WoT – Level Design Improvements for HD Maps Part 1.

Commanders!

We’re back with a catch-up on level design improvements for another batch of maps being reworked into HD. Today, we’ll go over changes designed to end players “camping” in one space on Erlenberg, give both teams equal chances for control over Steppes, and make Kharkov enjoyable for each vehicle class.

Steppes

Imbalances

The Sandbox test showed that the team spawning in the south could easily rush through the lowland, leaving the other camp with hardly any safe retreat routes.

Changes

To make the right flank more playable for both teams, we added hills on both sides of the lowland. If you’re playing support on the northern team, sneak there and destroy opponents at medium to long range to slow their advance.

New cover spots in the lowland area provide a safe retreat route for the northern team. These are also good for setting up a defence line to prevent the enemy from overwhelming the flank and carving an open route to your base.

The section behind the railroad (west flank) gained a few defensive spots to further strengthen the team in the north. Finally, the area near the rocks now offers an opportunity to hide and send long-distance shots the enemy’s way.

Status update

Tests showed that southern teams still have an easier passage to the centre of the lowland. Right now, we’re working to balance this out while also strengthening defensive positions by the railroad.

Kharkov

Imbalances

Most confrontations happened in the middle area where buildings offer protection against SPG fire. The urban layout favored tough medium and heavy tanks, offered some options to TDs (these would keep to the outskirts), and completely disregarded the rest. Battles tended to end quickly and often boiled down to swift close-range encounters.

Changes

Obviously, slight tweaks wouldn’t suffice—we had to significantly rework the map to make it enjoyable for each vehicle class. The redesign started with increasing the map size from 800×800 to 850×850 m, adding defence positions, and open fields.

Status update

Though the tests showed an increase in battle duration and made gameplay more versatile in terms of tactics, the new Kharkov ended up being too open and felt somewhat dull (according to your feedback). So we rolled back on these changes. Right now, we’re working on a completely new set of level design tweaks to the default version of the map. We’re considering increasing the urban area, but making it less dense. Key sights (the theatre, square, etc.) will stay, while the rest of the city is getting reworked to increase fire range and provide more options for snipers (turretless TDs, etc).

Attention! At the current stage of the beta, Kharkov is not available for testing just yet.

Erlenberg

Imbalances

Battles on Erlenberg had a sad tendency to turn into battles of patience, with players choosing to wait in one spot. Though the centre of the map offered a lot of cover, much of the action occurred in the northwest and southeast. Each side knew exactly what to expect: teams would head to the hills early on, set up their defences, and wait for the enemy to rush the centre. However, it rarely happened, leaving both teams frustrated to say the least.

You know why: it’s difficult to organize a rush and even more difficult to make it actually work with bases located diagonally opposite each other and just three bridges across the otherwise impassable river. If you advance to cross by the central bridge, you’re likely to get a few to the hull from either the western or eastern ridge. Try other bridges, and you’ll run into the same problem of gathering a lot of attention.

Besides, the terrain was never on your side: hills prevented snipers from getting a clear shot (unless you were on one of the hills). At the same time, lights and mediums with good gun depression had a hard time leveraging the uneven terrain because of the locations of the hills.

Changes

We redesigned the town in the centre and the area along the riverside to add more variety to battles. There are new areas to cross to the other side, while the river banks bridge tightly built houses. The closer you get to the centre, the denser they become. Though there’s not enough space for heavy tanks, well-armoured mediums have just enough of it to thrive, using large areas of hard cover to tear down whoever dares to set foot on their land. Taking over this area will prove instrumental later in the battle or when you brave crossing the river.

We changed terrain a lot, narrowing down fields, creating more pronounced gorges, and making forests dense enough to provide cover. This should make it easier to read the map, predict the enemy’s next move, and plan yours.

Changes to the urban area improved battle dynamics, but weren’t enough to make the town a popular spot. Battles often played out in the same old scenario with teams taking over opposite river banks, instead of leveraging hard cover that the town offered. So we made another round of tweaks to make this area more attractive:

  • Several streets were blocked to simplify town structure and make it easier to organise defence spots
  • There are fewer break-through routes leading into the town now, which should make it easier to control the area
  • We reduced the number of shoot-through areas in the central town (cracks in ruined buildings, windows, etc.) by adding tall buildings. You can fully focus on battling with enemies in close-range urban duels now, without fear of getting a few shells from enemies positioned in the hills
  • Newly-added and strengthened defence spots on both sides of the riverbank offer a clear view at popular positions behind the mill and castle. Push the enemies out of the city, nest in these new defence spots, and counterattacks coming from there
  • The river is no longer an impassable barrier and you can now cross at almost any spot.
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19 thoughts on “WoT – Level Design Improvements for HD Maps Part 1.

  1. easier way to do it:
    remove:
    karkhov
    stalingrad
    paris
    pilsen
    widepark
    those are beyond repair

    turn every small map into a 1kmx1km map

    add more open maps, diagonal shots, bushes and remove corridors

    Liked by 5 people

  2. “We reduced the number of shoot-through areas in the central town (cracks in ruined buildings, windows, etc.) by adding tall buildings. You can fully focus on battling with enemies in close-range urban duels now, without fear of getting a few shells from enemies positioned in the hills”

    What they’re basically saying is: “We are making the city noobfriendly, so IS7 drivers don’t have to look on the minimap and only have to press W and the left mouse button. By creating more corridors like this, flanking will get harder and pressing ‘2’ will replace skilled, well-thought actions by good players.”

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I doubt they give a damn anymore, and even if they did, by now it’s out of their control anyway. Poor map designs, greed, overabundance of credits, frustration, statwhoring and a shift from ‘learn to aim at weakspots’ to ‘I must pen everything frontally even if I’m a Tier 1 vs a Maus’ led to the current situation. Players were already abusing gold ammo when tanks were not as stupidly armored as some are now, and now they do even more because on some tanks even the weakspots are heavily armored (VK 100 cupola).

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  3. Kharkok/ KharkovShit & Stalingrad / StalingShit

    these maps only exist and were designed for just one class Heavy Tank players to enjoy themselves, every other class is just ‘seal clubbing fodder’ in a close city brawl in a well played HT ~ which is why WG has these uncomfortable mostly unpopular ‘brawling only maps’ in the game

    Kharkov & Stalingrad we can also include other ‘brawling city’ maps into that list
    Paris
    HimmelShit
    Ensk
    Pilsen
    and etc

    No idea why WG are pretending to ‘care’ about map ‘imbalances and uncomfortable to play’
    its there game they designed ALL these maps to be exactly as they are now ~ nobody interfered with the design just WG by themselves.

    all the brawling City maps all are working 100% as intended by WG ie 4 minute slaughter 1 sided battles ~ its the WG meme always has been.

    like lol! c’mon WG nobody believes after 7 years much about what they ‘say and then actually do’ anymore

    ** the long and still growing list of paper only new class of ‘Super Heavy Tanks’ just proves it alone, I mean where else can a S-HT play? S-HT players are lost on any kind of true open map

    so ………….. lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh MIke I’m sure you’ll find a redline on whatever map you’re on to hide out the game and hope the team carries you. And after you lose another 10 in a row you can always blame your teams for not carying you or the mp designers or maybe aliens….anything but yourself though, that right schmuck?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. A lot of people, including myself, are enjoying some good city brawling. There just have to be a way to break a stalemate if nobody is pushing. Kharkov and Stalingrad have that. And yeah, arty can’t do too much harm there, so that’s a plus in my book. Sometimes I don’t understand people: maps with good amounts of open ground are shit because arty and campers, city maps are shit because heavies, hurr durr.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What you expect from wot players?! They’re not so smart, but claim to know everything, and of course WG have to listen everything they say.

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      2. Wtf,kharkov and stalingrad have stalemates?since when?maybe at some other pararell universe mate,but not in the game im playing in.Most city battles result in 4-5 min battles,simply because theres no early intelligence on what the enemy team is doing.If a team “decides” to rush 1 flank while the enemy spreads evenly,it will most likely pincer and dominate the other team.And yes,city maps are uncomfortable to play,because tactical gameplay,knowledge and skill are replaced by the “2” button,while most players in SPGs,lights,soft TDs and support meds feel shat on.

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      3. There is a solution: scattered cover/ridgelines without excessive bushes and with arty removed. Basically, east side of steppes, or middle of fjords if they took away the bushes that make it awful.

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  4. Steppes was one of the best maps in the game. While there was a room for improvement, WG just fucked it up, they should’ve left it alone.

    Erlenberg is just fucking stupid, open fields with no cover that you have to cross while TD’s camping A/K line have amazing shots on you, they have bushes, hard cover, and can run away safely. City is probably going to be the area to play now if you actually enjoy playing the game not wanking in a bush.

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  5. Wow, a good hull-down tank playing north of the rails is already broken on steppes. Now they want to make it better? When will wg learn to listen to the people who actually understand the game? Most pubbies are retarded, wg employees are retarded, stop letting tomatos and the dev team completely decide the direction of the game.

    Like

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