While the Magnificent 20 are currently building and/or finetuning their Round 3 tracks, a lot of discussion is happening over at TMX (the greatest Trackmania tracks exchange server ever).
Question 1: Round 3 allocation weirdness
A question that gets repeated over and over is “Why are we building unneeded tracks?”
As Kiwininja (and many others) has stated recently, there are already enough high quality tracks for some Environment-Difficulty combinations (Desert C is a good example), but still, another track in that combination is just being created, while for other combinations (e.g. Desert B), not nearly enough tracks are already “greenlighted” or “yellowlighted”, but still only 1 more track for that combination is in production.
What this implies is that
- A builder who was allocated an Envi-Diff combination that is already “crowded” with good tracks has a very difficult position, since in order for that new track to make it into the campaign, it would have to best at least some of those tracks that are already considered “good enough”.
- On the other hand, if there are only 2 or 3 good tracks in the Envi-Diff combination, Nadeo will ultimately have to include (into the campaign) some tracks that at the first glance seemed “not good enough”; the builder who got this combination in Round 3 needs only to make a mediocre / average track and still has a good chance to make it through.
This is what some participants (either former or current) think about the current (Round 3) situation.
The thread where this question came up is waiting for an answer from the officials, so stay tuned…
Question 2: “E” as in “Extreme”?
Those of you who made it through the United campaign all the way up to Extreme (Black) tracks probably have the understanding that Extreme tracks are either very long (Coast E = 6+ minutes on an 8-lap circuit), or they contain difficult stunts with lots of airtime (Stadium E, Island E). While the first “E” track in the TM Nations Forever campaign is only 48 seconds long Stadium wallride madness, its difficulty is still insane, especially with the near-end wall-to-wall hole jump.
What some builders are already getting worried about is how are they supposed to build an Extreme track if the Nadeo requirements of “track finishable from every checkpoint” and 60-90 seconds length are in place. Already we’ve seen in the previous rounds that the difficulty of StarTracks is significantly lower (on average) from the original United/Nations campaign. Therefore, round 4 and 5 building of Extreme tracks will be a challenge between “make it extreme” and “don’t overdo it”.
What might help tremendously would be Nadeo pointing to a particular track in each environment (such as “Coast D 3” or “Stadium C 5”) and stating “This is the difficulty we’d like to aim for with the Extreme tracks.”
Stay tuned… And feel free to provide your own opinion in the comments section!