I’m not a fan of Veramarth (OOP.Lord_Elrond, 2008), but it has a one-of-a-kind layout that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Rather than the usual square-like map dimensions with main bases tucked away in each corner, Veramarth takes place along the banks of a river, with the main bases directly opposite each-other. There is very little wasted space: there’s enough that the map doesn’t feel cramped and that there is room between the lanes, but no long walks or windy side-paths.
Upon first spawning in the main base, players are immediately very close to the action, and this of course remains true for subsequent revives. The middle lane sees the most traffic, but perhaps the most important points on the map are the corner bases, which are barely defended. Taking one of those out will improve your team’s flow of troops to the mid lane, as well as allowing your own corner base to pressure the enemy from a different angle. Be careful though, as because they’re in the corner of the map, and there’s nowhere to run if your enemies come hunting.
There are a number of neutral healing fountains along the river for in-combat healing, and in fact no fountains in either team’s base! This rather unusual lack-of-a-feature actually accelerates a team’s victory if they’re already in a winning position, which is something many AoS maps struggle with.
The lack of teleport and recall makes players have to think harder about their positioning and which objectives they can cover and defend. It’s a very different experience to most lane-pushing games, and I would like to see this kind of layout utilised and explored more often.
Unfortunately, the rest of the game’s features make it a very unpleasant experience to play. The heroes are few and bland, there are only 5 items, and even those only passively boost stats. Many abilities are random, and worst of all, the enemy ranged troops have a ministun spell that they cast on enemy heroes at every opportunity!
And that’s why this review is a short one. Veramarth was only in development for a few weeks, but I think its map layout makes a good case study.