Inventing Solo Shuffle Wacky Maps

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I am trying to invent a fun PvP/PvE mashup, purely as a creative exercise.

I want to use highlights of fun maps from other games. (To me all of WoW’s PvP maps would have been ridiculed in 1999 by Unreal Tournament level designers as “a box to frag in”.) At the very least, each map should have some interesting effects on melee and ranged DPS.

I want to use a queue similar to Solo Shuffle, since to me a solo queue has the best hope of getting more people into PvP. But the games need not be six rounds that follow the math of “6 choose 3”.

I want a round to be almost as fast as an arena round, but change the victory condition from “gank the squishiest opponent” since that intrinsically drives away new players.

Here are three my ideas so far. Do they sound fun? What ideas would you add?

1. THE CURSED SWAMP

The map is a swamp with pools of water, patches of mud that slow movement, and areas of mist that reduce line of sight to 2 yards distance. There is also an unkilalble NPC swamp monster that begins hidden in a mist area and repeatedly fixates on the first PC it sees until its line-of-sight is broken. There are hummocks in the corner with some bits of stone wall at their base to block melee charges from most directions: nice terrain from which to do ranged attacks, but also a position vulnerable to being the only PC the NPC can see if its current target moves into some mist.

Six players (ABCEDEF) play three rounds, in two-player teams (AB vs CD vs EF, then AC vs BE vs DF, finally AE vs BD vs CE).

The first team to cause damage to other players equal to their own team’s total health breaks the curse and wins. Players that are killed respawn after a few seconds.

2. TOWER DEFENSE

The map resembles the Tower of Azora in Elwynn Forest. The higher your altitude, the more damage you deal and receive.

Three players play three rounds. In each round, one player is on “defense”, starts at the top of the tower, cannot leave the tower, but can use teleportation circles to move from floor to floor. The other two players are on “offense” and start just outside the tower’s front door and around the corner, at ground level. The offense team will eventually win by either dealing damage to the defender equal to their own total health or having one member get to a circle on the top floor. Players on offense respawn at their starting location outside the tower.

The tower also has some high-health NPCs that fight on the defensive team. These avoid the stairs to minimize their body-blocking PCs, and deal increasing damage as the round goes on. The amount the defending PC heals these NPC allies is deducted from the count of how much damage offense has done to the defending PC.

Your score is the sum of how many seconds it took your two attempts at offense to win.

3. MECHAGON FACTORY

This map is a frightening factory with coneyor belts, buzz saws, flame jets, lasers, air blasts, etc. (Think of a layout worse than the Robo Rally board game!) In the middle is a platform. The only way to get up to this platform is to be tossed by four catapults in the map corners (players being tossed are not targetable). Players on the platform deal and receive greatly increased damage. Stepping off the platform is easy, but where you land might not be safe!

The map has a dozen crates: some stationary, some riding conveyor belts. Half of these have a colored flag. Being near a flag counts as “touching” it. Players cannot pick up, more, or damage flags. Environmental damage can break a crate and reveal a flag that is not yet counted as touched by any PC.

A few NPC machines ride on the conveyor belts, attacking or healing the nearest PC in their range. Some are melee, some are ranged.

Six players (ABCEDEF) play three rounds, in two-player teams (AB vs CD vs EF, then AC vs BE vs DF, finally AE vs BD vs CE). Players who are killed respawn after a few seconds on the platform with one second of damage immunity. A round ends when the sixth and final flag is revealed. Your team’s score is the number of flags your team touched (not double-counting flags touched by both team members) added to the number of opposing PCs your team killed on the platform.

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