I apologize if there's some formatting regulations that I'm about to not follow. I posted this to Reddit earlier today and got positive responses and was told to post it here. If anyone has any questions about my wording please feel free to ask and I will try to explain myself. Without further ado, here's the post.

I think most people who have played SC, SC2, and WC3 can agree that Frozen Throne probably had the best map scene. Broodwar got it all started and WC3 took it to the next level.

I think that the goal of Reborn should, ultimately, be to exceed Warcraft's custom map popularity and I want to mention some things that are going to help/hinder that goal.

1. Don't end games if someone doesn't connect. Maybe this isn't true for all games, and should be up to mapmaker discretion. But as it stands if someone fails to load any map the lobby is trashed and you start searching for a lobby anew. There are countless games where player count doesn't matter, and giving the host access to kick commands could be a solution to re-balancing in the event someone disconnects while loading.

2. Don't kick everyone when the host disconnects. Isn't is awesome spending 40 minutes playing a base builder only to have it ended the instant something goes wrong for the dude who hosted the game? No? Then isn't it awesome to host a game, lose in 10 minutes, and then have to stick around for 2 hours while 3 guys finish it? No? Then auto find a new host. Not including this feature helped bots gain massive amounts of popularity in Warcraft because the bot was considered the host and remained even after the bot owner disconnected from the game. This means that the bot owner can play a new game and leave and everyone else can play the 5 hour slugfest that their Vampirism game turned into.

3. Filter the Lobby List. It's awesome that we can see all the lobbies accessible to us. It's also awesome that we see their region, player count, connection and whether we have the map or not. It's even more awesome that we can search for maps and join any available lobby for the maps we want. But what if we don't know what we want to play? Let's say I've played every map that's been popular for the past 2 years. Do I just search for things that seem interesting alphabetically? By player count...? Instead, we could be able to search map type based on tags given to maps by their creators. Or to filter the lobby list to lobbies that are nearly full so we can just play any map that seems interesting and will get us into a game quickly.

4. Find a way to reward active hosts. I don't mean give them money, but give them a game. When trying to play Overthrow, I was constantly being put into the same 6 or so lobbies with afk hosts with players constantly in and out but when I hosted it could take 5 minutes to get a full game. Invites are a broken fix because they don't take region or latency into account. Active hosts could be chatting or required to hit a button every minute or so and their games would receive priority over those who didn't.


I think those are the most important aspects of custom maps from Valve's side going forward. There are some slight changes that could be made, I would personally prefer the lobby list shown over suggested games. The browse all games feature is barely better than epicwar. And, as far as I can tell, there's no way to play older versions of a map if you had a preferred one.

I'm going to emphasize the lobby list here again as it's probably the most important feature to improve. If you want to play the most popular map it needs to be there in one or two clicks, if you want to play your favorite maps they need to be there in one or two clicks, and if you want to play maps that you've never heard of there needs to be ways to find those within one or two clicks. Think of it from the perspective of the host in this hypothetical. You love this RPG called PAPER RPG. It's only 6 players but there's save/reloading mechanics and you have a level 300 paperboy and want to play with others so you can ultimately defeat the papergod. How are new people going to find your game once you host it? It's in the P's alphabetically, towards the middle by player count. The map is entirely inaccessible to new players in the lobby lists current stage.

EDIT: So I went ahead and [made this](https://imgur.com/a/eyegk) to compare lobby lists and getting there between Dota 2 and Warcraft III. Dota 2 needs significantly more clicks and user input to get to the lobby list and it is incapable of providing the type of listing that Warcraft does. Warcraft gets to the list much faster but doesn't have the searching capabilities that the Dota 2 custom games have. But there doesn't need to be a tradeoff. There's no reason why Dota 2 can't have best of both worlds here.

These are just my thoughts on the current implementation of custom games in Dota 2. I really hope Valve is open to making some changes, because I would prefer this to be more like Warcraft 3 and less like Starcraft 2.