Please consider including the feature of having difficulty ratings for maps, or single jumps if a map is made up of independent sections. Something similar to the way most rock climbing scales work would be fitting I think, where there is a minimum level on the low end of the scale, but the high end of the scale is open-ended. For example, with the Hueco scale in rock climbing, climbs can only be rated as low as V0, but can be rated as high as necessary (V16 is the hardest climb currently, but maybe someone will become good enough to do a climb deemed hard enough to be a V17).
There are a couple advantages for a rating feature. One is that players have more indication of progression. Maps/jumps they completed could be saved checklist-style in the game or on an external site to further encourage progression. This is especially true for newer or less-skilled players who don't have much hope in competing for times. The other advantage I can think of is that it serves as a guide to players when looking for new maps to try. Usually players will want to do jumps that are at their skill level, or slightly above it. Or maybe they'd be in the mood to do something a little below their skill level to relax more.
These ratings could possibly be further broken down to the core components of what makes jumps difficult. These components should ideally be independent of each other. Here's a possible list (please suggest more if you can think of anything else):
- Strafing. The lowest score means you can just jump normally to complete the jump. A high score means you need a lot of strafing skill to complete the jump.
- Precision. A low score means that aiming your jumps correctly is not a huge factor in the jump. A high score means there are very particular locations you need to land in order to complete the jump (think paper-thin platforms).
- Endurance. A low score means that the jump is very short. A high score means that the jump continues for a long time without moments to pause.
- Complexity. A low score means that there is at least one obvious and simple route to complete a jump. A very high score would mean that there is only one specific way to complete the jump, and it requires a high density of input changes and very specific timings for the input changes.
A map/jump's overall rating should be at least as high as the highest rating of a particular component.
Having these components of a rating would allow people to see what the strengths and weaknesses of a player are. This can incentivize players to work at their weaknesses, or allow them to focus on maps that have high ratings in what their strengths are in when setting times.
One issue is who would determine the ratings for maps/jumps. Some possibilities are:
1) The mappers themselves decide the ratings
2) Game admins determine the ratings
3) All players can pick a rating, but only once they've completed the map/jump. The map/jump's rating would be an average of the individual player ratings. It would probably be best to disallow new players to rate jumps, since they won't yet have a feel for the rating scale.
And one final thought - there can also be an enjoyment rating for maps/jumps. These I think definitely should be determined by all players and not just mappers or game admins.
Here's an example graphic of what would be generated for the "Curves" jump in the Mr. Men map in Enemy Territory:
A little bit of info about who I am since this is my first post and most of you probably don't know me... I've been trick jumping in ET on and off since 2003 under the name Pudd. My strafing's pretty crap compared to others who are still jumping though D*=. About a year ago I discovered the timeruns server, which I was exhuberant about since I had been wishing there was a speedrunning community in ET. For the most part I do VET runs, but I also have done some AP.