Good Evening. First of all, please take everything i say with a grain of salt. It's not random chance that i'm creating this thread now rather than earlier, and it will directly involve the last tests of my current main project plr_hierarch. It's a map i've worked long and hard on, and i'm a bit proud of it, but i still try to be as objective as somehow possible. Also, while i've been mapping for FPS for the better part of my life and built my first room in Hammer (or rather Worldcraft) in a time where at least a part of the users of this forum wasn't born, let me also say that everything i'm describing here are luxury problems - I wish i had such a great community and active testing group as everyone in this forum has back in the day. I'm really happy for that, especially considering that i don't even have enough people in my friend list that play TF2 to even test 6v6 on a regular base. I really love what you guys are doing - Keep up the good work! But let me tell you about the problems i have right now. The last game day and the imp before that (even though i still don't know why Hierarch was even in that imp,) Hierarch was RTVed after about 20 minutes in each one. I watched every replay multiple times. Problems were basically that the stronger team who could control the high ground in the middle was so dominant that the other team wasn't able to play much. While watching the imp replay, i came to the conclusion that the losing team was not really using the spawn door that can't be as easily controlled from the hill and brings some interesting flanking options without forcing you to fight from the low ground. But i'm not one to say "You're playing my map all wrong!" Because if you are playing my map in an unintended way, that's probably my fault - I should've made that path more obvious to use. Before i get to one of the core problems, i want to say it again - Yes, i saw problems during those tests, and the fact that the third exit is underused is only one of them. There will be some big changes incoming before i ever release a new beta. But there are also some problems that are outside of my reach, and i want to discuss those: 1. Disfunctional / Unbalanced teams This one was glaring obvious to me in the last two tests, and i had the same problem when joining imps as a player. One team works together really well, the other team is trying to break that by running in there one-by-one rather than combining their efforts. Usually that problem is solved by scrambling, but that didn't really work on those last two tests or it took so long to scramble that everyone was already burned out from being slaughtered or simply shooting at the spawn door for three minutes. Another side of that problem is simply team constellations that wouldn't even work if both teams were of equal strength. For at least the last three rounds before the map was RTVed on the game day, a quickfixed Brass Beast Heavy was holding down the hill, supported by multiple soldiers, but the combined number of Soldiers, Demomen or Heavies in the other team was usually 0, but never higher than 1 (maybe two, but i can't recall that situation.) Even if the four pyros during the last round would try to take the ramp from the Heavy and his medic together, i'd guess they'd still be mown down. I literally wanted to scream at my screen while watching them getting slaughtered over and over. My suggestion would be quicker or more frequent scrambles from the host(s), and a better team composition as a player. I get it, i love Pyro quite a lot, even called it my "main" for the longest time i've been playing TF2, but you're not taking the high ground from a bunch of soldiers and a quickfixed Heavy, no matter how often you try or how good your airblast technique is. 2. Iteration - Or, you're testing the map too often. The basic layout of Hierarch hasn't changed by more than a few hammer units in any place since Alpha 3. During both tests, i heard both voices that made jokes about how often i'm adding this map to tests, and that the map should've stayed in alpha for a longer time, solving the problems the map currently has. But those two points are basically mutually exclusive - It took 7 tests (combining everything from A3 to B2) before the problem that showed during those tests showed up for the first time. All the tests before that were very positive, although with a fair share of understandable negative feedback, which i tried to address in later versions. Should i have tested the same map in alpha 7 times? Even after 2 game days and 3 imps since Hierarch hit beta, i can tell you that the amount of written feedback you get gets to hilariously low levels very fast. I got way less written feedback in the 3 imps and the second gameday combined than in the first game day, and that was on the AU server with way less players, and the map thread feels like writing into my diary, because noone is reading or replying to that as well. If i wouldn't have put versions with minor changes into the diferent imps, i would never have seen the problems that are arising now before way later in the development cycle. If i tested every version of the map only once, i would still think that everyone thinks my map is fun, but a little cramped. Still, most of the discussion on the later tests was about how often my map was already tested. On the other hand, if i kept in Alpha for longer for additional tests, literally noone would play my map anymore by the time i get into Beta. I still don't know whats a good amount of testing - Do you guys have experience with that? And what are your numbers? I mean, i'd love to get the map into different test groups to get a lot of data without burning anyone out, but right now, i don't have any other groups to look to. I'd guess even putting it into EU / US imps would change enough of the playerbase to get that result, but that's kinda hard to do right now, considering that US imps are kinda slow right now and usually won't start before 3-4AM over here. And lastly, i have a plea to the players - Please be more outspoken about what you like and what you didn't like, maybe even visit the map thread. I have and always will watch every available replay of tests, and previously i even tried to react to things that happened in said tests inside my map thread, but there is practically no reaction in that forum. Especially if i can't play in the test myself (like i sadly wasn't able to do on this gameday,) that makes me feel really dissociated from the group i want to make happy with my creations. Thanks for reading all that stuff, feel free to voice your opinion - I'm looking forward to it.