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ITT we rate maps

Verain's Avatar

04.11.2014 , 09:02 AM | #1
Put the maps in order! You can assign them a star value if you like as well. We don't have a way to interact with the map choosing system even statistically (I proposed an upvote / downvote system that would tweak the odds of a map based on the preferences of the participants which the devs could also poll for data), but we can at least tell the devs directly.

FIVE STAR - Kuat Mesas Team Deathmatch.

This map is, I feel, the best designed map. Using the beautiful Kuat Mesas topography and background means that it's not easy to get turned around compared to the space maps, and as such is much more newb friendlier than some others. The little tunnels and variable heighted ridges allow for a defensive player to stalk through the brush, as it were, and largely be immune to enemy overwatch. The powerup positions are in a few places, but the factory is often a site of clashing pilots seeking DO. Gunships and Bombers both have value, and the massive spires provide several naturally defensible points. Every spot of this map feels very different to fly through, and the mechanized areas in the middle of the map that provide large spheres and smaller artificial objects make for a very interesting dogfight experience. Where you are, what you are flying, and what your opponents are flying never stop mattering.
This map's only MILD downside is that it can be a bit frustrating on a strike without a fast lockon weapon. Overall, this map brings a smile to my face guaranteed when it pops.


This map is visually striking, with us cast as participants in a grander battle. The map itself is easily the best of the Domination maps, relying on large LOS objects instead of putting a whole satellite in a gunship-proof case. The vastness of this map is also important, and the double spawns add a lot of depth. I do wish there was a bit more interaction- powerups or danger zones- but as it stands it still provides several interesting safe spots from which attacks can be launched without getting sniped. Enemies in transit can often be missile locked, making it possible to punish fast swaps. Solid map and a lot of soul, and I definitely like being able to approach from heaven or hell and have that matter on the sats that aren't on the center plane. This domination map is a great example of the devs taking some experiences with the first two maps and doing something super fun and interesting.

FOUR STAR - Lost Shipyards Domination

The rocks on the main plane make this map interesting, and it's a great map for something fast or long range. Bombers maintain their strong role on satellites, and after the changes to C it is much more interactive and no longer a rep charity ward. The B/A swap seems clutch to this map, with a few overwatch points and safe spots for gunships to attack from and hide in, and as such is an area of the map with strategic importance NOT on a sat. It's a bit hard to orient for new players- my personal orientation system is mostly landmark based, and the effort the devs put into making the asteroids unique instead of copy-pasting is a massive relief. Each node is very distinct, and it's definitely possible to sneak up on them by boosting out into space- though this is rarely able to steal a node in the days of bombers as it once did.

THREE STAR - Kuat Mesas Domination

This is the map I'm least happy to see. It's not a bad map, though- it's mostly that it pops very frequently (20% of the time, it pops every time) and is definitely the worst of the three domination maps, and I generally am happier to see TDM than Dom. The map itself is easy to orient on and offers a ringed combat structure, and exiting this structure guarantees that you are useless with a couple exceptions (the pillars by A or C) or dead (if you chase to a cap ship). The triple cap ship and multiple spawn features give this map a much more conservative feel, and allow you to respond quickly when dead. Hyperspace beacon has very little value on this map, likely an ok tradeoff. The setup of this map rewards control of B by quite a lot, and winning with A+C is rarer than on other domination maps. B is so enclosed that it rewards bombers far more than would be expected, and the tightness of the rectangular prism shows when you can't do anything useful from below B except snipe afk bombers. So very many of the ships simply have no way to be effective at B- much like C on Lost Shipyards, Gunships are very limited, but the large space with so many scaffolds also tends to shut down strikes. Mostly this important node is determined by clever bombers with just a little bit of support. Meanwhile, A and C are amazingly designed, offering safe spots to attack from and open spaces for strikes and scouts to really help out. Both sides offer superstructures to retreat to when an attack goes sour. A solid map, but B just feels really forced.

THREE STAR - Lost Shipyards Team Deathmatch

A wide open space map is important for a game like this, and this kind of delivers. The space rocks are placed in rather odd places, making much of the map just a stationary asteroid field to dodge in. Because of the small size of these obstacles I'm pretty much constantly having to press "camera aim at target" to ensure I'm actually lossing enemy snipers, while on the flipside I often can nail enemies as they flit rock to rock. The rocks actually make it hard to get a missile lock (something that the engine nerf helped- strikes are much cooler on this map than before). The powerup positions are, even after the time I've spent playing, often arcane. Nothing bothers me more than spending engine power to fly to an area with a powerup and, after inspecting up and down, realizing that it is on the flipside of one of several asteroids that could be above or below me, with no flicker, glow, or direction indicator to guide me. At this point I'm no longer strategically getting a powerup, I'm wasting time, and if an enemy chased me here we're basically making out in the backseat of the map. This is the easiest map to lose orientation on, and the ONLY map where I can still lose track enough that I go somewhere I didn't mean to. On the other hand, the scaffolding areas are VERY well placed and are interesting, and the center of this map is a place of very high strategic value. As a real space map, I sort of feel that it should have been more a cube and less a rectangular prism, with more emphasis placed on the vertical space- I think the positioning of the powerups was meant to get this, but it doesn't quite deliver. I'm still not sad to see this map pop- every ship can play here, and it's a real space map, after all.

I do like all five maps. I'd definitely love to see a TDM Denon, and I think that's a pretty common sentiment.

Which maps would you like to see? The cloud city -inspired idea was a pretty good one. I'd like to see one with some destructible elements or dangerous elements, like asteroids falling through an area that often spawns powerups.

How do you rate the maps, and why?

Nemarus's Avatar

04.11.2014 , 10:15 AM | #2
On my server, Domination is fundamentally broken, as it is ruled by Bomber stacking in any truly competitive match. Scouts and Strikes cannot go near satellites without being vaporized, EMP weapons are at worst an inconvenience to Bombers, and Gunships can do little more than harass the Bombers from range before they use the satellite to break line of sight. Anything beyond 5km from the satellite is just window dressing and has little consequence on the battle itself. The real fight always takes place between the fins of the satellites.

Thus by default I have to put both TDM maps ahead of all Domination maps.

1: Kuat TDM
I agree with the OP's comments. The map features a variety of different and interesting terrain features, and how you use the map is just as important as what you are flying. All ship classes can have success here, and the map does not seem to favor either side. Power up locations are clear and memorable, and tunnels and drilling spheres offer lots of interesting LOS-breakers. This map is GSF at its best, and if they did implement my Cloud City map idea, I'd hope it shares a lot of fundamental principles with Kuat TDM.

2: Lost Shipyards TDM
Far less cerebral than Kuat TDM, but far more brutal as well. The more open spaces are areas of both danger and opportunity. The star destroyer wreck in the center is a natural strategic point of battle. I echo the sentiment that, apart from a few notable landmarks, power up locations are very confusing and hard to interpret from the map.

3: Kuat Domination
Like I said, all of the Domination maps devolve into Bomber stacking on satellites, but at least with Kuat Domination, you have one satellite (B) that is very different from all others. The B node here is interesting for two reasons: you can only access it from above or from one of a few tunnels, the girders are actually close enough to the satellite that they occasionally play a part in the fighting there. A and C also have neat cover features (the pillar and drill sphere near C, the shipyards near A), but those elements rarely matter given the brokenly short capture range. If capture range on satellites were doubled, this map would become much more interesting.

4: Denon Domination
It's pretty set dressing, at least, and Gunships get some little pieces of debris to snipe from. But ultimately, every node is surrounded by around 10k of open space. The two spawn points add a little more strategy, and the ability of a team to quickly pivot to attack a different node.

5: Shipyards Domination
This map is just terrible in all respects. It has the problems of the other Domination maps, but then has severe design flaws to boot:
* The C node is by far the easiest to defend, especially with Bombers, and it is closer to Republic spawn. It is the ONLY node in all of GSF with actual usable terrain within 5k of the satellite (and a lot of it), and it is practically handed to the Republic at the beginning of the match.
* The B and A nodes are extremely boring.
* Once a team captures A or C, they get to spawn right next to it, making it extremely unlikely it will be taken. This forces most of the fighting to be at B, the most boring node.

I bet if you looked at aggregate statistics of all Domination fought on Shipyards, you'd find that in a plurality (if not majority) of matches, C starts in Republic control and never leaves it. The match then becomes about whether the Empire can take B without leaving A too vulnerable.

A great many problems with Domination (and GSF in general) could be solved so simply if satellite capture range was extended, even just a little bit. Scouts and Strikes could work the edges of capture range without conceding the satellite to the humpers (which are now mostly Bombers).

As it stands now, whenever Domination comes up, I just get in my broken Bomber (because it's the only viable counter to other broken Bombers) and try to get it over with as quickly as possible, in the hopes that the next match will be TDM. I've tried flying other things. I made a real go of using the Imperium, and it did better than most. But it's still just easiest and most reliable for me to get in my Razorwire.
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Altheran's Avatar

04.11.2014 , 10:16 AM | #3
First Place : Lost Shipyards - Deathmatch
Incredible balance of little objects, huge ones and open space.

Second Place : Kuat Mesas - Deathmatch
Interesing, beautiful, but a bit imbalanced... so much open space, quite only huge structrures... very few "little" objects to try to outfly pursuers, and they end creating cramped areas which also happen to be closer to the republic fleets.

Third Place : Lost Shipyards - Domination
Very good overall balance between objects and open space, but C is still too cramped. I dont mind the mettallic structure itself, but there's still some of the forcefields, and they limit a lot the options available when on offense. By the way, Empire's way to C lead to a pretty open field while Republic's lead to force fields... Maybe it's because the map is asymetric that it helps Empire to defend C, but Republic isn't helped to defend A which beside the asymetric location is completely neutral.

Fourth Place : Denon
Big. Too big. The time needed to travel between the points is so big that it favors defense a lot. You either reach the objective energy-empty, or so take so much time that the opponents have time to prepare themselves. As a result, it is extremely hard to capture a an ennemy satellite. In addition there's way too much openspace. You see a rail charging, or hear a missile locking... can't do much. Playing a Scout or Strike and trying to attack a satellite almost feels like attacking with a Bomber : helpless.

Fifth Place : Kuat Mesas - Domination
B is is awful. Once the bomber is here, it usualy can't be taken back. He just have to lay mine and park. Once parked, the only angle you can shoot from leaves you also in firing range of the bomber. Since he is thougher, he wins. Can't even a throw a Proton or Conc although he's not moving. And if there's no bomber, almost only scouts get their share, as the structures aren't friendly with strikes and gunships.
As a result the match is almost decided by "who gets B wins" since it will usually never change sides, and defending both A and C is difficult (more than lost shipyard were you afford to try to pass near B, but here the mesas are hindering).
If the mesas around B were a bit more spreaded (bigger "circle") letting more space in the center, around the satellite itself, by putting the metallic structure further (or why not removing them), this map would probably be more enjoyable.

Quote: Originally Posted by Nemarus View Post
I bet if you looked at aggregate statistics of all Domination fought on Shipyards, you'd find that in a plurality (if not majority) of matches, C starts in Republic control and never leaves it. The match then becomes about whether the Empire can take B without leaving A too vulnerable.
It's who send their bombers first who win the satellite. If for a reason the republic one is sent to B (or there isn't any) the place goes to Empire, and can't be taken back because the force fields cater the Republic pilots to very few entrances.
In case of no bomber in either side, and already taken by one side, although it's closer to the Republic side, the Republic will always have more difficulties to take it back than Empire because of this second layer of asymetrism. (The first being the satellite position on the map - Empire GS can help attacking, Republic GS can't.)
And A doesn't have this second layer, making it equally easy to capture beside the distance from the spawn point.

Slivovidze's Avatar

04.11.2014 , 10:41 AM | #4
Heh, my rating is quite different:

1st to 4th place, all equal: Kuat Mesas TDM & Dom, Lost Shipyards TDM & Dom.
- I like them all, I know them all, they feel good to me, nuff said.

5th place, Denon.
- It is not bad map, I just am not used to it yet, it feels too big and empty. I think in couple of days, mostly weeks, I will put Denon on par with other maps and look forward TDM version.

I just want to fly, anywhere!

TrinityLyre's Avatar

04.11.2014 , 11:01 AM | #5
Interesting to see the opinions of others. I kept mine short:

Lost Shipyards (Team Deathmatch)
You're fighting in space. Against enemy starfighters. Among asteroids and (sometimes) capital ships. There's plenty of objects to LoS with and they're spaced out rather well. Powerups are in interesting places. It reminds me of X-wing vs. TIE Fighter.

Denon Exosphere (Domination)
Best ambient feel of any map. Take this idea and springboard off it for future maps, please. I love the fact that satellites are not all level with one another. I love that there's interesting debris/combat going on around you while keeping the area still relatively clear. Now make one that's cluttered and a complete slugfest between capital ships!

Kuat Mesas (Team Deathmatch)
Most of what Verain said, but I think powerups are in fairly silly places on this map. Also, the border of the map isn't that easy to identify and there's objects right next to and beyond that border.

Lost Shipyards (Domination)
Interesting layout. Simple. Easy to understand and work with. Has that ridge where I used to go to one-shot every scout approaching A or B. Despite being available since early access I still like playing on this one.

Kuat Mesas (Domination)
Go away. It's a domination map, which means it's ruled by bombers. It doesn't have a space feel (or a Cloud City feel, for that matter). It reminds me of Makeb. It appears to have a 50/50 chance of popping. Go away.
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Zoom_VI's Avatar

04.11.2014 , 08:49 PM | #6
Geez whats with all these kuat mesas haters. I love Kuat dominion.

The B node is my favorite aspect even if I can't get in there much since bombers.

Ofc I hate kuat deathmatch with a passion, mostly because 90% of it is played out in the wide open sky away from all the terrain, the only time anyone ever goes down into the mesas is for powerups.
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mandoforlife's Avatar

04.12.2014 , 09:11 AM | #7
1st: Kuat Mesas TDM
This one is my favorite for a few reasons. First off, it's TDM, so it's not always a bomber-fest like Dom. Second, the map has a very good flow to it, and the battle seems to travel in a chaotic "pack" of ships. Even when the battle doesn't move far from one of the team's spawns, the terrain gives enough cover for strategic flanks and get-always without being shot down by Gunships. All ship types seem to do well on this map, and I really like that. Ship diversity is key for me. Overall, it's a visually appealing map, fights tend to bunch together allowing you to almost always be able to quickly find combat, and all ships work well.

2nd: Denon
There seems to be mixed reviews about this one, and I'll admit that I'm cheating a bit and putting it in second DESPITE it's downsides, simply because it's positive factors are so strong. We'll start with the negative: the space from spawn to a satellite is huge. I'm almost always flying my Quell (or lately the Imperium), and it seems like it takes forever to reach a sat from spawn, or to reinforce a sat that's under attack. However this makes Hyperspace Beacons a deal-breaker on this map, and I like that. Like any other domination map this tends to turn in to a few Bombers turtling up a sat, but it seems it happens a bit less often on this one- I think it may have to do with the wide space between the satellites and from spawn, since bombers aren't exactly known for their superior engine capabilities . The strong sides of this map: The look. I love that your thrown in the middle of a capital ship battle, and it makes everything look much more epic. I also love how the satellites are all at a different Y coordinate- it's a simple thing really, yet it makes it all seem more dynamic. Although getting from place to place on this map may be a bit of a pain, it redeems itself through aesthetics, position diversity and it's ability to make you seem part of a bigger battle.

3rd: Kuat Mesas Domination
I had a hard time choosing between this one and Lost Shipyards dom for third place. I ended up choosing Kuat for a few reasons (excluding Lost's faults, which I'll cover next). First off, I just like the aesthetics of Kuat. It's interesting, and makes a pretty sweet backdrop for the match. Each satellite has something interesting surrounding it, with B being extremely unique. I quite like that you can choose either to descend from above, or come through the gates to approach B. The travel time from spawn to any of the satellites is fairly short and bearable, but just long enough to provide for a possible capture. The major downside to this map is B. Before Bombers were introduced, B was unique and demanded a different fighting style and approach than the other two satellites. But since Bombers were added, B was made nearly the same, a node for Bombers to bunker up. It is especially effective because of the tight space around B. This knocked this map down a couple notches for me, as it had previously be one of may favorites.

4th: Lost Shipyards Domination
This would probably be my least favorite domination map. There's nothing fatally wrong with it, there's just a few downsides that really bug me, C being the biggest. C is closer to the Republic than the Empire. It seems pretty visibly obvious on the map before the start of the game, and having flown to it both as an Imperial and a Pub, it definitely feels to be that way. This turns me off of that sat, and I don't like feeling that choosing that option puts me and my team at a disadvantage. Whenever I see an Imp in chat say "going C", I always feel the need to tell them that A is closer, and the better option. Yet they never seem to listen, fly to C, and fail to even delay the capture by much. Outside of this, being a space map, it's a bit easier to get disoriented. I don't have too hard a time with it, but if I'm in a frantic dogfight, sometimes I'll lose my way. Overall, this one is alright, it just isn't one I'm a big fan of.

5th: Lost Shipyards TDM
I don't like this one much for a few reasons. First off, it seems to be the easiest to lose your way on. Being in space, with a bunch of asteroids and no satellite to help you try and orient yourself, it can get a bit chaotic. Secondly, it can be very difficult to locate power-ups. They can be above, below or beside asteroids and it can be very hard to locate them. It can also be easy to crash while trying to get them. But my biggest gripe about this map would simply have to be how it usually ends up playing. For whatever reason, this map seems to end up being the biggest Gunship camp-happy map. Trust me, I know how to chase down a Gunship, but when there ends up being as many as there seems to be on this map, you typically end up getting sniped by another Gunship while you're focused on your target Gunship. Not only that, but it seems this is also a map where people start to spawn camp the most. I don't know why, but it just always seems to play out that way. I suppose it's more a gripe about how people play this one, and not the map, but it still remains to be my least favorite either way.
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