The DWmegawad Club plays: Plutonia Revisited Community Project

I admit I was thinking about taking a pass this month but reading some of the reviews so far make me think this might be a more fun month to review (playing top-quality sets is fun, but writing about them usually isn't). Also I suppose the maps are on the small side so that helps too.

 

MAP01: Stonewall

100% kills, 1/2 secrets

 

Starting off a Plutonia homage with a Congo homage might be a little too on-the-nose, but I like Congo's brown-and-green aesthetic so I'm fine with it. I really like the design of the box room (especially the crates near the ceiling "held up" by the ones below), and the accompanying AV fight, which is pretty easy actually, appropriate for a MAP01. Didn't care for the placement of hitscanners early on - that chaingunner group will destroy you if you make the mistake of stepping to the left side of the room, and the shotgunners behind the right door are basically a health tax. But otherwise a good start, nice mix of the usual Plutonia suspects (chaingunners/revs) without being arduous.

 

MAP02: Temple of Cetza

100% kills, 1/3 secrets

 

If you were disappointed about not getting that first berserk on last map, then this map more than makes up for it with the amount of demons you'll need to punch. If that wasn't enough there's also plenty of hell knights in non-threatening situations that slows things down. As others have said, pretty standard PCorf fare (and I'm glad someone reminded me of the 'bars on the switch' design choice).

 

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3 minutes ago, Magnusblitz said:

 'bars on the switch' design choice

 

could you elaborate for me? :D

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MAP05 – “That Flooded Place” by Keeper of Jericho

 

T61HwdC.png

 

One particularly annoying trope of the mapset so far is its obsession with grindy starts. Most starts either cripple the player’s supplies and throw a higher-tier monster, accompanied by a small army of fodder enemies, or give the player tons of supplies, but swarm the area with bullet sponges. In either case you are left with barely any health, ammunition or both. Granted, this may be a consequence of pistol-starting the mapset, but playing continuous would allow the player to crush most of the early maps. After all, you do get a BFG-9000 in MAP04. So, you are left with a third of the mapset that is grindy for pistol-starts and imbalanced for continuous.

 

Now my thoughts on the map. It opens by throwing dozens of Imps and a Revenant at you. You have a few stimpacks in the opening room and you best use them wisely. After the chaos subsides, you can locate the secret Super Shotgun, which I recommend. You do have some options here, but they all involve corridor shooting and some peek-and-shoot gameplay. I chose to clear the room with the Mancubus and Chaingunners. One of the areas following this is an interesting section where you can either carefully pick off the Imps and Chaingunners one by one while observing the Revenants or make a mad dash to the Rocket Launcher to speed things up. The next area has the non-secret Super Shotgun guarded by a pair of Mancubi (and a bunch of Chaingunners). However, getting all the way here without the secret Super Shotgun is a slow grind.

 

The next area doesn’t offer much except Hell Knights, Revenants and a lone Pain Elemental. This leads to a bunch of corridors with Sergeants and a Baron of Hell that connect back to the first area. You then reach the yellow-key area, which reminded me of “NME”. This has a fun ambush where you are attacked in four different directions by Hell Knights. Then you have a long and boring corridor full of Chaingunners. The blue-key area has an easy fight with Demons, Cacodemons and a Pain Elemental, followed by a Revenant ambush. The red-key area has a few Barons of Hell and an Arch-vile ambush, although the Arch-vile placement was rather poor.

 

This map feels like filler. It’s filled with encounters that slow the pacing a bit too much. You will have to use the Super Shotgun almost exclusively and hide in the corridors that connect the rooms with the interesting bits. The map does have some non-linearity but the map architecture goes out of its way to mess you up. All the corridor shooting is neither threatening nor engaging. The secret Super Shotgun changes the map from annoying tedium to boring tedium. The Soulsphere secret was pretty nice though. The map does have a few good moments but ultimately feels rather mediocre.

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gM56Hmn.png

Extreme nonlinearity is the main feature of this map. Every area is connected in multiple ways, and the entire map, barring the very small key areas, is completely open from the start. However, this doesn't mean you get to sneak around anyone; the enemy placement is thought out well enough to ensure that that doesn't happen. There is also a very generous supply of health and ammo laying around. The secret super shotgun provides a nice boost in firepower early on.

 

One big complaint that I have is that the walls have tons of little details that you get caught on way more often than you should. The map is also mostly orthagonal but that doesn't really bother me that much.

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Plutonia Revisited Community Project

MAP05: That Flooded Place

Dificultad HMP, usando GZDoom y Brutal Doom.

05/10/2017

 

In case you feel the need for many Imps and Revenants, here you have it from the beginning. Ah, now the style of PE comes back in a more remarkable way. The map is small, fast and flexible, in fact I finished with 74% of enemies killed, is a lot of enemies ignored, but hey I played it again and I got 100% of enemies. This type of maps are usually my favorites, small and fast, but with constant attacks of enemies and good placement of items. So far I've enjoyed the whole map, although I felt a little strange the fact that I've skipped so many enemies and still win, getting the 3 keys was quite easy indeed, the toughest enemies are the Arch-Viles that appear each certain time, especially that of the exit. The structure of the map is now more open, in the sense that it has no roof. The comabte is usually in small halls and many corridors. There are not a lot of open areas and I did not find any multi-storey area, despite this, and how small it is, it's quite entertaining, maybe it's getting a bit repetitive, but enjoy it, for now, let's go pretty well , I hope that as I progress the maps become even bigger, I will try to get 100% of the goals too, except secrets, I do not have the patience for those tasks of sages.

 

Screenshot_Doom_20171004_173627.png.8bfa1d73dce4648bdf48312b4b0cd9bd.png

 

Screenshot_Doom_20171004_204145.png.38c41cf27cee5eb464ee14152976e32b.png

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6 hours ago, rehelekretep said:

could you elaborate for me? :D

I didn't name it very well, basically what NuMetalManiak pointed out about having the colored key bars on the side of the switch for a switch that releases the key, instead of requires it (as most people will use).

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MAP03: Escape from Ghost Town

84%, 1/2 secrets

 

Not a fan. As others have said, the start is pretty fucking lame, as there are rings of chaingunners that force the player to immediately run to a certain direction or get perforated. The design is a couple of large open-area circles with some long paths offshooting them... one which leads to the exit and requires the blue key, so hopefully you went to the other one first, because going to the exit one will just lead you to waste your ammo and not have much left for the other section. Though I guess you could say that fighting through all those imps, chaingunners, revenants and a spiderdemon by the blue key with only a few shells and rockets left was invigorating, in a sense. The end fight seems balanced around finding the plasma gun secret, as there was no way I was going to actually win that fight by killing everything (only chaingun ammo left, no shells nor rockets) so I just ended up creating infighting then scurrying away.

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MAP05: That Flooded Place - HMP, Continuous

 

Bunch of Rooms connected by hallways is the best way to describe this map. The map seems like it could be non linear, but I just happened to take a path that led me in a straight line from the start to the exit, so that was kinda boring. After the starting room the gameplay was pretty dull with no serious threats. The most dangerous thing about this map was the architecture that I was constantly getting snagged on everywhere I went.

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3 hours ago, Magnusblitz said:

MAP03: Escape from Ghost Town

84%, 1/2 secrets

 

Not a fan. As others have said, the start is pretty fucking lame, as there are rings of chaingunners that force the player to immediately run to a certain direction or get perforated. The design is a couple of large open-area circles with some long paths offshooting them... one which leads to the exit and requires the blue key, so hopefully you went to the other one first, because going to the exit one will just lead you to waste your ammo and not have much left for the other section. Though I guess you could say that fighting through all those imps, chaingunners, revenants and a spiderdemon by the blue key with only a few shells and rockets left was invigorating, in a sense. The end fight seems balanced around finding the plasma gun secret, as there was no way I was going to actually win that fight by killing everything (only chaingun ammo left, no shells nor rockets) so I just ended up creating infighting then scurrying away.

i half agree with you there, but i was able to kill everything without finding the plasmagun secret (was a bit dicey towards the end though when the AV was hanging about!)

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MAP05: That Flooded Place

 

Mixed feelings here.  I like the regular changes in pace and style that define community projects but this one feels uninspired, not in the excessively-derivative way that MAP03 did, but instead because it's little more than a collective of square rooms and corridors with ring-angle turns with a coat of Plutonia-themed paint.  The wall clutter makes both navigation and combat more annoying than they need to be, and the way the corridors are arranged in short segments between right-angle turns, packed with deaf monsters, means that the going is slower than if they were empty, but not appreicably more dangerous.  I will also admit that I did not much care for the decision to put the non-secret super shotgun at quite a distance from the start room, on the other side of encounters that seem tailored to be solved with it, but maybe that's a playstyle or quality-of-life issue.  The secrets themselves are neat enough, and the couple of ambushes that get sprung on the player help to liven things up a little when the overall gameplay encourages a pretty workmanlike atmosphere.

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MAP05 - “That Flooded Place” by Keeper of Jericho

rEFEnxc.png

A rather slow map with lots of Imp shooting if you happen to miss the secret SSG in the starting area. The hallway use is indeed rather excessive and largely involve shooting at Chaingunners in front of you. The major fights are quite good though, such as the HKs in the caged area and the 2 Viles resurrecting Barons near the end.

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MAP05: An unremarkable level overall, nothing in layout/gameplay/visual that can spark you interest. The secret SSG at the start is a must to have for a somehow bearable experience.

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A little early, but it's midnight here in Japan, so I'm breaking the seal on Map 06 before I go to bed:

 

Map 06: Stony Halls by Matt Tropiano

UV, Pistol Start, No saves

PrBoom+

 

Here’s a level that reflects Plutonia’s style through another mapper’s lens, allowing the combat to feel slightly more incidental than the original wad while remaining toothy and fun. (Nothing super difficult outside a few traps, but the encounters are never sleepy.) This is my favorite map yet, and Matt Tropiano has earned himself a fan.

 

I like that the design naturally encourages you to complete every encounter. Even when it doesn’t lock you into a trap, it doesn’t do to have many monsters here left alive, with the level’s layout and enemy placement. (That kind of design is very in line with the Casalis’ approach, where maxing tends to be easier than skipping over enemies casually.)

 

I actually wound up feeling too overpowered the first time I attempted this (well, the first time I got out of the starting hallway, which killed me a few times), where I finally fell to the Arch-Vile trap at the end. I decided I liked it enough to want to try it from a pistol-start the second, which I managed on my first attempt. I think I’ll keep playing that way—selective pistol-starting—when I really like a level but the balance feels off. I’ll note when I played with carry-over or from pistol-start.

 

The level is start-to-finish solid encounters, with ammo feeling just tight enough at certain points to put a squeeze on the player before it opens up again, but my favorites are the Cacodemon-Arachnotron trap in the yellow key room (even if I can’t quite decide the way the pillars restrict movement is intentional) and the finale, which puts every monster to good use.

 

Props for integrating the Casali-favorite Revenant-Pinky combo so well at a few points too. That’s always fun, and I mean that sincerely.

 

Secrets aren’t mandatory here, but they help. Two are hidden by texture misalignments and sit in the open to draw the player’s attention. The third I had to look up; I was feeling a bit of trepidation about heading into the final room again. It’s actually not nearly as bad as I thought, so I somewhat regret that; would’ve been able to finish without it.

 

Great stuff. Looking forward to seeing what Tropiano does later in the wad when he can cut a bit looser in terms of difficulty.

 

Next map has one hell of an opening shot. Those Plutonia 2 (which I still need to play) Gatekeeper textures are cute.

Edited by Cipher
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Wm7q4cq.png

map04 fda

+ nice variety of area geometry/texturing

+ all weapons useful in different scenarios

+ MIDI remix was interesting

- teleporter traps felt unfair (check my death in my FDA!)

- boring/lame cyberdemon placement; spam him by himself until he dies

- the teleporter to the exit orientates you immediately off the plateau; why?

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map05 fda

oh dear. im going to echo @Spectre01 here:

 

+ the AV/baron fight at the end was pretty cool; although having a midtexture on the railing was annoying because the AV on the ground could see me through it and i got blasted on my first attempt

+ i always like 'spot the odd one out' secrets and this map had 2 of them. it makes idiots like me feel like im accomplishing something even if it is the doom equivalent of a spot the difference book for kids :p

 

- hallways hallways hallways filled with meat are not fun, especially if they are tight cramped hallways with sticking out detailing. give me some big hallways and a RL or a BFG then OK we can talk

- hiding away the SSG and putting the RL in the RK room where you shouldnt go until you get the BK is just dumb when the map is full of meat; very tedious to play and replay if you die.

Edited by rehelekretep

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MAP05: That Flooded Place

Death Count: 0

 

DOOM08.png.335068dcbc94ae2293fbc501456d275f.png

 

The doors disappearing into the sky lol, ok Keeper of Jericho's only first contribution is a sort of filler-slow paced-corridor heavy map, while I think he did a good job detailing the corridors, it still seemed repetitive. I remember this map being quite easy except for the red skull trap. In this opportunity, the only problems I faced were in the blue skull "trap", one of the boneheads stopped me from strafing (he refused to stay in the water apparently and I didn't see him) and that costed a lot of health. Another minor thing was blockmap that protected one of the inoffensive mancubus to die in 4 shots. Anyway, a few things, the chainsaw was an extra I didn't even use, shells and bullets were abundant and there isn't something worthy of using the chainsaw, instead a plasma rifle or more rockets to just use something else a little more would have been better in my opinion, unless the author added it for continuous players. The archies trap was my favourite part. And the secret soulsphere was a nice addition. I don't find this map bad, nor any harder than before, but it's not in my favourites. 

Edited by galileo31dos01
galileo31dos01, please inform yourself before posting, thank u!

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MAP04 - Emerald Pools:

  I liked this one, it offers some variety to the visuals and most of the encounters are varied and well designed. Well, except for those instant archviles at the red key that made me rocket my own face, since the setup is so similar to the BK I thought the monsters would be appearing at the teleport and the box of rockets made it seem like that was the intended weapon.

 

MAP05 - That Flooded Place:

  Most of this map is narrow corridors with some monsters on them, and way too often the best (or only) strategy seems to be to retreat, I even forgot I had a RL because there never seemed to be a good place to use it. Then the RK trap put some archviles right on my face that immediately resurrect the barons who then block my way out... . I didn't love this one.

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^So that's what the Baron fight at the end of Map 05 was there for. If you're anticipating a trap upon grabbing the key and start running, you can just book it out of there, so I had no idea. Heard the Arch-Viles teleport in and didn't stick around. (I'm a coward.)

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MAP06: Stormy Halls, by Matt Tropiano|10:42|100% kills|

 

iCjEMhS.png

 

What a fucking delightful map, easily the best one in the set so far. And should I be surprised, seeing as how it comes from a very well established mapper whose works I enjoy a lot? Anyway, it's tight, solid gameplay with some great trap setups (namely the SSG trap and the RK trap) with some great exploratory bits mixed in. The nonlinearity lends it a great deal of credence as well, spanning across several Plutonic setpieces while you blast your way through another jungle base. Fantastic stuff.

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MAP06 - Stony Halls:

 

This, ladies and gentlemen, is how you do MAP05 correctly. Structurally this map does remind me of MAP05 with its interconnected areas, but unlike its predecessor it actually has some variety and height variation to proceedings to give the place a sense of presence. I particularly liked how the blue key room linked back to the starting area, for some reason that appealed to me. I would say that some of the low-level zombie hordes could be swapped out for more beefy monsters and the last trap seems a tad vicious, but other than that I had an absolute blast.

 

Oh yeah, and the secrets could stand to be a smidgen more obvious: I found the soulsphere and megaarmor only by furiously humping the walls. Don't take that the wrong way now folks.

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Map06: Stony Halls by Matt Tropiano

 

 

Nice one. And those 2 troll demons!!

Edited by lirui1001
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MAP04: Emerald Pools

100% kills, 1/1 secret

 

While the map uses a few tricks to hide it (using teleporters, the wrap-around staircase on the west end), this is very linear affair with no deviation allowed from the order of fights. But I do enjoy that the map is content to throw a bunch of middle-to-high tier enemies against you and then provide you with plenty of high-end weaponry to take them out. Not really difficult at all (most of the fights are fought from one direction) but still fun, and for an early mapslot perfectly acceptable. Sometimes you just wanna stand in a corridor and hold the trigger down on the rocket launcher, ya know?

 

MAP05: That Flooded Place

100% kills, 1/2 secrets

 

As others have pointed out, the layout of this one is very Wolf3D, basically box room after box room connected with orthogonal corridors. It looks fine aesthetically as a lot of work has been done to spruce up those hallways and rooms, so it's not that bad, but it does make for a pretty tame affair (I ended up looping around the whole level and clearing out all the hallways before doing any of the key fights). Maybe it's a mite over-detailed as there's certainly points to get snagged on the walls. The blue key and red key ambushes were decent fun, though the latter is a bit undermined by the 'trick' of clearing the baron bodies away from where the AVs teleport in isn't really telegraphed at all and requires a second try.

 

 

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MAP06 Stony Halls

 

Much like Paul, Matt's style can actually easily be seen in a map like this: hitscanners for the open ambush, easy-to-find secrets and items, and a nicely interwoven layout. The latter is what makes this a fun map. The name fits well too. Overall combat analysis reveals that most of the weapons are in places certified for some decent, but not unfair, combat. Like how two of the keys intersect with the starting area. A modest level.

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MAP06 – “Stony Halls”, by Matt Tropiano

 

RCcwwjz.png

 

This map is probably my favorite map of the set so far! It appears to have a grindy start at first, with a Baron of Hell ambushing you, but subverts that by opening up multiple routes for you to take. I chose to rush towards the Super Shotgun area. You are surrounded by hitscanners, so getting better weapons is a priority. The Hell Knight trap around the Super Shotgun is quick and fun. I made my way through the blue-switch room and then, to the red-key room.

 

The map has a tendency to use monsters (mostly hitscanners) on corner ledges. This has the interesting consequence of pushing you towards the columns of the rooms rather than the walls. After obtaining the red-key, guarded by a group of Chaingunners, you make your way to a large area with the red-door. You have engaging monster placement here. Cacodemons move to strike you down, Imps and Hell Knights pummel you with projectiles, Mancubi and Revenants snipe you from their almost turret-like placement, while you deal with the Arachnotrons on the ground. You might have to make a mad dash to get the Rocket Launcher (and Berserk Pack, if necessary)

 

After you clean the mess up, you enter the red-door, clear the room, and take the blue-key. This has a fun ambush where Cacodemons, Demons and an Arachnotron attack you, although the cramped area does lead to a bit of infighting. One interesting aspect of the map is its repeated use of the central corridor. Both the red-key and blue-key rooms use it as an escape route.

 

You proceed to the blue-switch room, where a short ambush awaits you. After obtaining the yellow key, you return to the yellow door. This final portion of the map is ruthless but has fantastic monster placement. You have to kill a few Chaingunners, Mancubi and Revenants, only to release an Arch-vile into the room. This area is cramped and you have to handle the Arch-vile and his resurrected army. Meanwhile, another Arch-vile tries to blast you from the exit room.

 

This map was fantastic. It had fun and engaging monster placement, along with copious amounts of non-linearity. The map architecture was elegant and not frustrating like in MAP05. The secrets were slightly easy to locate, but they were pretty useful when I got them. All in all, this is MAP05 done right.

Edited by SGS Man
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Map 06

 

I noticed the same thing as Obsidian -- essentially this is the layout of map 05 (rooms connected with lots of campable hallways and thresholds) in a much more enjoyable form. You can camp stuff but you have incentives not to (stirring up efficient infighting, for one), and it's also just more fun to fight in the room themselves. It's an okay map, I'd say, but it suffers from everything-looks-the-same syndrome, which combined with the complex layout makes it a bit confusing to get around. As a player one of my criteria for replaying maps like this is that they are satisfying to route for aggressive play (I am a maxer after all -- still not good at it, but I try :( ), and this is one of those maps where navigation involves plans like 'go left here, go right here, okay, now turn back here' instead of following a path that can be understood more in purely visual terms, and that isn't so fun. Key placement could also flow a lot better: you basically have to crisscross over the map a couple times, feels artificially convoluted. In my first playthrough I had 30 monsters or so remaining and still had two keys to get. A lot of silent automap-reliant backtracking there.

 

That said, combat is satisfying. Lots of chaotic infighting, both the SSG and 'zerk against low and mid-tiers. Hitscanners are ubiquitous, which is often annoying, but it works here because due to placement and the layout, they are rarely threatening for too long. In other words, it's not like you ever have caged chaingunners or the like with persistent line of sight across a whole area from you. You face ones up close that are threatening for an instant but killed easily, and all of the ledge snipers invariably infight with stuff and are first encountered from far away where you can snipe them with ample cover. 

 

Tyson should be possible with a relative minimum of pistol use against mid-tiers (basically only stuff like the ledge revs that survive infighting, and  arachnotrons that will inevitably be highly weakened). 

 

Edited by rdwpa
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Map06 'Stony Halls'

GLBoom-Plus - UV Pistol Start - Saves

zDODzmw.png

This level starts out in a rather frantic fight to get a foothold before you either die or run out of ammo. The map is nonlinear, but not quite to the same extent as the previous map. However, I think the nonlinearity that's there is done much better than map05. Generally I'd recommend going straight for the super shotgun once you've cleared the starting area. Most of the level is pretty straightforward, but the key traps can be deadly if you aren't prepared for them (Red key killed me once.)

 

The opening battle is definitely the defining fight in this map. The final battle with the archviles I feel could have been a bit more interesting if there were just a few more enemies added in. Most of the other battles aren't really noteworthy, but they're still fun. The map overall was really good, and certainly the best map in the WAD up until this point.

Edited by Spie812
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29 minutes ago, rdwpa said:

still not good at it

Why ya lyin'

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Aww. <3

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MAP06: Stony Halls

 

Gotta say that's not the most evocative of titles there.

 

I find myself in agreement with @Obsidian and @rdwpa that there are strong similarities in theme and layout between this level and the preceding one, but this takes those components and does them so much better.  Movement through the layout feels fluid, the interconnections from area to area are better developed and more varied, the combat's meatier, more intelligent, and more demanding.  I think in particular the varied levels within each room or yard, the way that the player's movement loops around to pass through the same area from a different direction and at a different elevation, or the branching routes with genuine freedom to roam, contribute to the sense of the whole level as a single interconnected space rather than artificiality of MAP05's discrete square rooms and connecting corridors.  And this isn't a map that's shy about being downright mean on occasion.  I liked it.

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MAP06. Time: 13:58. Kills: 100%. Secrets: 100%.

Nothing special on this map as well, though some of the later fights were actually fun and somewhat threatening.

prcp_arch_06.zip

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