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40oz

the last level

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Curious to hear from players about this rather subjective question.

In most megawads end with an icon of sin battle at the end. These are beginning to get tired out. So what is the new norm for final maps? What is the most appropriate way to conclude a wad? What about short episodes? What do you expect to see at the end of your ideal wad? How do you keep the episode from just ending abruptly?

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Y'know what would be cool? To put the icon of sin in the final map, that spawns cyberdemons only, heh.

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A nice option I think is just to make a normal good level that could as well have appeared in the slot 25, or 19, or 12, or even 4. No big thematic changes, no new gameplay mechanics you suddenly have to learn, nothing that would make the player think "this is not what the megawad has been about up until now". You can maybe make it a bit longer and harder than an average level: The Darkening 2 did it and it worked nicely. But The Darkening 2 had only 11 maps, whereas after 29 maps perhaps I would want to see a shorter map instead, not be like "omg, I beat 29 maps already, this is taking so long... oh fuck, a 2 hour epic adventure at the end? screw this".

If I were to make a megawad, map30 would probably be a KDitD-style base with very easy and relaxing gameplay, blue sunny sky and a fun midi.

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purist said:

Custom boss monster would be cool if the resources support it.


A custom boss is really cool but as far as popular megawads go I can only think of Valiant which does it. Aside from that, I think a great final map is something like Haunting Dreams in Scythe 2 which ends up thematically tying the whole megawad together with the throwbacks to prior locations and tough fights in the main area. Sunlust's finale is another great one where you really need to apply all the skills you've learned from tackling previous maps to beat the level.

Also, it's good to not go overboard and make the final map super long when the rest of the wad is not full of those kinds of maps. Scythe 1's final map takes like 1/4 of the whole megawad completion time. The player gets used to blasting through shit, then they hit a medium length map at 29 and then the author throws Demon Hordes 2.0 which can take over an hour on a blind run.

As far as IoS maps go, if you're gonna make one it's nice to have some gameplay leading up to the boss. Bloodstain is a good example with a very hardcore Archvile area before the final slaughter-esque arena with the IoS. Hellbound's map 30 is another great one. Another way is to make the Icon look really damn awesome like in Plutonia 2 instead of using the default wall texture.

And finally, don't make the fight a joke with mouselook. It's not '96 and plenty of people play with free-aim. Don't do the whole timed elevator bullshit that's been done before. Have a series of objectives, like switches, that the player must activate which makes the IoS vulnerable and puts the player in a position to kill it.

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I agree Icon Of sin is getting old, custom monsters are cool or some kind of finally. As the begining level should convey an introduction to the level set I feel the last level should convey closure. I respectfully disagree with the last level being like any other late level.

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Custom bosses are cool but imo the last map doesn't need to have a boss, or to be built only around it. There could be somekind of an objective to do, but I guess this work better if the wad has a story. And even if you make a boss it doesn't have to be in the very last map. For example on Fragport the boss (it's a normal IoS pretty much) it's on MAP29, and on MAP30 you escape from the building.

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40oz said:

What do you expect to see at the end of your ideal wad?

An impressively large and tough enemy as a boss who could be fought and killed like any other enemy (by shooting at him until he dies), WITHOUT involving necessary waiting for an opportunity to kill him (especially if this waiting involved standing in place and especially if this opportunity to win involved some perfectly accurately timed event).

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I'd argue there are effective ways to use the IOS, you just gotta be creative.

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IOS is only really an option now if you're willing to get creative with it- only so long can you take variations on the "lower lift and shoot rockets" theme :P

That or a map with large impressive looks and architecture. Something that wows the player! Go extra large...or try something different and leftfield...fitting for a final map~

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i like the idea of the most escalated part of the mapset being far from the end. like you have the IOS or custom boss monster at like map20, and then after that it gets gradually calmer again, possible just going through monsterless levels or something

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jmickle66666666 said:

i like the idea of the most escalated part of the mapset being far from the end. like you have the IOS or custom boss monster at like map20, and then after that it gets gradually calmer again, possible just going through monsterless levels or something


jmemfis66666666

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I think the best idea is to make the last few level are just really boring slaughter fests (so big that even a nasa super computer slows down to single digits). This way people with positive sanity will just quit and rest the player will have no taste so they will just play anything.

Like in scythe 2.

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illuknisaa said:

I think the best idea is to make the last few level are just really boring slaughter fests (so big that even a nasa super computer slows down to single digits). This way people with positive sanity will just quit and rest the player will have no taste so they will just play anything.

Like in scythe 2.


Not sure if Scythe 2 is a good example. Of the last 5 levels only 28 and 30 are slaughter fests and those maps are not huge or long.

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gaspe said:

Custom bosses are cool but imo the last map doesn't need to have a boss, or to be built only around it. There could be somekind of an objective to do, but I guess this work better if the wad has a story.


This is what I was thinking. I dont really like the idea personally, but I feel a wad needs some sort of goal or story element communicated in the beginning that is concluded in the final map. I think I've heard of wads that ended with the doom guy retreating to a tropical island to illustrate the end of his journey. But sometimes I just want to make maps without attaching a story line to it.

Its interesting that there doesn't seem to be much of a consensus here about how things definitely should be at the end, but of course that also depends on the type of map set it is. I'm personally feeling conflicted about making an icon of sin, a custom boss monster, a super heavy slaughter or epic adventure map, or a silly gimmick or credits map at the end of any of my wads, so I'm curious if there's much room for innovation that will still leave the player satisfied at the end of a wad.

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Personally, I really liked PlayStation Doom's take with Redemption Denied. Sort of an arena-type level that isn't too overbearing but feels conclusive enough to be considered a last level.

Or just do like Requiem MAP08 and have a switch that blows something up at the end of a level.

But personally I don't mind icon maps, and I think it does leave room for creativity - I'm just not that keen about it being solely about the boss itself and firing rockets at just the right time on some lift.

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ny plan if I ever sustain momentum in a project to get to a Map 30 is to make a map so mind-boggingly large that it'd take two hours for the DESIGNER to visit every area and kill everything, hide a lot of it behind secrets and then add lots and lots of exits so that it might play on the minds of certain players and cause them to play it all over again

custom bosses sorta turn me off, always strike me as the weakest part of the mods they're in. maybe I haven't played the right ones yet!

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My own plan:
To make a somewhat creative IoS (Which is hard since almost all variations have been done.)

I plan to do this by replacing the boss brain with a high HP stationary monster that shoots hell fire balls and also use the spawning mechanism.

The player will be able to directly hurt the IoS by shooting the brain with any ranged weapon and can start attacking the moment the fight begins without the use of lifts.

The arena will also be trapped with crushers and death-pits and cyberdemon turrets.

As for the "lower the lift" thing, players will be able to do that to get health and ammo (and to get a higher position if he wants).

But since I suck at mapping, God knows how this will turn out.

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