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TF2Center public servers [IDEA THREAD]



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#1 VoidWhisperer

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 12:10 AM

So, the topic has recently come up of TF2Center having public servers for people to play on while they wait for lobbies, or if they want to play with people from TF2Center in a less serious environment. One idea that came up in talks about this idea was the following:

 

The community provides the servers for the network. This essentially means that the TF2Center public servers will be made up of a bunch of servers contributed by members of the TF2Center community. This will allow us to have servers in more various places, among other things. However, with this comes a set of obstacles and limitations that are going to have to be overcome and met

 

  • The servers need to be updated very quickly after TF2 updates. For servers with SSH access this isn't necessarily an issue, as there can be a script or program written to update the servers when the srcds version # in the TF2Center database increments. However, this becomes a larger issue when you count in the servers people may want to contribute from TragicServers,NFO,etc. As there is no direct console access to those servers, they are much harder to update automatically. This is one major obstacle that would have to be overcome in order to make this work the way it should.
  • Another obstacle is that the servers need to be similar. This means there needs to be a set of restrictions and limitations put in place. Some of these limitations would be uniform server names, item whitelists, class limits, etc.
  • We need to come up with the different types of servers that we could put up (CTF/CP/PL/MIXED/(MGE?))
  • There needs to be a trust between the server owners and TF2Center as the server owners would have to give the staff the server's rcon password so it can be maintained in the event that something happens. We also need to trust the server owners not to abuse rcon on the servers as the servers are representing TF2Center.
  • There would need to be some form of linkback to TF2Center in the MOTD for the servers, and preferably a uniform MOTD.
  • The biggest part of this is people in the community willing to contribute servers to be used for the project. The servers need to have decent uptime, and not be a server that is occasionally switched around for scrims/matches/etc, as they need to stay up close to 24/7 (minus updates).

 

List of limitations likely to be in place on the servers (This does not include everything):

  • Class limits (in some/most servers)
  • Item whitelist (in some/most servers)
  • Command restrictions (if SourceMod is on the server)
  • Fairly vanilla servers
  • TF2Center MOTD
  • TF2Center staff need the rcon_password, and it needs to stay at what it is unless someone maliciously gains access to it.
  •  

List of obstacles needed to be overcome:

  • Way to update non-console tf2servers (Servers without SSH access) Apparently NFO and Tragic do automatic game server updates. So this would have to be on a case by case basis based on the provider
  • Best way to regulate the servers
  • List of people willing to donate servers for use
  • What to do if one or multiple servers are taken down without notification
  • A plan (Will be drawn up once this gets organized enough with a solution to the other obstacles)

We want the servers to be good representations of the community that TF2Center has, meaning that the same rules that are on the site would apply on the servers and would be enforced. Server owners would have to trust the decisions of the TF2Center staff relating to discinplary action on the servers.

 

Another that has come up is a global mumble server for the public servers. This means that there would be either a seperate mumble server for the public servers or a few channels in the normal TF2Center for the public servers. This would allow people to communicate the way they want in the public servers while enjoying themselves. This mumble would follow the same rules as TF2Center.

 

The TF2Center staff would need a way to easily contact the server owners to where they will be fairly responsive in the case that anything happens to the server (downtime that is out of TF2Center's control).

 

List of people who can possibly provide servers:

  • VoidWhisperer - 1 or 2 in Chicago

 

Our end goal with this: We want a way for the community to enjoy itself outside of just competitive lobbies, and it helps to bring the community together. It will also help to show those individuals who wants to give back to the community, through donating a server or otherwise. We would eventually end up creating a network of the servers based on region that would display in some sort of the website for people to be able to connect to, and meet other lobby players on, to wait for lobbies to start, etc. We hope that the community also wants to take part in this project.

 

 

Edit: We have 2 public servers up from TF2C staff to test the idea:

US: pub.voksul.net:27018

EU: games.confusedherring.com

 

This post is left open to any suggestions or critique (Please do, we need your ideas!)

 

EDIT: Both of the NA pubs have been moved to a server in chicago


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#2 The Once and Future King

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 01:03 AM

  • The servers need to be updated very quickly after TF2 updates. For servers with SSH access this isn't necessarily an issue, as there can be a script or program written to update the servers when the srcds version # in the TF2Center database increments. However, this becomes a larger issue when you count in the servers people may want to contribute from TragicServers,NFO,etc. As there is no direct console access to those servers, they are much harder to update automatically. This is one major obstacle that would have to be overcome in order to make this work the way it should.

 

As far as I know most rented server tend to already update automatically when the game updates.  I know my server from nfo often ends up being updated before steam downloads the update to my computer, can't speak to the speed or methods of the other providers though.



#3 VoidWhisperer

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 01:26 AM

 

  • The servers need to be updated very quickly after TF2 updates. For servers with SSH access this isn't necessarily an issue, as there can be a script or program written to update the servers when the srcds version # in the TF2Center database increments. However, this becomes a larger issue when you count in the servers people may want to contribute from TragicServers,NFO,etc. As there is no direct console access to those servers, they are much harder to update automatically. This is one major obstacle that would have to be overcome in order to make this work the way it should.

 

As far as I know most rented server tend to already update automatically when the game updates.  I know my server from nfo often ends up being updated before steam downloads the update to my computer, can't speak to the speed or methods of the other providers though.

 

 

Thanks. I'll have to check into see if tragic also does that.

 

Edit: Tragic also does automatic game updates. That is one problem down the hole.



#4 Mother Tereza

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 04:19 AM

Related topic http://forums.tf2cen...-donation-pool/



#5 JP-

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 10:48 AM

Class limits would not be a good idea, because then we'd have to remove these servers from the vanilla tf2 quickplay queue

 

(https://support.stea...=2825-AFGJ-3513)



#6 jayserp

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 11:51 AM

Valve servers are already prioritised over community servers by default on quick play. We cannot expect much traffic from quick play, so really our traffic needs to come from players on the site.


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#7 ninjaMooCow

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 01:22 PM

Please put me down on the list for possible provide servers: NFO/wherever (prefer Chicago.)

 

I rent and don't have console access.  I agree that NFO is pretty hot with the updates, and probably will beat a typical admin's response time.  My experience with them has always been good.  "C'mon guys, I have a match in 10 minutes" and they get it up before then.  Thanks, valve, for your Mondy evening updates.

 

I am interested in a consistent set of rules, etc.  I'd be willing to help with that.

 

My ideas are this:

1. All talk (bolster community)

2. Use in-game, not mumble.  Easier to set up

3. consistent set of mods: Sm for the admin functions.  If you are admin on one, you are admin on all

4. Naming convention is consistent

5. Easy links from main page.  "Lobby not started?  Here are our 5 servers click here: chicago 12/24 etc."

6. Map voting for all gametypes from the same list of popular maps

7. Future: maybe global stats for bragging rights and to keep regulars around.

8. Promote forums (bolster community). I feel that a lot of users play, but don't forum.

9: (edit) enforce bans across all servers.


Edited by ninjaMooCow, 13 April 2014 - 01:23 PM.

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#8 R.E.M.

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 06:16 PM

As someone who has played in many communities which used to take server donations it can end up going badly. If someone decides that they're fed up with TF2C or the developers/admins then they take their server and shut it down. Now you're down a server and any new server will have a different IP. Different IP means we lose players because people try connecting to the old server and then assume we're dead or something...


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#9 ninjaMooCow

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 06:54 PM

No disagreement here. There is nothing stopping users from bookmarking servers.

 

5. Easy links from main page.  "Lobby not started?  Here are our 5 servers click here: chicago 12/24 etc."

 

the links could be built off of a list of known servers (and ping them to make sure they are up and check # users)



#10 ninjaMooCow

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 09:26 PM

Sorry to spam 2 posts in a row.  I have been giving this a lot of thought.  A pub server composed of tf2center fans could be a high skill level pub server, which would be super-cool.

 

This idea is growing on me!



#11 Tragic

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 04:01 PM

I contacted MasterNoob about sponsoring TF2Center with a couple servers a few months ago and never got a response to my initial offer. It's still on the table and if the right people contact me, we can work something out for your community.

 

Feel free to send me an email (roilans @ tragicservers.com) or add me on Steam (http://steamcommunit...m/id/tragic886/).


Edited by Tragic, 17 April 2014 - 04:03 PM.


#12 Foxy

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 04:09 PM

Tragic: I'll get back to you over the next few days to follow up on this, and thanks!



#13 TheMattgician

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 06:27 AM

It would be fantastic if while you're in the server, a plugin tells you about you're lobby everytime you die. It would also be great if it had a way of telling you your lobby is about to start.

 

No idea how feasble this is though. I'm sure we can find someone in the community to code this if it is.



#14 ninjaMooCow

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 12:57 AM

I have/can code plugins.

 

Introducing plugins, I feel, introduces a whole 'nother chapter in complexity.   Right now, lobbies pretty much require zero server prep.



#15 Hergan5

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 09:37 PM

I can donate 1 server with location in Poland if you're interested. :)



#16 FromZero2Hero

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 05:47 PM

TF2Center EU #1 is running an older version of the game.



#17 ninjaMooCow

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 06:11 PM

Suggestion:  new forum area to talk about pub servers.



#18 b33p

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 02:23 AM

Would there need to be more than 1 server per region? It would be nice to have a "join public tf2c server" button at the top/side of every page to do something while we wait for lobbies to fill but you can expect that most people will only play when waiting for lobbies unless the idea gets really popular. The result is that people would probably only be playing for anywhere between 5-20 minutes at a time and the server would always have a slot opening up.

 

I don't know the stats for the site, but I doubt having servers for each game type (i.e. a/d, standard cp) would fill. Get a nice afk manager and you'd probably only need one server for EU.



#19 b33p

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 06:07 PM

Can this happen? 



#20 kKaltUu

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 05:35 PM

Will be up for discussion soon







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