Sunday, March 15, 2009

New York and Ladder Maps

I am going to New York for a little more than a week and won’t be playing Starcraft for 10 days or more. Yeah I know: You don’t care (although you should, since that means slightly fewer easy wins on iC Cup ;-) ).

In the mean time I hope that Blizzard gets their act together and releases some new Starcraft II information or even better announces the beta! Yeah, I don’t believe that either although it would be a really nice present upon my return to sunny Denmark. I can hope and at least Starcraft II will probably not be foremost on my mind for a week.

I recently discussed the old ladder maps with a friend. I think of the maps from before patch 1.08 or so. If you look at them again you have to agree that they were pretty bad. Some of the things we take for granted today like an easy first expansion and a choice between a mineral-only or one with a geyser were rare. Actually only River Styx looks marginally like a modern ladder map and ironically it was banned in patch 1.03 to make room for disasters like Gauntlet and Green Valleys! I think the last was by popular demand. At least I remember hanging out in Starcraft DNK-1 discussing the merits (or lack thereof) of GV as a ladder map.

I think we have the Koreans to thank for Starcraft as it is today and I hope that Blizzard have learned a lot from KESPA when it comes to Starcraft II as an esport.


  1. First of all, have fun in New York. Be back soon. ;)

    And second, while KESPA has made some really good maps, one of the more annoying aspects of their mapmaking was that they essentially have self-imposed seasons of race dominance by intentionally making maps favoured towards a specific race. An example of this was the period of Protoss dominance in late 2008. One of the reasons stated for this dominance was the fact that the map pool was filled with Protoss favoured maps.

    For that reason, I hope that neither Blizzard nor Kespa will retain such a strategy in mapmaking in StarCraft II.

  2. By the way, I am Tom Phoenix. I accidently used my brother`s girlfriend`s account to post. :P

  3. Thanks :-), I'm writing this from an apple store in NYC. Weird being here...

    I'm not so sure that KESPA intentionally creates a "Protoss" season, but they do analyze the race balance of last season and tries to compensate for it. I fully expect that Zerg will have better chances this season.