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  1. ‹rd›

    The DWMiniwad Club Plays: [various things]

    Woodcraft This is an early Roofi map that focuses more on the encounter design and gameplay but doesn't entirely neglect aesthetics. Instead of finer detailing (which is possible even in vanilla, since the rooms and hallways without many connections aren't much of a visiplane-overflow risk), the outdoor design leaves on recurring motifts -- like sector-detail trees (you'll see these in many pwads over the years) and Scythe-like midtex step bridges (those remind me of Kama Sutra). Indoor areas tend to be brown, rectangular hallways, with textures like METAL2 that are pretty HR2-like to me. It still feels like a very gameplay-oriented map, but going the extra step above STARTAN-clad rooms always helps. While the combat has a bit of throwing blocks of monsters at you like its main inspiration, a lot of the similarities are just visual. Since 2003 people have gotten a lot stronger at gameplay design. This map avoids the grindy excesses of HR2, and it also has surprising choreography wrinkles in even its cruder-looking fights. Take the fight after the start as an example: three barriers lower after you grab the SSG and RL, and monsters pour down that hallway at you. But you're given just enough rockets (without the secret in the start area), and the hallway is just short enough, and that one vile is just safe enough behind its fatso bodyguards. It's tricky to keep pumping rockets down the hallway with the vile occasionally attacking you, and you do want to hold your ground and prevent the monsters from spilling into the start area. Unless you get lucky -- the vile, extra thirsty for you, dodging its protective squad of mancs, because maybe you were dressed nicely -- that vile is probably going to alive when you have no rockets and you'll need to SSG it down in a hurry before it rezzes stuff. Or on the red key leg of progression, there is a crew of low-tier monsters -- sergeants and spectres that bunch up near a lift that is monster-blocked. Bad encounter? Not quite. Look at the BFG. That is an optional early BFG that can only be grabbed with a vile jump. If you kill those low-tier monsters near the lift, near the 64-wide door on that side of the room, then they form a roadblock of corpses that makes it tougher for the vile to get into a good spot to vilejump you. It'll happen but slowly, and you'll chew through lots of shells killing the rezzed monsters. So odds are you want to avoid hiding in the "safe" lift region, and instead bait those low-tiers into infighting, then kill most of them away from the door. You're given a berserk and green armor to heal and make the vile jump every time, but you probably want to soften up the vile with two or three SSG shots before it jumps you, so that you can kill it quickly afterwards. Cyberdemon usage throughout is quite cheeky (not in this way), and that is also one of the defining traits of the map. I loved the surprise one in an extemely tiny corridor. There is a cool fight with one on a narrow bridge with two viles overhead (btw these viles are awkward to kill imo, fidgety enough that you need to wait for them to stop moving and then hurl rockets, which is tedious). Other minuses: I think the spider mastermind along the red key path is an unnecessary grind (unless you have the BFG from another path or the early vilejump here -- at first I didn't). The popup HK in this area is so close to its trigger line that as I moved into that corner, I ended up getting scratched when it was still rising from the ground. The very last fight in the map is maybe the easiest fight in the map, which is fine, but I'd have liked more 'satisfaction' from it -- maybe more low-tiers to gib -- in that case. The rest is a matter of taste. I'm on record as thinking 'just add more rockets' is sometimes a lazy improvement when encounters themselves might be tweaked to play better, but when I got to the outdoor region on the red key path, I found myself wanting more rockets for the stuff clumped in front of me, before that big group of revenants with two viles. (I didn't find the early rocket secret and I ended up using most of my rockets on other things earlier.) Overall this is a solid early-career map that takes inspiration from an older style while avoiding many of its common pitfalls. (You will not SSG a baron in this map unless you spawn one via the console.)
  2. ‹rd›

    How do you handle damaging floors?

    Some interesting case studies in deviating from expectations: Certain design styles, like that of tourniquet's Miasma, call for '[damaging floor] as water' basically. In maps like this, liquid that is traditionally damaging is used more for the theme and color; often it covers vast portions of the map and the author doesn't want to be shackled into using radsuit-heavy gameplay. So it is non-damaging. In Miasma, the player starts in a pool of green slime, which communicates that fact immediately. That's further reinforced by a backpack pickup nearby in another crescent pool. That prevents the player from being unnecessarily avoidant of nukage until they figure out minutes later, which is awkward and can happen to some players in maps that convey this roughly. In an_mutt's Port Glacia, water hurts you. There are some nifty custom-texture signs that communicate that directly. Port Glacia has no inescapable pits or bodies of water that really make you regret jumping into it and thus catch you unaware -- but going the extra length to make this difference feel logical and not arbitrary helps a lot, and it comes off as a smart choice even if you figure out the water is damaging by first stepping in it. [Because let's face it; it's called Doom, not Read :^)] In these cases, in order to prevent the player from figuring out too late -- like when an inescapable pit does exist -- sometimes maps will force you to cross damaging water (or whatever normally innocuous liquid) at an early, low-risk point in progression, and maybe give you compensatory health right afterwards. Non-liquid hazards are definitely rare. In rare cases, they are tropey. If you play a Shores of Hell-inspired thing, those trenches of blue light are probably going to hurt you. Otherwise, conveyance to the rescue again. If you're given a big row of radsuits right before a door that is bordered with radiation symbols and you look into the windows and the air is red, those radsuits are probably not there just for you to look sexy in the fancy ZDoom mirrors.
  3. ‹rd›

    The DWMiniwad Club Plays: [various things]

    Uplink + each map attempts to do something markedly different structurally: m01, small conceptual intro with a 'pick your poison' structure to the content in the big lower area; m02, more of a traditional abstract three-key hunt in the mapset's virtual-reality setting; m03, linear this time, a chain of concepts and concepts and concepts, most being pretty interesting. + an uncommon concept/setting. virtual reality is not entirely unheard of (lupinx-Kassman's second map in CChest4, Valiant's secret map, and Doom 404 by Capellan come to mind immediately) but it's definitely not in the roster of traditional Doom themes. that adds a degree of novelty that makes Uplink more interesting to play. not really a mapset that amazes aesthetically, tiny bit rough in craft in places, but overall it was decent, and the texture combinations and sky choice was pleasing. apparently server data is stored in big collections of UAC crates. + cool MIDIs. map01's is really dancy and catchy; map02 is pleasant and has a techy 'retro Science show' vibe; map03's is great and suits the dark, spooky mood well. + the start of map03 was easily my favorite part of the mapset. the concepts there are pretty clever. just about everything in that half of the map works for me, but my favorites were the monsterless server climbing and the cyber hallway. - combat can be grindy. map02 tends to place lots of stuff in front of you that you chew through with the SSG. pinky hordes in map01 and map03 are too big and it seems like they were designed with a bit of naievete -- that technique where you induce a pinky's melee attack and back up slightly keeps them from ever being threatening. - the entire blue hallway zone is 3x too long to justify itself -- find switch in eyesore maze, reveal block of monsters, repeat several times -- and hurts what would have been a pretty cool finale.
  4. ‹rd›

    DBP25: Dead But Dreaming

    The OP should read "a recent version of GZDoom." UMAPINFO support has been around in GZDoom for a while, but everything 4.2.0 and later is "up to date" re its support, according to ZDF changelogs.
  5. Just a heads-up: I'd prefer not to use my old screenname anymore (it's changed basically everywhere I use it and can change it), just the shortened form 'rd'. edit: thank you :)
  6. What is the DWMiniwad Club? It's like the DWMegawad Club, but we'll focus on single maps and smaller mapsets. Where the DWMegawad Club aims to fill most of its days, this club won't, so that you can still maintain an active slate of other Doom obligations. How will maps be selected? I will pick them, drawing almost entirely from a pool of user suggestions. My goal is to maintain at least some diversity in the selections (along vectors like difficulty and art style) -- so I won't simply choose the wads that get the most votes. Please hold your suggestions until the 26th of the month. How do I participate? Play, do write-ups, etc. You can play any or all of the month's offerings. When a set contains multiple maps, you can do a single write-up for the set or one for each map. What are those dates beside wads? To help with organization, the month is staggered: wads are "unlocked" for commenting on a certain day, on which they become available forever in case you're late. Why aren't the dates spread out evenly over the whole month? This is to satisfy a balance between keeping discussion tidy while not forcing someone to wait until late in a month if they are only going to play one or two things. If you're playing everything, feel free to stagger out your play more evenly -- you don't have to play a wad on the very day it becomes unlocked. What are bonus wads? Bonus content might require a lesser-used source port or iwad, involve a niche game mode (such as multiplayer or rocket jumping), or even focus on a gameplay mod rather than maps. It is designated as bonus content to acknowledge that not everyone might want to go to the necessary lengths to play it. Have you considering renaming this "The extremely unwieldy thread title club"? Wad 1 (June 30): Uplink (3 Boom-format maps by Katamori) Wad 2 (July 4): Woodcraft (1 vanilla map by Roofi) Wad 3 (July 6): Crossing Acheron (1 vanilla map by Dr. Sleep) Wad 4 (July 8): The Eye (1 Boom-format map by Mouldy) Wad 5 (July 10): Oberon Base (1 vanilla map by Simo Malinen) Wad 6 (July 12): dead.air (1 GZDoom map by Xaser) No bonus stuff this month! Previous Threads
  7. AR is a bit big for this; in terms of content, two of its main maps are each on the same order of magnitude as Port Glacia, or all of Bauhaus -- then it has that meaty bonus map, then it has more maps on top of that. Since there aren't many votes yet, and this was something I very nearly picked this month, I'm picking Uplink from this vote:
  8. ‹rd›

    Which difficulty do you usually play on?

    The only way this is true is on a technicality, like there being a huge undiscovered bulk of ancient shovelware-quality wads without difficulty settings buried in a tomb stored on millions of floppies. I open maps in the editor pretty often, and most of them use the difficulty flags. Nearly all of the releases the Caco committee looks at use them. More 'my first maps' than not that I've played use them. You have to look at speedmaps before they are frequently left out, but even then, sometimes people use them.
  9. ‹rd›

    monster limit

    With 21 lost souls already in a map, PEs won't spawn them in the vanilla exes, ports that emulate the vanilla behavior, or if you turn that compat option on in ports that support that. In most modern ports, that behavior is off by default. You can see the practical effect in this Tyson run, where from the timestamp to some time later, a PE tries to grab j4rio's attention but can't muster anything that will pull him away from punching imps and admiring HK booty.
  10. ‹rd›

    Good slaughtermaps to play on Nightmare?

    You've already got the right answers: that Nightmare isn't what you might expect it to be, coming from Doom 2016, and that this NM doesn't play well with slaughtermaps. But if anyone really wants slaughtermaps that have proven completeable on that setting, I'd go with Scythe e3 (some involve trick skips) and Phmlspd. For something extra spicy, several Sunder maps have pretty difficult but doable NM routes (this is even after nu-Sunder patches some skips). Valiant's flagship slaughtermap is NM-beatable. Probably just play Valiant or Ancient Aliens or any megawad with slaughter-lite elements rather than full-on slaughter, because you'd probably find that a better time on NM anyway. :P
  11. ‹rd›

    A 1 in 5,000,000 occurrence

    Right, I said to move through the table 'appropriately', which is what that would refer to. I'm not exactly sure where you're getting 'adjacent' from; I didn't use the word or refer to doing that in any of my posts.
  12. ‹rd›

    A 1 in 5,000,000 occurrence

    If there is a distribution that normal, you might be using independent calls for each pellet. [edit: ah I realize what's going on. The Boom numbers I posted were calculated assuming the player is recording a demo, which changes a lot!] The gist of the method used for those charts: start at one index and move through the table appropriately for all SSG pellets. That gives you one damage value. Repeat for each starting index to get all of them.
  13. ‹rd›

    A 1 in 5,000,000 occurrence

    Doom uses a fixed array of values that it cycles through with RNG calls. This is good enough to simulate RNG in a practical sense, but the offshoot is that shots with a large number of calls (like SSG shots or BFG tracers) will be clamped to a narrower range of values, because it's pretty much impossible to pick "just" the high values or low values. Here's a chart for SSG damage in Boom (assuming no intervening calls, but those won't make a big difference): [edit: While recording demos. Boom uses a different RNG otherwise.] And vanilla: Credit to Kraflab for the charts.
  14. ‹rd›

    A 1 in 5,000,000 occurrence

    That one is a lot more common. A direct RL hit does 20d8 damage, plus 128 splash, so you have a one in eight chance of doing only 148 damage, just shy of the pinky's 150 HP. You're going to see it less often because you're probably not rocketing isolated pinkies too often. And in a small group or a horde, even a tiny bit of splash damage will make the others die in one hit.
  15. ‹rd›

    Which difficulty do you usually play on?

    People sometimes use ITYTD for slaughter mapsets like Sunder that didn't implement difficulty settings (HNTR/HMP/UV are the same, but ITYTD halves damage and doubles ammo). Some people use it on the rare map where even HNTR is pretty tough by community standards. People who prefer ITYTD definitely exist though. "ITYTD usually play" has numerous search results even here, and I'm guessing that would be even more common outside the community -- among people who play infrequently or who tend to prefer games in general on "tourist mode"-like settings. Not a good idea to shame people, especially in a poll thread. Non-UV players are valid too.