I think I should clarify some more things.
Endteleporters and linking maps together for the server was never my business, usually I had nothing to do with it. When I started with a fix for a map, this map was already included into the rotation. Therefore I actually never worked on an original map, but an already modified one.
Adding maps to the rotation was always done by Jackal and Sparky only, because they made the decisions.
My only job was to make sure, that maps run without problems in coop. Therefore I never spent any thought about how maps are linked together or if there is even any other way to do it.
Also I had nothing to do with any scripting things and in the past I nearly knew nothing about it. The only reason why I started to take interest in it were related to problems which occured in maps, especially tons of ScriptWarnings in logfiles.
When I look into a script there are things I can understand and also follow, but there is also a lot which I don't know or can't understand, especially the syntax.
You must know, that I learned coding in a time where a game like Unreal was still impossible. First I started coding in BASIC V2.0 and later also in machine language, but that was many years before the development of Unreal started.
I'm sure you still know BASIC V2.0 and how different it is to coding languages of today and even UScript.
Writing a basic program is no problem for me and I still could do it, but doing the same in UScript for example is currently still not possible for me. The only things I can do in UScript are very simple ones like modifing functions for example.
You shouldn't think, that I've never spent any time in UScript. I've already spent lots of hours with it. I've even tried already to write a mutator on my own and used Banes simple mutator tutorial for it, but it did not work right and I even don't know why. Ask Strategy about the mutator for the dualmags, I'm sure he still can remember it
Another thing you should know is, that I've never had and still have no intention to become a coder in UScript (although I played with the thought for a short time). But if I would have the intention then I would learn it for sure somehow, because I don't give up easy on something.
Regarding the linking of maps it never was a matter of will, it simply was not my busyness. But I can assure you, if it would ever have been, I would have found a way for it.
I'm sorry, I've never heard about the mutators you mention, because Sparky never told me about them.
But I think there is also a big misunderstanding. For sure you can do some neat things with mutators, but you can not really fix a map with it. All things a mutator can do are only temporary. Run a map with a mutator which solves some problem. Then take this map and put it on any other server for example. Not a single bit of the former changes will follow the map and the problem is back.
And there are things which even the best mutator can't ever fix. One big problem we often had with custom maps in the past was for example path related. Many maps kept crashing the server. The only way to solve this was fixing the pathnet (if one was there) and making a Pathdefine, something a mutator can't do. And even if it would be possible you still need someone who has enough knowledge to write such a thing.
A second big problem were hanging maps. I remember very well when I came to Newbies. Often the server was empty for many hours because a map couldn't be ended. That was by the way even the reason how my work for Newbies started back then. It was the map Fishbait and I had caused it to hang, because I was killed near the end. In the original map it's not possible then to finish the map, because you can't reach the end anymore.
I wrote an email to the server owner, which was of course Sparky
and made a suggestion how to fix it after I had downloaded the map and looked in Ued for the exact cause of the problem.
At that time I had not worked with Ued for more than 5 years and about UScript I had absolutely no idea, I even didn't know that it exists or what it is. Everything I know about it today I've learned over the last years.
Sparky then asked me if I could do the fix for the map and so everything started.
In the first years before my health went down I was on the server for many hours each day or better say night, because the time zones are different. I constantly watched the maps and the gameplay. Nothing is more worse for a server than a bad playable map or a map with bad errors. Sooner or later players will start to leave. That's why I try to keep the maps as coopfriendly as possible.
Also you must consider, that most of the custom maps were made for exactly only one player. But on a coopserver these maps must also work good with 8 or 10 players.
Masterkent I understand your point very well, because sometimes I did and do exactly the same. I've often seen some things in maps where I thought, how could the mapper make such mistakes which even a beginner wouldn't or shouldn't do. Then I remember a discussion I had with Zombie about problems in custom maps. I told him about some of these unbelievable things and he said something which I try to keep in mind. He said, that I always should consider, that the mapper didn't know it better at the time when the map was made.
And that's absolutely true. We can never be perfect right from the beginning. We are in a constant learning process. For example I did some fixes in the past, which I never would do the same way today.
Now we have 227 with all its nice features and new functions. We even run a completely new gametype. But in the past nearly all servers were 225 and the most common gametype was JCoopZ. We had to deal with the problems and possibilities of that time.
In most of the cases you can't even notice, that a map was fixed, but there were some serious problems in them. We did not touch a map such for fun.
As an example I tell you something about the map sbegin2unreal. In the beginning this map couldn't run on the server without an admin being present. There was a way through a cave which no player could pass, because there was a big hole in the ground. Sometimes later I found a version of this map where this problem was solved. Unfortunately in this already fixed version there was another place with a huge hole in the ground. I then fixed this problem which took many hours of work. But today you can't even notice this hole if you not know, that it ever was and still is there. Hm, try to find it without looking into Ued. I would be curious if you can find it
Sure, this fix was not done with a mutator, but this map can run nearly everywhere without any additional efforts. It's easy to say, that you can fix a map with a mutator when you are not really confrontated with the maps day by day and the huge amount of so many different problems which occur in maps.
And first you must find someone who has all the required knowledges about the maps and the coding abilities to create mutators for so many different problems. In the past there was no one there who could do that or was willing to do it.
Maybe I have not the coding abilities, but I always used my other knowledges to make maps as good playable as possible.