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Offline MovedGoalPosts

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Underused Servers
« on: 12 September 2012, 03:31: PM »
For the majority of time the NTHW BF3 game servers suffer from excessive tumbleweed.  Generally they will only attract traffic if a few clanners are already playing them.  Even then our larger capacity server will struggle to get to 1/3 of slots active, and if we cease play the few that remain will probably also leave within the next round.

NTHW have always run game servers primarily for our own use and desires.  They are often open to the public for the game play ranking status, but also that as a clan we desire others to come on and give us the target practice (albeit that means we also become a target).  Generally the game is more fun when others are on the servers too.

The problem therefore is NTHW don't have popular servers.  Attracting public players is always a bit hit and miss.  Other clans have servers, apparently with similar settings such as hardcore, that seem to run reasonably full for lengthy periods, so why can't we have a share of this?

What attracts you to servers other than our own?
 Does a server need to already have players on it (in which case is there a happy number of players)?
 We play hardcore type modes, but should we do something different?
 Does server name matter, if so what?
 Do you look at pings, and if so do ours compare favourably?
 Are certain gametypes more popular / in demand?
 Do you want a server just to play specific maps, or expansion packs, or a general mix?
 Should there be restrictions on weapons or vehicles?
 What about spawn times (some of these can't be altered unless you are changing to a "custom" server setting)?
 Are mixed or alternating gametype maps a problem?
 Do you look for certain rules on a server?
 Do we have too much / adequate / too little player administration?
 Are some plugins, perhaps through things like rcon for map voting, punishments etc desired
In short what makes you like one server, and not return to another?
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Offline Stormpr00ter

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #1 on: 12 September 2012, 04:22: PM »
My preference is usually for the following:

I know this deviates a bit from the Hardcore preset....

Punkbuster ON (of course)
Ranked
High tickets (gives a team a chance to recover in Conquest when initially owned by the other side - and I personally prefer a longer game)
Instant/Low Spawn time - including vehicles - why wait?
Friendly Fire off (I just find it annoying - but not something that would put me off joining a server)
Allow health regeneration - not really bothered too much about this, but it does give us n00bs more of a chance against the over-skilled players :)

As for the NTHW server pings - they are as low as any I see on Battlelog

The most popular servers seem to either run the same game mode with rotating maps, or the same game mode and map 24/7 - I think this gives those wanting to join a very good idea of what they are going to get when they play - if the server config rotation is too varied, it's a bit like lucky dip and when certain games start (like gun master in CQ) you'll hear groans, and watch the server empty. I think we are going to get bored of Tank Superiority very quickly too.

Out of TDM/SQDM, TDM seems the more popular, and this is the one I personally prefer.

For Vanilla TDM the most popular maps seem to be Noshahar Canals and Metro, Grand Bazaar seems to be the map of choice from B2K
For Conquest it's a toss up between Caspian Border and Operation Firestorm (and Kharg Island) - large and plenty of vehicles (personally I don't like Davamand Peak) Noshahar Canals is OK on conquest, but not as enjoyable as Caspian & Firestorm (for me)
From B2K the large conquest maps are fun (Wake Island, Shariq Peninsula) I think the setup you had for Conquest previous to AK was great - but perhaps we have too large a slot count - would 32 be better?

CQ is CQ, just lose gunmaster and run as TDM (again my personal preference)

The AK maps are great IMHO, time will tell how popular they prove to be.

One more thing - no silly rules. Sensible rules are no spawn-killing and no base-raping, silly rules are restrictions on kit and weapons like no grenades or no sniper rifles and the like - if it's in the game, then it should be allowed. (Again this is my personal preference)

Now, please feel free to rip this apart :D



Offline MovedGoalPosts

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #2 on: 12 September 2012, 05:51: PM »
Don't see why anyone should "rip this apart".  This thread is about finding our what people like, and just as importantly don't like.  Just because we have our servers set up one way at present, doesn't mean we have the right setup and shouldn't rule out change.  In particular our preference to "hardcore" could be a historic one?

From your post it appears that you select server, not based on the normal / hardcore / infantry only  battlelog server checkbox options, but very much with a custom filtration.  I've always thought that a server preset configuration is preferable, but am happy to be proven wrong?  There is certainly, if it's what is desired at a clan level, nothing to prevent us changing spawn, health, teamkill settings, but doing so will change the server from hardcore to custom.  Ticket counts can be changed without affecting the server type, but for that to work neatly games would need to be of one type, rather than multiple types, unless there is something buried in configs that I don't know about.
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Offline Klinsman

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #3 on: 12 September 2012, 05:55: PM »
Maybe its our tendancy to kick or threaten to kick anyone thats in the slightest bit better than us!

Offline MovedGoalPosts

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #4 on: 12 September 2012, 06:21: PM »
Perhaps though because our servers are quiet, anyone better than us stands out and annoyingly gets to own us, whereas if the server is well populated things get evened out a bit?  Remember too, that especially in BF3 most of us run around like lemmings, and don't do well at Squad play, and so that makes it quite easy to get owned.
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Offline Squeak

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #5 on: 12 September 2012, 06:31: PM »
well my personal choices when it comes to server choice are the more traditional ones of, Rush, TDM, Conquest.

I'm not the biggest fan of multiple game types on rotations, but every now and again i do like a change.

As with our servers when i look for servers to pla, pin wise, they always appear near the top of the lists. the only thing i think that 'turns people off' is the multi game types. if we limite the number of game types and and tried out the 'standard ones', maybe even having one without any DLC maps on them to attract some of the tighter of pocket gamers out there.

Offline dilli-theclaw

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #6 on: 12 September 2012, 06:36: PM »
I ONLY ever play on our servers so I'm not sure what I can add.

Offline Squeak

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #7 on: 12 September 2012, 06:38: PM »
I ONLY ever play on our servers so I'm not sure what I can add.

Spam, Spam, spam, spam, spam  :lol:

Offline madonion_uk

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #8 on: 12 September 2012, 06:42: PM »
I ONLY ever play on our servers so I'm not sure what I can add.

Spam, Spam, spam, spam, spam  :lol:

thought that'd be Rammy :P
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Offline zingle

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #9 on: 12 September 2012, 07:55: PM »
Put yourselves out there . Advertise on other gaming servers. Promote NTHW get yourselves known

What you got to bare in mind is even though you are a long running clan you are very casual and not very war ing so no one is going to know who you are

Offline MovedGoalPosts

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #10 on: 12 September 2012, 08:29: PM »
Advertising on other gaming servers is the quickest way to get banned from them :(
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Offline Ramrod

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #11 on: 12 September 2012, 09:36: PM »
Keep hardcore imo.......
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Offline Dutchie

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #12 on: 12 September 2012, 09:59: PM »
keep them hard core but ditch the tank superiority as that is quite boring I find.

Offline Stormpr00ter

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #13 on: 13 September 2012, 09:29: AM »
Don't see why anyone should "rip this apart".

It's just my silly sense of humour MGP.

This thread is about finding our what people like, and just as importantly don't like.  Just because we have our servers set up one way at present, doesn't mean we have the right setup and shouldn't rule out change.  In particular our preference to "hardcore" could be a historic one?

From your post it appears that you select server, not based on the normal / hardcore / infantry only  battlelog server checkbox options, but very much with a custom filtration.  I've always thought that a server preset configuration is preferable, but am happy to be proven wrong?  There is certainly, if it's what is desired at a clan level, nothing to prevent us changing spawn, health, teamkill settings, but doing so will change the server from hardcore to custom.  Ticket counts can be changed without affecting the server type, but for that to work neatly games would need to be of one type, rather than multiple types, unless there is something buried in configs that I don't know about.

You're right Normal/Hardcore is not something I usually filter on, but I may sometimes choose one over the other, depending on my mood. I think it's a good thing to keep the hardcore option, and perhaps fiddle with any settings (like ticket count) which do not affect that. But many players avoid hardcore, and if the object of the exercise is to increase server traffic this issue may need to be re-visited. Personally, I like hardcore (I also like normal too).
When I want to play Conquest, I look for the large 'flying maps' rotations, or single map
When I want to play TDM, I look for a specific map, and if it rotates to one I'm not to keen on, I leave the server.
When I want to plat CQ, I look for a TDM rotation, as I don't like gun master, and I'm not too keen on SQDM.

I'm pretty sure many other players will filter and look for the game modes and maps they want to play on.

Zingle made a point about promoting the servers (and the clan) on other sites, this is a good idea, but we must be careful not to break T&Cs of other sites. Public forums (like the battlelog forum) are probably a good place to start - It will require some clan members to become active on those forums. We also need to be more 'randomer' friendly, if possible, and make an effort to be more sociable when they come on the servers.
Another point to note is that the vast majority of NTHW clanners are (at the very least) better-than-average players, and I know this because you guys own me every time I play with you, yet on other servers I seem to at least be able to 'hold my own' <expect comment from squeak on that :D >.
Now, I like the fact you guys are better than me, it inspires me to improve, by observing what you do, and listening to you all on TS.
Some people will be put off by the higher skill level found in NTHW clan members, this means it is important to be nice to randomers, and encourage them. Naturally, if they don't behave (become abusive) then there's not much that can be done about it (other than warn/kick/ban).
I also think running counter to all this, is the 'cosyness' of the clan - many of you have been friends for years and get on well together, and a sudden influx of extra players on the server may seem disruptive and undesirable - I guess you have to decide what you want out of the servers.

So, my recommendations are:

Increase ticket count
Aim towards single game mode with multiple map rotation
Be nice to randomers
Advertise/Promote NTHW Servers on relevant forums (where possible)

Offline dilli-theclaw

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #14 on: 13 September 2012, 09:40: AM »
Yes - I do not think we should ban / kick people just because they are better than us, it's that kind of crap that will give us a bad reputation and put people off bothering to use out servers.

Offline Stormpr00ter

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #15 on: 13 September 2012, 10:58: AM »
Some more ideas..

We have 3 servers. A 20 slot, 24 slot and 64 slot.
We have BF3 standard maps, B2K, CQ and now AK
We have a few favorite game modes - Conquest, TDM & Rush

For each server, we stick to a single game mode + map pack (or multiple map-packs) rotation for a month.
We then have a vote (if it is possible to have voting polls for non-clanners) for what comes next on each server.

For example, October 2012, 64 Slot server has AK Conquest, 24 slot server has Standard + B2K TDM, 20 Slot server has Standard + CQ TDM
November may see us keeping AK Conquest on the 64 slot server, but changing the 24 slot server to Standard + B2K Rush, and the 20 slot server to CQ Conqest Domination

and so on

If the clanners don't want a specific combination on the servers, don't make it an option to vote for.

We should also include votemap on the servers (if we don't already do so).

I think giving people a say (in the form of voting polls) would be a good feature to help attract and keep players coming back.
Naturally, you can't please everyone all the time, and some will not like the choices made by the voting, but there you go, for each one who is disappointed, there are another two who are pleased.

I also have to question the reason for a 64 slot server - I would rather see 2 x 32 slot servers + 1 x 20 (This would increase server flexibilty for game modes and maps). 32 should be big enough IMHO. I'm not suggesting changing it right now, but have any of you actually played Conquest with 63 other players? Personally, I think it's too many and there are not enough vehicles available to make it fun.
I've also played 64 player TDM, and that is complete carnage - fun for a bit, but gets boring quickly. I've played 32 player TDM, and that's OK on the larger TDM maps, but no good for CQ or small TDM maps.

Anyway, food for thought.

Offline Stormpr00ter

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #16 on: 13 September 2012, 11:44: AM »
I've always thought that a server preset configuration is preferable,

Missed this earlier.

The preset configuration (perhaps preferable) is not proven to be better (in terms of traffic) in our case, as our empty servers suggest.
At the same time, it is possibly the case that using the Normal/Hardcore/Infantry presets have little or no bearing on our server popularity.
It's difficult to know for sure.

Offline Ramrod

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #17 on: 13 September 2012, 02:53: PM »
Broadly agree with what you are saying there Storm. :tu:

I think we should definetly keep each server on a specific gameype rather than cycling through them. People like to at least know what gametype they are getting and then keep to it.
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Offline Stormpr00ter

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #18 on: 13 September 2012, 03:07: PM »
Broadly agree with what you are saying there Storm. :tu:

Hehehe, I've said quite a bit :D

I think we should definetly keep each server on a specific gameype rather than cycling through them. People like to at least know what gametype they are getting and then keep to it.

Yep, mix that up with changing the game type on any given server (if we want to) every month or so (which we already do, but not in a formalised way) and I think it keeps things interesting enough.

Offline MovedGoalPosts

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Re: Underused Servers
« Reply #19 on: 13 September 2012, 04:05: PM »
OK, so a consensus so far seems to be only to run one game type at a time on each server, with Conquest and TeamDeathMatch seeming the most popular options.  So I'll set things to that for a while and see what happens.

I'll also look at ticket count for Conquest.  Don't want to go too high though otherwise games take too long, especially if there aren't many players on, and we still want a chance to get those "winner" medals.  I don't think tickets should change on other game types indeed if you do change it on some types, the balance of the game can alter, i.e. Rush increasing tickets really favours the attackers.

Votemap was enabled but the plugin to the rcon system hasn't been updated properly for some time and so hasn't dealt with some games properly.  I'm hoping to get it working again one day.  Meanwhile Teambalancing stuff should be operating correctly again after the Armoured Kill Expansions broke things.  But I don't know if it's settings need a tweak, in case people are moved about too much / too little?

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