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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Deathless

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E4M5: Serene Shadows

 

As with E3M5 this is a map in which the Cyberdemon is an obstacle or hazard more than an opponent; his job isn't to relentlessly hound you, but to lord over his domain from an elevated perch, rendering all within his line of sight a dead zone through which you're compelled to scramble at top speed, dashing from the frying pan to the fire and hoping that whatever unknown dangers might lie ahead aren't so assuredly lethal as a rocket to the face.  That the turret can be neutralised just by following one's instict to scramble to the most complete piece of hard cover available is certainly a nice touch, when the map otherwise doesn't give you the tools to do so.  I feel as though the Barons of Hell that serve as living hurdles to your frantic forward progress at certain points represent one of the limitations of the vanilla Doom bestiary; the role demands something tougher than an imp, less agile than a cacodemon, and with a ranged attack that disqualifies the demon or spectre, but there isn't anything in the bestiary that meets those competing demands aside from the Baron, and it's really a bit too much of a rocket sink to feel organic in that role.

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E3M1: Open Wound

A much more conventional map than the original E3M1. Liked the courtyard area at the start which looks like it was made for a co-op start. rest of the level is well designed and easy to work your way through, but the gameplay was pretty boring as it mostly seemed to be blasting imps with your shotgun and dodging fireballs.

 

E3M2: Salted Earth

Didn't look like a very "Inferno" map to me besides those bits of white rock texture. As expected from this wad difficulty was on the easy side and once again nothing too exciting with the combat.

 

E3M3: Forlorn Morgue

Definitely a badass hell map and something thats fits in well with the inferno style. Not exactly a straight forward map but the whole thing flows together very nicely. Still nothing too challenging here but the gameplay felt much more engaging than the last 2 levels. Unfortunately this episode has an annoying habit of putting items out on small pools of hurt floors, usually not even worth picking up but I can't bring myself to leave a few loose rockets behind.

 

E3M4: Vestibule

So, a pit of Lava and intestines with a lengthy detour through a cave area. Monster placement seemed much more dense than the previous maps, and several Barons and Cacos around can make good use of rockets and the Plasma Gun secret if you can get it. Other than that nothing too terribly exciting happens in this one.

 

E3M5: Soul Drinker

So we have a Cyberdemon shuffling back and forth on a ledge over looking a courtyard area, and the main objective here is to figure out a way to get rid of him so you can grab the Yellow skull in peace. I appreciate maps that give you a bit more clear and obvious goal than just "Kill all the demons and hit the exit switch". Couldn't find the presumably secret BFG on the ledge even after killing the Cyber and being able to search at my leisure, so you got me there.

 

E3M6: Dire Prayers

More great inferno style here with rocky caverns and pits of lava, several cools bits to this map although I felt it like it just ended a bit cold. Didn't even think to look for the secret exit in this one so it's off warping from a pistol start.

 

E3M9: The Wastes

So this time around we have a remake of Map 05 from Doom II, interesting choice considering the other ones we had so far. This is basically the same as the original except somebody threw a coat of red paint over it. Definitely the laziest one so far but considering the time restraints this was made on this was an easy way to fill up some slots and considering it's only secret levels so far it's not like we're missing out on anything.

 

E3M7: Wormwood Cathedral

A fantastic map here taking place in a ... cathedral of all places, who'd have figured? Great atmosphere here and it felt like there was some freedom on how to take this level with the several red key doors, even if you eventually end up doing the same thing to finish the map. The endings a pretty underwhelming Cyberdemon fight who can be taken relatively safely while he's stuck up on his little balcony. Look's like I have a higher opinion than most others here but I felt it was one of the highlights of the episode so far.

 

E3M8: Ire

Two optional paths to go down so you can prepare yourself for the boss fight of the episode featuring 2 Spider Masterminds. The fight felt a bit similar to MAP09 from Plutonia to me even if the only similarites are it's a circular area with enemies up on ledges that can be a bit annoying to hit with your rockets or plasma, man that was a hard fight. This one was pretty easy as you don't even have to try to get these idiots to kill each other and then you can easily kill whichever spider's left. Latter parts of this episode felt like they were a bit easy while playing continuous starts, than again if supplies were more scarce and I was doing Pistol Starts i'd be complaining about the lack of ammo so there's that.

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On 12/24/2018 at 4:12 PM, Spectre01 said:

Voting should be open!

+++ A.L.T.

Eviternity is great, but I want to wait for RC2 to play it, and that might not be available by January 1st.  So, I'm going to second this.

 

+++A.L.T.

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I'm okay with ESP2 winning.  I could do with a month off :)

 

E4M6

Can't say I cared much for the teleport 'puzzle' (it's really just trial and error). The tease of the blue key and blue exit door are pretty cool, though. The lack of 'teeth' in the gameplay is definitely hurting the overall experience a bit, though. This feels curiously gentle; probably easier overall than e3 was.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Capellan said:

Can't say I cared much for the teleport 'puzzle' (it's really just trial and error).

 

The key is to find the teleporter with the same symbol on the wall.

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E4M6: Vertigo

 

This one manages, I think, to feel a bit more substantial even though whether it really is or not remains an open question; I think it's the hub layout that does it, a pretty conventional approach that manages to extend the map's running time and build up the player's sense of its layout through repeated return journeys to the central hub.  The tower with the initially-inaccessible blue key is a classic bit of Doom design, granting access to the map's eastern and western wings only by dashing off of a ledge or running out of a window - as a structure or conveyance it makes no sense whatsoever but within the game's own logic and language it does exactly what it has to.

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Some episode 3 runs:

 

E3M1 UV Max in 2:04

 

 

E3M2 UV Max in 3:21

 

 

E3M3 UV Max in 2:21

 

 

E3M4 UV Max in 2:09

 

 

E3M5 UV Max in 2:44

 

 

E3M6 UV Max in 2:44

 

 

By the way I didn't find out how to reach the secret exit. I think rocket blast should be applied but I didn't succeed :(

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I'll also be fine with ESP2 since I won't be able to play much next month.

 

E4M3: Corroded

100% kills, 1/2 secrets

 

This one combos a lot of ledge snipers with lots of slime to keep you from being able to take out said ledge snipers too comfortably. Definitely felt a little rushed in the red key room since the platform was crowded by the spectres but I was running low on my radsuit (I know there was another one in the room, but why waste resources?).

 

E4M4: Incision

100% kills, 1/1 secret

 

As much as square cube design is poo-pooed I actually like the way it's used here in the interior of the map, as it goes well with the block design of the wooden skull cube texture. The initial outdoor area is more angular which also helps create a nice dichotomy. Not a fan of the forced blood run but whatcha gonna do.

 

E4M5: Serene Shadows

100% kills, 2/2 secrets

 

Completely by happenstance I decided to ignore the first teleporter and root around behind the cyberdemon, which uh... defanged the map quite quickly. After that it's just clearing out ledge imps and doors with health, though Capellan's right in that there's a nice later-Romeroan design to the areas with lots of big platforms/bridges moving into place, rising out of the muck.

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E4M7

Episode 4 finally shows a little teeth (though still not all that much in this penultimate level). It's a nice looking wood and nukage affair, with plenty of long range harassers hurling fireballs in your direction, from multiple angles. It gives a much needed boost of tempo.

 

 

E4M8

Basically the same thing as E3M8 to start with – though given the build order of the maps, that's more of an issue with the episode 3 finale than this map – followed by a cyberdemon that you strafe around while waiting for the exit to open. A mite underwhelming overall. I think this was probably the weakest episode of the set.

 

 

 

 

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E4M7: Sea of Entrails

 

This is a pleasant change of pace for the episode, a large (for the WAD) sandbox of castles, catwalks, and toxic slime, though the titular entrails seem to be in somewhat short supply.  Progression is gated behind colour-coded doors, switches, and bars that have to be activated in a specific order, but other than that, you're free to roam, to dip your toes into the slime should you choose or else cling desperately to dry land and hope the fireballs don't come in too thick and fast from too many angles all at once.  The opposition is a bit more stiff than the episode has generally offered up until now, but it's far from punishing.

 

One bug encountered in the version I've been playing, which I believe was up-to-date as at the start of this month: the monsters in sector 195 (the eastern waiting room) did not enter the playing field on difficulty 3 because the teleport destination they're supposed to appear at (thing 202, in sector 26) is flagged only to appear on difficulties 4-5.

 

E4M8: Desecrators

 

The opening of this map bears many similarities to E3M8 with its paired Spider Masterminds demonstrating their willingness to shred the hapless player in stereo, followed up by a Cyberdemon and a pair of Barons of Hell whose role boils down to furniture, getting in the way of any optimistic sprint for the exit.  If you're playing on continuous and lugging the BFG from the preceding map, you can make short work of whatever's in your way here.  The cacodemons are a nice addition, providing a degree of unpredictability that stops the map from being a pure exercise in clinical dissection.

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E4M6: Vertigo

100% kills, 3/3 secrets

 

Thought a level with this name would be a bit more vertical-oriented but ah well. Hot start, can't even sit still or you'll get quickly flanked by the lost souls. After that the only threats are blowing yourself up on some close baron reveals. I did appreciate the subtle clue on the teleport puzzle (I didn't put two and two together and figure out to match the wall symbol, instead I just intuited it from the one where the ceiling and floor tile didn't match). I like @TheOrganGrinder's take that the most positive aspect is probably the classic Doom style layout with platform jumping and such.

 

E4M7: Sea of Entrails

100% kills, 2/3 secrets

 

Thought this one might be a "collect all three keys in any order" but despite the switch hub there is a definite progression. It does have a nice combo of indoor and outdoor areas, and the slime can hurt if you fall in with no radsuits in sight. Sadly this time I didn't find the cyber telefrag until after I had already plasma gunned him to death.

 

E4M8: Desecrators

100% kills, 1/1 secret

 

Like E2M8 this one features switches I don't understand why the player would trigger... why would you want to lower the walls and remove your cover? Other than that it's just blasting away at boss monsters with the BFG (which you should definitely have from last map if playing continuous), though the cyber after the two SMMs was a decent surprise.

 

Overall, I agree that I felt the WAD got weaker as it went on, with E3 feeling a bit weaker than the first two and E4 a definite step down from the others. Still, really damn impressive to have a three-episode level set done in nine freaking days, which is about how long it takes me to make a room. Good for a quick whirl when you just wanna run around and blast some monsters without being too challenged.

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Thanks everyone who's been playing! To those who've just played Griefless and are left feeling a little underwhelmed... yeah, my worry was that E4, which I mapped out prior to any of E1-E3 and in a much stricter time frame (less than 24 hours), would be a weak "finisher" to the set. I guess this comes from actually just having spent a lot more conscious care on the process behind the other three episodes, whereas E4 was virtually done on a whim.

 

E2 is indeed probably the highlight of the set in my personal view. E3 actually feels kinda short on reflection.

 

The concerns about the overall difficulty I've taken on board. I personally don't enjoy swamping the player with enemies, but I also hear the concerns about opposition just seeming thin and non-threatening. If I do a followup to this set at all, I will probably be making it quite a bit harder. >:)

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@Jimmy Oh, I had no idea E4 was made in just 24 hours.  That's even more impressive.  I personally thought E4 was more interesting than the rest of the wad.  It definitely had my favorite secret map of the bunch.

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On 12/26/2018 at 6:58 AM, guitardz said:

Eviternity is great, but I want to wait for RC2 to play it, and that might not be available by January 1st.  So, I'm going to second this.

 

+++A.L.T.

 

+++ A.L.T.

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Seeing people vote for alt is like when a kid wants to eat a crayon and you have to just be like "no, trust me you wouldn't like eating the crayon".

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10 minutes ago, Grain of Salt said:

Seeing people vote for alt is like when a kid wants to eat a crayon and you have to just be like "no, trust me you wouldn't like eating the crayon".

<Insert snarky response about voting for ESP 2.>

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