A balanced map

Discussion of all aspects of multiplayer development: unit balancing, map development, server development, and so forth.

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gabe
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A balanced map

Post by gabe »

While I typicaly dont do much MP dev from reading the MP topics I see comments about 'not a balanced map' or the opposite often. What makes a map balanced.

Or better yet how does one make a balanced map. Not that I am going to try but I am curious as I think it could help me in making UMC maps and would like to know.

Also there is not a sticky about it or any easily searchable reference. I would like it if people who know what makes a map balance answered as it would help potential MP map devs and possibally us UMC folks as well.

Thanks in advance.
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Post by DEATH_is_undead »

All terrain evenly spread on map? I don't really judge MP maps.
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Post by major_sephiroth »

Look at other maps, play cpu vs cpu on your own maps.
Last edited by major_sephiroth on July 2nd, 2007, 1:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Doc Paterson »

Even amounts of the basic terrain types will pretty much ensure you a very unbalanced map.

Playing against the computer or testing a map with cpu vs cpu won't give you any really useful information.


Studying the multiplayer maps that come with the game would be a good start.

If you really want a strong understanding, you ought to play a lot of multiplayer on the server. Understanding of balance will come to you slowly- it's too vast for most people to want to even begin to explain everything to a newer player. One day I hope to complete a comprehensive guide, but it's a massive undertaking.

When people talk about balanced maps, they rarely refer to campaign maps- where the idea isn't so much a "fair" match.

The broadest definition of a balanced MP map is this- A map in which no player-side or faction (referring only to the 6 default-era factions) has an advantage over any other player-side or faction. It's a complex science, and it is most definitely not easy to create a map that is balanced for any combination of the factions (there are 21 possible combinations in a 1v1 game).

I do think that the most important thing, as I said, is to play a lot of MP games, so that you can begin to understand the depth of the 6 factions.
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Post by DEATH_is_undead »

Doc Paterson wrote:Even amounts of the basic terrain types will pretty much ensure you a very unbalanced map.

Playing against the computer or testing a map with cpu vs cpu won't give you any really useful information.


Studying the multiplayer maps that come with the game would be a good start.

If you really want a strong understanding, you ought to play a lot of multiplayer on the server. Understanding of balance will come to you slowly- it's too vast for most people to want to even begin to explain everything to a newer player. One day I hope to complete a comprehensive guide, but it's a massive undertaking.

When people talk about balanced maps, they rarely refer to campaign maps- where the idea isn't so much a "fair" match.

The broadest definition of a balanced MP map is this- A map in which no player-side or faction (referring only to the 6 default-era factions) has an advantage over any other player-side or faction. It's a complex science, and it is most definitely not easy to create a map that is balanced for any combination of the factions (there are 21 possible combinations in a 1v1 game).

I do think that the most important thing, as I said, is to play a lot of MP games, so that you can begin to understand the depth of the 6 factions.
2 years on the MP server, and i still don't judge em, Doc. Your theory seems incorrect...
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Post by Doc Paterson »

DEATH_is_undead wrote:
Doc Paterson wrote:Even amounts of the basic terrain types will pretty much ensure you a very unbalanced map.

Playing against the computer or testing a map with cpu vs cpu won't give you any really useful information.


Studying the multiplayer maps that come with the game would be a good start.

If you really want a strong understanding, you ought to play a lot of multiplayer on the server. Understanding of balance will come to you slowly- it's too vast for most people to want to even begin to explain everything to a newer player. One day I hope to complete a comprehensive guide, but it's a massive undertaking.

When people talk about balanced maps, they rarely refer to campaign maps- where the idea isn't so much a "fair" match.

The broadest definition of a balanced MP map is this- A map in which no player-side or faction (referring only to the 6 default-era factions) has an advantage over any other player-side or faction. It's a complex science, and it is most definitely not easy to create a map that is balanced for any combination of the factions (there are 21 possible combinations in a 1v1 game).

I do think that the most important thing, as I said, is to play a lot of MP games, so that you can begin to understand the depth of the 6 factions.
2 years on the MP server, and i still don't judge em, Doc. Your theory seems incorrect...
By "judge," do you mean "understand map balance?"

Anyways-

Just because you never excelled at multiplayer doesn't make my advice to him wrong. Maybe I should clarify and say "continuous play that developes into skill and knowledge." It's pretty hard to believe that you could play multiplayer games for 2 years and never develope any kind of concept of what a balanced MP map is.....Maybe you don't think much about the games and just do it to relax or have some simple fun. Nothing wrong with that. Or maybe most of those 2 years on the server were spent playing alternative MP games that weren't intended as balanced player vs. player matches- survival games and the like.

This leads me to a funny thought- Imagine if someone spent an actual two years on the server- as in 17,520 hours....
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Post by Noy »

DEATH_is_undead wrote:2 years on the MP server, and i still don't judge em, Doc. Your theory seems incorrect...
Sigh. Given the drivel you post on here day to day, I don't find it surprising that you can't understand map balance after two years. I think you took a wrong turn from Off topic, this is the MP forum. If you have an opinion here you back it up with evidence, instead of antagonizing developers, not to say questioning the Map making developer without proof.
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Post by DDR »

It is hard to say what makes a map balanced. It is so hard, in fact, that I cannot say. What I can say it thus: I know ways to make a map unbalanced, and factors against balancing. Some ways are obvious - large swaths of the same terrain, too much terrain favorable to a faction (woods & elves), and chasms that are long and narrow. Some are less obvious, these I do not know. The one game factor fighting your quest for balance is first-turn advantage. The player who goes first has a bit of advantage over the player who goes last, especially in a small, symmetrical map. Oh, and it is best to avoid large bodies of water in the middle of the map.

When you are done, and are sure it is balanced, take it for a test run on the multi-player server.

:arrow: Is it just me, or was this getting a little off-topic?
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Post by Rhuvaen »

DEATH_is_undead wrote:Doc. Your theory seems incorrect...
It's quite funny that you're talking here about "theory" to the guy who's been balancing all the MP maps before Wesnoth reached 1.0... :roll:

I think (and yes, that's just a theory here) that you can get a better idea of how balanced a map is by manually playing just, say, three or four turns with different faction combinations on both sides and then have a look at the map rather than just pitting the AI against itself. Then you can ask yourself: who owns how many villages? Are there any logical lines of attack, and what does the terrain there offer for each faction? The idea is to get an impression of the overall situation at the point just before the battle begins. There usually are locations on a map that are very crucial to the gameplay and other areas that can be more or less filled-in with graphically interesting terrain...
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Post by Doc Paterson »

Rhuvaen wrote:
DEATH_is_undead wrote:Doc. Your theory seems incorrect...
It's quite funny that you're talking here about "theory" to the guy who's been balancing all the MP maps before Wesnoth reached 1.0... :roll:
I'm not offended by these things being called theories, and afterall, we're not even really discussing the balanced map-making knowledge/skill itself, but rather one good way to find it. (The path and not the destination, etc.)

I'd also like to add that I do think that creativity and distinctiveness are still the most important things, that it's important to be able to suggest a unique place. Merging the complexities of factional balance with the aesthetic of what you want to convey is where things become very challenging.

Like most skills though, you can continue to improve if you have the patience and dedication (and humility?) to learn.
Last edited by Doc Paterson on June 30th, 2007, 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by DEATH_is_undead »

Rhuvaen wrote:
DEATH_is_undead wrote:Doc. Your theory seems incorrect...
It's quite funny that you're talking here about "theory" to the guy who's been balancing all the MP maps before Wesnoth reached 1.0... :roll:
just because hes been doing it for that long doesn't mean hes good,even though the maps are balanced, some of them i belive have a little bit of unbalancedness(i judge maps that i've played for a long time with, but not newer maps) Isar's Cross has villages that make red have an advantage.(i belive someone said this too)Red can get the village closest to the enemy on the west side of the map. then the 2nd player has a disadvantage, making it unbalanced. Thats just one map and my opinion though.
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Post by Doc Paterson »

DEATH_is_undead wrote:even though the maps are balanced, some of them i belive have a little bit of unbalancedness(i judge maps that i've played for a long time with
I propose a new branch of Wesnoth Development:

The Commitee of Unbalancedness Judges.

I nominate DEATH_is_undead for Chairman.
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Post by DEATH_is_undead »

Doc Paterson wrote:
DEATH_is_undead wrote:even though the maps are balanced, some of them i belive have a little bit of unbalancedness(i judge maps that i've played for a long time with
I propose a new branch of Wesnoth Development:

The Commitee of Unbalancedness Judges.

I nominate DEATH_is_undead for Chairman.
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Also, Doc, that wasn't direct to you, just trying to make a point, and i found out your not involved with Isar... By the wasy, where did you get that name?
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Post by Doc Paterson »

DEATH_is_undead wrote:
Also, Doc, that wasn't direct to you, just trying to make a point, and i found out your not involved with Isar... By the wasy, where did you get that name?
Which name?
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Post by DEATH_is_undead »

Isar
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