- I initially wrote off the way Red was able to hold A in one of the B2B tests, but a recent Imp showed me A is too easy to hold when Red turtles on the cliff instead of the shelf. I changed the way sightlines are blocked on the right side of the map and opened up the cliff.
- Most of the B left flank was redesigned to keep Red out and give Red less of an advantage for pushing up super far. Removed the weird shutter thing on the roof too.
- Blu always holds from the left room on Last when the right is where all the good routes are. I'm not sure why this is, whether it's because Blu is confused or the routes into the flank are just useless. So I tried a few things.
- Revamped most of the lighting on the map, inside and outside.
- Detailed some more of A and started on some of its displacements
- The usual miscellaneous bug fixes, clarity changes, and aesthetic improvements.
The only time Red was able to hold A during the B2B tests, it was because they turtled on the cliff rather than the platform provided for the same purpose. I initially wrote it off as a fluke of the team balance, but after a recent imp, realized it was a bigger problem than I'd initially hoped. VSCO girls and their metal straws be damned, we're coming after the turtles.
The issue I face is that the height of the train bridge necessitates that Blu's route up to the cliff be from the lowground, as opposed to a map like Badwater. So combined with the length of the bridge putting the concrete bit in the place it is, and the decisions I already made about A, I decided to route the right flank into and out of the shack. Initially I thought Red would have a hard time holding this door because it would mean abandoning the rest of A, but that wasn't the case. It might have been when the dropdown was still in place, but that caused its own problems.
Now it's the left B flank's turn to get the right Last flank's treatment in A18. It's the only remaining part of the map whose layout changes when the cart reaches a largely unmarked point on the track, and the problem of Red being able to use it too easily never went away in A18.
- Removed the fence from the right side of the flank
- Moved the fence along the right side to make the A courtyard bigger
- Removed a barrier whose job was already being done by a crate from the cover in the middle of A to declutter
- Added a tall rock to block sightlines from the cliff to Blu's diagonal spawn exit
- Moved the door to the porch to block a new sightline
- Added a window to the wall because it looked nice
- Extended the porch to accommodate the new doorway position
- Removed the staircase to the shelf Red is meant to hold from. This is to accomodate Blu's left route into B while also giving Red engies less free real estate.
The last unknown at this point is whether opening up the roof from the beginning is actually a good idea. In very early versions, it let Blu get way behind Red before Red had an opportunity to set up on the roof. Checkpoint B on Badwater sometimes has a similar problem in Casual Mode. We'll never know if we don't test it though, right?
- Cut off the staircase left of A from the room the building the cart goes through. It's just for Blu to access the B flank now
- Removed an overlay pointing to the former staircase to Red's shelf on A
- Added a Blue arrow sign that appears once A is captured to point players to the newly-opened flank and closes when B is captured.
- Removed an arrow overlay pointing players around a wall in the B flank
- Redesigned the stairs up to the roof over B to give Blu as much cover as possible coming up. The slope of the stairs lets Blu partially commit, like the stairs on Badwater B. They can, however, be held by a Red player who doesn't mind leaving the roof to the rest of the team.
- Removed the fuse box, conduits, wires, and the bell that previously (however poorly) communicated the door to the roof had opened. (Probably could have been done better with an overlay?)
- Reduced Red's respawn wave time for the 10 seconds after A is captured from XXs to 3s and, like Barnblitz, respawn Red's dead players as soon as A is captured.
For some reason, in every test Blu makes it to Last, Blu always tries to hold and push from the left side of the flank. That is to say, the small room Red rolls out to C through. That was never the intent, it's meant to be just a small room for the aforementioned purpose, and for giving Blu other routes into the real right flank. I'm not sure exactly why they're making this mistake, but I'll do my best to solve it.
Finally started fresh on the lighting! Brand new colored spotlights, light props, and light effects. So much better than my boring, flat pure white phantom lights.
- Removed the health from the room
- Removed one of the doorframes from the connector to the stairwell room
- Removed the fences in front of the door to the connector
- Removed the lower door to the bottom of the staircase in the choke, as it was no different from the doors to the basement.
- Added a new door to the middle of the choke, connecting to the middle of the stairwell
- Removed the arrow pointing to the left flank
- Moved the arrow in the room to a different wall, pointing away from the catwalk
- Added a, "Conserve energy" hand to the elbow from the left room to the catwalk, as a subtle way to say, it's going to be easier if you use the real flank.
- Added several "capture point" arrows, because they seem more important than the ones in the circles.
- Clipped off the edge of a rooftop above A that I noticed, but players thankfully did not.
- Fixed two visible NoDraws in Blu's first spawn
- Did a better lighting pass over Blu's first spawn
- Lowered the doorframe on the choke to prevent snipers from abusing the high doorframe
- Added a, "watch your step" sign to the catwalk over Last, because apparently some of you can't help but throw yourselves off ledges and need a thematically-appropriate reminder not to. I need to bring my map up to OSHA safety standards so I don't have a lawsuit on my hands.
- Fixed some unsewn displacements on the cliff near A
- Fixed a place where the func_respawnroom for Red's first spawn clipped into the connector below it
- Fixed a place the doors of one of Blu's resupply cabinets clipped with a crate
- Changed the the texture of the room outside Blu's first spawn that isn't part of the spawn
- Fixed an unclipped roof above the gate to the trestle bridge
- Fixed an unclipped roof near C that a sign moves away into
- Baby-proofed a number of sharp edges with clip brushes
- Fixed a number of unclipped cliff edges
Hotfix because I didn't compile LDR.
I switched to CompilePal instead of Hammer's regular compiler to make packing assets easier, and apparently the HDR configuration in CompilePal isn't the same as the one with the exact same name in Hammer. HDR in CompilePal means just HDR. Live and learn.
Coyote was finally eliminated from Back to Basics. And that's alright! I got a lot of testing on my map, you were all forced to play it for a few weeks, and I'm back with a vengeance to finish what I started. Coyote is out, but it's not down. To quickly sum up all the changes I made in the wake of my B2B tests...
- Checkpoint A played pretty well every time Coyote was played. So I started detailing A.
- Checkpoint B ended up choking because in order for Blu to counter Red's hold, they need to leave their more important flank unguarded. So I nerfed the flank for Red
- Checkpoint C didn't flow well because the flank made it too non-linear. I cut off Blu's access to it to force both teams to stick to the more interesting area around the cart path.
- The last checkpoint's attacking routes didn't serve any defined purpose, so I basically started fresh on the entire right side. New stairwell, new basement, new route to the balcony, new windows, new hallway connecting the flanks, and with 256 new hammer units of space.
- Fixed miscellaneous bugs, clarity issues, and general aesthetic problems.
- Added coyotes
Thanks for letting me subject you to Coyote in all those tests, and here's to getting to do it some more! The current goal is to get the parts of Coyote I haven't changed tested now that the bigger issues keeping them from being played right are sorted out. If I can get those tested, I'm hoping to enter Beta after A20!
A is still the best part of this map. I'm pretty much entirely satisfied with how the point plays, so short of a few balance changes, I feel safe getting started on the detailing.
- Changed the small health kit in the left building to a medium health kit to make it easier for Blu to push when Red has a presence on the cliff
- Changed the large ammo pack in the right building to a medium ammo pack, to make it harder for Red engies to set up on the cliff.
- Detailed most of A
B became a bigger problem in the B2B tests than it did in standard Imps, which surprised me. The problems arose not because Blu had no options to counter a Red hold, the right flank around the choke gives them the height and distance to counter most Red holding positions in the area. The problem was that in order to do so, Blu has to leave the other flank open for Red to push into. The way it connects to A means that this lets Red deep into Blu's territory, and the height disadvantage they have pushing into that flank means it can be hard to stop them once they've done so.
My eventual hope is to remove the shuttered part of the flank entirely. We'll see if the rest of the flank can be left alone in this version and if not, hopefully we'll give it a try in A19.
- Removed the route connecting the left flank to the left A house
- Added a new route connecting the left B flank to the stairway Red uses to access the engie shelf on A
- Added an arrow to point players toward it
- Added a shutter to the dropdown into the left B flank that closes once A is captured. This is to allow Red players to roll out to A with the train, but prevent them from using it to ambush Blu players when defending B
- Added a sign pointing players to the dropdown that disappears when A is captured
- Increased Red's respawn wave time once A is captured to 12, from 9
- Decreased Blu's respawn wave time once A is captured to 2, from 4
- Decreased Red's respawn wave time once B is captured from 9 to 6 because of the distance they need to cover to get to the cart.
- Removed an arrow overlay pointing to the dropdown
A little while after Coyote was eliminated, I found a piece of feedback I missed initially about the transition between B and C. Because I'm a boomer who doesn't understand the basic functions of this site, (such as the forum) apparently.
The gist of it seemed to be that C never plays as intended because of the way the flank flows. Red never sets up a hold because Blu never forms a front. The redundancy of the diagonal door and the dropdown as routes for Blu, as well as number of areas connected by the flank create a dynamic where Blu is able to spread out past what Red is capable of defending against. Neither team sets up a hold because neither needs to. The area I'd been focusing my attention and layout changes on, the lobby and the room the cart passes through, never had a chance to affect the way the area plays, so my changes did little to affect the greater flow of the checkpoint.
Bearing all that in mind, I've decided to cut off access to the flank. Its purpose is to allow one team to better control Checkpoint C. The long travel safely up to the balcony and requirement to use the low ground beneath the hoodoo means Red can use it to defend, but only so long as Blu hasn't pushed up to the ramps yet. It's possible the balcony offers too much of an advantage over the overpass to be so easy for Blu to get up to like they can, via the ramp.
- Removed the shutter over the top half of the shutter into the yard beneath C
- Added a train gate to the Blu side of the building over the track
- Added a door connecting where Blu used to be able to access the flank to the blank wall the train passes by
- Added a wall separating the new door from the rest of the flank
- Removed the health and ammo from the lower part of the flank
- Added health and ammo to the upper part of the flank
- Removed the Control Point overlay from the staircase
- Extended the trigger to open the train gate into C, to entice players to run in front of the train. Not really anything to do with the rest of the C changes, but whatever. /shrug
I'm not really sure what to do with the rest of the transition between B and C. Because of the aforementioned flow problems, fighting has never concentrated around that area. Not since before the door that closes mid-way through C out of Red's second spawn was added. We'll just have to wait and see. If A18 doesn't play well and the reason for it is that the flank is still an issue, I'm down to remove it entirely.
Last didn't receive as much testing as I'd have liked. The choke at B made sure that was the case. It's a shame too, because it's been the checkpoint I've had the most questions about. I didn't make the flanks with much intentionality, and that means giving each part of the flank a reason to exist.
I don't want to sound like I'm in denial, but I don't think it's down to the Cactus Canyon finale. Doubly so since the changes to the timing and way the train is triggered, Blu has never had a problem capturing the terminus once they have a good presence on Red's side of the choke. The problem remains how they get to that point.
So inspired by Upward, Swiftwater, and Gorge, I separated the right flank into a stairwell all the routes into it empty into. I extended the basement and added more cover, as well as a second staircase it's much harder for Red to use, and leaves them more exposed entering the flank. I added a new set of windows, one of which you can shoot through, to give Blu another angle on the Red catwalk and a better alternate angle to their catwalk.
- Removed the platform intended to help Blu hold the cart on the track since it only helped defenders
- Extended the area between C and Last by 256hu to better accommodate the flanks.
- Removed a crate from the shelf that forced Blu to commit too much to take advantage of the shelf, while the intent was to provide cover.
- Removed the elbow connecting the right flank to the balcony
- Removed the corrugated metal from the transparent section of the fence outside of the choke entrance to Last to benefit Blu
- Added some new stairs to the back of the basement to allow Blu players to peek without letting Red players do the same.
- Removed the right stairs from the basement
- Removed the tall stairs up from the basement to the end of the right flank the connector... connects to.
- Added some new prop stairs
- Extended the platform in the right flank to connect to the entire wall
- Removed the section of chicken wire from the stairs
- Added a new walled "observation room" coming out of the wall and connecting to the existing catwalk
- Removed much of the cover from the offensive catwalk
- Removed a crate intended to block sight lines
Miscellaneous clarity changes
- Added a bell sound to the left flank to B that plays while the doors to the roof are opening, to draw attention to the new route Blu can push from
- Added an arrow to the ramp up to Red's one-way door that several players missed during playtesting
- Moved the capture point overlay pointing players to C (If they choose not to use the shortcut) to be behind the large arrow that appears once the shortcut is closed
- Removed a vestigial D overlay in Red's second spawn
- Extended a bit of the wall that sticks out near C to better block the arrow sign from view from Blu's perspective, because it's irrelevant to them.
Miscellaneous bug fixes
- Clipped off the top edge of the wide train gate outside of Red's first spawn
- Fixed a cactus that didn't have its collisions enabled
- Fixed a misaligned texture under the shutter the cart passes through into C
- Fixed a shutter that Z-fought with the ceiling it was beneath outside of Red's first spawn
- Fixed a health kit patch between two brushes that wasn't applied to both of them in the right flank on Last
- Fixed a missing soundscape on the lobby side of the left door to the balcony over Last
- Fixed a misplaced path_track that caused the cart to leave the track and shake the screens of nearby players when it reached the bottom of the last rollback zone before Checkpoint C
- Fixed a case where due to a delay to the StartForward input being called in the trains to let a train whistle play, trains would sometimes not match where the cart was on its track.
- Fixed a super bright light over the health pack on the right side of A
- Compiled the map with the right lighting settings this time (Not that anybody seemed to notice???)
Miscellaneous aesthetic changes
- Removed the train tracks on wood under Checkpoint C. I had to connect all the displacements in that whole area, that was hell.
- Changed the texture of all the ramps on the map from the bridge texture of the rest of the floor to the beam texture, in-line with the stairs near Checkpoint A
- Added a new tower to the building behind C
- Raised the floor to Red's second spawn (left over from an earlier design) to be in-line with the rest of the floor
- Textured the computers in the left flank into Last
- Added an Imperial Mining decal to the final checkpoint
- Redesigned part of the roof in front of C to look less weird and flat.
- Added anvils to various clutter around the map. Because it's COYOTE, GET IT?
- Added some new spectator cameras and restricted some existing ones by team
Several people pointed out an obvious oversight on my part, naming my map Coyote and not putting any Coyotes in the map. What kind of self-respecting PROUD furry goes so far as to name his map after an animal but doesn't put it in?
- Added coyote sounds that play randomly around the map, every 45-120 seconds
- Added a trigger for the coyote sounds to play whenever a checkpoint is captured and when the round begins
- When a player is hit by the train, there is now a 20% chance a coyote will howl in mourning. To keep the map's coyotes happy, please refrain from throwing yourself in front of the oncoming train just because you want to see if you can hear them cry.
// TODO: Make a coyote cutout
I've been working on a whole zoo's (farm's?) worth of other maps named after animals up until earlier this week, but I'm happy to finally return to Coyote. How can someone write such long changelogs but change practically nothing in 20 versions?
There have been murmurings from a few players since about A13 about how the building connecting B to C is a maze. I don't think it's because they've gotten lost, I think the issue stems from the travel time between the flank the train goes through and the cart path. This, combined with how relatively easy it is for Red to push through the doors, means that most of the fighting between checkpoints B and C takes place in the least interesting part of it.
Though it may seem to those who've taken issue with it that I'm too convinced of my brilliance as a mapper to change what I deem a perfect area, I genuinely have no idea how to fix it. We'll figure it out later, I've reverted it to more or less its pre-A13 state. While rotation is more difficult, the tunnel is basically free for Blu.
- Removed the connector between the lower door to the B lobby and the cart path
- Removed the shelf in the cart path
- Added a door to the building blocking sights into the B lobby from C
- Added a large arrow sign to the lobby as a subtle hint to Blu which way they should be pushing from
Further contribution to the choke at C is the time it takes Red to roll out combined with the positioning they're given thanks to the proximity of their door to the height of the hoodoo and the surrounding platforms. It also makes for a jarring transition for respawning Red players when the cart reaches a poorly-marked position on the track.
- Removed the door out of Red's second spawn to the lowground of C
- Removed the shutter opposite the shutter to the catwalk Blu uses
- Added a new one-way door to the room behind the catwalk connecting to Red's batts that locks with C
- Blocked a sightline through the tunnel on C
Despite improvements to Checkpoint B, Blu has a difficult time getting a foothold on B. They don't have much trouble once they do, but the problem stands. Thus, I made the existing routes more viable.
- Moved the Red spawn to the other side of the room, away from Blu's stairs into the room.
- Added a crate and a fence to the stairwell, to protect Blu players as they come up the stairs.
Changes to D have turned it from indefensible by Red to unpushable by Blu. The most viable route, the catwalk, is too isolated from the rest of the flank to allow a team to use them together, nor effectively retreat to. Red's batts are also simply a little too powerful.
- Added stairs to the platform on the left to let Blu fall back upon a failed push
- Made the middle catwalk smaller and blocked its sightline to the main entrance
- Removed part of the corrugated metal blocking the sightline between Red and Blu's catwalks
- Removed hallway connecting the two parts of the lobby
- Added a door to the catwalk from the larger flank
- Clipped off the back of the crates on the end of the catwalk, to prevent scouts from climbing them
- Increased the train's speed from 600 to 750 to shorten the amount of time Blu has to hold it on Last
- Removed part of the rollback zone on the train track
- Removed a portion of the wall from the door between the hallway over Main
- Added a new crate to block the sightline between the outside of the platform and the aforementioned door
- Fixed an area of the grate around the dropdown to the train for which the BlockBullets was not covering the entire thing.
- Fixed the unassigned brush faces on the overlays pointing players out of D
- Visleaf cleanup
- Removed the staircase connecting the C cliff to the building over the track (again)
- Rearranged a lot of signs
- Extended the trigger for the gate in the B lobby to open for trains going toward the Red base
Chances are, A17 will be the last version of the map before judging begins! I'm really happy with how Coyote is turning out. Didn't get a ton of feedback from the last imp, but what I did get highlighted some pressing issues with the current incarnation that shouldn't be too tough to hammer out. Last didn't get tested, but time remains!
Checkpoint A has seen almost no changes since the removal of the dropdown. To date, there have been two times Red has held it over the twelve games played on Coyote since its removal in A13. One way B ends up not being defended is when Red is wiped in the A choke, and Blu moves up quicker than Red can take advantage of their battlements.
- Moved up the checkpoint to the other side of the door, to hopefully keep Red out of the meat grinder long enough to set up a defense on the next point
The changes to the transition between B and C made in A14 didn't have the desired effect of making it easier for Blu to hold both the lobby and the room the cart passes through. The greater connectivity had the unintended effect of letting Red hold the upper part of the lobby and the area outside the door. Thus, it's difficult for Blu to do anything about it.
- Restored the wall between the two sides of the lobby
- Moved the door outside to the side of the wall connected to the lobby
- Added a healthkit to the shelf beside the cart track
- Moved back Red's forward spawn for C to the other side of the hoodoo, to increase travel time and move them away from the height advantage
- Fixed a brush that clipped through the roof of the building transitioning from B to C
- Disabled collisions on the skybox props
- Fixed an issue with the big sign outside of Red's first spawn that lead it to close upward and clip through into the sky.
- Fixed some unassigned brush faces on the rollback zone decals before Checkpoint B
- Added lights to various places the taller buildings cast excessive shadows into the gameplay space
- Removed two shutters from parts of C that served to prevent players from accessing areas of the map no longer accessible because of changes to Red's first spawn
- Increased Red's respawn wave time once B is captured from 7 to 10
- Clipped more corners, now you can smoothly slam your face into the walls as you walk!
- Fixed a bug on the final point, where players could become stuck between the cart and the barrier at the end of the track
The main concern in the last test was the last control point needing to be held to by Blu long enough for the train to arrive. The proposed solution was to remove the train gimmick (MY PRIDE AND JOY) all together. The thinking being, Blu shouldn't have to hold the cart in one spot to capture the last point. This is the case, however, on acclaimed Payload maps like Upward and Millstone. Both of which slow the cart in the lead-up to the finale.
What both of these maps also have though, is enough cover and health for Blu around Last to hold down the cart with, and have a shorter track leading to the terminus. Coyote already has the latter, the real issue is that Blu is too easily pushed back from the train.
- Extended the wall on Blu's side of the track to recreate the cubby from previous versions of the map
- Added a platform to the left of the cart, taking a page out of the Barnblitz playbook, to give Blu some height to hold the cart on the track with, with ability for Red to counterpush with their higher platform.
Some of the concerns raised regarding the previous issue may been as bleed-over from this one. There was one instance Blu got the cart in front of the oncoming train, let it roll back, and pushed it back after the train passed, but were prevented from capturing by the 20-second debounce on the finale train's relay. The train creates a frustrating dynamic where Blu has to be able to win on their first try, because it also blocks them from Red's batts after failing a push.
- Decreased the debounce from 20s to 10s. The train disappears in the map now, but does so on A or B, so it's unlikely you'll see it if you aren't looking.
- Increased the refire interval of the train timer when Blu has failed to capture the terminus once from 60s to 180s
- Increased the refire interval of the train timer when the cart is past the corner to 120s
- Moved the barrier with the cart sign on it closer to the track, so Blu can use it as cover
The final problem with the final point is that half the flank doesn't offer Blu anything when pushing into last. It's so ineffective, in fact, that they'd rather all stand in the same tiny room behind the catwalk over the wide open room on the other side of the choke. The solution? More height on the other side that offers a greater ability to retreat in place of the useless shelf.
- Extended the shelf to the entire corner
- Added a larger crouch jump. This lets Blu retreat, at the cost of exposing themselves while performing the double crouch jump
- Added more cover to the door to the shelf, which also blocks sightlines
Despite changes to the roof on B, Red is still having a hard time rolling out to set up a defense when their best route to it is blocked by a train every 45 seconds. This also leads to issues for Blu pushing into C from their second spawn.
- Reduced the frequency of trains once A is captured from 45s to 90s
- Removed the door frame from the door to the bridge from the room Red spawns in, widened it from 192 to 256 so players can pass the train on both sides
- Widened the bridge, so Red has an option to cross the bridge even if a train is crossing with them
- Removed the fence from the doorway to the bridge
More of the usual bug fixes, quality of life and clarity changes, and optimizations.
- Filled in a hole in the ceiling near Last
- Added a sign pointing Blu toward an underused staircase giving them access to the height in the room behind B
- Added a staircase prop to the lower door to the room behind B Blu uses to push C
- Added an arrow sign to the B roof, to direct players coming out of spawn at the beginning of the round
- Fixed an arrow overlay with no faces assigned on the shack at the lead-up to Checkpoint B
- Added areaportals to the two doors coming out of the area between B and C, so the entirety of C isn't drawn because that door is in view
- Tied several areaportals to their corresponding shutters, as was not previously the case. Apparently they go inside doors? Only took me this long to figure that out.
- Added some crates and barrels to fill in a gap between the end of a catwalk and a piece of corrugated metal on Last.
- Removed another useless crate jump from A
- Filled in a hole between the displacement ground and the rock on the left side of Blu's first spawn
- Added miscellaneous navigation signs
- Added some gameplay-essential cacti
Back to Basics is finally coming to a close, and Coyote is finally starting to come together. I don't know what I would've done without the deadline extension. It feels like each version has had one area that plays significantly worse than the rest of them, A13 being no exception.
This version's issues arose mostly in the transition between B and C, where the map is separated into a lobby and a tunnel. That separation means one team has a hard time holding both at the same time. Blu, who needs a presence in both to get the cart through the choke, can't do that. For the same reason though, Red never pushed through either. My goal was to preserve the need to hold both sides, but make it easier for Blu to rotate between them than Red.
- Changed the small pack under the train bridge in the lobby to a medium health pack, both for Red defending B and Blu attacking C
- Removed the lower route into the area beneath Red's first spawn
- Added a route in place of the removed route into the lobby that, similarly to the one it replaced, took Blu from the platform beneath the cliff to the main level of the lobby. This time, however, integrating the Red spawn
- Moved Checkpoint B out from beneath the bridge to just behind it, so the focus of the B fight can be on controlling the roof.
- Added a route connecting the lower end of the tunnel to the door to the lobby, to allow attackers to rotate better between the two areas
- Removed one of the doors from the exit to the lobby and the tunnel, combining them into one door.
- Added a fence to the tunnel to prevent defenders at the door out of the lobby from passively holding against players on the cart
- Added a shelf to the tunnel to accommodate the fence
- Increased Red's respawn wave time from 3s to 5s while defending C
- Moved the checkpoint C back to the middle of the overpass
A separate but related issue is that a sniper standing near Checkpoint C has free reign over most of the outdoor areas on C. Without the balcony being connected to the overpass, those who seek to kill a sniper standing there are funneled from low ground or where Red is holding up to a very exposed platform, or straight through the sniper's line of sight.
- Added fences outside the door the cart goes through to leave the lobby
- Added a shutter door at the height of the top of the train to block the sight line through the building, but allow players to ride boxcars through the door, like previous versions
Second to that, the roof behind B, when successfully held, offers an interesting dynamic where Red holds from it and the lobby they spawn in. This was, however, was too difficult because the bridge provided too much cover to players on the cart and the lack of ammo forced players to give up their height advantage to seek more.
- Extended the roof on the far side of the point to give defenders more room to work with
- Changed the small health pack on the roof to a medium one
- Added a prop jump to the roof on Red's side of the bridge
- Extended the roof behind the bridge
- Added a small health pack to the cliff on B
The final big issue lies with Last and the latter half of the C yard. While Blu's battlements aren't ineffective, they're cramped and funnel all of the team onto the one balcony. The nature of the lower door means it's easy for Blu to pressure the cart without committing, so they're allowed to play far too passively.
- Added a hallway above the main route into Last connecting the two flanks to let Red roll out to the platform on C and for Blu to rotate between the two flanks better.
- Extended the platform outside the door into the right flank to connect to the new hallway
- Extended the lower portion through the entire flank
- Added a floor over the power portion, to remove Blu's height advantage over the door
- Added two staircases, giving the player the choice between a long route through a tunnel and a steep height advantage and a short, open staircase that puts them in a less advantageous position.
- Added a sheet of metal to block one of Blu's angles on Red's battlements
- Changed the time added when A and C are captured from 4 minutes to 3, in-line with Upward. B is staying at 4:00 for the time being
- Added telephone poles to the skybox
- Fixed the No-entry sign behind the train gate out of D, previously, it closed on a timer
- Fixed the misplaced path_tracks that caused the warning bells to trigger too late to warn players of oncoming trains
- Added clipping to the frame of the right door to Blu's third spawn
- Fixed the trigger on Red's forward spawn on C opening for both teams
- Added previously missing soundscapes to Red's forward spawn exit on C
- Added missing patches under some of the pickups that disappeared in the process of making changes to the underlying geometry
- Added a trigger for the door to Red's catwalk on Last and the forward spawn door to open once the train is destroyed, so Blu humiliation doesn't just consist of standing around behind the brand new wall in the way of Red's spawn.
- Added a fence to the flank around Checkpoint A to give attackers going to the cliff more cover from the lower door, and force them to go down there to pressure the choke
- Added miscellaneous clipping to door frames too close to perpendicular walls
- Moved the shutter over the far route into the building over the track to remove the "cubby" that gave too much cover to engineers and snipers
- Fixed the alignment of the tracks at the beginning of A
- Fixed the alignment of Checkpoint C with the rest of the track
- Fixed a misaligned floor texture on Last
- Disabled clipping on the sign outside the door into Checkpoint A
- Added a spotlight to the sign beneath Checkpoint C
- Added another sign beneath Checkpoint C, for players approaching the opposite direction
- Moved some props/displacements to hide culled faces
- Fixed an issue with the size of the trains' damage triggers that sometimes killed players standing on Red's catwalk on Last
- Added warning lights to the right flank, which had none previously
- Added a BlockBullets under the platform under the lower door to the flank around Checkpoint A to prevent it from eating splash
- Extended the size of the func_tracktrain entities in the trains to prevent the gates from clipping with them as they pass
- Filled in an abusable blind spot coming out of Blu's first spawn
- Fixed a bug with the way the warning lights are initialized that caused one to stay on until the first train arrived
- Added spectator cams to Blu's first spawn, and another view of Blu's side of C
After a particularly productive imp, I think I finally understand the reasons the map flows the way it does. This time, I made the big layout-altering changes I think I'm finally ready to make.
Because Red has so much distance between its spawn and the frontline on both A and B, both points end up punishing them too hard for a broken hold. These changes are meant to make it easier to defend A and B.
- Moved Red's first spawn up to the room behind B, in place of the staircase at the bottom of the cliff on B
- Added a hallway in place of the staircase, connecting to the trench beneath the train bridge
- Moved the signs from Red's old spawn to the new one
Last imp had some more negative feedback on the A dropdown. I liked the dynamic that allows Blu to spam into the choke from an alternate angle, but it turns out, even with a less potent health pack, a more severe height disadvantage, and a more restrictive doorway, the ability to bypass Red's entire defense is just too strong.
- Removed the dropdown on A
- Added a staircase connecting the Red battlements on A to the building Checkpoint A is in
- Added soundscapes to the new staircase
- Added a new room connecting the underground B flank to the house on A
- Moved the small health pack from the dropdown to beside the checkpoint. The pack can be held by Blu from the doorway, but Red can still access it like they could when it was in the dropdown
- Added a small health pack beside the ammo pack in the A house
The really big issue was the way C played. Upon B's capture, Blu has very direct access to Red's battlements on the other end of the yard, and even with a shortened route to C, Red has a hard time accessing Blu's entrance in the opposite corner. (Imagine holding Swiftwater's D point from the house over the point itself rather than the middle of the yard)
- Removed the bridge connecting the balcony to the overpass. Blu had too much access to the point from the flank. This forces attackers to give up their height and drop down to the level of the track to achieve the same thing. This also prevents attackers from retreating to the balcony's height when they're being pressured on the overpass
- Changed the shape of Red's backward spawn to let Red access the corner of the L that makes up the C yard
- Added a one-way door into C from Red's backward spawn
- Added an OnPass output to the cart track, (marked with a switch) that disables Red's forward spawn and forces them the normal way to defend C
- Added a short elbow that gives Red access to the building over the track once their forward spawn is disabled, while not letting it serve the same purpose as the route from the balcony to the overpass by forbidding its use early into C's capture
- Reduced Red's respawn wave time when B is captured, and set it to increase again once C is captured
- Removed a dead end formerly leading to a flank that no longer exists
- Added warning lights to the flank up to the roof on B and slowed down the doors, to show that they're opening.
- Added some minor clipping to the retaining walls on the short cliff on C to make it a little less distracting to have to jump or get stuck on the 32hu lip
- Removed some concrete textures left over from my day-long attempt to detail the map, under the mistaken impression it actually played well
- Fixed some geometry in the train gate left of where Red's first spawn used to be that interfered with the AreaPortal in the gate
- Added a warning light where Red's spawn used to be
- Moved up the misplaced path_track that triggers the warning bells on Last
- Added a new train that takes the place of the Blue boxcar train once Red's forward spawn is disabled, to give the train a greater impact on how C plays
- Fixed an bug from the restructuring of the train gate triggers in A12 that made the gate in front of Red's first spawn that prevented it from opening early, letting players through in front of the train
- Cleaned up some messy geometry above the doorway out of Checkpoint A
- Fixed rollback zones not appearing on the HUD
- Replaced some of the rock wall textures
Made some pretty drastic changes to Last to make pushing into it more difficult. The previous version prevented Red from rolling out to C due to the inconvenient train/exit placement, and gave Blu a height advantage they didn't deserve.
- Added a platform to the corner where the cart enters Last
- Added a 64hu platform outside of Red's spawn
- Added a fence to the end of the catwalk
- Added a door to the elbow to access to the new platform
- Added a shutter that closes when C is captured to cut off the elbow from the catwalk
- Added a shutter that opens when C is captured to let players onto the new platform
- Added signs to the elbow
- Added windows to Red's second spawn to let them safely see what Blu is up to and be ready for it as they leave spawn
- Added a column in the corner the cart goes around on its way into Last to provide cover to the new platform, restrict sight into the dump truck cubby, and to give players pushing through the main entrance a piece of cover to juke around
- Removed the stairwell room from behind the catwalk
- Removed the medium health pack from the catwalk
- Removed the connector between the main area around Last and the stairwell
- Removed the shutters from the elbow into the lobby onto the catwalk from C
- Removed one of the black voids from inaccessible area of track beneath the lobby formerly into the catwalk
- Removed the angled part of the catwalk
- Turned the dump truck to give engineers more protection when setting up in the cubby
- Raised the ceiling on Last to accommodate the new platform
- Made the control point arrow directing players out of Last larger
The length and frequency of the trains were meant to force Red to change the way they defend each of the points while the train is in the map. The train on A and B does that, but the Blue train that starts to appear just before B is captured only ended up artificially extending their respawn time by about 10 seconds, making it difficult for them to roll out to C in time to defend it.
- Removed the path_track outputs for the train gates, because they were too fiddly and difficult to make changes to. I've spent entire days trying to get all 16 path_tracks in both directions in the right place and the right order, so I replaced them with giant trigger_multiples instead!
- Removed four boxcars from each of the red trains, taking it from a length of 11 cars (including the engine) (6400 hu) to 7 (~4000 hu)
- Reduced the length of the blue train from 6 cars (~3200 hu) (including the engine) to 5
- The route-blocking lad is no more!
- Added a more obvious sign pointing players toward the shorter route from Red's first spawn to A and B
- Added a less eye-catching sign above the door players were mistakenly using, to point them in the right direction even if they disobey the other signs
- Removed a crate stack on the platform left of the door to Checkpoint A that was meant to counter turtle engineers that never ended up being a problem
- Removed a misleading sign outside of Red's first spawn that lead a lot of players to ignore a quicker route to A and B
- Shortened the track coming out of the building A is in to allow players to stand on either side of the cart as it moves through the doorway
- Removed a set of one-way windows from the bridge on A because once again, Blu doesn't need the help
- Flipped the movement direction of the shutter over the A staircase around Checkpoint A that opens when it's captured
- Flipped the textures on some of the flank shutters so "loading zone" can be read the right way
- Moved the Rock005 (OwO) near Checkpoint B closer to the wall it's up against to prevent players from getting stuck behind it when trying to get on top, as well as to free up space around the cart
- Gave the hole in the bridge outside of Blu's first spawn a more board-like shape.
- Made the finale explosion trigger larger
- Clipped off the retaining walls behind C a little better