Justin Rouse, Skirmish Map Designer, on Chasms:
Chasms was the map that was shipped with the Multiplayer Alpha Test that Ensemble and Microsoft used internally, so it required a lot of testing to make sure that everything was in good shape for semi-public consumption. It has changed quite a bit since its inception mainly due to it being the Inaugural map for Halo Wars. Chasms was the measuring stick for a lot of the systems used in HW, whether they be technical, strictly visual, or gameplay based.
The first thing that sticks out in my mind is the wrestling match between height(visual look) and gameplay. Large cliffs and hills look really good, especially when they can contrast the depths of the center chasms but when they interfere with how a player sees units and things on his screen that’s obviously bad. There we many adjustments to the hills and cliffs near the center bases to account for visibility issues that arose after alpha test feedback had us move the starting location from the now corner expansion bases the center ones where they live now. We quickly learned what players could live with and those hills were just too high. For whenever we felt we needed something to be really tall for the feel of the map, we pushed those areas towards the edge of the map where visual interference is much less painful.
Duncan Stanley, Community Manager, dishes out the dirt on Chasms:
Chasms was the map that was shipped with the Multiplayer Alpha Test that Ensemble and Microsoft used internally, so it required a lot of testing to make sure that everything was in good shape for semi-public consumption. It has changed a bit since then, but it’s still a great 1v1 map.
The direct short path between you and your opponent can often lead to some crazy fast rushes. You are just a stone’s throw away, and getting a turret or two up quickly can often be a game-changer. There also lots of crates all around your starting area, so building a second scout and grabbing yours (and your opponents crates!) can help you get a leg up quickly.
If a rush doesn’t happen in this game, grabbing the supply elevators in the corners of the map is a great way to get some experience for your troops and a steady supply of resources. Rebel Bases cover both expansions, and can be difficult to take early on if you are skirmishing with your opponent, but can really make all the difference if you have an expansion and your opponent does not.
Another great tip is to plan some Spartans or Jackals in the Watchtowers in the middle bridge, they provide some great early warning to anything coming across the bridge, and can often be fairly difficult to take down, making them great for delaying your enemy.