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Guest alisdair

Halo 3 map discussion

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See how that works, Stiff? You could have saved yourself a post.

Fair enough. I'll post my thoughts on why I like the maps, and maybe other people can reply with what they don't like.

Construct - a great example of a map designed to create team skirmishes for territory. The top of the map, particularly sword side, is probably the best place to be if you're winning. But the attacking team can get to the top in five ways -- the two purple lifts, the big yellow lift, walking up the struts to the sword room, or walking up the platforms towards the yellow lift.

If the team is camping a lift, you can try to clear it out with a fusion core and a couple of grenades, or using the power drainer and flanking from the other side. You can get some cheap kills at the top with the sword and mauler, but that can be countered with the flamethrower, missile pod, power drainer, or just grenades and BRs.

Epitaph - smallish, but ideal for 2v2 or five/six player free-for-all. There's the shotgun, two maulers, and the gravity hammer for fun via shield door abuse, and frag/spike grenades, BR/carbine, and good old assault rifle if you're out in the open. If the team groups together there's the power drainer or the rocket launcher, and there's always an escape route either up a lift, down a gap, jumping across, or through a doorway. The shield doors turn off every so often as well, just to mix things up.

Guardian - nicely multi-level, but not as initially confusing as Construct. There's the gravity hammer, shotgun, two maulers on opposite sides of the map, and dual spikers for melee range combat. There's also the brute shot for splash damage in the corridors, or the sniper/BR/carbine if you want to mop up after shield start to drop. Both main camping spots can be attacked in multiple ways -- the high sniper position has a fusion core waiting to be stickied and a man cannon up to it, and the lift room has five entrances to guard.

This means that you can't expect to keep the power weapons for long unless you're on the move, and if you're using a melee weapon you need to be useful with a longer range backup. There are loads of great little shortcuts for jumping around to get to another spot, and again there's almost always a quick exit if you need to take it.

High Ground - my favourite one flag/one bomb map. Surely everyone loves High Ground? The multiple ways into the base, the laser vs the sniper, opening the gate or going through the missile pipe. It's amazing. The only thing I don't much like for it is the inevitable rush for rockets at the start.

Isolation - this is an amazing map for territories, and I think assault and CTF would be pretty good as well. There are four entrances into each base - two from the lower level, one from the back, and a drop from above straight onto the bomb/flag spot. You can also fire into the bases through from the rocket spawn in bottom middle, so it's not always easy to defend the bomb.

Up top it's a classic grenade/BR fest, and the hill in the middle combined with the standing stones near the bases make it fairly easy to retreat to cover (unless you're shit at running backwards, like me). The shotgun spawns at the best sniping spot, and vice versa, so you have to run the gauntlet from one side to the other - teamwork required. Of course the sniper rifle is no good if the other team takes the low route to the base, and the shotgun is useless in the open, so rushing those weapons isn't all that important.

Last Resort - I haven't played this all that much. I don't know the sightlines well enough for slayer, and symmetrical CTF is stupid on the map, but it's obviously a classic for assault and one flag. Especially when you take into account the changes for both game types - quick plant for the bomb, then guard it, and rapid return of the flag - it makes for a tense combination of rushing to/from the base and defending yourself.

Narrows - another map that really shows off how much is changed by introducing equipment and man cannons. You can snipe from end to end, but you could be approached from the low bridge by players completely in cover. Or you could try jumping across the man cannon, but if the other side is ready for you they can grenade and BR you immediately. There are three distinct routes from end to end: top bridge is slow but pretty sniper-proof, man cannon is very quick but risky, and bottom bridge is a trade-off between the two - you can escape up to avoid a sniper/BR, or you can run the length a bit quicker than the top bridge.

Sandtrap - barely played, can't comment, except that the Elephant's horn sound is the best thing ever.

Snowbound - I was worried about shotgun camping from playing it in the beta, but I think that's been addressed. The cave at the bottom has too many entrances for a single shotgun holder to cope with - a co-ordinated approach from both sides will get you at worst a 1-for-1 and gain you the shotgun. Additionally, there are two maulers near the overshield - dual mauler + overshield beats a shotgun camper as well.

I initially thought that high base had the advantage, but low base has the Spartan Laser and the Active Camo, so it's really pretty even. It's a terrible map for free-for-all oddball, but otherwise there are lots of different and interesting tactics to use. (See Bubbly for a great example.)

The Pit - another great map with lots of potential for taking cover, around corners and dropping down a floor. The Pit is excellent due to the weapon distribution. You're unlikely to get the Active Camo and a sniper rifle or a short range weapon, so the invisible player will normally be more tactically deployed. There are battle rifles everywhere, but in the middle of the map the AR can be just as useful, as there's always a corner to hide around. The shotguns are at the corner of two long corridors, so good luck making use of it just after you pick it up.

Valhalla - this is my favourite map for objective games. 6v6 neutral bomb, one bomb, territories, or assault are all brilliant. Warthog, missile pod, Banshee, Spartan Laser, sniper, and battle rifle skirmishes. There's nothing more fun than driving a mongoose into a base, grabbing the flag, and taking it over the man cannon back to the middle. Again, everyone loves Valhalla, right?

So people who don't like the maps - why not?

Also, I'd be really interested to hear of map-specific strategy ideas people have, especially for the objective games. Anyone?

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Nice one, alisdair.

I'm going to say what I said in Discussion again: looking around maps in Forge is a good way to learn and appreciate them. It can help you to see new routes between areas. Being able to fly about gives a new perspective, and you can change into a Spartan to try out jumps and sightlines on the fly. It also makes it immediately clear where all the weapons spawn, as no one has a chance to move them before you get there.

I wasn't sure about Isolation until I looked around it in Forge and now I love it.

The shield doors turn off every so often as well, just to mix things up.

Is there any pattern to this, do we think? Is it really random or affected by gametype or team size.

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The Pit - another great map with lots of potential for taking cover, around corners and dropping down a floor. The Pit is excellent due to the weapon distribution. You're unlikely to get the Active Camo and a sniper rifle or a short range weapon, so the invisible player will normally be more tactically deployed. There are battle rifles everywhere, but in the middle of the map the AR can be just as useful, as there's always a corner to hide around. The shotguns are at the corner of two long corridors, so good luck making use of it just after you pick it up.

I agree with most of that, but I think The Pit comes up short in double team. It's perfect as a 4v4, but on 2 v 2, it's really hard to come back from behind becasue of the open air spawn points. You can easily go from 2 down to 6 down with a couple of spawn snipes. It feels set up for 4 on 4, but the two snipers ruin double team for me.

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Thanks Alisdair. Great post.

On Epitaph, the hammer is DEADLY, more so than any other map, due to all the balconies. Its easy to hang near the shield doors on the outside and just knock people off. Check my fileshare to see a movie of me doing just that in Lone Wolves (called "its hammer time")

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have you watched the "perfection" video which was on Bungie favorites?

It shows someone doing the perfect round (i.e. 25 kills 0 deaths) on Gaurdian. Basically he hung around the bit with the sprial ramp and used the hammer and shot gun to slaughter people at close range (to be fair he kills people using several weapons but this is his main tactic).

Something I learned from him was croutching when you see someone on your radar so you don't appear on theres, he would then twat them with the hammer as they rounded the corner. This is probably old news to a lot of you but I found this very useful and I have got a lot of kills online using this tactic.

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Where does the hammer spawn in Epitaph? A friend and I were playing Team Doubles on this map last night and we were getting butchered as the other team would always go for the hammer.

I like all the maps, I think, with the possible exception of Narrows. It's OK for general Slayer but most other game types just involve too much running around. Crazy King on Narrows is very dull indeed.

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Where does the hammer spawn in Epitaph?

Bottom centre, directly below the rockets. Next to some fusion cores and the BR/carbine, so be careful running for it at the start, especially because it's a long way to the nearest shield door.

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Where does the hammer spawn in Epitaph? A friend and I were playing Team Doubles on this map last night and we were getting butchered as the other team would always go for the hammer.

I like all the maps, I think, with the possible exception of Narrows. It's OK for general Slayer but most other game types just involve too much running around. Crazy King on Narrows is very dull indeed.

Narrows is superb for some gametypes - I really like Assualt and Shotty Snipers. I've not playeed crazy king on it, but in my experience of the gametype, if you're spending lots of time running from hill to hill, you're probably not doing it right. Back in the Roll Muck glory days, it was one of our most played games types, and everyone seemed to have a pretty specific role. It's always seemed more about anticipating hill changes than anything else, and tactically staying out of the hill.

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One thing that I'm sure you've all noticed is how the changes to the CTF rules have made long established tactics on Zanzibar/Last Resort worthless. You can't just sneak in and get the flag outside then jump/chuck it anymore. Now you have to play it closer to the old assault -properly clearing out the base before making your move and getaway. It was one of the true Halo 2 classics, but I think it's further improved this time around.

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It also makes it immediately clear where all the weapons spawn, as no one has a chance to move them before you get there.

I wasn't sure about Isolation until I looked around it in Forge and now I love it.

Everybody should look around Isolation just to see where the BRs all spawn (hint: almost everywhere) and then not complain of not having a chance when spawning without one.

How useful are the Mongoose/Ghost on it though? I confess I've never used them.

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I use the Mongoose sometimes to rush to a weapon or a different part of the map if I happen to spawn right by them and think I would be more useful elsewhere. I suspect the Ghost isn't that useful unless you play a team that's a bit rubbish at dealing with it.

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Generally I like most of the maps but I do have 3 main gripes:

The Pit: Spawning in bomb games is very wrong. If the attackers are in the defenders base then all the defenders spawn in the open corner. Making life very easy for spawn campers. I'm sure it'll be fixed at some point.

Epitaph: I think it's a good map but I really struggle with where I am due to the symetrical nature. Every time I spawn it takes me a couple of seconds to get to grips with where I am which usually results in death. it's far to hard to come back in 2v2 too. If you control the power weapons (shotty, rockets, hammer) it's very tough to be beat. Most 2v2 I have played on this has been a big victory either way, never once has it been close.

Narrows: This is the only map that I dislike. Team slayer is just a weapon rush and whoever gets there first pummels the opposition until they run out of ammo. If your team are pinned down in one base and they have control of the top middle bit it's very hard to get out of. I played a game the other night where it was spawn-die-spawn-die. We were about 50-25 down until we turned the tide and won 75-74. It 's a map that at the beginning you know exactely where everyone is going which makes things a bit dull. There's very little flexibilty in the approach. If you don't snipe the bridge and go for the rockets then you're gonna lose, simple as that.

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I use the Mongoose sometimes to rush to a weapon or a different part of the map if I happen to spawn right by them and think I would be more useful elsewhere. I suspect the Ghost isn't that useful unless you play a team that's a bit rubbish at dealing with it.

As all armed vehicles the ghost is always useful since it is the perfect distraction. You can't ignore it and anyone near will focus on it. Even if it is dealt with quickly, it will give your team valuable time to attack/retreat or get an objective.

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Epitaph: I think it's a good map but I really struggle with where I am due to the symetrical nature. Every time I spawn it takes me a couple of seconds to get to grips with where I am which usually results in death. it's far to hard to come back in 2v2 too. If you control the power weapons (shotty, rockets, hammer) it's very tough to be beat. Most 2v2 I have played on this has been a big victory either way, never once has it been close.

See, I think It's the best map for 2 v 2. It's all about the shield doors, multiple levels and, most importantly in my opinion, the spike grenades in terms of dealing with the short range weapons (and they obviously constantly respawn anyway, it's not at all uncommon to see a couple of active hammers). In terms of weapons, the rockets is only 4 shots anyway, and there's nowhere on the map to really camp. I think it's really well balanced.

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As all armed vehicles the ghost is always useful since it is the perfect distraction. You can't ignore it and anyone near will focus on it. Even if it is dealt with quickly, it will give your team valuable time to attack/retreat or get an objective.

A good point.

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How useful are the Mongoose/Ghost on it though? I confess I've never used them.

My "Splatter Spree" yesterday that completely turned a match around suggests the Ghost is very good indeed, at least 4 v 4. It spread out the other team too much for them to get a real grip on the match, especially as they had to be focused on killing me. The rest of my team with battle rifles soon started picking people out.

I think it is always worth going for - it is too much of a pain when the opposing team has it if nothing else as it ruins any chance of tactics if you have to spend your time dodging a ghost hurtling around.

The Brute Shot works really well for taking it out on Isolation though as once the Ghost is flipped you are vulnerable from almost every angle.

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It's a terrible map for free-for-all oddball

Why do you think that? I love it for a free-for-all Oddball! Once you have the skull, get behind one of those blast shields inside the base and a win is a breeze. You can dodge grenades that people throw at you, and if anyone tries to come around the shield you twat them with the skull. Another beautiful thing about it is that once people know where you are, they all flock there, and half the time you can stand there and watch through the shield whilst they melee each other to pieces, before dashing around the shield to finish any survivors.

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Yeah, that's exactly why I hate it. People in Lone Wolves objective games are either complete idiots, cheating, or achievement whoring, so if you don't get to a shield door with the ball first, you've lost.

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I agree with most of that, but I think The Pit comes up short in double team. It's perfect as a 4v4, but on 2 v 2, it's really hard to come back from behind becasue of the open air spawn points. You can easily go from 2 down to 6 down with a couple of spawn snipes. It feels set up for 4 on 4, but the two snipers ruin double team for me.

One shitty tactic Rev and I had to deal with in a 2v2 match was the other team just sitting in the sword spawn room with rockets. The only way to kill them without getting a sword in the face is to creep in, but you have to do it for ages since the motion tracker will cover all the way out to the ramps. It's difficult to bounce grenades in around the corner, and it's pure luck whether a shotgun will beat the sword lunge. In the end we waited for rockets to respawn and cleared them out but it was a very boring game.

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OK, as someone who never really got into Halo 2, I'm baffled by the love for the Battle Rifle.

It's like a peashooter! It takes at least five solid shots to get someone down and the chances of them staying in your sights for that long seem infinitesimally small. Meanwhile you're left standing still like an idiot.

I think I've had one kill with the Battle Rifle so far. Most of mine have been melee or Assault Rifle. I realise that this must mark me out as an utter noob but can someone please explain what I'm doing wrong?

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Yeah, that's exactly why I hate it. People in Lone Wolves objective games are either complete idiots, cheating, or achievement whoring, so if you don't get to a shield door with the ball first, you've lost.

I don't mean the doors, I mean the ones inside.

Which brings me on to a related point, which is what's all the 'who wants to get achievements' chat before games? Everyone always says they do (which serves as a cue for me to mute them) and then I don't see any evidence of anything other than a mass brawl. Do people just say it in the hope that someone will wander around trying to make achievement plans, and be an easy kill?

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OK, as someone who never really got into Halo 2, I'm baffled by the love for the Battle Rifle.

It's like a peashooter! It takes at least five solid shots to get someone down and the chances of them staying in your sights for that long seem infinitesimally small. Meanwhile you're left standing still like an idiot.

I think I've had one kill with the Battle Rifle so far. Most of mine have been melee or Assault Rifle. I realise that this must mark me out as an utter noob but can someone please explain what I'm doing wrong?

Make a weapons discussion thread! We need one anyway. :(

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Almost bang on 1/3 of all my kills have been with the BR, it's a great weapon. Though I have mainly been playing BTB I suppose.

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The BR is always my first choice, combined with a grenade it's lethal.

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I'd love to see a re-imagining of Side winder. It's always been my favourite map out of the ones in halo 1&2. 'Red blood, white snow' Brilliant.

I can't even begin to imagine how many hours of my life were racked up in that map, system link with some mates. Good times.

anyone else have sidewinder love?

Sorry if i'm de railing the topic a bit, as there was now a topic exclusively about maps, I thought it was more relevant here than in the main discussion.

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