Big thanks to everyone who's been playing the map/mode. It's blown up a bit recently, mostly thanks to EU players interestingly (thank you Alfie, WAR, Arie) and it's very exciting to see people playing and enjoying it. I'd like to reply to specific feedback and then talk about some larger related points. Panacea's post above actually covered a lot of this but here are my thoughts:
- No the map does not need more healthpacks. Health is a finite resouce that needs to be wisely managed and skillful medic play is a large factor in how well your team can do that. And, all that said, medic is often best played aggressively with only a secondary focus on heals and buffs. Not using a med on your team is an options and gives you certain benefits but at the cost of staying power in fights and second chances from arrows, etc.
- Trimp ramps do not need any curves on the bottom. They work just fine and if it didn't work for you it's probably because you messed something up. The power of trimping is insane and about the only time I've ever seen it utilized to near its full potential is in that hamaham clip (https://youtu.be/pJLLtvLXSc8). They do not need to be made "easier".
- Not every single square centimeter of the map needs to be a ramp that's usable for surfing or trimping or whatever. More about this later.
- The "reset catapults" do not need to be lower. It is not difficult to use them and there's no reason to make it easier than it already is. You actually need to aim your throw a bit which is a good thing.
- I will not make a halloween version. Pumpkin bombs and spells have no place here. During Halloween time (when tf_holiday is set right) PASS Time goes into halloween mode with a pumpkin-themed Jack and candy health packs and Merasmus replaces the announcer with amazing lines borrowed from Sumerian Bumper Car Soccer like "DISGUSTING GOAL!!!".
- The map is as detailed as it's going to get. Right now it's basic, simple textures. It's like a dev-textured map that isn't dev-textured. I was honestly fine with dev-textures which it had for ages but I know that it's a huge turnoff for many people which is why I finally textured it. I was considering a few themes for it back when it was in alpha but none of them really fit what I wanted. Lots of people suggested green stuff like the ultiduo_baloo type look and sure it's pretty but it just makes no sense. This whole arena makes zero sense as it's just purpose built for this crazy sportball and having it painted with a jungle theme or some typical TF2 theme just doesn't fit. I want to leave it simple and plain how it is.
- Water pools for enabling super water jumps are something I've considered but I it'll have to be for another map. This map has enough going on and does not need more stuff. There's a delicate balance that must be struck between "too plain/boring" and "too full of junk/convaluted". Other interesting features to consider are different tunnels like the ones hamaham suggested. Even if players can't go in there but the ball can that might be worth exploring. Again, though, it would have to be on a different map. What about more surf ramps? No, thanks. Sure you can have frickin' 4 sets of surf ramps. The walls can be a triple-decker surf ramp and then you can have one along the bottom of the wall and one along the inside facing the other way. Imagine all that bullshit at once. Every spot on the map does not have to be a tool for making crazy plays. I already said this and if flows well into my main point that I will try to make regarding my vision for how this should be played.
I want to argue the case that limiting choice is a good thing which keeps the game more focused and even a bit predictable and contained. This is both from the perspective of limiting classes and weapons as well as map design. This helps keep the game focused on skill and outplaying the opponents. This is sort of an argument in the same vein as "vanilla tf2" being more pure. I intended this game mode to have the classes retain the feel of normal, stock TF2 that we tend to see in competitive (obviously shield demo is the exception). This is a training mod of sorts for movement and airshots and surfs and some other things. That is why I don't want to see direct hit, liberty launcher, quick fix, or any number of any other gimmicks. It is not about coming up with cheese plays based on weird weapons but about teamwork and mechanics. You can achieve truly insane things with the basic items! There's no need for anything more! If you do a crazy series of rocket jumps to go for a big dunk then you will probably be low health and will actually die if airshot. That is good! As for the map features... When there's one or two main surf ramps then you know the enemys' offensive efforts will probably utilize that. You know the main piece of high ground in the middle of the map will be useful and therefore contested. You know there's one main health pack and people will be going down there to take it. Knowing these things is a good thing! Now imagine there's 24 different ramps and catapults and jump pads and everything available all at once. Then there's just too much bullshit and you can't reasonably tell what the enemy team will do because there's just so many options. That is not a good thing! Limiting options is a good thing! Some people want health packs and even more ramps everywhere but let's just imagine that to the maximum extreme. What if there's a negative hurt trigger (heals constantly) around the entire map or, even better, the entire map gets hit with a resupply cabinet constantly and health and ammo don't matter. It's just a nonstop jump map that is entirely about playing the ball with no emphasis on kills and health management. Bad! That is not what I want from this mode at all! I know I'm always railing on the Euros for not utilizing a defender, and defense is hugely important and can make all the difference, but at the end of the day this is a very offense oriented game mode (a bit like basketball) so offense simply does not need any buffs.
My map is officially out there in the world and you can play it how you want to. You don't have to utilize our whitelist or the plugin (all it does it prohibit certain stock items and prevent instant respawn bug abuse). Anyone can play the map how they want. Also some people have reached out to me for the source files and I've given it to them because otherwise they'd decompile my map anyway (and that process often has errors and doesn't do a fully good job of replicating all of the parts of the map). So don't decompile it.. just ask. I did tell these people "Please don't just take my map and add healthpacks or a negative hurt trigger or retexture it." I can't stop you from doing this but if you do it then know that you are going against my wishes as well as those of the many people in our NA community that helped craft this mode into what it is today. I had the initial concept and made the map but it was lots of peoples' input and hours upon hours of playtesting that shaped it into what it is now... a mix of intuitive design, some luck, and lots of tweaking of the fine details to make it work well. It's far from perfect but so far the reception has been pretty positive so I'd like to think our efforts were fruitful and are appreciated.