Your thoughts on Plutonia

Meh, I honestly don't really like Plutonia.

Sure, I'm just being some whining fool, but I feel like it's just unnecessarily difficult.

That's just my opinion, though.

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41 minutes ago, SGS Man said:

As a whole, I think Plutonia has aged remarkably well, better than TNT and DOOM 2, in both gameplay and visuals. The visuals may be repetitive to some but, I found them to be consistently good and memorable. TNT adopted a more "realistic" approach (graphics over art-style) and has suffered over the years because of it.

 

Definitely this. Moving on to TNT afterwards and looking back at Doom 2 I do notice that all of these have their fair share of ugly levels, but the visuals and levels in Plutonia were amazing. It really feels more modern compared to the rest of the IWADs.

 

47 minutes ago, cyan0s1s said:

I further enjoyed that most maps did not rely on throwing hundreds of monsters at you, but instead carefully placed them in strategic positions to maximize their effectiveness. It's as if the maps themselves are what's hard, and the monsters are merely following orders. The first two levels of Doom's episode 4 comes to mind, where the difficulty did not lie specifically in the fighting, but the levels themselves, which amplified their threat scope to previously unseen levels. Outside of MAP32: Go 2 It, none of the maps have the elements of a slaughtermap, and even MAP32 is tame compared to what you'd later seen in Hell Revealed and beyond.

The only map I didn't really care for was Hunted, if only because I find it boring to navigate and it's not really that hard. Maybe back in 1996. Not a bad concept, it was improved upon in Plutonia 2 (have yet to play Plutonia Revisited). Sometimes the sheer amount of chaingunners can be annoying to deal with, but ultimately its the insidious hidden Archviles that revive them over and over again that are the worst. I never really had a problem with a bunch of Revenants, seeing as you can make their projectiles collide into other monsters. I didn't even mind the homages to id levels, especially Doom 1 maps, complimented with the abundance of Doom 1 music, it certainly lends a sense of familiarity, while being uniquely sinister all on its own.

 

Precisely, something that I realized on my way to the later levels. Despite their complexity I never really lost myself on the maps (this actually says a lot since my sense of direction is abominable, both in games and real life), and the strategic placement of the enemies was what made them so challenging, although I wish they didn't rely so damn much on Revenants, Archviles and especially Chaingunners. The number of the enemies is relatively small in the early levels but towards the end the game really does start to bullshit the player with excessive ambushes and teleport assaults, which like I previously said made the game much more predictable (something I honestly liked, a pattern that easily worked in my favor).

 

Out of all these overused enemies, Archviles seem to be the least frustrating. They bothered me a lot only when they'd constantly revive... too well placed enemies, draining my health to critical levels in seconds, which made me hunt them, more or less successful.

 

You mentioned Hunted, yeah, that was my least favorite map as well. It was simple but just totally uninteresting, feeling more like a filler than a real Plutonia map. It only posed a challenge occasionally due to my crap sense of direction thanks to its maze like design. I'm still amazed to see most of the people here didn't find Plutonia hard. This really tells me a lot, a lack of experience on my side but still... or maybe I should just accept that the only reason it was difficult to me is simply because I suck and I'm a bad player in general with a few exceptions...

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Plutonia is easily my favorite IWAD. The new textures provided combined with the Casalis' architecture makes it easily the best looking IWAD as well. The gameplay is still very challenging yet (for the most part) very fair. Every bit of it has aged, but aged in a good way.

 

I feel like the first 5 maps of Plutonia were the by far worst part of the mapset. It's almost as if Dario and Milo had a difficult time making easier maps. In the first 5 maps you have almost literally everything people hate about Plutonia and I feel like that those maps are a huge turnoff for new players, since the maps after that are much better.

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Plutonia has to be my favorite IWAD out there.

 

I love fast paced games where you must slaughter every enemy that gets in your way. You start off with a level that should be in the middle of Doom 2! My personal favorites are Go 2 it, Tombstone, Slayer and hell, all of them! In-fights are your friend in Plutonia. I'm wondering if you played the 2 secret levels, Go 2 it and Cybers den.

Edited by Wadviro_

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I have an inclination towards "challenge maps" with smallish monster counts that make you work. Naturally, I dig Plutonia. Preferred TNT in my youth but the idea of neatly designed little super-hard maps appeals to me more and more as time progresses. It's the perfect little gspot between slaughter maps and 'traditional style' maps - challenging your Doom skill while never overstaying their welcome.

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I can name two maps off the top of my head that I didn't like as much: 16: The Omen and 26: Bunker. I don't think Plutonia is that hard either, TNT has maps that are harder than most of Plutonia actually. Some of the Master Levels aren't walks in the park either. But I think I'd rather replay Perdition's Gate than Plutonia anytime soon, maybe a few maps here and there. Doom II is still my favorite of the official sets.

 

Actually I recently played most of the officially constructed, contracted, and licensed Doom sets this year on normal or higher with quick saves via Eternity. I even managed time to finish Strife. I still need to play the console levels though, maybe PSX TC sometime next year.

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5 hours ago, Zulk RS said:

Also, fuck the infinitely resurrecting chaingunners.

Was looking for this, definitely the real ass-kisser that really makes three of the maps really unenjoyable.

 

MAP09 is my favorite.

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Plutonia will always hold a special place in my heart, if only because of the fact that it was the first wad I played through all the way in coop with my cousin and my dad, alongside TNT. It just looks amazing and the difficulty makes for a great/horrible coop experience.

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6 hours ago, Lüt said:

Water that damages you.

 

Slime that doesn't.

Oh, I was going to write about this but I forgot. Well, I am not too concerned about consistency between 2 maps because they are mapped by different mappers. Actually, SoD also did this where slime on Map04 doesn't hurt, and slime on Map05 does hurt (also, those slime is the same one on Map04 due to the map structure).

However, Plutonia has inconsistency in one level where some of the slime hurts but some doesn't on Map17.

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Plutonia is, in my opinion, tied with Doom 2 as my favourite game ever (yes, I think Doom 2 in better than Ultimate Doom, though the latter is fantastic as well).

 

What makes Plutonia so great is its attention to detail, damn fine enemy placement (well, 95% of the time) and excellent difficulty: that is, hard but fair.

 

Favourite maps would probably be MAP29 or MAP31. Both aren't terribly difficult, have good concepts, good designs, good layouts and good gameplay.

 

Least favourite maps would probably be MAP24 and MAP25. 24 has an admittedly annoying Cyberdemon and 25 has a few shitty traps, and the start of 25 is just plain unfair, especially from pistol start. But still, both aren't horrible. I would've honestly preferred Memento Mori's MAP24 (Diehard) instead of The Final Frontier.

 

So yeah. Infinitely better than that shitty TNT.

Edited by Poncho

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6 hours ago, Poncho said:

What makes Plutonia so great is its attention to detail, damn fine enemy placement (well, 95% of the time) and excellent difficulty: that it, hard but fair.

 

I'd like to have a word with the difficulty. But yeah, despite being very challenging (for me anyway, first time, blind playthrough, crappy player) it didn't feel that it was unfair. I mean, the maps in general do have plenty of items and power ups you can grab so it doesn't feel punishing overall. Just that it has to be played smart by analyzing your surroundings, the enemies and their placement, which is something I actually really liked.

Edited by Agent6
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13 hours ago, GarrettChan said:

Oh, I was going to write about this but I forgot. Well, I am not too concerned about consistency between 2 maps because they are mapped by different mappers.

The reason I remember this above all else is because of a coop game I was playing with AV46 back when ZDaemon was a relatively new thing.

 

We had gotten to the map that had the water problem. He'd been consistently low on life for 3 levels straight, continually scraping through situations that should have killed him but left him with a few stray points of health instead. He had amassed a rather large arsenal throughout his absurdly improbable span of survival, and was once again down to single digit health, so I went ahead and cleared the scene of enemies so that he could come and collect the health... and then he took one step across the water, died, and lost his entire arsenal.

 

Personally, I only found it an odd combination of idiotic and amusing, but I sure wouldn't have stopped him from following through on his plans to punch some sense into the level author. In fact, I probably would have driven him to the guy's house just to watch the show.

 

Slime isn't such a big deal, but random damaging water remains one of the dumbest design decisions I've ever encountered since 1993.

 

However...

 

21 hours ago, Spie812 said:

I feel like the first 5 maps of Plutonia were the by far worst part of the mapset. It's almost as if Dario and Milo had a difficult time making easier maps. In the first 5 maps you have almost literally everything people hate about Plutonia and I feel like that those maps are a huge turnoff for new players, since the maps after that are much better.

...I eventually found this to be my current conclusion regarding Plutonia.

 

It made an exceptionally mediocre first impression on me, and while I gradually pushed my way through it the first time because "OMG NEW IWAD," I would always come back to it to see if I was missing something, play a few levels, then drop it. TNT seemed the much better of the two Final Doom projects, and for years I carried the memory of it being by far the superior IWAD (probably thanks to Map09).

 

But, many years later, after joining a number of Plutonia coop games starting on the later levels, and being rather underwhelmed during my revisits of TNT, I've come to appreciate Plutonia a bit more, and get past my first impressions of TNT being so new-and-official. I've been planning to play them side-by-side one last time before making my final comparison, but for now I won't argue with people who like Plutonia more.

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1 hour ago, Lüt said:

Slime isn't such a big deal, but random damaging water remains one of the dumbest design decisions I've ever encountered since 1993.

 

I don't remember this, which map has damaging water?

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1 hour ago, Scotty said:

I don't remember this, which map has damaging water?

I just checked; it's map06:

 

plutonia-map06-damagingwater-960w.png

 

A design decision made even more obnoxious by what I now remember was the reason he ran into the water in the first place - to lower the fountain and grab the berserk pack at the top.

 

In fact, I take back what I said about it being a "dumb" design decision - it's just a flat-out "fuck you I'm going to troll you and you can't do shit" decision, especially since this is one of the maps that has non-damaging slime.

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12 minutes ago, Lüt said:

I just checked; it's map06:

 

plutonia-map06-damagingwater-960w.png

 

 

I remember that place, but never noticed that water was hurting me (or did I actually forget to pick the berserk?). I wonder though whether it was done on purpose or by mistake. No matter how I look at that fountain I can't see any reason for it being a deliberate decision.

Edited by Agent6

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Huh. I have never noticed that in however many playthroughs. I guess cause you just run in and get immediately on the lift sectors to grab the secret. I too wonder if that was an error, because it feels like something that could have fairly easily been missed in playtesting - you never really have reason to just be standing in that sector.

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Personally I don't have a problem with randomly damaging liquids in Plutonia and it's unofficial sequels. Because I adhere to this rule: if it's animated, it could be dangerous. And better to check the liquid by stepping on it, if it's possible.

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The crystal sector bridge in MAP02 remains my object of hatred in this IWAD. I don't know why Dario thought this canyon trap, with an non-telegraphed bridge and flyers/revvies immediately firing upon your cramped ledge you simply have to escape (since there's no way back!), would fit the player's progression so early in Plutonia. Nothing in MAP01 is as divergent and unusual, let alone difficult to figure out the first few times. The section's just not intuitive, and it contrasts with later maps (like MAP11) where Dario makes the mechanics more clear and interesting. Either you accidentally step onto the bridge and know what's happened, or you don't. Maybe I'm just annoyed at having to restart MAP02 a few times after saving myself into a trap I didn't recognize and couldn't backtrack from, but it clearly doesn't accommodate a certain style of play.

Other than that, the reviving chaingunners in MAP15 (which are at least fun to work around), and the starts of some Milo maps (MAP20, MAP24), Plutonia's not that frustrating or unfair. It's difficult for sure, a decent notch harder than community pack WADs from the period—maybe not as tough and rough-shod as Dystopia 3—but the Casali brothers present a ton of fun, replayable, and meaningful combat situations which expanded the mapping toolbox. And I rarely play TNT instead of Plutonia if I want a quick action fix or if I'm testing a mod. TNT suffers from a lot of inconsistency starting early on, plus experimental parts which weren't great even back then. Plutonia levels I end up replaying often include MAP01, MAP03, MAP07, MAP10, MAP12 through 14, MAP16, MAP17, MAP21 through 23, and then MAP27 to the end. (On a rare occasion, I'll load TNT MAP02, MAP11, MAP 13, MAP15, MAP17, MAP20, MAP26, and MAP28 through the end. That's still a very fun mapset despite its flaws.)

I definitely understand and know where the OP's coming from. Abusing saves helped me get through Plutonia on my first run, and that made certain maps more unlikable than they should be. Playing less difficult but challenging PWADs afterward helped acclimate me to higher skill levels. Now that's it's easier to casually play Plutonia maps whenever I feel like it, the set's become essential. I'm still focused on playing the PWAD canon though, knowing there's so much to get caught up on.

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Well, I find it way harder than Doom 2 on UV. Puzzles on some maps also made me search longer, but overall experience was quite fun and challenging.

Edited by Mayhem666

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After playing through both TNT and Plutonia with the Final Doomer Plus weapon mod I definitely have to say Plutonia's levels have aged far better both visually and gameplay wise. Plutonia has more consistent polish throughout its maps and there aren't many sour experiences with levels, compared to TNT where the quality of the levels varies like a roller coaster. Plutonia still has some levels that I consider to suck gameplay wise like Tombstone and Speed but all the iwads have their share of bad levels IMO. It boggles my mind that the Casali brothers were able to create 32 maps with arguably more polish than even some of id's levels in just 4 months.

 

Of course you can't talk about Plutonia without the memes of it just being Chaingunner, Revenant, and Archvile ambush galore and I won't deny that these encounters can get a bit repetitive with every playthrough; but I managed to be accustomed to it overtime after playing through other, more crazy fan wads.

 

My favorite map is MAP32: Go 2 It, which is funny because I usually prefer tightly structured maps over slaughter maps but something about this one seems to flow really good; maybe because it takes the basic structure of MAP01: Entryway from Doom 2 and builds upon it. MAP10: Onslaught is also pretty damn good too.

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10 hours ago, Lüt said:

I just checked; it's map06:

 

(first 5 maps ideas)

Yeah, I totally remember when I was doing my Reality run of this map, I tagged this secret really carefully. There is also damaging water (20%) at the beginning of Map05, but that's an inescapable pit, so I guess that could be fine... Talking about this, I guess blood or muddy water are another thing that you don't understand about because you would expect "probably you need to try it before you can tell whether this hurts"...

 

I'm kind of curious about your opinions toward to first 5 maps or so about what makes them bad because I kind of enjoy it, but I want to know more about things that I don't understand or notice. To me, a weird map is Map14 that I don't really have too much thought about it.

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Not much to say, it's one of best and most influential of all megawads. I still enjoy it today a lot, and many maps still kick ass

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I'm actually going to start playing the PSX version of Final Doom tonight , I've read the PS1 version has only 30 levels compared to the PC's 64 levels. Can anyone shed some light on how much of either Plutonia or TNT actually made it in to that version? From what I've seen of Plutonia it looks like a real challenge.

Edited by PizzaGuy

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1 minute ago, NuMetalManiak said:

Only six Plutonia levels from what I remember, rest are Master Levels or TNT.

Really??? That's a lot less than I was expecting to be honest. Ahh well at least there's the Aubrey Hodges soundtrack which will no doubt be awesome.

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Yeah the Final Doom on PSX is a missed opportunity. 11 TNT levels, 13 Master levels, and 6 Plutonia levels for a total of 30 maps, as opposed to PSX Doom's 59 or so, with all of Doom 1 and the majority of Doom II in-tact. Very strange decision. Master levels aren't even all that good, if they were dead set on 30 slots they should've allocated more for Plutonia.

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A little preface on my background as a Doomer: I played through the original Doom 1 and 2 as an elementary schooler and got decently good (for the era I've played in and my age) to the point I managed to pistol start every Doom 2 map with save scumming (less because I couldn't survive the fights and more because I sucked at ammo management and needed a ton of trial-and-error to figure out how to avoid running dry). Also played a few fanmade levels of the era I found on some old CD. It wasn't until high school that I revisited the game, derusted on both classic Dooms and decided to dive into Plutonia, because hey, official expansion pack.

 

I only have fragmentary memories of what I suffered through on my first playthrough (featuring lots and lots of save scumming), but what I remember is repeated ragequits and returns to the game whenever I ran into something that was killing me repeatedly, which happened a lot, because the rudimentary movement and combat techniques I developed for Doom 1 & 2 were simply insufficient to survive even something as seemingly simple as the four Mancubi dropping on the pillars all around you at the beginning of MAP13. MAPs 13 to 23 was a near-continuous series of such ragequits, sometimes several times per map. I even ventured into the secret levels, somehow beat MAP31 with little problems and then noped the hell out of 32 and reloaded save game back to 15. And after finally beating Tombstone after several days of tearing my hair out, I saw the layout at the beginning of MAP24, said something to the effect of "nope, I'm not doing that" and quit Doom altogether for several years.

I didn't notice any deficiencies in graphic design, music (it was objectively awful, thankfully we have Plutonia MIDI Pack these days), level layouts, monster placements, etc. All I could see while playing was the difficulty jump from Doom 2 that was too much for me back then. I wasn't patient enough to grind through it, knowledgeble enough to figure out optimal routes, or even just smart enough to adopt better combat techniques.

Fast forward to now and I'm casually pistol starting every single level, including MAP32, in three attempts tops. Could probably UV-Max the entire thing if I wanted to, but I don't, because I don't find it challenging enough to bother. It didn't happen overnight, and didn't even happen by playing Plutonia itself. What I did was casually playing a bunch of WADs that were easier than Plutonia with lots, but then limited save scumming, mixed up with a few WADs harder than Plutonia with either overpowered weapon mods, difficulty easier than Ultra-Violence or just select few levels I happened to like a lot, while also watching videos of great players single segmenting difficult stuff to pick some techniques up. And then after returning to the levelset that made me quit Doom once, it went from "impossible" to "perfectly manageable". Bottom line: play a lot, learn levels you're new to on easier difficulty (usually HNTR), don't be afraid to mix up what you play to avoid frustration, adopt some elements from players better than you (but not all - a lot of high-level Dooming is banking on 1% good RNG, the remaining 99% being instant death) and keep striving to improve.

Think of Plutonia as a rite of passage - what separates a boy from a man. Pistol starting every Plutonia level should be every aspiring Doomer's long term goal and something everyone will need to be capable of achieving one day (unless you don't like it but can pistol start equivalent maps, I guess). Plutonia set a difficulty standard the vast majority of acclaimed fanmade WADs either reach or blow well past, sometimes even on HNTR. Forget about playing them if you struggle with Plutonia of all things - even if you can save scum through them, your skill deficiencies will more likely lead to frustration than enjoyment of playing.

 

As for Plutonia itself, it's straight up my favorite WAD from the 90s. The main reason, other than the balanced difficulty I'm well accustomed to at this point, being its generally consistent level quality across all 32 maps. I don't find any Plutonia level to be subpar. On the other hand, I don't find any Plutonia level to be particularly good either. Every map is just all around "okay". There are a few stray design flaws in some levels, some duller-than-average sections and conversely some pretty fun ones, but I never go into any map thinking "Why do I have to play this garbage? I'd rather play this or that", which is something very few WADs can claim.

It's been dethroned by a ton of community submissions by now, but it remains as an important historical landmark and the only officially released WAD I still bother playing from time to time.

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^^^
That's why I like posts like these: I can take a cup of tea with a biscuit, make myself comfortable in the chair and read.

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Controversial opinion time!

 

First off, I should mention that I'm a horrible Doom player who lives by save-scumming.  I can make my way through Episodes 1-3 without saving or dying if I try hard enough, but that's about it.  When I first tried Plutonia, I quit around the level where you start off in the slime and have to take mandatory damage.  A few months later, I tried playing it with Brutal Doom, and I loved it (though I still skipped the slime level, and I also skipped the all-arch-vile level...doing that once was more than enough for me).  Having the ability to remote-snipe hitscanners, and having grenades to dispatch some of the more troublesome groups of enemies, made Plutonia *much* easier, and much more entertaining.

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