Valve has confused me.

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Vel0city, Jun 28, 2015.

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  1. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city func_fish

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    Yesterday I was playing on a server that had workshop maps running on them (it's a rarity but they do exist). Every time the map switched there was this strange message in the box that usually says things like "Sending Client Info" and "Retrieving server info", etc. It said something along the lines of "Updating Steam assets" or something like that. After that the maps loaded normally and I could play on them perfectly fine.

    Earlier today I downloaded a map from the workshop in order to run around and give some feedback on it. Now, because Valve's dumb decision to NOT put downloaded maps from the workshop in the TF2 file system but instead somewhere outside of that I had to manually drag the map into TF2's tf/download/maps folder. And here comes the "I'm confused" part. That map I downloaded from the workshop was the ONLY map I've downloaded from there, yet there were around 8 or 9 folders in the steamapps/workshop/content/440 folder. Once I opened them to see what was inside them I saw all the maps I played yesterday on that server with the workshop maps.

    Now here's my question:

    WHY DOES VALVE PUT MAPS DOWNLOADED FROM A SERVER OUTSIDE THE TF2 FILE SYSTEM IF THE SERVER IS RUNNING WORKSHOP MAPS?!?

    Whenever you go on a server that has custom maps the maps are downloaded to the only logical place where they should go, which is tf/download/maps, yet if the server is running maps from the map workshop they are downloaded to the steamapps/workshop/content/440 folder? I'm downloading the map IN-GAME, not via the workshop, so I expect them to go where ALL the downloaded maps go which is tf/download/maps.

    Why does Valve have to make it so hard to find and play custom maps? Do they NOT want people to play custom maps? Because with the file management (or should I say lack of) Valve is implementing now they're saying you don't want people to play custom maps.

    Can someone here from TF2maps.net get to Valve and hammer it into their heads that they're making mistake after mistake with the whole map workshop thing? I have a hard time getting trough to them since, well, because they're Valve.
     
  2. fubarFX

    aa fubarFX The "raw" in "nodraw"

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    (theory crafting) I think you can subscribe to maps even if tf2 is not installed. that way you get to download the map to your workshop folder. might not be the best solution but at least it works
     
  3. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city func_fish

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    I'm not subscribed to any maps (I get my maps from here so I decide where to place them), and all the maps I played last night were in those folders. Quite a coincidence right?

    It's still dumb. Really dumb.
     
  4. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

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    My theory was that they wanted to keep them separate so they didn't interfere with previously downloaded maps. Also whether you are subscribed or not wouldn't affect Fubar's point. When you join a workshop server you are basically temporarily "subscribed" to that map.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 28, 2015
  5. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city func_fish

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    Lets say I'm not subscribed to Glassworks, but I have the latest version in tf/download/maps, and I join a server that has Glassworks running off of the workshop. The game can't find Glassworks in the workshop folder so it downloads it to that folder. Now I have 2 version of the exact same map on my computer, and because they're not in the same location I now have 2 exact copies of one file. That's dumb, right? At least unsubscribe me when I leave the server and remove the maps from my drive.
     
  6. Fantasma

    aa Fantasma

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    Reasons like this encourage server owners to download maps off the workshop, not manually place them, keeping the maps up to date, efficient and better connected
     
  7. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city func_fish

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    I think server owners are a minority compared to regular users who just want to check out a map. I remember that on launch day the Steam forums were full of threads by both new and experienced users asking where their newly downloaded map went.

    How difficult is it for a server owner (who knows how TF2's file system works) to simply copy a map from tf/download/maps or just tf/maps to wherever they want it to go for their server instead of users inexperienced with TF2's file system to search their butt off in order to find one file only to find it in the most illogical place ever after searching for half an hour?
     
  8. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

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    It's a beta. Email your concerns to them. They are listening.
     
  9. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    Yep.

    http://www.valvesoftware.com/email.php?recipient=TF+Team
     
  10. worMatty

    aa worMatty Repacking Evangelist

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    There is a thread dedicated to workshop maps from the point of view of a client, and some of your questions are already answered in it: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?t=24614

    • The message you see, 'Updating Steam assets' is an indication that the game is downloading the workshop map. Since workshop maps are integrated in to Steam somewhat, it is Steam that downloads the map for you, not TF2. You can see the download progress on the Steam downloads page.

    • You don't have to manually copy a workshop map to your maps folder. You can load a workshop map that you have subscribed to or previously downloaded by typing map workshop/123456789 in console. The numbers are the map ID.

    • The workshop content folder also stores maps that you have subscribed to on the workshop. That is what the function of subscribing is for, to add the game content to your system. Favouriting or rating is a better way of showing support, IMO, as subscriptions don't really mean anything for a client unless they want to use bots offline.

    • The workshop is in beta. A minuscule number of servers are running workshop maps at the moment. The system is not bug-free. We are going through a stage of transition. Eventually, servers hosting workshop versions of maps will be much more common, and you might never find a server that hosts an ordinary version of a workshop map, so file duplication will be less of a problem.

    • Previously people had to rely on external sites like Game Banana for custom maps. There was no indication, for a casual TF2 player, that any of this existed. Valve have made it much easier for Steam users to find custom maps by putting them on the workshop. At the moment, there is no easy way to find a server that is playing one of your favourite maps because the workshop is not widely used for map hosting, and there is no link to the server browser or any form of automation. That could change in time and you could feed it back to Valve yourself if you felt it was important.

    • Workshop maps are always compressed, so they take up the same space on your computer as if they were BZ2 files. This is typically half the file size of an uncompressed BSP. Ordinary BSP files in tf/download/maps are uncompressed and so take up their full space.

    • When a workshop map is updated, it replaces the file on your system. You do not accrue multiple map versions, you will only ever have one file for each map, and that will typically be the current version. For non-workshop maps, if they are updated, you will keep a copy of every version you have ever downloaded in tf/download/maps. You probably have three versions of Glassworks in there (unless you clear out your download dir occasionally, which means you will appreciate the space-saving advantages of workshop maps).

    • The folders inside steamapps/workshop/content/440 are named by the ID of each map on the workshop. This is important because it stops map authors from making maps that have the same filename as other maps, therefore causing conflicts.


    The workshop exists to showcase custom maps for clients and server operators but its existing framework does not make it obvious what the function of subscribing does. With most things server-related, we are left on our own to work things out. That was no exception when the workshop beta was launched, but as you say there are many more clients than server operators so there was bound to be more discussion from them. When something new comes out, there is always a period of confusion and excitement while people are poking and prodding, to find out how it works. I think Valve's strategy here was to get the workshop up and running in some form, and let the users shape how it must be altered, over time. It's not wrong or bad. We are PC gamers. Technical comprehension is sort of required, for us, and it's important we have opportunities to solve problems like this so that comprehension can grow.

    Not hard at all. In fact that's what server operators have been doing for years, but it's more complicated than that. You have to put one copy of a map on your game server, and one copy, compressed as a BZ2, on your FastDL server. Then you have to add the map to your rotation. If a map is updated, you must do the whole thing again. Comparatively, with a workshop map, the only thing a server operator has to do is add it to his rotation. That's it. No downloading and uploading BSPs. You say that the directory change is a nuisance for clients, but if a client is fiddling around inside his TF2 directory, looking for maps, then he obviously has a good comprehension of how a file system works. If he doesn't find what he's looking for, then he can Google it or ask a friend, or maybe do a local search for a map on his computer. The kind of things he would have done to find the existing map locations.

    The introduction of the map workshop is a positive thing, and the alternative would have been to do nothing at all. If the workshop did not exist, you would not be complaining about it. Rather than lose your rag, come and get involved in helping to make it better by coming up with great suggestions. Work with the workshop, not against it. Valve have introduced some nifty new features like fuzzy map naming, so I think they are not averse to implementing some big changes. You obviously have some passion about this, so use it to focus on the most important areas of improvement and offer the kind of feedback that I can't.
     
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  11. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city func_fish

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    Already done, although I doubt I'll get a response that they're actually looking into it. Talking to Valve is like talking to a brick wall. It doesn't respond.
     
  12. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

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    They have responded so much to so many people lately, including myself. I think you're just being pessimistic.
     
  13. KubeKing

    Server Staff KubeKing Back home in Jupiter, things are getting harder

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    Wait... lightbulb?

    Couldn't you just use a folder-syncing program between both folders? I use one for maps in different directories right now; I'll edit this post later with a link (I'm on mobile)

    Edit: See below.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2015
  14. KubeKing

    Server Staff KubeKing Back home in Jupiter, things are getting harder

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  15. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    That program basically makes a symlink, which is a feature that I think comes from Unix? There's plenty of ways to do it. Hopefully Valve just makes a symlink and no one has to do that.

    By the way, due to compression, I think the workshop maps would still be seen as different from the ones you download the old way, and therefore third party programs might not reconcile the two file directories correctly.
     
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  16. Zed

    aa Zed Certified Most Crunk™

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    Subscribing to a map still downloads a .bsp to workshop/content/440/(id). I can copy maps between the workshop folder and download/maps through command line, and it works just fine.
     
  17. worMatty

    aa worMatty Repacking Evangelist

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    You don't need to copy maps from SteamApps to your tf maps dirs. You can run workshop maps just by typing map workshop/{mapid} in your console. They are loaded from the SteamApps dir.

    The only benefits to subscribing to a map are pre-downloading it before joining a server, and running it offline with bots should you wish to. There is no point in subscribing to a map in the workshop otherwise.
     
  18. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city func_fish

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    Only problem with that is the fact that I can remember names like Glassworks or Glacier or Ridgeline or Rust or Metalworks or whatever. A bunch of random numbers though, that's a different story.
     
  19. worMatty

    aa worMatty Repacking Evangelist

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    If you are having trouble remembering the workshop IDs of your favourite maps, I recommend you make a list.

    I'm curious to know why being able to load workshop maps offline is important, for you. Do you play with bots a lot?

    If you like, I can type a brief guide on how to set up your own local dedicated TF2 server, complete with SourceMod. Its map changing system seems to be working fine with workshop maps at the moment, so you might be interested in its GUI. You would need to have about 700MB free hard drive space, IIRC.
     
  20. Seba

    aa Seba DR. BIG FUCKER, PHD

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    Wormatty's post on the previous page sums it up well; I recommend moving this discussion to the actual workshop thread.
     
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