so I've been studying hydro's layout lattely more precisely, the number of paths given in every given situations I noticed some strong patterns in the number of paths each combination offers first lets start with the 4 main combinations the first noticable pattern is that most combinations offer 3 entry points to the capture area which is pretty much the general rule in tf2. note that the only exeption to this rule is in the dam/dish combo. now lets take a look at the 2 crossed combinations the second noticable pattern here is that cross map combos feature only 2 entry points to each capture areas while both combos feature only 2 entries to the capture area, both paths are leading to the same battlement where flanking is out of the question hydro and stalemates from what I can recall of my matches on hydro, I see a correlation between problematic combos and combos featuring only 2 path to capture area. my unclear memories of previous matches and recent observations lead me to believe that the lack of flanking paths is directly connected to the number of stalemate happening in a specific combination. (that actualy makes a lot of sense) :O conclusion: 2 paths to capture areas = stalemate friendly = not fun 3+ paths to capture areas are required for a combination to be good now lets take a look at both final capture areas 3rd noticable pattern, attacking/winning team always have many paths at their disposal. Even if the defending/losing team could attempt a capture at the locked point, the layout would totally destroy any chances of a successful offencive due to the low number of paths they can push trough everything in the layout here is against the defending/losing team (even height variations) this support the idea that valve implemented these final round as "punishment rounds" for the losing team while it's not a bad idea, these rounds usualy end up in steamrolls and are not that much fun for any of the teams final summation let's assume that: -the only good combinations are the ones featuring 3+ path -every 2 path combo are bad because they end up in stalemates -final stages suck because they're glorified steamrolls hydro ends up being a tc that has only 3 good combinations out of 8 possible combinations hence why it sucks? on a side note, the dish/dam combo being stalematish, I've wondered if balance was affected. stalemates on this combo would theorically help red's defence of either point should any of them be captured by blu. not sure if it's directly affecting balance but the stats support the theory.