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About Omniarch

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    Malign Master of All Creation. That or just another random D∞mer

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  1. Omniarch

    The DWmegawad Club plays: 1000 Lines 3

    MAP03: Lower City Grime - Liberation At last we enter the litter-strewn outskirts of Mars City. Here, project lead Liberation picks up where Aquila left off, taking the Martian industrial theme and giving it a brutalist touch. Giant, mono-textured orthogonal structures are the order of the day here, implicative of a sort of banal hypermodernity gradually giving way to urban decay. Or something to that effect. Mechanically, Lower City Grime is short and linear, bearing a degree of resemblance to the shooting galleries of latter-day FPS titles. That is not to say the map is dull, far from it. The unusually early provision of the Plasma Rifle combined with numerous and fodder-heavy opposition gives the player an abundance of targets to shoot at all times, while the map’s sizable garrison of strategically-placed Plasma Guys keeps them on their toes. Additionally, while Liberation never coerces the player into taking an aggressive stance, the relatively spacious layout combined with the above factors strongly encourages reckless play. Psyrus’ “Isosceles” plays into this as well with its thrumming beat, while simultaneously reinforcing the map’s cyberpunk-inspired aesthetic. MAP04: Monument of Mars - reflex17 Reflex17’s take on Mars is decidedly cleaner than Liberation’s, though no less brutalist. To be frank, the linecount restriction really shows here: beyond the well-composed opening area which calls to mind a (mostly) clean office complex, the vast, flat-lit utility areas beyond that point are simply rather dull to behold, although on the upside they do certainly imply a sense of place, even though the presentation is ultimately insufficient to induce the feeling fully. Said opening area. On the combat front, the trusty Plasma Guy once again demonstrates its worth by shaping the player’s movement through the map’s otherwise-underpopulated arenas, providing a constant source of pressure. Revenants, Arachnotrons and the occasional Archvile are also employed to mitigate this effect, to varying results. The map’s saving grace is the early provision of the rocket launcher, which adds an additional layer of engagement via shot-optimization to spice up the otherwise rather stale combat. Psyrus’ “Digislide” is definitely the most distinctive element of the experience: a groovy, thrumming piece that makes the action just that crucial bit more pleasurable.
  2. Omniarch

    The DWmegawad Club plays: 1000 Lines 3

    MAP02: Tharsis Awakens - Dragonfly and Eris The first ‘full’ map of the set, Tharsis Awakens is a visually abstract, combat-focused affair which does little to reinforce the episode’s theme of martian industrial decay beyond a general adherence to its texture-scheme. That said, this map is a blast to play, and a perfect introduction to 1kL3’s combat rhythm. There is something deliciously indulgent about the combat here, beyond even the obvious fodder-gibbing space-filler encounters. The abnormally early provision of heavy weaponry plays a role in this, causing even the map’s substantial population of mid-weights to evaporate in seconds under barrages of rockets and plasma. Freedom of movement, for player and monster alike, is assured by the map’s spacious, open layout, which lends the action a certain free-flowing dynamism. The variety of the opposition combined with fast weapon-switching encourage the player to make full use of their arsenal, further enhancing this effect. A well-placed rocket to gib a cluster of fodder enemies here, followed by a suppressive burst of rifle-fire to eliminate a squad of roaming hitscanners there, followed again by a rapid succession of shotgun blasts to polish off the remaining imps, all in the span of a few seconds. Such is the nature of this map’s combat, a product of the authors’ skill and Aurelius’ superb toolset. Another notable aspect of this map is its excellent midi, a simultaneously soothing and exhilarating piece that I would love to examine in more detail if it weren’t for my complete musical illiteracy. “Stargaze” is Psyrus’ debut piece in this set, a harbinger of many fantastic pieces yet to come. Frankly, the fact that I had not heard a whit about this master of the craft before 1kL3 is downright criminal. Hopefully now, having contributed over a third of this set’s largely bespoke soundtrack, will they receive some much deserved recognition.
  3. Omniarch

    The DWmegawad Club plays: 1000 Lines 3

    Full disclosure: I have already played 1kL3 in full, though in my dazed weekend binge I'll admit to having rushed through some of the maps. Thus, this seems like the perfect occasion to revisit this fantastic wad with a more analytical eye. A few notes before we begin: I will be using Fabian's criminally underrated Woof! as my port of choice, since it feels almost identical to my beloved Crispy, but with a number of additional features, such as an SDL sound mode to better express 1kL3's fantastic music. I will be playing on UV and saving as much as I please, and I will not be aiming for 100% kills or secrets, though I may choose to pursue such at my discretion. Now, without further ado, to the wad! MAP01: Dust Devils - Aquila Despite its brevity and low difficulty, Dust Devils makes for a striking first impression. Upon booting up this map for the first time on my initial playthrough, any reservations I'd had previously regarding the set's titular limitation were instantly assuaged. The opening shot is very revealing indeed to the trained eye. First and foremost, Aquila's unusually grounded use of OTEX immediately struck a chord with me. At that point, I had come to associate the pack with a certain sort of colourful abstraction, pleasing to behold but so often devoid of any sense of place. Here, though, these textures are used to craft the outline of an actual setting, a depiction of a decayed martian industrial heartland as vivid as it is simple. The toxic plumes rising from smokestacks enhance this impression still further, while also providing some much appreciated visual dynamism to the scene. The next thing that immediately becomes apparent is the set's extensive dehacked patch. Animated smoke plumes are only the very tip of the iceberg here, as well shall see going forward. First off, the new pistol, reminiscent of the one from Tango's Supercharge! is a most welcome addition, with a crunchy and satisfying sound and smooth animations, able to dispatch fodder with ease. Similarly, the CG replacement is a delight to wield, powerful and satisfying in equal measure. Once again, this weapon reminds me of Supercharge!, which isn’t really surprising, given Aurelius’ (the author of this patch) prior use of the mod. The addition of fast weapon-switching synergizes brilliantly with the increased rate-of-fire across the four slugthrowers (spoilers I guess), giving the set’s action a noticeably spirited tempo. Additionally, this set's incarnation of the ubiquitous Plasma Guy concept is easily one of the best ones I’ve seen, with imposing ZSpec-derived sprites and SFX and equipped with a continuous-fire attack which it can use to saturate an area with high-damage projectiles. They also drop mini cell-charges, a feat of dehacked wizardry so arcane that I immediately quit my run to examine the set's patch file. Damn Aurelius, that is a very clever trick indeed… These are but a small sample of the set’s alterations, as we shall see in the coming weeks. For me, this dehacked patch is one of the three defining aspects of the set, the other two being its phenomenal world-building / aesthetics (more on that later) and fantastic, largely bespoke OST (again, more on that later). This triad of elements serves to distinguish this CP from many others like it, including its own predecessors, and elevates it to sit among my top-ten favourite releases of the year. Beyond its role as an introductory experience, Dust Devils is a well-crafted map. In addition to the aesthetic attributes mentioned at the outset, the map is strikingly open and pleasingly vertical. The combat is solid, and the progression clear and satisfying. The set’s titular limitation seemingly does little to hinder Aquila’s vision for the map. While generally low on detail, careful use of OTEX and strong lighting negate the low linecount, to the point where the map mostly just looks more like a regular vanilla map than anything else. In summation, Dust Devils is a strong opener, ‘Exhibit A’ of many of the qualities that will go on to define 1kL3 in my eyes. … Good lord, this bloody thing is over 700 words long! My my, I do get carried away… Needless to say, my future writeups will (mostly) be a great deal more modest, heh. Regardless, I am looking forward to experiencing this wad again, and to reading everyone else’s takes on it as well. Until next time, ta ta!
  4. I have made a number of visual prototypes and false starts so far, but have yet to fully commit to a single concept. That said, I have a really clear idea for a map using the E4M6 special, so would like to swap my slot if possible.
  5. Omniarch

    Common phrases that are nonsensical

    "Ja no", a bizarre idiom from my homeland, comes to mind. Literally, it translates to "Yes no", which is oxymoronic. In practice, it can be used as a "maybe", a hesitant affirmative or as a "yes and", among other things. Notably, the idiom is never used in a comparable fashion to the American "Yeah, no". For a more general example, "off the top of my head" makes no sense literally (yes, the phrase did occur to me as an example as I was about to write it out). To be quite frank, one could just comb through a list of idioms, pick the most nonsensical ones, plonk 'em down here and call it a day (hey look, another one!). It'd be a piece of cake (uh oh...)! Just like riding a bicycle (I can't seem to stop myself...), easy as pie (make it stop...)!! ... This is getting out of hand... wait, no! Not another one! I'm going off the deep end... off my rocker... no no no... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA [insert idiomatic doom-spiral here]
  6. Omniarch

    Newest Video Game Waifu Crush

    Why, who else could it be but Hollow Knight's bestest girl! We all know who that is, yesiree. Alternatively, get a load of this scrumptious fella: An immortal mind, possessed of unfathomable intellect and encased in a mighty robot body, capable of singlehandedly rebuilding the Core Empire from scratch via a process of exponential expansion. Unironically, this guy could wipe out entire galaxies, given time. What's not to love? Alternatively alternatively... Geralt of Rivia. Have I played the Witcher games? No. Will I ever play the Witcher games? Defo no. Do I think Geralt is the most attractive video game character of all time? Hell yes. Truly, a picture is worth a thousand words.
  7. Omniarch

    Do you like other retro games (other than DOOM)?

    My favourite RTS is a 1997 release called Total Annihilation, so ja. Game's older than I am, yet so chock-full of innovative ideas, many of which are largely or completely unique to it. Namely, it was the originator of the now largely-extinct "flow economy", which would only ever recur in TA's spiritual successors (like Supreme Commander and Planetary Annihilation), as well as being (afaik) the first RTS to feature a fully-3d physics system, modelling things like shell trajectory and momentum, which gives the game a uniquely tactile feel. Like Doom, it has maintained an active modding scene ever since its release, which continues to experiment with the game's mechanics to this day. Incidentally, the first game I ever played, Worms 2, is also a 1997 release, though my main interaction with that franchise was via 1999's Worms Armageddon, which is pretty much the same game mechanically, but with waaay more features and a fullscreen GUI for match setup. While I haven't played the game in years, it is telling that my first exposure to the medium was via an (at the time) ten year old release. Depending on one's definition of 'retro', Rome: Total War may count as well. I've sunk more time into it than the rest of the TW franchise combined. Again, this is at least partially due to the game's still-active modding community, though the majority of my playtime was probably still spent on the base game. RTW is easily the most campy and ridiculous in the franchise, and I love that about it. No attempt at historical realism was made, to the point that the armies of Ptolemaic Egypt are clad and equipped in Bronze age fashion, despite the fact that in IRL said faction's army was drawn exclusively from the Greco-Macedonian ruling class and equipped in a similar fashion to the other Diadochi forces. Readability and a sort of pop-culture awareness was prioritized above accuracy, which makes the game by far the most vibrant and stylish of the TWs. There are many other games which I greatly enjoy which could probably be described as either "retro" in some capacity or at least "retro-inspired". To me, there is no specific appeal behind the concept, strictly speaking, though I'll admit to loathing the design sensibilities that have underlined most mainstream titles for the last 10-odd years (e.g obsession with fidelity over aesthetics, integration of superfluous RPG mechanics, overabundance of cutscenes, emphasis on Hollywood-inspired cinematic effects etc etc etc). My general preference for somewhat older releases is almost entirely incidental, a result of past (and present) hardware limitations on my part and the fact that many of my favourite genres are dying out / have succumbed to genericization and stagnation.
  8. Omniarch

    Talk about some custom monsters you like 

    Ah yes, custom monsters, one of my favourite aspects of Waddom. There's so, so much to talk about here, far too much even for one of my notorious gigaposts. Thus, I have decided to type out a few miscellaneous thoughts on a semi-random collection of my favourite beasties (with a few bads jokes for change), you know, for fun! These have been sorted first by monster, then by rough category thereof, for organizational reasons. Hope you enjoy! Oh, I almost forgot... !!!WARNING: OMNIDUMP INCOMING I REPEAT OMNIDUMP INCOMING WARNING!!! (seriously, this post is nearly 2,000 words long...) Impses Imps. Everybody loves 'em (and not always platonically...), everybody knows 'em and everybody's killed an imperial britonnic fuck-tonne of 'em. It is unsurprising, then, that some (sussy) individuals among us would decide to make their very own variants. Here's a couple of interesting examples that fill some oft-overlooked niches in Doom's bestiary: Dark Imp (Uprising) & Psycho Imp (Rowdy Rudy 2) You know what I like? A pair o' taught-ass buns, that's what. Oh, and I guess enemies with high DPS-to-HP ratios, them too. You know what I like more? A combination of the above. You can see, then, why these two implementations of the Dark Imp concept appeal to me. Silliness aside, these scrumptious little fellas fill a somewhat overlooked niche, namely that of a fast, hard-hitting but squishy fodder enemy, adept at both spicing up incidental action and (in groups) outputting a fearsome amount of damage relative to space occupied. The Psycho Imp is specialized for the former role, acting as a sort of 'shock' unit that functions best in relatively intimate spaces, while the Dark Imp focuses more on raw firepower. Both of these help bridge the gap between regular imps and the more powerful Hell nobles, whilst bringing the additional element of speed to the table. Imp Superior (Nihility: Infinite Teeth) In theory, Projectile Hell and Doom make for natural bedfellows. Sadly, the highly-variable nature of Doom's damage system makes true projectile saturation a bit of a crapshoot, given how unfair effectively undodgeable projectiles can be in this context. One way around this problem is to emphasize slow-moving, low-damage projectiles which can be reliably avoided with a degree of effort. The Imp Superior is eager to lend a hand in this endeavour. This persistent fellow will lob fireballs at you until LOS is broken, similar to the Arachnotron. In groups, they can easily saturate a large area with their projectiles, and offer a low-cost (in terms of grind) option for area-denial or background pressure. I rather like this sort of simple-yet-effective design in my custom enemies. In this particular implementation, years didn’t even need to add new sprites, instead using the same function that causes players in DM to appear different colours to simply alter the palette of the regular Imp sprites (incidentally, this is why some wads turn said sprites green, since the function only remaps a limited selection of colours). Big Impses The Baron of Hell is often rightfully seen as a somewhat redundant and generally less practical alternative to the Hell Knight, useful relative to its lesser kin in only a handful of circumstances. It is unsurprising, then, that many Doomers choose to replace the BoH with something a little more... interesting. Antaresian (Struggle: The Antaresian Legacy) Derived from Heretic's Ophidian, the Antaresian is one of the more original Baron replacements I've seen. While ultimately filling a fairly similar niche to the HK (beefy space-occupier with a massively damaging attack), its decidedly alien appearance and multi-projectile attack make it distinctive enough both mechanically and visually to justify the loss of the BoH. Cybruiser (Valiant) & Annihilator (Eviternity) Rockets are the single most devastating projectile available to Demonkind, reliably one-shotting all but the most well-stacked marines. Unfortunate, then, that this great power is given only to the mighty Cyberdemon, which, while being a fantastic, versatile enemy in its own right, is ultimately too demanding of an opponent to be used casually (most of the time, anyway). Enter the Cybruiser, which packs a single-shot rocket launcher in a far more diminutive (and less tanky) chassis, giving it a greater degree of versatility compared with its hulking superior. The Cybruiser essentially allows the mapper to implement Cyberdemon-style setups on a more casual basis, with a greater degree of fine-control over threat-level and grind. They should not be considered true substitutes, however, due to their much reduced speed, aggression and space-occupation. One major issue that both kinds of Cybers face is that of circle-strafing: in the absence of specially-designed layouts, it is all too easy to simply run rings around these mighty demons, which is particularly problematic in this case due to their substantial health-pools. The Annihilator provides an elegant solution to this by following up every rocket with a barrage of hitscan attacks, whittling down any would-be circle-strafers as punishment for their cheesy crimes. While arguably less versatile than the Cybruiser due to its demanding attack pattern and propensity for excessive infighting, the Annihilator fills an interesting and unique niche as a fully-functional mini-boss, more than capable of posing a serious threat on its own. Pyro Knight (Valiant) An example of the somewhat rare HK-replacement, Valiant's Pyro Knight is a very unique expansion of the hell nobles' original niche. While ultimately following the same rough attack pattern as the original slot-holder, the Pyro Knight poses a far more active threat with its massive area-denial attack, which pushes them higher up the threat-priority ladder without the addition of a single point of HP. Pyro Knights are also hands-down my favourite custom monsters in terms of appearance. They just look so damned cool (figuratively, of course)! Flyboys (and girls and... people? Flypeople?) There’s a paucity of airborne opposition in OG Doom, in my view anyway, though doubtless much use is gotten out of the vanilla trifecta of cacos, PEs and annoying Ghost Rider cosplayers. Thankfully, there is no such shortage of fanmade flyers. Here’s a handful of my faves: Fire Gargoyle (1000 Lines CP 3) By all logic and reason, these little buggers ought to be the most enraging pestilential monsters this side of the Lost Soul, what with their erratic movement and surprisingly-painful fireballs. Bizarrely, I actually found the Fire Gargoyle to be the most entertaining of all 1kL3's new beasties. These fellas are chaos incarnate, adding spice to every encounter in which they appear. Mechanically, it fills a largely unexplored niche by providing a low-threat yet ultra-mobile hazard that forces the player to pay constant attention to their surroundings, lest they find themselves caught off-guard and mobbed or face-rocketed or whathaveyou. Additionally, the act of exterminating the damn things is made all the more satisfying by their delightfully gibbulent death animation. Flame-caco (Rowdy Rudy 2) & Cacobot (Uprising) RR2's Flame-caco is one of the scariest custom enemies out there. They are fast, aggressive as all hell and do a massive amount of damage. This beastie fills a unique niche, that of an ultra-mobile, highly-threatening shock enemy capable of harrying the player across any sort of terrain. Flame-thrower style attacks are very well suited to this sort of monster, due to their high damage tempered by limited range, giving them a unique range-sensitive combat-pattern. Uprising's Cacobot is the logical extreme of this role: a brutally fast, mobile, tanky and heavily armed beast of an enemy with an unrelenting drive to kill. Using a combination of manc and rev fireballs, this guy is uniquely suited to smoking the player out of any hidey-hole and keeping them on the run. Former Humans Zombies and video games need to get a divorce already. Seriously, the two are practically synonymous these days. It would be a shame to disrupt Doom’s quarter-century-long union with the undead, though, given that it was one of the originators of the trend. Dumb nonesense aside, Doom’s iconic trio of undead footsloggers essentially cover all the bases when it comes to hitscan attacks. There is, however, potential in arming these charmingly-squishy bastards with a range of projectile-based weaponry, as the following instances demonstrate: Chaingun Elite (Struggle: The Antaresian Legacy) I've always preferred projectiles over hitscan attacks. The chance to dodge an incoming attack, however slim, will always feel more fair to me than instant damage, regardless of the latter's immense mechanical utility. antares031 apparently feels the same way, judging from his many implementations of ultra-fast bullet projectiles. Of these, Struggle's Chaingun Elite strikes me as the most iconic, due to its various recurrences in later projects involving the author. The possibility of evasion is, in this instance, tempered by the truly colossal damage output of the Chaingun Elite, which can easily kill an understacked player outright. This has the odd effect of making them both more and less threatening than the Chaingunner, which specializes in attrition and area-denial, making it more of a 'strategic' than immediate threat in contrast to the Elite's close-quarters lethality. Plasma Zombie (1000 Lines CP 3) The Plasma Zombie is one of the most widely-known and addressed gaps in the D2 bestiary. Simply put, the notion of a projectile-oriented human enemy with a high DPS-to-HP ratio is a natural and sound one, offering a variety of applications especially in the context of low-grade incidental combat, often serving as ambushers, snipers or even as simple fodder. 1kL3's implementation of this concept is my favourite so far, mainly due to its above-average damage (2 bolts vs usual 1), good sprites/sounds and ability to drop micro cell packs (this being accomplished via devilish means in vanilla dehacked, mind you). These guys spice up every encounter in which they appear, similar to their hilarious airborne compatriots. Stealth Alien (Ancient Aliens) This interesting little fella is somewhat of a hybrid between the more conventional plasma zombie and Scythe 2's notorious Evil Marine. While quite lethal up close, the Stealth Alien's relatively lengthy pre-fire animation and fragile constitution make it decidedly less threatening than its speed and DPS may imply. Stealth is, unsurprisingly, this little beastie's greatest asset, allowing it to deal immense damage to the unobservant or simply otherwise-occupied player. In terms of usage, the Stealth Alien mainly plays the part of sniper, ambusher or less commonly shock infantry, often adding an extra dose of lethality to otherwise trivial incidental combat. Visually, this is my favourite of the zombie-type enemies, mainly due to its unique gimmick and (unsurprisingly) alien appearance. Miscellaneous Meanies Couldn’t figure out how to categorize these guys, so here they are. Suicide Bomber (Valiant) There are fews things more satisfying in the interactive medium than explosions and gibs, and Valiant's iconic Suicide Bomber provides both in spades. These little weirdos are easily the most amusing of all the custom monsters I've murderized, as well as the most mechanically distinct from the original lineup. There's endless potential here, though only the most skilled craftspeople can hope to harness it. One thing is for sure, though: no sound in Waddom inspires quite the same cocktail of fear, excitement and amusement in me as this fella's ever-iconic AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Wraith (Nihility) Definitely one of my more obscure favourites, Nihility's implementation of the Wraith is what demonstrated to me the potential of a fast, fragile melee enemy that can function both as rocket negation and as a legitimate threat in its own right. Of all the custom monsters on this list, the Wraith is the one I just passively enjoy the presence of the most. It does not radically alter the core gameplay in any way, but it applies a unique sort of pressure that would, in my estimation, enhance an immense range of combat scenarios. Thus, if I were given the ability to retroactively insert a single custom monster into the base game, this obscure beastie would be my first choice.
  9. Omniarch

    Im looking for megawads recommendations

    As a self-described Ultimate Doom connoisseur, I know of some wads that may be of interest to you: Doom The Way id Did Pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. Of everything I've played, this set comes the closest to replicating the design sensibilities of the original Doom (unsurprising, since that was the creators' goal), whilst maintaining a more modern level of polish. If you like the set, I would also recommend checking out DTWiD: The Lost Episodes, which is a collection of rejects from the main project that is well worth experiencing in its own right. Lunar Catastrophy Another retro set, somewhat less polished than DTWiD but far more experimental and unpredictable. Be warned, though, this one gets difficult towards the end, far more so than the original Doom. Nihility: Infinite Teeth While technically an episode-replacement rather than a megawad, this one is a must play for any fan of E2. Nihility is one of the most original and visionary OG Doom wads out there, with extensive and well-designed modifications to both the bestiary and arsenal, inspired by the Doom alphas. Most interestingly of all, the set eschews all music and instead relies on ambiet sound effects, giving it a uniquely haunting and oppressive atmosphere. No End In Sight My favourite wad of all time, NEIS is by far the biggest and baddest set ever released for Doom 1, a sprawling adventure spanning 38 maps, many of which can take an hour or more to beat. While the first episode (mostly) comes off as an extension of DTWiD, the maps only grow larger and more deranged as the set goes on, to the point that, after conquering E4M8, I could scarcely believe how humble the set's opening maps seemed in comparison. I cannot recommend this one highly enough.
  10. Omniarch

    Any snow and ice themed maps?

    I know of a few: Akeldama's first episode is an interesting, varied take on an Earth-themed winter aesthetic, reminiscent of Alien Vendetta's early maps in terms of design philosophy. Cold Blood is a compact, fast-paced outing, with a charming egyptian-winter hybrid aesthetic. I very much support Egg Boy's shamless plug here, it is a good set ;) Uprising's second episode is winter-themed, with a focus on icy techbases and cities. The set in general is great fun, with almost non-stop combat against a host of dehacked beasties set against the backdrop of a broken, demon-infested earth. Whitemare 1 & 2 are a couple of welll known CPs from the Russian Doom community. 1 is entirely winter-themed, while only the first episode of 2 is. I haven't played either recently or completely, so cannot really attest to their quality, but there's bound to be some good stuff in there. Winter's Fury is probably the set that feels most... well, cold out of what I've played, if that makes sense. As a Geezy set, it is able to take advantage of an array of effects in order to really sell its main theme, in addition to just being an interesting and dramatic partial conversion.
  11. Omniarch

    Doom Maps That Take the Form of an Epic Journey

    From a self-styled adventure-connoisseur and fellow Ashes-appreciator, here's a random selection of some of my favourite wads/maps in this vein. Castle of Evil An ancient Doom 1 map from 1994, this has to be one of the oldest adventure maps in existence. Surprisingly, it holds up really well even in 2021. If you're interested, I wrote a rather lengthy piece on the map a few months back. No End In Sight My favourite wad of all time, NEIS contains a range of adventures, from small, intimate puzzle-quests to multi-hour epics. In the latter category, I'd recommend checking out E4M6 and E3M7, which are my favourite and second favourite maps of all time respectively. Truly, this one is a must-play for all adventurers. Lost Civilization Technically, I can't call this a favourite since I have barely scratched its surface, but have it on good authority that this is one of the greatest adventure wads of all time, with sprawling, non-linear maps and some of the best pseudo-realist architecture on the market. I look forward to exploring this one in full. Phobos: Anomaly Reborn Speaking of pseudo-realism, here's another classic set in a similar vein, though decidedly more modest in proportion. This one is able to engender an uncanny sense of place through its real-world-inspired layouts and fine detailing. It also sports a strong and grounded sense of progression between maps. Truly, an adventure for the ages. Ventose This map is one of the best adventure maps I have ever played. It is an enchanting, otherworldly experience unlike any other. Honestly, words do not do this map justice. Suffice to say, it is my favourite map of the year, and my third overall. I could recommend dozens and dozens of maps, so I'll stop here for now. Hopefully at least one of these catches your fancy :)
  12. Omniarch

    Favourite Medieval/Fantasy Melee Weapon?

    With regards to fantasy, this ungodly awesome but comically impractical weapon from Dark Souls 3: It's so dumb and yet so damn cool at the same time, like a lot of Soulsborne weapons. With regards to real life, my favourite historical weapon has to be the halberd. I mean, just look at it: Beautiful, and functional to boot. This baby, alongside its sister polearms and early firearms, put a definitive end to the dominance of heavy cavalry on european battlefields. Any mounted knight fool enough to charge massed infantry formations armed with these badboys would doubtless find himself skewered like a man-kebab and then hacked into human-salami.
  13. I found a couple of minor midtexture-related visual issues when playing the map in Crispy Doom: Otherwise, I didn't encounter any bugs. My overall impression of the map was positive. I especially like the opening gimmick, which is an unusually explicit example of in-engine storytelling, in a smilar vein to that found in Three's A Crowd. The fact that the ultimately futile 'yes' option is so well fleshed out is very pleasing to me. I also appreciate your rather minimalist and abstract approach to representing a 'real-world' setting in Doom, which gets the point across while not noticeably inhibiting gameplay. Speaking of, I did find the combat to be a little on the basic side, and incredibly easy to boot. Not an inherent issue, of course, but I personally like my techbase romps to have a little more bite to them. I also found the ending a little abrupt and anticlimactic. I mean, you can just run straight past the baron, blap the spider and exit in a matter of seconds. Not great from a pacing perspective. In general, though, I enjoyed making my way through the map, despite the afore-mentioned issues. It feels a bit like an E2 map with a more earthly coat of paint, what with the extensive use of teleporters, abundance of dead-end rooms and relaxed gameplay. The secret-hunting aspect was pretty basic, but still satisfying, even though the rewards didn't impact the gameplay much.
  14. Omniarch

    Mapper's block and lack of confidence

    I hear you, OP. What others here have said about comparing yourself to the masters is very true in my experience, doubly so since there isn't really any universal standard of quality by which to judge your or their output. The wads you listed (BTSX, Syringe, Eviternity, Alien Vendetta) all have wildly different design philosophies, and can't really be directly compared with eachother in qualitative terms. Broad comparisons will only make you feel inept, especially if you don't know exactly why your maps feel "worse". My advice is this: figure out what it is that you want to achieve with your work. Referencing legendary wads is a good practice, but only if you know which aspect(s) of them you wish to draw from. For example, Eviternity has a number of stand-out qualities, many of which are interrelated, but that does not mean you need to draw from every one of them. If you like the set's masterful use of OTEX, reference that, if you like the combat, reference that, if you like the sense of progressive adventure, reference that etc. Figuring out what you want to achieve, in relatively specific terms, is a partial solution to this issue, at least in my experience. This is not always easy to do, however, since there's often a large difference between what one likes to play vs what one likes to make. To use myself as an example: I love No End In Sight, like, to an unhealthy degree, and one of the main reasons for this is the set's incredible feeling of advanture, which itself is a product of interesting progression and devious secrets. This creates a bit of a dilemma, however: I can't make adventure maps for myself, since I already know everything about the map by virtue of being it's creator. That's a huge problem, given how important exploration is to me as a mode of engagement. There are, of course, other things which I enjoy about NEIS, and things that I value which do not manifest in NEIS at all, which gives me other options to consider. The best way to illustrate what I mean when I say "know what you want to achieve" is to describe my own aspiration: I want to take some elements from NEIS, namely the "vanilla-plus" texture-palette, general architectural style and focus on high concepts (e.g this map is a spaceship, this map is a giant-ass upside down Xasertower etc), and bring them into the context of Doom 2, with it's superior arsenal and bestiary. This has already been done to an extent in Syringe, which is one of my favourite miniwads, but there's more than six maps' worth of potential behind the concept. Of course, this description leaves out a whole load of details (like the fact that I already have a distinct combat-style which I wish to incorporate) and nuances (e.g, the subtler elements of NEIS' design philosophy that I want to imitate/expand upon), but it gets the main point across. That's my two cents, at any rate. Having some sort of clear-ish aspiration beyond "I want to make good shit" can be very important.
  15. Omniarch

    Blasphemous Experiments: an episode for Heretic

    I found a small bug in M4: linedefs 7261, 7264 and 7267 should be flagged as impassable. Also, I think you should make the mandatory sector 674 door a little more obvious. I spent ages wandering around like a headless chicken trying to figure out how to progress because of how easy-to-miss this door is. That aside, this is another good map, with an interesting setting and impressively domineering architecture.