Hey folks As I always like to say, no, I'm not dead.
ZX is nearing its next release, v8.1-- and once again, it's been nigh-on a year in the making. Extensive updates are in store, and...I'm reasonably confident that if you liked v8.0, you'll love 8.1. Plans came and gone during the mod's very, very slow, protracted development cycle. Here's a primer on what to expect.
First: MORE GUNS (and more of other stuff too)
Yep, that's right, there's more guns. Across the class-exclusives and the main arsenal, there are now one hundred weapons in the mod. 1-0-0. I realize that's not the largest figure in Doom mods-- DRLA, QuakeStyle Unbound and ÆoD come to mind for bigger arsenals-- but that's still a lotta guns, each one being distinct in look, feel and function. Classy Bastards gains more classes, and a bit of streamlining-- the "loadouts only" version is gone, with the "unique weapons" version completely replacing it now and inheriting its name. One existing class-exclusive weapon has been removed in favor of another, but I promise the replacement is a much better weapon. The main arsenal, available to all, gains six weapons. There's also a new monster in the fray who likes to heat things up, and speaking of heating things up, there's now a (VERY BASIC) fire death animation for monsters, in addition to an ice death animation for one of the new weapons.
Improvements and fixes aplenty
8.1 has the first of a host of improvements to its menus that will be finalized come 8.2 and beyond. A brand new menu's been written up that contains blurbs and writeups about all 100 weapons total in the game; in 8.2 these menus will expand to include writeups on monsters, ammo and items, basically turning into something of a Mass Effect/Dragon Age-style ingame codex. There are considerable improvements to weapon sprite consistency, and across-the-board improvements to the animations of all handguns and rotary machineguns; a couple of weapons have completely new spritesets. A big improvement is that overhealing items such as soulspheres and health bonuses are now sensitive to the "max health"-boosting effects of adrenaline pickups; their cap is now boosted alongside the regular health caps. For example, a player who's picked up three adrenalines can heal up to 130 health with stimpacks, medikits, etc., or 230 health with health bonuses, regenspheres or soulspheres. Strong bonuses, lifespheres, godspheres and gigaspheres are unaffected-- absolute cap is 300 no matter what.
Bugfixes and balance changes among the arsenal are present in their usual number and force; a couple fixes to monsters are also present.
What's coming in future versions
Expansions to the menu writeup blurbs, adding stuff about the monsters, items, powerups and ammo, eventually becoming a Mass Effect/Dragon Age-style ingame codex menu.
Narration to said blurbs and writeups, as an addon.
A "Silly Skills" addon that replaces the ten stock difficulty settings with ten wacky ones.
Once the testing's done, I'll post 8.1 here for all and sundry to play. I hope y'all like it.