Along with a new season of ladder play, we continue to update and refresh the map pools, with the goal of providing a fresh and invigorating set of challenges for StarCraft II players of all stripes. With the start of Season 3, you'll find a number of new maps to explore and master:
The 1v1 ladder map pool
Our goal for the 1v1 ladder map pool is to have the most competitive, balanced maps across three main categories. We want to have a good mix of maps that give a lot of variety which, in combination with our veto system, should empower each player to customize their map list to best fit their individual playstyle.
(4) Nerazim Crypt -- Normal
This map features close rush distances in most start locations, and the natural expansion is fairly easy to access, due to the rock guarding a part of the choke point. This means that the map won’t be strictly about the rush.
(4) Searing Crater -- Rush
(4) Searing Crater is a symmetric map with no spawn point that is favored over the others. Without breaking the two rocks, this map is very straightforward to play, but when the paths blocked by rocks are opened up, you'd better take notice!
(4) Abyssal Caverns -- Normal
Unlike (4) Searing Crater, Abyssal Caverns will have varying gameplay depending on where you and your opponent spawn. You'll want to bring multiple strategies to this map, and adjust your game depending on your and your opponent's start locations. This map also features an extremely large number of different attack paths, some of which can be opened up by breaking rocks.
(4) Antiga Shipyard -- Macro
This is the macro map for Season 3. Early on, it will be possible to easily take two expansions. This, along with the long rush distances in all start locations, will most likely encourage players to go for a mid- or late-game strategy, rather than a quick, rush-based strategy.
The 2v2 ladder map pool
|(6) Tyrador Keep||(8) The Boneyard|
In 2v2, we're trying to go with mostly maps where you and your ally have a shared choke point to defend. At higher levels of 2v2, there are clearly team compositions that are stronger than others on open maps. We're hoping to address this balance issue through map layout, since this is only a 2v2-specific issue.
The 3v3 and 4v4 ladder map pools
|(6) Green Acres||(6) Temple of the Preservers|
|(8) Fossil Quarry||(8) Deadlock Ridge|
Looking at the statistics, we're seeing that the higher level players rarely play these formats. Therefore, we've decided to go with a bit more of a casual-player-friendly selection of formats. We want to provide a good mix of fortress style maps, as well as rush maps, to cater to the broad player base here. Our goal for these two formats is for players to be able to enjoy variety in the gameplay, rather than trying to provide an eSports level of game balance.
We'll be watching these changes closely and reading your feedback, so let us know what you think in the comments below!