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ONS-Ahebban Review Discussion

Discussion in 'Reviewer Comments' started by ArcadiaVincennes, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. ArcadiaVincennes

    ArcadiaVincennes Level Designer

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    I received a post over at the UCMP forums railing against my review of ONS-Ahebban. I will not reproduce the entire post as some of it was directed (unecessarily) against the UCMP team in general. I will reproduce the contents of the post that relate to the review and the map and will address them here.

    Before I start, I want to say a few things...

    I was honored to have been chosen to be a reviewer here and I hope that the reviews I have made thus far are fair, honest looks at maps. I like playing different maps, garnering different ideas, helping out other mappers, and learning from them. I hope that I have helped mappers and I have certaintly learned from my experience here.

    I also hope that I can be considered as 'accessible' or 'approachable' in terms of a reviewer and also as a mapper. I do not consider my reviews the 'be all and end all' of a map's quality. After all, it's only one person's opinion which is always going to contain some subjectivity, although I do try to avoid this. In fact, I have gone back and edited a review because I found I had made a grievous error in the review which I felt ashamed for. I went back and fixed it and altered the review with no prompting from the author.

    I encourage any author who feels I gave a bad or unfair review to to approach me for a discussion about it. I would only expect the same if I received a bad review for one of my maps.

    Considering the comment in the post on the UCMP forums, and some of the comments in the comments section of the map page, I'd like to open a discussion about the specific review, reviewing in general, and the map.

    Let's start with the post from the UCMP forums:

    I don't believe I ever said the gameplay was bad or that someone would dislike it. In fact I said "The map plays well" and "the gameplay isn't bad, but is nothing exemplary either" and "nothing is done badly here".
    I knew it was tested on Titan but I review by the author's reccomended player count average which is 3 - 16. so that means 9 bots and me. This would provide a much different experience than a 32 player map. Should I test every ONS map with 32 players?

     
  2. Reciprocity

    Reciprocity Boots of Spanish Rubber

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    Maybe I should really start reading reviews from now on...
     
  3. rhirud

    rhirud Fast learning novice

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    Ah a geologist

    Sorry about my misunderstanding of caves mate! And we know whee the beef about mushrooms comes from. I think that our community had taken that mushroom comment as a scraping the barrel insult, and not thought that you were a caver!

    I guess Zoo should clarify that this is a 6-32 player map -(p.s. I've just heard that his map is to be in the 3 on 3 clanbase summer cup)

    The main thing that's changed in ONS in the last year is that we've grown to loathe chokepoints. There should never be a situation where taking down one node will force one team or another to only have one unlocked node to attack.

    The shock rifle is now de rigeur, and in an environment like aheban's stonehenge, by pushing away a manta with a shockball; or setting off a combo just above the cockpit (usually gives a frag), the manta has a very difficult time.

    There are now some lethal players in turrets, and any cicada, raptor, scorpion or hellbender is toast if they go anywhere near; and regular manta piolts have little chance against the most skilled turreters.

    Mantas in general are a big factor in ONS; and having environments e.g. caves, where they can't come up to full speed and zoom away then zoom back in forces player vs manta close range "deathmatching."

    Pop over to titan anytime; and ahebban (or ahebban summer - an excuse to have the map twice in the picking list!) will never be far off being chosen.

    I'm pretty sure cainslair also runs it.

    And I must admit; i've never played it against bots, so I don't have a clue how it plays with bots.
     
  4. Icedancer

    Icedancer Colder than Steel

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    Don't let a$$holes get to ya Arcadia, you are a really great reviewer, and seem a nice guy all round, I have a lot of respect for you. Thing is, theres always gonna be someone that doesnt agree with you and wants to give you a load of crap. If Owoc is so good, why is he not reviewing maps over here :rolleyes: . Just change the name of one of the bots to Owoc or something and go and kick the **** out of him :D


    Ice
     
  5. rhirud

    rhirud Fast learning novice

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    Owoc is a good bloke generaly; and yes I agree, an appology and concilliation from him is needed.

    What's happened here is that the titan community has spent a lot of time and effort extensively beta-testing map gameplay. We do this for many maps, and ahebban went through this process; with very little modification needed, if the truth be known.

    At the beta testing stage; other major servers like Cains were wanting permsiion to install the map; and online, this map has had universal acclaim. It's the only map that's been accepted without modification to the clanbase cup.

    So it was taken a bit personally by the titan ONS community when the gameplay had a lukewarm review; and with that background of considerable internal discussion by us; it gives context to why owoc; to your community seemed to have a massive outburst that came out of nowhere.

    When a reviewer reviews a map based mainly on mapping and aesthetics; he obviously would not, and would not be expected to know the reception that the ONS community has given a map. So essentially what's happened here that the map was reviewed without knowing the weight of suport that the map itself caried. Without being an ONS addict like us, by looking at the map; it seems nice simple and straightforward, there was no way of telling. So we can't really blame the reviewer either.

    All in all, a big misunderstanding

    ho hum.
     
  6. W0RF

    W0RF BuF Greeter, News Bagger

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    Arcadia -

    I've gotten my share of flak doing reviews for Insite, some of it warranted, some of it not.

    A couple things I think you were correct on: if the map is a 32-player map, put "32" in the suggested playercount. Don't put "4" (for example) and then complain that you didn't use 32.

    You're also correct to say that areas should be distinctive and not just mirror images of each other. Even in CTF maps which in many cases ARE mirrored to keep a simple balance, each side has red and blue textures and other indicators of which base you are in. They don't make the whole level neutral and say "USE YOUR RADAR N00B"

    It is good that you consider other people's input and look for areas where you can review a map more thoroughly and accurately. It's tough to do a complete top-down review of a map, there are so many different aspects to a map, and everyone sees it a little differently, and here you are trying to make sure that EVERY aspect is covered. I often spend about as much time in the editor as in the game when I'm doing a map, to sort of verify certain impressions that I get from playing a map (lack of ambient sounds, zoning issues, etc).

    With that said, don't take the flamers to heart. Some people get worked up when they don't see the score they think is right and start dropping turds in the review thread. It happens to everyone. I just got a review request for a map which shall remain nameless, that actually had the TERRAIN set as High World Detail. I usually play maps on Normal across the board to a). keep online play smooth and b). see what the lower-range machines see when playing a map. And when the terrain is set to High Detail, you see a lot of empty space and trees hanging in the middle of nowhere and other weird stuff. I actually refused to review the map unless the terrain was fixed, because I believe my review has to be based on how ALL the players would see the map, not just the people with Bat-Computers. Well, the mapper gave me a lot of grief, said all his buddies use High Detail, it's the #1 map on whatever server he plays on or whatever, he's not going to create a new version just to fix one thing that he doesn't even think is broken, yadda yadda. Well, he fixed it, but by that time, the Powers That Be had already decided it wasn't worth all the hassle and took it out of our queue.

    So, sometimes yes, our decisions are unpopular, but if you feel you're right, don't be afraid to stand by it, and don't give it much thought when people start ripping you a new hole for stating your opinion. Improve in areas where you don't feel you're covering the maps as well, and just let the rest go.
     
  7. Bellasadda

    Bellasadda LevelDesigner

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    If I'm not mistaken, AV ONLY reviews maps that people explicitly request AV reviews. In other words, the author explicitly asked AV to review the map, so I don't think people should get angry at him for reviewing a map in a style he doesn't play a lot. The Truth is, AV reviews every map in his person queue. He is doing a service to the community and I think it should be at least appreciated, even if you don't agree with him.
     
  8. rhirud

    rhirud Fast learning novice

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    Mea culpa on that one. The hard and technically demmanding work of map reviewing is incredibly difficult; and it's plain form browsing these fora that there are more authors wanting reviews than there are reviewers.

    And a lot of ONS adddicts who have a sort of rounadbout ownership cos they nurtured ahebban;got irate.

    But from this; the titan ONS community has got to know the reviewing community which can only be a good thing; and there's a lot of expertise on both sides that can be shared - so we can build a lot from here.
     
  9. ArcadiaVincennes

    ArcadiaVincennes Level Designer

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    Rhiridfladd:

    Caves – no problem. I’m sorry they took I as an insult, but as I stated on the Titan forums, The cave had a semblance of a cave but was ‘unconvincing’ to me.

    Thanks very much for providing more of a view over what gameplay tactic changes there have been in ONS over the last year. I am aware of some of those, but some of the others I wasn’t. Thank you.

    IceDancer

    Thanks for the words of support. I know not everyone is going to agree but I was somewhat familiar with the gentleman who wrote the comments and so took them a bit more seriously than others I may come across. Plus, I addressed some issues I thought were worth looking into. After reading a few other comments from the map page here and a few elsewhere, I think a re-evaluation of the review is in order.

    Rhiridflaidd:

    “When a reviewer reviews a map based mainly on mapping and aesthetics; he obviously would not, and would not be expected to know the reception that the ONS community has given a map. So essentially what's happened here that the map was reviewed without knowing the weight of suport that the map itself caried. Without being an ONS addict like us, by looking at the map; it seems nice simple and straightforward, there was no way of telling. So we can't really blame the reviewer either.”

    I am aware that many players discount review scores because they think the review is biased towards the visuals. I always try to give gameplay it’s fair shake. However, going into detail on gameplay is very difficult because there are so many variations in tactics as well as how players use the tactics that most good to great maps would require a dissertation on the gameplay section. I try to avoid going into too much detail on the gameplay section when I write it out but at the same time score it appropriately. I’m always afraid that if I go into too much detail, people will disagree with my tactics, or say the score is wrong because you can do such-and-such here, why didn’t you mention that, etc… However, I think I learned from this experience that I would need to go into more detail in the gameplay section of my reviews – especially regarding ONS maps.
    And you’re correct – I had no clue that there was so much support for this map. Going into the review, I was a blank slate. I did not know the mapper, I did not know of the ‘rep’ the map had garnered. All I knew was that the readme indicated it had been tested on Titan Servers. All that told me was that the map was not going to suck.
    In scoring gameplay, those players who have tested the map know the ins-and-outs of it thoroughly. They know what strategies to use where, at what time, against whom, etc… I am required to score it based on much less play time, and against bots. There’s going to be a difference of opinion there.
    However, based on community feedback, I don’t think I played it enough to be completely fair.

    WORF:

    Thanks for your support as well. I agree with many of your points and appreciate the view you take towards this situation.
    However, due to feedback on Nali, Titan, and the inflammatory comments above, I do think the review should be reworked/revised, etc. I am going to stand by some of my words, but I know many of my words that need changing.

    I plan to do what you state in your last sentence…
    Improve in areas where you don't feel you're covering the maps as well, and just let the rest go


    Bellasadda - I review the maps specifically requested from me. When that queue is empty I then grab out of the general pile. However, Ahebban was requested specifically to me.
    Thanks.
     
  10. Hourences

    Hourences New Member

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    I wouldnt have removed the review. I wouldnt adjust it either.
    But its up to you what you do with it. Another option could be to let another reviewer take a look at the map and add a second review to the page, second opinion stuff.

    I can understand how they feel and where they are comming from but on the other hand youll always have stuff like this, try not to care too much.
    Maybe your 6 was indeed a bit low but then again, its your review and opinion and ive only played the map 5 minutes 3 months or so ago so..
     
  11. ArcadiaVincennes

    ArcadiaVincennes Level Designer

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    If it was simply a matter of differing opinions I agree with you Hourences - I would let it stand and ride the waves.
    However, from discussing this furthur with the community, and reading feedback from the author, I did post several items in the review that were inaccurate and had some bearing on the final score.
    So to be fair to the author, and to myself as a reviewer, I removed it and am going to revise it.

    I do appreciate your comment and understand your points. But I feel that this is the right thing to do here.
     
  12. ReD_Fist

    ReD_Fist New Member

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    Well only DM maps need reviewing anyway.all those gametypes are screwing everything up,accept mabye ctf,go look yourself,goto the master server list,then look how many servers run DM compared to other gametypes.
    The way the list is looking lately,hell you think this was a ctf site or somthing.
    As far as your reviewing is concerned,it's pretty good,accept the map picks,but thats been hashed over allready,I must say the biggest complaints I hear about nalicity in chat and elseware is the length of time that passed by them see the review on there map.
    I mean hell if you bought a new car,your gonna want to show it off and hear nice comments about it,NOT after the car is a year old.
    And I seen it all before from hourences,(hear no evil,see no evil)
    just because there is a zillion maps there is no excuse,nalicity ,the way it is layed out,should have like 10 minimum reviewers.
     
  13. W0RF

    W0RF BuF Greeter, News Bagger

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    It's a volunteer-run site. If they don't have 10 or more reviewers, it's because fewer than 10 people have offered their services.

    Also, there's no reason to make NC a DM-only (or any other "only") site. The reviewers do what's requested of them. The maps are the ones that the mappers submit. So if you want more DM maps reviewed, request reviews of the better DM maps (better still, get the authors to request them). If you want more DM maps on site, talk to the mappers. Arcadia doesn't really have the power to do the kind of things you're suggesting.
     
  14. ReD_Fist

    ReD_Fist New Member

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    No No not DM only,nalicity didn't make the game,just comes with the territory,all types should be reviewed.
    But I would think reviews should follow the majority of what gamers are playing.Right now there is 2 DM's out of 10 maps (the A4 map is basicaly singleplayer),even then it's 3 out of 10.

    And why or who are the ones to make a website work? certanly not the users,wonder why it is so hard to get seasoned mappers and players to become reviewers,who's the ones responsible to get people to sighn up? I put that 100% of the burden on the nalicity webmasters to make the site,volunteers or not and no excuses,none.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2005
  15. W0RF

    W0RF BuF Greeter, News Bagger

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    no excuses? or what? You'll withdraw your funding? You'll go to a different mapsite? It's a game, dude, take a breath.

    The reviews follow what is being requested, neither more nor less. You want more DM maps, request DM maps.
     
  16. ArcadiaVincennes

    ArcadiaVincennes Level Designer

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    Red_Fist, we know you love the DM. And I guess you think the other gametypes aren't worth anything (except CTF, as you said).

    However, I think you need to accept the fact that not everyone out there feels the same way you do.

    Also, I know DM is the largest server count map type. But what about the # f maps being created for the other gametypes. Perhaps DM is also the most popular for creation as well.

    But I, nor do I think any reviewer should cater to popular majority. They should address what they're asked to address. Be it DM, ONS, or anything else.

    And if I gave in to popular opinion with everything I would also be giving high scores to crap maps that get tons of play on servers out there. Just because a map gets a lot of play somewhere doesn't mean it's good.

    And according to the media, I would also be irresistibly drawn to and facinated with Paris Hilton. :)

    Popular opinion does have its place, however. For example if the community at large agreed with you, I would put some thought into changing how I review. As they do not I will not. Same goes with Paris Hilton. Lol.

    Worf makes a good point. If you want more DM reviews, then find some DM maps and request reviews.
     
  17. W0RF

    W0RF BuF Greeter, News Bagger

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    to add to what Arcadia said, do us all a favor and do review requests on GOOD maps. There are plenty of DM-OMGLOLWTF maps out there, but if you find a gem, request THAT one for review so that the good maps rise more quickly to the top.

    There is a real opportunity here for the users to have a big impact on the direction this site takes, and that is in user reviews of maps, and the ability to submit requests even if you are not the original author. If you want things to be different, there are ways to make it happen. :)
     
  18. ArcadiaVincennes

    ArcadiaVincennes Level Designer

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    Worf makes an excellent point here, Red_Fist.

    Why did you request a review from me of DM-Headake?
    http://nalicity.beyondunreal.com/map_hub.php?mid=8492

    You know that antagonizes me.

    I take it mostly as a kick in the pants considering you know I'm going to review it.

    Getting NaliCity to be more what you want is a two-way street. And you're sitting at the end of a one-way dead end.
     
  19. ReD_Fist

    ReD_Fist New Member

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    Well yes,to not antagonize but to have perspective,I did that because thats how rediculas it is.
    Thing is,why would anyone review that map all because it ends up in a cue someware,hell ya gotta have commen sense too.

    Also I did not say to not do other gametypes,it's just logical,if 75% of the people are playing dm matches then if they played a certain map,then they come here to download it,and then see a review.

    Well no big deal,ctf all over the place,then fit in all the others,it's no fault of yours or anything, variety is good.

    None the less (but I will be wrong here too as usual) but like considering what the website is about and have only 1 reviewer,kinda rough don't ya think ?
     
  20. W0RF

    W0RF BuF Greeter, News Bagger

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    cmon redfist, don't be a prick, you want more dm maps, recommend something you want to see getting the love, not stuff you know is crap.
     

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