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Balanced maps?


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#1 Radspakr

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 02:55 AM

I'm a modder so like most modders only play my own mod and only really play to test things.
So a lot of the competitive gaming side eludes me.

The little I know is that most players use the Knight rush strat for playing (modified as needed) and Fords of Isen is one the most popular maps because of it's balanced layout.
So I read that people also play on the Anorien map.
So what makes a good balanced map?
Is it as simple as having the same access to things as the other players or is it more?

I'm curious about these things and I can likely use what I learn in future mapping,modding ventures.

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#2 Kwen

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 03:58 AM

I think it is having an even number of settlements, and lairs. And also having evenly spaced neutral outposts/camps.
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#3 _Haldir_

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 04:24 AM

I think maps should always try and be balanced, but that doesn't mean they need to be symmetrical :good: To make it perfectly balanced, a lot of things come into play - even down to tiny details like exact distances between bases/plots/lairs, the width of chokepoints and terrain, or the amount/density of trees and rocks.

For competitive matches, players often want the map to be as balanced as possible, to make it an even match up (e.g. Fords of Isen/Anorien, which is fair enough). Let's be honest, an seroiusly unbalanced map is no fun, for the winner or the loser. Personally, i enjoy maps that are balanced, but aren't symmetrical - something that forces multiple tactics depending on your faction and your enemy.

For example, though one player may have quicker access to plots or lairs, the second player may have a more defendable position, or different types of creeps. A troll lair as opposed to a goblin lair can affect the gameplay significantly in the early game. You may give one player an outpost, but give the other player a bunch of extra settlements instead. This alters the whole building strategy, and forces the player to choose whether to build farms in their base or not. The list is endless really.

Fortress maps are trickier again, as the whole point is that they're unbalanced. You have to find a way to balance the outer players with the fortress players, whether by more plots, more lairs or more camps/outposts. You have to be careful not to overpower either player, whilst still not creating a stalemate - which is no fun. If it's a 3+ player fortress map, you also have to consider the outside players booth as teammates, and in a free-for-all situation.

In short, there's no real answer. You just have to take as much into consideration as you can when planning and making your map, and then test it from each start position until you're happy ;)

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#4 Ganon

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 12:51 PM

...Spoken like a true pro. ;)

#5 Radspakr

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 01:25 PM

I forgot I posted this topic :p

Thanks for the responses.
This topic was partly for my own map making.

I wonder if the competitive players play on non EA maps,there would be quite a few balanced maps out there.
Maybe they have the same attitude to unofficial maps that they do to mods that they are unbalanced or somehow inferior.

I'm uploading a converted LW map to the front page perhaps some of you guys could play test it and tell me if they think it's a balanced map.
http://www.the3rdage.net/item-558

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#6 _Haldir_

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 02:25 PM

I'm uploading a converted LW map to the front page perhaps some of you guys could play test it and tell me if they think it's a balanced map.
http://www.the3rdage.net/item-558


I've had a quick look at it in WB, but i'll give it a play tomorrow and let you know what i think :p

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