Lesson 1: Do not start both sides within sprinting distance of each other. This rewards only those players that can load in the fastest on the first round and have the first flag capped before the majority of gamers even think about moving.
Also it is prime real estate for a campfest by tanks and APCs. No one likes dieing the second they spawn because there is ZERO cover to take against a set of camping tanks and APCs.
Pushing the bases farther apart would allow for teams to set up defenses and actually be prepared for an assault before the battle is already lost. Engineers could provide a crucial role on this map, but unfortunately by the time they could get in place to set AT mines the tank and APCs are already camping the spawns.
Lesson 2: In Battlefield 2 openess is key. You can't artificially impose boundaries with non-combat areas to bottleneck the action. I could understand if the south-east corner of the map was mountains, but it is not! It is wide open and should of been left open to prevent the bottleneck that occurs currently.
Boats and other items would of made that area a key part of the map. The MEC would have to defend both their back bases and their forward bases instead of just watching the bottleneck slaughter that occurs at the forward bases.
Lesson 3: Providing tons of buildings with no interiors to hide in is a mistake. Once again the camping issue. Tanks and APCs can have field days in the alley ways as infantry have no place to run. There is also ZERO space for infantry to surprise tanks or APCs to take them out.
Lesson 4: Maximizing fast combat situations does not make the game fun. It just promotes the whoring aspect of an already flawed ranking system. Its sad that you don't have to leave the forward spawn points to get the Gold Medal. Actually those people that actually try to cap spawn points for a win usually wind up with the fewest points. The points are whored within the forward most spawn point in the mid of the rush.
Lesson 5: Don't build in a strategic bridge over a river if you are going to just allow vehicles to drive down river 10 feet to cross without a bridge. These are the type of choke points that should be in game. That way armor whores have to get out of their vehicles and fight or fix the bridge to cross.
A Final Note: Many players play Strike at Karkand with the sole excuse that they just hate air power. These players need to get Special Forces and play on maps that are built 100% around infantry combat. Most Special Forces maps are a joy to play on and are wide open from end to end. Strike at Karkand is poorly designed and is nothing more than an excuse to whore points.
This post came out of anger because I'm sick of the map. I don't play it any longer except for a game here and there. I hate the fact that its the most overplayed map in game and that without it you can't compete for rank sufficiently. Ranks are artificially harder to achieve because of the score inflation this single map causes.
You're right and I should play the game for fun, but I like to watch my stats. Fortunately I can somewhat compete playing on the other maps and I enjoy my time. EA has done a better job with each patch to make it so you can score more points on other maps than just Strike at Karkand. Hopefully EA gets a clue and rebuilds Karkand with a more open battlefield.