[Draft] Cleaning up standard-specific Guidelines

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Topic Starter
Okoratu
Hello, since I was triggered into making the other thread here's a more specific one of the same nature.
This is about the standard-specific guidelines.

The current set of guidelines looks like this:
Legenda:
Rewording suggestion below
Guideline removal explanation below

Guidelines


Guidelines are important and should be followed in most maps. However, they are NOT rules, so they may be broken in special cases. If you want to break a guideline, ask yourself this: Does what I'm about to do make sense? Is it more fun to play like this compared to sticking to the guidelines? If you answer yes to both these questions, then it is probably okay.
  1. Beat placement should follow the time-distance equality rule (using distance snap while placing beats enforces this). This means that you shouldn't have some fast notes with a huge distance between them followed by closely-placed (but slow) notes. This gets really confusing if the player isn't the person who designed the beatmap! Having some logic to the beat placement should be one of your goals.
  2. Avoid placing hitobjects under the HP/life bar at the top of the screen, as this can greatly impair the visibility of notes and approach circles to the player. It doesn't hurt to use the default skin to check this!
  3. Try to use the same tickrate on every difficulty as it is a property of the music rather than the mapping. Using high tickrates to increase score/combo/difficulty is senseless.
  4. Use new combos often and intelligently. Using a new combo every few beats wouldn't make sense, but you also want to avoid long combos that continue for many measures.
  5. Slider speed changes should have corresponding prior cues. These cues may include changes in the music, changes in note density, or visible slider ticks, and should allow for the speed change to be expected before the slider begins. Large, unexpected changes in slider velocity damage the readability and playing experience of the map.
  6. Generally, a spinner and the next object after a spinner should both have New Combo markers. You can remove one of the New Combos if the spinner belongs to the same musical thought as some objects around it [1] [2], but use sparingly.
  7. Try to have at least one spinner in each difficulty to create variety in the map and fluctuation among scores. However, if a spinner just doesn't fit anywhere in the song, then there's no need to force one.
  8. Make sure that your spinners are a reasonable length. Aim for a maximum spinning time of about 5-7 seconds; any longer can cause the player's wrist to get sore. If your spinner must be longer, then check with a BN to see if it's acceptable.
  9. Try to avoid using hitobjects directly after spinners (especially on Easy/Normal difficulties). Spinners are sometimes the hardest element for players, and having a hitcircle or slider half a beat (or even a beat) after a spinner will commonly result in frustration and a broken combo. Hitobjects directly after spinners are fair game for Hard/Insane difficulties, but try to give a nice pause for Easy/Normal difficulties.
  10. Use an even balance of sliders and hitcircles instead of focusing on one or the other to give the map variety and keep it entertaining for the player.
  11. Avoid setting stack leniency to a point where you have perfectly overlapping consecutive hit objects. This setting is used if stacking is damaging to patterns that exist in a map. It is usually a good idea to keep it enabled.
  12. Manual stacking is acceptable as long as it's still readable while playing.
  13. Avoid covering up objects with hitbursts, slider tracks, and other objects, especially in easier difficulties. Obscuring objects can make them difficult to read. There can be some exceptions where patterns have a clear and logical path and the timing for these objects can be told easily.
  14. All hitcircles and the starting point of any sliders should be snapped to a beat in the music. Slider end points should be snapped to a beat in the music, or the end of a prolonged note where appropriate. Adding hitobjects where there is no musical cue to justify them can result in confusing patterns which are difficult to follow and incongruent with the backing track.

So going through that:
Rewording
Beat placement should follow the time-distance equality rule (using distance snap while placing beats enforces this). This means that you shouldn't have some fast notes with a huge distance between them followed by closely-placed (but slow) notes. This gets really confusing if the player isn't the person who designed the beatmap! Having some logic to the beat placement should be one of your goals.
Main problem I see with this guideline is that about 3 people follow it. Instead what the rest is doing is something different so here's a somewhat different wording of this which goes into a more "relevant" direction
Beat placement should follow an understandable concept (using distance snap can help you structuring your map better). This means that the pressure - as in distance - between notes should correlate to the pressure and focus of the instruments in the song. This ensures that your beatmap is easier to understand for players as well as modders! Having some logic to the beat placement should be one of your goals.
Very wip wording, but the main goal for a guideline of this sort should be that spacing should in some way try to fit the song / be understandable, however this is executed is up to the mapper.
Avoid placing hitobjects under the HP/life bar at the top of the screen, as this can greatly impair the visibility of notes and approach circles to the player. It doesn't hurt to use the default skin to check this!
This is rather an addition, just using the default skin to check this is nice and stuff but nobody said which resolutions as the lifebars do look somewhat different on 800x600 and 1920x1080.
Avoid placing hitobjects under the HP/life bar at the top of the screen, as this can greatly impair the visibility of notes and approach circles to the player. This guideline applies to the officially supported resolutions 4:3 and 16:9, so checking it in both resolutions using the default skin would be the best idea!
Following the enthusiastic last sentence i tried to squeeze that in, if you have better wordings on how to get the resolutions this should be checked in in there, try it.

Removal
Try to use the same tickrate on every difficulty as it is a property of the music rather than the mapping. Using high tickrates to increase score/combo/difficulty is senseless.
This makes very little sense, Tickrate is a property of mapping rather than music.
Example: If your highest diff is mapped in a double bpm style and uses tickrate 4 to have ticks on every slider longer than 1/4, using the same tickrate in the easy difficulty would look terrible, be terribly noisy and wouldn't fit the general rhythm (e.g. 1/2 or 1/1 rhythm in general) employed. This should either be dropped as a whole or reworded to Tickrate should fit the rhythm density in the map, because that's how this setting is being handled at the moment.
Use an even balance of sliders and hitcircles instead of focusing on one or the other to give the map variety and keep it entertaining for the player.
Certain songs (like 1/3 only songs) require a heavy focus on sliders and other songs a heavy focus on circles. some maps are built around being one-sided in terms of element usage and very interesting, I don't know why focusing on either sliders or circles should be discouraged or a thing the mapper has to carefully explain in order to do it.

Feedback and suggestions of any kind are welcome!
UndeadCapulet
I agree with your suggested changes and removals, they fit much more for the current mapping. A few additional suggestions:

Okorin wrote:

Beat placement should follow an understandable concept (using distance snap can help you structuring your map better). This means that the pressure - as in distance - between notes should correlate to the pressure and focus of the instruments in the song. This ensures that your beatmap is easier to understand for players as well as modders! Having some logic to the beat placement should be one of your goals.
I think the beat placement guideline should focus more on having some sort of consistency in your placement. Talking about "pressure" isn't very appropriate because it's suggesting one style of mapping is better than another one. Not everyone maps with that distance style of emphasis in mind (symmetry styles tend to avoid it, and cs5 styles as well). But everyone aims for some amount of consistency, I believe.


Guidelines wrote:

Slider speed changes should have corresponding prior cues.These cues may include changes in the music, changes in note density, or visible slider ticks, and should allow for the speed change to be expected before the slider begins. Large, unexpected changes in slider velocity damage the readability and playing experience of the map.
I think the comment about sliderticks should be removed. It's a pretty controversial concept, and from my experience it doesn't really work that way. I've seen new mappers be misled by this guideline, and try to just increase the tick rate of their map to "fix" a hard to read sv change.


Guidelines wrote:

Manual stacking is acceptable as long as it's still readable while playing.
This should probably be combined with the other stacking guideline. Or removed completely.
Firmatorenio

UndeadCapulet wrote:

I agree with your suggested changes and removals, they fit much more for the current mapping. A few additional suggestions:

Guidelines wrote:

Slider speed changes should have corresponding prior cues.These cues may include changes in the music, changes in note density, or visible slider ticks, and should allow for the speed change to be expected before the slider begins. Large, unexpected changes in slider velocity damage the readability and playing experience of the map.
I think the comment about sliderticks should be removed. It's a pretty controversial concept, and from my experience it doesn't really work that way. I've seen new mappers be misled by this guideline, and try to just increase the tick rate of their map to "fix" a hard to read sv change.
Sliderticks are a very valuable tool for reading, I disagree that it should be removed, and it's okay to change the tick rate to 2 for the reading purposes, especially since most maps with tick rate 1 are actually better off with tick rate 2. I suspect that some mappers don't have the sliderticks even visible in their skins and thus don't care.

General Guidelines wrote:

When including a slider velocity change, there should be a discernible change in the map's tempo. A spacing change, a short break in the map, or a slider containing at least one tick will help show the transition between them.
I agree with Oko in the other thread that it's more worded for standard and I completely agree that some SV changes are unintuitive without sliderticks. Sure, tick rate 4 would be too much unless the map is mapped in double bpm, but the guideline in question makes perfect sense to me.
Endaris

Firmatorenio wrote:

Sliderticks are a very valuable tool for reading, I disagree that it should be removed, and it's okay to change the tick rate to 2 for the reading purposes, especially since most maps with tick rate 1 are actually better off with tick rate 2. I suspect that some mappers don't have the sliderticks even visible in their skins and thus don't care.
On the other hand sliderticks can reduce the playability of the map by forcing you to follow the slider more closely.
If the slidertickrate remains low you also add a movementleniency that soften the issue these sliders pose. And they should be somewhat expectable even if it isn't visible from sliderticks.
Sonnyc
  1. Beat placement should follow the time-distance equality rule (using distance snap while placing beats enforces this). This means that you shouldn't have some fast notes with a huge distance between them followed by closely-placed (but slow) notes. This gets really confusing if the player isn't the person who designed the beatmap! Having some logic to the beat placement should be one of your goals.
Honestly, the proposal that Okorin made feels quite too broad. Yeah, guidelines give a broad direction where people should move, but I mean it was too broad. Having an "understandable concept" is something mappers should keep in mind when placing beats, and this guideline should provide "what concept" is the basic one to keep in mind. This is suggesting time-distance equality rule as the fundamental theory. Then is the time-distance equality concept something outdated? I consider not. Rather it's one of the most fundamental beat placement theory in this game. Indeed people don't have to get stucked with there and go out of the box, but to get out of the box, we need a box. The current guideline feels good enough for that in my opinion. Well but seems something like a mapping perspective.
  1. Try to avoid using hitobjects directly after spinners (especially on Easy/Normal difficulties). Spinners are sometimes the hardest element for players, and having a hitcircle or slider half a beat (or even a beat) after a spinner will commonly result in frustration and a broken combo. Hitobjects directly after spinners are fair game for Hard/Insane difficulties, but try to give a nice pause for Easy/Normal difficulties.
Opinions about this one? I don't think this even demands to be a guideline. These days, people are strongly encouraged to keep a nice recovery time after the spinner which doesn't matter the following object being a slider or a note. This is something like "You should start your map with a slider" which completely depends case by case. But moreover, this guideline feels outdated considering the recovery time I mentioned.
  1. All hitcircles and the starting point of any sliders should be snapped to a beat in the music. Slider end points should be snapped to a beat in the music, or the end of a prolonged note where appropriate. Adding hitobjects where there is no musical cue to justify them can result in confusing patterns which are difficult to follow and incongruent with the backing track.
Isn't this something more appropriate for the Rules section, regarding overmapping?
Topic Starter
Okoratu
@sonnyc the snapping thing is in guidelines to enable people to break it for a very good reason.
about the beatplacement one: "Guidelines are important and should be followed in most maps. However, they are NOT rules, so they may be broken in special cases. If you want to break a guideline, ask yourself this: Does what I'm about to do make sense? Is it more fun to play like this compared to sticking to the guidelines? If you answer yes to both these questions, then it is probably okay." I don't think you should have to specifically explain yourself when breaking the "time distance equality rule", we need something that captures the current direction of mapping better in my opinion.

My wording was an attempt in that direction but I don't really know if it quite captures what ~current~ mapping sticks to, because it's not very likely to be this guideline

The recovery time thing is probably closer to an actual rule than a guideline, there's an attempt to make ita rule but so far nothing really came out of it

@UC
I talked about @pressure@ because that's the easiest to understand form of concept, beat is stronger, more distance yay. I wan't trying to imply that this style is THE style or the best but i see how ppl might interpret it that way, do you have an alternative wording? there are also people who base a map on being consequently inconsistent like Blue Dragon with... most of his recent maps, i don't know but i believe it depends more on the way an understandable concept is executed above everything else lol.

I don't read sliderticks either so i wouldn't mind removing that, actually they confuse me more than help me read something, i don't need sliderticks to tell me this slider is too slow, if the SV change is too drastic it'll screw me over regardless of tickrate.

I agree with guideline merging but it wouldn't do anything in perticular, both statements would still be as is and the bullet point in front of one would disappear xD

If we could gather wording ideas and suggestions where this should be going that's be coool
UndeadCapulet
Well, I can't really come up with a good wording. I can barely word these forum posts properly xD
Case in point, when I said "consistency" I was mostly talking about that "understandable concept" you mentioned, how the mapper should aim to consistently use it throughout the map. I think even BD has some base form of it, since maps with totally random spacing don't get ranked.

Sorry I can't be more helpful with true wordings, I'm just trying to help promote discussion ;w;
Mismagius
sup

just saying that my maps have a huge relation between intensity-based spacing, pattern-based spacing and purely consistent spacing, all these three mixed together may end up looking 'random' but it still applies if it fits, i guess.
i'll add some more to this later maybe idk
Topic Starter
Okoratu
Do you have a better wording? I'm really struggling with putting something on it, I think as long as maps follow a concept that i can wrap my head around they should be fine, but how can we word this xD.

Or should we even word this?
Myxo
This is handled by the Council now.
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