Rank the MP Boards!

Discussion in 'Card Hunter General Chat' started by Jon, Jun 5, 2013.


Which boards do you like from the existing ranked game boards?

  1. Bridge

  2. Cave

  3. Dungeon

  4. Forest

  5. Streams

  6. Temple

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Jon

    Jon Blue Manchu Staff Member

    So, board choice is super important in Card Hunter.

    How do you all feel about the board choice in ranked multi-player?

    Right now, the ranked game system randomly picks from the following list:

    Bridge Bridge.jpg

    Forest MP-Forest.jpg

    Cave MP-Cave.jpg

    Dungeon MP-Dungeon.jpg

    Temple Temple.jpg

    Streams Streams.jpg

    So, which of these boards do you like? Vote in the poll (and explain your answers in this thread)!

    For example, do you think we shouldn't have boards with only one victory square? Should the boards be bigger? Smaller? etc, etc.
  2. penda

    penda Mushroom Warrior

    I absolutely hate the bridge map. Lower-Right starting position has many more LoS options. Approaching from the Top-Left is really hard with so much open space. Lots of my matches depend on my opening draw.

    Forest has some of the same lack of symmetrical issues but not as bad as bridge.

    Cave has some really interesting dynamics due to split victory squares with some minor separation in between. Each movement feels tense and delicate, hard to explain it. Unfortunately, this map is probably the hardest to come back from once down 1 character. Still one of the more fun maps due to layout.

    Dungeon/Temple are probably my favorite maps. Temple is fun because I don't feel like rushing the victory squares is that important because there are numerous flanking options with isolation.

    Dungeon has two weird spawns for dwarves because it requires two moves due to the stop terrain in the center isle. Bad spawns here can lead to a very quick 2v1 situations (top-left sandwich).

    Streams is absolutely great. The mayhem that happens on that one focused square is so much fun sometimes. Even when you're behind it feels like you can always win.
  3. Sayeth Aether

    Sayeth Aether Mushroom Warrior

    I agree with the streams, really great map for positioning and tactics. I also think that there should be more boards with just one victory point or with victory points that are not next to each other.
    Ben_Lee likes this.
  4. Gnug315

    Gnug315 Mushroom Warrior

    I think they're all great! Usually I'd second that asymmetrical maps cannot, by definition, be balanced, but honestly I'm not sure it's much of a deal at all.

    Streams is actually my fave map, partly due to the single victory square.
  5. Mutak

    Mutak Goblin Champion

    I like them all really, but the indoor ones feel a little cramped. Something like Anvil Strike is kind of overpowerd in there. I'd like to see a map where the victory squares were spread out more, and maybe a few that were just a little bigger.
  6. Dugrim

    Dugrim Orc Soldier

    I like Cave and Dungeon first, then the others.
    I really think you should give another try to a "far away victory squares" map, just to see how it works.
    Victory squares grouped together helps a melee, move enemies or wall of fire focused parties (IMHO).
  7. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    I think more variety in victory squares would be good. The "four squares together" ones seem straightforward, like "default" maps: someone who's played the low-level single-player maps with victory squares (however few there are . . . ) will expect something like that.

    But the single one in Streams? A terrific change-up. Simply doing another map with two, and another with three, would do wonders for gameplay.

    Unfortunately, I don't think that the "splitting the victory squares" concept is implemented as well as it could be. In Cave, the point is that you're out of sight of each other, and this brings two issues: you only have so much movement, and there are only so many "chess pieces" on the board.

    With this few pieces, as penda notes, playing becomes pointless once you've lost pieces.

    As to movement, there is a good gameplay principle to exploit here: the players are forced to make decisions. As penda also notes, "Each movement feels tense and delicate." I just don't think that Cave accomplishes it.

    The extreme version of the principle was seen back when you had that Lord Stafford's Treasure-style map. You had to spend Move card after Move card just to get in range of each other, AND THEN hope you could hold a victory point. Meanwhile, the 6 brief stars to victory are piling up. Given that Card Hunter deckbuilders complain "ugh, I drew too many Move cards" and try to maximize OTHER card types, this was just painful.

    In Cave, it's not as bad, but it renders some pieces helpless by random draw ("I can't Move!") and other pieces helpless by strategy ("Sorry, gotta stand on this gold square thing").

    Consider: what would happen with just two victory points separated by those walls? More "chess pieces" would be free to move, more stuff would actually happen, and the last piece standing on a side could STILL do something worthwhile.

    And, of course, there are still all the options with split victory squares in open space. I'm not arguing against you, Dugrim: I'm sure there's gameplay to be had.
  8. Sayeth Aether

    Sayeth Aether Mushroom Warrior

    If I may suggest - instead of blocking terrain, put an impassable but see-through one. That way long range wizards and fighters could still fight or force the oponent to come close instead of making it a camp-fest.
  9. Evolved

    Evolved Mushroom Warrior

    I’ve decided to write a detailed assessment of each of the maps and add some general comments about ranked match map design. I’ve only completed 2 so far, but I will edit this post as I finish the others. I’ll also upload the maps so people can try them out and give feedback.

    General criticisms:

    Lack of Symmetry: Most of the maps lack symmetry. While this is fine for casual play, for ranked I see no reason to break from symmetry when it risks making the map inherently imbalanced for some team compositions. There are plenty of factors that differentiate players and their builds, and the side of the map they come from should not be one.

    Starting Unit Placement: At the moment the initial placement of units is randomised. Not only do your characters get rearranged amongst their starting locations each match, but some maps have more than 3 spawn locations. This can be an issue since your weaker characters may end up unduly exposed.

    I think that unless all spawn locations are equivalent, the player should have some say over where their characters are placed. There are two solutions, either maps need to be designed so that each spawn location is equally defensible and accessible, or players need to have some say in which character is placed where. I think the developers have previously spoken out against a placement phase during the pre-match, and while this solution could work, I also agree it’s unnecessary. An alternative could be to rate spawn locations as aggressive, defensive and intermediat e and then place the characters based upon their order in the party, where 1st is aggressive 2nd is intermediate and 3rd is defensive.

    Despite all of this I think that ultimately its a design choice whether or not unit placement is randomised. Do you want players to ensure that each of their characters can hold their own without assistance? Or do you want them to be able to specialise without fear of occasionally being punished by the game’s design rather than by their opponent? I think that if there is some kind of player choice in unit placement this could also multiplayer up to some interesting map designs similar to those seen in the single player campaign. One example would have one character from each team locked in a room with two opponents and a locked door separating them from their teamates.

    Bridge: [​IMG]

    I really like this map, the line of difficult terrain down the middle and the odd terrain-blocking trees make it interesting, while the victory squares draw you towards the middle. Also the spawn locations of your team are close, allowing you to make a formation and set up buffs ahead of time. This close proximity does have a downside, however, as early area of effect attacks, like fireballs, can be very effective. The terrain-blocking trees near the bridge offer tactical options, allowing characters to break line of sight and advance or evade safely. A major issue is that there is a clear view to your opponents right from the outset. This allows shifty mages to get off some free damage right from the start giving them an early advantage. I think exposing yourself to enemy mages should be an active choice by the player, rather than something unavoidable.

    I took a quick stab at trying to address a couple of these issues while maintaining the original strengths of the design. This is my first attempt, and only the 2nd map I have made with the editor, so expect some flaws. I am open to both criticisms and suggestions on how to improve it, especially the early line of sight issues. Also lacks doodads and currently has trees instead of thorns.


    Forest [​IMG]

    I like these nice open maps, they give a lot more room to move around, and let mages show off their skills with their good lines of sight. Like many maps, however, this one isn’t symmetrical. Furthermore, it’s not really giving either player a choice. The slow terrain on the right doesn’t really have enough cover to make it desirable for sneakier attacks. Like Bridge, the starting positions are a little exposed. The down side for mages on these open maps is their terrain attachment skills are not as powerful for blocking movement, but that’s fine, diversity is good.

    Here’s my take on revising the map to address these issues. The left path provides good lines of sight and good mobility while the right provides good cover and low mobility. This is the third iteration on the map.


    Cave [​IMG]

    This was the first multiplayer map I played. I think it has the most interesting victory locations of all the maps, and hopefully will inspire many more to come. I love the tango that often occurs as players chase each other around the center. It does suffer from some minor symmetry issues, and the spawn locations seem odd on occasion. It is also notable for having no difficult terrain at all.

    The only changes I’d suggest would be to tweak the symmetry and keep the spawn locations, maybe 2 together 1 apart, I like that set-up on this map.

    Dungeon [​IMG]

    I really like the difficult terrain and some of the aggressive positioning on this map. The pillars around the middle also provide some interesting line of sight issues. The major drawbacks of this map are of course a lack of symmetry, and some of the spawn locations can be really unfair, like a mage trapped between two warriors. This is also one of the longest maps, but the far edges are rarely utilised.

    This one took a lot of work to even just figure out how many of the interesting ideas I could actually fit into a new version. Unfortunately some stuff had to go, you could probably make another whole map or two just out of the ideas/structures that I didn't use. I also altered the theme slightly to about parties of adventurers on their last legs searching for anything which will help them survive. With starvation an imminent threat, food is as valuable as treasure.


    Temple [​IMG]

    Really good map, I’ve had heaps of close game on here. There’s lots of cover around the victory locations allowing champions to duck in and duck out as the situation requires. The difficult terrain is minimalist but provides some interesting decisions on which path to take. The three spread out spawn locations seem to work well since teammates are always adjacent (I think). No changes needed.

    Streams [​IMG]

    I think this is the most interesting and balanced maps at the moment. It’s perfectly symmetrical, has some interesting cover, has multiple paths and only one victory point, giving elves and defensive teams more options. It is also the only map at the moment that has blocking terrain that doesn’t block line of sight, I can’t wait to see more maps that use this. The one glaring flaw is the randomisation on the spawn locations. Having your lone cleric spawn on the enemies side of the trees in full view of 2 enemy mages is a little bit of a disadvantage. Other than that though I do like the variation that the spread positioning offers.

    I think that having more than 3 potential spawn locations often adds a degree of variety that isn’t necessary and could be achieved more easily with map variants, especially for ranked play. Map variants which have explicitly different spawn location could provide added variety to existing maps and while allowing players to make preparations without require much more development time.

    Attached Files:

    Forlorn, penda and Platouf like this.
  10. Pengw1n

    Pengw1n Moderately Informed Staff Member

    One thing to take into consideration for the maps not being 100% symmetrical - starting sides are assigned randomly, that's like flipping a coin and being assigned a side in sports. There are usually benefits to these things - like where the sun is in the sky et c. I'm not a fan of having maps be 100% mirrored, but starting positions should be of similar "value". Possibly allow you to have an assignment zone for your characters - or even just pick what of your available spawn points you want for which char could help.
  11. Phaselock

    Phaselock Bugblatter

    Fyi: there is already a discussion thread on the pvp maps, complete with notations and spanw points for easy square referencing.


    I'd like to apologise first for the below comments. They are heavy criticisms. I do not agree with either of your map 'improvements'. In fact, I've discussed before with other testers on the obvious problems with bridge and forest. Imo, they heavily favor wizard wall builds. I have yet to formulate all the pvp map guides for the wiki but you can read the other two general guides for references (Streams of Blood guide, Temple Tussle guide).

    a) In your proposed Bridge map, your improvements make the map symmetrical and add further blocking terrains. The critical flaw are the terrains right at the edge of the bridge. A Wall of Stone completely isolates the VPs of 1 party from the other FOR 2 TURNS. Wall of illusion is slightly better since it is now a 1 turn barrier but not by much. The original map suffered for the party spawning in the lower right corner DUE to the sole blocking terrain obscuring LoS. In short, if you spawn top and have a Wall card in hand (ie, wizard CC wall build), its a draw win situation. Compare this with the 4 VP design in Temple tussle and you should be able to understand why Bridge heavily favors the wizard Wall build.

    b) In your proposed Forest map, you extend the difficult terrains, make the map symmetrical and add further blocking terrains. There are 2 flaws. First, when having difficult terrains surround VPs, expect Wall of Stone exploits. In this case, just cast an 'L' shaped wall and barricade against the other party. Either the opponent has to go thru difficult terrain to get around and target the sitter or thru the other clear path making them easy targets. The 2nd flaw is to cast Wall of Stone between the blocked terrain and the difficult terrain (near the spawn zones) in a straight line, easy isolation. The first wizard to get LoS with WoS in hand = draw win.

    Imo, if a map is designed in such a way that it heavily favors 1 spell in the game...that will lead to exploits. It'll end up with high ranked pvpers with 1 x wizard Wall build in party. And thats just not fun. Sorry for being so brutal and frank. :(
  12. Evolved

    Evolved Mushroom Warrior

    Great constructive criticism. I don't know why you'd want to apologies though, design is an iterative process that requires creation, testing, criticism and refinement.

    Those are all really good resources, your guides especially are very in depth.

    New_Bridge I see your point about the blocking rocks at the north and south end of the bridge (E5 & H8), while I feel like having some form of blocking terrain near the bridge is important you are right about the potential for abuse from wall mages. It is necessary because melee characters need some way to advance on the bridge without being attacked. To minmise the impact of wall I've split the victory conditions, this is my first attempt as solving the issue and inspired by your split bridge idea. I've edited the post above to reflect this change and will continue to interate as i retriever further feedback.

    The 2 flaws you point out are actually one flaw, both potential paths can be blocked by walls of stone. The fact that there are two paths means that unless your opponent draws 2 walls of stone, then it's not too much of an issue they are just forcing you down one path or another. Though of course blocking the short path may be super effective against low mobility builds.

    I am beginning to see a pattern in your criticisms and that is that wall of stone can block huge amounts of game space as long as there is even just 1 piece of blocking terrain. I have to honor your experience as I haven't yet seen wall spells used effectively against me in multiplayer. If what you say is true though, then almost any map with clumped starting positions is going to be abusable by wall of stone, especially if there is any blocking terrain. And so, under this assumption I propose 2 potential solutions. 1) reduce walls to only affect 2 squares instead of 3, this significantly limits they ability to control space in open environments without really affecting their strength in closed environments. 2)Introduce a new default terrain type, obscuring terrain you can walk through it but not see through it. It could work like Smoke_Bomb or like Wall_of_Illusion. We already have Open (+visions +Move), Blocked (-vision, -move) and Impassable (+vision, -move) why don't we have (-vision, +move). I'm uncertain which of these cards it should work like, perhaps both should be options for map makers. This new terrain type could be used to protect lines of advance from enemy sight, without also making them unduly susceptible to walls.

    If this terrain were introduced I would place it at E5 & H8 on the New_Bridge map, and have it represented as large banners, one human and one orc set to claim the bridge for their own. C3 and J10 on New_Forest would also be candidates, perhaps some shrubbery?

    Furthermore, I think that the quantity of difficult terrain is a bit over zealous and I will be pruning it back in future revisions, so as not to make the east path to undesirable.
  13. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    Sure. The more maps, the merrier. Then us beta testers can find out which ones actually work for the eventual pruning back.
  14. Phaselock

    Phaselock Bugblatter

    Normally, I get flamed/trolled when I critic. :p

    I see the edited new_bridge map. The problem is still the same. Instead of Walling off the entry, wall straight on the VPs to deny for 2 turns. I don't see splitting the VPs in this way viable. Splitting the bridge, ie, introduce more bridges to provide alternate paths to the vps was my original idea.

    It boils down to who your opponents are and who gets first turn. If you are against an elf party who goes first, chances are there'll be 1 unit past the initial spawn and walling the vp is more beneficial. They have to come around the narrow opening, and with low hp (3v1 situation)...become easy targets.

    Imagine the stonehenge with 4 vps in the center. There are multiple blocking terrains, right ? Would it be easy to apply WoS liberally to cut off the enemy for 2 turns ? Not necessarily true, correct ? The crux is to allow multiple viable paths to victory. Clumped starting positions really only favor Rockfall.

    erm, you are straying off the path a little. There is nothing wrong with Wall of Stone, it has always been intended to be powerful. If there is a fundamental flaw with the map, fix the map...not the spell. Wall of Stone is really abusable in bridge and forest. For other maps, it'd be hard pressed to use WoS in a readily abusable fashion. (-vision, +move) is equivalent to a Blind condition. Do you need a new terrain for it ? hmm...

    As it is right now, forest looks like a huge 'D' letter. You might wanna consider adding a single clear path through the difficult patches ('B') and make the map more like a 'B'.

    Some of these pvp maps are really only placeholders. iirc, Jon has mentioned before that they are not final designs. Some testers have come up with some really great maps. You might wanna study them for references and ideas as well:

    Jayce's (diagonal vps but no single LoS dominance, spawn points could use some redistribution)

    Lance's (double difficult terrain loop, not readily abusable by WoS...a pita to move in)

    NeoFalcon's (still abusable by WoS, but provides alternate contestable paths)

    Hope it helps. :)
  15. Evolved

    Evolved Mushroom Warrior

    If denying victory points using wall of stone is an issue then isn't it an issue on all with multiple victory locations? The stream is difficult terrain not impassable terrain so WoS should cost your opponent about 1 move card per character. Also if they have the cards they can still attack the remaining victory points on your side of the river.

    I do get the feeling that 2x WoS would be very strong any time your opponents units start clumped near a corner or any other cramped space.

    I've looked at all the the other maps and will continue to do so. They are primarily influencing my original designs rather than the iterations above. Hopefully I'll upload the one I'm working on at the moment sometime soon.

    I think there is a value in having this type of terrain irrespective of the discussion above. It offers a lot of tactical choices that are not currently available as default on maps. Having something to hide behind that isn't going to cost you turns to move around is a huge advantage and I can think of a few situations/maps designs where that would be interesting/useful.

    And thanks for all the other feedback, I'll incorporate what I can especially regarding forest. Bridge however, appears to have some more fundamental issues and may requires taking parts of the initial idea and making something new out of them, like you suggest.

    Updated the original thread with some updates to forest and my take on Dungeon.
  16. Unlucky Scarecrow

    Unlucky Scarecrow Goblin Champion

    I upvoted everything but dungeon. The spawn points in Dungeon are just too random; It's often that one player will have a character land in the inner area and be completely unobstructed from the victory tiles, while most other characters need to spend 2 move cards (or 3, thanks to difficult terrain) to reach it.
  17. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    Huh. Isn't it usually the case that 1 character from each side will land in the middle, and the others have to work their way in? I thought that was what happened. I might not have noticed, because usually I can accommodate for positioning.
  18. TheLAD

    TheLAD Kobold

    Are there any plans for multiplayer boards without Victory Squares? Much talk about how the dynamic changes loads from when you have a single square / split squares / group of 4, maybe the logical extension of this is no victory squares at all, with the end of the match only coming when one team is wiped out!

    Or is the feeling that that would favour certain team setups too much (high hp dwarves vs elves for example, the elves have to fight rather than being all tricksy)? Is it possible to know the effect without chucking one into the rotation and getting loads of matches played on it?
  19. Rorre

    Rorre Orc Soldier

    I think you'll find it's the opposite. Without the victory squares to force a fight, those poor little dwarves will have a heck of a time keeping up with three mobile elves
  20. SurgeonFish

    SurgeonFish Automaton Moderator Staff Member

    Think my least favorite is the caves because with the split VP it is more difficult to support allies or counter enemy surprises.

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