jackrabbit wrote:When I got to the part where the 2 Skaarj came through the door after a siren went off, I got killed about 10 times before I successfully got rid of both of them (needless to say, this pissed me off). So that brought it down a few notches for me gameplay wise.
This isn't really a good way to review maps. You played it for the first time on the hardest difficulty intended for either really experienced players or people who have already beaten the map on Hard. Scoring the gameplay lower because you (admittedly, even) made the mistake of playing it on Unreal for the first time is definitely a flawed choice. I played it on Hard for the first time and only died in the final battle, and I'm not even super awesome at this game like UB is. The gameplay balance is perfectly fine. Now that I know where everything is, though, I'm gonna have to try this on Unreal.
What this tells me is that your maps difficulty filter is affecting the maps gameplay waaaaaaaaaaay too much. I would recommend that only slight changes are made for different difficulty levels.
OK, you played the map on Unreal and it was too hard, then you played the map on MEDIUM and it was too easy... and your conclusion is that the difficulty is "too drastic" between levels? Did you forget about Hard?
You really aren't putting much thought into this critique!
Here is pretty much my understanding of the ideal difficulty balance scale (a lot harder to achieve than it is to write down, too):
Easy: For players who are new to FPSs in general, new to Unreal, suck terribly at the game, and/or don't have much mastery of basic gameplay like strafing and using cover to their advantage. Good first-time difficulty.
Medium: For players experienced with Unreal/FPSs, but not necessarily good at them. May have a strong grasp of gameplay, but not an expert. A good first-time difficulty to choose.
Hard: For players experienced with the game and have mastered the gameplay mechanics and have good tactical skill. NOT a good first-time difficulty for weaker players, but fine for good players. Challenging, but fair and doable. Weaker players who have already beaten the map on Medium and no longer find it challenging should step up to Hard.
Unreal: For players with experience in the map already OR extensive mastery of the gameplay mechanics of the core game. This is for people who have either played through the whole map already and know where everything is and are very good at the game, and/or people like UB who are so good at the game that even on their first time, they can win without getting frustrated. Absolutely not a good first-time difficulty UNLESS you are very, very good at the game.
This is the kind of difficulty scale I try to shoot for, and as far as I can tell, Scrag has handled it well too. Even the core game does this to some extent, although Hard and Unreal are still quite easy to an experienced player without a difficulty-boosting mod like Limbo. There SHOULD be big changes between difficulties, because without them, the map becomes a homogeneous borefest for better players. Ultimately, a map should cater both to brand-new players and the most hardened veterans. In order to do that, the gulf between any two difficulties, let alone three or four, should be large enough to encourage replay value and offer new challenges to veterans of the map who decide to step up the difficulty.