If your map includes one of the following feautres it is cancer:
1 territory: 1 income bonuses
bonuses have similar income:territory ratio
bonuses are similar size
bonuses within bonuses
territories have the same number of connections
few choke points
large variations in territory size
long connections over water
Behold the one true europe and its adherance to the rules of noncancer:
"The thing is that the current Europe map is the only one that doesn't make for boring or overly imbalanced 3v3's. The cancer symptoms piggy described are all pretty important for an interesting/playable/good map to not have. The issue is that these cancer symptoms are also standard rules that people obey when making maps because they don't know any better and because they're already way too common."
Correct me if I understand wrong! First of all I am not saying the Standard Europe is bad! I like it, a lot people play it and it has definitely strategic value - as a lot players take it seriously, they have analyzed in depth. I have not played other maps so my evaluation might be biased. After all I do not like those maps, so I wont even bother with them. The standard Europe is definitely easy to understand, not overlayed bonuses like others have. But!
Basically every map can be imbalanced with poor settings. I would not call all of them cancer settings. (Leaving out the other Europe maps as they seem poor to me as well)
- 1 Territory, 1 income bonus! - Nothing wrong with it. That it does not fit for "standard gameplay" does not make it un-strategic or cancer with other settings.
- Similar Bonuse/territory ratio - Like wtf? If one makes similar ratio map (presume same borders and other balance functions) it is cancer? Greatest bias I have heard.
- Bonuses within bonuses - I tend to agree over all. But I would not claim it to always be like that. Take for example Jerusalem map - the tower-castle or whatever it is called insude bonus and walls. Works fine and creates different strategic value.
- Similar size? Cant even understand what he/she means? Like if they are same size in physical terms on screen, so they would create good view of map and distance? It is bad? Or i understand it wrong? I assume he/she means Bonus/territory ratio. Same critique as second one!
- Few choke points. I have learned to call those "Bottlenecks". They are create strategic element. But it is not must have in good map! So many different playstyles-Templates-game-modes that do not need them and would de-value the overall functionality of it.
- Same Nr. of connecting territories - again! It is not one-way-street. How cant he/she look the broader picture.
- Long connections over water - Generally, yes bad, as it distorts the image and understanding of map-territory distance. But again it can balance the map by creating a circular movement option to eliminate the map border-value due to fact being in corner and better protected.
What I am trying to say is how come such a high-ranked ladder player (not saying I am better - I am a rookie here) would think that there is only one way to play this game. After all has not the developer given such a broad setting options for us to play with them and suit for our game-play? Why preach about your personal style and call it superior? It leaves, at least to me, rather bad image of oneself. I would have imagined such player to have higher reasoning skills. Even random order has its strategic effect if used with right map-template. Every above mentioned factor of a map gives a Host option to create different style-strategy and gameplay. Calling one of maps - which would be really unbalanced with wrong settings to be superior seems not adequate.