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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: 25 Years on Earth

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Map 9

This is another short but fun level. I did super well against the shotgunner cacodemon ambush but did kinda poorly against some arachs and hell knights. I also danced around the SMM for no good reason. I almost had the AV stuck giving me infinite shotgun ammo, but he decided to walk down the stairs instead.

 

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MAP09
100k/100s

As mentioned, another shortie. Starting to see how these maps are being paced now. 

Despite being short this is quite fun. The first secret is rather easy to find as one are hidden behind waterfalls... Fool, that is the place I always check! The other was trickier, but I am familiar with that sort of secret concept so I found it rather quickly. 

The map also introduces a spider mastermind, which was bit of a shock, but its duty is mostly to act as a turret - and maybe bit anticlimactically you telefrag it quickly after meeting it. Oh well, then again, having to deal with one with the weapon set we have would be tedious. Maybe the telefrag could have been the secret instead? Or make telefrag happen later in the level - oh well. 
There was nice encounter with perched arachnotrons - not too challenging, but it is situations I kinda like. Just dancing around streams. 

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Been playing this month...very brief map highlights so far...

 

1 - Doom realism! Blocking lines didn't bother me. Very short but fitting.

 

2 - Easter egg secret! Also secrets have Underhalls textures. Center room with slime was most memorable.

 

3 - Start underground, but eventually emerge into the city on the north side. Having it visible in advance sets it up as a goal.

 

4 - Cool hotel areas and lights, first key puzzle. And nice with the SSG well away from the switch to reveal it.

 

5 - Largest level in first nine. Pretty linear but reasonably challenging with some nice background. Huge Imp-fest! Secret very tough to find.

 

6 - Two puzzles for progression, very tough jump to make, good ruined city aesthetic. Security checkpoint a good touch too. Good choice giving plenty of hints in the text.

 

7 - Hmmm Rat Run. You run a linear gauntlet & are literally 'rat in a maze' for the last part.

 

8 - 1024 map with rooms about appropriately sized. Ammo unusually tight. Hall of doors scared when monsters appeared from behind.

 

9 - Two routes to get outside, left at the fork is clearly faster/easier. Mastermind turret but plenty of cover ,& a telefrag. Grey muddy sewer reminded me of E2 in Scimitar.

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MAP09 - Skulking Death

Found a secret before I found an enemy, that's a new one for me! Some excellent demon placement in this one, Phobus. You really kept me alert and paranoid of corners, especially after a fucking Revenant nearly punched me to death on low health! Fortunately, I left a couple of spare large medkits in the battle arena from beforehand. Couldn't figure out how to get the blue armour though, so I had to leave without it. This one was a fine map and one of the better stand-outs for me personally.

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Hello, I've been playing some of this as well. Pistol-starts, skill 4, prB+.

 

Map 01 -- Drop Pod Excursion - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets - FDA

I am something of a relic at this point (and so is the author -- no offense Phobus!), and so the style of this opening level most immediately reminds me of Adam Windsor's Demonfear, with its representational take on the ruins of some podunk suburb on the outskirts of nowhere. Starting in a desolate suburban area is a trope fairly familiar to PWADs of a certain bygone era, now that I think about it, and longtime players of this particular author's work might surmise a certain sense of arc in this setting being chosen for the first map of his 25 year celebration WAD -- his very first megaWAD also began in just such a way, as I recall, though that map's quite a bit more grim in tone than this one. The BGM selection, an old midi rendition of an even older song, also contributes to this 'retro' first impression, and seems to suggest a somewhat tongue-in-cheek tone, though from what I've seen the WAD's overall presentation is mostly straightfaced from here on out (and nothing wrong with that, of course).

 

The initial park looks a mite bare, but I like the bodies decorating the gateposts, and the care taken in drawing guidelines and such on the road outside is charming. The blocking lines placed to keep you from trying to go anywhere but into the one playable building are really quite harsh / immersion-breaking if you do run into them, I would tend to agree; but for what it's worth, I didn't even notice them on the first playthrough, as the zombies taking potshots from the windows of said building were enough to immediately fixate my attention in that direction. To whit, there's not much to say about the action, such as it is; the level is tiny and offers only a threadbare scattering of weaklings, though there is something vaguely amusing (to me) about some of the furniture-climbing both you and your enemies tend to do in the building, particularly if you're trying to fisticuffs your way through.

 

Map 02 -- Bunker Buster - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets - FDA

Another traditional early-game Doom setting, here we have an oddly cheery concrete "bunker" which, like so many buildings in the world of Doom, appears to be pulling double-duty as some kind of toxic waste disposal/storage facility. The big curving outer hallway and generally much higher ceilings give this a greater sense of space than the previous map (to scale, everything here feels larger in general), though in actuality it's basically as short and nearly as straightforward; I swear like half of my playtime here was me dementedly futzing around with totally unnecessary barrel-kills on mid-sized enemies, and another quarter or so taken up with re-opening the storage chamber every time its steel bars close. "Regular" combat takes almost no time at all, particularly if you don't encounter the pair of hell knights in the e4m1-style KISS secret; I'd have liked to see more throwaway violence tied to picking up the red/yellow keys or such, which might have made the room repeatedly re-sealing feel more relevant.

 

The blue key room is the first real suggestion of one of the author's personal design goals for the set, that is, to use every type of line action at least once. The key is initially a tease; the switch which builds the stairway up to its level also elevates the key itself into the ceiling for "reasons", and to make it come back down you need to go stand for a moment in a maintenance closet back out in the antechamber....or something. This kind of broadly nonsensical yet straightforward progression sequence is pretty ordinary/intuitive to most Doom players, I would imagine (and also helps to impart more of a certain old-fashioned flavor to proceedings), but there are some pretty damned esoteric actions in the engine's ouevre, some of which newer players may quite credibly have never seen before; it will be interesting to see how Phobus chooses to showcase some of the weirder ones in other maps.

 

Map 03 -- Urban Renewal - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets - FDA

I like that first commando leaning his ass against the barrel in the little side-room at the start. I feel you man, I feel you.

 

Out of the suburbs and into the city outskirts, it seems. A continuation of m01 in tone and style, simple/frontal combat against small groups of imps and zombies in some realistically-scaled indoor spaces, though here it's conventional small-arms exchange all the way rather than m01's optional melee slant. Nothing terribly flashy in any particular sense, but the map does have some small details which lend the setting a touch of depth if you're inclined to see them, most memorably a back hallway which appears to have been used as the site for a gruesome firing-squad-style mass execution. The realistic approach is also used to shape the player's progression route in believable ways, i.e. you can't just go out to the street and continue because the building you have access to from the outset has had its security shutters engaged.

 

The final bit, involving a leap down to a small-side yard with some pinky demons in it, reads as mildly (but noticeably) ZDoom-centric; in that port, under typical settings, the enemies don't have infinite height and so you can just leap over them (or you can mouselook straight down and peg them with buckshot or something), but in prB+ or similar they can 'grab' you mid-air or block you from leaping entirely unless you kite them away. This is a very minor issue in the scheme of things, but something to keep your eyes out for in later maps.

 

Map 04 -- Wasted Luxury - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets - FDA

The urban theme continues. These are presumably some luxury apartments. Certainly a lot of fluted oak and crushed velvet and extraneous wainscotting and all that jazz about, anyway; though, one does wonder if the demonic iconography predates the invasion or not (depending on just how rich the ex-tenants were, I'd believe either way). On the whole, there is something about how the setting is delivered here that comes off a little cruder (or older, perhaps) in comparison to the earlier maps, with the scale of rooms and furniture feeling slightly off, and some rather bizarre feng shui, ala a canopy bed that's right next to main door in the same room as a minibar or whatnot. The GSTONE bathroom, incidentally, is easily one of the most 90s things I've seen this year. :)

 

The engine feature du jour for this map is toggle-able lights, just like in a real apartment (never mind that the switches are carved as facsimiles of human skulls and, more outlandish yet, found outside of the rooms they affect)! This reads as a bit gently/impishly playful on the author's part. Generally, in Doom, when you see a switch of course you want to be sure to press it Because Level Progress, but since the 'off' switches are outside of the closed doors of the rooms they affect in this case, you're actually shooting yourself in the foot a bit here. It's alright, though, the rooms are slightly more interesting to clear when they're pitch-dark, anyway, and the flash-heated barrel of the chaingun makes a serviceable flashlight. Also of note is a small but fairly clever brainteaser / gunswitch puzzle which presumably grants access to the SSG in the 'panic room' or whatever it is, though again you kind of need a bit of that bygone 'recheck loose ends for posterity' mindset more normative in older maps/games if you're to actually claim your reward.

 

Map 05 -- Skyline - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets - FDA

Something a bit more substantial here, which I was glad to see. Not a long map by any means, really, but it has about one additional 'leg' versus any of the previous maps (said leg being the exit sequence in the northeast enclosure, I'd say), and a similar sense of physical space as m02, making it simply feel a bit bigger than it actually is. The combat is, on a tactical level, still very early-game/entry-level in cast, but it uses significantly larger numbers of monsters (nearly all of them fodder still), filling out the space a bit more credibly and giving more of an impression of violence and real, genuine action versus an affectedly quaint/measured sparseness that sets designed to be low-stress often favor.

 

The rocket launcher debuts here, available ala m04's SSG via a secret, this one involving a timed tripwire and a certain monkeybrained curiosity that we hopefully all possess in some measure. The implementation of this optional sequence is handled more elegantly than the otherwise mum backtrack to m04's SSG; upon getting your sweaty little hands on the weapon, you're immediately offered some target practice for it which you wouldn't see otherwise, and if you find the weapon at the earliest opportunity the natural flow of normal progression also musters an encounter with a small swarm of imps, prime for much gibitude, shortly thereafter (though it still plays fine with just the chaingun and shotgun, as I can attest). This 'extra mile' stuff undertaken here is a good example of how to set up a satisfying secret; rewarding a player with an object is all well and good, but rewarding them with an experience to boot is something they are much more likely to remember on down the road.

 

More of the line-action shenanigans for the first key, as well. As aforesaid, many of idtech1's built-in actions are pretty arcane and only make sense in the context of abstract video-game logic, and so there is some fun to be had in trying to rationalize them into the more-or-less representational setting that 25YOE has favored thus far. We can surmise that the blue keycard is sitting on a ledge in a drained out rooftop swimming pool (in keeping with us just having left a swanky-tacky luxury highrise apartment), and the platform we raise in order to catfoot over to it is some kind of weird custom diving board. Do people stand on it and then all jump together, some off of either side, after it rises to the desired height? Did the block have its own in-house synchronized diving team?? What are the lore implications here??? don't look at me like that this stuff is incredibly impor--

 

*feed interrupted* 

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MAP09

Not a fan of the many narrow corridors in this set, or in the very obvious linearity of the maps.  It's fine to have goals A B and C that need to be done in order, but at least give me a few more choices about how to move between those steps.  This map gives only one, and it amounts to "left or right elevator?". 

 

It plays OK though, with the jack in the box revenant near the beginning being a good heart-starter.

 

The switch to drop the teleporter can be flicked from the ground level, by the by.  Hardly a map-breaking skip, but it saves a bit of loop-the-loop.

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@Andromeda I think the most upsetting thing about that bug is that I was convinced I'd fixed it. I'm guessing that you running forward pressing the "use" key "triggered" the W1 line to raise the ceiling in the corridor outside without actually triggering the action (or, more accurately, it "used up" the action without actually triggering it). This was the bug beforehand (specific to cl2, IIRC), but I moved the line away from the door to make it much less likely. Evidently that isn't the same as "impossible"! You can see when one of your presses doesn't do anything, so that feels about right.

 

Now, logically I either fix that by having the ceiling pre-raised (which would be a visual clue to what's happening, but otherwise not a big deal), finding a WR equivalent of the line action (might not exist, but if it does, that's not a big deal as I'd have used the line action elsewhere too) or finding a better place to put the line trigger where it's unlikely to be broken. As people are having a bit of ammo trouble on pistol-starts on this map (even I left with less ammo than I started with), and the warp-in Hell Knight is very likely to get stuck on the edge of the lift, I think I'll take some notes to tweak this map before uploading to /idgames.

 

@Capellan Interesting find! I'm surprised I missed that. I think I'm happy to leave that in, though, as the player still needs to get up to the teleporter. I could move the switch further into the middle of the platform, but I'm concerned it'll block the view of the teleport lowering.

 

@Demon of the Well Welcome to the party! It's interesting to watch your FDAs, as your pace of play is actually quite relaxed (very rare to see somebody play without "always run" on), but your bursts of speed and expert dodging mean you're getting through these early maps almost as quickly as me, even though you're doing pistol starts and haven't seen the maps before. Believe it or not, the MAP04 apartment you pointed out for it's strange layout really was like that. The bed was right next to the main door of the "studio flat", but with sliding frosted glass dividers for a bit of privacy (pretty clear gaps at the corners and between panes, though), with the kitchen having a built-in bar dividing it from the bulk of the room. Obviously the flat didn't have any overgrown plants in it when I was there, and furniture scaling and placement is altered for Doom, but that's broadly the apartment from memory.

 

I have to admit, the water features in MAP05 do somewhat defy explanation, but I always feels like liquids are a good excuse to have moving platforms, even if they don't necessarily justify them.

 

 

MAP08: Constriction

The second of the ex-Triacontathlon maps in this set is a 1024 map. Originally it actually followed on from Manc Hunt (Gimmicky Challenge Maps MAP08, which you may know better as The Final Frontier Solution, or MAP02, from DBP21) and was MAP09 of it's respective megaWAD. This is another map that was eased by the inclusion of an SSG - this time at the expense of a highly-risky rocket launcher that I practically forced use of. The enemy count on UV dropped by about 25 between versions of this map, as well as Revenants, Arch-Viles, Chaingunners and Pain Elementals playing a much-reduced role.

 

I think this map actually benefits from being less dense and less intense, as it's way more playable now that it's not actively trying to kill you every step of the way. The visuals didn't change, though (aside from the sky). This necessitated the importing of more custom textures than the WAD was originally going to have (as did the custom brick switch on MAP07), although at least these are just rearrangements of stock patches. I think I made more vine covered variants of the BROWN textures than I actually ended up using in this megaWAD, but I did try and use the green vine versions later in the set to make up for this map being so reliant on the brown ones. Sector heights and line lengths were policed quite carefully to help with the alignment here, and vertical alignment was don carefully so vines would hang from ceilings and upper textures seamlessly as well. Of course, a better artist (or more dedicated resource hunter) would've had vines that tapered off vertically to better produce the effect.

 

This map has the first (of many) Three Days Grace MIDI of the set, I think. I quite like the MIDIs of their songs, as they're reliably downbeat and simple enough to mix in with the original soundtrack - something the majority of the MIDIs in this set don't quite manage. I think In Flames lead the running for sheer contributions, and AC/DC have a good three or four in the set as well, thanks to also having the title track.

 

 

As an additional note on MAP05, I think that map may actually have the only use of the "light start blinking" line action in the entire megaWAD. I've noticed it surprise a few people when the yellow key door lights blinked, and I suspect that's why. If it turns up later, I hope it's a bit more prominent and noticeable than that!

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MAP09: Skulking Death

 

There's a marked change from the underground activities of MAP07 and the tight confines of MAP08 to this level's mixture of indoor and outdoor spaces, sprawling out in a succession of areas that I found myself thinking of as dungeon, courtyard, and temple in sequence.  The parkour section around the middle of the map is a welcome reintroduction of something that the WAD has used before but hasn't been present for a couple of maps, and I think the Spider Mastermind is the closest thing to a boss monster we've yet had, even if it's ultimately playing the role of gun turret and meat barricade here.  I finished the map with one monster missed; digging around, I believe it's the mancubus over in the western leg of the map that I failed to awaken; someone who comes in from the previous map with their armour in decent condition, or who takes the other fork first at that point in the map, isn't likely to grab at the green armour that turns the mancubus loose right away, and if they pick up the secret blue armour there's even less of a reason for them to trigger this particular encounter.

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MAP09: Another change of aesthetics with a sewer-ish theme in this level. The idea is good but I think it looks very weak, using only a very limited set of textures and lacking even few rooms that look different so it can spark your interest. The spiderdemon appears and you kill it with a telefrag (you still lack the equipment to fight it at this point) but it was used well with that platforming sequence.

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MAP 9

 

Another shorter map, but I enjoyed this one more than 7. This feels like a build-up that leads to something (the mastermind) and I enjoyed a lot the individual rooms layouts and lighting effects.

 

The monster placement was also good, with the pressure of the SMM and skirmiches in tight spaces.

 

Pretty fun map.

 

Preference Order

 

3, 6, 8, 5, 9, 2, 4, 1, 7

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MAP09: Skulking Death (25 Years on Earth)

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

 

A very neat albeit easy level. To start off, we have a slightly different variant of the "secret behind the start" trope that grants us a supercharge. Up the stairs a sneaky pain elemental greets us, but it's easily dispatched with the super shotgun nearby. The first door we encounter doesn't work and instead triggers a trap behind us - this type of ambush will be repeated some times throughout the level. The next room has you choose whether you'll take the left or right path, on HNTR at least the right path is more advantageous since it contains a megaarmor.

 

The next section takes place outside where a Spiderdemon rules the roost - don't fret as the cocky Mastermind will be embarrassingly telefragged later. I really liked this section, it has you jump across the platforms in order to reach the switch that enables you to surprise the boss. For the last stretch you have to climb up the stairs in a moody indoors area, killing hitscanners along the way until you confront an arch-vile. One minor nitpick: the megaarmor that's placed in the right path at the intersection on HNTR could be downgraded to a regular armor, as I still had over 150% armor when I reached the exit and thus had to backtrack for the megaarmor secret. Other than that though, excellent level!

 

Levels in order of preference:

Spoiler

MAP09: Skulking Death

MAP06: Destination Defenestration

MAP08: Constriction

MAP04: Wasted Luxury

MAP07: Rat Run

MAP05: Skyline

MAP02: Bunker Buster

MAP01: Drop Pod Excursion

MAP03: Urban Renewal

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Crispy, UV, continuous.

 

MAP08: I liked the overgrown theme to the level. I also liked the series of doors leading up to the blue key with the backstabbing enemies. Nothing much else to say about this otherwise, though; it’s a quick, tight level that doesn’t overstay its welcome and doesn’t really have the time to put a foot wrong.

 

MAP09: I enjoyed the shift to the more sludgy/underground texturing theme here. I tend to appreciate being able to choose paths in maps (even if they end up converging later), but the left path down the long hallway is definitely more than a bit half baked compared to the other route. Not sure if the map is large enough to justify having two paths anyway really. The Spider Mastermind courtyard was definitely the highlight of the map, and I liked having to jump across the gaps. Took me a while to figure the encounter out, but it wasn't anything too difficult. Just needed to stop and think for a moment. The sections after the Mastermind were pretty good, and I enjoyed the revenant-and-hitscanner stairs that led up to the AV encounter. Enjoyable map.

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MAP09: Skulking Death

First death since map 5 I think happened near the beginning. Damn. Anyway, another fun little level with some interesting architecture. I wish I didn’t pump a load of shells into the telefragable Mastermind. Pleasant surprise that the brown liquid was not damaging. Wish I figured out how to get the blue armor that was tantalizingly placed above the large mastermind area. The blocky concrete constructions here were pretty cool, and I’m interested to see what else the author does with them. The exit area was amazingly designed too.

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MAP09

 

As has been the case with most maps so far, this is very pistol start friendly with early green armour,  SSG, chaingun and plenty of ammo. Did this in UV continuous and UV pistol start, with one death during the latter from the AV - I made the mistake of trying to take him on in his own enclave, where there's little cover and he has a good supporting cast: next time I made sure to snipe him from the back of the building through the gap in the wall. The Spider Mastermind, as often, was a bit of a paper tiger here, and the Hell Knight was able to put up one heck of a fight against it in my last playthrough, to such a degree that the SM could be finished off with just six shotgun shells. I went back to top up my armour to 100% at the end, but shouldn't have bothered because on snatching the second green breastplate I received a Mancubus fireball right in my face. CHEAP!!!

 

Got the Soulsphere, but not the blue armour, which I assume was the second secret.

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MAP09: Skulking Death

glBoom+ 2.5.1.7um, skill 4, continuous with saves

 

Read comments here and the text file which tipped me off to the beginning soulsphere secret and the spider telefrag.

Still forgot to look for the blue armor while running from everything, this level really chewed into me! Had to load saves a few times.

 

The blinky hallway was really cool then I stepped outside into another great looking setpiece.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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MAP09: Skulking Death (UV/continuous)

13:46 | 100% Everything

This one was a cool little nasty level. Glad I got the (easy) supercharge at the start. I especially enjoyed the final third past the Mastermind. The outdoor area was cool, too; I almost gave up on the blue armor, and then figured I'd try one last trick... :) I took the lefthand path at the early fork, so when I came back the other way, I found the spider room kinda pointless (though cool-looking!) And I was going to say that ammo seemed really tight, as I ran out of both bullets and shells at times--but then again I passed up two shell boxes early on since I didn't need all 20 (and then retrieved them later before exiting) so... :)

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MAP10
100k/100s
Quite swift map again - fitting name of 'haste keep'. It is rather easy though, and you can find easy rocket launcher secret (again, behind easy nukagefall! you fools!)
The only tricky encounter is last revenant pair and archvile, but that's still relatively easy. 
Things are starting to blur together a bit - maps are quite short. Not to knock the maps for their brevity, I love some really short maps sometimes - but there isn't the intensity I would want from such maps here.  Still quite enjoyable, but gonna have to see when things start getting slightly larger again.
 

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MAP08: Constriction

100% kills, 1/1 secret

 

Another short map, apparently a recycled 1024 map. I liked it a lot more than last map, though. For one, it's much more fun to look at - I'm a sucker for vine textures, and even though some of these aren't technically stock, combining the stock vine texture with other stock textures fits right in. Two, combat is more interesting, with lots of little windows and monsters placed behind the player to make it so you can get hit by multiple angles at once despite the small map size. Decent map given the 1024 constraints.

 

MAP09: Skulking Death

100% kills, 2/2 secrets

 

This one turned out to be a bit larger than I thought based off the monster count; the beefier enemies makes this one more dangerous than the last two maps. Nice layouts, but the texturing scheme is really bland, just being grey brick and brown metal. Music is a good track, but it's really loud, and might be a bit too action-y for the theme of the level. I did enjoy most of the level, thought it actually could've gone on a bit longer as it just sorta ends after the AV encounter - was thinking it was going to loop back around to an earlier part of the level.

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Map 10

I disagree with floatRand. I found this to be the most intense level yet and I came the closest to dying here. I didn't choose the best weapons to use for the ambush or the last fight so it was close.

I was also stuck in the nukage and couldn't figure out how to get out. When the platform did finally lower, I don't know what made it happen. Oh well, I survived.

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MAP10

This map is a good example of the set's perplexing love of narrow corridors.  What is the purpose of the short section between the red door and the lift the the exterior?  It's just a sergeant-blasting time sink?

 

Exterior ambush is super duper triple telegraphed, and entirely skippable because of it.  I merrily raced back out of the area via the lift and then gunned down the harmless monsters through the windows, though honestly I could have ignored them entirely.

 

I liked the ending revvies, which are obvious but fun to fight, and the way that the exit area is actually visible as soon as you open the first door.

 

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@DuckReconMajor That was a strangely aggressive run for you, on MAP09. Doesn't look like it really paid off, with all the damage and deaths you took! Were you short on time?

 

@golbeeze As a general playing tip, if you've got a safe platform to look around from when you press a switch, it's probably best to take a moment and do that. I don't know what your sound setup is like in-game, so you might not be able to hear lifts moving easily over music or whatever else is going on, but the first lift in the nukage there is easily visible from where you press the switch. You ran around a bit too much to see anything happen and ended up in a tight spot with low health and an expired radsuit as a result! Still, you made it through, and have started to build up a decent arsenal, so I like your odds for the later maps!

 

 

MAP09: Skulking Death

The third of the Triacontathlon maps in this set - this map originally was named "Creeping Death", but as it's moved to a set that uses MIDIs based on real songs, I figured I couldn't use that name unless I was also using the MIDI, and I had this In Flames number lined up. Incidentally, I have to agree with @Magnusblitz - I didn't notice it whilst putting the map set together, but this MIDI is weirdly loud.

 

The map itself initially followed on from Lure of the Grave, a one-hour speed map that I ended up submitting the the 2018 1-hour speed mapping compilation on this forum. I did a bit of a re-texture job on the area in the ceiling (making it vine-covered and not hellish), but the shape of that map's exit is still present. The exit for this map was built with the intention of copy/pasting it to start off the next map (which remains Haste Keep), as that's a 2-hour speed map, I believe, and I wanted to give myself a good starting point.

 

Difficulty-wise, this map didn't change much - apparently MAP05 for Triacontathlon was roughly MAP09 for this set. I added a non-trapped armour at the end of the short path to outside and boosted ammo a bit, definitely, but also swapped out a Revenant in the door-related early trap for two imps, removing a shotgun guy from behind the door to keep the 50-monster limit intact. This was my second attempt at this limit, following on from Escalation I: The Breach, but I think both approaches are imperfect, to be honest. This one is a very stringy layout, based on small encounters, whilst the other one was essentially two arenas. There's got to be a middle ground for these, but I think I'll need a third attempt to find it.

 

My playing experience was pretty rough, where I felt like I was taking a lot of unnecessary damage. Even with both secrets I only finished with 100 health and under 80 blue armour. I'm glad I reshaped the sector around the teleporter and split the side lines by the green torches, as it makes it easier to access the secret side, but apparently no more obvious that that's what is going on! The Arch-Vile got down the stairs surprisingly early, and I got a bit concerned he'd start resurrecting the Arachnotron, but he was content to give me tons of spare shotgun ammo instead.

 

 

One thing of note about this map is that glenzinho, of DBP fame, recorded a ZDoom 2.8.1 demo on an early Triacontathlon build (back when I thought I'd finish it) where the Spider Mastermind managed to trigger infighting with both chaingunners at once, without either dying straight away, and they turned on her simultaneously, stun locking her all the way to death. Neither of us have managed to recreate this situation since!

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I did play MAP09:Skulking Death yesterday, but at that time it was sort of hard for me to have any thoughts on it, so I didn't post anything. Probably wasn't playing it in the right mood. The split path was neat, and I suppose I liked the mastermind. Did waste ammo on it in an initial playthrough, but later that playthrough I died and hadn't saved, so I knew better when I came back. While it was fine visually, this map, like the next one, has more interesting gameplay.

 

MAP10:Haste Keep starts right were MAP09 left off, at least according to the exit and entrances of these maps. The combat was nicely frantic and challenging throughout and was what I enjoyed most about it, or at least until the yellow door. I noticed you could just... run past everything past the yellow door to reach the exit teleporter. Didn't need to engage with those revenants or that arch-vile at all! I think I preferred this map visually over the last map, but not by much. While I tend to prefer more colorful visuals, there is some nice architecture to be had in MAP09 as well.

 

Map ratings:

Spoiler

Maps get rated on different lists (which I'll add as I deem necessary) depending on which part of the map I liked most, and the placement on said list is dependent on what I think of the map as a whole.


Maps I liked for their simplicity:
MAP08:Constriction
MAP01:Drop Pod Excursion
MAP07:Rat Run

 

Maps I liked for their aesthetics(visuals & music combined):
MAP02:Bunker Buster

 

Maps I liked for their sense of place:
MAP03:Urban Renewal

 

Maps I liked for their creativity:
MAP06:Destination Defenestration
MAP04:Wasted Luxury

 

Maps I liked for their gameplay:
MAP05:Skyline
MAP10:Haste Keep
MAP09:Skulking Death

 

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MAP10: Haste Keep

 

This is a compact map that makes the most of its limited real estate, feeling in some ways almost like a deathmatch arena for a small number of players (though I guess you'd want to remove some of its obstacles and add in a way to drop directly down from the outdoor area to the main hall if you wanted to try deathmatching here in earnest).  Thematically it continues directly from the preceding map, an inner sanctum or reliquary of the temple area that concluded MAP09, though the murky waters of Skulking Death have been replaced here by corrosive acid or toxic slime; the provided radiation suit lasts long enough for you to grab the secret rocket launcher and the red key that's necessary for progression, even if you fumble the latter once or twice.  I'm find myself quite fond of the aesthetics of these two maps, with their bricks and their slime and their brown textures, nicely understated and austere in their use of detail, consistent without feeling samey.

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MAP10: I guess the name refers to the RSK quest where you have to make good use of your only radsuit to walk into the nukage pool. The rest was meh, no bad flaws or things that drag down the level but it's a short and generic affair that doesn't strike so much.

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MAP10: Haste Keep

Another one that felt almost too short to write about. Everything here is competent of course, but there just isn’t always much to say when the level takes all of 2 minutes to get through, and I normally play pretty slowly compared to some people here. The design and layout were alright, which I’ve come to expect by now. I always like mixing symmetric areas with non-symmetric ones, like the starting area joining with the main part of the map. Best part to play was the yellow key area with the rev, HK, and LS ambush. Also saw a rocket here, but no RL, so I must’ve missed a secret, although I don’t know for sure. Level didn’t last long enough for me to think of checking the automap at any point. Hey, Looks like I found some shit to write about after all.

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5 hours ago, Phobus said:

That was a strangely aggressive run for you, on MAP09. Doesn't look like it really paid off, with all the damage and deaths you took! Were you short on time?

Hahaha it wasn't intentional. I think when I got to the big outdoor setpiece I was holding the SSG. My brain farted and forgot I had the chaingun and I immediately ran for a re-grouping space which never came. When I reached the end I didn't want to face those re-animated revenants and just hit the switch.

Also in general I'm much more uv-speed than uv-max, so you'll probably see more playing like that.

I have to disagree about it not paying off, I might be lower on health, but I was surprised about the forward momentum this map had combat-wise. I had a ton of fun with it!

 

MAP10: Haste Keep

glBoom+ 2.5.1.7um, skill 4, continuous with saves

 

I did try to play more conservatively this map, which worked up until the end, where revenants and Arch-vile rush the player. Quite a thrilling encounter, which ends with just enough medikits to re-heal the damage done in this fight. Another instance of great balance in these levels.

Also I managed to find the rocket launcher this time, which no doubt will come in handy soon.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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MAP10

 

Had no bother getting through this a few days ago in UV continuous - seemed like a good knockabout, user-friendly symmetrical little map that was fun to play. Had quite a few problems revisiting it from a UV pistol start today though, and it was nothing to do with the resources, which are plentiful as usual. Maybe just not in the right mood, or overconfident perhaps...

 

Anyway, I actually got caught out by the damaging floor: left it too late before deciding to leave, then forgot about the need to mess around with switches before doing so. I find damaging floors to be the most horrible aspect of the game by a big margin, and this wad has been pleasingly free of them so far, but I've got an awful feeling that this could be a sign of things to come. Also had problems with the AV at the end, until I found a good place to retreat to and get some cover (near the slime pit, luckily I didn't fall into it).

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9 hours ago, Phobus said:

 

One thing of note about this map is that glenzinho, of DBP fame, recorded a ZDoom 2.8.1 demo on an early Triacontathlon build (back when I thought I'd finish it) where the Spider Mastermind managed to trigger infighting with both chaingunners at once, without either dying straight away, and they turned on her simultaneously, stun locking her all the way to death. Neither of us have managed to recreate this situation since!

 

Interesting. I mentioned earlier with regard to this map how the HK seemed to put up a heroic show against the Mastermind, and in the partial playthrough below he appears to do something similar, though I now wonder how much the end result was in fact more down to the chaingunners.

 

Things went downhill in the latter part of the playthrough, when I ran out of ammo against the AV, having forgotten to pick up a box of shotgun shells at an earlier stage.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

was off playin pubg/vita games again, gonna catch up real quick here. 

 

prboom+, no saves, uv pistol starts  


map 1 

i love thin lizzy. grew up listening to tons of classic rock with my dad. this midi was not good, the high point probably the cheese factor during the guitar solo. 

 

map 2 

not sure why i felt so lost considering the map is small. 

 

map 3 

i hope standing next to progression and then choosing to backtrack anyways isn't a recurring theme for me. 

 

map 4 

this wad has become a memory of being in my dad's old pontiac, driving around in the summer heat without air conditioning. 

 

map 5 

being fed to two mancs and yet to see an ssg! we're getting thrown to the fire a bit early, good stuff. 

 

map 6 

can't believe i snagged the blue armor before figuring out progression. 

 

map 7 

no sector trope, nice! 

 

map 8 

good midtex use here. 

 

map 9 

ssg, straight off? ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ  

 

map 10 

i think this one should've been more mean to the player.  i can also see that being a bit out of place, so whatever.  this map is probably a lot more fun to play super fast. 

 

 

25years on earth demos 1-10.7z

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Map 11

This one was ok, but nothing really stood out for me. There were some hairy moments...Argent has quad damage so the SMM was nonexistent. That would probably have been nasty otherwise, as there isn't much (any?) cover.

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