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Orcsbreath

My first published WAD: Incursion [UPDATE: MAP02 ADDED!]

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Hello, (Doom)world!  I've been lurking around this forum for a few months now, but this is my first time posting.  I thought I'd make my first appearance in style with this, my first-ever published WAD: Incursion.

 

Incursion_v0.21a.7z

 

Update: MAP02: Perpetual Strife has been added!  Continue the incursion in this new map with a hectic battle in a map that barely fits into vanilla Doom!  Seriously, getting this thing to be vanilla-compatible was a pain in the butt, and it still doesn't run great in DOSBox.  Works fine with Chocolate Doom, or any advanced sourceport.  Thematically, it's a bit different than the first map.  Since this is my first published WAD, I want to experiment with different types of levels.  Like with MAP01, I'll be making adjustments to this based on community feedback, but work on MAP03 won't begin for a little while yet.  I don't want to get burnt out on this project.

 

What is this?

This isn't the first level I've made for Doom.  This is the first level I've finished, and feel is good enough to share with the world.  Incursion.wad currently includes two vanilla-style maps for Doom II, but my plan is to make it a series of 4 maps.  Alongside incursion.wad the following are included:

  • a dehacked file, for Chocolate Doom users, which simply changes the name of the level displayed on the map screen.
  • an EXE file pre-patched with the dehacked file, for vanilla/DOSBox users.
  • a README file, containing information about the wad (more or less the same as what's written here).
  • a changelog file, containing exactly what it sounds like.

 

Screenshots - MAP01: Wretched Outpost

Spoiler

DOOM21.png.f973a4a7dbb35e3e4b4d765af0a213cd.pngDOOM29.png.37fb4188d3953e7f1ab7e432e33788d1.pngDOOM26.png.fd4eaac014afe126da0183947705ad92.png

 

Screenshots - MAP02: Perpetual Strife

Spoiler

DOOM03.png.d043e3c2c0d4568ea10264be31ee46ce.pngDOOM04.png.e70e9d0fe3bc8a34801c25247efba690.pngDOOM06.png.1284c6f48f933f6ba8e5fefed50850b1.png

 

Compatibility

Requires the DOOM II iwad.

Primarily tested with Chocolate Doom, and designed with this source port in mind.  Also tested with Crispy Doom, GZDoom and Vanilla (through DOSBox).

Vertical mouselook, jumping, &c. are not supported and may lead to sequence breaking!

 

Difficulty

Incursion is designed to be interesting - but not punishing - to players who are able to comfortably beat Doom II on Ultra-Violence.  All difficulty settings are supported except Nightmare (which I've not tested.  Feel free to try it!), and I've assumed Hurt Me Plenty to be the "default" setting.

Estimated playtime is 15 to 20 minutes for MAP01, and about the same for MAP02.

 

Story

After several failed invasions, you'd think Hell would be ready to give up at last.  But word has reached you that your old foes are back at it again, and this time they mean business!  Several of the constantly-warring factions of Hell have joined together under the command of the seven most
vile, malicious lord of the underworld: the Council of Depravity.  Fearing the damage such a force could inflict, your Night Sentinel buddies decide the best plan is to strike first and fight the demons on their own turf.  But the Council of Depravity has cast a spell that prevents all those with goodness in their hearts from entering their domain.  Fortunately, at the edge of their evil holdings lies an old UAC base, a casualty of Hell's first invasion of Earth years ago, and it just so happens you've enough compatible tech in your old UAC-issued combat gear to slip into the base through a disused teleporter, bypassing the Council's spell.  You'll be on your own, but hey, it's not like this is your first party in the realm of the damned.  Your mission is simple: Fight your way through the demons and kick the Council of Depravity's ass.  Sounds easy enough, right?

 

Changelog

Spoiler

v0.21a

- Added blue skull textures to the start building which become visible when the blue key switch is pressed, to better communicate map progression.

 

v0.21

MAP02

- Replaced Pain Elementals with cacodemons in the final room, and a cell ammo with a cell pack in "".

- Removed an Arachnotron from the final room

 

v0.20

MAP01
- Set the window in the rocket launcher room to block monsters so they can't fly outside
MAP02
- Added MAP02: Perpetual Strife to the WAD.

 

v0.15

- Several secret doors have been set to show as 1-sided on automap
- Moved the secret tag on the Soulsphere secret from the door to the alcove itself to reduce the chance of failing to activate the secret.
- Replaced the Arch-Vile guarding the exit door with a Baron, and made a new Arch-Vile teleport in alongside the Cacodemons during the final fight.
- Replaced one of the Cell Charge Packs with a small Cell Charge in the ledge secret.
- Added a small Cell Charge and a stimpak to the final arena.
- All revenants in the rocket launcher area now have the "ambush" flag set.
- Changed the music track to "DOOM" because the previously-used intermission music sounds conspicuously bad on certain MIDI setups.

 

v0.14a

- Renamed Incursion.wad and Incursion.deh to INCURS.wad and INCURS.deh respectively
- pre-patched executable INCURS.EXE is now included.

 

v0.14

- Added some soundblocking lines to the maze so the Arch-Vile doesn't wake up if the player is on the edge of the area.

- Reconfigured the outdoor arena so the player has more options for movement during the cyberdemon encounter.

- Made the door to the outdoor area wider so the player can't cheese the Cyberdemon as easily.
- The Baron in the secret room is now a Hell Knight on all difficulties.
- Replaced a couple of Cell Charge Packs with small Cell Charges to balance earlier changes in monster placement, and to make the cell ammo in secrets more valuable.
- Added some blinking lights to the doors to the computer room.

 

Previous Versions

 

 

Edited by Orcsbreath : WAD updated to version 0.21a

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Pretty tough on UV, so many heavy on the hit scanners, but good fun. The amount of ammo is pretty spot on, not too much, not too little, and once I go the hang of it, most rooms could be dealt with. 

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I still have to finish it? I haven't, but I am getting destroyed on UV

 

First : some good points

-its looks really good

-Progression is nice, first room is really cool, lightning's been thought out.

 

Less good stuff (don't be intimidated by the wall of texte, its easier to talk about bad stuff than good)

-When creating a dark environnement, like 0 brightness dark, the environement needs to stay very simple o we can kinda guess the layout of the area. I don't know of your settings, but if a specific renderer should be used, mention it, because i couldn't see shit in the dark blue room, which was still though with the googles, because it is cramped, filled with LS (which nice ennemies to fight in the dark cuz they glow) and cacos and an archvile thay will ressurect the cacos.
Arch-vile in tight spaces an in the dark and with not easily understadable geometry is pretty hard all by itself, but if he start ressurcteing I cant see, I just cant deal with everything. And because its cramped spaces, I can't send him back to his god with rockets. Lost souls forced the player to move around... they are kind of a chore in corridors and an unfun curse in tight spaces.

 

PS : (from what I can see in the screencot, the room is not that dark... I'm using vanilla sector light mode... it might be the reason..; if it is, please mention that it should not be used if you think it makes the fight too unfair)


I think by making those area a little bit brighter, lowering the LS count and rethinking the arch-vile fight (in a room where we are one on one in the dark, in a higly telegraphed ambush with no corpses maybe ?), the dark area may be more fun... I don't know if its optional or not, but I'm sure I don't to go in there anymore xD

-When giving a weapon, making a ambush that forces the player to spend the entirety of his rounds plus other weapons' ammo is... dumb... because then were is the point in taking the weapon ? I ain't gonna use it anymore, and I will have wasted additionnal bullets.

Even if, lets say a secret, is a fight;.. the player must gain something from them, not loose something, especially when it is not the intended route but a secondary path that leads to rewards.

-Overall, especially in the left pathway, ammo is too tight, I don't want comfort, but when I have to berzerk punch the arch-vile there is a problem somewhere...
3 cacos in a corridor with imps on the side and pinkies behind (if you move far enough) is a lot of cacos, 2 are fine. Increasing the monster count sometimes just turns a fight into a slough. Plasma gun looses all of its ammo 10 seconds after it has benn picked up to kill LS.
The baron of hell is too strong to shotgun... he is not a challenge to defeat, its just really long to kill him with a normal shotgun... the mancubus were okay because with a little of infighting with revenants, they went down easy... but the baron... aaaargh... the room being too small, I couldn't use the souls as weapons against him either.
A hell knight would be better, same fight, but far more enjoyable to kill with a basic shotgun. A baron with an ssg, I don't mind, but with the OG shotgun its long.

 

-From what I have played, its the only thing that cae up as "need rework asap", I don't mind shotgunning revenants, they have low enough health and the chaingun helps.


Don't hesitate to respond and tell us about your thought process behind the encounters so that we can help you in making them better.



As a last note : keep in mind that making non linear map ask a lot of effort in making sure that there is no "bad path" that the player might take. And its is possible that I took the worst path possible through the early stages of the level.

Once again : great first room, I enjoy killing zombies by packs of 6, and the areana that kept getting bigger was verey cool and everytime, its was becoming more and more adapted to what the player needed mobility wise to beat the deamons.
Maybe a bit harsh for a first wad map, I would put it in second place and let the first map be the last one made, when you know what you want your player to be prepared for, but that just my opinion, like evrything noted above =)

Most luck with your project, I'll update this post or make a new one when I'll have the map proprely finished.

Edited by JezChrist : Hell knight and not "hell" you idiot. "Not be used" and not "should be used". How can you expect people to take you seriously when you can't even write all the words you're meant to ?

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@JezChrist Thank you for the detailed feedback!  I really appreciate it, and I've made some changes to the map based on what you said.  OP is now edited and v0.13 is available.  I think the root of the problem was, I'd not done enough testing going through the left path first, and yeah, it's not great without the SSG (at least in v0.12a; hopefully v0.13 is better).  I briefly considered locking the left path behind a skullkey door so the player has to get the SSG and rocket launcher first because that'd be easier to balance, but I want to keep it non-linear because ultimately, that's more interesting.

 

The blue maze has been made brighter (now has a light level of 112, up from 80.  Testing and screenshots were both done in Chocolate Doom, which to my knowledge doesn't have settings for different sector light modes.), and has undergone a significant change in monster placement.  The maze is supposed to be dark enough to limit player visibility just to the point of creating an atmosphere of unease.  Ultimately, I want that to feel like a "horror" segment, with the player being driven deeper into the maze by the need for health and ammo while being hunted by the Arch-Vile.  As you indicated, the cacodemons took away from this, blocking movement through the maze and demanding too much attention.  Even when dead, their massive corpses obstruct visibility to an annoying degree.  As such, all the cacodemons in the maze have been replaced with imps.  They still pose some threat/obstacle, as well as incentive to take out the Arch-Vile before he resurrects them, but since they can be taken out with a single berserk punch or well-placed shotgun blast, hopefully, they're less of a nuisance and the encounter has closer to the intended feel.  The number of Lost Souls has also been slightly reduced.

 

The Baron of Hell near the goggles secret actually already was a Hell Knight on Hurt Me Plenty.  I wanted him to be tougher on UV, but I guess making him a Baron isn't the right way to do that.  I've made him be a Hell Knight on UV as well, but removed the stimpak from next to him on UV so the player has less margin for error.

 

The Plasma Gun area has been reworked as well, since, you're absolutely right, it's stupid to give the player a new gun and then drain all their ammo.  I want the player to have an opportunity to use the gun they just picked up, not lose it.  To that end, the lost souls in the teleport ambush have been replaced with 2 chaingunners (1 on ITYTD/HNTR).  This should make the ambush a threat the player can quickly deal with, rather than an ammo-sink.  I've also reduced the number of cacodemons on the approach to 1 on UV and 0 on lower difficulties.

 

Hopefully, this makes the map more enjoyable to play regardless of what sequence you go through it in.  I definitely appreciate any and all feedback/criticism; it's most helpful!

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An excellent first published map to make an impressionable splash into the community pool. Cool design/texture work, fun and frantic combat, interesting progression and a good challenge overall. My only gripe is some areas felt a bit cramped during combat, like some areas could've been just a tad wider so you could prevent me cheesing some of the enemies with door-fighting. Otherwise, really good stuff here. Welcome to Doomworld!

 

 

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@Biodegradable Thanks for playing!  Some occurrences there that I never even considered when designing the level, e.g. the Arch-Vile in the blue maze following you out to the plasma gun room.  Maybe I'll put some sound-blocking lines in the maze so Archie doesn't wake up until you're deeper in.

I agree that the final arena is a bit awkward, but I'm not really sure how to improve it.  I think it might help if there was a way to get across the blood pit from the north end of the arena, but it needs to be inaccessible until the bridge has been raised in the blue key room.  Maybe a lift that gets raised up when the bridge does?  I'll give it some thought.

I'm definitely going to make the doorway into the final arena wider, so you can't camp there.  I'm all for players finding different strategies to deal with the encounters I've made, but cheesing a doorway is so much less exciting than what I intended that fight to be (making the Cyberdemon and Cacos in-fight in a large open space).

 

Oh, and the reason there are two switches to lower the lift out of the chaingunner trap is that, in an earlier draft of that room, the entire lowering floor was a lift, so there had to be a switch on either side for the player to get out.  When I changed it to its current form, I just didn't bother removing the extra switches.

Edited by Orcsbreath : Added some more info, RE: redundant switches in the chaingunner trap.

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WOW thanks so much @Biodegradable for this recommendation.

 

This map was a DELIGHT to play, most fun I had in a while

 

And it's your first published map??? You're goin places!

 

The action was intense and non stop except for when I confused myself at one point for forgetting to open a door

 

I absolutely loved the combat and monster placement, and use of items and progression - what a blast, for real I can not say enough good things

 

I have to go on an adventure now so I'll leave this video to upload, check back in an hour or so, maybe longer - internet is slow in Canada

 

 

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@Clippy Thanks for playing!  I'm glad you enjoyed it.  Also, holy heck, you punched out two arch-viles, you absolute madlad!  I don't think I'm brave enough to do that.  That berserk was a fairly late addition; depending on what path the player takes, they could have the SSG, Plasma and Rocket Launcher in that maze, so it can't be too easy.  But that meant I had to give the player something to deal with that area if they go there first, with just the basic weapons (also I like the berserk, so it had to go somewhere in the map).

You're the second person I've seen unleash the final arch-vile during the Cyberdemon fight; makes me wonder if I should change it so that doesn't happen. Nah, if you go around pressing switches mid-fight, the consequences are on you, lol.

 

The goggles secret was more valuable in earlier versions of the map, when the blue maze area was a lot darker.  It's actually still pretty dark when running the game through DOSBox or Chocolate Doom, which is how I tested it (GZDoom's fancy rendering settings tend to make the game brighter, I've noticed).  But even so, the goggles aren't going to be the most important secret to find.

I didn't intend for the Hell Knights at the start to be unable to climb the stairs (I'm just bad at making monster-pathable stairs, lol), but I think I'll keep it like that.  That area's cramped enough and there's enough going on that I don't mind the player having a bit of a "safe" zone if they can spot it.  Thanks for pointing it out, though - and for pointing out the potential for skipping the Soulsphere secret there, I'll definitely fix that in the next update.

Oh, and the light you pointed out and thought might be indicating a secret: That was indeed placed to say to the player "hey, there's something up here," but that thing was the rocket launcher.  I'm still not 100% sure I like the placement of the rocket launcher; I worry it's too easy to miss, but from what I've seen, players have been finding it easily enough, so idk.

 

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2 hours ago, Orcsbreath said:

@Clippy Thanks for playing!  I'm glad you enjoyed it.  Also, holy heck, you punched out two arch-viles, you absolute madlad!  I don't think I'm brave enough to do that.  That berserk was a fairly late addition; depending on what path the player takes, they could have the SSG, Plasma and Rocket Launcher in that maze, so it can't be too easy.  But that meant I had to give the player something to deal with that area if they go there first, with just the basic weapons (also I like the berserk, so it had to go somewhere in the map).

You're the second person I've seen unleash the final arch-vile during the Cyberdemon fight; makes me wonder if I should change it so that doesn't happen. Nah, if you go around pressing switches mid-fight, the consequences are on you, lol.

 

The goggles secret was more valuable in earlier versions of the map, when the blue maze area was a lot darker.  It's actually still pretty dark when running the game through DOSBox or Chocolate Doom, which is how I tested it (GZDoom's fancy rendering settings tend to make the game brighter, I've noticed).  But even so, the goggles aren't going to be the most important secret to find.

I didn't intend for the Hell Knights at the start to be unable to climb the stairs (I'm just bad at making monster-pathable stairs, lol), but I think I'll keep it like that.  That area's cramped enough and there's enough going on that I don't mind the player having a bit of a "safe" zone if they can spot it.  Thanks for pointing it out, though - and for pointing out the potential for skipping the Soulsphere secret there, I'll definitely fix that in the next update.

Oh, and the light you pointed out and thought might be indicating a secret: That was indeed placed to say to the player "hey, there's something up here," but that thing was the rocket launcher.  I'm still not 100% sure I like the placement of the rocket launcher; I worry it's too easy to miss, but from what I've seen, players have been finding it easily enough, so idk.

 

 

Interesting I chose to go the harder way so that berserk was awesome. I been really into berserk lately and have been practicing more and more punching archies and barons/hell knights, anything really. I am getting more comfortable doing it in the right scenario, for archies: when there's no monsters around for him to resurrect and also a pillar or something I can completely circle around. Remember they have no melee attack -Then it's a matter of timing and dodging, sticking and moving. Look out Mike Tyson! (I don't know any newer boxer references)

 

This may be a map I play again down the road and am curious about trying it maze second. 

 

Also I could have explored the outside area without the blue key so I am curious to experience this, I like when maps provide different scenarios like this

 

As you could tell I had to go or I would have found that last monster, hate letting them get away. As I had to go this made me push buttons in a hurry, I'm usually much more cautious. 

 

I think the rocket launcher is fine where it is.

 

Call me when you make another map buddy

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Here's my video playthrough of this map with commentary:

 

 

I really enjoyed this map! It was a fun little frantic adventure that wasn't afraid to try and deploy some challenging fights. I thought the map looks very nice, and almost kind of looked like a Shores of Hell type level with a modern touch for aesthetics. I'm a big fan of how frequently the areas transformed, and how effectively you reused old areas - it kept the map feeling full of surprises. If I had to nitpick, maybe it would be that it feels kind of on the fringe of being a bit grindy with its monster density...like it could easily have 20 fewer monsters and not lose much flavor...but ultimately I don't feel like this is a major detail I'd tear the map down over, just some food for thought. I'm definitely look forward to whatever else is coming up in this wad!

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@LVENdead Thanks for playing!  I appreciate you taking the time to stop and comment on the texture work; not a lot of people mention it because it's not exactly the focus of the game (and I've not done anything particularly noteworthy; it's just stock DOOM II textures).  But it's nice to hear your thoughts on it.  Early, unpublished versions of the map actually were textured quite differently, and I redesigned it to lean more into the "hellified techbase" aesthetic (Shores of Hell was indeed the look I was going for).  At first, I was worried that the final version of the textures would look like an incoherent mess of random stuff, but in retrospect, I made the right choice.  The old version was more visually consistent, but it was also boring.

Hm, your "nitpick" of the monster density makes me a little worried about what I'm doing for MAP02.  I'd intended to make that one themed around large fights in open arenas, just as this one was sort of themed around traps/transforming areas (my initial concept for MAP02 was "Mt. Erebus on steroids").  But I'm also giving the player the heavier guns earlier in that one, and of course, I still have plenty of time to balance and refine it, so hopefully, it ends up being more "hectic" than "grindy."

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12 minutes ago, Orcsbreath said:

I appreciate you taking the time to stop and comment on the texture work; not a lot of people mention it because it's not exactly the focus of the game

 

Doom has a certain visual charm that I always love to see when authors take advantage of well. It's one thing to make a good looking map with extensive use of CC-4 or OTEX or whatever, but making a visually appealing map that taps into the charm while also looking modern takes some skill. 

 

 

2 minutes ago, Orcsbreath said:

Hm, your "nitpick" of the monster density makes me a little worried about what I'm doing for MAP02.  I'd intended to make that one themed around large fights in open arenas

 

So I'm not some expert on this or anything, but here's my thoughts on that. I think fights feel grindy when the combat stops feeling "necessary". If you think about what the purpose of the fight is with respect to the rest of your map stew, you should have some idea of when the test has "gone on long enough." Like why write a test with 50 questions when you can check a student's knowledge on the chapter with only 30, you know what I mean? So in the context of Doom, it's like - if this ambush is just as dangerous with two mancubi as it is with four mancubi, and you've only given the player a shotgun, then if they managed to dodge 12 fireballs to kill the first two, do you really need to make them also prove they can kill the other two? At some point someone might argue it feels a bit gratuitous or tedious without giving the player a gun that hits a bit harder. I realize in my run of your map, I went the direction that withheld better weaponry the longest, so that probably colored my impression some.

 

It's of course all subjective, but I think you often can err on the side of thinning things out a bit, especially if your map has a lot of incidental combat or otherwise not much downtime between encounters. On the other hand, if the purpose of the map IS to feel like a grind, or test the player's endurance, then the answer looks quite different. And if you can maintain the combat feeling exciting, it's probably still going to sit well with most players. Ultimately, I think it comes down to you understanding what you're trying to accomplish with your encounter design.

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Here's a little preview of MAP02 - Perpetual Strife (WIP).  This area was not easy to fit into vanilla limitations - I had to cut a few corners (well, linedefs) to prevent it from turning into a mess of Hall-of-Mirrors.  But I think it was worth it for the chaos that gets unleashed here.

DOOM00.png.470da425f0c99b6a11fbb5bf06eab5b0.png

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@Suitepee  Thanks for playing!  You're the second person I've seen run right past the arch-vile that appears in the starting room without seeing him; he's actually triggered by picking up the blue key.  I wonder if I should change it so he's harder to miss.  Doesn't seem to negatively impact the map all that much, though.

And I specifically made sure the chaingunner trap wouldn't kill the player.  Just nearly kill them. :D

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MAP02: Perpetual Strife has been added!  This one has a bit of a different feel to the first map, I think.  I'm trying to experiment with different styles (I have 3 "themes" in mind for the first 3 maps, then map 4 will be a "best of," building on what I've learned from maps 1-3).

@Clippy@JezChrist both asked to be pinged when the next map was ready... well, here it is!  Naturally, I'm quite keen to hear what people think.

 

Incursion_v0.20.7z

DOOM06.png.3f6ec5230daab86afc56fe81113beed3.png

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Bugger me with a toaster, the title of this map is certainly accurate lmao. You really turned up the heat from the last one, cranking it up to 11. Pretty fun and intense. Some of the areas felt maybe a little too tight for some of the encounters, especially the last fight to get to the yellow skull which caused me to bum-rush through it out of frustration. But that's my only real complaint. Otherwise, it's a solid effort I know a lot of folks will enjoy. Really promising improvement all around.

 

 

Don't worry too much about the last fight where I get a bit grouchy. It's all in good fun :^)

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@Biodegradable Thanks for playing!  Yeah, I wanted this one to be pretty spicy, but I might've gone a bit too far, especially in the last room.  I think I'll replace the Pain Elementals in that fight with Cacodemons and give the player a little more plasma ammo.  I want it to be tough, but not frustrating.

 

When you said "that's too many arch-viles," was it genuinely too many?  The amount I was aiming for was "almost, but not quite, too many."

 

Oh, and as for the point where you said "that's not really a secret; there's a button right there," well,

Spoiler

the button wouldn't have been there if you hadn't shot the eye-switch earlier.

 

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1 hour ago, Orcsbreath said:

When you said "that's too many arch-viles," was it genuinely too many?  The amount I was aiming for was "almost, but not quite, too many."

 

Nah haha it just made it a tough fight. I beat it so no, it wasn't too many. Don't take all my reactions at face value hehe.

 

1 hour ago, Orcsbreath said:

the button wouldn't have been there if you hadn't shot the eye-switch earlier.

 

Aha! Nice.

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1 hour ago, Orcsbreath said:

 

Oh, and as for the point where you said "that's not really a secret; there's a button right there," well,

  Hide contents

the button wouldn't have been there if you hadn't shot the eye-switch earlier.

 

 

That's very clever

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Here's my video + commentary of Perpetual Strife:

 

 

I definitely like what you've been doing so far. You can focus on my nitpicks if you really want, but you're absolutely showing some nice stuff with this being your second published WAD. Maybe some takeaways would be related to visuals, and that I feel like a lot of the combat is like "80% there" and just needs to be dialed in a bit. Some of the fights are great, like the final setpiece, but others can be a bit hit or miss, like the room with just all chaingunners, or the way archies aren't super threatening in the fight after getting the blue key.

 

That fight could be a great spot to pressure the player, but the horde of enemies kind of cluster together and are quick work with the RL, and the player doesn't have many other things to prioritize - even with the archies in there it's just a matter of "shoot the whole mass of them". This isn't like a critical flaw or anything, it's just more like, if you're gonna go for that fight, why not just crank it up a little more? You could put some pressure units up on perches, have cacos spawn in from the perimeter so they surprise you, you know whatever, give me something more to do than strafe around this horde and shoot at them. I think the arena plays into this a bit too, it's easy for the player to break line of sight.

 

But I have a completely positive impression of the map at the end. I recall mentioning the potential for some of the combat to tip toward grindy after playing your first map, but this one didn't feel that way at all. It seems like you tried to make something intentionally different from your first map, and if that's the case then so far you seem to be executing these experiments pretty well. This feels like a map you'll be able to really dial in maybe after you've seen some playtests and collated some of the responses you've gotten. But that's just part of the process.

 

Looking forward to the next one!

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@LVENdead Thanks for playing; I appreciate the feedback.  I know the visuals aren't great in this one, but I, being a stubborn fool, said this WAD would be vanilla-compatible at the start, and I'm sticking to it, damnit!  Earlier drafts of the main arena were a bit prettier, but I had to cull a lot of detail to prevent it turning into a mess of HOM.  Heck, the wooden "escarpment" you mentioned was originally added to reduce the amount of stuff that could be on-screen at once.

I'm not sold on most of the combat in this one, either, but, as you said, that's why we need playtesters!  The arch-vile fight, in particular, is really hit-or-miss.  I've run through the map and obliterated them with ease like you did, but I've also had runs where they resurrect a bunch of tanky monsters like cacos and hell knights, which then end up shielding the Archies from the rockets.  It's pretty dependent on what corpses are lying around where from the first two fights in that area, and I'm not really sure how to balance that.  I agree that some pressure units and meat shields would help, but I'll have to give some thought as to where and when they appear.

The room full of chaingunners wasn't supposed to be particularly challengin, I just wanted to give the player the chaingun in a way that's slightly less boring than "here's a chaingun on the floor."  If other people also think it needs spicing up, though, I might add something else there.

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the final fight.  If I only got one encounter right, I'd like it to be that one.  End on a high note, and all that.  Removing the pain elementals from that arena was a good choice, I think. You seemed to have a lot more fun there than @Biodegradable did.

 

You're right that it's "80% there," I think.  I'll wait until I've gotten a bit more feedback before making changes so I have a better idea of how, exactly, to improve things.  And yes, this was intentionally a different style to MAP01.  My goal with this WAD is to experiment with different types of levels in maps 1-3, then tie together all those different "themes" in map 4, hopefully having learnt and improved along the way.

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I'm not good at reviews but I say things in the video - good times, love the combats you set up - made me work - always interesting and never dull - constant epic action what fun I got to play with all the weapons and punch an archville again:

 

 

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@Clippy Thanks for playing!  Hm, I think it might be a bit of a problem how much what happens in the early part of the map can affect the difficulty later on.  Depending on how much health you use, and what corpses are left near where the 4 arch-viles show up, it seems like the difficulty can fluctuate wildly in the later stages.  I really am not sure how I can balance that, though.

It honestly never occurred to me that you could get the blue armour secret by arch-vile jumping.  I think I'll leave it, though.  It's quicker than finding it "legit" but it costs you some health, so there's a price to pay.  (For the record, I'm unlikely to ever include secrets that require an arch-vile jump, since killing the arch-vile would lock you out of the secret and I don't like that).

Eye switch = BFG, which is why it's a secret.

And I agree that the teleporter at the start opened by the blue key is too easy to miss.  @LVENdead suggested making the blue skull texture appear on the start building when the teleporter opens to indicate the connection, and I'll probably implement that in the next version.

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4 hours ago, Orcsbreath said:

Depending on how much health you use, and what corpses are left near where the 4 arch-viles show up, it seems like the difficulty can fluctuate wildly in the later stages.  I really am not sure how I can balance that, though.

 

As a thought, do you WANT the player to have to pace out consuming those resources in that area, or did you just put that many there to make the later fights fair? If you didn't intend to have the player need to have some restraint on those items, maybe you could figure out a way to put portions of them in little closets until the next fight in the area? Like maybe put a few of the medikits in the container the cyberdemon comes out of, or build a couple more structures LIKE that which also lower down at the same trigger to reveal the items.

 

 

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