2 major impressions:
- Proxy prone.
- Great landscape overhaul
Well, scouting at 8 should still prove useful because of possible proxy detours. Looking at it, the possible proxy locations should be limited to the red regions indicated.
Why? Because that is one of the logic of a proxy - to greatly shorten a units spawn point to the enemy's base and in effect, do fuckton of damage. I'm not sure if a regular scout at 8 would efficiently scout the respective proxy locations and still make it to the enemy's base to do substantial scouting.
Seriously, this map looks a whole lot fucking gorgeous compared to the previous version of the map. The ramps and paths leading to the center high ground will make the matchups much more interesting.
So now I'll discuss the map in the light of each race and their match ups.
Terran vs Zerg
Taking the Natural will prove difficult since there are two paths to the natural, lings can just pour in from two directions which will be difficult to defend. Blocking the backdoor path with depo's is not theoretically possible since the lings will have arrived by then. Going mech then? Oh look, the ramp is easily blocked by depo rax, you can try it out if you want.
The map is generally unflankable and it is not that open. Given that the following entrances can be easily walled,
*note: the encircled paths can't be blocked by a single ebay/rax and by that I meant that lings can still pass by.
pushing with mech should prove to be useful in this map. Pushing to the middle can prove tricky but being able to do the following will greatly make a mech push effective.
or this one instead
The blocked path and the pushing paths are actually interchangeable. Why? As long as you block a counter pushing path, you're free to push from the other path. This is similar to the logic of Heartbreak Ridge where armies can actually go to the opposing teams' base without having an encounter. In Asgard, however, it is very easy to limit the other guys movement in the other path, making it very easy to defend with. Adding in the fact that it is very hard to flank as Zerg against a mech terran, mech would really be effective on this map.
Or is it? At first look, the middle looks very flankable, but due to the crippling nature of mech during early game, the terran can just sit happily, wait to defend against mutas then push out. If you look at it, there are four paths leading to the center high ground, but 3 out of four paths are actually blockable just by securing the white path.
Then the scenario will be similar to the mech pushing paths which will just kill the Zerg. Expect Mech on this map.
Terran vs Protoss
Terran actually looks pretty invincible in this map. The map is unflankable. Once Terran secures the high ground in the middle and secures the flanking paths, attacking will just be easy unless the Terran gets sloppy. But will executing this play be as easy as playing mech against Zerg in this map? Note that int TvP mech units are the regular scene. Going fac port would look viable but S class Protoss players have a way of dealing with the build (look at Stork vs Fantasy over at RoTK).
It would then look like that Terran would play against Protoss the regular way. The back entrance to the natural would also make vulture runby and/or minetraps viable. This map would promote a Fantasy style of playing TvP. The expansions are really really vulnerable to vultures and tanks.
However, if you're the turret whoring slow pushing turtle type, this map won't disappoint you. Just like the mech push outlined on TvZ, securing the 3/9 path will make turtling easy, add to that the fact that you can just turret whore for all it's worth.
Terran vs Terran
Now we have a new way to spell boring, Terran vs Terran on Asgard. It's so easy for Terran to secure the 3/9 flanking paths. Dropship play over at middle game might be futile since everyone can just turret whore. Maybe we'll see safe play in TvT that proceeds to massing Cattle Bruisers.
Zerg vs Terran
Two words: Air Distance
Or is it? At a first glance the air distances between the mains look rather short.
Air times from the two mains:
- Overlord --> 2 minutes 15 seconds (until over the Command Center)
- Mutalisk --> less than 20 seconds from main to natural
Battle Royal and Raid Assault had much more shorter air distance (around 1 minute 30 seconds via overlord). Mutalisk Air Distance isn't that minimized either. I ran the mutalisks from the top right to the bottom right of the map and it was just a little over 25 seconds. I think that 4~5 seconds during a two hatch muta attack would be great. 9 pool would have been a good preemptive strike for a 2 hatch muta but the ramps are blockable by depo-rax only, making mech really viable. 4 pool then? I'm not sure if KePSA will fix the ramp to make it a depo-depo-rax wall to give Zerg a fighting chance.
Zerg vs Protoss
Cheers to the tears that you Zerg guys cried over at ZvT will cry over at this map - it got repayed by the tears that Protoss players will cry over this one. Ling all-ins will be abundant on this map followed by 2 hatch hydras to seal the deal. Middle game would be a breeze because of the given economic advantage from early game. Lurkers would limit Protoss movements through the narrow passages and actually, every expansion can be harassed by lurks (except the 6 and 12 ofc). Making the Protoss starve would be a simple key play. Not much to say about ZvP here, really.
Zerg vs Zerg
A new way to get a comatose. I don't want to discuss how that match up will figure out on this map.
Protoss vs Terran
If you're ballsy enough, send a scout at 4, build your base over at his base. if you want to play straight up though, it's still possible. Don't try to go toe to toe against the Terran here, it's nearly impossible to flank.
+ Show Spoiler +
See? It would take forever just trying to get a good flank at the Terran. Unless you really outnumber him then take it head on. I think a good way of killing the Terran ball is with shuttles and zealot bombs and storm drops would be essential since it's really hard to get Terran in the open unless of course you get him off guard while trying to get his part of the high ground.
But if the Terran manages to secure his half of the map, go carriers/arbiters.
- Don't dare approach the high ground since it's really open, goliaths will eat you.
- Try to circumnavigate the map to his base in order to wreak havoc.
If you want to go carriers on this map, make sure you build it a little off center where he's not aware that you have them. Try to hit critical mass before he has goliaths to deal with your carriers.
- really cool, invisible units + statis + recall = class
I personally think that Arbiters are safer in this map. Why? The map is not that narrow and ground units have a good moving space on it - especially where it matters. Narrow pathways are not much of a trouble as recall offers almost infinite mobility for the Protoss army, giving it access to harass expansions.
Protoss vs Zerg
Yo, I got some wall in photos.
I made it that way so the probes would just have to drill towards the backdoor entrance. I know it's not that good, 3 zealots to wall in one part which should have been only 2 but there's a space between the nexus and the gateway.
If ever you manage to survive early game, get templars, they are really useful in this map. A few storms = clear paths, the paths are that narrow that 2~4 storms would already wipe it clean. Middle game would be a little better since the Zerg will find it hard to flank you and if ever you get sandwiched (which reminds me of the Xellos vs some Zerg game on Shades of Twilight), storms are there to keep your opponents on bay.
Protoss vs Protoss
Whoever gets to control the higher ground wins. PvP battles would most often happen on open spaces because army positions resemble parallel lines and it doesn't get any more spacious than the high grounds - anywhere else is a cramped Protoss army waiting to get stormed and scarabed to death. Unlike other maps before, PvP on Asgard will point us to the people that knows how to pick battles in PvP.
Wow, I spent half a day just doing one map....
edit: for more clarity...