This discussion is about some design choices that were made for White Ball to make the map easier on players when compared to Red Ball. As of this post, these two maps are the most popular 4v4 maps and each have their own fun play styles. Red Ball is a lane based map. White Ball is an open map with plenty of movement options.
So you should base your discussion on whether you agree with the design choices for WB. Not whether you like open vs lane based maps. There is no better style. Just a style liked by lower or higher ranked players. But then again Hamburg was once the #1 played map by top players even though hated by ALL top players.
When White Ball (WB) was made, Red Ball(RB) was a popular map for both 3v3 and 4v4 game modes. So WB was designed to be the same size, although WB feels larger.
DISTANCE TO FRONT LINE
The front line in a 4v4 is almost always the fuel. The distances to the fuel dictate what happens mid to late game. Red Balls distances to the fuel are not even for both teams. For example the east side of the map favors the south spawn at 231m vs 245m for the north. This means that for evenly matched teams, the south should always win this area eventually.
1) This creates a long drawn out fight over the middle VP at some point.
2) This means players will get demoralized because they will probably lose their side eventually.
3) Factions that are slow in the beginning of the game will be at a severe disadvantage. Soviets for example are the worst performing faction in 4v4 at the moment.
The front distances for White Ball are better balanced. On many maps there is this dread that hits when you know you are in the bad base spawn and will probably get rekt all game long. After watching your team mates early game decisions you already know the battle will be won or lost because you can not be effective from that spawn.
White Ball tries to make every spawn playable and fun. Since the fuels are equidistant, the map feels larger than RB.
OPEN FALL BACK AREAS
There are two important areas in a 4v4 map. The front line and the fall back area.
RB does a great job on the front line areas. Besides the lane based design, it could be argued that RB does a much better job than WB around the fuel with sight blockers and cover.
One weakness of RB is the fall back area. This is the area from 64 to 128 meters from the front. This area needs to be open for these reasons:
1) A large area for faction based trucks and ambulances. If this area is too small it will hinder pathing, make it difficult to heal properly, and create an easy target for artillery to wipe entire armies out.
2) If the area has too many sight and pathing blockers, it will become very hard to fight back in to the front line. You will have to fight thru a small hole and you will not be able to make tactical movements.
The picture above shows the fall back area of RB on the west side of the map. There are a lot of sight blockers creating small holes for armies to fight thru. The layout of the holes gives a little freedom and variability, but they are severely limited by the pathing blockers placed all around them.
The fall back areas are also a little limited in where trucks will be effective.
The WB fall back area is very large. Has very few sight or pathing blockers. This gives plenty of flanking options and a variety of useful truck areas. One could argue that WB lacks blockers and can sometimes feel too open.
WB also has a feature I like to call a "fall back strong hold" or "line in the sand". The house (Yellow X) gives a place to put an MG and slow the advance of an over running force. Units can also pop in/out of the house for cheap recon of the area if pushed behind it. A soft retreat to this point lets armies stay on the field longer and not have to do massive full retreats constantly.
RB also uses this feature in the close side spawns by the fuels. But the houses are a little weaker. WB also employs this feature on both sides of the fuel.
As stated above, RB and WB are the same size. The width of these maps is a little narrow. But this narrow size lets players move laterally to help team mates when being attacked. RB has too many side to side pathing blocks. If the one side is getting pushed hard, the other side can do nothing about it.
Since WB has a more open layout, pushes will ebb and flow all around the map.
The narrow size can also be a problem when MG encountering MG spam. Probably adding an additional 32m on each side would be a better size.
The large 2 story fall back houses are also a little too close and cover too much area for a smoke covered push to be extremely effective. But also create a lot of in game tension since pushes are not a sure thing. You may get past the first line of MGs but be pinned by the MG in the house.
The length of these maps is a little too long. Slightly shorter maps might make the play feel faster and make retreats less punishing. There is about 32 meters of White Ball that sees no play ever. But the extra length gives the pushing team time to setup some defenses before the enemy returns.
Both maps have some form of fuel cutoff points. Both maps also have two complete cutoff points that allow for Close the Pocket meme games. Both maps have buildings near the cutoffs for units to spawn into.
RB has better fuel cutoff placement than WB. They are easier to attack once battle lines are formed. However, the RB south cutoff is much easier to attack than the north, so it is not balanced within itself. Since fuel cutoff play is not a major component of 4v4, no one has ever noticed.
So both maps could use better fuel cutoff point locations.
MIDDLE VP BLOCKERS
RB is known as having a problem with certain factions holding the center VP. This is because units can hide behind the large lumber piles and lob death over them. Those log piles also create lanes where axis tank destroyers can become OP, since flanking is harder.
WB does not have log piles around the center. But it does have three buildings that work in a similar fashion. The actual VP area is much larger so units have more area to dodge and cap. The larger area makes the bombing units less effective. And the more open design can let enemies get around the sides of vehicles better.
So WB is better than RB to some extent. But both could be better. Neither is perfect.