Demon of the Well
Sorry about that. Usage of big text blocks is a consequence of both my natural tendency towards windbaggery and my non-DooM (-Heretic) vocations, where such things are more ordinary, although not necessarily more pleasant because of it, of course....if you guys had said something sooner, I reckon I'd have obliged. I'll try splitting things like the first paragraph above in two/three, let me know if it doesn't work out any better.
And Demon, not to be as brazen as DooM-RO, but on monitors with <2k resolution it can be quite easy to get lost in your reviews, so indenting or breaking it up might help.
E1M3 -- Badlands - Kills: 175/175 / Secrets: 5/5
A fairly interesting setting, this--a dilapidated old watchtower jutting from an inhospitable wasteland, overlooking an imposing gate to....somewhere sinister, I suppose. I felt a more strongly themed (though fairly simple) map progression here--after the protracted battle to clear out the area around the tower, the path forks, with each fork being an otherwise linear quest for a key to use on the main gate. Simple, like I said, but it works out alright, and the player is conveniently deposited back into the starting area after acquiring each key. Much like the last map, the two forks vary widely in aesthetic theme--between the two, there's lava, brown caves, libraries, grey caves, keeps, ice caves, etc. Despite the relatively eclectic texture selection, the cave/tunnel theme helps to tie it together, to the point where I didn't feel as nonplussed as to the theme as in the previous outing. The ice cave was a bit sudden, I guess, but that's neither here nor there. If we want to talk strictly in terms of aesthetic polish/flash, this is more noticeably "classic" in appearance than either of the two prior maps, but generally not to a jarring degree.
Structurally/technically, you can tell this is in an alpha stage, but I'll get to that at the end. The actual gameplay, for its part, seemed logical enough that I assume it's essentially complete, and hence can be commented on at length. Generally speaking, I found the battles palatable, if a bit incidental at times, largely as a result of the varying types of spaces throughout the map. All of the best bits were generally in the main area, fittingly--the opening brawl makes pretty good use of Heretic's various monster types, with nitrogolems sniping, gargoyles flitting about in the wide open space, sabreclaws chasing you all around the place, and warriors serving as heavy-hitters. Both the crossbow and the claw are here, but at opposite ends, inviting some incidental combat in between collecting both, which works well. My favorite battle of the map was the return to the main area after completing the green key leg, where a cadre of Disciples (by far my favorite Heretic enemy) appears to bombard your position on the overlook. By contrast, there's no return battle in the area at all after returning from the yellow key leg, which felt noticeably asynchronous--I would suggest putting one in, since the map's current ammo balance should be able to support one. The final fight's a bit spammy/anticlimactic--I just used a Tome and inundated the liches with the Hellstaff--adding some teleporting foes upon triggering the two switches clearing the exit might help, something like that.
Artifact placement continued to be tastefully restrained in regards to staples like Tomes, flasks, bombs, and so on. I used very few of the items this time, but I think that's because I benefited markedly from the shields (I'd forgotten how powerful these are in Heretic) and the open spaces, rather than because they were excessively placed. Ammo seemed reasonable for most of the weapons, although again there did seem to be a great (over)abundance of crossbow bolts. I commented on some solid monster use earlier, but one criticism I would have in this regard is that ghost golems/warriors seem placed largely at random, and right alongside their more corporeally substantial brethren. I suppose this is largely a matter of personal taste, but I think the ghosts should generally be used in situations actively designed around their ghostliness--in low light conditions, in conditions where their immunity to non-magical projectiles is relevant, or, alternatively, in places that seem like they might be inhabited especially by ghosts--cemeteries, crypts, alternate dimensions, whatnot.
To close, I did see a number of bugs, some of them serious:
*There's a missing/unknown texture on the doorframe of the lowering disciple-carved door near the library in the green key leg.
*You can get inescapably stuck in the monster closet that contains a lone sabreclaw in the room directly across from the gauntlets.
*You can get inescapably stuck in the switch-revealed alcove that the three Disciples come out of in the lava/yellow key room. The backside of the moving rock wall(s) is untextured, causing a visual error.
*You can fall into an inescapable 'illuso-pit' near the lone penned nitrogolem in the most westerly room of the yellow key leg. Some crossbow bolts are apparently down there, and render through the floor texture when you stand at certain angles.
*Throughout the map, curtains of vines and grates tend to bleed into the floor where they appear.
*The two undead warriors in the towers in the ice cave are almost completely incapable of hitting the player from their positions, and are difficult to target themselves. The one to the west literally cannot ever hit the player at all, and can only be effectively targeted himself with mouselook.
*Various texture misalignments; the most noticeable ones are on the brick walls inside the switch alcoves behind the keylocked doors.