Posted by:Lancet The year 2007 ended a little while ago and the time has arrived to post the map of the year (MOTY) winners!
With 43 points our mappers have selected the map "Shakras" by the Crackling and Testbug team as (4)MOTY!.
This map is a rather good application of the rotational symetry approach to mapmaking. The map's periphery in essence is made up of a counter clockwise arrangement of a repeating unit made up of a low ground main connected to a high ground nat and a distant hill overlooking the next player's main. The nat and the hill are connected to the adjacent central low-ground by 1 and 2 large ramps, respectively. Interestingly the available gas in the map is present only in these 3 elements (the main, the nat and the hill), while the mineral-only expos are between the nat and the hill. As has been remarked before by Nightmarjoo this expo arrangement favours a "push or creeping style expansion, taking one base at a time as you head towards your opponent". The center of the map is a plateau connected by 8 large ramps to a circle of low lying land that surrounds it allowing for unhindered movements of large amounts of units. All in all the map is "gamer friendly" favoring a "macroish" style of gameplay.
You may also want to check out the map that finished in second place with 35 points, ProTosS4EveR's "Rise of Teotihucan", which features a rather unusual main and nat layout.
Our next category is the (2)MOTY, which is won with 35 points by flothefreak's rendition of a map concept by Radix, we are talking about the map "Sound Barrier".
This is a 128x96 map with a total of 8 gas, which would promote a macroish style of gamepaly if it weren't for one particular detail. The salient feature of this map is an "S" shape arrangement of neutral buildings that slithers through the center tightening up the map. One consequence of this is that you will not be able to scout your opponent early in the game creating the first major challenge for players in this map. But not all the neutrals are equal. While most of them are 2000 hp psi disrupters, 4 of them are 800 hp power generators strategically placed next to the nats and in the center of the map. Selective disruption of the generators will create portals for attacking units early in the game so don't think you can safely expo with impunity, this is NOT an island map! As the game progresses, further clearing away of neutrals can change gameplay dramatically as it opens up the center of the map. One last feature worth mentioning is a hill behind the nats that can generate many interesting situations with regards to the possibilities of drops and air to ground attacks. To sum it up, and interesting and challenging map that will promote creative gameplay.
You may also want to check the map that finished second place with 28 points, "Silver Flush" by the Crackling, Tesbug and Flothefreak team. This map features very complex terrain and numerous attacking possibilities.
And finally in the experimental category, the EMOTY with 29 points goes to the map "Mirage II" by Flothefreak.
This map is an air map, but it seeks to address zerg's common complaint that they are weaker on air maps in a very original way. The map provides an in-base gas expo with the starting location blocked by neutral mines. Since zerg has early detection with overlords this means it will have an edge over protoss and terran which will have to build cannons and turrets to be able to detect and clear the mines for expoing. Apart from this feature the low lying ground of the map contains a whopping 10 gas expos with their corresponding minerals, plenty of resources to keep you going for a long time assuming you survive the transitions from high to low ground!