Why is stuff like Squadron STILL front page?

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Seriously, squadron TD may as well have been first page since the Xel Naga first created the Protoss BILLIONS OF YEARS AGO (or at least 80 years, or whatever) imo.

Idea 1: make a "Hall of Fame" tab for insanely popular things like squadren TD to be until the end of time (or end of Blizzard, which hopefully won't happen before LotV). Games here would not show up under popularity, but all customs still would for ratings (to be fair with comparing ALL games).

New custom games would join the hall of fame every 1-6 months, IF something remained at or near the top for that long at once, at least in popularity. If it stared right now, it would probably have 5 games like Squadron, Nexus wars, and the next 3 maps.

Idea 2: Feature 3-5 games every 2-4 weeks. This would give a wide verity of games a chance to be popular, and it wouldn't change anything.

***Might want to ignore this next bit***
Idea 3: boycott Squadron TD. This one isn't serious at all, as it would do more terrible terrible damage than 10k mutas bearing down on Warfield all at once within minutes, and the only AA weapon(s) that would have any chance of success are hours away from arrival. It would be awesome if everyone unconditionally ignored the most popular games of the crappy games, but it probably won't happen...

I like having the idea though :)
***Okay, back to being serious***

The least I want is:

1. Make it easy for worthy games (like Prototype TD or Final Frontier 3) to get noticed, and I don't just mean "up and coming"

2. Make it fairer for newer games to have a moment at the top (Squadron already had an ERA at the top, and its still going...).

3. Fix "Fun or not" to show what lobby you are getting put in so you know if you are just getting slapped into false games like Cortex (imo, Cortex = optional hard work with no pay). At the very least, add a check box that doesn't put a person back into a game they marked as "not fun" and/or "fun" after playing.
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Stuff like Squadron are still front page because there aren't that many good maps coming out. The last map released on the US server that's even worth noticing was Kobold Tribes, and that came out a couple of weeks ago.

The well has run dry.
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Better idea, scrap the whole god damn popularity system which is essentially a system of the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

And go back to what worked. The warcraft 3 system where maps that were actually hosted the most defined what was the most popular map, Let the people decide, not the flawed system that currently exists in sc2.

Instead this time in sc2, Better custom game search filters could be implemented ( for instance warcraft 3 never actually had a word filter for its custom game service, or a genre filter)

With the small improvements like book marks, In addition to server side Hosting , with the ability to name your own custom map.

That is what the people need. Blizzard is stubborn, Blizzard thinks they know best, Blizzard wants ease of access. Ultimately however these design choices kill the longevity of the game.

The new arcade system is same old same old as before, just diff UI.
Just like how the longevity of diablo 3 was ruined with the whole auction system being a bad design idea. The starcraft 2 custom game system is forever ruined till somebody wakes at blizzard finally wakes up.

There is to much issues just being ignored and pushed under the rug currently due to overall bad design of this custom game system in starcraft 2.

Just to name a few

-Cant change game name ( its needed so that mappers dont have to rely on voting systems that no matter what will leave unhappy players because the vote went against them, If the map name said "AP", or AR at the start, they would know exactly what they are joining)

-Afk Hosts, why is afk hosts a problem? It stems because of the horrid popularity system not giving enough exposure to new maps. Some people end up joining a new custom map to try it out, but they wait so long to get a game going they actually forget they still have sc2 running in the background ( most likely surfing the web) . With no way to boot the host, there is no way the game will start until its filled up.

-Still cant get players to play your map without it being Known first, This is like the biggest issue of them all. If mappers cant get any feedback on thier map and have to rely on extensive advertising campaigns. You essentially kill the motivation for some to map make, And for the others they see creating brand new projects as "why bother" , there is a huge chance it will never be played.. Waste of time

-Since the system in starcraft 2 is based of popularity. Lets actually question the method in which it says "x map is more popular". Back in the beta of WINGS, the popularity system favored very short maps, i remember it requiring only 5 minutes of play to get +1, Thus short maps topped the charts all the time. Big maps like mine were hurt the most, 12 players and really longggggggg play time.

Then they revamped the system, To be based of time.. Now maps like mine (If you can get past the player requirement hurdle) will top the lists. Most of the maps on page 1 are big time sinks with many players. So the popularity system now tends to favor long play time maps.

My issue is, How are any of these "Favoring systems" actually legit in telling the population that plays starcraft 2 what games truely deserve high popularity or low popularity...

Warcraft 3 custom map system was the best at telling you whats actually good without the downfalls the starcraft 2 system has.

Before i make this post go any longer than it should. ill end my rant by saying, BLIZZARD WAKE UP.
Edited by Incinerate on 10/10/2012 5:26 PM PDT
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Haha still the same issues... is Nexus Wars still on there lol?
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10/10/2012 04:48 PMPosted by Onetwo
Haha still the same issues... is Nexus Wars still on there lol?


It's still among the more popular games, yes. Unfortunately.
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As I have stated numerous times before the issue is no longer the popularity system but rather the player base - they are at fault.

The custom map scene (both players and developers) is very small, this is a vicous cycle as the player base would increase if there was better content (created by more developers) and more developers would come along if there was an increase in the player base (naturally).

Back in 2002, Wc3 UMS were very limited to the most basic hero arenas and ORPGs, and not soon after along came the very first TDs such as Arkguil's, and from there TDs continued to evolve, AoS clones came along and eventually Dota circa 2003.

We are not that different in Starcraft II - Wc3 was not in it's prime until IMO 2004-2005 which is 2-3 years after release (or just after the first expansion pack was released). In Sc2 II people simply wanted to be "popular" (not in the sense of the popularity system) so they cloned ideas - they didn't evolve the ideas but instead ported direct copies from Wc3.

Like **nearly** everything on the front page for a very long time had a sister in Wc3.

My brother use to play the Squadron TD equivlent in Wc3 and I was like WTF is this? This came along after I retired from playing Dota (and Wc3 as a result). I thought it was stupid, uninspired and plain boring (after playing numerous games with him) but that did not stop the masses playing it.

The generation that followed the pioneers of online gaming (aka, pioneers = the kids who grew up with Doom, C&C, Sc1, D1 etc) usually have a huge sense of entitlement and this sadly due to WoW encouraging that behaviour amongst other things. Back then if we didn't have a game we made it ourselves, such as TDs etc, now all they do is cry and complain saying WHY CANTZ I PLAY MY FAVOURITE GAME!? And expect someone else to make it for them.

This is a really bad attitude to have, its almost like going to the toystore and buying lego, only to cry and have your dad build it for you so you can smash it up and be bored if it within minutes and go onto wanting something else.

Once you add this into the fact that yes, for a very long time we were fighting a flawed system (popularity), and simply how long it takes to do anything in the editor then you can understand why very few people will invest their time developing games for whiny kids. If the community as a whole would act better (not that it ever would, this is Battle.net after all), then I believe at lot more of the older generations would be willing to create games just for the younger generations to play.

Just take a look at the hatred for Diablo III. Yes, Blizzard did numerous things that were against common sense and were a huge oversight, the same as they did for Starcraft II, but as always they are improving these less-than-optimal decisions yet they get nothing but hate in return. Very few people ever thank them for everything they do for us, and instead that sense of entitlement creeps its ugly head up again.

I for one think the popularity system is needed (as in any other game platform - steam, iOS etc). It is not Blizzard's fault if the masses don't click on Browse All, and it is common sense not to reverse the order as all it does is stagnants the list with games people simply do not want to play.
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As I have stated numerous times before the issue is no longer the popularity system but rather the player base - they are at fault.


FINALLY, someone with his head screwed on tight. I completely agree with what Dogmai has brought up. I've already known this about half a year after SC2 was released - there is something seriously wrong with the player mentality of the majority of SC2 players. Aside from the issues Dogmai highlighted, majority of sc2 custom map players are simply too lazy or outright refuse to play anything more complicated than Star Battle(with one exception to the rule). They expect that everything MUST be easy to learn and anything that has the potential to make their head hurt(even though it may only be for the first try) are immediately dismissed as a boring/complex/difficult game, and refuse to play it thereafter.

The crux of the matter is, the vast majority of the popular games you see have either one of the following qualifications: They're either really easy to play(as mentioned above), or have already been famous before their creation on SC2(Case in point: Mafia; it's by no means a simple game, but because players already know the game from its real life counterpart, learning the extended rules became much easier). And as Dogmai pointed out, nearly everything in the popular list are either ports of games from SC1/WCIII or are just really simple games that any kid can understand.
Edited by Kildare on 10/11/2012 4:00 PM PDT
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I have to agree -- I never had any ideas about stopping Nexus Wars from being popular or played a lot.

The failing of the old system that I hoped would be fixed was the difficulty in playing a map that wasn't already popular -- there was nothing wrong with having maps like Nexus Wars be popular and high on the list so long as it doesn't prevent you from playing other maps.

The old system did. The new one? Speaking from my experience, my own map which was never played before, half finished, and was pretty crappy I've been able to play with a full house any time I want, just by hosting it on the list. Sure, it takes time and patience sometimes and the system could still be improved, but it fixed what I felt was the main issue.

I would not want the opposite effect to occur, myself -- you can play new maps, but the system prevents you from playing Nexus Wars if you so desire.

Again -- the custom map system can still use improvement, but I see it as a significant improvement over the old one. I am grateful they went through the trouble of completely revising that entire are of Battle.net. I can host whatever I want and play it, and peacefully ignore Nexus Wars and all of the people who like it. (Not to pick on Nexus Wars specifically)
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@Dogmai:

10/11/2012 05:55 AMPosted by Dogmai
This is a really bad attitude to have, its almost like going to the toystore and buying lego, only to cry and have your dad build it for you so you can smash it up and be bored if it within minutes and go onto wanting something else.


Ouch, that sounds disturbing...

**the following is ignorable**
Ya know, I did have the idea of boycotting WOW for the purpose of either guaranteeing improvement in SC2 or something else crazy like that, but like I said, its crazy, if not insane.
**done w/ craziness again**

Just take a look at the hatred for Diablo III. ... Very few people ever thank them for everything they do for us, and instead that sense of entitlement creeps its ugly head up again.


The other thing there is, they were comparing D3 with D2 with all the awesome stuff, not D2 way before its expansion. What gives? D3 is perfectly fine compared to D2 pre-expansion in the 1 player sense.

@Kildare:

10/11/2012 07:24 AMPosted by Kildare
They expect that everything MUST be easy to learn and anything that has the potential to make their head hurt(even though it may only be for the first try) are immediately dismissed as a boring/complex/difficult game, and refuse to play it thereafter.


Wait a sec! I find squadron hard to learn! shouldn't there be more less than 5 star ratings for it? Oh wait, Dogmai said it's ported from WC3 so people auto-like it...

still..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

@TheSkunk:

10/11/2012 08:37 AMPosted by TheSkunk
I never had any ideas about stopping Nexus Wars from being popular or played a lot.


I fully understand you want other games emphasized, and less emphasis on playing Nexus and other overly popular stuff.

Its the fact that Squadren is BAD (imo) that bugs me.

10/11/2012 08:37 AMPosted by TheSkunk
The failing of the old system that I hoped would be fixed was the difficulty in playing a map that wasn't already popular


Well, its semi fixed thanks to "up and coming," but "fun or not" could use an upgrade, such as choosing which genre of custom game you're randomed into.

10/11/2012 08:37 AMPosted by TheSkunk
my own map which was never played before, half finished, and was pretty crappy I've been able to play with a full house any time I want, just by hosting it on the list.


Yeah, I'd dare say "God bless the open games section (not intending to bring up religion)." To bad lobbies that are open for a long time don't get "starred" or something... Other than that, being able to find open games that I have bookmarked quickly is epic, I use it just about every time I play customs.

This looks like good discussion. Anyone else have ideas on moving emphasis to worthy games, other than "up and coming," featuring, and fixing "fun or not?"

Edit: Quick thought of something: Do you (or other MVPs) help Blizzard decide what gets featured Skunk?
Edited by Setho on 10/11/2012 11:19 AM PDT
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MVP - StarCraft
Posts: 8,555
Edit: Quick thought of something: Do you (or other MVPs) help Blizzard decide what gets featured Skunk?

No, not at all. In fact, I recall Deletarius mentioning in the Mapster IRC that even he was not involved in the process.
Edited by TheSkunk on 10/11/2012 11:22 AM PDT
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10/11/2012 11:22 AMPosted by TheSkunk
Edit: Quick thought of something: Do you (or other MVPs) help Blizzard decide what gets featured Skunk?

No, not at all. In fact, I recall Deletarius mentioning in the Mapster IRC that even he was not involved in the process.


hm... :\

Well, I hope blizzard considers/has considered asking guys like you for tips on featuring stuff.
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MVP - StarCraft
Posts: 8,555
They don't come too us asking about anything, nor do we really participate in deciding anything -- but I guess I could try recommending a map and see how it goes.

I haven't been playing a ton of customs lately, though, so none come to mind at the moment anyway.
Edited by TheSkunk on 10/11/2012 12:06 PM PDT
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Guys I know from personal experience StarCraft 2 has had, and still has to a degree, people that are capable of learning more complicated content. I know this because Fate of the Empire tends to draw those types to it.

The problem is Blizzards lack of doing anything to fix the popularity system for well over a year convinced most of these players that StarCraft 2 was a write-off and almost all of them left.

Yes the player base for any Blizzard game is abnormally stupid in many cases. But don't judge it as even being an overwhelming majority until we get some players back.

The world is full of stupid people - get used to it. Warcraft 3 had its share of those people too. But there were enough players around to saturate the system. Nearly all types of maps could find players in WarCraft 3 and StarCraft 1.

Many of us tend to forget though that complex maps didn't fare much better in WarCraft 3 (Such complexity was nearly impossible in SC1's editor). People tried things like "division" system for wargame maps that tended to make people's heads explode. Games and maps that are easy to learn but hard to master always had the biggest player bases. DotA was hard to learn because of a horrible player base (trolls abound) not because the concepts were difficult. It was a little bit harder to master though. Civilization Wars is a good example. That game was very easy to learn but it took a bit of skill and common sense to get really good at it. World of Tanks is extremely easy to learn but to master it you need to learn the weak spots and strengths of almost 100 separate tanks.

Blizzard, however, seems inclined to let the whole mess sit where it is. Yes HotS Beta is out right now, yes the world tournament for melee is going on now but that doesn't mean that the community managers can't take half a day (its only html right?) to put together a nice email showing off the arcade.

This is a situation where only Blizzard can really inject new energy and life into the community. Only Blizzard, at this point, can break, as has been pointed out many times, the paradox of mappers and players. Which came first? The answer: "the maker" eg. Blizzard.

They don't seem to like doing 2 things at once though. I highly suspect most of what is going on these forums is being almost completely ignored either for good or until after the tournament and HotS's release (and if you are a dev or community manager who actually read this whole thread for god's sake just put a simple post saying "we've read the thread" if nothing else. The last thing that will do the custom map player base any good will be players and mappers thinking they are being ignored).
Edited by FockeWulf on 10/11/2012 1:43 PM PDT
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I wouldn't call the playerbase bad, it's just that the mappers died out before the problem was fixed. Mafia can be utterly confusing to most people on its first play and it's in the Top 10.

The system still certainly does funnel players into the most popular maps still, but it's not as bad as it was before, but at least in WC3 you could have your map on the "top 10" list for a moment, and then just refresh your game too and voila you're back.

So honestly this is the most we're probably ever going to get out of Blizzard in regards to the custom map system, someone just really dropped the ball on UI, but it's at least workable now, now the nonexistent mappers need to step up.
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EagleMan

I wouldn't call the playerbase bad, it's just that the mappers died out before the problem was fixed. Mafia can be utterly confusing to most people on its first play and it's in the Top 10.


The crux of the matter is, the vast majority of the popular games you see have either one of the following qualifications: They're either really easy to play(as mentioned above), or have already been famous before their creation on SC2(Case in point: Mafia; it's by no means a simple game, but because players already know the game from its real life counterpart, learning the extended rules became much easier).


Not to mention there was also a WCIII version for it.
Edited by Kildare on 10/11/2012 4:00 PM PDT
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Lots of good reading in this thread, thanks for the posts guys :)

For me the peak of War3 maps was 2003-2005... just before DOTA took over 90% of the listings lol. So much fun just looking at the lobby and picking random stuff all of the time.

It's been over 2 years now; we should be at what was War3's golden era imo. I think it boils down to these things ultimately:

  • 1. The editor is a lot more complex (which is a god-send for advanced mappers though). However, even making a unit for your basic TD takes a long time. And in addition, it's pretty easy to screw up or end up with a half-assed unit (ie you didn't hook up every animation/sound/visual). In War3 it was simpler, and so, people could churn stuff out at a faster rate and at a higher quality.
  • 2. Regarding higher quality, it was also that War3 gave you a LOT more base spells, models, systems, etc... I'm not sure if the editor has changed, but look at how much work it takes to make a simple hero.
  • 3. Many mappers in SC2 came STRAIGHT from SC1, and had skipped War3. They were lacking in knowledge of how Blizz's newer editors work, and this discouraged many of them or led to sub-par maps until they got more experienced.
  • 4. Of course Battle.net played a factor. I, myself, had popular maps... and yes it's rewarding when you're at the top, but at the same time I wished I could just host and test freely like in War 3. And as a player I MUCH MUCH preferred war3 simply because I could host Line Tower Wars if I felt like it and fill it up right away. Again though, I'm basing this on Battle.net before SC2 patch 1.5.
  • 5. SC2 itself is a more simple game than War3 (in my opinion). Just the nature of heroes and spells makes War3 a lot more rich in features to play with and base off of. SC2 lends itself more to "massing" or "defense" games.

Well, I'll leave it at that. These are my observations after the crazy mapping and Youtube ride I had for 1.5 years with this game. I am definitely interested in what other people have to say too...
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Those mappers that are left have been getting better and are making better spells etc... But there are too few of us left and a map simply takes too long to make to saturate the list.

Here is what it comes down to at this point I think: We can talk about this until the sun falls. At this point only Blizzard can really make anything happen now and they don't seem inclined to further action. I personally hope it comes to bite them in the *** but that is not a guarantee.

One thing I've noticed is that although mappers seem to be checking back, they don't seem inclined to make maps anymore.
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We are only getting to the stage now where the "advanced" projects are nearing completition, in time for the first Expansion pack. When compared to Wc3 then we are indeed at roughly the same rate (Dota got released before the Expansion, but didn't get high popularity until after with Guinsoo's Allstars).

Onetwo basically hit it on the head with his points. The editor is a lot more complex and is what we asked for, for years. However, it also has a very high learning curve for Data (which is what most noobs want to do). Scripting is scripting and never changes, the addition of native local variables in the GUI, Structs and GUI Functions are highly appreciated changes and very easy to master.

Quality takes time, especially with a more advanced editor - it pushes the bar higher about what is acceptable and what is not. At this moment we have seen nearly no really polished maps, Smashcraft is one that comes to mind, and even then it is a year old, as well as Mafia.

People have no interest in polishing their projects because there has never been a hugely successful polished project at the top of the custom list. (Mafia doesn't count because its a Niche market using base assets). Look at Kobold Tribes ... it is a really polished map in terms of the marketplace right now, but it is no where near what it could be with even a few extra days of work. Custom UI is the biggest asset we have in distinquishing ourselves, and it is dead stupid easy to do, but no one has written _good_ tutorials on how to do it.

People never stop and think that hey, things like Desert Strike, all the TDs, Survival Games - they don't need the default Sc2 UI. The Default Sc2 UI is an ugly reminder of the past, it wastes a lot of space, and whilst it was really cool on a 4x3 screen because it turned the game into a widescreen aspect, now when nearly everybody uses widescreen monitors already, it just takes up too much real estate on the screen.

Once we get a really polished project at the very top of the popularity list, we might see things start to change. I have very little doubt that if Dryeyece and I "remade" quite a few of the top played maps, things like Desert Strike, Survival, Phantom Mode, etc - to our level of polish. We found find that people would quickly flock to them and then the market would start to turn and refuse to play unpolished projects. We need to raise the bar - but the problem is that at this moment the resources are not there to allow people to follow us.

Even if we talk about some of the top skilled developers; say Mephs and Onetwo, you guys could not push out the same level of polish as we could, in the same amount of time. This is simply because we have invested thousands upon thousands of hours into learning the editor. Not everyone can take 2 years out of their lives to work on a single project, and it has been hard, really hard, on our relationships with family etc.

At the same time I at least, want to really get my knowledge out there and help the community grow as a whole ... but will I simply have the time to give away my knowledge for free? I know my family does not want me to create tutorials because they have seen how hard I have worked on Tofu and they know my history with people with "borrowing" my ideas *cough*icefrog*cough*. At the same time that if I was turning over profit (aka, making a living), they support it ... completely.

This is the situation that most of us will find ourselves in. None of the good mappers actually give out their knowledge because they are usually either too busy or don't want to help their competition. The Blizzard developers will give help when they can, but they get paid to do so.

At the end of the day you must know your playerbase as with any game. And as Onetwo summed it up, Sc2 itself is a more simple game than Wc3, and as such, the new generation of Sc2 players do not have the skills to actually comprehend more complicated games.
Edited by Dogmai on 10/11/2012 9:26 PM PDT
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This is the situation that most of us will find ourselves in. None of the good mappers actually give out their knowledge because they are usually either too busy or don't want to help their competition. The Blizzard developers will give help when they can, but they get paid to do so.


*cough* mappers like me *cough*
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Posts: 4,098
Really interesting post Dogmai; I think that note about the bar being raised is quite true. I'm surprised since I've quit that not much has changed. I guess good projects just take insanely long. That Black Mesa mod for HL2 took since 2005 LOL. 7 years.

A friend and I are feeling like the app store has gotten like this too though. We can't find many good games anymore... farmville clones, text-based MMOs, and Angry Birds 14190 are flooding the lists. You have to wonder if the games don't exist or if they're simply buried...

Edit: The good news is I believe there is a hunger for good/fun and different maps. Just gotta get it done and get it on there :)
Edited by Onetwo on 10/11/2012 11:26 PM PDT
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