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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Urania

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24 minutes ago, souio said:

Am I allowed to skip levels for the club? Like say I have a 10 day break and am trailing behind a few levels, will I have to write write-ups for every level from, say, may 5-14 before I could do 15? Or could I write level summaries sporadically so long as it doesn't go over the date/level limit?

No, we will beat you up.

 

Nah, just kidding heh, I'm sure you can play any map you want any way you want and write your impressions on any map you wish.

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51 minutes ago, souio said:

Am I allowed to skip levels for the club?

Yeah, only the write-ups are limited by the date. I encourage this method if you're afraid you'll fall behind, though I find that playing day by day tends to get me to read more of the posts.

 

Also I'm glad a number of you are enjoying this. Maybe I'll wait for the end of the month to see what you folks liked most and give those levels a try.

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7 hours ago, galileo31dos01 said:

Which are the chaingunners and which the shotgunners?

The ones in the pit are all Shotgunners. Smooth Doom adds some sprite variety to the zombies so some Shotgunners will have goggles and helmets. Chaingunners are still fat and red (no offense to them).

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MAP01: Bolt Hole

Kills: 100%

Secrets: 100%

 

The first map perfectly show how brutal this Wad is going to be. The map flows beautifully with all passages linking up, my only criticism is the invisible walls stopping me from dropping down. It has screwed me over several times while fleeing from revenant rockets. Though after every map I feel like I have to go away and do something else as it is kind of draining when maps can take a good 30 mins to complete (especially as I can't bear missing secrets XD).

 

MAP02: Marshmarrow

Kills: 100%

Secrets: 66%

 

With an noticeable increase in revenants and hitscanners....the plutonia feel is really there. While there were quite a few moments where I was forced to hide and take potshots, there was enough in the map to keep the pace up. More closets but as already mentioned not as surprising as the first map but still the closetception caught me off guard the first couple of times. The rocket launcher is definitely your best friend throughout this map although best kept for the end.

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On 5/3/2017 at 8:12 PM, Demon of the Well said:

This is a zoom-in on a Dan Seagrave piece, most famously used on the cover of Morbid Angel's Altars of Madness, though it's also been 'borrowed' a number of times since then.

Never heard of him. Wow, his work is amazing. A new favorite. Thanks!

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MAP05: Terracotta

1:14:57 | 100% Kills | 100% Items | 85% Secrets

 

Ugh. On the one hand, this map is like 95% awesome. A big, sandbox-y underground city kinda level ripe for exploring, and filled to bursting with beasties. But holy crap is progression ever obscure at times. I think I spent 20+ minutes wandering around just looking for the yellow key. Nothing else to do but find that key, and I had not the faintest clue where to look. A quick google brought me to the release thread here, where someone else had the same problem; fortunately someone was able to provide the solution! A solution that consists of a may-as-well-be-a-secret switch. Like, really? There were a couple other times where things ran in Eternal Doom mode: hit this switch, now what? And since this was billed as Eternal meets Plutonia, I guess that's legit. (Though parts of it felt pretty HR-y, actually.) Mostly, it was fine. But that @#$% yellow key almost ruined the map for me. It didn't quite, though! Overall this one was pretty fun. I don't know how much longer I can keep this pace up, though...

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MAP05: Slight different from the previous maps with its sandbox layout but the good and the bad stuff is always the same: some nice ideas with the progression but the map is too long with an awful grinding gameplay and a visual mess that doesn't help. At least the wad so far is pretty generous with the armors.

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MAP03: Subcataract
Time: 40:35

K/I/S: 105%/95%/85%

Death count: 8

I missed the first secret and must have taken the wrong teleporter, because it was completely insane. I wound up near the BK switch room (not the BK room itself), surrounded and being attacked from all directions, with barely any ammo to fight back. That's when the first 6 deaths happened. After that it wasn't as crazy, but the map gave the same feeling of being hunted as map 01, although it gets easier once you clear most of the baddies out. This map is fun to play and is easy to navigate, although I did waste a lot of time trying to get to the first secret before going to exit, which was, unfortunately, impossible.

 

MAP04: Guerilla
Time: 1:12:48

K/I/S: 101%/100%/100%

Death count: 0 (?)


Wow, it's not "RUN OR DIE!!!" right from the start. Well, if you're quick or lucky enough to figure out what to do within the first few seconds. Nice change of pace from the previous maps. It's mostly corridor crawling, taking care not to rush too much to avoid being perforated by ubiquitous chaingunners. I don't think I died on this map, but my memory is somewhat fuzzy due to huge amount of time I spent being lost.
The map is one huge labyrinth. By the 48 minutes mark, I had found all the secrets but not a single key. And I wasn't going for the secrets either.  It took me almost another half an hour to get to the exit, of which about 15 minutes were spent to get to the red key, 7 minutes to find the yellow door, which I had on my map, but couldn't find the way to get to (I was seriously annoyed at this point), and the remaining 2 minutes or so to fight the final fight and, finally, exit. Progression is very obscure on this map, I have no idea what at least half of the switches did exactly, and, well, it was easier to find all the secrets than the first key.

Edited by Rathori

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MAP05 - “Terracotta” UV-Max demo attached, in 36:37 because why not?

E404882A4CB27C18456E727AC084F7D28A51532C

 

A hellish underground cityscape with an open layout and sandbox-style non-linear progression. The various buildings and fortifications are filled with a mix of hard to remove projectile enemies as well as hitscanners which prevent the "run laps around the map" kind of approach. The core weapons for pistol start purposes, namely the SSG, RL and PR are all rather quick to obtain from the main area. There are also 3 visually-distinct progression areas to hit up including a techbase, blood and vine industrial-style building and finally a subterranean red hell near the exit. A few minor setpiece-style fights make an appearance here but the focus is still on largely incidental gameplay relying on crossfire and effective monster placement to create the challenge. Some of the progression can be obscure, such as taking a teleporter to unlock another teleporter in the blood area and the switch hidden behind the wooden pillar which raises a bridge in the red caverns. Still, it's another large map with a good variety of content and choice in which to approach it.   

 

ua05-3637.zip

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MAP05: Another pretty good one. The settings are really interesting (underground city, though the starting snow-brick building felt out of place) and there's a lot of cool exploration. I didn't have any problems finding that infamous switch (you can spot it looking back from the "outdoor area"), but I'm sure lots of people won't easily find it. Finding the switch that opens up that teleporter was harder, especially because there was that room full of damaging floor which I didn't like much. Still, I'm liking a lot this "obtuse" progression. It forces you to be aware of the level layout and pay attention to details, and there's some really cool progressions so far, which is rewarding when you find the solution.

 

8.5/10

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MAP04: Guerilla
(Chocolate Doom | Ultra Violence | Pistol Start)
Ouch. Ouch. Ouch... Ouch. That's one way to start a level I suppose, those Chaingunners must have a serious personal vendetta against our avatar, their presence littered across the entire map where I couldn't make a single forward without bumping into others. Darkness too plays a significant role in the larger outdoor sections, preventing any easy pickings on distant targets forcing me to brush against the walls and creep ever slowly forward simply because I had no idea what could be in store for me, nor did I want to accidentally drop down into a pit and regret it later. Ironically enough the lower caves were better lit and less stressful overall. In that regard I loved the inclusion of Light Amplification Goggles, a powerup I'm usually not too fond of because of its "fullbright" nature, but was overjoyed taking advantage of them to get a leg up over my opponents. I'd also say MAP04's texture scheme also attributed to its rather ominous nature, those sickly green animated walls and ooze brought out a rather alien tone.

 

Layout is a sprawling complex network of tunnels looping back into many sections to the point I had absolutely no idea where the yellow key door was located and had to pay very close attention to my map to pinpoint any potential areas that hadn't been properly explored yet. That's when I noticed an offshoot I'd forgotten about branching off from the starting area. Also fell into a pretty nasty trap while traversing the tunnels which involved some Hellknights roaming on a nearby ledge and a few Arachnatrons way out back; not because of the enemies themselves, besides the hitscanners of course, but due to a potential ammo sink involved in order to get through them all at that point had I not exploited my spidery friends' sheer hatred for goats to smash through that wall before me. I'll spare you guys for now! (Spoiler: they ate a full course dinner involving rockets later that evening).

 

Can't say I hated this one despite its maze like progression and getting lost a few times, there's always something to return back to and discover elsewhere. Sadly certain switches are not entirely clear about their function, one example including a switch in the swamp ooze infested storage room, which I assumed would unlock something in that same building, except it reveals another switch I never expected would exist there. It's times like this I'm glad to be thorough when retracing my steps... Difficulty is clearly increasing, ammo is becoming a tighter resource, but exploration is still an enjoyable factor; for once I located 100% secrets before finding the exit. Must also mention before I forget, loving that shotgun rack, a subtle but fun little detail!

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chGWldKh.png

 

rfCmNN1h.png

 

MAP04 - “Guerilla”

gzDoom/BDoom - UV – continuous/saves

 

This map, wow. A Doom map that provides a guerrilla warfare feeling through the use of jungle vines and roots filled with watery muck and secret underground passages requiring you to get down and dirty. Awesome. Lots of dark shadows and chaingunners to start with before you dive below and enjoy some light thanks to the blue/green neon kind of glow. The colors of the blood in beautiful doom help paint lovely patterns with the textures too. Artsy violence. Love it. The greens and blues (my two favorite colors) are really quite something together.

 

So glad I sacked up and played this wad. Couple years ago I played through the very first King’s Field (Japan) game (yes, I like dungeon crawlers that much) and this map reminded me of it quite a bit. A big sprawling network of curving caves filled with wondering baddies for incidental combat, pitfalls, traps and ambushes. Plenty of spaces to get lost in.

 

Eventually a passage will open up to larger locations or set pieces that hide much needed supplies. Exploring these dangerous environments with very little idea of where I am or where I’ll get the next ammo/health pick up is absolutely fantastic. It’s bloody. It’s painfully deadly and a bit nerve racking at times but it’s great!

 

Unfortunately as others have pointed it out, the big black mark with this map (And if some of the reviews are to be believed, it’s a problem with this whole wad) is the inane key progression. Why oh why are those switches so damned silly? It had a real Marathon feel to it, which isn’t good. The one past the YK door was dumb but doable as you could hear the little metal column lowering. But this hidden switch relates to a tiny square metal platform rising up to this area? What!? How are those two even remotely related. There’s no way anyone would put those two together.

 

At least from that second switch above you get a visual cue of a dropping box column (That couldn’t have been an actual lift? *eyeroll*) on the other side of the room you needed to run to in order to get lifted up and then find the RK, but the whole sequence of events could have been done a lot better.

 

It’s the kind of thing that probably would’ve been harped on during a proper beta test but apparently this wad came out of nowhere for it’s release so things like this are bound to happen. Puzzles that make sense only to the designer. What’s really bad is when he or she fails to put themselves in the shoes of the player or doesn’t get outside opinions from play testers to make changes to alleviate frustration. Without a little help you end up with an oddly paced confusing mess at times and it kills the enjoyment of others playing something you’ve worked so hard on. 

 

Anyways, the last bit that fills the passages full of enemies again and lowers the ground of the starting area to make a larger battlefield is really neat. Very glad I saved my NV googles for the final AV led onslaught. That end fight would’ve been a lot worse without em. Whew. Wonder where that last bugger was wondering around at.

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MAP04: Guerilla

 

Wasn't really a fan of this one; I ended up tackling it in three separate sittings, which probably didn't help my spatial awareness any, but honestly the map is large, winding, and homogeneous enough that I'm not sure that doing it in one sitting would have helped.  I didn't feel that it introduced any gameplay dynamics or surprises, beyond those that are simply a matter of its somewhat larger scale, that weren't already present in MAP01-03, so I was left feeling that it was more of the same in a way that wasn't particularly welcome or engaging.  I think I'll be taking a break here and maybe coming back to the WAD later in the month.

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I am stuck in MAP03. I have the Yellow Key and the Blue Key and have pressed the Blue Switch, not sure what to do next.

 

EDIT: I did reach the room containing the Red Key but I don't know how to reach it.

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@NecrumWarrior

Hint: Find a way on those ledges the chaingunners were sniping from and explore the different routes up there via teleporters for answers to both Yellow Key and Red Key questions.

 

Answers:

Yellow Key

Spoiler

As you keep exploring the ledges you should come across a large door with a switch inside. The door requires the yellow key.

 

Red Key

Spoiler

Optional Key; one of the waterfalls is hiding a secret teleporter. You might need to run off a certain ledge to reach it.

 

And just incase: Can't find the Exit?

Spoiler

After both switches are pressed (Blue Key & Yellow Key) The exit is located behind one of the teleporters along the upper ledges - if you see a void of darkness, you've found the right one.

 

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1 hour ago, quakis said:

@NecrumWarrior

Hint: Find a way on those ledges the chaingunners were sniping from and explore the different routes up there via teleporters for answers to both Yellow Key and Red Key questions.

 

Okay turns out I had used the Yellow Key without realizing then. Found an additional secret based on your info about the Red Key.

 

MAP03: Subcataract

Kills: 101%

Items: 79%

Secrets: 57%

29:58

 

Yeah okay, so some of the switches are hard to track. tbh I didn't have much trouble til the end though. I never felt like I was that lost until I had to locate the exit and was running around looking for it forever. Fun fact: this map looks weird as hell loaded with the Doom 2 IWAD which I did at first. It's crazy just how much changes. I like these sort of hub maps, but it was rather hard to keep track of what path went where without taking a few steps in. There wasn't much in the way of landmarks to help guide my way. I enjoyed the map though, and think the Chaingunners are used very effectively. Maybe more effectively than Plutonia that uses them in very cheap unfun ways.

 

Attached below is an image of a missing texture I found @riderr3

2017-05-05 (1).png

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MAP03: Subcataract

98% kills, 4/7 secrets

 

Certainly an interesting layout here, as the teleporters prove to just be different entrances to the main area, with the keys and such in branching areas off the main ring. The first challenge is gearing up and establishing some safety, mainly by taking care of the conga line of teleporting chaingunners on the ledges above. The rest of the map flowed pretty smoothy, though at one point I had no ammo (except cells for the plasma gun I didn't have) and 7 health, though I had unlocked the megasphere at that time and red key so was able to power back up. Monsters and items are pretty well placed actually, except for all those danged chaingunners. The exit is pretty poorly telegraphed, felt like it should've been a secret. Not sure I ever used the blue key for anything, either...

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^^^
This can be happened, but not to all. It depends on complevels, I assume. Probably there are much sectors is lowering.

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Chocolate Doom / Ultra Violence / Pistol Start / No Saves

MAP05: Terracotta opens up more than previous maps, though this openness only comes with apprehension. While the progression-less "outside" area (hard to call it that with the ceiling used but whatever) gives the player an initial sense of freedom, that freedom is immediately ripped from their grasp in the face of numerous turret enemies and quasi-traps: in short, every inch must be gained here, just as in any other map. Fortunately, should the outside not be to the player's liking, most of the progression-based side areas are available from the start and can be perused, some of which are quite helpful in gaining the resources necessary to tackle others. Some of the encounters are more freeform and hectic than before, but nearly all of them can be dealt with while avoiding significant danger. At times the progression is unnecessarily interwoven into the layout at the cost of transparency, leading to a combat-less hunt for the next piece of the puzzle. Overall, it's a refreshing change of scenery, but the pace remains as unwavering as ever.

 

Took me three and a half hours to beat this one without saves (including deaths: the final run was ~75 minutes). I'm gonna start using saves. There came a point where I didn't actually want to progress, because I was so sick of having to replay the first five minutes of the map (done quickly at this point, mind you) simply picking up weapons and carving out a place of relative safety, only to be smacked by an errant revenant rocket or be caught unawares by the next chaingunner during the next point of progression. Repeated sections became habit more than an improvement in skill, whereas any blind progression was performed at a maddeningly-slow pace. I think Urania is making me better at playing Doom, but it's honestly hard to tell.

 

Anyway, yeah, gonna use saves. I'll try to reserve them only when I get keys or make otherwise-notable progression. Perhaps if there's another small map around I'll try a no-save case again, but I don't trust this set to be simple anymore.

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2 hours ago, CapnClever said:

Perhaps if there's another small map around I'll try a no-save case again, but I don't trust this set to be simple anymore.

map10 is quite short, with my casual UV-Max being 10 minutes. It's balls-hard though but fun with no saves.

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i played Map 01 and tried to get through Map 02 of this set before i literally gave up and said "this is stupid"

 

i really like some of the unique environments/visuals (i like non-linearity a lot) and the texture usage was interesting but the combat was already getting super tedious by Map 02. just an insane amount of hitscan snipers that are not at all fun to fight. and also way too many revenants that you have to fight in tight spaces. it's the opposite of what i'd consider interesting enemy encounters, even when the layouts can be interesting. i was playing on Hurt Me Plenty too thinking i'd enjoy it a little more. i could beat this if i invested more time in it but i don't think i'd have that much fun doing it. i'll stick to watching playthroughs i guess.

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I can't believe I'm saying this, but wouldn't interesting maps with tedious combat be the perfect reason to use a gameplay mod?

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That can be the case with easier wads, but gameplay mods tend to make the average enemy stronger which can nudge a hard wad like this into unplayable territory. Then again, I'm only familiar with a few gameplay mods.

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1 hour ago, Linguica said:

I can't believe I'm saying this, but wouldn't interesting maps with tedious combat be the perfect reason to use a gameplay mod?

gameplay mods don't make repetitive/uninspired enemy encounters any less so, they just make the burden of dealing with them a little less frustrating. so the best you can hope for is something goes from extremely frustrating to less so but still repetitive/uninspired. they don't make you not have to go and take out each individual hitscan sniper in an area, for example. i'd personally opt to just try something else that might excite me more but if other people like it as a way to appreciate the other qualities of something more that's fine by me.

 

anyway this is all my opinion obviously. maybe i'll come back and try some later maps off the record.

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Map02: Marshmarrow

 

UV without foreknowledge of where the weapons were was too hard.  I had to go down to HMP for this one, where I finally realized the existence of the rocket launcher on the map.  Even though I was saturated with health most of the time, there were still a couple of close calls where I dipped into the low health range: The section where you find the rocket launcher, for example, was hard.  Even though the rocket launcher is there, it is hidden in a tube.  Because of this, I didn't find it until after I cleared most of the rest of the map and had to go back to find more ammo after running out of it.  I guess HMP it is for me, then.

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