greenoaks wrote:- Bombarding
- Killer Neutrals
- (Multiple) Winning Conditions
- (Multiple) Losing Conditions

etc

I would start with that list, but I would add a few more things.

1. One-way portals

2. Graphic difficulty (maps where players find that it's difficult to see the attacking pathways and such for purely visual reasons. Northwest Passage, Falklands War, and Poison Rome spring to mind immediately)

3. Overall number of terts.

One-way portals would be part of the base difficulty, but Graphic difficulty and number of terts would be multipliers.

So, you would have a formula much like Difficulty = (1+Number of Complicating Factors {bombards, one-ways, collection bonuses, autodeploys, victory conditions, losing conditions, conditional borders, killer neutrals}) x (1+(subjective popular rating of graphical difficulty on a scale of 1 to 5)/10) x (1+(number of terts on map/number of terts on largest known map on site).

This gives you a difficulty rating between 1 and about 27. However, it is expandable if even more Complicating Factors are introduced later.

To make neater numbers I suppose we could take the square root of the whole thing.

SQRT[(1+Number of Complicating Factors {bombards, one-ways, collection bonuses, autodeploys, victory conditions, losing conditions, conditional borders, killer neutrals}) x (1+(subjective popular rating of graphical difficulty on a scale of 1 to 5)/10) x (1+(number of terts on map/number of terts on largest known map on site)] gives a value of 1 to 3.

I agree that Classic should be the benchmark for what is a Standard map. However, Classic by my formula comes out with a rating of only about 1.25 to maybe 1.5, so the range for a Simple map would be only from 1 to 1.2. This would apply to really simple maps like Doodle and Luxembourg.

I think we need to have a lot more than 3 grades, however. If Simple describes Doodles and Standard describes Classic, it's ridiculous that there should be only one level above that. Arms Race is a whole order of magnitude more complex than Classic, but certainly Lunar War is another order of magnitude tougher than Arms Race, and Stalingrad is easily another level of magnitude tougher than Lunar War, and so on. I don't think it would be wrong to have five or seven levels above Standard.