Dallas Vaughan - 2003-09-27

I was a HUGE xmission fan.  Now the map has changed and I find it much worse (especially for CTF gameplay).  I don't mind the fact that it changed-- I just feel it changed for the worse for CTF.  Here are some of the reasons:

1)  The old map had two EQUALLY VIABLE paths to take a neighbor's flag -- the new one has one, since now, the bases are at the corners and there is an elevated path leading directly to them.

2)  The space has MUCH more of a freestyle feel than before, since it is much less interesting to take someone's flag (since that only involves taking the flag and going directly to your base in a straight line via the elevated path with no other moves necessary, besides one simple jump). 

3)  Bases seem less like bases, now that they're in the corners.  The corners always seem to get the least "attention" (they're the farthest away from the center you can get).

4)  It is impossible to reach an enemy that has your flag and is travelling towards his base if you spawn anywhere besides between him and his base (unless you have high speed).  With the old map, if you spawned behind your enemy, you could still theoretically kill him as he tries to take your flag to his base (since he either has to go all the way around a corner on the upper level, or travel on ground level and jump up to the base-- which leaves him somewhat vulnerable).  Now, he is pretty much unstoppable if he is on the second level travelling away from you towards his base and you spawn behind him.

I know it takes a good amount of time to design these maps, and I don't think it's a bad map, just not a good one for CTF.  I like it better than any other map, actually (really), but for CTF, I really think xmission's old map was nearly ideal.  Perhaps someone could host the old map on a server named similarly (like "xmission.orig.bzflag.org")?  At least give the option.

Dallas (mc_hambone)