Oswald Rant: In Control (Revisited)

Now, I usually do not revisit a rant topic as quickly as I have done this past Oswald rant titled, In Control. In this article I discussed my thoughts on being an admin. One of the points I touched on was the “power and control” aspect admins have over gamers in their servers. I concluded, “respectful of players, but keep control of what goes on…You do not foot the bill, we do.”

Recently, I have seen a few complaints in the form of e-mail addressed to me, since it is my server (Hottie’s 6th Floor Hideaway) asking questions about their presence being banned from our server. Now being banned is nothing uncommon for online gamers. Hacking or cheating is usually the quickest way to exit stage left off a server. This is but one reason a gamer could be kicked or banned from their favorite server.

Attempting to resolve a conflict that arises between an admin and a gamer over a ban can be a touchy subject. First, if brought into the public light, it can shed negative light on your server admins and their quick actions to pull the trigger and present a gamer with a ban. There are three sides to a story, yours, mine and the truth. Rarely does the truth ever get revealed, but two conflicting reports from the parties involved.

Are there certain unwritten rules or guidelines games should follow when playing online? I do believe in an online creed that gamers should follow. I can sum it up in two words, “be respectful.” This applies to admins or refs on the server and your fellow gamers. A good example would be an apology if you happen to shoot and kill your teammate. a Quick, “sorry” goes a long way in keeping the server atmosphere a friendly one. Connecting to a server with a high and mighty attitude will not get you any points, but will get you run out of town.

There are “gray areas” when it comes to the proverbial, “Do’s & Dont’s” while on a server. One of those unique features of online gaming is a player’s alias. We are all unique and wear our alias and clan tag (if applicable) with pride and like to be recognized. There are names that gamers will find offensive, but what’s in name? Should that gamer be frowned upon as an outcast, as the admin looks for any reason to kick them? Or should they be allowed to remain to game the server, as if they were just another gamer. This varies depending on who the admin is. Some gamers come in with a bad reputation, being repeatedly kicked from other servers. Admins do talk and share information. Why shouldn’t they? They need to protect their own in order to promote the fun.

Lastly, too many admins spoil the server. While it is more enjoyable to play on a server that is usually manned with an admin or ref, who has limited powers on the server. Games tend to flow a bit smoother and gamers are generally more well mannered. But in the case of conflicting admins opinions, problems can and do arise. This is a no win situation for everyone. Tempers tend to flair and span decisions are made, usually resulting in bans being unjustly handed out.

For any conflict, there is a resolution. As an admin, I just want to run a respectable server that is full 24/7 that gamers enjoy playing Urban Terror on. To date, I think we have been very successful in that regard. Hopefully those who play on The 6th Floor enjoy the server, but have respect for others and the admins when on the server. If you have problems, bring them to me. You can e-mail me at oswald@planetquake.com. Hopefully I do not need to play judge, jury and executioner in order to resolve conflict that should have been resolved before resulting in an e-mail being sent.

Friday on the Floor

Hell yeah! It’s Friday. Strange how we always look forward to Friday and the weekend. For me, its somewhat immaterial, since my days off rotate each week. But rest assured, you will be able to find, Hottlipz and many others tonight on Hottie’s 6th Floor Hideaway. You can also join IRC, #the6thfloor on ETG and then log on to the Team Speak 2 server and have a rocking good time!

Everything is on track to return to shoutcasting (as an independent shoutcaster) Clanbase matches around February 16. I am looking forward to providing, what I think was the best coverage of the best league. Quick shout out to Tidus (my favorite Frenchie!) and Lord, who continues to do an outstanding job at Clanbase. You guys really know how to run a successful league!

As many of you know Silicon Ice Development dropped a bombshell on the Urban Terror community a few days ago, announcing their official intent to port Urban Terror over to Enemy Territory. I am sure you all want more information from me, seeing as it was my name attached to the post as to what that news on www.silicon-ice.com really means. Well, there is not much else I can tell you that has not already been said. The main point, that we are trying to stress is two-fold.

First, this was not a “spur of the moment” decision by the development team. This idea has been topic of conversation for many, many months. Second, I think I can relate to the Macintosh users are pissed with our decision to move to Enemy Territory. As I posted numerous responses to questions on the Urban Terror Forums, that nothing has been set in stone for Mac development. Currently, there is no Macintosh support for ET. Will it stay that way? We will have to wait and see. We have talked to relevant parties and “nothing has been ruled out.” Let’s leave it at that. Any official information on the move to ET will be posted on www.urbanterror.net.

I also present a new rant today here on The 6th Floor. Today’s topic revolves around server administration. I am no expert, but I now have a taste of what’s involved. Read what I have to say about servers, admins and gamers in today’s rant, In Control.

The 6th Floor server map cycle has been updated recently, you can check out the server page and see what new maps are included in the map cycle, along with the server side settings, such as cap limit and time limit. So, far the response to the server has been excellent. One minor request, this is paid for out of pocket by myself. If you enjoy the server and want to donate to the server, please use the PayPal link on the server page. Any donation is appreciated. Thanks. Enjoy the gaming!

Welcome Back Map Zone

It is good to hear that Shagg has The Mapzone up and running again, but this time around, it is strictly unofficial maps, due to circumstances set forth by the administrators of the host site. He is also looking for help, if you know basic html and can work Dreamweaver, email Shagg. Remeber to do your part and download a test map or two and then complete the simple questionnaire, this will hopefully speed up the review and testing process, giving map authors quicker feedback and you players new maps on a regular basis. I know I mentioned this a few days back, but on the main page, you will see a small area, which seems to be missing some graphics. By clicking on this area, you can instantaneously download the Q2plugin, which will give up real time information on the 6th Floor Action Quake teamplay server, hosted by Dr. Frag and myself. The IP address is 207.182.230.18:27910, and we are still working on a current map rotations.

Update Today!

I finally had the opportunity to finish the Subway99 review by T.T.I., author of Subway 1/2. I also received an early version of the map I spoke about this morning by Squirrel called ‘The Hunt for the HUGE Diamond.’ I had a chance to download the early stages of this maps creation, and it looks like it is going to be a great map! More on that when we see how it is progressing. Word comes from [20ID]God Incarnate, that

Lighthouse2 is almost done! I’m putting it through beta testing with my clan right now. I’m sorry to say it isn’t vastly different from the original, but I have not had much time to work on maps lately.

He is even considering converting the map to Action Half-Life. Dr. Frag and I are slowly working on the AQ2 server, but depending on the success of AHL, may be put on hold. I’ll release the address after we determine what we are going to do with it. The server is called 6th Floor Action Quake 2 Server.

It’s All About the Servers

This from the Action Quake 2 Forums, Fireblade currently has AQ 1.52 Beta 6 running at:

Genocide (TX): 158.135.11.85=Aggression Rangers= Slaughterhouse: 209.193.133.66NetNITCO: 216.176.132.238Norwegian Whalers: (in Europe) 194.234.124.200:27007

For a list of changes thus far, see: http://www.shsu.edu/~ucs_brf/tmp/CHANGES. We’re hoping to release this within a week or two, so any reports of problems on the above servers would be appreciated. The last two of the four servers are running teamplay friendly-fire, which needs plenty of testing, as it’s the biggest new feature in 1.52.Along with finishing the reviews of Action maps which were played last weekend, I expect by weeks end, I am currently piecing together a review of William’s CGF bot. It should be finalized tomorrow, after some extra play testing with the bots. I mentioned last week about the possibility of a 6th Floor Action server, seems we are having technical difficulties. We keep receiving an error message saying, ‘Error local map version differs from server: 455598429 ! = ‘-354430256’. This only happens on two maps we have in the rotation. Any help, just email me. I have seen what my new site is going to look like. I had the opportunity to view the work Overkill had done on it. Looks sharp, of course he will not let me have any of it until he is completely done.