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StarSpun5000

What is that one Doom level that you love but everyone else hates.

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Delighted to see that MAP24 is finally getting the love it deserves.

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I'll throw another Chasm mention in - the tightrope sections are only a small part and frankly, they are the easy part of the map. The fights in the techbase area are tougher, especially the one in the dark. IDK it has some pretty complex architecture and huge volume, and throws a bunch of enemies at you. I like it. It's not my favorite, but it's one of the better ones in Doom 2 IMHO

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Map24 of Valiant: None More Merciless. Since both decino & MtPain27 hated this map, the latter going so far as to label it the worst map in Valiant, it has perhaps acquired a rather undeserved reputation with a lot of people as one of the weaker entries in the set. It's actually one of the best maps in the wad as far as i'm concerned and a great finale to the penultimate episode. You start off in this strange alien, metallic honeycomb base before venturing into a hidden volcanic valley with a hellish cathedral perched on a blackened crag of rock surrounded by rivers of molten lava... What's there not to like? The thing about this map is that it breaks with the formula, established by Maps 13 & 18, of how a Valiant episode closer needs to flow. Our two Doomtubers simply didn't get it (I mean, neither of them "got" Map 20 of Doom 2, so what can you expect?;). The whole level oozes atmosphere, is beautifully built and the gameplay always keeps you on your toes without being too challenging, the ending being nicely rounded off by the introduction of the Cybruisers. Just an all round beautiful map. And always fun to come back to.

Screenshot_Doom_20220309_205545.png.d0c54db6ba5d702a7f8631a3eefed091.png

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Reading this topic I'm kind of amazed to see the kind of levels people hate. People hate The Citadel? The Focus? Halls of the Damned?!? These maps have always sat right with me. Citadel was probably Doom 2's most ambitious map and while the way forward is not the easiest to find, it was really cool to explore this massive fortress. When you found the secret hub with all of the teleporters, it felt like you found something big. Who knew where you'd be going with these, but it felt like opening a big box of surprises.

 

Now for a map people hate?

 

I can't say I love Nirvana, but it is not deserving of the hate it gets for sure. The Hell portion is ugly as sin and doesn't play particularly well, but the rest of it is all right. The outside fight with the shotgunners and revenants is fun enough and finally the map ends pretty quickly.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Gregor said:

It's actually one of the best maps in the wad as far as i'm concerned and a great finale to the penultimate episode. You start off in this strange alien, metallic honeycomb base before venturing into a hidden volcanic valley with a hellish cathedral perched on a blackened crag of rock surrounded by rivers of molten lava... What's there not to like? The thing about this map is that it breaks with the formula, established by Maps 13 & 18, of how a Valiant episode closer needs to flow. Our two Doomtubers simply didn't get it (I mean, neither of them "got" Map 20 of Doom 2, so what can you expect?;).

Since I played the map often enough to do an NM-speed, a pacifist run, and a UV-max on it, which should probably tell you that I happen to like the map as it were, I can still see what it is that people bemoan about va24...

 

For one, every episode ender in the WAD thus far had some gimmick to it, mancubian candidate, crush depth, you name it... Meanwhile, va24 has no gimmick to speak of that would give it a sense of identity from a gameplay perspective - even if it was the most beautiful map in the entire WAD, I would still bemoan this lack of identity. It does what valiant has always done up until that point, and while the introduction of the cybruisers in and of itself might make for an interesting gimmick, they're thrown into the final fight in a manner that, in my opinion, doesn't really evoke a sense of awe, which is not the greatest first impression when you consider that they're also being used as "doors with health (and rockets)" in a fight that actually takes quite a bit of time to get to... So even if the final fight in the map were made to be a bit more interesting in some way, the "lingering shock value" would still be diminished by the length of the map overall, because it's a relatively short moment, all things considered...

 

There is probably also an argument to be made that some of the teleport pads near the "cathedral", down in the lava rivers, may make the map feel a bit disjointed, because they don't really teleport you back to where you fell down sometimes, which is especially true for the pad right next to the exit out of the honeycomb area, which you can abuse to teleport yourself right to the entrance of the cathedral, skipping parts of the map in the process, including but not limited to power-ups and more importantly a door that is mandatory for the map's progression...

 

To me, the map doesn't feel like an episode ender despite the cybruisers and the obvious death exit at the end. Remove the bruisers, and you could put the map in any slot of the episode it was meant to conclude to begin with, which is my very own, personal misgiving with regards to "none more merciless" that made me wish the map had something different going for it. The fact that previous maps, as well as the episode opener "popes of roam" itself, had a more pronounced sense of "gameplay-identity" doesn't do va24 any favours either...

 

Is the map bad? I don't think it is, and even at its "worst" valiant is still worth playing, let's not forget that. I had fun with it, for sure, but I should also note that the map becomes a lot more enjoyable to play once you really know where everything is - which is true for any other map that exists, but in the context of valiant itself, I think this might be one of the more pronounced cases where not knowing where to go next can really get in the way of the map's enjoyability...

Edited by Nine Inch Heels

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I’ve always loved Downtown. I loved the sandboxy feeling of roaming door to door getting stuff done.

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Doom 1:

  • E2M9: Fortress of Mystery

A fun little diversion. Does it's job of being a change in pace to the rest of the episode very well. The combat scenario provided here with the very numerous and very beefy opposition all at once is quite novel for Doom 1.  The plain look of the map doesn't bother me at all. If anything, the underground theme and lack of much in the way of detailing helps make this map look like you've just stumbled into a very hidden little outpost of the hellish invasion.

 

  • E3M7: Limbo

Limbo is right up there with my favorite maps from the IWAD. The exploratory nature of the map is a welcome breather after the relatively high monster density so far in the episode. This tiny slice of hell is a pretty novel depiction of such with it's greens, reds and blues. Musically, the level does quite well too. Waltz of the Demons is a great piece of bgm. Perhaps the only real negative I can think of is that the navigation between all the teleporters can be a bit tricky for first-timers. I really do like this map otherwise.

 

  • E3M8: Dis

I just like the way the arena looks. No other reason, really.

 

 

Doom 2:

 

  • MAP21: Nirvana

I like to excuse the rather eccentric look of most of this map as being the result of the Doom Marine having made his entry into hell through a rather unstable of hell that twist around itself, constantly changing. Thus explaining, how moreso than the other maps in Doom 2, nothing here makes a lick of sense visually. I like the teleportation into different little combat scenarios, even the weird little cavern at the end . Being able to simply squeeze through the blue bars at the exit without any efforts is less acceptable.

 

  • Map23: Barrels o' Fun

Somewhat similar to the above but with way more action. The gimmicky enemy encounters and traps here are lots of fun.

 

  • Map30: Icon of Sin

As annoying as it is cleverly designed. This is probably about as good as boss fights would get in FPS games until the N64 Turok trilogy with it's very fleshed out bosses. I'll take having to pump a little alcove in a wall texture full with rockets over circlestrafing one of the two big guys of classic doom any day as far as boss-fight-only levels go. To me the original IoS does it the best out of them all. Most other variations are either way too easy, don't do anything interesting with the concept and simply drop a Cybie or two in the arena or have timing requirements too demanding to be any fun. This feels much less diluted and more pure to the concept.

 

 

 

I find it really hard to hate any of the maps in the original two IWADs. Visually speaking, iD Software really hit a sweet spot for me with their maps. Somehow the mappers managed to craft very imaginative and adventerous playgrounds throughout these two campaigns. The general feeling of these levels is something I rarely see replicated. I also don't think that these maps would benefit from additional details being added. I can't discount the possibility that these being the official games and thus likely one's first encounter with Doom levels influencing me here though.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

To me, the map doesn't feel like an episode ender despite the cybruisers and the obvious death exit at the end. Remove the bruisers, and you could put the map in any slot of the episode it was meant to conclude to begin with, which is my very own, personal misgiving with regards to "none more merciless" that made me wish the map had something different going for it. The fact that previous maps, as well as the episode opener "popes of roam" itself, had a more pronounced sense of "gameplay-identity" doesn't do va24 any favours either...

 

Some very good points here. I won't deny that the map lacks a unifying gameplay gimmick when compared with the other episode closers. Then again, Crush Depth has... well, crushers; that's about it. And Red Shift sports a red moon in the sky. I mean... it's not that much more involved. The Netweaver (which i also love) has at least lots of spiders roaming the level in concurrence with its name and lots of "nets" woven between pillars as a fitting visual reference. But the only one of the episode closers that really goes all out with its titular gimmick is The Mancubian Candidate.

I personally don't hold it against any map if it isn't perfectly clear in its layout for a first time player. I like it when Doom maps make you get to know them first; I enjoy the exploration and it adds more replay value. And while i do think that the presentation of the Cybruisers at the end could have been handled with a little more "panache", none of the other newcomers to Valiant's enemy roster were given a grander entrance than Map24's final arena fight.

 

Most importantly, the central gimmick of Map24, for me, just like with most of the other episode finales, is not so much in its gameplay as in its visual theme. The episode starts off with "The Popes of Roam", after all, a not so subtle reference to the Pontificate of the Roman Catholic Church, and ends with a map that puts a cathedral right in its center, inside of which you'll find a massive painting, overlooking a hellish altar, depicting a medieval vision of the inferno... when you stand in front of this altar it really feels like you've reached the inner sanctum of evil; the climax of the episode, so to speak. At least to me. And the fight that ensues, when you pick up the yellow key lying before it, also feels appropriately climactic in its relentless onslaught of foes from all corners of the church, especially if you tackled the map from a pistolstart.

I admit that the end in comparison feels a little tacked on and that zigzag run across those narrow walkways towards the end with arachnorbs flying up from the surrounding lava pits doesn't really contribute much to the map overall. But the central aesthetic theme of the map, together with its juxtaposition of visual styles between the sci-fi metal base at the start and the scene of gothic horror drenched in lava you are plunged into right after, more than made up for any of the map's weaker moments for me.

 

I guess, how much you'll end up liking this map will depend very much on whether or not its visual splendour is able to capture your imagination; without that, i agree, the map doesn't deliver enough high-stakes action set-pieces to compare favorably with the other highlights of the wad.

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7 hours ago, Gregor said:

Some very good points here.

Not to derail too much, because the thread isn't really about "why you should think less of something you happen to enjoy for your very own reasons", after all, but I feel like saying "crush depth has crushers, and that's it" is a very reductionist view on a map-gimmick the player is made to actively engage with in various ways, be it the use of crushers against monsters, or avoiding them, or both at the same time. It feels like a more "involved" gimmick - to me anyway. Redshift isn't actually an episode ender, so I feel like that comparison is a bit shaky, on the other hand...

 

Having said that, if the visual theme of the map itself does all the work that you feel it needs to do, then I say more power to you. I know that I had fun playing it, despite the fact that I'm not very drawn towards "visual gimmicks", for lack of a better expression...

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Classic Doom: E3M5 - Unholy Cathedral is a fantastic level dripping in atmosphere and the teleport puzzle is not nearly as hard as people make it out to be. I love this one.

Doom II: Map13 - I simply do not understand the hatred for Downtown. It’s my personal favorite level and I never get tired of replaying it.

Ultimate Doom: E4M4 - This level is certainly misplaced and is probably too easy for this episode, but there’s a charm to its simplicity and again I find this level atmospheric.

TNT: I’m partial to Metal and Mt Pain but I think those levels are more divisive than they are reviled.

5 hours ago, vyruss said:

Not one... not ONE... vote for Hunted? :P

That’s cuz Hunted is great. I don’t think it’s a widely despised map.

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Posted (edited)

I don't think there's a map like that, but if I had to call a few (from the IWADs), I'd say Hell Beneath (E4M1), Underhalls (D2 map 2), The Waste Tunnels (D2 map 5) – yeah, seems like I have knack for American McGee's levels; they are compact, action-filled and have sequence breaks  – and maybe Downtown (D2 map 13). The latter one, gameplay-wise not so much, but I really like that puritan, desolate and super simple rendering of a city block. It has a melancholic, yet somehow mildly uplifting atmosphere, reminds me of better times. Oh, and Chasm (D2 map 24). Getting SR50 done on those ledges makes it worthwhile, but I reckon this is becoming more and more popular lately, probably because of Karl Jobst.

From TNT, I guess Stronghold (map 9) is the one, and from Plutonia...well, I love NME (map 19), not sure what the community think about it. 


mod: Ah, a PWAD map came to mind: Scythe map 28 (Run From It), but imo this is not really strange, since I am a movement freak, and a level which FORCES you to be fast certainly earns a few good points in my book.

Edited by Fluuschoen

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Anything in Episode 2. Seems its disliked by many. A specific would be E2M7. My favorite map in Doom 1 and I never see people talk about it. It's simply that one other Tom Hall map to everyone.

Always loved the hell overrun tech base theme the episode had and that map had a good amount of it. Areas with hell rock and lava, inverted crosses, making it seem as the demons are making slow and steady progress transforming the base. The other side with computers, lights, a storage area that still feels like a classic techbase. Felt like a huge journey going across the map exploring. The maze like blue and silver area is one of my favorites of the game and a style I like to put in my own maps. The empty feeling too, is something I love in maps. I'm not really a fan of over decorated rooms with objects all over. Huge rooms with nothing in them but monsters makes the map feel truly abandoned in a far corner of hell, completely taken over by the demons. The hall with the Baron and the "Spawning Vats" is pretty damn memorable and cool to me. It's like all the demons are being created in those tubes, using human tech. Pretty cool idea.

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I like E1M4. Kitchen's Ace definitely helps, but overall, it's one of the best maps in Episode 1. The maze to yellow key suck tho, I'll admit. Also, E3M9, purely because of its gimmick. I think The Courtyard doesn't get much love, but it utilizes the gimmick of in-fighting so much better than any of Sandy's original Doom maps, that it's actually fun to watch monsters fight each other. I think it's because there is much more free space to move around, and manipulate monsters into attacking each other, but also because you get good amount of ammo to deal with them.

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Hell Revealed MAP31: The Descent is ultra-underrated. It's flawed to be sure, but I still think it's pretty fun.

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 i think E4 as a whole is really underrated.

also, Bloodfalls, The Abandoned Mines, and The Catacombs (my personal favorite Doom map.)

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Probably not the "most hated" but i see a lot of people disliking the huge, complex levels in "Knee Deep in zDOOM".

 

For me though, this is the best megawad i ever played so far. Paired with a few other mods like PSX music and a custom/edited version of Beautiful DOOM, as well as removing the crappy new weapons (but keeping the new monsters), i enjoyed it so much i finished 3 or 4 times from scratch. I simply love the unnecessary details and complex geometry on the level design. And i also love roaming around aimlessly for hours, exploring for secrets or even how to solve those huge levels.

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Posted (edited)

Jumping in to express my affinity for Fortress of Mystery (for the intro to infighting as mentioned) and Unholy Cathedral (don't think it's actually too confusing, and the gimmick works for me).

 

I'll add E3M1: Hell Keep as a map people tend to dislike but that I have a soft spot for. This map really establishes how bizarre our introduction to Hell is going to be, and while I'm in agreement that E3 is probably the least well designed of the original three episodes, I find it charmly fitting how uneven the journey is.

 

Edited by noisebloom

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