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The DWMiniwad Club Plays: Lunatic, Boom-Stick in the Mud, Abyssion, Syringe, The Sky May Be, and The Iron Forge

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Lunatic

 

So as it happens I literally just resumed my Valiant playthrough yesterday (and I finished Ancient Aliens a couple of months back). But for now, a small episode from skillsaw, one a few years older than both those wads, so it will be interesting to see how this compares.

I will be playing on GZDoom, UV difficulty, pistol starting each map

 

MAP01: One Small Step...

 

So one thing I appreciated in both Valiant and Ancient Aliens, is that they don’t waste the time with the small easy level 1 trope. Valiant’s opener has some quite tough battles, and in Ancient Aliens already there is a cyber to dodge.

 

However, Lunatic is different, this level surprised me as to how easy it was, I never went below around 80% health.

 

It’s very much a scene-setting map, with the player presented straight away with the mapset’s theme, on the moon, with rocky light grey textures throughout. The crater textures are kind of interesting, they don’t really look convincing, but at the same time making a convincing crater texture must be pretty damn difficult in Doom. The US flag is a nice touch (no prizes for guessing what that’s referring to :P)

 

This is a part-Tyson map as you get the Berserk pack early on, with an abundance of pinkies, imps and hitscanners. You could probably play the whole thing Tyson if you wanted, but you do have enough ammo to clear out most of the enemies without relying on your fists.

 

The MIDI is pretty fitting to the theme, though not particularly to my taste. Decent opener, but I was hoping for something with a bit more challenge.

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Ah, Lunatic. Was it the first "real" skillsaw WAD (not counting one old 1998 WAD)? Anyway, I think it is my favourite of him, in fact, it is one of the best WADs ever IMO. Always fun replaying I guess.

 

MAP01: Easy enough on UV, I dind't find secrets, and I missed the non-secret green armor as well. A Tysonian gameplay (no Tyson demo, to my surprise), quite fun though, there is monster variety and to finish it fast you need to use fists against hell knights... Easy to navigate. Great looking, great theme, great textures, great sky. One typical skillsaw trap when you are temporarily locked in a confined space, quite easy, I entered with 29% health, and survived. Awesome map.

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1 hour ago, rdwpa said:

Wad 1 (April 10):

 

I don't think I've ever developed the ability to go back in time but, sure :P

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42 minutes ago, vdgg said:

Was it the first "real" skillsaw WAD (not counting one old 1998 WAD)?

Vanguard was a little bit earlier, though they both came out in the same year.

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Just added a second bonus wad, a Heretic map. I realized I probably wouldn't bother playing The Sky May Be. So that jab had a positive influence. :P 

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56 minutes ago, Not Jabba said:

Vanguard was a little bit earlier, though they both came out in the same year.

Hmm, I don't know why I always thought Vanguard is later than Lunatic, but this corrects my thought. Maybe Lunatic is kind of like a test of customized stuff since Skillsaw later goes with customized stuff a lot.

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1 hour ago, rdwpa said:

Just added a second bonus wad, a Heretic map. I realized I probably wouldn't bother playing The Sky May Be. So that jab had a positive influence. :P 

Look at that. First post, and I've already had a demonstrably positive impact on the community. Never played more than a few minutes of Heretic, so that should be fun too. Either way, I'll probably play Sky May Be anyway if I can get it to run. The readme is hilarious.

 

Anyway... 

 

Lunatic

Playing on HMP, not pistol starting.

 

MAP01: One Small Step...

 

Nice starting map. I'm generally a little skeptical of Doom maps that attempt a facsimile of a real location (that always seemed like something the Build engine was better suited for in all honesty, with its actual Z-axis), but in practice, this is a techbase map with some additional custom graphics, and a well-structured one at that. Died a lot on that tight bridge section for whatever reason. All in all, a good entry point without much in the way of gimmickry. 

 

MAP02: Space Weapon Research

 

And as I finish saying that, the gimmickry appears. Troops with plasma guns and rocket launchers. Basically, baby arachnotrons and baby revenants, respectively. In all seriousness, it works super well, and the new monsters slot really effectively into the bestiary. Honestly, this map, with its tight spaces and focus on resource management (your mileage may vary, I might have just played very poorly on Map01), feels like the survival horror game Doom must have felt like when people were playing with sub-optimal controls and hadn't quite figured out circle strafing. I had basically no health and absolutely no ammo left by the time I made it to the end, and didn't come close to killing everything.

 

MAP03: Rocket Zone

 

This is basically one giant arena, and it's great. Lots of room to move, and the hitscanner placement in the main open area is both kept to a minimum and generally not put in places to snipe you, so everything can be seen and avoided even as things are getting hectic. The section with the archviles really show the strength of the new monsters, since they're squishy, but have high damage output, so you have to cut through them, then immediately dodge the archviles. It's a cool way of approaching that encounter, and one that really justifies the use of custom enemies.

 

MAP04: Super Lunarcomputer

 

Speaking of archviles... It's rare that I encounter one in the first screen of a map and don't wind up fighting like 6 cyberdemons by the end of the map. It's a very slaughter thing to do, generally. Anyway, this is sort of an intersection in sensibility between the last two maps, lots of corridor fighting spilling into one larger arena. Also very, very good. Though I will freely admit to saving with 5 health left before the last monster closet opened and just making a mad dash for the exit after getting the blue key. 

 

MAP05: The Final Countdown

 

Of all the combat encounters in this wad, map 5 comes the closest to what I call Formula 1 level design, where the monster density is such that there's pretty much only one acceptable line of movement - the "racing line," since you've also got to do it fast. Still, the wall opening up to the outside provides some much-needed variance, and keeps this from being a map wherein I strafe-run back and forth and hope the hitscanners get infought to death before they do much damage. And the minute I thought, "wow, I could really use a BFG," I found one, so skillsaw is evidently psychic. Speaking of infighting, it was so intense on this map that the cyberdemon died without me firing a single direct hit at it.

 

All in all, five really fun maps, structured exceptionally well, none of which overstay their welcome. A nice choice for week one, and I'm excited to play the rest of what's on offer this month. 

 

 

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MAP02: Space Weapon Research

 

This one is a little harder. Unlike the last map, this map pretty much entirely takes place indoors, with the odd peak to the outside. You can also tell instantly it’s harder than the first map, because right from the start you have two barons. You can’t really kill them without advancing, and it’s this that caught me out first time, because the barons didn’t leave me room once I got the SSG lol. One of those examples of barons used right.

 

Later on, the map introduces us to two new custom monsters, a plasma dude and a homing rocket dude, and I like the way it’s done. There’s two monitors, one for Plasma Rifle Research and one for Rocket Launcher Research. In each case, a switch changes the message to Plasma Rifle stolen / Rocket Launcher stolen, which is pretty cool, before releasing the monsters.

 

Both are relatively tame, Scythe 2 space marine this is not. The plasma dudes fire infrequently, are slow and easy to kill. They drop clips, which is kinda nonsensical. The rocket dudes are basically former human versions of revenants, again their fragility and immobility makes them a lot less lethal than the revenant. But hey, this is early days, I’m sure skillsaw will find a lethal way to use them.

 

Anyway, this is an enjoyable map and more in keeping with the skillsaw I’m used to from Valiant and AA.

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how does one play Sky May Be in this day and age anyway? I really dont want to go to obscene lengths to make it work on a source port i'll use once, for example

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Posted (edited)

so. I decided to join in on this.

While I can be accused of many things, being a good player ain't one of those so I'll unashamedly play in ITYtD, keyboard only, continuous when possible and with saves.

 

 

MAP01:

Spoiler

nice little map, but I fear I won't say this of any other maps on the wad.. Progression was always somewhat clear even if the secrets were a bit less so. Died on my first try because I was stupid enough to open the automap immediately after picking up the blue key, while low on health..

short and sweet


MAP02:

Spoiler

 

oh, a couple of hellknights.. Not too hard, I can deal with this. death 01: to the mancubi pair..

Round 02, open the other door first and find the SSG, yey. *a few seconds later* ah fuck, a PE, die die die, uff. Cacohunting time! Mancubi dealt with, let's open that red door.. Wait, why do they shoot plasma but drop bullets?! Also, uuh, nice, it looks down on to map01. Not too hard, and the space RL research room only had a spider, not RL-wielding zombies, great. Now, I bet this button won't do anything bad.. I knew I was talking too soon. Although I did get to kill them all before they were able to fire a single shot.. And back outside.

Still short, less sweet.

 

MAP03: 

Spoiler

uuh, rockets! let's blast zombies :D

hey, that's unfair, I want homing rockets too!

This base should call a bug exterminator, there's spiders everywhere!

ah, found the key. waait, there's like 2 soulspheres here.. No way this means anything special, riiight?

uff. not that terrible. 188 health.. This was easy. Let us press this switch now..

oh look, everyone's dead already! uuh, green lights! AAAH IMPS. *BOOM* *SPLOCH* *BOOM* uff. done, walls are going down again. Retreat, regroup, rearm, let's go!

snipping spiders with a RL, yey. Done. Now for the blue key... AAAAH FUCK, flameboys, RUNNN. One down, one to go.AH, second one was one rocket from death. Done. better save here. 

Uhh, plasma! *walks around a bit* there's the red key. And this is such a large space, and so much RL ammo.. Yeah, this will be fun. *deep breath* and let's run for the key... Oh, nothing. I guess I'll just go press that switch then.

bluesphere, nice! ups. plasma for y'all! Done. Now, what does this button do? Flameboy. Again! Really? Eat plasma! Yey, done!

Not as short, but fun! Nothing beats splosching zombies to bits :D

 

MAP04:

Spoiler

 uuh, a spider! and a blusphere. This is gonna be fun... Oh wow, the room is filled with monsters! Glad I had some rockets left :D

Ok, down the stairs we go.. And a fireboy, of course. and now we have a deep fried fireboy :D Switch pressed and why do I fear going up the stairs?

*some splosching later* ok, I knew I shouldn't have picked up that plasma without looking around first.. Survived, for now, but I need some medkits.. Found a few. And the (by now usual) secret armor bonus, now to look for that switch that will lower the YK, while trying not to die to the assorted monsters.. uh, a new backpack. Good, my previous one has a few fireball holes on it.. hum.. no fight required? Good. Oh, so the switch was right here. I wonder.. Plasma, switch, run. Good choice. Now, to look around for health (again) before picking the key up.. Ready. Key grab and luckily I can get to the door before anything shows up? ooh, secret energy cells, good. Let's open that YK door..Uff. Was expecting worse. SSG walking around... uh, blue armor. And a cacoshot to the face -_-Oh, hidden in plain sight, a blusphere.. I think I must go around to get that... Cacos and knights! And a pair of Mancubi from the back, ofc. There goes the better part of my shinny new armor :/ EAT ROCKETS YOU FLYING BALLS OF CUTE!! *lálálá, rockets flying, imps exploding, lálálá* Now, I bet this switch is just what I've been looking for to raise that passage to the RK, question is.. How much will it charge for pressing it? not that much if I am ready, is the answer. HE says, just before walking into the chaingunner trap.. Luckily, the entry for that bluesphere must be near, right? (uh, it rhymes) Oh, a candle. That must be it? AH! now.. a teleport... Let's go! welp. A door stands before me. *deep breath* *open* *shoot* AHAHAH TASTE PLASMA CARNAGE!!! done. now.. the BK. This was kinda anti-climatic.. Good. let's walk calmly into the main room shooting plasma at all tat moves and *AAAH I'M ON FIRE!!!!* glad the fireboy likes plasma to the face. Now, 187/188 monsters down and a exit door. I wonder what will be behind it? Well, my newest best friend, the plasma riffle will deal with it. Oh, nothing. I must have left someone alive somewhere. Hum... don't care, step into the teleporter I go! 
 

Ok, this was fuuuun. Not too big and never felt unfair, despite the traps. One more map to go tomorrow!

 

MAP05:

Spoiler

new level, new backpack!  And a blusphere and a blue armor! So generous! Also, lot's of weapons and ammo. No, nothing bad will happen when I press that button, riight? Oh, more rockets. And a teleport.. This things always lead me to nice places. So, no obvious secrets lying around.. Let's jump!

 *sploches some monsters* I wonder what that counter means? 09. 08. *SSG-ing aroud* 07. *more SSGing around* 06. *switched to chaingun* wee, it's a imp infestation! 05. Spiders and cacos.. Maybe rocket time? Nah, there's a BFG, let's spam this motherf'er. Down to 04 and so many monsters! AAAH; there's barons everywhere! And Revenants! And spiders! Ups, it went to 01 already. I fear that 00. A flameboy in the middle. Quickly disposed of, glad they don't like rockets to the face :D

 Yup, counter at 00 and only 8 monsters left. I can do this! Last baron standing... Let's do a quick spin around and restock. There, all dead. Now.. Walking into the exit.. weeee, blast off! done.

That was... underwhelming. Fun gimmick with the numbers but, not too hard.

 

Fun little set of maps! Will be back tomorrow for the Boomstick.

Edited by kalaeth

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Confession time: I've never played anything made by skillsaw, guess now's the chance to fix that!

 

MAP01: One Small Step... (Lunatic)

PrBoom+ 2.5.1.4, HNTR-PS, no saves, 100% everything

 

Ah yes, a secret behind the start, my favourite! Almost got boxed in by the demon though, but I managed to escape in time. Surprisingly action-packed for a MAP01, with trigger happy shotgun guys and sneaky demons dealing a lot of damage. I was forced to berserk fist many enemies as shells are limited in the first half of the level. I liked the american flag, a neat touch. The second half of the level is more free flowing and easier since there's more ammo around despite throwing a few midtiers at you. I found the lock in trap very predictable, perhaps the only thing I didn't like. Nice effect with the lift going down at the exit. Solid opener.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Devalaous said:

how does one play Sky May Be in this day and age anyway? I really dont want to go to obscene lengths to make it work on a source port i'll use once, for example

For anyone looking to try out Sky May Be, @Linkrulezall has gone through all the hassle for us and compiled the whole wad into a fully playable package + fixing some stuff in the process (e.g putting the DEHACKED lump into the wad; sprite adjustments)

Here's the download link; just drop this wad in to your port of choice and enjoy (Restoration link by @mouldy, btw).

http://www.mediafire.com/file/w8bqrv217k1aiab/SKYMAYBE.zip/file

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Posted (edited)

>Lunatic Map 01

This music track is FIRE 🔥🔥🔥

What MIDI player + soundfont do you guys use? I'm using VirtualMIDISynth + Mysung Kite


MAP01: One Small Step...

 

This is my first time playing this PWAD and my first time participating in one of these threads. I wish I would've found out about these sooner. I really like this map and it gives me the feeling I'm really gonna enjoy running these PWADs.

For my first play through, I did a blind no-saves run on skill 2 so I could learn the map. Then I did another run on skill 3, again, so I could familiarize myself with the map. I was still getting lost, but it's not a bad thing the map is non-linear, it's actually a good thing; it just takes some time to get familiarized with the intended route. Then, before trying a no-saves pistol-start UV run, I opened the map in Doom Builder and learned all the secrets (I don't know how to make maps, but 40oz from Doomer Boards showed me how to use the editor to locate secrets and their triggers). I achieved a UV run, and I felt the map was easy enough to beat on nightmare, so I spent some time grinding a nightmare run. I spent over 30 minutes grinding just to achieve this 1.5 minute run!

I didn't truly appreciate this map until I played the moon base of map 2. Map 1 does a great job of setting the stage. We're on the frickin' moon, man!

I found the secrets underwhelming, but I then again, I understand that more powerful items could ruin the current balance of the map (or entire PWAD if doing continuous playthroughs). Also maybe one or two arachnotrons in the open would make the map feel even more space-y.

Edited by RonnieColeman

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2 hours ago, RonnieColeman said:

>Lunatic Map 01

This music track is FIRE 🔥🔥🔥

What MIDI player + soundfont do you guys use? I'm using VirtualMIDISynth + Mysung Kite

 

Just ZDoom defaults for me, but I agree, the soundtrack is great. Think I'll try your config next time I start something. I've never really dived into the sound settings.

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Posted (edited)

Download VirtualMIDISynth, and download the Mysung Kite soundfont. Setting it up should be pretty self-explanatory. Select VMS as your MIDI player in the in-game options menu.

I've never used ZDoom but I'm assuming it's very much like GZDoom. Put the soundfont file in your ZDoom soundfonts folder to keep everything organized. You can select your MIDI player in the options menu. You can change the soundfont of ZDoom's FluidSynth in the advanced options menu, but to change the soundfont of VMS you have to open VMS.

Mysung Kite is my go-to soundfont - it sounds the best most of the time, but there are exceptions. For metal MIDIs (like those in the "Now That's What I Call MIDI" mod) use Airfont 380. If you are playing Doom4Vanilla on Chocolate Doom or Crispy Doom with low-resolution, the 8-bit NES soundfont is pretty fun. You will also want to add the SC-55 soundfont to your collection because that's the soundfont that Bobby Prince used to compose the Doom and Duke Nukem 3D soundtracks - but if you are playing the original Doom or Duke 3D MIDIs you're better off using these digital music packs: http://sc55.duke4.net/games.php#doom
To use this in ZDoom, load the .zip as if it were any other mod. To use this in Crispy Doom, unzip everything in the Crispy Doom music-packs folder like pic related; you will also need the config text files for Crispy Doom. To locate this folder, type %appdata% in the start menu:
:

Spoiler

music-packs.png.0c623147ea6c14d0dc8b3e67610ce182.png

I expect you'll want to play around with some more soundfonts, so some other ones that have been recommended are Arachno, SGM v2.01, and Spliced Weeds, though I have yet to find a situation where I prefer those over the ones I listed above.

Finally, there is one very important exception, and that is, when playing Going Down, use PrBoom's default MIDI player with PrBoom's default soundfont, that is, FluidSynth + TimGM6mb (just open gd.wad in GLBoom+)

Edited by RonnieColeman

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MAP03: Rocket Zone

 

Well so far I’ve managed this one saveless, something I’d never dream of trying on Valiant lol. Aesthetically, this map looks very much the opener, albeit a bit more structured in its routing. The map relates to its name in more ways than one – firstly, the rocket launcher you get right at the start, secondly the number of rocket dudes in this map, and most significantly of all, the space rockets dotted around the map, which look very impressive.

 

Combat is quite a bit more open than the previous map, with a much higher monster count to boot, and many projectiles to dodge. Health is very generous, two soulspheres at the first main rocket battle is more generous than I’m used to from skillsaw. Having said that, skillsaw goes to the opposite end of the generosity spectrum with one of the secrets, I mean a single armor bonus, come on! :P

 

The lock-in trap of the first map is repeated quite a few times here (sorry, Andromeda :P), except with more space and more monsters this time, although I can’t say I found them any harder. Another fun map.

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MAP04: Super Lunarcomputer

 

Oof, that beginning. It got me the first time. The trick is patience, not to rush into things. You have more than enough supplies available, you just need to get them before waking up the archie.

 

The name gives away the style of map, a futuristic techbase with lots of computer textures. And I couldn’t help but laugh at yet another single armor bonus secret..!

And aside from the beginning, another map that isn’t that harsh, really the key thing here is monster prioritization. The traps are obvious so it is just about positioning yourself.

 

MAP05: The Final Countdown

 

Okay now this one is tons of fun and definitely my pick of the bunch. The MIDI is cheesy af (hint: it’s in the map name :P).

 

The crux of the map takes place in a circular launch base, surrounding the rocket that launches you into space at the map’s conclusion. Several monitors count down from 10 to 0, and as the numbers tick down, more and stronger enemies spawn, and more parts of the map open up. It’s basically a giant slaughter fest, but the map geometry is done just right so that you can’t rely solely on infighting (but inevitably it helps with all those species at the same height). At the same time you’re unlikely to get boxed in unless you make a mistake. The archie at the end can catch you unawares too. Zero secrets, so no game-changing single armor bonuses this time!

 

Overall

 

So this is the first time I’ve played skillsaw’s early works. And for the most part pretty recognizable as skillsawian, albeit a toned down version compared to Valiant and AA, with smaller maps and more visual simplicity, for all the nice visual touches it doesn’t have the wow factor of aa-tex. Enjoyable stuff, but I do think skillsaw’s later works surpass this.

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Posted (edited)

Space rocket-launcher stolen?! OH NO!
Screenshot_Doom_20200502_033909.png.cae3ec6f46944e64ad0d875bbdb5979d.png
MAP 02: Space Weapon Research

Same deal as before, no-saves pistol-start on skill 2, then bump the difficulty up after each successful run and use hax to find the secrets for the final runs.

Fun little map. Does anyone ever get tired of tech-bases? I wish it went on longer, but then again, that's what the next map is for, I suppose. Also if it was any longer I possibly might not have been able to do a UV-Fast run, as this already took even longer to grind than the map 01 NM run.

I like the custom monsters, very space-y, and I like their delayed introduction. I was expecting them to shoot actual rockets instead of revenant rockets, but if they had real rockets, they would probably blow everything up in sight, themselves and you. I found the armor bonus secret underwhelming, but I like the medkit secret - I think secret medkits are a good sign the map is well-balanced.

 

 

Edited by RonnieColeman

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Posted (edited)

Lunatic MAP02.

 

This one reminds me of ScytheX (which I haven't played in ages...), are these fences the same? Also, Erik Almian flow... I remembered the barons at the start! Very cute and clever map with two new enemies introduced in such a pleasant way, you just anticipate them. The plasma dudes are a bit similar to shotgunners, after a serie of plasma marines I had one shotgunner and then another monster caused plenty of damage to me, as I thought it was another shotgunner (a distant one, so I wasn't careful). He was not! Too bad the limitations and they leave clips. The rocket dudes are just hilarious. Secrets are mega basic, but I don't mind, another great level.

 

I played the map like this: skill 4 , pistol start, I checked the HUD and when everyone was dead I looked for the secrets with IDDTx2 cheat.

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MAP02: Space Weapon Research (Lunatic)

PrBoom+ 2.5.1.4, HNTR-PS, no saves, 100% everything

 

After descending the lift in MAP01 you arrive in a room with two hell knights and a shotgun guy facing away from you. If you're playing continuous you can dispose of these enemies easily, from a pistol start you should collect the super shotgun behind the nearby doors first. Overall this level felt somewhat harder than the previous, never came close to dying but was collecting almost every health item as I made progress. The two new enemies make their introduction here - they're not very dangerous but I like how the stage is set to showcase them. Secrets were surprisingly unrewarding, with only a medikit and a few armor bonuses. Another good level, short but sweet.

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Lunatic MAP03.

 

I remembered this map as quite dangerous, so I just played really slowly and carefully and I was enjoying the scenery at the same time. Still, with all the slowliness, I was quite amazed of how well this map flows. Also, nice use of space, in a sense that it is difficult to find a "safe spot to snipe monsters" Suitepee-style. I died almost by the exit. I didn't find the plasma gun, I triggered the trap without actually picking up the soulsphere, and when I wanted to pick it up, monsters surrounded me. I didn't want to play from the beginning, I used -recordfromto , had no problems with the trap the second time and with the arch-viles afterwards. This is yet another great map!

 

PS. Nice that the author gives two SSGs. The first one is not secret, but I can imagine you can miss it (I didn't).

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Boomstick in the Mud is a map I tinker with to this day. If you're after the latest and greatest click here. I think the ending is improved from the official release along with another spot or two.

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Posted (edited)

MAP03: Rocket Zone (Lunatic)

PrBoom+ 2.5.1.4, HNTR-PS, no saves, 100% everything

 

With a title like this, it's obvious there will be lots of RL usage and missile commandos. What I wasn't expecting was the handful of NASA rockets scattered around, they look amazing (a bit disappointed they don't launch, but I guess that's asking too much even with the extra Boom tricks :P)! If the previous levels were short and sweet, this one is a bit longer but even more gorgeous, I'm particularly impressed with the shadows. Great arachnotron placement in the second half of the level, relentlessly sniping you so you have to keep on the move.

 

Not as overjoyed with the obvious secrets (the first super shotgun might be easier to miss than any of the secrets) and the toothless lock in traps, especially the first one where the two armors and supercharges are way overkill. I did like the dual arch-vile encounter at the blue key, usually I don't struggle in these situations but today they immolated me twice, not my day it seems. The part I enjoyed the most was the trap at the exit, I barely took damage but it was fun to lob rockets inside and gib tons of zombies in the process. I ended up not liking this one as much as the previous ones due to the underwhelming lock in traps, but it's still a solid fast paced level.

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Lunatic MAP04.

 

These are grey textures by Nick Baker, if I remember, I like them a lot, and they are used very nicely here in combination with your good old COMPBLUE. It is my favourite map from the episode, in both beauty and gameplay departments... Quite tense, the combat, but I remembered a lot of what was going to happen, so I survived (13 minutes total time, 1 secret out of 3). The blue armor for free not only is very powerful, but also an indication of a bigger battle.

 

The final wave of teleporting monsters... This is the fight I didn't remember, but I was lucky to be standing in a very good spot, and I wasn't surrounded in any moment. @rdwpa, great demo BTW.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, vdgg said:

The final wave of teleporting monsters... This is the fight I didn't remember, but I was lucky to be standing in a very good spot, and I wasn't surrounded in any moment. @rdwpa, great demo BTW.

 

 

Thank you!  

 

 

Something I've been thinking about re Lunatic: 

 

One of the main things skillsaw does consistently well is set up progression so that, at any given moment, you understand what you can do, or what have to do. In the more obvious cases, this is situating goals in plain sight, for you to inspect before taking steps to achieve them. Check out map01: you begin near a blue key door, so you understand 'I have to get a blue key and here's where I use it' before you wander into the crater area with the key. The central starting area of map02 not only flashes you a key you'll reach later, it shows you key doors. map03 places a YK switch in sight early in the first big area and orients it so you're almost certainly going to be looking at the consequence of pressing it, when you press it. 

 

Not every objective in Lunatic is set up this way, because being formulaic and drawing exclusively from a narrow toolkit would be bad. But when it's not, there are other means of conveyance: like, map03's blue key would be pretty hard to miss, even if 10x more tucked-away than it is, with the row of monsters released nearby and that shuttle (a point of visual emphasis) situated next to it. And of course, often all you have to do is not 'fuck up' -- because a decent semi-open layout can carry plenty of the weight of conveyance in itself by having all of its components and possible paths into the unknown easily understood after looking around. So in that case you just have to be diligent about avoiding conveyance flubs. Obviously since the end result of that is an *absence* of something, it's hard to actually verify, but just out of probability (meaning: I hardly ever encounter these in his maps), I really get the sense that skillsaw and his testers care about not making those. 

 

skillsaw might be one of the most imitated mappers, but I think this is a takeaway worth stealing even before the visuals or combat. I've noticed that even pretty impressive maps -- you know, great visuals, great fights -- sometimes care a lot less about finer nuances of pure 'game design' in comparison. Puzzly and obscure progression as a deliberate design choice is totally fine, of course, and has its own standards outside of the scope of this post. But it isn't too uncommon, in otherwise flowy, strong releases that clearly are designed for you to not bash your head against progression, for parts to be occasionally stymieing (aka 'Where do I go'-isms) every now and then. 

 

Oh and decided to try map05 on -fast. I was literally shaking. This was too exciting (especially not having routed or practiced, so learning on the fly after failed attempts -- which is why it gets progressively worse ;)). 

 

 

Probably won't write about the set overall. I decided to help out with a speedmapping contest, so that will occupy some of my early-month Dooming. But that is okay; breaking out of the DWMC write-up structure is fine if you'd rather do that. 

Edited by rdwpa

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Posted (edited)

Well, well, well, what do we have here?

icu.jpg.17c55bf8cfbe4c12289ec65428a8759f.jpg

 

Map 03: Rocket Zone

Screenshot_Doom_20200503_232451.jpg.36008d799cdef1685087600c7fe674c7.jpg
I actually was putting off playing this map because I wasn't in the mood for grinding - but soon as I started playing this map on skill 2 I changed my mind. What an absolute pleasure this map is to play! This map has become one of my all-time favorite maps ever. I can see why @rdwpa chose to grind this map. On skill 2 it was hard enough to be fun and killed me a few times when I kept running into the chaingunners by the blue key 7 minutes into my runs, but easy enough that you can still just chill and kill.

My first impression was this map on skill 2 is harder than the previous maps on UV. You realize very quickly the previous two maps were only setting up the stage: map 01 setting up the atmosphere and 02 introducing you to the enemies. On skill 2 and 3 you have plenty of rockets, but on UV, there are substantially more mancubi/revenants/everything so I found myself running out of rockets when I felt I really needed them, especially against those arachnotrons on the ledges in the final area. LOL - rocket zone! I just now got it - it's a double entendre.

Only thing I would change is, at least on skill 2, give me some more chaingun ammo or gimmee the plasma gun for the yellow key arena fight. I didn't like being forced to use only the rocket launcher or the SSG to fight my way around the arena. At least with a chaingun, I can mow down all the low-tier enemies quickly, instead of taking damage in between shotgun reloads.

Another thing about that arena, I thought it was clever that the aranchotrons on ledges had zombiemen surrounding them. The arachnotrons are too far for autoaim to work so you have to run up to them, but there are a few zombies below them, so zombiemen, usually thought of as harmless, will tag you a few times if you run up to the arachnos with your rocket launcher ready.

The T-intersections on this map take some time to get used to - you get sandwiched in between things like mancubi and arachnotrons so you can't kill one with rockets before the thing behind you shoots you, unless you already know what's where and are ready and moving fast.

 


 

Edited by RonnieColeman

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