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Maverick talks Game Rework: Maps

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I_Maverick_I #1 Posted 23 January 2019 - 07:56 AM

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Edit: PLEASE read the entire thread (Posts 1 and 2) before answering the poll. Thanks in advance.)

 

Hey all,

 

I know that I have not released my 4th issue of Maverick's Minute yet. I still have to do my interviews, and frankly, I've been super busy with my own stuff. Now that 2018 is over and the last minute cram work is finished, I have much more time to devote to this. So I'd thought I'd introduce a new series that won't be nearly as short, and will be much more complex. I'm calling this new series, "Maverick Talks Game Rework", and I'm hoping to discuss broader topics, and break it down into much more complex and minute details; instead of focusing on short, general aspects of the game with Maverick's Minute. So, enjoy:

 


 

1. More bushes on city maps. So, I know everyone complains about Himmesldorf and Dynasty's Pearl about being flat and towny and the far reachers claiming Russian bias, because Russian tanks are lower, don't generally have a lot of gun depression, and have good hull and turret armor. Whether or not this is Russian bias, there are areas where you can hulldown on all the maps with your T34 or whatever. Although I'd like to see the tracks side (A cap) on Himmelsdorf completely removed and replaced with at least some elevation like the Church in PC, I think a minor improvement could be more bushes placed strategically in corners around both maps. It's really hard for lights and mediums to do their spotting job in the mid and end game without bushes, because the enemy has an idea of where they may appear. Faust, to its credit, has a decent amount of bushes spread around the map.

 


 

2. Speaking of maps, some maps need more than minor rework. Here are some, again in my opinion, that could benefit from it:

 

- Mines is a pithole of agony if you're not in a TD, and the cap lures bad players on your team away from the strategic point of the map, which is the hill. in my opinion, the cap circle should be placed in the middle of the island, where heavies are not as likely to rush and can be used later to bring out the camping TD's (the current cap circle actually allows it to be reset no matter where someone sits in the cap in the high tiers with HE splash from 15 cm+ guns. Yes, I've tested it.) 

 

- Fort Despair needs rework to stop giving people depression when they get the map in a match. The fact that this map is even in the competitive pool in Tier 10 tournaments is a laughing stock, especially when most of the new maps offer much better gameplay. Honestly, the best solution is something I'll discuss later. As far as physical rework, A cap needs to move to the corner and not right in the spanking middle of the TD bushes. A cap could be pushed back closer to the South spawn, and C cap could be placed closer to the North spawn, somewhat similar to the Himmelsdorf and Canal layout. What also could be really interesting is two thick layers of bushes on either side of A cap extending from the border to the mount next to the B cap, spaced to where it would be impossible to see if someone is in the bushes unless the base is being capped. It could allow for some sneaky, but risky rotations that would add some spice and thinking into the game. 

 

- Castilla has great potential but it's not at its best right now. The TD sniping is annoying if you're playing a heavy, but the map is pretty massive, and I think it could easily support 4 bases on Supremacy. D cap should be placed on the lower section of the hill at the windmill, C cap should be placed where the Encounter cap is, B cap should be at the top of the castle, and A cap is fine there. Or, place B cap could be placed closer to the South spawn (like at the bottom of the hill towards South spawn) and place C cap behind a building on the road to mid and to the hill. A cap would be at the top of the hill, and D cap would be placed where C cap is currently. With more caps being held, TD's wouldn't be able to camp as longer. Now, for Encounter, I'd suggest removing the ability to get up on the TD hills from each spawn. They're so far in the back that a medium or light has to spot them from castle or mid, heavies are in the mercy of the TD's when contesting C, and for the lights and meds to do their ESSENTIAL job on this map, it requires teamwork, which we know is never guaranteed. 

 

-Middleburg. Ah, Middleburg. It doesn't really need explaining for what I'd like to implement, all the middleburg town memes are too well-known. [Insert: http://forum.wotblitz.com/index.php?/topic/60495-stealys-map-guide-middleburg/#topmost]. Anyways, as Steeby brilliantly points out in his guide, hill is the best option unless its Supremacy and you're in a tournament, or have a well coordinated and mostly heavy team team lineup. To make the town more viable, I'd suggest something pretty big: remove the middle entrance to town from the hill, next to the Church. Make two smaller entrances into the town from each side of the hill, closer to the spawns. Then, add more bushes around the corners in the town area to increase the "sneakiness" of operations inside the town. Remove some other entrances into town as well, and make it easier to guard. 

 

- Mirage should get a Supremacy option. The fact that this map is much larger than Fort Despair and doesn't get Supremacy caps makes no sense to me. I'd put one cap on the ocean side in the middle, right underneath the railroad tracks. The second cap would go where the Encounter cap is, and the third cap would go either under the waterfall. 

 

-Lost Temple Encounter cap is extremely easy to reset, due to a massive lack of cover and so many crossfire angles from the hills. I'd make the entrance of the hills ramp to the Encounter cap narrower, so basically put more buildings to make it harder to reset from the hills. 

 


 

3. The current map pool needs to be readjusted for Tier brackets, and some should be reworked to whether they can support Encounter or Encounter+Supremacy. (Encounter, imo, needs to stay as an option for ALL maps, like WG has going currently.) Here is a list of all the current maps in the game. I'm not going to bother making guesses at the current tier brackets, because I don't think WG has released that. Some are already fine, in my experience. By the way, there are a current total of 26 maps in the game, and WG has mentioned that they will eventually run into a limit of maps that can exist in the game. As of 5.7, there are some rumors of a massive city map in the Supertest to be implemented no sooner than 5.9. I also included my own Personal Rating of the maps, of which I will get into later. Anyways, here they are:

 

Map

Tier Bracket

Encounter/Supremacy

My Personal Rating

Alpenstadt

V-X

Both

10/10

Black Goldville

IV-X

Both

9/10

Canal

V-X

Both, 4 caps

10/10

Canyon

VI-X

Both

10/10

Castilla

V-X

Both, 4 caps 

7/10

Copperfield

I-IV

Encounter only

6/10

Dead Rail

IV-X

Both

9/10

Desert Sands

IV-X

Both

10/10

Dynasty's Pearl

IV-VIII

Both

5/10

Falls Creek

IV-X

Both

9/10

Faust

V-X

Both, 4 caps

10/10

Fort Despair

I-IV

Encounter only

6/10

Himmelsdorf

IV-X

Both, 4 caps

9/10

Lost Temple

IV-X

Both

9/10

Mayan Ruins

VI-X

Both

10/10

Middleburg

IV-VIII

Both

7/10

Mines

I-IV

Encounter only

6/10

Mirage

IV-X

Both

10/10

Naval Frontier

VI-X

Both

11/10

Normandy

VI-X

Both, 4 caps

10.5/10

Oasis Palms

IV-X

Both

6/10

Port Bay

V-X

Both

6/10

Rockfield

V-X

Both

8/10

Vineyards

V-VIII

Both...for now...

6/10

Winter Malinovka

IV-X

Both

9/10

Yamato Harbor

V-X

Both

10/10

 

* in terms of -1/+1 MM, the lower and higher tier would be able to get this map naturally as higher or lower tier (in other words, lower tier tanks would not be able to be dragged onto a map that only the higher tier can access, and vise versa, the higher tier tanks would not be dragged onto a map that only the lower tier can access.)

 

...continued on #2 post, apparently this is too long


Edited by I_Maverick_I, 13 April 2019 - 08:00 PM.


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I_Maverick_I #2 Posted 23 January 2019 - 07:57 AM

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4. My Personal Rating for Maps. I decided to create my own criteria for all the maps, rather than judge them all arbitrarily. My Personal Rating applies to the maps as they currently are, not with how I would change them. Only exception to this is the "usable for competitive play" one, where I use my own opinion of whether this map fits well as a map that is good for Tier 10 competitive play, and not whether it is in the current map pool. 

 

The criteria I'm looking for in all the maps is the following:

 

- No section of the map is vastly ignored/unusable by the meta in whatever game mode or tier that is accessible to it OR bad map design 

- Provides light tanks with proper positions

- Provides medium tanks with proper positions

- Provides heavy tanks with proper positions 

- Provides tank destroyers with proper positions

- Allows for dynamic gameplay 

- Usable for competitive play (Tier 10, has Supremacy option) 

- Cap positions are placed well 

- No side has a specific/general advantage

- Visual details are done well and it accurately portrays what it's supposed to look like. Enjoyable to play, visually. (Note: desert and winter maps get exceptions if they are all white or beige, because I get it, they're supposed to have snow or sand.) Having an easter egg on the map helps, although I won't bother listing them.

 

...which adds up to a perfect 10 points. Rather than list every map's specific points, I'm only going to take note of the ones that lost points in the above chart, and explain why. I also took away points for maps that weren't specifically listed in the criteria for miscellaneous, but obvious, flaws in the map. Also, I explained some of my reasoning for the above point losses, so if they weren't explained below, it's because I already had them up there.

 

 

Black Goldville

-1 for the town and mid area, which is vastly unused compared to the caves corner.

 

Castilla

-1 for heavy positions. Windmill is a valiant stupid but necessary sacrifice for the heavies, who get picked to death by TD's and meds or lights from the church.

-1 for dynamic gameplay. One of the problems with huge maps without a lot of cover is the lack of freedom and movement. Heavies on the windmill are basically camping in fear of getting shot. 

-1 for the mid rarely being used, and for the A side cap area hardly been used. Mostly it's just church, windmill, TD's at spawn. 

 

Copperfield

-1 for dynamic gameplay. There are so many crossfires on the map that it's basically possible to get shot from 3 or more angles no matter where you are on the map. Makes it really hard to get a push going or for a flank to happen. 

-1 way too small to use for T10 comp.

-1 visual details. C'mon, there isn't a single bit of living grass and the map all looks the same color. Extremely drab. 

-1 for the map being WAY too small. Games are over so fast, and even though I get that it's intended for low tier, you can be at the other side of the map within 15-20 seconds in a light tank. 

 

Dead Rail

-1 for dynamic gameplay. Another TD oriented map that makes it very hard to deal with if you become spotted.

 

Dynasty's Pearl (f*ck this map)

There's so many flaws with this map that it was hard to put them into my criteria. Nevertheless, here's what I got:

-1 for light tank positions 

-1 for TD positions

-1 for usable in Tier 10 comp (read below)

-1 for map design

-1 for being the worst map in this game

 

The main issue with this map is that it is totally geared towards heavy tanks. Going town is a disaster for every class except heavies, and going to the park is a disaster for anyone without good turret armor. For some tanks like the Grille 15, Leopard PT A, and any French light or heavy (M4 49 notable exception), it's basically certain doom. Talk about Russian bias on this map, I've seen some Tier 8 comp teams run all IS spam and 2 lightweights, and at Tier X, IS-4's with an E3. It's a mess of a map and poorly designed, with all that in mind. This map is currently on the Tier 8 and 10 competitive map pool, which is a disgrace to the nature of competitive play. 

 

-rant over

 

Falls Creek

-1 for the entire A and B side hardly being used (bridge spam, folks)

 

Faust

Now THAT's how you make a city map with elevation. Excellently done, WG.

 

Fort Despair

The map that is the most appropriately named in the game also has some big issues, that I've mostly gone over earlier. 

-1 for map design

-1 usable in Tier 10 comp

-1 cap points placement

-1 visual designs on this map are drab and boring. No one cares about the broken castle because no one bothers to look up, and why should they? There's too many crossfires to pay attention to, and the rest of the map is just walls in random places, and dead grass.

 

Himmelsdorf

-1 for map design (tracks section is a graveyard for meds) 

 

Lost Temple

-1 for cap placement

 

Middleburg

-1 cap placement (Encounter)

-1 usable in Tier 10 competitive 

-1 map design

 

Mines

-1 map design

-1 cap placement

-1 dynamic gameplay

-1 light positions

 

 

Naval Frontier (ahhh..)

"Love it, can't get enough of it" -Bushka. I honestly have so much appreciation for this map. It's PERFECT. The middle of the map is brilliant, there are spots for TD's and meds/lights to farm, heavies have their own playground, it's dynamic, you can get flanks, you can push, it's not flat at all, there's plenty of room on the map yet its not a open campyard. It's in my opinion, the best map in the game. Beautifully made, perfect gameplay. It is so satisfying to take potshots at crossing heavies as they pass by in the first minute, and I don't think heavies really get screwed on this map, because there's plenty of hulldown cover and sidescraping areas. True, there are a lot of crossfires to watch out for, but that's what really makes it exciting. It's not like Copperfield where the "cover" is basically useless. I might have some bias here, but I really think it's an excellent map. 

 

+1 for being Maverick's favorite map

 

Normandy

+0.5 for the excellent new decoration visuals. o7 to Wargaming for creating a great, realistic, and balanced map.

 

Oasis Palms

-1 dynamic gameplay

-1 positions for heavy tanks
-1 positions for medium tanks

-1 cap positions. B/Encounter cap is poorly placed and allows for crossfire literally everywhere. At least Middleburg only has a few corridors, this cap is basically ASKING people to reset it. I don't think I've ever seen a successful cap on Encounter, ever.
 

 

Port Bay

-1 one side has unfair advantage. The South spawn gets the first shots across the main part of the hills, and this can lead to perma tracking, or losing a vital med/light going across the island to provide crossfires, or simply to hold back the enemy's light/meds

-1 light positions

-1 med positions (island is hell for lights and meds, its just brawling, getting potshotted by TD's, and getting the occasional side shot into a heavy if the team is doing well)

-1 no one goes town for a reason. nuff said

 

Rockfield

-1 dynamic gameplay

-1 no one uses mid and hanger side. again, for a reason

 

Vineyards

-1 no one cares about town. Ever. EVER. Don't do it. Just don't.

-1 for unfair advantage for one spawn. South spawn has way better TD positions to guard town against the occasional late game flank, has better hulldown options in the spawn, and never is able to get pincered into the river valley, unlike North spawn. North spawn also has to cross against an open road which allows them to get pegged before they even have "good" positions. 

-1 Tier 10 comp use. Because of the above, its super annoying to play in tournaments.

-1 dynamic gameplay

 

Winter Malinovka

-1 poor map design. Only lights and meds use valley, for some reason. Maybe it's because...there's hardly any cover? Or...there's crossfires from spawn and up the hill? The valley can be a great place for an uncontested wolfpack. Not much else though, especially in Supremacy. 

 


 

Well peeps, I hope you enjoyed this rather long and ranty thread about map design. I wanted to get this out on the weekend but life took ahold, and this probably took 8 hours to write over 3 days. Not too bad, if someone can learn something from it or we can get some great discussion. That's the incentive I have for writing these things. I really want to see your opinions in the comments below.

 

In other news, a calendar might be on its way with regular schedules for my forum content, not just random threads when I feel like it. Hopefully adding structure to this will help the discussions be less random if people know when to expect the next thread, and what it will be about. 

Thanks all,
Maverick


Edited by I_Maverick_I, 13 April 2019 - 07:55 PM.


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MudkipAtWar #3 Posted 23 January 2019 - 12:55 PM

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Since I only play supremacy I have the benefit of being able to sit near a cap in the position of my choice, which means I haven't even been inside the town of dynasties pearl since early 2018, which to me makes it a great map, as there is this convenient bush that I can overlook the entrances into c cap and watch b cap from the same spot.

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wannabeunicum #4 Posted 23 January 2019 - 01:38 PM

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Only disagreement is dead rail. It promotes a flankimg gamestyle. Maybe i would remove some cross map spawn to hill shots for tds but if one team foes valley a medium can flank and rekt

Holy_Outlaw #5 Posted 23 January 2019 - 03:11 PM

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View PostMudkipAtWar, on 23 January 2019 - 06:55 AM, said:

Since I only play supremacy I have the benefit of being able to sit near a cap in the position of my choice, which means I haven't even been inside the town of dynasties pearl since early 2018, which to me makes it a great map, as there is this convenient bush that I can overlook the entrances into c cap and watch b cap from the same spot.

Agreed and that is a great spot. I don't really get all the hate for this map but to each it's own. Go to town and if you don't roll the red team heavies fast, you will get mired down in a trading shots brawl with heavies, Td's and get flanked to death. I always go park and there are actually great places to spot amid the ridges and slight hills. I have had some great games there in the Defender, you have enough gun depression to peek well and still stay hull down and use your turret armor effectively. It's effective to go park in light tanks too, and once you clear the park, you can bring the flank against the townie heavies and end their game quickly. 



MudkipAtWar #6 Posted 23 January 2019 - 03:21 PM

    T1 best heavy tank

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View PostHoly_Outlaw, on 23 January 2019 - 11:11 AM, said:

Agreed and that is a great spot. I don't really get all the hate for this map but to each it's own. Go to town and if you don't roll the red team heavies fast, you will get mired down in a trading shots brawl with heavies, Td's and get flanked to death. I always go park and there are actually great places to spot amid the ridges and slight hills. I have had some great games there in the Defender, you have enough gun depression to peek well and still stay hull down and use your turret armor effectively. It's effective to go park in light tanks too, and once you clear the park, you can bring the flank against the townie heavies and end their game quickly. 

 

In most maps you can avoid town by spamming bases, so it's great

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I_Maverick_I #7 Posted 23 January 2019 - 03:49 PM

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View PostMudkipAtWar, on 23 January 2019 - 07:21 AM, said:

 

In most maps you can avoid town by spamming bases, so it's great

 

Dynasty's Pearl does have a good B cap location if you want to not play in the town. However with a lot of maps with city options, B and either A or C will be in town (Yamato Harbor, Middleburg, Alpenstadt, Desert Sands, Oasis Palms, Winter Malinovka, etc). Which I think is a fair balancing mechanic, but some teams don't have the option to play town because of team lineup. Which is why I tend to only play Supremacy if I want to get some missions done, because although getting the team to go in one direction from the start of the game is hard, getting them to move in an organized push into town later in the game is even harder.


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truman1000 #8 Posted 23 January 2019 - 04:10 PM

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This was an enjoyable morning read (snowday here in the upper Midwest), thanks for putting it all together. Agree on all the praised maps, and I believe that WG took a good evolution forward after Dynasty Pearl. Wouldn't be surprised if there was a staff reshuffling.

 

For whatever reason I've really enjoyed vineyards of late  probably because my teams haven't gone town all that much. I wonder how much game play changed on it since it converted to a sunny day. 

 

Also lol at turning Naval up to 11.



MudkipAtWar #9 Posted 23 January 2019 - 04:18 PM

    T1 best heavy tank

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View PostI_Maverick_I, on 23 January 2019 - 11:49 AM, said:

 

Dynasty's Pearl does have a good B cap location if you want to not play in the town. However with a lot of maps with city options, B and either A or C will be in town (Yamato Harbor, Middleburg, Alpenstadt, Desert Sands, Oasis Palms, Winter Malinovka, etc). Which I think is a fair balancing mechanic, but some teams don't have the option to play town because of team lineup. Which is why I tend to only play Supremacy if I want to get some missions done, because although getting the team to go in one direction from the start of the game is hard, getting them to move in an organized push into town later in the game is even harder.

 

I usually spam c in middleburg, for example, because we can get c cap and maybe 1/2 med frags, and then when they push out (its pubs, they always do) you snipe them and then push in. It works because the pubs like sniping and eventually get impatient and want to rush, so you can play on that

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SpartacusDiablo #10 Posted 24 January 2019 - 02:07 PM

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This is a outstanding post and a lot to digest.  After my first glance I agree with most of what you've said...except you didn't say enough bad thing about Himmelsdorf.

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I_Maverick_I #11 Posted 25 February 2019 - 12:05 AM

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Can I bump this thread :))


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