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MVM Skullcove Final

By UKCS-Alias

  1. UKCS-Alias

    aa UKCS-Alias Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?

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    A halloween mvm map. This map is small in size by being about the same length as decoy. It contains 4 paths for the zombies to take and 2 paths for the tanks where the zombies can spawn at multiple locations. There is 1 bomb reset option which is the deathpit and there is a pushback zone. However, depending on the action bots are able to take a diffirent path (if they walk over the middle to reach the other side its by design).

    There are 2 missions for the map.
    Nightmare which is slightly easier than the nightmare difficulty of valve.
    Horror which equals or exceeds valve's expert difficulty.
    I was working on a version even harder than that but since its rare and hard to test with a capable team i removed it since the old version didnt work that well.

    And a small story on how i started on this map:
    After ramparts (which i dropped) i stopped mapping due to lack of time and interest. When mvm came out i started on some custom mvm waves and was able to make some nice well playing creations without using any special classes. However, at some point you start getting mvm map ideas. Snowbat wanted to start on one but lacked an idea. I did draw one and he created it, at some point i decided to join in the project and we made a blueprint. I refined that blueprint to an actual playable alpha version.
    He would start on the details. But as i kinda got bored after finishing that alpha blueprint (i got back in the mapping spirit - some things you just cant get fully rid off) i decided to just see if i could make a halloween version so i wouldnt harm snowbats creation. This is the result.
    And this while snowbat never started on the normal version. Maybe ill make it later on. But again, i cant realy tell how my mapping spirit is
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
  2. TheBestUsername

    TheBestUsername L4: Comfortable Member

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    I can't find anything to complain about from the screenshots, but I think a better name for this map is in order. Keep working on the map and don't drop this one!
     
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  3. Prestige

    aa Prestige March 2009: Diagnosed with "The Gay"

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    thunderworld is maybe thebestname. this dudes name is a lie.
     
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  4. kimoto

    kimoto L1: Registered

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    cool!
     
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  5. Little Dude

    Little Dude L4: Comfortable Member

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    This is looking pretty awesome
     
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  6. UKCS-Alias

    aa UKCS-Alias Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?

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    The download of B1 under a new name has been added.

    Be aware that this wave 666 is harder than the one valve made.
     
  7. compy

    compy L1: Registered

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    Some observations after testing out this map with other players:

    • The advanced mission's first wave took one one go to beat, while the normal mission took 10-20 tries (I did not keep count) without beating wave 1, especially with having two engineers and two heavies. I wish I could go into further detail on this.
    • The inside of the right upgrade station past is not visible while looking outside from the inside of the left upgrade station. The same applies from the right to the left.
    • The popfile mvm_skullcove_b1_normal should be renamed to mvm_skullcove_b1 and mvm_skullcove_b1 (wave 666) to mvm_skullcove_b1_expert because if a mission change vote for 'normal' is called and passes, the server loads popfile mvm_skullcove_b1 instead.
     
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  8. UKCS-Alias

    aa UKCS-Alias Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?

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    Although it surprises me, it wasnt fully tested with multiple teams. We tried to be weaker by taking classes we arent good at at all. And we simply played each wave until we had it easy to beat it. Seems we were better than we thought then.
    (although it doesnt surprise me as with usual classes we beat expert with ease)

    Still, its good to say that it took 20 tries while having 2 engies. As that clearly shows something just isnt right. 2 engies normaly should be able to hold down most of the enemies (if not all of the small ones) on normal.
    I checked the fade distances valve used, but since it seems to be wrong ill recheck that.
    Thats deliberate though. Note that the final versions shouldnt actualy be having these alternative waves.

    I mentioned in the description that snowbat is also working on this version. At least, that was the idea. These waves were designed during the alpha testing of that. After that alpha state i decided to make the wave 666 version of the map.

    This explains why the expert version is the default. For testing though i might simply put it as normal expert version though as that will at least make the voting legit. On my server we dont have that voting as i can just change it with rcon (and often do to change waves).
     
  9. TheBestUsername

    TheBestUsername L4: Comfortable Member

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    I see you listened to my advice. Skullcove has a far better ring to it; I think that name just might be a keeper.
     
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  10. MarshalN

    MarshalN L1: Registered

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    I've played the 666 version of this twice now with two different teams. We beat it the first time pretty easily - not too much drama, albeit with a good team. The second time we lost by two giant heavies at the end, probably because of the fact that we played with no engi (two soldiers, one demo, one heavy, one scout, one pyro). A few comments/questions:

    I think the first thing to note is that the left path, right now, is impossible to beat if you're playing the 666 version of the map. There's no way to get up there unless you're a soldier. Demo will take a fair amount of damage and is quite likely to die before doing much, and I think heavy, pyro, or engi won't ever make it up there (ok, you can sentry jump, but that's a pretty iffy way for that wave). If the 666 goes on the left path, it seems to be pretty much game over right there. Is that deliberate? Could you make a set of stairs from the left spawn point (behind that wooden plank) up around to the pathway? Otherwise it seems to me to be a lopsided map with one side a lot harder than the other.

    Is the extra path further right of the elevated right walkway a viable path? Otherwise, maybe you can delete it? I don't think anybody used it during my games.

    Also, right now the ways up to the ledges around the bot spawning area seems a bit convoluted. Maybe you can simplify it so that the pathways are more obvious?

    The bridge on top of the right tank spawn - sometimes sniper bots stand there, but they are invincible when standing there (at least a part of it) so that I couldn't kill them. It was rather annoying.

    Bots shooting before they are hittable - is that also deliberate? Those giant rapid fire crit soldier shooting before we can hit them are annoying. It also makes the job of a demo trying to kill medics quite difficult. Since this is different from basically every other map out there for mvm, I'm not sure if this is something you'd want to have in your map.

    On the right hand side elevated area around bot spawn, maybe add a fence or two that will shield the players? Right now that whole pathway is completely uncovered - if you got up there, somehow, with enemy bots jumping down (or not yet jumping down) you're pretty much dead meat.

    I'd say this is a pretty difficult mission, but is there a way for you to design it so that there's at least maybe two "upgrade buying" breaks in between? Right now there's no break at all - the bots keep coming. That's fine, so we buy upgrades when we die. Is that the design?
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
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  11. UKCS-Alias

    aa UKCS-Alias Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?

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    Well, i did keep the option open for a seperate path. although it might be a bit out of view from the start though. The reason why i didnt put an upward path was due to the enemies taking a longer walk there in the first place. In my playthroughs we didnt use it at all though so that might also be an indication of it being wrong.
    Its a pushback zone, although a bit hard and rare to use. I probably have to make the entrace a bit easier to airblast them in. In its current state it indeed wasnt rewarding for the team i played with but i expected other teams to use it better (similar to how the bigrock ones arent used often). Seems i was wrong there and it isnt being used at all. Ill keep it there though.
    I think that is due to you having it played only a few times. The team i play with is used on taking them and they like it.

    Its just that like any map you have to get used to it.
    I know, i even extended the visualizer and respawn room over there but they still seem to take it. Havent found a fix for it yet. Not only that, sniper hints are placed just down there, I might have to check if they are actualy below the ledge as that could then be a reason why they stand there.
    Again, thats the same bug as the snipers have.
    Well, the low cover was deliberate there. It was a VERY powerfull area for the demoman with cover as he could just plant stickies and stand behind cover. Even the minimal cover now still is enough for the demoman.
    Wave 666 in coaltown also doesnt have breaks for upgrading. Although its more calm due to it being a longer map.
    There still are a few easier waves which allow upgrading. For example just before the heavy medic combos there often seems a good chance and during the small crit classes near the end.

    Ill see what is needed. The team i play with doesnt realy find it an issue as they see it as a part of wave 666. Its either A. fight or B. upgrade. Adding a gap is easy, as it simply waits for all enemies to be dead in 1 wave before the next starts.

    Anyway, thanks for testing. Its allways good to see other teams test it.
     
  12. MarshalN

    MarshalN L1: Registered

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    Ok, I think you need to either fix the left side so we can walk up there so that a team can actually defend it, or drop that path entirely. I'd imagine given your map's layout, adding a staircase is the more viable plan. The bots can still drop off the ledge where they drop off now, so it won't take longer (or is that something you can't make them do?) Otherwise the entire left elevated walkway is pretty much useless. After my game where we lost we hung around a little more and the path was elevated left this time. We didn't make it past the first few giants - there just wasn't a way to kill them for half the team.

    Oh, I didn't even realize you intend it to be a pushback zone. In that case - maybe remove the stairs on the exit closer to the hatch (I think bots might take that, negating the pushback) and remove the grill on the elevated path so you can push them down into the pit? That might give the pushback more use.

    True, might also be because it's texture-less so there it all looks the same and flat.

    It's just that currently the area has no covers aside from the little tucked in platform, and so if you try to walk that way you're dead meat with no escape. Maybe one way for the area to be less powerful for demo would be to have bots spawn more from the right side as well? I think only snipers come out of the right spawn. If you spawn other things then the demo can't hide easily - he'd either have to juggle both sides, or just run back to the big rock in the middle where his team is probably hanging out.

    Actually there is a built in break because coaltown's walk is so long for the bots - right after the first waves of giant demoknights, for example, the map spawns giant soldiers plue uber medics. However, it takes them about 10-15 seconds to actually get down to the map for you to be able to hit them. So in that time you can actually go back, buy upgrades, and be back in time for more killing. Maybe because your map doesn't have such a lead-in, if you didn't happen to die you're stuck on the front for a very long time. The first time I played I think I didn't get a chance to go buy upgrades until after the first waves of tanks went by and I finally died with the giant heavy killing me.

    It's a good map with a good wave design. If the left elevated path is made more viable it'll be better. On the server I play where it's part of the selection it's quite popular at the moment.

    Also, maybe for some of the giants you can designate them to go left or right? I noticed that right now all bots go in the same direction - which means that for an entire game half the map is unused. Valve makes it so that some giants go one way while some other giants go another (and you'd get attacked in the back). Might make things a little more interesting.
     
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  13. UKCS-Alias

    aa UKCS-Alias Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?

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    Well, ill let some support spawn on the right side. Now it indeed was just snipers and spies that come from there.
    The reason it was open was to enforce the demoman to occasionaly take a little risk to get to the ammo/health. But adding more cover is something i think i wont do. Although you might say its giving poor protection the demoman of my team says its actualy a strong position and he finds the ammo grabbing risk a good thing.

    Note that its easy to get to the ammo, and if needed jump down even further just to go back up the stairs and be at the good spot again. A process of like 3-5 seconds risk. Which for a good demo isnt going to be too much of a problem. A pyro normaly already takes risks for longer periods.

    Also: The map has 4 possible entrances for bots while i only used 1 for the main waves. I could even make them spawn at the top left (although that entrance is going to be redesigned as i currently find it a bit ugly. But thats for the detailing phase as that entrance should be narrow anyway).
    The bomber wont use the stairs. Its made similar to mannworks. its just that you can walk out a bit easier. I might also add a healthpack or ammo pack there to make it feel more usefull for players.
    And ofcourse, its used alot by spies.
    As i mentioned i did keep the option. i still need to check how it has to look but thats not going to be a big problem. And i can enforce the bomber to avoid that path so on that part it wont harm. The balance there indeed is quite a bit off.

    The first time however we didnt notice as one bot (somehow) got past and was near the pit negating the pathing they take (by design, all most all valve maps have some sort of mechanic for that)
    Its indeed true that coaltown has a longer spawn. Its also the reason why the bomb is many times reset at the end of the wave. I will delay the next wave for that.

    I had to change a few things anyway as i noticed that in many waves with only giants that the bomb is often already reset during the wave. Some small support there could help. It will also compensate the bigger rest moment.
    I can, i have quite alot of pathing options. I can for example force them to take the early left and right flank (the left leads inside!), i can make them force to take the last flanks and i can force them to take a general direction where they can still choose what path they want to take.
    It was mainly from the earlier concept of waves (the extra files i added).

    Im not sure when exactly ill have a new version but im expecting it somewhere this week. However, that one will be private at first as i will first test it with my own team.

    The feedback helps alot to at least make it suitable for other teams aswel.
     
  14. MarshalN

    MarshalN L1: Registered

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    I did notice last night that you have more than two spanws - I didn't even really notice the top left one, other than some spies coming out of there.

    Yeah, the bomb does reset, especially if it reaches the hatch area and then the team pushes back, although that's not really a bad thing - but if you allow some seconds in between it would actually help reset the bomb with the bots.

    When you say "leads in side" what do you mean by that? I'd imagine the giants will get stuck there? If they take that early left staircase that can be kinda interesting - although once again a lot harder to defend, I'd imagine, especially for the giant heavies who will bulldoze through the team without space to run around.
     
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  15. UKCS-Alias

    aa UKCS-Alias Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?

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    The entrance near the front. That path is possible for bots to take. That whole path is inside from that point. Although i didnt test the lower entrance i did test the higher ones and they (if im right) dont get stuck there anymore. I did remember a boss getting stuck at the staircase although i thought i did see other bots take that path.

    However, dont worry too much about it, the path is still going to be detailed and might change alot with it. Most of the pathing was from the non wave 666 version of the map.

    Im still going to increase the delay between waves, ofcourse to compensate im going to add some support to make the waves slightly harder as some waves are actualy made in such way that you are forced to be pushed back a bit.

    I do have the side path to the flank made already. its not good looking atm though as its a bit dark at some points meaning the entrance is not visible enough.
     
  16. UKCS-Alias

    aa UKCS-Alias Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?

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    B2a has been released!
    *insert tf2 achievement sound, followed by the sound of the l4d2 tank coming at you*

    And lets add as bonus a small overview of the possible paths that can be walked. blue are the main paths they can take and yellow are the tanks.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  17. UKCS-Alias

    aa UKCS-Alias Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?

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    And some screens of the new (nearly completed) front.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I did add a hint arrow to show where they actualy come from. And i did remove the vortex in these screens to see if they actualy make it look better.
     
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  18. UKCS-Alias

    aa UKCS-Alias Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?

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    Beta 3 is now public!
     
  19. Turbo Lover

    aa Turbo Lover Fight me under Glasgow Central Station

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    Let me start by saying, great job. I loved this map, and I'm not one to say that lightly, the map was over the top and insane and I had fun every second of it. Pat yourself on the back, you did good.

    Now, a few technical things and nitpicks. If you want the bots to not shoot until they're out of the spawn, you need to have the func_respawnroom extend all the way to the edge. You should add paint patch overlays to the ground where pickups spawn at, the first time I went on top of the middle building I thought there was no ammo up there because the Engi had taken it and there was no other indication it was there. The full ammopack immediately to the right of the spawn doors, is too far out of the way, I didn't even notice it was there until I took a fly around your map in spectator. And just as a matter of preference, I think that making the healthpacks use the Hallow'een models would fit right in on this map, don't you?

    More serious balance stuff: A forward upgrade station. A trend shared among many MvM maps from this site, they've proven themselves invaluable for minimising player impatience time and time again, making it so they don't have to run back across the whole map in-between waves to upgrade. And while you've only got one wave, I know that when I was playing I felt it was too long of a walk to justify upgrading mid-wave, so I feel you'd benefit from having a forward upgrade for the small breaks that separate different parts of the wave. You can even have it lock and unlock when a WaveSpawn ends and another WaveSpawn starts, so people don't just buy loads of crit canteens in the middle of a fight. And it would serve to liven up some of the blank walls you've got going in places.

    That's the biggest gripe I have with your map. There are a few places in your map that saw almost no traffic, even from robots. The high up side routes, in particular, seemed entirely desolate save the odd Sniper or Engineer. Speaking of Engineers, I didn't feel they were a threat at all, perhaps you could mess with some of their attributes to make their sentries pack more of a punch, or make them teleport in like in other missions.

    I'll be looking forward greatly to the next version, especially those "harder missions" you've got cooking, it'll be a treat to see what madness you've come up with to top this.
     
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  20. UKCS-Alias

    aa UKCS-Alias Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?

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    This is already the case. In fact, it goes about 64 over the edge by now. I think this has to do with some other bug which ill have to find out. This is regardless of the spot where they stand.
    The patches is indeed a todo. im aware of that, and the healthpacks didnt have the halloween model due to halloween mode being off. Still, if there is a permanent way to enforce it on on the map i would like to know it.
    And that is also exactly why there isnt one. On ghost town (coaltown_event) you have the choise to either attack or upgrade. This forces you to make a choise.

    If i would add one up front it would have 2 issues.
    - It break the map flow. If you are able to hold them easily at the front and you arent upgrading you eventualy are making it harder. Thats a design thing and it stops you from being able to spam canteens.
    - Those lockers are disabled during waves... guess what. there is no point to having them as its all 1 big wave.

    That i have alternative missions with multiple waves isnt going to change me on that part. After all, those are a bonus and not the true mission i base the map on.
    That is exactly why there isnt one. Im keeping it to ghost town in the way it works.
    Many waves have gaps of like 10 seconds. There isnt even enough time there to upgrade in the first place.
    That is true, they arent being used alot. Only in 1 wave bots seem to take some of those paths but only very minimal. These flanks were originaly more designed for players and later on we simply allowed bots to take them aswel. But for example the bomber wont use it and this makes most bots not use them.
    There are 3 engy types:
    Combat only: Walks in, only builds sentries
    Normal engy: Walks in, builds tele and sentry.
    Teleport engy: Teleports in, builds tele and sentry.

    The big problem on this is the part where they build teleports. I dont want them to build one as it breaks the map flow. A good team can easily stop them and this would make waves too easy. A less good team might get a teleport in and get wiped down. For this matter i only used the sentry building one. I however could improve his HP and maybe increase his sentry build speed. I think that would be more ideal. They still dont spawn too often.
    Those harder missions are just normal wave types (i for example also made some normal, andvanced and intermediate type of wave). They arent a wave 666 type. Still, on those waves you will see the flanks being used more often.

    Still, thanks for the feedback.

    EDIT: And as a sidenote, i am aware i can add upgrade stations in the front. And if i do i would have them active at all times. But as you said, you get crit canteen spam that way. A thing that in the back gives a tradeoff. Instead, what if i made the gaps between just a few waves larger so you can buy some upgrades at about 3 times without having too much of an issue? This still means you could lose some valuable time, but again. The risk is less. Gaps are easy to make since it allways uses the waitforalldead parameter to seperate waves.

    A forward stations to me sounds like im going to add alot of issues in the map balance wise. Because, what if i add it too far up in the front. you wouldnt even be able to reach it. And too far in the back it would be pointless. During waves you will recieve so much spam that you arent getting a chance to upgrade because youll die in the process (which takes you back to spawn aswel). Not to mention that alot of waves push you back anyway. And in that case the walk suddenly is short.

    EDIT 2: After a looking at what settings the engies have i managed to make them teleport in but not build a teleporter. The only attribute they need is:
    Attributes TeleportToHint - this makes them teleport to 1 of the hint objects you can place in the map.
    and
    TeleportWhere spawnbot - Makes them build teleporters.
    It also gives a large line for a short moment to show where the teleported in.

    So 1 issue is tackled.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013