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My thoughts on 5.03

For public discussion of all things EXU2.

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Gameite2260
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Subject: My thoughts on 5.03

Post Posted: 10 Jun 2014, 03:17

So I've finally gotten around to trying out the new version. Here's what I think of the levels in EXU, and the changes 5.03 makes. Although I never got too far in 5.02, so if I criticize something, don't take it as me saying it should go back to the way it was.

Prologue Level
This is really a cool way to start off the journey. The music starting out slow and mellow, with this dark castle, is a perfect way of saying "This is making up for the completely fucking nuts shit you're about to see". But I have no clue how the navigational pillar is supposed to work.

This is also where I noticed a bug; You can't turn off the music. Personally I enjoy having the music be quieter than the sound, because that's more immersive. But I can't do that.

So, because of the unclear navigation, I started on Easy. Although I remember Easy was plenty hard back in 5.02. So here goes nothing!

Level 1: Damnation

Well, if the prologue level hadn't just set up the atmosphere behind EXU2, I'd believe this was survival horror. The dark and strange yellow atmosphere, with the screaming of people all over, just makes this level feel very deattached from the rest of it. But I've talked long enough about the atmosphere behind the game, let's get into the gameplay! And this level is well balanced, teaching you a little bit about the kind of things that go on in EXU2. Although one issue, I did find out how to get into the execution chamber and find the extra health, although I couldn't find how to get out, so I used fly to get out. Oh, one more thing, the flares should have their own tip barrels as well.

So travelling through the area with the Extractor, I find that the game just showers you with armor and health. But this is Easy, so I guess it can be forgiven. And the enemies are still very smart, in classic Unreal fashion (Or at least compared to, say, Doom enemies).

The flares are quite solid as well, although they take too long to go off. I would like some kind of weak but quick to explode flare.

BTW nice Serious Sam reference.

Level 2: Infernal Falls
I'll talk about this one tomorrow.
Gameite; "Shit sounds like a fable to me", till he jumps out the fuckin toilet when you're takin a pee.

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Subject: Re: My thoughts on 5.03

Post Posted: 11 Jun 2014, 02:29

Thanks for doing this - on Easy especially, the gameplay balance there is a huge blind spot for me.

Also, you can change the music volume or turn it off entirely by going to the RMusicPlayer mod menu item and adjusting the slider there :)
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User avatar ElectricIce
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Subject: Re: My thoughts on 5.03

Post Posted: 11 Jun 2014, 13:29

Remember to change the volume every level change, since it resets the volume but not the value on the slider upon level change.

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Subject: Re: My thoughts on 5.03

Post Posted: 11 Jun 2014, 15:04

Volume goes back to the previous amount when you load the game.
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Subject: Re: My thoughts on 5.03

Post Posted: 11 Jun 2014, 21:47

If you change the volume level, then quit and restart UT, it will stick after that. Just needs to be "flattened" I guess to the .ini file :p
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Gameite2260
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Subject: Re: My thoughts on 5.03

Post Posted: 12 Jun 2014, 00:34

Level 1: Damnation Continued
Where this starts, I'm at the vent area where you meet your first Queen-based enemy. And at this point I have waaay too many flares, especially for such a tight level with a shit ton of melee enemies. So that should probably be changed a little. Second, there's a new enemy type I noticed here, Skaarj-based, which just looks ridiculous, to be frank. I don't know if its appearance is a bug or something, but it just looks completely unthreatening. Here's a screenie of what I call the "Emaciated Skaarj" on the right:
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Level 2: Infernal Falls
This level is also put together well. It rewards strategy behind deciding when to run for cover back at the starting point, and when it's safe to pop out and get in close combat with the new (and by the way, fucking AMAZING) Shitgun. One complaint I have with it, though. The alternate fire Shit Grenade, when in water, doesn't go off right away. This gave me just enough time to think to myself "Well, it's probably not gonna blow up, guess I can get close to it" right before it almost killed me, in classic Yosamite Sam style. Other than that it makes a good close range weapon, as long as you don't get too close.

Now let's talk about the enemies. They range from "Incredibly fun, if difficult, to fight" such as the radioactive green Pupae which need constant strafing and good Piddledoper accuracy to avoid, or the DemonSkaarj with their slow moving but hard-hitting projectiles, to "Oh god I wish they would just remove these guys" like the Chargers which aren't NEARLY distinguished well enough from other enemies as far as their strength goes, or literally any enemy spawned from the Random Spawning mechanic. Seriously, this should just be gotten rid of, for two reasons:

1. It's a cheap way of killing the player. It's possible to have entirely won a fight fair and square, only for a Skaarj to spawn behind you and slice your head off.

2. It makes it harder to navigate. Gone are the days when you can think "Oh, there's enemies here, I guess I'm going in the right direction".

On the brighter side, the fact that enemies drop health packs is a brilliant mechanic to guide the player into pushing forward.

So, by the time that I've written all this, I've found the boss of the level: the Fuckoff Krall. Certainly an intimidating foe, with its large size and huge missiles, but the aforementioned surplus of flares takes all the fun out of the fight. You can Translocate over to the rock, and shoot a MPMF (Munitions Party Mix Flare) with your Flaregun right into the mass of the Krall and his minions, and oneshot almost the whole group. Suggestion Time: Strong enough monsters should be able to catch flares and throw them back at you.

Feeling unsatisfied by the fight, I took a detour to the little cavern on the left. There were plenty of enemies, but no loot to justify going in there. I looked through it, and all I could find was one Shitgun ammo which I spent fighting off the rest of the enemies, and 2 health packs at the very end of the area, where I could have just gone up the ramp on the other side to get them. Seriously, I got better loot just near the end of the level, where you fight one Skaarj.

Level 3: The Shitstorm
Sorry, this level is just too hard to navigate and get through for me. As I said in the suggestions thread, this detracts from the overall batshit insane atmosphere of the whole mod, and it's just plain boring as hell to have to run around finding the exit, no matter what game it is. Here's hoping you get all your work on 6.00 done quickly so I can get those navigational markers!
Gameite; "Shit sounds like a fable to me", till he jumps out the fuckin toilet when you're takin a pee.

User avatar ElectricIce
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Subject: Re: My thoughts on 5.03

Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014, 00:57

The shitstorm map is entirely based upon Bluff eversmoking, which is a original Unreal map, afaik it plays Exactly the same. You just need to know where to go on the old map to navigate on the new. So that can't really be put to blame on Waffnuffly/Bughorse. (why did you change name anyway?)

Gameite2260
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Subject: Re: My thoughts on 5.03

Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014, 01:26

ElectricIce wrote:The shitstorm map is entirely based upon Bluff eversmoking, which is a original Unreal map, afaik it plays Exactly the same. You just need to know where to go on the old map to navigate on the new. So that can't really be put to blame on Waffnuffly/Bughorse. (why did you change name anyway?)


Yes, but it could easily be edited. Waff doesn't just palette swap maps: At least half of Frostclaw Outpost is made entirely by him (Or so heavily edited I can't tell the difference)
Gameite; "Shit sounds like a fable to me", till he jumps out the fuckin toilet when you're takin a pee.

User avatar ElectricIce
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Subject: Re: My thoughts on 5.03

Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014, 15:08

I don't know how Waff works but, I see no sense in changing the whole gameplay of the map, not after the game has been out for such a long time. Anyone that has been playing the game for a while knows how the map works. I agree that the first time I visited the map (The original, not Shitstorm) I was confused too, I probably spent 1-2 hours on that map maybe more, (I was 5 the first time I played it) all I know is that after the 3rd playthrough of that map I know it like the back of my hand, including all the secrets. I'm not so keen about Frostclaw Outpost or where it came from so I can't comment about that.

All I mean is that the map makes sense to me 'cus I know it so well. I see your point if you're quite new to it overall.

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Subject: Re: My thoughts on 5.03

Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014, 16:17

The new Frostclaw still pretty much retains the layout of the Terraniux.
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User avatar ElectricIce
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Subject: Re: My thoughts on 5.03

Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014, 19:17

UBerserker wrote:Frostclaw Terraniux.


Ooooh, Yeah, It really does, the only difference I remember is behind each wing there were an extra room. no?

Gameite2260
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Subject: Re: My thoughts on 5.03

Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014, 22:41

Level 3: The Shitstorm
Okay, so because it's the weekend and I can do some things in between studying for exams, I've decided to give this long-ass map a try.

Oh, btw, @ElectricIce: He could easily make it more linear so that even new people can understand it. You shouldn't have to spend 2 hours looking through the map at all, especially since the random spawning mobs make it even harder to find the right direction. Maybe I'll just summon the Scanner from an old mod I installed and take a shortcut with it.

Anyway...

At the start of this level, you meet an enemy I dub the "Shadow Skaarj", the ones waiting on the ledge. I'm not entirely sold on the sound effects they make. They just sound cartoonishly evil to me, the way they go "Ahhhhh!" when they die, stopping just short of yelling "Ya got me!".

After that is a bridge containing Skaarj and some other enemies without hitscan attacks. These are good choices for this narrow hallway, almost turning it into a bullet hell game of sorts. And the pickup text for the Heavy Boots got a laugh out of me. One problem, though: the Gasbag's death sound has a bunch of odd background noise to it. At the start there's an explosion sound, which doesn't sound right at all if using a weaker weapon like the Piddledoper, and then at the end there's what sounds like marching? Not sure on that.

So after that fight we find our fourth (Fifth if you count the flaregun, I will be from now on) weapon, the Energy Assault Rifle. It's a perfectly fine weapon as far as damage goes (Especially with the fire rate turned up for 5.03), but it doesn't look crazy enough for EXU. Maybe some extra particle effects would be nice, like green lightning sparks shooting out of the enemy you hit.

So moving throughout the castle, killing everything I see via Shitgun, I come across this area: (Taking a screenie in case I get lost, so someone can help me out)
Image
So you can see here that the little annoying fast Krall from 5.02 has been completely removed. That's a good thing, because that fucking bastard was the worst idea ever. Second, I see some kind of graphical bug, those 3 glowing cubes. They look like a glowing version of the ice cube pickup from the Frost-based enemies, but I can't pick them up. Travelling down this well, I find the coffin room just like in the original. I remember this room carrying some significance in the original game, but I can't find anything here. So if it has been repurposed as just an optional dungeon, I'm okay with that, because this time it at least does have something to justify it being there. So I go back up and find a ridiculous noobtrap in the form of several pastel-color bunnies that explode when you get close to them. And just to rub salt in the wounds, it turns out the miniature Krall fucker actually just moved to a different spot on the map. OH, AND THEN THERE'S TWO MORE IN THE NEXT ROOM. JUST LOVELY.

So after a minor bit of walking around, I find a large tower connected to the railway that you normally use to leave in the original map. Now, I get the idea behind the invisible tiny guys that are usually placed on higher ground, and I'm okay with them since they don't move. But trying to make shots at an enemy almost all the way up the tower, when you're on the ground level, and they're one of the previously mentioned invisible tiny guys, is just ridiculous. There needs to be a long range weapon with a scope found by this point. Or just don't have them at all.

To be continued later
Gameite; "Shit sounds like a fable to me", till he jumps out the fuckin toilet when you're takin a pee.

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Subject: Re: My thoughts on 5.03

Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014, 22:51

ElectricIce wrote:
UBerserker wrote:Frostclaw Terraniux.


Ooooh, Yeah, It really does, the only difference I remember is behind each wing there were an extra room. no?


Yeah there are just new rooms behind walls, plus the whole reactor room which is totally unique to the version.
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User avatar ElectricIce
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Subject: Re: My thoughts on 5.03

Post Posted: 13 Jun 2014, 23:39

I don't want to sound so negative Gameite2260 but to me it sounds like you're taking the mod waaay to serious for what it is.

Gameite2260
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Subject: Re: My thoughts on 5.03

Post Posted: 14 Jun 2014, 02:00

ElectricIce wrote:I don't want to sound so negative Gameite2260 but to me it sounds like you're taking the mod waaay to serious for what it is.

I'm taking it as an attempt to be a good game. Is this not what that is?
Gameite; "Shit sounds like a fable to me", till he jumps out the fuckin toilet when you're takin a pee.

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