I've played a lot of Shoreline recently, after a pretty long hiatus with the map and realized that it has a lot of design flaws which are the root of a lot of issues with the map itself. TL;DR at the end. I know a lot of people will not agree but it's how I feel about the map currenty.
It's the biggest – or shall I say most expansive – map, but at the same time it's considered boring ("Snoreline"). But why is that? I think it comes down to a few things:
- Point of interest imbalance and loot distribution.
- Point of interest-to-size ratio
- Design choices
The first one is obvious – a heavy dependency on the resort. Before 12.7 the entire map was heavily Resort dominant. With the introduction of Sanitar, the villas and the pier got a bit of love, but that's mostly situational and not because of the inherent value of those spots. You either go there looking for Sanitar or fight people looking for Sanitar, or sometimes both. Still, the resort is the place to go.
Also there's a marked imbalance between the tunnel side of the map and the road to customs side of the map. The road to customs side is basically barren and serves as a traversal zone to get closer to the central Resort-Power Station-Pier axis. You have the weather station, broken down house with two weapon crates and some hidden stashes – that's it.
The tunnel side is a bit more interesting with the village, pier, sunken village, scav island and the villas, so you at least have something to latch on to.
As for the second point, compared to the available area, there's not enough points of interest. There are vast swaths of land that serve no purpose other than being open traversal zones, perfect to catch a bullet.
This creates a direct issue for spawns. The map is big and expansive, but since most people flock towards the sparse points of interest through almost open terrain creates a prime environment for spawn rushing or camping. This is especially evident on the Road To Customs side, but I'll get to that in a moment. The reality is that the map could easily accomodate way more players if it was more dense.
As for the design choices this is more subjective but I'll try to make my case. Overall, I understand what they were going for conceptually – a health resort, some villages, some sea side points of interest. But the assembly of them into a map doesn't work.
I think a big problem with the map design is the arc between South Fence Passage and Road to Customs, which creates a prime opportunity to be ambushed. For example from someone who spawned at South Fence Passage or near the broken down house on the hill – he has the advantage of elevation, advantage of LOD rendering and somewhere to fall back to if exposed, while you're out in the open with your pants down. You're also exposed from the resort rocks. I'm guilty of this, ngl.
Another issue sort of related to it is the weather station with its elevated position. If you spawn in a group next to the rock bridge and rush towards the rocks, you have a commanding view of a huge portion of the map that's almost impossible to get through unscathed.
It also makes it unapproachable at times due to how much open space there is around it. Once you commit, you're fucked cause someone can appear there at any given moment and you're basically screwed. And I know this because I've been guilty of exploiting the hell out of it.
It's very contextual and typically valid in the beginning of the raid, but that makes the biggest impact. If you spawn around the terminal you need cross the map somehow. What further exasperates this is the additional dead space further towards the terminal, that serves no purpose whatsoever:
Ok, you have some rolling sand dunes and stuff, but it's still a traversal zone at best. Same goes for this part:
And there's many more where that came from – there's also the area between the South Fence Passage, Broken down house, Resort and Rock passage, which is also basically dead space. All in all most of the Road To Customs side of the map consists of dead space that serves zero to no purpose other than to stagger you.
Moving onto the Tunnel side of the map, things get a bit better, but still we have similar issues.
Pier and Scav Island – death traps with one exit route, basically impossible to evacuate from unscathed if trapped. Scav island is off the beaten path and not really that much of an issue, but the pier is a focal point of the map. What would help it out if there was some sort of other route of escape – maybe a canal with some steps to come up to the bridge?
Connected to this, the Gas Station is a great idea for a point of interest, however because it's surrounded on 3 sides with elevated hills with a lot of foliage it's a potential death trap at best.
Sunken village is an awesome concept, but I've seen maybe someone there once, and that was a pistol stash runner. It's also tough to navigate with water puddles slowing you down. Even if you made it a point of interest with cultists and rare loot, the issue is that it lies in a depression, surrounded by ridges which makes it highly campable. I had the idea that maybe this area could be covered in a slight perpetual fog that would make it tough to get sniped from the ridges surrounding it.
The villages are underutilized and could use some love in terms of loot.
Villas are cool, but they also suffer from the issue of being exposed to hills that give opponents an elevated position, which seems to be a common theme on this map – a lot of spots that give you an elevated position with a lot of cover and recourse. Unlike rocks on Woods which leave you heavily exposed, here you have a lot of spots that are just plain OP.
Plus, it has the same problems with dead space as the other side of the map with the area around the drone for example.
There's nothing there, and serves no purpose except for traversal. Similar goes for the road leading up to power station, which is also highly exposed and surrounded by high ground from both sides with little recourse if cought out in the open.
There's also a lot of other useless areas like the uphill ascend towards the resort, but let's not get petty.
Another issue is with extracts for this side. While the Road to Customs side has a lot of viable options and Road to customs itself being fairly close to the resort for a short hike, the tunnel side is different. If Rock Passage is not available you have an 8-10 min walk ahead of you all the way to the tunnel. The map desperately needs another viable extract, even if it's conditional.
The Resort itself is cool. However I think, it could use additional entry points. The admin building has a lot of options of entry, but the wings are very limited. You can enter through the connectors from admin, from the courtyard entry points and in case of West wing we have a hole in the wall.
However, the East wing is in dire need of another entry point. It's too easy to hunker down in and take advantage of people making their way along the wall to come inside. What would help out is a similar entrance as with the hole in the wall of West Wing, but maybe into the gym? Or maybe some service sewer entrances? Whoever comes first into East wing, can effectively ambush anyone trying to enter from that end from the rocks.
Overall, I feel that Shoreline would be better if it were flatter and denser. I know it's highly improbable, but if any map qualifies for a complete redesign, it's Shoreline. Cut some wasted space and add more points of interest.
- Shoreline is too sparse in points of interest for how big it is
- There's too much places that have a disproportionate advantage of elevation
- Lots of dead space that serves no purpose.
- Road To Customs side is barren, which combined with a weird shape causes spawn issues.
- Tunnel side has nice features, but a bit too disordely put together.
- One more extract needed for tunnel side.
- Pier is a deathtrap.
- Weather station is OP.
- Additional entry point into East Wing is needed.