Season 1 of 2014 Ladder competition is less than two weeks away, and with it, we’re adding a number of new maps to the 1v1 and 2v2 map pools. We’ve already published the new maps below to the Custom Games list, so after you’ve given them a quick look here, be sure to log in and get a few practice games on each before the season rolls at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, January 3. Before we check out the new maps, David Kim had a few words to share on our current goals with ladder map pools as we head in to the new year:
Current Goals for the 2014 Ladder
We heard your feedback on Alterzim, but we really want to push for map diversity and our data at the highest level of ladder play shows no significant matchup balance concerns. We’re going to try Alterzim in the next WCS season, but because the feedback surrounding this map is important too, we’ll be extra careful in making sure the map works well and take extreme measures if a clear problem develops on this map at the pro level. Thanks for your feedback; it’s great to hear your feelings about Alterzim. Please keep sharing your thoughts with us throughout the next season, and we’ll watch together to see how it turns out. Here are a few of our goals for the ladder pool as we move in to 2014:
- We’re still looking to align the WCS map pool with the 1v1 ladder map pool.
- Ever since we heard your feedback in this area and executed on it, this has been a very positive experience and we’d like to continue to align the WCS pool with the ladder.
- The 1v1 map pool will still feature seven maps with three or four rotated out per season.
- We strongly believe map diversity in tournaments keeps the game fresh and continues to give pro players more to explore, so we’ll be pushing this area pretty hard.
- We’ve heard some mixed feedback in this area and we’re also aware of our community members who might think rotating out so many maps per season might be too much, but we’ll check how the next season’s map pool goes and tweak this area if needed.
- Two of our three team map pools will be changed every season, and each team map pool will still consist of eight maps per season.
- We definitely heard your feedback and agree we could do more on the team maps side.
- In subsequent seasons, we’ll be going with at least two new maps in two of the three team formats per season.
- Because Season 1 will feature two new 2v2 maps, Season 2 of next year will be something like two 3v3 maps and two 4v4 maps, Season 3 will be two new 2v2s and two new 3v3s, and so on.
Please keep in mind that none of this is completely set in stone and that these are just our current plans. We’re sure that some of you will have feedback in this area as well and we’re very much open to suggestions that will positively impact our plans going forward. Now that you’ve got a closer look at our vision for the map pool, let’s take a look at the additions for Season 1.
The 1v1 Map Pool
We're adding three new maps to the 1v1 pool in Season 1, and as always, making additions to the ladder pool means we’ll be removing a few of last season’s maps. Ladder Season 1 will once again feature seven 1v1 maps in total. Here are the maps we’ll be removing, followed by the new additions
Bel’Shir Vestige LE
Star Station TE
Habitation Station LE
Heavy Rain LE
Now that we’ve unveiled the new maps you’ll be playing on this season, we’re pleased to show you the complete 1v1 map pool for Ladder Season 1 and 2014 WCS Season 1:
Complete 1v1 Map Pool for 2014 Season 1
Alterzim Stronghold TE
Habitation Station LE
Heavy Rain LE
Polar Night LE
The 2v2 Map Pool
In addition to the changes being made to the 1v1 map pool, we’re also making changes to the 2v2 map pool. Below, you’ll find the list of removals, along with a description of each map that we’re adding.
The Bone Trench
On Avalanche, your team will start in a fortress that flows into another expansion area that’s easy to defend. There are four expansion locations available in these two safe spots, and we expect more buildup and macro type of gameplay on this map. The remaining expansions in the top left and bottom right corners of the map should also be easier to defend than most other 2v2 maps we have. We expect lots of mid to late game play on Avalanche and feel it will be fairly straight forward to work together with your ally on this map.
Due to the very close rush distance between mains, and the destructible rocks that protect mid-map expansions, we’re expecting a lot of early game action on Crooked Maw. However, because the primary ramp leading into the main base is fairly narrow for a 2v2 map, it’ll also be possible to play a more defensive playstyle as well. We’re hoping to encourage early aggression and fast gameplay experiences but not necessarily short matches.
Complete 2v2 Map Pool for 2014 Season 1
Isle of Slaughter
All five of the new maps have already been published to the custom games list in order to give you a chance to check them out before the season roll. Feel free to fire up a few games on the new maps and let us know what you think in the comment section below. Once Season 1 begins at 12:01 a.m. PST on Friday, January 3, each of these maps will appear in matchmaking queues for competitive play.
Good luck and have fun on the 2014 Season 1 ladder!