Designing A Clan Maze

Maze Design Algorithm - General Features A good maze is designed with a purpose. It is no longer enough to just rely on defenders to ensure that the maze will not be breached. A designer will always encounter trade-offs depending on what tactics are employed in the maze. For example, strong entry protection (discussed later) typically involves using one or more rooms, packed with guards, and are only accessible once to raiders (unless raiders suicide and re-enter the maze). While this does keep the number of raiders on the inside at a minimum, you lose one or more rooms that could be used for something else.

Some possible tactics that can be used are:

  • Hunt proof (Do you want to have a huntable, or unhuntable maze?)
  • Defender mobility (How easily can defenders navigate the maze once in it?)
  • Entry protection (How strongly do you want to protect against raiders re-entering?)
  • Randomness (How many random rooms are you willing to use?)
  • Sub-looping (Is there going to be a loop within a loop?)
  • Portal usage (Lots of junk portals or lots of portals that do something?)
  • Nature of marking (Does the maze force raiders to mark or does it force them to test a lot)
  • Nature of the maze (Is every room identical? Which rooms are going to look different?)

Hunt vs. No-Hunt Maze Hunt-proofing the maze as much as possible is generally a good thing. This will accomplish two things: 1) Raiders will never know where a guard is unless they test that particular path and 2) If the design is known, on every raid after the first the difficulty of the maze will remain approximately the same for every subsequent raid. Both bonuses are dependant on competent defenders and leaders who take the time to work on the maze and develop new tactics to combat raiders.

Force Multiplication Force multiplication is something else to consider. It is a combination of the effectiveness of the maze and the skill of all defenders and raiders. A good measure of the force multiplication is the defenders/critical room ratio. A critical room is any room that can be considered a chokepoint or an important room that can be marked by raiders. Therefore, if a clan has 6 defenders and only two critical rooms, it has a defender/critical room ratio of 3 (which is usually enough to kill a tier 9).

Defender Mobility Defender mobility can be a double edged sword. Although a maze that can be easily navigated by defenders allows a clan to have a higher force multiplier, it could work to the advantage of raiders because they could use that same feature to explore the maze and come up with a plan to breach it. However, if properly used in a maze, defenders gain a valuable tool in their fight against raiders. A good rule to follow when having a defender friendly maze: Do not give the defenders many opportunities to retreat from the engagement. This would alert raiders to the nature of that path, and then they may be able to use it against the defenders. Rather, the maze should be designed in such a way that defenders first complete a main objective, then (once the objective is complete) if there is a path to move about the maze so that the defenders can engage a target once more they take that path. Otherwise, the defenders should suicide out. This will help keep any paths defenders can take a secret while maximizing a clan's defending power.

Entry Protection Entry protection should be a standard feature in any maze. However, the way a clan chooses to protect their maze against re-entry will depend on the following factors: 1) The number and skill of defenders and 2) The overall design of the maze. Remember, NO ONE WAY IS THE BEST WAY.

Random Rooms Randomness in a maze is essential. It allows the layout of the maze to always change. However, the more random rooms in a maze, fewer rooms are available for looping. A high number of random can be used to create choke points in a maze.

Sub-Looping Sub-looping is the ability to place a loop within a loop. There will be more on this in a subsequent section.

Portal Usage The number and usage of portals in a maze directly affects the difficulty of the maze. However, as in the case of entry protection, there is no right way to use portals - it is dependant on the design of the maze. Generally, however, if one makes good use of portals the higher the number the better.

Marking If a maze forces raiders to mark rooms, you split the raid party up. However, you make the maze easier to navigate. By splitting the party up, they become vulnerable. Again, this choice depends on the skill of defenders and the design of the maze. The defender/critical room ratio should also come into play when making the decision on how much marking to allow in the maze.