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Should LTF be released unprotected?

Discussion in 'Lordaeron: The Foremath' started by Marshmalo, Jul 2, 2018.

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Should LTF be released unprotected?

Poll closed Jul 16, 2018.
  1. Yes

    37.9%
  2. No

    62.1%
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  1. Marshmalo
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    Marshmalo Brigand Map Maker

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    I am considering options on how we can keep the map alive, this is one of them.

    I had intended to come back to LTF editing and continue from where Woodenplank left off, but I am unsure when I will ever get round to doing this, or if I ever will.
    Editing large macro maps like this was already a huge feat even when we had great editing tools like the JassNewGen world editor, since the new WC3 updates this has only gotten a lot worse. It's not fun to have the editor randomly crash when your saving the map, or wait 5 minutes just to loadup your unit variables.
    We could try and find some brave editor willing to take this on, but I would honestly feel bad giving them this project, Woodenplank got burnt out by this project and I havnt seen him since. I would have nothing to offer a new editor other than frustration from the world editor and greif from the player community.

    People have spoken about starting from scratch and building LTF/LTA up in a new map, if you knew how much work this entails you wouldnt suggest it.

    Sorry to be so negative but I want to make it clear to any prospective map maker what to expect if they took LTF on.

    That leads me to the other option: Releasing LTF publicaly and allowing anyone to do whatever they want with it. Years ago Eagleman released his Azeroth Wars map unprotected when he couldnt continue with it, it spawned many, many different versions from various editors, some were good, but most were pretty bad to be honest. But although I never know which version of Azzy wars to play or which is the best, the point is that the map is still alive, it still gets played and someone is usually editing it at some point.

    LTF could also be useful for other map editors wanting to create similiar macro maps, just as I copied and pasted some spells and triggers from Azz Wars when I created LTA, which seems like an age ago now. LTF also contains many beutiful models and terrain, they could even just reuse the assets and make something different with it, its fine as it's all providing the community with new maps to play.

    But before I did this I wanted to get the general opinions of people who play the game and are interested in its development. Sorry this has not been a more positive post!
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  2. Excalibur
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    Excalibur

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    Can be handed to some excellent map authors. Let them continue the map update.
    I am not sure about the impact of releasing the open source version.
    But it will bring in numerous similar maps.
    Maybe like AW, it may make this type of map prosperous, but it is not necessarily a good thing.
    More maps will cause confusion and can't be managed.
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  3. Spectator
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    Spectator Adapt or Die Donator

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    TBH It can be a good idea to release LTF to the public. Unlike what most people think and fear which is

    "Please don't, Now a bunch of people will make a lot of different versions of LTF which will split the community and all the versions will be bad which damages the map's reputation etc etc"

    No, in the long term only the best version will survive and that's better for the map. However let's face truth, that's not gonna happen either.

    if you release the map to the public, no one is gonna make the next version of LTF. This is not 2010, Warcraft 3 is dead and there are pretty much no map makers left who got the ability or the motivation to make LTF versions. Might be a 1 or 2 left but they ll get frustrated and bored after a few versions.

    Map makers are not motivated to manage/fix someone else's work, that sounds like a job not a hobby! They want to create and continue their own maps. They want to make their own vision happen and it's painful when they can't because their vision does not match the vision of the map they are handed and they get back-lashed by the community for it. So in short releasing to the public won't really result in newer versions of the LTF but can be a great gift to whatever is left of the map making community. Just like how Azeroth War's public version helped you come up with LTA. Someone else might be able to come up with a great map using LTF assets.

    Even if you change your mind later and decide to continue with LTF. Players will still play the version made or endorsed by Marshmalo even if there are 100 different versions of LTF out there. (Tho sadly i doubt there will be barely any)
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    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
  4. ZeroFlotsie
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    ZeroFlotsie Lord of Hate Shaman Legendary Donator

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    You do realize that at one point you could just release a final version, in which you do your to best to balance units, fix game breaking bugs and be done with it.
  5. Marshmalo
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    Marshmalo Brigand Map Maker

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    Yes there are upsides and downsides to doing this, but there doesnt seem to be many other options. I see more people have said no than yes, so I'm not sure what people want as unless we can find another editor or release publically the game will die :(

    I think your wrong about map makers just wanting to make their own maps, I've play some great maps that I loved and would have liked to get my hands on an unprotected version so I can improve it, theres a lot of great maps that have been abandoned by their creators. But I agree it is a problem when the map is popular and they try and take game in a direction the conumity dosnt like, theres alot of expectation and the players arnt always supportive.

    But even if they did just take the map and used the terrain/resources to make something new, we still have a new map that could become popular. I'd definintly play it if someone made another LTA spinoff lol.

    Its a mixed bag thats for sure, but look at azeroth wars, that map still has an active community years after it was publically released.

    I know its not the golden age of WC3 map editing but theres no way WC3 is dying, just look how active the Hive is, it may be very slowly dying but people ahve been saying the same about other classic games for years and their still around.

    I have noticed as a map editor that there is no such thing as a final version, something will always still need doing. Also that would mean that the map is stuck in a static position, when theres still so much that could be done if someone came along with the right vision.
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  6. Mangros
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    Mangros Curufinwe

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    I believe it will just kill the map faster.

    I dont see azzy wars being hosted or played as much as lta/ltf.

    Im not an editor so I do not know how the editing things works but I just want to share my idea.

    Maybe the reason why ltf is crashing was because you based the map on lta? That map was not stable either.So rather then releasing it into public maybe rebuild it from an empy map with the new editor? I know it sounds kinda crazy and it will take a lot of work to do it.It may even take 1 year to release it but I believe we will have better results then releasing the map to public.

    Same suggestion goes for lta too.

    Empty map without a weird script that crashes the map in the progress of editing or saving.Who knows rebuilding a map like ltf could be really fun and make people excited? I would be up for the task if I knew how to edit a map.Even if I knew I will not be arround like 1 years cause of the military stuff that I have to finish.

    Also you dont have to do it either.Maybe some good editor can take up the challange and do it all by himself.

    Just my opinion.
  7. Charcu
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    Charcu

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    It is, as many of you have said, a double edge sword leaving a map open since a hundred versions can easily appear of it (Footmen Frenzy for example) making it almost impossible to distinguish good from bad versions. But I don't think it would be the case with LTF, why? Simple, the map biggest advantage it is also its main disadvantage which is the apocalyptic amount of content it has. This is means that not everyone will be able to randomly change it (Even just saving it seems to be an issue at the moment), therefore the people able to produce copies of it will be greatly reduced not to mention that only those with some advance knowledge would be able to make significant changes (and those are likely going to try and improve it rather just cheat it)

    A similar thing happened to another map I love: Metastasis (a space survival) The creator FelFox released the raw unprotected version since he was no longer going to add future content to it. We feared thousands of versions would appear from it but it never happened. The reason, the creator had made the whole map triggers on a single JASS trigger of text which I could read and understand but still it was burning my eyes (and working fine surprisingly). Some years later another editor, Thorlar, appeared having the knowledge and gut's to continue the project. With some luck LTF could share a similar fate.

    @Spectator "if you release the map to the public, no one is gonna make the next version of LTF."
    "Map makers are not motivated to manage/fix someone else's work,"
    I disagree with that, a good few projects these days have been continued take for example: Cruiser Command, Metastasis, Videogame RPG or The Kingdom of Kaliron. These are not as big as LTF but some are still heavy maps of warcraft III. I agree the chances are fairly low at best but not impossible. However in the worst case even if a 100 versions appear we will definitely stick with the last good one. Sadly it is the true that for every continued project there are easily a 1000 abandoned or more.

    On a side note, it is a great action and really honorable to leave your project open for others to learn, improve or even continue. Many maps in Warcraft 3 have actually died because of that, their creators leaving the project and not allowing anyone else to continue it.

    What are my thoughts on if LTF should be released for everyone or not? Well I rather not cast a vote on that because I think it is a very personal choice of @Marshmalo and we should accept the decision rather than put pressure for one or another.
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  8. Manetho
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    Manetho The Senate of

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    You think Azeroth Wars died faster becaus it got released to the public? That's absolute bullshit, Azeroth Wars had alot of great different versions coming along because it got released to the public, it made Azeroth Wars survive much past it's natural death as a map. I don't know how old Azeroth Wars is or LTA for that reason, but I am pretty sure that Azeroth Wars is a few years older than LTA. Releasing Azeroth Wars to the public didn't kill the map faster, it extended it's lifetime greatly.
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  9. Readywhip
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    Readywhip

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    I will legit pay someone to update and fix this fucking map
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  10. EmperorFawful
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    EmperorFawful Burn it! Website Admin

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    You mentioned already the major problem which the public version would bring and where I personally say it might not be worth it: Issues with existing data and crashes in the editor due to the ammount of data within the map file.

    The public versions of Azeroth Wars have a similiar problem as you can edit the map file sorta okayish, but terrain glitches at certain spots due to Copy-Pasting in old versions (thus messing up the water at several locations if you want to terrain) while there is a lot of loading time due to triggers and stuff from older versions. There are also quite a lot of unused units, making it very hard for someone new to figure out what might belong to where in the actual game.
    LTF might face even bigger problems as it literally is at the limit of what the Warcraft engine could possibly take, according to you and SvnmS. If it constantly crashes + has similiar issues which I witnessed in the free AW-map file I can kinda reason Woodenplank when saying that he became frustrated in editing the map.

    Thus it will most likely result in a lot of versions for LTF, similiar to how Azeroth Wars had countless versions on epicwar and other websites, once the map file was released to the public.
    Some of these actually went kinda well, as they tried to do something completely different from the regular game (Cataclysm/WotEW as one major example) while we also got some horrible mess, where the initial intentions were actually to create a better balanced version of the map (mentioning names could potentially trigger people, so I won't :-) ).

    While people continiued to play the official version nontheless. Until recent AW:LR remained the most popular map among all the Azeroth Wars maps over the last years despite the variety of Azeroth Wars maps, as people most likely tend to trust one official team for the official version more than a freelancer project where people only change 1-2 things without fixing the real problems.


    Therefore: A public version of LTF will most certainly result in a lot of LTF maps - most likely in a lot of cheat-versions of LTF, because we witnessed those already in the past.
    There will probably be attempts of a few people to actually either create something new from LTF (Lordaeron: The Cataclysm ??? The Third Pandaria??? maybe??) or actually try to balance out LTF.
    Most likely only one of these versions, which are close to the original, will get popular, while the others are partly watched and noticed although the majority will always host the official versions because for the sake of these versions being the offical ones, made by the actual Marshmalo and the actual LTF editors as people value quality a lot.

    If I download for example "LTF Remastered Pandaria PLUS" I will hardly know what to expect from this map, if I never heard from it - it could be good, it could be crap, it could just be 10 trees on an island with Chen Stormstout and that's it. Or it could just be a cheat version where the host can summon 10 Level 25 Pandaren Brewmasters with Starfall and all unique items in the game.
    If I download the newest official version of LTF from the forum, I know at least whom to blame, if the newer version displeases me, as I CAN expect actual quality.

    That's how it already went with Azeroth Wars, that's how it will go with LTF.
    The majority of people will stick to the official version and is probably not interested in other versions.
    While anyone, who wants to do a new setting on a similiar themed map should probably consider to do it like Hannibal and do everything from scratch. It will take longer - but it will result in a much more stable map.
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