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Forum modding

Forum modding, also known as Modding v1, is a colloquial name of the forum-based modding and ranking system that was mainly used until November 4, 2017, when all new and inactive beatmaps were switched to beatmap discussions by default.

In the forum modding system, every beatmap had a forum thread for communication and logging of the ranking procedure.

Beatmap thread

A forum thread was created for a beatmap during its initial submission and contained free-form comments, guest difficulty interactions, and structured feedback in form of mod posts. It served as the main hub for discussion between all users interested in the beatmap: regular players, the beatmap host, guest mappers, modders, and members of these beatmap ranking teams:

A forum thread was automatically moved between different forum sections loosely tied to the beatmap categories:

Star priority

Main article: Star priority

In every subforum, beatmap threads were sorted by their star priority, which had several purposes:

  • 12 star priority was required before a beatmap could receive a bubble.
  • Some modders and members of the BAT relied on star priority when deciding which map to mod or review next.
  • Star priority was a rough measure of a beatmap's popularity among modders and mappers.

The priority of a beatmap could be increased by mods receiving kudosu or users shooting kudosu stars. In modern beatmap discussions, star priority is comparable to a beatmap's hype count.

Thread icons

The beatmap's progress in the ranking procedure was shown through posts made by members of beatmap ranking teams. Each post had a custom icon, which would also change the forum thread's icon to reflect its status:

  • Star: the beatmap had potential to become ranked.
  • Bubble: the beatmap had been checked by a member of the MAT, BAT, or BN, and might be ranked after another check.
  • Bubble pop: the beatmap had issues that prevented it from being ranked after receiving a bubble.
  • Game mode icon: the difficulties of the beatmap's respective game mode were checked and approved by a BN.
  • Heart or flame: the beatmap had been qualified, ranked or approved.
  • Broken heart: the beatmap had been disqualified or unranked due to severe composition issues or lack of compliance to the ranking criteria.
  • Nuke: the beatmap could not be even considered for rank in its current state.

Communication

Mod

An example of a mod post that was awarded with a kudosu

Unlike in beatmap discussions, a typical forum mod post covered the whole beatmap and could contain a lot of content. While users were free to express their thoughts in any form they wished, the majority of modders adhered to a specific structure to make their posts more readable:

  • There were several sections corresponding to single difficulties and a list of beatmap-wide settings/issues.
  • Each section contained a list of timestamps, often pointing to specific hit objects.
  • Each timestamp was followed by a short description of the issue, sometimes with screenshots to further clarify a concern.
  • Based on the severity of the issue, some modders used colour coding in their post to highlight unrankable issues or key points.

The modern review system was created to mimic forum modding in beatmap discussions.

Response

An example of a response to a mod

While not required, mappers were expected to reply to every mod received. A reply typically contained a quote of the original post, where every suggestion was followed by a mapper's response. As with mod posts, many mappers used two or more font colours to convey their responses and help distinguish between accepted and rejected suggestions.

Kudosu

Main article: Kudosu

If a mod post was deemed useful, the mapper or a member of the QAT/BAT/BN could award it with kudosu. According to an unwritten rule, only a user's first mod post was eligible to gain kudosu. Regardless of how many suggestions were in a post or how useful it was to the mapper, the amount of kudosu received was consistent:

  • 1 kudosu, under most circumstances.
  • 2 kudosu, in case the beatmap thread was inactive for more than a week. This was supposed to promote modding on older maps.

Kudosu served as an activity metric for modders. Most users spent their accumulated kudosu to increase star priority of the maps they liked or wanted to promote.

Deprecation

In the forum-based modding system, a lot of actions were manual, which often led to mistakes. Examples:

  • The mapper's feedback could be missing.
  • Mods could be partially or completely ignored, intentionally or not.
  • Maps could be ranked with unrankable issues, or without the approval of mode-specific nominator(s).

The changes required to address most common issues were initiated on April 26, 2013, when peppy presented the idea of the new modding system (later known as Modding v2). On August 21, 2014, a new category, Qualified, was added. Qualified would serve as a buffer between pending and ranked beatmaps and allow for more smooth unranks. In addition to that, a new team, Quality Assurance Team (QAT), was assembled to check qualified beatmaps and control the ranking process.

Afterwards, the beatmap discussion system and the code of conduct for modding and mapping were developed and made available to restructure modding and make it a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved:

  • April 11, 2016: Beatmap discussions were enabled for two beatmaps and made available for public testing.
  • February 1, 2017: After several more months of development based on collected feedback, the next version of the discussion system was enabled for another, larger set of beatmaps.
  • November 4, 2017: Beatmap discussions were enabled for all beatmaps that were newly submitted or had zero forum replies.