worm\V/wood

From DoomWiki.org

Worm\V/wood
Title screen
Authors Zachary Stephens & Grain of Salt
Port Boom-compatible
IWAD Doom II
Year 2023
Link Doomworld forums thread
Cacoward-2018.png This mod received one of the 2023 Cacowards on Doomworld!

worm\V/wood is a three-map Halloween-themed PWAD for Doom II, plus an outro and two bonus maps, made for Boom-compatible source ports. Released on October 31, 2023, it was created by Zachary Stephens (Ribbiks) and Grain of Salt, and represents the sixth Halloween-themed collaboration of the duo, beginning with Orange Is True Love in 2018. Unlike Wormwood IV, the mapset returns to the structure of the earlier entries in the series, with an epic centerpiece finale preceded by two significantly shorter openers.

A central gameplay feature of the WAD is the use of randomized spawn locations for items and weapons, as well as the implementation of a dynamic difficulty setting in the form of the curse system in MAP03. The two bonus maps are short and straightforward challenge levels and are thematically unconnected to the rest of the mapset.

worm\V/wood was named one of the winners of the 2023 Cacowards.

Content[edit]

Custom content[edit]

worm\V/wood makes several custom changes to the monsters, weapons, and items through the use of a DeHackEd patch. It also carries over the modified PLAYPAL and COLORMAP first introduced with Wormwood: Expanded Universe, making green colors in sprites and certain textures glow in the dark, while most blues are being turned into shades of purple and the color range of orange is given brighter hues overall, making flames and lava look more vivid.
The blue and yellow keycards & skull keys are replaced with green and orange variants, respectively.

Weapons[edit]

Axe
A large fire axe that replaces the fist, doing three times the normal damage (6–60). It reuses the sprite of the fire axe from Heartland, though it lacks the increased range of the original. The axe pickup that can be found in the levels is a reskinned berserk, increasing the damage to (60–600).
Plasma rifle
Functionally identical to the regular plasma rifle, but uses bullets that have been renamed to cells, sharing the ammo type with the pistol and chaingun, with the ammo capacity adjusted to match that of the regular plasma cells, while regular cells are exclusive to the BFG, renamed to BFG cells.

Items[edit]

Shootable candle
A nearly burnt-down candle on a candlestick that is placed on the ground and has the SHOOTABLE flag set, allowing it to be shot and killed, after which it will drop a purple crystal that will gift the player a random item when picked up. It comes in two variants, which are visually identical to each other—one replaces the zombieman and the other the shotgunner. The former drops a crystal that has a 50 percent chance of being 20 cells, and a 25 percent chance of being either a stimpack or a medikit. The crystal dropped by the second variant has a 50 percent chance of being 4 shotgun shells and a 25 percent chance to be either a rocket or 20 cells. Both types only have a single hit point, so any damage will instantly kill them.
Shootable chandelier
A large green chandelier that hangs from the ceiling and falls down upon being shot, revealing a green soulsphere that does not increase the item count. It replaces the chaingunner.
Purple soulsphere
While the regular soulsphere found in the levels is green instead of blue, there is a purple version that can be found as well, though this variant, just like the green soulsphere dropped by the shootable chandelier, does not count toward the item percentage. It replaces the tall green pillar.
Purple spirit flame
A small purple flame that is found burning in the center of a rosette drawing on the floor of each of the four shrines that are placed at the northern, eastern, and southern ends of the map as well as at its very middle. It cannot be harmed or picked up but will instead teleport away when approached, and then gift the player one of the three keycards.

Monsters[edit]

Cacodemon
The cacodemon's sprite has been modified to have the blue color of its mouth, eye and blood remapped to green, which due to the changes to the color palette and COLORMAP glows brightly in the dark. Its projectile has also been recolored to green, making it look similar to that of the baron of Hell, but otherwise remains unchanged.
Green cyberdemon
A cyberdemon with 1000 hit points that replaces the spider mastermind; as such, it can infight with the regular cyberdemon, though it is still immune to splash damage. The wiring on its body is neon green instead of the usual red and will glow in the dark.

Since the thing slots of the zombieman, shotgunner, chaingunner, and spider mastermind are all reused for other custom mobjs, they are recreated in other slots, which results in all types of former humans not dropping any ammo or weapons, and the spider mastermind not being immune to blast damage and not having its death or wakeup sound played at full volume, since all these effects are hard-coded to specific thing slots.

Level mechanics[edit]

Randomized teleports
Each map has a number of fixed spawn points for certain weapons, items, and keys; however, which thing appears where is randomized upon startup of the map. The mechanism involved utilizes out-of-bounds conveyor belt closets where several voodoo dolls placed next to each other are each being blocked by a pillar that has been modified to die/vanish on their initial spawn state within a few seconds after level startup. The randomization is achieved by taking advantage of a hard-coded feature of the Doom engine that randomizes the duration of the initial spawn state of a mobj to a number between 1 and the value that is that state's duration in tics (10 for vanilla monsters). This was done to prevent all monsters in a map to execute their code pointers on the same tic, in order to reduce CPU load and improve performance.
Since the vanilla Doom engine uses only pseudo-RNG in the form of lookup tables, the offsets generated in this way at level startup are always identical since the same numbers are drawn each time. However, because Boom uses proper RNG, the generated offsets make the pillars vanish at a random point within the span of their modified state duration (256 tics=7.3 sec). Once a pillar has vanished, the voodoo doll is unblocked and triggers the linedef in front of it that in turn activates the rest of the teleport mechanism, which comes in two variants.
For the first type, the linedef simply lowers a platform onto the conveyor belt with one of the items that is be randomized on it. Once lowered, the item is then carried over one of a series of single-use teleporting lines. Each line teleports to a fixed spawn point in the map, but since the sequence in which the items are lowered onto the conveyor is randomized, so is the order in which they trigger the teleporters.
The second type involves a set of four pillars that are paired with a mechanism that locks off the voodoo dolls from triggering the linedefs after exactly 128 tics, independent of whether or not the pillars in front of them vanishes after that point. This way the randomized state duration of the modified pillar is translated into a binary signal, since they have either vanished before 128 tics have elapsed, resulting in the voodoo doll activating the linedef (input=1), or they have not, resulting in the linedef not being triggered (input=0). This setup leads to a 4-bit signal (16 possible outcomes), which is then fed into a second conveyor belt/voodoo doll setup where each of these combinations serves as a key that releases exactly one out of 16 voodoo dolls to trigger a specific set of items or weapons to teleport into the map, while locking off the rest.
Curse system
MAP03: After Image makes use of a dynamic difficulty system whereby the difficulty of the main arena fights in the map increases as the player picks up keys and weapons, in essence paying a price for each additional item they acquire. A counter in the center of the map—on the north wall of the first spirit flame shrine—displays the current curse level at any time, while the overall stage of the curse is displayed on large wooden tablets that can be found inside the other three spirit flame shrines as well as at the start of the map. Each time an item whose spawn location has been randomized at startup is acquired, the curse level of the player is increased.
Depending on the skill level, the player starts the game at different curse levels—0 on Easy, 3 on Normal, and 7 on Hard—with every keycard and skull key incrementing the curse level by one, whereas additional weapons add two levels each, and the optional BFG, which can be picked up at any point as soon as any one of the skull keys has been acquired, increases the curse by three levels. At curse levels 6, 11, and 16 (max), the stage of the curse advances—from "Slightly Cursed" for levels 0 to 5, to "Thoroughly Cursed" for levels 6 to 10, to "Drenched in Curse" for levels 11 to 15, and to "Cursed to the Bone" for level 16 (max)—triggering both greater amounts and more challenging types of monsters to spawn in the various arena fights.

External links[edit]