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Golden Oases

Submitted by XanderD
This bundle is marked as approved. It works and satisfies the submission rules.
0. about this map

This map was created beginning on Friday December 13th 2018 as an entry for the third Melee Mapping Contest at Hiveworkshop.com. The task at hand was, to create a creative, competitive and, most of all, balanced 4 v 4 melee map for Warcraft III. Any altering of the standard gameplay constants including editing values for units or doodads was not allowed as well as any imports of non-standard files like models or textures. These rules were set in place to ensure no violation against the entries being usable on the battle.net ladder or in professional tournaments and well into Warcraft:Reforged once it will be released sometime in 2019.

1. basic idea

Before the players of one team in 4 v 4 games can build up enough superiority over their counterparts to smash main bases, they usually fight for a period of time for map control like undisturbed creeping as well as access to shops, mana fountains and, of course, expansion gold mines. Thus it was imperative to entice such competitive behaviour by placing neutral buildings both in the centerfield of the map and between each pair of starting positions. For example, many 4 v 4 ladder maps have exactly 8 expansion gold mines. So it is possible for each player to get one expansion and then the game is a lot about just taking the two gold mines on the left and right flank away from your enemy.

On this map this can happen as well, but due to the placement of the expansion gold mines in relation to the starting positions, this would not be always the case. Especially since the teams are set to occupy four starting positions in a row, but which "four in a row" is random unlike on maps like Feralas where it is always a "north vs. south"-setup.

But there are also six more placed in the centerfield which are also contested, especially the two smack in the middle of the map. So the total number of expansion gold mines is twelve. This way every player can have an expansion and then the teams still battle on for control of the remaining four. On this map, however, there are also other neutral buildings placed between starting positions such as Marketplaces or Mercenary Camps. So it may come to a friendly neighbour dispute over gold or valuable items or the healing wards of a Razormane Medicine Man.

This way matches played out on this map will vary more than is usual on 4 v 4 maps which will increase the replay-value.

2. resources & expansions

As already described in the previous section, in addition to the eight gold mines at the starting positions there is a total of twelve expansion gold mines to entice a struggle over resources between the two teams. This map has thus more expansion gold mines than most 4 v 4 ladder maps while still not taking it as far as Gold Rush.

But it is important to balance the amount of gold on this map as a whole. The decision was to give each mine in a main base 15 000 gold and every expansion gold mine 12 500 Gold each which sums up to a total of 270 000 gold. Without warranting a complete picture this is somewhere in the middle of 4 v 4 ladder maps. The amount of gold in a gold mine of a main base in these comes as low as 10 500 in Gold Rush and as high as 18 000 in Market Square, and for expansion gold mines as low as 11 000 again in at least some of the expansion gold mines of Gold Rush and again on top Market Square with also 18 000 gold. The total amount of gold on 4 v 4 ladder maps can be as low as 178 000 for Mur’gul Oasis which only has four expansion gold mines and this time the gold medal goes to Gold Rush with 336 000 gold distributed over a total of 28 mines. Closer to this contest entry are Twilight Ruins with 260 000 and Market Square with 288 000 Gold respectively.

From every starting position there is an expansion gold mine within the reach of Militia.

Also each starting position has over 200 trees and on the entire map there are over 10 000. Each expansion has its own tree wall. Of course chopping these trees down will reduce the protection each expansion will get from these. And it is always possible to break through with the appropriate siege units, hungry Ancients, clubbing Mountain Giants, or spells like Flamestrike. So the protection of all gold mines, both in main bases and expansions, is always an issue. And as is especially in random 4 v 4 games the case, bases are vulnerable to mass air attacks from direction you couldn’t tower up because there were trees in the way. Thus on this map there are intentionally created free spaces on the sides and sometimes even the rear of gold mines – usually wide enough to even place Ziggurats or Ancient Protectors there. This way players are enabled to tower up their gold mines already from the beginning or just after they established an expansion. Mass air attacks can’t of course be prevented with this possibility and they can still be devastating, but at least there is a better chance to counter these than is usual on melee maps.

However, expansions are still vulnerable. The six gold mines and the building space around them in the center of the map are all set one level below the surrounding terrain giving a handicap to all defenders. So these mines will be contested severely and might change ownership several times over the course of a prolonged game while the expansion gold mines on the outside of the map are always elevated by one level so making them a bit easier to defend. On the other hand, these outlying expansions have larger entry ways. So in general you could say that the outer expansions are easier to attack with melee units, and the central expansions with ranged units. So there is not one perfect build for every purpose.

Also the expansions will not be equidistant from the two nearest starting positions. So if these are occupied by opposing players, one of them will have an advantage. But then this advantage will be mirrored for the other team on the opposite side of the map, so while it might be unequal for individual players, it would still be at even odds between both teams.

3. creeps & items

With 59 creep camps (not counting the starting positions) and a total of 251 creeps, this map will offer players a lot to do and a lot to fight over. 24 green camps may appear excessive but Gold Rush goes up to 28 of these and even Twilight Ruins counts 24. However, having a lot of green camps can cause some issues. If a player rushes things a bit he might end up with four Cloaks of Shadows on his Warden. Thus on this map many green camps don't drop permanent items but instead Power-Ups or either a Health or Mana Potion which won't clog up the inventory the same way. Also all green camps are designed in a way that they give a Level 1 Hero at least 100 experience. This way a Level 1 Hero reaches Level 2 with just any two green camps (provided, of course, that there's no creep jacking or an ally "helping" out and so stealing some experience).

The same thought has gone into the setup of the orange camps of which there are 27 (again not counting the starting positions). The odd number does not come from any asymmetry in the map but rather from the one orange camp in the center of the map, which, by the way, is the only camp with random groups. Every orange camp would provide a Level 1 Hero with over 200 experience. Since every expansion gold mine is guarded by such an orange camp, going for an expansion first would give your first Hero Level 2 as well. Also because of the high amount of orange camps, many of these also drop consumables instead of permanent items.

The 8 red camps will give you and your team something to do in the late game if you're looking for just some extra experience and strong items to get the edge on your opponents. You can get items of up to Level 7 here. However, the red camps in the northeastern and southwestern corners only drop two Level 3 items and a Level 1 Power-Up. This was intentionally done this way because these two red camps constitute only of a large group of Murlocs. So the highest level of any creep there is only 3. If one of these would drop a high level item it would be way too easy for a Blademaster to sneak in, kill this one creep and get out with brand new Claws of Attack +15. This way it could "only" become some Claws of Attack +9 or, what any Blademaster really strives for: a Pendant of Energy.

The Barrens are the only tile set that has two kinds of flying creeps. While every other has only Dragons (or Nether Dragons), here we also got Harpies. This had to be emphasized on this map. There are 9 creep camps which include flying creeps. Two of these are quite obvious – the two Bronze Dragon Roosts. But also both Fountains of Health are guarded by a flock of Harpies. Then there are the two Mercenary camps. These are guarded by exactly the four kinds of neutral units you can buy there, which includes Harpy Rogues and Harpy Windwitches. Also the Goblin Labs are guarded by Harpies. And finally the creep camp in the center of the map. Here we got a random group with a total of 5 creeps with a total level of 18. This will include either two Harpy Rogues, two Bronze Dragon Whelps or a single Bronze Drake. So in any case it will be a total of 6 levels of flying units in this camp.

Some creeps drop Runes. In four cases these will be Runes of the Watcher, one at each of the Fountains of Mana and Health. This way it is easily possible to see when your opponents are using these. Also mentionable is that two creeps drop Runes of Rebirth. Fittingly these are creeps guarding the Mercenary Camps. So you basically can get one mercenary which usually costs 215 gold and 20 lumber for free. Usually a camp of this strength would drop a level 3 item of which most cost 300 gold (and sell for 150) so this is comparable in value. Plus if players clear this creep camp early, this may actually be the first player-controlled air unit on the field providing early vision over tree lines.

Finally it should also be mentioned that there are two Marketplaces on this map. So if that pesky Demon Hunter snatched away the Boots of Quel'Thalas you may still be able to buy your own there for your Blademaster.

Also while these do not constitute as creeps, critters do give flavour to a map and are also very helpful for the early game of Undead players. There's a pig near every green camp on this map (though sometimes only one between two green camps) and also some frogs like at the Fountains of Mana and here and there some more critters (total 36). So yes – go get those Rods of Necromancy already!

4. neutral buildings

A lot of these have been mentioned before but to give you a complete overview, here's what this map has to offer:

12 expansion gold mines
4 Taverns
2 Fountains of Mana
2 Fountains of Health
2 Mercenary Camps
2 Bronze Dragon Roosts
2 Goblin Shops
2 Goblin Labs
2 Marketplaces

And of course the shortest routes from any given starting position to the nearest Tavern will not aggro any creeps.

Golden Oases (Map)

Please use spoiler/hidden tags to avoid a wall of text to scroll through. Please consider these: Melee Mapping contest #3 - Poll + judge reviews: Melee Mapping contest #3 - Results Approved. If you want more reviews, you should participate in the...
  1. JaleVeliki


    Sep 4, 2018
    So good!!
  2. sentrywiz


    Feb 10, 2009
    I like it. You kept a decent size and still managed to make it 4v4.

    I like the "shiny" preview with the larger gold mines :D

    Love the murloc pool!
  3. deepstrasz


    Map Reviewer

    Jun 4, 2009
    Please use spoiler/hidden tags to avoid a wall of text to scroll through.

    Please consider these:
    Melee Mapping contest #3 - Poll
    + judge reviews: Melee Mapping contest #3 - Results


    If you want more reviews, you should participate in the The Grand Review Exchange!

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  4. Ragnaros17


    Oct 26, 2017
    Please allow us to see the minimap like the others melee maps are uploaded, that screen doesnt help