RAGL s04 map pool

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Wippie
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Post by Wippie » Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:19 pm

Lorrydriver wrote: Hey,

I think whoever will be in charge of the new mappool will have to make a choice which is gonna be very siginificant for the future of RA. I get the idea of pushing new maps, more experimental maps, which can be very fun. This will however hurt the competitiveness of the league.
Maps that are very popular amongst the top players usually offer a lot more possibilities and depth than most other maps. It may not always be obvious to everyone, how much different you can play games on Pitfight, Green Belt and Sidestep for example. Also how much thought you can put into your strategy on those kind of maps is actually insane.

Furthermore, do we need to get rid of the thought of the Meta playing such a huge role. This is a myth created and fed by some of our most popular members of the community and it appeals to a lot of people for good reasons: Top players mass inf, tanks and if they get an advantage they push that advantage by base pushing. Newer players obviously copy build orders of top players, which will drastically improve their winrate. The old strategies don't win you games anymore.

All that supports the idea of the meta being inf/tank spam and being superior.
This is where you need to analyze the development of the competitive scene in more detail: The overall skill level has improved immensely, build orders have become almost scientifically, just have a short chat with Happy and ask him about exact timings. He'll explain to you what that slight change in build order does provide you with. You can't win games anymore on the highest level if you constantly float 5k+ which was no big deal a year ago. You'll have to macro to perfection to stand a chance against top 5 players. Playing the player instead of playing one build order against everyone at all times has become extremely important. Extremely small advantages will be pushed by top players.
Believe it or not, I used to be able to win 90% of my games against top players, regardless of how the first couple of fights went, just because I was superior in so many other parts of the game. Mainly macro, multitasking and understanding of the game. Nowadays if I screw up slightly against players like Orb, Smitty, Happy or Barf, my chance of winning will be very limited. That's because they caught on. Of course theres not a lot of players on that level, but those players are not on that level, because they basepush or mass inf/tanks, but rather because they do everything else so well.

I experimented with fast tech strategies and had a lot of success with it. We've seen Orb destroy 'meta' players with his minute 4:30 v2s. A great number of high tier games end up in tech center play.

I beg every 'Meta is too hard' believer just to look closer and maybe come to the conclusion, that the unit choice are just a part of the equation. An important one, but no where near as important as most people think.
A map pool so important for the competitive scene, shouldn't consist of maps that punish macro players, multitasking and aggression to force games that limit the options of how you can play the game and don't encourage players improve their overall game.
Hey LD,

Thanks for your reply.

Please shoot me if Im wrong, but I really feel you want to have a map pool selection, where ultimately the best players have the best changes, eliminating chance. I feel the RAGL players should be able to play different styles of maps. And with that, I mean variation in size, landscape economy etc, of course not going into extremes, where only one tactic is viable.

Extreme example: Sometimes in the lobby I see a player selecting Singles / Allies playing on " Fastest" gamespeed . Ill wish you the best of luck trying to beat the guy with Soviets.

The question is, where do we want to go with this mappool. The most important factor to me is balance. Also, I think the 3 main options (Tech / Army / Economy) should have a decent chance on any map.

Could you please explain how this is related to the mappool and provide some examples of maps which you think should and shouldnt be in the map pool?

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netnazgul
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Post by netnazgul » Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:39 pm

Should also be a point that there are only 2 games in a matchup between players where a player only selects one map. AFAIR (someone dropped statistics, can't find it) even among 10 maps in S03 there were like 3-4 played maps and <10% for the rest. Maybe reducing map pool to 7-8 maps is a thing?

As for the votes on the maps:
Moving from S03
  • Behind the Veil (second all-favourite, 3 lanes present, favours teching over early aggression)
  • Winter Storm 2 (offers some naval play, although neglected by many)
  • Desert Rats (I'd say this is one of the nicest close-quaters maps around)
  • Pitfight
Returning from earlier seasons
  • Sidestep (all-favourite, quite open with 3-lane paradigm and all kinds of play)
  • Warwind (I'd say this map is way better than Agenda that changed it (and has the similar feel); early oil objectives and a shared ore field are the pinpoints)
Fresh intake
  • Nuclear Winter (some favourable votes already for this map, and looks stylish too)
  • Pyrrhic Lakes (because hell why not, also naval and no basepush through the middle; although I'd have preferred map corners to be filled with something because they feel too empty; also can't decide on bridged/unbridged version http://resource.openra.net/maps/21958/)

Lorrydriver
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Post by Lorrydriver » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:29 pm

Actually I think our opinions about that are quite similiar, I do also want maps that allow for as many strategies as possible to be viable. We should also have maps of different sizes, economy situations etc.. I'd just say that we have to eliminate the extremes, which are maps like Snow-Off, Patches and Keep of the Grass II. I understand the argument that those maps provide different games than most other maps. But games on those maps are almost always the exact same because they offer so few possibilities.

I know that Orb's favourite map to tech on is Green Belt. The reason is that theres enough starting ore to support an army that can deliver a good punch and you don't NEED to expand asap. In my opinion Pitfight is just as good, if not better for teching fast for similiar reasons. Then again inf/tank compositions are also very powerful on those maps due to a lot of open space and many ways to harass your opponents economy.
Not every map has to have those exact details to be a good map for RAGL, but it should allow you to try some different openings. A lot of it has to do with having good starting ore and no key spots on the map that are easily locked down by 1 mcv (for example Winter Storm). Also naturals should have enough ore as well. A map like Patches doesn't allow you do tech at all because you're gonna have to build like 6 refinieries to have an somewhat stable economy. That makes it almost impossible for you to sneak in a radar tech.

That's some of the points we should take into consideration if we want to create a good and balanced mappool. I welcome new ideas and new experimental maps that offer something different, but we shouldn't throw in random maps, like Patches or Rocky Ravine were last season, without proper testing. Maps just need to work and make sense, that's why I don't think naval maps should even be on the table for next season.
Last edited by Lorrydriver on Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Blackened
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Post by Blackened » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:24 pm

FWIW I have no intention of putting naval maps in the upcoming season. The most you could expect is a map like DCF where navy can have some limited late game use.

Mo
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Post by Mo » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:01 pm

Blackened wrote: FWIW I have no intention of putting naval maps in the upcoming season. The most you could expect is a map like DCF where navy can have some limited late game use.
Why the instant shutdown? There's still time ahead of the next RAGL season to test a few of the maps out. Navy as it currently stands is not a game breaker. Allowing the possibility of 1 or 2 maps to cater to players who want to do something different should be allowed for. You get interesting games without compromising the rest of the play (ala 5A's cast today with Frame Limiter vs Hi where even having navy didn't mean you locked out the opponent of navy ;) )

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Clockwork
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Post by Clockwork » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:32 pm

Mo wrote:
Blackened wrote: FWIW I have no intention of putting naval maps in the upcoming season. The most you could expect is a map like DCF where navy can have some limited late game use.
Why the instant shutdown? There's still time ahead of the next RAGL season to test a few of the maps out. Navy as it currently stands is not a game breaker. Allowing the possibility of 1 or 2 maps to cater to players who want to do something different should be allowed for. You get interesting games without compromising the rest of the play (ala 5A's cast today with Frame Limiter vs Hi where even having navy didn't mean you locked out the opponent of navy ;) )
I think the answer to that is the maps that are trying to bring out the best in navy are affecting the actual land on the map making the normal game worse. For example your map that was put on the cast has a big center pool allowing navy combat which is all good until you realize you have 2 very narrow flanks on each side for the actual regular combat that can have the problem Lorrydriver was talking about with Winter storm with MCV's locking down key spots of the map including the bridges that can be protected with regular armies. That cast didn't show that flaw because of the unorthodox play styles and no offence to the players if it was against someone in the top 5 they would've been punished severely with normal play with map and eco lock downs.

I have to agree with Blackened in picking maps that aren't Navy focused but have it as an option like Dual Cold Front or Winterstorm V2 as netnazgul pointed out.


Also I reccomend Shadowfiend and Roadkings by Kazu. Shadow fiend has been around for a while and needs some competitive love I'm so surprised it hasn't featured in any map pool.

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Orb
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Post by Orb » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:05 am

Winter Storm is also bad because the economy is tucked into areas that are hard to raid. It's impossible to raid the original base, and the corner resources are easily protected by defenses.

Lorrydriver is right about why I like Green Belt, but he missed something about Pitfight. The way the map is set up makes it easy to kill conyards in Pitfight. Look at the way the map is set up. Huge open areas, and conyards setting up for the big patches have to be exposed. If he turtles in one direction it's easy to sweep around through the middle and hit it from the back. Or hit the main base. There's lots of flexibility. The gems in the middle help a lot as well as a comeback mechanic. They're too risky at the start to grab, but by mid game they can give you a push if you're behind and willing to gamble your harvesters.

If we're voting, I'd like Green Belt, Sidestep, and Pitfight to go in. I veto Winter Storm. Also without a banning system or random map picks there's no point in having so many maps. I'd go as far as 6, with 4 standard maps and 2 more interesting maps.

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Doomsday
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Post by Doomsday » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:54 am

I would start with Green Belt, Sidestep, Pitfight, Desert Rats and Behind the Veil. Another safe picks would be Dual Cold Front and Warwind.
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
-Sun Tzu

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Doomsday
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Post by Doomsday » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:08 am

I think we have extreme lack of viable small maps. I think Desert Rats is the best we have. What other good small maps are there?

I'm hoping to do map testing stream sometime in the near future about my maps Battery and Jimmy's Revenge (and possibly another map or few).
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
-Sun Tzu

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3.Lucian
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Post by 3.Lucian » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:12 am

Opinions are like assholes... better heard than seen?

wait let me try that again.

Opinions are like assholes, here's mine.
8 maps, few favorites, few new ones, everyone's happy, move on.

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Doomsday
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Post by Doomsday » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:16 am

3.Lucian wrote: everyone's happy, move on.
Everyone is not Rexxy Kappa
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
-Sun Tzu

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3.Lucian
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Post by 3.Lucian » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:21 am

don't confuse them.
:lol:

Mo
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Post by Mo » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:35 am

Happy wrote:
Mo wrote:
Blackened wrote: FWIW I have no intention of putting naval maps in the upcoming season. The most you could expect is a map like DCF where navy can have some limited late game use.
Why the instant shutdown? There's still time ahead of the next RAGL season to test a few of the maps out. Navy as it currently stands is not a game breaker. Allowing the possibility of 1 or 2 maps to cater to players who want to do something different should be allowed for. You get interesting games without compromising the rest of the play (ala 5A's cast today with Frame Limiter vs Hi where even having navy didn't mean you locked out the opponent of navy ;) )
I think the answer to that is the maps that are trying to bring out the best in navy are affecting the actual land on the map making the normal game worse. For example your map that was put on the cast has a big center pool allowing navy combat which is all good until you realize you have 2 very narrow flanks on each side for the actual regular combat that can have the problem Lorrydriver was talking about with Winter storm with MCV's locking down key spots of the map including the bridges that can be protected with regular armies. That cast didn't show that flaw because of the unorthodox play styles and no offence to the players if it was against someone in the top 5 they would've been punished severely with normal play with map and eco lock downs.
You make some very good points.

However regarding your concerns of the map being locked out, I do have some counter points:
  • Locking out both expansions means your army somewhere will be out of position because of the vast distance.
  • Blocking bridges with armies again splits your armies, these can be easily circumvented through naval transport. Beaches are everywhere for sneaky MCVs and Normandy invasions.
  • 5 spawn ore mines with an additional small ore mine not far off allows for a means of comeback vs locking down the 2 corner expansions, it buys the defender more time than would be allowed in other maps to do something.
  • The corner expansions only have 2 mines each, eventually the ore here will run out and the earnings of locking them down will take a big hit.

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WhoCares
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Post by WhoCares » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:54 pm

single, also biggermap (by smitty).

edit :

Without trolling, the map previously mentioned for the reasons previously mentioned work for me. In every one of them you could go middletech rush, even hight tech rush, lame 3 min all in rush, superblob-barf-style, ect. A good map is a map when you can't say "that strategy will not work". And for the ones that sentense can confuse : --- waiting in your base or on a choke point with long range and air unit waiting for your nuke timer hoping your ennemy will impale himself on your defences --- is not considerated as a "strategy".

I'm surprised, I diden't see the name "agenda" in the list, i wonder why, it offers all the strategies. I vote for agenda.

Joke aside, if you want to implement some changes in the league, why not open a special division with a map pool that can be favorited by players with specific gamestyle such as the one considerated as "too small, too few eco, too chooky, too naval, ect". And see if you have enought sign up for that division. In the worst case you don't have enought signup and this division is just forgoten. In the best case scenario, you attract people who have a different vision of competitive games and give them an opportunity to show us what they can do aned/or gain interest in the league.

noobmapmaker
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Post by noobmapmaker » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:37 am

I only have an amateur opinion when it comes to the mappool. But i.m.o. I prefer a mappool with 10 maps, which are diverse in layout/eco and only 2-4 maps that have been in the pool before.

New maps because sticking to the same old gets boring to play and spectate. Also I think competitive players should be able to adapt to new maps.
Also because at some point the strategies for maps crystallize and in some cases that leads to "If you dont follow the optimal strategy on this map, you'll probably lose". Part of RAGL is coming up with new strategies and countering those, rather than executing the best strategy optimally over and over again.
I'd like to see new maps in the mappool because by doing that we will get more 'classic' competitive maps, which is a healthy thing, I believe. Also it will motivate people to keep making new maps.

With very few maps the above effects will be greater.
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