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Tarnsman

[Megawad] Tarnsman's Projectile Hell - RC2

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Found a bug.  In E3M6, nearby where the yellow key is, grating on the west side can be walked through.  Falling into the abyss past it is a permastuck.  RC1

 

I've found myself getting stuck behind trees in E3M9 but I'm chalking that up to playing in GZDoom with infinite height actors off.

 

Barons appear to be immune to splash damage.  Not sure if that warrants a mention in the textfile though it leaves me with awkward choices for dealing with multiple barons at once.

 

E3M5: The spectres in a dark cave frustrated me enough to resort to IDBEHOLDL to not constantly get chewed up by them.  Generally, I've felt they're placed where there's enough light to make them out if alert but that one sore spot is so dark without resorting to cheats or cranking up the gamma correction.

 

On the last map of E3 and I'm finding myself getting into the set more.  There's not any one particular reason why.  Some combo of new enemies showing up in later episodes, themes and locales that happen to appeal to me more, having access to more of the arsenal, and my secret sense improving (though I don't usually find 100%) I guess.  Crafty enemy placement to be found that often appears overwhelming but can usually be handled with less risk with a smarter approach and less running around in panic waking up the whole map (and liberal saves to try different approaches).  Infighting I've learned to treat as a luxury yet I find I'm able to get away with it more in later maps. While risky, baiting infights can be very rewarding when successful.  Especially with Screams McGee since getting it riled up at other enemies leads to funny situations like two revenants trying to punch each other out.

 

Maybe not intentional but this set appeals to my usual playing style of taking out everything I can reach before moving on.  With how deadly any individual monster is (other than the humble zombieman which I don't think I've seen beyond the first map) leaving active monsters alive tends to be very dangerous.  Also feel like complimenting how some of the new enemies have habitats that they're rarely found outside of; the consistency adds to the immersion factor.  There's a lot to like here from the gimmick of E3M1, the setting of E3M3, or all the hidden alternate paths that allow skipping most of E3M7, if one can find them.

 

There's a part of me that wants to make a music add-on with Touhou tracks that match the map titles.  But I don't have the 30+ Touhou MP3s just lying around so I'll leave that to some other enterprising fan.

 

One blooper for the road: I died on the very first encounter of E3M4 without any kills.  Tried to retreat from the first ambush, found a cleverly placed baron instead, and two rockets took my marine from 200/200 to zero before I could blink, so to speak.

Edited by Crusader No Regret

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On 9/3/2021 at 1:29 AM, Crusader No Regret said:

I've found myself getting stuck behind trees in E3M9 but I'm chalking that up to playing in GZDoom with infinite height actors off.

 

If you have locations I can look into fixing this for the idgames release. Playing with infinite height actors off is intentional so getting stuck behind trees is a bug I'd like to fix.

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Does this need testing of skills 2 and 3? I assume 4 is what most people play. I can work on max demo runs of each map and see how balanced the skills are. Max runs cover a lot of issues.

Edited by Catoptromancy

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More testing is always welcome. I'm sure there's still things to find. Even in something as tested as BTSX we didn't find a game breaking bug until 7 years after initial release :).

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While it does look very cool, it was acting kinda weird and I realized I was using wrong eternity version...and my computer cant run the required version. 

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OK, took some time scoping out permastucks in E3M9 more carefully.  There's an enclosed yard to the northeast with a soulsphere at one end and the only lift out on the other that has permastuck potential on both the east and the north sides.  It is possible to get wedged between trees and a wall if dropping down from the east end available very early.  The other one I found when trying to jump to the teleport to where the yellow key is falls a bit short.  Taking a big leap from there to the northwest is a trap; there's no items on those ledges and it's easy to get stuck descending from there.

 

i did find another one close by the red key.  Go a bit north from there and there's another location where it's possible to get wedged between a wall and tress.  Stuck by insanity as it's not the obvious route down.  This would be reachable even with infinite height actors on.

 

Now that I'm in episode 4, my feeling is that Driller damage may be overtuned.  Getting nicked by an individual shot seems to easily take off 60-80.  And given how quickly they fire...  I guess maybe what I thought is one hit may be 2-3 and that they're meant to be murder machines if they do catch someone unawares but geez.

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I completed ep1 today. It was very amazing and fun but E1M8 was the same BS with Plutonia's Map11. But hey, it's kinda smart that E1M8 is called "Reach for the moon, Immortal Smoke" aka Mokou's theme from Touhou 8. I can't wait to get started with ep2 :D

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That intermission screen is sick as fuck!

I played a few levels and it's awesome, I loved especially the lighting (awesome realistic shadows) and sped up gameplay that reminded me a bit Struggle

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E1M1 Initial gameplay 
 

Spoiler

 

Love MAP01, all I have seen so far. 35 more maps like this...will enjoy this greatly.

Skill 4 is perfect, fair and fast paced. Skill 3 is also balanced good.

Skill 2 is almost perfect. Collecting the rifle sooner made early fights easier, but also uses up more ammo. I really like keeping up the enemy count while boosting the health/armors, but swapping chaingunners for shotgunners means less ammo for current weapons. I had a good collection of shells, but ran out of ammo(maybe I missed a box). I already knew layout/placement and ran straight for the shotgun. Skill 2 needs a little ammo boost near start, maybe around that double chaingunner ledge, or just inside those pillars that open up right at start. I have found it very common in skill 2 to run out of ammo due to less pickups. When skill balancing other projects I like to leave a couple shells or clips if monsters dropping those items are changed, just enough so that skill 2 players can still get their ammo back.

Maybe skill 2 players were also suppose to ration ammo, but carefully using the pistol kind of play style makes skill 2 a good bit harder. A little spammy skill 2 feels like a good balance.

 

The pistol/rifle swap is rather fast. Maybe I just need to get used to it. I repeatedly had to press it, then press it again even faster to switch to pistol. I kept it on pistol as much as possible mostly to save ammo, but also not have to deal with the swapping. My keyboard is old and clunky/clicky.


 

Demo list will get updated as I finish more:

https://www.geocities.ws/catodemos/playtesting/TPH-RC2/

 

I have never liked or played much gameplay mods, this has to be the first one I have really liked. I generally demo random idgames wads with -fast, but this mod keeps up the pace even better. The weapons are perfectly balanced with the monsters. The pace of gameplay is kept up without needing swarms of monsters, at least in the first couple maps I have played. Also, the quick switch on weapon 2 is nice, I finally got used to it.

 

E1M5 is a masterpiece. One of my favorite maps ever. 

 

Might need to stop trying to demo every run, just taking too much time. Still going for max scores on all skills. Once all maps are maxed and/or Eternity get a major release will go back and demo.

Still making nomo100s demos, with minimal interactions they might sync between revisions and are also quick to make.

 

Just noticed in the first post you mention using EE 4.03, but 4.02 is latest release. Is a repo build required? I wanted to use latest release to help ensure my demos were compatible. 

Edited by Catoptromancy

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11 hours ago, Catoptromancy said:

Just noticed in the first post you mention using EE 4.03, but 4.02 is latest release. Is a repo build required? I wanted to use latest release to help ensure my demos were compatible. 

 

4.03 is a repo build but necessary for certain items to work properly.

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Episode 1 Playtesting

This post will no longer be edited.

 

E1M1: A bit low on -skill 2 ammo.

Spoiler

Skill 2 replaces chaingunners with shotgunners. Since ammo is tight and shotgun is obtained later in map, player will run out of bullets. Each chaingunner replaced is 10 less bullets for player. A solution would be to move shotgun closer in -skill 2 or to add a few bullets.

 

E1M2-E1M5 are perfectly skill balanced.

 

E1M5: Sequence break, can walk around illusio-pits to play most of map without fighting.

Spoiler

E1M5: Jump isnt too hard to learn with some practice. Landing this jump leads to many softlocks and illusio-pits. Demo is less than 2 minutes. I accidentally found this, was just hoping it was a shortcut to somewhere else. Sequence break is probably exit-able as well, I managed to get pretty far past blue doors before dying. A -nomonsters run got to exit using this route.

https://www.geocities.ws/catodemos/playtesting/TPH-RC2/bugdemos/tph-rc2-e1m5-skill4-softlock-ee_4.03_e029a20-cato.lmp

 

Screenshot is exact angle that can land jump.

e1m5_etrn05.png

E1M5: Softlock at big exit lift. 

Spoiler

First noticed this during -skill 2(last) run. I know this lift has worked before. I usually kill everything at exit, then come back down for the 100%. Lift has worked multiple times before. Tried in skills 2,3, and 4 with -nomonsters and it still wont lower. Updated to latest Eternity repo today, but I have also maxed skill 3 afterwards. Eureka just shows mostly "unknown" linedefs. I have no idea.

 

Reproduce: go to exit door area, the go back down lift. It wont lower again making player blocked from exit. 

E1M6: Odd skill ramp in -skill 2 and 3. No real recommendations and is probably fine.

Spoiler

I try to use same routing between skills to more accurately compare them. Skill 3 is generally a faster and safer run, but I try to play identically to skill 4. In -skill 3 on E1M6 I was downright reckless but managed to survive.

In -skill 2, I use same route but play recklessly and fast. -skill 2 had the most odd ramping between start and end of map. The start I felt was actually too easy, super easy. When I skill balance I like to preserve the "feel" of the fight, so the missing first arachnotron and not one revenant in minigun trap were a surprise. By the end of the map I actually felt it was getting too hard. The bluekey crate/stairs area teleport had both revenants and same/similar flood of monsters as skill 3 minus rocket baron.

E1M7: Two lava sectors not damaging.

Spoiler

 

e1m7_etrn06.pnge1m7_etrn04.png

E1M7: Shadow on this little patch just kinda sticks out. All other shadows in area go in same direction.

Spoiler

e1m7_etrn041.png

E1M7: Stair texturing?

Spoiler

These types of stairs in a few different areas sometimes have a full step, and sometimes hard edge.

e1m7_stair1_etrn07.png

e1m7_stair2_etrn08.png

E1M7: Skills 2 and 3

Spoiler

Skill 3 up to blue key area seems barely easier than skill 4. I think there was only 1 less chaingunner and spider at start. Moving green armor closer just makes it getting it couple seconds faster. 

Skill 2 compared to skill 3 only seems to have blue armor at spawn. With all the projectiles and crate hitscanners the blue armor just delays the inevitable a little longer. 

Possible suggestion for skill 2 and 3, not just weaker, but removed *some/a few* distant snipers or removed mid-area monsters. The first spider and crate revenant are centerpieces and should stay in all skills, but player can actually focus on them instead of having to dodge projectiles from every angle. The crate chaingunner and a distant imp or two(from different ledges) are good candidates. 

Also also all skills have three chaingunner snipers on ledge over bluekey area. 

 

The yellow key area seems fine. While skill 2 and 3 seem identical, skill 2 players should have a recent megasphere. There are also no distant snipers. 

 

While I do like adding powerups/armor instead of nerfing monsters for lower skills, sometimes the monsters do need toned down a bit. 

E1M8: All skills MAX impossible. Overlapping archies stuck in closet.

Spoiler

e1m8_arch.png

E1M8: Can straferun over exit line. Maybe more exit lines?

Spoiler

e1m8_etrn11.png

E1M8: General comments

Spoiler

A normal speed exit was nicely difficult compared to the other maps. A very awesome boss map. Need to use fancy footing precise speed routes to pull it off.

 

The difficulty on MAX runs over other maps is way out there. 

I did find a ridiculous strategy in kicking all the archies while hiding in secret crate area, though that was still pretty rough trying to keep archies out and not die. But wound up learning precise speed routes to gather ammo and exit area rockets, and then just sit at yellow key ledge and wait a couple minutes in the corner. Once all archies have spawned, I rocket the ones on the higher ledges. Then had to run across the heads of the swarm gathered under the yellow key ledge. Then there was a safe area to take out the rest.

 

It took me lots of save spamming to manage that strategy. Will take considerable amount of time to get a -skill 4 max demo.

E1M8: Skills 2 and 3

Spoiler

Skill 3 is nicely easier in the normal speed run, archies removed in main areas are good measure. The MAX run is just as brutal as skill 4 though. 7 fewer archies in total map, and several were removed from "speed run" area mean the MAX run is just as hard as skill 4.

Skill 2 has just 5 less archies than skill 3. The speed run feels identical to skill 3, except for 1 teleporting archie right before red door is opened. 

 

I know map theme is being quick to avoid wave of archies, but MAX players still gotta kill them all. The lower skills need a smaller wave than skill 4.

E1M9: Impassible line?

Spoiler

e1m9_etrn11.png

E1M9: Stuck chaingunner is awake and making noise but wont move. Hunted him down by sound.

Spoiler

e1m9_etrn13.png

E1M9: Sky scale? All other skies in E1 can freelook. Might need some messing with tex1.

Spoiler

e1m9_etrn11a.png

E1M9: Skills 2 and 3

Spoiler

The 16 revenant trap at rocket launcher has no skill difference between skills 3 and 4. Skill 2 only removes 4 revenants. This area is quite brutal, skill 3 should probably play like skill 2 and skill 2 be tagged with a 1 fewer revenant per closet. 

The 4 cacos at shotgun are not there at all in -skill 2. Trying to preserve the "feel" of the fight, maybe a caco or two would be nice.

The megasphere in -skill 3 has no barons at all. I kinda feel like one baron would be nice. There is a nice amount of distance and baron surprise is worthy after picking up a sphere. One baron would be easier than 3 revenants. 

In -skill 2 and 3 the red key general area has not much health compared to amount of hidden chaingunners, maybe a couple stims here and there. There is also little difference between skills, so a bit more health might do.

Right after red key door, those revenants have no skill differences. 

The light amp googles are not tagged for skill 2, nor anything surrounding it.

Not sure sr-40 should be required for a max runs, to get those light amp googles. I tried a few times just running, maybe why they are not tagged on skill 2.

 

Edited by Catoptromancy

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Posted (edited)

Episode 2 Playtesting. Current Map E2M7

 

Maps with no Coop Starts, All episodes:

Spoiler

Over half the maps have coop starts, figured they should be consistent. 

My doggy was missing while making a nomo demo, realized that must mean there is no player 2 start. So ran wadspy to check out the others.

 

E1M9

E2M3

E2M4

E2M7

E2M8

E3M3

E3M5

E3M8

E3M9

E4M1

E4M2

E4M5 has 3 player starts? Maybe multiple other starts?

E4M6

E4M7

E4M8 has 3 player starts

E2M2: A few trees placement:

Spoiler

The tree on the left is close enough to wall to allow walking behind but only from one side, awkwardly traps player. The tree(stump) on the right is a tiny bit too close to the tree on the left, it allows movement but would help player if it they were spaced out a tiny bit. The middle tree can be run behind and off ledge, possible sequence break for early rockets.

 

I had a rather awkward fight with a swarm of cacos on this ledge. The plants are just barely out of the way to not entirely stop trying to fight here. Map layout funnels several cacos into this general area, so this ledge becomes the battle ground once player leaves shotgun area. A slight reshuffling of the foliage would allow this ledge to flow better for fighting.

e2m2_etrn16.png

E2M3: Minor Visual Nitpicks

Spoiler

Texture off by a pixel.

e2m3_etrn16.png

 

Not offset

e2m3_etrn18.png

 

Moving tree back a little would look a little better.

e2m3_etrn21.png

 

An even less clipping tree.

e2m3_etrn16a.png

Double clip at backpack ledge.

e2m3_etrn18a.png

E2M3: Exit door doesnt close, closes in all other maps so far.

E2M3: Skill 2 a bit low on health. A good handful of health bonuses throughout the map would lighten it up.

E2M4: Exit door not closing, maybe a new pattern?

E2M4: Sleeping Revenant sits right here, doesnt wake up with the rest of the trap.

Spoiler

e2m4_etrn18.png

E2M4: Secret trigger here too small. Max playthrough breaking.

Spoiler

I was on this crate several times, only found out it was a secret in map editor. All other secret crates in game cause instant secret activation. Player can jump on this crate several times without activating secret, very easy to assume its not a secret.

 

Knowing secret was already here, I had to dance around a few times to activate it.

e2m4_etrn20.png

E2M4: Exit window?

Spoiler

I thought this was a really cool effect. Players enter exit area and see window appears, players that teleport out of room and come back could see the fancy window from the outside. But it seems its only visible in coop or clipping. There are a series of carefully flagged linedefs making sure player never sees this?

 

e2m4_etrn18a.png

 

E2M4: Skill 3 pretty rough

Spoiler

Skill 3 had a small amount of bonuses and a slight adjustment in monsters. Felt very rough for skill 3, barely easier than skill 4 in most areas of map. Once that blue armor is gone from start, its almost identical to skill 4. I even ran out of ammo in -skill 3, I was a little more generous with minigun in blue key area so was noticeably very low on ammo rest of map. 

 

Skill 2 had barely fewer monsters than skill 3, but lots of good powerups. I felt skill 2 was ok with that variety of power ups.

E2M5: Cheesy strats, Skill 2 harder than 3.

Spoiler

An intense 20 seconds in the first minute and lots of circle strafing make this map super easy, compared to most ive played so far. Just rush after grabbing minigun, then only aim for hit scanners while running full speed all the way to the end of the top, then proceed to circle strafe in middle. The lower skills are a bit easier, but the main difference between skill levels isnt about player skill or fighting, but how long player needs to circle strafe.

 

Using this strat makes skill 2 harder than skill 3 as the monster count isnt evenly shifted between monster types. Skill 2 has many less cacos and circle strafing is basically free on any skill level, so skill 2 player will have a lot more plasma monsters when the infighting is over. Possible solution, is to remove a caco per plasma monster so they are evenly removed. 

 

Skill 3 is similar to 4 just with more powerups, which works ok. While Skill 2 adjusts monster type count, changing the dynamics of the infighting swarm.

 

https://www.geocities.ws/catodemos/playtesting/TPH-RC2/tph-rc2-e2m5-skill4-max-ee_4.03_91d99332-cato.lmp

E2M5 exit door does not close, E2M6 exit does close? 

E2M6: Leaky vertex, minor visual.

Spoiler

Nodebuilder stuff. Can probably just move vertex a unit or two. Maybe add a vertex near the flagpole to break line shorter. 

Not sure its even worth fixing, since it blends into floor unless monsters die on it. 

 

e2m6_etrn22.png

E2M6: Skill 2 boosts dont last long.

Spoiler

The megazerk was a nice touch for skill 2, but after its gone and the next wave is activated the fights go back to pretty brutal quickly. In skill 2 the gameplay/wave between blue key and next key, could be toned down a bit.

E2M7: Softlock right after red key door.

Spoiler

e2m7_etrn22.png

E2M7: Nukeage, no damage.

Spoiler

e2m7_etrn25.png

E2M7: Missing texture oddities.

Spoiler

I completely forget where the missing texture swap happened. Starting a fresh pistol start, BIGDOOR7 is printed in console. At some point in map, BAADFOOD becomes the missing texture, if loaded from a savegame. 

 

I have not been paying attention to console much, hopefully didnt miss any previous maps.

 

e2m7_etrn26.png

 

Maybe related. All the other maps had flawless texturing in the background, this one seemed out of place.

e2m7_etrn29.png

E2M7: The double rocket crates secret is unknown in Eureka.

Spoiler

Not a map issue, just documenting what I found. Took me an absurdly long time to manually find that secret. May affect other editors in case people are desperate for max secrets.

E2M7: Minor Visuals

Spoiler

Crane arm is cut off by sky. Maybe sky is lowered there for a reason?

e2m7_etrn27b.png

 

2 lines on automap seem flagged visible.

e2m7_etrn30.png

 

Edited by Catoptromancy

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No medikits in exit rooms of E4M5 and E4M9.  This doesn't appear intentional.  (checked both HMP and UV and is probably the case for HNTR)  If I find any more possible bugs, I'll edit them in here.  Not that it's very likely because...

 

Reached the last map but my nerves aren't ready for it just yet.  E4M4 has some very brutal setups that nearly caused me to resort to cheats.  I'm still not sure how to handle E4M6 blue key setup without making use of a helpful secret.  The map got irritating to navigate due to all the damaging floors.  E4M7 baron shooting gallery was a slog to take out due to their splash damage immunity; could it be that one is not intended to kill them all?

 

Found the E4 secret map and appreciate the unconventional setup.  Correctly worked out the gimmick of the red key area.  Exited with 55% kills and felt no need to bother with 100%.

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E1M9 Sky Fixing Rant:

Spoiler

 

Latest Eternity commit fixes skies. The sky no longer tiles, but pads similar color. E1M9 still requires tons of padding, replacing the hard tiled edge. Ive seen something similar trying to force good skies in vanilla heretic, offsetting the sky down for a better looking sky forces tiling or padding much lower than expected. For desired effect might need to modify the sky patch directly. 

 

I am not even looking up all way, lowered for reference points. Over half the screen is solid color.

 

This is ledge to jump to light amp.

e1m9_sky_new_ee_etrn16.png

 

Alright I have been messing around with tex1.

I have made blasphemer tile just the top 1/3 of the sky before, in vanilla even. Not sure if it will look good here, the sky1b doesnt seem to fit right. This blasphemer sky has hidden mountains, similar to tph e1m9.

 

HTIC01.png

 

The TPH sky is 1/2 mountains, while blasphemer sky was 1/4th. TPH sky near top doesnt tile nearly as well, cant get a good forced tiling by doubling sky patch with height offset differences. I can probably keep messing with tex1 until something looks good, but might take awhile. The sky seems offset down to hide the mountains, but that cuts off freelook-ability. Maybe just not meant for freelooking at all, but is inconsistent with other maps in episode.

 

 

Yet another edit: I cropped the mountains on the bottom mostly off, then scaled image to 1024x200, adjusted tex1 for new size and its not bad. It sits almost properly(a little high, easy fix), fixes freelook situation but it does look overly scaled though. It seems graphic was offset to cut mountains off the bottom, but then the view with freelook is cut off. The source graphic is rough to work with trying to expand the view range using half the graphic.

 

 

Soon: Other long winded postings.

Edited by Catoptromancy

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