Columns - NQR Staff  

  NQR and Maps  030328  
Link wrote an article about the map issue

Vertigo wrote a nice article, talked some about maps, and that started some discussions about the neverending map-issue. So, I thought I should write this article, so that we can get the participating clans in NQR4 to comment on how they feel about it. And if you don?t comment on it, then I guess you don?t care about it enough, in other words; same shit for you on what maps that will be in NQR5.

The big three maps; e1m2-dm2-dm3, are by definition standard 4on4 maps in QW 4on4, no matter if you think the maps suck or not, they have been standard since 1997 and therefore everyone accept that. The question is what maps we want in addition to that. NQR will not ever be big three only, so don?t even bother to whine about that please, because it is not an issue and is not valuable feedback, it is just waste of time. I hope someone could start a Villains/SD tournament thing with the big three only that would be as consistent as NQR is, that would be an asset to the QW scene, a kind of ?classic? qw tournament, lets hope someone does that in the future, I know many ppl would like that.

What I want to ppl to discuss in the comments here, are what kind of maps do we want in NQR, and how many. Do we want to keep the current eXmX maps that are in the map pool, or do want to remove some of them?or all of them? (not talking about e1m2, coz that map is described as one of the big three). And what about the CMT maps? Do we want them in NQR? If yes, do we want all of them or just some of them?

Even if I personally very much enjoy and like to play lots of eXmX maps, I have to say that the CMT maps really are better maps for 4on4 than eXmX. I even think they are superior to e1m2 and dm2. But because e1m2 and dm2 have been played for 6 years, a lot of ppl will of course just laugh of that, for obvious mapknowledge reasons.

I just want to reflect on a couple of things on the CMT maps?think about this for a moment;

Do you really think that ID Software knew how to make a map for 4on4 back in 1996, with the latest year?s gameplay and development?

Then you ask yourself this as well;

Well, many ppl started to make new maps and have done so since 1997, so why the hell didn?t ppl start to play more custom maps like they did in Q2, Q3A or any other FPS for that matter?

Well, that?s a couple of good questions. The first one I would like to say a defiantly NO to, anyone who actually believes that ID Software knew how to make good 4on4 team deathmatch map back in the spring of 1996 have to be pretty naive, sorry for saying so. I would say that dm3 was a pretty lucky shot in the dark :) Still though they made a lot of quality single player maps, who had many nice designed areas to execute thrilling gameplay on, and that?s why I think some of them are very much enjoyed by players, because it also translates to be thrilling in a 4on4 combat situation, not only gibbing monsters.

The second question is a little more difficult to answer, but I can give you an answer based on my own experience. I think that one major reason for custom maps not making it to the mainstream of qw?ers is simply because that mappers in general just don?t know how to make a good 4on4 tdm map. There is one well known and respected mapper I once talked too, that gave me the following rant;

well, you don?t know how to make a map do you? So let the ppl who know how to make maps make maps, and you just play and stfu

gg :)

I think a lot of mappers also work kind of like ?artists? and give their own personal touch on it, and of course gets proud of their work. I am not sure if this is the correct way to make a good 4on4 map. Another reason is of course how you make coverage for a map, in other words; how do you sell it to the players? The CMT project started out with me looking at like 200 custom maps, downloaded from various sites. And of all of those maps, I really could only see one single map with potential, namely Andromeda Nine, that we converted into cmt4. One map out of 200, ok, now we might understand better why no customs made it.

So, after 6 years of gameplay and experience, we worked with 4 mappers, who each produced one map each. But the good thing about the CMT project was that during the making of these maps, people who actually is hardcore 4on4 players and play 4on4 a lot, had something to say about it. I think this is an important factor for making a good 4on4 map. I also think that the CMT league proved that these maps in fact are what they were supposed to be; good 4on4 maps.

The CMT tournament even got top elite clans to more or less accept these maps as good 4on4 maps. That has to be at least something in our very conservative qw 4on4 world. And when you look at maps as e1m2 and dm2, compared to the CMT maps, then at least I understand what ppl whine about when it comes to new maps, it is in fact not that the new maps are bad, it is the little knowledge about them that is bad. A good example here is of course Paradoks who took his first look at cmt1 and said; ?this map sucks?. Now Paradoks says; ?this map was made for me? (forgive me Para) :D

So it?s all about attitude.

The CMT league gave the following feedback;

Cmt2?Cmt3?Cmt4 stays as they are.
Cmt1?Cmt5 need some adjustments (cmt1 at quad, cmt5 is a little big).

This is the feedback we wanted, and that we got, thanks to everyone who played CMT maps seriously!

Ok, enough promotion on the CMT maps :)

The eXmX maps are also a bit popular, in fact here are all the teams in NQR4, and the maps they have chosen to play, as home map or choice of map for the day, when half the season have past for many clans:

The Axemen - e1m5
Civil Disobedience - e2m2
JAMS - e2m7
EarthQuake - e2m7
The Fighting Foes - e2m7
PsychoHaloons Crew - e3m2 + e3m3
Beastie Boys - e3m2 + e2m7
Quake-o-holics - e3m3
Swedish Super Cops - e3m3
OLW - e3m3
Osams - e3m3
Hell Patrol - e3m6
FUDOH - e3m7
FNU - e3m7

So, only 2 maps remaining in the map pool has yet to be played; e1m6 and e3m1. Before the season started I did not think those two maps would be played very much either. I thought that maybe Gamblers would play e1m6 as usual, but they died as a clan. E3m1 I did not think would be played at all, due to the fact that the map did not have any history at all amongst the NQR4 clans that signed up.

What we have to ask our self is this:

How many maps do we want? Do we want to put a certain number on it and say 10 only? 14 only? 8 only? 5 only? Or do we want to be a little more liberal and let clans have the ?freedom? we have now?

Personally I don?t think we should have eXmX maps in NQR that no clan chooses as home map, or maps they know they will not choose. In NQR3 that would be e1m5 and e3m7, in NQR4 that would be e1m6 and e3m1.

I agree with the term that it is easier to learn maps with a smaller map pool, but who shall choose out the maps? Is it ok that some clans get their beloved eXmX home map, but not others? I personally don?t think so, because it really has nothing to do with the quality of the map (talking about NQR map pool now, not no-good-maps as e3m4 and e4m6). It is really just as if you like redheads, blondes or a brunettes, large tits or small tits :)

So it comes down to taste, not if the map ?sucks? or not.

I like to have many maps in the map pool, as long as the maps are good for 4on4, but I understand that having fewer maps in the map pool also is a good thing. So you really just have to make a choice, because when it comes to the map issue, there are not only advantages or disadvantages. No matter what map pool you got, there will be some advantages with it, and some disadvantages with it.

So let?s look at that and see what options we have. Here are some suggestions to what we can do in NQR5, this is what is coming into my head, but plz make some other suggestions in the comments if you got some:

1. We keep the current map pool = 12 maps

2. We keep the current map pool and add the CMT maps = 17 maps

3. We ditch the eXmX maps and add the CMT maps = 8 maps
This means we don?t care about some clans wishes and requests for a home map they would love to play

4. We select a certain number of maps we want in the map pool, let?s say just for this example: 10 maps. This means we got 7 maps to add in addition to the big 3. What maps do we add? Do we add all the CMT maps, leaving 2 eXmX maps to be selected? Or do we add just 3 CMT maps, leaving the space for 4 eXmX maps? And how do we select the maps? Do we let the community vote on it?

5. We let all the clans signing up for NQR5 get to sign up ONE eXmX map they would like to play, so that when all clans are counted for, you get a certain amount of eXmX maps in the map pool. If we look at NQR4 as an example, then you would most likely have; e1m5, e2m2, e2m7, e3m2, e3m3, e3m7. that?s 6 maps + big 3 = 9 maps. And we still have not taken the CMT maps into consideration.

Would I personally like to sacrifice my home map e1m5? Meaning we ditch all eXmX maps and bring in the CMT maps, having a 8 map pool? Maybe. The advantage is fewer maps, it might be better for the qw 4on4 scene. But then I loose the joy and pleasure of playing e1m5, that I love so much. But maybe that?s the sacrifice I must accept? Then again you can ask yourself; but is not qw about fun? I think its damn fun to play a good variety of maps, I just love it, makes it more fun for me to play qw than just the same maps all the time. Some ppl are bored with just the same maps, some are not.

I understand the ppl that want to have the ?freedom? to choose what they want for ?homemap?, I also understand the ppl who says it is ?unprofessional? to have too many maps.

Well, honestly I REALLY DON?T KNOW what the best is, because you got valid arguments on both sides. Ye, the small map pool are good for all clans, because it provides more ?fair? conditions when it comes to mapknowledge. But hey, random map is big 3 only, so what?s the problem if you some times have to play on a map you hate? You still got your random map, you can?t sacrifice that little your selves in order please other players? Winning is everything?

Well, I could live with many of these suggestions, so plz ppl, don?t be silent on this issue, say something, and make some good argumentation along the way, and remember we are a whole community :-)

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