I just finished playing through the Carnage Galore trilogy and thought I should post my impressions and congratulate you on releasing a fantastic wad. I liked CG1 despite it feeling a bit rough and unpolished in parts, but it had some really neat ideas (not all of them worked as I was playing with GZDoom and I didn't know how to translate some of the HHE hacks) and some fun levels. I thought CG2 was better, with more consistent quality, some really cool level design, some clever puzzles, and overall I really loved this one.
CG3 though was on a whole other level. The level design is really fantastic and almost perfectly balances fighting and puzzle-solving. I loved the first 2 hubs and thought they look and play great, but the third one is jaw-dropping in sheer size and aesthetics (and took me longer than the others combined!). Speaking of puzzles, I almost never found myself with no idea what I'm supposed to do or what my actions have opened or changed (though I did get stuck - more on this in a minute), as the messages you give (as well as the hints in the books) do a fantastic job of leading you where you need to be, not to mention the features of the level design itself stand out in a way that subtly directs you to your destination (the original hexen.wad levels are a lot like this too IMO).
The new weapons and the alternate fire are a lot of fun, though I do feel (at least as a Fighter) that many of the modes are redundant; Heretic avoided this problem by having so many ammo types that you'd have to switch to conserve or if you ran out. That said, I will forever be grateful for the Quietus changes; having both modes work like this is something that I have wistfully dreamed of since some time in late 1995, and so I used the new Quietus as much as possible and loved every second of it. The "secret boss" and the weapon you get there were quite a surprise, and I didn't even realize the Treasury was an optional level, so when I got to the end of the hub I went back wondering if there's a use for the big gem and I had missed something! After shrugging and moving on, I was delighted when I came across the book explaining what could be done with it. Oddly I never found the Vorpal Sword (did I miss something, or was it taken out again?)
I only had 2 real frustrations in hub 3, and neither was really the wad's fault. First was in the Great Library. I found all 5 books then got completely stuck, as I could not find where to use them and at one point started painstakingly trying every single bookcase. Infuriatingly, I had
tried the right one first, but I guess at a wrong angle and simply got no effect. It's not a flaw with the wad (I was more mad at myself than anything) but I think adding a small hint right in front of it that mentions the books having gone missing/stolen (and maybe even removing the bookcase across from it) might be a nice frustration prevention (keep in mind that, in the original game, some of the books are already in place and the letters really make the bookcase stand out). The other problem is that the wad needs
one specific compatibility option - compat_useblocking (all special lines can block use) must
be off. I always have compat set to Default when playing user wads, including for this one, and let the wads set what they want. But when I got to Forge controls I was completely stuck and spent a long time trying to find how to turn the controls on, before finally thinking of checking the compat menu and finding, to my amazement, that this flag was now set to on despite still being in Default mode. Again not the wad's fault, but having it either force the setting to off, or simply including a warning in the readme, might prevent someone else from running into the same problem.
Overall this is a superb wad, thank you for such a wonderful creation. I think this might well be my favourite Hexen wad, and I'm almost tempted to say that I like it as much as the official releases; and I say this with Hexen being one of my favourite games too. I'm delighted to see recent posts that indicate you're still working on it. I won't say that I look forward to the next hub, as I can't even imagine how much time and work goes into making maps with this kind of loving attention and detail, but I will most certainly be playing the next hub, whenever that may be. I even backed up my saves just in case!