Thanks for your (appropriately cryptic) thoughts, MadGypsy! It's good to see I did pretty well on the important stuff (gameplay, interesting environments). Ok, now for damage control...
1) one area in particular must have like 50gigs of brushes and my FPS dropped to 1 in that area.
Yeah, keep in mind I'm first timer in the world of mapping. I had a feeling that 3000 visible leafs may lag a computer or two. Running DQ on a boss machine I drop to 300 fps in that area. Oddly, in DP with FULL lights I get around 30.
Needless to say, this is has been addressed in a big way. Also, that was an expensive room and I need most of those resources back as I'm getting too close to my limit of ~65k vertexes.
2) a couple of areas have some insane r_speeds
I don't know what that is.
EDIT: Google is my friend. Well that sucks. Maybe func_wall could help?
3) this map is pretty dark
It is dark, but not too
dark. I'm building this on a calibrated monitor in total darkness (my precious...). Also, most lighting is tentative at the moment, it won't be brighter necessarily, just better lit. I haven't gotten the nerve to go back and relight the current ~800 lights. Oh, and I'm a shameless Doom 3 fanboi...EAT IT.
@KillPixel - FUK that stupid ogre by the steps...where the hell is that thing coming from? Even after getting killed by him twice and knowing exactly where he will be, he still got me AGAIN!
Hmmm... that doesn't sound like fun, nothing like getting killed by the "level gods". There is going to be a private beta before release so I can iron most of the remaining bugs. It's hard to find faults and exploits when you know how the map is "supposed" to be played.
Anyway, I will say this. Aside from music, sex and sunshine, level deign/mapping is one of the most stimulating things I've ever done and I'm having a friggin'