Things that suck with the map editor


Posts: 397
Hello Everyone,

While galaxy editor is a useful and versatile tool, it has a number of limitations and missing features. As a map maker I constantly run into issues with the editor and it sometimes results in me doing lengthy and inefficient workarounds or hitting a wall that can significantly hinder further development of my map. In the past I did not tell blizzard about these issues because I expected someone else to; however it seems that very few mapmakers are providing feedback to blizzard with regards to some of the issues with the editor, so I would like to create a thread to highlight some of these issues and offer some suggestions to improve the editor. One common theme that really annoys me is that blizzard has placed a large number of arbitrary limitations on their editor like map size, file size, number of textures, trigger size, etc. Anyway, here is a list of things that suck with the map editor:

10.5 mb limit for file sizes
Currently North American map makers are limited to 10.5 mb is size for their maps. This is way too small! A number of map makers had to completely give up their projects due to this limitation and personally I am approaching this limit and might have to abandon development of my project as well. This will definitely need to be increased if the full potential of the galaxy editor is to ever be utilized. At least double this and consider allowing map makers to distribute their 50 megs of space however they like. Honestly, you can buy terabyte drives for like $100 dollars and can send larger files using email. Also, the 2 minute timeout thing for uploading maps needs to be removed! Sometimes mapmakers cannot upload their maps within 2 minutes (they may have a slow upload speed).

Maximum map size is 256x256
This is another ridiculous arbitrary limitation that prevents map makers from using the full potential of the galaxy editor. 256x256 really isn’t very big and the limitation prevents many types of custom maps from being made. How are rpgs like the pokemon mods or the World of Starcraft ever going to be made with such a pitiful map size limitation? It also prevents custom games like Hero Attack or Smashcraft from adding additional arenas. Increase this to 512x512 at the least!

Maximum trigger size is too small
I have run into this issue on numerous occasions. Often map makers will receive the error message ‘trigger is too long’ when they are trying to compile their maps. As a result map makers often have to split a trigger into two or three pieces which is quite annoying. Please increase maximum trigger size because it is too small.

Maps can only have up to 8 textures and there is no way to change texture sets once the game loads
This limitation really, really hurts as I am sure many map makers will agree. This definitely hurts large maps or custom maps that have multiple arenas (such as hero attack or smash craft). Hero Attack has 4 different arenas (or maps within a map) so that is effectively 2 textures per arena which really isn’t close to enough. :( Please either increase the number of textures than a custom map can have, or better yet allow map makers to change the texture set after the games starts using triggers.

Only 3 cliff levels
Well technically there are 4 cliff levels, but you can’t even make a ramp to get to the lower cliff level so effectively there are only 3. Please increase the number of cliff levels significantly (and let map makers place ramps between them).

Cannot create cliffs or ramps once game starts
It would be really nice if players could place cliffs and ramps after the game starts using triggers. Actually in general, please give map makers to tools to generate the terrain of their maps after the game starts (i.e. add triggers that will allow players to paint textures on their maps, add cliffs, add ramps, add doodads, add water, add roads, etc.) because if map makers could generate their own terrain it would open up so many possibilities (such as the possibility to create randomly generated melee maps or the possibility to create ‘map editors’ using the galaxy editor).

Can’t change a player’s race or racial UI after the game starts
Often in custom maps you will want to change a player’s race after the game starts (such as make the player a zerg player instead of a protoss player). While it is fairly easy to give the player different units, there is no way to change a players racial UI after a game starts (such as the border around to command card, the color of the dialog objects or the sounds you get when you do not have enough minerals or when you hear a nuclear launch). Please add a trigger that can change the race and racial UI of a player.

Adding too many doodads can crash a map and prevent it from loading
For some reason if you add too many doodads to your map the map will be unable to load and crash while you are loading it. Please fix this issue because it would be nice to add more doodads to our maps so they look nicer.

No damage and vitality multipliers for behaviours
This one is seriously annoying. Basically some things (such as time scale, movement speed, attack speed, etc.) have multipliers but other things (damage, life, shields, energy) do not. Sure damage and vitals have damage fractions and vital fractions which is nearly the same thing, but they really don’t work very well when you have multiple fraction bonuses interacting. Let’s say you have a map where you have a hero and this hero can have a sword (which doubles damage) and can also have an ability (which doubles damage). Well to make either of these two you simply have to create behaviours with damage bonus fractions equal to 1. The problem is that if the hero has both behaviours, then instead of doing quad damage, the hero will do triple damage. Damage fractions add and do not multiply! As a result, map makers that want to have their damage bonuses multiply have to do ridiculous and lengthy workarounds. Please add multipliers for damage and vitals (as well as other things that do not have multipliers).
[Also, in case anyone calls me on this, I know that there are damage multipliers under damage response. The problem with using that is that it does not show up on the unit’s UI]

No search bar when searching for preplaced units or points to use in triggers
This is a bit annoying. Basically, If I have like hundreds of points placed in my custom map and I would like to use a point in my triggers (such as do event x at point p) then I have to scroll through all of the points until I find point x, and there isn’t even a search bar to help me find it (similarly there isn’t a search bar for preplaced units or other preplaced objects). This may not seem like a big deal, but if you have to do this a few hundred times then it can result in significant time savings for the map maker.

No trigger than can hide a section of a map
Please add a trigger that can hide a region of a map (as in complete block vision of units, terrain, doodads, cliffs, etc. within a region of a map). Sometimes map makers would like to hide a certain region of a map so players cannot see them.

Map makers cannot modify turn rates with either triggers or behaviours
This would be nice and helpful in a lot of situations (such as a mapmaker might want to have a turning speed buff for a unit in a racing game).

The Minimum wait time for the wait action is 0.0625 seconds
Basically if the wait action is used it will always wait at least 0.0625 seconds. This is too high and has resulted in map makers having to give up on some projects or ideas that require a much lower wait time. Plus some custom abilities need to use the wait action to periodically move units and 0.0625 seconds can make it look choppy. Please half this value at least.

Stationary units with turrets can not use some abilities that require a target
If you try to give an ability (such as psi storm) to a stationary unit such as a siege tank in siege mode then the siege tank will be unable to use the ability because the siege tank cannot turn to face the target. Please allow units with turrets to use their turret’s facing so that they can use abilities that require a target and do not have a 360 degree casting arc.

Cannot modify the facing of a turret with triggers
Please create a trigger that will allow map makers to change the facing of a turret. Right now the only way that a map maker can do this is by using a horrible work around that involves creating a dummy unit and ordering the unit with the turret to attack the dummy unit. But this work around has many limitations (for example, you cannot use it if the unit with the turret is stunned).

Set effects can only have 8 effects in their effect field
Please increase the number of effects that a set effect can have in its effect field. Right now it can only have 8 and sometimes you need more than 8. Whenever I need more than 8 effects in the field of a set effect I have to create several set effects and then have a set effect that has the other set effects in its effect field (while this isn’t difficult to do it is quite annoying).

Learn abilities can only have up to 20 abilities
Learn abilities can only have a maximum of 20 abilities; please increase this value. It is very annoying having to create multiple learn abilities and the limitation makes some types of custom maps impossible (such as custom hero warz).

Lean abilities are not transient
Please make it so that whenever a learn ability is used it does make the unit stop and doesn’t cancel what the unit is doing.

Learn abilities queue
Right now when a learn ability is used it is queued. If for example you gave a carrier a learn ability and then you ordered the carrier to use the learn ability while it was building interceptors then the learn ability command would be queued with the interceptors and you would have to wait for all the interceptors to finish before you learn the ability. Please fix this so that when a learn ability is used it doesn’t queue up.

No option to set the behaviour duration with the apply behaviour effect
Please add a field to apply behaviour that sets the behaviour duration. This single missing field results in so much unnecessary duplication of behaviours it isn’t funny.

Cannot use the power source of another player
Right now units with a power source behaviour only power the units of the same player. Please make it so that units with a power source behaviour can power units of other players and add a target filters field to the power source behaviour so map makers can create custom power sources and decide if they want the power source to power allies or enemies. I know that there is a work around to this issue where you create dummy pylons with triggers (and I have used the work around in hero attack), but it would be much nicer if the power source behaviour were changed so that map makers do not have to do this.

Creep source behaviours cannot generate different colours of creep
Please add a field to the creep source behaviour that can control the tint/colour of the creep that is generated by the creep source behaviour. (i.e. please allow map makers to use multiple colours of creep in their maps). If this is added it could result in some really inventive uses of creep and can help a player visually recognize which player owns what creep for custom maps that have player controlled creep.

No way to centre text for label dialog objects
Please add an option so that map makers can centre the text of a label dialog object.

Only 6 inventory slots
Yes I know that WC3 only had 6 inventory slots, and yes map makers can effectively create more using inventory containers (however, you cannot use hotkeys with these). However please add a few more (like 1 or 2 more).

No way to change to mover of a unit with the exception of upgrades
Currently there is now way to change the mover of a unit using triggers or behaviours. You can use upgrades but that affects all units of that unit type. If I want to create a spell that applies a behaviour to a single unit that makes it fly for a short period of time, well there really isn’t a good way to do this. The only work around is to duplicate every unit that you want the behaviour to affect and then give the duplicated unit a different mover and then create morph abilities between each pair of units, make the morph ability auto cast and then create a requirement for each morph ability that checks if the unit has the behaviour or not.

There are probably so many other issues with the editor that I am missing. Hopefully I have covered the important ones. Please add comments and/or add your own criticisms of the map editor in this thread if you like. I hope blizzard covers these issues because it would make the map editor so much better.
Posts: 7,059
Nice post. I'll potentially setup a GE Editor thread as well in the near future.
The Chat Gem Lives!
Posts: 1,477
I agree with most of this, especially the low map size (for publishing and gameplay), and also the cliff level increase and being able to change them in-game. The problem with increasing the map size, though, is that the entire game is designed around a 256x256 maximum, and if you raised that to 512x512, it would take 4X the computing power to run that effectively, and most people simply don't have the computers for that. This might change by the time the second expansion comes, but.....I don't really think it will, not in 2-3 years.
Adding another cliff level or two shouldn't be very hard, and increasing publishing space, again, has a simple solution for freeing more space. All they need to do is make it so players have to put a request in (free, of course) to get their mapmaking room. This would free up lots of space because many people never touch the editor.
As for changing terrain in-game, that would probably have the same issues as the idea of extending the maximum map bounds to 512x512: most people don't have computers that could run that, as it most likely takes up serious processing room to do major changes. I could see cliff level changes, though, since those are simpler to set (I think) than changing the textures, precise heights, etc. of regular terrain.
We should get this post stickied, maybe renaming it Possible Editor Changes or something like that.
Edited by Palamani on 2/20/2011 12:18 AM PST
Posts: 7,059
The editor can support 512x512, but the game crashes when attempting to play at that size.
The Chat Gem Lives!
Posts: 741
Hmmm~~ You can use Mods to past 10.5MB

As for changing racial UI, you could use custom UI file and dialog item template to achieve it.

About hide a section of a map, if you just want to block the vision, you could fill the region with custom units with custom footprint that will block vision. And if you want to truly hide a region not just cover them with black mask, you could try these action.

Environment - Hide terrain cells in Region 001
Actor - Send actor message "SetVisibility 0" to all actors contained by game region Region 001

This will hide all terrain, units, effects, doodads, models in the region, except cliffs.
Posts: 1,720
You could add the following:

Rotation Actors: Only the "Up" value in "Explicit Rotation" will give a consistant rotation. Even the "Foward" value in the same "Explicit Rotation" will have the actor you are modifying come out at random angles every time. All the other rotation actors have this same issue.

Pan Camera: Pan camera locks the camera input. Locking camera input like zoom, rotate, and any others. If it were not for this an FPS camera would be easy and smooth with proper looping.

Camera Objects: Camera Zoom is not well made, if you alter a custom camera zoom level in game it needs to be reset via triggers, you cannot go back to it. Otherwise the "Follow unit group (convet unit to unit group) fucntion wild be flawless for 3rd and even 1st person cameras. Also the camera object zoom is not well made as it seems to not be based on absolute zoom but relative zoom.

No way to apply behaviors to various forms of terrain: If we could make creep apply a custom behavior, and the same with water, then even if a custom texture is imported it would be a simple matter to make various terrains and other things like water and creep unique. This would apply to things such as snow, mud, plains, and other modifiers useful in a lot of maps.

5 map upload limit: Come on you charged me 60 freaking bucks and you limit me to 5 maps?!? I payed 30 for WC3 and it's expansion and I could have as many as I wanted.

Banks do not work across multiple maps: Custom campaigns, RPG's with various levels etc would be easy to make if Banks went across multiple maps published by the same player.

No Blizzard supported model exporter/importer tool for model makers.
Posts: 741
"Explicit Rotation" works fine . You must misunderstood the the ture purpose of the UP and Forward field.

Try "Up 0 0 -1 + Forward 0 -1 0" and "Up 0 0 -1" only, then you can tell the difference.
Edited by Renee on 2/20/2011 3:37 AM PST
Posts: 527
Some things in there I would like changed, but some that don't currently effect me, it's always going to be specific to your map.

Currently my limitations have been
- Only 3 cliff levels (though I worked around it for my purpose)
- Can’t change a player’s race or racial UI after the game starts (this was annoying)
- Learn abilities can only have up to 20 abilities (strange arbitrary limit?)
- Learn abilities are not transient (low priority, but at the same time probably easy to fix)

The biggest issue that will effect lots of maps is probably:
- No damage and vitality multipliers for behaviours

On a side note
- No way to centre text for label dialog objects. You can actually, just choose the right text style. It is a bit annoying that you have to do this, but I would rather see other things that don't have a work around fixed first)

And I would like to add a major pain:
- You can't have a button trigger an ability that requires a target. At least now with the mouse move events you can kinda get around this - but it can cause serious lag and is a really bad way to do it. Even just being able to change the cursor/attach a model to the cursor would be better.
Posts: 397
No way to apply behaviors to various forms of terrain: If we could make creep apply a custom behavior, and the same with water, then even if a custom texture is imported it would be a simple matter to make various terrains and other things like water and creep unique. This would apply to things such as snow, mud, plains, and other modifiers useful in a lot of maps.

Actually, there are some work arounds and I got special types of terrain to work in hero attack. If you want a special type of behaviour to apply to creep then simply have a periodic trigger that takes all units on the map and applies a behaviour if they are on creep. For other types of special terrain such as ice, lava, mud, etc. you either have to use regions or you can use terrain height and then apply a periodic behaviour in a certain area.

No way to centre text for label dialog objects. You can actually, just choose the right text style.

I know that there are some types of fonts that are centered. But for some reason these have not work with label dialog objects when I tried to use them (though they work for other things such as buttons, titles, etc.).

Here are a few more issues with the editor:

Can't add range, placement and cursor actors to items
Title is pretty much self explanatory. You can use these actors with abilities by using events such as abil.abilityname.cursor, however there is no event such as item.itemname.cursor. Please make it so that we can add actors to items. I noticed in the last patch that a new item type which uses abilities has been added. I have tried using this to get actors attached to items but for some reason it doesn't work, you can make an item cast an ability but the range, placement and cursor actors that are attached to the ability do not seem to work.

Doodads such as trees do not appear on the minimap if you have too many
I can't seem to make it so that doodads such as trees appear on the minimap and from what I read there are many other people with this issue. I have tried changing the minimap priority of the doodads but that doesn't seem to work.

Can't update minimap in game
If for example you have a map that initially has a lower water level but gets flooded at some point in the game then you might want to have the minimap reflect that fact (to show that water covers a larger area). Currently the minimap is saved as a tga file and it doesn't seem possible to modify this based on the changes that have taken place in your map.
Posts: 397
bump. I really need the 10.5 mb restriction removed and the option to change the texture set like really soon. If these changes aren't made soon then I may not be able to develop Hero Attack any further.

Also, please add a field to set behaviour duration to the apply behaviour effect. It would make things much easier and allow me to get rid of many obsolete behaviours.
Posts: 7,059
Added this all to my compilation.
The Chat Gem Lives!
Posts: 283
Lean abilities are not transient
Please make it so that whenever a learn ability is used it does make the unit stop and doesn’t cancel what the unit is doing.

THIS. I spent like so long programming in AI for my map, Tug O' War. I got tanks to go to siege mode/unsiege at desired ranges of a target. Little did i know that this now stopped it from going across the desired path...
Posts: 11
1 question...... how can u do the most simple thing in the editor. make a unit move from point A to point B. so simple right? wrong. i have scanned over EVERY single trigger and none of them have anything to do with simple movement. the closest i have come is move unit instantly which is basically a teleport. so please if u know how to make units move tell me my map REALLY needs it. thanks in advance. alex.
Posts: 527
Heh, you can either Issue Order to unit targeting a point, or you can Move unit instantly.

This is pretty trivial using triggers tbh.

I'd say you are getting stuck with the Issue Order action. You need to change that action, you can specify whether it's Issue Order without target, Targeting a unit, Targeting a point etc. However you need to set that up before you can actually choose the point to move to.
Edited by Stark on 3/29/2011 8:26 PM PDT
Posts: 11
alright thanks alot il try it
Posts: 47
I am trying to work on an air combat game in the editor using a viking as a fighter, i have thought of ways to create a lock on (using laser drill lock on UI) and other game mechanics but there is a section of the map where I want to have a beach with water using the lower ground tool, I need water there but I also want to have a river running down the map so bridges can be choke points for infantry, the river will be much higher than the beach. Is there a way to make water appear on two levels with out using a trigger to change water levels when one is in view?
Also though it dosen't currently pertain to me, is there a way to angle the water tiles to create a slopping down hill river effect? (this would only work if you could have multiple water levels at the same time)
Posts: 1,477
For your problem, Joshua, I would think that you could use two or three different water tiles (try to pick ones that are almost identical, of course) set to different heights. The transitions between them would look somewhat ridiculous, most likely, but you could hide the switch with a raised piece of terrain, which would create the appearance of the river going underground or through a tunnel briefly.

As for angling water tiles, I'm afraid that I have no idea how that would be done, even if it's currently possible (which I doubt).
Posts: 397
@Joshua - As Palamani said, you should be able to have multiple types of water on a single map. Just use one for the river, another for the beach and set their heights to different values.
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