Ranked maps discussion thread (Currently Season 5)

Discussion in 'PA: TITANS: General Discussion' started by wpmarshall, April 24, 2019.

  1. wpmarshall

    wpmarshall Planetary Moderator

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    Note: Hyde / Backbone are not receiving any changes.
  2. NikolaMX

    NikolaMX Active Member

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    Ok a lot of things to go over:

    @wpmarshall i personally love most of the maps and my major issues revolve around specific snowbally elements (similarly to what kiwi said)

    Maps that i find problematic ( you have addressed some already)

    Kelvin (naval dictates the game)

    Hyde (naval dictates the game)

    Echo (I take down my previous criticism about the rear, but it's not visually clear that units can get into the metal circle (rear) through the general ridgeline)

    Hopper I like this one the way it is. some people complain, so here is my take on how it can be improved (Naval snowballs a bit too hard early on with pirhana snipes (i like that, i think it forces players to get out of the naval proxi mentality, but it requires a larger spawn/some metal closer to the water so the commander can move there) needs some sort of leviathan barrier that makes shore-side torpedo launchers a viable defense (maybe L shaped mountains that allow the torpedo launcher to be shot at from only 1 direction?)

    Bailiff lack of continent access makes the game more multi-directional

    Basilica i've grown to dislike this one less, eager to see how it plays post fix (especially eager for orbital plays)

    A-Sat could use 1 more base metal, other then that i love the high stakes high aggression early game, really makes you think on the spot and invest in a strategy

    The rest are all great maps. I especially like Backbone,plenty of things to do on that map. (as a map, T2 air kinda ruins it, but im not sure you can do anything about that without clustering the metal)



    Now on to what @Killerkiwijuice said:

    I'll start with the less controversial stuff: Orbital (with multiple planets as spawn options) can be great for 1v1. With a bunch of 1v1 testing with other Ubers i've come to the conclusion that 2 planets is great and manageable, 3 is fine but hard, and 4 turns into entirely macro play.

    Orbital can have so much more depth in terms of strategy, do you macro hard, do you rush an invasion, do you rush endgame tools and turtle, its fun and it's surprisingly deep.


    Re map design:

    You put disproportionately low value in micro tactics and scouting. Those are things that are way more important on maps like Bailiff, Hyde and A-Sat than Maginot. Those maps require fundamentally different approaches, and while I can see why your personal style makes you better at Maginot, that's no reason to dismiss the rest. Bailiff in particular can be very deep tactically if you use your commander offensively. The APM and attention that would go into macro on Maginot go into unit control, positioning, scouting and micro tricks (fab snipes, drops). At the same time the rear continent provides room for macro and 2nd layer engagement, if you opt for that sort of play. Both are legit, we just haven't quite learned how to play them yet. I'd love to see what @nomega and @Corgiarmy can do with their crazy plays vs some ubers.


    My point is: Macro is great and fun, but it means the game essentially falls down to meta play and who can execute the meta play better.

    Micro maps come down to short, snappy build orders you have to adapt an any point in time, and tactical responses early game.

    They are very different, and both are very cool. A 8 minutes long game with sparks infernos and grenadiers can be just as entertaining as a 24 minutes long one with nukes and ares titans



    I've seen more different winning builds on A-sat alone, than on Maginot, the ardennes and Roc combined. Loosing to them and discovering new stuff is part of the fun. The less formulaic the game, the better.

    Re weird map design:
    I fully support the idea of more challenging unique maps that force players to play differently. Air first may be hard to make it work, but i think myself and a couple of others have shown it can, even on maps that were not designed for it. S3 maps are great in that they are experimental and mostly work well. Marshall was right to go in with a creative idea and make it work. I do, however, agree that there should be testing done. In particular, testing without necessarily even verbal feedback where marshi can just see if his maps play the way he wants them to, and then readjust or ask for specific feedback.

    Now to the edgy stuff:


    Kelvin: not fixed.

    [​IMG]
    Metal reduction is welcome

    Black: areas covered by Orcas and leviathan (rough estimate)

    The walled off 1 metal areas where you are supposed to plant a pelter or a bluehawk are still inaccessible.

    Tmmmmhe mountains are not tall enough to stop leviathan salvos if the leviathan is even just a but further away from the obstacle.


    Proposed fixes: put a pathable platform on the grey crossed circle so that a pelter there can reach at least some extent of the pond. Think of some way to limit the black circle to allow for army movements.

    Optional: make a mini platform where the green circle is and surround it with mountains to enable more artillery access to the pond from there.

    Finally, find a way for the blue arrow to be able to get to the 1 metal artillery points.


    The change id rather have tho is a shift in the spawn ZONE (not the spawn metal) further up or even better, to enlarge it to leave some room for choice. Now that naval doesn't have as much metal, the investment is hard to justify early game if player 2 can put pressure. As long as you arent forced to build your first factories in range of a leviathan, catapults can deal with kaijus. Also test separately to see if leviathans reach the pair of 2 metal spots on the spots around the spawn.
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  3. wpmarshall

    wpmarshall Planetary Moderator

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    I've submitted the maps to be pushed to live as I put in the screenshots (which includes Basilica's new metal distribution. If it turns out that the old metal is preferred, then we can go back to that at a later date.
    The only other change I've made since the screenshots is moving the spawn in kelvin to the middle of the 4 mex.

    Cannot say WHEN these will be pushed to live, but I have requested that they are.
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  4. bthirteen

    bthirteen Member

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    Firstly Kiwi thank you for a big reply.

    I just think that you can't put the same things for comparison for different types of maps. Some maps are smaller and will have more significance on unit types and strategy while bigger, for example, will have more focus on raiding, macro, and good transition. Naval maps have their own things as well. There is one good Einsteins quote: "Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."

    Some ground maps should force into heavier air or dox or tanks respectively. That should/must be made with map design. I do think some maps need some changes to allow less snowbally gameplay but remember Forge? It is the same concept as Bailiff, it has insane priority in middle and who takes it first has a big chance to win but it is not for sure in any way. I do agree with your proposition to add ramps for quick access on the back side of the map, it should allow some sort of counterplay if you lose middle. But does that make it less skillful? I liked the challenge and less forgiving gameplay for a change, where the key is not getting T2 as fast as possible or mass T2 tanks, priority was on the middle part of the map. That resulted in Clopse comm push for middle, Broom lob strat, the return of the Locust, pelican fabber drop rush and other strats that are not seen very frequently.

    My problem is I just don't like that you can play each ground map, big or small with the same way.
    Last edited: June 17, 2019
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  5. nimzodragonlord

    nimzodragonlord Member

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    The thing with Forge was that the center was important strategically, and the side expansions were important economically. With Bailiff, controlling the center completely suffocates your opponent’s expansion because the back continent becomes air-access only and the 4 metal passageway is vulnerable to pelters and spark raiding.

    I think the map still has potential, and I think the additional lane to the back continent will really improve the gameplay.
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  6. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    I'm not judging on map size. Map size typically has nothing to do with my ratings (unless you make it smallest or largest possible planet). It just happens that the smaller ones are rated lower because of the things I stated above, - correlation is not causation.

    I don't know what you mean by "type" of map. To me there is just good and bad maps, some play differently than others.

    This is fine. Leaning towards either dox or tanks is fine. As long as there is variability. Forge is not the same as bailiff. It's a much smaller lane, and the sides offer way more metal than mid. I remember doing a turret creep strat vs top players back in the day, and it worked well. But it also allowed for tank only, and bot rush. That map had some good variability. I do not think bailiff can be won without rushing T2 and prioritizing army value. It comes down to getting more t2 bots, then getting more t2 tanks. Person who gets them faster wins, unlike other maps where you have room to out-expand this rush.
    Yes it does make it less skillful because then your APM goes way down and you're locked into a corner. Only thing you can do is spam t2 eco and boost factories to push. Maybe get a pelican drop to the backside. Once you wait for a critical mass, you start to micro. Watch my recent game vs AndreasG. That was gross.
    These are all sub-strategies. They are merely small ways you can gain small advantages to push mid with the bigger army. Pretty shallow.
    You need to play bailiff more... Just take Basilica for another example: Only way to play this map is with proxy tank factories with a prioritization on mid. Then you rush t2 air (not an option). Realllyyyy shallow play. Hopper typically has one dominant strategy as well (rush naval, then take mid, try to expand metal expos on the backside continent).
  7. bthirteen

    bthirteen Member

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    I'm seriously done with this topic. You don't get it.
    Last edited: June 18, 2019
  8. wpmarshall

    wpmarshall Planetary Moderator

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    I suspect that the issue is that regardless how maps are played, initially the meta will be forced into it. If it works, it sticks. If it doesn't, it feels uncomfortable and challenging hence likely dislike of new maps, particularly this searies as I tried to change the themes up a bit. E.g. how Kiwi's initial reaction was more mex in clusters on Echo, which would have bolstered the likelihood of proxy factory usage on the map.

    Let's see how the changes affect the gameplay. They should be updated within the day, with any luck.
  9. wpmarshall

    wpmarshall Planetary Moderator

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    Changes should be live
  10. manlebtnureinmal

    manlebtnureinmal Active Member

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    Exeunt's spawning area is terrible.

    Ground units get confused by its double ramp every time.
  11. wpmarshall

    wpmarshall Planetary Moderator

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    If you would like design philosophy, let me know.
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  12. xankar

    xankar Post Master General

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    Bruh, Marshall, these new maps are pretty baller. Like, I don't like most of the returning maps and I don't like the naval maps, but these new maps? Kleen.
  13. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    they are pretty good you gotta come back to abuse this air meta again before it goes away :):):):) o_O
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  14. nimzodragonlord

    nimzodragonlord Member

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    I’d actually like to hear design philosophy Marshii.
    From what I’ve seen so far, the maps look good, but a lot of them have exposed unpolished parts of PA’s balance. Naval interactions and orbital both deserve some looking-at in the balance department, and I think that until they are addressed, some of your maps will play as though they are bad maps even if the design itself is perfectly fine.
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  15. wpmarshall

    wpmarshall Planetary Moderator

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    Generally, as in the video, I attempted to make maps that have unique flavours which not holding win conditions and choke points in such high necessity as the previous season's maps.
    I took note of the liking of Ardennes and so took that as my baseplate as it were in terms of general structure and layout.
    Equally I wanted to see if I could get away from proxy bases at each and every expansion by spreading out the metal and getting proxy bases to be bigger, more invested in, and more consolidated.

    Tia
    A fairly standard map this one, nothing particularly special, but I quite liked the seed and so wanted to turn it into a map that can play quite frantically early game with sparse metal locations.

    Surface
    Wanted to make a relatively barren planet but where craters are taken into consideration when moving troops and attacking/defending positions. I was very happy with how A-SAT turned out, and wanted to stretch it a little further.

    Threshold
    Fairly generic open map, inspired by Supreme Commander's OPEN PALMS map. But I thought let's skew the symmetry, hopefully will play similar to Ardennes.

    Diahyrdi
    For those who watched the stream where I made the map. A risky spawn open and close to a potential enemy spawn but with access to the island. Or a defensible, predictable and slower spawn, but without immediate easy island access.

    Moment
    As with the video - a naval tug of war while the land control dictates the potential naval build power. Hold the cove while also playing a standard land game.

    Shackle
    "What if Styx actually worked in a more balanced and thought out competitive sense where you can stay on planet, go offworld or otherwise without certain plays being necessary. @Quitch can elaborate more on what we were trying to do with this one.

    Ribbon
    An upgrade of MAGINOT (which is why it was not carried over). But this time with 3 spawns, but lower metal count. Gas giant for extra eco if necessary.

    Fluviaat
    Trying to make early game choices around expansion vs treeco and the expansions being at relative distance from bases therefore factoring into that decision.
  16. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    Shackle

    When two players spawn on the same world it's important to ensure that getting off-world can provide an advantage to encourage players taking that risk. But doing this puts you behind on the first planet, and if you lose your base too quickly your opponent just follows you with a massive income edge and crushes you on the second planet soon after.

    We don't want to put massive planets in 1v1, especially not when multiple planets are in play, so the plan is that the spawn is defensible enough that you could hold a meaningful amount of resource while also getting off-world. The metal world then has more eco to reward someone taking it.

    We don't want to dramatically increase game length, so you have the third planet which needs only one engine to allow for a rapid smash to break any stalemate or allow an end when one player builds a big enough lead. And in case something goes really wrong then you can build Catalysts. I can't see that ever happening unless someone is intentionally stalling out though.

    Ideally, both players will battle on the lava and metal planet simultaneously. Given that this is one of the first 1v1 maps to really try this I doubt it will manage this perfectly, but it's a basis for future improvement. At worst it should just be a lava planet providing similar gameplay to Forge and Enfer and the other two planets will be irrelevant and lessons will be learned on how to make such a system work.
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  17. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    (the links are clickable)

    Meh: 0-2

    Mediocre: 3-5
    Good: 6-7 (Good: 6-7)
    Great: 8-9
    Legendary : 10


    Season 4 impressions:
    • Backbone: 7 .
      • I have really grown to like this map more, even though naval is really snowbally.
    • Bulkhead: 9 .
      • This is a really good map and really unique. It has the planet size and metal distribution to play like an air spam map, but also has the rare property of allowing for tank spam and bot spam at the same time on a fairly large 1v1 map.
    • Diahydri: 7 .
      • It is a good naval map considering how much of a snowball naval can be.
      • The spawn with the CSGs blocking the land area is very weak.
    • District: 8 .
      • I have moved away from thinking this map is annoying to play on because of the CSGs. I think the prominence of CSGS gives the map a really unique play style and I think the spawn revision was good.
      • This map fits well in the gunship meta. You can definitely get away with going t2 bots here if your opponent spawns close. The play style dynamic is very healthy, and the metal layout heavily encourages proxy bases.
      • Very little snowball.
    • Echo: 8
      • Unchanged opinion: definitely has become one of my favorite maps. Rewards map control and good macro play. It's hard to snowball on this map.
      • It has aged well with the t2 air meta
      • Allows for very late t2 vs enemy t2 air if you lock down plenty of expansions with AA.
    • Exeunt: 7 .
      • Remains an awkward map to play on. It's really tough to come back from losing your side expansions.
      • However, I think this map offers a lot of different playstyles, from bot rush, to tank spam, to gunship spam. I think all of those can work if done correctly.
    • Fluviaat: 8 .
      • This is a really good hybrid map. Doesn't allow for any overpowered naval forces to interact with land, thus allows for dox to be highly dominant.
      • The expansion routes are mixed, which is a great thing. When I mean mixed, it doesn't mean they are a mix between obvious and non-existent, but rather the expansion lines can easily cross each other so that you can randomize proxy base locations. This map is very skillful.
      • Negligible snowball
      • The trees are very abundant, which makes proxy factories a bit of a chore and even adds a little bit of RNG to high-level play.
    • Moment: 9 .
      • I don't think I have seen a map with so many viable openers. On paper, double bot, bot-air, triple bot, and naval rush can all work if done correctly. However I think naval should receive one more mex per side.
      • This is one of the best maps this season.
      • T2 air is very strong. Gunships are the only way to win on this map.
    • Niflhel: 10 .
      • The new niflhel is amazing. This map has lots of good openers like on Moment. You might even be able to get away with going full bot spam and zero air factories if galata is placed well.
      • This map has a lot of mind games, since experimentation is strong. If you don't scout frequently against something important happening it will hurt much harder than it does on other maps (mostly because the center is where most of the metal lies)
    • Ribbon: 9 .
      • When talking about clear expansion routes, I've forgotten to talk about maps where expansion is obvious then becomes ambiguous as time goes on. First, expanding to the empty spawns is typically the best option, but then where? There are many options. This increases raiding skill level and scouting skill level.
      • Bot spam appears to be a very dominant strategy. You will get snowballed if you do not play aggressively *cough*.
    • Riddler: 8 .
      • Very clear expansion routes, but the variability of location makes scouting important.
      • The shortening of the cracks was a good revision.
      • Allows for at least two openers.
      • Either t2 bot or t2 air can work.
      • It can become very turtle-y
    • Shackle: 6 .
      • I don't entirely know what to think about this map. The idea of orbital is good for new players but it seems very weak in high level play since map control is still very important here. Maybe orbital after t2?
      • Allows for multiple effective openers.
    • Singe: 7.5 .
      • Rock-solid expansion routes. If you get to a metal expansion first and lock it down in the early game, you'll keep it until t2 gains critical mass. This is not necessarily a good thing, because this will snowball if you lose too many races to metal.
      • Encourages good raiding.
      • T2 air is the only way to win here (in the current meta, and if you don't make it at minute 11 lol).
      • Only bot-air is effective.
    • Surface: 8 .
      • This is a bot map done right. The map fits very well with the current proxy meta.
      • You cannot hoard units on this map. The metal is far from your main base where most of your energy is and you must contest it.
      • T2 air is the only viable opener.
      • Raiding is extremely important.
    • Threshold: 9 .
      • Now this is a macro map. In fact, raiding is almost entirely useless in the early and mid-game since the metal clusters are so dense.
      • I have seen a massive meta change on this map from bot spam/raiding to tank spam and attrition. T2 tanks can be opened here! As long as you tech up and don't push if your enemy has t2 bots with bluehawks. Get t2 tank critical mass, then get some gil-es after teching. I want to play versus top ubers to confirm this.
      • T2 air is a hit-or-miss. It could be very hard to raid with gunships with these super dense clusters.
    • Tia: 8 .
      • This is an interesting map. On one hand, bot spam is good for raiding, but they will fall behind in DPS very quickly when facing tanks. This map will see fewer proxy bases and more of a centralized base build due to the spread-out metal.
      • This map reallllyyy favors tanks. I think a t2 air opener is essential due to the spread-out metal.
    Conclusions:

    There is an obvious shift in map design, from clear expansion routes to mixed expansion routes (expansion that can be randomized, and encourages heavy scouting). This fits really well with the current meta. Even more obvious is the removal of map win-conditions. Instead of rushing t2 naval to bombard and surround your enemy, you now need to be more creative with raiding and more efficient in army engagements. This is a much more skillful map pool, and I'm excited to play these maps.

    New average: from 5.66 to 8.03 + (( 128.5/16))

    pogchamp
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  18. Clopse

    Clopse Post Master General

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    Not a fan of riddler. Long distances and easy chokes means turtle and air spam. Rest I surprisingly agree completely with. Nice summary.
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  19. NikolaMX

    NikolaMX Active Member

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    May i introduce you to grenadiers ants and infernos instead of mass bot and air?

    Moment is by far the best map i've played in a while
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  20. wpmarshall

    wpmarshall Planetary Moderator

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    I must admit my favourite from the new maps are Moment, Threshold and Diahydri, though the latter needs a little work. I have edited the metal placement to make the closed off spawn a little more appealing and I wonder if I can get those in before mid-season. We'll see.

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