Did Blizzard ruin Garden of War?
I don't even think the above question should be a question. Yes, Blizzard did ruin it with the new version that was released with War2 Battle Net Edition (BNE). Most players cried foul when they saw this new version. I don't blame them, but I also accuse them of being ignorant.
Garden of War (GoW) is definately the best map. Playes have been playing it for over 5 years now, and it has to have something right to maintain the same popularity for so long. The fact is that GoW has the most range of what can happen in a game. Having wallin, non-wallin, and spots that you can stay, or move from always make each game on it somewhat unique. You have to be good at everything to compete at the highest level on this map.
But...as a single player map (for ladder) is it really that good. Almost all of the 'top' players think that they should of kept it exactly the same. I disagree.
To begin with the starting spots are just too unfair. Not everyone plays the map on high resources, which does even the starting spots a little. But what about the other resources? I can bear witness to this. I lost to a guy called Incinerate in game 5 of a game 5 series because I got a bad starting spot. Despite what most of you players out there think, this map is NOT fair. Sure, it does make for some interesting games, but this is based mostly on 2 on 2, Gow, High resource games. For a ladder map, it was just not going to cut it.
As most players know, Classic GoW also has a long learning curve. There are so many viable strategies that you can do, that it takes quite a few games to start to be competetive on it. Now, what the heck is a person going to do who is playing War2 for the first time. You can't just assume they are going to know that they should move from bottom left (also known as 8), or from bottom middle (also known as 6). And again, on low or default resources it gets even worse. As a 1 on 1 ladder map, it just was not fair. That's just the way it is.
So what do I think?
I think they had to change it. You can't release a game and assume the entire community will know all the tricks for a map that some players have played for over 5 years. But I don't think GoWBNE is that great of a ladder map either. They were right to change the map, but they did not change it right. They changed it too much, and made the starting spots a little too safe. GowBNE has basically turned into a two-halling paradise. I was also disappointed when I first saw GoWBNE, but not for the same, 'they screwed up a classic' reasons that other players thought.
Most people realize now, that they still have their 'classic'. And I'm sure they appreciate the ability to build a hall, right away on GowBNE, low resources.