The DWmegawad Club plays: Vanguard & Hell Ground & Bloody Steel



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?
We’re going to start with Vanguard, then play Hell Ground on the 14th, then play Bloody Steel on the 21st.

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 VANGUARD HERE<<<
>>>DOWNLOAD HELL GROUND HERE<<<
>>>DOWNLOAD BLOODY STEEL HERE<<<

Yet another triple threat this month! We’re starting with skillsaw’s rambunctious Vanguard, then moving on to Eternal’s somber Hell Ground, then finally stopping off at Big Memka’s gorgeous Bloody Steel. Should be a fun month!

Maplist for Vanguard:

MAP01 - "Overgrown Sepulcher”
MAP02 - "Drowned Shrine”
MAP03 - "13 Angry Archviles”
MAP04 - "Hangman’s Paradise”
MAP05 - "Forgotten Village”
MAP06 - "Punchline”
MAP07 - “Dead Symmetrical”
MAP08 - "Cratastrophe”
MAP09 - "Free Parking”
MAP10 - "Superstructure”
MAP11 - "Temple of Asmodeus”
MAP12 - "Infernal Chasm”
MAP13 - "Punch-Out”


Maplist for Hell Ground:

MAP01 - "Werewolf Moon”
MAP02 - "Blood Runner”
MAP03 - "Paranoia”
MAP04 - "Warp of Time”
MAP05 - "Undertaker”
MAP06 - "Timeless”
MAP07 - “Mystery of Hell”


Maplist for Bloody Steel:

MAP01 - "Slume”
MAP02 - "Underground Factory”
MAP03 - "Blast Furnace”
MAP04 - "Alarm at Factory”
MAP05 - "Horror in the Mine”
MAP06 - "Mixture of Ages 1 Part. 18th Century”
MAP07 - “Mixture of Ages 2 Part. 3th Century”
MAP08 - "The White Sea"
MAP09 - "The End of Bloody Steel”
MAP10 - "Circle of Death"

BONUS CONTENT
Doomwiki: Vanguard
Kmxexii reviews: Vanguard | Bloody Steel
Lingyan's playthrough: Vanguard | Hell Ground | Bloody Steel
Suitepee's playthrough: Vanguard | Hell Ground | Bloody Steel 1 2
DSDA: Vanguard | Hell Ground
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OLD THREADS
2012

2013201420152016

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Oh, wow, just realized the club will play one of my all time favorites in Hell Ground. I also already played a bunch of Vanguard as it is already on my Doom folder for some time. On the other hand, I never heard about Bloody Steel.

The usual GZDoom, mouselook, pistol start and UV if I can stand it.


MAP01 - "Overgrown Sepulcher” - UVMax on first try

Very easy and gentle opener we got here, even if one of the things I remember from Vanguard is the difficulty is scaling up very quickly within its 13 maps. The visuals are clearly Plutonia-inspired with a rather high level of detail with grass and vines hanging around, probably the highest level of detail among the MegaWADs played by the club since I joined (since PL2).

Not a lot to add here except that the last "encounter" is skippable, and that the shade of Hell Revealed is still upon us after played it last month thanks to the intermission music. That's probably why people suggested Vanguard to be played right after HR? :)

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VANGUARD

Zandronum, UV, continuous. I've played Vanguard before, possibly not in its entirety, though.

MAP01 - "Overgrown Sepulcher”

Top-tier visual clean-ness and stylistic elegance. Fun both to rush and to take your time getting through. One nice thing after another, no need to name them, although I feel a need to point out the usage of the skull flat near the start, brilliant touch. If the intention behind this map was to get me excited and curious about what comes next, it succeeded 100%.

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I know we’re not there yet, but regarding Hell Ground : some parts of it only render properly in OpenGL. It’s pretty much mandatory to use if you want the visual effects Eternal was going for (which, with this kind of wad, is a huge deal). He also did an excellent job on the lighting, so best lower that damn gamma.

Anyway, Vanguard. THE Vanguard. It stayed very long on top of the « at least 100 votes » list on the Archive, and has only been recently dethroned by Going Down and Romero’s new map. This is what made me download it originally, along with the fact that I had had a ton of fun with Skillsaw’s « Slugfest » from Community Chest 4. I won’t let anyone dispute the claim that the guy just *gets* Doom II gameplay. But let’s not give too much away yet.

Playing in GlBoom+ -complevel 9, gamma correction off, Ultra-Violence, no cheats, pistol starts. I still can’t record, and will probably be saving a fair amount in later maps due to OS shenanigans.

Vanguard MAP01 : Overgrown Sepulcher – Triple 100% in 3 :57 on first attempt (yeah, I sure took my sweet time)

I absolutely love the theme of flooded and abandonned ruined used for this episode, it’s very unique for Doom and Skillsaw creates an excellent mood with it.

This introductory level is extremely easy and short, but still pretty cool. A Berserk is immedialtely provided so you can go punch things all over the place if you wish, but there’s really no need as ammo here is plentiful. We already see a glimpse of Skillsaw’s typical half-linear, half-sandboxy progression style (a perfect balance in my eyes), as you can either pick up the stuff upstairs immediately, or leave it for later and activate the first switch towards the exit as soon as you see it.

A fantastic start, in fact I wish it wasn’t over so fast.

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Pistol-starting, UV, (pr/gl)Boom+, etc.

MAP01: "Overgrown Sepulcher"

This map has a generic feel in places, but certain design choices give it character: 1) the outside view of the sepulcher, with a sector-detail grave; 2) the persistence of vine and grass decorations, which Skillsaw would establish as one of his trademarks; 3) the bloody metal fixtures, which are made from a stock texture, believe it or not.

It's also the type of map that only makes sense in the context of a thematically consistent mapset -- it's over quickly and you're like, "That's it?" But as an appetizer, it's a tasty little morsel indeed, one that plays best in pure Tyson-style (no pistol!).

Incidentally, thematic consistency is not one of Vanguard's strongest suits, but this first Scythe 2-patterned block of maps does fit together snugly. I do wonder if Vanguard was meant to be a megawad at some point.

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rdwpa said:

3) the bloody metal fixtures, which are made from a stock texture, believe it or not.

In combination with a custom flat, that is. [/nitpick]

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Van HELL Steel! This was a worthy combo choice just for that title alone.

By the way, do Vanguard, Hell Ground, or Bloody Steel have any changes to monster or weapon sprites, or custom sound effects? I'm playing with SmoothDoom and the hq Doom sound effects wad I usually use. Unless it messes up one of these.

MAP01 - "Overgrown Sepulcher”

Good level, not easy. I died several times on HMP, though I'm not a seasoned wad vet yet. Nice to see 100%/100%/100% though. And very visually pleasing.

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It'll mess up Hell Ground for certain, which has all sorts of custom behavior including custom monsters, edited monster sprites, custom sound effects, and non-standard behavior for the pistol ("pistol starts" in HG start you with 0 bullets instead of 50).

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Cynical said:

It'll mess up Hell Ground for certain, which has all sorts of custom behavior including custom monsters, edited monster sprites, custom sound effects, and non-standard behavior for the pistol ("pistol starts" in HG start you with 0 bullets instead of 50).


Thanks, I'll make sure to play that one Vanilla style.

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Hmm i faintly recall playing Vanguard some times ago but not the other two.

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UVmax & pistol starts until i cant be bothered anymore!

Map01

great music, nice jungle temple vibe. really promising first level. i like how its very small and therefore feels like a map01 but the enemy placement and numbers make the confined spaces quite tricky to deal with.

K 100
S 100
T 3:12

looking forward to map02!

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rdwpa said:

I do wonder if Vanguard was meant to be a megawad at some point.


according to the idgames page it was planned to be a 32 map originally.

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MAP02 - "Drowned Shrine” - UVMax on first try, no rocket used!

More water, more vines, more details, and more mid-tier monsters, too. Visually very impressive, expanding slowly but surely in Plutonia-ish jungle ruins theme. Difficulty takes off slowly too, but a few tricks and traps are there to keep things flowing. Secrets are fairly easy to come by, too.

Enough teasing now, I'd like a big epic map in this theme now!

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I don't think I will join this month. Vanguard is cool yes but I don't want to replay it. Hell Ground is a masterpiece but it's something I prefer to play when I'm in the right mood. Maybe I will join for Bloody Steel. But it's another masterpiece and I would just say that each map is awesome.

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1

Great small tyson map to start a glorious mapset, I've got not much to praise or to hate.

4/5



2

A more painful map, more powerups are slammed and more traps appear, there's a shortcut to the yellow skull by the soulsphere building, map's short with that shortcut, almost feels like another wad opener but more brilliant, the rising pillar towards the blue skull was neat and the grassy architecture.

5/5

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Well, i actually never played vanguard and i gotta say i'm impressed i'm already up to MAP10, its quite a blast and a lot of fun.

Looking again at the map list of this month i can't say i'm looking forward to Hell Ground.

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not my first playthrough of vanguard, which i liked it a lot. gzdoom with hi res textures, smooth doom, voxel pack and what else. uv pistol starts.


MAP01 - "Overgrown Sepulcher”

beautiful plutonia style map, a small building forgotten in the jungle. it's made of dark stone, with vines hanging from ceilings everywhere, and has a grassy inner courtyard, which opens when you approach a baron's shrine. excellent music, something mysterious sounding with animal voices or something like that. imps greet you from the shrine'S upper level. there's a chaingun which can be reached by straferunning from the armor, but this map gets bonus points for having a berserk pack, which is sufficient against the mostly light opposition. anyway there's the occasional shotgunner, should you just start flailing. jumping is disabled, something i don't quite like, but whatever, the map plays well. really good opener.

there's indeed hell revealed's intermission music, what a coincidence. coming from this megawad made me look at the enemies with some amusement, but vanguard gets more difficult quickly.



MAP02 - "Drowned Shrine”

apparently the first map was only the entrance to a larger temple in the jungle. now it lies partly in shallow water, vegetation is visible everywhere on the walls, and low and mid tier enemies live in it. until now. there are torches everywhere, and the music is dreamy, like it's a fairy tale. a berserk pack can be reached by straferunning onto a lower wall (or pushing the blue torch, lol) and a rocket launcher with some more gymnastics around a wall. this one comes handy against some cacos. there'S some little ambushes at the keys, but gameplay is leisurely, allowing for exploration of these ruins. skillsaw's maps are often well interconnected, allowing for a natural flow, and so does this drowned shrine.

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Pirx said:

not my first playthrough of vanguard, which i liked it a lot. gzdoom with hi res textures, smooth doom, voxel pack and what else. uv pistol starts.


I gotta ask which high res textures do you mean there? I tried a few of the packs and they only seem to work with the IWADs and screw with PWAD custom textures.

Anyways, though slightly disappointed about the lack of Bloodstain this month, I do enjoy Vanguard and Hell Ground so it should be fun replaying them with pistol start.

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Rightio, Vanguard first. I haven’t played this before—I was saving it for a rainy day—so I expect good things from skillsaw (I actually expect good things from all three mapsets this month!)

MAP01: This map definitely makes a decent first impression. It’s quick, curvy, and punchy. It’s not especially memorable (I think Valiant MAP01 did a really good job of welcoming you to the wad), but it’s fun, and that’s all that really matters.

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I mentioned it already in the HR thread, but Vanguard will always hold a special place in my WADheart for me: I highly credit it with improving my Doom play, in particular the later maps that lean towards the slaughter-y end of the spectrum. The first time I played it was in fits and start: I got stuck (overwhelmed, I think) on MAP02 for a while, and let it sit awhile before coming back. Then MAP03 freaked me right out and it was some time before I came back to it. (At which point I played straight through.)

I've been replaying a lot of WADs at UV lately (after initially doing HMP) but for my sanity's sake, I'll keep this one at HMP. GZDoom/continuous/keyboard-only as usual.

MAP01: Overgrown Sepulcher
2:50 | 100% everything

Look at the gorgeous fake-shadow on the coffin lid in the start area. Amazing. I was actually fooled for a few seconds. Anyway, this one killed me twice fairly early as I attempted to Tyson it (never a strength) and had problems landing solid hits, resulting in my being mauled. Played it a little safer the third time through (didn't hit the first switch until I had cleared out the room) and didn't have any troubles after that. Good, fast-paced, keep-you-on-your-toes stuff that looks gorgeous—all Skillsaw hallmarks. I was amazed that I cleared the whole map in under 3 minutes.

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Vanguard and Hell Ground have been on my long list of stuff to play for a while; Bloody Steel I ended up confusing for the recently released Bloody Rust at first. My settings for this whole month will be GLBoom+, HMP, continuous (though I'll probably do a few pistol starts, depending on how depleted I am at the start of a map).

MAP01 - Overgrown Sepulcher - MAX'D

Very cool opener; everyone else touched on the visuals, so there's nothing to really build on there. Nothing too difficult here, though I admit I let myself get cornered a few times too many. The Rev got me the first time playing through this, but the second time around, was fairly trivial to snipe out. Ended with 85% health, around 60% armor.

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Vanguard MAP02 : Drowned Shrine – Triple 100% on first attempt in 15 :10

One of the strongest custom maps I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing, and what’s even better is that it never. gets. old. Every time I boot it up, it ends up playing out differently.

I love everything here, the chill music, the deep atmosphere, the partial non-linearity, the hectic start (beware, you’re more exposed than you think), the various circular paths, the devious traps, and most of all the inter-plays between the higher and lower grounds. Note that you don’t need to straferun to that Berserk pack, pressing the pillar with the blue torch on it will lower that platform to water level. Oopsie, Pirx beat me to that one.

So far Vanguard is just as perfect as I remember it being. I haven’t needed to save yet, let’s hope is stays at way.

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I actually beat Vanguard in one sitting, it was that fun to play..

MAP01 - Overgrown Sepulcher

A strong start to constantly good mapset. Some dangerous foes are already out to get you but nothing is too difficult for Doomguy.

MAP02 - Drowned Shrine

The first of many open map, Imps on ledges everywhere, great non linear design and the choice of music is perfect, can't go wrong with Castlevania music.

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rileymartin said:

I gotta ask which high res textures do you mean there? I tried a few of the packs and they only seem to work with the IWADs and screw with PWAD custom textures.



I'll see which one I have when i'm at home, should be the most recent version of the doom retexturing project, about 150 MB size. I'll upload it if I can't find the link. It works with many pwads, especially those using id textures, but more heavily modded maps can give errors. for example valiant had a jumble of computer textures in place of the waterfall in map01. Still, the venerable default textures look so blurry once you're used with the high res pack.

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scifista42 said:

In combination with a custom flat, that is. [/nitpick]


Exclusivity wasn't implied. (In which case, "in addition to a texture, a flat is also used" would be an equally valid nitpick.)

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as I always do I'll play ITYTD with no HUD attached.

MAP01 Overgrown Sepulcher

i'm not that much into it as the others, but that's cause I'm tired of berserk-heavy maps now. I find it does not work well against the hitscanners in this map, better off getting that secret chaingun.

MAP02 Somnus Reef Drowned Shrine

and this is pretty good. at least two distinctive outdoor areas with Plutonia-like bits which are generally fun. also I always got those secrets by jumping, but I just realized the berserk secret can also be grabbed by pressing the blue torch pillar and then running to it.

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First time doing the DWmegawad club. Also the first time seriously trying pistol starts. I also haven't played any of the wads before. How fun.

PrBoom+, UV, pistol starts, no saving:

MAP01 - Sloppy start and 2 hits from the revenent made for one death. Second try was smooth. I'm digging the aesthetics of the wad so far: music and textures and vegetation and setting are all really cool.

MAP02 - I took some really sloppy hits from the blue key hell knight, but still managed to one-shot this. I felt really smart because I jumped out of a soul sphere window to get the yellow key. I did eventually find the red key and checked out the rest of the level before exiting. The red key trap did a lot of damage, so it took some willpower not to just run for the exit after that. :D

I forgot to note my stats, except that I got all 100% on MAP01, to my surprise.

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