[Proposal - mania] Remove hitsound additions requirement

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proposed rc wrote:

Beatmaps must be hitsounded. Hitnormals give feedback to the player, and additions (whistles, claps, and finishes) accent the most important parts of the music.
  1. osu!mania beatmaps do not require hitsound additions
Recent discussions [1] [2] about popular graveyarded osu!mania maps and how they are not eligible for ranked has lead to discussions about what hinders them from being ranked. One of the prominent reasons stated is the need to hitsound maps.

Understandably some players like playing hitsounded maps, but it this point requiring maps to be hitsounded is causing more harm than good. A lot of prominent mappers don't hitsound maps and are not willing to because they, and a good portion of players, find them annoying. This makes hitsounding a very pointless task, to the point that mappers would rather have good maps sit in graveyard.

Reasons why hitsounds are unfavorably looked upon:

From community/forums/posts/7292324:

abraker wrote:

The need of including hitsounds additions (whistles, claps, and finishes) is very counter intuitive to how players play the game. There is no point requiring mappers to put effort into something that not only will be turned off by many players, but is seen as something that is ruining mania because it is a discouraging effort for a lot of mappers. I don't think it's fair to argue that hitsounding should be a thing for "quality" reasons if players themselves don't see it as "quality".
From community/forums/posts/8290818:

Penguinosity wrote:

Hitsounding does not make sense for this community. This community is comprised by an absolute majority of people who play with effect sounds set to 0%, and I would be more than willing to prove that with a public poll of sorts if that would be necessary. Look at any video of someone playing mania, they will not be using hitsounds. Is the purpose of requiring hitsounds not diminished when the majority of a playerbase plays without them? At this point, the requirement is archaic and serves no purpose.
From community/forums/posts/8291159:

RandomeLoL wrote:

The idea of hitsounding is not new on osu!, but it's bewildering in most 4k VSRGs and nothing new in Keysounded VSRGs (As this issue affects the people coming from any VSRG with any Keymode). The complex structures that maps in Mania have make it really, really hard to create inspiring hitsounds. Let alone fully consistent ones. This rule indirectly affects the quality of maps, as most people will A) Either opt to make really, really basic and uninspiring hitsounds B) Forces people to wait for Hitsounders, and that's a bottleneck on top of the bottleneck that the Ranking process already offers. I cannot speak with anyone, however I'd love to hear more opinions about it, but having Hitsounds completely optional in Mania would solve more issues than not, on paper that is.
Ventilo le vrai
I'll add to this that hitsounds in the game are broken. he fact that they're played when the player hit the key makes them disorienting for any player who has an audio offset !=0 because the hitsound will be offsync with the music. So I don't get how it actually helps some players
Yea I completely agree with this

We've already seen an increase in ranked maps from mappers who didn't really touch the ranked section until the whole "insanes and higher don't require hitsounds" thing happened. Hitsounds don't contribute anything to the actual difficulty of a beatmap, so I never really saw a reason for them to be required especially in mania.

I would still prefer beatmaps to have a custom hitnormal only just because every song is different, but yea they really don't contribute anything - if anything it can distract the player from the song.
From a number of mapsets that I've contributed (be it either I nominated as a BN or making some for the ranked section), I'd have to 100% agree with the removal of this requirement for multitude of reasons, mainly 2 of these:

1) Based on years of playing/charting experience, hitsounds don't contribute much to the palatability of the mapset itself (or it can even be a hindrace) due to the fact that every hitsound files have their own distinct feedbacks where on playing field is almost non-existent as registered hits do have a feedback delay (even though abiding by the Ranking Criteria). Almost every players that I know and played mapsets do not rely on hitsounds for feedback timing or sync/offsets, but rely on aural/ears to do their audio cues.

Hitsounds do nothing more than just a slapdash of hit feedbacks whereas MOST players, myself included, do not care about having them (and it can even be a definite annoyance).

2) Most VSRG engines that I know of only uses offset/sync (thanks to waveform filter from different editors) to sync their mapsets, and adding hitsounds just add another arbitrary work on top of the synced notes that makes it unnecessary and not viable. We can run a public poll of players for this entire osu!mania community if you need some data of statistics of how many VSRG players constantly uses their effect volume to apply feedback of their mapsets.

In accordance of VSRGs that I differ between osu!mania and other games, this is the only game that uses hitsounds with a forced value of feedback (even at a bare minimum), and the players/mappers at this demographic don't even seem to show enough interest for ranking their mapsets because of this hitsound requirement. There are some players/charters from other games that tried to rank their mapsets, sure, but as of now it adds another extra step that doesn't benefit both perspectives in general.
There has been a constant demand for custom hitsounding being optional for many years from various mappers from various communities, and not just ones from other VSRGs. While the most vocal people are indeed people from other rhythm games, there are many many people who started playing osu!mania and played exclusively osu!mania who feel that custom hitsounds are cosmetic at best. This is not to say that hitsounding isn't important, but the addition of custom hitsounding seems redundant when most maps already follow the song quite linearly in comparison to other game modes. Most players who do need hitsounding are usually good enough with default hitsounding (whether it'd be the default default one or a drum hitnormal one) at an audible enough volume. The proposal would still keep default hitsounding at an audible volume.

I also find it extremely problematic that, in general, it's encouraged to half-ass hitsounding. There are numerous people that I know of who spend about 20-30 minutes on the most basic hitsounding for their maps and that, to me, is indicative of how little most mappers value hitsounding to begin with. This is true for even people who spend tens of hours on their mapset making their difficulties the best that they can be. I don't think that this is indicative of laziness but more so the insignificance that mappers put when it comes to hitsounding.

If they don't wish to do hitsounding, they would ask other people to do it. But the fact that there is a very small handful of people who are willing to do hitsounds and they are indirectly responsible for many mapsets getting ranked is extremely concerning. FAMoss and Kanon are doing god's work at the moment by enabling so many mappers to get their works ranked and it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that a good amount of the ranked ecosystem would collapse if either of the two were to stop doing what they do for this community. I cannot say the same for anyone else in the community at the moment.

The argument of most newer players finding hitsounds to be useful is, in my opinion, moot when hitsounds are already turned on by default. Considering that a new player would not have a strong opinion on hitsounds at first, they will go with the option that is most convenient for them. The fact that most players as they get better turn OFF hitsounds rather than keep them on despite being on by default tells me that, if anything, hitsounding is viewed more negatively than not.

There are also smaller concerns about custom hitsounding, but there have been extremely fervent pushback against hitsounding and has been, for many many mappers, the number one deterrent for osu!mania mapsets not being ranked. This doesn't just apply to mappers who have created content for other rhythm games, but for people who were homebred in this community as well. If your argument is to tell people to move to other rhythm games if you want to subvert this hitsounding requirement, then I legitimately don't think that you're working in the community's interests.
Hitsounding requirements in mania are generally pointless because of various reasons:

1) An overwhelming majority of players play with 0% hs volume

2) A concerning number of mappers do not want to rank their beatmaps due to, among others, hitsounds requirements.

3) In Mania we already have a myriad of ways to provide players a way of differentiating instruments in a map with relation to the song (LN usage, density usage, etc.) that makes hitsounding even more insignificant.

I think the fact that >80% of the hitsounding of the maps in the ranked section is done by a single user tells a lot about the importance hitsounding has on the mode's playability or enjoyability.

Removing hitsound addition requirements (leaving the custom hitnormal requirement because that's an essential minumum) would be amazingly beneficial for the mode as a whole.
makes sense

Komirin wrote:

I think the fact that >80% of the hitsounding of the maps in the ranked section is done by a single user tells a lot about the importance hitsounding has on the mode's playability or enjoyability.
Since >80% of the maps that are currently in the ranked section is done by a single user, it can tell us how enjoyable hitsounds are to people, and/or the knowledge people have towards them. This information can be leaded to say how they don't necessarily think hitsounds are crucial in a current map, and/or how they don't have the knowledge, seeing as based on current standpoint.

Komirin wrote:

3) In Mania we already have a myriad of ways to provide players a way of differentiating instruments in a map with relation to the song (LN usage, density usage, etc.) that makes hitsounding even more insignificant.
I can too agree with this. Based on current maps that are seemingly trying to get ranked nowadays; such as that of LN maps, Dump maps, and overall maps that try to represent the song the best they can, can be seen to have differentiating songs in different usages and overall without cause creating a better atmosphere for the player; to ultimately feel, not hear the music and the emphasizing, since it's done through a tap of their finger.

So overall, creating this rule would reinstate more mappers to rank maps based on their
current standpoint; even as little as turning it into a single hitnormal would be beneficial to overall mappers and their relativity to their own maps, its expressions and representation; helping introduced mappers feel more included into the ranked section. :P
just remember what this queue community/forums/topics/1075822 exist

all new mappers around the world can get their ranked maps.
Just came here to say that I agree with this. I personally don't mind hitsounding as a thing but it is either:

1. Done by someone else (usually the same person for multiple sets)
2. Half-assed because it is mandatory.
3. Avoided and map goes to graveyard.

So it either decreases the quality of the set by having bad hitsounding or depends on a couple of players who might just at any point poof out of the game.

The alternative is to "hitsound better" but we are not really helping anyone. We would have to restrict the ranked section even more due to proper hitsounding checks and I don't think we are at a state where we can allow that. Plus, as mentioned previously, hitsounds are fairly insignificant to any player (or at least anything that is not just a hit-normal hitsound).
Ventilo le vrai

FAMoss wrote:

just remember what this queue community/forums/topics/1075822 exist

all new mappers around the world can get their ranked maps.
The thing with that queue is that people have to wait for few days/weeks to have their hitsounds. Then BNs have to check them. In any case hitsounds requirement unnecessarily lengthens the ranking process of a mapset. Moreover I think you are biased because you're hitsounding most of the maps that are going for ranked.
Hitsounds are just annoying, and distracting.
I prefer to listen to the music or my keytaps rather than having that sound in my ears lol.
just remember what this queue community/forums/topics/1075822 exist

all new mappers around the world can get their ranked maps.
While this is true, this argument lacks to uncover most of the points that have been talked about and even conflicts with some of them. Allow me to explain:

  1. First and foremost, while it is true Mania has a specific subset of people in charge of Hitsounds, the fact that 70% of maps ranked (VERY rough estimation) gets done by the same people because the Mappers couldn't be bothered to do them themselves already speaks volumes of the public interest of such gimmick.
  2. Adding a Hitsounding Queue only delays the process of Ranking a map further on. The job you guys done thus far has been extremely helpful for everyone, that is undeniable and everyone appreciates it! But realistically, this only adds an extra step and an extra point where Maps can easily get stuck in.
  3. If the fear of such change is that spreads will NEVER be hitsounded again or be asked to be hitsounded by third parties, that should not be a worry in all honesty. People who truly want the Hitsounds in their maps will be free to do so, and most probably even BNs will prioritize Hitsounded/Non-Hitsounded maps. In said case, this gives many more options to the mapper and eases its burden in the Ranking process.
  4. Another argument to explore is that even if the Queue was the only way to go, as a lot of people pointed out, the intrumental complexity of Mania makes it extremely difficult to add insightful instances of good hitsounding being made. Most of the times, the maps that get the spotlight for such feats are the ones who properly introduce Keysounding to their maps as to accompany the music's fidelity. And even then it can get chaotic due to the keymode used to place the Keysounds on as the layering has to be extremely loyal to the Keysounds its being supported on.
  5. Finally, I believe that after Mania's rule of not having to Hitsound maps over Insane, we do have quite a lot of maps by now that do not make use of them, yet there has not been such a big uproar to turn that exception back and revert it. Thanks to the addition of this rule, we have various examples on how Basic hitsounding can still offer a layer of feedback to the players without being too intrusive for them or too much of a burden for the mapper.
Case is, I appreciate the work done with this Queue, I will reiterate that as many times as I can! But I do believe that still making Hitsounds a MUST is quite a big issue. It should be an option that players can choose to adopt, but forcing them to do so is such a demotivation, even if at the end of the day they have ways to "Automatize" it.
I think making Hitsounding not Mandatory into the ranking section would bring a large quantity of good maps to the ranked section in a short period of time, I know many people who create good beatmaps don't even really care about Hitsounding just because it is NOT completely neccesary to provide a fun experience when playing.
imo low diffs still need hitsounds. maybe we could make hitsounds for easy and normal (and hard? debatable) diffs mandatory but not hard+ diffs of the same set. i don't know how this will effect the spread proposal though
Something of note that has probably been outlooked.

One of the bottlenecks for the ranking section's diversity, due to how it works, is how a map must be accepted by a set of people first in order to be ranked. If your map doesn't meet the subjective taste of a person in this group, you can't rank the map. Thankfully, the set of people in osu!mania is now diverse enough and some people could go against their taste, making this work even more.

But the hitsounding team is an even lesser set of people and with the same principle, that adds another bottleneck, entirely because hitsounds are mandatory. I know osu!'s reputation in terms of song choice is now anchored, but for the players that seek to bring new stuff, seeing this feels very unwelcoming (extract from the hitsounding team requirements) :

Additional Rules
  1. Strongly accepted if songs come from Featured Artists listing.
  2. Touhou original / remixes songs.
  3. Indonesian songs.
Kanon Matsubara
  1. Prefer to Anisongs / remixes songs.
  2. J-pop / J-rock or something like that.
  3. Bandori songs.
I get that this team is here to help people who happen to meet these factors, but the deterrence of having to hitsound a map is a point that already has been made in here. This has a real impact.

The point i'm trying to make here, is that hitsounds is not only a productivity bottleneck, but also a diversity bottleneck. And sure, if mappers really want to rank a map they will forcefully go through this (while probably not caring about the end-result of stuff they don't intended in the map), but the goal here is to fix a ranking system which primary flaw is how unwelcoming it is to the greater side of the mapping community in VSRG. A problem that can't be adressed by telling mappers to do more efforts and comply.

EDIT: while i typed this post, Randome made a similar point, and other points with other arguments. i'll keep this post because it is not entirely overlapping.
I've always played with 0% volume on effects and play perfectly fine, if this goes through, it means more o!m ranked maps are gonna appear and I'm definetly up for that.
I was tipped off about this again and came into this thread thinking I was going to need to reiterate so much, but the community is so much more well versed than before and has a solid understanding as to why this is such an issue. It’s somewhat difficult to express how legitimately happy I am that community members are trying to repeal this extremely archaic ranking rule that in all honesty, serves as an easily identifiable bottleneck not only from a logistical standpoint, but also a content creation standpoint.

I won’t repeat much of what’s talked about earlier because a good majority of it is accurate and actually hits the nail on the head. Instead, I’d like to throw one more thing into the fray here that hasn’t gotten talked about much that I think is also worth talking about but is easy to miss: everyone mentions how hitsounding is process restrictive because it adds a lot of unnecessary overhead to the ranking process; however, it legitimately makes certain content inaccessible for being ranked.

Incredible solo compositions have an impossible barrier to be bridged for the purpose of being ranked, because the situation is, in my eyes, much more binary than that of songs that have multiple layers of instrumentation. You don’t have the ability to “choose an instrument to accent” with hitsounds. What do you do now? Grab an arbitrary note from that instrument and interpret accents throughout highly dynamic performances from a single instrument? Of course not. You’re left with a really bad fate and that’s to basically keysound things for accuracy. What’s next? Ruin said solo piece by generalizing percussive accents for the purpose of satisfying the hitsounding rule? Some would say yes to this, but that in itself serves a perfect counterexample to the rule in the first place.

Davvy is a fantastic example of someone who is brutally gated by this process, because he loves charting instrumental solos and is a very competent content creator (he is a BN after all). But let’s take a further look.

Parachor's What the Waves Brought - Ranked because rules for hitsounding above a certain length allow hitsounds to be omitted.

Davvy’s Caprice No.5? Good luck pushing that through the ranking process without having to add unnecessary/unjustifiable hitsounds.

Davvy's String Quartet no. 8 mvt. 2? good luck with that too lol

You could easily utilize a good number of Davvy’s maps as the perfect counter argument to this rule, where the only thing dictating whether or not something is rankable is purely the length of the piece itself (as a high enough length circumvents the rule in the first place).

If players desire hit feedback from their notes, they are more than welcome to have them by just having hit-normals assigned to the map at a lower volume. The burden should not be on the beatmappers to provide specialized hitsounds when 1.) a good majority of players simply play with 0% hitsound volume, 2.) options exist to remove the beatmap hitsounds if a person doesn’t like them and most importantly 3.) the existence of the rule literally gates off certain content from being rankable.

I don’t know how much harder I personally can advocate against hitsounds being a mandatory rank requirement; I did it years ago and will always do it -- remove this from the criteria, please. There are a number of people, myself included - that would be happy to participate in the process of ranking maps if this wasn’t a mandatory requirement. As mentioned earlier: the fact that people are utilizing community member services at exceptional levels (to which a lot of people are greatly indebted to FAMoss/Kanon) shows that there’s a massive interest in ranking content, but additionally indicates that part of the process is problematic.

It’s also worth mentioning that no one is telling people that they *can’t* do custom hitsounds; you’d still be able to do that too. But please, don’t force it on others.

EDIT: added additional Davvy example and apologizing to Parachor for being an idiot and crediting Davvy for a map that wasn't his asldkjsdltfrkjasrlfkdjasdftg POINT STILL VIABLE OKAY BYE
A good map doesn't need hitsounds when the charting already respects the music.
And when the patterns are dump or based on flow, you can rarely make hitsounds accurate.

Hitsounds should remain optional.
Totally agree with this.
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