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About Amarande

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  1. Amarande

    Post some of your computer horror/scare stories

    A few years ago I ended up spending over $600 in replacement computer parts I didn't really need to buy. The reason? I was experiencing random intermittent data corruption, of a sort that I couldn't seem to track down. RAM? Checked out fine. Hard drive? Ran the deep destructive read/write surface tests, they didn't pick up any sector issues. Even tried swapping motherboard and CPU ... Still issues. In the end, it turned out it was the damnable hard drive - but nothing that would actually show up on any normal HDD tests! I never did find out what was wrong for sure but someone on Freenode suggested there must have been faulty RAM in the hard drive's internal cache, perhaps. Never buying a Samsung/Seagate spinny drive again :P
  2. Amarande

    Recycled Community Project (RC available)

    Warped Elementality's refit is well underway. It's largely the same still as the version I had in Freedoom Phase 2 0.11 as MAP27. The main changes are and will be - * (TODO) Completely overhauling the Things placement from ground up (as a severely not fun difficulty balance was a major issue and contributed to the map being nixed from future release Freedoom by the MAP21-MAP30 coordinator and therefore moving to this project) * (Done) A few textures are not in Doom2.WAD but were in Freedoom, I've replaced these with suitable Doom2.WAD textures that fit the theme of the wings in question. This includes the liquid in the Water wing being made green (it is still non damaging) as Freedoom included waterfall textures but Doom2.WAD only has green and red liquids to pick from and green better fits the Water element than blood (the theme of Warped Elementality is the four classical elements, each of which comprises a mini level "wing" connected to the others via teleports, with an open air marble finale that basically represents Aether/Spirit). * (Done) Most of the corridors in the first (Earth) wing have been widened, as it was felt that this area was too cramped. * (Done) Reduced the damage of lava from 20% to 10%. * (Done) Ensured that all map mechanics are functional in PrBoom on Windows, and that the player cannot physically get stuck.
  3. Amarande

    Most toxic gaming communities you have come across.

    Bauul, as an MMO gamer primarily (single player RPGs and Doom are about the main exceptions) I'll go down your list - Elitism is the primary ill that MMOs are heir to; depending on the game and specific content, there is more or less a spirit of circling wagons: once a critical mass of people have cleared expert tier content, they tend to become increasingly unwilling, on the average, to allow new people to join in on it - they would rather save their time for an easy farm and avoid having to re-progress the raid to bring newer blood up to speed. Some games are more laid back about it than others (FFXIV, LOTRO, and SW:TOR all generally being far more so than WoW or from what I hear anecdotally, ESO), but this exists to some degree in pretty much every MMO with difficult group raid content. (This is why I brought up the economics argument, as to not have to PUG - and it is usually PUGs where elitism is at its zenith - all the time, you more or less need a consistent schedule with several other people - for the top tier content, group size being 8 for XIV savage and TOR nightmare ops, 12 for most LOTRO raids, and 20 for WoW Mythic raids. Naturally, XIV and TOR, both because of this and having more relaxed cross region allowance than WoW in particular, tend to lend themselves to being able to find groups outside the norm, whether it is late to the party/more casual progression or off-hours groups. Naturally, you can't game when you're homeless, and if you're doing the multi part time mambo how are you ever gonna have a consistent free block on a weekly basis? Hence the thought that the personalities that tend to thrive in full-time jobs in today's market are, along with high school and college students, most likely to dominate organized group gaming, at least. It is perhaps less gloomy than I first suggested as to just what types of personalities these tend to be, though, but it's hard to make a case that NA's work environment in particular isn't especially dog-eat-dog ...) Fanbois exist, I'm not sure how much they really affect the game community overall. I find myself fairly sympathetic to their point though, I mean if you're going to put that much time and effort (and perhaps even monetary investment) to get good at a game, you want to think that investment isn't wasted, and coming to a realization that a game isn't that great more or less necessarily comes with that corollary, right? Aggression and bullying are not so huge a thing in MMOs, apart from the manner in which underperforming players are called out in some games (it is again very game dependent, it helps that FFXIV, for instance, has no built-in combat parser to rate performance, and the use of third party addons is technically against the Terms of Service - there is a spirit of detente about it however as long as parser information is not used to bully people; at that point bans can and will be meted out. On the other hand, most WoW players run a DPS meter at all times, and woe betide the player who fails to measure up in many a PUG ...). A holier-than-thou community and right or wrong way to play are largely exempt when applying the rubric to MMOdom; MMOs are numbers-heavy team games, and thus there actually is a right and wrong way to play, at least in advanced group combat content (where not using optimal methods means you actually are pulling less than your full weight, and many harder fights actually do demand the group give its all so one person choosing a "more fun" way to play that underperforms can result in 7 or more other people not being able to clear the fight!). Outside of group combat situations, there's generally a pretty relaxed atmosphere, at least that I've seen. In-game cheaters are generally smacked down super rapidly in MMOs these days. Like Valve games and VAC, MMO operators do not kid around. FFXIV for instance indicates the exact number of people who got banned each week in a system announcement. It's not a small number, either (for instance the latest announcement shows over four thousand people were perma banned for participating in "RMT and other illicit activities" during just one week, namely 10/12-10/18). Arrogance favoring a particular game - again, this I'm pretty sure is common among games that involve long term personal investment, see fanbois. As such, I can probably regard it as mildly toxic at worst. "Childishness" hardly seems a problem. A large portion of my fellow MMOers are casual players who would rather focus on such things than on seriously raiding endgame. As long as you aren't seriously running group content where you're dragging people down by not caring sufficiently about doing your part, I don't see the issue. Trendiness is rare in MMOs, and usually flows and ebbs with the release of a new one. I've never actually played such a game at or close to release, so I can't really comment.
  4. Amarande

    Most toxic gaming communities you have come across.

    The fact that Doom is not a heavily team focused game probably has a lot to do with that. Cooperative play is largely a novelty occasionally enjoyed between friends (co-op focused wads are rare, and seem to have been a passing fad from around Squadron 417/MM1 era) and competitive play is every man for himself. Most of the toxicity issues tend to occur in games where well-coordinated teams are important and where there is at least a midcore/hardcore tier aspect. These require people who do not have a consistent schedule with a fixed team to pick-up-group regularly (as you cannot simply go solo as in Doom) and as a general rule before long it gets harder and harder to find groups of a more laid back "chill" bent amid the sea of results seekers. TBH, the more I think about it, the more I blame the economy - especially in NA (where there tends to be more complaint of toxicity than elsewhere). The US job market's dog eat dog, visible-results based nature tends to foster people who have or develop a Type A, productivity/results uber alles, toss people under the bus to climb faster personality. In turn, this likely results in a slant towards these attributes (which are pretty much the definition of what people regard as "toxic") among team gamers - people who developed this personality at work (or of course had it to begin with) are likely to have it bleed over into personal pursuits. Meanwhile, the people who make for a more positive community are often shut out of it, because they simply can't afford to be gamers to begin with due to not being able to keep a good enough job (laid back is one step from laid off, as one wag put it) or are having to do the multiple part time mambo (and therefore can't keep any kind of gaming schedule to be able to form groups around, thus are forced to join the random groups).
  5. Amarande

    WADs: Most Overrated/Underrated, Most Surprising/Disappointing

    Ehh, doubt players really do all that often, as long as the changes don't result in you getting stuck (though ZDoom and friends have had the auto-compatibility-adjustment thing for known WADs with issues like Eternal MAP25 or Memento Mori II MAP25). For mappers it's a bigger deal, because even if you target vanilla, you reasonably have to take into account that many - even most - people are going to want to play your WAD in their source port of choice, so breaks with vanilla compatibility mean an additional layer of restriction on your map design if you want to keep the broadest audience (having to futz with compatibility settings potentially each time you start a new level isn't exactly most people's definition of fun, any more than WoW players in Mists of Pandaria enjoyed having to go back to town and Reforge their entire kit every time they got a new raid drop in order to stay optimal ...). There's also the annoying engine foibles that even make architectural standbys an issue (see Memento Mori 2 MAP09 and MAP16, for instance, now think that someone's playing these in a port that uses jumping, such as ZDoom. On MAP09 you can vault the balcony outside into the water and get stuck, while in MAP16 you can pretty much skip the whole level ...).
  6. Amarande

    Wads where the objective is to be stealthy?

    There's Doom 2 Reloaded MAP18, but only the first part, and the objective is not to attack at all during that time.
  7. Amarande

    Door Glitch in Doom Builder 2

    Also there cannot be any linedefs inside the door sector or problems also occur with the door opening. (They do not, for some reason, seem to occur with a door closing, but they will often if not always prevent it from opening. I'm not entirely sure what's going on there engine wise, because if you raise the ceiling via other means, such as a type 40 linedef, those are not affected!) The "4 below lowest adjacent ceiling" property can be used for effect, as well - keep in mind that effects that alter such ceilings will alter the door behavior! Examples are Memento Mori 2 map 7's famous "glitchy door" (especially "glitchy" in its day, largely because you cannot save on this map in Vanilla or it tends to become permanently stuck!) and the current incarnation of Freedoom Phase 2 map11 (where hidden control sectors are used to create the illusion of a vanilla map that uses 6 keys - this is done by having the skull keys placed so that during the process of gathering them you must walk over a linedef that raises the hidden control sector so that the "skull key" door can open, otherwise it will raise only slightly and not be passable. The skull keys cannot inadvertently substitute for the corresponding keycards, as they are placed so that you unavoidably must have already acquired and used the same colored keycard before you can reach a given skull).
  8. Amarande

    Mapping Tips

    Too much detail can interfere badly with gameplay. Doomguy depends heavily on his mobility, many a map looks lovely but induces baldness when you play it because of catching on map decor resulting in extra damage taken, deaths, not quite making that tightly timed lift etc. Another regularly seen flaw from detail is secrets that can't be registered (e.g., Icarus map 13 - remember that the center of the player's object circle must be on the floor of the sector in order to register a secret. The problem in this case is that the secret is a very narrow, inset floor sector surrounding a small lift with the prize on it; it is easily possible to obtain the prize - a berserk box - but it is impossible for Doomguy's feet to fit on the floor, so you cannot gain credit for it). Graphics from Doom can be re-used very easily in your own textures. A texture definition consists of the texture's name, its size, and then a list of the actual graphics, which are called "patches." To re-use the original Doom graphics, just reference their patch names in your texture, there's no need to add them to the WAD itself. When creating custom textures make absolutely sure that you have covered the entire area of the texture with patches. Parts that are not defined will result in odd looking graphics in game if they are visible (this is called the Tutti-frutti effect, and it also occurs, at least in Vanilla and Chocolate Doom, if you use a texture shorter than 128 units on a wall that's taller than itself, and in every engine if you use a texture with transparent portions on the solid portions of a wall i.e., one-sided linedefs or upper/lower textures of two-sided ones). Unless the limitations are intended to be a centerpiece of the map (i.e., maps designed intentionally for Tyson or similar style gameplay, like Hell Revealed map 9 or Eternal Doom map 14), make sure you have enough weapons and ammo available for the player to not need to tediously grind large monsters with small weapons (fighting barons with the shotgun might have been a novel challenge when we first tried E1M8 from a pistol start, but nowadays that is considered exasperatingly slow gameplay). Pits from which the player cannot escape are usually regarded poorly, even if they're damage pits so that at least you can die and try again. This is the case even for big-name maps - it's a constant thing in Sunder map 5 for instance and it is regarded as excruciatingly annoying by quite many players. Provide an escape, even if it's clear there will be a large penalty from landing in the drink (e.g., JPCP map 27, where you will take significant damage and sent back to the start of the map if you land in the green acid; the fact that there is an escape is still regarded as good design). Mandatory secrets are often regarded as a design flaw, even on otherwise beloved maps (Eternal Doom commits this sin regularly). Having to find something hidden to progress is of course an acceptable gameplay trope, but many Doomers expect that actual marked secrets are optional extras rather than something that you must obtain in order to reach the exit (exception for secret exits, of course). An exception is if the map has no actual secrets; in this case it is accepted and actually almost standard to include an unavoidable "secret" somewhere in the map (this is so that players using engines such as Vanilla or Chocolate Doom can still register all three 100% ratings; these engines treat a map without secrets as 0% because, there being 0 secrets, you obviously found 0). Not every player will ever like every map. For instance, some people like simplistic arena slaughter maps, some like switch-hunt puzzle maps with relatively sedate combat and you can't really do both at once, so expect that some people are going to vote you down no matter how many think you've made a masterpiece. Test your maps in the popular ports (particularly PrBoom+ and GZDoom) even if you intend on making them vanilla. Players will want your WAD to work reasonably easily in their port of choice (unless it's a map for more advanced ports and their usual choice is chocolate or a similarly basic port, of course), having to fiddle with compatibility options on a map by map basis is not especially fun. Examples are the map 25's of Memento Mori 2 and Eternal Doom, both of which you will get stuck in if you run them in PrBoom+ with the default compatibility level and options because both take advantage of vanilla behavior that does not work in the same way on newer ports. (GZDoom tries to do it for you automatically, but even then, it naturally can't do it for all WADs and of course will have to be patched to cater to yours after you release it!)
  9. Amarande

    Recycled Community Project (RC available)

    Hmmm. Thinking I might rework one of the maps I originally made for Freedoom that were cut :)
  10. Amarande

    What on hell is "Dead lost soul"!

    IIRC, you could with 1.2 if the PWAD didn't depend on IWAD resources that weren't included in shareware, which was why it became somewhat of a standard for even the most basic PWADs to use E2M1 or E3M1, rather than E1M1 as one might otherwise expect (with some exceptions, particularly ones like UAC_DEAD that depended on being E1M8 for tag 666). In the later versions (probably starting with 1.4 open beta, but definitely a thing by 1.666) id decided to explicitly forbid doom1.wad from loading PWADs. But it was definitely possible at one point.
  11. Amarande

    Designing a new difficulty level past UV

    There's also some levels that are literally impossible to complete on Nightmare except maybe by world best players in the best of times. It's rare, but I'm thinking some MAP07's and Keen-using levels would qualify, and maybe the rare E1M8 replacement (keeping in mind, all foos of the appropriate type have to be dead at the same time to trigger 666/667, so if it's not possible to get between all of their locations and make the kills within a 30 second timeslice, you won't be able to get whatever's locked behind the trigger). I could see adding in Heretic's Black Plague difficulty equivalent to Doom though (from what I understand it's basically just UV -fast with cheats disabled?)
  12. Amarande

    Puzzle wads

    JPCP map11 Doom 2 Reloaded map32
  13. Amarande

    WADs with little ammo

    Some more classics - Icarus map 6 and 28 Eternal map 14 (and others) Hell Revealed map 9 Doom E2M4
  14. Amarande

    Any good map with full of zombies?

    By zombies do you mean standard Doom zombies (trooper/sergeant/ chaingun guy) or a mod for more traditional horror style zombies? If the former, Double Impact comes to mind in particular. Lots of troopers & sergeants there (it's Ultimate Doom so no chaingun guys though).
  15. Amarande

    Freedoom needs your help!

    Sunlust did just this as I recall. Arachnotrons to exit & Mancubi (each hidden in a secret) to unlock the secret BFG. Only problem I can see with the idea is it might make Nightmare! unfinishable though.