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Magnusblitz

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  1. Magnusblitz

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Deathless

    E3M1: Open Wound 100% kills, 2/2 secrets Can definitely see the Hell Keep influence here, but this one manages to feel fuller just by making the rooms a bit larger and more visually interesting (though over the original Hell Keep that's not difficult). I liked the western white rock area especially. A good monster-to-acreage ratio, decently bloody.
  2. Magnusblitz

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Deathless

    E2M6: The Mad Mistress 100% kills, 2/2 secrets I liked this one a lot; the layout did a good mix of being straightforward (i.e. not getting lost) but also keeping me surprised at what was coming next, and there were lots of times where enemies managed to sneak around and flank me and take a chunk out. Pretty easy to blaze through this one too, not a lot of back-tracking (the path after the blue door dropping the red key down right next to the red door is a good example, if maybe an extreme one). E2M7: City of Coal 100% kills, 3/4 secrets This one has a bit more of a Doom II feeling, not just because of the textures (I noticed the METAL ones sneaking into the last few maps, but this one is the first that uses the grey brick I think) but also because of the layout, sort of a micro-sized city level with lots of jumping between rooftops and the like. The monster count swings up quite a bit as it's stuffed with a lot of zombies, but the threat level doesn't increase that much. The six barons at the end would be easy even without the easily-found secret invuln. E2M8: Dukes This one fell flat for me, as the effect of hitting the switches isn't immediately apparent (it just teleports the cyber over to you) and running around hitting them both just made things cramped (doable if you're expecting it, but might kill you if you're caught by surprise). I think the optimum strategy is actually to just clear out the cacos, ignore the teleport switches and then kill the cybers one by one from afar, which is also easily the most boring option, at least for me... not much fun in just playing shooting gallery with a cyber from afar while sidestepping every once in awhile. Ammo also seems a tad lean for pistol starters, on a pistol start (using the shoot-at-range strat) I finished the second one off with no cells and one rocket left.
  3. Magnusblitz

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Deathless

    E2M3: Greenhouse 100% kills, 1/1 secret I agree with liking the indoor-outdoor design here, I always like seeing a roughly even mix of both (really helps sell sense of place, too). Shores of Hell didn't have too much outdoor areas to my recollection so it's also nice to see here for variety. The invulnerability fight is fun, always like being able to just cut loose with rockets at point-blank range. E2M4: Virulent 100% kills, 1/1 secret Not much to say that others haven't... obvious IWAD homages (not only the 'bricks rising from lava' bit but also the evil blue lights), a very Petersen-esque texturing scheme (reminded me of Pandaemonium in the first room especially), and a secret useful only for continuous players who probably don't need it (I was at 200/100 coming in and never dipped below 100 health, so the mega-armor is just cherry on top). Two berserk packs felt a bit unnecessary as well. E2M5: Repugnant Gardens 100% kills, 3/3 secrets Like a lot of others I'm a sucker for vine textures, and from what I saw there was some good effort in matching them up properly, so good job there. Like E1M3 I was a bit surprised to find the secret exit so easily/quickly (and kinda disappointed there wasn't at least another room on the other end of that teleporter before the actual exit... couldn't even make the teleporter the white one?) I'm a big fan of that squat red key door out of the water. E2M9: Slain 100% kills, 2/3 secrets So I guess Doom II maps will be the the secret level theme. The Circle of Death style area actually works well for the cyberdemon I think, with lots of narrow cover. I wish I had explored a bit more for the secrets as I didn't look until after already taking out the cyberdemon.
  4. Magnusblitz

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Deathless

    E2M1: Hydroelectrics 100% kills, 1/1 secret Goodbye, vast arsenal; hello running past enemies and scrounging for supplies. Not a tough map, but easy to back yourself in a corner and get overwhelmed if you run out of shells. I admittedly ran left (blue key) both times I tried the map, though I think maybe it's better to go right (and get the secret vest and chaingun), but at least I'll have 'em for the next map. E2M2: Snake Alley 100% kills, 2/2 secrets Hey, where's my crate maze? There's a few crates early on but the rest is an outdoor maze that reminded me of Slough of Despair. After last map had me looking for ammo after every fight, this one is far more generous, with both melee weapons provided (especially useful for all the demons/spectres) and the RL is basically given for free. I do dislike how the red key was revealed, as it's basically "hit this switch, have no idea what it does, then go wander around to find what it opened." In a map this size it's not hard to find, but moreso just that it feels unrewarding to hit the switch without knowing what it does at first. I hadn't noticed it until you said it, but thinking about it, yeah I think there have been times they go down with one shot, which is definitely nice (I've always felt they had a bit too much health for their threat level/usage). They're both secret but it's a linked sector so it'll only trigger once.
  5. Magnusblitz

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Deathless

    Back after being out of town for the weekend, I know you all missed me immensely and were wondering every waking moment "where's Magnus?" E1M7: Mainstay 100% kills, 2/2 secrets Fun mini-sized E1 map, I really liked the architecture of the outdoor area. Just wish there were maybe a few more monsters as the end sorta sputters a little when you finally unlock the bunker and all that was left were a few zombies and one spectre. Good use of some of the E2 textures too to start showing the hell influence creeping in. E1M8: Embolon 100% kills, no map secrets E1M8 analogues tend to be underwhelming since 'fight two barons' has aged so poorly over the years, but this one is actually a pretty good one, I think... the teleporting is a decent surprise, and there's some cacos that'll fly in too. But the real surprise is the other barons teleporting in on a delay, which can actually be quite dangerous if you aren't expecting it (I had lured the barons to the other side of the room and then good-at-Doom'd myself when another teleported right in front of my face). It's still not hard but did give a better challenge than some of the other E1 maps which I felt were slow-playing things a little too much.
  6. Magnusblitz

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Deathless

    E1M6: Burial Ground 98% kills, 2/5 secrets Ah c'mon, one was all-dark and this has a strobe, tooootally different! The main thing that stood out to me about this one was the cacodemons, though they way they're placed here isn't very interesting and they're basically just big imps. There's rocket launchers scattered around which makes them pretty easy to take care of, even ignoring the big arsenal of rockets I'm carrying in from E1M9. Interesting that one door at the start leads to the rest of the map when the same-appearance other door is a green vest that I didn't return to until the end. Plenty of armor throughout, though. Maybe too much.
  7. Magnusblitz

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Deathless

    E1M5: Outage 100% kills, 3/5 secrets I'm always a fan of darkness as an obstacle, something that doesn't get used often enough I feel (it definitely seems to be more of a Doom I than II thing, which might be why). Monster count is pretty low, but some of these areas are really dark so they can take catch you by surprise. I ended up doing the western wing last, using the compmap to make my way around, relying somewhat on sound to tell me where to attack, which led to me getting taken unawares from those silent lost souls, so clever use there. Looks like the final version is already up, which is a shame, because this one had some pretty obvious texture misalignments - there's a bad one by the blue key, and some I'd change by the western wing door (the SLADWALL sides).
  8. Magnusblitz

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Deathless

    E1M4: Underflow 100% kills, 1/1 secret Hmm, didn't quite like this one as much. Could be just because the combat feels piddly since I'm coming into it at 200/200 after the secret map, but I also gave it a whirl after on pistol start and it was still pretty easy without much thought. Just not a lot of opportunities for the monsters to flank or threaten the player I think, lots of dead ends and monster closets opening in spots advantageous to the player - the barrel setup on the first switch is fun, but the spectres coming out of the forcefields aren't a threat as long as the player stands their ground. Also felt a bit boxy, lots of little cube cutouts. The wood textures feel a bit out of place, I guess the idea is UAC was tunneling through some rock and maybe hadn't completed the base yet and was holding up some of the dirt with wood temporarily? Just feels weird for a moonbase, there aren't exactly space trees to turn into lumber.
  9. Magnusblitz

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Deathless

    Remember when I said I'd post at the end of the weeks? I LIED. Playing on ZDoom, mouselook, UV, continuous (since Jimmy said it was designed as such), save/reload frequently. E1M1: Contagion 100% kills, 2/2 secrets Pretty quick and breezey starter, I like having a few spots to use barrels to blow up enemies. Small fry also means feeling free to use the chainsaw. Decent KDITD style layout with lots of windows and inter-connectedness, though it somewhat goes to waste with such a small monster count. The soulsphere replacement looks fine but I can’t say I dig the new color. E1M2: Laid to Rust 100% kills, 3/3 secrets Green pillars? Berserk pack? In MY E1? Well I never! JK, I know it’s not supposed to be a DTWID project, and they fit fine. While the texturing is mostly classic E1, the architecture feels different, which keeps things feeling a bit fresher actually. Another easy quicky, though here it seems more likely the barrels will be used against the player rather than the monsters. E1M3: Sluice Gate 100% kills, 3/3 secrets Some larger outdoor areas and a bit more substantial layout, nice after the two blink-and-you’ll-miss’em-maps. I liked the switch before the red key that revealed the demons across the courtyard, as well as the fact I could hit the barrels to kill them (something auto-aimers might not be able to do from above). I agree that the secret exit switch texture choice is ugly. Also I see that Jimmy apparently is not one of the anti-backpack contingent, though it likely matters less when one author is controlling the ammo as opposed to worrying about differing authors in a group authorship setting. And yeah, the easy-to-reach secret exit should make for some fun speedruns... I got under :30 on second try (taking time to grab a shotgun to kill the spectre in the exit room), I'm sure others could do much better. E1M9: Gods 100% kills, 1/3 secrets Cute port of MAP20 into E1 I suppose, but yeah, can’t say I’m a fan. It is a little more involved than the regular MAP20 though since you need to open the doors to let the enemies out (the SMM especially will likely stop and just shoot you if you don’t move quickly enough) as well as lower the partition between them. The after bit with barons and cacos is also a bit lame and feels backwards in terms of monster difficulty. And I was a little disappointed to have the secret RL I found at the end of E1M3 so quickly replaced... getting the secret one with two rockets feels special and makes me wonder when I'll use them, having ~25 rockets and 180 cells in a plasmagun makes that a lot less important.
  10. Magnusblitz

    Let's create a list of the best Old-School 32-level megawads

    "Vanilla" has a very set-in-stone definition, so yeah, would probably get more traction if OP titled it differently.
  11. Magnusblitz

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Deathless

    December's pretty busy for me so I was thinking of taking the map off, but these maps look nice and bite-sized so I'll probably take part. Thinking about playing through and posting thoughts episodically though at the end of the week.
  12. Magnusblitz

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Memento Mori 2

    I do think this is one of the downsides of the "megawad in a month" format, since keeping up with one map a day can be hard and when people fall behind they often feel the pressure to keep up without missing days (in the future I think I might try to just pick up where the current day is instead, depending on the megawad). I do think MAP27 is rather striking and memorable, despite some downsides. But yeah at the end of the month I'm usually hoping for easy maps to blast through since I'm usually lagging behind. MAP29: Kings of Metal 97% kills, 3/4 secrets Awful lot of wood in this level for that title... this is a toughie from a pistol start, with the weapons difficult to reach and a lot of dangerous high-tier enemies in your way. I like @Crusader No Regret's idea of thinking of this as a puzzle map. Thankfully it's really just the two main areas, so you can spend your mental energy on figuring out how to crack open the arsenal instead of preparing for a grind of enemies. The real rough spot for me was the first cyberdemon, I wasn't really sure how to deal with it on the bridge and with no RL/PG yet, so I ended up just slowly whittling him down with the SSG from the upstairs window. After he was gone it was a lot easier to traverse the level. BFG was necessary for that double AV at the top of the lift. The teleporting cyber later on was cute. All in all, while I certainly wouldn't say it's a super-difficult map by today's standards, I do think the design lends itself to be enjoyed by those who really enjoy getting into the nitty-gritty of Doom combat rather than the more casual player who just wants to be able to straightforwardly blow up hellspawn. MAP30: Backpack Farm Sugerplum Fairy music, appropriate for the season. :) An inoffensive IoS with a decent amount of preamble, but nothing you can't easily blast through with all the weapons provided at the start. Thankfully the IoS is pretty straightforward (only thing that threw me off was not noticing the yellow/red keys right away high up on the pedestals, especially since I only saw blue/red switches thanks to ZDoom's automap color coding). I did find it humorous when the monsters telefragged each other thanks to the MAP30 tags. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by MM2... I usually expect older WADs to have not aged well, or at least requiring examination as artifacts of their time, but a lot of these maps have held up pretty well methinks. I think 90% of my dislike was maps not giving enough armor or heavy weapons early enough. Even the few not-so-hot maps had something to recommend them.
  13. Magnusblitz

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Memento Mori 2

    MAP28: Corporate Hell 100% kills, 4/4 secrets Like last map, another map I was worried I wouldn't like due to the huge architecture, but I think it uses it well and gives a good sense of place. I also enjoyed the central conceit of progression by way of unlocking the central elevator to climb higher and higher, once I figured that out. Secrets are perhaps a bit too easy (they felt like they could be part of the main progression) but everything works out pretty well. Only real annoying thing is some of the combat setups with hitscanners everywhere and some blind teleports. The auto-open double doors at the end were also pretty annoying and definitely cost me a lot of ammo. I do wonder if this map might've been a bit stronger without the opening area (everything pre-yellow key) as it does go a bit long. Nice little MAP08 homage too.
  14. Magnusblitz

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Memento Mori 2

    Probably won't finish before the month ends here but ah well. MAP26: Base Exposure 99% kills, 2/7 secrets After seeing the first few areas and reading the reviews here, I expected to hate this map... in the end, I don't, though. It's certainly got some bad flaws - large mono-textured areas are a biggie, and on a pistol start the difficulty starts frustrating high then nosedives substantially for the rest of the map after getting the blue key (and all the assorted goodies). I saw the SSG deep in the ground near the start but was unable to get it (reading other reviews, I suppose it only opens up when the one in a nearby secret is acquired), and I'm not sure what I would've done without the secret ammo stash by the BFG. But once you get armed up it's pretty easy - maybe too easy - but I did enjoy being able to use the big open areas to get the monsters to infight, especially some combos you don't see often (imps/arachnatrons, demons/cacos). There are some cool areas here and there too, like the corridor leading to the BFG, or the demon/crusher trap. Almost makes up for the huge bland areas. So yeah, I can see why this map isn't liked, but it didn't bug me too much all things considered. MAP27: The Silos 96% kills, 6/8 secrets This is a really interesting one. At first blush, another map with too-large areas... to be honest, when I think of Doom, I think of tight enclosed corridors with plenty of hellspawn to blow up. Obviously the IWAD was designed as such because of hardware limitations at the time, but even with those constraints pushed the core game I think still plays a lot better up-close - the weapons are designed for it, the monsters are designed for it, the texturing, etc. But this one actually does a pretty good job and looks fairly nice, and really creates a good atmosphere and some memorable architecture. This level is a pain in the ass to navigate though, right from the start (mandatory secret for pistol starters to have weapons) and continuing throughout thanks to a messy network of corridors inside the base itself as well as a lot of "so what the heck did that switch do?" design. I don't know which switch activated the crushers on the cyberdemon, or which one opened up the skull switch that opens up the blue key, for example. And to be honest, I jumped to the blue key from one of the arachnatron turrets up high and went in backwards, since that tiny little 64-wide lift and corridor is complete bullshit if you've already woken up the baron and AV there. And I probably wouldn't've figured out that same lift has the entrance halfway down to the exit if not for the compmap secret. But there is a fun sense of exploration and the sense of place is top-notch.
  15. Magnusblitz

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Memento Mori 2

    MAP25: Forgotten Town 99% kills, 4/8 secrets Thought this map was a bit blocky and ugly at first, but it grew on me as the map went on - despite the heavily orthogonal nature it does a good job of staying interesting by using a lot of lifts and staircases to create vertical disjunction, along with some decent use of windows. Just a shame it's so goddamn brown. Weapons are doled out well (though I would've liked the SSG maybe a room or two sooner), secrets are well-designed, and the monsters are well-placed with lots of good flanking situations. That baron/AV instapop near the end is a misstep though, as is the ambush right after it with the hitscanners who can't really hit you through that tiny little window.
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