RAGL s04 map pool

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noobmapmaker
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Post by noobmapmaker » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:28 am

Always ask yourself "What would SoScared do?" :lol:

Looking at the transistion of S02 > S03:

12 maps > 10 maps

1 map (KotG2) kept without changes
4 maps that have been revised
5 new maps

I think refreshing at least 50% of the map pool is a nescessity. At some point in the league the strategy for maps seems to somewhat crystallized into a final form. This makes games a little bit predictable and that makes playing them less fun, watching them being casted less fun, etc.
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Doomsday
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Post by Doomsday » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:38 am

Blackened wrote: I think first we should decide if we want to experiment with new and exciting maps or go with tired and true maps.
Both ^^
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WhoCares
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Post by WhoCares » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:55 pm

Why don't you organize "playtest-week" for some new map with a feedback and vote from the playtesters at the end ? So if people want a say in the map pool they have to work for it and playtest.

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Wippie
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Post by Wippie » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:23 pm

WhoCares wrote: Why don't you organize "playtest-week" for some new map with a feedback and vote from the playtesters at the end ? So if people want a say in the map pool they have to work for it and playtest.
No, not at this point. You haven't fully understood the purpose of this thread.
Playtesting is perfectly fine and will definetly beneifit the coming together of the final map pool. I wouldn't want anyone to go playtest to earn themselves a vote. If any good demos come out of the playtesting, feel free to post them, I will add them to the opening post.

We just want to provide a platform to bring together the best 1v1 maps currently out there. Everybody is free to post and motivate maps. Ill list them in the opening topic.

I am not in control of map pool decision making and I dont want to do that. At this point we are not even sure how the selection proces of the map pool is going to look like.

What we can do is:
- Nominate maps for the RAGL season 4 map pool
- Discuss about the map pool selection process, Ill give some examples:
  • New maps / classics / mixed?
  • How much maps do we want to refresh compared to S03?
  • How many maps?
  • Importance in aesthetics, gameplay, balance
  • Defining of borders in terms of starting money, spawn distances etc
  • Variety in gameplay, tile sets and use of land / naval / air
noobmapmaker wrote: Always ask yourself "What would SoScared do?" :lol:

Looking at the transistion of S02 > S03:

12 maps > 10 maps

1 map (KotG2) kept without changes
4 maps that have been revised
5 new maps

I think refreshing at least 50% of the map pool is a nescessity. At some point in the league the strategy for maps seems to somewhat crystallized into a final form. This makes games a little bit predictable and that makes playing them less fun, watching them being casted less fun, etc.
Yes, in my mind we should avoid maps that are too predictable or where onely one road leads to victory.

Just a random proposal:
I would take out of the mappool KotG2, NW Passage, Winter Storm (in 3 seasons), Agenda (too much oil) and Rocky Ravine (doesn't stick in my mind).

This would be my mappool:
S03:
  • A Nucleair Winter
  • Almost Arid
  • Alpine Waters
  • Battery OR Belly of the Beast (would playtest both)
  • Behind The Veil 2 (I leave it in as some sort of steady factor)
  • Desert Rats
  • Green Belt (especially for the base pushers amongst us)
  • Pitfight
  • Polar Disorder (because its a Pizza map!
  • Sidestep (hail to the king)
And peeps, its just a list :)

.1
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Post by .1 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:07 pm

Mo wrote: We need some decent naval maps in this pool. It's about time naval gets some attention and this will be a good way of testing it competitively.

Having made 8 different maps and spectated many games on each, I've found general patterns with some of these maps, and my top maps in order are as follows:

1. Timorous Expansions - despite slightly longer games by a factor of ~1.5, this map sees naval action vs land in tier 3 games with counter navy on navy. Most dynamic naval play yet.

2. Stone Throw Away - (recent map so not much tested, but small enough to see some shenanigans of MCV moves, soviet rushes and vulnerable to tier 3 if you get there).

3. Portent - mainly naval on naval. You won't see much naval vs land here. If it weren't for the island the waters may just be useless.

4. Stagnation - Gunboats usually.

It goes without saying that in these naval maps, the production of naval is given the same opportunity as any other production queue type. Naval is not completely forced in the same way air or tank play is not forced. I'd say it's somewhere between air and tanks in priority. You don't complain about having to build air or tanks vs opponents, so why the stigma against naval? (except balance because we won't know until it gets played correctly, and that needs maps).

EDIT: I see you've also suggested the same. I'm equally humbled as Lucian is :)
noobmapmaker wrote: Edit 2: Id like to suggest these maps for the longlist-mappool:
Stone Throw Away - by Mo - http://resource.openra.net/maps/22340/
Allmighty Petrodollar - Lucian - http://resource.openra.net/maps/22178/
The naval aspect of the game needs to be rebalanced before we can add naval maps. Its just such a lop sided advantaged to allies at this point. If the naval aspect gets fixed, yes, naval maps would be great to add.. But adding it in a competitive situation isn't the right thing to do.

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Doomsday
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Post by Doomsday » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:46 pm

Good combination of small, large, open and chokey maps.

Also good combination of old favourites and new maps.

1-2 weird and unique maps. Patches fits in this cathegory but it was not very good choice for S03.
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Clockwork
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Post by Clockwork » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:55 pm

I feel its more fairer to have a pool of only maps that cater to every play style not just one in particular like pitfight or Sidestep. Having an unfair advantage purely because of the map seems a bit odd in my eyes.

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Wippie
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Post by Wippie » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:27 pm

Happy wrote: I feel its more fairer to have a pool of only maps that cater to every play style not just one in particular like pitfight or Sidestep. Having an unfair advantage purely because of the map seems a bit odd in my eyes.
I dont understand, there is not a single odd map in there I think?

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Clockwork
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Post by Clockwork » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:32 pm

It's not directed at any map choice or pool im just saying it would be better to have the map pool contain maps that cater to every strategy for example pitfight, sidestep, dual cold front, warwind, Nuclear winter, desert rats etc compared to maps that force a certain playstyle for example Agenda (forced double ref its not a big problem though), Patches, greenbelt, winter storm, KOTG2. If you look at the maps I put here the more popular ones are the ones that do cater to every style. I think we need more of these maps than attempting to make navy maps, small maps, large maps, high eco etc etc.

Mo
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Post by Mo » Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:01 pm

.1 wrote:
The naval aspect of the game needs to be rebalanced before we can add naval maps. Its just such a lop sided advantaged to allies at this point. If the naval aspect gets fixed, yes, naval maps would be great to add.. But adding it in a competitive situation isn't the right thing to do.
We won't know what the right balance is until we see good competitive players utilise the navy aspect of the game. It's also on the map creator to balance out the soviet vs allies imbalance (e.g. not placing all key locations in access of the coast line, not placing majority of ore mines in access to destroyers). So far the best balance (map creation wise) I've found is to make tier 3 navy feel like a threat to land units, because both allies and soviet can do this, the other naval units then become back up for this. Of course the transporter is also available to both factions and so giving flank accessibility is another option open to both.
Happy wrote: If you look at the maps I put here the more popular ones are the ones that do cater to every style. I think we need more of these maps than attempting to make navy maps, small maps, large maps, high eco etc etc.
It's not attempting to make navy maps be the end all option, it's attempting to find a balance in catering to navy as one of these options alongside other styles. Do you complain about having to cater to air units when someone decides to tech up? So why do we complain in the same way about navy? (Disregarding whatever imbalance there may be).



I feel like we're in a chicken or egg scenario going about circular reasoning. We're not addressing naval because it's imbalanced and so because it isn't balanced we're not addressing naval. (EDIT: Perhaps to exaggerated because there is Blackened's and Omnom's playtests). But even then, these are trying to fix issues we don't currently know about because we don't have enough data on the current state of naval, because the 1 on 1 maps that include naval are not played in any competitive volume.

noobmapmaker
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Post by noobmapmaker » Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:49 pm

Some maps have naval as an extra. Like: its nice to dominate the sea, but the game is not lost if you don't own the seas. And it's a heavy investment that you can't put into other stuff.
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Mo
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Post by Mo » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:38 pm

noobmapmaker wrote: Some maps have naval as an extra. Like: its nice to dominate the sea, but the game is not lost if you don't own the seas. And it's a heavy investment that you can't put into other stuff.
That's exactly the issue with making navy worth pursuing yet not overarchingly dominating.

Some of my maps I have found that people don't really pursue the navy aspect for the most part. For example: Pyrrhic Lakes, Exiguous Mines, Timorous Expansions Drought Edition, and Nascent Seas.

3 of the above maps also have spawn to spawn seas, yet people don't go for them for the most part.

It's finding a balance between where dominating the seas does not mean dominating the game entirely, and not going after the sea does not mean you can't win in other means (although it may be a bit more difficult to do so).

So on one extreme is the maps you've described where sea is not worth pursuing, and the other end of the spectrum is island maps. We need to create maps somewhere along that continuum.

I think a map that best showcases this is Stagnation, where navy is quite the feature that people do go for it, yet not taking the sea still allows you to win through other means. Navy becomes part of the game. Some games naval happens, and some games it doesn't. I think that's the right balance to aim for.

lucassss
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Post by lucassss » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:24 am

Dynamite cliff - resource.openra.net/maps/22168/

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Wippie
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Post by Wippie » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:55 pm

lucassss wrote: Dynamite cliff - resource.openra.net/maps/22168/
Thanx for the addition Lucass, I read in the description that some cliffs explode? How does that play out?

Lorrydriver
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Post by Lorrydriver » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:57 pm

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.

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