I'm staff here on ENT/map dev of Civilization Wars and long term fan of BS Pro. Was excited to hear there is a revival going on and most of you guys have probably played with me by now: wasn't involved much in the community itself before, but I have played probably a couple of hundred games on the bships bot while the ent bot was alive. I'd consider myself fairly good at the game though obviously not top tier.
Anyway, I would love to make some new versions for you guys if you'd let me: I've always been obsessed with game design/theory crafting and I have a lot of time atm to dedicate to wc3. Even if not me, I'm hoping someone will take up the mantle. Regardless I wanted to make this thread of my organised thoughts on the map going forward and start some discussion. See below.
Assorted non ship/weapons related potential changes:
-Nerf leavers gold. -An alternate mode whereby you can control the leavers ship/gold income rather than getting leaver gold for yourself. -Rework how harbours work. Grinding them down over the course of several teamfights is frustrating and can make the pace feel sluggish in lategame. It also encourages the unpopular strategy of backdooring. My suggestion would be to nerf their hp significantly and give them fast regen after a couple of seconds out of combat. This way you need to kill them in one teamfight (or after one) and require more than 1 player, since if you fail they regen back to full. Losing gold from ships feels lame also. Comeback potential feels low. -Rework gold gain from killing players. Currently it's based on what ship they have. This means that gold from kills feels pretty meaningless in the late game considering how hard you have to work for them, and also feels much stronger against certain ships when this shouldn't really be the case. I would like to see it scale up based on game time. Certain ships like the trader could still give more on this scale. This change would also make comebacks easier. -Change choosing modes to red rather than a vote and make No traders default after 15 secs. The vast majority of modern wc3 mods use this system. If they're new and don't know the mode we simply get the standard no trader mode. If it's a pro they can choose another mode with the knowledge of them. Stops ppl not familiar with ships choosing other non standard modes.
There are a lot of underutilized weapons that could be looked at: honestly the vast majority could do with some changes. But for now let's purely look at the two overused ones since it's easier to do so.
Well, it's simply overpowered really. There's no other weapon you'd rather hunt people down with in the mid game as a carry ship. It out ranges other weaps and still does comparable damage for their gold cost.
Possible changes (and/or) -Increase gold cost -Reduce range -Reduce damage
Personally, I prefer reduce range.
This weapon is not necessarily overpowered imo, I think the other weapons near its cost slot with a similar role are simply quite bad. I'd rather buff those.
Individual ships to look at:
We'll start with the elephant in the room, by far the most controversial ship in the game. This ship both makes and breaks the map: it's loved among pro players, in particular for the mind games involved in sader v sader battles. At the same time, to some extent it has always alienated new players.
Nobody enjoys coming into a new game and being repeatedly oneshot, and this ship is the main cause of new player early ragequits. Yes, you can buy a hull at the same time crusader comes out. Yes, sading a ship is not as valuable to the killing team as simply killing normally. But the problem is how it feels to be saded. It feels bad especially when you don't yet understand what's going on. It's not necessarily that obvious that you should get a hull immediately and it forces one style of play when new players are probably more excited with all these weapons they can pick up. And it's not like the crusader is a useless ship not used in pro games, no it's pretty essential.
Crusader possible changes: (and/or)
-Net range is quite long. Given that you can TP and sading is a close range ability, it probably doesn't need to be this long. -Adjusting sader damage so it no longer one shots at early levels but is very close to (much like how it works initially after getting a hull for a few mins). This way you have to coordinate with your team to cleanup kills and aim those without wood. Yes, this would damage the sader quite a lot, but it would make the experience of playing against it feel less hopeless. It could be buffed in other ways to compensate: e.g it's late game damage. -Changes related to TP. Discussed later.
The ship that should counter Crusader, but doesn't. It's pretty simple, net cd is way lower than your ability to escape it. Net cd should be nerfed or Inteceptor's cd should be buffed. Otherwise the ship is pretty ok as the earliest ship.
The ship that sucks because Destroyer/Overlord is better. Honestly the movement speed debuff is pretty lame. It could be replaced with something else that's more interactive and fun to use.
The ship that sucks to play against. Much like with the crusader part of this ship's problems are related to TP discussed below. Other than that, let's look at the beacon. For an ability that totally shuts down counterplay while it's active it lasts a damn long time. It has a huge aoe and no counterplay other than the other destroyer being the first to use it, and it makes the ship board unstoppable.
Destroyer possible changes: (and/or) -Reduce Beacon duration. -Reduce Beacon AoE. -Make Beacon only effective in the AoE you put: if they move out of it they get use of their abilities again.
Juggernaut Well, stacking these is pretty obnoxious. The push potential is insane when stacked. See my suggestion later on.
Overlord The Overlord is in a good place. But Send Spy could do with changing. I feel like it's unnecessary for Overlord to have Send Spy when Eleven Protector has the vision gimmick.
I only considered the main ships for now.
Oh boy. This item is what separates Pro from other versions like Crossfire (along with the lesser number of ships and effectiveness of the Crusader). As such it's probably a bad idea to remove it. However, it is enabling what makes the Crusader/Destroyer feel bad a lot of the time. You TP onto them and use your ability. It's not particularly skillful or interactive. Yes they can TP away themselves, but that forces them to buy the item and make's it essential and no you can't always react perfectly to use that (especially vs dest its impossible). The problem with the Crusader is that tp sader wars are pretty fun and skillful and players would be upset if that were removed. Though tping onto helpless ships is not.
Yet I must say the item does need to be changed in some regard or new players will continue to get frustrated with this game and the community will not grow. Personally I would like to start with removing Heavy TP and keeping the lesser ranged TP. But I'd like to see people discussing this.
Rushing mass destroyer, overlord, or juggs is pretty obnoxious, as is double sading. I would like to see limits being put on the number of ships of the same type on the same team. This would force ppl to emply different strategies/more interesting combinations of ships. The current popular strategy of all rushing one of these ships makes the game slower. It would be nice to see someone people going tank and others going for weaps and smaller ships.