5cp layouts, discussion.

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Ravidge, May 22, 2010.

  1. Ravidge

    aa Ravidge Grand Vizier

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    I was looking at the official and community update maps, specifically the 5cp maps.
    Whilst doing so I noticed that there are basically only 2 different layouts, on the Macro-scale. These maps are vastly different from each other in other aspects, but if you remove everything except the control points from the equation, they are all very similar, surprisingly!

    Let's have a look at what I mean: (they were rotated to show their similarities, the lines does not represent anything other than shape)
    This is the Z-layout and 8-figure layout
    [​IMG]

    And this is the straight line layout
    [​IMG]

    Other layouts have been tried, like an U-shape (resonance), or L-shape (cauldron) and probably a ton of other methods. But it seems to me that most successful 5cp maps are pretty much identical when it comes to distances, and general shape of the map.

    Why?
    And is the badlands 8-figure better than the Z-shape of yukon/freight?
    What makes an U or L-shape so hard to pull off right?
    What more is there to try? I have a feeling we ran out of possible patterns made from 5 nodes long ago!
    Is there a firm connection that the official(ized) maps share similar layouts and are popular? or is it just the valve approved stamp at work?
     
  2. Lancey

    aa Lancey Currently On: ?????

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    I think the problem is the symmetry only works when it's rotational. L and U shapes require mirror symmetry, which effectively makes players have to learn two different layouts.
     
  3. Nutomic

    Nutomic L11: Posh Member

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    What about well?

    The cps are all in a straight line there, which doesnt make it a bad map.

    Same for granary btw.
     
  4. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    More over, the team that ends up having to fight to their right get a slight firing line disadvantage as their opponents can shoot around corners due to weapon orientation whilst they cannot. For this reason, rotational symmetry is considered the status quo of 5cp maps rather than mirrored symmetry.

    The traditional Z shape layouts also allow authors to implement flanking routes that aren't excessively long. In granary and well they run parallel and in badlands they create the figure 8 as they meander away from and back into the twisting main route through the maps length. Corners make for interesting gameplay as they provide oppotunities for ambushes and cover, i think this is one of the success of badlands. Even if you look at the micro path finding of players in granary you'll see it tends to create the figure of 8 as players capture centralised points, then move out to the flanks to pass through exits/entrances and into the next area where they then move onto the next centralised point. But this is largely down to optimisation within the layout.

    Corners = good because:
    • Breaks line of sight
    • Optimisation
    • Ambushes
    • Cover
    • Interesting layout
    • Chokepoint

    In granary fights revolve around doorways which makes fights kind of boring and predictable. Flanking manouvers also have to expose themselves due to lack of any seperated routes.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  5. Ravidge

    aa Ravidge Grand Vizier

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    One of the things that are rarely mimicked is the way Badlands lets you move from 1st to mid without every seeing 2nd. I think this is a pretty amazing feature but it leads to confusion for new players. I know I was a bit lost the first times I played badlands.

    Is it because we mappers are so quick to say "it's confusing" that we don't see more of these kinds of paths? Or are they just too difficult to make?
    Personally I think it's a bit of both.
     
  6. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    Well badlands is a port, of a CTF map no less, so it's really hard to say whether this layout was all that great of an idea for TF2 because it wasn't a TF2 idea. Any iterations of the same layout would be pretty similar and might not even be considered original (recieving unwarranted rejection from communities that like to claim redundancy in un-innovative maps).

    Additionally, these are the same principles for DoDS control point maps. Maps like dod_flash incorporate the same Z/8 figure layouts. So it's not even TF2 layout theory. It's Source layout theory, a result of the need to break sight lines and increase optimisation, and provide complimentary scenario's for the close range weapons incorporated in these games.
     
  7. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    Badlands is not a port. At all. The name is similar, but the layout is only vaguely slightly reminiscent of the old one. The extreme macro path from one base to another over the bridge is the same, and there is another macro path that goes along the bottom. Beyond that they have no relation to the original because of all the warping these have had, the micro paths between them, and the bases are completely changed, not even to mention the original never had a spire of any sort.

    Don't call Badlands a port :p (same thing with Well actually, they took the name but changed the map so much it shouldn't have it).
     
  8. Zwiffle

    Zwiffle L6: Sharp Member

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    Well it's not like you can have much besides that. If you cut out the other team's half of the map, you're left with three control points, which invariably make either a straight line, a zig, or a triangle. If you rotate about the center point you're going to either get a straight line, a zig-zag or two triangles.

    Not to mention that travel distances are pretty much solidified, ie 'this # of seconds travel time to 2nd point feels like a good amount' barring some slight layout oddities (weird corners, paths back, etc.)

    I think it'd be interesting if there were any maps where the 2nd point was directly above or below the first point, then you'd have a straight line on the xy plane, but an 'M', 'W' or some weird house or upside house shape from the side.
     
  9. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    We're discussing layouts here, not the greater intricacies of a map that determine the validity of calling a map a port. Badlands 8 figure layout is essentially the same as the old badlands layout and is not featured in other official maps yet. This is the point we are discussing. Plus, of course there are going to be differences, dustbowl has differences to its old one, as does 2fort. If you then go and change the mode, there would be even more significant differences. There would be no need for the spire if it was still CTF. But we could debate this all day. The similarities and dissimilarities would keep us arguing for pages.

    If it wasn't a port on some level they wouldn't have bothered taking the name, nor stating themselves (Valve) that it was a TFC port, which quite obviously uses the originals layout bar some height differences. Necassery changes for TF2 mechanics; with changes in some maps more than others.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  10. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    My point is that when you say "it wasn't a TF2 idea" it isn't that accurate.

    Ravidge boiled the layout down to the absolute minimum, and badlands ends up the same as the other two. If you were to go the next step up and mark in routes of the next hierarchy, Badlands wouldn't look that much more figure-eightish than either of the others.

    2fort isn't a TF2 idea. All it had changed was elevator becoming stairs, and the water being shallow.
    Dustbowl isn't a TF2 idea. All it had changed was the time-based alternate paths were open from the start, and more stage entries.
    Badlands is a TF2 idea. All it didn't have changed was what I outlined in my previous post.
     
  11. Prestige

    aa Prestige im not gay anymore

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    Coldfront does well without corners. Plays more like the Z-shape ones (aka good ones).
     
  12. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    I guess that's just a difference of opinion then. To me the elevator changing into stairs, the roof on the bridge, shallow water, the sewer room, the none underwater sewer passageway and the none spiral staircase warrant the same amount of consideration in terms of changes in a port, as to access through the buildings that used to be a solid cliff in the original badlands, the shallowing of the valley and the accessable spire (which FYI was exploited by grenade jumping snipers and soldiers in TFC). A map that quite obviously replicates the original in a new TF2 environment.

    The changes implemented have only really been implemented to keep the same tactics open to classes that no longer have grenade jumping perks, amongst other positive side effects that they cause for TF2 mechanics. This is at least the reasoning that the developers have given, which inclines me to accept the map as a legitimate port.

    edit: (Also i just feel strongly because having played TFC, with badlands, for 7 years, I can relate the layout in each version).
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  13. Flame

    aa Flame

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    biggest part of a good 5cp is travel times to mid. people love badlands because you have a lot of time to fight before the ubers and kritz get up. people dislike coldfront because you get to mid with 70+% kritz without fighting at all.

    travel times are a BIG part of 5cps as well as the ability of classes to get the fck out. even granary has some decent escape routes for medics, demos and soldiers where they can survive when they see the need to fall back.

    scaling is pretty huge as well. nobody likes follower, plain and simple. nobody likes mainline either. maps arent too big persay, just too wide and annoying. need to split up your team too dry to effectively hold every choke or watch every flank route, creating a headache for medics and scouts.

    YARD. stark has no yard, yukon doesnt really either. There needs to be a spot where the stalemate from 2-3 can be decided. without fully losing a point. badlands requires you to fight all the way to spire from the choke, and granary has the yard, as does well though wells is too big and the defending team has too much of an advantage to really push well.
    There needs to be somewhere open, closed by chokes and split in a sense where uber fights are fought with some interesting geometry even if its just a hill or a small building.

    Health pack placement is also key. You need to make sure demomen can get to middle with 90-100% health while still managing to tie their scouts to the fight. If that can't happen youre going to need to rethink your routes to mid, pathways etc. The soldiers also need to be able to only lose the race by maybe 2-3 seconds and not be TOO much faster than their medic.

    sounds like a lot of requirements but its worthwhile.
     
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  14. k00pa

    k00pa L1: Registered

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    Interesting... I have never thinked about that.
     
  15. Icarus

    aa Icarus

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    - In badlands, DEFENDING teams can move from 1->3 without ever seeing 2. that's fine. What makes it still work is that ATTACKING teams still have to go past CP2 to get to CP1.

    - It feels like the S-shape came about because custom mappers wanted to be more original, and didn't like how box-like the launch maps were. They bothy play perfectly fine, imo. S-maps tend to have less variety when it comes to flank routes.

    Just a couple of guidelines I'd give about 5CP maps:

    A) What I notice a lot about Valve's 5CP maps, is that when you add up the walk times + the spawn wave time, the defenders almost always reach their own point ~10 seconds before attackers do.

    B) Long respawn times (default 10s) are also very important, that helps with the flow of the map, and forces teams to be more strategic and less DM-like.

    C) Fast cap times for the final point is also very important. Otherwise, the attackers would essentially have to wipe out the defenders almost entirely (not fun; leads to annoying turtlers; your map ends up like Fastlane)
     
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    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  16. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    It's funny because it's the yard that makes granary so unplayable in public play, and makes badlands more enjoyable in public play. Granary tends to be a steam roll to whom ever grabs the centre first. Whilst badlands has more of a back and forth and lasts several tens of minutes before concluding. As opposed to ~<10 in granary.

    I guess that just goes to show you the difference between coordinated and uncoordinated play, and how layout affects that.
     
  17. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    Regardless of what comp players may want/believe, I'll never accept that this is a good thing. Explosive jumping is supposed to be a tradeoff, health for speed (or elevation). Scouts are supposed to be fast and get there first. If a demoman gets to the middle at the same time with nearly full health, that's technically something gone wrong. :mellow:

    (don't start a comp-nocomp argument over this)
     
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  18. Grim Tuesday

    aa Grim Tuesday

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    I have played hour long games of Granary, with much of fighting in the yard, and backcaps. IT was probably one of my most memorable TF2 games ever.


    But I agree, it is a rarity, and I would like to see it happen in more maps...
     
  19. Icarus

    aa Icarus

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    Granary and Well are both terrible for all the chokepoints they have.
     
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  20. Flame

    aa Flame

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    I wont start a comp non comp argument but I will tell you 5cps are hated in pubs and therefore competitive-aim is typically the only way to go, plus league exposure helps your map go official.

    demoman needs to be there with or a half second before the scouts and at or above 80-90% health. end of story