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HotS Season 3: Map Pool Changes!

Arvin on 2013-05-06

HotS Season 3: Map Pool Changes!


With a new season beginning in Heart of the Swarm, game developers have gifted players with an announcement of an updated map pool—with longtime ladder maps being removed to make way for newer, versatile additions.


In the article written by Blizzard's David Kim, he expressed the team’s goal of "providing a variety of map styles within the ladder pool", but in doing so they would have to remove some maps from the pool to keep things minimal.


Among the maps to be scrapped is tournament favorite Daybreak, followed with Newkirk Precint and Korhal City, citing weird expansion flows and far out positioning as the main reasons for their removal. In the 2v2 arena, Desolate Stronghold and Boneyard get the boot from the current pool.


Along with the new additions, Blizzard has announced a new process regarding the creating, filtering and releasing of new maps. After the development team has finished organizing an updated map pool, the maps are immediately forwarded to major tournament organizers, who will then submit their feedback to Blizzard, with the final combined product being listed as Tournament Editions of the maps.


In on this experimental phase of map creation are major eSporting organizations such as GomTV, OnGameNet, KeSPA, ESL, MLG, Dreamhack, and NASL. Blizzard will be monitoring the success of this phase to determine its continuation or improvement in future seasons.


The three lucky maps that have made their way into the ladder pool are as follows:



Derelict Watcher TE (2 player, 1v1)

The map is pretty straight-forward, with a solid natural expansion and relatively easy third. Past that, players will have to be wary though, as opponents can take advantage of the distance and varied attack paths with multi-pronged harassment and attacks. Ominously absent from this map (and almost all the other maps in the pool incidentally) is the presence of high-yield expansions.



Klontas Mire TE (2player, 1v1)

This map encourages and rewards early aggression with a narrow bridge in the northern part of the map, which servers to drastically reduce rush times between the two main bases. The absence of Xel'Naga towers also makes scouting and unit positioning imperative to success, as counter attacks can come through many avenues and can be devastating if reacted to improperly.




Zerus Prime TE (4player, 1v1)

The only 4-player map to be added to the pool, notwithstanding the added script of no vertical spawns, this map allows players to judge their expansion strategies and to make scouting a lot easier. Destructible rocks to the south of your natural expansion will allow opponents a backdoor into your base if left unguarded. Attack paths that go just out the vision of Xel'Naga towers make the late-game phase very tense, with the possibility of attacks going unscouted if a player is dependent on tower vision alone.



Geosync Quarry (4player, 2v2)

This map features two "fortress" like sections on opposite sides where players will spawn, allowing for easy expansions and macro early on. The unique feature of this map is a high-yield expansion located inside your fortress, allowing at least one player on each team to have a solid advantage in resource collection. Expansions are located to the sides of the map, but are relatively vulnerable. To the middle is a high-yield expansion that would seem the focal point of most battles. A defensive and macro-oriented play is suggested for this map.



Reclamation (4player, 2v2)

This map starts you off some distance away from your ally, making viable the possibility of proxies and rushes. The use of Xel'Naga towers will be vital to scouting out main attack paths to team bases, and for securing vision over the expansions that litter the side of the map.


For a closer look at the maps as well as player reactions, head on over to the source link below. 



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