pl_borneo: The Dark Horse of the Highlander map pool

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    It’s no secret that borneo is one of the less-liked maps played in highlander as evidenced by its recent disappearance from the Highlander map pool in favor of vigil.

    I am on the newer side of the playerbase, and the few times I played the map competitively, it was in more experimental formats and lower divs. As such, I’d be interested in

    • Getting some closure, as I do not expect the map to return in its current state.
    • Fostering discussion regarding what factors make a payload map play well.
    • Creating a resource for anyone attempting to create a pl_borneo_pro or similar in the future.

    To my knowledge, the two largest issues with the map are the length and the strength of the last hold, but I don’t want to limit the discussion to these–I’d like to see criticism leveled at the small things a first or second time player wouldn’t pick up on.

  • TBF, there is a contingent of Borneo stans, and it always shows up in the end-of-season polls (even if it ultimately gets rejected).

    Something which you didn’t mention, but which annoys me as Not One Of The Experienced People You’re Nudging For A Response, is the fact that there are so very many dreadful choke points and horrible tunnels where defenders get to spam down on cart. As a cart pusher, I do not wish to experience this.

  • if borneo ever returns to the pool, i am telling my leader that i am just not showing up that week. a sub can play for me.

  • personally i would not ever consider changing the pl pool unless a pl map of exceptional quality was released, and i don’t think that’s going to happen again

  • As someone who played during the peak of borneo, I can assure you that the map is not fun at all. Impossible to push due to stupid decisions from the map maker in regards to chokes and high grounds. Take last for example- there are 3 chokes you can push through, and all 3 either give you significant low ground disadvantage (flank and tracks) or get spammed out with zero effort (hall), and all three give you no way to take some form of ground near the location you want to fight. Contrast this to upward giving you lower to push to tiles, swift giving you the upper area and vigil giving you red, all three being relatively tough pushes, but doable given the correct pressure applied elsewhere, or the right pick. There is also almost no way to remedy the issues with the map without basically making a new map entirely.

    The other thing about re-adding borneo is the need to switch it for swiftwater, upward, or vigil. While I believe all of these maps (and the payload gamemode in general, but thats for a different thread) are flawed, they do not have the same level of issues borneo has. Same thing applies with badwater. There is no way to change the PL pool in a positive way at this point without a similar event to the release of vigil.

  • Aside from maybe last (all pl lasts suck), Borneo smacks and is wayyyy more fun than vigil…

  • @kevbad ty for the commentary on the maps design flaws

  • Pretty sure Borneo is the only map where you pretty much have to push from low ground for every single point. It’s like the actual structure of the map that’s the problem, so small changes probably won’t fix big problems with the map. If you take badwater for example, one of the issues was really long sniper sightlines. It’s relatively easy to just stick a wall there so a sniper can’t look across half the entire map. With borneo, you’d probably have to remove/remodel entire areas to the point where you may as well just make a new map.

  • borneo’s pretty solidly the 4th best map in the pool, but i m o i don’t think it’s such a step back that the downside of ‘having to play long map :(((’ is bigger than the downside of a permanently stagnant pl pool. polls have shown time and time again that a large part of the community is in favor of new/different maps, and borneo is 100% playable in it’s current state. A map being more difficult to push isn’t inherently worse, it means that there are more stringent conditions to get advantages and that working/using those advantages is a skill rewarded more than ‘let’s just pop in 9v9 and hope we can out dm them lul’.

    without major prize pools in the HL there’s very little reason to take a hardline stance of ‘only play the best 7 maps every season no question’, and if rotating in borneo means we don’t have to play upward for one fucking season out of the past 30+ then honestly i’m all for it. it doesn’t have to be in semi-constant rotation like cascade, just put it in once every 3 seasons for a little bit of variety and to force players to learn something new. Considering some newer advancements in PL technology (enforcer) and vigil’s seemingly-increasing average cap time (completely anecdotal, waiting for sand’s spreadsheet to update after this week for more hard data), i see very little reason to not put it in for a season.

    also, only person in this thread who’s legitimately qualified to talk about borneo as a map and not just likes/dislike is @TheS4rr

  • Basically last is extremely annoying to push. I don’t think there were a whole lot of other reasons people didn’t like it from what I remember.

    But that being said, last is extremely annoying to push (more than other last points in my humble opinion). There aren’t many great ways to push into borneo last, though if teams workshop it if/when it’s played more, that could change. Who knows?

    I wouldn’t complain too much if it was in rotation, but I also personally find Upward, Vigil, and Steel much more entertaining to play.

    Where my millstone bois at, can we sub out upward for millstone? 😉

  • millstone enthusiast reporting for duty

  • @Markers said in pl_borneo: The Dark Horse of the Highlander map pool:

    I wouldn’t complain too much if it was in rotation, but I also personally find Upward, Vigil, and Steel much more entertaining to play.

    Damn… the Swiftwater snub is real 😛

  • @Markers said in [pl_borneo:

    Where my millstone bois at, can we sub out upward for millstone? 😉

    @Bliztank said in pl_borneo: The Dark Horse of the Highlander map pool:

    millstone enthusiast reporting for duty

    if only u knew my struggle
    that map was destined for greatness but the mapmaker is too much of a headass who’s completely unwilling to make any meaningful changes to the map despite being given a LITERAL ENCYCLOPEDIA of potential changes that could make the map playable, all because he’s too afraid of ‘alienating the pub community that likes the halloween version’

    i wanted that map to be good so badly but it’s not gonna happen

    @scaredy-bat said in [pl_borneo:

    Damn… the Swiftwater snub is real 😛

    swift >> upward >= vigil > borneo >> badwater > barnblitz

  • @Alto Now you bringing out the map we should be playing! Barnblitz pro (although problematic) was very fun!

  • @Alto This. Just because something is harder to push doesn’t mean it’s inherently a worse map, imo it makes things much more skillful if you can consistently pull off quick times, you get a much bigger reward for being better at the map than the other team if you can cap 3-4 minutes faster than them consistently, rather than like 1-2 minutes on vigil or something.

    Take old Nuke from csgo for example, or just a lot of the maps in the pool ~3+ years ago. Getting 5 rounds on T-side was good, but if you were skilled enough that you could win like 10 rounds T side, then you played so well that you were able to give yourself a significant advantage on the CT side. Maybe you weren’t a fan of nuke, but what I’m trying to say is that making things harder increases the skill ceiling, something we shouldn’t shy away from.

    Obviously having a map be nearly impossible to push is dumb (I don’t wanna play some shit like Dustbowl last for example), but longer map times does not mean the map is inherently worse playwise at all, it only affects scrim times, but 12+ minute average time is still enough time finish scrims on time even with some added highlander time.

    tl;dr Harder to push points (within reason) can raise the skill ceiling of the game

  • all i remember about borneo was when luigi denied me from ringing somebody and i was very upset about it and said id pay for him to go to rgb to fight me in the parking lot

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