Invest more time in custom maps!

24

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  • develdevel Join Date: 2014-09-13 Member: 198444Members Posts: 352 Advanced user
    edited April 2016
    Do we have automatic replay recording for pubs, so the mappers can just watch and fix?

    Btw, dota2 map details are changed all the time now.
  • DC_DarklingDC_Darkling Join Date: 2003-07-10 Member: 18068Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver Posts: 4,381 Advanced user
    @The_Welsh_Wizard you misunderstood. I have played many a greyscale map and am in fact a big supported of new maps.
    Im just saying there is a difference between balanced and 'not even remotely in a alpha stage ready to play.
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  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 15,780 Advanced user
    devel wrote: »
    Do we have automatic replay recording for pubs, so the mappers can just watch and fix?

    Btw, dota2 map details are changed all the time now.

    The demo recording mode is client side only and has to be started before joining a server, also lacking proper playback function... And I'm not sure it even works anymore...

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  • turtsmcgurtturtsmcgurt Join Date: 2012-11-01 Member: 165456Members, Reinforced - Supporter Posts: 581 Advanced user
    edited April 2016
    It's MUCH easier to make maps in reflex, simply due to the engine.
    because this was hidden in the OP, i'd like to point out exactly how much easier mapping is in Reflex compared to [enter any engine here] for those unaware. yeah it'd be nice if more maps were being made for ns2 quicker, but comparing it to reflex... eh. anybody can pick up reflex and have a full map up and running for playtesting within days.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Brg5eiOzIIU

    tldr you launch a local server (on any map, whether you developed it or not), press the map editor hotkey, then you change the map. move spawns, change geometry, delete, ect, save. you can do this during a live game (if the server allows for it) which makes balancing incredibly easy when you can just get two people to duel as you spectate and implement their suggestions in real time.
  • MoFo1MoFo1 United States Join Date: 2014-07-25 Member: 197612Members Posts: 728 Advanced user
    edited April 2016
    Therius wrote: »
    Some of you are making quite an assumption by saying that veterans boycott less-played maps just because they are not familiar with them, instead of, say, those maps having flaws. You are blaming them for not giving new maps a chance while you, yourselves, are not giving weight to the possibility that those maps are just bad. I'm not here to say which way the truth is, but you are just standing at the opposite extreme of the debate, taking for granted that everything new must be good.

    Yes I'm making that assumption based on the fact that when new maps get released they are written off by the community as bad, unbalanced, or just plain broken within ONE HOUR OF RELEASE!!! When Derelict came out I was so excited to play a new map, that first day I was able to play it ONCE because the community kept saying it was bad. Some people even said they only played half a game on it and thought it was a poorly balanced map... To this day I think I've only been able to play on Derelict a total of maybe 15 times, and most of those have been small games with under 5 players on each team because everyone leaves when it comes up. Tram comes up more in a three hour gaming session than Derelict will in 3 weeks.

    Same with Eclipse.. it got released and the VERY FIRST GAME I played after the patch went live people were voting to change the map because it was "unbalanced" It's IMPOSSIBLE to know whether a map is "balanced" or not with only ONE game played on it. Veterans just instantly write them off because they don't know the sight lines/ambush points.

    Also I haven't seen anyone say a new map is good simply because it is new. That is a ridiculous notion. I think most of us would just like the chance to actually TRY some of the new maps before they're disregarded as trash by the veterans in the community.

    Edit: It also gets really really really REALLY old playing the same maps over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over... Even if they have some "flaws" they're still worth playing... especially since the more they're played the higher the chance of said "flaws" being fixed.

    ReapMyster wrote: »
    Maybe Biodome and Descent get some playtime but you'd be lucky to get a single Derelict game a night.

    Actually you'd be lucky to get a single game on Derelict in a week of playing NS2 every day.
  • EastwoodEastwood BAVARIA Join Date: 2013-02-06 Member: 182861Members, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 16 Fully active user
    Can we please get ns2_discovery
  • ZavaroZavaro Tucson, Arizona Join Date: 2005-02-14 Member: 41174Members, Super Administrators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver, Subnautica Playtester, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Posts: 756 admin
    edited April 2016
    On mapping limits:

    I agree with @Howser that those limitations are hugely problematic for balance. The cysting (which includes pathing) and wall jumping in particular play a huge role in how to design rooms and hallways and everything else. Power nodes are much less limiting, but regardless, they exist to limit players and in turn limit us mappers. The other issue is that if you make sweeping balance changes, people freak out. They always do.

    In addition, I have a feeling that those with the power to change these things are not willing to make those changes because of the time and effort involved testing and balancing around that. Plus, think of the crap storm it would cause?

    On feedback:
    migalski wrote: »
    Many competitive players who know how the game generally flows give input. With maps for pubs, many may give feedback on how to balance maps but don't necessarily know how the game flows. This can lead to badly balanced maps and very few individuals want to play those.

    First off, I wouldn't discount what a pub player had to say concerning a new map. I think taking what nearly everyone had to say about a map with a grain of salt is the best method, especially given that everyone in this community loves hyperbole (myself included). Most people, comp players included, have a terrible ability to judge a map's quality and playability.

    Much of what goes into making a map is continuing to make your map regardless of what people (comp or pub or otherwise) say. While @malx was creating Nexus the feedback we were getting from players was terrible, most of them suggesting that a two lane center was impossible to balance. Most people hated the map, immediately calling it either "impossibly marine sided" or "impossibly alien sided." These types of comments still exist today, but are less common as now the map has found it's "balance" in the community discussion.

    Quite frankly, the map never changed much from the initial push (which had a near finished layout) on the comp community, so the comment that it is more "balanced" now is probably pretty off base. People just eventually warmed up to it, which again, happened with Veil and Descent.

    Frankly, players that play in large servers with varying levels of game sense will likely have a better time on maps like Refinery, then things like Veil. You're not going to have to deal with the hassle of the teamwork required to retake Nanogrid for the 8000th match in a row. Comp players won't have a great time on Refinery in a 6v6, but those reasons are known, and you don't need a ridiculously large map pool for that.

    Cool map balance factoid: Before NS2stats had shut down, Kodiak had one of the most even rates of alien and marine wins in terms of public game balance.

    In addition, maps which are played in the graybox stages are judged right then and there. They have no textures, they have no anything! It must suck. And then the RTV happens. Mappers have a tough time dealing with that crap. In SCC, even, people will join and instantly try to change the map to Veil or Summit, it's hilarious and also quite sad.

    On Eclipse:
    The feedback most people provide to mappers anywhere, regardless of game is "oh this looks nice", "there's a hole here", "this tiny insignificant detail is upside down".
    Finding the people to say "The design of room X means that a skulk can constantly harass without any repercussion" is few and far between. Because of that the majority of levels that have arisen outside of UWE (and even a few from within) just don't stack up to the scrutiny of average players, let alone good ones.

    Although saying that when people have tried to provide that level of feedback, the people making the map dismiss it because only very few people even bring those points up. Once the map releases and no one is playing it it's too late to really fix anything, see Eclipse, Kodiak, Derelict.

    Looking through the old files of Eclipse (of which there are a couple hundred), there was definitely some strong changes (with the commentary tacked on with each revision stating "for easier harassment" and things) happening during development, but they eventually lead to the hallway.level with Marine RTs that are miles away, terrible LOS rooms that funnel aliens in poor ways and corners that make fighting fades miserable that we have today.

    The map was comprised of mostly the same layout with some strong differences: There weren't a million long, narrow hallways, and the rooms actually had medium to high ceilings with some combat space. I'm not sure where that disconnect came about, but it did in the last few months of overwriting the graybox rooms.
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  • EastwoodEastwood BAVARIA Join Date: 2013-02-06 Member: 182861Members, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 16 Fully active user
    edited April 2016
    Loki wrote: »
    The main reason mappers wont redesign a finished room is time, there is no point, we aint getting anything out of it.

    Wait wait, you never change room layouts when they turn out to be shite??
  • ZavaroZavaro Tucson, Arizona Join Date: 2005-02-14 Member: 41174Members, Super Administrators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver, Subnautica Playtester, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Posts: 756 admin
    edited April 2016
    judging from lokis reply that's down to the fact the map testing team is filled with casual players.

    It's filled with players from all brackets, pub or comp, mapper or player. They are made up of volunteers, as is playtesting.
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  • LokiLoki Join Date: 2012-07-07 Member: 153973Members, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Posts: 564 mod
    edited April 2016
    @Cr4zyb4st4rd err no there is no arrogance here, I dont expect my map to be perfect or have perfect rooms. The three maps you mentioned yes got redesigned but they were all done BEFORE the game got its official release, BEFORE people got tired / bored, it happend with the backing of a working full time dev team, lots and lots more players giving feedback while in alpha / beta. Lots of old ns1 players, full EU and NA teams also guessing map testing aswell. YOU can not compare the two. Had kodiak and derelict been made during this time would they had been changed a lot if it did not work? yes ofc they would.

    @eastwood yes ofc I do
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  • Cr4zyb4st4rdCr4zyb4st4rd United Kingdom Join Date: 2012-08-09 Member: 155200Members, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Gold, Reinforced - Diamond, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 210 Fully active user
    edited April 2016
    Zavaro wrote: »
    In addition, maps which are played in the graybox stages are judged right then and there. They have no textures, they have no anything! It must suck. And then the RTV happens. Mappers have a tough time dealing with that crap. In SCC, even, people will join and instantly try to change the map to Veil or Summit, it's hilarious and also quite sad.

    Casual players not wanting to play a greybox isn't unusual at all though. SCC is still a public server and casual players, with no care about a greybox map are gonna vote to change map, its easier than finding a new server with players after all.

    It's not common in anygame for greyboxes to be played unless people know what they're getting into.

    As for kodiak. I don't know what went wrong, but clearly something did.
    Zavaro wrote: »
    judging from lokis reply that's down to the fact the map testing team is filled with casual players.

    It's filled with players from all brackets, pub or comp, mapper or player. They are made up of volunteers, as is playtesting.

    I should have said "active players".
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 15,780 Advanced user
    I still find it fascinating maps like cp_orange on TF2 are popular, orangeboxing so to speak :D

    Also greyboxing is only handy for laning and layout testing, a map changes a lot when props/geometry and lighting is added. Usually causing the base greybox layout to have to be redesigned as well. But it is a good starting point in any case...

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  • TheriusTherius Join Date: 2009-03-06 Member: 66642Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Supporter Posts: 750 Advanced user
    MoFo1 wrote: »
    Same with Eclipse.. it got released and the VERY FIRST GAME I played after the patch went live people were voting to change the map because it was "unbalanced" It's IMPOSSIBLE to know whether a map is "balanced" or not with only ONE game played on it. Veterans just instantly write them off because they don't know the sight lines/ambush points.

    There are a lot of people who could write you a very long and detailed post about what's wrong with eclipse/kodiak/derelict, and it has nothing to do with not knowing all the nooks and crannies by heart. They could do this within their very first games because they have such experience and grasp of the game that you might not realise or understand. You're making a huge strawman by assuming that their peeves are all things that would go away by just playing the map more.

    I'm sure there are a lot of people who you could justifiably blame for disregarding new maps without further thought, but be assured that there are a lot of good reasons veterans have to not like certain maps. Look at Biodome, for example, it's still played a lot (even if not as much as the core maps) because it is not AS fundamentally flawed as many other maps.
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  • IeptBarakatIeptBarakat The most difficult name to speak ingame. Join Date: 2009-07-10 Member: 68107Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Diamond, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 2,679 Advanced user
    If there isn't as much interest in doing new maps, hopefully someone can give some of the older maps a visual update. As time goes on performance should be less of an issue and we have some maps that look really stale in comparison to the newer stuff, like Summit for example. (competitive screaming in the distance)
  • LocklearLocklear [nexzil]kerrigan Join Date: 2012-05-01 Member: 151403Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 1,337 Advanced user
    As time goes on performance should be less of an issue and

    "should"
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  • IeptBarakatIeptBarakat The most difficult name to speak ingame. Join Date: 2009-07-10 Member: 68107Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Diamond, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 2,679 Advanced user
    Locklear wrote: »
    As time goes on performance should be less of an issue and

    "should"

    Engine shenanigans and future hardware design changes notwithstanding. :tongue: (As in the Crysis 1 situation)
  • IronHorseIronHorse Developer, QA Manager, Technical Support & contributor Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71669Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester, Subnautica PT Lead, Pistachionauts Posts: 8,191 admin
    People can say "Maybe they aren't liked because they aren't good enough" etc.. but for those of us who have been around from the beginning we know this isn't the case. It's at least not the default assumption that should occur.
    Every single map was disliked upon released, even if it eventually became a standard.
    Every single map, except Summit.

    This is only because Summit was the only "playable" map (atrium and datacore still had issues tho) compared to Rockdown - which wasn't really a map - and Tram which was getting constant redesigns and suffered huge performance issues (anyone remember the crane prop in Shipping?), or the god awfully balanced mineshaft. So this meant everyone played Summit pretty much all the time... for.. years. When balance changes were tested they were done so on summit.. hell, we still do that today! So between shaping the balance and design of the game and getting the most playtime /refinement, it should come as no surprise that it is the golden "wagon wheel" design that fits best with NS2, and is the most loved.. because it is familiar and polished.

    But does that mean others like Veil aren't any good? God no.. it's finally one of the standards.
    Was it well received when released? God no.. it was hated, everything from performance to vents, to room layouts, to confusing Y junction navigating.
    You can apply that same trend of questioning and answers for every map ever released.. and the only variance in results is whether the map ever makes it out of the unfavorable zone.
    Making it out of that zone is determined largely on major published changes - IF they are truly needed. If they are not, small tweaks or time appears to heals all wounds.

    Annnndd that's where the badly needed and lack of useful feedback comes into play.
    I watched @Loki pull his hair out for so many months requesting feedback on Derelict when it was young, to only receive real vocal and willing feedback on the week it was going to be released. Some of this feedback even went so far as to suggest complete overhauls. Where were was this feedback during the 8 months of development? Why don't players care until it's too late?

    To me it all seems like painting in the dark... and the automatic success of your map (when it does not require major changes) is purely lightning in a bottle, thanks to the quality and amount of feedback provided.
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  • AeglosAeglos Join Date: 2010-04-06 Member: 71189Members Posts: 622 Advanced user
    Wasn't Veil saved by Gorgeous? Maybe a third of the games on Veil are aliens just turtling on the nano tunnel before lifeforms. There was also the direct route from east junction to dome which got removed.

    But yes, quality of maps is overrated. Docking is still wildly popular, as is mineshaft.

    @Zavaro Hated in past tense? Hmm?
  • SantaClawsSantaClaws Denmark Join Date: 2012-07-31 Member: 154491Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,082 Advanced user
    It's MUCH easier to make maps in reflex, simply due to the engine.
    because this was hidden in the OP, i'd like to point out exactly how much easier mapping is in Reflex compared to [enter any engine here] for those unaware. yeah it'd be nice if more maps were being made for ns2 quicker, but comparing it to reflex... eh. anybody can pick up reflex and have a full map up and running for playtesting within days.

    See, Again, this wasn't my objective with my post. I'm acknowledging that it's easier to make maps in reflex, but what my focus was on, is the players attitude towards new maps.

    How easy it is to make new maps, is irrelevant in this light. Well, I suppose it might be easier to implement feedback in reflex. But the underlying issue, I find, is the negative attitude. So that's why it was "hidden". Because it's really not what I wanted to focus on in this discussion.

    There are plenty of posts about map editor tools. But there aren't very many tackling the negative attitude and refusal to play on custom maps. That is what I wanted to talk about, but unfortunately this thread has already been derailed in to the hardships of mapediting.

    I chose Reflex as an example, to show how a community of gamers can reinforce and appreciate their map creators. Not to compare shortcomings in the map editors.
  • NordicNordic Long term camping in Kodiak Join Date: 2012-05-13 Member: 151995Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,771 Advanced user
    It is not just maps. It is game modes. It is nothing new. It is just NS culture, or at least what it became, as far as I am concerned. I would enjoy it changing, but I would enjoy a lot of things.
    From my perspective UWE has been trying to both with what little resources they have given to the game. They don't have an AAA budget, let alone an indie game budget. They have the budget of a game that has been out 6 years. I want to say, don't half ass two things, whole ass one thing. I just don't think they have the resources to do it. Unlike many of the people on the forums, I guess I am just happy they are at least trying even though I may not like what they end up doing.
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  • SantaClawsSantaClaws Denmark Join Date: 2012-07-31 Member: 154491Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,082 Advanced user
    edited April 2016
    Therius wrote: »
    MoFo1 wrote: »
    Same with Eclipse.. it got released and the VERY FIRST GAME I played after the patch went live people were voting to change the map because it was "unbalanced" It's IMPOSSIBLE to know whether a map is "balanced" or not with only ONE game played on it. Veterans just instantly write them off because they don't know the sight lines/ambush points.

    There are a lot of people who could write you a very long and detailed post about what's wrong with eclipse/kodiak/derelict, and it has nothing to do with not knowing all the nooks and crannies by heart. They could do this within their very first games because they have such experience and grasp of the game that you might not realise or understand. You're making a huge strawman by assuming that their peeves are all things that would go away by just playing the map more.

    I'm sure there are a lot of people who you could justifiably blame for disregarding new maps without further thought, but be assured that there are a lot of good reasons veterans have to not like certain maps. Look at Biodome, for example, it's still played a lot (even if not as much as the core maps) because it is not AS fundamentally flawed as many other maps.
    That's very interesting. See, I look at it as, biodome Works, precisely because it is inherently familiar. I think biodome is a perfect example of demonstrating the point you're arguing against. Biodome Works, because it's in many ways a summit clone, not because it isn't flawed.

    New ideas are treated as poison, biodome is played, because it's a familiar idea.

    I'm curious if by "fundamentally flawed", you really mean "not wagon Wheel shaped", given the one and only example you provide?
    Post edited by SantaClaws on
  • TheriusTherius Join Date: 2009-03-06 Member: 66642Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Supporter Posts: 750 Advanced user
    Wagon wheel is what works due to the many controversial and limiting design choices the devs have made, which mainly include the cyst system and a non-fixed marine spawn. But it's not saying it's the only thing that works. Veil is not a wagon wheel (even though someone here tried to sell it as such) and it works. It has a fixed marine spawn, which allows the map to be non-symmetrical. Eclipse has nothing inherently wrong with the spirit of its layout (though there are problems), it's more hated because of feeling claustrophobic and cluttered. Jambi is perhaps the best example of an unorthodox map design closer to the spirit of old NS1 maps, and its considered a good map even for competitive play.
  • develdevel Join Date: 2014-09-13 Member: 198444Members Posts: 352 Advanced user
    Textures are too good on the current maps. Pubs can't handle greyboxes.

    Maybe introducing one extremely simple and silly map like tf2_orange can change the attitude.
  • RevanCoranaRevanCorana Join Date: 2015-08-14 Member: 207125Members Posts: 571 Advanced user
    Loki wrote: »
    Ironically kodiak when released pretty much had a 49.6 to 50.4 win loss /ratio for marines / aliens which was much better than the popular maps and jambi (using uwe`s sponitor data).

    Never understood the hate for Kodiak. It looks really good and original (trees, water, open ceiling), kinda reminds me of the movie Predator.
    It also plays differently (maybe too much for some people) since some areas are not enclosed by walls, and the tech point layout which I guess could be called a mix of Veil and Summit.
    Great map 10/10 vote Kodiak folks.
    coolitic
  • LokiLoki Join Date: 2012-07-07 Member: 153973Members, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Posts: 564 mod
    edited April 2016
    I am all for supporting the creation of new maps. Anyone who is making them needs to join the SCC on sundays 8pm gmt we tend to spend around 2 hours playing on various custom maps gathering feedback / thoughts. Its a shame there are not more groups doing this as I am sure it could help spur on maps and other mappers.

    In the end more games = more feedback = better maps

    As it stands the playbase of NS2 does not really want to invest time in playing a early version map that could end up being inherently fair and if they do more often than not the resulting feedback is "bad map" thats it. That is not much to go off when designing maps.

    Kodiak was an attempt at trying to get away from the wagon wheel layout aka Techpoint Res Node Techpoint Res Node Techpoint Res Node Techpoint Res Node layout.
    Creator of ns2 Kodiak, ns2 Derelict, ns2_Undercity, ns2 Discovery, sws ctf Eden , ls_hera, ls_storm, ls_frost, ls_troopers and undertaking the remake of ns2 Shiva and ns2 Ayumi ns2_hera(maps currently on hold)
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  • FrozenFrozen New York, NY Join Date: 2010-07-02 Member: 72228Members, Constellation Posts: 1,479 Advanced user
    I never even played eclipse after compmod came out. We all might be surprised, but of course we might not
    mattji104
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