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Cynical

Impure Offering - One single player map for Boom - NOW ON IDGAMES ARCHIVE!

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(This map plays in the map 20 slot, requires cc4-tex.wad, and complevel 9.)

10/21 EDIT: Final version on idgames archive! No different from the previous version which fixes the BFG room and the unextured pillars, if you played that.

Download Link: http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/?file=levels/doom2/Ports/g-i/impoffer.zip
Holy shit, it's finally happening! Only took almost a year to make this thing!





Super thanks to the following people for making this possible:
Demon of the Well: Your official credit may be "playtester", but really, it should be "co-author". So much of this map's final state reflects your input that it's insane. Thank you so much for the help with this, and also for getting my petulant then-teenage ass into Doom in the first place over a decade ago!

SteveD: We both know the kind of clusterfuck that HNTR would have been had it not been for your input, heh. Not only do I thank you, but every single Doomer who ever uses that skill level thanks you. Your blood was not spilled in vain!

Demonologist: Your playtesting was helpful, and your demo-recording was especially useful for finding and squashing minor flow-breakers. Also, mad props for being the first person to record a UV-Max of this beast, on any version!

Ribbiks: Your playtesting resulted in a much more polished end result. Thank you!

Joshy: Your construction of the imp-trap is far more convincing than what I could have done myself.

_____________________________________________________________________

Impure Offering is a single player map for the Doom 2 IWAD in -complevel 9 that plays in the map 20 slot and requires cc4-tex.wad. The original intent was to create a map inspired by map 02 of Vanguard, but with a very-high, at times slaughter-ish, monster count and fierce difficulty. I don't think it actually ended up playing anything like any map Skillsaw has ever made, but I am very happy with the result regardless.

The "fierce difficulty" aspect certainly is in evidence in the final product, though. Skill levels have been implemented -- HMP is akin to the earlier parts of Scythe's third episode on UV, and keeps the overall pressure mostly intact, with its main concessions being the removal of some of the most troublesome individuals. HNTR is more of a "traditional run-n-gun UV" experience. Impure Offering on UV is intended to be a real challenge, and should shed some blood from even the most skilled Doomers.

http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/?file=levels/doom2/Ports/g-i/impoffer.zip Here's the download link if you missed it earlier. Download, play, enjoy, and let me know what issues you find so I can fix them for the final version!

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Ah, finally it's here. I said this before, and I'm saying this again - you've certainly got a talent for setting up interesting combat scenarios, they may be tough as nails at times but still entertaining enough and worth retrying and figuring them out. I definitely had lots of fun with this thingie. Congrats on the release, and keep up the good work!

P.S. To me, it feels closer to something from Joshy rather than skillsaw, heh. Not that it's a bad thing, not at all.

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The last time I had this much fun playing a map on HNTR, the name Ribbiks was attached to it. So hurry up, I'm ready for another one!

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Heh, with those playtesters I know this is going to be a nightmare challenge.

Played thrrough on HMP and yes, I was correct. The beginning is something of a trial and error type bastard, eventually I managed to clear out a niche which allowed me to stop moving for a microsecond. Pain elementals are maybe a bit OTT at this point, since staying alive in itself is the main challenge here, having to go on the offensive seems a bit much (especially if you are unfamiliar with the map). The rocket launcher trap was also kind of shitty, having to deal with point blank revenants whose damage you can't avoid, while trapped in a space where other stuff is free to shoot you. Enjoyed the cyber/caco fight, and the major caco swarm after was quite interesting. Final battle was pretty crazy, took a number of goes to survive that, and in the end I just ran to the exit leaving a load of stuff alive.

Yeah, for me this is what UV difficulty would have been like on a tough map, so I dread to think what UV is really like, definitely won't be trying that in a hurry. Cool map though, I like how a lot of the battles allow you the whole space to play in and approach the fight from different angles.

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Neat map01. Wouldn't mind if this caught on for non-map01 PWADs. :)

In the actual map, I liked the imp room most. Pressing the switch to open that upper door that you get to from those other stairs and then climb further still to the other end, seeing previous parts from a different perspective and all, it's one of these cool little moments.

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yknow you're really putting yourself out there Cynical. Now that you've made a map you're entitled to a ton of public scrutiny :)

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degree23 said:

In Zandronum there's a problem with line488 and it doesn't even let me open the map.

Huh, Zandronum crashes when you've got linedefs that aren't attached to any sector? Weird. Guess I'll have to build a sector for my conveyor linedef. In the meanwhile, it works great in prboom or prboom-plus, so you can play it in those (which is preferred, anyways -- there's not even multiplayer starts here, since I know nothing about mapping for multiplayer, so there's no reason to use Zandronum. Plus, a lot of the fights were designed around Cacodemons actually taking up space because they're infinitely tall).

mouldy said:

Heh, with those playtesters I know this is going to be a nightmare challenge.

Played thrrough on HMP and yes, I was correct. The beginning is something of a trial and error type bastard, eventually I managed to clear out a niche which allowed me to stop moving for a microsecond. Pain elementals are maybe a bit OTT at this point, since staying alive in itself is the main challenge here, having to go on the offensive seems a bit much (especially if you are unfamiliar with the map). The rocket launcher trap was also kind of shitty, having to deal with point blank revenants whose damage you can't avoid, while trapped in a space where other stuff is free to shoot you. Enjoyed the cyber/caco fight, and the major caco swarm after was quite interesting. Final battle was pretty crazy, took a number of goes to survive that, and in the end I just ran to the exit leaving a load of stuff alive.

Yeah, for me this is what UV difficulty would have been like on a tough map, so I dread to think what UV is really like, definitely won't be trying that in a hurry. Cool map though, I like how a lot of the battles allow you the whole space to play in and approach the fight from different angles.

On HNTR, those first two PE's are removed and replaced with a couple of loose Lost Souls; do you think I need to do the same thing on HMP? HMP is, rather oddly given the nature of the map, actually the least tested skill level; as far as I know, you and I are the only people who have ever touched it at anything other than UV or HNTR.

It's definitely possible to avoid damage in the rocket launcher trap, though. The key is to try to stick to one side of the cage or the other, and to stay close to the Revs; by doing this, you both minimize the number of shots they take at you (Revs only take "revenge" shots if you're at close to their "punch" range; instead of shooting, they try to close those last few feet and melee), and you maximize the angular deflection of their shots when they do shoot, which means that moving from one side of the cage to the other is enough room to juke by a fireball. It's also possible (although harder than dealing with the trap honestly) to just slip past the two Revs and hit the switch -- this method got a lot of testing from me and some from DotW, since it allows for a risky-but-fun-and-exciting "rocket launcher before SSG" route that's almost certainly optimal for any kind of speedrunning (lol as though this will ever become popular enough for people to record speedrun demos on).

@Phml -- I actually stole the idea for that map 01 from something else, although I can't remember what. I'm vaguely thinking it was maybe Shai'tan's Luck? I haven't played that wad in ages, though, so it's probably something else.

@40oz -- "Now" that I've made a map?!?! This is my second released map! Besides, a ton of public scrutiny would require that more than five people ever play it :P

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Cynical said:

It's definitely possible to avoid damage in the rocket launcher trap, though.


Possible maybe, but i'm not sure the kind of skills needed to do that would necessarily belong to people who will choose this difficulty (ie me). I guess you could argue that I need to be playing on a lower setting, but then like you say, the majority of people will end up playing either easiest or hardest.

I just had a go on HNTR and UV for comparison. On HNTR I could play the whole map without coming close to dying, so the difficulty seems quite a large step down from HMP (probably helped that I knew the map though). On UV I noticed the rocket launcher trap was pretty much the same as HMP (though this time I got through it a lot easier). Maybe as a compromise for HMP (because I sense that setting is aimed more at people like me) I'd suggest one PE for the start and one rev for the RL trap.. See what others say though.

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mouldy said:

Possible maybe, but i'm not sure the kind of skills needed to do that would necessarily belong to people who will choose this difficulty (ie me). I guess you could argue that I need to be playing on a lower setting, but then like you say, the majority of people will end up playing either easiest or hardest.

I just had a go on HNTR and UV for comparison. On HNTR I could play the whole map without coming close to dying, so the difficulty seems quite a large step down from HMP (probably helped that I knew the map though). On UV I noticed the rocket launcher trap was pretty much the same as HMP (though this time I got through it a lot easier). Maybe as a compromise for HMP (because I sense that setting is aimed more at people like me) I'd suggest one PE for the start and one rev for the RL trap.. See what others say though.

From what I've played of Going Down (first 10 maps), I'd say that you're pretty much exactly the kind of player that HMP is aimed for (well, provided that UV of Going Down is the kind of difficulty that you prefer). So, yeah, if you're not able to do the kinds of dodges needed in the Rev cage-trap, then something probably needs to change there.

For the record, the way I did HMP and UV balancing is on HMP, I can't necessarily beat it without saves "consistently", but if I sit down for a decent-length session, I should be able to beat it in one of my runs. While UV, when I beat it there without saves, it's something to celebrate, rather than something that's expected when I fire the map up.

HNTR to HMP is by design a much bigger gap than HMP to UV. HNTR acts as kind of a "failsafe"; there for people who aren't veterans of wads like Alien Vendetta, Scythe 1 and 2, Deus Vult I and II, Kama Sutra, Resurgence, etc.

One Rev and one PE sounds like probably a pretty good compromise for HMP; if other people who play HMP agree, I'll probably make that change for the final version (well, I'll probably replace the other PE with a few Lost Souls, just on general principle, heh).

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Cynical said:

From what I've played of Going Down (first 10 maps), I'd say that you're pretty much exactly the kind of player that HMP is aimed for (well, provided that UV of Going Down is the kind of difficulty that you prefer).


Yeah, players like me have average skills but like to play tough maps with a lot of saves (to feel manly), so your HMP is pretty much ideal for that.

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Thanks for the demo! Cool job with the RL-first route, and the multi-Vile jump was an amazing trick I'd have never thought of!

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^Mork is good with inventive maneuvers, I saw him pull a trick with some finely-timed BFG detonations against one of the last waves of viles in the final map of Stardate 20X6 that I'd like to get a chance to emulate myself in some other scenario someday.

^I often found that the real threats in the little revenant cage-run were often external--gotta make sure you don't teleport away from and then immediately charge back into one of those bastard viles' spells because you've got your foot on the gas, I made myself feel foolish doing that on more than one occasion.

Anyway, congrats on the release, you've worked long and hard on it, and now, well....it's a ballbuster, to say the least.

It's definitely a few orders of magnitude more unforgiving than even Skillsaw's toughest stuff, and doesn't really use monsters in a similar way when you get right down to it, but you can still see the influence in the chunky squarejawed architecture and a few of the shapes. Interesting Demonologist remarks it seems more like a Joshy map, because the spacious play area (or it would be spacious, if it weren't so clogged with rambunctious hellbastards) and general shapes don't really remind me of the Joshy I know.....but that is the Joshy of Speed of Doom. The most recent map of his I've played is 'Fireking Says No Cheating' from the beta of BTSX E2, and if it's anything to go by, his style might've 'ballooned' somewhat, which makes me more interested in having a look at Resurgence than I already was. Think I already said that once somewhere, though.

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That vile jump was on accident heh heh, and you'd need the blue key to go that way so not sure if useful.
For the stardate compound-bfg splash damage, you can kill a cyber in '1' hit by shooting a bfg at a far wall then another right in his face when he appears so they both hit at the same time. And there doesn't seem to be a limit on how many incrementally further walls you can do it to (aside from max map distance) to multiply splash damage (because once I put 6 dormant cybers in a line then rounded up more and more revenant fireballs to a mass and the mass was enough to blow through like 4 cybers I think.. probably more if I collected more). The bfg splash goes in the same direction it was fired, so you can shoot one north, another south (both at far walls), then just look at some north monsters, then look at some south monsters to splash damage both groups.

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gggmork said:

That vile jump was on accident heh heh, and you'd need the blue key to go that way so not sure if useful.

Ah, ok; I figured that it was a safety trick, because that big building that houses the HKs worked as such good cover from the Viles, and they would have no way of ever approaching you up there.

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Cynical said:

In the meanwhile, it works great in prboom or prboom-plus, so you can play it in those (which is preferred, anyways -- there's not even multiplayer starts here, since I know nothing about mapping for multiplayer, so there's no reason to use Zandronum. Plus, a lot of the fights were designed around Cacodemons actually taking up space because they're infinitely tall).


There is a reason for using it; it's my personal preference. I just like the way it plays better than other ports. Plus there are a lot of settings you can change, like making actors infinitely tall, to make a map basically play like it was intended to be played. I'll play this in another port if I get around to it before you update it to see what it's like. From the comments in this thread it sounds like it's as good as the screenshots make it look!

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I played Beta 2 on UV up to here and could make no further progress. There seems to be a HOM at this staircase and I also can't get out of there. The 4 switches seemed to lower this staircase, but then I couldn't get up the steps. I fell down into this area, which I'm not sure is supposed to happen, and then I couldn't get out which brought my playthrough to a halt. It looks like something lowered too far that wasn't supposed to happen.

Up to there I really enjoyed it. The start is really chaotic but there's enough cover to hide from the Arch Viles. The teleporter at the RL is fine to me, there's easily enough space to dispatch the 2 Revenants that are there. The wave of Cacos is ridiculous as there's so many! A good chunk of them got taken out by other things, mainly the Cyberdemon beyond the yellow key staircase. The imp trap is more cheap than difficult I think, I wasn't too fond of it.

That's as far as I got, but liking the map so far.

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Uh... that's weird. Play it in prboom-plus, I guess I can safely say at this point "not Zandro compatible, never will be", because the stairbuilder behaves differently in different sourceports (weird that it doesn't work in Zandro though because it works in GZDoom, are you sure that you have your compatibility settings right? Make sure you're using the Boom stairbuilder).

EDIT: Just downloaded Zandro, confirming; something is screwed up with Zandro. Play it in something else; it seems to work in just about any other source port, and since I've already uploaded it to the /idgames archive (just waiting on the frontend to update to post the link), I'm not going back and trying to fix some weird issue with the Zandro stairbuilder.

DOUBLE EDIT: http://forum.zdoom.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=25079 This is a ZDoom bug from 2010, that was fixed a long time ago in every other port in the world. Don't use Zandro for single player.

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When you hit a switch and pillers rise to cross, those pillars don't have lower textures. Also its possible to quickly hit the switch then run to the last pillar and rise up on it, but that is fine and don't think that would be a good route anyway.

The blue door area has bug issues, it only happens sometimes. Hit the switch and sometimes only some of the sectors rise correctly, like some square columns don't rise properly. Basically save right at blue door, at repeatedly try to open the door and hit the switch as fast as possible, it happens like 1 out of 20 times or something, didn't study what causes it. You can hit the switch and run toward the side into a crevice with another switch too, not sure if intentional.

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Aaarrggh, when did those textures vanish?!?!?! Crap, I've already uploaded to the archives, too...

The issues in the blue door room are known, and unfixable without removing all detailing from the room, unfortunately. Basically, the moving floor has to be multiple sectors, and it's possible for a monster that's still alive to screw the whole mechanism up.

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^^^Contact Ty and let him know, then send the revised file after he answers and he'll slot it right in. I had to do that last year when I fucked-up the horizon trick.

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Let me know if you want me to try to find a solution for the blue key room in doombuilder since I have done a lot of moving sector stuff in the past so maybe there is a way, not sure.

EDIT:
I'm not 100% sure what the desired functionality is, mostly because the purpose of those 2 tiny crevices with lift switches confuse me, but putting block monster lines to prevent them from entering those crevice areas might fix it (I saw that a baron got stuck halfway in that crevice stopping the lift, however when i killed it the lift fixed itself). There is another slight problem too I think.. see how there's like 10 walk over trigger lines when you first enter? Well you can walk over only a couple of those lines at first, then hit the switch, then when you walk over some you haven't walked over yet, the lift re-warps to bottom. A solution would probably be make a dummy player 1 on a scrolling hall with a tiny floor=ceiling column inside him preventing him from scrolling, then all those 10 lines just raise this column, making him walkover the true trigger line, so the initial lift trap can only be activated once.

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gggmork said:

Let me know if you want me to try to find a solution for the blue key room in doombuilder since I have done a lot of moving sector stuff in the past so maybe there is a way, not sure.

EDIT:
I'm not 100% sure what the desired functionality is, mostly because the purpose of those 2 tiny crevices with lift switches confuse me, but putting block monster lines to prevent them from entering those crevice areas might fix it (I saw that a baron got stuck halfway in that crevice stopping the lift, however when i killed it the lift fixed itself). There is another slight problem too I think.. see how there's like 10 walk over trigger lines when you first enter? Well you can walk over only a couple of those lines at first, then hit the switch, then when you walk over some you haven't walked over yet, the lift re-warps to bottom. A solution would probably be make a dummy player 1 on a scrolling hall with a tiny floor=ceiling column inside him preventing him from scrolling, then all those 10 lines just raise this column, making him walkover the true trigger line, so the initial lift trap can only be activated once.

The crevices with the switches are where the monsters start at. If I place monster block lines there, the monsters can't actually approach the player.

The voodoo-doll trick to cause the lift to only go down one time is a good idea.

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So I don't know that this will make the best viewing but I recorded a playthrough/FDA with saves of this map, beta 2 version, on HMP. It's probably like an hour long and I die a whole lot, but recording like this isn't much different from just playing normally so I figured I might as well. Watch it, or not.

http://www.doomworld.com/vb/attachment.php?postid=1309917

It was hard but I liked it for the most part, up until the final Afrit/PE swarm that felt just like an exercise in infinite-height frustration to me. I came close to quitting but instead ended up saving a few times mid-encounter, which I normally try to avoid but it was too long of a sustained challenge for me to beat it otherwise. I think I didn't do it "right", I didn't at all make use of the double-megasphere and cell cache where all the revenants teleport in, wasn't entirely sure how without getting swarmed.

Anyhow apart from that, I thought it was good and the difficulty on HMP was appropriate for a player like me who generally likes a challenge without getting constantly pummelled into the ground. Might try UV later just to see how much harder it is. The use and reuse of space was well done, though it also made the level feel unusually small for the amount of monsters you fight, but that's OK. You're definitely an "antagonistic" mapper that's not afraid to make the player suffer and die horribly, which isn't always my favourite style of play but is interesting when not in large doses, and makes you feel accomplished when you actually beat the level. Hope to see some proper demos on this.

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Cynical said:

The crevices with the switches are where the monsters start at.


Oh yeah, derp. Can't think of a fix that will keep it all visually as is and play the same (like making them warp in instead would play differently etc). One thing is maybe texture all those lower textures on all the lift pieces in case some don't move properly. Or un 'merge' the lift sector groups so if a monster blocks one lift sector, the rest in the same merge won't all be blocked too. If you want, its your map. Maybe the best route is just to hit that switch asap, and that is when it is likely for a monster to be halfway between the crevice and lift.

EDIT: also if you do warp out immediately w/o killing them, those bars go up outside preventing re-entry, so a monster could be stuck in a crevice preventing max kills I think (you could just shoot through the bars at ones that aren't stuck in a crevice).

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Untested, possibly bad idea: for the blue key room switch, could you change it to a generalized linedef that has crusher properties?

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gggmork said:

Oh yeah, derp. Can't think of a fix that will keep it all visually as is and play the same (like making them warp in instead would play differently etc). One thing is maybe texture all those lower textures on all the lift pieces in case some don't move properly. Or un 'merge' the lift sector groups so if a monster blocks one lift sector, the rest in the same merge won't all be blocked too. If you want, its your map. Maybe the best route is just to hit that switch asap, and that is when it is likely for a monster to be halfway between the crevice and lift.

EDIT: also if you do warp out immediately w/o killing them, those bars go up outside preventing re-entry, so a monster could be stuck in a crevice preventing max kills I think (you could just shoot through the bars at ones that aren't stuck in a crevice).

I thought I had textured all of those lowers? Guess I'll have to go through that again...

Unmerging those sectors is a really icky option because of the number of dummy sectors it would take to make the lift work. Not saying it's off the table, but it would annoy me. EDIT: Actually, is there any reason to unmerge any sectors other than the ones at the edge where a monster can get caught?

I'm personally not too bothered by the fact that someone who tries to exploit the fight can't get maxkills. It's more important to stop people from camping the PEs/Afrits.

@Plums: How would making it a crusher fix things? You'd still have one sector that's lower than all of the others, it would just slowly crushing a monster instead of going back down.

EDIT: Hmm, I'm starting to wonder; why not just make it huge doors that open fast on each side, and have a set of slow-opening bars blocking the BFG/RSK that the switch on the other side opens? There's got to be some reason I didn't do this in the first place... right?

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