We approached Valley’s designer Mikhail Vovk and asked him a couple of questions. What’s so special about this map? How it is different from the previous one? And what to expect from future battlegrounds?
Let’s start tackling these questions.
So what’s going on?
Valley doesn’t look like maps we had before. It’s like it came from a different universe. High mountains, forests, weird looking, seemingly ancient (yet perfectly functional) facilities and, well, proper green grass under robots’ feets.
So the question is… what happened to you? You don’t want summer to end THAT much?
Well, it’s easy. Making Valley, we did what people asked us, both in terms of visuals and gameplay. We ran a couple of surveys and wild green nature was the most popular option.
And Valley definitely doesn’t contradict what we already have in War Robots. This abandoned facility is located in Vietnam mountains. While most of the world is ravaged by war, Valley wasn’t touched by it. So naturally, it looks much more lively than all the places you saw before.
Okay, and how it goes in gameplay department?
Valley combines what people liked about Dead City, Power Plant and, partly, Moon. Skirmishes are quick, beacons are placed symmetrically, and most of the time teams tend to clash around central beacon. The outcome of the battle, however, is usually decided by side beacons control, so swift robots are going to be very useful.
What’s so special about the Valley?
How Valley is different from the Moon for example?
Structurally it is very different. Valley, just like Powerplant, reminds me of city blocks. Almost every key point is connected to others through many paths. You can get from one place to another in a different way.
On Moon it is often not the case — you’re much more constrained by its architecture. And it is not a bad thing, if just motivates you to think differently when planning, taking limited space into account. “Okay, if I go there alone, I won’t be able to push in a neither direction, as both side tunnels are controlled by enemies. But what if I try to take longer path around and try to flank them?..” — and so on.
Can we say that Valley is made for close-quarters combat?
There’s an certain emphasis on CQC, sure, but snipers have some things to do there as well. There are nice camping near beacons A and E with a good view over significant part of the map. However, you have to act quickly and carefully — if you just stand there and shoot, you’ll get dismantled quite fast.
According to our statistics, about 15% of all spawned robots are equipped with long-range guns. That kind of aligns with a perfect situation on Valley: there’s enough place for 2-4 snipers and for the rest it’s better to dive in deep into combat.
What’s coming next?
Remember people asked for low-gravity fights on Moon? Anything like that on the Valley?
Oh sure thing I remember. For now be assured: this military base is likely to hide some terrific secrets, but by itself it is completely safe for all pilots.
But there certainly are plans for adding special conditions on future maps. There’s a concept for a map where you can fall off the edge of the map and die. On another there are activatable “traps”. And these might turn into full-fledged maps at some point — maybe even sooner than you expect.
And what we should expect after that?
Right now we’re working on about 5 maps, all of them are at different stages of development. Next one is coming this fall, and most likely it’ll be Dreadnought. No surprises here — if you play on test server, you’ve probably tried it already. It was interesting to try putting War Robots into an enclosed space. So far they seem to do alright there.