CTF: Hills of Fate

Level 11
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Table of Contents

Current Version: 1.1e

First and foremost, most people will want to know what sets this CTF map apart from all others. I've made sure to stick this right in front for those who don't want to spend much time looking through posts. Here's a quick list as to what I think sets this apart from other Capture the Flag type maps:
  • Custom heroes, including multiple triggered spells for each hero.
  • A great deal of possible combat, for those who don't like just running a flag back and forth all game.
  • Balanced heroes. While there's no such thing as perfect balance, I feel I have come close.
  • Points for both killing and capturing a flag. No longer do players just have to capture the enemy flag to score. Now they can also kill to contribute to their team's score.
I must stress, however, that to get the most out of a game, you will want 8 or 10 players. With lower numbers, there is less combat with takes away from the excitement and reduces the overall possible strategies.

Background
Great tournaments of all kinds are held in the Hills of Fate. You have been chosen to take place in one of its legendary games of capture the flag. The outcome will determine if you truly deserve a place in the legends told of these unparalleled battles. Create your own destiny in this epic struggle for victory.

Keep your own flag under guard during your attempts to make off with the enemy's; you will need both in order to achieve victory.
LoadingScreen.jpg
Goals
I had always liked CTF games, particularly ones with heroes. However, as I played more and more of them, I found them to be lacking in one important factor. That factor being the heroes themselves. In nearly all hero CTF games I've played, the heroes had little or not effort put into them. Generally, all there was were melee heroes with melee skills. Tomes and items were common in having a strong hero, while the actual hero abilities were obsolete if they weren't critical strike or bash. Therefore, one of my goals was to customize the heroes by adding new abilities to them, many of which were partially or entirely triggered. At level one, each hero is given 2 skill points. This allows them to better utilize their hero at earlier levels.

Another problem commonly noticed in hero CTF maps were that many heroes were considerably more useful than others. Specifically, the Blademasters were the most commonly used as they had wind walk, mirror image, and critical strike. Certain combinations of abilities that fit in one type of map don't fit in another. On top of some heroes having strong abilities that were useful throughout the game, some heroes had abilities that quickly became useless. The abilities on caster heroes could be useful in the beginning of the game perhaps, but by the end the heroes were so enhanced with tomes and items that they could barely scratch them.

I'm planning on a variety of different ways to solve this. To start, there will be no tomes or any kind of similar items in the map. Also, no hero will be overloaded with too many abilities that make them just too good for their purpose. Casters will be able to be useful throughout the game, as I've issued a fairly small level cap of 10 (which, by the way, is rarely reached).

In addition, many of these maps had large quantities of heroes, making the maps harder and harder to balance as the number of heroes increased. This problem isn't limited to any particular type of map, the more of something you have, the harder it is to balance. The large number of heroes doesn't simply just detract from the game's balance, but also from the heroes themselves. Many heroes are created that play the exact same role of multiple other heroes.

To solve this problem, I'm keeping the hero numbers at a minimum. Not so small as to that after a few games, you've experienced everything. Instead, I'm taking this route to ensure that the hero balance will remain as good as I can get it. In addition, each hero will serve a unique function. No two heroes will be able to do everything another can.

One problem I've also found is that the gameplay is just too slow moving in certain CTF games. Games can easily stretch on for an hour or more if the players don't leave from boredom beforehand. A common problem in CTF games is turtling where the players all guard their flag. By doing this, the flag almost never gets out of sight from its resting place. Other times, once a flag has been picked up, it's almost guaranteed that it reaches its destination with little or no competition.

At one point in time, I had problems with this too. However, I have found a way that seems to prevent these scenarios from happening too often. To start, when picked up, the flag doesn't hamper movespeed at all. This will allow the flag carrier to get out of a lot of traffic fairly easily in most cases. At the same time, the hero isn't completely guaranteed a safe trip home in that their armor is greatly reduced and they don't have access to their Sprint ability. The Sprint ability allows heroes to max out their movespeed for a short period of time, allowing them to catch up to flag runners fairly easily. In addition, you must have your team's flag at your home base in able to score. By having this, I have added another barrier against easily capturing a flag for the faster-moving heroes.

To solve the often "boring" gameplay, I've attempted to increase the pace the map moves at. I didn't want my CTF map to be purely capture the flag and bring it back, I wanted some combat. At one point, I got complaints that the map was more of an arena than a CTF type game. By doing this, I hope to attract people who don't usually play CTF games and think they're too "boring" to be bothered with.
Gameplay
I feel there's a lot I did well
  • Fast paced combat
  • Easy to learn, a bit more challenging to master
  • A sort-of mix between an arena and a CTF, allowing more combat for those who want it
  • Fairly balanced heroes, no single hero should be able to completely dominate
  • Teamplay is stressed, the better you work together, the better off you are
  • Spells/abilities are a focus on heroes, though not so much that they will completely win you the game
  • 3 abilities with 3 levels, 1 ultimate gained at level 5. The standard Blizzard way is the easiest to use with the ultimate lowered a level so it can actually be utilized.
  • Strengths and weaknesses to all heroes, no hero having too many of either
  • Compensation for leaving players, experience is added to the team of the leaving player
  • 6 heroes, allowing better balance and unique uses (more to be added)
  • Triggered abilities that are easy to understand and use
  • Little or no lag from the game itself, nearly everything is coded in JASS and all effects are preloaded before the game starts

Progress
Overall: 70% - I'd say this is fairly close. I need to add more heroes and a few items, but aside from that, everything is pretty much in-place and ready
Heroes: 60-70% - I won't go above one tavern of heroes for the sake of balance, though I will add more
Current abilities: 90-95% - Some hero abilities still need some added polish and some hero abilities are very likely going to be changed at some point
Items: 0% - I've left items out at the start for balance purposes. I will soon be adding a few general purpose items
Gameplay: 90% - Still some things to sort out such as choosing amount of flag captures required and smaller things like those

Current Work
  • Fixing any small problems that arise
  • Adding some items
  • Option for points to win/different game modes
  • Rematch option

Screenshots
FrostBlast.jpgFrigid Dance
Warden finishing up her Frigid Dance ability, freezing the enemy in a chunk of ice.
CorrosiveBlast.jpgCorrosive Blast
Druid casting his Corrosive Blast ability. Deals damage over time and lowers enemy armor.

Fire.jpgFire
The Fire Mage is letting lose his ultimate if you look at the curving flames directly behind him. They will curve around to deal massive damage on contact.

StoneCircle.jpgStone Circle
The Druid's ultimate summons a large circle of stones around the targeted area. Great for delaying or trapping enemies.

Chaos.jpgChaos
Here we have a lot of things happening at once. The Fire Mage has a Fire Wall at the narrow passage right next to the tower. He is also casting his Flamethrower ability which deals large damage over time in a line. Behind that even, is a smoke bomb let off by a trickster.

Changelog

Version 1.1e:
  • Added an option to select the amount of points required to win
  • Flamethrower ability has been weakened slightly
  • Flaming Spiral has been weakened greatly as it was killing heroes very fast
  • Rush Attack has had its damage lowered
  • Blade Storm has had its damage slightly lowered
  • Fixed a problem with player compensating at the beginning of the game
  • Some tooltips were fixed to properly reflect what they do
  • Samurai's armor has been lowered slightly


If there's any missing information from this post you'd like to see, please let me know so I can include it.
 

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Level 9
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Jun 18, 2004
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565
adopts old Super Smash Bros. announcer voice...

INCREDIBLE!

Really, great job. It's fun, fast paced, and the points are perfectly accolated.

Few suggestions here, of course...

Add Custom Models!

You have, what, 6 heroes? Some of them fit the model well, like the druid guy and fire man, but some just don't such as Mr. Thunder. He is in dire need of a custom model.

Add a system at the start which decides the maximum amount of points needed to win! I don't actually know if there is one and Player 1 red is the only person who gets to decide, but a neat voting system would be kool.

Once again, great job.
 
Level 40
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Blarg, I personally strongly disagree with you on this one. I didn't mind the defaults (even if they really needed a change he could still use wc3 stuff), and it's nice to have a low size on this kind of map.

Oh, yeah, and great map (assuming it's still as good as it is all those times you made me test it with you :p)
 
Level 9
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Messages
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Blarg, I personally strongly disagree with you on this one. I didn't mind the defaults (even if they really needed a change he could still use wc3 stuff), and it's nice to have a low size on this kind of map.

Oh, yeah, and great map (assuming it's still as good as it is all those times you made me test it with you :p)


I'm iron_warrior, not Blarg. He just left, but I'll fill in for him.

200 KB extra for a few optimized reskins couldn't REALLY hurt...
 
Level 11
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I've been known to have maps with small filesizes. I think this may actually be my largest map in terms of filesize due to the 256x256 preview image I imported. The only other import was the Ice Tornado model which was entirely necessary for the spell and has a very low filesize.
 
Level 11
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Update

Just updated the map, here's what has been changed:
  • Added an option to select the amount of points required to win
  • Flamethrower ability has been weakened slightly
  • Flaming Spiral has been weakened greatly as it was killing heroes very fast
  • Rush Attack has had its damage lowered
  • Blade Storm has had its damage slightly lowered
  • Fixed a problem with player compensating at the beginning of the game
  • Some tooltips were fixed to properly reflect what they do
  • Samurai's armor has been lowered slightly
 
Level 12
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Aug 3, 2005
Messages
745
EDIT: I've given it 2 trys now, 4v4. Have to say I enjoyed it :)
So here some feedback:

  • How comes theres no items?
    I thought the only consumables on Elimination worked very well, perhaps you could implement a similiar thing.
  • Heroes - Overall I was quite surprised as I was sort of expecting more from the spells, they seemed a bit bland and some quite strange. Ive tried Fire Mage + Vamp now.
    Vampire 2 slow spells?
    Firemage 3 spells you cast on a location?
  • Obviously some more terrains/arena would be nice, im assuming u'd eventually add that anyways.
 
Last edited:
Level 11
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I gave it a try, 4v4. Have to say I enjoyed it :)
So here some feedback:

  • How comes theres no items?
    I thought the only consumables on Elimination worked very well, perhaps you could implement a similiar thing.

I'm very lazy when it comes to making items for whatever reason. I never seem to motivate myself to make them, though I am definately planning on misc. items being added to the map.

  • Hero abilities I think could use a little variation, although I only personally myself tested the Fire Mage.
    He mainly just seems to aim on a location, spreading the spells out a little more would make it more enjoyable IMO. His ultimate seemed a bit to situational to use.

The Fire Mage would have to be the hero that best follows the case you described. Not all heroes are like that, though I'll take that comment into consideration when I go to edit the heroes.

If you have any suggestions for additional abilities or what could possibly be changed about the current abilities, I'm up for suggestions. There used to be a single-target ability on the Fire Mage, but it was removed due to being too "point-clicky". You used the ability on an enemy and it was automatically going to harm them no matter what.

  • Obviously some more terrains/arena would be nice, im assuming u'd eventually add that anyways.

I happen to terrain maps very slowly. The current terrain took countless hours and will probably remain the only terrain for a little while until I find time and motivation to add additional areas.
 
Level 12
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Sorry I Ninja edited it, whilst you were replying (didnt realise) :).
Ok I'll give it a try;


Fire Ball
Launches a fireball towards target unit/point, detonates on impact , damaging and knocking back units.
Fire Nova
Sends out firewaves in all directions around the caster, damaging enemy units on contact.
Fire Wall
Creates a wall of fire at target point, any units who walk through it are heavily damaged.
(Note id make it a thin line instead of a circle, and up the damage. Give it a casting time so you cant just instantly cast it upon someone).
Fire Guardians
Temporarily summons balls of fire that follow/encircle you about, attacking any nearby enemy units.
(Very similiar to locust)


Bite
Bites a chunk out of an enemy unit, damaging and temporarily slowing target's movement speed.
Frenzy
Increases Vamp's attack speed highly for a very short burst.
Stalk
Turns the vamp invisible for a short period, but heavily penalises movement speed.
(Id imagine instantly is dispelled if carrying a flag).
Void
Creates a brief dark rift at target point, heavily damaging units.
(Basically like flamestrike).
 
Level 11
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Oct 13, 2005
Messages
233
For the Vampire, he's actually meant to represent the element of Lightning (shows how well I pick my models). Or, are you referring to a new hero that could be added?

As for the Fire Mage, thanks for the suggestions. I have a spell that's very similar to the Fireball spell you described that I could add into the map fairly easily. The Fire Nova spell is also pretty appealing and could perhaps replace the Flaming Spiral ability. I don't really want the Fire Wall ability to be like a wall, but more like an area where you are damaged more if you just stand there. Perhaps I should rename the ability and change the effects on it to reflect this.
 
Level 2
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Jun 16, 2007
Messages
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Hey Wyrm. Your CTF game is great! It requires a lot of strategy involved; and if you've chosen a bad lineup that is weak to the enemy's lineup your pretty much dead. However, that isn't involved in this map mainly because all the characters are balanced. Which I like a lot. 9.5. I think it could use a lot more work, a lot more characters and much more so its different from just your typical CTF game.
However, i still enjoy it! And i will give suggestions :).

Thunderlords model should be changed to Paladin. I think Paladin would suit the title.

Geomancer:
Dig Tunnel
The Geomancer digs a tunnel, which can link to another tunnel. Lasts 40 seconds. Tunnel is invisible.

Shovel Dirt
The Geomancer shovels a whole bunch of dirt into an opponents face, making them miss by X and movement speed slowed by X.

Dirt Jump
The Geomancer dives down in the dirt, and then jumps up somewhere else spraying dirt everywhere making their attack speed slow by X and dealing X damage.

Dirt Explosion
The Geomancer can now blow up his tunnels dealing X damage to enemy units nearby.

Geomancer's model is Kobold.
 
Level 11
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Messages
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The damage types are organized based on the different types of units. Would be rather silly for a ranged caster unit to be dealing as much damage on an attack as a strong melee unit. Kirby, the abilities you mentioned for the geomancer are fairly similar to the Tricksters and some just wouldn't fit into the game. As for the Thunderlord's model, I've settled on the revenant model slightly tinted yellow. And as for longer games, teal has the option of choosing one of many ending scores which are: 50, 65, 80, and 95 points to win. This range of game lengths should satisfy most people.
 
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