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Re: [UT] <EXU2> "G59 - Phase 1" - RELEASED!

Posted: 19 May 2012, 01:09
by Buff Skeleton
OK, wow, this is pretty crazy. I am really enjoying this! It's a special treat to see your own creation get modded even further.

I got I think about half way through Map 2, the dark one. The first map was great up till the end when it got stupid; that Juggernaut has way too much health. I ended up just telefragging him. I also lost my Contact Beam somewhere but that could have been me throwing it by accident. Guess I'll summon a new one. I haven't needed it too much, though.

[spoiler]The warlord shadow boss thing is absurd. I died pretty much instantly every time I jumped down into that pit - it's just stupid. You really need to give something that has 1) EXTREMELY high damage 2) EXTREMELY high speed and 3) EXTREMELY large melee range (I'm assuming that's what its attacks were) some kind of critical flaw, like extremely low health or severe weakness to something. Not even being able to telefrag the cocksucker was a pain in the ass. It's also hard to see, so jesus christ, throw me a bone here.

I like those modified Stupid Burster Bags. If you have any particular favorite pawn variants you want me to include in the official package, let me know, or else you can just keep them in your own.

Also, I reloaded my save before the end of Map 1 before I killed the Juggernaut, re-killed it, and went to see where I dropped my Contact Beam, when a shit ton of gasbags spawned over the bridge (including a modified Ultrabag, looool) and kicked my ass. Was I supposed to fight these guys before the Juggernaut? The music went silent for that guy, I killed him, then ended the level the first time. Never fought the other gasbags aside from the first wave.[/spoiler]

I love the visual and audio effects, especially the skybox in Map 1, great job with that. My only other complaints are that Demo 4 content is SO FUCKING TERRIBLE compared to the current build it pains me to know that I and only a few others even know what it's like to play with the new stuff :D More motivation to get this shit done as fast as possible, jesus. It's been too long.
G59 is making me reconsider my "No Demo 5" stance.

Re: [UT] <EXU2> "G59 - Phase 1" - RELEASED!

Posted: 19 May 2012, 11:48
by UBerserker
Hmm never heard of Contact Beam disappearing but I guess you throwing it was probably the cause.
But you indeed played the thing on Unreal difficulty, right? D:

Let's go with the other things.
[spoiler]Well, I may certainly went TOO far with the bosses because I wanted them to be some serious obstacles but yeah maybe I have exaggerated with them. They have too much health and some of them are stupid crap like the Juggernaut or Tsathoggua (name of the Shadow lord). I'll have to revise them eventually - the bosses of Map 3 and 4 aren't that easy either and they're just special versions of normal EXU creatures.

Ultrabag-wannabe/Naberius comes when: 1)You killed the Juggernaut, 2)Running around the last few items and last translator message are located, 3)If you go back on the bridge. Gasbags on the other side should pop up, then the boss appears, with "Towards the end of Time" playing.
Basically the trigger for making the boss and his underlings appear is activated by a trigger near the last translator message. And this latter trigger is activated by killing the Juggernaut.
Naberius is of course mandatory if you want to finish the map.

Map 2, holy damn. As much as I love that map I still can't get the gameplay FCKING right. Since you played it on Unreal, the Shadow Lord ambushed you several times, right? Shadow Lord and many big Shadow Creatures appear randomly in that level (the boss DOES appear more often depending on your difficulty, between Hard and Unreal). The random appearances are easily dealt with (much easier to spot & escape, lower health), the mandatory ones aren't though. Though for the last one you can actually escape or trick him by going over the ledge. They're stupid. I'll still probably revise these two encounters, but there's much more in Map 2 which is more dangerous as it seems.

I'm wondering though how much high is the SCARE effect of Map 2 for other people. Probably not as high as the sense of frustration when played on Hard or Unreal. I have the bad feeling that I really fucked up Map 2 :/[/spoiler]

Any luck with the secrets?
Went a bit overboard with the sound effects in Map 2 to the point of thinking "why adding music was necessary?"; as far as skyboxes go my favourite is the one in Map 4.

I will wait for more COMPLAINTS/BLUNT OPINIONS (that I wish) before fixing a bunch of stuff that's wrong or because it's too ass to play. Right now I'm more concerned with gameplay.

Re: [UT] <EXU2> "G59 - Phase 1" - RELEASED!

Posted: 19 May 2012, 16:31
by Buff Skeleton
News posted: ... nsane/news

UB: don't worry about it too much, these are just my initial impressions. I was hearing a lot of sounds during Map 2 (which were quite good, left me pretty unsure what I was up against) that might have been that dude, but I didn't actually see it until I fought it (and got owned hard). I think less damage, health, and speed for that boss, plus some scripted introduction to the fight so players know they're locked in with a boss instead of just dropping down and facing it, would do a lot of good. And yes, this has been on Unreal diff.

For Map 1, there must be some kind of broken trigger, because I was able to end the map WITHOUT facing that boss. You'll definitely want to fix that. I just jumped on the well thing after telefragging the Juggernaut and the wooden panel gave way below me. It was only after reloading a save that I found the other stuff.

Now to resume my playthrough! Only my first run, so any secrets I've missed so far I will probably find later :tup: The actual fights so far have felt very, very well-balanced and fair on Unreal. Difficult and yeah I died a few times (only found the Fishburst that spawned while I was underwater and unable to see it kinda unfair), but usually my own fault. You've reminded me how fucking scary Doom Troopers are. :)

Re: [UT] <EXU2> "G59 - Phase 1" - RELEASED!

Posted: 19 May 2012, 16:36
by UBerserker
I had problems with the whole trigger thing at the end of Map 1 for like, several days. I have to see what's going on with that thing because I thought it was fixed for real.

I hope the rest of Map 2 and the following ones will pass the "enjoy" test!
TY also for the news :tup:

Re: [UT] <EXU2> "G59 - Phase 1" - RELEASED!

Posted: 19 May 2012, 19:27
by jaypeezy
UBerserker, I have to say playing through level one was a crazy and hellish experience full of Waffnufflian absurdity. You've definitely succeeded in replicating that unique aesthetic for which I'm sure plenty of us fell in love with EXU in the first place.

GAMEPLAY: Weapon placement was well-planned. Starting off with an EAR, Extractor and Shitgun made plowing through hordes of monsters, as well as picking off baddies in the distance, fun as well as rather messy. I enjoyed the surprises as well - won't reveal any of them but it suffices to say that they certainly kept me on my toes. As any good map should do. Flare placement is sparse, which I also liked, made every one of those flares precious and crucial to use during certain situations.

DISPLAY/SOUNDS+MUSIC: Pretty much exactly what I expected, which is not a bad thing. Blood here, darkness and sorrow there, and spooky glowing shit all over the place. Definitely agree with Waff about the skybox, that thing was crazy. Furthermore, it complemented your storyline rather well if I remember it correctly. The meteors, flames and quakes definitely made me feel like I was in the midst of a war greater than myself. The song you chose had an awesome up-beat tempo with an evil tone to it, so that was perfect. Before I forget, I also thought your custom-made demon statues were downright awesome! It seems you used stock Unreal content alone to make them, too, which is especially admirable.

Regarding two specific monsters...
[spoiler]So at the area where there first appear those two turbo queens, with the little hut with said statue inside of it, and the little shack with a tentacle in it, there is some sort of warlord there who can end up getting into a fight with the tentacle as well as one of the charging brutes. Which I found pretty convenient - just lob a grenade while they're arguing over something! Which might add some level of ease you may not want. Just figured I should point it out... otherwise, that specific part of the level got pretty challenging in a good way![/spoiler]

Regarding the "invisible" spell...
[spoiler]...that is keeping the under-water cave armor invisible, as per a translator message. I shot at what I believe are all of the glyphs and the thing never ended up appearing. "Beam heavily" means beam them all once, or several times? So I'm not sure if that's a bug or something.[/spoiler]

I've only played through level one so far. Level two... :/ Those damn shadow people!

Re: [UT] <EXU2> "G59 - Phase 1" - RELEASED!

Posted: 19 May 2012, 20:04
by UBerserker
[spoiler]Use a charged up Contact Beam bolt to hit all the four little glyphs hidden around the map. You do not have to hit them at the same time: if you correctly use the bolt on the glyph, you'll hear a loud sound and you'll receive a message on the top of the screen saying "## more glyps are left" or something like that. Just hit the other three glyphs in the same way. Once you've done that, the secret armor will pop in the secret underwater cave, over the wooden platform with the large glowing pentastar.[/spoiler]

Re: [UT] <EXU2> "G59 - Phase 1" - RELEASED!

Posted: 19 May 2012, 20:05
by jaypeezy
edited my previous message with more comments. thanks!

Re: [UT] <EXU2> "G59 - Phase 1" - RELEASED!

Posted: 19 May 2012, 20:19
by UBerserker
[spoiler]Yeah as I mentioned in the Readme there are monsters who fight each other, just like in Unreal. Honestly I prefer it that way. Demons aren't supposed to be very nice :p[/spoiler]

Anyway thanks a lot of the feedback. Though one thing I want to say is that not all levels will follow the same style of the first one. G59 has 10 maps while BI has many many MORE, so I had to avoid repetition but having the same style of gameplay fun as possible and a good/dark atmosphere. The story won't really kick in until Phase 2 (lots of weirdass and crazy shit in there).

From what I see there Map 2 seems to be the bane of everyone. I know the Boss needs to be weakened but I still want to know an exact opinion about the whole level. It's a very big change of gameplay style but if you pay attention to the sounds you can destroy the waves before they start to screw you - ALSO, move/dodge/jump around a lot. It was more about the tension and atmosphere (I always wanted to do something like), and the randomization of the enemies going on.

Re: [UT] <EXU2> "G59 - Phase 1" - RELEASED!

Posted: 19 May 2012, 22:04
by editor Dave
I advise everyone who hasn't played this little gem yet to catch that up. It'll really kick your ass.

And I will catch up my third play-through. When I first registered for beta-testing I didn't expect to review it more than twice :P

Re: [UT] <EXU2> "G59 - Phase 1" - RELEASED!

Posted: 20 May 2012, 17:03
by Legendslayer222
Whenever I try to load the third map, I have the following error:
Can't find objectproperty in file 'objectproperty engine.console.timedemo'

This error appears when I load the map from the end of the previous map, the console and the map file itself.

Re: [UT] <EXU2> "G59 - Phase 1" - RELEASED!

Posted: 20 May 2012, 17:33
by Buff Skeleton
When I try to load it, I get a message saying can't find "UPak" - I'm guessing there's some lingering UPak content in that map that hasn't been removed yet?

Re: [UT] <EXU2> "G59 - Phase 1" - RELEASED!

Posted: 20 May 2012, 17:49
by UBerserker
Will be fixing this quickly. Upak sucks.

Re: [UT] <EXU2> "G59 - Phase 1" - RELEASED!

Posted: 20 May 2012, 18:12
by UBerserker
Get it from the first post.

Basically it was a single Upak sound effect still in the level.

For those who currently haven't downloaded G59 yet, the main Rar package (version 1.01) has Map 3 already fixed.

Re: [UT] <EXU2> "G59 - Phase 1" - RELEASED!

Posted: 21 May 2012, 18:51
by Buff Skeleton
OK, map 3 feedback & criticism time:

[spoiler]Not sure if this is just different design philosophies clashing here or what, but I was not a fan of many of the high-HP enemies with high-damage attacks placed all over the level. I'd much, MUCH rather fight tons of weak enemies than a few super-tough ones, like even five times as many per-battle if each one goes down like a chump.

After all, that was my intent when I designed EXU2: Batshit Insane - fill each map with tons of enemies, make them easy to kill, and then give them moderately- or severely-damaging attacks. Or have an absolute SHIT TON of enemies that have very weak attacks. That way, you still have credible threats, but you don't have to spend much time dispatching them. I really don't like fighting the same enemy for more than 10-15 seconds if it isn't a boss or miniboss, especially when it only has one attack it repeats over and over. When you count that out in your head, it's a long time, especially in fast-paced FPS seconds.

So in Map 3, which was otherwise very good, I often found myself frustrated by not being able to kill single mercs or tentacles with a couple of Demon Bolts when normally only one would do. Many foes were familiar variants and looked no different from what I'm used to, so it was an unpleasant surprise to discover they were harder to kill than normal, and it made my weapons feel weaker. It felt cheap to me, like I was being forced to waste extra ammo on enemies that should not be a problem. At the very least, enemies with high HP should have a critical flaw, like very weak attacks or low speed or a forgiving combat environment (for the player) or what have you. Tons of Slimer Mercenaries with boosted HP and Bio Mercenary Elite enemies all over in a map where biogel easily clogs up entire hallways made many areas a pain to navigate since everything was constantly getting filled with gel, landing around and on and behind me (so I'd stand still waiting for a room to clear out from a vantage point I THOUGHT was safe, but still take damage anyway because some blob landed behind me and I didn't notice).

I also noticed many fights were only possible if you would snipe enemies one-at-a-time from behind cover. While this is a fine mechanic for some situations, being stuck at the start of the map for literally about five minutes was serious overkill. After the super-high-HP Slimer Mercs, then the extra-HP Missile Brutes, then the Bio Mercs and other shit, I was READY TO LEAVE that incredibly tiny hallway (which was also easily overrun by slime rockets), but no, there were even more waves of Bio Bags and Demon Bags to deal with (that particular combo also made the Hell Gun a bad choice, as the splash would only damage the Bio Bags, forcing me to use the EnergyAR which is harder to hit multiple enemies with in a group, or the RFPC, which is expensive to fire due to lack of ammo. Otherwise I'd have to kill one enemy and take damage from the other, which wouldn't have been a problem if there had been more armor or battle flares).

I also had trouble fighting hordes, like the gasbags and mercs that spawn by the aircraft near the top of the level, due to the geometry. That gaping hole where the elevator comes up is a huge liability when you are trying to snipe gasbags and mercs from cover; I fell down several times. You aught to redo that elevator so it is smaller, square, and has safety rails at the top. Nobody will mind a little creative license with the geometry of the maps, trust me. Safety rails aren't just for decoration!

So, for my suggestions, here's what I'd do to make this map not any easier, but more fun and less tedious:

  • Provide way, way more armor, flares, and ammo. Like 200-300% more. Give the player enough firepower to handle these tougher enemies, and fighting them feels like less of a chore. I'd rather end a map with >50% of my ammo reserves full knowing I kicked some serious ass than end with ~10% left in all guns and not feeling like I killed much because I fought fewer enemies that had more health. In EXU, more numbers = better! More enemies, more items, more ammo, more danger, more destruction, more satisfaction.
  • More flares! If you had added 4-5 Fusion Flares or similar levels of flare-based firepower, I'd have had no trouble with Map 3, because each time I encountered a horde that was a pain to deal with with standard arms, I'd say, "well fuck YOU" and wipe out everything in about 7 seconds. That makes me feel like a badass and is enjoyable, which is what you want, right? Challenge =/= shooting the same enemy a dozen times.

    Another thing about flares: they are an excellent means for the player to recover from a tactical error. If, for example, I triggered that Demon Krall ambush and got caught with my pants down (not enough armor to survive them all), but I had a Clustershock Flare and nailed the center of the group, suddenly I'd be back on equal footing with the 2-3 remaining Krall. In my first run, I got killed by that squad despite the audible warning of their presence because I simply couldn't handle taking more than 2-3 Demon Skulls directly, and that's what did me in, not to mention the high-speed, nearly-undodgeable pentagrams. A flare would have meant the difference between life and death; though I'd still have taken some punishment, I'd feel good about it knowing I wiped out the horde with one big, fuckoff explosion.

    Flares are not an instant-fix, either; they can damage you, they might not kill everything you expected them to, and sometimes they can be unpredictable, so using them is always a gamble, but a GOOD gamble that usually ends in your favor either way. You need to give players more backup options, otherwise they are forced to learn by dying. And I didn't see a single Munitions Flare anywhere in G59 so far! Those are my favorites; they are also extremely useful, extremely powerful, and extremely unpredictable, making their usage one of the most interesting gameplay mechanics (especially if you're in a dangerous situation and need a quick fix; the Munitions Flare might fix it, but it might also kill your ass if you aren't careful. It balances utility with risk/reward mechanics).
  • If you do not go with the above, reduce enemies' HP back to the defaults and add way more of them. This is so players who already have an idea of what to expect when they see a certain enemy will get what they expect. That or make your tougher variants look significantly different, i.e. different skins, way more fatness, lighting, whatever. Sometimes all you need are a few subtle tricks to make an enemy variant seem entirely different. But if an enemy LOOKS weak and isn't, you're adding frustration since the player has to cope with this unexpected wrench thrown into their plans. You can make the map hard as hell and make the gameplay unpredictable while still giving the player consistent expectations, which gives them more time to think about their tactics rather than "god why won't this stupid fucker die?"

I think as a bio-themed map, Map 3 is a success, however. It suffers from somewhat bland visuals and could use better-sourced, stronger lighting, but otherwise was pretty cool. Only other thing that threw me was the slime tunnels which I was forced to take damage in; if I didn't spam the X-loc and just get the fuck out of there super fast, I'd have been pretty pissed and probably even died from the combined force of the enemy Slith and the zone damage. You should probably just turn off the damage in that zone since adding a Bio Helm of Toxin Suit would make the player overpowered against the Bio hordes.

I got to Map 4 last night, and that huge fight in the open area was just impossible for me to beat. I'll try it again today. I don't know if that shield thing really works right, because I got meteor'd when I was in the center. I also wasn't a fan of the Archdemons having more HP than standard, either. Again, I'd rather have 12 Archdemons than 4 Archdemons with 3x as much health.[/spoiler]

The visuals, atmosphere, and gameplay are otherwise excellent, especially for a first release! Keep up the good work. :)

Re: [UT] <EXU2> "G59 - Phase 1" - RELEASED!

Posted: 21 May 2012, 23:18
by UBerserker
I'm filling a list of the stuff that will be eventually patched.
For Map 3 specifically, expect fixes on the ammo/equipment side, while some monsters HP will be lowered (Flak Tentacles, Swamp Trolls and Slimers/some Advanced Bio Mercs).