[Proposal] osu!standard ruleset draft (General)

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Topic Starter
Myxo
Hi everybody!

After weeks of discussion within the people involved in the United Beat-Knights of Ranking Criteria, I'm happy to announce we've come to an agreement and crafted a draft for a new set of rules and guidelines for osu!standard. Notice this is NOT the final result, as we need the feedback of the community first before getting it officially bumped into the wiki.

Frequently Asked Questions

(read this in all cases before posting)
  1. Is it necessary to read the entire draft before commenting or asking questions?
    -> Yes, else you may complain about/mention things that are not related to this draft or are actually already present here.
  2. Is this the entire new Ranking Criteria? I feel like this is missing a lot of things...
    -> This is not the entire Ranking Criteria. This draft aims to replace the rules and guidelines currently in effect on the osu!-specific Ranking Criteria.
  3. To which difficulties does this criteria apply?
    -> All osu! difficulties. This draft aims to replace the content on the osu!-specific Ranking Criteria. There will be a difficulty-specific part which will apply to the different difficulty levels that osu! currently has.
  4. Why are some things on this draft conflicting with the Ranking Criteria?
    -> This draft will, when applied, take priority over the general Ranking Criteria. The respective parts from the Ranking Criteria were identified to be only applicable to osu! specifically so they should end up only present on the osu!-specific ranking criteria in the very end.

Before posting, please think through if what you want to add belongs into the difficulty-specific draft or the general Ranking Criteria. Thanks!

The proposal starts with the Glossary

Glossary


Rhythm related guidelines apply to approximately 180 BPM maps.
If your song is drastically faster or slower, some variables might be different. Apply reasonable judgement in these cases.

Common terms


Difficulty Names

  1. Easy
  2. Normal
  3. Hard
  4. Insane
  5. Expert

    Refer to t/178700 for alternative difficulty naming methods.

    Advanced: A difficulty combining elements found in both Normal and Hard difficulties. It is often used to fill the gap between lower-level normals and higher-level hards.
    Extra/Extreme/Ultra: Names used to replace Expert and to indicate increasing difficulty among multiple Expert difficulties.


Gameplay

  1. Jump: Hitobjects spaced further apart from each other in comparison to the average spacing for such patterns. Usually snapped to 1/2 beats.
  2. Stream: Consecutive circles grouped together. Usually snapped to ¼ beats.
  3. Stack: Two or more hitobjects placed in the same spot on the grid.
  4. Stack Leniency: A setting used to determine if hitobjects stack or directly overlap each other. Increasing its value will cause hitobjects to stack at longer time intervals.
  5. Overlap: Hitobjects touching each other where they do not stack.
  6. Snapping: Timeline tick where an object is placed.
  7. Slider head/tail: The start/end positions of a slider.
  8. Slider border: Visible outline of a slider's path. When this is distorted through overlaps, sliders can become harder to read.
  9. Slider anchors: Tools used to shape the body of a slider. Gray anchors shape a single curve, while red anchors end the current curve. Also referred to as “nodes”.
  10. Slider Velocity: A slider's speed defines how much space it travels within a given beat. Base slider velocity can be controlled in the timing panel and additional changes can be made through inherited (green) timing points.
  11. Buzz slider: a slider snapped to 1/8 or denser with more than three reverses, causing a "buzz" rather than individual hitsounds.
  12. Short Reversing Slider: A short slider (usually 1/4 or 1/8 snapping) with 1 or more reverses. This allows a player to keep their cursor in one place while the slider reverses.
  13. Hold Slider: A slider requiring the player to keep their cursor in one place rather than follow the sliderball.
  14. Burai Slider: A slider directly overlapping its own body, resulting in an unclear slider path.
  15. Extended slider: A slider whose tail is not snapped to a specific beat in the music, but is instead expressing a prolonged sound. The most common extended slider is ¾ of a beat.
  16. Slider Tick Rate: The amount of slider ticks that appear per beat of music.
  17. Spinner Recovery Time: The time between the end of a spinner and the following hitobject.
  18. Time-distance equality: Spacing between hitobjects is proportional to the duration of time between them. Also known as using a constant distance spacing
  19. Hitobject/Note density: The average timeline gaps between hitobjects expressed in fractions of a beat (such as 1/1 for one beat, 1/2 for half a beat).
  20. Keysounding: Hitsounding using samples extremely similar or directly from the song in their respective places. This method of hitsounding usually provides low feedback to the player.

General


Rules

All rules are exactly that: RULES. They are NOT guidelines and may NOT be broken under ANY circumstance.

  1. Hitobjects must never be off-screen in 4:3 aspect ratios. Hitobjects that are even partially off-screen can create reading difficulties. Test play your map to confirm this.
  2. Spinners must be long enough for Auto to achieve 1000 bonus score. Short spinners are unreasonably difficult to complete.
  3. Each map must use at least two different custom combo colors unless the default skin is forced. The combo colors must not blend with the map's background/storyboard/video in any case. This is so hitobjects are always visible to the player and custom skin's combo colors do not blend with the background accidentally.
  4. Reverse arrows on sliders must not be completely visually obstructed by other hitobjects with the default or beatmap-specific skin. Covering up reverse arrows on sliders can result in sliders being ambiguous to read.
  5. Every slider must have a clear and visible path to follow from start to end. Sliders which overlap themselves in a way that makes any section unreadable or ambiguous cannot be used, such as burai sliders and hold sliders without straightforward slider borders. When perfectly overlapping two slider bodies, the first slider must be fully faded out before the second slider is fully faded in.


Guidelines

Guidelines may be violated under exceptional circumstances. These exceptional circumstances must be warranted by an exhaustive explanation as of why the guideline has been violated and why not violating it will interfere with the overall quality of the creation.

  1. All circles and slider heads should be snapped to distinct sounds in the music. Adding hitobjects where there is no musical cue to justify them can result in unfitting rhythms.
  2. Slider tick rate should be set according to the song. For example if your song contains a section that uses ⅓ snapping only, using tick rate 2 would not be fitting for the entire map. In such cases, tick rate 1 should be used.
  3. Avoid using combo colors, slider borders or hitcircleoverlays with ~50 luminosity or lower. Dark colors like these impact readability of approach circles with low background dim and the other elements partially give up their functions as borders.
  4. Avoid using combo colors with ~220 luminosity or higher during kiai times. They create bright pulses which can be unpleasant to the eyes.
  5. Avoid overlapping hitobjects with other elements of the default and beatmap-specific skins. This refers to all elements that are part of the interface and can be skinned.
  6. Avoid using high tick rates combined with low slider velocity. Receiving feedback from slider ticks that are not visible can be uncomfortable.
  7. Ensure that your combos are not unreasonably short or long. Combos should reflect patterns expressed in the song, such as bars of music or vocal/instrumental phrases.
  8. Avoid keysounding without hitnormal support. If hitsounds blend perfectly with the song, feedback is minimal.
  9. Buzz sliders should have appropriate delay before the next note. 1/8 and 1/16 sliders should be followed by a 1/4 gap, whereas 1/12 sliders should be followed by a 1/6 gap. This ensures that the hit-window between hitobjects is playable.
  10. Difficulty should be appropriately expressed to represent the intensities of different sections in the music. More complex/denser rhythms and more complex/quicker movements should be appropriately used to produce feedback through difficulty.
  11. Avoid major composition differences in similar sections of a song. The basic spacing and rhythm should be similar, while patterning can vary. This ensures that rhythm and intensity in all similar sections reflect a song similarly.
  12. Sliders should begin on stronger beats and end on equal or weaker sounds. Stressing important sounds through clicking is more natural to play than stressing unimportant sounds.
  13. Avoid extended sliders which pass through important sounds. If an extended slider tail lands on silence and passes through a loud sound, players may have trouble interpreting rhythm. In these cases, it is better to place the slider tail on an audible beat.
  14. Jumps should be used to highlight certain sounds in the music. Because playing a jump pattern puts more pressure on the player, they naturally fit better for highlighting certain sounds.
  15. Make sure that your spinners are not unreasonably long. 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, be sure that the music suggests this.
  16. Spinners should be used when they fit the music. This is to ensure score differences among perfect plays on the leaderboard. They usually fit during held notes, changes in intensity, or transitions between sections.
  17. When including a slider velocity change, there should be a discernible change in the song's pacing. Otherwise the velocity change would feel unsupported by the music.
  18. Avoid using sound samples for sliderslide, sliderwhistle, and spinnerspin which do not naturally loop. These hitsounds are continuous, meaning that their files play from start to end and loop as one continuous sound for the length of the object.
  19. Avoid silencing both slider ticks and slider slides together. Low volume or blending sound samples are similarly discouraged when inaudible. If a slider tick does not snap to a distinct sound, it can be inaudible.
  20. Avoid following multiple layers of the song if it is unclear what rhythm is prioritizing. Players should be able to discern what part of the song is being followed.
  21. Sliderends of extended sliders should be snapped according to the song's beat structure. If the song is using a straight beat, 1/4 or 1/8 are recommended. If the song is using a swing beat, 1/6 or 1/12 are recommended. If the song has a beat in a different position from what was recommended, snapping to an actual beat always takes priority.
  22. Try to spread your hitobject placement evenly across the playfield. Cluttering hitobjects in one section of the screen for no reason will make them stand out unnecessarily.
  23. Avoid rhythms which are in no way predictable. Rhythm can be made intuitive through the usage of consistent timeline gaps bridging between different snappings, time-distance equality, or slider reverses/ends snapped to irregular beats.
  24. Avoid using similar combo colors in successive combos. Players should be able to differentiate between different combos in a map.
  25. Spinners and sliderends should have hitsound feedback. If either are used to represent a held sound and do not end on a distinct sound, having no feedback is acceptable.

Skinning



Rules

  1. Spinner circles and their centers must be clearly visible and exactly centered. This is to ensure that players have a visible aid to help them spin consistently, as well as a visual reference point to spin around.
  2. Hit100 and 300 must be different from corresponding geki and katu skin elements. Hit300g, hit300k, and hit100k indicate if players perfectly hit all 300 in a combo.
  3. A custom slider border color must be selected when a beatmap contains skin elements from the hitcircle or slider sets. This is to avoid the default slider border or a player's custom skin's slider border from conflicting with the map's specific color scheme. This is done by adding “SliderBorder: <RGB Value>” under “[Colours]” in a .osu file.
  4. Slider body color cannot be too similar to slider border color. If both of these settings are too similar to each other, then the slider border element loses its point as a visual border for the slider. Slider body color can be selected by adding “SliderTrackOverride: <RGB Value>” under “[Colours]” in a .osu file.
  5. Both slider border and body colors must be manually set or not set. Setting only one may conflict with a user's custom skin choices.


Guidelines

  1. Usage of the old style spinners is not recommended. It can be only used with Preferred Skin set to Default. Skins using SpinnerBackground will change the color of spinner-background.png and that could negatively change spinner's appearance. This setting doesn't work in .osu file.

Make sure to read the entire draft again, the opening post is up to date now! The Revision will be up to discussion for two weeks again and close on the 27th October 0:00 UTC+0
Endaris
Add antijumps to the list of gameplay-terms. I'm sure you can come up with a better description than i can.
Topic Starter
Myxo

Endaris wrote:

Add antijumps to the list of gameplay-terms. I'm sure you can come up with a better description than i can.
We only added terms that are mentioned in either the general or diff-specific (not released yet) Criteria. Since there is no rule / guideline about antijumps it is not needed to include them.
Mint
my 2c

Do not use solid black combo colors, slider border color or hitcircleoverlay. Solid black is impossible to see with 100% background dim. Dark hues (below ~50 luminosity) should be avoided for asier approach circle readability on low background dim.
Using "Do not use" more or less indicates something as a rule rather than a guideline. This confused me a bit, allowed in some cases or not? Personally, I prefer it being a rule, but I doubt anyone would really do this nowadays.

Avoid silencing both slider ticks and slider slides together. Low volume or blending sound samples are similarly discouraged when inaudible. If a slider tick does not snap to a distinct sound, it can be inaudible.
Just clarifying, this is now a guideline instead of a rule if I understand correctly? Always thought myself that no feedback on sliders at all kind of destroys the purpose of a slider, but it seems some mappers really prefer to have both silences in some cases.

maybe also define what a kickslider is, as there was some confusion previously what it actually is due to confliting terms of wiki / community view lolol t/470582/start=0

Good to see that things are being done now, finally.
Shad0w1and

does not seem accurate, it has nothing to do with snapping imo, but about whether the distance been recognized as a jump and have a followpoint on it if it is not a NC jump
Endaris
Jumps should be used to highlight certain sounds in the music. Because playing a jump pattern puts more pressure on the player, they naturally fit better for highlighting certain sounds.
Then what about altering this to "Jumps and antijumps ..." ?
I don't see how antijumps are inherently different in "hightlighting certain sounds".
Or differently said, I can't quite grasp why you would include a guideline for the usage of the gameplayelement "jump" when you wouldn't include a guideline for the gameplayelement "antijump".
Topic Starter
Myxo

appleeaterx wrote:

my 2c

Do not use solid black combo colors, slider border color or hitcircleoverlay. Solid black is impossible to see with 100% background dim. Dark hues (below ~50 luminosity) should be avoided for asier approach circle readability on low background dim.
Using "Do not use" more or less indicates something as a rule rather than a guideline. This confused me a bit, allowed in some cases or not? Personally, I prefer it being a rule, but I doubt anyone would really do this nowadays.
We'll look into that. It is supposed to be a guideline, mainly because of the slider border / hitcircleoverlay and dark hues part.

Avoid silencing both slider ticks and slider slides together. Low volume or blending sound samples are similarly discouraged when inaudible. If a slider tick does not snap to a distinct sound, it can be inaudible.
Just clarifying, this is now a guideline instead of a rule if I understand correctly? Always thought myself that no feedback on sliders at all kind of destroys the purpose of a slider, but it seems some mappers really prefer to have both silences in some cases.
It is supposed to be a guideline. It shouldn't be done for a whole map probably, but for some objects (like long sliders on very calm songs) it might be fine to do so, for example on this map https://osu.ppy.sh/b/148404 on the highest difficulty.

maybe also define what a kickslider is, as there was some confusion previously what it actually is due to confliting terms of wiki / community view lolol

Good to see that things are being done now, finally.
Kicksliders have been intentionally left out because of the confusion they create. We defined 'short repeated sliders' and 'buzz sliders' and these will be used for the whole Ranking Criteria consistently.

Shad0w1and wrote:


does not seem accurate, it has nothing to do with snapping imo, but about whether the distance been recognized as a jump and have a followpoint on it if it is not a NC jump
Will look into it.

Endaris wrote:

Then what about altering this to "Jumps and antijumps ..." ?
I don't see how antijumps are inherently different in "hightlighting certain sounds".
Or differently said, I can't quite grasp why you would include a guideline for the usage of the gameplayelement "jump" when you wouldn't include a guideline for the gameplayelement "antijump".
Will look into it.
Nerova Riuz GX
I assume this is just a part of the general rc? or these rules are all of them? cuz things like videos, hitsounds, and metadatas are not mentioned here.

Also, comparing to the old rc, shouldn't the "No two hitobjects on the same tick" rules be in content? or they will be moved to mode specific criteria because of osu mania?

it seems weird to have far less informations than the old rc tbh.
Topic Starter
Myxo

Nerova Riuz GX wrote:

I assume this is just a part of the general rc? or these rules are all of them? cuz things like videos, hitsounds, and metadatas are not mentioned here.

Also, comparing to the old rc, shouldn't the "No two hitobjects on the same tick" rules be in content? or they will be moved to mode specific criteria because of osu mania?

it seems weird to have far less informations than the old rc tbh.
This is osu!standard criteria. But without the difficulty-specific things, that's why 'General'. Probably should clarify this in the thread title.
Krimek

Desperate-kun wrote:

Ensure that your combos are not unreasonably short or long. Combos should reflect patterns expressed in the song, such as bars of music or vocal/instrumental phrases.
What about the use of NCs for regaining HP? This can be really useful to be done in a rythmical way.
Nyxa
Hanzer streams should not be mapped by anyone that isn't Hanzer

I saw the part mentioned about not overmapping, but what about undermapping? Something like
Important parts of the song should always be properly represented in each difficulty. Skipping over important parts of the song can lead to random moments of idling where the player feels like they should be playing something, which may make the map uncomfortable or boring to play.
Just my 2c
UndeadCapulet

RC wrote:

The end of a spinner (or even the entire spinner), the sliding sound of a slider, and the end of a slider can be silent. While hitsounds must be audible, these elements are not actively clicked and therefore do not always need feedback.
This is just an exception to a rule, it seems weird to include this in Guidelines imo. Everything else is saying "avoid x" but this is saying "don't avoid x". It'd be better to move this to Rules, or even a separate section titled something like "Exceptions to Global Ruleset". Also add sliderticks into the list :v

Everything else is great, all the problem rules got moved out, and the guidelines section is actually useful for new mappers now. Good job :D
Bonsai
I'm just a bit surprised by this being in the guidelines

Desperate-kun wrote:

  1. Sliders should begin on stronger beats and end on equal or weaker sounds. Stressing important sounds through clicking is more natural to play than stressing unimportant sounds.
  2. Avoid beginning ¼ sliders on unsupported blue ticks. Often white/red ticks should be prioritized even if the same sound sample is used for blue ticks. If there is a distinctly important sound on the blue tick, however, beginning a ¼ slider there can be acceptable.
because to me that just seems like a tutorial-esque tip for newer mappers, but there are soo many reasons to 'break' this guideline, the most convenient example being that you want to express a holding sound that happens to start on a weaker beat than it ends (isn't that what sliders were originally for lol), that it seems weird to me to add it here, it sounds rather scary with the "can be acceptable" and all
I mean this isn't a compendium of tips and tricks for new mappers, it's a list of rather objective stuff that should be avoided breaking at all costs, right?

Other than that this seems good to me :D
Okoratu

Krimek wrote:

Desperate-kun wrote:

Ensure that your combos are not unreasonably short or long. Combos should reflect patterns expressed in the song, such as bars of music or vocal/instrumental phrases.
What about the use of NCs for regaining HP? This can be really useful to be done in a rythmical way.
What exactly do you mean? Putting a mean pattern and justifying it by it giving back a lot of hp when being played correctly or something like that ?

Tess wrote:

Hanzer streams should not be mapped by anyone that isn't Hanzer

I saw the part mentioned about not overmapping, but what about undermapping? Something like
Important parts of the song should always be properly represented in each difficulty. Skipping over important parts of the song can lead to random moments of idling where the player feels like they should be playing something, which may make the map uncomfortable or boring to play.
Just my 2c
But we have
Difficulty should be appropriately expressed to represent the intensities of different sections in the music. More complex/denser rhythms and more complex/quicker movements should be appropriately used to produce feedback through difficulty.
which is ... essentially what you said or am I misunderstanding something?

UndeadCapulet wrote:

RC wrote:

The end of a spinner (or even the entire spinner), the sliding sound of a slider, and the end of a slider can be silent. While hitsounds must be audible, these elements are not actively clicked and therefore do not always need feedback.
This is just an exception to a rule, it seems weird to include this in Guidelines imo. Everything else is saying "avoid x" but this is saying "don't avoid x". It'd be better to move this to Rules, or even a separate section titled something like "Exceptions to Global Ruleset". Also add sliderticks into the list :v

Everything else is great, all the problem rules got moved out, and the guidelines section is actually useful for new mappers now. Good job :D
We'll look into that

Bonsai wrote:

I'm just a bit surprised by this being in the guidelines

Desperate-kun wrote:

  1. Sliders should begin on stronger beats and end on equal or weaker sounds. Stressing important sounds through clicking is more natural to play than stressing unimportant sounds.
  2. Avoid beginning ¼ sliders on unsupported blue ticks. Often white/red ticks should be prioritized even if the same sound sample is used for blue ticks. If there is a distinctly important sound on the blue tick, however, beginning a ¼ slider there can be acceptable.
because to me that just seems like a tutorial-esque tip for newer mappers, but there are soo many reasons to 'break' this guideline, the most convenient example being that you want to express a holding sound that happens to start on a weaker beat than it ends (isn't that what sliders were originally for lol), that it seems weird to me to add it here, it sounds rather scary with the "can be acceptable" and all
I mean this isn't a compendium of tips and tricks for new mappers, it's a list of rather objective stuff that should be avoided breaking at all costs, right?

Other than that this seems good to me :D
But if you have exhaustive reasoning to break these 2, it's okay to do so. Exhaustive doens't mean it has to be long it just has to exhaust the arguments available against it so it doesn't forbid stuff like that it discourages its usage in general.
pinataman
These rules look both reasonable and helpful for newer mappers. Thank you QAT's for revisiting this subject.

The one issue I have is with naming. Recently, there has been a trend to include a 'Light Insane' type of difficulty in between Hard and Insane. Can this be added to the list of recognized names? Or perhaps even, can we take the opportunity to add another name for this level of difficulty to make this a more authentic difficulty level, preferably one that starts with an 'I' to go with the red 'I' icon like 'Intense' or 'Intermediate'?
Wafu

pinataman wrote:

These rules look both reasonable and helpful for newer mappers. Thank you QAT's for revisiting this subject.

The one issue I have is with naming. Recently, there has been a trend to include a 'Light Insane' type of difficulty in between Hard and Insane. Can this be added to the list of recognized names? Or perhaps even, can we take the opportunity to add another name for this level of difficulty to make this a more authentic difficulty level, preferably one that starts with an 'I' to go with the red 'I' icon like 'Intense' or 'Intermediate'?
The list of possible alternatives is not the only option it can be. As long as it correctly determines the difficulty, you can basically use whatever you'd like. The list only shows very frequently used names.
Nyxa
Oh I must've missed that then Oko.
Krimek

Okorin wrote:

What exactly do you mean? Putting a mean pattern and justifying it by it giving back a lot of hp when being played correctly or something like that ?
This does not have to be a mean pattern. Let's take for an example a longslider or a spinner, and the HP drops down, but followed up by a build-up pattern or whatever. You can use more NCs to get the HP back; e.g. you were playing NCs all 4/1 but at this special part you're using NCs all 1/1 so you can build up your HP way faster.
fastmarkus
Hello! Can someone enlighten me here: are now hold sliders rankable? if yes, how do you make a slider border (i don't understand much about mapping, sorry if it is a dumb question) for that? or was this rule already applied?


I got that impression after reading this sentence:"Every slider must have a clear and visible path to follow from start to end. Sliders which overlap themselves in a way that makes any section unreadable or ambiguous cannot be used, such as burai sliders and hold sliders without straightforward slider borders. Perfectly overlapping slider bodies must give enough time to fully read each slider’s path"
Topic Starter
Myxo

fastmarkus wrote:

Hello! Can someone enlighten me here: are now hold sliders rankable? if yes, how do you make a slider border (i don't understand much about mapping, sorry if it is a dumb question) for that? or was this rule already applied?


I got that impression after reading this sentence:"Every slider must have a clear and visible path to follow from start to end. Sliders which overlap themselves in a way that makes any section unreadable or ambiguous cannot be used, such as burai sliders and hold sliders without straightforward slider borders. Perfectly overlapping slider bodies must give enough time to fully read each slider’s path"
No, hold sliders are unrankable because they DON'T have a visible slider border. Need to adjust that wording.

Krimek wrote:

Okorin wrote:

What exactly do you mean? Putting a mean pattern and justifying it by it giving back a lot of hp when being played correctly or something like that ?
This does not have to be a mean pattern. Let's take for an example a longslider or a spinner, and the HP drops down, but followed up by a build-up pattern or whatever. You can use more NCs to get the HP back; e.g. you were playing NCs all 4/1 but at this special part you're using NCs all 1/1 so you can build up your HP way faster.
We'll take this into consideration, however it seems like an edge case in which a guideline could be broken. After all NCs are used to make certain things more readable too etc.
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