Posted by:Nightmarjoo I know it's early, but I've decided to post MOTM 6 and 7 anyway!
For June, Freakling takes his fourth MOTM in a row! Will his winning streak ever end? In typical Freakling fashion, we've got a 4 player map with rotational symmetry and some weird twisted ramps in the center, with a sprinkling of dwebs and swarms here and there to add some strategic value to what would otherwise be normal, boring terrain.
(4)Schizophrenia is this map's name, and those weird center ramps sure make me and that guy no one else can hear feel schizophrenic. Big ramps seem to be this map's theme, every "choke" on the map is formed by a large ramp. The main choke is tightened with a neutral and mineral block to make 1base builds as inviable as normal (as opposed to being worse than normal). The nat defends an in-base of sorts mineral only expansion which is overseen by a dweb'd off cliff (good luck getting to the cliff though, it's tucked away pretty well). Aside from the position of the min only, the expo layout is pretty standard, with gas expos on plateaus of sorts in the middle.
So all of this is pretty good, and the map is aesthetically really good, so why all this delay on posting it as MOTM? Well, the problem lies in the nat. The natural is very open and has a very tight choke, a lethal combination of traits. An open nat with a tight choke (python, destination), or a tight nat with an open choke (zodiac? medusa? longinus?) are the better choices. The natural is so open that it's basically impossible to fast expo as protoss vs zerg safely (have to rely on zerg not abusing this, which isn't likely if zerg is trying to win). Terran will have a hard time defending his natural because mines and tanks won't be as effective as normal vs aggressive dragoons, and has no cliff (usually the main) to place tanks on to give protoss a harder time doing damage. Zerg may have trouble preventing runbys by vultures or marines and medics (and bats, oh my!).
However, if you can get by that snag somehow, the map will assuredly play very well and yield exciting games, especially centering on those spells.
In a not-really-all-that-close-but-not-all-that-far-off second place, we have a face new to MOTMs, sTY_leZerG-eX, whose name is coincidentally the hardest I have ever had to type in a motm post before, including p4ver's map names. Our second place map is (2)Kings of the Hall!
This map sure is weird, resembling Monty Hall with its trilinearity. The map uses a variety of modernly used "tricks", such as the Troy gate, a min wall block, and a neutral block. The map differs most from Monty Hall in that the three battlegrounds are indirectly or directly connected to eachother, albeit blocked by some block or another.
This map is sure to provide entertaining (and long) games, with its variety and multitude of expansions (some are cliffed, some have gas, some are far from ramps making them semi-island of sorts). Games on this map are likely to play in phases, with players focusing on one particular aspect of the map, be it locationally (perhaps a single battlefield) or some kind of play (perhaps drop-based or land-based), in a similar manner to how (2)Hitchhiker played. I however can't see it playing "normally" at all, with how safe the expansions are initially.
The map should for the most-part play well, and for the most-part looks good, so be sure to check it out.
Map Thread Map Download
And STy_leZerG-eX has not deemed our website worthy of an observer version, you'll have to bug him about that.
And third place, by a single point, with an insignificant amount of points (7), is (3)3 by Nightmarjoo. Not much to be said about this map, it's a blood-bath-esque micro-oriented map featuring a center cliff players can open up by mining out stacked blocks of 0-value minerals to either open up new paths or to provide a method in which to support and cover their units. The map has fewer minerals per player than blood bath, with an 8-block main and 1 4-block expo, as opposed to an 8-block main and 2 3-block expos, however for main + 1 in-base expo you get more minerals, and you get a geyser as well. The extra gas should help the games be more tech-based and thus longer than traditional blood-bath games. A 1v1 on the map is probably centered around securing the third main.
For July, our first place map is (2)Cloud of Souls by TKTKVROOM and Nightmarjoo. This map shares the symmetry of and has many similarities in layout to RoV and BlitzX. This map focuses on an evolving layout, as the map progresses different paths are opened and closed. In the corner of the mains is a "Cloud gate", a construct of a hallucinated mineral block along with a normal Plasma egg/mineral concept.
Players can use this faster and harder to block route of scouting if they can get their scout worker to the gate before the mineral disappears (which occurs slightly before most players normally scout), or if they get vision of one of the minerals in the semi-island expansion in the center of this route. This gate can be further abused by running your scout worker to the inside of the gates (out of your opponent's main) by using one of your main minerals (which you should have vision of), allowing a dying scout to escape pursuit, and to reenter the main when pursuit leaves provided the opponent does not remove the small stack of 0-value minerals (though vision of a main or nat mineral block will suffice), enabling players more ways to scout eachother throughout the game. This path can be used to attack the opponent's main while bypassing their nat as well if the eggs are destroyed. Proxy robotics facilities, proxy factories-lifted, a proxy gate with dts (who destroy eggs quickly) etc could all be placed in the intermediate area as well, giving players more ways to harass and cheese eachother (oh joy!).
Behind the naturals is a stacked 0-value mineral blocked path that leads to a corner gas expo (and can be exploited to harass/scout your opponent as well).
In the center of the map, on the path that leads between the players is a troy-gate. Closing this gates permamently closes this path, making the mineral only expansions safer, decreasing the linearity of pathing slightly, and slightly increasing the distances between the players. Closing the gate shifts the gameplay to the upward half of the map, though not entirely as the bottom-most path still exists and could be opened up during this time as well.
From here the map is pretty standard, with a multitude of expansions to take depending on what you think you can defend, with all expansions besides the natural being cliffable in some way or another.
Strategically diverse and innovative whilst not hurting standard play, this map is certainly worth checking out.
Alas, Freakling's winning streak has been put to a stay, but he's not far behind victory, taking second place with a mere 4 points between it and Cloud of Souls.
In second place we have Freakling's (2)Orchsomething. Look out p4ver, we've got another map-maker making good but unintelligibly named maps! The map of course is rotationally symmetrical, with weird twisty ramps in the center. The map features a standard expansion layout, with the choice to players as to which gas expansion to take first. They have the slightly closer to-their-nat-but-cliffable center gas expo which players could conceivably rally to, or the farther but perhaps safer gas expo more off to the sides and edges of the map.
There actually isn't much else to the map. The map focuses more on executing really well a simple layout than on experimenting with complex and potentially confusing concepts and features. The map's significant aspects are in its extreme mobility, with a variety of paths for players to take, and in its harass-potential, with cliffable nats and central expansions; the other gas expansions being ripe for drops.
In typical Freakling fashion, the map is interesting, good looking, and largely standard, and thus is definitely work checking out.
In third place we have STy_leZerG-eX again, with the weirdest map ever: (4)Gleisomething.
The mains have two ramps, an 815 ramp and a normal sized neutral blocked ramp, optimized by placement for most possible pathing issues. The nat is pretty spacious with a too-large choke, combined with the 815 ramp encourages 1base play. The third expansions are optimized for not being used by being both mineral only and having a dark swarm over them. Atleast your workers are safe from hydralisks, workers, dragoons, all air units, and all terran units besides firebats. The 3rd gas expansions are semi-island with 815 ramps. In the center of the map is an island expansion with two geysers and 12 mineral blocks, quite the prize for whoever secures it. And lastly, around the center are some inconsequential neutral swarms.