Setting and Map STANDARDS - MUST READ FOR COMPETITVE GAMERS

TL:DR at bottom of post.

Hello Homeworld community, I am part of the first ever tournament in this game, and had to help decide which settings to use for it. I played a few dozen games, with all sorts of settings with one goal in mind: to try and discover which settings & maps make for the most exciting, diverse, and fun gameplay in order to find and establish a standard for serious players to adopt.

Being a long-time StarCraft player and e-sports watcher, I’ve based my decisions on a few principals I’ve gained from that community that make for fun, exciting, diverse gameplay, and allow good players to distinguish themselves from the pack. Gameplay should require attention splitting, decision making, expansions, map awareness, map presence, and revolve around several different points of interest on the map.

These recommendations are for players playing 1v1 on these maps. I didn’t review 8 player maps because I think they’re too big for serious competitive play. Here are my findings:


SETTINGS

Resource Multiplier: Low
This setting affects the amount of resources each asteroid has, while the amount harvested in each trip by a collector remains the same. This is crucial to assure that the early game isn’t just focused on expanding, but the mid and late game involve some expanding changing points of interest in the map at a good pace. Essentially this prevents players from having periods of low income every few minutes, instead they occur less often, and can be mitigated by skilled players. Honestly some times I wish there was a lower setting.

Unit Cap: Default
Setting this to Default rewards those players who have had the skill to build up and maintain a good economy, and maintains a good game pace. Anything higher than default allows players to spam a single type of ship that negates counters, and provides a large imbalance between the two types of races, as HW2 races can build multiple shipyards, and thus can build several BCs at a time, while HW1 races under any unit cap can only build 1 HC at a time (not to mention that HCs build faster than HCs).

Starting Resources: Medium (3,000)
This game is slow to begin with, by giving the players medium starting resources, they can establish their economy and start building fighting units earlier, decreasing that terrible downtime in the beginning of the game, while not just causing the player skip the early game.

Lock Teams: Yes
Irrelevant since these are 1v1 games. Set it to yes just so there are no mistakes or shenanigans.

Start Location: Random
This way players don’t know where everyone’s starting out, and have to explore the map. It’ll reward skilled players who have map presence and map awareness. Though some maps require specific fixed start locations to make it fair.

Bounties: Off / Low
This at off will allow aggressive strategies to be viable, without negating the decision to go for a more economic build. If it’s set to low, medium or high, we risk the player who went an aggressive build getting more resources than the player who went economic, which will swing the meta into everyone doing aggressive builds, we want to promote diversity, not pigeon hold everyone into the same build. I am not entirely convinced that setting this to low will have this effect, as it doesn’t produce too many resources for the attacking player, and will encourage more engagements instead of just defending up all game; but still there is probably enough motivation to not turtle all game, that this extra motivation is not needed.

Complete Research: No
Allows players to decide which tech trees to go down, and which upgrades to get allow for more decision making and give the game a nice ramping progression.

RU Injections: No
RU injections take away some of the importance of expanding and harassing resource lines. This not only lowers the skill cap, but makes for less interesting games, as it removes points of interest from the map.

Challenges: No
This has a snowball effect. Those who are doing well do better, and those who are falling behind, fall further behind. While it speeds up games, the games end up being less interesting as the battles become more one-sided. It also pigeonholes players into doing builds because the challenges told them so, not because it is the right decision to counter your opponent.

Relics: No / Yes
Relics really do a fantastic job creating a dynamic point of interest on the maps. The ability to capture it and gain resources helps more aggressive players round out their economy, while it rewards defensive players who get them first. Unfortunately they can spawn much closer to one player than another, creating some real imbalance giving a player an
advantage not based on his decisions, but based on a coin flip. The only saving grace of this is that it can be destroyed to allow it to spawn at another location later on in the match, but it takes a lot to destroy it so it can’t really be destroyed easily by the time the first one spawns.

Crates: No
I liked how this rewarded players who had map presence, but unfortunately like relics, the crates can again spawn closer to some players rather than others, giving them an advantage. Even if the other player has enough map
presence to get to it first, they often acquire ships only to loose them quickly because they can’t get them back to territories they control in time. There are already enough incentives for map control.

Carriers Only: No
Games are more interesting with the full tech tree available to everyone, and the increased production starting with a mothership and carrier.

Rush Protection: Off
There are no early game cheese that is overpowered. Not even on a high starting resource count.


MAPS

Here’s how to read the below information, and what I based it on.

Starting Locations:
Starting locations can be fair, where they provide each player the same opportunity to control the map, and access to the same amount of resources as any other player. In addition they give players enough distance away from each other that raced based cheeses aren’t viable.
Starting locations can be unfair where they give one player an advantage in map control, access to more resources than other players. Or they don’t’ give players enough distance allowing for raced-based cheese to be viable. The main word to think about when you are looking at starting locations is ‘even’.

Resource Locations:
First let’s bring everyone up to speed on the different kinds of resources. There are debris, which have a set value that they bring in, and are collected once and give their full value at the time of delivery. There are asteroids which have their value depleted over time. There are three kinds of asteroids: big, medium, and small. Big ones allow three harvesters at a time. Medium ones allow two harvesters at a time. Small ones allow one harvester at a time. Often, but not always, the bigger the asteroid the more RU value it has, though some maps have asteroids that are the same size but have different values.

Optimal harvester count (ohc) is double the amount of harvesters that can harvest at a given time. So for big asteroids it’s 6, medium is 4, and small is 2. Though this is by no means how many you need to have at a given asteroid clump, the larger the clump, the less you need to worry about this number. For example if you have a clump of 1 medium and two small, you will want 8 harvesters. But if you are at a clump of 4 big, 4 medium, and 6 small even though the OHC is 52, you do not want that many harvesters, because you need to consider that those resources will be depleted and there are more directly next to them. The purpose of these sized expansions are not so you can have an ungodly amount of money quickly, but so that you do not have to expand after you deplete some of those resources. Not to mention the max number of collectors you can have is 35 even at the highest cap.

Just FYI, based off of your starting ships which consists of 6 collectors, and two sets of drop off points you will earn the following delivered resources: HW2 races: apx 1000ru/min, HW1 races: apx 1400ru/min. This is because HW2 collectors deliver 200 a trip, and HW1 collectors deliver 500 a trip, so they spend less time ‘wasted’ in transit to and from the resources. This doesn’t hurt the competitive scene as the races are asymmetrically balanced (for example: It costs more for HW1 races to get their basics set up than it does for the HW2 races).

When looking at resource locations they fall into three categories: Start Locations(SL), resources close to each start locations; Main(M), a big clump of resources usually in the middle of the map equidistant from each start location; and Expansions(E), resources away from the start location, mirrored on each start location. Start Locations, and Main resources are inherently balanced long as their mirrored, but expansions are a bit more tricky. Good expansions need to be close enough to each player to get them without being instantly punished by the opposing player, but far enough away from each player as to not allow getting it to go uncontested. Expansions can be shared(sh), where it is equidistant from adjacent starting locations, or can be not shared (nsh), where they are mirrored and thus a set for each starting location.

A note about map size:
Map size isn’t too big of a factor for balance, it’s just the edges that matter. If it is too big then 1v1 games go too long due to being able to hide much of your fleet and not being able to get enough map presence to have good engagements, as well as increasing the down time in the beginning of the game. Still something can be said for big maps as it opens up for hyperspace play, and multiple ‘bases’. Too small of maps can stop players from getting to interesting techs, and ending too soon. But I’d like to restate, no matter the map size, long as it’s balanced in every other way it is pretty much fine. Different kinds of games based on map size are a good thing.


Hostilities End (2)
Rating: 10/10
Start Locations: Fair
Resource Locations:

  • SL: 1(b), 1(m), 3(s)
  • M: 2(m) top, 4(s) bottom
  • E: 2(m), 2(s) close on one side, 8(s) farther on opposite side - both in-between both players (sh)
    Comments: A great example of a map that isn’t symmetrical, but is balanced. The low number of expansions make for some battles of these territories, and the different resource values of each expansions and distances from the SLs add decision making for the players. Promotes vertical play.

Jadeth (2)
Rating: 10/10
Start Locations: Fair
Resource Locations:

  • SL: 1(m), 5(s)
  • M: 2(b), 2(s)
  • E: 5(s), 4(s) (nsh)
    Comments: A fair map, promotes turtleing though.

Kharam Wreck(2)
Rating: 10/10
Start Locations: Fair
Resource Locations:

  • SL: 2(m), 1(b)
  • M: 6(m)
  • E: 2(m), 1(b) – 1 on each side of the SL (sh)
    Comments: Another very well balanced map.

Shield (2)
Rating: 10/10
Start Locations: Fair
Resource Locations:

  • SL: 6(s)
  • M: n/a
  • E: 1(b), 1(m), 1(s) (nsh)
    Comments: Your expansion is close to your opponents so you will get some good harass play in this map.

Dante’s Requiem(3)
Rating: 10/10
Start Locations: Fair
Resource Locations:

  • SL:3(s), 5(m)
  • M: 5(s), 2(m)
  • E: 2(s), 1(m) – 1 on each side of the SL (nsh)
    Comments: One of the most balanced maps in the entire list. Highly recommended! Only wish that it was a bit more vertical.

Iron Curtain(4)
Rating: 7/10
Start Locations: Near Fair if Fixed at 2&4
Resource Locations: *refer to comments
Comments: Instead of clumps of high value asteroids, there are a ton of low value asteroids all over the map. Promotes a ton of multitasking as the players need to be sure his resource drop-off points are constantly on the move with the quickly depleting resource nodes. The spread out resources of this map promotes more mobile ships that can protect and harass resource collectors. If a player rushes the middle, there is a small clump of higher resources, but not as much as others. None of the positions are fair, some start closer to more asteroids than others, but 2 and 4 are the closest to fair. I would consider using medium resource multiplier for this map.

Kharam Wreck(4)
Rating: 10/10
Start Locations: Fair
Resource Locations:

  • SL: 2(m), 1(b)
  • M: 6(m)
  • E: 2(m), 1(b) – 1 on each side of the opposite SLs (sh)
    Comments: Only difference between this and it’s 2-player version is that you might get close SLs on this map.

Rings of Hraal(4)
Rating: 10/10
Start Locations: Fair
Resource Locations:

  • SL:1(m) x 2
  • M: n/a
  • E:10(m) in a ring around the SL & 16(m) in a ring around the map
    Comments: This map only has lone big asteroids. Your starting location has a big asteroid on each side of it. This means that you need one resource drop-off point per asteroid. There are two rings of expansions, and where they intersect you can get away with only one drop-off point, making them good choices to expand. This map makes good use of the three-dimension map space, encouraging encounters on all axises and planes of the map.

Subjugate Your Friends(4)
Rating: 8/10
Start Locations: Fair if Fixed at 1&2 or 3&4
Resource Locations:

  • SL:mass of asteroids
  • M: mass of high value asteroids
  • E: mass of asteroids at top and bottom of map
    Comments: Each starting location has a ton of asteroids, but not a ton of resources so you’ll be expanding often. The middle has a ton of resources so if you manage to hold onto it, you won’t have to deal with expanding as often. Each SL acts as an expansion, one on each side of your SL, and there is an expansion at the top and bottom near the middle of the map. While the map is large, everything is focused in the center, including starting locations, so the rest of the map often goes unused. The map is just a bit too congested, with each player’s resources being too close to the other player’s.

The Lost Falls(4)
Rating: 2/10
Start Locations: Unfair
Resource Locations: *refer to comments
Comments: There are lines of small asteroids that fork at different points around the map. There is a large clump of asteroids on one end of the map, but some start closer to those resources than others.

Radial Symmetry (5)
Rating: 6/10
Start Locations: Unfair
Resource Locations:

  • SL: (b), (m), (s)
  • M: (b), (m), (s)
  • E: varies
    Comments: This map while has a good layout, the starting resources are in an inner ring around the map, in front of everyone’s SL. This make for some interesting decision making in the game as players are harvesting closer and closer to their enemies. The center has a vast amount of resources, but is equidistant from all SLs so it provides a fair point of contention. However it. fails in one important area. The expansions are not even. There are 5 expansions, between the inner circle of starting resources, and the center clump. While their distance from each SL is fair, they have an uneven amount of resources. On a standard multiplier some have as little as 4,500 RU value, where some have as high as 9000. No two of them are the same, and some have several big asteroids, while others only have one. If the expansions were all the same then the start locations would be fair and I’d give this map a rating of 10/10.

Silumin Training Grounds (5)
Rating: 9/10
Start Locations:
Resource Locations:

  • SL: 1(m), 2(s)
  • M: 1(m), 2(s) x 5 sets, in a small ring at the top of the map)
  • E: 1(m), 2(s) x 10 sets (counting SL) in a large ring around the map)
    Comments: A good map, the only thing I’d like to see changed is have the upper ring of resources be more valuable, as right now there isn’t a lot of reasons to expand up there early as there is always a safer expansion on the lower ring that have the same value. Safer expansions should always be worth less than more dangerous ones.

Tree of Life (5)
Rating: 9/10
Start Locations: Fair if fixed at 3&4, 3&5, or 1&2
Resource Locations:

  • SL: 16(m), 5(s) OR 10(m), 12(s)
  • M: *see comments
  • E: *see comments
    Comments: There are 4 expansions in the middle of the map, each have the same RU value, but consist of different kinds of asteroids. Two of these expansions have an optimal harvester count (OHC) of 34, one 32, and one 36. I would like to see all of these even, since this gives a slight advantage to SLs that are closer to the lower OHC expansions. But the advantage is negligible so it’s passable. There are two kinds of starting locations, while both have the same RU count, some have a lower OHC. Three have a OHC of 64, while two have a OHC of 74. While this doesn’t cause too much of an imbalance, I would still like to see it even. But this combined with the fact that SLs 2 & 5 are too close to each other, make it only fair in certain SL combinations. As for the middle large resource node, this map has a unique spin on that map mechanic. There is a clump of resources in the top center of the map, with three larger clumps evenly spaced above it. This is mirrored on the bottom of the map. This causes the full extent of the 3d space of this map to be used, making for very interesting play. The map size and resource count does make for some very long 1v1 matches, so be prepared for that.

Crimson Bond (6)
Rating: /10
Start Locations:
Resource Locations:

  • SL: (b), (m), (s)
  • M:
  • E:
    Comments:

Fields of Plaz (6)
Rating: /10
Start Locations:
Resource Locations:

  • SL: (b), (m), (s)
  • M:
  • E:
    Comments:

Hyperspace Arena (6)
Rating: /10
Start Locations:
Resource Locations:

  • SL: (b), (m), (s)
  • M:
  • E:
    Comments:

Imposed Cosmos (6)
Rating: /10
Start Locations:
Resource Locations:

  • SL: (b), (m), (s)
  • M:
  • E:
    Comments:

Radial Symmetry (6)
Rating: /10
Start Locations:
Resource Locations:

  • SL: (b), (m), (s)
  • M:
  • E:
    Comments:

Sarum Dust Clouds (6)
Rating: /10
Start Locations:
Resource Locations:

  • SL: (b), (m), (s)
  • M:
  • E:
    Comments:

Talas Crossroads (6)
Rating: /10
Start Locations:
Resource Locations:

  • SL: (b), (m), (s)
  • M:
  • E:
    Comments:

Terah (6)
Rating: /10
Start Locations:
Resource Locations:

  • SL: (b), (m), (s)
  • M:
  • E:
    Comments:

TL:DR

SETTINGS
Resource Multiplier: Low
Unit Cap: Default
Starting Resources: Medium (3,000)
Lock Teams: Yes
Start Location: Random
Bounties: Off / Low
Complete Research : No
RU Injections: No
Challenges: No
Relics: No / Yes
Crates: No
Carriers Only: No
Rush Protection: Off

MAPS

Hostilities End (2) - 10/10
Jadeth (2) - 10/10
Kharam Wreck(2) - 10/10
Shield (2) - 10/10
Dante’s Requiem(3) - 10/10
Iron Curtain(4) - 7/10
Kharam Wreck(4) - 10/10
Rings of Hraal(4) - 10/10
Subjugate Your Friends(4) - 5/10
The Lost Falls(4) - 2/10
Radial Symmetry (5) - 6/10
Silumin Training Grounds (5) - 9/10
Tree of Life (5) - 9/10

3 Likes

Yeah. Personally I feel that the best way to illustrate skill is to play with lower levels of resources and with lower unit caps. That’s just my opinion.

4 Likes

I agree with purplfluffybunny.

As a HW2 multiplayer vet who put a quite few years into the game:

I firmly oppose higher unit caps. This almost always results in massive spam of capital ships which the capacity for strike craft such as laser corvettes and interceptors simply cannot keep up with.

Games should be set to standard capacity. Some adjustments may need to be made to the balance to ensure that the game plays appropriately such as.

Also I generally play with: 1000 starting rez and high resource multiplier. This is the bar standard for competitive games back in the day. All this other random stuff is just fluff.

Everything NO. Resources at 1000, high multiplier. The end.

3 Likes

OP what you describe there is pretty much game play for new players and would have never been accepted in a Ladder match in '99 or beyond. You never even named one 1vs1 map from what I can tell. But you lost me when you stated high unit caps and resource starts high. Not sure when or where you competed. Not trying to be an ass here but I’m not sure if that would be considered ‘competitve’ by anyone.

1 Like

Random start locations is not a “standard” specially in team games.

Seems like a lot of people disagree with higher unit caps, so let me delve more into this topic. Certainly skill can be displayed no matter the unit cap.

As we are using the above settings with our tournament, we will get some good intel on what is good and bad, but let me defend my decision to have the unit cap set to high. Keep in mind that these recommendation are to create games that are fun to play AND watch AND that display player skill:

nld_deisu brought up the concern that high unit caps, “almost always results in massive spam of capital ships which the capacity for strike craft such as laser corvettes and interceptors simply cannot keep up with.” So far in the tournament this has not been the case, players have been able to create interesting engagements during early parts of the game, instead of waiting 'till the late game for interesting engagements to occur. We’ve seen players been able to produce a ton of corvettes, more than normally allowed, that opened up the possibility for the player to attack with ships that normally wouldn’t have succeeded in smaller numbers. Different counters had to be explored and resulted in interesting engagements, instead of the same-old same old. Games only result in ‘massive spam of capital ships’ when there are frankly, bad players playing. Players who do not scout, or punish risky expansions, or just sit back build up and attack. Any player who is attempting to just spam capital ships, will have their asses handed to them in the early-mid game as the more talented player will hurt their economy line and, as was evident in one of our games, build up an effective army of smaller ships to win.

Purplfluffybunny likes “to play with lower levels of resources” and thusly he, like most responders to this thread, agree with the standard resource multiplier but the not high multiplier. I very much agree, and I recommend a standard multiplier, except on certain maps which are not balanced without a higher multiplier. Go ahead and play Iron Curtain with a low multiplier and see what happens.

Mr_Crowley expresses concern about not reviewing 1v1 maps, this is because we need commentators to join the match so we needed more than two slots. Maybe later I can review some 1v1 maps. I have not competed in the Homeworld scene, but am simply casting a tournament where we are trying to suss these things out.

Sond was concerned about random start locations, and I encourage you to read the op. There I talk about the benefits of having the random start locations to encourage scouting, but some maps require fixed locations for balance reasons. Mainly, good players will be rewarded for scouting, allowing them to distinguish themselves. And again, these are for 1v1 matches not team games.

1 Like

Just wanted to say that asymmetrical maps are underrated. As long as things are the same for each team things should be fine.

In regards to the “maps with larger groups of less valuable asteroids,” these are the Homeworld 1 maps. Homeworld 1 resourcing did not follow the standard model for RTS’s and instead your collection was mobile. You would have only 6 or so collectors (as you started with only 2) in early to mid-game, and these would be protected by fleets of strikecraft. It added a whole economy just to defending your harvesting, and was very unique. The HW2 engine does not work as well with these maps, and thus they should be taken with a grain of salt. But don’t discount them as viable maps just because your income source has to be mobile. If anything i think this only adds to the skillcap.

1 Like

Just to correct you here, my preference is for competitive and highly skilled games and in my opinion that occurs more often and more appropriately with a lower unit cap and scarce resources.

1 Like

First an only concern with make a games competitive set up should be the player. Spectating is not a game grower in small niche titles. Game play that is fun and bring competitors back for more is. This has been proven time and time again, making a game that is fun to watch at the cost of player skill and enjoyment is beyond foolish.

“Mr_Crowley expresses concern about not reviewing 1v1 maps, this is because we need commentators to join the match so we needed more than two slots. Maybe later I can review some 1v1 maps. I have not competed in the Homeworld scene, but am simply casting a tournament where we are trying to suss these things out.”

This is profoundly backwards, you don’t need commentators if you will have no audience. Until gearbox adds in a proper spectating feature forcing casting is dumb, and results in poor results for the players and community. Clearly demonstrated by league of legends prior to its spectating tools.

1 Like

completely agree, few starting res (1000) is the way to go. starting with 10000 res is quite noobish

As a long time (the whole time) HW player and former ladder leader I’m going to have to disagree with the high unit cap, bounties, and starting RU. I think we had it perfect in the HW1 and HW:C ladders.

Unit caps on
Starting RU med (3k)
Bounties off.

Everything else looks fine.

I see a lot of folks saying starting RU low. I can go with this. I didn’t ladder HW2 so I don’t know what you guys did. But the standard in HW and HWC was med. I would suggest med if for nothing else we have to build research ships now from the start, even though we are starting with a carrier and way more collectors. I don’t remember if all HW1 maps started with at least one research ship, but the two most popular (Sub and talas) started with 4 and 1 respectively.

./Rat

Edit: I forgot to mention: THANKS! for doing this. You clearly put a lot of time and thought into this. Especially analyzing the maps. I do appreciate it and I hope others do as well.

2 Likes

Starting resources should be low(1k) or med(3k). Starting with 10k completely throws away the challenges of early expands and economy management.

Bounties should be off, it causes a player winning a few engagements to snowball even harder and overall injects additional RU into the game. With medium starting RU, standard/high resource multiplier and relics there is enough resources to have a fast paced game without shifting the game too much in favour of late game units.

Be careful with high/huge unit caps. Ships get exponentially stronger per tier and it is a lot easier to overwhelm a player with capital ships than with swarms of strike craft.

The rest is good. Great to see that you are putting a lot of thought into this.

The pro standard was always;

3k RU Start
Standard RU Multiplier
Standard Unit Cap
Fixed Positions (unless playing FFA on FFA themed maps)

While I stopped ladder play a long time ago, I do prefer medium(3k) start, and high caps, all else is off or fine.

No injections, crates, relics etc.

The 3k keeps things moving along without a marked stoppage. 10k is just entirely too much.

High caps(not huge) makes for nice fleets without making comps groan out load. Allows more points of contact/defense instead of one or two task forces.

I am looking forward to new player-made maps in the “Hyperspace Area and larger” size range for my favored playing style of one long game per night. Hunting an experienced player’s last Carrier and lonely fleet teaches map presence like nothing else. :smile:

Here’s the settings that everyone has always used in skilled Homeworld 2 games:
Resource Multiplier: High
Unit Cap: Medium
Starting Resources: 3,000
Lock Teams: Yes
Start Location: Fixed
(and No to all the new HW Remastered settings)

For a 1v1 tournament on 2v2 maps, medium Resource Multiplier, and random start locations are fine. However Hw2 maps really need a high resource multiplier in normal games to avoid running out of resources.

Bounties will likely create a snowball effect in competitive games, and should probably be turned off.

Also while unlikely on small maps for a 1v1, high/ultra unit caps leads to mass Battlecruiser games rather than balanced fleets.

10k starting resources allows for some very fast rushes without giving the opponent time to counter, leading to build order roll of the dice victories.

Finally the 5 minute rush protection doesn’t do much, and is pretty funny.

I hope you let the players use some better game settings if both players want to do so.

Not sure what you mean. If things are the same for each team then it would be symmetrical. Both need the same access to the same amount of starting resources, expansions need to be the same distance from each player. That is same for each time, and I’m having trouble picturing an symmetrical map that makes that available. Could you give me an example? Maybe one of the maps if there are any that fit what your imaging.

I see, thanks for the input! I think we absolutely should not discount them, and I think some of these maps cause the rare exception of making the multiplier high instead of standard. But they definitely make for some interesting gameplay, as protecting and harassing harvesters becomes more important.

Well we DO have a tournament going on, and it is being live-streamed and the VODs are going to be published at the end of the tournament. While we very much would love to see a spectator mode, we make do with what we have. We scuttle our ships, and make sure to do so in a location that would leave resources behind in a location or locations that will not give either player an advantage (often in middle of map when the map has a middle resource node). This only serves to further awareness of this game.

I agree, and do not think that these recommendations make the game ‘fun to watch at the cost of player skill and enjoyment.’ Listening to the responses I’m beginning to consider that the bounties should be off completely, but as a lot of other of you have suggested having the starting resources set to medium I still disagree, and let me make my case while also addressing the concern of favoring spectating over gameplay. Right off the bat you’re gonna need a research ship or module costing you 750ru or 500ru (depending on your race), as well as fighter drive research or a fighter facility to build anything other than scouts costing you 100ru or 450ru. So just to have the ability to get out anything more interesting than a scout your spending anything from 850ru or 950ru. Now to get your economy going to place where you can consistently build ships and engage with the enemy you need collectors. The smallest starting location’s resources of all the maps I’ve reviews so far has an optimal harvester count of 8. Which means you need to build two additional harvesters at 600ru or 400ru each. So your spending 1,200ru or 800ru just to get out two additional harvesters, for a running total of 2,050ru or 1,750ru. Now consider that mining with only 8 harvesters is a very slow income and will not allow you do much. So you must expand, which is an additional 8 harvesters at 4,800ru or 3,200ru. Now we’re at 6,850ru or 4,950ru. And this is just to get your economy up and have the ability to build the cheapest thing aside from scouts. We haven’t even counted the cost of additional resource drop off points to increase economic efficiency (and remember some races need research before they can build any, which is even more RUs needed). So now you’re left with 3,150ru or 5,050ru to actually build any combat ships, research, facilities, modules, or sensors! That money goes fast doing any of those things! While 10,000ru may be too high, something closer to 8,000ru might be better, 3000ru isn’t enough and we must make do with the options available to us.

The above listed things are basic minimums that competitive players must do. It is boring for both the spectator and the player. It does not take away anything from the player, he is still having to make decisions on his builds, gain map awareness, and presence. If anything this speeds up the time in which the player must make these decisions, allowing a skilled player to distinguish himself. Players still get the opportunity to choose aggressive builds, or economic builds, are still out there attempting to get map awareness and control. The only difference in games that have the 3,000ru starting count, is that it takes longer for the players to get to do these things. There is no additional display of skill that is shown at this point, unless you think watching your RU counter while it takes forever to get high enough to do anything is a skill. The exact same displays of skill are occurring, but with 10,000ru starting count it just happens faster. Both the player and the spectator get to enjoy a more interesting and fun game to play and watch.

I have added 5 player maps, and will be reviewing the rest of the maps soon.

I am very interested in hearing some in-depth reasoning and some research about your guys’ opinions that the unit cap shouldn’t be set to Huge, or even High.