Hello, everyone. (yes, there is a TL;DR)
This thread suggests an alternative approach to improving the current state of matchmaking. I feel that the importance of maps is underestimated in these forums. I will try to explain why we need better maps.
The reason why we need better maps is because a map decides HALF of what a game plays like. The other half is decided by the sandbox and gametype. A map can be so good, that it will make people forget about any issues that can be found in the sandbox.
Two examples: A map that has most encounters in medium range will essentially nerf the DMR, and a map that has a lot of flanking routes and few corners will nerf the boltshot.
Another thing a map can fix is the spawns; spawns are vital to the way a game plays. Spawns should be placed so that the player or team that just died is at a disadvantage, and that isn’t always the case for current matchmaking.
The ones in matchmaking right now just aren’t good enough when you compare them to some of the community maps that are already starting to appear.
- Almost all of them are just too large for the amount of players that play on them. This results in players more rarely running into eachother. It also ensures that most encounters are held at long range, something that was typical of big team battle in previous halos. What’s worse is that fighting at long range simply isn’t fun (imo), because of the bounce mechanic. Also, because finding eachother is more difficult, people tend to sit back at a vantage point and watch the map for enemies, because they don’t want to run around endlessly without finding someone, and getting them out in the open is easy with the DMR. In other words, large maps slow down gameplay and encourage this kind of camping.
The opposite effect is achieved as well sometimes: an encounter is had in one specific area, teammates rush in to help. After everyone dies, people rush back to the hotspot, but both teams do so, and because of the slow feedback of knowing the enemy’s position because of the large map and the long time it takes people to get there, eventually everyone rushes that same place of the map during the rest of the match because they know or think the enemy is there and that will speed up the game. (if that made any sense). This is especially true with the forerunner artifact house on Complex.
This is also one of the reasons everyone votes for Haven: it’s the only small, symmetrical map in Halo 4. Small, symmetrical maps are almost a definition of Halo: an arena shooter.
Some are more easily broken by jetpack than others. Especially Abandoned: That map greatly revolves around top mid control. Jetpackers can easily go top mid from all directions, completely bypassing the routes that are covered by a map setup, surprise the enemy team and easily gain top control. Just because they selected jetpack.
The look of the map sometimes gains priority over gameplay! Solace in perticular is symmetrical, yet the bases are asymmetrical. The base with the crates is much easier to defend imo, having all of those crates as cover. Not to mention Solace Oddball: you can just take the oddball and hide at the edge of the map in your base, with the crates providing plenty of cover while your team picks off intruders. And when they do completely overpower you, you can throw it off the map. Jungle base has neither of these features. Jungle base also has dirt hallways, which interfere with grenade throwing.
From now on, all maps added to matchmaking should be the small, symmetrical type of map that is typical of Halo. Right around the size of Haven would be ideal. They should form the majority of all maps.
The first map that always comes to mind when I mean small and symmetrical is Midship/Heretic.
It was very small: you could litterally crossmap and it would feel like medium to long range. On Halo 4 complex, shooting from the central structure to either of the team’s spawns already feels like crossmapping, distance-wise.
Midship was also very open, yet you could always get to cover in time. Unless of course, you ran bottom or top mid like an idiot.
Midship also had clearly defined positions of power: the bases, the towers. Jetpack can’t even break midship because of the openness and how top mid is easily accessible without it. Maps like midship are just so good that it still plays nice with a flawed sandbox.
Other remakes that would play fantastically on Halo 4: <mark>Lockout/Blackout, The Pit, Citadel, Warlock, Foundation…</mark>
Community maps that are comfirmed to play fantastically: <mark>Simplex, Lotus, Station 9, … Links follow in the next post.</mark>**
And what happened to <mark>Relay</mark>?! Relay is quite large, but it still looks like one of the better maps on the disc, yet 343i doesn’t put it in matchmaking?! incomprehensible.
TL; DR Just adding all of the maps above (and below with links) as alternatives for the current maps would already make Halo 4 matchmaking as epic as it should be.
A counterargument might be “but then we have way too many maps to memorise!”. That may be true, but Halo 4 holds your hand when it comes down to getting to know maps. Halo 4 maps, even the current maps in matchmaking, have a good flow. On top of that, all power weapons are simply indicated in your HUD. The time it takes to learn a map on Halo 4 is very short. And that will especially be the case for the maps I mentioned, as they have a simple layout.
Another thing I want to draw attention to is how adding the custom maps MLG uses into regular matchmaking will bring the casual and MLG communities more together. Halo keeps MLG popular and MLG keeps Halo popular. I would really hate to see MLG’s support for the Halo franchise end because of both communities alienating from eachother.
What are your thoughts on this?