Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Not Really News, but...

Today Bethesda posted on their blog news of a "Doom 3: BFG Edition" scheduled for release this fall. This news has me feeling a bit conflicted...

On one hand, I remember my own pre-PC days when all I had was the original XBox and thus the releases of Doom 3 and Resurrection Of Evil that included the classic versions of the game were the only means by which I had to play them. For folks who have only console platforms (which I'd wager is rare these days) this is possibly great news.

Then there's the part of me that can't help but think that this is yet another example of Bethesda trying to re-sell to me things that I already have. Sure, this time around Doom 3 and Resurrection Of Evil are supposed to be "re-mastered for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in stunning 3D for an even more terrifying FPS experience" but honestly, how much better could it be? The release will also contain Doom and Doom 2 and thus is billed as "the ultimate collection of groundbreaking games that defined the first person shooter" but I think most of us know that with no Master Levels, no Plutonia Experiment, no TNT: Evilution or No Rest For The Living this actually is only two-thirds of "the ultimate collection". The only thing about this "new" release that has even the slightest possibility of making me want to buy its PC release would be that it is said to include seven new levels called the "Lost Mission". (Of what I've read thus far, it is unclear whether these new levels are for the classic game or for id's Tech 4 engine).
First screens and multiplayer features revealed for Doom 3 BFG Edition
Either way, in my opinion this is another shining example of the classic Bethesda sales formula we've all come to know so well: why sell something new when we can re-package and re-sell something we've already sold by calling it a "Game Of The Year Edition" or, in this case, the "BFG Edition"?

Monday, May 28, 2012

A New Shingle?

One of the things I had intended to do here on the blog when it was dedicated solely to Classic Doom was to occasionally review PWADs both past and present, providing some screenshots (or even videos) from the levels and my opinions of the works. I would still like to do so, but recently I became distracted by my own works-in-progress and the public opinions of them thus the blog took a bit of a different direction. Besides, I'm not ashamed to admit that I think KMX E XII does far better reviews than I in the DOOMED blog which are just as deserving of readers.

In the meantime, I decided that I'm going to continue to participate in the Doom community (whether they want me there or not) and submitted a pair of map reviews to DoomWorld's Newstuff Chronicles which (a bit to my surprise) were approved for publishing in the latest edition of Newstuff. So far no one has chimed in with any objections to my participation, so maybe I've finally found a niche there.

The only drawback to that is, as its name implies, the Newstuff Chronicles is restricted to reviews of content recently added to the id Games Archives. I still have a ton of older Classic Doom content that I want to share with my readers, so all I can do is ask for patience. If all goes well, I might actually get back to posting about some other video games here as well.

Friday, May 18, 2012


The month of May has marked the one-year anniversaries of not only KMX E XII's Doomed blog and my own little blog here, but also the first anniversary of my Doom Upgrade mod's induction into the hallowed halls of DoomWorld infamy on May 18, 2011. What better way could there be to celebrate this auspicious occasion than to release an Anniversary Edition?

I know someone in the crowd is doing a facepalm and groaning: "Oh jeez, another new version?" Rest assured that I kinda feel the same way, but I've made some much-needed tweaks this time so it was necessary even without the new content. More about that new content after the lengthy official trailer video...


What Anniversary Edition could be complete without at least a few new monsters? Besides, I couldn't resist when I saw that new content is still being added to the Realm667 Repository despite the whining opposition spewing forth from the Doom community. I hope to see Realm667 continue to prosper.

The Weakener
This guy is a Cacodemon variant that has a very unique attack. Unlike other projectiles in the game his do not dissipate after impact, instead remaining wherever they struck until some unfortunate Marine comes into contact with them. I'd hesitate to call them mines, however, since they don't actually explode; instead they work exactly like the power-up orbs in the game except that they are power-downs that temporarily weaken the attack damage the player inflicts. Not so much deadly as he is an annoyance, the Weakener is still one monster that you don't want to let hang around for too long or you could find yourself surrounded by Weakener Orbs.

Augmented Arachnotron
Also known as the Arachnotron MK2, this guy is only special because he has a double-barreled plasma canon instead of a single like his little brother. He also seems to have thicker armor plating. Just a tougher variant to help keep things interesting.

The Time Imp
Now here's a nasty little bugger. Not quite as nasty as the Cheshire Cacodemon's, his time distortion is more like an annoying stutter rather than a full stop and you might think you're having GPU framerate issues when he's doing his thing. His manipulation of time also lets him run around pretty darn fast and gives him another special ability that I'll just let be a surprise. Like the Cheshire Cacodemon, I've set his spawn rate ratio rather low (1%) to hopefully keep any random room full of Imps from becoming a total nightmare.

The Satyr
Hell really isn't complete without some goat-hoofed Satyrs, now is it? This guy has actually been around for a while but I never used him in the mod because he doesn't have anything flashy or exciting, just a simple melee attack. Then I realized that, even though he doesn't look like them, he'd fit in perfectly balance-wise with the Pinkie Demons. He does a little more damage, though, so I've set him to only appear amongst the more difficult Spectres.

Fitting in style-wise with the Satyr and the Obsidian Statue, Azazel has a number of dangerous attacks, some of which are of the "seeker" variety. He's actually kinda tough, so he'll only appear amongst the Mancubi. Some players might think that Azazel and the BruiserDemon are too tough to be thrown in with the Mancubi or that their 10% spawn rates are too high, but there's a method to my madness. When I first played "vanilla" Doom II one of the monsters that frightened and challenged me the most was the Mancubus, but they've since become a bit boring to me. Thus I simply wanted to have some scary monsters in their ranks again. If no one's figured it out yet, this mod is designed primarily to present not only variety but also new challenges to experienced players.

I've also made a few tweaks to other monsters that were already in the mod, perhaps most notably the boss monsters. The general consensus seems to be that they are too difficult, so now when each one dies it will leave behind a randomly-spawned power-up sphere of the megacharge variety. Previously I had done this with only a select few bosses, but now I've added the item drop to all of them. This might not seem like much of a boon if you're playing a single level with a boss at the very end, but in custom maps where authors have placed multiple bosses throughout the level it should be rather helpful.

For a long while now I've observed that the Shadow Beast often gets "stucked" in alcoves where a map author has placed Revenants. He wasn't rendered totally useless since he could still throw his green projectiles and spawn his little Shadow buddies, but still he was just kinda stuck there doing the Running Man. To hopefully eliminate this issue, I've set his height and radius values to be the same as the Revenant's. This doesn't change how large he appears in the game, just how large the game engine perceives him as being so that he should be able to move around more freely now. Just for GP, I made the same adjustments to the Archons as well.

I've reduced the spawn rates of the Cheshire Cacodemon, Time Imp, Dark Arch-Vile, Death Incarnate, Cybruiser, Golem and the Malevonant to hopefully make things feel more balanced. I've found that the Cybruiser's Seeker Bazooka can be a bit oppressive and the Death Incarnate's constantly resurrecting himself can be quite bothersome if I haven't found the Seeker Bazooka yet. The Malevonant isn't so bad by himself, but once he starts spawning those invisible Nightmares a room can get crowded rather quickly. The Dark Arch-Vile can seem like he's invincible when he's throwing his black hole attack around, but rather than give away the secret of the uber-easy way I've found to defeat him I simply reduced his spawn rate as well. I've also slightly reduced the damage dealt by the Railgun Sentries because those suckers turned out to be a lot more dangerous than I had originally intended them to be. Now they can also be looted for a plasma cell.

For a long while now the attack of the Beam Zombie has not matched the attack of the Channeler gun that you get from him. This was largely due to laziness on my part, but now I've rectified the issue. This makes the Beam Zombie a bit more dangerous perhaps, but you may note that it takes him a few seconds before he can "lock on" and that delay will hopefully provide enough reaction time for more casual players.

I've re-sorted the spawn lists for the Hell Knights and the Barons of Hell; previously there were a few creatures that were in one list but belonged in the other and vice-versa. Hopefully this will help maintain the gameplay difficulty balance that my critics say I've never attempted to achieve.

No longer to be seen are the Hell Warrior and the Imp Warlord. Not entirely due to some gentle persuading, I've decided that they really aren't Doom-style monsters and I've got plenty of monsters as it is. I kinda like them though, so I simply removed them from their respective spawn lists rather than totally deleting them from the WAD (just in case I change my mind about them later). Maybe they'll appear in Herculine's Hexen Upgrade...

There's at least one more new enemy this time around, as well as more changes to a few that we already know and love, but mention of those will have to wait until I cover the new weapons farther down the page.


Only two new ones this time around. I've dumped most of the various bouncing spheres into the spawn slot that randomly replaces the Partial Invisibility Orb, so adding too many more could make it almost impossible to ever get some of them. Despite what my critics might say, I prefer variety rather than overkill.

Oh, and I actually remembered to copy those Megasphere sprites so it's not invisible in Ultimate Doom now.

Guard Sphere

This handy power-up temporarily reduces the damage the player takes to 25% of the norm. I thought this would be a good companion addition to the Weakener monster.

Haste Sphere

If you can't tell by its name what this one does, there are a few D&D games I'd like to recommend to you. With things like the Cheshire Cacodemon, Time Imp and a TimeStop Sphere already in the WAD, this one seemed like a logical addition.

Well, we can't have an Anniversary Edition without at least a couple of new weapons, now can we?

Fusion Canon
I came up with this one while pondering how to give our favorite Marine an attack that was in some way similar to the spread of pink projectiles launched by the Fusion Canon Arachnotron and that we should be able to loot just such a weapon from his corpse. Rather than a single projectile the Fusion Canon launches a burst of five projectiles, making it a useful weapon for anyone who has less-than-perfect aim. It also seems to be pretty good for clearing soldiers out of corridors.
Ice Canon
The rare few among you who have been following this project from the beginning may recall that in the original version I had included an Ice Rifle, an Electro Gun and a plasma Repeater. In subsequent versions these weapons were removed because I either didn't like the way they looked or the way they performed (or both). As the year has passed the mod has acquired a few monsters who have the ability to freeze the player solid, so it seemed only fair to reintroduce some sort of freeze weapon with which the player could return the favor. Unlike the relationship of the Fusion Canon to the Fusion Canon Arachnotron, it did not make sense to me to have the weapon dropped by any of the monsters currently possessing such freezing attacks; thus it was also necessary to bring back the Freezer Gun Zombie. Now you can once again fight fi-- er, ice with ice.
Speaking of fighting fire with fire, I have decided to in a way cater to the masses a bit with this one. Now the Pyrotron (my custom Arachnotron variation) can be looted for a flamethrower. Originally I did not include a flamethrower in the mod because my goal has always been to make the mod as versatile as possible in its compatibility with other PWADs. As any weapon aficionado could tell you, as a rule flamethrowers are fueled by some form of combustible liquid; the flamethrowers in the Realm667 Armory for the most part adhere to this rule. This means that for them to be of any use in any given map, that custom ammo type would need to be added to each map the flamethrower would be used in. Thus having such a weapon in the mod would be totally contrary to my goal of making the Upgrade as widely compatible as possible. However, I know there are players who would enjoy using a flamethrower in the game, so this time I've included one that somehow converts plasma cell energy into conventional flame. The same weapon aficionados I mentioned earlier will surely complain that it's not at all realistic to have the flamethrower use plasma cells for ammo; I'd just like to remind those fans of "realism" that Doom also contains a chainsaw that has not run out of gas once in almost twenty years. (Or I could be really cruel and modify the chainsaw to run on plasma cells as well. Nah... the chainsaw has always been there for when we run out of ammo; such a modification would indeed affect the gameplay balance and my critics would cry like babies.)

(Just one word of caution: be careful with the flamethrower in confined spaces. Its fire can hurt us as well.)
Other weapon tweaks worthy of note include the return of the two-fisted sub-machine guns, if for no other reason than they look cool and this makes them feel less like a redundancy. I've also removed a few frames of animation from the Skulltag Minigun; I almost never used it because the painfully long pause before it could re-fire made me feel crippled and I longed for the old vanilla Chaingun. Now the Minigun feels less like a burden and more like the classic weapon it's meant to replace.

Things I didn't/couldn't do:

I still can't figure out how to keep the player from picking up the Armor Shards and MegaSpheres when they are not yet needed. But that's the way those items behave in the vanilla game so it's not a big deal I suppose.

Something that would serve no practical purpose yet in my opinion would have been really cool to see would have been including all the custom creatures in the monster roll-call at the end of the games. I've learned that such a feat can indeed be accomplished using MAPINFO to create a custom intermission, but as far as I can tell to do so would not be practical since in the end I would need to make a separate MAPINFO lump and thus a separate copy of the mod for each IWAD. Also, such MAPINFO lumps likely would interfere with any sets of custom maps also using MAPINFO. So, in the interest of maintaining the mod's flexible compatibility, such a superficial feature will not be included unless I can devise a better or at least alternative way to do it.


I'm pretty sure that's everything I've screwed up this time around. Enough stuff has been altered in this version that I think it's safe to say saved games using previous versions will be incompatible. If you've got a game to finish you might want to do so before unzipping this file as it will of course overwrite any older versions of the mod.

And just a note to the naysayers who claim that the mod has never been tested at all: I'm currently using it to play through Nicolas Monti's EVILTECH and so far have found no bugs... just demons.


The current version, Herculine's Doom Upgrade: Anniversary Edition, can be downloaded HERE. Alternatively, it can also be downloaded from the DoomWorld/id Games Archives.


EDIT: 05/21/2012

A Neko's Work Is Never Done...

While playing this morning I encountered a CyberDemon variant who upon dying dropped something like half a dozen SoulSphere/LifeSphere power-ups. Obviously that was not what I had intended to happen, so it was time to once again open the WAD in an editor. I won't bore you with all the technical details of what caused the bug or exactly how I fixed it, but suffice it to say that the bug resulted in some proactive tweaking of all the boss monster that has remedied the situation. It was in a way a fortuitous bug because the code command I discovered to fix it also enabled me to now add plasma cells that can be looted from my RailGun Sentries after they explode. That same bit of code (I think) could be used to create monsters that spawn other monsters when they die or even monsters that infinitely respawn even though the game is not set on the NIGHTMARE difficulty... but that's a particular bit of nastiness that I think I'll save for the Second Anniversary Edition or maybe a special Hardcore Edition...

EDIT: 05/24/2012

I didn't notice this post on Realm667 until after I had put what I thought was the finishing touches on all of this, but apparently many (if not all) of the monsters in the Beastiary are getting brightmaps added to their files. This includes many (but not all) of the monsters in my little Upgrade here, which means of course that you still haven't seen the final version of the mod yet. But don't do another facepalm just yet; it'll likely take some time for them to get all those brightmaps done and for me to in turn add them to my mod, so you won't be seeing another post about a new version being uploaded until I feel I've added enough new content to warrant it. As a result of this news I'm also in the process of converting the WAD to a PK3 file, which has the potential of giving me the chance to experiment with some new ideas I'm not going to reveal just yet...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

667 Shuffle

It's often said by my critics that all I do here is talk about how my mods are better than everyone else's... despite the fact that none of those critics has yet been able to point to where I've actually made such a claim and despite the fact that I present to my readers for the sake of comparison the mods of my competitors, like Aeons of Death. It has also recently been said that people would rather play Doom with Scalliano's 667 Shuffle than with my Doom Upgrade. Thus I present a look or two at Scalliano's 667 Shuffle so that you all can make your own choices without any coercion from me.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

WARLOCK: Master of the Arcane

I haven't played many turn-based strategy map games, but this one looks like something I might give a try.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Minor Note To Anyone Concerned

A while back I started a blog page where I had intended to share collections of my favorite Classic Doom maps that I had compiled into convenient WAD sets. Well, as some of you may have noticed, file servers apparently cannot be trusted to keep my uploaded files around for very long (and I can't submit them to the DoomWorld/id Games Archives because from there I would expect nothing but accusations that I'm stealing the works of others, which is hardly my intention). So I'm really left with no other choice but to provide links to all the individual files scattered throughout the Archives and share them in that manner. I've just finished updating all the links that were on the page thus far, and will continue to add new content as I find it. I apologize because I know this way is more inconvenient, but with my hands virtually tied it appears to be the best that I will be able to do.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Guilty by association?

This is the latest work of art that my Doom Randomizer is being compared to:
Like the comment says, you be the judge.
But I've been told that I don't do anything here but whine and cry about my terrible mods that nobody likes, so now I'll just go back to watching Rosario + Vampire...

EDIT: 05/05/2012

And why is it that as soon as I post in a thread about this in the DoomWorld forums the thread gets locked? And they say I'm afraid of the truth...

...should I even mention about how more comments and votes have yet again been deleted randomly from my uploaded file? Maybe Ty has a comment and vote deleting randomizer...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I'm Speechless

You all might find this hard to believe, but apparently there is actually someone somewhere (other than the two of you who already comment on the blog here) who actually liked something I did for Doom...

So that makes what, three people now?