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Alfonzo

The DWIronman League dies to: Hellfire: Dreams

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New year, new stuff to experience. But it would appear I am unfortunately dead.

 

Them Imps and chainsaws. Died at the start of MAP02. Nice apartment, kinda reminds me of DN3D and Blood.

 

PrBoom+ 2.5.1.5, Cat 1 (Blind).

 

agent6hfd.zip

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Since I was on a break, I missed this shit completely!!!

I'll try to do it at weekend and...this time, it's serious. Going for survival. No openings allowed.

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Love too die to a switch texture imo

Spoiler

 

Dead on map 06, made it there in 1:03:49. An absolutely blind run, so there are a lot of close calls. I wasn't a fan of the level design until a couple maps in (map 01 was awful), but map 06 was an absolute delight to explore and I'm definitely gonna go back and replay it at some point - if the level design in maps 07-12 maintain that level of atmosphere and intricacy then I'm in for a treat.

 

Also please don't put switch textures on things that clearly look like doors yet do nothing, thanks.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Dragonfly said:

Actually, there's now 6 of us! We've got some newcomers: dt_, Scotty & Jimmy. :D

 

 

Nice. an_mutt, Dragonfly, dt_, Jimmy, Scotty, and Suitepee. That should make for some fun competition.

 

Would it be too much to hope that we come into December with the scores (not necessarily in the order I referenced above) 2-2-2-2-2-1?

 

I always thought Jimmy was Australian as opposed to a Brit living in Australia. Yes, I know, former British penal colony, but still...

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Had a bash at this today, this wad doesn't feel to me like doom at all, more like half life or something, but with 10% of the health and ammo.  Interesting, but I'm not sure if I can say I really enjoyed it:

 

Dead on map06, time 1:43.24 (ish), 262/311 kills

 

 

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Dead on Map 01. 16/30 kills (played on PrBoom+, so this didn't count the lost souls).

 

pegleg_dwi_hfd.zip

 

Call it Category 3.

 

I had initially intended to play this blind, but I didn't like dying to one of the first two enemies. I can only personally comment on the first half of the first map, but I felt like it managed to deliver a paranoid vibe. And judging from watching dt_'s video after I had completed my run, it seems that sort of approach was carried through. Which makes sense, I suppose, given that it is an "exploration of Doomguy's nightmares."

 

I am among the least qualified to determine what is considered "obscure," but this mapset seems like it falls into the "more obscure" category. I wonder if that bodes a year of more obscure choices from Alfonzo. I suppose we'll get our first idea in just over half a week.

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Well, I'll start the year with a death. Category 3. Dead at map 06, 233/308 monsters, 1h 10h 22s ingame time for an exact time (reached at map 06 in 47m 10s for some extra stats), holed by hitscan combo.

I stopped practicing at map 06, before entering the blue door, in the fountain area with 4 switches. After that, it was blind.....big mistake I think.

 

Here's the demo: dw_ironman_hfdld85.zip

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Survived this bizarre fuckfest in 2:23:45. Never heard of this obscure travesity let alone touched A.L.T as I find it's design philosophy dreadfully boring.

 

DWIronman_hfd_BlooditeKrypto.zip

 

Wow this was shit! I can say without remorse this is the worst Ironman pick so far. It pissed me the fuck off throughout and it was a real struggle commiting myself to finishing it. Their are glaring design flaws which really sour the experience for me. The first is weapon placement, who withholds the SSG till five maps in? Let alone place the first one in a fucking secret area! If you don't find it in Prison you'll be fucked on Cesspool as it doesn't appear till three quarters in, good luck enduring the plethora of monsters before then, the Rocket Launcher and Plasma also appear before Cesspool, finding these can make a large difference to your chances of survival and quicken the combat pace so it isn't a slow, grindy borefest. A golden rule of Doom II mapping, you don't withhold the first appearance of the SSG for a long time, as you risk making your wad a tedious, boring drag. It doesn't make it more challenging but adds unnecessary tedium forcing the player to spend excessive time killing mid tier monsters and the overall pace suffers as a result. I can understand that in Hellfire's case it counteracts the absence of the SSG in the opening levels by using the Doom II beastiary sproadically, you've got Hellknights with the occasional Chaingunner, then Arachnotrons make an appearence. However this ain't a Doom 1 wad, so the decision to make the player go so long without one really baffles me and it manifests as boring gameplay as a result. Who the fuck suppresses essential weaponary, placing them in secrets and teasing by putting them in plain view with no obvious means of acquiring it.

 

The second issue is the realistic environments and their impact on navigation, so you've got a real world setting with real world textures to enhance the experience, sure I can understand that, but why in the fuck does the navigation have to be obscure and a pain in the arse? Do you want combat halted constantly by switch quests, but with nothing being straight forward as everything blends into one another with the realistic look. You first need to grasp that light switches translate to progress, they aren't just light switches as you'd naturally assume but can open doors, except the author likes to dick about and flick back and forth between ones which light up the current room or trigger something, so you'll inevitably end up mashing every switch in sight but it isn't always immediately obvious where to go next. Cesspool is a cruel bastard with it's interconnected layout and plethora of switches that leave you wondering what the hell they trigger, you better workout how to progress quickly because you can't waste those precious radsuits or you'll be fucked in no time, their is an immense pressure to navigate this subterranean nightmare quickly as a result, however your at the detriment of being limited on ammo and health which is a recurring theme throughout the set. Also it should be set in stone, sewer levels suck in first person shooters! When I reached Twilight Town I shouted god damn it at the start after witnessing the bloated monster count and being immediatley pissed off at the city layout with no clear sense of progression, good luck knowing where the fuck to go without running several laps around the map and exploring every nook several times over. This son of a bitch took nearly an hour to surpass and I was really cursing at end, their had better not be another fucking long, confusing map, just end this damn wad already. It's not clear where to go most of the time, when a player gets lost on a Dead Simple remake you know you've fucked up! Eternal Doom doesn't have this issue as I found navigating that fairly straightforward being perceptive and aware of my surrounding environment, if you take care to observe switches in dark areas and unusual walls you can get through most levels without a headache, with some obvious exceptions like Bob Evans rubix cube fuckfests.

 

The third issue is the limited resources, your given just enough ammo to sustain you throughout a map and deal with each encounter, rockets and cells are rare, health isn't generous and scattered thinly throughout each map, you have to play consistently well and not fuck up too many times, their are dickish ambushes which could easily kill you if your low on health and don't react quickly, armor is sparse and power ups are rare, it looks like one of those wads which keeps vital resources locked away in secrets which can make a huge difference to your survival, sure you do find high tier items in the open but their rare and are usually placed in tough fights only.

 

The last issue is the monster placement, fucking hell it's unfair and dickish several times. Like why the fuck are their pop up monsters in the central park area of Twilight Town? One that doesn't make any realistic sense and it's cheap as fuck when it's constantly hitscanners and their are trees all over the fucking place obscuring your movement and vision, I laughed at the corner pop up with a Revenant and Chaingunner, they were easily dispatched as they didn't immediately open fire, but that's a cheap death trap if you happen to be low on health. Their are also nonsensical teleporter ambushes which occur in tight hallways with monsters appearing all around you, good luck trying to avoid getting hit. The worst offender I can think of is the start of Ghost Train, so the level begins by opening a door and their's an SSG in the centre, which spawns several imps in front and two Revenants behind you in the starting room, what a cunt of an opener if you happen to arrive low on health and cells. Archviles also have a nasty habit of appearing without warning and teleporting in to catch you by surprise.

 

However it was a challenging mapset, but not in a positive sense, instead with resource starvation and shitty enemy placement that punishes the player without warning. I genuinely struggled throughout and their are several instances I expected to die, their was a hilarious moment where I cornered myself with a bunch of goats in Monster Museum after walking into the centre of a room with monsters waking up and coming out of the walls, which made me paranoid so I thought I'd be overly cautious and retreat far back only to be ambushed.

 

It's clear alot of attention and talent went into crafting Hellfire's realistic and intriguing setting, but the gameplay balance and enjoyment was not fine tuned and suffers heavily as a result. It's already a chore and demanding to play continuous, it'd be fucking torture from pistol start! You have weird and bizzare taste if you love this wad with it's glaring gameplay issues. @Alfonzo please don't pick weird and obscure shit like this in the future, it's not just me who dislikes it, the participant numbers for this month are shockingly low compared to average counts.   

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Category 1. Died at the very end of Map01, shamefully enough. Kinda fucked myself over with wasting my shotgun ammo on trash hitscanners. Here's the VOD to accompany it. Gameplay starts at 2:08

 

sparks_hfd.zip

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I will not participate this month. I died in map 06 on category 1 but I accidentally overwritten my demo and I'm too lazy to do a category 3 run.

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Yikes! Thanks for the write-up @Bloodite Krypto. I understand that this is not a WAD to everyone's tastes and it's commendable that you were able to struggle through it despite the shortcomings.

 

I will continue to occasionally take risks with Ironman selections, because if we're pushing this vehicle into the future we're going to need to be on the look out for as many kinds of suitable challenge as possible, opening up a wider range of potential playing material. It's part of a long, drawn-out process to find ideal candidates and ultimately make every month enjoyable to at least some non-negligible number of players. I was as good as certain that anything with obtuse navigation issues would be a write-off, though I was hoping that Hellfire's stingy provisions and rad suit rationing would provide a sufficient counterbalance and make for a tense run. At least with one person it has resonated strongly. Plainly, though, it hasn't done so with enough, so I think we'll be crossing off almost anything down the road with overtly tedious switch-flipping and action-finding. I see these as the biggest blockades to selection ahead of the other issues you mentioned.

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I agree with Krypto with the weapon placement. It does sucks at some point relying on "basic" weaponry to kill the fuckers outside, it just can't be that you need to look at secrets to find what you want...btw, rocket launcher before the SSG, even before in terms of secret??? Nope. Map 06 is, in my case, not enjoyable at all...it's just closet after closet after closet, press switch, more closets, go to other side of map, press switch, more closets and so on...

Like, I get that that map is the way that it is...confusing and hard with the danger added of damaging floors and right use of radsuits but it's so....annoying and boring to navigate to all the map, aka backtracking, to progress something. 

 

Oh well...it is challenging yes but not in a fun way that pumps you enough to continue, you know?.

Anyway, I'll wait for the next month to see what has in store for me...

Ah yeah, amount of participants are much less then other months that I saw.....has to be for a good reason right?

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Late arrival this month.  My Dooming has been focused on the megaWAD club and there have been other gaming that has grabbed my attention more.  My absence has nothing to do with this month's WAD at all.  Charged in blind, type 1.

 

Because I'm distracted by new game that's not Doom, only planned to put in a hour and stop after finishing the map I was on.  Didn't last quite that long, got ground down in map 3 and died after misreading a situation.  Contrary to the masses, I mostly enjoyed my journey, even with the tight resources.  Much chainsaw usage on the first map.  Will revisit, though on lower difficulty.

dwironman_hfd_cnr.zip

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On 1/28/2019 at 12:14 AM, Bloodite Krypto said:

It's clear alot of attention and talent went into crafting Hellfire's realistic and intriguing setting, but the gameplay balance and enjoyment was not fine tuned and suffers heavily as a result.   

 

Gotta agree here, even though I survived only one map if the rest of the levels are even remotely similar in terms of gameplay to the earlier ones... I'm glad I died on MAP02, lol.

Edited by seed

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I died map01 like a dick. Took me longer configuring a new 'ironman ready GZDoom' install than it did doing my run. Rock on last place for Britbowl 2019!

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@Dragonfly I dunno, I'm honestly kinda tempted to participate to this Britbowl contest, but considering how poorly I do in Ironman runs sometimes I wouldn't be surprised if I end up at the bottom of the list :v. Anyway, tempting.

 

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With regard to the quality of this mapset, if you looked at the idgames entry for Hellfire: Dreams, it has 42 votes with an average of over 4 stars. There are evidently a number of people that thought it was a rather good mapset. Looking at some of the comments, it becomes evident that there were a number of people who found it confusing and tedious, for all the reasons mentioned in the last few comments. However, 42 votes is not an insignificant number, since a number of entries on idgames have far fewer than that. Yes, sometimes that is because they're completely horrible, but I'm sure they're are some gems in the less-often rated portion of the archive. If we stick to only playing selections from the Doomworld Community Top Wads list, then it might be the safe bet, but it's not a bad thing to sometimes stray into more obscure territory.

 

As for a lower number of participants than normal (the average for 2018 was 37, with a minimum of 30), with 2.5 days left the count stands at 21. Using 2018 participation as a judge of who is a "regular" and "semi-regular" the number of people who fit into these categories is somewhere in the mid- to high-20's. Some that would be "regulars" (DotW, Ancalagon, RjY, etc.) did not participate for the last several months of last year, for a variety of reasons. This month, I would characterize all but 2 of the participants as "regulars" or "semi-regulars," meaning that there are another 4-7 people who would usually participate (excluding Roofi). With Jimmy returning to the party as a newly-minted Brit Bowler and if a sizable chunk of the outstanding regular group comes through with submissions in the next 48+ hours, then the number of participants would stand somewhere in the 27-29 range. That would still be lower than the typical result, but not so far below as to call it an outright repudiation of this month's mapset.

 

The flip side to that, of course, is that if you only have 2 or 3 non-regulars participating, you're not bringing in new blood. Would new participants be attracted to more obscure, different styles or to more well-known mapsets?

 

By the way, in case anyone is wondering, the lowest monthly participation totals in the last 18 months (since July 2017):

  • TNT: Renasence & Resistance (November 2018): 30
  • Combat Shock 2 (January 2018): 32
  • Doom 64 for Doom 2 (October 2018): 33
  • UDTWiD (December 2018): 33

Despite their relatively low participation numbers, I don't think anyone was calling those horrible mapsets.

 

For those wondering, the bottom three were Perdition's Gate (November 2016): 27, Khorus's Speedy Shit (October 2016): 29, and Jade Earth (January 2017): 30, which I excluded because all 3 were in the early stages of the DWIL, so it seems unfair to necessarily compare the participation against later months when it was more established.

 

And the potentially bright side of fewer competitors is that it would make it easier for @Alfonzo to update the leaderboard, right?

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For what it's worth, this month's WAD was one of my favourite Ironman experiences. I hope we keep getting surprises like this every once in a while.

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Well yeah, in my opinion it was the set that defined the true aspect of Ironman = stingy and very claustrophobic, also difficult but exhausting. I agree with most criticism but for an Ironman environment I think it is the perfect pick. And no I am not saying that because of my higher-than-usual placement on the board.

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@Pegleg The opinion of the masses shouldn't be taken as the only method of measuring or defining the quality of a wad. For me personally /idgames ratings and reviews are a load of bollocks in determining whether I'll try a wad or not, especially in the past on the legacy version where it was mostly anonymous twats with vague and biased opinions. I've always selected wads or videogames for that matter based on intuition and reviewing descriptions, screenshots and having a gut feeling of yeah I'm drawn to that or it arouses my interest. I evaulate and judge products or ideas myself and don't take the word of others strongly in influencing whether I'll like something or not. Their are numerous wads which have received mostly positive community feedback but I consider to be shit, so that's a matter of personal preference and taste, but referring to my opening statement it's stupid to determine the quality of a wad based solely on mass opinion, especially where Ironman is concerned where a number of factors need to be considered to evaluate what will be a suitable choice under such demanding and time consuming conditions.

 

Length? If it's very long bordering over 3 hours to complete on average, it can be a turn off for those who don't have the free time or feel strained both physically and mentally having to commit themselves to a marathon in one sitting. Ofcourse epic and classic choices are expected once in a while, which may exclude particular players but this is still a crucial factor to consider nonetheless.


Level Design? If it's mostly complex with vast layouts and puzzle hunts with unclear progression it can be boring and a chore to play, Ironman should be a challenge but not a miserable shitfest. I can't see the issue with linearity if the gameplay is exciting, fast paced and challenging such as 50 monsters.

 

Gameplay? This will be a matter of personal preference, however as a general guideline don't pick a wad with questionable, unbalanced monster and item placement that expects the player to know their positioning beforehand or you'll be at a severe disadvantage or blindsided, if it's one or two maps that's excusable, but if this theme occurs for the near entirity of a set it's an obvious sign of flawed design.

 

I did not elaborate on my vague closing statement to Alfonzo in my previous post regarding not to pick obscure wads, so I can see where this confusion has arisen from. The issue is not choosing overlooked and obscure wads, but rather don't pick wads where the gameplay and level design greatly differentiates from popular and conventional design ethics which have stood the test of time. You need to consider what will be suitable for an Ironman where your expected to commit yourself to the endurance required to finish a wad in one sitting and without relying on saves, but will equally be engaging and interesting enough to play, not many will want a complex and puzzling headache where it's easy to get lost and involves numerous switch hunts or a shit kicker that puts your reflexes and nerves to the test.

 

With regards to your overview on participation count, forget the over-analytical bollocks, I'll simply point out in 2018 the average count for the end of each month was at least 30 or more, let's see if it reaches 30 by the end of January and that will speak for itself. You'll need a citation when you mention regulars have stopped participating for a variety of reasons, as I've yet to see any public statements from players. It's rumoured DotW is too busy with real life commitments and doesn't have time, I believe Ancalagon finds the wad choices boring and deliberately rushes through them resulting in an early death from a past conversation and I've yet to hear why RjY stopped playing. However in all three examples none of them have publicly stated why they've stopped participating, so it's merely speculation and public rumour for those examples and others for the time being.

 

Of the three wads you mentioned which had lower turn outs then average, fair point but they didn't have confusing and nonsensical level design. Peridition's Gate has average sized maps which are both linear and non-linear but are easily navigatable, Khorus Speedy Shit is an adrenaline fuelled bloodbath with little to no exploration and Jade's Earth is lengthy but linear in progression. I still think your fucking weird if you loved this wad, that's what the rude and crude part of me says, the rational part accepts it as another form of mapping creativity :P

 

@Alfonzo Thanks for the acknowledgement bossman! I appreciate it and trust you will channel the feedback provided into new found wisdom to bring us more pleasing Ironman choices for the future.

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17 minutes ago, Bloodite Krypto said:

@Pegleg For me personally /idgames ratings and reviews are a load of bollocks in determining whether I'll try a wad or not

 

I share the sentiment, primarily because a large portion doesn't even fall under the definition of "review", they don't describe the gameplay, aesthetics, music, and so on. That tells me virtually nothing about it, and in those cases I just check the images, read the description, and watch a video or two instead.

 

Whether they're anonymous or not is irrelevant to me, useless is still useless at the end of the day.

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