Vold's map collection - Feedback

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Vold
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Vold's map collection - Feedback

Post by Vold »

-It's not yet a *map collection*, but in time I hope that it will be. :whistle:

NEWEST VERSION 0.0.86beta (12-JAN-2014).

Thanks to all the suggestions I have made a lot of modifications, even from scratch.

Available Map(s):
- Volcanic Island ~ 4p 2v2 Map ~(Screenshot Link - v0.0.70beta)
- The Sand Sea ~ 2p 1v1 Map ~(Screenshot Link - v0.0.75beta)

New Map(s):
Under Construction. :P

UPLOADED NEW FILES:
Attachments
Vold_Maps_v0.0.86beta.rar
(6 KiB) Downloaded 120 times
Last edited by Vold on January 13th, 2014, 2:31 am, edited 31 times in total.
alluton
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Re: MP Maps - Balance Suggestions.

Post by alluton »

Having a picture of those maps would make judging their balance a lot easier.
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Vold
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Re: MP Maps - Balance Suggestions.

Post by Vold »

Alright.Thanks. :)

Old Screenshots removed. :whistle:
Last edited by Vold on January 6th, 2014, 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Velensk
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Re: MP Maps - Balance Suggestions.

Post by Velensk »

I honestly cannot give any suggestions because the basic concept for each map is inherently such a problem that it would amount to change everything.

If you want I can go on at length about what problems I see but if you and your friend don't see any problems (somehow) then I don't see any reason to tell you they all need to be remade from scratch. If you enjoy it don't let any of us stop you.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."
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Re: MP Maps - Balance Suggestions.

Post by Lord-Knightmare »

All the maps are biased against factions like Rebels and Drakes (mostly the darke units). Factions like Knalgan Alliance are at a severe advantage in all three. So, more terrain variety would do well. I like the third one in terms of appearance.
Vold
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Re: MP Maps - Balance Suggestions.

Post by Vold »

Thanks for the suggestions.

@valensk: Please, enlighten me; I probably will not start from scratch but I will modify the maps as much as possible; because I want them to be as balanced as possible. Also, your suggestions will help me not to make those mistakes if i make another map.

@Lord-Knightmare: Thanks, I will take that in consideration.
Velensk
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Re: MP Maps - Balance Suggestions.

Post by Velensk »

Since you've asked:
-On the first map: I'll admit, I'd have a pretty hard time ever getting to the point where the balance on this one would bother me but mostly because I'd be bored out of my mind playing it. Seriously, what in the world is the point of making the players run over all that empty dead space? There is so much space on this map that has no villages and is just a path to other sections of path to other sections of path that I'd find it hard to want to get to the part where I run into the other player.
-There is a grand total of one village that is even remotely attackable which is super far away and would inevitably involve skirmishing with the other side in a vacant wilderness for quite awhile first but even if you can capture this village you'll find that this won't do much because the other player can just force a stalemate by proper use of the bottleneck to his leader. It is pretty impossible to break through a one hex bottleneck if the other player has any kind of healing or regeneration and you are not playing as knalgans. (On top of it, it'll take a good 30ish turns for the troops you'll get with the extra income to show up, many Wesnoth games don't take 30 turns).
-Of course, the player inside the bottleneck is every bit as trapped as he is invulnerable. This will lead to situations where the only way to make things happen is to effectively commit suicide so assuming both players are playing to win, on this map you will always have a stalemate, unless one player is playing knlgans who after milking their income advantage for a truly crazy amount of time could accumulate enough ulfserkers to break down the front door but by this time one could have played three normal wesnoth games on a mainline map that would each individually be more interesting.
-Then this leaves us with the skirmish over the open space. Nobody will have any village healing which will bloat the value of poison, regeneration and healing to a staggering degree as if you are playing a faction without healing any scratch you take you'll be stuck with (which will also increase the influence of the RNG considerably by making every scratch and mishap very relevant as opposed to the ones that lead to units dieing right away) in the meanwhile if you get poisoned you're either as good as dead or taken out of the action for maybe 15+ turns.
-Then to top all of this off you add the extra corridors to the enemy base, four of them, two water, and two cave/ice. As there is no possible way you can scout what your enemy is doing without doing the same thing yourself this forces players to play a guessing game that will take many turns to come to fruition. I wouldn't find this enjoyable even if this didn't cause a factional imbalance as these options are considerably more practical for some factions than for others (there is no way that loyalists will be able to use the cave/snow path). These paths also suffer from the exact same problem that the outside paths do in terms of length and lack of healing. Undead can reliably send a ghoul that way and trust that even if the ghoul dies unless it runs into another undead it'll weaken whatever it runs into to the point where a bat could kill it. This is all assuming that a player even chooses to use these paths which in general doesn't look like it would be a practical option due to being an even slower route (for most factions) and even more bottleneck-y. Of course, all of the potential trickery or counter trickery these tunnels allow for is undone by the fact that any units you get through that way can still be bottlenecked out of the enemies castle area leading to the same stalemate situation mentioned before.
-There are other problems but in my mind none of those are relevant if you keep this kind of map shape.

On to map two…

I actually have less problems with this map than the others because it is a FFA and in a FFA the players determine the balance. The only way that a FFA map can be 'unbalanced' is if two players teaming up from the start cannot take down the third player because of the factions or the side layout (side layout not being an issue here due to the symmetry) That said, this map still has a bunch of blind bid problems, bottleneck terrain, and even with the forests you added is nothing close to factionally balanced. Also:
-On any map where castle hopping is an option if you want to balance each players options (as opposed to say, just trusting that both players will jump on the bright boy who is in slot one and choose the drake warrior for his leader), you need to consider all the different leaders players could be and who will mow first. Some leaders are faster overall, or faster over certain terrains and whomever moves first gets to locations an equal distance away from all players first. Running to the center isn't always a good choice but when it is, p1 will have the advantage every time especially if he has a fast leader. Though on this map, having a flying leader is more of an issue, a flying leader can get to the side castles faster.
-This is especially relevant on a blind bid, if two players go for the same castle whomever gets there first will have a huge advantage. This means that you either have to play a guessing game where if you are last player you have to guess where the other players will be running to, or just stay at your castle and potentially lose out on the advantage of being able to control/recruit closer to more villages.
-Although not anywhere near as bad, this map also has serious choke point issues. Wesnoth dynamics are designed on the idea that you will be able to attack units and when that isn't the case there are problems both in terms of balance and in terms of flow. This kind of set-up also gives a strong advantage to players with skirmishers.
-The terrain here is very drake/saurian friendly (despite what Lord-Knightmare says). Chasms/Lava/Sand are drake terrain (not to mention that drakes have more ability to fly and attack the outer hexes from more areas [or at least threaten such and thus force the enemy to spread out]) and sand/cave/bottlenecks are where saurians are strong. In truth, any faction with fliers will actually have a strong advantage over those without.
-That said, this one looks like it could be fun as long as nobodies too serious. But even then, a player could still make himself a pain to take down by sitting in a hex and bottle-necking all six entry points (still better than only needing to block one).

On to the last one…

This one is better than the first one as there are places to attack and the side tunnels are a little more balanced. That said there's still quite a bit to point out.
-There's still a 1st player advantage in the form of villages that one side can reach faster than the other (this can be smoothed out a little by making it so that the teams are laid out 1,2,2,1 rather than 1,1,2,2 but that won't change the fact that due to the terrain chosen, some factions will be able to reach some villages before the other player. In general if you're looking to balance a map you need to create a situation where each side with any faction combination can grab all the villages at roughly the same rate as another combination and the other side. The caves you've place will make it hard for loyalists to keep up. It's not quite as big an issue here though as with the exception of the water villages (and that is a very important exception) there is a large enough/rough enough open space between the two sides.
-By a similar token, certain leaders/factions will be slower getting their leaders to the central keep.
-You seem to love your bottlenecks but although this one isn't as bad as the first one It still has a strong potential to create situations where the only way to keep things happening is to play like an idiot, it's just on this map it'll take 9 trolls instead of 3. There are other things that don't look like the classic bottleneck you use but cause the same effect scattered throughout the map particularly around the center design.
-The central area does not really give a good way for the conventional forces of most factions to attack well. This is partially the bottlenecking effect I mentioned and partially the terrain choices.
-A drake player can force a stalemate when fighting enemies without fliers by flying his leader down a lava path. As his enemy won't be able to reach him tucked into the cave they won't be able to kill him. Of course, at the point that becomes relevant the game is already decided and he could force a more impressive stalemate without having to rely on that working at the three other choke points into the starting area.

I'm getting tired of writing and I covered the main points I can think of. If you have any specific questions I can answer those.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."
Vold
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Re: MP Maps - Balance Suggestions.

Post by Vold »

Thanks, those soggestions helped me a lot. :)

The first map that I uploaded was an old version of that one, I made a mistake there. I already had solved some issues but still I am currently rebuilding it, not from scratch but close.

The second map, this is the only I played the most with my friends, I enjoy it a lot. I tried to add more support for rebels adding some trees but I had to add some sand because otherwise it would look strange, anyways, I will see how to fix that. Also, I will reduce the bottlenecks and the gamble issue at the beginning of the map.

The third map, that idea of alternating the sides is brilliant; also, I will check out that stalemate issue, I probably missed something.

Again, thanks. ^_^
Vold
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Re: MP Maps - Balance Suggestions.

Post by Vold »

- Frost Cave and The Coves have been deleted.

edit: [Old pictures removed]
Last edited by Vold on January 8th, 2014, 5:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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iceiceice
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Re: MP Maps - Balance Suggestions.

Post by iceiceice »

Hi, some thoughts on the last one which I think is the most interesting of the three:

- I think the most recent changes are probably good.
- You have *alot* of the lava chasms. Sure it looks cool but this terrain is extremely good for drakes... you have to somehow justify why it is there, because it makes it much easier for Drake to take those central water villages than it is for the other factions. Even putting regular chasm there significantly tips the scales against factions without fliers, considering how few hexes are otherwise available.
- The way that you use impassable terrain is a bit weird. On most mainline maps, impassable terrain is used to divide the map into fronts / theaters. Many maps, e.g. Freelands, Silverhead Crossing, have 2 "sides" and then a central area. How you allocate units to the different front is a big part of the strategy. In your maps you basically use impassable terrain to make little "safety boxes" for your different sides, and there may only be one big front. There are some mainline maps like Sablestone delta that are like yours in that there is a big area in the middle, and some corridors in the sides. That's actually a pretty technical map, hard to play well imo, or at least I don't think I'm very good at it. But the central area needs to be bigger and the focus of the map, since that's where all the action is going to take place. You need to put alot of thought into exactly how units can maneuver around and how they can defend -- on maps like Sablestone Delta and Silverhead Crossing the designers often place mushroom groves at key places to slow units down where necessary for balance. Right now your central area has no slowing terrain, and a ton of sand and lava next to these water villages which makes me think that Drakes will stomp it.
Basically I think you should not have all these safety boxes for the different sides. You aren't actually safe in there anyways, once you lose control of the central villages you lose the game except for a boring stall period. All this terrain really does is make it hard for enemy scouts to pillage. This forces players to only make big slow army units and smash them together in the center area. In my opinion this is less interesting, you should allow for some players to pursue a pillaging strategy or at least credibly threaten it, as this is normally a big part of wesnoth.
Different way to say the same thing: You shouldn't create little rooms where nothing interesting happens. All these safety boxes are pretty much exactly that. If you knock down those walls then the terrain in the safety boxes can participate in the interesting central region and contribute something to the map.
- As a final idea, you might consider placing some teleports between the west and east sides or even the north and south sides? I only say this because they look like they would naturally fit there and the map is already quite large so this would cut the distances somewhat. It would certainly be different although I'm not sure if it would help balance :P
Vold
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Re: MP Maps - Balance Suggestions.

Post by Vold »

Thanks for the suggestions; I added the lava terrain because I wanted to give the drakes some advantage in the center, because I also added forest, hills and mountains, although, it was probably too much; I modified it for some sand.
Also, I liked the teleport idea; and I applied it to the outer water creating a short cut from the south/north to east/west.

- Teleports added to the last map to shorten the distances from the borders of the island.
- Tweaked the distance to the second castle to balance it for all the faction/leader's movement.
- Shortened the 1st player advantage issues in all the maps.
- Removed some lava hexes, and added some sand.
- Removed some lava from the centre of the second map.
Vold
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Re: MP Maps - Balance Suggestions.

Post by Vold »

After a while trying to rebalance The Coves and Frozen Cave; I decided to delete them and start a 2p 1v1 and 3p FFA maps from scratch.
Today I finished the first version of 1v1 map called The Sand Sea, so I'd like to hear some suggestions about balancing it, I hope that I dont have to start this one from scratch as well. :P

New 1v1 map: The Sand Sea.

The craters in the desert work as portals. The ones in the middle teleport units to the ones at the edge of the desert. e.g: For player 1 the crater that is located 5 hexes to the northwest, teleport units to the crater at the southwest of the desert.
The flow changes every 5 turns, from the center to the edges and contrariwise.

Old 2v2 map: Volcanic Island

Rebalanced the center of the map (less lava).

edit: [Old pictures removed]
Last edited by Vold on January 13th, 2014, 12:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
Velensk
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Re: MP Maps - Balance Suggestions.

Post by Velensk »

I like the form of the 2vs2 now. I'd have to actually test it to give you more on balance (other than that the water villages near the center needing a tweak).

But as for the other one, there's simply going to be no way to fight drakes on that map, especially as undead or loyalists. Sand is the drakes favorite terrain and there is a lot of it. Anyone who is slowed by sand will have trouble even on terrain they normally favor. If you want to keep, the desert theme you'll have to find a way to water it down. A trick you can use to slow drakes is to use sand/mushrooms.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."
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iceiceice
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Re: MP Maps - Balance Suggestions.

Post by iceiceice »

A second point about the sandy map: It's not entirely clear to me how you've linked up the teleports, and the idea sounds nice, but regardless I doubt if there's anyway that northerners could ever win against say loyalist on that map. Sand is really bad for northerners -- even though their units don't have alot of move points, their units are generally fast in hills which helps them *alot* to rush effectively. It is pointed out in the map design sticky thread that one way to try to surgically depower northerners on a map is to convert a few hills to sand hills -- no unit has better defense on sand than hills, and the most significant movement change is that orcs will have 2 mp cost instead of one. In your map you've made every hills to sand hills.

Basically the problem is that orcs can really only move on the flat part, just like the loyalists... normally loyalists' biggest handicap is difficulty of movement, if you neutralize that its going to be imba.
Vold
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Re: MP Maps - Balance Suggestions.

Post by Vold »

Thanks for the suggestions again!

edit: [Old pictures removed]

Doesn't look much like a desert but this should cover both suggestions. Not sure if I put too many mushrooms tho. :P

I linked the craters using a a few nested event that lasts for 5 turns that contains {TELEPORT_TILE Old_X OLD_Y NEW_X NEW_Y}.

P.S: Added the .map & .cfg to the OP.
Last edited by Vold on January 13th, 2014, 12:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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