Cipher

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  1. It's stressful more than relaxing, since I play without saves and usually play levels that will challenge me, but that's how I like video-games in the first place. Should be a challenge rather than something you can sleepwalk through. Stressful but fun.
  2. The best thing about the pistol is that it's a pistol.
  3. "Anti-Christ" > "The Final Frontier" > E4M6 > E4M2 > "The Living End" Fite me.
  4. Ah, maybe I was trying to get a shot in by the front pillars too often. Should've tried hanging back. Was trying to avoid chaingunner rezzes as the closet Vile approached.
  5. E2M2 vs. E4M2? I like to play E4M2 more, personally, but I think E2M2 is still the best single, accessible representation of Doom. And if we get into the ways I think E4M2 is good, there are probably ten or so Plutonia levels I'd put above it for best iwad map.
  6. Finally beat map 11 from a pistol start. It helped to realize I didn't need to collect the Plasma Gun until my second trip back to the main area, before heading into the final section. The unpredictable nature of the two Arch-Viles in the blue key area actually started to really frustrate me this time. (You can just run upstairs if the second one comes out early, but then you're likely dealing with a few Revenant resurrections and it's just a bad way to start; can't figure out what if anything changes their behavior.) Probably going to fall a bit behind from this point on, as I don't think I'll be finishing map 12 tonight. @Spie812 "The next memorable fight is the teleporting arch viles, which I forget what map they are an homage to but they fit in here rather nicely." That's also from "Speed."
  7. Map 11: "Will You Be My NME?" by Darkwave0000 PrBoom+, UV, Carry-over (from map 10), No saves That midi tho. This level is full of impressive architecture, fun gameplay, and clever ideas. A version of "Hunted" where you're forced to spawn the Arch-Viles yourself as you pick up items throughout the level? That's really, really great, and the presentation here is stellar. I like every bit of combat on its own. (Also, props for including two non-turret Masterminds that actually manage to be engaging and threatening!) I only have one real gripe with this level, but unfortunately it's one that's rather central to how it plays. I mentioned at the end of my last post that this map is fucking insane from a pistol-start. It's too long, and with Arch-Viles mixed in among other mid-tier enemies, ammo can easily wind up feeling low with a bad resurrection or two (which is very, very possible in some spots). And believe me, I tried. Many times. Each loss can mean up to 30 minutes of lost effort. Just check out the 40-minute times here from veteran players. It's a suitably Herculean effort on its own, but it's a bit much for level 11 in a megawad. I generally feel it might be too much for a megawad at all. I finally got through this for the thread playthrough by applying my minimal pistol-start route to a continuous run just to have it over with. I like it enough to want to complete it from pistol-start eventually, but I'd still be stuck on it if that were the case. Again, this is a serious time sink. I will throw out one gameplay-related caveat, on that note. Much as I like the encounters and overall conceit here, coupled with the length some of them are frustratingly inconsistent. That's probably a result of mixing Arch-Viles in among mid-tier enemies in this frequency to begin with, but for an early example: After grabbing the blue key, if you don't kill the first Arch-Vile in time, which somewhat depends on him being generous with his movements and not, say, running back and forth in the doorway, as happened to me once or twice, a second will walk down the stairs to join him (though the timing on this also feels random). If you get both of them hemming you in on the pillars, it's much more difficult to survive unscathed, and there's quite a long start from scratch down the drain. The double-Arch-Vile trap by the second Soul Sphere (you're basically required to trigger the Plasma Gun trap from a pistol-start) is another frustration point, and it's followed by a third who's very likely to resurrect the Mancubus he shares a room with to chew through ammo. Though not consistently. There are a lot of little luck-based things that can go wrong here, with high penalties, and the sunk time due to the length of the level is just a bit much. People will undoubtedly point to longer levels with the same kind of taxing monster movement-dependent design, and that's fine, but this isn't Scythe map 30 or a slaughter or something designed to present that kind of hyper-niche level of challenge. At least I don't think it is. Basically, it hurts to see that amount of time tossed away by what seems like bad luck. I like this level and would still probably be trying to conquer it from scratch if not for the club schedule, but I have some misgivings here and there. It feels weird to say a map could be a little more forgiving, but at slot 11 in a megawad, I feel this one could be, at least with regard to time. The thought of a meager fourteen Arch-Viles in a maze with nothing to resurrect starts to feel breezy and quaint. If this were just a bit shorter, I'd love it. Plutonia homages: None, but wouldn't it have been cool if the original had a level that was nothing but Arch-Viles? The shameful tally: (20 minutes. On continuous! For 55% kills!) Next: Dis Velocity Edit -- I do wish everyone would continue to specify difficulty, pistol-start vs. continuous, and saves or no saves, because I feel like those matter a greatly in contextualizing comments. Would that be an unreasonable thing to build into the opening posts for club threads?
  8. Much like The Plutonia Experiment, Hell Revealed, and other early wads that drastically rethought Doom's gameplay, we must credit "Imp Encounter" for spawning an entire genre of design whose lineage would include entries like "HDoom" and that picture someone posted recently of a map shaped like a woman receiving a flaccid penis. I think it may have been designed by a genius.
  9. Ah, no worries. I'm garbage-y too. I was just surprised to hear that comment directed at this level of any in the wad so far. Different playstyles, I guess.
  10. Map 10: "Bloodbath" by JC Dorne PrBoom+, UV, Pistol Start, No saves My basic thought is…that’s it? I can’t believe this came after Map 09. The difficulty scaling is all out of whack, as this is an intimidating-looking but genuinely toothless level. Apparently the author is a speedrunner, so I'll assume that's intentional. My issue then is less with the level itself, and more with where it falls in the megawad. I died once on my continuous attempt due to falling into the inescapable nukage surrounding the blue key, having forgotten to press one of the switches, then beat it on my second attempt deciding to check it out from a “pistol start” (it hands you an instant SSG). This level is way too generous. Ammo and health are plentiful, enemies are never positioned too dangerously, and it even hands you an Invulnerability to use at your leisure through a very telegraphed secret, though no encounter particularly demands it. I was shocked to find, upon finishing, there were still two secrets left for me to find, even after checking with the Computer Map. I can’t imagine what they could have been. The Revenants by the exit can be harmlessly picked off from the balcony of the blue key room, and even the hordes from the level’s climactic red key ambush can’t cross the central bridge, meaning you’re completely safe once you deal with the Arachnotrons on the other side. The map also drops a Plasma Rifle and a hilarious amount of ammo on you to take care of a single Arch-Vile and two Revenants at the end. What the purpose of the Partial Invsibility in the final area is, I have no idea, as you’ll be done with all the hitscanner combat by that point. Maybe it has to do with a secret I missed. It’s fun in a kind of breezy way, but so simple it’s not very satisfying. No one who’s finished the original Plutonia is going to have to think twice about anything happening here. Plutonia homages: Non-damaging blood floors as a general Casali staple The pillar with the Revenants and the exit is straight out of “Impossible Mission” (as it was straight out of “Suburbs” before that.) Not a Plutonia homage: Being totally easy Final tally: Speaking of schizophrenic difficulty, map 11 from a pistol start is fucking insane. Will definitely have to do a carry-over run to get done in time, though it may be a few days. Re: @Obsidian: "I have my doubts as to whether or not this map is possible without foreknowledge in places, which is kind of irksome." It is. Minus the one time I stupidly threw myself into the nukage by forgetting a switch, this is the only level so far I finished on my first try.
  11. That's way out of my league. Thanks for the reference, though.
  12. Okay, not to be outdone, I looked up the secrets, went back this morning (national holiday in Japan) and pistol-started it. Apparently it took me a whole half-hour, playing cautiously (and getting stuck with the secret instructions at one point), but it's done: Thoughts remain about the same as above, though it's a little more fun this way. I still feel like I lucked by the double-Arch-Viles at the beginning, which makes starting this (and learning it blind) a drag; I just got a round where they were kind with their movement. After that, it opens up immensely, though I still don't love its enemy placement. SGS Man articulated some of the issues there quite well above. I find the complaints about ammo so far to be a bit exaggerated, but only if you know where all the secrets are. I used the Rocket Launcher throughout. Armor stinginess is not something I have a problem with. EDIT -- OMFG, you can just leave the Arch-Vile room and fight them from the doorway or through the bars. Wooooow, I'm dumb. There's a significant issue with this map revoked.
  13. Dang. Well, thanks for nipping that one in the bud.
  14. The best way to prevent soul-spamming, as far as I found, was to take cover in the chaingunner alcoves that open up by the entrance and let them float up to the door. Since they can't see you most of the time, you can just pop out for point-blank SSG shots with minimal Lost Soul-spitting. A little slow, but safe. I mentioned it in my post on the map, but I didn't catch onto the invisible bridge for my first few attempts either. I was riding the lefthand Arachnotron lift up. Anyway: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Map 09: “Ruined Kingdom” by Tatsurd-cacocaco PrBoom+, UV, Continuous, No saves Unfortunately we’re at the point where my meager skills will no longer allow me to pistol-start every level and be sure I’ll finish the wad in time, especially with some busy days toward the end of the month. I wasn’t good enough for this level. I did try pistol-starting a few times, getting past the Arch-Vile room, but I just wasn’t consistent enough at those early portions, and the level’s quite big and filled with challenging encounters where one slip-up means you’re dead. Would’ve taken quite a bit of practice. This was the first time in the set I seriously abused continuous play, and I’m talking BFG blasts where I shouldn’t have had them. I genuinely find the back-to-back double-Mancubus-double-Arch-Vile rooms at the start harder from a pistol start than anything Map 08 throws at you. So it’s a little harder to comment on. I might go back for the pistol start later, but in general I don’t think it’s a style that’s quite to my liking regardless. The initial few challenges are good, but there’s a lot of back-and-forth here, and the level of difficulty fluctuates throughout in a way that made repeated attempts feel a bit grindy both on continuous and on my pistol-start attempts, even just with the initial three rooms. (Which is to say, there are rock-hard encounters here and others that feel like filler, which isn’t a kind of pace I love.) It’s not quite a Plutonia-esque feeling, despite the difficulty (outside of maybe the original’s “Tombstone”). It isn’t the more compact series of solvable traps the Map 08 was, or even, say, Scythe episode 3 is. Instead it’s just one brutally demanding, movement-based encounter after another, with bits of slightly more incidental combat in between. That’s probably Tatsurd-cacocaco’s style. I’ve only encountered his first-episode JPCP levels up to this point. Regardless, I wasn’t ready for it and at this point don’t feel like a fan, though I can easily see why someone else would. It’s not bad, but not my cup of tea. Plutonia homages: The level is based around “Realm,” from the entrance into a base containing dual lifts up to a stone-and-water area (this time delivering Arch-Viles instead of Barons), to at least one sequence chaining together Mancubi in a dark, watery hallway. The entire centerpiece and its branching paths are taken straight from that level, as is the final Revenant-double-Arch-Vile encounter, here given a few additions. Despite that, I find it flows quite differently from that level as a whole. Hallways after the Red Key grab resemble the Red Key area from “Well of Souls.” The Mancubus trap prior to opening the path to the Blue Key recalls an early encounter in Dario Casali’s “Baron’s Lair.” Final tally: (Not sure what's up with my total time; might be off from a mix of continuous and pistol-start play? Or from switching save slots at one point?) This level brought me great shame. 😔
  15. Tossing this out there to see if there's any insight. I haven't started mapping yet, but an idea hit me the other day that I kind of want to make a proof-of-concept for. I know Boom allows you to place voodoo dolls on conveyor belts to trigger linedefs outside of the player's reach. Has anyone attempt to sync these voodoo-doll/conveyor actions to a music track? Is there any insight on how that timing might be achieved without pure trial-and-error? (I.e. speed or map distance into seconds when playing the actual map?) If there's a kind of easy conversion for that, that'd be great.