Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:53 pm
Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:10 pm
Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:03 pm
Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:23 pm
SallazarSpellcaster wrote:Hello! I've begun a playthrough of the mapset, and I'd like to share some thoughts! Since each map is its own, self-contained experience, my feedback will be on a map-to-map basis. I'm playing on difficulty 5, and I loaded Bolognese-Gore, and Nashgore on the side.
I chose the Invoker for a single reason: Magic Missiles! Classic spell, grievously underrepresented in Hexen mods.
-The Invocation Wand is competent, it gets the job done; the projectile travel time took a little to get used to, but it's compensated by its homing capabilities; hitting monsters standing on a ledge can get tricky, however, as the homing tends to ram the projectile onto the ledge, but that's common in most homing weapons.
-Magic Missiles and Healing. I like this one; at first I thought you'd go the Hexen II way and make it fire in a quick succession; shooting five, slightly homing projectiles feels closer to its DnD roots; the 2 mana costs seemed slightly low at first, given its damage output, but it's compensated by the weapon being more efficient at a medium-short range. Healing is eminently a utilitarian skill, but it can really help out on a pinch.
Using Elder Scrolls - Arena music is well appreciated, it sets the overall tone of the adventure nicely, making it immediately apparent that it's going to be a long, slow-burning trip.
The map pack has your usual brand of well-refined architecture and interesting environments. As you mentioned on the first post, it feels as its own self-contained hub, and that works really well; puzzles are self-contained, easy, and logical to follow, and each area is distinctive enough to traverse without getting lost. Going back and forth between the different elemental-themed areas to solve their respective puzzles and acquire their elemental glyphs is a fun task; I like the graphics of the glyphs themselves - the recoloring of Heretic's blue key looks nice in general; this segment of the first map feels to me as what the Seven Portals, and the Guardians of Ice, Fire, and Steel should have been like in vanilla Hexen.
The aether is especially intriguing - non-euclidean architecture, bizarre, otherworldly vistas, eerie lighting. It works really well, especially the sense of urgency as the castle is slowly consumed by the abyss.
The demon warlocks look great, but are ultimately disappointing. They look intimidating, and they can handle your ass the first time you face them, but once you realize you can simply duck under their attacks, they become trivial.
All in all, I really liked the first map, it encourages exploration, and logical thinking - great job on the puzzles, especially the one with the mushrooms in the forest area. I'd like to emphasize that the architecture you present, both familiar and corrupted by the aether is quite imaginative, and fun to look at.
The few critiques I currently have are mostly nitpicks.
Notes are at times difficult to read, but I understand this is because of resolution constraints. The difficult part is telling notes apart - there was a time when I wanted to go back to one of the important notes, the glowing ones, and it took me a solid ten minutes to find it. On this regard, I'd recommend using a different inventory sprite for important notes - a different sort of parchment, or something similar, would work well.
Other nitpicks are merely linguistic. Often through dialog and text, "Its" and "It's" are misused; a simple example that comes to mind is when Kallaxitus talks about the Aethereal Crown, he mentions "It's location," the correct form would be "its," as "it's" is actually a contraction of "it is" or "it has," while "its" is the possessive-neutral form. As I said, this is just a tiny nitpick, but I thought I'd let you know about it.
Also, in the final text of the map, when Kallaxitus says "They were Gryphon mages after all," Gryphon is misspelled as "Grphyon."
I'm enjoying the map-pack; it's not usual to see long, elaborate maps for Hexen, and these are some of the most fun to explore I've gone through. The encounters are balanced, the story and lore are interesting, and as I said before, the places are cool to look at.
Edit: Finished map 2.
Though shorter than the first map, it's fun to explore your view of the mages' abode. The classrooms and interconnecting rooms, filled with experiments and other interesting things to look at give a good, imaginative look at how spellcasters live within Cronos.
Same as before, the architecture and the design of the map stands out the most. Especially the aethereal realm was fantastic - the texture used for the background looks properly, well, aetherial.
Sunstaff: Didn't like it. Though cool in execution, its damage output lags behind the magic missiles - throughout the map, it didn't get nearly as much use as weapon-2 did; in fact the only time I used it was merely to test out its damage and usefulness, but in the end I fell back on magic missiles.
I spotted a few more spelling mistakes.
Apprentice Dormatories is misspelled - Dormitories would be the correct spelling.
At some point, Medrike says "What do we want? Well for you to stop with this quest , there things..." it's missing an "are" after there; either that, or go for "there're."
Later, Kallaxitus says, about the library, "there must be something here that about the serpent halls." The "That" is unnecessary.
So far, so good, on to the third map!
Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:27 pm
Ichor wrote:I noticed that part of the speech right after defeating Medrike is underwater (specifically the part where you see the bell near the dark blue room with the traps). This makes his voice slower and deeper than usual.
Also, after I put in the two planets, I started walking and when D'Sparil showed up, I ended up stopped on a damaging floor for a few seconds and almost died.
Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:39 pm
Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:46 pm
Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:16 pm
SallazarSpellcaster wrote:Map 3 complete!
As before, the aesthetics and architecture work very well in its favor. The moment where you see the entrance to the Serpent Halls is actually quite good; seeing the towers from above the cliff is a nice touch. I liked the areas you explore too, especially the catacombs of the impostor king; both the canyon and the catacombs offer a nice change of scenario.Spoiler:
Wand of Cranvus: Standard rocket launcher, serviceable, gets the job done; there's not a lot to it but, as I said, it works nicely enough so I have no complaints about it.
The only suggestions I can offer are just to add a little bit of polish, nothing game-changing.
First would be to change the sprites for the flame masks in the Catacombs, just to avoid repetition; something simple, such as removing the horns, the rictus, and lowering the brightness of the sprite should suffice; plus, renaming them "Mortuary Mask" would work. If you like, I can provide a quick sprite-edit of the flame mask sprite.
The second suggestion would be to add a few different lines of text for the abyssal monoliths strewn about, just to spice things up: "Klaatu, verata... whatever." "I should have paid more attention in my abyssal classes." "This says something about... my mother and... DAMN IT!" Just silly stuff for the player to discover, or to insert obscure references.
So far, I've had fun with the map pack, and I'm actually intrigued to see where the story's going; again, good job!
EDIT: Finished the fourth map!
Traipsing through the various locales of old Cronos was a nice romp; it's good to see that you chose the most characteristic parts of the vanilla game - seeing them corrupted is a nice touch.
I had a fun time playing through the map pack; though it's only four levels long, they're all large enough to encourage exploration provide a solid experience that doesn't overstay its welcome. Secrets were well hidden, but not bear-impossible to find. Keep the large-map format; it's not used as often as it should, and as I've mentioned before, each map has enough variety to keep one going without growing bored.
The Invoker was fun to play as. The Magic Missiles weapon is a power-house, it carried me through most of the playthrough, even against the game's bosses.
Just as before, they're just tiny things for more flavor. The Liber Oscura and Daemon Codex found in map 4 can be spiced up by using the K, R, or X letters and minor edits to the inventory, pickup, and bookcase sprites; I don't know if it'd be too much of a coding hassle to manage, however.
Sunstaff: Increase its primary damage just a tiny bit, other than that, it works well enough. Its repulsion attack is situational, but it helped a lot against Traductus.
Staff of Cranvus: As I mentioned it gets the job done.
Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:23 pm
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