Suggestion for mapgen: clearer distinction between rotational vs mirror symmetry?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell where your opponents spawned. If the map requires early drops for expansion, it becomes critical to read the style of symmetry correctly. Could mapgen create some kind of visual cue so it’s clear when it’s a rotational symmetry map?

In more detail: in my view, on some maps, “transport first” early expansion is extremely make-or-break: if I read the map correctly, I seize 50-60% of my “lane” early on (and stomp my weaker opponent as fast as my weakest teammate gets stomped on the other side). But, if I misread the symmetry, my drop is in walking distance of an opposing ACU and the drop ends in disaster.

Yes, I can try to scout better. But if I can easily tell what symmetry we have, the first three minutes become less stressful and swing the game less often. As a result, people have more satisfying TMM experiences, therefore lead more fulfilled lives, and thus world peace becomes more likely thanks to mapgen.

Do you have an example of where you couldn't read the map symmetry properly? In 1v1s I do know that there is some sort of a bug where the opponent doesn't always spawn where you think, but in TMM you can usually use a random plateau or smaller mountain and see the symmetry due to that. The ACU spawn locations can be figured out as well by looking where the hydro + mex combinations are, that's what the 30 seconds are for where you build your land fac usually

Required rating for participation in balance talks when?

yea, sometimes it actually takes multiple seconds to calculate enemy spawns and map symmetry

Usually it is not a big deal but i remember sending lab to a wrong expansion couple of times or just generally not being sure if i calculated spawns correctly

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The problem is known, what we are lacking is a concrete idea how to make the symmetry obvious. Ideas are welcome

The main issue with the tmm mapgens is that they are setup for 4v4, 5v5, or more but only use some of those slots. The mapgen is designed with the intent that you only generate the number slots you actually use. In those cases for all true 3v3 generated maps I think it is normally easy to see the symmetry. For maps with unused slots it can be more difficult but there is not much to be done in those cases.

Some thoughts to @BlackYps ' point:

Could one option be the map title? As in, have it start with "R' for rotated symmetry and "M" for mirror or something like that?

Another option: perhaps making it create slight color variations in the terrain? Like in "Adaptive Moon" and "Moonlight Pass" where some of the ground is slightly darker. I guess it would have to be just in one area (mirror) or two areas (rotational) though; if it creates lots of areas like that it would just make it confusing.

Technically the map name already contains the symmetry type since it is the seed for generating the map from scratch. It is just encoded so that the name doesn't get too long.

And also because of that making arbitrary changes to the map name is not something that can really be done.

@blackyps could TMM just show the player spawns (without faction or player name info) at the start/for the first 30s of the game? No need then to try and change how mapgen generates the map and it gives the desired information much quicker and in a more new player friendly way

We could add new fields to the scenario info and make them query-able in-game.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

the game showing the occupied spawns at the start of the game sounds like a nice thing to add.

That already exists, we just need to enable it.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

Yeah that does sound like a good idea. There used to be a mod that did this, but I think it no longer works? I believe it was called "Reveal Positions" or something.

Just call it and I'll include it with the next patch 🙂

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

It should probably be an option.

Because otherwise it totally breaks somewhat blind, unexplored mapgen or even asymmetric.

Revealed positions but instead of doing what that mod did, tell you who spawned there, just shows that someone spawned there. Does revealed positions not work now because it was considered an exploit? Or something like that I could be misremembering.

@exselsior I believe that you're correct in that there was some sort of exploit being done when that mod was enabled, but I don't recall the details.

@Nomander Can you share some info about what makes your version of the mod "Reveal Positions (legal)" not take advantage of the previous exploit?

It might be what Jip is looking for to integrate as requested.

Basically the problem was that it would always reveal the positions of all the players. No matter the lobby settings, so even if the spawns were supposed to be hidden, the players using the mod would still get the information of who spawned where, giving them a very unfair advantage on certain maps and players sets.

@mostlostnoob The previous exploit was based on the fact that Armies 1, 2, etc spawned on markers 1, 2, etc., so you could look at the spawn marker positions from the save file and associate them with an Army, identifying which player got what slot (Armies also contain player name and faction data).

This got patched by FAF by scrambling the marker positions upon sim initialization for random spawn settings maps. This scrambling isn't reflected in the save file obviously, so there is no way for the UI to know what players spawned where, only where the spawn points are. The "... (Revealed)" spawn settings work by adding the newly scrambled positions to the Sync table for the UI to access and use to place the visual elements.

My version of the reveal positions mod still looks at markers in the save file, but it doesn't show player names if the spawn settings scrambled the spawns.