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fullmetalvaran33

WADs: Most Overrated/Underrated, Most Surprising/Disappointing

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Don't blame yourself, this community has a fetish for turning any thread even remotely dealing with difficulty in pwads into an in-depth discussion where literally no one agrees on what defines a slaughtermap

I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way, just an observation

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Not to mention giving undeserved hate towards certain oldschool wads that are supposedly "slaughter," particularly HR.

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most underrated: Happy Time Circus 2. forget Unloved, THIS is the best horror mod to come out of Doom. set in an eerily quiet town filled with murderous ghosts, this mod avoids many of the common horror clichés and gives you a huge map to explore. if i had to complain about something, it'd be that Ultra Violence is probably a bit too hard for me personally, and that the final boss is a complete letdown to what it was leading up to. otherwise, excellent stuff. why it only got a nomination whilst Unloved got a Cacoward, i will never know.

most overrated: Sunder. as far as slaughtermaps go, i think they've come a long way from how groundbreaking Sunder seemed at the time of its release. Sunder has annoyingly tight starts that gives you little resources to fight back against the overwhelming odds, the levels aren't very visually memorable anymore compared to how mods like Sunlust and Speed of Doom completely knocks it out of the park, and there's just a few stinkers of gimmicky level-design in there that aren't very fun to play anymore (Metal Descendants, The Cage, and ESPECIALLY Precarious.)

most surprising: the first Herian i guess. i heard it was way worse than the sequel, and while that's true, i feel it wasn't as bad as i thought it was gonna be and enjoyed it a fair bit. if anything, Herian 2 has more maps that are obtuse to complete, while Herian has some obvious fillers, which makes it less annoying to plow through.

most disappointing: Armadosia. when i heard it was a mapset full with giant, explorative levels, i was stoked to be playing it. what i instead got was the worst parts of Herian and Eternal Doom bullshit thrown in without any of the memorable setpieces and texture work. everything is long, bland, and tedious, even moreso than the Herian series. i thought i was gonna get treated with something nice and atmospheric like Herian, or as epic sprawling as Eternal Doom, but it pleased neither of my sensibilities.

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Overrated: Too many to mention, but the ones with "official" or "major celebrity" tags spring to mind more than any.
(Multiplayer: dwango5, ZDCTF)

Underrated: Too many to mention, but the ones that are buried in a sea of gun mods in ZDoom's projects sub-forum spring to mind. Underrated vanilla mods don't really exist now, the best ones I can think of from the past are Garrulismo and Vile Flesh.
(Multiplayer: not dwango5, not ZDCTF)

Disappointing: Anything that obviously rips off is inspired by <insert big-name project here>.
(Multiplayer: anything that obviously rips off is inspired by ZDCTF)

Surprising: Still Mock 2 for me, because of the gameplay being quite reasonable as well as the humour. Inquisitor 3 also, as it blows the first 2 far far away.
(Multiplayer: quite tricky but I'd probably go with Nutty, ASDFJKL, ABCDM and ZD 3-way CTF)

T-Rex said:

The super-secret-level, which I won't spoil, was both innovative and clever at the same time.

gun_psycho said:

the supersecret level is one big shout-out to Crystal Maze. (I remember that game show back when I was little) I understand the megawad's not perfect, but the levels at least tend to be nice and short when it comes to speedruns most of the time. (Though Map32 WILL take a while to complete)


You might like to know about the 2016 remake that I did of the same map ;)

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Viscra Maelstrom said:

most overrated: Sunder. as far as slaughtermaps go, i think they've come a long way from how groundbreaking Sunder seemed at the time of its release. Sunder has annoyingly tight starts that gives you little resources to fight back against the overwhelming odds, the levels aren't very visually memorable anymore compared to how mods like Sunlust and Speed of Doom completely knocks it out of the park


I will agree on the gameplay front that wads like Combat Shock 1 & 2 do a better job but completely disagree on the maps not being visually memorable. Sure, Sunlust looks great but Speed of Doom, really? I've played the wad twice and the architecture was pretty standard techbase stuff with some green and then red hell. Certainly no macro-architecture that makes you go "Woah, that's awesome!" like Sunder had.

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On 6/24/2011 at 7:47 PM, hervoheebo said:

Most OverRated:
-Action Doom, really, I don't get it. Just gimmicks one after another. It wouldn't be so bad if it were just another wad, but for some reason the author (whose treatment reminds me of a cult of personality) feels the need to rub it in everyone's face.

 

I can assure you; nobody gives a shit about me.

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Overrated:

The Hellfire series by Shadowman (and similar releases, like Mogor's Winter). These wads have kind of a cult status on the Russian forums, but it's basically just him remaking the same damn maps for literally 10 years now. There is always the same MYHOUSE level, the same city level, the same train ride level, etc. Such a waste of talent!

 

Underrated:

RRWARD02, a 1994 wad that is 10 times better than the monstrosity known as Doomsday of UAC. I guess it just lacks these memorable scenes, but quality-wise it completely destroys UAC_DEAD.

 

Surprising:

The Last Sanctuary. It's one of these levels you can't describe by comparing them to other wads. It's something new and different. And the thing that happens in the outdoor area... wow.

 

Disappointing:

Back to Saturn X development screenshots promised a revolution, then it turned out to be just polished and very undoomy.

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It certainly hasn't aged well. I contemplated going back and fixing a lot of the frustrating and egregiously poor gameplay decisions... but I don't have the time. Some back story; It was originally supposed to be Dehacked ONLY so it could work with any port... but I fucked up the level architecture and couldn't get it to load in anything other than ZDoom... so I decided to ask Cyb to help me add a few ZDoom specific features. Beyond that, most of the wad was done using Dehacked... and it shows.

I'd add health in the form of hearts or something so you can take a few hits before dying, I'd be much more liberal with the weapons, tone down the health of specific enemies (fuck those tanks), and clean up a couple of the areas to play better (The car segment is neat... but it's too damn frustrating as is.)

Overrated: I guess it's not so much a wad... so much as Doom purity that I think is overrated. "Oh no, ZDoom changed how creature hitboxes work and it broke vanilla compatibility." Who cares?

 

Underrated: I love AgentSpork's simple ZDoom maps from the mid 2000s. Temple of Chaos 2, Simplicity, 

Surprise: Doom City - I remember scouring the idgames archives back in the 90s and coming across a "city" themed level. I yawned and downloaded it expecting another giant boxes with brick walls and an f_sky texture above... but it was so much more. Everything was proportioned to your character size, the unique textures fit with the theme, and the music was a nice touch. It's unfortunate the visplane error existed because the author talked about all the things he had to remove from the wad to prevent it from crashing; crosswalks, lightposts, and stoplights were just some of the things that had to be removed.

 

Disappointing: Community is Falling 3. I really wanted to like it and it had an ungodly amount of custom scripts and programming... but it was just a big convoluted mess. I still love you, Kaiser.

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i'll skip overrated/disappointing

 

Underrated: A.L.T.

 

Surprise: NOVA: The Birth, in spite of being a set for mostly new Doom mappers, turned out to feel pretty fresh and be one of the better sets i've played.

 

re: slaughter discussion, i think it's easy to just say that a lot of mapsets tend to lean too hard on a certain kind of difficulty stemming from enemy encounters that can grow stale and repetitive, regardless of whether you'd characterize that as "slaughter" or not. that often stems from hardcore gamer "git gud" sentiments that tend to be common in modding communities, and also the idea of challenge as a marker of quality.

Edited by ella guro

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7 hours ago, Scuba Steve said:


Overrated: I guess it's not so much a wad... so much as Doom purity that I think is overrated. "Oh no, ZDoom changed how creature hitboxes work and it broke vanilla compatibility." Who cares?

 

Ehh, doubt players really do all that often, as long as the changes don't result in you getting stuck (though ZDoom and friends have had the auto-compatibility-adjustment thing for known WADs with issues like Eternal MAP25 or Memento Mori II MAP25).

 

For mappers it's a bigger deal, because even if you target vanilla, you reasonably have to take into account that many - even most - people are going to want to play your WAD in their source port of choice, so breaks with vanilla compatibility mean an additional layer of restriction on your map design if you want to keep the broadest audience (having to futz with compatibility settings potentially each time you start a new level isn't exactly most people's definition of fun, any more than WoW players in Mists of Pandaria enjoyed having to go back to town and Reforge their entire kit every time they got a new raid drop in order to stay optimal ...). There's also the annoying engine foibles that even make architectural standbys an issue (see Memento Mori 2 MAP09 and MAP16, for instance, now think that someone's playing these in a port that uses jumping, such as ZDoom. On MAP09 you can vault the balcony outside into the water and get stuck, while in MAP16 you can pretty much skip the whole level ...).

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8 hours ago, Scuba Steve said:

 

 

Underrated: I love AgentSpork's simple ZDoom maps from the mid 2000s. Temple of Chaos 2, Simplicity, 

Simplicity was always one of my favorite WADs. Some of the later maps fell apart, but the first episode or 2 of maps were fantastic in every sense.

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For some reason, re-reading this thread gave me an aneurism, strictly because there's quite a few mentions of Dwango5 as overrated and Mega Man DM as underrated! Look, I get it, half the maps in Dwango5 are trash and MM8BDM has all kinds of custom content and stuff.. BUTT, with that said, the good maps in Dwango5 are well balanced, pure Doom DM action (there IS a reason this wad refuses to die, after all) and Mega Man DM is "bright eye-raping textures everywhere you look also every gun is a slow, ineffective projectile shooter, ENJOY". I'm exaggerating a little for effect but honestly, the weapons in Doom are just 999x more satisfying to use, mainly because they're all at least somewhat effective.

 

I don't think overrated is even the right word as all that hard work certainly deserves praise - 'Overplayed' is far more accurate. By contrast, good ol' Doom2 Deathmatch on at least semi-normal map packs with semi-normal gameplay rules is both underrated and underplayed as fuck these days. I'd be stoked if Doom Deathmatch had as many regular players as god forsaken MM8BDM has!!

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3 hours ago, Amarande said:

now think that someone's playing these in a port that uses jumping, such as ZDoom. On MAP09 you can vault the balcony outside into the water and get stuck, while in MAP16 you can pretty much skip the whole level ...).

The best thing you can do about this is disable jump/crouch in MAPINFO and specify that it's not intended in the text file. At the very least, the former will deter the clueless player while someone who enjoys hopping around can turn it back on and do whatever.

 

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On 8/16/2017 at 9:56 PM, ella guro said:

i'll skip overrated/disappointing

 

Underrated: A.L.T.

 

Surprise: NOVA: The Birth, in spite of being a set for mostly new Doom mappers, turned out to feel pretty fresh and be one of the better sets i've played.

 

re: slaughter discussion, i think it's easy to just say that a lot of mapsets tend to lean too hard on a certain kind of difficulty stemming from enemy encounters that can grow stale and repetitive, regardless of whether you'd characterize that as "slaughter" or not. that often stems from hardcore gamer "git gud" sentiments that tend to be common in modding communities, and also the idea of challenge as a marker of quality.

Many people who dislike hard wads think up overly cynical reasons mappers might make them, but the simple explanation is often best: most mappers who design difficult wads do so because they themselves enjoy that style of gameplay. Challenge is fun for us. The Doom niche gameplay communities aren't about foisting difficult wads on people who don't enjoy them, while thinking 'git gud'. In fact they'd often wish players who'd prefer conventional stuff actually read text files and either choose lower difficulty settings or skip the wad altogether with no hard feelings.

 

Edited by rdwpa

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Overrated : Foursite. Except the fact that this map took 300 hours to be made and is huge , it has nothing special. Moreover , there are a lot of mapping errors inside and the level design is globally awful.

 

Underrated : Eternal Slumber Party. ToD's maps are intended for hardcore players , that's sure. However , I love this mapset because he has his own style of mapping. The quality of maps is very heterogeneous : some maps are pure troll , some are very beautiful... but there are a lot of good ideas and a special atmosphere which is explained by the music used too.

 

Surprised : Mars War. The first time I wanted to play this megawad , I thought it will be a mapset with very banal maps. That's not  entirely false but maps are really fun to play and very cute. I had a lot more fun with this wad from the 90' than other wads like Eternal Doom or Requiem...

 

Disappointement : Eternal Doom. The first time I saw some screens from this wad , I was impressed : New music , new textures , huge levels ! Actually , this was a very boring wad with switch-hunting abuse.

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On 6/21/2011 at 11:56 PM, NaturalTvventy said:

Thanks Xas :) We should colab on a project some time!

Haaaah. Nice blast from the past, NT. The implied in-joke here, for everyone else's benefit, is that NEIS was well underway when this post was made. :P

 

Also good to see my current title reaffirms my answers in this thread, 6 years later. It's the one thing in life I seem to be consistent on.

 

[EDIT]:

 

5 hours ago, Spectre01 said:

The best thing you can do about this is disable jump/crouch in MAPINFO and specify that it's not intended in the text file. At the very least, the former will deter the clueless player while someone who enjoys hopping around can turn it back on and do whatever.

Thanks to a mental typo I made while reading this post, I am now inspired to make a map that disables jumping/crouching in MAPINFO and then putting in the textfile that jumping/crouching is required. Gotta fill that comic mischief quota.

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Overrated: Brutal Doom

I never fully got into it and heard so many arguments about it from Facebook to here for too many years.

 

Underrated: Chex Quest 3

Personalty feel like it was forgotten quite easily about a few months after the 2008 cacowards.

 

Most Surprising: Japanese Community Project

Pretty amazing megawad from a community that's a lot bigger than I thought it was.

 

Most Disappointing: Eternal Doom

Quite possibly the most disappointing megawad that Team TNT created & felt forgettable to me compare to Evilution & Icarus.   

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On 6/21/2011 at 1:09 AM, Daiyu_Xiaoxiang said:

Biggest disappointment:

The Twlight Zone 2 - Originally Twlight Zone is my least favourite wad since it's too easy like the level for baby. There's a map I forget which, 3 invulnerabilites just for one Cyberdemon, oh my......fucking god! Twlight Zone 2 certainly sucks, I really found the new monsters' sounds annoying, especially the lost souls. I was very disappointed that Twlight Zone 2 is much worse then the first released Twlight Zone wad.

 

Late bump here. I had to laugh at this. What you are saying is so true.

 

20+ years ago I was a horribly skilled player, keyboard only, very defensive. Only cared about architecture, was obsessed with unmarked secret areas, not so much gameplay balance. Players were complaining about how easy my maps were so in twzone2 I gave the monsters about 20-30% more health and made the fireballs hurt more in the dehacked patch thinking it would improve challenge a bit. And yes, that Lost Soul sound in the original release of twzone2 which I created myself by speeding up my own voice pretending to be a ghost .... I found it hilarious!

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