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amdcrash

top 5 most underrated doom wads?

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we all know the wads in the Cacowards section but we probably have one wad that is overlooked and didn't get the attention it deserved, i wanted to know what your 5 (or less or more!) underrated doom wads are! it does not matter if it is 1 map or an entire megawad! i want to know this as i want to make a pack about this.

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I just beat Perdition's Gate recently for the first time. While it has plenty of faults, I was baffled at how this wad (which I found to be atleast on par if not better than wads like Evilution and Icarus) never got mentioned in the top 10 wads of 1996.

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Posted (edited)

Mars war

ESP 1 and 2 ( I would more say Tod maps in general)

Tangerine Nightmare

Deadly standards 1 and 2

Fragport

Bonus Death-Destiny's wads (especially Beesong)

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I would mention Armadosia - The Mad Corridor (v2). Played with the PSX soundtrack, it's a great adventurous and atmospheric megawad.

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Doomed Space Wars is one of my favorites, I don't think it's been in the Cacowards, correct me if I'm wrong though.

 

Darkness Flaw is a pretty fun single-level wad.

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I was disappointed when i haven't found The Eye by mouldy in last Cacowards and top 100 WADs of all time.

 

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Posted (edited)

Yeah so far when I've googled "[wad] cacowards" it will pull up "Doomworld - The [n]th Cacowards" if it did win.

 

Seriously not saying that to be a smartass, as someone who's terrible at googling this is what works for me.

 

edit: as for an actual nomination, off the top of my head Invasion UAC is a beloved one that didn't seem to get official recognition. I saw in an old thread TimeOfDeath said it was very influential, and I know others feel the same.

Edited by DuckReconMajor

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Bloodstain by Pavel 'Pipicz' Tvrzník

 

Was snubbed because of how sloggish it is on UV (which is inherently true), however it plays silky smooth on lower difficulties and has some insane visuals to boot. 

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On 7/26/2019 at 3:07 PM, ReaperAA said:

I just beat Perdition's Gate recently for the first time. While it has plenty of faults, I was baffled at how this wad (which I found to be atleast on par if not better than wads like Evilution and Icarus) never got mentioned in the top 10 wads of 1996.

 

I didn't know this one, even realized it was commercial back then. Hmm,. I only thought final doom, master levels and maybe something I forget where the only commercial.

Maybe that's why I didn't heard about it. But I started playing few levels and it's pretty solid for 1996, more consistent, well designed and fun to play than a lot of other things at the time.

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Doomed Space Wars
Doomed in Space
Bloodstain
Sinister Seven
Team Rocket: Blasting Off at the Speed of Mapping

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While not favourites of all time, these are a few that I discovered either outside of DW or in this blessed thread, besides they rarely or never get mentioned/discussed around these days, and I personally found them very fun and distinctive in places:

 

The Abyss, for being one of the earliest megawads its attention to visuals and lighting are on point, plus providing quirky gameplay of that era, should be more versatile on continuous unless SG/CG for the few minutes you spend in the maps bother you. Found it by watching Lingyan203 on youtube, the stuff he uploads goes straight to my to-play list.

 

City of Doom, as a lover for maps designed to resemble a city or town, this one won my heart, though also for very interesting pistol starts, the kind you must explore in depth to find your tools and uncover lots of secrets. The switch hunt nature is most probably what would shoo some players but it's otherwise a solid candidate that again is never brought up. About a year and a half ago elmle streamed the wad so I got curious about it. Plus it's odd not to see it in the downloads section here.  

 

Quantum Strike, honestly when I read tags like "hard", "slaughter", "colorful", or all of them at once, this wad floats in my head. It's rare to see anyone talking about it outside of the author himself or the few people I caught streaming it on twitch, feel like it should have more recognition maybe not just for its unrelenting ways to harass the player in tight areas but for the striking palette of shades it uses, you don't see such contrast of colours everyday in wads, well maybe you do in TimeOfDeath or Ribbiks maps but idk. If I recall correctly Saint_Guy streamed the wad a while ago and that's where I found it.

 

Garrulismo, it's a sort of doom 2 the way spanish people did, found it both on that thread linked above and people voting for it in the DWMC. It was obvious the wad needed more playtesters to point out all the potential softlocks and sleeping beauties in isolated sectors that remain idle forever, in spite of them it should appeal to anyone looking for another reinterpretation of the original story and gameplay style. Maybe there was a spanish forum of doomers back in whenever this wad happened, but here it's rarely mentioned.

 

Scientist 2, has cacodemon generator machines, if that was not a reason enough to win a cacoward then I don't understand what standards they have... Jokes aside, when googling doom megawads I stumbled upon this treasure, although not always carrying the player to fully fair scenarios, there are quite a few unique traps to be seen, like barrels on teleports that must be destroyed in beforehand, or said machines that give birth to mutant cherries. The downside is that the super shotgun is now two mirrored shotguns that look HORRENDOUS. There are also portraits of pain elementals and spiderdemons too, and one map that feels like you're in a circus. Anyways, again barely recognized here at least from what I know. 

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Ezekiel is a really awesome set of 9 maps by 40oz, one of the authors of UAC Ultra. Very distinctive play style and a lot of nasty encounters, reminded me of Hell Revealed 2 kinda. I think the only reason this slipped under the radar is because 40oz is banned from DoomWorld for some reason, cause it's a damn good mapset.

 

Hellebarde is a neat little megawad for GZDoom, it's divided into 3 episodes a la Scythe 1: Gothic Earth, Lunar, and Gothic Hell/Medieval. The main gimmick is a miniboss/boss at the end of each level, with some of these appearing later as normal enemies. Some of the bosses can be a little obnoxious, but it's a fun idea. The standard Doom cast is prominent all through-out too. The mod uses 3D floors extensively also, but not really any other GZDoom features IIRC. Overall, a GZDoom megawad that still feels very classic.

 

Violence is a set of 4 maps by AD_79. Basically just 4 solid maps with a purple color scheme, it plays in a style similar to Valiant, from which it burrows some assets from I think.

 

Survive in Hell is a fun Hell Revealed-inspired WAD, although a fair bit easier. The first 2 episodes can be a little rocky though. Not bad, usually, but unpolished. The various knockoff HR and HR2 levels don't help matters. The third episode is where the WAD really hits its stride, easily containing the best maps in the set. If the rest of the mapset were as good as the final third, this would really be something special, but as-is it's still well worth checking it out. I hope they do this WAD for the DW megawad sometime actually.

 

Tangerine Nightmare is an absolutely awesome 9+1 mapset by the French Doom Community. It's gloriously orange all throughout, and it looks and plays excellently the whole way through. I'm not surprised it didn't win a Cacoward (2018's Cacoward winners are REALLY good, so it had some fierce competition), but I am completely amazed it wasn't even a runner-up. Does the review committee hate the color orange? :P

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^ I'm glad you brought up Ezekiel, as I felt that was also an underappreciated episode for Doom II. I would also say Monuments of Mars was worth checking out.

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My personal picks:

 

Mapgame - Just a great episode with a few awesome additions.

Scythe X - Why does no one really talk about this one anymore? It's the most consistently good Scythe WAD. None of the dud maps like Scythe I and no horrible slog like the end of Scythe II.

Favillesco Alpha Episode: Apostasy on Amalthea - One of my all-time favorite episodes ever, by one of the most unique mappers currently mapping.

STRAIN - Yes, I know it's fairly well-known and was included in 10 Years of Doom, but it deserves way more praise than it's gotten. My favorite WAD by miles.

OCD-Doom - A really cool time trial gimmick set.

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On 7/26/2019 at 9:07 AM, ReaperAA said:

I just beat Perdition's Gate recently for the first time. While it has plenty of faults, I was baffled at how this wad (which I found to be atleast on par if not better than wads like Evilution and Icarus) never got mentioned in the top 10 wads of 1996.

Good WAD. I recently tried it (although only briefly; about a half-hr or so) and it was quite fun. Maybe it wasn't on that list because it was technically a commercial megawad? I don't remember seeing any commercial WAD's on those list's.

 

Hell to Pay isn't bad either imo even though it is a partial conversion.

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Posted (edited)

Most of the wads I played as a child are seemingly forgotten gems, with the exception of DoomCity which has been given it’s due love over the years. Ironically, it’s probably the one new Doomers would be least impressed with, but back in the day it was like a perfect template for what newbie authors “should” do - Clean minimalist design, easy but engaging encounters, classy but limited use of custom textures, a custom sky to give it a unique identity and even a cool custom MIDI, homemade no less. I couldn’t articulate it but even back then it really, really inspired me to get into level design.

 

Hellrun for Doom 2 was my first ever slaughtermap, though perhaps it’s too tame to be called that today (I didn’t play Plutonia/Go2it til the 00s). I spent hours and hours and hours playing Hellrun as a kid and never got bored, for me it is the pinnacle of “replayable, interconnected, well-designed 90’s Doom maps”. If DoomCity is a great template for newbie mappers, Hellrun is the template for once you get comfortable with mapping. It still has pretty big balls considering it’s age, too - good luck when the unexpected wave of revenants and barons just decides to show up! Fun to be had!

 

Area51 was the wad that introduced me to custom monsters! Even if they were just reskins, holy shit did they add to the experience. Storming that fenced-off base while the Mission Impossible theme plays and the troopers are shouting “There he is! Stop him!”.. Man, that’s the shit nostalgia is made of. People may scoff nowadays but this wad taught me the importance of setting, theme, story and “sense of purpose”. Despite having aged, Area51 provided me with this feeling that I was actually getting somewhere, actually doing something - It wasn’t just “generic techbase #1538”. Even today, the importance of purpose is overlooked in the vast majority of wads, yet that is a huge chunk of why so many Doomers recall Doom1 as a better game than Doom2 despite the fact that Doom2 is superior from a technical perspective (and gameplay perspective imo). The feeling that you’re working towards something keeps the player immersed even when the gameplay ain’t super hot!

 

Bermuda starts the player off in a small crashed plane near the corpse of his buddy, it was a very memorable opening area to me, a cool way to pique the players interest. The map is largeish and has decent gameplay even though some parts are a little tedious. Perhaps it is just another wad in the wall, there’s no design philosophy case study I can make for this one - it simply is a super solid map that deserves to be remembered even though I’m apparently the only one who does.

 

Deepatak is what comes out if you puke up all the most awesome elements of 90s mapping/modding into a blender. That’s not an insult! It’s kind of disgusting but hot damn this thing is fun! Idk if it can be called underrated, I know at some point it was sorta popular since it used to come with DeePsea so perhaps a lot of people have seen it, but it’s big, fun and easily worth your time. Also that What Is Love MIDI... just fucking 👌. Maybe the fact that it was a tad messy and kinda gross, yet very effective was supposed to be a representation of DeePsea itself. If that was the goal then it hit the mark, spot-on (yeah I went there!!)

 

None of those get the love they deserve, but they all had an enormous impact on my wad designing approach, the inspiration is strong. In their own ways they made me extremely eager to get into wad building.

 

I did have a few other wads as a kid - a deathmatch pack using Hexen textures that I’ve never been able to find again, a generic-but-good techbase where you look out a window at a tree, a shovelware megawad called Doomed 2 Die (dmd2die.wad) and for some strange reason Dwango5.wad, DROPDEAD.wad (with it’s badass texture of a marine caught in a big spiderweb right next to a mastermind) and another old forgotten DM wad called JFL18, even though I had no interest at all in DM til the 00s. I still liked those wads, but all of that stuff is either lost, appropriately forgotten, or overrated in the case of D5, bless it’s soul.

Edited by Doomkid

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On 7/27/2019 at 4:04 AM, Unitron said:

Doomed Space Wars is one of my favorites, I don't think it's been in the Cacowards, correct me if I'm wrong though.

 

Was a runner up in the Cacowards.

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1. Slugfest

2. Chief's WAD [chief.wad]

3. Congestion 192

4. Good Morning Phobos

5. Walk

 

Honorable Mentions

1. Dinner [e2 replacement]

2. Scythe X

 

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