POLL: Is heatmaps useful?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Bacon Sandvich, Oct 12, 2009.

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Is heatmaps useful, If so at what stage of development?

  1. NO! Not at all, useless I say!

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  2. No, but it would be cool for final maps

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Yes, Alpha Stage

    24 vote(s)
    70.6%
  4. Yes, Beta Stage

    6 vote(s)
    17.6%
  5. Yes, Release Candidates

    3 vote(s)
    8.8%
  1. Bacon Sandvich

    Bacon Sandvich L2: Junior Member

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    Ive finally got psychostats installed on my webserver and its tracking the buttload of maps I add everyday for playtesting. It has this nifty feature that produces heatmaps, you know those cool overviews of your map showing where the action is. Im thinking about using this nifty feature to supply heatmaps for the community custom maps. Only problem is I have to manually produce the overlay of the map.

    On to the question at hand....

    Is heatmaps useful, and if so at what stage of development?
     
  2. Malcolm

    Malcolm L3: Member

    Messages:
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    Positive Ratings:
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    I think, heatmaps are very useful, especially in the early stages of a map, but only there. A good heatmap reveals choke points of the map and by analysing them, you can fairly say what has to be improved there, if there is something to improve at all.
    It's a matter of the base map layout, not of the detailing that comes in the later mapping stages (beta or RCs). So I think it would be a rather good idea to provide mappers a nifty heatmap to have an overview.
     
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  3. Lancey

    aa Lancey Currently On: ?????

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    Yes all stages.
     
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  4. Engineer

    aa Engineer

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    Heatmaps are best for alphas, but they'r good for betas and RC too.
     
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  5. Lancey

    aa Lancey Currently On: ?????

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    I say all stages because despite the fact that betas and candidates are mostly for detailing, the layout still isn't complete and some small differences can occur, such as the train wheels on the RED side of 2Fort.
     
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  6. Bacon Sandvich

    Bacon Sandvich L2: Junior Member

    Messages:
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    looks as though it will most likely be needed in all stages, and mostly in alpha.
    So heres what Ill do, Im gonna by default add heatmaps to any map at A3 or higher status and to the very first Beta of maps. From there you can request an update if there is any major changes to layout. Once in RC status I will update accordingly.

    If your a lil confused about what Im talking about, heres the [ame="http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=9622"]thread[/ame] to my server info.
     
  7. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

    Messages:
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    3,568
    This poll should allow you to chose multiple options. They're good for all stages, but particularly beta and RC where they allow you to determine the balance of specific chokepoints. In an alpha stage a chokepoint will normally be insignificant or too overpowered and you'll discover this in your feedback anyway.

    Heatmaps become more useful the more your map is played, so naturally mid to late beta's and RC will give you more useful and legitimate data; than say the first time your map gets tested with 24 players for a half hour. Although Hoodoo eventually had so many beta releases that a lot of servers were running out of date copy's either because they didn't want to upgrade or because they weren't aware of these releases. So really late beta's that might still get released frequently could suffer from degraded results.
     
  8. UKCS-Alias

    aa UKCS-Alias Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?

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    Then i dont know why they havent found out the major problem in goldrush in time? Comments dont allways seem to work that well. Heatmaps can be much more welcome. And now they got heatmaps it still shows it hasnt been fixed at all.

    In the early alpha stage they arent that usefull as the map can have major changes but in the late alpha its important. If you then notice a red part on the heatmap you will know that its going to give issues. After you started detailing you dont want to fix that area. The earlier you find a problem the better. If in a RC another red dot shows up on the heatmap its often a diffirent couse if you know that in the alpha it worked all fine. It could also mean that the last bit of detailing there coused issues.

    They are important in all stages but for alpha they are most important. That is the moment you can fix it without problems, later you barely can do that or it takes a massive time.
     
  9. Dr. Spud

    aa Dr. Spud Grossly Incandescent

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    What major problem in goldrush?
     
  10. UKCS-Alias

    aa UKCS-Alias Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?

    Messages:
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    See the attachement and youll find out. The marked place still isnt fixed.
     
  11. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    That's the old heatmap, pre-update.

    Also, servers run specific configs that influence gameplay. Most 24/7 Dustbowl/Goldrush servers (Which will get the majority of hours played) allow up to 8 engineers. It's hard enough assaulting 2 sentries and fighting the knock back. You get a nice setup and a lot of area's are unbeatable. This just happens to be one (and the first) of many chokepoints that can be locked down in these maps by unblanaced class setups.

    Valve have noted this difficult pass and have already modified it twice so saying Valve havn't done anything in regards to heatmap data is just incorrect. It's even posted in the TF2 blog. Secondly, the first stage is going to be played 3 times more than the final stage, and twice as much as the second, so again, these stats are also warped in this sense. If heatmaps were able to compensate for this variable, you'd see it is a lot more balanced than it appears.

    This chokepoint could be more balanced for the average dolt that plays TF2, but anyone with half a mind doesn't just run through that pass when it's covered by sentries, snipers, ambushing pyro's and spy's and demo and soldier spam. The key is to gain access to upstairs, which can be done by bypassing this chokepoint. Having just 3 or 4 people on your team that realise this will get you to the next stage. The gameplay flaw on this map is not that this chokepoint is over powered, but that players that flank the defenders are more inclined to attempt to spawn camp and fail than to retreat to the objective and push the cart because the enemy spawn is closer. This is why people don't get past the first stage.