Competitive map testing

Discussion in 'Server Events' started by Suna, Apr 9, 2021.

  1. Suna

    Server Staff Suna

    Positive Ratings:
    Recently, some people have shown an interest in competitive map testing, and I, too, have interest in this.
    After some deliberation and planning, I have some ideas as to how this would work, but it all depends on how many people are interested.

    I have written up some of the potential ideas for these competitive tests, but keep in mind it is all hypothetical until I can set this up on the servers and of course, organise teams.

    This would be the easiest to set up and organise for regular playtests, and is the most popular competitive format, but comes with several drawbacks for a testing environment. In particular, the meta of 6v6 is well-established, being 2 scouts, 2 soldiers, 1 demo and 1 medic. This is a composition that has proven to work excellently in a competitive environment, but does not provide the mapper with good data, as it restricts classes being played on the map to only those that are viable. This would possibly create the best 6v6 map ever made, but only if it is being played with those four classes.

    7v7 (prolander):
    This is the next step up from 6v6, with the major change being that there is a class limit of 1. This opens up a wide range of class composition options allowing for a lot more useful data for the mapper. The downside is that if a single team member is doing poorly it often brings down the performance of the team as a whole by a large margin, swaying the data.

    9v9 (highlander):
    This would be the ideal competitive format to use for testing, as it guarantees that all classes are being played, and if one team member is not doing particularly well, the rest of the team can often make up for it.
    Of course, this requires two organised teams of 9 players who are available to play for at least an hour, uninterrupted. This is quite hard to organise, particularly so in a small community like this.

    Weapon bans:
    Weapon bans are likely to be similar to most major leagues, with some changes to better suit the testing environment. We will go through the weapon whitelist as a group, choosing to ban/unban certain weapons.

    Taunt bans:
    All non-stock taunts are banned. Competitive leagues often ban looping taunts as it allows players to look around corners with little repercussion, but it's easier to just ban them all.

    Gamemode-specific rules:
    Tournament mode will be enabled for the duration of the test, which also means stopwatch mode will be enabled on Payload and A/D maps. Two games will be played for each asymmetrical map (4 rounds total), scrambling after each game. For symmetrical gamemodes, we will be playing best of three, for two games (6 maximum rounds total), and scrambling teams after each game.

    Teams do not need to be organised prior to a test, as there will be scrambles, however all players will need to be able to communicate with their team through voice, through either discord or in-game voicechat.

    Here at tf2maps, we don't exactly have any kind of skill rating system in place for our servers, so it should be expected that teams will be made up of many players of varying skill levels in order to be inclusive. However, if a player is shown to be performing particularly poorly and repeatedly in competitive tests, they may have to be asked to leave, as they are not contributing to the test positively. I don't hope or expect this to ever happen, but it may be necessary. On the other side of the scale, if a player is seen to be performing too well on a regular basis, they may have to be asked to 'tone it down' or switch roles.

    That's pretty much all I've got for now, if you have any suggestions, please post them in the thread below.

    If you are interested in participating in these competitive map tests, please let me know, either on this thread or on discord! Once I know that enough people are interested, I can start getting this organised for real.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  2. nesman

    Server Staff nesman master of fast travel

    Positive Ratings:
    Interesting. Basically is a PUG. I'd give it a go. This would work really well with the feedback round plugin once it is finalized.
  3. DoctorDoomtrain64

    aa DoctorDoomtrain64 func_witch

    Positive Ratings:
    I'd be down to give it a shot! Sounds interesting :3
  4. Zeus3005

    Server Staff Zeus3005 Not a Krusty Krab

    Positive Ratings:
    I'd be very much in favor of this. Also I have ad-hoc comp servers ready to go for this kind of purpose so I can support the infra needs.

    One issue I forsee is that since its comp, there needs to be like, sign ups or some kind of queuing?
    We can't just have players joining and leaving, so we would need to know ahead of time if we have enough players for a "pug"

    Also we may need to gate skill levels or at least try to balance them so you dont have Froyotech vs Engineer Gaming.

    Also Mache will have strong opinions on this since they work with Testco (another comp map testing community)
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2021
  5. Brandini Panini

    aa Brandini Panini

    Positive Ratings:
    I work with Testco myself as well, and while there may be concerns with overlap I think both can fill in what the other is missing.

    Testco has a minimum division requirement to participate in their map test pugs, that being main and up in RGL (with the benefits and drawbacks that come with requiring medium-high level experience). While there are higher level comp players in the tf2maps community there is probably more that wouldn't meet Testco's requirements.

    Tf2maps having its own competitive pugs that don't have a minimum division requirement could fill the niche of the lower div players wanting to test comp maps in development and could give mappers a different viewpoint (even if comp mappers should mostly be mapping with high level play in mind).

    Overall I don't see many negatives to the idea. Comp mappers getting more eyes on their maps is always a good thing. Would love to see how it turns out.
  6. Mâché

    aa Mâché

    Positive Ratings:
    definitely in favor of these ideas, though i worry how exactly it'll be moderated
  7. Asd417

    aa Asd417 Sample Text

    Positive Ratings:
    I like this idea. But at the same time, comp environment and playstyle and skill is very different so I suggest having an official connection with rgl for this as well so comp players can join in. The current procedure of comp testing just seems a little incoherent due to it being hosted by rgl who are already busy hosting comp itself. From my personal experience, there isnt much communication with mappers as to when the future tests will be held so it is not very reliable. Collaborating with rgl where tests are held via tf2maps/mappers and communication with comp scene being done by rgl I believe it will benefit the testing environment.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Another Bad Pun

    aa Another Bad Pun dare to meme

    Positive Ratings:
    In the CSGO mapping community there is a distinction between how Casual and Competitive tests are handled in that you need to be an approved “competitive tester” if you want to participate in competitive tests. This ensures the maps are played by skilled or knowledgeable players, and also makes things easier to moderate / balance. Additionally, every test is scheduled in advance, and the maps are required to be in a solid state before being accepted to test. They also use an ELO system to help balance teams, so something similar might be useful to implement?
    If you’d like to know more about how CSGO testing works, I am an expert on it at this point, so feel free to ask me about the details. I think a similar system would make a lot of sense here.

    As for the tests themselves, first I would let the mapper choose whether they wanted a 6v6 or a Highlander test ahead of time. Then, after the match, disable the win conditions on the map and let people give feedback in discord voice with the map author present.

    I think weapon bans are silly, but I don’t mind the taunt bans because they actually give an unfair advantage.

    Mostly, I think you will need to decide what you want this kind of testing to be for. With this site’s playerbase, I mostly see this as being a good way to get more detailed feedback on a map from players. It probably doesn’t make sense, in my opinion, to appeal super hard to the tf2 comp scene and what they would want, as there’s other places for that sort of testing.