Why we should play test maps in RGL

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  • We should play test maps in the official season because people only give feedback if there’s actual stakes on the line. Using my data, only 1% of competitive players play test maps and give feedback so if we just force test maps

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  • I can see the mass complaints already, but honestly you’re not wrong. The experimental cups usually have the feel of “Who cares? It’s just the exp cup”.

  • @wish Wait, are you just funning or do you have actual data? If the latter, would you mind sharing? I love dataaaaaaa

  • this was the mindset of UGC and it was universally hated on

    i think instead we should be taking the approach that we did with ashville and product. rather than trying to build a new layout that may or may not work for highlander, let’s build on the foundation of something that we KNOW works and make it better.

  • @supreme-toad If we’d stuck to that, though, we’d never have gotten Vigil. (Heck, if you go back far enough, we’d never have gotten Swiftwater either – though I recognize Swiftwater isn’t as universally liked 😛 But can you imagine nothing but Upward, Badwater, and Barnblitz?)

  • @supreme-toad how do we determine what “works” objectively? maps like borneo and ramjam “work,” you can play them, they were played for many seasons, and still have some fans today

    i think you’re exactly right that we should only accept new maps with high potential for improvement, but without criteria these maps seem impossible to identify

    on another note, where is rapids? hasn’t that map been ready for heavy playtesting for a while now?

  • @scaredy-bat swiftwater’s introduction was well before my time (debuted UGC S4, swiftwater_ugc’s debut was s6). by the time i started playing, swift was already considered a staple.

    barnblitz was hated on pretty hard, even the pro versions never really sit well with a lot of players from that era. it was deemed unfixable after 2 new pro versions came out and it was still disliked by most of the plat and gold players who were maptesting at the time.

    probably just nostalgia speaking but i wouldn’t mind another shot at badwater.

    @dlphn last map test on rapids ended after players didn’t know the layout and refused to turn on decals that tell them where to go 🙂

    i PERSONALLY think maps that deserve a shot at a pro version are millstone, lakeside*, and warmtic.**

    *the one version i saw that wasn’t _r was very very bad and didn’t fix any of the problems that people had with the map. version r is a step in the right direction though.

    **the refresh team seems to be working on this actually! perhaps someone from RGL should get in there and give feedback from a different region

  • @supreme-toad Oh sure, but more than just you specifically as an individual, I mean that if the competitive community at large adopts the attitude of avoiding new development in favor of refining existing maps, we would never have gotten Vigil or Swift. They started out as new maps all of their own! Heck, even Ashville started out as a custom map, didn’t it? They’re staples now, yes, but they began life as unfinished maps that had to go through testing and refinement.

  • While testing maps in leagues is the best way to get feedback, the truth of the matter is that even in the first few inclusions in a league, there are still a large proportion of the player base who don’t take the map seriously for that season. (I experienced this when Vigil was first included in UGC)

    Testing maps in PUGs, scrims and map cups is actually the best way to get initial testing for a map, starting with PUGs and scrims while the map is still in alpha. The reason for this is that maps can change dramatically during alpha versions. (If you load up A1 of Vigil, you’ll ask yourself what is up with third and last, as they changed completely during development. Even Rapids has had its A and B points completely remade already) With these large scale changes happening semi-regularly, it can get annoying for a large player base to relearn the new parts of the map, whereas I generally find when people are playing in new map PUGs or scrims that they are more likely to be excited for changes to map layouts.

    Only once a map has reached beta (and I don’t know of any maps in development for HL that are at that stage as of now) should a map be included in a new map cup. There isn’t always a great deal of feedback from a large proportion of the player base, yet I generally find that there are at least a few players who will take the time to give amazing feedback. (There was amazing feedback that I got from That’s So Steve! when B2A of Vigil was included in the ETF2L Preseason Cup)

    Then after it has made its way though a map cup, depending on how it was received (although this should generally be a lower bar of expectation than for older maps, as newer maps will have a lower approval rating out of the gate), it can then be included in a season.

    While Vigil would have never been made a staple map without being included in a season, there was a lot more work put into it before its first inclusion that 95% (or more) of the player base doesn’t see. (I am gradually working on an article that will be out sometime [TM] that details the whole development of Vigil. I’ve completed up to A13 and it’s already at 4700 words, so I don’t know when it will be completed. I also want to add pictures and all, which will take some more time to complete. Hopefully this article will give a peek into all the changes made to Vigil, as well as the different testing I had for it)

    Rapids is still very much in the first stage of testing, being in alpha, and I wouldn’t want it to be included in a map cup yet. The best thing you can do if you want new maps to be made is to help test them in the early stages (for example, organise a PUG or a scrim on a new map). Even if you don’t provide detailed feedback on the map, and just say what things felt like here and there, if the mapper can get their hands on the STV demo, that provides a lot of feedback in itself.

    As for testing on Rapids, I’m working on the next version of Rapids which should hopefully be out shortly (within a month, maybe even a week, depending on how ideas flow), so if you’d like to test it, get some friends together and play a PUG or a scrim on it when it comes out. The best way to get feedback to me is using the TF2Maps thread.

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