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    The /newstuff Chronicles #256


    Bloodshedder

    Alright guys, it's my first /newstuff, but relax...I'm pretty good at this reviewing thing, so I'll try my best to make a fair and unbiased review of every WAD file that gets downloaded to my hard drive. Lord only knows that I barely have two gigs of space left on this thing, so y'all should be thankful that I'm willing to use up my last bits of storage to hold these things (at least, long enough to make aforementioned fair and unbiased reviews of them). Without further ado, here goes.

    Um, since he didn't make it very clear in his intro, this /newstuff was done by WildWeasel. Yeah. - Bloodshedder

    • CleanWAD - Serge Smirnov and Martin Howe
      doom2.exe - n/a - 758 KB
      A handy little utility, if I do say so myself - but it's only "handy" if you don't already use the Clean Up feature in WAD managers like Wintex and XWE. I suppose somebody out there will have a use for this, though...as it stands, it works pretty well.

    • Wolfenshit 3D Act 0ne: Das Wolfenshit Basen - Daimon
      doom2.exe - Solo Play - 27 KB -
      Pretty much lives up to its name. It's a Wolfenstein-themed map with about 6 different rooms filled with a type of monster, starting you with a huge pile of BFG's with which to slay them (and eventually giving you the lesser weapons for some reason). I'm not entirely sure how old this map is, but it was certainly made during this century (given that the text file mentions Max Payne and Half-Life). But what does age matter? This map isn't good at all. Even as a joke wad.

    • Route Hawk 66 - DD_133
      Skulltag - Deathmatch - 152 KB -
      This one's a smaller map based around the famous Route 66. Designed chiefly for duels and set out in the desert on a lonely section of road, this one has a few good duel weapons scattered about (with an SSG next to a few of the spawn points), some max health bonuses, and a fair amount of cover. There is also a wall with some jump pads next to it, which leads up to where you can find the Plasma Gun, the Rocket Launcher, and Invisibility. You may want to make sure you have a Jump key bound, since it's needed if you want the Invisibility.

      Since I lack any friends to DM with, I tested this with bots - it gets pretty hectic with four players; I imagine 2 or 3 would be best. (As a matter of fact, 3 ought to be just fine - not too fast, not too slow.)

    • Wolfenshit Act 2: Das Terror Laboraterien dèr Fhurèr and the great sequal of dectective slug! - Daimon
      ZDoom - Solo Play - 422 KB -
      My God. Daimon didn't see fit to destroy me with the first one. No, he made a SECOND one. All things considered, I find this one only slightly more enjoyable than the first chapter, but not by much. Being a ZDoom wad, this takes advantage of ZDoom's (ahem) popular features, like particle fountains, stealth monsters, and absurdly fast scrolling walls. Missing textures and HOM's all over the place, lots of boss creatures, Stealth Arch-Viles, and just about every other dreaded thing that one could insert into their ZDoom map. Argh.

    • Requiem for Modplug.com - Daimon
      doom.exe - Solo Play - 8303 KB
      So you've discovered Modplug.com. Yes, they do have good music - but seriously, who makes music WADs anymore? What with most of the source ports that support them also having a command like Changemus, I don't see how this is even necessary. Add to that, the only thing that Daimon even deserves credit for is the text file. And lo and behold, it's just a text file - nothing really special about it.

      If you really want mod music playing in the background, it's easy enough to just make your own WAD file (or use the changemus command). But I suppose if you're into this sort of thing, be my guest and download it.

      And Daimon, shame on you for not crediting any of the artists in your text file (outside of "all the authors of the songs you listen there"). That's really flattering.

    • Operation Arctic Wolf Special Edition - Laz Rojas
      Legacy Compatible - Solo Play - 6616 KB -
      This one's an update of the older "Arctic Wolf" TC for Doom 2, but while it enhances the sounds and such a little bit (mostly with poorly-downsampled sounds from newer games like Return to Castle Wolfenstein and No One Lives Forever) it fails to remedy the one glaring issue with the original: it's very annoying to set up (even using the Legacy launcher as suggested in the text file), even more annoying to play (because of the overabundance of hitscan-based enemies, enemies with too much health, unbalanced weapons, lack of health), and more annoying still to have to quit the game halfway through to change to the "alternate" resources wad file so you can fight different enemies. I don't see that as particularly necessary, seeing as mods like Batman Doom have more enemies than this, and there is an awful lot of frame wastage going on in the DEH patches. Why not nullify the Pain Elemental's respawn states and use those frames? Or why not use Archvile fire for other stuff (since that eats up a lot of frames itself)?

      All this being said: those who enjoyed the first Arctic Wolf mission will be interested in seeing what's new, but if you found it annoying to play like I did, then you probably won't see much reconciliation in trying this one.

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    Great job, Weasel. :) Sadly, there is nothing in this newstuff that really interests me. Not a bad week though, if you love Wolfenstein or Skulltag.

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    Since WW mentioned the built-in cleaner of WinTex and I've also been emailed privately about this: if you already use XWE you probably don't need CleanWAD. However, I still use WinTex and needed a version of CleanWAD that could handle modern source port data, so if you are using WinTex (or need a standalone cleaner anyway), read on:

    CleanWAD was originally written by Serge Smirnov for WinTex and later rewritten as a stand-alone utility. The stand-alone version is a better cleaner than that of WinTex - if you clean a WAD with WinTex there are always 32 bytes (0x20) wasted, whereas the stand-alone cleaner always removes all wasted space as well as (in my version, optionally) various editing entries such as _DEUTEX_ that make no sense in a final-release WAD.

    I used the original CleanWAD program myself for years, but source ports such as ZDoom and new games such as HeXen introduced new data and map formats that CleanWAD didn't know about; of course, WinTex's internal WAD cleaner didn't understand them either.

    Unfortunately, Serge Smirnov has left the DOOM community and nobody has heard from him in years. In particular, CleanWAD has not been updated by him since 1995! Because I rely on CleanWAD myself, I used the source code of the program to make a new version of CleanWAD that understands things like the HeXen map format, TX_START..TX_END and so forth. This version also handles structured lists better and has much finer control over error checking and suchlike than the old one did. The code is now cleaner and has been split into modules; in fact, it is now almost a complete rewrite: there's hardly of Serge's original code left. It has also been compiled with a 32-bit compiler and ported to Linux and GCC as well as Visual C++, so it is faster.

    It won't handle every new construct -- for example, it won't identify PNG graphics by content -- but covers most of the things one sees at the moment in WAD files. You can also use the command-line options to tell it not to attempt to process entries in a WAD but simply to remove wasted space. The command-line options can be quite confusing at first, so if you do use the updated CleanWAD, please be sure to read the "manual.txt" file!

    I'd like to see a standalone cleaner that is TOTALLY able to recognise ALL the modern source port data formats, but until somebody writes one (or I have the time) then this will have to do :)

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    Arctic wolf sounds interesting, I wonder if it runs with gzdoom as a legacy wad.
    And thanks for the reviews WW, would like to see you do a real quality week :)

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    gravitar said:

    Arctic wolf sounds interesting, I wonder if it runs with gzdoom as a legacy wad.

    As I understand it, no Legacy-specific features are used, so it should be playable with any exe that has adequate dehacked support.

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    I managed to get it running in GZDoom once, with no issues - but the text file recommends Legacy, so I put it as "Legacy Compatible."

    Arctic Wolf really needs a remake in ZDoom. I'd be willing to do so, if Laz Rojas gives me permission. (Or heck, I might do it anyway if he never gets back to me.)

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    WildWeasel said:
    I managed to get it running in GZDoom once, with no issues - but the text file recommends Legacy, so I put it as "Legacy Compatible."


    It's really a plain Dehacked mod and runs with any port that supports it. The Legacy recommendation is probably just the author's preference. Back when the SE was released the first time I had no problems running it in ZDoom.

    Arctic Wolf really needs a remake in ZDoom. I'd be willing to do so, if Laz Rojas gives me permission. (Or heck, I might do it anyway if he never gets back to me.)


    I always thought that with a little scripting this might become something truly great so I'd highly appreciate it if such a thing could be done.

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    So does that mean all the other Wolfendoom wads are also playable outside of Dos/Legacy ? (i.e. the original missions require even a standalone exe, or is that also "author´s preference" ?)
    Thanks for clarification, I always wanted to try these wads but Legacy doesn´t run very well here.

    EDIT:
    just tried Arctic Wolf with
    -ZDoom 63 - locked up pc
    -GZDoom 9-19 - fatal error, "failed to allocate ...byte from process heap" when warping to map 09, loads maps 10/11, fails on 12 again
    -PRBoom 224 seems to run fine

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    The Original and Nocturnal Missions still require their standalone EXE, mainly so that the boss levels work properly (because without them, they won't drop keys/end the levels properly). Everything else ought to run okay, I believe.

    And I'm getting the heap errors in GZDoom now as well. I wonder why.

    Lastly, Laz Rojas has replied to my message, and I officially have permission to proceed with the Arctic Wolf remake project.

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    Arctic Wolf plays ok with PRBoom, but it crashes on level exits.(doesn´t like a patch)
    That is still quite annoying but I like what i have seen so far, very nice mission.

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    gravitar said:

    Arctic Wolf plays ok with PRBoom, but it crashes on level exits.(doesn´t like a patch)

    One possible solution is to use the OpenGL renderer (glboom.exe). Or remove the background graphic that is presumably causing the problem, of course.

    BTW, versions subsquent to 2.2.4 (i.e. 2.2.5, 2.2.6 and prboom-plus) have successively fixed some issues in the dehacked support. I played several levels of ArcticSE in Prboom-plus 2.2.6.22test5 (which fixes the "Bits = 0" issue - I see that does occur in these deh patches), and everything seemed correct.

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    Bloodshedder said:

    I barely have two gigs of space left on this thing

    Assuming 'this thing' is wild weasel's computer, how big was the hard drive?

    Also, what would clean wad do to a wad?

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    Remove wasted space in a WAD, which is present every time a WAD is edited. XWE does a clean up on every exit by default. I don't know if/when DeePSea and Wintex/Deutex do it.

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    doom2day said:

    Assuming 'this thing' is wild weasel's computer, how big was the hard drive?

    My hard drive has a capacity of roughly 80 gigabytes. After having completed Newstuff reviews, I decided to completely reformat and reinstall my system, and now my hard drive has about 61 gigs free (after installing bare essentials).

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    doom2day said:

    Also, what would clean wad do to a wad?

    Er, clean a WAD?

    :) Seriously, why not read the text file or download it and read the manual, if you want the gory details.

    To answer the Dark Archon, WinTex cleans a WAD only when you ask it to, not by default.

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    WildWeasel said:

    My hard drive has a capacity of roughly 80 gigabytes. After having completed Newstuff reviews, I decided to completely reformat and reinstall my system, and now my hard drive has about 61 gigs free (after installing bare essentials).

    What the hell are the bare essentials? 15 GBs of porn?

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    Windows alone eats about 500MB.
    Install Norton System Works and you have another 200MB.
    Install Office XP and it eats another 500MB.

    I dont know why Windows programms have to be so huge. My whole Fedora Core 4 install takes 4,9 gbyte.

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    And 4,9 gbyte for linux is still very big :).

    Give a try to gentoo or Debian. You gonna be under 3 gbyte after kde is installed with all utilities, browsers and open office.

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    I should mention that i have tons of dev stuff on this machine, that i should delete some stuff from /root/install/compile *g* and that i prefer gnome over KDE. ;)

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