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posted
'sup, my beloved mania community.
Recently I noticed among the newest ranked mania maps, that the difficulty namings are quite (almost very) inappropriate and inaccurate.
Let me specify something:

This is osu!mania, which means that you need to adapt the naming of your difficulties to the standards of this community, neither to the standards of IIDX nor O2Jam.

I know, you are very used to name diffs to "Easy" "Normal" "Hard" and that's it.
But let me clarify where lies the issue:

In this game community, Hard means not "pooting hard". Hard means that the map consists of a decent density, aiming for the advanced players to play it comofortably. The map should be mainly mapped on 1/2 and may contain some 1/4 mapped parts (or streamy parts, depending on song, snapping and bpm).

This community basically has 4 difficulty names instead of 3: Easy, Normal, Hard and Insane. Insane is not the equivalent to SHD in O2jam. Insane is, what Another is in IIDX and what level 20+ maps are on O2jam.

Right now, most Easys are Normals, most Normals are Hards and most Hards are Insanes. And Most Collab/Insane diffs are SHD diffs (latter is fine, but leads to confusion).
The diff naming is misleading, since most people in this community consider Hard as playable after a mediocre amount of playing time of a specific mod.
Take a look at standard and it's note density on Hard diffs, take a look on taiko and it's note density on Muzukashii and then think clearly, if people, who can pass Muzukashiiis and are "theoretically equivalently as good in Mania as they are in Taiko" could also pass your Hards.

I'll poke the current mania-responsible BATs about this topic as well, so they pay more attention to it. In doubt, rename your diffs, but also please aim for a more fluent spread.
This is not o2jam, we have no restriction in the amount of difficulties you can create. You are free to create a cool spread with an accurate diff naming, just step aside from your conservative scheme you seem to take over from other games with similiar gameplay.

We (or at least I) highly appreciate your mapping ambitions and love your creations, but I highly feel uncomfortable about the spread design and difficulty naming.

Also, Easy difficulties should be aimed to players, who have never touched this game EVER BEFORE, so placing 1/2 and even 1/4 in them is ridiculous and will fear away all newcomers to share our love to this game mode.

Thanks for your attention, feel free to drop your opinion.
posted
My opinion:
Converted maps: for true beginners with 0 experience, standard easy diff with 7K mod is easy enough. converted maps work well at this level so i think we don't need to put more effort at this level.

Easy: for beginners who "already" learnt how to hit the corresponding keys for each column. most notes are placed at 1/1, several 1/2, and a little 1/4(really fit the music), almost the same level to converted standard normal.

Normal: for those who can easily achieve SS or fc a Easy diff and want more practice on 1/2 and 1/4, but not ready for any high-skilled patterns, almost the same to converted standard hard and insane. SV changes are not allowed in principle.

Hard: beginning of high-skilled patterns, sv changes.

Insane: beginning of streams , 1/8.

EX: everything is possible except overmapping.

========

If my naming habit is not fit the community, try to make all mania maps start from normal.

I have no advice on diff's name, it's mapper's choice. Even if you call a Normal diff "Lv10" or something, the star still works.
posted
I disagree, mania's names are becoming very accurate to their listing.
If a map is labeled 'Hard', I'd expect it to be hard. Hard isn't about to just give you the points now is it, it needs to be challenging and tough.
Insane is just that, insane. There's a lot going on, whether it's uni or big money.

Remember, this is a different gamemode than standard. What Hard means in standard can mean something completely different in mania.
posted
I'd rather have hard be hard than "playable after a mediocre time of playing".
Basically, +1 charles.
posted
Another point I'd like to point out is that the possible difficulty span in mania (without being completely unreadable) is much greater than other game modes. If we use o2jam's difficulties as an example, I don't see how having lv1-lv5 be easy, lv6-lv10 be normal, lv11-lv15 be hard can be anything but more confusing. Since now you're your asking to cram 80+ levels of difficulty into a single difficulty.

If it's truly a must to match the difficulty standards of the other game modes, then mania would need much than just 4 difficulties since that would only cover up somewhere around half the difficulties.
posted
I'm personally a fan of the following structure:
Beginner
Simple
Normal
Advanced
Expert
Lunatic
Ghost

hue
posted
As my experience on osu! playing, I quite agree with your definition on every diff, but I think that we should not focus on details of each difficulty (like whether 1/4 is usable).

I mainly plays DJMAX portable where "easy" does not exist at all, my starting level in most cases are "normal".
However I would mark my second diff (or third if easy do appear) as hard and third diff as insane making it not so jumpy :) however they are hard or not.
posted

Loctav wrote:

Also, Easy difficulties should be aimed to players, who have never touched this game EVER BEFORE, so placing 1/2 and even 1/4 in them is ridiculous and will fear away all newcomers to share our love to this game mode.
Quoting this part because, many mapper underestimate the effect of this.
Taiko experienced this problem already. We had -or still have- a really hard time to find newcomers for our game mode because, the easier diffs has been mapped beginner-unfriendly or mappers just used to map harder difficulties.

I feel attached to you guys since we have kinda a similiar game-play, so take Loctavs words serious. In Taiko, the lax behavior of our mappers to easy diffs. had a bad side-effect and now it requiers us much time to fix this issue.

Also, having sometimes an easier set isn't bad at all. - I want to play mania, but maps are kinda hard for me. Now imagine new players start this game. :p

Have a 2 year old quote from lepidopodus about this problem:

lepidopodus wrote:

Lots of rhythm game declined due to lack of newbies, and raising of overall difficulties(not OD in the map setting, lol) of maps is biggest reason of this. I guess osu Taiko is already suffereing from this one. Taiko masters outside osu never come here cause it's different from TnT(lol) and most of the map(yeah, most of osu standard maps playing with Taiko mode + some stupid Taiko-only maps), and newbies throw away Taiko mode cause it's too hard. *sigh*
posted
don't derail the thread man, this is about difficulty naming, not about making proper easies ;P
posted
It doesn't make his statement less invalid.
Some people name something "Easy" to make it rankable, even if the Easy isn't an Easy.
I can agree to the statement about Hards, it's debatable when a Hard should be hard. But Easys should be very easy (which isn't the case)
woc once said that "Easy named difficulties do not need to be so easy" which is solely wrong.

If you name a diff as easy, please MAKE it easy. Just don't name it easy just to suggest the next BAT thar your map spread is fine, , even if the diff naming is inaccurate
posted
My statement about "Easy" is that "Easy" is relative to the player and mapper- as such, naming it "Easy" will most of the time be misleading- as such, my proposal was calling a difficulty not "Easy" but instead "Simple" or "Beginner", depending on the kind of "Easy" you're aiming for.
posted
Encourage mappers to make a "beginner" difficulty in the modding process if the song seems fitting for a map for first time players :)
There is allready the rule to have at least 1 diff below 3.5 star. Beginner dif should be optional but very welcomed.
Making all easys suitable for first timers though can be a problem because the jump from easy to normal will definitely be too big
posted
I dunno which rule you are referring to (3.5 stars? star rating in Mania is different anyways?)
Beginner diffs are a must, due to ranking criteria - no optional.

Also a poor spread is also not rankable, so if the jump between Easy and Normal is too high, you rather have to adjust it or map something "between" it.
posted
Loctav, it's not about the problem of the jump being too high in any one map. The problem is systemic to the named difficulty system in use.

If you have an "Easy" difficulty, and some average way to measure the difficulty, there will be a range of maps with difficult on either side of it. This applies to every difficulty.

The problem arises from the fact that most mappers try to keep their difficulties relatively close to the average difficulty of any category such as "Easy" "Normal" etc. Because of this, there tend to be relatively few maps where the "Easy" difficulty is relatively close to the low end of "Normal" difficulty diffs. This creates a gap between overall difficulty categories.

And you can't say that doesn't happen, because I experienced exactly that problem when I was learning to play Osu. I started out on Easy maps, and failed pretty miserably. Once I managed to be proficient at Easy maps I moved on to trying Normal maps, only to find that a LARGE portion of them were unplayable for me, and it was impossible to tell which maps would actually be payable. During this time I had a relatively small collection of maps (and I assume most people would have small libraries during that time as well), which made things even worse.

And after I finally managed to pass Normals properly, I found the jump between Normal and Hard even worse. And the jump between Hard and Insane even worse than that. Every time I moved up to another difficulty category, I had to spend days grinding on stuff I either failed, or barely passed at all.

This is why using level numbers is better. It gives players a more accurate way to judge the difficulty, even if the difficulty number isn't exactly correct. Using numbers also encourages mappers to pay less attention to the difficulty categories, and more attention to how difficult they decide their map should actually be. If you simply say "all easy diffs should be under lvl 8" or whatever that gives mappers the idea that there is no "ideal average difficulty" for making an easy map, as long as it's under lvl 8. It also means that very beginners can see that maybe player X's map has an easy diff that is an 8, so they'll want to avoid it until they have a better chance of passing it, even though it's still an easy.

You can't dictate that a map has to be playable to every player at every difficulty, because that's outright impossible. If I made a hard that was almost as hard as an Insane, that means that players just starting out on Hards won't be able to play it. Similarly, if I made an Easy diff that was on the high end of what an Easy diff is, some players will not be able to pass it. With better ways of telling players just how hard a difficulty is, they can make the choice to play it. If you wanted a map that had little to no jump between the difficulties, then you'd need something like 10-20 difficulties (or more) for the map to span between the Easy end of Easy to the hard end of Hards, let alone Insnes.

tl;dr:
Fine grained difficulty naming with more lax definitions for what constitutes a difficulty category encourages better spreads within a given difficulty category. Which ameliorates the problem of jumps between difficulty categories.
posted
Naming your diffs in levels is way too subjective and way too less people do even know how to judge the level of their difficulties. As I experienced, the star rating woc implemented for mania diffs can be quite accurate. But in osu! the star rating is fucked up and doesn't serve the purpose it actually should. If the star rating would be more accurate on all game modes, the problems you said wouldn't be so critical.
posted
I agree that if the star system was more accurate, it would help. It would be less intuitive than seeing a level number in the name because it would be a bit more out of the way visually, but it would certainly help.

And I do agree that because it's difficult to determine a level the numbers aren't as useful as they should be too.

I've just noticed that the Osu! style system of difficulty categories tends to breed maps that tend towards an average difficulty within each category, with few outliers on either end, which results in creating artificial "gaps" where there are relatively few maps at that difficulty. I'd really like to find a way to avoid that being as big a problem in Osu!Mania, because it certainly presented unnecessary barriers on my ability to improve and barriers to enjoying the game, because I would get stuck where things are either too easy to be fun or too hard to be fun, with few maps that actually matched my skill level.
posted
hmmm I think I will throw my opinion here
I never played mania before
I downloaded some mania only sets and tried some standard maps converted to mania
Result: even [Hard] standard maps are easier than a mania [Easy], srsly (And also more fun).
For example, this map https://osu.ppy.sh/s/99756, I really enjoyed playing the Remedy diff on mania. It's conversion is simple and fun for me. I expect mania easies to be better than converted ones, oh well.
They're really confusing and I gave up because couldn't clear the maps.
I also noticed the jump between difficulties really high.
If you mania guys want to bring more players to this mode, rename Easy to Normal, Normal to Hard etc etc and please add a Beginner diff.
The new player should also be able to at least play the Easy diff after getting a decent accuracy at the Beginner diff
I am also against >8k Easy<
cmon if a player never touched mania before they will be scared of this key spam.
I don't know if it's possible to set different key numbers for each diff but if it is, please do like 4k for beginner, 5k for easy/normal etc etc.
I downloaded a map with 8k easy and didn't last 10 seconds after the intro >_>
And then another with two normals, one 4k and one 7k and by star rating the 7k one is easier.... I tried it and... well, insta fail. (4k was playable tho, still not suitable for a beginner).

Please remember I don't have any mania experience before killing me lol but you need opinions from the real newbie playerbase.
posted

[Luanny] wrote:

hmmm I think I will throw my opinion here
I never played mania before
I downloaded some mania only sets and tried some standard maps converted to mania
Result: even [Hard] standard maps are easier than a mania [Easy], srsly (And also more fun).
For example, this map https://osu.ppy.sh/s/99756, I really enjoyed playing the Remedy diff on mania. It's conversion is simple and fun for me. I expect mania easies to be better than converted ones, oh well.
They're really confusing and I gave up because couldn't clear the maps.
Standard maps were not made for osu!mania. That means their difficulty names weren't either.
The difficulty range of standard converts is also simply much smaller than osu!mania specific maps.
posted
Yes, and? If standard maps plays better for beginners than mania maps, something's wrong here.
posted
Luanny can you link the easy beatmaps that were to difficult to play?
I want to look at this matter and see whats too difficult for new players.
Also could write a little description to each of those on what exactly you found too hard or confusing.
It can be helpfull for future maps so please go ahead and say anything that comes to your mind :-)
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