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Cacowad

[heretic] domus revisited

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i didn't like how my map turned out at the end of the hymn section, and i had a lot to learn (and still have), so there is it, a revisited version of that map.

difficulty settings implemented, but HMP is the "intended" difficulty, UV is only for masochist who tougth HMP was too easy.

warning: time bombs heavy, you need them.

good luck.

https://www.mediafire.com/?ybpxrab8ryuk99y

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could be an idea, since my map was in a terrible state, also if anyone have midi suggestions or suggestions in general, will be greatly appreciated.

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I remember playing this map in Nov. 2012 when you posted it to the 'Hymn of the Fallen Lords' project. For some reason, I keep thinking I played it before that. Maybe I found a WIP at best-ever.org. Did it ever have a different name? Anyway, I Like the changes. The balcony around the outside is much better than trying to run along a narrow window ledge. It makes it easier to find the switches which open the teleport to the Green Key. And thank you for changing the locations and ways of finding those switches. They were ridiculously hard to find before. In the betas of HYMN, you had to find a secret to get the Green Key, but the Green Key was necessary to finish the level. That was just wrong. Thank you for fixing that. The zig-zag stairs up out of the lava are a nice alternative to teleporting back to the central room. Especially if that room is still full of monsters. I also appreciate you cutting the 'wave' of monsters that teleports in when you grab the Shadow Sphere. There was really no defensible position from which to fight them. It was almost impossible to make it up any set of stairs in time. But before you replace/update HYMN with this version, there are still a couple of issues.

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Losing the bookcase which hid the entrance to the caverns was a good idea. There was nothing there before to indicate that it moved, and it's the only way to get to the Blue Key. You changed the straight stairs down to the Yellow Key to zig-zag stairs. Before, the Golems released when you went downstairs clumped together at the top of the stairs. They couldn't get through the doorway and were easy kills. Now, they come halfway down the first flight of zig-zag stairs and stop. They still can't get to the bottom to attack you and are still easy kills.

http://i.imgur.com/yaKMbgN.png
http://i.imgur.com/Um2UhgV.png

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When you enter the first new cavern south of the Yellow Key (sector 823) you added steps leading down to the main cavern. The Golems, Knights, Weredragons, etc., can't climb those steps to attack you. Easy kills from the top.

http://imgur.com/7gXHyKO.png

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Some monsters also have a problem coming down the stairs from the Blue Key Door.

http://i.imgur.com/EXDpzTm.png

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Normal Heretic Key progression is Yellow, then Green, then Blue. Here, you can get the keys in any order, and not in a "three separate linear paths" kind of way. You don't often see that in Heretic. Nice breaking of convention. But if you grab the Green Key first and teleport back, then use the Green Key teleport again and turn around, there is enough room to run off the ledge, clear the lava and land in the secret area or keep moving forward and drop right on top of the Blue Key. Maybe lower the Green Key area somewhat.

http://i.imgur.com/W5VLtUr.png

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Linedef tag 69, which opens the secret within a secret outside past the lava to the south: it's covered by a door, sector tag 68, tagged D1 DoorOpenStayOpen. The problem is, the door is already open.

http://i.imgur.com/J9FyraW.png

In HYMN, it was closed. If you close the door, you still have the other issue - the room itself. It's completely empty. Not a monster, a Vial or even Barrel storage. Nothing. Except the switch. Doesn't hide the secret very well.

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FYI - D1 and DR door sectors don't need sector tags to function, only S1 and SR tags, which are normally used to open doors somewhere else or multiple doors at the same time.

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When you grab the Blue Key another wave of monsters is released. They are pretty much useless. They congregate at the southern end of the upstairs area. If you leave the caverns by the Blue Key Door, they can only come through the door one at a time. You'll take some damage, but most of them will in-fight and kill each other. If you take the secret lift, they congregate in the starting room up against the bars. They'll still in-fight and kill each other and you can poke them with the Staff and kill them through the bars. It takes a long time, but the only damage you'll take is from the occasional Imp or Disciple that comes around over the side walls of the room.

http://i.imgur.com/eBeQQQ7.png

If finding the secret was meant to be a way to avoid a huge fight, then bravo, it's brilliant. If the huge fight was intended, then maybe instead of a switch in the secret area, there should be a W1 linedef to lower the bars permanently as you walk towards them.

-------
Which brings up a minor point. As E1M9 in HYMN, you are presumed to have already gotten certain weapons by the time you start this level. As a standalone E1M1, you start this level with only a Wand. All the other weapons are available in this level. Except Gauntlets. Odd choice to exclude them. Was that intentional?

-------
I like the changes on the perimeter, too. I really like that you can go from the teleport landing, sector tag 67, and run SW off the cliff to end up moving above the lava most of the way to the secret area(s).

http://i.imgur.com/slfWJq5.png

Bothers me a little that those secret areas are also completely empty. With an altar there, you'd think something would be worshipping. Maybe also in the secret priest's room south of the altar room.

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In HYMN, the "hidden Maulotaurs" in the perimeter out-of-sight passages were a pain to deal with that late in the level. You eliminated the passages and moved one Maulator to near the exit. If your intent was to not have him activate until the player teleported to the perimeter, it failed. He needs to be moved back further and closer to the east wall. He's deaf, but he must have seen me running along the balcony from his current position, activated, and walked off the cliff into the lava.

-------
Maulotaur behavior is interesting. At one point near the beginning there were two Maulotaurs chasing me inside the castle. Then they disappeared. They must have been hit by monsters from around the perimeter while they were walking on the balcony, or through the open stained glass windows and just walked off the balcony into the lava (that's how the second one got into the castle in the first place; he walked off the cliff and hit a teleport in the lava, or the teleport at the base of the outside zig-zag stairs). Then, just before I used the Green Key Room teleport, they were both back. I killed one from on top of the platforms north of the central room and telefragged the other later in the lava outside. I don't know if you should monster-block the entire perimeter cliff edge or if you're okay with the Maulotaurs wandering around through the lava hitting random teleports.

http://i.imgur.com/MrZ0zcY.png

Why do only Maulotaurs walk off cliffs? Iron Liches don't. I've seen D'Sparil do it too, after you've killed his Dragon, but nothing else. Odd.

-------
You know, I just thought: If the perimeter area were developed more, with more side-trip areas to make it less linear, this could actually be two levels. The Castle and The Perimeter, E1M9 and E1M0, kind of like the secret Nazi levels in Doom2. E1M9 would end when you hit the teleport landing spot (sector tag 67) from the Green Key Room teleport. The edges of the teleport landing would all be W1 EndLevel linedefs. E1M0 would start there and all the teleports in the lava would now lead back to that same spot. Hmmm. Of course that means it would be almost impossible to get 100% kills in E1M9 and you'd need a MAPINFO entry to access E1M0 at all. Then you'd have to have monsters on the castle balcony shooting at you in E1M0. Oh, well. Maybe not. Just a thought.

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FYI 2: If you do get to update HYMN, could you please post that here? I took notes on all the alphas and betas, I just never posted them anywhere. By the time it was released I had burned myself out on Heretic for a while, so I never played it again to see if everything got fixed. I'd like to now.

I just checked HYMN. I still saw two minor clean-up issues. There are still two copies each of MIDVINE7 and MIDVINE8 and the entry for E2M1 is still in the LANGUAGE lump.

Glad to see you didn't give up this map once it was released. It's a lot better now.

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Great notes EffinghamHuffnagel. Glad to see this type of enthusiasm for anything Heretic. Curious about those other notes that never got posted.

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thank you for your inputs, let's see...

EffinghamHuffnagel said:
I remember playing this map in Nov. 2012 when you posted it to the 'Hymn of the Fallen Lords' project. For some reason, I keep thinking I played it before that. Maybe I found a WIP at best-ever.org. Did it ever have a different name?



no, i only posted this on the dw forums, but is possible that some other .wad had a similar layout.

stuff about general changes.


those changes was really needed, this map was painfull to play.

Losing the bookcase which hid the entrance to the caverns was a good idea. There was nothing there before to indicate that it moved, and it's the only way to get to the Blue Key. You changed the straight stairs down to the Yellow Key to zig-zag stairs. Before, the Golems released when you went downstairs clumped together at the top of the stairs. They couldn't get through the doorway and were easy kills. Now, they come halfway down the first flight of zig-zag stairs and stop. They still can't get to the bottom to attack you and are still easy kills.
-------

When you enter the first new cavern south of the Yellow Key (sector 823) you added steps leading down to the main cavern. The Golems, Knights, Weredragons, etc., can't climb those steps to attack you. Easy kills from the top.

-------
Some monsters also have a problem coming down the stairs from the Blue Key Door.


this is weird, golems do seems to dislike particular sectors/lines, and i have no clue on how to fix this thing, as they can cross some and can't cross others. i'll try some more research...

Normal Heretic Key progression is Yellow, then Green, then Blue. Here, you can get the keys in any order, and not in a "three separate linear paths" kind of way. You don't often see that in Heretic. Nice breaking of convention. But if you grab the Green Key first and teleport back, then use the Green Key teleport again and turn around, there is enough room to run off the ledge, clear the lava and land in the secret area or keep moving forward and drop right on top of the Blue Key. Maybe lower the Green Key area somewhat.


i didn't thinked you could,but since it land into a secret sector

-------
Linedef tag 69, which opens the secret within a secret outside past the lava to the south: it's covered by a door, sector tag 68, tagged D1 DoorOpenStayOpen. The problem is, the door is already open.

In HYMN, it was closed. If you close the door, you still have the other issue - the room itself. It's completely empty. Not a monster, a Vial or even Barrel storage. Nothing. Except the switch. Doesn't hide the secret very well.


nice find, i didn't hid the switch since it is a kind of "secret",
fixed and added a few vials.

-------
FYI - D1 and DR door sectors don't need sector tags to function, only S1 and SR tags, which are normally used to open doors somewhere else or multiple doors at the same time.


i thinked it was a zdoom specific feature?... i'll test in vanilla later.

-------
When you grab the Blue Key another wave of monsters is released. They are pretty much useless. They congregate at the southern end of the upstairs area. If you leave the caverns by the Blue Key Door, they can only come through the door one at a time. You'll take some damage, but most of them will in-fight and kill each other. If you take the secret lift, they congregate in the starting room up against the bars. They'll still in-fight and kill each other and you can poke them with the Staff and kill them through the bars. It takes a long time, but the only damage you'll take is from the occasional Imp or Disciple that comes around over the side walls of the room.

If finding the secret was meant to be a way to avoid a huge fight, then bravo, it's brilliant. If the huge fight was intended, then maybe instead of a switch in the secret area, there should be a W1 linedef to lower the bars permanently as you walk towards them.


moster logic i suppose... and yes taking the secret was meant to be a way to avoid a huge fight (cit).

now that the monster count teleported in lowered by a lot (yes it did) and the cave area is actually bigger, i think i may reposition some landing spot in the cave to pose a more immediate treat to the player.

-------
Which brings up a minor point. As E1M9 in HYMN, you are presumed to have already gotten certain weapons by the time you start this level. As a standalone E1M1, you start this level with only a Wand. All the other weapons are available in this level. Except Gauntlets. Odd choice to exclude them. Was that intentional?


wand start was intended, and entering from another level may break the level balance a bit (like, entering with low hp may kill you instantly).
about the gauntlets... i can't remember, but they can heal the player when tomed, so if i included them i would had to lower the overral health in the level, which could be good or terrible gameplay wise...

-------
I like the changes on the perimeter, too. I really like that you can go from the teleport landing, sector tag 67, and run SW off the cliff to end up moving above the lava most of the way to the secret area(s).

Bothers me a little that those secret areas are also completely empty. With an altar there, you'd think something would be worshipping. Maybe also in the secret priest's room south of the altar room.


totaly forgot to add something there, my bad xD

-------
In HYMN, the "hidden Maulotaurs" in the perimeter out-of-sight passages were a pain to deal with that late in the level. You eliminated the passages and moved one Maulator to near the exit. If your intent was to not have him activate until the player teleported to the perimeter, it failed. He needs to be moved back further and closer to the east wall. He's deaf, but he must have seen me running along the balcony from his current position, activated, and walked off the cliff into the lava.

-------
Maulotaur behavior is interesting. At one point near the beginning there were two Maulotaurs chasing me inside the castle. Then they disappeared. They must have been hit by monsters from around the perimeter while they were walking on the balcony, or through the open stained glass windows and just walked off the balcony into the lava (that's how the second one got into the castle in the first place; he walked off the cliff and hit a teleport in the lava, or the teleport at the base of the outside zig-zag stairs). Then, just before I used the Green Key Room teleport, they were both back. I killed one from on top of the platforms north of the central room and telefragged the other later in the lava outside. I don't know if you should monster-block the entire perimeter cliff edge or if you're okay with the Maulotaurs wandering around through the lava hitting random teleports.

Why do only Maulotaurs walk off cliffs? Iron Liches don't. I've seen D'Sparil do it too, after you've killed his Dragon, but nothing else. Odd.


the Maulotaurs behavior is due the +DROPOFF flag, they simply ignore heigth.

also the deaf flag seems to work poorly on the heretic bestiary, don't know why. anyway i quite liked how those big boys chase you in and out the place, i may keep them as it (unless they render the map unplayable).

-------
You know, I just thought: If the perimeter area were developed more, with more side-trip areas to make it less linear, this could actually be two levels. The Castle and The Perimeter, E1M9 and E1M0, kind of like the secret Nazi levels in Doom2. E1M9 would end when you hit the teleport landing spot (sector tag 67) from the Green Key Room teleport. The edges of the teleport landing would all be W1 EndLevel linedefs. E1M0 would start there and all the teleports in the lava would now lead back to that same spot. Hmmm. Of course that means it would be almost impossible to get 100% kills in E1M9 and you'd need a MAPINFO entry to access E1M0 at all. Then you'd have to have monsters on the castle balcony shooting at you in E1M0. Oh, well. Maybe not. Just a thought.


it crossed my mind too, but i'm not good at swicht puzzles. if i come up with a decent way to make an outdoor area without keys i will gladly expand it.

overall, thank you for your feedbacks, they means a lot; also feel free to post hymn related bugs here, since Egregor is following ;)

edit: typos everywhere.

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Egregor said:

Great notes EffinghamHuffnagel. Glad to see this type of enthusiasm for anything Heretic. Curious about those other notes that never got posted.


I've come to like Heretic and Hexen more than Doom at this point. Being a big D&Der in college, when Heretic came out it pushed all the right buttons in me. When Hexen was released, I recognized that it was really the first computer version of D&D. The AD&D Gold Box games had come out by then, but Hexen was multi-player. I wish id had pushed and marketed that aspect of it. With additional development, Hexen could have been the first Ultima Online.

The last notes I made were for Beta 4, so I'm not sure any of them are still valid. Most of my notes were clean-up issues - a lava sector not tagged as damaging, ice areas not tagged as low friction, linedefs not tagged as impassable, so monsters ended up using a different teleport than what was intended, mostly little things. Now that it's been a year since I played HYMN, I'll go through it again and check them. If there was anything game-breaking, I'm sure you would have heard from someone else by now. Anything I find, I'll try to post here by early next week.

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EffinghamHuffnagel said:

I've come to like Heretic and Hexen more than Doom at this point. Being a big D&Der in college, when Heretic came out it pushed all the right buttons in me. When Hexen was released, I recognized that it was really the first computer version of D&D. The AD&D Gold Box games had come out by then, but Hexen was multi-player. I wish id had pushed and marketed that aspect of it. With additional development, Hexen could have been the first Ultima Online.


This! Haha. No, but seriously, I'm a huge DnD fan as well. The rich fantasy settings are what inspired me to create a Heretic community project. Don't worry about the notes. With the eventual exception of Cacowad's updated map I'd like to put the HYMN development to rest. I've got unfinished maps from last year that I am planning on finishing. I'm looking forward, not backward.

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