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    WAR-DowntownX

    Name:
    Downtown X

    Version:
    Beta 1

    Compatibility:
    Requires UT3 (duh).

    Tested in Single Player. The bots do OKish. It may take them a while, but eventually they'll go everywhere and do everything.

    Multiplayer is untested.

    Description:
    Epic's Downtown with extra nodes and different vehicles for more variety and mayhem.

    Comments:
    I made the following adjustments:
    • Added nodes to the quayside, near the cores. Red side spawns a 'bender and the Blue side a Scavenger (Red gets a bigger vehicle here because Blue gets easier access to the superior Nightshades). Added an Energy Shield deployable pickup next to the nodes to make it easier to protect them.
    • Added standalone nodes to each end of the canal. Red side spawns a SPMA (which can hit the roof node and the other canal node from its parking spot), Blue spawns a Nightshade (very nasty).
    • Link setup now uses the old primes plus the quayside nodes for two separate paths to the core. The paths cross over, spreading the action around.
    • Replaced Blue base vehicles with Necris equivalents; Nemesis, Nightshade, Scavenger and Viper.
    • Replaced center node Hellbender with Darkwalker (which isn't all that powerful in this map) and one of the Scorpions with a Scavenger.
    • Added standalone node on the roof of one of the buildings in the center, overlooking the canal. Spawns a Scavenger in the "garage" below.
    • Added a bunch of pickups to areas you'd otherwise have little reason to go, including a bunch of vials, 2 helmets, 2 thigh pads, 2 invisibility, 2 shield belts, invulnerability (yup), udamage and another berserk.
    My design goals were threefold:
    1. Get rid of the choke setup. Accomplished by using double prime nodes. Standalone nodes provide nonessential but helpful resources and forward spawn points.
    2. Make better use of Epic's excellent mapping real estate. Great map, shame to let all those alleys and hallways go to waste. Done by adding nodes to the otherwise pretty pointless quayside and canal and adding powerful pickups in the hallways.
    3. Mix up the vehicles. I could not add flying vehicles because of map limitations, but other than those and the Levi, everything is there.
    These changes are obviously a matter of personal taste, but I really like the way it plays now. You have amazing variety in options and all parts of the map get used.

    I am a n00b mapper and not aspiring to learn how to map properly, but if I can improve on the following stuff in a simple manner, then please tell me all about it:
    • Balance. Blue has a Nightshade, Nemesis and Scavenger instead of a Paladin and two Hellbenders, and also has easy access to a second Nightshade instead of a much less useful SPMA. Should I get rid of a Nightshade? Which Necris vehicle could I replace it with?
    • I'm starting to think adding Spidermine Trap pickups was a mistake, since you can't really do anything about them.
    • Any areas you still wouldn't go to? Any pickups I could place there to make it worth the detour?
    • Any way I can reduce the ridiculous file size?
    • Any way I can improve bot behavior?
    Screenshots:





    Credits:
    Epic for making the map.
    Me for adapting the map. Which was like 0.02% of the overall effort.

    Download:
    DowntownX.zip (MediaFire)
    (70 megs... yup)

    Installation instructions provided in the Readme in the download.

    #2
    not to bad. I think you need to be more original, but it is a good start

    Comment


      #3
      Is it possible to set up this map with the same vehicles on both sides? Usually, when it is Necris vs Axon, the map feels uneven and it is not equaled by a scavenger vs bender.
      You can release the map with axon vs necris, and another with axon-only for example.
      That would greatly reduce annoyance.

      Comment


        #4
        I'll not be spending more time on this map either way, but I do believe that symmetry is not required for a fun game. Almost all of UT99's CTF maps were asymmetrical, and that only seemd to contribute to its success.

        It is a given that, in an asymmetrical map, one side has it some 0.005% easier than the other, but that only matters in a competitive setting and only if the tournament is not properly set up (for example, by using a "best of 3" system instead of a "play each side once" system).

        Comment


          #5
          I am a n00b mapper and not aspiring to learn how to map properly, but if I can improve on the following stuff in a simple manner, then please tell me all about it:
          So, if you decided to not spend any more time on this (poor) attempt at bettering a map that was fine as-is, why bother to ask for feedback?

          Anyway... There's already a Necris Version of Downtown, which beats the **** out of this one. Too many nodes and too many pickups, it's a skill-less noob's wet dream. Takes no skill to pick up 4 powerups and completely pwn the glitchy bots...

          Also... this line here: "in an asymmetrical map, one side has it some 0.005% easier than the other," is complete bull... in an asymmetrical map that hasn't been properly balanced and playtested and tweaked and balanced and playtested and tweaked and balanced, one side will always have a gross handicap.

          Throwing an a Nightshade (for example) is a horrible noob mistake. The nightshade is wayyyy powerful.

          And you underestimate the Hellfire, which is a pwn machine when properly used...

          One last thing, adding a Levi to a map this small is the king of noob mistakes... there's no room to move it and no way for the enemy team to overcome this when it's so close to the core... all you have to do is spam ion cannon next to the Paladin spawn area and you wipe the entire base out once every 3 seconds, noob noob noob....

          Sorry if I sound nit-picky, but you asked for feedback, then said you weren't taking feedback anyway, which doesn't make any sense to me... */shrug*

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Xyx View Post
            I'll not be spending more time on this map either way, but I do believe that symmetry is not required for a fun game. Almost all of UT99's CTF maps were asymmetrical, and that only seemd to contribute to its success.

            It is a given that, in an asymmetrical map, one side has it some 0.005% easier than the other, but that only matters in a competitive setting and only if the tournament is not properly set up (for example, by using a "best of 3" system instead of a "play each side once" system).
            [sarcasm]Oh, then I must be a 100% noob, because I never saw a single vehicle on UT99 during my time in various clans. Must have missed them altogether.[/sarcasm]

            When you are referring to maps like CTF-LavaGiant, then yes, the map isnt 100% symmetrical. But there were no "weapons on wheels" on that map, and you cannot compare asymmetrical map-design to asymmetrical vehicle-placement.

            Symmetry is desirable when you dont want to get the "Islander"-effect, that is, people are ****** off by the unbalanced map-design and leave the server. Following your idea, you dont want to have this map as a competitive one, so whats left IS the pubs.

            Sorry, but this just continues an Axon-vs-Necris-story no one needs. Well, it is your map, you want feedback, but you dont want to spend time on it. Just release the map and watch it going down the sink.

            Btw.... agree to ShadeMistress.

            Comment


              #7
              My apologies for the confusion; even though I have better things to do than continue work on this map I still appreciate all feedback. Particularly constructive feedback.

              Rather than spend time and energy on this admittedly very basic rehash, I'd work on the slightly more evolved Kargo and Sandstorm. I actually attempted to add some new architecture to those, though you will probably maintain that they are plagued by the same "noob mistakes" regardless.

              Moreover, vehicle modding is where my heart is. This mapping spree was just a sidetrack and I can only work on so many things at once.

              Originally posted by ShadeMistress View Post
              Too many nodes and too many pickups, it's a skill-less noob's wet dream.
              Well, then I suppose I at least made a significant part of my target audience happy.

              This map is part of an experiment in figuring out what more could have been done with existing architecture. I prefer efficient use of mapping real estate, and Epic's Warfare maps are filled with otherwise interesting places that you have no reason to visit. So I spread some stuff around (nodes, powerups) to encourage visiting these places.

              Maps obviously have to be designed around this mapping philosophy (as much as any other mapping philosophy), so the end result is less than ideal. I'll readily admit that it is a little over-the-top, but I feel it is a refreshing change from the traditional three-nodes-in-a-line meatgrinder where you spend 90% of your time fighting over the same patch of ground. If that labels me as a skill-less noob then I can live with that.

              Originally posted by ShadeMistress View Post
              Also... this line here: "in an asymmetrical map, one side has it some 0.005% easier than the other," is complete bull... in an asymmetrical map that hasn't been properly balanced and playtested and tweaked and balanced and playtested and tweaked and balanced, one side will always have a gross handicap.
              That's one of the reasons we're in the beta section.

              Originally posted by ShadeMistress View Post
              Throwing an a Nightshade (for example) is a horrible noob mistake. The nightshade is wayyyy powerful.

              And you underestimate the Hellfire, which is a pwn machine when properly used...
              This is the core of the problem with asymmetry; balance is in the eye of the beholder.

              What's uber to one player might not be so to another. For instance, in the case of CTF-Command, I've heard arguments for both sides having the advantage. I think I even read claims for either side of WAR-Islander.

              If you had to rate all vehicles on a scale of 1-100 according to their power level in an undefined but "average" environment, where four of 25 would be equivalent to two of 50 or one of 100... what would your list look like?

              Originally posted by ShadeMistress View Post
              adding a Levi to a map this small is the king of noob mistakes... there's no room to move it and no way for the enemy team to overcome this when it's so close to the core...
              The way this map turned out is perhaps not the best example, but I find the Leviathan serves as a good tool to force a quick win when one side has map control instead of allowing gameplay to devolve into the endless overtime that plagued most of the 1-3-1 Onslaught maps.

              Originally posted by Cobi^^ View Post
              When you are referring to maps like CTF-LavaGiant, then yes, the map isnt 100% symmetrical. But there were no "weapons on wheels" on that map, and you cannot compare asymmetrical map-design to asymmetrical vehicle-placement.
              Same difference. Asymmetry provides one side with a strategic advantage of some sort... be it a better weapon-on-wheels or the high ground. Why could one strategic advantage not be compared to another?

              Originally posted by Cobi^^ View Post
              Symmetry is desirable when you dont want to get the "Islander"-effect, that is, people are ****** off by the unbalanced map-design and leave the server.
              Is that directly attributable to asymmetry? If I'm not mistaken, just about every popular FPS out there has not only asymmetrical maps but asymmetrical factions as well.

              I bet the underlying problem here has more to do with Islander's design or the expectations of the server crowd. I'd say the latter. Not that there's anything wrong with those players, it's just that they have been "raised" in an environment that disproves of unequal footing. Which is too bad, considering the success UT99 CTF and Assault were.

              Perhaps Islander simply does not fit in with the other maps. Islander and Tank Crossing are the closest thing UT3 offers to Assault. Perhaps the problem is that there are not more maps like Islander. That way different servers could cater to different tastes, like with UT99. I played online quite a bit in the UT99 era, but I used to leave the server for CTF-Dreary and CTF-Niven.

              Originally posted by Cobi^^ View Post
              Following your idea, you dont want to have this map as a competitive one, so whats left IS the pubs.
              You dismiss the probably-larger-than-50% part of the player base that plays neither competitively nor in pubs; the offline players. An asymmetrical map, no matter how unbalanced (provided it remains playable at all), provides instant replayability. You practically get two maps for the price of one.

              Originally posted by Cobi^^ View Post
              Just release the map and watch it going down the sink.
              My standards may not completely coincide with yours but that does not mean I do not have any. I like how this map turned out but it's just an experiment. Besides, if getting the largest amount of pub time possible had been my goal, I think I'd have done a few things differently.

              This map more than serves its purpose as a beta; an experiment, some mapping practice and, ultimately, food for debate.

              Comment


                #8
                A debate which I feel inclined to comment on. Islander is a very fun map, and far from emptying a server, it is one of the most popular Warfare maps there are. It's behind only Downtown and Floodgate and possibly Avalanche, which has massive imbalance issues of it's own (thanks to the largely imba Nemesis). The problem is not that the maps are imbalanced, or in the case of Islander one side wins 95% of the time, the problem is that grossly imbalanced maps don't mix with the scoring system Warfare utilizes.

                On a standard server, 2 pts are awarded for a regulation win, 1 pt is awarded for an OT win, and 3 pts are required to win. If side A gets the more powerful side and then wins the first round and side B then wins the second round, the score is then 2-2. Side A now gets the advantageous side again, and the next point wins. Side A gets the good side twice to side B's once. This issue turns any imbalanced map into a map that nubs will kvetch and moan and maybe even get frustrated and leave (especially if they're on blue on Islander). Stock Warfare scoring requires that there be an odd number of rounds for a team to be a winner.

                The problem is not the map, it's the Warfare scoring system. Imbalanced battles belong with Assault.

                One other point about imbalance. If you want to create an imbalanced map (Nightshade on only one side is a way to do that), then you MUST have the sides switch each round. There's nothing more annoying than seeing the other team enjoying an advantage and your favorite vehicles and KNOW that you won't get to use them today because you're on the wrong color team.

                Btw, a Leviathan on that map is a really bad idea. I couldn't imagine worse spawn raping potential. People won't even go for the core, they'll just slaughter.

                SPMA I think would be next to useless on this map. Too many tall buildings blocking shots and too many vehicles floating around. SPMAs need to be able to sit out of the way and behind cover of the correct height to work to their best potential. But even on Torlan Necris they aren't even close to balancing out the dual Nightshades.

                Final thought - Just looking at the minimap in the pics, your link setup is gratuitous and circuitous. It doesn't look like it would produce meaningful gameplay. I recommend removing the two nodes that look like they're at each end of the deemer trough. Then remove the node by the 50 shield. With the remaining six nodes use this link setup:
                1-1-1
                --|--
                1-1-1

                It's dual prime and allows for you to cut off the friendly prime node if you take down center (think ONS-Dawn).

                Comment

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