ET competition maps guidelines

(raibs) #61

i am a bit in map making and a lot in clan games, so basically i have thought a lot of on this theme. just my 2 cents:

  • the map layout - two general paths to objective, but one of them dividing in two close to obj. (imagine them as I and Y schematic view). The shortest path would be the simple one, but much easier to defend. It is used for rushes when a whole team tries to take the defenders by surprise or when u need to get quickly to the obj after wiping out most of the defence. The second path is were u go usually - it is longer but rather safe as defenders dont see your exact movements. at the end right before teams meat ofenders can choose which way to go as the path divides in two. Between these two should be some structures that block visibility so that its impossible to defend them both from the same position with ease (like 2 floors, 2 doors on different sides of the building). Examples are good old rtcw maps: base (exclude radar 2 from layout - noone defends it), the final stage of beach, were u carry objective etc.
    To alter the leghth of those paths u can use 2 spawnpoints for offenders.

  • spawn times should be in intervals 20 and 30 seconds. other nominals make it hard to calculate every next opponents reinformenttime once u spotted one. If one team has 30 secs and other 35 secs its a disadvatage for 30 sec team as its hard to calculate when u have to be ready to face reinforcements. eaqual spawn times might give an unfair advantage for one team too. An example would be the defenders respawning always some seconds before offenders get to the place they can start attack. As a result defenders are always at their positions and ready to defend. That kind of game often can produce full holds. Its best to have 30 sec spawn for defending team and 20 sec for offending team to my mind. This approach also makes it possible for offenders to attack in stages - e.g. to wipe out enemy primary defence, hold the place and wait for reinforcements.

  • size of the map should not be large. large maps are fps killers and noone likes them. rtcw base was a perfect example of 1 obj map (without a flag), beach, ice, village - 2 obj maps. One or two obj is what u need. more is too hard to adapt.

(Marko) #62

Citadel_obj was designed to be an offensive map. BT|Svarvsven as his clan mates have helped me to set up a “comp” version of the map which isn’t released yet with those clan war rules like 30/20 second spawns & similar stuff.
The “public” release can be found here:

If anyone is willing to give ideas for the comp version of the map, I will be really willing to get the feedback & make all the changes that are needed.

There’s one thing I would really like to discuss though : the 30 second respawn for the defending team. This means, in most 6 VS 6 games,attackers simply need to kill the defending team to be 90% certain to win the map. I think it’s good for a defending biased map but could really spoil it on an attacking biased map since defending teams don’t get a second chance to defend :disgust:
It means objective maps are just turned to “kill ze enemy” maps and loose all their interest. With a smaller spawn time, I don’t think it plays against any of the teams, especially if the map is really attacker biased…

Also, aren’t clan wars about setting a time in a map? If so, an attacker biased map is probably what would be the best in this kind of game :beer:

Thanks for your time, any feedback on citadel_obj for a comp version will be really appreciated :clap:

(Kendle) #63

Usually for the map to be offensively biased the defending team spawn needs to be longer, and yes that does mean “kill ze enemy” is what it’s all about, to a certain extent.

However, the 30/20 rule isn’t hard and fast, the point is the attacking team need to be able to get to the objective within a spawn cycle of the defending team, as explained in the opening post, so that 30/20 could be 25/20, 40/30 or any other combination you can come up with depending on where the objective is in relation to the 2 spawns.

It’s also one of the reasons doc run maps are popular. The attacking team can “kill ze enemy” to grab the objective, but then they’ve got to run it home, thereby giving defense an opportunity to recover it and save the day, or at least until next spawn!

If it’s a “blow something up” type map you might want to reduce the difference, to give defense a better chance. But don’t go overboard. One of the reasons Fueldump is such a bad map is that Axis spawn is 30 seconds, and far too close to the objective. Allies have little chance of planting dynamite with a 30 second fuse and then defending it against Axis re-spawning right on top of them before it blows. Fueldump would’ve worked a helluva lot better just by making Axis spawn 40 seconds IMO.

(Spark) #64

Jup, I agree, that would be extremely dull. It should be hard to win the offense, but it should also be very hard to hold the defense for longer than 10-15 minutes (considering roughly equal team strengthes). Like everything, this has to be balanced very well. Either the defense should have some positional and/or environmental advantage which makes it difficult for the offense to get through, or the defense should have some spawn advantage. Another way is to have a lot of offense phases which take some time to complete, so the defense has lots of chances to slow down the offense if they are good shots, even if all odds are against them. A good example for this should be tc_venice. Basically the defense has absolutely no chance to full hold on this map, but they have plenty of possibilities to slow down the attack and accomplish a good time (10-15 mins). A downside of this solution is, that it’s probably less tactical (which can also be a good thing, at least for a change).

Yes, that’s the point. For consistency reasons, competitive ET maps shouldn’t be too repetitive though and it shouldn’t be possible to win them with ease in one rush. After all this isn’t round based and we also don’t play ABBA anymore, so winning a map fast should be a tough amount of work (always think of the shoutcasters :D).

As for Fueldump, I don’t think that defending the dynamite was the big problem (in fact, I can’t remember the dynamite to be defused a lot), but rather that you had to dynamite two objectives in a row. Together with the spawn disadvantage, this made it an almost impossible task. Of course you could play with a Covert Ops, but realistically this means playing 5on6 and that doesn’t make it easier. I’m sure that Fueldump would have been quite playable (without the com post spawn) if the depot gates could be destroyed with grenades for example. I still wouldn’t (and don’t) like Fueldump very much though, for various gameplay related reasons. :slight_smile:

(Kendle) #65

Er, what leagues do you play in then? We DO still play ABBA in all the competitions I know of (apart from the UK Savage League who only play 1 SW round). I agree that maps shouldn’t be winnable in a single offensive push, but they must be winnable by the attacking team more often than not. Competition IS all about setting the fastest times. That might make comp maps “dull” by public play standards but that’s beside the point. Defense should NOT have any positional, environmental or spawn advantage that makes it impossible, given 2 equal teams, for attack to set a time.

I agree though that multi-stage maps are better, as single-objective maps, that are winnable in a couple of minutes flat, are no good for ET. Multi-objective, multi-phase maps that take a good 10 - 15 minutes to complete are ideal, but even so the defense should not be granted any favours beyond the chance to slow down the attacking team across multiple phases. If defense are granted so many favours that they can stop the attacking team completing the objective entirely (as in Fueldump), the map is no good for competition.

(Marko) #66

well I didn’t really give any advantage to axis in the citadel map. Even though the spawn times are 15/15, allies spawn closer to the aobjective than axis… which means axis are bound to loose the map. Even on a huge 35 player server, axis didn’t manage to keep it for over 10 minutes :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:
The map is fully allied baised and axis can hold a few minutes… but they are bound to loose :clap:

(=DaRk=CrAzY-NuTTeR) #67

why is that good?

(Kendle) #68

So that times get set, which is what Stopwatch competition is all about. Clan games aren’t won by whichever team can achieve the objective (or prevent the other from doing so). Clan games are won by both teams taking turns to attack and seeing which can achieve the objective fastest.

(Ifurita) #69

you also have to consider the time it takes to play a best of 3 match, w/ potential ties. matches with lots of 30 minute full holds are simply boring and grueling on everyone involved

(DG) #70

Just so you dont get too carried away with makig it easy for allies, part of it is because attackers tend to have the advantage of all 6 attacking one route, while defenders have to split up and/or shift about to cover each route. Generally, 6 attackers taking a route all 6 defenders are at should fail, at least for the majority of attempts, unless the attackers are much better (aim, teamplay and timing/tactics).

However, it aint that easy for defenders because if they have all 6 in once place, attackers go the other way, so defenders might have 3 in both routes or 2 each and 2 who float to where needed, and if attackers break through, the 2/3 at the other route fall back and try to hold right at the objective until their teammates respawn and they can try to thwart the attack more completely. Routes SHOULD be biased in favour of defenders, were it not for the fact that they have to cover several while attackers only need to cover 1. Bear in mind also that attackers only need a single good breakthough, while defenders need to try to hold every single one.

Thats the real difficulty IMO, trying to understand the dynamics and tactics available to both teams while still at the planning stage and nobody has played it. This I think is where clans can give most help, at the earliest stage, and testing betas should be for relatively little tweaks like maybe wether an area should be mine-able or not, wether there’s too much/too little cover (for defenders or the atatckers), at worst for making a sub-route a bit shorter or longer.

BTW this is one reason why maps can be great for 6v6 stopwatch and still be great for 10v10 public campaign play. On 6v6 stopwatch, teamplay is way better and players will wait & hold an area or /kill to attack as a unit, whereas on public not only will a sizable chunk of players go and do their own thing but they tend to come in smaller groups as they dont hang about to attack as a group of 10. Oasis seems very well balanced and popular for public campaign servers, yet from what I hear it’s probably the most popular map?

While I’m here, I think it was infurita who posted about making a clanwar version of his new map just by using the etpro map scripts. This might well be another useful tool for having maps be suited for public campaign play yet tweaked for stopwatch use. Ideally maps should be suited to both in the first place, and TBH battery and fueldump still arent exactly popular clanwar maps even with the tweaks, but this could be a convenient way to have a single map with no extra downloads for the “TE” version, provided suitably planned for. At worst, they may well make it easier for beta testing to decide which way to go if there’s something youre not sure about - instead of going on with half a dozen beta maps.

(Kendle) #71

The voice of reason, as always DG :wink:

Yep, Oasis and Goldrush are 2 examples of where SD got it right in nearly all respects. Both maps play well on publics and in Clan wars.

In Clan wars they offer enough “stuff” for the attacking team to do to make it difficult for them to set stupidly quick times, and yet requires teamwork and co-ordination from the defense to prevent them doing so. Each of these maps consist of clearly defined defensive “phases”, whilst providing the attack with several options for each one.

A mapper would do well to look at why these 2 maps work (and Fueldump doesn’t) to understand what’s required for competition. Indeed, just look at Venice, which mimics Goldrush to a certain extent.

(Spark) #72

Well Kendle, I think we agree, not sure what you tried to tell me. :wink: As for ABBA, I think that’s a misunderstanding, ABBA isn’t two stopwatch rounds, it’s FOUR stopwatch rounds (two on each map, so both teams once start as offense on each map) and I don’t know any european competition doing it. :slight_smile: ESL tried to introduce it once but had to remove it immediately because clans were simply refusing to play four times on ET maps. That’s why maps like tc_base don’t fit in that well, which are usually finished in ~5 minutes.
I agree with everything else and DGs posting is extremely good. Goldrush and Oasis are indeed great maps (IMO by far the best), but they are pretty defense biased to my understanding. :slight_smile: New ETPro settings have improved this somewhat and it seems that players are getting more skilled during offense. At least the number of double fullholds has shrinked IMO, which is great. :slight_smile: Still usually if you manage to set a time on those maps, then you have won. Only rarely are times beaten, unless they were extremely bad times. I have seen a few ~7 minutes on Goldrush beaten, but those are exceptions to the rule. :slight_smile:

(CptnTriscuit) #73

Aww everyones (no pun intended) dumping on fueldump. If there had been an additional forward spawn for the Allies say, attatched to the command post in the little garage, I wonder if it would have worked for competition?

How do you competitive players feel about slightly abnormal map objectives? In the map I’m working on now, the first objective for the attackers is to activate 3 levers, that will switch the attackers to the forward spawn and open the doors to the main objective room. As long as they don’t cause the gameplay to change too much, are you guys cool with it?

(DG) #74

I thought anywhere that does a er match on 1 map does ABBA, while most placing doing 2 maps seem to do AB on one then BA on the other.

ABBA can and is said to be 4 stopwatch rounds and also can and is (at least as often, i thought) said to be 2 stopwatch rounds, where A and B are each half of a round, though personally would prefer if people stuck to AB BA = 4 rounds = 2 sets = 1 match

erm and now back to topic :stuck_out_tongue: Point is clans tend to play in a way that means if everyone makes full holds, the map’s timelimit duration would occur 4 times over, plus maybe 10mins if your lucky at the start and maybe another 5 between each er “set”, and really would prefer the actual playing part to be over in say 45min - 1 hour?

(Kendle) #75

IMO ABBA is 2 Stopwatch rounds. In Clanbase they play 2 SW rounds, 1 SW round (AB) on 1 map, then a 2nd SW round (BA) on another map. In UnterElite we play 3 SW rounds (ABBAAB) on 1 map. In Savage they play 1 SW round (AB) on 1 map. So ET competition IS round based, and setting times is what it’s all about, at least on this side of the pond.

ETPro and Clanbase/ settings (limited XP) have helped greatly to reduce double full-holds on most maps. Fueldump now has a spawn in the Garage, but it’s the need to blow defenses AND Dump within a 30 second Axis spawn that buggers it up still.

@CptnTriscuit, I don’t think it matters what the objective is, as long as the attacking team have a better than evens chance of achieving it.

(Spark) #76

Well, then complain at ESL about them using the term ABBA to describe the four stopwatch rounds system that was popular in RTCW. :wink: I understand that you can see it both ways, but who cares. :slight_smile: You know what I meant.

Yup, kind of objective doesn’t matter (@Triscuit). Just make it fun and be aware of all the gameplay consequences of your objectives.

Fueldump is certainly very playable for competition now with the forward spawn in ETPro (some matches have proven this), but it’s not really more popular. Of course this could be because too many players have a bias against this map now, but personally I simply don’t like to play it and I believe that this is a good example why making a map offensive biased isn’t everything. Same goes for Battery, it’s very agressive now but I still don’t like it (for competition).

(Kendle) #77

Yep, terminology is irrelevant. I only use the term 1 SW round for 2 games played AB (or BA) cos that’s how it’s always been described in the circles I move in, and because you score 1 “round” win per AB (or BA). Play 4 “rounds” ABBA and the score will be 2 - 0, 1 - 1 or 0 - 2 (assuming no draws), as opposed to 4 - 0, 3 - 1, 2 - 2 etc. which is what you’d expect if it were 4 proper rounds.

The point is competition, as in Stopwatch competition, isn’t about 2 teams playing a round and whoever wins scores a point or whatever (and then playing x number of rounds depending on league format). Stopwatch competition is about playing 2 rounds and then only awarding 1 point to the team that achieved the objective the fastest. It’s a fundamentally different concept to Campaign and normal public server play, and I think a lot of non-Clanned people (not just mappers) have a hard time understanding that.

A good Stopwatch competition map has to be more easily winnable by the attacking team than the defending team, assuming the 2 teams are equally matched in the first place. If it’s easier for defense to win (i.e. full hold (eg: Fueldump :wink: )), it’s pointless playing it.

However, trying to calculate spawn times, time to objective, routes taken, balance, etc., is a nightmare, and I’m not clever enough personally to say “this is the way to do it”. If I were to make a map myself (assuming I had the skills, which I don’t), I’d make the map biased to the attacking team as much as I could, but then introduce a level of difficulty for them by making it multi-stage, i.e. giving them a lot of things to do, and the defense therefore more than one opportunity to recover the situation.

Take Battery as an example, which is this weeks map in the UK Savage league. The new ETPro version (with dynamite-able back door) is now too easy for Allies, whereas the original version was stupidly easy for Axis to full hold. The problem with Battery is it’s single-objective, which means it can only ever be too easy (new version) or too difficult (original version), whereas what we really need is something in-between. My own personal view is that this is achieved by having several objectives, each of which on their own is easier for attack to achieve than defense to prevent.

(Ifurita) #78

FWIW, we (Mustard and I) provided a fairly detailed concept sketch of a new map, designed for SW play, and posted it and a description of the objectives/gameflow in the Jolt, SD, and TeamWarfare forums. We have gotten a very good response and tons of very good, very constructive feedback. I definately encourage others to do this. I think the key here is, provide as much detailed information and visuals as possible, as this helps others envision how the game might run and then provide constructive commentary.

(CptnTriscuit) #79

Glad to hear that unusual objectives are not ruled out.

@Ifurita, thats a good plan, I will post my plans/sketches when I get home tonight.

(Ifurita) #80

FWIW, here’s the progression of sketches:

Mustard provided me a scanned drawing of a map layout

I used Paintshop to mark elevations then copied this into powerpoint to add buildings, annotations, comments, and routes. This was posted in a couple of forums.

As we get feedback and suggestions, I discuss this with Mustard and make the appropriate changes for more comments and feedback

The next step will be roughing out some terrain, laying in the entities, and blocking out key buildings and hallways, so that we can test connectivity, gameflow, and timing

Hope this helps