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baja blast rd.

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  1. baja blast rd.

    A level I made - Fort Carnage

  2. baja blast rd.

    Woolie's PWAD reviews (latest: 6fiffy1.wad)

    I'm not going to say "this should have way more likes [than the 6 it currently has]" because the merit of something has extremely little to do with how many likes or views or subs or reads it gets. But that is a wonderful review and some people are missing out.
  3. baja blast rd.

    ⭐ Rank Your Favourite Wads

    Just some questions for interpreting this list because it's huge: - what qualities you generally like in Doom wads? dislike? - you say the list is wads you consider "worthwhile," but what does "worthwhile" translate to for the last wad that made the cut (currently #235): is that in your mind average (like 5/10 or so), decent, or good?
  4. baja blast rd.

    Sunlust + Summer of '69 demos [-complevel 9]

    Nice, getting the two barons to fight each with other with the barrel is clever.
  5. Rayzik got permission from the author of that map, Rayzik.
  6. baja blast rd.

    TNT 2: Devilution (Second beta released)

    Beta 2 FAQ
  7. baja blast rd.

    Your Top 20 Wads of the past 4 Years

    I'm relaxing the ordering requirement because, in attempting this, I'm realizing that is way harder than actually choosing stuff. Mine is ordered, but very loosely and without a lot of thought. Top "20" Lost Civilization Ozonia Tarnsman's Projectile Hell Abandon Fractured Worlds Heartland The Wayfarer Doom 2 in Spain Only Eviternity Arrival Adventures of Square: Episode 2 I.H.N.I. episode 1 Faithless Trilogy Finely Crafted Fetish Film Don't Turn Your Back On The City Preacher Sold Soul Cydonia Down the Drain Mutabor Long Trek Back Home Antaresian Reliquary I have currently played little from 2022. I might be recency-biased by a few spots on Ozonia. Can't tell yet because I still have to replay it lol, but it's very good. I think I tend to be high on wads that do very well at one or more of the following: - one or more of... (a) very mechanically fun in straightforward ways or very good at "emergent" gameplay (this is where good Easy Wads usually fall for me); (b) loaded with encounters that are fun and rewarding to study/practice/repeat (where good Hard Wads usually fall); (c) great at creating and managing the emotional/visceral sensations of gameplay -- like expertly controlling your feeling of fear, excitement, and relief for example (either); - one or more of.... (a) very clever and has a lot of depth and layers to pick apart (for example in worldbuilding or gameplay design or anything like that); (b) has really engaging "authorial" command of the experience (gameplay or aesthetics or both), often showcased by author personality/character -- think Dobu/Mouldy/Tarns/etc.; - one or more of... (a) very good craftmanship/design in some way (like gameplay design or architecture) to the extent that I am compelled to study it and obsess over it; (b) a very emotionally compelling aesthetic experience, where "aesthetics" isn't just pretty looks but everything: worldbuilding, immersion, the "story" of the experience, background music choices, etc.; - very good and creative concepts and ideas, both in the big picture stuff and the smaller details of implementation (this is kind of like 2a); - makes me love it irrationally, which is rare without a single element of the above, but can happen. I think quality hyperconsistency can be a bit overrated: the presence of an all-time favorite map or two, or such a stretch of maps, can easily offset some more middling ones. So in theory "up-and-down community projects" are kind of my thing and I wish I could have included one but an average of five wads a year is tight. Mapwich 2 + Ar Luminae (cheating and calling it one thing) is neat. Also 1000 Lines 3 and Rowdy Rudy 2, which are also more on the "consistent community project" side. Standalone maps are fine to me, but they are another type of thing that gets outnumbered with so few wads because the one thing better than 30 minutes of very good is 3 hours of very good. I still had two though. Interestingly, I don't actually think of technical excellence as that meaningful when purely a means to an end. It happens, but rarely. But technical excellence used well usually results in one of those other qualities I love anyway: craftmanship I might feel compelled to pick apart, or a great overall experience through "events" and stuff. Heretic is kind of weird here. I don't in any way think that there has to be three spots taken up by it, but I'm in a bind because I'd say Wayfarer, Sold Soul, and Faithless Trilogy are around as good as one another. So I Cheated and added a couple of bonus wads. I didn't think too hard about this so that I can preserve the right to theoretically claim up to 40 wads are in my Top 20 over this time frame. Adding on to Not Jabba's Cacoward comment, when I was at the more "I'm not going to actually tiebreak this properly unless I spend hours on this" portions, I defaulted to adding in some HMs and runners-up. That's mostly because the idea that the Cacoward, runners-up, and HM groups are significantly different from one another is something I've felt since 2020 is really silly.
  8. baja blast rd.

    Can you run directly into your rocket?

    You can straferun (SR40) into your own rockets. You just need enough space. Even imprecise straferunning is good enough in map32 of Doom 2. The rocket passes through you. If your own projectiles didn't pass through you, firing a rocket would inflict self-damage.
  9. baja blast rd.

    playing Sold Soul (for Heretic)

    You're right, I haven't played many Heretic wads with carryovers (and I heavily use inventory anyway) so I didn't notice that being explicitly enforced before.
  10. baja blast rd.

    playing Sold Soul (for Heretic)

    m04: Mine of the Wyverns I think of this as where things get good, where if you haven't been convinced yet, you might just be Sold. (Hah.) Early, the sinister organ music predicts a dark turn, and many of the comfier signs and symbols of civilization in the back half of Royal Gardens are gone, replaced with utilitarian objects of work, and implements like cages. The outdoor scene in the sea of slime feels downright depressing. A lot of the ambiance is the murmurs of Disciples floating about. The setting just might be extremely far from familiar civilization. The area reached via the harbor teleporter looks downright dead; it's not surprising to see a graveyard later. On the mapping side, the design has definitely stepped up a notch -- all sorts of carefully wrought smaller-scaled detailing in the rock formations and in the wear and tear, and overall just a far more evocative composition of visual scenes. Mine of Wyverns is full of little secret pockets just out of sight, of decorative regions that are plausibly accessible even if they aren't, of ways of peering into some other place you're going to access later, which all contribute to that magical quality known as "sense of place." The skybox, with its towering black mountains, is a fluid extension of the natural landscape underneath. I also like the onyx material in the building here. You get a lot of character building in Heretic not out of thematic range -- even with the expanded texture resources, themed are limited compared to Doom's..."anything" -- but out of specific nuances in the familiar medieval range, such as what the materials suggest about the "character" of a place. Combat is consistently engaging. Chaos Serpents are introduced as another addition to the "miniboss" ranks; they are beefy and have spread-fire flame attacks, sor of like stronger mancubi with a smaller hitbox. Out in the harbor -- which is mostly made of even more of the customary narrow tracts of terrain -- crossfire starts off fiery, so many Golems and Undead Warriors taking potshots off from a distance while you tackle the encampments of Gargoyles and Weredragons on the harbor itself. One of the "house" rules I'm playing with -- to avoid carryover resource snowballing and have the highest amount of fun I can -- is that I must avoid exiting any level with more than one Tome in my possession. One of those Tomes comes in really handy for the blue key fight, which involves a wave of Undead Warriors and Chaos Serpents and then opens up to reveal SIX Iron Liches. I laid down the Hellstaff's poison rain altfire, which is perfect for the slow-moving liches, and then had some close-range fun with the tomed Phoenix Rod, which is basically a hyper flamethrower (and one of the rare cases where Wayfarer's changes are essential, since it fixes how this weapon's Tomed mode works). Progression involves some repeated warping to and fro to get and use keys and it doesn't always feel organic, but the ambiance and worldbuilding just make you want to submerge in the environment for a while, so I was not too bothered. For all the fun of sniper crossfire, however, the snipers are sometimes perched on remote rocks where they are hard to actually hit, so I ended ignoring a bunch. As the title foreshadows, Chaos Wyverns show up at key moments and are terrifying here, their loud grunting sounds making them feel like demonic flying trains, dashing through the air, belching flames over your limited real estate. When they teleport in, you first are alerted to their presence through those sounds. You know they are out there somewhere. You can hear them through the walls, but you don't know exactly where...
  11. baja blast rd.

    playing Sold Soul (for Heretic)

    m3: Royal Gardens The third map starts off with a more action-oriented hook -- a miniboss encounter in an arena against two iron liches -- and for most of its runtime is more of a combat-centric map. Iron Liches are a welcome sight because they are fun to fight, and also because thanks to the Wayfarer mod (I think?) they drop morph ovums with regularity. Morph ovums, an inventory item, are magical eggs that convert enemies into tiny, feeble chickens that still try to peck you, which is one of my favorite little things about Heretic. Upon using a morph ovum, it emanates a spreadfire shot that can convert up to five "regular" enemies (so not minibosses like liches and boss-tier enemies). It's intuitive to try to use it predominantly on groups -- but instead of trying to convert five Nitrogolems, you'd rather convert two Weredragons or two Ophidians, which have more combined health. Although I can't exactly blame you for wanting to maximize chicken count. One tendency that becomes apparent about Fryuko's combat design is frequent use of arena spaces that are long and narrow -- like the "ring" courtyard around the starting arena; the tiered, narrow-ledged canyon that contains the yellow key; and the vestibule behind the yellow key door, which is essentially another ring. This suits the game very well: it allows Heretic's mostly simpler, less instantaneously dangerous monsters to flank and corral the player better (Heretic's regular enemies are a lot like if Doom had more pinkies, imps, and hell knights but some were also faster and more dangerous). It also provides high-risk, high-reward spots to use time bombs, and since Heretic doesn't really have a "revenant"-like monster that can mob you and take you from 200->0 quick, these spaces don't run as much of a risk of being as stifling. The Weredragon is quite dangerous there; their orb flame attack packs a punch, they have big hitboxes, and Wayfarer boosts their health to something more befitting their appearance. Outside in the yellow key valley, we get our first introduction of the Chaos Wyvern -- a very fast, flame-belching, flying miniboss, two of which spawn when you get the key. I love these, and they would fill a rare niche even in Doom. "Royal Gardens" is largely structured around conceptual combat setpieces each cordoned off into their own area, but the later phases show Fryuko's grace with naturalist design and environmental storytelling. The spaces behind yellow key door are full of this eerie mix of disrepair, like a stone tunnel that has worn down and revealed the surrounding cave, and cozy human(?) activity, like the cooking pot, which illuminates its cave surroundings in a warm glow. These pots sizzle with ambient sounds. All around, mushrooms grow, vines drape, and there of course tons and tons of piles of skulls and skeletons lying around for "some reason." It's weird to feel that something littered with so many skeletons is comfy, but the colors and flora and ambient sounds bring out that mood. There's a tricky part back here I forgot about -- raising a bridge requires hitting a shootswitch that might be hard to see since it's small, all the way across the bridge, and sort of incidentally placed rather than centralized in your attention. Sold Soul does not exactly resist being cryptic at times. At the very end, we also get our first Maulotaur fight, which feels dangerous, with the combination of the Disciples and all the awkward obstacles in the yard.
  12. baja blast rd.

    Experiencing Abandon [Playthrough Thread]

    To anyone else who wants to, just make sure you're making posts that have substance (like Maribo's) and would start to dominate another thread, instead of: map01: a fortress map, was cool map02: I liked the big exit fight map03: has imps ... If your playthrough can easily fit in a single post, then something like the "What are you playing now?" thread is typically used for that already.
  13. baja blast rd.

    The DWMoonwad Club plays: some maps that are set on the moon

    And finishing Lunatic. map04: Lunar Supercomputer The drabness of the look here belies the amount of line-drawing effort put into it. It's neatly detailed and all, but there isn't really much of a concept evident; it doesn't really feel like we're in a "lunar supercomputer" as much as just a gray abstract map with computer details. That said, I think it might be the most fun map to this point. You get 258 monsters organized for either dangerous thrills, like that lone archvile wandering at the start or the huge fracas before the red key -- or to make you feel the power of your weapons: mixed crews of monsters that again tend to explode like confetti or get vaporized because of squishier monsters in their midst. Every big encounter is very mixed in composition, and where Rocket Zone was fine-tuned for the rocket launcher, Lunar Supercomputer gives you flexibility between that and the plasma rifle. Its slaughtery encounters don't get meaty, and there are enough dangerous single threats (zombies, archviles, revenants) that you might prefer the surgical precision of the plasma rifle. The way the central area is constantly repopulated and gradually piles up with bodies is satisfying. map05: The Final Countdown I don't think I've come across a map quite like this, one that has rewired my brain to hear the music, a track that was not even originally a game track, as belonging to it. The Final Countdown is one of the most inspired simple concept maps I've come across. In a circular arena that serves a launch pad for the rocket that will let us escape the moon, waves are synced to a timer that gradually counts (T minus) 10, 9, 8... certainly not seconds. It's such a fitting map for the music, and such a fitting concept for the end of this wad. The two defining tendencies in the encounter design are resource abundance and chaotic monster placement. There a whole lot of medkits and spheres and armors you won't really ever use, because in a setup like this. you don't want to be handed out a perfectly balanced amount of gear but easily miss where that one last sphere is under of a field of corpses. It's exhilarating to grab something, anything, to stay alive. The Final Countdown is not that hard, but it does a good job of looking very lively. Infighting breaks out naturally, but every wave is careful to inject plenty of pressing threats you need to take out yourself. This sort of encounter design looks "random" and mindless in some ways -- from the very first waves, the teleporters vomit out several different species chaotically, seemingly without a clear logic -- but in my experience it requires lots testing to fine-tune and make sure everything feels as intense (but not more), dangerous (but not more), and fun as it should, that each wave has the right size and "texture" to it. It's not about the individual roles of individual monsters; it's about the Big Picture. The result is a thrilling, momentum-driven fiesta of gibs and BFG shots and, sometimes, close calls. Fun. ... Overall Lunatic definitely achieves its goal of porting the vibe of '90s cartoonish "shoot 'em up" style games into Doom, at the expense of feeling bland visually sometimes. A decade layer, the moon theme with its directional lighting is a lot more familiar -- it's not going to blow you away just by existing. So Lunatic can come off as speedmappy. Works like Lunar Laceration, Nova 3, Tarnsman's Projectile Hell definitely build on the ideas in more thematically interesting ways. Valiant and Man on the Moon greatly increase the "fidelity" of the visuals, adding a lot more grit and grease. But the overall story, the continuity, the basic design mechanics -- and of course the Final Countdown -- haven't aged the slightest. It's still good.
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