Map Time—Level Design Improvements to Fisherman’s Bay, Ruinberg, and Pilsen

We stand by the promise of boosting game diversity with new maps, fixing imbalances on removed arenas and addressing top community concerns about maps that are being redesigned in HD. You’ve been eager for more information on these, and over the next few weeks we’ll be offering you an inside look at new battlefields and level design improvements to existing maps.

Today’s article details changes to Fisherman’s Bay, Ruinberg, and Pilsen. Gameplay on these raised a few eyebrows over time, and we used the HD redesign as an opportunity to improve your experience. Before we get into details, please note that it’s still work in progress and more changes might follow after testing.

Fisherman's Bay

The left flank is tricky for both teams. The northern team (upper base) had an advantage in attack, which often relusted in taking control over the lane. At the same time, the southern team suffered considerable loss.

Positions of the second defence line of the southern team. After the northern team broke through the left flank, the southern team used the area as an intermediate defense position. Since the southern team had only a few proper covers, it had hard time defending the base.

The central village used by the teams as the frontline. Only vehicles that featured good gun depression angles could play in the area. At the second stage of the battle, if the northern team took control over the crossroad in the south-eastern area, the vehicles of the southern team were under fire from three directions.

The urban area was a proper place for well-armored vehicles. Technically, this part of the map was good for attacks of the southern team, but losing control over the western lane kept the team from developing the success.

1. The left flank is tricky for both teams. The northern team (upper base) had an advantage in attack, which often relusted in taking control over the lane. At the same time, the southern team suffered considerable loss.

2. Positions of the second defence line of the southern team. After the northern team broke through the left flank, the southern team used the area as an intermediate defense position. Since the southern team had only a few proper covers, it had hard time defending the base.

3. The central village used by the teams as the frontline. Only vehicles that featured good gun depression angles could play in the area. At the second stage of the battle, if the northern team took control over the crossroad in the south-eastern area, the vehicles of the southern team were under fire from three directions.

4. The urban area was a proper place for well-armored vehicles. Technically, this part of the map was good for attacks of the southern team, but losing control over the western lane kept the team from developing the success.

The version of the left lane was revised to fit both teams. We added additional covers that will ensure similar conditions in attack. We have also changed the defence positions of the southern team.

The central part of the map will offer equal chances for all vehicle types irrespective of the gun depression angles. We have also improved positions for different vehicle types: it will be easier to spot enemy maneuvers, find covers and good positions for firing from distance.

1. The version of the left lane was revised to fit both teams. We added additional covers that will ensure similar conditions in attack. We have also changed the defence positions of the southern team.

2. The central part of the map will offer equal chances for all vehicle types irrespective of the gun depression angles. We have also improved positions for different vehicle types: it will be easier to spot enemy maneuvers, find covers and good positions for firing from distance.

IMBALANCES

Teams spawning in the south had a rough time working the left flank, since most cover spots on their way (and there weren’t many) were of little use, unless you had good gun depression. At the same time, the team in the north had far better chances at breaking open the flank and setting up a strong defense there, which foreshadowed an eminent loss for the southern team.

After the northern heavies and mediums had pushed the flank, their light tanks advanced further south, while their punchier allies stifled southern vehicles’ attempts to move up to the center of the west flank and counterattack. Eventually, the southern team would gather near the crossroads and camp there. First-line attackers from the northern team continued the push, supported by TDs from the second line. As soon as they owned the southwest, they would systemically destroy enemies positioned in the central area and along the road on the east flank.The push often continued till the northern team occupied a greater area and closed in on the enemy.

Technically, the town to the east could give a decent platform for attack to the southern team. They rarely managed to make it there though after losing the west flank. However, if they succeeded, the northern team were left with no other options except for passive defense.

CHANGES

The map received a more balanced frontline and offers both teams equal chances at pushing key directions. Now, the valley to the west has more cover, giving both teams equal chances at taking over the flank. The team that starts in the north still can win over strategic areas closer to the center of the flank. But they can be stopped now. The southern team can leverage defensive positions in the lower left edge of the map to stifle enemy attacks.

Regardless of the side you’re on, you no longer need to camp in safe zones waiting for an enemy to misstep. Use the mill to support allies as they advance into the enemy territory.

Both teams used to have a tough time in the central area, although the southern team had it a little easier thanks to several favourable spots. The northern team had just one good spot in the center, which wasn’t enough for an active push and left them exposed to enemy artillery. Now, the area is more open and offers many opportunities to scouts from both camps.

Cover positions were redesigned to minimize the impact of gun depression, which made them useful for a wider range of vehicles. Finally, we moved a few bushes and trees, making it easier to detect firing routes, find cover and favorable shooting spots.

STATUS UPDATE

We need to fix several more issues to label Fisherman’s Bay ready for release. Currently, the center of the map offers clear shots at key directions, the town to the east, and the west flank. Taking control of it can become a game-changer. So it’s only natural that both camps will channel greater forces there, which undermines the map balance overall.

Ruinberg

From this position the northern team had a clear view at the open radial area and was able to hold the attack of the southern team in the urban area.

New position for the southern team (lower base). It allows quick vehicles to counteract enemy in the northern outskirts

The area that divided the urban zone into two parts. Attacks of each team directly depended on them: to engage the enemy in close-range combat, this open area had to be crossed. Usually the northern team had an advantage after taking positions in the northern outskirts.

A new position for the southern team intended for controlling the radial area.

1. From this position the northern team had a clear view at the open radial area and was able to hold the attack of the southern team in the urban area.

2. New position for the southern team (lower base). It allows quick vehicles to counteract enemy in the northern outskirts

3. The area that divided the urban zone into two parts. Attacks of each team directly depended on them: to engage the enemy in close-range combat, this open area had to be crossed. Usually the northern team had an advantage after taking positions in the northern outskirts.

4. A new position for the southern team intended for controlling the radial area.

IMBALANCES

In addition to visual enhancements, we tried to fix imbalances that made the battle easier for the team that starts off in the northern section of the map.

The team spawning in the north had a big advantage in urban combat, since they could set up in firing spots along the central road. This lowland provided them with solid cover (dense bushes and lower ground). So they could wear down enemies entering the city from the southeast, organize a push to the city and/or support allies fighting in the city—all with minimum chances of being spotted from the city. As a result, the northern team would often take control of the central or upper city, grip the southern team in a vice, and win.

CHANGES

To level out chances at victory, we added a new position at the eastern edge of the city (north of the central road). It’s mostly useless to the team in the north. On the contrary, taking control of it can become a game-charger for tankers who spawn in the south. They can prevent the scenario we just described by taking out enemies positioned in area A and those scattered across the field.

To further strengthen the south team, we also rebalanced the location at (4). Now, you can shoot at tanks advancing from area (3) here.

Pilsen

The lowland with hangars is on the same level as the rest of the map now, opening clear shots all the way to the middle area.

Hills at the edge of the map that allow tank destroyers to provide fire support to the allies.

Hills at the edge of the map that allow tank destroyers to provide fire support to the allies.

A new crossing area between the small and the central hangars. It reduces the time required to switch flanks and increases variability of actions.

The central part of the map with a bigger number of open areas exposed to fire.

Coal hills that can be used by scouts and mediums for quick maneuvers. Scouts can poke over hillsides to detect enemies and mediums should keep behind scouts and fire on anything that’s been spotted.

The hills at the north and south of the right flank are added for control over the coal hills. These positions are suitable for tank destroyers.

The hills at the north and south of the right flank are added for control over the coal hills. These positions are suitable for tank destroyers.

A long, straight alley with dense shrubs and hardly any other cover. It goes along the far-right edge of the map and can be used for flank breakthrough.

1. The lowland with hangars is on the same level as the rest of the map now, opening clear shots all the way to the middle area.

2. Hills at the edge of the map that allow tank destroyers to provide fire support to the allies.

2. Hills at the edge of the map that allow tank destroyers to provide fire support to the allies.

3. A new crossing area between the small and the central hangars. It reduces the time required to switch flanks and increases variability of actions.

4. The central part of the map with a bigger number of open areas exposed to fire.

5. Coal hills that can be used by scouts and mediums for quick maneuvers. Scouts can poke over hillsides to detect enemies and mediums should keep behind scouts and fire on anything that’s been spotted.

6. The hills at the north and south of the right flank are added for control over the coal hills. These positions are suitable for tank destroyers.

6. The hills at the north and south of the right flank are added for control over the coal hills. These positions are suitable for tank destroyers.

7. A long, straight alley with dense shrubs and hardly any other cover. It goes along the far-right edge of the map and can be used for flank breakthrough.

IMBALANCES

Pilsen felt too small and gave little in terms of gameplay to turretless TDs and thinly armored vehicles. Medium tanks kept away from the center of the east flank since it offered no cover from arty shells. The west flank had way too many shoot-through zones, which prevented both teams from pushing/defending certain directions and turned battles into a fine frenzy. Once you entered this area, you were effectively stuck there with no way to retreat or advance. Finally, the central area promoted camping since the impassable big hangar there was a death trap for anyone reckless enough to move past it.

CHANGES

Addressing your feedback, we enlarged the map to 1x1km, added cover spots and increased the distance between hangars on the left flank, removed some of the buildings in no-man's land in the center, and completely redesigned the eastern (right) flank.

These changes should foster a more versatile experience, while also making the map friendly for all vehicle classes.

Please note: The redesign of Pilsen is planned to happen after the release of Update 1.0. Stay tuned!

 


Let us know what you think on these redesigns and stick around for more news! Next up we’ll be talking about Erlenberg, Kharkov, and Steppes. The third article in the series will go over Province and other maps that were removed from rotation because of imbalances. Right now, we’re working out a way to fix common issues and bring them back.

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