PL Swiftwater (swift revisited)

Discussion in 'Map Showcase' started by What Is Schwa, May 18, 2009.

  1. ShamanBond

    ShamanBond L1: Registered

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    I played FRC14 yesterday and we had 3 red engies built up on the high ground above the final point. We were all wiped out by demos that had an angle on our locations without being exposed to the sentry fire.

    Of course it didn't help that there were spies all over the place, but with 3 stickies being able to take out a sentry the wooden building with the windows makes for a great place for demos to hide and spam sentries that overlook the final point, no uber needed.

    I remember playing way back when the map was red heavy and the final point hasn't changed all that much but I think you're right about the default route people take to get out of red spawn to the final point. I take the vent and then go up the stairs to the wooden building and then down into the final courtyard above the last point, there's probably a faster way but it's not obvious at all.
     
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  2. simoneaolson

    simoneaolson L1: Registered

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    Several things i've noticed with frc14 (overall liking the changes, great work! :O)

    Bugs:
    (2 floating yellow barrels)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Possible Improvements:
    (I noticed that these spaces are a little too open, a couple more props or some interesting brushwork would help. Regarding the first screenshot, i don't really like how this room is just a big square, maybe something like a right-angled triangle?)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. ics

    aa ics http://ics-base.net

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    I also noticed that in the new version, at certain situations when you exit the spawn into the area where used to be that wired indoor spot with exit doors opening only to defenders (the place where you could stay endlessly when the cap is taken and the spawndoor is shut). That exit door to the area from spawn has some sort of thing stuck in the ground that for example with heavy class, will get stuck in part or similiar. Try it out.

    You can also shoot straight into the spawn as sniper from the tower at left side (as seen from BLU spawn). There is that glassdoor opening and shutting but when the doors are open and round has started, people who exit and enter will make the glass door open and close and you can easily snipe people to death when they just have spawned. Granted, it is possible only for some time.
     
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  4. What Is Schwa

    What Is Schwa L6: Sharp Member

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    ics can you take screenshots? I'm not sure I follow you. Thanks!
     
  5. Sgt Frag

    Sgt Frag L14: Epic Member

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    I liked the new changes. Only had a quick game though, seemed the stuff I noticed were good improvements though.
     
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  6. Citizen Snips

    Citizen Snips L3: Member

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  7. Wilson

    aa Wilson Boomer by Sleep

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    Could you please stop bumbing these threads and let maps authors work in peace, he will post news when there is some news to post.
     
  8. Citizen Snips

    Citizen Snips L3: Member

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    Well, an update would be nice, even if he's not ready to make a complete release yet.
     
  9. Wilson

    aa Wilson Boomer by Sleep

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    Thing is, he makes one when there is one ready, right now you just make everyone think, wait, there is update to this map? Only to find out you have once again bumped another old map thread to ask for updates on map.

    Just sit and wait, the updates come when they are ready.
     
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  10. What Is Schwa

    What Is Schwa L6: Sharp Member

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    Download final release candidate 16!
    --Build 16 Changes--
    One way door in final stage buildings returned
    Final stage: Red positioned better to favor quicker access to upper areas
    Stage 2: New route to upper catwalks. Some additional health. Removed inner staircase in red building.

    Lots of little tweaks/bugfixes here and there. I honestly can say I have pretty much nothing left on my own personal TODO list for this map. Just a little polish here and there and this baby is DONE. Any further tweaks will be based on feedback. That said, I don't expect much to change.

    Some Final Thoughts:

    I'm not 100% happy with the final stage. Not a ton has changed in terms of layout, but somewhere along the line the players mentality changed and they don't hold the upper buildings as often. Comparing FRC16 to plain swiftwater the final stage is 1) less spawn time for red 2) equal walking distance for red 3) less convoluted for red 4) red can flank blu easier 5) more engy friendly for red. At this point I don't believe that this version is more difficult to defend. Instead I think more games are actually getting past CP2 and reaching the end, and thus more games are being won by offense. Truthfully I don't enjoy deadlock and want the map to get to the end every time. It would be nice if stage 5 was a perfect 50/50 but I don't know if that is possible.

    Generally though I feel the changes have improved flow dramatically. It is impossible to spawn camp, every class is useful, and both spawn times and walk times have been kept absurdly low. Even on 32 pop servers the cart can be pushed forward. Sure, there are a few troublesome spots, but for the most part the map moves along with some good dramatic highlights.

    I'm open to suggestions, but at this point they need to be very specific. "It is too hard to defend" will unfortunately be ignored. However "put a guard rail here [screenshot] to keep sentries alive when being attacked from here [screenshot]" will be considered seriously and likely tested (internally).

    Thanks again to everyone who has played this damn map over the course of these years. I hope it will continue to be enjoyed for the life of TF2. Assuming there are no bugs look for the absolute final very soon. Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  11. tyler

    aa tyler

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    Sounds good.

    If I have one suggestion at this point it'd be to rethink the second to last cap. Since we started using versions with that point, BLU has never once lost that I've seen.
     
  12. What Is Schwa

    What Is Schwa L6: Sharp Member

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    I appreciate the excitement. I've just been busy with school, family, and other maps. Sorry for the delays.
     
  13. What Is Schwa

    What Is Schwa L6: Sharp Member

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    The additional CP was the result of a twofold rethinking of design philosophy from Swiftwater (old) to the FRC editions.

    1) Old siwft had the standard +4:30 for each cap with a limit of 8 minutes. I never liked this because it penalized teams that started out strong by clipping reward time if they cap CPs too quick. This might not be especially important in pub play, but in comp play it just doesn't rub me right.

    I wanted to remove the time limit, but I also hate the 20 minutes stage 3 dustbowl standoffs. My solution was to depreciate the amount of time given for each cap. CP1 gives the full 4:30, but each additional CP gives less time. It was necessary to add another CP in between so that the addition of time remained roughly the same. The second to last CP only gives 2 minutes of time. Not enough time to take the last point by itself, but enough time to reward a team that has done well in earlier stages, or is currently on a roll.

    2) Old swift spawn times were static after CP3 (silos) was capped. This meant that the red spawns had to be adjusted with the final CP location in mind. I felt the red spawn times were too long and thus play in the courtyard before the last stage was underused. Red spawns are kept very short now and I feel play has improved in the courtyard.

    I won't remove the CP, but I can change the variable of amount of time given, and spawn times. However, red is already spawning outrageously fast, and I am reluctant to add time to blu's spawn. Earlier FRC versions had even less time, but I would hear players say "wtf, only 60 seconds for a CP?" I don't want players to feel cheated for capping a CP either.

    I agree that for some reason Red has been getting steamrolled in the FRC editions. I honestly am clueless as to why this is. Compared to Old Swift, FRC has shorter red spawns and more advantages to flank. At this point the only thing I can think of is the general movement of players to the lower area compared to the upper areas. I hope I've addressed this in the FRC16, but I don't think I'll be doing anything dramatic in the future. There are already enough people who hate the changes, at this point I think I'm doing more harm than good.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  14. Citizen Snips

    Citizen Snips L3: Member

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    You know, all this time, I had thought that you were just not making the proper routes to make getting out of the RED spawn less of an ordeal, but after looking at the map again and traveling straight up with noclip, I realized that it has nothing to do with the routes; it's a problem inherent in the map itself.

    [​IMG]

    The spawn is literally at the back of the map.

    As Sonic Sez, That's no good.

    This is what I suggest you do; you can choose to listen to me or not, but this slight overhaul would completely solve the issue you're having with people taking the low ground during the courtyard battle.

    [​IMG]

    First and foremost, convert this into a spawn room. Close off the vent and the stairway up to the final cap. This is the biggest step. I know you don't want to put your work on that entire back area to waste, but trust me, I thought of what to do with that; let me continue.

    [​IMG]

    When people spawn (this is before the penultimate point above the slope is capped, mind you), have them facing this direction. This is a great passageway that not only leads RED straight up to the high ground, but also gives them many vantage points, such as the Sniper deck that nobody uses.

    [​IMG]

    This is a great location, but it's never used. By having the spawn be close to it, players, namely Snipers, will naturally gravitate towards it, while other players have either this stairway to go down, or the back area to the left of the map (which is also never used). Having the Snipers be out of reach would be problematic, but thankfully you have that area accessible to BLU with the stairwell going up into it, so a sneaky Spy could take down any troublesome Sniper in there and never be spotted. Good balance at work.

    But there's one big issue with that room that stops it from being perfect.

    [​IMG]

    This hole.

    Why was it ever there? It serves no purpose other than to frustrate players. Especially if you convert the room below into a spawn room, that would make this hole even more useless. Remove the hole, make it a firm grating that nobody can slip through, and have that room down there just be closed off. Simplicity is good; the less unused rooms lying around, the better.

    [​IMG]

    In order to adjust to having that area be a spawn room, make this doorway a spawn door. Like I said, having the spawn spit RED out nice and close to the battlefield, yet still far enough from the initial cart location that BLU has more than enough of a chance to push forward, is satisfying to both teams. However, when BLU caps the penultimate point, lock this door, and have an impassable door blocking off the stairwell from the spawn, so as to not confuse players.

    [​IMG]

    Next, convert this open doorway into a spawn door, which will properly seal off this room as a spawn room. The design already perfectly fits having a door there; you've already done half the work. This door will always be accessible for the last two caps; on the penultimate cap, it might be wiser to take this doorway to flank the cart with someone else from above. However, it won't come into play as much until the final cap.

    And as we get to the final point, you're probably still saying "Now hold up, I want people to be able to get to the high ground on the final point! I built that for a reason!"

    And herein lies the solution.

    [​IMG]

    Take this vent and convert it into a regular passageway. I know you want to be unique, but save the vents for the upper areas that actually have drop-downs; just crawling through the vents to get out of the spawn is a pain. Have a locked door here until the penultimate point is capped, so people don't take it by mistake; it's only there for the final cap. Now instead of making a path out of the entire vent network, though, this path will just lead to one spot.

    [​IMG]

    Your stairwell leading up to the high ground at the final cap.

    I bet you forgot that the vent system went here; we sure did.

    So when the penultimate point is capped, change the spawn so that players are facing either the doorway on the lower end, or the hallway that leads to the stairwell. Passageways are no longer long and confusing, and are instead quick and simple to traverse.

    In order to make the best out of the high ground at the final point, though, you might want to extend the cap a little deeper along the path, so BLU is exposed to RED fire longer.This will force BLU to have to travel through the building above the track (which, again, no one ever goes through) in order to dispense with the RED forces themselves, and, once they do so, they can jump right down to the cart. It would benefit both sides.

    By making all of these small changes, the result will be a major overhaul of the map design, but for the better. Movement of players will be relocated to the upper areas, except for when the cart is in the lower areas. This is the answer to the frustration that the final spawn has always had.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  15. Ezekel

    Ezekel L11: Posh Member

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    whilst i've not done an in depth look at swift myself to see how much i agree with snips, it's still nice to see such an in depth analysis carried out.


    I'd like to make one suggestion as to the number of blue wins over red since the introduction of an additional point:
    when a point is capped, the cart cannot roll back past it, that means that even if red play just as hard as they do in the past, they still have to settle with the fact that their front line is now a bit smaller than before.
    it may be minor in reality, as a strong red defense can push a frontline to beyond the cart in any given map, but it still feels like an issue worth making note of.
     
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  16. tyler

    aa tyler

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    I think the problem with your first point is that you aren't taking into account the fact that BLU already is meant to win payload maps. Valve payloads are designed with BLU winning in mind. Giving them modified time bonuses and extra CPs basically gives them more free passes, because if they slip up the cart can't go as far backwards.

    The second point you raise is a bit better I think, but you could have instead set up an output to change RED's respawn based on when the cart hit a track_path entity rather than a full cap.

    Basically, the way I see it is RED is getting rolled repeatedly because of BLU's numerous alternate flanks and CPs. RED doesn't need so many flanks--they tend to stand still or push along the main path, so they don't use them so much in payloads--but BLU definitely will use everything you present to them. Which means that even if you intend some flanks for RED, BLU is going to control them because it's easier for them to control them.

    I would highly advise rethinking the entire silo-to-last area at the very least. I love your map, but playing defense on it just isn't fun anymore, and I love playing defense and do it willfully on ever map if possible.

    In short, and not to be rude but rather to be frank and honest, I think there is a reason you don't see other payload maps doing what you have done with cap times and cap points.
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2011
  17. Citizen Snips

    Citizen Snips L3: Member

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    While I don't agree that the multiple caps with different time additions is a bad thing, where I do agree is that, on payloads at least, RED wants to take the most direct path as possible to stop the cart, while BLU wants to flank through separate paths to hit RED off guard.
     
  18. What Is Schwa

    What Is Schwa L6: Sharp Member

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    Thanks for the in depth look. I disagree that behind the CP spawning is bad. It is the standard norm for all maps. The latest build has players immediately facing a stair case that puts them in direct LOS with the last CP.

    I am rethinking the existence of vents in general. They don't add anything and seem to confuse some players. I'll wait out this build and see if the problem persists.

    "I bet you forgot that the vent system went here; we sure did."
    That vent system was an addition in FRC16. It wasn't there previously =)
     
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  19. Citizen Snips

    Citizen Snips L3: Member

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    I swear I've been around back there and saw vents in the past.

    Or perhaps I'm mistaking it with another vent. That whole area is cluttered. Oh well, my mistake.

    But the final spawn leads them at the top of the final cap...but still miles away from the actual fighting. Once people realize that the stairwell actually is slower to access the courtyard than the lower route, they'll revert back to the lower route.

    I'm telling you, if you convert that room down there into a spawn room, it'll make everything glorious. There's nothing wrong with having the spawn near the cap; most maps have the final spawn be right by the track/whatever. Technically yours is too, but it's still a hike away.

    Trust me; if you were to do what I suggested, it would work wonders in readjusting the fight to the high ground.

    You should at least give it a shot in one build and see how people react; I'm sure they'd love it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011
  20. What Is Schwa

    What Is Schwa L6: Sharp Member

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    I'm doing a bit of an overhaul to red spawn to hopefully streamline it and make it more clear what is going on. Not quite ready to jump into the overhaul you suggested Snips, but at this point we are really close to what you suggest. The spawn is essentially a doorway away from where you want it.

    All the damn vents are gone. Gone gone gone. Fuck vents, what was I thinking?

    I've gotten a lot of complaints that players don't use the shortcut routes, so I'm making the shortcut route between stage 1 and 2 (and 1 to 3) more intuitive and obvious. This has led to a chain reaction of geometry changes that required a near complete rebuild of many areas. It has been slow going with midterms upon me. However, spring break just started so I'm hoping to get another version out soon.

    Michael the Narwhale has generously volunteered to do an optimized Nav mesh too, so the next build will be bot optimized (both in geometry and his custom Nav). I'm really looking forward to this release.