So I am back to playing after about 15 years or so, and getting back into it…the last version I played was the conquerors expansion. My question is simple why is the Arabia map seem to be the standard or preferred map…?
Is because in Arabia is where you see action most of the time, with feudal rushing, map control, eco and military control, where chances to end games early are on spot, where the player skills are tested in like the whole game.
Imo simply because that’s what most people played, for years. Could have easily been another map if most people played it. But also Arabia is somewhat simple/plain with nothing gimmicky.
When you played 15 years ago what was your standard map?
I ended up favoring and started out again playing Black Forest and Islands or Team Islands.
What we currently play isn’t Arabia anymore.
There’s quite a Black Forest community, you should never be short of a game
About 15 years ago arabia was the most played map for 1x1,arabia, yucatan, michi, bf and green arabia were the most played team game maps, back then arena and nomad were the smallest communities around.
Maybe you were just a SP player back then cause i was there in zone and gamepark, even on gamespy, so i pretty much remember all the popular maps.
Current arabia is not arabia, we have been playing memb’s arabia for 2 months now and before that a mix of t90’s arabia with another memb’s arabia version mixed(hc2 ara/kotd and boa arabia) the map has been changed around those map scripts until a point that nothing of the original maps prevails so for someone that has been gone for so long the map would be brand new.
Totally agree with you man, current Arabia has little to none with the original AOC Arabia, in fact there was never “real Arabia” in the DE map pool ever since it came out.
Check my post regarding this subject and its projections
A lot of reasons why Arabia is popular, but mainly:
- Simplicity - It’s a straight-forward map with standard resources and most standard build orders like 21 pop scouts, 22 pop man at arms into archers are designed for Arabia style maps.
- Open terrain means early aggression is possible and usually preferable, which makes for exciting, fast-paced games with a higher risk factor, because early aggression often sets your economy behind, so if you don’t do enough damage early, you might risk losing in the mid to late game.
- Flexibility - Equally, if you have the right kind of map e.g. with back gold and berries with conveniently located woodlines, you can wall up and do a fast Drush FC while your opponent is still stuck with weaker Feudal units like scouts or archers. There is also risk attached to FC strategy though, as you leave yourself open to archers with fletching on your woodlines or breaking down palisades. But again, more risk usually means more exciting games. And with FC you have the option to 3 TC boom or go for 1 TC full aggression. So many different strategies and ways you can win on Arabia. Personally I think Arabia and its clones like Runestones are the highest skill level maps in aoe2. As in, the best Arabia players are the best overall players. So whilst you will still need to adapt your gameplans on other maps, if you get really good at Arabia, your skills will transfer over to other maps better than the BF guys or Arena clowns will perform on Arabia.
- No water , meaning you can focus purely on land economy and military. Lots of players don’t enjoy the distraction of water, the clunkiness of naval battles or slow games with transport ships etc. Which leads on to the next point…
- Action / Speed of play - Open maps like Arabia generally favour early aggression; you can attack with militia in dark age or Persian douche etc. if you want, so the first stages of the game aren’t as predictable as on closed maps like Arena or water maps like islands where the early game can be quite tedious and purely economic. So for players who enjoy the thrill of quick action but not quite at the same level as death match / empire wars, Arabia is the perfect balance between macro skill and early aggression.
- Micro - Of course micro is still important on Arena / BF and water maps but on those maps the biggest battles tend to happen when army sizes are much bigger, so generally speaking those fights are often won with better macro and therefore more resources for more units with better upgrades. Whereas superior feudal age micro can often lead to a significant economic lead and in some cases can even snowball the fight and end games in Feudal if you can follow up and capitalise on small victories in the micro battles.