1. Redesigning Highlands

      written by Ray Benefield
      So these past few days have been filled with quite a few defiant map pack playthroughs. Trying to get a good feel for highlands. I have been planning on doing a redesign since the early release codes went out and I heard several disappointing things about it. So my goal is to redesign Highlands to take advantage of it's layout and show the map's true potential. It is a BTB player's wet dream, so I'm hoping to make the dream into a full blown explosive in your hand reality... lol... that statement was a bit creepy. Let's talk about Highlands today, shall we?

      Basic Overview

      Highlands is an terrain based rotationally symmetrical BTB map with asymmetric modifications and sides, similar to Tempest. When first seeing the trailer for the maps, Highlands gives off the impression of being this HUGE vehicle focused epic map with gorgeous scenery. In reality this map lacks a vehicle centric focused combat system. Actually we can go as far as saying that vehicles are sort of shy on this map. The default map has one warthog at each base, a mongoose in the base and one to the side of it, and there are two neutral ghosts. To "counter" vehicles on the map however, you have the plasma launcher, splazer, pro pipe, rapid respawning snipes at each base, and rockets at each base. There are also hidden plasma pistols, but no one knows about those lol. Between all these power weapons, vehicles stand very little chance. Which is a shame, because this could be one BTB map that I like with vehicles since there are enough options for infantry players like myself without feeling overwhelmed by vehicles.

      Current Changes

      Alright so I haven't actually started the remake yet, but I've been designing it in my mind since this past weekend. First of all the bases are getting two warthogs. Either two basic warthogs, or a fast respawning warthog and a slow respawning rocket hog. Probably two mongooses as well. Off to the sides of the bases there is a random mongoose. Well in place of that I plan on putting ghosts and a receiver next to it with the sender being at the initial spawn to increase traffic to those sides. Snipers are either going to get an ammo and spawn fix or be replaced with focus rifles. I hate focus rifles, but they do work well on this map without being overpowered. Everyone loves sniper though, so we shall see. Also rockets are going to be replaced with pro pipes with 5 shots and placed better in the base. The plasma launcher and splazer are going to be replaced by two neutral falcons (banshees are WAY too powerful :P). The two way teleporters from each of those locations will no longer be two ways. Each will be a sender going to the bottom of the opposite side. So basically the one at waterfall is going to go below motorpool and the one at motorpool is going to go below waterfall (basically where the ghosts are). This will mean that you will sacrifice your height advantage for safety and have to work your way back up to regain height advantage. The last major detail is that the pro pipe in the pelican is going to be replaced with a splazer. Also expect a lot more filler weapons to appear to add more variety to the combat and more crates to make some areas more appeasing to infantry.

      With these changes I hope to see this map really shine. With a vehicle around pretty much every major spawn hive, you will always have the option to travel in style. The falcons will not be overpowered as the map has a low ceiling which will keep the falcons in DMR range at all times. The center Splazer will encourage more movement towards the center and the increase in ghosts, warthogs, and mongooses will increase traffic in the center. The new teleporter system will make holding the center of the map a little more difficult and interesting instead of just popping back and forth to each side easily. Also the map will receive a static spawn system to reduce camping at the bases and the increase in incentive weighting in the center of the map will encourage people to leave their base or lose in the power struggle. I'm not a vehicle person, but this map will contain 4 warthogs, 8 mongeese, 4 ghosts, and 2 falcons. Who knows, I might even through in a couple of revies just for the fun... lol. Also I'm hoping combat becomes much more varied with various weapons being placed much better with better eye catching.

      Coming soon

      I will probably start working on the map tonight and in the morning and have it ready for this weekend. If you have the defiant map pack then look out for invites this weekend for when we playtest the redesigned Highlands. I'm looking to have a ton of fun this weekend. So be there or be square. :P Also if you read this early enough on Thursday then tonight in a few hours at 6pm Central is a BTB playtest with Obi and the Satyros group so I will probably be inviting people. This is for the BTB tournament so be prepped and ready to go. I'll talk about Satyros tomorrow. Oh and I'll probably write the new forge lesson on Saturday so it will be ready for everyone Sunday Breakfast. :) lol... see you guys tomorrow. I'm on a roll! :P


      Nikatorus said...

      Remember to have a cool alternate name for the new highlands, like Pit Stop for the Pit or Unanchored for Anchor 9.

      Grim Intent said...

      Yeah, I already knew most of these little changes you planned on making on Highlands but I gotta say... I'm pretty stoked to finally see them implemented. I look forward to helping with the play-testing process ASAP. :D

      Dj7291993 said...

      Sounds like some great ideas. I don't get why the put the bigger power weapons on the outside, and put the pipe in the most risky spot (don't get me wrong, I know it's a power weapon, but I'm not going to risk snipers, rockets, splazers, and plasma launchers to get it). Also, on nik's comment, may I recommend "Highroad" since you are changing it to a vehicle focus.

      BadCompany Brik said...

      We should call it... Lowlands! No, that's stupid. But I agree.

      And Godly, just don't accidentally left the forge lesson (last paragraph). I doubt I'll be online for any of this, I'm getting StarCraft 2 soon so that will eat up all my time for a few weeks.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Right now the redesign is called Birthright. Highlands is a training facility where spartans are "born". So I figured it might be an interesting name. Like the facility is where they hail from. I like the name and I feel it is quite fitting. I've started working on it and I've got the falcons and most of the teleporters placed right now. I only have the last set from the bases to the new ghosts left. I've also got a good idea of where I am putting the new sniper and the loadout camera to give attention to both teleporters on spawn with the new ghost in the distance.

      ExternalMemory said...

      ha nobody will get that one