A tried and tested format for a new beginning...
Forging Invasion maps has been at the heart of The Anvil from the beginning. Throughout the long and arduous journey of refining a pool of curated Invasion maps, this one in particular has stood out for its reliability to give players a solid well-balanced experience. It's for this reason that I've chosen Sunspot as the first of our competitive Invasion map feature. It'll also serve as an excellent jumping-in point to what we'll be showcasing in the future.
Created By: BarrenFatal
Recommended Players: 12
Let's start off with the basics - Sunspot follows the traditional Invasion gamemode found and played in the base game! This is because the map follows the EO TTC format. Now for those unaware that acronym stands for "Elite Offense, Territories.Territories.Core", which describes the 3 phases that make up the Invasion gamemode. All Invasion maps can be described this way and you'll be sure to see this trend followed through other features. So for newcomers this is a great one to pick up and start playing and experience the new age of Invasion that began with the addition of Halo: Reach's forge to the MCC.
It is good practice when crafting an invasion map to think about a story or some lore for your map. Whilst this is true for most forge projects, this is especially true in invasion where the use of playable elites allows creators to construct situations of conflict set authentically in the halo universe without resorting to the controversial "spartan story" excuse. In this case, Barren describes Sunspot as follows: "Under the heavy sunlight lies massive solar panels harvesting energy for the UNSC. This solar plant serves as the last remaining energy source on Reach, and must be protected at all cost."
Creating the solar panels with the new human door piece really helps to sell this idea, as well as the phase 2 battery storage objective and the industrial complex feel reminiscent of boneyard. However, the main reason why I believe this map is deserving of a feature is its balance. Whilst having been play-tested extensively, very little of the original layout of this map has been altered. This is a testament to its enduring design which will become apparent as I walk you through the map. To get you started, here are a few snapshots to give you a taster of the phase progression of this map.
To give you an idea of how this map plays, lets walk through some of the strategies typically involved when attacking this map from the elites perspective. If this is confusing to follow, simply picture on the map overview you are moving left to right and then these callouts should start to make sense.
Phase 1, Elites are tasked with attacking two territories. On the left, it's important to leverage the brace large terrace with a needle rifle to support your spawn partner. Mid team can select the evade loadout and using the centre structure as cover, make a dash to disrupt spartans spawning and rotating between objectives. Right team is often seen taking the camouflage loadout and hugging the cliffs between the trees. Then pouncing onto the right objective when spartans have dispersed and letting rip with their needlers.
Phase 2, vehicle combat is introduced as the assault of two more territory objectives begin. Elites often take the wraith to the right side to be protected form oncoming spartans by the right objective building protruding from the cliff face. Deny spartans control of the roof of this building and allow your brothers to seize the objective inside. On the right one elite can take the focus rifle and lurk in the the central solar panel building of phase 1 and apply pressure from afar whilst elites evade in and take the objective. Be cautious of the roaming warthog the spartans have deployed that will likely circle this objective and cut you down as you cross the open terrain.
In Phase 3, the core drops and the entire sandbox opens up as the final push begins. Elites should use the banshee to harass the spartan tank and keep it pinned by the vehicle bay which should allow the wraith to swing out and support elites transporting the core. Spartans will use their sniper to deny during its transport through the open sections, so bring the dropsheild loadout. Alternatively surf the core on top of the wraith to quickly move the core into elite controlled territory and win the round!
So that's it for the quick walkthrough! Check out Barren's original post here
Be sure to stay tuned for later in the season where this map will be included in the servers "Invasion Map Pack" along with a news article to accompany it. As for myself I hope this is the start of many map features I will be showcasing over the coming months so stay tuned to our #server-announcements channel in the Discord for more! Oh and if your reading this and haven't already signed up to the discord, what are you waiting for!