“Stinking wretched place, from what once was a calm lake now putrid gases emanate, gases which are collected to fuel our Holy Imperial Death Machines.”
Kapala Mire is my second and kind of sadly the last bit of work that I could do for Dawn Of War 3’s community because of time constraints. It is the second map I made after Naxos, and for Kapala Mire I aimed it to become the equivalent of a “SC2 standard” map, which just translates to a map which allows the biggest variety of strategies possible for players. Or the ideal type of map where serious E-Sport competitions can be fought on, as Standard maps generally strip most of the randomness away from the core gameplay loop, and therefore are most enjoyable to the competitive “spike” type of segment of the playerbases.
So the reason why Kapala Mire was made was exactly to provide a map to the Dawn Of War 3 community which could become a sort of default go to for competitive environments such as the surviving small little tourneys that were being done a year or so after the launch of DoW3, so that way they would have some good bread (baseline) over which the players could build their sandwiches (Build Orders, Strategies, cutesy tactical plays, etc)
The aesthetics of Kapala Mire were extremely enjoyable for me to create, I visually love just how Dawn Of War 3 looks, and Kapala Mire allowed me a chance to discover all the level design and level art tools Relic used to create Dawn Of War 3, and learning those tools on my own with close to 0 documentation was very, very challenging, but highly rewarding in its own way.
I very much enjoyed the ground texture mixes of Kapala. I believe that the solid copper mixed with the ever slightly warm toned stone bricks, albeit not “realistic” it still provides a heck of a color palette, especially with the copper colored/reddish stone blocks which serve to hold the fences and clifflines, which then become not only instantly recognizable for gameplay purposes but also contrasty which is very important for E-Sport titles, as it provides visual clarity when the video stream becomes compressed on 360p or lower Twitch or YouTube videos, let alone those who watch the videos on their phones.
As stated previously, the core idea of the map, was to provide a standard canvas where players could showcase their own strategies with a very limited degree of gameplay randomness. To achieve that goal I used 4 very strong points in the center of the map with the highgrounds, two of them have “Fortification Points”. Which are a feature inherent to DoW3 where ranged units can be shielded from the attack of other ranged units but Melee units can still enter into the “Fortification Point” and “engage” (fight hand to hand) with the ranged unit within which denies the ranged unit from being able to attack “as a ranged unit”. It transforms it into a melee unit when engaged.
So. The idea was with these strong points to create a situation where the entire center of the map could provide strong early game variance and skirmishes as the players fought for positioning of the resources in the lowground (central resource point) and denying their opponent resources through faster positioning (it is faster to go through the center to deny your opponent resources than through the sides/wings of the map). Therefore the center just like a Chess board provides very close to overwhelming positional advantage for any player in the center during the early game.
The twist is that, because of the very strong positional highgrounds which are around the center, these highgrounds after a certain amount of units have entered the game, become as stated very powerful strongholds, and the entire center becomes what I like to call, a stagnation point. And through that tool, it forces army and positional engagements to the sides/wings of the map where the true bulk of the resources lie
And once all of the above is taken together into a core gameplay look timeline, it ought to look like a strong spike of action during the early game, a more passive, strongly positional midgame takes hold as players battle for resources but as a consequence of the strong points can’t fully move freely through the map, and later as the Dawn Of War 3 escalations phases kick in, players start to fight with huge armies and try to overwhelm the strong points of the opponent in the lategame, all the while making use of the newly gained territory and sides/wings of the map to flank and pin large enemy armies.
Kapala Mire, was an overall very, very fun project. Where I could put all my Multiplayer Level Design knowledge on the table and apply it to something beyond StarCraft II Multiplayer Levels, so I am very happy that it was well received by the community, specially these ones still hanging around and enjoying Dawn Of War 3 games in the Weekly Game Nights Dawn Of War 3 Discord Server!
Map Size: 384×384
Number of Resource Points: 11
Game Modes: Annihilation, Annihilation with Turrets, Power Core
Changelog of the map