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Perilous Shores

Submitted by Flieskiller
This bundle is marked as approved. It works and satisfies the submission rules.
This long island is navigable by sea thanks to the Goblin transport ships, but this series of small islands also can be crossed by foot. Either way, danger will be encountered everywhere and the greatest spoils be found off-shore.

Hello,

Here is how I would describe this map in 1 sentence:
Perilous Shores is a large map that is about decision making about center land control or extensive ships usage for creeping and surprise attacks.

Here are the main aspects of this map:
• Sunken Ruins tileset
• Linear 1 path ground access to the enemy map and more creep camps.
• Access to a close unprotected Shipyard to buy Transport Ships, and lot of sea terrain to navigate on.
• Wall-off possible to completely block/defend from the land path (while still having boats to navigate to the main land at another place)
• Creep routes that are water-based or ground-based
• main land item shops are Goblin shops close to the player bases.
• main land units shops are 2 taverns close to the player bases, and 2 Mercenary Camps closer to the middle lightly guarded.
• In each land corners are a Goblin Laboratory guarded by a hard orange camp (the Sea Giant Hunter guarding it has Ensnare if the player tries to buy a Zeppelin or approach by air)
• 1 natural mine, and 1 difficult middle expansion
• Side Mercenary Camps for backdoor pushing or easy mercenary units access.
• Markets and Mana Fountains guarded by red camps on the side of the map. Mana fountains, instead of Life fountians, so air units can't go regen easily, safe from grounded units, while still having something good with a Transport Ship.

Important side note about Transport Ships: To enter a bunch of units in a ship, you need to not have the ship selected with the unit group entering, otherwise the ship will stop loading units after 1 has entered.

how and why I did a map like that:

I wanted to do a naval map, with a pretty simple layout with a ground access to the enemy base, but having boats as a good alternative as a creep route and mobility around the map. I inspired my terrain creation a lot from Brood War maps and a bit from Warcraft 2 and the game Sacrifice (an RTS game from the year 2000). My map design is that I want to push new ideas that is more than a terrain layout, so making a Naval map is the best for me as a 1st Ladder map project.

Looking at what I've done, when we observe beyond the terrain layout, my creation is a bit crazy with a lot to think about, but I wanted most to bring some ideas to Naval map creators and push further the idea from Blizzard that boat maps are greeted upon (with the rebalancement of the Transport Ship in version 1.32.6). Two of the important points, I personnally think, are limiting drop zones for the ships, and using the new Mercenary Camps to their full potential.

Most of the islands have "ledges" that prevent boats from dropping units from any coasts. I limited most of the dropping options on certain parts, so it gives only a few specific areas to protect, and helps to reduce the siege units rushing from a ship drop. Also, while there are ledges all around the islands, the important detail is that none of the beach pathways act as a ramp, so all the terrains (other than the Goblin labs' cliffs) are on the same floor. I wanted that so there is one less thing to worry about from the players (no need to worry about cliffs being used as defence or offence), because there is so much to think about already.

I really wanted to add a Goblin Laboratory to have Zeppelin and the other 2 goblin units accessible, but without "stealing" the value of the Shipyard, so I made them difficult to access, being very far and defeating a difficult orange camp (that still reward a level 4 Permanent item).

One of the cool things I discovered when I was testing the Mercenary units in the Sunken Ruins Merc Camp: 2 of the 4 units are amphibious (Mur'gul Blood-Gill, Mur'gul Snarecaster), so I placed a pair of Merc Camps fairly accessible, toward the center, guarded by a (harder) green camp, so these can be recruited to hunt potential enemy transport ships that are wandering around. The 2nd pair of Merc camps are in the corners, so the players can buy them early for easier creeping or later when doing a backdoor push.

In the past, I used World Editor to do small personal projects (like an alternate Melee) for fun and mostly for myself, but it's the first time that I use it to make a Ladder map. It is a bit more difficult than I thought, but I did enjoy it and might do other maps.

About what improvments I think my map probably needs:

• Improve the neutral camps' composition and item drops

I found it one of the most difficult things to do, not only because making a smooth creep route on a linear ground path has to be good, but also which items are dropped by these creeps. Also, the 2nd expansion (closer to the center of the map) have probably a bit imbalanced red camp to go for it, but it is still intended as a late game expansion with good ground pathing protection.

Also, I really want to add 1 more camp next to the natural expansion, but I'm not sure what to do, maybe I will get an idea later.


With the release of V2, I am pretty happy with the result, so I think this category no longer need improvement.

• Add a 2nd pair of Goblin Shops

Seeing the size of the map, a 2nd Goblin shop on each half of the map seems important to me, but I'm not sure where to place them. It's maybe not needed, since the Goblin shops are close to the bases, and can be used by heroes to buy staff of tele and go to their armies.

There is room for a single Goblin Shop in the middle, but it would probably give an advantage to the attack player. I know there is an odd number of Goblin Shop in Echo Isles, but I'm not sure it's the right thing to do here.

• Potentially adding more land terrain to limit more the Ships movement

Transport Ships are probably a bit too free in their movement path, juking and reaching important beaches to drop units. It is possible that I will add more land terrain in the middle, but I'll keep the beach paths for now.

• Improve overall esthetic

I'm not really good at that, and might revisit later to make it prettier. I added a bit of doodads, but a lot more can be done. The map has a cartoonish* style to it with the ledges and beaches everywhere, it doesn't aim to be a realistic appearance anyway.
* - I can't find the right word

Changelog

V3

Creeps & neutrals:
• Fixed the north-west's natural expansion having a second Pooldweller instead of a Prawn
• Rotated some creeps
• Moved the top tavern slightly bit down to being symmetrical to the other tavern

terrain:
• Rounded the unbuildable terrain around the taverns
• Increased the size of the left island expansion, made it similar to the right island expansion. Also tweaked the trees a bit
• Improved the bottom-left gulf to be more rounded
• Decreased the eastern land path of the northern tavern to be a bit more symmetrical to the other tavern.
• Improved terrain esthetic a tiny bit more

V2

Creeps & neutrals:
• Between the 2 starting green camps, swapped the level 1 tome and level 1 permanent
• Goblin Merchant camp, Removed the level 1 tome from the Skeletal Orc
• At the center merc camps, replaced the sea giant (level 3) to a Skeletal Orc Grunt (level 5)
• The center Mur'gul camps, reduced the tome level drop from 2 to 1
• At the Market camp, Removed the level 2 charged from the Stormreaver Necrolyte
• At the natural expansion mine:
Replaced 1 Makrura Deepseer (level 5) to a Makrura Snapper (level 5) (having 2 casters to fight with entangling roots isn't fun I think)
Makrura Snapper drops a level 1 tome instead of a level 2 tome (transferred from the removed Deepseer)
Replaced 1 Makrura Pooldweller (level 2) to a Makrura Prawn (level 1)

Terrain:
• Increased the pathing size of the bottom-right, the area between the tavern and the gold mine, to be more symmetrical
• Added and changed some trees next to the top-left natural expansion
• Changed the terrain-type around both taverns to be unbuildable
• Improved terrain esthetic, around the Goblin Labs and the corner Merc camps[/SIZE]
Contents

Perilous Shores (Map)

Reviews
CaptainDan
Hi! I tried your map and I found it reasonably good. I would however suggest some changes you also though might be needed :) Firstly, I'll write about the creep camps: you should switch the item drops of the 2 creep camps next to base; due to their...
Nudl9
This isn't a playable map by competitive standards. You should look at the maps in the competitive pool for inspiration. I recommend reading Mafe's guide for melee maps. Cliffs: Cliffs should be used with more restraint since they don't work as well...
CaptainDan
It's nice to see the creep camp changes, as well as more doodads! :) I still have a couple tweaks to point out: this one is important: top-left expansion has 2 Makrura Pooldweller, instead of one being a Prawn; you forgot to adjust the late...
mafe
So, I didnt read all of the discussion here, but just looking at the current version: -There seems to be nothing that could be considered a bug. Exccept for the countless gaps between trees. Plant trees exclusively using the size 2 circular tool,...
  1. CaptainDan

    CaptainDan

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    Hi! I tried your map and I found it reasonably good. I would however suggest some changes you also though might be needed :)

    Firstly, I'll write about the creep camps:
    • you should switch the item drops of the 2 creep camps next to base; due to their armor, Makruras are somewhat harder to kill than the crabs, and they are also healed by the tidecaller (I believe a mantle of intelligence or gauntlets of strength are better than a tome);
    • the creeps guarding the goblin merchant are kinda weak to drop both a tome and an item; maybe replace an apprentice with a Skeletal Orc?
    • the first expansion has item drops that are quite good for the relative strength of the creeps; I suggest replacing the prawns with some Revenants of the Tides;
    • the Mercenary Camps mid-map are lightly defended as you mentioned, a little too lightly; how about a Skeletal Orc Grunt and a Skeletal Orc instead of the Sea Giant? They would also be more valuable in terms of exp;
    • the Murgul camps mid-map should drop a level 1 tome instead of a level 2; they are quite easy to kill;
    • Marketplace creeps should only drop the levell 4 item, as they are not as strong as they seem;
    • Second expansion creeps are well-placed in my opinion, and I will mention it here that the Gold Mine to the left has significantly less building room than the one to the right;
    • this one is not necessarily a suggestion; I like what you did with the Rune of Watcher (allows you to see if the other player attacks using boats) but I just don't understand why I can't kill the ward if I am also able to find it, but this is in the base game so you can't really do anything about it;
    • regarding the creep camp you want to add next to the first expansion, you can make the beach go a little further into the water and add some turtles;
    About doodads and terrain:
    • personally I like the feel of the terrain, seems smooth and natural;
    • you could use some tiles around the Taverns (just like you did with the mid-map Mercenary Camps);
    • I like the look of the Goblin Lab locations, but they could use a couple doodads (maybe some Piles of Junk/Treasure or some other doodads from the Ruins category like the ruined bookshelves etc);
    • I'm not sure about this one and the in-game implications it would have, but in the mid-map you could replace those pointy rocks with a Fountain of Health ( the Mana Fountains are in not in a very accessible place and people might not have interest in reaching them, well-defended as they are);
    • bottom left you have a coral above the Tidal Lord creep camp, how about you drag it next to the creep camp so it's more visible? Also, the corresponding creep camp on the other side of the map could use a coral like that;
    • in the bottom left and top right the sea forms some gulfs; the one bottom left could be slightly more rounded (it appears to have straight edges on the minimap); in these gulfs you can make a tiny island with a statue, ruins and some corals; restricts ship movement and looks cool so 2 in 1 :)
    • you should scatter a couple ruin elements on the map (walls, rocks, fire lamps etc);
    This is what I felt after playing the map and looking at it in the editor. It's a good map, and I like the layout. I'm not a very good melee player, so everything I many things I suggested might not be correct :D
    I will give it a 4/5 because I feel some of the changes I mentioned are needed, and because my opinion might not be the most 'scientific' for a ladder map.
     
  2. Nudl9

    Nudl9

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    This isn't a playable map by competitive standards.
    You should look at the maps in the competitive pool for inspiration.

    I recommend reading Mafe's guide for melee maps.

    Cliffs:
    Cliffs should be used with more restraint since they don't work as well in WC3 as they do in Starcraft.
    If you just want to create islands you can raise terrain height instead for the same effect.

    Paths:
    There should always be multiple roads to the enemy base.
    Currently there's only 1 road to the enemy base.
    Which leaves little options for sneaking past the enemy's nose.
    Except through the means of boats, which is a problem.
    If a player is forced to use boats or a zeppelin it creates extra labour which feels like a hassle.
    The other problem with leaving so much terrain unpathable is that air becomes supreme.
    Air becomes the only viable unit since everything else forces you to walk a long road and you can't chase after air units on water.

    If you look at the maps that are being played in tournaments, they are open with multiple points of interest that make players crisscross around the map.
    So don't be afraid to just make large areas of terrain that is "open".
     
  3. Kakerate

    Kakerate

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    Haven't played but my first impression is that its missing bridges. I agree with Nudl that you are going to want to add atleast 1 more pathway by land to the enemy base.
     
  4. Flieskiller

    Flieskiller

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    Thanks for the comments, I will upload a new version of my map during next week inspired by suggestions written here.

    My many answers to the user CaptainDan in the spoiler right below:

    That is true about both of these, the 2 small camps and the goblin merch camp are both results of small tweakings but didn't really adapt the items correctly: The crabs camp had a 2nd level 3, and the merch camp had an additional skeletal orc. One of the Bullet Points from my list I made about what each races need, one of them is being able to Ancient Of War creep a close camp early game, but it was too difficult against 5 creeps.

    I will do as you suggested, will probably remove the tome from the merch camp if an additional grunt makes it too difficult for a NE archer + AoW

    I want to keep some minions with medium armor-type instead of making all of them heavy type, but I like the idea of revenants keeping an abandoned gold mine, I will think about it.

    I understand what yo usay by thinking about it. The sea giant is too much of a DPS check (need to kill it before too many pulverize attacks, in addition to the chain lightning spells from the Necrolyte), and having skeletal orcs would fit the theme with the goblin merch, which also have Stormreavers and skeletal orcs, that is also something I will change like that.

    I was inspiring from Market Square about it, but the camps in that map are way stronger, will reduce them to level 1 tomes

    In my testings, the market camp was a bit easy to kill, my initial thought was that because the camp is far from the main path, having a stronger item was good enough to balance it, but the opponent can go that way and still buy a strong item in addition to the stronger drop, I will reduce it to a level 4 item.

    About the building room, that is something I missed and will make the building room for both more similar

    Like in the map Turtle Rock, the Watcher runes (and blue wards) only cover an optional path to the players and protects against flanking, because of the many pathing both players can do (land path in Turtle Rock, water path in Perilous Shores)

    Another reason I chose to give them a Watcher rune is that the camp is pretty difficult in a land dead-end, so the extra risk has to be rewarded to kill that camp. Something that can be done about that is giving them a 100% observer wards drop instead, and remove/alter observer wards drom from other level 2 charge item drops to give them more value, but I still like the Watcher rune drop for now.

    Good idea, it is not guaranteed that I will add a camp, but it is a good implementation.
    I really aimed to have a terrain that felt smooth, easy to the eye and clear to what can be done on it, I appreciate the compliment.

    I released the map to get feedback like that, and really want to improve the terrain more, Warcraft 3 has good options with doodads to make the map even better, something I want to do.

    About the Taverns, I will probably make that part of terrain unbuildable, because of being an important choke point (prevent opponent from buying heroes from that tavern, protect both main base and natural expansion)

    I already considered all neutral buildings in the middle, and nothing could fit based on the current layout. The highest chance of neutral building being added in the middle is a 3rd Goblin Shipyard, and changing the terrain a bit to give both Mur'gul camps a beach, and making the middle almost all shallow water.

    About a fountain of health, it is an interesting idea. I remember seeing on a stream about why the fountains of health in Concealed Hills work compared to other maps that have one in the middle: Having an easily accessible fountain of health gives too much of an advantage to the attacking player, where if they lose a battle, they can simply walk back in direction of their base and heal to full while preventing the player to do a push, especially in a narrow land path like my map has. Concealed Hills have fountains of health very far from the main path, where attacking a main base is not possible to correctly profit from these (but attacking the natural expansion is possible tho, even if difficult because of the powerful camp protecting them).

    All in all, I will keep the pointy rocks or maaaaybe add a Shipyard, but nothing else fits without giving a too big advantage to the player controlling the middle.

    Will do that, I tried to be as symetric as possible, while keeping some assymetrical visual, without being robotic about it.
    Thank you, since it is my first ladder map, I appreciate all feedback I can receive, it will help a ton if I make other ladder maps have a better initial release, compared to all the small details that need improvement like you listed for instance.

    My answers to the other comments:

    I know my map doesn't follow some regular ideas. I looked a lot to the current map pool, in addition to previous legal maps like Turtle Rock, to make my map the best in a competitive way. Not every map have to follow the same guidelines and layouts of the actual map pool to be successful.

    I think island maps are way too difficult to make for a competitive map, but I really want to try making a map with a lot of water and Shipyards work, this is why I opted for a hybrid land-water 1 land path but boats are good, because I don't need to go in the mold of Lordaeron Summer land maps to have something that can become a success.

    Except for the Goblin labs cliffs, I did only use raise terrains everywhere, the cliffs around the islands only affect Transport Ships and nothing else. The reason I did some small lower cliffs around the islands is to prevent Transport Ships to drop units everywhere, making mortar drops in the wood too strong and a strategy and polarizing for an intended competitive map.

    I was already aware of cliffs being a rare aspect of competitive maps (Conceiled Hills has some high hills around the middle, Last Refuge for Goblin labs only), my map have all the islands and beaches on the same floor, no units missing because of cliff random miss chance is supposed to happen.

    I agree that air units become more powerful in water maps, and is one of the main reasons that I made a land path between players in a "water" map. This is also why all the Creep camps have ranged units, to prevent making a Wyvern or a gargoyle and go kill camps far away for free.

    The distance between players is similar to Conceiled Hills, and most of the camps are either on the path to the enemy base, or by the backdoor entrance of the enemy base (accessible by boats), so I tried of making air units the least important that could've been given the water map style.

    I think it would be a shame that we deny any water map of any kind because air units exist, and I have other ideas to reduce the strength of air units in a map with limited land movements, like adding air path blockers, or adding anti-air neutral hostile buildings (like the Elf tower from the RoC campaign, code name [negm]). I might add more small islands in case air units attack a transport ship, so it would allow players to unload the units inside the transport ship and to defend themselves.

    I agree that my map feels a bit linear compared to the current competitive maps (checking all the creep routes available in Amazonia for instance), but when I check Last Refuge, it isn't that open, and having maps that offer other style of plays is good, as long as it has balanced winrate in every matchups and doesn't promote a single strategy (like full island maps that should promote air units all the time)



    I invite you to check my answer to Nudl as I cover why my map only have 1 land path.

    If you talk about adding litteral bridges (I don't suspect you were doing that, but still mentioning it), It wouldn't feel natural to have bridges to connect islands, while direct land paths would do the same thing. Bridges look very good in Terenas Stand for instance, because of how a low river crosses the terrain. In my map, it wouldn't fit because of all the beaches connecting everything in a smooth way.



    As a final note, I will keep this map the way it is, just improving some small things, because if I want to make a Transport Ship map with multiple land paths, I would just make a new map with a different layout. My intention about map making now is making a water map that is competitively viable, even when people doesn't think it isn't possible.

    I still appreciate you taking the time to write your comments, criticism is the best way for me to improve in what I work.
     
  5. Flieskiller

    Flieskiller

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    Perilous Shores Version 2 released.

    Changelog:

    creeps:
    • Between the 2 starting green camps, swapped the level 1 tome and level 1 permanent
    • Goblin Merchant camp, Removed the level 1 tome from the Skeletal Orc
    • At the center merc camps, replaced the sea giant (level 3) to a Skeletal Orc Grunt (level 5)
    • The center Mur'gul camps, reduced the tome level drop from 2 to 1
    • At the Market camp, Removed the level 2 charged from the Stormreaver Necrolyte
    • At the natural expansion mine:
    Replaced 1 Makrura Deepseer (level 5) to a Makrura Snapper (level 5) (having 2 casters to fight with entangling roots isn't fun I think)
    Makrura Snapper drops a level 1 tome instead of a level 2 tome (transferred from the removed Deepseer)
    Replaced 1 Makrura Pooldweller (level 2) to a Makrura Prawn (level 1)

    terrain:
    • Increased the pathing size of the bottom-right, the area between the tavern and the gold mine, to be more symmetrical
    • Added and changed some trees next to the top-left natural expansion
    • Changed the terrain-type around both taverns to be unbuildable
    • Improved terrain esthetic, around the Goblin Labs and the corner Merc camps
     
  6. CaptainDan

    CaptainDan

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    It's nice to see the creep camp changes, as well as more doodads! :)

    I still have a couple tweaks to point out:
    • this one is important: top-left expansion has 2 Makrura Pooldweller, instead of one being a Prawn;
    • you forgot to adjust the late expansions' building room, they are still unequal (the one on the left has somewhat less space);
    • at the Goblin Merchant next to Player 2's base, 2 of the creeps are looking at the shop instead of away from it, I don't know if it's on purpose but I find it slightly odd, don't mind me :D
    • it's nice to have unbuildable terrain around the taverns, but could you make it slightly more rounded or something, to have a smooth transition between the grass tiles next to it;
    • I like it that you decorated the Goblin Labs, but I think the fountains don't fit; they are round and you put them against the wall;
    • the corals above the bottom-left creep camp with the Makrura Tidal Lord are half submerged, which makes them hardly visible, how 'bout raising 'em? They have pretty colors;
    • again I beg of you to make the bottom-left gulf more rounded, as it appears to have a flat beach on the minimap and this is strange for some little islands :D
    Overall, the map received a couple nice changes. Keep up the good work!
     
  7. Flieskiller

    Flieskiller

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    Hello,

    thanks for the quick answer, I released V2 a bit early and missed some things. I'm a tiny bit shameful about the Prawn being a Pooldweller, I was doing some tests and forgot to mirror it again.

    Some ideas you first wrote, some of them I missed them a bit or didn't quite understand, but this time, it should be better on the points you mentioned.

    About the fountains at the Goblin Labs, I decided to add them because the Lab is guarded by multiple water elementals, so I wanted a "reason" for them to be there. I wanted to add the wall fountain, but it has a tiny gap with that wall and it looks ugly, so I decided with that small fountain instead.

    With that post comes Version 3 of Perilous Shores (available for download):

    V3

    creeps & neutrals:
    • Fixed the north-west's natural expansion having a second Pooldweller instead of a Prawn
    • Rotated some creeps
    • Moved the top tavern slightly bit down to being symmetrical to the other tavern

    terrain:
    • Rounded the unbuildable terrain around the taverns
    • Increased the size of the left island expansion, made it similar to the right island expansion. Also tweaked the trees a bit
    • Improved the bottom-left gulf to be more rounded
    • Decreased the eastern land path of the northern tavern to be a bit more symmetrical to the other tavern.
    • Improved terrain esthetic a tiny bit more
     
  8. CaptainDan

    CaptainDan

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    Super nice! Good job on the transition between the tavern and the grass, looks way more natural now. And thanks for rounding the gulf :D !
     
  9. mafe

    mafe

    Map Reviewer

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    So, I didnt read all of the discussion here, but just looking at the current version:
    -There seems to be nothing that could be considered a bug. Exccept for the countless gaps between trees. Plant trees exclusively using the size 2 circular tool, andplace them in a manner that new trees align exactly with exisiting tree.
    -It seems to me that this is a map where you probably have to use boats just because of the layout. It would be better if it was a map where you could use boats, but also could play without using them.
    -Coincidentially, the rushing distance by land is really long, and in the same manner expanding seem rather safe.
    -The lvl 1 powerup from the central green spots seems really weak. On the other hand, the lvl 4 charged item from the turtles is rather strong.
    -Creeps and itemdrops seem otherwise balanced, although sometimes just on the edge of what's acceptable.
    -Good to abstain from using highground.
    -Terrain in the shallow water areast still needs some attention.
    -The transitions from land to water have some sharp edges. Consider using the "smooth terrain" tool here.
    -The (walkable) playing area should normally not extend up to the shadow area on the edges of the map.
    -Interesting idea to use 4 merc camps in total.

    So I'm not immediately sure how to moderate this map. The trees would make this map unacceptable for any competitive setting currently. Even if fixed, the other gameplay features would make most ladder player dismiss this map. But since I know fixing trees is tedious and boring (albeit necessary), and there are now noticablebugs otherwise: Map approved. Nevertheless, feel free to make further updates with respect to all of these potential issues.