Namakaye's Season 2 Map Review
Original article here: http://www.sc2sea.com/showthread.php?t=9091
So today I learned that WCS Season 2 Qualifiers will be using 4 new maps, 3 of which are from the community contest hosted by Team Liquid. As there doesn't seem to be much info out about the new maps, I went over the maps highlighting the features of each one.
The first new map is called "Cactus Forest". Despite the name, there really isn't enough cacti to class this as a forest imo. It is a 4 player map, with an easily defend-able natural.
The third base onwards is where it gets interesting. There are 2 options for a third base, both down ramps from the natural. Obviously these would be different based on opponent spawns.
The center of the map contains a single watchtower and is EXTREMELY open. It is literally just a giant open plain with some doodads on it.
The are that connects the natural entrance to the center contains destructible rocks in a circular formation. Not sure yet how this might change the flow of a game as they seem rather out of the way and unimportant.
The 2nd new map is a 2 player map called "Coda" (WCS thread says Code but it is actually Coda). The spawns are in the top left and bottom right of the map.
The natural contains a ramp similar to that of Merry Go Round, with destructible rocks on one side of the ramp.
I imagine the third base would be taken to the right of the natural, and contains a large ramp on the far side and a smaller ramp on the natural side.
The other option which I suspect Terran may prefer with their mech/parade pushes is the one in front of the main. This one has 3 ramps, making it a bit more awkward to defend and wall. As it's more forward the parade push will protect it well + mech can branch out easily in a circular motion from the nat to the third.
Assuming the right hand third is taken, this next base seems like a very natural fourth. It can be easy and hard to defend at the same time as there is only 1 way in and out. Armies can get trapped easily when assaulting this base, but Protoss especially can make use of the small ramp with recall and force fields.
The center of the map has a line of tall grass to block LOS, with a tower in the middle.
Map number 3 is called "Echo". This is another 2 player map with very easily accessible main bases due to the multiple reaper cliffs.
The natural has a smaller ramp similar to Catallena (why does everything point to Terran LOL).
The more natural third is a small distance away from natural and contains 2 ramps. Despite this, it is further from the opponent than the alternative third base and might prove to be more defense-able.
From there you can progress to the bases on the far edges of the map with 2 ramps and very square layouts.
There other option for a third base is right next to the natural, again likely preferable for Terran. It has a larger area and more entrances, but is much closer to the opponent and closer to the natural. It also gives more access to the middle of the map and can lead to taking the corners of the map.
In the top right and bottom left are bases with 2 entrances, 1 either side of an indestructable rock wall.
The center of the map is very bland with just a bunch of ramps and rocks and shit.
The final new map is "Iron Fortress". While this map has been around for the whole GSL Season 1, it got little play time so many may still be unfamiliar with it. It is a 4 player map with mains in each corner.
The natural is similar to that of overgrowth with no ramp to help defend.
Third bases can vary based on spawns and look similar with 3 ramps leading in different directions.
One ramp looks to a counter attack path connecting adjacent third bases.
The center of the map is where i assume the map gets it's name from. It has a Horde symbol around the tower (from Warcraft) giving the link to the "Iron Horde". The tower is surrounded by walls with only a north and south ramp entrance.
Hopefully this enlightened some people and gave us all a look at what we can expect on 11-12th and 18th of April and onwards. Overall these are WAY better than Blizzard's maps introduced this season (some of the shittier ones are still in.... Inferno is a waste of space).