38 Replies Latest reply: Jan 23, 2013 8:27 AM by Invalid_coderef_3321 RSS

Woeful Map Design

DR65DR

I think most of the forum would agree that CoD4 is what most of us hold up as the benchmark when it comes to console FPS games. So why have successive iterations come up with such awful map design?

 

Think about it for a second. Think about some of the great CoD maps. What did they have in common? Multiple routes and variations in topography. Maps like Pipeline, with hills, buildings with more than one floor, roofs. All made for great rushing or sniping play. Vacant: multiple routes into the building with corridors and lots of interesting nooks and crannies. Ambush, the same; Backlot, the same… I could go on, but you get the point.

 

And now we come to Black Ops 2 maps. I honestly think the Treyarch map designers start the creative process with a blank piece of paper. They then draw three vertical (or horizontal, depending on how you're looking at the page) lines. These are your routes on the map. Slums is an ideal example. Two routes expanding to three to get to the central plaza. Hijacked. Three routes (with an underground version of one) right through the map. Aftershock: three routes on either side.

 

Flip virtually any of the Blops 2 maps on its head and you have the exact same design, no matter which way you turn it.


Come on, Treyarch. Give us something different. Your standard geometric layout is boring. Take a gamble and give us something like CoD 4's Vacant or similar.

  • Re: Woeful Map Design

    Maps were fine until MW3 when they started putting all this clutter in them. My favorite maps are from BO1, then MW2. I never played MW1 and a very little of WaW (didn't like it).

    • Re: Woeful Map Design
      Dboss55

      I agree with BO1 having my favorite maps.

       

      To the OP, I've come to realize a big problem is how the community votes. You play BO2 and you're consistently on hijacked, slums, standoff, etc. Two of my favorite maps are cargo and yemen. Partially because I feel like they're not played enough.

       

      Cargo-4 routes out of spawn: left, right, middle high, middle low.

       

      Yemen-Far left, far right, middle left, middle right

       

      The problem with slums is there isn't any verticality around the middle. So, once you can control the middle you have to watch three narrow entry points. At least a map like hijacked has vertical overlooks and the below deck flank route.

  • Re: Woeful Map Design

    I dissagree I think the maps in this game are really good. Usually I think treyarch maps are poor. WaW were average maps, black ops were all poor apart from firing range and nuketown, however on here I like all the maps because it keeps a good balance of simplcity but variety. I think there should be more variations on long range sight lines though as most mapes are catered towards cqb.

    But in general I think the maps are all generally good apart from drone.. and on some matches raid (one of them maps you either do abysmal or great on)

    I think apart from the high standards of the CoD4 maps this game has the best maps.

    Compared to MW3 woefull generic maps this is a huge step up.

  • Re: Woeful Map Design
    xmrythem

    COD4 was also the first of its kind. So, everything after will automatically be compared. If blackops 2 or any other COD was the first COD, you would all be comparing THOSE maps to new ones.

    • Re: Woeful Map Design
      DR65DR

      I think people are missing my point; the current maps are incredibly symmetrical, and that's not really helping the gameplay.

       

      But, as with anything, it's only an opinion. Based on many years in games journalism and over 30 years' experience of playing games. But an opinion nonetheless

      • Re: Woeful Map Design
        Sora_v21

        Yea but this game was influenced alot by those MLG gamers who wanted more maps to be able to play that made it "fair" if they got certain spawn points. i.e. if you got a certain flag on MW3 like C on Interchange and the enemy would then get A game over the other team is spawn trappe.

  • Re: Woeful Map Design
    Tek-DDG

    The conspiracy part of my brain tells me that they make the maps boring to boost DLC sales with hopes that the maps will be better.

  • Re: Woeful Map Design
    McZOMBI

    I tend to think Treyarch design maps with certain game modes in mind with one eye on competitive gaming. The symmetry of most maps is to stop one side being at an advantage. Problems arise when you take these maps away from the game mode they were designed for e.g. Aftermath is workable for Domination or Demolition but something like TDM or KC turns it into the worse COD map ever, same with Turbine. Hijacked is great for TDM but Domination just becomes about who can nade B quickest from spawn.

    • Re: Woeful Map Design

      I think you've hit the nail on the head there with your comment about competitive gaming, and trying to make maps that cater to that. Personally the maps feel staged, and play like a go-kart circuirts...just going round and round and round...they don't feel like real environments.

      • Re: Woeful Map Design
        blarkw

        xour wrote:

         

        I think you've hit the nail on the head there with your comment about competitive gaming, and trying to make maps that cater to that. Personally the maps feel staged, and play like a go-kart circuirts...just going round and round and round...they don't feel like real environments.

        Couldn't of said it better myself!

    • Re: Woeful Map Design
      Foxhound-Pro

      McZOMBI wrote:

       

      I tend to think Treyarch design maps with certain game modes in mind with one eye on competitive gaming. The symmetry of most maps is to stop one side being at an advantage. Problems arise when you take these maps away from the game mode they were designed for e.g. Aftermath is workable for Domination or Demolition but something like TDM or KC turns it into the worse COD map ever, same with Turbine. Hijacked is great for TDM but Domination just becomes about who can nade B quickest from spawn.

      I like and agree with this comment. I'm primarily an objective player and I can't stand playing many maps in a slayer variant.

       

      I like to think of Paulo88 as Treyarch's Alex Roycewicz. They both make/made great maps and I wouldn't say that either one of them is better than the other.

       

      People are still playing Paulo's maps in CODUO. That's pretty crazy!

       

      Edit: Holy crap I need to L2English.

      • Re: Woeful Map Design
        maccabi

        Foxhound-Pro wrote:

         

        McZOMBI wrote:

         

        I tend to think Treyarch design maps with certain game modes in mind with one eye on competitive gaming. The symmetry of most maps is to stop one side being at an advantage. Problems arise when you take these maps away from the game mode they were designed for e.g. Aftermath is workable for Domination or Demolition but something like TDM or KC turns it into the worse COD map ever, same with Turbine. Hijacked is great for TDM but Domination just becomes about who can nade B quickest from spawn.

        I like and agree with this comment. I'm primarily an objective player and I can't stand playing many maps in a slayer variant.

         

        I like to think of Paulo88 as Treyarch's Alex Roycewicz. They both make/made great maps and I wouldn't say that either one of them is better than the other.

         

        People are still playing Paulo's maps in CODUO. That's pretty crazy!

         

        Edit: Holy crap I need to L2English.

        pauls an awesome map maker and def in my top 3 of all time favourite "professional" map makers. People seem to forget that some of the guys working in the various studios have been involved in the cod franchise way before the "cod4 console era" or "the dark times before the empire" as i refer to that started.

    • Re: Woeful Map Design
      blarkw

      See I kind of look at that as backwards if that's how they look at it. They should look at each map with TDM in mind, since that is what most people play.

  • Re: Woeful Map Design
    starbuckfrack

    Yeah none of the other COD maps had 3 basic routes in them (sarcasm).

     

    Almost all the other maps had 3 basic routes on them in the past 5 years I played the game.

  • Re: Woeful Map Design
    starbuckfrack

    Lets start with MW2.

     

    Afghan, down the cliffsides, up the middle, around by the corfeild.

     

    Derail, up the middle, thru the woods, past the frozen lake.

     

    Estate, by the boathouse, up the driveway, down the hillside.

     

    Favela, down the street, past the playground, between the buildings.

     

    Highrise, out the three windows or up the middle.

     

    etc. Etc.

  • Re: Woeful Map Design
    MoonUnit

    OP is right. I think variation was great in the original MW and has been going downhill since then. Now we're to a point where there is very little eleveation in maps and there are always 3 routes with almost complete balance on each side. If one side has elevation, so does the other side. If one side has a sniper nest, the other side does too.

     

    MW had some great, great maps that weren't completely balanced. I'd take that any day over these maps that are so homogenized that you feel like you're just playing the same variation on a theme over and over. If you're playing a competitive mode that switches side, some imbalance isn't a big deal. Counter-Strike maps had some notoriously unbalanced spawns but it was switched up during any competitive match so it worked.

  • Re: Woeful Map Design
    CowboySr

    There are several valid points through this thread.  In my honest opinion all maps should be modeled after Crossfire from COD4. Not the same shape, rather they should allow anyone to play their playstyle. If someone wanted to snipe, you could in crossfire, and have amazing sniper wars(not this QS crap). If someone wanted to use LMGs or Assault rifles there was a midrange war always going on in the middle. If someone wanted CQC they could run and gun the outsides of the maps and flank. The map was so large spawning was never a problem. Lots of buildings to go in and out of. The walls werent made out of paper so there was a certain level of cover to be taken.

  • Re: Woeful Map Design
    r33k

    this extends far past BLOPS2. lets take a trip back to various maps in various games:

     

    hanger: 3 main routes. all comprised of either goin into the hanger our out of it.

    cliffside/hazzard: 3 main routes all comprised of getting from one side to the other. one with higher ground and one with cover.

     

    nuketown: 3 main routes. one on each side of the house and then the middle.

    summit: 3 main routes. catwalk, control room, snow path

    havana: 3 main routes. two routes flanking through buildings and one center path for the daring.

    hotel: 3 main routes and 3 entrances to each hotel.

    stockpile: 3 main routes. 2 that flank around the center building and one main route(with doors) that goes through the center building.

     

    foundation: 3 main routes. one on each side of the cement prepping area and a sure death down the middle

    overwatch: slightly different. 2 main run routes vertically and 3 across. the middle, again, being suicide.

     

     

    etc..etc..etc..

  • Re: Woeful Map Design

    The mastermind behind the awesome maps from CoD4/MW2

     

    http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120310234548/callofduty/images/thumb/d/d4/Alexander_Roycewicz.jpg/300px-Alexander_Roycewicz.jpg

    http://callofduty.wikia.com/wiki/Alexander_Roycewicz

  • Re: Woeful Map Design

    Favela is still my favorite map of all time. That, and Terminal(the mw2 version).

     

    I still feel the Treyarch maps have always been a tad too basic. I like complex routes that require strategy.

  • Re: Woeful Map Design
    maccabi

    yay know op even though it might not be apparent at first glance ALL maps in EVERY cod follow the three route rule , some arent easily apparent as theres a few additional bits added but they all follow this basic map making rule

     

    also not all maps work for every mode so there has to be an element of redundancy built in for some gamemodes versus maps.

  • Re: Woeful Map Design
    grif77775

    I don't think the map designs are bad. I just feel they lean towards rushers and smgs more so any other weapon's, that not to say you can't use other weapons but when push comes to shove most player reach for the smgs before the any other weapon.

     

    the problem with map design is you have to make then fast paced for rusher but also have spots where campers can also put there mark on the game.

    EG

    Take seelow from WAW, a large map that was slow paced where rushers got punished, then you now have hijacked where you sit for 2 seconds or you'll be shot in the back. 2 very extremely different maps, that offers has the same out come ie one type of player will get punished.

     

    On the other hand firing range had everything, long and shot sight lines with just enough cover to allow players to either rush or camp, most maps in blops1 gave this and thats why they were great maps. blops2 needs to open up a bit and bring in more mid to long range sight lines

     

    Personally speaking WAW had the best designed maps just a shame the weapon balance back then wasn't what it is today

  • Re: Woeful Map Design
    th3rever3nd

    honestly, the only real problem is that the design team decided to go to every corner and edge and drop a box or a barrel or a concrete barrier or some stupid item to head glitch behind. you remove those and these maps aren't half bad. but thats kind of like saying remove the terrible lag and the games not half bad. both the lag and the extensive head glitches spots exist so the game is pretty terrible atm.

    • Re: Woeful Map Design
      DR65DR

      I'd never considered that the designers had put maps together with competitive play in mind. And to be honest, if they did, that would surprise me, given comp players are such a tiny, tiny minority of players.

       

      Thanks for the responses, though. Some good ones in there.

  • Re: Woeful Map Design
    avngr9

    Maps are just one of those things that are going to boil down to personal preference. For me I'd have to agree with the OP.  Not so much because of the symmetrical aspect but for me most of the maps are just blah. I don't necessarily hate them but I don't exactly love them either.  Can't really explain it.  There are a couple I enjoy more than others but ya.  Probably my least favorite in the series but we'll see what they come up with in the map packs.

  • Re: Woeful Map Design

    I quite like all the maps (apart from Hijacked). Something is still missing from them and i don't quite know what it is. I would like to see more buildings you can use which have second maybe third storeys. The geography on most maps is mostly flat with only very small gradients up and down equaling them out.

     

    Will have to see what the new maps are like. It looks like they have catered for some of this plus inroduced a new dynamic with the curved corners of the skate park! This seems innovative and I think will be a refreshing change which will bring memorable gun fights to all!

  • Re: Woeful Map Design

    Team A shoots team B until they push far enough into the map to switch spawns.

    Rinse

    Repeat

    All these maps work left to right, up and down whichever way you want look at it, there's no real flanking opponents it's just an option of picking door 1 2 or 3 and rushing spawns.

    There are no power points that take battles and skill to control, no sneaky routes through areas to flank it's just run run shoot die, run run shoot die, aka boring

  • Re: Woeful Map Design

    I can't really comment on the "geometry" of their map making, as I have done no research (and dont care to) into the matter, however I will say that out of all the cods...BlackOps2 has my favorite maps.  There is only one map that I dislike and I'm sure I'll warm up to it after time and that is Aftermath.  All the other cods, I only had a couple I liked and there were always at least 3-4, that I would back out if I could tell we were going to get that map.  I don't ever do that on this game.