Ancient Aliens - final version on idgames

No, I think Resurgence was earlier after all (super google skills):
https://www.doomworld.com/vb/post/1297056
https://www.doomworld.com/vb/post/1301456

It's not the biggest problem in the world but it made these maps seem kinda out of place compared to everything else imo. It's like when in a map with 98% custom resources you suddenly encounter an iwad switch. And that's kind of the thing with very high quality projects. When everything is very professional, you're not expecting to encounter any problems at all, so even the tiniest problems will stand out a lot, if that makes any sense.

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stewboy said:

The midis are fine to use in other doom projects (spread them around!) though credit in the text file would be nice :)


Thank you Stewboy. I will credit accordingly if I find myself using any of your works!

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i'm not sure "this is not a replaced switch" and "this song i've heard somewhere else" counts as "problems" when playing something where everything else is replaced with custom-resources. it just seems like a really nitpicky thing to get ticked off by.

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skillsaw said:

Anyways the difficulty settings adjustment will come as soon as I can get it done, but it's probably going to take a while. At the moment what I'm planning is for UV to be the intended experience, HMP to be a slightly easier version (with some problematic monsters removed and slightly more generosity in supplies), and HNTR to be a casual friendly setting that hopefully at least keeps the spirit of each map intact. Since difficulty settings are really subjective and hard for me to tune, feedback from those of you who are interested in playing on HTNR will be extremely useful to me once I get the next RC out.


HMP player here, and I'll be sad to see it get easier. As far as I'm concerned, this difficulty couldn't be more right; feels akin to a Plutonia-esque UV (which is what I comfortably play at).

Dunno if I should ask to make UV the equivalent of what HMP is right now, since a few seem to be having troubles with UV (HINT: drop down a notch. Your pride can take it!). Dunno.

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dew said:

The stuck monsters are a result of Boom letting monsters slide over ledges partially.

I was using Zdoom actually. (for all the pictures)

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kuchitsu said:

It's not the biggest problem in the world but it made these maps seem kinda out of place compared to everything else imo. It's like when in a map with 98% custom resources you suddenly encounter an iwad switch. And that's kind of the thing with very high quality projects. When everything is very professional, you're not expecting to encounter any problems at all, so even the tiniest problems will stand out a lot, if that makes any sense.


Actually, I agree with Memfis on this.

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Jayextee said:

a few seem to be having troubles with UV (HINT: drop down a notch. Your pride can take it!).


It's an odd false equivalence to suggest that complaining about an encounter having the potential to be unfair on first playthrough is somehow "having troubles with UV". I beat the level on my first attempt (and all others so far in either one or two, with a three (map06 :D, not coincidentally my favorite so far -- I don't automatically dislike maps that can kill me, you know)).

I think playtesting should aim to address 1) encounters that have a good change of inflicting high damage w/o preknowledge but then become trivial with it; 2) encounters where damage is highly RNG dependent, due to monster pathing or whatever, and it's possible to soak up a lot purely due to a bad roll; 3) encounters where map geometry can interfere in unanticipated ways with the basic mechanics of movement. These generally fall into the category of "horseshit" as opposed to being fair challenges. Such encounters should be addressed even in the easiest of maps. I would have mentioned it even if literally every 32x32 square of surface area in the map was covered by a megasphere.

If you're referring to something other than the map09 arch-vile discussion, I apologize in advance. Overall I liked the map.

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Wonderful! Does it work on other ports, such as ZDoom?

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darkhog said:

Wonderful! Does it work on other ports, such as ZDoom?


ZDoom works great.

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Can we please keep the whining about BtSX not curing cancer to, you know, BtSX threads?

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Completed the first episode of this so far. This is stunning work. Loving the texture choices here.

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lupinx-Kassman said:

WHAT

Edit: Understand what's going on now. This is a lesser-known side-effect of using a floor transfer effect on a sector combined with a scrolling floor. That sector may then scroll things on it regardless of their height. Didn't realize it literally applied to all things though. Fixing it may require taking out the Q3 teleport ring thing I was going for, but will do it for the sake of having the player get killed by that mancubus.


I have a question about this.

Would it be possible to abuse this side-effect to keep, for example, cacos from drifting off to "outer space", by "scrolling" them back to where the "playing-field" is? I mean, I could see some use for that, and it might be more elegant than just teleporting stuff back in.

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Sure Bowb said:

I have a question about this.

Would it be possible to abuse this side-effect to keep, for example, cacos from drifting off to "outer space", by "scrolling" them back to where the "playing-field" is? I mean, I could see some use for that, and it might be more elegant than just teleporting stuff back in.


Yes you can use it like that.

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Tarnsman said:

Yes you can use it like that.

Wouldn't it also cause projectiles to behave in weird ways like joe's gif showed, though?

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esselfortium said:

Wouldn't it also cause projectiles to behave in weird ways like joe's gif showed, though?


The idea is to put it far off the map like imagine the void maps from 1024 where you have all that empty space the caco's like to drift off into if you make like a circle that's always pushing inward than you won't be able to tell what it's doing to projectiles since they'll at worst simply move slightly slower towards the edge of the map.

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rdwpa said:

If you're referring to something other than the map09 arch-vile discussion, I apologize in advance. Overall I liked the map.


I was speaking in general terms. I have nothing to contribute to the specific AV discussion since I've no fucking idea what people are talking about. Either because there aren't two on HMP or I dealt with it easily. Can't remember any standaout moments in MAP09, a beautiful but fairly straightforward map; although sprinting past the Mastermind to the blue (I think?) key and seeing a horde teleport in to eat minigun was pretty amazing; I mopped up the rest pumping rockets happily into my side of the gang.

Now, MAP10's triple-cyber threat (with accompanying HK/revs/manc gangbang)? I think I may have learned new ways to swear, temporarily. Still amazing though.

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Jayextee said:

Now, MAP10's triple-cyber threat (with accompanying HK/revs/manc gangbang)? I think I may have learned new ways to swear, temporarily. Still amazing though.


I am actually thinking that replacing the HKs (or some of them) with Barons might be more in the players favour, because they can tie up the cybies a little longer, which might help...

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I'm so in love with this mapset! Up to map 19 so far, and I'm pacing myself a little to not burn through the entire thing in one go. I couldn't find the secret exit, so I'm skipping maps 31/32 for a later playthrough - I'm hoping they're a little better than the secret maps from Valiant, they didn't quite do it for me as much as I hoped.

One thing I have to echo is that I also felt the archvile set-ups from map 09 need some reworking. If you're not expecting them then you're either lucky to survive or you're dead, with no middle ground - feels like skill is not a factor in the outcome. Once you know each ambush is coming up, then they're pretty easy. Personally, I hate gameplay set-ups that feel helplessly deadly the first time you encounter them and borderline toothless if you know what to expect.

esselfortium said:

Wouldn't it also cause projectiles to behave in weird ways like joe's gif showed, though?

One person's weird is another person's wonderful. Give me all of the golden snitch projectiles!

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an_mutt said:

One person's weird is another person's wonderful. Give me all of the golden snitch projectiles!

Hee. That's fair (:

Of course, the ideal setup would be to have it so that when you shoot a projectile out to the edge of the map it bounces back and smacks you in the face.

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Here's a version that will work in ZDaemon: aaliens_rc1-zdaemon2.zip

The following changes were made (map design and assets not touched):

Spoiler

1) Nodes of all maps have been rebuilt using ZDBSP ('zdbsp -R') so that they are
   not in the extended format and ZDaemon can load them. Since none of the maps
   contains more than 32767 linedefs, extended nodes were unnecessary in this
   regard; but the smaller precision of standard nodes can lead to some slime
   trails appearing.

2) MAPINFO has been renamed to ZMAPINFO and a MAPINFO lump using the old ZDoom
   MAPINFO format was put in it's place. This allows the MAPINFO to be parsed
   in ZDaemon while ZDoom will still load the full MAPINFO in the new format
   from the ZMAPINFO lump.
   
3) Scripts in the MOD_D ACS library were rewritten in a way that will make them
   work better in multiplayer. They were also merged into one script for which
   the number 1 was chosen so as to avoid conflicts with additional mods; player
   tagging was dropped also in pursuit of the same goal. Script 998 was
   commented out as there seemed to be no reference to it. Original source and
   object file can be found under the names _SCRIPTS and _MOD_D respectively.
   New sources are in the SCRIPTS lump.
   
   There is one side-effect this change had; because of the new way sound are
   played, the long sound in map30 can no longer be stopped (i.e. it will always
   be played whole).
   
4) The MUSINFO format was fixed (added the missing numbers fo map30; that map
   does not seem to have any music changer things though).

This wad should still work fine in ZDoom, prboom+, etc., but if you relied on the higher precision of extended nodes, some slime trails may appear. I also wonder what the intention of the scripts was... I made it so that only the player entering the tunnel hears the sound, otherwise it might get annoying with ~20 players in the server if it plays for everyone every time someone enters a tunnel (unless I misunderstood something).

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Sure Bowb said:

I am actually thinking that replacing the HKs (or some of them) with Barons might be more in the players favour, because they can tie up the cybies a little longer, which might help...


I think it should. I dodged around getting infights so I could hang around the BFG (not quite high enough for the platform to raise, and still low enough to rocket some stragglers, usually HKs, coming from below) and the three cybers were still left standing at the end. Although on their own, it was nothing but BFG fodder to be honest.

Trick was running around enough to get them fighting AND holding fort near the BFG long enough to leave next to nothing (and enough of a gap to escape) after grabbing the weapon.

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esselfortium said:

Hee. That's fair (:

Of course, the ideal setup would be to have it so that when you shoot a projectile out to the edge of the map it bounces back and smacks you in the face.


Why not move rockets to a "voodoo doll", if you want to be that rude? ;-)

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Tarnsman said:

The idea is to put it far off the map like imagine the void maps from 1024 where you have all that empty space the caco's like to drift off into if you make like a circle that's always pushing inward than you won't be able to tell what it's doing to projectiles since they'll at worst simply move slightly slower towards the edge of the map.


Cool idea, but I suspect it might make things worse. Do the cacodemons lose their momentum when they hit the scrollers? Im imagining them getting stuck as they fly off the scroller, then gently float back into them and repeat for the rest of the map.

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Jayextee said:

HMP player here, and I'll be sad to see it get easier. As far as I'm concerned, this difficulty couldn't be more right; feels akin to a Plutonia-esque UV (which is what I comfortably play at).

Dunno if I should ask to make UV the equivalent of what HMP is right now, since a few seem to be having troubles with UV (HINT: drop down a notch. Your pride can take it!). Dunno.

I mean, personally I'm playing it on HMP, and still having issues with certain encounters (that double-Archvile/quadruple-Hell Knight encounter in the third UFO comes to mind - virtually no cover there - and I'm still trying to come up with a solid plan for even beginning to take on MAP09). I'm getting through with copious amounts of save-scumming, but whatever, I'm not exactly seeking to set Compet-N on fire or anything.

This subject came up on SomethingAwful's Early FPS thread, but I was wondering if there's a good term for the sort of difficulty that's present here - where you're almost immediately thrown into the fray of a humongous crossfire, and the only way to really proceed is to forcibly press on at all times (or die trying, often in one shot). In terms of area denial, the entire map is denied at the onset, and any safe spots pop up only do so because you eked them out of the crossfire yourself. I'd sort of associated that kind of fray over the years with slaughtermaps, but have accepted that while slaughtermaps often have that kind of insane crossfire, that insane crossfire isn't what makes a map a slaughtermap (no, that's the high count of monsters, which Ancient Aliens very clearly doesn't have). Proposed suggestions were "tight, close-quarters tough fighting" and just "heavy crossfire"; the latter might do.

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Shadow Hog said:

This subject came up on SomethingAwful's Early FPS thread, but I was wondering if there's a good term for the sort of difficulty that's present here - where you're almost immediately thrown into the fray of a humongous crossfire, and the only way to really proceed is to forcibly press on at all times (or die trying, often in one shot).


Permanent exposure works for me, if the amount of projectiles is high enough I'd almost call it "bullet-hell-exposure", though, since I actively play bullet-hell shmups (Mushihimesama, deathsmiles, Crimzon clover: World ignition etc), I'd rather call it "massive permanent-exposure".

Also, this level of exposure is not present throughout the entire mapset, so I am fairly hesitant to label it on such a general level.

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You're right, it isn't - though the starts of MAP04 and MAP09 come to mind as examples of it. Maybe MAP01, though it's a bit more bearable (provided you're good at dodging/leading Cyberdemon rockets).

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Shadow Hog said:

You're right, it isn't - though the starts of MAP04 and MAP09 come to mind as examples of it. Maybe MAP01, though it's a bit more bearable (provided you're good at dodging/leading Cyberdemon rockets).


If I were to label these maps individually, it would be somewhat like this:

Map01 - single threat exposure
Map04 - "lite" area denial
Map09 - "hitscanfest" (opening only, in my book)

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Shadow Hog said:

you're almost immediately thrown into the fray of a humongous crossfire, and the only way to really proceed is to forcibly press on at all times (or die trying, often in one shot). In terms of area denial, the entire map is denied at the onset, and any safe spots pop up only do so because you eked them out of the crossfire yourself.


This is the appealing thing about the wad to me -- it's not quite as harsh as something like Sunlust for it, but it still forces you to keep moving. Feels amazing when I nail it, on Sinkhole Showdown I actually one-shotted the map a second under par time (although I admit once more, playing on HMP) in my initial 'recon' run; it's a thing I do with new maps, just run into them on my first game crazily with guns blazing taking note of anything I can utilise on a more 'serious' playthrough -- and probably the reason this lack of 'safe' spaces doesn't bother me. I can find 'em, in fact I like best when they're not obvious and/or have to be fought for.

Have to admit though, I've started lite save-scumming in episode 2. Those plasma troopers en masse can take down full health faster than being wrong-sided by a cyberdemon.

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