wiki

Mapping and modding timeline

Mapping and modding systems are constantly improving. The Mapping and modding timeline aims to document the biggest system changes and to serve as a reference tool when users are incorporating new changes.

2007

September

  • 2007-09-17: osu! was publicly released.

October

  • 2007-10-21: Ranking Criteria launched.
  • 2007-10-29:: Forum thread icons were standardized for the ranking process.
    • A star (star icon) icon marked good maps that need more work.
    • A bubble (bubble icon) icon marked beatmaps considered for ranking.
    • A heart (heart icon) icon marked ranked beatmaps. These could only be placed after a beatmap was bubbled, ensuring two nominations per beatmap.
    • A nuke (nuke icon) icon marked beatmaps that could not be ranked under any circumstances.

200 beatmaps were ranked in 2007.

2008

March

  • 2008-03-11: Graveyard beatmap category was implemented to house inactive beatmaps.
    • The community expected every pending map to be ranked, but maps were being frequently abandoned and needed to be separated.

July

  • 2008-07-31: Approved beatmap category was implemented to provide leaderboards to beatmaps inappropriate for ranking.
    • Common reasons for approval initially included length above 5 minutes and scores above 20 million, neither of which were allowed for ranked content.
    • A flame (flame icon) icon marked approved beatmaps after two bubbles.

December

690 beatmaps were ranked in 2008.

2009

February

  • 2009-02-04: Ivalset was promoted as the first BAT manager.
    • His primary role was to organize new BAT promotion and improve the current BAT's activity/proficiency.

March

November

  • 2009-11-10: Pasonia was appointed as BAT manager after Ivalset stepped down.
    • He continued promoting new BAT and maintaining the current BAT.

December

  • 2009-12-27: The Mapping Assistance Team (MAT) launched.
    • MAT members could mark beatmaps with proto-bubbles which indicated quality beatmaps that BAT members should review.
    • Ephemeral was the group's first MAT Leader.
    • MAT members had a purple title on the forums.
    • The MAT was initially titled the "intermediate modding team" consisting of established modders who weren't ready to enter the BAT yet.
    • The MAT's goals were to reduce BAT workload, identify maps that were slipping between the cracks in the ranking cycle, and increase quality control, both of which were pressing issues at the time. In hindsight, none of its goals were fully realized.

1400 beatmaps were ranked in 2009.

2010

July

  • 2010-07-24: The first iteration of the Community Mentorship Program was launched.
    • Users could apply to learn about mapping and modding directly from volunteer MAT and BAT members.
    • The program was discontinued in 2013.

August

  • 2010-08-27: ztrot was appointed as MAT leader after Ephemeral stepped down.
    • Leadership was tentatively passed between the two users until ztrot held control in February 2011.

October

  • 2010-10-03: MAT were granted permission to nominate beatmaps for ranking with normal bubble (bubble icon) icons, as opposed to proto-bubbles.
    • Proto-bubbles were ignored by most BAT members, so the MAT had no purpose without this change.
    • This gave MAT considerably more influence in the ranking process.
  • 2010-10-10: MAT members were no longer allowed to nominate or vote on new additions to their team.
    • Having gained bubbling permissions, it was assumed that the MAT would vote for personal gain, so this was prevented before damage could be done.
    • The BAT gained full responsibility for MAT additions.

December

  • 2010-12-31: Derekku was appointed as BAT leader after Pasonia stepped down.
    • Like his predecessors, he continued handling new BAT promotion and maintaining the current BAT.

1864 beatmaps were ranked in 2010.

2011

March

  • 2011-03-09: MAT members were granted permission to bubble Approval beatmaps.
    • Only one of an approved map's two bubbles could be placed by a MAT member.
    • This change was implemented because approved beatmaps were becoming more common.
  • 2011-08-23: "Beatmap Approval Team" was renamed to "Beatmap Appreciation Team".
    • The purpose of the new name was to unite users involved in beatmap approval and users involved general moderation (essentially the Global Moderation Team) under the same name, which "Beatmap Approval Team" did not effectively represent.

October

1368 beatmaps were ranked in 2011. This was the first decline after 4 years of consecutive growth.

2012

July

  • 2012-07-22: The first iteration of Performance Points known as ppv1 was established, replacing total ranked score leaderboards.

August

  • 2012-08-21: Approved beatmaps began rewarding Ranked score.
    • Ranked score was no longer used as the primary scoring metric, so Approval beatmaps could no longer be abused for player rankings.

1460 beatmaps were ranked in 2012.

2013

March

  • 2013-03-20: The BAT was split into the BAT and Global Moderation Team (GMT).
    • Many members of the BAT were on board solely for moderation duties, so this clarified the roles of modding and moderating members.
    • Members of the new GMT were previously known as "Green BAT".

April

  • 2013-04-23: The MAT was dismantled.
    • All MAT members were added to the BAT.
    • This change was made because the line between MAT and BAT had become too thin. A MAT member was effectively a BAT member who couldn't rank beatmaps, which did not align with the initial goals of the MAT as a new user group.
    • The BAT was also fairly inactive at this time, so a large influx of new members solved this problem.

May

  • 2013-05-15: The Triumvir Conglomerate was formed.
    • The role of BAT manager was split between 3 users from different regions in an attempt to promote equal input among mapping subgroups. Garven represented North America, NatsumeRin represented Asia, and Kurai represented Europe.
    • Prior to this, Asian subgroups were often neglected because they communicated mainly outside of osu!'s IRC/forums.
    • When the 3 members did not agree on a decision, it needed to be decided by a higher-up (most often Ephemeral).

August

  • 2013-08-01: Beatmap unranking policy was implemented, allowing BAT members to unrank a beatmap within 1 week of ranking.
    • This change was a test for the later implemented Qualified category.
  • 2013-08-02: The first osu!taiko BAT were added, signifying a separation of game mode permissions in the group.
    • Any BAT could theoretically nominate beatmaps of any mode before this time, however the growth of different game modes made the distinction necessary.

December

  • 2013-12-12: Beatmaps with two nominations began being promoted to the Qualified category instead of Ranked.
    • Qualified beatmaps could be disqualified within 1 week, replacing the option of unranking a beatmap within 1 week.
  • 2013-12-22: The Triumvir Conglomerate cycled its regional leaders to avoid burnout.

1327 beatmaps were ranked in 2013.

2014

February

  • 2014-02-10: To improve organization, mapping and modding system internal management shifted from the forums to Trello.
  • 2014-02-18: Approved beatmap category was retired.
    • Marathon beatmaps were promoted to Ranked with 3 BAT nominations (2 bubble (bubble icon) icons + 1 flame (flame icon) icon).

August

  • 2014-08-21: The Quality Assurance Team (QAT) splits off from the current BAT.
    • The BAT (often called newBAT at this time) nominated beatmaps for rank.
    • The QAT ensured qualified beatmaps were of sufficient quality. Beatmaps that did not meet quality standards were disqualified.
    • This essentially reversed the merging of the BAT and MAT last year.
    • The split was implemented as part of a manual trial for modding v2 attempting to automate BAT promotion and retirement.
    • Despite attempts at framing disqualifications as a positive change for mapping quality, the community viewed them negatively. This was especially apparent in cases of controversial beatmaps like the disqualification on Halozy - Genryuu Kaiko

October

  • 2014-10-15: The Beatmap Management subforum replaced Trello.
    • Public accessibility to the BAT increased, which was the goal of modding v2.
    • Issues related to nominated/qualified beatmaps were posted here, along with any announcements related to mapping/modding systems.

November

  • 2014-11-14: New BAT promotion was held via public votes among current BAT/QAT.
    • Users with 15 or more votes and automatically calculated modding activity would be promoted to the group intermittently.
    • This was handled on Trello in the past.

1381 beatmaps were ranked in 2014.

2015

February

  • 2015-02-01: Red usernames were removed from BAT and BAT was renamed to Beatmap Nominators (BN).
    • These changes intended to make the BN more closely associated with the average user, which was the goal of moddingv2's community-driven design.
    • The team was initially renamed to Beatmap Appreciators, however it was quickly renamed to Beatmap Nominators by community suggestion.
    • Beatmap Nominators generally disagreed with this change and heavily argued against it in this forum thread.
  • 2015-02-24: New BN applications replace BN voting.
    • This was done to promote moddingv2's community-driven design and to avoid the nepotism that was involved in public voting.
    • The only criteria was an applicant's automatically calculated modding activity.

June

  • 2015-06-04: Realtime Beatmap Nominator Ranking was introduced to automatically assess BN nomination quality/activity.
    • The system was dropped soon after its announcement due to implementation concerns by osu!'s developers.
  • 2015-06-06: QAT disqualifications were anonymized on the forums.
    • All posts were written under a user named "Quality Assurance Team".
    • This was set up in response to frequent attacks on the QAT's disqualifications, often relating to removing high performance points scores (e.g. the disqualification on Dragonforce - The Last Journey Home) or relating to forced opinions (e.g. the disqualification on Reol - Asymmetry).
    • The community referred to the anonymous QAT account as the "QAT bot".
    • This change encouraged the growing opinion that the QAT was trying to hide from the consequences of their actions, hurting the reputation of disqualifications and the QAT in general.

August

  • 2015-08-25: Qualified beatmaps no longer rewarded players with Performance Points.
    • This was done in response to widespread complaints about Performance Points losses on qualified beatmaps.
    • Tension between players and the QAT was relieved after this change.
  • 2015-08-26: Anonymous QAT disqualifications were discontinued.
    • With less tension between players and the QAT, anonymization was deemed unnecessary.

December

  • 2015-12-27: BN tests were implemented for BN applications.
    • These tests required users to answer a multiple choice form and mod a problem-filled beatmap.

1934 beatmaps were ranked in 2015. This was the first year of growth after 4 years of consecutive stagnation.

2016

February

  • 2016-02-13: Ranking Criteria Council was created to reform the Ranking Criteria.
    • Public proposals on the Ranking Criteria subforum were no longer considered.
    • Taking a stance similar to the Triumvir Conglomerate, the Ranking Criteria Council involved members to represent major mapping subgroups by region. Each game mode had 1 mapper and 1 player from the Americas, Europe, and Asia, along with 2 members of the QAT.
    • Each game mode's goal was to create a general/difficulty-specific Ranking Criteria for their respective mode. osu!catch was the only game mode that achieved this goal under this system.
    • The collective goal of this group was to rewrite all sections of the general Ranking Criteria.
  • 2016-02-24: Mapset and spread restructure was introduced to limit the number of difficulties in each difficulty tier per beatmap.
    • Negative public reception caused this to be rolled back immediately and its forum thread accumulated 614 responses in 24 hours, making it osu!'s fastest moving thread.
    • This attempt at undemocratic change caused the Ranking Criteria Council to immediately have a negative reputation.

April

  • 2016-04-25: The QAT began checking qualified maps for issues reactively rather than proactively.
    • Users reported qualified beatmaps to the QAT for disqualification. The QAT checked confirmed or denied reported issues in their respective beatmap forum threads.
    • This change was made in response to the consistently negative view of disqualifications by the QAT. The QAT mostly distanced itself from Quality Assurance related tasks at this point.
    • Metadata checks were still done proactively by the QAT, headed by IamKwaN.

July

  • 2016-07-20: The United Beat-Knights of Ranking Criteria (UBKRC) was created to replace the Ranking Criteria Council.
    • The UBKRC's goals were the same as the Ranking Criteria Council, but it was more widely accepted because it was open to community influence.
    • Teams of experts were chosen for each subsection of the Ranking Criteria (e.g. one team of storyboarding experts, another team of skinning experts, etc.).
    • The group was managed by Okoratu and pishifat.
    • The UBKRC's name was chosen because it was ridiculously stupid. Its aim was to appear less authoritative than the Ranking Criteria Council.

August

  • 2016-08-05: The Quality Assurance Team blog was created.
    • The QAT was receiving criticism about being too closed-off from the rest of the mapping community, so this blog was created to increase transparency for QAT decision making and community activity.
  • 2016-08-26: The Code of Conduct was implemented to establish modding behavior expectations.
    • These rules and guidelines were treated as common sense up until this point. By documenting them, moderation could be made more consistent.

September

October

  • 2016-10-17: Loved beatmap category was created.
    • The category provided leaderboards for popular maps that could not be ranked for various reasons.
    • See History of Loved for a detailed timeline of Loved system changes.

November

  • 2016-11-01: The Beatmap Veto system was implemented.
    • Beatmap Nominators could halt a beatmap in the ranking process for subjective reasons by resetting a nomination. This was done with a bubble pop (bubble pop icon) icon.
    • Vetoes could be overwritten by the nominations of Beatmap Nominators previously uninvolved with the beatmap.
    • To allow adequate time to veto, consecutive nominations could not be set within 24 hours of each other.
    • Inconclusive vetoes were mediated by the QAT shortly after this system's implementation.
  • 2016-11-02: Beatmap Nominator files were created to keep tabs on all individual BN members.
    • These files included modding/nomination activity, disqualifications, and behavior issues.
    • Members of the BN with 3 or more "strikes" logged in these files would be removed from the group.

1720 beatmaps were ranked in 2016.

2017

April

  • 2017-04-06: Beatmap Nominator Tiers were implemented, splitting the BN into two subgroups called "tiers".
    • Because the QAT was no longer acting as a quality control gate, this system was implemented to improve the quality of beatmaps entering Ranked.
    • This system mimicked the later stage of the Mapping Assistance Team.
      • Tier 1 nominators could bubble maps.
      • Tier 2 nominators could bubble and qualify maps.
    • Tiers were decided by a BN test designed around identifying overarching issues in beatmaps. Test results were terrible, revealing that the test's design was flawed.
    • Contrary to its goals, this system lowered motivation for all tier 1 nominators and overworked the few motivated tier 2 nominators. Mappers had fewer BN resources and the total maps ranked during the tiers period diminished.
    • No Beatmap Nominators were added to the 2nd tier for the 5 months this system was active, which hugely bottlenecked ranking speeds.

May

  • 2017-05-22: Beatmap Nominator Discord server was created for BN subdivisions.
    • Subdivisions were designed as focus groups of randomly selected nominators from both tiers led by a member of the QAT.
    • Most QAT management shifted to this server despite resistance from osu! higher-ups.
  • 2017-05-23: Discord bot Aiess was created by Naxess.
    • This provided a feed of mapping related events in osu! Discord servers, starting with nomination and disqualification feeds.

June

  • 2017-06-02: Marathon beatmaps began to require 2 nominations instead of 3.
    • They previously required 3 nominations because it was expected that marathons had more content to check than a normal mapset, but this was no longer true.
    • The flame (flame icon) icon discontinued use.

September

  • 2017-09-10: The "QAT Upheaval" was implemented. This was a series of changes in response to dissatisfaction from the mapping community under leadership by osu! team higher-ups. Following this change, the QAT began self-leadership without higher-up intervention.
    • BN Tiers were replaced with Probationary Beatmap Nominators. Two probationary BN members could not nominate the same beatmap and users could not be in Probation for more than two months at a time.
    • Beatmap Nominators were given purple titles on the forums.
    • Okoratu and JBHyperion were appointed as QAT leaders by a vote of BN/QAT members. Their responsibility was to work with the osu! team to maintain the mapping and modding communities.
    • Tenure based Beatmap Nominator and Quality Assurance Team profile badges were created. This and other Beatmap Nominator rewards were planned to re-motivate the currently dissatisfied team.
    • With less authoritative leadership and more users capable of nominating beatmaps after these changes, mapping standards stopped being strictly controlled. Controversial beatmaps that would have likely not been ranked under the previous system (e.g. FELT - Rendezvous) reached ranked status.

October

  • 2017-10-01: BN tests were replaced with the QAT reviewing each BN applicant's anonymized mods.
    • This change was made because BN test cheating had become unrealistic to avoid.

December

  • 2017-12-17: Loctav stepped down from involvement in the osu! team, including his heavy participation in the QAT.

1847 beatmaps were ranked in 2017.

2018

February

March

  • 2018-03-01: QAT separated its tasks into branches: BN evaluation, disqualifications, metadata, spotlights, blog, Ranking Criteria, and general leadership.
    • QAT members could be involved in multiple branches.
    • This aimed to give purpose to some QAT members who felt that they had no specific roles in the mapping/modding community. This feeling was largely relevant because the QAT had little involvement with Quality Assurance anymore.
  • 2018-03-03: #modding channel was created in the osu!dev Discord server.
    • While its goal was to shift mapping discussion away from the BN Discord server, this discussion center was rarely used apart from scheduled QAT meetings.
  • 2018-03-24: Ranking Criteria subforum was re-opened for public proposal discussions and the UBKRC was discontinued.
    • The UBKRC was discontinued at this time because all subsections of the general and game mode Ranking Criteria were finalized.

April

  • 2018-04-01: The QAT began evaluating BN applications by reviewing non-anonymous mods, as opposed to previously anonymous mods.
    • This change was made because the QAT believed out of context anonymous mods could not effectively determine a modder's capabilities.
    • Through this change, the QAT determined that bias could not be avoided when evaluating Beatmap Nominators.
  • 2018-04-22: The QAT held its first meeting on the osu!dev server in an attempt to increase transparency of QAT affairs and migrate internal discussions away from the BN Discord server.
    • Despite this attempt, most internal discussion was still handled on the BN Discord server.

May

  • 2018-05-22: Mao became a QAT leader after Okoratu stepped down.
    • Like his predecessor, he continued working with the osu! team to manage the mapping/modding scenes.

June

  • 2018-06-21: The Quality Assurance Helper initiative was created.
    • This was designed to ensure that all qualified beatmaps were reviewed by at least 2 BN or QAT members before rank.
    • The program was managed via Trello and automated by Naxess through Aiess.
    • This change was one of the primary reasons that the QAT was later renamed.

July

  • 2018-07-29: New beatmap spread rules were implemented, completely reshaping how many difficulties were created in ranked mapsets going forward.
    • Prior to this change, any map with a drain time shorter than 5 minutes required a full difficulty spread. After the change, difficulty spread requirements were more lenient for longer beatmaps below 5 minutes of drain time.
    • For more details on this change, read its forum thread.

December

  • 2018-12-12: The osu! team took a negative stance on beatmap commissions.
    • The team acknowledged that commissions will happen, but pledged to take no action unless members of the BN or QAT were involved.
  • 2018-12-17: -Mo- became a QAT leader after JBHyperion stepped down.
    • Like his predecessor, he continued working with the osu! team to manage the mapping/modding scenes.
  • 2018-12-17: The QAT was declared as having no future in its current state and ideas for reform were encouraged.
    • This decision was made because the QAT had not been involved in anything Quality Assurance related for years, however a system needed to exist to maintain the Beatmap Nominators and mapping community in general.
    • Some concerns at the time about the QAT included:
      • Little QAT engagement in controversial maps.
      • Limited accessibility for new users to enter the team, causing stagnation.
      • The role of the QAT in the mapping community was unclear.

2749 beatmaps were ranked in 2018. This year's impressive growth can be largely attributed to the QAT's discontinued Quality Assurance role and higher initiative from Beatmap Nominators.

2019

January

  • 2019-01-29: A proposal for QAT reform was created as a conglomeration of other users' proposals.

March

  • 2019-03-01: The Mappers' Guild transitioned from application-based entry to automatic entry for anyone with 3 ranked maps.
  • 2019-03-13: Rule requiring consecutive nominations to be set at least 24 hours apart from each other was removed.
    • This rule was a major complaint from mappers and Beatmap Nominators because it felt like it was unnecessarily wasting everyone's time. If an issue was found after the first nomination, the second nominator would often avoid pointing it out to avoid an extra 24 hour wait.
    • Along with this change, Beatmap Nominators could veto qualified beatmaps. The rule originally existed because Beatmap Nominators needed 24 hours to potentially apply vetoes to maps with one nomination.

May

  • 2019-05-05: The BN/QAT restructure was finalized.
    • The Quality Assurance Team was renamed to the Nomination Assessment Team.
    • Beatmap Nominators became responsible for disqualifications and veto mediation. Veto mediation was handled through a blind vote rather than a discussion.
    • The Beatmap Nominator website was published to automate many BN/NAT tasks.
      • Through the website, users could apply to the BN at any time as opposed to the previous cycle-based application system. This resulted in Beatmap Nominators being added at irregular times instead of in large waves.
      • Reports for inappropriate beatmaps and BN/NAT misconduct were shifted from a Google Form to the BN website.
      • Statistics and evaluations for BN modding/nomination activity and proficiency shifted from painfully inefficient Google Spreadsheets to the BN website, hugely increasing productivity for Beatmap Nominator management.

August

  • 2019-08-05: Naxess released the Mapset Verifier tool, automating a significant portion of beatmap checking processes for Beatmap Nominators.
  • 2019-08-06: Beatmap Nominators became able to participate in BN application evaluations.
    • BN input is visible to the NAT when trying to reach a consensus, though they are rarely used to sway a vote.
    • The NAT often use BN input to help determine future NAT members.

October

  • 2019-10-22: Ascendance became a NAT leader after Mao stepped down.
    • Because NAT leaders had often been passive towards negative decision making, Ascendance took an active controlling role and delivered bad news regarding NAT removals.

3217 beatmaps were ranked in 2019.

2020

February

  • 2020-02-07: The first Elite Nominator profile badges were awarded to recognize continued exceptional performance from members of the BN team.
    • These were originally planned in the QAT Upheaval two years prior.
  • 2020-02-21: NAT leadership as a concept was discontinued as Ascendance stepped down as NAT leader.
    • Tasks specific to NAT leaders were delegated to the whole team.
  • 2020-02-24: The Quality Assurance Helper system was transferred from Trello to the Beatmap Nominator website.
    • This change was made to account for Quality Assurance activity in Beatmap Nominator evaluations.

April

  • 2020-04-11: The Mappers' Report led by Feerum was created to summarize mapping community events via front page news posts.

October

  • 2020-10-02: Beatmap Nominator Expectations were established to combat behavior concerns within the group.
    • Concerns included low approachability, uncivil actions in community settings, and questionable ranking quality standards.
    • This resulted in the immediate removal of 5 Beatmap Nominators.
  • 2020-10-29: Beatmap Nominator game mode proficiency became visible on osu! web.

November

  • 2020-11-30: Hybrid beatmaps were reworked to require 2 nominations per game mode.
    • Nominators proficient in multiple game modes could select one or more game modes to nominate on applicable mapsets.

December

  • 2020-12-17: Inappropriate content review submission and evaluation were moved from Discord discussions to blind votes via the Beatmap Nominator website.

3580 beatmaps were ranked in 2020.

2021

January

  • 2021-01-05: Explicit label for beatmaps was implemented to clean up inappropriate old ranked content and permit previously unacceptable song content.
  • 2021-01-30: In-game chat channel #modhelp was replaced by #mapping because the original channel was primarily used for mapping discussion.