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:
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