Posted by:Nightmarjoo Only two months late, ie on-time, I give you your Map of the Month, for May! The theme of the same people winning every motm continues, as Ptar snags another motm, with another 2 player 128x96 map, how original! But thankfully, the map actually is original, hence it's motm!
Here's Ptar's (2)Sign! The map's originality begins immediately, in the mains, or rather behind them. Normally you might find a large plateau behind your expos farther out, or maybe behind your nat, but this map plops such a cliff right behind your main formation! To prevent it from being overwhelming, there's a small 815-style ramp leading up to it from your main, so like the cliff on Othello, you can send units to the cliff from your main to deal with any harassers. To complement this, the nat has basically no space behind it, making all forms of drop harass nearly impossible there.
The 3rd base, the closest base to your natural expansion, is a min only wide in the open, similar to that in Wuthering Heights. The area outside of here is covered with rocky terrain, but there's plenty of room for turrets still. From here, you're given two expansions to choose from. The one closer to your 3rd base is in the corners of the map. This expo has gas making it valuable, but two bridges facing you to prevent unit movement to it, offsetting how close it is to you by slowing how fast you can reinforce it. The other choke is wider, but still quite small and manageable, allowing the base to still be defensible. A temple cliff overseeing the expo facilitates harass.
The other expo is at 12/6, and also has gas. It's in a pit with your main cliff behind it, and ramps to the middle plateaus on the others. This expo is both less defensible and farther away than the other gas expo, with it being especially vulnerable to harass from your main cliff. Players can easily proxy buildings here, or build a factory to lift off bluestorm-esque.
The middle plateaus have four large ramps leading to the min only areas, and two smaller ramps leading into the 12/6 expos. They are dividied by a lowground tight pass, like in Loki2. Only small units can pass through this, large units will have to be manually controlled through either the northern or southern middle plateau.
The map has a fairly normal macro orientation, but it also has a strong harass potential, allowing for a variety of game forms. The 12/6 expos will be hardest to take and secure, ensuring back and forth fighting. The split battlefield along with there being no real neutral expansions, with 12/6 almost being neutral, will create a tug of war, which whoever can cross the middle strongest winning. Players will be forced to run back and forth between their expos as the aggressive player is favoured with all the harassable cliffs present, as players also must run between the two halves of the split map. Despite having a similar expo layout, the map shouldn't play nearly as linear as Bluestorm, and with far less turtley gameplay than Loki2, giving it potential to play really well.
Spam the map's thread here, download the map here, and grab the observer version here.
Winner of second place is FAMAT mapper Twos! Twos is a korean mapper who though has not been terribly active at this site, always has something interesting to show off. He in the past has gone by the name Single-. Twos takes second place in motm with his very interesting (and interestingly named) (2)Moonlight Punch Romance!
The map is different from many 2 player maps in that it's not at all linear. You're immediately offered three paths to take as soon as you leave your nat choke, with two paths leading to different expos. If you take either side paths, you're given two more paths to take, and you have four ways to go if you take the middle path. From here the map repeats itself, ensuring you have as many ways to run away as you do to go foward.
While the map doesn't have a lot of space in any one area which might inherently favour the non mobile race, it makes up for it by having so many different paths to take, allowing a plethora of flank setups, and definitely giving strength to the mobile race. The map's layout definitely encourages very aggressive play, because turtling won't get you many expos for "free". The expansions are mostly all pretty defensible, but the general layout makes it hard for a turtling player to run back and forth to get to all of his expos at any one given time, allowing harass to be summarily effective. The mains being rather spacious allows players to both comfortably build their base and drop into their opponent's, as well as encourages proxy play or hidden tech.
The middle path is tight (I believe it allows large units to pass), with the more open paths being unbuildable, so players who wish to "push" must take sort of a maze of paths, while their opponent can also take such a maze to engage and escape their opponents.
Outside of the nats and the min onlys, there really isn't any expo which automatically belongs to one player, so most expos can be considered neutral. The multitude of neutral expansions on top of the many winding paths definitely will force very exciting and aggressive gameplay. The thing which perhaps made it miss first place is that it is perhaps too "complex" even with its relative collaberation of simple and standard elements. Overall it's quite an innovative and well executed map, definitely earning 2nd place as map of the month.
See the comment thread here, download the map here, and the map does not have an observer version at the moment.
Another mapper who's plundered much of our motms, Crackling, takes a place in motm yet again with his (2)Chemistry!
This map is incredibly unique, starting with that it's an island map! However, there are only two actual islands, with all the other bases reachable by land. A double mineral wall blocks off a path connecting the two players. Behind the player's nat is a min only which is semi island in that its formation blocks the choke behind it, and the nat's formation blocks the path in front of it, but it can be harassed from behind from a path accessible to your opponent normally.
A neutral creep colony delays the taking of the natural expansion for protoss and terran, who have to destroy the creep colony and wait for the creep to vanish before they can take the expansion, making things easier on zerg (whereas most people often complain about zerg balance in island maps), and forcing protoss and terran to consider some more aggressive opening than to simply drop a FE.
The nat also has only 6 mineral blocks, forcing players to quickly consider which expo they wish to take next rather than allowing them to sit back comfortably on 2bases.
Besides your nat you have another gas expo accessible by land, with a very small 4 block mineral only expansion within your main. The other expansions are all only accessible by either air or by mining out some form of mineral block.
Hallucinated fastest-style stacked minerals right next to your sl give you a quick boost of money until they vanish, speeding up what otherwise might have been a dull and slow start.
All of the expos on the mainland are harrasable from some form of cliff or blocked path, with the islands having a fair amount of room to be dropped on.
Though the island format of the map, along with the paths being few and tight and mostly blocked off by some mineral wall, effectively removes a lot of strategies, the map ensures strategic diversity in its wide selection of expos to take, with multiple forms of drop, air, or harass oriented gameplay.
Crackling certainly earns a spot in motm with his great eye for detail, ensuring that all of the map's space is well-used on top of implementing a unique concept. The map is certainly innovative, and definitely pushes very aggressive gameplay, but its rather complex and radically different form of gameplay can be quite intimidating to players, which is probably what kept the map from earning a higher spot in motm. However, if you're an oldschool island fan, or simply wish for a game not exactly like every other, this is the perfect map to play on.
Flame Crackling Leave a comment in the map's thread, download the map to piss off someone for a great game here, and there is no observer version of the map at this time.
We're well into summer now, and there are so many great maps being made, each motm gets harder and harder! It really takes a motivated mapper with a great map to win a spot in motm, let alone first place! Even the maps which recieve few votes are still often quite solid, but just perhaps lack the flare the winning maps boast.