MVM Steep rc3a

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a survivor with too much paint
Feb 7, 2008
Steep - Mann vs. Machine vs. Mining vs. Mountain

2nd place winner of the 2017 Mappers vs. Machines contest. An abandoned mining facility set on a large slope puts an emphasis on vertical combat.

A map by Idolon (layout, waves, detailing) and Phi (optimization).

Big thanks to Hydrogen for scheduling regular tests of this map as well as the so-called "night crew" of MvM map testers. Without them this map wouldn't have been possible. Thanks also to Luxatile for her I.D.O sign.

The main download only contains a .bsp.
Download the navigation and population files here.

Steam workshop link:
A short article on the development of the map:

[Note: Map was previously "ido" and was later totally revamped. Probably should have started a new thread but it's a bit late for that. Contact me if you want to look at the old map. I also wrote a bit about it here:]
Last edited:


a survivor with too much paint
Feb 7, 2008
Mappers Vs Machines rules state you must have 2 Popfiles. Got another to add to it?
Right now I'm more worried about the layout, so all I've made so far is a popfile that should make sure nothing breaks and that the map is fun. There will be a second popfile later.


a survivor with too much paint
Feb 7, 2008
I could help if you'd like. Just so you can focus more on the map and have less to worry about in terms of making both popfiles
I rather enjoyed putting together the test popfile, so I'd like to continue doing that. Thanks for the offer though.


Jun 15, 2013
Mappers Vs Machines rules state you must have 2 Popfiles. Got another to add to it?
You only need 2 popfiles when you're pushing the final product into the contest. It's fine to have only one for testing.


L3: Member
Feb 8, 2017
Heyo, we played the map and mission yesterday and I've got some feedback.

For the mission:
Wave 1 is way way way too hard for 400 credits only. Too many Pyros and Soldiers to keep under control with such a little amount of credits. And the no reload giant Demoman don't make it any easier either. I'd suggest on reducing the amount of Pyros and Soldiers and use the other variant of giant Demoman (there are 2 templates for very similair giant Demoman, one needs to reload, the other doesn't)

Wave 2 throws 2 giant Heavies at the same time at you, while wave 2 expert Decoy only throws 2 at you with 20 seconds between each one and with more money at your disposal. We didn't have a lot of trouble with this wave because we had the OP Medic shield, but Medic shield shouldn't be taken into balancing decisions since it makes certain waves way too easy than they seem.

As from wave 3 and onwards, it became easy compared to the first 2 waves. And we did notice you liked giant Heavies considering you used them in 3 waves in a row, but then again, expert Coaltown also has a giant Heavy fetish. No idea what difficulty you were striving for, but wave 1 was unfun and a pain in the butt to complete.

As for the map. The map is alright, although we feel like the sides were a bit boring, no idea what your plans are for those. And one of the reasons why wave 1 was a pain was because bots could flank you from all sides. Do something similair to Mannworks, make the nav_avoids block common bots to rather than only the bomb_carrier, so they're forced to come from only 1 way, makes defending easier and more pleasant. But other than that, it was a good experience.

Star Bright

L2: Junior Member
Jan 4, 2016
Was dicking around in a listen server when...


Not sure if this is a client side thing or a map thing, since this only happened once but I couldn't get out of it for the life of me.

Oh also console is spewing something about:
Dead end link: tankpath_b20
Dead end link: tankpath_a20


MvM Maniac
Apr 5, 2017
That sometimes happens even on normal MvM maps. It's a TF2 bug. Suiciding (or reconnecting to the server) usually fixes the problem.


a survivor with too much paint
Feb 7, 2008
Alpha 2

added "common" tag to nav blockers to enforce a more strict path for bots
changed train gate entrance to playerclip so bots are less confused on how to enter the map
moved pickups around, upgraded some medium health/ammos to fulls, added more in general
raised hatch area 64 units
raised spawn by an additional 64 units
fixed nobuild on certain roofs
forward upgrade station never disables itself (will find a better solution but for now this fixes the station being closed when you fail a wave)
moved left side flank towards hatch by 256 units

Normal popfile:
start with 500 credits (was 400)
adjusted several spawn rate values across all waves to be more reasonable
added AlwaysFireWeapon to pyros

wave 1:
changed pyros to support
giant demos replaced with regular demos, which spawn after all soldiers are spawned
added sniper mission

wave 2:
giant heavies replaced with regular heavy/medic combo
added scouts that spawned after all heavy/medic combos spawn
demoknight support does not spawn until all heavy/medic combos spawn

wave 3:
increased tank health (15,000 -> 35,000)
melee heavies spawn earlier
soldiers spawn later, less frequently
giant heavies replaced with giant shotgun heavies

wave 4:
changed giant heavy support from regular heavies to melee heavies
changed melee scouts to melee pyros

wave 5:
giant soldiers spawn after heavies all spawn

wave 6:
increased tank health (20,000 -> 30,000)
changed snipers to scouts
made pyros support

front spine doesnt have much cover and the cover it does have is hard to use. it needs a redesign
right side (two parallel trains) needs a redesign. likely it will not have the trains anymore, as I don't want the terrain to be flat (height difference to hatch is pretty big and i think that area needs to be more interesting in general)
health and ammo placement is goofy as heck
middle path is rather difficult to play because of no cover. the spine between it and the hatch needs a redesign to be more usable.
still need to implement train
hatch area probably needs more cover
the front is a big ol spam pit. i may add a secondary entrance over by where the parallel train tracks are now to allow more versatility in the waves (would use a different spawn name so popfiles have to intentionally use it?)
i think i might expand the back spine to alter the overall layout as such.

(popfile notes may be incomplete because of a computer crash)

Read the rest of this update entry...


a survivor with too much paint
Feb 7, 2008
I got frustrated with trying to fix the previous map because it had a lot of dependencies in the layout (i.e. things being next to other things, making them difficult to edit) and it was also just pretty boring overall. This new layout is more linear and is separated into more distinct parts, making it easier to work with. Vertical play is emphasized.

The map has two routes, both of which are very separated from each other. Because the paths are so separate, tank paths will adjust themselves to fit: Path A will take the same path as the robots, and Path B will take the opposite route.

Map length is around the length of Rottenburg. The popfile is Hamlet Hostility, edited to make work with the map's entity setup.

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a survivor with too much paint
Feb 7, 2008
map changes:
-fixed missing blue func_respawnroom
-added nobuild to rocks at starting area
-hopefully fixed sniper position having wonky aim
-added nav avoid to weird train perch area to prevent bots from getting stuck on a corner
-added mullions to forward upgrade station room to make glass more obvious
-added light to forward upgrade station room to make it more difficult to miss
-raised a platform in cave route from 64 to 128 and extended the back to make it a more useful holding position
-lowered a platform at convergence from 256 to 192 to bring it closer to gameplay space (less damage falloff while still maintaining a safe distance from bots, ideally)
-lowered rocks at starting area to provide less cover
-added second bot entry. all default spawn names can spawn at both. spawnbot_high and spawnbot_low can be used to specify which to spawn at.
-added medium health/ammo by convergence
-added medium health/ammo to hill route on bottom

anticipated map changes:
-the hill route (as opposed to the cave route) seems like it kinda sucks. the upper room is a lot less useful than i thought (damage falloff and awkward sightlines to the bots, not to mention how difficult it even is to access). theres not really any other usable high ground except at the very start or very end so players just run backwards along the bot route. its not nearly as fun as the cave route, not to mention that its a shorter path overall. i think this route needs a do-over
-the choke between the convergence of the two paths and the hatch area isn't much fun to hold cause its flat and the high ground is difficult to access/too far away to be useful because of damage falloff. needs some rethinking
-may slide the convergence (and hatch area) back into the hill so the two routes have more similar lengths and to potentially rescale the entrance/exit halls of the cave (haven't decided if these are the right size or not but something has to change)
-may reconfigure bot spawn so their perch has a sightline to the train, making sentries less powerful there

-hamlet hostility popfile renamed to _rottenburg, fixed chief not spawning
-added original popfile that should be more difficult to make up for the map being easier to defend than rottenburg. hamlet hostility popfile is also included in case this one is too hard

Read the rest of this update entry...


a survivor with too much paint
Feb 7, 2008


a survivor with too much paint
Feb 7, 2008
Turns out Valve's vaccinator templates are broken and also I typed some numbers wrong. Here's some hotfixes because I cba to upload the whole .zip again. I might delete these at some point, but if you're reading this in the far future, you probably don't need these files.



a survivor with too much paint
Feb 7, 2008
map changes:
-moved convergence into the hillside by 256 units. this should make the two bomb paths more similar in length
-rescaled several things near the convergence: both paths in are now 320 wide instead of 256/384, red building on hill is now 384 wide instead of 512
-removed hopper dropzone in cave because it was hard to use and conflicted with other geometry after resizing things
-nudged rock pile at entry area up 16 units to make certain jumps easier
-simplified geometry at lower bot entry ledge so hopefully bots don't get stuck there anymore
-lowered bot entry ledge from 192 to 128, brought forward 128
-ammo by convergence was medium, now full
-moved pickups on upper deck of hatch area down a floor
-flag detection trigger near the hatch no longer clears the bomb path nav_avoids so bots always use the same path
-fixed the red spawn again, hopefully for real this time

anticipated map changes:
-both routes need revision so that height advantage is more usable. this is kinda rushed out to make some more simple changes and get a new .pop out

adv. popfile:
-adjusted timings to make waves not drag on so much, hopefully
-adjusted timings of some
-adjusted giant spawns to spawn one at a time instead of in clumps
-reduced cash on later waves to increase difficulty, as testing showed we didn't get pushed back in the last few
-giant pyros should no longer reflect projectiles
-some bots now have specific high/low spawns

-reduced medic/vacc bullet medic squads from 16 to 12
-reduced burst demo count from 24 to 20
-bots in second subwave spawn quicker but in smaller groups

-fat scouts were set to 30 seconds between spawns for some reason?? now its 6
-super scouts replaced with support demoknights because super scouts + pyro squads wasn't working

-changed quick melee scouts to regular melee scouts because scouts are already really fast and players aren't trained to recognize really quick scouts unless they're giants. also they were annoying
-staggered giant soldier spawns so it alternates: Giant Spammer Squad, Giant Crit, Giant Spammer Squad, Giant Crit. reduced maxcount of melee scouts to ensure spawns aren't restricted by max bot count (assuming no subwave 1 bots are still around)

-moved tank to start of wave
-increased demoknights from 36 to 48
-increased giant crit demomen from 2 to 3, now in squad with 2 medics
-removed spies because a) a bug means you should only use them at the start of the wave, and b) spawning them late means they'll start spawning near players who died and are walking to the front lines, which plays really strangely
-changed scouts to support
-changed crit soldiers to support, removed medics
-moved giant heavies to subwave 2, added giant medic squad
-removed burst demomen

-removed giant heavies because we just did that
-removed tank so we don't have 3 tank waves in a row
-reduced super scout count from 6 to 4
-combined subwave 2 fodder (fat scouts, fast pyros) into random selection wavespawn of 60 bots total (50/50 distribution)
-combined buff banner soldiers and fast crit champs into random selection support (50/50 distribution)
-added 2 giant shotgun heavy/4 medic squads, 2 giant rapid fire demomen/giant medic squads to end of wave

-wasnt really happy with the bot composition of this wave so i reworked it to the point where documenting changes is basically pointless

(no screenshots because most changes are pretty minor)

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a survivor with too much paint
Feb 7, 2008
map changes:
-redid hill route pretty much completely. building is totally redone to better support its use in fighting robots and the reset route has been replaced with a deathpit (fence is now directly by train tracks and a small section of it is missing)
-cave route got a makeover so each of the pre-existing platforms overlooking the bomb path is more easily accessible and usable. the reset route is gone and there is now a deathpit. pickups got all moved around as per usual
-increased map length by 256 units in the split area to give more room for layout to breathe
-rasied upgrade building by 64 units because i can
-added platform by upgrade-choke that offers cover/height advantage, also makes bot path tigher
-moved health/ammo by red convergence building to inside said building
-removed full health/med ammo by the far end of the convergence
-actually remembered to nudge the rock this time
-fixed sentrybusters??

anticipated map changes:
-will likely add side route into caves to offer a flank when bots are coming at the cave exit
-considering moving hatch area down 64 units to bring the height advantages by the convergence down somewhat (making previously mentioned side route into caves easier to implement)

adv. popfile:
-in most cases, changed "waitforallspawned" to "waitforalldead" and adjusted timings accordingly
-in most cases, adjusted timings so giant+support subwaves generally have support entering before giants
-some undocumented timing changes because i'm rushing
-overall payout reduced by 600 (400 from the final wave)
-verified all totalcount and totalcurrency values for accuracy because some were wrong

-changed heavy skill from hard to normal

-fixed a bug where giant crit demomen spawned in first subwave instead of second

-altered timing so giant soldier subwave doesn't begin until all other bots are dead
-spaced out giants more (from 6 seconds between to 12)
-changed spammer soldier medics from uber to bullet vacc
-combined support into one randomchoice wavespawn
-reduced payout from 700 to 600

-reduced giant crit demomen squads from 3 to 2, altered timing (from 12s between to 20s)
-reduced giant heavies from 4 squads to 2, altered timing (from 8s between to 20s)
-removed crit soldier support
-added spy mission
-reduced payout from 700 to 600

-changed giant shotgun heavy squads to lone giant FaN scouts

-increased tank health from 10k to 12k
-giant crit spammer soldier timing altered to spawn with more time between
-changed support crit champ heavies and demoknights to fat scouts
-changed Colonel Barrage to Chief Blast Soldier, gave them a giant medic
-reduced payout from 1100 to 700

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a survivor with too much paint
Feb 7, 2008
map changes:
-added cave flank
-resized hatch area to fit in a staircase so standing on the hatch isn't a dead-end
-moved hill deathpit to center so its more difficult to use
-resized both deathpits to 256 untis wide instead of 384 to make them more difficult to use
-changed lighting near cave deathpit to make it read more like one
-nudged the stairs in the hill building around some
-added nobuild to small roof sections on hill building
-moved full health from main hill building to mid entrance, removed full ammo
-moved medium health/ammo in upper hatch/convergence building to porch overlooking convergence (which now connects to cave flank)
-added medium health/ammo to upper hatch porch
-added medium health/ammo at divergence
-added medium health/ammo by hill deathpit
-shrunk nav avoid on hill building to only be the interior so it is more intuitive where bots will and will not go

anticipated map changes:
-not totally happy with the cave flank but it works, probably. might revise it if i get a better idea for it because it can be slow to access if you don't know the route

adv. popfile:
-in most or all cases, made giants spawn sooner because they take a while to walk into the map
-made fast soldiers faster (from 1.5 move speed bonus to 1.8)

-reduced fat scout count from 36 to 18

-increased number of giant pyros from 2 to 4
-changed pyro medics from regular to blast vacc
-added tank to second subwave (40k)
-changed support from sandman/melee scouts to regular scouts and heavies (3:1 ratio so heavies aren't overwhelming)
-giant soldiers moved to third subwave

-flipped subwaves. giant heavies first, tank second
-giant crit demomen now stagger with giant heavies (15s apart), no medics
-removed spies
-added second tank (both at 25k instead of one at 35k)
-changed demoknights to support, added flare pyros and burst demos to support

-fixed giant FaN count (2 was intended but it was 10), gave scouts a squad of 2 qf medics each
-giant demos/demoknights spawn immediately, tank waits 15 seconds
-changed giant direct hit (?) soldiers to giant crit soldiers

-increased tank health from 12k to 15k
-tanks wait 10 seconds before starting
-changed giant demoknights to giant pyros
-fixed fat scouts/crit soldiers not being support during boss
-fixed giant medic not being counted as part of boss

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