General BNG Information
Welcome to the Beatmap Nomination Group, you are here because you appreciate beatmaps and you have proven to be proficient at modding them. As part of the BNG you now possess the tools to also nominate beatmaps and shape the world of osu! and its content as you please!
1. BNG Rules
Remember that these are exactly that: rules. Violating any of these may get you expelled permanently from the Beatmap Nomination Group.
2. Modding and Assistance
Being a nominator will result in a lot of mappers being interested in your opinion on beatmaps and frequently receiving mod requests. You are not forced to mod certain maps - you are free to mod whatever and whenever you want to. However, it is a good idea to check high priority maps as well as the bubbled beatmap list frequently to find things which might be worth pushing forward. Keep in mind that you should not be modding only for the sake to get the beatmap in a rankable state, but for it to achieve the highest possible quality before reaching qualified and eventually ranked status. Essentially, this means that:
You do not have to bubble everything you mod. You do not have to nominate every map that has been disqualified. You do not have to nominate anything you do not like. You are free to mod and not leave any icon at all.
Being a Nominator is not just all about modding. Other modders and mappers will often approach you for help, advice, or your opinion. Try to help and/or redirect them to #modhelp. Create a friendly environment so that other community members will follow your example.
Keeping in touch with fellow nominators and communicating can be done using the #nominators channel. In this channel, you are free to talk about whatever you want - of course while following the general rules of the chat as it is moderated like any other channel. This channel can be used to ask any questions that you might have about being a BN, discuss maps, bubbles, or anything related to being a beatmap nominator. Do not forget that #nominators is multilingual. You are not forced to talk English there at all.
3. How and When to Set Icons
When making a mod post in a beatmap's thread, you will notice the icon bar above the space where you are typing. This holds all the icons you will ever use in your time as a nominator. To set the icon simply click on it and post! Note: You will not be able to set any icons until the map has 12 or more star priority.
Setting the star icon means you show interest in the map, and it has potential to be bubbled by you. However setting this icon essentially only means that you have interest and nothing more and does not oblige you to eventually bubble the beatmap.
Setting a bubble icon on a map's thread means you think the map is ready to reach the Qualified and Ranked status AS-IS - it is a nomination equal to the heart/flame icons.
Only set bubbles when you think the map is ready and the best it can be. Do not give into pressure from the mapper when they do not want to change something. If this ever happens, put your foot down. If it is an unrankable issue it needs to be changed, subjective issues you know are right and will fix problems should be highly recommended to the mapper. If you are unable to reach a conclusion simply do not bubble the map and move on.
Before bubbling a map, check out the section below that constitutes what exactly some things that you should be looking over on the map before setting a bubble on it are.
3.3. Popped Bubble
Setting the popped bubble icon on a map’s thread indicates that you veto this map from proceeding any further towards the Qualified or Ranked status. As such this icon requires reasoning as to why it has been set and what issues make you veto the beatmap from proceeding normally.
After this icon has been set two scenarios can follow: The mapper either agrees to your reasoning and both parties reach an agreement so the original nominator may rebubble or an agreement is not reached and the original nominator may not rebubble the map. In any case a proper discussion with mutual agreement or disagreement has to follow and in the scenario where the bubble popper and the mapper keep disagreeing another nominator has to be involved in order to overvote the popper if they also disagree with the pop.
As explained in the above Rule section, this icon indicates that the map will never reach a rankable status and should thus not be used by nominators, ever.
3.5. osu!/osu!taiko/osu!catch/osu!mania Icons ///
They used to have an actual meaning, but they do not anymore. Using them brings you nothing, expresses nothing and does nothing. So do not use them.
3.6. Heart/Flame /
Once everything checks out and you are confident in qualifying a beatmap, proceed as follows:
Qualifications are limited to one per BN per day.
Note that the order of these steps does not really affect the icon that ends up on the map thread for any map that will go for normal ranking and thus receive a heart. The order is important for beatmap threads that need to have a flame icon instead of a heart because the last icon posted will be the icon of the thread. Clicking qualify will automatically put a heart on the thread so you will have to post the flame after pressing the qualify button in these cases.
4. Common Issues in Beatmaps
Credit goes to xxdeathx for a large portion of the ideas set forth in this section.
You become a Nominator because you have interest in nominating beatmaps and were put through a proficiency test and now allowed to do so. However, there are certain commonly overlooked issues that should or even have to be taken care of.
4.1 Modding Tools
Using modding tools for automated map-checking for hard rule violations is recommended. It can make your life as a Nominator a lot easier and speed up the process. It is usually a good idea to not rely on them completely and still manually check over things such as hitsound files or off-screen objects. Generally take all these values with a grain of salt as false-positives and false-negatives can always happen with automated checking tools.
A few of these checking tools are listed here:
4.2 Commonly Overlooked Issues
This section outlines issues that are commonly overlooked by the mapper and modder both for many different reasons, but mostly because it is hard to check for them. Below you will find those issues and common indicators or ways to look for them, sorted by perceived likelihood to occur:
This is a common issue for songs that feature multiple snaps that range from ⅓ to 1/12 or ½ to 1/16 and mix them. Wrongly snapped notes fall under the category of “overmapping”. Overmapping as such is an issue that should be addressed in all cases if there are no really good arguments present to disregard proper snapping.
Checking snapping requires a full listen to the song, but once listening to it all and checking for snap errors, generally it is easy to ascertain what the song and map have differently in their snapping. If you have a question about snapping in a map, #nominators or #modhelp are both good places to ask for advice and opinions on this topic.
Players of different difficulty levels will need recovery time after playing spinners. Especially beginners tend to spin in really huge circles and need some time after a spinner to relocate their cursor and move to the next notes that appear after the spinner. Generally advised values are 4/1, 2/1, 1/1 and anything within musical reason for Easy, Normal, Hard and above for approximately 180 BPM songs.
Most commonly, these difficulties use time-distance equality as their core concept, meaning that most - if not all - objects in them will use distance-snapping. If the entire map uses the same spacing or around the same spacing and something is randomly off from that by a larger value it usually means that this is an oversight and should be addressed.
If at any point during a map there are overly confusing patterns or things that could potentially throw off anybody playing it to the extent that it can be argued unfair / unexpectable in comparison to the rest of the map, you should address these before pushing the map forward. In particular, Easy and Normal difficulties should be very straightforward. Readability issues can also occur when the beatmap itself is pretty tame overall, but has certain sections that are totally off-throwing which are not predictable by the music self. Listen to the music and make sure that whenever the complexity of patterns rise, that the music indicates the same.
Very common amongst people who map obscure anime TV size maps, sometimes metadata, including the title, artist, source, tags, or romanization can be incorrect. Checking over these types of things to ensure that they are correct before qualifying is a necessary task.
Using something like Google to find the correct information, or even doing something as small as asking a person that can understand the language of the song better (commonly a Japanese person) is the most obvious thing to do here. Tags have to include all of the guest mappers. Including abbreviations of the song’s source (for example, SAO and Sword Art Online) is also very helpful for people trying to find the song. Suggesting something like that to the mapper is something that takes almost no time and can help a considerable amount.
Timing issues come up pretty often before qualification and sometimes it can lead all the way up to a bubble before timing issues are realized. Usually it is as simple as a bpm change or an offset change, but sometimes can require almost an entire remap depending on the severity of the issue. If you are having issues finding correct timing, as always #nominators and #modhelp are both useful places to ask.
Overpatterning is an incredibly subjective type of term to throw at a beatmap, and generally needs to be agreed on by a large number of people in order for it to be relevant, but sometimes it is very obvious. It can be excessively hard patterns, excessive notes in relation to the music and so on. Although there is not really a whole lot you can do most of the time involving overpatterning, trying your best to give advice to the mapper about what sections are worse than others is probably the extent to what you can do.
A lot of mappers dislike hearing about their maps being overpatterned and go to extreme lengths to not fix the issue. In situations like this, it is entirely possible you might just have to stay clear of the map entirely if the mapper does not cooperate with your suggestions for getting the map bubbled or qualified. Asking for help with other nominators is sometimes necessary when dealing with maps that have this issue.
This is a topic that many people intentionally try to avoid, and it is mostly caused by scantily clad anime characters (whom a lot of mappers tend to put as their backgrounds regardless of the song they are mapping for whatever reason). If a background or a video seems in the slightest bit to be inappropriate, whether it be sexual undertones, blatantly inappropriate scenes in the picture or video, etc, it should be mentioned to the mapper. Not only is it against the RC to qualify something like this, it is also something that could lead to serious consequences based on how serious the NSFW is in the video/background. As such, this is one of the most important ones to check. If there is even the slightest bit of questioning on whether or not a BG is appropriate, asking fellow BNs or even a QAT is recommended in this situation.
This can be checked easily by opening every hitsound included in the map in Audacity or any similar audio editing program and playing the first 5 milliseconds of it to hear if any actual impact or sound whatsoever start within that time. For most hitsounds, just looking at how the file is displayed in Audacity is enough, however for sliding hitsounds this can be a bit misleading so it is generally recommended to do this anyways if you are unsure.
If a mapper is using green lines to tone down a clap sound, it is important to make sure that the slidertick sound is being used, not the sliderslide hitsound. Unless the mapper knows exactly what they are doing and for what reason they are doing it, emulating clap / whistle / finish hitsounds during a sliderslide is not recommended.
Sometimes, a mapper doing a guest difficulty can download the map without its video and then forget to place the video afterwards. This falls into the category of quick and usually unintended oversights and should be addressed before ranking a beatmap.
Play through the entire map on 4:3 resolution once and make sure there is nothing that is going off-screen. During this step you can ensure that no gameplay elements overlap the interface as well and point out both in one go, as they can heavily impact the perceived gameplay experience.
Check the entire map to make sure that everything that the player has to click (sliderheads and circles etc.) provide audible feedback to the player for hitting the object.
This requires an outside check into the folder of the song itself to check, but is rather easy to fix by the mapper. Just mention it and have them fix it. There are tutorials all over the forums for this and including the mp3 twice makes no sense as osu! will only play the video track in all cases.
Sliders with unclear paths to follow through are technically unrankable and have to be fixed, however checking and debating over these has room for subjective judgement so involve fellow BNG or QAT members if necessary.