We've been working together with our partners on this area, and would like to get your feedback before finalizing the details.
The main goals are:
1. We'd like to have a bigger map diversity.
We know some players and pros don't like the idea of map diversity because it's difficult to learn new strategies on different maps, but we strongly believe that this creates a better experience in both keeping the game feeling fresh as well as fun to watch.
2. More maps rotated out per season in 2014, especially in the first season.
Because it's a new year, we'd like to bring in 4 new maps so that over half of the maps in the pool are fresh. Also, because each season will be much longer in 2014, we definitely would like to swap out more than 2 maps per season. Either 3 or 4 new maps per season is what we're currently thinking depending on how Season 1 goes.
Here are our detailed thought processes that we're currently in discussions with our tournament partners on.
Belshir Vestige, Whirlwind, and Akilon Wastes are cut due to them being in the map pool for so long.
Star Station for a similar reason. Trying out the 2 player version was fun, but the map itself isn't really all that different from the original map.
Derelict watcher as the last cut. It was a toss up between Derelict Watcher and Polar Night, but because Derelict is the older map, we're thinking this might just be the better map to cut.
Alterzim Stronghold - this is the largest map we've had and plays very different from the others in the pool. We're finding that this map is good in the current ladder season and would like to at least try it for an official season as well.
Habitation Station - We also watched all of the Red Bull games, coordinated with Team Liquid, and realized this was the clear best map among those in the map contest. The way the high yield expansion plays in this map is very unique and different.
New GSL map - GSL is currently working on two new maps, and we're currently in the process of bringing one of them in here. This will be the only truly standard map of the 4 new maps going in.
New rush map - We also would like to try a rush map in a slightly different fashion than before. Our goal here is to create a map where the main to main distance is standard, nat to nat is only very slightly shorter, but due to it being really open, aggression is preferred. The map as a whole feels fairly standard but the action just happens much faster.
As you can see, not all the maps are prepared yet and are in progress, but we just thought it's important to share our thoughts with all of you as soon as possible for initial feedback on our direction, as well as to keep you posted on what's coming soon in this area. Thank you~