How can they have the most popular map in the game be so buggy? (Arabia)

I just got 2 Arabia games in a row with no woodlines, seriously, this was supposed to be fixed this patch, I wasn’t affected last patch because I straight up banned Arabia, but the map pool this month is pretty bad so I unbanned it thinking it was fixed, but apparently it wasn’t… time to play some marketplace or ghost lake I guess (not too thrilled about that either, like, the only non-open land map in the pool right now is Arena)
I defend the devs all the time, but having such a bad version of the most popular map in the game be this buggy and inconsistent is just inexcusable, especially since there are dozens of fan-made versions of it that are great, like the ones they use in tournaments (Not to mention changing the entire point of the map being semi-open to being full open, but that’s another can of worms)

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You probably intended the title as a rhetorical question, but there is actually an answer.

The random map scripting (RMS) language was never intended to support fair distribution of forests between players, and doesn’t have any in-built features for it. Most map scripts, including the original AoK version of Arabia, just distribute the forests randomly but somewhat evenly, with no regard for where player start areas are (other than avoiding forests spawning very close to Town Centres).

Since Arabia is so popular, it’s subject to much more balance-related scrutiny than any other map, and so at some point (I’m not sure when) the devs decided to try to distribute the forests fairly between players. But since RMS doesn’t really support this, they came up with a hack to implement it, involving a large number of steps of placing and replacing placeholder terrains.

Unfortunately, such hacks are almost invariably buggy, and the bugs can be hard to fix because the code is being used in a way it wasn’t intended to be used. The 2020 version of Arabia used a different, more reliable, hack – but a hack that works in one context might be unusable in another, and the 2020 hack doesn’t allow control over whether the woodlines spawn at the front or back of a player’s start area.

So TLDR, it’s buggy because the extra balance-related scrutiny given to Arabia led the devs to try to distribute woodlines evenly between players, but the only way this is currently possible uses the random map scripting language in a way it wasn’t intended to be used.

The only sensible solution I can see is to add a new feature to the RMS language that supports this kind of forest distribution properly. Such features exist for placing other resources, but the key difference is that forests are classed as terrain rather than objects.


Or take kotd arabia as ladder arabia and solve the issue once for all

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