So recently I have been dabbling with CTF as a gametype, a few of you might have been around on the Wolfpack Den when I was testing my prototype map out but I have been giving it a fair amount of thought and I would like to see CTF restored to a solid place within the warband community. Right now it is only hosted temporarily on ZHG siege as far as I know.
I would also like to try CTF as a more clan level experience which might give an alternate gametype to battle and allow for a more objective based and faster paced experience. I will get onto my thoughts about this later however.
The way I want to fix the gametype is first by hosting a dedicated server and second by only using custom maps designed for the CTF gametype on that server. As I mentioned I have already finished one CTF map and I am drawing up designs for another now. So I would be interested in any other mappers works that they have now or contributions down the road. However I have a pretty good idea what is wrong with the maps in terms of CTF right now (which I am happy to discuss here by the way) and any maps which I accept would have to meet the following requirements in this regard (although I am open to alternative ideas as long as you justify them and they work when tested). For now I can test maps on the Wolfpack Den but I do intend to get a full CTF server soon. Map Design Requirements
Most of this stuff addresses gameplay design but for aesthetics I will just say this. Do any style or theme you want but try not to make the maps too cluttered (yes it looks pretty, yes people hate getting stuck on lots of objects and debris), also please avoid using too many particle effects, giant background terrains, huge numbers of objects etc... I would like all the maps to be playable by the vast majority of players so we don't have any that force half of the server population to quit due to low fps. Also the server will likely be 36 player so design the maps for that number if you could. 1. Spawns
In my opinion spawns should be concentrated, for my prototype map I placed them in a large group next to the flag for each team. I could see it working with two or maybe even three spawn locations as well to spread it out a bit more but I don't want to see spawns spread over a large area like on the native maps. Its awkward for attackers as they can suddenly have a defender appear in front of them (especially annoying when escaping with the flag) and it can be annoying for defenders as well as they might spawn far from where they need to be. In any case concentrating the spawns makes it more reliable for both teams meaning that chance plays less of a factor in gameplay.
Spawns should also be located near the flag, but not on top of it or in the path of any of the main attack routes. They should be out of the main fighting areas and if possible protected as well so you can get out of them but not back inside. 2. Flags
Flag locations should not be directly accessible by horsemen, cavalry should not be able to just ride up to the flag then hop off and back on and ride off. For my prototype map I addressed this twofold, firstly I added platforms which the flags were on top of so that the horsemen would have to walk up them to get the flag. Second I added central choke points which would make using cav more difficult but I will get on to that in the next section.
The flag should have some defences but it must not be open to attack through only a single choke point. Give the attackers some options as this isn't siege and the game isn't over when one flag is captured. 3. Concentrate the Fighting
What often happens on many of the native maps is that half the team will sit around on the flag being miserable while the other half are off attacking the enemy flag. This can be somewhat countered by dividing the map up and forcing teams to fight through several choke points. These can also restrict cavalry passing through so by controlling them for your team you let your cav get through towards the enemy flag and back through when they are coming back with it. They also help stop enemy movement in that regard as well.
On my map I designed it to have two central choke points with heavy defences and each one favoured one of the teams (to help prevent stalemates). You might also consider making the choke points completely impassable to cavalry by making them stairs or ladders. This is fine too as cavalry can still be used to patrol and defend the flag.
If you want to contribute a map to me simply post a link to download it in this thread along with the scene information. As an example to get the ball rolling here is my map so you can download it and have a look. I welcome constructive criticism as well by the way but I think its pretty well balanced now after numerous play tests and adjustments. Map Name:
Northton Link: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=ACSE6PA4Info
scn_multi_scene_custom_7 multi_scene_custom_7 256 none none 0.000000 0.000000 100.000000 100.000000 -100.000000 0x00000001300389800003a4ea000058340000637a0000399b
Team 1 Flag
Team 1 Choke Point
Team 2 Flag
Team 2 Choke Point
As I mentioned I would also like to see this gametype played at a more professional level. I would like to see similar rules (modified for CTF) as we have for battle. So this is a brief description of how it might work: 1. Player Number
I would like the number of players on each team to be 16, that is partially because that is the number that the maps will be designed for so we would have a number of heavily tested maps to play on. It would also allow for larger clans to play more of their members in a single game, if smaller clans didn't have enough numbers for this then they could always form an alliance with another small clan for the duration of a tournament or just for a single friendly.
Teams would be allowed to swap players and substitute at the half time period.2. Match Duration and Map
Each match will last 40 minutes and will be played on a single map. The match will be split into two games each 20 minutes long which will be initiated by a server restart in which both teams agree it will be 'live' afterwards. Teams will swap factions and spawns for the second half. 3. Score
The maximum score limit will be set to a high value (100-1000 etc...), effectively there is no maximum score on the number of flags and whichever team has the most captured flags at the end of the second half is the winner. Draws are allowed and there is no special rule concerning them. 4. Respawn Time
This is something I am less certain on but for now I would put it at a tentative 30 seconds, that should be enough time for killing a player to keep them out of any current engagements but not being too long. I am open to other opinions on this but I think it will be difficult to get consensus until a fair number of matches have been played. 5. Combat Gold Reward
I am personally not a fan of this as I don't like positive feedback but I would be interested to hear what others have to say. Right now though I would say that this should be set to 0%, if a server mod could be made to reward players with gold for increasing score (capturing/reclaiming flags) then that would be better in my opinion. 6. Class Limits
Each team would be limited to only four cavalry. I don't really like class limits in any way but for CTF I think it is necessary. I doubt teams would take a lot of cavalry anyway however if the maps are designed as I am thinking. It wouldn't really get them much.
I am open to discussion on any topics I have touched on here or any others concerning CTF that you would like to bring up.