Why do we not map for competitive TF2?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Trotim, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. Trotim

    aa Trotim

    Positive Ratings:
    This came up recently and I wanted to hear every TF2Maps guys' opinion on this/experience with it.

    Why do you not map for competitive TF2? What would make you consider it?
  2. Beetle

    Beetle L9: Fashionable Member

    Positive Ratings:
    For me, I don't know any competitive people, and I bet most people aren't competitive here. If we were able to get more of them to come here or go to the server, then I'd want to.

    also, we did do that one comp mapping competition, remember? :p
  3. Fr0Z3nR

    aa Fr0Z3nR Creator of blackholes & memes. Destroyer of forums

    Positive Ratings:
    I never got around to developing the connections with the Comp community. Thats really about it.
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  4. ForbiddenDonut

    aa ForbiddenDonut

    Positive Ratings:
    Saying this as I've dabbled into UGC and such myself. Nothing serious, but I felt it was important as a map-maker to get familiar with how competitive TF2 is played.

    Bottom-line for me: It makes mapping feel rather limited. You basically have to keep altering the level, stripping out anything that was remotely new (like Croissant, which every update seemed to turn more and more away from the cool point experiments Arnold was trying).

    This all assuming you can actually get feedback that isn't just people telling you your map is shit.

    I'd reconsider it if the competitive scene was just more open-minded, and they didn't treat mappers like spawns of satan when a map has issues.
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  5. The Asylum

    aa The Asylum

    Positive Ratings:
    Because it's a big bloody waste of time and effort

    allow me to illustrate with an illustration:

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  6. Ravidge

    aa Ravidge Grand Vizier

    Positive Ratings:
    I'm gonna preface this by saying I haven't mapped or been in touch with TF2 for about a year, so this post might be full of things that aren't true anymore, but I don't believe much has changed so here I go.

    You need to be inside the comp community to be taken seriously. And it's not a easy club to get into if you don't have the right kind of attitude and personality.

    The TF2 competitive community is also extremely reluctant to try new maps (overall), unlike many other FPS games where a evolving/rolling map pool is standard. There will always be the all-time favorite maps that always gets played (the cs de_dust2, quake ztn/bloodrun, tribes ctf_katabatic, tf cp_badlands and so on), that fine. But any big FPS title that also had a level editor I can think of generally embraced community made levels even at the highest level of play.
    But people figuratively shit their pants if a new map gets into the pool for a season. There is more talk about how bad of a decision it was to let it in, than hype for new gameplay. It's like a disease.

    When I think of "Mapping for competitive TF2" describing words that spring to mind are along the lines of: unwelcoming, unwanted, unneeded, unrewarding, loathed, non-supportive.
    This is the image that the comp community has built towards the mappers over the years and if they want more people to make maps for them, they really need to start by reversing all of those from the ground level up in the community.

    I talked to plenty of mappers who were attempting to launch their maps into competitive tf2, and the general feel you get when you talk about it is a lot of frustration and stress. Very few people can deal with the comp crowd for any extended period because it's a tiring and a pretty hostile environment if you're a no-name mapper.
    I'm not saying it is impossible to map for comp, but it's definitely more effort than it's worth by a huge margin.

    Now for something completely different.
    I grew really fucking bored of watching TF2 match streams fast. I watch a lot of esporty games constantly, and I kept up with TF2 as well, but after a few months or so it was so numbing my brain how little change there was between matches and teams. Everyone played the same tactics on the same maps, frankly it was boring and predictable because you can tell those tactics has been played for the past 4 years or even more.
    The entertainment value is about the same as staring down a toilet.

    I wanted to see teams who have practiced a certain map pull that out and use it as their go-to way of getting a solid advantage, forcing opponents to also practice that map, and then some third team comes along and they are really good at another map, and so on.
    Casters could have actual things to say about certain teams mappicks and their winrate, their playstyle on their favorite maps and so on. When I was watching, there was no such thing as a team that was dominant on a particular map. No exciting stats, nothing.
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    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  7. Faux Rhinoceros

    aa Faux Rhinoceros Also known as Dr. Element

    Positive Ratings:
    Because it'd require me to adapt to a different, more restrictive mindset.

    At least, so i think. There seem to be a conflict between the comp's criticism of non-comp map, and the simple desires they usually express when asked, eg. "spires" and "gay roamer spots".
  8. Beetle

    Beetle L9: Fashionable Member

    Positive Ratings:
    man, all these responses make me want to map for comp even less now :p

    We could always throw in some psychology and be like "prove these guys wrong about your community and help us make good comp maps"
  9. fubarFX

    aa fubarFX The "raw" in "nodraw"

    Positive Ratings:
    mapping for comp is probably the worst way to get people to care about your map. but I still like it
  10. Dr. Spud

    aa Dr. Spud Grossly Incandescent

    Positive Ratings:
    Because Sel told me I need to be a furry to get my comp maps played and I'm not ready to make that commitment.
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  11. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

    Positive Ratings:
    the problem im noticing is
    comp expects a finished map immediately that
    they can then reshape

    and the problem is that,
    you know, obviously
    that's not the way to make a map.
    (good or otherwise)

    but testing here and
    at most communities like this
    gives you results at a mediocre pub level
    im convinced tf2m largely attracts bad players
    which means the good players either
    throw off the test or decide to fuck around

    if you bring an a1 to tf.tv or ugc
    they look at it and give you some
    bad first impressions
    play it once
    stop caring

    even new map pugs
    (which played an earlier form of raybans)
    looked at it (barely!) before the match
    then fucked around most the game
    blamed the map for a lot of stuff
    which was their fault
    and then offered no criticism to me
    had to hunt the video out myself
    like a poacher

    fuck em
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    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  12. Mr.Late

    Mr.Late L7: Fancy Member

    Positive Ratings:
    I play competitive highlander, so maybe mapping for that would be a bit closer to mapping "normal" tf2.

    I have thought about making a payload map for competitive gaming, but I haven't got around to do it.
  13. phi

    aa phi Let Pain Be Your Guide

    Positive Ratings:
    I guess I'll put in my two cents here,
    since my maps have been getting noticed recently in the comp community and it seems like nobody else is getting any "luck" with it.

    What everybody has to realize first off is that the competitive (6v6) community is very close-minded, when it comes to gametype. Last season of ESEA there was only 1 map that was not 5CP or KOTH: Gravel Pit; and that got voted out for this season replacing it with koth_ashville.

    The community has a hard time getting used to A/D CP maps, and generally dismisses them upon testing just a few times - I was lucky that Edifice got tested when it did, but once it hit late beta it died out completely because nobody was interested in it.

    Basically what I'm saying is that if you want to make a map for comp, your best (if only, in most cases) bet is 5CP. If you want to change the meta, or make something different, don't. Your map will not go far. I'm sorry, but it's true. Personal experience with A/D has solidified my belief in that. If you don't like it, well, that's competitive for you. CTF is defunct, nobody will ever want to even try PL or PLR, and even KOTH tends to wear on people after a while. If you're not making 5CP maps specifically for comp, then it's not the right place for you.

    Besides that, if you're looking to map for comp, it's practically a completely different thought process - chokes have to be considered, every area and path must have a purpose, arenas cannot be too large, spawn timers have to be good. This can be hard to obtain mainly because of the meager amount of testing the community provides. Pub testing will usually never help a comp map, unless it is only for testing logic. I have made literally 0 changes to sunshine based on pub testing.

    And nowadays it seems like the easiest way to get a map actually into the game (which is everybody's end goal here, right?) is through it gaining popularity in comp. The three most recent comp maps (gullywash, process and standin) were all developed with a high attention towards the comp scene, and all that payed off. I'm not saying it's impossible to get a non-comp map in the game, it just seems leagues harder than it used to be because of the way things are going. That is, if you are OK with working on 5CP for months on end - other maps, as described above, are usually not accepted. That's how it is, I'm sorry. I learned this the hard way with Edifice.

    Yes, competitive players give a lot of feedback. A lot of it is (surprise) bad feedback. I've learned to work through this. Sunshine (my newest creation) was tested in comp since its first alpha version and so far it's my most popular map in comp. It was remade completely once since then and various areas have been remade a lot of times over as well. It takes work, and dedication. You can't just simply throw a map into comp expecting them to pick it up. You need to develop it specifically for comp, and only for comp. That's how snakewater got so popular. That's how process got so popular. And that's the only way, in today's TF2 world, that you have any chance of making a comp map popular. Involve yourself with the community, don't just throw it out there. If you don't like the community, then please don't complain about it and just don't map for competitive (leaves all the more opportunity space for people who actually want to pursue it).

    Of course, I'm talking about 6v6 here... 9v9 is a different story. Do what you want with that, I have no idea what it's looking for anymore. I have not and probably will not involve myself with 9v9 again, though, after the torment that was sifting through the piles of garbage feedback left for Edifice. Ugh.
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  14. Ice Crystal

    Ice Crystal L2: Junior Member

    Positive Ratings:
    I'll probably just end up being redundant

    Highlander will play anything that isn't confusing, gimmicky or too strongly favors a single class. You could make just about anything that's decently balanced and fun as a majority of classes and you have a potential highlander success. However there is no guaranteeing that your map will make it very far or even be played once. The closest thing highlander has to a central community is the UGC forum, and even a poll there said that a majority of users go there for team leading purposes and drama. There's a map feedback subthread, but it's not busy enough to garner attention. There's a steam group run by a UGC admin that's supposed to test maps or something, but it hasn't been active since a few days after its attempted reboot. The only possible way I can think of getting a map into highlander is knowing comp players and suggesting playing a certain map next time a friendly pug comes around, then trying to make threads for it if there's generally positive reviews and just waiting to see if it catches attention.

    6s is a bit different, and like phi said, is very closed minded. 6s isn't meant to be fun to watch, but instead fun to play, and 6s players have a very specific sense of fun. A certain balance of flanks, chokes and lobbies is crucial to making it "fluid" enough and acceptable in 6s, which is severely limiting. Even if you have a good map you pretty much have to get it popular at teamfortress.tv, where a lot of 6s players hang out. Compared to highlander, 6s players seem to care a lot more about having input, so your creation will be seen by a lot of players quickly. They're also, again, closed minded and judgmental, which can be arguably worse than the highlander fate of simply being unknown.

    If you're a 6s player and you make a map that's good for 6s, it's extremely rewarding. If you're into that, it might be worth the trouble of going through dozens of otherwise worthless maps looking for 6s perfection.

    For all else, just make maps like normal. Perhaps if you know some highlander friends, have them play it and say it's important, then see if there's anything remotely useful in the feedback. If it's good in pubs, minor adjustments will make it good for highlander.

    tl;dr: It's hard to make maps noticed for comp, so just make normal maps and they might be good for highlander if you ever want to push that later.

    ps: A majority of comp players aren't assholes, they're just quietly enjoying what their leagues give them. The rest are the irritating and vocal ones we all hate.

    pps: A lot of team captains I know are pretty open minded, so it's possible to get them to force their teams to play. Asking the scouts, medics and the main callers (if not the medic) is the best way to get good feedback from highlander teams.

    ppps: I bet the new map pugs thing would work out a lot better if it was better known and well led. It'd probably have to be less of a pug thing though, and maybe more of a gameday thing. Mix a fair number of comp players with normal tf2maps goers and get people in mumble so there's enough organization.
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    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  15. LeSwordfish

    aa LeSwordfish semi-trained quasi-professional

    Positive Ratings:
    Comp mapping looks to me like one part mapping to one part ignoring existing rules for newer, more restrictive, more arbitrary ones, to one part frantic wholehearted rimming of comp players.

    I'm not opposed to it, as such, but it reminds me of the advice valve gave when they adopted that 3cp koth-like map: "how do you get your map made official? Be good."

    How do you get your map played in comp? Not chosen, that is, how do you get the barest minimum information and support required? How do you get anything but the horror stories anyone else is telling me? "Be good."

    Plus I'm frankly sub-par at rimming.
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  16. EArkham

    aa EArkham Necromancer

    Positive Ratings:
    I'd been trying to map for comp for years before giving up on it. Almost begged people.

    The comp community is simply not receptive to new maps. That's the polite way of saying it.

    I could go on, but unfortunately every time I try to write something out, it's bitter, and stops just short of calling the comp community names.

    There's exceptions of course... I'm still very thankful to ScorpioUprising for all the comp testing his team did for me during the STAR contest. But those exceptions are so few and far between...

    I quoted the above with the idea to respond and expand, but it sums it up really well.

    When some of the most talented mappers in the community are all saying the same thing, I think it's pretty clear that the problem lies with the comp community simply not being open to it.
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  17. Tarry H Sruman

    Tarry H Sruman Large Orphanage Proprietor

    Positive Ratings:
    Because I don't like competitive TF2.
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