The Competitive Player: A Custom Mapper's Perspective

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Vilepickle, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. Vilepickle

    Vilepickle L7: Fancy Member

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    This is going to be a little long and a little rant-y, but I feel it needs to be said as a defense to all mappers who have tried to design for competitive players.

    The competitive player never seems to be satisfied. There are several third party maps that have seen moderate success among the 6v6 community (which is the only mode that comp plays) including cp_freight, cp_yukon, cp_follower, and the newly updated cp_gullywash. What's not seen at the end result of these maps is the unreasonable amount of bitching, whining, and shit talking injected by competitive players during the testing phases.

    That may be a bold statement, but it is true. When players post their maps here on TF2maps.net and at most general TF2 communities they are met with normal responses thanking them and then the constructive posts pointing out issues that need to be addressed. If you post on a competitive forum you are met by scathing 1-2 line responses and Youtube videos saying you're "f***ing dumb" and then the occasional constructive post pointing out issues.

    But I see posts all the time that comp TF2 is "starved for maps", so why are a large number of them jerks to the ones trying to give them more fun?

    Some might say to toughen up, but let me ask you: how many mappers ARE competitive players? 2? 4? And how many of them are capable of producing a Valve quality level in a "reasonable" time span? It will take a mapper several months to get a solid map going. Probably more for a competitive player who also maps, since clan players have scheduled events several days a night. That mapper most likely will not want to be greeted by acidic replies by the time they're ready to present their free work to the community (even if they are part of the comp scene). We don't get paid. We don't need to take trash talk from competitive players who think they're god's gift to TF2. We're the ones making the map, not them. So they should post something useful that can help the map out or close the browser.

    I believe this is a primary reason that more mappers do not strive to get their map into leagues and played by the top TF2 players. The competitive attitude turns off most people who aren't "into" that facet of the game. It's a shame, because competitive TF2 is very fun and making a map for it typically means it gets a lot of exposure, arguably more than a public server bound payload map. I haven't played actively in a clan in some time, but my philosophy of designing with that part of the game in mind still stands out. It means the level will be rock solid in the end. The sad part is digging through all of the 1 liner remarks aimed at making me feel like I'm the bad guy.

    The other reason that more mappers don't strive to map for leagues is because pub modes like PL and A/D are simply more popular on an everyday basis and a lot of mappers come from that part of TF2. 5CP maps, which competitive TF2 uses, do not usually see as much pub time (at least from my past experiences). This also makes sense because pub players aren’t constrained to play TF2 certain nights, so they have more free time.

    In the end, competitive players will definitely play a map with Valve's stamp across it. It is a guaranteed shoo-in. The funny thing is, Valve isn't playing in any 6v6 leagues either as far as I know. They get paid to do this, so they must be good at it (this is also the mantra of the paid competitive teams, hmm (EDIT: most top teams probably don't get paid but rather they're sponsored with a vent server/server etc) ). I'm not trying to knock Valve by any means, it's just amusing at the blind faith that comp TF2 has in Valve to make their holy grail levels. Last I checked, 95% of the maps in Team Fortress games were community made before TF2.

    Valve does have a good record considering Granary and Badlands, though.

    Oh well, I felt I needed to rant and post a perspective of mapping different than what I think most people know of. How many mappers here would really design for comp play? Me, Mangy, Youme (Furnace) I know of off the top of my head. Anyone else had bad experiences with this?

    Edit: I'm fully aware that this post IS by definition a bitch post like the kind a comp player would make. The irony. I suppose mappers have the right to make their own too.

    8/1 EDIT: Just to dismiss the offtopic part of this thread about "6v6 not being what Valve intended for the game", here is news about the TF2 Beta going on that top clans are participating in to help balance 6v6 play:

    http://vilepickle.com/news/2009/08/01/team-fortress-2-beta/
     
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    Last edited: Aug 1, 2009
  2. III_Demon

    III_Demon L2: Junior Member

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    the whole competitive TF2 scene is broken. ignore it. bunch of whining kids trying to turn TF2 into counterstrike. screw em. TF2 was never intended as a serious competitive game, and never will be. classes like engineer and pyro will never pander to the hardcore twitch gamer or the practiced tactical player. TF2 is meant for actual humans to have fun with.

    i could spend a while ranting and throwing in supporting arguments or whatever, but i've summed it up, and in the end, i'm right, comp players are wrong, ur all stuped lolololol stfu.
     
  3. SiniStarR

    SiniStarR L8: Fancy Shmancy Member

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    Personally I don't have a "who am I mapping for" mentality. I'd rather just make my maps enjoyable for anyone, and take feedback from anyone. People don't need to draw a line, on who is competitive and who isn't at least in TF2 anyways.
     
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  4. Vilepickle

    Vilepickle L7: Fancy Member

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    I'd agree that they don't have to draw a line.

    But they do. And part of it is their attitude :\
     
  5. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

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    This is why I love 2f2f. It is one of the only groups I have found that has given the "fuck you" to "normal/competitive" TF2 and taken its own path. Just log onto the server from the picture in my signature and you will see what I mean.

    Nevertheless, I liked what you had to say and I agree with most of it.
     
  6. ChronoTriggerFan

    ChronoTriggerFan L7: Fancy Member

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    I just don't like the general competitive mentality. While I couldn't care less how they want to play the game, I do care how I play the game. Then they demand maps be made with their intentions, when oddly enough they maps they cherish were designed for the same regular tf2 that "pub" maps are designed towards.
     
  7. Vilepickle

    Vilepickle L7: Fancy Member

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    Good point. A good map is a good map usually. If it's anything other than 5cp though comp won't even consider.
     
  8. McNuggetFiend

    McNuggetFiend L3: Member

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    Really who cares if they don't have anything constructive to say, they are just feeding the stereotype of the elitist competitive gamer when they act like tools (which happens a lot, sadly). Then like you said complain about maps or complain about the competitive scene not being big enough in general for TF2. Most of them continue to divide the community by not being team players in some of the more high quality Pub servers and continue insulting other players /modes while in game.

    Highlander is the only competitive Tf2 I enjoy anyways :)

    I am new at mapping and am working on a Payload map. So I know there won't be any competitive gamers knocking on my door to try it out, but even if I had a linear CP map, I'm not sure I would enjoy having them look at my work.

    Keep everything up though, you are one of my favorite mappers and I absolutely adore Arena Mach2, I run it on my Arena Server! :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2009
  9. Mar

    Mar Banned

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    Funny becuase I find pubbers comments to be the same and not even helpful when they try.

    Also, I agree with you. I'm probably one of the few comp players that advocates playing custom maps and I even got kicked off one clan becuase of my insistence to play well made custom maps such as waste, furnace, yukon, greenvalley and such. Let me make a note here that a good comp map is a good pub map.

    But there is a problem. Those map that I just mentioned are also not played by the pub community. Every time they went up on our pub sever rotation it killed the server so hard we eventually took them off. Both pub and comp players wouldn't play them.

    @political gamer: I know why you and others like 2f2f but it's too goofy and mindless for me. I, and the majority of comp players, started out as pub players and eventually saw the potential of TF2 and were sick of mindless, unorganized pub play. We then sought out more competitive and co-ordinated PUGs (pick up games). At that point we began to crave a true team of players that we would play with and build team chemistry and truly have organized play. Now it just happens to be that many comp players, and pub players to, truth be told, many people on the Internet become asshats. For pub player this mean stupid players that like to swear alot, and for comp players to become elitist pricks.

    In short, the Internet is filled with dumbfucks, the only difference between comp player and pun player dumbfucks is how they express their dumbfuckness.
     
  10. MangyCarface

    aa MangyCarface Mapper

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    I think there exists the same spread of assholes to good people in comp tf2 as there does in pub tf2. The only difference is that the assholes in comp tf2 feel they have a better grip on level design than the mapper in question, while the pub assholes don't presume this
     
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  11. Vilepickle

    Vilepickle L7: Fancy Member

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    Now that you mention it, I have been out of the loop in playing TF2. I remember pub players being iffy as well in terms of feedback but they don't go about it in an insulting manner (usually). At least not to the degree of the feedback you get when you're trying to develop a competitive map and receive any sort of feedback.

    And yeah, the ones in comp think their grasp of design is superior to the person making the map. I just think they really need to pick up hammer and do it themselves sometimes.
     
  12. Nineaxis

    aa Nineaxis Quack Doctor

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    Working on Furnace I haven't gotten any feedback from competitive players, at all, to the point it is frustrating, which is slightly better than dealing with the "omg stfu noob u not play comp u r faggot" attitude most competitive players seem to have. I generally agree with your entire post though, sometimes competitive players seem to have a stick in their butt, and pub communities are generally more open to offering constructive criticism and useful feedback.

    In terms of mapmaking I hold the stance of "balance for a stock pub 24 player server before caring about competitive", because balancing for the large majority of players is much more important than a few whiny clan people, and as you pointed out, they accepted stock maps such as Granary and Badlands with open arms, when Valve built them with... 24 player stock pub servers in mind.
     
  13. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    With furnace creek we weren't really making for the comp scene, more of to fill a void of a severe lack of GP styled maps of any quality. This provided an excelent opertunity for us (me and nine) to get in some extra publicity by spreading the map around the comp scene too. I haven't had much feedback from the comp scene at all, something like 98% of the testing I've done on furnace creek has come from the tf2maps.net servers. Throughout the process though I've become quite good friends with mangy and we've talked lots on what comp players seem to want and what aspects we need to tuck our tails between our legs and give in to them on and what we should just plain ignore. So FC sort of got catered a little more towards the comp scene than it otherwise might have.

    I often dismiss a large portion of feedback given to me for the simple reason of "You don't make maps, you don't know best" (I also apply this to many of the newer mappers around this place not as a sign of disrespect, more out of their lack of 'proving' themselves to actually know what they're on about) When feedback comes from sources I've already glean to be respectable I take much more notice of it, or when it comes through again and again and again. I also look at solid statistics too, if theres a clear sway to one team i'll try and fix that.

    no one makes maps for the comp scene, because no one who makes maps is in the comp scene. it's as simple as that, the mappers and the comp guys are two separate entities that hardly ever merge
     
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  14. Caliostro

    Caliostro L6: Sharp Member

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    I think most of us have long since realized "competitive" in any online game means "self-important failures who take themselves way the fuck too seriously and are desperately overcompensating their lack of any real skill not only in game but in their general life as well".

    Still, you can't help but laugh at a group of people who incessantly whine about "lack of content" in a game, then free-willingly cut out half of that game's content by their own accord.

    It's like hearing someone complain running a marathon is too difficult, so they shoot themselves in the leg first...
     
  15. Vilepickle

    Vilepickle L7: Fancy Member

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    While I completely agree, it's interesting to note that Valve ALSO isn't really "in" the comp scene either, yet the comp players take their work as gold (at least their 5cp work). I don't really see why almost all of the serious community 5cp and GP style maps couldn't at least be good for competition as well as pubs considering Granary/Blands seem to pull it off fine. Well, the 5cp's sometimes do ok on pubs, but pubs are majority Payload/AD

    It just seems like if you're making a 5cp map you'd want to naturally cater to competitive TF2 because the pub crowd just isn't THERE for those maps.
     
  16. uma plata

    uma plata L6: Sharp Member

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    I lurk over at Gotfrag, and can attest to the attitude

    Comp players spend hours learning every 2 unit wide rail you can double jump off of in Granary and Badlands, but trash a custom map after 30 seconds in a PUG because it's "too confusing", or something. Seems like it's just not granlands, so it gets dismissed

    Of course, Gotfrag isn't as much about community as it is about shit talking and one-upsmanship, kind of like a TF2-themed 4chan

    I'd say TF2F is the better resource. A lot of those guys are really supportive of custom maps, they have nightly pick-ups, and while they may not all be the top players, they can give you real feedback about how something plays in comp formats
     
  17. Jazz

    Jazz L5: Dapper Member

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    I'm in the comp scene and I don't try to make maps for one particular group, I just try to make the best map I can and be happy with it.
     
  18. Vilepickle

    Vilepickle L7: Fancy Member

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    I like TF2F. They do regular testing and the stuff I've seen on there always was helpful.
     
  19. Vilepickle

    Vilepickle L7: Fancy Member

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    No doubt, but during the design process you have to ask yourself what kind of things players will do in areas of your level. If you're making an area with a CP around it you can ask yourself where an engineer would build, for instance. In a 6v6 match there most likely won't be an engineer.
     
  20. Nineaxis

    aa Nineaxis Quack Doctor

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    Oh the irony in that post, it's overwhelming.

    In other news, the game was built around 24 (or less) player stock servers with 9 classes. I said "in mind", not "for". I'm sure they don't blow off the comp community, but still, creating for the majority of people who purchase their game comes before that small whiny percent.