The new Dynasties of India DLC launches next week and I’ve been lucky enough to have some early access. I’ve had some great fun testing the new civs with pro players, an opportunity I never would have expected to get.
But I’ve also spent far too much time combing over the new Arabia.rms. We have some changes coming that makes Arabia a far better map.
The current iteration of Arabia was introduced for King of the Desert IV. It was intended to be an open, aggressive map. And to some extent that is true. It is also just hideous to play sometimes. Hills dominated your base giving the attacker a significant advantage, woodlines were so far from your TC that you relied on stragglers for far too long and oases littered your forests.
How often would you have access to only two woodlines available at a ‘safe’ distance, place your lumber camp and then discover the little pond that decimates the forest, reducing your available wood? It was too common and caused much annoyance in segments of the community.
But now, everything has changed. Arabia is back so let’s look through some of the changes you can expect to see when the patch update is released.
These have seen a massive overhaul. Chrazini has now developed an intricate system for allocating woodlines. It used to be random on deciding how many, how big and how far the woodlines were generated. But now, we have an elegant method to randomly allocate the spawn distance and then select the number, size and spacing based on varying percentages.
Woodlines generate closer more often
It is a very clever system that increases the probabilities of having more woodlines the further out they are. It should mean more balanced maps that will have some chances for aggression whilst preventing the game being effectively over from one tower or a handful of archers.
The probabilities have all been adjusted too. It is now more likely that you will get a ‘near’ or ‘medium’ spawn (55% up from 20%). The sizes of the forests have all been shifted up slightly with a new ‘immense’ size added when the spawn is at its maximum distance. All-in-all, it should provide easier access to wood but without a return to the Drush FC everytime previously seen.
The bane of many player’s experience on Arabia. But no more! The chance of oases spawning is now lower than before with less of them too. Again, there is a clever system to handle the probabilities linked to the distance and number of woodlines meaning that the player should always have at least one fully formed woodline and more likely two or even three. I know some of you will still complain about their existence at all but I think this is ok. I’d probably prefer that these oases are restricted to the ‘neutral’ woodlines but I can accept it if there are just less of them.
Oases can still spawn but at least one woodlines is safe
Arabia will now see a return of cliffs too. These had been removed a while ago as they were too prevalent on the maps and often made too many choke points. But the new iterations will have smaller cliffs providing opportunities for players to utilise these defensive positions to strategically control areas of the map.
Cliffs are back on Arabia
At last! Second and third golds are now findable. They aren’t always close or securable by walling but in every generation I’ve seen, they are always within one screen of the TC. We’ve seen games, even in tournaments, where one player’s lack of access to their golds has been decisive. With this new generation, players may still need to be aggressive or to take map control in order to access some of them safely but they are far more likely to have one to fall back on if needed.
Secondary gold can be difficult but closer
The one we’ve all been waiting for! Our bases are now actually defendable. Elevation around our starting location has been significantly reduced. That’s not to say it is all flat, there can and will still be hills spawning around the base, next to berries and next to the main gold. But these are significantly smaller and can be secured with production buildings or walls.
Hills can be secured
Chrazini is clearly making a more sophisticated way to generate maps and I for one am thrilled with the direction he is going. We have a version of Arabia that is different each time but with the ability to play in a variety of styles and the requirement to adapt to the generation you are given. I hope to see this continue and Arabia as well as other maps become more varied and exciting over time.