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Bloodshedder

The /newstuff Chronicles #320

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kristus said:

It is interesting that this only really comes up whenever a Zdoom wad has been "unjustly" reviewed.

Personally I don't care that it's a Zdoom WAD. My comments would stand regardless of which port it was for. My beef is that he said he would review the WAD then didn't look at a significant amount of it. I didn't get any particular anti-Zdoom feel from the review, nor do I feel any particular need to try and defend Zdoom WADs.

kristus said:

That being said, I think Remiel's review did what it was meant to do. It reviewed the wad, you found out what he thought about it, and that he found it to be crap except for a few maps by one author in particular.

Unfortunately, I don't think it did. This is a varied mapset with contributions by a number of different authors with varying skill levels and styles. Possibly more than any other kind of WAD, I think each level should at least be looked at by the reviewer with such a project. Perhaps if a multi-level WAD was by a single author then, by the time you were half way through the map set, you might have a pretty good idea how things were going to work out for the rest (even then, with the changing, evolving themes and so on that could exist in such a WAD the other maps should at least be visited) but in this case I'd say it was essential to at least look at the all the maps. What if, for example, Vader's maps - ie the ones singled out for particular mention by Remiel - had all been in Episode 3?

Like I said before Remiel chose to review the WAD and then wasn't even prepared to look at every map in it. I don't think he did his job.


All that being said, this fuss about the ZPack review will probably mean that it is getting more attention (and downloads) than it might have with a complete review.

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Enjay said:
Like I said, he signed up for it. He chose to do it. However, he wasn't prepared to see the job through and, as a result, the map set didn't get a full review, mappers didn't get feedback, potential players got an incomplete message and someone else who might have been prepared to give it a full review for /newstuff didn't get the chance.

I don't agree with this. You don't have to play a whole WAD to get a taste of it. Not playing certain parts is in itself a statement, of course.

He bothered to review it, characterized the WAD in his way, submitted it with screen shots, and it was accepted by the admin.

Anyway, if he trolled, he was quite successful. Congrats on clamping onto the hook with such intensity. You guys know how to add to the entertainment!

In fact, on that account it managed to bring more attention to the WAD than expected...

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Graf Zahl said:

Is this a serious review or just a failed attempt of a joke? I can't tell and that's why such reviews don't help me.


Who are you kidding? We all know you don't really care about the reviews one way or the other.

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kristus said:

It is interesting that this only really comes up whenever a Zdoom wad has been "unjustly" reviewed.


The strange thing is that this only seems to happen for high profile ZDoom WADs. I haven't seen a review this shitty since KDiZD.

Both reviews have two things in common:

1. The reviewer didn't bother to play it through.
2. The reviewer was quite eloquent to generalize his opinion of an incomplete playthrough while trying to be funny in a demeaning manner.

I wonder how you had reacted if someone had aborted reviewing Nimrod after the first level (which IMO was a gigantic failure gameplay-wise) and wrote some lengthy text filled with dim-witted attempts at being funny trying to describe how bad the WAD is. Because that's essentially what happened in these 2 cases.

I can accept someone not liking a project - but I absolutely can't stand people who think that not liking something gives them the right to become verbally abusive. Sorry, I can't laugh about such things.

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myk said:

I don't agree with this. You don't have to play a whole WAD to get a taste of it. Not playing certain parts is in itself a statement, of course.


Yes, a statement that disqualifies his review (at least that should have happened.)


He bothered to review it, characterized the WAD in his way, submitted it with screen shots, and it was accepted by the admin.


... which I don't understand. Shouldn't there be guidelines that state:

- Project must be fully reviewed
- No verbal abuse.

???

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myk said:

I don't agree with this. You don't have to play a whole WAD to get a taste of it. Not playing certain parts is in itself a statement, of course.

As I said, I can just about accept that for a single map or a multi-map WAD by a single author (though I still don't like it) but in this situation, where the maps by a number of authors weren't even looked at, it's not doing the job he signed up for. How can he make an informed opinion about maps by authors that he didn't see any other work by?

Like I said, he knew it was a big, multi-map WAD. If he wasn't prepared to look at all the levels then he should have given it to someone who was. He didn't have to put his name down. Volunteering to do the review surely carries the responsibility to actually see it through?

I'm not saying he had to like it. I'm not saying another person would have either. I'm saying he should at least have looked at it properly.

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Bitch bitch whine whine I played it and frankly I agree, regardless of how trolly he was. (The guy got losered a few days ago...)

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Graf Zahl said:

I wonder how you had reacted if someone had aborted reviewing Nimrod after the first level (which IMO was a gigantic failure gameplay-wise) and wrote some lengthy text filled with dim-witted attempts at being funny trying to describe how bad the WAD is. Because that's essentially what happened in these 2 cases.


Hard to say. I know several of my online friends didn't play past the first map due to that reason. And that was a bit of a bummer. But if a complete stranger wrote a review about how it sucked so bad that the other maps wasn't worth a gander, I'm pretty sure wouldn't give him the satisfaction of me giving a shit.

Graf Zahl said:

I can accept someone not liking a project - but I absolutely can't stand people who think that not liking something gives them the right to become verbally abusive. Sorry, I can't laugh about such things.


Well, some do. I do it hen I find it funny. I didn't find this review funny, but I got the gist of what the wad was about, and that's all I care about.

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Graf Zahl said:

Am I the only one who thinks that the stupid name calling in the ZPack 'review' devalues the whole exercise? How can I take an opinion seriously if the writer is intent on ridiculing the subject he is talking about?


I would agree, somewhat. Regardless of whether they're fair or not, Remiel's reviews seem overly negative when read next to everyone else's.

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Janitor reviews ZPack

Remiel's review was a bit trollish, so here goes.

ZPack was overall pretty varied. Maps had different styles and different ZDoom features. Some of the maps were remakes of old maps, but overall, they were mainly "Tormentor667" style. Some of the maps were quite beautiful, featuring lots of nice architecture. Most of Vader's maps were the most impressive I have seen in a long time. However, other maps were mainlly over-detailed and didn't play well. My main complaint was the inconsistency. Some maps were on a time limit, skyboxes were not consistent and the difficulty was varied. it didn't flow as well as I'd have liked.

Another problem I saw was the obvious influence of Tormentor667's style. Many of the maps looked too much like his particular style for me to be too interested. Some maps looked as though they came right out of "The Ultimate Torment and Torute" (even some of the maps were a tribute to it)

In all, what can be said it that it is a typical community project. Some good maps, some great maps. and some not so great.

Definitely worth a look

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kristus said:

ZOMG /Newstuff drama is back. :O

Seriously though, all these reviews are way too long for my personal liking. And when guys like Prdrkfx (sp?) say that there should be map by map analysis I just can't imagine anyone except the creator actually bothering to read all that.

First, you can extend it to Project Dark Fox if you want, or at least call me PDF if you can't spell it out properly (my fault for shortening it in the first place).
Second, perhaps map-by-map review idea wasn't a good one, but that was why I took my multi-map review of 1024-6(?) to only one-line a piece.
I like to throw ideas out, I try not to demand others to do things a different way unless I really disagree on something.

Of course, this argument's died, so i thought I'd just clarify what i meant earlier. :)

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Patrick Pineda said:

Janitor reviews ZPack

...

In all, what can be said it that it is a typical community project. Some good maps, some great maps. and some not so great.

Definitely worth a look



Now, that is a good review. It's short and efficiently describes the WAD, in particular the problems you see in it.

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Ironically enough, whether Remiel was using reverse psychology or whatever, I think all this commotion about the quality of Zpack has put it in the spotlight for more downloads than it would have otherwise gotten. I'd have likely overlooked it it had been reviewed correctly and no one said anything. I do tend to think the assessments at the beginning were exagerrations. While Vader's stand head-and-sholders above the others, I've enjoyed all the other maps as well and they seem average at worst. ZPack has been my favorite WAD out of this /newstuff so far.

It stands to note that reviewers ought to be able to review WADs however they choose. They are entitled to their opinions. They can let you know when they don't like something. Using good language is another issue entirely. Especially when you're doing a review, you should make certain to speak in a respectable manner even if you are speaking poorly of what you're reviewing.

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I agree with the reviews getting too damn long. I know I'm guilty of doing it this newstuff but I couldn't think of a better way to review a weapon mod. Oh well, I'll try to make a shorter review next time.

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I must confess... I've only played a handful of the Cacoward winners all the way through... some of the bigger projects I looked at a couple maps in it.

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Suggestion for reviewers: Long reviews have a "too long, didn't read" paragraph at the end that summarizes everything you just said in a couple of sentences or so. So you can make an eight-paragraph review if you want (which I would totally never do), just put a summary at the end so that people who can't be bothered to read your endless display of eloquence and knowledge of Doom can still get a good idea of the wad. Yes it's a minor hassle for some reviewers but there's no point in writing a three-page review if no one reads it.

And for those who argue, "Well, you should just make your review concise and to-the-point in the first place," I say that some wads deserve/need endless reviews because of their nature (long wads), and sometimes reviewers want to write endless reviews so they can adequately go into detail about the maps. Sure, a review like "Some great maps! Check it out!" is okay and all, but it doesn't tell me about the levels in any way except that the reviewer thinks they're awesome. A few more words (anything unusual about the wad, level themes, gameplay, etc.) is good too and actually would be enough for some reviews - one good solid paragraph, or a couple of shorter paragraphs.

Then you have megawads, extremely large maps, etc. where one paragraph doesn't really cut it. A few paragraphs should be enough in most cases. But like I said before, some projects merit massive reviews, and sometimes the reviewer wants to go in-depth about the wad. That's okay, and reviewers have a right to do that, as long as they realize most people won't want to read what they had to say about the level pack. So it's in the best interest of the reviewer (if he wants people to read his review) to summarize what he said in the last paragraph.

tl;dr - Long reviews are okay, some levels need them. Just summarize your review at the end.

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Death-Destiny said:
Especially when you're doing a review, you should make certain to speak in a respectable manner even if you are speaking poorly of what you're reviewing.

Respect means to do what others you may contradict expect of you. A critical examination of a creative work is among the last places where that is necessarily beneficial or appropriate, because it curtails frankness and the freedom to drive a point. Being entitled to an opinion means being entitled to express it, potentially crossing the line others may draw on what they think can or can't be said.

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myk said:

Respect means to do what others you may contradict expect of you. A critical examination of a creative work is among the last places where that is necessarily beneficial or appropriate, because it curtails frankness and the freedom to drive a point. Being entitled to an opinion means being entitled to express it, potentially crossing the line others may draw on what they think can or can't be said.

Respectfully doesn't necessarily mean sugar-coat.

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Respect could be many things; deserved respect, part of admiration, the dulling of expression out of fear of reprimand or censure, sugar-coating... There's a heavy dose of subjectivity in it, no clear line where it begins or stops, and it's part of the expression that makes up the point of view or opinion.

The medium is the message.

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It seems to me the the author needs to act respectably for the following two reasons.

Number one, if the author uses too many insults and/or too harsh of comments, the reader will not know whether the author is reviewing the item as they are to be an ass or if they seriously expect you to consider their opinion. Conveying intonation through text is just as much a writing skill as clear sentence structure and proper spelling and mechanics. As several people above have said about some reviews, if the author is being excessive disrespectful in the review, they question it's ligitimacy and tend not to take it seriously.

Second, making too many silly jokes and unnecessarily critical remarks does not add to the effect that the author is making a serious review. The reviewer will come off as childish which will make readers question the quality of the review. Reviews tend to be taken more seriously when they maintain a more professional composure.

On a final note, I think respect would be preferable in acknowledgement of the hard work that could have gone into the item reviewed, though I agree this is not necessary as the review is about the quality of the final product and the quality of its development is irrelavant in that light.

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That reminds me I have to learn how to review less seriously myself, to avoid repetitiveness or excessive utilitarianism, and have more fun while doing it.

If other people want to use a "buyers guide" review approach rather than expressive critical opinion, so be it, but maybe they shouldn't be preaching it to those who don't agree or care.

The reviews elicit few responses compared to the body of work they make up, so it seems apparent that not too many people really read them or need them (only the writers, the WAD makers, and a few others, and each only selectively). In that case, there's only more reason for the reviewers to experiment with their opinions and expression, rather than worrying over whether people will find them useful or proper (morally or practically).

I think we might as well make an art of sorts of the reviewing itself, that is.

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^True that. This whole discussion is really pretty unimportant as it only seems relavant with the prior assumption that the reviews are serious. But I tend to agree that the point of this excercise is simply to get opinions out there and comments about the various new WADs uploaded during the week, as well as getting the WADs more publicity in general.

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The maps from Vader in Zpack were some of the most impressive zdoom maps that I've seen in an long time.But overall I didn't enjoy these maps, I'm more into classic stuff.

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myk said:

The reviews elicit few responses compared to the body of work they make up, so it seems apparent that not too many people really read them or need them (only the writers, the WAD makers, and a few others, and each only selectively).

Often enough responding to a single controversial review. Wonder how many people read the reviews - I'd be disappointed if it was mainly the mappers and reviewers. Is there a hit counter attached to the "Top Story" page?

In that case, there's only more reason for the reviewers to experiment with their opinions and expression, rather than worrying over whether people will find them useful or proper (morally or practically). I think we might as well make an art of sorts of the reviewing itself, that is.

Expression appears to be the contentious issue this time around. I'm unlikely to get my knickers in a twist over a fair review even if it's unfavourable, which is why I've taken exception to Remiel's contributions.

To change the subject, was Bloodshedder still in holiday mode on Tuesday - he let a couple of errors through.

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You miss the point.
The reviewer and the creator of the wad are the only ones personally involved in the review. It's not like Everyone else and their mom is reading he reviews carefully. I read the first few lines and unless something grabbed me by then, I will quickly look at the screenshots, and if I am still not interested I will move on.

Which is something I do most of the time. It's rare that anything actually piques my interest in the doom community these days.

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GreyGhost said:

To change the subject, was Bloodshedder still in holiday mode on Tuesday - he let a couple of errors through.

SUCH AS?

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Am I the only one who is unable to use IDCLEV to move around Zpack? Every time I try it, it takes me to the original Doom 2 level instead of a Zpack level.

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Oldfukka said:

Am I the only one who is unable to use IDCLEV to move around Zpack? Every time I try it, it takes me to the original Doom 2 level instead of a Zpack level.

this is due to the eXmX format we used

just hit ` to bring up the console and type in MAP E2M5 *for example* to take you to that level, the secret levels are either M0 or M10

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