[Discussion] osu!catch RC modifications

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Topic Starter
ZiRoX
Hello guys!

Lately I've seen a lot of discussion regarding some aspects of the Ranking Criteria, which led me to write a draft to address these issues, along with other fixes that were required. While this draft is quite lengthy, as it involves a new definitions, new rules and modification of already existing ones, I think it's important that you make yourself some time to read it and give us your feedback on the ideas themselves or their wording, as it's on us to make a more comprehensive, objective and generally better Ranking Criteria.

Let's get moving!

1) All dashes/HDashes in Salad/Platter allowed depending on BPM

Current rules for Salad and Platters allow 1/2 (and larger) dashes and HDashes, respectively, to be used independently of BPM. Although cases where a 1/2 dash or HDash would be stronger than a 1/4 at 120 BPM are rare (song should be >240 BPM), they can occur (as far as I know, someone is mapping a 290 BPM song) and there’s some opinions that they are not right. Therefore, it is convenient that all type of dashes/HDashes are relativized with respect to BPM, by extending the recently approved rule to all snaps. Therefore, the following rules are proposed:

Salad
Dashes may be used if the time between the ticks of the desired snapping is 125ms or higher. As an example, 1/3 dashes would be allowed at 160 BPM and below, whereas 1/4 dashes would be allowed at 120 BPM and below.
Platter
Dashes may be used if the time between the ticks of the desired snapping is 62ms or higher. As an example, 1/6 dashes would be allowed at 160 BPM and below, whereas 1/8 dashes would be allowed at 120 BPM and below.

Hyperdashes may be used if the time between the ticks of the desired snapping is 125ms or higher. As an example, 1/3 hyperdashes would be allowed at 160 BPM and below, whereas 1/4 hyperdashes would be allowed under 120 BPM.
Rain
Hyperdashes may be used if the time between the ticks of the desired snapping is 62ms or higher. As an example, 1/6 hyperdashes would be allowed at 160 BPM and below, whereas 1/8 hyperdashes would be allowed at 120 BPM and below.

2) Object-spinner spacing based on ms, rather than bars

The minimum object-spinner distance is currently defined as bars based on intervals of BPM. Since some elements have already been relativized with respect to BPM based on a definition in ms, the same thing could be done for object-spinner distance. Note that the defined times are equivalent to current boundaries. Based on this, rules in all diffs should be changed according to the following:

Cup
At least 250 ms must be left between objects and the start and end of spinners to ensure readability.
Salad
At least 250 ms must be left between objects and the start and end of spinners to ensure readability.
Platter
At least 125 ms must be left between objects and the start of spinners to ensure readability.

At least 250 ms must be left between objects and the end of spinners to ensure readability.
Rain
At least 125 ms must be left between objects and the start of spinners to ensure readability.

At least 250 ms must be left between objects and the end of spinners to ensure readability.
Overdose
At least 62 ms must be left between objects and the start of spinners to ensure readability.

At least 250 ms must be left between objects and the end of spinners to ensure readability.

3) Basic dash/hyperdash concept

The current Ranking Criteria makes a distinction between basic and higher snapped dashes/HDashes. This distinction is somewhat important because it affects whether dashes/HDashes can be used consecutively and my to-be-proposed idea of allowing antiflow for certain dashes/HDashes in Salad/Platters respectively.

I'e come to a definition whose idea I like, although the wording might not be optimal. Therefore, I suggest the following addition to the glossary:

Basic dash/hyperdash: Any dash or hyperdash whose time between fruits is at least double the time required to allow dashes or hyperdashes, respectively. As an example, a hyperdash between objects separated by 250 ms in a Platter classifies as a basic hyperdash.

4) Antiflow dashes/HDashes in Salad/Platter

There are concerns that the antiflow HDash rule in Platters is too restrictive. I also consider that it should be worth including it for dashes in Salads to some extent (I personally don’t want to see a quick 1/4 dash landing in antiflow). Nevertheless, there’s some sort of “implicit agreement” that hyperdashes landing in circles followed by antiflow are okay, while sliders are not. This is most probably because sliders imply droplets, which can hit players’ accuracy. Therefore, I propose the following rules:

Salad
Basic dashes might be followed by antiflow sliders. Higher snapped dashes must not be followed by antiflow sliders.
Platter
Basic hyperdashes might be followed by antiflow sliders. Higher snapped hyperdashes must not be followed by antiflow sliders.

5) Consecutive dashes/HDashes

The previous rules left out a tiny bit about consecutive dashes/HDashes. Additionally, the rule regarding consecutive HDashes in Rain difficulties refer to “consecutive objects” in the current Ranking Criteria; however, the intention was always meant to be “consecutive fruits”. Therefore, I propose the following additions:

Salad
Basic dashes can be used up to twice in consecutive fruits. Higher snapped dashes may be used singularly (not in conjuction with other dashes)
Platter
Basic hyperdashes can be used up to twice in consecutive fruits. Higher snapped dashes might be used singularly (not in conjuction with other hyperdashes or dashes)
Rain
Basic hyperdashes can be used up to four times in consecutive fruits. Higher snapped might be used twice consecutively and can be used in conjuction with dashes.

6) Other changes

Some other small modifications and additions are proposed:

Cup
Rules
  1. Dashes and hyperdashes of any kind are disallowed. This is to ensure an easy starting experience to beginner players. It must be possible to achieve an SS rank on the difficulty without making use of the dash key.
Salad
Rules
  1. Hyperdashes of any kind are disallowed. This is to ensure a manageable step in difficulty for novice players.
  2. Dashes of different beat snap (1/2, 1/4, etc.) must not be used between consecutive fruits.


Guidelines
  1. All distances should be clear on whether they require the player to walk or a dash. This is to ensure that players can easily recognize patterns that require dashing.
Platter
Rules
  1. Hyperdashes of different beat snap (1/2, 1/4, etc.) must not be used between consecutive fruits.


Guidelines
  1. Strong hyperdashes should not be used. For basic hyperdashes, a limit of 1.5x above the trigger distance is recommended. For higher snapped hyperdashes, a limit of 1.3x is recommended instead.
Rain
Rules
  1. Hyperdashes of different beat snap (1/2, 1/4, etc.) must not be used between consecutive fruits.

7) Additional discussion

I also want to particularly start a discussion in a certain topic: antiflow after dashes/hdashes in Salad/Platter. My current proposal allows it after basic dashes/HDashes. Based on recent conversations I've seen in the modding Discord server, I think we agree on the broad definition of antiflow, but haven't come to consensus on what is strong (and thus, disallowed for these matters) antiflow. So, what should be the limit of acceptable antiflow after dashes/Hdashes? One idea could be that the head and tail must overlap vertically by a couple pixels for the antiflow to be acceptable (this one is easy to inspect visually, but maybe somewhat restrictive). Another option would be to define a maximum horizontal movement as a fraction of the distance a fully horizontal slider would have, using the same SV settings than the object starting the hyperdash to avoid manipulation. So, for example, if we set that fraction as 50% and a fully horizontal slider would have 120 px between head and tail, an antiflow movement after a dash/HDash could have 60 px at most of horizontal movement.

Finally, considering the changes proposed here, I think that the guidelines about note density could be reworked so that they are also defined depending on BPM, rather than being a strict snap.

Closing words

I've tried hard to address the issues with the Ranking Criteria I have perceived, either through my own opinion or through discussion (in-game, discord, etc). Obviously, I might have missed something, or posted something you don't agree with. So I will insist that your feedback is really important to come up with a better Ranking Criteria, so please voice your opinion.

Given the sheer number of stuff proposed, I will give this discussion a month, ending at 23:59 UTC on December 4th. After that, I'll bring it to the UBKRC to work on the wording and more formal stuff.
Adiopulse
I don't think you should ever confine an HDash to a certain bpm
Ascendance
There needs to be a concrete rule / definition about antiflow. As long as the rule is open to interpretation, certain people will be able to force antiflow in ways that aren’t allowed, but aren’t restricted by Nominators because the rule doesn’t define how it works. A picture, an angle maximum, or some sort of lengthier definition about the topic is 100% needed.
MBomb

ZiRoX wrote:

4) Antiflow dashes/HDashes in Salad/Platter

There are concerns that the antiflow HDash rule in Platters is too restrictive. I also consider that it should be worth including it for dashes in Salads to some extent (I personally don’t want to see a quick 1/4 dash landing in antiflow). Nevertheless, there’s some sort of “implicit agreement” that hyperdashes landing in circles followed by antiflow are okay, while sliders are not. This is most probably because sliders imply droplets, which can hit players’ accuracy. Therefore, I propose the following rules:

Salad
Basic dashes might be followed by antiflow sliders. Higher snapped dashes must not be followed by antiflow sliders.
Platter
Basic hyperdashes might be followed by antiflow sliders. Higher snapped hyperdashes must not be followed by antiflow sliders.
Just some quick comments on this part, for now, will post comments on other stuff when I have more time.

This doesn't really make sense, as antiflow is specifically defined as a strong velocity change. What counts as a strong velocity change is dependant on the initial velocity of the HDash of course, so therefore, specifically allowing antiflow on some sliders and not others based on strength does not make any sense, given that the strength already determines what is/isn't antiflow to some degree. For example, with a HDash of 2x snap, a vertical slider would probably be classed as "antiflow", as there is a sudden velocity change there. However, I feel like these cases are not what you intended to mean, and you intended to mean direction changes.

Wording could easily be adjusted to this to have direction changes as allowed, rather than antiflow, on weaker HDashes.
Tenshichan
The antiflow rule seems very arbitrary, as well as the proposed ideas to somewhat set a rule. Imo this is something, rather than setting a rule, should always be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Also, there should be room for exceptions regarding the first proposal. It feels kind of restrictive limiting it to the BPM.

Also any reasoning why all the spinner-end-to-note distances are the same for any difficulties, and it does not decrease even for overdose? At this level the difference should be near nil
celerih

ZiRoX wrote:

Guidelines
  1. Strong hyperdashes should not be used. For basic hyperdashes, a limit of 1.5x above the trigger distance is recommended. For higher snapped hyperdashes, a limit of 1.3x is recommended instead.
This is my only complain that hasn't been brought up yet. I think this fits better in rules. Platters serve as introduction to hypers, and having super strong hypers that are 1.5x over the trigger limit simply don't work well as an introduction. I see this as the same reasoning behind 1/4 hypers not being allowed, they're too quick for players not used to hypers.

I'd like to know what other people feel about this. If this passes has a guideline I just hope it's used sparingly for very strong sounds, and not just become the norm
MBomb

celerih wrote:

ZiRoX wrote:

Guidelines
  1. Strong hyperdashes should not be used. For basic hyperdashes, a limit of 1.5x above the trigger distance is recommended. For higher snapped hyperdashes, a limit of 1.3x is recommended instead.
This is my only complain that hasn't been brought up yet. I think this fits better in rules. Platters serve as introduction to hypers, and having super strong hypers that are 1.5x over the trigger limit simply don't work well as an introduction. I see this as the same reasoning behind 1/4 hypers not being allowed, they're too quick for players not used to hypers.

I'd like to know what other people feel about this. If this passes has a guideline I just hope it's used sparingly for very strong sounds, and not just become the norm
I do agree with you here, however about that last sentence, the exact point of a guideline is that it's only allowed to be used in exceptional cases, hence why it wouldn't become the norm.
Ascendance
The change to that guideline is good, was probably the dumbest rule by far.
Electoz

ZiRoX wrote:

7) Additional discussion

I also want to particularly start a discussion in a certain topic: antiflow after dashes/hdashes in Salad/Platter. My current proposal allows it after basic dashes/HDashes. Based on recent conversations I've seen in the modding Discord server, I think we agree on the broad definition of antiflow, but haven't come to consensus on what is strong (and thus, disallowed for these matters) antiflow. So, what should be the limit of acceptable antiflow after dashes/Hdashes? One idea could be that the head and tail must overlap vertically by a couple pixels for the antiflow to be acceptable (this one is easy to inspect visually, but maybe somewhat restrictive). Another option would be to define a maximum horizontal movement as a fraction of the distance a fully horizontal slider would have, using the same SV settings than the object starting the hyperdash to avoid manipulation. So, for example, if we set that fraction as 50% and a fully horizontal slider would have 120 px between head and tail, an antiflow movement after a dash/HDash could have 60 px at most of horizontal movement.
My idea to define "strong" definition of antiflow would be:



Since we have a thing regarding not going over 1.5x distance anyways, I feel like this can be done in an opposite way too
For example, [1] hdashes to [2], the distance from [2] to the next object must be less than [0.x] of the trigger distance
DragonSlayer96
These thoughts are more sort of incomplete as of now, just want to get what I am thinking out now before I start doing a few other things to get other suggestions. Hopefully I will be able to post what I find in a few weeks.

ZiRoX, I know that you along with me and a lot of others were mapping years ago. I know back then there were no written rules on how to map/mod CtB (well, none that I knew of to such a degree of the RC), we just knew what was acceptable and what was not acceptable. My thing is that the RC is limiting in what we are allowed to do. Yes, the concepts look nice on paper, but when you get in editor, there are quite a few maps we can not map appropriately because of how the current RC is stated. Yes, I like how the changes you are proposing are making it so we have more freedom in the editor, but most (if not all) of the rules stated in the RC is stuff that should be easily understood if you played the game mode for a while before you went into editor. You might not know that a 1/4 dash for a Salad on a 200 BPM song is not acceptable when you map, but when you testplay (which you should before you submit anyway) that should be caught and fixed. Yes, things get passed mappers, but that is why there should be a decent amount of modders who look at your map. I don't care if you are new to mapping or a vet at it, stuff still gets missed and should be checked.

The concept of anti-flow I would say that it is more of a song based rather than BPM based type thing. Yes, I can find two songs of 200 BPM. That does not mean both sound the same and that means they won't be mapped the same. What would be considered little anti-flow on one might be considered harsh on the other song. It also depends on what the anti-flow is being mapped to. I will explain better as I can figure out how to word it appropriately

With any guidelines/criteria that we make, there are going to be people who abuse it and say "Hey, it isn't in here so it is acceptable" or "It says I can do it like this so my map is correct." and spam like hell the same hyper, hyper, dash over and over. Am I saying this to allow Overdose mapping on a Rain or Hypers on a Salad? No way! Am I saying that we should release the krakens and let any/all things through? I would quit CtB then if that was the case and delete this game from my computer, never to download it again. As a community, we should know what is acceptable. But - in the end - regardless of what we do, people will complain that it is restricting them. Yes, I was not around when the current guidelines were established, but I have heard that it started off as a discussion just like this so people could voice their opinion, but people did not and we are in the mess we are today. There is a lot more I want to say, but I do need to gather my thoughts or it is just going to become more random.
Yuii-
On salads after placing a dash having an anti-flow slider sucks quite a bunch. Especially if that said slider is fully horizontal. It really, really depends on the map though, some people have executed this properly (or at least they know how to do it without affecting playability without a massive spike on a certain pattern).
Sorcerer

celerih wrote:

I'd like to know what other people feel about this. If this passes has a guideline I just hope it's used sparingly for very strong sounds, and not just become the norm
Strongly support this being a guideline and greater use of guidelines in general. Rules are non-negotiable and risk holding back creativity, with this as a guideline you can use strong hypers to represent strong sounds where there are pauses afterwards that allow the player to recover. As a rule such edge cases would require explicit exemptions and would just further bloat the ranking criteria.

Guidelines are not considered optional, they're intended to be followed unless you are able to adequately justify your reasoning for not doing so. We have the entirety of the ranking process to ensure guidelines are being properly followed, from the mapper, to modders, to BN's and the qualified section, if that's not enough then our attitudes must change, not the rules.

The more rules in place, the greater the restrictions are on mappers and risks cementing a mapping meta and preventing new styles from emerging.

I think the proposed antiflow rules would also be better suited as guidelines and be left up to community discretion as to what is and isn't acceptable rather than coming up with convoluted methods to determine at exactly what point antiflow is too strong.
Sinnoh
Because we're making modificatons to the RC, I think there is potential for another guideline to be added for salads, maybe platter:
All distances should be clear on whether they require the player to walk or a dash.
I've never seen a time where people thought having something inbetween was acceptable. Adding this guideline will help newer mappers create better structure on low diffs, and helps enforce one of the most commonly suggested unwritten rules.
Topic Starter
ZiRoX
NOTE: Added a new guideline based on Sinnoh's comment, regarding ambiguous distances in Salads.

Ascendance wrote:

There needs to be a concrete rule / definition about antiflow. As long as the rule is open to interpretation, certain people will be able to force antiflow in ways that aren’t allowed, but aren’t restricted by Nominators because the rule doesn’t define how it works. A picture, an angle maximum, or some sort of lengthier definition about the topic is 100% needed.
Certainly that's one of the ideas, but I didn't think it appropiate coming with such a substantial change on my own on something with differing opinions.

MBomb wrote:

Just some quick comments on this part, for now, will post comments on other stuff when I have more time.

This doesn't really make sense, as antiflow is specifically defined as a strong velocity change. What counts as a strong velocity change is dependant on the initial velocity of the HDash of course, so therefore, specifically allowing antiflow on some sliders and not others based on strength does not make any sense, given that the strength already determines what is/isn't antiflow to some degree. For example, with a HDash of 2x snap, a vertical slider would probably be classed as "antiflow", as there is a sudden velocity change there. However, I feel like these cases are not what you intended to mean, and you intended to mean direction changes.

Wording could easily be adjusted to this to have direction changes as allowed, rather than antiflow, on weaker HDashes.
I get what you mean. I think we could rework the antiflow definition, something like "A velocity change that goes against the preceeding movement (i.e. a direction or catcher speed change.").

The antiflow rules could then be split into two parts: the direction changes, for which you have to define a maximum movement upon landing, and the catcher speed changes, for which you have to define a minimum movement upon landing.

Tenshichan wrote:

The antiflow rule seems very arbitrary, as well as the proposed ideas to somewhat set a rule. Imo this is something, rather than setting a rule, should always be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Also, there should be room for exceptions regarding the first proposal. It feels kind of restrictive limiting it to the BPM.

Also any reasoning why all the spinner-end-to-note distances are the same for any difficulties, and it does not decrease even for overdose? At this level the difference should be near nil
The antiflow rule is to prevent the highest snapped dashes/hyperdashes in Salad-Platter diffs to not contain antiflow. Regulation of antiflow in these cases must be done, as some heated discussions have already taken place due to the ambiguity of the current rule. Case-by-case analysis will lead to "why was this mapper allowed to do it while I wasn't???".

The first proposal is an extension of an already existing rule. Below 240 BPM, the rule stays the same. This just adds new regulation for stuff above 240 BPM.

The spinner from/to notes distances have the same limits as the currently existing rules. Particularly, we wanted the spinner to note distance to add enough time to react, should players take a route that leads them to the other side of the screen (and no, learning a spinner beforehand is not a solution).

celerih wrote:

This is my only complain that hasn't been brought up yet. I think this fits better in rules. Platters serve as introduction to hypers, and having super strong hypers that are 1.5x over the trigger limit simply don't work well as an introduction. I see this as the same reasoning behind 1/4 hypers not being allowed, they're too quick for players not used to hypers.

I'd like to know what other people feel about this. If this passes has a guideline I just hope it's used sparingly for very strong sounds, and not just become the norm
As MBomb and Sorcerer said, Guidelines are to be followed in all situations unless you can provide a reasoning that is deemed acceptable by nominating BNs/QATs. If you intended to use it throughout all your map, you'd have to explain each usage.

DragonSlayer96 wrote:

These thoughts are more sort of incomplete as of now, just want to get what I am thinking out now before I start doing a few other things to get other suggestions. Hopefully I will be able to post what I find in a few weeks.

ZiRoX, I know that you along with me and a lot of others were mapping years ago. I know back then there were no written rules on how to map/mod CtB (well, none that I knew of to such a degree of the RC), we just knew what was acceptable and what was not acceptable. My thing is that the RC is limiting in what we are allowed to do. Yes, the concepts look nice on paper, but when you get in editor, there are quite a few maps we can not map appropriately because of how the current RC is stated. Yes, I like how the changes you are proposing are making it so we have more freedom in the editor, but most (if not all) of the rules stated in the RC is stuff that should be easily understood if you played the game mode for a while before you went into editor. You might not know that a 1/4 dash for a Salad on a 200 BPM song is not acceptable when you map, but when you testplay (which you should before you submit anyway) that should be caught and fixed. Yes, things get passed mappers, but that is why there should be a decent amount of modders who look at your map. I don't care if you are new to mapping or a vet at it, stuff still gets missed and should be checked.

The concept of anti-flow I would say that it is more of a song based rather than BPM based type thing. Yes, I can find two songs of 200 BPM. That does not mean both sound the same and that means they won't be mapped the same. What would be considered little anti-flow on one might be considered harsh on the other song. It also depends on what the anti-flow is being mapped to. I will explain better as I can figure out how to word it appropriately

With any guidelines/criteria that we make, there are going to be people who abuse it and say "Hey, it isn't in here so it is acceptable" or "It says I can do it like this so my map is correct." and spam like hell the same hyper, hyper, dash over and over. Am I saying this to allow Overdose mapping on a Rain or Hypers on a Salad? No way! Am I saying that we should release the krakens and let any/all things through? I would quit CtB then if that was the case and delete this game from my computer, never to download it again. As a community, we should know what is acceptable. But - in the end - regardless of what we do, people will complain that it is restricting them. Yes, I was not around when the current guidelines were established, but I have heard that it started off as a discussion just like this so people could voice their opinion, but people did not and we are in the mess we are today. There is a lot more I want to say, but I do need to gather my thoughts or it is just going to become more random.
The development of the Ranking Criteria is to avoid having these "unwritten" rules, in order to have a clear framework that we can apply to any beatmap. It is particularly helpful for newer catch mappers or even people that come from other modes, which might not have the practical experience you say. Even with the Ranking Criteria there, there are a lot of mappers that inconsciously put unrankables in their maps, especially newer ones. If we didn't have this clear framework, maps would have even more unrankable issues and modders would have to point out objective unrankables instead of polishing a beatmap already complying with the RC.

Yuii- wrote:

On salads after placing a dash having an anti-flow slider sucks quite a bunch. Especially if that said slider is fully horizontal. It really, really depends on the map though, some people have executed this properly (or at least they know how to do it without affecting playability without a massive spike on a certain pattern).
Got you covered qt

Sinnoh wrote:

Because we're making modificatons to the RC, I think there is potential for another guideline to be added for salads, maybe platter:
All distances should be clear on whether they require the player to walk or a dash.
I've never seen a time where people thought having something inbetween was acceptable. Adding this guideline will help newer mappers create better structure on low diffs, and helps enforce one of the most commonly suggested unwritten rules.
I'm a retard. Added this for Salads, as there is consensus that this applies to them. Personally I also agree with adding them for Platters, but I'd prefer hearing more opinions.
Sanyi
Stating my opinion about the proposal really quickly.

I agree with the points 1-3 and 6. 1 and 2 were just really bad, JBHyperion already did an exception for the 2nd rule in Hex's Zen Zen Zense mapset (the last spinner on the Cup diff). I think what Tenshichan said should still be considered though:

Tenshichan wrote:

Also any reasoning why all the spinner-end-to-note distances are the same for any difficulties, and it does not decrease even for overdose? At this level the difference should be near nil.
I am still unhappy with 2 things though:

1. We need a 100% clear definition for antiflow (I know that already many people said this but it can't be said often enough).

2. I don't know how much you guys know about the "lower level players", but my personal experience is that many players have much problems with the step from Salads to Platters. I think that the amount of freedom that the current proposal provides for mapping harder Platters is too much. Consecutive hypers should be no topic in Platters at all, I also think that antiflow after hypers is pretty edgy. I also agree with celerih about the strong hyper usage:

celerih wrote:

This is my only complain that hasn't been brought up yet. I think this fits better in rules. Platters serve as introduction to hypers, and having super strong hypers that are 1.5x over the trigger limit simply don't work well as an introduction. I see this as the same reasoning behind 1/4 hypers not being allowed, they're too quick for players not used to hypers.
As you can already see: I think Platters should be more restricted.

One last comment: Others here did only mention the pros of more guidelines instead of rules (and the things that were mentioned are right imo). But these pros can also be cons: With more guidelines, there will be more controversial discussions which can be avoided with rules.

MBomb wrote:

The exact point of a guideline is that it's only allowed to be used in exceptional cases, hence why it wouldn't become the norm.
Since no one can exactly rule when an exception is ok and when not, the number of exception cannot be completely ruled either, therefore this argument is not reassuring me.
Sinnoh
I also think we should add something about not ending normal dashes at x16/496. I think it's fine for higher diffs, but shouldn't really be done on platter/salad
pishifat
archived becuase zirox will be replacing soon
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