Introducing to you: Spotlights

The Ranking Charts has been since always a part of the osu! ecosystem, presenting the community the most noteworthy beatmaps each month where players compete for the top and mappers gain recognition for exceptional work on their beatmaps. However, after all the changes the charts have had to undergo in the past years, they will now encounter their biggest one yet!

Changes

As previously mentioned in the official development blog, the overhaul will kick in by firstly renaming the current Ranking Charts to “Spotlights”, bringing additional features in the near future such as a new format of prizes for players (and mappers), as well as more regular releasing of Beatmap Packs.

As for now, the development team (hi smoogipooo!) has put a great deal of effort into fixing the scoreboard issues we had for so long, making the desired competition between players accessible again. Following this, the system will be split into two rubrics - one which will be in the interest of mappers and one which will be for players:

  • Spotlights: Similar to the previous Charts, this is where the most noteworthy maps of each month will be showcased, awarding the #1 placed mapper with 1 month of supporter. These maps will be included in the Beatmap Pack Listing.
  • Themed Spotlights: Released in a bi-monthly manner, at the end of these months players will be able to compete on themed compilations, such as “Electronic” or “Summer”, awarding the #1 placed player with 1 month of supporter. Additionally, by completing a whole themed pack you will gain achievements.

There’s much more to come from Spotlights, but for now we will keep that a surprise (!) and stick with the common release of the monthly Spotlights while preparing the remaining upcoming changes. Additionally, we will release a pack you can gain achievements on by completing older chart packs every two months.

Last but not least, we would like to present you the current Spotlight members who have already proven themselves during the Charts System as trustworthy and important members whom we hope to work with in the near future. The group is illustrated using the picture below. New members can only join upon invitation of the manager.

January 2017 Spotlights

With that said, the very first Spotlights for January and February 2017 have been released and can be found here. Their respective packs are available at the Beatmap Pack Listing for easier access.

osu! (6)

This beatmap is 6 minutes of wonderful hand torture on a Demetori song that just calls for it. With ¼, 1/6 and 1/8 being used right next to each other in the song, the mapper chose to represent the most notable features of it in an interesting, yet reasonable way. With the overall variety this song offers, each part of the map ended up unique in its own regard earning the map its top spot in this month’s spotlights! If you have the stamina and coordination to play spaced streams and streams of differering snappings you should definitely check it out!

Hollow Wings creating unique maps should not be a surprise to anyone. However, this one is really special because it’s mapped on their own song. The mapping style is very expressive and covers the ups and downs of this calm, emotional song well. Combined with the unusual difficulty settings on the higher difficulties, this map is truly a refreshing experience to play!

An absolutely wonderful set to play. In an era of difficult maps, tastefully simply maps are few and far between. pishifat’s set of Shelter might not have the most extravagant patterns, but it’s certainly an extravagant experience. The patterns feel smooth in all difficulties while still maintaining emphasis, despite the rhythm picking up in the Insane difficulty. When paired with combo color manipulation, it feels as if life is breathed into the map itself! Truly the perfect map to recline and relax after a long day!

A truly breathtaking mega-set to start off 2017. 27 mappers (and 1 storyboarder) came together to dedicate this mapset to the late 11t. It features stellar difficulties appealing to every single skill bracket, as well as a beatiful storyboard courtesy of Storyboarder. I strongly suggest giving this map a try if you have not, especially with the storyboard on.

After the entrancing hit that was Ooedo Ranvu, Pho returns with another REOL mapset. Showing off his expertise at low-bpm mapping, his difficulties are enjoyable works of art that manages to turn tricky rhythms into smooth and silky gameplay. Not to mention another resident REOL lover, Chaoslitz, whose difficulty provides a significantly simpler Extra experience. And last but not least, [ Drop ] and Logic Agent, whomst showcases clean and simple difficulties that accompany the set well.

A great treat to enjoy, with creative but clean patterns utilized in this slow-paced song. Even without possessing an Extra icon, this mapset can definitely pose a challenge to most players. Karen’s close attention towards clean aesthetics really help to give a certain personality to his maps, which really defines each difficulty here, being simple but simply beautiful. Not to forget Chaoz’s Extra, a fine addition that adds a bit of variety to the mapset.

osu!taiko (5)

A very well made set I really enjoyed playing and listening to. Beside having a very well made spread with fitting difficulties to each difficulty, each map contains very well made patterns which carry a clear beat placement that makes the maps be structured. What I was astonished the most about however is the general structure of the Inner Oni: It takes distance to the usual ¼ packed difficulties and rather contains ½ patterns which prevent the song to be overwhelmed by the notes and makes actual appearing ¼ have a greater impact as well.

A really great mapset coming from Charlotte this month. The patterns fit the song perfectly, and the 1/6 part in the Inner Oni is really enjoyable and well designed. The difficulty spread is also very consistent despite two guest difficulties, and are all well suited for every level. Definetly a must play of this month for every taiko player!

What a solid approval map by Nwolf this month! Well known song in osu!catch, he decided to bring it to osu!taiko, and the results are really satisfying. Intense use of finishers emphasize some parts extremely well, and the stream sections are flawless, giving the player a good mid-BPM streaming challenge overall.

A decent map which I would like to mention this month. The mapper iloveyou4ever tried to follow the beat and instrument and make them balanced each other. He did very well on this aspect. Furthermore, the ¼ patterns seems a bit much on kiai time which may cause this map overmapped, but it didn’t. Thanks to the proper usage of break and hitsounds, the map not only excluded the risk of overmapping, but also made it more fun to play.

Merry belated Christmas, everyone! This festive set by Volta includes difficulties for everyone to enjoy: A simple Kantan that does feature more dense 1/1 than many other ranked taiko maps, a Futsuu that challenges your sense for rhythm - especially in the kiai part -, a Muzukashii that very carefully introduces you to ¼ triplets and of course the Oni, which uses a variety of patterns and even complex/rare patterns together with ½ finishers, that sure as hell also make DoubleTime plays just so much more difficult! Overall a simplistic, yet fantastic set.

osu!catch (5)

Don’t worry, be happy! This massive set by Ascendance together with a handful of companions gives players lots of things to try out playing. There’s the osu!catch specifics, starting out from Platter, which are mapped to complement the high-spirited mood of the song. There’s also the multitude of convert difficulties in the mapset - multiple ways of enjoyment for the player. With the song and the map in mind, let’s all take this first step as we aim to reach for our dreams together!

This set has gone through a lot of changes since last time it was in qualified. Although I prefer not put really hard maps in monthly spotlights but I think this deserves it. There are spots which could be better but overall it became a really enjoyable one.

This set is definitely not for those whose prefer playing hard maps but instead this set has tricky movements in Rain. Despite of it’s low star rating it can give challenge. The rest of the set is a converted osu! one but it is still enjoyable although it is unable to provide challenge.

As well as being a catchy song, Mbomb’s Rain is quite unique in it’s way of emphasizing the drums and vocal together. In addition, the gradual increase of difficulty to the almost brutal ending is a breath of fresh air. It took multiple tries before I could even complete the ending. All in all, a well-rounded map that is entertaining and keeps the player engaged.

I find this map to convert into osu!catch at a surprisingly high level. I really enjoyed all difficulties and even ended up finishing the Expert with an A because I was swallowed in. That difficulty is a really jumpy one without many hyperdash which just might plays better. And the difficulties are built down from here really nicely. Congratulation to the mapper, really.

osu!mania (5)

Here, we have a very refreshing 7K marathon from Lenfried. This map is a combination of a lot of types of technical difficulty, long notes making other patterns uncomfortable, staccato long notes, 1/3 streams, ¼ streams, 1/6 bursts, 1/8 bursts, SV, you name it. It’s very neatly ballanced to give players a hard technical challenge, while also accenting the song correctly. Especially SV usage is intuitive, fitting the song’s pace near perfectly. Great map for players who want something diffrent from usual ranked maps.

Well, where do I start with this one. Even if it sounds weird, Restoring the Light, Facing the Dark is a perfect title to describe all what this map had to face before hitting ranked (you can read the description of this beatmap if you want to know more!). As it is usual from Halogen-, the quality of this beatmap is on top of what we tend to see ranked nowadays and not only that, this is a 6K set! Overall the pitch relevance used into this one is just magnific, its executed in a really impresive way and its super enjoyable. Prepare yourself for some trill action and tricky LN sections. Definetly a great map to get into 6K if you are not a player of this particular keymode.

Did someone say “Anti-Meta”?? That’s right! Here we have something really rare. A mapset which include 6K and 8K (7+1K) The 6K Set is by biemote. To the spread itself is not much to say. All difficulties are really well made. Especially the middle part of the beatmap stands a bit out because of the pretty clever jack usage according to the piano pitch. The 8K or also called 7+1K difficulties are by [Emiria] who is already known to make pretty interesting 7+1K beatmaps.The basic is a collab between both mappers in the set which introduce the player really well into the 7+1K gameplay. The Leggendaria difficulty begins with some more dense double stairs and heavier scratch usage which turns in the middle into a little bit calmer part. But what is really interesting is the Kiai/Chorus part which has a little bit the style of a typical BMS chart especially the end of the chorus where the beatmap gets more and more dense. A really well made beatmap here and now go and play it! Don’t wait any longer. Stop reading right here and try it!

And here we have the first 7K mapset ranked by underjoy! Known mostly for his 4K charts, underjoy shows in this mapset that he can chart really interesting 7K maps as well. With 2 difficulty spread, it’s a very technical and complex long note oriented chart, aimed at those who want to train such patterns. Mousou starts off relatively tame, getting harder and harderwith each section, going into pretty complex chains and inversions in the last chorus, following the song’s feelings with increasing intensity. It’s a very fun chart, which despite having very low SR, is very challenging and tricky for all players.

Memoria is probably one of the most controversial and unique mapsets that made it to the ranked section. The highest difficulty features very heavy layering and dense, neverending jack sections, which may feel overmapped to some players. In my opinion, it’s time to break the conventional mapping schematics and bring more diversity and freshness to ranked beatmaps. Manwon executed this extraordinary set in a very organised and consequent manner, carefully scaling the difficulty levels and making patterns flow even during the most intense parts. I would like to see more interesting maps like this in the future.

Everyone say hello laughingcomet who is just entering the ranked section! Its impressive to see someone just joining the mapping scene with such an interesting and agressive style. This map features a lot of jacking (or handjacking I suppose we can call it that way) and really fun SVs that fits the song in a hard, yet sightreadable, way. This map is intense as the song but I can bet you will laugh once or twice while playing it, specially if you never heared the song before. Overall this mapset is a good choice if you like this style of music or you just want something kinda different as this one definetly has his uniqueness. And fear not those who arent strong enought for the highest difficulties, the set has 5 difficulties designed for all the levels of play.

February 2017 Spotlights

osu! (5)

appleeaterx managed to combine all necessary ingredients for a really outstanding map; beautiful hitsounding, proper emphasis when needed and just a general awesome feel while playing this map.

The constant adjustments of the volume of the hitsounds lets the player enjoy this map in a new way - definitely one of my favourite aspects of this map. And even though the song is rather calm, appleeaterx was able to express the strong vocals with effective placement of the respective objects.

Definitely worth playing!

An incredible, well-balanced mapset with a lot of difficulties for different players to experiment this wonderful song from cYsmix. The balance between different difficulties really feels special, and that doesn’t leave aside the fact that the highest difficulty is indeed challenging while also reflecting the music’s intensity. By also mapping offbeat rhythms, Okorin pulled out a really great spread that shall not be ignored! Giving this map a try is definitely worth it.

This map is as brutal as the song suggests - Continuous streams and slider jumps will test your stamina in the many intense sections of the song. While the map keeps it simple by not throwing any fancy stream gimmicks in, the patterning is still very varied and keeps the map interesting throughout. The storyboard, combined with the colorhaxing, is also simple but effective. Overall, this map is an experience you shouldn’t be missing!

Irreversible shocked us with a very interesting approach to vocal mapping. Once again, he decided to go for a Korean Pop song, yet the way it is mapped truly feels connected with the song. Normal difficulty also feels somewhat different from what we are used to see on current mapping, with new pattern ideas. Definitely worth a try despite not having a high-level difficulty.

Sometimes, when older mappers rise from the grave, it almost seems like they forgot how to map. Clearly not the case with Delis! This mapset still has the charms from 3-4 years ago, but can easily keep up with modern standards! Especially impressive is the very varied patterning that still feels cohesive and the great flow that goes along with it! The lower difficulties are also really well mapped, making this mapset great for players of all skill levels.

osu!taiko (5)

What a masterpiece. This map is one of the best ranked maps out there, even the best for me. I’ll make a particular emphasis on the Inner Oni here, featuring an incredible display of mapping skill. Everything just flows perfectly and the hitsounds are spot-on, but what truly makes this map amazing is the pattern arrangement throughout the song, combined with a perfect usage of finishers and an incredible ending in the last kiai. tasuke912 manages to represent the song extremely well with a creative way that clearly makes it unique. Shoutout to the Guest Difficulties from OzzyOzzrock and Chromoxx who gave their identity and mapping styles to the set while being an coherent and in complete harmony with the Inner Oni, making it shine in the Ranked Map constellation even more. This exceptionnal mapset completely deserves the first place this month. Please play it for the love of Taiko.

A decent map with good interpretation of the music pace in different sessions. The mapper is able to vary note density accordingly and use a number of ½+¼ constellations to make the map intuitive and fun to play. The break in the middle of the map is placed wisely to give players a sufficient rest and prepare for the dense kiai afterwards, which could SAVE them from muscle fatigue. The last 1/3 session is calm and relaxing, yet tricky to deal with owing to the rhythm twitch. Summing up all of these, this map would be interesting enough to be shown in the February Spotlights.

The end of the world as arrived! At least the song sounds like that. Arrival and Unmei Muma bring you an incredibly well-mapped set with good hitsounding and high difficulty, also sometimes mixing 1/3 with ¼ streams, offering a rhythmical challenge. The Inner Oni extends this even more by using various complicated SV changes throughout the whole map to highlight specific parts of the song that are either more, or less intense. That, coupled together with many finishers, 1/8 doublets and even more trickier 1/3+¼ streams, you sure have a challenging yet very fun in front of you.

Easy approval here! The map is a great representation of the music itself, slow while bringing emphasis on important parts. Nothing fancy or out of the ordinary, just strong, solid mapping. Charlotte and chaica brought up a long song perfect for intermediate players who want to practice their streaming capacities. If you’re in this situation, grab it now you won’t be disappointed!

Hooray! What an unusual song! qoot8123 and -Anhedonia- (previously known as “kazukisinx”) present you some difficult off-beat rhythms across all difficulties, starting qoot’s Futsuu, which uses many and long ¾+½ patterns. This is followed by the very tricky Muzukashii and Oni, which both use ¼ doublet patterns (and of course longer streams) that start and/or end off-beat. Overall a decent set for this caribic party-feel song.

osu!catch (5)

A song of two very contrasting halves deserves a unique and memorable map, and Deif delivers that exceptionally here. The player is introduced to each difficulty with soft, graceful movements and flowing slider patterns, with the map morphing and evolving each time a new instrument is added, leaving every section feeling distinct and more striking than the last. The crescendo is a pounding chorus laden with rapid slider transitions, snap jumps and frantic flow changes. Despite this, each movement and jump is perfectly placed, giving the player a true adrenaline rush that simply can’t be missed!

Here’s one to the full-length full-spread fans out there! Even with a slow-ish pace of 128bpm, it still is quite fun with the patterns. It features a combination of ½, 1/3, ¼, and 1/6 rhythms, and the player needs to get accustomed to these to play the map. Challenging, fun, and just OKAY!

This is a loooooong one - almost 20 minutes worth of drain time for the player. With the variety in timing, rhythms, pacing, and difficulty within the map, it sure brings a lot to the plate. There’s a lot to look out for all 7,750 notes of the map (plus 7 spinners) - but as an overused phrase goes, “Gotta catch ‘em all!”

This map is quite entertaining for it’s smooth game-play and experimentation with a larger circle size than most Overdose maps. This map is good for those being introduced to Overdose maps than also appreciate a longer drain time. Good job to the mappers.

The players who’ve been around here for a long time probably have seen a map or two of this song, but it just never gets old! With the sense of nostalgia for the veteran and the fast-paced difficulty for the fresh player, this convert contains stream patterns combined with jumps that might throw one off if not prepared for. While this isn’t really hardcore stuff here (pal), it still is quite the enjoyable map!

osu!mania (5)

LordRaika is very good at making maps that are aesthetically pleasing and comfortable to play. In this mapset, raika’s mania difficulty is structured in a way that suits this music really well. Speed changes and slowjams accompany the dynamic nature of this music appropriately. The use of inversions and different long note patterns to go along with the dubstep part was executed very well. Not to mention the amazing storyboard that was also partly done by Raika himself! I am very fond of this map and it is a great addition to the list of ranked mania maps.

Emiria has been mapping 8K for osu!mania for quite some time now. While some maps had setbacks due to issues concerning scratch jacks and patterning, this map is very well executed. Completely BMS style, this 7+1K map is a nice addition that caters to those that aren’t really into long notes. The patterns of the last difficulty can be a bit challenging, but nailing it down is more than worth it.

I am still unsure about the moment I first found this map. I dont even remember how I ended up facing myself with this but I remember perfectly my reaction and it was “man no way I can play this ever”. Turns out to be that I now can (kinda!) and I am really happy about it because I believe this is a great example of the stuff that osu!mania needs in the 4K aspect. The higher end players needed something to play and this is a really good one for them but not only that, spread wise is designed in a good way that forces all the different level players to deliver and improve their speed which is something that in 4K mania is not frequent. Thats what atracted me to this map and the reason why I think this map deserves this spot, be ready to play at really high speeds because hopefully more of this will come to the future!

For me this Set is something special. We have here a pretty interesting 4K Beatmap which has 3 difficulties. An Easy for new player, a Hard for more experienced player and a Insane for these who are looking for a challenge! I really like this because we doesn’t have a lot of Easy Maps which go over 5min in osu!mania. Shana tried to create here something for everyone and i have to say: Success! The Easy difficulty has really basic pattern which are playable for everyone, even for people who never touched osu!mania before. Some try’s and i’m sure they can get a S! The Hard is something for more experianced player. A lot of ½ pattern combined with short ¼ pattern. Also several LN sections make this beatmap really nice to play and give it the needed variety. The Insane uses a lot of jumpstreams combined with a lot of Minijacks. These jumpstreams have also several 1/8 sections. The usage of long notes gets also higher in the middle of the beatmap what gives it here the needed variety. Overall a really nice and challenging beatmap for everyone, Newcomer and experienced osu!mania player!

If I have to define this map with just two words I would probably say “Hidden Gem”. Why? Because this is a map that didnt really atracted me at any point given the song choice isnt something I usually find cool but guess what, this map is that good that you dont even need to be a “fan” of the music to enjoy. Its simple at the start, linear pattering in general and a nice build up for whats going on next just to progress in difficulty level at a rate that you wont even notice how hard the chart can really be until your finished playing it at least once. Long note patterns, eventual minijacks, jump sections, broken jumpstreams, BPM changes (speed-ups) and so on. This map contains a bit of everything and makes it really technical. A really good test for the mania all rounders but be careful and ready, this map wont forgive you.

Spotlight Creation

The spotlights have previously been created by letting volunteers alongside the Quality Assurance Team select the most noteworthy maps of this month.

The January and February 2017 Spotlights will end on the 15th April 2017.

—OnosakiHito

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