Here at TL, we have many individuals who work hard and make their own Starcraft 2 1on1 maps. I applaud you. To those who make UMS maps, even more applause because you do truly time-consuming and meticulous work, and your efforts really make it so that more casual players can play the game.
Eh, I just went off topic. Ugh, I feel like this is going to drag on a lot.
Ok, so here at TL, lots of people make maps and post them here. The skill level varies. For a newbie, this is like dipping his toe into the water for the first time, and getting... flamed?....
Bad analogy. Uhh, anyway, it's hard for new users to make a map of quarter-decent quality. The mapping population here on TL is a lot like the 1on1 population, except scaled down a lot. That means that there's a lot of poor mappers who have no idea what they're talking about, some half-decent people who know the basics, and very few top people who understand everything they're talking about.
Thus, comes the main point of this thread.
Far too many people come into a map thread and give comments that have no basis. Linking it to my previous metaphor, it's honestly like the strategy forums. Most of what people say is complete untested BS that comes from absolutely no experience whatsoever. Of course, since those who are the best at mapping actually do browse the map forums, unlike how the top 1on1 players never post in the strategy forums, you do get a lot of good advice too. The problem is, having to sort through all the stupid stuff and finding the cream of the crop.
Now here's the thing. Because SC2 is such a new game, balance isn't completely defined yet. Most things can't be classified as balanced yet. For example, wide open spaces in a map was considered to be Protoss favoured against Terran in Brood War. We don't know if it's true or not yet in SC2. There are however, enough similarities between BW and SC2 for a good mapper in BW to pretty easily become a good mapper in SC2. Just look at Superouman or Morrow for example. They made very good Brood War maps and they're great at making SC2 maps as well.
The reason that they've transitioned well is because a map that played well in Brood War would be almost identical to one that would play well on SC2. The problem is that these similarities aren't easy concepts to grasp. It takes a lot of mapping experience as well as a lot of decently high level playing to understand these concepts. Like how you can explain how to play starcraft to your girlfriend, but it takes a ton of time for her to actually understand how to play even at a decent level.
To summarise the above three paragraphs, most people in the mapping forum dont' know **** about what they're talking about. To be brutally honest, even the iCCup mapmakers aren't excellent mapmakers compared to what Brood War had. We get the maps to a good quality with discussion amoungst ourselves and brainstorming on what we could improve. At this point, the only people whose criticism I'd trust without being shown proof would be Nightmarjoo and Superouman. And maybe Morrow if he ever bothers posting.
This doesn't mean that you should shut out everyone's advice. Just take it with a grain of salt. Test it a bit in game, then, decide for yourself whether to trust it or not. Your skill level is important though. A general rule, the better the mapper plays, the better he maps. Also, please respect the higher level mappers opinions. They're usually right.
One last thing. Don't take criticism personally. The reason we give you criticism is because we want to see you improve. It's not because we're internet jerks who like to bash on people, even if it seems like that sometimes. The only way to improve is to make maps and take the criticsm and apply it to your designs. That's how I improved and that's how I continue improving. Best of luck.
Love from neobowman/EfHiro
P.S. GET RID OF STRAIGHT LINES IN YOUR MAPS. IT LOOKS TERRIBLE.