Blistering Sands is one of the original maps that came with the Wings of Liberty beta. It was showcased earlier in the second Blizzard Battlereport between Matt Cooper (Z) and David Kim (T). The map was removed from official Ladder play during season 1, on February 25, 2011, as well as most popular competitions. The Novice version is still used in Practice League.
Official Map Description
The starting bases (located in the top right and bottom left) each have a back door that is guarded by destructible rocks. In an unconventional twist, the back door is the more direct avenue of attack in terms of distance. Each base has one natural expansion. Two observatories are key contributors to map control and scouting, as they each grant vision over major avenues between the two bases. Each sits on high ground with a ramp pointing toward one of the two bases, making it easier for that base to defend the observatory. The expansions in the top left and bottom right corners contain high-yield minerals, making them highly attractive locations. However, destructible rocks block the townhall spot, making it risky to expend the time and resources needed to control them.
There are three paths to the enemy. Controlling the side paths will grant access to additional resources. Controlling the center will give access to a shorter attack distance.
Commentary from the design team
- On Blistering Sands, you definitely want to control the observatories. If you don’t, you must assume your opponent does and act accordingly.
- You should move carefully around the observatories you don’t control -- take the long way to avoid being spotted.
- If you don’t have the observatories, place scouts near the rocks guarding the back door to your base. If you don’t keep an eye on the back door and your opponent breaks through, your only warning will be the words ”Our base is under attack“...which is very likely too late.
- Scout the high-yield expansions early with an eye toward grabbing them as soon as you feel you can afford it.
- Be careful around high ground, and look out for ambushes. Send one scout ahead to see if something painful lies in wait before rolling your entire army through.
Each main features a "back-door" entrance ramp that is guarded by destructible rocks and a wall of vision-blocking grass. It is typically a good idea to place something behind the grass (supply depot, pylon, overlord) to spot if the enemy is trying to break in.
A Pylon placed at the base of the Destructible Rocks will put power onto the high ground, meaning that units can be warped into the main in a 3 Warpgate Rush without a pylon actually being placed there.