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Map Category Descriptions

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Map Category Descriptions

Post  WalkerBoh on Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:54 am

This thread is intended to provide some information about the current map categorization system on AWBW, as well as some guidelines Map Committee members use when categorizing maps.

Overview of Map Categories

Map categories on AWBW are loosely grouped into three "blocks":

1. Map Quality
This includes S-Rank, A-Rank and Casual Play. These categories are mutually exclusive, and maps are placed into these categories based on how well the map plays (the lowest level is to be not categorized at all).

Map quality is measured by a few key metrics:
- Balance
- Emphasis on dynamic, fluid gameplay (likelihood of stalemates)
- Meaningful player decisions (unit variety, interesting fronts, etc.)

Category descriptions:

S-Rank - The highest level of quality for maps, making them suitable candidates for competitive matches. These maps are characterized by negligible balance issues (if any), interesting and non-obvious capture phases, and well-created fronts encouraging dynamic gameplay. These maps will generally deserve ratings from 8 to 10.

A-Rank - The "normal" level of decent maps, suitable for friendly or non-competitive AWBW matches. These maps are characterized by small but noticeable balance issues, solid capture phases, and decently created fronts that are not dynamic, but will not usually result in stalemates. These maps will generally deserve ratings from 6 to 8.

Casual Play - The lowest level of maps that are recommended for casual games only. These maps are characterized by serious balance issues that will not create auto-win situations for low-level players, weak or very obvious capture phases, and fronts that promote defensive tactics likely end in stalemates for experienced players. These maps will generally deserve a rating from 4 to 6.

Uncategorized - Maps not recommended for any level of gameplay and not placed into ANY category (including the sub-categories discussed below). These maps are characterized by balance issues that are so severe or the map is so poorly designed that fun games are extremely unlikely. These maps will generally deserve a rating from 1 to 4.

2. Map Function
This includes New, Global League, Persistent/Rotation/ Under Review, Hall of Fame. Maps are grouped into these categories based on their usage on the site, rather than the actual characteristics of the map (for example, usage in competitions or creation date). These categories are mostly mutually exclusive (Global League is not exclusive with Persistent/Rotation, and New/Under Review are not exclusive - all other categories are).

Category descriptions:

New - Maps created recently that have been potential as A- or S-Rank maps. These maps are candidates for Z-Games and play-tests to determine which category they fit best in. Casual Play-level maps or lower do not get categorized into New.

Global League - Maps currently being used for Global League matches.

Persistent League Maps - Maps that are in the Global League rotation on a long-term basis.

Rotation League Maps - Maps that are temporarily in the Global League rotation. This category also includes maps that are candidates to be used in future League rotations, or as candidates for future placement into the Persistent League Map category.

Under Review - Maps that are under review for placement into the Rotation League Maps category. These maps are in need of play-tests and further evaluation before being cleared for League use.

Hall of Fame - Former Persistent League Maps or maps that are deemed worthy of recognition for their impact/significance in the history of AWBW mapping.

3. Map Features (sub-categories)
This includes all of the other map categories. Maps are grouped into these categories based on the characteristics of each map, especially to help users know the type of gameplay expected on that map (or in the case of Sprite/Joke/Historical, the lack of gameplay expected). These categories are not mutually exclusive.

Category descriptions:

Map Committee Favorites - There are no "fixed" requirements for this category. These are just generally awesome maps that the Map Committee would most strongly recommend for players to try. They are fairly unique maps, both in terms of the gameplay exhibited and the level of quality.

Base Light - Maps with a relatively high funds:base ratio, or a relatively low bases:fronts ratio. This often means larger maps that have only 2 bases, or maps where each base is responsible for 2 or more separate fronts. These maps are generally typified by scarceness of infantry on each front in the mid-game and an increased volume of high-tech units.

Fog of War - Maps that are playable with Fog of War turned on. Note that this does NOT mean maps with a high density of forests, that is a common misconception. These maps often have predeployed units meant purely to provide limited vision in Fog of War games.

Heavy Naval - Maps that encourage naval play beyond transports and battleship towers. These are not necessarily maps that have a high density of ocean tiles.

High Funds - Maps that are playable using funds per turn > 1000G. These maps can most easily be detected by their special FTA counter, which features no preowned bases.

Innovative - Maps that have a unique gimmick or setup that has a meaningful impact on the type of gameplay seen on the map. Maps that are innovative but are not meant to be played with "normal" AWBW rules should not be included here (for example, maps with special conducts that must be enforced separately by the players).

Large - Maps that are 25x25 or larger. The size is just a general guideline, maps that have very slow development phases or very long routes to the fronts can also be included here regardless of size. Similarly, 25x25+ maps that effectively play like small or medium maps are not included.

Limited High Funds - Maps that are playable using funds per turn < 1000 and high starting funds (100,000+). These maps can most easily be detected by their special FTA counter, which features no preowned bases.

Mixed Base - Maps that feature a "mixed" base pattern. These are often characterized by one or more bases that are responsible for more than one front and are sandwiched between opponents' bases.

Teleport Tile - Maps whose gameplay is meaningfully impacted by the presence of black tiles.

FFA Multiplay - Maps with 3 or more players that are best designed to be played as a free-for-all.

Team Play - Maps with 3 or more players that are best designed to be played as a team battle.

Historical/Geographical - Maps that faithfully recreate a historical event or geographical location. There is a minimum standard of quality that should be maintained here - an amorphous landmass map dotted with a few forests named "North America" does not belong in this category.

Joke - Maps that someone found funny in the past... This category is not seriously maintained.

Sprite - Maps that faithfully recreate a person/thing/etc. that doesn't belong in historical/geographical. Once again, a minimum standard of quality is maintained.

Toy-Box - Maps that are not meant to be played with normal AWBW rules. These maps can have custom rulesets or be AWBW versions of other games (e.g.: Hide and Seek). These maps must be playable to be included in this category.

AWBW Map Committee
AWBW Map Committee

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