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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Newgothic Movement 2 & Deus Vult II

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On 2017-6-13 at 6:20 PM, rdwpa said:

This is top quality for sure, the only problem I face in my iddqd sessions is that the 3 cybers usually kill all the barons and it's utterly hard to finnish them off in such a tiny space. I'll find something, this map looks so fun.

 

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MAP15

 

Cool chapel-like level. Hey, my exits at the start! Wonderful. Oh, this is MAP15, maybe the secret exit is in here or something. Another big map, made for circling the chapel mostly, until the yellow key is due. Then again, once that happens, it seems the entire cathedral opens at the entrance. Now here's where it gets...easy. See, they all get alerted, bottleneck up at the starting point apart from the cacodemons, and kill each other. Actually entering the chapel ends up being a lot longer than necessary, but at least it's not super congested up in this one.

 

Those two spiderdemons are really easy pickings if you just sit way back and smack them with the rocket launcher. The wall snipers are the real threat. And then when you unlock that first staircase, there's even more to deal with, the first few nasty arch-viles come in, possible resurrecting all those guys you killed below. The blue key itself seems hilariously guarded by zombiemen mostly. The threats are the usual suspects and whoever thinks its good time to snipe at you or whatever. Going outside onto the high walls alerts everybody up there too. Really should work on some flagging in all honesty. And to tell some truth, I really don't have too much trouble with arch-viles and cybers anymore. It's just every time I have to deal with them I just get really annoying with just seeing them around now. Really, that's what it's come to. The hordes outside are fine, but cybers are damage sponges and arch-viles are cheap resurrectors. And most of the archies fought were on the areas around the big stairs, where you can just peek-a-boo pretty much all of them. Hell, the whole red key section is just a grind at this point. I'll admit, at least I can handle it without too much fuss.

 

And then the tables turn as instead of me storming my way into the castle, the castle ITSELF gets stormed after pressing the three-key switch. LOADS of enemies outside, where most again chew each other up trying to chew me up, while I rocket whatever comes into the doorway. Two cybers tried to be distracting, but the verticality played in my favor here. It's only troublesome by the time I get going with leaving, since I want to be sure of victory, but some cacos just hung out, and one took way too long to teleport. Oh wait, this start exit is the normal one. Turns out you will have to shoot two switches to open up one near the three-key switch to get the secret exit, yet due to how distracting enemies were in this map, it's impossible to not forget about the switches until everything's dead. As far as it goes, it was sure a variety pack, loads of hitscanners provided some fun running around as did most projectile shooters that weren't cyberdemons. This actually was one of the easier maps here. Also, I haven't seen pain elementals for three maps so far.

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@galileo31dos01 here's a demo of the map. Basically the whole thing, but no cleanup. I'm not sure if this will work for you, but might as well try ;-)
 

You should be able to handle most of the map from the position rdwpa showed you. When the storm subsides, you can go for the keys then into the basement to grab an invul and a megasphere plus some ammo, and from there you head straight for the exit-building, clear it, then open the door to the outside, and let things come your way. That should work...

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Oh sorry but I already figured yesterday, the thing is that I was also recording a demo but at some point I had to quit the game to do something else and now I'm not sure what to do with my demo in process. There's a thread explaining my doubts. I will still look at your demo don't worry. Thanks btw.

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MAP12

Time: 52:11

Death Count: ?

Secrets: 2/2

 

Here's what I hope a well done demo: ngm2lvl12-try1.zip

Don't watch it if you don't want to spend more than 50 minutes in front of the screen, I am not a speedrunner, nor a pistol starter, yet... If you are going to watch it, use the savestate provided in the file, and drink coffee. It is a one-run without deaths demo btw.

About the map, well it was really fun, I loved the midi and the visuals, but I should also say damn how chaotic was this!! The big building with the 3 cybers and barons was the most problematic for me. This took me a lot of attempts to achieve my plan (which was to recreate more or less what rdwpa did but with a few changes to adapt it to my way) but at the end I said oh screw them I'll be fine. The rest was not that bad, I was near dead in a moment but luckily there were soulspheres and medikits around (not too much but enough). The invulnerability secret was fine but to get the blue armor... Unless there was a simpler way, I did several jumps from the lift near the BFG spot. 

Anyway, there is not much to say, a fun chaotic hard-to-start map. 

 

Oh boy map 13 looks awesome I can't wait to play it legally :333   

 

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MAP31

 

Oh what a wonderful start, NOT. Nice job bumrushing me with two archies and then having some border cybers block off what looks to be a really artistic like arena. By grabbing the side items, we open walls. HEY LOST SOULS! Haven't seen my favorite monster for awhile now. The walls all open up with some stuff inside as well as we collect and destroy at our leisure. Basically, I open up things, kill lost souls and Dead Simple monsters, plus chaingunner and other things, using the walls to my advantage. By the time I clean house, things are looking, up, next.

 

Haha oh wow a horde of zombiemen, fun to watch and kill, and then you add arch-viles in again! Speaking of which I had the yellow key route first, trying hard and luck-wise to get the double cyber and spider combo, then the mancubi, who would usually be the most annoying ones here, but their shots helped distract them. The blue key area fared considerably worse, with cybers with no easy way to kill, and the most annoying enemies being cacos and SPECTRES. Passing that, the exit can be cheesed with proper pre-emptive BFG usage. Getting 100% kills though can be troublesome if you bypass the other lifts.

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On 6/14/2017 at 3:32 PM, ArmouredBlood said:

I'm going to take this as permission to draft you as a beta tester if I make another mapset. Map9 was possibly the first map I started working on after NG1 was made and almost no one wanted to say anything about it except for nerfing the hell out of the ysk fight lol.

The more niche your project is, I reckon the less luck you're likely to have posting a general-access thread and asking for general feeback. However, the more niche your project is, I reckon the easier it often is to get solid feedback if you pick and enlist your playtesters personally. Just a matter of sifting through threads like these to find out who might fit well enough into your 'target demographic.' ;)

 

Map 10 -- Author: Archi

I'm pulling the authorship guesses more or less directly out of my ass for this next little stretch of maps, TBH, and all the time I'm wanting to change my initial guess for the authorship of m05. My reasoning for this one is that it's basically a fractal little murderbox layout where the majority of monsters are 'revealed' in some form, and I've some past experience suggesting Archi likes revealing/refilling murderboxes.

 

Anyway, not a whole lot to say about this one, actually. It seems to be the set's smallest map, and may well be in the running for its shortest as well, depending on how it's played, natch. Given the small size, the 1000 or so monsters occupying it make for the most consistently dense placement of any map in the set to this point, though this is somewhat deceptive, as it's generally a very accessible map, meant for empowering sphere-fueled BFG massacres and instakit infighting slaughters. The cheekiest piece of design probably comes right at the very beginning, where you have to move instantly (hesitate and you'll be immediately hemmed in and crushed) and use the pistol or chaingun to trigger some impact plates granting access to the BFG. To a conventional perspective this type of mapstart may well read as being absurdly hostile and/or contrived, but if you play along with the kickstart and get a chance to see how the next couple of waves unfold (essentially ever-larger hordes of monsters stampede into the center from a series of peripheral closets as progression waypoints are reached), it's not too long before you've become the apex predator. The level is positively flush with cells and powerups, all moments of true dogpiling are countered in the out-of-box balance by conveniently available V-spheres, and any deaths (which are most likely to occur early rather than late) are pretty easy to swallow since they're so close to the start of the level, I reckon. Question of authorship aside, then, I reckon this level's a great posterchild for the overall flavor of NG (perhaps 2 slightly less so than 1, granted): it is absolutely the genuine article as far as full-bore slaughter design goes, but also balanced in a surprisingly accessible way that may make it a good primer/sample platter of this kind of thing for previously non-slaughter players.

 

I imagine a proper speedy UV-max is much trickier, mind you, since the demand for efficiency will naturally play off via much heavier mid-run risks given the level's high monster density (getting the whole shebang boiling at once posing more pathing difficulties and all). Played more conventionally, it unfolds in more measured stages that compensate the ever-strengthening tides of monsters with ever-growing piles of powerups or convenient developments in the level architecture, ala the 'crates from nowhere' in the center floor in wave 3, which prove an effective defense for any vile-clots which are not swallowed up in the fury of the first V-spree or via incidental incense directed at the clumsily thundering siegecows which they accompany. Biggest risk in the later part of the map is probably the chunk of Barons which pour out of what eventually proves to be the exit wing, since if they make it out at the wrong time they can seriously curtail your pathing options. The final wing itself is pure power fantasy, incidentally, and I reckon the final monster reveal is intentionally played purely for comedy's sake, given the not-at-all-lampshaded blurspheres and all.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Demon of the Well said:

The more niche your project is, I reckon the less luck you're likely to have posting a general-access thread and asking for general feeback. However, the more niche your project is, I reckon the easier it often is to get solid feedback if you pick and enlist your playtesters personally. Just a matter of sifting through threads like these to find out who might fit well enough into your 'target demographic.' ;)

The only problem is when you get a bit of an echo chamber going or the guys you pull in are too busy and you get little to no feedback =/ Anyway I'd reveal who made map 5 but I'm kinda interested in what you settle on once you've written your thoughts on the whole mapset.

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And after all that complaining I am, somehow, the first one to finish it and write my thoughts. All I can say is its got its moments, but the unlucky cyber rockets and nowhere to run from the arch-viles first annoyed me, then eventually ended up boring me. Remember that slaughtermaps are a niche genre!

 

MAP16

 

So this is the final map...oh my fuck 3800 or so enemies. And we start out in a courtyard. I think I'm gonna love this one. The things I see here will utilize my infighting skills at first. And after a bit...

 

Yep, this suckers lagging like hell, mostly because of the huge item surplus that we see for much of the level. Even the items counter is pointing to over 1000. I plan to get 100% items for this, and since no secrets, getting 100% secrets isn't a problem. But forget kills, it looks like the author added boss shooters. Urgh. Luckily, there's no danger of telefragging, as the four spots the cubes reach are on buildings and the enemies who spawn there teleport just under it. The lag sort of ruins some of the combat we see. Four corners here, I think they all are optional, while the red and yellow are in distinctive sections on the west and east wings, with, as you expect, slaughter. Pretty much all of it can depend on how RNG will dictate what enemies follow you from monster spawners. I actually found most of it survivable. Certainly not a fan of roadblock cybers at the three-key hall.

 

Back to the start and through the next area where the next big slaughter is. Just hold fire. Not as fun as it ought to be. Next-to-last fight with the spiral is extremely rough. Invulns are nice, but you HAVE to anticipate the cybers who BLOCK them in advance, then utilize what you can in this next luckfest. All to get the two invulns, megaspheres, and eventually, the red keycard, which is only used for the end part where you can just chaingun Romero's head and end this colossal wad.

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MAP13

Time: 1:01:30

Death Count: 1

Secrets: 4/4

 

Very very fun map. Easy start with interesting details in regards to visuals (loved the chandeliers). Dead Simple guys along with revenants and chaingunners. Some infighting and rocketing to deal with them, and the space was clear enough to call the blue door enemies. Then I threw myself to the first secret, just to tag it. The other section was more dangerous but part of that was because I forgot to grab armor before huh... Those roaming chaingunners really nailed me while I was having fun with the cyber. Blame myself for not grabbing that blue armor from upstairs. The second try didn't go much better, they left me with 1%. Still this time I nailed them lol. 

The next part was my favourite, it really felt like battling under a lagoon. Ignoring the Cyberdemon, I circled around the lagoon while killing the arachnotrons, so the SMM gets to infight the cacos. She at least killed many of them, I killed the rest. Also, to have a lot but a LOT of shells available, my idea was that the cyber fights the shotgunners, as well as the archies resurrect them to get killed again and so on. Clever isn't it? Yes I know.

The first path I chose was the longest one (the red key part). I really liked this part. During my first iddqd session, I went blind to the skull switch (the one to lower the BFG), and suddenly heard AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGG behind me. That made me crack up so much, nice way to surprise a player. 

Anyway, a lot of archviles around, specially that typical ambush in the exit room, repeated in the shortest path. Wow!, well, not a problem if you cheese him that way. Also, to make the final ambush less harsh, I made the cacos (smile for the camera!)come to mancubus-trap, so the archies wouldn't have anything to resurrect and me nothing that could block my shots. 

After everybody was dead, the yellow key path was next. OK those cybers looked weird there. It was really important to have as much ammo as possible, there's no second chance to get in there with the cybers alive. Yep, that took a while. Finally, went to take another shower and exit the map.

So yeah, liked this map. Music reminded me to some midis from Urania.

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Quick impressions;

 

Map 13: The pool gimmick, I feel, works better than the teleport maze from map 2.  I did give it a few tries without god mode, best attempt made it past the initial wave of spiders + mancubi.

 

Map 31: Impressive visuals.  If the hide and sneak gameplay isn't appealing, it's still worth touring the map with -nomonsters to see the outdoor area.

 

Map 16: "3700 monsters?  This will be a while.  (sound of boss shooter)  Oh, hell no."

 

OK, fine  (turns on cheats and pushes through the walls of meat)

May the Doomgods have mercy on your framerate.  The red keycard fight chugged in PrBoom+ !!  This is the sort of map I'd want Russian Overkill loaded to play.

 

Oh, 18th's nearly here.  Time to grab DV2 and see how far I make it before month end.

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Quick question, is it too bad if PrBoom+ freezes when trying to load map 16? It doesn't freeze with GlBoom+ but instead it takes a long time to load the map... 

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29 minutes ago, galileo31dos01 said:

Quick question, is it too bad if PrBoom+ freezes when trying to load map 16? It doesn't freeze with GlBoom+ but instead it takes a long time to load the map... 

it doesn't freeze for me in PrBoom+ 2.5.1.3

 

Map31, though, is like a seizure map in prboom.

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Deus Vult 2, GZDoom, HMP continuous, frequent saving and loading:  Time to do this.  Hopefully won't have framerate issues on 23 or 29 (though going software mode is an option).

 

Map 1: Entryway Pass

    It's been so long since I've played this that I did a no saving run first to reacquaint myself with the map and to see if I could still track down the secrets.  Got beat up a bit but there's enough health around to patch back up from small mistakes.  Plenty of barrels and low HP monsters for fast paced killing; there's nearly 200 monsters and the UV-max record is under 2 minutes.  The soulsphere secret stumped me the most before finding it; it took trial and error and remembering how the author likes to set up secrets.  The map is also quite doable without finding any secrets.

 

Blooper reel: when doing the saves attempt, I kept getting myself blown up by the barrels in the blue key chamber.

 

DV2 doesn't take itself too seriously.  There an easter egg message hidden that is not connected to any marked secret that is found by using a seemingly random wall.  This will show up several more times throughout the set.

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Yeah, c'mon guys, let's start Deus Vult II already! Woohoo!

 

MAP01 Entryway Pass

 

Hell yeah. Now this is an opening map. Not with over 200 monsters, something that will ease players in while looking snazzy with just the right amount of secrets. Debate whether or not the dual pistols are a good change, especially when you gain access to a chaingun in a nearby secret. Zombies to start off with, easily handled, especially given the barrels. The zombieman road is awesome to run through too. The blue key area seems confusing when you do everything, but when you start shooting those barrels when the cacos near them, they almost get completely obliterated. I love those awesome feelings like that.

 

No weird-looking secrets at the moment, but they will come. A bunch of the ones in this wad are mostly easter egg rooms or something that don't really pertain to gameplay much, as the rewards you can find aren't all that great. I'm gonna say one thing though, each level here has an alternate exit, starting from the rocket launcher secret, you can kill yourself with that weapon by sliding under the rocks. I like having an alternate exit in maps where you can think outside the box and enter one (he doesn't mark the alternate exits, for a good reason). Some of the later ones are like this, suicide exits, and others are Type 11's in conspicuous locations. Either way, alternate exits for speedrunning are a fucking godsend and should be used in many other wads.

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MAP14

Time: 39:18

Death Count: 3

Secrets: 1/1

 

Nice map. If chaingunners took the prize for most dangerous monsters in the previous map, here the crown goes to archviles! 

In general, the map had cool encounters involving Cyberdemons in narrow corridors, it is possible to avoid having to two-shot some of them, but that requires fast reaction and movement. Also, cool use of gunners to gain more ammo. I really like 3-key-hunting maps, and this was not the exception. However, each way to get a key had its own encounters, that came with their, lemon seeds (?). No I'm not saying they were bad or unfair, in fact the unfun parts were due to specific enemies or issues with them, so in no way I'm blaming the mapper, ok? ok.  

First, the red skull part, which was the first key I went to look for. Really prepared full health/armor and still those lovely red tomatoes nailed me as if there were no tomorrow. Twice. Yeah, fuck infinite height and their ability to rush when damaged. I could have used the BFG but I wanted to see how not necessary it was. Nice touch with those coloured teleports, really helpful to make the battle way cooler. Third try, with proper use of the arena and resources, bye bye cacos (I pulled it after the battle, don't get the wrong idea...)

Next, yellow skull part, cooler encounters with more archviles, revenants, and blurred pinkies. I don't like spectres anymore :) 

This is how I dealt with the cybers. Say whatever but if I can avoid the risky two-shot strategy I'm happier. For the first one, just showed my face until he saw me and run back to the open room. For the second one, quickly killed the archviles, opened the door and did the same. 

Last, the blue skull part, where I think the BFG is necessary for the nobles parade. The cyber was easy to kill but I must point out the importance of keeping him outside, he can get inside and that's never a good thing. Now the real danger, for one side, six archviles, for the other side, teleporting revenants. I spent a few minutes thinking what should I do, since whatever way looked like if I was going to end up being blown away. My only idea was to quickly wake them all up, BFG the revenants, get inside, rocket as much as possible. The tedious part was the archviles resurrecting enemies that I had killed before. And yeah, it seemed like an endless battle. Until this one, yep... the moment was funny though, we both killed each other at the same time.

So overall, I liked this map, it was notably easier than many other previous maps, but still the fun challenge was there. 

One last thing, can we just talk about how beautiful is the blue sky in these maps? I can just enjoy a full megawad with only that sky in every map.    

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21 hours ago, NoisyVelvet said:

Map31, though, is like a seizure map in prboom.

Yeah, PrB+'s software renderer really doesn't seem to like the piles of aesthetic/trim panes and sectors in this level, at all. Looks "fine" in GLBoom+, though, presumably this is what it was designed and tested for/with. After recovering from the initial involuntary spasms upon seeing it for the first time in the software renderer, though, I quit out of it and played with Eternity instead, which didn't so much as bat an eyelash or show a single flicker. Weird.

 

Map 11 -- Author: ArmouredBlood

Small/compact build aside, and ignoring the fact that there are a lot of structural/staging and aesthetic similarities between this map and the previous one, the reasoning behind my authorship guess here is that the majority of the monsters are pre-blanketed over a nominally 'open' landscape in rank and file (again, as opposed to being ported or otherwise dumped in from off-map areas en masse), and also that the layout has a very stark north/south 'columnar' build, another regular AB trait. Not sure what (if anything) could be gleaned from the actual automap view looking like the starship Enterprise, so I won't even try as far as that goes!

 

As aforesaid, like map 10 before it this is a small map with very high monster density, and it too rapidly becomes a BFG blitz once you've gathered some momentum. What's notable here I think is that, barring the casual implementation of the V-sphere secret (which is actually a heavily veiled two-part double V-sphere secret, something very easy to miss since only the first part is officially flagged 'secret'),  the designed speed/expert route here is a lot more readily visible than in most of the previous maps. Not necessarily easier to actually execute, mind, but easier to see, as communicated through thing placements (megaspheres in a spiral pattern in the northern lift area, etc.), and often through the immediate pressing necessities of winning/surviving the level. The upshot of this is that this a level that by design plays much faster/more aggressive by default than some of the more ponderous epics which preceded it, something which will naturally appeal strongly to some players, and not to others. For instance, as soon as you ride the green teleporter near the BFG, you need to make a lightning-fast judgement and decision to immediately charge the regiment of hell knights just loosed from behind the north wall. that you might push just far forward enough to collect more bulk cells and continue pressing on. Shortly thereafter, in turn, a squad of cybers presses you into the northern lift from the south, underscoring the intended flow of descending/porting back out later for an efficient cleanup rather than trying to clear things in neatly segmented stages. The pair of V-spheres mentioned above also have very obvious uses in this case (and similar to m07, if used efficiently can almost entirely negate the danger of what would otherwise be the most threatening monster surges), though the relatively obscurity of the second sphere is a quirky 'usability' twist which somewhat flies in the face of the level's otherwise rather intuitive flow, perhaps for the better.

 

As far as spectacle goes, the northern lift with the spiral pattern and its infinite ammo 'enchantment' naturally steals the show, though it's very much a fight that's more outwardly intimidating than it is actually dangerous, both a function of its incredibly plentiful resource stocks and its perhaps surprisingly modest rate of monster spawnage (the challenge here comes less from the quantities of monsters faced as from the limited/crowded space in which they are fought). The lift's relative size and speed of descent also subtly blunts some of the effectiveness of revenant tracker missiles (they are slow enough to meet the floor well before completing a turn or roll towards you, generally), been a while since I've seen that.

 

Map 12 -- Author: Archi

While this uses a lot of blanket-style monster placement I've previously attributed to ArmouredBlood, the 'box with modular offshoots' look to the floorplan reminds me more of known Archi maps. Also note again the repeated revivification of the main/central outdoor battle space by repeated mass-warps and other monster reveals, which reuses the same space for different fights at different points (or perhaps for one messy, ongoing mass riot) in lieu of introducing a new arena for each new fight.

 

Perhaps not quite as elegant in construction as some of the author's earlier or more reigned-in maps, this map is nevertheless a raucous good time in unabashed massmurder, using a form of the 3-key scavenger hunt progression trope to spur the concoction of a boiling monster-stew where keeping track of the overall mapwide situation is likely more important than whatever's in front of/actively attacking you at any given moment. In contrast to some of the other maps, resources felt a little more carefully controlled to me here; there are plenty enough to get the job done, but you've got to move around quite a bit in order to stay fueled up (as opposed to making a pass through a massive dump zone or receiving mass quantities of resources in a pre-budgeted 'lump sum' at designated progression points), and as more and more of the map wakes up movement on a larger scale is not without its complications.

 

In addition to the cacoswarm and other roving foes active from mapstart, mass warp-ins or closet-brigages are triggered at pretty much every obvious opportunity (when you pick up the BFG, whenever you get a keycard, etc.). It's fairly intuitive to try to increase efficiency by not fighting everything as it appears (maybe it's more practical than I give it credit for?), and so soon enough it transpires that the central space is positively lousy with monsters, to the point that cutting across it to a desired point is not something you can simply assume you're going to be able to do at will. Interestingly, to a greater or less extent all three of the keycard insets shield you from physical encroachment from many of the ground-based or otherwise mobile creatures, but at the same time make for some possible 'fool's mate' situations where you can be trapped/stalemated by a horde of monsters which can't readily actually overrun you, but which you also have no practical means for punching through short of a long infight grind or other meta-gamery. Naturally, then, there's an impetus (but by no means an actual mandate!) to move through the map much more efficiently from the outset, moving from objective to objective with little hesitation, eventually bringing about the riotous, occasionally unpredictable cauldron effect which suits this kind of large/relatively geometrically simple space well.

 

The downside is that all three of the initial key insets read more like chores or checkmarks than as the individual fights they were apparently designed to be; after some initial playtime, you pretty quickly figure out how to bypass each of them in seconds without bothering to actually fight in the designated space, simply because doing so likely ends up in the grindy stalemate described above. As with many of the set's larger maps, I also feel that this one runs on a bit longer than is entirely beneficial for itself, with the closing fights in the side wings after using the three-key lock switches involving more in the way of screenclearing for the sake of arbitrarily keeping up the same high monster density characterizing the central space. In line with the running theme lo these past few maps, here again we see a climactic V-sphere spree closing out proceedings, but the design feels a little more contrived here, which is perhaps a function of both some friction from thematic repetition at this point and from the simple fact that there's really only one practical use for said sphere (which is revealed directly rather than part of a trick/secret event chain).

 

Nevertheless I found it a primarily enjoyable level, a welcome shift in overall playstyle from its author's previous maps in the set.

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Are we talking about map31 of ngmvmt2? Because it looks fine here on prboom+ 2.5.1.5

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Apparently I need to download the newer prboom+ too.  I'm a couple versions behind.  Also, i'm no expert, but there might also be display settings and other quirky things that effect how things look.  There's a whole list of Display Settings in the prboom+ menu apparently, but i've never fiddled with these settings.

 

Also, I've noticed that Map16 takes about a half-second longer to load the map than most other maps upon startup.  Though, it doesn't crash for me.

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I am talking about default settings. Everyone should get 2.5.1.5.

 

And yes, map16 takes about a second to load on my laptop. Try Doom Retro, too.

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14 hours ago, NoisyVelvet said:

Also, I've noticed that Map16 takes about a half-second longer to load the map than most other maps upon startup.  Though, it doesn't crash for me.

In case PrBoom+ lags or crash, you could try GlBoom+ too, just set the options as equal as your preferences in PrBoom+ and it should run perfect. That's what I'm going to do for the last maps to avoid issues.   

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MAP02 Mutagen

 

Here's another fun map that works well, of course. Another base map, done and designed so it feels adequate as hell and the combat goes well enough to fit. The secrets are quite annoying to get, but there's the fun in that, considering that at least two are joke secrets. As for what to expect, we first see the plasma rifle, and a nearby secret has an "emergency use only" rocket launcher, possibly being the only hint that a suicide exit in the blue area is nearby. Apart from that, there's a little snippet where you can telefrag two hitscanners, another where you don't worry about imps on the waterfall and shoot barrels, and a Descent-style mashup. The red key fight where you have a volley of imps is even cooler too.

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22 hours ago, NuMetalManiak said:

Either way, alternate exits for speedrunning are a fucking godsend and should be used in many other wads.

Those death exits are really boring and killed speedrunning for the wad (in the not max categories).

Edited by Ancalagon

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Map 13 -- Author: ArmouredBlood

In many ways, this level, which arguably qualifies as another stylistic 'breather' by this point in the set, reads like the bigger, perhaps older(?) sibling to m07, also being constructed out of long linear corridors connecting packed box-rooms (literally and figuratively!). There are also some light puzzle elements as well, i.e. with the visually obscured paths to the red and yellow skull keys, which effectively make something of a 'maze' out of the flooded ruins area. Proceedings also begin with something of a scramble for a foothold, prosecuted via an unusual chainsaw + chaingun mapstart. All that being said, though, in practice the similarities in feel between this and m07 are not actually as pronounced as one might surmise (or as I initially thought they would be from the first few minutes of play). Overall physical scale is generally larger here, for one thing, which reduces the sense of claustrophobia and encroachment pressure in many of the fights considerably, and on the whole the level reads less like a strategic game of wits with monsters and pickups as pieces on a gameboard, and more like a traditional adventure-style map of an older mold, evoking in its way some sense of the bygone days when PWADs being based on actual private AD&D sessions was far from unheard of.

 

Perhaps the most notable feature of this surprising (for this set) take on level progression is that you have a choice of routes to take to the dungeon's end once you've reached the submerged, corpse-choked ruins; the RSK and YSK paths function entirely independently, and both contain a level exit at their conclusion (as well as a way back to an earlier part of the level for the benefit of completionists and maxrunners, of course). In fairness, this framing of the later parts of the level is not at all obvious from an initial appraisal, and indeed may come as the last thing one expects given the usual predilections of 'slaughter' design, but this is precisely what makes it such a disarming surprise,  I think. It also strikes me that there's more of a sense of visual storytelling at work here than in any previous map in the set, with more attention paid to mood lighting (which is literally almost entirely absent in a number of the earlier levels) and a level structure which suggests something like an actual sense of setting (the continuation of theme from the coda to m12, the mysterious flooded ruins and temple structures found on offshoot behind a wall in a collapsed elevator shaft, etc.), as opposed to presenting another entirely unheralded arena for another bespoke monsterfight. There's a sense of narrative in how the level moves from location to location, quite singular in this and most other dedicated slaughter sets.

 

From a thing placement perspective, now, you're never going to be mislead into thinking you've accidentally stumbled into another WAD; the creatures are many (500+, IIRC), and arrive in thick, messy arterial spurts. An early game of attrition and ammo-seeking in a medieval storage-cellar crawling with spiders and zombie commandos quickly gives way to meat-shoveling, rocket-pounding violence as one plumbs the depths of the monster-choked underworld deeper in, and both of the available paths to the level's end have their own mini-theme, the RSK path presenting a series of boobytraps and gotcha snares and the YSK path being something of an all-or-nothing test of judgement and intuition, where the correct answer is to use the V-sphere and barrel as deep into the unknown as possible, with nigh insurmountable odds awaiting the more timid or methodical interloper. Sounds sensible enough given the way I've described the level as opting for a more linear/adventurous framing, yeah? That's precisely the problem, though....many of the fights here are dull chokepoint-manning or corridor-plumbing affairs only prolonged by the persistently dense monster placement, and the design gimmicks in the two level-ending paths are undercut at least in part because of the amount of tedious pest control that must be endured in order to reach them. The relatively slow upscaling of the player's arsenal from pistol-start (including secret plasma rifle!), also something somewhat off-model for this style of mapset, exacerbates this somewhat, as well.

 

Ultimately, this is a level that strikes me as being not at all comfortable in its own skin, as the style of placement and resultant pacing here just simply do not seem to gel naturally or effectively with the actual level design, which is not particularly conducive to any really dynamic combat, with or without slaughter-style placement. Put another way, I think that even if this level used much more conventional monster placement, the actual combat element would probably still be one of its weaker or less remarkable attributes. It has other virtues, though, and in a more traditional type of thing placement + target difficulty plateau these virtues might well have more chance to shine; as it is, here they are simply drowned out by the hamfisted insistence on cramming every passage with queasily glistening loaves of the devil's bologna simply because this is a SLAUGHTER set, dammit! If m04 is the NG2 map which feels most like it actually comes from some other mapset, then this map is probably the one which feels most like it is suffering for actually being a part of NG2 (and, in all fairness, would probably read even more like an extreme outlier that simply does not belong than m04 otherwise), with all of the expectations and preconceptions(?) this entails.

 

Map 14 -- Author: Archi

I swear I played/finished this map earlier this month, but hell if I could tell you much of anything about what actually happens in it as I sit here looking at this textbox. Time for a little bit of IDDQDery to jog my memory...

 

Ah, yes. This too reads as a breather map, though unlike m13 before it it's an unabashedly 'yesterday's modern' affair, with clean, polished trim-laden visuals somewhat redolent of the darker/dingier parts of the original Quake and a mapstart with a fast ignition trigger to get you immediately up and moving about. Certainly not without threat, mind you: the name of the game here is self-contained setpiece fights requiring a variety of fast reactions and some effective crowd control, making the level read as somewhat more openly Sunlust-inspired to a recent frame of reference. In contrast to m04 or m13 as mentioned above, in terms of design theory I think this fits in just fine as a demi-requisite change of pace map this far into the set, and wouldn't have found it jarring or anything of that sort (as perhaps evidenced by my initial inability to recall anything in particular to bitch and moan about!).

 

Of the different setpieces, I think that the simple dead-end BSK fight is the most fun (good interplay between beating back the ungainly horde on your level while dodging projectile attacks from high/awkward angles), though the earlier RSK room is probably the most interesting, with its color-coded teleporter closets which allow you blink about the periphery, making for surprisingly easy crowd control. The layout itself also has a lot of personality here, with a rich 3D/height-varied element to its actual progression and traversal which adds interest to the incidental battling between setpieces, letting you skirt around on trim and such in some cheeky ways to mix up the basic out-of-box flow. As with many of the set's other maps, I do think the pacing probably suffers here and there by dint of the dogged insistence on packing otherwise unremarkable interstitial areas with arch-viles and other infernal bluebloods (the small rooms with the 'striped' appearance on the automap, usually found behind the wooden doors, are the main offenders, IIRC) that inevitably end up being fought through thresholds, but overall the level is a lot more sensibly conducted than m13 in that regard, and contains little real filler in its actual floorplan, making for a solid if somewhat understated final interlude for the set.

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NGM2 Map15: Castles are neat.  I ran Mario-kart style around the perimeter several times after getting the YK; this let the castle mob thin out through infighting before I actually entered the main castle lobby.  After entering it, this is where I put my first save.  I cleared out the perimeter of the castle balcony next, then spent my next save after hitting a switch that let out some Spider Mastermind on the opposite ledge.  Then, I progressed from there until reaching the finish line.

 

Before exiting, I saved and explored for the secret exit; I was able to find it after some searching; or rather them, because there are two required switches.  I found the first, but realized that I had to find a second because the location that seemed to house the secret exit was still sealed.  Due to the symmetry of the map and location of the second switch, I could find the second easily.

 

NGM2 Map31: The map looks good, and it's a basic symmetric arena type brawl.  Though, my version of prboom+ and display settings makes all the complicated detailing spaz out.  It looks neat on the surface, but I might skip this one for now before going back to it.

 

NGM2 Map16: It hadn't dawned on me that this was a final map when I was playing this one.  In fact, even with the Monster Spawners, I thought "cool, Icon of Sin in the middle of the WAD."  I realize now that it is the final map.  I really like the way the monster spawner was implemented here, where the spawner is buffered by a secondary monster teleporter.  I also liked fighting all of the side-trials individually.  Beating them in sequence without dieing, though, is very hard, even though I realize some of them might be optional.

 

I actually didn't beat this map, and I even broke my rule by threw a third save when I first entered one of the final rooms after acquiring all three keys.  This is because I didn't see a fight of this magnitude coming.  I was hoping the map would be winding down after getting all three keys, so I said "god-dammit fuck this" upon entering this room; in particular, I'm talking about the room with crazy-high monster density and two invulnerability spheres on either side.  After a bunch of repeated attempts at this room and figuring out its contents, I then got up to the (presumably) final swirl room, but died after getting caught on what seemed like an invisible wall.  I did not continue after this, and the map is currently unfinished by me.

 

I think I want to beat this map before continuing with other things, though.  I've come this far,  and I might as well beat it... and I also might as well do it properly with my two saves rule.  This is definitely a map that requires foreknowledge to play well and navigate, but having played up to the (final?) swirl room,  I might be able to do it, even if it takes some perseverance.

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Ok so people are currently with DV2... well at least there's two more maps to finnish this lovely set. 

 

MAP15

Time: 2:24:51

Death Count: 0

Secrets: 1/1

 

Umm, it went so much better than I thought. At first I wasn't too sold on the map, the archvile-armies presence, highly dangerous cybers, endless cacoswarms... But in my one-legal-run I embraced those encounters and did my best. The map already tells you "move the f*** away now!!" from the beginning. My first step was to clear each of the parks surrounding the castle. Starting with the leftmost side (looking to the castle, where the arachnotrons were). Funnily enough, the cyber could be telefragged if he teleported on top of the blood fountain. Not possible in the rightmost side, where that cyber always avoided the teleport. Those two cybers in the exit section had to be killed asap. After that, the sides behind the castle. "Are you my Juliet? You don't seem happy to see me...". Grabbed the yellow skull and released the first horde, including the first cacoswarm. How do you call that effect where cacos/PEs get pushed so fast when shot?? Well that was what made those cacos utterly annoying to kill. So glad there were no Pain Elementals... 

Anyway, moving on to get inside the castle where two, actually one distant lady (the other one died god knows how) was awaiting to drill me. On top of the stairs, archviles and their pets roaming around the ledges. People say barons are ammo sponges, let me tell who are actually ammo sponges: distant archviles constantly resurrecting enemies in front of them. At least 50 rockets to kill those spicy ambushes!! Not because I was lacking of rockets, but because I was like "can you f***ing die already? stop resurrecting those imps! you do more harm to them than good!". 

Next mission, blue skull, quite easy to get. I love how this wad doesn't discriminate zombiemen. Then, the balconies. Damn those pillars in favour of the cybers and their rockets!

Last key, the red one. I felt bad for this lady, she couldn't even kill one baron. That was unfair, why so much hate to SMMs? why? :(. The 3 cybers did what she unfortunately couldn't. 

Ok, after beating those archviles and hitscanners, I claimed my trophy and went to the triple-key switch and released the last horde. Also including another cacoswarm. This was where I pulled my strong weaponry and offed all of them. Infighting helped obviously. 

Finally, went to shoot the two secret switches (thanks automap, luv u ♥) and get out of the map.

So, fun map after all. I could swear I heard that midi before...  

 

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NGM2 Map14: oops i almost let this map slip.  My memory from a couple days ago isn't fresh, but I remember this one being pretty well balanced and manageable; still hard and punishing mistakes but fair about it at the same time.  By fair, I mean that after dying to both the first two key fights, you learn the traps and the rest is pretty fair: the Blue Key fight caught me off guard the first time I encountered it, and the Knight n' Baron wave engulfed me; the Red Key chaingunner bukake also is one you will likely die to first time through, and the Barons are squatting the lift and prevent you from leaving unless you tease them off of their camping spot before hand.

    My winning path was to grab the red key first and leaving without fighting much.  I iterated the lift sequence twice: once to pull the Barons off the lift and another to actually go up the lift, while damage-sponging and dodging the actual threats.  Next was the Blue Key.  I used a checkpoint before grabbing the Blue Key because I got rekt by the wave of nobles first time through.  After clearing this section somewhat easily second time through, I used a second checkpoint before the Rev/Archvile BFG fight because I didn't know what to expect from this point onward, and there weren't many monsters left.  This fight actually was the easy one, but the Cyber duo that followed it killed me a few times, at least.  Overall, I remember this being a pretty fair map.  A doom god has a good chance to beat this on their first try, except for maybe the RK fight maybe, idunno.  Actually, some other players on this forum accomplish some pretty crazy stuff so I shouldn't put it past them.

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PrBoom-plus refused to load the music for NG2 map 16, instead putting dissonance on a short loop.  Loaded the wad in GZDoom to see if it would play there, why hello there 40-minute midi from Newgothic 1, map 11.

 

Anyways, back to DV2

 

Map 2; Mutagen

    So the music is from TMNT: Tournament Fighters and the level is named after the substance that created the ninja turtles in the first place.  Coincidence?  Intentional?  Not that it's a big deal if there is a connection anyways.  This does appear to take place in some lab overlooking a body of water.  This map plays rougher than the last one with several setups in close quarters and teleport ambushes that can quickly corner the player who is unaware of them.  Blue key run has the nastiest with two hellknights in very tight space and the plasma gun ambush just before it (though the placement is ominous in a way that just telegraphs a trap).  If you know what's coming, nothing is really hard to handle.

    Getting 100% kills and secrets is a bit tricky.  I didn't trigger all the trapped items until making a final pass for cleanup.  The map also introduces several of the ways the author likes to hide secrets.  One is the gun activated panel tucked in out-of-the-way corners.  Another is the teleport pad that goes to a secret area when entered from a certain direction, along with an arrow hint somewhere (here, it's tuched away on the automap).  The secret areas themselves start to be quirkier here.  It's more about the discovery than the reward for some of these.

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