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Location: Home  Blogs  Why is MX important? 
Why is MX important?
Why is MX important?27 Oct, 2012
   eyebo«way¬ (8 comments, 1557 views)  
This topic is probably like preaching to the choir. But nevertheless, I think it's an important topic.

In the comments, I'd like to hear from you. Why is MX important to you?


Below is a dialogue between myself and dejamo on ManiaPlanet forums all the way back in January 2012. Rereading it was quite interesting to me. And I think it's just as relevant now as it was back then. I decided to put it into a blog post here.

"eyebo" says:
If MX didn't exist, I probably wouldn't be playing this game at all. And without TMX, I would have quit TMUF long ago.


"dejamo42" says:
Again I don't understand this, is the online game not the most important aspect of TM ?


"eyebo" says:
I guess maybe it is for some people.
But everything is connected.
Many online servers get their maps directly from MX.
So even if a user never goes to MX, they benefit from it's existence in their online experience.

Without a central hub to share tracks, whether it's MX or some other site... the community would be compartmentalized into much smaller groups.

Much of the fun I have is in trying new tracks regularly. And without a central site to get all the newly released tracks... and without a place to share my own creations... I personally wouldn't see much point playing for an extended period of time.

For me the most important thing is the editor, the community; both online and offline, and the diverse array of tracks to play. I get those on MX. I also love the ability to make screenshots, do custom MT with cool cameras... and make videos and post them online. For other people it may be other things. To say online is the most important thing in TM would be to to shoehorn everyone into the same mold. The TM userbase is far more complex than that.

It's interesting, I find myself playing a lot more offline than I did in TM1. I feel I can focus more on the tracks, giving feedback, and hunting a time. Online I get very distracted chatting with people.

But this switch to offline has less to do with Canyon, and more to do with a change in my own habits.

A lot of people are enjoying online competitions though. This is no different than the past, but it's still going on. ESL, ESWC, and ET all run competitions. I took part in the HillClimb1 (HC1) competition put on by ET a couple weeks ago. That was a lot of fun! There's also the official MX Knockout held twice every weekend at 10:00 GMT and 22:00 GMT on Saturday. It's held on the MX Knockout server. Usually 20 to 30 people play it, and it lasts a couple hours. It's mostly a lot of the same familiar faces who gather there each weekend. So that's a lot of fun.

About your other comments. I don't see the game going downhill. I actually find it more fun now than I did the first time I played it back in August.

As Xymph said in his post. There's a lot to do in the TM-verse. Online might be the focus of some people, while others may enjoy video production, or making manialinks, or other coding projects.

I've seen this "tm is dying" mentality around the forums quite a bit lately. It's unhealthy, unproductive, and it couldn't be further from the truth.

The game (maniaplanet) is starting seemingly slowly from our perspective (having seen TMF in its glory days). But this is how Nadeo wanted it to be. It will pick up pace and players as it rolls along... as more environments are added... as more genres are added. Some may take a break until the next environment is added, especially if Canyon isn't their particular brand of fun. But this isn't anything unexpected. Why should we be surprised when it's not a surprise to Nadeo?

I think much of the negativity about the game is based on unmet expectations. A lot of users expected something entirely new and different (or else they wanted something very very close to Stadium physics and block structures), and TM2 ended up feeling like TM1.5 to them because, on the surface, it really doesn't bring much new to the table. It feels like the 8th environment.

But to be honest, that's all I ever wanted. And maybe that's why I'm not personally disappointed. I like the fact that the game is solidly based in the past. It made Canyon very easy to pick up. I knew how just about everything worked already, while I still had to learn to drive with the new physics and blocks... and I still struggle to take some block combinations quickly... especially on the cliffside roads.

You say the blocks don't offer enough diversity. Of course more diversity in how blocks can be used is always good! But Canyon offers plenty of diversity. If you don't think there's enough diversity, you may not have played with the editor enough... or tried enough tracks. Or perhaps you've played on servers where the server host didn't pick a good selection of tracks.

One of the things that has helped give the most diversity is tm2unlimiter, a third party tool that lets you place blocks wherever you want... right inside the editor. I can't underestimate how important it is to making really cool tracks. It's possible to make great stuff without it, but unlimiter opens up so many more possibilities.

I firmly believe that much of what will make ManiaPlanet great is yet to be revealed. For now, Canyon does feel a bit like the "8th environment", but it's an amazing addition and I'll enjoy it up until the next environment is released.. and beyond.

--

But you mention TMX/MX in the topic. I really hope TMX and MX survive the next few years. I have a feeling these sites are too important to the community to let them go. But I also think the community is a bit puzzled at why Nadeo or Ubisoft doesn't support them monetarily. I understand they have to put their money into what they think is important... but track sharing is at the very heart of this game. If they're not going to do track sharing themselves, it seems they should help support those who are doing that job for them... and contributing to the success of their game.

Of course, where does that end? There's a lot of community sites that contribute to the success of the game; ManiaPark, ManiaCreative, etc.

It's a tough call for them though. Apparently they were already forced to make the decision to pull funding from these sites in the past, because of the lack of advertising revenue that was also pulled out from under them.

I trust things will turn out for the best in the long run.


Well, here we are 10 months later, and thanks to the donations of users and even individual people at Nadeo, the sites continue to enable people to share their creations.

Thanks everyone for helping keep my favorite sites alive! (l)
Comments
8 comment(s).
  Cxom writes ... 03, Nov, 2012  
If one day MX ever goes broke, you'll see. Nadeo will have half their traffic completely wiped out and will likely at least attempt to support MX. Right now they are taking advantage of the fact that it's being paid for by others. And who knows, if they follow up stadium with the rest of the environments, maybe their'll be a comeback for TM1. Till then, we can only anticipate.
  Hans Holo writes ... 28, Oct, 2012  
I think I won't play Trackmania without MX. A big part of the game is building and sharing tracks and driving the tracks of others (just for the driving or because you want to see the ideas of others). This wouldn't work without a site everybody agrees to use (different sites from different clans of for special trackstyles would be annoying for searching tracks).
This is also why PlayPalOnline is/was so important to me. I want to play my tracks with others and play the tracks of others together with the builder. That's the best way to get direct feedback (and having fun at the same time) and often leads to discussions that "improve" the view on tracks (in general and for everybody).
So please Nadeo, make it happen! :p

-------------------
Off-topic:
I think Nadeo should have released a boxed version to sell in stores. There are a lot of people for sure who don't want to buy games online (giving away credit card information...) or simply don't know about the game. I have discovered the game in a store: "Hm, I would like to have a new racing game. Need for Speed XY for 60 bucks or Trackmania for 20. I take TM, if it sucks, it's not too much money spent and I can buy NFS next month." That's been about ten years ago (and I haven't played NFS since then).
------------------

Sometimes I ask myself, how much Nadeo is aware of strenght of the community? (I'm sure they know about it, but they don't show it). How do they test the game? Hopping on a random server and see what's happening...?
That's probably a bit mean, I guess they are doing a lot of great work to improve our experience, but some vital things they just seem to miss.

Long live Mania-Exchange
:d
  Voyager006 writes ... 28, Oct, 2012  
TMX/MX is also the reason why I still play TM. What Nadeo / Ubisoft doesn't support, can be found here on various community sites. It's the TM hub of expression. I should pick up my credit card and donate some bucks once I'm able to.

I do have lack of releases on MX, the main reason being a missing PPO (sorry Forz). I really enjoyed putting betas and recent releases up for play there, and that made an extra motivation factor which i don't get today. I may start working and releasing maps for real once Nadeo kicks in and makes dedicated servers stable again.
Another factor is that my maps are not special in my opinion. Even though it's really hard to create a well flowing, creative map, as many ideas are taken by other mappers already, I still try to be as unique as I can.

Yes, TM is dying. However, the life of TM2 has just begun.
MP is a new start of Nadeo's long running franchise. It's not a continuation, but it's based on old games.
There are current (and upcoming) titles that are promising. The tournaments keep the competitive spirit on, and it keeps me busy with the game.
I'd say MP is in an development stage, and the times can only get better from now on :)


I also want Skubidou's ChallengeEdit to make a comeback to TM2 - TMUnlimiter alone doesn't make everything possible ;)
  SPIDER writes ... 27, Oct, 2012  
Yeah mx is awesome, why can´t they let us use one of there servers ? it would be cheaper (cheaper = free) and faster and maybe they can connect mx to canyon like a ingame feature at the first site, and more players would enjoy mx for sure becouse as it is now there is a lot of now players that haven´t heard about mx and know that it even exist, but with a ingame feature, this would change remarkablely for sure the traffic would increase extremly and they could have some sponsors on the site to make it even more profitable, and in my opinion, they should lift the free zone before the old game is dead,"not canyon" i dont want that to happen becouse i have hade so much fun with trackmania and my friends here on (t)mx online / offline.
anyway the damage is already done and they have lost a lot of players becouse of the free zone stuff but it meight change if the game is free again "whitout the free zone, that is. (i am talking about trackmania nation forever ofc)

What could/would happend ?
The award and download would increase for sure and make alot of builder happy to see the download increase and dont get stuck on 5 dl, WHY,,, Its very time consuming to build a track "good or bad" no matter, they have for sure try to make the track fun, if not they like it, and if you are like me you like all tracks becouse they are fun to drive and have diffrent approach whether its 1 turn or some lol jump or maybe its perfect, all tracks are fun in there own way, and i (the builder) really want more players to try my tracks.

why i build a track hmm thats a hard one, naa just kidding ?the answer is to let people play them and have fun, right...ofc i am right....

"" I dont want to spam to get noticed, DO YOU. ? ""

Facts
I know NADEO have lost alot of money by making a free versions, but my guess is they have got it back 10 times with eas, dont you think, with all the turnament and competitions and so on.

Not against this__, but not happy either when they dont support the heart of there game..."those sharing site"
Last thing i want to add is this, why are you having commercial about canyon/shootmania on this sites when you don´t get a nickel or do we get money from nadeo when some one click the canyon os shootmania banner and purchase the game thru this site ? i really hope we do !!!

anyway the community is strong and we survived that time and we will do it again. ^^ :)
hopefully they do something like this.

Dont get me wrong i love NADEO but it could be much better,, thats all.

SPIDER.
  Falkers writes ... 27, Oct, 2012  
Interesting read :)

I feel so new here, have little experience with the other game versions in TM, only played online a little bit on the free version way back.
In TM2 it's all about the editor/offline and mania-exchange.com testing others tracks and releasing my own here, i played some online in the start after buying TM2...but found it boring for the most part, also i have no friends playing this game so i guess it's easier for me to just stay offline and have fun in the editor.

I have had so much fun with this game in offline and learning my way's in the editor, now when i have some basic skill i find great fun in doing Intro's and scenery making, many times when i work on a track i sit there just wishing i could be done with the thing so i can start the fun scenery/MT work he,he..(for the most part i do the scenery as i go on a track, but it's always fun to do the finishing touch when i feel done with the track itself).

For me a good track has always been about fun transitions and not to 'fullspeed' with turbo blocks and loops(hate those!), i guess my fav tracks is mostly speedtech tracks with nice variation and not to much narrow roads and crazy speed found in fullspeed tracks or difficult stuff that you would find in those crazy skilled tech tracks as seen in Andriv's great video here.:)

I do wish they released some more blocks to the game, those tunnel blocks we got some time back is really shit for my taste, such a waste imo.....i was so happy to read there would be some new blocks but so deeply disappointed to see the tunnel blocks show up in the editor. :|

I do feel tracks uploaded here is starting to repeat them self with the same race line/transitions over and over again, i try to think of new things at least i myself haven't done before in a track, and i really try not to repeat myself to often in my track making, but sadly i find this more and more difficult these day's.
In the end i'm rather sad to say that i'm slowly starting to lose interest in the this game.

I find TM2unlimiter to be exremly important to me in the editor, i think i would have more or less quit not so long ago if i didn't have it, if not for mania-exchange.com i would Quit a long time ago. :)
   eyebo«way¬ writes ... 27, Oct, 2012  
Thanks for your comments marti. :)

md, What's your point with linking to this graph? :p Track uploads have slowed, yes. That's not too surprising to me. It spiked when Canyon was released. It leveled off for a little while and then went downhill from there. It'll spike again when Valley is released.

Does the lack of uploads mean MX is no longer important? Isn't MX important, not just because of new tracks being uploaded, but also as a database of old tracks for people to play?
  md writes ... 27, Oct, 2012  
http://tm.mania-exchange.com/statistics/tracks/uploads
  XT»Marti writes ... 27, Oct, 2012  
Deep text... I feel exactly the same about this '8th environment' as you do, but one of the most important new things for me in this new iteration was the ability to copy/paste parts or the whole of your track. I personally love canyon. I don't like building scenery, or making mt, but I love making tracks in canyon. And it's gonna stay that way :)

As to why Nadeo stopped their support in sites like these: I don't even have the slightest idea why they did that. I mean, for the community it's a pretty large job to keep the site up in terms of money, but for a company...? That's the only thing I don't understand about Nadeo. Other than that, they're the creators of my favourite game(s) of all time. If there's a good reason for them to not support these sites, then let's hope one day, when they're 'famous' enough, they will start this support. And I have confidence that that will be the case :)
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