Custom Map Feedback

Posts: 2,022
[quote]There is a lengthy thread on this, but I will summarize:

1. There needs to be an alternative way to search for maps online similar to the organization method in Warcraft 3. The one shown at Blizzcon was a nice upgrade of that system. Being able to name our games is extremely useful.

2. There needs to be a way to play maps offline as well as play maps we download from other websites without having to publish them. The 20MB, 5 map cap per user is also extremely limiting for map makers.

3. There needs to be a clear description of map posting rules so we know what is considered inappropriate. On that note, it appears that what is considered unacceptable seems to be more restricting than the T rating given to this game, especially considering some of the things said during the campaign.

4. I have taken the time to compile useful tutorials for new users, but getting the official Wiki started for map editing would be an excellent boost to user understanding of the editor.

5. Without chat rooms and clans, it is difficult to truly socialize on what is supposed to be the future of social online gaming (aka B.net 2.0). Having these features will encourage map makers to discuss their projects with players and promote multiplayer map hosting and...well...socializing.

More can be read on this at this thread: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/248425983

I totally agree.

Pretty much everything I want 'bout .

Especially on the editor.....Is it so hard for you to just make this like WarCraft 3's structure?
I'm a single-player and I just want more freedom in custom-offline gaming. Now this StarCraft II editor is just even weaker from some point of view.
Posts: 325
1) Let us play custom maps VS AI while in offline mode.
2) Change the popularity system. Either scrap it totally or fix it, theres lots of suggestions that were posted. The one shown at blizzcon might not be perfect, but its better than we we have now.
3) Like the previous poster (and plenty of others including myself) said, make a list of what words/things will get your map kicked off of battle net. And we would appreciate if these restrictions were no more strict than the campaign, but the main thing is to tell us.
When we click on a marine and he swears, is that ANY different from the SAME language being used at other parts of the map?
4) If possible, increase the limits on publishing size/bank limits. It does not affect my maps, but others have had to put a stop to maps that were very good beacuse of this.
Example- http://www.sc2mapster.com/maps/orpg-starcraft-universe/
5) I don't particularly want this, but Ive seen others ask- the ability to watch replays together in a party
6) Chat rooms. I know they will be added in a future patch, but I'm still listing it since they are not in game yet.

7) Maybe the ability to temporarily upload games. Like if you want to play a map with your friend, but its not yours, you would use the temp upload feature, which uploads the map to battle net and then, as soon as the game is over, the map is removed. Again, not major, but lets say you already have 5 of your maps uploaded and you want to play a 6th with some friends. Not a big one, either, but it would be nice.
Edited by zeldarules on 8/4/2010 6:02 PM PDT
Posts: 188
1. Add other ways to sort through maps other than popularity.

2. Let us name games, for example 1v1 no rush 10 minutes on Lost Temple.

3. 30 second countdown needs to be reduced to 10 seconds

4. When a game starts counting down, you no longer have the option to leave. The option to leave should be there, but the countdown should stop when a person leaves.

5. Have a vote kick in the lobby (?) so that if the host is afk, the other people don't have to wait for them to start the game

6. Don't make it an automatic start when the game is full.

7. How about a ready box so that everyone knows who is and isn't ready. With a vote kick it's a good way to identify afk players.

8. Introduce a ratings system for the maps. The top map makers according ratings, not popularity, should be allowed to upload more maps.

I'm sure many of these have already been suggested, but I don't feel like reading through this entire thread.
Posts: 19
So, when do you plan on updating SC2, you know what we all want. I just can't wait any longer to play my map.
Posts: 1,073
Although I like most of the game(play), I do have a few suggestions:

1. Map folder somewhere on my hard drive, please. Would alleviate a large % of my complaints.
2. Make SC2 less like Apple iPhone and more like WC3 (google "iPhone Jailbreak" if you don't know what I mean). Developers hate that*. Jailbreaking your iPhone was recently ruled to be legal in US SC**
3. Allow offline 1 player-downloaded-from-fansite-custom-vsAI-maps to be playable
4. Map folder somewhere on my hard drive, please.

oh, and because its removal was so counter intuitive that I actually emailed tech support thinking its absence was an install error:

5. Map folder somewhere on my hard drive, please.

* substitute "apps" for "maps" here. or maybe I'm just generalizing from self. don't think so though.
** SC here means Supreme Court not StarCraft (lulz)
Posts: 28
I don't make custom maps but I love playing them. I hate the popularity sorting. I find it hard to locate a map that I want to play. And then I join and no one is in there. Maps should only be listed if someone is actually starting a game. It should be more like SC1, which was an awesome system.
Posts: 274
My only major beef is that all the actions I think in my head are very simple, but executing them are drastically harder. Such as "units controlled by player 2 within region X, attack point Y" and "if X unit dies at location Y, create X unit at location Z"

The system right now as so many options, but the basic ones are not labeled, or just so hidden by triggers within triggers that its inaccessible by the average player. There should be a tab in the "events" and "actions" menus for "basic actions" such as moving units within an area, creating units within an area, when a unit owned by a specific player. The current system just feels like its pushing you away from using it as hard as it can rather than helping a newer coder.
Posts: 82
Just to quickly sum it up, since many have already posted what I think.

  • Revert back to warcraft 3 / Starcraft ways to search for games.

  • Raise size limit on custom maps.

  • Not being shot by the 5 map limit.

  • Hosting like it was on wc3/sc, and not the 5 previous popular games.

  • Being able to download maps from anywhere, and not just from your servers.


  • A map folder, and perhaps a an option to play offline once you've already registered your account, or somehow UNLOCK the ability to? I say this because my internet goes out frequently based off from where I live, and if I'm stuck inside because it's storming I'd at least like to be gaming.


  • Make me an easteregg in the expansion campaign ;D



  • What you did with Bnet 2.0 seems to just limit us greatly, and not being able to host/download maps freely just cripples the community entirely. - In short Bnet 2.0 is terrible.

    But single player campaign is beautiful, mad props! =D
    Edited by Wing on 8/4/2010 7:31 PM PDT
    Posts: 4,098
    I still fear the "diablo item store" effect.

    I just hope i don't have to spend 4.99$ for Lost Temple 2.1 :P

    Since we're on the subject: what are some good examples where maps are offered in a premium content style and proved successful? Possibly i'd like a few pc game names.

    Oh, one more concern. Voice actors and 3d artists aren't cheap. Just like many ipod apps, i can't really imagine many people making back what they spend.


    Yeah these are all pretty valid concerns Hobbes... you raise a good point! It'll be very interesting to see exactly how the system will come into play...
    Posts: 66
    My first post on this forum here (I think), anyway

    The battlenet system is flawed from the designing view point since it limit player and mapmaker in every ways possible to attract a more casual crowd (click n play). The design is in progress and not in anyway polished but has to be put out for sc2's release so problems cant be avoided. I know you devs don't really want to move away from it and get back to older system. The only thing we can do now is fix this one, patch in more functionality and allow more freedom for us player/mapmaker.

    Lots of obvious problem with this system has been pointed out already.

    1. Local map hosting and peer to peer map transferring (this might not be possible with the way your new system work, 1 publish sever and map content control etc..) So unless battlenet is redesigned, we can stop whining about this

    2. More choices in map hosting, joining, more info about a game lobby that player want to know. Again, this is a step forward from the casual "click n play" crowd. If we want the custom scence to live, this should be noted and planned for implementation

    3. Bigger storage limits for map publishing. Since the system is designed on 1 central upload sever, a limit is a must. However, since most of the estimated space required included all casual player (who is not going to use the editor or publish any map). This limit should be raised, considering the amount of custom music/images/models that goes into a well made mod. Or local map hosting must be available for such things

    And another problem that hasn't got much attention

    4. Cross-region map database. It seems like this was the design goal as maps and the editor support multiple locals (language) for one maps. However It was not implemented as cross-region play is not available. Every mapmaker has to get at least 5 copies of the game to prevent their map being stolen and available to everyone. The system even check for map name's availability in every language before uploading. Maps should be automatically uploaded to every sever provided their name is available. Mapmaker then choose to use 1 universal language in their maps (english, copy to call locals) or translate it as they wish
    Posts: 21
    I'm adding my voice to all the others. Get us customs games list like in SC1 or WC3. I'm also voting against much of the stuff that has been reported in this tread: Restrictive publishing limits, community killer popularity system, no chatroom, abusive censorship, etc... I've read the whole tread and I had heard about almost all of those issue before. I'm pretty sure Blizzard had heard about them too and I hopes that this tread is a sign that you want to fix the current situation.
    Posts: 179
    I think it's time I replied to this thread... Something on my mind for a while now is that Blizzard needs to make a seperate map file where users can download maps to their sc2 files and play without relying on battle.net to get the good games up.
    I still do not understand why blizzard has steered away from this path, they kept a map file in Starcraft and Warcraft 3 and those games are still popular up to today primarily because of user made maps, campaigns, and games. If SC2 is gonna be played 10 years from now like it's predeccesor, blizzard has to revolutionize and improve upon the way map making, publishing, and hosting is now today.
    Thanks for hearing me out blizzard and good luck.
    Posts: 5
    Add the ability to play the game you downloaded from online, instead of looking it for it on sc2 (half the maps aren't even on the server!).

    Hosting is fine. Add a search function in the custom game to find the game by a title instead of clicking "show more" till you find the game you want to play.
    Posts: 81
    The most beneficial thing Blizzard could do right now is to fundamentally change the organization of the custom maps list. The changes I'm about to outline, in of themself, even if no other changes were accompanied with it, would stop most of the #!#!@ing currently going on. Of course, there will probably be a lot of haters and various other complainers with various suggestions and complaints even if everything is fixed, but there's nothing we can do about that...
    (Keep in mind, any Blizzard staff reading this, that I am fully aware that you have thought about -- or at least read about -- most, if not all of this. I'm typing all of this out because I take my passions seriously. If you decide to implement some or all of these suggestions, I will not expect nor desire any credit, since this is something that many of us want.)



    Playing a Map

    Currently: We'll start with the basics. Take Blizzard's current assumption: the player wants to play his favorite map quickly with some random group of people. The current system does this very well; a new player will probably like one of the maps in the set of the 30 most popular maps, and scrolling down to that map, joining it, and starting a game is a very simple task that will result in exactly the stated goal. Mission accomplished.


    The Problem: A game like StarCraft II will see all types of players going online to play some matches, as one would expect just by observing what happens in the previous Battle.net iterations. (Actually, I will be using the original Battle.net as a sort of factual basis for some of these points.) Not everyone is going to be interested in playing some bandwagon popular maps all of the time, and some players will want to just skip straight to some lesser-known projects that they made or know about through friends, websites, etc. If the previous Battle.net was any indication, many players would be browsing the custom game list for some new and interesting maps. However, a majority of the players indeed are generally looking to repeatedly play a favorite map, but even those players change it up every now and then and play something completely different, just to keep things interesting.

    To sum things up, just about every player is going to look for less-popular maps that are new and entertaining. The problem therein is that unless one happens to have a large group of friends online at the same time (all of whom are willing to play the same map at someone's whim), nobody is going to be able to break from the most-played maps. The reason for this is that the current system forces a popularity system, driving the less-popular maps way down in the list of maps. A few other attributes, such as the "Show More Maps" button that makes it just about impossible to quickly scroll down, the fact that the list is basically unchanging and every publicly-available map is on the "Join Custom Map" list at all times even though filling them all up with players is logistically impossible, the lack of any kind of personalization or ratings, and the issue that "hosting" a map is almost useless (I'll get to that later), ensure that the only maps that get played are the popular maps. Of course, if one combines this with the popularity system, we get a sort of internal feedback loop where the popular maps stay popular and the unpopular maps are given virtually no chance.


    A Solution: There are multiple ways to approach this. The best way I can think of is to partially revert to the old system: a psuedo-server list. Firstly, the maps list should ideally be listed in a top->down fashion, similar to how the original StarCraft's battle.net layout. Also, the "Show More Maps" button should be completely removed. Instead of listing every single map in the join menu, only those maps that are currently being hosted by someone should be in the server list. Instead of hiding every open game under a general map title and making it impossible to discern any information of the game except the map being played, every hosted game of the same map (or its versions) should be placed in a nested, collapsible item containing the map name and the number of open games contained therein. The old hosted map name thing should be reintroduced, since it allows the person "hosting" the game to do various things such as calling attention to the map, announcing a new version, listing some rules or modes to be used in the game, as well as allowing the players to feel like the map they joined or hosted is a much more personal, relatible, and enjoyable experience. After all, it's the little things like this that make all the difference, and it's one of those touches that I thought made the original Battle.net the best there is and ever was.

    The organization should be, by default, by chronological order of hosting: when opening up the custom maps list, all of the currently open lobbies should be listed, and then any future hosted maps should be listed below the current list unless the map being hosted is already in the list, in which case the map should instead be put into the corresponding collapsible partition. This avoids most of the the ever-present problem of dozens of "Fastest Map", "DotA: Allstars", and "Big Game Hunters" maps that dominated the lists in the previous games, since they will be all thrown together so that a player interested only in joining a particular map can view all of the open games in one place, while a player interested in finding a new game to play won't have to wade through dozens of the same map that he/she is sick and tired of playing.

    Not only do these changes bring some familiarity back to the returning veterans of WarCraft II/III and StarCraft, it also improves the old system with some new tricks, making the "Battle.net 2.0" title more worthy of its name, thus allowing players to attach to the new system more readily due to the psychological connection established with the first iterations of Battle.net.



    Hosting a Map

    Currently/The Problem: Since the basics are covered, we can move on to the next rung: the issue of hosting a map vs. joining a map. I don't think there's anything remarkably right about this topic, so I won't bother segregating the "Currently" and "The Problem" categories, since they're largely the same thing in this case. Right now, not many players even bother with "hosting" a map, since hosting an unpopular map gets no joins and hosting a popular map simply makes it take longer to get a game going (because the hosted map is put into a lower priority than the public auto-created lobby) with very little benefit. Basically, there's little to no reason to ever host a game in the current setup, unless one has a bunch of friends to invite. Maybe that was Blizzard's intention, but then again I'll never really figure out how Battle.net ended up like this in the first place.

    Also, it's worth noting that there is very little distinction from the "host" and the other players right now. After all, Blizzard's servers host all of the games, for better or for worse. This boils down to the fact that nobody is the host and the "host" of the game is pretty much a player with limited admin powers over the game. In the previous Battle.net systems, the Blizzard servers did not host the custom games themselves (as far as I know, Blizzard did not even host the waiting room lobbies), thus forcing the host of the game to actually host the game using their own bandwidth and computing power. Obviously, this caused the online quality of the game to be a random crap shoot in WarCraft III (no pings were displayed), while StarCraft was slightly better off due to the (slightly buggy) ping bars in the maps and players lists. However, the host of the game truly was a host and, by rule of honor, was entitled to having admin power over the game, the settings, and the players who could play the map. As it is right now in Battle.net 2.0, the "host" of the game is more of an artificiality with no basis for power. This bit of psychology degrades the quality of the experience somewhat, but is not as serious as the fact that everybody can "host", regardless of computer quality or bandwidth.

    Suppose the institutions in the previous section were implemented: who would be hosting and who would decide to join? In all of the previous Battle.net games, many people were forced to join maps rather than host them because of bandwidth issues or configuration problems. This rightly seems bad, but then again it allowed the people who could host to expect some people to join, simply because a great deal of players had no other choice. It just worked out in a sort of symbiosis that there was always a group of people to host maps and another, much larger group to join them. However, there is not much to be done about this; now that all restrictions from hosting have been eliminated, there is no turning back. This is something that the players will have to adjust to, but there is a way to try to get the best of the situation...


    A Solution: First, to address the issue of the "host" identity: the only solution is to just hope that the players balance the situation out by themselves. If too many people host, some hosts will give up and join some existing games. If too many people are joining and getting the interesting maps filled up too quickly, a couple players might give up and just host the map themselves. It causes an extra headache but it's probably unavoidable.

    However, the situation can be helped by allowing hosts to optionally host maps on their own bandwidth, which would in turn make the experience feel a bit more personal/cozy. At best, it could allow a host with an exceptional connection to offer better gameplay than what the Blizzard servers can provide (lower ping, thus lower delay). At worst, it could cause a few hapless players to join a game hosted by someone with an internet connection with the quality of two tin cans connected by a long string, wasting a few minutes of their lives as half of the players drop immediately while the rest suffer from an order delay of 3 seconds or more. The worst of it can be avoided with a ping display, so that hosts showing a ping of >9000 can be ignored. Much of the rest of the hosting problems can be fixed through the proper implementation of the fixes outlined in the previous topic, as it would allow people to join underplayed or recently-released maps. The beauty of such a solution is that some of these underplayed maps will become popular as time goes on, as more people will play the map over time, come to like it, and in turn host it more. After a while, people may become bored with the map and it will eventually be hosted less and less until it is forgotten again with a new set of maps to take its place. This is the natural life cycle of a map on the original Battle.net, and it was a beautiful phenomenon that gave every map a more-or-less equal chance at success (at least, until bots dominated the list).

    Even if the custom maps list is monopolized by a single very successful map, similar to how "DotA: Allstars" took over the maps list in WarCraft III, a collapsible map organization system like I outlined in the previous topic would solve virtually all of the problems caused by such an occurrence, as the default state of the maps list would give every map an equal amount of space in the list (ironically, similar to the current setup).

    To sum things up, if the players are given greater access to maps that are hosted by others (ideally, in an organized fashion), the whole system will improve tremendously. All of this can be supplemented with additional ideas, such as an option to sort by map popularity or map rating (a facebook/youtube-esque thumbs up or thumbs down system would work fine, but a 1-5 star rating system could also work out because everyone has only one account -- this could be enforced by forcing the person doing the rating to post a comment with the rating).

    A final, miscellaneous note: I'm sure you (Blizzard) have noticed that popularity is not a measure of quality, so supplementing or even replacing the popularity system with a ratings system (or a combination of the two if you're feeling creative) would offer a much better idea of a map's quality than what we've got now.



    Making a Map
    I've been writing too much for today; I'll finish tomorrow.
    Edited by DarkRevenant on 8/4/2010 8:33 PM PDT
    Posts: 5
    To better consolidate constructive feedback on issues or concerns with the custom maps and features, we would like to encourage everyone to use this thread. We will be actively working to redirect additional or new posts on this topic to this thread so that we can better track feedback as well. Thanks.


    Feedback, an excellent term. I'd like to address the following reply made by Bashiok:

    http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/248105900?page=7#136

    We're working on improving our processes to ensure the map maker has more information on why their map was removed, right now it is a bit vague and has obviously led to this misunderstanding.


    I think this is extremely important. Right now, the SC2 Map Editor has a high learning curve. It is very powerful, but hardly documented, which means anyone wishing to use it will be putting in a big time investment. But, it is very important for a map maker to know that his maps won't be censored without just cause or good reason. Without good support on Blizzard's side, there is a fear that not only could my own map be removed for some (perhaps ridiculous or unintended) reason, without enough information for me to even know what I did wrong. Even worse, is not having the chance to fix the mistake (sure, there are vandals who will hide away obscene things in their custom maps, but what if I went and scoured every single ground pattern until I could point and say *thats obscene, reported!* It's extreme, but still.)

    I'd feel much more comfortable knowing that the time investment that I'm putting into not only making custom maps, but into learning the map editor in the first place, isn't going to be wasted to a no-good reason and without chance to fix and update my map for people to play. It's not like there's extensive documentation for it yet, that any programmer can just jump in to (or is there? links please?). It's just nice to know the hard work won't go wasted, you know?

    Also, I'm not trying to relate this to the custom-maps-system on battle.net being poor. I have no doubt in my mind that the custom map support on battle.net will be improving. Thanks guys!

    Cheers
    - Natso
    Posts: 14
    Instructions on how to use map editor for those like me who are dumb and ghetto =D
    Posts: 9
    I clicked on a map about 3 "show more" pages down and I recieved the message "map not found". Does this mean no-one was hosting the map? Shouldn't the system automatically make me the host of the map?
    Edited by Bigtimer on 8/4/2010 11:08 PM PDT
    Posts: 174
    please stop with the walls of text, the mods will most likely ignore them...

    As for my feedback, id prefer a list like the older craft games for custom games, and maybe increasing the size of maps( ive yet to see if 10mb is enough or not)
    Posts: 2
    Add some sort of moderation so people who copy unlocked maps and make minor changes like adding cheat codes and !@@% get that map deleted so people will play the original, seeing a lot of this currently 0.o
    Posts: 470
    Many problems with the custom maps system but I'll name a few.

    The custom maps popularity system needs to go for obvious reasons. The same 10 maps stay at the top of the list and it is difficult to play any others. Custom maps should only be listed if they are currently being hosted, as it is the list contains all uploaded maps including ones not even being hosted. The show more button gets annoying when you are searching through every single uploaded map trying to find a recently uploaded (and therefore unpopular) map. Being able to name games would be helpful for maps with multiple games modes also. Better filters would be helpful. Having a popularity filter would be alright, but it currently does not work well as the main sorting feature. The 30 second countdown is rather long. A search function would be useful, as well as grouping the games by map as shown here:
    http://sclegacy.com/features/sc2beta/b.netconcerns/Join-Custom-Game.jpg

    The upload limit for maps does not make sense, many people make no maps while other make a large number of maps. People are unable to release maps with custom sprites, music, and cinematic within this limit. Blizzard has said they may charge a fee for really well done maps, the upload limit needs to be removed for such maps to be made. Also, don't charge for custom maps. Uploading a map created by someone other than yourself means you have to publish it under your own name, you should be able to specify the creator.
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