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gurudennis

Trap is woefully unbalanced

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As the title suggests, I think that Trap has a major balancing flaw built into it. As I explained in an earlier post dedicated to this subject, the Southern team runs a considerably greater risk going into the C cap than the Northern team because the opportunities for an effective fighting retreat are limited. On the surface, it looks like the conditions are similar for both sides, but on closer examination it becomes clear that the Northern side has far more opportunities for maneuvers and angle changes that don't result in running into an island.

 

Consider the following common pattern of movement for both teams around the C cap. Red X marks the spots where you're most likely to be caught broadside for a prolonged period of time in front of an overwhelming force. This observation comes from having played on this map enough times to start noticing patterns in player behavior. If you're an experienced player I suspect you've made similar observations.

 

0JIPPJV.png

 

The issue with the balance of the C cap is further exacerbated by the fact that C is instrumental to the control of B, and indeed B-C is perhaps the most common and sensible strategy on this map for Randoms. A capable Northern team will seize the advantage on C and fight hard to retain it, leaving little possibility of comeback for any Southern team that chooses to attack this particular cap point.

 

Perhaps the issue would be less severe if the B-C strategy was effective when originating from B, but that's not the case because battleships often can't safely enter B from the West-South-West because of DD threat and constrained space. So the far more popular way of capturing B is either to take and hold its South-Western edge (for which purpose the Southern team neeeds to go heavy on A-B) or to capture C and then move on to B. This latter approach is often very successful because of abundant cover on approach and sufficient room to maneuver once you clear the chain of small islands to the North-East of B.

 

So what choice does the Southern team really have? Against skilled opposition the most viable move is to go A-B, but this works if and only if the Southern team is mostly experienced. The peril of going A-B with a typical potato team is of course this: whatever goes to A stays on A indefinitely and snipes because it's "safe". It's almost as though the Southern team is stuck with an impossible choice: assume that the team is not stupid (which is of course a dangerous assumption to make) or bash your head against the wall at C until the wall budges or until you receive enough citadel and torpedo hits to reconsider.

 

It's substantially easier to choose a winning strategy for the Northern team because it is without a doubt the most default bog standard B-C move. It just works, and it does so because the map favors it very explicitly for the Northern team.

 

Considering that both recent revisions of this map are suffering from the exact same issue, WG either doesn't realize the problem exists or wishes for it to persist. Like any other game dev in a similar genre, WG must have access to detailed heat maps (frequency of sailing per map quadrant) and damage maps (frequency of damage dealt and received) for each map in the game. With WG's well known propensity for data driven decision making, frankly I cannot imagine them being unaware.

 

What's going on then?

Edited by gurudennis
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This has been going on so long now, can we finally stop talking about this?

WG won't change Trap. When they did, it was to change the islands in A & B cap. C islands were spaced more in to the cap with two islands added to the cap for cover to the north team from the C team.

 

~Hunter

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This has been going on so long now, can we finally stop talking about this?

WG won't change Trap. When they did, it was to change the islands in A & B cap. C islands were spaced more in to the cap with two islands added to the cap for cover to the north team from the C team.

 

~Hunter

 

I don't understand the logic. Something is broken. We need to talk about it more, not less, so it gets fixed. If you simply accept that certain things will always remain in a pathetic state and stop talking about them, WG probably loves you as a customer but WG is the only one that wins because the company gets to avoid investing time and money in fixes.

 

Concerns must be raised and raised again until WG hears them. It's the only way.

 

Besides, it's not like the C cap on Trap is a horse beaten to death. Hardly anyone ever talks about it because the issue is subtle enough despite being very significant in its impact.

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I accept it as is, because I simply don't see a problem to trap. I mostly play DDs as is, and when I do get it in my battleships, I go to either A or B. Other than that, I see literally no problem.

 

~Hunter

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I accept it as is, because I simply don't see a problem to trap. I mostly play DDs as is, and when I do get it in my battleships, I go to either A or B. Other than that, I see literally no problem.

 

~Hunter

 

Oh. That is another matter entirely. Considering I failed to persuade you that an issue exists, it's only fair that you should think no changes are required.

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Cmon, Hunter, of course it is not a problem for you. Its not an individual level issue. Its a team problem. It should have been fixed ages ago.

 

 

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Yep, I agree. I've found a trend in that if I'm on the northern team, the C-B-A strategy is much easier to execute than if I had spawned on the southern team. In order for the southern team to successfully pull off the C-B-A strategy, they need competent DDs and BBs, that can stall and contest C long enough for the rest of the team to clear and take B and have one get A in the process, otherwise everything falls apart and the northern team is allowed to funnel down into B and secure the win, barring any wacky RNG and/or miracles.

 

I also find the frequent split spawning for teams to be an issue on Trap as well. It incentivizes whichever group that spawned closest to A, to go there and cap it(this goes for both teams, though it's more often that the southern team falls for this than the northern team, as the northern team I find generally tends to go to B instead when the spawning was split), even though most players by this point should know that not many ships will travel to A, and if they do, they're wasting time and are easier to isolate and pick off one by one. I also often find that when a team gets a split spawn, the smaller force almost always seems to be the northern force near C.

 

Split spawns have never been a good thing in this game. Strait is a perfect mid-tier example of this, old Hot Spot was also a prime example of how poor split spawning is for this game(the new Hot Spot doesn't seem to be as bad, even though both teams are still split in half, perhaps because players have just been able to adapt to this on Hot Spot specifically). Trap is no exception. When teams get split spawns on Trap, whichever team makes the least mistakes or is the fastest to one of the caps, seems to win.

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I vote for changes.  I hate south spawn C on Trap.  Always get stuck in that gap with no escape but beach or hope to back out when enemy team pushes in force.. I've started moving IN to the south edge of the large island by B so I can at least support C and still escape if outnumbered.

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Oh. That is another matter entirely. Considering I failed to persuade you that an issue exists, it's only fair that you should think no changes are required.

 

From my experience, most of my losses occur on the Northern team, but most of my wins occur on the southern team. Usually by taking A and B, since C is usually focused on by the north team. At which point, if the North team has most of it's forces in C, then the South team gets most of it's forces together to start picking off the guys in C. And this is usually what happens when I get on the North team. Sometimes C team screws up their deployment and we get a win. Thats why I prefer spawning on the South team. Better overall control of the A/B scenario.

 

~Hunter

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I don't see why A-B is not a reasonable tactic. If DDs on the team go with some light support of cruisers and cap A and then heavy force goes to B, they are in a reasonably good position. BBs in B can't easily be outflanked as long as you have some cruisers around and since B is an open area, all but IJN DDs are would not be very excited to enter. You have 2-3 bow-on battleships, so even if you hit them with torps it's usually going to be just a single hit of a salvo and if you're spotted there's nowhere to run and hide, other than your smoke.

 

As a BB coming from the south you can slow down to halt somewhere around G5 and this position allows you to keep angled both to enemy in C and any potential threats from the north. Additionally, you can use small islands at the cap entrance for a bit of torpedo protection.

 

And if southern team is pushing C, there are a few relatively safe passages - coming from F8 and turning left (for some reason your southern team only turns right and vice versa)  around small island that you can use for cover and heal later and from F7 turning left.

 

Also for the northern team turn are more steep and many BBs would fail to negotiate what you've shown with arrows, while keeping at least 1/2 speed to not get completely decimated.

 

I don't see an issue with this map at all.

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It's called "Trap". What did you expect? East team has easy access to A, west team has easy access to C, then they clash for B while going around the map in clockwise direction.

 

Any t4rds yoloing to the wrong cap (this would be C for east team, A for west team) are just that, worthless r3t4rds.

 

Map is fine and balanced nicely for both teams, unlike few other maps.

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Map is not finely balanced, that's the whole point. It favors the north team, very clearly. The south team can win, but it starts down a cap. 

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South team has to push west and then it just becomes a hot mess of teams fighting over B. Not a fun map. I hate Tears Of The Desert more though.

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I hate Tears Of The Desert more though.

 

I call it "Tears of the Dessert" because anyone foolish enough to push the mid becomes just that. Dessert.

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I accept it as is, because I simply don't see a problem to trap. I mostly play DDs as is, and when I do get it in my battleships, I go to either A or B. Other than that, I see literally no problem.

 

~Hunter

 

And this logic is idiotic and foolish. You NEVER just tell people to shut up about a problem that's been proven just becasue it doesn't really affect you. This is why problems grow to such a level that it becomes unfixable. A fine example is the banking problem the US went through in 2008, there were YEARS where it could be fixed but NO ONE wanted to because it didn't directly affect them. This is a lesser scale because it only affects one map but that doesn't mean it's something that should be ignored. 

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Trap isn't even that high on my "maps to hate" list. Neighbors in standard battle still annoys me, Land of Fire has freaking rocks everywhere and you can barely see them on the minimap, and there's also Sea of Fortune AKA "go A and get [edited]", because you are not capturing B even if it's a 12 vs 6.

 

And just to make things better I'm starting to see ocean again. Why in the living hell am I seeing ocean again? I thought we were over that already.

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OP nails it.

 

Truly baffling bad map design.

 

Well, as I got to looking at it more and more, one thing became pretty clear to me. The map is misnamed, it should be named "Mirror".

 

Here's why:

 

3RfX5oS.jpg

 

Barring the 2 major anomalies, which I circled in Orange as well as the small islands in D/E 6, I cut the map in half (diagonally) and it's a mirror. Not to the "exact" island shape, as that would make the map visually boring, but the map itself is a mirror none the less. 

 

Regardless of what team does what on Match 1, 2 or 3, peels left, peels right, turtles, pushes caps, we can't predict what people are going to do. We don't know if they will take advantage of any given map or be engulfed by its weaknesses. I've obviously "color coded" the islands that mirror each other for ease of reference. To say it "easier" for one side than it is another is purely a subjective statement and changes match by match, player by player, ship by ship.

 

Which is in no way the fault of the map imho.

 

People don't like trap and I understand that. Personally, I don't mind it, I could take it or leave it, but to say it's woefully imbalanced or as some would claim "the root of all map evil's", is simply not true.

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And this logic is idiotic and foolish. You NEVER just tell people to shut up about a problem that's been proven just becasue it doesn't really affect you. This is why problems grow to such a level that it becomes unfixable. A fine example is the banking problem the US went through in 2008, there were YEARS where it could be fixed but NO ONE wanted to because it didn't directly affect them. This is a lesser scale because it only affects one map but that doesn't mean it's something that should be ignored. 

 

In all honesty, it really doesn't need to be fixed at all. Not all maps are designed to give both teams an equal advantage, and islands aren't formed in clusters to be symmetrical too. The problem is that in this game, teams tend to like going to C cap on most maps, and in this map, the most attractive letter, C, just happens to be in an area where one team has to be slightly more intelligent than the other to accomplish anything. 

 

~Hunter

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Map is not finely balanced, that's the whole point. It favors the north team, very clearly. The south team can win, but it starts down a cap. 

 

it doesn't favor any team - east team ("south" as you call it) has easy access to A and any enemy ship that dares to peek around the island that is on the edge of the A cap circle get demolished in the process because east team has all their guns on it while being covered by the island from any supporting fire.

 

The map is symmetrical, one team has advantage on one outermost cap and the other on the other outermost cap. T4rds yoloing to C from east side deserve to die, as do t4rds yoloing to A from west side. Don't go there unless you can run away (= your ship is fast enough and can recloak) because you'll have a stirred up hornets' nest chasing after you.

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The balance is that south has a bigger advantage at A than C.  Several maps are like this, giving one team a better position for a cap than the other.  How many times do you run to cap C if you spawn in the north on New Dawn?

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The balance is that south has a bigger advantage at A than C.  Several maps are like this, giving one team a better position for a cap than the other.  How many times do you run to cap C if you spawn in the north on New Dawn?

 

So the problem is not with the map itself, but with the location of spawn areas. In my books it's very similar to Shards - that map is also almost perfectly symmetrical and it also gives different cap advantages to teams. Southern team has to take A and then fight for B and C and northern team has early cap of C and has to fight for B and A.

 

So on Trap one of the teams has advantage in capping A, the other - in capping C and then they should fight for control of B. I still think that the taking B is easier from the A cap, because it allows for more space to maneuver for heavies. Going from C you find yourself in a tight spot with potentially no way out, especially if a part of red force manages to break through to C. Then you're just...in a Trap...

 

And speaking of balance - statistically you should spawn equal amount of times on either side with decent amount of battles and even if it's not balanced as people claim, you should be in an advantageous position 50% of the time. Therefore, I don't subscribe to the notion that it's somewhat "woefully" unbalanced, specifically for Randoms, where the number of battles played is large.

 

It might be different for competitive scenarios, but I still don't believe that there's an issue with the map.

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And speaking of balance - statistically you should spawn equal amount of times on either side with decent amount of battles and even if it's not balanced as people claim, you should be in an advantageous position 50% of the time. Therefore, I don't subscribe to the notion that it's somewhat "woefully" unbalanced, specifically for Randoms, where the number of battles played is large.

 

It might be different for competitive scenarios, but I still don't believe that there's an issue with the map.

 

Map balance issues like this one have a relatively limited impact on individual stats, so my chief complaint is about how fair the map is to either team, not specifically about how anyone's individual win rate is affected.

 

In the interest of education, let me nonetheless explain why map imbalance does have a nonzero impact on individual stats. To understand why this is the case, let's consider a theoretical exaggerated situation: there is only one map in the entire game and this map is so imbalanced that the South team wins 100% of the time, no questions asked. Everyone has a 50% chance to be on the winning side, therefore regardless of player skill everyone server-wide has a 50% win rate. But in a more balanced game (e.g. how WoWs is now) the better players would naturally have a higher win rate and the worse players would have a lower win rate than 50%. Therefore poor map balance does in fact influence individual players' stats and it does so in a manner that partially negates the effect of player skill.

 

By extension, the same is true of all other random "screw you, you lose this time" mechanics: detonations, gunnery RNG, matchmaking flukes etc.

 

Edit: I think I answered my own question as to why this balance issue is allowed to exist. WG is obviously financially interested in dampening the effect of skill as far as the population would let it slide. This is because unicums will continue playing and thriving anyway, but potatoes need to be given a chance to lose a bit less and remain motivated to stay in the system. The dampening itself is a case of death by a million cuts: every little barely noticeable bit of imbalance or randomness contributes to the bigger picture.

Edited by gurudennis

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I have come to hate this map with a passion tonight. Played it 6 times in a row tonight. 2 of those times we on the south spawn, and both times on the south were a loss. The two losses seemed to play out the same as well. Both times the team decided to push C and B even though I advised to push A and B. And. Both times the team was decimated and focused at C from the red team. The red team the proceeded to steamroll right into those of us at B and push us south and then had map control the rest of game. I cringe now every time I see the map and get south spawn.

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