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[Proposal - osu!taiko] Make the Muzukashii break guideline more flexible

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Topic Starter
Hivie
In current times, there's a shared complaint among taiko mappers regarding a specific guideline, and that is the Muzukashii break guideline.

3/2 is often an unnatural break due to how more common songs are structured, it can easily break the map's structure and affect music representation negatively when you're basically forced to add a break because of the guideline, and sometimes it can feel like you're just poking holes in your map to satisfy the guideline.

Fortunately, the current mapping meta considers having two (or more) consecutive 1/1 breaks as a better, more flexible alternative that's used in many modern maps, but its usage can lead to mixed opinions mainly because there isn't any official statement in the RC that supports them, which is what this proposal is trying to do.


I'm aware that 2/1 can technically be an alternative, but it does more harm than good. 2/1 is already used and accepted in the Futsuu guidelines and forcing it in Muzukashii would not be compatible with the rest of the difficulty guidelines as they say to use mostly 1/2 and 1/1 snapping.

Proposal:


Change the current Muzukashii break guideline to:

At least 1 rest moment that is 3/2 or longer, or at least 2 3 consecutive rest moments that are 1/1 should be inserted after 16/1 to 20/1 of continuous mapping. Using rest moments less frequently is acceptable if either the pace of the music makes rest moments counter-intuitive or if the continuously mapped part is overall more forgiving to the player.
At least 1 rest moment that is 3/2 or longer should be inserted after 16/1 to 20/1 of continuous mapping. Using at least 3 consecutive rest moments that are 1/1 is acceptable if either the pace of the music makes rest moments counter-intuitive or if the continuously mapped part is overall more forgiving to the player.
At least 1 rest moment that is 3/2 or longer should be inserted after 16/1 to 20/1 of continuous mapping. Using at least 3 consecutive rest moments that are 1/1 is an acceptable substitute if either the pace of the music makes rest moments counter-intuitive or if the continuously mapped part is overall more forgiving to the player.

Important edit: topic resurfaced again in the taiko server and it seems there's interest for having 3 consecutive 1/1 breaks, as 2 didn't seem sufficient enough, so I updated the proposal with that.
Ideal
This would be an amazing change *especially* for mapping songs that have a LOT going on constantly (for example, breakcore songs), which makes it hard to fit 3/2 breaks in without forcing them when 2 1/1 breaks in a row would work much better and provide just as much rest while also maintaning consistent and solid emphasis

+1
Horiiizon
"sometimes it can feel like you're just poking holes in your map to satisfy the guideline."

agreed, for especially dense songs (like ideal said with some breakcore above) 3/2 breaks usually do more harm than good and feel forced just because the guideline says so
Nifty
I think this is a good change that will make people much more comfortable mapping muzukashiis. I'd like to add another layer to it, though.

Muzukashii break guidelines were handled were a bit fudgey when they first came out, and nobody bothered to "fix" it. What I found interesting is the following:

For kantans, "Main snapping should consist of mostly 2/1, 4/1, or slower rhythms" and "At least 1 rest moment that is 3/1 or longer" is recommended per guidelines.

For futsuus, "Main snapping should consist of mostly 1/1, 2/1 or slower rhythms" and "At least 1 rest moment that is 2/1 or longer" is recommended per guidelines.

For muzus, "Main snapping should consist of mostly 1/2, 1/1 or slower rhythms" and "At least 1 rest moment that is 3/2 or longer" is recommended per guidelines.

For onis, "Main snapping should consist of mostly 1/2 and occasional 1/1 rhythms" and "At least 1 rest moment which is 1/1 or longer" is recommended per guidelines.

Notice how muzukashiis are the only difficult that recommends a rest time that is longer than the longest recommended main snapping (for kantan, 3/1 < 4/1, futsuu, 2/1 = 2/1, and oni, 1/1 = 1/1). I think that this was a small oversight that has never formally been addressed, and this change would be what we needed to address it.
ikin5050
I don't believe 2x1/1 is sufficient, and that 3x1/1 would be better. Personally I would be hesitant to nominate anything that uses 2x1/1 instead of a proper 3/2 rest moment.
DakeDekaane
I have to say 3/2 was a weird decision to establish it as a proper rest moment.

Agreeing so much for this change to happen. It's really sad to play maps that have these awkward rhythms just to comply with the guidelines when they can be definitely better.
Genjuro
I disagree because 1/1 is one of the main snappings used in the diff so it can't really be considered a rest moment (yes even 2 in a row). There is nothing wrong with using a 2/1 break every 4 measures, it doesn't feel too long for a diff that mainly uses 1/1 and 1/2 patterns + you also have the option to use 3/2 if that fits. I've literally never seen any experienced mappers complain about this, the only mappers who complain about the guideline either don't know that using 2/1 is okay or make their muzu diffs so hard to the point that 2/1 ends up seeming too long! The guideline already says that "Using rest moments less frequently is acceptable if either the pace of the music makes rest moments counter-intuitive or if the continuously mapped part is overall more forgiving to the player." so it's not like anyone is forced to use unintuitive rest moments.

tldr: guideline is fine this proposal is unnecessary
radar
I agree with both ikin and genjuro somewhat, i feel like this proposal isnt suuper necessary and that 2x 1/1 is also too lenient. Imo this will likely result in super difficult muzus going through as well as a lot of unnecessary discourse in regards to when 2x 1/1 is acceptable over 3/2, also, spread between futsuu -> muzu density wise will be made into a lot more of a jump if this goes through in its current state

if i were to suggest an adjustment, id rather just have muzukashiis clarify that 2/1 is acceptable (perhaps say that its favored over 3/2 unless the song calls for it, or something), or maybe 3x 1/1 but, as genjuro stated that is one of the main snaps meant to be used so im not sure either
Gamelan4
This guideline change seems unnecessary to me. I agree with radar's clarification though. 3/2 breaks are fine, and applying them is what makes muzus the special kind of difficulty they are. Using 2 1/1s as a replacement doesn't fit with the fact that most if not all rhythms in muzus are based around that.

Whether people break a guideline but with enough justification, or make up rhythms around breaks above 3/2 that fit a muzu diff, it's up to the mapper and the judgement of the bn on a case-to-case bases. It's not worth to solve specific cases (such as what Ideal mentions) by creating more, bigger ones (as radar states).
Axer

ikin5050 wrote:

I don't believe 2x1/1 is sufficient, and that 3x1/1 would be better. Personally I would be hesitant to nominate anything that uses 2x1/1 instead of a proper 3/2 rest moment.
I could name plenty of scenarios among my maps where two 1/1 breaks could've worked better than a single 3/2 one, some scenarios where using two 1/1 breaks could also have given me room for more variety in patterning, I personally wouldn't have ever been hesitant about nominating maps that abided by this rule had it been better defined (and not shunned).

Genjuro wrote:

I disagree because 1/1 is one of the main snappings used in the diff so it can't really be considered a rest moment (yes even 2 in a row). There is nothing wrong with using a 2/1 break every 4 measures, it doesn't feel too long for a diff that mainly uses 1/1 and 1/2 patterns + you also have the option to use 3/2 if that fits. I've literally never seen any experienced mappers complain about this, the only mappers who complain about the guideline either don't know that using 2/1 is okay or make their muzu diffs so hard to the point that 2/1 ends up seeming too long! The guideline already says that "Using rest moments less frequently is acceptable if either the pace of the music makes rest moments counter-intuitive or if the continuously mapped part is overall more forgiving to the player." so it's not like anyone is forced to use unintuitive rest moments.

tldr: guideline is fine this proposal is unnecessary
I can argue that I'm an experienced mapper and I have had hard times handling muzukashii break usage, there are many maps where I've had to make decisions I dislike just to keep it rankable for BNs due to this stigmatization of alternatives, the fact that it's not solidly specified is what makes people unconfident about it, so having it be acknowledged further could probably help the ranking process ease up.

The proposal might be unnecessary but it's not useless, not in the slightest, an addition like this one would definitely set a clear example of alternative ways to introduce a break, instead of the not-so-clear "Using rest moments less frequently is acceptable" which only says "yeah there's an alternative, figure it out".

-

I heavily agree with this proposal, it'd be nice for people to be encouraged to use alternatives whenever needed, having 3/2 as the foreman over all other alternatives only makes this guideline feel abrasive at best and hard to read (harder to execute) at worst.
Nao Tomori
I think 3x1/1 as definitely ok and 2x1/1 as a "well it's an intense part so it's more continuously mapped but not too straining" solution is fine. I support making the rule 3x1/1 and generally allowing 2x1/1 in intense parts.
Jerry
The allowance of having consecutive 1/1 breaks in place of 3/2 has already been quite common among several ranked maps so having it included in the guidelines themselves should be a good step forward.

Also big agree with everything Nao mentioned above.
Tyistiana
In short: I agree with some ideas of the proposal, but not fully agree with the proposal.

It is true that the wording "Using rest moments less frequently is acceptable" is pretty vague to the point that whoever that reading this for the first time will not be able to figure that the consecutive 1/1 pattern is one of the acceptable alternatives. Some clarification would be nice indeed.

However, as stated by various people here already, I believe that 2x1/1 would be sufficient to always acted as a proper substitute rest moment. Imagine that we have 5 minutes map, Muzukashii difficulty without 3/2 rest moment anywhere but only 2x1/1. That would make that Muzukashii difficulty become heavily closed to Oni difficulty which the guidelines suggested the mapper to apply 1x1/1 rest moment, while being a lot far from Muzukashii which apply 1x2/1 rest moment.

My suggestion is to keep the current guideline as it is, but add one more paragraph for it. Like this:

Ranking Criteria - Muzukashii difficulty wrote:

At least 1 rest moment that is 3/2 or longer should be inserted after 16/1 to 20/1 of continuous mapping. Using rest moments less frequently is acceptable if either the pace of the music makes rest moments counter-intuitive or if the continuously mapped part is overall more forgiving to the player.

Or alternatively,
At least 1 rest moment that is 3 consecutive rest moments that are 1/1 or longer should be inserted after 16/1 to 20/1 of continuous mapping. This can not be applied for longer than 64/1 continuity of mapping. Using rest moments less frequently is acceptable if either the pace of the music makes rest moments counter-intuitive or if the continuously mapped part is overall more forgiving to the player.
This wording expected to let the mapping become like this:


(*The number 64/1 could be discussed later if we want to proceed with my proposal. In maximum, this could goes to 128/1 in my opinion.)


Q: What is the difference between Hivie's proposal and my proposal?
A: 2x1/1 changed to 3x1/1, and set the limitation of the maximum continuity of mapping that 3x1/1 can be applied.

Q: God, why this limitation?
A: To balance the difficulty strain between Futsuu - Muzukashii - Oni. Since the strain from 3x1/1 or 2x1/1 is approximately closer to Oni difficulty (1x1/1) and while being too far from Futsuu (1x2/1). A mix of use between consecutive 1/1 rest moment and 3/2 rest moment should be made. And in the end, neither 2x1/1 or 3x1/1 can reduce the strain of mapping like 3/2 or longer.

Q: Why the limitation has been set to 64/1 continuity of mapping?
A: I found that in most of the music, kiai or chorus would run for 64/1. I believe that it's possible for the mapper to find 3/2 gap or longer before/after the kiai/chorus. 64/1 is usually a measure for "one whole section of the music" as well. The complete absence of 3/2 rest moment or longer would potentially affected the strain of the difficulty, especially for the longer beatmap (>3 mins map).

Q: With your proposal, can't I use 1x2/1 as a substitute rest moment anymore?
A: No, you can still use it for the "intense part of the music" - and it would be up to BN and NAT discretion to judge that if it's fair or not - like usual.

-----
In the end, this sounds complex. But, I personally believe that if we want to stated the usage of consecutive 1/1 rest moment into the Ranking Criteria, this may be the best option in my opinion.

I may sounds absurd here. But, what do your guys think about this?
Nifty
I think people may be taking this too literally. It's a guideline, not a rule, so altering it is merely altering what is suggested. Allowing something lenience doesn't mean everyone will start mapping entire songs with no breaks over 1/1 whatsoever, it just is clarifying what we should (and have been) doing in maps for a while; that is, we use breaks to indicate sections of music, and that you don't need to fit in exact 3/2 breaks all the time. It should go without saying that BNs are still responsible for deciding what goes and what doesn't, and most likely will not be letting into ranked anything that abuses the guideline change.

I don't think Tyistiana's modification as far as the 64/1 part goes is necessary as anybody who is capable of ranking maps should have shown enough understanding of music to know that, and it also reinforcing the beat counting that is integral to the initial issue being raised (forcing breaks where they do not fit). Again, it's a guideline, so creating another limit to how many beats something can go for seems unnecessary. The existing 16/1 to 20/1 part of the guidelines is already constantly ignored or misapplied, but that another proposal in itself. Also, do you seriously expect people to count to 64/1? (I know it's 16 measures but when you write it like that it seems a bit sadistic)

People are seeming to act like people are not modding maps by quoting the 3/2 break and 20/1 guidelines, but a BN referenced this specific guideline when modding my map today. I have come across dozens, if not hundreds of mod points over the years that have caused a muzukashii to include terrible, forced, exact 3/2 breaks. The statement of "this isn't something that happens," is thus, ignorance.

I agree (well, maybe not) with the 3 1/1 change, but honestly, I don't see why it would be necessary. The difference between 2 1/1 and 3 1/1 really doesn't seem like that much, or at least doesn't provide anything more than the 2 1/1 does. I also think making it 3 1/1 may just leave people to forcing that instead, but honestly, if someone is using 2 1/1, they can probably fit 3 1/1 as well, so that's why (I think) I support it.
Tyistiana
Guidelines should be treated almost as same as the rules. Only the **exceptional** cases that could violate the guideline. Guidelines should be a thing that mapper must keep in mind seriously as well. Sadly, with the presence of this guideline and possibly how outdated it is, people tend to almost forgot that we have to take guidelines seriously as well.

I believe that BN won't let it pass even this 64/1 thing hasn't been stated on the Ranking Criteria. However, a gap in wording could allow the mapper to abuse it. The current Hivie's proposal wording allowed the mapper to map Muzukashii without 3/2 rest moment or longer at all for the entire difficulty.

As said, with current wording, the mapper can tell BN like "Hey now since three consecutive 1/1 is allowed in the same fashion of 3/2 so I don't have to use 3/2 anymore for my 4 minutes Muzukashii" - and that's valid from the current wording. And thus, BN and NAT would not be able to argue with that.

Yes, "who is capable of ranking maps should have shown enough understanding of music to know that". But not for "a newbie mapper who just read RC for the first time". The Ranking Criteria should be written in a way that newbie could understand that concept as well. It would be better to describe it in a deep detail, or leave it vague like the current guideline (which is thing that we don't want here).

It's true that in the end, it's BNs and NATs that hold their decision that which is acceptable or not, but it would be better to describe how BNs and NATs judge it.

We don't have to go with my proposal, but I just want to point out that the current proposal have some flaws that could be potentially abused.
DakeDekaane

Tyistiana wrote:

However, as stated by various people here already, I believe that 2x1/1 would be sufficient to always acted as a proper substitute rest moment. Imagine that we have 5 minutes map, Muzukashii difficulty without 3/2 rest moment anywhere but only 2x1/1. That would make that Muzukashii difficulty become heavily closed to Oni difficulty which the guidelines suggested the mapper to apply 1x1/1 rest moment, while being a lot far from Muzukashii which apply 1x2/1 rest moment.
I'm a bit confused, would the 2 x 1/1 be sufficient or not? The second part of the paragraph makes me thing you don't believe it is.

If that's the case, maybe I'm putting much of my trust in BNs capabilities, but they should be able to discern when to use 3/2, 1/1 twice, thrice or whatever rest moment is appropriate for the map if there's a concerning case of continuous mapping, they should be capable of more than just quoting the RC guideline and call it a day. The same can be said for cases where Muzukashii is closer to Oni, the guideline modification won't make Muzukashii harder in any way.

However I agree with the part about adding a rest moment every 64/1, not 3/2 but 2/1 or larger. I believe this is more than enough to cover songs with consecutive/continuoys rhythms like breakcore and many more electronic subgenres. Being honest I wouldn't like to add this, but I cannot think of another compromise to avoid continuous mapping with the proposed modification.

So I'd propose two new guidelines regarding this: one modifying the current one from 3/2 to 2 consecutive 1/1 each 20/1 and another for the 2/1 or larger each 64/1. One for each case to avoid cramping all of these in one, making it easier to understand.
Topic Starter
Hivie
based on this thread and other opinions I got in PMs, it seems that 3x1/1 is the option that can satisfy all parties here, so maybe we can settle with tyis' suggestion?

His solution might seem convoluted at first glance but it's a necessary addition to prevent abuse, and it's actually not that hard to understand imo. Most likely mappers could probably fit a 3/2 break before reaching that 64/1 limit in the first place so it doesn't seem that you need to think about it that much.

Also to address some other concerns in this thread, yes this addition might seem unnecessary, but just like Axer said, it's not entirely useless, you as experienced mappers can probably manage your muzu break usage without even needing to keep this guideline in mind, but this can really come in favor for newer mappers.
A common sentiment shared between them is that muzus suck to map because 3/2 breaks feel unnatural and can be hard to manage without ruining the map. This guideline aims to solve this issue by making things more flexible and giving them the opportunity to use more natural and easier to manage breaks in their maps.
Raiden
agree with the "this is unnecessary" sentiment, just as i thought it was unnecessary to add the "less frequent rest moments are acceptable if song calls for it" as it's totally redundant and self explanatory

making such clarifications explicitly written into an RC that many mappers already consider a list of checkmarks instead of a base to build their levels upon while having clear limits will only lead to low diffs becoming almost entirely like they were mapped by an AI that uses a checkmark list (if they aren't already...)

edit: re:the last paragraph, the RC is already this flexible, the issue is entirely self-made by the mapper in their own head either of their own volition or by an unexperienced modder who considers the RC a holy literal bible instead of trying to read between the lines
Capu
Don't think this is necessary. I didn't feel a raise in complaints or problems occuring for this topic, so I can't really follow the reasoning. In the end it would just be the same with different words. A 3/2 would still be viable and currently substitute sections (like calm parts with low density) are also valid
Cychloryn
I don't consider 2x1/1 to be a substitute for a proper 3/2 rest moment.

I don't like the idea of having very long stretches without any break longer than 1/1 (since as Genjuro mentioned, 1/1 is one of the main snappings in muzu so it doesn't really feel like rest).

The way I personally handle it: If a section doesn't support a 3/2 rest, two consecutive 1/1 could be used to stretch it longer (maybe 32/1 or so) without a rest moment. But after that point, the mapper needs a true rest moment of 3/2 or longer. And if 3/2 still doesn't fit, there's nothing wrong with using 2/1.


Regarding whether a change is necessary:
It's not necessary, but it might be helpful. Raiden brings up a good point about having some room for interpretation in the RC. But I think a slightly more detailed guideline could be helpful for new mappers to give some idea of what "using rest moments less frequently is acceptable" actually means.
DeletedUser_6637817
Yooo this guideline keeps sparking discussions holy shit

"You are poking holes in the map to fulfill RC"

Is that not the exact reason why its a guideline? If you have a song that really just doesnt want 3/2 and 2/1 is also out of the question, it is completely fine to not put them if it means deteriorating the map quality.

Disagree with the Proposal though. As with all guidelines in the RC, its up to context and loosening it up would unleash hell imo.
Assuming 180 BPM and that you cant force in any 3/2 or 2/1:

https://i.imgur.com/zgx77kb.png
This sort of Muzu would be A-OK with the new guideline, and could go on indefinitely in this manner. Its breaking the current guideline, aswell.

https://i.imgur.com/VGRzWri.png
This sort of Muzu would also be A-OK with the new guideline, and breaks the current one.

Please note that both guidelines judge these two examples the same, even though that its quite obvious at a glance that the top one is maybe, just maybe not OK with the current density if it were to go on for indefinite amounts of time like this, while the bottom one is IMHO not an issue at all with the current guideline as the context of each map matters.

Though i do advocate for making it much clearer that the context matters somewhere in the RC since this is not the first time (nor will it be the last time) that this dumb guideline has sparked discussion.
nikochurro
i agree with this!! im mapping the song occhocorestless which doesnt exaclt support 3/2
SilentWuffer
My opinion is that it could go either way. putting it in a box because it probably won't matter much to the discussion in the end. Also take it with a grain of salt because I'm probably wrong on a bunch of things as well

Why I'm for this: as others have stated before, in taiko it's quite difficult to integrate a 3/2 break into the map as taiko mapping (especially muzukashii) is generally centered around 1/1 and 1/2 rhythms. having a sudden 3/2 break could make the player and less experienced modders believe its a misrepresentation of the song. Allowing an alternative as 2 consecutive 1/1 rhythms is much more flexible and allows mappers to more closely represent the music.
Why I'm against this: Similarly, as others have said, this could be exploited to use only the consecutive 1/1 breaks, therefore making the map harder than intended. Players at a muzukashii level would benefit and recover more from a 3/2 break than 2 consecitive 1/1 breaks.
[\box]
Alchyr
As a bunch of people have stated, the current guideline already does allow for stretching, and making the main line itself more lenient wouldn't really be the best. Instead, I would suggest just a minor amendment just to the subtext:

Using rest moments less frequently is acceptable if either the pace of the music makes rest moments counter-intuitive or if the continuously mapped part is overall more forgiving to the player.


Using consecutive shorter rest moments or less frequent rest moments are acceptable if either the pace of the music makes rest moments counter-intuitive or if the continuously mapped part is overall more forgiving to the player.


Not particularly happy with the wording, but the general intention is just to add a bit more clarification to this vague part. Someone else can probably come up with something better, but I just wanted to get my opinion in that the main guideline itself is fine, it's just really unclear what's acceptable or not. "Less frequent rest moments" doesn't really translate to "multiple consecutive smaller gaps".
SilentWuffer

Alchyr wrote:

I would suggest just a minor amendment just to the subtext:

Using rest moments less frequently is acceptable if either the pace of the music makes rest moments counter-intuitive or if the continuously mapped part is overall more forgiving to the player.
I'd like to say that adding that would make the guideline even more ambiguous as a player could theoretically not include any breaks at all if the song is fast paced
0gg
i am a fan of this proposal
Sebola
se aplicar eu vo fazer muzu agr :Stonks:
Megumi678
I don't make any beatmaps, and if I do, I'm no good, but I'm going to voice my opinion on muzukashii's since thats what I mostly play and what this topic is going on about.

Me personally, I think muzukashii's are amazing how they are, depending on who made the muzukashii map that is. There are some pretty shitty maps out there for muzukashii's, but it depends on what you're playing with. Patterns on muzukashii's are fantastic. But, I'd love to see changes if any at all.
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