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Mwo Maps – Tactical View

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#61 luxebo

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 11:10 PM

Maybe write on the turrets and placement and how they may affect the game?

#62 Not A Real RAbbi

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 06:38 PM

I'm loving the maps, and especially the extra work you've put in to detailing the various features more as they appear form the pilot's perspective (3PV, anyway). This is an EXCELLENT effort!

One thing: IF there is some known method to the madness of it, could we get an explanation of which lance (A, B, or C) drops into which set of positions on each map? If it's just random, then so be it. I honestly don't know. But, if it is set which lance goes where at drop, that would be good to know, in order to best organize the company's assets in accordance with the drop commander's intent.

Again, EXCELLENT effort!

#63 Kamikaze Viking

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 08:49 PM

Great reading, one of my guys just found this today.
Time to implement some of those nice tactical ideas!

Wow I'd never realised that the structure in crimson straight was massive vehicle lifts. I suppose it fits with a train loading yard. Imagine if they periodically went up and down that would rock!! Lifting a pair of assaults to the top, while another comes down and crushes a Hunchback.



And yeah I'd agree that adding some details about turrets in assault mode is a good idea.

#64 Slick66

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 01:19 PM

Man, I needed this! Thanks for the effort.

#65 Chive On

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 11:53 AM

Incredible work, well done!

#66 Kiiyor

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 05:52 AM

How the crap have I not seen this before??? Awesome work!

#67 t Khrist

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 04:53 PM

This is fantastic, and cannot be buried. Bump. I appreciate and respect the time the OP put into this guide. Thank you.

#68 luxebo

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 07:04 PM

627, any chance of an update with turrets and the two new maps + strats (Mining Collective, Viridian Bog?)

#69 mithril coyote

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 08:15 PM

View Postluxebo, on 19 November 2014 - 07:04 PM, said:

627, any chance of an update with turrets and the two new maps + strats (Mining Collective, Viridian Bog?)



this would be awesome.

on Viridian Bog it might be a good idea to address some of the differences in tactics the multiple levels and high amounts of concealment create. (like how fast, preferabbly jumping, scouts are important to finding the enemy and keeping track of them during battle, or how you need to get used to sniping from the tops of the rock platforms, and using the red boxes of targeted units to aim through the tree's at otherwise invisible mechs)

#70 627

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Posted 23 November 2014 - 01:59 PM

There will be an update ;)

As soon as I find some spare time for it, at the moment I'm happy when I can play some rounds, not much free time these days. But it is on my list :D

#71 Vandul

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 03:45 AM

This work really should be put in front of the new players that are coming to our game.

#72 Greenjulius

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 07:33 AM

Very helpful maps, thank you 627. Any chance of a CW map update? :D

Edit: Why isn't this thread pinned?

Edited by Greenjulius, 26 January 2015 - 07:34 AM.


#73 AdamBaines

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 09:37 AM

View Post627, on 23 November 2014 - 01:59 PM, said:

There will be an update ;) As soon as I find some spare time for it, at the moment I'm happy when I can play some rounds, not much free time these days. But it is on my list :D


I need some serious help with Veridian Bog. I still have no clue on that map. :-)

#74 627

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 11:02 AM

View PostGreenjulius, on 26 January 2015 - 07:33 AM, said:

Very helpful maps, thank you 627. Any chance of a CW map update? :D

Edit: Why isn't this thread pinned?

It was, Niko did that long ago.

But then there was the big forum change (you know when we got general discussion back) and with that the sticky was lost.

But feel free to poke mods or PGI stuff to sticky it again :D

#75 627

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 02:52 AM

The Mining Collective

Posted Image

Here we go again! This time we have a pretty straight forward map.

Roughly the size of Frozen City this map is all about flanking with jumpjets. It is not quite an Arena map but it comes close. Most outstanding feature is the lighting, it is a night map but so colorful that you don’t need nightvision and if you really want to see some nice details, just look up to the asteroid.
For gameplay, this map has no special feature, so no low/high heat, no hidden caves, no real chokepoints. And no long ways to move. So let’s start with where you can go here.

Hotspots:

Sattelite Dish (E3)
This is more a navigation point than Hotspot – this map is nearly a mirror, but only nearly. And many people have problems if they are on the left or right side here. If you are unsure, look for that big dish, you can see it from everywhere. Make this north star and you won’t get lost.

Grand Central Station (C3/D3)
This is the upper plateau where Theta sits in conquest. Like most of MWO’s maps this is the central fighting place. Conveniently shielded with some buildings, this is a good place to hold (and here comes the big IF), if you are starting on the right side of the map.
That is because the left side of that plateau has only some peek holes while the right side is widely open and vulnerable.

Infields (D3/D4)
These are right beside the central plateau and are surrounded by higher, walkable ground. That means if you fight something out here, you’ll get shot from the sides almost always. The left infield is a bit better to fight in because you’ll have more cover from those spherical tanks.
Those tanks are not high enough to cover from LRMs, though. So if you fight here, you are locked by someone. Prepare to get out of these fields as soon as you can.

Helipad Tower (E4)
This is the counterpart to the satellite dish on the right side of the map. If the left team pushes around they often fight the right team here. Bad choice, to be true because the right team has higher ground and can retreat pretty easily while the left team, once behind the tower has no chance to escape but pushing forward.

Turrets(Orange spots)
Turrets aren’t that hard on this map, only the two close to each other at (D5) are a threat when you come out of the tunnel there. The rest is pretty easy to kill, as long as you don’t get to close.

Routes:
Posted Image

I didn’t draw flanking routes this time because I’d have to paint the whole map yellow then.

Direct route (green)
What to say… move to center, kill everyone until they are dead. This is the fastest way to victory decide the game be it good or bad. If you can hold the center, you have a tactical advantage. On the other side, you are a sitting duck. If you get stuck because of heavy resistance, you can always find cover in the multiple streets left and right, so no real downside in taking this way.
What works fine are high mounted guns that can shoot over the ramps to the central plateau. Always look for lights who shoot from the sides.

Long route (red)
This way takes more time but in the end it is the same as the green one. Move, shoot, cover. Simple is not bad in this case.

The outer ways (blue)
These lines shall only imply where you have to go because there are many ways here. These are mostly used in conquest for the upper half. In the lower half, I’d say 30-50% of non conquest matches are decided here, between Sigma and Epsilon. You find plenty of cover against LRM, the north has high buildings, the south has this huge crane that catches lots of salvos.
Another note for the northern cap points, here you are out of LRM range most of the time because the big boats usually go around the center. This is light mech territory.

Flanking routes:
Those are everywhere! Unless you have no jumpjets…
Here you are even more screwed without them than on canyon networks. But if you have some, you can take the high ground with good cover to peek around. For example the building north from theta. You can jump up there and shoot right in the middle and still have huge domes for cover left and right.

Detailed Viewpoints:
Posted Image
We’re on top of the Satellite Dish here looking north, the white spots are the Assault Bases. I marked the central plateau purple. If you look close there you can see how open it is from right but not on the left side. That makes a huge difference. If the left team pushes the plateau and tries to peek to the right infield, they have to expose themselves way more than on the other side.
I marked some yellow spots which are kinda hard to see behind those domes in the middle. Those are excellent positions to get some shots of but don’t stay there for long.


Posted Image
This is an interesting shot because of something I haven’t mention yet: Tunnels. There are 3 or 4 relatively short tunnels (dark blue on the map above). While not exactly useful beside getting from start to end, they provide a roof against LRMs.
I had a match where a raven and Kintaro narc’ed me, all the time and I had a constant stream of incoming LRMs.
Not a single one hit me in the tunnel. Couldn’t help my team so they did something but in the end I got 5 kills and not a single assist because all where dead by the time the LRM boat ran dry. So if there’s heavy rain, wait here.

Posted Image
On top of the Heli tower looking north, at the far left you can see the satellite Dish. This place seems to attract more fights than usual, left team comes from the lower way, right team comes up a ramp and has the higher ground.
While the left team can peek around the containers safely, they are trapped if they advance. The right team has the same problem if they leave there ramp with that single cover thingy. By the way that doesn’t give full cover, you can always shoot the feet of a mech there.

#76 627

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 02:59 AM

Alpine Peaks

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Alpine is one of the larger maps we have and one of the most imbalanced ones. If you get the starting Position on the top left (F11/F12), chances are good that you’ll win.
This map has some Hotspots were you usually find a fight, I’ll go from top to bottom.

Hotspots:

Radio Tower Hill
At (F8/F9) there’s a big radio tower from where you can see pretty far, and that can be reached very fast from the north position. This is good high ground for snipers, but there’s not much cover besides the tower itself. It comes down to ridge humping and jump sniping. If one side manages to flank around, this can end in a bloody brawl.

Death Valley
It’s the whole area south of the radio tower (G7/G8/H7/H8) and the name pretty much sums it up. Go here and you’ll die to snipers or LRMs. There can be nice fights if both teams rush but most of the time you don’t want to get cought there.

Big Mountain
By mountain I mean the whole area around (H9). Getting up there from north without Jumpjets is tricky. Being up there can be tricky to. You have a superior long range position to both sides but you won’t hit anything at the bottom of the mountain because you can’t aim that low (or see anything with that cockpit infront of you).


Routes:
I’ll differentiate between main routes and flanking routes – main routes should be clear, flanking or alternate routes are preferably for light/fast mechs.

Posted Image
(Using leet paint skillz I show0r you some r0utez)



Main:
North route (Red)
This seems to be the default route for just everyone. In 9/10 matches you’ll see everyone slowly stomping to the radio tower. How to make the best of it?
From the north start, you obviously need to take that hill fast. But more important, you must not stop there and hunker down behind the hill. You’ll be overrun from the corner at (F7) and flanked from south over the hill.
Getting out there is not easy - if you’re fast, you could try to get to (F6) but for that you have to pass a wide gap with no cover. Retreating to a better position at (F10) is an option, but in most of the cases you need to rush down (where Epsilon is in conquest) and fight it out between the ridges.
From the south, you need to stay in cover most of the time until you’re directly at the radio tower hill. Peeking out of cover here will bring you some free gauss balls for your mech, express delivery. You can push over the hill if the enemy is hiding but if he’s not, don’t try a sniper duel – you’ll lose it. This is a very tricky position, waitin’ will get you killed, stompin around will get you killed, pushing will get you killed. This is the time to open com and try a push with the whole team.


Direct route (Green)
Imho the worst route to take. Be fast, stay low behind the ridges and get killed from long range. There’s really no reason to lead your main force here, especially not from south.

South route (Blue)
This is the Cap Race route. If there’re no scouts and you take this route, you’ll find yourself capped out without ever seeing the enemy. From south this is still a good option for fast mechs. There is a lot of cover and you can advance up to the north base without being shot. That choke point at (H10/H11) is a problem because you’ll get shots from the mountain but you can flank on the right and land directly on the cap. This route seems to be faster than the north route in terms of capping runs.
Going this route often leads to a fight in the north base, which you don’t want if you don’t hold the mountain.

Flank routes (Yellow)
Flanking routes of course are not that predictable and often based on situation. Basic rule for flanking would be, better take a longer route to get in the back instead of flanking from the side.

Top flanking route: This is the way to go for lights from north base to south base early in the match. You can get there unseen if you manage to get past the hill at (F6). With long range Lasers, you can poke those slow Assaults on the red route early and in most cases one or two will turn around and chase you (which is good for the team… not so good for you, though).

The same goes for the bottom flank route if you ever find some mechs here. In conquest, this is the “light” route between Kappa and Theta, so taking a Streak ‘mech or two here can be a good way to get some kills.
Those short yellow routes in the middle are shortcuts for jumpy mechs, this will save you some seconds to get a flanking position for blue and green route.

Conquest additions:
This map is very similar in conquest, with the fact that you’ll often find light mechs on the south route. Starting from south, you want one or two fast (like, really fast) mechs take theta because that point is way of the map and can be a pain in the central leg actuator to take it back.

Detailed Viewpoints:
Posted Image
This is a view just above the south base.
I marked the radio tower and Epsilon base. As you can see, you can clearly see if anything runs for the top flanking route. On the other side, there's nearly no hidden way to pass the death valley.


Posted Image
This is just behind the radio tower. You normally don't stand up there, but it's not out of bounds, yet. That purple area... don't stay there! break out or retreat, i've seen lots of matches where you get killed because you can't climb the hill and get flanked from everywhere.
As long as the south team is on it's way you can snipe them but if they get close, it's time to push. Watch the hill on the right, south team can take that flank route, too.


Posted Image
Another shot from the big mountain.
As you can see, if you make it over the death valley, you can in fact flank the south team very well and you have more or less high ground. You have to make it, though.


Alpine Peaks [Post December 2013 Update]

So here we go with the Alpine Update.
Assault mode is basically the same, spawn points are a bit wider set but that’s all. If anything, gameplay is a bit more east-west but this mode had the smallest change.
That will lead us to conquest which plays out a lot different than before. Here it is:

Posted Image


From east-west assault to north-south conquest.
First speciality here is you start without a capped “base” so you have to get all 5 points, not just 3-4.
On this large map, this can be crucial. You have to get those points early or you’ll lose with 11 kills to that lone spider which is capping you out.
Conquest routes:
It’s pretty obvious what the map designers tried here – lance combat. Every lance has 1-3 dedicated cap points to fight for. Smaller fights without the forming of a big mech blob.
The problem is: if you do that, you’ll die. In theory this is a good way to fight simultaneously over all points but in reality there’s at least someone on one team who just says “regroup” – this will result in at least two lances fighting together. Here you mostly have the south and south east lance uniting and going straight to gamma. If you come from north with only 4 man you’ll have a bad time. Scouting prevents this but don’t come with steiner scouts.
What you will mostly see is marked in yellow – everyone will take a way to the center points. Most dangerous are those at (H8/H9) as these routes are on high ground and will snipe you to death.
By the way, the south team can reach nearly every point faster; north team on the other hand has the higher ground and better cover.

Skirmish mode:
Skirmish has the same spawns as conquest on Alpine. Basically you have the same routes. One thing to mention is what we call “Sightseeing” – nearly all lances reunite and walk behind those fat Assault mechs who don’t know where to go so they go forward.
Anyone still knows Galaxy Quest?
Posted Image

Like that :D

What happens know is a base swap without bases as both teams draw circles. On the other maps this is not that much of a problem but on alpine you give up the better position end likely end up in death valley or worse.

Edited by 627, 28 January 2015 - 03:01 AM.


#77 627

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 03:08 AM

Canyon Network

Posted Image

Canyon could also be named Jump Network – you can really benefit from jets here and on the other side, lack of JJs can be a pain.
Looking at the grid, this map obviously is smaller than alpine, but that doesn’t mean you won’t need to run awhile around before shooting something.
This map is pretty balanced as it’s nearly symmetrical and don’t favors one team more than the other.

Hotspots:
This map has a central hill (Theta in conquest) between (C3/C4) and next to it two large ramps, where you can always find a fight.
Near Kappa in conquest there’s another hill at (C4/C5) where you’ll always find a jagermech or atlas playing peek-a-boo.

Routes:
As there’s no good indication for left/right or West/East I’ll call the routes after the Conquest points.
Posted Image

Epsilon Route (Red)
The least used route. Despite being faster from the north you’ll often find the fight in that shallow water where epsilon is. Like every route, you want to take the highest ground you can find without being on top of the ridges, when you have no jumpjets. In Assault this route is for cap race as you rarely find “heavyweight” here. The southern part is very narrow and without much cover. You will often get stuck here on little rocks and there’re no ramps to get out.

Theta route (green)
Main suicide route. Stepping over one of the big ramps usually means spectator mode in assault. Key here is get as fast as you can to Theta in conquest and get the hell out. In Assault, there really is no need to take that hill. It will get conquered regulary, though, so take a shot if you can.
In late game, this changes as these are the fastest ways to get on high ground. But stay cautious.

Kappa route (blue)
Here you find always a fight, everytime. From south you can take that hotspot hill at kappa faster with the big guys and stay in cover all the time. Opposite to that you often see light mechs from both sides brawling there before big mechs arrive. Scouting is a must here as going around that corner can be a fast way to end the match for you.
Pro tip: If every enemy look at you, you didn’t flank ‘em.
Fighting here tends to favor the south team because of better cover.

Flanking:
Flanking on canyon means jumping over the ridge and nothing more. There are some shortcuts between the canyons but that’s not really a flanking move. If you fight on top in the open, always have an eye on the southern part of the kappa route, there are good sniping positions with stalkers and jagermechs all over.

Capping or cap-splitting (splitting the enemy to defend their base and still fighting your team) works well here because heavy mechs have a harsh time to get from one end to the other and you rarely encounter a big mech ball but many smaller fights with 2-3 mechs. Always be aware of the ramps and bridges. It is really painful for a slow mech to go all around a ridge if the jumpy only hops 10m high and is gone.

Oh, and LRM won’t work very well here, in fact you can shoot 1000 missiles and do 50 damage or something, just too much cover.

Detailed Viewpoints:
Posted Image
This is a shot if you go to Kappa Hill from the north base. Green route would be safe (but blind), yellow not so safe and orange would be very dangerous. All those red markings are potential sniper positions (take care of those far points too). If you step out here early in the game, you’ll get shot from everywhere.


Posted Image
These are the central ramps and plateaus around Theta in the middle of the map. Avoid these early in the game if you can. The biggest problem is, if you’re down there, there’s nearly no way out other than the far end and there you’ll be in the open with the only cover being even farther away from your team.
And don’t think you can hide in the middle. There are many angles to shoot you and stepping up there is not always that easy, often you’ll stuck on little rocks. This will cost you some seconds, and these seconds are your life (or, aren’t anymore). Don’t underestimate the killing power of some high alphas, I’ve seen slow Assaults going down there as fast as speedy cicadas, this is a death trap in the beginning.
If the first 6-8 mechs are killed and everyone engages in a big brawl, those normally take place on these plateaus. Only go in there if you have to, or if you can stand the rest. But be aware, not everyone abandons his favorite sniper position for a quick kill in the middle.

Posted Image
This picture is from the top of Theta Hill. Here you see the northern base (cyan) and epsilon route. And under the bridge you find the only “true” flanking route on this map, there’s no counterpart on the other side. This works in both ways (actually, this is the shortcut that let you win the cap race from south). Not much more to see here beside the fact that there are very few ramps from the canyon to epsilon route (afaik there’s only on at the stone “bridge” on the right).

Posted Image
Here’s another shot from theta hill. On the left is Kappa Hill, on the right the northern base. Just want to comment on the marked canyon. There is no way out beside the Ramp in the middle and the exit to the base. If you are trapped in here in late game, expect enemies to shoot you from the orange plateau. Avoid this canyon at all if you don’t have the fighting initiative.

Dirty trick:
This is not exclusive to canyon but it works well here. If you're unsure where the enemies go, just get some height and write in chat: "SHOOT THE MOON!!!" - Besides that it's a nice lasershow and some lulz for everyone you can see where some of the lasers come from. Of course works only at the beginning when everyone is chatting around so be fast ;)



Canyon Network [Post December 2013 Update]

No changes here beside some wider spread for the starting points.
In Skirmish you’ll start 90° rotated like on alpine, so east-west instead of north-south.

For the gameplay, this rotation has not much impact as the fighting still tends to happen in the middle because of the ramp layout.
Sightseeing happens often here, I nearly made a whole round one match without contact.



Edited by 627, 28 January 2015 - 03:09 AM.


#78 627

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 03:14 AM

Caustic Valley


Posted Image
Caustic was the first “hot” map we got and at those times, the first “big” one, too. There’re some sayings like “never fight in the caldera” or “going left gets you killed” which all have some truth in them. This map has not much cover beside some rocks and a special area in the caldera, which is much hotter.
The south base is offen referred Lake Base or lower Base whereas the northern one is called (at the) refinery base or just city base.
Not much Hotspots beside the Caldera here, so I'll start with the routes and add some more Pics later.

Routes:
Posted Image

The caldera (blue)
I’ll start with the central route this time because of the nature of this map. The northern team at the refinery can get up there faster and is the first on the edge to take positions. Coming from south with a medium or heavy mech and approaching the edge you’ll get shot in 9/10 times. Fighting on the edge comes down to jump sniping and peekaboo. Fighting IN the caldera under normal conditions is suicide. Not because you’ll overheat but because of said jumpsnipers on the edges.
If you need to fight in there, always watch your heat. Overheating here will get you in spectator mode in no time. Be aware, there are low heat builds who loves to fight here. Tripping an energy stalker into the crater with a ballistic boat gives you a free kill most of the times (but don’t think the other guys on both teams don’t know that). In conquest, theta is here and mostly will be capped by fast lights from the north so watch out for their backup.

Sulphuric plains route/Short route (red)
This is the way to kappa in conquest. In assault, this is mostly used by the south team to get around the caldera, usually ending at (C4). Nearly no one besides lights actually run through those plains at (B4/B5), it’s more or less dead map space with nearly no cover at all. Can be good for flanking to the base, though.
Going this way from north can work if you’re fast but the south route have a Hill behind the ridge at (D5) from where you’ll receive sniper and LRM fire.

Long route through the “canyon” (green)
From the north it’s safe up to the point of (D3/E3), after that you need to “go around the corner” without cover or anything. What you can do here is taking long range shots to everyone keen enough running for Epsilon. Beside that, stay near the caldera edge for cover.
Alternate route Is behind (or on) the ridge on the left up to epsilon but this will drift you away from the main combat zone so pack long range weapons for that.

Flanking routes:
As described you can make a cap run behind that ridge on the left side. This is a very long way so be fast or don’t do it. I’ve seen catapults walking here from the south all the way up to the base. When they finally arrived, they were the last mechs standing and where outcapped.
Another way to flank is the suicide run crossing the caldera. This only works if you know where the enemy is (left/right) and where he is not (behind the edge, waiting for you).
This is high risk high reward and mostly will work only in late game.

Flanking through the other areas of this map is not really flanking as there’s no mech to flank, it’s just a longer or safer run to the other base.

Detailed Viewpoints:

Posted Image
This shot is from the refinery viewing south. The yellow mark on the top left is Kappa in conquest mode, the other yellow spot top right is the lake base (or better the hill directly infront of it. You can see here that the green route is shorter. I painted the lake green for orientation, too.
In the middle is the caldera or the crater whatever you like. This area is really hot, entering it will up your heat gauge by 10-15% (depends on your Heatsinks). Here lies Theta in Conquest.
All those red dots are good start locations for peekaboo, you can find similar ones on the other side, too.
Some words for the big red dot on the blue route, before the map grid overhaul this was grid (F5) and was a common rally point. You could hunker down and react to every thread without leaving your base out of sight.

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Caldera from the other side. Top left is the refinery base. In the caldera I tried to mark Theta. It isn’t in the middle of the crater so you have to talk a long run from the refinery.
I marked a circle with a mech in it – whould you have seen it without? Visibility is a big factor on this map, everything is just brown (even my shiny tour guide looks dirty like hell) so be aware of this.

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This shot is from the lake base. On the right is Kappa in conquest. This is a solid position – you can peek over the ridge and broaden your frontline, there are no choke points. If you go right, you have a good angle to the mechs in the caldera but keep in mind you need long range for this.
Caldera mechs still have high ground so don’t stand in the open for to long as your way to full cover is not as short as theirs. See that Atlas? He will get at least 2 Salvos until he’s back in cover from there.
Last thing to mention is the hill I’m standing on – mount Lurmy Snipes. There’s often a Catapult here (cats love high places I think), no matter if Gauss/PPC/LRM-Cat you’ll find one here. Good spot but no cover.

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Another picture from the south. On the left you see Epsilon. You’ll be faster from the south but if you make a race to it, it will be only some seconds before you have company. As you can see, the whole yellow “flanking route” is just another way but with cover from the ridge. If you get pushed early from south you can retreat to high ground here. Fighting behind this ridge is difficult because your far of the main group and there are some height differences where you need arm mounted weapons.
The big red circle on green route, I like to call it death corner – whoever steps around here first is going to die in 9/10 cases. There are some hills nearby which you can reach unseen from both sides so do it, even if you have to walk 100m more.
Remember that Atlas from the previous shot? Can you find him? And now look at that little hill on the bottom right. It’s highly situational but getting a gauss rifle here is not the worst idea.

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Last shot is from the sulphuric plains. Not much to see here, I rarely have a fight here besides some light skirmishing. What to see is the Atlas from the other two Pics. Never ever stand there with big metal, you can be seen (and shot) from the other side of the map. You can even see a jenner on top of a hill, but this hill is viewable from nearly everywhere so don’t choose it as poptart ground.


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A comment about the smoke in the Caldera. Here you can see (or not see) an Awesome behind a smoke column. Heat vision won’t do anything but night vision helps (a bit). Have to admit, I have different results on different graphic settings so night vision is inconsistent.
However, you should expect an enemy mech behind every of those smokers.



Caustic Valley [Post December 2013 Update]

Assault mode keeps the base layout but spreads the spawn points. Biggest impact here are the eastern lances who start far away from the rest of the team with the north eastern lance being the most isolated one.
In conquest, the cap point locations stays the same but the names and starting location changed. Like the other maps it looks like a 90° rotation.

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Both teams has an isolated lance in the south with their way to (now) kappa. For the eastern one, you really should think about going there.
You have to cross that lake without cover or take a longer way with that hill at E5 for protection. If you go directly you’ll be shot from the other lance, if you take the long way, chances are you’ll face 8 mechs instead of just 4. The middle lance on the west tends to come around the caldera corner at (E3/E4) and can cover the whole valley and lake.

On the northern half of the map this situation repeats like a mirror but here you’ll have better cover in the refinery.

Skirmish spawns on caustic are a mix of the other modes being north east and south west. If both teams regroup this plays very much like the assault variant.

Edited by 627, 28 January 2015 - 03:14 AM.


#79 627

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 03:18 AM

Crimson Strait

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Our newest map and arguably the best map so far. It has many ways to go and some interesting places to fight in. Still new, this map seems to be balanced with a bias to the southern team. Time will tell what approach will be the best but I’ll see what I can come up with now.

Hotspots:
Upper Harbour deck (D4)
Coming from the south, this is a key point. You can defend the choke point from the right and react to anyone coming through the tunnel.

City
The whole area on the B-Line is a good place to find fights, especially in assault when the northern team don’t take the tunnel. Can be tough to attack from the south because you come from low ground. Narrow streets means knife fighting and backstabbing.

Water & island
Against all common sense there is often a fight in the water. I especially like to fight there with my locusts, but you see larger mechs there regularly.

Routes:
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The Water Run/Coast Run (Red)
This is the long way which means the Light mech way. In fact running as a light into the harbor with all the big guys can be devastating because of those many obstacles that slow you down. Water is light’s best friend, it won’t slow you down but it will give you cover as missiles explode on the surface and ballistics won’t do max damage to submerged parts. A locust or spider is nearly complete unter water and very hard to hit. From the top you run through the city to get to the coast. You won’t be as fast at Theta as from the bottom base, though.

To the harbor (Blue)
Light blue is on the surface, dark blue is in the tunnel/under the “park deck”. This is the direct way to the fight. Superior postion here is on top of the park deck, as there are holes to the ground where you can shoot incoming mechs or simply drop down. Opposite to that, it’s nearly impossible to jump up there with jumpjets. On top of that, going through the tunnel means going through a choke point without cover. From the top, you have an exit just before the harbor, you’ll end up in a city area, good defense position and a light flank to the park deck.
It is possible to get here over the water but there are few ramps up to street level so bring jets or take a long walk in the water. In the open water. Where everyone sees you.

Through the Silos (green)
From south this is is mostly the same but from north you walk through a separated area of the map. The only way out is through the choke point near kappa. You don’t want that – fighting uphill, with bad cover and no escape route other than down to the tunnel/park deck. On the other side tricking the enemy to come for you can get you a nice fight between the silos which you’ll usually win (by numbers, though, as not everyone will push together).

Flanking routes:
Not so much flanking here beside the tunnel itself and of course every narrow street in the City area. Big flank would be the water run all the way to the enemy base for a not so quick basecap.

Detailed Viewpoints:
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A panorama with 4 out of 5 Conquest points. From left to right: Kappa, Sigma (south Base), Epsilon, Theta. Here you see that the Water Run is not just suicide but a viable tactic from south. Had a match where our whole team was duck walking behind our two locusts straight to theta (in Assault mode). Beside someone mentioned something like “unusual way” we won 12-4 in a big city brawl. City fights are kind of unpredictable but if you can keep initiative there you’ve almost won. Key is getting there fast.


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This is the main fighting area. There are only three ways to get up there (yellow marking) two concrete ramps and one way uphill towards the silos. Kappa is up there, but far on the right side. Fighting your way there from north base is…tough.
If you don’t want to rush (and there’s no need for it) you better take the epsilon tunnel exit on the left.
Watch out for those holes which are actually lifts if I saw it right (orange).
Here are some views from the “garage”, below the park deck:


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All those Piles and cranes and what not will let you slow down or stuck entirely so be really careful with fast moving mechs. On the other side those things can give some cover when pushing forward.
As with every choke point, if your team must go through there, then go and don’t stop at the opening. Everyone behind you wants to push because he can’t see anything besides the back of an atlas so you can’t retreat either and everyone will die in this traffic jam.
Best way to push here is split up in two or three groups and attack from tunnel, epsilon and the silos, but this will need some coordination and luck.


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This is the way through the silos to kappa (kappa would be bottom left outside the screen). This is the biggest choke point on the map. See that little pipeline housing on the left? This is all your cover here. You’re welcome! Seriously, if you take this route, peek over and check where the rest of the team is. If everyone attacks from the tunnel, you can take some free shots from here. Never ever try a hard push against more than 2 or 3 mechs, no matter how much you have with you. Ok if everyone and his mom joined you go for it, but still. There’s no way to get away fast and the rest of the enemies is just behind the next corner and you have no cover at all.


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Last shot is just above Theta. A big urban fighting area. City fighting is always the same, narrow streets, hard brawling, high casualities. Be fast, be unseen and don’t get lost. Had this many times, running around some buildings, chasing a mech and all of a sudden I’m surrounded and all my teammates are like 10 blocks away. Situational awareness is key here.
Don’t forget there’re some dead ends where you don’t expect them, some houses are U- and W-shaped which will be your final trap.


Crimson Strait [Post December 2013 Update]

No change for Assault and conquest. In Skirmish mode, the western team is spread out very far while the eastern one is relatively tight packed. In no way should you walk towards the enemy from west but reunite with the team or at least get over that lake very fast into cover.

If you make it to the harbour deck first you can block the choke points and have the advantage but you have to get there quick.

Edited by 627, 28 January 2015 - 03:20 AM.


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Posted 28 January 2015 - 03:30 AM

Forest Colony (Snow)

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The oldest map in the pool and arguably the smallest one. This map got some changes since Closed Beta, not only the grid was adapted but also the fog. Started as more or less bright and clear map it evolved to the pea soup we fight in now.
The snow variant is much clearer and more pleasant to fight in. It’s nearly the same map with only a few tweaks that don’t really make a difference. Notable change is the different cap point layout.


Hotspots:

Cargo Ship
This ship was added after countless mechs died in the open water. It can give you fairly large cover but you can still be trapped here from both sides. Here you’ll find always some mechs, at least one light mech will try to slip through the water to basecap.

Radio Tower
There is one noteworthy hill in the north with a big tower on top of it. Up there you have a more or less clear view of the map and can react quickly to a tunnel rush. Getting up here without jumpjets is tricky.
A note for the snow variant: there’s a pass between the cave exit and the tower which you can’t take without jumpjets.

Tunnel/Cave
In the north of the map is a dark and narrow passage which covers nearly the whole B3 tile. Yes you can flank here but of course everyone knows that. Expect heavy resistance at the exit. Only make a quick peek if there’s anyone – if you found more than one enemy…turn around and run. Fighting in the tunnel is harsh, it’s dark, no space to maneuver, no height to jump around and lots of little bumps to get stuck in. Even with superior numbers you have no real advantage because there’s no place for a mech phalanx. Think “300” and the battle of Thermopylae.
Last thing, if you fight here with 4 or 5 mechs from each side for some time, expect someone to take the long route and shoot your back.


Routes:
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Cave route (blue)
From the left base you can rush the tunnel, only to hit the exit the moment the right team is there, too. Fighting your way out, one mech after another…not good. From the right side, a rush is a high risk. If you run for it, you can be the first in there and even be the first on the left exit but you can be trapped here even harder because the big guys from left had enough time to get up here.
If you make it unseen on the other side (no matter from which one), you have some options. Capping of course or just harassing from the back. Opening a second frontline can end a fight pretty fast.

Sightseeing tour (green)
The direct route. You have some advantages from right, better cover and better retreat opportunities. From both sides, you can see and shoot mechs in the water, this let you spot a cap attempt while fighting the main force. When possible keep high ground and watch out for lrm/snipers. On the left side of the map, you’ll find a catapult in the top left hills at (B2), on the right there’ll be at least a stalker or a highlander between the rocks at (C4). This route is pretty straight forward so there’ll be not much tactical finesse in exchange for big swoosh and dakkadakka.

The Water Run (red)
Once again through the water. The Community is split on this route. Half the people say “you’ll die”, the other half say “you’ll die anyway”.
Personally I like this way, especially from the left base. One of the earliest chat orders on this map was “rally at F4” which today is at the big rock where kappa is (funny how the grid changed).
Staying in cover, you can advance fast up to the ship without getting shot. The mess usually starts when you are directly near the ship. If you jump around the corner, prepare to turn immediately.
If you think everyone will push, be sure everyone knows that. You can only win here if you are fast (like “get out fast!”) or if you have max firepower and your buddies with you. From both sides, this is a big brawl with snipers from the landside. You have to finish this quick or you’ll be the one with the cracked canopy.
If you’re lucky, there is no one on the other side – because of the first half of the community. Then, use your advantage, try a cap or punish them for that error.


Detailed Viewpoints:
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This is the tower on the top left. Next to the tower you often find some tryhards sniping with whatever they get up here, from spider to highlander. On the left side is the cave exit with some buildings in front of it. Don’t get stuck here. As mentioned, the path there(yellow) is blocked with snow on the cold variant from both ways. You can see the boat from here.

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This shot is on the south of the map. Left is the “Kappa rock”, on the right you find the satellite base. As you can see, the ship area is wide and offers no cover, on top of it, the water before it is shallow (light cyan). Only beyond the ship you’ll find deeper water (purple area) to partially submerge your light mech.
Another note to the ship, there are containers on the right side in the water, good place to get stuck so watch your step. Generally, don’t stay in these areas around the ship. Fight hard, fight fast and/or get out there.
Watch out for “flanking” around the ship, I’ve seen this often, everyone hunkers at the stern play peekaboo only to get there back opened.

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This is the “starting area” for the left base. This place can be tricky if you push from the right side. Everything is fine until you start to “go down” the purple arrow. Here are some niches and corners for mechs to hide and come back over the ridges. If you push this way, do it right or you will be trapped here.

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The satellite base on the right. Following the green route, you can see some sniper spots where you can step out, fire and get back or pass over to the next cover. I highlighted that big pipeline bridge, this is an emergency spot if you receive heavy rain (aka LRMs). There are some buildings at this base. You can hide here for whatever reason and you can get stuck here fast in a base circle fight.

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Last pic for this map, a shot in the Cave with all vision modes. It’s pretty dark and there’s not much detail, best vision mode is normal here. Even with heat view it’s hard to maneuver in there.

Conquest additions:
In conquest, you can really feel how small this map is with 24 mechs. You’ll find them everywhere so there’s no “quiet” flanking, just more or less enemies to fight. This can be an advantage, you won’t get alpha’d from 10 mechs at once, there’re more smaller fights. Take a look at the routes map, in the snow variant, the cap points shift towards a more even position. This makes it a bit harder to get/hold kappa and epsilon.

Edited by 627, 28 January 2015 - 03:31 AM.






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