Demon of the Well

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About Demon of the Well

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  1. In at the end as usual: Parallel universe Doom, wherein the story revolves chiefly around the lone marine's mad rush to a restroom which cannot be found. Survived all episodes + all secret levels, final time is 1 hour 28 minutes 49 seconds if my mental math is correct. Category is 2 or 3 depending on your philosophy on the matter: played the mapset a couple of times in the past, also watched the first part of the Suitepee VOD before beginning (more because I wanted to see him go fast than to gather intel, but intel was nevertheless assuredly gathered). My E1 and E3 both felt pretty good, but E2 didn't go so well, got lost there more than once, mostly in the E2M9-endgame stretch. What on earth Deimos do those pinky demons which teleport away as you meet them do, Alfonzo? Decent set, though I think that its successor is both significantly more 'authentic' and (more importantly) more consistently entertaining wholesale. It feels to me like the entire set is significantly more congested overall than the source IWAD, and that most of the levels are longer (even some which seem to cover less real estate than the id maps) due to some more protracted door/key/switch progression sequences, though the generally higher monster density (which also contributes to time spent, of course) is appreciated. I think E3 is probably the highlight (E3 also being my favorite from the original game, to whit), whereas E2 seems to be all over the board, with some interesting maps with lots of character (the reimagining of the 'creepy' angle for E2M4, the 'realistic' Tom Hall features in E2M3, the more kinetic structure of E2M6) alongside some downright stinkers, particularly E2M9. E1 is KDitD popcorn, no real comment there, though I do like E1M7. And E1M9 is fun to run through!
  2. Yeah, bit of a mea culpa from me vis-a-vis Inquisitor 3, I was multitasking playing a bunch of other stuff during the lead-up at the same time, and I didn't get very far in the 2-3 hours I spent with it, seems fair to say that it's a rather slow starter, all else being equal. This isn't necessarily much of an issue for me in and of itself, mind (and now that the rush is over I'll definitely pick it back up and finish it), but some of the other panelists spent a lot more time with it than I did and still found the going slow and kinda sloggy, so things went how they went. End Point and Travelling to the Moon were both 2016-period WADs, incidentally (the cutoff point for each year is realistically sometime in mid-November for practical reasons). Haven't played the latter yet, but am a big Eternal fan for my part, and supposing they had come out for the 2017 period I guess all I can say is that they'd have had some really tough competition.
  3. I think we've got it pretty good as it is, too, but for my part I'd like to see more mapset projects (be they solo, team-based, or community-based) that are shaped by conceptual interpretation as opposed to limitation. For example, something as simple as "here's a texture pack that hasn't been used very much, let's get together and try to make an episode of cool maps for it" as opposed to projects based on rules like only being able to use X number of lines or Y number of actors or Z number of textures or which can only exist in an X-by-Y allotment of space or the like. To name an existing example I think is cool, I'm thinking of something in the vein of SlaughterMAX, where the core concept is basically to make enjoyable slaughtermaps (using stock textures, if you want to call that a restriction?), and nothing more or less conceptually complicated than that--very open, if you see what I mean. @rdwpa : Make a mapset. Pretty please?
  4. Yep, very well put by Not Jabba, there. Speaking for myself, I'd have had no problem with episode 2 of BoA being eligible for a Cacoward to go along with E1's (nor would I have a problem with E2 of Square receiving the same consideration, nor BoA E3 for that matter), and if the matter had been more immediately contentious (and thus problematic) for us the result might well have been different. The central point is that it didn't end up being particularly contentious this time. Again, I'll only speak for myself here (and would be happy to give my opinions about any other projects that did or didn't end up being featured, FWIW), but I played BoA E2 in its entirety and I felt that it simply wasn't as fun as the first episode, nowhere nearso TBH. It is incredibly ambitious in its venture to put a disparate collection of FPS 'specialty map' tropes one after the other into a very small space--mandatory stealth mission, escort mission, self-guiding turret-shooter sequence, a 'warring factions' segment, etc.--but precisely because the space is relatively small the pacing of the whole really suffers. I often felt I was seeing a collection of proof-of-concept pieces more than levels that really suited the concepts they contained, and not enough of that strange blend of military/arcade shooter action which was the meat and potatoes of E1. A lot of that's down to personal taste, of course, though it may be worth mentioning that the only one of these that really bugs me personally as a concept is escort missions. Leaving that aside, though, I felt like even for someone who was really enthralled by the episode's framing and bold attempt to include a bunch of wildly different scenarios, it would be impossible to ignore the welter of technical problems, issues and oversights which throw an additional layer of interference atop the morass of design functionalities at play, some of the more comedic/outlandish of which NJ mentioned above. I don't mean this to sound untowardly dismissive, and fully appreciate that the game is still in ongoing development and thus that many of these issues may already have been addressed in current builds, but as of the time I played E2 (which was pretty close to when it was first publicly unveiled) it struck me as being really in more of a beta or even an alpha release state in comparison to E1, and it was hard for me to look past this, especially in tandem with taste issues and in light of how stiff competition was elsewhere this year. For what it's worth, though, I thought that the episode ended nicely on a high note, and I still look forward to playing E3 when it comes out.
  5. Here's me: Player vacillates; hesitates; self-annihilates. I snuffed it in the Vile Grange Bureau's switch hoedown in m07, same as a number of other folks. Embarrassing thing is I just about had it handled, but then 'sploded myself getting a mite too twitchy and 'twerking a mite too enthusiastically with one hand on My Pocket Rocket. This was a category 1 run; never played/nor spectated Oscillation before, my prior exposure to it has been limited to a few screenshots and a few scraps of vague description via word-of-mouth. Pretty enjoyable, must say, you've come a long way in a fairly short time, Forli. One thing though: the whole switch-release deal for getting out of fights is drastically overplayed here, after a point it started needlessly breaking flow, I thought. When you never vary your method of enforcing your will over the course of a lengthier set you can also after a point actually make it easier for players not to cooperate with your vision, I suspect (since they'll know exactly which child-lock they need to try to break) but it's a relatively minor thing, I suppose. In the interest of sportmanship (and since other folks did it), here are the cats for my past runs, for posterity: Jenesis -- 2. played through once before, also played one of the demo releases with the funky sector-head placeholder boss before that. Crusades -- 2. always dig Rich Wiles, played Crusades a number of times in the past. Nilla Doom -- 2. Ditto Use3D's stuff, again, played Nilla Doom several times before. Khorus's Speedy Shit -- 2. Actually never finished this WAD before (something about it really puts me off somehow), so past a point the run was blind, but had played several of the early maps before. Might've been a "1.5" if I hadn't wussed out and quit halfway through, I guess. Perdition's Gate -- Skipped. Perdgate sucks. :D. Would've been another 2 if I weren't such a stick-in-the-mud, for the record. UAC Ultra -- Again, 2. Played this once when it came out in full, so remembered a goodly amount of stuff about it for the run, even though it had been a while. Jade Earth -- 2. Or 2.5? Didn't do any kind of prep, but I've played the piss out of Jade Earth in my time, and so mostly know it backwards and forwards without having to practice (except for 'that' switch, apparently). Legacy of Heroes -- 1, finally! As an aside, this remains probably the 2017 selection I most enjoyed playing. Thanks gaspe! BTSX E1 -- 2, I think. I had never played this shiny new(er) version before the run, but I had played the older version for DWMC. A lot of stuff is cool and new in the current version, but not nearly so much as to render the past experience null, hardly so. Mapgame -- 2. Again, played it once when it came out, never again after that before the Ironman run. Vae Victus I & II -- And another 2. Played each of these more than once, by my recollection, but again, no formal practice. Disturbia -- 2/2.5. Again, no formal prep, but it's a Death-Destiny map, so I've played it more than a few times before, suffice to say. Insertion -- 2. This one still hurts. vdgg was right, I could've *totally* avoided that DNF with a fairly obvious infinitely-tall switchpress :( . Unholy Realms -- 2. Played this for DWMC when it was new-ish, which wasn't that long ago, all things considered. Osiris -- Again, 2/2.5. Highly familiar with Osiris, played it a lot in the past. Unlike with most of the other WADs above, it happened that I also spectated a lot of other players' runs beforehand in this case, so maybe that pushes this one over into 3 territory? End Game & End Point -- 2. Played End Game a few times in the past, played End Point once when it first came out. Oscillation -- The other 1. May there be more to come!
  6. And here's me, bringing up the rear as usual: Endthing. Survived both, final time is 1 hour 40 something. A lot of wasted time accrued over the course of End Point in particular, I think; I've only played it once before (when it first hit /idgames), and I had no real sense of what could be skipped and what could not as far as the steady stream of combat goes, since Eternal often builds things in a way where this is not particularly obvious to a surface appraisal. End Game I've played more than once before, natch, though it has been a long time. This was a somewhat disorienting run; some of the content I remembered very well, some of it not at all, and I was having one of those experiences where maps I was expecting to see in the set weren't there, and maps I had for some reason thought were in other sets appeared in this one. Getting lost in map 05 and missing the blue key until the end in map 06 are the biggest time hits here; map 08 is also very badly played, but by the time I was there I figured I had slid by my lonesome into a large gap on the board and didn't really need to risk survival for a bit of extra speed anymore. C'est la vie.
  7. 11th hour and then some, as usual. Sorry, Alfonzo. Finished in 30:07. Still time for some unassuming speedster to beat this, too, I royally screwed up in a couple of different ways in the final map and must've lost at least 2 minutes as a result, likely more. Not a blind run, obviously. I played and replayed Osiris a lot when I was just getting into PWADs, as the mystical Egyptian/desert Tomb theme has always been very alluring to me. I hadn't touched it in years before today, however, as since its release a number of other WADs with the same theme that suit me even more have appeared, and so I watched RjY's run to give myself a leg up on the terrain. Getting lost is more of a threat to a good run than the issue of survival in this WAD, I think, but it's certainly a little nastier than I remember it being, what with ALL the hitscanners. No wonder Steve adores it so.
  8. Same, lots of commitments, Doom and otherwise. I'm glad I managed to finish Moonblood, though, even if I've been very critical of much of it it was crucial to get out some words about the last bit, which left a much better taste in my mouth in hindsight. The biggest issue, I think, is simply that it shows stress/wear from being a megaWAD by a single creator making their first megaWAD (though I know the first part of Moonblood was initially conceived episodically, and that Deadwing made some other significant stuff before this), and so is highly repetitive for much of the duration, though I also suspect that a lot of this doesn't even come from the author lacking ideas per se (he clearly doesn't, especially if you consider the nature of some of his earlier work) as from an over-commitment to the small/minimalist Scythe model. "Short and punchy" only gets you so far over the extent of a long mapset, especially if your personal inclinations in gameplay design tend to de-emphasize the "punchy" part! It doesn't feel like it even begins to really come into its own until E3, but from that point things look up quickly and there's more variety and vibrancy in those last 10 levels (which are of more recent make) than there are in the first 20-22, so in future I would expect to see better and better things from the author. It will probably just be Stardate 20X7 for me, incidentally, since it's the only one of the three I've not yet played.
  9. Finishing up! FDAs pack (skill 4) for Moonblood's endgame, maps 27-30. Rather badly played for the most part, this bit, though in its way this is a good thing, as much of it probably stemmed from my finally having to shake a certain complacency engendered by earlier parts of the game. Fun fact #2: Map 27 was played with intermittent sound outages (don't ask)! Christ in a casserole dish, that's incredibly disorienting. Don't know how ToD does it. Generally speaking, I'm quite pleased with this endgame episode. Moonblood as a whole has suffered somewhat from what I feel to be excessive modesty, repetition, and a certain understatement of spectacle that started striking me as a mite artificial on some level after a point--aiming lower than needed because aiming high would be hubristic or unfaithful to the pre-ordained mapset concept, something like that--and this last bit bucks pretty much all those tendencies to a greater or lesser degree and so sends the game off on a high note. In terms of visual/aesthetic theme, I saw the thread register some disappointment that the setting here is, yet again/still, more corrupted military/industrial base (emphasizing the Plutonian flavor from the midgame more than the sci-fi/OG Doom flavor of the early game) rather than anything obviously 'new', though it's not a complaint I find myself sharing in this case. A major/unexpected shift in theme can be an excellent way to lend weight to and in-world investment in a game's final chapter--the m29/m30 surprise in Jenesis is the example I often like to use, though there are many others--but the real point is not so much that the texture scheme changes as that the mood itself does, and I found that was carried off nicely here. This is owing to a complex confluence of a lot of different things. These levels are bigger (i.e. they're 'medium-sized' instead of 'smaller'), more fleshed out, more conceptually distinct one from another, all true; but something in the presentation I can't quite put my finger on seems to lend them some extra gravitas as well, perhaps a function of aesthetic touches like the unique/memorable music tracks for maps 29 and 30, the increased emphasis on flesh/snakeskin as a visual element, or more generally the use of textures (deliberately or otherwise) that more obviously show the cooling/dampening effect of the WAD's palette filter (which, let's be honest, is pretty easy to forget about entirely for most of the WAD). Map 27 depicts a return to the UAC base after what was presumably a sojourn in Hell proper during the previous episode. As aforesaid, while in practical terms this means it looks quite a lot like what has become before (it actually most reminds me of m06 from much earlier in the game, in hindsight), it has a certain 'oomph' as an actual in-game point of contact with the WAD's story, whereas the set as a whole depends almost entirely on the player's imagination and capacity for investment to form some semblance of narrative out of its largely interchangeable servings of eclectic texturing and spartan sectors, an unusual choice in a set that cares enough about its story to try to adopt a nonstandard way of telling it through its intermission scrawls. On a more practical level, the map is probably most notable for the way it uses arch-viles, groups of the gangling bastards initially seen in stasis, ominously waiting to lope into action en mass when the player collects some McGuffin or other. Openly showing the player the general nature of a fight before it actually occurs is something that never once occurs in Moonblood before this point (a side-effect of its gameplay design nearly entirely eschewing combat setpieces and most forms of arena fight) and never occurs so clearly again afterwards. The fights themselves are not particularly remarkable, esp. after acquiring a BFG, but this kind of more overt mischief or toying with the player effectively imparts a more sinister tone to proceedings, playing into the episode's subtle (but significant) tonal shift from the rest of the game. Map 28 is a different beast entirely, and reads something like the set's semi-requisite 'challenge map', emphasizing combat over the usual dungeon-crawling to an extent even beyond what was seen in m26's 'coliseum' earlier, and featuring more staged encounters during its modest duration than the rest of the game in its entirety has fielded to this point. I particularly liked the playful way the level's opening throws a curve into the set's ongoing focus on resource-austere starts, providing you a BFG and other heavy weapons up front but framing the first fight in such a way that the average player will only get to fire the BFG a single time during due to ammo scarcity, emphasizing the value of a skillful and well-placed shot (and in turn, movement and technique rather than the set's usual focus on management and awareness). Secret-mongers get a second shot if they get to work as soon as they clock in; there's also a third shot pieced out via two backpacks in the fight itself, but gathering those while some of the viles/others still live involves some measure of risk. Later fights vary in style and framing, and while none are quite as clever as this first one, in sum they're appreciated simply for trying a gameplay style that the set has eschewed almost entirely to this point. The author's discomfort with the style is perhaps suggested by an overabundance of spheres which potentially remove a lot of the potential threat (though I was playing quite badly as aforesaid and so used all of them!), nevertheless the spectacle itself is most welcome. No complaints about the crusher-runs from me, incidentally, I think it's pretty clearly signposted that something bad is going to happen in either of those two suspiciously empty corridors. The little gore-blobs do suggest a crusher, though it had also occurred to me that maybe the floor would collapse in sections, or perhaps all of the walls would open into a huge monster ambush or the like. While you can't tell what's going to happen before you actually hop down, pretty much all of the likely possibilities are best handled by running down the course as fast as possible, and so I don't buy the notion that this design is categorically "unfair" or "bullshit." Map 29 is the best level in the game, full stop, and actually the one I will say the least about, I think. The surreal tone the set has been taking its sweet time building to finally comes good here, and I was quite taken with the way the layout wraps in a many-windowed circle around the strikingly grim/gruesome central ritual site, which holds a number of surprises, chief among them perhaps being that that area isn't actually the end of the level. I don't think it's any coincidence that this is the largest level in the game, either; the general form of the non-linear progression, the somewhat austere start, the thing balance and placement style, and other aspects of the game design are really not anything we've not seen many times before in the set at this point, but having much more room to breathe here lets Deadwing instill the map with more variety and much more of a sense of ebb and flow in its pacing than any single level in the game (or, I daresay, even the game in its entirety to this point) has had the opportunity to muster prior. No mapset needs to be comprised entirely of ambitious behemoths to be successful (though this is hardly a 'behemoth', really, it's more like the upper range of 'medium', IMO), but I think Moonblood would have benefited significantly from having a few more maps of this size scattered throughout the game. Apart from its use of cathartic tone, with a striking opening shot and a lovely mapslot-nonstandard midi that I'd love to hear again in future maps, the most salient feature of the final map is of course the presence of a custom deHacked bossfight instead of the traditional IoS ritual. I generally am not nearly as easily impressed with these as many others seem to be, but I did feel that the Sinner made for a fitting/satisfying final battle in this case. Visually the creature's nothing particularly special, an adaptation of D64's "Mother Demon"; in terms of functionality, it's essentially an afrit with an additional ballistic rocket attack, and a somewhat deceptively quick airspeed (initially looks slower than it is due to its size, I'd imagine). As a fight, though, I think it's more interesting than the above description might make it seem, since its speed and power stacked up against the (pistol-starting) player's relatively small arsenal require a lot of movement around its small and topographically complex arena, key elements being a 'random' flesh pillar which is extremely useful for blocking shots and buying time, and some tricky fissures where you can slip into a mildly damaging pit in the arena's center, which is dangerous mainly because it gives the boss a prime opportunity to attack you. Par for the course with this session, I played rather poorly against her, but still ended up pulling out a win, mainly because she doesn't actually have a particularly large amount of HP. I like that the fight here is made by the environment and the boss's abilities working in tandem; real thought seems to have gone into this encounter, as opposed to the author simply being satisfied with plopping a custom boss into a generic arena and saying "it's not an IoS, so it's good enough", as is so often the case with final encounters of this type.
  10.  

    1. Nine Inch Heels

      Nine Inch Heels

      Not sure if "Metal of the Well", or "Demon of the Metal"... Wait... It's actually "Well of the Metal", or is it? Now I'm confused to the point where I might accidentally post some Drum and Bass, hehe.

    2. Demon of the Well

      Heavy metal is the only one of my other interests that has been with me for about as long as Doom has, so if nothing else I suppose I'm quite the repository of potential namedrops. There are a few other styles I like as well (and sooner or later I'll probably post something from them here), but more often than not you'll find me listening to stuff like the last few NPs I've linked in this space (the main reason I started doing that being that I couldn't think of anything else to do with said space, incidentally).

       

      Perhaps ironically, though, for as much as I love Doom and as much as I love metal, I find that the two more often than not don't actually seem to go together all that well. There are exceptions to every 'rule', of course, and I can think of some midi-metal tracks that I've liked in Doom, but generally when I'm shooting demons I seem to prefer smooth melancholic prog-rock ala the BTSX WADs or atmospheric background ambience or the like, for whatever reason.

  11. Congrats Veinen, that's really fast! Esp. considering the final version got a fair bit nastier in a few places than the version I tested. Very good times from Krypto, Plut and Demonologist as well. I was comparatively slow in the test run, incidentally--I don't remember my final time exactly, but in ballpark terms I think I'd have finished somewhere around 7th or so on this table. A lot of the speedrunning mentality is still very alien to me and my usual way of engaging with the game (esp. during something I've never played before), so I focused way too much on not dying via killing lots of things and gaining decisive control of the map (which I did at least succeed in), and not nearly enough on overall progress. Looks like that was the case for many of you as well, which is a challenge that's more pronounced in this particular genre of map than in something more traditional/conventional, I'd warrant. Sorry 'bout the AWOL BFG blast Memfis, never happened to me, though I did see a pillar late map eat a fireball or two IIRC. Thanks to everybody who came out for it, and to cybermind for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it, it was certainly an educative and enjoyable experience.
  12. Paging @Steve D, front and center! I expect to see a run from you on this, seeing as you're one of its greatest fans. No excuses! If I can snark at realtors over the phone while simultaneously playing Moonblood and whatever else, you can find an hour for this. ;)