As we head in to the new year, we’ll be gearing up for a fresh season of ladder play. Along with the new season, you’ll find two new maps to explore and conquer for both the 1v1 and 3v3 formats.
The 1v1 Ladder Map Pool
The Heart of the Swarm beta has given us the chance to test quite a few new ladder maps, and we thought it would be exciting to bring a couple of them to Wings of Liberty. After reviewing all of the current Heart of the Swarm ladder maps, we narrowed the list down to the two maps we felt would best transition to Wings of Liberty gameplay. To make room for these maps, we plan to remove Shakuras Plateau and Tal’darim Altar LE from the 1v1 ladder pool.
(2) Akilon Flats
Akilon Flats features a fairly standard main and natural expansion. One of this map’s more interesting features is that you can choose from two different locations for your third expansion. Unlike Akilon Wastes in Heart of the Swarm, however, there will be no collapsible rock towers at the choke points leading to possible third base locations. This means the map will play slightly less defensive in Wings of Liberty than it does in Swarm beta.
(2) Newkirk District
Newkirk District is a symmetrical map that has a fairly straight forward flow for taking expansions and is relatively easy to split in half for the late game. We’re seeing this map has even win ratios across all levels of play in the Heart of the Swarm beta so far, and we’re interested to see how these ratios will look in Wings of Liberty.
The 3v3 Ladder Map Pool
In keeping with our goal of providing a variety of map styles within the team ladder pool, we created two new 3v3 maps that will play very differently from each other. In order to bring in these maps in, we will be rotating Monsoon and Ulaan Deeps out of the 3v3 ladder pool.
(6) Backwater Complex
This is a fairly standard fortress map that emphasizes macro play. Each team starts off in their own fortress, with additional expansion locations that you and your allies can work together to defend.
(6) Twisted Vern
The distance between starting bases on Twisted Vern is shorter than most of the team maps in the current ladder pool. This means that teamwork will be vital in order to hold off rush plays made by your opponents. In addition, the main choke point leading into your starting base is fairly small for a 3v3 map, which will make defending together vs. rushing the opposing team an interesting decision. Expansion locations are placed along the edges of the map, which will cause the flow of the game to evolve heading in to the mid and late stages of play.
All four 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. We'll be watching these changes closely and reading your feedback, so let us know what you think in the comment section below.
Good luck, and have fun on the ladder in 2013!