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A Roman Wilderness Of Pain By PM And Tronyn Released!
Today we are releasing A Roman Wilderness of Pain, the only set of Quake maps to spend a decade in development! These maps went through many incarnations to arrive in their present form as a modern episode. There is an extensive mod by PM with the episode, including new and modified monsters, weapons, and artifacts (see readme for details). This mod also supports NSOE, and can be used to update NSOE as well (again, see readme).

Download (32 MB):



The environment can be described as "variations on metal/temple/hell." Each map has its own manifestation of the general theme. There is a great start map by PM which is well worth looking around for some secret treasure. There are five skill levels and the episode is pretty challenging so choose wisely.

Thanks to our testers Orl, Spy, Stevenaus, and ijed. Merry Christmas!
Just beat the first map. Brutal! As usual not really my kind of gameplay with those monsters. Great visuals and good design. 
Best Start Map Ever 
The secret secret difficulty path was a bunch of fun, as was the reward (secret). I ended up taking skill 0 though :(

Map 1 here I come! 
Map 1 done.

219/226 kills (and that's on Easy skill wtf!)
1/2 secrets (the one towards the end)

What on Earth was this?? Like someone said, I never want to see the inside of your head. This map felt like a decade worth of Quake maps put through a meat grinder. The sheer randomness of this made it so great - there's just so many different kinds of stuff thrown at the player.

The theme was random, but not incoherent or disparate - just very fucked up :D It was very evil, and yet somewhat passive aggressive in the way it functioned. Can't put my finger on this at all...

Anyone remember the "Quake V brainstorm" thread from many moons ago? There was a bit of speculation about the final episode being Quake's twisted, brutal heartland etcetc. This map suits that idea like a glove :D

The gameplay was very much Tronyn, though I enjoyed the fact that I didn't get slaughtered every second (well balanced). The abundance of cells, combined with the Mjolnir/Blaster pretty much mitigated the strength of the (sometimes hilarious) hordes. The ice bolt crossbow thing felt questionable in theory but worked out well.

No demo because I suck _____ _____ (fill in the blanks) 
not when my computer is not working. 
You know what? FUCK YOU GUYS. How DARE you wait until I am out of town, away from my computer for a week, to release this. YOU GUYS ARE TRULY EVIL AND HAVE HATE-FILLED HEARTS.

I will probably be able to play this sometime in 2010, but not until then. I hope you all choke on your own new year's eve vomit.

Thanks for the maps! 
Well worth the wait, awesome stuff guys! All 3 levels looked great and were a big challenge, especially the ending. That was a right bitch, as expecting. 
Oh Holy Shit Wow 
I remember running around in the "scrapped" pieces of A Roman Wilderness many moons ago. Despite being unfinishable and having no lighting there were some really crazy ideas in there. I didn't think it would ever see the light of day in a finished form.

How wrong I was! I'll rock it out this evening. 
Can't Play Yet But... 
Thank you Tronyn. Keeping Quake alive, seriously 
Difficulty is well balanced now for skill 1 ... The lava skins would've been more at home in outdoor levels. Holy hell ... C****d*m*n finale was teh only hard bit ... Like the grappling hook ... Fave was the gargoyle(imp?) melees.

Yeah, the start level secret was nice. I didn't look around first up, and shame i didn't go get the moljnor (hint ;>), but , really, there's an abundance of weapons. 
Good spoiler avoidance. No-one can possibly work out what it says ;p 
What An Awesome Christmas Present 
There wasn't a single moment I didn't enjoy when playing these maps. The gameplay is fast, challenging and rewarding. Not to mention the map architecture is great all throughout.

As Tronyn mentioned, I was one of the lucky ones to give these maps a beta test playthrough, and from the looks of it, every small issue I had seems to have been fixed (Not that I had many issues with these maps to begin with)

That, in addition to the new monsters that weren't present in the betas, such as the hell hounds and ghosts, as well as the final battle which was nothing like the beta, that was a very pleasant, and hard surprise :)

The music was also a very nice touch, especially the Doom music in Roman3, that was sweet :)

I didn't make first playthrough demos, because I wanted to really take my time with these maps, and appreciate all the details and hard work put into them, and that would have just been boring to watch.

I gotta give these maps an A+ overall, theres really nothing negative I can say about them other than they are VERY hard.

And the best part is, there are even more fantastic maps on the way by Tronyn, Unforgiven and Arcanum ;)

Excellent work to Tronyn and PM for this awesome map pack thats sure to get plenty of playthrough's from me. Download and play this now! 
Development Thoughts 
I really wish there was a website page with details on how this set of map were made. The design decisions, thoughts on AI placement, architectural styles and blending them together, weapon test, balance issues etc. I don't have a copy of Q1 anymore but I am still very interested in how these type of maps are put together.

I did check the website link in the readme file but it is dead (points at PQ). I always feel it such a shame that talented mappers from this site never sit down and publish notes on what they did.

I can't really comment on gameplay or ingame stuff besides what I see in screenshots. Looks like a lot of work went into this project and having it stretch over 10 years is amazing. 
What's the code for the crossbow? I'm recording firstrun demos and didn't keep it from the start map. 
not sure about the crossbow code (I'll ask PM), but thanks for the feedback so far everyone. Good idea sock - my PQ site is indeed down, but maybe I'll put together an article on development thoughts with PM and post it on Quaddicted. If any of my maps have gone through enough changes to warrant it, it's these ones. 
Re: Crossbow 
Code for crossbow? Do you mean the 'give' cheats? The 'give' command does not work for weapons because the weapons are not stored in the items and weapon fields. The only way to give weapons in Roman is the standard impulse 9. Crossbow shares impulse 3 with the super shotgun/riot controller (the latter cannot be found in the roman maps). Since some weapons replace others completely, weapon removal impulses were added. Impulse 18 removes the current weapon, and impulse 19 removes all weapons and ammo. 
Re: Dev Stuff 
As for maps, I can only speak for mine, which is merely the start map. I just looked at Tronyn's roman maps, ripped the textures from roman1, and began building. I experimented with a few patterns, and when I found one I liked, I stuck with it and expanded from there.

In case of the mod/progs, this is just work in progress for Drake, which evolved from Dragons. It is simply a collection of stuff I like in Quake. Since I joined up with Tronyn, it became a combination of my desires and what Tronyn needs or wants for his maps.

In any case, there is a bug in the Roman progs that adds and counts enforcers in dmsp mode when it shouldn't, and there are probably other minor problems lurking around that I did not have time to address before a Christmas release. Soon, I will fix whatever bugs I can, assemble a devkit for roman, and make an entities file. 
"Tronyn. Yes, Neg? I Want To Kill You!" 
Nevermind the crossbow. Finished it already on Normal. The demos are mostly screwed, because even though I used the quicksave trick to continue recording after dying, I didn't realize I also should've done it after each level change and since I played on Fitz protocol 666, it's impossible to fix the post-changelevel recording with BJP's convdem. Sorry (or hack the tool to make it work).

So this is a cool little mapset. Quite hard, Tronyn-style, but bearable with caution and frequent quicksaving. Strong Doom vibe. The theme is very cool*, a wickedly weird Quakish mix - metal.wad and flesh work well together and the Egyptian bits do the rest. Great architecture and a good sense of grandheur with all the high structures and coloums etc. Some parts seem a little sloppy though: unaligned textures and no proper transitions, for example.
The new and old-new monsters rock, like the fire dogs (somewhat annoying attack though) and the imps. Always good to see the Rogue monsters again.
I found all the secrets (yay) - there could've been way more.

I didn't like the boss fight. The Summoner took me a few tries, but his follow-up (ugly pale model still) was annoying and made me swith to god mode after several attempts. There's simply not enough ammo (not having the crossbow probably added to this) - respawning items would've been better - and the area was a little too tight for my taste.

*It also reminded me once again of the Dry Sorrow scrap, that I already started fiddling around with a couple of times in order to turn it into a full-size SP map... ;) 
With all the xSOE, ARWOP, Arcanum, whatever stuff out there or in the works, are you going to eventually merge them all into some sort of super mod that we can then play like an mmorpg for the rest of our lives or something like that? I mean, why else include a grappling hook...? 
actually, as a matter of fact, yes :) 
The grapple is a common feature among mods, and I decided to add it just in case. Plus, the grapple could be useful as an unusual key. That is, you cannot progress to more areas without it. I found the grapple to be a time saver in roman3.

I have much to finish before I can think about working on the merger for real. 
Map 1 
That was fun, and it looks like you'll be beating warp for monster counts - 449!

The ice crossbow is cool, but I wasted it completely at the start, later finding out how to use it.

Hell hounds are good as well, but they definately need a new skin, maybe a modified mesh as well.

The level was nicely laid out and fun to roam around, I got lost once, but quickly found the way. The sloping surfaces on the floor got a bit annoying when I or an enemy would get stuck.

Otherwise fun stuff. Had to resist impulse 9 to play with all the new stuff though ;) 
Grappling Hook? 
Sounds awesome. What's next, someone using the jetpack or the hoverboard from Slide in a single player map? 
Error Message 
I'm getting an error/crash at the Loading screen when running it with Darkplaces.

Host_Error: CL_ParseServerInfo: Server is unrecognized protocol number (666)

Using DP 2009-07-09.

Hope someone can shed some light on this cuz this mod looks totally awesome. 
Re: Error 
It is the demo1.dem in the pak2.pak that is causing problems in BengtQuake and DarkPlaces. For now, add +map start when running, or just extract everything except demo1.dem from the pak2, then get rid of the pak2.pak. 
Thank you for your help. Modified shortcut commandline as directed. Worked like a charm :)

This mod is great -- you guys have really outdone yourselves! 
For The Inner Munchkin In Us... 
Impulse 248 is the Tome of Power cheat. Happy gibbing! 
Oh, whatever. Here are my borked demos. At least they show me get through the first map and then how I fail miserably during the boss battle.

metl: please fix continuous demo recording in the next FQ version (like BJP's engines do). And someone please modify convdem as well - usually continuously recorded demos can be fixed by just joining (-j) them into one (or adding an additional demo snippet at the end if it's just one file). Problem is, convdem only supports protocol 15 and BJP's.

PM: btw. good job to you, too. ;) 
My Skill 0 Shitty Demo

Great pak, Tronyn.
i like all changes of gameplay you've made since the last beta(s).
'm definitely will waiting for your next projects.

as already been said the gameplay is VERY hard and i found out that skill 0/1 is more suitable for me.

thank you Tronyn. 
Played On Normal... 
... not finished yet (I just died at third map) but definitely the jewel of this end of 2009 !
I cannot add anything more but what others said: great pack ! 
convdem is closed source (not written by id) and not easy to modify, plus it might be OS-dependant.

I suggest using protocol 15 for demos if you want everybody to watch them, otherwise you should note that engine X is required (in this case Fitzquake 0.85). 
Tronyn and Pm.., for this great recharche of Quake1 !!! 
I got screwed over by buying Torchlight . . .

Nice maps, good balenced gameplay. 
Fitz .85 beta for mac crashes when immediately after loading roman1.bsp. Can any other Mac users comfirm this? It crashed on the demo once too, and then it didn't.

Darkplaces works, but runs ungodly slow as usual on these crazy wide-open tronyn maps. 
Fitz SDL Beta 
Try it with "-nosound" and see if you still have problems [tears out hair] 

Not in the archives. And spirit apparently didn't mirror the site and the last version was July 2007 which is before the NSOE release.

Grrr ... 
Haven't finished it but after 25% done it is just as satisfying as the Masque of the Red Death. 
Nice Work So Far... 
just finished level 1. The architectural style seems somewhat inconsistent but at least it is always interesting. I like the open exploration in the beginning portion of the level, nice to have multiple ways to approach things. Lots of nice touches on the monsters and weapons.

Level 2 appears not to be vised? 
Love It. 
I've never seen a grappling hook used so well -- they're usually just a gimmicky little addon but I actually couldn't have survived the end battle without it.

Architecture and layouts were pleasingly Quakey without being pass�.

The end boss monster would have been a bit boring if he weren't in such exciting and versatile surroundings.

The only things that bothered me were that I never really figured out how that red diamond weapon worked, and I don't find Hexen stuff very Quakey so the wizard fella and the crossbow looked a little out of place.

All in all this pack is masterfully balanced and really engaging. It rockets in to my top 5 Quake episodes. 
I have a backup but not the time. And I cannot share the plain files because I have to check each and everyone for private stuff. IGN exposed directory listings and thus wget got files from some sites that were not supposed to be public... 
Fantasy Weapons In Roman 
I did not think the wand belonged in Roman. Style aside, Roman does not have any dark spots, and the action is too fast-paced for me to tolerate its low damage rate. The few times I had ammo trouble, the chainsaw was sufficient to kill things. I guess Tronyn wanted the wand in there as a fallback in case the player runs out of ammo. If roman3 is played from scratch in skill 2, there is not quite enough ammo in the beginning. Also, someone noted ammo problems at the end of the level. There used to be an Equalizer item on the map, but that was removed.

Since there are some glaring problems, a re-release seems to be a good idea. Things to fix include the following: remove the offending demo, fix some annoying bugs in the mod, and maybe alter some of the entities in roman3. For instance, have an equalizer or riot controller available at the end of the level, and have some of the ammo respawn. Will need to see what Tronyn thinks about this.

As for the crossbow, I originally planned that as the secret weapon in the treasure room (in the start map), but Tronyn enjoyed using it enough that I moved it out in the open and put Mjolnir in the treasure room. 
How The Wand Works. 
This is same weapon as found in the Arcanum demo, except it fires a bit faster and gibs zombies at maximum power. While held as the current weapon, power builds up until fired. As power builds, the wand glows, and when it glows brightly, it is at maximum power.

I built the wand because I wanted a light source and weapon combo, and a wand was easier for me to build than some weird space gun. Also, I may add a mage class to Drake, which may extend to Tronyn's future projects. I will need to add the appropriate fantasy weapons to make this idea work. Before you think "Hey, awesome!", this is a low priority task, and it has a good chance of not seeing the light of day. 
Note About The Grapple. 
The grapple was added because there was a time during testing when I got sent over some wall and (thought I) got stuck. Rather than have Tronyn suffer a full level recompile fixing problem architecture, the grapple was added as a band-aid fix to unstick the player. In addition, on my first run through roman3, once I made it past the gold key door, I fell down so many times that I got sick of wasting thirty-something seconds on each trip back up and noclipped to save time.

Thus, the grapple is a time saver and perhaps a life saver if the player gets wedged into something that without the grapple, only noclip would save the player. 
What This Mod Has Done Right ... 
I'm almost at the end of the first map and then the thought occurred to me ... I have scarcely had an explosive weapon the entire map.

Quake and single player have always had the "explosive weapon" problem.

Either you have ineffective weapons (axe, sg, ssg, sng) or murder 80 monsters weapons (gl, rl), with the regular nail gun being sort of in the middle.

And explosive weapons just aren't fair to the monsters --- or interesting to use --- and can turn a room with 100 monsters into "hide behind wall and strafe out."

In this mod, due to the presence of the red spawns, the "explosive advantage" lies in the monster's favor and a being surrounded by 15 monsters was a real problem.

I wish there was a better laser.mdl and maybe a better sound for the laser --- it really doesn't fit in, although the strategic value and occasional self-damage from the weapon is great it really does stick out like a sore thumb and the view weapon model (PrimeviL's debug fix model?) doesn't really look like it should shoot lasers.

Maybe if the model were different for the view weapon or for the laser model or for the sound. The role the weapon plays is good and functions as a more effective weapon without being overwhelmingly advantageous.

I think every Quake map in a long, long time has suffered from the "too much" rocket launcher use problem. The Rocket Launcher really is more suited for deathmatch as a "close is good enough" weapon and it just isn't fair on the monsters.

Congrats on having monsters with non-explosive attacks that are still dangerous.

These are really the first new/altered monsters in years going back to 2005 [except for the dragons in NSOE] since The Lost Chapters when faced for the first time of the unexpectedness of the Droles, Polyps and mini-Vores. 
Ah, thank you! For pointing me in the direction of the problem. I have had -sndspeed 44100 in my commandline, never caused a problem 'till now, but I removed it and it worked. -nosound not needed thankfully. 
Does -sndspeed 44100 actually give you 44 kHz sound? What engine? 
It's Fitz .85 Sdl Mac Beta 
hehe umm... I thought it just upsampled the original 11khz sounds. Maybe it was just placebo but I thought it made them sound a little better, less scratchy. You cannot turn shit into shinola, of course. 
Does -sndspeed 44100 actually give you 44 kHz sound? What engine?

only if the game provides 44.1kHz sound samples, like Nexuiz, Mindgrid's pak and RMQ do. On its own, -sndspeed 44100 makes the samples be played back at 44100 Hz. It broadens the pipe so to speak. How much water you put through it is another question.

If you install the manually upsampled 44100 Hz sound pack that floats around somewhere (original sounds, resampled to 44100 Hz but otherwise unchanged) you might hear a difference. When the soundcard upsamples 11kHz sounds during playback, you get an unpleasant digitized effect (if your ears can detect it) which should not happen with that "Quake resampled" pack and -sndspeed 44100. Basically, the holes that were left after downsampling are "plugged" (with a flat line) by the re-upsampling. That pack doesn't magically give the Quake sounds their original quality back though, just removes that side effect (from the missing data, ie holes) when playing them back at higher sample rate settings.

Frequencies that were lost during the downsampling process (to 11kHz) cannot be restored by doing that, they remain lost. I could draw a picture for you, but I think you might get it as it is :)

Using -sndspeed 44100 and 44.1kHz sounds only has an effect if the other parts in the chain can deal with them. So if you either have crappy speakers, or crappy ears, or both, 44.1kHz sound will not do anything for you. 
re: Metl
Roman1 is the most inconsistent map in terms of theme and layout, because it was two maps for a while - the gatehouse section, then the sprawling city/dungeon section. The second map (Venice of Blood) and the third map (Towers of Torment) I thought ended up being much more consistent. All maps are fully vised but as usual with these types of maps you will only get so much optimization out of it.

Re: Text Fish
Glad you liked it, the grapple was indeed a lucky accident. PM had that "unique key" idea and after he put it in the mod I thought well, given that the final area is now accessible either way and the map's really vertical (not to mention the sky ambush), why not let the player have some fun?

Re: Spirit
I have copies of my web site on my computer, so maybe when I get the time I'll see (if your offer still stands) about moving my site to Quaddicted.

Re: Baker
I know what you mean - Roman used to have a lot more explosives until I removed a bunch to make the player rely on other weapons, especially melee when possible. This of course meant that there might be insufficient ammo, so as PM said I pushed for the wand just in case every player didn't like the idea of resorting to the Chainsaw all the time. The laser is I think a really good halfway-between-shotguns/nailguns and explosives type of weapon. At the end I gave the player RL, but no sooner, because I generally think that only a boss-type fight can justify giving the player the RL.

Again thanks for the feedback all glad it's mostly positive. 
So Before I Start Playing 
will there be an update in the near future? 
yeah I'm sure PM and I can have something together in the nearish future. 
More Comments 
I replayed the 3rd level (last one) and I am a little bit deceived by the end: wtf a cyberDemon has to do here ? I would have seen another big boss to defeat here: either a giant vermis, or a giant dragoon, or a retexture CyberDemon a least (not so yellow-shine-ish)...
Anyway, this is a great pack overall: keep it up !! 
...the point of spoiling the boss is...? 
The Silent 
...the point of spoiling the boss is...?

... it is just my personal feeling I am expressing here: I think the end boss (CyberDemon) is out of place in this map, or at least I would heve seen it retextured as the dogs...
It does not mean the pack is pure crap, far away from myself to think such thing. The pack is great, it deserves to be said, I just think the end would have been different with a different monster as a CyberDemon.

That's all :P 
He meant spoiling the surprise, not your critique of the monster. 
...that was my intention... Just got back from the first chunk o' holidays and did not have the chance to play the thing. Doing it tonight, though... 
Fucking Awesome pack!
beat it on skill 1, only died like twice, until I reached the boss fight, where I died like 200 times. Too hard but I never got frustrated for some reason.
I thought the second level was the best overall, but the whole pack was pretty fucking good, if not up to SOE 2 quality. Love that pack, more than any other!
Didn't really like those spiders, either... I prefer the guys from Kinn2 and Travail. Minor, minor complaint.

Great job guys, looking forward to whatever you cook up next! 
Roman1 coulda used a little more Scrag.

Dynamite maps. 
Roman2 a great map. A little crazy, but lots of action in an interesting space. Spent ages running around in god mode debugging.

When you get on the raft, throwing the axe (double-click) at the scrags cleans them up magic. The rumble and vibration of this and the Mirv... love it. And different enemies always coming at you from all sides.

Roman1 coulda used a little more Scrag
I _think_ he's being sarcastic ... ;> 
The maps are pretty much superb. At first I thought that the theme was a bit weird (not a fan of crazy texture combinations), but it is used consistently and it mostly works well.

Roman1 definitely felt like two maps fused together in the middle. You have this impressive, very 3 D front piece that's a little like a remake of e1m4, and then the very DOOMy part after that. Like the first part somehow ran out of juice.

Roman2 is excellent, although the gameplay basically consisted of "press five buttons" and "kill X amount of monsters". The layout was neat. The feeling was neat. The music was, for the most part, neat.

I did not find "the platform to the roof" on the first playthrough, even after some looking around, so I went "WTF?" and quit. That broke the experience. A "hello folks" to the playtesters here.

I found it now, but you can only expect Quake veterans to notice the bubble sprites in the "water". Anything that you want the player to find (and you want the player to find this, because otherwise they can't proceed and will become pissed), should be pretty big and visible. The messages in general were not descriptive enough ("opens elsewhere" doesn't cut it).

Roman3 was again very impressive architecture and layout, but the gameplay was a bit over the top, especially the boss fight.

The summoner teleports too quickly and is unpredictable, and I think the c********* model isn't Quake-y at all. If you aimed at being ridiculous, you did it. :)

I gloriously simply switched on god mode for the entire pack, because I thought I knew what to expect, and that's what I got, too. It's just not my cup of tea. I think that on Easy skill, players should be allowed to just take a walk in the park and take in the architecture while shooting the occasional monster.

Please allow players to turn off the music, like in This Onion. It was much better and got on my nerves less than in the Halloween map, but after a while, in each map, I wished I could turn it off, although I like the Doors. The music sounded weird in Fitzquake(SDL) - like lots of little underruns. One of the reasons I played in Darkplaces.

The mod part of the pack was certainly very impressive. I liked the blaster, especially since it had a matching skin, but you should make a new model for that, too. I liked the wand this time, because it was immediately clear that it was useful against zombies (still, weapons (and monsters) taken straight from other games feel a little like a compilation patch to me). It was a bit confusing that there were so many different weapons - why have both the SSG and the crowd controller in a map?

I like the design of the powerups. I noticed the Tome of Power (and I think a ToP weapon powerup system can work very well in Quake), but since I was totally in Godmode at this point, which has to do with the general gameplay, I wasn't really motivated to play around with it and really figure out what it does. Compare Hexen2, which gives you the first ToP very early when there aren't many monsters around, so you can experiment and see what it does. I think that's smarter than giving it in the middle of a crazy horde combat map. In general, you should consider giving the player some sort of test area, or shooting range, to get to know all the new stuff.

The book thing was underused this time. :)

I'd prefer armour shards instead of the coins.

Played in Darkplaces, since in Fitz the lighting seemed to look all stripey, at least in the startmap.

Comparing the pack to RMQ, it seems almost like the opposite, since fighting monsters in RMQ is gererally a quicker thing (with the more powerful shotguns etc) and hence horde combat doesn't feel quite so abusive. ARWOP combat feels a lot more like Quoth.

-> Nice. Please think of the kids next time. Having some people who are not from the Quake community playtest it would probably be beneficial. 
Hmm, nevermind, the FQ lighting issue was that I use mh's lit files and Fitz loaded id1/maps/start.lit and used it for your start.bsp, producing this:

Just finished the final battle in godmode because there is no way I could have managed otherwise. The final boss took ages anyways, I already thought there was a bug and it was unkillable... Needless to say that I found it annoying and frustrating. :(

THe architecture and flow is great, I love the style. The monsters not so much. Especially the hell hounds were bugging me.

The hook model felt a bit out of place to me. But hey, Quake's weapons/items are weird anyways. I liked using the hook in the final map to stroll around and find secrets.

The music was super super super annoying in the second (and I think also the last) map. Since it has almost no dynamics there is a constant wall of noise hitting your brain. 
Yeah, I have to agree about the music.
Annoying indeed.
Also I'm not sure if the game is beatable on Hell mode. I've got no more ammo and shitloads of big monsters do deal with. I doubt I can take down a Shambler with the hook, not to speak about that boss. And I always get frustrated when I don't know how it works. I mean, does the spawning ever stop ? If it doesn't, the game can become un finish able. 
Tim WIllits, Interviewed About Quake 2... 
...once said something along the lines of : "We could easily write monsters that hunt you down and kill you without mercy, but I don't think tht much people would find such a behaviour that much fun. The whole point of FPS is that you have to be able to win..." 
And Steve Polge once commented along the lines of AI and behaviors with something like : "The challenge is to make a creature appear intelligent when it's only alive for 2-3 seconds after the player sees it. It's tough." :) 
I Couldn't Do It 
I couldn't finish the game on Hell skill.
I kept killing the smaller enemies but others would appear again. It's a shame, the whole pack seems very well playable on Hell skill except for the end game.

Has anyone actually tried the game on Hell skill and finished it ?

I'll try it again from the start of the last map later,I'm a bit bored with it now. 
Well, Having Got There On Hell Skill Is A Mean Feat 
...I wasn't able to beat Nightmare for the same reason. On hard spawning stops after final boss' death. On Hell I barely Made it through the 1st room of the 1st map, got bored and quit. 
maybe we should make ammo respawn on Hell mode.

Notes for the update of this pack: music optional, add roman2 platform message.

Notes for Arcanum: music optional, and I'll make the gameplay much less about hordes (ie, not my usual style of monster placement).

Thanks for the feedback, especially gb that was a lot of really helpful detail. 
I could not find the underwater platform on my first play through roman2. I was a bit too impatient and did not see the bubbles, so I thought it could have been my fault for not taking time to look around. The platform message did not help me either.

In roman3, during testing before the cube spawner was added, I thought the cyberdemon by himself was too easy. With just him in the arena, I could turtle on the high ledge and shoot at the cyberdemon from above, using the floor as cover. We thought about giving the cyberdemon special abilities such as teleportation, but that felt too gimmicky and ruins the Doomy feel. Eventually, we settled for the cube spawner, which adds more monsters continuously and yet another nod to the Doom games.

Also, in roman3, there used to be a quad damage instead of the tome of power. However, I abused the quad like the munchkin I am by luring the summoner, who teleports after you, over to the quad. Then I fry him in an instant with the quad lightning gun.

I originally made the coins (and gems) as maximum health up items like the adrenaline for Quake2. In fact, I wanted various treasure items to work like experience points and as a score of sorts similar to classic arcade games from the early 1980's, when the point of those games was to live and get a high score. When I joined Tronyn during Indian Summer development, I offered them as armor and health powerups similar to potions and helmets from Doom. That has stuck since.

I will try to get a new viewmodel for the blaster. No guarantees though.

Hell is meant to be unfair. Like Nightmare skill in Doom, monsters never stop respawning. With that said, Doom gave double ammo for its Nightmare skill. I should increase ammo yields similarly.

Tronyn, please keep hordes, at least on Hard. Hordes rock! This was one thing I liked about Doom more than Quake in the early years, before engines with expanded limits came along. 
Yet Another Undocumented Feature That Should Have Been Mentioned... 
Impulse 17 toggles the music. 
Have To Say 
I REALLY like your usual style of monster placement!

The final combat was definitely too hard in this pack. But the insane difficulty level in your shit is an important ( and in my opinion integral) component of your, uh, maximalist style, which is as close to my standards of perfection as possible... other than CZG maybe.

I guess it would be cool to have an easy 'easy' difficulty. But PLEASE keep the horde insanity intact for normal skill levels and upwards.

Also - love the music, but agree that optionalizing it is a good idea. 
How About This Idea? 
Maximum ammo limits that vary by skill, and maybe by map?

For instance, Easy gets 250 everything, Normal has standard limits, Hard and up get the ammo limits as seen in Roman.

Also, with a powergaming mindset, which would you prefer: 200 nails and 100 rockets as in standard, or 250 nails and 50 rockets as in Roman? (I would take the extra rockets myself.) 
Your style doesn't need to change, just the balancing of the skill levels. Luckily, there are skill levels in Quake :)

Differentiate them more. Especially, have a much easier skill 1 and a ridiculously easy skill 0. For people with Zero skill ;-)

You don't really lose anything by doing that. 
Finished It... 
Good stuff as always, Tronyn and PM. The architecture was phenomenal! I especially enjoyed the music and the horde combat. On Normal, there is plenty of ammo, health, and eye candy to make it through until the end.

The end, however, was way too much for me -- especially with my machine ch-ch-chugging along. It felt like too many things were being introduced at once for me to make sense of them. I did like the teleporting Hexen baddie and thought he could have been your final boss. Maybe the other guy would have been easier in a separate arena.

Top notch!!!

P.S. I missed those big roman numeral models from the scraps *sniff* 
yay, finally had a chance to load this up.

got through the first map and like half way through the second.

very cool so far. a little haphazard with the themes, but it still works pretty well. fun fights and the guns are cool and new. the last fight at the end of map1 was pretty tough though, but i managed it on my second shot.

excellent so far! 
infinite spawning enemies = bad.
especially with a big boss to defeat.

i sat for ages picking off the minions so i could take on the cyberdemon 1 on 1 before i figured they were endless, by which time i just popped god mode on. ending is indeed too hard... although having just played alistair in painkiller, fuck that was a bitch of a battle as well!

should have just removed the ledge to prevent sniping him off, and had a 1 on 1 with the hideously skinned cyberdemon. its only a fraction of the entire pack though, so not a big deal. overall it's very good! 
The Beta Finale 
was just the summoner followed by a dragon, which i enjoyed.
Idea ... 
Maybe it would be cool if the spawn cube could be destroyed. To stop the spawning of new enemies. Then it would still be very difficult but at least you can clear the field in a (relatively) peaceful manner.

Anyway, I really loved this pack, thanks guys,great work ! 
I like that idea Ron. But I think to destroy it you should need to use the grapple hook to get behind it and do something, to make it a bit more about exploration rather than just standing in a safe corner bombarding something with bullets. 
And a new model, Tronyn's head on a stick. 
Then he'd be immortalised like Romero. 
Good Job 
Loved it. Played on easy. Didn't find any secrets. Going to play again on harder level and look for secrets. Didn't use the grapple but it was cool as was the bow. Wish it had more ammo (the bow). Still fighting the big guy at the end.
Layout was fantastic. Nothing not to appreciate.
What a way to start 2010. 
Nothing Much To Add 
but what a great new year's present! Thanks guys.

I played on easy and found the horde combats were a reasonable difficulty, and I could carelessly blast through some of the less populated areas. Anyone else try to chainsaw the line of scrags outside the castle in roman1? :)

I loved the music also, and the gruesome texturing. Still have to beat the end boss and try some higher skill levels. 
Finally Got Around To Finishing This - Good Show! 
Things I Liked:
- Excellent unique theme. Bloody Roman Hell Metal has never been done before to my knowledge.

- Wide open epic architecture. I'm a sucker for this stuff. I can easily see that this was done over a 10 year period, too (not a bad thing - it's great that all this mappery gets a proper release).

- The wand was quite fun to use. Limited range, low fire rate, infinite ammo, special fire mode - it's well balanced and eases ammo pressure considerably in the latter half. I was blasting all kinds of enemies with the powered-up shot once I got the hang of it, and the knock-back is cool as well.

- Challenging but not insanely hard. Played on medium, did not die much at all until the final boss. I guess I just do not have the white-knuckle, split-second reflexes to deal with 50 bajillion enemies attacking me all at once.

- Extra monsters, mostly good. The nail ogres stood out as the most used and best addition, as they really mix up closer range combats. Gremlins were only used once? I thought that was somewhat odd. Flying imps were somehow more enjoyable here than in NSOE - I think they had previously left a bad taste in my mouth from their respawning in nsoe2. And surprisingly, z-aware grenade ogres did not annoy me nearly as much as I thought they would; I think that's because these ones occasionally under- or over-shot me, as opposed to some others I've seen that have impossibly perfect aim every time.

Things I did not like:
- The weapon order. Why is the uber-special crossbow, with something like 10 shots in the whole game, placed between the super-shotty and nailgun? The following happened to me several times: I'm stalking around corners with the SSG out, then come across fiends or some other close combat monster. I flick my scroll wheel up one notch which usually brings out the nailgun, and start firing away. But in this mod, I switch to the crossbow and waste a precious arrow before I realise I've got the wrong gun out. What I'm saying is, the crossbow should be after the lightning gun, or somewhere way up there, in weapon order.

- Also, why does the Super Nailgun replace the normal Nailgun?

- Did not like the fire-spitting dogs, I thought they were ill-conceived and the skin was terrible.

Don't let these relatively quite minor annoyances detract from the overall awesomeness here. One of the best of 2009 for sure. 
Some Comments. 
The wand has been a controversial addition, with more negative feedback than positive. It also looks out of place in just about any level that does not have a medieval fantasy theme. Therefore, the wand may get scrapped unless Tronyn says otherwise. For future projects, the wand will probably be replaced by a flare gun, which will be a light source launcher with minor damage potential.

The reason the crossbow is placed where it is at is because it felt like an appropriate choice for an impulse 3 (shotgun) weapon slot. For what it is worth, Tronyn voiced a similar complaint. It may get fixed in a patch later. Speaking of the crossbow, it seems most people lament the lack of crossbow ammo. We may add another crossbow and/or more ammo, especially if the wands will be removed.

As for the super nailgun replacing the nailgun, there are only a few reasons why people may use the nailgun once they get the super version. One, to light up dark areas with muzzleflash, and waste one nail instead of two per shot. Two, to shoot secret doors. Three to snipe around the corner with the right barrel. In the Roman mod, the super nailgun can shoot one nail at a time (at least in single player); and the offsets are changed, so the nailgun is pointless once the player has the super nailgun. 
Any Esitmated Date On A Patch 
or should I just dive in? 
I do not know yet. I would like to build a devkit that can be released with the patch. A few days ago, I started writing an entities file for the BSP editor, and will try to do the same for some of the other map editors. Once I finish writing entity files, the documentation is next. 
may as well play it now anyway. 
Made It To The Boss... 
roman2 and roman3 were really impressive and fun. Difficulty tuning was really solid, never found it too hard but it was challenging enough to kill me a few times.

That is, prior to the boss. I haven't killed him yet, so I can't say whether it's a good fight yet. I'll let you know when I do... 
Just Loaded It Up 
for a quick glimpse.

holy fuck, the intro to roman1 is epic! 
Too Bad About The Wand 
I think it's really helpful to have an infinite-ammo weapon in these epic 300+ monster maps. Sometimes ammo just runs out. I guess the counter argument would be, just balance the ammo better. But, remember the dispersion pistol in Unreal? It worked quite well there to pick off easier or isolated enemies.

Also, I don't think that the medieval-ness of the wand is a problem. Tronyn's maps have almost always had a medieval/fantasy setting. And besides, Grunts and Enforcers look out of place in anything not a tech/base level, but that doesn't stop people from using them whereever, and it doesn't really matter (to me) as long as the gameplay's good. 
This Is Phenomenal Mapping 
fix up the end and this is easily an instant classic!!

I thought everything was pitch perfect in the looks department, it all fit together beautifully even though it probably shouldnt have. Roman1 has a killer layout too.

The spectacle factor in all the maps was out of control.

Gameplay wise, I loved all the new additions, and found it challenging but not impossible on medium all the way till the final fight. You probably need an ammo and health replenishment once some time has passed after the spoiler 1's arrival (ie same thing that happens as spoiler 2 arrives). 
And besides, Grunts and Enforcers look out of place in anything not a tech/base level

I usually hate base enemies in non-base levels but somehow they worked well here. It suited the "multiple unrelated themes merged into a bloody mess" theme.

Environments that bleed into eachother ;) 
It worked in Zerst�rer... 
And besides, Grunts and Enforcers look out of place in anything not a tech/base level

Not to take one comment out of contex, but, any monster can be out of place if it doesn't fit the theme or the theme isn't done well. The theme can be anything the mapper wants - it's just we typically see variations of a handful of different ones.

Not because the people making them don't have imagination, but because the themes are very strong.

It's an old saying that Quake players have different eyes to everyone else, able to see whole spectrums of brown. If that means we can see wide variations of dungeon, castle, swamp, meatech (etc) themes as well then great.

Don't know what ARWOP's theme can be called - meatemple? 
Someone Else Said 
roman bloody hell metal.

That covers it :) 
I -think- 
these maps are T's least adored and he's just getting them out the door, hence the disparate themes. Kick me blue if i'm wrong. 
Good Discussion; Re: Theme/enforcers 
In some maps (ie, if I have lots of Ogres and Flak Ogres, which sort of mix medieval and tech), I'll use grunts (early Unforgiven maps had grunts and even enforcers, but they are now the NSOE goblin variants) since I think they fit with the idea of these monsters having access to earth weaponry if there's an earth/Quake dimension overlap. Enforcers go fully into scifi though, so they are a bit more in that direction, perhaps too much.
The Roman betas actually had Dragons, but I decided to cut them and use Wraths and the Overlord instead to get a more evil rather than fantasy feel; also as the Roman maps are vaguely inspired by Doom and Quake3, in both of which id mixes tech/hell elements all over the place, I thought that going for that vibe instead of a more fantasy thing was more suitable for these maps. Basically, it's a slippery slope from grunts to enforcers! 
Re: Stevenaaus 
well, these are definitely the oldest maps I had to release (started in 99; all my other yet-unreleased stuff was started in 2003/4 at the earliest), so the originals were smallest/simplest out of my maps; but they did have the same mixed themes as are present in the finished product. The only difference is that each of the 13 original small maps had its own variation on the basic theme, so merging 3-4 of them together created varying takes on the theme within the same map - except roman2, which was only based on 2 scraps, both of which originally had the "venice of blood" theme. 
What I Think Of When I See Roman. 
Roman reminds me of the fourth episode from Ultimate Doom, "Thy Flesh Consumed". 
So That's What It's Called Then 
Venice of Blood 
It works in DOOM, because the original DOOM never established a coherent "base" theme or an "every episode starts with a base map" dogma. The color scheme is totally different, too. The former human gang in DOOM isn't so idbase-brown. (A brown enforcer will automatically look out of place in a blue map, for example). DOOM is also simply more extreme - its mixture of hi-tech and "underworld" covers both soldiers and demons. Quake's "base" and "medieval" are comparatively tame and mostly well separated. You have neither "Mars laboratory" nor "Hell" in Quake, not to mention a merry mixture of the two. Runic is again a different thing. I believe this stems from the fact that DOOM was supposed to be modeled after the Alien movies, while Quake was supposed to be a fantasy game before in both cases that didn't work out.

Vanilla Quake already introduced and cemented the base/medieval split, sadly, in the shareware episode, with its clearly separate themes, while DOOM's shareware episode was mostly "tech dungeon" throughout. The first impression tends to stick.

ARWOP is largely very brown, which makes the grunts look more at home, plus it isn't one of the pre-established id1 themes. Hence we're probably more willing to accept the broad mix of monsters. The DOOM feel was definitely there.

Quake's monster lineup simply isn't as versatile as DOOM's. Especially in the lower and middle tier, there are definite holes / not enough variation. This occurred to me while I was implementing Lardarse's randomized monster spawning. There are only so many options to put in a certain slot. For example when randomizing a spawn that used to be an ogre, what are the alternatives? Hknights? Fiends? They don't always work. I was briefly considering Gremlins, but they look like Fiend ripoffs... and are not really all-round monsters.

A medieval grunt, a runic grunt, an Ogre substitute that works in the same all-round way (and is not a hknight) ... would be good to have. 
One of the concessions that Quake does allow is that since everything is connected by slipgates, fantasy and sci-fi enemies can intermingle even in environments that are 100% fantasy or sci-fi.

Though i guess there is still the sense that the "deeper" you get into the fantasy world, the less you should see other human soldiers because that breaks the illusion that it was difficult to make it that far. 
Even that can be storied over though. Say you start seeing humans and come across a broken slipgate or something. Done! :) 
yeah, that works ... while just using all monsters in a medieval map, without any "explanation", feels a bit weird to me. 
Correct Thread This Time 
How can I turn the music off? No offense, but some of it I find really awful. 
impulse 17, mentioned above, you lazy bum. 
Thanks Spirit 
I did read the .txt and searched through this thread though! 
Outstanding map...

finally played and record a demo... 129 mb :\ want it tronyn?

Tronyn awesome work as usually... fair gameplay and great visual as all your maps have... but this one in my opinion even in hard is a fair map :) will play the rest of pack soon and comment...

thanks :) 
Good stuff here. It took 50+ tries to get through roman1 on hell difficulty, but the following maps were not as difficult (even considering weapons)... then I noticed that the monsters weren't respawning like they did in the first level. I know "skill" supports only four values, so I imagine the "hell" difficulty is stored somewhere unusual... Too unusual for save files, I believe. 
Off The Scale. 
Hell difficulty check is stored in the serverflags, which is preserved across levels and savegames. However, if a level restarts in a way that erases runes, skill resets to nightmare. In other words, hell skill is treated as a fifth hidden rune that is given when the player selects hell skill, and taken away when another skill is selected later, or when all runes get erased from a restart. When hell difficulty is selected at the start level, the gameplay changes do not take effect until the next level, roman1.

Some easy tests to see if you are really in hell difficulty.

Impulses 9 and 255, the weapons and quad cheats, are completely ignored.

Try to change your health via the 'give h <xxx>' cheat. The attempted health change will be overruled and will not take effect.

Enter notarget or noclip cheats. The player dies instantly as soon as they are entered. Flymode will kill the player if he moves, and godmode will kill the player the moment damage is taken.

The only cheats that work in hell difficulty are the ammo cheats because they are a pain to stop and not worth the trouble to fix. Besides, with god, health, and weapon cheats gone; the player can give himself as much ammo as he wants, and it probably will not save him from death.

There is an impulse that will force Hell difficulty, impulse 77. This will force skill to be set at 4 until the impulse 77 is invoked again or when the player touches a setskill trigger. 
With my new steam version of Q1 installed I thought I would play through some of the most recent Q1 releases and see how things have changed over the years. I got the impression from the above comments that the map pack was hard, so I thought I would try easy skill first.

I must have a different dictionary definition for the word 'easy' because I was expecting the map to be easy. I spawn into the first map and right there on towers pointing at me are ogres with nailguns. I jump into the water to escape and then a swarm of fish nearly chew my legs off. I eventually get out of water and I am killed by a group of enforcers. Jesus! >:(

I know everyone has moved on with complexity of maps but when did gameplay balance go crazy with Q1 maps. I would understand if I tried hard skill level because it is meant to be 'hard'. Sorry for the rant but this is so wrong, no new players are going to play this!

So I tried again and just run across the bridge dodging nails and eventually through a doorway for cover and I was greeted with a whole troop of soliders while still being hassled by the ogre outside. Eventually I get through the room and started to play the map.

After a lot of frustration with unbalanced mobs I eventually just flick on god mode and coasted through the rest of the map pack. :( Which I think is a real shame because these maps are really beautiful to look at and the layouts are gorgeous. Lots of up and over, vertical cross over paths, lots of show and tell moments of where you got to go. I can see alot of really cool work has gone into the making of this map pack.

My only nit pick is with the AI, nothing was patrolling. All the AI was just static and stuck to the spot. I played through the Q1 original maps and I saw AI patrols and they looked like they were guarding the place, nothing moved in these maps, they just spawned and stared forward. *shrug*

I really liked the map architecture scale and scope and there were lots of interesting locations. I just wish the skill levels matched my expectations of what Q1 maps are suppose to be like. 
I feel you, sock. I tend not to say anything because I know that I'm bad at Quake and that most everyone else is a Quake playing god these days. But, yes, maps tend to be insanely difficult these days. 
The difficulty has increased. Most custom maps are harder than the early ones (not to mention stock Quake). And Tronyn maps are something else again.

Quoth maps have to played with caution, too. Especially the base ones. 
tronyn's maps are not the place to start with custom maps.

i have found all his maps in general are about 2 difficulty levels higher than other modern custom maps (which are already higher than id maps).
yeah sorry about that sock my new maps are the last ones you should start with - the horde combat gameplay (if monsters can fit they're generally there) and PM's gameplay modifications combine to make them extremely hard. I should also set the odd monster patrolling, it's true.

my next releases are going to be somewhat toned down. I know I keep saying this. There will be a giant jump from easy skill to normal.

ps I am going to review map on the edge of forever sometime this summer, when I get access to a computer that can run it properly. 
I believe skill levels should be a natural progression through a map that helps the player explore the map and try different AI encounters. The lower skill levels (easy/normal) should be what they say and that they should gradually ramp upwards to hard/nightmare and not be giant leaps.

AI should naturally scale upward in difficulty, health/ammo should be setup differently and pickups should be moved around. Skill levels are a wonderful way of extending the playability of a map and should be balanced enough that everyone can see and complete the level. I am also looking forward to your review of my map this summer :) 
Makes sense if you put it that way. Usually, I'm not inclined to play a map twice in a row, unless it offers something substantially new on the other difficulty levels. Only few maps do that.

I'd definitely like to experiment with this more, though. Making an entirely new game mode is the most sophisticated variety of this idea, but it doesn't have to go this far. Apart from moving items and (groups of) monsters around, you could also open up new paths and change the layout/progression in certain ways depending on the selected difficulty. A map that does this in a very original way is digs' The Parallel Words (basically a 3-in-1 map). Of course, it doesn't have to be used in such an extreme way in regular maps. 
I have this theory that horde combat and insane difficulty in Quake maps are an easy way out of deeper problems with the game, and being mainly concerned with environment design over gameplay.

A well done game doesn't need 400 monsters per level to remain challenging or unique. Better AI, more varied monster behaviour, increased usage of traps / puzzles / exploration / "scripted" scenes / extra keys / other gameplay elements, and finally randomisation might go a long way towards avoiding teh horde smackdown. There are other interesting things besides killing 50 scrags. This isn't aimed at you, Tronyn, just a general thought I'm having lately. There is a tendency to either make experimental maps that go overboard with the puzzle stuff, or horde maps that go overboard with monsters. Maybe a middle ground wouldn't be bad - ironically, Id used more traps etc. than most maps today. A trap can be the highlight of a map.

It gets really bad if mods just increase the monsters' HP, knowing full well that the original weapons were balanced against less than that. And then these extra HP are piled on and on by mappers, making maps both more difficult and more boring.

I know most of func_ is mainly interested in the environment, but a cool environment filled with hordes because you're hard pressed to come up with alternatives is suboptimal. The thing is that traps, for example, have to be planned as part of the environment. You can't sprinkle in traps or puzzles afterwards like you do monsters. You have to plan the environment from the ground up to contain that sort of gameplay.

Meaning, when you go down this route, you can't simply go and build cool stuff, then sprinkle in monsters. You have to build cool stuff that contains hazards and puzzles around every corner, THEN sprinkle in monsters.

Another overlooked element is how the player moves through an environment. Having to raise the water level (classic TR's Cistern level, Far Cry's Cooler level) or crawl through air ducts (Ruined Nation had this) to get where you need to be is more interesting than blasting your way through 60 monsters, all the while running along a walkway. Having to blow up walls, or smash through them with whatever equipment is another nice alternative, often used in Far Cry. On top of that, a grappling hook can do wonders as proven by games such as TR:Legend.

What all these things have in common is that they must be planned early, in fact probably while building the layout. You have to adopt a mindset of plan first - build later, instead of build first - fix later.

If I'm not mistaken, this is how it was done during development of Half-Life. And it shows. 
that's a good point, with this set of maps, I basicaly just joined together disparate architectural sections however they would fit, without planning out a layout ahead of time. I haven't planned out maps on paper ahead of time for a long time and it's probably a good idea. The best id and hipnotic maps had a mix of traps, combat, and most of all they had distinct sections. 
But I Like "teh Horde Smackdown." 
Hordes full of dumb or even fairly smart monsters have their place, and are fun to wipe out as long as the player can get the resources to do so. 
I love hords to :)

always fun if there are good weapons like sng or Gl 
For The Horde 
I don't think there is anything wrong with horde style combat (aka doom) but my complaint is about skill levels. They are an awesome way to tailor the map experience and should not be overlooked. It maybe a pain to setup multiple encounters for the same location but ultimately it will be more rewarding for the player to experience the map in different ways. Save the crazy horde style for higher skill levels like hard/nightmare! :P 
> Hordes full of dumb or even fairly smart monsters have their place, and are fun to wipe out as long as the player can get the resources to do so.

Yes. That I can agree with. I'm the guy who made armytest.bsp, an RMQ testmap where you slaughter about 100 knights and a couple dragons with quad SNG.

Hordes have their place. ^^ 
Dear Sock 
Different maps, different styles.

I understand where you are coming from, but in some ways it's the equivalent of saying "I don't like water because it's too wet." ARWOP is a ridiculously over the top horde map. That's just what it is, and it's not trying to be anything else. Not all quake maps are (or should be) perfect paragons of balance, scalable, accessible gameplay.

Play Travail next, I remember some good non-horde gameplay in there. 
Dear Grahf 
different skills, different people.

I think you have missed my point, I do like horde style maps I just don't find dying all the time that much fun which is why I like to choose different skill levels. This map does not atttempt to resolve this problem and I would say a fair amount of modern maps have missed that point as well. Sure if the Q1 community has gone the way of hardcore gaming with excessive skill levels then fine.

'I don't like muddy water I prefer something clear and drinkable'

Not all parts of a lake are the same, some are murky while others are clear. When I first start a map, I prefer to try out the waters edge, not drown in the middle of the lake. 
most new maps on medium are fine to me.

I guess a simple solution for catering to seasoned players and those not so used to playing quake sp over the years is to leave normal and hard as they currently are (ie hard and extra hard practically) and make sure easy really is easy (rather than normal practically).

There are better solutions, and sock has outlined quite a few (different routes and progression for different skill levels as well as changes in ammo/health/monsters), but I imagine they would take a fair bit more time to implement for what is really not much of a bigger audience outside the regular quake players. 
I always play map on hard, and I rarely died but some are to much for me... tronyn map use to kill me a lot :) 
In regard to the Hell mode save bug- I switched to Fitzquake (I was using aguirRe's), and it works fine in loading the mode from a save file.

About the difficulty... I'm wondering how many is too many deaths to be fun. I'm having a "hell" of a time even getting to the gold key on the first level, but it'll only be sweeter by the time I finish it. I'm used to running levels without saving partway, so dying is even worse than normal. But it makes you learn how to deal with enemies. 
Dear Sock 
i think we mostly agree actually. diversity is good.

also, thanks for taking the time to play q1sp maps, i enjoy your perspectives. 
I'm also interested in Sock's direction now - never look at Q1 again or want to make maps for.

Not sure I can explain how I feel about Quake. It's like all day I'm drinking coffee, and then I get home and I can drink a stomach settler. 
BTW I Like Coffee 
My contract says level designer on it. 
Fuck off ijed and get a real hobby. 
ijed, drinking kills. 
yes, it does. 
kills the bugs inside of you! 
awesome posts ijed I totally see what you're saying. 
Ow my head. 
A Tronyn Wilderness Of Pain 
Just played this again. What a blast - great fun. I totally see where the Doom references come from. Many weapons, plenty of items, hordes, lots of gibs. Didn't bother with the boss fight (not least because I didn't set a higher heapsize so the game slowed down to a crawl once the summoner and his gang showed up). I regret not having played on Hard this time AND record a demo. I think it totally would have shown how much I enjoyed bouncing through the maps producing gore. Playing a fast DnB mix in the background added to this.

Thanks again for this excellent release, Tronyn and PM. I consider it one of the milestones of Q1SP - in combination with NSOE, which I'm going to play next. 
did tronyn ever say how long it took to vis? the last map in particular must have been brutal. 
Yeah, Must Have Taken Ages 
Checked out the roman scraps. It's very nice to see how this developed from all the individual map bits to the final ones, how areas changed appearance and were pierced together. Amazing construction even back then. Some of the unused or unmodified scraps are still salvagable.
Bigrome is impressive, almost marcheresque. Kind of makes me want to mikewoodham it.

Also, at the risk of repeating myself, I love the ARWOP style, the texture theme and general vibe. Quake in all its (bloody) purity. 
So I'v played the other maps. Wasn't extremely hard except for the god damn tarbabies and the ENDING.
The amount of hp\armors is pretty much excessive so the difficulty is fine for hard skill, didn't die much even though I was playing badly meleeing 50 scrags and doing other silly things.
The tarbaby is just a bad monster design blowing up 100 damage in your face, and it was pure sadism to paint them red making harder to see and put in the red water where its harder to avoid them. Or on a ledge above\behind a player. Or 5 in small locked room. Yeah!
The rest I didn't find unfair. Maybe the start is too harsh. Map2 was easier.
Now the ending was unbeatable cause I arrived with no cells ... GG (I tried with cheats and it took max cells and max spikes and then some more to take the cyberdemon down).
Or is there a gimmick or an unmarked secret quad\penta?

The construction I'm not a fan of this style and some parts were really hard to move around (you'll see in demo) due to stairs\ramps\floor details\narrow paths.
But cool planning and layout.

All demos
Hard /1st playthrough. First demo pauses closer to the end and wont play after that, but you can timedemo watch it if you want to see it all.

Playback works only in DP or earlier (later versions have bugged lightmaps making the maps look fugly) 
Btw, funny it runs more than twice as fast in DP over Fitz in really stressing spots. 
I Tested Some 
But kind of flaked out because RMQ was starting.

In terms of maps done and staying power, I can't think of any mapper who beats Tronyn.

As to vis times - I think it was a case of vis once, then just modify entities. For most of his maps :) 
Playing this.
Tronyn I love you. 
Heh Thanks 
you might hate me when you get to the end boss fight though! 
Still playing this pack, Still lovin it. 
I am definitely glad to hear that. in many ways this is the most extreme episode I ever did. heh. 
Tronyn, can you remake Masque with Drake Monsters and Weapons? 
Tronyn is so brilliant that even his subconscious thoughts to himself manifest in the form of thread posts.

His subconscious mind is so powerful, it even has its own distinctly different ip address. I'm impressed! 
yeah, well I still have the source, so that wouldn't be too hard to do. thanks for the suggestion, subconscious! 
Masque is good as it is, don't be George Lucas! 
...unless You Want 4 Billion Dollars 
Hello, Tronyn! Sadly that QuakeC source to ARWOP is not yet released. But progs.dat size is near 1,6 megabytes!!! So much QuakeC work here?
Btw, new Soul Of Evil (Indian Summer) QuakeC compiled source code does not fit to play ARWOP, give parse edict error. Sadly... 
that's because ARWOP has new stuff that isn't in NSOE. I think there is even newer Drake source code out though, which does support ARWOP. But even if it isn't out, I'll ask PM if he can release it; either way, the final source code for Drake will be out with the final mod, which should be out sometime in the next month or two. 
This Is Pretty Tough.. 
But also very very nice looking. Tronyn you make some crazy ass stuff dude. Took me a couple attempts to get to the gold key. But I got nailed by those flying jerks, probably going to have to retry a few times. 
I Have A Good Idea! - Drake Mod Dragons Retexturing. 
Have you ever played or seen screenshots to Might And Magic 8 - Day Of the Destroyer? I like dragons from MM8. I ought to mention that you can hire up to 4 dragons to your team. This should be a good idea to partially remake dragons models in Drake as in MM8, isn't it? 
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