The Multiplayer Map Reader's Digest

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Doc Paterson
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The Multiplayer Map Reader's Digest

Post by Doc Paterson »

This thread will be for all topics related to the balancing, addition or removal of multiplayer maps. If you have any thoughts, complaints, ideas or general questions, post them up here, and I'll do my best to respond to you. Remember though to try to be as specific as possible when addressing what you see to be imbalances or problems with given maps.

At any rate,

Whenever a map is altered, I'll post it here (in case some of you would rather not wait for the next release), along with labeled screenshots explaining the significance of the changes.



* * * * *

In a few hours, I'll kick things off by posting and discussing the newest version of Meteor Lake.


8)
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Doc Paterson
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Post by Doc Paterson »

http://mercury.walagata.com/w/paterson/meteorlakeFIXED


So- There is the newest (not yet released) version of Meteor Lake.

I've made a number of changes; some oriented towards increasing fun-factor, others for the reduction of factional and 1st-player advantages.


A: These channels have been added in the interest of giving more depth to the lake battles, de-emphasising the "single-water-unit blocking the river" situations that the older version could fascilitate. The two lake villages have been moved to the shorelines and converted to swamp villages. This solves a number of problems (including the problem of nagas always beating mermen to the center), and allows players the option (in the case of the naga problem, a full-fledged solution) of using land-unit scouts to prevent the theft of those villages by first player water units, or second player nagas.

B: The changes to the center prevent quick wolfriders or other scouts from stealing player 2's lower-center village, and also allow a greater deal of interaction with the southern battlefront (often water-)units.

C: The forest has been thinned a bit, allowing for quicker and more direct mobilization of non-elven, non-flying units.

D: These variations were originally created in an attempt to solve the "Naga vs. Merman Race to the Center" problem, and now serve as regulator-devices against the first player's movement advantage. Nagas will now arrive at the southern-center roughly one turn quicker if they march diagonally downward, over land (Not quicker than the other player; rather, quicker than if they went the other way). Aside from this function, I like the variation and slight differences that now exist between these related areas.
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Post by Doc Paterson »

Within a day or two, I'll be posting and describing the latest changes to Den of Onis. Stay tuned.

8)
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Boucman
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Post by Boucman »

Doc, I just wanted to say that I like what you're doing here... map balancing is very hard, and by giving us some insight on what you think when balancing a map, you do a lot to increase the average quality of maps submited to the forum...
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Post by Sapient »

Yes, although I must say I liked the version that features one lake village that appeared to be the meteorite's end. It was a nice aesthetic touch. And since nagas do less damage than mermen... isn't their movement is supposed to let them steal things?

Sorry if I'm giving you a hard time, Doc. :wink:

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Post by Yogibear »

I am very curious about Den of Onis. I recently had a match there (no, not the one against you, Doc :wink: ), playing drakes (P2) vs Knalgan. I did not stand a chance and i can't even say that i made a big mistake (as far as ai know). The main problem there for drakes is holding villages (very important on this map). My opponent had two gryphons sitting in the center that could get to almost any point on the map in one turn. Drakes are supposed to make use of their superior movement but that is really hard on this map.
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Post by Doc Paterson »

Sapient wrote:Yes, although I must say I liked the version that features one lake village that appeared to be the meteorite's end. It was a nice aesthetic touch. And since nagas do less damage than mermen... isn't their movement is supposed to let them steal things?

Sorry if I'm giving you a hard time, Doc. :wink:
Having a high-defense unit such as the Naga steal a village would just be too extreme.....The other player shouldn't have to fight an uphill battle from the very outset. The Naga's extra movement should be considered more in terms of it arriving to a battle or retreating with ease. This ought to be where their worth is shown, not "stealing," as their HP is certainly high enough to (in that hypothetical balancing case) create very unfair situations, should they arrive first to a contested village. Remember that a "stolen" village is a conceptual swing of 4 gold; you have 2 more and they have 2 less, every turn. It doesn't take long for such scenarios to have their influence on a game manifest...

This is one of the reasons that village distribution and spacing must be very carefully considered and tested when trying to balance a map for every combination of factions.

About that central village on the old old Meteor Lake.....I think we all know that that was terribly unbalanced, aesthetically interesting as it may have been. 8)

Aesthetic concerns have been a rather heavy force in the balancing of Den of Onis. I'll get to that in a bit.
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Post by Doc Paterson »

Yogi Bear wrote:I am very curious about Den of Onis. I recently had a match there (no, not the one against you, Doc :wink: ), playing drakes (P2) vs Knalgan. I did not stand a chance and i can't even say that i made a big mistake (as far as ai know). The main problem there for drakes is holding villages (very important on this map). My opponent had two gryphons sitting in the center that could get to almost any point on the map in one turn. Drakes are supposed to make use of their superior movement but that is really hard on this map.
What sort of units were you using?

I don't suppose you saved the replay? I'd very much like to see it, as I've never noticed much of a problem in the Knalgan vs. Drake matchup on that map. In what way did you try to counter the gryphons? (There is a very specific and what I've found to be highly effective Drake-ish method for gryphon slaying- Maybe we could discuss it over PM?) Most of the changes that have been implemented to Den of Onis in recent days have actually been anti-Saurian, as the older versions seemed to offer them too many strong advantages.
I will not tell you my corner / where threads don't get locked because of mostly no reason /
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Post by Yogin »

The Doc said:
(There is a very specific and what I've found to be highly effective Drake-ish method for gryphon slaying- Maybe we could discuss it over PM?)
Aww.... tell all of us. Inquiring minds and tacticians want to know.

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Post by Doc Paterson »

Yogin wrote:The Doc said:
(There is a very specific and what I've found to be highly effective Drake-ish method for gryphon slaying- Maybe we could discuss it over PM?)
Aww.... tell all of us. Inquiring minds and tacticians want to know.
Don't get me wrong; exclusivity is not the name of my game. 8) I only wish to avoid filling up this thread with unrelated subjects. Start an anti-Gryphon thread and I'll jump right in. :D
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Post by Doc Paterson »

So, regarding these newest changes to Den of Onis.

Here is the version that ought to be appearing in 1.1:

http://mercury.walagata.com/w/paterson/ ... of_OnisFIX

(You may want to remove the "FIX" from the title.)

Some notes:

One of the more notable issues with previous versions of this map was the abusiveness of saurians, which, when played in a certain style, proved to be tougher to counter than they rightly ought to be. While none of the individual saurian advantages were overwhelmingly terrible, I feel that they cumulatively formed a serious enough problem. It was particularly easy for player 1's saurians to find a gap in P2's defenses and "hole up" in a stolen village, where P2, because of limited attack hexes/angles, would have to spend considerable time and resources clearing them off. A typical example would be a P1 saurian (or in a related but less extreme case, a wolfrider) perching atop the leftmost central mountain (the one surrounded by river ford) and putting pressure on P2 to divert forces to their rear left side (otherwise, they'd seize that village nearest to the castle, or move into the tunnel and take that village, or take cover in the forest in between the two areas, etc. etc. etc....). This is just an example of course, but it all boils down to P1 in general and saurians in particular being able to exert too much influence/pressure on P2's movement; forcing P2 into a defensive orientation. Most of these newer changes are therefore intended to reduce these tendencies in the map.

A: Both of these villages have been moved farther "back." It is no longer possible for a saurian or a wolfrider to just wait for an opening (from the safety of the river-mountain) in the other player's defenses and grab the village, going directly from the mountain to the village. A quick Drake Fighter could do it, but I'm not very concerned with low defense units such as that, as the move would in all likelihood result in a financial loss. A gryphon could also do it, but the new location (against the back wall) makes it significantly easier for newly recruited units to trap the gryphon. Such a move from the gryphon would be, in my opinion, appropriately risky, and wouldn't create a particularly unbalanced scenario. Note that this change also enables almost all leaders to reach that village on the first turn.

B: Deciding that a change to the village type would ruin the aesthetic of the map, I decided to trim the saurian power in a different way; allowing factions that would have the most trouble with them to use their water units more effectively. Both of these villages have had their adjacent river ford terrains increased by one, fascilitating double-water-unit assaults. {As for the Undead, they may have occasional problems with the saurian offense (saurians inflicting heavy damage to their Adepts), but they certainly don't have any problem clearing saurians off of villages, which is the major issue at hand. They will therefore be quite alright in this situation, despite having no water units.} Note also that the water has been extended a bit in the direction of the "A" villages, making the advancement of water units into these areas much more viable.

C: One cave wall hex has been removed from each side, offering a defender more hexes from which to attack a village-stealer.

D: The forest and hill were added to prevent saurians from hiding behind fog, one hex from P2's vision (often on the middle hex of the three cave hexes), and stealing the upper corner village (a very nastly trick indeed). The defending player is now much less likely to be taken by surprise by village thieves.

* * * * *

That about wraps it up. Feel free to post up any thoughts or questions.

The next subject of scrutiny and alteration will likely be Hornshark Island.
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I will not tell you my corner / where threads don't get locked because of mostly no reason /
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ereksos
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Post by ereksos »

i salute you for your effort, doc pat! :)
in fact, i salute all the developers for the incredible effort in making wesnoth such a great game :D .
btw, will anyone be interested to see me playing against the mighty doc paterson?
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Post by Doc Paterson »

ereksos wrote:i salute you for your effort, doc pat! :)
will anyone be interested to see me playing against the mighty doc paterson?
Yes, we're going to play a grand old game of online poker, for all the world to see! I'm going to be gambling my guitars, and Ereksos will be putting up the keys to his hovercraft.

But yes-

I think we'll have to have you move to America, then get you a job at Drury High School. From there, we'll be able to spend our breaks together, playing epic games of Wesnoth. :D

Outside of that, it's tough to find times when you're on and I'm not exhausted, away from home, or sleeping. This Singapore thing is just no good. :P

However....This upcoming week is a vacation for me, so chances of a wesnoth reunion are rising....

:)
I will not tell you my corner / where threads don't get locked because of mostly no reason /
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ereksos
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Post by ereksos »

moved to user forum :)


:wink:
Last edited by ereksos on December 24th, 2005, 6:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
EREKSOS

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Post by Doc Paterson »

ereksos wrote:Let's set up a time, so anyone who is interested can watch the Great Battle of Wesnoth as part of their festive amusement program!
proposal
(1) the night before christmas eve (U.S) (9 to 1pm)?
(2) or does christmas eve morning (U.S.) (8 to 12) looks good?

私達を固定した彼らのお祝いの娯楽プログラムの一部としてWesnoth の大きい戦いを見ることができる興味を起こさせられる時間をだれでも許可しなさい。

Laissez-nous a fixé un temps n'importe qui qui est intéressé peut venir observer la grande bataille de Wesnoth. Laissez-l'être une partie de votre programme de fête de divertissement.

让我们设定时间. 欢迎任何感兴趣的人可观看Wesnoth 巨大争斗作为他们的欢乐娱乐节目一部分!

Baik kita tetapkan masa. Barang sesiapa yang ingin melihat pertempuran besar Wesnoth jemput datang sebagai program kehiburan anda.



:wink:
Shame on you, you naughty, naughty Ereksos. :P

(Don't worry, I still love ya.)

This is supposed to be a thread about maps!

I realise that you're half-joking here, but honestly, no amount of pressuring will alter my already-made holiday plans. If you think back to all of our previous games, they've all been extremely long and drawn-out.....Definitely not the way that I should be spending my time in these next few days. My mission of the current day is finding a necklace for Cynthia (TOP SECRET) 8) , and that's going to be occuppying almost all of my time. On top of that, I have to shop for just about everyone else- If I'm lucky, and don't spend too much time Wesnothing about, I'll get it all done, all wrapped, go caroling with Cyn, go to 2 holiday parties, and spend some time with my family.

On top of all of that, it's actually a bit unpleasant for me to play a game with a ton of spectators, where everyone is talking to me, expressing opinions about my moves, asking questions, saying "I challenge you after this game!" etc. It just feels to me like too much to focus on, and of course I'd rather not just ignore people. It's very difficult in a high-stakes situation like that ("A Big Holiday Match in which Paterson defends the title!" <as though I even had a title> :P) to play as well as you know you can, trying to tune out the hubbub and focus on winning (I could do a half-assed game, but you know I'd hate that). So perhaps you can see why this particular suggestion at this particular time of the year is not something that really appeals to me. 8)

I'm getting you an AWESOME Christmas present though.

:wink:

(PS- Something more in the Spirit of Holiday Fun would be, in my opinion, a 6p group game involving any combination of the available pros, such as you, me, Dragonking, Soliton, Noy, Calhoun, Inquisitor, Goblin, etc. (if I left anyone out, 'twas an accident- :) ). In the case of me attending something like that, it'd probably have to be set for some time after Christmas.....

Let's move this to PM, if possible? Like I said, I don't want this thread to be taken over or cluttered up with non-map subjects.

:D
I will not tell you my corner / where threads don't get locked because of mostly no reason /
because I don't want your hostile disease / to spread all over the world.
I prefer that corner to remain hidden /
without your noses.
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