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Map Info

File Namedm-cavesoflight][.zip
GametypeUT Deathmatch
Date Added04-19-2004
File Version1.00
File Size1.16 mb
Player Count4-8
Map DescriptionNone
Review Rating2
User Rating5
Overall Rating3.0


ReviewerIronblaydeAwe Score: 0.5/3
Date04-25-2004Build Score: 1.0/3
Review SchemaCast Score: 0.5/3
User Point: +1
Overall Score: 3.0/10

AWE: 0.5

DM-CavesOfLight][ comprises two main areas: a research facility (as it's named in the author's readme.txt) and a set of caves. I spawned in the research facility, and although it wasn't hideous, it wasn't very pretty either. Quite a few of the textures, notably those used on many of the light fixtures, are poorly chosen. The best that can be said of the texturing is that at least the theme is appropriate and consistent throughout the facility. The lighting is utterly bland; most of the lights are left at their default settings of low brightness, high radius, and perfectly white in color. Very boring. There are beds, computer panels, windows, and other objects around to liven things up a bit, which is good, but in most cases, detail is lacking. There is plenty of room performance-wise to make things look pretty -- the poly count usually doesn't even break 100 -- and it would be nice if the author had taken advantage of it.

The other part of the map is the caves. At least I assume they're supposed to be caves, judging by the map's title, but what they really are is a set of large, conjoined spheres. They're textured with ice and lit by crystals made of flowing lava that grow out of the wall; rather incongruous, wouldn't you say? One of the caves has a giant sphere of water floating in the center. At least it's original. I've seen water on the floor plenty of times, and once I made a joke map that had lava on the ceiling, but this is the first UT map I've seen with a huge blob of water suspended in midair.

BUILD: 1.0

Generally speaking, the author's brushwork is decent when he sticks to rectangular items, and sloppy when he doesn't. The caves are full of cumbersome brushes that seem to have been clipped and intersected in odd ways; I'm not at all sure I could reproduce them exactly if I tried. Still, the map manages to avoid BSP errors almost completely as far as I saw, so the mapper wins a cookie for that. Zoning is OK from the standpoint of performance. None of them are named, so they're not helpful in that respect, but that's not nearly as important in deathmatch as it is in more team-oriented games. The movers work, but the lifts are agonizingly slow.

Sound is not very good. Most of the place is pretty quiet, and some of those sounds that are present seem strangely chosen. The worst part about the audio, however, is the music. Normally I appreciate custom music, but the song included with this map is quite bad, not looped correctly so there are little breaks in the music, and not at all suited to the theme of this map. It's extremely annoying.

Now, on to the major downside of the build: the bot pathing. It's among the worst I've ever encountered. The author must have done some of it manually, because there are JumpSpots placed in a number of places, but the PathNodes themselves are placed so haphazardly that it could only have been done automatically by UnrealEd. Automatic pathing sucks, plain and simple. There are clusters of six or even twelve nodes placed all right next to one another, so the network is needlessly complex and the bots get confused all the time. They get stuck on everything. There are a number of places they won't go at all. Forget trying to play a botmatch in this map.

CAST: 0.5

The caves and a large dock in the research facility use low gravity, but not just any low gravity; this is insanely low gravity. A standard low-grav map like DM-Morpheus uses about 20% gravity. This map uses 1%. That's right. One. Per. Cent. If you think that sounds fun, think again. It's a nightmare to try navigating those areas, and as difficult as it is for us humans, it's nearly impossible for the bots. This one flaw is a deal-breaker as far as I'm concerned. It makes the majority of the map virtually unplayable.

Elsewhere, flow is repeatedly broken by very tight passageways, and weapons and items stashed away in corners or little alcoves, but even if it were perfect, it couldn't save the map.


This map may get two points by NaliCity's review schema, but those points are all for what limited technical and aesthetic appeal the map has. In terms of gameplay, it has virtually no redeeming qualities. Pass this one by.

Map Comments

04-25-2004 10:38 PM MDT
Rating: 3 
this one brings back memories.. I recall one of the first times I played UT online, this map was running on a server.. that was several years ago. back then it was actually kinda cool, the layout was somewhat special/new and as a newbie and not used to great custom maps, I had some fun in it.. but now, years and countless tested maps later, this one's quite bad afterall.

Chris "azathoth" Pryor
05-04-2004 08:21 AM MDT
When I uploaded some of my old maps to Nali City a few weeks ago I didn't expect any of them to be reviewed, let alone so critically.

Although much of what the reviewer wrote is somewhat justified, particularly when comparing CoL][ to the detailed custom maps being produced now, there are some points I would like to contend with:

- The poly count was kept low (mostly under 150 - lower where there were dynamic lights) so that it would run on minimum spec machines. No all of us have sufficient disposable income to update our hardware every six months, and remember this map is three years old.

- The map nodes were initially auto generated then edited as I had always done, usually with good results. In this case due to the weirdness of the cave area the AI had problems. The "18 nodes in one patch" and such were actually necessary for what little bot activity there is in the caves.

- Navigating the caves is relatively easy for human players once they understand how it works - you just have to "free your mind" (hence the title of the map).

- No mention was made of the best bit of the map - the trap. Even though the bots are not much of a challenge, blasting them into space is fun for a while.

- Music is always a matter of taste, and personally I still think the one I used in this map (world of elves by the privateer) is a cranking piece of power metal, even if some of the samples are a bit dodgy.

Just to be fair I'll add some criticisms of my own as well, and looking back I have many:

- The thing which really makes me cringe when I look at this map now is that I didn't edit the surface properties in certain areas to get rid of the dark corners. This would have made the shuttle bay and caves look more rounded.

- Although it was a deliberate act, I really shouldn't have left the textures in the caves unaligned.

- I did evil things with stair brushes which no man should ever do.

Well that's about it. I hope you will all forgive me the vanity of commenting on one of my own maps.

BTW I didn't realise any of my maps ever made it onto a public server - thanks for that comment.

07-15-2005 06:05 PM MDT
Rating: 6.5 
Caves of light? Yeah A little too much if you ask me!!
And the bots are just plain dumb!!!!
Still a good play, Runned smooth when I tried it on a lan battle, We were actually laughing the whole time but it worked, so A six.five

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