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Short Heretic+ DM Map with SP-Conversion

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(Working Title)
Hairy Tick DM
Port: Heretic+ (Limit-Removing Heretic format)



One Heretic+ pic:

The SP Start/Cave Area:

"Playable" Map Area:

Real Map Area:

I'm working on a limit-removing Heretic DM set. Detailing and level design not being my favorite things in the world, it's a bit funny that this is what I choose to work on, but I feel like Heretic fans really need a good DM set of maps which can run in as many ports as possible. Unfortunately I had to break Vanilla's limits, mostly because detailing isn't my strong point and knowing this I cannot handle Massively-Monotextured Walls TM in my own work; I feel like everything just looks like shit. That said, thing placement and mechanics are what float my boat, so I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to add more shit give this thing an SP side. I have just started work on the next map, not present here, and plan to just go. Still, I think it would be good to get some feedback as I go, as it'll encourage ideas to flow on my end and hopefully prevent me from making too many mistakes along the way.

Being primarily a DM map, I would love to hear thoughts from folk heavy into the DM community on it's layout and DM "things" placement. Also having that SP element, hearing some feedback from people on that side would be great as well. Demos, as always, are highly encouraged and anticipated, though don't feel too pressured to record one if you don't want to. -record HTDM3iYourNameHereBPPT

First and foremost, on the DM side of things: the layout is a fairly simple one, conducive to somewhere around the 4 or 5 Heretic fans total, if they ever actually happened to be in the same map at the same time. Might also make a decent duel map, being fairly small. There are 2 outside areas, accessed through chicken-tunnel-teleporters. The easier one to get has a good, lesser reward, but the other will likely only happen once every few matches, as it requires a lot of luck, offsetting the usefulness of its reward. Most items are present once in the map, save a small few. There is a lot of ammo scattered about because Heretic needs that a bit more than Doom, I think, and all weapons are present; players start with a crossbow. Mace has 2 locations, favoring the one on the ledge. This map is meant to be played with respawning items.

On the SP side: you'll start in the cave area and teleport into the map. The starting room looks like total garbage but given that it isn't ever seen during a DM, I'll come back to it a few maps in. Teleporting into the map is a bit unintuitive, but you'll figure it out quickly. During this time bars will raise in key positions preventing early exit from the map. Bit of a switch hunt, though there are only 3 switches and I've tried to do a good job making things intuitive and leading the player to the goals (like making bars match up with the switches). Also, it's a tiny map, so you can't get lost even if you tried, heh.

Couple things to note about SP:
- First and foremost, I make maps hard. If you don't do hard, start on a lower difficulty; they are there for a reason! BPPT may be the one, true difficulty for Heretic, but I made it fairly brutal, so be forewarned. From my estimate, par time for BPPT is 0:50; everything else is 0:30. You will absolutely need to use your items effectively on BPPT and develop a strategy to properly deal with each new threat, though most strategies will involve dealing with ghost monsters. I recommend remapping controls for items to z, x, and c if you use wasd+mouse (and the source port permits it).
- If you are not familiar with Heretic's mechanics (the one's different than Doom's), note that ghost monsters, as well as players, cannot be hit by physical attacks. Also note that the mace only has I think a 3/4 chance to appear in the map at all, but if it does, it has a chance to spawn at any number of locations, though always only either one or none. For this, I made sure the mace wasn't needed, though it spawning does immensely help the fun factor. There's a small chance, and I probably should make it smaller, for the mace to spawn near the player's entrance into the "real map area," but don't count on it.

If you want to run this map in the format it was built for, download Heretic-Plus, copy and paste your Heretic folder into its folder, then run it through DOSBox. CD/HERETICP<enter>HERETICP -FILE HTDM3I.WAD<enter>
Note that you need to run the HERETICP.EXE file and have the iWad in the same folder. Heretic-Plus just changes the limits in the iWad to those listed in the readme, which I think is really cool. Of course make sure to keep a backup of your original iWad somewhere else.

There are a couple minor visual errors in this thing in Heretic+, which I can live with, simply due to the fact that most likely people will be playing this as a DM in ZD or Zand or SP in zDoom. Due to the nature of Heretic, I will likely watch any demos in any port, so long as I have the accurate info of the port's version to run the thing.


Always remember to begin every run by typing in IDDQD in order to make sure you're on the right difficulty ;D

Thanks in advance and have fun!

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Gave it a whirl in sp, an exploratory run on hmp and then on uv, just to die right before the exit switch. Nice looking map, there is a single unclosed sector here at the left of the stairs, but it can be easily fixed by rebuilding the offending sector.

Now about the gameplay, you were nice enough to give an urn at the very start, but after that you left me with 3\4 vials and (i think) 2 flasks, which isn't really a lot to work with considering the amount of ghost knights you put around: those things hit hard and their projectiles aren't body blocked by others ghosts (but mind you! their melee attack still works on ghosted players!), which mean that the projectiles are just coming and coming endlessly, and something gonna slip thought.

I have a personal distaste regarding the hellstaff, since it's projectiles basically occlude most of the view and makes fighting the ghost knights even more deadlier, but i think it work well here.

Other than that i think that ammo balance was pretty much spot on, and maybe giving a couple of time bombs at the start would have helped those who don't find the unmarked secret (i'm looking at you, ring on the hills), but that's just a maybe.

If you can find a way to put this thing on a server i would happily try a couple of dm rounds, if i'm actually home when the time comes.

p.s. The phoenix rod area is a bit of an infight slogfest: if you actually want the player to rambo in the arena, you may want to close him in or reduce a bit the number of enemies spawned, since it becomes really crowded and pretty much impossible to move around (yes, even with the eggs). Once you know whats coming, you really don't want any of it.

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good luck getting much of anything regarding heretic dm, where most of the projectiles can be outrun even with sr40 and are only threatening if you are going keyboard only, maybe. Dragon claw and Pheonix rod are the most useful because hitting with anything else is a weighted coin flip. Even hexen is more exciting.

If you aren't playing with a weapon mod, probably the only fun way to play heretic in general, then the crossbow & shitstaff is pretty trash. Mace isn't bad with the tome of power. Thanks for putting lots of dragon claw ammo, as that will be the weapon frags are made with. Good job on putting lots fun artifacts to give the map its unique purpose instead of being something that should be made in doom. And again, checked off on the low amount of health items, which are more useful in heretic than in doom.

The layout i dunno cuz I didn't play with other people, but you have a lot of wooden support beams and stuff that should just be removed so it is easier to run around. Heretic switches are a little white scribble on a dark black texture, so make it brighter so I can see it (tome of power switch)

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Spoon! I forgot to reply to this feedback; sorry y'all. I'm glad I got an opinion for both sides to this map so thanks for your time Caco and Bob.

I'll start with the MP side of things because that's the primary purpose here:

Bob: good luck getting Heretic DM started? Psh, we got a couple started up over the last few months that got up to 6 or 7 players; I mean, according to the tradition of Heretic only 1 in 100 people who play it will like it so me being there and the law of averages, I'm sure none of those people will be back, but we do have 4 other dedicated fans floating around somewhere here in the community, plus I'm fairly sure Ling is a closet Heretic-fan. That's like 3 people total in a match, which sounds like a success for Heretic.

On a serious note: about the health, (and in part this applies to both MP and SP, due to the vanilla thing placement, though SP could be fairly compensated with more healing items given in the SP-starting room) I don't want too much health in the map because it will make item-whoring a definite thing and would basically allow one player to totally run the map on the other(s) by grabbing power items, (even the shadowshpere can be OP if you can prevent the other players from reaching a magical weapon), then running around the map to heal up before the next fight while also saving healing items like flasks and urns for use in combat to never die. It seems like it'd be too easy for that to happen with more than 75% health in pickups scattered around the level in easily accessible locations. That's why I tried to keep the health pickups low and why there is only one flask in the normal map area. The urn up top by the chicken teleport takes a few secs to reach so I figured that'd be a decent spot for it. A player who cannot die will likely win the match, so I think it's better to have more damage and utility-focused items than health items. Perhaps one map later on could have something like lots of health and few items, but I think it could be bad to mix the two.

Combinebobnt said:

Good job on putting lots fun artifacts to give the map its unique purpose instead of being something that should be made in doom.

Thank you for saying that; as that's one thing that bothers me so much about many current (past) Heretic DM maps. Yeah there are a decent selection of items in a handful of DM maps, but many of the ones that seem like they would make for an interesting DM-item are either missing or only found rarely. I hate playing a Heretic map and coming out thinking it should have been made in Doom, so I'm very happy you get that impression from this map.

I find the projectile weapons are effective if used correctly, same as the RL and PG in Doom; of course the book makes any weapon a killing machine, even the shitty wand. The lifesteal on the gauntlets makes for a funny DM weapon. Still, I agree the dragonclaw will be extremely useful for DM, so that's something I'll have to look out for. Totally agreed on the ammo, but that's mostly because the dragonclaw ammo pick ups give pitiful amounts and wouldn't be of any use in a DM otherwise. I never understood why dragonclaw ammo pickups were so disproportionate to its fire rate, ammo capacity, damage, and Doom-equivalent.

The wooden columns may have to be removed; I tried to keep that type of stuff to a minimum, but we'll just have to see how it goes during testing and go from there. The switch; idk, I guess to me heretic switches stick out like Doom switches at this point. I'll prolly brighten up that sector a bit to make it more easily seen. Thanks again for your time. Whenever I get to testing, I'll post something up and if you want in feel free, but I'm not worried about it if you don't. People don't play heretic, after all, heh. But if you do make it, thatd be cool.

On to the SP side:
Thanks for the but report, caco! I only saw that in Heretic+ and I just figured I had done something stupid with the texturing that vanilla+ couldn't handle; I totally didn't think itd come down to an unclosed sector! I messed that thing up so bad putting in the dome that I was sure I fixed everything. Always nice for something to slip through the cracks; keep us humble hehe.

I'm glad you liked my selection of ghost monsters, heh, but I do think I have to agree with you on the health situation. It's a really tough map on BPPT and even the other difficulties are no cake-walks, just watered-down versions of UV (which kinda killed me to do, but w/e lol) containing plenty of ghost monsters themselves. There is also an urn atop a lift, accessible about half-way into the map, though that shouldn't be necessary as it's a kinda-secret. The thing is, I'm limited in my item placement, so any additional health would have to be placed in the extra-bland starting room. Which may not be a bad thing; perhaps I'll give an extra urn or something like that, but the thing is: if I give more health in the beginning, I will likely remove the ring in the hills and make it one of the urns for UV more because I'm really iffy about giving that ring in UV mode. Literally use the ring, dont fire a shot, and nothing but the starting group of enemies will harass you, which wouldn't matter otherwise with the ring, but it does mean you wouldn't have to worry about getting through a wall of flesh to get to the three switches. That's where my estimate of 0:50 par time came from, that damn ring; the level may just be too small for it. Extra time-bombs are always a good idea :)

I think I have to also agree with you on the fight after that first switch, going to the PR. It is crowded. I could probably finagle the triggers around and make crazy locks which I'll never understand again after I've finished them to lower the bars with the switch, then raise them if the player goes for broke, then lower them again after the switch by the PR. That does sound interesting to do, but at the same time I really need to get out of the habit of always wanting to add more to a map. I may switch some bars' textures and tags to the PR switch and move a couple teleports, though taking out a small handful of enemies might be the best option.

I'll send you a pm whenever I get this thing up on a server and if you can make it to the testing; sweet. If not, the server will likely stay up for a little while so maybe another time. Thanks again for your time as well!

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