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Capellan

Adam blathers about wads (now playing: Zone 300)

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Favillesco E1M7

On the second last map of the episode, Monti finally seems to embrace the idea of turning the 'ambush' flag off, and we get several instances of monsters spilling into areas from multiple directions, and some actual fluidity to the gamplay.  Bravo!

 

Of course, some numpty had to spoil the experience by failing to find the completely obvious blue key for a good ten minutes, but that's not the wad author's fault.  Definitely the most dynamic map of the set (though the stuff after the blue door did feel like a step backward compared to the more free-flowing early sections).

 

 

Favillesco E1M8

Some rather pointless busy work (including a very dull spectre "ambush" leads to a baron fight that, although it has more nobles than the original, is not any more challenging due to the way they dribble toward you singly or - at most - in pairs.

 

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Favillesco Overall

One of the lesser Phobos-a-likes overall, I think, but there's enough promise in maps 5, 6 and 7 that I'd be interested in seeing where Monti's development as a mapper went after that (even without the comments on this thread, though they certainly help).  No idea when I will actually get around to doing that, though :)

 

 

Next up: Kamasutra.  The text file for this refers to "Doom Gods", which I am anything but, so I'm not sure how far we will get with it. Nonetheless, let's at least try a few positions, so to speak.

 

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Ksutra map01

I'm not really a fan of Tyson play, so my heart sank a little to see the early berserk pack. It seems finding the blur sphere secret helps make punching skill less of an issue, though: I was able to dodge around most monsters, smack a sergeant, and then shotgun most of the rest of the resistance.

 

This one has a bit too much back and forth over the same ground for my taste, given that it doesn't really repopulate the previously cleared areas. Give me something to do while I am backtracking, please. Still, pretty harmless overall, and the false floor 3D effect is cute.

 

 

 

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Omg kustra!!!!

Kustra is a sort of "comfort wad", not too flashy but hits all the right notes! Highlights include Doom cute sector items and monster placement (also a hefty offering of 3D bridges, cuz they can!), and some really amusing and fun to play combat encounters. It's gets better and harder every level, though the first stretch of the wad is pretty dull. There is some prominent slaughter too, but not as intense as HR, maybe except 28. Everything made by Gusta is stands out, especially the layouts, and map30 is a classic for the ages ;)

Hope you enjoy it!!!!!

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Ksutra map02

A somewhat "bitsy" map, with four miniature wings to clear out, none of which connect together in any fashion. Makes for somewhat stop-start tempo, though the hitscanner teleport flood after you clear the south eastern wing is amusing. Probably more effective if the player doesn't feel suspicious of the end teleport and walk back to clear out the trap from a doorway, like I did, though :)

 

The ending arch-vile seems a bit pointless, here. Since he's stuck, he's very easy to corner bang, and essentially just an ammo sink.

 

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Ksutra map03

Not a fan of the yellow key area here. The tiling sky looks naff, and I don't like bridge into nowhere with no clear reason why you can't walk off it. Also, instant pop-up monsters out of solid floors are silly. The ones later, in the nukage, are more forgivable, though there's really no reason for you to ever trigger those: to do so you have to wander out into the nukage and the map gives you no incentives to draw you onto what may well be a damaging floor.

 

The gameplay is fine, if a little bit too 'straight ahead' most of the time: the stone tunnel is a particular offender here since it's pretty much 'just hold down the fire button' territory.

 

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Ksutra map04

More multi-directional fights here, though there are still some wood chopping exercises (all those imps through that 64-wide doorway, for instance). Health and armour seem very generous for the opposition on hand, but I'm not about to look a gift horse in the mouth on that.

 

Odd that the starting sector is marked as secret, while the supercharge/blue armour room near the exit is not – the latter feels like it merits the tag, TBH, as you have to at least do a bit of lateral thinking to get to it.

 

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Ksutra map05

Visually this is my favourite map of the set so far – I especially like that little lighthouse near the end. That's a neat touch. Gameplay-wise though, about the only thing that stands out is the 'exploration' style discovery of the keys. They're just kind of tucked away in nooks and crannies, with no particular resistance associated with them, so the 'feel' of collecting them is quite unique. Otherwise, the map is a rather linear corridor-shooter affair, with a lot of narrow spaces and monsters queuing up in front of you to be mowed down. Even the final teleporter ambush drops everything in the same area, allowing you to easily scamper back up the stairs if you want and corner bang everything.

 

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Ksutra map06

Well that crusher sound isn't irritating at all.

 

This plays a lot like the other maps so far: tending toward corridors and monsters in front of you. The red key ambush is a welcome exception, with imps all over the place – I do like a good imp horde, even if they can never replace the cacodemon in my affections. The map does do some re-stocking when you have to backtrack, too, which is welcome.

 

I'm not sure if corner banging the cyber is the intended approach to that fight, but it's certainly what I did.

 

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Ksutra map07

Speaking as an avowed fan of the cacoswarm, the one in this map is a travesty. My beloved flying tomato monsters are heartlessly corralled behind a block monster line that prevents them from sharing their smiley joy from all the multiple angles they deserve.

 

Outside of that, it's pretty much just Dead Simple but bigger and with a couple of cyber fights thrown in. I've seen even less imaginative map07s, but the only thing I will remember about this one is the poor treatment of the cacos.

 

 

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Ksutra map08

The two identical marble revenant fights for the red and yellow keys are a misstep in this level, I think, but other than that it is quite fun. The teleport fights occasionally drop monsters in on you from a couple of different places, which is an important first step, though they still tend to a bit mono-directional in a lot of cases, and the map tends to give you lots of chokepoints to use if you want them.

 

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Ksutra map09

The sector "van" amused me, but otherwise there's little positive for me to say about this one. A huge amount of skippable material, and the invisible sector shenanigans actively hurt the map. Not only is the big mob of inert monsters immersion breaking, but if you don't wake them (I assume taking the megasphere does it, but I had 200/200 coming into the map and wasn't tempted), then there's a nasty HOM when you cross the 3D bridge.

 

Said 3D bridge also badly breaks the behaviour of the demons just across it, leading to more immersion dilution as you watch them freak out at their inability to reach you.

 

Blah.

 

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Ksutra map10

Not a fan of all the invisible walls in this WAD so far, whether they be tricksy sectors, or just Impassible / Block Monster flags. They tend not to have any 'in map' justification, and they break my immersion a fair bit.

 

Anyway, this is quite a gated kind of map, which a fairly strict order of clearing out a section and thus getting access to something new. Not a whole lot of the combat was all that engaging to me, but I can definitely see that the difficulty is increasing now.

 

 

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Ksutra map11

There are a lot of not x-aligned textures in this map which I found quite distracting. Not a fan of the unavoidable damage start, either, with your spawn on a damaging sector. On the other hand, the layout reveal just through the blue door is pretty sweet: loved that hop across the areas I'd previously explored at ground level.

 

Not sure what's going on with the exit, though? I thought it was a death exit for a second, but I'm at 76/76 when I start the next level, and still have all my gear. I guess it just blasts you into the exit teleporter? That's a thing, I guess.

 

 

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ks11 is my favorite map in the set, actually ;D. cramped and ultra-stuffed to such a degree that it borders on parody, rather strict do-this-specific-thing-or-die setups, and some sector-cute thrown in for good measure, basically it's fantastic. The damaging opening, which is hilarious, was the motivation for some map I made awhile ago having a similar opening gimmick.

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I always assumed the start of this map was inspired by that Duke Nukem map where you are put in the electric chair. Anyway, a cool map, though I never saw very much of the rest of it once I'd worked out the Speed/Pacifist route!

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On 10/14/2018 at 1:02 AM, Capellan said:

... the invisible sector shenanigans actively hurt the map. Not only is the big mob of inert monsters immersion breaking ...

 

Why does the monsters being frozen break your immersion when default doom behaviour like monsters dancing on the spot, being deaf, telepathically knowing where you are, being locked in closets, etc... presumably doesn't? If you were expecting such realistic behaviour from doom monsters, that's an invented problem tbh, not something you should expect mappers to cater to.

 

Also ksutra is good, as are all ksutra maps except 30.

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Monsters dancing on the spot do break my immersion, as does poor use of the deaf flag. Them telepathically knowing where am I doesn't because I can't actually *see* that happening.  Normal closets are much less immersion breaking than invisible closets in plain sight.  Also they don't cause massive HOMs.

 

Edit: for clarity, a 'dancing' monster to me is one that is active, but stuck such that they are running on the spot.  Which ksutra does a lot to demons on bridges.  The graphical hops of inert monsters aren't sufficiently pronounced to cross the line for me.

 

Edited by Capellan

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Ksutra map12

That wheelbarrow.

 

THAT WHEELBARROW.

 

So this is clearly a map where you're supposed to use the berserk a lot, but I'm playing continuous so screw that noise. More impassable for no good reason line nonsense with the red key, though if you shoot a rocket into a hole for not much reason (there's an arrow, but why you'd think that means "shoot a rocket"?  I tried the pistol myself, which obviously didn't work) you can cross it. Not that the rewards are all that exciting even if you do work this out.

 

The four bad guys one-at-a-time fight with the switches is likely more interesting if you flick all the switches in quick succession and let them infight, but I didn't think to do that.

 

Ending revenants are totally pointless on continuous, since they can't shoot you and you CAN shoot them. The exit feels a bit abrupt here, too. Would have liked a bit more content post blue door.

 

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Ksutra map13

I liked the opening, though the helicopter is almost as silly as the wheelbarrow. It's a fun skirmish and the arachnotron can be your best friend in it.

 

Invisible walls and pop up monsters continue to be a theme of the mapset. The roof full of imps is probably the biggest example of this on this map. It's certainly a memorable set piece, but it relies on a gimmick I really don't care for.

 

Stuck monsters are also a continuing theme. Your 3D bridges might look marginally better than a traditional 2.5D raised platform, but the monsters on them can't actually move or fire, which is kinda silly.

 

It was nice to have plenty of opportunities to unlimber a whole passel of rockets, though, and I liked the street intersection from a visual perspective: it looked good.

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Ksutra map14

Something of a slog this one: it doesn't bode well for how much further I am likely to get, but I guess we will see. The cacoswarm on the red key certainly comes across as intended to be the most memorable encounter of the map, though the block monster lines in the eastern "rock climb" area rather neuter their crimson magnificence and turn the thing into a bit of a wood-chopping exercise.

 

The pronounced verticality of the map made for some impressive looking locations, but also occasionally made targeting monsters rather difficult, given the limits of auto-aim, which is not my idea of fun difficulty.

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Ksutra map15

There's a whole lot of sector furniture going on. Lots of 'real world' locations converted into Doom here, with a bowling alley, a swimming pool, tennis court and so forth. There's also a whole lot of misaligned textures. Maniacal attention to alignment has never been a factor in this wad's looks, it's true, but it's perhaps especially noticeable here.

 

Didn't find the secret exit.

 

 

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Ksutra map16

I liked the opening of this, which certainly gets the old heart pumping as waves of enemies teleport in.

 

I assume, given the name of the map, that the actual Leeds Castle is used (at least to some extent) as the basis for the layout. I don't recall a cyberdemon clomping around the north of England the last time I was there, but then again, I fortunately live in the real world, and not in Doom :)

 

Overall, I liked this one, though there were a number of trapped archviles that couldn't go anywhere and were basically just skinny naked walls. Also guys, seriously, stop putting demons on "3D" bridges. It looks really silly when they just run in place, which is all they can do.

 

 

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Ksutra map17

Crusader No Regret proves prescient about where my Kamasutra experience will end, though I don't think "ragequit" is quite the right term. I've quit out of games before while muttering vile imprecations against them (the end of the original Red Faction comes to mind), but not in this case. The 4 cyber encounter – which is where I bailed - is perfectly doable, I just don't feel it would be any fun to slog through, and I'm not overall liking ksutra enough to persevere in the face of that. (Possibly you can also use a cyber rocket to launch you into the teleporter? I didn't much fancy trying that, either)

 

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I'm going to move on to Zone 300 next for this thread, but the DMWC is doing MM2 this month, and that will be my first focus.

 

Edit 20181130: it seems likely the DWMC will do Deathless next, so this thread is likely to remain on the backburner for another month.

 

Edited by Capellan

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Zone 300 map01

As the person who came up with "100 lines" and more recently did "Doom 404", I feel like I'm pretty switched on to the process of mapping with few lines. At first blush, pcorf's not really done anything with this map that ties into that concept of line efficiency, and eking the most content out of the limitation. The green armour closet, for instance, takes up 17 lines all by itself, and the map uses both stairs and doors, which tend to suck up lines in no time at all.

 

Instead what we get is pretty much a standard 90s style techbase, albeit with a better technical understanding. It's very square, to be honest, with pretty straightforward, straigh ahead gameplay. I did like the chaingun secret, though.

 

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Zone 300 map02

The second map of the set shows no more attention to the principal of conserving lines, but it is a little bit (a little bit) less orthogonal. It's another fairly straight-ahead techbase. The addition of demons and spectres to the bestiary doesn't really do much to pep up the gameplay, except in the watery section: pcorf's always tended to use them in less than optimal conditions and the same is true in several cases here, where they're just targets to be shot (mostly by you, but sometimes by other monsters).

 

 

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Zone 300 maps 03-06

From here, I think I will only cover a Zone 300 level individually if it does something especially memorable. None of these maps really do. Other than varying up the texture theme a bit they just continue the same pattern of maps that are mostly keeping the line count down by being small, rather than because pcorf's made any particular effort to be efficient. The rising staircase in map05 is a particular offender in this regard: it requires 45 lines when if it had been a rising lift instead, it would have needed 8. That's a lot of potential detail or content being omitted for no good reason.

 

 

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On 10/28/2018 at 6:25 AM, Capellan said:

I assume, given the name of the map, that the actual Leeds Castle is used (at least to some extent) as the basis for the layout. I don't recall a cyberdemon clomping around the north of England the last time I was there, but then again, I fortunately live in the real world, and not in Doom :)

 

Rather confusingly, Leeds Castle is in Kent (south-east England), is named after the tiny village nearby and has nothing to do with the large city in northern England.

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