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

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Map 12

gzDoom - UV – pistol start/saves

 

Best music of the WAD so far? Hard to say, there’s been some really great stuff in here.

 

The map was crazy with so many enemies everywhere but I liked being able to run large circles and start infighting with all of the cyberdemons. It was enjoyable whittling them down bit by bit before looking to grab some keys. Which each had their own unique fights in the three corners. Some okay stuff there with little tricks to getting each. The yellow was the hardest with all of the AV’s and PE’s. Ugh.

 

I really liked the use of the flashing lights on the sides of the buildings, light structures and in stairways. Also the blue sky felt like a really nice change of atmosphere along with all of the newly used textures. Speaking of, the transition from this map to the next at the exit was nicely done.

 

(Dear god, how will I ever catch up with another trip planned this weekend >_< I will try.)

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Two reasons I love the alternate exits. One, at least for the longer levels, it's like a "give up" exit, so if you're stuck and you know about the alternate exit (even though they are all unmarked), you can just death slide under. Second, considering I play continuous most of the time, that is the penalty for using an alternate exit. Well except for the next map, which decides to utilize a Type 11 sector instead, in the hopes of the player dying on the next map.

 

But of course people will hate these exits anyways. Why? Doomworld logic it seems. I will never understand it cuz it happens so fast, and it feels so good it's like walking on glass.

 

MAP03 Crouching Demon, Hidden Archvile

 

This is definitely an interesting map with an interesting theme and all. Too bad I'm not a fan of it, the trees being the big reason. Getting around these stupid trees makes me annoyed, especially when it comes to secret hunting and the ilk. Furthermore, the main part of the level is on the raised platform in the center, meaning that falling off doesn't really net anything, unless you want to go for the type 11 exit this level has. You can find some mancubi and the hidden archvile, but nothing really else of interesting.

 

Two things before the big building in the center, the silent teleporting monsters that appear in a few places to try and ambush, and the chessboards, which silently teleport the player into the middle to get surrounded. Not all of them are created equal, but they were all made to get the keys. Except that secret one, which has arch-viles in it, plus the cacos are pawns in this case and a few other enemies rear their ugly heads in. The central building also has a super shotgun fight worthy of pinning. I can never seem to kill one monster in this map though as it never shows up. Also it can be easy to forget about the three key switches near the second building when you are right next to the exit. For a level I'm not a fan of, it at least has its moments.

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NGM2 Map16 continued:  Yay I beat the map.  I went for the backpack optional branch first, then went for the two mandatory branches, then grabbed the Yellow Key first.  I used a checkpoint here before entering the RK, then used my second save somewhere in one of final rooms after clearing out things a bit.

 

DV2 Map01:  The dual pistols are great.  Also, this is a relaxing map; a huge change of pace compared to what I was just playing.  Is Deus Vult supposed to be hard?  Either way, a relaxing opener.

 

DV2 Map02:  This map seems relaxing as well, at least it seems that way when contrasted with New Gothic Movement 2.  The atmosphere is very good in these first two maps, and reminds me of Valiant for some reason.  The elevator at the end is kinda hard, I died there, and will have to continue this tomorrow.  Also the secret was hilarious as well as shocking.  Well done, A+.

 

I'm wondering what sort of rule I should impose on myself for the rest of DV2.  My NGM2 playthrough used a 2 save rule, which hit a sweet spot for me personally.  I have a feeling that the first two maps of DV2 aren't painting a picture of what is yet to come in the wad.  If the maps keep their current length/difficulty, then I might not have to use any, but I dunno what to expect.

Edited by NoisyVelvet

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Map 13

gzDoom - UV – pistol start/saves

 

Well this was different. Weird candelabras and all. Overall it strayed from the slaughter styled affair and fell more in line with just a harder Doom 2 map with lots of traps and surprises.

 

The giant, non-working elevators were an interesting choice. I liked falling in to a dark linear mining section and fighting a ton of garbage and a big baddie before moving on to the rest of the proper brick dungeony map.

 

The biggest oddity in this map was the water section with the SMM and it’s “floating” keys. You don’t see something like that too often where you have to go below and above water.

 

The multiple exits kind of threw me off too but it really works well if you’re just trying to beat the damned thing and don’t care about 100%ing. (Would be a bit annoying to do with those 4 cyberturrets in the crushing room.)

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Map 14

gzDoom - UV – pistol start/saves

 

Here’s a painful ‘lil bugger of a map. Hot damn. The use of AV’s behind enemies is brutal at times. Lots of hoping over gaps to the next section above and below. Great use of space there.

 

The ambushing cacoswarm while snipers hit from below was kind of crazy. Really thankful for those teleports in some of the nooks to get around the mass of red scaly assholes.

 

I thought the rocket blocking chaingunnners were pretty funny. * ka-splat *

 

I really liked the wall of nobles slowly creeping in on you from afar. That was a tense and memorable moment.

 

As was the hardest part IMO when you get the BFG and then are trapped in a small circle of deceptively tight spaces with 3 AV’s, tons of revs and spectres. Ouch. I had very little plasma ammo at that point so I couldn’t spam fire through it either. Took A LOT of luck and quite a few save loads to get it right. The design of the columns was really cool and that brick color looks nice against the dark blue sky.

 

Did the music have an Irish melody in it?? Nice.

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MAP12 Minas Morgul (yes we jump to that mapslot if you are a newbie to this wad)

 

Yet another example of a mighty resplendent green. This is one green map entirely, and themed after Lord of the Rings to fit well with a setting. And it's also Deus Vult II's first slaughtermap. Not on onset of course, because it wants you to figure out the key and BFG that you will need later on, but it comes after that. Yes, I consider killing a hallway full to the brim with imps slaughter, and this is actually both fun and tedious, fun because these enemies are weak and tedious because there are many of them. Oh yeah, and the alternate exit is a dark square in a Type 11 floor.

 

The entrance to the place is quite bleak. Do I really need all these berserk packs? I can use some weapons for extra ammo and the BFG for the spiders. And the side wings aren't much to talk about, they're relatively easy enough despite locking you between two hordes. The final fight here involved a similar hallway, this one stocked with hell knights. More tedium than the imp hallway provided, and even easier thanks to an invulnerability. I believe there's a cyber on higher difficulties made to make it more interesting, but then again, he'd be infighting with the back end of the horde if I recall.

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MAP31

Time: 1:17:18

Death Count: 7 or 8

Secrets: 0/0

 

Oh what a wonderful start, NOT. (2)

A map that looks and sounds impressive. I love Jazz Jackrabbit tunes, it fits so good in this map, to the point it doesn't sound weird or non-Doomish.

Now to my experience, well the starting point was the worst for me. Four annoying cybers to play seek and hide, plus archies and chaingunners. I tried to kill them first, since opening walls would release more enemies that would have make it worst (for me). So with only one side half-opened, it turned into a cat and mouse game. Going to one side and waiting for the cybers to use my plasma rifle full of cells from the last map (I don't care if that trivialized the map, really glad I had them). A few deaths, why not, and I finally managed to kill them all. Then obviously continued opening more walls and cleared the rooms. Hi!

Taking any elevator will teleport two chaingunners and an archvile, randomly and whenever they want, making it confusing which weapon to choose better or immediately pulling the BFG for the archie that is already covering you in fire. I found out that escaping from the elevator before it starts to go up was better to deal with them. I know it consumes time and it's optional, but you know, in no way I forgive lives in a map. 

Oh nice zombiemen hordes!! accompanied by 4 archviles each side. And shittons of clips, beautiful! and lagging as hell!!

Each side had its own arena battle guarding the keys. Very cramped battles where I died many times due to the geometry of the stage. I can't count how many times I got stuck by invisible walls trying not to eat projectiles. However, the visuals were so impressive that overshadowed the geometry, so, cool battles!

Talking about boomisms... who told you could get off your ledges??  

To finnish the map, I had to use the keys, with doors that open in less than a millisecond. Behind those doors were the last enemies, a couple BFG pre-shots to kill the archies, then playing with more cybers, and said bye to the map.

 

@Demtor some of your links send to "404 Not Found", and it also happens with some of mine, what is wrong with imgur??

Edited by galileo31dos01

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Map02:  An easy clear on UV if you know the optimal places to spend your ammo; you don't want to be stuck on the elevator at the end with the wrong types of ammo.

 

Also, I get the impression by now that the creator of these maps really loves crafting these environments.  There's a big focus on the outer perimeter of them map: what could have been just a hallway-map is actually a cool building structure that is suspended in the air, where you get to look out to rock formations that catch your intrigue as potential secret locations.  This is awesome.

 

Map03:  This one starts out pretty peaceful: you kill some low-tier monsters, but then you can either progress into the forest or drop into the canyon valley.  Right off the bat, you get a sense of grandeur and the pleasure of exploration.  I started to get into it, but then I found myself getting rekt by a surprise revenant while in one of the tree-heavy pathways.  He was behind a wall of trees so he ambushed me and I couldn't aim at him well, but he could aim fine and I couldn't really dodge.

 

Then, it occured to me: Woah, there are other difficulty settings in this WAD.  Neato!  I switched to HNTR, where I could reliably focus on the exploratory aspect of the map instead of getting totally crushed.  Good maps.  I guess I will be staying on HNTR, because it will probably give me the best experience.

Edited by NoisyVelvet

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Map 15 -- Author: ArmouredBlood

Another of the set's longest levels (it's....3rd most monster-populated, IIRC?), the massive scale of this black stone cathedral and its desolate gardens is deceptive, in that you never seem to be too far away from where you began, and yet it's quite the involved epic. This type of level design, focused on a single large location, suits the genre quite well, I think--there's something uniquely compelling about strategizing in the context of a 'realistic' space with more intuitive connections between areas, with more obvious choke/danger zones, etc.--though in its way it's perhaps more readily prone to problems of excessive 'filler' slaughter than an approach based in a collection of abstract combat arenas. The first part of the map here, which involves wandering around to the back of the garden in search of the yellow key, is one such example; enemies are many, firing from atop the planters and from the widow's walks on the main building as well as scurrying around between the rows, but they are spaced out and often inconvenient to target from any given point, making actually cleaning the area for maxkills more than a bit of a chore. This is perhaps something of a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' proposition in that without all of these monsters about, the massive and functionally flat garden area would have no real 'rain of projectiles' aspect, and without this it would be truly bereft of any real play features to speak of. Maybe there's space for more desolation and long interludes in this type of map, though? Hard to say. Worth mentioning, in fairness, that if you don't want to, you really don't need to fight the great majority of the monsters out here (in fact, if you know where the secret exit is, you can get away relatively easily with fighting somewhere just south of half of the level's population), though again given the usual audience for this kind of thing it's uncertain just how much to read into this aspect of the design.

 

The trip through the cathedral itself is more engaging, certainly, even though it's objectively also more packed/monster-dense, especially once some of the side wings start opening up. Given the very long views--down the long aisle towards the pulpit, across the belfry space from one elevated walkway to another, etc.--actual pressure from monsters is often not particularly pronounced in spite of the generally high density. Some might find this too restrained for the sake of fun, but allowing space for something of a more relaxed playstyle without having to actually resort to exploitative or cowardly tactics (though these seem to work too, if you're inclined) makes for a pleasant contrast with a number of the other maps in the second half of the game. Some fights do seem to substitute sheer bodycount for much in the way of real combat design--the massive knight brigade which comes gradually oozing out of the southerly wing once it opens come to mind--though the 'realistic' location often lends these a sense of spectacle which makes them read fairly naturally, as is the case with the MASSIVE siege that closes out the level after activating the 3-key switch. There's more energy to much of this combat, which makes it feel more engaging even though it probably takes as long (or longer) than cleaning out the stuff outdoors; I suspect it's more rewarding because you can think around it a little more and be rewarded for doing so, i.e. having the 'exit' cyberdemons help you out by hammering away at the final massive siege force from the rear if you had the foresight (or simply the requisite impatience!) to leave them alone earlier on.

 

Truth be told, I often found I couldn't actually tell what I was doing while navigating around the cathedral that was actually causing progress to happen (lots of walkover lines and such, I'd guess), and yet I never seemed to be lost (having scads of monsters to kill to lead me around surely helped), which speaks to some of the strength of the basically linear design. I was not entirely fond of some of the convenient metagamery baldfacedly used to keep the player from breaking said route--feels really tacky not being able to jump down off of much of the upper level simply because there are rows of infinitely-tall candelabras far below, and I don't think too much would've needed to change in the design in order to avoid this kind of blatantly artificial leash--but in just as many other ways the setting itself helps to enliven the experience, as in using the long promenade around the outer walkways under the buttresses to circumvent an initial block in the inner circuit.

 

I'm actually kind of surprised there's a real secret exit here, incidentally--sort of expected m31 to be 'compulsory', to be honest. Not that I'm complaining, I always like to see more trappings of 'conventional' level design used to mix things up in this particular type of gameplay idiom.

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Map 3: Crouching Demon, Hidden Archvile

100% kills and secrets  90% items since picking up Soulspheres at 200% is pointless

 

  Wow, this map.  I have a lot I want to say about it and its features.  I don't think there's anything quite like it out there.  Grove may have some gameplay similarities in the forested parts of the map but the texturing is rather unique.

 

  This map excels in atmosphere.  The usage of silent teleports to have monsters surprise the player in the woods just works in this setting.  Foraging the woods for supplies is a memorable gameplay feature.  Kind of cheated my way out of that part since I'm playing continuous but whatever.  I was fortunate to maintain a steady framerate with all those trees and shrubs.  The chessboards may break the immersion a bit but they're also welcome as landmarks and a means to vary the scenery.  Hitting a switch and watching a bell tower lower in the distance is one of the more immersive scenes I've seen in the creaky Doom engine.

 

  One of the secrets contains some pictures of some personal value to the author.  They have nothing to do with the secret itself (which differs from the previous map) and are just kind of there as an easter egg of sorts.  I don't mind the inclusion on the surface, as features like this are parts of Deus Vult 2's personality.  Then I remember the enormous file size and wonder on the inside "is this worth it" since over the course of the WAD, it really adds up.

 

  Compelling as the setting is, gameplay can feel like a really mixed bag.  There are things I really like about the map but there are also parts which seemed to drag and I can understand frustration for anyone trying to 100% this.  The automap is nearly useless here so losing one's sense of direction can happen easily.  Much of the map is optional.  Only yellow and red keys are needed to reach the regular exit and getting them only requires visiting less than half of the playable mapspace; exploring the rest of the map is for those who want more.  I like this; gives the player more freedom to decide how much of the map they want to experience.

 

  I liked being able to escape the SSG ambush with a swift straferun.  In this era of "control freak" mapping, I don't picture many mappers allowing players to peace out of fights so easily.  Somehow, this exploit slipped by in testing, but whatever, it makes me happy.

 

Getting 100% kills and secrets is a whole other experience.  One minor perk of playing on GZDoom is that items which adds to item% have a glow around them.  This made finding all the armor bonuses hidden in the woods much less frustrating.  There's one secret I'm not sure how anyone will find on their own other than "save and try everything."  Only hint I could find is a teleport line on the automap (which I gave up on trying to use on this map, sneaky)  100% kills is a tougher task.  It's not because of needing to do every fight, including the hardest chessboard fight.  It's finding all the monsters that lurk "in" the woods.  There's one bullet clip that will trigger a chaingunner to appear when walked over.  There's no real indication that this bullet clip, out of the dozens of others nestled in the forest, is special.  This is probably the most frustrating monster to find; the other trapped items tend to be conspicuous.

 

It just occurred to me that unless going for 100% kills, there's no reason to do the secret chessboard fight to get 100% secrets.  Pop in, trigger secret, leave.  Interesting.

 

Will get to gripes column later.

 

The ugly: I found the easter egg picture, one that's not part of marked secret.  I wish I hadn't; can't unsee.  Ugh.

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13 hours ago, galileo31dos01 said:

 

@Demtor some of your links send to "404 Not Found", and it also happens with some of mine, what is wrong with imgur??

 I think they were having some server issues the other day as it was quite the ordeal to get my pictures to display correctly after uploading them. I've gone back through both our posts and everything seems to be fine now. *shrug* I'm just glad they seem to be doing well on the whole. If that site/company goes under and effectively breaks all of my write-ups... ugh. That would suck.

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ovdKYkVh.png

 

Map 15

gzDoom - UV – pistol start/saves

 

Wow. That is quite an impressive cathedral. My favorite parts are the blood fountains. It glows red spectacularly well with my mods and adds a little extra fun to an otherwise flat and boring garden maze area. Speaking of the mazes, nice touch with the step up in height around each section. It's juuuust enough for a cyberdemon to get his rocket over the rock ledge at your head. Heh. 
 

I like visual of the outside environments going from modern skyscrappers to rock valley walls and a blood red river.

 

Overall this felt a tad grindy at times but moving through this large structure offers a variety of different areas and views which helps mix things up quite a bit.

 

Tons of great visual stuff to feast your eyes on without being too busy. Exploring the inside felt as big and massive as it did from the outside. Really liked some of the lighting as well. Check out all the candles!! So glad you could get the BFG without too much of a crazy hassle. It was definitely helpful with so many rocketcows roaming around.

 

The far off AV’s across the way were a bit much but thankfully there was A LOT of rockets laying around. Which is why it’s hilarious that I ran out of ammo trying to reach the exit through the last group that comes in to block your way. Insanity. Name of the game for this wad, heh.

 

The RK was easily the best looking and most fun key to fight over. The winding hallway with perched AV’s and multiple cyberdouches before the center opens up, was a really cool sequence. Felt good to mow down zombies after dealing with so many nobles and revs.

 

Great stuff all around with really interesting music as well. A flowly kind of heavy beat with an Egyptian style to it. Worked pretty well for such a grand map.

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Map 16

gzDoom - UV – pistol start/saves

 

Not sure what’s up with this one but my computer couldn’t handle it. I put god mode on and stumbled my way through the choppy mess until I found the core theme of it at least. Cool looking area and concept for an IoS ending map. Too bad it’s unplayable for me. I wonder if it has to do with the ridiculous item placements all over the place. Why are there so many smaller quantity items? Why not just put out the larger versions like actual green/blue armor and medkits. Why not large plasma cells and rocket boxes? I’m surprised the shotgun shells are not in 4 shell pick ups! WTF? I don’t get it. Oh well. I won’t cry over missing an IoS map.

 

I must have missed the secret exit somewhere, there is a map 31 apparently. I’ll have to give it a whirl next week when I get back. Hope you all are enjoying the summer as much as I am!

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Damn! map 16 is unplayable with all the lagging. Is there a way to prevent so much lagging in Pr/GlBoom+? other than using another source port.

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