Archive for July, 2005

Hardfought’s new servers, reservation system

By K2 on July 31st, 2005 at 11:54 am EST

Hi gang… had been intending to do this post a few days ago, but I wanted to make sure everything was ready before I posted. Suck. already mentioned IP addresses for the new pub servers; they’ve been up now for a couple days. Anyways, here’s the lowdown…

I decided (with Benefactor approval) to do a major upgrade to the Hardfought game servers. In our current state, running off of one true single CPU per box didn’t leave a whole lot of room for the addition of new game titles without having the possibility introducing laggy performance to every game process running. When we were running BF2 demo on the same box along with the two CSS pubs, we got an idea of where our limitations were at (the high cpu usage bug that Source had at the time didn’t help things either, heh).

So, we wanted to upgrade the hardware, but stay with The Planet/ServerMatrix. It just so happens that The Planet has another branch of its business called Insomnia365 –, who cater specificially to game admins/game server operators/resellers. So while Hardfought was at the CPL this summer, I sat down with their sales manager and worked out a deal to transfer my account over from ServerMatrix to Insomnia365. This transfer includes some significant changes:

    Hardware – dual Xeon P4 2.8 GHz, 15,000 rpm Ultra320 SCSI harddrive, 1GB ECC DDR-SDRAM
    Operating system – RedHat Enterprise 4 (2.6.9-11ELsmp kernel)
    Network – on same network as previously, but located within their newest datacenter

The combination of going from a single CPU to a true dual CPU solution automatically doubles the available processing power per box. Couple that with a much faster harddrive and running linux in console mode, makes for a truly powerful setup. The ping you had before, you will have when the change goes live… in fact you may even see a slight improvement.

So when do we make the official change over to the new servers? Tomorrow… at what time tomorrow I am not 100% certain, all I know is that the current servers will be taken down on August 1st. The new Hardfought CSS pubs are already up and running, ready to be used… the IP’s are and – tickrate 66. There is a slight name change… they will be known as Hardfought and Hardfought II now instead of HF1 and Hf3 (goin back to old-school ways, heh). The server config on both is modelled after the way HF3 is now – stock maps in rotation. I’m getting away from the dust/dust2-only schema. The Mani setup is virtually identical to before, and we’ve also added the PTBx plugin, which is an auto team balancer – it prevents players from joining the winning team if numbers are already even or in favor of the winning team, and it will help prevent team stacking in general. We’ll see how that pans out.

As far as the match server goes – the two CSS private match servers are live now as well, the IP addresses for them are and – tickrate 100. In conjunction with the match servers now is the Hardfought match server reservation system, which was developed by Pyrox420. This system is ready to go, just waiting on Pyrox to adjust it for the new IP’s ;-) Once that happens, you’ll see a link to the reservation page on the left frame here. This reservation system is interactive with the match servers – you make your reservation for say, HF match 1 at 5:00pm on August 3rd, duration for two hours. You also include an rcon and join password of your choosing when you make your reservation. So at the specified time, the reservation process daemon changes the rcon and join password on HF match 1 to what you set, allowing you and ONLY those you have told the join password to enter. Within five minutes and one minute of your reservation expiring, the reservation process daemon will issue a console warning stating that your reservation is about to expire. If there isnt another reservation close to yours, you’ll still be able to stay in the match server, although the join and rcon passwords will have reset back to default (unknown). However, if there happens to be another scheduled reservation soon after yours expires, all players will be kicked from the server at the time your reservation ends (as I am typing this, I think I have a slightly better solution to that – but overall, you’ll never have to worry about a lingering team in the server during your reserved time).

Let me stress this point – the ONLY way you’ll be able to play on the HF css match servers now, is to make a reservation first. The default rcon/join password will never be handed out to anyone for any reason. This ensures that players dont accidentially or purposely crash your scrim/practice/match, and this also keeps me from having to field the X amount of questions I get each week during an active season about what server can used by whom and when and for how long. If a slot is open, reserve it, it’s that simple.

I’ll do a more detailed reservation system post once it goes live – right now I’m just telling you what to expect and a brief overview of how it’ll work. Can’t wait to show off the interface, it’s pretty slick… still needs a few more cosmetic changes but overall it’s real nice. Soooo… be sure to add those IP’s to your favorites, and let your css buddies know where we’re gonna be at now. Lookin’ forward to seeing all of ya on the new machines. See ya gang.