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Doomkid

RAY MOHAWK 2 - Development Thread

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Awesome! I received a slightly modified and finalized version of Gokuma's map recently, and NeedHealth also submitted a map since last build, so I'll post an updated version in the next day or two.

 

@NeedHealth would you mind reposting your map? (The url died since last week)

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On 7/29/2021 at 3:47 AM, Doomkid said:

Awesome! I received a slightly modified and finalized version of Gokuma's map recently, and NeedHealth also submitted a map since last build, so I'll post an updated version in the next day or two.

 

@NeedHealth would you mind reposting your map? (The url died since last week)

Here you go -e1 failure to zip, see below.

Edited by NeedHealth

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On 7/29/2021 at 3:47 AM, Doomkid said:

Awesome! I received a slightly modified and finalized version of Gokuma's map recently, and NeedHealth also submitted a map since last build, so I'll post an updated version in the next day or two.

 

@NeedHealth would you mind reposting your map? (The url died since last week)

 

42 minutes ago, Moustachio said:

@NeedHealth When I unzip NHraymohawkV2.7z, all I get is a mohawk2j.deh file.

 

40 minutes ago, Lol 6 said:

Can confirm it, there's only a dehacked in the 7z

 

Take two, I even put the other mohawk wad in the 7z just in case because I can't remember if it was necessary or not.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/f32cl56z9vhj2hu/NHraymohawkV2.7z?dl=0

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Here's a review of @UberGewei's Map 07. I have a lot to say about this map, so we're gonna split it up into three sections: what I didn't like, what I did like, and how I would address the stuff I didn't like.

 

Let's get what I didn't like out of the way:

 

Spoiler

The combat in this map is unfortunately quite boring despite the lavish settings these fights take place in. That's because there's hardly any encounters throughout the map that put a real strain on Ray's incredibly overpowered weapons set. Many of the fights on display here are against incidental fodder -- enemies that are just placed between areas or perched on ledges far away from the action. This type of enemy placement is actually necessary in order to fill the void during the more explorative sections of Doom maps, but without any high pressure situations, the map becomes almost purely exploration. Being able to quickly mow down enemies with the blaster + the abundant ammo quickly becomes monotonous, and the whole map starts to blur together.

 

Using the red key area as an example: The big open ruins that house the key are a prime location for a huge horde to come in and swarm the player, but instead all we get are a few hell knights and revenants. It was a bit underwhelming.

 

On the flip side, there are a couple of moments where, due to Doom's infinitely tall monsters, enemies will block your jump down into the lower area. The cave right after the blue key and the cave beyond the blue key door both have this issue. 

 

The ammo balance in this map doesn't help much either. There's way too much ammo in this map for it to be of any challenge. I had full ammo from about the halfway point onto the end of the map (not including bullets since I exclusively used the blaster to cheese most of the fights in this map). You generally want the player to have about a third of their total ammo supply left by the end of the map. There's also ammo for the flamethrower present, a weapon which isn't in the level, nor is it allowed to be in the level.

 

By not limiting the ammo enough, it becomes too easy to stick to a preferred weapon, and all the fights start to feel the same. There's no incentive for the player to think outside the box when it comes to their approach to the level.

 

On the less pressing side of things, some of the areas are rather large without a whole lot going on in them. They look great visually, but it does take a while to get to where you need to go at times. If the player falls off the ship, they have to climb back up through the cave, through the yellow door, and re-do the small platforming obstacle. Additionally, some of the progression can be a bit confusing at times. The blue key door is a bit too far away to see clearly from where you emerge with the key, and the switch to open it is tucked away behind the building.

 

Finally, the map doesn't look great in vanilla unfortunately. Immediately upon opening the map in Chocolate Doom, I'm faced with numerous huge HOMs that frankly ruin the entire experience of the map. This will be pretty hard to remedy, since the only way to fix this is to get rid of visible sidedefs, but it is possible. I had to to a lot of creative sidedef removal for my Rudy 2 mapping process, and I can tell you that it's frustrating if you're not willing to compromise on detail. But it's possible.

 

Now, with all that being said, many of these issues can be simply addressed with a map update, and there's quite a bit to enjoy about the map as well. I'll go over how to address these issues and more later on down below, but first, here's what I liked about the map:

 

Spoiler

The visual fidelity is on point for vanilla. I took this for a spin in Crispy Doom, and this map looks gorgeous, especially the section with the ship. There is at least one texture mishap that I can think of -- the skull face on the mast of the ship tiles vertically which I think looks a little awkward -- but other than that, everything looks satisfactory for vanilla, aside from the aforementioned HOM issues.

 

The setting itself is cool and the ship is a unique and memorable touch. The ancient temple appropriately feels like it extends for ages underground with its winding tunnels. The environmental details are also on point in this map, adding a lot of visual charm in one of the more exploration heavy maps of the set.

 

The double cyberdemon room stands out for me. Although it is easy to cheese the remaining cyberdemon by standing in a certain spot (as seen in the demos below), when there are two of them, it becomes a challenging fight! The imp wall that opens up at the soulsphere switch is also really fun, and I'd love more hordes of fodder to use the cell cannon on.

 

The MIDI used is also a lot of fun -- it did start to get a little repetitive on my third playthrough however.

 

Now the question is, how can this level be tweaked in order to highlight its best aspects and tone down some of its weaknesses? I have a few thoughts on how to address some of my issues with the map:
 

Spoiler

The current enemy and ammo placement is quite easy, making it a prime candidate to base your Easy difficulty setting on. While editing, you can just add enemies that appear exclusively on Hurt Me Plenty, then on Ultra-Violence, building up your skill settings as you go. Try to add enough enemies and encounters to really give yourself a challenge when testing HMP and UV. Hopefully, this will also give you ideas for new setpieces to add in.

 

Add some encounters at key moments throughout the map, including at the red and yellow key sites and at the very end on the ship. I was disappointed we didn't get much of a fight up there! Block off the exit switch with some kind of puzzle that you can't complete until a challenging final fight is done. Or, alternatively, give the player one last scare before the switch opens up. This can be said for the red and yellow key rooms as well. You could have the switch to lower the red key actually open some caves where enemies pour out. Once the enemies are dead, then the player can find the real switch to lower the red key in a cave. Larger rooms can also use some big horde fights to pressure the player and keep navigation interesting as you cross them. These are just a few examples of setpieces that you can add to enrich the fights and layout already present.

 

You could also try significantly lowering the amount of bullet ammo. I was able to rely on the blaster alone to get me through most situations, running out of bullets just one throughout each of my playthroughs. If there were less bullets in supply, I would have been more encouraged to switch my weapons and combat approach more frequently, and I would have had more fun.

 

All of the flamethrower ammo can easily be deleted by using Doom Builder's search feature. Set it to Thing Type and search for the flamethrower ammo to quickly highlight and get rid of all of them. You can also change them to armor bonuses or something similar if you'd like.

 

The HOM stuff, as I mentioned before, will take some more diligence to fix, as it requires an understanding of how sidedefs are rendered, but it can possibly still be done.

 

Finally, some of the map's progression is a little cryptic, such as finding the blue key door switch. I would put blue key signage that's clearly visible from where you emerge with the blue key, that way the player doesn't get lost for a bit looking for the door or the switch.

 

I would say this level is much too easy for the Map 07 slot (at least on Ultra-Violence). It certainly has potential and can easily become a standout thanks to its environment and layout, but as it stands, the far-too-forgiving combat and ammo balance hold the map back. Fortunately, much of the issues I have with the map can be still fixed with a revision.

 

Unfortunately, the worst aspect of the map is that the HOMs render it practically unplayable in vanilla. It's just way too much of a visual massacre, which is such a shame because this map looks so great! I hope this can be fixed, because otherwise this might have to be a limit-removing bonus map (a la Rudy 2).

 

@UberGewei, you should definitely keep at it. You've got mad potential for Doom mapping. This layout is epic, it just needs some epic fights to go along with it (which I can tell you're more than capable of crafting).

 

Here are some demos I recorded that can hopefully help illustrate a lot of my points. In the first one, I gave up because I got lost and couldn't find the Blue Door switch. The second and third are UV-Max playthroughs. I recorded each of them in DSDA Doom on complevel 2.

Edited by Moustachio

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@NeedHealth and @UberGewei, thank you for the submissions, both of these maps are really high-quality from an architecture and texturing perspective, I'm really happy with them overall.

 

---

 

@NH - Shortly into your map, I found myself on a lift that was making a lowering sound, but not actually lowering - it has a caution texture on top, and when noclipping I saw an archvile was waiting in a small alcove. Are you really sure you can't get this to launch in Chocolate Doom? It will be so useful for you with testing. It's how I'm doing all of my testing to find these issues. This map looks damn good overall, and what bit I could play was really fun, it's just broken in its current state.

 

The thing is, I actually looked at the issue in Doom Builder, and for the life of me I can't figure out why the damn thing won't work. You've set it as "lower to lowest floor", and the sector is clearly touching a lower floor, but it refuses to budge... Hopefully someone can figure out what's going on with that?

 

---

 

@Uber - Your map is gorgeous, but as Moustachio said, a bit of a pushover in terms of difficulty. With the exception of Mancs (since they're so damn fat), you could pretty much duplicate every single enemy and end up with a nice amount of challenge. So for instance, anywhere that has an imp, put one more imp right next to it - same with HKs, Archies, etc. I still don't think your map will be a ball-buster by any means, but it'll at least have a bit meatier of a feeling. I also just want to echo his points about removing or replacing the flamethrower ammo.

 

A more unfortunate aspect is that this map is way too detailed for vanilla in its current state. Here's a screenshot of the map with visplane explorer running. All the bright-reddish areas will crash the game if the player enters them:

 

uver.GIF

 

Unfortunately it's all over the place. I do think this could be made a vanilla compatible map with some clever removal and merging of sectors though - for exmaple many of the cliff and staircase areas could condense what are currently 3 steps into just 2 or 1 by using 24-unit high steps rather than increments of 8. Other similar simplifying of architecture and removing of vertices and stuff would also go towards making this a map that can run in vanilla Doom.

 

Would you be willing to simplify the architecture? I could absolutely help with that process. If you don't want the map to be tampered with in such a deep way, I of course also understand and it could be included as a bonus map as Moustachio suggests. I don't think it would actually be that hard to make it vanilla, though. Just let me know what you think!

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Alrighty, after almost a month, it's time for a new build!

 

https://doomshack.org/uploads/mohawk2k.zip

 

A lot of progress, but still a lot of work to be done.

 

---

 

One important thing I'd like to address for some submissions is intensifying the differences between each difficulty. What I mean by that is, some maps only very lightly provide difficulty settings. A running theme throughout all of my CPs and solo-projects over the years is accessibility for lesser-skilled players, and I'm hoping to keep that in tact here as well (while keeping UV as a ball-buster difficulty).

 

Frankly, some of these maps are at the absolute upper ceiling of my skill level on UV. Which is to say - I can beat them all, but in some cases, just barely.. and that's totally fine for UV! However, in HMP, the map should be pretty easy - somewhere between Doom 2 and TNT in terms of overall "hardness" - and in HNTR/Baby mode, it should be a total cakewalk for a pretty skilled Doomer.

 

While the vast majority of submissions have a degree of difference between the skill levels already, the main ones I think really need further "easifying" on the non-UV settings are those by @Moustachio, @RonnieJamesDiner, @rd. and @Aurelius. Excellent maps, but if you could make HMP cater to us Doom Posers, that would be swell, because your maps slap me around and call me names I'm not fond of on UV.

 

Some maps that could use just a little more "easing up" on HMP and HNTR are those by @MidnightMage, @Cheesewheel, @Egg Boy and @Peccatum Mihzamiz. I appreciate that these maps already do have some differences in difficulty, but I'm just being a tad anal about making sure HMP and below are totally, unquestionably accessible for most Doomers. Just plop a few more good items around the place and delete some enemies for those easier skills, you don't need to overthink it or spend too much time on it!

 

---

 

On the more technical side of things, I still need to fix some texture oddities that were inherited from Freedoom.. things like the TSCREEN textures and such not tiling properly since they're a size that Doom isn't compatible with in vanilla, not to mention some textures causing tutti-frutti for similar reasons. These will all get fixed for sure, I haven't forgotten, but as of now there's still some weird shit in there.

 

Of course, once we get submissions from @MikeyScoots and @IggySqiggles (whenever they're ready) we'll have a full 20 map roster filled up! Wether or not UberGewei wants to re-do his map for vanilla, there also may be a slot open for you @nue, and even if not, I'll be happy to include a map you make as a secret and/or bonus map, if you do decide to make one. Same offer goes out for you, @Bobby “lolmcswagger”!

 

---

 

Welp, whatever thoughts and feedback yopu have on the current build, PLEASE DO share them here. Most importantly, have fun with the new build!

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1 hour ago, Doomkid said:

[about bonus maps and putting maps in extra slots]

So, while I'm still hoping I can get my map to run on Chocolate, I'm not fully confident about it. I'll try to give a definitive answer within two weeks. But perhaps my map might have to go to a secret slot as well... It's just that the map is really big and sometimes Chocolate crashes without me knowing why, in tiny areas of the map where not much is happening and there are no VOFs. Is it too many things? Too big of a file? Too many special actions going on on the map? No idea. I'm going to use that one Chocolate Doom analysis tool to find out.

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That's okay, Peccatum - if UberGewei decides he doesn't want to vanillify his map, you'll have at least one fellow limit-removing bonus map :) Don't sweat it. Let me know what you decide on so I can perhaps open on yours (and Uber's) slots for vanilla claimants. Absolutely no pressure either way.

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@Doomkid No sorry, I cant get my map to run chocolate doom but I think I know what the error is. You'll probably need 1 mapix separation (with the same heigh as the lowest floor to make the lift work.

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@Moustachio Thank you for taking your time to write up this detailed report, greatly appreciated.

I definitely agree with you about the difficulty level. I found it too easy myself, but it's always a question of what other people think.

I'll make improvements based upon your feedback (and DK's), it would be great if you could play it again afterwards.

@Doomkid To be honest, I had completely missed that bit about the vanilla requirement. Don't ask me how haha.. but I did.

All the pretty pictures in this thread must have caused too much distraction *hicc* (:

But jokes aside - If I had known that I would have made the map with vanilla in mind, sorry.
This is quite ironic as it was one of the things I tried safeguarding during the development of SIGIL. D'oh.

Might take a couple of days but I'll get it Vanilla compatible!

& @Moustachio thank you again!

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Ayy, sorry about that Doomkid. I appreciate the feedback a lot -- after the success of RR2, I'd love to see this project turn out as entertaining and accessible as possible, so I appreciate the honesty! I'll give our map a thorough pass on difficulty settings at some point this week.

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Updated Map 04!

 

The main changes involve lowering the difficulty of the lower skill levels (as requested by Doomkid) and addressing issues found on @FrancisT218's stream. The current version should hopefully be easy enough for the Doom community at large on HMP and lower, with UV serving to challenge more expert players, although I made some of the UV campaign a little bit easier as well.

 

And I finally added those sailboats.

 

SyEJ0RJ.png

They look better from far away, which is where you'll normally see them.

 

I also went and replaced my canoe with the one from @UberGewei's map since it looks similar but better. I hope it adds a tiny bit of continuity as well.

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I've vanillified and tweaked my map today.
Have given it a quick run through in Chocolate Doom and nothing amiss has jumped out.
Also added a few items & monsters here and there but nothing final.

I'm a bit disappointed with how some areas turned out, but it is what it is.

Let me know how you find this latest revision.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ke4t90d0jkvdl05/mohawk2_map07a4.zip?dl=1

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@UberGewei I ran through it in Chocolate Doom and only noticed a few minor HOMs. These are harder to see without knowing what to look for, so I don't think most players will notice, especially at DOS resolution. Great job!

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I had fun playing through the maps last night, very much looking forward to the second half tonight! These maps with the resource pack and the music are amazing! I love the way the whole set looks and feels.

@Moustachio and @UberGewei. As you know I played through your maps yesterday: the vod will be up on my twitch channel for two weeks. It's a bit of a pity that you both submitted a new version 3 hours after me playing through them but maybe you'll still find some of my comments useful.
 

Spoiler

I'm not going to write down most of my comments: please have a look at the video. But some things I would like to touch upon:

In a nutshell: I was not happy with Moustachio's map in slot number 4 and it shows in my playthrough (sorry!). But I actually have a lot of respect for the map and probably would have thought differently about it in a later slot. The monumental set pieces that start after the Big Open Area battle in the first 20 minutes are all quite cool, and I loved the detailing you've done everywhere. I was a bit confused about the progression near the beginning when the player reaches the big open area. Do I even have to go to the North-Western area next to the sea at all? I feel like there was no 'point' of going there, other than the backpack. I think that the first big area more than anything might just have been too much for me on a first playthrough. Maybe sensory overload :). Again the map slot it was in I think.

I actually really enjoyed MAP07 for what it was in the first version. You don't get to see big beautiful maps that you can just enjoy and walk through all that often. I was happy with the combat. I thought a few times to myself: 'o wow this room could have used 200 more monsters, but I also like it the way it is right now'. If I were to change anything it might be the water room: that could be a tight frantic battle space. Or the room with the two cybers perhaps.


During my playthrough I actually played MAP04 and MAP07 back to back (no MAP05 and I had already tested MAP06). I quite liked the contrast and rest, going from the constant fighting for over an hour to a nice stroll through beautiful scenery. Perhaps something like that could be done in the eventual order of the maps? Having a short, punchy or relaxing map follow up a big one?

@NeedHealth I enjoyed your map a lot! The only thing I can think of is to perhaps use a few different textures in the opening. So much use of the same browns and pipes. It felt a bit out of place with the rest of your map and the rest of the megawad. 

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14 hours ago, Moustachio said:

@UberGewei I ran through it in Chocolate Doom and only noticed a few minor HOMs. These are harder to see without knowing what to look for, so I don't think most players will notice, especially at DOS resolution. Great job!


Yes correct, a few minor ones that are left; could perhaps fine tune it a bit more but I can't be bothered really, was quite the task already to make that area vanilla compatible haha (and there's not that much left of it either). Thanks for checking!

@Peccatum Mihzamiz
Thank you for the playthrough, noted down the feedback and applied it to the new revision!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qi8zuajxkb1tugf/mohawk2_map07a5.zip?dl=1

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@Peccatum Mihzamiz Really appreciate the feedback and the vod! I do believe that Doomkid has mentioned possibly moving it up a few slots to compensate for the size of it, but I'm sure he's waiting to have all the submissions grouped up in order to sort them out.

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I played maps 15, 16, 17 and 19 last night. I had a blast! It was basically me going"o, I'm dying. This map is fucking great!" the last 4 hours of my playthrough. 

I think this concludes my playthrough of all the maps, except for the two that have yet to see a first published version. I am also planning to revisit maps 12 and 14 for another playthrough. I have to say that the difficulty level on the whole wad overall, when playing on UV, is higher than I had anticipated. There is hardly anything that I would call unfair however, and I think that the current order of the maps is a good base to start from and perhaps shuffle a few maps around. The things that get me killed in the megawad are mostly Cyberdemons. They are just such a hazard, and a good counter to the increased weaponry that Ray wields.

I am not going to write too many specifics. The vod of my playthrough will be up for two weeks if mappers want to give it a watch. Some thoughts I would like to write out:

Spoiler

One of only two fights in the entire megawad that was too much for me, was in MAP17 by @Aureliusand @rd. . It's the one with the timed lowering elevators with Cyberdemons and Archviles. I guess I could perhaps start that fight with the secret invulnerability and it would probably be ok then. This is where I wish I could change to a lower difficulty for just one fight and then switch back. I loved this map so much on every level. And I am happy that in between some of the more slaughtery maps of the second half of the megawad we have a map with such tightly choreographed fights.

@DFF on my playthrough there was a flying medikit in your map, in the storage room towards the end of the map.


Such an honor to be part of this megawad. It's a lot of fun, very beautiful and inspiring. I loved all the maps and think this will be an excellent product when finished. Again: I would like to do a co-op playthrough to test that out, in few weeks time. If possible: add some co-op stuff if not done yet.

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I've updated my map again based on @Peccatum Mihzamiz's vod, and some personal touches have been added. I've done my best to address the length and difficulty concerns raised by multiple playtesters. Even knowing that this might get moved up, my goal with this revision was to cut out all the fat, leaving the whole map feeling more on pace. I've re-done a lot of the early secrets as well, including tagging the whole optional beach as a secret. I hope that this makes progression a little less obtuse during the opening, so the map doesn't drag on. Players who choose to spend the extra time in the opening will now be rewarded with a backpack, health and armor buffs, and a very early Berserk pack, saving time and effort later on throughout the level.

 

Download Map 04 [Revision 5]

 

Edit: Made a couple small changes. Should be the last for now. Go ahead and re-download the file if you've already downloaded Revision 5.

 

Took 22 minutes to UV-Max in Chocolate Doom.

Edited by Moustachio

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I've been fiddling with the wad a bit, and before I start complaining, I want to preface that in general the wad is super fun. The weapons are all incredibly satisfying, and for the most part the balance is fascinating. I'm actually pretty interested in taking the weapon pack over to a few wads that are generally a hair outside of my skill range and giving them a go. Love the map designs so far, and love the vibe and atmosphere.

 

A few things stand out to me as a bit frustrating with regards to the balance and enemy/weapon design.

 

Nothing to snipe with. The blaster and pistol work in a pinch, but it feels like really wasting ammo to be landing 2 pellets per hit on some far away imps. IDK if this is a meaningful problem early on though. It's odd to come from RR2 that has one of the best feeling sniping weapons over to Ray Mohawks arsenal of a series of progressively stronger autoshotguns. Not a big problem at all, but just a thought.


The cacos, barons and hell knights all fling the same blue projectile. Cybies and your plasma shoot the same color projectiles! This leads to incredibly difficult to read fights when you're using the plasma gun (rocket launcher). This, when combined with the increased volume of fire meant that it can be really tough to see when a stray baron fireball or worse a stray rocket is rolling towards you. I think its critical that in classic doom its very hard to confuse your own fire with higher threat projectiles (imp balls do look a bit like your own rockets, but the volume of fire with the RL is low enough that it isnt a problem). I think there's a reason that the arachnotrons shoot different colored plasma! I had a similar problem to some extent with plasma troopers and super imps in RR2, but RR2 had way less straight up slaughter. The plasma gun here specifically causes issues-- it's CLEARLY the correct weapon to drop that pack of 12 barons, but with the volume of fire and similarly colored projectiles it feels inevitable to take a couple of baron balls to the dome. I think that returning the baron balls to green would help a ton with the readability of firefights. Especially with the general philosophy of heightened lethality on both sides, it's very frustrating to be taking hits from hell nobles and cacos that I just never picked up the projectiles from. Maybe I'm just getting old and my eyes are too terrible.

 

Similarly, firing the flamethrower has a ridiculous amount of visual noise (to the point where I'm constantly getting zapped by archies when using it because I can't tell if I'm being targeted or not). This makes at least some amount of sense-- the plasma rifle has always had the downside of lots of visual noise. I wonder if it would be possible to use a different flame sprite for the flamethrower? I generally don't love using archvile sfx and sprites for anything other than archviles personally. On the other hand, archviles are significantly lower threat in lots of "traditional" vile placements because they can be stunlocked pretty reliably. In my experience, if you have a clean line of fire to the archie you can knock them out without taking cover with the autoshotty, blaster, flamer or plasma. I'm way more willing to accept that this is actually an intended issue, however.

 

Also, it's really hard to remind myself that the plasma shoots rockets and the rocket shoots plasma-- i keep pounding 6 when I get ambushed and greet myself with a rocket firmly planted into a charging lost soul. I suppose that's a dehacked limitation though.

 

There are also a fair few doodads that have collision that are used maybe a bit too often in my experience-- the spiky stump thing in particular has gotten me killed way too many times at this point.

 

The reason that I ended up sitting down to write out some thoughts here was because I got incredibly frustrated with MAP12. I've cooled off a fair bit, but I found the gimmick kind of frustrating. Monsters constantly teleporting back into the main courtyard was an interesting idea at first, but it sort of just meant that every time I wanted to backtrack I had to deal with an encounter that was relatively trivial. It felt like the fights ended up just losing their teeth because half the enemies would teleport across the map, I'd wipe up the ones that didn't hit the linedefs then go back and clean up the few stragglers that did teleport back. And having to do that with the timed switch red door was honestly just tedious. Archviles jumping back there was pretty fun though, that was a good emergency. But when it's like 4 cacos and 3 barons and 2 revenants... it just felt like tedious fluff. I think I'm probably just being cranky here though-- I did like the map generally.

Coming off of MAP11, which ended up feeling slow and tedious because of the vast amount of open space to slowly trivialize and grind through enemies, the constant mild annoyance of backtracking to mop up stragglers felt like it just halted the momentum of the wad dead-- right when the wad starts handing out the real big guns!

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On 8/3/2021 at 2:21 AM, Doomkid said:

While the vast majority of submissions have a degree of difference between the skill levels already, the main ones I think really need further "easifying" on the non-UV settings are those by @Moustachio, @RonnieJamesDiner, @rd. and @Aurelius. Excellent maps, but if you could make HMP cater to us Doom Posers, that would be swell, because your maps slap me around and call me names I'm not fond of on UV.

 

Went ahead and handled our map with Aurelius first. Changelog: 

 

Spoiler

HNTR: 

- first blue armor -> megasphere 
- two medkits in nukage fight -> soulsphere 
- elusive first revenant in nukage fight now a hell knight
- two "small" (because 20 is a lot lol) cells added in nukage fight 
(this fight isn't exceptionally hard to begin with, I actually... kinda ran out of both ammo and health while testing it on both difficulties, which should never happen on HNTR or HMP, so I made bigger changes than expected.)
- megasphere added in central area fight, a few medkits removed 
- cell pack added in central area fight
- soulphere in east area fight -> megasphere, two medkits and 50 armor removed 
- one small cell added in east area fight
- bullet box removed from area before YK (because now when you get here you actually have way more bullets and it's awkward to have to skip over it and come back to it), replaced with green armor (sort of insurance at getting here with no armor)

HMP (anything underlined is the same on HNTR): 

- first blue armor -> megasphere (and a couple medkits removed) 
- two medkits -> soulsphere and two medkits added in nukage fight (because of the third archvile that is not on HNTR) 
- two small cells added in nukage fight 
- two small cells and bullet box added in central area fight (not the biggest change, but running out of ammo here can be so devastating that it makes a big difference)
- soulsphere added in east area fight, two medkits removed (old soulsphere remains)
- bullet box removed from area before YK, replaced with green armor (same reasoning as HNTR) 

 

not a lot of monster changes there, but hopefully amping up the resources does the trick. geared mostly around the player not having to juggle picking up ammo and medkit pickups and intense fights at the same time, and having more of a health buffer for mistakes -- while still being an element of resource management. no final fight changes yet because I want to think about UV/HMP/HNTR all at once. don't hesitate to lmk if anything still seems to rough on those difficulties if you give it another spin. I will happily do another pass. 

 

On 8/5/2021 at 5:09 AM, Peccatum Mihzamiz said:
Spoiler

One of only two fights in the entire megawad that was too much for me, was in MAP17 by @Aureliusand @rd. . It's the one with the timed lowering elevators with Cyberdemons and Archviles. I guess I could perhaps start that fight with the secret invulnerability and it would probably be ok then. This is where I wish I could change to a lower difficulty for just one fight and then switch back. I loved this map so much on every level. And I am happy that in between some of the more slaughtery maps of the second half of the megawad we have a map with such tightly choreographed fights.

 

 

Spoiler

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed this map. Will mull over some slight but meaningful changes to that fight.

 

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12 hours ago, blue17echo said:

Flamethrower stuff, stuff about all the blue, sniping and MAP11


I agree with the comments about the flames. Whenever I use the flamethrower in a hectic situation, situational awareness becomes very difficult indeed. Very difficult to see stuff. I guess that's part of the experience. If that's the case, then I wonder if there might be a way of still having the flamethrower be overwhelming, but with slightly less parts of the screen taken up by it. Perhaps a ring of fire, that's a smaller sprite close to the weapon and if possible: grows bigger as it moves?

Correct me if I'm wrong (not close to a PC where I can test it now) but does getting hit by the Slyor flamethrower attack have the same flame sprite as the archvile? If possible, changing that to another flame sprite might be helpful as well. If nothing new can be added then perhaps something like the last from of a Lost Soul exploding or something like that...

 

I really enjoy the Cyberdemon having blue projectiles. Makes them much easier to see in this brown megawad than would have been the case with the original sprites :). In my opinion it adds well to the overall balance of the Cyberdemon. I can see how it having the same projectiles as the player's blue automated rocket launcher could lead to difficulties, but I don't remember experiencing them myself. 
I also really enjoy the blue projectiles of the Hellknights and Barons, and can't remember having felt any confusion, or having felt that my situational awareness was down. I'm not sure I've seen many fights where there were lots of Hellknights, Barons and Cybers around me while I was fighting with the blue automated rocket launcher. But I think it would still not add too much awareness difficulties.

Just thinking out loud here: This is an important point in the 'does-the-wad-feel-fair-to-the-player' category. I guess it's up to Doomkid to decide of course. Have we gotten more feedback about this from players? And should we perhaps get a bunch more on this issue?

On the sniping weapons issue: I've never experienced this as a problem. I've mainly used the blaster to kill imps and other far away monsters. Indeed you only hit an imp with one or two pellets at that distance. But that has never felt like a waste to me because they still go down very quickly and often there is blaster ammo aplenty. I have felt in a few maps that I got access to the cell cannon a bit late, with respect to be able to kill revenants on pillars. Things like MAP15 and even MAP09, where killing Revs that are up high can take quite some shots with the (automated) shotgun. In those cases even the blaster takes a bit longer than I would like, when running around being chased by a hundred monsters. But that's just a personal opinion and those maps are well designed around their progressions.

I guess I missed playing through MAP11. Oops. Added to my list. 

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On 8/3/2021 at 2:21 AM, Doomkid said:

While the vast majority of submissions have a degree of difference between the skill levels already, the main ones I think really need further "easifying" on the non-UV settings are those by @Moustachio, @RonnieJamesDiner, @rd. and @Aurelius. Excellent maps, but if you could make HMP cater to us Doom Posers, that would be swell, because your maps slap me around and call me names I'm not fond of on UV.


And for our map with RJD.

 

Spoiler

HNTR:
starting blue armor -> starting megasphere; later starting area megasphere -> soulsphere (mostly moving that megasphere to be more useful) 
30 bullets in messy ammo pile
imp added to top of west closet (an archvile is there on UV and I had a feeling of "why isn't anything there at all") 
one shellbox -> one bullet box (the blaster is a far "safer" weapon to use than the rest when dealing with cybies in this area, so despite being a small-looking change, that should make a meaningful difference)  
one pain elemental -> three lost souls 
backpack added in final part of starting area 
megasphere added in outside yard near crates (this fight is so "if you have 200/200 you can still die" that I don't feel conflicted about being generous with megas. extra megas are mostly "convenience" pickups, in that a good/lucky run can beat this area with 1 mega or something, but when you need do health, it sure helps if there is another one nearby...instead of blocked off by cybs.) 
one bullet box added in outside yard (taking out all the cybs with the blaster from afar is not gonna be that fun, but if the player wants to thin them down a bit before going in with the BFG, that might take some of the heat off) 
extra megasphere in last fight (same reasoning as above) 
extra 300 cells added to last fight (don't want the player to have been spamming cells, which the map sort of tells you is okay, only to find out it's awkward when they have to rely exclusively on the cells that slowly lower to deal with the archvile wave.)
six viles removed from final vile wave 

 

HMP (any changes underlined are the same on HNTR, so the reasoning might be up there):
starting green armor -> starting blue armor (UV retains the green armor) 
imp added to top of west closet 
one shellbox -> one bullet box
one pain elemental -> two lost souls (one PE still remains on HMP, whereas on HNTR there was only that one PE)

two HNTR small flame canisters near three viles now on HMP too (running out of meaningful ammo there is possible and can be a bit too much)
two HNTR cellpacks in outside yard near duplicate BFG are now flagged for HMP too
megasphere in outside yard near exit now flagged for HMP too
one bullet box added in outside yard 
extra megapshere in last fight
extra 300 cells added to last fight

three viles removed from final vile wave in last fight (tiny change but most of the intended change is resources) 

 

these are done with a lighter touch than the other map, because I don't want to pile on nerfs indiscriminately, but hopefully these settings are now more lenient (and more fun when they are killing people lol). if anything is still too frustrating lmk and I'll be happy to give it another pass.  

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