Bugs, bugs, bugs Cherry Pit
timothy on Dec 9th 2008, Version (Beta) 1.0.1
This was a lot worse than I heard, but new co-op maps are always good. Don't give up, keep trying
Ratings are cyclical $LAVEWAD
timothy on Dec 9th 2008, Version 1.0
Great maps, although after playing them for months I wish there was just a little more to this release. You need to play co-op to really experience these maps.
A solid step, but in the wrong direction Spawn Whiners
ray on Dec 5th 2008, Version 1.0
While the technical merit of these scripts is unquestionable, I speak for all of us here at Ray Laboratories when I question treellama's stance against spawn killing. Spawn killing is a time-honored tradition of Marathon, and it's a shame that concessions such as this are being made to the rabid anti-spawn-killing partisans. Look to Ray Laboratories in the near future for some forward-looking action on the spawn killing dilemma.
Amazing Work! Marathon C: Version 7
Synchronicity13 on Dec 2nd 2008, Version Number 7
There's some excellent mapmaking going on here... Good differential shading, clever secrets, and some ingenious use of 5D space. I especially liked the addition of small details that really complete the level, like being able to flood the starting area in "Harpooning." The story's intriguing... can't wait to see more!
Good Work Stop Camping
timothy on Nov 24th 2008, Version :C
I thought they were fun, but when I hosted the scripts people stopped joining my games.
Get it. Paradise Lost
$lave on Nov 16th 2008, Version X
This is, as Treellama has said, yet another must have netpack. All the maps are balanced, good looking (although some more so than others) and flow well.
From the first release this has been a steady 5 star pack. The complex architecture is nicely balanced with fast, balanced gameplay, and although the architecture does inevitably damage the flow slightly in some areas, it isn't intrusive enough to damage the gameplay or detract from the overall quality of the maps; the flow still rivals (and often beats) that of many of the previous "Must Have" netpacks.
I think we all owe a huge thank you to RyokoTK, our favourite community ruiner.
YAMHNP Paradise Lost
treellama on Nov 16th 2008, Version X
Yet another must have net pack!
This fine heptadecaptych is a worthy successor to Red Spectrum.
quality AND quantity Paradise Lost
inguinal falx on Nov 16th 2008, Version X
Until now, I haven't given the matter much thought because I downloaded a lot of the maps piecemeal as they were released.
After seeing all these amazing maps listed together, I can comfortably offer my opinion that this is the best map pack I have ever seen.
I have compared the list of PL X's maps to all the other favorites and in terms of both quality and quantity, it stands alone.
It's self-indulgent but here are my thoughts on each map:
Serpent's Kiss: fast and furious. Why don't we play this more often?
Oculus ex Inferni: I have never had a bad game on this map and I love the way it looks. I like to play oculus, and ile boule consecutively: concentric circles of polygon hell, the center of which is FM which I will mention in a minute
Downfall of Paradise: My vote for best map in the pack. Never been able to figure out why the action is so fast on this big map but its amazing. Something for everyone here. You can play Downfall 5 different times with as many different strategies and it doesn't get old. I am consistently amazed by this map.
SCB: Just make sure you have 6-8 players.
Darkest Insurrection: I'm not a fan of this one but I'm a rocket-whore and I appreciate the concept.
Paradigm Shift: Just LOOK at this map! I get killed all the time because I'm admiring the damn walls. Good for deathmatch, koth, and team games. This map really has it all.
Acid Rain: I have problems with the flow and there are too many suicides.
Metropolis Part I
Hourglass : I haven't played these much and can't really comment.
Hydrocity: I think this is one of the most underrated maps around. The only reason I can think of is that you need a lot of players.
Fortress Morrolan: The center of hell and imo, tied for best map of the lot. I like the original and didn't think this one needed the revamp. I was wrong. This map is outrageously fun and I'm happy that it's getting hosted often. I would play a 20 minute emfh on this map. team games have been better than on the original. it might be a fluke but people seem to camp a lot less on the remake too.
Fatal Tragedy: Another huge map that keeps a fast pace. I love this map because I'm a rocket whore and I host it all the time.
Dance of Pales: I liked Cenotaph and I love this one. I host this and Downfall when I feel like getting outside for a while.
Sevil Alucard: I've heard a few negative comments on this one that I don't quite understand. You have to think a little bit more on this one because there's too much room for straight running and gunning. As long as there are enough players to sustain the action, I love playing this map.
Polaris: simple, well-desgined, but it doesn't have anything for me too sink my teeth into.
Biohazard: Had some great games with 2-4 players here. Love the way it looks. It's a great complement to the larger levels in the pack.
Killer Instinct: Haven't played it but I've looked around and I can't wait to start. Looks like a bare-bones pagan purity. All the open space should lend itself to some interesting gameplay...maybe similar to that we see on the corpus swinus remake.
Hit and miss Quantum of Lua
chinkeeyong on Nov 11th 2008, Version 126.svn
Well, this is a rather motley pack. It's fun at first but quickly gets boring; however, points for trying. I see some very interesting implementation of new game mechanics here. While not really my cup of tea, these scripts create some cool effects which might be useful for start-up scenarios or TCs where normal Infinity rules don't apply. Plus, you have some mad Lua skilz.
Pretty cool Stop Camping
chinkeeyong on Nov 11th 2008, Version :C
While I'd normally disregard a Lua script from Wrk named "NO GOTTA PEE DANCES", these scripts actually work quite well to stop people from camping. They don't have any impact on normal gameplay and foil the plans of would-be spawn campers and cowardly snipers; I heartily recommend this to any host looking for a twist.
Better than Munitions Disposal? MapDamager Lua
ray on Nov 10th 2008, Version .2 != .20
Quite possibly. And for making me contemplate such heresy, this script gets 1 star.
Pee Stop Camping
irons on Nov 10th 2008, Version :C
Ian is watching us from beyond the grave, smiling, camping safely in his tomb.
W'rk knows the holy words, beguiling, chanting softly on a womb.
Fix it. Clairvoyant Disease
RyokoTK on Nov 10th 2008, Version 0.5
There are a handful of problems consistent with all four maps:
Not nearly enough spawn points. Every map should have a minimum of 8, no matter how big it is. Spawn-camping and spawn-killing were simply too frequent, and not even intentionally -- in a 5-player game we were spawning on top of each other on all of the maps.
Generally poor weapon balance. It's a bad idea to only have one rocket launcher on the map, and a worse idea to have a ton of ammo for it at the same time! It lets one person hoard the good weapons and perpetually control the map. The problem was consistent with the rockets on all of the maps, and the shotguns as well on at least two of them.
Not enough weapons near the spawns, or at least weapons worth anything. An assault rifle with no grenades is not helpful when one player has all the rockets and is spawn-camping at the same time -- see the above two bullet points. Similarly, for each weapon, put some ammo next to the weapon.
These problems make the maps virtually unplayable to any serious degree. Rinse the Valve is the best map, and I would put it at "decent" on a good day. The good news is that these problems are mostly fixable while retaining the maps.
Visually, the maps are good enough. Some differential shading is necessary, but the minor details (especially on M.I.A.) are appreciated. Flow-wise, the maps also could use some help, but generally they aren't horrible, except on M.I.A. where there is a major dead-end that led to many kills for the aforementioned rocket guy.
Fix these problems, then we'll talk. In the meantime, this pack can get no better than two stars from me.
not ready for prime time Clairvoyant Disease
treellama on Nov 10th 2008, Version 0.5
Most of these maps have some serious flaws; Rinse the Valve is about the only playable one, and even it isn't very good.
Texturing and lighting are OK, but everything else is pretty bad. Flow suffers from dead ends, bouncy walls. Player spawn placement is horrendous; there aren't enough of them, they're in bad places, and at least one is in mid-air. One is a few feet from the hill, directly visible.
Weapon placement is equally bad, it seems like weapons were just placed randomly. Weapon balance is also lacking (one map has only one SPNKR, which is easily guarded).
I would wait till the next revision before downloading these, they're not ready yet.
W'rkncacnter on Nov 10th 2008, Version 0.5
I hope the version .5 means you know these maps need a LOT of work. Gun balance is the worst I've seen in maps for quite a while. The spawn points are completely broken on a few of these maps. I saw at least one untextured side, and there are no words to describe how bad the KOTH map was.
Do better please.
Better than Munitions Disposal? Stop Camping
ray on Nov 9th 2008, Version :C
Of course not. These scripts are merely perfect.
Probably a 4.5 Cosmic Clouds
RyokoTK on Nov 7th 2008, Version 2.1
As a mapper, Slave is really taking some considerable strides in technical ability, but has some problems with diversity; in short, many of his maps feel similar to each other and few of them are especially compelling on their own. When put in a pack together, the sameness of many of these maps becomes a big problem in choosing a map to play.
I find that stylistically the same sets of architectural elements find themselves present in almost all of his maps, which isn't necessarily bad (I am guilty of the same thing) but when they are as prevalent as they are in some maps here, they become less of a convincing motif and more closely resemble a lack of creativity. I think Ascent, Concentration Moon, and Firefly are basically the same map, for example; different texture sets, sure, but the weapon choices and general flow are very similar (and I still think Ascent is the best). Rainfall, In Limbo, and Deep Blue Day are also remarkably similar, or at least to me.
I think the problem is that most maps here are less a collection of rooms and more a collection of corridors and passageways. In my experience, rooms are both more fun to play in and more compelling as a composition. In that sense, Leek Hills, Riki Tiki Tavi, Ascent, and Tiger Mountain are some of the best maps in the pack. Tiger Mountain and Leek Hills especially provide a great balance between big, interesting main spaces, and functional secondary corridors and spaces that make the maps especially successful, whereas maps like Endless Night and Airbag are less memorable or interesting.
Other maps have problems with height changes that are both too dramatic and too drastic to really work well for this game. There's nothing specifically wrong with big heights and a dynamic use of them, but it can reach the point where the flow is so stilted, and too focused on going up and down, that it interrupts the gameplay. Airbag, Cloud of Eiderdown, and Ocean of Noise all have this problem to a severe extent. Maps that use height changes well are Rainfall and Deep Blue Day; in these cases, higher and lower elevations still interact well both by themselves and with each other, and the focus of flow is still more horizontal than vertical.
I think a constructive mapping exercise for Slave is to make a few maps that are simpler and focus on big issues rather than small ones. Cosmic Clouds still lacks a traditional arena, which is okay, but I believe that making an arena is an easy, fun, and productive exercise; successful arenas put all of the player focus on straightforward combat, which is something that is lost in the shuffle to some extent currently in this pack. Good arena maps are enjoyable and memorable. Making more maps that focus on one or two main rooms, with less focus on corridors, side spaces, ledges, and so on, would also probably be constructive. Riki Tiki Tavi is one such map, and one of the most flexible and most fun. Over Fire Island is a case where a good main space is tarnished by having too much cruft in the upper levels, which are so high they're detached from the main flow.
To me, the best maps are Ascent, Leek Hills, Tiger Mountain, and Riki Tiki Tavi. That is not, however, an invitation to make more maps like them. It would be better to take some of the metaphorical ideas that make them successful -- big spaces, smooth flow, memorable design -- and employ them in new maps.
And make less water maps. Take a look at the screenshots posted here -- five of them look like they could be the same map. I would like to see more maps that used Jjaro and Lava, especially. Different texture sets would encourage different architectural quirks and styles, which I think would be a good exercise.
I would like to give this pack a 4.5 -- it really is almost there, but it falls only a little short of being excellent material.
I hate In Limbo [M] Cosmic Clouds
timothy on Nov 6th 2008, Version 2.1
Firefly and Deep Blue Day are the only good additions to this new release. However, at 17 maps Cosmic Clouds is finally large enough to provide a good hour of game play by itself. Of course, the texturing is ugly as usual but that is only a small distraction.
nice creativity! Ein Heldenleben
xXDelphiXx on Oct 30th 2008, Version 1.0
Im not going to repeat the flaws the have said, but I do like it!
Werefrog is not in this pack. Don't download it. Ein Heldenleben
RyokoTK on Oct 29th 2008, Version 1.0
These are good maps and the pack is a promising start. While none of them are especially strong, they are fun and enjoyable maps with no noticeable flaws. I would happily play on any of them, but I probably wouldn't specifically request any of them.
The concept is interesting and, from what I remember of the source material, the adaptations are generally good. Treellama does a good job of balancing faithfulness to the original map while making the necessary adaptions when stepping down to a simpler engine.
Aesthetically, these maps are the best TL has to offer. Egyptian Temple looks great for what it is; this map is a shining example of how differential shading is absolutely necessary when the texturing is simpler. Velora Pass's texturing is horrible -- the obvious byproduct of the two sets used together -- but architecturally the map is ooverflowing with small details that really contribute to a good overall aesthetic, and the lighting is exceptional. Zora's Domain is a good mesh of good texturing and good architecture, and is an unusually vertically-oriented map for the arboreal camelid.
Overall, a good pack, but one that needs to find one or two real winners.
Doesn't quite live up to Popems Ein Heldenleben
$lave on Oct 28th 2008, Version 1.0
Although this is by no means a bad pack, it doesn't quite live up to the standards Treellama set with his previous pack, Popems. These are by no means bad maps, but where Popems is full of fun, impressive maps, this pack falls short.
I have always liked Zora's Domain a lot, and I like Velora Pass (with the exception of some of the texturing), but I was not very impressed by Egyptian Temple. Although Egytian Temple has some good cover due to the pillars making the bullet-based gameplay interesting, the map quickly started to feel bland and repetitive to me, a downfall of the Egyptian style and look.
That put aside, I'm interested to see what comes of this pack, and I certainly think it has the potential to reach (if not top) the status of Popems with a bit more consistency quality wise.
Room for improvement Power Drive
Iritscen on Oct 23rd 2008, Version 1.1.0
That being said, I really like what is being done here. I can't give it a higher score because of three main reasons:
The maps are supposed to encourage the use of all weapons more evenly, but there are no pistols in some levels. This particularly irks me more than it may irk others because the pistol is Marathon's defining "marksman's weapon" in lieu of a sniper rifle-type weapon, and I really want to see marksmanship encouraged a bit more. The pistol is quite viable if we can pick up a second one, otherwise it simply will be overlooked as it always was.
I feel pretty strongly about the SMG being left the way it was. It was already a power weapon in my opinion -- getting "kept on the beam" by an opponent for most of a clip meant certain doom, and a clip lasts, what, a second? So I don't think it needed an upgrade in any way.
Too many alien weapons on the maps! Turn some into pistols, please. The increased power of the alien weapon becomes overbearing when there are so many on the map, and tilts overall gunplay in the direction of more blunderbussing and blind short-range charging (moving away from rewarding careful aiming), since that is what works for this weapon -- and I feel that is a direction things don't need to go in any further.
Every other change to the weapons is very well thought-out and I look forward to hosting these maps, with the exception of Persepolis, which for some reason rubs me the wrong way. I wish I could put my finger on it and be helpful, but I can't, sorry. All I can say is that the structure confuses the eye greatly, and the upper and outer areas don't seem used at all (perhaps connected to the location of spawn points, just throwing that out there as a thought).
All the other maps are nice, and stand out from most maps -- to me anyway -- in the amount of cover they provide, which is something I feel is often overlooked in map design.
Sorry if my score seems low, but I really want to leave room for scoring revised versions higher, since I see that room for improvement. Consider the actual score a 3.5.
What changed? Munitions Disposal.lua
Iritscen on Oct 23rd 2008, Version 1.1
I actually did not see a difference in play when using this script.
Reference is made to "Never stop firing" as if I needed that advice... that is how I have been playing for years, so i don't know what this script is supposed to do for me.
"Fire weapons to gain points"? Again, this seems to be a tip directed at novices. Perhaps new Marathon players will benefit from this more than seasoned pros like myself.
Oh well, it didn't make things worse, so it gets a 5.