Season 3 Ladder Map Discussion - June 30

General Discussion
This thread will be for discussion on the 2014 Ladder Season 3 maps. You can find our preview of the Season 3 maps here.

We will be reading the comments in this thread, so please post constructively if you have feedback you would like to offer. :)
Possibly the best 1v1 map pool we've had in a long time. I wonder how deadwing and foxtroth will play out, could end up being really cool or really fail. They're definatly interesting though, I like that Blizzard has the guts to put in some of the more unorthodox maps in here. Also yay for smaller 4 player maps and the death of alterzim and waystation.
10/10 Good move blizzard.
Yay for no Alterzim, boo for no Habitation, but I guess this and Frost was too old. I'd like to see one more 2 player map instead of one 4 player, but it's just something personal.

They all look good tho and, as Moon said, it might be a really good map pool.
'Psione, thanks a lot'

-Zerg players

06/30/2014 12:57 PMPosted by Trapintime
$\/\/3G
I'm just sad to see Frost go. It was the new Whirlwind, in that it most consistently produced cool games for me.

Glad to see the backs of Alterzim and Waystation, a little sad about Habitation, no real opinion on the new maps yet.
Not the best at analyzing the impact of maps, but I can give it a shot:

1.Foxtrot Labs

Sim-city will be very important on this map, with that jut-out to the south over the natural mineral line. It makes the map a lot better for reapers without making it better for blink-all ins. The unblinkable terrain between the main and the third seems to have become almost a standard requirement for maps nowadays. The gold minerals are a very clever way of setting very defined passages.

2. Deadwing

Not a dead ringer for Alterzim, despite the post. The destructible rocks right off the natural is very clever. Makes it harder to catch/chase a fleeing reaper that enters there, and the level link with the third base gives reapers a much better chance to escape- or at least should.

Blink may be a nightmare on this map. The back-passage between the third bases (if it's pathable, can't really tell but it looks like it is.) combined with the blinkable surface below the main and the natural- and the main entrance beside the fourth base- will make catching blink all ins more difficult on this map. Possibly defending at the third and in front of the fourth will wind up being the most efficient strategy there. The terran may very well take out the natural rocks themselves if they scout a blink-all-in coming just for faster reinforcements and a smaller area to defend.

3.Catallena.

Three-spawn maps, generally, have proven a boon to terran. More bases more easily, less ability for early cheese and harassment to do damage, etc. Together with Merry Go Round, this should result in a marginally easier time for terran in this pool. However, the location of the third is reminiscent of Heavy Rain, which was infamous for its problems with blink all-ins. But the natural front is a lot smaller, so it might be possible to defend blink play here with a normal amount of bunkers. That combined with the three spawns introducing uncertainty as to the location of your opponent and making it more difficult to hit the needed timing with your blink all-in. That combined with the recessed nature of the natural ramp in theory makes the ramp far more difficult to time-warp than a standard ramp, so it should be easier to move troops around to deflect the blink pressure.

4. Nimbus

Definitely the spiritual successor to Alterzim Stronghold, with one important difference: The third, although still vulnerable, is off to a side rather than out in front of the main. This makes walling it off, or placing spines and queens defensively far easier. You have two fronts to defend it on (the one leading toward the main and the one leading toward another player's fourth) but it should still be easier to secure than the third on Alterzim.

As always, I could be wrong, but this is what I'm thinking. I can't really read how these changes will impact the balance at large. Two of the maps are potentially vulnerable to being over-friendly to blink play, but that's something that we can wait and see if that actually occurs in the map pool.

Personally I loved Waystation and loved seeing games on it given that it tended to create very unique and diverse games in games between top-level players, and will be kinda sad to see it go.
As a mapper and avid player/viewer of 1v1 I feel obligated to give a detailed post here. I hope those at Blizzard will take a short time to read it and listen to what I have to say.

Removals

Habitation Station - I'm slightly sad to see this go as it usually produced unique games, but the time is right. It's been around for 6+ months now and for the sake of freshness it's an acceptable loss.

Frost - One of the better maps we've ever had. Still for the same reason listed above, this map had it's time and that time has passed.

Alterzim Stronghold - This map probably should have been in the pool for a single season. Most people don't like it, but your perseverance to keep it around was probably a better than worse decision. Some very interesting long games have been manufactured by this map. Still it wasn't that good.

Waystation - Personally I liked this map even if it was a pain in the !@# to play as Terran. The alternate spawn idea was pretty cool and you guys MUST continue to explore features like this in the future.

I'd like to say it's a very good idea to remove more than 50% of the maps in the pool at a time. It keeps people more interested in ladder and most importantly it helps the game-play immensely. Thank you for taking initiative.

Staying Maps

King Sejong Station - Great idea to keep this. This is one of the most diverse and interesting maps the 1v1 pool has ever had. Every race can utilize different aspects of the map and the terrain as well. This is the kind of map that can provide a different looking game nearly every time you play on it.

Overgrowth - Although there is nothing in particular that is ground breaking about this map it's always good to have a normal, standard map like this in the pool. Every pool needs to have a map to fill that role and this one does it acceptably well. You should probably keep it around for the season after this as well.

Merry-Go-Round - A decent map. It may be hard to take a third base as a non-Zerg race against Zerg, but having a map like this is good for diversity. It forces players to play a little different and adapt. Which is a good way to move the game forward and keep it from being "no rush 15" like the majority of maps were in the last year of WoL.

You guys actually ended up keeping the 3 maps I would have kept if I was in charge. These are solid picks to stay and are the best maps in the pool currently that are new.

Addtions

Foxtrot Labs - The only unique thing in particular about this map is the low ground gold base that is heavily exposed. Other than that this map should play out relatively normally, with the third bases being slightly harder than normal to take because of the high ground harass positions. This map isn't amazing but I don't have any problems with it being in the pool.

Deadwing - This map is very attractive at first glance. It's large enough that turtling won't exactly be the best strategy, but the first couple bases are just easy enough to take that this map will mostly come down to who wants to be the aggressor and who wants to be the defender. Which is a very good thing on a 4 player map where spacing isn't an issue. Solid addition. I expect this map to produce some very good games.

Catallena - Bias opionion here. Thank you SO MUCH for adding this map to the pool. This is one of my favourite community made maps ever. It may be a bit too similar to Merry-Go-Round but I feel it will play out a little differently. The distances are much closer between bases so it is relatively easy to play a macro game but players will be engaged with each other much more often. Not to mention this map is just easy on the eyes.

Nimbus - Straight up awesome map. I love the in-base high ground natural and that players have the option on which third they want to take based on spawn positions and the match-up. The open center means players will be hugging the sides of the map a lot and forced to take engagements. Which means while macro play may look favoured on this map. It isn't exactly easy. A very solid addition.

All of these maps are good or better and I'm very excited to watch the pros and play on them myself. To summarize. You guys NAILED IT! You removed exactly what maps needed to go, kept the best ones, and added nothing but good and great maps. All while maintaining the diversity needed to keep the meta-game from stagnating. None of these maps are particularly favoured for any race except Merry-Go-Round for Zerg.

Thank you guys so much for your work you obviously put a lot of thought and time into this. As a fan of the game and mapper myself I mean it when I say this;

This is THE best map pool the 1v1 ladder has ever had.
2 player maps - 2
3 player maps - 2
4 player maps - 3

Nice and balanced number of each I like it. Diverse as well.
Blink stikes back.
I feel like the discussion about these maps is basically going to boil down to this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKkMKbocjOA

On a more serious note, Im always excited for new seasons to begin because I love the addition of new maps to the pool. The 4 being added this season look awesome, and I cant wait to aquatint myself with them before the new season begins.
06/30/2014 01:38 PMPosted by Trapintime
2 player maps - 2
3 player maps - 2
4 player maps - 3

Nice and balanced number of each I like it. Diverse as well.


Not bad, 4 player maps will enter my veto list though and the new 2 and 3 player maps look fun to play on so I'd say this map pool is an improvement, but not perfect though.
I really look forward to the new map pool they seem to be promoting macro games very well, but I would like to point out 2 things:
On the map, Commune, I do not know if it is a smart idea to have gold island bases, it is possible for Terran to lift off and fly towards the gold base and start mining there, while there is no way to stop it.
On the map Nimbus, the entrances to the natural (from the outside) are blocked with rocks. This ruins most possibility's of rushes, so I suggest to replace the rocks with collapsible towers, since it can produce the same effect, while not completely neglecting any kind of rush.
Just my 2 cents.
PM: If the rocks are already destructible rocks, then please ignore what I said. :)
Not bad, 4 player maps will enter my veto list though and the new 2 and 3 player maps look fun to play on so I'd say this map pool is an improvement, but not perfect though.

Qouting Abathur here: "Perfection is moving goal...Can chase, cannot catch."
06/30/2014 02:05 PMPosted by Raver
06/30/2014 01:38 PMPosted by Trapintime
2 player maps - 2
3 player maps - 2
4 player maps - 3

Nice and balanced number of each I like it. Diverse as well.


It's actually:

2 player maps - 4
3 player maps - 1
4 player maps - 2

Not bad, 4 player maps will enter my veto list though and the new 2 and 3 player maps look fun to play on so I'd say this map pool is an improvement, but not perfect though.


Both octopus and merry are 3 player maps
06/30/2014 02:09 PMPosted by Shiranui
...

It's actually:

2 player maps - 4
3 player maps - 1
4 player maps - 2

Not bad, 4 player maps will enter my veto list though and the new 2 and 3 player maps look fun to play on so I'd say this map pool is an improvement, but not perfect though.


Both octopus and merry are 3 player maps


Gotcha, edited.
06/30/2014 01:31 PMPosted by Incubus
Waystation - Personally I liked this map even if it was a pain in the !@# to play as Terran. The alternate spawn idea was pretty cool and you guys MUST continue to explore features like this in the future.


Absolutely agree. Bad map for Terrans but excellent idea that different spawning positions gives completely different play experience, like it would be 2 different maps in 1.
06/30/2014 02:18 PMPosted by Xeno
Absolutely agree. Bad map for Terrans but excellent idea that different spawning positions gives completely different play experience, like it would be 2 different maps in 1.


But so far the two times they've tried it I've personally hated it. I like the idea as well but the execution of this idea needs a little more refinement. Hopefully we'll get that in Season 3.

No tears on my end for Waystation. I need to unveto Merry-Go-Round and start practicing on it again.

I'm looking forward to the new maps.
Excited about this new map pool, I think I'll be coming back to Starcraft to try them out. Interested to see how they play out, and to see how the Terran buffs play out vs Zerg with a more balanced map selection (as far as I can tell).
Pretty nice, so many new maps could really shake up the game. Even if they might disappoint, it's a breath of fresh air. Can't wait to see how they play out.

Btw, I think its interesting how everyone in the news-thread seems to dislike the new maps for various reasons, while this thread is much more positiv.

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