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Creating a Map for Competitive Play: 3/5/2021 03:44:37

Level 55
Is anyone here actually good at Warzone? Because I'm not. I want to make a map that's actually viable for competitive / ladder games, since the majority of maps I've made are based on Diplo gameplay or some weird gimmick. So broadly to competitive players, what makes a good map for ladder?
Creating a Map for Competitive Play: 3/5/2021 11:51:36

Level 56
Yep, I recognise that problem.
I like looking at maps but I'm not at all a strategic player, so making maps that are "strategically viable" is a bit of an issue.
So I can offer very limited help!

Two things I do know:

- The "competitive" maps are usually smaller than most enthusiastic mapmakers like, and also smaller than yours commonly seem to be. They're also often much simpler (or more boring, depending on your perspective).

- Template matters as much (if not more) as the map. Getting a map popular and accepted for strategic play requires a good template. If you can, get some help from experienced template makers and a group of people willing to run a large amount of test games with you.
If you're not a part yet, the general Warzone Discord seems to be the best place for this.
The Mapmaking Discord is nice, but usually less interested in crunching the numbers.
Creating a Map for Competitive Play: 3/5/2021 12:23:48

Level 58
Lazy answer:
Just make a map with either Landria or Biomes of America bonus style and you are good.

Not lazy answer:
Strategic templates are usually 1v1, 2v2 or at most 3v3. This means low amount of territories .100~250. The map should have chokepoints, however every bonus should be well connected to the rest (no dead ends). For example Roman Empire had a very convenient shape. No symetrical maps.
Nowdays, there are many maps which meat this criteria, so it is hard to make a popular one. The easiest way is to put an unusual gimmick in your map. For example Landria gives you penalty for having 2 neighbouring territories from different bonuses, where at least one of the bonuses is not completed. I suggest asking around if anyone has an interesting gimmick. Or just copy already existing gimmick, there are not that many maps with them.
Presenting a good template on the map also helps. It may be worth asking around if someone wants to create a new strategic template and what map he would need for it.

Edited 3/5/2021 12:25:50
Creating a Map for Competitive Play: 3/5/2021 20:38:28

Level 41
I hate the Landria/Biomes bonus system. It is not necessary in my opinion. Just pay attention to the shapes of territories and bonuses and put some variety into them and play a lot of games with the map from every position so you can balance it.
Creating a Map for Competitive Play: 3/5/2021 20:45:19

Level 37
It's not good maps that the strategic community needs, it's good templates.
Creating a Map for Competitive Play: 3/6/2021 02:08:25

Level 58

skipping over your maps, here some advice what you might want to do differently for competitive players to enjoy it:

- Some of your maps are too big, especially for 1v1

- You need a formula for what a bonus should be worth. Most maps use "amount territories -1". A few bonuses being worth less than that formula is OK however if you have bonuses being worth more than the average this is not OK since then you create obvious "no brainer" picks.

- Keep in mind during map creation that competitive play isn't happening with full distribution but usually with random warlords. If you for example have a bonus which just plain wins against all surrounding bonuses then this is questionable. For example a first turn bonus which you can take with only 1 pick could be a good candidate for an OP bonus. It would be even worse if you use bonuses consisting of only 1 territory.

- Regarding the bonus size prefer a size that a player can take an average bonus within 2 turns after game start. If you make the sizes too big, then the player who gets his first bonus just automatically wins if he runs into the player who doesn't have his bonus yet.

That being said, there are different maps out there which handle stuff differently. The most popular map is probably RoR and this map actually is not a good map because of overpowered +1 bonuses. It's played in the clan league with a different bonus system.

Edited 3/6/2021 02:08:49
Creating a Map for Competitive Play: 3/6/2021 17:35:39

Level 58
Creating a Map for Competitive Play: 3/6/2021 18:01:46

Level 61
I agree with much of what was said above

The most important thing to understand (beside size which ppl have already talked about) is bonus efficiency and balance. This is what Norman was talking about, but a bit more in-depth:

If there is a bonus that is 5 territories for 4 armies per turn and a bonus that is 5 territories for 3 armies per turn, the 5 for 4 is more efficient, because it requires spending fewer armies per income, and is thus stronger. This means that a bonus that's 6 for 5 is more efficient than a bonus that's 3 for 2, despite both being n-1, because 6/5 = 1.2 while 3/2 = 1.5, so the ratio of territories you have to take to income is better.

How does this factor into map making? Maps have to be balanced to be strategic. If a map has a few bonuses that are clearly much stronger or much more efficient than all the others, that map will be less strategic, because picking that map is "forced": i.e. you'll have to pick the same bonuses every game because they're just much stronger than others. The ways you can make maps balanced, but interesting, is by doing a combination of efficient and inefficient bonuses (as in there are a mix of 5 for 3 and 5 for 4 bonuses), but using the inefficient bonuses intentionally. There are two ways this can be done:

a. You can make bonuses that are safer less efficient. For example, if a bonus has like 3 double borders that would have to be defended, it's going to be a weaker bonus, so by making the bonuses around it less efficient and making it efficient you can remedy that. This makes it more interesting for players - they can pick a less efficient bonus to counter a more efficient one, but that could sacrifice their own income, and so it gives more options in picking. One example similar to this is the Caucuses bonus in MME. While this bonus is 6 for 5, so more efficient in terms of territories, it has a lot of double borders and even a triple border, so it's harder to defend if you go for it.

b. You can create "dead zones." Dead zones are areas where a lot of bonuses are inefficient. This can help break up the map. People have mentioned that you tend to make larger maps. If you felt constrained by the usual smaller size of strategic maps, you could make the map a bit bigger (not a tonnn bigger but a fair bit) but add some dead zones. This makes the map still play as if it's smaller, helps break up the map a bit, and allows more options for bonuses while still making some bonuses more important and more strategic. An example of this is the map of French Brawl: the bigger bonuses in the South are less efficient, and in most games this makes them go unpicked, but in some games they do get picked, and (if they're safe) can be quite strategic since they're larger bonuses.

Edited 3/6/2021 18:03:28
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