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Kirber

does anyone else get SERIOUSLY annoyed by the city levels in Doom 2

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2 minutes ago, Doom-X-Machina said:

Am I the only one who hates Suburbs?

Nope.  I don't think it's quite as bad as Downtown or The Citadel, but it's certainly not one I enjoy.

Personally, I wonder if I'm the only one who hates The Courtyard ^_^;

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2 hours ago, Remilia Scarlet said:

Nope.  I don't think it's quite as bad as Downtown or The Citadel, but it's certainly not one I enjoy.

Personally, I wonder if I'm the only one who hates The Courtyard ^_^;

 

I like the beginning of The Courtyard... in the actual courtyard, but the brick maze part shits me up the wall...
Downtown is cool. Don't mind that one.

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20 hours ago, Uni said:

I dunno about being annoyed about any of these maps. I find them quite cool and still exciting to play, especially Downtown since I still can't remember the progression off the top of my head and the location of secrets in the map, unlike the other more linear, conventional maps in the set. I think the opening shot in The Factory is absolutely fucking awesome, the introduction of the new city skylines and the freedom of choosing a direction to go to are among my favorite moments in Doom 2. Also the fact that fucking giant spiders are roaming a place called a factory. I Still love playing "Sandy Box" type maps and he was definitely a great mapper when it came to ideas and concepts, I'm gonna go ahead and give his maps so slack.

 

They are far away from being the worst in my opinion. I think Bloodfalls is way way weaker in any aspect than those two. In fact, I like Nirvana better.

Bloodfalls is terrible

Edited by nicolas monti

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8 minutes ago, nicolas monti said:

I like Nirvana better.

 

I think that's the only one I can describe as "boring" when it comes to my impression of Doom 2 maps. It's just... meh.

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24 minutes ago, Biodegradable said:

 

I think that's the only one I can describe as "boring" when it comes to my impression of Doom 2 maps. It's just... meh.


Yeah that one is odd, just a bunch of novelty teleport tricks. Oh cool, I teleported inside a box with imps that turns into a bigger box with more imps. Or a cage with locked yellow doors. The name seems to have nothing to do with the location, which would have been way cooler if there was some attempt to make it look more heavenly or dreamlike.

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6 hours ago, Phobus said:

I've written recently that navigation is a very underrated skill in Doom. I think this is a perfect example of that being the case, as the OP clearly can't handle the simple exploration that a non-signposted layout requires, instead running about impatiently, frustrated that progression isn't handed to them.

  

I get that this isn't the 90s, and standards have changed, but Doom was just as revolutionary for it's open-ended environments (that weren't just blocky mazes) as it was for it's height variation, atmosphere and fast-paced action. If you're "in to Doom" and want to beat the IWADs and any of the major 90s map sets, you'll need to embrace that aspect of it, too.

  

 

Or, to put it in simple terms: The map doesn't suck, you just suck at the game.

 

I think this is a bad take - sure, these open environments were very inventive and offered a new gameplay innovation inside of the Doom formula.  But, as with a lot of early video game experiments, they aren't all winners.

 

You can like these levels (and a lot of people do) and that's fine, I wouldn't take that from you if I could.  But I don't think it's fun in Downtown to go through the arrow door and wait for that one long elevator for the fourth time because that's the only way to access half the buildings in the map.  I think it's a badly designed map - and that's totally understandable because it's not like Sandy Petersen could look back on a library of open concept video game maps to separate out the good and bad design ideas  - but it's still just bad in my hands.  There are other navigation-heavy maps that I think are much more successful.

 

As someone that mainly plays mapsets and IWADs to help with my own map design, I think it's equally valuable to find something that you absolutely don't like as it is to find stuff you think is great.  I'm glad that Doom 2 experimented so much with combat setups and level types because there's so much that you learn from the unsuccessful attempts.

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10 hours ago, Graf Zahl said:

My main problem with Doom 2 is that they didn't build a texture set to fit the theme but tried to make city-style levels with an entirely inappropriate texture set.

This really emphasized the engine's limitations even more.

If you really think about it, many parts of Duke Nukem aren't even any more detailed - but the more fitting textures make all the difference in perception

 

When I played doom2 for the first time I didn't even realize those maps wew intended to represent a cities, I was a kid and I also didn't know english, I was able to understand names like suburbs but I didn't find any relation with the map I was playing.

That said I must say I enjoyed the maps in their doomy abstractness without knowing what they were trying to represent.

Not sure what could have been with accurate city textures, it maybe could have caused the engine limits to become more visible because a lot of common structures of the real world cannot be rendered with it.

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1 hour ago, nicolas monti said:

Not sure what could have been with accurate city textures, it maybe could have caused the engine limits to become more visible because a lot of common structures of the real world cannot be rendered with it.

 

People have made some quite convincing urban environments in the Doom engine. I don't think that's the problem here. Of course that'd have required better mappers than Sandy Petersen. Think about it: If you take out the circular staircase and the bridge near the end, most of Duke's E1L1 would have been doable in Doom, too.

 

 

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Let's do a level by level review:

  • 12: Factory. Indeed it looks like an industrial park from the outside. Inside it looks like something Wolfenstein. Must be those familiar rock textures :)
  • 13: Downtown. It's modeled after a new-world city, with exact grid layout. The engine limitations really show here, but Sandy tried to use it to its best. The buildings themselves barely look like city dwellings. They feel more like boxes with Inferno-style (think like a bigger Mt. Erebus) interiors.
  • 14: The Inmost Dens. This feels more like an E4 castle, which is no wonder because it was done by American McGee. You may say it's yet another touristy citadel, but it makes no sense after the US-like (by layout) MAP13. So it's just a typical Doom 2 map with no concern for urban layout.
  • 15: Industrial Zone. This level is fun because it was made by John Romero. It feels like a variation on MAP13, though nothing of it suggests factories and such. The pipes and conduits which are very typical of industries are completely missing here. So it has the rough layout of many buildings, but inside them it's just abstract Doom 2 action. Unlike MAP13, it doesn't feel like Inferno-quality -- it feels genuinely modern (Doom 2) for its time.
  • 16: Suburbs. This should have been called Hellhole instead. The only suburban suggestion is the two houses at the beginning, but otherwise it's hell on Earth. I think this would look better in Doom 2016, as there are spawning monsters everywhere. The map is dark, bleak and has bothersome music.
  • 17: Tenements. Yet another Romero level with very little thought on realism. Continues to have the fun twisted passage design from the other Romero maps.
  • 18: The Courtyard. This one feels like a Doom 1 Inferno map converted to Doom 2. Kinda like E3M4, E3M5 or E3M7. What is cityscape about it?
  • 19: The Citadel. I guess Sandy Petersen wanted to make a castle, but needed to cut corners.
  • 20: Gotcha. This is another hellhole. I guess id wanted it to look sinister enough.

All in all the maps aren't really pleasant to look at. I guess id wanted a catchy backstory to attract buyers, because defending Earth from demons is a heroic deed. Then they hired someone to speed map something vague.

 

At least the gameplay delivered. The most memorable maps with the highest replay value are also the ugliest one with the worst detail (the ones by Sandy Petersen). I'd rather run screaming through MAP16, MAP18 or MAP19 than get lost through MAP17. But I'm gonna say that Doom 2 is the oddball from Doom 1, Doom 3 and Doom 4 (and I presume Eternal?) which have exquisite detail. Doom 2 is the rebel.

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they're meh for me. I definitely spent the most time on 13, but I think the hardest was, well... 13. that was the only crappy DOOM level, since imps could snipe you, but the others were fun. 

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10 minutes ago, LiT_gam3r said:

I definitely spent the most time on 13

Same here, but because I kept getting lost, made me ragequit the game a few times.

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7 minutes ago, LiT_gam3r said:

they're meh for me. I definitely spent the most time on 13, but I think the hardest was, well... 13. that was the only crappy DOOM level, since imps could snipe you, but the others were fun. 

Sniper Imps? Well that's something I've never heard or saw before. The true doom snipers are the Shotgunners. Nothing like a sweet one-hit kill when going low in health on UV.

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Actually, if you look at the workplace picture I posted a while ago, Doom 2 does look like a city / industrial area. Different countries and areas have different architecture.

Doom 2 is also set a bit into the future, so expect things to look futuristic and alien.

However the biggest problem is probably that when they started designing the game they had only the Doom textueres. As textures were drawn and added to the editor during the game's development, it's harder to design when the textures aren't in place. Same with the monsters. I don't know in what order id did their artwork, but if you look at the beta version of maps it is obvious that large retexturing work was done near the end of the development.

Sandy made many more maps than the other designers, it's like comparing apples and oranges. Romero designed 11,15,17,20,27 and 29. That's 6 maps. Sandy designed 01,08,09,10,12,13,16,18,19,21,23,24,27,28,30,31,32 and parts of 07. That's 17 maps, and if you exclude the wolfenstein and 07, you're still left with 14 maps.

McGee has some overall good maps, but he also has a low amount of maps, and all of his maps are mostly smaller maps, the only exception being map14 and to a degree, map06.

If one had dropped Sandy's 8 worst maps and had let Sandy spend the freed up time on polishing his remaining 6 maps and made Romero design 8 more maps, I think we would have had a different opinion of Sandy's mapping efforts.

If I understood it correctly, the Doom editor could copy/paste from different map files. Some of Sandy's maps show clear signs of various bits and bobs being glued together to form one map. Map21 is the best example of this. Map28 also has some weird areas near the start. Map27 is mostly cohesive but has a part that looks like it was copy pasted (twice) from a different mapping project.

He may not be the best designer, but the work load he had is pretty uneven. Looking at Quake where the load is more evenly distributed, the difference in mapping quality is not nearly as big. Sandy made all of the e4 maps except e4m1.

I'd say the main problem with Doom 2 is that it was rushed. A month or two of polish would have made a big difference. It also lacked the cohesive design vision that Tom Hall brought to the company. Gameplay wise Doom 2 is leaps and bounds above Doom, but it lacks the overall design and feel that Doom had with episodes and an arc in difficulty that Doom 2 is missing.

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11 hours ago, Phobus said:

I've written recently that navigation is a very underrated skill in Doom. I think this is a perfect example of that being the case, as the OP clearly can't handle the simple exploration that a non-signposted layout requires, instead running about impatiently, frustrated that progression isn't handed to them.

 

I get that this isn't the 90s, and standards have changed, but Doom was just as revolutionary for it's open-ended environments (that weren't just blocky mazes) as it was for it's height variation, atmosphere and fast-paced action. If you're "in to Doom" and want to beat the IWADs and any of the major 90s map sets, you'll need to embrace that aspect of it, too.

 

 

Or, to put it in simple terms: The map doesn't suck, you just suck at the game.

 

I don't think it has so much to do with ''sucking'' in the game, but with the kind of layout you find in those particular levels. Doom 2's "city" levels, for the most part, were made on the run, and are decent (the first of their kind in a nutshell) but are actually much more lost than the previous ones because they're part of the first "open" levels. Most players will feel lost, after all, the previous levels offered a clear route so you get used to a more ''linear'' path, but MAP13 for example, you need a huge arrow to know where to go.

 

After all, if it's your first time playing, it's not easy to know which button does what or which switch opens which door. 

 

Nevertheless, I don't consider those maps bad, I merely consider them easy to get lost and frustrated.

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Not really, they are good levels. The only problem I had with those levels were their texturing to be honest. 

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4 hours ago, printz said:

But I'm gonna say that Doom 2 is the oddball from Doom 1, Doom 3 and Doom 4 (and I presume Eternal?) which have exquisite detail.

 

Shit, I never looked at it that way... Doom 2, the odd man out in terms of detail or atmosphere in its levels. Interesting! 

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18 hours ago, Lokatzis 007 CJ said:

Really? Even E4M9? I dare say I also like E4M2, but only because you can grab the bfg behind the wall from the megaarmor room. (Thanks BigMcDavis)

I mean, the difficulty of all of E4 is just ridiculous even if that one map (E4M9) may be of an overall decent design. One swallow doesn't make a summer, anyway.

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Back in the day yes, I *sorta* dreaded those city levels where it took forever to figure out where to even go.

 

However, after about your 666th run of Doom II you figure out how to get through those city levels in a breakneck speed so you can get back to the more convivial parts of the game. 

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11 hours ago, zokum said:

If one had dropped Sandy's 8 worst maps and had let Sandy spend the freed up time on polishing his remaining 6 maps and made Romero design 8 more maps, I think we would have had a different opinion of Sandy's mapping efforts.

 

Peterson was pretty ambitious and brimming with ideas while he was mapping for both Doom and Quake, the problem was back in the OG id Software days, the company was rather chaotic and the boys weren't exactly masters of time management. 

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Map 12 is probably my least favourite city map just because its the least exciting and action packed. The other ones such as map 15 are awesome because it really feels like a proper warzone with the way all theses hitscanners are placed around with their own little fort to defend from you before you start fighting nazis. And map 16 kind of feels like a mini slaughter map, lots of enemies and plenty of BFG ammo and a god sphere.

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While the city episode of DOOM II offered some nice verticality, which wasn't something really experimented with in DOOM. But that's about all they offer. I really like the Inmost Dens, Tenements,  and Gotcha!, that about all though. They also tend to be ugly sometimes. Map 13 is annoying to go through, and I can't imagine playing through it completely blind. Industrial Zone, while pretty good looking, is also a chore to go through. Suburbs, has some decent fights, but the map feels weird to play. The Citadel is an annoying map, I always get lost and have no reason to not only get two keys. 

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I didn't like them either when i first played them, but they have grown on me over time and i started to really like them. The navigation can be confusing at times if you don't know them throughout, but repeated playthroughs are rewarded because there are multiple ways on which you can reach the end.

I WILL agree that MAP 12 is the weakest of them tho.

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Map13's downfall is it looks like an alpha map before the version they add the real textures and begin beta. 

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6 hours ago, ZeMystic said:

I really like the Inmost Dens, Tenements,  and Gotcha! [...]

Tenements is one of my favorite Doom 2 maps overall and one of the very few 'city' maps I like. No wonder since it was made by Romero. Map 11 was also made by Romero, and I also like it much more than 9, 10, or 12.

Also, I use the Romero-made map 29 in UV with fly mode for vanilla benchmarking purposes. Graphics and performance settings that work well with map 29 should work well with any vanilla map in GZDoom.

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I really don't like Doom 2's maps in general, I prefer Doom 1's, they're more detailed I think. Doom 2's maps look like crap, don't know how or why they look the way they do, Doom 1 was made from scratch and had such beautiful maps, Doom 2 is basically just an expansion which means most of the stuff was already done so they had more time to develop stuff and on top of that had some money due to Doom 1's success but I'm not sure on sales back in the day so I might be wrong on this one. Perhaps they were too busy playing Doom? lmfao Yes I know they did it

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It's also that the game was actually developed in 6 months!.. Pretty impressive for what it accomplished.

It's true that doom 1 has better deatail and atmosphere, but I think doom 2 has better fights and the addition of the super shotgun is just so good in so many aspects. The perfectly balanced op weapon.

 

That makes sense in my head

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Thematically they are nice levels with tall buildings and such.

If you have played them many times before, you kinda know how to find your way. Kinda.

 

The issue is, downtown for example, there is this place after the big arrow, after the boxes, raising the elevator and different paths here and there. Then, there are 2-3 teleoporters leading to different places, one is the ledge with the blue door I think, another is the key,.. I don't remember, but I always have to drop 3-4 times from that place to finish the level. And if you get the wrong teleporter or don't have the blue key,. do it again! It's tedious... I kinda know it, but for a new player it would be horrific. The factory is also kinda confusing, not as much,. but confusing and deadly too.

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Thing is... with consideration of the tech limitations and development time the Doom 2 city maps were pretty impessive to me at the time.

However, replaying the game these days, especially after Duke 3D´s city maps (that still more then hold up IMO) Doom 2 maps feel really bad.

Maybe if the textures were better and actually had some city textures the map design could have been masked and carried a bit by the overall aesthetic.

That being said, they have some neat ideas here and there, some of them (like industrial zone) are pretty good.

 

Bottom line: I personally don´t like most of them, they aged pretty badly and the almost non-existing city textures in city maps don´t help either.

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