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The DWmegawad Club plays: Akeldama

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MAP04: Chillwell (Akeldama)

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

 

Levels are starting to get larger and more difficult, here we have a fairly sizable techbase surrounded by snow. The relative non-linearity and the way the layout loops around are some of its strong points, just like the ample amount of well-hidden secrets. Combat is mostly incidental, with a few encounters in key areas usually involving lots of barrels, giving them a slight degree of unpredictability. Not so good however were the disappointing final trap and the lack of a super shotgun, but at least we get a decent amount of rockets to compensate for the latter. Cool level.

 

MAP05: Bunker Hill (Akeldama)

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

 

This one's shorter, but jam-packed with enemies. Plenty of rockets (exactly 100 on HNTR) but not many places to use them comfortably - still, with some improvisation it can be done. There's some clever teleport traps placing demons both in front and behind you when you'll most likely have the rocket launcher equipped, giving the monsters the opportunity to damage you without immediate retaliation. The sniper imps could've been annoying to dispose of but the author had a good idea of filling their rooms with barrels, as it stands one well-placed rocket almost always does the trick.

 

The circular layout with a few branching paths looks confusing at first, however it's actually fairly simple to understand once you complete your first lap. The blue key area is my highlight, with a deceptively simple encounter that can get ugly quick if you're too slow on the trigger. Overall an interesting and good-looking level, with a MIDI that resembles "Goin' Down the Fast Way" from ROTT at first but develops into its own (just as good) thing after the intro.

Edited by Andromeda : develops, not devolves

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Map05: No deaths UV-Max FDA in 23:55

 

I played pretty cautiously here because I wanted to maintain my deathless streak that started with map02. It worked for now, and it was an enjoyable challenge. This map is harder than map04, and if things get much more difficult than this, my streak will definitely end.

 

If I'm remembering right, this is the first appearance of several tough monsters; a mancubus, a couple of barons, a pain elemental, and many revenants (though I think the previous map had a revenant in a secret that I didn't find at first). There were several instances where I had to slowly grind down mid-tier enemies with the regular shotgun, but not enough that it bothered me, and I think this problem can be avoided by the player with better routing. The secrets weren't too hard to find, and without the secret soul sphere, I certainly would have been killed by a very high damage roll from a revenant projectile that happened soon after I grabbed it. Anyway, good map.

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MAP02 - Knights of Ilasac

 

Playing on UV. Interesting start to this one with the false hot start. What you have here is a brown tech base with a choice of going one way or the other to grab keys. I found the two secrets, since the clues were fairly easy to spot. Didn't take long to mop up the opposition and I did almost get killed during the end fight at the exit. There seemed to be a bit of xtra ammo and health laying about. Fun early map for sure. On to the next map. Ahh I was gonna play the next one right away but I gotta do other stuff now..., so I'll stay 2 steps behind for now. ;)

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gzdoom, uv, pistol start

 

 

So I'll walk through the fields of blood
And my mind and my gun they comfort me
Because I know I'll kill my enemies when they come.

 


MAP01 - “The Generator” by vakiriforce, waverider

 

a lovely snow map with a bit more size and resistance than your averade map01. especially the ambush at the first building. you ring the bell and they teleport all out and on you. the armor in the canyon comes handy. after that you can circle around rude people and make them all friends, especially the 2 spiders in the L-shaped hall. they don't learn their lesson though, as more come at you near the exit. 

 


MAP02 - “Knights of Ilasac” by Philnemba

 

knights of whoever, they scare one right at the start and teleport away, only to be picked up and shot one by one. an indoor map that leaves the winter theme for a moment. could have used an ssg or a few rockets for said knights instead of much chaingunning. some good ambushes by teleporting monsters and a reveal of more of them at the exit.

 

 

MAP03 - “Renegades” by ZaBigBoss, valkiriforce

 

a map in udoom's ep.4 style with lots of old wood and marble. some running and gunning at the start is needed, then it's smooth sailing after you got the ssg and the chaingun.  looking for secrets is worthwhile, you get not only that soul sphere behind the grates, but also a hidden corridor with many imps. the end again reminds of doom2's underhalls.

 

 

MAP04 - “Chillwell” by dt_

 

to what @Woolie Wool said about the 3 paths one can take here, they make a big difference how this map plays. ammo and resources are limited at the start, and if you teleport into the courtyard with the crates first, without getting the armor first, you'll look bad with all those chaingunners around. on the other hand, if you come up to their level, they're pretty much done. also the spectre room - lame as it sounds, a safe bet is getting berserk and standing in the teleporter, punching away at them. saw the same similarities as @DJVCardMaster here. was plenty of fun to explore with its icy landscape leading up and down.

 

 

MAP05 - “Bunker Hill” by DerFurer’sFace

 

some brutal trench warfare in world war zombie here, and as has been noted, it plays rather different when you bring your rocket launcher from continuous play and blow up those demon bunkers, or have to fight for your guns against the demonic defenses. most notably said rocket launcher on a watchtower that gets swarmed as soon as you finally grab it. everything is boobytrapped in some way, and previously cleared buildings get occupied again by enemies, see the imp bunkers that were so juicy to blow up - only to find revenants inside later, which force one to dash a lot through the trenches to avoid their missiles. all with a fitting, punping music track. great map.

 

 

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MAP06: Insurrection by Gothic (4/5)

Skill: HMP | Time: 20:10 | Kills: 82% | Items: 71% | Secrets: 16%

336 monsters and a "Dead Simple" style switch chamber at the start promise a gnarly experience, but "Insurrection" feels like a step down in difficulty from "Bunker Hill", despite its size and big numbers. I have also been playing Wraith777's Gods and Guardians recently, and this map is so similar in its brick/industrial style that it almost blends into those maps...almost. It's much smaller, and also less interconnected than the sprawling layouts of GnG. Each area is more or less its own thing, with a mixture of incidental combat and a few light setpiece encounters, though the lack of higher threat enemies--no mancubi or arachnotrons, and only a few revenants and chaingunners--means it's a pretty steady ride all the way through. The midi is credited to Viscra Maelstrom, and if she tried to sound like Paul Corfiatis circa 2002: A Doom Odyssey, she succeeded. It's a nice piece of nostalgia, but as with old pcorf midis some of the note choices in melodies can be a little odd.

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54 minutes ago, Woolie Wool said:

The midi is credited to Viscra Maelstrom, and if she tried to sound like Paul Corfiatis circa 2002: A Doom Odyssey, she succeeded. It's a nice piece of nostalgia, but as with old pcorf midis some of the note choices in melodies can be a little odd.

 

Yeah, I think it is one the best songs in the megawad, odd but beautiful and I certainly didn't create the midi. I am also sure the composer did not use any of my old midis for any inspiration and I think the inspiration came from 1980's and 1990's games and electronic music. I think it is similar to 2002ADO E3M8, but way less repetitive. Today I try to aim for less repetitive songs and you'll see when Doom Odyssey II is finally released in the future.

 

I also composed that ROTT like song in the previous map as many players like ROTT music. But hey, the map was originally submitted with a ROTT song which suited it but I needed to compose something similar in style but totally original. Thanks to everyone's praises for that particular song.

 

Pretty happy in how Akeldama came out as a megawad and glad it was completed.

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Fell behind because of a camping trip.

 

Map03: Renegades

I liked this one. Some nice SSG shootin.

 

Map04: Chillwell

I liked the winter theme. I also liked the combat for the most part, except I wish there was a chaingun for the east path to deal with some annoying hitscanners.

 

Map05: Bunker Hill

I thought some fights were fun. I think the super shotgun should have been given a little earlier cause there was some meat to shotgun before I got to the RL. I also think there were a little too many cheap traps at places, mostly the left circle path and the middle building, where monsters randomly teleport in with seemingly no trigger or item as bait.

 

Videos:

Spoiler

 

 

 

 

Ranking:

Spoiler

Map02: Knights of Ilasac

Map03: Renegades

Map04: Chillwell

Map01: The Generator

Map05: Bunker Hill

 

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Okay guys, I tried speedrunning today's level but couldn't afford to try a hundred times so I uploaded one of the failed attempts.

Spoiler



 

 

Edited by <<Rewind

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21 minutes ago, <<Rewind said:

Okay guys, I tried speedrunning today's level but couldn't afford to try a hundred times so I uploaded one of the failed attempts.

 

 

I blame the baron, lol

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MAP06: Insurrection

As there was a discussion on music above: I preferred the music from the last map (and at least two or three of the ones before) to this, but it was nice enough.

 

The map itself is pretty large, and seems to have some extensive secret areas to go with the general expansiveness of the map. I got to the end after a pretty casual 24 minutes (no deaths, but plenty of saves for "just in case") and had over 70 monsters missing, along with three secrets. However, I thought I'd spent enough time here, so left it. The three secrets I did find didn't seem to gift me too much, so perhaps those bigger ones would've been more rewarding!

 

The really high monster count from this map comes from having lots of enemies in almost every room and corridor, with later fights either upping the number of imps or mixing in tougher enemies. Pain Elementals turn up occasionally, so the monster count does inflate a bit too.

 

Coming in continuous, I felt like I had more than enough ammo and weaponry to take on what was there (making sparing use of the rocket launcher). I made it through most of the map avoiding picking up a green armour and keeping my blue armour intact with the armour bonuses, but in the big fight near the end, I took an unnecessary Revenant missile and finally lost the blue armour. Still, a bit of backtracking and I had full health and a green armour, so could finish off the last guy and wrap up the map. I'm not sure if I remembered to go back and grab another spare green armour before exiting, so I might not have gone into the next map as well-protected as I could've been.

 

All told, this was a pretty nice map. It did away with the issues of the previous map, by having plenty of space and keeping the detailing out of the way of movement. Visually it goes through a few brown and/or green themes, which again feels like missing out on the snowy theme that's partially been in the set so far. In fact, this map didn't seem to use any custom textures, and felt like it could've been a solid solo release for Doom II on it's own.

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MAP06 - "Insurrection" - Roberto "Gothic" Lopez (100%K/I/S):

A great map that distances itself from the Snowy themes a bit and makes a really amazing approach at taking the feels of 96 mapping, I thought I played this before on MM2 or Requiem at times, as most of the map looks like something straight taken from there.
I really like the progression of this map, which is the longest yet. The only really hard part of this map anyway is the end, in which you'll need to have some rockets to spam enemies from far away safely. If you don't have any, you can take the "sidequest" route you have in this map, which is kinda nice, having some type of separate optional secret route to find a rocket launcher, which makes the experience better if you are a pistol starter.
A really fun map which, is on par with the last one, but I'm not sure if it's better. I'm supposing it depends on my mood, but anyways, I enjoyed it. Music here is top notch.
The map overall does a great job at making you nostalgic for mid 90's mapsets, but that's I feel one problem, as it separates too much from the snowy/techbase landscapes, and I feel this map is kinda misplaced. I feel it would go even better on the "second episode" of Akeldama. When we reach map12 you'll know what I'm talking about.

Deaths: 4 (HMP Playthrough - Chocolate Doom)

Order of preference:
 

Spoiler

MAP05
MAP06
MAP04
MAP03
MAP02
MAP01


 

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MAP06: Insurrection

 

Map size has been steadily increasing over the past few maps and that trend continues here, along with monster population, although the former increases more than the latter - I want to say this level has about one-third again as many monsters as MAP05, but the navigable area is two or maybe three times as big, providing a much bigger playground through which the hordes of mostly fodder-tier enemies throng and shamble.  Visually the map is divided into varied but mostly consistent areas with an overall sense that the map grows more technological to the north and more medieval to the south; while exploring I found myself naturally thinking of particular rooms as "the dungeon," "the sewer," "the clean room," etc. and the variation in texture, scale, and arrangement of spaces contributes to the ease of navigation without hitting the point that they feel like a messy mash-up of disconnected ideas.

 

I feel this is a level with extremely powerful secrets, especially the "quest" of three linked secret areas that deliver to you both a suit of blue armour and the map's only non-multiplayer rocket launcher, which may well be a real game-changer for those not playing continuously.  Even without that, the supply of bullets and shotgun shells is pretty generous, although I think the balance is such that you'll have to get up close and personal with the super shotgun when dealing with the occasional mid-tier bullet-sponges, rather than playing keep-away with the chaingun.  It's got a bit less personality than the last couple of maps, and as noted by other posters diverges from the icy theme present in the earlier levels, but I feel there's a focus here on smoothness of gameplay and "clean" construction and if that's a trade-off then it's not one that works to the map's disadvantage.

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MAP06 - Insurrection

HMP | Continuous Play with Saves | Running on GZDoom + Hellrider

 

Mm, I have to agree with Woolie's sentiment regarding challenge. After Chillwell and Bunker Hill I did notice this one was a fair bit easier than I was expecting it to either be on par with the previous two maps or turn up the heat a bit. Despite that, the level progression was neat and I felt the map was a good size. Combat felt a little slaughtermap-esque with rooms filled to the brim with monsters along with others teleporting in a lot after pressing certain switches. The map itself felt like it was around the same size as Chillwell but with slightly less of the inter-connective aspect. Visually, I found it a little lacking compared to others, more on par with MAP02's texturing. I think more could've been played with to keep it thematically consistent with the others. Regardless, everything flowed together pretty well and I was never frustrated or bored. It's another map that, while lacks visual charm and challenge, more than makes up for it with combat and level progression. I was expecting the map to have more teeth but perhaps we're still a bit too early in the megaWAD for things to get really MEAN just yet. We're on to the second chapter now though, so I expect my first death within the next few maps hehe.

 

Gameplay footage:

Spoiler

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MAP06: Insurrection

This was a pretty lengthy level to be honest, at least longer than most WADs put this early in the game. The progression also felt very old-school, having each key be housed in its own entire wing of the map, taking lots of time to get through. I feel like most modern maps are built in such a way that progression usually loops over itself multiple times, having there be many paths around areas, and opening up new ones as the level go on. This level has a similar playtime to something from, say, (later-game) Valiant (Although, come to think of it, MAP06 of Valiant is one of the longest in that WAD…), but this level takes up more space by virtue of simply being much less interconnected. There were still some parts where the map looped across itself, such as the red doors going through the building in the center of the starting area, but moments like this didn’t define the progression the way they do in many modern WADs. The way this level was laid out and designed felt more like something from HR2 a few months ago, just with better gameplay. The last map was all about sense of place and vanilla-compatible detail (Like Kama-Sutra, or so I’m told. I’ve still never played that WAD), but this map was more about large expanses and bigger battles. The battles were still all against low- and mid-tier enemies though. Anyone else totally expecting that lowering wall inside the rectangular chamber shortly after the yellow door to house an Archie instead of a Rev?

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MAP06: Insurrection

prBoom+ 2.5.1.7um, skill 4, continuous with saves, no complevel specified

 

Presented with the opening scene I had to check which map this was, thinking I was heading into a Dead Simple.
This was not the case and what I found was a map that went into several visual styles I greatly enjoyed.
Seeing this compared to other maps/wads makes me want to play those maps so the comparisons here I'll add to my 'play someday' list.

I know others miss the overt icy theme but I'm a big fan of this sky so thematically to me they're still in the same place.

 

This map did drag on for longer than I expected and if this is how long later ones are I will probably drop the skill level so they don't take as long. But as Snikle mentioned maybe this is just a MAP06 thing.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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Day 2, here we go! Really enjoying posting here and seeing everyone's thoughts. 

 

GLBoom+ 2.5.1.7um | hmp| Continuous

Map 05: Bunker Hill
 Very much a gotta go fast map - my favourite type of map - which is reinforced by an uptempo midi that just seems to adopt better and better riffs as it goes along. I constantly felt the pressure, felt I needed to keep on the move and adopt guerilla tactics lest I be overwhelmed. I died twice on this map (damn rocket launcher ambush) and only got one secret.

 

 I love the theme of snowy bunkers, and that it's essentially a more complex figure 8, as that very much facilitates the movement heavy Alm/Skillsaw gameplay style this map seems to be going for. Also first appearance from our bony friend! At least on Hurt Me Plenty.

 

Map 06: Insurrection
A Fun enough map, but a bit of a step back from the past few for me. The midi was decent but not on par with what came before it - which is by no means the fault of the composer, the competition here is just super fierce. The level was a step down in challenge which is fine, but it didn't have the sense of adventure of map 4, the visuals of map 01, or the sheer manic fun of map 05. Not a bad map by any stretch of the imagination, just unfortunately preceeded by some true standouts.

 

 The secrets in this level are fantastic though. I love the secret within a secret trope, and this map does it with aplomb. The Revenant trap got me on the first attempt because I didn't notice the pain elemental lobbing lost souls around when I started firing rockets. Oh well.
I only missed one secret.  

 

Map rankings so far: 

Spoiler

1: Chillwell
2: Bunker Hill
3: Renegades
4: The Generator
5: Insurrection
6: Knights of Ilisac.

 

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MAP06: Insurrection

UV, LZDoom + Brutal Doom.

 

Long enough to be an initial map, (but after playing AV, JCP and CC1, I don't really feel anything in me anymore.) Despite being longer than the rest, the map doesn't feel ''dragged'', it is more direct, with a simple path despite having the 3 keys, you don't get lost, except that you don't really pay any attention. From the beginning we are bombarded kamikaze style, increasing slightly the challenge compared to the rest of the maps, but after that, it does not become so complicated, except for the Revenants, I hate them.

 

Fun and simple, as well as slightly long but not exuberant. I quite appreciated the feeling of progression on this map and the good level of design, meaning that I didn't feel like I was in a ''maze'' at any time despite the size.

 

And for the next map... Ohio? That's interesting.

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MAP07: Carnage Facility (3/5)

Skill: HMP | Time: 34:52 | Kills: 97% | Items: 88% | Secrets: 80%

Tom Hall meets TeamTNT in this vast, nonlinear techbase sprawl of Couleurian proportions, with a mixture of huge open spaces and frantic close-quarters shootouts that beat me up but only got me once. Some parts of this map have a lot of really garish lighting and red/blue computer textures that I found very unpleasant to look at, but others, like the pictured warehouse area, looked quite nice, bringing to mind "Deimos Lab" and a few of the maps from the first Memento Mori. The progression is not obvious and there is a little ambiguity about what can or cannot be interacted with, including a secret soulsphere protected by an obviously too-high bridge, which seems to be counting on you being not being brazen enough to just walk up to it and use it to see what happens. I ended up getting lost in here a good long while, and quickly grew to hate the heinously upbeat house music midi. Some compaction of the layout and a new midi would make it a much better map.

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MAP03 - Renegades

Lots of wood, metal, green brick and nukage in this one and it looks pretty nice. I like the small trapped room with the blue key, simple and nice design. Took some poking about to find the way into the secret but I got it. I didn't get killed in this one. Short, fun map with some good blasting demon scum.

 

Map04 - Chillwell

I like the snowy base theme / look to this one and enjoyed the combat and the layout of the map... it was kinda complicated lookin but not confusing to navigate. I like that you have different approaches to areas. Have to watch out for chaingunners in towers and I did get shredded a couple times, once when returning from grabbing health and deciding to take the opposite route from where I was previously. lol Only found half the secrets, but at least I grabbed the soulsphere. I guess the few enemies I missed were hiding out in the 4 secrets I missed out on. Overall very fun map.

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Map06: Deathless UV-Max FDA in 43:45


The maps continue to get longer. More cautious play, and still maintaining the deathless streak that started with map02. There are a few moments in this demo where I stop moving for a couple of seconds; it's because I'm looking at the automap. I eventually found the computer area map, without which I wouldn't have found all the secrets. The rocket launcher was the last thing I found, and this run probably would have been more fun if I found it as soon as possible.


My health got pretty low at the start, but overall I'd say this map isn't as hard as the previous one despite its length. Actually, I think the combat is a little bland sometimes. Maybe I'd feel differently if I found the rocket launcher sooner. Anyway, this is my least favorite map so far, but still an okay map. My favorite is map04.

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Playing DQ builders 2 recently and I forget to put something new here :( here I will write something when uploading my ak15 max run.

 

Map03: Renegades

Time: 2m16s

 

This was my first exit and current record is 2m03s by Garrett. You just follow 2 steps:

 

Step 1: grab ssg. Step 2: spam shells.

 

 

 

Map04: Chillwell

Time: 5m58s

 

I played dt's map of bloody rust 3 before akeldama, and I'm really not a fan of his maps. There are some deaf enemies and you have to do some backtracking just to kill them.

 

 

Map06: Insurrection

Time: 12m54s

 

Also a first exit. This map is long but not as annoying as 4 and 5.

 

 

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Crispy Doom, UV, PS.

 

Dunno how long I'll keep up with these. I played Akeldama couple weeks ago so my meticulous memory must be fresh, not really. Overall thoughts of the music and graphics are positive. I'm gonna center into gameplay and full megawad experience, with comments like "playtested this before, blind that, etc". Later in some next month I may Lingyan-it up and bump the thread with nice videos.

 

 

01

 

Circa 2018 when Akeldama was a secret, Valkiriforce handed me a copy of the wad in a very very early state with this map included (he asked me to draw a status bar, which isn't the current one), and I volunteered to test maps as well once the project came to light. This opening left me curious, very curious, I dig vanilla like I dig boom maps because the more content the better. Add that "north pole" is one cool theme (hehe), so the more reason to be intrigued. Valki is also a mapper that I have in my radar, his stuff typically leaves a good impression. I got to a point where I can confidently tell when a map has valkiriforce painted all over a layout. 

 

Anyways, the map starts promising. Looking at the bright sky, white rocks, a nice simple vista. We have imps on higher platforms (ew) contrasted by a surprise hitscan warp-in that actually scared me the first time, and those imps are suddenly a worry, plus pinky interference that I wasn't aware of = essentially getting the blood pumping in a MAP01 is good shit. There's a sector trickery hiding a keycard, casual valki trope, and things get softer afterwards and my impressions went slowly decreasing. The inner L-shaped chamber is alright, it has one more arachnotron than way before and I believe the wall that covers the RK was new. Thing is, it's not inviting me to fight anything in there, because the opening is two metres of the key -- I can just leave since monsters warp way far away. Same for the last ambush, not like one chaingunner's gonna prevent me from leaving. Read that I'm not speaking of "lock-ins", which don't always have to be a set of bars or a closed door. I'm saying the intention to engage the player into short credible fights wasn't so apparent imo.

 

So all things considered, it's a nice opener with ups and downs if you feel too nitpicky. 

 

 

02

 

Okay, that's cute that warping hell knights get to make up a gimmick. Normally this monster is forgotten in map-to-map commentary, but not this time!

 

I think, it's the cinematic aspect that prevails, and it kinda reminds me to older megawads in a way. Four of those HKs spawn back in bridges wide enough to skip past them, and they're no longer threats alone except that exposure to newer stuff feels awkward with a HK behind so again, cinematic aspect is good too imo. The other is in an elevator setup, which is legitimately hairy and my favourite, with spectres interfering your best bet is chaingun suppression asap (which makes this secret CG of high value). For my own amusement I opted to chainsaw the entire cargo room post-zombies (:

 

If there's one nitpick, I guess that the map can be almost 100% shotgun if you don't find the secret chaingun (or, give no fucks about the chainsaw). I'd tucked a RL and 2-3 rockets somewhere to pump into groups of weaklings, just for the sake of variety, though SG-CG-CS is solid enough for this map. 

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MAP07 - "Carnage Facility" - Michael Jan "Valkiriforce" Krizik (100%K/98%I/60%S):

Ahh, so many things to say about this map. There is a love/hate relationship with this one, I remember playing this when playtesting and I HATED going through it, even for HNTR it was really punishing. I could not beat it a single time on harder difficulties, and I'm surprised I could beat it on 6 tries without savestating. As the name implies, this is a facility full of Carnage. If you play this on HMP or UV you won't have a single second to rest and hide, as the map is so open, yet so infested with snipers and ground enemies, that you will have to constantly move and progress grindring through enemy hordes. Health is scarce even if the map gives you much of it, since I feel you will be constantly pummeled by enemies as chaingunners or revenants sniping you from the other side of the map. Or even big hordes of meat-walls gap-closing and enclosing you into death. I always felt this map wasn't fair, but most new maps play like this nowadays. Once you find a way to finally remove most of the enemies from the start, you'll enjoy this map more.
This map is just a facility in what appears to be some city's downtown, in some random block with a city/techbase landscape. Something totally different from the previous maps, for sure. There are some places where textures contrast so much that I don't l like how they look, for example those stairs with red and blue lights, or that gray concrete courtyards.
I really liked the room where the walls "exploded", really nice effect, it gets teased if you go through that section slowly, but due to being on a constant hurry, you will barely notice that barrels get teleported when they explode and the walls lower instantly.
You'll have to be fast and constantly move to mitigate the constant damage the enemies, at least at the start, pull onto you. Secrets here are really good, and getting the early Plasma Rifle is the key.
Talking about the gameplay of this, it is a key hunt, and gets more points in terms of layout, which is, I believe, pretty good to explore, in a "Tom Hall" style as someone pointed out before. One of the best layouts so far, but has some quirky things that at least for me personally, makes me have mixed feelings.
Bad map? No, it's actually really good, but I hated it.

Deaths: 10 (HMP Playthrough - Chocolate Doom)

Order of preference:
 

Spoiler

MAP05
MAP06
MAP04
MAP07
MAP03
MAP02
MAP01


I could never get pass the first section of the level on UV on the play-testing sessions, that's why I decided from start by going HMP, I'm not a master by any means.

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10 minutes ago, DJVCardMaster said:

MAP07 - "Carnage Facility" - Michael Jan "Valkiriforce" Krizik (100%K/98%I/60%S):

Ahh, so many things to say about this map. There is a love/hate relationship with this one, I remember playing this when playtesting and I HATED going through it, even for HNTR it was really punishing. I could not beat it a single time on harder difficulties, and I'm surprised I could beat it on 6 tries without savestating. As the name implies, this is a facility full of Carnage. If you play this on HMP or UV you won't have a single second to rest and hide, as the map is so open, yet so infested with snipers and ground enemies, that you will have to constantly move and progress grindring through enemy hordes. Health is scarce even if the map gives you much of it, since I feel you will be constantly pummeled by enemies as chaingunners or revenants sniping you from the other side of the map. Or even big hordes of meat-walls gap-closing and enclosing you into death. I always felt this map wasn't fair, but most new maps play like this nowadays. Once you find a way to finally remove most of the enemies from the start, you'll enjoy this map more.
This map is just a facility in what appears to be some city's downtown, in some random block with a city/techbase landscape. Something totally different from the previous maps, for sure. There are some places where textures contrast so much that I don't l like how they look, for example those stairs with red and blue lights, or that gray concrete courtyards.
I really liked the room where the walls "exploded", really nice effect, it gets teased if you go through that section slowly, but due to being on a constant hurry, you will barely notice that barrels get teleported when they explode and the walls lower instantly.
You'll have to be fast and constantly move to mitigate the constant damage the enemies, at least at the start, pull onto you. Secrets here are really good, and getting the early Plasma Rifle is the key.
Talking about the gameplay of this, it is a key hunt, and gets more points in terms of layout, which is, I believe, pretty good to explore, in a "Tom Hall" style as someone pointed out before. One of the best layouts so far, but has some quirky things that at least for me personally, makes me have mixed feelings.
Bad map? No, it's actually really good, but I hated it.

Deaths: 10 (HMP Playthrough - Chocolate Doom)

Order of preference:
 

  Hide contents

MAP05
MAP06
MAP04
MAP07
MAP03
MAP02
MAP01


I could never get pass the first section of the level on UV on the play-testing sessions, that's why I decided from start by going HMP, I'm not a master by any means.

Reading this is giving me PTSD. I've been on a masochistic streak, playing AV, JCP and CC1, I think my body can't oh god. Why the hell did I choose UV D:

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4: That's my favorite level so far. I loved how everything is introduced, the entrance to the fortress, 3 different paths to crawl in and all the little secrets. I wasn't able to find all of them, though! From the 3 paths, of course I choose the Rocket Launcher, but I was curious to see how to level would behave if I had choosen another path. Anyway, really cool map!

 

5: This one is also amazing visually and with a very nice amount of exploration. It's also a harder map due to the amount of Revenants, and I felt missing an armor in the later sections of the map, which made things more difficult for me than they should've. Other than that, it's a perfectly balanced map, although you might need to wander a bit to find the locked doors (it wasn't a bit problem for me, though)

 

6: This one I wasn't a big fan of. Two main problems for me: The monsters placement was a bit too busy for me, with lots of "door fights" and no RL. The other problem for me is that, while each individual section was great regarding visuals and progression, they felt really distinct from each other which felt like the map lacked consistency visually. It's also a really large map, and I had to go back to find ammo/secrets when I was in the end to pass through a wall of Imps after the Imp flood + revenants setpiece. After I find the Computer Area Map secret, though, I was able to find the chained 3 secrets and it was really fun to crawl through them (and get all that rocket ammo lol)

 

7: This one share's a similar texture clash problem, although there's more identity due to the cool "neon" sections and the more interconected nature of the map. Regardless, I enjoyed this one a lot more, the introduction of the Plasma + abundance of rockets made this really fun to blast through. Also, we are fighting Arch-Villes and the encounters are harder. I enjoyed a lot the non-linearity nature too. The Blue Key was easy to find, and it was in a very cool room, the Yellow Key, however, was a nightmare lol I'm pretty sure lots of players will struggle to find it, due to the amount of switches you need to press (which I'm not sure they're really needed). Anyway, I still enjoyed a lot this level, although I would make more clear what each switch does and highlight the path to the YK with enemies and/or health bonus + lighting.

 

MAP Preference

 

4, 5, 7, 1, 3, 2, 6

Edited by Deadwing

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49 minutes ago, Endless said:

Reading this is giving me PTSD. I've been on a masochistic streak, playing AV, JCP and CC1, I think my body can't oh god. Why the hell did I choose UV

 

You chose because you're a proud warrior, you brave headstrong renegade. Now RIP n' TEAR until the job is done!

 

MAP07 - Carnage Facility

HMP | Continuous Play with Saves | Running on GZDoom + Hellrider

 

This was a particularly fun one for me, especially early into it as I had several funny moments that just left me confused and unsure of what was even happening at certain points. Combat was nice and meaty, lots of enemies in balanced groups and it felt like Valk was turning the heat up a little bit in this one in the earliest parts. The map feels contained, but spacious enough so you've always got plenty of room to duck and weave and make your way through all the encounters. The layout of the map was really cool and I liked how this one rendered itself into Swiss cheese with so many different lifts and hidden doorways that really emphasised its inter-connectivity that I really have come to enjoy in a Doom map. I got a little lost at one point, having found a blue key and then wandering around for a stupidly long time trying to find out what it was for until I managed to finally find the next part of level progression and I'd learn later what it was for. Admittedly, that was a little frustrating, but it didn't spoil my overall experience. 

 

Gameplay footage:

Spoiler

 

 

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2 hours ago, Endless said:

Reading this is giving me PTSD. I've been on a masochistic streak, playing AV, JCP and CC1, I think my body can't oh god. Why the hell did I choose UV D:


I had enough when I tried Eviternity, that's why I could not play HR2. I have my limits. I tend to rage easily on games.

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MAP07: Carnage Facility

 

I'll be honest, this one didn't do it for me; where the environment of the previous level felt varied, this one just came across to me as disjointed, a clutter of too many different ideas crammed into too little real estate with the result that I always felt on the verge of sensory overload from the rapid and jarring transitions from one texture set and architectural theme to another.  Something about the tempo and intensity of the encounters likewise felt a "off" to me, with an intense start that couples an open layout and long lines of sight from all directions with a scarcity of health to leave the player feeling very vulnerable, only for the action to tail off toward the end of the map in a reversal of the usual escalation of encounters.  Which isn't to say that it's wrong to reverse convention or deviate from the player's expectations, but the critical encounters at the blue and yellow keys both felt kind of softball compared to the ostensibly incidental combat earlier, but the map overall felt obtuse and intractable enough that I wasn't sure if this reversal of expectations was intentional or not.  Maybe it's just a case of my own expectations, preferences, and playing style not meshing well with the author's approach; I was about to say that I don't feel overly familiar with @valkiriforce's work, but then I did play through Reverie with the club some two and a half years ago now, so maybe it's worth revisiting what I said back then and seeing how it echoes what I'm feeling now.

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Map06: Insurrection

 

This one was my favorite so far. A large map with tons of exploration and some really cool nested secrets. The gameplay was fun too, reminded me of alien vendetta at some parts with the large groups of hitscanners.

 

Video:

Spoiler

 

 

Ranking:

Spoiler

Map06: Insurrection

Map02: Knights of Ilasac

Map03: Renegades

Map04: Chillwell

Map01: The Generator

Map05: Bunker Hill

 

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