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Are Good Mappers Necessarily Good Players?
"I think, generally, but not necessarily, people need to have some playing experience to make good maps." -Bambuz

This makes sense at a glance, but there are nuances here that I'm not sure everyone would agree on. Let me take this a little further:

1) Is it enough to be experienced at playing a certain type of gameplay (SP, FFA, TDM, CTF...) in order to make a good map for that game type, or must you be skilled at that game type?

2) Is it possible to make maps that satisfy players that are more skilled than you? If I am an average player, who has played a lot of FFA on public servers, but not played competitively, will I be able to make a map that competitive players enjoy, or will it lack something that is undetectable to average players?

3) How do we explain the existence of well-regarded maps in the original game, such as dm6, which were made before there was much of a competitive quake scene? Were these just lucky? Or were the id designers actually fully aware of what was needed to make these maps good for competitive play? Or are is their popularity unjustified?

(Note: For this discussion, we're talking about the quality of a map in terms of gameplay only, not visuals or technical execution.)
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It's Not The Nehahra Download That Puts Me Off... 
It's the nehahra gameplay... 
Have You Tried 
nomonsters 1
with nomonsters 1 variable, I dont see how anyone can complain as the AI is back to normal. 
It's Not Normal 
but it's closer to std Q1 AI. 
Monsters - 
I used a couple of monsters with advanced AI (the *blink* ability) but mostly just standard. It�s a medieval theme as well so not too tough - I know alot of people didn�t like the tech enemies in Neh cos they were too fast / tough. 
Clan Experience 
I think being in a clan (a competitive clan that plays tourneys/seasons) can help give a mapper a deep understanding of what a lot of gamers are looking for. Control points, defensive positions, offensive secure points... these are all things that have to do with "gameplay", but may not exactly be understood unless a mapper is invloved in a clan himself. Playing with the same group of people, working on strats, working on tactics, working to exploit angles and elements within the map (and anything else involved in clanning) can provide heaps of solid information regarding map construction.

My q3 maps to date have not been "good" as far as gameplay goes, but thats primarily because I've made it a point to concentrate on looks instead of gameplay. However, when rtcw2 comes out, I'm going to have the knowledge from playing with a clan[s] that will (I believe) be invaluable to creating a potential blockbuster custom map that gamers and clanners will appreciate for solid gameplay. 
but not exclusively so -- being in a clan does not guarantee play time, and playing on your own with random humans can yield much of the same information. 
redq3dm7 had decent gameplay IMHO, the burshwork just got in the way sometimes. 
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