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dobu gabu maru

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

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K2wUyUsh.png

 

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.

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KugLbTbh.png

 

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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b0mxvDQh.png

 

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.

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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 lock-in 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.  Plus, the monsters in the ambush become free to roam if ignored so it's not like there's no consequence.

 

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.  Two forced megaspheres on the 100% kills route so some routing to maximize benefit from them is in order.

 

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.

 

Gripes are minor overall.  The author's tendency to stack many copies of the same weapon on the same spot starts showing up here.  Given how much I dislike wasting ammo pickups, it's a personal peeve.  When I see an SSG and I have 24/50 shells, I'm a bit jarred to go to 50 wasting 6 shells.  It's also easy to get pinned and mauled on the chessboard fights.  It can be difficult to navigate on dim monitors/gamma settings.  Lastly, there's no cover in the forest from revenant missilles which could spell a cheap end (funny aside, my GZDoom settings have objects block projectiles and one particular revenant got stuck in the trees letting me take potshots while it fired away to no avail).

 

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.

Edited by Crusader No Regret : wall of text

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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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6eEVzvAh.png

 

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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Map 16 was meant to be able to be played pretty much infinitely, which is why there's so much stuff around. I do think it could use the bigger ammo amounts ... but then I'd just have the same amount of items on there anyway lol. Gotta use that 40+ minute midi. STILL have no idea why some midi players hate it.

 

Since Demon of the well is basically done with his writeups I'll throw out who did which map.

 

Map1 - Armouredblood

Map2 - Armouredblood

Map3 - Archi

Map4 - Archi

Map5 - Mostly Archi, I did the blood falls pit and the sewer leading to it, as well as the exit fight

Map6 - Armouredblood

Map7 - Armouredblood

Map8 - Archi

Map9 - Armouredblood

Map10 - Armouredblood, though Archi did texturing

Map11 - Armouredblood

Map12 - Archi

Map13 - Armouredblood

Map14 - Armouredblood

Map15 - Armouredblood

Map16 - Armouredblood, Archi did the swirly room with blocking lines and invuln

Map31 - I did the central area and started the outside, Archi did the 2 key arenas and the background detailing.

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MAP13 Eagle's Nest

 

Eagle's Nest, we meet again. Easily my least favorite map in DVII for that stupid climbing segment alone. You know it's bad when it is just the climbing aspect up these cliffs with enemies attacking you from pop-ups and teleports around you, and the way you climb isn't particularly speedrun-friendly either. The easy part is surprisingly the top of the fortress, not a whole lot happens in and around it, but the yellow key fight tries to be interesting. Also interesting, the secrets! Holy crap this level has quite a lot of secrets, many of them deceptive in how to reach. I had a hard time documenting how to get some of them. One of these is a pretty cool rocket-oriented one against a small burden of hell knights.

 

I mean, this map looks incredibly great, and the floating things by way of self-referencing sectors really stand out design-wise, really cool to teleport in between them all the way to the next...green section. At least the combat is ramping up to work with what I'm dealing with, but then again, this is more or less a point of no return so I can't leave by then. Another mark against it. Telefragging the cybie (or manc on lower difficulties) is nice, as is the reminiscence that we may remember from the first Deus Vult (that crescent area from Cathedral). Looks almost identical to the predecessor except green as heck. Gonna say this is the best part of the map entirely, I just don't like the climbing and the secrets this one had, gave me headaches and stuff.

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MAP16

Time: 41:03

Death Count: 1645418745134327946329397432943497209408157902473209730

Secrets: 0/0

 

LOL

 

Like most IoS maps, I made an exception and didn't care about 100% everything, simply because in this map there were many optional areas, waaaaaaay too much bonus items, practically 90% of the map was played with the yellow tint on the screen. Too bad I had to skip a lot of cute areas like the SSG and PR parts, one just simply can't deal with a million spawned monsters outside. My actual random procedure was to get the skull keys as fast as possible, first obviously dealt with the beginning enemies of course, then after waking up the spawners went to the first door I saw, which was the zig-zag corridor. Didn't even care about the cybers and revenants lol, I just said fucking bye to them. Same with the chaingunners corridor to get the yellow skull, combination of rocket-BFG spamming and got out of there. Then the dark arena, that was my favourite part, and the easiest tbh. After that, the path to the red skull. Getting out of there was the hardest part, there were not too many supplies for me to deal with what was outside. Ahh it didn't matter, nothing was going to stop me. 

Rushed through the horde to get to the three-key door, dealt with at least 3 of the cybers because there was meat shooting me from outside, and took the teleport back to the start point, well actually on one of the huts. Next section, the VIP party where obviously I was the gatecrasher. Oh boy I thought it was impossible to do that but actually, it was not that terrible. Both invulnerability spheres made magic. The rest was BFG spamming. 

Then, the last circle of hell of the wad, ooooohh so closeAgain, invul spheres make magic, but damn why so many health potions?? Anyway, moving on to the last mission of the wad, kill Romero, with rockets of course. And that's it, the map was over. So did the wad, yay!!

 

What a great wad!! Although the idea was to pistol start every map, I had a lot of fun with all the maps and to be honest I think I'm able to say that this wad plays fair the whole time. I mean there were no impossible encounters. However this wad still needs a pistol-start run and I'm doing it... next year. About visuals and music, excellent, all fitting in my opinion. There were a few minor bugs in some maps, like HOMs and invisible walls (in map09). My favourite maps were 3 and 13, and my least non-hated favourite maps were 5 and 7.

So I'm giving this a 9/10 for now, whenever I replay this I'll look into more specific things. 

 

It's time for Tenements... no wait, for Deus Vult 2, and I only have 8 days left, hahahahaha 

 

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3 hours ago, ArmouredBlood said:

STILL have no idea why some midi players hate it

It may simply be because they're probably designed to work with 'normal' midi files of a couple of dozen kb or so, not nearly 1MB :D

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Ah yes, time to finally move on to Deus Vult II. I might need to go back to NGM2 and just walk around with -nomonsters to look at the architecture though.

 

MAP01: Entryway Pass

100% kills, 2/4 secrets

 

Simple and bloody, with lots of low-level meat packed into hallways with lots of barrels for extreme convenience. Pretty simple, linear layout, but as an intro level it's fine to set the stage. Beyond the double pistols (which are appreciated), I'm wondering what other changes have been made... either barrel explosions do a lot more damage, or cacos are weaker, because I managed to kill three cacos with one barrel (!) in the blue key room.

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Just now, Magnusblitz said:

Ah yes, time to finally move on to Deus Vult II. I might need to go back to NGM2 and just walk around with -nomonsters to look at the architecture though.

 

MAP01: Entryway Pass

100% kills, 2/4 secrets

 

Simple and bloody, with lots of low-level meat packed into hallways with lots of barrels for extreme convenience. Pretty simple, linear layout, but as an intro level it's fine to set the stage. Beyond the double pistols (which are appreciated), I'm wondering what other changes have been made... either barrel explosions do a lot more damage, or cacos are weaker, because I managed to kill three cacos with one barrel (!) in the blue key room.

The barrels in the blue key room are actually 4 barrels stacked on top of each other.

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Cool, thanks @ArmouredBlood for the author info. I guess I got them mostly right (inc. about m05 being a collab! sort of! humor me!), though it seems I was just plain dead wrong about m10 and m14. I could've gone either way on the m10 guess and picked Archi because I've played a number of maps much like that one (albeit generally much more restrained) in various community projects, but color me frankly surprised about m14, that's a type of gameplay and progression I've never seen ArmouredBlood do before (thus the perils of author typecasting, I suppose!)....maybe the stepped pilaster details in the inner reaches should've tipped me off? Ah, well. Full disclosure: I was also going to guess Archi for the main author of m31, but it seems it's another collab, more or less 50/50.

 

On the subject of performance issues, m16 runs totally fine for me in both PrBoom+ (software) and Eternity, incidentally, though I am rocking a relatively powerful system these days, I suppose. Biggest technical issue was the aforementioned graphical glitchiness in m31, but a port and/or renderer switch promptly fixes that.

 

Map 31 -- Author: Archi/ArmouredBlood

If m05 is something of an impromptu little tribute to some of the visual stylings of Sunder, I reckon this one is a fairly transparent nod to "Neo Georuru", the sixth map of Sunlust, depicting something like a massive asteroid of rusting circuitry hanging in a neon-scoured cybervoid, complete with a number of digital Anomalies to gawk at in the out of bounds area, including in one case a rare intentional utilization of the HOM effect as an art asset. The use of semi-transparent forcefield midtex to simulate forcefields or firewalls in place of traditional gates or bars was also quite clever, I thought. The sickly pulsing green circuitboard texture scheme with frayed/torn conduit cables hanging from the ceilings also strongly reminded me of the infestation theme from Lainos' Urotsuki series, a possible Russian reference that nudged me somewhat towards Archi in my initial authorship guess.

 

This is one of the tighter/neater of the 1000+ monster maps in the set, and actually plays quite a bit quicker than its bodycount may initially suggest, even if approached very casually (it's also one of the easiest of its ilk, as one might have surmised). Not to spoil things too much, but of the 1300 or so monsters, something very near 1000 of them are lowly zombiemen, massed below the elevated techno-altars at the north and south extremes like acolytes in prostration to some unknowable cyber-eldritch presence, perhaps here embodied in the spider masterminds, whose deaths are apparently tied to the functioning of the firewalls designed to quarantine would-be key-thieves. Heavier monsters control the inner reaches, proffering one of the set's most interesting pistol-starts, where the player is initially hounded through a neon-floored cross-junction by a team of minotaur-style cyberdemons. Picking up weapons at the four cardinal points expands the network of passages into something more like a functional maze, also introducing smaller creatures to the fray for more chaos unpredictability. It's a fairly easy clear once you've grasped that the architecture and placements are essentially mirrored in any given quarter, but an engaging game of cat and mouse not quite like anything else in the set while it lasts.

 

On that note, the level is basically highly symmetrical in both structure and flow, with conceptually similar lock-in crossfire fights at the aforementioned altars (with some simple asymmetry in thing placement in the inner reaches), something I could see being a point of criticism, though in truth I don't think the level suffers much for it. The two most symmetrical elements are the essentially identical massacres of the aforementioned droves of zombiemen, and laying waste to them (and to the little nougaty center of arch-viles in each)  with reckless abandon is just so satisfying on some primal level that it's hardly unwelcome. I do think proceedings could've done without the repetition of the warp-in 'traps' on the digital lifts to the upper/outer levels; these are literally identical, and it's the kind of trick that really only works the first time, if at all. I also felt that the fight at the YK altar would've had just a little extra zip if the monsters which accumulate on the other side of the lock-in firewall could actually spill through into the small space rather than simply acting as projectile interference, but w/e. Exit's not in a terribly obvious place, but you'll find it soon enough while surfing around gawking at out-of-bounds landmarks.

 

Cool little map, worth the effort of finding the secret exit in m15, methinks.

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Map12:  Cool looking green stuff.  The map isn't as fun to explore as the previous maps and isn't very sandboxy, but there are some good secrets at least.

 

Map13:  This is probably my favorite map so far.  It goes back to the same style as Map03.  The main building at the top of the mountain was fun to interact with; there are lots of secrets here.

 

Map19:  Heh... my first run through this map was on UV by accident, and I didn't realize.  I noticed this map got way harder than the previous ones... hmmm.  I managed to crawl through most of the map despite low health and ammo and get the Red and Blue Keys.  But then I got lost and though I had to reenter the cyberdemon by the Red zone teleporter.  I reentered and died.  When I loaded the map a second time, there was no cyberdemon and I blew through the map on mostly full health and bulldozed the opposition.  I'm thinking HMP should be where I should be playing

 

Even though I've said I like to explore, this map is harder to explore because it's a spaghetti blob of winding hallways, and the size of the map is large too.  Each local area is fun to explore on it's own, but then when I'm trying to find out the next place to go, or i'm sitting on a BK and can't remember how to get back to that BK door I saw at the beginning of the map, then it's a matter of patience.  It's a good map though, but it was pushing the limits a bit for me personally.

 

I also loved the shootable switches throughout the map.  They are rewarding to spot and shoot.  In fact, this is part of the reason I am playing on lowest difficulty, so I can slow down and enjoy the maps on this level.

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MAP19 Stargate

 

Oh hell yeah, this is one of the best base maps to date, obviously inspired by vrack and inspiring so many other ones after it. Amazing design and a layout that is actually quite fun to get lost in. Plus combat doesn't get nasty in it at all. Lots of switches means having to hunt this big base, thankfully the design of the map will ensure that you will never roll your eyes. Some easter eggs do abound in this base, some are secrets, others are just walls that can be lowered revealing the five main kids from South Park, although these aren't secrets and don't do anything.

 

Getting around the map may require looking at it in the editor especially when it is the first time playing though. The blue and red keys are in distinct laser-gridded sections, involving shootable target switches and other switches, with the red key having a tough fight, or perhaps several considering difficulty settings. Finding the red and blue switches requires a bit more work and memorization. At least the blue switch has a few memorable encounters, like with the plasma gun, the rocket launcher, or further on when using the switch to reveal the yellow key on the conveyor near all those vats. Speaking of which, that conveyor obviously hides our alternate exit. The yellow key is for the exit area of course, but also an optional BFG and a fight that goes along with it. Speaking of which again, lots of revenants emerged while I was elsewhere in the map, plus an arch-vile. Interesting, but the layout made it pretty easy. I wish I found that secret invulnerability sooner, but then again, used it for the endgame area, with the cool yellow laser structure and Egyptian things. Taking the arch-vile with me, I make it to the exit portal. Those barons are so troublesome, especially when the pain elementals come in behind them, where those big guys in front take all the attacks that I wanted to use against the elementals. Yeah, that fight was annoying, and this map was long. But it was good to return to all the same. Hard to 100% though, and two maps after this is another one that certainly will be tough to 100% too.

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Map 12: Minas Morgal

 

     Map is pretty much as advertised: quick slaughter of hundreds of monsters with area effect weaponry.  The monsters in the caves feel like filler that drag the pace down.  Archvile feels like a cheap shot to anyone who doesn't have BFG already out.  Nothing particularly stremuous here though I did take on a self imposed challenge to get the cyberdemons killed by the hellknight horde.  So it took some experimentation to find an ideal number of BFG shots to fire to clear some out while still leaving enough the gangbeat the cybers (intended way appears to be clear path to invulnerability and use that for mass slaughter)

 

Map 13: Eagle's Nest

 

Here goes Indiana Doomguy, climbing the crags on a quest to locate the golden skull idol that will grant him passage to the skybridge to continue his journey through the realms.

 

Here lies Indiana Doomguy, riddled with bullets after a chainguneer appeared behind him and opened fire.

 

Not my favorite map, even if I did get 100% kills and secrets by the end.  The setting looks good but isn't much fun to fight in.  Speed of Doom may catch lots of flak for instant popup monsters but this map predates it and uses popups along with vision obscuring shrubs for sneaky ambushes.  Those close range chaingunners will likely claim a few pelts from anyone trying this blind on HMP or UV.  (though I can picture Demon of the Well somehow sniffing out every such ambush).

 

Reaching the top, my train of thought was "whew, it's over"  The monsters waiting at the top may be more dangerous but I didn't feel as irritated by them.  The yellow key lock-in gets tight and is difficult to circle-strafe through but the secret invulnerability exists if wanted.  I had the most random occurrence here.  Grabbed key and raised the bars that came down for the lock-in, trigger them to fall again but some monsters were infighting under the bars so they couldn't close.  Rushed out before the bars closed.  It's quite easy to take them out when on the other side.  The last area of the map has that Alien Vendetta vibe to it.  When first arriving, the monsters can't enter the dark areas that border the lighted portions so I made use of the to stay out of melee reach.

 

Between having played the map before and looking at automap for secret sectors, I did register every secret without looking at the Doomwiki.  The secret picture chamber felt the trickiest to locate (and provides no material gain, really?) followed closely by the timed run to the hellknight siege.

 

Hellknight siege was one of the more interesting parts of the map.  Rocket launcher, rockets, and some hellknights: sounds easy doesn't it?  Well (on HMP) it throws out 120 of them.  Tried numerous times before I had health numbers I felt happy with, died on a few of those attempts.

 

I also enjoyed the revenant curve secret.  Somehow survived it on an early attempt but with heavy damage.  Reloaded to improve my health numbers, noticed it really pays to be skilled with placing BFG shots rather than run and spam so felt rewarding.

 

Skip maps: 15-18

  Forgotten about these.  Using four mapslots just to have a dramatic countdown.  Actually find this amusing; just another example of DV2 having fun.

Edited by Crusader No Regret : more wall of text

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Ok! Just played through the first 3 maps, as usual my settings are HMP, continuous, 100% everything as much as possible, saves/reload only after dying. Using PrBoom+ because the .txt says I can. First impressions were positive, some were weird too and you may all imagine why. I took a lot of pictures :P

 

MAP01: Entryway Pass

Time: 18:53

Death Count: 0

Secrets legally found: 4/4

 

First of all, double pistols are so much better, and the sound makes the weapons feel more powerful even though it's the same as always. Impressive visuals. Nice secrets too. Mostly zombiemen and barrels to deal with. Bonus items came in packs of five, and they were mostly hidden like this. Also, it was nice to throw myself on the water and find goodies. What was really weird and it didn't get any less weirder throughout the maps, were finding secret messages. Apart from that, suicide exits. I don't know the purpose of them, speedrunning maybe?

Overall, a nice beginning. 

 

MAP02: Mutagen

Time: 41:47

Death Count: 4

Secrets legally found: 5/6

 

A fun longer map. Details tell a lot. Presenting tougher enemies in cramped encounters. There's so much detailing that at some point the map started to feel labyrinth-ish, even though it's slightly linear. Many secrets leaded to places where umm wat... WAT... excuse me?... how funny... yeah sure...

Ok, I liked how the detailing told me what monsters will be released. I died two times in the red door part with the imps, and two times in the lift part. Sometimes I refuse to use the plasma rifle and then I pay the price lol. Loved so much this room. The only secret I missed was the one with the automap. Always the missing secret... Fun map overall. 

 

MAP03: Crouching Demon, Hidden Archvile

Time: 1:06:13

Death Count: 2 

Secrets legally found: 4/6

 

The detailing in this map is my favourite so far. The sky was just delightful. Basically a three key hunting mission where each key is guarded by a bunch of enemies. I liked that they were first immobile and then suddenly you are in the middle of them. My favourite of these encounters was the secret one. Also, grabbing specific items would release traps that were hard to deal with it due to the darkness and blocking trees. Talking about items in general, most of them were clips and armor bonuses hidden behind the trees, and useful rockets were the mancubus are, very hard to spot them all. Oh, fire!I've never seen fire used like that in Doom, certainly a neat damaging thing (yes I know it functions as a suicide exit). Nice exit vortex. 

About the secrets, what's the deal with those textures???? Could this get any weirder??... Oh, nevermind...

I missed the secret alcove with chaingunners and an energy cell pack, and the one to get those two medikits in the exit temple. 

You know, if this map, with the detailing and beautiful sky (and without the weird textures), had Death Bells as the midi, it would be an 11/10 for sure. 

 

Nice that the subsequent maps are automatically skipped until you get to map12, going to continue tomorrow. 

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MAP20 Desert Temple

 

It's been about a year already since I last went to Universal Studios in Orlando, yet every time I hear this MP3 track (the Lawrence of Arabia song), it reminds me so much of that one area from Islands of Adventure. Anyways, as far as the map goes, it's like sprinkling gameplay aspects of Alien Vendetta maps for this one. The climbing towards the big temple reminds me a lot of MAP11: Nemesis, in how it is approached, but it doesn't take too long. Obviously, the design screams Misri Halek. The temple's core gameplay? Surprisingly, it emulates Crimson Tide (MAP05). I mean, the way the keys are placed and how the temple is layed out.

 

Again, no slaughter to have here, which is fine. The secrets take quite a bit of guesswork this time around, although the first one offers a mancubus right next to the suicide exit, so if you feel groggy, get out now by using the fatso. Pressing on, getting the switch to raise the lift to the left side of the temple going towards the red key is a tough part, considering how much time you actually have. There are also a few tombstone traps, like one right next to said switch for instance. Apart from the red key, solving any sort of puzzle is trivial at most, and much of the level gets to be a bit boring. Really, apart from how its designed and all, this one doesn't have a lot of fleeting moments. It's sort of standard, but charming for a map.

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Map20 - Desert Thing:  good map.  Not a behemoth map like the previous one, but returns the moderate size similar to Map03 and Map13.  It also has the same perimeter-canyon-with-playground-in-the-middle thing that I love so much.  Lots of interwoven, rewarding, and just plain cool secrets here, as usual.

 

Map21 - Cathedral Thing:   Woah.......  that is all I have to say.

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MAP12: Minas Morgul

Time: 25:25

Death Count: 2

Secrets legally found: 3/3

 

Nice introduction to slaughter, in a soft way. I loved the green textures and details. And the sky, beautiful view. Hell Knights and spectres used as the guardians of the emerald cave. First map where liquids are damaging. And I didn't notice any weird message or suicide exit, not that I really cared...

Also, the BFG made its first appearance, to use it with the hordes, which were practically easy to deal with. Apart from that, boss monsters used as snipers. I left the SMMs alive, honestly because I had the feeling that they could be useful later, and went to grab each key. Neat way to make the keys appear. Then flipped the triple-key switch and released the hell knights. Some of them fought the spiders, I offed the rest. Perhaps I should have left them fight with the cybers, but honestly I didn't notice those guys until later. Now you give me a invul sphere!?! It wasn't necessary, at all.

Anyway, cool map.

 

MAP13: Eagle's Nest

Time: 1:19:49

Death Count: 0

Secrets legally found: 10/11

 

Continuing the theme from map 03, without the chinese temples, a long semi-linear map. I could see a lot of Alien Vendetta inspiration here. Lots of fun secrets, and these ones too, my favourite was the one to telefrag the cyber at the final battle... This map was also quite generous with its traps, making encounters not hard to deal with, in fact, some of them were fun to watch. I loved the view from the top of mountain, really neat teleporting ring. My only criticism is that you can't get back to the mountains once you go through the ring, so to tag the secrets I didn't find before, I had to noclip. Yeah it's cheating I know... And the only secret not legally found was that teleport to the hell knights horde. Even thought the automap showed me where the teleport was, the way to open it required falling down from the small castle and running back to the entrance, but you can't hear anything being triggered so it would be pure coincidence to find that secret.

Oh yeah, I noticed that cyber's sounds are low pitched. 

So, another cool map.   

 

EDIT: quick question, since there is no map 15, how does someone get to maps 31 and 32?

Edited by galileo31dos01

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Gonna need to get on goin' on this to catch up...

 

MAP02: Mutagen

77% kills, 3/6 secrets

 

Continuing the silver/blue techbase set among brown/green foliage, this one has a lot of cramped quarters and fights. I actually only died a few times at the start, dicking around with the pinkies and then taking too much damage when grabbing the shotgun. Other than that, pretty easy except for possibly running short on ammo in a few spots. Secrets feel cleverly hidden (especially liked being able to spot the automap one from the blue armor).

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