Need Input

Right. Here’s the deal with Dojo updates. I talked with Jazz this evening about increasing number of players able to connect to Dojo. One of the options we did have was free hosting at Harmonica’s workplace. From what I’ve been told, it would be fast and durable. Downsides: Harm would be our tech support (which isn’t 24/7 and he’s drunk half the time 😀 ) AND we’d have to provide our own hardware. We’re using a quad core server right now. I’ve got a PowerPC that I could donate, but I don’t know if that will be enough.

So unless anyone has a server rack they’re done with, that won’t really be a viable option. The second (and more likely) option is bumping up the connections in Dojo. Before I go into my questions, Jazz wanted to reiterate that maintaining the current atmosphere in Dojo is our #1 priority: basically, we don’t want to screw it up for the sake of more people connected at once. If people have to wait an hour, so be it. That being said…

If we bump up the number of connected players,

1) What should be the max slots? 14? 16? 20? 32? My suggestion was 20. Jazz thinks that’s a bit high and said 16 would suffice.

2) Method to implement control to ensure 6v6 games. What are your guys ideas on it?

Personally, I would see if I can get Aki to donate some code in setup. The idea would be a ladder-ish setup. I’d still try to keep the voting rotation open. Everyone who joined (not just spec) could vote. 12 players randomly selected and sorted via Altitude’s generic sorting system (as we have now). Tournament mode initiated. Others sent to spectate.

The only downsides I can see is tournament mode would be on to ensure 6v6. Which hurts if someone leaves mid-game. But that might be the cost of doing business. The other issue would be trying to implement a ladder system without it becoming ladder. Dojo should not be Ladder for People Who Don’t Like Ladder.

Anyway, what are your thoughts? Suggestions? Or is this just a waste of time and we should be content on what we have?

– soccernamlak

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7 thoughts on “Need Input

  1. gflare says:

    I have a few thoughts on this issue, and the multiple approaches we discussed over the course of the past few months.

    Wait times: To be honest, wait times are a necessary evil of a successful server.

    Option 1: Dojo 2 server…
    Comment: Even if you have other servers with equally good ping/players, people will want to play with friends/clanmates and try to get into the same server. The second server may be useful, but only during the main peak hours (and only if people manage to get it started – we know how hard it is to try to get a server started from 0 players when people are queued for dojo).

    Option 2: Dojo with 20 player max
    Comment: While some people may like spectating, or spamming chat while waiting…. It’s still going to be a pain trying to manage the following issues:
    – “what player is next in line for an open slot”
    – “is he afk? I’m next up, right?”
    – “he jumped into the game out of order, lets all kick him!?!?!?!” (yeah, this would kill the experience for new players – they won’t know “the rules of dojo” and will be made to feel like outcasts)
    – Even with a higher limit of players, it may get full during peak hours – leading to an even more frustrating queue to even join the in-game queue and wait longer.
    – Custom player-management scripts are lame (my personal opinion, after running my own modded servers for UT2k4 gametypes years ago)

    Suggestion 1: Combo higher maxplayers dojo with a second server dojo2
    Comment: This will require a custom script, but if you allow 20 players in the server you would then be able to use the command ‘request other server’ for all spectators once the server hits that 20-player limit. This will allow people to watch dojo, and if 8 spectators are there, they would be prompted to move over to dojo2 having enough to hopefully start a game going.
    – Make sure you do it as a pop-up dialog or some server spam in chat, because if there are players in dojo1 that want to stay in dojo1. Or if dojo2 is filled up also, we don’t want to auto-push people to the other server.
    – Most expensive route, and would still have custom scripts.

    Suggestion 2: Leave it the same… Let someone else handle the “unofficial Dojo2 overflow” and save your cash.

    • soccernamlak says:

      Gflare,

      Regarding Option 2:

      To clarify, custom scripts would be needed to manage players; there wouldn’t be a definitive “order” per se. Regarding chat, that’s a tough one to manage without resorting to a ladder setup (spec chat being called, etc.)

      Regarding Suggestion1 and overall points:

      This is an issue that has plagued Ladder for a while, and being that it has yet to be sorted out, is why I’m fine sitting back need be on this issue.

      Ladder runs into two issues despite having multiple servers. 1st is the support of 6v6 games with up to 32 players connecting. I’ve seen the server run with 24 to 27 players connected. Despite having enough players to run 2 servers, it is a chore to get people to switch. And even if you do, 1/2 the times the second ladder never starts up and everyone crowds back in anyway.

      But even if it does start up, if someone leaves, now it’s 11/12. People don’t wait. Back to one server again.

      The second issue is going over from EU to US servers. Again, it’s very difficult to get people to all switch over to US servers despite everyone being plagued by high pings.

      The script idea has been suggested multiple times on the forums. It has yet to be implemented. I need to talk to Aki to see what he’s been up to in that department. Ideally speaking, if we had two servers like this, I would rather wait to see how Ladder handles it, and then perfect it from there.

      Regarding Suggestion 2:

      I think if someone called it Dojo #2, it would faire better than another server claiming to be the alternative to Dojo. The name quality is here in Dojo. People know the server, the maps, the people. Why wouldn’t people who don’t get into Dojo just join AIR? Or Balls of Fury (is that still up?)? Or any other number of ball servers. There are plenty out there. But they remain empty. I think the second server should be Dojo #2. But if we aren’t officially recognizing it, then it impedes on our name that’s been built up. So then we’d have to sponsor it to help it run as an alternative while waiting. But then if that server has issues (players, admins, etc.), it reflects back on us.

      Unfortunately, I can’t think of a good outcome.

  2. AngryIrish says:

    For how often it’s occurring, eventhough I would like a second room I’m not so sure it’s worth the effort/expense. I’m also of the opinion that anything more than 7v7 at once would definitely change the “feel” of dojo, even at 7 theres a bit of a difference but negligible enough. I like flare’s ideas about the scripts to manage the players and events, but you would probably know best whether it’s worth it.

  3. krawz says:

    Fyi; We had Dojo 2 for quite a while. It was somewhat problematic. Either it was empty or there were 6-7 people split between each server. However, once in a while it worked out just right and they were both full. I won’t share my opinions much on the options presented as I don’t want to sway public opinion or anything.

    • soccernamlak says:

      On the contrary krawz, I’d appreciate your opinions. You ran the server for so long, including times with 2+ servers.

      Regarding problematic, I can see that. This issue also crops up in ladder as well, with one server ultimately dying and 25 people crowded into a single server.

  4. E.M. says:

    Currently I think the bigger problem is the mindset of people, rather than a technological/capacity problem. Some of you guys don’t roll around until 9 pm (EST) or later, and by then dojo is either in full swing, or pretty close to it. Often times I hop on when I get home, which is usually around 7-7:30, when most of the time dojo is empty. 9 times out of 10, I’ll try to start it. I’ll message people on my list (usually everyone, but especially dojo regulars) and it’s hard to sometimes even get the regulars to spend 10 minutes to try and get things started. Sometimes they’re in =AIR= (and will stay there despite 80%+ of the players in there being from N.A. and thus having 100+ pings), sometimes they’re in Ledow’s (why you would ever stay in there when other options are available is beyond me, again, 100+ pings), and sometimes they’re in Official #3 (where the rule seems to be “well I’ll stay in here and ride the ball-map votes until TBD/FFA gets voted up). This is my main argument against a 2nd server. If I knew we would have a concentrated, group effort to regularly give a shit over seeking instant gratification (america/the world in a nutshell I know, but I still half-expect people to put effort into worthwhile endeavors), then I would be all for it.

    As for the “Wait times: To be honest, wait times are a necessary evil of a successful server.” comment, I think this is a foolish opinion, and one that can only be held when you’re the only game in town (and especially when you’re an admin and wait times no longer apply to you), which is the current situation. Listen, I don’t mind waiting 15-20 minutes, heck even 30 is fine with me sometimes, but when wait times get to be 45+ minutes, people are going to look elsewhere. Usually for me, that means just getting off altitude and doing something else. But what happens if for whatever reason, there’s a huge influx of players, and competition *does* start to sprout up elsewhere. Are we still going to hold to the mantra of “well it’s dojo, people will wait as long as they have to to get in here”? A server is only as good as the people who play it, so what happens if the altitude population skyrockets and the small community we’ve forged gets fragmented because they can’t even get into their favorite server anymore? What happens when the group mindset becomes “Well we all want to play together, so we’ll just play on server X since it’s impossible to get even a fraction of us in dojo together”? I know I’m speaking in hypothetical, way-down-the-road terms, but I think it’s something you have to take into account.

    My biggest concern for the whole ladder-like setup isn’t specs/chatting (spec chat a distraction? since when is chatting a distraction in dojo?), it’s maintaining a good flow between games. Having to start/stop tournament would be a pretty big detriment to this, as would be the inevitable “damn I was afk/forgot to join at the beginning and now I’m stuck speccing AGAIN”.

    There’s rarely a problem that has a simple, clear-cut solution, and this is no different. Regardless of what you guys decide to do, you’re going to make some people happy and make some people miserable. My advice is to go with the most economically feasible solution, even if it means taking donations (speaking of that, is the donate link updated? Is that going to Jazz now or krawz still? Something that needs to be addressed if it’s still krawz) or simply getting the admin group to regularly try to get more people in the server by leaving and joining (Socs is the only admin that I see do this on a regular basis, and it’s immensely helpful and appreciated). You could even get a core group of dojoans to pledge to spectate when getting let-in through this method so that admins wouldn’t always be on the short end of the stick. I would be willing to do it anyways.

    My 2 cents. Well more like a buck-fifty, you always get more than what you pay for with me 🙂

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