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Enforce a minimum beatmapset total playtime

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Ephemeral
A beatmapset was brought to my attention recently for a variety of issues. Upon further inspection, the set had less than a minute of total overall playtime across all of its difficulties, which was rather baffling given that I had erroneously assumed that we had some minimum playtime requirements for sets to even be considered for Ranked.

Thus, I propose the following:

A beatmapset must have a total playtime (across all difficulties) of at least two minutes and forty-five seconds (2:45). Short overall duration sets with a low number of difficulties (1-2) provide little content for players to experience and thus, add little to the ranked category overall. This is made significantly worse at lower star ratings (<2 stars), where less challenging content has considerably less replay value again for most players.
Why?

A beatmapset with less than 2min45s overall playtime across all difficulties provides an extremely low level of content given the effort required to pass it through the Ranked category.

In addition, it is my belief that many in the community barely engage with these sets to begin with, especially in cases where the overall difficulty is very low. Many experienced players can double or triple mod FC these maps in such instances with barely any effort and move on, providing them little replay value, and basically reducing such sets to the sole purpose of inflating the mapper's ranked map count more than anything else.

Establishing a minimum 'effort' cutoff via total beatmapset playtime addresses this issue, and ensures that every beatmapset that hits Ranked is at least offering players a reasonable variety of challenges to overcome.

But why 2:45 exactly?


The original proposal set the cutoff at 3:00, but after some discussion with Naxess, he pointed out that this would essentially end many of the slower TV Size sets for calmer songs, as they tend to err towards two difficulties of 1:28, which falls short of the original cutoff.

Otherwise, 2:45 represents a reasonable ground where low duration beatmaps have to at least have several iterations to offer players a more varied challenge.

For example:

  1. A set for a 30s song now needs to encompass at least 6 difficulties
  2. A set for a 45s song now needs to encompass at least 4 difficulties
  3. A set for a 1min song now needs to encompass at least 3 difficulties

Without this cutoff, two difficulty maps of 30s songs remain technically allowed, and with the leniency granted to easier maps under the spread rulings, these two maps can be geared to be infinitely forgettable and largely worthless to the vast, overwhelming majority of people who play the game.

What impact will this have on mapping at large?

Arguably, very little.

This proposal aims to correct an oversight in the Ranking Criteria, not force mappers to accommodate for anything beyond establishing a bare minimum effort level that must be met in order to qualify a set for ranking in the first place. I suspect that very few, if any mappers creating content will encounter any need to even consider this rule addition actively.
Ascendance
yes please

wording could be touched up a bit but this is a step in the right direction towards getting rid of low effort sets
Bunnrei
A bit of clarification needed: Does the rule apply in a per-mode basis? i.e. if a song is 30 seconds long and the mapset has 2 diffs per mode (bringing the playtime to 4 minutes), will it be allowed to be ranked?
Kiryu Coco
Can you explain how cases like https://osu.ppy.sh/s/495269 should be handled?

It is a good song that is worth mapping, the difficulty doesn't support above a very light rain, and it would require 6 diffs to reach 2:45
Under the current setup it would just lead to content bloat.

I do agree that a minimum effort standard should be enforced, but this isn't the solution unless it's adjusted


edit: In addition, a song will not have the same highest level of difficulty. Take a generic anime tv size map: Standard mode would generally have a low-mid 5* top diff, taiko would have a 4* max, ctb 4.5, and mania 3.5-4*.
Having to do a spread in one of the other modes would be even more challenging because there's less difficulty gaps to cover, leading to more redundant content
(Note the difficulty thing was for a tv size length, but the same difficulty scaling would apply to 30-60 second songs, resulting in less room to work with)

The proposal does not work in its current form and needs changes. I don't know what those changes should be but the solution for something subjective as this isn't easy
Secre
2:45 seems a bit long for the fact that gathering a full spread (5 difficulties, ENHIX) for 30 seconds brings it to just under 2:45

instead of 2:45, something such as 2:15 would be more acceptable in a case like this imo

plus, what about the songs that are just really really slow piano based songs that you simply can't map insanes/extras for? are you supposed to just spurt out 4 easys and normals to fit the rule?

one of my current beatmapsets https://osu.ppy.sh/s/905046 would be considered unrankable following this new rule, even though its a complete ENHIX spread where the X is considered to already be overdone

while I agree that something should be done towards low effort beatmapsets getting ranked, I believe limiting things based off of time total like this is not the right way forward. If I remember correctly, there's already a RC guideline stated here:

"The highest difficulty of a beatmapset should correspond to the general feel of the song. Easy/Normal difficulties can be used as a lone difficulty of a beatmapset if their rhythms are not oversimplified. A Hard difficulty or beyond should be included otherwise."

This RC guideline does a decent job at making sure the low effort beatmaps that are truly low effort (doing less work than possible) don't get ranked
wonjae
yea a floor of 2:15-2:30 would be better imo but this is good idea
UndeadCapulet
this doesnt solve your issue at all, the set owner can just make 4 more pisseasy difficulties in 10 minutes and boom its rankable again. this would just punish ppl actually trying to make interesting sets that happen to be on short calm songs and not harm ppl obviously trolling w/ their song choice.
Noffy
feels like this would just lead to forced bloat of content where it's not really needed. multiplying a set three times in size for a slow chill song won't make the mapset any more meaningful for the player base. What is gross in cases like uta intro version is such extensive cutting of the song, which I don't think this proposal really addresses...
Ascendance
the big thing here is the fact that there is no way to value "effort" in the RC in a way that isn't overly biased or something equally as problematic. what is essentially "low effort" like uta intro ver. to some people might not be the same case for others, like for example the two people who nominated the set

i said this internally but either restricting cuts specifically in a way where something like this is absolutely unacceptable (because it should be) or moving the time down to 2:00 so that more of the "acceptable" stuff can get through would still be nice

as i said earlier, the wording of all of this needs tweaking but this is definitely on the right path towards a higher quality standard for ranked content
eiri-
like a bunch of other people here said, a strict time requirement doesn't seem like the best idea because then it rules out genuinely interesting songs or it increases content bloat to reach the minimum time required. ie https://osu.ppy.sh/beatmapsets/859783#osu/1893461 vs https://osu.ppy.sh/beatmapsets/968570#fruits/2026676 where the first one would be fine due to the spread's duplicate difficulties yet the second one wouldn't in it's current state. but the difference between the two is that the first one is actually short in length but the second one is a cut. instead of limiting songs are are actually short like shining star, which had to be extended to reach 30 seconds, it would be better to have a limitation as to how much can be cut from a song. because tbh if you're cutting more than 50 or 70% of a song then it just feels blatantly disrespectful to the artists that put time into making the entire song, and misrepresentative of what the song actually is, like was stated multiple times on the uta intro ver thread.

tl;dr potential issues with a time requirement are content bloat and can be to restricting uncut, calm songs whilst a percentage of how much can be cut from a song may negate the current lack of effort and/or misrepresentation of a song.
dennischan
Could it be possible to have two cut-off times depending on whether the song was cut or not?

It could be written like this -

You must have a total beatmapset playtime of at least 1:45.This is to prevent ranking low effort beatmapsets which add little to the ranking section.
However, if your song is cut, it must have a total beatmapset playtime of at least 2:45.


The potential benefit of wording it like this can be to allow interesting, uncut songs to reach rank easily while banning any cut songs which do not have enough musical variety and complexity for a full spread.
Xierra
I think this rule should only apply to Cut versions of songs, while actual short songs do not apply to this rule entirely. I think it's fair that way. :)
KotoriIsMyWaifu

dennischan wrote:

Could it be possible to have two cut-off times depending on whether the song was cut or not?

It could be written like this -

You must have a total beatmapset playtime of at least 1:45.This is to prevent ranking low effort beatmapsets which add little to the ranking section.
However, if your song is cut, it must have a total beatmapset playtime of at least 2:45.


The potential benefit of wording it like this can be to allow interesting, uncut songs to reach rank easily while banning any cut songs which do not have enough musical variety and complexity for a full spread.

Xierra wrote:

I think this rule should only apply to Cut versions of songs, while actual short songs do not apply to this rule entirely. I think it's fair that way. :)
I agree with these. In the original post, it is also stated that most players tend to not care about 30 second piano pieces anyway, which is true. This new rule would mostly affect songs that are actually interesting enough to map or play but are very short such as https://osu.ppy.sh/b/1596064. I don't really understand why huge cuts of songs are allowed anyway (not counting official differences such as TV Size vs full version). As mentioned:

eiri- wrote:

instead of limiting songs are are actually short like shining star, which had to be extended to reach 30 seconds, it would be better to have a limitation as to how much can be cut from a song. because tbh if you're cutting more than 50 or 70% of a song then it just feels blatantly disrespectful to the artists that put time into making the entire song, and misrepresentative of what the song actually is, like was stated multiple times on the uta intro ver thread.
In conclusion, I generally agree with this rule but exceptions should be made for short, interesting songs. 30 second cuts of full songs just shouldn't be acceptable, though.
Rolniczy
I appreciate this finally got some attention, now it's time to clarify a bit more what were my original concerns I brought up in mapset you've mentioned with potential suggestions on what to change.

Your proposal could be working well but it tends to be useless in certain cases. If I'm about to make a 30 second mapset (whether it be original length or cut), in order to make it rankable with proposed changes all I need to do is just add some more diffs and all is good. Meanwhile this seems like perfect solution, this ruins the idea of making small sets for rather calmer songs, or songs which aren't really that various in terms of creating more interesting diffs. Would you find more interesting small mapset for calm song or bigger set potential for exact same song?

This leads to next thing I want to mention. Your proposal dismisses original concern I brought up here regarding drasticall song cut of a featured artist. While originally I used mappers' guild rules regarding official songs cut (which is somewhat acceptable if cut contains reasonable length, can be seen of FAQ tab on their website) which doesn't really involve mapper to obey them if outside of the guild, I feel that specific rule should be live on any song leading towards ranking section where major cutoff has place, as it is disrespectful towards artist and massively goes down on variety certain song provides, especially when this is a featured artist song. Which brings me to the proposal point I want to write down here (I'm not that good in wording my thoughts in foreign language but you should get my point):

  1. Avoid drastically shortening song's MP3. This is to ensure quality of a Ranked section with variety of songs. Meanwhile minor edits are acceptable, using major cut-offs of content created by artists should be discouraged.


While I have mixed feelings about point you brought up about mapsets which doesn't really add much into ranked section (having barely over a minute of total drain), in some cases there's nothing mapper can do about it, that's how the original song was designed so this may result in content bloat if were about to make at least 6 diffs for not that intense song. That's why this should be a bit more centered about song cuts overall instead of trying to go with the way you proposed.

Minor cuts like 5150 where you usually get rid of one verse & chorus section in rather long song (which is pretty popular nowadays) still can have place because their usage doesn't fully intend to get rid of all song content artist had created. While personally I don't fully support that, this seems to be a reasonable cut. Major cuts like Uta, with 30 seconds of length out of original 9 minutes (extreme case), or longlasting in most played Make a Move, with barely exceeding 50 seconds out of original 2:50 length (questionable case), should be discouraged.

Despite the thing I came up with quoting rules from mappers guild in original discussion post, I strongly believe the way cuts are being hold should be more strict, no matter if it's official featured artist song or not.

tl;dr major cuts bad, minor cuts good, total drain time proposal questionable
dennischan
I agree with the concerns that Rolniczy has bought up. After communicating with Rolniczy, we have decided to suggest a different rule to limit excessive cuts which do not contribute much to the ranked section.

Rule writeup -
"A cut song must not be shorter than 1 minute, and it must additionally not be less than 50% of the original song. This is to prevent excessive cuts which do not provide enough content to the ranked section.

Official TV sizes are exempted from this rule as they are cuts produced by the artist themselves.


This rule can prevent excessive cuts better than the proposed rule and it also allows interesting short songs to still reach ranked unimpeded. It also prevents maps with excessively cut songs from circumventing the proposed regulation by just making more difficulties.

The main objection to this would be that it bans TV size. As we all know, TV size anime maps are often among the most played maps and banning them would cause many players disappointment and anger. Therefore, to alleviate this problem, we suggested to exempt official TV size cuts to allow mappers to continue making these interesting and engaging maps.
QuiescentRabbit
Don't exempt just TV sizes but any official cuts by the artist themselves. A good example would be songs from rhythm games. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9vkrmbYiDo is technically a cut of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koY4VSycPa4 but that's because it's for another rhythm game.
dennischan
Yea the actual wording can be changed, this is just a rough draft for people to refer to.

Something like the actual percentage allowed to be cut and the time required can also be changed according to vote or community input
shardex
I guess this proposal should exclude songs compilations for more clarification (unless someone has a word for this)
Daletto
I think Ephemeral made a good suggestion from my point of view.
celerih
I actually p much disagree with this, feels like it's trying to block one specific set without really considering the impact on other stuff. If an artist makes a calm short song I don't see why you should be forced to create a ton of diffs for it, especially when these calmer songs don't necessarily have much to offer rhythm and creativity wise. Content bloat is a serious problem and this proposal wouldn't really help with that

Something much better would be to rule out cutting songs past a certain % or just disallow cutting stuff so it's shorter than 1min. It's already been made apparent that trying to rule out cutting stuff all together isn't gonna happen but we can at least try to avoid the really really bad abuse cases. Plus this proposal wouldn't even cover other really bad cuts like https://osu.ppy.sh/s/765778 which imo are just as bad as the stuff like uta intro ver
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