Balanced Map-Packs

Discussion of all aspects of multiplayer development: unit balancing, map development, server development, and so forth.

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Aelaris
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Balanced Map-Packs

Post by Aelaris »

I play pure multiplayer, and I have gotten fairly tired of the same old few maps, and so consequently, I went through the add-ons for more maps.

What I found was fairly disappointing. Most of the multiplayer 1v1 maps that I saw were about as balanced as the randomly generated maps. Some heavily favored Loyalists, with lots of flat areas. Some favored drakes and other fliers, with snow everywhere, or sand everywhere. Several maps had large swathes of forest, or hills, or mountains, or water creating large areas were elves or dwarves or waterfolk would be untouchable, building stalemate situations. And a lot of the maps were absolutely tiny, pitching people directly into combat, favoring a pure clash of the heaviest units possible, and having the RNG crown the victory.

Feud by Mebbe, along with Scarred Foothills and Plateau by Siddhe, are three nicely balanced maps I have found. But those are three among dozens that I have looked at.

You people understand map balance, and have been around longer than I have. What are other maps are competitively balanced between all the races?

(If this should be in another section, let me know, but I couldn't decide where. Maybe the Strat section? Dunno.)
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Velensk
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Re: Balanced Map-Packs

Post by Velensk »

Balancing maps is not easy its not a surprise most aren't.

The ladder add-on (I think it's called the random map picker) has a large number that aim to be balanced and most of them are much better than the average maps you'll find.

You might try the multiplayer development section or the ladder map council forum.
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Caphriel
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Re: Balanced Map-Packs

Post by Caphriel »

There's also Rushed by Yetis.
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Iris
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Re: Balanced Map-Packs

Post by Iris »

I guess this belongs in Multiplayer Development, so: moved.
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Sapient
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Re: Balanced Map-Packs

Post by Sapient »

Uh-oh it sounds like someone downloaded my map-pack. :lol2:

Most of my maps are imbalanced because they are based on some crazy concept. Unfortunately, basing your map design on a crazy concept and then trying to balance it afterwards is highly prone to failure and you may end up A) abandoning the concept altogether, or B) stay true to the original idea and just admit that it's not going to be completely balanced
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Aelaris
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Re: Balanced Map-Packs

Post by Aelaris »

Well, following the ladder-map lead turned up a variety of maps over at http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=29731

Things seem nifty, though Astral Sea seems a bit problematic in that Loyalists, Rebels, and Northies all can't win against a flying leader who runs off of the main map.

Where else would you find balanced maps?

Is there a guide somewhere for how to create balanced maps?
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Kolbur
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Re: Balanced Map-Packs

Post by Kolbur »

You can't run off the map on Astral Port. The terrain there is completely impassable.

The Competetive Map Pack you linked there is horribly outdated, try Random Map Pack (RMP) or Rushed By Yetis (RBY) on the Addon server. They have basically the same maps but they are up to date. As far as I know there aren't more maps that are really balanced.
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Doc Paterson
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Re: Balanced Map-Packs

Post by Doc Paterson »

It's true that the vast majority of usermade maps that you'll find out there are horribly balanced. Map balance (particularly 1v1 balance) is very complex, and I think that a lot of map makers just get discouraged and quit, rather than spend months (if not years :P) drafting, making adjustments, and playtesting.
Aelaris wrote:Astral Sea seems a bit problematic in that Loyalists, Rebels, and Northies all can't win against a flying leader who runs off of the main map.
As Kolbur said, this was never possible, which makes me think you haven't actually played the map. :P I understand why you might think that though, if you looked at a screenshot and didn't see the blacked out regions of the thumbnail in the upper right.
Aelaris wrote:Where else would you find balanced maps?
My #1 recommendation would be the Rushed By Yetis map pack on the addon server. Most of the maps are mainline, but there are a few non-mainlines in there that are pretty good. If you download 1.9.9, you'll also see a number of maps that have been added to the game, which are not in 1.8.6.
Aelaris wrote:Is there a guide somewhere for how to create balanced maps?
Stickied in this very section of the forums in which you've posted:

http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=19669

:) Don't just skim it, because there's a lot to absorb there.

Once you've read that, I would strongly encourage you to give map making a try. If you post them in this forum, with a screenshot, I (and others) will try to help you balance them.

EDIT: Actually, the Random Map Picker addon has more new (and fairly balanced) maps than Rushed By Yetis does. Both packs have their strengths (one of RBY's being that it's sometimes more current), but I guess if you're more interested in trying new maps, go for the RMP.
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iLeeT_PeeP
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Re: Balanced Map-Packs

Post by iLeeT_PeeP »

Well... I wouldnt call my maps the fairest... But they are def. a change from the same ole stock maps. :wink:

I also recently added a strategic view to the first post in the topic breaking down and discussing the maps layouts... :whistle:

PeeP's Maps

Cheers and GGs... ^_^

Also... any feedback good/bad on my maps would be greatly appreciated...
My MaPs... PeeP's Maps
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Doc Paterson
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Re: Balanced Map-Packs

Post by Doc Paterson »

iLeeT_PeeP wrote:Well... I wouldnt call my maps the fairest... But they are def. a change from the same ole stock maps. :wink:

I also recently added a strategic view to the first post in the topic breaking down and discussing the maps layouts... :whistle:

PeeP's Maps

Cheers and GGs... ^_^

Also... any feedback good/bad on my maps would be greatly appreciated...


Looks like your update either has an older version of The Peak (1v1), or The Peak has gone back to having stealable villages. :P
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iLeeT_PeeP
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Re: Balanced Map-Packs

Post by iLeeT_PeeP »

:eng:

MULTIPLAYER MAPS

Map #1 TESTING GAMEPLAY!
2p - The Peak
Players: 2
Size: 29x29
Villages: 16
Description: A sacred landmark surrounded by peaceful villages.
Image

STRATEGIC VIEW

Red Circles: Player 1 Villages
Blue Circles: Player 2 Villages
Green Circles: Player 3 Villages
Purple Circles: Player 4 Villages
White Circles: Nuetral Villages :eng: (Or what I call action vills. Basically can be any players village. Intended to create action zones and break stalemates...)

Map #1
2p - The Peak
Players: 2
Size: 29x29
Villages: 16
Description: A sacred landmark surrounded by peaceful villages.
Image
Last edited by iLeeT_PeeP on October 5th, 2011, 9:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
My MaPs... PeeP's Maps
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Doc Paterson
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Re: Balanced Map-Packs

Post by Doc Paterson »

peeps wrote:Nuetral Villages :eng: (Or what I call action vills. Basically can be any players village. Intended to create action zones and break stalemates...)
Peeps, I thought I showed you that the concept of neutral villages is a myth. Stalemate breaking will not be an issue, because stalemates will never occur- P1 will just dominate the game. We can play again if you want another demo. :P
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iLeeT_PeeP
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Re: Balanced Map-Packs

Post by iLeeT_PeeP »

Having vills on just both players sides creates a very calm situation Doc... :|
No need to really jump out there and fight ive noticed. Putting vills in the centers like this makes players have to dash out and creates very interesting, action filled gameplay. It makes you fight for vills rather than just defend yer own.
I do however understand yer point completely and remember what you showed me... You know much more about the topic from a technical stand point than I do and I can see how this is especially crucial on 1vs1 maps.
I guess I just like seeing it differently... Dont think my maps are ever gonna go mainline anyway so I would rather just keep them fun and full of action-filled gameplay.
I dont play 100% hardcore ladder matches anymore anyways. :hmm:
Last edited by iLeeT_PeeP on October 5th, 2011, 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Velensk
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Re: Balanced Map-Packs

Post by Velensk »

If you don't fight for vils on mainline maps, you probably won't win unless your enemy makes a mistake.

I find the gameplay is less interesting when one player has an inherent advantage from the start, or if both players have a set/required strategy (in this case rush for the center) even if it is action filled.
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iLeeT_PeeP
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Re: Balanced Map-Packs

Post by iLeeT_PeeP »

Strange how making a perfectly mirrored map is unfair in Wesnoth. :doh:
You would think both players had whatever strengths/weaknesses the map offered to both since its mirrored...
If you can go steal my vill on the left with a wolf... I can steal yers on the right with a horse...
However Doc did explain to me the concept of vill steals... :|
I mean... One player always has to go first. :whistle:
There should be an option for Random Starting positions. That would be INTERESTING and VERY FAIR.
Random Starting Position... Random Faction... and Random Leader. NOW THATS FAIR. :eng:
You would battle in the situation given to you... Without complaining.

I dont think you can ever have a 100% fair game though unless everything would be random that way...
I mean some people would say that 4p - Clash is an unfair map because it has too many forests and favors elfs, and too many hills and mountains but no mushroom groves... and its still a mainline map played constantly.

A person that is going to whine about fairness is gonna do it regardless.
My MaPs... PeeP's Maps
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