Overview of Map Categories
This page is intended to provide documentation about the current map categorization system on AWBW, as well as guidelines and criteria that Map Committee members use when categorizing maps. Map categories on AWBW are loosely grouped into three "blocks":
1) Map Quality
Maps are categorized using a letter rank system from S- thru C-Rank, with the rank determined by evaluating how well the map performs in competitive play. Maps are tagged into only one of these categories at a time, and the lowest level is to be not categorized at all. Disclaimer: Map quality is solely based on the opinion of Map Committee members. Map quality is subjective, and maps judged as low quality for competitive play may still be fun for some. Map quality is measured by a few key metrics: - Balance - Emphasis on dynamic, fluid gameplay (preventing stalemates) - Meaningful player decisions (unit variety, capture phase choices, interesting fronts, etc.) S-Rank - The highest level of quality for maps, making them ideal candidates for competitive games. These maps are proven in high-level play and characterized by negligible balance issues (if any), terrain designed to create meaningful decisions and encourage variety in all phases of the game, and well-created fronts that reward dynamic gameplay. A-Rank - A high level of quality for maps, making them potential candidates for competitive play. These maps are close in quality to S-Rank maps and exhibit a similar or slightly lower level of balance, variety, and dynamic gameplay. However, they have either not yet been proven in high-level play or displayed small issues that made them less than ideal for repeated use in competitive formats. B-Rank - The "normal" level of decent maps, suitable for serious but friendly or non-competitive AWBW matches. These maps are characterized by small balance issues at most, terrain designed to create meaningful decisions in at least some phases of the game, and decently created fronts that will not usually result in stalemates. C-Rank - Maps that are recommended for casual games only. These maps are characterized by balance issues that are noticeable but do not create auto-win situations for low-level players, terrain that offers limited viable choices in most phases of the game, or having fronts that promote defensive tactics likely to end in stalemates for experienced players. New - Maps created recently that have potential as S-, A-, or B-Rank maps. These maps generally need play-testing to determine which category they fit best in. C-Rank level maps or lower do not get categorized into New. Uncategorized - Maps not recommended for competitive or casual gameplay are not placed into a category (including the sub-categories discussed below). These maps are characterized by serious balance or design issues that can hinder fun gameplay.
2) Map Function
This includes Global League, Under Review, and Hall of Fame, as well as Historical/Geographical, Sprite, Joke, and Toy Box. Maps are grouped into these categories based on their function on the site, rather than the actual characteristics of the map (for example, usage in competitions). These categories are mostly mutually exclusive. Global League - Maps currently being used for Global League matches. Under Review - Maps that are under review for future use in Global League. These maps are in need of play-tests or further evaluation before being approved for League use. Hall of Fame - Maps that have been deemed worthy of recognition for their impact or significance in the history of AWBW mapmaking. Historical/Geographical - Maps that faithfully recreate a historical event or geographical location. There is a minimum standard of quality that is maintained here - an amorphous landmass map dotted with a few forests named "North America" does not belong in this category. Joke - Maps that were found funny in the past... This category is not seriously maintained. Sprite - Maps that faithfully recreate a person/thing/etc. that doesn't belong in historical/geographical. Once again, a minimum standard of quality is maintained. Toy-Box - Maps that have highly custom rulesets or simulate versions of other games (e.g.: Hide and Seek). A minimum standard of play-ability is maintained.
3) Map Features
This includes all of the other map categories. Maps are grouped into these categories based on the characteristics of each map, especially to help users know the type of gameplay expected on that map. These categories are not mutually exclusive. Standard - Maps intended to be played with "standard" settings (Fog of War turned off and funds per turn = 1000). Base Light - Maps with a relatively high funds-to-base ratio, or a relatively low bases-to-front ratio. This often means larger maps that have only 2 bases, or maps where each base is responsible for 2 or more separate fronts. These maps are typically characterized by scarceness of infantry on each front in the mid-game and an increased frequency of high-tech units. Fog of War - Maps that are most suitable for games with Fog of War turned on. Note that this does NOT mean maps with a high density of forests, which is a common misconception. These maps may sometimes have predeployed units meant purely to provide limited vision in Fog of War games. Heavy Naval - Maps that encourage naval play beyond transports and battleship towers. These are not necessarily maps that have a high density of ocean tiles. High Funds - Maps that are most suitable for games with funds per turn > 1000G. These maps often have different FTA counters compared to Standard maps, and feature greatly increased frequency of high-tech units. Gimmick - Maps that have a unique gimmick or custom ruleset that has a meaningful impact on the type of gameplay seen on the map (for example, maps intended to be played with weather set to Snow). Unlike maps in Toy Box, games on these maps are meant to offer typical Advance Wars gameplay. Live Play - Maps that are recommended when playing with shorter timer settings, especially intended for real-time games completed in a single sitting. Mixed Base - Maps that feature a "mixed" base pattern. These are often characterized by one or more bases that are responsible for more than one front and are sandwiched between opponents' bases. RBC Playable - Maps that meet the criteria to be used for online play in Advance Wars: Re-Boot Camp. Notable restrictions include a max. of 300 tiles, no labs as HQs, no units on illegal terrain, and no empty missile silos. Teleport Tile - Maps whose gameplay is meaningfully impacted by the presence of black "teleport" tiles. FFA Multiplay - Maps with 3 or more players that are most suitable to be played as a free-for-all. Team Play - Maps with 3 or more players that are most suitable to be played as a team battle.

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