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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Coffee Break & Fava Beans & Double Impact

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Capellan said:

Of the wads we played this month, the only one I'm likely to revisit is Fava Beans. I'm much less enamored of it than SteveD,


Adam, it's possible that no one on Planet Earth is as enamored with Fava Beans as I am. ;D You've read my reasons. It's really a map-geek thing for me. I wish I could do what he did, and with my level of gameplay brutality, but my mind just doesn't work like his. Oh, well . . . at least I have the brutality! :D

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E1M2 – Kills – 100, Items –89, Secret – 91. Time 36:42. End Health 102, Armor 200, Death Count – 3

This map is fuckin’ awesome. You start out under fire – get used to it in DI. I tend to like that. I also like how R&R placed their barrels for good splattering fun. If you play kamikaze like I did, you’ll end up running past Sergeants and getting your health rapidly reduced, because this start area is a fine example of how to use roaming monsters and cross-connecting passageways to inflict pain on the player.

There’s a really nice flow of textures throughout, Pipe2 alongside Browngrn, for example, always a winner. We do begin to see some violations of the floor texture rule, and the use of Step1 as a border, often under doorways, is very innovative, but occasionally there’s alignment problems. These are niggles, though, when the gameplay is so darned good.

What I loved so much were the floods of hellspawn. Everywhere I turned I was being opposed by decent numbers of enemies, and sometimes large numbers. I especially loved it when I crossed the trigger line in Sector 376 that opened windows in the zig-zaggy E1M1 homage room, and was instantly fired upon by the monsters inside. I also loved the Backpack secret with its interesting texture flag.

The highlight of the map is obviously the blinky E1M2 computer maze homage, which is far, far nastier than the original. All of my deaths occurred here because, well, I’m a kamikaze! Especially the final fight in the long Metal1 tunnel leading to the escape lift. I started that battle, saw all the monsters coming towards me, and rushed past them with all guns blazing, only to get blasted by the one deaf Sergeant – who is only there on UV, BTW. He didn’t kill me, but I was down to 8%, and as I rounded the corner I was confronted by Imps and a zombie boy. I tried to shoot past the Imps to get zombie boy, but the auto-aim blues were singing my death ballad. Death by zombie boy! Oh, the indignity! ;D But at least I found the blue key. Oh, I have to mention one more thing. The cause of my first death in this area was a very sneakily placed Sergeant in Sector 342, which is a platform 64 units above the floor, in a dark room. If you enter Sector 319 from Sector 320 like I did, there’s a good chance you’ll be distracted by the monsters in the room and not notice the sniping Sarge until, like me, you’ve already been blasted 3 times and asking, “Where’s that fire coming from?” I found out a little too late. Now that’s the kind of fight design I love!

The red key area was cooler than shit. Lots of nice architecture, big staircases, a nifty outdoor RL secret, a sneaky Soulsphere secret and some very nice fighting in the red key room itself. With the high ceilings and wide stairways, this would have been a nice place for some Cacos.

Overall, this map was great-looking and super-fun to play. I did do a lot of wandering, though, getting sidetracked in the loops. But for the most part, it doesn’t get much better than this for an E1-style map with E1 monsters. Fast and furious!

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E1M3 – Kills – 93, Items –76, Secret – 75. Time 52:44. End Health 95, Armor 31, Death Count – 3

In some ways, I’m a little disappointed that I only got killed 3 times in this ginormous map with 446 rompin’, stompin’ monsters. Obviously, I didn’t get all of them! However, this map did get off to a rollicking start, with an even bigger opening attack than E1M2, but most of the fighting was quite manageable, perhaps because of the enormous room sizes, so I guess what I’d call the “flow fights,” i.e., against the monsters you encounter in the rooms and corridors themselves, were a bit less frantic than in E1M2. However, the set-piece battles at key traps really stepped it up a notch and, IMO, are the highlight of the map.

My personal favorite battle was the red key fight. This is one of many “Uh-oh, the bars just came down at the doorways – I’m in trouble now!” battles in this mapset, and it does not disappoint. Among other things, it’s a nice, dramatic intro for the Cacos, and did a great job of shaving off all my painfully gained health points. But I survived on the first try. Just the same, the sheer frenzy of the fight was so damned entertaining. I also liked the unusual ceiling architecture in here, one of many innovative ideas from R&R.

This fight was near an E1M7 homage area that allows you to see that tempting Blue Armor that you won’t get unless you find the blue key, and you won’t get that unless your sharp eyes catch the ultra-sneaky switch in Sector 106. You get there after all the fights in the room with a nukage pool and a building that contains a Berserk secret in Sector 199. Getting that secret means finding a switch hidden in a narrow walkway between a platform and the building and on nukage, really one of the most jagoffy switch placements I’ve ever seen. I honestly wasn’t thrilled about that one, because it’s hard to keep above 60% health in these maps – for me at least – so that discourages casual exploration of the nukage.

Once I started on the blue key quest, I saw some of the coolest architecture in the map. Especially in that one big nukage area that you enter at Sector 436. This area is sort of Quake-like. The fights in here were quite good, with excellently annoying use of Lost Souls, but I still didn’t get killed until I blundered foolishly into a swarm of monsters on the big outdoor platform. The kamikaze met his fate at least twice there. Probably all three deaths, because I had trouble controlling the Pinkies and Cacos, and every time I turned my back to the far doorway I got blasted by Sergeants. But as these things often go, when I finally made it through, I hardly got a scratch.

The blue key floor-drop fight was pleasantly desperate, though perhaps a bit easier than I expected. You then follow a nice loop back into the Quake-like nukage area, and can then continue on to find the Blue Armor.

If I have any complaint about this map, it’s that’s it’s so large, and so many secrets depend on finding the blue key, and worse, remembering where blue key doors are located, that it causes backtracking and boring confusion. This is also the second map in a row that relied on secrets hidden behind blue doors, so for me, those secrets lose a bit of the organic quality I love so much in Knee Deep. On another note, this map is so large I almost forgot about the dark crate-room fight, which wasn't bad at all, and made me glad I was using Risen3D! ;)

BTW, I watched dew’s playthrough. What an adrenaline-junkie playstyle! Made me look cautious by comparison.

Overall, this is a fine map with some very impressive architecture and some cool fights here and there, but not quite as cool as E1M2.

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E1M7: Attrition is the name of the game here in this long, bleak facility. I would say this map is the pinnacle of R&R's efforts, featuring a lot of smart traps, interesting layout, and, as always, a witty placement of enemies. The area past the red key door was my favorite, with the maze below taunting the player until they're suddenly dropped into it, with all of its inhabitants restlessly stirred. I only found two secrets in this map but luckily died only thrice, twice at its overwhelming finale... I have no idea how someone is supposed to max the map with that many barons.

All in all it's a great map with a lot of delightful parts, as well as a consistent stream of tense moments.

E1M8: An interesting map with basically "invincible bosses" that winds up being a bit too difficult for its own good. With dead ends, a myriad of pinkies to slow you down, and a laughably tiny amount of ammo, I wound up reloading my save more than actually playing the thing. I like the concept and most of the layout (barring the couple dead ends), but corralling four cyberdemons while navigating a labyrinth and avoiding enemies was a little too much busywork. That and the final elevator is so small that it demands you know the location of the cacos beforehand, which was annoying. I wouldn't say it's a gimmicky level, and it's certainly an interesting finale, but one less cyberdemon would've helped not to rub the wrong way.

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And that's it (barring E1M9)! Double Impact is a fierce blast to the past, and as I've stated before, I found it to be a good evolution of the Knee-Deep recipe. I was intrigued with the amount of former humans shambling around as well, seeing as (at least in Doom 2) they're not a common enemy you encounter at this frequency. The only thing I'd fault it for is that a lot of the maps feel samey, given that its 8-9 levels of the exact same style of gameplay. That gameplay, however, is excellently crafted and loads of fun to wade through, entering into this meta game where every room you explore your priorities go

sergeant->human->everything else->imp

Scrounging around for pickups was a lot of fun, and I was surprised at how balanced most of the maps were for having such a wide assortment of enemies and routes. Good stuff.

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Our triple threat month comes to a close as three wads got crushed under our collective heel. Out of the three, I have to say I enjoyed Coffee Break the most, resonating with the design and battles that Tropiano threw down, still salivating from that finale. Double Impact sits in the middle with great layouts and macro-struggles, but the E1 nature of the maps didn't appeal to me as strongly as others. Fava Beans is my least favorite but by no means a bad mapset; the dated aspect of the gameplay and secret-hunting bonuses just mean that it can't compete with these two other behemoths (plus the lack of nostalgia for it).

Tomorrow (later today?) we'll discuss more at length what to play next month, since there's no real clear choice yet.

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E1M9 – Kills – 95, Items – 86, Secret – 44. Time 49:55. End Health 179, Armor 94, Death Count – 9

Holy shit! This is serious Doom nirvana for me. Look at that death count. I got blown away 9 times in this map, and every time it was because of outstanding fight design, that special combo of monster placement and architectural emphasis that says, “These guys wanna kill the player.” Thank you!

This is another epic-sized map, with 652 sectors and 503 snorting, snarling monsters on UV. This map also has some of the most incredible flow I’ve ever seen. The opening fight, with that teaser Imp, is a masterpiece. Fire one shot and get mobbed from every direction. The beauty of this fight is that even though the initial opposition isn’t super-tough, by fleeing to the left and going into the cross-connecting corridors, I exposed myself to serious carnage. It was fucking crazy! All of a sudden a floor drops me into a hellish area with Pinkies on one side and Imps on the other. I decided to go through the Pinkies because my healthometer was looking kinda sickly, but then I found myself in a room with hitscanners. Great! I killed a Sergeant in Sector 192 and survived by taking it over. This tiny room showcases some very cool design work. It must have been designed to aid the player, because it has two Support2 columns staggered in such a way as to deny entry for Pinkies, so when the Pinkies come to get you, with the Imps right behind them, the Pinkies turn into a meat shield. I used my chaingun to wear down the Pinkies and kill everything behind them with stray bullets. This kind of architecture is very thoughtful, and as a fellow mapper, I tip my hat to R&R for this bit of subtle excellence.

As others have noted, this map brings some more E2 and even E3 elements to the party. I personally find it less attractive than the previous maps, not because of the theme mixing, which is fine by me, but because it is so corridor-oriented, with very few instances of spaciousness and grand design. However, it’s this very emphasis on corridors and smaller spaces, with sneaky angles and curves, which makes the gameplay so damned exciting.

I got killed in many places, so I’ll just mention a few highlight battles. The yellow key battle. It’s like a super-sized version of the red key battle in E1M3. Just run around like crazy, circle the monsters to promote infighting, then haul out the rockets when you have some distance. I think I only died once here.

The fight in the nukage room you enter at Sector 227 was a multiple-death experience for me. I was bitten by Pinkies, blasted by Sergeants, chain-lightninged by Cacos, and once, just when I had the battle almost won, a Lost Soul flew right in front of my face as I launched a rocket at the last Caco. And then, of course, I waltzed through this fight when I finally beat it. And it was a cool-looking room, too, with the Concrete walls. Loved it.

Let’s not forget the big nukage room you enter at Sector 567. Even though this fight was mostly all on one plane, the player still gets suckered into pressing a switch and being surrounded. I think I died twice here until I figured out the strategy – rocket the Cacos immediately! -- and then it was easy, but there was still a decent number of critters and it was a very fun fight.

And finally, the fight at the exit. I thought this was a pretty cool-looking area with its odd mix of Concrete and SP_Hot. And the battles were fun throughout, especially the big trap. As usual, I got distracted by the Cacos and failed to notice the Pinkies and Imps and Hitscanners approaching from my right. After being mobbed to death the first time, I was ready with the RL next time and cleaned house with dismaying ease.

I have very few negatives for this map. There was the vertically misaligned Stonegarg in the Sector 296 area, and a really ugly use of Compohso in one corner. There has also been a noted tendency in several maps to violate the floor texture rule, and also some vertically misaligned Support2, with the bottom or top of one of the squares cut off, especially in windows. The usual niggling details that are hard to keep track of in maps this size. But what counts most in the end is the phenomenal gameplay. This is really one of the very best Ultimate Doom maps I’ve ever played.

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E1M4 – Kills – 100, Items – 100, Secret – 100. Time 29:12. End Health 174, Armor 200, Death Count – 1

In some ways, the easiest map so far. Starting off with an E1M9 homage, this map is bite-sized compared to the last two, but it has plenty of action and a return to grander architecture. I really enjoyed it even though I don’t have a tremendous amount to say. I do appreciate that plenty of secrets did not require a key.

The look of the map is excellent with lots of outdoor shadowcasting. The secrets were devious, especially the Soulsphere. That relied on such a nice chain of events that it put a big smile on my face. I also liked the big open area loaded with barrels at Sector 123. It was a bit large for really good fighting, but the visuals were on an epic scale.

I didn’t like the use of LiteBlu4 to signal the blue key door. The other key doors used normal textures, and because of this, I was wandering around for minutes searching for a switch to open the door, even after I had the blue key! ;D

I suffered the typical death at the yellow key podium the first time I triggered all the traps. It was pretty easy the second time, though.

Other than that, the map is mainly quite easy, the closest thing to Fava Beans yet in that department. ;D It serves as a nice breather after the last two massive maps, but I didn’t really want a breather. ;)

After I played through, I watched the dew and Myk playthroughs. Dew’s guts ‘n glory style made the map look like it should be much, much harder than it is. And with Myk, if there was a Cacoward for corner abuse, he should get it. Sorry, coluldn’t resist. ;D But I can see how that approach would definitely lower your death count. Ah, if only I could restrain myself like that.

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cannonball said:
given the glitch happening with the barons a possible fix would be to trap the baron in a circle of barrels in which the barrels get crushed instead of the baron and the explosion kills the baron instead.


... or do away altogether with that baron gimmick, since you never see nor hear them anyway, and have the other boss monsters to fight/flee from. Why not just have four normal switches each opening one of four doors blocking your access to that area? Does E1M8 always have to have the 666 tag?

*crickets chirping*

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Kristian Ronge said:
Why not just have four normal switches each opening one of four doors blocking your access to that area?


This would be by far the easiest way to address the issue. The baron squashing is completely invisible to the player, after all.

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Kristian Ronge said:

... or do away altogether with that baron gimmick, since you never see nor hear them anyway, and have the other boss monsters to fight/flee from. Why not just have four normal switches each opening one of four doors blocking your access to that area? Does E1M8 always have to have the 666 tag?

*crickets chirping*

We always have to do it, it's like map07s :P MUST USE SPECIAL TAGS!!!

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cannonball said:

We always have to do it, it's like map07s :P MUST USE SPECIAL TAGS!!!


Agreed. Even if you make a 1,000 sector map leading up to it, using the special tags is mandatory.

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D2TWID will not be done by next month (It would be if Xaser and Megalyth could get their crap together :P) please remove it from the options until we at least have the secret maps completed.

Edit: the secret maps were not left out for surprise, they were left out because they weren't finished

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SteveD said:
Agreed. Even if you make a 1,000 sector map leading up to it, using the special tags is mandatory.


If for some reason you actually believe this, then make the switches open doors which release the barons into the map (in the central area say). Then the player kills the barons to open the next section (or coaxes the cybers into doing it for them).

Just about anything is better than releasing a map which relies on a mechanic you know doesn't always work.

edit to add: There are a lot of projects nearing completion right now, it seems: Monochrome, D2TWID, Switcheroom, Hellbound, Nova, Doom 2 In Name Only and MAYhem 2013 are probably/hopefully all going to be released in the next 2-3 months.

As I've said before, I'd like the megawad club to focus on new releases where possible because I figure that's of greater value to the current community. Unlike purist, I am OK with us playing beta versions of wads (provided they're complete - I don't see any point playing D2TWID without the secret levels being there, even if there's not much chance I will actually find them personally), though if the club consensus is that we should only play "officially released" WADs, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

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Tarnsman said:

please remove it from the options until we at least have the secret maps completed.


Understood. So Hellbound or Monochrome? Monochrome has 18 maps so we'd likely need another episode sized project if we were to fit it in there. I still haven't touched Hellbound beyond a quick looksie but I'm definitely eager to play it.

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If monochrome is chose we would have 12 days to fill.
Vanguard could be a wad to fill the remaining gaps, it's 13 maps but the last is a funky credits boxing ring map :)

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Looks like I should add "Concerned" to the list of nearly finished projects. Edit: and TNT2 as well, though I'm less interested in that since my limited experience of TNT mapsets has generally been negative.

If we do Monochrome (23 maps), then we can either:

1. also do a short mapset like A Taste for Blood (6 maps); or
2. just have a lighter schedule than usual

Vanguard sounds pretty cool. We should definitely keep it in mind to combine with another shorter wad for the future (MAYhem 2013 maybe)

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Capellan said:

If for some reason you actually believe this,


For some reason? Of course I believe this, fervently, passionately, and with no cynicism or sarcasm. Hey, why do a boss map on E1M8? Just do another regular map, why doncha? There's no way I would toss away a special feature of Doom, especially when it's so easy to implement. And no way, either, that I wouldn't be disappointed if I played someone else's mapset and they did a mulligan on it.

Myself and my partner, PhantomTMac, are doing Map07 of the Team Mapping Project, and when I last turned it over to him, it was at 1,194 sectors. Lots of stairs and lighting in that count. And . . . I don't care if it comes out at 3,000 sectors, it's going to use the special tags!!!!! ;D

On the other issue, of implementation, I'm not at E1M8 yet. I remember it working on Risen3D back in 2011, but in any case, I'm probably sympathetic with your view.

Capellan said:

As I've said before, I'd like the megawad club to focus on new releases where possible because I figure that's of greater value to the current community. Unlike purist, I am OK with us playing beta versions of wads (provided they're complete


And as I've said before, I'm basically with you on this, and we in the Team Mapping Project, which includes cannonball, dobu and purist as well, would undoubtedly love the input when the time comes. But to view things from purist's perspective, I joined the Megawad Club just to have fun playing megawads. Specifically, to play 2002:ADO to start with, and whatever came next. I'd love to be in a playtesting club, too, because I have something like 20 maps close to ready that need testing, and I'm happy to return the favor. It's a quandary for sure. How did the Hymn playtest go? I guess we just try to balance things out the best we can. But, if we do playtesting of in-progress megawads, would it not be best to play the beta versions? I'd be happy to do that. It seems it would be more useful to provide helpful (hopefully) commentary when it can still have an impact, instead of after the megawad is released.

Capellan said:

I don't see any point playing D2TWID without the secret levels being there, even if there's not much chance I will actually find them personally)


OK, I'm fascinated, what's up with you and secrets?

Anyway, it's getting dark here in this end of North America, and you know what that means -- time to start E1M5 of Double Impact!

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SteveD said:
For some reason? Of course I believe this, fervently, passionately, and with no cynicism or sarcasm. Hey, why do a boss map on E1M8? Just do another regular map, why doncha?


I'd be perfectly OK without a boss fight in e1m8, as long as the level was good. I'd also be perfectly OK with the e1m8 boss fight being changed to be a couple of cyberdemons instead of barons, and no 666 tag in sight.

Slavish adherence to special tags has led to a many a boring Dead Simple knock-off. If you have a cool idea for using the tags, then great, but using the tags just because they're there and it's expected? No thanks.

Using them like they were in Double Impact - where the fact that it was used at all is completely invisible to the player - makes no sense to me. Especially when it runs the risk of breaking the map.

SteveD said:
if we do playtesting of in-progress megawads, would it not be best to play the beta versions? I'd be happy to do that. It seems it would be more useful to provide helpful (hopefully) commentary when it can still have an impact, instead of after the megawad is released.


My concern about saying "the club only deals with officially released wads" is two-fold:

1. if it seems likely that the club will do a wad, club members might not beta-test it, since they expect to play it shortly anyway (which reduces the number of beta-testers)
2. those club members that beta test a wad may not want to replay it when the club gets to it (especially if it is just a month or so later) which would reduce conversation here

But as I said, I'm not losing any sleep over this either way. I can see the perspective of people like purist who would rather the club sticks to officially released maps (after all, it's not we can't beta test stuff as individuals if we really want to - subject to the two issues above).

SteveD said:
OK, I'm fascinated, what's up with you and secrets?


I'm bad at spotting them and don't have the patience to spend much time looking for them once I've found the exit. That's it, really :)

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You're a machine, Steve. Belting through Double Impact at the pace you are is no small amount of killin.'


As to the other conversation, I personally like the way older WADs have been alternated with new releases/full betas. Apart from adding an additional layer of variety, I think it's a little bit more relaxing to sit back and play/write about something that is well past the purview of potentially being affected by one's feedback from time to time, and older WADs offer that kind of break, as well as a chance to occasionally discuss watersheds in DooM design, e.g. the whole thing about Fava Beans being severely devoid of any real action on one hand but an impressive achievement in basic construction for its own time on the other--which of these aspects do we, as DooMers, value more, and why? That sort of thing. Additionally, while I've been an unredeemable DooM junkie for many years now, and so this doesn't really apply so much to me personally, many club members will not have played some of these older WADs (many of which are well worth seeing), and 'classic month' provides a convenient vehicle for experiencing some of them, in a climate where it can sometimes be difficult to find time for the old with all of the new that's constantly emerging. Alternation opens up the possibility of enjoying the best of both worlds.

Incidentally, I liked doing this set of episodes instead of a whole 32+ level set for a change, and would certainly like to see that done again at some point in the future. I'm full of suggestions for episodes to be played, have no doubt.

Edit: And about the special tags issue, I personally don't feel slighted when mappers decide not to use them (although you get bonus points for using them in an interesting way, of course). My only deal is that your final map must not be an anticlimax!

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Capellan said:

Using them like they were in Double Impact - where the fact that it was used at all is completely invisible to the player - makes no sense to me. Especially when it runs the risk of breaking the map.


I never saw it break and I think we only heard it sort of mentioned maybe one time throughout the whole process. The fact that I'm hearing about it so much now is a bummer. We used the special to script the back walls falling and unleashing the spiderdemons after all four switches are pressed, not just because we wanted to open a door!

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Demon of the Well said:

Additionally, while I've been an unredeemable DooM junkie for many years now, and so this doesn't really apply so much to me personally, many club members will not have played some of these older WADs (many of which are well worth seeing), and 'classic month' provides a convenient vehicle for experiencing some of them, in a climate where it can sometimes be difficult to find time for the old with all of the new that's constantly emerging. Alternation opens up the possibility of enjoying the best of both worlds.


Indeed, I myself have yet to touch some pretty momentous releases (like Eternal Doom, Scythe 2, HR 2, Plutonia 2) and hope we get around to them. There's nothing really stopping me now but it's more entertaining to fight through a level and see how many similar/disimilar opinions you guys have. Plus I want a reason to revisit old maps with a fresh set of eyes, especially after getting far more intimate with Doom's intricacies (and not just being astounded that there's more than the four core iwads).

For the record, I actually do side with purist on the record of playing official releases, since I like to keep my critiques and beta-suggestions separated for the most part (in that I like to play a mapset freely rather than go through it with the lens of "what problems did I have with it?"). I do think it's helpful to have a group of open-minded people willing to help out with playing some levels for bigger releases like Interception and Hadephobia, but I prefer my opinion to be that of a finished product rather than a temporary criticism that was later rectified. Since Monochrome is in its pre-release stage, I'm guessing that'd be our best bet... the trouble then comes from deciding what short episode to play afterwards.

I know Capellan lobbed out A Taste for Blood, but do you have any preferences Demon? IIRC we've yet to tackle something you've contested for, so I'm open to suggestions for something of the 4-7 map length.

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Capellan said:

If we do Monochrome (23 maps), then we can either:

1. also do a short mapset like A Taste for Blood (6 maps); or
2. just have a lighter schedule than usual

Vanguard sounds pretty cool. We should definitely keep it in mind to combine with another shorter wad for the future (MAYhem 2013 maybe)

A taste for blood would be a good one to chose then, as monochrome has increased it's girth since the last discussion.

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E1M5 – Kills – 98, Items – 85, Secret – 55. Time 32:46. End Health 197, Armor 145, Death Count – Zero

Death Count . . . Zero???? I was shocked. When I played this map in 2011, the drop-down Caco trap just about traumatized me. I even had to be guided through it by people on the forum. Maybe that’s why it was so easy this time, because it got burned into my brain. ;D I mean, I never even had to grab the Berserk in the Lost Soul tunnel. It was, as some would say, a doddle.

Anyway, this is a sweet-looking map, with lots of good ceiling work, panel work and lighting. I finally got time today to watch Part 1 of alfonzo’s playthrough, with additional commentary by RottKing and the usual hilarious comments from Tarnsman. And I’ve gotta disagree with both Alfonzo and even RottKing himself. These maps are very good-looking – except for E1M9 ;D -- with fantastic lighting and great texture flow. Yes, if anything can be said against them, they are very much Doom-as-corridor-shooter, but these are some badass corridors with some striking rooms.

However, these last two maps don’t have enough monster flow, especially this one. I was hardly ever below 80%, and for the first time I began to regret playing continuous instead of pistol start. And there weren’t enough monsters, either, at least for continuous players. As Tarnsman said, one of the great things about these maps is that R&R took the logical approach to Ultimate Doom design – hordes of monsters. Tarnsman pointed out that these weaker monsters, though quite dangerous, are easy to kill, so 500 monsters in a map doesn’t mean an endless, boring slog where you spend half of eternity trying to kill high HP monsters -- except for that one damned Imp that took 6 shotgun blasts to kill. I guess it thought it was a Hell Knight. Damn, the RNG was against me on that one. ;D But aside from Super-Imp, the monsters weren’t really threatening, and most of the time they were all in front of me or just off to the side. I never really had to worry about anything sneaking up behind me. Well, there was that one sneaky Sergeant in Sector 294 who made me play that fight 6 times to keep my health up . . .

None of this takes away from the cleverness of the construction. That dropped-floor Caco trap was a very nice piece of work, and it sure accomplished its mission the first time I played it, which is what counts the most. The infamous yellow key crusher, on the other hand, was so telegraphed that I never fell for it. ;D

I had a lot of fun playing this map, but IMO, Fava Beans E1M7 on a pistol start was more of a challenge than this map on continuous. Oh, yes, I went there! ;D But that’s no disgrace, because E1M7 is a classic map.

Secret hunting didn’t go too well for me this time. I was able to get the super-sneaky Soulsphere secret, as well as the Blue Armor, because I remembered those from Sav88’s demo of the mapset. It was truly evil of R&R to put the lift allowing access to the Soulsphere area in the bottom of a window in the red key room, the darkest room of the map. Now that is jagoffery of a very high order! ;D I also snagged the PG at the end, though that was an easy one. It was still pretty damned cool and very old school. Loved it.

So in the end, this was a really great-looking map with Fava-easy gameplay despite some truly excellent monster placement, and cool exploratory features in the secret department. Not bad.

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cannonball said:

A taste for blood would be a good one to chose then, as monochrome has increased it's girth since the last discussion.


Now if we could only get Capellan to play this set on UV, so he could suffer through that nasty Baron/Caco/Arachnotron trap on Map03 the way we will -- uhm, probably me more than you. ;D I wanna hear Capellan squeal! :D And hey, he's the one who suggested this mapset, after all . . .

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E1M6 – Kills – 98, Items – 66, Secret – 50. Time 45:16. End Health 200, Armor 200, Death Count – 3

This was a bit more like it. I loved the wide expanses at the start and the copy-pasted, but reversed, descending double stairways. That looked so damned cool. This whole map, in fact, is really good-looking.

Gameplay again was a bit on the easy side. I died once at the infamous Baron trap and twice in the blinky maze of death, perhaps because I used up all my plasma on the Barons. I really admire these two areas as a solid indicator that R&R wanted to kill me.

There were other secrets I never figured out, for example in one of the E1M2 computer maze homages, a Compspan wall was clearly a secret door, but how you get it open is a mytsery to me.

Jumping around at random, the fights were a bit better overall than in E1M5. Having 335 monsters instead of 259 was a big help in this regard. I also enjoyed going into that lower hall behind a very sizable group of hellspawn, who fell like reaped wheat to my mighty chaingun. This was just plain fun. This also leads to one of the most ridiculously bizarre traps I’ve ever seen in a Doom map, where you press a switch and end up fighting a Caco plus a small army of hellspawn for . . . a fucking Stimpack!!!! I swear, I couldn’t stop laughing. This was one of the ultimate jagoff moves – in a good way – in Doom history. I loved it! Especially because I was temporarily an absolute Doom God. I doubt that I took more than 2 hits in this fight. I had just enough bullets left in that chaingun, so I basically stood in one spot and floored the trigger until everything was dead. Glorious! Yes, I know the Berserk secret is out there on the nukage hidden E1M7 style. I made a saved game just to look for something like that, but I left it because I was already at 100%. There was also another secret that looped into the trap room, which contained another big, bad Stimpack and a box of bullets, plus a Sergeant guarding them. I didn’t find that in the game, though.

One area I really loved was all the rectangular columns near the red door. It was low detail but the lighting was just amazing, and I loved the texture choices. Kick-ass shit.

As can be seen, I found the big secrets at the end. Soulsphere, barely hidden at all near the exit, Blue Armor was a sneaky one, though. All this health and armor will be much appreciated as I blast through the dangerous E1M7 in a few hours.

Overall, I really enjoyed the shit out of this map. The humorous Stimpack Trap really put it over the top. ;D

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SteveD said:
Now if we could only get Capellan to play this set on UV, so he could suffer through that nasty Baron/Caco/Arachnotron trap on Map03 the way we will -- uhm, probably me more than you. ;D I wanna hear Capellan squeal! :D And hey, he's the one who suggested this mapset, after all . . .


Eh, I played it for the /newstuff chronicles, so I'd just skip it if the club played ATFB. It's a good map set though, so I am happy to see others playing it.

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Demon of the Well said:

You're a machine, Steve. Belting through Double Impact at the pace you are is no small amount of killin.'


Thanks! The last couple maps were kinda easy, though, but with over 500 monsters between them, it was indeed a fair amount of killing.

I agree with all your comments about the megawad issues. I guess I agree with everybody on this one. I like playing new wads and old wads, and I'd like playtesting, too. I'm cool with whatever path we take. And, you can count on me to nominate Realm of Chaos on the next classic month. I only finished the first 3 maps and went into the 4th until I died in a shocking beatdown -- talk about ramping up the difficulty! BTW, none of these maps were mine, but I found them to be very solid and fun. Yes, I am campaigning for this megawad! ;D

And I, too, enjoyed playing the 3 episodes. A delightful change of pace. It seems like we might do a slightly modified version of that in June, if it turns out to be Monochrome and A Taste For Blood. Cool! I'd be interested to see which episodes you'd nominate. I would probably add Dinner.wad to my list of usual suspects. A very fun set as I recall.

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I don't mind which of Monochrome or Hellbound is next. I'll give either a try. Whichever is closest to the final version gets my vote I guess.

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Capellan said:

Eh, I played it for the /newstuff chronicles, so I'd just skip it if the club played ATFB. It's a good map set though, so I am happy to see others playing it.


Well, there goes my fun! ;D

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