posted on March 13, 2023
With the release of the 4.3 update, we will be saying goodbye to the Manic-5 map. Since joining the Squad map roster with the release of the Canadian Armed Forces faction, Manic-5 was liked by some but overall was recognized by our community as one of the least popular and weakest maps for a variety of reasons. Well we’ve heard you and undertook a mission to rework the map and raise the quality, with that we’d like to introduce you to Manicouagan.
Lore: After making a successful amphibious landing at Goose Bay in Labrador, Canada, opposition forces have pushed south along the 389 Highway into Quebec and seized the Daniel-Johnson hydroelectric dam and the surrounding area. This has crippled the power infrastructure of the northeastern United States and prompted counter-attacks from US and Canadian forces. After a lull in the fighting, US and Canadian forces are making a final attempt to retake the dam.
Manic-5 was originally an experimental map that played around the ideas of creating more linear flow within the game space, as well as experimenting with drastic changes in elevation. And although the most positive element of the map was probably the novelty at how the map felt different from other maps in the game, Manic-5 suffered from numerous design problems such as:
When beginning the rework of the map, the two priorities were to retain elements of the original map and to bring the design more in line with the most enjoyed Squad maps (such as Yehorivka and Gorodok), in particular the concept of allowing players to have freedom when it comes to choosing how to approach an objective or POI.
The first major step in the rework was to clamp how drastic the changes in elevations were. Overall the elevation changes on Manicouagan are roughly 60% of what they were in the original map. This step enabled resculpting of the terrain to allow much better flow between adjacent POIs, open up more area of the map for gameplay, and limit how powerful elevated overwatch positions could be. In order to preserve some of the original spirit of the map, there are still relatively significant changes in elevations, but care has been taken to craft these more carefully to avoid or mitigate the issues we saw in the original. The Daniel-Johnson dam remains on the map but it too was shrunk to about 70% of its original size, and efforts have been made to mitigate it from being used as an overwatch position over the valley below.
Dam – Manic-5
Dam – Manicouagan
After the elevation was reduced, the density and distribution of POIs was pre-planned to improve the balance between having a good variety when random POIs are selected on a game mode like Random Advance and Secure (RAAS), while keeping the distances between points roughly fair and usable for more symmetrical game modes like Advance and Secure or Skirmish. And although lots of new POIs have been created for Manicouagan, many of the originals still exist in some form, although their position or composition may have changed. In general, most of the POIs on Manicouagan will have multiple numbers and types of approaches, these generally fall into three categories:
Another large part of the Manicouagan rework was to integrate amphibious water systems into the map. The reservoir behind the dam and the rivers that cut through the map have been updated with deeper water. These will provide opportunities for amphibious-capable factions to flank and approach enemy positions from unsuspected directions. Factions that lack amphibious capabilities (such as the US Army or Canadian Armed Forces) will be limited to making use of the bridges and shallows that form crossing points for their ground assets. In order to prevent factions without amphibious capability from being too punished or bottlenecked at crossing points, the main rivers on the map will be shallower towards the edges of the map to ensure they still retain freedom to access most parts of the map and the coloration of the water on the minimap will reflect this.
Thanks for reading, we’re excited for you to experience the new version of the map and here are a few extra shots of the before and after rework!
Antenna – Manic-5
Antenna – Manicouagan
Firebase Mississauga – Manic-5
Firebase Borris – Manicouagan