After seeing maps like cluster, hideout, urban, sometown all being rejected by sections of the community, I decided to analyse the original stock maps, and then look at the custom maps, and why they aren't quite the same.
STOCK MAPS - LAYOUT
Lets look at the paths to the bombs, A and B, (Green and Red), and look at the crucial "middle" section route in blue.
Here we can see a very tidy layout. The mid is clearly seperated from both bomb routes. The mid is also quite open, the highlight of the middle being the chopper. However it has few entrances to the middle section.
Here we can also see a pretty neat layout. This map is almost symmetrical in layout. There a 2 connectors from the middle section to both A and B, both in the form of arches. Which are pretty central to the map. The middle is a OPEN market.
Strike is a little more interesting. There is no main middle route section, there are 2 in the form of the A way, and link at flowers. But essentially there is a big OPEN middle bit in the form of the street, but with limited ways to get there.
As we can see, there are clear defined routes for people to take to go to bombsites.
- There is a clear height difference in terms of attack and defence. Attack having the advantage in height. Crash and Strike both have this.
-The middle sections are open, but have relatively closed off entrances and exits. Great example is citystreets.
-Buildings are TALL. Look at city spawn, crash middle, or certain areas of strike (overlook and B) the buildings are massive.
Now lets look at the custom maps, hideout and cluster.
CUSTOM MAPS - LAYOUT
The route to B is clearly defined. The route to A also, however the middle route, is almost identical to that of going to A. The main problem is the middle house next to the statue, the doors are placed with one facing the market at B, and the other facing the statue. This makes it hard for people to run into it. The middle is also very small and cluttered. It has a statue as its main feature, which I believe just clutters it up. Its WAY too accessible from A.
I personally would bring back the alley, and move the A building to the right a bit, and change up mid allowing for a open area. (Street,market, etc etc). The mid needs to be closed off with defined entrances, like those double doors on the defence side.
I also don't get the feeling that some of the buildings aren't tall enough.
EDIT, Someone just pointed out the hole in the wall, the only place realistically you can go from there is B market. Again this just merges with the B route. There is no defined and cut off middle section
This diagram is a bit different. Cluster is my favourite custom map to play, and I believe its probably the most balanced going so far. I actually love the layout, however again the problem seems to be in the middle area.
Here, the purple line is what I think the middle "route" should be like. At the moment, the middle section is hardly useable by attack, as the only way to get into it is just before the bombsites. There should be a central entrance to mid for both sides.
The problem buildings in my opinion are those with pink squares on them. The large building in market is a good building for the current layout, however if you want to change the map to make the middle better for both teams it needs to have something done to it. This is what I'm unsure about.
Cluster has the closed off entrances to the middle sections which is fantastic. Its just not allowing for scope to scope battles, or rotation from A to B as best as it could.
So to improve this map, I would completely change mid up to what I have in this picture. It needs two sides at which people can exchange blows, and rotate to the bombs. The question is what to put in the middle. The only thing I worry about is that the map becomes pretty similar to citystreets.
The purple sections are the places I would block off, and have a place to fire at. (Much like catwalk or something similar on city).
So say your defending at the mid section, and they do a heavy B push. You have 2 options, go through blue, or go back to your spawn. There are now 3 entrances to the B bombsite, from behind, the grassy area, and the main route from defence spawn to B. 3 routes is typical across most bombsites, like in Strike A,B, city A etc.
As I said, I really like how cluster plays at the moment, its a good map, however if you want to make it into a REALLY good map, I think it needs changes as said above.
TL;DR version, people need to sort out their middle.
Hopefully I've just pointed out something which is helpful :DASDASDEdited once, 13/8/11 - 12:51pm