Understanding team maps

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No, the notion is that (dual) gap and astro maps are bad. This opinion would be the same regardless of playcount. There are plenty of good maps on the the top plays list, and they're not bad because they're played. Don't minimalise the opinion of people that you do not agree with.

You may not feel that most popular team game maps are bad, but others do not share that opinion.

Why is Dust2 my favorite counterstrike map even though every other map has more depth and variety in it's gameplay?
It's my favorite map because I run to a certain doorway every round and abuse my knowledge of meetpoints to get quick kills, inflating my MMR with one easy trick and no actual understanding of the game. Astro works the same way, you refine your one build order trick to farm rating. You're no longer comfortable playing a balanced game against someone with your new MMR on a map that doesn't involve your trick, so you stay on the same map to keep that rating.
This is how it goes for every map (on every game) that a player will farm out for rating, be it setons, gap, etc. Don't lie to yourself and fit arbitrary design prinicples to your case to justify it. We all know that they are played due to this reason. This is the fallacy of global rating and why it will be "removed" soon.

Jesus this again...

No one gives a shit about global rating.

If people cared about rating they'd just play 1v1. There isn't any real respect to be gained by being highly rated in global games. No one cares. The only thing that global rating is good for is having an objective means of figuring out how to balance sides in a game. That's it.

And if you think rating isn't transferable across maps, check my replay history. I play almost exclusively my maps, but yesterday played several games on several maps and won them all. I'm guessing some high rated ladder player jumped into a team game and got his ass kicked and then came up with this notion. Its bullshit.

If someone underperforms that's highly rated in a team game I don't assume its because they don't know the map, I assume its because they tend to play in some clan and get carried, or play in some clan that uses cheese tactics in a pickup game.

Where are the first two rules, Isaac Asimov?

It probably derives from Asimov, got the idea from some stupid internet law akin to Godwin's law. It was like the forth law or something and there were no preceding laws. Can't remember it now...

You make maps that allow players to make no mistakes or contest eachother, delaying any actual ability to win the game until you're able to completly basekill or snipe an ACU regardless of balance. Your maps do not abide by this principle, and you likely made this rule up as you wrote the post.

This is how essentially all popular team maps operate. Gap separates players by miles. Isis does the same thing. Dual gap ditto. Astro - check. Setons - its true for every position but the front.

There are certainly caveats. Isis and Gap both occasionally see early com deaths. I think Isis' overly technical openings are probably why its declined in popularity over the years. Its just not worth it for players to have to remember how to pull off 3 separate openings for just that map - and you need 3 openings if you want to play Isis well because the player community is small and people will remember what you opened with last game. So Isis has a hyper technical opening problem. Still popular, still mostly fits with my third law by separating bases and encouraging players to focus on reclaim rather than shooting the other guy in the face, but it is plagued by early player deaths just the same.

No, it's because half of the players on the map start with 9 mexes instead of 11. And you have no ability to compensate for that for the entirety of the game because the map has nothing inbetween the two bases. You all in before the 11 mex player can use that mass to snowball or you lose the game. There is no other outcome. I know you're trying to imitate setons-esque rotational balance with this honestly: stupid design choice. But you need to consider "why" beach can handle being a few mexes down, instead of putting a mex count on a poorly textured flat pane.

No man, play it. I mean, if you're going to correct me on it, at least play a single game on it. Yes it has local asymmetries, but lots of maps do, from Seton's to Rohai. People will play a map with local asymmetries.

People won't play maps that allow for early rushes.

What kills Pathogen is that it allows a rush. If I equalized the mex count on both sides, you'd still have a rush. You'd still wind up with early com deaths.

Rohai gets played - it fills, and it also gives one side an extra two mexes. Pathogen games end early and the people that invested time waiting in lobby for it won't wait for it the next time you host it.

Thus its a failed map.

And this is why I put this post up. I don't think people are really understanding some of the pitfalls in team map design. How can you understand these pitfalls if you don't understand why popular maps are popular. And perhaps you do understand, many of your statements have been less insane than some of the others debating here.

I don't know how to say something in a way that cuts through the ego and animosity and general hostility that this thread is bathed in, but if I knew how to do it I'd try to say "this is the purpose of this thread, there are things to be learned here, things that might benefit the community, map makers and players alike".

Now admittedly the local mass asymmetries were an experimental feature, had pathogen showed any promise as a fiilable map, I might have backed off on those asymmetries a bit, depending on how the map played. I make few maps and tweak the ones that show promise a lot generally to ensure that they play well, Pathogen never got past v1.0 and thus might have issues beyond the close spawns.

In the first and only game played on Pathogen, a 1700 rated player was immediately overrun because a fast map push was possible. The map failed to keep coms separated, and allowed conflict to occur before the middle game.

Think about Open Palms. That used to be a popular 3v3 map, used to get played a lot and was a launch map. Now its only played on ladder. Why? Someone would die on one of the sides at the 8 minute mark in like half of the games on that map. You can't justify waiting in lobby for so long to play open palms.

The outcome of that map is decided in the lobby. You got in enough players that didn't notice the gamebreaking imbalance and then they don't play it again. done.

Rohai has over 1000 games on it, I sure hope that no one notices the gamebreaking imbalances that has either. And man, Seton's players... they're gonna be so disappointed.

Its not the imbalances, deaths came so early that the imbalances didn't have time to play much of a role. I concede that those imbalances might have eventually become an issue for the map - or they might not have, I'll never know because it won't get played.

I tend to like small local imbalances in team maps. I see it as a tool to prevent games from going too late. Everyone feels like they're on a timer, everyone is under pressure. If you have fewer mexes, you're going to get rolled eventually - as long as its after the middle game the map is more or less fine. If you have more mexes, you have to kill the weak guy in front of you before your teammates fall. It encourages attacking in some spots, and turtleing in other spots, but gives the attacker the tools they need to end the game before someone starts building T3 static arty... or at least that's how I want it to work.

As an aside, on Rohai I've found that whether the game winds up being turtley or not is almost entirely dependent on who is playing the map. Some players have that play-style and will turtle under any circumstances. Others will attack even when the terrain doesn't favor them. Only so much a map maker can do. On days that I get several players with turtle play styles, people will complain that the map is a turtle map. On days when I get players that don't do that, I get solid enjoyable games.

Huh?

You have a point here. I should clarify.

If the mexes don't matter anyway - they're fine and can be put in the center... but if they don't matter why bother putting them in the center in the first place? Those mexes on gap for instance never get teched. I've seen people tech those mexes on Isis, but I never do. Its only worth doing if you've got some big ass firebase in front of it - and frankly those aren't really central mexes, and can be seen as an extension of the mexes of that base.

I think that for team maps the best way to go is for every mex to be clearly "owned" by someone... this greatly simplifies the map, and makes it more accessible to players new to the map. If I play Canis for instance and haven't played it in a while, I might get confused on which mexes are mine.

On Fossil I use a texture to visually associate all mexes for a player into a group, so that there's never any confusion.

People might say that results in turtley play, but it doesn't... as long as the "base" is huge the other team will have strong attacking options.

This statement doesnt align with reality. The most played maps in the vault violate this rule of intentionally forcing a stalemate. This fake design prinicple is one of the most innane things that I have heard from the mapping "community" thus far. Why bother trying to overjustify your creations when they look terrible, are gap clones with even less depth, and don't get played unless you host them? I would like to hope that anyone aspiring to be a "good mapper" on FAF would stop trying to focus on making false gospel, and focus on making their maps better instead. After all, you don't need to stretch this hard to justify good maps.

My maps do get played even if I don't host them, and I don't even need to get my buddies on the 1v1 ladder board to approve them to get them played.

The rule doesn't intentionally enforce a stalemate. Fossil uses low walls and very large bases to avoid a stalemate. TML and T3 mobile arty are super effective there. I assume you're calling Rohai a gap clone... which -is- how it started out, but I actually play with gap players, and they don't consider Rohai to be a gap clone. A lot of the people that play Rohai won't play gap games. Calling it a gap clone is the kind of shit people say if they haven't actually played any games on the map.

The map does however accept many of the design choices that made gap such an incredibly popular and well loved map. It accepts them and builds upon them... which is what anyone seeking to make a fillable team map should be doing.

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I played a game on ur rohai map, it's a gap clone. Map control means nothing and whoever sims up on their safe mexes faster into some sort of game ender or cheese strat will end the game.

Good luck with increasing teamgame diversity by making more uninteractive maps. Will eagerly enjoy the strategic depth of deciding whether nuke, scathis, or mavor is the optimal tool to win on these new maps.

I don't think you realize that this is a game built on trade-offs and these maps all remove the most fundamental trade-off of them all. Do they make the game unbelievably simple? Yes. Does it make the maps bad when they remove the notion of map control? Yes. It's removing a central pillar of the game. That makes it bad.

If it doesn't make it bad, then you must think that central pillar is bad. In which case, why are you even playing this game?

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@Mod_Councillor said in Understanding team maps:

I played a game on ur rohai map, it's a gap clone. Map control means nothing and whoever sims up on their safe mexes faster into some sort of game ender or cheese strat will end the game.
Good luck with increasing teamgame diversity by making more uninteractive maps. Will eagerly enjoy the strategic depth of deciding whether nuke, scathis, or mavor is the optimal tool to win on these new maps.
I don't think you realize that this is a game built on trade-offs and these maps all remove the most fundamental trade-off of them all. Do they make the game unbelievably simple? Yes. Does it make the maps bad when they remove the notion of map control? Yes. It's removing a central pillar of the game. That makes it bad.
If it doesn't make it bad, then you must think that central pillar is bad. In which case, why are you even playing this game?

Which game, was I in it?

I mean you claim to have played it right? Where's the replay?

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Isn't in the vault anymore, played it against gabber and some other dudes with a clanmate and some random 700 or w/e

I was mid and just made boys for 30 minutes, clanmate ended the game with air crush

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@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

@Stealth9 said in Understanding team maps:

Hey Moses, I have played mostly gap games up until this point. Why is it important ,to you, for 'astro/dualgap' type maps to be recognised as 'good' or even 'excellent'?

I think it informs map design. I think there are lessons to be learned from a lot of the popular maps that just aren't being learned.
...
I think a lot of people don't realize how large a factor lobby times are in what types of maps people are willing to play.

I do absolutely agree with you on lobby wait times, getting team maps that do not look like astro or dual gap to fill has proven to be a real game of patience.
I have the impression that this is more of a problem with the way team games are currently hosted.

I really do not think there is much for 'mappers' to be learned from astro/dualgap. there are some variations, true. there are limited options to change anything without altering the 'distance & player safety' balance.

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Femto found it for me since I can’t work java vault 4head

#10552494

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xd you dont even know how to watch replays, enjoy attempting to balance maps

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@Stealth9 Take a look at Fossil and Rohai if you haven't seen them.

There is room for innovation in the team map space. I think more people just need to understand what the boundaries are within that space, and what cool things you can do within it.

I agree changes to lobby would allow for more map variation.

Also... Rohai... its undergone significant changes since that replay was made. Check out the latest version with asymmetric mex placement.

The idea behind this post was really to identify the commonalities you find in team maps - including but not limited to Astro and Dual gap, and define them to give people a better idea of what types of maps are more likely to have a chance at filling.

Its also intended to fight the perspective that team maps that will fill are all shit. Why bother working on a team map if its pre-defined by some ladder snob to be a shit map?

The community would be better off if we didn't essentially define maps that can be filled in lobby as shit maps - and to various degrees, that is exactly what people are doing.

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The mex move does nothing impactful; I would still just whore on my safe mexes into some sort of game ending all in or a game ender itself.

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@Mod_Councillor said in Understanding team maps:

The mex move does nothing impactful; I would still just whore on my safe mexes into some sort of game ending all in or a game ender itself.

Join a game there. Show me that its broken.

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@moses_the_red Please stop deleting your posts. It is not healthy for a discussion of any kind.

There are two fundamentally different perspectives being described here on what people consider to be good with regards to a map. Personally I think this is due to how people want to play the game. If you have more people that think like this @moses_the_red , then please bring them in on the forums. That is what the forums are for - to give the community a voice.

Off topic: About your statement on whether people give a shit about global rating: generally there are more games with rating limitations then there are without.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

@Stealth9 Take a look at Fossil and Rohai if you haven't seen them.

There is room for innovation in the team map space. I think more people just need to understand what the boundaries are within that space, and what cool things you can do within it.

I will agree there is probably room for improvement, there always is.
I like your maps.

The idea behind this post was really to identify the commonalities you find in team maps - including but not limited to Astro and Dual gap, and define them to give people a better idea of what types of maps are more likely to have a chance at filling.

Its also intended to fight the perspective that team maps that will fill are all shit. Why bother working on a team map if its pre-defined by some ladder snob to be a shit map?

The community would be better off if we didn't essentially define maps that can be filled in lobby as shit maps - and to various degrees, that is exactly what people are doing.

I don't think the Astro/Gap is a shit map. I think it is the most simple and easy to grasp battleground. Being less negative towards these maps and players may be good for all.

If you go to the M&M team picks list you will find a variety of interesting looking team maps. When I look at that list I get the feeling that there were people involved who:

  1. dedicated a lot of time
  2. thought about their map design

Then I look at the authors, I see some high-rated players & long-time forum members. This tells me that they understand, to some extend/more than me, the game, it's possibilities and it's shortcomings.

To say these people should learn from Astro/Gap for their map design? I feel going to such an extend is a real disservice to those who have put so much time & effort into this FAF project.

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To say these people should learn from Astro/Gap for their map design? I feel going to such an extend is a real disservice to those who have put so much time & effort into this FAF project.

I personally feel I've learned from Astro/Gap's map design. I don't play Astro, I do sometimes play gap.

If some people believe they are too good to learn from popular maps... I think that's a too damn bad.

At the end of the day, there are many, many dimensions on which to judge any map. I'm not saying that literally everyone needs to stop what they're doing and go study Astro either.

But if you have a map that you feel you made that is a solid team map that doesn't fill... then perhaps you should go back to basics and ask yourself what the maps that are played have that yours doesn't. Part of the answer will always be familiarity and a long long list of fondly remembered experiences playing those more popular maps.

But there might be more to it...

I shared my failure with Pathogen because I do not think all the factors that can cause your map to fail are super obvious. On the surface Pathogen really doesn't look like a map that won't fill... at least in my estimation. Hell.. on the surface it looks a lot like gap. 4 distinct lanes, central reclaim, choke-points.

But its not gap, it lacks features that Gap and Astro have, and because it lacks those features no one will ever play it.

Gap is a far better map than Pathogen. Gap fills. I didn't learn what I needed to from those maps before making Pathogen.

My intention here isn't to insult anyone. I'm not trolling, I'm not trying to piss off the maximum number of people possible.

I don't think its super obvious why a map like Pathogen fails where Astro and Gap succeeds, and I try to avoid the kind of arrogance that keeps me from learning -why-. I could just decide that I'm a supremely talented map maker that couldn't possibly learn anything from those maps. I could decide that people like Astro/Gap for inscrutable reasons that have nothing to do with their design and everything to do with them being imbeciles/coveting their global rating/etc... but that wouldn't help me make better maps.

And if you already understand the realities of the lobby sim, and its impact on map design, then this post isn't for you. No need to take umbrage with it.

But I think that maybe some people out there could use this. These lessons weren't obvious for me. I don't think they're obvious for anyone else either.

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Off topic: About your statement on whether people give a shit about global rating: generally there are more games with rating limitations then there are without.

People use global rating to balance games. It is useful for that particular purpose.

The idea was floated that people stick to bad maps because they are terrified of losing rating, and that's nonsense.

I mean, if that were really true, they could always just host an unranked game.

I don't think global rating is some wildly coveted status symbol that prevents people from playing maps that they don't know.

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People care about global to balance games

Therefore they don't care about losing rating and becoming underrated/making others overrated

Because it being inaccurate in some way doesn't influence game balance

Deeply insightful.

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Anyway there isn't some "arrogant disposition to ignoring the lessons of gap" going around. If mozart, morax, biass, farm, or whoever wanted to make a dual gap or astro variation, well, they could. The map creation process is just as basic as the gameplay on the map. There is nothing difficult about it. And that's people's point.

To make a teamgame map that rewards interaction without swaying to either astro or badlands is the difficult golden mean both in playing and in mapmaking and it's what defines the best at both. I could open the map editor right now with zero experience in using it and make a version of astro in like 2 days, with 90% of that time being devoted to figuring out what buttons do.

This is the exact same premise in making 1v1 maps. It is not very difficult to make a map that forces you to turtle or forces you to chimp push with mantis. The hard part is creating maps where you could do one or the other, or do some mixture of the two, and have the game state be fairly even overall. Maps with a solution are bad.

Lots of people can want to play bad maps, sure. Still makes them bad maps.

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@Mod_Councillor said in Understanding team maps:

Lots of people can want to play bad maps, sure. Still makes them bad maps.

One man's trash is another man's treasure. They might be bad maps for the games you want to play, but good maps for the games someone else wants to play. That doesn't make the maps inherently good or bad; it all comes down to perspective and individual preferences.

I would really like for the elitist part of the FAF community to stop marginalizing the astro/gap players as well as others with preferences that don't match their own.

Also, if a mapmaker only wants to cater to what YOU (and others who feel/think like you) want, then the mapmaker might have little to nothing to learn from maps like astro or gap. But, if the mapmaker wants to make something that people with certain types of other map preferences want to play, then the mapmaker might have something to learn from maps like astro or gap.

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@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

No one gives a shit about global rating.

It's the one and only indication of your skill in teamgames on the client. People created mutiple smurf accounts to preserve their global rating and at one point: threatened to sabotage the client in order to gain a certain global rating that they wanted. To assume that global rating doesn't matter in FAF is out of touch. The only people who don't care about it are long time ladder veterans.

@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

And if you think rating isn't transferable across maps, check my replay history. I play almost exclusively my maps,

I know that. You're claiming your maps have high play counts in the other thread, remember?

@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

but yesterday played several games on several maps and won them all.

Congratulations on going from a gap clone to being carried in a hilly game.

alt text

And then you played isis, which is the same as gap.
Please only state evidences that are tenable.

@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

I'm guessing some high rated ladder player jumped into a team game and got his ass kicked and then came up with this notion. Its bullshit.

Feel free to just attack me instead of being underhanded.

@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

If someone underperforms that's highly rated in a team game I don't assume its because they don't know the map

If galacticfear doesn't perform as a 2700 rated player on wonder, why do you think that is?

@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

There are certainly caveats. Isis and Gap both occasionally see early com deaths.

I farmed up to 1100 global rating playing those two maps, you don't need to explain them to me.

@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

No man, play it. I mean, if you're going to correct me on it, at least play a single game on it.

Scenario: I hand you a piece of mouldy bread and ask you if the bread is good. I claim that you won't know if the bread is good until you try it.

You will not eat the bread, You will not eat the bread because you're able to identify flaws at the surface level without needing to consume the product. It is this ability to steer clear of products pre-emptively that prevents humanity dying off in droves.

I'm able to see the map is bad without needing to play it, thanks.

@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

Yes it has local asymmetries, but lots of maps do, from Seton's to Rohai

I mentioned setons in the post you're quoting?

@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

People won't play maps that allow for early rushes.

Maps that allow for early player "rushes"

  • Wonder
  • Canis
  • Hilly (It almost happened in your game on part due to your poor performance)
  • Gap
  • Badlands
  • Isis
  • Setons
  • Astro
  • The list goes on.

You shouldn't claim a statement and then form fit the user experience to match that statement. It's your job to ask "why are players just rushing down eachother" instead of spending time playing the map. A solution to that is that players see they're at an inherent disadvantage with no compensation.

@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

Rohai gets played - it fills, and it also gives one side an extra two mexes.

Your ability to be proud of your playcount when you're responsible for over half the plays is honestly incredible.

Moving a mex a touch to one side is not the same as putting extra mexes in the core mass. Especially if those two mexes are so irrelevant to the game state that the enemy player just...

alt text

Walks up and takes them?

@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

And this is why I put this post up. I don't think people are really understanding some of the pitfalls in team map design. How can you understand these pitfalls if you don't understand why popular maps are popular. And perhaps you do understand, many of your statements have been less insane than some of the others debating here.

I would like to think my mapping ability speaks for itself.

It's a fallacy in design to believe that all design choices are intentional. Astro already admitted to only making Astro as a 5 minute hackjob, and never expected it to become so popular.

"Duel gap" by KD7BCH was only a meme map with a meager 5 thousand plays. One day a random 700 dude comes up to me and suggests making a variation with some small changes, and the map then blows up to become one of the most played maps of all time. Did we expect that to happen because we followed some design philosophy? Of course not.

It's common for new(bad) mappers to try and overanalyse something in order to imitate the sucess. It doesnt happen. Focus on refining your skill, making it pretty, and experimenting with new ideas. New ideas get the chance at being good, second rate clones do not. There was, or is no "design" to be seen in gap or astro. A number of external factors aligned to make them popular. Take it from the creator.

@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

I don't know how to say something in a way that cuts through the ego and animosity and general hostility that this thread is bathed in, but if I knew how to do it I'd try to say "this is the purpose of this thread, there are things to be learned here, things that might benefit the community, map makers and players alike".

The reason why people are giving you the hostility is because they do not agree with the things you're trying to teach?

I just watched the pathogen replay. Not to feel vindicated but, look at the replay and consider WHO exactly went for those quick kills.

alt text

Here is one lane.

alt text

Here is the other rush.

alt text

This guy was slow, here he is.
The only person who didnt rush was you, and thats likely because map authors tend to play their idea of the map, instead of playing the map. Happens to me and happens to you, happens to everyone.

@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

Rohai has over 1000 games on it, I sure hope that no one notices the gamebreaking imbalances that has either.

You need to frame it and hang it on your wall at this point dude.

@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

those mexes on gap for instance never get teched. I've seen people tech those mexes on Isis, but I never do.

You're not good at the game, you need those mexes. People make the firebase to defend the mexes, not make the mexes because they have a firebase.

@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

On Fossil I use a texture to visually associate all mexes for a player into a group, so that there's never any confusion.

Brother I didn't think I needed to say anything but the map looks hideous. You should not need to create this categorisation in the first place.

@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

My maps do get played even if I don't host them, and I don't even need to get my buddies on the 1v1 ladder board to approve them to get them played.

Nice one. It's too bad that unfounded claims of nepotism reflect badly on the user leveling those claims.

@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

The rule doesn't intentionally enforce a stalemate. Fossil uses low walls and very large bases to avoid a stalemate. TML and T3 mobile arty are super effective there.

You thought up a design rule and then created terrain accordance to the design rule, thus, the rule forces a stalemate. If you didn't make the terrain with accordance with the rule, why in god's name did you make the rule..?

@moses_the_red said in Understanding team maps:

I assume you're calling Rohai a gap clone... which -is- how it started out, but I actually play with gap players, and they don't consider Rohai to be a gap clone.

Well I have a 2k rated friend who said it was a gap clone. So he must be right? I also have another 2k rated friend who said that ancedotal evidence like this doesn't mean anything, I think he is right too.

My third 2k rated friend thinks that you didn't bother to go and look at my maps before you tried to put me down, so he thinks that attempting to deflect criticism by claiming that "I haven't played it" doesnt make any sense.

I hope the next people who try and map put more time into their map than they do their forum posts.