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Liam

The /newstuff Chronicles #86

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Sorry about the major delay, folks, but I was up and out of town, busy with family stuff. If you didn't already go rooting through /newstuff to find these five new wads when you realized T/nC was missing, I've reviewed them as always to make picking your downloads a little bit easier.



Deathmatch Street by Pascal "Gherkin" vd Heiden - - Let's get things started. Deathmatch Street is, well, a deathmatch map set in a large street. Replacing Doom 2 Map01, DM Street sports a unique layout. The street itself is very empty, although the buildings on either side of it are full of cramped hallways, alleys, and passages (this is also where many of the goodies are stored). This one should be suitable for about 3-4 players. The text file recommends that this map be played in Doom Legacy with the gravity set to 0.6, although it's not a requirement.

Satan's Arena by Pascal "Gherkin" vd Heiden - - Gherkin's second map this week, Satan's Arena is a single deathmatch map built with Skulltag's Instagib mode in mind. The action takes place in what is essentially a stone pit, surrounded by cliffs and ledges of varied height and size. You can use it for a normal Doom 2 DM, but it's very, very cramped. I'd suggest you fire up Skulltag and play it the way it was meant to be played. Should make for intense one-on-one games.

King of Pain by Sean Bernard - - This here is a four-map wad for Doom 2 replacing Map01-Map04... unfortunately though, it's not very good at all. It's supposed to have an 'industrial' theme... although the choice in texturing doesn't really seem to suggest any particular theme or setting. The gameplay, for the most part, consists of running through boringly square stone or metal hallways and arenas with a chaingun blazing until you find a key, just to backtrack empty rooms to the right door. Lighting is used infrequently and uncreatively. There's three times as much ammo as you really need and all the battles should be a breeze even for a novice doomer. There's a humorous new texture or two, though. I wouldn't recommend downloading it unless you're really groping for new Doom maps.

Sinistrad by Alex Parsons - - Man, Alex Parsons sure does spend a lot of time in front of WadAuthor. A single-player map replacing Doom 2 Map01, Sinistrad is his fifth wad in five weeks. Taking a break from the 'dark caverns and chasms' theme of his last few maps, this one takes place in a very bright shrine of zimmer, wood, and stone. Novice and intermediate doomers will be driven to tears with this map (tiny rooms and corridors stuffed with revenants, barons, and archviles)... but the Doom elite should have a blast trying to tackle this map on Ultra-Violence. You can be sure, however, that no matter what your skill level, there's enough ammo to get you to the exit. Advanced Doom port recommended.

Outpost of Hell by Ismaele - - Outpost of Hell is a fairly large Doom 2 map replacing Map01. There are two separate themes used to create the map as a whole: a painfully underdetailed marble maze, and a typical gray base area. While the map is big, it probably won't keep you entertained long enough to get to the exit... the gameplay is very generic and very repetetive. In a sentence, you run through some halls, find and flip a switch, then backtrack to the door it opened and continue. There isn't anything interesting to see architecturally either, it's rare just to see a major change in floor/ceiling height. What variation there is is usually just irritating and pointless, like the little door puzzle next to the yellow key. Savegames don't work properly with Doom2.exe. I wouldn't recommend this one.

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I just finished going through King of Pain and I must say that I didn't find it to be all that bad. Okay, so it isnt going to win my wad of the year award but I'm fairly sure I would end up with a worse wad if I went and randomly downloaded a wad off the ftp archives. All in all feel free to skip this level pack if you want but if you want a (easy) wad to play it might as well be this one.

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Yeah, King of Pain was certainly a bit different to most wads. I liked the console switches, although a bit easy. But like you said, it's not the worst wad I've ever played.

Sinistrad was incredibly hard, harder than even last weeks offering. It took me a fair while to finish it on UV, but at least I did it!

I've not played the other one yet, as I played those two during the week.

(and Alex isn't the only one who spends a lot of time in front of WadAuthor, cos I do, too. In fact I'm right now getting to grips with the ACS scripting and new features of ZDooM for my new Ultimate DooM episode....)

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I agree with the others. King of Pain was unique. I did like the "Microsoft Door Opener for Windows not working. Inintiaiting Dos mode" texture.

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Just played Sinistrad. Kinda hard, but well done. Health and ammo balance is very good, making the levels beatable. The design was also quite nice, somehow minimalistic but nice theme. I liked it.

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Now that were a quick four levels. Way too easy, even on UV. Waaaay too much ammo and health + very obvious secrets and allmaps on every level. Some places were quite nice, but all in all lack of gameplay and detail made this no real fun to play.

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Just played Sinistrad, got my ass badly kicked. This is no easy wad. Nicely done. More barons than I can count in a space the size of a phone booth in places. Ammo is good, health was sorely lacking unless you are far better than I. That one will take a lot of work for me to complete fairly.

I can hardly wait to see a lmp someone records for this.

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Novice and intermediate doomers will be driven to tears with this map (tiny rooms and corridors stuffed with revenants, barons, and archviles)...


or bored to tears because theyre tired of playing hundreds of identical "Great" wads stuffed with fancy lights, girders on the ceiling and waves of revenants and hellknights not unlike "Galaga" on the BBC micro,but are also too fucking lazy to create any wads that are different themselves (damn you GTA 3,stop being so damn fun so i can get back to making doom island/bughunt)

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King of Pain was rather good, I thought. I had a half hour of fun with it anyway.

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Searcher said:

Just played Sinistrad, got my ass badly kicked. This is no easy wad. Nicely done. More barons than I can count in a space the size of a phone booth in places. Ammo is good, health was sorely lacking unless you are far better than I. That one will take a lot of work for me to complete fairly.

I can hardly wait to see a lmp someone records for this.

Yes, I enjoyed Sinistrad.The gameplay contains a fair amount of luck but it's a good blast all the same.I actually found it considerably easier than Alex's Foul Ruin from last week, once you sort your tactics it's quite straight forward.Demos of both at my page.

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Ultimate DooMer said:

(and Alex isn't the only one who spends a lot of time in front of WadAuthor, cos I do, too. In fact I'm right now getting to grips with the ACS scripting and new features of ZDooM for my new Ultimate DooM episode....)

Heh, looks like I've got some competition ;)

And I know you're also real big on realistic maps...heh, but don't worry, I'm sure my episode will be done long after yours, at the rate I'm going =)

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Magikal, it would be easier on viewers if you said what engine you recorded those things with.
It's a bother to dig around between Legacy betas.
I still look forward to your demos though...

hmm.. Stphrz recommends a map.. damn. that's good enough for me.

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Opulent said:

Magikal, it would be easier on viewers if you said what engine you recorded those things with.
It's a bother to dig around between Legacy betas.
I still look forward to your demos though...

hmm.. Stphrz recommends a map.. damn. that's good enough for me.

The engine is listed at the top of the page (page 1).
Good to see that you're looking btw:)

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okay, I can't read. :P
but it doesn't say that in the textfiles. just 'Legacy'. so I tried the last release then beta 2.(I didn't have 4 -- but Rich sorted me out. :)

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Archvile64 said:

Heh, looks like I've got some competition ;)

And I know you're also real big on realistic maps...heh, but don't worry, I'm sure my episode will be done long after yours, at the rate I'm going =)


I don't know about that, I'm a long way from actually starting to make the maps....(still messing with tricks, textures and sounds)

And because I'm not used to Zdoom, it'll probably take longer to make than my heretic episode did. (by the way, did you play it at all?)

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Ultimate DooMer said:

I don't know about that, I'm a long way from actually starting to make the maps....(still messing with tricks, textures and sounds)

And because I'm not used to Zdoom, it'll probably take longer to make than my heretic episode did. (by the way, did you play it at all?)

Heh, mine doesn't even really make use of the ZDoom tricks (although the next three episodes might, especially episode four.

I didn't play your Heretic episode, but I did play Fragport and I really liked it. I didn't know it was you who made it, until after I made a post about it and someone told me. It was so refreshing to play an enjoyable wad that didn't have to rely on fancy tricks and 400,000 sectors to be nice.

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I'm going to disagree with Liam here, which I am loathe to do, but nevertheless will anyway.

I'm sticking up for Outpost Of Hell. I found it a lot more interesting than you described. Not only did it last an hour (yes!) but I thought it flowed nicely, had a good ammo balance and was neat architecturally, even if it wasn't breathtakingly beautiful.

This is what I'd call a good honest Doom map, large, challenging and tidy. I personally think there's enough there to keep hardcore Doomers entertained.

I like it.

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Personally I found 'Outpost of Hell' to be an uninteresting and boring level consisting of dark and similar hallways, square and similar rooms only interrupted by hundreds of similar doors. There's a lot of hard work behind this level and I'm sure the author tried his best. I'm also confident that if he keeps on edting he'll get better, I mean that's more or less enevitable. However as it is atm 'Outpost of Hell' simply isn't good enough. A word of advice to the author would be: Experiment with a more varied set of textures and flats, and try to move a little more away from the use of all those square corridors, hallways, rooms etc. Bind it together in a more innovative and exciting way.

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pritch: Yes, I will stick up for it as well. Liam is right about the first half (the gothic bit) as that is repetitive, although it does feel like some of the original Inferno levels. There is also not much health and next to no armour, which can be annoying (but then again I had fast monsters on....maybe I should play these things normally sometimes).

But I have to say the grey metal bit was nice, good designs in some ways (especially the doors), surprisingly good texture/flat combination, and the first wad other than my own to feature those flat-based consoles with matching textures down the sides. There were also some nasty traps in there as well, and the detail is not that bad either, although it was a bit too big. (there's at least 2 or 3 levels worth in there!) Overall, a good effort.

Archvile 46: Thanks for the comments, I appreciate them. I do recommend playing it though, as all my wads follow those principles.
(although the next one will have more detail, but not over the top)

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as originally conceived (I believe), the newstuff chronicles was to determine which maps were quality versus average or poor. It was meant as a means to review the newest wads on cdrom.com. It was a reviewer's post with a certain amount of opinion.
In short, everyone will not agree.... or more directly, Liam is not condemning these wads, just not raving about them. and surely, after some that we have had in recent weeks, these are not the best to be had.
lastly; everyone is entitled to their opinion.

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Opulent said:

as originally conceived (I believe), the newstuff chronicles was to determine which maps were quality versus average or poor. It was meant as a means to review the newest wads on cdrom.com. It was a reviewer's post with a certain amount of opinion.
In short, everyone will not agree.... or more directly, Liam is not condemning these wads, just not raving about them. and surely, after some that we have had in recent weeks, these are not the best to be had.
lastly; everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Well said BUT the problem sometimes can be that it's impossible to evaluate the gameplay of a wad in such a short space of time.Sometimes an awful lot of time and effort goes into this aspect of a wad and if the initial review is not good not many people will play the wad...a great loss.I've seen several wads initially reviewed negatively but upon playing them they often turn out to have far superior gameplay to the better looking more detailed efforts.I'm not criticising Liam here because I understand what a difficult job it is and I notice his reviews are generally more balanced than initially, but I would say unless you've completed or playtested a wad thoroughly, judgement on gameplay has to be at least partially suspended.
Now when a wad comes along that has both:):):)

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Well, Liam writes his article and states his opinions, then we all come in and post ours. No one has flamed Liam, just disagreed. Everthing is working as intended.

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agreed!
for the speedrunners, if wads attract demos, then there is facet to attract attention too.
playability is most important; and probably the hardest to evaluate.
hence, that's why wads like AlienVendetta and Requiem are on everyone's favorites list.

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Ultimate DooMer said:

Archvile 46: Thanks for the comments, I appreciate them. I do recommend playing it though, as all my wads follow those principles.
(although the next one will have more detail, but not over the top)

Is your Heretic wad availible at 3darchives.in-span.net FTP?

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I played king of pain and sinistrad today.

I liked King of Pain but wasn't overly excited by it or the in-jokes, and sinistrad was a little bastard of a level, much too hard. How many fucking archviles and revenants do you need damnit?

outposth is still my pick of the SP bunch.

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