Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

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hunterw
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Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by hunterw » 30 Apr 2011, 11:32

Consider three examples herein:

Nuketown, a Black-Ops Map
Image

CTF-Facing Worlds, an Unreal Tournament map
Image

Delta Siege Dry
Image


Vastly different games from different eras, yet these maps all share some key similarities:

1. The linear nature of these maps forces conflict in an obvious, single front.

2. All are very noob-friendly for their respective games, if not arguably the most noob-friendly for each. Every offense must cross the same dangerous middle-area, which somewhat evens out the effectiveness of a veteran's skill, and gives lower-skill defending players a better chance of surviving/learning the game/beating more skilled players.

3. All are extreme outliers in terms of popularity. All of these maps are by far the most played for each of their respective games.

It therefore leads me to conclude that noob appeal and mass appeal are simply the same thing. Noobs make up a massive proportion of any playerbase. If there is a map in which they perform better in terms of kills/wins/etc, a large percentage of those noobs will seek it out and play it exclusively.

Thoughts?
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knorke
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by knorke » 30 Apr 2011, 11:43

The linear nature of these maps forces conflict in an obvious, single front.
that is true for all > 3v3 maps in spring.

At least in spring/ba the issue is community related and has little to do with gameplay. Most popular map might as well be something else.
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hoijui
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by hoijui » 30 Apr 2011, 12:01

summarized:

Code: Select all

bool isNoobFriendly(map) {
    float sideRatio = max(((float)map.width / map.height), ((float)map.height / map.width));
    return (sideRatio > 1.5f);
}
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knorke
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by knorke » 30 Apr 2011, 12:07

no.

Code: Select all

if startpositions = "!split v" or starpositions = "split h" then noobgame=true
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hunterw
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by hunterw » 30 Apr 2011, 13:13

knorke wrote:
The linear nature of these maps forces conflict in an obvious, single front.
that is true for all > 3v3 maps in spring.
Show me the obvious, single front on a square map.

Barring a map with nothing but cliff walls and a tiny chokepoint in the middle for all units to go through, I'm sorry, you're not going to be able to do that.

Every one of the listed maps is at least a 2:1 rectangle.
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knorke
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by knorke » 30 Apr 2011, 13:56

oh noez its that fucker again:
Image

Image
looks like a pretty defined front line to me.
give me 20+ replays on your map of choice and i bet it will looks like this.

http://knorke.darkstars.co.uk/battlerep ... g.txt.html

http://knorke.darkstars.co.uk/battlerep ... g.txt.html

http://knorke.darkstars.co.uk/battlerep ... g.txt.html

http://knorke.darkstars.co.uk/battlerep ... g.txt.html

http://knorke.darkstars.co.uk/battlerep ... g.txt.html

CCR is not square but I chose it because it has basically no chokes.
also would need more replays.
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Johannes
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by Johannes » 30 Apr 2011, 14:02

hunterw wrote:
knorke wrote:
The linear nature of these maps forces conflict in an obvious, single front.
that is true for all > 3v3 maps in spring.
Show me the obvious, single front on a square map.

Barring a map with nothing but cliff walls and a tiny chokepoint in the middle for all units to go through, I'm sorry, you're not going to be able to do that.

Every one of the listed maps is at least a 2:1 rectangle.
His point is that there is usually a single frontline spanning any map if playercount/mapwidth ratio is high enough. Which is indeed usually what happens, but that's a product of players choosing not to (or not having the cooperation to do that) maneuver more decisively rather than an almost-inevitability like in DSD.
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knorke
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by knorke » 30 Apr 2011, 14:07

that's a product of players choosing not to (or not having the cooperation to do that) maneuver more decisively rather than an almost-inevitability like in DSD.
click the last 2 links and see who the players are ;)
I do not think it is a matter of skill, it is just how the maps are map and how the game works.
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PicassoCT
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by PicassoCT » 30 Apr 2011, 15:06

The Problem is, that online games are something you try to master with constant repetition.. so its dust for cs, tf2s desert farm, faceoff for unreal.

The idea is that veterans get busy with each other, while the nubs lurk in the back. So far so true. Also you didnt mention speedmetall for which im cratefull. So, lets check this theory- if i write a gadget, which draws a unpenetratable shieldwall through the map, leaving only a small central region as battlefield, this would make a nubs wet dream out of every map.
Now if the shield retreats time dependant, this should make things interesting.
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luckywaldo7
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by luckywaldo7 » 30 Apr 2011, 15:55

Blue bend is a bad choice because it is deceptively choke-y, due to the hills and the water, so the front line is still pretty small compared to the rest of the map. And on those comet games I am not seeing any distinct lines at all. I see concentrations of structures in the base, and lots of units sent out all over the map from there.
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momfreeek
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by momfreeek » 30 Apr 2011, 15:58

hunterw wrote:Noobs make up a massive proportion of any playerbase.
therefore mass appeal = noob appeal

Just depends who you count as noob (isn't it a relative term?).
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1v0ry_k1ng
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by 1v0ry_k1ng » 30 Apr 2011, 16:12

nice writeup
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PicassoCT
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by PicassoCT » 30 Apr 2011, 22:12

lets built the most powerfull ui for a rts ever, add titanic maps and thousands of units, and then cripple it into a starcraft with towerdefense elements.. for the audience, everything for the audience.
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Wombat
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by Wombat » 01 May 2011, 00:43

If there is a map in which they perform better in terms of kills/wins/etc, a large percentage of those noobs will seek it out and play it exclusively.
hi cpt obvious.
Show me the obvious, single front on a square map.
3v3 ccr and altair crossing.
Which is indeed usually what happens, but that's a product of players choosing not to (or not having the cooperation to do that) maneuver more decisively
i actually think players are just scared to send their units to the other front since then enemy got more own units to rape 'helpful' teammate. what actually makes a lot of sense. i send units to another front, enemy moves his units in my direction, i send own units back to the front, repeat.
The Problem is, that online games are something you try to master with constant repetition..
sadly, this. ppl play ccr all the time and think they are pro, but when map changes to something less popular they simply cannot adopt fast.
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Gota
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by Gota » 01 May 2011, 02:59

Play Comet Catcher, you nabs.
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PicassoCT
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by PicassoCT » 01 May 2011, 08:10

We need a Biffbot that harasses nubs, follows them into dsd games, harassing them even there, calling them chicken.

"Chicken, chicken, chicken."
"Nubbuddy calls me chicken."
"GAWK, GAWK."
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knorke
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by knorke » 01 May 2011, 10:16

(if images dont show press crtl-f5 until thumb falls off)
luckywaldo7 wrote:Blue bend is a bad choice because it is deceptively choke-y, due to the hills and the water, so the front line is still pretty small compared to the rest of the map.┬┤
maybe.
but it is a pretty average BA map, not super porcy or something.
And on those comet games I am not seeing any distinct lines at all. I see concentrations of structures in the base, and lots of units sent out all over the map from there.
keep in mind ccr is really quite extreme in that units can go anywhere.
And then you have all the "noise" caused by scouting or a stray flash running by but imo that does not decide where the real front line is.
So lets apply a median filter that removes all the single stray dots:
Image

So even on this map where units can go anywhere, the main path of units is from base to center.
And then some fuzz around somewhat.
I have looked at much more picture things then the ones that are uploaded and it is basically always like this.

Team games:
Image
http://knorke.net23.net/battlereports/E ... g.txt.html

http://knorke.net23.net/battlereports/A ... g.txt.html

Team games often are parellel 1v1 games.

Why:
1) Helping indirectly by sharing resources has the same effect as moving over your army.

2) Players chose one factory and that limits the area they can play in.
See this game:
http://knorke.net23.net/battlereports/T ... g.txt.html
At the bottom this map has water. It is obvious that each team will put one player there and they will play like in a 1v1. It seems the brown/yellow sea player went up the right river at some point but stuff like that usually happens when the game is already almost done.
And then you just have several more 1v1's stacked on top of that plus some randomness from air players or whatever.

3) No player wants to be the nub who lets the enemy break through.

So how could maps make games more unpredictable?
I think it would be different if the resources were more concentrated in fewer areas. (think starcraft) Then you would have satelite bases and movement/shifting front lines between those.
Now you usually have one obvious front line and if this line is breached, everything streams through it. (see the blue bend image and the blue stream through the lower choke)

More varied startpositions instead of left box vs right box would help too.

Also it will be interessting what other games will look like in some time ie conflict terra. CT usually has more shifting because almost everything is mobile and resources are not unlimited.
But even there you get the divided map thing at least in this quite old game:
http://knorke.darkstars.co.uk/battlerep ... g.txt.html
ok, that is some pretty old game and not yet balanced etc. Tbh do not know what it would look like now.

blablabla i almost forgott teh rage:
too many *A maps are gameplay clones of other maps. Hardly any interessting new releases in quite some time. valley of unrest and few others being the exception.
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hunterw
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by hunterw » 01 May 2011, 13:17

knorke wrote:
So even on this map where units can go anywhere, the main path of units is from base to center.
Comet Catcher is a great example of a very noob-unfriendly map. It has extreme popularity among veterans, and is rarely played by noobs.

While the average front on Comet Catcher in your images are visible, there's plenty of space to flank and attack.

Flanking is basically noob-poison. Here's the point I was driving home:
Every offense must cross the same dangerous middle-area, which somewhat evens out the effectiveness of a veteran's skill, and gives lower-skill defending players a better chance of surviving/learning the game/beating more skilled players.
Not every unit must pass the same dangerous middle area on Comet, so attacks on either home base can come from any direction until well in to the match.



Since we're talking about a different thing now (Fronts always forming in the same places, not necessarily that there's only one narrow chokepoint)...
knorke wrote: give me 20+ replays on your map of choice and i bet it will looks like this.
The map of my choice is Talus. There won't be enough replays, but the terrain on that map forces conflict laterally.

A 3v3 on Talus is going to have dozens of small porced fronts constantly shifting. Every game will be different, since with 3v3 the playerstarts aren't necessarily symmetrical.

Talus has most of the characteristics you discussed (uneven resource distribution, varied start positions and unusual shifting fronts). Vets don't like it because it goes T2 about half the time, but I got bored of T1-only games. I like providing kbot paths that reward micro and learning the map.
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knorke
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by knorke » 01 May 2011, 15:08

While the average front on Comet Catcher in your images are visible, there's plenty of space to flank and attack.
But shouldnt it look like this then:

Image

Flanking is basically noob-poison.
on ccr it looks like this for good players too.
I dont know who currently claims to have the biggest penoid in BA but [PinK]_Johannes and [PinK]8D are probally average at least. And yet this "two streams of units meet in middle" image. I still think it just how the game works.
Since we're talking about a different thing now (Fronts always forming in the same places, not necessarily that there's only one narrow chokepoint)
My point is more like this:
-fronts usually form early in the game (ie coms in dsd south walk to front at start, make llt)
-front do not shift much in most games
-fronts form in a way that they divide the map in two equally large parts. Not in several islands or something. The front is usually a somewhat straight line.
A 3v3 on Talus is going to have dozens of small porced fronts constantly shifting
why should the fronts constantly shift?
They surely do not shift like ie this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QztlQ1e4oz8
The map of my choice is Talus. There won't be enough replays, but the terrain on that map forces conflict laterally.
Yes, that is another way to make it interessting, lateral conflicts. Those maps are usually my favorites ie valley of unrest, the oasis (the 8x8 with the 2 hills) and some others i forgott.

ok. so, Talus.
I think it was even the first map I used* ;)
but with an old version... atm only found this one uploaded, I'll just asume it is as good as any other:
Image
http://knorke.net23.net/battlereports/T ... g.txt.html

The red lines are drawn by me, it is where imo 2 players "collided"
To me it looks like a surprisingly straight line.

Keep in mind that is not visible what unit moving/killing was real fighting and what is just "mobbing up."
(So the "real" fronts might be even clearer, straigher)
Every offense must cross the same dangerous middle-area
To me it seems like offenses do not cross the dangerous middle-area until the game is won. That means apart from some things (air attacks etc) it can always be predicated where fighting will take place.

Since you this also was about skill:
Imo the most important skills in the average team game of BA are:
-start, intial buildorder
-eco
No time to write more on this but imo once you have survided the first 10 minutes and fronts are established there is not much skill needed. You just react to obvious dangers (ie bomb a guardian that threatens your HLTs) work on your fighter patrol or spam <what ever unit you need in your area>
That is enough to "swim along" with your team and the game.

*just for fun, an image from 10(or so) Talus replays, made in early 2010:
Image
it does not hold much value though because some replays were left vs right and some were corner vs corner.
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luckywaldo7
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Re: Why Mass Appeal = Noob Appeal, A Short Dissertation

Post by luckywaldo7 » 01 May 2011, 17:28

I'm getting slighly confused. Are we talking about units meeting somewhere around the middle between two bases to do battle, or setting up a porc line along a distinct center line whether you need one or not?
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