The Mefightclub server, for some reason, loves Warpath.  It’s a five-point capture map with some nasty chokepoints that make for long, epic battles. 

A few weeks ago I created a more warpathy version of Warpath: Warwarpath.  I tried to make it 9 points, but TF2 didn’t like that, so it’s just seven.  The new final points are in an added base behind the previously final point:

The red base

Warpath is pretty rudimentary-looking, so I rebuilt all of the buildings and retextured everything.  I was going to re-create all the cliff walls, but it turns out there is nothing more tedious than redoing terrain in Hammer (Valve’s map editor), so I left that alone… though I did add tops to some of the cliffs, since it always bugged me that you could see into nothingness if you rocket-jumped.

In blue’s chokepoint

I’ve learned all too much about Hammer… I actually know more or less how to optimize maps now!   The game can’t figure out all on its own how to optimize what is and isn’t rendered; it needs help from the map designer.  I used to ignore all that; now I can create a fairly well-behaved map.

 
I still find it hard to predict what will make a map satisfying or not.  Capture maps are the trickiest, I think; people often find them confusing and/or statematey.  The new point doesn’t actually extend play time much, because people get to it pretty quick.  I’ve only seen it defended a couple times.  Most times we play, there’s a lot of back and forth on the three middle points.
 
There’s a chokepoint in original Warpath– a single zone on the way to the opposing team’s base, without alternate routes.  As this can be frustrating, I added a teleport that creates another way into the base.  I’m still evaluating this, but I think it’s a good thing: the final points are too easy to defend, because of the chokepoint.  (The teleport is only available when you’ve captured 5 of the 7 points.)
 
Mapping turns out to be a lot like coding, in that there are all sorts of obscure bugs that turn up.  We’re on about version 13 by now, as people keep finding little things.  A case in point: tonight’s game was very stalematey, and one player suggested that the problem was that one of the spawn points exits too close to the second-to-last point.  On consideration I agreed and changed it: it’s generally bad design to let the defenders spawn right next to one of their caps.
 
Here’s an overhead view of Warwarpath with points of interest marked (such as both teams’ path from initial spawn to the point):
When you play it, it doesn’t feel quite so twisty.
 
Right now the map is only available on the Mefightclub server; the bz2 file is about 10M.  If non-Mefighters want to try it, mail me.
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