M&M Map Vault Plans for Fall 2020 and On

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Whelp, it's been a wild year and a half since I took over as M&M:

In the past days I learned a lot, got to know people working on projects that will bring some interesting fun to the community, and have given thought on how to handle better presenting that.

First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who have helped me over this time and given me a chance to show what I can do as M&M councilor. It went pretty well: helping hands, a big boost in tutorials and wealth of knowledge, a death threat - pretty exciting stuff.

Plans for the mapping vault are going to be as follows:

WE ARE MOVING TO A WHITELIST VAULT SYSTEM

What this means:

People can still upload to the vault, but there will be no "showroom" when users go to the vault section in the client.

One can still find their map by searching

One can still host their map and others can download it

Why is this happening?

To answer that question, let me explain what the "Most Recent" vault showroom for maps is meant to do: it is a place where mappers can get their content seen and distributed by users of the client service - that's it!

What we found is the following: maps, aside from ladder / remakes of popular ones like canis river, are seeing an average of 10 or less overall plays over the course of a year. That is pretty staggering at how poorly the vault is "helping" people distribute their content.

So why a "whitelist" vault?

After years of talking to community members about "why do you download and play a certain map," it was in general because someone hosted it and they saw it in the game tab; the map was actually quite good and was showcased in the news or by a caster/streamer; and etc

When asked "why not play maps in the vault" the resounding reasoning was "because it's full of (insert random word that means 'garbage')

To me, that reinforces that the vault content is frowned upon and it becomes laborious to have to search through page after page, until something remotely "good" shows up.

The whitelist vault is going to be a system where people demonstrate they can create content that meets the minimum rules of the community; it will not be nearly as strict as the "M&M Top Picks" list, so don't be fearful you cannot get access.

How to be given access to the vault?

Good question, and there will be an application process made. I am thinking a sample of 3 maps uploaded to the vault with replays that the M&M team can review to see it meets the rules.

After that, the author will be given unlimited access, so long as they keep abiding to the rules of the vault.

Final Words

I understand this in general not going to be liked, but I myself am tired of being a "vault policeman," and the community is definitely more engaged in expressing quality annoyances of maps and modifications.

My real passion is to lead by example by making tutorial videos, guides, maps and mods myself along with other M&M folks. It doesn't make sense to me for the council position to feel more like a moderator then a content creator.

If anyone has any strong feelings about this, please state so, and present some damn good evidence if you think what I stated here is not the case.

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@Morax if i knew how,i would put some nice likes for this one:P
good changes inc,i like it.

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@Resistance said in M&M Map Vault Plans for Fall 2020 and On:

@Morax if i knew how,i would put some nice likes for this one:P
good changes inc,i like it.

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i cant see any downside to it, authors will still be able to share, mappers get some recognition and a path to progress and best of all players get a wider variety of good maps displayed properly, coz right now there's maybe 1 or 2 good maps per page if that, its like the proverbial needle

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I think this is a problem better solved by a smarter "Most Recent" page than through a whitelist.

I propose the following counter-solution.

Rename "Most Popular" "Hot maps"

Rate maps by number of unique plays on said map.

So, a Gap of Rohan game has 8 players, so a full game of Gap of Rohan gets a score of 8.

Each time its played, while full of distinct players, it gets another 8 added to its score.

If the author of the map is one of the players, subtract 1 from the score for that game so that people can't artificially inflate their scores by hosting their maps. Hosting still increases the map's score, but at least you're requiring other people to commit to increasing its score for you.

This score should only affect maps which have been chosen by players. Score should not be gained through ladder (1v1 or 2v2) since players aren't actually choosing those maps, those maps are being forced upon them if they want to play ladder.

You might want to normalize by player count, dividing the 8 by 8 to get 1 score points for a Rohan game, but don't do that. Maps with more players tend to be more difficult to fill. They take longer to fill, are more difficult to make from a map design perspective and if they're getting played despite taking longer to fill, they deserve the extra score they get.

This will get you a "popularity score" for each map. You'll have a problem with this, it will only show Gap and Dual Gap and Astro variants because those maps are constantly played. New maps will have no chance of ever making the front page.

To combat that problem, introduce a second score, and have this second score start equal to the square root of the map's popularity score (have to sqrt or will take forever for any non-uber popular map it to make the front page), and cut it in half whenever its been on the front page for more than 5 days (5 full days being on the front page, be careful coding this, if you make it 5 days since it hit the first page, and the map gets bumped off the first page by another map, you'll have cheated that map). That should force the most popular maps off of the front page, but they'll be able to return periodically (as they should, they're "hot" maps) as once they've fallen off the page they'll begin to accrue points again, building until they make a return visit.

There is an advantage in putting hot new maps up alongside older loved often played maps, it will make people associate that new map with those older uber popular maps, which increases the likelihood that they'll be chosen for a game.

Since the purpose here is to give solid newer maps the recognition they need and deserve, you must give newer maps "bonus score" so that they accrue points faster than older maps. That's how we ensure that newer maps that aren't played often make it to the front page along with old favorites. Newer maps won't have name recognition so it will be harder for them to get played.

Giving them say an additional:

  • x16 points per played game for their first month,

  • x8 points per played game for their next 2 months

  • x4 points per played game for their next four months

  • x2 points per played game for their next eight months

New maps get a handicap that lasts for 15 months by this system. Tweak it to fit your taste. If you feel not enough new maps are showing up, double the multipliers. Eventually you're going to find something that gives you a really nice mix between exciting new maps and popular older maps.

This will give newer maps a nice score boost which will hopefully be enough to push them onto the front page past older more popular maps like Astro which will continually and quickly make laps to the front page as they're played over and over again.

That system may need a little tweaking to get it to do exactly what you want, which is provide players with an objective list of good maps where great maps make periodic return visits but don't completely drown out solid new maps. That said I think this makes a lot more sense than a whitelist... which I imagine is going to piss a lot of people off and cause you a lot of headaches in the long run.

The functioning of the "Most Recent" page is just not a good reason for creating a whitelist.

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No objective list of good maps has astro or any of its variations in it.

Frankly if you asked me to name a dozen good 3v3/4v4 maps made in the last year I’m probably gonna struggle. There is zero desire to create a good teamgame map when good mappers realize it’s wasted effort as everyone reverts back to the same bad maps.

It literally makes zero sense to exclude matchmaker games on the basis of them being “forced” on players. They are “forced” on players as they meet some minimum baseline of quality control. If anything they should be the control group within any attempted formulation of a “good maps” vault system as they’re the only ones that have had a critical, competitive look applied to them. If your system doesn’t include them, it’s a failure.

Like are you also going to exclude the 3v3 and 4v4 maps that would be put in their respective matchmaker even though their placement means they were approved by a list of competent players? For what? So maps too bad to meet the requirements can get exposure?

I also just generally disagree on rewarding maps with more players getting more points. At a bare minimum such a system should cap out at 8 points for generation.

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@Mod_Councillor

You clearly don't know what makes a good map, because you have some kind of elitist bias that prevents you from learning anything from maps that have become wildly popular.

It is blatant unveiled narcissism that allows you to claim that maps that have been enjoyed by thousands, a map which currently occupies the #2 and #4 slots on the "most played" page, is a bad map.

If this belief happens to be held by a large number of ladder players, that doesn't make it any less ridiculous.

I kind of figured this would be an issue. No objective criteria can ever be instituted because any such criteria would have to accept the obvious truth that popular maps... maps that thousands enjoy playing, maps that people pass over carefully crafted very pretty 1v1 style supposedly "good" maps in order to play... are good maps...

This absurd group think mindset runs so deeply that even the most played maps of all time, hell - particularly the most played maps of all time - are somehow considered bad.

At the end of the day, you have this notion that your opinion is superior to that of others, that no amount of "votes" by players means anything at all. You are the one that determines map quality, not the playerbase.

And that is both laughable and sad.

Any map which no one plays unless they're forced to play it by a matchmaking system is a failed map. If you think otherwise its because you are using a broken system for determining map value. Sitting around with a bunch of buddies and picking out maps might be fun for you, but good luck getting people to give a shit about your opinion and play those maps willingly.

If the map making community spent more time learning why some maps are so heavily selected by the playerbase, and applying those lessons to their maps rather than bitching about how those maps aren't any good, maybe people would rotate off of some of these "bad" maps once in a while.

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Good luck finding anyone regulating anything map related on FAF that agrees.

You don’t base the quality of cinema, food, or art based on what some random dude that walks in thinks unless you’re a corporation attempting to optimize a cost-efficient yet satisfactory solution to as wide of a range as possible. Unfortunately, such views tend to create what are considered bad products by anyone focused on anything that isn’t marginal costs.

People stick to bad maps because of a fundamentally flawed global rating environment. Not because of a genetic flaw in FAF players that requires them to play bad maps.

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@Mod_Councillor said in M&M Map Vault Plans for Fall 2020 and On:

People stick to bad maps because of a fundamentally flawed global rating environment. Not because of a genetic flaw in FAF players that requires them to play bad maps.

Okay, fair enough. Perhaps I misjudged you. I give you the benefit of the doubt.

What is this flaw, and how does it force people to play "bad maps"?

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Bad map is hosted by players uncomfortable with faf, want to learn the game by making it as uninteractive as possible to learn the mechanics of eco ie “playing against yourself.”

These bad players progress into competitive players, however these “bad players” have now risen to 1000 rating or an equivalent. Like basically all competitive players with no reputation for competency, they rely on their rating for both proof of their ability as well as self assurance that they are any good/made any improvement.

So tell me why a 1000 rated astro or dual gap player will want to play a 1k+ 2v2. Hell, why would he want to play a wonder game. Not only does he get positive reinforcement to continue to play bad maps to continue the feedback cycle of gaining rating, but he will also get negative reinforcement by joining any other type of game and getting trashed both in game and in chat by everyone.

Then as his rating goes up, it gets harder and harder to transition between “good” and “bad“ games, and he might even build up a reputation as garbage at anything other than a single map which then can add another difficulty to shake off.

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@Mod_Councillor

You already read my other post, but for the sake of anyone that comes through this thread I'll say this.

At a very low level, team maps are mostly about providing safety. Players want a safe map.

As you get into higher and higher ranked games, it becomes more than that. Players want a "good game". They want a game between 20 and 45 minutes long. They don't want to sit in lobby for 30-45 minutes waiting for a match only to have it either end, or become overly one sided before the first 10 minutes is up.

Good team maps provide this. They ensure that the game doesn't immediately end. They are relatively forgiving of fuck ups like commander over-extension. They don't provide lots of contestable expansions that advertise that your team is behind.

If I designed a map for high rated players, or just tried to host one, I imagine it wouldn't fill. There aren't enough top 100 ladder players to justify many maps that cater to that crowd. Maybe a group of 8 2000 ranked ladder players could have close spawn positions, complex opening strategies, wide open spaces and not see a com death in the first 20 minutes... I have never seen such a thing so I'm skeptical that its the case, but I wouldn't be blown away surprised if its the case either.

But there just isn't a large enough pool of that kind of player for anyone to bother building maps around that.

So you target guys 1000-1800 on the upper range for team maps, because that's your player-base. That's the range where the maps will actually fill if the map is decent. If you target above that good luck getting a game.

Don't ignore the impact of the lobby simulator on map design.

So tell me why a 1000 rated astro or dual gap player will want to play a 1k+ 2v2.

Uh... they do?

Hell, why would he want to play a wonder game.

Wonder is a popular choke-point map, I consider it to be in the class of maps that I'm talking about here. Its a team map, pretty easy to tell which mexes are yours, opening isn't overly complicated. There are central contested mexes, but they're so contested that taking them means little and isn't game determining. Players generally make it to the middle game.

If they didn't, no one would play it.

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@Mod_Councillor said in M&M Map Vault Plans for Fall 2020 and On:

Bad map is hosted by players uncomfortable with faf, want to learn the game by making it as uninteractive as possible to learn the mechanics of eco ie “playing against yourself.”

These bad players progress into competitive players, however these “bad players” have now risen to 1000 rating or an equivalent. Like basically all competitive players with no reputation for competency, they rely on their rating for both proof of their ability as well as self assurance that they are any good/made any improvement.

So tell me why a 1000 rated astro or dual gap player will want to play a 1k+ 2v2. Hell, why would he want to play a wonder game. Not only does he get positive reinforcement to continue to play bad maps to continue the feedback cycle of gaining rating, but he will also get negative reinforcement by joining any other type of game and getting trashed both in game and in chat by everyone.

Then as his rating goes up, it gets harder and harder to transition between “good” and “bad“ games, and he might even build up a reputation as garbage at anything other than a single map which then can add another difficulty to shake off.

so true how many times you had this argument now? 999999999 times the charm

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Popular does not equal good, Moses. Sorry.

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@moses_the_red said in M&M Map Vault Plans for Fall 2020 and On:

are more difficult to make from a map design perspective

This implies that teamgame maps have the same level of depth per slot as a typical ladder map, which is blatantly false. Teamgame map layouts tend to only have one linear path from base to base with no alternate routes, alternate halfmaps or "map splits", no raiding locations, barely any contestable areas including plateaus or islands, so on and so forth. Many teamgame maps are just a base, mexes that are not the core mass, flat nothingness, and then the enemy base. This includes the maps you make.

I don't think adding another section to be filled with the exact same maps on the vault tab should be added, no matter how much hope you have of the map you made and then constantly host appearing there. It doesn't solve any issue FAF has, and doesnt give anything new either.

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@Morax said in M&M Map Vault Plans for Fall 2020 and On:

WE ARE MOVING TO A WHITELIST VAULT SYSTEM

What this means:

People can still upload to the vault, but there will be no "showroom" when users go to the vault section in the client.

If anyone has any strong feelings about this, please state so, and present some damn good evidence if you think what I stated here is not the case.

Morax, there are merits to making the whitelist "showroom" that you describe, and I think making an easily accessible and easily discoverable list of good new maps like that could help resolve many of the issues you mentioned in your post.
However, there should still be some easy enough way to find all recently made maps in one location for those who want to be able to view them and potentially play on some of them.

I read the totality of this forum (as well as many previous discussions on mapping, new player experience, vault regulation, etc), and there are very clearly strong differences of preference among different parts of the FAF community.
As much as you, FTX, and others, may want to disregard thousands upon thousands of Gap players, Astro players, etc, they collectively make up massive parts of this community (if not the majority!). And while the logic that FTX gives for the 99999999th time does explain some of those players, no matter how you spin it, there are still very large quantities of players who prefer mapping styles that will never be on your "whitelist". Those players should be able to view a list of all recently made maps somewhere.

One way to do this would be to make your regulated whitelist vault showroom, and have it featured near the top of the page, and put the (unregulated or less regulated) list of all recently made maps somewhere near the bottom of the page, with small letters and a note on how the maps may be bad (if you like : P).

Using this system will still make it easy for new players to find "good new maps" by your standards, while also allowing those with differing/contrasting map preferences to find the new maps they like.
And you won't need to be a "vault policeman" with this system either, as you can just give this list of maps as much or as little attention as you would give them anyway (regardless of if they were in a list). And if you want, you could also place a note by the unregulated/less-regulated list of recently made maps that says the maps in this list are not regulated for quality and [insert derogatory statement here].

This system accomplishes your stated goals, and it doesn't take something useful away from those with different map preferences. It should consequently be more popular and more well-received by the community at large. So, I request/suggest this system be implemented instead.

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If possible I'd like to make a suggestion, instead of nuking the map vault why not use a merit based tagging system?
Instead of a simple vote which people pretty much never use (myself included) either make a prompt that appears somewhere prominent (in the corner tends to get ignored because its pretty small.) From there you have a list of tags which work like descriptors that are found on maps like reclaim heavy, dynamic, astrogap, expansion heavy, etc etc. Then after someone plays a match they have a prompt to vote on it and pick a few descriptors for it which is then displayed on the vault listing. It would make finding map types way easier.

I dont know how easy it is to do but what little programming I know it doesn't sound impossible.

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i feel like this is over-engineering for engineering sake, I agree with both Vinyl117 and Emperor_Penguin, improving the current vault should be the priority, vinyl117 makes an interesting point having tagline descriptors makes it so people can if they want look for maps that have been tagged as expansion heavy or reclaim heavy and the like. adding an extra layer to the current system aka improving it. i see this as way better than what's being suggested by morax as I currently understand it.

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having a vault that is so easy to upload to is a privilege, one that i feel is being abused by poor quality maps, no one looks in the vault coz its all just crap, I hope this change will bring us a vault full with a variety of quality maps, and maybe break the astro/gap cycle

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I and many others do look in the vault at both the recently made maps list and some of the other lists quite frequently, MadMax. It is useful.

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I would like to share this message from Morax from the previous election:
d9a51e5e-d23d-48fe-aaea-87eae8601ffd-image.png
Keep your campaign promises; make two vaults (or at least two easily accessible vault lists); "one open to all, one to cherished works - simple." - Morax
Also, make it so "community votes would take place for new content so there's no "illuminati" feeling, allowing for all to help build what content is presented." - Morax

I hope the fact that I'm literally quoting you to follow through on your own proposals really sinks in... @Morax

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