Favorite wad themes

I was thinking about wads last night and realized that I have a few other favorites other than the obvious big hell map. I also enjoy anything at night with lighting effects and those force fields and things, and big gothic libraries as well as the usual mega-hell map. What are some of yours?

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Spaceships/space stations, without a doubt. Icarus: Alien Vanguard is my favorite WAD of all time, and I generally enjoy any map that has you cooped up in some big tin can floating through the stars. It really enhances that feeling of isolation and claustrophobia, knowing that the only way out is into airless vacuum. Plus, it's just creepy seeing all the abandoned crew quarters and workstations and such. It gives a "history" to the place, and is a grim reminder of the people who used to live here, and who are now little more than ground-up hamburger.

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I don't have favourite visual themes. Theme is not a factor of whether I'll like a wad/map or not. At best, it is the actual aesthetical performance that makes the factor. I hope you see the difference. There can be crappy bases and beautiful bases. There can be horrible cities and awe-inspiring citing. There can be wonky hell levels and highly atmospheric masterpieces with hellish theme. And so on for any possible theme. I say that I can enjoy any.

Also, if I play single-themed for a long time, I get sick of it and need a change. Always. That's an argument to support my words above.

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The Doom default of military/technical bases, with their flexibility and variety is always welcome, IMO. It gives the enemies a context and you a purpose. The way you can stick a base pretty much anywhere is also nice, as it allows the theme to be mixed up.

However, I really like high-contrast gothic castles and cathedrals (even if they're laid out more like CC4 MAP13 than anything that's really a castle) with plenty of liquid to wade through. I'm also pretty partial to snow-and-ice themes, as it's a fantastical atmosphere that we can still relate to, plus the grey/white and blue ranges tend to look good in Doom.

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Castle-theme is by far the most fun to play on.

Not sure which theme is best to map though.

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hell themed or anything with a high fantasy element. I also like a good sewer level or cavern level.

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Night city or even just night is my favorite I think. Doom City, that Bughunt remake in 1994 Tune-Up, Nitelife, some of Kama Sutra episode 3, etc.

Not a big fan of REDROCK hell, maybe because these textures aren't that great imo, plus it's such a common theme that it's very hard to do something unique there. I also dislike the visual style of a lot of maps with these classic Gothic DM textures, not many of them look nice to me. I respect Scythe 2 though.

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Memfis said:

I also dislike the visual style of a lot of maps with these classic Gothic DM textures, not many of them look nice to me.


THANK YOU, I agree 100%. The textures themselves aren't bad but so many maps that use them feel like they're saying "I'm 14 and full of angst!" when I play them.

My favourite themes are winter, castle, sewers/swamp/temple ruins, anything aquatic.

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Hellish womb level (Where you're inside a gigantic living organism or something similar, see Map29 of Heroes' Tales.), Space stations (Map20 and Map21 of CC4 being a shining example), city levels (plenty of places to explore), and the more out-there secret levels. (with some exceptions)

Other than that, my actual experiences with each level varies.

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Memfis said:

Not a big fan of REDROCK hell, maybe because these textures aren't that great imo


BURN THE HERETIC!

One thing I've always liked about Doom was that it's pretty colorful. I got really tired of the current-gen "real is brown/grey" really fast. I'm a sucker for vivid colors, especially the blue carpets or green marble.

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Magnusblitz said:

I'm a sucker for vivid colors, especially the blue carpets or green marble.


So am I! Would really enjoy any map with lots of color anytime.

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Urban decay, Space ships/stations, moons, alien planets (I'm talking green/purple sky with planets and shit like weird architecture, very rare to see an alien planet map though), mountains, warehouses, subways, destroyed tech base, temples and ancient ruins.

Oh and nature heavy maps, can't beat a good swamp or forest.

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Memfis said:

I respect Scythe 2 though.

I liked the first scythe better in terms of texturing, felt more colorful and thus areas and paths were easier to remember and it all just felt more vibrant and alive. They're both great though and the result of lotsa love.

I love night/space themes, and lots of bluish purplish lighting that makes it feel like the moon is really bright and casting its light. That's one of my favorite things in reality actually, so naturally I also love it in doom. Some parts of D64 pull the vibe off perfectly. I'm always editing playpal lumps to try and achieve this effect in vanilla doom.

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