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Forum - main
positional differences - gameplay discrepancies or just imbalances?
page: 1
I am thinking about this for a while now, and I am mostly referring to 2on2-maps, because I would never do this in 1on1-maps.

A logical thought by making a map for 4 players is "making the 4 mainbases exactly the same will prevent imbalances." This should be clear. But practice has proven wrong, if you consider the striking argument called "Lost Temple". This map has REALLY ENORMOUS imbalances, or differences regarding the starting positions. From the (exceptional) short distance from 12-3 and the cliff on 9o'clock that is stronger than the others to the 12o'clock minonly which is not easy to take as the others are.

Now, somehow everyone would say (at first glance when posted here) "there are sooooooo big imbalances at the starting positions, imba map."
But it has proven that exactly those differences make LT this great (or most played) map. your starting position influences the game strongly, and thus the developement of every matchup. Even in 2on2 it _does_ matter a lot.

Of course there are loads of other, positionally balanced maps that are often played, but it is true that there isn't this much variety in the games (luna games for example, though this is not a striking example here because of its structure).

But it's imo still a question, whether varying the starting positions more than just a bit is favoring the fun in gameplay of the map. Just think about a "normalized" LT with position (and especially ramp/expo-positions) equalized. I actually don't think anyone would play it, because...yeah, because it would be more boring.

So I think about this theory...changing each player's start-setup on purpose on 2on2-maps to get a more interesting map considering its long-life cycle (<- had to check that word in the dictionary :P)?
of course, there'll be a lot of imba-screamers, but if you just ignore them, because they do the same about LT but play this map... Is this an alternative to standard 4-same-bases?

would be interested in your opinion
2005, 10, 22 18:24
arghl, spotted a few mistakes like missing words, didn't read it for correction before posting, sorry. hope you get it, though.
2005, 10, 22 18:26
I dont think that that is the right way to view it.

LT is very positionally balanced, its just that the positions are not symetrical.
I will introduce the concept of "area thinking" to help me explain. If you divide a map in 4 parts (a 4 player map) each area belongs to a player. These areas must be very balanced to play on it competively, but exactly how things are divided in this particular area doesnt matter that much.

If you split LT in 4 equal parts every player owns a part and has the same amount of exps, cliffs, ramps etc in that area. That makes it balanced even if its not symetrical.

YOu speak of making totally different mainbases like that spacemap you posted just recently, meaning every player will have totally different prerequisities. I hope that my explanation is understandable to why i think there is a big difference from that to a map which has the same layout for every player, except for the exact symmetry.
2005, 10, 22 19:18
ofcourse there are exceptions to everything though.
2005, 10, 22 19:18
no, I didn't mean different bases.
I am talking about the same thing as you. Varying the base/natural/expo-structure so that it differs (concerning the placement) for each player.
But still, there is the same concept in general.

the 4-different-bases-spacemap had nothing to do with this topic, it was a stand-alone-concept.

I think best term for it would be "4 bases unsymmetrical to each other".
this is what I want to discuss.
2005, 10, 22 22:27
well i think my post explained my relation to that to :)

just see the SP mutual dream concept
2005, 10, 22 23:35
I do and do not agree on that matter.

Sure, LT is the most played map and offers different situations and tactical possibilities throguh the different startpositions, what varies the game a lot and makes the map to an "evergreen". Still, i hate playing LT somehow. It's boring as hell, because you "know" what your enemy is doing after some tactics are just very good, and for that, played very often on that map.

As an example, if i play PvZ on LT on 12-3, i definetely try to rush with zealots, or distrub my enemy as fast as possible. On 6-9, i tech faster, cuz Z has "no problem" to fast expand because of the long distance (if hes not a dumb one...).

But on a map with 4 "equal" startpositions, where the distance is about 12-9 on LT, you can do both "better". You're more open to both strategies, and thus, it's more fun because your enemy could do "everything".

So, i prefer maps, which are "equal" so you can do whatever you want. Sure, on LT you also can do whatever you want and "surprise" your enemy with a strange tactic (compared to your startlocation). I also think that LT is just the map, with the best basic concept, 886. Highground, Cliff, Isles. That`s what it made the most played map, because it offered everything, and people got used to it. If i don't know what to play against a friend, i also chose LT, just because everyone can play this map.

Anyway, as said, i definetely prefer other maps before LT, even if they need to be practised a bit.
2005, 10, 22 23:46
This thread is not about "is LT better than other mpas or not"
It should just be an animation to the principe of putting this element into maps. Like, when I want to create a 2on2-map, I've ever done the starting positions as euqal as possible (I even use to set hatcheries at the naturals to make sure they are defendable at same difficulty). So I thought about implementing the topic-idea into a map: creating the starting bases unsymmtrical, but on purpose from the start on. Just as an idea for the future maybe.

I just wonder what you think about this and if you others have/had in mind doing so.
And your general opinion about it, because I consider it quite interesting actually.
2005, 10, 22 23:56
That`s what i said. I thought about this very often, that's why i can tell you why this positional imbalance, brought by LT, is good, and why it's not!

Positional imbalance forces you to "try different tactics" you would say. I say, it forces you to "use a certain tactic". That's why i think it does limit you more than improve gameplay. You have certain tactics on certain startpositions, and so, it's easier to predict what the game will look like. If the positions are equal, you can't be sure without scouting, on LT you can, what helps noobs i.e.

So, positional imbalances seem good, but aren't imo.
2005, 10, 23 12:39
I'm too lazy to read what everyone said but I'll say that basically as long as a certain race isn't disfavored by getting a certain position or because of his opponent's position, positional differences are OK.
2005, 10, 23 22:25
if the positions are similar you always do what the map is optimized for and thus the gameplay will be way more predictably on a map with different prerequisities in layout.
2005, 10, 23 22:28
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