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E4 mapset? Indeed!

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Here is an E4 set for Ultimate Doom: Apokalypsis

There is no connection with Mel Gibson or Caribbean music.

Map sizes range from very small to quite small, but most are very small. Difficulty levels are implemented.

The set should be vanilla compatible but I suggest not having infinitely tall actors.

The maps were tested extensively in ZDoom and a lot less extensively in prBoom+ with complevel 3.

Any and all feedback is most welcome, but I would really love to see a demo or three: that would be ace!

Some images:

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Apokalypsis is also the name of a great album by Chelsea Wolfe, but probably no connection there either.

Anyhow I liked the Heretic map you posted a little while ago so I'll be sure to check this out shortly. Screenshots look pretty good though the concrete walls in shot 4 look very wallpapery.

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Played through the first 4 maps and got too bored to continue. The gameplay isn't my thing at all: lots of high HP monsters (cacos, demons, barons) and barely any rocket/plasma ammo. I couldn't possibly stand all these tedious fights so I just started skipping as much of the monsters as possible, which was pretty easy for the most part, felt bad (not appreciating the author's efforts by quickly running through everything) and just wasn't enjoyable. Maybe much less experienced players that can't skip everything and have troubles surviving at least some of the fights will enjoy this wad. But for me it's the epitome of boredom.
here are the demos if you want

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I've got up to M4 (including a secret level) and my main feeling is: I thought I'm playing not E4, but Heretic.

(Well, that's apparently what you have experience with.)

I definitely fall into the category of unexperienced players Memfis described, but I can see the shortcomings in gameplay too. Your maps are... maps. There are monsters, there are weapons and there is ammo provided to deal with the monsters. Obviously to create a better map providing better experience, you need more. Player is eager for intense action, variety, seeing and exploring interesting structures, and needs to feel rewarded.

Your levels are fun as long as you find it fun to spam your boomstick into the masses in front of you, some of which fall easily and some require your persistent care for whole minutes. After you stop to percept this as a fun, you're condemned to a game without an excitement from progress, a game merely about "getting to the end". Memfis explicitly calls this a "bore", I'd say bore is something else. But definitely it's a feeling when the point of the game gets empty. And then you'll realize you'd better like to move on and play something else which will provide a better fun.

Add to it the quite bland-structured environments and simplish use of tag actions (very reminding of Heretic), and this is no longer the Doom fun I'd like to experience. I'd expect E4 to be at least punishing/challenging, feeling hostile and/or at least impressive by design. But to be fair, in my opinion there's a couple things in your design that deserve appreciation: Attempt at creating a world quite intuitive and comfortable to move around, and varied ways how secrets are hidden, encouraging exploration and "thinking beyond the conventions". Shootable switches are good. Only I don't always get why you've set the sector secret specials in the places you did (E4M9 homage "super secret", while the secret before it is not flagged as secret).

So well, honestly: Your mapset was fun only for some time, due to the "shooting-gallery" prolonged gameplay I mentioned. Try to improve on that aspect - you can! Wish you good luck.

(And thank you for creating and releasing the mapset, I'm actually glad I could have had this experience.)

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scifista42 said:

simplish use of tag actions (very reminding of Heretic)

Interesting, what do you mean by that?

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Memfis said:

Interesting, what do you mean by that?

  • A switch that opens a door. Move on.
  • A switch that lowers a lift. Move on.
  • A shootable switch that opens a secret door. Get to the secret.
  • Walkover line. Triggers an ambush.
That's all. As simple as this. Not many combinations or other uses of special actions. And if, then again, not in combinations. No room looks like it works with more than one tag or switch. Simplicity and low density of linedef action usage, that's what I meant.

The switches seem to serve a purpose of "landmarks", little goals along the way. In standard Doom maps, you have an environment which contains many interesting structures to look at, and may contain switches too. Here, the switches themselves are the biggest highlight of a room. It's because the environments are abstract and simple. As are the actions triggered by those switches.

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Memfis - thanks for the demos and your feedback. I can see from the demos what you mean: I will spend some time thinking about how to improve this.

SF42 - I appreciate the analysis. In memfis' and GRB's demos there were quite a few things that made me wince; things that seem obvious now but I just never even considered when playing the maps myself.

Maybe I've already shat the bed on this one but I will give it another shot...

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Damn man, I drowned in cacodemons...

Jokes aside, this is a decent E4 mapset, I really enjoyed turning E4M2 into a huge royal demon rumble :3

My only request would be a little bit more pistol ammo, I seemed to keep running short of bullets.

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Hey, I kind of agree with previous comments that there's a lot of high-HP monsters and not very dynamic environments, but it was still OK. I liked E4M3 a fair bit though, E4M9 wasn't bad either. I think I played E4M1 before? Did you release it on it's own at some point?

I made a continuous demo that lasts until E4M4 when I got trapped in a blue armour area off of a lift. Oops! Playing continuous probably neutered some of the challenge but w/e I had fun with it on the whole. The most danger I was in was from shooting a rocket at a spectre I didn't see. I did find the ammo balance a bit funny, sometimes I was swimming in shells and then other times I was wondering just how many things I'd have to punch out if I were doing pistol start.


I used crispy doom but you probably want to playback in PrBoom+ since there are definitely some boring parts even for FDAs, especially on E4M2 when I hump the walls a bunch looking for how to get that backpack. I'll probably pick up from E4M5 later on.

A few texture bugs in crispy doom (that would also be present in chocolate/vanilla):
* Step textures in Doom 1 are only 8 px high, using them on higher walls gives tutti frutti. I only really noticed this on E4M4 so far.
* Textures that go into the ground still show through the floor. There's a grate that guards a Soulsphere on E4M2 that looked like it had this problem.

Lastly I really like your map titles so far. Especially "Pale Horse" for a map full of spectres.

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Cheers for the demo Plums; much-needed feedback for me. I definitely should have put "novice needs help in testing mapset" in the OP...

And sorry for the crap ending :(

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E4M5 from pistol start. Died once, almost twice, trying to save ammo by punching demons.

Crashes vanilla-limited ports on win because WILV34 (the "Congregation of the Dead" graphic) is too wide. I don't know what the max size is, but certainly wider than 320 px is too much since that's all vanilla Doom ran at. You can have it taller than one line though, I think, so you could move some words to a second line. Amusingly (?) I would have found this out from E4M4 had I not gotten stuck.

This one was pretty good, I can see how it's meant for fixed-height ports though. Oh well you did warn me.

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Some more FDAs for you here ( E4M1 through E4M4, including E4M9, UV -complevel 3 ).

Not bad, not bad at all. :)
I enjoyed these maps a lot, to me they are quite memorable so far. It's a solid E4 experience.

Got stuck in E4M4, at some point I got the Megaarmor in sector 14 and couldn't find a way to activate the giant lift again.

Concerning high HP monsters from the reduced Ultimate Doom cast, an obvious solution would be to give a bit more Rockets and Cells ( in secrets, so that it doesn't change the balance much for first-timers ).

I'll play the remaining maps later this week.

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E4M6 - E4M8. I don't complete E4M8 after dying a few times. (Long delay after first death, but I do try again.) Got impatient/frustrated and quit. I'll finish it later today.


E4M6 was good, once it got going. Didn't like the start much, too many demons that don't do anything besides drain ammo. Also looked at it a little in DB and saw the yellow key moves on skill level, nice touch. Died a few times early on, and then almost again right at the end after a mistimed attempt at 2-shotting a cyberdemon, but it worked out in the end. It did feel like I got lucky in supplies for that end sequence with the barons, if I didn't have enough cells I would have been dead, likely.

E4M7 was decent, too many demons in places again even with berserk, and too many cacos. It feels like you're not quite sure how to make a hard but not cheap encounter with Doom 1's enemy set, and your solution is usually "throw a bunch of cacodemons or barons in!"

edit: Not to say that your encounters usually are cheap, just that they're not that exciting in terms of dealing with enemies. I agree with Wilou that more plasma and rockets earlier might help. Also I really liked the skintek area, I think that was E4M7 anyhow.

Oh yeah, E4M5: some of the platforming is pretty hard without mouselook. Oh well.

Also I guess Doom has some 16-height step textures, not all of them are though.

Anyhow! It's not a bad set overall, lots of room for improvement but I found something I liked in each map.

edit again: Went back to E4M8, avoided the lava pits entirely until the end, played smarter and more patiently, ended up not too bad. Still not sure how to get the blue key, even after prying it open in DB. :P Map bug or did I just miss it?

last edit: Wilou, you can link directly to the attachment instead of the post (for that thread at least, not sure about doing that in general).

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plums said:

last edit: Wilou, you can link directly to the attachment instead of the post [...]

Will do. :)

Here's an archive with my FDAs on E4M5 till E4M8 : here

Cool height differencies on E4M5. Nice map, I don't have much to say here. Didn't have much problems with jumping sequences this time, that's a first.

E4M6 was interesting, the sudden appearance of the Cyber triplet was thrilling but fortunately the secrets help a lot... Unless you don't find them of course. And that's what bothers me here : I don't think there's enough ammo to finish the map if you don't find the secrets. Granted, you don't really have to deal with the Cybers but you still have to survive the Baron trap at the very end with too little resources.

E4M7 was pretty linear for the most part, but had a few entertaining traps and situations. The Baron horde at the end could be more threatening, e.g. you could have a lot of Shotgunners and Imps teleporting in the starting area ( just to temporarily block the player's retreat ) and / or some Lost Souls along with the Barons, as Lost Souls, unlike Barons, are totally unpredictable and will add a lot of chaos.

E4M8, well the blue key trap certainly had the potential to be really cruel but it can be evaded too easily by abusing the lift ( as demonstrated in my demo ). If you want to lock the player into a trap, do it Ribbiks-style with small height differencies ( i.e. forced drops ) or bars / whatever. :)
The Masterminds at the end are almost useless, as they can easily infight if you stand above the stairs and lure them in. Maybe only one Mastermind should be able to teleport in the arena while the other should stay above ? Infighting would then be much harder / dangerous to provoke.
Also I would have appreciated a way to temporarily lower the bridge near the Red keycard ( sector 112 ) once it has been raised, so that the Plasma Gun could still be accessed after getting the key. Maybe have linedef 484 activate sector 112 with a repeatable lift action ?

On the whole, it's been fun. :)

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Nice playing Wilou, I didn't even think to try to jump to the blue key on E4M8 for some reason. You handled E4M6 much better than I did, too. You actually do have to kill the Cybers because of the special boss trigger on E4M6.

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plums said:

You actually do have to kill the Cybers because of the special boss trigger on E4M6.

Oh, hehe, yes indeed. :)

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