ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

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Velensk
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ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Velensk » March 1st, 2014, 12:29 am

To All Citizens of Wesnoth:

A mapmaking contest for 4p maps begins now and will be be closed to submissions on August 1st

The rest of the information for this will be given as follows
-Background and General Information
-Information on the contest
-An encouragement to help test developing maps
-Recruitment of judges

Introduction and Background

A while back I was asked to be the map maintainer for mainline Wesnoth. I have since been too busy to do much with it but my schedule should be clearing up a lot for the next while and so I am ready to begin my work. I am now the offical Battlefield Surveyor of Wesnoth.

I would like to start by shaping up the 4 player portion of the multiplayer map pool. I've been looking over TGT tournaments and from observation and statistics on the server a large number of the maps don't get a lot of play or suffer from outstanding problems. As a result, the tournaments cycle through the same maps rapidly. I would like to replace a few of the less used maps and shape up others.

If anyone has any objection to the maps nominated for removal this will be your chance to stand in their defense. It is also a chance to speak up about any problems you'd like to see fixed for the others. Things may not necessarily go as you request but your feedback will be taken into account when it is time to make decisions. It is worth noting that for every map removed a new map will be added and so being willing to let go of things you have some attachment to will allow for new growth.

The maps that I think should be removed are:
-Lagoon
-Siege Castles
The reasons for both are lack of balance and popularity. The problems are inherent to the maps concept and so I don't think revisions would be sufficient. Both are FFA by design and so the lack of balance is not crippling but I believe that the community could come up with better ones.

Other maps that I'm considering for removal:
-Blue Water Province: I'm not certain about this one as I do not feel I have played it enough to judge balance. I mostly remember it for being alternately hyper aggressive or very stalematish. It is among the least popular of the four player maps. I've heard some experienced players assert that it has balance issues but again I don't really know.

Maps that I do not believe are balanced but should be kept for other reasons:
-Isars Cross and Morituri: Both provide quick fun games and Isars is very popular. Both help support the player base. Of the two though if enough people wanted it I'd be willing to consider removing Morituri as it has only a fraction of the popularity of Isars despite filling the same niche.
-Castle Hopping Isle: Not balanced but fun and strategic. I am considering redesigning it a little to help balance it better but it gets enough play that I think it's worth keeping.
-King of the Hill: Not very balanced but again in a FFA that isn't as much an issue. Probably due to its name it rates the most popular of the four player FFA.
-Ruins of Terra Dwelve: Is relatively new to the map pool and does not seem to get a lot of expert testing. Speaking as the creator I get a lot of mixed feedback. I get told that it's too defensive, then I get told that there's no hope against second day lawful offensives, then I get told that knalgans are a problem (presumably not for second day offensives), there's expert players who say they've played it a couple times and didn't like it so they never played it again and then there's Rigor who tells me that it's awesome. I would like to fix whatever problems there are but I can't get a consistent complaint other than that it is very large and so people think games on it will take a long time (In my experience it generally does not take that much longer than Path of Daggers). I'd like to give it the time to mature.
-The Wilderlands: Technically a 5 player map but but I'll credit it as four. I think it mostly just fills the role of looking and seeming awesome. It wasn't intended for competitive play and it provides the niche for players who want to battle across a monster infested landscape.


To All Aspiring Cartographers of Wesnoth:

I announce the commencement of a new map contest to create the greatest four player map!

Knowing the difficulty and effort that goes into skilled Cartography, the contest will give a long duration for development. The map contest begins now and final submissions will be due by August 1st. There will then be a judging period and winners will be announced before the end of that month. You may submit multiple maps, however, we would vastly prefer if you submitted one very polished map to two or more works in progress.

We are particularly interested in maps that are suitable for 2vs2 tournament play and preference will be given to maps of this style. We expect that all maps submitted should be throughly tested and will evaluate on both player and factional balance as well as aesthetics, concept, and 'fun'. Balance should also take into consideration the Khalifate (or whatever they end up being called) who will be in the next stable version.
-One winner will be chosen per map removed and the winners will be included in the game! Currently that leaves two openings.

This is an opportunity to let your map engineering shine in a way that won't regulate it away to vanish into the mass of UMC!

To All Players on the Multiplayer Server:

If you are of any skill at the game, I encourage you to give a hand to Wesnoths Cartographers. I know from experience that it is hard to get skilled playtesters who are willing to try new things, but the quality of the balance on the new multiplayer maps relies on the creators getting the support they need both in encouragement and in people to help them test their maps. Please be willing to join people testing their maps and give helpful feedback even if you cannot earn any ladder points doing so.

It may be practical to pair up with someone both for creating and for testing so that you can test with an ally you trust and have and easier time getting these games started.

To Any Player of Renown:

If you are a well known for your multiplayer prowess and would like to help out with the judging, PM me and we'll discuss it. The downside to being a judge is that in order to avoid attachment you should also avoid testing during the development period so you'll miss out on some of that fun (and also obviously, if you're a judge you cannot submit a map) however I would like to have at least three other judges so that the most promising maps can be tested and discussed by the judges while playing. So if you have an interest in how this turns out and in having a say over the selection of new maps get into contact with me.
Last edited by Velensk on March 2nd, 2014, 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

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Wintermute
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Wintermute » March 1st, 2014, 1:44 am

The last map contest was great fun. I'm sure any maps removed can end up in an add-on of former mainline maps, but I think there's no need to keep old stuff around that few people use just because it's always been there. I'm looking forward to seeing some fresh ideas! :D
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Eagle_11 » March 1st, 2014, 1:28 pm

The maps that I think should be removed are:
:hmm: :augh: :doh: If there is one map that needs to be removed then thats Isars Cancer. Its the Kasyr Lutien, DotA, Big Game Hunters of Wesnoth, it must be removed unlees its being planned on renaming the game "The Battle for Isar" least it can consume the entire game. Hell im sure right now there are people that dont say "lets have a round of wesnoth" but "..of Isar". :eng: :)

Now if i may back to seriousness, i dont share the point about Lagoon's removal, its one nice tropical themed map on a round archipelago with good chances for naval combat flanking actions among the outer ring without negating opportunities of action in the middle isle.
Siege Castles can never become competitively balanced, my opinion is to turn it into a scenario MP map like Wilderlands with few unique(for mainline, not things we didnt see in umcs) ideas (anything other than wandering monsters, please) thrown in it to make an worthy excuse for its existence.
Maps that I do not believe are balanced but should be kept for other reasons:
Morituri and Isars dont "share the same niche" at all. Both are played a lot differently.
Terra Dwelve is almost always an auto-win for Dwarves.
Castle Hoppers could be considered fine as is, the only thing maybe worth to add is snow along north edge too.
AuctionX can be considered a 4p too however its fine as is.

Velensk
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Velensk » March 2nd, 2014, 1:58 am

In case this needs be said, it's legal to post your maps on the forum to get help.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

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Horus2
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Horus2 » April 7th, 2014, 5:19 pm

Velensk wrote: The maps that I think should be removed are:
-Lagoon
-Siege Castles
The reasons for both are lack of balance and popularity. The problems are inherent to the maps concept and so I don't think revisions would be sufficient. Both are FFA by design and so the lack of balance is not crippling but I believe that the community could come up with better ones.

Other maps that I'm considering for removal:
-Blue Water Province: I'm not certain about this one as I do not feel I have played it enough to judge balance. I mostly remember it for being alternately hyper aggressive or very stalematish. It is among the least popular of the four player maps. I've heard some experienced players assert that it has balance issues but again I don't really know.

Okay this is scandalous.

The only reason why there is no scandal is because the pvp people don't read forums, while the base of the cpubeater add-ons couldn't care less. The rest of the forum population is probably busy making recoloured elvish factions, so they are not interested either. I waited for as long as possible to make sure no ships of fellow mapmakers are coming to rescue and my claim sounds grounded:


DO NOT REMOVE LAGOON AND SIEGE CASTLES (AND GET OFF YOUR HANDS FROM BLUEWATER)


Since i have no permission to use coloured fonts as not being a forum moderator, so dear reader, please just consider these capital letters above to be in red. I am also not allowed to make pointless pictures, so you have to imagine here that Captain Picard facepalm picpost. Also mind that bit of public information that 4p_Lagoon has already been removed from the recent development version. Now let me summarize in a bulletin why exactly is this scandalous, atrocious and ridiculous.
  • It is quite a wild assumption that noone plays these maps. I frequently spot both them in the lobby. Out of curiosity, i just checked the gamelist and there was a 4p_Siege_Castles running while i started typing this, and two matches of 4p_Lagoon before i finished. There are certain fine ladder maps that envy the amount those two have been played.
  • With the removal of 4p_Lagoon and 4p_Siege_Castles and only 4p_King_of_the_Hill left, you eliminate nearly the entirety of FFA from Wesnoth. No other map can do the trick because of keep distances, so even if i want to play FFA once in a blue moon, i won't be able to do but on this map, which strikes odd, as this is one is certainly not any more balanced or better than those what are supposed to be removed.
  • These maps set a standard for quality. Not a very high standard, but it is there, and if someone wants to make a FFA map, it has to reach this level. Now if you remove them, do you expect to better ones appear instead? Not gonna happen. Not even right now such a thing exists; if you remove the drive and the FFA culture in general, quality certainly goes to oblivion.
  • Can we really blame the map? FFA is a casual mode where three players can unite their strengths and crush the fourth whose face they momentarily don't like. To a certain point it is nice to make them more and more polished, but tinkering in the editor over every single hex is unneeded, we really don't require ladder map quality. In the long run other factors (like the aforementioned "who has ugly face") beat every endeavors for balance.
  • Also you are planning to remove 4p_Blue_Water_Province from the pool, because it is the least played. How is it supposed to be more player then? By the way it is one of the more stable, eventful and good-looking 2v2 maps, i don't know why people don't play it, but i remember it being available in the first rounds only of the first TGT. One thing is sure: currently there is no medium for high quality maps. Since Ladder Council disbanded, there are no new maps for default acknowledged, therefore they can never be tested, ergo it is being in core or nothing. There is no in-between.
  • You want to keep other maps for reasons like "fun" and "looking awesome". 4p_Lagoon and 4p_Siege_Castles are fun and looking awesome. 4p_Blue_Water_Province is even balanced.
  • Are those files of 10-15 kB of size (scenario config file included) really in the way? Do they make the game cumbersome? On a contradiction, the unit images folder are filled with obsolete animation frames from version 1.0.0 and beyond, most notably among elves, weighting roughly 1 kB each. And to my surprise, when i last checked the spreadsheet development, they are even porting these to the new stable. How on earth unused content has more significance than a piece of actually playable code?
  • Let's face the fact, with the current interest level in map-making, there won't be anyone picking up these maps to maintain them, just like the way the original 2p_Hornshark_Island sank and later quietly all agreed that it could not be repaired and deserved to vanish. Until i found it again while searching for useful base material, because that point we were already in such a dire need for maps that old Hornshark was the thing resembling a playable 1v1 the most, and the rest is history books. I don't want 2 years to pass until some freak rediscovers Lagoon and spends another two years trying to make it official again!
I'm not even playing these maps, and yet i still feel emotional over them on a logically deduced base. So if you read these and feel the same, it's time to be vocal! Comment here and show your opposition of removing these maps! Even more importantly, spread the news, tell it to your friends, because it is the lack of information flow that allows it to happen, and please do not allow it to happen.

(By the way, i finished making my first map for the contest, but until it is at the expense of 3 other maps for no valid reason, i am having second thoughts.)

Velensk
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Velensk » April 7th, 2014, 5:37 pm

Calm down.

I have not removed Lagoon from the map pool. If it isn't in the current dev version then it is a case of someone doing so and not telling me (and I'll check around when I can, I'm on a trip right now).

I am however very interested in getting more peoples thoughts and participation on everything said thus far. As near as I can tell, most people don't even care enough to comment. I really don't have any problem eliminating maps from mainline as I feel that if people want them then they'll be able to get them and if they don't then why were they in the map pool in general. It's not a matter of the maps being at fault or not, so much as a matter of figuring out when too many options becomes a problem. It seems to me like Wesnoth currently gives more options than helps people much and if nobody cares about their removal that would be evidence. On the other hand, it's also quite possible that nobody reads this thread and if they had they would care. If people care I want to know about it.

In any case, I'm not going to remove maps without adding more. I may not believe that Wesnoth needs a greater quantity so much as better quality, but I certainly don't think it should have less.

Also, people who are working on maps would be doing me a favor by posting about it here. It'd help me know how much I need to work on spreading the word about it.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by abhijit » April 7th, 2014, 6:08 pm

I humbly, don't support the idea of removing the maps because of lack of popularity ( not considering balance for FFAs) . I have been carrying stuff like 'age of heroes' without ever using it, because some people use it and it's there for them. If we can do without removing them, that will be great, but if the old has to make space for the new, I vote for the existence of a 'former mainline maps' addon first.

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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by clmates » April 7th, 2014, 6:13 pm

Hi All

I play almost all this maps you suggest to remove, and really don't understand what is the benefit of removing a map that is working, or is needed additional work to get them working in the new version?


in my opinion, I would not remove:

Isar cross, morituri, lagoon, ruins of terra dwelve, king of the hill

they all provide an easy start to new players and easy to play fun games for all kind of players

Regards
Greetings

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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Wintermute » April 7th, 2014, 6:13 pm

That feedback is good Horus2. We do need more people who have opinions about this posting them here. People are going to play and use whatever comes with the game to some extent. People play Age of Heroes too, bless them. What is most helpful though, is people posting what they like about those maps and making a case why *they* would like to see them stay. For each person who likes them, there may be a person would much rather have something else. Last time we had a map contest it proved to be a good thing for the community and I think doing more of them is great.

To my mind, there is no problem with the size of maps (in disk space), it's more about trying to keep things that people are interested and want to see. If a lot of people really like to see 4p_Siege_Castles or whatever then that is great to know!
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Dunno » April 7th, 2014, 6:44 pm

Hi! I'm really glad to see this thread.

First of all, let me drop some numbers here. Here are official statistics of the 4th The Grand Tag edition:

Code: Select all

Maps played:

Castle Hopping Isle - 1
Paths of Daggers - 3
4p Underworld - 6
Clash - 7
Xanthe Chaos - 8
Loris River - 9
As Velensk pointed out, the variety of maps in the tournament isn't too big. Here's the full map list:
4p Clash
4p Hamlets
4p Loris River
4p Paths of Daggers
4p Xanthe Chaos
4p Underworld
4p Ruins of the Terra-Dwelve
4p Castle Hopping Isle*

*Maps is allowed to be played, but only if both teams agree to play on it.
Ruins of Terra-Dwelve and Hamlets were not played a single time. I don't find it surprising when it comes to Ruins, but we should do something about Hamlets. In my opinion, this is the map that's been dead for a long time now and should finally be removed. Some maps, as you can see, cause opposition and controversy - some hate them, some love them. But Hamlets? They're like a smelling, leftover pork chop you keep in the fridge too long for some reason.

By the way, perhaps you could persuade multiplayer mods to put an announcement on the official server? I'm sure there are plenty of players out there who'd like to contribute but don't browse forums regularly.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by tekelili » April 8th, 2014, 10:06 am

Even when I hate some 2v2 maps and probably wont ever play them, I feel all of them fill, right now, some kind of niche. There are players that like them for some reasons and I dont see point in remove them. If Wesnoth had like 40 or 50 2v2 maps, then I would consider remove worst ones, but we are very far from that point and mostly we are in the "very few stuff to chose" spot, imho.

Off topic: I feel the weakest spot right now in Wesnoth mainline maps are survivals. They are far worse than lot of UMC survivals, imho. Thinking of remove a map?: 6p survival is a quite amateur, unbalanced and ridiculous difficult map that I dont see why is offered to Wesnoth players as a "default" option.
Be aware English is not my first language and I could have explained bad myself using wrong or just invented words.
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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by NanRage » April 8th, 2014, 11:00 am

I cannot see in anyway a reason why to remove any default map can benefit game.

Adding more is a good idea and important to dont end all playing isar cross... But removing maps? Can't see why sorry....

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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by Andrettin » April 8th, 2014, 12:44 pm

Dunno wrote:Hi! I'm really glad to see this thread.

First of all, let me drop some numbers here. Here are official statistics of the 4th The Grand Tag edition:

Code: Select all

Maps played:

Castle Hopping Isle - 1
Paths of Daggers - 3
4p Underworld - 6
Clash - 7
Xanthe Chaos - 8
Loris River - 9
As Velensk pointed out, the variety of maps in the tournament isn't too big. Here's the full map list:
4p Clash
4p Hamlets
4p Loris River
4p Paths of Daggers
4p Xanthe Chaos
4p Underworld
4p Ruins of the Terra-Dwelve
4p Castle Hopping Isle*

*Maps is allowed to be played, but only if both teams agree to play on it.
Ruins of Terra-Dwelve and Hamlets were not played a single time.
Isn't the sample size of plays too small to conclude anything from it?

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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by negusnyul » April 8th, 2014, 7:45 pm

Hi,
I don't like the idea of removing any mainline maps (I think there isn't a single one which is *that* bad).
If you don't like a map you can simply ignore it, more choice is better than less, others still can have fun with that map.
There is a trend of simplification and removing choice/options in software nowadays where developers think they know better than the user what the user wants. They don't, the user (player) is not stupid, everyone can decide for themselves whether they want to play on that map or not. I'm not saying that this "dumbing down" is a problem with Wesnoth now, but I really hope it won't become one in the future either. In my opinion removing any feature needs extraordinarily strong justification (and there is none in this case).

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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: 4player Map Contest and Overhaul!

Post by iceiceice » April 8th, 2014, 8:17 pm

negusnyul:

The idea is not that we would be throwing some maps into the dust bin, ideally they would still be available from UMC under a "Legacy Maps" add-on for example. Maps are not required as a dependency, so anyone would be able to play them or start games on them easily.

The point is that we only want very polished content in mainline, because mainline content has the official Wesnoth brand on it, implying our approval. If some maps are outdated and not balanced or not fun, or if we simply don't like them anymore, then it makes sense to clean them out. Especially if no one is interested in improving or maintaining them. It's basically up to the MP devs I suppose.

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