I'm pleased to announce that voting for our second major contest is underway http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?p=47988#post47988 My plan is to keep them in normal rotation until the end of the week, but more time is available if needed. Barring any unforeseen issues, our gamedays will resume the following week. Look for the thread in the Events forum this weekend. With that out of the way, I wanna talk business for a moment. Specifically concerning the discussions in these threads; http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=4921 http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=4918 http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=4941 TLDR at the bottom. After taking it all in, (I actually did read every post and jot down info, which took me freaking forever), it seems the biggest issue people are experiencing is the lack of feedback for new mappers and entry level maps, in addition to the perceived favoritism for the well-established maps. There are a lot of good points as to why this happens, and suggestions to help remedy the problem. Atm, I see these feelings resulting from a lack of information. I imagine most people haven't read the very first thread of the wip forum, stickied at the top for all to see; http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=3265 Say you include pics w/ your wip and a nice summary of your idea. A week goes by and not one response. New members need to understand that it's no reason to give up or be angry. Suggestions for improving the new maps can likely be found in our main discussion forum and the tutorial section. A lot of peeps don't want to comment on how to improve the very basics, b/c that's something you learn as you go. Mapping is a hobby that you do b/c it's enjoyable to create things. Also keep in mind that we are not always bustling w/ activity. Sometimes we'll hit a slow period for a couple weeks, cuz people just get busy w/ rl stuff. You may find yourself posting 2 or 3 updates in that time, w/out a response. I want to stress that newbie mappers shouldn't get turned off just b/c they see a 6-month wip w/ 10 pages of responses above their own thread. Keep working, submit for gameday testing, and learn. It's the only way to improve. Everyone starts off new. The aforementioned popular maps got that way b/c the authors have been doing it a for a long time. They too were new to mapping and Hammer at some point, but made the effort needed to refine their skills. On the other side of things, I realize that we as a community could be doing more to encourage the people showing off their first map. If nothing else, you can always comment on the idea/theme that the author has laid out, and the current design. Point them to a tut or current discussion for ideas on improving some aspect of the map. To that end, I'll be updating that sticky thread w/ some bullet points of this info. Hopefully all of this together will cause the new guys to not get so easily discouraged. Lastly, remember that mapping isn't an end to itself. New models and textures deserve the same kind of attention; http://forums.tf2maps.net/forumdisplay.php?f=17 http://forums.tf2maps.net/forumdisplay.php?f=18 TLDR: If you're new to mapping, don't immediately quit after 5 replies in 2 weeks. Suck it up, read some threads, and accept the fact that being good takes time. When commenting on newbie maps, give some suggestions for the design and point the author to a relevant tutorial.