The seven new maps that we’re adding to the second season of 2018 now live on the Versus ladder. StarCraft 2 streamer Austin “Neuro” Filsinger—a true student of the game on a never-ending path of mindfulness and mastery—was cool enough to offer us his thoughts on each map. Check out Neuro on Twitter and on Twitch.
This map is a retro red vs. blue digital landscape with several unique components. There is an expansion right in your base as well as destructible rocks at your second expansion that allow for both aggressive and conservative play styles.
Neuro: Three bases can be defended by a single choke, similar to Backwater, but the opening on 16-Bit is much wider. More opportunities to attack become available as soon as a fifth base is being taken. With few destructible rocks and open spaces in the midfield, this map looks particularly appealing for Zerg. Fancy plays could involve stealing the opponent's high ground main location by using drops or Nydus when the enemy army is out of position on low ground. The aesthetic is interesting, and gameplay should feel fairly close to what we consider “standard.”
This diagonally-mirrored map utilizes all four corners, while being relatively small with a shorter rush distance. Collapsible rocks give players the option to divert the attack path. When one rock is taken down, both collapse.
Neuro: While not particularly long in rush distance, the combination of rocks, grass, and walls in the midfield makes Dreamcatcher LE a fairly good defensive map in the early/mid game. The main base has a wide-open cliff that’s vulnerable to air attacks, and the multitude of expansion options can create diverse late game developments. Watch out for proxy in the far corner of your main—there's a lot of real estate there. There may be some unique strategies to explore here that don't work quite as well on more typical maps.
This map has chokepoints and attack paths with varied sizes and widths. Using the appropriate ones at the right time can be critical. Players can break the central rocks to switch lanes faster in the game’s later stages.
Neuro: Reminiscent of Cloud Kingdom both in color and with the presence of winding plateaus, Lost and Found LE rewards keen awareness of high and low ground, which is key to taking favorable fights in the midfield. Both players get five bases within a fairly tight area, so defending in the late game shouldn't be too tricky. The third base locations can both be assaulted from even ground at a wide choke, however, so awareness of timings in the midgame is hugely important.
The backdoor-rich mineral base in Redshift LE is extremely vulnerable to harassment, but mining it opens a direct attack path straight into the back of your main base. A watchtower between the main bases allows for scouting on both expansions and enemy attacks.
Neuro: Both players get their own golden expansion that’s both accessible and vulnerable, which they may use to power potent early-game aggression. Once a patch is mined through, units can pass through the location by ground to create an extra-short rush distance scenario. While the map is not especially large, the eastern bases may seem difficult to scout given the intense interaction from the close opponent spawn. Experimenting with map-specific build orders could go a long way here in the pursuit of creating advantages early on.
This four-player map has no limit on the spawn positions. Depending on the second base location, you can play aggressively or defensively. Each base has a protective structure, which is advantageous for early defense, but there is a bridge between the bases.
Neuro: It's been a while since we've seen 4-player maps in the 1v1 pool, so this should bring some refreshing differences to the ladder pool, with substantial gameflow differences depending on spawn. Cross spawns should make for huge-scale macro games, while vertical and horizontal spawns should be more aggressive. With its massive size, getting a clear read on what the opponent is doing will be more difficult than usual.
In Redstorm, players start with their teammate in the same area. A winding main path makes the distances between teams greater than normal, but an extra narrow path down the middle provides a quick attack route. You can defend this chokepoint or take the longer path to surprise your opponent.
One player will start separated from the rest of the team, but they have access to more expansion locations. Coordinate with your teammates to plan an attack, or split your forces to secure additional expansions and gain an economic advantage over your opponents.
Players start with their teammates in the same area. You can defend the two small starting ramps that access the main base or expand early to maximize your economic advantage. Utilize the Xel’Naga Watch Towers to monitor central areas. Coordinate with your teammates to prepare for engagements or capture more expansion locations.
Along with the new maps, the new season also brings everyone a free name-change! Head over to your account management page and choose your StarCraft II game license. On your game license screen a "Character Name Change" button at the bottom will initiate the request. After confirming that you'd like to change your character name, simply log in to StarCraft II and you'll be prompted to select a new one.
Also note that a new trophy top is being introduced this season, but it had to be delayed until Thursday, May 17. See you on the ladder!
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