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    The /newstuff Chronicles #128


    The Ultimate DooMer

    It's safe to come out, as the flames have died down and there's a ton of maps to play in this, the latest edition of the /newstuff Chronicles! This week we once again have an all-vanilla chapter, with perhaps the highest map-to-wad ratio for a while. Only 4 wads, but with a total of 32 maps between them, giving a map-to-wad ratio of 8:1 (the highest since last summer). So not much clicking but plenty of killing...

    • SargeBaldy's Speedmapping Compilation #8 by Various Artists
      70kb - doom2.exe - SP(eed) -
      Another speedmapping compilation, but surprisingly this is the first one I've reviewed. 3 maps here, and the theme was to design an E3 style demonic temple complete with a courtyard and sacrificial altar, but doing so making all linedefs parallel/perpendicular to the grid. The first map is impressive, with good detail and is pretty challenging too - however it is spoiled by the presence of an archvile at the end. The second map is questionable, given that all you have to do is teleport then hit the exit switch right near to you (or face a battle you can't win). The third map is dark and challenging, with plenty of running and ammo conserving, but you might find it tricky to work out where to go at first (and there's not enough ammo to kill everyone in the last room). Given the 100 minute limit, the detail is pretty good in all maps (and very good in the first map), although question marks are left about one or two aspects of gameplay.

    • Blind Alley V: Necrophobia by Gene Bird
      140kb - doom2.exe - SP -
      These maps just keep on coming, a bit like their monsters, really. This one throws you in at the deep end straightaway, and never lets up. The theme is a mixture of green stone and wooden gothic areas, together with some modern brown stone areas, too. Ammo is plentiful as ever, and there's enough health to go round as well. This one is actually quite well detailed in some areas, and the map has a certain feel to it, especially in the gothic areas. You'll certainly have fun with this, and I think it's one of the better maps in the series, once again proving that there's more to Doom than eye-candy.

    • Quantum 4 by Nick Anderson
      235kb - doom2.exe - SP -
      This is an old wad (1996, I think) that has been uploaded to the archives for the first time. 4 maps, all of which are pretty random in layout and texturing, have some questionable puzzles and are generally nothing special. The detail is average in some areas but mostly poor, ammo and health are plentiful and it's easy to get stuck sometimes. On the plus side, the gameplay is fairly challenging, with a good mix of monsters and some sneaky traps, too. For fans of unthemed mid-90's maps only. (btw there's a bug if playing with ZDoom - the bars in map 01's blue room rise too far)

    • The Lost Episodes of Doom by Christen Klie and Robert Carter
      853kb - doom.exe - SP -
      After a thread debating the legality of distributing this wad freely, it suddenly drops into newstuff. A wadpack made in 1994, this is 3 episodes for Doom 1 (no secret maps). Many of the maps in the first episode will be familiar (as some of them are in chrisk.wad), the second episode bears some resemblance to a Deimos style and the third episode is not gothic/hellish at all. Detail is pretty low throughout, although this could be expected, given the age of these maps. The gameplay is fast and furious, and indeed it can be played at a very fast pace, making it quite fun. However, it can get boring and repetitive in episode 3, as it's maps are somewhat poor (and E3M8 is rather pointless, being a copy of E1M1 with a spider mastermind). There is waaaaaaaaay too much ammo here - in fact I was at full ammo for quite a bit of the time. There is also way too many supercharges and blue armour, indicating this was perhaps aimed at lower-skilled Doomers (even with fast monsters, I wasn't really troubled), although a few cybers/spiders here and there don't suggest that. The atmosphere is authentic 1994, and is a real treat for the nostalgia hunters and retro Doomers among us. But those of us who prefer today's wads will probably not want to spend a few hours playing this.

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    2nd post and I feel like writing something stupid which I normally try not to because it sounds so weird and strange and stupid and strange, and I like writing good things and try to be nice and ..(BLAM!)......

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    Tormentor667 said:

    *yawn*

    Poor newstuff this week... maps are boring and I don't like these speedmapping compilations.


    Yes, if this one was anything like the last one (with the one decent map and five shit ones), it's not worth my time...

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    Bndaly-series is clearly doing something right, because every week they say "this is one of the best in the series and worth playing" :)
    I don't want to sound negative, but why not participate in the speedmapping and improve the output if you don't like it. :)
    but this is just what /newstuff chronicles is for: give you a snapshot so you can decide whether or not the maps are worth playing/downloading.

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    Ultimate DooMer said:

    Quantum 4 ... it's easy to get stuck sometimes.

    I only found one such place - in map02, and the problem only arose if you revisited an area that you had no reason to revisit. Then again, I wasn't going out of my way to get stuck, and I wasn't playing with Zdoom (I wonder what the issue is with those bars in map01).

    My first play through Quantum4 took somewhere between 1 and 2 hours, and I didn't encounter any annoying problems. Then I tried map04 from a pistol start - oops!

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    I just want to know what happened to Ola Bjorning (sp?)...Also, I'm surprised to see /newstuff out so early. If this were the case all the time, we could have /newstuff multiple times a week. BTW, just how speedy are speedmapping sessions? Hours, a day...?

    Um, first Ola-related post. heh

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    Job said:

    BTW, just how speedy are speedmapping sessions? Hours, a day...?

    Um, first Ola-related post. heh


    100mins, nothing more, nothing less. Just 100mins.

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    Torn said:

    100mins, nothing more, nothing less. Just 100mins.

    Impressive. How long do these maps tend to be in comparison to Doom 1 or 2 maps?

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    I'm gonna repeat in this thread what I said in another thread about it: the first half of the Lost Episodes has some well-done maps, mostly in an E1 style, with decent detail and some nifty architecture. The second half is nothing but needlessly enormous mazes the size of your average continent, with too few monsters and extremely random and amateur switch and key placement, and some of the worst texturing I've ever seen (E3M1 is an especially bad example of this). There are points in the second half where you'll find single rooms the size of E1M1 with no monsters at all in them, and the placement of the Cyberdemon at the end of E2M8, crammed at the end of a ridiculously huge labyrinth in a small room with an invulnerability at the very entrance, is absolutely criminal. Basically, the first half is well worth playing, but if you don't stop after E2M4 I can't be held responsible for you chucking your monitor out the window in despair.

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    This is some version of the Lost Episodes a dude put up at newdoom without a text file, renoded in 2002 (check the time stamp) to be compatible with legacy's GL mode. Of course, the newbie that uploaded it to the Archive made up a text file where it says "you may modify it if you ask me for permission" (who the hell is "me" anyway?) probably not knowing that the actual WAD's text says "do not distribute, do not modify." Amusingly the new text doesn't even give an email to contact... it seems the newbie would have you searching the White Pages for the authors, or something. Not to mention that the newbie does not know whether the WAD has skill levels, DM, or coop support.

    I already told Ty about it (requesting deletion.) If anyone is going to distribute this it should at least be the actual file. Also, the text asks that people not distribute it. It should not be distributed, at least over Web pages or FTP for that reason. If someone wants to pass it along over IRC, email or something, maybe that wouldn't be too inappropriate, since the WAD is more or less "abandonware" at this point. But it should NOT be distributed openly since the text says not to (that should only be possible if the authors indicate it.)

    It's a simple matter of respecting authors' requests.

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    Job said:

    Impressive. How long do these maps tend to be in comparison to Doom 1 or 2 maps?

    Eh, IIRC, the good ones are a little more than E1M8.

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    boris said:

    Ola Björling went undercover to hunt down texture thieves.

    He was last seen at the corner of Freedoom and Lincoln!

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    Wow a Saturday Newstuff!!

    UD, damn nice job on the reviews, always fair.

    Lots of fun stuff to tryout this week.

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    Opulent said:

    He was last seen at the corner of Freedoom and Lincoln!


    He did show up on the forums, last year I think, to say "hi" and that he was slowly working on a map and its texture pack.

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    Aww, you mean I spent $15 bucks on the Lost Episodes six years ago when I could have just waited til now to download them for free?

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    Archvile46 said:

    Aww, you mean I spent $15 bucks on the Lost Episodes six years ago when I could have just waited til now to download them for free?


    LOL :D

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    I can't beleive The Lost Episodes came out! I had just been thinking about them, and reading threads about them, and now I don't have to waste money on it! I remember seeing it in the store, and I had always wanted to try it but never got it. Now, I downloaded in 2 seconds, for free!

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    Cyb said:

    /newstuff, on Saturday afternoon?! Amazing! I figure this cancels out the last two not being put up until Monday.


    heh, don't fool yourself, we're not THAT forgiving! ;)

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    Grazza said:

    I only found one such place - in map02, and the problem only arose if you revisited an area that you had no reason to revisit. Then again, I wasn't going out of my way to get stuck, and I wasn't playing with Zdoom (I wonder what the issue is with those bars in map01).


    I wasn't speaking from my perspective (I found a few problems like the doors in map 04 that only work on one side but mostly I didn't get stuck) - I'm aware that some people don't like puzzles, non-obvious switches etc. and people who can easily get stuck when they come up against them, so that's why I mentioned it.

    BTW, the problem in map 01 is due to the fact that the bars use a Floor W1: up by shortest lower texture special, and ZDoom makes them rise twice as high as vanilla for some reason. (in map 10 of Fragport, the maze in the archvile room uses that special, and rises 128 units in ZDoom instead of 64, so that's how I know)

    Job said:

    I just want to know what happened to Ola Bjorning (sp?)...Also, I'm surprised to see /newstuff out so early. If this were the case all the time, we could have /newstuff multiple times a week. BTW, just how speedy are speedmapping sessions? Hours, a day...?


    I uploaded it on Saturday morning (BST) before I went away for the weekend, so that's why it appeared early.

    And no, newstuff multiple times a week wouldn't work, as a lot of them would be empty.

    Finally, the speedmaps are built in 100 minutes.

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    insertwackynamehere# said:

    I can't beleive The Lost Episodes came out! I had just been thinking about them, and reading threads about them, and now I don't have to waste money on it! I remember seeing it in the store, and I had always wanted to try it but never got it. Now, I downloaded in 2 seconds, for free!

    Hey! You mean I just wasted $6.18 on it?!! Sonofabitch.

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    Translation provided by Hyena

    Whenever Ultimate Doomer says "Questionable" he means "bad" :p

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    Hyena said:

    Translation provided by Hyena

    Whenever Ultimate Doomer says "Questionable" he means "bad" :p

    Ultimate DooMer said:

    The second map is questionable, given that all you have to do is teleport then hit the exit switch right near to you (or face a battle you can't win).


    Heh.

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