ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

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alpha1
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by alpha1 » April 10th, 2014, 2:13 pm

Haha your map counting script (inspired by you know who 8) ) is mighty indeed, I was considering doing the same manually for the period of the last 7 days, but these numbers ofc are much more representative.

Also apparently it would make sense to create a separate category for Isar... just called "Isar" :shock:
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Dunno » April 10th, 2014, 2:42 pm

alpha1 wrote: Also apparently it would make sense to create a separate category for Isar... just called "Isar" :shock:
I was thinking the same... "Isar_HD"? What the hell is it?
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Velensk » April 29th, 2014, 3:30 pm

We have our first entry into the competition!

The maker sent the map to me personally after I told him he could post it here so that more people can see it. As such I will refrain from posting it here myself.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Dunno » May 9th, 2014, 10:33 pm

*crickets chirping* :whistle:
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by UK1 » June 14th, 2014, 12:16 am

Hey, if I could get some feedback on this map before I start doing hardcore testing, it would be much appreciated. Essentially, the idea is that sides 1 and 2 are predisposed towards offensive capability because their terrain and placement of natural villages affords them an ability to concentrate their effort whereas if sides 3 and 4 wish to protect their villages, they face a serious risk of over-extending themselves or having units get cut off. Any feedback is more than welcome, even if you think the map is irredeemable garbage. If I could have volunteers to test it, that would also be great.

EDIT: I'd also like to throw in my two bits on the maps up for removal. Yes to Lagoon and a solid indifferent to Siege Castles. And yeah, while Isar's is the worst, I get that it's popular. We should just gradually make it larger so that it's not so luck based :D

I realize Castle Hopping Isle isn't quite balanced, but I really like it.

As for Terra-Dwelve, I think removing it would be like taking two steps forward and one step back. *shrug* It's a good map. Does it maybe not have a ton of contested villages? Sure, but that's not so important on a 2v2 map, anyway! And even so, Terra-Dwelve is nothing compared to, for instance, Den of Onis which has so much space between natural villages that by the time I get my units to theirs, there's a new President and I didn't even get to vote for him because I was stuck in gridlock on Den of Onis!

I think Blue Water Province is an excellent map and that removing it would be a mistake. Maybe change up the aesthetics a bit, because the map kinda looks like eehhh.

King of the Hill should be gone. And the Wilderlands fills such a niche role that people who want that sort of thing will just spring for the Add-Ons that feature it (oftentimes better), anyway. So the only people interested in Wilderlands' style don't even really use Wilderlands, imo.
Delta2_03b.png
EDIT 2: I made a few changes to the map:

1: I removed the advance keep for sides three and four and changed the location of the nearby village.
2: At tekelili's suggestion, I removed the northern and southern cave areas from the map in their entirety.
3: I removed the center aquatic villages and moved a few villages further away from the center to make the game less center-centric (lol).
4: I added a whole load of aesthetic nonsense.
Delta3_07a.png
"Hey you, bats should be nerfed."
"Why?"
"Because I lost a game to bat swarm and I'm bitterUhm... clarity... and... consistency? Yeah yeah that sounds good. Clarity and consistency."
Do not. Nerf. The bat.

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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Velensk » June 20th, 2014, 9:37 pm

At the moment it's looking like I won't be removing maps.

As for that map: What are the teams supposed to be? My instincts tell me that they should be 1/3 vs 2/4 but this one looks like it could be intended to play either way. The revised version looks pretty nice though. Set lanes but enough room to skirmish around. Without playing it (and assuming it is east vs west not north vs south) I have only two balance suggestion and one related style suggestion:

-I'd suggest making the center a little less drake friendly. I don't think water units are going to be very popular on this map because they simply won't provide that much control. That plus a few other dynamics should make the central area a drake playground.
-The second suggestion is that you move the contested villages at the very north and south ends of the map a little further apart. RoTD can get away with a 5 hex rush distance because those are a really rough 5 hexes, and in order to actually effectively attack the village you normally have to push down two distinct lanes due to the number of units on the field and bottlenecking + the fact that the village is closer to the center. Clash can get away with a 4 hex rush distance because of a complete parallel wall of terrain and also the fact that these positions are very close to the center of the map so committing tends to expose you. I suspect the dynamics created by a more open 5 hex rush distance on the flanks of a larger map would not be as balanced/enjoyable.

The style suggestion is related to the last two. I actually think that for a team match, it's a good thing to have an emphasis on the center but as a strategic location more than a place to force players to rush to (which is what putting villages right up in there does). The center is where teammates can most easily join each other, and especially if you're going for 1,2,1,2 teams that's where the dynamics get interesting. I would suggest moving one of the p1/p2 villages so that they're actually closer to the center so they might be exposed to an attack from the side which can control it. Not too exposed mind you, just within reach.

As a final thought, you might want to consider giving each player one more village. Not in any way a necessity but I think it'd make it funner.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by UK1 » June 21st, 2014, 5:02 am

Velensk wrote:At the moment it's looking like I won't be removing maps.
Oh, so... there's no contest after all?
As for that map: What are the teams supposed to be? My instincts tell me that they should be 1/3 vs 2/4 but this one looks like it could be intended to play either way. The revised version looks pretty nice though. Set lanes but enough room to skirmish around. Without playing it (and assuming it is east vs west not north vs south) I have only two balance suggestion and one related style suggestion:
I apologize, I thought I made that clear when I explained the map; clearly I didn't. It's North vs. South. I don't think it would work with East vs West, honestly... But hey, it might. My mind wasn't even headed in that direction.
-I'd suggest making the center a little less drake friendly. I don't think water units are going to be very popular on this map because they simply won't provide that much control. That plus a few other dynamics should make the central area a drake playground.
Valid. So less sand, I guess?
The style suggestion is related to the last two. I actually think that for a team match, it's a good thing to have an emphasis on the center but as a strategic location more than a place to force players to rush to (which is what putting villages right up in there does). The center is where teammates can most easily join each other, and especially if you're going for 1,2,1,2 teams that's where the dynamics get interesting. I would suggest moving one of the p1/p2 villages so that they're actually closer to the center so they might be exposed to an attack from the side which can control it. Not too exposed mind you, just within reach.
I have a bit of a grudge against 1,2,1,2 maps for reasons of varying validity. In any event, I guess I'll undo the previous village movement.
As a final thought, you might want to consider giving each player one more village. Not in any way a necessity but I think it'd make it funner.
Yeah, before removing the Northern and Southern portions of the map, that was sort of the case. I have an idea of where I would want to put other naturals.

Thank you so much for taking the time.

EDIT: For the sake of your being able to work with a more up to date map, I took into account what advice you gave me that I could implement:

-Moved the advance P1/P2 village back to its old position, closer to the center.
-I removed all sand in the center and replaced it with either deep water or snow/ice. The snow/ice isn't because it's the opposite of sand or whatever; I wanted something on the edge of the central lake that was bad terrain for land units, but was also not water-based. If not sand, snow should suffice.
-I gave each player another natural that's roughly behind their keep relative to where they're going to be sending units.
Delta4_01.png
Last edited by UK1 on June 21st, 2014, 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Hey you, bats should be nerfed."
"Why?"
"Because I lost a game to bat swarm and I'm bitterUhm... clarity... and... consistency? Yeah yeah that sounds good. Clarity and consistency."
Do not. Nerf. The bat.

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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Velensk » June 21st, 2014, 10:52 am

The contest is still on, it's just that at the moment it's looking like I won't be removing any maps to make space for the winners.

If it's N vs S then I'd have to completely redo my suggestions (except the one about drake balance in the center). I don't have time to look over it just now so I'll come back later today and edit this post.

EDIT:
Alright, part of the reason why I thought it would be E vs W was because in my mind the E vs W fronts look a lot more balanced and interesting. Some points for the immediate:

-The thing that gives drakes the most advantage in the center isn't the sand, it's the water (on the condition that there are no mermen which I think given the map alignment seems unlikely, note that they still have an advantage over naga generally). Drakes rule with their mobility. They can't get good defense anywhere so what's most important to them is to be able to get through areas other people can't or where those other people have low defense. Sand is like this but water slows down and weakens enemies even more. Thus the important things for making the center less drake friendly is to make it so that other factions can more easily transverse it and putting places where they can get higher defense.
-The contested villages for NW and SE on the edges between them and their enemy are 9 hexes away on the ground. This could be a problem if they aren't playing a faction with flying/elven scouts and they don't get the quick trait.
-You probably don't want the water villages in their original position, especially not if you're doing N vs S. I was actually suggesting something different and my suggestion would have to change again for N vs S (which is that once you fix the center the village positioning is fine)
-Another note about drake balance: If you look here each players front is kind of divided into 3 distinct lanes [which I'll call the flank, the fat lane, and the center] which for most non-drake/undead factions will be 2 lanes as the center will be too much trouble to get to. You have plenty of obstacles between these lanes but nothing that would stop a drake player. This kind of mobility can be very powerful on the exploit. Even when the drake player isn't fielding many drakes there's tons of saurian favoring terrain that would give any loyalist player difficulties. These kinds of difficulties can be lessened by including more castles/mushrooms in your terrain formations and generally keeping track of how the fastest paths between fronts affect different factions. It's ok for drakes to be faster through various areas than other factions (they need it) however when they can do large scale force shifts that their enemies can't follow or respond to there'll generally be problems.
-There should be some kind of path between the castle and the fat lane for p3/4 so that players who don't have flying scouts aren't so much slower to claim villages there than those without.

Style Notes:
-It seems to me like the villages for p3/4 especially the one on the flanks once moved back are much less exposed than the villages for their counterparts. The funny thing about 2vs2 is that this is actually not a balance problem as long as it is mirrored well but I think you could make a funner dynamic.
-Personally I feel that the conflict zones for N/S are a bit bland. On the flank you have a short (even if you move the p3/4 villages back it'll still be really short) open shot with a bit of terrain scattered on the side. In the fat lane you have a slightly longer open shot with terrain scattered on the side one of the villages has defensive terrain closer to it the other has some terrain scattered off to the side. Now there is a secondary front which runs between the swamp villages for p1/2 to the same village which I suspect will see quite a bit of play and is more interesting but when it comes to it, it isn't the most direct route, unless the enemy is holding the hill it doesn't make it all that much easier to flank (unless one is drakes or knalgans) and thus in order to hold a ton of focus it'd have to be because p3/4 are pushing through it.
-If you aren't going for E vs W you might want to tuck in the villages on that front anyway and not just for when people use your map for a FFA. I believe the villages on what would be the flanks up there are either 9 or 10 hexes away from their castles and if you aren't going for a high tension front there, then it'd probably make the map run smoother if every faction could just grab those villages without issue. It'd also help put more of a focus in the center of the map to contribute to the team fighting dynamics.
-Another thing which could help shift focus from the flank lanes (fighting solo) to the fat and central lanes (with team interaction) would be to give each player an alternate castle closer to the center of the map they could use as a staging ground there.
"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: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by UK1 » June 21st, 2014, 11:25 pm

Velensk wrote: snippety
What would you think if I headed in this sort of direction:
Delta4_02.png
"Hey you, bats should be nerfed."
"Why?"
"Because I lost a game to bat swarm and I'm bitterUhm... clarity... and... consistency? Yeah yeah that sounds good. Clarity and consistency."
Do not. Nerf. The bat.

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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Velensk » June 22nd, 2014, 12:41 am

I think that that has potential. I'd tweak it heavily but it's your map and there's nothing inherantly wrong with the direction.
"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: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Dunno » June 22nd, 2014, 1:33 pm

There's one technical detail I'd like to point out for sides 3&4: if their leader decides to capture the cave village, they won't be able to reach their second castle, unless they have 6 mp. I'd make it so that the second keep is either unreachable, or reachable for both slow and fast leaders. Also you shouldn't forget that a map needs to have it's atmosphere. Your map looks a bit inconsistent when it comes to the variations of terrains: ice in the centre, some parts look like it's autumn, others look like it's summer, random sand hexes, some castles are elvish and some aren't, second castles are ruined but the ones around them are not etc, etc. I realise that you'll probably worry about those things later, but I just wanted to give you a heads up.

Aside from that, a couple of tweaks and I think it's ready for heavy testing (I agree with Valensk that you need to nerf drakes with more impassable mountains than just one)

Edit: example of how drakes could own on this map: say player 1 is drakes and player 3 undead for instance. During the first day drakes have built up a defence in the "fat lane". Undead launch their attack but drakes simply fly to the other side of the river. They don't lose many villages (only one, in fact) and undead can't quite reach those drakes until the break of dawn. And when the day comes, undead get toasted.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by UK1 » June 22nd, 2014, 3:12 pm

Dunno wrote:There's one technical detail I'd like to point out for sides 3&4: if their leader decides to capture the cave village, they won't be able to reach their second castle, unless they have 6 mp. I'd make it so that the second keep is either unreachable, or reachable for both slow and fast leaders.
I actually tested the map with a friend last night and we realized this problem. I'm actually toying with two maps, each of which corrects the problem in one of the ways you mentioned. I'm also going to have to shuffle the villages around a bit because what essentially winds up happening is that players 3&4 wind up getting nine villages and players 1&2 wind up getting seven.

EDIT: I may actually just move the cave village one closer to the second keep.
Also you shouldn't forget that a map needs to have it's atmosphere. Your map looks a bit inconsistent when it comes to the variations of terrains: ice in the centre, some parts look like it's autumn, others look like it's summer, random sand hexes, some castles are elvish and some aren't, second castles are ruined but the ones around them are not etc, etc. I realise that you'll probably worry about those things later, but I just wanted to give you a heads up.
Actually, the story of the map (in my mind, at least) was that it is actually an arena outside of Weldyn that was built by two wealthy merchant families so that they could settle their disputes by hiring armies to fight for their entertainment. The networks behind players 1 and 2's keeps are the palaces of the respective families. It's in the works, but ultimately, yeah, I'm more worried about making the map fun to play now. And it just so happens that a juxtaposition of frozen and cave tiles slow down drakes quite nicely. I currently have a couple versions where I replace some frozen in the center with a couple more impassable or cave and what-not depending on the map, but frozen is the most convenient way to slow down the Drakes (granted not as much as everyone else) while making the castles on either side of the central cave/lake much more viable by decreasing the defense of some of the tiles around them. My only requirement is that, if you can find a better way of accomplishing that (or something like that) let me know. I do not want to add terrain that would allow ZOC protection of the castle, fyi.
Aside from that, a couple of tweaks and I think it's ready for heavy testing (I agree with Valensk that you need to nerf drakes with more impassable mountains than just one)

Edit: example of how drakes could own on this map: say player 1 is drakes and player 3 undead for instance. During the first day drakes have built up a defence in the "fat lane". Undead launch their attack but drakes simply fly to the other side of the river. They don't lose many villages (only one, in fact) and undead can't quite reach those drakes until the break of dawn. And when the day comes, undead get toasted.
Yeah, that's absolutely a reality. I'll get to work on trying to find a graceful way to fix that. Thank you so much, your suggestions were really helpful. If you're ever on the MP server and want to help me playtest, that would be awesome too.
"Hey you, bats should be nerfed."
"Why?"
"Because I lost a game to bat swarm and I'm bitterUhm... clarity... and... consistency? Yeah yeah that sounds good. Clarity and consistency."
Do not. Nerf. The bat.

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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Velensk » July 27th, 2014, 11:44 am

I need everyone to start posting the final versions of their maps. The submission period is technically over August 1st.
"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: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Dunno » July 27th, 2014, 2:45 pm

*crickets still chirping* :whistle:

If anyone needs help with testing, I'll gladly play a match or two. I'm available after 6 pm GMT, Tuesday-Friday, or I can join earlier as a spectator and comment on the game (after it's finished, that is). Good luck!
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Xalzar » July 29th, 2014, 10:23 pm

Sungrains Mills - definitive version

Present! ;)

A few replays of tests which I've already done with WIF members (if useful): http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php ... 31#p573824
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