1. Over Balanced: Mappers try too hard to create "balance" in an asymmetric game mode. Most community pl maps break up the linear game play by adding dozens of alternative routes, some of which or excessive and not even needed. For example; a U turn like the one in Gold Rush on the last stage, if cannibalised by a typical community mapper, would have several routes that bypass the U turn, which in their mind makes it more 'balanced'. Yet I think it's fairly obvious that it would ruin the map. Payload maps are not meant to be competitive, they are meant to be fun. Keep your maze of alternative routes to CP and CTF. Choke points can be good. 2. Lack of Artistic Direction: Sometimes community maps have no place in the TF2 universe. Sure they share the same textures yet the theme is completely off. Team Fortress 2 is a giant mesh of different themes. From 1930's to futuristic. [or at least what people in the 1930's saw as futuristic] Just having the textures there isn't enough. Some people create new interesting themes, which is better then no theme at all. TF2 has room for crazy themes [look at Egypt] yet it still has to be visually pleasing. Bright colours with lots of light should be the go, dark maps are very dull. plr_pipeline was a night time map, and despite having a lot of light within the playable area it still wasn't as visually pleasing as say Badwater Basin. 3. Fixing what isn't Broken: It seems that every mapper creating a pl map feels the urge to mix the objectives around. Out of the ordinary point layout to make their map 'unique'. Nothing wrong with change, yet why deviate from tried and true layouts. If players can sense some familiarity within your map there's a greater chance of them actually liking it. Valve have more resources and skill then any community mapper, from the popularity of their current pl maps this is obvious. I think the smartest thing to do is follow their guide for making maps. == Some of you will disagree with my opinion, which is fair enough. Yet I think a portion of the TF2 gaming community would agree with me. Pl is the pub game type, mappers should have the goal of making it fun, not making it fair. P.S. KEEP THEM LINEAR!! no one likes running through a maze P.S.S. give them good names. Simple soft words are best. G, B, J sounds are good. A name like pl_zenith is just crap!