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 – http://www.insomnia365.com, 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 70.86.46.2 and 70.86.46.3 – 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 70.86.47.138 and 70.86.47.139 – 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.

New Server IPs

By Suck. on July 29th, 2005 at 6:54 pm EST

Heya, wanted to get something up to give people as much notice as possible. Our new servers are up and running now. As of August 1st, the current IPs will no longer be viable, and our servers will be based solely at our new host. Our new IPs are:

  • 70.86.46.2:27015 – Hardfought – [Stock maps – FF is ON]
  • 70.86.46.3:27015 – Hardfought II – [Stock maps – FF is ON]
  • I’m sure K2 will add additional info in a more comprehensive post, but I thought I’d get the word out in the interim.

    Battlefield 2: Special Forces

    By Suck. on July 14th, 2005 at 10:42 am EST

    EA games has announced the expected release of a BF2 expansion pack – Battlefield 2: Special Forces. You can find the full story as reported by IGN here: Battlefield 2: Special Forces First Details.

    Pulled the plug on the Hardfought BF2 server

    By Suck. on July 12th, 2005 at 11:46 am EST

    As none of you may have realized, we’ve killed the BF2 server for the time being. It was a waste of resources, especially with the massive memory leak in the 1.01 patch, and there’s no visible light at the end of the tunnel. The resource usage would have been acceptable if the server was populated, but it hogged nearly as much while empty, which was most of the time – kinda’ hard to justify.

    Our BF2 demo server was in the top 30 most played Demo servers, so what happened? Most of you are probably aware of this, but for the sake of those who aren’t familiar: Just days before BF2 retail hit the shelves, EA sprang the suprise of locked weapons which could only be accessed by copious amounts of time spent playing on “ranked” servers. The requirements to become ranked are extremely strict (read: ethically suspect), but the end result is that unranked servers are sitting empty while the ranked servers are packed 24/7.

    We’ll find a better way to use that server capacity, and it doesn’t appear that Hardfought BF2 will be sorely missed.

    Samurai Legends closed beta

    By K2 on July 9th, 2005 at 9:12 pm EST

    Hey gang… well I know I said I wasn’t gonna post again until I got back to Hawai’i. However, Widowmaker contacted me, said that the Samurai Legends closed beta was ready to go, soooo… went ahead and set up a beta server yesterday and have made the client install file available for download here via the ‘Files’ section here on the site. No secret, as the files has already been downloaded over a thousand times in a 24 hour period, and we now have something like four hundred new registered users on the msgboard now, hah. Just needed to do the whole official news post thing, so new people coming here will see info that’s important and pertains to the closed beta that they may not see on the msgboard.

    First off – it’s early beta folks. There are going to be bugs and issues with the game. All of you that are downloading the game and playing it are, for all intents and purposes, beta testers. In that respect, I’m pretty sure that the team at the SMU Guildhall who made this would like to hear back from ya regarding any kind of issues, bugs, and exploits that might have made their way into the code. Any other constructive feedback, such as the look/feel, how that might be improved, maybe some new content, etc… that would probably be appreciated as well. The best place to do that is at the Samurai Legends official website – http://www.samurailegends.com – they have a forum there specifically for feedback/bug reporting. I’ve already posted a message regarding server-side bugs/improvements, hoping to see all of you playing do the same in regards to gameplay, etc.

    Downloading the beta files – you have to be registered on the msgboard forum here to have access to the file. I have the total available bandwidth capped at 2mbit/sec and 100 users total. It was capped at 1mbit/sec until just recently… I know some of ya have been having issues getting the file to pull down from so many people trying to get it at once, so hopefully that increase in bandwidth will help ya out some.

    That’s all I got for now folks. Me and JimrockFord are gettin’ ready to leave the CPL for good here. As far as the CS:S tounrey goes, it’s now down to PowersGaming vs. Upper for the overall finals, should be an interesting match up. See ya soon…