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Old 05-06-2012, 03:56 PM
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Default Pavlov's House map improvements--food for thought

Just trying to brainstorm ways to make Pavlov's House feel more epic, either through changes to the existing map, or perhaps through creating a new, similar map... Pavlov's House feels great, and I enjoy it, but I just feel that it doesn't quite evoke the epic defensive stand of historical fame.

These changes could be done by either a modder or by Tripwire, but it's worth mentioning that seeing as the map is already built, it would be a somewhat less formidable project. Feel free to chime in!

I'm also aware that Pavlov's House was one of the harder maps to optimize, and I try to take this into account.

1.
First, I think the weather could use a change. Smoke should already be filling the sky at this point of the battle. A moody, overcast sky would look excellent.

Not sure what the implications would be for performance as a result of substituting a new skybox and dimmer lighting...

2.
Attack-defend is essential. As much as I like aspects of how the current map plays, I think we'd all love to see a defensive action at Pavlov's House. The Germans will feel the thrill of imminent victory as they attempt to push through to the Volga, and the Russians will fight with the strength of desperating, knowing that only a few hundred yards separate them from defeat...

The capzones could be:

--Voyentenburg Ruins (1st German Objective, non-recapturable)
--9th January Square (2nd German Objective, capturable at the same time as the Voyentenburg, recapturable by Soviets). Germans initially spawn in furthest back spawns in the current A-D format, with another spawn available across from Pavlov's House over the 9 Jan Square.

Upon both being captured, the following capzones open up, and the 9th of January Square becomes permanantly German. A new German spawn becomes available in the Voyentenburg.

The last capzones could be:

--Zab's House (recapturable by Soviets)
--Lower Pavlov's House (Basement and 1st floor, recapturable)
--Upper Pavlov's House (2nd, 3rd Floors)

Sure, it might be a difficult map for the Germans, but I'm sure the Sixth Army would agree that that was the case in 1942 as well. Soviet tanks could be limited to a single T34, maybe a T-70 once it makes it into the game.

3.
The 9th of January Square could use more terrain deformation. More shell craters, debris, ruined vehicles, etc... would make it viable to place a German spawn directly across from Pavlov's House, letting the Germans push across the square by using cover, smoke, and supporting artillery fire. Currently, capturing the square all comes down to who can sneak into the capzone. More cover would allow for some real firefights over the open ground.

The above change would probably result in the largest hit to performance. The portion of the map on the German right, though, could be sacrificed somewhat to alleviate this.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A couple suggestions for Grain Elevator while I'm at it:

1. Smoke and fire from the upper windows and grain storage towers. It was in the beta and looked great. Might be a performance choice, but perhaps it could be re-introduced?

2. This would take much more work, but it's odd that the Gatehouse buildings are so undamaged given the destroyed buildings all over the German spawn area. Maybe some shell scarring or damage?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anyway, I'd been thinking about these changes for a long time now. Maps like Fallen Fighters, Station, Grain Elevator, and Red October really channel the Stalingrad feel. Apartments feels fairly ruthless, and Commissar's House has good atmosphere too, but I've always felt that Pavlov's House could live up just a tad more to it's potential...

Hope this helps, and feel free to chime in!
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Last edited by Nikita; 05-06-2012 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:32 PM
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Honestly if it was made more like the RO1 custom version it would be perfect. Take Zab's and Voyentorg out of the cap order entirely, make it a pure defence map for the Soviets, clutter up 9th January with piles of debris and tank wrecks, and have the Germans assault across there into the house itself and then cap it floor by floor. Perhaps have the Mill as a cap as well just to give the Soviets one last straw to hang on by.

The RO2 version of the map feels empty and flat, and most of the action actually avoids the single landmark that the entire area revolved around. The house itself is generally reserved for snipers and MGs while everyone else runs straight to Zab's or the square. Crossing the square as a Soviet is suicide because Voyentorg overlooks it so badly that you get sniped or machine gunned the second you move out of cover, Soviet snipers are essentially restricted to Pavlov's or the ruined corner behind it (where's the rest of that building, by the way? Surprisingly little debris for how little of it is left standing) and only when you have a very oblivious German team is it safe to make the run down the northern edge of the square and into the buildings by the German spawn (which are in themselves only a good spot because the Germans don't expect to be shot from behind). Playing as a sniper on that map is a hell of a lot less exciting and rewarding than it should be. You can't even set up behind the ruined houses on the north side because the damn chimneys are just outside the combat zone (like on so many other maps). Even the roofspace of Pavlov's house is a fairly poor choice, unlike in the original custom map.

RO1 Pavlov's was as close to perfect as you will ever see for that map. Zab's was a sideshow run mostly to get an MG or sniper into a position to fire directly into the windows of Pavlov's, the massive amounts of smoke, debris and vehicle hulks were perfect cover for the Germans so they could cross 9th January with at least some modicum of safety, the houses on the north side of the square made an incredible early-game Soviet flanking position as the Germans attacked past it, and the mill itself was a pretty good spot to guard the flanks from. Having the Soviets on pure defence tallies better with the actual history of the place and makes for better, more exciting gameplay.

In addition, both sides having two tanks each just bogs things down worse. The tanks will park up and let hull AI hose down infantry in the square while blasting away at each other. Your average RO2 player has no idea how to use a T-34 to any good effect and so the German tanks will win out and dominate the square. This is not good design. The Germans having a lone StuG III C in support in the RO1 map was perfect, because it wasn't invulnerable to the anti-tank rifles, it couldn't sit in one spot and just lazily fire into one window after another by traversing a turret, and there was no hull MG AI massacring anyone moving between Pavlov's and Zab's.

Pavlov's House was one of the most iconic aspects of the battle, it should be nail-bitingly tense and visually chaotic with debris everywhere, not a sunny open plain with some ruins arbitrarily placed around and both sides stalemating around the square. Right now it's a tedious yawnfest and will elicit a loud groan from me when I see it loading, and Pavlov's House was one of my favourite RO1 maps.

Last edited by ross; 05-06-2012 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:45 PM
Golf33 Golf33 is offline
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Interesting ideas - I particularly think Nikita's are worth trying out. I've noticed that this map plays quite differently now than at release. It used to be a German auto-win for the reasons Ross mentions, but on a 32-player server I have not seen the Germans win 2-0 for ages. Soviet AT gunners have learned the weak spots in the Pz-IV's frontal arc and with good Squad Leaders and Commander the Soviets can put enough smoke down to cross the Square from C, flank from D and then cut up Germans trying to get into E and F.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:56 PM
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Yes, I feel like the map doesn't make very good use of Pavlov's apartment block. By the time the Germans attack B and A, the game's already over.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:41 PM
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I agree with Nikita in general.

Pavlov's House is one of my favorite RO 2 maps, but it's lacking atmosphere. I mean, it still looks so clean, that the player could think "Hey, let's take that silly house and move on". In no way does it feel like a small defensive position where hundreds of soldiers have lost their lives in the attempt to capture/defend that building.
If it wasn't for the building damages and the few tank wrecks, Pavlov's House looks more like a weekend destination rather than a place horrible fighting took place at. (it's a sunny day, clear sky, I almost feel like: gimme a can of beer and while we are at it, I lighten a cigarette).

The sky should be dark, smoke in the background, there should be more rubble, debris, tank wrecks (the open scenery on the russian right/german left doesn't help for immersion) and so on. Try to capture a feeling where the player could assume: Wow, we are being sent to capture a single house for the costs of dozens of our comrades live. Screw the Fuhrer for this insanity. I think you get my meaning.

Atmosphere wise, I think Red October and Comissar's House are the best. Pavlov's is an icon that is still lacking THE feeling.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:59 PM
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Again, the RO1 map basically nailed it. I dunno if you guys all played it, but it was pretty amazing. When Pavlov's was revealed as a default map for RO I was really excited, hoping they'd adapt the RO1 map to RO2 much the same way TWI would regularly host contests to make custom maps official. I was disappointed beyond words when the truth turned out to be otherwise.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:34 AM
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I actually like the map just the way it is and think its one of the better ROHOS maps.

Yes, I played the ROOST version of the map (yes it was a custom) and I really liked it too, but that was a different part of the battle for that area. I honestly can say that I'm glad this map doesn't play the same. I'd prefer to see new maps or at least maps with a new direction than playing the same maps over from an older game. I wouldn't mind seeing someone take the exhisting map and expand/shift the battle though.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:48 AM
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Nothing to say about Pavlovs but for HOS Maps in General:

I want maps back like Berezina orsome others, played in Forests with trenches and snow (forget about the name). There where clear frontlines. In HOS theres nothing like this. Theres only flanking. You never know if its an enemy or a friendly if you aim in a direction.

This sucks really.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikita View Post

Just trying to brainstorm ways to make Pavlov's House feel more epic, either through changes to the existing map, or perhaps through creating a new, similar map... Pavlov's House feels great, and I enjoy it, but I just feel that it doesn't quite evoke the epic defensive stand of historical fame.


2.
Attack-defend is essential. As much as I like aspects of how the current map plays, I think we'd all love to see a defensive action at Pavlov's House. The Germans will feel the thrill of imminent victory as they attempt to push through to the Volga, and the Russians will fight with the strength of desperating, knowing that only a few hundred yards separate them from defeat...

The capzones could be:

--Voyentenburg Ruins (1st German Objective, non-recapturable)
--9th January Square (2nd German Objective, capturable at the same time as the Voyentenburg, recapturable by Soviets). Germans initially spawn in furthest back spawns in the current A-D format, with another spawn available across from Pavlov's House over the 9 Jan Square.
Tripwire need only to create all objective in defense version for russians (and not in attack). And german shouldn't to defend but only attack.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikita View Post
1.
First, I think the weather could use a change. Smoke should already be filling the sky at this point of the battle. A moody, overcast sky would look excellent.

Not sure what the implications would be for performance as a result of substituting a new skybox and dimmer lighting...

Pavlov house battle take part mainly in Stliangrad battle during september october period. There is not smoke or winter times needed. Only summer time is needed.

Last edited by ro2player; 05-07-2012 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisprinzessin View Post
Nothing to say about Pavlovs but for HOS Maps in General:

I want maps back like Berezina orsome others, played in Forests with trenches and snow (forget about the name). There where clear frontlines. In HOS theres nothing like this. Theres only flanking. You never know if its an enemy or a friendly if you aim in a direction.

This sucks really.

maybe we'll then have a map where the rocket barrage is more useful for clearing a cap point than arty

on-topic

two things would be solved with these changes:
1) attack/defend - would solve my problem as german SL of "I die, we lose a point"

2) more crap and a spawn across 9 jan square toward maxim house - finally the most un-used MG in the game could actually be manned for once
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ro2player View Post
Pavlov house battle take part mainly in Stliangrad battle during september october period. There is not smoke or winter times needed. Only summer time is needed.
Of course snow won't be needed. Clouds, sure, vary on a day-to-day basis, but there should be thick columns of smoke rising into the air almost every day of the battle until Uran began.

See lower right of photo. The Volga is beginning to freeze over, so this must be sometime in November.


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Old 05-07-2012, 10:27 AM
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I agree with the OP. Pavlov's House is a great map, but it lacks atmosphere. It also lacks an Attack/Defense version. Mamaev Kurgan can serve as an example for both of these: IMHO it has one of the best atmospheres I've seen in the entire RO franchise and mods. That fire on the horizon, the great amount of destruction spread across the map with dozens of craters. It really makes me feel like "Whoa, I really am in Stalingrad!". I could almost feel the cold. THAT is an outstanding atmosphere with an authentic Stalingrad feel. Pavlov is a great map, but it's just so clean.

TWI also made a great call by making two versions for Mamaev Kurgan, one with neutral objectives and one on the standard attack/defense mode. Pavlov's House could use the same thing: getting both neutral and A/D modes and getting a general atmosphere overhaul.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nezzer View Post
I agree with the OP. Pavlov's House is a great map, but it lacks atmosphere. It also lacks an Attack/Defense version.
Because Pavlov map doesn't need defense objective for germans and attack objective for russians. Pavlov map need only defense objective for Russians. Giving objectives to defend to germans and objectives to attack to russians are errors. Pavlov need to come from to neutral objective map to total russian defense map. Pavlov need REALLY to become a russian defense map.

Tripwire need to do it and we will found again the real feeling of a german attack on Pavlov or a russian defens of Pavlov.

Last edited by ro2player; 05-07-2012 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:24 PM
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I'd like to see some destructable obsticles for engineers to clear. Maybe even a minefield, too.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nezzer View Post
I agree with the OP. Pavlov's House is a great map, but it lacks atmosphere. It also lacks an Attack/Defense version. Mamaev Kurgan can serve as an example for both of these: IMHO it has one of the best atmospheres I've seen in the entire RO franchise and mods. That fire on the horizon, the great amount of destruction spread across the map with dozens of craters. It really makes me feel like "Whoa, I really am in Stalingrad!". I could almost feel the cold. THAT is an outstanding atmosphere with an authentic Stalingrad feel. Pavlov is a great map, but it's just so clean.

TWI also made a great call by making two versions for Mamaev Kurgan, one with neutral objectives and one on the standard attack/defense mode. Pavlov's House could use the same thing: getting both neutral and A/D modes and getting a general atmosphere overhaul.
Ironically Mamayev is the wrong season for when the bulk of the fighting, particularly the daily back-and-forth, was taking place. I agree though, Mamayev is a great map and other than the season issue I can't find many things to criticise about it.

In contrast, Pavlov's feels like a picnic, and I don't like how clean it is - even where nearly entire buildings have been demolished, there really isn't that much debris, and what there is has fallen into neat little mounds of bricks and left the bulk of the map open and utterly devoid of cover. The map, like many other RO2 maps, consists of flat, open areas and pieces of wall or wrecked vehicles which seem to have been placed solely with the cover system (which, for what it's worth, I have not seen anybody really using since beta as it is actually more likely to get you shot than not using it) in mind. It results in the game feeling too sterile and the environments feeling alien to the setting. Look at any given photo of Stalingrad, even from early in the battle - there are mountains of debris and half-collapsed buildings, in stark contrast to many of the maps in the game.

Last edited by ross; 05-08-2012 at 03:02 AM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ro2player View Post
Because Pavlov map doesn't need defense objective for germans and attack objective for russians. Pavlov map need only defense objective for Russians. Giving objectives to defend to germans and objectives to attack to russians are errors. Pavlov need to come from to neutral objective map to total russian defense map. Pavlov need REALLY to become a russian defense map.

Tripwire need to do it and we will found again the real feeling of a german attack on Pavlov or a russian defens of Pavlov.
I agree with you. Would be best if Zab's house and Pavlov's house with its 2 capzones would be recapable for the Russians. Imagine the intense fighting inside Pavlov's house. THAT would be rat war.

PS: I also totally agree with what ross said!
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:00 AM
luciferintears luciferintears is offline
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This map makes no sense.

I thought the Russians held pavlovs house initially so they are the defenders, yet even if the germans havent captured all the point the Russians still lose. It makes no f***ing sense. The russians still retain control of the apartment block...therefore the Germans failed in their objective to capture it.

the german victory condition should be to CAPTURE the block. whereas the Russian victory condition shoould be to HOLD it.

i dont understand the logic behind this attack/defend mode.
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:00 PM
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The Pavlovs house as a defence-attack map would be epic! Yes, yes and again yes to this idea!
When I found out the Pavlovs House map was a attack-attack map I was dissapointed. The first thing I think of when I hear the name 'Pavlov' is the building the russians DEFENDED against the germans. There should absolutley be a attack-defence version of Pavovs House.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:09 AM
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Pavlov's House is a terrible map for the Soviets to attack for many reasons:

- Germans have E and F points that overlooks the entire battlefield and the 9th January Square.

- The open field is a perfect place of the German Panzer to dominate the entire battlefield.

- Soviet AT rifles can't penetrate front armor of the German Panzer as easily as German AT rifles are penetrating T-34 front armor and T-34 is generally weaker than Panzer, making encounters much more one-sided.

- All good points from Pavlov's House, from which to engage the Panzer with AT rifles, are easy to shoot with HE shells, floor by floor. To add to this you are forced to engage the front armor, further reducing effectiveness of AT rifles.

- There is not enough cover for the engineers to advance and destroy the enemy tank. E and F points will surely contain snipers, sharpshooters or machine gunners who'll shoot you down covering their tank's back.

- AI hullgunner is still deadly accurate and can fire almost directly into the Soviet zone when they try to cross nearly coverless space from Pavlov's House to Zab's House (there should be a tunnel to remedy this, as there was in real life).

All these points combined make the Pavlov's House map unplayable and unfun when German tank is exploiting the map's weaknesses. If something won't change I will not play it ever again. Classic or not. It's simply not worth it.

Combined arms maps are pain in general if the tanks are involved; to mention alley crossing the way into the Univermag building on Fallen Fighters: the Soviets can only put smoke to hope to pass under cover of it and be lucky enough not to get killed by HE or MG while trying to advance. Tanks and AT rifles can't get good enough aim to destroy Panzer nested in said alley. Suiciding T-34 or engineers in hope to destroy an enemy tank usually lead to little to no effect.

Comissar's House map is also a terrible one:

- Little cover for the advancing troops.

- Open space of the Park, making tank combat in the favor of the Panzers.

- The wall right before C making it easy to camp behind for the Germans; if the Soviets won't be mowed down on approach (no cover) they'll surely be killed by Germans under that wall. That's the main reason why most of the maps ends there because of the lockdown or the Soviets lose so much time that they can't make it to capture the rest of the objectives in time.

All in all I think that AI hullgunner should be removed althogether. It's slightly better than it was before, but it's still too cheap and easy to abuse.

Last edited by Holy.Death; 05-14-2012 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:17 AM
Golf33 Golf33 is offline
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Interesting that all three of those maps are won by Soviets more often than Germans on the Australian servers.
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