I'm basically confused by the uproar over on the Ubisoft forum regarding what the latest patch of May 24th did to those who (apparently) create maps and upload them to the Arcade environment. Since we're adults on this board, anyone who's focus is on that part of the Far Cry gaming experience care to spend a little time and layout in general terms what has so many folks upset? Thanks, as I'm simply curious.
"The NUKE, are you crazy?" "Oh relax, it's got a very small yield. Just enough ..."
Steve may have better insight, but my understanding is those folks who create multiplayer maps really want those maps to be seen and played (which certainly makes sense - especially given the massive amount of time and effort some people expend in the editor to create high quality maps)
They long for the days of Far Cry 2 multiplayer when you could host a lobby that others could join and check out your PLAYLIST of maps (and that is the key here). All iterations after FC2, including obviously this most recent one, did away with playlists. The problem is the system as it was (prior to yesterdays patch) was pretty dismal for getting a map to be played to begin with.
The gist is that the only way you could originally have your map seen (unless of course you were gifted by the Ubi Gods as being a "recommended map") was as follows:
1) You join a general public lobby - which by the way is VERY likely to be filled with kids and / or less... lets say... "engaged" players.
2) You play round after round hoping to be one of the 3 completely random players to get selected to pick a map for players to vote one. It's very easy to get screwed by the almighty RNG here and go hour(s) never having a chance to pick a map.
3) If you are lucky enough to be selected then you have something like 15 seconds to quickly select YOUR map. Because of the clunky and slow interface it often took 5-7 seconds just to get into the right menu. Most mappers had to be savvy enough to already have the map favorited and to know how to quickly work the menu to bring up favorite maps rather than the random suggested maps from Ubi (which were unlikely to feature your map)
4) If you are quick enough to get the map into vote then you have to hope that the majority of other players vote on your map. The big problem here is the player base seems obsessed with playing weird low effort maps (like Shovel Dodgers), COD remakes (one of the hundred Nuke Town clones) or Ubisoft favorites (like Farm Cry for the thousandth time) and it's often really difficult to get players to vote for something unique or different.
Designers have to be really creative with their thumbnail and map name to sucker them in because there is no real lobby chat system of any kind (voice or text - although maybe this is different on consoles as I know MP games on the PS4 often automatically have group voice in the lobbies). I noticed sometimes if I could get a map up fast enough so that it was the very first map and I voted on it immediately it would cause 3 or 4 other people to click on it as well creating a sort of initial "surge" of votes, but even that was hardly enough to prevent people from drifting off to a crappy implementation of "battle royal" or something completely silly that had little creativity to it (i.e. like a map where everyone is in a giant ring and no one has any weapons, but the gravity is very low so you can leap high into the air and try to land on everyone else for a death from above kill).
5) Basically if the stars all aligned you got to play your map *maybe* once in an entire night or day of trying to play MP. Though some mapmakers lamented they NEVER once got to play their maps and there is no built in bots nor any way to accurately test a MP map via the editor. You can walk around it in the editor, but you really can't get a sense of any problem areas until you are actually playing a MP session.
Ubi tried to smooth this out by introducing "private lobbies" which could be launched with just 1 person (yourself) and which would give longer time to select maps for voting, but the lobby host still:
(A) Did not have complete control and voting on maps was still necessary with other players possibly bringing in other maps.
(B) You would have to give out this "Secret Password" to your friends so they could find the lobby in the first place since it is essentially hidden from everyone... not optimal if you want to still bring in the general public to try and showcase your map.
It was definately not a great solution, but at least TECHNICALLY map makers could get their map played if they could at least round up some friends who hadn't completely given up on Far Cry by this point... bearing in mind that the campaign is not especially great after you finish it and the multiplayer itself is generally not that good either. Only the maps make it even worth attempting to play (at least for me) as it's plagued with lag and poor design decisions (surprise, surprise)
Still at the very least mapmakers had the hope that through public lobbies their map might occasionally be seen in matches. I know that I for one don't make maps, but I went out of my way to favorite quality maps from the mapmaking community and on the rare occasion I was actually selected to pick a map I would grab one of those good maps from my favorites to help out with exposure... and because I prefer to play halfway decent maps and not the run of the mill crap that most MP players seem quite satisfied with.
The new changes essentially make it nearly impossible for a map makers creation to ever be seen.
More to the point a large body of people seem to think that removing map voting is a nail in the coffin for multiplayer (which is already floundering) and they think more and more players will abandon the game altogether. I can certainly sympathize with that point of view as I myself have not touched the multiplayer in weeks (maybe months) simply because I get too frustrated with the lag, instant kills and horribly designed maps
I personally enjoy making (SP) maps for the creativity behind it. I like to create something, and when it's published I hope people like it too. However, I already like the process of making a map - my maps not reaching a broader (public) audience isn't a big turnoff for me as I'll have my fun anyway.
Of course, if I was into MP, this would be a different ballgame; how do you make sure there are enough players online who want to play your map at the exact time you want to play it? And how do you reach those players? The only construct we have to play specific maps is the Private Matches one, but that requires people to join matches based on passwords. There are various Discords and Facebook groups out there, all wanting to get players together and help with Matchmaking. Heck, there's even a thread on the Ubisoft forum to help find COOP partners.
I think it's just a big oversight that the game itself doesn't cater to proper matchmaking and party (partner) finding. And the lack of a (text) chat function bothers me too.
I can't help but think back to the years of the original Far Cry and many, many SP maps created by talented guys that one could d/l from some third-party host (pre-Nexus of course) and have a blast with. On an old drive I still have them. When I finally got going with FC2 (which actually came about around when FC3 was released), looked for something similar, but I guess the whole environment for third-party maps had changed. There's indeed a great deal of discussions/rants regarding how the FC2 system was set-up and why can't it be similar.
"The NUKE, are you crazy?" "Oh relax, it's got a very small yield. Just enough ..."
Thanks, JR! I was considering a stab (pun intended as we all know there is no running with scissors, or other sharp weapons in FC 5)at FC 5 map making and MP.
You've destroyed that dream for me now!
Sorry Don't shoot the messenger!
On the flip side if you make a single player map there are a ton of ways to search it up in the game and at the arcade website so it has a high chance of getting plays (especially if you also advertise it on the Ubi forums and the map making FB groups )
I hope Steve is right and they are working on a completely new lobby system for MP that will please everyone.
And all this science, I don't understand... It's just my job, five days a week