That was awesome, maybe my favourite highlander ever. Thanks for playing everyone
It's something I've talked about in bits and pieces but afaik I've never *fully* explained why I'm reluctant to allow maps like dustbowl and goldrush - people keep asking for it and I realise you guys deserve a full explanation rather than me half-explaining it all the time. Which means it's really long post time, hooray!
Last night's game on barnblitz pro showed exactly what the problem with those other maps are.
The last point of barnblitz is a big skill-check for BLU. There is only one way that you can cheese that point, and it relies on RED attempting to hold 3rd point, fucking it up and not respawning in time to hold the last point. It's almost always a bad idea for RED to attempt this - even if they do get established on the 3rd point it's not nearly as strong a defensive position as the last point, so you're less likely to hold onto it long term. And there's always the risk that you wipe trying to defend 3rd and can't get set up on 4th before it's flooded with BLU's. So yes, if that happens then the last point is an easy take for BLU. Otherwise it will require a solid, co-ordinated push to win against an entrenched RED team.
BUT! It's certainly not impossible. Consider all of the entrance points that BLU have on barnblitz pro:
- The new raised entrance
- The top of the stairs (wood pile)
- The locker room
- The cart entrance
So BLU have all of these options that they can use. Maybe you can send a soldier and sniper up to locker room to clear out wood pile for your heavy guys? Maybe you can jump wood pile from the new entrance for the same effect? Maybe your scout can pressure the cart in so far that they have to focus on that and leave the other entrances exposed? Maybe stick a ninja level 3 sentry down at whatever entrance you like? There are many different ways to do it. It's still a strong position for RED but they can never be completely comfortable, they always have to react to whatever BLU are trying to do, and BLU can always try to work away chinks in the armour. It takes a lot of teamwork and that's what makes for the great games like we had last night.
Let's compare that with the last point of Dustbowl. BLU have two options:
- The main entrance on the corner
...that's it. What's more is that RED can cover both entrances from the exact same position. Send your scout and spy down to sewer to see if BLU are coming from there. If they are, your heavy, demo and soldier just turn 90 degrees to their right and spam that entrance instead of the main one. They don't even have to press their WASD keys.
It's not even like this exposes the main entrance because you've still got a wrangled sentry and sniper waiting to murder anything that peeks out, and a pyro uber ready to deny any of their pushes. BLU are relying on a miracle play from their spy, but shutting that down is trivial when RED are bored out of their minds spamming chokepoints and the pyro has nothing else to do but spycheck in between BLU ubers. The only other thing I can think of is sending a sneaky sniper through sewers to kill an exposed medic on the bridge but this is countered A) by the RED medic not standing in the open waiting to die and B) sending your scout down sewers (assuming he isn't alt-tabbed and watching youtube videos by this now
) and C) the fact that the RED spy is going through sewers all the time anyway.
Pushing the last point on Dustbowl is basically impossible if RED aren't stupid. At best it's 10-15 minutes of frustration and boredom. And then everyone swaps sides so you can do it all over again!!!
Literally the only realistic hopes that BLU have is wiping RED on the first point and rushing last, or getting a spycap. In that case, all RED need to do is send their scout and engi to last before the round even begins
. This shuts down spycaps and sentry buys enough time if RED wipe on the first point. You can still very easily delay the first point of dustbowl without a scout and sentry. If you team isn't stupid you can even get out with your medic and most of your heavy classes alive. Congratulations, as long as you can keep your sanity intact long enough to spam the same corner for the next 15 minutes, you win!
Goldrush isn't as bad because you have the dropdown entrance on the left and the building thing that comes out behind RED spawn but the same principle applies, the last point is stupidly frustrating to attack and near impossible for BLU to do anything about it.
So maybe you do find dustbowl and goldrush fun in your average public games: at least there you have something like a chance at pushing the last point because the other team isn't always co-ordinated. This is not the case in highlander. You WILL be going up against a co-ordinated defence. Also, on pubs, if the map goes on long enough that you get to the last point, then you usually hit the server's max time limit and you automatically switch to a different map before you to swap from RED to BLU or vice versa. This is also not the case in highlander - unless one team ragequits there's no reason to say that you won't end up in the exact same position again, with BLU hopelessly trying to cap last.
If that happens then you've had one map last for about an hour and everyone's sick of TF2. When it takes quite a lot of work to organise a highlander and you're all dedicating your evening to it then that's the last thing I want to happen and I don't think you lot would like it much either. I love to see suggestions from maps from you guys but if there's a map that I'm reluctant to allow, believe me, it's with the best intentions and for what I think are pretty good reasons