 should have been Map 1. Coz i personally find it to be the easiest map in Pultonia and the only map which i can easily beat with UV-pistol start

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Map 1 was probably the only one that gave me some trouble, I mean it was the first level so it made sense. As for how they looked, I thought they were fine.

 

Still better than E4M1 and E4M2 from Ultimate Doom.

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Plutonia wasn't made for newbie players, if you have a lot of serious trouble in maps 1 - 3 then you're not ready for Plutonia.  You can't expect the same "hold your hand" opening levels in an expansion as it was made for those of us who were ready for a challenge.  As for the look, they look fine.  Remember they were made back when doombuilder wasn't a thing yet and building a map took a lot more effort than it does today.  

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13 hours ago, General Rainbow Bacon said:

Plutonia wasn't made for newbie players, if you have a lot of serious trouble in maps 1 - 3 then you're not ready for Plutonia.  You can't expect the same "hold your hand" opening levels in an expansion as it was made for those of us who were ready for a challenge.  As for the look, they look fine.  Remember they were made back when doombuilder wasn't a thing yet and building a map took a lot more effort than it does today.  

 

I'd beaten it already on HMP mate. You clearly don't get the point. The early levels are unattractive turnoffs, and there is no proper build-up in them. Compare those levels to the likes of Map9, Map22 or Map29 (and others), and you will finally understand what I'm talking about.

 

This thread turned into suckery, I hope it dies soon.

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I know all those levels, I've beaten Plutonia several times.  I actually enjoy the first few maps. If they are so unattractive, why have so many thousands of people played through that IWAD so many times?  It's fine if you don't like them, but stop trying to convince people that are familiar with them and have been for many years, that we shouldn't like them for reasons of yours that are opinions, not hard facts about what mapping should be?

 

Admins please close this thread.  

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On 11/8/2018 at 12:48 PM, Nancsi said:

It looks like a 5 year old child had been mapping,

 

The only part of this that I find any truth in is the big, featureless cavern that connects the southwestern cistern to the yellow key bridge. The rest of "Well of Souls" is okay as far as visuals go; the descending water level is a cool opener and the algae-covered caverns / ruins / base portion is fine.

 

I just now breezed through "Congo" on UV but I can empathize with how unforgiving the combat of "Well of Souls" is. The zombie mosh pit and invisible bridge canyon are really uncomfortable early encounters and the great lost soul release adds a ton of ammo soaks without giving anything back to the player. I replayed both of these levels from pistol start to get a gauge of how tough they are since I'm some six years removed from the last time I played them. I died three times without saves, I think; twice to the invisible bridge battle and once to the first chaingunner reveal in the hall o' skull switches. I remember "Caged" as being much, much harder but I don't know how true that is anymore.

 

The nice thing about replaying "Well of Souls" is that while I still had a pretty good idea of what to expect it still felt relatively challenging while not being particularly unfair to me. For newbies, though, player foreknowledge helps when knowing which of the skull switches offers only pain and suffering and how to activate the invisible bridge; that last one is a biggie because anyone caught offguard is getting hammered by revenant rockets and that chaingunner sniper from the exit room while waffling around. I was still surprised by the zombie horde in the collapsing tunnel but my years of experience took over and with some deft maneuvering I minimized the threat level.

 

I would guess that the Casalis were probably uninterested in slowly breaking players in to their difficulty sensibility. If I recall correctly their design ethos was to keep punching up a map until they found it difficult to beat. There wouldn't be anything interesting to them in a levelset whose first levels could be easily blown through; for them, the action was the main attraction. There's something refreshingly honest about a mapset that opens up with a couple of hard hooks and then keeps up the pace throughout. I also gave "Well of Souls" a run-through on HNTR and the difficulty was heavily toned-down in a few key places. If id had a quality control department looking over Plutonia then it was probably more concerned about the way the easiest difficulties played than the apparent fairness of HMP or UV.

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Personally I think they look fine. Interesting organic angles, different parts feel unique, memorable setups, and so on. I will admit that I've always quietly disliked later WADs' tendencies to disregard the careful weapon and monster introductions (for instance, by Level 10 in Doom II you've already got the full arsenal of weapons, and in the first level alone of Plutonia you've seen about half the enemies). But these things make sense in the context of their games - most who play Doom II have already experienced the existing weapons and monsters, and Plutonia's first level is a joyful challenge that prepares you for the rest of it. I wouldn't want it to be different.

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On the maps of Plutonia, you will need to carefully look where you are going and plan retreat schemes, in case you are unable to cope with the opposition.

The first 3 maps are iconic and determine the overall style of Plutonia.

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