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MOTM 04.200810 2008f June 2008 09:59 AM
Posted by:Nightmarjoo
It's only two months late (which is like early for bwm), but here's April's Map of the Month! With his name on 3 other MOTMs, he's no newbie, Crackling is our MOTM winner, with his map (2) !

This map is certainly original, and will give you something most maps can't: unique gameplay (omg!)! The map starts out different than most maps pretty quickly with its almost double nat layout. You have a normal nat on the site of the main, but in front of the main is a backdoor mineral only nat, or rather a front door nat, with its own mineral blocked entrance! This tight entrance is easily blocked off, even once the mineral block has been removed, but you can't and probably won't want, to leave it blocked forever as the game goes to lategame, as its a critical and crucial lead into the secondary map path, allowing players to seize more mobility than the map ostensibly offers!

Off in corners of the map, very close to the nat itself is a 3rd gas expo, easily defended on a wide bridge. The expo is very defensible, given its tightness and close proximity to the nat, ensuring games will last into lategame.

At 12 and 6 o'clock of the map, is another gas expo. This expo is also fairly defensible, it has a wide raised jungle ramp by which the expo can be defended. The expo contrarily to the corner gas expos, is much more spacious, making it more vulnerable to drops and forms of harass. Interestingly also, these two expansions are about the same distance from both players. This means, they basically function like neutral expos. Except for the direction the ramp faces, and perhaps the mineral formation position, nothing distinguishes either expo as "belonging" to a player. The expos then are also reasonably far away. The map's overall spareness of money, on top of easily allowing players into a lategame scenario, allows for intense back and forth action in fighting over these two strategically critical expos.

The map's fairly awkward shape allows for less cohesive gameplay, more random and ergo exciting gameplay. Players won't be as easily able to perfectly predict and counter their opponents, because the shape of the map, the position and size of the paths, and the even path setup allow for players to quickly move around the map. The map's great mobility helps to counter what might otherwise be a big macro-turtle fest, which could arise given the few expos, and relatively easy money the corner base and front-door nat offer. A player will likely have a hard time both turtling or containing their opponent thanks to the easily accessible multiple paths.

With a unique concept, an expo layout similar but critically different expo layout than bluestorm, an interesting structure and path system, and beautiful decoration, Crackling threw together otherwise standard elements to create this work of art here, which recieves a well deserved MOTM award! Congratulations Crackling!

Spam the map's thread here, download the map here, and there doesn't appear to be an obsever version at the moment. Would someone other than me like to make obs version?

In a really close 2nd place, literally with only three points seperating Crackling's map and this map (discounting ptar and crackling's self votes, and old granny in a wheel chair's ostensibly fake vote), comes Testbug's (3)Frostmourne! Testbug, with his name unbelievably on EIGHT MOTMs, is by no means a stranger to this site, however he might a stranger to second place ;)

Testbug strikes again with another incredibly executed three player map! The map is fairly standard and simple, but its absolutely great execution is what separates it from being just another map. The map ostensibly has a bunch of "free" expansions, with there being two mineral only expos just in front of a gas expo, all just in front of the nat itself, and all which to some extent defend eachother. However, the spaciousness of the areas outside of the expos and of the chokes ensures that the expos really won't defend eachother until/unless you have taken and secured them all, which is much easier said than done given the nature of the map.

With the middle being very wide open and mostly buildable, all three races can easily move and weave their armies throughout the map, making the danger of a massive attack very imminent. The relatively high money count of the map only makes massing such large armies easier, with the middle ensuring attacking is easy. We then have here, a map with ostensibly easy money, where it's easy to attack, and turtling is difficult, an oxymoron? Perhaps, but Testbug has pulled it off!

The nearest 3rd base has minerals only, making it worth-while to take due to its close proximity and ability to defend or leap-frog to the other nearby expansions, but makes it not a huge economic boost, and with it being very vulnerable by being in the open, expounded by the nearest unfriendly choke being wider spread than a french prostitute's legs, players will have a hard time turtling in it, making moving on to another expo critical.

Players then have two choices of expansions. More linearly placed is another mineral only, however it again lacks gas, is even more vulnerable from being in the open, is farther from the player's nat, and even has fewer minerals than any other expo in the map. Perhaps easier to push to, the expo only really defends the path to the nat, which the player likely has already maintained secure and defensible, leaving the large choke still posing threats of attacks or counter-attacks.
The other expansion option is the third gas expo. Much more defensible, it sports a nice normal sized ramp for a choke. More importantly, you can defend it from the highground by moving up above the ramp, to finally defend that huge choke, which shouldn't be too much of a feat given you probably have three bases atleast by this point. By building up and massing units here, you could end up leaving the other, tighter path open and/or vulerable, which leads to your nat and min only, and if accessed could be used to flank you. This is fairly unlikely as your nat itself defends this path, but it's still a possible threat you have to consider, else you leave it open for your opponent to exploit.

So then by this point, you have 3gases, your main and nat are probably petering out, where do you go? Thankfully, the map isn't a 2 player map, nor is it linear. The real excitement occurs in this map upon reaching lategame. The map is a three player map, leaving all of those expos I just mentioned open to take, on the other side of the map, equally far from you and your opponent! Strategically once the game reaches lategame, these expos become absolutely critical and pressing to secure and attack, to fight over. You then are left with the choice of, which expo do I take there first!? You could say, obvious choice, the main! But the mains in this map are pretty big, leaving your main and the second main you try to take very vulnerable to any kind of drop. These large mains also facilitate hidden tech or proxies, throughout the game. With the main being a little iffy on security due to its shape and size, you might move on to the nat, but then it's also vulnerable to attack from anything dropped into or produced by the main. The other expos are mineral only, making them strategically less important, with the last expo being that gas expo. The best choice of expo depends on your position and your opponent's, as the mainbase and 3rd gas could both be either the farthest by air and land or the closest, giving the map interesting positional variety.

By lategame in the map, you have a huge selection of options. The expo layout and its strategical nature keeps gameplay exciting, the middle being buildable and so large, allows players to mobilize and position their armies again and again, allowing fighting to be very back and forth, with whoever can position their army the best likely being the victor.

The map has a lot of nice elements, its structure, layout, and its multitude of strategic options ensures it should play nicely during all times of the game, in any matchup! It gives each matchup a nice set of pros and cons to work past, such as the expo layout, sizes and distances. For example, the fact that map is so open might suggest p>t, but its "easy" money and buildability help terran a lot, but then the map's favouring of mobility keeps protoss capable of being strong, giving both players a good chance of winning as the game goes on. In zvt and zvp the expo layout gives players a lot of choice in where they want to expo next, where to move your army, and how to position your army.

The map is great, but the thing that separates it from (2)Whoosh (besides 3 points) is that it has a less unique concept. The map is fairly standard conceptually, whereas Whoosh gambles more with some more experimental gameplay.

Spam the map's thread here, download the map and smash your buddies on it here, and I'd give you the observer version, but apparently people are incapable of making them anymore, as the map currently lacks one.

In third place comes the Crackling/Testbug again, with (4)Maelstrom, previously known as Burning Love, and Burning Penis (chlamidia?).

This map is fairly basic, with a more or less normal, but spread out, expo layout and general structure. The thing that makes this map interesting, on top of its baekdu-esque hilly choke layout, is in the multitude of "neutral" expansions, ensuring that players will have to fight over expos a lot, as opposed to the normal grabbing expos and massing tactics most modern maps favour. Also, the islands at 3 and 9 feature double gas, making them exceptionally strategically important.

Spam the map's thread here, download the map here, and again, there's no observer version -_-

Congratulations Crackling, Testbug, and er, Crackling and Testbug!

fuck yeah i rule
no testbug at the 3rd place? :(
Oh Testbug worked on Maelstrom too? What'd you do on it?
a lot :O
lol, let's say more than a lot, but i could never place all those ashland doodads :P
but then crackling changed the nat formations (i don't know why)
doesn't it have my style? i mean, it doesn't look like a testbug map? i thought maelstrom was very testbugish :S

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