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rd.

a Dean of Doom series companion thread

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, 1Destro3456 said:

Me too, I suck at Doom yet Scythe 2 has been sold to me, not sure if I'll play it for that reason that I suck even if the hard ones are at the end

i'd say to maybe wait a little before playing it. i tried playing it earlier this year and jfc i got my ass kicked, and i'm only now gonna try to finish it now that i've beaten speed of doom and plutonia 2

 

you should definitely play it tho. it's absolutely freakin fantastic, even if i do hate its custom enemies

Edited by roadworx

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Great episode! With the exception of three or so maps, I agree with MtPain's grades. The soundtrack, for me, is what boosts Scythe II from simply a great megawad to one of legend - much like Sunlust or Valiant's OSTs, they're a perfect match for the levels' atmosphere and action.

 

That statement about Death "sticking in your mind for a long time, whether you like it or not" is so accurate that it hurts. I first played Scythe II around three weeks ago, and I still think about MAP26 and its music when watching Doom videos or mapping. That level changes anyone who goes through it, and the rest of the hell levels further cements said change.

 

(It's pretty funny watching decino's all-ghosts analysis video and this episode back to back, because I got the bug to happen during Haunting Dreams' arch-vile assault.)

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This Dean of Doom makes it very difficult to decide whether to be satisfied with having played through Scythe 2 Map22 (after which I gave up) or play through maps 23-30 on ITYTD because there's no way any higher difficulty is feasible at my skill level.

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Posted (edited)

Great review for a great wad. I was particularly excited to hear him speak about MAP26. It's a map I've always been strangely fascinated with and I recalled his note where he mentioned being stuck on it in the past. Has to be one of the most brutal maps I've ever seen with a monster count under 100 (a number it doesn't even come close to IIRC).

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I think this was my favorite episode of dean of doom so far. Scythe 2 is one of my 3 favorite megawads and I requested it for him to write down when I first saw his videos so I was anticipating this and it did not disappoint. It exceeded expectations by a lot.

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I might play this one day(unlike Plutonia 2, probably at #12 in my megawad list)...but probably with mods for the last 8 maps because while I could probably get through 21-24 with a minimum amount of tries, I know my limits and feel like Death would be impossible.

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I really like map29, for similar reasons as Demon of the Well here.

 

It is a very clever austerity map, and the scenarios that can arise are fun and panic-inducing and even occasionally hilarious.

 

In isolation, it wouldn't be my favorite Scythe 2 map, or I think even top-3. But a lot of what makes the rest of Scythe 2's back third fun and good isn't too hard to come by among slaughtermaps released in the dozen years since it. So I have BFG spam maps I like better, encounter-based slaughter I like better, "zone of influence" slaughter I like better, pure Tyson maps I like better. But the scarcity approach of "Dust to Dust" is a lot rarer in many ways: it's a combat puzzle, a resource puzzle, a routing puzzle, and a "herd things halfway across the map" puzzle; it uses odd tropes for modern palates, like terrain that is punishing through being awkward and obtrusive, rather than full of inescapable pits or heavy on platforming; it delights in blurring the lines between what looks like progression and what looks like breaking things; it delights just as much in breaking the rules ("don't put the early SSG in a secret!" Alm, mishearing: "good point, I'll make it a vilejump secret!"). Overall I think this still stands up as a brilliant, model example of uncompromising "doing a lot with a little" design. 

 

Also I find a lot of the nonsense in it mechanically fun to do too, which is incredibly important to me enjoying it. This is a bit of a digression, but I didn't realize for a while that many people assume anyone who likes a hard map (especially of this sort), or anyone who likes practicing things like cyberdemon two-shots, does so primarily for abstract reasons, like strategy or "skill testing" -- rather than enjoying the mechanics and feelings involved on a very basic level, just as one might enjoy gibbing fodder with rockets. As someone who likes both, it's basically the same for me. So I'll point that out too because I spent the whole last paragraph praising abstractions.

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When I saw this video pop up, I decided to play through Scythe 2 (for the first time) before watching it. I can definitely see why it's considered a classic. The architecture is impressive, and it manages to accomplish a lot with relatively few textures. The levels look great, even if maps within an episode tended to blur together (probably also because I've only played them once).

 

I enjoyed the earlier levels, as well as the more leasurely slaughter of maps 28 and 30, but I found some of the hardest maps also the least fun to play. Most modern combat puzzle maps I've played will provide you with everything you need to solve them. In Scythe 2, I frequently felt like I was being punished for not knowing the map ahead of time. Saved after a tough fight left you at 40 health and no armor? Too bad, the next fight is even harder and doesn't give you any resources. The most frustrating encounter by far was the one at the water pit on the yellow key path in map 25. Mt. Pain highlighted it as one of the hardest, and he had a BFG. The only way to get the BFG is to do the red key path first, but there's no way of knowing that beforehand. The area instantly fills with enemies, including evil marines and chaingunners that can shred you in seconds. The way enemies teleport in is also completely random, so retrying that fight over and over felt less like I was getting better at it and more like I was just trying to get lucky. These kinds of situations left a bad taste in my mouth even though overall I had a good time with Scythe 2.

 

This is probably the kind of wad that gets better if you play it multiple times. Once you know what to expect and where the secrets are, you can plan accordingly and it will feel a lot more fair. Although I don't think I'll ever come to appreciate the evil marines.

 

Also, I found a many of the music tracks grating. It made me realize how spoiled we are nowadays with tons of great made-for-doom midis. The music's not bad, but some of the tracks were just too short or repetitive. I didn't think I could dislike Dancing Mad, but after an hour of listening to the first part of it on repeat I was desperate to get the map over with.

 

 

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On 4/3/2021 at 9:45 AM, a.a.i. said:

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? 

Adding to what rd and others said, in the newest episode (Scythe 2) he mentions that it’s like Scythe 1 in the sense that if you beat all the levels with ease you’re in the top 1% of Doom players, so he really meant with that “knock out of the park” to do those last levels easily

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And I was just gonna jokingly claim that he ought to be added to "most promising new members whose claim to fame was cut too short...

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That was a treat to watch, so glad he enjoyed them on the whole. Entertaining as always!

 

This rant is a diversion from the purpose of the thread, but - as salty as I was when IcarusLives pooped on Doomed in Space back in 2018, I’m pretty thankful now. The one thing that really stuck with me was how he said the weapons had lame sound effects and felt weak. It’s part of why Rudy and Ray ended up with the arsenal they did, for their second episodes anyway. And I think it can go further without breaking the game, so I’ll have to play with that idea in the future..

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My guy’s is taking a breather from hard wads month, which is understandable. I hope he won’t feel like he’s running out of things to say like I do on my first DWMC.

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Replayed a few maps. Some random thoughts: 

 

08: Cliffside Punchout

 

It's usually a good thing when a conversion with an amazing weapon dedicates a map to it (or a long portion of gameplay in at least one map). That way you have "the definitive [weapon] map" out there somewhere and don't feel you're scrounging through the set for ways to use it. So this one definitely delivers. 

 

It also doesn't commit so hard to its main motif (punching stuff) that you feel suffocated by what the map wants you to do. At a certain point, the rifle, rocket launcher, and SSG all become more useful, but I still decided to use the fists anyway. When maps trust me to know to choose how to enjoy myself, I try to play along with them. 

 

This is powerful. 

d5r0EI0.png

 

The SSG sprite and timing in Rowdy Rudy 2 actually messes me up too(?) I noticed, because the rate the regular SSG fires is sort of baked into me already, and when I look at it I expect that. So my solution? When it's actually very useful, I try to look away from the SSG.

 

10: Black Gold

 

I actually really like this map. Maybe in Doom I'm a bottom. The darkness is terrifying and conducive to a real adrenaline rush. Feels like I spend as much time running from archviles in the outer dark ring as actually trying to hose them down. When cybie comes out, it's like, "wow really?" He's never much of a persistent threat, but the theme tends to be latent threats here: I had constant thoughts of "where the fuck is he?" when in one of the other quadrants. As much as circling around is maligned in general in Doom, the outer fight was 3-4 minutes of pure tension. Also really glad this fight doesn't use spectres, which feel so "automatic" in a lot of dark roaming fights but definitely would have been cheap here, not to mention totally unnecessary. 

 

I think the secrets are odd copouts (the chaingun's unusual brightening effect is actually an oddly balanced 'flashlight') and using the double chainsaw never makes a lot of sense (at least on UV) and the cacodemon variants in the initial fight are actually kind of awkward at times, since they are *mean* in melee range and can easily end up in a spot where you round the corner and inevitably bump into one -- but those are my limited issues with it. 

 

12: Clearing Inventory 

 

This map is badass, my favorite of the set and my favorite by the author (which is saying a lot, because he has many good maps and this is maybe the most visually understated). A lot to love here, like the way it seamlessly blends many different elements of design (monsterless narrative to chill combat to devious traps to ridiculous over-the-top fights; from Resurgence-like macro architecture to Doomcute toilets and conference tables with little stories baked in). Like the way progression ends in a circuit where you're back in the first area you fought stuff in, for a big climactic fight foreshadowed with all the ammo visible on the chrome platforms. Like the way it generally channels '90s "basic design" (intended or not) and '90s tropes in some ways...while being obviously masterfully orchestrated. 

 

I think RJD is very conscious about why each moment works and what it's going for, so it ends up not being a surprise that the experience is constantly fresh. Nothing drags, nothing is "I just did this." Showing that amount of moderation while being excessive and extravagant is actually pretty cool. 

 

There's things like...lost souls coming out of vents. Fleets of Plutonia monsters all on toilet break. I find it amusing someone or something was playing cards here. 

 

ZlSMvEz.png

 

 

So yeah, really good map. Because of these maps and some others, 08-15 of RR2 was one of my favorite stretches of Doom in all the things I played in 2020. 

 

Mini Spider Mastermind

 

...where does it store the chaingun that is clearly bigger than it.

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It’s been a while since I played RR2 (I played an early beta version). I remember 01-08 actually being my favourite stretch, I preferred its more chilled-out vibe. 11-15 was pretty enjoyable, but above all what sticks in my mind about that project is the outstanding quality of the dehacked, it adds so much character to the wad.
 

 

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2 hours ago, rd. said:

10: Black Gold

 

I actually really like this map. Maybe in Doom I'm a bottom. The darkness is terrifying and conducive to a real adrenaline rush. Feels like I spend as much time running from archviles in the outer dark ring as actually trying to hose them down. When cybie comes out, it's like, "wow really?" He's never much of a persistent threat, but the theme tends to be latent threats here: I had constant thoughts of "where the fuck is he?" when in one of the other quadrants. As much as circling around is maligned in general in Doom, the outer fight was 3-4 minutes of pure tension. Also really glad this fight doesn't use spectres, which feel so "automatic" in a lot of dark roaming fights but definitely would have been cheap here, not to mention totally unnecessary. 

 

I think the secrets are odd copouts (the chaingun's unusual brightening effect is actually an oddly balanced 'flashlight') and using the double chainsaw never makes a lot of sense (at least on UV) and the cacodemon variants in the initial fight are actually kind of awkward at times, since they are *mean* in melee range and can easily end up in a spot where you round the corner and inevitably bump into one -- but those are my limited issues with it.

same - i thought that map was really fun; it's a shame he didn't like it. though, i can see why it wouldn't be for everyone

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He's back at last! Glad to see the Rowdy Rudy WADs get such a glowing review.

 

That elevator fight in Powertrip Map 12 is an absolute beast on Hard/Hurt Me Plenty, to the point that I plain forgot a lot of the fights that precede it. I spent so much time running into the elevator for the cyberdemon showdown that the whole level became the elevator in my mind. That's a shame, because now that I've been reminded of them, the level is an obvious highlight of the WAD. I'd be interested to get to the elevator battle on Expert/UV. There's probably a very obvious strategy to it on the lower difficulty that I just haven't picked up.

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6 hours ago, LadyMistDragon said:

The new video's up!

 

 

Rip Ty

 

It was a great video, and I'm really glad the Dean made it.

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I really need to replay that one. I only remembered the final map while watching. It does look like a very nice tribute to Ty.

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I've only played Nova III, but this video really makes me want to try this one out. Maps look pretty cool for the most part, and a lot of the authors in it make awesome maps. 

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I kinda want to make a series like dean of doom for somethin like quake.

Principal of Quake?

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Just now, Theperson said:

I kinda want to make a series like dean of doom for somethin like quake.

Principal of Quake?


Do as you wish.

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