The DWmegawad Club plays: Stomper



What is the DWmegawad Club?
This is a place where we settle down, have a cup of tea (or drink of your choice) and take a month to play through a megawad on our own, together! Any keen observations, criticisms, or frustrated ranting about it goes here in the discussion. As long as you want to say something about what you've played, feel free to speak your mind.

Can I join?
Sure. The only rule is that you have to play at least some of the levels in our monthly megawad to contribute, but you're generally encouraged to finish the whole thing, even if you've played it before.

What levels am I allowed to post about?
Whatever day of the month it is, is the upper limit for the map you can post on. So if it's the 6th, you may discuss up to MAP06.

Do I have to post an entry every day?
Nope, not at all. This is only for our more enthusiastic members. As long as you play through it with us you’re part of the club.

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>>>DOWNLOAD STOMPER BETA 1-C HERE<<<

Stomper is a collection of previously unfinished Boom maps made by Nmn, that have been polished and grouped together by alterworldruler. It is currently in beta, and MAP20 has yet to be finished by Xaser, but it’s largely complete. Also, a reminder: you will need to launch the BEX file too to make sure that MAP 29/30 will work properly.

Maplist for Stomper:

Map01 - "Incoming!”
Map02 - “Security Point”
Map03 - “Radar Base”
Map04 - “Human Outpost”
Map05 - "Fusion Plant
Map06 - "Mainframe”
Map07 - “The Barricade”
Map08 - “Scrapyards”
Map09 - “Flow Control”
Map10 - “Toxic Yards”
Map11 - “The Bloodtower”
Map12 - “Grand Gate
Map13 - “The Slums”
Map14 - “City Outskirts”
Map15 - “Tremont City”

Map31 - “Bad Mojo”
Map32 - “Ezxzentiel”

Map16 - “The Bastion”
Map17 - “Outer Power Plant”
Map18 - “Assault”
Map19 - “Blacktown Powerplant”
Map20 - “Union Halls”
Map21 - “Chambers of Torment”
Map22 - “Castle Crossack”
Map23 - “Grindhouse”
Map24 - “Twisted Keep”
Map25 - “The Feeding Pit”
Map26 - “Queen of South”
Map27 - “Lost Sanctum”
Map28 - “The Spirit Path”
Map29 - “City of Babel”
Map30 - “The Machine”

Also,

BONUS CONTENT
TBD
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OLD THREADS
BF_THUD!
Community Chest 4
Jenesis
MAYhem 2012
Memento Mori
Interception
2002: A Doom Odyssey
Hadephobia
Coffee Break & Fava Beans & Double Impact
HYMN
Stardate 20X6 & Monochrome Mapping Project
Realm of Chaos
Back to Saturn X E1 & Favillesco E1
Kama Sutra
Unholy Realms & Zone 300
Vile Flesh
Ultimate Doom
Whitemare & Sacrament
Scythe
Epic 2
Whitemare 2
Sunder & Countdown to Extinction
Doom 2 the Way id Did
MAYhem2048

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Thank you, this is making me very happy to see it featured here, also the BEX file is for the legacy ports that don't support DEHACKED inside the wads, so I think modern ports will be fine without the BEX file which is in the wad as DEHACKED lump.

Anyway, looking forward to the feedback everyone! With that, Beta 2 which probably will come a week after this month ends, should be better in visuals and finetuning.

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alterworldruler said:

Thank you, this is making me very happy to see it featured here, also the BEX file is for the legacy ports that don't support DEHACKED inside the wads, so I think modern ports will be fine without the BEX file which is in the wad as DEHACKED lump.

In fact the only Boom-compatible port I know of that won't read DEHACKED lumps is boom.exe. I suppose there could be others though.

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Hey alterworldruler are you interested in FDAs for this wad? 'Cause I might record some if so. If not, I probably won't bother, I don't think anyone else wants to see me futz around for 32 maps.

Also any words regarding difficulty and pistol start vs. continuous?

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plums said:

Hey alterworldruler are you interested in FDAs for this wad? 'Cause I might record some if so. If not, I probably won't bother, I don't think anyone else wants to see me futz around for 32 maps.

Also any words regarding difficulty and pistol start vs. continuous?

You can record them but i'm not sure if i'll have time to watch them, I prefer detailed notes, as for pistol start, all the maps are doable from pistol start on UV, even map29 which is easily the hardest map of the lot. You can pistol start all maps but continous won't make a huge difference in later maps which are hard even with all the guns. So pretty much I would like everyone to go continous with this wad as it's possible, I think.

As for general difficulty, it's both gradual and dynamic, it starts relatively easy but as it progresses, it gets harder, with certain maps being harder suddenly 2 notches harder than previous, then next one is 1 notch easier, the last 7 or so maps, should give everyone a decent challenge, also don't bother to try to UV-max map29, it is not possible due the way it's designed :).

Also a word of warning, map29 is extremely hard on UV (though not unfair, I pistol tested it entirely), however on difficulties below UV, the second half which makes it extremely hard on top of being already hard, is skipped straight to the ending section. Map30 is damn hard as well but for entirely different reasons. Also easier below UV because twice as less monsters spawn in, in the first half.

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OK thanks. I'll play continuous UV then. With 3DGE, because it has a new release recently and it's pretty cool. Hopefully will not give me any trouble with BEX stuff.

MAP01: Good start here, fairly traditional MAP01 style map but decent fun and short enough as well. Interestingly we already see hell knights, mixed in along the low tier enemies. Lots of secrets it seems, far more than are necessary for this map, but perhaps they'll come in handy later - I've been playing pistol start a lot lately in general so I had to remind myself that for continuous play, finding things in one map translates to an easier time in the next. 3DGE interestingly doesn't have a secret counter or notification that I can find, so I've decided to play that when I exit a level, I'm done - no going back to hunt for more hidden goodies. Not much else to say about this map itself, it's a good introduction and I'm curious to see where things go from here.

As far as the new graphics go, the textures are pretty good for the most part and fit with Doom while giving off their own flavour. I don't care for the arrows on the lifts, they seem both flat and unnecessary, but I guess that's pretty minor. Depends how often we see them though. A few of the other textures looked a bit odd at the time, but I can't remember them now, so they can't have been too bad. If I notice them again, I'll bring it up on a later post.

New weapon sprites are nice and fairly recognizable. It's always a bit weird for me when most of the weapons are replaced but then some aren't; the pistol doesn't matter too much, but I could see replacing the chainsaw with something like a short range flamethrower, or electric taser type weapon, or something else that would fit the atmosphere.

I think the shotgun is a bit faster? I approve of changes like that. On second thought though, maybe I'm imagining it due to the new sprites.

Music is good, seems quite loud compared to the intermission screen though.

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Pardon for posting again but yes normal shotgun/chaingun were sped up by few frames, to make them more useful, at least enough to make the chaingun, a decent alternative to SSG.

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Cool, its getting some good exposure. I had a tiny negligible part for a short time with this project and I quite enjoyed it, so I wish it the best with the feedback and improvements to come from this.

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I'm not beta-testing Stomper per se, I'm just playing to have fun and to drink. HMP, continuous, double ammo, and some potato chips with GZDOOM 1.4.8. Also, I've found some of the music track names as well (in parantheses) in my playthroughs.

MAP01 Incoming! (Rezz Rockrabbit)

Entryway redux. Plenty of secrets, including the chainsaw and berserk at the start. Super easy, no complications. I guess the secret switch at the end which opens two secrets (one way back in the beginning) was something though.

BTW, I find it really unsettling that the pistol/chaingun noise is similar to the shotgun noise. Not really good to have that IMO. This ain't the first time it happens though, I've heard it in Rebirth too.

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E1M1
Complexed doom2 MAP01 progression, plenty o' secrets, nothing unusual. There should be intermission level name graphics.

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Cool, a wad I know virtually nothing about, should be interesting.

Map01 - "Incoming!”

Heh, funny how much more powerful the pistol feels when it has the shotgun sound effect, it definitely makes it more satisfying to use. Although I imagine there will be much confusion to come as I react to shotgun guys who are only zombies. The new sounds and weapon sprites do a good job of adding a fresh coat of paint to the doom experience, although the blue shotgun shells look like they will be hard to spot (maybe cos my brain is programmed to look for something else). Anyway, this is a fair opening map, I like the echo of doom2 entryway at the start. Lots of secrets that I missed, however I couldn't miss this texture misalignment:

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Okay, I'll bite. And try to stick around for more than the first few maps too this time. I was thinking about recording some FDAs as well but since alter doesn't care for those I won't bother. I wil be pistol starting on UV on glboom+.

Map01: Incoming!

Ehh, well it's a decent start I suppose. Very traditional map01 like plums said, short and simple with the opposition consisting completely of Imps and Zombiemen. The exception here is the Hell Knight of course, who will hound you for a while before you manage to find the shotgun or the berserk in one of the numerous secrets. I definitely approve of including the berserk in this map, made an otherwise stale map01 a little bit more fun at least. The layout is pretty good and the highlight of the map for me. It's really compact and tidy due to good use of difference height levels. The outlier here is the green armor room, which feels kind of slapped in since it's connected to the rest of the map only by the door in between. Would not be much of a problem if the room itself was interesting but sadly it's not the case here. It's just a ledge and two pillars, and your reward for punching a couple of low level obstacles is a green armor. In the IWAD map01 the green armor room is similarly constructed to be separate from the "main" part so perhaps the area in this map is meant to be a homage of a sorts, which is probably not very far-fetched considering there are a few other and more clear Entryway-homages to be found in this map. But regardless, the least you could do is to make the area a little more interesting somehow.

My biggest "gripe" in this map were the secrets though. The number of them is quite high, which in itself isn't bad, but some of them are downright redundant. There's really no need for a Chaingun, mega-armor, backpack or soulsphere in this map; yet you give ALL of the above to the player, most likely after 99% of the map is dead no less. I find it hard to believe that even the worst of players playing continuously really need those items for map02 either. The Chainsaw, berserk and the "stash" secrets are the ones that make sense and should stay. The stimpack one is kind of iffy but it's clearly one of those homages so keeping it is somewhat justified at least. The misaligned texture that hints at the "stash" -secret is very noticeable, maybe intentional since extra shells definitely come in handy especially if you haven't found the berserk, but it doesn't make me any more of a fan of this particular style to indicate secrets. Much rather have pressing one of the consoles in the room open up the "stash" or something like that, but that's just my opinion.

Otherwise I have no problem with how the map looks and the textures we'll be seeing in this wad. I'm playing with the replacement sprites and sounds and they are alright, and I didn't notice anything to complain about in them. I do remember (from playing some demo map of this or in TNS perhaps) though, that it's hard to tell the difference between Zombiemen and Shotgunners from the sound alone which was a little annoying back then at least. Definitely like the faster SG firing rate, whether I like the new Chaingun remains to be seen since it didn't get any use here.

Edit: Heh, forgot one pretty crucial word.

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Alrighty, let's fail at this club once again!

01 - the secret berserk allows you to have some fun with this very easy but pleasant looking map. Plus there are seven secrets, so that's another thing that can entertain you for a while. Too bad the automap gives away some of them (secret doors typically should have a "secret" linedef flag), and one even gets opened by a zombieman inside it. The visual style is sort of "cybernetic", I like it. Not a fan of the midi though: found it obnoxious, I prefer the one from the old unfinished version. The floating blue circles in the soulsphere area are weird.

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MAP01: Incoming!
100% kills, 5/7 secrets

Yup, hard to miss the Entryway homages here, with the triangular steps at the start and the location of the chainsaw secret. Short and simple indeed, and even the hell knight isn't much of a threat. I like smaller amounts of enemies but this one might even be a bit on the empty side, though that's partially because I cleared the level out, then started exploring for secrets. Which, I definitely hope the multitude of secrets is something that carries over. But it's a decent introduction, setting the stage for how things will look. I like the sprite replacements on the weapons and the rusty-style new textures match pretty well.

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Map01 - "Incoming!”

Something about this looks a little familiar... So I wander about killing zombies. Get the Shotgun and kill the Hellknight; it fires faster it seems. There's very little to write about this map, the gameplay is incredibly easy. I'd say keep it like this on low skill setting and ramp it up for HMP and definitely for UV. Far too easy even for a first map.

Far too many unnecessary goodies too; I was loaded for bear with all sorts of stuff I didn't need or use. Blue Armor, Rocketlauncher... even the Green Armor that isn't secret, all totally unnecessary. These things are best given out as secrets when the player will be thirsty for them, when the player will be bleeding. There isn't enough in this map to cause a flesh wound.

http://imgur.com/a/yBRlf Album of alignment issues, many of them so egregious that it just horrifies me as a nitpicker. I'm almost willing to correct alignment issues as I go through the wad if they're going to be this bad, I'll need you to send me a copy of the resource wad though as my knowledge of slade is limited to copying out individual maps. I could upload the fixed maps as I review one at a time. I can only imagine at this rate as the maps get larger how many I'll be finding... and yes, it is important to align scrolling textures

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Alright, UV pistol-starts (I prefer not to play continuously unless it's the only style of play that a mapset reasonably supports) for me. Generally I don't save the game much or at all, but I probably will if the maps get long enough. I am also using PrBooM+ on -cls 9 and -1 for this playthrough, for testing purposes.

Map 01 -- Incoming! - 100% Kills / 85% Secrets
As has been aforementioned, the parallels to 'Entryway' going on in this map are too obvious to ignore. The whole thing goes by in an eyeblink and the overall progression isn't too similar to the IWAD map, so it's no big deal so far, but I hope this isn't going to be a theme that persists for most of the mapset--grotesquely winking IWAD homages/reduxes are not usually something I'm very charmed by.

Visually, hmm, since we're only looking at map 01, I reckon the jury's still out for me at this point. The setting has a very grungy, shabby, sleaze-tech look to it, with lots of greys and browns and tans jumbled together. It's not exactly an attractive look, but I don't reckon it's really supposed to be a pretty setting. In terms of structure and detail, it seems like it's occupying a sort of 'oldschool revivalist' space on the PWAD map--for the most part the level of detail falls within the low-but-tasteful part of the spectrum, with most of the feel and character of the map eliding from its structure (the double-bend hallways, the 'security booths', etc.), which is fine; I am also quite satisfied with the simple but effective lighting choices in most of the map, a breath of fresh air after MAYhem2048, where many of the maps were quite flatly lit. It's not fully consistent, however--there are small/mostly unobtrusive bits of more minute detailing in a few places, and also one area that looks significantly more visually barebones than the rest, that being the green armor room, which, incidentally, doesn't seem to have as much attention paid to lighting within it, and also features unsightly unsynched texture transitions between the different faces of the scrolling tech-bar. Again, this stylistic unevenness doesn't go unnoticed, but I'm not yet prepared to come out and say it's going to be a constant thorn in the WAD's side even if it continues to some degree--some of the micro-details add neat little touches to the scene (like the glowing antennae on top of the central column in the large yard), some look a bit tackier and wouldn't be missed if they were gone (the little blue triangle cutouts on the main steps, the hovering blue pads over the backpack/soulsphere yard), but my first reaction to what I'm seeing is that the whole visual style of the project is kind of like STRAIN, which had a similar degree of stylistic asynchronicity to it (particularly the way it juxtaposed some higher-def resources with lo-def ones), but also kind of worked, in that it did lend that WAD a particular character, even if it wasn't exactly the prettiest thing in the world.

More on that subject as I see more of Stomper, probably. For now, I'll say that I'm more 'yay' than 'nay' on the weapon resprites for the moment--I like both the new pistol (including the replaced report sound) and the rocket launcher (and its replaced projectile sprite), and I like the shotgun's pickup sprite, although it's looking a little silly to me in its recoil frames at current. Maybe I'll get used to that, though. I also appreciate the augmented firing rate for the SG (again, this is something that STRAIN also did), more because it gives the game a little bit of a different feel than for any actual tactical benefit. One thing, though...I'd suggest darkening or otherwise changing the hue of the Stomperguy's gloves before the final release--as it is, the glove color is really close to the skin tone on his arms, so when he throws a left hook at a zombieman it kind of looks like he has some horrible localized fleshcurtain of excess skin where his wrist meets his forearm. Also kind of disappointing there's no new chainsaw sprites, but since you're not the creator of the assets I suppose that addressing this might be rather logistically inconvenient.

All this talk about aesthetics, but what of gameplay? Well, frankly, there's not a lot to talk about...it's a sparse smattering of former humans and imps with that one lonely HK wandering around; I found the berserk pack secret almost immediately and so ended up Tysoning the map, barreling through the corridors while gibbing the occasional bit of zombie trash. It's very 'traditional' inoffensive map 01 gameplay, I suppose, and helps contribute to the neo-oldschool feel of what I've seen so far, but I don't think you'd do any harm by beefing it up a bit--even if you just spam double the number of zombies you'll be making it feel like a more substantial engagement without actually increasing difficulty much or adding much length to the playtime (I reckon lots of folks like map 01 to be concise, and some will appreciate the nostalgic difficulty level). I will also agree with the observations of other players that there are probably just plain too many powerful goodies in the map, secret or not...unless map 02 of Stomper is somehow exponentially more difficult/dangerous than map 01, I don't really see most of this stuff improving a continuous player's experience moving forward. On the contrary, I fear it might trivialize the next map, or even the next 2-3 maps. My quick 'n dirty suggestion would be to put the RL in the current backpack secret (since there aren't really many good opportunities to use it outside of quickly killing the last two imps anyway), the backpack in the current RL secret, and do away with the soulsphere altogether, or perhaps put it where the blue armor is (instead of the armor).

About that blue armor secret, it appears to be somewhat dysfunctional in Boom--the sector that the vest sits on is initially flagged secret, but when the player flips the switch to lower it into the ground, it ends up inheriting the properties of the bordering sector once it finishes moving, meaning that it stops being 'secret' and thus can no longer be triggered (although the player can still trigger it by running out the door and climbing onto it before it has lowered too far into the ground).

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Alright, how long can I stay on this crazy train? :D Playing continuous on ZDoom.

MAP01: Incoming!

A little bit of a challenge of you don't find the beserk off the bat and try skirt the Hell Knight for the shotgun, but that aside it's a fun map. The new textures don't seem too ridiculously out of place with the stock ones and the new sounds and weapon sprites are pretty nifty as well. Found 6 out of seven secrets.

MAP02: Security Point

Hey cool, things are ramped up a bit! The Arachnotron, Mancubus and Revenant all debut in this map, but fortunately so does the trusty SSG(the chaingun too, but that's not as important :P). This map's a decent bit more high octane than the previous with the mid-tier monsters but still fun all things considered, and I swear the music is almost the same as the museum map in the second Turbocharged Arcade(we should do the both of them sometime). Also I somehow ran straight past the chaingun on my play through and only picked it up when I did a last sweep for enemies. Found four out of five secrets.

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Playing on PrBoom+ with continuous.
Map 01:
Hard to miss Entryway feeling comes in this map. As for gameplay itself, not much worth of fight in here. Except for that knight, where I zigged instead zagging and got torn up while trying to berserk it, and some zombie shot behind and destroyed what was left of my pride.

Lots of pistol ammo littering around, lots of them, had about 300 once I picked up that backpack, and shotgun shells are more than enough. Maybe cut some ammo here in UV? And put that green armor in secret, blue might be too good in here.

As far as sprites and sounds are concerned, pistol looks pretty nifty, looks more like belt-fed machine pistol to me. Shotgun is pretty okay, but it indeed is fast one. I think this is going to get more mileage on my hands when clearing imps out. Blue shells, whatever on my part. And sounds... eh. Not really liking with shotgun and bullet weapons sounding same.

Map 02:
Larger than previous map, along with its side corridors and areas, map itself is pretty straightforward about of its path. Grab that blue key, get that exit open, nondescript trackbacking to exit... Could make this bit more exciting, I guess. Map is significantly dangerous than previous one, with old acquaintances popping out, like shotgun dude and revenant. Tried to test if I can keep revenant stunlocked with shotgun. Says "Fuck you" and blasts rocket in my face. What did they said about hubris?

The rocket launcher I picked previously instantly gets use, since we get mancubus in here. Used all rockets, I get set up by hell knight and cacodemons. Seems like reunion to me. Trying to escape into northern hallway, found nothing else than arachnotron and old, trusty super shotgun, which got new paint and looking nothing short of cool and sound like someone dropped small sheet of steel dropped on metal surface. Kinda strange sound to me, but not going to make that as issue for me. And the chaingun in the blue key room looks like it got heavier, and got few barrels more. Works like charm.

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Map01:
Map01 has some cool geometry and secrets. Detail is enough, but sometimes you see only bare walls with high brightess. Some STARTAN textures don't fit in here. I think it needs some more details in some places.
Not a fan of gameplay like this though. Killing hellknight with pistol is not fun, and one hellknight is not dangerous. It's better to use former sergeants instead, they are far more dangerous and die faster.
Some things I'd like to notice.
http://i.imgur.com/V9hUKRL.png - misalign.
http://i.imgur.com/ue1FsJJ.png - that STARTAN looks out of place.
http://i.imgur.com/emovc6t.png - I'd add some crossbars.

Also, that sector with blue armor was supposed to be secret, I suppose. But switch lowered it and removed effect, so I was unable to obtain 100% secrets.

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So it was a Rocket Launcher and not a Chaingun in map01, aren't I observant. RL is not any less redundant there so my point still stands though.

Map02: Security Point

So a little more meat in this one, not that it wasn't expected really. I got a chuckle from the first "ambush" of the mapset: if you start trouble with the first two Zombiemen you see by shooting through the bars, two more Zombiemen will open the doors on your left and right and attack from both sides. The SSG is introduced very early here and it's the main weapon throughout the rest of the map. There are probably a few too many shellboxes present to be honest since I replayed this a couple of times with intentionally 0% secrets and still ended up with close to 50/50 shells by the end of the map. Chaingun gets rendered pretty redundant now since there's not really any need to use it due to the over-abundance of shells. Other new elements to gameplay include the introduction of the rest of the middleweight bestiary sans the Baron of Hell. Not sure if the environment is that well-suited for Cacos since other than floating to the room with the Manc, they can't really take much advantage on their flying abilities. The PE works better since an unsuspecting hero might press the ground level switch before the baddies on the ledge above are dead, which is when the PE might actually get some shots in too.

Other than introducing new old friends, gameplay in this map is alright. It's still a very easy and rather straightforward map but unlike in map01 you have to pay a little attention to be comfortable. Not really any encounters that would be particularly memorable but it flows decently and there is usually stuff to kill if you're going the right way. The short backtrack from the switch to the exit lift is a bit needless since the areas are not repopulated in any way but it's literally less than five seconds so calling it boring would perhaps be a stretch. The layout is lesser than that of map01 in my opinion since this one is more in the vein of rooms stringed together -style than the previous map. Not that it's particularly bad either though. Secrets are once again aplenty and a bit more sensible this time. The only one I didn't manage to find without IDDT (after I had killed everything of course) was the soulsphere, the other secrets were quite obvious and easy to spot.

Visually I thought it was okay, although I don't really pay too much attention to that aspect of maps while casually playing. There is a lot of texture variety, too much even I'd say since it seemed like a case of different room - different texture most of the time. Less is sometimes more when it comes to that, and personally at least I would prefer a more cohesive set of textures within a single map and then add interest with details like wall lights or stuff like that. I did notice some rather noticeable alignment violations along the walls in the first "outdoors" area but past that I stopped looking so someone more observant, like Seele00, can probably pinpoint those and more, and provide pics. I'll provide pics for the ones I found if no one else does though.

Edit: I see mouldy spotted those misalignments as well and posted pics, good.

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Map02 - “Security Point”

The opposition is ramped up a fair bit from the previous map, the lack of shells in the opening area meant that I ended up having to kill a mancubus with a pistol, which isn't ideal. Given that shells are pretty abundant after that I'd have traded a whole box later on for a few at the start, just to deal with the manc. Once you get past him you get SSG and ammo galore. Its a cool layout, a little plain in the detail maybe. I liked the secret that ended in the backpack, nice and obvious.

Oh dear lord, the SSG sound! Its like a twig snapping or an old typewriter. I find myself switching to normal shotgun just to avoid hearing it. Also I noticed one of the door noises has a bit that sounds like a pain elemental getting hit, so I keep looking around for one. Minor quibble that.

I noticed a couple of texture mis-alignments on my journey.

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MAP02 Security Point (Gun Walkin' #2)

Much like Underhalls here, and even STRAIN's MAP02 with the new shotgun that fires at just about the same rate as STRAIN's. The new chaingun fires faster too, while the SSG remains the same combat-wise. Shotgun guys and demons are introduced. Some fun to be had, and some unfun when enemies don't flinch when chainsawing them (seriously WTF). Decent second level, with a Spear of Destiny-like music track.

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Alright, I'm back in! I've heard of Stomper, but don't really know anything about it (other than its abandonment and subsequent revival) so figured this would be fun to get in on.

First things first, I see mention of a BEX patch, but the ZIP file linked to in the OP only contains two WAD files and nothing else. Am I missing something? I notice the map names don't change on the automap, so does that signal a problem?

Anyway, I play PWADs on HMP by default, so I played the first two levels that way, but then in the comments I see mention of HKs, PEs, revvies, spiders, and mancubi, and I'm thinking "what?" So I gave it another run-through on UV and wow, it's vastly different, isn't it? Still not terribly difficult (yet), but definitely not the cakewalk it was before. I'm a little worried about the difficulty level later on, but I'll go ahead and stick with UV for the time being.

Otherwise, GZDoom/continuous/keyboard-only, per usual.

MAP01:
I had to laugh when it loaded up and the Entryway homage was immediately apparent. Digging the "grungy" textures, they're different enough that it still feels like you're playing OG Doom, but not quite. On HMP, it was just zombies everywhere, and I do mean everywhere; I got hurt quite a bit by letting them wander around and catch me by surprise. On UV, the knight didn't give me too much trouble, I just ran past him figuring I'd come back later when my armament was upgraded—having said that, it did lead to my only death so far: I was paying too much attention to keeping him behind me that I stumbled into a room and got ambushed by the cannon fodder. I agree with points made above: the pistol is much more entertaining when it merely sounds more powerful; on my HMP run I used it exclusively, saving my other weapons for later. Also, wow, lots of secrets is fun, but that's just way too much too-powerful stuff. I exited the first level with 4 weapons, 200% health, and 200% armor (in both difficulties)!

MAP02:
Digging the Underhalls vibe here, too, but this is better: I love levels with the inter-connectivity shown here, all the windows looking into everywhere, being able to snipe dudes from 3-4 rooms away, etc. Fun stuff. The difference between HMP and UV is especially startling here, since HMP introduces sergeants and pinkies, and UV introduces...well, almost everything else. My favorite part of the level would have to be the blue key reveal, so cool. And that sped-up chaingun? I'm in love. Another healthy dose of secrets, which is good (I missed one on HMP, but found it on UV) and better balance of secret items too, I think, also good.

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Map02 - “Security Point”

Now this is more like what I'm after. Mid-tier monsters, generally engaging fights, good stuff. I'm once again struggling to find things to say about the map though. I liked it, maybe it's just one of those days as far as writing is concerned. Good job.

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Map 02 -- Security Point - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Yes, some noticeable 'Underhalls' references here, still not yet pronounced enough to bug me, though (most of the relatively recent WAD 'Flashback to Hell' up to its Hell segment is an example of something I do find a mite distasteful, for the sake of comparison). I liked the casually witty way in which the level flowed--visiting the observation rooms overlooking the blue key room before finally raising the bridge that bisects the room's different compartments to reach it, the switch that opens the exit being within inches of the exit, but with a roundabout trip required to actually reach it, etc.--although I do feel there are some missed opportunities to repopulate areas with fresh enemies to liven up the small amount of backtracking that can or must occur (Veinen mentioned the short trip back to the exit booth, I'll also mention the way the long-winded backpack secret dumps the player out at the start point). On that point, the action still feels a mite sparse, I'd say....in some places this is mitigated by use of mid-tier monsters (e.g. the revenants and pain elemental in the eastern tri-level lift room), while in others it makes little effective difference other than that you'll be spilling a different color of blood for a little bit. As was the case with map 01, I still say that using weaker monsters more liberally should help to flesh out the play without drastically altering the general difficulty curve or adding a great deal of playtime. On the plus side, the supply balance here is significantly sharper than in map 01; secrets aren't quite as OP relative to the opposition encountered (I thought the soulsphere secret was quite cool, incidentally), and damage taken is actually significant by dint of a surprisingly scarce availability of health pickups--not counting the hidden soulsphere, it's mostly potions with the odd stimpack here and there, with medikits being quite rare.

Jury's still out as far the overall visual style is concerned, and my feelings for this particular map pretty much echo what I already wrote about map 01--most of the eye appeal elides from the map's structure (e.g. the theme of elevated walkways bisecting fairly tall open spaces), with the surface aesthetic having a dingy, slummy, not entirely appealing feel to it. The casually large degree of texture variation isn't bothering me so much, perhaps because my gut reaction to what I've been seeing has been to interpret it as aiming at a stylized 'classic megaWAD of yore' style. It doesn't always work--I think the blue light stripe in the room with the switch that raises the bridge to the blue keycard is piss-ugly, and I also dislike the u-shaped sector-lighting in the tri-lift room, for example--but for the most part I'm not finding the degree of texture variation or most of the texture combos to be actively jarring. On the subject of polish, I noticed more unsightly alignment issues in this map than I did in the first one. Apart from the ones that mouldy posted screenshots of, also check out the haz-striped platforms with techlamps on them in that same opening bridge area, and the right side of the blue triangle panels on the western side of the blue key room.

More on the weapons: both the SSG and the chaingun look really cool (I especially like the SSG during its reload frames, for some reason), but the SSG's new sound is pissweak, sounds more like somebody slamming a screen door than a gunshot. Definitely consider improving or replacing it. The increased chaingun speed is quite lovely; just for variety's sake I enjoy sometimes using the standard chaingun even though it's often unnecessary or not the ideal weapon, so seeing a modification that improves the weapon's feel and utility (mainly the former, I'll grant you) is much appreciated, probably something I'll miss for a bit when I go back to playing WADs with the standard weapon behavior.

Bug, kinda/sorta: the roving monsters in the exit area seem to like to open the blue armor secret for the player, mighty cordial of them. Might want to discourage them from doing so, in the interest of decorum.

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MAP03: Radar Base

Another decent romp, although it could stand to be a little more difficult: the difficulty curve between maps doesn't really seem as pronounced as the curve between MAP01 and MAP02. I find myself agreeing with Seele00TextOnly, there's not really much to say about the maps so far other than "They're good". With luck they'll get more memorable as things progress.

While, I'm at it, 2 things that kind of irk me so far:

1. The secrets mostly seem to be misaligned walls, which isn't that imaginative.

2. Another map where you can exit at 200% health and armor and full ammunition? Meh, I'd make the secrets not as bountiful as they are at the moment on UV.

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MAP02: Security Point
100% kills, 4/5 secrets

Not really seeing much Underhalls here, aside from a couple of texture selections. Certainly nothing as pronounced as the Entryway homages from last map, so that's good. This is a pretty straightforward base map that's still pretty easy even with UV introducing revenants, hell knights, mancubuses, an arachnatron and a PE. There's a couple of areas with height differences, but most everything is still in front of the player and in an area with plenty of room to manuever or drag back to a hallway. Which is fine for a MAP02... but doesn't leave me much to write about (also, I'm playing on continuous, which no doubt contributes to the ease... that and the souped-up chaingun).

Looks-wise, it is a bit busy, but the textures mostly hang together for a cohesive whole (emphasis on dingy browns and greys helps). I'm not noticing a lot of the texture misalignments that others are which is a bit strange, since I'm usually stickler for those... might just because I don't notice it on the newer textures, or I'm just being lazy. Also, not a fan of the sound the Revenant's rocket makes when exploding (sounds like the SSG impact, which is confusing) though the sprites look good.

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Map03: Radar Base

...And suddenly we are back in Phobos? Seemed like this map would fit in a E1 replacement like a glove, the looks and layout just scream classic Phobos. I quite liked the aesthetical aspects of this map though, certainly very pleasing to look at and wander around in. There's not much to say about the visuals though, if you like your E1-style then you will most likely dig this too. A lot of places where you can see into other accessible areas through windows and such which is usually a sign of an interesting layout.

Combat in this map was a little disappointing though. The difficulty curve so far has certainly been very gentle and this level is about the same difficulty as the previous one. The challenge is pretty non-existent in other words. Now I know things will pick up soon enough but this is a little too easy for my liking, even for only map03. There's this heterogenous "horde" that teleports in after the BK is picked up, I think, which is supposed to be some kind of a threat I guess but they just tend to flock and stumble around in the corridors so taking them out is child's play. What this map does better than map02 though is ammo balance. With secrets and without them, either way you play it. The SSG is not really necessary here so it's good that it was hidden in a secret. If you get the SSG and the two ammo stash secrets, shells are plentiful and you can wreak havoc with the SSG to your heart's content. In a 0%- secrets playthrough I did, shells were more sparse and I generally had to fight a bit to get more. The CG then naturally got more use which was okay since it's a pretty useful weapon against middleweights as well now that it's sped up a bit.

A few texture misalignments that I stumbled upon in the opening area (the edge of the roof in the second shot): http://imgur.com/a/NPKIv
And please either remove things 52 & 53 completely or put some monster blocking lines on that ledge so that those Imps can't wander around in there so freely. Unless you want to face the wrath of every UV-Maxer out there, that is.

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MAP03 Radar Base (March of Doom)

KDITD style it looks like, with cacos, revenants, and a mancubus and arachnotron making cameos. Fun level for a quick finish with a very fun layout. I like it, but also hated my run because I took too many hits. Good thing I saved the soulsphere.

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