Excellent points. This is one of those maps that's meant to get you on the first run. I'm not worried about the second run, because aside from speedrunners and playtesters, I reckon few players will play it twice given all the excellent maps vying for our time and attention. That said, I found that for me, the best strategy was to race for the Chaingun, and then race for the Soulsphere, and start picking off everything that came at me from the Soulsphere platform. Taking out the hitscanners and getting the Barons to infight with Cacos worked wonders. After that, it's time to get the RL and from there, you can really take the map apart. But the main goal for me is to get the player in a state of initial panic, and when they start to run, they discover they can be followed everywhere, and everywhere they go just increases the forces arrayed against them, so they keep running and as a result, they're liable to run into something they can't handle. I really enjoyed watching players die in this map, I must admit. ;D
E1M9 wasn't really an FDA since I played it continuous on UV before. But apart from a very early death, I did extremely well, handling most of the hordes with ease. Unfortunately you have to take my word, because I overwrote the demo when I recorded E1M5. I did remember the map a bit, which certainly helped, though the only thing that really stuck in my mind was to avoid the berserk until I was ready. All in all it's a great map, although I think it's a bit less chaotic than you intended, if the player makes the right choices by knowing the map or just by luck. The chaos comes not from having a huge horde of monsters, but by having a moderate one that is far too much to deal with when you have only 50 bullets. But it's not too hard to stay ahead of the pack while you get loaded up on shells, and once the initial madness dies down, the rest of the level is fairly easily dealt with.
I'm sorry I missed your FDA on this one. Historically, this was always my favorite map in the set, and it's the one I most like to replay when I feel like some relaxing action. If you ran across slime, that means you may have found the secret path to the Computer Map. If so, I believe you're the only one who pulled that off. This map, more than most of the others, was really all about the exploration and the tricky secrets, but even so, it had a few nasty battles. The end fight was beefed-up after I watched Suitepee's playthrough. The original had 6 Cacos on UV and no Lost Souls. Now it has 36 Cacos and 24 Lost Souls, plus 4 extra Sergeants. That seemed to do the trick even though it's not a massive killer. My biggest worry is that it would get sloggy after the point where players begin to get the best of it, but there's still a lot of meat to kill.
E1M5 you don't get to see either! It's got a very early desync. I may have opened a menu or something early, I don't know. I'm mad about this one because I felt really on-point playing it*. I liked the sense of scale a lot, it felt large and intimidating and lead up to a great end fight, one which wasn't too bad with infinitely-tall things though I almost got stuck between some cacos I couldn't see at one point. Having even a basic vertical mouselook helped a lot. This map feels much more aggressive than the previous ones apart from E1M9, not just in combat but also the way the map works. I recall a lot of times where I just had to blindly charge across slime, hoping I wouldn't get caught without a ledge to climb back up on, especially for secrets.
I have mixed feelings myself, although from time to time this is my favorite map in the set. ;D It has some really sneaky secrets, with the first Soulsphere/Blue Armor you see being rather hard to find, although DoTW found them. The harmless nukage sectors actually are intentional, because I wanted to avoid forcing players into radsuits and putting a green film over that room I worked so hard on. :D The bullshit explanation I offered earlier in the thread is that this is brand new, freshly-pumped nukage, which is completely harmless at the pumping hubs and gradually builds strength as it moves through the causeways. Makes no sense at all, but it works for me. ;D
E1M6 I played about 2/3rds of the way through before I had to quit. I saved and went back to finish it from where I left off, but you don't get that in the demo. I have mixed feelings about this map; the start is good, then there's kind of a lull in combat with a lot of sparsely populated areas. The slime vat structure is cool and combat there is interesting - again it's obvious you don't map with infinite-height things in mind, but I scraped by - but also kind of repetitive after a while. Many of the nukage floors aren't damaging, which I appreciated while trying to explore past all the gates but which probably wasn't intentional. (You can select by flat/texture in DB which helps to mark all nukage as the same damaging floor, etc.)
The pumping room was a real problem for fight design, but in the end, what I like is that so many different things can happen in there. For example, you immediately turned right as you entered, as did many other players, and this is the wrong thing to do. You're supposed to go for that Soulsphere guarded by the Barons, and then go into the big generator room so the hitscanners can remove that bonus for you, but you'll find the massive rocket pile and maybe the secret cell charge packs. But the most exciting thing that can happen is, before even going into the pumping station, you run past the Barons that rise from the water. They'll follow you and turn into snipers on the stairs, as will anything else you run past up there. Then, go to the right after shooting something to wake up the Cacos and Lost Souls so they start teleporting in on the "lightning rods," and then go to the generator room. This will lead to the most frantic possible fight as you duel the hitscanners while the Cacos and Lost Souls pour in through every opening and mob you from all directions. That will be one helluva fight. ;D Admittedly, this won't usually happen, but IIRC Veinen fought it much like that. But your progress, I thought, looked pretty good. Repetitive, yes, but still with surprises as Cacos and Lost Souls teleport next to you, or you teleport up from below next to a Pinky, etc. So in the end I decided not to change anything. ;D
I'm sorry your FDA ended, because you were on a good run and had fought back from low health a few times. You were also at the point where you were very likely to reach the exit without being killed.
Last edited by SteveD on Apr 14 2014 at 06:29