The DWmegawad Club plays: No End in Sight



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’ll be playing two maps on the first day, and then a map per day afterwards, going in standard episode order.

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. Remember to add one “+++” before your vote to make it easier to count. For example:

+++ Ultimate Doom

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>>>DOWNLOAD NO END IN SIGHT HERE<<<

Goodbye revenants and chaingunners! Hello classic Ultimate Doom gameplay! No End In Sight is a limit-removing megawad by NaturalTvventy, Xaser, and Lutz (with a sprinkle of 40oz) that has its roots in DTWID. Expect some classic, id-esque gameplay with some creative, modern twists!

Author and maplist:

EPISODE 1: 1994 WAYS TO DIE
E1M1 - “Terminal” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E1M2 - “Slime Trails” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E1M3 - “Logistics Center” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E1M4 - “Abandoned Factory” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E1M5 - “Warehouse” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E1M6 - “Power Core” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E1M7 - “Bioshpere” by Xaser Acheron
E1M8 - “Enigma” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E1M9 - “Quarantine Silos” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E1M0 - “Tom’s Halls” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage

EPISODE 2: THE DEPTHS OF DOOM
E2M1 - “Receiving Station” by Xaser Acheron
E2M2 - “Proving Grounds” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E2M3 - “Contagion Engine” by Xaser Acheron
E2M4 - “Derelict Vessel” by Xaser Acheron
E2M5 - “Deep Storage” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E2M6 - “Poison Control” by Chris Lutz
E2M7 - “Gateway Labs” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E2M8 - “Rubicon” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E2M9 - “Castle of Illusion” by Xaser Acheron

EPISODE 3: WOE
E3M1 - “Gates of Hades” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E3M2 - “Emblem of Destruction” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E3M3 - “The Grinder” by Xaser Acheron
E3M4 - “Fortuna Bridge” by Xaser Acheron
E3M5 - “Forgotten Caverns” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E3M6 - “Anomaly Retribution” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E3M7 - “Netherworld Citadel” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E3M8 - “Requiem” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E3M9 - “Lake of Fire” by Chris Lutz

EPISODE 4: BLOOD STAINED EARTH
E4M1 - “Nexus” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E4M2 - “Parallels” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E4M3 - “Square Zero” by Xaser Acheron
E4M4 - “Wartorn Precinct” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E4M5 - “The Blood Beneath” by Chris Lutz
E4M6 - “Sanctuary of Filth” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E4M7 - “Vacuum Consortium” by Xaser Acheron, Jon “40oz” Vail
E4M8 - “No End In Sight” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage, Xaser Acheron
E4M9 - “Vile Cros” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
E4M0 - “RGC Alpha” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage

BONUS CONTENT
DSDA
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OLD THREADS
2012

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I'm going to start off with the usual question of whether Pistol Start is considered the best (and intended) experience for this set? I don't think I've ever played anything UDoom Pistol Start yet.

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^ Mappers typically design all maps for pistol start in a set, unless noted otherwise.

Also a reminder we're doing both E1M1 & E1M2 today, in order to fit all the maps in this month.

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I like this wad. (Ultraviolence, continuous play)

E1M1 "Terminal" (100%)

It feels like Doom! This level definitely reminds me of the early maps of Episode 1, with the texture selection, the monsters, and even the approach to item placement. The movement flow required for one of the secrets annoys me, but other than that there's nothing to fault here.

E1M2 "Slime Trails" (100%)

Yep, definitely Doom. Lots of nukage, plenty of rad suits, and all the secrets were manageable (I was particularly impressed by the one whose entrance closes if you try to take the direct approach after locating it). Had a moment near the end where I couldn't understand why I was eight monsters short on the kill counter, until I flipped a switch that, in defiance of every aesthetic indication, I had somehow persuaded myself was the exit.

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I played a bit of NEIS, but stopped for some reason in E2, but now I think I'll finish it :P

E1M1: This is a pretty strong start! Haha It's good to hear E1M1 song again, though I wish Ultimate Doom pwads had some more different soundtrack, but love it anyway. The first room is quite simple, but show some new textures (pretty cool one btw) and some small detailing, giving a strong "Doom" vibe while being refreshing. After opening the door, I find out a very intricated and interconnected layout, which tells a lot what kind of experience I'll have on this megawad. I get punished hard by hitscanners and I have no idea where are the enemies, and then after the level telling me to pay attention so many times, I die hahaha

This levels is awesome, it's an excellent tutorial, also. Second time I'm much more aware, and then the enemies hit me much less harder. Monster placement here is awesome, there's no super-sniper barrage, visible monster-blocking lines or obvious ambushes. It's all about free roaming monsters with some snipers and being aware of their placement in this very interconnected layout.

I've only found 2 secrets, probably the most obvious ones hehe The timed lift wasn't big deal IMO.

10/10

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E1M1: Terminal

I thought this level was somewhat poor. The design is bland (that custom texture also looks out of place). Gameplay is mostly filler. It's not engaging, which is to be expected for a DTWID-ish e1m1, but more importantly, the placement doesn't allow you many opportunities for fun things like shotgun multi-kills.

E1M2: Slime Trails

This was a lot better. Lots of shotgunners (usually a good recipe for fun UD gameplay is to just spam shotgun guys), and the interconnected layout coupled with wandering monsters makes for a nicely variable experience. Design is still somewhat sloppy but there is interesting architecture here and there -- that donut bridge at the exit was pretty cool. Much stronger atmosphere than the opener.

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First, I'm totally stoked that No End In Sight is considered worthy of the DWmegawad club. Quite the honor. Thanks to all who voted, and to all who play along.

Hopefully no one will mind if I use this thread to give history and thoughts behind the creation of NEIS.

DOOM has always been a bigger part of my life than I would usually admit in public. It made a huge impact on me as a kid, and I started mapping when the very first editors were available around 1995 or so. It was a high school obsession for me, and I spent my time in class drawing maps on graph paper. The results of my obsession were The Beginning of the End part 1 and The Beginning of the End part 2. I finished these projects up my senior year of high school and shipped off to college computerless. It was a full decade before I got my hands on another personal computer (I've always been quite the minimalist), but when I did obtain a hand-me-down laptop the inevitable pull of DOOM modding roped me back in.

The first map I made was Awakening, a single map that made use of a lot of new zdoom content that had really caught my attention playing ZPack. Awakening was followed up with Industrial Zone, which I posted about as I developed. While Awakening wasn't a big hit but was well received by some, UZ was my first experience with "internet". The semi-completed map drew a lot of harsh criticism for its size and complexity, being called an exhausting slog. My mental health was called into question because of the amount of detail.

The negative backlash against IZ took me completely off guard, and upset me. At the same time DTWID was just getting started. "Fine then, a-holes", I thought. "You think I can't make kick-ass compact simple levels? I made end1 and end2 before you even existed. Let me show you infantile noobs how it's done!". I put IZ on the shelf and started producing maps for DTWID. The rest, as they say, is history.

e1m1

This map is a prime example of a mapping style that you will see repeated over and over with my maps. Basically, start at the south end, have a middle section that the player can roam freely, with weapons and powerups tucked into corners, and have the exit on the north end. So many of my maps play this way; it's a hard layout to get away from. I love providing the player with choice. Do I head straight for the exit or take the time to get weapons and armor? Which first? I like to believe that this layout provides for replayability, as the player can mix and match routes to see how things play out in different orders.

The original e1m1's influence should be apparent. The green armor up stairs and on a pedestal. Roaming zombies and imps sniping from a distance. A timing secret. An outdoor secret. An elevated secret near the exit. Even though I wanted to maintain the philosophy of "new id maps, not tributes", it's really tough to break away from being a copy-cat.

The timing puzzle is a bit tricky. Some of the things I loved most about playing DOOM were the secrets, and how much time and effort it took to figure them out. Seeing inaccessible areas with powerups and trying everything under the sun to figure out how to unlock them provided tons of replayability, which was hugely important in the early days of computer games, when you had so few quality games to choose from. I realize that the era of endless hours trying to unlock that one secret is long gone, with so many games now available. Still, I preserve the philosophy of tough secrets throughout NEIS, for better or for worse. The timing secret is just the tip of the head-scratching iceberg. Out of guilt to the modern player, and recognizing the times we live in, I took the time to record solutions to all secrets, available here, if you're too much of a puss to devote your life to figuring them all out.


e1m2

This was the third and final map I submitted to DTWID, and I'm really happy with it. I remember 40oz commenting that the final raise/lower platforms may be too "advanced" for an original DOOM map, which I somewhat agree with. John Romero commented in the DTWID thread a few times, and one thing he said really stuck with me. He was using the term "room", and he closed his thought with the statement "by room, I mean sector". This seemed to fit DOOM so well. I've been amazed at how immersive the original iwad DOOM maps were with so few sectors. This was a philosophy I adhered to as much as possible for the first 1/3 or NEIS; maximum immersion with minimum sectors. Eventually I had to abandon this philosophy to keep up with Xaser and Lutz, but it's 100% in effect in episode 1.

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I played a little bit of one of these club events in the past, but this time I intend to finish, especially after playing these first two levels. I should note that I am normally the type of player who Dooms on Hurt Me Plenty, but this time I am opting to take on Ultra-Violence. This is also the first WAD I am playing with QZDoom which is a definite pleasure for my eyes.

My initial impressions of this Megawad is that it definitely nails the tone of the original Doom pretty well, but seems to be using a much more labyrinthine level design philosophy. These two maps, while not overly large, are definitely easy to get lost in. Thankfully, the layout is such that if you are lost, you probably will find something familiar quickly. It's surprisingly balanced in its maze-like structure.

E1M1 was fun but I felt like it wasn't very nice to look at. The textures were used in very unusual ways, which in some ways is a good thing, I just hope that the other maps look better. I had some deja vu of E1M3's hub room from the original Doom at the beginning of the map, though having just loaded up that map it actually is quite different. Considering this is supposed to be a Doom style Megawad I would say this is definitely a positive.

E1M2 hooked me. I had a lot of fun running around the so called "Slime Trials" which is a very fitting name. This map has some really entertaining mini challenges scattered about it. I actually had a pretty hard time figuring out how to reach the exit after I raised the floor, but I eventually realized that I'm an idiot with no eyes and managed to escape.

I very much wanted to continue on to the next map but I will wait for tomorrow. I'll just have to work on one of my own maps in the meantime grumble grumble grumble...

EDIT: I just noticed that in the list of previous Megawads, you have February's listed as Devilution instead of Revilution.

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I do have a bad track record when it comes to replaying WADs with the Megawad Club. (Never mind first-time WADs.) And I just played this one last year (first 3 eps) but it was awesome and I want to do it again. In fact, I've already been slowly working on E4 this year (currently on M6) and am hoping that will be some kind of incentive to finish this Club play.

As usual, I'll be playing in GZDoom, continuous/keyboard-only with saves. As before, I'll do UV for the first 3 eps, and then switch to HMP for E4 (because it is eeeeevil.)

I've actually played these first two maps three times, now, having done so a couple years ago when I first downloaded the WAD.


E1M1: Terminal
12:00 | 100% Everything

I really like this one. I like the way the layout kind of loops around the central area. I dig the fenced off areas that either provide detail or give a glimpse into a different, sometimes secret, area. Speaking of which, tons of good secrets here. The timed door/lift sequence was actually easier than I remember it being, and not terribly difficult even for a keyboarder once I discovered the walkover trigger for the lift. The chainsaw secret eluded me for longer than it should have, but I eventually remembered it (with some help from staring at the automap). Not a whole lot else to say other than it's just a lot of fun. This is the map I think of when I think of NEIS. (Though there is, of course, so much more.)

E1M2: Slime Trails
18:05 | 100% Everything

I hate mandatory nukage. Hate it. But I'll give it a pass here, I guess, since the handful of radsuits and a decent amount of health takes the edge off. This level has a very convoluted layout that gets me relatively lost every time. (Nothing compared to what's to come, of course.) This is the first time I headed to the west first; the previous two times I always went east. Weird. I like how the walkways raise out of the nukage in the central area. More great secret-hunting, all still manageable. The southeastern secret area(s) gives me fits every time I play it. The first time I never found it. The second time it took forever, but I eventually stumbled across it, and felt foolish for having overlooked it. This time...I felt like even more of an idiot not being able to find it again after finding it the last time. Goodness. My favorite part is the secret area with the rigged door that closes if you try and take the short path to it. Brilliant.


I feel like I should mention that I made it through both of these maps without saving or dying. That's guaranteed to change pretty quickly.

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GZDoom, UV Continuous. I'm going to try and build up a backlog of levels so I can review once a day; failing that, I'll just review by episode (and failing that, well, I fail :V).

E1M1: Terminal
64% kills, 20% secrets


We get eased in here with the familiar strains of At Doom's Gate, but the level here is miles away in complexity from what Hangar was. Lotta pistol combat until I blindsided a shotgun guy near one of the lifts. Design-wise, there's not a whole lot of shadows to be had; lighting is cranked up hard on this map. I think, incidentally, that playing through TNT, Plutonia, and now BTSX E1 has broken me in some way, because I was completely ready for ambushes around every little item and the exit, and was actually taken by surprise when I hit the exit switch, and actually exited the level.

E1M2: Slime Trails
MAX'D


At some point on this map, I only just noticed the spiffy new HUD this wad has. Since I left the previous level prematurely, I made an extra effort to MAX this level (not that the elevated and tucked away into a little corner hitscanners made that any bit easy on me). I really like how 3 of the 4 secrets on this map were interconnected, with a switch in the first secret unlocking the room for the second one, and then going down a not-so-conspicuous slime trail for the third. Speaking of the map's title, BOY HOWDY is there a ton of wading through sewage in this map. Two of the secrets directly require it in order to advance; the aformentioned third secret, and the fourth; a switch puzzle that has you wind your way around the map in order to pass through the one linedef that won't close the hidden chaingun room immediately. Speaking of which, that chaingun is quite welcome, seeing as how this level is full of the aforementioned elevated hitscanners, which can be tricky to snipe off with the shotgun at times. The map, although mostly linear, is large enough that it was quite tricky to find the entrance to the raised platforms in the slime pit near the end of the level, though again, that could be because I broke off after that to hunt down the remaining enemies I had missed.

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Going to wad without previous knowledge this time.
Hopefully I stick around longer than previously...

As generally I do, difficulty is UV, pistol-starting

E1M1: Terminal - 100% kills, 100% secrets

First map really evokes e1m1 and seems follow quite closely Romero's handbook on mapping for Doom. Outside areas to visit, nested secrets, generally pleasant to look at.
Layout simple enough to memorize quickly, but complex enough to explore. The secrets certainly kept me busy, they are pretty well hidden, but intuitively enough so it doesn't become just wall-humping ( although admittedly, I did do it some bit... )

An easy introduction, although room with shotgun is rather deep into the map. You probably would pick it earlier from sergeants wandering around. Perhaps on lower difficulties there are no sergeants around?

Anyway, gave good vibes for upcoming maps.

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Alright, here we go! I've played NEIS up to the middle of E2 before and liked what I saw. I'm normally not a fan of UDoom wads, much preferring D2TWiD to the first, but maybe this turns out to be a hit. The usual: QZDoom + and army of filters and cosmetic mods, Pistol Starts and no saves, map length permitting.

E1M1 - “Terminal” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage

The usual E1 opener where you face just 3 types of enemies: Zombies, Sergeants and Imps. The visuals are standard light-brown/tan techbase with a few new textures like the nice custom sky. (Also, a gnarly misalignment of the poor COMP-something texture.) The layout is in a style very common to this wad, that being multiple paths at the start and plenty of visible locations blocked by ledges or midtextures that require taking a long way around to reach. Not that the map is large or long - it's a rather short affair where the most time consuming aspect is finding the 4 (one is tagged twice) secrets. From a Pistol Start perspective, the Backpack and Chainsaw are useless within the scope of the level but nice to grab for any Continuous blokes. Gameplay is the classic "pistol some dudes, loot a Shotgun and proceed to gun down some Imps" kind of deal. It's textbook E1 tribute that doesn't leave much of an impression but the wad gets more interesting as the maps increase in complexity.

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E1M2: Feels like an expanded version of E1M1 in the game department, but with lots of acid to walk on, yikes! I died once again on it, one more time from me lacking environment awareness.

Anyway, the central area is cool and I like how it envolves into the exit. Small setpieces like this are really fun and gives the level some sort of identity.

It seems this is really secret "heavy", and no secret is that easy to find too lol I got only the chaingun one, which was probably the easiest one.

Anyway, I still coudn't ask more for an Ultimate Doom megawad.

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*checks E3M6*

Okay good, looks like I can finally play that level for real when we get to it. Also finally a Doom 1 wad. It took two god damn years for the club to get to one ever since Concerned. I've only played NEIS all of once and I noted the extremities in E3M6. Also heads up, some of these levels are pretty fucking big.

E1M1 Terminal

Has some Hangar-like elements to it, and in general is about as short and sweet as it is. That's all there is to it, and then we have a pretty hard secret reminiscent of Nuclear Plant's chaingun secret, wrapping around to how a certain secret in Hangar went. Only problem is how it can only be opened from the back. I was about to post in the "Favorite Type of Secret" thread, but I absolutely hate it when an obvious-looking secret cannot be opened by an obvious way.

E1M2 Slime Trails

And this one provides us with some ample nukage crossing, especially on the left side. Not difficult there especially with a radsuit and some speed you can clear it quick. Only need one key and one switch for the exit though. Again, those secrets are pretty clever. One of them seems like a simple switch press and then you realize you have to take the long way for it.

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I'm looking forward to this one. :) As usual, I'm playing in ZDoom on Hurt Me Plenty, continuous play.

E1M1: Terminal

The WAD opens with a modestly sized but neatly interwoven techbase with a handful of new textures that fit quite neatly into the familiar E1 impersonal, industrial aesthetic. I found that most of the draw here was in the search for the map's numerous and large secrets, some of which are nested within others and require a bit of ingenuity to access; it's a lot of fun to peer through windows and gratings to try and put together just how the various yet-inaccessible portions of the map might connect. Shotgun fun is the order of the day, though there's a chainsaw tucked away for the determined, bloodthirsty, or ammunition-frugal.

E1M2: Slime Trails

This one has an interesting 'nested' feel to its layout, two core areas (control room and toxin reservoir) around which multiple layers of corridors and eventually acid drains are wrapped. I wasn't fond of the extensive nukage-crawling in the map's western node, even with the ready provision of radiation suits, but otherwise I found this to be a really fun level, and even that area does serve its purpose - the various monsters on their high perches encourage a more cautious approach, checking unexpected angles and keeping one's awareness high, while the toxic slime and limited duration of the radiation suits instead push the player to move quickly, so I think whether or not any given player finds that segment enjoyable will depend on whether they find those two impulses to be entertainingly balanced or frustratingly conflicting. I liked the setup for the chaingun secret - it's not a taxing puzzle but the cheeky game of keep-away that the map plays there provides a welcome contrasting note to the bloodshed and gunplay.

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This will be my 2nd ever Doom 1 WAD! First was the Lost Episode of Doom with it's book I bought and devoured as my first foray into the weird world of custom made Doom levels in the mid 90's. Since then it's been nothing but Doom 2 stuff off and on for decades so it will be weird to not have a SSG and the expanded enemy roster. I am looking forward to seeing how these levels might capture the true original formula but with a more modern touch. Also curious to see how difficult things will or won't be. Get psyched!



E1M1 - “Terminal” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
gzDoom - UV – pistol start/no saves


That's Doom, baby! Nothing too fancy. Obligatory outdoors secret area, little bit of toxic waste, open corridors and lots of precision single barrel shotgunning. All still, to this day, very satisfying in it's most basic form.

My favorite part was finding the secret chainsaw and for once not being ambushed by demons. Instead you're welcomed to use it on the low tier baddies walking about. Die, die, die!

I liked the title screen with the classic art. As for the intermission screen art re-use, well that's all well and good but I would've loved to see a custom map with all of the areas shown with blood representing places you've been like the original Doom. Ah well.






E1M2 - “Slime Trails” by Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage
gzDoom - UV – pistol start/no saves


Lots of toxic exploring here with high above sniper cubbies to make things difficult. Looks a lot like the first map but we see some more computers and electronics stuff being used. Tricky secret with the auto closing door, showing a lot more wiring and what not. Liked the hidden area with an extra rad suit and a back pack. First use of a key, this one being blue. The revealing platforms to the exit are neat looking with everything coming out of the toxic sludge and opening up the revolving texture portions. Good stuff. Another short, classic feeling map. I dig it so far. Feel like I could play an entire episode of stuff like this pretty quickly.

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I agree with Getsu that we need to play more Ultimate Doom, which is my first love, really, so you can bet I'm ready to pull the trigger on No Sleep For The Dead when we have an episode month.

It's also cool that here we have a mapper who started even earlier than me, by a year. I guess I'm not the only Ancient Doomer prowling these parts. And thanks, NaturalTvventy, for giving us the background on these maps. By all means, keep it up.

Now down to brass tacks. GZDoom, UV, pistol-starts, keyboard-only, savescumming.


Map01 – Terminal
80% Secrets, Zero Deaths

Has more of a mazey Tom Hall vibe than a representational Romero feel. I wasn't much taken with this one since it's actually easier than Hangar and the architecture was IMO too simplistic. You can see where this mapset is going insofar as there's a heavy emphasis on roaming enemies, which I like. This will make for some fun combat once the maps are more heavily populated.

The main joy here is searching for secrets, and I was delighted to uncover chained secrets. As I've said before, Toxin Refinery is my primary inspiration when it comes to base-map design, and the same seems true here, even if NaturalTvventy might have a different favorite. I wasn't a fan of the timed "hit the switch and run" Backpack secret, since that kind of design is frustrating for a keyboarder like me. Whenever I figure out a secret like that, I just clip through the door since I don't have enough lifetime to keep trying to beat the timer. Having played the first 2 maps, I suspect I'll be doing that frequently in this megawad. ;D


Map02 – Slime Trails
20% Secrets, Zero Deaths

This map is much more engaging. The maze is even more complex than Terminal, but the deeper darkness and the sharp, high contrast lighting make for a better mood. The architecture is also more interesting, especially in the exit area, and there's a lot more enemies. Again, the aesthetic seems more Tom Hall than Romero, with complex loops and a seemingly constant trickle of enemies coming at you from every direction. This roamer technique helps to make individual Imps and Sergeants more of a problem because you tend to get blindsided a lot. At least I did. Or I'd open a door to an area I'd already cleared and get an Imp fireball in my face.

The slime trails themselves kind of bugged me at first, because there wasn't enough radsuits to fully explore these areas on a blind run. Also, there were some hitscanner snipers placed in such a way – above and behind you -- that you didn't realize they were there until you'd already charged past them and got some buckshot in your back. However, the nukage was set to mild damage and it was possible to run across it even without a suit – as I did for the blue key – and not suffer too much.

The only secret I found was the Chaingun, which is exactly the one you want in this map.

The exit-ramp cinematic was cool. The only complaint I have about this map is that midtextures around the exit area obscured the map's best-looking architecture. Dwarf walls would have been better, IMO.

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ZDoom, UV, pistol starts, savescumming.

E1M1: Terminal
100% kills, 4/5 secrets

Well, it certainly feels like an E1M1 I suppose. As Steve mentioned it certainly has a bit more Tom Hall feel than Romero with the interlocking design. Combat feels a bit undercooked, though it is an E1M1. One thing I felt was a bit lacking was the barrel placement, they never quite felt like they were in a spot to be worth shooting to take out enemies. Can't say I'm a fan of that bronze/tan-ish recolor of the gray stone texture at the start.

E1M2: Slime Trails
100% kills, 4/4 secrets

Interesting level, and one that really had me lost as that blue key is really hidden out of the way IMO... hard to see through the window texture, and no reason to really look down the slime tunnel where it's entered from. Maybe just me, though. Good use of height variation throughout to go along with more Hall mazes, and the combo raising-lowering action for the bridge was pretty cool.

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E1M3: "Logistics Center"

I finished this map in ~8 minutes without finding a single secret. I have to admit that these secrets aren't exceptionally intriguing to me; I'm in the mood for shooting things, not inspecting computer panels and such for a few minutes. I'm also less motivated to find secrets in maps with so many of them, when I know they are irrelevant for the sake of surviving the map. But fun map overall. It continues the fast pace action against brigades of small fry that made e1m2 fun, and the atmosphere was just as satisfying. The lighting coupled with the claustrophobic scale makes it feel like it MUST be a cloudy day, even when the sky isn't visible.

E1M9: "Quarantine Silos"

A cool conceptual variation on "Military Base" that has only one secret, so you know it was designed primarily for action. It's sort of an unfolding arena, doors slowly open, ominously rising from map start. It's one of those maps where the fastest UV-max time is gated by the map itself; no matter how quickly you play early on, you need to wait the five minutes for the last set of doors to open. It's possible to clear everything from the first parts out with a decent amount of dead time before that final wave. The mechanic was a slight buzzkill, but unfortunately there's no other way to design the map.

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E1M2: 'Slime Trails' - 100% kills, 100% secrets

Oh, that's a good name.
Pretty good map overall, rather interesting layout with lots of nukage. Not much of a step up difficulty-wise. Same enemy-set, although there's more of them and map it bit longer. Secrets were bit easier to find this time, although getting 100% kills was bit frustrating, since the last remaining ones were hitscanners perched over those tunnels of nukage - and I had happened to use lot of the rad suits available.
Raising the platforms was the highlight of the map, and it was fun to jump onto it while it was rising, saving some seconds and engaging imps on treacherous footing.

At least I got my hands on chaingun, but it is a short-lived joy since I am pistol-starting.

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Wheeee! This is exciting. :D

Knowing myself, my attendance is too spotty to actually play along, but I'll likely follow NT's lead and chime in on my own maps. Fingers crossed this time...


As a lead-in, one thing that came up during the making of the wad is that NT and I have very different approaches toward naming things. I tend to come up with a map name very early in (if not before) the mapping process, while often NT would send me a complete and not even have a title for it yet. In that vein, there are a ton of NT maps in NEIS that I ended up plucking a title out of a hat for... "Terminal", "Quarantine Silos", and "Logistics Center" are among them, though you have NT to blame for "Slime Trails". :P

One more bit: the timing of NEIS was pretty serendipitous. As anyone who's been here longer than two days knows, I'm a slight fan of NT's "Beginning of the End Part 1" (though Part 2 ain't no slouch either; E3M3 :D). I got a shock one day when a certain Emil Brundage sent me an e-mail out of the blue (praising one of my wads, wtf egotrain how), and that was right about the time when DTWID started to stall. He and I decided to pack our bags and start our own megawad with blackjack and hookers, invited Lutz along for the ride, and then proceeded to take like 4x longer than DTWID took to complete it. Word.

Spectre01 said:

I'm going to start off with the usual question of whether Pistol Start is considered the best (and intended) experience for this set? I don't think I've ever played anything UDoom Pistol Start yet.

This is way late, but maps follow the good ol' "built for pistol-start, but tested with continuous just in case" strategy. So whatever you're doing, you're doing it right. :P


[...gameplay mods aside. maybe-grr. ;]

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slight fan of NT's "Beginning of the End Part 1"[/url] (though Part 2 ain't no slouch either; E3M3 :D). I got a shock one day when a certain Emil Brundage


Nat20 pls finish D:AR eeeeeeeeee

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Wait... I could have sworn it was called Slime Trials. Did I really misread it? Slime Trails isn't nearly as cool a name. You know, cuz the other way rhymes with Time Trial.

In any case, I played E1M3 earlier. Frankly I don't remember a whole lot about it, except that it was fun to play. I apparently missed a secret exit though which is most unfortunate. I'll have to load up E1M9 separately since I already overwrote my save from that map.

EDIT: Here's actual footage of me reacting to E1M9
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6MlaIe1ljs
I was taken completely by surprise by the sheer level of chaos. My first death was purely out of confusion, but I found it to be not that hard once I had my hands on a shotgun the second time around, and even better when I found the Chaingun. Still working on it, definitely a fun distraction while I wait for tomorrow to play E1M4.

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Marcaek said:

Nat20 pls finish D:AR eeeeeeeeee


I don't even know what that means.

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I must confess, I played a lot of Doom 1 episodes last year, including DTWID: Lost Episodes, NEIS, and about a half dozen others, so they ended up all bleeding together a bit. (Never mind all the Favillescos etc. that I played the year before.) Which is just my roundabout way of saying it's fun to pull these levels up again and go, "Oh, that's where this map was from!"


E1M3: Logistics Center
29:06 | 100% Everything

This is a great map. I reached the normal exit in 8 minutes, and still had over 50% of everything left to explore/encounter/kill. There is a lot of optional stuff here, even ignoring the secret exit. The rocket launcher secret in particular is oddly large and unpopulated—especially odd when I had already cleared all the monsters out before figuring it out. Last time I played this I had to cheat to get the red key, as I had locked myself out of getting it. This time, though, I knew what I had to do, and I got the secret exit legitimately. I did, however, miss the chaingun secret while I was nabbing the key, so I had to cheaty-jump to get it (and it was only a guess when I did it.)


E1M9...uh, I remember this one being cool in concept, but man did I not enjoy playing it (bad nukage! no biscuit!) so I'm going to put it off 'til tomorrow!

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E1M2 - “Slime Trails”

A larger map with more enemies to shoot and a clever secret that requires taking the long way around to keep the door open. The most dangerous aspect here is the slime tunnels with perched Sergeants where it's very easy to miss kills and have to run back without a radsuit to pick off any campers. Quite a bit of Pistol play at the start, especially if you go left first and don't run into your first Shotgunner for a while. The rising bridge and Imp reveal is neat too.

E1M3 - “Logistics Center”

So, the big draw here is in the 10 secrets containing a significant portion of the map's content as well as the secret exit. They're quite varied in way to obtain, but a bunch of them fall into the "wallhump" camp where you mash a misaligned wall hoping it's a door. There are quite a few unaligned textures here so it's not always easy to find just based on visual queues. I do believe the automap shows the walls differently, so checking that regularly is a good idea. This goes for the wad in general though: you're gonna have a bad time in the later larger/complex maps if you can't use the map effectively. I guess the secret that bears the most mention is the red key, and a nearby Rocket Launcher which I didn't shoot once, that are reachable while the Imps are alive and can trigger the doors to open. It's rather unusual by Doom standards and I definitely screwed myself over the first time playing by killing all of them. I'm generally not a fan of one-time-only secrets and I hear there are a few later on where it's possible to lock yourself out. As for the gameplay, it's the traditional e1m3 homage which introduces Demons and Spectres to complete the limited E1 bestiary until the boss map.

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NecrumWarrior said:

Wait... I could have sworn it was called Slime Trials. Did I really misread it? Slime Trails isn't nearly as cool a name. You know, cuz the other way rhymes with Time Trial.


It's a reference to the graphical error.

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E1M9 - “Quarantine Silos”

Pretty cool view as you step out and find yourself in the middle of an outdoor arena with towering silos. Very different from the rest of E1 in both visuals and gameplay, aside from e1m7 which shares some similarities. This map is what I like to call "low-tier slaughter" as the singular purpose here is gunning down hordes of weak enemies with equally weak weapons. There is a Rocket Launcher but relatively few rockets to make any significant use of. Some groups are on timed floors lowering from the silos while others are unleashed as you dive into the corners of the map to grab the keys. I believe there are only 2 radsuits, so you're forced to move quickly with 3 slime pits to dive into as you don't want to be stuck in the yellow one without a suit. Of course you can leave and elevator cheese the monsters but who wants to do that? I ran dry on Chaingun bullets for the final wave unleashed by the yellow key, which involves no less than 50 enemies to use the single shotgun on. This is definitely a more modern and challenging map with ledge snipers all over the place and enemy hordes unleashed in a way that forces you to keep moving. Blur Spheres are great here to grab early on as you don't want to eat too much shotgun crossfire. Great map. It's fast, it's fun and looks cool.

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dobu gabu maru said:

^ Mappers typically design all maps for pistol start in a set, unless noted otherwise.


While that may be true, I'd argue that out of some recent club picks, Estranged, Hellbound and Echelon were all more enjoyable from a continuous perspective. Bloodstain as well for some people.

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E1M3 Logistics Center

TEN secrets to find, many of them real tough. Of course the secret exit is a major bastard and a half to figure out, and with a screw up, impossible. Aside from the secrets, well, you can still move through the level pretty fluidly, and it's basic most of the time, apart from the blue key area which I found interesting with all the doors. The whole maze in the northwest is a red herring unless we're gunning for a secret, in which the health bonuses shall guide us. Not a whole lot of difficulty in terms of getting to the normal exit, just needs the yellow and the blue keys to finish it, and I found it quick.

But no, I want the secret exit, you see. As for these secrets, there's the thing I mentioned, and another one involves jumping out of a window to it, another involves jumping out that same window but not down to the floor, but onto a nearby ledge instead. Good thing this one mixes the hard secrets with the easy-to-get ones. The way to the secret exit is very complicated, hit a switch, go back to a room you probably have no more business in to find a hidden teleporter. Now here's the tricky part, you need the red key for the door that leads to the secret exit. But lo and behold, it just may not be possible to get it or the last secret. That depends on whether or not the imps in the pens south of the yellow key were kept alive or not, as they can cross the walkover lines that lower the walls for you to enter. That'll teach some people to shoot down everything, wouldn't it? Really clever. Anyways, onto the secret level.

E1M9 Quarantine Silos

Yeah no sorry not feeling this one. Gives me a migraine going through it. Lots of enemies in a glorified arena with silos opening up and often I didn't have a clue which gets opened and what not. The three keys are all in nukage damaging zones and it looked like there wasn't a radsuit in sight for me to use. Except there was but I had to wait a very long time for them to come down. And then more waiting, because the lovely 5-minute door trigger is in effect for this level's secret and a handful of other enemies. Alright it's a secret level, but still, it was a pretty bad one.

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