A New System
Currently, as soon as a map with proper Timers is played with KZTimer plugin, it is uploaded into KZTimer's global database. KZTimer will potentially switch to a system where new maps are not automatically registered for the global database, but are approved manually.
Higher Quality Maps, Better KZ Experience
We have currently reached a point where many new maps are being released every week. However, not all of them are on par with the quality that you usually expect. By filtering out the maps that are low-quality, we believe that this will improve the general KZ experience.
A More Organized Community
The hope for this new system is to make the entire KZ CSGO community more organized. Up until now, there has never been an official KZ maplist. Different KZ servers had different KZ maps - server owners lacked direction in what maps to upload onto their servers. Some server owners chose to upload all map regardless of quality, some chose to upload only the ones they deemed favorable. This change hopes to fix this problem. Of course - server owners still have the choice of uploading their personal favorite maps regardless of whether it is approved or not, but now they have direction into what general maps are high quality.
Introducing the Workshop System
The KZTimer Official Map List will be published as a Workshop Collection. This is helpful in many ways:
- Fixes the Missing .bsp error, which is due to different versions of the map sharing the same filename.
- Map is hosted onto Steam's CDN, eliminating the need for server owner to set up a FastDL server
- Players can instantly download all KZ maps by simply subscribing to the Workshop collection
- Server owners can subscribe their servers to the Workshop collection, automatically updating their server whenever a new map is released
- In the server browser, players have the ability to right click on the map and click "View in workshop" to find out more information about it. This easily provides means to find information about the map, such as its description, screenshots, who the map maker is, or when the map was published.
- In the Workshop system, map makers can easily update their map. Anyone, or any server, subscribed to the KZTimer Official Map List will have the map updated too.
Beneficial to Map Creators Too
KZTimer Map Testers will always provide helpful feedback to map creators to improve their maps. In addition, we will provide map creators with a private server so they can freely test by themselves too. Getting feedback on a new map has never been easier.
A Map Testing Team
A map testing team has been carefully selected to contain outstanding members of the community who share a love for KZ. They have years of experience playing KZ, and has an appreciation for KZ maps as well as the map making process.
Every Saturday, an administrator of this Map Tester group will send a list of Workshop maps for testers to test. For every map, they must answer the following questions:
- Do you think that the map maker has spent a lot of effort in making the map high quality, and why?
- Do you think that this map will be enjoyed by general KZ population, and why? Do you think that there is a role or niche that this map fulfills that a small group of people might enjoy and would be interested in having it be global?
- Do you think that there is interest in having a global record for the map for competition, and why?
- General feedback (parts you liked, parts you did not like, shortcuts or skips, what you think will improve the map, etc)
- Do you approve of this map being on the global database (yes or no)?
Each player will test the maps by themselves, so they can go at their own pace, and so that there is no confirmation bias
Maps having an approval rate of 50% or above will be activated in the global database. Map creators receive feedback from the questionaire either way, and have as many chances to re-submit newer versions of the map as they want.
Every Sunday, an administrator will add approved maps to the KZTimer Official Map List, and provide an updated mapcycle.txt for server owners.
An Official Tier/Difficulty List
In addition to approving new maps, the map testing team will also be responsible for judging the difficulty of each map. Difficulty Lists has been in beta testing for several months at KREEDZ EUROPE server and is expected to be adopted in the official KZTimer Global as well. This will be very helpful to newer players who are not yet familiar with all KZ maps.
Automatic Updating Servers
One of the big goals for all of this is for servers to automatically update by themselves. The official KZTimer Official Map List using the Steam Workshop Map Collection framework plays a very big role in this, as it helps subscribed server automatically update its map files. The second big part is configuring servers to automatically update its mapcycle.txt based off the Official Map List - this will let players nominate new maps or else they will never see the light of day. In the coming KZTimer v1.75 update, we will provide instructions on how to configure this.