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xvertigox

WAD Progression for Skill Improvement

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Posted (edited)

I've been wanting a list like this for a while, but just figured someone had made one and I was just bad at Google or whatever. Thank you for this.

 

Basically I was going to list the ones you had, as well as the following (please forgive my spelling)

 

Memento Mori 1&2

Scythe 2

Hell Revealed 1&2

Deus Vult 1&2

Sunder

 

and ask for a ranking of difficulty. I'd never thought of E4 as harder than Doom 2 before but I think you're right from what experience I've had. Usually in Doom 2 pistol starts in the past I just get angry at MAP06 and quit.

 

edit: Also I forgot to ask, in older WADs like STRAIN, wasn't continuous play expected?

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@DuckReconMajor I'd put MM1 + MM2 between Plutonia and Scythe. I'll put HR after AV and Sunder after that. I haven't played enough Scythe 2, HR2 or DV to be able to confidently say where they'd sit in the list (though I have a good idea). I'll add these later on today.

 

I'm not sure about STRAIN either, if anyone else can comment on that that'd be appreciated.

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WADs that definitely belong in the "hardest" category are "dimensions" by killer5/mrZzul, "no chance" by DeathDestiny, various ribbiks maps found throughout all his releases, and perhaps even some of Benjogami's works, "red and brown" comes to mind here.

 

For hard maps there's still stuff made by ribbiks that belongs here, "Cryogenics" by bemused also seems a proper fit for hard. "Italo Doom" defnitely belongs here, as well as several maps in the "noye" megaWAD made by the speedrunning discord. "ovum" by rdwpa also belongs in this category, and I guess perhaps "saturnine chapel" by Dobu as well.

 

"(old)Sunder" and "Deus vult II" "Hell revealed I and II" can count as "hard-ish" because they get outmatched in difficulty by other WADs I previously mentioned. "New gothic movement 2" can also be slightly dickish at times. time of death maps belong somewhere between "hard" and "hard-ish", for reference see "ESP"

Now there's "entry level slaughter" like "Rush" and perhaps phmlspd, and from there it goes down in difficulty quite a bit, which is where you find stuff suited for more casual players, such as "valiant", "Ancient aliens", and some maps in "eviternity" perhaps.

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@Nine Inch Heels Yeah, the reason I put everything on a sliding scale from easiest to hardest is because the difficulty is relative to the player. I'd consider HR hard however I played through with no saves so really had to grind. I've played No Chance and that'll definitely be at the far end of the spectrum.  Rush will be in the middle, after AV. Sunlust I'd also put towards the far hard end. How would you place Dimensions, AA (I've only cooped it), Cryogenics etc?

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Dimensions on UV is by far the hardest shit I ever played, and there's no doubt in my mind that it belongs in the position of the hardest WAD, it makes sunlust look like a walk in the park, that's how hard it is.

 

Cryogenics is roughly on par with Sunlust's harder maps, perhaps a bit more or less difficult, been a while since I last played it.

AA is perhaps a bit more difficult than valiant, but not by much

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Posted (edited)

Fava Beans

2002: A Doom Odyssey 10th Anniversary Edition

Base Ganymede

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@Armaetus Can you (and any future posters) say where you'd place the WADs in relation to the existing list? I can place Fava and Ganymede but it makes it a lot easier if you include that with your suggestions.

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It feels it's difficult to say. For example, UDoom Ep4 only has a couple of hard maps while Doom 2 actually has quite a few. Of course, they can't be compared directly because one has 9 levels and the other has 32 levels. If you compare the hardest map of UDoom Ep4 and Doom 2, I would say Doom 2 is harder.

 

To me, the official maps mostly don't require hard skill. You can play strategically and make the maps a lot easier than first seen. However, later PWADs would require hard skill besides your understanding of the map. I know there are a lot of people refuse to go fast, or to skip monsters and come back later. If these playstyles stuck in someone's head, some easy maps may become very difficult to them. A good example would be the last room of TNT Map27. If you want to take out things from outside, it is very annoying because of the elevator and damaging floor. However, if you know there's a safe spot after rushing in, it will make things way easier.

 

I would say Ancient Aliens and Valiant are approximately the same difficult level, but I would rate Valiant a little bit harder. The funny thing is that, the time I can beat AA/Valiant, I can't beat Scythe Map30, so it's another thing to be considered, I guess.

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1 minute ago, GarrettChan said:

It feels it's difficult to say. For example, UDoom Ep4 only has a couple of hard maps while Doom 2 actually has quite a few. Of course, they can't be compared directly because one has 9 levels and the other has 32 levels. If you compare the hardest map of UDoom Ep4 and Doom 2, I would say Doom 2 is harder.

 

Does anyone agree with @GarrettChan's view that Doom 2 is harder than Thy Flesh?

 

Quote

I would say Ancient Aliens and Valiant are approximately the same difficult level, but I would rate Valiant a little bit harder. The funny thing is that, the time I can beat AA/Valiant, I can't beat Scythe Map30, so it's another thing to be considered, I guess.

 

Interesting point. Map30s can have such a sudden spike in difficulty that it may prove difficult to normalize - we'll see what happens as it crops up and deal with them one at a time. It can be mentioned as a note on the WAD itself if the difficulty between map30 and the rest of the WAD is very dramatic.

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Posted (edited)

I'd put Scythe 2 right after Alien Vendetta.

 

I'd say Doom 2 is harder than TFC. The latter only really has maps 2 and 6 going for it in terms of difficulty. Everything else is as easy as the rest of Doom 1.


For me IWADs would be all of Ultimate Doom -> Doom 2 -> TNT -> Plutonia. If you want to include SIGIL I'd drop it between Doom 2 and TNT.

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Just now, TheMightyHeracross said:

I'd put Scythe 2 right after Alien Vendetta.

 

I'd say Doom 2 is harder than TFC. The latter only really has maps 2 and 6 going for it in terms of difficulty. Everything else is as easy as the rest of Doom 1.

 

E4M1 is no slouch either.

 

Honestly I'd say some of E4 is harder than any map in Doom 2, it's just way less consistent in difficulty.

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3 hours ago, xvertigox said:

@Armaetus Can you (and any future posters) say where you'd place the WADs in relation to the existing list? I can place Fava and Ganymede but it makes it a lot easier if you include that with your suggestions.

 

Fava Beans in my experience is about on par with the original Doom.

 

Base Ganymede, from experience and watching others play is a bit harder than Doom 2, if not below Plutonia.

 

2002 ADO, from playing it personally would be on par with Doom 2, if not a bit harder.

You may need a second or third opinion for those latter two for a better rounded judgement.

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Posted (edited)

I've lumped in E4 with the rest of doom.wad with an addendum stating that it is harder in parts. I've added Rush and No Chance as well. I'll add more when I get home from work. Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

 

@Armaetus This brings up an interesting issue - WADs with generally similar difficulties. I originally didn't want to include Fava as I also would place in the same spot as doom.wad. However, having 2 possible wads per 'difficulty' could be useful so as to add a bit of diversity and offer further practice if the jump to the next wad is too hard for the player.

 

I'll add  Ganymede just above doom2.wad. I haven't played 2002 ADO so I'll have to defer to other's opinions though I might play it tonight. Thanks again.

 

Edit: @noisebloom Yep, I'll definitely be adding SIGIL tonight as well as TNT.

Edited by xvertigox

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Posted (edited)

I'm going through the backlog of mentioned WADs and adding them currently. There's many that I haven't played through properly so if you see any errors in either the order or the description text please let me know. I'll be adding a lot more over this weekend so keep 'em coming.

 

Edit: I'm particularly interested in people's feelings on me placing Rush fairly low on the difficulty scale. I personally found it a lot easier than HR but I'm not sure what other people's experiences are.

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WADs that definitely belong in the "hardest" category are "dimensions" by killer5/mrZzul, "no chance" by DeathDestiny, various ribbiks maps found throughout all his releases, and perhaps even some of Benjogami's works, "red and brown" comes to mind here.

 

I recently played "No Chance" and I don't think it still stands in the "Hardest category". Many Killer5's maps are way harder because of unforgiving platforming , big fights in cramped arenas and a very segmented progression which force you to do everything in a determined order in some maps.  No Chance is hard but very manageable if you know every trap by heart.

 

The new Sunder maps are even worse because they share many criterias from Killer5 maps but are also extremly long. To be honest , I didn't play a lot of Killer5's maps but I clearly think that No Chance is a walk in the park compared to his maps (I saw a Ancalagon's Demo and some TAS demos on Dimensions) or I_G's new ones.

 

I would add all DD's works in "Hard , hardish" category : Disturbia , Elysion , Beesong...

 

 

 

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If the quality of the map is not a problem, tarakannik is a crazy, horrible but really hard wad.

 

Also you should consider the idea to insert some wads that are generally considered impossible by the community, like esp or chillax. They are, I think, the hardest ones that don't fall in the "room full of cyberdemons" category and that give you at least some hope to beat them

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Thank you for updating the list. I've learned so much from this thread. I'd never even heard of Rush before.

 

I've started my endeavor through Episode 1 (and put the video on the YouTub).

 

I agree with the way you've treated Episode 4. I agree it's harder but it's like the last season of a great series that went downhill: you already made it this far, are you going to stop now? And E4 is a quality episode (to me at least) so I'm willing to put up with a lot more.

 

I don't necessarily think the exact ordering is too much to fret about. Especially in the later stages. The Easy-Medium stages are where aspiring master Doomers are going to get "hooked" so I think that deserves the most love, if anything.

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16 hours ago, Roofi said:

 

I recently played "No Chance" and I don't think it still stands in the "Hardest category". Many Killer5's maps are way harder because of unforgiving platforming , big fights in cramped arenas and a very segmented progression which force you to do everything in a determined order in some maps.  No Chance is hard but very manageable if you know every trap by heart.

 

The new Sunder maps are even worse because they share many criterias from Killer5 maps but are also extremly long. To be honest , I didn't play a lot of Killer5's maps but I clearly think that No Chance is a walk in the park compared to his maps (I saw a Ancalagon's Demo and some TAS demos on Dimensions) or I_G's new ones.

 

I definitely agree with that comment.

Personally, I would tend to consider No Chance as an equally difficult map as any other from Sunder (aside from pure slaughter maps like Pale Monument, play-wise), but since it is a standalone map and with less ennemies, I would rank it just below Sunder.

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Just wanted to say that this is a cool concept.

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Dark Tartarus? I know I can't even get past a single map (with savescumming). Not sure where it should be. Maybe near Rush.

So going to suggest:

Rush

Dark Tartarus

Hell Revealed

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Thanks for all the input everyone. I've added TNT and SIGIL and I'm going to carve out some time this weekend to add a whole slew of WADs. I'll have more time to reply to individual people and get more feedback too. Thanks again.

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Posted (edited)

^ I second Vanguard. The WAD's focus on pure entertaining gameplay over pure difficulty makes it a great candidate for skill improvement, especially with its varied gameplay styles (Tyson maps, some slaughters, a couple of adventure ones, etc.). Between SIGIL and Plutonia, I'd say. Same for some of Mechadon's mapsets (and levels) are good too, like Counterattack.

 

If you want to improve skill through pure difficulty, then Sunlust is a good choice (Sunlust is good, btw, just really tough and sometimes, to me, leans a bit too much towards being flat-out unforgiving). I'd place it right above Sunder.

Edited by Poncho1 : Brush up some reasonings, and delete some misunderstandings

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Hmm from my own stuff, I would put Moonblood between SIGlL and Plutonia, and Exomoon between Plutonia and Scythe.

 

About AA and Valiant, I believe both would be above Alien Vendetta, but below Sunder. Not sure which one is harder though, AA is a very uneven mapset regarding difficulty, I believe the hardest map for me was the pyramid one, which is in the middle of the mapset, where Valient has a more standard difficult curve.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, rdwpa said:

If skill improvement is the focus, one can accomplish that by focusing on a low number of good, varied mapsets and playing peripheral one-off maps for variety.

 

Very true. There is certainly a much more efficient way to improve rather than playing every map on this list. I wonder how we can reconcile speed and accessibility. I like the idea of having a smooth gradient so anybody at any skill level can find somewhere manageable (and possibly new) to start. Actually, I'll edit the post with your suggestions, that's the best way IMO. Btw I was hoping you'd share your 2 cents so thanks.

 

5 hours ago, rdwpa said:

On the subject of saves, it is important to distinguish 'practice' and 'actual attempts'...  .... .... ...saveless play without foreknolwedge can be a good way to improve nerves, reactions, on-the-fly strategy, 'reading' an area to anticipate what fights might happen, and so on.

 

All very good points. I had to learn the hard way that saveless on every WAD definitely helps you improve but boy does it take a while (my first hr run was almost 17hr).

 

Edit: I'll add Vanguard to the list later today and will add a third note outlining the 3 wad progression you've explained.

 

Edit 2: @Deadwing I'll add AA and Valiant just below Sunder. AA > Valiant > Sunder.

 

Later today I'm going to go through and add a bunch of other WADs like Dimensions and other hard WADs. The hard end of the spectrum will get really fleshed out.

Edited by xvertigox

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Well isn't this an interesting topic.

 

Since everything else was pretty much said at this point, I'll only list my suggestions to avoid echoing other people's points. And since stuff like Sunder and Sunlust has been mentioned:

 

Combat Shock duology.

Deus Vult duology.

magnolia.wad/Stardates/most if not all Ribbiks stuff basically.

Flotsam.

Dimensions. Oh yes absolutely, a certain platforming section on MAP02 and certain parts of MAP03 will break your bones, balls, soul, nerves, etc. Genius in parts, and extremely obnoxious in others.

Disparate Realities.

Rush.

Speed of Doom.

Newgothic Movement duology.

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