The new forge that is available in Halo 2 Anniversary is quite remarkable. A new feature, known as Movement Snap, will revolutionize the way we forge. Movement Snap combines the ethics of Coordinate Forge and Magnet Forge. As a result, the forging process is a lot quicker. Because of this, and the 650 piece budget, forge maps are becoming a lot larger than before. It was only a matter of time before Hybrid maps boomed...
Hybrid maps: "What are they?", you might ask. Hybrid maps are, at the core, large competitive arena maps. They start out as small arenas, and then you build on them with Big Team Battle essentials. These Hybrid maps may feature vehicles, balanced weapons and spawns, and diverse map control. Because of their size, a two-players-against-one scenario is unlikely, unless you enjoy standing out in the open. I would consider Halo 4's "Complex" to be the first great Hybrid map.
Hybrid maps are not for everyone, and it shows with the reception of Halo 4's multiplayer modes. So what is the difference between a Big Team map and a Hybrid map? Well, a very difficult question to ask with an easy answer. Let's take a look at Halo 2's "Coagulation". For the most part, the open area is the center of the action, and is equidistant from the bounds. Notice how the open area can surround the base, and yet the base is very close-quarters on the inside.
Hybrid maps, on the other hand, use open areas passively. The center of the action is in the close quarters arena setting. Another look at "Complex", shall we fancy? Players gravitate AWAY from the open grass and to the structure, while in "Coagulation", Players gravitate TOWARDS the open mounds.
Right now, I am working a new Hybrid. I started by trying to combine the symmetrical halves of two symmetrical arena maps of mine: "Breachport" from Halo: Reach, and "New Pacific" from Halo 4. I ended up adding a new floor on the bottom that not only connects the two halves, but creates an outer ring that goes around the map. It was on this floor that I decided that I should add a couple vehicles, and at that very moment, it became a Hybrid map.
I don't believe I'm only one expanding on my old maps: There are many cartographers who stuck around to witness and become inspired by Halo 4's method. With Halo 2 Anniversary's lack of sprint, and the subjective of an Assault Rifle as a power weapon, I think this style of map design will warrant many players less "Headcase" medals. It is a good time to be a cartographer.