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#41 SarahDX

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 01:35 PM

Yes that is true, bots in zunnie's RC and even the modded version of the RC3 that Exodus uses, spawn mostly but not always regardless of the player, indeed. However, i was refering to ReKoil's second map and my maps as an example ( where as in my maps, bots that are far away from players / have no players nearby don't spawn or don't even have their spawner activated ) because these maps can drain SFPS quite hardly if the specs don't fit them.

In case you haven't played my maps yet, in my maps, the bots spawn dependend of the players, like, when there is absolutely no player nearby, then, no or only a very few bots ( depending on the situation ) will spawn. Mostly, i even used Trigger Scripts and Trigger zones to spawn bots that will only gain any use/action when the players have reached this position or fullfilled this condition.
Yet, the are enough bots in my maps that will always spawn and go right into action and that can drain the SFPS if the Server doesn't meet the required specs to keep the river flowing.
A very good example is C&C_BeachAssault.mix on this point, as GDI ( player side along with GDI bots ) get directly thrown into a D-day like warzone with dozens of Nod Infantry units and some Turrets.


Renegade CooP 3 is a nice CooP mod/series of serverside mod maps that I enjoy/ed playing alot but when it came to action and fair Human vs AI fights and conditions for the Humans to lose the game actually, it was not quite completed.
Humans could only lose the Game if either a glitch occured which made it impossible to progress ( M10.mix's SBH/Red Card stuck in door glitch for example ) or when the time limit hit 0.
Another point to look at is: Every map can be solo-ed easily, mostly because there is too less bot presence, the bots being unable to attack the Human at a certain point ( or to even spot them at all ) and because there are not enough conditions/requirements to actually use Teamplay to get forth / to win.
Again, if you compare it to my (mod)maps, you'll see a big difference, in all my (mod)maps but Hourglass, players can actually lose, in Tropics and MutationRedux, the bots will be so free and attack Structures which will mean defeat for the players if they aren't careful, the bots in all of my maps act slightly more intelligent ( instead of rushing in like a wimp xD ) and also, the amount of the bots is bigger ( which is my point here ) which means a way bigger challenge and requirement of teamwork for players.
The 3 modmaps I have made can be solo-ed too, yes indeed, however, it takes some skill and quite some time to do it.
On the other point, my home made map BeachAssault cannot be solo-ed if played from the very start, as you need at least 2 players to get past the Warzone at the start ( later on it can be progressed solo but it again consumes quite some time )

So my point there is: The RC3 maps are, as they are, not really enforcing the meaning of true CooP gameplay ( which means Teamplay/Teamwork ) yes, you can actually play as a team and get forth even smoother/easier than solo but it doesn't enforce/require teamplay at all to be played.. solo can do the map quite fast and easily, while maps like the ones I've made/modded enforce teamplay at least on certain situations or affect the playing time incredibly.
In short: a real CooP map that is designed to be played by multiple players as a team and requires teamwork that is more or less epic/astonishing would also require a minimum set/amount of bots in the areas the players take actions, which would most likely result in a overall increased amount of bots ( compared to RC3, incredibly ) and regardless if you have a player-nearby-then-spawn setup or not, it will need a certain box/machine strength ( although I DON'T claim that it MUST be a monster ) where as you can make comparsions with/on my ( mod )maps and my second PC's specs, which I have posted before. :3 ( as they run quite well on it )

Spoiler

It is, as mentioned, merely a concern that I have on Exodus running newer maps, maps that are designed for Teamplay/enforce Teamplay which would most likely come along with more consumption.

Another thing I felt like saying now is, if you take the SP maps or want to do something similiar to that, you must always keep in mind that it is for the sake of CooP, which again means, you're not playing alone. Just that gives a rough example of how a map needs to be designed and then again, it must be adapted to a certain amount of players.
Just thinking about that one game on Renz0r around 2008 as example, where we had like 20 players on the server during m04.mix, the map itself got pwned hard because of all the players moving forth and the fact that there is way not enough to stop them just for a bit.. aside of that, the corridors/areas/floors/rooms were too small/not designed to handle that amount of players, which resulted in everyone pushing each other around or standing in each others way. xD

No offense / rude-ness intended.

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#42 ChaosLegionnaire

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:54 PM

well that is not gunna be easy: future proofing the server. getting a quad core server might not be worth it due to the slower clocks offered from quads. the best ghz we can get is the advanced aq33 dual core i5 3.33ghz which is unfortunately sold out! :(

so its either we donate-cough out the additional $45 for the hundred dollar core 2 duo 3ghz or we find another provider with a better system. keke *grumble* :mad:

also regarding the mem leak problem, any1 wanna try out the linux version of the fds and brenbot instead? anyone here good with linux? linux is much better with mem management than windows. keke :D
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#43 Cunin

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 04:46 PM

Unfortunately, as far as I remember, the linux FDS is "less supported" (or not at all) than the windows one. That means we will not get any of the benefits from the third-party patches made for the windows one, and also no scripts (as they are made only for windows afaik).
We also need windows for other stuff, and because it's easier to setup and manage than going through Terminal. I don't think any community uses the linux fds, and that's not because they hate linux, but because that's not supported by anyone.

I'd say that for now we could just remove the maps that hits the server harder, while thinking about a new box (we have other possibilities in mind, but are just thoughts). Maybe they can be modified to run better too? I have never done that stuff so I don't know how hard that is to do.

Another problem with server renters is that you cannot "make your own" system, meaning that sure you can have an idea on what you want, but 9/10 chances you won't find it, and any additional Ghz is expensive. There's still well known companies which rents Pentium 3 systems for the same price of our box...and also you need to consider how good their service is.
There are many companies which tells you they have an uptime of 99% but your server has problems like once or more a week, getting disconnected or rebooting for whatever reason.
The company we're using now is simply the best we have tried so far regarding uptime, as in the year or more we've been with them, we NEVER experienced a downtime, not even for a second. It's a very stable and reliable network, and that adds a lot on the server value.

Changing company is always a bet, and you never know how good they are until you try it yourself, and that must be considered too when choosing your server.

Of course there could be other as good as this, but I just said that to let everyone understand how many variables are there when deciding where to host your server.

#44 TNaismith

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 07:51 PM

This is part of an IRC conversation that happened yesterday on irc.exoduscommunity.com:

[01:07] <TNaismith> http://www.exoduscom...em/page__st__20
[01:08] <TNaismith> "... It took us a few weeks to conclude that we wanted it back. But not as an Exodus server. The situation may look complicated at this moment (we rent it from arny, we host on exodus IRC and we forward ppl to exodus IRC, TS and Forum, Exodus admins help out with the tech stuff, scripting etc, yet Reaver and I are in charge). In actuality it is to prevent just what cunin said. We want to have the freedom to kill it the first sign we get that it's dying or we go inactive. ..." ~ Reckneya
[01:08] <TNaismith> "... Another option would be to get a third box. Not the most favorable solution you might think but hear me out; If we could get another box just for ..." ~ Reckneya
[01:09] <TNaismith> Interesting quotes I wanted to share... combine those together (You'll want to read the rest of the second quote), and I was thinking perhaps this is how we should go for the Co-op server.
[01:10] <TNaismith> I'm also throwing in the factor which many of them haven't been made fully aware of yet, but people like you, Chaos, Zorid know: The current Exodus server will not be able to handle new co-op maps to the levels you and ReKoil are producing. And from my own experience, I think Zorid definitely has a higher demand in his co-op maps than standard CoopBeta3.0 co-op maps Zunnie made.
[01:11] <TNaismith> Combining all three things together... we would have a pure co-op dedicated server (in some fashion), and the onus would be fully and more on the co-op folks/community to run it, or to quickly learn how to handle and manage it.
[01:12] <TNaismith> While in the meantime, we would continue direct and introduce people to Exodus as our location for meeting outside of the co-op server, discussing new co-op map ideas, mission concepts, modding designs, etc.
[01:12] <TNaismith> And Exodus would in some way continue being the community hub for the co-op community to grow, expand, and flourish.
[01:13] <TNaismith> The server parts of it however, would be more strictly expected to be maintained by the co-op crew rather than putting Exodus staff the spotlight
[01:14] <TNaismith> However... from what Reckneya has written... the combined proposal I have outlined above would still require payments of some kind from the co-op community to maintain a /better/ server/box.
[01:15] <TNaismith> Unless of course, we are willing to really take a risk of being indebted to Arnyswart for paying and keeping the server/box financially stable.
[01:16] <TNaismith> That would put a lot more pressure from an Exodus Community standpoint to do well -- because instead of just having the pressure to continue sending newcomers towards Exodus to keep the community growing and not stagnent in member population -- we would have to succeed to an extent that the money arnyswart is paying is properly returned through results, results, and positive results.
[01:16] <TNaismith> Hmm... I may copy+paste a large chunk of what I just wrote as a reply to the topic.


In the conversation, I'm referring to a post Reckneya made yesterday (it's 2-3 posts back from Reckneya's most recent post today). Truth is that becoming a slightly more independent co-op server has been a possibility I've considered for the last few years -- this is because I've seen the work on new co-op maps that Zorid, ReKoil, and SarahDX have done, and through the map-testing they have graciously allowed me to participate in over the years, I've come to feel there has been a growing understanding for how to run Ren servers and also to setup new scripts/triggers/map events to make co-op maps run smoothly together with the server.

Now, I've been trying to follow the posts by Cunin and Chaoslegionnaire on how the PC specs/Server box work, along with related posts by SarahDX, Reckneya, and arnyswart on the matter. It sadly just isn't my forte, or in other words, it's a really complicated bunch of words to me -- so forgive me for not being able to communicate on technical terms.

However, I want to emphasize what SarahDX said about the box/machine (if we do choose to upgrade) NEEDING to be able to have good enough specs/strength if we want to host newer co-op maps/missions for the long-term future of the Co-op Server. I have personally been privy to seeing and playing first-hand on the new co-op maps that SarahDX, Zorid, and ReKoil have all worked on over the last 3+ years. In addition, I've also played a large number of zunnie's new co-op maps that range from his A Path Beyond co-op maps, to Tiberium Crystal War maps, as well as his TT 4.0 Co-op maps. Altogether, my observations are that all these maps have great potential to be much more deep in co-op gameplay, storyline, and game mechanics than Zunnie's original Co-opBeta3.0 package -- but at the same time, starting from Scripts 3.4.4 to Scripts 4.0, any new co-op maps made in this day and age, and for the future, WILL run high chances of becoming much more dependent on really needing a STRONG server/machine/box.

It is true Reck that if co-op maps were re-done so that the gameplay has more loading-efficient scripting setups -- for example like only spawning bots/objects that are near the player -- this would reduce the workload for the server. However. As SarahDX has mentioned, there are still core issues with the server such as being able to handle 6+ or 20+ players at a time playing co-op together, as well as the future possibility that if we should invest in a better server, it should be good enough to run much more resource-heavy co-op maps than the co-op maps we currently have running now on the server.

And at this point, I want to say that what Reckneya said about 4.0 TT scripts is very true -- with the amount of new scripts, bugfixes, and the creativity, imagination, and modding knowledge the co-op community has gathered over the last years, the chances of creating much-improved co-op maps that use more advanced bot-spawning and storyline/objectives is very possible. I've done research myself around different solutions to have bots spawn in co-op missions more realistically, instead of the constant 'Magical-Behind-Your-Back-Or-In-Front-Of-Your-Eyes-Infinite-Lives' setup that the past co-op maps were restricted to. (This is not Zunnie's fault, but more a fact that scripts back in Zunnie's day just weren't good enough to really create those kind of co-op maps with more logical bot-spawning/enemy difficulty.) SarahDX has far surpassed me in this field of research, and the work SarahDX has shown, discussed, and shared with me indicate that she has developed far more advanced and in-game working concepts/techniques for setting up bots on co-op maps as well as to create more fun, and teamwork-encouraging storylines, mission objectives, and such. Zorid and ReKoil I have full confidence have created their own unique solutions to bot-spawning in co-op maps that just haven't been shared with me yet.

Advanced, better-running, more-fun, dynamic, interactive, action-oriented, and newbie-friendly co-op maps are all slated for a strong future in Renegade with the release of TT Scripts 4.0, and combined with the currently active base of co-op mappers/players/modders that I know so far here in the Co-op/Exodus community -- we must assume that the future of co-op maps WILL be heading towards 'Needing higher-level PC/ServerBox/Machine performance'. SarahDX has already mentioned this several times, as have ChaosLegionnaire and Reckneya, but I wanted to emphasize this myself as a dedicated co-operative videogaming (Human vs AI only) fan, player, enthusiast, and passionate advocate. Co-op (Human vs AI) in Ren is strong here, and we do have the resources, knowledge, and people to definitely pursue a good future in creating new, dynamic, and constantly-improving co-op maps/missions for Renegade.







But what about the actual management of a new server box, or even just upgrading the current one? Is the co-op community ready, or even have the knowledgable/willing people to promise Exodus a stable return-investment on paying for a new/upgraded server machine?

I'll be honest with you, I don't think we do. But I wouldn't say it's out of reach either.

The co-op community has stayed quite strong here in Exodus, and we've acquired quite a regular flow of in-game players visiting and playing on the co-op server at least on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis. That's really great, and I've been really proud and full of joy at being able to log onto the server almost at least once every few days and being able to play with a good number of people together through co-op maps. However... I don't think we have enough people-power (with spare time on their hands) or trained/experienced folks (also with spare time on their hands) from the co-op community to really promise Exodus a 100% stable running if arnyswart ends up paying for a new server/upgraded box from his own pocket. This is mostly in response to what Reckneya wrote here:

If arny is ok with upgrading, that is one big fucking gesture! If we proceed however, there are a few things I wish to emphasize;
1. We want everyone that ever played coop to know if we were to upgrade to better hardware, so can we count on you as a freelance PR person to reach those people?
2. Are you comfortable to have him pay for it all by himself or can you spare something to help out, even if it be very little?

And for the admins and senior mods who will need to move everything and set it all up again:
3. Are you up for the job?

As far as I am concerned those are the three most important issues here that all need to be answered with a YES.
If we want to upgrade, we need people that are willing to spent their free time in setting everything up, we want to be assured people will play on the coop server


I mean, personally, I don't feel confident enough about it that I would want to promise that we can keep the co-op server active in players over many months and to even promise that we can bring new players to the community on a regular basis (Weekly? Monthly?) I would feel awful if we just ended up having a dead server (for whatever reasons) anytime within a year or two after someone outside the co-op community paid out of their pocket for a server specifically (or mostly because) of the co-op server. It'd be a really nice gesture on your part for sure, but not worth risking disappointing that kindness/generosity... in my opinion at least.

Something more along the lines of what Reckneya and Reaver have done for their DM server, taking responsibility for it on their own (being able to pull the plug soon as things aren't paying for themselves or player activity is really poor) -- and only having themselves to answer to. A similar path for the co-op server might be less pressuring on the wallets of the Exodus Staff. Ideally, we would also make strong references for people to visit the Exodus Community and to join the forums/community after becoming regulars on the co-op server. From there, we would use the Exodus Community as a hub for expanding new co-op maps, co-op mission concepts/storylines, Renegade modding help, and to generally expand out-of-game Co-op Community social interaction and general community-building.

But the problem still is: If we would prefer to take more responsibility and control for the co-op server (Financially-wise, and I guess server management-wise) -- who is going to pay, and where will the trained staff come from? Unfortunately, the co-op community (I think at least) just doesn't have the proper people with the full know-how for keeping IRC, the server FDS, the bot programs, and the machine box running in tip-top shape, let alone when big problems come up. That's one benefit about Exodus that I do agree with Cudaker about (he mentioned Arny only in his post, but it spurred me to think a little bigger); And that benefit I'm referring to is that Exodus has a really wide-range of talented folks that have been able to keep Exodus going as a community because of their administration and technical expertise. Some of you guys have got loads of experience keeping IRC going, lots are cross-experienced with maintaining Teamspeak and all the permissions, a good number of you know how the server/machine works and how to manage it fully as an administrator similar to a hired professional from a tech company. Others of you (Reaver and Reck) have got closer experience with getting maps, scripts, and fds bots connected with a game server and running smoothly together, as well as providing new content. Together... that's a really good community resource Exodus has here, and I think that's been a really great benefit to the co-op server all these years ever since the merge.

Unfortunately though, I guess I can't make up my mind. There's lots of great things that Exodus has provided, but it's also true like Cunin said that we can't be sure how much behind-the-scenes support we will have in the future for the servers/machines Exodus will host... I've kept up with forum topics and IRC conversations about different staff members picking up the pace with their university studies, or career jobs. Wouldn't it be a hoot if everyone could be in Arny's shoes right now? Money coming in successfully, and a home that isn't in danger of being evicted or forced out. For me the important things I'm thinking about are whether the co-op server does have enough motivated people to place a healthy return-investment for buying a new box/machine to continue hosting/managing a co-op server under the Exodus name, or... are there better reasons to take the risks of managing and paying for a co-op server into the co-op community's hands and not burden the Exodus staff with extra management and money payments for something that might run high-risks of not succeeding the money sunk into purchasing a high-quality server (A server capable of the long-term running much more advanced and resource-heavy co-op maps for Renegade).

I wish I could have come to a clear decision at the end of this post, but I think made myself even more unsure. These are all my opinions, and don't take them as speaking for everyone else in the co-op scene... I am sure lots of them could have some differing opinions, or perhaps even better, some alternative solutions that haven't been mentioned yet (and that will work quite nicely).


#45 TNaismith

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 10:52 PM

For those who don't visit the co-op server or don't check the IRC channels for the co-op servers too often, here's an example of server-lag discussion that happened in-game/IRC between players. Happened today, less than ten minutes ago from when I posted this.

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[Pastebin version where you can actually highlight and select the text]
http://pastebin.com/Y5mazJrm

Several times Chaoslegionnaire types !gi to show the server fp as well as the number of players online. Hope this might provide a more real and relevant example of what people in the co-op server are currently feeling and talking about these days, and will also strengthen the original subject of serverside lag that SarahDX brought up with this topic -- she is not the only one for sure.

I'm still not sure on what the best course of action is though.


#46 Reckneya

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:46 AM

Yeah, that's just terrible to see those logs. But on the future investment thing; if the coop is fun and well thought through, I am quite confident we will get a player base. People who play renegade still nowadays are not likely to leave. THey've not sticked around for nothing. They like the game.
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[23:34:11] [-SoH-]Osiris killed AC-C4Smoke (GDI Minigunner/Auto Rifle vs Nod Minigunner)
[23:34:24] AC-C4Smoke: soh using RGH hax with Armor hax
[23:34:28] AC-C4Smoke: noob server
[23:34:32] Player AC-C4Smoke left the game


#47 ChaosLegionnaire

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 02:38 PM

well if we are thinking of upgrading, better do it fast while the $50 offer lasts for the 2.6ghz dual-core. if we need more cpu power for user made maps, we can get another second 2.6ghz dual core. much cheaper that way than renting a single quad core which is too ex$$$ and may not be worth it due to the lower clocks offered.

also might i suggest a brenbot auto-announce msg asking for donations for a new server that links to the exodus website? good "marketing" technique for donates? yes? lol ;)

also @ ethenal: the celeron isnt so bad once u overclock it lol keke. one of the first highly overclockable celerons was the celeron 300A during the pentium 2 days. it cud overclock till 450mhz! thats a 50% overclock! if u seen the review, it works good if u overclock it to 3.4ghz! :D thats over a 110% overclock! celerons, even tho being infamous as one of the slowest cheap cpus available, also have an other side as being the most overclockable cpus lol :D :D :D

EDIT: ATTN: the server is starting to get jammed up with the low sfps problem again. it was so laggy that when u killed a sam site, the bot only announced it 5 mins later. everyone ragequit on m02 and m03 cuz the sfps was so slow (6-10 sfps).

also, yesterday on the #mission coop channel, i asked for a server os reboot while xwis was down (good time to reboot yes?) but i was greeted with stony silence.

why the os reboot phobia? its about time the server's os was rebooted as the last reboot was back in jan and its march now. with the server's current specs it needs an os reboot every 2 months to stay in tip top condition or else it jams up.

also dont bother with the ineffective fds/bot restarts as they dont do jack to fix the slow sfps problem as it has been demonstrated over the past several months. only os reboot fixes the sfps problem. i understand irc wud go down too if the os was rebooted but just a simple =global= msg on irc to notify every1 wud suffice and telling them to try to relog again after 3 mins. also i suppose u shud have a run on startup thing to start up all services again on windows start, ya?

dont understand this os reboot phobia... is it so terribly inconvenient to reboot the os that u'd rather have the ppl using the server to put up with the inconvenience of a slow and unplayable server instead? i would like to put the ball in the server admin's court by asking them why the os reboot phobia?
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#48 Dethdeath

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 09:20 AM

We run 2 AC servers + bots, 3 TeeWorlds servers, our IRC server, our TS server, ExaBot and our Coop server on the same box. You can't expect us to reboot the OS daily or even weekly and have all of those servers/services besides Coop go down with it. Windows Server OSes are perfectly capable of running without problems for months on end. However, our Windows server is/was currently not running as it should, which is why the Coop server has been so laggy lately. It was suffering from hardware interrupts/DPC latency that we don't know the cause of yet.

Because of that we restarted the whole box this morning and also did some other maintenance. The OS restart does seem to have helped the Coop server:
[04:59:18] <&Mission-Coop> Gameinfo: (WOL) Map: Skirmish00.mix GDI: 5/12 players 9959 points Nod: 0/12 players 2366 points 1.02.32 mins left SFPS: 59
[05:08:48] <&Mission-Coop> Gameinfo: (WOL) Map: Skirmish00.mix GDI: 7/12 players 18804 points Nod: 0/12 players 2366 points 0.52.59 mins left SFPS: 59
[06:23:40] <&Mission-Coop> Gameinfo: (WOL) Map: M02.mix GDI: 7/12 players 46756 points Nod: 0/12 players 0 points 1.31.48 mins left SFPS: 59

But we don't know how laggy some of the more demanding maps are going to be and if/when the hardware interrupts are going to cause serious CPU lag again. We've disabled some drivers that may have been causing it, but we can only be sure it has really helped by monitoring the Coop server for a longer period of time.

Our current box is capable of running the Coop server smoothly as it has done so in the past. We want and need to get back to that just as much as you do, but solving a problem like this takes time. Most of the debug programs we run/have ran in the past few days work just fine while the OS is running, but things like Memtest can't be ran via RDP. There's other methods of doing that though, but they are more time consuming.

If there are any more updates I'll post them in this topic. For now all I can say is that what's not fun for you guys is not fun for us. We all know how frustrating lag can be in multiplayer games, so we'll have to solve the issue one way or another and hopefully really soon.
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#49 SarahDX

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 11:55 AM

Spoiler

Is what speaks for a seperate Machine. :3

Spoiler

I suppose you mean the extra lag ( cherry ontop of the SFPS lag ) that we had lately?

Spoiler

As already said.. a Machine reboot is a short time solve, it only temporarly boosts the SFPS for a very short time period but the SFPS can still be quickly drained on consuming maps or maps where players/bots use Flamethrowers/Chemthrowers alot.


Spoiler

I'm sorry but that's not true, ever since the downgrade we ( the players, regular players and myself ) encountered SFPS lag, i was the first person to actually mention it in the forums and have from time to time reported about it again and again here in this topic. This entire lag thing is going on for around/about a Year already, i understand if it takes time to solve it but over a year is quite alot time already. Another thing is that the CPU this Machine has is for a fact too weak, you have problems to run the modified RC3 maps Exodus has already, how do you plan on running newer maps that eventually consume way more with their new combat style, features, enforcement of teamplay? ( This entire thing was already mentioned here in this topic, you may eventually want to refer to that, please. )

Yes, there were times where we had less lag, either because the player count was low (!) or because the Machine was restarted which caused to have an SFPS boost for a few days.

The thing is, with this Machine, regardless what you do, with the facts we have you can clearly say it is too weak, it already has problems with the current maps/rotation, suggested solutions were to either cripple it ( remove the stressful maps and set the max player count lower, as +6 players gets stressful for the server already and even harder the more, +10 player games always lag alot and depending on what map, it can be really horrible ) or to upgrade the machine / get a seperate Machine for the CooP Server. What will be done is up to Exodus of course. Alot so far was mentioned and said about it already.

No rude-ness nor offensive intended. :Cat face:

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#50 ChaosLegionnaire

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 04:59 PM

well firstly, i wud like to thank deth for revealing the hardware driver problem info which i was not privy to and also for rebooting the os.

if the lag problem started from day one, it means the provider gave exodus a defective box from the start. :mad: your provider can give u 99.999% uptime but their technical area leaves more to be desired. a complaint shud be filed against the provider and get a refund, discount or other freebie for the problem cuz the server isnt running in tip top shape and u arent getting what u paid for cuz the machine is bogged down by lousy hardware (which the provider gave) with crappy drivers that leak mem and bog the cpu down. is it possible to ask the provider to change the motherboard to another brand? im guessing a cheap buggy motherboard was used as i had similar problems a long time ago on my old machine. lol :D

also i noticed the player count was set to 6 then increased to 12 after the reboot and some logging options and some auto announce events appear to have been disabled to keep the cpu load down. it is nice to see measures being taken to limit the sfps lag as the server cant really handle 30 players. tho that is only a short term measure. hopefully the driver problem causing the lag can be found so the server can handle more players and maybe test-running the newer coop maps to see for sure if the server can actually handle it tho that decision lies ultimately with reck.
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#51 Dethdeath

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 06:18 PM

Is what speaks for a seperate Machine. :3

It might surprise you, but all of those things combined only use about 200-300MB RAM and about 5-10% CPU on one core. That leaves everything else available for the Coop server.

I suppose you mean the extra lag ( cherry ontop of the SFPS lag ) that we had lately?

Yes, that is what I meant. About half of the CPU's power of the core the Coop server runs on was being eaten by it when the server wasn't empty.

As already said.. a Machine reboot is a short time solve, it only temporarly boosts the SFPS for a very short time period but the SFPS can still be quickly drained on consuming maps or maps where players/bots use Flamethrowers/Chemthrowers alot.

Like I said, we're going to monitor the Coop server for a longer period of time to see how long the problems stay away for. If they'll come back within a few days or a week we'll deal with that then.

I'm sorry but that's not true, ever since the downgrade we ( the players, regular players and myself ) encountered SFPS lag, i was the first person to actually mention it in the forums and have from time to time reported about it again and again here in this topic. This entire lag thing is going on for around/about a Year already, i understand if it takes time to solve it but over a year is quite alot time already.

I played on the server for a while after the downgrade and some time after that. It was running smoothly for me back then. When I said a problem, I meant the problem we found on the box recently. We weren't aware of it existing before the heavy lag that triggered all of the more recent posts in this topic. So for me this is a very recent issue. The lag that was around for "over a year" is different from what was going on up until yesterday. We would've gotten way more feedback if was as bad as recently, plus I would've noticed it myself while I was playing there.

Another thing is that the CPU this Machine has is for a fact too weak, you have problems to run the modified RC3 maps Exodus has already, how do you plan on running newer maps that eventually consume way more with their new combat style, features, enforcement of teamplay? ( This entire thing was already mentioned here in this topic, you may eventually want to refer to that, please. )

We don't. We never planned for newer maps when we switched to our current box. We needed something fast to cut down on our massive monthly bill and with the money we had left we would be able to pay for this server for quite a while. Anything more expensive would've meant a very uncertain future for the community.

The thing is, with this Machine, regardless what you do, with the facts we have you can clearly say it is too weak, it already has problems with the current maps/rotation, suggested solutions were to either cripple it ( remove the stressful maps and set the max player count lower, as +6 players gets stressful for the server already and even harder the more, +10 player games always lag alot and depending on what map, it can be really horrible )

The current box will be around for a while still, even if we were to switch, it probably wouldn't be instant, as it never has been to keep costs low. So we'll continue working with what we have for now. Due to the box not running as it should, more frequent OS reboots won't be a problem as this literally changes everything. We'll also adjust playercounts and the maprotation as needed, until we have something better.

get a seperate Machine for the CooP Server.

Getting a separate dedicated server just to host a Renegade server is financially unwise, especially if you consider how little resources everything else we run uses. When we get a better server, it'll be one that hosts everything at once just like we're doing with this one now.

if the lag problem started from day one, it means the provider gave exodus a defective box from the start.

I certainly don't think that's the case, as I said in my reply above to SarahDX, this recent problem is new to me/us.

also i noticed the player count was set to 6 then increased to 12 after the reboot and some logging options and some auto announce events appear to have been disabled to keep the cpu load down.

The playercount was adjusted, yes. But the logging options are still the same as are the auto announce events. The messages not appearing probably have to do with one of the scripts not working as it should. I'll see if I can find what's causing it in a bit.

Edit: There was an extra bracket in one of Renz0rBots scripts that caused a bunch of messages to get disabled, they should all be working again now.
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#52 ChaosLegionnaire

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 08:58 PM

ok thanks i will kiv this too. tho since if this problem recently surfaced do u think it might be caused by the windows os accumulating too much bloat or sumthing in the registry or somewhere after running for awhile that it might need an os reformat and fresh reinstall to correct the driver leak problem? i know some ppl regularly reformat and reinstall their os on a yearly basis tho an os reformat and reinstall will cause a few days of downtime for the server so i doubt thats an option unless everything else has been exhausted. lol~ :D

also, i think the bot needs to be restarted or config files rehashed with the !rehash command to get the msges to show again. :P
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#53 TNaismith

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 09:27 PM

Hold the phone. The co-op server has been reduced in maximum player limits?

I was suspicious when I first saw the 0/12 players when seeing the !gi command on IRC over the last few days, but I was hoping that it was just an error in how !gi messages were displayed. But the player count has been actually decreased? This is certainly unwelcome news to me -- I was hoping for a solution that did NOT further restrict the server in such a manner -- lag is serious, but sacrificing the feature of being able to play with large amounts of players on co-op missions... that is the unique strength co-op maps in C&C: Renegade can offer compared to any other video-game with co-op modes out there on the internet -- Serious Sam at maximum can only hold 16 players on a co-op server -- with Renegade, we could hit up to 20-30 players. THAT is one of the huge reasons why I've enjoyed playing co-op in the Ren Community all these years, those (which happen more often than you expect) chances to log on and watch as 20+ other players join the server to play through co-op missions together.

Bah, I'm really hard to please, and I'm a picky sod then. It's come down to choosing between having server lag, or having capacity to host 20+ players on the co-op server. I certainly did not see reducing player counts as one of the possible solutions -- in my eyes the solution should be fixing the lag so that the server could CONTINUE to host large amounts of players on co-op maps, and beyond. Cutting down is just...

Bah, stop being such a picky idiot TNaismith. It's either this, or you've got nothing. Something's gotta be sacrificed. :teedisapprove:


Son of a tiberium-grass-eating-hobbit. I'm really disappointed if this is the downwards direction we have to go (unless I cough up money to donate for a much better machine/server/box). However, I will respect that decision and will put my thoughts to more positive efforts.



On a last note and important note for me to share: There IS a next level of new co-op missions/maps for Renegade coming in the future, there are active projects, there has been maps produced, and there are co-op maps still in production and development to this day, we might have a possible 20+ collection of new co-op maps already close to or near-completion. This would be a combination of Zorid's work (He has been working on a fully new customized co-op rotation using all the Singleplayer maps but with updated scripting, bot setup, mission objectives, and Level Edit work, that accounts for at least 12 new co-op map content. And I know he's worked on at least 2-3 fully built-from-scratch co-op maps with new terrain), SarahDX has a large number of maps already released now, at least 3-4 now, and I can confirm there are at least 2 other co-op maps in development right now, ReKoil has also shown me his past co-op maps and projects, and he for sure has at least 4-5 co-op maps in a combination of development and/or released.

Each of them have been learning, creating, and coming up with new ways to trigger, script, set-up, and develop co-op maps over the last years -- and any of their work will be more resource-heavy and advanced in gameplay than any of Zunnie's co-op maps that we've had on the Exodus Server for 4-5 years now. Point: Future co-op maps ARE coming, and they will need a better server than Exodus has now to run them without server fps lag, and to accommodate for at least an upwards of future possible 20+ players to be playing on the new co-op maps.

This might be one of the points SarahDX wanted to emphasize heavily. Because even if we monitor and analyze/fix the lag problem for the current rotation of co-op maps, the current machine specs will NOT work (from what I've been reading, I could be wrong here!) for stable hosting of the future co-op maps that WILL be coming.

To be fair, testing any of Zorid's, ReKoil's or SarahDX's resouce-heavy co-op maps on the Exodus Server for a certain period would be a good way provide fair evidence to support the conclusion I've mentioned above, since all there is believe at this point is just hearsay, and no actual evidence/results that prove any of Zorid/ReKoil/SarahDX new co-op maps AREN'T able to be run on the current Exodus box really smoothly and without long-term lag problems. (And preferably with at least 30+ slots for the server eh?).



I have not heard from Zorid or ReKoil about their co-op map projects for awhile now though, but I do know they did have some new maps being developed at some point over the last year. If you like, I can fish back through my hard drive to find screenshots of the co-op maps they did show me way back if that's needed.



Last, last reminder. The next level of co-op maps ARE and WILL be coming, with the TT 4.0 patch and new scripts, this is only a matter of time, and despite Ren 'dying', there ARE still people who will play co-op maps, as well as create co-op maps. These people CAN exceed continue to appear in upwards of 20+ numbers on a Ren server for what I hope will be a long time to come, and from playing Ren co-op for at least 4+ years now, the community numbers haven't dropped so much, and we should still expect to see 20+ players on a co-op server at least several times a month, for what I would predict from 2012 to 2017. That's worth keeping a server running in good shape, smoothly, with high playercount limits, and the ability to run totally new 4.0 TT co-op maps with no extreme server box/machine problems. And as much as map-makers can try to optimize co-op maps during map development to load bots more faster, less resource-heavy for the server -- the current Exodus box will not be able to handle these new co-op maps made in today's scripts Ren community mappers have. Remember, Exodus/Renz0r have been running Zunnie's co-op maps that are at least 3+ years old now, utilizing scripts from as old as 2.9.2 -- maps created today will be using lots of 3.4.4 and 4.0's new scripts to create much more dynamic bots, mission objectives, co-op teamplay mechanics, and much more than we've ever seen in the Exodus Community. The closest maps that could come close to what will be coming out soon were the maps that St0rm hosted on their Extreme Co-op Server.



What is the future? =(

I'm not really sure. I do want to say that I think many folks appreciate the kindly help and attention the Exodus has made in trying to address, fix, and help this problem out -- don't mistake posts like mine for meaning to show a lack of appreciation or acknowledgement of all that has been done and the efforts and time made by the Exodus team to work hard with the co-op server and it's players/community to solve problems.

Understand that a lot of us are the same players who actively have (or at one point) heavily played on the co-op server for many years now, or at least we can call ourselves regulars. We may not always have the exact statistics or numbers to help explain our opinions on the server, (Although ChaosLegionnaire and SarahDX have certainly done quite the contrary), but playing for so long on a weekly/monthly-ish basis for several years now... it's with unfortunate confidence that the server lag on the co-op server over the last year really doesn't seem to promise a bright future for expanding the co-op server to new co-op maps, or to maintaining a co-op server where lots of players (At least 30+) can have the possibility of joining at anytime... not unless a new/upgrade machine is bought.

If Dethdeath and other folks CAN figure out a way to optimize the current server box so that we CAN continue to operate a large co-op server (30+), AND to not have severe server lag like we've had over the last year (even if this recent case is new as Dethdeath mentioned, the overall server lag is STILL stemming from the downgrade a year back), AND to have new and advanced co-op maps being hosted on the machine without encountering heavy lag/technical problems from the machine not having the power to run them... well that would be really swell too.

Again, even if Ren is 'dying', co-op servers in Ren can still bring in a good amount of players (20+) for years to come. The question is whether it's worth it for Exodus to worth staff, time, effort, and money to continue supporting a co-op server for the mere possibility of these future numbers/activity. Or... is it better off for the co-op players/community to figure out something that they pay out of their own pockets and risk their own time, resources, staff, to manage a server that only MIGHT bring in 20+ co-op players and activity for years to come.

Having the co-op community players pay/manage/maintain their own co-op server for the long-term future might be the way to go (Could certainly still keep friendly links to Exodus by recommending people over similar to what Reckneya and Reaver have considered for their DeathMatch server). Because I don't think Exodus deserves the level of criticism and complaints and pressure from co-op from people like myself -- but at the same time I have a very firm passion and personal interest in seeing co-op maps and a co-op community in Renegade continue to gain momentum, flourish and grow -- no matter if the players are dwindling across the Ren community over the years to come. The amount of fun and enjoyment co-op maps bring to Renegade makes me believe there will be at least 20+ players worth providing a good quality, constantly-improving, co-op server to play on for at least the next 5 years, 10 years even. No matter if people say Ren will have no players in ten years, I believe there WILL always be enough players for a Renegade co-op server (and co-op community) to continue existing -- with enough people to make it worth hosting co-op servers catering to at least 20+ or 30+ players, and staff/mappers working to keep the co-op server intact, running, and with constantly new co-op map/mission content to the server. (Especially now with the TT 4.0 Auto-Map Downloader patch).


#54 ReKoil

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:29 PM

I have not heard from Zorid or ReKoil about their co-op map projects for awhile now though, but I do know they did have some new maps being developed at some point over the last year. If you like, I can fish back through my hard drive to find screenshots of the co-op maps they did show me way back if that's needed.


Dunno about Z, but as for myself I've just been too bloody busy with school and other crap in real life and thus havent had the time to do any modding. Though I will of course pick up on the modding when I do have the time again :)

(Especially now with the TT 4.0 Auto-Map Downloader patch).


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#55 Dethdeath

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 04:16 PM

Hold the phone. The co-op server has been reduced in maximum player limits?

It's come down to choosing between having server lag, or having capacity to host 20+ players on the co-op server. I certainly did not see reducing player counts as one of the possible solutions -- in my eyes the solution should be fixing the lag so that the server could CONTINUE to host large amounts of players on co-op maps, and beyond. Cutting down is just...

Bah, stop being such a picky idiot TNaismith. It's either this, or you've got nothing. Something's gotta be sacrificed. :teedisapprove:

This isn't quite accurate. The decision to reduce the playercount isn't something set in stone as it's not any kind of official decision, just one that was made in troubleshooting the problem discussed in posts above. The playercount can easily be increased to 20-30, it was just a measure taken to better monitor the Coop server's performance, starting with a smaller scale. If you want it increased just tell us a number on IRC you'd be okay with, or even change it yourself :P

Future co-op maps ARE coming, and they will need a better server than Exodus has now to run them without server fps lag, and to accommodate for at least an upwards of future possible 20+ players to be playing on the new co-op maps.

This might be one of the points SarahDX wanted to emphasize heavily. Because even if we monitor and analyze/fix the lag problem for the current rotation of co-op maps, the current machine specs will NOT work (from what I've been reading, I could be wrong here!) for stable hosting of the future co-op maps that WILL be coming.

Upgrading to a better dedicated server is always possible, the additional funds for it would be the gap we'd need to bridge. I guess we'd have to ask around within the community and see how much more per month we can afford and make sure we can afford it on a longterm basis.

To be fair, testing any of Zorid's, ReKoil's or SarahDX's resouce-heavy co-op maps on the Exodus Server for a certain period would be a good way provide fair evidence to support the conclusion I've mentioned above, since all there is believe at this point is just hearsay, and no actual evidence/results that prove any of Zorid/ReKoil/SarahDX new co-op maps AREN'T able to be run on the current Exodus box really smoothly and without long-term lag problems. (And preferably with at least 30+ slots for the server eh?).

I'm all for testing them out, but I also don't expect the server to fill up if players have to download the new maps in order to play them. That's just how it's always been within the Renegade community, so you'd have to find a solution to that problem as well. Auto-announce messages as a warning might help with that.
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#56 TNaismith

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 07:33 PM

Hmm, not set in stone eh, that holds some hope then. Although if reducing playercounts turns out to fix the server lag, we'll probably keep it that way for a good while to come until we find a better solution eh?

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Ah, I am hearing more feedback around TT 4.0 not exactly being the most sought-after install people are swarming for. ReKoil and you both make good points I didn't really consider that much earlier -- I thought scripts 4.0 was at the public stage where it's going to become the next 2.9 or 3.4.4... where most people will automatically/eventually all download/use it similar to how everyone installs the 1.037 patch and the core patches 1 & 2 when choosing to start playing Ren online. Bah =( The two solutions I can think of would be that:

1) TT 4.0 has the Auto-Downloader, so that SHOULD make forcing players to download stuff less of a hassle (Since it's automatic, and not forcing players to go seek out the maps on website to manually download/install. However, SarahDX and ReKoil have mentioned that people would have to be forced to download 4.0 in the first place.


2) However, with that first point in mind above, isn't it possible to also host 4.0 maps and a 4.0 server yet still allow players to connected with 2.9, 3.4.4, (Or even players with no scripts at all?) Let me know if I've got it wrong here, but currently our Exodus server runs on 3.4.4 scripts server-side -- I assume so because the way the maps are scripted I can tell some of the scripts being used are exclusive to 2.9 and 3.4.4. Shouldn't a 4.0 server be capable of that as well? Or are things different now with 4.0 that this isn't possible?


#57 SarahDX

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 09:51 PM

....
2) However, with that first point in mind above, isn't it possible to also host 4.0 maps and a 4.0 server yet still allow players to connected with 2.9, 3.4.4, (Or even players with no scripts at all?) Let me know if I've got it wrong here, but currently our Exodus server runs on 3.4.4 scripts server-side -- I assume so because the way the maps are scripted I can tell some of the scripts being used are exclusive to 2.9 and 3.4.4. Shouldn't a 4.0 server be capable of that as well? Or are things different now with 4.0 that this isn't possible?

A TT 4.0 Server so far I know would still allow non 4.0 users ( earlier scripts and non scripts ) to join the game, so far I experienced with messing around on scripts, players could join on a 4.0 CooP map but if some things require them to have the scripts ( comparable when you want to poke buy an Apache on m03 on the docks or a med tank at the start of m02 ) the non script users or simply the ones not having that script in their Renegade, will not be able to make use of these new features.
Another example of it would be my C&C_Coop_BeachAssault map, as the PTs I used there require the players to have at least the scripts 2.9 to make use of them, still, they could join on the map and play the game.

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#58 Reckneya

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 01:19 AM

If I am not mistaken the coop server runs on very old scripts. The DM server runs on 4.00 and anyone seems to be able to join, though not everything will look the way it should for the people with outdated scripts.

Something ethenal discovered; the current coop was made with too much haste. Everything from the missions is still in there, only bot spawners were changed. A lot of that stuff wont even work for multiplayer but is yet loaded. It wasn't built from scratch, it was built from the single player missions, stuff was just replaced here and there. That can't be good on the server resources nor the clients. A coop made from scratch would improve gameplay on a lot of different fronts.
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#59 TieSTo

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 01:34 AM

Tbh i really don't have the attention span to read all of these epically long posts.

But i am sure we will sort everything out for the good of the server.

Have patience guys, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
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#60 ChaosLegionnaire

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:00 AM

yes light indeed. server just upgraded and no more lag problem i think. new server can take 9 players on m05 with 8 of them shooting flamethrowers and still 59 sfps. wheeee~
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