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Magnusblitz

The DWmegawad Club plays: Eviternity

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3 hours ago, Demon of the Well said:

How does one reach the other sphere, I wonder? Vile-jump, surely (IIRC you don't lose access to the upper ledge via the stairway once the last part collapses/vile appears), but is there a more elegant way?

 

Here's how to get that non official secret:

Spoiler

The switch that lowers the bars to the exit ALSO opens a door out of the area and back into the main room where the soulsphere has been conveniently lowered as well as a teleporter to return to the final room. I guess it's there for players that hit the switch and want to get out of the heat and finish the battle from outside or provide a chance to top up their health halfway through and then reenter the fray.

 

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chapter: Crystalline, map14: Frimaire, by antares031
uvmax, 100% k/i/s obtained

So, @antares031 slams his map on the table with a bang. "Here! Let them try and beat this map"! We are treated to a marvelous large caverns map connected with some buildings of hell. The yellow key pickup is located deep into the cave system. Taking the key only irritates the enemies. Picking up the red and blue keys on the other hand enrages the enemies. Both keys are under heavy guard, nested in the buildings and are where the 2 nastiest traps have been set, just waiting for our poor marine to spring them. Both traps involve particularly intense arena like slaughter encounters that require skill, careful movement, infighting and some rng as well. At least there is ample ammo and health provided so if you can time your dash for health during the chaos, you stand a decent chance to survive.

My first attempt ended in the blue key arena. In his panic our hero did not realise that the way out of the arena had opened up at some point and he could have dashed out and finished the beasties from comparative safety. Instead our hero went quickly to zero ...

Forewarned is forearmed and our marines second attempt was far more smooth and less panicky, resulted in a successful uvmax.

My favorite sections were clearing out the caverns and the areas outside the building to the blue key. The 2 slaughter fights are certainly adrenaline rushes but are a bit too intense and scary for me during a uvmax run. I had a great time with them when I practiced those sections separately before my uvmax attempt.

The 4 secrets allows our marine to get his greedy little mitts on 2 soulspheres, a chainsaw and a bfg.

Edited by tmorrow : missing word

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MAP08: Stench

18:40 | 100% Everything

A small little toxic waste plant level. I liked the big stairs going up to the exit, and how the northern sewage drained to reveal those three platforms (though I never noticed why) and then the climb up the waterfalls was neat. I didn't realize you could drain the main cistern until the veeeery end.

 

MAP09: Decrepitude

32:59 | 96% Kills | 91% Items | 85% Secrets

A beast of a map! Long and sprawling, and more than a little easy to get lost in. I managed to ferret out everything but one secret, presumably also where my last item and handful of baddies were located. Fun level.

 

MAP10: Creation

19:06 | 100% Everything

Amazing. It looks absolutely fantastic; such clean lines and architecture. Love love love how the switches light up both themselves and the tech channels, and then lower the walls after a brief delay. The different quadrants of map are fun; I especially love the southeastern section with the vegetation. Also very cool how the southwestern quad's crate maze collapsed (though at the time it appeared to be raising.) The southern mastermind/crusher encounter was pretty underwhelming; as soon as I got locked in, I took cover behind one of the bars, and then sniped at the barrels to blow up the zombies and chaingunners, ducking back under cover with each shot so I missed them blowing up. Only then did I hit the switch, and the mastermind was killed by the crusher combined with a single BFG blast. The final arena battle with the annihilators was fine, but it was hard to get much of a look at the new baddies with all the crates and whatnot in the way. At one point I ran from a pair of them, then circled back around to hunt them down, only to find out they must have been finished off via an infight. Still a fantastic map, and a good episode ender.

 

MAP11: Wanderer

23:48 | 100% Everything

Whoo, this one's longer than I remembered! It almost felt like two levels for whatever reason, but no, I've only played the one winter map so far, I guess. The icy effects were kept subtle, which I appreciated, though they were still obnoxious at the platform sections. The snow textures look amazing, and the weather effects are always cool. The astral caco was freaky, but at least he went down relatively easy. Toughest part was probably the vile fight, although the new zombie solider that fires the new arachnotron ammo gave me scares both before and after the vile. My favorite bit was the northern stretch of frozen river where the blue key was hidden. Very cool.

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It's past midnight and I can't sleep, so:

 

MAP 14 – Frimaire

 

Going back to when I outlined my playstyle:

 

On 3/1/2019 at 2:56 PM, dac said:

Saves : Allowed. Doing my best to not save in the middle of a fight though.

 

I had long arena fights in mind when I put that specific restriction in, to stop me from pseudo-TASing my way out and force me to roll with the punches. There are two such fights in this map, one to get the red key and the other to get out of a frigid fortress blue key in tow, and both become so much better when done in one shot. I mean, I got to plan my route now! I got to prioritise enemies and not just blindly fire in crowds hoping for the best! Arch-viles are scary now!

 

Not saving in the middle of fights also made this map’s opening section a lot more tense. @antares031 comes in, and with an armor and a shotgun tells you “it’s gonna be rough”. And it is rough. That section took me a few tries to clear out because there’s so much going on, so many directions attacks can come from it almost feels like a first person Touhou game. Once I had a good plan the map became much more manageable, and it was mostly smooth sailing and clearing the cave one part at a time. It does help that health is plentiful compared to the rest of this mapset so far, with soulspheres and megaspheres not hidden in secret alcoves.

 

Speaking of alcoves, the BFG secret is evil. Locked behind an arena fight where it would have been massively useful? WHY? :p

 

Otherwise, I enjoyed how linear yet non-linear this map was. You have this freedom to go anywhere from the start – my personal route was counterclockwise, underground halls to fortress to the caves, effectively clearing the entire map before I found a single key – but each key locks another in a specific order. Each key is also well guarded, so you don’t lose that much action either.

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MAP14: Frimaire by antares031
----------------------------------

 

A large, very ambient map in which we get to explore a large complex of ice caverns, a sunlit cliffside, and a mysterious wood building. It's also filled with heavy, carefully placed opposition, to such a degree in fact that this level is simulaneously rather long and almost always relentless. As I already hinted at, the first part of this map is entirely open-ended, letting the player explore the fairly widespread area of the map in whichever way they see fit until one can get a comprehensive enough mental picture of the entire place. The second half, again, has structurally linear progression even if it isn't spatially linear, and is yet another key hunt with a preset order: yellow, red, blue.

 

Which is where we get to the two big arena fights defending the latter two. I have no doubt that some club members will hate this outright, but in my case I thoroughly enjoyed both arenas on both of my playthroughs. Nice shortcut to the red door by the way, if perhaps unnecessary considering the mood this map aims to convey. Funnily enough, the second arena fight is easily the harder of the two, despite seemingly giving the player more leeway at first. I like the way the fight keeps going even after the player is let go, though I'm sure someone somewhere will just find that obnoxious. On the other hand, I will say that antares031 is perhaps slightly too generous with cell ammo in this level.

 

I also want to not antares's very efficient and involved appropriation of the Former Captain and Astral Cacodemon, but I guess that shouldn't really surprise me as he is apparently a direct actor in the history of their development.

 

"Frimaire" is one of my favourite levels in Eviternity, and frankly, with its synergic blend of a beautiful icy atmosphere and constantly punchy, challenging gameplay, one of my favourite custom Doom maps ever. Almost a miniature "Frozen Time", even though it isn't quite the same mood either. Well, not that the next few maps aren't contenders themselves...

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MAP 13: PATHFINDER

I feel strange calling this map "cozy", but I can't think of many better words for it. The interior was lovely, and actually felt like a cabin in a snowy mountain. It's definitely makes last maps linear aspect as clear as crystal, as this map's increasing interconnectivity is excellent. Nothing felt unfair, and even the trap with the two viles was built well, as if you manage to down both of the beasts quick enough, the rest of the room is a cakewalk. I want to have more to say about it, but the entirety of the quality hovers around the same level, so there's no real singular point I can explain as being better than the others. I'm not at all familiar with An_Mutt's work, but it's evident that this isn't the average Eviternity piece nonetheless.

Somewhat related to this entire episode, as much as I like the trees, and as much good work as they do to add to the mood of the environment, not being able to see a damn thing through them is somewhat annoying. The singular chaingunner beyond the outside teleport managed to take chunks out of me just because I couldn't catch my bearings through all the greenery. I don't imagine that they'll be used beyond this episode, so I doubt that I will have to deal with them much longer, which is somewhat of a relief. 

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Ok, so, I hope I'm not too late to the party, I want to state one thing here, I absolutely cherish boom format wads, and extensive use of dehacked, this is practically religion to me at this point. When I heard about project "eviternity" getting forged and shaped by exceptionally talented and skilled people (Dragonfly, Ukiro, Jimmy, Antares, An_mutt, Xaser, Mechadon, Skillsaw, Eris Falling, Atronx, Stormcatcher.77), I was fairly certain, we would get vanquished right into the bliss by this masterpiece, and after finally fully experiencing it, I can say for sure, it's definitely right up there in terms of quality, sheer dedication and care it received. I will start my reviewing from the beginning, analyzing foundation of it - balance changes and new monsters

 

Weapons:

PISGB0.png.236b2735fe2662086fcadd7d06053c0f.png

 

Pistol received quite a huge boost in performance: not only fire rate got better (from 14 frames to 10), but it also doesn't drop accuracy at all, which actually makes this weapon quite viable, if I recall correctly, this change is somewhat recent and wasn't presented during RC1, I genuinely think this buff was for the best, and I hope whoever proposed this idea got a juicy raise.

 

Monsters/projectiles:

From what can I tell, only 2 vanilla things received rebalancing:

 

1)Lost souls hp went from 100 to 45 (I thank heavens for that change)

2)Arachnotron projectile damage went from 5-40 to 4-32 (that makes sense, since some new monsters would just simply demolish players with old damage)

 

Now, lets get to the most interesting part: new monsters!

 

DOGSA1C1.png.b6bc21ecfb2304efafdbde0a384b577e.png

Nightmare demons are simply demons on steroids, they have 300 hp, 15 speed, 100 pain chance and 13 frames until executing their attack (compared to the 180 hp, 10 speed, 180 pain chance and 16 frames until executing attack, normal demons have, that's quite a significant boost in stats). At first I thought this monster is nothing really special, but in retrospective it actually provides some unique encounters, since it's perfect meat shield, and takes 2 ssg shots.

 

SSWVA1.png.1a356862f389ee6b30c7615d3d4ab0b8.png

Former Captains (80 hp, 8 speed, 127 pain chance and drop bullet clip upon death) are actually enemies with unique archetype - they shoot 5 arachnotron bolts in succession, which makes for a "wall of projectiles", nobody else really has this kind of behaviour, the only thing I can say about them, is that they are really not used that much at all (I honesly feel like there are more annihilators compared to them), but, still, I feel like this is a good addition to the gameplay

KEENA1.png.1bdba521cf508a1762fd05e0d8af1d36.png

Astral Cacodemons (400 hp (same as normal cacodemons), 20 speed, and only 20 pain chance! (they almost can't be stunned at all)) are, once again, unique monsters, they dash before attacking you with a trident pattern, really devastating enemies, luckily, they are fairly rare, from what I recall you will encounter full group of those only once within this wad, but even then, if just one of them hits you with all three projectiles, you are going to suffer huge hp loss (in overall, I really love this mean cacodemon variant)

BOSSA1.png.b71c5fa07ca0dac97f2e5c543125e224.png

And, finally, your worst nightmare are gonna be these folks - Annihilators (1100 hp, 10 speed, 20 pain chance). What I find strange about them, is that they don't replace mastermind (which is usually the case with rocket shooting monsters), but actually baron of hell, which means they don't have explosive resistance at all. I joke you not, when I think majority of difficulty in eviternity comes from these guys (at least 80% of my deaths came from them), and I honestly was thinking they don't have any delay, until executing rocket attack (as it turns out, I was wrong, it's 8 frames, until they shoot, which is actually slower by 2 frames, compared to the cyberdemon). So, the way they work is quite simple, they shoot one rocket, then have almost one second of delay (20 frames), before shooting 7 spiderdemon/sargeant attacks (so they shoot 21 hitscans in overall, dealing 3-9 damage each) within a  second (28 frames). This makes them absolutely insanely strong, since they have 2 strongest attacks coupled with each other, and what's worse, is that, for some reason, they are placed really often in open spaces, so you will almost certainly take serious damage, unless they are indulged in monster infighting. I still really like them, since that places them in the spot of mini-bosses, but I feel like they are a little tad bit too strong (I think there should be longer delay, before executing their rocket attack) 

 

So, this probably should cover every new addition to the gameplay (not counting map 30 event). I hope these analysis statistics weren't too boring or useless, but I personally really like dissecting this kind of stuff, especially if it was done in dehacked. I will cover maps later, but in overall I would say new stuff is definitely refreshing and makes gameplay much more unique and intriguing.

 

Edit: I wasn't exactly accurate about Annihilators, they are even more stronger than I thought. Changed info about them.

Edited by BioRenegat : grammar, for the love of god.

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MAP14: Frimaire

 

I've mentioned a few times in my write-ups of previous levels that I've played an earlier release candidate of Eviternity.  During that earlier playthrough, this is as far as I got; I hit the red key arena battle, bounced off it rather hard, saw that a final version of Eviternity was next in line for the DWMC, and figured I'd have another shot at it then.  So, the back end of this map and everything beyond is entirely new to me, and that's going to have its effects on my perspective from here on out.

 

This is a little reminiscent of MAP09 in its scale, sprawling nature, and mixture of cavern, outdoors, and constructed elements, though the threat here comes exclusively from the map's monster encounters rather than damaging slime.  The particular order in which you collect the map's three keys is fixed (yellow > red > blue), but you've given quite a bit of freedom to roam before you pick up any of them, stocking up on weapons and supplies and thinning out the map's significant population.  I'm going to point to the former captains as the primary pelt-claimers of this map, capable of doing a quite staggering amount of damage quickly if unnoticed and unopposed; the tiny golden bullets that they spray are trickier to spot against a crowded visual field than the puffy fireballs of other monsters, and the rate of fire of their burst generally means that if they tag you with one round, a few more are going to follow.  The lock-in arena battles aren't my favourites but the map is liberal enough with its supplies that generally you can gird yourself for battle before stepping into each arena and heal your wounds fully once the bloodshed ends and the doors creak open.

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14 - Frimaire

In the main Eviternity thread I saw a few people saying this map was extremely hard and threw off the difficulty curve. Maybe it’s because I’m on HMP, but I didn’t really see that. Sure, it was hard, but other levels such as map 5 were plenty hard as well. Now, this is an Antares level, which is amazing. Struggle was certainly one of the best WADs from last year, and I could feel the Struggle style in this level. The level starts in a massive open cavern full of monsters, which all need to die before you can start going around looking for keys. The keys all activate setpiece encounters when grabbed, with the blue key fight being the hardest. The Red key fight was my favorite. So much shit going on in that little room, not too much space for monsters to get lost in, but not too cramped either, like the blue key fight. Easily one of my favorite maps so far. Still can’t say I like the slippery ice though.

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Never too late to join @BioRenegat! Just look at my pace :P

Your kind of detailed analysis is always welcomed! Hope you will catch up :)

Speaking of catching up...

MAP05 - "Demon" by Dragonfly

"Entering Eviternity" returns as an intense opening to "Sacred Light", signaling the end of the beginning for mapset! The player is treated with a grand and imposing library, perhaps used for storing pages of forbidden text. Dragonfly claims he wasn't trying to be "clever" with the visual material presented, but the uncomplicated approach still decently inspires awe thanks to sheer scale and a sense of otherworldliness, being basically a large medieval cube and all. Plus, it befits the upcoming the battle: a straight face-to-face with a new baddie, the Nightmare Demon!

The actual battle, a 2 wave arena brawl, does a good job at highlighting what there is to fear about the teal beast: ridiculous speed making for excellent gap closing capabilities and damage sponge hp. The overwhelming zerg rush of them is an awesome sight, and quite panic-inducing (first death in the mapset occurred here heh, jumped down after collecting the soulsphere and was immediately demon food). It's all a show after a few tries however, and once the relatively easy to get hold of tactics are clear, "Demon" falls faster than you can say it's two syllable name. Still, all we need is something climatic, and the level was a satisfying conclusion in both presentation and play.

Some screenies:

TPc083Q.png
HyH05AG.png

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MAP14 "Frimaire" - Seongbae Park (101%K /96% I /25% S):

Another new mapper here, this time Antares031 comes with something totally different in terms of gameplay, a cave system map combined with more snowy places and really nice looking castles. All of which, are overpopulated with nasty monsters, making you choose to stay and slowly reducing enemy fire, or rush through the tunnels. Its a really challenging map to play, and also a large one.
In terms of progression, I didn't get the map that much, felt like just grabbing keys and doing stuff, so you may get lost by trying to fight so many enemies.
I liked the two invasion-like arenas for both the red key, and the blue one (Specially the red one).
It is actually impresive how much someone can detail a cavern like in this map, I really liked the attention to it, so I think this took a really long time to make.
You can tell by start this was not made by Dragonfly or any of the other mappers, pretty distinctive style of gameplay here.

Death counter: 114

Maps in order of preference:

MAP13 (Great)
MAP06
MAP04
MAP14
MAP07 
MAP10
MAP03
MAP01
MAP02
MAP08 (Ok)
MAP09
MAP05
MAP11
MAP12 (Bad)

This map could have been a really nice episode finisher, but we'll play the actual finale tomorrow.

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2 hours ago, Catpho said:

"Entering Eviternity" returns as an intense opening to "Sacred Light"

 

Goddamn I can't believe I never picked up on that, that's awesome but I'm ashamed of myself. I wonder if people will notice a similar thing with the music for MAP30, but for now...

 

MAP14: Frimaire - antares031

18:50, 100% kills, 50% secrets

 

This week marks six years (ow) since I made my first MIDI and posted it on the forums, one of the single-most important things I've ever done. 3 pieces of music in Eviternity have my name attached to them and they have a decent covering of that time span. The oldest of those three appears on this map. Frozen Wilderness was written in 2014 for TNT: Revilution and was my first attempt at making icy music, and I'm sure some of the club regulars will remember it from the beta version of Revilution that was used for most of the DWMC playthrough, but as the ice map there didn't survive to the final release, this is the MIDIs first proper debut in a Doom map, 5 years after it was written. It's aged, no doubt, but hopefully no one hates it :3 

This wouldn't be the first time antares has a produced a stunning piece of map work to accompany one of my MIDIs, and it's honour every time, but one example that's worth highlighting is 2017's And All I Wanted After This, another ice-themed map which he built for The Joy of Mapping #5. You can't really go wrong with an antares map, and based on that JoM5 submission I knew he was going to deliver the goods with this theme, although if I were to play devil's advocate it could be argued that it would be more interesting to see him tackle one of the other themes instead. I wonder how it might have looked if his slot was in the Hell episode, for example.

 

antares gives us a beautifully detailed semi-linear romp through an intricate network of frozen caves, supplemented by a small castle in the south-east and the towers overlooking an outdoor area in the north. I say semi-linear, because from the start of the map you're allowed to go basically anywhere, but the order that you collect the keys is set in stone. I find the best way to tackle this map is to go around and clear out the mobs of <3 incidental combat <3 before trying to tackle the <3 setpieces <3 (old DWMC meme :P). Funnily enough it was the start that gave me the most trouble, even with continuous play it added a few more deaths to my overall count before I finally cleared it and swept through the rest of the map without much hassle. One thing we notice in contrast to previous maps in this episode is that there's a much greater presence of captains in this map, unsurprising considering their origin in Struggle. Their heavy usage in this map coupled with the burst fire attack makes them especially dangerous here. Mancubi and revenants are also frequently used, typically in sniping roles which can cause trouble if you're trying to juggle other monsters, this is something I noticed when I went to the north section of the map, where the ice physics also played havoc with trying to avoid revenant missiles when one of the revenants was also on ice and sliding about. In a way, unusually it actually feels like the incidental combat is more challenging than some of the setpieces, but remembering how this played pre-RC1, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

 

The order of keys is yellow, red, blue, and before RC1 each was more difficult than the last, but I wouldn't say that's the case anymore. The yellow key isn't such a problem to deal with using my route, but perhaps if the player was less equipped it might be a bit dangerous, but the two astrals are easily dealt with by means of some good old rocket launching, and the environment is quite accommodating, allowing you to take cover by retreating to the switch. Next we have the red key, an arena in the south-east through the yellow door, but in what I'd describe as quite an old-school trope it requires the red key to leave again. I noticed some complaints about this fight when RC1 released which I honestly didn't understand, when antares dropped this map I ran it on UV and cleared it first attempt. I will say that if you have a reasonable amount of health and armour going in it pays to leave the megasphere in case disaster occurs. Of course, the circular shape of the arena lends itself to circlestrafing the fight but I tend to balance damage out across targets without explicitly trying to kill something though I usually end up aiming at the arachnotron + captain snipers around the edges. For me I focus more on keeping consistent movements around the edge, and infighting helps clear out the rest - the surrounding snipers as well as a lone astral make for excellent pawns with infighting, clearing out a lot of the horde for you. The imp horde that starts to pour in during the fight is also quite fun to deal with, one could start thinning them out with rockets while they're waiting on the steps to deploy.

 

Lastly, we have the blue key, and now, this one was pure evil pre-RC1 and I did complain about it. I'm not sure if the actual composition of the monsters has changed, but the waves of monsters that spawn in to this significantly smaller arena in the north of the map (most of the reduced floor space also being taken up by that fountain) certainly appear much slower than they did before, whereas before it typically ended up you were having to fight off mancubi, astrals(?), revenants captains and nightmare demons in very rapid succession and it was just too much, followed by the cacoswarm that shows up at the end of the party. Now it's easier than the red key fight IMO, especially with the presence of soulsphere, megaarmor and megasphere, but I prefer it this way.

And so as we make our escape through the gate, clearing out the group of captains guarding the exit, we've reached the end of Frimaire. Possibly my favourite map in episode 3, but having only completed MAP15 once, I'll need to see that one again before I can say for sure.

Edited by Eris Falling : I mentioned the difficulty in RC1 - I meant the initial pre-RC1 version

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Map 13 -- Pathfinder - 103% Kills / 100% Secrets - FDA, 0 deaths

Now we're talking! I quite enjoyed this map, it gets off to a relatively cheery, calisthenic start but hosts some really exciting/tricky stuff farther in, both formally staged setpieces and some more of the surprisingly nasty flash-ambushes which have begun to crop up with more regularity ever since we hit these frosty climes. In particular, I made a couple of big mistakes in the span of a few minutes over in the southern curved stair/garden wing, taking me from top of the world to fighting for my life in no time flat, the first time in the WAD where I've felt that surge of adrenaline. The geometric complexity of this area, with its sweeping curved stairway, and many different planes of action feeding into many different openings and throughways at many slightly varying height levels makes for an excellent combat space, in part due to shifting walls and invisible monster-teleport destinations making good use of each part of the whole, and more generally because it doesn't at first seem like an area that's going to be such a hotbed of activity. There's much value in advertising a space as an arena or feature combat zone, for sure, but just as much in staging frenzied waves of combat in what might initially appear to be utility areas--makes the location seem more 'alive.'

 

I also began to develop proper respect for the new creatures of Eviternity here, as well, particularly the astral cacos. This is the first time they've appeared in complex enough situations and in significant enough numbers (as after hitting the switch in the blue/yellow-locked tower) for their aggressive abilities to shine--if allowed to live for more than a few seconds, the wildly unpredictable nature of their 'dash' behavior coupled with their high speed zig-zagging sees fire coming in from surprising angles, and in situations where they can't be distracted it becomes absolutely paramount not to let them close with you, leading to some wild scrambling on my part here (and an agitating minute or so trying to fight a straggler in one of the snowy yards, with the big fluffy spruces obscuring both visibility and movement).

 

Quite a few of the progression milestones (and as such, many of the fights) are marked by shifting geometry, incidentally, opening connections between areas in some clever and occasionally uncanny ways, the most dramatic of these probably being the collapsing double-stairway leading back down to the initial foyer near the level's end. From this initial playthrough it's difficult to tell how truly nonlinear the level is, but there seemed to be some room for variation, and at one point (again, the southern curved stair) I was surprisingly very low on ammo, which in itself suggests different possibilities.

 

Quite good, look forward to replaying this one.

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MAP 14: FRIMAIRE

Antares's design is so easily recognizable, that I actually forgot that this was a guest map until it finished loading. So this man essentially had the ability to make another Struggle level, with Former Commandos and all. 

From a UV-Max point of view, this opening segment is a nightmare. Once you drop down the hole, it's fair game for several dozen monsters to roam about in your general direction. It did take me several successful tries to actually get the video that I did, and even then I was still nervous about missing something. That being said, on the other hand, navigation was absolutely perfected, and having everything other than the three key traps being opened makes for a great way to stockpile ammo and health, and prepare for the fights ahead. Even the arenas themselves, which are usually my least favorite parts of his maps altogether, really worked well with Eviternity's new monsters. It's kind of a shame that the Blue Key area got nerfed an Annihilator, as so far this is the best use of one that I've seen. Having it perched up in a tower keeps it mobile, but also stationary enough to not have to worry about losing the entire arena. It only covers enough to restrict the playing field for the rest of the enemies, which are a breeze with the BFG secret. 

 

So far, all the guest maps have been excellent, and none of them really set to outdo all the others or stray too far from the theme. It really shows to what extent the people mapping for this cared, even outside of direct development. 

 

Man it'd be a shame if that changed all of a sudden.

 

Yeah... 

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chapter: Crystalline, map15: Cryonology, by Atronx
uvmax, 100% k/i/s obtained

 

What an amazing map @AtroNx has created to draw the Crystalline chapter to a close. The scene is a tall palace with majestic views to the ice outside. Our marine is simply not allowed to wander the halls and grounds making up the estate outside like a vagrant. No, that wouldn't do at all. Instead, new areas are revealed in spectacular fashion via switches, lifts and line triggers as our marine tries to sneak through each eye-catching location on tiptoes. "If I'm very, very quiet, maybe the enemy won't spot me". Sadly, our marines plan fails miserably. Action seems to follow our marine wherever he goes both inside and outside the palace.

There is a stunning scene from the landing of the staircases outside where you can see the normal exit to the south over the railings. Suprisingly, it took our marine quite a while to find the way to the normal exit after taking care of all the enemies, much longer than to find the secret exit.

There are a couple of nasty traps that can ruin our marines day on this map. The rocket launcher trap on the south east stairs and the quadruple archvile shaft in the far south west come to mind. The largest monster horde appears in the most memorable, beautiful set piece on the map, the clock arena in the ice which can easily turn into a nightmare if the infighting doesn't go your way. The final fight can be quite nasty as well as there are several astral cacodemons and a couple of archviles in the mix along with the usual nasties. Other than the above "mere trifles", the rest of the map is a breeze!

You can acquire all weapons but the plasma rifle in a pistol start run. There are 7 secrets to sniff out and the rewards include a bfg, backpack and super shotgun, megaarmor, 2 soulspheres, megasphere, allmap and quite a bit of ammo.

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MAP15: Cryonology

 

Oh, wow.

 

First up, let's talk about the clock-rotunda arena fight that is the centrepiece of the map's action, with something like half the map's monster population getting shovelled with abandon in that single battle.  The rotunda itself is a jaw-dropping piece of detailed design that ends up so strewn with corpses by the end of the battle that you can't appreciate its beauty as well as you might, and the glacial rift in which it's set makes for a wonderful backdrop to scramble around as you dodge fireballs, bullets, ball lightning, and rockets from the varied horde that's turned loose against you.  There's a Cyberdemon setting himself up as king of the hill, to be sure, but I think the stars of the show are the cacodemons that swarm like mosquistoes and die by the fistful as you unleash blast after searing yellow-green blast from your BFG upon them; I swear there were times they were all but blotting out the sky, that was a brilliant encounter in a gorgeous setting and even though arena fights aren't normally my cup of tea.

 

The rest of the map is just as beautifully rendered an environment also, a castle that's epic in both scope and scale, its vast halls, broad corridors, and high ceilings suggesting its original builders and intended denizens were rather larger than either the invading marine or the lion's share of the zombies and demons that swarm like vermin through those cavernously vaulted spaces.  There are square corners in enough places but not so many square or rectangular rooms, the arrangement of spaces, courtyards, substructures, and stairways suggesting the organic growth of the fortress over the centuries, each new king upon his throne adding a new building or curtain wall and connecting it to the existing fortifications until we're left with the whole jumbled pile found here, a very historical sort of castle rather than the carefully planned work of a single architect.  That large portions of the castle are empty when you first explore them only heightens the atmosphere; you can almost feel the frigid winds blowing across lonely battlements and along deserted hallways, the teasing movement of cold air heralding a slowly-building sense of menace that explodes upon you in large encounters that very much make the most of the available space and increasing interconnection of the different halls and courtyards.

 

If there's a downside to the grandeur on display here, it's that it simultaneously sets expectations very high for the remainder of the WAD, while also leaving me wondering - how am I ever going to make it to the end of the month if it's all like this from here on out?

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1 hour ago, TheOrganGrinder said:

If there's a downside to the grandeur on display here, it's that it simultaneously sets expectations very high for the remainder of the WAD, while also leaving me wondering - how am I ever going to make it to the end of the month if it's all like this from here on out?

 

If it's map length you're worried about:

Spoiler

Dragonfly just doesn't really do long maps. With the exception of MAP20 and the other an_mutt collab, his maps in the rest of the set aren't really that much longer than what we've seen from him already, it's the guest mappers who are contributing the longer offerings.

 

MAP15: Cryonology - AtroNx

18:17, 89% kills, 42% secrets

 

I feel some of the concept behind this map was lost when the planned midtex clocks couldn't be made in time for release, and the theme around the thirteenth hour lost synergy with the map slot when it moved from MAP13 to 15. Nevertheless, I think this is the map that has the most potential to take people by surprise. When I joined the Eviternity team's Discord I looked at the user list and alongside the obvious Dragonfly + ukiro, it was literally an all-star cast, it was honestly a little strange to be there, heh. But while I'm one of the mappers whose work you're least likely to have played before, AtroNx and maybe Stormcatcher are the others. In fact I only know of one released map by AtroNx, which is Skulldash's Molten Core which sadly I still haven't gotten to playing yet because lol OpenGL lol fucked drivers. The thing with playing a map from an unfamiliar name is that you're never sure what you're going to get, but sometimes you get a pleasant surprise.

 

Cryonology is one of those moments. Set to the tune of stewboy's bright and mystical composition "Restless Restless," its monster count seems intimidating, sitting at 338 on HMP but in terms of actual length it's roughly the same as Frimaire before it - as you can see my time on the two maps differs by only 33 seconds. The majority of these monsters are encountered in the map's setpiece, the impressive clock arena which as I recall was the first thing AtroNx built for the map, and it seems quite obvious that the map was built around that. There's a moderately long build-up to start the map off with as we navigate this rather sizeable, and in places slightly underdetailed castle, which, while there's a couple of small setpieces, on average is very light on opposition, with the density becoming so sparse towards the end of the segment that there's entire sections that contain no monsters. As this monsterless section immediately precedes us discovering the clock arena, I feel this lends more weight to the ominous impression that the first sight of it gives, reminding me a bit of dobu's Wormhole segment of TNT: Revilution MAP12, which is certainly a good thing.

 

The fight itself, a massive battle for the yellow key, is an absolute blast, definitely going into slaughter-lite territory with its high monster density, and mechanically the setup is impressively executed, with the markings on the clock gradually lighting up in golden colour as we make our way through each of the 13 waves, with which increasingly tougher opposition warps into not only the ground level, but also the surrounding cliffs and caverns which we are also able to explore. Even ammo and health supplies are replenished throughout the fight, to help us through the tougher later segments, finishing off with the nice touch of the icy water in the centre of the structure itself turning bright gold once the last wave is reached. The only downside to this is that the fight is intense enough that staying inside the shrine isn't really a favourable option so as cool as the wave counter is, the idea is somewhat wasted on this particular usage of it. There's also some more interesting usage of the blursphere here, harkening back to the blessing/curse scenario seen in MAP10. I was having enough problems with hitscanners - especially once the annihilator showed up, that I felt inclined to take it but ow, that cyberdemon was scary. The fight also seems to scale well with the difficulty settings, I played this on HNTR in post-RC1 testing and felt it was too generous with supplies, though we all agreed to leave it as is, HNTR is supposed to be the easy option after all, whereas HMP I got through without much hassle but I wouldn't like to have lost much more health, and so I can imagine UV would pretty tight.

 

The rest of the map is a bit of a slump after that, with the second important key in this map (red) coming with a vastly less impressive ambush to the point where it feels like the red key could have just been done away with and the red switches change to additional stuff requiring yellow - which since we see gates with both key colours on the build-up to the clock fight, would also subtly add a greater sense of importance to yellow. Ultimately though the remainder of the map is kept fairly brief, which I think is a wise move because it feels evident that the clock fight was bound to be the map's big moment and what everyone will remember the most from it once the WAD is finished. All that is left is to find the secret exit, but IMO it's quite an easy one. I'm not entirely sure exactly what triggers the blue key to lower, but it's quite interesting how the gate to the secret exit and the key that you need are placed right by the start of the map.

 

I hate the secret exit itself though. Why? Because while the clock fight is the most impressive part of this map from a gameplay/mechanics perspective, by far the most beautiful is the vast run across a frozen ocean, watching the castle go by in the distance as we journey towards a Stonehenge replica where we find the portal to... MAP16. It is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, an end to the episode so perfect it makes me wish there had been more vistas like this in the previous maps, and the fact that you have to choose, the fact that taking the secret exit means you will not see this area, is honestly criminal.

 

Or you can just do what I did and make a duplicate save before the drop down, get to MAP31, then load up the duplicate save to run the normal exit anyway. Recommended!

 

And so that brings us to end of Chapter III: Crystalline, a wonderful journey through examples of snow maps in Doom done right, sad to see it go. Picking my favourite between 14 and 15 isn't easy, overall 14 feels very consistent in its quality whereas 15 is a bit more uneven...today I will put it like this:

 

14 >= 15 > 13 > 11 > 12

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MAP15: Cryonology by AtroNx
---------------------------------

 

Another favourite of mine, but unfortunately the previous two takes covered just about everything I wanted to say about it. Although, I do like its slower, more immersive pace and organic composition in contrast with the regular levels, and it is to be examined against one of the later maps which does that very wrong by comparison.

 

I also don't mind that the centerpiece fight is not the actual finale, and in fact, for most blind runs of this level, it is likely to be closer to the starting point on the timer than to the end. For some reason, within the way that this level is framed, it just works. Speaking of that giant slaughter, is it true that the clock lits up with each wave ? I never caught it the first time, and even knowing about it going in this time around, I still didn't notice. It's almost impossible to see, which is rather unfortunate. The setpiece itself is absolutely splendid, at any rate.

 

By the way, there's another "big fight" in this level that's optional and quite cleverly hidden (once again, lots of clever secrets on this map as well). I kind of want to keep the contents of that particular challenge under wraps for those who may yet reach it... and as a matter of fact, I'm interested in who among players might rise to the challenge of recording UV-Max demos for this map. :-) One thing that won't be a surprise is that it involves our collective new favourite mascot, of course.

 

I also have to agree about that final ambient setpiece, it's kind of neutered by the focus on the secret exit. To be honest, I did a run-around of the regular exit area again this time around despite knowing that there was literally nothing there. I just felt the need to have one more look at it. Indeed, on the whole, it seems that AtroNx made a lot of double-edged mapping choices here, but there is an upside to that, which is that every time someone revisits this map, the giant, isolated, secret fortress may yield yet a few more of its deeply held secrets. In fact, that whole buliding reminds me somewhat of the game Ico...

 

While I'm on that subject, here's one more example. For pistol starters, one of the weapons is acquired through a parkour challenge. Not telegraphed, you'll just have to be inquisitive enough to notice the opportunity as the weapon is, if I remember correctly, entirely invisible from the outside, or at least very hard to spot.

 

This is where chapter III leaves us then, and it's a big candidate for favourite chapter on my end, as I like every single level in it (Brisk included, as previously mentioned), and in fact several of them are among my favourites in the entire mapset. So, just to confirm, tomorrow is MAP31 only, right ?

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Yep, tomorrow is 31, then Thursday and Friday for 32.

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Map 14 : Frimaire

 

Eviternity_MAP14_map.png

 

DEMO

 

Demo infos :

 

Time : 22:10

Category : UV-max

Game style : Semi-FDA (I did a part of the map months ago)

Death : 0

 

Map :

 

Difficulty : Medium

 

Well that map was better than I thought. I played Struggle months ago and I instantly recognized Antares's details in this map. As you can see on the layout , Antares managed to make more detailed and impressive cavernous landscapes. Even if I complaint a bit the overabundance of natural landscapes without real architecture , the exploration was fun.

 

The outdoor area was by far my favourite part in the level . I love how Antares make very circular towers . I remember that some Struggle's maps have a very circular layout. It's simple but effective.

 

I'm generally not really fan of fighting in closed arenas  but I had fun and it was also one of the most memorable sequences in the map. Also , you have plenty of ammo and health so you can make mistakes. I prefer the arena located outdoors than the rocky one. Also , the secret BFG makes the fight ridiculously easier lol.

 

Map 15 : Cryonology

 

Eviternity_MAP15_map.png

 

 

DEMO

 

Demos infos :

 

Time : 55:55 (secret exit)

Category : UV-max

Game style : FDA

Death : 0

 

Map :

 

Difficulty : Medium

 

Waw , this map is clearly a masterpiece an isd by far my favourite among the first 15 levels. I just loved everything in this map : its mysterious but cheerful atmosphere , its progression , the big fight near the circular structure located at the north... The music contributes to the magical ambiance.

 

So , it's here you explore THE CASTLE. The first thing you can see is how Atronx had fun to make diagonal rooms and long interconnected corridors. The map is really large and offer a fluid navigation. As the tenth map , everything is memorable in this level and especially the slaughter fight near the very detailed circular monument as I mentionned above.

 

I had a lot fun killing all the monsters with my BIG FUCKING GUN and the abundance of health and ammo makes the fight easier than it looks. It was fun and above all , unexepected , I loved it. I took a lot of time finding the secrets but a lot of them are not really useful once you cleaned the northern part of the map.

 

I will not list everything I like in this map but here is a list of memorable elements :

 

- The global tall architecture overwhelming you so that you feel very small while exploring the gigantic castle.

- The huge floe near the normal exit where you can perform Figure skating.

- The circular white monument where the big fight happens obviously.

- The strange layout with its large corridors.

- The lowering grids when you find secrets or activate some switches...

 

Episode :

 

15>13>12>14>11

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MAP 15: CRYONOLOGY

First of all, I now realize my subtle jab at the end of my last post could've been interpreted as being directed towards this map, as it is also a guest map, and I apologize. This map definitely doesn't deserve that kind of scrutiny. 

Comparing this level to the rest that I've played so far, this one feels so much more spacious. The corridors and walkways felt so much bigger than in any other level before, and any part outside felt free of clutter. This space amplified the abandoned castle feel to a height that I hadn't felt from the previous maps. This map also has the first non-secret BFG, and it definitely tasks you with proving your worth for it. The obvious centerpiece slaughter fight was surprisingly tame, thanks to the aforementioned room to move and gracious step placement on the BFG perch. I have managed to get the Cyberdemon stuck on the stairs in the past, and it's always hilarious to boot him back off.

This secret exit is a double edged sword, however. On one hand, it is the easiest secret exit I've ever found, and I say that with the original IWADs in mind. It's hard to miss the button when aiming for the left shotgunner near the start, and I easily recognized the texture holding the Annihilator to be related to the one that held up the blue key. On the other hand, knowing that this secret exit is open robs you of the breath taking view that the normal exit houses. I had to purposefully slow down in my recording just to take a look at the scenery. There are several maps where I've looked at the outsides of structures and thought "I'm not buying that this thing is a real building", but looking at the castle from the normal exit was one of the most impressive tells that I've ever seen. I can conclude this episode as being a marvel in sight seeing. Sayonara, dumbass trees. 

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15 - Cryonology

This was a longer level, or at least it took me longer than most so far. The highlight was obviously the clockwork slaughter fight, which I fucked up on. I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t really try to get the megashpere until after everything was dead, so not having that at all during the fight probably made it harder than it needed to be.  Was not a detriment though, that fight was still great. The rest of the level was a bit boring in comparison, but not bad. Was there a normal exit anywhere? I only found the secret one. Now it’s time for some Skillsaw…

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MAP 15 – Cryonology

 

I expected to have missed a ton of details in this massive castle map, since I went for the secret exit ASAP and didn’t get many secrets out of it. But reading all your posts, a beautiful normal exit? Parkour challenges? Guess I’ll have to revisit this map one of these days and see more of it.

 

Otherwise, this is one post where a lot of my thoughts have been said by others. The clock arena is the highlight of this map, and yet a lot of its details will go unappreciated because staying too long IN it would be a death sentence with all the projectiles and the first cyberdemon of the mapset in it. A pity.

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MAP15 "Cronology" - AtroNx (90%K /64% I /71% S):

Yet another new mapper. I expected some kind of an arena map, like the other episode enders, still, the arena was at the "clock" monument in the ice cavern, a pretty masive one, with tons of monster spamming and even a cyberdemon (Our first cyber encounter? I don't remember), I think I missed the last part, since when I found all 3 keys I just faced through the secret exit portal, which is not that hidden, and to be fair, I was a little bit lost at that time.
To be honest, this map is a masterpiece, and serves as  really nice episode ender, it does a great job at combining all the aesthetic aspects of this last 5 levels. Sometimes it feels pretty empty, but this is nice since it gives an eerie atmosphere that works really fine, instead of just throwing you monsters at every single corner. Talking about that, difficulty apart for being body blocked on the clock arena, is not that bad nor difficult, so it worked for me.
There are some really clever secrets, amazing architecture, and I just can even get on my head this map was created on less than 10 months considering when the project started/ended. 

Death counter: 118

Maps in order of preference:

MAP15 (Perfect)
MAP13 (Great)
MAP06
MAP04
MAP14
MAP07 
MAP10
MAP03
MAP01
MAP02
MAP08 (Ok)
MAP09
MAP05
MAP11
MAP12 (Bad)

So I think the bigger maps start right here, just when I started uni again, so I may take my time now to play through the rest of this...

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I'm dealing with some kind of semi-polyphasic sleep pattern, so what better to do at 3-4am than play Doom?

 

Chapter VII: Obscurity

Uh oh, it's the motherfucking secret episode, and yes this technically is the "canon title," though it ended up not going used. Both the secret maps are by guest mappers and they're both thematic wildcards, giving us a taste of what OTEX is capable of beyond Eviternity's set themes, though admittedly ukiro's offering feels a bit like chapters 2 and 4 had a lovechild that developed an addiction to steroids, but first...

 

MAP31: Imperator - skillsaw

20:13, 101% kills, 33% secrets

 

Here he is. There are certainly parallels to be made between Eviternity and Valiant, which I think several of us have mentioned over the course of this playthrough, both MBF-compatible sets with extensive dehacked work divided up into short episodes with clear and distinct themes, with a sure leaning towards shorter maps, and now joining Eviternity's roster of guest mappers is the man behind Valiant himself. skillsaw was quite distant throughout Eviternity's development, time was ticking along before we were aware of this maps existence and then one day, boom, complete layout shot, followed within a week or two iirc by a finished map, originally targeting the MAP32 slot.

 

skillsaw gives us something not unlike some kind of desert/medieval fusion with this map, and the middle eastern influences heard in Mark Klem's "Land of Able" combined with the narrow walkways and high verticality of the opening section of the map give some kind of Assassin's Creed vibe (he says, having played a grand total of one AC game...). This is a map I've enjoyed more on this second playthrough, which isn't to say I disliked it before - again on HNTR - but I certainly appreciated it more this time around, not unlike MAP15. Incidentally I found this second playthrough, now on HMP a lot easier than my initial HNTR run, so I think it's fair to say foreknowledge really comes in handy here. Again it's another big level, with the highest monster count so far but once again not really so different in terms of overall length than MAP14 and 15, but taking that into consideration it does feel like it sits towards the longer end of the scale with regards to skillsaw's work. A lot of the 400+ monsters encountered on this map on HMP are of the lowest-tiers, with over half of the over population being made up of imps, sergeants and troopers, and it doesn't take long for the map to introduce the primary element of its gameplay, it's a rocket launcher map! Mostly. This arrives just before we start our trek through the intricate canyons of the northern end, which look really nice though I feel they rely a bit too much on that one texture. The golden liquid is given a greater chance to shine here too, having made a brief appearance in MAP15 previously. It's here that the map really gets going, with much of what precedes it being a somewhat slow and cautious ascent towards the upper levels of wherever it is we're supposed to be. Rockets are in very good supply around here, and monsters are pretty much always grouped in tight clusters, it's rocket launcher action at its finest, and this is my personal favourite part of the map.

 

These canyons are quite a long-winded journey during which about half of the monster count is cleared out by the time we reach the end of the segment, where we're given the red key. What I notice is that health is also given out quite generously around this part of the map in particular, there's two soulspheres to be gained here potentially, and this is not long after I got my hands on a megasphere, and I continued through the red door which led me to yet another megasphere - a forced one sadly. This is where we encounter another cyberdemon which I believe can be telefragged by getting the BFG secret but 1) I've forgotten how to do that, 2) I'm not skilled enough to risk trying to navigate this area while the cyberdemon is still alive, and it's not really difficult to deal with, by moving in a constant circular motion around the pillar you're pretty much safe from both it and the surrounding mancubi. Things plod along until after we've gotten through the blue door, where there's quite a sudden spike in difficulty as we reach the most difficult part of the map, a very small arena where we have to fend off hordes of troopers, joined by a couple of arch-viles, and later imps, revenants and I think knights as well are thrown into the mix (it's a bit of a blur because of how intense this part is), but the real spanner in the works for the player in this fight is the annihilator. It's quite hard to concentrate on it while trying to deal with everyone else plus plasma ammo is quite tight at this point. I succeeded on my third attempt at this fight by getting some rockets in on the first archvile, which saved me some cells for later. This same strategy also came in handy for the yellow key fight, which also killed me once.

 

At the end of the map I retreated to try and gather some health and armour before entering the exit but guh, I forgot the secret maps were also separated by death exits, haha. So, onwards to ukiro's map where if I were playing blind I'd now be asking, if skillsaw's map was originally MAP32, why were they switched? The journey continues...

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chapter: unknown, map31: Imperator, by skillsaw
uvmax, 100% k/i/s obtained

I'm assuming the secret maps don't belong to any chapter.

Flee! @skillsaw is trying to kill us all! First he builds a beautiful fortress without safety features of any kind. The fortress has been plunked down on top of what turns out to be some very precarious and dodgy real estate. What serves as a floor is actually golden, sulphurous toxic waste! You'll notice that none of the stairways have safety rails. Different parts of the fortress are connected by treacherous paths through the unstable rock formations, prone to collapse at any moment. On top of that, you are expected to leap across pillars and span large gaps to gain access to other parts of the fortress. Any slip will result in being wheeled out on a stretcher at best, or at worst, a coffin! Our marine is of the opinion that this fortress is not up to code! On top of all that, it is clear that skillsaw has connived with the monsters to construct a series of dastardly traps, each one more evil than the last. "No.Hide over here. He'll never spot you. You can reach out and rend off his goolies with ease from this position. Heh, heh, heh!"

After running through the toxic waste and taking the first set of stairs without railings, our marine makes his first mistake in picking up the rocket launcher. He should have known that pickup was not for free. Further on and our marine is teased by a view of the red keycard, which in order to collect, requires a long, perilous trip through the rocky terrain, over the toxic waste. He should have known the plasma rifle pickup along the way wasn't for free either.

The red key takes our marine to the top of the fortress and a unavoidable megasphere! Our marine wonders whether skillsaw is on the side of good after all! Then he drops down the chute and finds out! Behold cybie's grand entrance. With a roar from the depths of hell, cybie stands tall on a platform in a small room. I can only say that there are many ways to kill a cybie and that cybie's are mysterious creatures that hold many secrets. If you manage to escape that evil room you will acquire the blue key. The base of cybies perch is fairly safe place as long as you time his rockets whenever you move around it.

The blue door leads to an area with a particularly mean trap, a square room with a megaarmor in the middle near a central pillar. Quite frankly I have no idea how you would survive the incoming hell spawn you trigger when you drop down to the floor without knowing that there are multiple ways out of that room, one of them resulting in our marine taking almost no damage.

Our marines next location is a lift ride up and a walk around the top of the fortress and some platforming to drop in on the yellow key and the last trap on the map. He only needs to head through the yellow door and blast his way to the top and to the maps only exit to the super secret map32.

I'm surprised I was able to uvmax this map without analysis first. I got all the rng breaks I needed with the evil traps. I'm too scared to tackle a uvmax for the up and coming epic map32 though.

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1 hour ago, Eris Falling said:

This is where we encounter another cyberdemon which I believe can be telefragged by getting the BFG secret

 

I'm very impressed Eris that you were able to prevail without the bfg secret. Well done! This secret is valuable not so much for the bfg pickup but for a trap you are able to avoid.

 

Spoiler

Avoid cybie until you reach the room with a megaarmor trap. Drop into the room and quickly look for a concealed switch on the north side of the room beyond the west side rail. Action it to lower a teleporter in middle of the room which allows you to telefrag cybie but even better, gets you the hell out of that room full of spawning enemies. After that you can reopen the megaarmor room and take care of business from comparative safety.

 

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...another sleepless night.

 

MAP 31 – Imperator

 

Remember when I mentioned I wasn’t good with the rocket launcher?

 

...Yup, this is a map designed for rockets. Which would be my worst nightmare and, combined with yellow acid and some really fucking hard set pieces, a map I’d utterly loathe if skillsaw wasn’t just that good at mapping. Seriously, I’m in awe. All this, in a long map, and the only time I felt frustration was in the yellow key fight when I had almost no rockets or plasma left against close range demons and revenants. Otherwise, all the other bite-sized challenges of the map had just the right balance of ruthless and fair. Even the cyberdemon fight, which was done without telefragging in my run.

 

It speaks volume that with all that, the one thing that struck me was how much vertical movement happened in here. Sure, a flat map is boring, but skillsaw takes it to the extreme here. Climb up stairs, descend stairs, take an elevator up or down, scale cliffs, drop down a shaft... the few times I stayed on a flat surface was for the setpieces of the map. And even then, the plasma rifle fight drops us into an arena, then moves back up into a pincer attack, so we’re not even safe on that front.

 

Around 400 monsters, yet it didn’t feel like it. Plenty of zombies and imps, and yet it didn’t feel easy at all. I came to this map expecting to like it, and skillsaw did not disappoint.

 

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