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xvertigox

WAD Progression for Skill Improvement

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7 hours ago, ChicagoTrash said:

What about Nuts? You have to buy a fucking super computer just to run it. Nuts is the hardest.

I'm guessing you're trying to run it in a ZDoom-family source port. As far as I know (not much), the trouble with these ports is that each time a monster is alerted to your presence and also each time it moves, a call to an intensive function named A_Chase is made. This is not troublesome with 1, 10 or even 100 monsters, but with 10.000 monsters that are alerted once you fire a shot is a completely different story, as 10.000 A_Chase calls are made each gametic, leading to intense lag on all but the most powerful systems.

 

Source ports that have vastly simplified logic, "vanilla-style", like PrBoom+ don't have this problem, as evidenced on this video:

Spoiler

 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Andromeda said:

I'm guessing you're trying to run it in a ZDoom-family source port. As far as I know (not much), the trouble with these ports is that each time a monster is alerted to your presence and also each time it moves, a call to an intensive function named A_Chase is made. This is not troublesome with 1, 10 or even 100 monsters, but with 10.000 monsters that are alerted once you fire a shot is a completely different story, as 10.000 A_Chase calls are made each gametic, leading to intense lag on all but the most powerful systems.

Chase tics happen in any source port, because those are, like the name suggests, tics during which things move towards your general direction. What makes a difference is that the ZDoom derivative ports have a larger workload when it comes to calculating for example a thing's hitbox, which is due to how these ports adress for example what's called the "blockmap bug". It's that added workload that causes performance issues on some systems, because more calculations per thing are made. Naturally there can also be other software or hardware related bottlenecks involved, but chase tics aren't the culprit either way, because those were in the game since forever.

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6 hours ago, Spectre01 said:

I'm getting a feeling this will eventually morph into the list of hard wads thread.

Also, I feel like Speed of Doom is too high on the "difficulty scale". Due to the rather short nature of the maps, most are easier to no-save than the tougher AV or Scythe 2 maps. At least that's my opinion; I don't know if we're judging these based on maxing or casual play.

… Nah, some of the maps become really stupid (Maps 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27 and 32 are examples of maps that are, IMO, way too hard for their own good).

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Spectre01 said:

I'm getting a feeling this will eventually morph into the list of hard wads thread.

Also, I feel like Speed of Doom is too high on the "difficulty scale". Due to the rather short nature of the maps, most are easier to no-save than the tougher AV or Scythe 2 maps. At least that's my opinion; I don't know if we're judging these based on maxing or casual play.

 

I'm looking for this to be a more refined version of that thread. Refined is the wrong word, actually - the scope is different. The biggest difference is that each WAD should be a reasonable step up from the previous one. I hadn't thought about it but there will probably need to be a culling phase. How do people feel about this? For example - if we have AA do we need Valiant? If not we have to decide which WAD would be a better stepping stone to Scythe 2.

 

Edit:

@Nine Inch Heels 's suggestion makes a lot of sense, if WADs are of similar difficulty I'll add a note explaining that equivalent WADs can be skipped if desired.

Edited by xvertigox

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4 minutes ago, xvertigox said:

How do people feel about this? For example - if we have AA do we need Valiant? If not we have to decide which WAD would be a better stepping stone to Scythe 2.

If it's just about "levelling up" I'd simply put both in the same bracket, "Play either/both", and call it a day

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Posted (edited)
On 6/21/2019 at 3:30 PM, xvertigox said:

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

You're welcome! On the 'three wad' list, I would include Vanguard over Valiant because Valiant's monster changes are quite significant, which make it not quite the 'meta' you want to cut your teeth on yet. 

 

edit: speaking of SoD, that's a good one for that middle spot if you want a megawad there. It covers a lot of ground, since its two authors had  (at the time) markedly different approaches to gameplay. 

Edited by rdwpa

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If we can't have Chillax, how about Holy Hell? That's one mental map (for the record, there're about 20000 enemies). Not only do you have to be super ammo efficient, but some of the strats are stupidly tough (at least to me they are). It also has an even more extreme version called Holy Hell Revealed, but I'm not sure if that's gonna count... 

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6 minutes ago, Poncho1 said:

If we can't have Chillax, how about Holy Hell? That's one mental map (for the record, there're about 20000 enemies). Not only do you have to be super ammo efficient, but some of the strats are stupidly tough (at least to me they are).

My personal gripe with holy hell is that it's also a pretty obnoxious grindmap for the most part, and it doesn't teach people anything they can't learn in other maps already. It's kind of like Nuts, certainly less bland than nuts, but nowhere near as fun as any decent slaughtermap, and utterly annoying/boring at the worst of times.

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I would suggest avoiding "meme-slaughter" like that okuplok map or Holy Hell, which was meant to lampoon the original Deus Vult anyway.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Spectre01 said:

I would suggest avoiding "meme-slaughter" like that okuplok map or Holy Hell, which was meant to lampoon the original Deus Vult anyway.

Okay, got it.

 

I thus suggest Epic 2! I'd say it's about as tough as Alien Vendetta, perhaps a little more, but not by much. Fun, mainstream WAD that only in the later levels start to stray into slaughter (well, only Map29 is a true slaughter map).

 

Going Down was mentioned before, I believe. Easier than Epic 2 and AV, but by no means easy. I'd say it's around Scythe and Rush. Most maps are what the author (none other than Cyriak) calls "chaotic evil" or something, and are generally short, a bit cramped and fast-paced, but is by no means Ribbiks-esque.

Edited by Poncho1

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I'll be adding more wads over the next few days (weekend mainly).


To change gears a bit, is anyone using this list? I myself just finished AV tonight (finally, felt like a real nerd not having played through) and now it's onto Scythe 2 (played both AA and Valiant). I'm really looking forward to Stardate20X6, I've loved other Ribbiks maps/sets and it looks so fucking cool.

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As I am starting to feel a TINY bit more comfortable while playing Speed of Doom pistol start w/o save as well as Sunlust, I thought I would check Dimension out of curiosity and... well... It is clearly out of my league for now...

Looking back at the time I needed to clear a few maps of Sunder, I feel like I would probably need half a decade to beat Dimension.

I will check out on the list for wads I have yet to play.

 

BTW, where would you rank Dark Encounters and Whitemare 2 on the list? I don't have an accurate idea since I would put both between Plutonia Experiment and AV.

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10 hours ago, xvertigox said:

To change gears a bit, is anyone using this list?

I plan to keep coming back to this list, recording pistol-start UV demos going down the list and making videos. My progress is just going to be very slow and sporadic.

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10 hours ago, xvertigox said:

To change gears a bit, is anyone using this list?

 

Yup, especially as I'm getting my girlfriend into Doom. I'm pretty slow going through the WADs as I'm pretty busy, but I'll reply with an update in the future as to my experience with this progression.

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I want to propose Killing Adventure for beginners. I played this wad years ago but I remember that levels were short and fun with creative concepts. However I don't know how "Killing Adventure 2" , I just played the first level and it looked way harder.

 

Concerning Whitemare 1 and 2. The difficulty of the maps from the first episode is, in my opinion, equivalent to Alien Vendetta. The last levels are a little harder but accessible to relatively beginner players. The sequel has more difficult levels , some slaughtermaps (map 31 , 32 , 20) or criminally unbalanced levels (map 18 was just horrible in my memories.)

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3 minutes ago, Roofi said:

I want to propose Killing Adventure for beginners. I played this wad years ago but I remember that levels were short and fun with creative concepts. However I don't know how "Killing Adventure 2" , I just played the first level and it looked way harder.

 

Where would you put Killing Adventure?

 

Thanks for the info regarding Whitemare and the suggestion @Kyoh1. Anyone played Dark Encounters and able to comment on the difficulty?

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1 minute ago, xvertigox said:

 

Where would you put Killing Adventure?

 

Thanks for the info regarding Whitemare and the suggestion @Kyoh1. Anyone played Dark Encounters and able to comment on the difficulty?

Just after Fava Beans maybe.

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1 hour ago, xvertigox said:

Anyone played Dark Encounters and able to comment on the difficulty?

As its creator, it is hard for me to judge. If I had to put it somewhere, it would be around Base Ganymede. Others may have found it harder (or easier...I'm no legendary player:))

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How about Going Down? One of the most fun megawads I've played, and one of the best looking (mostly) vanilla-textured ones too. I'd say maybe harder than Valiant but not as hard as any Ribbiks stuff, but I haven't played it in a long time. It might be easier than I remember, because it was one of the first modern mapsets I played, and it was back when I played keyboard only.

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What's with that Stardate 20x6 placement? It's way too high up. Should either be before or after Sunlust. Sunder is honestly way too low as well, unless the new maps are significantly more hardcore than the old release, although length may play a factor in that.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Spectre01 said:

What's with that Stardate 20x6 placement? It's way too high up. Should either be before or after Sunlust. Sunder is honestly way too low as well, unless the new maps are significantly more hardcore than the old release, although length may play a factor in that.

 

Thanks for the info, I moved Stardate. I fully freeballed with that one as I've yet to play it. Anyone else able to comment on Sunder's placement taking the new maps into account? For me the placement makes sense but if others disagree I'll move it.

 

For people with other wad suggestions, I'll avoid replying to each and every post to not bump/spam the thread unnecessarily, I'll do my next round of additions this weekend so keep em coming.

Edited by xvertigox

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One more from me: Struggle - Antaresian Legacy. Probably the best megawad of 2018, and it's got a lot of fun new stuff to play with. I'd say it would go somewhere between Valiant and Stardate 20X6 (Probably closer to Valiant), but again, I'm not sure exactly where, since I haven't played some of the stuff in there.

 

I look forward to the updated list!

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13 minutes ago, xvertigox said:

Anyone else able to comment on Sunder's  taking the new maps into account?

I wouldn't take it into account yet, personally.

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If the purpose of the list is to remain "skill improvement", then I would be careful about having it grow too much, or it will just turn into "here's a bunch of lost of WADs in roughly ascending difficulty order".  15-20 items is probably all you need, at the most, as a skill development chain.

 

Alternatively, maybe maintain a few lists: the uber-compressed 3-5 WADs one, a "general purpose" 15-20 items one, and then a "here's everything" one :)

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Capellan said:

If the purpose of the list is to remain "skill improvement", then I would be careful about having it grow too much, or it will just turn into "here's a bunch of lost of WADs in roughly ascending difficulty order".  15-20 items is probably all you need, at the most, as a skill development chain.

 

This is a thought I've had before. I think there will be a second version of the list with more concise progression order, I'll probably do that in the second post I have in the thread. I wondered about making a placeholder post so I could have the first two and in retrospect I definitely should have done so..

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AV -> AA -> Valiant -> Scythe 2 -> Hell Revealed -> SOD -> DVII? I really disagree with this order. IMO (on UV), it goes
AA = Valiant -> AV -> HR -> Scythe 2 -> SOD -> DVII?

-AA is about as hard as Valiant, but I think Valiant is better (and slightly harder) for learning because you are forced to adapt to the new monsters, which allow many new kinds of situations.

-Alien Vendetta IMO, is harder than mostly because the MAP25-28 stretch.

-Hell Revealed is next, because it isn't actually that hard (MAP23 of Scythe 2 is harder than HR's hardest), although on UV the gameplay, if maxing, can be pretty grindy.
-Scythe 2 is funny, because I would even split it. Its first 4 episodes probably go just before AA, but its 5th and 6th are a huge difficulty spike, and easily harder than Hell Revealed hardest.

-SOD is next. MAP14 is a minor difficulty spike, but its hardest maps (MAP23, MAP29, MAP32) are ever so slightly harder than Scythe 2's, IMO.
-DVII is a weird one. The only really hard maps (relatively to the others mentioned) are 21 and 23 (ignoring MAP29). MAP21 is only that hard due to its length, but MAP23 is a worthy upgrade.

Just my two cents. Given that list, I suggest two additions: Eviternity and Hell Revealed 2.

-Eviternity has very wide variety of encounters (helped by the new monsters), but is fairly easy overall, and has a consistent difficulty progression, making it perfect for skill progression early on. I'd put it just before all of the previously mentioned maps (just before AA/Valiant, IMO). It's the perfect WAD for just after the IWADs.

-Hell Revealed 2 has a lot of cruel monster placement and extremely high monster density (without slaughtermaps, generally). The map does not have any huge difficulty spikes, but is very challenging all throughout. I'd put it just before DVII.

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Posted (edited)

I would remove Hell Revealed entirely and replace it with just about any other wad if we're suggesting pistol starts here. AV already has the best of HR influences covered and it's also a much better wad.

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@3saster Thanks for the input. I've reordered it a fair bit now. My original placement of HR came from me experience where I (foolishly) tried to go through it blind with no saves and ended up taking forever.

 

@Spectre01 I think I'll keep HR in the list because it's such a significant mapset. I will be adding HR2 soon.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Roofi said:

Just after Fava Beans maybe.

 

Edit: Oops, I thought Roofi was commenting about my post, he was just replying on Killing Adventure rank. Sorry! ;)

 

Dark Encounters might definitely be ranked in lower difficulty, but I think the lack of ammo in the first maps will give a hard time to any beginner. Except if you master Tyson skill or zerk punch perfectly (which I totally suck at).

Edited by Kyoh1

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I think the first Deus Vult could be placed… I'd say it's actually tougher than its sequel, mostly since all the maps are long and very tough; effectively, the moment you begin, you're dealing with large hordes, and crowd control is essential. Map05 is basically the previous maps in a single level. In comparison, DVII actually starts off innocuously before the difficulty spike.

 

Question: since DVII is currently going through its second phase, should we rename the entry in the list "DVII, 1st Edition"???

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