Campaign Maps and TF2 - a "working plan"

Discussion in 'Team Fortress 2 Talk' started by Fr0Z3nR, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    Hey guys,

    It's discussion time again *confetti.* We've had discussions about the number of TF2 maps in the past, but I thought we'd update it and move it to a new thread. I was talking to a TFTeam member about various things and one of the things was a 'working plan' for maps and their part in the game, I assume similar to how they culled out some of those old hats a while ago:

    I did ask for permission to post the quote and to start this discussion, if I felt that it would generate useful discussion, which I think it can.

    So, what do you guys think of this, culling out the low performing maps? We've talked about this type of thing in the past, back in like 2012, but everything has changed since then, so what do you think now?

    I was super tired and it was late when we were talking about this, so I forgot to ask some more specific questions. Maybe @The Jill might be able step in at some point and fill in a bit more of where I forgot.

    Please remember that (as I understand it) this is still a working plan, which means it is not final. It is not set in stone, it is not necessarily what they are definitely going to do.
     
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  2. Davekillerish

    aa Davekillerish Lvl O: Orange Member

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    A system like this is a bit unfair to map creators. (ill use landfall as an example)
    Say that the next update comes out (by that I mean campaign because thats all updates are now), and landfall servers are extinct, thats not the map creators fault that brand new maps are added, but now all his hard work that got the map into the game and all those who really liked playing it wont be seeing them in any valve servers again.
    (Assuming theirs a chance for them to come back, but if every single person that has ever played TF2 emailed valve to put it back im sure we still would never see it on valve servers again)
    To some mappers having their map put in game, is the top of the crop, the end game, or at the very least, an amazing accomplishment, so I almost have to say how dare they implement this system to pull out unpopular maps.
    I understand why they would think this is needed, but then again 2fort will never be removed from the game, but its the literal worst map in the game.

    If they are considering doing this, why not revamp the maps from previous campaigns rather then cut them off the list as if it was a VIP list, and only the new shiny kids get to be on the list.
    If landfall becomes a less popular map in the next update, why pull it from the list?

    I really dont see a reason for valve to NEED this, and it would just quite frankly piss me off if they did add this feature.

    "COOL, Valve picked my map for this campaign"
    "Shit theres not alot of people playing it, maybe some cool layout changes can save it?"
    "Well, not alot of people are playing it, but thats cool maybe itll pick up a bit after this campaigns over"
    "WHAT, WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DONT WANT THE MAP IN THE GAME ANYMORE!"
     
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  3. Hotel Detective

    Hotel Detective L4: Comfortable Member

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    Bit of a catch 22 there
     
  4. Davekillerish

    aa Davekillerish Lvl O: Orange Member

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    I dont understand that at all.
     
  5. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

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    If it's the difference between continuing to bring in maps at a quick pace or slowing down/ stopping, I'm all for culling where necessary. As long as mappers are compensated fairly (ie, stamps are still sold, key revenue is still there, etc), there really isn't much of a difference other than what is in the game files, and what the official servers are putting resources in. If the maps aren't seeing much play, why should they host servers for them?

    Ultimately, we just want our maps to get played. This method gets them a ton of attention, compensates mappers, and keeps that flow of new maps happening.

    It would have to be handled carefully though, for sure. I know no matter what, it'd be a bummer to get your map culled. I'd honestly like to see the early maps that barely see any play these days get culled over newer maps, but I'm not sure on the logistics of that.
     
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  6. Hotel Detective

    Hotel Detective L4: Comfortable Member

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    Just for the example

    No one plays map -> Map is removed -> But what if people wanted to play the map -> No one plays map

    The Catch 22 is "keep maps in so people can play them" but no one plays them
    I think that's a catch 22 i dunno

    Why keep a map no one plays?

    Also:
    But what if there's too many maps? At some point they'll have to stop putting maps in. How is that any more fair? People have their spotlight, sometimes it's good to let others have it too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
  7. Geit

    aa Geit 💜 I probably broke it 💜

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    TF2 is currently a 17GB game, each map that has gone official recently is easily 50~100 MB even when repacked. If they aren't popular why require them to be part of this 17GB download? Why can't they just be downloaded on demand by people who actually want to play them? Maps like Junction certainly deserve this treatment.

    There's also nothing in the original post that says Valve would stop supporting them, they might set up their own Workshop servers for maps that have been removed from the game, or even if they don't they'll still probably be selling stamps/whatnot for them. Also, regardless of being in the game currently or not, having had a map in the game previously is still a great portfolio piece for any level designer, and it's not like they're being unfairly compensated.
     
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  8. Davekillerish

    aa Davekillerish Lvl O: Orange Member

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    If by culling they mean that the maps wont be on the initial download, then ill drop my soap box, but if their dropping all support and will no longer be hosting the maps, then the soap box will not be dropped.
    I will wait until more information is givin about this culling.
     
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  9. Fantasma

    aa Fantasma

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    It would be cool if at least one server is left to ran 'culled' maps, so they just become majorly infrequent. It might lead to unplayed servers though so I can see why that wouldn't be desirable.
     
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  10. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city personal pick-pocketing parrot

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    Just an FYI, TF2 still continues to ship with all the Half Life 2 materials, models and sounds, things that are basically irrelevant to TF2 (with the exception of a few HL2 textures here and there, to which I say pack them in the BSP). The hl2 folder in the common/Team Fortress 2 folder is 2.85GB in size. 1/6th of the game's size is due to the unnecessary hl2 content, so getting rid of that would already be a huge space saver.

    As for other space saving things: would it be possible for all the vpk files to get some form of compression, like a .bz2 or zip file (or like repacking the bsp for that matter)? Just the stock tf2_textures vpk files totals over 7.5GB in size, so anything that can be done to lower that would be great. @The Jill would such a thing be possible (if you get to read this anyway)?

    As for the maps themselves: not including the custom content in the stock game (thus leaving them packed in the map itself) means that if two different maps that went official use the same custom content, even to a small degree, it now means there are copies of the exact same file(s) in multiple locations, which also adds up to the game's size.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
  11. CommodoreKong

    CommodoreKong L6: Sharp Member

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    Honestly this was something I was worried about when Valve announced Gun Mettle as a CSGO type of system for supporting map makers. Personally I'm not a big fan of seeing any official maps (or any content at all), community made or Valve made, removed from TF2. The game has gone 8 years without seeing any maps removed from the game and I honestly don't want to see Valve start removing maps now. Sure there are plenty of maps in TF2 that aren't great (including plenty of Valve made maps) but I imagine every map has its fans.

    If anything I would like to see Valve add every map to the official rotation. Add arena servers, as well as specialty rotation that include one off game maps/modes like Hydro, Watergate and Degroot Keep. Let TF2 players decide what modes and maps they want to play.

    If Valve does go through with this there is a lot of questions that need answered. Will map stamps still be removed if Valve removes the map? Will Valve servers still run the maps? Will Valve remove their maps that they no longer support with official servers, like Hydro, all the arena maps and Degroot Keep?

    If Valve does remove the maps from the official Valve server rotation but keeps selling the map stamps I imagine map stamp revenue for that map will drop to near zero, which would be unfortunate for that map creator. I kinda wonder how map stamp revenue for a map like Probed, which is still run on official Valve servers is compared to Watergate and Byre which aren't run on Valve servers anymore?

    To be fair all of the official maps only add up to around 2.6 GB, which isn't a huge part of the download.
    17 GB isn't huge, a lot of newer 3D games have much bigger downloads (seems like just about every modern 3D game I download these days is at least 40-50GB), though I could see how it could be an issue with people who have bandwidth caps or slow download speeds.



    Those hats are still in the game, they just can't be bought, found as random drops or in crates anymore. If you want them you have to trade for them. Of course all of those hats were Valve made so the only people not making revenue on those hats anymore is Valve.
     
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  12. DrLambda

    aa DrLambda L69: Teeheehee, Member

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    If we consider the current 2,6GB (or even an arbitrary larger size, like 3 or 4 GB) an acceptable size for the amount of maps in the game, there is still a huge amount of things we can do before we consider cutting maps. Most of the official maps are still unpacked (i think pretty much everything except for the campaign maps and anything that was recently changed,) which means we can cut down that size by about 2/3.
    I just packed tc_hydro out of curiousity, and that alone saves about 60MB.
    I think there are only two downsides to packing, which are:
    1. It's (afaik) currently impossible to decompile them, which makes it harder for mappers to get ressources. But if Valve considers that a problem, adding the VMFs to the download wouldn't increase the total download size significantly.
    2. The initial update size for everyone who got TF2 installed would be about 1GB without any new content, but new downloads would be cut down by about 1,6GB. That means it would take a significant amount of time until the total amount of traffic would be lower than the amount we'd get without doing anything.
     
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  13. LeSwordfish

    aa LeSwordfish semi-trained quasi-professional

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    I'm actually all for it. TF2 is a bloated game: not just in terms of filesize but there's SO much stuff. There's dozens of maps, hundreds of weapons... how many gamemodes? How many levels and special kinds of cosmetic? An entirely seperate game in MVM.

    TF2 needs less stuff. If we show valve that we're okay with them taking out maps, maybe they'll be willing to take out weapons, or cosmetics, or Vintage or Genuine or Specialised or some of the levels of cosmetic bollocks. If we rage against the removal of very few of our toys, even ones we specifically don't play with any more, then none of that will happen and TF2 can only really decline as it drives more and more potential new players away.
     
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  14. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    If they're going to do any of this, they need to put the lesser played maps on to their servers so people can actually play them.....

    Which leads us to the real question:

    CAN THEY PUT HYDRO BACK ON SERVERS THEN?
     
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  15. Hoplitejoe

    aa Hoplitejoe

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    Let's be real here, any map not in a valve server rotation is basically a dead map (excluding comp maps).

    There are hardly any community servers with a reasonable player base, and of them, very few run custom maps. One of the biggest appeals to having a map added to the game is getting it actually played by the wider community, and I don't think it should be one that's given up easily. Not to say they have to be as visible as they were before being culled, but some way of having them played is a must.

    The most obvious ways of doing this would either be having a "graveyard" valve server, where all the culled maps are, or, have the culled maps outside of the rotation, but still be able to vote to set them as the next map.
     
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  16. DrLambda

    aa DrLambda L69: Teeheehee, Member

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    I don't think we can ever take out cosmetics or weapons, because those were things a user paid for (even if you are completely F2P, you provide a background/playing area for players who actually spend money on the game.)

    And after i said this, i'd be pissed if they took out a map that i bought stamps or maybe even strange filters for, because while i supported the mapmaker while it was part of the rotation, it takes out every other reason to buy those things (which is an unusual effect on said map or a kill counter for said map.)
     
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  17. Jethro

    Jethro MUSty Complainer

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    I think the idea is fair, but before they start doing it they need to make sure there's a way for all the "campaign maps" to actually be played.

    arena_byre and pd_watergate are still absent from Valve server rotations, and (most likely) they'd be up for the chopping block first because of it.
     
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  18. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city personal pick-pocketing parrot

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    Blame Quickplay for that.
     
  19. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    I forgot to mention that Stamps/Filters would still work since the maps would be rerouted to the workshop submission, and the items rekeyed as workshop items.
     
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  20. Izotope

    aa Izotope Never releases maps

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    I don't see this happening at any time, in any universe where a Valve company currently or in the future sells virtual cosmetics.