I just saw the maps you mentioned, and they are comparably big and i think the only markable difference with mine is my obsession with ultra-high or deep columns...
The extension of the surfaces made the lightmap excessively big (the columns are even 1000 units deep under the sidewalks, compared to player's 56 units... ) and as result, (i think)continuous internal texture remapping work is done.
In beta times i remember i used to habit forums and to cover people with asks.. and that helped a lot, but the occasional swapping problems are present even on my pentium4 machine..
I got hemicrania trying to optimize this map.. but even if it's imperfect i find enjoyable playing it from time to time.. (usuall i play m "pulp friction" map, which (in my opinion) is incredibly fast...).
If you would enjoy in the .map file i could give it to you ;)
You (the author) say that you've spent a lot of time caulking and hiding objects, and I can notice it, but still it's strange to get so low fps count. The map is BIG but not so open, so this should not happen... you know, sometimes a map is TOO big and TOO open and this makes fps really low. A map like this one should not have this problem, because it has a lot of small to middle areas very well designed, which really helps to make fps better.
Did you use hint brushes or something like that? I was told that this might help.
There are two BIG maps that you probably know. They are really big but for some reason their fps count are much better than dezq3dm5. Check them out (if you haven't done it yet) and even send e-mail to the mappers to ask them a few tips, they'll reply you for sure.
1 - Ancient Archipelago by Lloyd Morris. Look for it here al ..::LvL
2 - Shatterd Tranquility also known as Sanctum by Mick 'VerMoord' Beard. URL (click the link and it will open):
Hope you can read this, I really liked this map.
you'll need at least 8 players though, 10 is better
The new sounds you included also add a lot. But they are more like background sounds, it could need some sourced ambient sound, for example when you see a torch, you could hear the flame crackle, if you see the sky, you can hear wind noises etc.
Parts of the map have well interconnected, with good verticality, but it doesn´t really pay out because the level is just so huge. Like Daniel already said some rooms that would make a great centerpiece for any map. Looking forward to your next releases!
But the way the map looks is something i dreamt of frequently, and I feel satisfied and proud of! The ultra-high columns and arches is my obsession, i like even jumping around and watching only!
If some day i could model a real gothic i would be even happier..
Check for the hidden chapel!