Etan wrote:at this point im very discouraged. its very confusing to make it work out well, AND im cursed with glitchy maps...
maybe later i'll think up a better plan...
Why not start with something more simple? The whole idea of a morphing map is kind of cool, but you've no doubt run into issues. Additionally, most netmaps are designed to be simple, and allow fast movement and action.
I think the best way to create a changing environment is to use liquids. They're easy enough to implement, and you can do cool stuff with Lua that changes the way those work. Since fluid behavior is dictated by the light you set the tide parameter to, you can use Lua to do whatever you want to that light. If you're not familiar with Lua, you might want to start out just by looking at how liquids work and playing around with the light settings to get the desired effect.
Gimmicks aren't usually well suited to netmaps, because they usually don't add anything exciting to a netmap. People want action, and gimmicks, while "fun" in the sense that you get to flex your ingenuity, often slow the flow of the match down, or don't do anything to improve the action at all. Puzzles, switches, and rechargers are often inappropriate for this reason.
However, a map with several areas that periodically flood up to waist-height might be fun. You probably don't want anything that will completely submerge a player, since that's going to leave them with few options to attack other than fists or SMG, and will slow them down a lot. It's a buzz kill.
I think the real problem is you've set the bar a little too high for yourself, but the idea of a map with variable environments has some merit, you just have to focus on making the map fun to begin with, and then ask how a changing environment could make it more fun. If you start out small and build up, you won't get discouraged so easily.
Eventually, once you have something that works, you could mess around with doors and platforms and see if you can make that work. I'd strongly suggest working with liquids, though.