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koth_synthetic
#1
Hello There,

Koth_synthetic is a king of the hill map designed for competitive play. The map had both 6's and Hightlander testing during development and is made to be enjoyable for both casual and comp players. It reached second place in the Meet your Map competition and was played on the Experimental Highglander Cup. It mixes ideas from many maps played in comp, such as Product, Coalplant and Arctic. Any and all feedback is welcome and please go into as much detail as possible.

[Image: ?imw=637&imh=358&ima=fit&impolicy=Letter...erbox=true]

Tf2 Maps: https://tf2maps.net/downloads/synthetic.5573/
Workshop: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/f...1549817316
Gamebanana: https://gamebanana.com/maps/202282
TeamfortressTV: http://www.teamfortress.tv/48356/koth-synthetic
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#2
Thanks for all the effort you've put in! It's definitely one of the more unique koth maps I've tested in HL!

My biggest issue with the map, currently, is that standing on the point is super undesirable for either team. The little cutouts to see lower is a nice touch in regards to that, but due to the near-total lack of vision you have on the point combined with the height disadvantage rewards both teams playing the garages/houses/bananas at all times. That's not to say players should be on point all the time regardless of circumstance, but if you think about Product, if the enemy sniper goes down when you have the point, there's no reason to /not/ hold on point until he respawns. It's the central point of the map for a reason, and controlling it should give you advantages. This same dynamic is true on Lakeside and Ashville, other HL staple maps, as well as some of the less popular maps, like cascade and warmtic (warmtic's issues come not from point design but from other places). It might not sound like a huge issue at first, because teams don't often hold on the point on those maps anyway, right?

It's true they don't, but it's not because they don't want to. Pushes on those maps are often determined by who has point presence in post-ubers, and the defending team wants to hold on the point (because it's the strongest location on the map), but can't because of the sniper. This creates a dynamic where both teams are constantly fighting for the point, not just for objective time but also for the advantages that physically controlling the space gives. The /safest/ place to hold point is never the /best/, and that's by design. On Synthetic, though, sitting in garage (be it yours or your opponents') tends to be both the best and safest place to hold point. It's also the best and safest place to push from, meaning that games devolve into both teams sitting in their garages, shooting spam at each other in a wet noodle fight until someone's pick classes/flank get enough of an advantage that it's worth it to actually walk onto point. Maybe you cap it, maybe you don't, but regardless of the outcome both teams retreat back into garage because there's no reason to be anywhere else. The defending team rarely feels any pressure in regards to holding ground; if an enemy demo starts walking on point on Lakeside, he's a huge threat because of how much damage he can deal while still maintaining a degree of safety if he doesn't get sniped. If an enemy demo walks onto the point on Synthetic, he'll get one 80 damage sticky off before getting railed from 4 different angles (only one of which he could actually see).

It's tricky to deal with the because the lower flanks introduce some novel gameplay as well; the maptest pug I played it in was extremely close with two high-level teams and we were flanking each other's combos because we could. It was a new feeling, it was fun, and it was working because no one knew what the meta was. Play this map for a full week of scrims, though, and I guarantee it'll get super stale, super fast because the rest of the map is so weak in comparison to garage that players are just going to congregate around it.

I don't know if there are any easy fixes to it, but the initial ones I'd suggest are shortening the decks that intrude over the point, restoring some vision and making the point a lot less chokey. (Re)moving the pack from garage would probably help as well, since it means players would have to leave if they want to get health. And as loathe as I am to say it, opening up some of the sightlines might be necessary to give an attacking sniper a few more options for putting pressure on defense. I'm not sure if widening or narrowing the garage exits would be beneficial or harmful, but moving the pack should be a must as should opening up the point.

I know it sounds like I'm just railing on the map over and over, but I do think the map has potential to be something very different in the rotation. Just needs a bit of work :p
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#3
(12-19-2018, 04:01 PM)Alto Wrote: *snip*

Thanks, I'll see what I can do to address these problems.
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#4
I really like this map even with the few issues it has and hope it's updates continue. Also gives off a nostalgic feel to me for some reason.

It was definitely the best of the three maps in the exp cup imo.
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#5
Alto is correct. I helped lead a team during the recent cup, and we went into synthetic without a strongly defined plan. We lost a round or two before we tried playing in garage, and once I decided to have everyone stand in garage between rounds, it turned into a completely different game. No longer did we ever feel pressured to act while we had the point, because we could just stand in garage and wait for them to come to us. No longer did we ever all get spammed at once and lose positioning because of it, because we could just stand in garage. No longer did we get surprised by flanks onto our combo, because we had long sightlines in every relevant direction, and massive height/choke advantage on the flank route from under. The match devolved into us winning a midfight and grinding the other team slowly into dust. Every time they managed to cap, it was at such massive cost to them that we could just retake after the spawn wave came in, and the rest of the match finished without them finding a counter to our innovative strategy of "stand still in this one specific place."

The rest of the map is under an insane amount of flank pressure/threat compared to garage, and while we weren't holding there, the match was messy, and we were losing pretty bad, but it was fun and involved a lot of fights popping up even when one team didn't have a distinct advantage. So my suggestion would probably be to improve how people can flank into garage, making it a safer place to hold against snipers, but dangerous vs flankers and spies. Maybe widen the area coming from under, add another entrance/lower the distance between the back entrance and where people hold so that spies and soldiers can do more work from behind, there's a lot of stuff to be done. Regardless, the map legitimately has a lot of potential and I think that if this garage thing gets solved, then this could end up being on a lot of team's lists of favorite maps to play.
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