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Nomad

Doom 2 MAP28 sucks

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I was going to revive that "levels you hate that everyone else loves" thread but it was forever ago already.

I just played through Doom 2 again and I just can't help but think that Map28 is possibly the worst level I've ever played in a commercial game. Gameplaywise its fine, but in structure and layout it is the most frustrating endeavor I've ever had to overcome. If I hadn't already previously known about the passage in the cavern room with the arch vile that led to the spiderdemon room, I probably would never have found it. And even though I've beaten it before I spent probably 20 minutes wandering around the now desolate map looking for the fucking red key door and eventually I had to open up the Doom wiki and look at the walkthrough.

Having to find those shootable walls for the red door is not intuitive at all and I can't imagine anyone has ever found it without prior knowledge.

After all of the maps in the Crappy Map Contest being fresh in my mind, I can't help but compare them to MAP28 and it surely would have been a contender for runner up at least.

I can't see myself making friends with anyone who actually likes that map because clearly they are a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

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Nomad said:

Having to find those shootable walls for the red door is not intuitive at all and I can't imagine anyone has ever found it without prior knowledge.

I did, but it took way too long.

I thought the "throne room" was pretty cool. But other than that, I don't like MAP28 much at all.

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Nomad said:
Having to find those shootable walls for the red door is not intuitive at all and I can't imagine anyone has ever found it without prior knowledge.

I think our playing many custom WADs and looking for certain things in them may have habituated us to ignore playing habits that may not have been so odd to people newer to the game. That area is a dead end. Eventually, a player will start humping walls and then shooting them. Petersen in particular has one habituated to shooting walls, with previous examples like the ones in Map18 (at the very start) and Map19 (to get to the red skull key). The situation in Map19, while it could also delay the player, is the most effective, though, as it's much easier to activate the rising section while trying to kill those imps.

Interestingly, at one point I had thought the Map19 shootable could fail with no monsters but that's not true, as the linedef activated is up front and not in the flames behind, so even shooting it from the bottom works.

I don't recall getting really frustrated with level 28 early on except in the sense that its considerable and relatively high powered opposition scared me.

It's not one of the best levels in DOOM II, but its main flaw, past perhaps the potential for a first frustrating play like yours, has more to do with the number of powerups available, particularly the invulnerabilities. Otherwise, it's got a nice hellish texturing theme, good architecture for a Petersen level, and a great music track.

It's one of those levels that should be intimidating and maybe confusing at first, but easy later. It's kind of nice to have an easier, fill-up kind of level just before the monster that Map29 is, of course, so it plays a good role in the whole set even nowadays.

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Gameplaywise it's a pretty easy level. Even the spiderdemons are pretty cake; I rarely use the plasma rifle or bfg so I have plenty of ammo to grab an invuln' sphere and just charge right in front of them and take 'em out in a couple shots with BFG.

The problem is that it's just not really intuitive at all to find that shootable wall that opens up the red key room. Also, the "switches" that lower the walls in the "throne room" aren't that obvious either.

I dunno, maybe I'm just bitter because I've never liked most of Doom 2's levels anyway. Monster Condo and most of The Chasm are also exceptionally shitty (and the so called "secrets" in Monster Condo were so pointless, the entire map may as well have been tagged a secret). As much as I love Doom and Doom's gameplay, I just don't understand how maps like these could be released commercially. Even in 1994 there were better fan made maps. The fact that Plutonia was made practically in a fortnight and is stinking awesome is a pretty good testament to the fact that the id mapping crew evidently really didn't put that much effort in to most of Doom 2's levels.

Meh. Either way, I've always played doom for the fun pwads, and the awesome community. As much of an asshole I may be, I like to think of the Doom community--no matter where, be it Skulltag, NewDoom, Doomworld, whatever--is kind of my home away from home on the internet!

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MAP28 is a bad level because despite the fact that Doom 2 gets quite bloody or tricky by its third part, after you go halfway through MAP27 and continuously in MAP28, you get sprayed from everywhere with BFGs, bulk cells, invulnerabilities and megaspheres, making the game trivial, when it could have been an awesome struggle.

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As if the lesser difficulty on some levels were really a problem in a 30 level set. It's what helps the game retain a balance that allows it to be very playable in a proper manner. This also gave DOOM and DOOM II space for the "oh, too easy? take this!" NM setting, which became a playing mode in its own right.

The Petersen levels also do become harder as well with lesser mobility, like we most had when we started playing. I remember I dreaded the revenant horde that came out when getting the red skull in Map28, for example, while nowadays I can easily escape them, and fight them when I aim to kill everything or the like.

Nomad said:
Even in 1994 there were better fan made maps.

Maybe there were some that were as good in their own right, but looking at the top ten WADs of '94, according to the ten years special, which does seem to be pretty representative of the better WADs of the day, I find DOOM II more intense than most of them. The levels you mentioned as shitty have their flaws (though Map24's ledge running feature in particular is a blessing), but DOOM had similar or weaker ones in E3, at least. Petersen didn't do as well as other id level designers (he was mainly a guy hired to make sure the game could be completed in a timely manner after one of the designers moved out in mid-development due to irreconcilable design differences, after all) but I've enjoyed his levels through the years nonetheless. I tend to thank him for managing to put in the effort to finish up a great game which is the base of much of what we do here instead of complaining that it wasn't more perfect. Sometimes I'm also grateful that the more carefree style he used during mapping, aside from being good at exploring aspects the other designers sometimes missed, encourages a less "serious business" community attitude, beyond what the game already does with its tongue-in-cheek style, than a spotless super-professional looking product would have.

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I've always liked map28. It has some oddball puzzles that prevent it from being a great map, but it has enough of a solid theme and (back then) difficult encounters to make it enjoyable. I've always thought that the Spirit World had a better hell style than most of the maps from Doom's Inferno episode. If you consider how many of the hell maps in Doom 2 are lacking a lot in the fire and brimstone department, map28 seems like a real godsend. A lot of the later Doom 2 maps seemed to be focused on creating a creepy atmosphere. I'm thinking in particular about pieces like map27 which had a lot of butchered bodies, darkness, and monster closets and even map30 which isn't at all a red fiery hell map but rather a disturbing surreal environment. Map25 also has some traditional hell elements, but it still relies a lot on shadows and "BOOO!" tactics.

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Nomad said:

Every post I have made in the last two days is an intentional troll against everything Super Jamie loves and holds dear. Now I'm going to bash some Sandy maps.

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Yeah I found the red door by accident. I think they expect you to shoot at monsters up there... but there usually aren't any.

I love map28 though.

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Super Jamie said:

BAWWWW I LIKE MAP28 SO NOMAD SHOULD TOO


:P

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Nomad said:Having to find those shootable walls for the red door is not intuitive at all and I can't imagine anyone has ever found it without prior knowledge.


BUZZER

After all of the maps in the Crappy Map Contest being fresh in my mind, I can't help but compare them to MAP28 and it surely would have been a contender for runner up at least.

Nomad said:
I can't see myself making friends with anyone who actually likes that map because clearly they are a few sandwiches short of a picnic. [/B]


have yourself a pale of fail.

The commercial map that frustrated me most was map02 of Plutonia. It just never occurred to me to walk off a cliff into a giant abyss. Faith I have not.

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Hellbent said:

The commercial map that frustrated me most was map02 of Plutonia. It just never occurred to me to walk off a cliff into a giant abyss. Faith I have not.


That bridge is a pain in the ass to cross right -.-

As for map 28 I somehow completely forgot was part of doom2, when I played it again I remembered a similar layout being in a pwad, but much more detailed with transparent blood falls used a lot, which is what I thought WAS map28 and was desperately wracking my brain to remember if I had loaded up a pwad with it -.- A hard map to pistol start on, if not for the bfg and invuln spheres. I think I better go over map20+ again just to make sure I know what's part of doom 2 again.

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The best part of it is the stone area togther with a few other areas. But yeah, generally it is a pretty bad level. But it is nothing in crappieness compared to map24, the chasm is so awful. :P

Generally it would have been better if Romero had made more levels hehe. I love his work in doom2. Of course they have some problems as well, but nothing compared to Petersen's levels.

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I'm definitely not knocking Petersen as a whole. He did create MAP01 after all, which there's just something magical about. Also I've never heard anyone say bad things about Tricks and Traps. I like Map09 well enough, Map10 has some clever secrets that make it pretty non-linear, The Citadel is kind of unique, etc. Its just those couple maps that I listed (Map24, Map27, and map28) that I just can't stand. Though I guess The Chasm is all right if you don't count the ledgerunning parts and the retarded room with the greenfalls. Also I could be crazy but I swear I saw HOM in map21, and Nirvana is otherwise a pretty boring map.

If I had to pick out all my favorite maps from Doom 2, though, they just so happen to be all American McGee's maps however.

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You're right about the HOM in map21, Nomad. There's one room in that map where all the linedefs are screwed up and the ceiling doesn't actually render properly. That problem and the fact that you can slip through one of the key doors at the end just shows that Sandy didn't even try on that map.

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Why did Sandy find it necessary to place, what, THREE invulnerabilities near the Spider Masterminds? Not to mention the fourth in the throne room. It ruins everything.

I remember when I first played that map. I was wandering around in the series of rooms behind the player start forever, trying to find out the point. I still haven't, but I haven't looked at it in an editor, either.

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Nomad said:

I'm definitely not knocking Petersen as a whole. He did create MAP01 after all, which there's just something magical about. Also I've never heard anyone say bad things about Tricks and Traps.


Not even that it was too gimmicky?

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What saves MAP28 for me is the music -- I love that tune.

Also, as for the red key door, can't you see that it's a door on the Automap? I think it's fair to assume that if the map shows it to be something other than a solid wall, the player should know to push and/or shoot at it.

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Lutz said:

Also, as for the red key door, can't you see that it's a door on the Automap? I think it's fair to assume that if the map shows it to be something other than a solid wall, the player should know to push and/or shoot at it.

This is a biased rage thread, please don't bring your sensible logic and clever tactics in here :P


Say what you will about Sandy, but I love his maps. Sure, a few of them are lemons (nobody likes MAP21: Nirvana) but considering the volume he produced within such a short amount of time - 37 maps in ~18 months - with only Romero's Episode 1 and Tom Hall's biblical hubs as an example, he did damn well.

The whole of Episode 3 is great, MAP07 to MAP10 are very strong, and a few of his urban maps are my favorites in the middle of Doom 2. MAP23: Barrels o Fun is a new puzzle concept first time through, tho it does lack replayability, it was a good surprise in 1994. MAP24: The Chasm again uses the Doom engine in a new way and is scaled hugely for an IWAD level, and I don't see how anyone can't like MAP27: Monster Condo.

I get the impression Sandy was under alot of pressure to churn out maps to get the registered products out the door on time, so naturally a few suffer. Some maps you can just feel he hated the concept and spat out an ugly PoS to move on to the next.

I wish American McGee had made more maps, his start of Doom 2 is great, and E4M1 is the toughest first IWAD map by far.

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To quote the Doom Wiki:
"Petersen joined id Software about 10 weeks before the December 1993 release of Doom and in that time created 19 levels for it (of which 8 were based to some extent on early drafts by Tom Hall).

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To quote the Doom Wiki quoting Masters of Doom:
"According to Masters of Doom,
'His levels were not nearly as aesthetically pleasing as Romero's; in fact, some of the id guys thought they were downright ugly, but they were undeniably fun and fiendish.' (page 146)"

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In plutonia map 2 shoot a nearby computer to raise sectors that make the bridge more visible.

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gggmork said:

In plutonia map 2 shoot a nearby computer to raise sectors that make the bridge more visible.


I HATE THAT SHIT IT TOOK ME HOURS TO FIGURE OUT GRAAKHDKAHDKJAKDJH

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I remember playing that map the first time. It's pretty much the first thing you do there. A dead end? Hm a weird computer in the rock. Can't reach it, shoot it.

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I've always liked map28 for the theme/music, but I don't actually remember the times I had to figure out the level. Because of this I think its a good level when you know most of the secrets.
I agree though that most of the puzzles required to beat the level (like going down the blood crevice, the passable rock wall, shooting the symbols) dont make much sense and don't have as much consistency compared to others in Doom II.

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