I'll be putting these reviews in new threads instead of putting it on some page in the Central Review Conglomerate. Talk about my reviews in general, what map should be reviewed next, and so forth in the CRC, and discuss the map itself or this particular review in this thread.
Letter Scores: Grades can be F, E, D, C, B, A, and S in order from worst to best. + and - modifiers indicate slightly better or slightly worse. An A is essentially a 5/5 while an F is similar to a 0/5, but the letter grades are purposefully meant to be ambiguous. I am aware that Europeans may be unfamiliar with letter-based grade systems, and I apologize for any confusion this may cause.
Replayability: Score ranges from 0 to 5 with + and - modifiers. It follows a logarithmic scale; the difference between 4 and 3 is much more than the difference between 2 and 1.
Mass Units Lag - [-]
No Unique Units - [- -]
Plain Terrain - [-]
Team Cooperation - [+]
Nexus Wars is currently in the #2 spot on the North American custom games list, behind Income Wars. It dominated for a very long time, especially during the beta. Of course, the beta version of Nexus Wars was rough around the edges, especially with the terrain, but I’m reviewing it as it is now.
Firstly, the terrain is very bland. There are three cliff levels (higher approaching the nexus), some water in the middle, randomly-generated shrubs and flowers (fucking flowers!) in the middle of the two paths of war, and a single terrain texture on each cliff level. This map could really use a visual tune-up, and is a big part of the reason why I gave this map a flavor score of D and a polish score of C. The other reasons why the polish score was docked that much include the common stalker blink animation (seriously, just replace it with a poof or flash, not a stalker!), the unprofessional names for some of the unit-producing structures (Sheeeeeep, for example, instead of Hydralisk or Hydralisk Den), some badly-written or badly-formatted or even completely unedited-from-the-original tooltips, and the fact that way too many units are spawned, causing massive amounts of lag and huge framerate drops. Either slow the spawn rate, make units die more quickly, or shorten the lanes to counteract this, whilst of course rebalancing the units to account for the changes.
Look at that wonderful quality of terrain. It’s like this throughout the entire map.
There really isn’t much else to the map other than the goal, the fact that the vanilla StarCraft II units are the only ones that can be made, and a triad of hero units (directly from the campaign). Combined with the bad terrain, the flavor score takes a huge hit. The lack of unique units is a really low point for Nexus Wars, since I feel that having unique units, or at least new abilities or behaviors, or anything beyond the default StarCraft II unit set would be a great improvement for this map. The content score, therefore, takes a significant hit because there is essentially nothing unique about Nexus Wars.
Nexus Wars, however, does manage to get the gameplay dynamics done correctly. Partly because StarCraft II itself is balanced, this map offers a large amount of strategies and situations while keeping the game interesting and suspenseful. The flow naturally ebbs back and forth as the players counter each other, or fire nukes, or unleash a deadly strategy, and eventually the better team wins the game. Income spices up the dynamics by adding another layer of strategy on top of the unit combat (the players do not command the units; they all essentially attack-move toward the enemy nexus). Truthfully, the game can be exciting to play and is usually an entertaining, if not fairly bland and unoriginal, experience.
A genuinely heart-pumping experience: imminent defeat.
Unlike other games of its type, Nexus Wars generally does not have too much of a problem with an unstoppable buildup of ranged units (melee units are actually useful), which is a nice bonus. On the other hand, with the inevitable huge mass of units towards the latter half of the game, it becomes very difficult to change strategies and counter the opponent, especially since there are so many damn units and there is no way to micro what you have.
It’s nice that Nexus Wars brings people together; the team that works together is the team that will win the game, for the most part, since most strategies require more resources than any individual player will have. Cooperation is essential for higher-level play, so that’s a good attribute for the map.
This is what happens when your team fails to cooperate.
In general, Nexus Wars needs improvement, especially with its variety and polish. The gameplay dynamics are pretty good, though there are the occasional problems and the ever-present blandness. It turns out that this map falls right in the middle of the Bronze rank, meaning it is a decent map that could become Silver or even Gold if it was given some serious revision.
Bronze: This map is decent, but rough around the edges or somehow lacking.
The "D" on flavor is uncalled for. Your judging the flavor of the game based on what? Id say the flavor of the game is exactly what it is. You build spawners and watch your units fight. There is no Micro/Marco. Just unit spawners, that is the flavor of the map. Id have to give it a B- at least on flavor.
Well id have to say that the units in Nexus Wars have been modified. And some have custom abilities.
Not to mention they just added water to the map which is a big upgrade to the blandness you were speaking of.
Also I love the merc center being used for all your upgrades.
Its fun just to wait and see how your pile of units will handle thier pile of units and then pray that you can stop thier wave with out nuke(saving your nukes longer then the other team is how you win).
Flavor is a subjective score based on a set of sub-criteria that I can pretty much choose at will. A map with just the basic SC2 units will probably not get a flavor score above C. That being said, even if the score was a B, the overall rating would remain the same because Flavor, being a very subjective score, counts the least toward the final score out of all of the criteria.
Yes, I did notice the terrain improvement from the beta. However, improving on utter crap is not all that difficult, and reproducing even Nexus Wars' current terrain would take me (or anyone else, really) a matter of minutes.
I agree wholeheartedly about the mass units lag. Mapmakers need to understand SC2 != WC3 (or SC1). You can't just throw massive and massive amounts of units on to the screen and expect your map to be playable. Especially with the whole "... is slowing down the game" where a single person lagging causes everyone to lag.
On the other hand, I disagree with one of the points made in your review. I don't find much of a complaint with the terrain; why add a bunch of random ass doodads that have zero gameplay effect or needlessly alter the ground textures? Knowing what the game type is, I didn't give the terrain a second look. It didn't bother me in the slightest. With that said, the inspiration for Nexus Wars (Castle Wars) had an ability to switch terrain textures, which I think would be a nice improvement for the more aesthetic minded.
Lastly, I concur about the need for unique units. The sheer variety of races & units in Castle Fight is what made it such fun to play.
I want to discuss strategy, I did not see a specific forum about strategy just reviews so I am just going to add to this going nexus wars thread.
I've played a bunch of nexus wars games trying to figure out the best strategy and it seems there are two strategies in units that work very well against pretty much any other unit. Ghosts or Hydralisks kill pretty much anything in massive quantities and they are fairly cheap, and only cost two units each. Ghosts are great because each one starts out being able to use snipe twice which is great against any unit and their range is superb. Hydras are good when upgraded range, damage, and armor.
Using the ghosts or the hydras I win probably 70% of the time even when I am stuck with a bad team and have to help out both sides. It is a weird game when one person can basically make it or break it for you.
There is a third strategy that I started using that nets me a win about 90% of the time, I wouldn't call it a bug or anything its just part of the game mechanisms. Although I have won using the other two methods with only me on a side and two on the other a handful of times, this third strategy you can 2v1 most of the time. Every time I do it without fog of war on the other team freaks out and wants to know what I am doing. I usually say a joke about it then tell them to watch the replay because that is much easier then explaining in little chat boxes that disappear.
For this strategy you basically start off massing marines and while you are doing that you are building in such a way to wall in your buildings. I always resync my marines every time I build a new barracks which is an important part of any strategy. To resync you select all your baracks wait until the main group of marines comes out then hold escape until no more units are in the queue. This will cause them all to be built at the same time. You need to make sure you set your rally point inside your blocked off barracks so the units get stuck inside. Setting your rally point will cause you to choose which side they come out of as long as it is not blocked. You also need to build at least one sentry inside your blocked off area and then start building what ever else you want inside. You then wait until they get close to your base and salvage one of the barracks and let out all your units at once. Then you reblock off the area another barracks. You can also grow your area by blocking off a bigger section and let the units build up faster.
I am going to post a replay of me 2v1 on the top winning the game with this strategy. Any questions please ask and please talk about what kinds of strategy you use and how well they work.
I agree w/ Nigle.... Similar to changing the way carriers work (interceptors are now not a targetable unit; therefor they don't soak up fire). For that matter, another strat is 3/1. Only works w/ fog on though. You put 3 teammates on one side and one on the other... >.> It is easy enough to defend against the two players in your lane by yourself w/ some help from your teammates scvs. ;)
There are a couple keys for any strat in NW: Syncing and NOT NUKING! Most early assaults can be fought off w/ scv's or simply by repairing your buildings during the assault while still building. Alternatively (and something I'm not 100% a fan of; but it beats nuking) is a cannon. Team work is probably the top though; bc if all your teammates double nuke, are retarded, etc. you may be doomed anyway. :P
As far as builds here are some of my favs:
Zergling, Roach, 6x Hydras (w/ range increase) THEN Zealot, Stalker, Phoenix, nothing but carriers from there. ;) For that build you could just as easily go with 10 sentries THEN Zealot, Stalker, etc.... A lot of times you won't even need that much though. I've been getting away with 3x sentry, zealot, immortal, colossus, stalker, nothing but carriers. ;)
Another fav of mine is Sentry, Marine, Hellion, Thor, Medivac (build wherever the zerg player or infantry teammate is at if you have one), Battlecruiser, Dingle, Dingle, and Battlecruisers from there... you can pepper in Ravens for fun or if needed (against mass banshees, lurkers, etc for instance).
Thinks I HATE: Banelings... not bc they're OP, but bc teammates will build tons of them and they're worthless mid to late game.
Just wanted to say that the third method and method I used in my replay above no longer works in the new version. This was called the cage method I guess because you caged your mobs in and released them all at once. If your units are blocked by a building they are moved around it automatically now. Pretty neat that they implemented that. I just played a game and found out when I used the method, I still won though :D
This is a remake of the Warcraft 3 Castle Fight Map, and sincerily, the w3 one is hundreds time better than this one.
First of all, there is tooo much units usable. Their is no points on using all of them. Player should pick up a race at the beginning, it would enhance the map playability. A second, the terrian sucks reallly really hard. It's like a whole plain.
For having played it several time, I give this map a 4/10.
I've played it only because i wanted to try something else than the Diamond league match-up :)
I agree with much of what the review said. However, I think this map belongs to a different class of map than most other customs. It trains players in which units counter which by seeing them endlessly charge at each other, thus it could be grouped with melee training maps.
That said, neither the lack of original units nor the bland terrain bothers me. Science vessels and firebats are nice additions but weaken the ties to melee. It needs to be either a melee training game or a full custom. If it were to go the full custom route, it would need a lot of work.
• The other nexus is so far away that a victory at one player's base will result in a snowball effect as that group of units is continually augmented and rampages through the enemy force. Significantly shortening the distance between the two bases would help that as well as the seizure inducing framerates. Unfortunately, it would also make standoffs much more frequent and require other gameplay additions to compensate.
• Upgrades and Income-- Income needs to be modified that it would increase faster early and less later. As it is now, past 130 income, the income increases very very quickly whereas sub-70 income is agonizingly slow. 10-20 income means that it takes 75-200 seconds to accumulate enough to buy a lowly zealot.
Players typically mass units until they hit the supply cap before even touching upgrades. +1 damage to three units just isn't significant until it becomes +1 damage to 20 units or the supply cap is reached, beggaring money's worth. Considering that upgrades don't increase income and require (for many) an extra building, they aren't used until endgame when the income is sufficient to pretty much buy at will. The upgrade system needs to be changed too.
I haven't seen the mass marine strat, but it sounds fun.
I do best building pretty much anything until I have enough income to build a cannon in a few turns. Then I banpei while the cannon holds them off until I either have enough income/savings to quickly switch to a massed unit they can't counter or put a hero out.
Banelings are good because they don't give kills or minerals to the other team.
Another one I've had a lot of success with is stopping unit production. If the other team nukes my mass of units, their units will mass and accumulate free minerals and reinforcements the whole walk to my base, forcing a nuke. Stopping all unit production at that point means that when they hit my chelupa, they'll only have 1-2 waves since not slowing to kill my units also means not waiting for reinforcements.
I disagree. Sc2 lags the same if not less then wc3 does to me currently. Sc2 engine is just that much better. Btw, saying that there is mass lag and then saying that you want better terrain is contradicting.
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I'm very sweet, very colorful, very delicious. What am I? I am pooped by unicorns. Skittles is the name, you eat me daily (or should).
For some reason this map makes me lag like hell...
Even when there are like 5 units on the map >.>
I usually don't lag but seriously, wtf....
Other than that, I don't like it, it's too easy, I bet that's why people play it. It has no real strategy you can use. You can just mass any unit and you win immediatly.... You can easily win if you mass Reapers/Roaches or Banelings. :/
The heroes are useless... imo..
I give it a 4 because when you don't feel like thinking you can play this map...
i used to be a fan of this map until the exploiters got a hold of it.
map maker needs to fix the problems with it.
infestor's spawnlings cannot be targeted or attacked. so if you mass them, even if the infestor dies you have a million untouchable spawnlings.
voids need to have their dps adjusted, its too high. to many idiots massing them.
there's also a dropped bug going on as of recently with it.
of course there's the lag issue, but thats the least of the concerns.
also if a person leaves right at the start or gets dropped, it initially destroys any type of income balance. Income shouldn't be given to the others, the supply is fine. but dumping income on people for a leaver exponentially increases that teams income generation.
carriers should be taken out for some other protoss air. they cause too much lag and are the only multi air mobs in the game.
the protoss need to have adjustments in air period. they're the only race in the map capable of attacking ground and air with most if not all of their air units.