Old 10-15-2019, 06:04 PM   #1
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Default Difficulty Consultant Applications

Hello everyone! As I mentioned on the front page we're looking to add on a couple more difficulty consultants. Ideally, I'd like to find someone who spends a lot of time in the lower/mid-range and maybe another really well-rounded player to join the team and help us sort out these difficulties. If you'd like to apply, fill out the form https://forms.gle/cJQsoyxwNiUpSx2g7 and well be in touch if we think you'll be a good fit
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: Difficulty Consultant Applications

IMO triples are harder than they are currently rated until about FMO.
Easy to drop boos or misses on
For really new players using arrow keys can be unhittable.

I'm going to fill this out when I get home
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: Difficulty Consultant Applications

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IMO triples are harder than they are currently rated until about FMO.
Easy to drop boos or misses on
For really new players using arrow keys can be unhittable.

I'm going to fill this out when I get home
All difficulties assume spread play. It's the direction the game took and it's a necessity to stay coherent with that. The only reason index might be considered in difficulty is if a song's hardest section is cheesable by switching to index play (that would mean a fast isolated one-handed trill, which is extremely rare). One could make the argument that files like Disregard on SM got better scores from index (iirc) but really those are negligible.
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Difficulty Consultant Applications

By "mid-range" are we talking about D4-6? or would that imply D1-3?

If D4-6 sign me up, that's my shit :P
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Old 10-16-2019, 02:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Difficulty Consultant Applications

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IMO triples are harder than they are currently rated until about FMO.
Easy to drop boos or misses on
For really new players using arrow keys can be unhittable.

I'm going to fill this out when I get home
As someone who used to be in this camp, I want to pass you my two cents.

One they're called hands, and two you can literally teach yourself to drop down an extra finger to hit these. (Think of how you'd play the intro section to Blooddrunk for example.) I would argue say Once Upon A December is a strong file to showcase this as well. They're certainly a learning curve though, but as OP said, the game changed directions a long time ago, and Index is very literally invalid as a play-style in the current game, unless the files are made for it.

Files such as Monstrous Turtles, Strangeprogram, Klung Kung, and Over The Frail Dream (and more to be honest) are files that fit that mold, their patterns are at least in my opinion, not ones that translate well to the main style of play, but it can be done. But on top of that - they're just not the types of files made anymore.

But to really cut this short, a new player these days is going to be someone who comes at a recommendation most of the time, this game is on it's last leg as it is. Hopefully they'll have someone teach them better.

Or there's a more simple solution, and that would be to set the current keybindings for guests to as kl, which would solve a lot of that problem. No one should play Index unless they're playing a file made for it in the current setting. Which is why it shouldn't be a factor in difficulties, you'd literally throw the whole skew off for it.
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Old 10-16-2019, 03:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: Difficulty Consultant Applications

the hands struggle is only because of how rare they're implemented in the lower diff files, as someone who went through having handstreams as my second worst skillset to being one of my stronger suits just acouple months ago i only got better on it from training and exposure, nothing is inherently hard about hands

(of course this is assuming the stepartist has some basic understanding of how to chart)

i also wanna point out this even if it's obvious, saying nothing is inherently hard about hands doesn't imply that hands are as easy to hit as jumps, that's wrong, any pattern implementing hands would be harder than it's jump counterpart but that's of course accounted for in difficulty and with that in mind it still stands that nothing is inherently hard about any pattern(this should be the case since it's a sign of a balanced game)
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Old 10-16-2019, 04:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: Difficulty Consultant Applications

For the record, hands used to be considered difficult for lower players and were considered in difficulty. Then all of a sudden there became some weird shift in things.

The plan is to fix things to be more linear as much as possible. Obviously, this can't be perfect however, I think we can do much better than we have been.

So if you're applying for this, please be prepared for a fair bit of work.
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Old 10-16-2019, 05:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Difficulty Consultant Applications

hands used to be a big deal back when they weren't fucking everywhere. But now they're fucking everywhere and not such a big deal anymore.
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Old 10-16-2019, 05:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Difficulty Consultant Applications

People used to think OMGWTFT0K3N without the moving receptors was FMO-worthy which is lol-worthy to me. That shit is a VD at best.
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Old 10-16-2019, 05:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: Difficulty Consultant Applications

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hands used to be a big deal back when they weren't fucking everywhere. But now they're fucking everywhere and not such a big deal anymore.
That doesn't change it for new players coming into the game (not talking about other 4k players.)
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: Difficulty Consultant Applications

I'm considering this. High end difficulty seems to get reevaluated all the time, but there's an enormous amount of inaccuracy elsewhere as well. Truthfully, the players best suited to evaluate any given range are those in that particular range. What's become the meta at higher difficulties is irrelevant to lower ones, but ultimately any file needs to be evaluated on its own merits.
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:29 PM   #12
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I'm considering this. High end difficulty seems to get reevaluated all the time, but there's an enormous amount of inaccuracy elsewhere as well. (1) Truthfully, the players best suited to evaluate any given range are those in that particular range. (2) What's become the meta at higher difficulties is irrelevant to lower ones, but ultimately any file needs to be evaluated on its own merits.
Can you provide arguments to explain your claims ? It's not obvious to me that this is true or not.

I tend to think the opposite: high level players (with a decent amount of experience, and having played most songs or at least a wide variety of files) usually have a better understanding of what constitutes the partly subjective difficulty metric we use, like bpms, patterns, transitions, stamina, spikes, etc.

You have to remember that players with a level higher than a file's difficulty should also agree with the arguments used to pick a certain difficulty number, otherwise it's a bit pointless. That being said, we don't gain much by having a lower level player be a DC, other than they might play the easier files more often, which I think isn't a heavy weight in the balance.
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:33 PM   #13
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Can you provide arguments to explain your claims ? It's not obvious to me that this is true or not.

I tend to think the opposite: high level players (with a decent amount of experience, and having played most songs or at least a wide variety of files) usually have a better understanding of what constitutes the partly subjective difficulty metric we use, like bpms, patterns, transitions, stamina, spikes, etc.

You have to remember that players with a level higher than a file's difficulty should also agree with the arguments used to pick a certain difficulty number, otherwise it's a bit pointless. That being said, we don't gain much by having a lower level player be a DC, other than they might play the easier files more often, which I think isn't a heavyweight in the balance.
High-level players tend to be too elitist and don't even bother to think about the little guy. Sorry but it's true.
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:34 PM   #14
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Default Re: Difficulty Consultant Applications

There are some outliers and I want to give an example:

Obscene amounts of steam is a level 77

http://www.flashflashrevolution.com/...php?level=1622

Flamingo is a level 70

http://www.flashflashrevolution.com/...php?level=1755

In my opinion Flamingo has more awkward patterns and is quite a bit denser overall. (this used to be worse in the old system where I believe flamingo was a 63 and obscene was a 72)

Overall I think when you move from level to level to AAA every song the difficulty curve is quite linear with a few outliers here and there.
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:37 PM   #15
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Default Re: Difficulty Consultant Applications

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High-level players tend to be too elitist and don't even bother to think about the little guy. Sorry but it's true.
We can screen that easily in a few releases. If the DC doesnt seem to consider lower level difficulty structure, people will notice.

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Old 10-16-2019, 06:49 PM   #16
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We can screen that easily in a few releases. If the CM doesnt seem to consider lower level difficulty structure, people will notice.

The lower area has been neglected for years, I've complained about it a ton myself. Others used to but then I think they all gave up over time because it continued to be ignored.

Higher-level players, especially those who've been there a while forget what it was like to be at that lower level and what was hard when they were starting out. I'm trying to get away from that mentality. This system has been terribly flawed and needs to be approached differently.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:45 PM   #17
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High-level players tend to be too elitist and don't even bother to think about the little guy. Sorry but it's true.
This isn't a fair assessment at all considering how the difficulty shifts transpired.

stavie33 and I were put in charge of the initial shift from 1-12 to 1-100. Stavie claimed the lower half as he wanted to replay those charts and AAA files he had left unplayed at the time. I had no qualms with this so I took to the upper half. After the initial shift I noticed a lot of charts in the lower half out of place compared to where I believed they belonged but only mentioned the largest offenders so as not to overstep any boundaries. I also continued to make +/-1/2 adjustments on my end on an ongoing basis. I'm not sure how many adjustments stavie made, if any honestly.

Eventually stavie dropped out and it was public opinion that the lower half scaling made little to no sense in comparison to the upper, and there were several charts rated close to ~10 points off where the community believed they should lie. I spoke to several players that weighed in on difficulty discrepancies in that subforum that appeared to have balanced skillsets, could articulate themselves well with valid opinions for shifts, and were willing to help restructure the lower half. Zapmeister in particular seemed perfect for the job but his activity on the site fluctuated a lot, and I'm not even sure if he responded to the last PM I'd sent him years ago. Eventually ended up adding Zenith and Haku with Zenith having played through the entire lower half already and completing a revision combover a few years back. This was a substantial improvement from what the lower half used to look like. But I don't believe many revisions were done on an ongoing basis past this, and there's still a considerable number of outlier charts in that range, to the point where it becomes evident that rating new files accurately in the lower half of the spectrum is next to impossible when attempting any sort of proper comparative analysis.

Almost any new chart added under 50 effectively has nearly a 5 or 6 point confidence interval that it can be added as and people likely won't complain. On the high end, anything off more than 2 points gets laughed at. I don't think that's elitism, I think that's a testament to how well-maintained and curated the high end has been. This is evidenced by players with 90+ skill ratings still weighing in when a 60-something seems off: something in that difficulty range ultimately doesn't matter much to them, but it's still obvious enough to point out. Higher skilled players don't often bring up misrates on the lower half, not because they don't care, but because that large confidence range exists when it shouldn't.

I also agree with op, and will try to avoid typecasting all lower level players because exceptions surely exist (again going back to Zapmeister, he was perfect for this), but lower level players are generally unable to acknowledge how unbalanced their skillsets might be to the degree of D6+, which will likely lead to a lot of misrates. There are D6+ players entirely capable of the analysis required to add increased linearity to the lower difficulties that shouldn't be dismissed simply because they're too good at the game. They just need to put the time in to re-familiarize themselves with those charts.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:38 PM   #18
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Default Re: Difficulty Consultant Applications

I'll be putting an application in tomorrow on my day off. One thing I do think gets lost a bit when higher level players judge lower level songs is stamina. While some songs like Makiba appear to have it factored into its difficulty, other songs do not. When it comes down to it, I think it comes down to having these discussions, laying the rules for how it should be, and then sticking to them consistently across the range. Overall, there has been a lack of time really examining the difficulty in the lower range and I'd like to help out with that. I think this is a step in the right direction whomever is chosen - it needs time and work put into it.
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:09 PM   #19
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Can you provide arguments to explain your claims ? It's not obvious to me that this is true or not.

I tend to think the opposite: high level players (with a decent amount of experience, and having played most songs or at least a wide variety of files) usually have a better understanding of what constitutes the partly subjective difficulty metric we use, like bpms, patterns, transitions, stamina, spikes, etc.

You have to remember that players with a level higher than a file's difficulty should also agree with the arguments used to pick a certain difficulty number, otherwise it's a bit pointless. That being said, we don't gain much by having a lower level player be a DC, other than they might play the easier files more often, which I think isn't a heavy weight in the balance.
This is exactly the problem I sort of hinted at in my application. In no way am I as fluent in the jargon of FFR as you are--and I mean that both in terms of the actual vocabulary, and in reading and interpreting a given pattern or set of patterns in a file. But that's precisely the problem with the current system. Difficulty is subjective, not objective. You literally have the current number 1 average rank on the site. You were a snipe away from winning D7. There are files you can AAA effortlessly that I can't even play--so of course you'd be infinitely better suited to judging such material than myself.

But by the same token, at some point you lose your ability to determine why something is hard when it no longer is hard. You can have two files that are superficially similar--comparable bpms, types of patterns, stamina requirements, and so on--yet feel completely different to a player at that level. If everything is easy for you, then how can you meaningfully distinguish between these files? You can't--other than to refer to those preexisting criteria. But nothing occurs in a vacuum, and incidentals that can't be so easily quantified exist. Evaluating difficulty is an art, not a science--otherwise we could just user an auto-rating system a la Etterna.

What you're suggesting is only true if you honestly believe that difficulty is completely, statistically quantifiable. And yet that clashes with our existing statistics--and mars the player experience anyway. Yes, it's obviously true that lower players will see greater variation, as they will invariably have holes in their skillset that lead otherwise comparable files to move apart. But I'll take that over dispassionately calculating from a spreadsheet. To argue otherwise is to suggest you're engaging with lower difficulty files in the same way as someone fighting against them, and that's simply not true.

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This isn't a fair assessment at all considering how the difficulty shifts transpired.
It's completely true--and has nothing to do with difficulty shifts. Look at Opkiller's response; it considers the DLow-Mid experience only from that of DHigh. This attitude, consciously or unconsciously, permeates the site, and I feel it's a problem both for player attraction and retention.

But that's not really what this topic is about. You've done more than anyone to make ratings here accurate (and I thank you for that), but even so your response is bound up in the assumptions born of your own considerable abilities.

So consider the following scenario. A new file is released, and ten D6/7/8 players all rate it a 52. Ten D2/3/4 players rate it 51, 54, 56, 58, 54, 60, 50, 61, 57, and 57. One might surmise that by quantifiable standards, it must be a 52. All of the more skilled/experienced players determined it to be such, likely by calculating backward from bpm and patterns, and comparing it against their own expectations for such a file. The lower division estimates were all over the place, but averaged to 55.8. I'd argue that assessment is closer, because the file is meant to be representative and demonstrative of their skillsets. Yes, the lower you go, the more gaps there will be in skillsets, and thus the larger the potential for variation and outliers. But difficulty itself is, by everyone's contention, subjective, and thus matters most of all by comparison to other files. Not just in terms of speed and length and stamina, but in how comfortable and playable it is for the player it challenges. At some point, playability needs to become the key concern--and that's something lost as one gets further from a given file presenting any sort of challenge.

I did read your reply, and I do think it's valid. Certainly, there's going to be a certain amount of give unless we revamp lower difficulty entirely. But that's the thing. We should do that. If your proposal for higher level difficulty/AAA equivalency revamp goes through (and I like your discussion, and I think it should, whatever form that takes), that seems to me a good excuse to revisit everything.
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:28 PM   #20
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Default Re: Difficulty Consultant Applications

I dont think you can correctly argue the difficulty of any file, easy or hard, in terms that me (or owa, or any other high lvl player) can't understand. Therefore, it's only a matter of assessing difficulty differently depending the on a file's difficulty range. It's really that simple.
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