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chem

Are all non symmetrical 3/5/6 player maps destined to be unbalanced?

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It seems to me that the best you can get on these types of maps is an approximate guess at balance an estimate, which isn't much better than the basic westwood maps in red alert 1 like path beyond or  marooned 2.

Can you give me any examples of a non symmetrical map with 5 or 6 players that has almost perfect balance? Or does that map not exist?

It seems there are many factors working against it being fair, and those factors are not easy to quantify so all that leaves is for the map maker to make a rough guess at what is fair?

Do you think these maps are worth making?

Edited by chem

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This is a good discussion.

A number of years ago when created maps were starting to get into the ranked QM scene they were almost all uniform and symmetric. It created a high level of balance, but to me this was quite depressing. 

I look at a map like Isle of War and view it as an awesome map. Say, top right vs. top left. Top left gets an airport and a bit closer to gems, but top right gets an extra oil derrick. This is a fair map to me, I'm not sure if I would call it balanced, but I never complained on this map.

 

I prefer maps to have character instead of simply being symmetric.

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10 hours ago, chem said:

Are all non symmetrical 3/5/6 player maps destined to be unbalanced?

Do you think these maps are worth making?

3, 5 and any other map with an odd number of players will be difficult, if not impossible, to balance, but surely there are 6 player (3v3) maps out there that are. But that said, I'm aware that you're talking about TD, but I used to have a lot of fun on a 1v1v1 RA2 map called Canyon Fodder. It was never fair, but always fun :). So are they worth making? Yes.

 

1 hour ago, XXxPrePxX said:

I look at a map like Isle of War and view it as an awesome map. Say, top right vs. top left. Top left gets an airport and a bit closer to gems, but top right gets an extra oil derrick.

You mean The Alamo (RA2)? Yeah I think that's a pretty fair 1v1 map, up until mid-game anyway. But I think I would prefer 2 oil derricks than 1 oil derrick + an airport, especially since this map's oil derricks pump out 2.5x more than the normal ones.

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8 hours ago, fir3w0rx said:

3, 5 and any other map with an odd number of players will be difficult, if not impossible, to balance, but surely there are 6 player (3v3) maps out there that are. But that said, I'm aware that you're talking about TD, but I used to have a lot of fun on a 1v1v1 RA2 map called Canyon Fodder. It was never fair, but always fun :). So are they worth making? Yes.

 

You mean The Alamo (RA2)? Yeah I think that's a pretty fair 1v1 map, up until mid-game anyway. But I think I would prefer 2 oil derricks than 1 oil derrick + an airport, especially since this map's oil derricks pump out 2.5x more than the normal ones.

Thanks bro, thats good news, will check that map out I know ive played it but I have forgotten it, you are right there's more to a map than symmetry and balance, ultimately the most important thing is enjoyment and fun since this is a game and that's probably the reason we all play.  Balanced esports is fun too but there can be maps for that and maps just for unpredictability and fun, I noticed sometimes the maps that are inherently unfair or seemingly flawed produce the best games and sometimes the most perfectly balanced maps do not produce such a fun experience.

 

Thanks guys you answered my thread perfectly!  

Edited by chem

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6 hours ago, XXxPrePxX said:

This is a good discussion.

A number of years ago when created maps were starting to get into the ranked QM scene they were almost all uniform and symmetric. It created a high level of balance, but to me this was quite depressing. 

I look at a map like Isle of War and view it as an awesome map. Say, top right vs. top left. Top left gets an airport and a bit closer to gems, but top right gets an extra oil derrick. This is a fair map to me, I'm not sure if I would call it balanced, but I never complained on this map.

 

I prefer maps to have character instead of simply being symmetric.

Thankyou sir xD depressing lmao, I have noticed that even quite unfairly balanced maps make for very enjoyable games, thanks for reminding me of this! It seems like an invalid idea to have imbalance but imo its not, it seems to me that imbalance in skill levels (and areas of expertise in skill) mixed with imbalance in map layout creates more variability /variety/unpredictability/fun and less boredom than a map that's perfectly balanced.

I think you don't want to go too far though because having too much less than another player then becomes unpleasant and also predictable again

Edited by chem

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I think it isn't impossible, to have an uneven number of player slots being balanced. But TD sure makes it hard.

This is due to the following reasons:
- Maps are always small.
- Tiberium grows randomly in patches. Which for some reason, need to be as big as possible in opinion of most players.
- The grid is squared in combination with the limited terrain options for map making.
- Top down and left right effects.

Solutions:
- Small patches of tiberium. Let's say a 5x7 grid or so with 2 tree's in them. Players just have to accept the slow (but intended) income.
- Don't mind the terrain in being good looking. Just begin with only grass and water tiles. No rivers, no shorelines, no cliffs. etc. Just 2 terrain types. Build able and none buildable. This way, the map can be build balanced.
- Expanding to the third/fifth/seventh spot should be very hard with base creeping. Just force the guys to build that MCV.

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13 hours ago, X3M said:

I think it isn't impossible, to have an uneven number of player slots being balanced. But TD sure makes it hard.

This is due to the following reasons:
- Maps are always small.
- Tiberium grows randomly in patches. Which for some reason, need to be as big as possible in opinion of most players.
- The grid is squared in combination with the limited terrain options for map making.
- Top down and left right effects.

Solutions:
- Small patches of tiberium. Let's say a 5x7 grid or so with 2 tree's in them. Players just have to accept the slow (but intended) income.
- Don't mind the terrain in being good looking. Just begin with only grass and water tiles. No rivers, no shorelines, no cliffs. etc. Just 2 terrain types. Build able and none buildable. This way, the map can be build balanced.
- Expanding to the third/fifth/seventh spot should be very hard with base creeping. Just force the guys to build that MCV.

REALLY USEFUL INPUT X3M THANKS BRO! :) I WILL USE YOUR ADVICE DIRECTLY FOR MY NEXT NON SYMMETRICAL MAP 

Edited by chem

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Blistering Sands is still probably the best I've seen for a mass player, non-symmetrical.

It's been a favourite from a lot time back for a good reason. And Ferret also updated it to a 2.0 version, fixing some more minor balance issues.

As people are pointing out with map size being an issue, they're right... but by blocking areas off, you can create more room to have to move along to reach your destination. This is one more reason that I don't really like the big circle maps, with open space everywhere... they're actually small, in the way in that they play out.
By putting walls between players, you can make a map play as a larger map; see Quarry.

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It will also make scouting harder. So air will have less effect. Here is an example of a small map from another game:

https://liquipedia.net/commons/images/7/75/BoxerMap.jpg

 

It is a 64x64 map, while Starcraft knows 256x256 maps. This is freakishly small for a map. But the path length resembles that of a 128x128 map. See how the movement has to go to the left or right first, then diagonally across the map, just to have to go to the left or right again?

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