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What Makes "Competitive" Maps?: 3/6/2014 19:35:51


NecessaryEagle 
Level 56
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I was thinking about the maps that are played regularly in high-level competitions and realized just how small a percentage of maps are played at that level, even though it seems like there are a lot more options than are currently used. Now I'm not a high-level player, and I don't know as much as most about strategies and how to look at a map and determine what's a "value" pick and what's not, so I know that figures into it.

What I'm asking is, how do you determine a "strategic" or "competitive" map? What factors are important? What range of bonuses should it have? Are super-bonuses a turn-off? Why are symmetric maps not popular? Does having a bigger range of bonus sizes (territories and reinforcements) give the map a higher skill-cap? Do you need to have wastelands be usable? Does it have to be visually appealing or can a map that looks mediocre be used as a strategic map for high level play? Can a map of hex or square territories be used?

What do you guys think?

Edited 3/6/2014 19:37:44
What Makes "Competitive" Maps?: 3/6/2014 19:51:04


Master Potato
Level 59
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Look at the ME map. There are no 1 turn 2 bonuses that take no expansion planning to take, there are several bonuses that are not efficient (in terms of territory to army ratio) and create sorts of "dead-zones" Most of the bonuses are well placed, so there aren't a bunch of 4 or 3 bonuses packed together.
What Makes "Competitive" Maps?: 3/6/2014 21:50:04


NecessaryEagle 
Level 56
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Also, what would you say are the top 6 maps in terms of how frequently they're played in high-level or clan competitions?
What Makes "Competitive" Maps?: 3/6/2014 22:07:56

Hennns
Level 58
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What I'm asking is, how do you determine a "strategic" or "competitive" map?
A map which have many chockepoints, is well balanced and it's not boring to play on repitidiatly (here the visual comes into play, I guess)

What range of bonuses should it have?
A range that fits well with the "standard strat settings", so the bonuses should be in a range from -3 to 8-9 (although this can depend, I'd not have more than 15)
Are super-bonuses a turn-off?
not imo, but they would need to be well incorporated with the map. which I think can be difficult to do. (Macro land is an example of a small strategic map with superbonuses).
Why are symmetric maps not popular?
It becomes too much of the same in the long run, + luck becomes very decisive.
Does having a bigger range of bonus sizes (territories and reinforcements) give the map a higher skill-cap?
It becomes a different way to play I think, it'd require different skills, but not necessary more skills.
Do you need to have wastelands be usable?
They provide variety, which makes playing the same map over (and over) again less tiresome. So I'd say they're important.
Does it have to be visually appealing or can a map that looks mediocre be used as a strategic map for high level play? Can a map of hex or square territories be used?
as long the map doesn't look awful i can't see why not :) noting wrong with hex/square territories, could maybe again become a bit too much repetition though..

My opinion^^ :)

Edited 3/6/2014 22:21:47
What Makes "Competitive" Maps?: 3/6/2014 22:22:41


NecessaryEagle 
Level 56
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Edit: your edit makes this post irrelevant.

Edited 3/6/2014 22:25:41
What Makes "Competitive" Maps?: 3/7/2014 05:23:30


NecessaryEagle 
Level 56
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For example, here's a quick rough-map. Each bonus is worth 1 less than the amount of territories in the bonus. Could this be a competitive map? What would have to change to make it better?



For context, I took the following maps:

Medium Earth
Europe
Ancient Greece
Sanctuary
Battle Islands V
Volcano Island
Imperium Ramanium

and took the average number of each size bonus income from them. To make my map, I took those averages and made groups of hexagons of each size and arranged them so that each group was as dissimilar as possible without making them too long and "chained". Then I separated the groups into 2 large groups, arranged them randomly, and then stuck the two groups together.

Edited 3/7/2014 05:34:25
What Makes "Competitive" Maps?: 3/7/2014 05:51:18

Qi 
Level 55
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When Gnuffone the Invincible joins Team A as an alt and controls every account on Team B, that map has become "competitive."
What Makes "Competitive" Maps?: 3/7/2014 06:27:08

Qi 
Level 55
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I just noticed your map and the logic behind it. I think that is a great way to make a map.

If you could make the territories like how Chaos or Incaman makes his, it would be even better. Natural-looking territories are better than geometric shapes.

Edited 3/7/2014 06:27:50
What Makes "Competitive" Maps?: 3/7/2014 09:04:32

Widzisz • apex 
Level 60
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All 3 - template, number of teams/players and map should to fit together. Maps good for 1vs1 are bad for 3vs3, and so on.

Visual part is really important to me. But to some extent.
I like to play the map without the need to zoom in and out to play, to make an attack / deploy. Same with connections, I want to know them at first sight, not having to remember which is not connected to the other despite looking like it is. Connections across the maps are nice addition, but make them well visible and don't make too many. The borders of the territories should be clean, not overlapping, and the map itself shouldn't look like it's not finished yet. Territories shape is not important, triangles are just as nice as any random shape (if it's clean). Nice graphics on maps (like 「 Ra 」's, Incaman's etc.) are just an added value, wouldn't play those if they were bad in other things.

So, as I'm too stupid for team games, and play mostly 1vs1, now I will say just about 1vs1 maps, for template that remind 1vs1 strategic - 2 - 4 starters, 1 - 3 in each starting territory, 1-10 in starters, 3-10 initial income, some wastelands.

Now, as for the rest - I believe map should be balanced. And by balanced I mean few things (this is totally biased and subjective opinion, you know):

1) bonus sizes - not big discrepancy, if map have bonus of size 1, it shouldn't have one which have 10. For me, I prefer when no bonus is smaller than 3 territories, and if the size of the biggest bonus is max twice the size of the smallest one. Maps with bonuses of size 12+ are rather bad idea to me. So that pretty much mean no super-bonuses to me, but even the small ones are bad, too much to think about.
2) bonus value - depending on the size of the map, and don't really have to be constant ratio or same territories-bonus relation for all territories. So, in most cases I prefer bonus to be "bonus=#territories-2", but depending on the other things it's not wrong to make it slightly higher or lower than that. It's not so big deal, as it can be changed in the settings, but adjusting it each time is meh.
3) total number of territories / bonuses - already kind of limited by visual aspects, but I would go further than that. Now, it's not a rule, and this numbers are just imaginary, but maps smaller than 30 territories are mainly decided on picks, maps bigger than 300 are usually decided by expansion. Those number varies and are different for the given amount of starters, but you get the idea.
4) bonus shapes - can be anything really, but make them differ along the map, make some easier to defend / capture than the other. Adjusting the bonus values accordingly to that is good idea.
5) shape of the map - variety please. Don't make it uniform, make some chokepoints, "islands" (blank spaces between the territories), "clusters" (areas with no "islands").

Europe map fulfill almost none of these, even for 3vs3. I don't get why it's so popular / high rated.

I think that would be all from me.

EDIT:

I think I answered most questions, the remaining ones:

What would you say are the top 6 maps in terms of how frequently they're played in high-level or clan competitions?

I think 6 most played (doesn't mean best) maps are: ME (because it's most-mastered map), MME (because it's improved ME), Turkey, Imperium Romanum (because these are good ones), Battle Islands V (because it reminds ME, and is good one too), Europe (because people are stupid).

Could this be a competitive map? What would have to change to make it better?

Umm, could be... Completely subjective opinion: if I could change something, I wouldn't use +1/2 and +2/3 when I have +6/7 (see point 1). Also, keeping constant relation "bonus=#territories-1" is not the way to go, I would make the safer ones worth less, difficult ones worth more. Possibly also add a connections between the left and right side, or some other distant places, to make it more dynamic.

Edited 3/7/2014 10:17:38
What Makes "Competitive" Maps?: 3/7/2014 13:20:33


NecessaryEagle 
Level 56
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Thanks guys, please keep it coming if anyone else has something to add or dispute.
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