skepticist

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  1. It's been a while since my last post in this thread. Hellbound was very adventurous, but also tedious and flat in terms of combat until some of E3 maps. I have to say I'm not as impressed with its visuals as some people out there. To me it looked like that in many cases the sheer scale of the maps is a result of excessive copy-paste and they are artificially prolonged. A good megawad overall, but nothing outstanding other than some strong semi-realism. Finished Interception. Pottus' maps bitchslapped me for saying this megawad was too easy, lol. And I haven't technically beaten m27. I could have hit the exit, but backtracked to kill a cyberdemon in the separate area of the map and was locked into a corner right after I teleported there. Whelp, it doesn't really matter. I still considered myself done for now. BTW m29 cannot be completed without cheats due to a mapping flaw. The Last Sanctuary on UV was all about strict ammo management and sniper hunting, and I can't say it was fun considering how long this map is - the playthrough took 2 hours. At least I've done it on 2nd attempt without any preknowledge of the new encounters, so it's unfair to complain. I can forget about this map and my failure as a tester to notice such an obvious way to get stuck-up in red keycard area now. I'm really sorry, vdgg. Then I played both of 3 Heures d'Agonie, short and sweet. Well, the first compilation is a bit rough on the edges and maps from less experienced mappers are nothing to be excited about. But It was cool to see their styles evolve in the second set. It really made the WAD flow naturally, like it's some community project with QC rather than just speedmaps thrown together to wrap it up. 6 maps remain unbeaten for various reasons. Swift Death, sigh... Well, simply put, I despise it. Some may say that dying only a few seconds in the map is totally OK, but this concept of rough start taken to it's limits irrates me to no end. I want to blame myself for mistakes I made, not just some bad luck, and thus comparing this garbage to the Super Meat Boy is disrespectful towards said game. But hey, it's just my opinion no one cares about. Dropped at m23. I absolutely loved 50 Shades of Graytall on the other hand. Despite variety of approaches to the theme most of the time it's something great. Yes, slaughter maps could have been done better and dobu's map looks much more interesting than it plays - WAD's not perfect, but nothing is. Best gimmick project of the year and well deserved Cacoward, grats to Marcaek and all participants. Another triumph of creativity over pretty looks. Just like with 3HA, Unleashed 2048 is a lot better on the average than it's predecessor. Probably the restriction really helped to focus on quality this time around. It was a nice sequence of relaxing maps, I had a blast. Until m24, which is tough one, and then m27. Chainsaw vs. revenants, imps, cacodemons, pains - all at once with almost no health. I was so mentally exhausted I needed to switch for something easier. And it was Estranged. A rather subpar oldschool project, which should have pronounce its adventurous vibe stronger, but it felt just too abstract to establish a sense of place. Many maps require the player to run past the enemies to get big guns and ammo, but sometimes it translates into just one long run straight to the exit, which is kind of lame. Gave up on m27, as it's the most annoying map I've played in a long while (why the author didn't use any block lines for god's sake?) and on m30 (IoS greatness). I also replayed Grid32. Years ago I had to give up on m04 and m06. This time it went smoother, and I appreciated the oldschool vibe of Wraith maps alot more (initially i didn't really gave him the credit he deserves). Guest's map is still a highlight of the show though, cruel and counter-inituitive little journey. It doesn't really make you think outside of the box, but at the very least the author has an unique take on the level design, which is great in itself. Now back to Unleashed 2048, I guess.
  2. Completed Going Down by mouldy. Layouts in the first episode were a bit too basic and even with all the gorgeous detail it still didn't appeal to me right away. So called "chaotic evil" gameplay (which in fact is just a teleport spam most of the time) and the arena-type maps aren't my cup of tea, that also contributed to my underwhelming first impressions. Not sure if it's quality of the project that got better or me grow attached to it, but in the end I appreciated the subtle narrative and variety of map gimmicks to the point it made aforementioned cons almost insignificant. Not the most fun wad for me to play, but it's still a unique experience to be remembered. Then I breezed through Khorus' Speedy Shit. Gameplay here is much closer to what I prefer, it's more incidental and trap-centric than chaos driven. However, maps this short and easy tend to end before making any real impression if they don't feature distinct layouts or godlike visuals. Even if you try to take KSSHT as just one big map with checkpoints along the way, it still feels very random and generic to me. A great effort for the timeframe it was made in, but nothing to hold your breath for overall. The last thing I completed was Edgy by mr. Chris. This was mediocre. Some incidental combat => huge wave of monsters => repeat x times. Most of the difficulty comes from the lack of health to deal with never-ending stream of hitscanners and some fat buddies thrown in-between. It's possible to get trapped in certain segment of the level and infinitely tall mobs can be a problem too. Visuals and layout are OK, pretty standard stuff. A good exercise in door camping, but other than that... yeah. Now back to Resurgence, which I enjoy. Finally nailed that damn MAP32. It pissed me off so hard. Not the author's fault though, it's just harder than it seems thanks to the snipers scattered all around. My way up to MAP22 wasn't too harsh, but I suppose there's some tough challenges towards the end of the final episode waiting for me. Also started Interception, got up to MAP23. Not impressed in the slightest. Lots of uninspired maps and questionable balance choices there. Even Eli Cohen's "Antidote" and FranckFRAG's "Vertigo Plant" are spoiled by various bugs and gameplay issues. Why there's always so much plasma and rockets without even remotely dangerous opposition, to shoot imps with?
  3. Finished concern.wad and draftex.wad. Kept growing on me for quite a bit, I must say; it went from being another mediocre project to something that can possibly be the best action-packed Ultimate Doom megawad. I can see why the author didn't add draftex.wad as an episode to Concerned though. After the slaughterfest climax in e3m8 you'd expect something along these lines in e4 but all you really get is a polished combination of the elements that are already well-established. e4m8 got me the most, thank God it's pretty short. It's also worth mentioning that I got rid of turret cybers in e4m6 halfway through, so don't give a player too much ammo if you want for such gimmick to work out. Overall I enjoyed Concerned but it's not what I'd call a "1st tier" work. As a player I couldn't help but to keep asking "Why did you choose UDoom to begin with? For the sake of aesthetics? But your gameplay already has broken it". To me it looks like being stuck somewhere in-between with no point to prove. Not a fan of hadron.wad. While it's clear that Matt is capable of creating much more appealing vistas today, some of gameplay changes, especially in early maps, made things more tedious than anything else. Then I played Incineration and Monument, by Paul Corfiatis and Chris Hansen, respectively. Both are quality episodes with nothing wrong about them. However none of the mapping aspects - gameplay, layouts, or visuals - were taken to the high level either. I will not go as far as calling them generic, and they do have some good moments, but I doubt I will ever replay them. And if I had to pick one, I'd say I prefer Incineration over Monument a lil' bit.
  4. I've been playing Nicolas Monti wads recently, started with Erkattanne, then followed by Reticula and Alpha Episode 2. The latter was the most difficult one, death by a thousand cuts. Hitscanners everywhere, they wander in corridors, they hide in dark corners, they camp you from numerous windows and snipe you from a distance. They constantly chip away your precious health, which is nowhere to replenish as medikits are very limited. Not sure if I really liked it, as it provokes slow cautious playstyle. As I play "blind" with no savegames I also find it frustrating that author still insists on including instant death traps. Halfway through the map, 20+ mins in? 4 barons in 192x192 room is your ultimate reward. These are unbeatable without foreknowledge but aren't difficult in any way if you're prepared, so I question the purpose. Loved the exploration element of the maps though, it's just like Alpha One all over again but kicks in much earlier (I remember that first map that really impressed me back then was m5, but here you get a glimpse of what to expect in m2 already). I kinda wish the author would start to make use of "hidden" line property even if it'll make secrets way too obscure. I mean, almost all of them are solved by looking at the automap for hidden switches. And oh man m9 is hilarious. Too bad I never used any of the invulnerability spheres. Reticula was the most varied one in terms of setting, but also the most linear, and surprisingly easy despite all the ambushes. Unlike deadly rooms of death from Alpha Two, they are easy to escape from and switch to door camping. Which is not very fun either, but still much more fair as it requires some skill and experience to react quickly. Wad is not too bad overall, if only a bit tedious. I had my share of fun moments and will play 2nd episode if it ever comes out. Erkattanne is the best one in terms of balance in my opinion. It doesn't push you too hard, but if you are too careless you will still die easily. Some hectic weapon hunt starts are always welcome, and my only real complaint is the liberal usage of BFG / PG, once you get them the amount of cells trivializes the rest of the map a bit too much. Monti did some tuning in that department afterwards, but I'm yet to see if it was sufficient enough. Also visually it's the most "1994" of them all, so I'd suggest that all newschool adepts pretend Erkattanne never existed, lol. Cool stuff, I'd like to see more, but in a different setting (not tech-bases all over again, yawn). Then I played ICAR2015, which was a solid effort from Eternal but it didn't really impress me all that much. I'm onto concern.wad from Matt Powell (finished e1, e2 and hadron.wad) now. As maps grow harder I think it will keep me busy for quite a while, along with draftex.wad.
  5. +1 to Combat Shock II. A must have for slaughtermap lovers and a little bit more forgiving than its predecessor, which is appealing to my personal taste. I wish there will be CS III someday. +1 to Still L1 Complex. One of best (if not THE best) exploration map I ever seen in Doom. Great layouts, nice atmosphere and flow. Gameplay isn't really there, but in this occasion I don't mind it. +1 to Can't Run From Evil. I don't know should we consider this as full-weight release, but anyways. Playing this wad sometimes like solving the puzzle. Finding the best possible approach to large semi-nonlinear maps with limited amount of ammo and health can be annoying to many, but I think in the end CRFE is a very rewarding experience.
  6. Memfis saw me playing through these maps already, so I guess the request was put for stronger players to record some really fast demos. Anyway, here's my m03 playtest UV-MAX. That m02 run (with two chaingunners left alive) seem to be lost forever. skep03.zip
  7. It designed to work with boom-compatible ports that support music in ogg format. So prboom+ is recommended.
  8. cchest2.wad map01 uv-max in 1:07 Nothing special here, just some lucky infights. c201-107.zip
  9. I played that map myself recntly, and found that old record is very easy to break. However, even if so, I wasn't able to manage optimal time in my runs (2:1x) and gave up after several unsuccesful close attempts. cchest2 map31 uv-max in 2:40. Includes a failed attempt of what should be 2:2x. c231-240.zip
  10. > my FDA Not a heroic play indeed, but some moments in here definitly gave me chills. Nice rushing towards the cyberdemon to hit a switch behind him and then running back to another one with the rockets flying just an inch behind you, for instance. And yeah, you'd probably beat the map if survived that room. > On to watch gggmork's demo :) I guess stragglers is a main trouble in maxing that map. Also some imps might be left in YK zone if you leave it without rechecking. > No idea what's the voodoo doll for... For the sake of being there. Actually, there was a talk with Hitherto about the megasphere was too difficult to grab the way I grabbing it, so RK is an alternative one. Initially i've planned to do something with that voodoo, but since the key changed it role, I just left all as it is. Perhaps making another teleporter line, as dew suggested at his FDA, actually isn't a bad idea. > But it's the only way to get that key, am I right? I'm unsure is it SR50 only or is common SR40 from certain angle also works, but there's no secret button or stuff to lower that crate. Also to note (in case you haven't tried it yet) that the obvious death slide on the map is BLOCKED for good. The true speed route is a bit more complicated. Still making progress on m03, more than halfway done.
  11. > What is the music for asgarden, incidentally? It's a midi version of Dominate, a song by french power / progressive metal band Adagio.
  12. > doesn't exit Damn, that was close, man. You've almost beaten this map. That death is totally unfair (splash damage from rocket of a distant cyberdemon if i got it right) after 40 minutes of careful playing... But still I think this map on HMP isn't much harder that previous one in terms of traps / situations, it's the length that makes it hard to beat at FDA. > i hate you so much. :p Somehow this makes me happy. Am I a masochist? :p Well, I hope someone will record a pacifist / speed demos for m01 & m02 respectively. Possibility of pacifist on m02 is questionable, I wonder if there's enough health to survive chaingunners at the end of the map. > uvmax on asgarden, not a perfect run Nice, though time is far from optimal indeed. I had exit in 10:42 recently, but the good time should be at least sub-10, i think.
  13. > Really, how many time you spend for making map01? I'm slow when it comes to mapping process. I often redrawing areas so they more satisfy my needs, it's almost like redrawing the entire map twice. As for map01, it took a week to draw, around 16-18 hours in sum, and much more time was spent for testing (yet that terrible misalign is still there, meh).
  14. > fda for asgarden. does not finish. Yeah, the map had no mercy on you. I expect you to be especially annoyed by all those flying monsters around that usually blocks your movement in the moment most critical. I doubt that your attempts with trying to provoke infights in backyard and then run out was a good idea, though... Also, too bad you didn't find the only secret (it's fairly obvious), it could make things a lot easier. Anyway, i wonder why you not tried to kill one of cyberdemons instead of cleaning up BOTH staircases when running under invul. Once one side is cleared it's not a big deal to kill everything else there.
  15. The link is updated. I've added a bit more ammo in m02 for HMP at the start, also moved some of the shells closer to the starting zone on both HMP & UV for more comfortable playing while not going an optimal route. Now it's safe to record on, I believe (unless something really critical will pop up). It will be good to see more FDAs, there's still none for asgarden.wad. And thanks everyone once again.