Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dooming (yes, again)

So, I had Oblivion all tweaked out and running smoothly (or so I believed) with all my favorite "must-have" mods installed when I abruptly discovered that every time I tried to take an iron cuirass from a fallen enemy NPC the game would instantly CTD. This led me to waste about two days (I'm on a not-necessarily-wanted unpaid holiday break) trying to track down which mod was causing the problem. Once I had totally uninstalled and then reinstalled the game, thinking I had finally nailed down the problem, I decided to start a new game from scratch. This of course resulted in the game instantly crashing whenever I try to exit the character generation menu, even with no mods activated. Now, I believe I possess the mental faculties and the working knowledge of this particular game's subtle nuances to eventually figure out what has gone wrong there but (being the temperamental female that I am) I don't always have the patience to persist in such endeavors without pause.

Maybe my brother is right, after all; all these things called mods are just cheats and we should be thankful to simply play unaltered what Bethesda has graciously given us as it was "meant to be played".

Yeah, riiiiiight.

Anyway, I need to take a break from Bethesda games (or at least from Oblivion) for a while until I regain my ambition to fix not only the game but the products of the modding community as well. In the meantime, what game would regular readers of this blog expect me to start playing again?

You guessed it: DooM! Not Doom 3 or that BFG Edition crap, mind you, but just good old-fashioned two-dimensional sprites-with-giant-pixels Doom. It runs like greased lightning on just about any computer built this millenium, never crashes (without extreme provocation, at least) and I have fun playing it. What else could I ask for?

At this point I would like to mention that the DRD Team is still plugging away at perpetually improving my favorite classic Doom sourceport, GZDoom, just as Graf Zahl and Randy Heit apparently are still working to improve official releases of their creations. At the following links you can download the latest official releases of both ZDoom and GZDoom, as well as the latest SVN builds of each. Thanks to everyone at those respective projects (and especially those dedicated individuals who are actually working on all of the above simultaneously); your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Anyway, today I started once again playing one of my favorite challenging megawads: Armadosia. I believe I've mentioned it here before but let me say once again that the author, Arma Kero, spent three years (or more) on this project and it definitely shows in the quality of the resulting set of maps. It's definitely one of those rare megawads that I don't mind replaying regularly.

...and of course I'm playing it with everyone's favorite Doom Upgrade mod, created by everyone's favorite Doom modder...

Yeah, riiiiiight.

But, on the off-chance that someone reading this is actually interested, I am still indeed working to tweak and fine-tune my GZDoom-based monster and item randomizer mod which I'm told totally ruins the game, making it totally unplayable. In light of such criticisms I continue to tweak the gameplay balance toward what I believe is fair for both the player and the monsters, and I also continue to add creatures and other modifications of my own creation in a vain attempt to assuage the naysayers who claim that all I've done with the mod is copy+paste a bunch of stuff created by other people. I'm not going to go into any greater detail regarding the current contents of the mod since (last time I checked) there are only two or maybe three individuals among my massive following of readers who would even be interested in this at all. However, for those appreciated friends I will mention that the latest incarnation of Herculine's Doom Upgrade can always be found at this download link. (It's my DropBox folder where I keep a current backup of the mod, which I update any time I feel I've made improvements worth saving for the prosperity of mankind. This link should always be good, at least unless something horrible happens to DropBox.) My heartfelt thanks to anyone who actually cares about any of this.

Anyway, that's what I'm up to at the moment and I have no clue why I felt the need to type a blog entry about it. Next thing you know, I'll be "tweeting" about what outfit I'm going to wear tomorrow...


  1. I can relate to being frustrated by Bethsoft games. Been avoiding Oblivion (seriously need to remake the girls, and get their faces and custom bodies up to current-spec; but you know how much I love the toolset's face editor), but have been tinkering with Skyrim still. Tried an ENB, got some textures that keep messing up my video card, got hold of an "immersion" mod that was so script heavy it cut my idle FPS in half...

    ...I'm thinking some old school gaming that just friggin' works sounds nice along about now.

    Probably won't go as old school as DOOM, though. Thinking of popping back into Dawn of War: Dark Crusade -- after all these years, I still haven't played the Ork path. Or maybe Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries -- yeah, I've played it a dozen plus times; but there's something just plain satisfying about shooting things with a coil gun or particle cannon.

    1. The real problem is that there are so many variables to take into account when tinkering with this stuff. I recently reinstalled my OS yet again and, though I own a legal registered copy of Windows 7, experience has taught me that I'll never end up with exactly the same OS twice. I also now have a newer video card than I had last time I played Oblivion and of course have a new set of video drivers; I think we all know what a crapshoot that can be. Who knows... maybe there's nothing at all wrong with the Bethesda game and it's instead everything else that borked?

  2. Back to work on your Randomizer, Herculine? We're all DOOMED! No, I don't think that's a bad thing XD

    1. Well, as far as gameplay mechanics are concerned I think I've finally got the thing set up exactly how I want it. I'm pretty sure the only changes that will be made to it from here on will be the additions of new creatures as I and the Realm667 folks devise them and maybe tweaking some sprites or other visuals here and there. Aside from such minor tweaks, I'm quite satisfied with the results thus far.

    2. Sounds good! Now, if I can just find the drive to fire up Doom (or any other game for that matter), I will give the current version a go :)