Norfair Feedback Thread

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Norfair Feedback Thread

Postby Morax » 03 Dec 2018, 19:56

For reference, here is the start of "Norfair 2.0" in my mapping thread: https://forums.faforever.com/viewtopic. ... 0&start=60

Polling showed some poor results, and the main address that was brought to my attention is "the terrain is too dark," which I alleviated by quite a bit with the new version 2.0; however, some more disdain is apparent.

Could I get some actual, text feedback on why it is not liked? e.g." I don't like the mex expansion layout because blah blah blah," "The gameplay is not good because ya da ya da ya da," or "I wish there was a little more reclaim here or something something."

"It's too big and scary" is not a good reason, which I found most of the reviews from sub 1600 players to be.
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Re: Norfair Feedback Thread

Postby TantrumDesire » 04 Dec 2018, 02:55

Lots of hidden trees in random places that only become visual when zooming in on the map with a microscope.
Moreover, it doesn't help when the trees are black and so is the ground.

They seem to be the same trees as in Hollow and The Ditch, which are quite decent in e reclaim but most people aren't even aware of their locations on the map, let alone their existence because of how close you have to zoom in for them to become visible. Not to mention that in Norfair & The Ditch their colour is not contrasting enough with the ground.

This gives the player who is by chance aware that these trees exist a considerable advantage by allowing for low power-reclaim boosted builds and such.

Don't know if there's anything you can do about the trees not appearing on screen unless you zoom in ridiculously close, so maybe you should have the ground beneath the forested areas be of a different colour/texture so one could distinguish reclaim areas more easily.
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Re: Norfair Feedback Thread

Postby biass » 04 Dec 2018, 05:54

People are less likely to give feedback if you immediately discredit them in the op...

I'm hoping that tree zoom thing is fixed in this supreme props mod thing, because it's apparently missing an LOD
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Re: Norfair Feedback Thread

Postby Morax » 06 Dec 2018, 04:10

biass wrote:People are less likely to give feedback if you immediately discredit them in the op...

I'm hoping that tree zoom thing is fixed in this supreme props mod thing, because it's apparently missing an LOD


"I don't like the color grey"

Not really going to care much if that is why someone doesn't like a map, sorry...
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Re: Norfair Feedback Thread

Postby ThomasHiatt » 12 Dec 2018, 07:19

This is both a critique of Norfair and an explanation of how I judge maps and think they should be made.

Map Layout The number of mexes and their layout on the map as well as the amount of reclaim and its placement on the map. Is the map symmetrical and balanced? Other gameplay factors like plateaus, islands, water, etc.

I rate Norfair 10/10 in this category. Perfect number of mexes and perfect amount of reclaim. The location of expansions allows for variety in gameplay and strategies.

Aesthetics Is the map pleasing to look at? Do the textures and decals pop in and out at appropriate times? Do the textures and decals enhance the experience of playing the map or add unnecessary visual noise and clutter?

I rate Norfair 4/10 in this category. This is a pretty subjective category so I don't think it matters that much. I don't like the bright red textures and lava decals, and I think there is too much visual noise in the textures and decals on the terrain.

Terrain Are there unnecessary layers and elevation changes on the map? Do they: make it hard to place structures, cause pathfinding issues, allow units through unforseen pathways, block unit shots, mess with air units, or make it unclear where long range/artillary/missle units will be capable of shooting?

I believe that maps in this game must be constructed with distinct layers of perfectly flat terrain and if those layers are to be connected with eachother it must be done with clearly visible and well made ramps. If you put the game into cartographic view and look at maps like Loki, Regor VI Highlands, Abhor, Hollow, and Twin Rivers you can see they are made in this way. Because of this, these maps don't really have pathfinding issues, you have no trouble placing down your factories, you can clearly see where units can and cannot go, and you never have to worry about your units shooting into the ground. You never have to expend any effort fighting against the terrain. If you want to make some pretty mountains or whatever they must be separated from the playable area by a clear and steep edge, not blended into the map.

Norfair is not constructed in this way. It seems like the main priority is having lakes and big mountains that look nice and realistic and then having them gradually blend into the playable area of the map. That means there are no distinct layers of flat space on the map. Everything is some gradual slope that is leading into a giant mountain or a giant hole. This inevitably causes issues with gameplay. I'm sure you spent countless hours working on the terrain and trying to optimize it for gameplay, but it just isn't possible. The terrain must be in clear layers, that is just a reality of creating maps for this game. It isn't meant to be a work of art or realistic depiction of the world, it is just a game board.

I rate Norfair 5/10 in this category. Map not constructed as layers. Far too many elevation changes in the playable area of the map. A few places where units can sneak through that are unintentional or unclear. But despite these things the map is still pretty playable.

Textures Do the textures on the map clearly communicate useful information such as elevation changes, buildable/passable terrain, reclaim locations, and any other useful gameplay information?

I rate Norfair 6/10 in this category. It is not super clear where ramps are located and what terrain is passable or not, but it could be a lot worse. Patches of reclaim are not marked with textures. The reclaim overlay can help to locate mass reclaim, but I still think maps should mark it with a texture. Tree groups can usually not be seen with the reclaim overlay so they definitely need to be marked, but this is not relevant to Norfair as it has very few tree groups.

Some diagrams I made in mspaint:
https://imgur.com/zTf76vT
https://imgur.com/rWaCBet
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Re: Norfair Feedback Thread

Postby Platinumizer » 12 Dec 2018, 11:25

I didn't like the map before, but with the texture changes it looks really nice now, except for that hideious red water, that just kills my eyes, and it's so intense that you just can't look away. would it be blue or green, while also not being that intense, map would be 10/10
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Re: Norfair Feedback Thread

Postby Farmsletje » 12 Dec 2018, 11:35

Just play on low settings so it looks like some deformed blue colour kappa
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Re: Norfair Feedback Thread

Postby Morax » Yesterday, 02:52

Thomas, that was f'ing perfect, man. Thank you for your detailed feedback and will address as many issues as I can!

With that said, I do not believe I will ever attempt to make a "lava" map again, as the colors and capability of the egine is just.... it's just not there. My intention was to make the "red water" do damage should a unit touch it, but the look and feel is just blah, so it will go away I suppose.

Again, thanks to everyone who replied, especially Thomas.
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