Zerg Thoughts on 1v1 Ladder Map Pool

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Zerg Thoughts on 1v1 Ladder Map Pool

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[center]Zerg Thoughts on 1v1 Ladder Map Pool[/center]

By: SpoR      
 February, 27th 2011

[indent]These are my initial thoughts on the current ladder maps. Imbalances, questionable features, concerns, and general map creation issues. I tried to test everything I could think of

(as far as major zerg concerns) but I may have overlooked some things, so please mention things you know of to add or argue against so it can be addressed and changed in the OP. I'll

write a short paragraph about each map and then list some positive (+), negative (-), and neutral/undecided(=) changes. Also note, I haven't done any real playtesting with good players,

I've just done preliminary unit/position testing for a few hours and I already have a good grasp of how a typical zerg will progress on any given map vs all races and possible spawn

positions. I am not skilled or knowledgable enough to speak on behalf of TvT, TvP, or PvP. So while information may be added to the op pertaining to those MU, I won't go into detail about

it. Also, this is not another Zerg QQ thread, I think overall the changes and new maps are good (step up from what we had before at least) it's just me giving my feedback on current

ladder map pool in hopes for improvement in the future and to help fellow zerg players understand the maps a bit more in detail.


[center]b]DQ[/b](Delta Quadrant) [/center]
[b]Recommended: [red]Definite Thumbs Down[/red][/b]

Still bad, This map has potential if they just reworked it. Too many Drocks, enough with the Drocks already. Just because its a gold base doesn't mean it needs to be hard to secure if the

map is even (some could argue about MULEs but whatever). The short path distance on close spawns just needs to be stretched out a little (There is plenty of space around the whole

island of the map to stretch every direction). The backdoor base is anti zerg, because zerg generally don't want to take it til late game and for P/T it's almost a free base. The Cliff above

makes it even more of a hassle. Then the nats are just so wide open and the ramp is closer in certain positions and harder to cover with ooze/structures. The backdoor pylon thing still

exists.  66% of the time you spawn too close to the opponent. This map is still not good enough for high level play.

Current Updates & Concerns:

   [*]-Pathing from 7 to 5 takes longer route for some reason.
   [*]=Backdoor cliffs moved back a little (can still hit gas).

   [*]-Every base (besides mains) has cliff/gap to range from.
   [*]-Backdoor pylon.
   [*]-Backdoor 3rds T/P favored.
   [*]-66% chance of close spawns/short rush distance.
   [*]-Too many Drocks.
   [*]-Wide open semi-far nat.
   [*]+Lots of bases.
   [*]+Good options for 3rd/4th base.
   [*]+Decent overlord placements.
   [*]+Satisfactory amount of space and paths around the map.


[center]b]SS[/b](Scrap Station) [/center]
[b]Recommended: [blue]Thumbs Up[/blue][/b]

This map is ok for Z. I have mixed feelings about it because the distance from main to nat and just general space around those bases and the wide ramp are detrimental. Like Artosis has

said on a few occasions, the map is good for Z because of the long distance but the actual map architecture is very tight and narrow and the bases progress towards each other lineraly

which favors T or P as the game goes on. The gold and island are generally pretty hard to secure as Z unless you are already winning (can't recall a game where a strat revolved around

them). The map has definitely gotten better and better since beta though. It used to be outright terrible for Z.

Current Updates & Concerns:

    [*]+Fixed main on right side. Equal placement to ramp, needs same amount of tumors to spread ooze (1 gets you down).
    [*]=Both spawn locations moved slightly which removed the ability for the pseudo Z wall at Left, but now equal with Right (bad for ZvZ imo).
    [*]=Added LoS around XWT and outside nats.

    [*]-Lots of wasted air space around the map. Could use more pathing/bases.
    [*]-Long tumor spread distance (main to nat especially)
    [*]-Wide Ramp (most specifically detrimental to ZvZ).
    [*]=Far nat, distance and tightness counteracts it though.
    [*]=Short air distance.
    [*]=3rd base is closer to opponent. (Not so bad though because you can open middle path)
    [*]+Adequate space around the map.
    [*]+Long Rush Distance.
    [*]+Sufficient overlord placement locations.


[center]b]M[/b](Metalopolis) [/center]
[b]Recommended: [blue]Thumbs Up[/blue][/b]

The map everyone thinks is the best. Well it's actually a crap shoot. Reasons being the 3 different spawn positions you can get: diagonal, close air, and close ground. The latter being

generally pretty annoying and bad for Z. Not only is the rush distance smaller, but your nat is pretty wide open and there happens to be a ramp for pushes to start on above the nat. The

gold bases are basically unusable for Z, especially worse since either XWT by itself can see both bases and the small space up there is perfect for tanks and collosus (which doesn't even

matter because they can just tank from across the other gold base). It's just bad design. Just like DQ this map could use some stretching, possibly remove some of the ramps from center,

etc. There is lots of wasted air space around the 11 and 4 corners. The other reason why close spots sucks is (assuming you survive early strategies and make it to mid/late game) the

3rd base is shared. The other thing that bugs me about the map is just the asymmetry of the mains/nats. There is a spot where an overlord can hide at 12 nat but no other bases. And

just the space behind nats/mains minerals is weird so it's hard to sim city on your ooze around your mins to efficiently pre-defend for harass. I'd like it if there were more safe positions for

overlords to chill on the map as well. Overall the map plays ok though and 66% of possible spawning positions being good is favorable enough for Z.

Current Updates & Concerns:

   [*]=Added LoS around backdoor drop spots.

   [*]-33% chance of close rush distance.
   [*]-3rd base dillema in close position.
   [*]-Impossible gold bases.
   [*]-Wide open nats.
   [*]-Difficult overlord placement.
   [*]=Various minor positional discrepancies.
   [*]=33% chance for close air spawn.
   [*]+33% chance for far positions.
   [*]+Easy 3rd/4th bases (assuming not close spawns).
   [*]+Multiple routes around the map.
   [*]+Lots of flanking room.
   [*]+No Drocks!


[center]b]XNC[/b](Xel'Naga Caverns) [/center]
[b]Recommended: [blue]Definite Thumbs Up[/blue][/b]

Many zergs probably hate this map mainly because of ZvP (blink stalkers and 4gate builds), but I think it's possibly the best map for ZvT/ZvZ in the pool except for the fact that the nat is

somewhat far away from the ramp and pretty wide open for harass. This is probably my favorite map (other than Shakuras Plateu) that blizz has had in the ladder. The distance is pretty

good, the bases are all pretty well spaced out and the map doesn't have a set expand path like SS or some other maps. The map has chokes but there are just as many open spots and

there are plenty of pretty safe places for overlords that the XWTs can't cover. 3,5,9,11 seem like a waste of map space and things could probably be stretched out a little.

Current Updates & Concerns:

   [*]+Removed annoying doodad from southern side of middle pit that messed with scout AI pathing.
   [*]-Very wide nat, far from ramp as well.
   [*]-Back route into nat.
   [*]-Gold base is generally T/P favored. Z usually takes the low ground as 3rd.
   [*]-Rushes and Timing attacks are pretty favorable on this map.
   [*]+Lots of space and routes for movement.
   [*]+Fairly comfortable base layout.
   [*]+Long rush distance.
   [*]+Close 3rd.


[center]b]BG[/b](Backwater Gulch) [/center]
[b]Recommended: [red]Definite Thumbs Down[/red][/b]

This is probably one of the worst if not the worst map ever in the ladder for Z imho. I mean Kulas Ravine, Incineration Zone, and SoW are all pretty bad but this map just hates zerg on

almost every possible level. Some of the rush distances are closer, the nats are horrible. The 3rds and 4ths are crammed next to these horribly placed platforms where T and P can just

defend or attack ridiculously efficiently (collosus walking up and down with FF on the ramps, tanks, blink stalkers, reapers etc.). On top of all that there are all these backdoor paths and

rocks to force you to defend your expansions from every direction (even air looping around from back). And then the middle gold bases suffer the exact same problem as the the golds on

Metal, where zerg basically can't ever expand there, and either XWT covers both golds (I don't know why Blizzard made this mistake twice). It also takes 2-3 tumors to barely connect

main to nat ooze and another couple to reach the main big ramp. If you expand to open spawning position's 3rd base, the main now serves as a cliff drop area across a very small gap

(doodads are positionally imba as well). If you spawn close positions, terran can take his 3rd base on your 3rd with a Pfort and tanks on the death pedestel etc. Seems like it could be very

difficult. The only good things this map has going for it, is the middle is pretty spacious and there are plenty of bases all over the place.

Current Updates & Concerns:

   [*]-Close spawns, very short rush distances.
   [*]-Mostly tight & winding paths, and a generally small map.
   [*]-Super far nat. Wide nat entrance which doesn't cover main as well.
   [*]-2 back door openings to nat.
   [*]-T/P favored small high ground positions outside 3rd/4th bases.
   [*]-Nat that can be tanked from below Drocks.
   [*]+Decent overlord placements.
   [*]+Very snug nat base.


[center]b]SP[/b](Slag Pits) [/center]
[b]Recommended: [red]Big Thumbs Down[/red][/b]

The things make this map ridiculous are the low base count, useless Drocked gold base in the shared positions, general odd terrain features, and most importantly the range abuse from;

the middle platforms, outside MAIN base (hit hatch, or minerals, or just gas), or the gold low ground (to hit main's min/gas). At first glance this map design just looks weak and plain, like it

was created in a rush. Very poor use of the space around the edges of the map (could probably slap a few bases in there actually). It's really small with very close rush distances, and

pretty wide nats with backdoor opening that has the same issues as the other maps just like this, only the opponent will almost never open these rocks unless to abuse or just drop units

behind because the normal path is shorter anyways. Spawning close rush positions 1/3 of the time is pretty bad (it's closer than Metal and SoW). Spawning shared gold favors T/P

because the main hatch can pushed down 1 lane (without much room to flank) and just open shop on your main hatch and resources. Diagonal positions are best obviosuly but it still

doesn't nullify the threat of that. Small mains are generally good for Z because there is less to watch out for drops, and you have less structures, if you don't spawn close positions you

have satisfactory 3rd base choices. I really have no idea what blizzard was thinking when they made this map. At first I thought this map was debatable, but it's almost as bad as BG just

because the threat from ranged units into your main is so high and the short rush distance is so short.

Current Updates & Concerns:

   [*]-Low base count.
   [*]-Semi-open nat.
   [*]-Back door Drocks into nat.
   [*]-Wasted map airspace around corners/edges of the map.
   [*]-Tanks/Collosus can seige just about everywhere, INCLUDING MAINS WTF (this alone ruins this map).
   [*]-33% of the time unusable gold base in shared spawn positions
   [*]-33% of the time close spawn rush distance. Made even worse by shared Drocks.
   [*]-Small map, has some open space in mid but you will never really use it unless diagonal spawn. XWT not important for same reason.
   [*]-Below average overlord placements.
   [*]+Small main is good for Z.
   [*]+Close nat.
   [*]+66% of the time diagonal or shared gold positions have decent expansion lineage.


[center]b]TST[/b](The Shattered Temple) [/center]
[b]Recommended: [blue]Eh, Thumbs Up for now[/blue][/b]

Another new map that at first glance looks great. After all it's basically just an update to The Lost Temple removing the islands (now Drocked), removing cliffs, widening the center areas,

and moving the XWT and center platforms a bit. The key problems with this map are akin to Metalopolis. The 33% chance of spawning close which not only is very fast rush distance, but

the fact that it makes your 3rd expansion in impossible to hold location or really far away. I think the Drocked bases may end up being problematic for abuse (terran taking 3rd base there

with pfort and slow pushing down). Because of this fact it will basically force Z to kill their rocks asap to prevent this, opening up a narrow and raised alternate path to your base which is

definitely not where zerg ever wants their units to be or fight. Overall I think this map is OK, but It just seems like it will play like a combination of Metal and Kulas Ravine (which is bad

because it's basically just a Metal Clone but worse).

Current Updates & Concerns:

   [*]-Close spawns, very short rush distances.
   [*]-Drocked pseudo island base. Narrow path is T/P favored.
   [*]-Tankable golds from drocked bases.
   [*]=Nat is not as tight as in LT, but there is more manuevering space. (bad for early game but good for mid/late)
   [*]-3rd bases problematic.
   [*]+Decent overlord placements. Although the path to get there is slower/more dangerous.
   [*]+XWT(s) no longer see up the platforms.
   [*]+Lots of bases.
   [*]+Wide spaces in center.


[center]b]TP[/b](Typhon Peaks) [/center]
[b]Recommended: [blue]Probably Thumbs Up[/blue][/b]

Another new addition to the pool. This map has many bases, multiple tight paths and a wide open center area. The nat is moderately close but it feels somewhat open (even more so once

the rocks are removed on the nearby ramp). The rush distance between vertical bases is the one of the shortest of all the map (favoring 1 base timing attacks on your nat), additionally

you almost have to kill your own rocks to prevent them from snuggling right up next to yours and sieging your gas/etc. from below. The tight pathing almost everywhere except the center

makes seiging any expansion very T/P favored. The natural 3rds are the most unsafe bases on the map, which you will almost always pass up for a slightly further base.  The pathing is

exceptionally tight just outside the main base (for some reason blizz threw in a crevice around each base). On every map they put LoS blockers in bases and around XWT in an enclosed

circular formation, but they did not do this for the mains here. When spawning horizontally, you will need to bust 2 rocks and take the vertical nat. Versus T/P they will probably take the

12 or 6 base and defend massively and get the free 4th (natural 3rd) shortly after, or continue the base push by taking your nat 3rd and just be in your face the entire game. Since these

bases are all so close, when they control 1 they can siege the other 2 with ease and safety. Even though this all sounds bad, it still seems acceptable since you will always have a

somewhat safe option in any positions to get a 3rd.  

Current Updates & Concerns:

   [*]-Short attack distance and threat (1 or 2 base timings from T/P favored) from vertical Drock positions 33% of spawns.
   [*]-Natural 3rds very poorly spaced, and easily abused from high ground, probably always a bad base for Z to take.
   [*]-Tight pathing around most of the map.  
   [*]-Nat is moderately open and more so once Drocks are killed (which you will probably end up killing in 66% of games)
   [*]-Base layout in horizontal positions seems like it could be very difficult versus macro T/P which makes up 33% of spawns.
   [*]-Collosus/Tanks can easily abuse the very wide platforms around the XWTs.
   [*]+Wide center.
   [*]+Close nat.
   [*]+Lots of bases.
   [*]+Close 3rds/4ths.
   [*]+Good overlord placements.
   [*]+33% channce of Diagonal positions look very good.


I know some people hate when posters do this but it certainly matters when reading threads like these imho. I'm currently master zerg rank (even though I don't really play much

anymore). I still follow everything with SC2 esports, including reading, watching, and listening to all the top players as well as my team ventrillo. I've played BW since 98' among many

other RTS and made hundreds of maps and I definitely understand racial balance, positional balance, and just general map making. I was one of the first and longest members at

broodwarmaps.net and i've made a few sc2 maps blah blah, I can go on, but you get the point.

Need map pics, Thumbs and high res, as well as pics of tanks/collosus ranges, tumors, standard z placements, Paint some changes to maps.

Things I noticed while formulating this post:
question: how does terran cheese out the comp fast now that u need depot first and the AI responds better to worker harass and proximity structures?
how to cheat in custom melee game vs comp? (play single player vs AI, lag bug with map selection screen though)
why do infestors/zerg units burrow/unburrow at different times when issued the same command all the same time?
do you spread creep faster if you copy tumur asap versus waiting for it to extend furthest in the direction you need?
you can animation cancel move/shoot collosus on drocks but nothing else.
takes 6 cursor blinks if you got spam message in sc2 chat room before you can send again.
does new fungal kill lings or still leave at 1 hp? Does it do 47 to armored?
can hold E and spam click a single mineral for mule massing.




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Re: Zerg Thoughts on 1v1 Ladder Map Pool

summary plz?
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Re: Zerg Thoughts on 1v1 Ladder Map Pool

tdot i am disappoint