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Capellan

Adam blathers about wads (now playing: Unholy Realms)

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Community Chest 2 - map08
This is one of those 'filler' Gene Bird maps dew mentioned above. It feels more obviously out of place than the first one did, with very basic texturing and a rather dull and orthogonal layout. The actions very set piece focused, took, which creates a stop-start tempo that I don't care for.

Definitely a notably weaker map.

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Community Chest 2 - map09
Oh dear. This is not a good map. Blocky, boring architecture abounds, and there's a lot of flood-filled textures throughout rooms, which compounds the visual tedium. Even more problematically, the use of lots of sergeants + narrow doorways actively encourages a corner camping approach. Not a recipe for fast paced action and excitement, that.

Positives? Well, at least it was short.

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When I first started contemplating the idea of the "Community Chest" project those eons ago I would have never figured it would lead to future projects as well! When I originally thought of the idea of getting mappers a chance to showcase their stuff it was with mixed thoughts...I sure in the hell didn't know which direction it would go. Being a member of TeamTNT and having that chance to build and showcase my stuff was great, but there are some folks out there that would love to showcase their stuff as well...good or bad!

Now, I'm not gonna sit here and take all the credit for the original project because it wasn't all me...the "community" here at Doomworld kicked in and made this project work! Yes, I started it, but the Doomworld community finished it good or bad, and that I am very proud of...thanks to all of you for taking this and making it what it is! My hats off to you!

I'm glad that I could be a part of it, and I'm glad that I followed through on the idea...just look how far it's come! You guys rock!

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Community Chest 2 - map10
This shares some characteristics with the last map in that it has quite blocky, orthogonal design, and fairly simple texturing. But it's obvious the author is much more experienced with the engine, as it features much more advanced lightning (including some sector trickery), some reasonably inventive secrets, and a refreshing absence of 64-wide corridors and doorways.

Progression is fairly simple and the gameplay is a bit on the trivial side. "Oh, ambushed by a hell knight in a place with plenty of dodging room. However shall I survive?". Even the cyber fight is a very straightforward one, as you get loaded with rockets and plasma for it. Sure, continuous play probably made it even easier than it would have been otherwise, but this is not difficult stuff.

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Community Chest 2 - map11
First off, huge props to this map for giving you all kinds of options as to where to go: it does a great job of avoiding the curse of linearity and giving the player options on which order to tackle it in.

The map also looks great. It's a really solid tech base with heaps of different areas: narrow places, wide places, high places. Texture use is actually quite varied within the 'tech base' theme, creating recognisable zones to aid navigation. There's also good use of interconnections to allow exploration in many different orders, and to let monsters flow at you from multiple directions.

Speaking of the monsters, good work in making me feel like the map wanted me dead, without ever really feeling unfair about it; some of the "monsters far above/below you" places could have been problematic on that front, except for those interconnections I mentioned. While I did make a couple of "leaps of faith" while playing, the map actually gave other approaches to those rooms where such risks weren't necessary.

As it happens, I only died once, but the map made me feel like I was working for my success, so thumbs up for that.

All in all, a very strong map. I've only got a few complaints, and two of those are minor :)

Complaint one, which is definitely the biggest, is the gun switch to activate the walkway to the blue key. If this was deeply indented to show it was a gun switch I would be OK with it, but it looks like a normal switch. That means that - especially with how many switches there are - you might think you'd flicked it when you hadn't. This happened to me, as it happens, but fortunately you can make it to the blue key by running from a nearby ledge, so I got it that way.

Complaint two is the sheer number of switches, which got a bit over the top - I was regularly flicking the things with no real idea of what they were doing.

The final complaint is the exit elevator: it's a rather dull conclusion to the map. I mean, the lost souls coming out of the darkness looks quite cool, but they're kind of a nothing final encounter in terms of actual gameplay.

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Community Chest 2 - map12
This is the third Gene Bird map in the set and it's probably his best effort so far. It's certainly not without flaws: it's very much a linear affair of

1. kill monsters
2. flick switch
3. enter new area
4. go to 1

Until Bird decides the level is long enough and ends it. This formula is particularly noticeable here because there's no real sense of escalation to the level. At the end of the map you're as likely to find a few sergeants and imps in the next room as you are mancubi and revenants. And when tougher fights do happen, they seem a bit random: flicking this apparently random switch in a hall unleashes a flood of teleporting critters, but picking up the blue key? Nothing happens at all (and all that is guarding it is on Baron). So the pacing is definitely a bit odd at times (as it happens, that apparently random switch opens the exit room, so a tough fight makes sense, but at the time you have no way of knowing that).

On the other hand, I liked some of the secrets I found, and there were some quite fun rooms - I liked the stone platforms in the nukage early on, and the yellow key room (though it looks like you can get stuck there if you drop off the walkway too early). There were some fun parts to the map.

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Community Chest 2 - map13
Like map11, this is a strong techbase map. It's generally much more linear, with key doors gating off different sections of the map, though it does offer a couple of alternative approaches to the large nukage room.

There's good use of varying floor and ceiling heights in the wad, creating ledges and overlooks either for the player or the monsters. Texture use is solid but you do need to like brown96 and the various bronze textures a lot, as they dominate everywhere except the blue door wing.

Enemy use is also good on the whole: there are several swarms of lesser monsters that can be quite frantic as you try to suppress them before the hitscanner RNG kicks in. Pretty good use of an invuln too - luckily I'd sniped the barrels around it earlier so was able to dive on it when the HK/manc horde arrived. On the other hand, some of the corridor sections of the map were a bit bland: just single monsters at a time, waiting to be blasted.

Another good map, overall - cchest2 seems to have plenty of good tech base levels.

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Community Chest 2 - map14
Three maps in a day. Not bad :)

This is another solid entry in the wad. It's mostly wood and metal, with a sudden switch to startan once you're through the red door. Not as much use of height in this map as in say 11 or 13: you're generally dealing with enemies on the same vertical plane as you. It does continue the wad's love affair with monster alcoves though. Were little monster cages all the rage in 2003-2004 or something? I played AV when it came out and then didn't really touch Doom again until 2009, when I returned to make a CC4 map.

Anyway, solid map though nothing that really leaps out as a particularly good encounter. Maybe the red key room when you first arrive. That had some decent action to it.

There are couple of weaker moments: the revenants after you lower the red key are trapped by the stairs, so it turns into corner camping them, while the end battle of two barons is kind of pointless.

I see map15 gives you a megasphere at start. That's probably a sign we're in for a rough ride :) As always, I will play the secret maps only if I find them.

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Capellan said:

As always, I will play the secret maps only if I find them.

map32 is really sweet. If you don't find it, consider pistol starting it after finishing the wad.

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Community Chest 2 - map15
... and we're done.


More detail: was working on building 5 (going in order, in case it mattered, though the wiki says not) and realised I was having absolutely no fun. Not an interesting level to look at, not any fun to play (for me, I am sure there are people who love this kind of thing). Ran a wadspy on it, saw the monster HP count, and called it a day. Will pick a new wad to go on with at some point.

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Capellan said:

realised I was having absolutely no fun.

Might be for the best. The CCs get some absurdly long, tough maps later in the set (though nothing quite outdoes the epic of Citadel at the Edge of Eternity), and I don't see you having fun grinding through something like, oh, MAP24. I will echo dew though and say that MAP32 is worth a gander—its sheer size, detail, and frantic gameplay make it the star stud of the megawad for me (with MAP07 and MAP27 trailing very closely behind).

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I might pistol start from map16 - or at least give it a go. But pistol starting maps has never been my thing.

Big maps ... they're not intrinsically good or bad. Map11 was a good size and was my favourite level of cchest2 (that I've played, obviously). But big maps do often seem to feature tropes or gameplay approaches that aren't to my tastes.

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CC3 was always my favorite of the series, but it's the one famous for having the highest concentration of long/large maps, in fact it might even be one of the main sources of backlash against glutton-sized maps (especially crowded together into the second half of a megaWAD) in the current community.

I suppose one of the benefits of a WAD that is unabashedly a grab-bag of discrete styles/ideas is that if you ever need to kill an afternoon and there's no single map sitting around that catches your eye, you can just pick 1 or 2 maps from a megaWAD like that and get your fix, since there's no real pretense of thematic/gameplay progression in them (although CC4 actually fielded one of those skeletal Doom-stories in its intermission texts, as I recall).

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Capellan said:

I might pistol start from map16 - or at least give it a go.

Yeah, uh. That's like the worst Gene Bird filler map right there, haha. Might as well jump straight for map17, that's a short and intense experience.

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Community Chest 2 - map16
dew is right that this is not a very good map. The opening area is bland and blocky with wide open spaces dominated by hitscanners in dark boxes (making them very hard to target). It's unattractive and not much fun. It moves onto lots of tedious door camping - which at least let me nursemaid my 28 health until I found the first soulsphere - and then a very linear mostly subterranean complex.

Texturing is bland throughout, and the architecture plain. Bird's obviously proficient with the editing tools, but there's no flair to his design at all.

Still, other than the hitscanner nonsense early, this was merely bland, which IMO is a big improvement on map15 :)

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Community Chest 2 - map17
There are some things in this map that made me roll my eyes: the cacos behind marbfaces were the biggest offenders, but the imp cages in the first large room were also a tedious bit of make work. Both I guess tied into the map's apparent theme of fire support bad guys targeting you from inaccessible locations (see also the mancs in several places, and the 'trons near the end).

Overall, not a bad map. I did think the mancs were used quite well throughout. A few alignment issues, but overall it looked alright and made plentiful use of height variation in the rooms. It could have done with a bit more behind the red door though: walking back across the whole level just to find an empty exit room was a bit 'meh'.

Interesting to see 'sound tubes' still being used in a 2004 wad. I would have thought the 'join sectors' trick was well known by then.

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Community Chest 2 - map18
There's a lot to like about this map, but I suspect the main things I will remember about it are the combination of cheap hitscanners and little health prior to the red door, and the endless backtracking I had to do after the red door. Now I am sure that my route was not the most efficient possible, but a fair chunk of the back and forth is unavoidable. And frankly, dull.

And honestly, those factors are a shame, because like I said at the beginning: there is a lot to like here. The level looks good, with solid texturing that maintains a consistent feel while still allowing different areas to have a quite different actual "look" to each other. The macro-level architecture of the opening areas is also solid: I like how so much of the level wraps around and intertwines with itself. It gets a bit stringy after that though, and like I said - way too much running back and forth.

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Community Chest 2 - map19
A lovely looking mostly marble map with a huge amount of details - more than you can really take in, to be honest e.g. there's a 'damaged' marbface hanging from the ceiling in one room, which I didn't even notice until looking at the map in DB2 after playing it.

Gameplay is quite good fun, but on continuous play it is very easy. I both entered and left with 200/200, and that was without picking up the supercharge on this map. An example of the less than difficult encounters would be when you pick up the yellow skull key and a single mancubus teleports in. One manc in a decent sized area with lots of cover is just a walking target. Probably the only time the map exerted any real pressure was the teleporting imps in the corridor after the western yellow skull door. It wasn't hugely damaging or anything, but it did require dodging in relatively confined spaces against a steady flow of enemies.

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Community Chest 2 - map20
Guess which level has a map-breaking issue? This one! Yaaaaaay!

It's possible to ledge hop past the bars at sector 216, which gives you access to the S1 linedef 1687, which - if flicked now - renders the level impossible to complete. The exit bridge will never raise. Oopsie.

I'm rather surprised that this isn't on the wiki ... surely I'm not the first person to strafe past those bars?

That problem aside, how's the level? Well it looks good, with nice texturing and layout, but the fights are not terribly interesting. I've been much more engaged by "Concerned:, which I'm playing for month's Megawad Club. Also, the focus on 'find the tucked away teleporter so you can flick the switch that does ... something ... somewhere' is not really my idea of fun.

I doubt I'd be raving about this map even if it wasn't breakable.

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I wish I documented that on the wiki when I was doing the walkthrough for it.

wait a minute. are you talking about MAP20?

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Yes of course I am talking about map20. It says map20 on my post and everything. There's no way I forgot to change the heading and edited it later. Ignore anything that says otherwise.

*whistles innocently*

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Capellan said:

I'm rather surprised that this [bug on MAP20] isn't on the wiki

It is now.

That's a bad one, too. But then, CC2's playtesting wasn't the best, seeing as this Boom-compatible WAD was apparently tested only with ZDoom. For one, MAP20 also has a secret that relies on a ZDoom bug fixed in 2009 and never compatibility-optioned (described on the wiki as well); and for another, MAP24 is outright unwinnable unless you either use ZDoom, the "Use passes thru all special lines" option in PrBoom-plus, or an unofficial patch you can download alongside CC2 here thanks to a vital switch you can't flip otherwise.

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The Green Herring said:
CC2's playtesting wasn't the best


It would not be the first megawad to suffer from that issue :)

I've been warned about the map24 problem: I'll make sure to set the appropriate flag when I get to it.

*follows TGH's link*
Huh, I didn't even look at that wiki. Why do we have two wiki's?

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Capellan said:

*follows TGH's link*
Huh, I didn't even look at that wiki. Why do we have two wiki's?

The DoomWiki.org wiki is the real one. The other one exists only because Wikia doesn't allow you to close wikis or move them to other sites without Wikia's permission, but does allow you to create forks of them. The reason for the separation can be found here. As you can see, it's also not the only wiki to do this.

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Well that explains that. Shame it is the old wiki that tends to come up first in google searches :-/

For the sake of full disclosure, I should mention that I IDCLIP'd across to the red door in map20, once I'd confirmed in DB2 that the exit bridge was broken.

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Capellan said:

I've been warned about the map24 problem:


But have you been warned about Map24 being downright terrible? It's probably one of the least enjoyable maps I've ever played. The ammo problems on the map are real.

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I'm playing continuously. Hopefully that will help with ammo.

People earlier seemed keen on map24. Different strokes, I guess.

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On the one hand, map24 does have some weird gameplay choices, and based on what you've written in this thread so far, I don't think you'll really enjoy it. But it's also one of my favorite maps ever, and it's my favorite map in the CC series except possibly Kassman's stuff in CC4.

The main "different strokes" in the Doom community are gameplay vs. atmosphere/visuals. CC2 Map 24 is *heavy* on sense of place and storytelling, it's really neat looking, and it has really nice music. Since you've been writing almost purely about gameplay, I doubt that will mean as much to you as it does to me. I tend to play it with God mode on (which is true of many of the maps I like best).

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Most of the greatest rigors of map 24's gameplay can also be eased considerably if you know exactly what you're doing and where you're going, but to get to that point, you have to live in the map for a while, and learn all about its little nooks and crannies and eccentricities. On a blind play, of course, that just isn't going to happen. Whether this is 'improper design' or not is one of the deathless debates of the community, I suppose.

Sort of like a certain other map 24 we've both played recently, in other words. ;)

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