dobu gabu maru

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About dobu gabu maru

  • Rank
    Midtex Wizard
  1. Maps aren't made in a vacuum though; people post and display their work because they hope or expect, on some level, for others to enjoy it. Listening to feedback and rethinking the structure of your map is really useful for developing as a mapper (and artist), even if you ultimately disagree in the end. Like, people are free to make whatever they want, but if you're submitting something to a community project and 5/6 playtesters say your map is unrefined, slow, or too SSG-heavy, the problem might lie with the author, not the audience.
  2. MAP09: And at last, we arrive. The final map is the most gargantuan of the lot, containing of a multitude of battles to test your combat prowess. There’s a lot of cool ideas here, the most obvious being the finale (which I’ll get to). The two fights I really enjoy are the chaingunner towers scuffle (where you have to decide whether picking up a blur sphere is worth stray projectiles), and the pinky swarm (where you have to continuously trace a “U” path in order to keep them at bay). The map also contains a number of nifty puzzles for the player to crack, the most difficult of which is probably the quadruple switch one—it took me a while to piece together the first time I encountered it. Aesthetically, the map doesn’t really gel with me. One issue is that red is far more prevalent here than in the previous maps (barring MAP05 I suppose), and used as a secondary color it doesn’t blend nor contrast well against purple that much. Another issue is that I really don’t get a sense of “place” like the other maps in the set—you start in a cavern-like section but then dive down into a palace that you don’t really get a grasp on the size of. Perhaps if it was outside or there was a larger setpiece structure to anchor the level around I would be more intrigued, but unfortunately the map just seems like a very big purple slab of weathered brick. Ironically, thinking about it now, perhaps the map doesn’t lean hard enough into alternating between red and purple, as the gem-like texture that scrolls at a diagonal might’ve looked more striking being red. One piece of minor detail I greatly appreciate are the columns of lights near the start that alternate between red and purple as they throb, as it's very clever foreshadowing about the finale. The big ol’ countdown room is spartan visually, but the allure of it is the gimmick contained within—don’t want to fight any archviles? Hit switches instead! This is a stupendous twist on what could otherwise be a ho-hum finale, prioritizing sprinting towards spacial targets rather than maintaining crowd control, and the provisions provided here are really well balanced (as opposed to the previous fight where someone vomited megaspheres everywhere). I feel a little bad for this encounter though because it’s really hard to tell what’s happening during the entire battle, and it’s likely folks will finish it without picking up on what they were doing right/wrong… I suspect adding windows/holes in the switch walls so the player could physically see the red walls turning into a soft purple would be an adequate clue, but even then I don't know if players could correlate that to the AVs. A nice thing about the gimmick in this battle is its leniency; missing a switch doesn’t spell certain doom for the player, but instead just makes the fight a teensy bit harder. Ribbiks could’ve easily flooded the arena with archviles if they miss a single switch, but I like the way he doesn’t harshly punish you for messing up. It allows you to kinda play at your own pace, willing to risk the archvile spawn if you would rather not push into the crowded middle to hit one of the switches. The final battle is both a great idea with great execution—it’s just a shame it’s so difficult to parse. Nevertheless, it's a really fitting, awesome conclusion to an amazing set. MAP31: If we were to apply an album analogy to Stardate 20X7 (which doesn’t seem far-fetched given that there’s nine distinct “tracks”), Hopscotch is a bonus song that’s just as good, if not better, than those in the main listing. Sure, it’s kind of a bizarre map, and sure, there’s so much red in here that it puts MAP09 to shame, but goddamn if it isn’t engaging. The start is fiery hot as you’re forced to weave between enemies as you desperately search for munitions, never really feeling comfortable with the ammunition you have until the level is over. Being able to put that much stress on a player over a 15-20 minute playtime signifies a mastery over thing placement, though thankfully it's not something I'd want to experience for the entire set. The piece de resistance of the map is the titular hopscotch fight, where the player is forced to move around a 2x2 grid while keeping the dance floor clean of hellspawn. It’s an absolutely brutal goddamn fight—probably the hardest in 20X7—but man is it fun. Although, it’s fun in a “this is such a cool idea” way more than a “I like this enemy composition” way, as the revs and PEs feel a bit like overkill to me, given that the alternating safe zones are fairly small as is. Still, the encounter is one of the most ingenious in the entire set; a damn shame its “invisible road" partner is a straight-up dud, though, as there’s absolutely nothing of interest going on in that area. Thankfully the rest of the map is strong enough to pick up the slack. (Just wanted to mention that I love the seemingly spontaneous use of the conveyor belt here too) MAP32: Continuing the album analogy, if MAP31 is a really solid bonus track, MAP32 is that five minutes of silence added onto the final song followed by two minutes of synth noodling. When I first played 20X7, Ribbiks had told me in stream chat that the map wasn't necessary to play, and then I momentarily warped to it to find myself surrounded by chaingunners, thereby reaching the same conclusion. Having finally played it, the map isn’t actually that bad; it scratches a slaughter itch that Ribbiks rarely provides nowadays, and the big crusher finale is a hefty challenge even for vets (I save spammed the hell outta that one). But the map is first and foremost concerned with being a series of encounters with no traditional Stardate 20X7 design tropes whatsoever—there’s no gorgeous visuals, uneven playgrounds to explore, or geometric doodles to behold. It’s most just “fight chaingunners, fight three horde types, fight cybers, fight AVs, then get crushed repeatedly”. Not much is lost by skipping it. Overall, Stardate 20X7 is a sizable step above its predecessor. I kinda feel like a broken record whenever reviewing a Ribbiks set, since I repeatedly exclaim, “Gee, he sure makes pretty maps that are hard to beat!” So instead, I’ll focus on something different—what I like about 20X7 is that Ribbiks has gotten weirder. He’s always preferred drawing geometric patterns into his maps, but now he’s also breaking a lot of them, angling rooms until no orthogonal lines remain. His inclination towards platforming has begun to emerge in earnest, no longer bridging unrelated sections together, but instead becoming the primary method of traversal. Symmetrical arenas have slowly been phased out, and now all that remains are these organic-fractal hybrids that (I would imagine) are extremely difficult to imitate. There remains an underlying sense of balance and beauty in his creations, but its been significantly twisted and bent; the 20X6 Insane_Gazebo-with-colored-highlights design has been purged, and now all that remains is this crumpled, vicious, curious design that calls itself “Ribbiks’s style”. And I like what has emerged a lot more than what came before. Favorites: MAP02, MAP07, MAP08 Least favorite: MAP03
  3. Should be done with the write-ups tomorrow, as I only have the secret maps left to finish. MAP05: The first half of the 20X7 set closes out on some spooky ruins spelunking, where darkness and death await. I think this map, more than the previous maps thus far, really rewards you for preknowledge, as remembering where goodies and secrets are (as well as what enemies are lying in wait) greatly de-fangs the map. It can still be exceptionally brutal at times—the fight for the yellow key is extremely nerve wracking even if you handle the outside skirmishes well—but there’s a lot less tension thanks to the presence of the BFG and the abundance of megaspheres. Of course, I was an idiot and didn’t pick up the megasphere for the hell encounter, so that was a pretty steep challenge to surmount. Forgetting where to pick up the BFG also didn't help (damn those revs that are angled precisely to fire over the heads of the imps!) Thinking back on it, I suppose this could also fit into the “return to Stardate 20X6” theme, as Mud Bunny and Foxhole were both cavernous maps. But I don’t associate them together, mainly because this map features a visual trope that Ribbiks had picked up during Sunlust, which is essentially the inversion of 20X6: instead of using a bright color as the highlight, flood the map with it and use a dark or “regular” texture as the highlight. So even if Sphinx Rising shares themes in common with the cavern maps from 20X6 on paper, it feels significantly different; it’s more bright despite its darkness, and significantly more surreal despite such familiar textures (purple redrock is pretty sexy). There’s even a weird kinda dream-like state to the sudden shift in color during the finale—which by the way, is an excellent and frantic battle where the true enemy is knowing when to switch from your BFG to your RL. I think Sphinx Rising hits a lot of high points of the set. It’s steeped in a dark, brooding atmosphere, has dense and cluttered battles where one mistake is enough to end you, and requires you to poke around tight cracks and crevices for secrets. In a way, it’s kinda like the quintessential Ribbiks map. Oh, and I like that the structure at the top left has a fake floor to it even though the player can never actually reach it. MAP06: I’d hazard a guess that this is also another old map from 20X7, given that it’s fairly boxy in a way that’s similar to Amethyst III. There’s also no curious traversal segments, as all of the combat is more or less directly in front of the player via teleporting to independent arena venues, outside of the few opening bouts with the low tier foes. While the map doesn’t exhibit any traversal strengths, each of the encounters are fairly fun to endure, throwing a greater number of foes at the player than we’ve seen previously in 20X7. I’m quite fond of the stair battle because it’s a fight that’s all about rushing forward and suppressing the oncoming horde with a rocket launcher, which is precisely my jam. The cyberdemon arena is also pretty fun, though twice now I’ve saved it for last and therefore twice I’ve absolutely decimated that encounter. While this is probably the most reserved and therefore normal of Ribbiks’ maps in Stardate (and thus the least “interesting” [even the decorative structures are unimpressive]), I think I still prefer it to MAP03 just because the combat largely remains solid and engaging. There’s also a high amount of enemies to blast during its brief runtime, giving it a more action-heavy feel, which is a good thing to include in a series of maps where I can spend five minutes mindlessly hopping up and down hills, wondering for where to go. It kinda makes me wonder if the map would've fit better in Sunlust, but it works fine here. MAP07: Aesthetically, this is probably my favorite map in the set; the opening shot here is phenomenal. I’m really big on diorama-styled maps where it feels like you’re exploring a single, small temple or palace, so the Lotus Keep is right up my alley. The physical play space is the most dense and compact area in the entire wad, but despite its diminutive size you’ll get a hefty amount of encounters out of this one. The starting ambush in particular is a really nasty, forcing you to conserve ammo, push forward, and fight two archviles while you’re armed only with an SSG and chaingun. The map loosens its stranglehold a little after that point, and once you reach the plasma gun the map becomes quite docile—the plasma gun’s suppression is so strong that there’s really nothing in the final two encounters that can stop you. Until that point however, the map offers a tightly controlled and engaging experience. It’s missing a lot of nonlinearity but makes up for it with its chilling atmosphere, offering the perfect blend of purples and browns in this one (plus the midi is a perfect fit). I wouldn’t call it the best map out of the set, but it is probably my favorite one, just for the feel of the forbidden keep alone. MAP08: While I claimed that MAP06 was “action-filled”, it doesn’t hold a candle to the bombastic destruction you’ll wreak in this map. Grand Ballroom is a mostly encounter by encounter affair similar to the previous map, though you might get some harassment from the starting cyberdemons from time to time. Where this map breaks from the rest of the set is in the flexibility it allows the player gameplay-wise: munitions are fairly generous, allowing you to stock up on ammo if you opt to play passively. The map is also littered with healing globes around nearly every corner, which I’d argue makes it one of the easiest maps in the set (well, assuming you can deftly avoid lethal cyber rockets or an archvile's sinister gaze). I want to point out something here that’s been present throughout all of the maps, but is particularly obvious here due to the large size of the playing field—Ribbiks is really brilliant with his use of space. From the way you can peer into other arenas from the starting zone, to the method in which you grab the (non-secret) purple key, multiple areas can serve two purposes and each room is inextricably connected to its neighbors. It’s so easy when you work on a map to design the whole thing piecemeal and make the player go from one boxed room to the next, but fitting them all together and designing it in such a way that the player feels surprised when they jump back into an old area is a masterful skill. A bunch of other mappers are skilled at this as well, but I feel the need to applaud Ribbiks in particular because it’s a fairly difficult task when you’re aiming to keep each of the closed encounters separated, so the player doesn't rouse certain monsters before they should, or AV jump into a battle from the wrong angle. Anyway, the fights are the real meat of the map, and while there’s no interesting gimmick to any of them per se, you’ll still receive a heaping dose of challenge. My three favorites are the caco swarm, the noble BFG pit, and the finale, though I’m also quite fond of the YK fight as well (any room where it feels clumsy to dodge AV spells is always good in my book). The caco swarm emerges from their hidey-hole at such a smart, frustrating height that makes it difficult for the cyberdemon to start the infighting. The noble BFG pit is such a ludicrous mess that I can’t help but love it, especially since the black ceiling and purple walls are a lovely combination (I beat it my first try too, which was a pleasant surprise!) Lastly, the finale is set in a jaw-dropping, gorgeous series of archways that are simultaneously one of the most confusing pieces of architecture to get a feel for (I always expect the playing space to be wider than it is); there could be no fight there and I’d still enjoy running around the looming archways. Fortunately there is one, and it’s a delicious sandwich of cybers and AVs that’s a joy to engage with no matter how many times you replay it. Overall an excellent, excellent map.
  4. So I’ve played Stardate 20X7 once before on HNTR but since @Ribbiks makes such swell maps I decided to give it a go on HMP this time and add comments on a map by map basis. I'll try to post these in bulk so as not to annoy folks. MAP01: I believe this is the closest thing we’ll ever get to a Ribbiks-built amusement park. It’s fairly low stress all things considered, as the majority of the roadblocks come in the form of obfuscated navigation, rather than tense fights. I think the only battles that got me sweating were the ones with the AVs—the one in the western building was especially tricky because I had spawned him before grabbing the rocket launcher, while simultaneously thinking it was a good spot to save my progress (d'oh). But that just speaks to the kind of “softness” at play in this map, as even the exit skirmishes are meant more to briefly bruise rather than batter. The heart of the level, to me, is in the twisting way in which the player weaves through the playground. There’s a lot of thinking and experimentation to be had here, from sniffing around for health bonuses in its quiet opening garden to jumping through windows in order to smack switches in order to raise/lower lifts. There’s a clever use of space here that unfortunately doesn’t play to the strengths of the enemies, outside of the aforementioned western building (which is more like an arena anyway). What the map ultimately accomplishes is of great significance to the rest of the set: Sun/Moon/Stars reveals that you’re going to need to flex your powers of observation about as frequently as your trigger finger. Definitely the best opener to any Ribbiks set I’ve played. MAP02: The second map of Stardate 20X7 is more “typical” Ribbiks but still retains the playground aesthetic of the first map (as well as its general eastern & earthern themes). What I mean by “typical” is that you can quickly run into a dead end on pistol start due to the strict lack of provisions, many of which can be found clustered together (making them more detrimental to miss). Having finished the map now for the second time, I can say that I have a pretty good sense of all of its pathways and where they are, but this is one of the extreme few maps where I just cannot fathom constructing any of it from a top-down perspective. There’s so much crossing and so many different vertical layers that almost feels impossible to picture the map accurately on a 2D plane; I believe this is one of the most architecturally complex Ribbiks maps I’ve ever played. As I stated, the combat is no slouch either. While the “shhh…” finale is probably the most memorable part of the map, the real climax is the dreaded cyberdemon arena, where you’re tasked with subduing a horde of enemies, a cyberdemon, PEs, and six archviles that watching over half of the arena. It’s a real finicky bastard especially since you can’t just hide in a hole and suppress all the enemies with rockets, as explosive ballistics are a rare commodity. Everything else on the map is difficult, but not nearly as mean-spirited; finding a couple of the secrets here provide ample assistance in the survival department. Lastly there’s also a lot of playful weirdness going on in this map, via the writing on the ground, the small cache of health bonuses, the first WR silent teleport that’s just kinda there, a skull switch that teleports the player two steps away, the purple blocks in the sky… it definitely feels a lot more playful than any other map in the set (well, maybe not MAP31). The way Ribbiks uses the real estate here is truly magnificent, almost as if it was calculated to cold, machine-like degree. There’s a couple times where I’ve played maps by other folks and thought to myself, “Gee this sure is similar to Ribbiks”, but this map is so well constructed that not only could no one else make it like he did, but not even Ribbiks himself from a few years ago could’ve created this. Bravo. MAP03: We return once again to the more “traditional” Stardate template (minus the gray), eschewing with greenery and jetting off to the stars. This floating fortress is in line with the previous two maps, but all of its movement is more obviously angled and its floors are more clearly denoted, making it seem less… fun? unique? organic? than the previous maps. Whereas MAP02 had 2-3 tough encounters, Amethyst III demands quite a lot from the player as soon as the screen melts away to reveal the rustic base. Probably the most significant thing of note is those accursed twin mancubii from the pentagon penthouse to the south, both of which refuse to stop their barrage until you find the secret warp over to their arena. They can make the early game a bit tough, since they deny you places to hide from one of the three revs you’ll awaken. There’s not really a "clever" fight that stands out to me other than the shifting steps where cacos come to greet you through the windows while you’re busy shooting the mancs (oh, and the AV was a nice inclusion on HMP). The pentagon penthouse is an absolutely gorgeous piece of construction, but the fight there is fairly by the books and not all that lethal. The map is still a toughie and can surprise you with the angles certain foes can shoot at you from, but it remains one of the weakest in the set in my opinion. Still, an “unremarkable” Ribbiks map is nevertheless a very fun and worthwhile experience. MAP04: If I recall correctly, this is the second of the two new maps that were added to the revised Stardate 20X7, and it’s “newness” shows. Similar to MAP02, there’s a lot more experimentation with the progression through the map, be it the double lift hitting, the timed holo lifts, trading health for items, or the holo crushers (which I thought were platforms at first). Likewise the combat is fairly clever as well, with multiple enemies perched in such a way that they can often harass you from afar (which seems to be the predominant theme in 20X7, outside of the bizarre progression). I’m not too keen on either of the SSG fights, unfortunately: I still have yet to decipher a dominant strategy for the AV-only one (I opted to keep the first two AVs in their cubbies and use their brothers for cover, tanking the last two with the leftover medikits), and the other encounter seems to require a bit too much pacifist play to make it bearable & repeatable for me. Everything else plays swell though, especially the bombastic revenant-infested opener. The afrit makes a somewhat comical appearance right at the end, but at least he’s colored purple and provides an interesting challenge. The locale continues the “return to Stardate 20X6” theme, though this time we get that beautiful obisidian+amethyst+circuit board texture that’s an absolute delight to behold, as well as some more interesting floor shapes than those in MAP03 (though nothing beats out that pentagon penthouse—yet). I don’t think this map tickles my fancy quite like Eastern Sun did, but its unconventional creativity makes it a significantly stronger than the previous map.
  5. Lines have to get drawn somewhere. It's more like a quasi-serious competition that aims to be as serious as possible without being detrimentally stringent. I sympathize with Alfonzo on what he has to arbitrate, as it's never easy finding smooth justification for allowing folks to use a port like Zdoom but disallowing others to use minor fixes/enhancements, without having it seem slightly hypocritical. To his defense, punching in Zdoom on the -cl2 compat setting also blows, so everyone should suffer the same level of melee jank.
  6. This was actually our first (or is it second???) voting result that was a tie in the end (it was like 10-10), so I wound up just pulling my vote from the list so I didn't have to participate and could spend my Doom time mapping instead :P
  7. What is the DWmegawad Club? This is a place where we settle down, have a cup of tea (or drink of your choice) and take a month to play through a megawad on our own, together! Any keen observations, criticisms, or frustrated ranting about it goes here in the discussion. As long as you want to say something about what you've played, feel free to speak your mind. Can I join? Sure. The only rule is that you have to play at least some of the levels in our monthly megawad to contribute, but you're generally encouraged to finish the whole thing, even if you've played it before. What levels am I allowed to post about? Whatever day of the month it is, is the upper limit for the map you can post on. So if it’s the 6th, you may discuss up to MAP06. Do I have to post an entry every day? Nope, not at all. This is only for our more enthusiastic members. As long as you play through it with us you’re part of the club. When do we vote on the next month’s megawad? Voting begins on the 25th of the current month. Remember to add one “+++” before your vote to make it easier to count. For example: +++ Ultimate Doom ---------- >>>DOWNLOAD PRCP HERE<<< Gee wiz, 2017 has been a good year for Final Doom sequels, hasn’t it? Though it wasn’t released this year, this month we’ll be stalking through the ruin-infested jungles of the Plutonia Revisited Community Project! I hope you have your shotgun (and some extra armor) handy! Author & Maplist for PRCP: MAP01 - “Stonewall” by Joshy MAP02 - “Temple of Cetza” by Paul Corfiatis MAP03 - “Escape from Ghost Town” by UltimateLorenzo MAP04 - “Emerald Pools” by C30N9, Joshy MAP05 - “That Flooded Place” by Keeper of Jericho MAP06 - “Stony Halls” by Matt Tropiano MAP07 - “Caughtisle” by Joshy MAP08 - “Rules of Death” by franckFRAG MAP09 - “Ruined Kingdom” by Tatsurd-cacocaco MAP10 - “Bloodbath” by JC Dorne MAP11 - “Will You Be My NME?” by Darkwave0000 MAP12 - “Velocity” by Kira MAP13 - “Slaughter Zone” by Paul Corfiatis MAP14 - “Undertaker” by Phobus MAP15 - “Helix” by Xaser MAP31 - “Cyberdemon Vertigo” by Whoo MAP32 - “Have @ It” by William Huber MAP16 - “Gambit” by Matt Tropiano MAP17 - “The Unholy Crypt” by evocalvin MAP18 - “Phantom Silence” by evocalvin MAP19 - “Venom” by waverider MAP20 - “Sinister Daybreak” by Tatsurd-cacocaco MAP21 - “Amadeus’ Circle” by Keeper of Jericho, Belial MAP22 - “Suicide Mission” by valkiriforce MAP23 - “Necrogenesis” by William Huber MAP24 - “Terra Incognita” by 4mer MAP25 - “Wicked Garden” by Xaser MAP26 - “Poison Ivy III” by Joshy, Belial MAP27 - “Planned Overload” by ArmouredBlood MAP28 - “Dance with the Devil” by Matt Tropiano MAP29 - “Atlatl” by Mechadon MAP30 - “In the Eye of the Beholder” by Thomas van der Velden BONUS CONTENT Doomwiki DSDA kmxexii’s review Lingyan203's playthrough PRCP midi covers ---------- OLD THREADS 2012 BF_THUD! Community Chest 4 Jenesis MAYhem 2012 2013 Memento Mori Interception 2002: A Doom Odyssey Hadephobia Coffee Break & Fava Beans & Double Impact HYMN Stardate 20X6 & Monochrome Mapping Project Realm of Chaos Back to Saturn X E1 & Favillesco E1 Kama Sutra Unholy Realms & Zone 300 Vile Flesh Ultimate Doom 2014 Whitemare & Sacrament Scythe Epic 2 Whitemare 2 Sunder & Countdown to Extinction Doom 2 the Way id Did MAYhem2048 Stomper Back to Saturn X E2 Going Down Rylayeh & Crimson Canyon & Azagthoth Serenity & Eternity & Infinity 2015 Resurgence Requiem ConC.E.R.N.ed & Draft Excluder Doom 2 Reloaded Valiant Scythe 2 NOVA II STRAIN Icarus: Alien Vanguard Sunlust Plutonia 2 Revolution! 2016 50 Shades of Graytall & Erkattäññe Hell Revealed Vanguard, Hell Ground, Bloody Steel Eternal Doom Japanese Community Project Ancient Aliens Bloodstain Estranged Alien Vendetta THT: Threnody & No Rest for the Living Hellbound Echelon & Mutiny 2017 TNT: Evilution TNT: Revilution No End in Sight Speed of Doom Urania Newgothic Movement II & Deus Vult II Slaughter Until Death & The Evil Unleashed & Obituary Moonblood Crumpets & Stardate20X7 & Rush
  8. What you actually mean is "Sorry, Veinen."
  9. Oh hey I finally finished this! Firstly, hats off to Deadwing for making this set—it was a lot of fun! The dude absolutely knows how to construct intricate layouts and use enemies so that they're constantly intimidating, even at low numbers. There were a lot of occasions where I'd get hit or die but I'd only be facing at like most 3-4 foes in a single room, which rarely happens (as long as I'm not playing like an idiot). Honestly, I don't think there was a low point throughout the entire set, as every map presented some level of challenge or pathway that I found enticing. It's kind of uncommon to see such high, consistent quality out of a one-man megawad, but like I said before, Deadwing knows Doom. And the new music was great, if slightly unconventional, too! I gotta use MAP28's tune some time. But of course, the most obvious downside to Moonblood is that rare few maps stand out. All of the maps are good mind you, but a majority of them approach you with the same level of challenge and play, namely 10-15 minute nonlinear base crawling with only a handful of enemies at a time (plus very strict ammo/health placement). I think that each level focusing on Doomguy's entire arsenal really helps (I appreciated whenever I could get the RL/PG early in a map), so it's not like the combat and exploration ever became tedious, but it was rarely surprising. I think that's why I probably stopped playing around MAP20 and was hesitant to return; there was really nothing in Moonblood for me to look forward to. Sure, I enjoyed the maps plenty, but without a strong sense of atmosphere or interesting combat puzzles, I kinda felt like I had experienced the entirety of the set from what I played. Like Demon of the Well mentions though, the latter half of Moonblood is significantly stronger, and there are a couple instances where the layout really surprised me, namely MAP26. It's the curse of a lot of amateur megawads though: the back end of the set feels significant stronger as the mapper develops their skill set. Which brings me to another minor point of contention: the difficulty. There's nothing wrong with Moonblood's demanding, austere level of play, but wow do those first few maps really not prepare your for the jump in harshness around the middle of the set. This is kind of a gripe I have with Scythe and a few other wads as well, since I feel like the player gets conditioned for one type of play early on and then is harshly tasked with adapting to an uncomfortable level of skill. I'm not frightened of playing difficult mapsets, but sometimes when I sit down to play Doom I just want to have a relaxing, trouble-free time, and Moonblood kinda pulled a fast one on me. It was a shame too, especially because I preferred some of the enemy placement on UV, like the quadruple AV struggle at the start of MAP28. The last thing I'll bring up is a personal matter, but I really didn't like the ambiguity in the lift textures. SUPPORT3 is used for lifts you needed to find a switch for as well as lifts you can directly press, and in the heat of battle it's important to convey to the player where they can go and explore. I feel like some of the maps lasted an especially long time compared to their modest monster count because I couldn't find the right path, and sometimes this was due to missing a lift I didn't think I could press (there is a lot of lift hitting in Moonblood), and other times it was just because I missed a single door somewhere. Speaking of which, there really weren't a lot of set piece moments or distinguishable points of reference from map to map; every single locked door in every map looked more or less like every other usable door. I used the automap to find my way around more than remembering "oh yeah, this cool gate was the red key door". Moonblood blurs together for me, but it was a good blur—a fun blur. A part of me considered streaming it just because there were a lot of times where I was like "oh, this is cool" or "oh, this is really clever" and I feel like Deadwing deserves to know that he's doing a lot of things right. Perhaps if this was a single episode that started with a strong level of difficulty and maintained that pace through a variety of map styles, it could be my favorite set this year. As it stands now, Moonblood is just a really, really good megawad that's rewarding and fun to play, as long as you can overlook the rough blemishes. (No "least favorite" or "most favorite" list from me this time, unfortunately)
  10. from what?
  11. ^ That's a good point. Come back and vote for it during a month where we're also not playing a megawad in the same time frame, and I'll reconsider.
  12. I generally like this rule but as long as people play along it's fine—the FAQ in the OP states you don't have to post to participate. And yeah, Skepland isn't getting picked along with PRCP. My personal rule is that a mapset needs at least four maps to be included, so that way we're not just shoving mapsets in to fill all the days of the month. EDIT: Oh yeah, here's the tally: PRCP 7 votes MM2 7 votes
  13. Not a bad idea, but DWIL is more about pushing through a mapset at full speed whereas DWMC lets players play at their own pace. There are some maps where I like to play slowly and soak in the atmosphere, and I unfortunately can't do that with the Ironman League. I mean I could replay the mapset, but I'd rather play something I haven't experienced before. Anyway, I like the idea of +++ Memento Mori 2. I was going to vote for HR2, but I figure we need more of a calm break from difficult sets and back to something familiar.
  14. Going to be starting a massive city map from scratch, RIP my free time :..(..
  15. Feel free to add the SR teleport line that'll put the player next to the color block near there (they need to go ride the lift in order to raise all the floors again).