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[7-24-16]Update - What To Improve On, Etc...

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So, let's start off, I have been playing on our CS:GO servers recently and I do believe the division is in "okay" shape itself. Okay as in the servers themselves are looking okay, but the population isn't that great.

 

I do believe there are servers that need work.

 

Servers

All Servers

I would like to give global suggestions for all of our servers.

 

Firstly, I believe we should update GFL's plugin pack to the latest version to support Socket for the Server Hop plugin. This will allow us to rely on real-time server information instead of relying on the database which has been outdated for months now. We should be testing this update on a few servers at a time to ensure they are stable with the new update.

 

Secondly, I believe we should be checking all of our server's configuration files and ensuring we have updated tags and region values. For example, our United States servers should have something like this in the server.cfg (or whatever):

sv_region 0 //0 = East Coast + Common for US servers, 3 = Europe.
sv_tags "gflclan, gfl, games, for, life, <gamemode>, <features>" //Tags that people can type in the server browser. Ensure all of our server have "gflclan, gfl, games, for, life", etc.

 

European servers use 3 for the sv_region value. You would be surprised how much bad sv_tags and sv_region values impact population.

 

After that is done, I believe we should be keeping all of our plugins up-to-date along with content such as maps. Also make sure our servers are clean and have similar global plugins. For example, one server shouldn't have Frag Radio while the other has HIVE Radio (I believe HIVE Radio is the better choice).

 

Thirdly, I feel we need active Server Admins and Server Manager(s) for every server. If a server doesn't have active Server Manager(s), either a higher-up should be stepping in and managing the server depending on its popularity or the server should be temporarily shut down. Servers I feel currently don't have an active manager include:

  • Decoy DodgeBall
  • Casual Competitive
  • Climb Timer
  • TTT MineCraft

 

Servers that didn't have an active manager before but recently received attention (e.g. new active manager, etc) include:

  • MiniGames
  • JailBreak
  • DeathRun

 

That said, if Server Admins aren't trying to revive servers they are Server Admin for (e.g. playing on the server and inviting friends while the server is dead), they shouldn't be Server Admin for that specific server. If Server Admins took time to populate the server they are admin for, there is a high chance it would slowly gain population and succeed in the future.

 

Surf Timer

To start, our Surf Timer servers have been slowly dying for a while now. However, a majority of the population loss isn't our fault (cheating servers).

 

That said, I do believe there are a few things we can do to help the server. Although, I would need to discuss this further with the Server Managers and Division Leaders.

 

Firstly, I believe resetting times and switching to a more "unique" timer would help the server. Why? Well, from what other players have told me, there are currently many bugged/glitched records. I also feel a majority of the Surf Timer servers now use "ckSurf". Originally, when we switched to ckSurf, there weren't many servers running the timer which gave us an advantage. Now that our timer isn't very unique, I feel players will prefer other servers, especially ones offering free weapon skins, etc (AKA "Cheating").

 

A timer I would suggest would be ZipCore's timer. This was the first time we used and the reason we switched off of it was because we thought ckSurf was better-made. That said, ZipCore's timer did use more CPU, however the timer may have been optimized since we got rid of it. ZipCore's timer offers styles which, in my opinion, is a very nice feature. The only thing ZipCore's timer doesn't support is replay bots. Maybe we can get a coder to implement that feature?

 

If a new timer won't help us, then I would still highly suggest resetting the times because I feel that the glitched records have bothered many players for a while now.

 

The next thing I want to talk about is the fact that we have six servers we have to manage. Now, if our servers were popular, I would be more than happy with hosting six+ servers. However, all of our servers don't even reach  >= 25% capacity on a daily basis. It becomes harder to manage because our servers aren't running off of one installation. For example, if we wanted to update a map for all servers, we would have to upload the map six times because we have six servers. This, in my opinion, isn't worth the extra work.

 

Now, yes, I get it, even the servers that rarely have population does have a player base. I understand that. However, I feel it will make managing these servers so much easier if we cut down on a couple of them. That said, I also feel focusing on a smaller amount of servers is better than focusing on a large amount of depopulated servers. Our main servers may be able to get more attention from admins resulting in more server population.

 

Servers I would cut on? Well, I'll list them. I am leaving the choice up to the Division Leaders whether or not we want to cut on servers. I still think it will make managing these servers easier and may benefit our main servers.

Surf Timer 1-4 (US)

banner_560x95.png?random=15333

 

The server only reaches an average of (9 - 2 = 7) players each day (9 players total, two being bots). It honestly seems dead and if there is a player base, it is not big at all. If anything, probably the same 3 - 4 players playing everyday.

 

Surf Timer 1-4 (EU)

banner_560x95.png?random=40812

 

Just like the US version of this server, it only reaches ~9 - 10 players each day.

 

Even the Beginner servers are doing bad. But I feel cutting these servers would be enough.

 

Other than that, just ensuring we have good admins that are keeping players on the server, actively recruiting, staying active, etc and making sure the maps are staying updated. I also believe we should reduce the slot counts on our Surf Timer servers.

 

Bunny Hop

Well, it's time to face facts. The Bunny Hop servers are also dying, likely due to other servers cheating and gaining a majority of the players.

 

Although, I would highly suggest ensuring nothing was changed recently that would trigger population loss. The population loss spike was sudden in my opinion (just one random day we started seeing < 31 peaks instead of > 40).

b_560_95_1.png

 

Here's the monthly graph:

server_players.php?GSID=4957773&start=-1

 

The European Bunny Hop is doing okay. Although, I do still feel we can be doing better.

server_players.php?GSID=5069629&start=-1

 

After playing the server for a bit, I just had a few suggestions  (US Server).

  • Remove the chat notification for when you receive a credit in the Store (triggers every minute).
  • Possibly switch to ZipCore's timer to support "styles" (styles are pretty common in Bunny Hop)?
  • Ensure we have enough admins and admins are doing their job (I like thinking there should be at least one admin on at all times).
  • Keep the maps updated and ensure we don't have any useless plugins that could be degrading server performance, etc.

 

MiniGames

After playing this server yesterday, it brought back many memories (I used to play CS:S MG very often years ago). @Ariistuujj is currently working on the server and he appears to be doing a great job and giving the server the attention it needs.

 

The only thing I would recommend is keeping the maps updated and fixing the current bugs. That said, ensure you have a solid admin team. A team that will always been helping the server by staying active, recruiting members, and playing on the server even when it's not doing well (e.g. empty).

 

Overall

I'm hoping the Division can make a comeback. I will continue to contact Valve about getting these toxic cheating servers removed. If that does happen, well, we have a big chance to regain the population we once had.

 

Thanks.

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I've unlocked the thread.

 

Feel free to discuss the updates here.

 

Thanks.

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GFL-ServerHop: DR, MG, and CC currently use Socket and it seems to be working fine.

 

sv_region: All servers seem to show up under US East, no matter what sv_region is set to. Using 1 (US West) would make our servers show up under both US location filters. EU servers should be on 3 of course.

 

sv_tags: When adding a tag filter and then refreshing the server browser, only servers with exact matches show up. If you add a tag filter after refreshing, it does not need to be an exact match. (Filter by gfl, refresh, you'll notice some servers missing. Remove filters, refresh, filter by gfl, you'll now see those servers.) This should be taken into consideration when setting sv_tags. sv_tags also has a 127 char limit.

 

(Related: hostname has a 63 char limit. A format I like is [GFLClan.com]/[GFLClan.com EU] <gamemode> [<majorfeature1>|<majorfeature2>|<and-so-on>|Updated m/d])

 

Plugins: I believe any servers that had Frag Radio have already been switched over to Hive, although a lot of work still needs to be done here for a more consistent experience across our servers.

 

Surf/Bhop: Have you considered shavit's timer for bhop? I'd like to work on a new timer for courses on MG when I'm not busy working on other things, could possibly also be used on these servers whenever it's ready. Another thing, there's a couple servers with gflclan in sv_tags and ws/knife...

 

Minigames: Have a lot of plans for the server, just might take a while for some things as I'm also working on other stuff currently.

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