I've been enjoying our CFT games on this map. There are some really excellent stabilize-jumps required in the flag rooms and the vats, and I love the way each level connects to the middle atrium differently. The top-middle platforms especially are enjoyable to use both for controlling center/vat and for juking players out. I got an exceptionally enjoyable flag run stabilize-jumping from bottom vat up to this window, thrusting to opposite flag room, then stabilize-jumping up to cap. I'm a little dubious about camo still because of how strong the invisibility is, but it does open up an interesting way to break standoffs.
I don't usually enjoy breakout, but this has been my best experience with the game mode consistently. You have a lot of options as to how to approach the other team. I know Duck usually pre-nades and then caps hydra, then using it across center, while I tend to push shotgun with SMG out then snipe up the mid with my pistol. I think the flag is currently fairly well balanced. It is quite difficult to cap, but this is due to the fact that a good team can set up to prevent head-on rushes.
I thoroughly enjoyed our flag game on Skyport, though I'm not sure whether my team's side had an advantage or not as of yet. I actually preferred movement through the map being a little more our side-their side, as lines of sight are a little more broken up between the flags than they are between the normal spawns. Strongholds still plays very strong, and as I learn the lines of sight better I've been able to take greater advantage of little nooks and sniping spots. One thing I'm wondering is if there is any way to get up to the little platforms above cargo/ the forklift from middle bridge side? I find myself getting a little bottlenecked pushing cargo objective from that side and would like to be able to use those upper platforms more.
Mystic played pretty much like Cryptic used to. While I wouldn't say 4 v 4 played poorly on the map, I did find it occasionally a little cramped, and I would like to try 3 v 3 some time to compare. The yellow corner stronghold had a confusing element to it, as the stronghold itself and the objective were below the staircase. I'm not sure if it would be possible to do so, but it would be nice to have the waypoint appear higher up so as not to confuse people.
Sorry, wasn't there for this one. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Desert Tower was definitely an early-career map. Being able to shoot across the map on multiple levels, à la Boarding Action, was interesting, as was some of the ramped geometry towards the top of the map, but much of the rest of the playing field was fairly stale and unenjoyable. The backs of the bases were pretty much for your team only, as they were incredibly safe and segmented from the rest of the play space. The bridges were death traps to walk out on, as both bases could shoot down on them from multiple levels. Generally the levels couldn't easily interact with one another on each side as well, as they were all in line. I think a terraced-style layout would work better than having two buildings shooting across a gap at one another, think Sword Base from Halo Reach potentially.
Glory just doesn't feel like a Halo 5 map to me. Blockus was great in H2A, but the H5 version doesn't feel designed for this game. Rather, it feels like a reconstruction of the old geometry that looks prettier at times but that doesn't really account for just how differently this game plays. The shade turret felt utterly useless on the map, as it was easily picked off with magnum, BR, or carbine fire from well outside of its effective range and couldn't hurt the warthog enough in the short time it could hit it as it rolled by. Personally, I'd advise you to design a new map for CTF or strongholds that takes inspiration from Blockus but which is not bound by its old geometry.
Felt like Stigma. I liked the aesthetic simplifications from last time and it played fairly well. My main issue with the map right now is how flat the entire second floor is on sniper side.Yes there are cool jumps around, but there is a huge area of floor space that stretches on for quite a while that is fairly boring to fight on. I would prefer to see more actual verticality in this space instead of two floors that are disconnected from one another with some jumps that let you switch between them.
Longbridge had some cool Narrows inspired geometry but it had some Pitfalls as well. The areas 9n the bases that led to the man cannons were so disconnected from the rest of the map that few fights ever took place over there. Most of the action on the map took place around the flags, on top bridge, or at bottom mid. I would make it a goal to bring more of the map in and connect it with these higher traffic areas, which will help alleviate how congested and dangerous they were while allowing the entire map to be played on. This will also help with the flag routes, which right now have no choice but to go right through the middle. Having longer routes that do not require going through mid is important, and right now your longest routes still cross the dead center of the map. Finally, I would move the flags up a bit to allow spawning behind them. Right now players are dying and respawning near their flags, making it difficult for a team to make a pull even if they are successfully slaying the opposite team.
This map was over-segmented in several areas. The central rooms probably could be combined into a single central atrium, which would allow for more vertical movement, slow movement across mid in flag, and get rid of a few hiding places. The windows at the top on either side could also be opened up to be shot/ jumped out of, increasing access to those rooms and giving players more reason to go up there. I was a little unsure about the central floating platform. It's a risky spot to be in, and the light rifle isn't exactly a strong reason to want to move up there. The line of sight is also no better than sniping from near the bases, which are a lot safer. The Binary Rifles were by far the most desirable weapons on the map, yet they were spawning in the bases in relative safety and with no cross-map line of sight. I would try to make these a but riskier to pick up, and I would force the initial rush to have a sniper dual off the bat.
I made some changes to my map last night after the lobby:
• Plasma Caster is now a Railgun.
• Plasma Pistol is now behind each teams flag, Plasma Grenades moved near Banshee, BR moved to old plasma grenade location.
• Light Rifles moved closer to bases, second BR set moved to old LR position.
• Flag spawns have been reworked with far greater aerial cover, a cool light bridge that provides cover down below, a more protected initial spawn location, and a more covered lower tunnel.
• Mid has a more open platform for easier movement.
• Many new lights have been added to the map to add color and to differentiate surfaces.
• Snow has been added to the trenches to better show where the floor slopes into walls.
• Top soft kill zone has been lowered slightly to push banshees lower and to prevent accidental contact with hard-kills.
• Lots of pretty rocks and snow and glitter everywhere.
• There is a nerdy ledge on both sides now, but you'll have to find it and figure out how it works.
A few things to keep in mind for next time:
• The banshees are semi-neutral. The one to your left and across the trench off of spawn is closer to your team. Make sure at least one person goes for this and also have someone try to cut off the other teams banshee.
• The Hydra is NOT an anti-vehicle weapon. It is mainly meant for use against players on foot. The Railgun and Plasma Pistols are the strongest banshee counters. The Plasma and Splinter Grenades are also quite powerful against them, especially in the tunnels, and the SMG and Light Rifle can do substantial damage over time, especially when used to break shields while someone lines up a Railgun shot.
• The map is designed to try to balance Banshees on a small squad map. If you tell me that I should take the Banshees off you're probably going to get ignored and grumbled at.