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osu! community meeting (2021-09-19)

When and where

Meeting held in the official osu!dev discord in voice chat at 01:00 UTC.
Discord link: https://discord.gg/ppy
Full VOD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LjNll8VYTM

Hosts

ppy, Ephemeral, smoogipoo

Summary

Intro

  • The goal of these meetings is to create an ongoing discussion with the community to smooth things out before any major changes go live.
  • Just hit 14 year anniversary of osu! (Older than a lot of the playerbase!)
  • ppy and the team restate that they work on the game not really for financial or personal gain but for the journey and the community and how it grows
  • ppy gets many emails a day and most of them are very positive
  • In contrast social media (twitter and reddit) is very negative about the game and the community
  • The dev team feels that they are heading in the right direction overall
  • This meeting will be held every two weeks as a more casual and less heated forum for discussing topics

osu!community management then and now

  • Back in the early days, ppy and Ephemeral used to be very hands on, almost micro-managing the community
  • ppy hand wrote the first PP system
  • ppy and Ephemeral were responsible for keeping up and giving feedback to every map wanting to be ranked
  • It was all very forum oriented
  • There is a lot of throughput these days in community discourse and it is very hard to keep up with now, for both the dev team and the community members
  • A lot of community management is hands-off or delegated but this does mean that many people's issues slip through the cracks and get lost
  • Example: Ranking criteria is very impenetrable for a new mappers (basically an essay to read before even trying mapping)
  • A lot of the community may think ppy or the rest of the team are out of touch and should not make changes to the game/system that they don't know about but they genuinely do want to help

Getting involved in these meetings

  • Going forward this meeting should serve as a way to get good feedback and to announce changes ahead of time.
  • This is the first version of the meeting so polls and channels for discussions are not setup yet
  • Idea for this meeting to occur every two weeks at the same time
  • If you would like to talk in these meetings try to get verified status in the Discord server (at this point ppy bans someone live for spamming an ASCII penis in the text channel so probably don't do that kind of shit)
  • This meeting provides an alternative for the dev team in contrast to people simply shouting and shitposting on Twitter
  • If you have questions, please prepare them in advance (don't just jump on the mic and go "um ahh")
  • Questions you have should be important to the community. It's hard to answer questions that apply to like 5 people

Ranking Criteria

  • As noted by Ephemeral, ranking criteria in general is very complicated for new mappers to deal with
  • osu!mania/VSRG mappers especially find the ranking criteria hard to deal with
  • Other VSRG games simply don't have any criteria for beatmap quality at all
  • ppy used to play a lot of DJMax, BMS, DDR back when developing osu! originally and found that a lot of beatmaps were extremely low quality which was the main reason for having a centralised ranking criteria in the first place
  • Over the years, ranking criteria has become more and more complex to the point where it causes friction
  • The level of stringency is a constantly shifting goal (as evidenced by looking at the wiki article over time and what the current leadership was at the time such as QATs)
  • The osu!mania community seems keen to deregulate the ranking criteria by some level
  • osu!mania mappers would like more graveyard slots to keep maps around
  • Due to the ranking criteria being stringent, osu!mania mappers either have no interest in getting their maps ranked or the effort to do so is too high
  • This is viewed as "back-to-front" by dev team since ranking criteria should reflect what the community should want and it follows that all mappers should want to get their maps ranked if that were true
  • The main points on this for osu!mania are:
    • Requirement of hitsounding or keysounding for beatmaps:
      • VSRG mappers from other games are not used to adding hit sounds or think it is stupid
      • People don't like the idea in general
      • It is a lot of effort to do properly for a diff let alone a full beatmap set
      • Leniency has actually been addressed for this somewhat (the wiki article for mania ranking criteria has been updated)
      • osu!mania mappers are currently using external tools to auto-apply hitsounds since it's very tedious
      • Tooling for this will likely improve in the osu!lazer editor (with backward compatible export)
      • ppy has received feedback that mapping in osu!lazer for standard is already quite a good experience, so should also expect the experience to improve for mania mapping too
    • Required difficulty spread for a beatmap set:
      • Rules around this have somewhat been relaxed at somepoint for osu!standard but changes haven't propagated to osu!mania
      • Ranking criteria changes are somewhat isolated between gamemodes so this change probably wasn't reflected in the osu!mania ranking criteria
      • Organisational/communication problems in the NAT likely to blame
      • There should proabably be a shared criteria like this for all gamemodes (diff spread rules)
      • Diff spread rules especially seem to demotivate new osu!mania mappers saying that convert mods should suffice for lower diffs, but that really isn't a good experience for the player
      • The dev team does acknowledge that being told to create extra diffs is a huge amount of work and is why people go guest diffs
      • The reason for diff spread rules remain such that their is enough content for new players to have somethign to play, but since there is now such a large amount of easier content available, this rule can be relaxed.
    • Usage the graveyard:
      • osu!mania tournaments seem to use graveyard maps a lot!
      • The original intent of the graveyard is where maps are left to die (or be resurrected and ranked)
      • A lot of mania mappers are using the graveyard as permanent storage which is alarming since graveyard maps are regularly perma-deleted when they go below a threshold of activity.
      • May need to change the underlying system to mark graveyarded maps as not abandonded and playable
      • This is technically what the "loved" system is for but it can be janky
      • A lot of this is a symptom of the above points regarding strict ranking criteria, so maybe once the ranking crtiteria is make less strict, a lot of these maps can be resurrected and ranked so we don't have the graveyard problem anymore
  • As a general point, given how much text there is for ranking criteria, each criteria/rule should be accompanied with the original reason why the rule is implemented to help alleviate mapper frustration (may already exist but unsure)

Difficulty and PP

  • A lot of very good changes have been coming from the community for the osu!standard ruleset
  • Very little community changes have come forward for the other game modes and it feels somewhat abandoned
  • Smoogipoo would like to see changes made and applied every 3 months or so to keep the system dynamic and line with community expectations
  • It's pretty rough that only osu!standard seems to have any sort of effort put into getting PP/Diff changes made into the system, despite the fact that the communities for the other rulesets are very vocal about wanting to have changes made
  • The dev team would like to see people from these communities (especially the osu!mania community) to please step up if you have the time and expertise to make good PP/Diff changes
  • The dev team does not have the time to be doing this for all gamemodes and these changes have always been community driven so it would be nice to see this happen some more for non-osu!standard rulesets
  • It is understood that making these changes in the first place does require some expertise in gameplay mechanics or mathematics or coding as evidenced by looking at previous community changes made to osu!standard
  • Ephemerals would like to see some sort of PP/Diff framework for people to play about with in a more graphical way, however this would be very hard to implement
  • ppy suggests creating a set of maps that stress test the PP/Diff system in different ways as a sort of benchmark to help test any new changes to refine the existing system. This would require people who are excellent mappers and have knowledge of how the current PP/Diff system is broken. ppy asks the audience if anyone has experience with this would like to come foreward and help
  • A common refrain from the community is that "X game does PP/Diff better than osu!", in which case community members should be able to come forward with ways to incorporate what the other games do into osu! to make it better.
  • The process behind getting new PP/Diff changes is open to see in the dev discord and if anyone does have any concrete experience, they are welcome to contribute.
  • There is currently zero discussion happening in the non-osu!standard PP/Diff channels in the dev discord channels for getting new changes in :(
  • As motivation and compensation, the dev team does offer monetary bounties for creating meaningful high effort changes to the PP/Diff system (1000 - 3000 USD have been awarded to individuals before)
  • It may also be worth creating community badges for people who contribute if monetary compensation isn't a good motivator

osu!lazer

  • When will be it released? When can I get PP from it? When will it replace stable?

  • These questions are different but seem to mean the same thing for some people

  • When will osu!lazer be released:

    • osu! has always been iteratively developed since it's initial release in 2007
    • In the early days, development was rapid and there were no code-reviews or beta builds
    • As such osu! can be viewed as being constantly and incrementally developed (compared to something like a Steam early access game when the game is always being changed from user feedback)
    • The first public release of osu!lazer was in 2017
    • People complain that it's not actually released since there's no PP/Leaderboards
    • However the original release of osu! in 2007 didn't have PP/Score submission either. Does that mean according to these people that osu! wasn't released in 2007 either? 🤔
    • osu! has the luxury of have a very stable (haha) playerbase and platform such that ongoing development of new systems can happen in the background
    • A lot of people falsely believe that ppy does literally nothing despite streaming himself coding for 8hrs/day and having one of the highest commit counts on Github globally.
    • Many people simply feel that any version of the game that doesn't have PP/Leaderboards are irrelvant and choose to ignore the updates and changelogs that ppy puts out.
    • It is released. It doesn't have score submission yet but it's close. The remaining pieces will be added incrementally, same as development always has been.
  • When can I get PP/set leaderboard scores on osu!lazer?

    • The number of large blocker to preventing leaderboards is in the double digits (which is small)
    • osu!lazer has actually been submitting scores for the last 5 months. All of these scores are unproccessed. Once the processor for it is brought online it will backdate the playtime and PP to your profile but won't update leaderboards.
    • The large blockers currently are:
      • Implementing Anti-cheat
      • Compatibility of osu!lazer and osu!stable scoring on leaderboards
      • Consideration of how plays submitted from mobile platforms will be handled
    • The PP/Leaderboard system is seen not as the only future of competitive osu!
      • ELO system
      • Multiplayer based ranking
      • Tournament result based ranking
      • Seasonal only leaderboard
    • Some of these systems are being prototyped in osu!lazer already
      • The playlist system currently exists as a way to create temporal leaderboards for a set number of beatmaps
      • This could be expanded to be seasonal
    • Ideally the dev team would like to expand the communities interest in what is considered competitive osu! gameplay
    • It is hard to gauge if the community will enjoy these new types of competitive play since there isn't a critical mass of players trying out the new systems in osu!lazer in the first place
    • Smoogipoo gives an example of an Australian streamer who refuses to play osu!lazer until it has PP/Leaderboard since it feels different/better and doesn't want to go back so it will somewhat ruin his experience.
    • Reaffirming that the current system of PP/Leaderboards will still happen as expected, but would also like the newer competitve systems be available on day one when a critical mass of players make the switch.
    • Aside from just work on the game, a lot of work needs to be done in the score submission pipeline on the server side which has some not very nice code.
    • A key point that dev team prides themselves on and the players would agree on is keeping the history of the game. All scores subnmited since 2007 still exists and are kept and are valid. Making sure that any changes made to the leaderboard system don't break this is crucial.
    • The dev team could simply turn on osu!lazer separate PP/Leaderboards and be done with it, but that does not keep with the continuous history of the game.
    • One way to help solve this is "Classic Mod" in osu!lazer which changes the osu!lazer mechanics to act like osu!stable (note lock, slider head acc, etc.)
    • Submitting scores will classic mod can be diff calc'd in the same way as in osu!stable to help resolve how leaderboards will be merged
    • Having "Classic Mod" available will also help with people switching over and trying it
    • This should help resolve the problem of "I want to play osu!lazer but I can't because X"
    • At some point all some 6 billion existing scores will have to be reprocessed to be able to compare it with "Classic Mod" vs new scoring to help combine leaderboards
    • Within the next few weeks, any scores set on osu!lazer will start giving PP on your profile but won't appear on Leaderboard (given the issues mentioned earlier)
    • Within the next 6 months, there will be trials in trying to find a way to merge osu!lazer scores with the current leaderboards. There may be temp leaderboards that get reset to help with this as an intermediate step.
    • It is somewhat frustrating that the community and top players either don't or won't look at the development and ideas that are happening regarding how to merge the leaderboards for the future.
  • When will osu!lazer replace stable:

    • Will likely be an option as an update when leaderboard are made available. (See above for when that happens)
    • At that point osu!lazer should be available as an separate mainline update, the same way you can have stable, and cutting edge installed
    • Also the name; lazer is sharper than a cutting edge :)
    • Even now osu!lazer is in a pretty good state and ppy asks that everyone please give it a try
    • Somewhat soon, a download link should be made available on the main website for osu!lazer indicating it as a future update
    • Performance and QoL issues are still known, but a lot of those are intentionally not being dealt with as they become more easier to resolve once the main gameplay/interface implementations are already made.
    • Using the osu!lazer editor for mapping osu!standard should also be quite usable
@flameful
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flameful commented Oct 2, 2021

👍

@Kashouryo
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Kashouryo commented Oct 3, 2021

Really informative meeting log! It's so cool to witness the osu! transformation in the last few years. Peppy you really rock!

@onyxcode
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onyxcode commented Oct 18, 2021

Very helpful notes, thank you!

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