I'll be on it often
Warning: rant/wall of text incoming.
I'm new to the mapping forums, my first post was less than a year ago and I didn't really start participating until April of this year. However in the past few weeks I've been finding old threads of maps, from past MotM, threads of ProdiG's maps, monitor's maps, superouman's maps, looking at mapping challenges that apparently used to be pretty frequent, and others. There have been a TON of maps made, a ton of very good maps! And pretty much none them have gone anywhere.
We keep posting new maps and that's cool and all, but I feel like we should be producing fewer, better maps, and spending much more effort trying to get people to play on different maps. We have mapping teams like Crux, ESV, TPW, and now DF (and apparently LoW used to be a team?), and some of their maps have broken out (Mainly Crux and ESV because of the GSL), but even for them not many.
I'm committing myself to getting everybody I can to play on new maps. This means practice partners, people I want to rematch on ladder, irl friends, etc. I recently got my University's in-house tournament to use the following map pool:
DF Absolution by ArcticRaven
ESV Khaydaria by IronManSC
TPW Breaking Point by TerranLover aka Mereel
Uncanny Valley by OxyGenesis
Ring Mount by RFDaemoniac
(Only because they wanted a map by me, and I've since made changes to try and make it more competitive and less of a joke...)
ESV Muspelheim by Jacky
GSL Whirlwind by WinparkPrime
WCS Daybreak LE by WinparkPrime
(The only ladder map!)
Scrap Station by Blizzard
(They wanted nostalgic cheese)
I've also posted about the MotM tournament (having $ is awesome for the scene!).
So this is pretty cool, and people are starting their games this week. I'll try to post replays to the various threads if I can get them.
This is where I think we should spend our time. Aggregating a map pool of the best community maps, with options for more quirky maps, more strategy maps, standard maps, large maps, micro maps, etc. So that tournament organizers can have a place to look and see with some reliability maps that they could potentially use. And then host tournaments using the pool and ask for player reviews of maps, giving money for the most helpful reviews, for insightful and interesting plays using map terrain, as well as for the winner. This would help us as a community to refine the pool over time, increasing the confidence of tournament organizers ("Well if qxc and 1000s of viewers think this map is awesome, I could probably introduce it as an option in the open bracket").
And then when we decide that we should be making new maps from interesting new ideas or improving others because we think we can make them better, let anybody work on them! I'm publishing all of my maps as unlocked because if anybody makes a map that is awesome using one of my maps as a template, that's awesome! I don't even want credit as much as I want the community to be producing good, interesting maps, and I know that mine certainly aren't good maps, let alone the best. (Though credit is conceptually important )
But I don't think that publishing unlocked is enough, because of the region zoning. Hopefully this changes with HotS but I'm also going to be hosting my map files as a public dropbox account. I want us to work together to create awesomeness, because I know that I can't create it alone even though I do feel that I'm getting better.
I've heard that there is a Mapper's Cave skype conversation, and that would be pretty cool to get in on, though I don't know how exclusive you are. If you don't want run-of-the-mill mappers such as myself dumbing down the conversation, that's completely reasonable.
TLMC was one of the greatest things to happen to the ladder map pool. Let's show people awesome games on awesome maps, that them that they really do want a rotating ladder pool (or at least an update to the maps).
TL;DR There have been a ton of maps made already, and many of them are awesome. I therefore don't feel that creating new maps is where I or anybody else can be most productive in this community. I am actively trying to promote maps that I think are good, but would like to see a resource for this other than having to rely on maps that I've seen on TL in the past few weeks and remember. We should work together to polish maps, make a solid pool with multiple options, and publicize the shit out of it.