The DWmegawad Club plays: NOVA II



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.

When do we vote on the next month’s megawad?
Voting begins on the 25th of the current month.

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>>>DOWNLOAD NOVA II (Beta D3)

(The old download for the D2 beta is here)

NOVA II: New Dawn is a limit-removing megawad put together by primarily new(ish) mappers. While the project is welcoming to Doom newcomers, it also emphasizes quality over quantity. And just a reminder that NOVA II is still in beta, so please note any bugs or compatibility issues you may experience.

Author and maplist for NOVA II:

MAP01 - "Panic Station" by cannonball
MAP02 - "Rocky Rooftops" by Pinchy
MAP03 - "Deep Water" by KevinHEZ
MAP04 - "Andromeda Sun" by Getsu Fune
MAP05 - "Broken Outpost" by Cyberdemon531
MAP06 - "Water Maim" by AD_79
MAP07 - "Dry Well" by joe-ilya
MAP08 - "Demon Trench" by Jaxxoon R
MAP09 - "Husk of What Once Was" by mrthejoshmon
MAP10 - "Canyon Halls" by Impboy4 & KevinHEZ
MAP11 - "A Plague o' Both Your Shotguns" by Jmickle66666666
MAP12 - "Hop 2 It" by Breezeep
MAP13 - “Monster Dash” by Eradrop
MAP14 - “Purification Plant” by Dave The Daring
MAP15 - "Crumbling Necropolis" by an_mutt

MAP31 - "Fever Blues" by Noisyvelvet
MAP32 - "Megiddo II" by Tourniquet, Pinchy, AD_79, NoisyVelvet, Dave the Daring, and Jaxxoon R

MAP16 - "Red Morning Light" by SFoZ911
MAP17 - "Zebetite" by tourniquet
MAP18 - "Vile Complex” by U.O.D.
MAP19 - "Cry of the Archvile" by KevinHEZ
MAP20 - "Monuments to Thieves" by Egregor
MAP21 - "Red Gas Circle" by AD_79
MAP22 - “Hated Attic” by Obake
MAP23 - "Vindaloo Chronicles" by cannonball
MAP24 - “The Descent” by U.O.D.
MAP25 - "Parasite Hive" by Pinchy
MAP26 - "Surreptitious Ichor" by dobu gabu maru & cannonball
MAP27 - "Engraved Bones" by Obsidian
MAP28 - “Messe Noire” by Demonologist
MAP29 - "anaemia" by tourniquet & Ribbiks
MAP30 - "Legion" by mouldy


BONUS CONTENT
an_mutt's playthrough: 1 2 2 3 4a 4b 5
Suitepee's playthrough: 1 2 3 4
Armouredblood's playthrough: 2 3 4 5a 5b
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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
Stomper
Back to Saturn X E2
Going Down
Rylayeh & Crimson Canyon & Azagthoth
Serenity & Eternity & Infinity
Resurgence
Requiem
ConC.E.R.N.ed & Draft Excluder
Doom 2 Reloaded
Valiant
Scythe 2

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I still haven't actually finished one of these yet, have I?
Right, THIS time...

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Since we’re now in public beta, I wanted to address something that alfonzo brought up in the Doom Radio interview with mouldy that I’m sure other people are also wondering about (loosely paraphrasing):

”I thought the spirit of NOVA was for newbies to create an entire megawad? If so, what are old NOVA mappers doing in NOVA II?”

This is a very good question with a very long, unsatisfying explanation (tl;dr—blame me)

After the completion of NOVA, kildeth was the first one to strike up the idea of having some of the original NOVA authors contribute as a way of showing their improvements. I was onboard for this since we hadn’t even determined who was contributing or how many maps there would be (a day before thread popped up I suggested the possibility that we could just put the alumni maps into a single standalone episode). Kildeth began NOVA II and in the OP of the thread he allowed aluminis to participate, so I specifically went with for a collab so we could save space for newcomers. Later in the development I voiced concern that we should keep at least 18-20 maps for newbies, as this was at the peak of joe-ilya throwing maps at us willy-nilly and kildeth was essentially accepting everything and anything.

Eventually I took over as project lead, axed 3 of joe’s maps, throttled the alumni submissions down (I actually had some internal debates about whether to cut a cannonball map as “2.5 maps” still felt like a bit much), and tried my best to regulate alumni involvement—for instance I discouraged both mouldy and Phobus from making maps for us, even though they’re both great mappers. Way before the first beta was out it crossed my mind to compile all of the alumni submissions into a single episode, but I was at a crossroads… You see, I took over as team leader because I wanted the project finished—both Panophobia and NOVA II had maps I had worked on sitting in limbo without a leader, and I became the project lead of both in order to ensure they got out the door (I experienced a similar situation with MAYhem2048 when no one was compiling the last maps updated). I felt hesitant to split off the six alumni maps we had at the time because it would just further extend the development time, and I didn’t want to risk sitting on it for three years like what happened to the first NOVA when it ran out of steam.

Beyond that, there were other smaller issues that complicated removing alumni involvement. I personally tweaked two maps by KevinHEZ and gave large gameplay & visual overhauls to a map by Cyberdemon531—where would those go if we split the alumni maps off? Plus Ribbiks and tourniquet worked on MAP29, and the former sure as hell isn’t an amateur mapper—would that go in the alumni episode too, even though neither of the authors were involved in the first NOVA? On top of that, other alumnis and myself were giving extensive feedback and essentially changing what’s in a map through second hand nature (remove this, add this, etc.), whereas in the first NOVA it largely involved just us “newbies” and no “vets”. Due to my involvement as project lead I axed several maps I felt were unsuitable to publish, shaping the general form of the megawad—should a “newbie” have taken my place and made the shots, like we were doing when we first set out to make the first NOVA? And to add another layer on top of this, alumni like mouldy and cannonball have created a megawad during the time between the two projects, while others (like myself) are still basically struggling to get out of the single digits of map releases, constantly learning things to this day. It can make being a “newbie” a bit of a nebulous concept, as different mappers possess different skills and evolve at different rates.

IMO, there’s no simple solution. it’s definitely a valid criticism that we have “old mappers” in a “new mappers” megawad, and if I was project lead from the start of NOVA II I would’ve barred alumni from contributing—but that wasn’t the case. The direction was imprecise and muddled from the beginning, and it’s a fault that falls upon my shoulders when I picked the project up midway through development. I could’ve—and probably should’ve—separated the two, but I didn’t know where to draw the lines and felt it was best to have a controlled hodgepodge that we could get out the door before 2016. I apologize if anyone feels the project vision suffered due to it… I made the decisions I felt were right at the time. I can only hope whoever aims to take on NOVA III considers the topic more thoroughly, even down to the part of alumni/veteran mappers giving feedback and leading the megawad’s development.

So with that blood purged, enjoy NOVA II ! We all worked real goddam hard on it.

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Oh wow, Hope Suitepee has the chance to stream this sometime.

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This should be fun! I gotta say, I feel like we did a pretty good job on this mapset, for the most part.

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Going to be trying out recording some Doom videos, my computer is not capable of steaming due to hardware limitations but recording videos seems to work fine. Since this is my first video I didn't really know what to say so I'm pretty much silent for the entire thing, I expect that to be the case for most of these videos unless I actually have something to comment on, good or bad.



Pretty good opener, it's a small tech base map with multiple paths throughout with a good variety of design. Monster fights were good with a fun challenge right before the exit. Nova 2 is off to a promising start.

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Okay, let's see if I can stick this one out after bailing at 22/30 last month. :) As usual, I'm playing on Hurt Me Plenty and aiming to get as close to 100% kills and secrets as I have the skill and patience for.

MAP01: Panic Station

...I'll be honest, if you hadn't told me this was a Cannonball map I likely wouldn't have guessed it. With ConC.E.R.Ned and Draft Excluder relatively fresh in my mind after featuring in the DWMC a few months back, I'd like to think I'm somewhat familiar with Cannonball's ouevre, but I spent my playthrough of this map being almost constantly caught off-guard. Props to Cannonball for the continued development of his devious streak, may your continue to engineer my creative and entertaining death. :)

What we've got here is a compact, interconnected techbase with pleasantly chunky architecture and a real sense of solidity to it. The map is thick with raised platforms, windows, unexpected nooks, and other situations in which reckless advancement will expose the player to fire from unexpected angles; at the same time, resources are thin enough on the ground, and the layout itself is open enough, that not pushing forward at a decent pace will quickly get you cornered and overwhelmed. I think the central courtyard represents a really good use of space; the threat (and sense of threat) of its initial population of zombies and sergeants is multiplied by the fact that you can't really take the time to analyse and dissect it due to pressure from other angles, so instead it's a 'black box' of danger you simply have to limit your exposure to. Once threats elsewhere in the level are neutralised it's much easier to take stock of the courtyard and deal with its inhabitants... and then, as the level reaches its climax, it's suddenly repurposed for a burly arena brawl with demons, lost souls, and revenants. Good stuff indeed.

Points also for the secret in the south-eastern quadrant of the map and the use of sound and visual cues to misdirect the player. Wish I'd found that rocket launcher before the climactic arena battle. :)

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ZDoom 2.7.1, continuous with saves, HMP

MAP01 - Panic Station - Matt Powell (cannonball)
| Kills: 64/66 | Items: 15/23 | Secrets: 0/3 | Time: 05:17 | Deaths: 1 |

Well, contrary to TheOrganGrinder, I think I likely would have identified this as cannonball map without prior knowledge. The start area isn't an immediate giveaway, but I feel once you enter the base, the traditional cannonball design is pretty much everywhere. Add to the fact that cannonball nearly always opts for music from DN3D/ROTT or Mark Klem, and I feel that really only he could have made this map.
On the other hand, I didn't find any secrets, which is rare for me on a cannonball map, as I've always noticed a consistency in the way he designs his secrets.
Don't tell me, one of them was the computer screen with 666 on it...

Seems very tight on ammo initially. If you attempt to take a room-by-room approach (as I did first attempt), there's not really not enough ammo to deal with everything in that first room, end result being trying to punch a sergeant. My statistics above should provide an insight into how that went for me :(
Maybe I don't want to run into every single room in the map first and wake every monster up. oh well.
Even with the running in-between-rooms approach, I still found myself running out of shells and ending up with the pistol a few times. The berserk pack is an appreciated gesture, but to be honest, by the time I got to it, the ammo placement seemed to be picking up and I had no use for it.

So this map is by no means bad, but after playing some truly great cannonball maps (including TNT: Revilution MAP2x), this seemed like a bit of a step back. Then again, NOVA 2 has been in development for a year by the looks of things, so maybe this is one of his relatively older maps.

EDIT: Getsu Fune reminded me how I was disappointed when I saw the music list in the NOVA 2 thread, that the Muse song was not the music for this map. I believe Jimmy even did a MIDI of it.

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look who's map is on the American Independence Day. :o :o :o

same deal when I was playtesting the first beta, will be playing pistol starts on ITYTD again to make sure that things work on each difficulty (that arch-vile better be there on MAP29 tourniquet!). I'll also be showing pictures of each map on my Twitter, which I usually use for stupid shit, but I'm pretty dedicated to this project anyways.

MAP01 Panic Station

so this map had very humble beginnings. It started out as a map by a newcomer named silverdeth. The map was very small, had lots of monsters in it, and was quite short. But it was also newbish enough that he would ask for someone to take over and refine it a bit more. I was first to step in, and my revision tried to design things a bit better, while keeping the layout the same. Oh, and it was me who used the track Hidden Anger because I was sure that it would totally fit the map.

And that's when cannonball decided to revise it too...

This map played nothing like the silverdeth map or my revision of it. it's a pretty hard opener map for the set but it works out for what its worth. the map layout was more reminiscent of STRAIN MAP01 though (with a starting area that reminded me of Vanguard MAP01). I forgot what the map was originally titled but now it's titled after a Muse song. :D

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Oh yes! Playing this on UV, pistol starts.

MAP01 - Panic Station

Kills: 100% | Items: 100% | Secrets: 100 %

Pretty tough to be a first map. Ammo is very tight in the first encounters, pushing you to go forward rather than clean room by room. The hitscanners make it dangerous to simply rush in the new areas. I found the secrets after I killed everything. The base is really nice and the outdoors give a nice touch. The start area is simple but very sweet. A very good opener.

I was waiting to play this since I really liked the first Nova. As a newbie mapper I would have liked to do a map for this but I noticed too late what was the aim of this project, but nevermind.

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Zandronum, UV, continuous, with saves.

MAP01 - "Panic Station" by cannonball

Great opener. Fun to play. Looks like a cannonball map, the giveaways are: Compact but corridor-heavy layout, office furniture, Doom 1 alike secrets, and simplistic but efficient monster placement. Nice visuals, thematic setting and architecture, and good intro to very basic game mechanics like switches, lifts, locked doors, traps, and secrets. I liked which enemies and weapons were already introduced. This map definitely made me look forward to play the rest of the wad.

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Howdy DWMC folks and sorry for any inconveniences but Obisdian just discovered a bug that renders a completion of map 27 impossible.
The issue was fixed and i recommend to re-download the file from the OP or HERE.
I really hope we won't encounter any further major issues this month.

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The picture says "NEW GAWN" to me.

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tourniquet said:

Howdy DWMC folks and sorry for any inconveniences but Obisdian just discovered a bug that renders a completion of map 27 impossible.
The issue was fixed and i recommend to re-download the file from the OP or HERE.
I really hope we won't encounter any further major issues this month.


Good thing that was noticed early on.

Map 01 Panic Station
Completed on HNTR, HMP, and UV
UV score: 100% everything, 8:25

A very nice opening map. There is a lot of action going on, especially on HMP and UV. Each difficulty is implemented perfectly. I never died on HNTR, died once on HMP, and died multiple times on UV.

UV spams a lot more pinkies and spectres. Since initial shells are low, these guys become more of an obstacle, especially since imps and hitscanners from higher ledges are able to snipe at you should you try punching the demons/spectres to death. Once you get the berserk, the demon hordes become less painful. UV also has a lot more chaingunners. Yet surprisingly, what killed me most often were zombiemen. :p (Specifically the ones lurking behind the windows in the secret hallway.)

I really enjoy the last encounter. It is dangerous yet manageable. One of the best parts is that two cubbies with Lost Souls open behind the player. These guys really make the fight more intense, as they start high off in the air while all of the other monsters surround the player from the ground. My personal strategy for dealing with this on UV was shooting a rocket into the right cubby once it opened, just to get rid of three Souls in one fell swoop.

Overall, a good beginning.

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Breezeep said:

Oh wow, Hope Suitepee has the chance to stream this sometime.


Must.......continue.......livestreaming.......break............

(I'll play this at some point, it's not like I've been hyped for this megawad or anything. Honest!)

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Suitepee said:

Must.......continue.......livestreaming.......break............

(I'll play this at some point, it's not like I've been hyped for this megawad or anything. Honest!)

It's a good one to come back to hopefully this wad will be good!

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MAP02 - "Rocky Rooftops" by Pinchy

Great usage of terrain differences. Unpredictable layout and architecture, but purposeful and fun to navigate around. Unconventional, yet nice texturing - which I like. Enjoyable easy gameplay, and I also liked the secrets. I've immediately noticed that grey bricks above the right CONS1_1 panel near start were vertically misaligned by 1 pixel compared to the neighboring walls. Not sure if it's worth doing anything about it in the map, or if I should go think about myself.

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ZDoom - HMP - Pistol Starts

MAP01 Panic Station



Main problem here is a day-time sky with a map lit as if it were night-time. Infact the whole map suffered from being over dark, which probably indicates a gamma issue.



Significally less dark than the previous open area, perhaps due to brighter textures, this creates an inconsistency. Are we exploring this base at night or at dusk? The two lights here certainly don't seem to be the main illumination.



Here the darkness actually works really well to create a foreboding atmosphere. I really like this room.



Unfortunately there's also things like this. Unless you're going to break out some custom textures, Doom furniture invariably looks like the work of an amateur and detracts from any map.

That said, in terms of game play, this is a fun map with good flow. As it's MAP01 it wouldn't hurt to be more generous with health, and perhaps even a green armour on HNTR, since there are quite a few hit-scanners knocking around. Apart from the above nitpicks, I enjoyed it.

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Eris Falling said:

Getsu Fune reminded me how I was disappointed when I saw the music list in the NOVA 2 thread, that the Muse song was not the music for this map. I believe Jimmy even did a MIDI of it.


I remembered what the original title of the map was. It was BaseHell. cannonball was the one who renamed it to Panic Station, blame him. :D

for Urthar, the Doom furniture was actually a thing from the original map by silverdeth (I remember there being a whole conference room with chairs as well as a room that looks like a computer lab.) ceeb did his best with the detailing, as the original was actually quite bad.

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The original BaseHell also contained other weird surprises.

Spoiler

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MAP01 Panic Station:

Hectic Opener, okay it isn't that bad at first but as soon as you open the door 2 demons come out to attempt to make you waste your 4 shells you picked up from the first sergeant you meet, making the ammo really tight at the start. Once you get a footing it plays out like your typical techbase map. I appreciate the rocket secret it is really useful against the final ambush of 3 revs and demons even though rockets+demons=certain death. Great first map can't wait to play more!

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Also like Scythe 2 I am going to be getting 100% KILLS and 100% SECRETS on UV because I'm a nerd like that lol.

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Suitepee said:

Must.......continue.......livestreaming.......break............

(I'll play this at some point, it's not like I've been hyped for this megawad or anything. Honest!)

Don't worry yourself, Suitepee, I've moved in on your racket!!

Part 1 of my NOVA II stream, featuring the opening 12 maps. I give some feedback, offer some suggestions for gameplay changes, and the rest of it. Will most likely provide a write-up of the opening two maps tomorrow when I'm less tired!

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Map 01:

The panic station seems to get its name from the panic cannonball felt when he realized he forgot to put any engaging gameplay in his map (hence the somewhat out of place, although decidedly good, final skirmish). Having played most of cannonball's releases, this map is not nearly as good. I think the problem overall is just a lack of interesting encounters. Most of the level is just you walking from over-sized room to over-sized room shooting the imps/zombies/pinkys who funnel towards you. Very little variety. Hell, the blue key isn't even trapped.

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Alright here we go. I'll be playing through on UV, pistol start, PrBoom. I'll give details about development when applicable, but otherwise it'll just be me stating my opinion.

MAP01: As Getsu pointed out, this is actually a "revision" of one of silverdeth's maps. I put revision in quotes because it doesn't really resemble the original all that much (IIRC silverdeth's map was just a couple of orthogonal hallways and rooms connected together), but that's for the best—cb's map is a pretty nice opener, short yet spunky. It's a solid MAP01 candidate and there's really not too much you can fault it for, other than most of the combat taking place in that damn lobby :P

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This was another decent map with a unique style to it, Pinchy seems to hate roofs on his buildings. It reminds me of Roman or Greek ruins with their collapsed roofs, except with futuristic structures. Getting to the soul sphere was a fun secret, I got lucky though with spotting the switch for the lift. On thing that I didn't like is that the map seemed pretty linear for being such an open map, I didn't have an option to choose the order that I went through each building. So wile pretty fun I didn't enjoy it as much as map 1.

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MAP01: Panic Station
100% kills, 2/3 secrets

Decently sharp opener, though Cannonball has turned out enough product in the last few years that I wouldn't expect otherwise... I'm sure we'll see much more "noobish" maps later on. Layout-wise, this one actually feels a bit like an old-school Tom Hall design, with lots of looping hallways connecting open central rooms, though obviously it's all done with more new-school design and textures. The start is pretty light hitscanner/imp/demon fare, nothing threatening (and the blue armor makes it laughable) before finally opening up with a decent fight at the finale. Wasn't able to find the rocket launcher... went around forever trying to find the switch or wall. Could argue this is bad design (there's a visual cue as to where the secret is, but no way to know what opens it, the audio cue is covered up), but, eh maybe I'm just dense. Only other note would be that these columns have misaligned textures.

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MAP02 Rocky Rooftops:

This was a good map, but I feel it should've been the first map because it never throws anything in mid tier. Unlike the first map where there are 3 revs at the end. I enjoyed this map however, it was fun circling around the central area sniping imps. The secrets were also nice and not annoying to find, even though the soulsphere requires some Doom platforming to get to it. Good map overall.

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MAP02 - Rocky Rooftops

Kills: 100% | Items: 100% | Secrets: 100 %

This is a really enjoyable map. The setting is cool and without the need of much detail. This was easier than Map01, but I think I complicated the run as I didn't take the first chaingun after I killed most of the zombies. Cool secrets! I was going to report the misalignment near the computer panel but Scifista42 anticipated me.

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MAP02 Rocky Rooftops

Pinchy's map is a pretty peculiar but easygoing map. I actually like it more than cannonball's map for the reason that it fits more as a MAP01 than that one does.

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