The Road to Edain 4.0: The Maps, Part 2
Greetings companions of Edain!
Today, we want to show you some more maps which will be included in the upcoming version 4.0.
Morgai is a mountain range parallel to the Ephel Duath. There were only few places were you could cross it, the map is located in the northern regions of Morgai.
Using this map as an example, we want to give you some further details about our thoughts when creating (and reworking) maps for the next version.
If you rework a map, you have to pay attention, what these changes will cause ingame. There are two important question you have to answer for before starting to rework the map: Should the map have wide areas or narrow paths? Should it be easy for the player to defend his economy buildings or should it be easier for an attacker to destroy them?
All in all, we are trying to get a mix- on 1vs1 maps, there are usually 1-2 settlements which are easy to defend, while the rest are harder to defend. So, the players will have some outer economy buildings, which are quite safe and won't be lost instantly, but when expanding further on the map there is a risk of losing your settlements, so the player has to defend them actively. This makes the game more dynamic: If all buildings were safe or easy to defend, attacking would never be worth it all players would stall and play defensively until a final battle at the end of the game. 30 minutes of buildup without attacking the enemy at all is anything but interesting.
Also, this strengthens the AI a bit, because the AI is best at playing offensively. Due to the settlements which are easier to defend, the game will still be fun, because you can always retreat to these areas, and fight there against the AI, at a place you can defend much better.
As mentioned in the previous map-update, the mapper has also to pay attention to the fact that the settlements won't be overlooked easily.
These are the principles we followed on this map as well. The map is constructed in a way so that players who like to outmaneuver their enemies on plains as well as players who prefer entrenched places on narrow areas, have their part of the map where they might dominate their enemies. A huge plan stretches across the center of the map and wide paths run through the northwestern areas of the map, while the south of the map is narrower and allows players to entrench themselves more easily. (Nonetheless, if your enemy controls the rest of the map he can attack you from behind)
This division also increases the clarity of the map. When looking at well-known strategy game maps (not only those of BfME), one might see that the balance of a map is not the only point making it popular. Another thing (being not so obvious) is the fact if it is easy to orientate yourself one the map. Maps where you always know where you are are much more popular and are played more often. The reason for this is quite easy: It is far less frustrating.
If you have to re-orientate yourself after each camera-change (for example after selecting a hero) and have no clue where you are until you looked on the mini-map, you will waste a lot of time over the course of a game.
On maps like Fords of Isen, Rohan and East-Ithilien (all of these maps have been played in our most recent Edain Masters tournament), the player won't need the mini-map for orientation after playing more than one game on the map. There are clear landmarks on the map showing the player where he is. On Fords of Isen you will always see either the river, a start point or the border of the map. All of these things show the player plainly where he is and the player will notice them without even thinking about them actively.
Morgai also has landmarks of its own. Apart from the different geography in each corner map of the map (as described above), there are also colour differences. In the northern mountains, everything is much darker than in the southern mountains. Also the north-eastern areas of the map are much brighter than the south-western.
The colour-distribution is the result of Mordor being a land of ash, with Mount Doom in the middle. The left part of the map is much more shielded by the mountain range than the right part near the volcano and the plateau of Gorgoroth – therefore it is much darker and the wind doesn't carry as much ash there, being blocked by the mountains. This is represented by the different colours.
Adhering to these core principles, we strive to create maps that are visually interesting as well as fun to play.
This is a new 6-player map for Edain 4.0. Both teams have a strong basic income because they start in castles (and not in camps like most other 6-player maps), but there are only sparse expansion points outside the castles. Therefore, the battle to conquer them gets even more intense! Moreover, the map is designed in such a way that not all players have the same access to all important places on the map. Additionally, the map is playable right vs left as well as top vs bottom, each offering a completely different game experience. Whereas in the first case the outposts form the border between the two teams and are constantly fought over, in the other case they are much more easily defended because they lie between players of the same team and the teams are separated by the river.
The Map „Forests of Lorien“ (Wälder Loriens) is a relic of the old days, and has long been outdated and not up to the current quality standards of Edain. Therefore, we have decided to rework it for version 4.0. The basic structure and the river will remain the same, but the forest is now „well-ordered“ and there are many small changes in all sectors, making the map more enjoyable to play and visually more beautiful.
Due to the new arrangement of the trees, the forest appears much denser than before, even if less trees were used. (which also means that the map causes less lags than before) The new paths should make the map much clearer as well, similiar to Morgai.
We hope that you liked the maps and we are looking forward to your feedback!
And don't forget: We need your vote!