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  • Interesting article re: Server Admins

    I found an article in my GameSpy online newsletter that, given recent events, I thought our forum members might be interested in reading. I copied the entire article to give the author full credit. Please note in particular the sections that I have bolded.

    Serving Up a Better Game
    GameSpy Publisher's Letter for the Month of October - By Mark "The FreshMaker" Surfas

    Mark "The FreshMaker" Surfas
    GameSpy Founder
    and Chairman of the Board


    In a lot of ways, online gaming is a victim of its own popularity. Back when Quake originally came out, there were only so many servers and so many players. If you had a favorite server, chances are you got to know the admin because you'd see him online. You got to know the other players. If somebody caused any trouble, they were soon banned. And the game went on. I used to run servers myself and I didn't take any crap.

    Nowadays we've got people flooding servers from all over the world, and thousands of servers to choose from. On the one hand, it's great -- I can regularly find a Battlefield: 1942 server packed with 60 or more chumps, which I couldn't see happening back in the early days of gaming. But the flipside is that you get a lot of jerks on there, and there's nobody around to stop them.

    You know the type. Cheaters, using hacks to see other players behind walls. Or teamkillers, chat spammers, spawn campers, and trolls who just live to ruin the game for as many people as possible. I never understood the point of being a jerk to people who can't fight back, but there they are. And you can't snap their neck like a turkey bone.

    Ways Around the Cheating Problem

    There are a couple of ways around these problems. One way would be for developers to constantly update their game every time a new cheat is available, but let's be honest: Nobody's paying them subscription fees, so their bottom line has no reason for them to have their best programmers working on anti-cheat solutions instead of their next big game. The better companies take the time to release anti-cheating patches, but you really can't count on it.

    You could allow the community itself to police its own servers. To some extent this works, and that's certainly how we did things back in the day. But remember that the people running game servers are usually doing it for fun because they love the game. Constantly updating a server with the latest anti-cheat systems and constantly banning players and monitoring the server can be a pretty thankless job. Most of the best server administrators I know eventually just got burned out, privately locking up their server just for a few friends. That's not the answer.

    Microsoft has a third solution. With Xbox Live, Microsoft simply shut off ALL online play, except through its service. Because everyone on Xbox Live pays subscription fees, Microsoft can tightly monitor the players. And because it runs all the servers AND the game platform itself, it has control over cheating. That works, but I can't see applying that to the whole of Internet gaming. It's never going to happen. Besides, you always want to keep an avenue open for people to play online games for free. I want MORE gamers playing, not less! And I don't want to be stuck only playing one publisher's titles

    GameSpy's Solution: Managed Servers

    I've been watching this problem for a long time … and it's getting worse. I can't stand playing a great game online only to have a couple of creeps start to ruin the server (worse yet, have you ever been doing really well only to have everyone accuse you of cheating?) So it was finally time to step up and DO something about it.

    What we've created are a set of premium game servers for the best online games that are open to GameSpy subscribers. Just like the old days, when you knew the server admin personally, we run these servers based on your feedback and monitor them 24/7. We run the latest anti-cheat software and we maintain a *permanent* global ban on players caught cheating (and we think less people will try, given that we have their information).

    The nice thing about this model is that it's a self-selecting group of players. Because you're paying a few bucks a month to play, you KNOW that the group you're playing with won't be filled with smacktards, lamers, cheaters, and teamkillers. You're only going to get serious gamers, playing with teamwork in a cheat-free environment.

    We're beta-testing this idea with a few servers right now. Want to jump in? If you're a subscriber, feel free to check them out and see how it's going down. We have servers running for Battlefield: 1942, Desert Combat, and a few other games right now. What would you like to see? How's the service? How's the response time in your area? We want your feedback on this!


    You can check out anytime you like, but you can NEVER leave.

  • #2
    Thievery is still in the "quake section" of this article. You cheat, you rage, you flame, you get banned.

    The people running game servers are usually doing it for fun because they love the game. Constantly updating a server with the latest anti-cheat systems and constantly banning players and monitoring the server can be a pretty thankless job. Most of the best server administrators I know eventually just got burned out.
    This is too true. The TUT community has an admin like that here, LaughingRat. He does more for the community than anyone else and is grossly underappreciated. If you think he's an asshole, grow up or go away.

    Here's to you, LR. :cheers:

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Alpha-Omega
      Here's to you, LR. :cheers:
      Thank you AO. I don't get this very often. But thanks are just as due to Brody, Mog, and all the people who help admin those servers, and the other public servers around.

      But I am an asshole. Goes with the territory

      Comment


      • #4
        Tis true... other games are full of people who are just plain insulting... but i'm under no doubt that some of those people are genuianly nice people, I know myself i go into soldier of fortune ready to attack anybody who accusing me of cheating because I can aim better than them...

        its because there are SO MANY servers, if they get banned, no problem, goto a different one
        ~TuF~

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        • #5
          Actualy there is someone else who LR has to share that title with. Only he does it all behind the scenes and not in public.

          Anyways I got not much to say about this, except that I agree with the writer
          On demand this signature has been changed. I hope nobody was insulted or got harmed due to my signature. If this is the case, I'm fully responsible for the harm that was done. Do you feel harmed or you simply want a listening ear?

          Call 0900-PHAE

          Comment


          • #6
            sad thing to have to pay for a nice game =(
            My leet Thievery Map
            My leet UT3 Map
            My leet AS Map

            Comment


            • #7
              Interesting bit of reading there, some of which I have stated here recently in fridae's thread. Banning people, making rules, policing the servers, it needs to be done, it's a thankless job most the time. People bitch about the crap on the servers, they want it free of spam, raggers, lamers, those bad eggs, yet some people still bitch when it's policed, it's a no win situation. As of now, things are run pretty smoothly. We still hit bumps in the roads with players, that won't end that's for sure. Thanks to all the admins.

              LR, you are an asshole, in what territory? :wink: OK, well if you want it like that, your an ok asshole.

              Comment


              • #8
                Cool article.

                I'm with AO on this one, thanks, LaughingRat. 8)
                JM

                Comment


                • #9
                  THREE CHEERS FOR THE RAT!
                  HIPIHP
                  HOORAY!

                  and for Brody, Mog, and all you others out there! :gulp: :cheers:

                  Yeah, you guys are the best!

                  This is the stuff i play for: good people, good times. Thievery a friendly community in a barren wasteland of games with cheaters, ragers, trolls, etc.

                  You guys make it happen!

                  o|` Oh, he's a jolly good fellow.... o|`
                  "Just off the border of your waking mind there lies another time, where darkness and light are one. As you tread the halls of sanity, you feel so glad to be unable to go beyond. I have a message from another time."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Another ancient server admin blowing up his arse...sorry but thats not interesting reading. :wink:

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by impulse
                      Another ancient server admin blowing up his arse...sorry but thats not interesting reading. :wink:
                      Another server admin who puts in a lot of his own time and effort providing a place for other people to play, FREE OF CHARGE.

                      Really, can't you see that playing online is a privilege, not a right? The people who run servers do it because the love the game. Then whiny-ass little shits like you come along and denigrate them for providing your sorry ass with a place to play, for free.

                      You know, Impulse, if every admin in this community banned you strictly on the basis of whether or not you'd pissed them off and disrespected them at some point, you'd have no place to play at all. Stop and look at the server list. Then consider the admins you've insulted or knocked at some point, and you'll see you'd have to cross every one of them off.

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                      • #12
                        If you have T1 then its your responsibility to provide a stable server .[/i]

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by impulse
                          If you have T1 then its your responsibility to provide a stable server .[/i]
                          Get the hell out of here.
                          The only constant is change.
                          (And I wouldn't have it any other way.)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Bite me CD.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by impulse
                              Bite me CD.
                              Not that desperate. I'm done here.
                              The only constant is change.
                              (And I wouldn't have it any other way.)

                              Comment

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