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Sirius104x

Best map pack(s) since Eviternity?

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I have looked up pretty much all of the most famous map packs of the 2000s and 2010s like Speed of Doom, Epic 1/2, MM 1 & 2, Resurgence, Scythe, BTSX, Sunlust, Valiant, Ancient Aliens, Hell Revealed, and so on. Eviternity was I think the most recent famous and known map pack that I have heard of. That was 2019. So what, if anything, has been on that level since 2019? I'm talking really big, important releases here. There's a lot of winners on each years Cacowards which I still wouldn't consider on the importance level of the wads I just mentioned. So I'm just looking for the top of the top recommendations of the last four years.

Sorry if this has been discussed probably many times before lol!

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Appreciated! I will try these out.

Yeah I believe each year there must be at least one map pack which reaches the top recognition of it's year and will be looked back on as the most known levelset from that year. 2017 was likely TNT Revilution and 2019 was Eviternity for sure. So that's what I'm kinda after for 2020, 2021, 2022. A bit too early to call yet for 2023. But let's see if any of these map packs feel like "the one" from their years. Thank you ZioMcCall and Gougaru

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13 minutes ago, Sirius104x said:

A bit too early to call yet for 2023. But let's see if any of these map packs feel like "the one" from their years.

I feel like it's not too early to say that MyHouse will be the best known map(set) of 2023 by a long shot.

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Eviternity is from late 2018, so the 2019 "slot" is also still "free" ;-) I would nominate Lost Civilization for 2019. For 2020, Three's a Crowd. Both were Cacoward winners and exceptional wads with unique ideas. Heartland got much attention in 2021, I've still not played it but it would be an obvious candidate. Idem MyHouse 2023. A "slot" I personally can't give any specific nomination still would be 2022.

 

Edited: 2022's nomination could go to NERF.

Edited by erzboesewicht

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I think it's worth noting that while every year is going to have its standouts (and there's been some bangers), Eviternity is a fairly unique case. It's not normal to see an entire 32 map megawad that:

  • was very cohesive since the majority of its maps were made by the project lead, with a relatively high standard (a standard matched, if not surpassed, by the rest of its contributors)
  • happened to feature several new custom enemies that genuinely felt fresh, including a big, unique boss fight to cap it all off
  • included some of the best bespoke midis that the musicians in this community have ever made, filling out an arguably perfect soundtrack
  • served as the public reveal/release for one of the most astonishing texture packs probably ever released in this community

That's not to take away from the massive achievement that projects like AUGER;ZENITH, Heartland, Lost Civilization or Elementalism Phase 1 were (not to mention all kinds of other releases that were instantly popular, like Overboard, Lullaby, Bastion of Chaos, etc.), but at this point, barring any major projects I'm unaware of (or forgetting at the moment), you might be waiting for something like BTSX Episode 3 for that kind of "stratospheric release". 

 

   

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I did not realize it came out in 2018. Now I looked that up on Doom wiki and indeed it was out that year with a final update in 2019. Ok I will need to check out this Civilzation one. It's one I've never heard of. Three's a Crowd either. Loving these recommendations.

I had forgotten about MyHouse. But of course. That just happened this year and it got everyone's attention so it'll be the big one.

For 2022 the only name I recognized from the Cacowards was Ozonia, part 3 of the Moonblood series. I've yet to play any but all are on my list. So maybe that one? Visually it looks quite nice in many of the maps (on youtube).

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Probably Haste, but that can be fairly difficult.

 

Junkfood might be better, at least until you het into the high 30s.

 

And yes, Heartland but everything skillsaw touches turns to gold so that goes without saying.

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RonnieJamesDiner, thanks for more of these standouts. I will shamefully admit I have yet to play any of the BTSX, although they're also downloaded and ready in my vast list of ones I have to get to. Now I am expecting great things from them and sounds like a 3rd one would be amazing. Of the ones you mentioned I did happen to play the quite short and fun Overboard! That was fantastic. So I know you guys are recommending great WADs here just going on that.

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Thanks LadyMistDragon. I'm gonna have too many maps to play now after all these recommendations lol.

It's still much better getting people's opinions here to try and find the really great ones. I certainly wouldn't have enough time to play all 10 maps from each year's Cacowards and then the 10 runners up. With work taking up too much of my week. So I appreciate these replies from all.

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@Not Jabba I really want to try Ashes: Afterglow. As for Insanity Edged, I recently finished Map02 -- each map is a load! -- And it's utterly brilliant. I enthusiastically recommend it to all.

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I don't think fame, or however you define "importance", is a reliable metric for quality. Auger;Zenith and 1000 Lines 3 are two of the best megawads ever made but neither were promoted anywhere as heavily as Eviternity (it's release coincided with the 25th anniversary of Doom) or Elementalism (extensive promotion on YT) and as a result, are far less widely known outside the Doom community. But if you're looking for the continuation of the line of great megawads like Speed of Doom, BTSX, Going Down, Valiant, Ancient Aliens, Sunlust, & Eviternity, then these two are mandatory reading.

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3 hours ago, Not Jabba said:

I do think Elementalism was (nearly) as big as Eviternity.

 

I feel like Eviternity, being an old-school 32-map megawad, just hits a little differently.  It feels like a proper foundational release that touched the whole community, in the way the Elementalism doesn't necessarily (well, maybe to GZDoom mapping, but that's a little more niche).  

 

10 hours ago, Sirius104x said:

Eviternity was I think the most recent famous and known map pack that I have heard of.

 

Even though the vast majority of releases are not 32-map megawads like Eviternity (and with the advent of UMAPINFO there's even less reason to stick doggedly to the IWAD format), there's still something that makes them stand-out I feel.  Call it nostalgia or tradition or whatever, but they still hold a particularly special place for many in the community.  My impression is the relative lack of super-famous 32-map megawads released since Eviternity is more a reflection of how relatively rare 32-map megawads (that aren't community projects) actually are, rather than some kind of lack of quality in the community output.

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21 minutes ago, Bauul said:

My impression is the relative lack of super-famous 32-map megawads released since Eviternity is [not the reflection of] some kind of lack of quality in the community output.

No, quite the opposite. There are so many things coming out that are as good as Eviternity that it would be incredibly hard for anything to stand out to that degree.

 

And I think you're right that people tend to have a very specific definition of what they see as those ground-breaking releases, and it is generally a full megawad with some form of new asset base or artistic direction. Even that isn't a guarantee, though -- Tarnsman's Projectile Hell fits the mold almost perfectly, and I like it better than Eviternity, but its mannerisms and gameplay style are less immediately accessible (or less "charismatic," so to speak), and it'll have more of a cult following.

Edited by Not Jabba

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37 minutes ago, Not Jabba said:

And I think you're right that people tend to have a very specific definition of what they see as those ground-breaking releases, and it is generally a full megawad with some form of new asset base or artistic direction. Even that isn't a guarantee, though -- Tarnsman's Projectile Hell fits the mold almost perfectly, and I like it better than Eviternity, but its mannerisms and gameplay style are less immediately accessible (or less "charismatic," so to speak), and it'll have more of a cult following.

 

I was thinking something along the same lines.  It feels like the last few years have seen a greater focus in releases that target slight variations on the classic Doom formula.  Using just this thread as an example, the first few mappacks suggested all had their own particular niche: NERF is a Nightmare wad, Heartland is a showcase for EE, Augar;Zenith is heavily cyberpunk themed, Lost Civilization is about realistic environments, Three Is A Crowd had a novel narrative concept, and of course there's MyHouse.

 

It feels like there's perhaps a greater interest in the community in targeting new and interesting takes on Doom recently (Tarnsman's Projectile Hell is a great example of this).  A natural side-effect of this is fewer individual releases cater to everyone, instead you have more of a variety of things (which is probably a good thing for the longevity of the community).  But it does arguably mean that fewer projects have the potential to reach the same universal acclaim as something like Eviternity (which, despite the new textures and enemies, is a pretty classic-feeling megawad).

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I think outside of this community, the Ashes 2063 series has blown up pretty significantly. If you go to a Boomer Shooter subreddit or Discord it gets brought up pretty regularly - for good reason. That said, it's not very Doom like. It plays a lot more like a Build Engine game than a Doom one.

 

 The thing is, there have been really amazing sets since Eviternity. However, they either aren't 32 map megawads (which I honestly think is to their benefit, 32 map megawads often have pacing issues and I do not think it should be the standard just because Doom 2 did it), and aren't nearly as immediately accessible.

 

 With that caveat out of the road, I'll list some wads I have personally loved since Eviternity that are mostly fairly accessible. They might not technically answer your question but hopefully they give you some cool stuff to play at least.

 

Ozonia: Ozonia is one I think could be close to Eviternity given its looks and the fact that is has one of the best soundtracks around. However it starts a bit meaner, and isn't as consistent as Eviternity. Still amazing though.

 

Nostalgia: Nostalgia might seem like a simple throwback megawad (I mean, it's named Nostalgia), but the true appeal is that myolden takes a lot of modern combat ideas and tones down the difficulty, making them feel at home in a 90's-esque package. 

 

Bellatrix: I have a real soft spot for when people who generally make insanely tough maps take the lessons they learned and make more accessible stuff. This is a much more exploratory set of maps, and the vibes are immaculate. Plus the shooting is still fun.

 

Paradise: Paradise fucking rules. It introduced us to the amazing Supercharge mod in stunning fashion, with a gorgeous tropical setting and a soundtrack that hyoes you up for some arcadey action. 

 

Machete: My personal pick of the year so far. It's scythe 1 but a bit more modern. I really don't think I need to say more.

 

Overboard: It's Mouldy's hyper-quirky follow up to Going Down. No one makes maps like him. They're a mix of batshit insane ideas, tough but mostly accessible combat, and random doom cute. 

 

The other stuff I have loved have either been more on the difficult side (Fractured Worlds, Haste, Micro Slaughter Community Project), Really fucking weird/niche (Time Tripper, Jumpwad), or they've been for heretic (sold soul is the best wad of the decade so far sue me).

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It did seem to me that the Jamal Jones trilogy of megawads was quite the popular for quite some time. My perspective may be a bit skiewed though as I was and still am in love with those three sets.

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For me, it was Valiant. Both wads have that episodic nature a la Scythe 2 and I had a lot of fun with it

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1 minute ago, Noiser said:

For me, it was Valiant. Both wads have that episodic nature a la Scythe 2 and I had a lot of fun with it

Unfortunately Valiant came out 3 years before Eviternity. It is good enough the bend time and space for though so I can't blame you for mentioning it.

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To me personally the most important releases of the past few years were Fractured Worlds and Jumpwad. First one feels like one of the highest-profile releases for challenge scene and the second one is a revolution in platforming genre. Both are not megawads, but more focused experiences, having 9 and 7 maps respectively (playtime is still quite high, though). I think overall we are slowly drifting away from old-school 32 maps megawad format as the way to make AAA release, towards more varied formats (often it's something more concentrated). We'll see, though.

 

To support my point, other examples of significant but shorter works are 10x10, Overboard and Heartland (although I haven't played the last one).

 

All of them may not have magnum opus wad feel that you might be looking for, but I think their importance is not less than that of Eviternity.

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9 minutes ago, Ravendesk said:

I think overall we are slowly drifting away from old-school 32 maps megawad format as the way to make AAA release, towards more varied formats (often it's something more concentrated).

 

I'm honestly really thankful for that tendency. In the same way that I prefer smaller, more focused/concentrated in the general gaming space I also more and more tend to prefer non-megawads that have all the fat trimmed off and are just deliver a really good, dense experience.

So maybe using Eviternity as a benchmark isn't the best approach.

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5 hours ago, Not Jabba said:

No, quite the opposite. There are so many things coming out that are as good as Eviternity that it would be incredibly hard for anything to stand out to that degree.

 

Yeah it's this. "Speed of Doom, Epic 1/2, MM 1 & 2, Resurgence, Scythe, BTSX, Sunlust, Valiant, Ancient Aliens, and Hell Revealed" are all good wads but since 2021 (and some years of 2017-2020) there's been several+ releases a year minimum that are comparable in quality to most of the pre-2017 big names. Some recent years there have been 15+ wads that someone who is informed and plays lots of stuff could say are on the level of Speed of Doom (and I really like Speed of Doom). 

 

It's not even that the absolute pinnacle has risen much (it hasn't -- you could still argue the best wad ever made is a pre-2018 release). But there are multiples more people making wads at this level nowadays, so how would it be anything but that. 

 

Standing out has as much to do with being a big fish relative to the size of the pond (and promotion and viral popularity and influence and being first, etc.) as it has to do about being very good. And being a relatively big fish is a lot harder when these days we're swimming in the ocean.  

 

So it's increasingly important to disentangle concepts like most famous and important and popular, from 'best'. And not fall into the trap of thinking that since SoD and the like have big recognizable names, and that type of separation seems to be more rare these days, that output isn't getting a lot better. (That's a general point -- I'm not saying anyone in particular here is falling into that trap.)

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I'd suggest looking at the last few years' Cacowards. Even if they didn't win an actual award, any major releases will at least be mentioned in a sidebar somewhere.

 

Perhaps a better topic would be releases of the last few years that seem to have been overlooked. Shameless plug, but Doom Negative of definitely falls into this category. It does have a brief nod in the Cacowards, but I've seen little other mention of it outside of a couple of Let's Play videos.

Edited by NiGHTMARE

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9 hours ago, Bauul said:

A natural side-effect of this is fewer individual releases cater to everyone, instead you have more of a variety of things (which is probably a good thing for the longevity of the community).

Agreed, and it's definitely a good thing. I'm more than happy to take dozens of extremely varied and high-quality releases like Jumpwad, Ashes, Magenta Spire, Coma Moonlight, Don't Turn Your Back on the City, Overboard, etc. over a couple of Eviternities per year. 

 

Despite it being a single map, I think whoever has mentioned MyHouse so far is right -- it's the most recent release to achieve the level of fame and recognition that Eviternity did. So maybe everyone's not just looking for megawads after all?

 

For those who do miss the big megawad releases (and aren't as excited about TPH as I was), I think we only have to look forward to the future for the full releases of BTSX (next year?), Plutonia 3 (soon?), and Devilution (in 26 years), and to remember that a lot of the big ones are now going commercial or standalone -- I'm super excited about the likes of Supplice, Selaco, Qyaria, He Came From Beyond, Age of Hell, and two more upcoming Ashes games.

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1 hour ago, Not Jabba said:

 I'm super excited about the likes of Supplice, Selaco, Qyaria, He Came From Beyond, Age of Hell, and two more upcoming Ashes games.

 

I need to save these in a list somewhere haha. Along with REKKR as well.

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3 minutes ago, TheShep said:

 

I need to save these in a list somewhere haha. Along with REKKR as well.

And Hedon. Besides being a great game, that one was really important for the "boomer shooter" market (I think it actually coined the term) and for GZDoom as a game maker, even if it didn't make a lot of noise in the Doom community.

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I highly recommend Alien Vendetta and Equinox, although those may not have the blockbuster sheen of something like Eviternity. Still very worth checking out, especially the former!

Edited by Ludi

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23 hours ago, Sirius104x said:

I have looked up pretty much all of the most famous map packs of the 2000s and 2010s like Speed of Doom, Epic 1/2, MM 1 & 2, Resurgence, Scythe, BTSX, Sunlust, Valiant, Ancient Aliens, Hell Revealed, and so on. Eviternity was I think the most recent famous and known map pack that I have heard of. That was 2019. So what, if anything, has been on that level since 2019? I'm talking really big, important releases here. There's a lot of winners on each years Cacowards which I still wouldn't consider on the importance level of the wads I just mentioned. So I'm just looking for the top of the top recommendations of the last four years.

Sorry if this has been discussed probably many times before lol!

 

https://www.doomworld.com/cacowards/

 

https://www.doomworld.com/10years/bestwads/

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