The Wayfarer: A 9-map Episode for Heretic (RC3 Released!)

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The Wayfarer: A 9-map Episode for Heretic (RC3 Released!)

Postby Not Jabba » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:20 am

The first public beta of The Wayfarer is here!

Grab RC3 here.
-Replaces E1 of Heretic.
-Requires ZDoom or GZDoom. Designed for software rendering. Jumping and crouching are not intended.









The Wayfarer is not your grandparents' Heretic. It includes a built-in gameplay mod that rebalances the game in ways that are mostly subtle but make the game a lot more engaging to play. Many enemy attacks are more dangerous, and most of the player's weapons are more powerful, allowing certain weapons to have more useful combat niches and eliminating the grindiness associated with vanilla Heretic's weapon/monster balance. The episode also features two new standard enemies, two new artifacts, a new weapon, plenty of custom decorations and textures, and more.

I'm a combat-oriented Doom player who has never enjoyed Heretic. Why should I play this?
The gameplay rebalance, as well as the new monsters and items, are designed to make the gameplay more challenging and allow me as a mapper to create more dynamic combat scenarios. The increased threat from monsters puts more pressure on the player to dodge and strategize effectively, and the more powerful weapons and new items allow you to play more aggressively. At the same time, Heretic's inventory management allows for an additional layer of strategy that Doom doesn't have.

I'm a more casual player who often finds modern Doom maps frustrating. Why should I play this?
Though The Wayfarer is more challenging than vanilla Heretic, it's still a more forgiving game than Doom. The challenge in Heretic is all about dodging and inventory management. There are no Arch-Viles. There is nothing equivalent to a Revenant, and no hitscanners (for now, at least). Though you may be faced with monster-dense combat at times, Heretic's inventory management and Tomed weapons give you lots of additional possibilities for dealing with those scenarios in a way that's quick and fun and doesn't involve meta-gaming with the BFG.

I'm a long-time fan of Heretic. What have you done to my precious game?
Not as much as you might think. The changes are mostly minor tweaks, with an eye for adjusting the game's balance rather than turning it into something totally different. Though I've drawn a lot of lessons about game balance from Doom, I love Heretic for the game it is and want to make sure it remains its own unique thing.

I like playing Tyson-style. Does Heretic melee combat still suck?
No! The Wayfarer introduces a new item that works like Doom's Berserk pack, making Tyson as viable a playstyle as it is in Doom, if not more so. The Staff has a longer melee range, and the berserked/Tomed Staff has a tighter, more reliable damage range than Doom's berserked fist. The Gauntlets are also a bit more powerful than before.

Do you have more plans for Heretic? Can I use your stuff?
Yes and yes! The Wayfarer is just the beginning of a long-term effort to expand Heretic in the same way that Doom 2 expanded on Doom. This includes a much larger bestiary, more new items, and so on. The rebalance has been designed to make mapping easier for me and greatly expand the possibilities for gameplay and level design, and hopefully it will be helpful for other people as well. Please feel free to use all or any part of the gameplay rebalance or any of the new monsters/items -- just give proper credit.

What did you change?
You can see the included textfile for a full list of gameplay changes, but here's a condensed list of the most important stuff:
Spoiler:
Last edited by Not Jabba on Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:30 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: The Wayfarer: A 9-map Episode for Heretic (RC1 Released!

Postby leodoom85 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:07 pm

OH shit dude!!!
Finally you decided to release that....noice...
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Re: The Wayfarer: A 9-map Episode for Heretic (RC1 Released!

Postby PRIMEVAL » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:08 pm

This looks sexy as hell. Think I'm gonna have my way with this soon.
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Re: The Wayfarer: A 9-map Episode for Heretic (RC1 Released!

Postby Korell » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:15 pm

"Designed for software rendering."
Being as I've always used the OpenGL rendering in GZDoom, if I did with this mod then would I be getting undesirable or unintentional effects?
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Re: The Wayfarer: A 9-map Episode for Heretic (RC1 Released!

Postby Not Jabba » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:29 pm

Korell wrote:"Designed for software rendering."
Being as I've always used the OpenGL rendering in GZDoom, if I did with this mod then would I be getting undesirable or unintentional effects?


There's some minor visual glitching with the pseudo-brightmaps used for the weapon pickups in OpenGL; I'm looking into ways to solve this. Otherwise, GL should be fine -- I just can't vouch for all the brightness levels and such looking as optimal as I'd like. If you actively prefer GL, you'll probably be happiest playing it in GL.
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Re: The Wayfarer: A 9-map Episode for Heretic (RC1 Released!

Postby Gideon020 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:17 am

Nice levelset. A question, will there be any conflicts if I played this with a weapon mod?
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Re: The Wayfarer: A 9-map Episode for Heretic (RC1 Released!

Postby Not Jabba » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:12 pm

Gideon020 wrote:Nice levelset. A question, will there be any conflicts if I played this with a weapon mod?


I'm not sure, but it seems likely that the built-in mod will conflict with third-party mods. It may depend on the mod.
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Re: The Wayfarer: A 9-map Episode for Heretic (RC2 Released!

Postby Not Jabba » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:54 pm

RC2 is available! You can get it here or in the OP.
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Re: The Wayfarer: A 9-map Episode for Heretic (RC2 Released!

Postby fluffyshambler » Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:53 pm

Played the first 2 maps, and the level design is very nice! And I enjoy the subtle QOL improvements to the gameplay. Like golems making a noise before firing (now all they need is a different sprite...) Here's a couple things I noticed (both on E1M2): https://imgur.com/a/c4HnNct

1. This texture looks odd with the switch repeated twice. The switch could use a little barrier floor around it that doesnt lower to hide it.

2. This golem is stuck in this position for some reason.

Also, the crossbow spread is so wide, it feels too unreliable outside of melee range.
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Re: The Wayfarer: A 9-map Episode for Heretic (RC2 Released!

Postby Not Jabba » Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:45 pm

fluffyshambler wrote:Played the first 2 maps, and the level design is very nice! And I enjoy the subtle QOL improvements to the gameplay. Like golems making a noise before firing (now all they need is a different sprite...) Here's a couple things I noticed (both on E1M2): https://imgur.com/a/c4HnNct

1. This texture looks odd with the switch repeated twice. The switch could use a little barrier floor around it that doesnt lower to hide it.

2. This golem is stuck in this position for some reason.

Also, the crossbow spread is so wide, it feels too unreliable outside of melee range.


Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad you're enjoying it so far, and hope you have fun with the rest of the maps too.

The Crossbow spread is definitely intentional to give the weapon a distinct niche with strengths and weaknesses. If you only hit enemies with the middle bolt, it's the same as vanilla; if you hit enemies with the middle plus the inner two side bolts, it's a bit better than vanilla; and if you hit with all bolts, it's almost twice as powerful as vanilla. If you have the opportunity, rushing in point blank is the best way to use it (this will usually one-shot Nitrogolems, for instance), but it's a fairly versatile weapon and it depends on the situation.

I'll see what I can do about that water-lowering switch in M2. I avoided a lip because I didn't want the player to be able to stand on it when the water lowered, but I might be able to make something narrow enough to prevent that problem. I've gotten one other similar report about a stuck enemy in that other fight, but it may be a teleportation-related bug that only happens with certain versions of GZDoom, as I don't think anybody's been able to replicate it a second time and I've never witnessed it myself.
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Re: The Wayfarer: A 9-map Episode for Heretic (RC2 Released!

Postby ShadesMaster » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:50 am

How'd I miss this? Expect a youtube-thru soon! Heh, I'm not the only one who thinks weredragons should have more HP than Ophidians, it seems.
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Re: The Wayfarer: A 9-map Episode for Heretic (RC2 Released!

Postby ShadesMaster » Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:25 pm

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Re: The Wayfarer: A 9-map Episode for Heretic (RC2 Released!

Postby Not Jabba » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:07 pm

RC3 is out with some more useful changes. I expect this to be the last significant update, so if you've been waiting for the point where everything is smoothed out and polished, now is a good time. I'll keep The Wayfarer in RC for awhile longer to catch any stray bug reports that come straggling in.

Changes from RC2:
-Slightly reduced the health of both the Nitrogolem and the Undead Warrior. Ghost versions still have the same health as in vanilla Heretic.
-Went over every map and made minor ammo tweaks to most of them to accommodate the recent enemy health reductions; also removed some excess ammo on the lower skill levels.
-Made the E1M6 boss charge a bit more often. Lowered the height of the Lesser Serpents' platforms in the boss arena to make them more dangerous so that you can't simply ignore them by circle-strafing. Placed a Tome of Power in the antechamber before the boss fight, and changed the Tome that you could get earlier in the map to a Quartz Flask.
-Added some more detail to a secret area in E1M6.
-Made a visual improvement to the water-lowering area in E1M2 so that the switch doesn't tile.
-Various minor bugfixes in several maps.
-Made a minor improvement to the weapon/armor rack textures.
-Added a basic /idgames textfile to the zip (wayfarer.txt); improved the visual layout of the main readme (wayfarer_info.txt) and added a table of contents.

If anyone is interested in creating a title pic and intermission pic (or an episode map) for the final release, let me know.

I've also been working on a standalone mod that lets you apply the gameplay changes from The Wayfarer to any other Heretic maps. Keep an eye out for that in the next couple of weeks!
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Re: The Wayfarer: A 9-map Episode for Heretic (RC3 Released!

Postby Zaratul » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:08 pm

"I've also been working on a standalone mod that lets you apply the gameplay changes from The Wayfarer to any other Heretic maps. Keep an eye out for that in the next couple of weeks!"

This is a VERY good news, i like a lot these gameplay changes and im looking forward to play original Heretic levels with these mod. I have a few suggestions:

-reduce gargoyle knockback, we dont need another cacodemon mechanic :D
-increase speed of nitrogolems because they should be a threat
-reduce sabreclaw healts slightly maybe?
-increase accuracy\maybe increase dmg of elven staff, i know its a starting weapon but it should be a more viable sniping weapon
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Re: The Wayfarer: A 9-map Episode for Heretic (RC3 Released!

Postby pagb666 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:45 am

Just finished it. Truly beautiful levels, and the gameplay changes are pretty decent, love the new hellstaff.

There is just one thing... I really really hate how you do secrets, sir. xD
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