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Earlier in chat a discussion about the possibility of a Gaming.SE TF2 server came up. I decided this would be a great way for me to give back to the community as well as help to promote the community in the gaming world. Since I own a small web hosting company I have a few servers at my disposal to setup proper gaming servers. I've created a TF2 server available at tf2.stackgaming.com (I hope SE is okay with that domain name - I don't plan on encroaching on their namespace or anything and will be happy to relinquish it if they see fit). Since I originally set this up with the community in mind I wanted your feedback for various aspects:

  • What mods should the sever run?
  • How many slots should there be?
  • Anything else that is configurable on these thing-a-ma-jigs.
  • Who should have admin powers?

Currently, based on feedback from chat users, the room limit is at 20 24, metamod and sourcemod are installed, there is a MaxClass mod installed to help evenly distribute the players, and a mod to prevent uneven teams. Alltalk is also on for voice so both teams can hear each other.If it would help I'd be glad to post the entire server.cfg file for review (minus the RCON password of course).

As for access, it's a public server available in the public list - though thoughts on creating reserved slots have been exchanged. They boil down to:

  • Collecting, from all those who are interested, their steam ids and adding them to the server's reserved list.
  • Somehow making it so the members of the Gaming StackExchange group would automatically have a reserved slot

In regards to server admin/moderators I imagined the current Site Moderators (or those current site mods who are interested) should likely have admin access - and possibly other high ranking and trustworthy TF2 players on the site.

Ultimately I'm trying to ask: How you do you all want this TF2 server to be setup in order to make it the most fun for you? Pending the success of this setup I may also setup other game servers of popular games played by Gaming.SE users.

  • I hope this isn't too scatter-brained. It is 2:30 in the AM here. – Marco Ceppi Sep 17 '11 at 6:37
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    From one guy awake at 2:30 AM to another, I will say that this does not seem scatter-brained. sage nod – Mana Sep 17 '11 at 6:50
  • Not sure how doable, but you might be able to convince an SE admin to do something like tf2.gaming.stackexchange.com – Nick T Sep 17 '11 at 7:10
  • This is great, I really hope this takes off. In regards to the domain, I think that, as with everything, they'll first ask us to make it awesome and then we'll talk. – juan Sep 17 '11 at 13:51
  • I added the server here , whenever you have the time, we should claim it (we need to change its name temporarily) so we can also add it to this clan I created and also so stats will be tracked. – juan Sep 20 '11 at 16:07
  • @JuanManuel Thanks, I had the old server IP registered but alas it's changed again. – Marco Ceppi Sep 20 '11 at 16:13
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Game mods:

Useful Mods:
MapChooser (plus Rock the Vote and Nominations) - Like it or not, the TF2 built-in map vote sucks. (I personally use MapChooser Extended and MapChooser Extended Sounds, but then again, those are my projects). Note: If you do use a SourceMod MapChooser, make sure you disable the built-in vote via sv_vote_issue_nextlevel_allowed 0

Immunity Reserve Slots - Better than the default reserved slots because they use no extra slots.. Note: It requires the extension from the CBaseServer Tools files (but not the CBaseServer plugin)

Spray Tracer - An admin tool to remove inappropriate sprays and optionally punish users who use bad sprays.

Immunity4Replay - Prevents admins or users from trying to kick or ban the replay or SourceTV bots (which doesn't work any more anyway).

Kigen's Anti-Cheat or SourceMod Anti-Cheat. For obvious reasons. SourceMod Anti-Cheat forked off of Kigen's a while back, but is still in testing releases. Kigen's also requires the Sockets extension.

Fun Mods:
Force Halloween. Turns on Halloween mode, but only when when koth_harvest_event or cp_manor_event are played. This means the Horsemann shows up on Manor, too. Despite saying it's unapproved, this plugin works fine... I found out after it was unapproved that the in-game solution only works if you set Halloween mode before map load for cp_manor_event or else the game crashes when the Horsemann spawns.

Slots:
TF2's maps are balanced with 24 players in mind.

  • I'm reading over the Immunity Reserve SLots description, and it sounds as if immunity is used to determine when to kick a reserved player from the game in favour of another reserved player. Is this correct? – Wipqozn Sep 17 '11 at 10:39
  • I advise you to use the SourceMod anti cheat over Kigen's... It's easier to get help with, and then you aren't having to deal with Kigen.. – Simon Sheehan Sep 17 '11 at 14:01
  • @Wipqozn: It does, yes. However, it only does that if everyone on a server has a reserved slot. It's more for if an admin needs to join a server that has players with reserve slots. – user2974 Sep 17 '11 at 15:29
  • Metamod and Sourcemod are both installed - I don't plan on going any crazier than just plugins for that. I'll take a look at the difficulty for setting up these mods - most likely you'll be hearing from me in chat :) – Marco Ceppi Sep 19 '11 at 1:04
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What mods should the sever run? I'm not too familiar with the mods behind TF2 servers – I think this would be more up Powerlord's alley.

How many slots should there be? No more than 24 – teams of 12 are common on servers, and any more than that breaks the player list when hitting Tab. 24 sounds good to me, but we could even run just 20 or 16.

Who should have admin powers? I think the mods on Gaming that play TF2 should be mods, but also Powerlord and other major TF2ers that frequent chat.

I don't think everyone in the Gaming.SE Steam group should be given a reserved spot since the group is public and all (I'm not even sure if this is possible), but I feel the Gaming.SE regulars who play TF2 fairly often should be given spots.

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    Strongly agree with this entire post. Server size should be 24 players, and due to @powerlords experience already running the servers for OC ReMix, I have full faith in his opinion on mods and ability to be an admin. – Wipqozn Sep 17 '11 at 10:36
  • I'm a mod who plays TF2... but I haven't the faintest about being a TF2 Server Admin. "Mods = Admins" isn't the best delimiter, in my mind. – Raven Dreamer Sep 18 '11 at 13:51
  • @RavenDreamer Perhaps I should have said "...the mods on Gaming should be mods if they feel they would make good server admins." I have faith in our diamond users' judgement on TF2-modworthyness. – Kevin Yap Sep 18 '11 at 17:01
  • @RavenDreamer: Luckily for you the server has SourceMod on it (or so I think), which gives it an /admin commnand you can type in chat to bring up an admin menu. – user2974 Sep 18 '11 at 19:53
  • I've moved the slots up to 24 (TF2 recommends this as the highest number of players on a server). – Marco Ceppi Sep 19 '11 at 1:02
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I'll keep myself to just one request, but it's not a small one. It's replays; they're basically server demos on demand. They're really great for learning the game and what not. Whenever you don't know how somebody just pulled that trick onto you, you can save a replay and watch it over and over again from any perspective and learn it yourself. They're also great for cornering cheaters and showing off your leet skillz0rs.

They do however require setting up an FTP server and some tinkering with permissions and configuration.

  • How could I forget about replays? I'd love to have replays on the server. – Kevin Yap Sep 18 '11 at 20:02
  • Replays are enabled on the server already - if I recall correctly. If not I'd be happy to set them up. – Marco Ceppi Sep 18 '11 at 21:01
  • For what it's worth, I believe that having replays enabled kept crashing my server. It could be our webserver, but I am quite certain that our server crashes more with replays enabled than without. It's something to keep an eye out for, at least – Dave McClelland Sep 19 '11 at 0:14
  • @DaveMcClelland Thanks! I'll keep that in mind when diagnosing issues. As for crashes I wrote a small monitoring daemon that will restart the TF2 server in the event it's no longer reachable – Marco Ceppi Sep 19 '11 at 1:05
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    Now Replays are actually enabled on the server and tested now! Record at your hearts content. – Marco Ceppi Sep 19 '11 at 1:49
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Some type of stats mod would be nice, gives something of a reason to come back and keep getting more points or whatever. HLStatsX, GameME Stats, etc...

  • Thanks for the recommendation, I'll look into getting HLStatsX setup since it seems to be the most popular – Marco Ceppi Sep 18 '11 at 21:02

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