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Zulk RS

Why does DTS-T Suck?

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I'm playing DTS-T on and off (like I do with every doom wad) and I'm enjoying it. I understand a lot of people hate it. What I don't understand is why.

Why do you hate DTS-T?

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To start, DTS-T had entirely weak levels.

I'd suggest that you watch Tarnsman's playtrough of the thing to get an Idea of how it really is.

1 2 3 4 5

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Levels largely consist of strung out hallways with bare-ass detailing and abysmal gameplay with a coat of ZDoom features tacked on and voice acting that is as horrendous as the writing and plot are.

I get that people like to see stuff like cutscenes and puzzles or attempts at a plot in doom which isn't halfassed, or good use of ZDoom features. DTS-T doesn't have any ofthat.

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Breezeep said:

I'd suggest that you watch Tarnsman's playtrough of the thing to get an Idea of how it really is.


But Zulk is already playing it himself. How can watching someone else play it somehow change his opinion?

EDIT: Oh I see, it's still in response to the original question. Don't mind me :X

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Quoting myself from another thread:

Xaser said:

For the Overrated category, DTS-T is pretty much the epitome of the term. Not to knock Deathmatcher ('tis a first project, after all), but the gap between what the wad is (a newbie project) and what folks make it out to be is staggering.

I suspect (albeit without evidence) that a large part of this is because fans of the wad are not well-versed in what Doom (or at least ZDoom) has to offer, so the technical aspects (scripting, plot, etc.) of DTS-T artificially inflate its worth. Doom:One is the other project I feel "suffers" from this: it's not well done, but the novelty of its concept draws in a lot of awe from outside the community.

tl;dr: there's way better wads. I'd recommend RTC-3057, Action Doom(2), ZDCMP2, or even Massmouth 2 in its place.

[Apologies again, Deathmatcher; the backlash is far less-deserving than the praise. D: ]


The short version is that DTS-T looks technically impressive to folks who've yet to see/play better wads. IMO, YMMV, etc.

Since the time the quoted post was made, there's been a new major entry to the "story-driven ZDoom PC" genre: Prime Directive. Go play that instead.

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Think the hatred probably stems from the inexplicable praise it received despite being somewhat mediocre (to be kind).

But hey, if you are enjoying it then don't worry what other people think. There's enough doom for everyone.

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Xaser said:

Quoting myself from another thread:

The short version is that DTS-T looks technically impressive to folks who've yet to see/play better wads. IMO, YMMV, etc.

Since the time the quoted post was made, there's been a new major entry to the "story-driven ZDoom PC" genre: Prime Directive. Go play that instead.


While what you said may be true, It doesn't really apply to my case. I've played zdcmp2 BEFORE playing DTS-T. Though I agree with you that there are other, much better wads (as much as I like DTS-T, It's not going to make my top 10 doom wads list) like Valiant (though I haven't finished it, I think it's better judging by the first few levels).

I still like DTS-T. But I'm wondering what are the reasons people hate it for 2 reasons in particular:

1. I didn't find enough problems so far for warranting such hate
2. I don't want to commit these mistakes in any of my own wads.

On a side note: Is it really the fault of DTS-T (or any wad/game/book/film) that it is being overrated? Is it a valid reason to hate it?

EDIT: Prime Detective, you're now on my list of Doom wads I want to play.

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mouldy said:

Think the hatred probably stems from the inexplicable praise it received despite being somewhat mediocre (to be kind).


Nah my hatred stems from how unenjoyable it is to play.

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Zulk-RS said:

On a side note: Is it really the fault of DTS-T (or any wad/game/book/film) that it is being overrated? Is it a valid reason to hate it?

That's kind of a philosophical question without a definite general answer, I think different people may see it differently, and it may also vary depending on the particular cases. In case of DTS-T and speaking for myself, I don't take its overrating as a reason to dislike it. I simply dislike the wad for bland visuals, uninspired combat and progression.

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Zulk-RS said:

I still like DTS-T. But I'm wondering what are the reasons people hate it for 2 reasons in particular:

1. I didn't find enough problems so far for warranting such hate
2. I don't want to commit these mistakes in any of my own wads.

On a side note: Is it really the fault of DTS-T (or any wad/game/book/film) that it is being overrated? Is it a valid reason to hate it?


You can check out the original thread to gauge people's general reactions, both positive and negative:
http://www.doomworld.com/vb/wads-mods/61991-dts-t-a-zdoom-megawad-available-now/

Main criticisms were about the basic design and dull/annoying gameplay.

When something it overrated, people hate the hype more than the product, but then you have to hate the product to begin with to think its overrated. So its not exactly a reason so much as a consequence.

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mouldy is probably right. The project wouldn't get so viciously slaughtered if there wasn't a slew of inexplicable praising posts from SomeGuys not exactly prominent in the community. It may be harsh and somewhat unfair, especially to the author, Deathmatcher, but overhyped mediocrity simply ires people (insert btsx pun).

I'd say a good comparison would be Winter's Fury. I could nag all day about its small mistakes and imperfections, but it's still a stunning, jawdropping project that raised the bar, pushed the boundaries, whatever. DTS-T is so far from those characteristics that you'd need astronomical units to measure the distance, yet some of the initial praise sounded similar. People can forgive a lot, but they're sensitive to feeling like they're getting shilled. (insert btsx pun)

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*sound the air-raid sirens, here comes yet another distantly absurd DoTW textbomb*

Well, Zulk-RS, in regards to what many people object to about DTS-T, I think a big talking point is its painful/ungainly development cycle. If you read Deathmatcher's history/design notes for the WAD, he makes it clear that the different levels comprising the final project were created at very different times and at very different levels of his own experience with modding/mapping for DooM, so some of the very earliest stuff he ever made (which mostly is positioned in the first part of the game) is in there together with what was more or less his latest work at the time the WAD was released.

It's pretty clear from Deathmatcher's comments in the textfile and such that he knew full well that the old stuff 'didn't meet modern standards' (which is more than a bit euphemistic, to say the least), and clearly didn't seem to him to be on the same level as his more recent work (an opinion I certainly share with him, for whatever that's worth!), and how he chose to handle this was to attempt to give all that old stuff--'Blackshire', 'Gogypt', et al--a facelift in hopes that it would allow what were essentially the dregs of his own creative primordial ooze to walk on two legs amongst the surface-dwellers. And so, Blackshire has fog effects, Gogypt has particle fountains, that unnamed space station episode has fog effects AND particle fountains, and so on.

Thing is, that kind of purely cosmetic facelift, and other aesthetic stuff that people enjoy about the WAD--the nontraditional settings and concepts of some maps (e.g. the weird 'human body' map, 'Jade Cube', etc.), the ever-present buddy/moral support character in Major Reilly, the shifting themes/settings, the narrative story arc with its classical sense of morbid irony, etc.--is never going to be able to truly compensate for how rudimentary so much of the game's actual level design is, especially in the first two thirds of the game. No number or amount of ZDoom special visual effects can disguise that there is very, very little substance in the actual gameplay (e.g. moving around and exploring/traversing the world, fighting monsters, etc.) in so many of the game's levels; if you abstract away the voice acting and fog, Blackshire is only about a half step (if that!) above what one witnesses in the "My First WAD" threads seen here in the forum on a fairly regular basis--precisely because it essentially IS a "My First WAD"!--and in some ways the cosmetic window-dressing attempting to conceal the fact makes the final impression worse, not better, and to those of uncharitable temperament this could very easily be interpreted as actively disingenuous when the author himself makes it pretty clear he realized that a lot of the WAD wasn't up to snuff, even as far as just his own personal standards/tastes are concerned, on a fundamental level (though I myself interpret this as more the result of naivete than some kind of con game).

The upshot of all this is that DTS-T is about 3 times longer than it has any business being, and any positive or interesting ideas/aspects that it does contain are, on a more or less mathematical level, more than drowned out by a bunch of D-rate filler content. I have seen some of the WAD's critics cry foul about some of its later gameplay decisions being 'objectively wrong'--e.g. there's a segment in one of the final levels that makes you do an obstacle course with only 10% of Doomguy's normal speed or something like that--and while I wouldn't consider this (or similar ideas) to have been at all a wise decision myself, I can understand that some of the audience might feel positively about stuff like that simply because of its novelty or the way it is conveniently couched in terms of the narrative alone. No, for my money, the single most offensive segment in DTS-T (and I did honestly play/complete the entire thing, for the record) is one bit in the space station episode where in order to 'restart the nuclear reactor' or something like that you are tasked with running back and forth across a spatially large level to flip a pair of complementary switches over and over again, totaling something like six round trips by the time all's said and done. Along the way, there are no new enemies. There are no new sights. There are no new sounds. Major Reilly doesn't speak to you. The environment doesn't change, cosmetically or structurally. There is no indication given that you are making progress in what you are doing, and, to cap it off, when you are finally finished there is no real cue you've accomplished much of anything.

It is blatant filler, totally idea-free and content-bankrupt, not simply boring, but actively insulting to the player's intelligence, something that does nothing but waste time, a spot of stale dead air in the middle of a WAD which hangs its hat on establishing a sense of journey via constantly moving the narrative along to a new place (it certainly doesn't prioritize combat or exploration much, I think we can all agree). Given the author's apparent goals for the project--both those which he actively states and what we can reasonably infer about his stylistic preferences from what his other, later levels are like--one would think this kind of thing would just get cut out, and yet it's still in the WAD, still mandatory for normal progression. It is by far the worst offender, but it's also emblematic of what so much of the WAD is like--dead weight, something that should have been left to die with dignity, simply a learning experience for the author not fit for public consumption. But he wanted to make an epic, and didn't want to spend the time to remake the earlier parts of the story to be in line with his current design standards, and so what we get instead is a gaggle of unsightly stillborn harlequin babies with a bit of extra powder and eyeliner smeared (albeit smeared with love) on their faces. He couldn't let go. It's grotesque, in a way, and coupled with the game's resultant lengthy span, and perhaps some of that innocently contextless outside praise others have mentioned, I would think it's not so difficult to understand how the WAD could really rub one the wrong way.

Now, if Major Reilly's affable "Uncle Dad" personality is endearing enough to you that occasionally hearing him express concern for your safety is enough of a spark of levity to leave you with a genial feeling towards the WAD as a whole, more power to you, I certainly don't mean to try to tell you aren't allowed to feel that way. WADs with DTS-T's general aim--e.g. to be another world to hang out in at one's leisure for a while, as opposed to a slickly-produced and tightly choreographed action-a-thon that's all about the distillation of the game's core mechanics--are a staple of the PWADing scene that are more fashionable (and thus less divisive) during some eras than others, don't let heated criticism in the here and now make you feel like there's something fundamentally wrong with you if you didn't actively loathe every second you spent with it. At the same time, though, the more WADs you play, and especially the more WADs in DTS-T's general style you play, I'm absolutely certain that its many serious shortcomings and self-obstructing design decisions, relative to general standards of the genre through the years, will become more apparent to you (even if they are not sufficient to totally dispel your enjoyment of it), and it is in these that the answer to your original question lies.

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