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Maps diversity problem



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#1 Mother Tereza

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 11:58 AM

1. Quality
2. Waiting time
3. Diversity
 
These are 3 pillars of a good lobby. Advanced lobbies and partly new mumbility feature are aimed to improve quality. Queue algorithm should decrease waiting time. But the lack of maps diversity slowly turns into a huge problem for TF2C. It's no secret that lobbies based on non-mainstream maps are very hard to fill. TF2C slowly becomes badwater/upward/badlands/gullywash hub. Even swiftwater these days is almost impossible to play. I remember days, when people easily were filling croissant lobbies on TF2Lobby. But today borneo or croissant are synonyms of the wasted time, though they are very interesting maps to play.
 
Typical situation: Attached File  maps_diversity.png   708.09KB   1 downloads
 
The same is true for the new maps. It is very hard to convince players to join experimental maps, even if they are officially supported by the comp leagues. It starts to get boring. Neverending badwater-upward cycle won't help to develope competitive TF2. This should be changed.
 
I see the only one path - rewards and perks. Besides upcoming achievements system, which are including the special badge for playing on non-mainstream maps, and queue algorithm, which also can improve situation in overall, we need to change your motivation. Can you tell us, what can make you play more on a different maps? Yeah, I know, short waiting time is a good enough stimulus to join any lobbies. But currently it is long because nobody believe in non-mainstream lobbies. And it turns into vicious circle. Ratings, vanity fair, the accumulating points which you could spend on servers reservations, what else?
 
If you share my concerns, I invite you to brainstorm. Please, suggest your ideas and thoughts.
 
UPDATE
 
Here is a list of ideas suggested in this thread:
  • Add thumbnails for the maps they don't have a thumbnail yet.
  • Add videos of the maps, people might get curious.
  • Announce special days or hours dedicated to specific maps.
  • Reward players with points for playing on exotic maps. Points could be spent on perks like servers reservation

Edited by Mother Tereza, 02 November 2014 - 03:18 AM.
Added list of ideas

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#2 RTC

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 01:23 PM

By far the class that I play the most on Highlander is Engineer, which is very much reliant on map knowledge and flow in order to garner a better understanding of where to hold and where to place your buildings to ensure success. Because maps like Upward, Badwater, Lakeside and Viaduct are very commonly played in a competitive format, I have a better understanding of those maps and know exactly where to place buildings to maximum their effectiveness. Even those who are new to competitive TF2 have some understanding of these maps, and can play classes adequately enough. On a map like borneo, I lack the prior knowledge on where to place buildings, and I feel I'll let the team down somewhat if I join and stumble around the map like a confused toddler. Even if I'm playing a more simplistic class like Scout, I won't be cognizant with the best positioning and the best routes to attack, and there's a good chance a few players in the game won't either, giving those with experience a massive advantage. That's enough of a reason for most to stick to what they know best, which is lobbies like Badwater and Upward.

 

I also feel thumbnail previews of maps help generate some traffic into those lobbies. Without a picture to preview the map, a lot of people are unaware of what they're getting themselves into, and are hesitant to join as a result. If there's a way to get thumbnail previews in the main Lobby page of some more maps, that would be a step in the right direction.

 

As for the former, and significantly larger issue, I have a suggestion of my own that I'll hopefully be posting later today.


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#3 FromZero2Hero

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 05:09 PM

Good maps get played a lot, bad maps won't be played a lot. Maps you mention like swiftwater, borneo and croissant has their shortcomings to be a great map. I support new maps and I'm up for trying them. But if they're not good as others, I won't be playing them again soon again.



#4 juju

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 07:59 PM

That remade upward started in like 5min  :mellow:

 

Swiftwater was next most played pl map after badwater/upward in tf2lobby (badwater was easily most played map) Swiftwater was almost as much played than upward back in the days and now its almost impossible to start a swift lobby in tf2center  :(

 

It's just getting worse all time so yeah something has to be done so we wont be suck with these same maps.

 

Map counts from my ~2600HL lobbies in tf2lobby.com

badwater: 1089

upward: 588

swiftwater: 221

different viaducs: ~100

different barnblitz: ~100

lakeside: 70

arctic: 16

...

= 2184 lobbies played by same 7maps and 416random other maps played 

 

And those numbers are a lot worse in today's tf2center... would love to see map statistic in tf2center too  :ph34r:



#5 Foxy

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 12:06 AM

In the last month, highlander lobbies that have launched:
 
pl_badwater - 1612
koth_pro_viaduct_rc4 - 1220
pl_upward - 1065
...
pl_swiftwater_ugc - 192


#6 juju

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 01:00 AM

 

In the last month, highlander lobbies that have launched:
 
pl_badwater - 1612
koth_pro_viaduct_rc4 - 1220
pl_upward - 1065
...
pl_swiftwater_ugc - 192

 

5 swift EU lobbies?



#7 Mother Tereza

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 11:36 PM

That's enough of a reason for most to stick to what they know best, which is lobbies like Badwater and Upward.

 

I also feel thumbnail previews of maps help generate some traffic into those lobbies. Without a picture to preview the map, a lot of people are unaware of what they're getting themselves into, and are hesitant to join as a result. If there's a way to get thumbnail previews in the main Lobby page of some more maps, that would be a step in the right direction.

 

This is one of the sources of this problem. And that's why I had started this thread. I understand newbies' fears and want to find a ways to encourage them play on a different maps and increase their motivation. Another problem that even players, which would like to play different maps, are suspicious about such lobbies, because nobody believe that they can start in decent time. Better say, people just had lost their faith somehow. So we are looking solutions how we could restore it.

 

Regarding thumbnails, this have a sense, we have a full set of thumbnails, just need to fix backend for it (gentle hint for our backend guys  ;)​).

 

 

 

Good maps get played a lot, bad maps won't be played a lot.

 

Nobody is going to promote "bad" maps. We are talking about "good" and experimental maps, which people is avoiding to play.

 

 

pl_badwater - 1612

koth_pro_viaduct_rc4 - 1220
pl_upward - 1065
...
pl_swiftwater_ugc - 192

 

Pretty self explanatory stats. 1/10 against swift.

 

Above I was mentioning special points that players could spend on some perks. 1 pt for each lobby based on a maps that not included in the main list. Maybe same serveme.tf integration, being planned for donators, just with another ratio.



#8 The Once and Future King

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 02:24 PM

Good maps get played a lot, bad maps won't be played a lot. Maps you mention like swiftwater, borneo and croissant has their shortcomings to be a great map. I support new maps and I'm up for trying them. But if they're not good as others, I won't be playing them again soon again.

 

There are plenty of good maps like swift and Steel that very rarely get played.  Pretty much viaduct (so tired of this map) badwater and upward are the only maps that fill consistantly in NA (plus the UGC map of the week but even that can be week).  It get tiring playing the same maps over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over .... again.

 

While some of the other maps might not be "great" maps in your opinion that doesn't make them bad maps, and many people still might consider them good maps. While there are things we can look at to see what is a good map like ability to attack/defend without one being almost imposible and ability to flank while not being to easy to flank along with a miriad list of other things related to sniping, spamming, and sentries, there is still a lot of opinion that goes into what I think is a good map versus what you think is a good map.

 

The truer statement would be that Populat maps will be played a lot, and unpopular maps won't.  Popularity of a map doesn't always have to do with it being good or bad.  A lot of people don't like things that are new, and don't want to put the effort in to learning something new when they can play the same ole lame ol' thing as last time so the more established maps become the more popular maps and by perception (not by fact) the "better" maps (except Steel which has been around forever and despite being the best map is to complicated for simple people to understand and thus almost impossible to fill unless it is steel week for the UGC.).


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#9 Mother Tereza

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 05:13 PM

Small remark. By saying "bad" maps I was meaning mostly obvious trolling maps like lolcano or achievement_idle.



#10 The Once and Future King

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 05:19 PM

Small remark. By saying "bad" maps I was meaning mostly obvious trolling maps like lolcano or achievement_idle.

 

I agree there are certain maps that are actually bad.  Like lolcano, trainsawlazer, or one of the other maps people troll with.  The guy I was quoting is refering to anything not viaduct, upward, or badwater as a bad map.  I'm aware that some consiter cp_steel and pl_swiftwater_ugc to be bad maps, that doesn't make the right (more likely they just don't understand how to play more complex maps.)  I personally like those maps as do plenty of others.

 

 I mean I personally hate 5CP for HL, and while some of the 5CP maps are worse than others I consider any 5CP HL to be a bad map for the game style yet a cp_gully can fill before some of the other previously mentioned maps that other's think are bad.  That doesn't make me right, and I'm certain there are people who would disagree with me.


Edited by The Once and Future King, 31 October 2014 - 05:24 PM.


#11 FromZero2Hero

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 05:23 PM

I didn't really mean that they're extremely bad, but they are just worser than badwater, upward, etc and they have issues.

 

For example swiftwater, it's not a bad map. But the forward respawn is just ridiculous and of all swiftwater lobbies played, I don't think there was one balanced. Steel is one of my favorite maps. But playing it on tf2center isn't worth it. People have no clue what to do. 



#12 Mother Tereza

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 06:01 PM

The fact is that everyone has its own preferences: some people can like swiftwater, others hates 5 CP for HL. Our personal preferences doesn't matter. We are talking about how to turn TF2C into the comfortable place for all players with the all sorts of preferences. At least as close to comfortable as possible, because obviously it is hard to compete with the maps like badwater. So lets focus on solutions, but not complaints. What do you think about points suggestion?


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#13 FromZero2Hero

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 07:46 PM

Unless people can do something with reward points, I don't think they will be intrested in gaining these points. 

If you can customize your profile with it or something like that, people might be bothered .

 

Other things you can do to make it as attractive as possible:

 

- Add thumbnails for the maps they don't have a thumbnail yet.

- Add videos of the maps, people might get curious. (I know you like borneo and it looks great with the trees - if they're not bugged.)

- And I don't know if your achievement system is going to be deployed in the soon future. Some people might like achievements for playing less popular maps...


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#14 Mother Tereza

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 08:19 PM

Interesting idea about videos. Taken note of this.



#15 FromZero2Hero

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 09:07 PM

Example for cp_glassworks: https://www.youtube....DwyZCljoQ#t=254



#16 The Once and Future King

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 09:11 PM

I think the problem with these maps is similar to the problem with putting requirements on lobbies.  People have a perception that they take a long time to fill, and as a result of this (what should be) false perception people don't join and the perception becomes true.  I know there has been talk of a que system to help lobbies fill faster.  Has there been any thought to using the que system in such a way that there is only 1 lobby of each game type per region (so 1 NAHL w/mumble, 1 NAHL without, and so on for 6's/4's/Ultiduo).  I'm sure there would be a lot of resistance to such an idea, but the fact is that it would probably be one of the best ways to make lobbies fill faster, and then would also make these "less popular" maps fill faster since people would have no choice unless they wanted to wait longer.



#17 Harry Kaine

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 09:37 PM

u have to get stricter rules to encourage people to play other maps i dont see any other solution ! otherwise the circle of pl_upwater_pro_viaduct will go on and on !!! because of less waiting time and players knowing these maps very well. for example u can maybe make a "day of swiftwater" ect. only this map and 2 other are allowed or having a mappool where players can choose a map or let players vote wich map should be played more and only allow this map for a day or some hours and so on ... every idea is welcome. and as longer these "new" maps will be played they will get familiar with it and they will be played without any technical help.
at the end only such rules will change something.
 
ps.. why we have no minimum 400hours(or better more) rule to play on this site just because u get somemore players on this site? this would make this site a even much better ..pls dont let it become tfc2publobby!

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#18 Mother Tereza

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 10:29 PM

I know there has been talk of a que system to help lobbies fill faster.  Has there been any thought to using the que system in such a way that there is only 1 lobby of each game type per region (so 1 NAHL w/mumble, 1 NAHL without, and so on for 6's/4's/Ultiduo).

 

As a member you have an access to our internal discussion of queue algorithm. It will be based on the actual number of online players. Definitely it will cure the main issue - uncontrolled creation of lobbies and unpredictable waiting time as result.

 

 

for example u can maybe make a "day of swiftwater" ect. only this map and 2 other are allowed or having a mappool where players can choose a map or let players vote wich map should be played more and only allow this map for a day or some hours and so on

 

Interesting idea about special days or hours dedicated to specific maps. But, please, save our eyes - use the punctuation and capital letters.







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