Opinion: I do not like Container Ship

If there was one map in SDNL that I want to complain about the most, it’s Container Ship. It baffles me that this map is played so much out of the selection of official maps.
While I do like the map’s theming of battling atop a giant boat, I think the way the map is designed goes against a lot of what makes SDNL fun.

By far the biggest issue I have with the map is it’s space. Although it’s a very large and open map, almost all firefights end up gravitating to the bow of the ship. This is because it’s the area of the map that feels the easiest to move around in. SDNL is a shooter which has a heavy focus on fast-paced, frantic movement, yet this map feels as though it was designed to be as frustrating to move in as possible. The center of the map is filled with many claustrophobic paths that are incredibly difficult to navigate through. Couple that with the jittery, rubberbanding netcode of TU, navigating the containers turns into a frustating scramble, as you bump your head into walls and ceilings, struggling to find a way out. When I spawn on the lower floor of the map, I only want to get out as soon as possible. It’s only benefit is that it’s confusion allows you to easily escape combat, and the many shield and health pickups inside allow you to recover quickly and jump back into the action.

For it’s size, I think Frostbite is a much better map in this regard. Much of the map is very open, and instead of only having one combat hotspot like in Container Ship, Frostbite almost feels like multiple tiny arenas stitched together into one big combat playground. A map for a fast-paced shooter should never make you feel tangled up and lost, it should be directing you to combat. Frostbite’s openness allows you to easily jump between these different micro-arenas with many different approaches. Container Ship, on the other hand, punishes you for an unlucky spawn, forcing you to climb your way out of the claustrophobic nightmare just to get a good view of where you are.

If I were to improve Container Ship, I would simply open up the middle section a bit. I wouldn’t remove the container maze completely, I would just make the paths shorter and more linear. Have a bit of open space for players to fight in. After all, if one part of the map is going to be busier than the rest, shouldn’t it be in a more central area, equidistant from both of the teams in the team gamemodes? Why should one end of the map receive so much more action than the other side?

Overall, I think Container Ship is one of the, if not the weakest map in SDNL, and could easily be improved with some simple redesigns of the central area to make the map feel more comfortable and fun to play in.

4 Likes

I agree with a lot of this. The container maze would feel more fitting for something like Virus I think, but in SDNL it ends up feeling way too claustrophobic for the fast paced arena fps style of gameplay inherent to the gamemode. When I played on it, I typically saw people using the container maze as a way to get away from other players pursuing them or they would ignore it entirely to get between the sniper perch and the beach. Not bad in concept but the execution could use some work!

There is an upcoming revamp of Container Ship that has been waiting for the SDNL announcer update here: https://trello.com/c/BL9faIUw/740-update-017140

I played this revamp and it addresses several of your concerns.

3 Likes