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I can somewhat understand Valve's decision to cut Snowplow from the EotL update.

Discussion in 'Team Fortress 2 Talk' started by Vel0city, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city func_fish

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    Honestly.

    I played it on the TF2maps.net's EU server just now, and for a map that's in a Release Candidate state (number 3 in fact) it has some big issues that should've been resolved in the beta stages of the map.

    Couple of things I noticed.

    UPDATE: I've just tested the map (RC3) on a New York TF2maps.net server, and all the performance issues are a thing of the past.

    1: It has some spots on the map that are easily covered by one sentry that's almost impossible to destroy (cp B, stage 1, left of the control point has an elevated area that once a sentry is placed is impossible to overtake, which is problematic since there isn't a lot of cover around there to dodge it).

    2: There are some big rendering issues on the map, particularly in the 3D skybox behind BLU's base (the smoke is being rendered behind the 2D skycard with the mountain as seen here).

    3: Some areas have plenty of detail while other areas lack it. The cliff near cp B, stage 1 is a fine example of that. It's there, but at the bottom there is nothing but ground. A couple of trees would make it much more interesting to die there (although I did notice the doves with the bomb there which is an awesome easter egg). Also, if Thunder Mountain can have its roof fly of when the bomb goes boom I don't see a reason for it why Snowplow's final cp can't be blown up properly (flying roofs and barrels 'n stuff (or maybe I can since it would mean more entities of which this map already has a whackton of).


    Now I'm not firing shots at Fr0Z3n or YM for the issues (mostly). The map will be fun and challenging for players, but only if at least these issues are resolved. I feel sorry for you guys. Valve could've helped you with the mapping process, but instead decided to cut it completely with the lame excuse of 'it's too complicated'. It's not. It just wasn't finished yet. If the movie came out with the update shipping a week or 2 later as part of the Smissmass update with the map properly finished and Valve actually SAID ANYTHING ON THEIR TF2 BLOG ABOUT IT we wouldn't have to go all ape♥♥♥♥ on them. And honestly. We went ape♥♥♥♥ on Valve, and with good reason. Recently Valve has become more of a money grabber that doesn't care about their games which is the completely and exactly the opposite direction of where they came from: a company who used to care about its community and the games they make.

    Oh well. I talked for way too long now and my fingers are tired.

    [EDIT]

    Ok so a couple of screenshots incoming. I try to think as Valve does when it comes to detailing and I'm probably really anal about some small stuff, but if it catches my untrained eye it certainly catches the trained eye of Valve. The play areas that could use some changing in my opinion come after my 1.5 hour visit to the TF2maps.net EU server yesterday after probably about 6-7 pretty similar going rounds.

    Also, on the performance side: the map never drops a single frame when you're the only one on the map. The map has around 1600 entities which is fine for itself, but the engine starts to struggle when you have a whackton of players on there with all their glorious unusuals and Australium Rocket Launchers and other projectiles and whatnots.

    Anyway, for stage 1:

    This is that overpowered sentry spot. RED can have one Engi with a Pybro around him and it's impossible to take down.

    This door also plays a big part as to why that sentry spot is OP. I'd recommend it to be widened and not solid (Demoman+unseen Stickies=death).

    This cliff area is the area I talked about whit the detailing portion of this post. It's there, but it's rather plain and simple.

    This texture doesn't look right. I appreciate the normal map (I presume it's there) but it's too reflective. It doesn't fit the area (same for its green counterpart). Also, the textures misalign on the left (on the snowy texture that is).

    While minor, I could see it when rocket jumping (building in question is right of the bridge in front of BLU's spawn).

    That's quite a gap.

    This lighting looks odd. The ceiling is very bright while the support beams and the surrounding area are way darker and look more natural.

    This area needs 2 doorways to prevent people from camping here as an Engineer. There is no way to get behind a sentry that's going to be there every single round, you can only attack a sentry there when it already sees you.

    Finally, for stage 1: This area needs a detailing pass. The wall on the left looks odd and there isn't a single bit of detail here. In fact, that whole area feels wrong. I'd suggest placing the spawn directly against the building in front of it and sealing off the back area so you can make it more detailed without having to worry about game play and hidden spots.


    On to stage 2:

    This doesn't feel right. You have a nice low lighted roof and surrounding area that is then completely dominated by this very bright wall.

    Don't be this guy. Please. It's also possible to stand on the inside beams and be completely concealed of taking damage from above and the sides.

    This is a problem. The clipping here will be very obvious without even having the train there.

    This is a weird detailing decision. I get it, it's a brick base with a steel staircase on top of it (you can see that from the side) but you can only know that if you start looking at the building up close which would probably get you killed in a standard 11v11 pub. I'd suggest making it an all metal staircase while keeping the brick base. Also, the same staircase has an obvious texture misalignment.

    RED's first spawn could also use some more detailing. The textures are a bit washed out and don't look very pretty, and it also lacks some props. One thing to help with the textures would be to have a normal map of it linked in the .vmf since the area itself is so bright and lit up.

    Now this arrow. This arrow here is a bit misleading since there is a door straight below it. Even I got confused the first time I saw it. I get why the door is there, it explains how people can get to the lift's hydraulics, but that arrow can be positioned better.

    This is also an overpowered Engineer camping spot (next to CP A). He has acces to health and ammo without having to worry about attackers since the only way to get to him and his sentry is to stand right in front of it. I'd make a drop down area above that point of some sort since BLU has all the high ground to the left of it which can reach that area without the sentry seeing them.

    This combination of metal and wood doesn't make a ton of sense. I'd make it all wood.

    These and these windows aren't properly clipped. You can stand on the very edge of them.

    Oh and I don't have a screenshot of it but RED's final spawn is very bright on the inside. It'll look more natural if the lighting wasn't so bright but instead a bit more softer.

    There are some other spots on both stages that could be considered OP to the defending team but that shouldn't be a problem if BLU has a proper team which knows what it's doing. The areas that are highlighted here however, have proven to be a problem, especially that first spot on stage 1, near CP B.


    please don't come at me with brushes and entities (read: pitchforks and shotguns) please thank you
     
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    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  2. PC's_Frank

    PC's_Frank L4: Comfortable Member

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    This is actually a rather interesting and well-thought out statement. Many of these things, I had not realized nor taken into consideration.
     
  3. RubbishyUser

    RubbishyUser L7: Fancy Member

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    Frozen/YM can correct me if I'm wrong, but I suspect the moment they heard that snowplow was cut from the update, they stopped working on it, because they were (quite rightly) annoyed. The version we see now is not the version that would have been released if Valve had gone through, because that would have had two more weeks plus pre-release crunch time to work on it. All of those issues would have come out over that period.

    Valve ain't getting off that easily.
     
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  4. Sergis

    aa Sergis L666: ])oo]v[

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    i see what you did there

    and where you did that from
     
  5. PC's_Frank

    PC's_Frank L4: Comfortable Member

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    I agree, they shouldn't be let completely off the hook. That having been said, I find that this outrage, like many others, is the result of a series of misunderstandings. I recognize valve enjoys its surprises, and they are more than welcome. Though, I also feel that their lack of communication led to misunderstandings. They may have perceived the update in a manner contrary to our own, but they never made that clear.
     
  6. BigBros

    BigBros L3: Member

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    Well, guess what! You worked on this map for the last couple of months??? Too bad. No community payments for you! Our community are dumb shits and don't know how to do anything! But don't worry about the update, we will just release miscs and a super fucking awesome video!
     
  7. PC's_Frank

    PC's_Frank L4: Comfortable Member

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    I heard a rumor the map makers are still getting some money in recognition for their efforts. Can't remember where though, I never thought keep record of the place I heard it, though I know it was a forum of some sort.
     
  8. BigBros

    BigBros L3: Member

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    Huh. will have to find out about that. Would be really dog of Valve to not pay them...
     
  9. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city func_fish

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    Updated the main OP with some screenshots and explanations that say something about why the screenshot was taken on that location for what reason.
     
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  10. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city func_fish

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    hi spuf
     
  11. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    Something to consider. The map is twice the size of hydro (That image is completely zoomed out). A lot of the ent data is from the gamemode and the overlay, which would've been removed/hardcoded if the map went official.
     
  12. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city func_fish

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    That's a big map. I never realized that.

    As for the ent data: true that. I still believe in this map going official, but it's up to you, YM and the rest of the community to push Valve towards that decision. They didn't cut the map because it's too complex to understand (hi Astroid). I believe they cut it because they felt it wasn't finished yet, but instead of helping you and YM with it they completely abandoned it at the very last moment and then gave the lame and not true excuse of it being too complex so that they wouldn't have to do any more work on it.

    Lazy bastards.

    AS for the performance issues: I've just tested the map on a New York TF2maps.net server, and all the performance issues are a thing of the past.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  13. bobotype

    bobotype L1: Registered

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    to throw my end in
    I also can see reasons why the map would be cut- it isn't perfect sure- but that's what patches are for, and as was said it wasn't 100% done. Even in a crappy condition I just would have been happy with a new map to play around on, the update was underwhelming otherwise.
    It's great of Valve to let the community input so much; but when you're all practically releasing their updates for them, and as my friends said they haven't released a game since what? 2012? while they slowly turn CSGO, Dota and TF2 into wardrobe simulators and roll in the dosh from said activity, it's starting to feel like Valve is no longer true to the cool game makers they were in the early days. And when the community's doing your work for you on a game you're still getting profit off and you cut that community content it rubs salt in the wound.

    Anyway I hope you guys still get paid. That would be nice of Valve considering how much work would have gone into a big old map like Snowplow.
    edit: unless they're secretly working on HL3/TF3/L4D3/Portal 3 in a superbundle, then literally everything is forgiven
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
  14. wareya

    wareya L7: Fancy Member

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    They're actually working on L4D3 so yeah.
     
  15. fauks

    fauks L2: Junior Member

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    Ditch the devices and make it CP A/D. Maybe you'll have the next dustbowl.
     
  16. BigBros

    BigBros L3: Member

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    That was the gimmick of Snowplow. It was also what made it fit in with the TF2 Canon, through EOTL.
     
  17. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city func_fish

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    So, I got one question now that Snowplow's in the game.

    Is it the same version that was ready for End of the Line (this version)? Because it looks like it is, meaning all of the things I mentioned in the OP are still left untouched. While map balance and game play are one thing, rendering errors and other visual glitches are another thing. The smoke that comes from BLU's blown up base in the skybox is still rendered behind the mountain. There's still a gap in the rails just after point B, stage 1. RED's spawn rooms in stage 2 are sill overlit and underdetailed, especially RED's first spawn.

    Also, any word from Valve as to what happens after the contracts end? Will the maps stay in the game? What happens to the custom content?
     
  18. Uncuepa

    aa Uncuepa

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    Pretty sure the maps will be in the files, but the gun mettle servers will be shut down and the maps won't be added to normal rotation.
     
  19. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city func_fish

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    I'm 100% certain that IF Valve were to do this it would cause a gigantic shitstorm and they make them official official the next day, like how they reversed the stupid change of not being able to see Valve servers in the server browser in less than a day.

    Instead of outright removing the maps, how about adding them to the stock map rotation and then add 4 new maps to a new Gun Mettle server? Remember that achievements also exist and so removing any map makes them impossible to get.
     
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  20. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

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    Should note that I'm waiting for clarification on some of these things from the folks at Valve. I will report back with whatever I'm able to.