When you start up a match and you choose your map, you can find maps that aren’t listed under the usual ones you’d normally see, that aren’t Arabia, Arena, Nomad or whatever else you come across in ranked matches.
These “Special Maps” are maps with intentionally-bizarre generations that don’t have seeds as varied as regular maps (if they have different seeds at all) but make up for this with very interesting themes and spawns that make for creative strategies, not unlike what you might see in the maps featured in pro tournaments.
Because you can freely select these maps for Random Map gameplay, and that a fair few of them are already similar to existing maps (including ones already with odd designs, such as Hamburger, Socotra, Sandbank & Coastal Forest), I believe that some of these Special Maps should be made available for ranked matchmaking.
Discussions about the ranked map rotations have been prevalent over the past several weeks, culminating in TheViper being the one who was chosen by the developers to select the maps in today’s rotation, and so I’d like to capitalize on the subject by bringing to mention the Special Maps since, with a bit of tweaking for balance & variety’s sakes, I can see the majority of these maps being fun selections for those who want to play different maps while toying with different build orders for all the differing situations they might find themselves in.
They’re in the game itself and are just sitting there, played only by the rare players who know they exist; they have a ton of potential.
Canyons seems fine, inner circle for 1v1 would be similar to Plateau from Resurgence tournament and that’s nice as well. Sprawling stream and swirling river are a bit similar to a map from Nations cup, and can be good in 4v4 format. Something similar to enemy islands was in the ranked map pool once I think. Open plains is just Arabia and rest of them don’t seem like good competitive maps. They’re ok for some casual play like boom with a treaty or FFA with some friends but not for making good creative strategies.
The discussions were to include maps from current pro player tournaments which are interesting, competitive and different from the usual. Maps like African reed beds, Cup, Bay. These “special maps” are a bit too troll and definitely not suitable for 1v1 ranked. Probably why they are marked as “special”. It might be worth including them in the “quick play” queue though.
Cheers, mate. For the longest time I’ve always disliked Franks, even as a kid, for just being the civ that makes Knights and nothing else. Of course, I love Throwing Axemen, but the rest of the civ is just bland to me.
Your other points are valid. I don’t think all Special Maps are suitable for ranked gameplay, like Border Stones, Journey South, Holy Line & Snake Forest, but the others defo have a place in ranked, in my eyes.
Most “special maps” seems to have a minimum map size of Large (8 players). When you set the size to Tiny, start a game the map size is big, and when you go back to create a Lobby the stting has changed to Large. But there are some exceptions, Canyon seems to have a minimum size of Medium (4 players).
But this is not true for the custom maps. They have a minimum maps size of Tiny (2 players).
Some of them have some problems for ranked:
Canals, Capricious and Pilgrims have unfair map generations. But I think Pilgrims would be worth to fix it. One starting island is often closer to the main land.
Dingos is similar to Continental and Seasons is similar to Highland.
Sherwood Forest Heros starts with an OP Longbow and OP monk for each player.
Shipwreck: The tiny map generation seems unintended.
But the other maps could be great for ranked:
Graveyards has 3 lakes rather in the middle of the map, So maybe like a mixture of Mediterranean and Kawasan. Seems interessting.
Metropolis has 3 TC start.
Moats: You start with almost closed line of water around your base, but no wood is inside the base beside straggler trees.
Paradise Island: Also a bit similar to Continental, but with some additional features, like a Relic island in the middle.
Prairie: A much more open Arabia, with also a bit more shore fish.
Sherwood Forest: Very unique map without large packs of wood, but Stragler trees and mini packs of wood everywhere. There are also around 7 little lakes with fish on the map.
Glaciers: Unique mix of land and water with a crossing.
The Unknown: A random map, but it seems like there is always some water.
I would like to play, Pilgrims, Graveyards, Moats, Prairie, Sherwood Forest and Galciers in ranked. Pilgrims needs a little change, but overall I don’t see a reason why these could not be included.
Actually I liked Franks back then, they were quite balanced. I used to do knights and then switch into lot of castles + throwing axemen. Those were even worse than now but somehow I thought they were good 11. Its the post WK one that I hate.