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Jimmy

Stronghold v1.0 released

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Thanks for posting this Jimmy, and thanks to everyone who reported bugs for the last two release candidates. That was a great help for making the final product just the way we wanted it :)

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Just gave this wad a quick test-drive. It's pretty good, but expect UV to be a tough slog. If you're a fan of Invasion and/or HR-style gameplay, you'll probably love this. Even if you're not a fan, the difficulty can be knicked down to make things more fun.

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The Time Attack mode is still impossible without cheating.

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Gez said:

The Time Attack mode is still impossible without cheating.


Actually, some of the levels are possible in Time Attack. It's easy enough to just fail a stage on purpose (especially if your Marine starts getting close to death -- you DID spend money to jack up your health, 1% at a time, up to a maximum of 400%, right?) and come back to the main hub with lots of coins... From there you can stock up on powerups and such, like Quad Damage, Sentries, backup Marines, invulnerability... etc. Then you can go back to previously cleared levels and try to beat them in Time Attack. Good luck, you'll still need it.

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I mean things like five minutes to clear ten waves. Try the first Mars mission. It's insane. Using an alias that calls "kill monsters" every tic, finishing it takes three minutes. That represents the incompressible time used just to spawn the monsters. That means you actually have two minutes to kill ten waves' worth of monsters. Impossible with the weapons given.

Some other maps have generous par times that are too easy to beat; but this just further shows that there was no attempt to balance the par times.

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Yeah, the first one is pretty tough. If you're having trouble though, you can always come back when you open up some of the later tiers, you can bring some of the powerups from those tiers with you. (Most notable are the Smartbomb in the Tier 4 area and the I Win powerup found in the last tier... Sadly though, you can carry only one of each, so use them wisely.)

Also note that your Marine backup friends can walk through the invisible 'wall' that blocks you from getting close to the hellspawn's spawning point. Without something to attack the hellspawn where they spawn, the first level (I'm Too Young to Defend) is pretty much impossible in Time Attack.

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Gez said:

Some other maps have generous par times that are too easy to beat; but this just further shows that there was no attempt to balance the par times.

The problem is that it's almost impossible to adjust them without enough people playing this long enough. Most of the par times are simply the best times out of all the developers. Some of them are insanely hard (btw, I can beat STR02's time, I actually set it ;)), others are too easy because some people might have better ideas how to finish the map. Also do not forget: Par Times are recorded w/o powerups!

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This is very bad-ass! Interesting and fun! Great job, guys!

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Tormentor667 said:

The problem is that it's almost impossible to adjust them without enough people playing this long enough. Most of the par times are simply the best times out of all the developers. Some of them are insanely hard (btw, I can beat STR02's time, I actually set it ;)), others are too easy because some people might have better ideas how to finish the map. Also do not forget: Par Times are recorded w/o powerups!


That seems a bit unfair, though. Back when professionally developed FPS games had par times for maps, they were much longer than the developers' actual best times--John Romero added 30 seconds to his times for padding, while Duke Nukem 3D could have much larger gaps between the par time and 3D Realms' best time (which was printed alongside the par). The par should be challenging to meet but not insanely hard.

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Finally got a chance to finish the final release, since I've been very busy. Overall I consider this a standout megawad, and certainly a contender for the cacowards.

I like the 3 new maps a lot. The new map 17, with its claustrophobic underground bunker-like design stands out much more than the old one and the new map 18 was fun as well (was it morpheus that made this new one? Since the text file and the screen before I enter the level still say the level is "delta bunker and even give the latter's description!") However, that was really the only error I found, and it's not that big a deal. STR25 (the new one) is really good as well, and it's nice to have more than one overmind map.

Other changes I really liked were making STR30 a limit map instead of a deadline map (I used to always have to cheat and use "freeze" in RC1!), and having STR14's new twist in terms of enemy spawning locations. I'd have to say that Maps 8, 20, 24, 29, 30 and 33 were the ones that were most visually pleasing and fun to play, although the others were really unique and enjoyable as well. Anyways, I'm glad this finally is finished and I can definitely say it was worth the wait.

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Well I for one am disgusted by all the negative reviews this is getting in the "Levels" section of the website. Considering that this monumental undertaking is being made available to everyone free of charge, seeing that it must have taken many people YEARS of their lives to complete, and with the knowledge that the creators did everything in their power to ensure that the final release was polished and fun as possible, including the posting of 2 release candidates, how the hell are people flaming this!!!

Anyone that's played my weak excuses for levels (I can probably count these people with one hand :0) knows that I gravitate to old-school wads generally speaking. But come on people, innovation is good, and it has a place in this community. I'm currently on my second playthrough of Stronghold and I'm enjoying the hell out of it. I'm glad that there are people like Tormentor667 who offer up stuff like this in addition to a website full of level-making resources and tips.

In summary, I'm by no means claiming that this is the best thing ever, nor do I think that every submission to /idgames should be uber-detailed a-la GothicDM, but I just feel that many people are behaving rather childishly when they rate it 0/5.

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Vordakk said:

Well I for one am disgusted by all the negative reviews this is getting in the "Levels" section of the website. Considering that this monumental undertaking is being made available to everyone free of charge, seeing that it must have taken many people YEARS of their lives to complete, and with the knowledge that the creators did everything in their power to ensure that the final release was polished and fun as possible, including the posting of 2 release candidates, how the hell are people flaming this!!!

Everything on this site is made available to everyone free of charge. I expect to receive honest criticism when I release something I've worked hard on, and I don't expect that Tormentor or anyone else should be immune to it.

Anyone that's played my weak excuses for levels (I can probably count these people with one hand :0) knows that I gravitate to old-school wads generally speaking. But come on people, innovation is good, and it has a place in this community.

Is anyone (or, at least, any majority) actually claiming that innovation is a bad thing? People who don't like Stronghold just don't like it. I find the gameplay boring and most of the level design repetitive and lazy, and this is coming from someone who's involved in similarly boundary-pushing wads for ZDoom, Eternity, Doom64EX, and other modern engines, and from someone who has a huge respect for a number of other works by some of Stronghold's authors. It's not too advanced, it's not too anything, it's just dull. In my opinion. I respect that you like it and want to give it a high rating, and you should respect that other people have opinions differing from yours, without needing to make up false motivations for them.

In summary, I'm by no means claiming that this is the best thing ever, nor do I think that every submission to /idgames should be uber-detailed a-la GothicDM, but I just feel that many people are behaving rather childishly when they rate it 0/5.

Wait, are you implying that the GothicDM series is any good? :-\

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Vordakk said:

Considering that this monumental undertaking is being made available to everyone free of charge, seeing that it must have taken many people YEARS of their lives to complete, and with the knowledge that the creators did everything in their power to ensure that the final release was polished and fun as possible


You kidding? After all the bugs that randomly crept up between the two release candidates and final release and the fact that there are still unaddressed bugs present from RC1 that made it into the final release, I doubt this was playtested at all, let alone polished.

Vordakk said:

including the posting of 2 release candidates, how the hell are people flaming this!!!

Because it sucks

Vordakk said:

I just feel that many people are behaving rather childishly when they rate it 0/5.


I just feel that you're behaving rather childishly (naive) to assume that nobody said anything to criticize the previous two release candidates before Stronghold went 1.0, and that Torm didn't blatantly ignore anything that was said exept "Stronghold is perfect"

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Fisk said:

You kidding? After all the bugs that randomly crept up between the two release candidates and final release and the fact that there are still unaddressed bugs present from RC1 that made it into the final release, I doubt this was playtested at all, let alone polished.



"Well we're going to fix [X] in the next Stronghold release!"

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Vordakk said:

stuff


The fact is that people are going to give it 0/5 if they don't like it because people like spamming 0s at things they don't like. I recognize the effort and time that went into Stronghold, and for that I'd give it some credit as well as the fact that it is innovative and nice to look at, but I wouldn't give it higher than 3/5 because, in all honesty, it just doesn't play well. Torm has a real talent for making impressive, high-quality, work-intensive WADs that are really boring to play, and this is no exception. I can't necessarily blame you for being a little annoyed at people's habits of not giving anything between "SUPER AWESOME 5/5" and "OMG SHIT 0/5", but in the great majority of those cases it is coming from honest opinions of the work and those are welcomed in any public forum.

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Nice constructive criticism there, guys, real nice.

(essel's reply to Vordakk is entirely valid, by the way.)

EDIT: StupidBunny also has a good point.

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Jimmy91 said:

Nice constructive criticism there, guys, real nice.


Funny hearing this from someone who was pretty much demanding that people stop critiquing this on the zdoom forums. I'm sorry but it's pretty obvious just from looking at that discussion that you guys have no interest in advice on how to improve current and future projects. All you want is for everyone to get down on their knees and start sucking your dicks.

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Fisk said:

You kidding? After all the bugs that randomly crept up between the two release candidates and final release and the fact that there are still unaddressed bugs present from RC1 that made it into the final release, I doubt this was playtested at all, let alone polished.


A release that's this large and complex is bound to have small bugs. This wasn't done by ID software or Valve, it was done by a few guys who wanted to create something cool and aren't asking for anything in return. Perhaps you could make a 40 level invasion-style DOOM mod that's less buggy, then I'd shut my mouth?

Fisk said:

I just feel that you're behaving rather childishly (naive)...


Apparently the only thing I was naive about was thinking that anyone posting in this forum is above the mental age of 7. I know everyone is entitled to their own opinions, my concern was that this was just being voted 0/5 repeatedly by jealous, spiteful people. Sorry but 0/5 should be reserved for WOW.wad; there's no way Stronghold qualifies as vomit. Flame away dudes.

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Vordakk said:

A release that's this large and complex is bound to have small bugs. This wasn't done by ID software or Valve, it was done by a few guys who wanted to create something cool and aren't asking for anything in return. Perhaps you could make a 40 level invasion-style DOOM mod that's less buggy, then I'd shut my mouth?

The "don't criticize anything until you've made your own" fallacy, my favorite.

Apparently the only thing I was naive about was thinking that anyone posting in this forum is above the mental age of 7. I know everyone is entitled to their own opinions, my concern was that this was just being voted 0/5 repeatedly by jealous, spiteful people. Sorry but 0/5 should be reserved for WOW.wad; there's no way Stronghold qualifies as vomit. Flame away dudes.

"Jealous"? Oh come on.

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I refer you to my previous post. I totally agree with you; a project like this, no matter how poorly one may think it plays, still deserves something more than 0/5, and I only give 0s to blatant Terry-style trollwads and maps that are so unforgivably bad that I couldn't possibly imagine the author having put any sort of thought or effort into them. But, as I said, people on the internet like their extreme ratings, be they 0s or 5s, and bitching about it isn't going to change anything. Your last post implies that the people who spam around 0s on /newstuff somehow constitute everybody on Doomworld, which is a really stupid thing to conclude. Besides, you'll learn the same thing that everybody else here except Brandon Lade has learned, which is that the ratings are largely meaningless for the reason mentioned above among others, and that the comments as well as the discussions here and at ZDoom will tell you a lot more about the project. And I'll reemphasize that not all of the comments posted in association with 0s were trollish "zdoom wads/torm are teh suck" kind of things, and actually had substantial qualms addressed in them. Just forget about the ratings and focus your energies on the stuff people are actually saying.

EDIT: And essel is right about your "I'd like to see you do better" thing. Everybody tries that logic, and it doesn't work. If a car company puts out a model people don't like, they don't say, "And perhaps you could make a better one?" because people are allowed to criticize things they can't make. I don't see why this even has to be explained, it's such a stupid argument to make in the first place.

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esselfortium said:

The "don't criticize anything until you've made your own" fallacy, my favorite.


It is not as fallacious as you might think.

Your example of a plumber who does bad work and then says, "I'd like to see you do better" when you call him on it doesn't equate, because in that case (1.) Your profession is not plumbing, and (2.) You are paying the plumber to do good work. In the case of Stronghold, it is well-known that (1.) A large percentage of people who post in this forum are themselves level-designers, and (2.) No one is paying to obtain Stronghold.

Besides, I never said DON'T criticize it. Criticism and competition are what make people strive to be better. I'm merely saying make that criticism constructive. I feel like some people auto 0/5 this because they pigeon-hole Tormentor667 as a detail nut who can't create engaging gameplay. They just assume that Stronghold is no exception without giving it a fair shake. But I could be wrong.

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I've played through this the past few days and have been enjoying it tremendously. Yep, it's endless waves of slaughter, but the variety of weaponry and monsters that head your way are pretty neat, in my book. And obviously it's beautiful, beautiful stuff. I have no idea how the mappers make such amazing-looking levels.

The strategy that keeps me interested in it involves when to use what powerups, how to place autoturrets, and the like. The level designs tend to be simple, which I think is just right for this type of gameplay. Things shouldn't be complex or confusing, and for the most part these levels aren't. I'm curious to hear how people feel the level design could be better.

It's certainly not without it's problems however. There's still pathing issues and in a few cases monsters get stuck at their spawns. I had one level get stuck in a wave and not progress after all the monsters were killed. I also exploit the 'godlike' reward of not taking any damage during a mission, which isn't that hard to pull off, for the first few missions at least, with the help of the superarmor thing that takes all damage until it's depleted.

And the timing levels do indeed seem impossible. I've tried the first mission fully stocked with all powerups and did my best to just blow away anything that came out of the gate, but still haven't been able to pull it off. It's too bad this is the mandatory game mode after you've passed a mission. It'd be nice to be able to go back to those for extra cash when needed.

Overall this thing melts my brain. I've always been in the camp of Torm's work being boring stuff despite the polish, but this one's not in that category in my book. Sadly my computer can't handle all the special effects, and after the first tier things start chunking enough to not be playable on the harder difficulty settings. But I will certainly come back to this thing in 10 years when I've finally got some new hardware and play it a ton.

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Vordakk said:

I feel like some people auto 0/5 this because they pigeon-hole Tormentor667 as a detail nut who can't create engaging gameplay. They just assume that Stronghold is no exception without giving it a fair shake. But I could be wrong.

I feel like some people auto 0/5 criticism because they pigeon-hole reviewers as trolls who can't create worthwhile reviews. They just assume that Stronghold reviews are no exception without giving them a fair shake.

But I could be wrong.

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Vordakk said:

I know everyone is entitled to their own opinions, my concern was that this was just being voted 0/5 repeatedly by jealous, spiteful people.


Vordakk said:

I feel like some people auto 0/5 this because they pigeon-hole Tormentor667 as a detail nut who can't create engaging gameplay. They just assume that Stronghold is no exception without giving it a fair shake.


OK, great. What exactly was your point with all this? I want to hear some kind of plan to prevent people from doing or saying whatever they want on the internet!!

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Vordakk said:

It is not as fallacious as you might think.

Oh yes it is

Vordakk said:

Your example of a plumber who does bad work and then says, "I'd like to see you do better" when you call him on it doesn't equate, because in that case (1.) Your profession is not plumbing, and (2.) You are paying the plumber to do good work. In the case of Stronghold, it is well-known that (1.) A large percentage of people who post in this forum are themselves level-designers, and (2.) No one is paying to obtain Stronghold.


Stronghold was trying to look good and it doesn't, so I'm going to say so. You don't pay to look at shitty, derelict tenements and you're not an architect, so where do you get off saying that these shitty, derelict tenements look like bad places to live in?

EDIT: Also,

Vordakk said:

Tormentor667 [is] a detail nut who can't create engaging gameplay


http://stronghold.drdteam.org/screenshots/str07.jpg

Trust me, that isn't the problem

There are so many things wrong with this, but I have to ask: why is there carpet on the ceiling

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Use3D said:

OK, great. What exactly was your point with all this? I want to hear some kind of plan to prevent people from doing or saying whatever they want on the internet!!


Touché.

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