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After playing at Cemetech UT for about a year and a half, I'd like to propose some additions and changes to the server's configuration. I have provided the specific INI keys to clarify any ambiguity and simplify updating. Just about all of these specifically affect the Cemetech Team ArenaMaster NG gamemode and the Cemetech Player TAM gamemode proposed here, except where otherwise specified. I have also differentiated which suggestions change GameConfig entries or gamemode INI settings. The posf is quite long, as there are both many things I would like to see changed and I have provided a lot of detail about why and how they are changed.


The following proposed changes can be made without modifying global settings (only changing/adding GameConfig=() settings):
  • CTF without Translocator: Bots greatly outnumber humans, and in CTF, the bot horde can get to either flag carrier within a few seconds and use pro sniper rifle to kill any attackers.

    Code:
    optionally duplicate gamemode configs, change option bTranslocator=False

  • Deathmatch without Pro Sniper Rifle: With the amount of damage the pro sniper rifle does and the lack of lag compensation y'all seem to like, whoever has the better ping wins the deathmatch with little variance. Not even close to fair.

    Code:
    duplicate Cemetech Deathmatch, remove "ProSniperRifleV3.MutProSniperRifle", rename to differentiate modes

  • A closer to standard Team ArenaMaster vs. Players setup, based on the v3210CW plugin. The v3141 config, like all other versions, remain untouched. It disables quadjump (standard servers don't use it, and it makes tactics worthless; maps aren't built for quadjump) and enables the Necromancer adrenaline combo included in 3SPN's CW versions (BBFF to resurrect a dead teammate; don't enable it if you want, but v3141 doesn't have it anyways). TimeLimit is set to 0 since it prematurely ends matches and the 2-minute round limit already takes care of this. The remainder of my proposed updates to this specific configuration are in the gamemode-wide settings.

    Code:
    add:
    GameConfig=(GameClass="3SPNv3210CW.TeamArenaMaster",Prefix="DM",Acronym="PTAM",GameName="Cemetech Player TAM",Mutators="3SPNv3210CW.MutNecro",Options="GoalScore=10,TimeLimit=0,VsBots=False,bPlayersBalanceTeams=True")
    Note that all Options settings changed are sticky (are not changed unless specified by another GameConfig Options), and they must be specified in all GameConfig entries.

  • I mentioned it to Kerm, but he was unable to further analyze this at the time: use UTComp to add enhanced netcode to the vs. bots gamemodes. As the bots have zero ping, they do/should not benefit from the enhanced netcode, and it will make vehicle CTF and deathmatch more playable for high-ping players like myself. The INI provided here disables most of UTComp's bells and whistles, which keeps the UTComp gameplay experience close to that of standard gameplay. Furthermore, pretty much everything can be configured client-side, through the menus it provides.

    Code:
    [Engine.GameInfo]
    ServerPackages=utcompv17a

    [xVoting.xVotingHandler]
    GameConfig=(GameClass="XGame.xVehicleCTFGame",Prefix="VCTF",Acronym="UVCTF",GameName="UTComp Vehicle Capture the Flag",Mutators="utcompv17a.MutUTComp,XGame.MutQuadJump",Options="GoalScore=10,TimeLimit=20,bPlayersBalanceTeams=False,VsBots=True")

  • I have also bumped about adding Wormbot, and continue to offer a bouncer for this (I should have a slot open). The INI I can provide will only announce joins, parts, chat, and survivors of TAM matches (part of chat relay, it's a gamemode mechanic I don't have control over).

    Code:
    mutator class is WormbotReporter.MutWormbot, add it to the mutator list in each GameConfig entry to enable it.


The following proposed changes modify global or gamemode-wide settings:
  • Disable all team balancing in all 3SPN versions. It only causes problems since we are either vs. bots or are otherwise able to decide our own teams. Jonimus may have already taken care of this.

    Code:
    [3SPNv3210CW.TeamArenaMaster]
    AutoBalanceTeams=False
    AutoBalanceOnJoins=False
    AllowForceAutoBalance=False

    [3SPNv3210CW.ArenaMaster]
    AutoBalanceTeams=False
    AutoBalanceOnJoins=False
    AllowForceAutoBalance=False

    [3SPNv3210CW.Freon]
    AutoBalanceTeams=False
    AutoBalanceOnJoins=False
    AllowForceAutoBalance=False

  • Disable Challenge Mode in the 3SPNv3210CW settings. It's less of a problem while against bots, but when against other players it throws the match out of proportion. At -40 health, only two rockets are needed to kill. At -60 health, lightning guns take two hits to kill instead of three, or just one headshot. At -70 health, one flak hit is a kill. Towards the end of a match, both players have reduced health, and results in unbalanced and unfair gameplay.

    Code:
    [3SPNv3210CW.TeamArenaMaster]
    bChallengeMode=False

  • Consider a lower bot ratio on a higher difficulty; Jonimus and I talked about that. My server uses 1.5 on Masterful, but it quickly becomes unwinnable as less talented players show up. I would suggest 2.0 on Adept. Keep in mind that all our players aren't as good as you admins, and there aren't very many servers favorable towards our many members learning how to play UT2004. Striking a balance will probably require experimentation.

    Code:
    [Unreal.UnrealMPGameInfo]
    BotRatio=2.000000

  • Enable the modified shield gun in 3SPN. It does much less damage and gives a higher initial boost, which is particularly helpful without quadjump.

    Code:
    [3SPNv3141.TeamArenaMaster]
    bModifyShieldGun=True

    [3SPNv3210CW.ArenaMaster]
    bModifyShieldGun=True

    [3SPNv3210CW.TeamArenaMaster]
    bModifyShieldGun=True

  • At least two more ammo on the shock rifle in the 3SPN gamemodes would be nice; especially without Challenge Mode or with quadjump, we run out of ammo quickly in every decent weapon. As an example I use 27 here; the number should be a multiple of five, plus two.

    Code:
    [3SPNv3210.ArenaMaster]
    ShockAmmo=27

    [3SPNv3210.TeamArenaMaster]
    ShockAmmo=27

  • Force players to be ready before a match begins. This gives us more time to check IRC (admit it, we're all IRC junkies) and prevents people who are slower at switching maps / downloading maps from arriving in the middle of a match.

    Code:
    In Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Vehicle Capture the Flag:
    bPlayersMustBeReady=True
    I don't remember how to change this in 3SPN.

  • Disable weapon viewshake. This can get nauseating at higher pings, as shots don't register immediately.

    Code:
    [Engine.GameInfo] (I think this is the right one)
    bWeaponShouldViewShake=False

  • Disable team combos in Freon gamemodes. There's many many many bots, and they all benefit when a single one of them uses a combo. It's somewhat confusing and doesn't match any of the other gamemodes.

    Code:
    [3SPNv3210CW.Freon or something like that]
    bDisableTeamCombos=True

  • I'm pretty sure we have already agreed on changing, or have already changed, this setting, but disable round ties to match 3SPNv3141 behavior.

    Code:
    [3SPNv3210CW.TeamArenaMaster]
    RoundCanTie=False


A few closing notes:
  • These are only suggestions; however, they are highly educated suggestions and are based on a few months of hosting and managing a public server.
  • I'm not sure how the Freon settings look exactly, as I have it disabled and thus do not have its INI settings.
  • Most of these adjust 3SPN because I mostly play 3SPN and it has a lot more tweakable settings. I may follow up this post with any other things I find.
  • As a high-ping player, I prioritize settings that affect higher-latency players. The default ready time gives me about two seconds between the loading screen and match start, shorter or nonexistant if the map is a large file or I had to download the map.
  • There are still a lot of maps that are not on the mirror, and the same goes for resource files required for maps. Mutators, sounds, meshes, animations, etc. all must be in ut.cemetech.net/maps as uz2-compressed files in order to use the mirror for download.
  • Should we have a subforum for UT2004? There's not a lot of traffic but it feels out-of-place in General Open Topic, since it is about an official Cemetech server and Minecraft has its own subforum.
Although there are many suggestions posted here for different game types, i would like to throw in my two pennies (or swans??) in regards to TAM :

No quad jumping. This would make many scenarios with more than 2 players undesirable for veteran players...It's just something that most, if not all of us wouldn't want to deal with do to the fact it's, well it quad jumping in UT! Furthermore, having an advantage like quad jumping would IMHO hinder some newer inexperienced players from learning the correct skills to dodge/wal jump.

By all means, disable any type of team balancing. I have yet to play in a server with appropriate team balancing and man, it is ungodly pointless: you go in with 7-9 other players and play a 10 game match.By the end of the game the teams have been altered so drastically every round or so, that the game is essentially,literally non-competitive.

Bot's I'm not too concerned about. Since there are newer players here maybe what you suggested above is adequate..I personally would like a harder difficulty but I think notipa has it set for highest difficulty at bosai...It's at least good enough for someone like me to play against whilst waiting for people to join.

Freon: don't really care for the mode so my input is useless.

Make sure to give ample time for players to join: no starting until all players ready up or after a set time limit has expired.

Maps: I still have a list somewhere around here of many good maps..When I find it I will post the maps worthy of playing if you don't beat me to it!

Probably best idea to have that ut04 sub forum...Give this lazy swan a direct link!

Absolutely no anti-tcc unless cheating becomes an issue. We had dealt with anti-tcc for years until we finally decided to ditch it. It just wasn't worth the instability and other various issues it created.

I can honestly say that after a decade of playing I don't recall the weapon view-shake...

Ammo: My opinion is that most veterans should have limited ammo...What you posted above seems alright to me for most players. But I personally don't think veteran players need that much.

Mutators and settings: I never messed with any from an admin standpoint so my advice in regards to this area is null.

There are some other things which can be addressed. Once I hop in and play around in there I'll throw some more suggestions.

There would need to be a fine balance for newer / older players. However, i don't think I would concern over this until you see what kind of player base migrates over (mainly newer, some older..).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Preliminary observations:

I would get that ready timer adjusted asap...5 seconds not gonna cut it...can't even vote a map without having to rush...

Kick time for idle needs to be slightly increased.

Redirect for some server files may need to looked into...

Cut a couple seconds off the end round timer (after team wins a match- where the stats are shown before new round begins).

There seems to be a bug which when in spec mode, "join" is blocked out...ok seems to happen when in spec mode after a map change occurs.
Spazite wrote:
Redirect for some server files may need to looked into...

This is one of the things that have bugged me about this server since day one -- first joins take an eternity due to unmirrored mutators. I have a kinda-script that compresses all the maps, plugins, etc. in a UT installation folder, and dumps the uz2 files into a folder "compress". I used it to generate the uz2s for my server, and it hasn't had any problems. Cemetech UT's mirror is missing a ton of files, such as pro sniper rifle. This kinda-script can find those files and compress them.

Spazite wrote:
I would get that ready timer adjusted asap...5 seconds not gonna cut it...can't even vote a map without having to rush...

Indeed, it's way too short; by the time I have the map loaded, the match has already started. The "Force Players to be Ready" boolean mentioned way up in my first posf would fix this.

Spazite wrote:
There seems to be a bug which when in spec mode, "join" is blocked out...ok seems to happen when in spec mode after a map change occurs.

I think this is a UT bug, or a 3SPN v3141 bug. I haven't yet narrowed it down to that. Later I might investigate this.

Spazite wrote:
Since there are newer players here maybe what you suggested above is adequate..I personally would like a harder difficulty

Difficulty can be adjusted in GameConfig entries, thus allowing both easy and hard bots. I found out that there's no way to easily control bot ratio, if at all, in a per-gamemode fashion. My server uses Masterful for its base difficulty, which is perfectly fine for seasoned players but falls into the spawn-and-die category for our newer folks. There's a very wide range of skill levels present at Cemetech UT, and a one-size-fits-all solution could very well not be the answer. I feel if we up the difficulty, we are forced to reduce the bot ratio else larger matches become stupidly impossible.
Spazite and I were discussing on-server that TAM with just the two of us was way too easy; even without the netcode (which is the only reason I can hit things), a 10-1 victory was had -- he was practically alone against 6 bots, if scoring is taken into consideration.

Spazite wrote:
I can honestly say that after a decade of playing I don't recall the weapon view-shake...

It's a boolean in the INI file. Every other server I have played on has it disabled; it makes the playing experience a bit less smooth. Minigun shows this well.

Spazite wrote:
There would need to be a fine balance for newer / older players. However, i don't think I would concern over this until you see what kind of player base migrates over (mainly newer, some older..).

We have a pretty diverse player base when it comes to skill, but I haven't come across anyone undisputably better than myself. The Cemetech UT server has been pretty quiet as of late (nag) but you'll get a feel for the players once things pick up again. Most players I remember have been playing on here for about a year or few. Now that there's a new-to-Cemetech player and forum activity about the server, it should attract some attention towards it.

Spazite wrote:
Maps: I still have a list somewhere around here of many good maps..When I find it I will post the maps worthy of playing if you don't beat me to it!

You're the one with the map list, go ahead and posf it! Smile Map requests would be a good thing to keep confined to a UT2004 subforum. [/quote]
CVSoft wrote:
Spazite wrote:
Redirect for some server files may need to looked into...

This is one of the things that have bugged me about this server since day one -- first joins take an eternity due to unmirrored mutators. I have a kinda-script that compresses all the maps, plugins, etc. in a UT installation folder, and dumps the uz2 files into a folder "compress". I used it to generate the uz2s for my server, and it hasn't had any problems. Cemetech UT's mirror is missing a ton of files, such as pro sniper rifle. This kinda-script can find those files and compress them.

Not too concerned about it, as all the other redirect issues we had were always eventually resolved.


Spazite wrote:
There seems to be a bug which when in spec mode, "join" is blocked out...ok seems to happen when in spec mode after a map change occurs.

I think this is a UT bug, or a 3SPN v3141 bug. I haven't yet narrowed it down to that. Later I might investigate this.

Yea, I believe if memory recalls correctly it was a 3SPN issue.

Spazite wrote:
Since there are newer players here maybe what you suggested above is adequate..I personally would like a harder difficulty

Difficulty can be adjusted in GameConfig entries, thus allowing both easy and hard bots. I found out that there's no way to easily control bot ratio, if at all, in a per-gamemode fashion. My server uses Masterful for its base difficulty, which is perfectly fine for seasoned players but falls into the spawn-and-die category for our newer folks. There's a very wide range of skill levels present at Cemetech UT, and a one-size-fits-all solution could very well not be the answer. I feel if we up the difficulty, we are forced to reduce the bot ratio else larger matches become stupidly impossible.
Spazite and I were discussing on-server that TAM with just the two of us was way too easy; even without the netcode (which is the only reason I can hit things), a 10-1 victory was had -- he was practically alone against 6 bots, if scoring is taken into consideration.

Input from others would be nice in regards to this..After last night I would suspect I could only take about 1 game or so before feeling underwhelmed. But by all means, if bumping up the bot difficulty dissuades players from joining then I would just keep it as-is.

Spazite wrote:
I can honestly say that after a decade of playing I don't recall the weapon view-shake...

It's a boolean in the INI file. Every other server I have played on has it disabled; it makes the playing experience a bit less smooth. Minigun shows this well.

I need to be more observant when smiting swans...I suppose.

Spazite wrote:
There would need to be a fine balance for newer / older players. However, i don't think I would concern over this until you see what kind of player base migrates over (mainly newer, some older..).

We have a pretty diverse player base when it comes to skill, but I haven't come across anyone undisputably better than myself. The Cemetech UT server has been pretty quiet as of late (nag) but you'll get a feel for the players once things pick up again. Most players I remember have been playing on here for about a year or few. Now that there's a new-to-Cemetech player and forum activity about the server, it should attract some attention towards it.

We'll get a multimillion dollar campaign going where we can recruit new players...Pocket change >.<

Spazite wrote:
Maps: I still have a list somewhere around here of many good maps..When I find it I will post the maps worthy of playing if you don't beat me to it!

You're the one with the map list, go ahead and posf it! Smile Map requests would be a good thing to keep confined to a UT2004 subforum.
[/quote]

Ok I cant find where I put my list..I'll hop in the other servers I used to play at and compile another another.
After a long discussion with Jonimus and KermM, I modified a copy of the Cemetech INI and began testing with Jonimus.
I did not change:
  • Deathmatch with no PSR: Apparently UTComp will do this anyways?
  • Necromancy in Player TAM
  • Lower bot ratio at higher difficulty; everyone agrees on this
  • Ammo values are unchanged

I changed these unlisted things:
  • The 3SPNv3141.Freon, Bombing Run, Onslaught, Assault, and Invasion modes have been disabled to simplify the map list

We discovered UTComp is not compatible with the Pro Sniper Rifle, and UTComp prevents PSR from loading. It appears to be an issue with enhanced netcode replacing weapons to allow the netcode to work, and Pro Sniper Rifle cannot be replaced. IMO, we should keep it, as my attachment to enhanced netcode is stronger than that to the Pro Sniper Rifle.

Initial testing is promising, and fixes many issues with the server through streamlining the INI.
I read over the suggestions and here's what I have to say about each of them:

Couldn't agree more regarding the translocator. The bots tend to be a little too handy with it indeed. Let's keep it real and let them run it out without aimbot teleporting.

I'd rather see the pro sniper rifles replaced with lightning guns if it means we can use lag compensation via UTComp. I know it's not about winning; it's more fun when it's fair.

Wormbot would be great. Once you have it, you'll never want to let go of it. Please add this, it's really fun to see what's going on in IRC and it makes sense in a community that uses IRC so much.

Regarding the lag, I really hate the delay I get when I try to do anything and I will not be able to have fun here with it set up as it is now. CVSoft made some great suggestions regarding this in my opinion. I do live on the West Coast and I don't want to see that de-level the playing field.

I don't like challenge mode. I'd rather see people get even matches without handicaps. I like to know how good, or bad, I am. It's not problem against bots, but it's gamebreaking against humans.

I really liked that suggestion about having more ammo. My shock rifle always runs out a bit too quickly. <3 you shock rifle.

It's insanely fun to fly from a well-aimed shield gun boost. It's also more skill-based than the quad jumps, which I'd be happy to see go. I've been playing without quadjump for months now and I find it better.

I hate switching maps to find that everyone started without me. Make it more fun for everyone by using the ready feature.

As for viewshake, it would be nice to see it gone too. Not much else to say that hasn't already be said.

To summarize, CVSoft's suggestions make sense. In my humble opinion, Cemetech UT will be much more fun, which is what matters in the end. I will be perfectly willing to play here and perfectly able to have fun with these suggested changes put into effect.

-Abrum/Crawdad
I rebuilt Cemetech's INI after having repeated issues with the administration functions, and hopefully this fixes the random, frequent crashes in 3SPN-CW. There are two things I would like to know if I can change:
  1. Enable hitsounds in UTComp -- this would affect CTF, VCTF, and DM using UTComp, and is also configurable client-side.
  2. Less friendly fire in 3SPN. Currently it is at 50% forward, which means hitting your teammate does 50% of the damage to them. 3SPN is the only team mode that does friendly fire, and is thus an outlier.
I'm pretty sure we had hitsounds enabled in the past for the 3SPN game modes so that seems fine.
I can deal with turning it down to like 30 but at the same time it discourages the rocket spam on a bit with TAM so I wouldn't say turn it off completely.
There's also the option of reflected friendly fire, which does the damage to you instead of your teammate.

[EDIT] Also, I reorganized the contents of the INI to have the entries be in a logical, workable order (such as having things like 3SPN, UTComp, IRC, and GameConfig entries at the bottom with the useless things like maplists in the middle). This will make future management much, much easier.
*bump* We still don't have 3SPN-CW stats linkage set up; that should get done soon.

[edit] The password is stored plaintext in the INI; I suggest using the IRC password because of this. Plus, if I ever need access (you should be able to get it set up without my assistance) I wouldn't need anything of value.
I've got a group of friends looking for ArenaMaster, and Cemetech is in a location suitable for it. However, the rules are different and require an INI change I can't make from the console. The following GameConfig line needs to be added to the list of gametypes.

Code:
[xVoting.xVotingHandler]
GameConfig=(GameClass="3SPNv3210CW.ArenaMaster",Prefix="DM",Acronym="cAMNG",GameName="Competitive ArenaMaster NG",Mutators="ClanManager1h_6T.MutClanManager,WormbotReporter.MutWormbot",Options="GoalScore=10,VsBots=False,TimeLimit=20,Difficulty=5,bAllowTrans=False")
It is done. Is the major difference that this is not against bots, and is at a higher difficulty setting?
The rules are pretty different than the existing configuration, and I'm working with the players to figure out exactly what they want. So far we've decided on more ammo (how much is still being debated), no translocator, no challenge mode (tamdicap, they call it Razz ), no quadjump, and no shieldgun jumping -- it's much closer to vanilla Deathmatch. I'm implementing this in the global ArenaMaster configuration, and we can move the Cemetech ArenaMaster NG settings entirely into the GameConfig line to permit changing competitive mode values on the fly.

I haven't checked which maps are on the server already, but this is the list of additional maps they suggested:
In the Cemetech Player TAM gameconfig, the Difficulty setting should be changed from 5 to 7, to align with other servers running the same gamemode.
  
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