Demon of the Well
Map 08 -- Sub-Station - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
A dark little cavern foray, not much bigger than map 02, and not as good-looking. I do think it's an improvement in the visual department on 'Hull Revealed', however, and that is because it has a lot more light variation. Light variation is a wonderful thing, especially when mappers aren't afraid of the dark--it can help many different types of area look fine without the need for very much structural detail. For example, I suspect that room with the central platform in the toxic waste would look rather bland if it were comfortably lit (note that I don't say "if it were well-lit"), but because it's not, it's more convincing in terms of the setting, and seems larger than it actually is (the partial view of the flesh mound with the rocket launcher secret helps too)...I do think that the juxtaposition of dirt and plating on the little staircases down into the ooze looks a bit off, though. I'm not really surprised to see Purist say that it's just a little pragmatic map to fill a gap in the story, as it certainly plays like it. However, I will say that if you are going to do a bite-sized map with only a handful of monsters in a larger mapset like this, I think an approach like the one Vaporizer has taken here is often advisable--that is, try to make that handful of monsters seem relevant. Here, this is done by throwing the lion's share of them into a single classic pincer-movement trap. It's true that it's basically just a 1.5 -fight map, but I think this is a better route to go than essentially making another map 02 in slot 08 (or slot 14, or slot 22, or whatever).
Map 09 -- Terminus - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
I quite liked this one. It's a dingy metal rail/warehouse facility that, while never featuring any truly open spaces, generally doesn't feel particularly claustrophobic, although a few environmental hazards--crushing pistons, poison liquid, rock perches over a fall, etc.--make for some restraints on your movement capabilities at various points. At the outset, the map appears fairly non-linear, in that there are several different directions you can go in, but all but one of them quickly bumps into a red key door or other obstacle; oddly, though, in terms of armament, pistol-starters will still be better served in heading down one or more of the dead ends before following the correct path which leads to the red key. The red key room is a good example, I think, of what Purist seemed to be trying to do in this map: find ways to make small groups of monsters a credible threat. In this room, an environmental hazard--the aforementioned crushing pistons--are the key element in three different mini-fights. First, versus the zombies behind the back crusher, who are often shielded by the crushers until you can tag the well-placed barrels behind them; second, versus the imps entrenched in the murderholes who will have a good angle on you if you try to get the best angle on them; and last, versus the mancubus, whose bulk will almost immediately cramp your style with the deadly crushers at your back. It's not always environmental dangers per se, though, ala the revenants who phase behind you when you come upon the blue key bars, or the concentration of opposition in the tall storehouse where said key is found--while many of them are deaf and as such they are unlikely to all pile on you at once, they are placed so that the terrain favors them, like the commandos on the rear ledges, who have an angle high enough that they can sometimes hit you even if you take shelter behind many of the crates. All of this makes for a map that, while on the smaller side of medium, packs in enough variety to be memorable. As a side note, I quite liked the deceptively simple plasma rifle secret, although I think I saw a visual error within it--one of the lodes of ore near the bulk cell in the middle shaft appears to have a small HOM/texture error.
Last edited by Demon of the Well on Apr 9 2013 at 07:52