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Re: Hexen: Wanna love it, but can't

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:53 pm
by DoomRater
That's it, if I ever make a sword in Minecraft that can shoot projectiles when I swing it, it's getting called Quietus. But yeah, a few more weapons would be nice, a class that could drink the Flechette and get some crazy as morph out of it, and I think we're gold.

Yeah, Seven Portals needs a walkthrough, and that's kinda how I even know where to go in it.

Re: Hexen: Wanna love it, but can't

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:59 pm
by ChronoSeth
Ed the Bat wrote:
ChronoSeth wrote: The maps are basically doom or quake, just on a larger scale. :?

Can't say I really see that one, sorry. Doom has a very 'Point A to Point B' layout. Hexen, on the other hand, will have you pull a switch, which changes something in one of the other six levels of the hub, with usually no hints, except for something like 'Stairs have risen' in rare instances. No other discernable connections, or reasons to suspect why one switch affects whatever geographical shifts elsewhere in the hub.

For one, there is never more than four maps (in fact, I think there's never more than three in the original game) which you need to access at one time to complete a puzzle, besides the hub map.

Cryptic messages like "stairs have risen on x" are pretty much unique to the seven portals, but the effect is extremely obvious once you return to the hub map. Though it's not overly obvious, the stairs are actually the thing in the seven portals which track your progress. Once you've risen all three staircases, you've completed the hub's main puzzle (the horizontal switches which tell you about doors opening on the Guardian of Ice are only for the secret-map puzzle). I honestly think that the only reason people have trouble with the seven portals is because they don't notice that the exit door opens once you've hit all the switches.

Re: Hexen: Wanna love it, but can't

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:03 am
by Ed the Bat
I just remember the breaking point for me was when a handful of buttons opened up in a wall somewhere after I did... something... in one of the many maps. Completely bewildered, I tried hitting one, had no idea what it did, and immediately said 'this is way more deduction than I'm capable of', and never went back to it. I did give Deathkings of the Dark Citadel a try, but ended up unable to find my way through that either. After finding myself running in a very large circle for the better part of 90 minutes, I decided I wasn't destined for success there.

Re: Hexen: Wanna love it, but can't

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:35 am
by Zombieguy
I'm going to have to agree with Ed.

Re: Hexen: Wanna love it, but can't

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:52 am
by ChronoSeth
Well... if puzzles aren't your thing, then maybe you shouldn't be trying to play a game which makes excessive use of them. :P

Re: Hexen: Wanna love it, but can't

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:58 am
by Project Dark Fox
The thing is that they're not even "puzzles", so much as they're actually scavenger hunts. There still isn't all that much actual brain power going on here.

I'd call the minigames in LWM's Star Wars Chibi Rebellion puzzles. GOOD puzzles.

Re: Hexen: Wanna love it, but can't

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:28 am
by DoomRater
Hmm, something that could force a bit of brainpower and give the weapons some needed expansion: have monsters spawn one of three types randomly, and in order to be effective you have to use the appropriate attack type of your weapon to hurt it. One type is really effective, another half so, and the third is useless.

Re: Hexen: Wanna love it, but can't

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:42 am
by Project Dark Fox
DoomRater wrote:Hmm, something that could force a bit of brainpower and give the weapons some needed expansion: have monsters spawn one of three types randomly, and in order to be effective you have to use the appropriate attack type of your weapon to hurt it. One type is really effective, another half so, and the third is useless.

And that just sounds tedious from an FPS perspective.

Re: Hexen: Wanna love it, but can't

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:06 am
by wildweasel
Especially if your attack types cost individual types of ammo. Let me tell ya, when I played System Shock 2, there was nothing more frustrating than coming up against a lot of fleshy foes and only having the armor-piercing bullets.

Re: Hexen: Wanna love it, but can't

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:55 pm
by XutaWoo
What would've really helped Hexen would be to have puzzle items be, y'know, used in puzzles. Considering they had those Print messages, they could've easily had some walls that give out a riddle or something and you had to match gems of certain color or other types of artifacts to certain things. And maybe the tried and true block puzzle, if properly designed so that the pushable objects don't get stuck. Even with ACS not being ZDoom level, they still could've done so much more than just 'find item, use it on a wall, hit a switch, wander wander wander hit another switch, wander wander find another item, etc.'

I really want to love the exploratory aspect of Hexen, but I just end up going in circles and more circle and even more circles. The default maps just aren't that good.

Re: Hexen: Wanna love it, but can't

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:50 am
by TerminusEst13
I love HeXen to death. The atmosphere. The enemies. The weapons. The lore. I love love love HeXen. It's an incredible game with incredible promise. Made my first published mod for HeXen, and I'm really eager to make another character for it because I fucking love HeXen that much.
The default maps do not do it justice.

The first big problem with HeXen is that you get thrown into an action-packed and badass scenario right out of the gate. You're thrown into a cathedral-looking place where lightning flashes in the background dramatically, where it's just you and a crushing melee weapon against the endless scores of mutated hellish beasts. You charge straight ahead, following a very linear path and leaving an endless series of bloody critters in your wake, going through interesting set pieces (breaking through cathedral windows, dodging moving crushers, ringing a gothic bell to open up a gaseous portal), and it ends with a giant fucking flaming skull asking if you're ready to die. Winnowing Hall rates easily among my top favorite introduction levels in any games, because every part of the level gives you a sensation of being a badass warrior straight off a heavy metal album cover.
...And absolutely no other part of the game is like it.
Seven Portal's puzzles are incredibly obtuse, Shadow Wood is downright mazelike, and lengthy encounters with enemies are very few and far in between. It's really quite upsetting that you never get to march through gothic locales while waves of enemies fight you off again until the Heresiarch's Seminary. Deathkings of the Dark Citadel is hilariously obscene in this regard.

The second big problem is its reliance on puzzles, as has been pointed out before. While the puzzles are easily a key part in cementing a mysterious world, as the player will constantly be questioned and need to think his way around obstacles rather than simply kill kill kill, the problem is that HeXen's "puzzles" aren't so much puzzles as they are put Point A in Slot B in Area C for Effect D. Deathkings of the Dark Citadel had an especially bullshit part where you were put in a spider-icon'd crushing room and had to Use a specific grave before you died. Use the wrong grave and you died anyway. There were eight graves. That is not a puzzle. That is random luck.
The Hub system can be done extremely well, as more than several mods have put it to excellent use, and puzzles can more than definitely spice up a level. Still, it could have been executed a lot better than it was--I think it would have been far better as a Legend of Zelda-esque system with a ruined gothic overworld and multiple dungeons. Save the exploring and wandering for the overworld, and pack the crypts and caverns full of action and puzzles.
Hell, why not completely rip off Zelda and give a new weapon every dungeon, too? Just for laughs.

Re: Hexen: Wanna love it, but can't

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:05 am
by Ixnatifual
Despite my criticisms of Hexen I like it a lot as well.

Re: Hexen: Wanna love it, but can't

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:26 am
by DoomRater
How do I fave posts on ZDoom? TerminusEst's post is just amazing. I know I'd play a Hexen mod like that!

Re: Hexen: Wanna love it, but can't

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:37 am
by Zombieguy

Re: Hexen: Wanna love it, but can't

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:07 pm
by amv2k9
DoomRater wrote:Hmm, something that could force a bit of brainpower and give the weapons some needed expansion: have monsters spawn one of three types randomly, and in order to be effective you have to use the appropriate attack type of your weapon to hurt it. One type is really effective, another half so, and the third is useless.
wildweasel wrote:...Let me tell ya, when I played System Shock 2, there was nothing more frustrating than coming up against a lot of fleshy foes and only having the armor-piercing bullets.
This.

You'd either need the spawner to check player ammo levels, or allow the player to exchange one ammo type for another.