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Melee Map Tutorial

Level 28
Oct 28, 2011
[TD]Hi SonofJay here, bringing some useful tip/tutorials on how to make a melee map. Some here might know here that I love making and playing melee maps, and now let me share you some knowledge.

First of all, some might say, why? Why melee map? It isn't popular this days, well I just want to answer this question, no, maybe its not popular on b.net anymore, but there are still massive player of melee maps and they usually friends that was playing together or just someone playing ai.

So lets start this.

Let me quote this one.

"Creating a map is not all cake and frosting! Your map may look wonderful and pretty, but if it lacks its credibility and usefulness in its most obvious places, there is no way I (or anyone) would ever play it. Most good map makers will say that they don't even make it look pretty until they are sure people will actually play it. If your map doesn't have the credentials and the worthiness to play, making it look pretty is useless unless you want to practice map terraining. "

1. Layout & Symmetry

Make your map worth exploring
If you lay out your map in the form of a square, circle, or X, it's too void and boring. It's obvious there is only one way around, and it's obvious where you will meet your enemy. Instead, make your map worth playing by how it is laid out. Make it look fun. Make it look like you want to explore it. Most of all, make it have multiple ways of getting at your opponent. Having one distinct path to each other's bases is too obvious. Instead, add some back ways, short ways, no man's land, and anything else that comes to mind. This forces players to "guess" where his opponent might be, which adds a more variety of strategy and decision-making.

This is how interesting games are made. If you want your whole map to be explored, then have paths that go all over your map, but give players reason to use those paths (such as gold expansions along them). If you plan on making a map, please, first and foremost, make sure the layout is desirable and pleasing to the eye, one that would make the players want to explore a little.

*Key Tip: The main path to get to your enemy should not be small or very narrow, but rather large.

Give your map Symmetry
Symmetry is incredibly important when creating your melee map. I know you want to be very creative and make something completely distorted and out of proportion, but when it comes to actual RTS players, they prefer maps that have a "mirror effect" to it. What you see on one side is exactly the same on the other side (or at least very similar).

Use this basic example when I am talking about symmetry: O | O

The line is the center, and there are two circles on each side. They are both identical, with the same shape, size, and volume. This is how your melee map(s) should be when you create them. You have the center of your map, and wherever you place your starting locations, be sure to give them each the same amount of room, and most of all, make their portions of the map look the same as the other side! This creates a balance in the aspects of the game when traveling too and from your opponent, and makes scouting less confusing. On top of all that, it's what makes your map look organized and pretty.

2.) Expansion and Resources


What is a melee map without expansion? Providing 1 or 2 expansion per player is essential for a melee map, it gives more room to build and widen your strategy against you enemies, Also giving enough resources for expansion should always be balance, and mostly, a expansion should be guarded by a level 12-15 creep camp.


Resources should always be balance to all the players, they should have enough woods and gold to make a army ready for war, A 1v1 with 1 expansion per player have a ideal resources like this:

Main Camp




then, numbers go bigger depends on the number of player available, its logically just sustainning the players for a long war.

3.) Neutral Creep and Drops

Neutral Creeps

Neutral Creeps are very important for a melee map, it have many purposes for a map, like gaining early resources, leveling your hero, or you can use it as a advantage as block for your base. A important note for this are:

Neutral Creeps should always have their specific races, its weird to see a bandit and a troll together right? Or a Fel Guard with a Water Elemental am I wrong?
Neutral Creeps shouldn't be to OP that it need to takes a whole army to take them out, usually, a hero +1 soldier should tank a small creep camp at early games.
Neutral Creep Camp should have at least 1 - 2 drops.

Item Drops
This is essential for good balance there is no good in giving a green creep camp a drop of a level 5 item, when a brown or even red drops a lower level – here as some hints:
-Use item tables and the colour-code for the camps to determine item strength & value (if you have TFT)
-Make green camps drop only 1 item, but make brown and red camps drop 2 or 3
-Use appropriate items eg. Make a Golem drop a Stone Token etc.
-Always have at least one set of creeps designated to drop tomes
-Try to avoid having one creature drop 2 or 3 items “ maybe have 2 or 3 of the creatures drop 1 item each, so people fight to the end, instead of killing one creep and running away with the items
-Have a good balance of Power-Ups, Charged and Permanent items, so you don;t end up with super-strong heroes, or so many Spawned creatures on the map at once.
-But above all, remember balance is they key, and always use common sense when assigning item drops that rules out most major problems

Learn more about the creeps here: http://classic.battle.net/war3/neutral/creepbasics.shtml

4.) Misc.


As we discussed the map layout, its should also have a decent terrain, Warcratish melee map looks really nice, but you can always take it to another new level like using custom models, using custom tiles, using different terraining technique and such, the old rules are old, we should take a new level on making melee maps.

"This one came from Kobas.

Removing pathing ground from doodads while editing map will allow you to create awesome terrains and object shapes! All you need to do is to reset the pathing ground to default once when you finish and the map will still be melee. Using "shift" you can do same thing but, "Shift" won't remove pathing completely so I recommend slower but better way.
You can go even further and edit object size and color but that must stay permanently changed. It's up to you. The best way to check if everything work fine is to test map with computer players (AI).
Maps can't be always be created for FFA matches, you can make 2v2 or 3v3 melee maps as well, just don't forget to mention that in map presentation. Also take care how you place and use resources in that case. All bases should have same number of lumber and gold as well as neutral units to kill.
If you bother yourself about number of gold mines, always go for number of players + at least 1 more, melee map without expansion lose it quality.
Best way for many is NoP * 2, but if you add more gold mines set base gold to smaller value!
Don't set base gold mine values above 20.000, there are few exceptions where you can increase that number but values from 7.500 to 15.000 will do. Trees hp should always remain untouched.
If you decide to create island like or any other not land connected terrains don't forget to check is there way to reach that places. I saw a large number of terrains with Goblin Laboratories placed only on the map's center; once when you reach the island and lost your transport, you will be doomed in case that you don't have any ground units left on the area where the Goblin Laboratory is placed.
Use fog and weather effects, these few options can increase map beauty a lot. But take care, don't spam the map with too much rain or snow, and also don't create too dark or thick fog.
Use default lighting doodads (such as torches) to increase beauty at all important places, such as at bandit camps.



What is a Waygate?

A Waygate is a neutral passive owned building that lets units that enter its vicinty to teleport to a conected Waygate.

Why use a Waygate?

A Waygate is a building that adds that litle bit extra to a map. It is fuctional and practical. It can be used to travel to the other side in a large map, or can be used for a quick getaway from a enemy army in hot pursuit.

So, you placed 2 Waygates on the map in the places you want them to be at.
Start off by double-clicking the Waygate. Here you can choose if you want it to be player owned, its destination, and its color.

How to use a Waygate?

To use a Waygate you need to put 2 regions which are place under the Waygate lets call it WGR1 and WGR2 and lets call the Waygayes WG1 and WG2

WGR1 will be placed under WG2, and vice-versa.

Now double-click on the WG1 and check that the Waygate is active. Now you may select a region that it will go to. So to make the Waygate work, you will need select Region A as the destination.

But were only half done, Now double-click on WG2, check that it's active, and yes, you guessed it, select WGR1 as its destination.

So you see, you need to have the regions and the Waygates to work together.

Custom Color

The custom color function is cosmetic, as well as functional. It makes the Waygate look nice, as well as gives the player an idea where the Waygate teleports to.

Now that you know the basics, time for some advanced things:

A waygate is a building, and so it can be built, right? So when it is built it will not have a target, right?

Here's a base trigger for the answear to this question:

Melee Initialization
Unit - A unit Finishes construction
(Unit-type of (Constructed structure)) Equal to Way Gate
Neutral Building - Set (Waygate) destination to (Center of (Playable map area))

So, that will put the destination to the center of the map, however teleporting you on that place is useless for some map types so you want it to be specific.

So here is a more advance trigger that will send you to your specific place after constructing a Watgate.


  • Events Unit - A unit Finishes construction
  • Conditions
  • (Unit-type of (Constructed structure)) Equal to Way Gate
  • Actions
  • Unit - Add Dummy Spell to (Triggering unit)
  • Events
  • Unit - A unit Begins casting an ability
  • Conditions
  • (Ability being cast) Dummy Spell
  • Actions
  • Neutral Building - Set (Waygate) destination to (Target point of issued order)
  • Unit -Remove Dummy Spell from (Triggering unit)

This code have leak so we want to remove it.


  • custom script: call RemoveLocation( udg_TempPoint )

Well that is all, if you guys have some suggestion and things to add, feel free to tell me via PM/VM.

I first posted my tutorial here: http://chaosrealm.info/topic/7962881/1/#new
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