Yes, it might be possible for me to get my map through the system. But my point was that the main reason map standards have declined (or at least not progressed very much) is because the system is severely flawed. Game-play and testing should be the primary focus from the start, and you shouldn't need to have a pretty map in order to test it. I understand that this is not likely to change, but if the main problem is ignored, then this thread (and others like it) are like:
Fat Guy: I can't run very fast.
Doctor/Spouse/Friends/Etc.: You need to lose some weight.
Fat Guy: Well, that's never going to happen. Maybe some new running shoes will help.
I would never develop software on a system where:
1. I could only run the program after it was released as a Beta, and
2. I had to finish the user interface before I could test the logic.
I wouldn't expect to find every bug during my testing, but I could certainly find any big problems. And whether you want to call it Beta testing or a sandbox or whatever, unproven maps should not be played for points, and new testing should not be blocked just because some people are in the middle of a game. If a major change is required, just kill all Beta games for that map and let them start over if they want.
Looking back over my map thread, I can't say I really know what was expected of me at the end. There were many suggestions (all of which I responded to), but I didn't see any clear consensus about which ones should be used. I wasn't sure myself whether the bonuses and neutrals were good, or if I should add more territories or have The Motive bombard the suspects.
Updating the graphics seemed pointless if these things were just going to change again, so the only thing I could think of to do was to try to play it. It's too big to play on paper, so I started working on a playing program, but that's an even bigger project than the map, so I just didn't have the time. No new suggestions came in, but it hadn't received the next stamp either. (Though it doesn't make much sense to me how a gameplay stamp can be awarded without anyone ever, you know, actually playing it.) So I'd be happy to finish the XML and start trying it out, but doing anything else seems like a waste of time.