Spankjox is just a hate or love map. I like it because it's a nice change from the strategic vehicle maps. It's a very simple map on which I have great fun shooting people off of the map. But I guess not everybody is into that, and if we want this event to be focused on strategic team play, it's probably not the best map choice.
I'll still vote for it on the main server though
Thing is though, even outside the confines and specific parameters of the semi-private Match Server event, this kind of perspective remains prevalent among a sizable part of the ONS-playing community and seems to overlook a fundamental truth about maps/gameplay catering to only one
playstyle, whichever that might be: people won't be split along preference/taste lines about its popularity in some kinda mysterious and inscrutable "love it or hate it" manner; they'll most likely be split along preexisting and personally developed skills (or lack thereof) in the number of disciplines the game allows one to excel in - dueling combat, ground vehicular, air vehicular, acrobatic movement, tactics & strategic prowess, communication & teamwork efficiency, etc.. Or, to put it in a more straightforward way, if any majority subgroup of the same mindset keeps voting and pushing for maps where the only
way to win is to be good in the specific skill their members are already good at and nothing else can help, one shouldn't be surprised when others who invested their time and effort in mastering different skillsets over the years now become estranged and unreceptive to that. It only takes swapping out one dominant playstyle in one map for another in a different one for anyone to grasp such frustration: your "I don't get what everyone's getting all bothered about in Spankjox, I just enjoy shooting ppl off the map" becomes the obvious and direct equivalent to a Minus aficionado's "why do ppl keep complaining about large-blasts, fine aim-independent warfare instead of just getting good at tank wars?". Crucially, there's a difference between a casual "not everybody's into that" and the harsh realization of "you won't achieve anything here unless you're as good at that skill as those voting for it", and the long-term cost of insisting on such imposed and divisive practices - especially when it tends to happen several maps in a row each time - can range as far as up to disenfranchisement and community fracturing/dwindling. Omni wasn't always a mino and assorted imbalanced custom vec-worshipping cult, to raise a popular example.
To be clear here, none of the above is meant to suggest that the roster should be cleansed of any and all singular-playstyle maps; for specific crowds and circumstances, they can be as fun and engaging as any other map, and I've been fortunate to've had first hand experience of that plenty of times myself. Not all maps need to be all things to all people and I don't think mappers should be made to observe some kinda "affirmative action for underrepresented playstyles" guidelines either. That said, some variety here n' there through a healthy mix of viable playstyles does
help keep things fresh n' interesting, and folks should understand what kinda proposition and potential negative impact one track-minded maps can cause, especially to everyone not already down with said track/playstyle.
I mean, hell, outside of this UT world, entire games have been deemed broken by gamers in the past just for leading them down to skill tree dead ends and unwinnable situations (say, through offering mastery of stealth, diplomacy and direct attacking, but featuring bosses that can be taken down through only one of those avenues), and those have even been single player affairs! Nobody likes being made to feel useless after investing hundreds of hours (thousands might be more applicable here) in a game so just try to imagine the odds of finding common ground among a server crowd of 15-20 ppl regarding any single-playstyle preferable map ...yeah. Some people would rather spec or even change servers, in fact, than face the prospect of acting as a few players' clay pigeons for 10-15mins with no room to make any kinda difference at all, so it'd be best to be cognizant (and empathetic) of that reality and try to stave it off where possible.
Lastly and about SpankJox' performance specifically, for one thing, I'd be hard-pressed to find any room for strategy in an affair as small and simple in its conception as that, so IMO the map revolves mostly about effectively employing tactics. For another, there's a certain few elements within its mix that prevent the map from reaching its maximum potential, or even going as far down that path as its design predecessor, SpaceJox, managed before it. It's no secret that I've held, and shared, this view for awhile now, both internally and otherwise, and it's one I'd be happy to explain in greater length should anyone want more details about it, although that's not the point I'm trying to get at here. The point, instead, is the simple recommendation that, if most of the regular Match Event participants (or its organizers) feel that SpankJox is failing to suit their needs for a smallish-medium, quick-paced, low-g space-bound dueling arena sans ubernuke/trollish silliness, they might want to look into ONS-SpaceJox-SP2 (SP4beta3 has the less well implemented standalone, countdown node at the highest midsection platform), or maybe even giving it a quick polish-up to current standards before trying it out
Okay, think that's about enough mileage outta those 2 eurocents now.