[Originally posted here: http://www.bungie.net/forums/posts.aspx?postID=57565175&viewreplies=true
I thought I’d share some helpful tips and tricks to help Custom Invasion Forgers with their Invasion experiences. We need a lot more Invasion maps, so I’m hoping this thread will help encourage higher quality ones. Here are my tips:
> 1. Opening Rush**
This is the most important phase of your map. It not only decides the outcome of the rest of the match, but it also shows whether or not the players will like your map. If your 1st phase is pants, people are not going to enjoy it. To make it fun, you need to follow one (or all) of the 3 combat styles: Stealth, Instant Combat, and Battle Charge. I’ll go over each.
Instant Combat: If you’re going with this approach, make sure your combat fits this pace. This pace is high adrenaline and very explosive, which is what Instant Combat should be. Try to allot no more than 10 seconds of walking time for both species before the combat begins. A good example of Instant Combat is the first phase of Breakpoint. The key to pulling this off is to minimalize breaks in pace and combat. The Defending team should always feel pressured.
Stealth: Stealthy 1st phases are very difficult to do correctly. The best example would be Boneyard. While I’m not a fan of the exposed Elite spawns, I do like that it takes more than rushing to capture the territories. If you’re going with the stealth approach, make sure there are multiple paths to your objective and nooks for your attackers to spawn their teammates in. The latter is very crucial, because players build playing styles off of that.
<strong>Battle Charge: This would be your Battle Charge. The ants-in-your-pants itch of the imminent combat that’s about to come is what you need to capture here. Imagine if you had vehicles on opposite ends of Hemorrhage that were about to clash in the center. Another example is seeing Elites from far away rushing a gate the Spartans have to protect. The key to this is to make sure you can see your opponents before you’re in range for combat. You can either have vehicles or closer spawns after the initial rush. However, you want to try to refrain from a lot of walking in your maps, which I’ll talk about next.</strong>
Another thing I will remind you to take note of is how easy your phase is to win. Normally you want attackers to win 70-80% of the time. Nobody really gets upset if they lose the first phase to attackers. However, you still want Defenders to feel like they have the ability to skunk the team and prevent them from advancing. Finding the right balance is essential in making sure your initial impression on the map is good.
> 2. Less is more
Unless you deliberately slow down your game, know that Invasion needs to be steady-paced. You have 2 rounds to worry about, and you don’t want players exhausted after the first one. The best way to keep the pace up is to build a smaller map and/or keep the combat closer together. If you’re spending half of the phase walking to the objective, your spawns will likely need adjusting. Unless you take the Stealth approach above, walking-time needs to be limited. This is because most skirmishes last 30-45 seconds long, and then the player respawns for 7 seconds. If he spends 30 more seconds to get to the fight, then he’s only going to have 2-3 instances of combat before the phase ends.
The best way to test to see if your phase is steady-paced is to time it. Walk from the attacker’s spawns to the objective. Count the time it takes you to get there, the time you have for your objective, and the time you think combat will last before you die and respawn. If after all this you are only in combat 2 or 3 times, you’ll probably need to adjust your phase. Strive for no less than 3 combat instances.
> 3. Take the wide approach
Except for the grenade spam, Breakpoint’s first phase is near perfect. This is because it is wide. If you’re going to have two territories, the best way for it to work is to make the playing field wide. You don’t want to make it too wide though, lest the defenders be unable to reach the other territory. A good sprinting time from territory to territory would be 5 seconds.
The wide design isn’t the only way to do a first phase. It’s simply the most balanced way for two territories to work out. The narrow design is much more difficult to pull off and requires intense balancing because of the funneling effect of players… If you have one objective like a bomb or a large territory, the only way it can work is if the Defenders have superior spawning and the Attackers have better weapons. You then need to make sure that the Attackers are closely funneled together so they can teamshoot and plow through the Defenders. Superior spawning could mean high ground, more cover, or shield-protected spawns.
> 4. Test the map with AAs
**It’s imperative that you consistently test to make sure your map can support all the Armor Abilities you will have in play. When I’m Forging, I always have unlimited Sprint so I can test running distances and bumps in my floor. Evade and Jetpack (if applicable) need to be tested as well so you make sure players cannot break your map or reach unwanted locations. **](http://www.bungie.net/forums/posts.aspx?postID=57565175&viewreplies=true)