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Daybreak's map design


svett89
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I got to play Daybreak tonight in the public game - and while I had to leave before the round finished, I can say with confidence that I find it to be the absolute best-designed map in RenX.

I believe this map complements the core gameplay of Renegade in a way that no other map does, and feels like the way the game was meant to be experienced. As such, I'd like to to attempt to break down the elements that Daybreak incorporates, so that we can get more maps in the future that use some of its fantastic design choices.

 

1. A central vehicle chokepoint

The central Silo chokepoint is brilliant. You're guaranteed good vehicle combat around it, since both sides need to push through, and want to control it for the silo. Infantry can also join in on the fun very quickly thanks to the cleverly designed infantry paths leading to it. This area also plays into the strengths of both factions - the long vehicle reinforcement distance means GDI cannot reinforce with Meds and Mammies as easily as Nod can reinforce with Light Tanks and Arties. GDI, meanwhile, compensates for this with their stronger individual tanks that can shine in the open areas around the chokepoint. Gunners are also great in that environment.

This leads to a balanced battle for control of the middle, where both sides are at an equal "disadvantage" - Nod lacking a lot of good cover and having a harder time dancing in and out of that which is there, and GDI having trouble reinforcing and pressuring Arties hiding in the back. Perhaps a slight advantage to GDI, but the map caters to other strengths of Nod (more on that later).

The single choke also makes Stanks not be overpowered, despite the large map size. That's a problem we've seen on some other large maps (Outposts comes to mind). If GDI can hold the choke, Stanks can't slip through.

 

2. Large, open fields outside the bases

The fact that there is a large, open area in front of each base is fantastic! It makes it so that endless sieging is very difficult, since there is not much cover, and the reinforcement distance is so long for the besieging army. We don't get the scenarios you see on maps like Under where one team sieges until Heroic and then finally steamroll. There is potential for a much greater "flow" in the battle, where the defenders can push the siege back to the chokepoint. Sieges are still possible, and can result in building kills, but they can be more easily broken than on most other maps. The additional GT/Turret is also a really good "first line of defense" for each side, again preventing early excessive sieging.

 

3. Quick infantry access to everything

The infantry tunnels are like the opposite of the vehicle paths - short, and with multiple paths. They allow for quick access to the Silo chokepoint and the enemy base, and are valuable to control. The large cave area is also a great arena for fighting over tunnel control. The most important thing about the tunnels though, is, in my opinion, the rushing potential. It makes up for the lack of good vehicle siege/vehicle rush potential. It's like a better version of the Field tunnels.

 

4. Playing to the strengths and weaknesses of both factions

This is the most crucial point which makes me love this map - both sides can be played to their strengths, but can also be punished for "doing too well". GDI vehicles and Gunners can control the Silo chokepoint better than Nod, but if they do lose it, Nod can Stank rush extremely effectively thanks to the large map size. Also, if GDI pushes forward without good repair support and a critical mass, Stanks can slip by the choke point, or the siege be repelled and Nod quickly countering by reclaiming the Silo and besieging GDI before they can reinforce due to the long distance.

SBHs can be deadly, but they need to run reeeally far across the field, so Nod gives up a lot of map control by doing mass-SBH. GDI sieging or Gunner rushing field is similar - the Silo and a lot of map control can be accidentally given up if they push forward too much.

Since both sides essentially gives up map control by pushing forward or rushing - it's all high-risk, high-reward, which leads to intense and strategic gameplay.

 

TLDR

Daybreak is incredibly good. I want more maps like it! 🙂

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I am looking forward to playing it with others! I had heard some people saying that it was disappointing, but this is an encouraging post!

Thanks,

HIHIHI

EDIT: I just looked around in Skirmish, and I am really excited to play this map! Sure, the AGT and obi seem to be in weird positions, but it looks like a really fun map. I like Crash Site because of all the rocks you can run around in as a tank (when I have a low enough ping to actually drive, haha), and this looks to have plenty of the same type of play.

Edited by HIHIHI
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  • Lead Moderator

Yes the majority of us got to finally experience the map yesterday with a full server. And I feel very much the same.

At first many were concerned about Stealth Tank power... (even though nod did win the first time with them)... it was by no means an easy victory. ( I was leading GDI and I drove our APC convoy into an invisible wall because I didn't realize it was the edge of the map ...lol)

GDI also won a round with coordinated effort.

The AGT/Obliesk does seem to be in an odd place, but it adds an interesting dynamic by not covering the entire base.

 

Although as I see, the map was actually created years ago, before cruise missiles were implemented. It does seem a bit too easy to take out the Guard towers with the cruise missiles.

 

*Maybe adding in Sam sites / AA Towers next to the GTs wouldn't be a bad idea to compensate*

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Yeah, I like how the bases are spread out - there's more to break through after you get the first buildings, and then you run up against the AGT/obi. I do hope to play a full game on it - I've just played a little bit and lost. : )

As to the invisible walls - I think that once we get used to them, they'll be just fine. I like how they make it seem like the map keeps going.

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Right so the map in it current form is comparable to outpost before base defences was a thing, in other words its a bit of a base race than anything else.

Imma give some questions, a couple of suggestions of how to fix the map, or dismiss everything (with poorly drawn lines)

first of all, add this part of the map (drawn in red) so tanks have more than 1 option to push. Main issue solved: only tank choke WITH a silo will have a lot of traffic, and having a alternative way to place tanks can lead to more strategies in the match. The lines drawn in orange shows the tank paths, with dead ends at both Nod and GDI power plants (this is kinda grey, because a deadend for tanks would mean you have to defend off the tanks in those areas with AT infantry, or with a camping/patroling tank that is in base,)

Spoiler

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Spoiler

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you see? much more space very good. OH another point, why is the Silo in the middle of all trafic?.. Can we have more maps like sunrise where tech buildings serve as a strategical point and not a field-dominated only building? Just my opinion here tho.

Spoiler

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step 2: move the damn base defences.. Kane or whatever GDI has as a commander wouldnt let this happen, shoving the obelisk (and the AGT) near the wall instead of the refinery helps gain more credits (lower harv drive time) and actually protects from tanks further away. Or put obi in the middle.. like most maps..

Spoiler

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Almost lastly: i LOVE the idea of the main base and that triangle wall thing that looks like an established outpost. a sub-base. Yet its getting ruined by a few factors: 1. If the enemy loses field, they lose the wall and it serves no purpouse. 2. the GT/Turret on the outer base wall area is completely useless in this current form, it just gives +10 VP to the whole enemy team. Suggestion - add a tunnel path from the main base to the triangle fort, making each side have some field -holes to poke out and attack, make ALL walls taller.. like on Walls (the map), because these walls are.. sad and short. Maybe add a ramp or a ladder to get on the walls too for extra unit defence (since it is the base.. and you can get on rocks that have a better view point than anything). And since the tunnel would be only accesed by infantry, it needs 2-3 corners (to minimize sniper resistance) for blind spots.

But what is your take-away from this? do you enjoy it do you like it post it in the comments below, miau if you subscibe for more and as always ill CEEEYAAAA.

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  • Lead Moderator

Although at first I would agree with these changes. I think Daybreak is actually teetering on a difficult balance.

Large seemingly open map that does automatically mean Stealth tank win.

 

The bottleneck in the middle is necessary for that.

 

However, I do agree the outer walls could be given more significance. 

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  • Developer

I totally agree that the AGT and Obby are useless at their current location. But I think adding them in the suggested spot is too far away from the base.

 

I rather see it somewhere where it's not too far away from base, but at a very powerful spot

 

 

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Guest Gliven

Fighting for the silo path is hell. Both teams have the upper hand when they sit on their own side of the embankment. Once you push in, you get punished. You have so many angles to shoot from into the pit. Its a tight space, so arties/mrls punish anything that dares to go down there.

IF you can actually push through, you get punished with an excruciatingly long reinforcement distance. I don't think GDI can actually win in the field on this map without nod dropping the ball hard.

You have 3 routes to attack once you actually make it through that horrid choke point. BUT the only route you should be taking is the short path towards hon/ref. If you try to go for the long path, or the longer path to the tib field. You will just get flanked, hard. You will also be giving plenty of time for Nod to buy new vehicles and counter you. Or you will let stanks slip by.

The only way i see GDI winning in the field, is if they hold on for their dear lives, and farm till elite/heroic. If you lose the field, your ref will be dead to arty spam, maybe even weaps too.

Buildings are so far apart, you cant possibly defend both ends of the base. All it takes is 3 stanks to sneak by and kill your PP. There is no way in hell you are stopping that unless you spawned or camped in the PP.

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On 3/4/2019 at 11:56 AM, limsup said:

Yeah, we should figure something out with @Henk eventually...

It takes some time to figure out what is and what is not a path on the outer edges of the map.

 

As for the design, I'm not gonna experiment or work out any new layout, I just made the map functional, added the final touches to make it playable (which already took longer than expected). The outer blocking volumes were already in it btw.

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People just need to remember that on Daybreak when you kill an enemy vehicle it will take a while for that vehicle to be replaced.

Whenever I've joined the server on Daybreak its typically been Nod on the losing side because GDI manage to take out their HoN, the map seems very versatile regarding which faction wins/loses. So far its been pretty even playing field, Nod's even won a few times on Daybreak

It has been a well received map all in all, as in frequently played on.

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I'm not a huge fan I have to be totally honest. There is a lot to like in the map, I want to make that clear, but it's hampered by a lot of other things imo.  I'm going to borrow (completely steal) Svett's points as they frame the conversation very well.

General thoughts:

The snowy desert motif is weird, but i like it.

The map is too large. In some places it uses this distance very well but for the most part it feels pointlessly so and often it becomes a slog going from point A to point B.

Infantry and Vehicle combat are almost entirely isolated from each other, that makes for very lopsided games.

Base layout is a little uninspired.

1. A central vehicle chokepoint

What I like:

I really like the choke being at the bottom of the hill, I think that's a really clever choice. Any team that tries to break the choke will have to fight uphill on the far side of it and that make for an interesting risk/reward dynamic.

I like that the choke is relatively wide compared to other chokes in other maps, it means there is some room to maneuver inside it and trying to sneak stanks through is fun. I still think it could be wider.

What I Dislike:

I dislike having a single chokepoint with very few options around it and I strongly disagree that it makes for good vehicle combat. There is nothing dynamic about this. You're just parking your tanks on either side and hoping to brute force your way through, it's especially problematic as there is very little cover to play around at the choke which I will touch on some more later.

Chokes are definitely important for map design, They control the flow of a battle having one in the middle rather than two at the entrance of each base is a really interesting choice. But the lack of cover and small(maybe 1.5 vehicles wide)/infantry side routes makes it a slog.

"But sausage," I hear you cry "there is infantry access to the choke!" Yes, but it's not very useful.

The secondary infantry path that joins the caves to the choke is rarely used in my experience. The Caves are very large and easily covered by snipers, so running infantry up there and then diverting to the choke isn't always an obvious choice. It just doesn't naturally flow in that direction.

It's also really flipping long to walk your arse from(through) your base, through the caves and to the choke. Then when you get there, there is a single hole to poke your head out of at the bottom of the hill with limited cover. As such the infantry path here, really doesn't offer many strategic options.

Suggestions:

Widen the choke a little,  at the side opposite the silo there are some rocks against the wall which could offer some cover, I'd move the walls back a little there to make more room for vehicles to play around the geometry.

The infantry and vehicle combat feels totally isolated from each other at the moment, I'd reduce the over-all size of the map a little and either shrink or totally remove the 'Vestibule' area between the caves and the choke. I'd then offer more egress points leading into the choke to give infantry more options. It would be interesting to play around with some bunkers built into the rocks similar to the ones in volcano, offering infantry some cover and elevated positions to help with the stalemates.

Add some more cover at the tops of the choke on either side, give vehicles and potentially infantry something to fight around.

2. Large, open fields outside the bases

What I like:

I actually really like the entrances to the bases, I completely agree with what Svett said about this making base sieging a more interesting experience. I also think the design of the side routes into the tib fields on both sides are brilliant. There is potential for seriously great combat  both infantry and vehicle here and the ability to fire into the more open areas makes for a really nice flow. I had the most fun of the map in these areas.

What I Dislike:

The open areas are marginally too big and barren. I wouldn't reduce them too much but as it stands they are pointlessly large, trying to traverse any of it on foot sucks (remember there are vehicle limits in this game and RenX is all about options)

I'm not a big fan of having large open areas where snipers and artillery can fire unchallenged into a wide open area with little cover, beyond the range of any response apart from other snipers and artillery.

Suggestions:

As mentioned, reduce the size of the map. Get rid of or seriously rework and reduce the secondary infantry area and reign in the huge expanses outside of each base. Bigger doesn't always mean better.

3. Quick infantry access to everything

I really profoundly disagree with this this statement. I'm puzzled as to how it came about.

What I like:

I think the infantry cave is actually a really great arena. I have my issues with ingress and egress as mentioned above, but inside the actual cave it makes for brilliant fire fights.

What I dislike:

The bases are sprawling, any routes that aren't the infantry path take an absolute age to traverse and the infantry path itself is still pretty large, especially when taking into account the choke access.

Suggestions:

I mentioned how I might reduce the map size, remove and rework some areas above. I'd completely start over with the base layout, Replace the blocky grid placement with something more fluid and compact.

4. Playing to the strengths and weaknesses of both factions

I actually agree with this. the map designer clearly thought about this and all of my gripes are more general. When the map works it works very well and does play to each teams strengths and weaknesses.

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