Howdy everyone! Your friendly neighborhood TA here with a massive update on the goings-on for the CS:GO Surf side of the house! Many of you might have heard me talk about some of this in the servers, but I figured it was time to give a whole update of what we've been up to the last few months!
- Currently, we're hard at work trying to zone something of the order of 500 maps across all tiers. I know traditionally these updates will list when new maps are added, but honestly, at this point, it'd be a list in the hundreds, so I'll forgo that for now.
- My biggest project - I've been working to go through the bulk of the code for our timer so as to start working on it more properly so we can start adding in requested features! Much of what I've been doing so far has been more bug-oriented. As folks message me with issues, I'll try to drill down on these so we can make sure everything is the least 'on fire' as possible. More on this later.
- Currently, our server setup for Surf is as follows:
Surf Timer Very Easy #1, for 'beginner' maps
Surf Timer Easy #2, for tier 1 and tier 2 maps
Surf Timer Expert #3, for tier 3 and above maps
As we've grown and expanded, it has become painfully obvious that this set-up is not quite ideal. Server 1 has something in the order of 20 or 30 maps, which are a subset of the maps on Server 2, which has something in the order of about 50 T1&T2s. Then you have the 80ish maps on expert that vary from reasonable for a 'Server 2 graduate', to ridiculous. Accordingly, we've been working on a way to effectively bridge the gap between the 'Easy' and 'Expert' servers.
Enter the 'Intermediate' server! This is a new server that will be added which has T2s and T3s, while dropping the T1s that are present on servers 1 and 2. As of right now, the server will hold roughly 200 Tier 2 and Tier 3 maps, with about 60 more maps pending either zoning or fixes. We'll likely do a soft release for this server - releasing it with a password to enter, to allow for some additional quality control of the maps before it goes fully public.
What does this mean for the rest of the servers? Well, first, we will be re-naming them:
Surf Timer Very Easy #1 will become Surf Timer #1 Beginner
Surf Timer Easy #2 will become Surf Timer #2 Novice
Surf Timer Expert #3 will become Surf Timer #4 Expert
The only other major thing that you will notice are the maps present on each server.
Server 1 has already been updated - we've removed some of the more challenging maps that a true beginner to surf would have no chance of beating (e.g. surf_guitar_hi), as well as some of the T1s that were both hard and not fun for a beginner. The current set of maps on the server are either intended to be beatable by newer players, or be fun enough to where even if you can't finish it, you'll still enjoy going through it.
Server 2 will lag behind a bit for its update, but the intent of it is to have the non-completely-trivial T1s and easy to mid-tier T2s. This would result in a server with about 150 or so maps between the T1s and T2s that should hopefully provide a player who can comfortably clear some maps with a nice variety of maps that they can reasonably work towards clearing.
Server 3, as mentioned, will have all T2s and all T3s
Server 4 at minimum will have all Tier 4s and above - like server 2, it may be a bit before this server is changed, as we are still trying to decide a few things.
It is our hope that this re-org will help to make sure that all maps on a given server will be either playable or a worthwhile time investment, so players aren't stuck either at too low of a difficulty level, or too high of a difficulty level. We look forward to any feedback on this - I'll probably be busy grinding maps on the new server 3 so I can hopefully get beyond the tier 2 maps, myself!
Y'all have been fantastic with passing me information about the various bugs or issues that are present in the surf timer fork we're using, so I can get an idea of what all is on fire. I've been stashing them in a notepad++ document so I can start tracking these bugs as I start really gutting the timer and refactoring the code into a more proper fork. It does look like I'll end up having to do at least somewhat of a re-write, unfortunately, if only due to the impending SourceMod 1.11 release that will eliminate support for a number of data structures that are used throughout the timer - What that means is that it is a great time to start integrating some of the feature requests that folks are looking for! Please feel free to make any suggestions!
For the curious, I'm breaking it down something like this
Phase 1 [The front facing stuff that players see]<------ (We are here)
- Fix any bugs that are aggressively on fire (e.g. exploits, obviously broken things, the loading time at the beginning of a map, etc.)
- Add maps. All the maps.
- Get a better distribution of the maps on servers
- VIP/Top<whatever> all-maps server? Phase 2 [The back end stuff that gives me diarrhea to look at]
- Start adding in requested features
- SM 1.11 syntax transition
- Refactor/Rewrite? Phase 3 [The long term stuff]
- Heavy duty features added
- Completely custom timer?
This is just a small list of the kind of stuff we're thinking about! Hopefully this giant wall of text has given some insight as to what's going on with Surf. I am so thankful for all of y'all's support and help over the last 2.5 months that I've been working on this stuff. I'll do my best to make sure that the experience we're providing is as good as it can be!
New server: Added
Maps: So many
Games: For Life