As per T-West’s video, “How the “New” Arabia Differs From the Original” on YouTube, he details the changes for the new Arabia map generation. This includes its distinct “circular” generation for the Town Centers to provide more pinpoint accuracy and fair distance between players. Though, one should question, “should you compromise the fun factor of scouting for fairness?” With AoC or the previous DE Arabia map generation, I found it to be far more dynamic and fun, AoC especially. The hill elevation range set to 7 and cliffs being blended into the mix truly made for a wild environment!
Nowadays, it’s far too easy to guesstimate where the other player’s TC is with this circular generation… Doesn’t that defeat much of the purpose of scouting? The fun factor of scouting, I find, is the discovery. You’re not supposed to easily know where everything is, including players.
Moral of the story, in my opinion, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. And, if it is broken but still fun, don’t fix it anyway! I think Arabia should most certainly be reverted back to its earlier DE map generation, or better yet, its AoC map generation!
I think Arabia (as well as Arena, Black Forest, Nomad, and Mediteranean) has a major difference to most maps: it is an “iconic map”. Which means, many people want to play it, want to measure their aoe2 skill on it, and want to watch pro players battling on it.
For this reason, Arabia (and the other listed map) should be as fair as possible, even if it decreases the randomness and for some players, the fun. I think arabia should be as close as possible to KotD Arabia.
What the devs could do however, is to add the “original arabia” map (being exactly like in AoC) as a standard map. This map should already be in a mod, so you can already play it as a custom map in a Lobby.
If you feel that the map should be in ranked. In this case it might be interesting to allow players to vote for any standard map or custom map (here you would manually enter a mod name). Then we might even get “AoK Arabia” in ranked. But not at the cost of “fair Arabia”. And if some people hate Arabia, well too bad for them, they already have to deal with Arabia+Runestones anyways…