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I understand your thoughts, but even though we can't do anything against the PP-system right now, I still think an incentive to push those mappers who want to create something different into the right direction is not worthless. The mentorship is the perfect example of helping mappers improve their maps even with the PP-system in place. However, the mentorship program only works for the people who take part of it, which usually means a huge effort (either mentoring or menteeing for a cycle) so I still prefer to do something besides that, even just a simple queue like I mentioned.

Changing how the qualified section works is a good idea. We should suggest this to the staff and developers after the currently pending changes are being pushed through. Though changing this will still require getting mappers to change their mind afterwards. It's always the easiest to continue in the way one's always done.

You can't really forbid people to map a song that's already ranked. Also, there has been various examples where the same song has been mapped totally different by different people, in fact, with less similarities than some maps of different songs made by the same mapper. Meme maps are always going to happen, but unlike samey generic maps, they only make up a small percentage of ranked maps. Increasing the minimum song length won't really help either, there's no real difference between having 30s or 45s as a lower border. Whatever the lower border is will always be considered lame by people, because it's much shorter than the average ranked map.

What you are saying is mostly true. I can ensure you there are a good number of BNs who are able to understand many different concepts of mapping, but it's true that a lot of them are narrow-minded. I think the BN test is not really a reason for this, since the example issues it uses are never issues like "this pattern / whatever would not be acceptable under any circumstance" except for blatantly unrankables, and, if someone would have pointed it out like that, the answer wouldn't have been accepted by the responsible QATs (atleast when I took part in that). However, I think the real reason for this mindset is the limited mindset of most QAT-members in around 2015, when we used to be very picky with maps to work against the trend of PP-jump maps. But I can also ensure you the mindset in the QAT has changed since - However, since QATs only disqualify on reports now, it's not noticeable in the community, sadly.
So basically the mindset of QAT has already changed heavily during the past years and giving them more responsibility again would work perfectly, in my opinion. A huge part of the BNs still need to be worked with, but that is up to the QATs now - I believe with proper dialogue they can be pushed in the right direction.

Thanks to everyone for their contributions! So far nothing really speaks against my initial idea so I'm going to try that out in the next few weeks and if people are interested I'll try to expand it by including more people into the project.
I think it all started with PPV2 and DQ impact score, also I don't think the mentorship is a good thing for mapping diversity, since people who get together to discuss mapping end mapping in a similar way, also they end modding in the same way.

And being honest if the pp system stay the same, then mapping will stay the same, slider camelia style maps and jump maps, something different don't get much attention from players.
This might get a bit long winded, but I think personally, that there are a variety of reasons as to why mapping styles have homogenised over the years. We briefly spoke about this in the Mentorship discord last night or so.

One recent event in particular highlights a prominent issue very well. -GN's conquering score on Shotgun Symphony brought the map into the limelight for many newer modern players, who viewed it with a mixture of disdain, horror, and awe. SS is quintessentially, '09 style 'shitmapping'.

It was wildly experimental, designed to be as challenging and uninviting as possible by its very nature. It lacks much of the consideration and polish that many modern maps do, but it remains no less coveted by a section of the playerbase due to this. 'Shitmapping' does not necessarily produce bad maps, but it does produce different ones. We are seeing variation in the maps that enter Ranked, but the process is incredibly slow and often has to percolate for sometimes years before it becomes noticeable.

I may be simply outdated on this front, but the airs of alternative mapping styles (and the pursuit thereof) have pretty much been abandoned in the past few years. We've seen widespread refinement of the 'modern' beatmapping style to what is arguably approaching its absolute limits. Quality has no longer become synonymous with actual quality, but instead a strict adherence to a particular mapping style that is thoroughly encouraged by a number of factors - familiarity and pp both among them.

This is a tricky situation, since arguably the biggest draw towards beatmapping for some mappers is the fact that the community at large enjoys the content they put out. Alternative mapping styles tend to generate cult popularity as opposed to gross popularity, meaning that they often draw as much scorn as they do adoration. That, and someone can put out a 'safe' modern-styled map which gives a reasonable amount of pp and they will be guaranteed a certain number of plays from players farming rank alone.

So, what incentive is there to even try new things when it is already difficult enough to get things ranked, as well as something that is not exactly current as far as the meta goes?

This is what I'd suggest we do:

  1. Introduce 1-2 monthly slots for experimental/alternative maps that can either be Ranked or Approved without explicitly requiring full adherence to the Ranking Criteria. These maps would be vetted by the modding community to be playable at least a base level, but beyond that explicit requirement, anything goes. Maps would bid on these slots by using star priority.
  2. Loosen the Ranking Criteria in general. By loosen, I essentially mean tacit revision of the rules and guidelines to ensure they number as few as possible. The RC has a stabilizing force on the mapping meta since it essentially mandates what can and cannot be done at a basic level. It should be as lean as humanly possible, and nothing more than that.

There's a lot of ways we can go about this. It's a fairly complicated issue, but it is certainly a growing problem, I think.

We also have the omnipresent problem of people struggling to deal with and incorporate criticism of their work. Much of modding is something of a hostile process since it is essentially a direct conflict of opposing ideas with one party required to capitulate. This makes it very easy for mappers to feel attacked, and modders to feel ignored, which only further cultivates a preference for "safe" meta-structured maps as they cause as little friction as possible.
fix spotlights

  1. bigger picking team
  2. incentives for picking team (not that important when there is a bigger team but ya)
  3. more incentives for mappers to participate (time-based badges, titles, supporter, goodies, anything basically)
  4. more incentives for players to participates (see above)
  5. better presentation on website and client (where did charts button on client go, why is most played/latest ranked in 24h more important than actual quality maps)
  6. better system to track scoreboard of spotlights (ingame leaderboards anyone)

could expand into
  1. rank-limited rewards/leaderboards to not favour the top echelons
  2. expanding incentives by having monthly/seasonal rankings of spotlights as the main form of ranking, and total pp as alternative (meaning seasonal in more in your face, and total pp needs more clicks to see) (however this could backfire since its technically forcing people to play these maps)
I think the biggest influence have the pp-system as mentioned by ProBox and the Qualification system in a way Shiirn describes it. Loosening the RC or allowing 2 experimental slots won't do the trick, as the sheer mass still thrives for uniformed mapping.

Modding styles and spotlights are, in my opinion, rather symptomes of what a discouraging Qualification process causes. The RC is already as loose as it gets, yet people seem to squeeze themselves into a scheme of unwritten rules that is mostly resolving around "causing the least uproar", so people do not post-Qualified shredder it and force it into a more generic shape again.

What I propose instead is:
  1. Only disqualify a mapset if the Ranking Criteria has been violated or
    if the mapper agrees to the criticism, eliminating the "DQ first, discuss then" stuff, because it is easy to check whether the mapper agrees or if the RC has been violated. If people don't need to be afraid anymore that their stuff gets DQd because it is "controversial" while it actually sticks to the bounds of the RC, they are more inclined to take the chances. The RC can always be adjusted accordingly, if stuff goes out of hand, so rather than betting on a shitflicking concert in Qualified stage, I rather would use the RC as regulative tool. Everything that exceeds the borders of the Ranking Criteria is up to the judgement of the Beatmap Nominators and with a closer relationship between BNs and QATs we are working on, I believe that the self-control within this group will keep things in shape.

  2. Rework the performance point system to actually account for the different layers of skill, which is not only Aim, Speed, Accuracy (and to a degree Stamina). Especially I propose to not sum up the Performance Points as one value anymore and rather have multiple rankings for the respective skills and make each map reward points based on what skill they test. Therefore when a map focuses a lot on Aim and Speed, you get mostly points in the Aim and Speed ranking, when a map focuses on Stamina and Reading, you get mostly points on Stamina and Reading. Along with that, Star Rating needs to go and should be replaced with a radar chart or something like this, just that this isnt showing AR HP and whatnot in a scale, but rather the different skill aspects (Stamina, Aim, Reading, Speed, Accuracy, etc.). Boiling down the multitude of skills (and therefore the multitude of maps that toy with each skill asset) to one value ultimatively lead to many people just focus on those skill assets that are easier to map and easier to play (or more common to be played).

  3. Offer alternatives to Ranked play, not everyone wants to play competitively but still wants to "grind the content". Make it worthwhile. Ranked Score was a stupid metric to measure skill, but it was a fun incentive for many people to simply play as many different maps as possible.

  4. Make the Beatmap Nominators be rewarded for qualifying mapsets by different mappers (and foremost mappers that do not have anything ranked yet). This is just a side suggestion,
    it helps a lot to focus on as many different people as possible, because obviously different people map different things. This may help, but the other points are more crucial to be tackled, to be honest.

  5. Spotlights need to take a bigger spotlight in this game, it needs to be made way more prominent and mappers and players need to regain the feel of importance of the spotlights. handsome makes nice suggestions here.
Back to 2015, QATs could easily disqualify a map with dumb reasons(#M). That system is gone, but its harmful influence remains. BNs are afraid of disqualification on maps they nominated because of BN score and their standard becomes far stricter than RC. They say no to weird sliders, spaced triples... even combo color consistency becomes a problem. I don't mean BN shouldn't have their own standard, but you couldn't expect mapping diversity from that.

Thus, I agree with Loctav that BN should be rewarded for qualifying mapsets by different mappers, and mapset should be disqualified only if the Ranking Criteria has been violated.

I read through other posts as well. Reworking pp system could solve the problem fundamentally but that's a big deal. Modifiying qualified map without resetting the duration or requiring a refresh on the icon could be good for ranking process, but I doubt how much it could help with mapping diversity.
i'm amazed that a thread like this exists. i'm amazed that people above already have sights and thoughts like they described.

so, i think i can get involved into this, as a "controversial" mapper who always wanna try things different and be offended usually by all community people, and a former nominator member who have enough confidence and skill to judge any kind of maps in community.

i know this is like staff level people are gathering ideas, but i wanna go really detail here from the whole sight. (sry if this is annoying.)

1. Difficult maps is the topic we truly discussed for.
The pp system cant always recognize a map is truly difficult or not, we all know that. And people have sights already know it long time ago, still, no changes are done because the problem is like a more technical one: difficulty of reading or shifting patterns cant be easily measured by data. current pp system are based on maps' objects' density and distance settings among them, easy to be caught by mappers to create pp maps. What goes on are mentioned by Desperate-kun and other people above, then ruin both varity of other kind maps AND players' playing skills. (like "Newbie Pro Players" who often farm pp maps with dthd, may even don't know how to read ar8 patterns, cant deal with fast sliders, etc. and you call whatever.)

- How to avoid that problem, which means how to let diverse maps (with enough quality) get into ranked sections and complete players skills, may be the purpose of Desperate-kun in this thread.

2. Perception of difficult maps in cyber vision.
pp system failed in recognizing hard ones, but did well to get rid of easier ones from them, in case of the rank rules we built long times ago: we forbidden proper things in lower mapsets. so we can just focus on harder ones.
How we can call a map is difficult to play? We used to trust the pp system and think now we don't. i always wonder why we call a map's difficulty "Extra" when we have all dthd scores on the ranking board, shouldn't it be "Insane" level if so much people can do that? I'm not talking about the use of classification as diff names done, but from the automatic processing way machines do to give ranks. And as we known computers can hardly see if some map's reading is tricky or tough even from technical way, it's much better to judge it directly from the score board: less people performed good and then that map is surely difficult. Some people may say that it's more like a ppv1 version system, but actually and slightly not. i cant image a much better way to solve this problem for now, and it can be done right now imo. (even i don't now the specific detail way in programming, i know it can be figured out by statistics.)

- This new system will take more power in judging performance of players if the map is a "difficult" one, and do the opposite way if it's easy, let current pp system do the rest of work, it actually still did it well.

3. Perception of difficult maps in human vision.
This is not only for mappers, but also for players. It will be always the proper player who's playing a map knows what is difficult/easy/gimmick/fluent/stacked/etc. in a map, and we still focus on difficult maps. so if a good player become mapper, he would do difficult patterns well faster than others. Then how about other mappers? how they can deal with difficult patterns, including bns/qat/staffs?
①. they got some amazing player's replay which showed advanced playing skill: eg. Cookiezi dthd lemon tree 7 years ago, then proto-ar9 maps born like a bomb exploded, ended lower than ar8 age.
②. some legendary mapper came up genius idea or revolutionary style that is enough to change the whole mapping community: eg. happy30 used full screen flow sliders and jumps in his medium-term maps, opened up adventurous jump maps age. players from now on are not just focused on controlling tapping tricky rhythm, but also aiming with lager and faster jumps.
③. reference former mapper's patterns, and even think if it is appropriate to changed a bit: eg. mapping style evolution chain: distanced map → jump map; rhythm to main track → rhythm to any track mapper wanna emphasize.

- We can see two things from these facts:
- One is that: players or their playing skills can inspire mappers a lot, to create different things from current ones, and also mappers can create something new and tough for players to challenge. Players and mappers are helping each other to let each other improve and be better. Focus on difficult maps, it's obvious that pro players have a clearer thought of what is good or new for playing, and what's not. mappers are usually noobs to their own difficult maps, so modders, bns and qats are. the way i do to solve this problem is like asking pro players testing my maps as much as i can do, watching their replays and gather ridiculous matters in the progress, fixing them after that. what i wanna say is: modders or other people may also don't know much of difficult maps as well, they can just "③. reference former mapper's patterns", and give their own ideas or even override mapper's mapping thought (with drama comes). we should know that and avoid that. Also, mappers should usually judge or mod a map more in a player's way. Not only see playability, but also see possibility of difficult patterns from that player's vision. i still don't think most of people can mod my maps, they are lack of ability for modding new things because they never did that and had no experiments.
- The other is that: common pure players care almost nothing about mapping, they care much about their rank. So when a common pure player talking about map itself, it'll be always like the playing way, ofc for difficult maps as well. Then here, only playability really matters to common pure players, eliminating all other elements like rhythm setting, structures and other mapping field quality objects. that means if these group of people say "shxt map" to some map, it usually means it has a bad playability for them. that's one of thoughts can be considered in changing patterns ofc, but remember that's from a pure player's mind: playability is the main thing you need to think deep from that, and decide if you will still keep something to give advanced things (you cant avoid feedback like that anyway).

- Both mappers and players should learn see mapping things that way, especially mappers. without that consensus, dramas will never stop and be solved. that's more like because mapping is a pure art work, but osu game need rules to keep the community. manage that 1st, seeking compromise after that.

4. Detail progress in mapping community.
This is kind of complex, so i just pick simple ones as a common mapper.

If i wanna be a nominator: i used to participate some bn tests, and failed always. idk how the electing function worked, but i'm still feel pity to not be one of them. "i'm good at modding, and i did do that pretty well, but still got no chance to be a nominator. it's not a problem about communicating, but other different..." some talent modders i've met showed amazing skills in modding maps, and they have time, emotions and wisdom, should not be buried. the monster of nominators are their laziness, i know that very well because i used to be lazy
when i'm bat, that's a tough problem to be solved, i can just leave it to staffs because they are the only people can do something. the system of tier is abolished recently, some news happened to taiko/ctb/mania mode as well. i don't know what comes next to std mode, but i trust the people who contribute a lot in building it.

If i wanna rank a difficult map: i'm a expert of it maybe, let me count here. 1stly find tons of mods because ranking progress requires it, and almost none of them is useful or helpful to truly build something based on understanding my map (lack of average modding ability as i mentioned before). 2ndly give feedback to ALL of them, or i'll be offended like "you dare ignore my mod?" spam because you will have so much angry pure players and more and more passer-by modders. 3rdly i'll find every nominators ever exists to see if they have interests to bubble/heart my map, mostly replied with "no" or nothing. 4thly you'll explain all detail things and sense of whatever anyone can't understand over and over again, took you much of time and spirit to do that, and even still facing result of disqualifying with qat's "additional mods suggested to be fixed" besides dq reason. that's a long and tough journey, i understand: community need to get rid of low quality maps, like put notes jumping everywhere then call that revolutionary map. it did pretty well, and most of talent mappers leave this game because of that. a map's quality can be easily judged by experimented modders and nominators, things won't be like this if we do our part well. (p.s. the most worse thing i can't accept is like if you don't reply mods after qualification, your map will be disqualified. how nominators can disqualify maps with reason like that, even without anything wrong with the map? clearly deep problems are still happened appeared sometime... )

If i wanna mod a difficult map: i'll discuss it at in-game channel/formed group/thread/etc. or i'll just "shxt map" anytime i can mention even without trying to understand what a new difficult map wanna do. this sounds personal, but i've received offend pm as well. so the point is that modders need to know what should be done: modders are common in giving ideas and finding issues when they met common maps, but most of them are like lost their mind when they have a difficult one. good modder can do his best to understand the mapper, thou not much of them can really do that: it's a really hard work to do for (not experimented) them. they contributes efforts to the map they mod and receive 1kds/m4m for that, they don't think it's always fair. as a modder, even a nominator, it'll be really kind if i know some map is deserved to be modded. a system can be built on data like mapper's created maps, modding performance, recent activity or whatever other complex things. no one would like to waste time on a pending to be graveyarded map, even a difficult-for-rank-but-still-graveyarded map. the truth is that most modders are mappers and they usually mod maps because it'll help them rank themselves' (communicating with only bng, do only m4m, never touched difficult map to develop their modding skill...). that may some kind of growing emotions to mod other one's maps instead of asking mods all over the world, idk how much the moddingv2 system completed, just a simple thought here.

5. About clarity of rules.
i don't know if there's effects done before, with some thoughts here thou.
rank rules is somehow not very clear even till now, or in other words: it's not being kept all the time. that's because some of them are not that appropriate, or maybe some other unexpected things happened (peppy himself used to banned all sliders which have too much nodes on it, it's like finally unbanned just recently, not that announced thou). and now it should be given a really detail version with things we always kept till now, like "overlapped arrows are always unrankble (reasonable and acceptable)". ofc we will keep that if it's done, strictly.
as for guideline, i even suggest to write some specific patterns there for guiding, and tell people how we won't overdone or underdone things while keeping both rules and mapper's own will, like "notes follows no beats are allowed to be used if song's emotion required that, but bunch of spam objects follows nothing is forbidden". this project can be done very quick by groups of experimented mappers.

i think things above i've mentioned are really basic and obvious matters everyone in this community should know. i used to describe or explain my idea in simple sentence or even few words, because i think it's not that need to give such a long speech. now for the 1st time i wanna arrange my ideas here, idk if these can help the community even a little bit, still hope the direction it may goes can lay on some of my wills.

OMG so much words, i didn't expect that as well x.x
hey HW just wanted to quickly comment

Hollow Wings wrote:

idk how much the moddingv2 system completed, just a simple thought here.
I have found moddingv2 to be much more comfortable for mappers with lots of experience and knowledge as it lets them explain choices very obviously and organizes the entire map so even people with less experience can see the big picture, so this will help mapping in the future as well, because it helps mappers without knowledge, learn knowledge

it's bad for super new mappers but that's not what the point really is in the first place really, there are other ways for them to learn

I think HW's idea for rating score based off of leaderboard competition to be an interesting one. it handles a lot of the problems ppv1 had, while avoiding the exploitation systems of ppv2 by self-correcting maps that are "too easy" to give far less reward. it would make people actively search out challenging maps, rather than just maps that exploit the system

Loctav wrote:

Rework the performance point system to actually account for the different layers of skill, which is not only Aim, Speed, Accuracy (and to a degree Stamina). Especially I propose to not sum up the Performance Points as one value anymore and rather have multiple rankings for the respective skills and make each map reward points based on what skill they test. Therefore when a map focuses a lot on Aim and Speed, you get mostly points in the Aim and Speed ranking, when a map focuses on Stamina and Reading, you get mostly points on Stamina and Reading. Along with that, Star Rating needs to go and should be replaced with a radar chart or something like this, just that this isnt showing AR HP and whatnot in a scale, but rather the different skill aspects (Stamina, Aim, Reading, Speed, Accuracy, etc.). Boiling down the multitude of skills (and therefore the multitude of maps that toy with each skill asset) to one value ultimatively lead to many people just focus on those skill assets that are easier to map and easier to play (or more common to be played).
Exactly what I was going for. I think this would be the best way to balance the system and players would have more motives to improve overall and the "global best" aka the current leaderboard should be formed by how you place in all the individual player skills added to a total + proper weighting (Having an actual leaderboard like the current one which gives you an exact number stating your rank globally is something that should exist because lack of this would just lead to great debates about which attribute is most important and which players would consider the most valuable = making it a replacement for the lack of not having an actual global rank like the current one). To be honest a change like this would go far greater lengths than just improve map quality but I think it would be fresh air for the whole game and would bring overall exitement in general.

Also the idea about star rating changed into a skill chart was excellent but rather than replacing the current star ratings entirely we could still keep them atleast for a while since people are very accustomed to having some sort of star rating, removing it entirely suddenly would be probably awkward given that the chart system will need immediate attention balance-wise when it would be rolled out.
I am pretty sure that multiple rankings and the debate, which attribute is most important aren't really an issue, but rather an enhancement to the game, as it gives people incentive to specialize in different things and/or compete in different skill assets globally.

If I would be able to design freely and come up with spontaneous ideas, I would replace or rework the current Player Level system, making the Player Level raise for each user accumulating ranks/points in the various skill assets. Therefore, those with higher levels are more "vesatile", as the points for levels you get from one skill asset eventually soft-caps out, while starting to train a different skill asset will start giving you more points to next level easier. I dunno, something like that. Instead of ranking people then, I would just give people levels. I don't think it needs a global overall ranking, because the skill in this game can't possibly be boiled down like that so simply. Players could choose which rank to display and maybe the display could even alter based on your specialization (sort of like osuskills.tk awards you different "titles" based on your specialization combination, I really liked that idea)

There are a lot of ways to make this interesting and make it account for the multitude of skill assets. I proposed something like this internally a few times already, but it was considered too "complex", which still saddens me, to be honest.

All in all, the pp-system is based around a biased view of what defines "being good" and also weightens it around the biased idea of what is "worth more" and "worth less". This entire balancing shenanigans can also be circumvented with splitting it simply into different rankings.

It will also cause mappers to specialize into mapping things shipping towards the specific rankings, increasing diversity of mapping just by that. Mapping generic patterns to yield the most reward out of the least effort will still continue to exist, but it will certainly create more different target audiences for beatmaps, as not everyone is competing on the same leaderboard that only aims at the three same skill assets always. And the sole creation of new target audiences creates demands, which eventually will lead into supply.
Well, over the past years most of the work behind the curtain has gone towards "Simplifying things". Look where that's gotten the game - most active players/modders are disheartened, bored, and demotivated because something so simple is quickly figured out and inherently boring.

It would be really good to press to intentionally loosen up on simplifications and allow for more complexity and just let the community sort it out on their own. Like Loctav said, there will always be a large chunk of the game that leans towards simplicity - but a community is not fueled by the lurkers or casual players, it is fueled by content creators and active players. Too much has gone towards making the game more accessible to the masses, to the point where the specializers are actively hampered.

Talking about it is nice and all, but there's no possible way to actually DO anything without convincing people with coding capabilities (and admin access) to work things out - ideas are a dime a dozen, implementation is gold.
Oh boy, my favorite mapping related topic. This type of discussion briefly appeared in the upheaval thread, some of what I said has been commented on already but I want to expand on it. I already see a lot of discussion about the ranking process, etc. so i'll try to add some newer concepts to think about.

General motivation

I think the only people in the end who decide the amount of innovation and creativity that go into the ranking system are the mappers themselves. A map that uses perfectly meta aesthetics, comfortable flow, very safe style, etc, is obviously much easier to rank than something that pushes rc boundaries. So if mappers feel more comfortable mapping in that way from experience then they'll do so, and push those for rank. The thing that will most stop them from pushing experimental types of maps is the boundaries that the ranking system provides- so it does have to do partly with the qualification system, but there can't ever be a perfect system (even though we can come as close as we can). There has to be some sort of quality assurance for ranked maps in the first place.

Leading off of what i said above. If mappers are intrinsically motivated to adhere to mapping styles they're familiar with, I think that we need place a bigger focus on ways we motivate mappers to be different and take risks in their mapping. The spotlight works, sure, but I think at the moment people are looking at the spotlight to see what cool maps might be ranked, that's nice and all. But if we want map spotlights to act as an incentive to mapping creativity, we need it to leave more of an impact and it needs to be hyped up. I've seen mappers not even know that their map received spotlight, if we are going to use this as encouragement to create notable maps then that needs to change. Still, what does spotlight mean to the mapper? I would suggest some kind of icon on the mapset webpage as a reward, maybe something to add to the mappers profile also. (Probably not a badge or a title though because skilled mappers who can earn spotlight multiple times would clutter their profile with that.) Just realized that this was mentioned but expanding i guess.

With that being said, we should also expand on other rewards besides just spotlight. Spotlight can in theory act as a bigger, more prestigious reward, but something smaller that mappers can earn for creating something neat (but not exactly groundbreaking) can help encourage mappers with that little bit of recognition. Like an 'honorable mention" sort of thing. I don't know what that reward might be (probably something that recognizes that map specifically, not just supporter) but an add on to the spotlight for honorable mentions can work. I've seen a lot of skilled mappers with potential say they're quitting, one reason why I think a mapper might leave the mapping scene is that they haven't received enough attention from their maps, so it comes down to how passionate they actually are about mapping, they don't get enough recognition telling them that their maps are cool. To be fair though the ranking system is largely demotivating and can be pretty unforgiving for maps that attempt to push boundaries, which is already kinda adressed with the qualification system in this thread.

The loved section

fix loved lol

User rating can help?

On a separate note, one thing that I think should hold more weight on maps is user rating. It seems as if the most played beatmaps get more attention than those with great user feedback get a lot more attention. I think this encourages pp mapping in a way because players seeing a farm map = lots of retries = more plays on map = front page of website & reddit for big pp plays (and yeah a new pp system as previously mentioned can add to this). With that being said, the amount of exposure a map gets is affected by, and sometimes reliant on, how much pp a map gives. We all know this in some shape or form. I would honestly just replace the most played section on the home page with something that factors in user rating - the only thing here though is that it's easier to give a map a good rating than it is to repetitively play it, and there's bias toward mappers we already know and like, so I'm just suggesting more of a balance in between the two. Thinking about this, CCBC hot like 250k plays in the last 24 hours but ended up with a rating of 6.5 lmao.

That being said, this type of system might just give exposure to creative maps rather than create more variety overall. But I still think it can make that "most played" panel more valuable and give mappers another thing to aim for.

BN flexibility

I saw a little bit of talk about this and think its a great step forward toward diversity. The only problem I see with this is - how? You can say that bns are allowed to change their perspective and take a little more risk but will they? The only problem is that this isn't something that you can enforce, but mostly just encourage. idk anything too specific about the future of the bng, subdivisions, etc. but if we were to penalize a subdivision for nominating a mapset that got a pop or dq, that would discourage taking risks bubbling something that's non-meta conforming. Idk what much else to say about this, but I'd like to see bng structure and map diversity more aligned, if that makes sense.

I think that's it, sorry if its wordy. :o
What Probox said fully resumes the core problem that limits mappers while mapping. We can't and we won't be able to do anything with PP ranking system. Even if the PP system changed the mappers would anyways adapt again to the new system so that their maps will be mostly played due to the effects it has on the player's ranking. If we want to discuss about the nowdays mapping styles and ranked beatmaps we don't have to consider the PP system tbh and we should only focus our selves to find a different solution that doesn't connect the mapping with PP system. When the score system was still above the PP ranking we had bunch of different mapping styles ranked (symmetric maps ex. Andrea, maps with linear patterns ex. djpop, unconsistent spacing but flowing maps ex. siriru, and etc.) while now we only have jumping PP maps and technical ones (that can be considered anyways a style to implement with the ones I mentioned above). Only way I think it may work is to IMPLEMENT the PP system in the mapping and not IMPLEMENT the maps in the PP system, it's a different concept: the ranking should adapt to the map and not the opposite. Well, I will now propose some of the ideas I got with reading your ideas as well. All my ideas are referred to the concept of beatmap category I am gonna to explain.

Beatmaps Category
I would add multiple categories to the qualified/ranked beatmaps in which every beatmaps with specific features and elements that reflect the specific category will be placed at. Categories like: Jumping maps, Techinical maps, Symmetric maps, Flowing maps, Innovative maps, Constant rhythmically maps, etc. where maps can be placed when qualified/ranked and this would push the mappers use different styles on different songs. Of course this would mean that the "PP system has to be adapted to the mapping and not the opposite": hardest maps of that specific category will give more points and PPs. Yea I am still talking about PP but this time it has been adapted to the style of the specific map and not the opposite. Mappers would map more different styles instead of the same annoying PP ones. Well, how can BNs and QATs decide in which category the future ranked map should be placed? This depends by the mapper, modders and BNs/QATs them selves. Once the mapset is finished and the mapper wants to push it on pending beatmaps he should specify in which category he wants the map goes so when the BN/QATs and modders will mod the beatmaps can even vote if they agree with the mappers or not. Of course a beatmap can be mapped with different styles so when I try to search a map to play I can select multiple categories.

Specific BNs
There should be a revisiting on selecting specific BNs for specific Categories. This means that BNs can be able to nominate/qualify different styled maps because they are able to mod and judge those specific categories. This would ofc mean that the team has to be enlarged so that we have a good amount of BNs for each categories (QATs should be able to mod/qualify all kind of categories).

Testplayers Group
Group with selected skilled players can be created to verify if that kind of hard map with that specific category can be played properly and if the map itself respects the style of the category the BN/QAT is gonna to select while nominating/ranking the beatmaps.

Well.. We can't negate that the standard mapping is the hardest one because compared to osu!mania, osu!taiko and osu!ctb every mapper can map as he wants on a full editor grid. It's like impossible to adapt the ranking system to the mapping styles (let's be honest) but the ideas I mentioned are focused especially on that and not on how to revisit RC to give different styles the chance to be ranked and to be played with same intensity of PP maps. I am aware that these ideas are kinda pushed because it would mean some big changes on PP system, BN/QAT system and the system of beatmaps in different categories. But well, despite this I wanted to mention them and nothing. Good topic tho.
I posted this in 2015 and it was promptly rejected, but seeing some of the discussion here I guess it's probably relevant again so I'm linking it again: t/371530

The gist of it is basically to add another state for maps, which would be a "frozen" state for when discussion takes place. The map won't advance in the qualification progress, but it also won't lose any progress until it is properly DQ'd. Only if the map is disqualified due to a significant change does the qualification timer reset, as then the change is big enough that you should have more people look at it again. If the change is minor, or it's a non-issue, the map gets fixed, and unfrozen to continue its journey through qualified.

I'd also like to add that spotlights and whatnot are nice, but they really need to be integrated into the game client and exposed to players. Even just having, say, "most played maps of the week" or "highest user ratings of the week" categories with 5-10 maps showing up in the game client could help promote at least some diversity.
I personally don't think mappers need incentive to map creatively, and I certainly don't think there are ONLY pp maps being made today.. The issue is not lack of mapper creativity, the issue is lack of support for creative/different maps by Staff/Beatmap Nominators. Most BN's are too afraid to rank anything that is something other than anime jump pp maps, which causes there to in turn be nothing but anime jump pp maps...

Don't believe me? Look at this literal quote from a BN on his userpage:

Naotoshi wrote:

most of my bubbles are on fairly bad maps, or rather fairly uninteresting ones. i saw it as necessary, this game needs new content, and without bns nominating rankable-but-not-amazing stuff there just arent enough good mappers out there to keep the game alive.
I think many BN share this same sentiment. The ranking criteria and the pressure of the system not to "rank anything you can't judge" has caused such a stagnation in quality, unique maps being ranked.

If you want to fix it, loosen the ranking criteria and let BN run free ranking whatever content they deem fitting. BN should never feel AFRAID to push a map because of potential backlash from staff/other BN just because it's different than a 1-2 anime jump map. It's so frustrating as both a player and mapper to hear people say that there are no unique maps being made today when it's clearly not true, one look at mappers like dsco or handsome show just how wrong that sentiment is.

Question about quality, would you rather have a map like Miss You, where 50% of people think its absolutely genius and 50% of people loathe it, or a random 5 star anime map that everyone thinks is meh/average ranked?

The current system, from the 24 hour icon bubble popping rule, to the strict regulations on BN, to the lack of quality assurance that comes from having a Quality Assurance Team is what's causing this influx of pp mapping, not mappers "not having the incentive to map creatively". You need to stop thinking of mappers as children that need to be goaded into being creative, and instead put your power and make a difference in the maps being ranked.

It's not necessary to change the pp system to fix mapping, just qualify better maps... Better maps than pp maps exist and are waiting without a willing nominator for months/don't even go for rank because the ranking process would prove literally impossible for them. You as the staff have the power to set the precedent for what can and can't get ranked, so just do it instead of wondering aloud "hmmmm how can we make mappers map creatively again??"

The answer isn't even stopping the ranking of pp maps: if you rank more different/unique maps, more people will in turn want to make different/unique maps because they'll have the feeling that they'll actually be able to rank something that's not the same anime jump map or generic wub mapping style map
agree with kaifin except the "don't rank things you can't play" part because that's a rule that's in place for a reason and is usually forgone anyways by people who are experienced enough. it just keeps people at 80k ranking a 8* on their 2nd month in the bng or something. extreme example but the rule is fine (also not what this thread is about)

Hollow Wings wrote:

2. Perception of difficult maps in cyber vision.
pp system failed in recognizing hard ones, but did well to get rid of easier ones from them, in case of the rank rules we built long times ago: we forbidden proper things in lower mapsets. so we can just focus on harder ones.
How we can call a map is difficult to play? We used to trust the pp system and think now we don't. i always wonder why we call a map's difficulty "Extra" when we have all dthd scores on the ranking board, shouldn't it be "Insane" level if so much people can do that? I'm not talking about the use of classification as diff names done, but from the automatic processing way machines do to give ranks. And as we known computers can hardly see if some map's reading is tricky or tough even from technical way, it's much better to judge it directly from the score board: less people performed good and then that map is surely difficult. Some people may say that it's more like a ppv1 version system, but actually and slightly not. i cant image a much better way to solve this problem for now, and it can be done right now imo. (even i don't now the specific detail way in programming, i know it can be figured out by statistics.)

- This new system will take more power in judging performance of players if the map is a "difficult" one, and do the opposite way if it's easy, let current pp system do the rest of work, it actually still did it well.
Just going to say HW hit the nail on its head on this one. The skill chart Loctav suggest is going to work on everything but reading. Essentially you can do aim, speed, precision, reaction, which are essentially the same things that influences players to play hard maps now, minus precision (small CS). I would love to hope that this will someday be calculated using formula, but upon realization that the future will likely involve new gamemodes that players would want to be ranked, and that those gamemodes may have even more complex mechanics, this will become as unrealistic as you can image. I figure the best way to approach this is to interpret maps as a black box and do statistics on them like HW mentions.
(most important part of this post after the ~~~~. no tl;dr, read all of it, if any. most of the time i spent on this post was spent shortening it. everything below is a miraculous work of artistic brevity compared to the incomprehensible stream-of-consciousness babble it was previously. if you're really impatient just skip down to the bolded parts)

Slightly less important part first, quick and simple: stop pursuing flawlessness.
Creative maps are harder to rank because ranking criteria doesn't value merit, it values flawlessness. They are different things.
As a result, many ranked songs are boring but "flawless" maps.
Proliferation of flawless meritless mapping in ranking section influences community to continue this trend. It's an unhealthy cycle.

Do you want more diverse mapping?
Start ranking more diverse maps.
That means to value flawlessness less, and value merit more.
The mapping community, BNs, and QAT shouldn't be so scared of pushing creative maps even if they have some flaws.

If the ranked section becomes more diversified, the community will follow suit.
Yes, the community generally likes to shit on creative maps, just because they're different from what they know.
But if BNs and QAT keep ranking them regardless, then tastes will change for the better.

So stop being such perfectionists, and have an open mind. That's all. It's too easy to be a perfectionist when you're judging someone else's map as a modder or QAT or BN or whatever, so just stop being a perfectionist and stop being so protective of the ranked section, it stifles the state of mapping. My standards are higher than anyone's, but I'd much much rather see some shitty maps in ranked section than the homogenized maps that fill it today.


ppv2 incentivizes homogenized mapping. ppv2 is THE biggest problem, I don't need to tell you why (but i will anyway lol). ppv2 takes the most boring mapping and places it at the top of a subconcious and completely arbitrary heirarchy. ppv2 is pretty much the sole reason mapping is what it is right now. Want to get your map played often? Put in big jumps in a simple-to-read map. Want to map a memey song from sesame street, but also get it lots of attention? Put in big jumps in a simple-to-read map. Just an innocent mapper who likes to map in a style that happens to have jumps? Now everyone will heap attention and plays on you, which tells you and the rest of the community that that certain style is the only way to go.

ppv2 takes a single hyper-simplified style of mapping and makes it the focal point, the bread-and-butter pattern of the entire game. It's much bigger than just a pattern you see in most maps. It's a paradigm that the whole game is measured by, which is stupid. Even jumps themselves, a perfectly respectable pattern, are now vilified precisely because of the pp system. ppv2 as a system has taken the spirit of competition away from the players themselves and has injected them into the maps. The spirit of competition is good for a game, but is unspeakably cancerous to creative endeavours such as mapping. Instead of competing with each other for ranks on the map leaderboard, they are scrutinizing the maps themselves. If they lose or gain pp, it's no longer because they are better or worse than other players, it's because of the map and its patterns and its resulting difficulty-to-pp ratio. If you want to fix things, shift the spirit of competition away from mappers and back towards players. That kind of competitive milieu doesn't belong to mapping, not if you want mapping to diversify and flourish instead of stagnate.

I know I go on and on about ppv2. People know it's a problem, I just wanted to drive home how much of a problem it is. It's very easy to heap blame on mappers or QAT or BN or any other people, but it's not the people, it's the system. ppv2 as a system is the root cause; everything else is a symptom. PP mapping, PP mappers, community recoil from unfamiliarity -- all are not the problem. ppv2 is. And that's not to say that ppv2 is worthless and tom94 has destroyed mapping; it's been through some rough spots but ppv2/star system is valuable as a very rough approximation of difficulty.

Here's my personal suggestion; calculate skill with leaderboards again. You'll never be able to accurately put difficulty into an equation, it's too subjective and complex, so stop trying. Calculate skill by what rank you get on the leaderboards of a particular map. That will get people looking for different, more interesting maps, it'll create a more diversified "pp canon" which will in turn result in more interesting mapping purely through exposure to different styles. I wasn't around for ppv1, but from what I hear this is similar to that. Of course, the problem with ppv1 (from what I hear) is that because there was no quantified measure of difficulty, a hard diff from osuplayer111 would give more pp than a nice play on freedom dive, for instance. So here is what I am proposing:

0-2 star maps = tier 1 (pp value:1)
2-3 star maps = tier 2 (pp value:3)
3-5 star maps = tier 3 (pp value:7)
5+ star maps = tier 4 (pp value: 20)

PP of map = (100.00 minus rank percentile on map) x (map tier pp value)
Values and star rating can be adjusted and ppv2 values can be fit in somewhere, this is just so you get the general idea.

Reasoning for tiers: I grouped everything above 5 into one because I don't want someone bumping a 5 star map to be a 6 star map just to give it pp. In my experience, people play 5/5.5 star maps to 7 star maps at about the same frequency. I don't play 4 star maps anymore (except ones I REALLY like) but I'll still play 5, 5.5 star maps if they're interesting, and I do all the time, even though most of them are easy for me. The most apparent issue is Apparition being in the same tier as Hitorigoto, but then again, Notch Hell is 5 stars too. And getting top 10 on Apparition and top 10 on Hitorigoto both require significant skill. In this way, the system starts to pit players against each other instead of against the map.

If a map requires little skill to FC, then people will flock to that map to compete for pp, and the value of an FC on that map will decrease. Using mods will obviously remain advantageous (I personally would advocate removing FL from pp, because pure memorization to me is an entirely different skill from every other mod, but that's a debate for another time), but nomod won't be irrelevant either as long as the map is hard enough. In this way, via competition (this is actually a pretty capitalistic system that's based on competition and incentives, rather than forced and rigid regulation), values of scores will be equalized based on their difficulty decided not primarily by an inaccurate equation, but by weighing the performance of a player against other players.

Player scrutiny moves away from the map, which is good; that "spirit of competition" is eliminated from the mapping process, because no matter what mappers throw out there it is against each other that they have to compete. If they lose PP, it's not because they didn't fc because "the map is dumb and plays bad," it's because someone else did better than they did. They don't have to FC to get PP, they just have to do better than everyone else.

Maps below 5 stars can still be rigidly tiered because if you're mapping less than 5 stars, you're not mapping for pp anyway.

This should also mitigate the problems created by ppv2 by de-emphasizing jumps. It will take some time to have a long-lasting effect on the public consciousness, which by now is shaped extremely heavily by the ppv2 paradigm, but it will happen.

One problem I can see arising from this is the enormous amount ranked maps available. Because it's so hard to find unknown or old maps, plays on those maps will be enormously inflated. A solution to this would of course be to develop a map sorting system that can sort from lowest # of scores to highest # of scores. The date ranked should be easily visible as well, just so players know what era of mapping they're getting into. I think in general it should be easier to explore the ranked section, there's a lot of hidden gems out there that I have no idea how to get to. There might also arise a fun pp culture that involves just exploring the ranked section and looking for undiscovered maps to play. There are too many maps rotting in obscurity in both the ranked and graveyarded sections.

In my opinion, anything short of completely revamping the pp system can only partially ameliorate the negative effects ppv2 has had. Piling more extraneous features and categories like loved won't do much to fix the current situation, it'll all just be ineffectual flailing. But if a ppv3 is too drastic, then just stop being a perfectionist about the ranking system and things will be at least somewhat better.

edit: better spotlighting is also a good and less iconoclastic idea, handsome has some nice suggestions.
i think kaifin completely missed the point of my userpage quote. and that's compounded by the fact that i also nominated 2 of those dsco maps lol..

in any case: if you don't think pp causes this issue, go look on top played maps. they are ALL pp maps except for the occasional pop song that appears for a week then falls down.
as long as i'm getting mod replies like http://puu.sh/xyHBA/111a402cd5.png then it's pretty clear what most mappers map for. i mean, people want to be popular, and the easiest way to do that atm is to make a map that completely abuses pp algorithm and gets you tons of plays. yeah you get faded out and irrelevant after a week or a month or whatever but if you make enough of them (doormat, taeyang, lami. slayed, etc etc) you end up being well known regardless.
as a result, i agree that the main problem is the pp system not incentivising interesting maps and as a result the vast majority of players simply ignore anything that isn't 1/2 spam with a diffspike for that sweet peppy points.
aside from that, it's much easier to make a decent anime map (i mean cmon look at all those harumachis and sweets weekends and whatnot lol) than something actually hard, so naturally it's harder to get it ranked. i don't think that's an issue of bns being scared or whatever (we dont get penalized for bubble pops anyway) its just cuz the maps are held to a different standard than generic anime map #29583.
PP does cause the problem but not if you don't let it :/ Sure most players will only want and appreciate pp maps but if you really want to push interesting stuff, there's no need to look at the players too much. There's tons of mappers who prioritise good mapping over wanting to be famous for shitty generic farm maps.
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