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rd.

a Dean of Doom series companion thread

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On 3/30/2021 at 7:15 PM, Jimmy said:

I must admit I'm hyped for any release of mine that the MtPain might get round to reviewing - although thinking on it, I have concerns should he choose to review and rank anything of mine from around the Jenesis era. If he's going for 100% kills in every map, he's going to have a rough time. I simply did not bear this playstyle in mind at all.

unless you are gene bird i think you are fine

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I hope @MtPain27 knows this thread exists :)

 

Anyway, I watched Dean of Doom for some time before I joined this forum. Found a lot of good WADs that way, including all of my top three: Ancient Aliens, Japanese Community Project, and Eviternity.

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Posted (edited)

A new episode just dropped all!!!

 

It’s Sunlust!!! ;-P

 

I don’t want to spoil anything but the changes he has made to the rating system are pure gold XD

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That was a truly fantastic video.  Absolutely best one he's done so far.  The detail, the insight, the pure commitment to artistic integrity.  Absolute Grade A stuff.  I'd put it among the best reviews of any wad I've ever seen.

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3 hours ago, rd. said:

 

I had some thoughts on this one surface a few times. 

 

Interestingly, the idea that saving is shameful and "good players" rarely do it, that saves are an admission of weakness, doesn't come from these "good players." 

 

The source is varied and hard to pin down exactly, but I think it's a notion that is reinforced by visibility: top players share their final runs on YouTube, but not their practice and prep sessions or their leisure play (not that they should...that's just what happens). I went through "saving = weakness" phases in bygone years (those are probably concentrated in 2016-2018), so I kind of know where the impulse comes from, and unchecked assumption has a lot to do with that. It's also reinforced by the noxious machismo that lingers in any gaming community, especially the unmoderated places, by bullies and trolls who invent a distorted image of a "hardcore no-save player" and then use it, as a cudgel, to shame people who don't match up. "You used saves??? Well Decino didn't need them!?!" 

 

Over the years, I've been lucky to share a Discord server with or watch streams of many really good players, so I've gotten a more accurate picture than that.

 

Of the 15 players I think of as probably the most skilled 15 singleplayer Doomers (which I'm listing only to be concrete)...

 

0xf00ba12, 4shockblast, Ancalagon, Aquasa, Daerik, Depravity, DotW, j4rio, Koren, Looper, MrZzul, Nevanos, stx-Vile, TheViperKiller, Zeromaster

 

...just two of them disavow saves in casual play, meaning outside of demos and challenges. One of them is among the chillest people ever, and I know for a fact it isn't an ego thing. He loves the heightened stakes of deaths indicating resets, and I've seen him redo long stretches of maps after dying with zenlike calm. The other is similar, actually, minus the "zenlike calm" part. 

 

More common is someone like MrZzul (aka Killer5). He has done some really impressive saveless runs of slaughtermaps, some of which are total buttclenchers (those pits are inescapable). He also streams casual plays on Twitch from time to time. What happens then? Well, more often than not, he dutifully uses the save key between every fight.

 

In most games, the most efficient way to practice involves repeatedly playing harder, important sections, without having to reclaim the entire map to get back to that point in exchange for one shot. It's like a pianist drilling a tricky section of a piece with one hand over and over, to gain the requisite technique, or an athlete getting thousands of isolated reps of a fundamental skill instead of hoping to improve only in games. Top players use the tools at their disposal, with no sign of turning their nose up at saves.  

 

Then there is the matter of trying to cram lots of different activities into limited spare time. Speedrunners sometimes want to try out cool releases like everyone else. Juggling both the run grind and saveless casual play would eat up a lot of time. So, unsurprisingly, someone like stx-Vile, one of the original Compet-N legends who is still active and streams on Twitch, saves between fights in his leisurely play.

 

In that paragraph, if you replace "run grind" with "things in life other than Doom," you get the more common use case of saves for people who aren't speedrunners or challenge maxers. That parallel shows one way that people who enjoy the game in very different ways have a lot in common. 

 

Even the best players out there don't view saving as a shameful thing. So anyone who pushes others to feel that way is, at that point, either misinformed or full of it. 

 

Great post as always.

 

I similarly underwent a no saves phase (2018-2020), motivated by the desire to hone my skills which were clearly lacking at the time. Beating Speed of Doom was actually the catalyst to make me reconsider my preferred playstyle - I realized I had hit my skill ceiling and was unlikely to improve whether I kept playing saveless or not.

 

Nowadays I take advantage of DSDA-Doom's rewind feature, which gives me a safeguard in case I mess up badly. Interestingly I've noticed that since the switch I'm getting better, not in terms of raw skill but in terms of being able to read the minute combat situation more aptly and reacting on the fly.

 

I've bolded a section of your post that particularly resonates with me. I find it quite amusing that the more challenge epithets you cram into the title of a video the more attention you'll get, regardless of the actual quality of the content. I've seen way too many videos with a title like this "X map Y UV -fast -solo-net", where the player proceeds to cheese half of the fights and spending an hour in the process, whereas a regular UV run in 10-15 minutes would have been far more impressive to watch.

 

The last paragraph probably sounds like "old man yells at cloud" now that I reread it, lol.

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Yeah the noxious machismo really is a big thing. You also see it with random people who insist UV is the only way to play anything in Doom even though, say, HMP is functionally the same at its core, with the differences being dictated wad to wad. I think there are just some who feel like they have to come into Doom with "something to prove", and are probably limiting their enjoyment by doing so. And hey, these are usually likely some of the first people to handwave away certain wads as "bullshit" if they prove to be too difficult for them. I don't know though, I probably just read the Youtube comments on Doom videos too much, haha.

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Just now, DisgruntledPorcupine said:

Yeah the noxious machismo really is a big thing. You also see it with random people who insist UV is the only way to play anything in Doom even though, say, HMP is functionally the same at its core, with the differences being dictated wad to wad. I think there are just some who feel like they have to come into Doom with "something to prove", and are probably limiting their enjoyment by doing so. And hey, these are usually likely some of the first people to handwave away certain wads as "bullshit" if they prove to be too difficult for them. I don't know though, I probably just read the Youtube comments on Doom videos too much, haha. 

Nothing meaningful is gained by reading YouTube comments, it is true.

 

Not sure why people have a hard time internalizing that Doom is a video game - you play it in the way that is most rewarding for you. And that involves admitting when you need to save, or when you need to jump down in difficulty to HMP or HNTR.

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Posted (edited)

Great channel. I liked the episode on Scythe very much in particular. I found his closing remarks quite interesting. He calls it the "SAT of Doom WADs" and says if you can beat it, you're in the top 1% of Doom players worldwide. What are people's thoughts on that? 

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Checking that out, he says, "if you can knock every level out of the park, you're in the top 1% ... ." Knocking it out of the park seems to suggest not just getting through the final group of maps, but beating them comfortably, particularly m30 without the UV-Speed skip.

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I agree with rd. Some of Scythe's final maps are extremely tough, especially MAP30. I honestly wouldn't be surprised that if you counted every Doom player ever, less than 1% could comfortably beat MAP30 on UV (that is, not save scum through a brutal slugfest of a run). I certainly haven't beaten it before.

I do quite like the SAT of Doom idea for Scythe, though, since it hits so many levels of difficulty. The point at which you think "I can't do this" is your grade, haha.

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Posted (edited)

Well said, rd. Mind you, while I've personally used the term "save-scum" in a jovial manner, usually to just take the piss out of myself in my playthrough recordings, I'd never shame anyone for saving at any point. Not sure how well spread this problem really is since I've never experienced it myself or witnessed it first hand in my time with the community, I'd certainly call out anyone for pushing that kind of bullshit onto others. Perhaps I'm just naive or am simply not exploring the specific subforums where it can potentially happen, but I haven't seen even the tiniest shred of that kind of elitist nonsense on DW since I got here.

 

If such a thing is prevalent in the community, it's at least not around these parts as far as I can tell, which is nice. :^)

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54 minutes ago, rd. said:

Knocking it out of the park seems to suggest .... beating them comfortably

 

15 minutes ago, Toastd said:

less than 1% could comfortably beat MAP30 on UV (that is, not save scum through a brutal slugfest of a run). 

 

These comments certainly provide more context to MtPain27's statement. In my case, I did manage to get through 29 maps saveless and the last stretch in particular took me countless attempts, even then I had to rely on good infighting/ monster movement (good RNG) in maps 22, 23, 24, 27, 28 and 29. A truly skilled player would be able to get the desired monster behaviour without relying on RNG. 

 

As for Map 30, I don't know if I'll ever be able to beat it saveless on UV

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15 minutes ago, a.a.i. said:

As for Map 30, I don't know if I'll ever be able to beat it saveless on UV

 

The thing about 30 is that while the first 29 maps are pretty quick once you know what you're doing, 30 is always gonna be slow and gruelling on UV (unless, as rd said, you do the skip). It's a big departure from the rest of the megawad in terms of style, size, and difficulty. Probably why I've never been able to make myself sit down and beat it.

 

28 minutes ago, Biodegradable said:

Well said, rd. Mind you, while I've personally used the term "save-scum" in a jovial manner, usually to just take the piss out of myself in my playthrough recordings, I'd never shame anyone for saving at any point.

 

Dean of Doom's video on this is pretty good, in my opinion. Really got me to stop being ashamed of using saves to enjoy myself. I've definitely seen a couple of "saveless or bust" types in the various Doom-related Discords, especially the larger ones.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/2/2021 at 11:01 AM, DisgruntledPorcupine said:

Yeah the noxious machismo really is a big thing. You also see it with random people who insist UV is the only way to play anything in Doom even though, say, HMP is functionally the same at its core, with the differences being dictated wad to wad. I think there are just some who feel like they have to come into Doom with "something to prove", and are probably limiting their enjoyment by doing so. And hey, these are usually likely some of the first people to handwave away certain wads as "bullshit" if they prove to be too difficult for them. I don't know though, I probably just read the Youtube comments on Doom videos too much, haha.

yep, you nailed it. it's coming from the same place toxic masculinity comes from - the need to feel like you're better than others by purposely making yourself miserable.  if you do that, then you're stronger than the weaklings who aren't being complete dumbasses and are playing games to, y'know, have fun. and in order to make it known to everyone, they like to wave it around and shit on others who aren't as Cool and Tough™ as they are

 

it's pretty much just an unhealthy, abrasive way to deal with low self-esteems

 

11 hours ago, Biodegradable said:

Well said, rd. Mind you, while I've personally used the term "save-scum" in a jovial manner, usually to just take the piss out of myself in my playthrough recordings, I'd never shame anyone for saving at any point. Not sure how well spread this problem really is since I've never experienced it myself or witnessed it first hand in my time with the community, I'd certainly call out anyone for pushing that kind of bullshit onto others. Perhaps I'm just naive or am simply not exploring the specific subforums where it can potentially happen, but I haven't seen even the tiniest shred of that kind of elitist nonsense on DW since I got here.

 

If such a thing is prevalent in the community, it's at least not around these parts as far as I can tell, which is nice. :^)

from what i've seen, dw doesn't have a big problem with it (at least, not anymore) cuz people who act that way tend to have their shit called out by everyone else. you see it a lot elsewhere tho

Edited by roadworx

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Posted (edited)

Honestly surprised I'm not the only person in existence who also dislikes Scythe. Always thought it was the most overrated 'classic' megawad.

Always seemed generic, easy and boring. I guess it's a good wad for newcomers, but for any experienced player it must be a bore for most of its levels, they're just too easy and chill, even on UV. There's maybe 4 or 5 levels, out of 32, where I had difficulty in. 'C' sounds like a fair grade for it.

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9 minutes ago, Juza said:

Honestly surprised I'm not the only person in existence who also dislikes Scythe. Always thought it was the most overrated 'classic' megawad.

Always seemed generic, easy and boring. I guess it's a good wad for newcomers, but for any experienced player it must be a bore for most of its levels, they're just too easy and chill, even on UV. There's maybe 4 or 5 levels, out of 32, where I had difficulty in. 'C' sounds like a fair grade for it.

i think - i think - it's more deemed a classic due to the third episode rather than the first two

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Juza said:

Honestly surprised I'm not the only person in existence who also dislikes Scythe. Always thought it was the most overrated 'classic' megawad.

Always seemed generic, easy and boring. I guess it's a good wad for newcomers, but for any experienced player it must be a bore for most of its levels, they're just too easy and chill, even on UV. There's maybe 4 or 5 levels, out of 32, where I had difficulty in. 'C' sounds like a fair grade for it.

 

Yeah, the first couple of episodes certainly aren't targeted at experienced Doomers. A lot of people I talk to say it was either their first or at least one of their first megawads, and I think that as a first megawad it's a great pick. I've always enjoyed the first two episodes of Scythe even as a decent player who isn't threatened by them because of Erik Alm's breezy and simplistic mapping style. It's like a quick snack in Doom form.

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I agree that the first half of Scythe was mostly filler, but episode 2 had some neat ideas, 16-20 in particular

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in my mind Scythe's map 30 is the hardest level I've ever beat lol, hard than any non-secret level in Valiant or Ancient Aliens.

But I played it in 2005 so my mind is probably messing up with me.

 

Not sure if the wad aged well, but at the time it was exactly what I was looking for, and beating the later maps, harder than anything in the IWADs, was a very accomplishing task. For an experienced doomer, though, the first two episodes might feel indeed a waste of time, but for me it was perfect and the slow difficulty curve is great for new doomers who want to keep testing their abilities.

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Deadwing said:

in my mind Scythe's map 30 is the hardest level I've ever beat lol, hard than any non-secret level in Valiant or Ancient Aliens.

But I played it in 2005 so my mind is probably messing up with me.

no, your mind isn't. it's a long, difficult slog, and is honestly one of the hardest levels i've ever beaten as well

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The latest Dean of Doom episode is on Heartland. 

 

 

 

Interesting to see MtPain focus on a newly released mapset. Not too much personally to add, other than this continues to be a really professionally put-together series of videos.

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Hadn't heard of this guy before seeing this thread, but watching the first few episodes, I'm already a fan. Definitely gonna catch up and follow along.

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I'm very happy to see more attention brought to NRFTL and especially the extremely underrated midi pack for it :D

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I really love MtPain's content, since I haven't played doom for 10+ years it was a very good guideline regarding pwads for me. I missed out on so much, but now i have an idea which of those wads i could like.

 

Oh and @rd., no offense at all, but you really should review your video quality, I barely can't see anything on the vid you posted. Maybe some very low bitrate or something? 

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10 minutes ago, entrywayy said:

Oh and @rd., no offense at all, but you really should review your video quality, I barely can't see anything on the vid you posted. Maybe some very low bitrate or something? 

 

I don't want to switch over to my video recording setup for brief clips made on a whim, and given that it's just a brief clip, I thought the gist was enough.

 

It should be viewable at least, though, enough to see more than "barely anything" -- so I'm guessing YT might be only displaying the lowest quality option for you. 

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