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Last update for (4) Aquatia City v2.9 : 2017, 11, 08 11:59
mapIDMapname (comments)map sizeAuthorRatingTypeplay type
4954 (4) Aquatia City v2.9 128*128Clipse0.4finalground

The map has been rated 43 times and got a total of 17 points


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Comments:   GMCS (0 elements)

Way too tight and linear...
So in other words start from scratch and try something else? or is it still salvageable?
Just get rid of most of the water, create some nice open middle and and a third that is not essentially just another choke point in front of the natural.
Having the natural in the corner helps increasing distances, which can overall be good (depending on the match-up and how the rest of the map works with it), but bad in many other respects (hard to keep minerals vulnerable to mutas, hard to create a proper ovi spot, long, windy, easy to contain natural choke, difficult main shaping, hard to find good placement for 3rd...)
There is a lot of wasted space you can use to fix what Freak said. I don't think you need as much clutter for the main base perimeters, and the corners (natural area) have some dead space that is hard to get rid of with corner-nats concept.
To open up the map i got rid of all the water in the centre, redid the middle and moved the thirds further towards the edges. Does that improve things?
I think there is still room to be used (the water areas behind the mains and the corner nat areas particularly have a lot of space allocated to them that isn't being used optimally).

Another thing to keep in mind is that the mains have asymmetrical mineral lines, in that 11 and 5 o'clock should have horizontal mineral lines or they will have a harder time dealing with harass.

I don't necessarily like the open third, especially when it's out in front of the natural like that. It means zergs will never take it in ZvT while Terrans can cover it with reinforcements (Terrans will often expand in directions that are covered with their army movements anyways).

In TvP, Terrans can turtle and creep toward the expo (I'm assuming the middle is buildable)?

Map is still pretty linear, and I think corner nats don't help at all with this. Having the middle be big alleviates this a bit, but I don't like the fact that the path to get to someone's nat has a base right in the middle of it.

All in all, the map is pretty standard now. The tile editing looks good and the aesthetic of the map ain't bad at all. I think you need to have more of a concept in mind for your next map. A lot of people have done this already. What are you going to do different?
modified by JungleTerrain
- added an additional wall to the third to make it more protected
- added an unbuildable (striped) area between natural and third
- flipped the minerals on 11 and 5 mains to make them easier to defend from harass
modified by Clipse
As for the other things you mentioned JungleTerrain:

I'm a little hesitant to cut down on the water around the natural/main as it would make the natural too drop/air harass proof for my liking.

Tbh I wanted I'd have made the 11 and 5 o'clock mineral lines symmetrical if top/bottom minerals didn't have their own balance problems... (I believe bottom mines faster than top at the start as new workers have to travel further to top minerals)

The middle is buildable to a degree (the asphalt is, the very centre is rocky ground so not buildable)

As for the standardness of the map, thats kind of intended. I'm still pretty new to melee mapping so I thought I'd start of with something more standard before trying more unusual things...
Natural choke is even more of a giraffe neck now...

There is a workaround to change the spawning position for initial workers (example:
modified by Freakling
Here I wanted to show you what we mean by linearity and pathing.

I use the Red line to show what pathing from one base to another looks like. Think of this as just Attack-moving with a control group or army from point A to point B.

I use the Blue to show possible paths stemming from the main path.

I use the Yellow to show all possible paths leaving the natural area.

Your map has 1 main path when in adjacent player spawns (which most games will be). In cross spawn, I would say pathing is better because the middle splits it into 2.

The gray lines show that these expo pathways can be used in the early game to move some units around (vultures, lings, an early FD push, etc.) but as the game goes on it becomes impractical to use these and not only that, they will be taken as expos so they cannot be used as paths anymore. They aren't really paths to begin with.

This one is my map, I tried to mitigate the short distances from entrance to entrance by giving an alternate path (and this with a high ground ridge to give it a different tactical element). I added the Teal line to show a possible path but I don't think it's likely.

Notice that there is a path that surrounds the middle and goes around the map, which helps with different forms of harass and presents opportunity for counter attacking. Another example of a map that accomplishes this is a really popular map, Circuit Breakers.

Leaving the area outside your base entrance you have 3 main paths, with the middle one effectively becoming 2 because of the map center (but it's still basically 3).

This one is interesting.

The area outside the natural splits into different paths but there are also paths outside the center of the map.

Not to mention that there is a backdoor path that can be used for cheesy strategies and other stuff. This map is basically a better version of (3)Medusa which is very linear (unless the backdoor is busted).

A good read is Nightmarjoo's Guide.

Read the part [Pathing and Linearity]. He puts it nicely and I don't have to explain it since someone else has done it.

Pathing is really important in BW mapmaking and can make an entire map play blandly or on the other hand, extremely interesting.
modified by JungleTerrain
Ok cool, that helps a lot. Wish I'd read that guide before I started on this map.
Just take every map as a learning experience that will add to your knowledge for the next one. It's a good mindset to have.

By the way, you definitely have potential lol. When I first started out I didn't know anything about this stuff, let alone proper tile editing, good mineral formations, gas issue, rotational symmetry... you are off to a good start
modified by JungleTerrain
- moved the natural a little closer to the corners
- moved the third to the map edge
- made the third a semi island (2 entrances, 2/1 generator at each entrance)
- added 4 mineral only bases to the middle
- added water areas to the middle to create more paths to choose from
I think the water area outside the nat is good in that it forces 2 paths, although I'm not sure about the other ones. Something to think about is that attacking into a turtling Terran will be difficult and they will be able to get 3 bases quickly.

Some of the paths that were created don't have much strategic value outside of being merely a different path. What I'm basically saying is that it doesn't change the fact that the middle is still an open wasteland (which isn't bad in itself, but coupled with what is going on in the rest of the map, is still low interaction).

I feel like my map Heartbeat had the same problem taking a look back at it. I feel that all the interesting stuff was in the corners and edges of the map and the middle was just boring and didn't mesh well with the rest of the map. I figured this out after watching the map used in a few tournaments and also from a few replays of Scan and other better players than myself playing on it. I also got a chance to play it when it was Motw on ICCup and noticed this. I basically rallied all my stuff outside my nat but there wasn't much of an incentive to go out into the open center. It was like why would I send my units out or secure paths that don't really give much strategic importance? Anyways that is some first-hand experience I had and could help.

What is the reasoning behind making the thirds semi-islands?

And I'm not sure the mineral only expansions will be used often, they seem really vulnerable and somewhat far from everything else. They're too in the open.

I'd say overall this is a better version than the previous at least.

Edit: another thing, if you use construct wall instead of water to separate paths, it will help Zerg as they can place overlords next to them for vision (I'm not saying every path should have this).
modified by JungleTerrain
The reason I made the thirds semi islands was partially because they are really close to the natural and the area they occupy was one of the areas designed as a path to allow air/drop harassment to reach the natural/retreat from the natural.

So the idea was to prevent super early thirds and to allow a route for fliers to reach the natural relatively unimpeded before the third is taken.

In hindsight the semi islands don't really achieve either of those goals that well, so I might remove the generators again in the next version.

As for turtling terrans, I am aware of that. I might end up moving the gas geysers from the thirds to the centre bases to disincentivise excessive turtling on 3 base.

I'm still trying to figure out a way to make the centre bases safer without choking up the middle too much. If I manage this or not will probably also determine where the gas geyser from the third ends up.

The centre being kind of boring is probably linked to bad planning on my part. I had the corners and edges more thoroughly planned, and the middle ended up being more a whatever still fits here kind of zone.

(When I first made v1.0 of the map I thought to have the centre be mostly structure with some asphalt paths around it and thirds along those paths, but I got stumped trying to make reverse ramps for structure that don't look like they came out of shredder...)
Update (1.4):
- switched position of the mineral onlies and the thirds
(the proximity to the natural made the third gas too easy to take and hold in my opinion)

- raised the thirds onto high ground with 2 ramps
(to make the thirds less exposed in the middle, so its more feasible to take them.)

- extended unbuildable areas around the middle

- removed the generators that made the expansion near the natural an island
(they didn't work out as i intended them to...)
By the way, you shouldnt take the gas issue in consideration for the natural expansions where it would cause more imbalance to address it.

Here the gases at red and blue's naturals get in the way of the natural entrance which makes walling harder/easier in one position as opposed to another.

Also those ramps are ugly. But not much can be done about that on this tileset, I personally would stay away from any instance of having to use construct ramps on badlands.
Double Post
modified by JungleTerrain
Update (1.5):
- moved the teal start location slightly (due to bad pathing on the geyser)

- moved the geysers for blue's and red's natural to be symmetric
modified by Clipse
As for the ramps i do agree that they aren't the prettiest but I don't really have a way around them...
(The thirds don't work as well on the low ground, as not only are they more vulnerable, but putting walls around them would also take up noticeably more space making the chokes in the middle thinner...)
Update (1.6):
- moved start location minerals slightly and added some doodads in the mains to adjust pathfinder zones around the mineral lines and vespene geysers.

- changed the ramps to hopefully be less ugly and made them slightly thinner (patchable area is now more similar to standard dirt ramps)
i think the aforementioned problem of linearity got even worse when you added the high ground bases in the middle. the middle is still small and armies are still forced through it, except now they have high ground positions flanking them on all sides.
modified by NegativeZero
Update (2.0):

So I pretty much ended up redoing most of the map to fit a reasonable third and cut down on linearity in the middle... hence the jump to 2.0

Is this layout better than before?
The inherent problem is still that your overall space management and shaping is off, which causes lots of unnecessary, awkward tightness. To begin with, the mains should be more "flat" against the edges and curving away from the natural choke, thus generating more space in front of the nat whilst optimally using the map's parameter.
The nats are really awkward now, and seem quite big.

Seems like a bit of a downgrade honestly.

Agree with Freak, one practical would be to squeeze the mains against the edge of the map.
Thanks for the feedback.

I'm still trying to get the hang of space management and it doesn't help that I still occasionally fall for the optical illusion of the isometric terrain which can really throw of the shaping with rotational symmetry...

I'll try flattening the mains along the edge more and make another attempt at getting the symmetry right...
Another, pretty straight forward way how you can think about it is the following:imagine a straight line going from the natural to the very centre of the map? Is there anything obdstructing that line? Get rid of it.
This of course only applies to basic 3/4 player macro maps (like this one), not more specialized layouts (like Match Point/Benzene-style vertical nats).

Take Jungle's Electric Circuit example from above. It has quite an intricate middle design, but the wides path out of the nats are the wide bridges that lead directly to the middle.
Many two player maps (and some three player maps, like Aztec) invert this principle, making the closest path very narrow or even restricted to small units (like Blue Storm), but the basic principle still hold true that this path pretty much forms a straight line between the nats and centre.

In your map the mains get in the way of the main path, making it awkward and tight and not allowing you enough space to fit a good third in.
That tip helped a lot Freakling. Thanks :)

Update (2.1):

Again pretty large redesign.

- Shifted mains towards the map edges
- Shrunk the naturals
- Changed the entrance to the third
- Added a mineral only (not sure on how good this works yet)
- Redid the middle

Is this layout better than v2.0's?
modified by Clipse
The natural area is really awkward. How does a 2 hatch build make a sunken line?
Is it just akward for sunken lines? Because in that case I'd just add a neutral creep colony in front of the natural choke...

(edit) Actually it might just be easier to shift the natural a little closer to the choke...
modified by Clipse
Update (2.2):

- Slight Repositioning of the natural to make it easier to build sunkens in proper positions
Update (2.3):

- Some adjustments to mineral and gas placements on various bases to get rid of rear worker migration and improve pathing on the gas geysers

This is not how its done correctly. There is a detailed guide by CrystalDrag on TL, or just look at some of Jungle's/Crystal's/my maps that use this and copy the setup.

Woops. on step 2 and 4, you want to enable and disable unit sticks to grid respectively.
modified by CrystalDrag

Here, this is taken from Uzi Sara's map thread. Crystal used this to explain it to me.
Get rid of the doodads at the naturals. The one at the NW position blocks a Comsat from being built there.
Update (2.4):

- Fixed the worker repositioning thing for the top mid spawn
- moved the doodad at the NW natural that was blocking a comsat

@Freakling, I would love to get rid of those doodads at the naturals altogether but they are needed to correct bad pathfinding regions (and the resulting bad pathing from workers) at SW and SE naturals.

So until I find a better solution to that problem they'll have to stay...
There are other, more efficient ways of shaping pathfinding regions instead of blocking player's comsats. That is an awful compromise to make, and unnecessary. I still think the nats are awkward, I think you need to redo them and standardize them. Move them away from the corner a bit and towards the main entrance. Play your own map and test the nats how they feel, see where they are awkward, is it roomy enough? Can you FFE comfortably without blocking pathing? Is the starting location too far from the main's entrance? Compare to the nats at fighting spirit or something.
I am commited to removing those doodads but as I'm not that well versed in the vodoo magic of making pathfinding zones change how I want them to, it may take a while until I find the few tiles that I need to change to get nicer pathfinding zones without the current compromise. As for the doodad blocking the comsat that was an oversight on my part and has been corrected....

As for the main to natural distance its almost identical to the main nat distance of NW and SE spawns on Fighting Spirit. (1 or 2 tiles worth of difference at most).
Update (2.5):

- Found a way to remove the doodads in the naturals and still have acceptable pathfinding on natural mineral lines
- Some slight movements of minerals/gas geysers to get rid of some pathing issues to said minerals/gas geysers
By the way, let me know if you want to test your map online. My account name is Jungleterrain on US West server. I think it could be fun too :)
Yeah sure, that sounds like fun :) My account name on US West is Clipse79.
will there be obs versions?
Added an obs version.
Is this the final version, or will there be added Deco? I plan on using this map Friday for GC.
Yeah this is the final version, though i can do a few deco tweaks by tonight...
modified by Clipse
There, done.

Update (2.6):
- Added/tweaked deco of the map

Some little optimizations you could do:

You seem to have some remaining mining bugs.
There is a vortex bug at the doodads in the 7 o'clock expo. It is pretty out of the way, though, so no strong concern.
The main chokes seem pretty uneven in width, shape and wall-in capabilities.
The nat chokes are also very different in width and Protoss wall-ins are not so great for some of them.
modified by Freakling
From Bonyth:
Aquatia City looks interesting. The structure of main bases will lead to lots of drop plays on this map. This will favour the classic P>T, T>Z, Z>P balance
Some extra deco, especially in the water would be cool.
Well I can look into adding more water deco, though I won't promise anything as I've had a hard time finding some combination of terrain/sprite that would make for deco that fits the theme im going with for this map.

Yeah I know there are still some mineral mining bugs lurking around, I'm just having a hard time hunting them down and fixing them.

As for the vortex bug, is this due to impassable terrain being to close to the centre of a pathfinder region? If so I should be able to remove the offending doodad.

The chokes are a little uneven in terms of width, this mostly has to with how various buildings can/cant wall with structure terrain in certain orientations. The wall offs themself though are pretty even (1 rax and 1 depot can make a ling tight wall for all mains) and (gate + forge + 2 zeals or gate + forge + pylon + zealots can make a ling tight wall for all naturals).

I can post a picture of these wall offs later, though I'm not 100% sure how to link images on this site.
@Clipse, this map is going to be played every week for GC, so... No pressure. :D

Can you please post wall offs in the thread on TL so that players can see it? You can put it directly in the R&S. Do Terran, Protoss & Zerg sim city if possible.

Bug fixes are a priority though, it goes live on Friday.
Start by making the top/bottom mains' mineral formation more efficient. the outermost minerals are placed just very far away from the resource depot.
Start by making the top/bottom mains' mineral formation more efficient. the outermost minerals are placed just very far away from the resource depot.

Do you know how vortex bugs work? Removing the doodad would fix it in any case.

Choke width is not just about how many buildings are needed to block it. In some match-ups units are used for blocking as well (for example ling concaves in ZvZ) and how fast and easily units can move through makes a lot of a difference in attacking/defending a choke. And some of your chokes simply don't form tight walls where they should. Your choice of terrain is certainly not helping you here. Look at my map (2)Blood & Iron to get some ideas how you can edit the cliffs to make them tight. You could also just add neutral eggs.

modified by Freakling
So I'll try to do as much of the following today as I can:
- change the chokes of main nat to be more equal for blocking with units
- debug worker pathing
- adjust mineral formations for main to be as equal as possible
- add deco to the water areas of the map

I'll probably end up posting an update later today (somewhere between 19-22 CEST probably).

As for the vortex bug I've already removed the offending doodad so that'll also be fixed with the next update. (if I understand it correctly this bug has to do with the central node of a pathfinding region ending up on a partially impassable tile, correct me if I'm wrong)
modified by Clipse
Yes. Vortex bugs are unit-selective, though. Depending on which minitiles are unwalkable and the collision size of the unit, only units that can produce an overlap while centered on the node tile can get stuck. Hence there is even a variant specific to Ultralisks that can get stuck even if adjacent tiles are unwalkable.
modified by Freakling
Thanks for clarifying how that bug works Freakling.

So as promised the next update (2.7):

- added water deco
- adjusted the chokes for the left and right main to have widths more in line with the top and bottom main
- did a lot of worker pathing debugging

(so for some reason the map (melee/obs) update just fine when I upload but the image just wont update right now (doesn't even give me an error message or anything)... Kind of frustrating...)
modified by Clipse
I think you probably just need to refresh the site.
As in reload the webpage? Cause that isnt helping, the image for the map is still the one for the previous version for me not v2.7 image....

So this is the image v2.7 I uploaded: (is that the same as its showing as the map image for you?)
modified by Clipse
modified by Clipse
yeah that happens a lot. its an old site...
That seems to be the current map image…
Huh guess it just took its sweet time getting there...
Funny expressed some concern about mining problems at the top right and bottom left naturals, can you check mining rates per base?
theres a lot of variation to check for in mineral patches, I think I would rather check the pathing to and from a patch. If it seems slow then you can adjust pathfinding regions a bit or move some patches around a bit.
He played on an older map version with very inefficient formations in the top and bottom mains.
So I went in game for the current version (2.7) and tested the mineral mining rates for the naturals and the difference is practically nonexistant.

I'll have a look at the mineral mining rates of the other bases over the course of next week but as Freakling said that issue might be from version 2.5 which still had some worker pathfinding bugs lurking around.
modified by Clipse
@clipse thanks for checking and confirming, readded to the order for week 2
There are mining bugs in the W main, bottommost patches. Workers have to take some odd paths through 3 different regions from the patch to the resource depot.
Thanks for pointing that out Freakling, don't know how I missed that one tbh. It is fixed now though.

Update (2.8):
- Moved teal spawn up 1 tile to fix bad pathing on the bottom mineral patches
- Some minor tile editing cleanup
modified by Clipse
Funny was indicating that at the 11 o'clock expansion workers still bug out a bit causing slower incoming.

He said the second worker sometimes goes around the minerals. Can you double check this location is good?
@Eywa what exactly does Funny mean when he says the second worker goes around the mineral?

Is it workers going behind the minerals? Or some workers having bad paths when returning minerals? Or something else?

Its a bit hard to debug this stuff if I'm not sure what exact behaviour I'm looking for, particularly as some behaviours can be very circumstantial/rare.

A picture indicating the problematic worker path/s would also be very helpful.
@Clipse I understand, I don't have much info to go on, I imagine the worker is circling around when there is no mineral patch to go to, but I can't be sure.

I can maybe try to do some testing tonight, it would also be blind testing because I'm not sure what the issue is.
In editor:
no worker needs to cross more than one region border on a theoretical shortest mining trip (main source of worker pathfinding bugs): Check.
no mineral patches placed on region behind the mineral lines (major source of workers' migration behind mineral lines: Check.
no diagonal mineral gaps )other major source of migration behind mineral lines): Check.

In game (tested with Zerg, because Zerg is most sensitive for pathfinding bugs due to small collision size of their resource depots):
no crooked worker paths (compared to most normal paths) on mining trips: Check.
no worker migration behind mineral lines at high saturation: Check.

Conclusion: There is objectively nothing wrong with the 11 o'clock nat worker pathfinding.

Funny may have ecperienced any of the following:
  • He built buildings in bad places that disrupt pathfinding
  • His resource depot was placed in the wrong spot
  • he played an outdated map version (I tested 2.7, but 2.8 is the same, pathfinding-wise)
  • just simple confirmation bias: Players dont like to hear this, but many tend to blindly accept all kinds of bugs on Korean league maps (like nine mining bugs on FS alone, not counting instances of suboptimal gas placement and the complete weirdness of the middle expo), but get overcritical when faced with an unknown foreign-made map.

Hmm.. ok. So from my own testing the only thing I found is that on two patches there are occasionally bad mineral return paths that can be aquired only by migrating workers (occurs only with high saturation). Other than that I'm not finding anything of note.

I'll try to get a fix out for that later today. (edit: this'll take longer as fixing this involves changing pathfinding regions..)
modified by Clipse
I can only find some diagonal paths for the bottommost patch when mined from the left. I don't think that's what Funny encountered.
Yeah thats what I meant, so it seems I can't reproduce/find whatever it is Funny encountered.
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I got Funny to submit a rep with the problem. He went in game to test and said it's the same mining speed, it just looks weird.

Sorry Clipse, I'll get this guy to submit reps for future complaints.
oh ok, thanks for letting me know Eywa
This post is not displayed due to its content
Hey Clipse, I have some actually good feedback this time!


I noticed today in the PvP on Aquatia City, the distance from the main mineral line to the water at the 3 o'clock spawn is much longer than the distance from the minerals to water at the 6 o'clock spawn. This seems like a positional imbalance as it makes it much safer to harass the mineral line at the 6?
Thanks for the feedback.

The distances from the water to the mineral lines should now be pretty much the same for all main mineral lines as of the latest update (2.9).

modified by Clipse

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