Does D2 improve significantly later in the game?

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shaleblade
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Does D2 improve significantly later in the game?

Post by shaleblade » Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:13 am

I finished D1 co-op with a friend of mine, and it was a blast. But we've started D2 and if the game doesn't improve significantly, we're probably going to drop it. We just finished level 7, I believe, and here's the main issue:

The levels are crazy huge and labyrinthine! In D1, all the level layout felt deliberate and concise, whereas a lot of the rooms in D2 don't give anything more to the level aside from making it larger. If that was all, it probably wouldn't be too much of an issue, but the levels branch significantly, meaning my co-op partner and I spend most of our time apart instead of working together. Even worse, most of the individual pathways are constructed so narrowly that it's difficult to fight together. The backtracking is the cherry on top for this, taking all of the previous issues and compounding them further. The fact that the blue key will be on the opposite side of the map from the blue door is utterly pointless. When we've gone our separate ways and he finds the key and I find the door, it means I have to trek through huge swathes of empty rooms and shafts, catch up with him, and then we do it all over again in reverse to get to the door. D1 would do this sometimes, but the level size was much more reined in.

Does this ever improve, or should we just drop it now and move on to something else?

(Also, the secret levels aren't co-op compatible! I know there's nothing that can be done about that, but it's still a real let-down.)
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Re: Does D2 improve significantly later in the game?

Post by vision » Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:26 am

Unfortunately, the D2 SP experience doesn't improve, it's pretty much the same type of design with increasingly hideous textures. From what I can tell, D2 is the choice for the multi-player experience (anarchy, teams, ctf, etc.) using custom maps and D1 is the choice for single-player and co-op.

If you abandon D2's stock campaign but like the new game mechanics you might want to try some custom missions from one of the many sites like dmdb.
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Re: Does D2 improve significantly later in the game?

Post by Alter-Fox » Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:49 am

Well it's not the textures that he was asking about Vision.
The level layouts get a lot simpler once you get to the last two planets, it's only really Brimspark and the second halves of Quartzon and Limefrost Spiral that are so complicated and mazey. If you just look at the cube counts 7 is actually the biggest map in the game. The last level of Quartzon isn't quite as bad either.

Descent 2 is still one of my favourite video game campaigns to go through; although I'll admit there are some points that are better solo than co-op.
The expansion pack for D2 had much better level design than either of the main games though.
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Re: Does D2 improve significantly later in the game?

Post by Sirius » Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:43 am

I believe D1/2 were actually trying to be maze-like and confusing. D2 was especially good at it in those sections. At level 7 you've really only just seen the start of it; there are a lot more levels on that scale to come, although they thin out a little from 17 onwards. The middle third of the game can take a really, really long time if you don't know it well though.
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Re: Does D2 improve significantly later in the game?

Post by Alter-Fox » Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:20 am

10 is probably the worst for reasons I won't spoil if you haven't played it yet. Once you've done that it does get a little bit better, and by the time of 12 and then the ice maps the levels are still huge but they don't have quite as many branching paths.
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Re: Does D2 improve significantly later in the game?

Post by Top Gun » Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:04 pm

I don't remember: does the Guide-bot appear in co-op? My gut feeling is no, which definitely provides a disadvantage in that realm. I think the D2 level designers let themselves get somewhat too labyrinthine with the knowledge that, at least in singleplayer, you'd always have the option of getting a direct route to the next objective.
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Re: Does D2 improve significantly later in the game?

Post by Sirius » Sat Dec 05, 2015 2:00 am

No, it doesn't. Probably because they didn't want to deal with who "owned" it.
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Re: Does D2 improve significantly later in the game?

Post by LightWolf » Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:56 pm

Alter-Fox wrote:10 is probably the worst for reasons I won't spoil if you haven't played it yet.
I won't spoil it either, but I will give a hint. Descent 1 level 20 (Oberon Iron Mine).
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Re: Does D2 improve significantly later in the game?

Post by LightWolf » Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:59 pm

Top Gun wrote:I don't remember: does the Guide-bot appear in co-op?
No, unless put inside a robot by a level designer. (You can get one in robo-anarchy too that way)
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Re: Does D2 improve significantly later in the game?

Post by Alter-Fox » Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:12 pm

Really? How is that sort of hint any better than a spoiler?
AND a doublepost that really doesn't need to be a doublepost.
Come on, Lightwolf... you're better than this.
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BEWARE RAZZADOON'S SNOUT!!
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Re: Does D2 improve significantly later in the game?

Post by LightWolf » Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:19 am

Must have been watching a video or something... *fails at straight face*
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Re: Does D2 improve significantly later in the game?

Post by LightWolf » Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:22 am

I also just now realized that I doubleposted!






And I'm really just being annoying with this doublepost (Muahahaha!) :twisted:

Just got an idea for a thing in the testing zone... (Non-spoiler hint: The text above)
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Re: Does D2 improve significantly later in the game?

Post by Xfing » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:39 pm

Been replaying D2 on Ace recently, I'm at level 23 currently. Gotta say, the last 2 systems in general feature much smaller and more compact levels with geometry greatly reminescent of D1. Particularly levels such as 19 and 21 seem like something initially built for D1 but then taken and retextured for D2.

The Ice levels are large, but relatively linear. I'd have to say that in terms of geometry and design creativity Zeta Aquilae beats later systems by a landslide - perhaps only Tycho Brahe comes close due to its particular theme.
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