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Next Melee Mapping Contest: Pre-Contest discussion

Discussion in 'Submissions Archive' started by mafe, Nov 3, 2018.

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  1. mafe

    mafe

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    Hello Hiveworkshop, and in particular hello you who also share interest in melee maps!

    As you may have heard, there recently was a melee mapping here at the hiveworkshop, with several people expressing there interest in another contest. Also there was some event at blizzcon which might have a little bit of influence for the future development of wc3.

    The purpose of this thread is dicsuss the possible next melee mapping contest(s) at the hiveworkshop. As I'm starting this thread, I will outline what I think are some key issues we should talk about before the next contest. If you have additional topics, please also post about them. My suggestions regarding the next contest can be found at the end of this post.

    1. What should be the primary goal of the contest?

    To me there are several things a contest could be for:
    a) To give the mapmakers from our community a purpose to work on maps at the same time.
    b) To show of what awesome things can be done within the editor.
    c) To find the best melee mapper.
    d) To draw attention to melee mapping.
    e) To create melee maps with the hope of having them included in blizzards map pool or some professional competitions.

    All of them are perfectly valid reasons. And I'm not claiming the list is complete.
    Important here is that depending on how you weigh these different points, you will probably have slighlty different ideas how a contest should ideally be organized.

    And imho that was a something that we should agree on before the next contest. For me, e) is my clear goal while d) comes a close second. I created my first melee maps maybe 10 years ago (this sounds like a long time, but I have only made like 1-2 per year) because I am a big fan of wc3 and was highly frustrated of seeing the same maps being played over and over again. And in these 10 years, only in the last year I really had the impression that new maps were actually given a chance.

    This is why it has been highly frustrating for me to see maps like Aetherium, Forgotten Straits or The Screaming River participate in the last contest. Dont get me wrong, I really appreciate the work that the authors of these maps have put in and I'll dont think I'll ever be able to make a map that looks half as good. But maps like these will never be balanced or considered for ladder. I suspect the authors entered this contest while primarily thinking of option a) or b). Which is kinda natural on a website like the hiveworkshop, where melee mapping is only a small aspect while there are many talented model makers, custom mappers and so on.
    For me, from my perspective of options d) and e), such maps are at best a waste of time to look at, and at worst, they will tell some wc3 player that the melee mapping community is a bunch of people who have no clue about playing the game, so we might as well keep playing Echo Isles for the 10000th time.

    I'm sorry if these words sound harsh, I dont mean to insult anyone, but this is just how it appears to be for me.

    2. Do we try to use WC3:Reforged as an opportunity?

    For those who have missed it, ifI understood it correctly, a blizzard employee yesterday on stream with Grubby said that maps made in the current editor will be compatible with wc3:reforged. As long as they dont contain any custom dodads. The arrival of wc3r could have many repercussions:

    -For me, there is a unique opportunity for new maps being introduced, as new players will be attracted to wc3, who might not know the old maps.
    -Blizzard is likely to change make many changes to gameplay, and in the process they will surely look at new maps. I guess they will make new maps on their own, but I would expect that they keep an eye open for community created maps as they di over the last year with the new additions of Swamped Temple, Conceled Hills, Northern Isles and others to the battle net ladder. In retrospect, Kams (blizzard employee) post in the last contest thread could be seen as an indicator that blizzard might be interested in maps that are compatible with wc3:r.
    -In particular, there are no official maps for more than 12 players out yet. I assume it would create some raised eyebrows if blizzard release a game for up to 24 players, but without any maps for so many players. So maybe they would be grateful if they wouldnt have to invest too much of the valuable time of their employees into creating 24 player maps.
    -Most of the popular melee maps are Lordaeron summer or closely related to it. Again, if you are in Blizzards position and you make a redesign the game including ALL of its tilesets, you will probably try to showcase many of them. So Blizzard might have a demand for balanced melee maps that present more than just the "standard" tilesets.

    Of course, much of this is speculations and we dont have absolutely no guarantee that blizzard might have not have completely different plans. But they keep saying that they follow the community, so why not?

    3. How about the timing of the next contest?

    -With wc3:r, the world editor will also get a big update. I assume that once it is here, most people will switch over. This would mean getting used to the new editor and I would prefer if this didnt happen during the contest. Apparently in germany we have a law that once you preorder a game, you must be guaranteed to receive it within the next 12 months. This would mean wc3:r will be out in november 2019 and I common practice from blizzard would be to realease a beta a few months before.
    -If decide to dream of making maps for blizzards ladder, it would be best if the maps would be out before the start of the beta, as the beta could be used to test new maps too.
    -I assume that during the beta and after the realase, most of us will be busy playing the game instead of mapping. At least I will be.


    4. Do we make changes to the scoring system?

    There was some confustion as to how exactly the poll and judges scores would be weighted. This could be cleared up before the next contest.
    Also I would like to discuss the amount of points for each category. Obviously, my opinion is linked with what I wrote under 1. I would favore 60 points for balance, 10 for gameplay creativity, 20 for visuals, 10 for visual creativity.
    It would also prefer if it was clear before tbhe contest if the "creativity" category will be interpreted as "artistic creativity" or "creating creative gameplay aspects".

    And regarding the poll: Yes I think having a poll is good because it maens interaction with the community. But the people voting might have very different preferences about what they want to like (again, see 1.). My slightly egoistic assumption is that most voters will come form the hiveworkshop and tend to prefer a) and b) over d) and e), which I would not like. However, I have no doubts about there abliities to recognize skillful artists.



    So what does this all lead to?

    I think it would be worth to consider the following ideas:

    -Instead of having one melee mapping contest, we could have one "melee-map-landscaping-contest" and one "melee-maps-for-competitive-gaming-contest". Yes this would mean splitting the small community even further, but at least for me (and maybe also for those mapmapkers who might be demotivated by a bad score for balance), this seems like a solution where everyone would have a contest that best suits his personal interests. And I am optimistic, that a melee-maps-for-competitive-gaming-contest could actually be more attractive for curious wc3 player with little experience in mapping. Imho this is what happened during the melee mapping contest in autumn 2017, which was cohosted by back2warcraft and the hiveworkshop. I know several people from the competitive wc3 playing community participated, but iirc they were also aware they could not match the artistic skill of experienced mappers. But imho they should have to and often their maps looked good enough for battle net nevertheless.
    -If we go for making maps for wc3:r there should be a rule that no custom doodads etc are allowed. Only stuff that is provide in the editor by default, so that compatibility with wc3:r should work out if blizzard do as they say now. For a "melee-map-landscaping-contest" this should not matter. Also, it might be worth to disallow entries that look too much like Lordaeron Summer.
    -Given the inevitable arrival of wc3:r it would probably make sense to host the next contest sooner rather than later.
    -Dont limit submissions to 1v1? For for larger maps? Yet with my work rate, polishing a 24 player map would take several months, which is too long for a contest. Maybe make an exception to the usual hiveworkshop contest rules and allow people to submit older maps? I'm really not sure about this. It's really only worth it if you agree that blizzard would have a big interest in large maps.
    -Set some clearer guidelines for scoring and judging?


    That is all for now. I will update this post over time probably if there will be many contributions (which I hope), to clarify my thoughts, or to clear up on the countelss spellling misaktes. I also want to say to everyone who was involved in the last contests as a participant, organizer, moderator, judge (or whatever role I missed) that this post should not be understood that I was unhappy with those contests or think that you did a bad job. In fact, it is the other way around: Imho these contests were a success and I want to thank all of you. I am looking forward to the next contest, no matter if I get everything I am hoping for or not :)

    Also it would be great if you could spread the word about this thread to everything who you think might care about melee mapping.
     
  2. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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    Actually, that remains to be seen. Maybe, you meant imports?
    No. The developmental process might be different for various authors. Plus, we want creativity not rehashing.
     
  3. Mr.Henci

    Mr.Henci

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    From my quick read-through:
    - 100% with Reforged compatibility (a.k.a. using defualt data, nothing more)
    - Eye candy maps have their own category, terraining, thus I don't feel spliting melee mapping community would be a wise decision. (I can't really imagine, how and who would decide which maps can and can't enter the contest)
    - I see no problem with LordSumm maps. (Last contest is a good example, that freedom still brings nice variety of tilesets)
    - Rules discusion is a great idea. (And we did it last time as well, but there were some issueas later, which is expected IMO)
    - Scoring is a diffucult thing and should be discused, but still, judges have their preferences.
    - While I understand your goal with map sizes, I'm not sure if we could have 1v1 and 24p maps in the same contest. The hype is real and I feel like doing some maps just for fun, to see them later in the updated graphics. However, do we really need a contest to create new maps? Map section is full of great maps that can be chosen by Blizz, no need to host contest for all map created from this date forward. Contest is here to bring spotlight to the best of the best in some category, 1v1 for example.
    (Sorry for bad writing, will come back tomorow with "clear head" hepefully.)
     
  4. JaleVeliki

    JaleVeliki

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    Although Warcraft 3 has a different dynamic from SC2 when it comes to melee maps, in sc2 - mapmakers and the community are tirelessly working hard to produce new maps all the time, and Blizzard is usually jumping aboard, refreshing the e-sport and multiplayer scene with new ideas and twists from the community.

    Map contests are fun tho! And with the future possible revamp of the ranking system in Reforged, I'd like to see new maps being constantly made and hopefully added to the ladder to evolve WCR even further.
    The Custom Games scene might ignite once again!

    YES to the next melee contest(s)!
    YES to the 24p map contest!
    YES to new exciting custom games
    YES TO ALL.
    :thumbs_up:
     
  5. Sieben

    Sieben

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    Large maps with numerous players would be nice. However, it doesn't have to be 24 players: as long as it's more than 12, it would be a nice addition to the existing pool of melee maps. Maps with 16 or 20 players would be cool too!
     
  6. JSRGN

    JSRGN

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    What we need is a 4v4 map contest. 4v4 is the most popular melee gametype aside from solo, especially for new players, and hasn't seen map updates since Frozen Throne came out. Blizzard would probably appreciate seeing new options for that gametype, as would players.

    But, yes, I also agree that 24 player maps need a second look at. Blizzard will inevitably want to showcase certain 24 player maps as a presentation of the gametype, and there are no 24 player maps at present that come with the Frozen Throne client. We had a 24 player map contest a while ago, but that was just after the 1.29 beta and most of the submissions were kinda rough/basic due to time constraints. A second 24 player map contest seeking only polished submissions could be useful.

    This also applies to maps with intermediate sizes in between 12 and 24. I don't know if any 16, 18, 20 player melee maps even exist.
     
  7. Drayen

    Drayen

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    JSRGN told me to write here too, but I do agree that 4v4 maps would be nice, there's as many people playing 4v4 as there is 1v1 and we never saw new maps unlike 1v1.
     
  8. W3Sour

    W3Sour

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    I agree we need 1-2 NEW 4v4 maps in the ladder mappool. The current rotation of the 4v4 ladder maps is very good besides the Barrens map. We need 1-2 4v4 community maps in there to spicen up that mode, especially since reforged SHOULD make 4v4 incredibly active. Especially if they fix ELO / MM problems and combine servers / global searching.

    Same with 2v2 and 3v3.
    A couple of team maps would be very good for the community.

    I'm thinking a team based map comp...

    Contestants can submit either a 2v2/3v3 or 4v4 map.
     
  9. Blood Raven

    Blood Raven

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    Okay, I see I've triggered a couple of people with my artistic approach to melee mapping. Sorry for that.
    You must understand though, that ladder is not my goal. Hell, I'm not even a good melee player myself, I suck. But as long as I can enjoy playing on a map with a friend of a similar skill level and other people can, I'm fine with it. I'm not asking you to add it to the ladder. I'm not asking you to even play it if you don't like it. I'm doing it first and foremost for fun and I see no harm in that.
    I'd understand if you'd be triggered if I won, but as you can see, that is not the case. The judges are doing their job well enough not to be fooled by eye candy. And I'm glad for that.
    However splitting the community on "aesthetic melees" and "balanced melees" is just silly. There will always be people who approach mapping in a more aesthetic way. Maybe some can do both. Where do you draw the line? Who gives you the power to determine whether a map can or can't enter a contest? And why do you even care? I can tell you straight up that the term "aesthetic melee" is absolutely dumb and I would never consider joining such a thing. What even is "aesthetic melee"? Some extension of terrain templates with player starting locations? Clearly you can't be ignorant enough to categorize maps like that.
    Sorry if I got a bit defensive there, and I hope you won't get offended.

    That being said, I'm all for the no-imports melee idea. Just don't expect everyone to be doing one of these vanilla Lordaeron Summer open-with-a-few-cliffs-and-trees kinds of maps. I find them extremely boring to look at and again, I'm more of an aesthete rather than game designer and balancer, so you can bet I'd try something out-of-the-box. Maybe atleast this time I can try to balance it a little better. Why not have the best of both worlds?

    Also, about the 24 players idea, wasn't this done already? One way or the other, not a lot of people (including me) have the time and patience to make such a huge map, so don't expect a lot of participants if you go for that.
    Team based (2v2, 3v3, 4v4) sounds like a great idea to me.
     
  10. Rockstar356

    Rockstar356

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    Well, it's a lot to read.
    I love participating in the 1v1 map contests, however, I think it does not make much sense, they are very nice maps, but practically you can not play them and the judges do not seem to mind, because they always win the cutest map.
    I also know that I still can not create good maps, I feel it is a waste of time to participate, because I can not make such good maps aesthetically.
    But I've played 1v1 and I like it a lot, so I feel like I can do something fairly balanced, even if that does not reach.
    I propose that the judges' scoring system be changed, that the balance be given more importance and less the aesthetics.
     
  11. SadisticLeprechaun

    SadisticLeprechaun

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    I am in just for the map making practice. I think Warforged compatibility should be basically required for almost everything until new hi-res models start appearing on the hive. 4v4!
     
  12. Tiriel

    Tiriel

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    I'm new to hive and map-making in general so I'm not really sure about what I'm going to say, but I think having different categories in the same contest could be nice. Like, for example "most balanced map" or "most aesthetically appealing melee map", that way people who want to make good-looking maps can still participate while those who want to focus more on balance or ladder don't have to worry about being judged for not having put as much effort in the map's aesthetic. Adding a 4v4 contest would be nice too.
     
  13. deepstrasz

    deepstrasz

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    What about FFA?
     
  14. JaleVeliki

    JaleVeliki

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    Splitting the same melee contest into: art vs balance makes no sense as Henci said, with all those other art contests flying around.
    A good melee map should blend all: beautiful synergy between balance-terrain-decoration-map theme-new ideas and should all be rated / reviewed as a whole package.

    This does not mean one cannot submit their creation to the contest for everyone to see, be it competitively viable or not.



    FFA can be played/arranged on most team maps...

    We could have:

    1v1 melee contest ( on 1v1 or 2v2 maps )
    team melee contest ( 2v2 or 3v3 or 4v4 maps )
    12 or 24 player map contest
     
  15. Knecht

    Knecht

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    Hmm, I remember that we had a 24p contest last april or so. I also remember the little time there was to create the visuals. :cgrin:

    Anyways, if blizzard was to release the beta 3 months before the launch, it would mean that we have 9 months from now.
    The 1v1 contest took 2-3 from start to the results. Cca 1 month for editing, 1-2 months for judging.
    If it were a melee contest for 4v4 or 12-24, I'd suggest to prolong the time for mapmaking (like 2 months).
    if we wanted to have the results by the release of the W3R beta, we could start in mid-winter or in early spring 2019.

    Also, a 1v1 plays differently than team maps/FFA and is easier to create due to its size. I don't think there would be as many participants if the contest was a e.g 24 player map. Though that doesn't matter that much imo.
     
  16. JaleVeliki

    JaleVeliki

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    by 'Team melee contest' i meant maps for team games, aka 2v2 3v3 and 4v4 which are made differently (need space, need resources, need camps, less decoration...), not that multiple people should work on same map. :D
    Also, should we change the limit of only one map per artist and make it 2 or more? :thinking:

    In any case, with Reforged coming, there will probably be a demand for 24FFA + 4v4 + 3v3 + 2v2 maps.
     
  17. Remixer

    Remixer

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    My point of view:
    1. I like creating visually stunning maps, however for map types such as competitive melee it is understandable that not many people want to decorate their map to the maximum - thus I ordinarily stick to the very models and objects that Blizzard hands out, with very few modifications. Thus I can live with changing score for visuals.

    2. I never quite understood the 'Creativity' part in melee mapping contest: you cannot make fancy mechanics, or unique heroes or anything really. Only thing that can be unique and creative is the thematic setup or decoration of the map - and those two should already be included in the 'visual' part.

    3. In my opinion, if we aim to host another Melee Mapping contest, we ought to focus on creating melee maps specifically for Ladder and for Blizzard to possibly take into the official map pool. Firstly, that way we get more attention to the contest "Oh hey this was made for Hive's contest.' and perhaps attract more players to try out fresh melee maps. Secondly I think this is the most opportune time to aim to get maps on the official map pool as Reforged is being made, and Blizzard is surely trying to 'freshen-up' the game in every aspect - ladder included. Ladder is already getting reworked, in terms of score and unit balance, so why would they not change the maps that have been played for so long?

    4. Now with the point 3 in mind, it gives us a basic rule (just an interesting fact; my autocorrect just corrected 'basic' into 'basilisk'): no custom imports, if we wish to get some maps on official pool.

    5. I think it would be interesting to twist the contest setup a little. For example:
    "Create a Melee Map with theme - [INSERT THEME HERE]" (like Swamp or Coast)
    ANOTHER twist option:
    "Create a Melee Map with the title [INSERT THE MAP NAME HERE]" (for example: Giants' Forge)
     
  18. Ragnaros17

    Ragnaros17

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    thanks for explain


    sugestion:
    avoid using the term "team contest" because that term exist to contest where users makes teams (2-3 users) to do large contest like this: [+100 Rep] Team Contest - Hive Member
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  19. JSRGN

    JSRGN

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    @deepstrasz
    FFA has recently had quality additions to the ladder map pool. 2v2 as well. I personally feel that 4v4 should be the highest priority, due to the twin factors of the utter void of new map options, and the overall level of activity in that gametype. This new contest should be specifically aimed at getting new maps into the ladder map pool, with a priority on where new maps would be most appreciated by the broader War3 community.

    @Blood Raven : A second 24 man map contest, though there was one recently, is probably necessary. I checked out and play-tested most of the high-quality entries in actual fully-manned 24 games, and most of the maps had problems of some kind or another, in terms of polishing and fine-tuning, which the map makers would appreciate the opportunity to address in a second contest. @Arrr, for one, has at my request put out considerable improvements to his Emersion map which has led to it becoming a massively better gameplay experience in a practical setting. In addition, I've encountered numerous maps that simply were not in that contest, such as the FFA Masters Community-produced Macedonia, and Divide and Conquer 24P edition, which were as good as or better than most entries and ought to be considered by Blizzard, which this forum here offers the best opportunity for.

    @deepstrasz: Don't get me wrong. I feel that a 4v4 map contest should be the priority. But a second 24 man contest before Reforged's release is probably justified, for the reasons I stated to Blood Raven above.

    P:S: I loved Aetherium, Bloodraven. I wish it could be in the actual ladder pool. The 'melee purists' remind me of the nazi Wikipedia editors whom I've encountered in prior years. It's great to see something so cool and so different every so often. Stagnation is the death of fun gameplay.

    @Kam: It would be helpful if you provided some form of guidance to the community. I'm certain that your team is happy to consider all new melee map choices, but given the community's limited resources in terms of time and manpower, if you could shed some light on the specific gametypes you'd like to prioritize seeing new maps in, that would be a huge help
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  20. mafe

    mafe

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    Oh wow, so many great responses.
    Yes I meant imports. I suppose Blizzard will ensure that modified doodads dont cause any problems when porting a map to reforged. So those should probably be fine. However if any has the time to check a a few maps; if we find that no blizzard map contains even a single modified doodad than we should take that into consideration, as then this probably done intentionally by blizzard and they are likely to keep this up.
    Not even maps that you only kept for yourself? I'm asking this because I would really like to make a 4v4 map, but if the contest runs again for about a month, this seems impossible for me. So I might to "cheat" by starting earlier, or by recycling an earlier (private) half finished map. I mean, if I submit a map I have shown to noone so far, isnt it still something original? How do others feel about this?
    I think the publicity generated for a contest will definitetely help. The map database is huge, it might feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. During a contest, you have at least the guarantee that the authors had a reason and intention to submit a good map and you get the maps ordered by quality.
    Given the hype about reforged, we should reach out to as many people as possible to spread the word about the contest (back2warcraft, wtii, reddit, discord...feel free to add to the list).
    Qouting this while others said the same. If we do this, then we should really think about a contest running longer than 1 month. Also, for team maps, the rules of balance are much more relaxed than for 1v1. As others said, the 24 player map contest suffered from having not many completed entries (including mine).
    I believe I understand your point of view. My suggestion to have two different contest was made with the idea that we both your and my goals both have a place.
    Also I didnt intend to draw a line myself. Maybe we could have something like "to enter the balanced melee map contest, you must provide a link to a recent battle net profile with at least 50 1v1 games as a proof that you have some experience of playing yourself on ladder". But actually, I was just assuming that in the situationa of two contests, everyone would have sufficient self awareness to sumit his map to the more suitable contest only, without anyone else making that decision.
    I also really would like to have this issue settled before the next contest.
    Having a these like swamp ot coast would be good, but it should still be sufficiently broad so that noone feel limited.
    Same name: No, having 20+ maps with the same name would be terribly confusing. Also imagine we do so well that blizzard would like to adopt not just one, but several maps, then what?
    Well I guess I'm such a melee purist. Please dont misunderstand me: It is not the case that I dont want such maps to work in ladder. My problem is that I am convinced that they will not work due to how balance in wc3 is working. What good is a map on ladder when at a semicompetent level of play, one race A has a clear advantage on map XYZ? The other races will just veto XYZ and it will rarely ever get played. Maybe if blizzard rework the ladder for reforged, the situation will be different. I also dont want the gameplay to be stagnant, but I'm actually afraid that giving maps that are completely different to the playing community will just lead to them being a rejected altogether and they just stay with the old maps. Which would also be stagnation.
    Also again, if we are not talking about 1v1s, balance is much more forgiving anyway.
     
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