Halo 5 Map Design Sym. vs Asym.

Do you prefer symmetrical or asymmetrical maps in Halo? Which type of map should there be more of? Which map layout do you want and which do you not want (circular, figure 8, three atrium, three lane etc.)? Do you prefer one to one remakes or re-imagining of maps?

I prefer asymmetric map design solely because it creates more interesting gameplay.

Symmetric map design is the easy way out. Symmetric design is often favored because it’s automatically balanced, no matter what. As long as the sides are mirrored, there is no way either side could be inherently more advantageous. It’s also a less time consuming way to design a map because only one side of the map needs to be known, the other can be copied.

Asymmetric design makes the unique area of the map larger because there is no copied space. The strategic decisions are more varied not only due to the larger unique area, but also because the player’s look on the map is entirely dependent on the part of the map where they are. If points A and B are at the opposite ends of the map, getting from A to B would require a different strategy than getting from B to A.

Asymmetric design isn’t inherently less balanced either, when it comes to symmetric gametypes. Despite the different strategies from A to B and B to A, one doesn’t have to be any easier to put into use than the other. Likewise, there doesn’t have to be more opportunities to get one way than the other. It’s only that asymmetric design can be unbalanced that makes symmetric design favorable from a design perspective. But I would trust that a competent designer can balance an asymmetric map sufficiently.

For asymmetric gametypes like Slayer, asymmetric design trumps symmetric design any day, because as long as the teams spawn with equal opportunities at the start of the game, the game progresses naturally from there. Even if the map is skewed in favor of one side, it doesn’t give either team an inherent advantage when players spawn in different parts of the map and the control of the advantageous area shifts back and forth.

Mind you, I think that a good solution for some maps would be to mix symmetric and asymmetric elements. Valhalla, for instance is definitely a symmetric map, there are many elements that are mirrored in some form, but they have differences, so that the experience from both sides is different. I would still like to see more asymmetry, such that maybe the bases share similarities, but the rest of the map is designed in such a way that the sides don’t share other features than the bases.

Maps I would prefer to see avoided are maps like Sanctuary, The Pit, and Narrows. These are maps where the same structure is perfectly copied on both sides of the map. Their design doesn’t offer a great amount of depth, and the tactics of both teams are inherently very similar. There should, at least, be some variance on both sides of the map, even if the underlying concept is symmetric.

I like a good mix of maps: asymmetric, symmetric, reverse symmetric, large, small, room based, 2 base etc.

A mix of both is good to have it as it allows for variety. Just make sure the maps are balanced.

> Do you prefer symmetrical or asymmetrical maps in Halo? Which type of map should there be more of? Which map layout do you want and which do you not want (circular, figure 8, three atrium, three lane etc.)? Do you prefer one to one remakes or re-imagining of maps?

This is in MCC forums, but if you are curious about what others have said, then this thread will give you the same.

With the Arena gameplay and equal starts doesn’t that imply also all symmetrical maps only?

> With the Arena gameplay and equal starts doesn’t that imply also all symmetrical maps only?

Not necessarily, one sided objectives work fine on asymmetrical maps.

> With the Arena gameplay and equal starts doesn’t that imply also all symmetrical maps only?

Not at all, since some of the most revered asymmetrical maps are very well balanced.

A lot of the “classic” Halo maps are considered near-symmetrical (Guardian, Lockout, Prisoner, Ivory Tower, just to name a few).

I would like a 50/50 split, with the odd map being a large and open forge map (so we can make it as symmetrical or asymmetrical as we want). Asymmetrical maps are more interesting and get boring less quickly, but symmetrical maps are a must for objective modes like 2-flag CTF, and switching sides at half time like in some other games doesn’t quite cut it, I think.

For symmetrical gametypes like 2 flag CTF it’s best to use symetrical maps, otherwise it might be a good idea to have a half time and swap sides. For dedicated asymmetrical gametypes like 1 flag and Invasion you want asymmetrical maps. It’s still fair since they are round based games and you swap sides.

Where its gets tricky is free roaming gametypes like Slayer or Oddball. They’re still technically symmetrical gametypes but the only time it matters that the map is symmetrical is right at the start of the game during the initial rush for pickup items. After that point is is arguably better to have every area of the map be unique, you can have a stronger and weaker side it’s fine, its something to fight over, it makes combat more dynamic. If you want to use an asym map for these gametypes I think its best to give teams equal access to pick ups from the spawn points, making sure neutral pick ups are equally distant from the spawns, but beyond that it can be as asymmetrical as you want.

You could have fair but unequal asymmetry. You know, one team gets a sniper the other and grenade launcher but they are hard to balance. After the initial engagement the game will inevitably play asymmetrical anyway even if it was a symmetrical map. Hopefully gameplay is designed such that who won the initial engagement doesn’t necessarily dictate momentum in the rest of the match, and any small advantages asymmetry created doesn’t snowball, Hopefully you spawn with a strong utility weapon and power items are placed well to disrupt power positions. Even then a half time might be appropriate.

I like asymetrical simply because it allows for more interesting play. Symetrical is better for things like nutural bomb and 2 flag. where as the other is better for progressive/turn based gametypes or free flowing ones like slayer, oddball, and KOTH.

If I had to choose one, I’d pick Symmetric maps, but really I enjoy both symmetric and asymmetric maps if they are designed well.

I’m hoping that with the combined forges that well be able to create as some looking maps and structures. But I’m hoping for more stuff

I’m down for both… As long as it is a fun map then I’m happy.

> With the Arena gameplay and equal starts doesn’t that imply also all symmetrical maps only?

quite the opposite, competitive maps in UT, quake and counterstike are asym

CE competitive maps were asym, so were lockout and guardian

Looking back, my favorite maps were always asymmetric. Headlong, Terminal, Powerhouse, Orbital, Ghost Town, Highground, Landfall, Perdition, the list goes on obviously from there.

And who could forget Chiron TL-34

> Looking back, my favorite maps were always asymmetric…

> I prefer asymmetric map design solely because it creates more interesting gameplay…

What they said.

I don’t dislike symmetric, but they feel forced and dated these days. They are all variations on the same theme, anyway: center tower/pit, a base on each side, elevated walls along the side borders… a bridge or two. Some might get really clever, like Haven, and give you 2 levels. Woah! Sorry, I’ve seen it to many times. I’ll take a token symmetric map or 2, but otherwise I’m done with it.

I prefer new maps - though I wouldn’t mind seeing a re-imagined Exile or Valhalla/Ragnarok. But I hope none of the 4v4 ones from H4 get remade. Haven would be tolerable, but the others . . . ugh.

For BTB, I definitely prefer asymmetric. They can be nearly symmetric - like Ragnarok - but having every play space be unique is my preference there.

For 4v4, both.

> I prefer new maps - though I wouldn’t mind seeing a re-imagined Exile or Valhalla/Ragnarok. But I hope none of the 4v4 ones from H4 get remade. Haven would be tolerable, but the others . . . ugh.
>
> For BTB, I definitely prefer asymmetric. They can be nearly symmetric - like Ragnarok - but having every play space be unique is my preference there.
>
> For 4v4, both.

Yeah, Ragnarok fun in BTB.

I like both. Symmetry is better for gametypes like Multi-Flag, but for one-sided objectives and slayer, Asymmetry is the best way to go.