RFC: Map Rating to Replace Map Categories
Schulz last edited by
@TheDog That's why I am not favour of rating system. Categorizing maps based on era will do just fine.
• A. how & where to manage the map category?
I think @TheDog lists a nice category system that covers most, if not all, possible maps types. Near identical map categorizations to this have been proposed several times before during past “category discussions”. And most old discussions also seemed to judge the current “High Quality” / “Good Quality” categorization as sub-optimal, since good/bad is a matter of subjective opinion, not a universal truth to be given by a moderator, developer or mapmaker.
I would think that Era/Theme categorization keeps getting proposed as it would clearly help the player navigate and explore available maps. Also, if the player already knows what he/she wants to download/play (maybe a specific map) he/she can go straight into the categories and find it in alphabetical order.
Ideally, if the above could be supplemented by a way to sort maps in the category by user rating (1-5 stars?) / number of downloads / number of registered times the map has been played etc. These sorts of ratings would make so much more sense than “High Quality” / “Good Quality”, or any other dictated rating.
As to not purge the map downloads of all in-development, unfinished, broken, forgotten maps, I think it would be wise to keep a category for these maps. Future potential mapmakers could then feel free to follow up on the development or find inspiration, tips and trick etc. Think it is obvious that more map-work end up unfinished then turn into finished maps, but that doesn’t mean that all the unfinished and finished work that needs to go into the dumpster. If a player (maybe wannabe mapmaker) downloads a map from a category maybe named “Unfinished Maps”, there are no expectations that can be broken in regards to quality.
• B. how can map makers be enabled to completely and accurately self manage categories?
Could the map not be “tagged” with some text in the map.yml or map.properties file? I mean if the sounds.properties file can have info like Sound.Default.Folder=generic, then a similar system could maybe give info on the category / categories? Am I right to also assume that tags should not only be used when downloading maps, but also when the player is locally choosing what map to play?
• C. how do new players when looking at the download list know which maps they should try first?
I gave my anser to this during A: Ideally, if the above could be supplemented by a way to sort maps in the category by user rating (1-5 stars?) / number of downloads / number of registered times the map has been played etc. These sorts of rating would make so much more sense than “High Quality” / “Good Quality”, or any other dictated rating.
@TheDog That's why I am not favour of rating system. Categorizing maps based on era will do just fine.
I agree that a dictated rating / pre-given quality stamp is pretty problematic. It would be better to hold off any rating system until it is actually possible for players to rate based of playing experience.
TheDog last edited by
Pretend Im Joe Public, new to Triplea.
Joe wants a WW2 to play the Japanese in WW2.
If we have an Era/Theatre that narrows down his choice.
But as Joe Public is new to TripleA, he wants to be guided to a few maps to try, so 4-5 star maps? Maybe a 3 star if there are no 4-5 stars.
If we dont have a star rating how does Joe Public get what he's after?
He does not want to join the forum, so cant/will not ask a question.
Schulz last edited by Schulz
I think the yaml images are useful for this purpose, I also think the descriptions on the maps should be standardized.
They should be short and give most of the important informations.
For example this description is problematic:
- "By LSSAH
Updated by Veqryn and Redrum
Preindustrial Napoleonic era European conquest
The empires of Europe are at war. The upstart French Republic has followed in the footsteps of their American compatriots across the sea and cast off the trappings of monarchy. Can this new light in Europe survive against a host of squabbling adversaries? Or will it fall victim to its own aspirations for an empire... Will the Russians be forced to sing La Marseillaise? Will the English see the Guillotine raised in Piccadilly? Or will the rule of the monarchs be ensured by the restoration of Louis XVIII to the Parisian throne? "
A new user would learn nothing about the game by reading it. These are good description examples:
"by Sieg Very large WW2 anachronistic map, based primarily on Revised rules, using mostly the New World Order units structure."
"by Frostion This map features 8 Axis and 12 Allied players. Play through WW2 as one or more Axis or Allied powers. Be free of restricting politics and non-aggression pacts. Purchase special units like SS, Colonial troops, Kamikaze plans etc. Keep track of Steel and Fuel income and availability on the map. Make use of the 25 different units this map has to offer. Enjoy custom map sounds and nation specific music. "
I dislike the categorization proposed in the original post; but some other may work.
I'm wondering what would be most useful to users; and I find it's an inherently difficult question. To me, it seems that the users most in need of info on the map repository would be people who don't come to the lobby. For people who come to the lobby, they can ask people there, or simply download copies of whatever they see people playing; and they can learn about new games from others that way as well. But there are some users who never come to the lobby, who only play elsewhere with friends via pbem, or just play vs the ai. It's difficult to know what they need since one hears very little from them. If someone knows which map they want, they should be able to find it very easily for download; is there a list of simply "all maps? Or having that as a category, so those who know exactly what they want can just look up the name. I believe it might be useful to have an "ai playability" notation on maps, to account for some maps having features that the ai doesn't handle well or cannot handle at all.
It seems like one of the core questions on rankings/categories/assignments is whether to go User-based (where all the decisions are based on metrics gathered by users one way or another) or Curated, where community experts make notes as a group. User-based requires less maintenance, as that all gets done by the users themselves over time; while curated needs periodic revision and a process for determining who the experts are and how they decide disputes about ratings. But some things its quite hard to derive data from a user-base for.
It seems like having multiple categorization systems, so people can choose which one is most useful for them, would be good; albeit more work. I'd really like more info though about how different users use the map repository, and would be most useful to them. I wonder if we could make a survey or something and get people to answer it (especially people who don't use the lobby much or at all, though it'd probably take awhile to get info from such people).
One thing I note is that the WW2vX maps are amongst the most recognizable maps, and are played alot, but they often don't have nearly as good balance as some of the other maps nor graphics as good as some of the newer or fancier ones. Yet they clearly should in some sense have a 'high' rating due to their relative import.
alkexr last edited by
I just want to share my take on map categories. I haven't read everything above, so sorry if some of this has already been adressed.
I think the purpose of categories and rating is quite different. Categories offer organization. Rating offers guidance.
I believe that the most active / hardcore players don't need a rating. I periodically read the description of every new map and try the ones that look interesting - regardless of rating. I also follow the forums, so I'm probably going to be aware of any bigger project. A rating system doesn't help me. If anything, it makes me have to check multiple tabs, making the process slightly more inconvenient.
So I think the rating system has to be focused on newer / more casual players, who could be overwhelmed by the ever growing number of maps available. It would make sense to tailor every rating level to the needs of certain groups of players. Something like:
- Five or so of the most commonly played / universally loved maps for those players who just want to get into the game. This should probably be a fixed set and rarely if ever changed. (Think 'High Quality', except less of them.)
- A larger set of good maps for players who want to actively search for maps. This set should probably be curated, maybe by the map admin team. (Think 'Quality'.)
- An even larger set of maps that is considered complete and playable. For those players who don't mind getting their hands slightly messy. (I imagine browsing through this would feel like browsing Roger's collection.)
- Maps that are broken, unfinished, etc. Maps that players simply looking for maps to try shouldn't see. Maps you should download only if you know exactly what you're doing.
I understand that this sort of rating isn't something map-makers can self-designate, but I think roughly these are the categories that are functionally different. A rating that "also looks (relatively) good" just means everyone is going to check both tabs probably, so they might as well be on a single tab.
While rating is helpful when browsing for any kind of new map to try, categories come into play when you're looking for a specific kind of map. There are some things that I absolutely want to know about a map before trying, and some of those can be dealbreakers. Some examples:
- AI compatibility: Some players only play singleplayer or only multiplayer. Maps can be Single-player only (only meant to be played against AI), Fully AI compatible (maps that are enjoyable against AI), Somewhat AI compatible (maps that are technically playable against AI, but it doesn't understand certain features), Not compatible (abstract games).
- Diplomacy: Number of sides and their interactions. Maps can be Two alliances, Multiple alliances (including FFA), Flexible alliances (alliances can change dynamically). Or some better way to split the categories, anyway, you get the idea.
- (something like) Rules complexity: How much time are you willing to spend to learn the rules? Standard WWII style (maps that can be understood easily if you already understand other similar maps), Simple (like Game of Thrones), Average, Complex (like TWW).
These are just some quick ideas. The point is, I think all of the above are more important to know about a map than the 'era'. Also, 'era' is very difficult to categorize, as everyone has very different tastes. Some player can like Star Wars, but no other Sci-Fi, or like playing the Roman Empire but not otherwise interested in pre-modern periods, etc. Also, this can usually already be guessed from the first two seconds of looking at a map in a repository.
Anyway. I don't really have the time to fully flesh out my thoughts, but I think I managed to point out that the discussion seems overly focused on the technicalities of whether WWI and Napoleonic should be the same era and the precise extent to which "looks good" should affect the rating, instead of approaching the problem from the players' side.
@TheDog I am glad you enjoy my postings. Note that I avoid numerical ratings, as my tastes may differ from others.
I suspect that most users download the boardgame conversions and I think that they should have their own category.
I don't think there is any place for broken maps in the repository. If a developer is having a problem with a map, they can zip it up and post it to Google drive where the community can download and help. Even if the map is basically meant as a resource, such as 100 x 100 hex grid, it takes little effort to create a simple scenario to use the resource.