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Northwatch Hold

Submitted by Wayshan
This bundle is marked as approved. It works and satisfies the submission rules.
Northwatch Hold
"The taste of ash is in the air. The magnificent Northwatch Hold has fallen and the battleground is silent. Defenders and attackers alike are tired to death and the fortress is up for grabs! Will you dare to claim it?"

Created for Hive's Workshop Cup Mapping Contest

Aim was to create unique and non-repetetive lore-based location map. I am quite excited about this, as this is my Hive's début. Constructive criticism will be appreciated!

Author's note: The terrain and trees at various locations have been updated. All pictures are slightly outdated.


  • The map includes:
    • 8 green camps (levels: 5, 8, 8 and 9)
    • 12 orange camps (levels: 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18)
    • 2 red camps (level 23)
    and also
    • 2 expansions
    • 2 goblin merchants
    • 2 goblin laboratory
    • 2 mercenary camp
    • 1 tavern


  • [2019-10-06] v1.0 Released the first version
    [2019-10-07] v1.1 Fixed camp distance for middle orange camp. Also added a map scheme to the screenshots.
    [2019-10-03] v1.11 Fixed camp distance for green Ashenvale start camp for left-bottom corner player. One of the spiders wasn't set on camp only. Removed rune of the watcher from the red-camp turtle and replaced it with level 2 charged.
    [2019-10-31] v1.12 Reworked locations for all shops, quilboard green camps & center thunder lizard camps so that they won't aggro on passing/building units. Adjusted water transitions. Reworked center of the map so it allows for bigger armies to maneuver more easily. Reworked red expo trees so they allow for smoother movement around main buildings. Bronze drake (red camp): Removed tome of experience drop chance. Increased drop rate on the tome of knowledge instead. Green centaur camp: Removed tome drop chances, replaced by random level 1 powerup. Added a missing spire in the SE corner of the map, above the red expansion. Added creeps. Added trees right next to the tavern for whisps. Complete rework of the terrain on main paths, so that the map looks less confusing and leads you more smoothly to points of interest. (Note that different parts of the map still use different tiles for this.)
Contents

Northwatch Hold (Map)

Reviews
mafe
So yeah, I'm almost through moderating all maps from the contest. I think I opened this map on three occasion and didnt come to a conclusion, but no more delays now. This map is doing a lot of things right: -Creeps and items are balanced (for...
mafe
Whoah, I'm sorry I'm almost three weeks behind... In general I'm liking the changes. -Creep aggro issues looks less likely now. -The main bases in their current state make it hard to wall. If you want an "easy" way to get good main bases, copy and...
  1. Wayshan

    Wayshan

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
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    159
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    Reserved.
     
  2. ToggleModGoat

    ToggleModGoat

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2019
    Messages:
    18
    Resources:
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    Looks Cool
     
  3. SayuriTenshi

    SayuriTenshi

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2019
    Messages:
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    bit small space for orc
     
  4. PKCrafty

    PKCrafty

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
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    This is a very well-made competitive melee map! It's extremely well balanced in terms of item drops, layout, expo distance, and creep camps. Not only is it well balanced, but it also has an astoundingly detailed environment that blends from a barren setting into an oasis seamlessly.

    I just have one nitpicky observation.

    1. The Rune Watcher drop from the Red Camps doesn't offer much if any vision benefits. It drops on the edge of the map in a very low traffic area, especially for the opponent. Also, since it drops from such a late-game camp that can't be crept till 12-15min in the game it will have zero early-mid game impact. I would suggest removing it entirely, or better yet, have it drop from a different camp. I think the Goblin Merchants would be great, strategic drops based on their locations. It offers a far better line of sight for vision and would be obtainable much earlier in the game, giving a greater impact to the game. Much like blizzards Melting Valley Rune of the Watcher drops.

    Other than that, this is a well-rounded, pretty melee map!

    Side Note: I love the Green Camp next to the bases that has a hint of Ashenvale Forest, with the respective creep types to go with it! It's quite unique.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  5. Wayshan

    Wayshan

    Joined:
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    Warm thanks, @PKCrafty, for your kind review! This is why it was worth to spend all of that time with the map editor :) Your criticism is on point and I will update the map once the poll is done!
     
  6. mafe

    mafe

    Map Reviewer

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Messages:
    395
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    So yeah, I'm almost through moderating all maps from the contest. I think I opened this map on three occasion and didnt come to a conclusion, but no more delays now.

    This map is doing a lot of things right:
    -Creeps and items are balanced (for exceptions see below).
    -Nice combinations of tileset and good look in general.
    -Good structure and the map has imho the right mix of open areas and choke points.
    -Very good job and making the map look asymmetrical, when in fact it is symmetrical for all practical purposes.
    -Some parts of the terrain are really outstanding (for example near the western lab, or in general the northwestern part of the map).

    But there are several "unforced errors" which imho prevent the map from reaching its full potential:
    -The creeps at the shops and to a leser extend the quilboard camp in front of the main bases are likely to accidentially aggro on player units that are just passing.
    -Main bases design: Trees are relatively far away from the main building, so hu/orc/ud will might struggle for lumber in the midgame.
    -The playable area reaches almost up to the shadow area on the edges of the map, which imho isnt nice too look at.
    -The transitions from land to shallow water are often rather "sharp". Mayb use the "smooth" terrain tool more.
    -The terrain at the corner gold mines could make for awkward fights, as a single expansion buildings nearly blocks the entire path.
    -5% chance to get a tome of experience at some creespots, why? It was removed from dropping for good reason on ladder maps, and with the small chance it becomes actually more of a lottery.
    -Critters were completely forgotten.

    Also, what are all those pathing blockers meant to accomplish?
    So.... I know this map finished second in the contest, and I agree that it is quite good. It's just that I'm thinking it would be a pity if it would not be polished a little more. Therefore I'm setting it to Awaiting update in the hope that you will make a few changes with respect to some of the issues I mentioned. If you disagree however, please contact me and I'll most likely approve the map anyway.
     
  7. Wayshan

    Wayshan

    Joined:
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    Hey mafe!

    Thanks for your input and feedback! :)

    I've been working on the map today and I think I've covered most of the points you raised (and more). Please read the changelog for a detailed description. I will only debate about points I disagree with, given that the rest of your criticism is already implemented in the latest map update.

    1) Shadow area around the map
    I've been trying to decrease the amount of shade to a minimum and fill the shaded areas with objects to accomplish a more "focused" and engaging look. For me, the shades are often huge in most of the cases and serve no real purpose. I think this issue is part of the "visuals" category and therefore is highly subjective. I like the current state of the map and I think it serves a purpose. It was a deliberate decision. Therefore I don't intend to change this feature.

    2) Trees and their distance
    The map provides an abundance of wood in the close proximity of the main base, much more than most of the maps I've seen and certainly more than the vast majority of the maps within the contest. I've checked the distance and I think there really is no issue, given that the player adjusts their build pattern and reflects the different and unorthodox shape of the start area. The map allows one to buy goblin shredders and the goblin laboratory is a) close to the base and b) not protected by any exceptionally strong units. All of the units there are falling asleep which means one can even steal the shredder (provided you manage to escape from the creeps before they destroy it).

    Despite that, I would be willing to rework trees around the main bases, but I am quite unsure how to do it and not ruin the space (one has to consider moving paths, protection & accessibility of the base). Any input or guidance would be appreciated.

    3) Pathing blockers
    They serve to ensure the units won't clip over some terrain, edge of the cliff and such. They are also preventing some bugs regarding goblin zeppelins.

    Also - the map didn't end up being second, because Xander's score was deleted. And even if so, it doesn't have to do anything with the actual state of the map.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    I am also considering the complete revamp of the map center because people have been complaining about its unorthodox shape. I've already tried to open it up a little bit so that orc armies don't struggle too much, but I am still remaining unsure. If any of you has some ideas, I'd love to hear them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  8. mafe

    mafe

    Map Reviewer

    Joined:
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    Whoah, I'm sorry I'm almost three weeks behind...
    In general I'm liking the changes.
    -Creep aggro issues looks less likely now.
    -The main bases in their current state make it hard to wall. If you want an "easy" way to get good main bases, copy and paste the main bases (trees, goldmine and spawn location) from a ladder map and use "extended -> replace doodads" to change the trees.
    -The shadow area is not a big issues and yes, it is subjective.
    -Transitions between land/water are more smooth now overall, but still some location exists (this is also subjective).
    -Corner gold mine area has been improved. Good.
    -Itemdrops are not fine too.

    Unfortunately the creeps at the shops now also aggro if the lvl-6-thunder-lizard camp is under attack...

    Gnerally I think that despite these issues the map is now good enough to be approved.
    Still, there's some stuff you can work on if you want to.