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AchromicWhite

Tournament map standards and variables

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This thread is born from the discussion being held in this thread here:
(some of it's a bit of a mess, so I've linked the comment where the discussion gets down to business)
https://forums.cncnet.org/topic/7930-spirit-of-design-funkyfresh/?do=findComment&comment=66046

If you're not aware of that thread and are reading this, I highly suggest that you check out the first one before proceeding here.

The idea that I'm trying to push is to get an official base for a ladder, up and running. I'd say it'd be better to get the settings and standards for the ladder first, before actually releasing points/placings for players to collect.

This thread is to discuss what features belong and don't belong on maps used for this mode of play, and what features are scaling variables.
Hopefully what we can come to the conclusion of will give us both a standard to the maps, and also an archetyping system, somewhat similar to the EARC system of StarCraft II: http://i.imgur.com/IQPAEpu.jpg

If all maps in a standardised also have an archetype, then whenever we create a smaller pool, we can easily select a varied pool for a tournament or a season of ladder. If it was thorough, we could maybe have an automated system set up to just roll new maps out from the larger standardised pool, several times during the year. This would give a fresh set of maps to practice and play on, and we might see different people do well under different circumstances. It also means that if there are map types that simply don't suit you, a simple veto system would mean that you would not ever be forced to play on such maps.

>>>Topics of discussion for what SHOULD NOT be on a map<<<
(Note that I'm just listing everything that people MIGHT have an issue with). Basically, I'm playing devil's advocate a bit.
As we come to some sort of conclusion, and it'd be good if we could (so reasoning behind your argument is important), I'll tick them a pass or fail. If you have more topics you want to discuss, say so and, I'll add them to the list.

>Seas of tiberium (you know what I'm talking about)
>If tiberium fields should have a max/min number of cells per field (so you could say; no less than 20, no more than 70, or something like that).
>Blocking routes using tiberium (How important is the route. How many cells of tiberium counts as blocked etc)
>Minimum number of blossom trees (so that resources never quite run out)
>Starting with blossom trees in or behind a players spawn (unlimited money/placement of blossom trees)
>Capturable assets; Production, Tech, Power Plants, Transport heli
>Pre-placed units/defences (including civilians and powered super weapons)
>Walls (not cliffs) that completely surround where the con yard is placed (stopping APC rush, etc)
>Completely open and extremely closed maps (obvious bike/buggy and turtle maps)
>Non-symmetrical maps (we'll assume closeness on this one... like if something's out by 1 cell, that'd be counted as symmetrical)
>Maps with middle spawn points (note that if a host starts near the middle, they can know where their opponent has spawned, but their opponent wont know where the host has spawned)


>>>Topics of discussion for what be scaled variables on a map<<<
(Same as before, I'm putting all the stuff in).

>The overall amount of tiberium
>The amount of tiberium near the players spawn
>The amount of tiberium a considerable distance from the players spawn
>How open/closed the map is in general
>How open/closed the area is around a spawn location (ability to wall early enemy units out)
>How open/closed the area that is a considerable distance from the players spawn (how open skirmishing areas are)
>Harassability of tiberium a considerable distance from the players spawn
>Accessibility of tiberium (related to base creep)
>How close the rush distance from spawns is
>How close the actual spawns are (flyer rush distance)
>Potential to "cheap shot" con yard (short actual distance from spawns, long rush distance... but can shoot up a cliff to hit the con yard etc)
>Base creep potential (I added this in because cn2mc mentioned it. I wouldn't mind a bit more explanation so that I can understand exactly how this differs from map to map).

From this list, it'd be good to be able to cut it down the number to AT LEAST four. So coming up a way to calculate a meld of multiple topics into an over arching term, would be perfect.
For example, we could call "offensive" a combination of an open area around a spawn location, an open area that is a considerable distance from the players spawn (lack of terrain between players), highly harassable tiberium fields, a short rush distance between spawns and a high chance of 'cheap shot'. Yet each topic of the "offensive" typing maybe more or less important, for example:
How open/closed the area is around a spawn location would probably rate quite high, while how open/closed the area that is a considerable distance from the players spawn is maybe rated lower.
So we could say; for a map to be "offensive", it has to score at least a 15 out of these 5 categories.
So then we rate each category with a potential amount that it can attribute towards the potential "offensive" typing.
Ex.
>How open/closed the area is around a spawn location (ability to wall early enemy units out) --- (score out of 10 points)
>How open/closed the area that is a considerable distance from the players spawn (how open skirmishing areas are) --- (score out of 5 points)
>Harassability of tiberium a considerable distance from the players spawn --- (score out of 5 points)
>How close the rush distance from spawns is --- (score out of 10 points)
>Potential to "cheap shot" con yard --- (score out of 2 points)

In this case, the higher score obviously goes towards it being more offensive, but each score would also give a counter score for an opposing type; let's say "defensive". So, if >How open/closed the area is around a spawn location (ability to wall early enemy units out); scores an 8/10 for openness, then it automatically scores a 2/10 for closed, which might well be an attribute for "defensive", but we would still want to decide what archetyping we feel really describes the play style of a C&C95 map.

So, now I see yourself asking "What the hell am I supposed to start with when discussing this topic?!"
I'll break it down.

Step 1.
>Add any extra features for what you think should not be in a map.
>Make a decision as to what you think should stay and should not (try not to sit on the fence too much, shit needs locking in).

Step 2.
>Add any extra features for what you think should be a scaled variable in a map archetyping system.
>List any of the features you think are irrelevant, state why.
>List 2-4 (honestly, even 4 is a lot... I'd love just 2) typing systems you think describe a C&C map. (ex: offensive vs defensive, rich vs thrift, roaming vs constricting).
If you look at this through the lens of the EARC system, 2 variables gives 9 types, 3 gives 27 and 4 would give a whopping 108 types.


(for later)
Step 3.
Once we have a list from step 2 which not only gives the variables for the over arching variables (offensive vs defensive etc), but also what variables make up the over arching variables, (what makes offensive etc); we can go ahead and place a score next to each variable to complete the system.

It's complex, I know; but the point is to consolidate this information into simpler and simpler ways to parcel a map, so that a system for tournament styled play is made easy for future users.

GLHF

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Many maps limit base creeping towards your opponent by using various methods: constricting or twisted geography, unbuildable cells, islands, lots of tiberium. I find the inability to expand offensively or towards tiberium to be more of a balance changer in a Nod vs. GDI game than the actual openness of a map.

F.ex. Green Acres is pretty much all wide open, but by base creeping GDI can deny Nod control over a big chunk of the map. 

I guess it can fit in as a subset of an open/closed type of scoring applied to the entire map. The other type of score should probably be for abundant/scarce resources.

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F.ex. Green Acres is pretty much all wide open, but by base creeping GDI can deny Nod control over a big chunk of the map. 

Could this be a result of middle spawns?
I've had the same issue, even in GDI v GDI on Blistering Sands, where, if one person starts in the middle, they can cut the map and just hold until the resources run out.

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Middle on GA is obviously a very good, possibly the best start on the map, but I'm talking about cross spots, they're still very easy to expand out of, and you can offensively expand right off the bat.

In contrast, Sands is a whole lot more closed and convoluted geographically. You basically only have economic expansion choices if you start in the sides, and even the two middle positions can only base rush a couple of others. Expanding here is also kind of forced away from the opponent by both ridges and resources. Even if you do successfully base rush the enemy, they always have an avenue for flanking you. If anything, Sands plays much more like Marooned than like GA on the tactical level.

I'm referencing Marooned for another reason. Even without middle starts it's a 'middle rules' map. So no, I'd say it's not the middle starts at fault, but the availability of space for offensive expansion.

With all this being said, knowing the map-specific builds and placements on GA, which are quite intuitive, evens out any visible geographical imbalances. I'd give it a pass for ladder or tournament. Well, maybe not for the finals stage. Not so sure about Blistering Sands. Definitely against Marooned, as it is too complex and different spots need very differently executed builds.

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Yeah, I'm not yet totally ruling out non-symmetrical maps, but they're something that needs to have an eye kept on them.
I've had great games on them, but on many occasions I've thought to myself "if I didn't start here, or he didn't start there, then I they couldn't have won like that" etc.

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If we could get some more people to reply to this so that we have a list of data from a good group of people, that'd be great.

The idea is to collect it here, move forward into what we actually WILL and WONT use. Put it along side what we want to have for game settings and then pass on the final ideas to Funky. That way we have all the information clear for the CnCNet team to see and we also have a good amount of people that show interesting in tournament/ladder play styles.

If we don't, then I don't see much of a reason for the CnCNet team to really program in anything. (Who wants to make content that wont be used). And if I just try to push it myself, it just looks like I'm speaking for the whole community, which I don't want to do.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, AchromicWhite said:

If we could get some more people to reply to this so that we have a list of data from a good group of people, that'd be great.

The idea is to collect it here, move forward into what we actually WILL and WONT use. Put it along side what we want to have for game settings and then pass on the final ideas to Funky. That way we have all the information clear for the CnCNet team to see and we also have a good amount of people that show interesting in tournament/ladder play styles.

If we don't, then I don't see much of a reason for the CnCNet team to really program in anything. (Who wants to make content that wont be used). And if I just try to push it myself, it just looks like I'm speaking for the whole community, which I don't want to do.

No one else in the community has gone to the effort of thinking it through and putting forward a proposal, everything uve said seems fair and well reasoned.  Perhaps we could get a bit more lax about the rules if they cause people to not join the tournament. If its not a problem then no need to relax the standards.  That's my opinion anyway,  especially with regards to the big names.(high ranking players)

Edited by chem
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11 hours ago, chem said:

No one else in the community has gone to the effort of thinking it through and putting forward a proposal, everything uve said seems fair and well reasoned.  Perhaps we could get a bit more lax about the rules if they cause people to not join the tournament. If its not a problem then no need to relax the standards.  That's my opinion anyway,  especially with regards to the big names.(high ranking players)

I don't think you understand the purpose behind all this.
https://forums.cncnet.org/topic/7930-spirit-of-design-funkyfresh/?do=findComment&comment=66046

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Just play it all in standard maps like the WW  days, the gamble at the start when u spawn is just part of the game the way it was meant to be.

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Posted (edited)
On ‎5‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 11:28 PM, AchromicWhite said:

By lax the rules I  mean for the highest level players only, if they insist, I don't think any of them will ask for HJK or a money map lol, they might ask for a standard map though. Even though its inherently unfair and I agree with your standards, id much rather see 2 of the best players in the world duke it out than only see one of them in the tournament. Thats all im concerned about. 

 

With regards to your concerns about money maps and people jacking the money up, well jacking the money up rarely happens, sometimes noobs do it , sometimes they have an infinite money mega battle, but for the most part 90% of the players are using 10,000 all the time everytime.

 

With regards to high tiberium maps, they will probably always be around because for many or even most they are alot of fun to play, big battles big carnage, etc. But people can and do learn how to play in different styles,  (on high medium and low tiberium maps, troop accessed or not troop accessed, team ffa or 1v1 its all a different style of play we have to learn) so I don't think its as bigger problem as you think it is?

 

Regarding the Korean guy hes just a new give him a few months and he will play so many games with 10000 credits that he will probably play that too and he will learn that that ithe standard is.  I used to jack the money and units up when I started playing or had pre existing scouts, slower speed , more defensive maps, etc that's just beginner tendencies, no ones gonna start using 20,000 or anything else as the standard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by chem

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10 hours ago, BluySY said:

Just play it all in standard maps like the WW  days, the gamble at the start when u spawn is just part of the game the way it was meant to be.

Yeap, but no one really plays those maps nowadays. Last time I was online and chose Green Acres or Red Sands, people keep suggesting other maps.

Would be nice if we get to play WW maps.

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1 hour ago, ore_truck said:

Yeap, but no one really plays those maps nowadays. Last time I was online and chose Green Acres or Red Sands, people keep suggesting other maps.

Would be nice if we get to play WW maps.

Yeah, well we talked about including some of those. Which is what this thread is about.

The thing with including too many maps that are asymmetric, OR simply lack a standard but are being used IN a competitive setting is that the outcome is often geared on where you start... similarly to viceroids/crates etc. It's not that the game WILL come down to it, it's that it plays such a big factor in the game.
If you did want to play a match with such features, you could just play a non-tournament setting, as you can now.

This thread is about deciding what we want to have, collectively, as a standard to competitive play.

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I'd say GA, Eye of the Storm, Village of the Unfortunate, Nowhere to Hide are decently balanced even with the random starts. I'm tempted to also put Red Sands in the list, but... reasons. 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, AchromicWhite said:

Yeah, well we talked about including some of those. Which is what this thread is about.

The thing with including too many maps that are asymmetric, OR simply lack a standard but are being used IN a competitive setting is that the outcome is often geared on where you start... similarly to viceroids/crates etc. It's not that the game WILL come down to it, it's that it plays such a big factor in the game.
If you did want to play a match with such features, you could just play a non-tournament setting, as you can now.

This thread is about deciding what we want to have, collectively, as a standard to competitive play.

I agree with White we are trying to find the best player not the luckiest,  man I cant stand unfairness, why run a race if 1 person has to carry a weight and the other doesn't because then it doesn't determine who is fastest unless the weight carrier is so much better madness imo

If big names are going to drop out then we should concede on some of the original maps tho imo

 

Edited by chem

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Well, if you read the post that I linked. It shows what this is about. Making a place for new people to come and learn and then start playing competitively.

No one new can do that if they're just going into random games.

IF there's a clear competitive game mode, that has certain standards, then we might actually get more players.

Like seriously, if you're new, how long would it take for you to find out which maps are good for competition and what settings should be on/off? And if you're wanting to dive in, you might just get bored and leave; figuring that this game is just people playing silly rules and that there is no true competitive play.

17 hours ago, cn2mc said:

I'd say GA, Eye of the Storm, Village of the Unfortunate, Nowhere to Hide are decently balanced even with the random starts. I'm tempted to also put Red Sands in the list, but... reasons. 

Yeah, and we could do this. Like, we could either say "maps have to have these standards" and enter them that way... or have standards for other maps, and pick a list of originals to accompany.

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2 hours ago, AchromicWhite said:

Well, if you read the post that I linked. It shows what this is about. Making a place for new people to come and learn and then start playing competitively.

No one new can do that if they're just going into random games.

IF there's a clear competitive game mode, that has certain standards, then we might actually get more players.

Like seriously, if you're new, how long would it take for you to find out which maps are good for competition and what settings should be on/off? And if you're wanting to dive in, you might just get bored and leave; figuring that this game is just people playing silly rules and that there is no true competitive play.

Yeah, and we could do this. Like, we could either say "maps have to have these standards" and enter them that way... or have standards for other maps, and pick a list of originals to accompany.

Yea perhaps "ranked matches" or like you said competitive mode where you aren't always ranked , should be a thing, like in RA2 where they had only tournament maps and other things as the set standards etc!? Sounds like a good idea to me.

 What do you think about resolution as the standards though? Its not something that's normally standardised. Im lucky in that I play the same resolution as you so I have no problem playing at that resolution for the tournament but it would have been a big issue for me a few months back where I was only used to very high resolution. Equally some players still play at 800x600 or 640 x 480 which is closer to the original game resolution. What makes you decide the resolution should be 1200 x 768? With a big distain for anything high res? I ask because isn't high resolution a disadvantage overall?

 

 

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