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  #1  
Old 03-13-2009, 06:13 AM
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Valve helps players and admis connect.

You can always tell who cares more for their customers and Valve is one caring developer and publisher. You know the one's who always seem to release fixes rather quickly, offer tools that actual help and provide support long after a game is released.

They have come up with a very cool way to help rank TF2 servers so you, the client can find the better ones.
After kicking around some proposals, we came up with a simple system built around the theory that player time on a server is a useful metric for how happy the player is with that server. It's game rules agnostic, and we can measure it on our steam backend entirely from steam client data, so servers can't interfere with it. We already had this data for all the TF2 servers in the world, allowing us to try several different scoring formulas out before settling on this simple one that successfully identified good & bad servers:

  • New servers start with a score of 0 points
  • Each time a player connects to a server, it loses 15 points
  • For each minute the player stays on the server, it earns 1 point (up to a max of 45 points per player)
In short, servers that have lots of players joining & leaving rapidly will score badly. Servers that consistently have players join and stay on for long periods of time will score well.
I guess they have a money tree and can turn coal into diamonds to support the 500K employees that is needed to provide quality support for all their games and services over a long periods of time... wait, you mean they don't have that many people working for them? How the hell do they do it? You say a passion for their games and a lot of , what do they call it... oh it's called talent. Who would have thought that, surely not 98% of the other game devs out there.

Head on over to the Team Fortress page to read more and see some cool TF2 inspired graphs.
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:54 AM
Misnomer Misnomer is offline
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I see you have reached that point Rudedog where you are faced with the reality that Valve is doing what we all want, just not on all the games we want. This leaves you with two choices.

A.) Become a fanboy of Valve and Valve games.

B.) Be pissed at all other developers for not getting what is so obviously amazing about Valve support.

I see you are leaning towards B. I like to mix it up and do a little of both.



I like the rankings, but you know that eventually they will find a way to spoof it. Bound to happen.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:24 AM
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Busterking Busterking is offline
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Lets start a petition requesting that Valve buys the COD series.

That would be a dream! Finally great support!
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:29 AM
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Misnomer is right this system will be abused within a few weeks, and they will have to scrap it or rework it. I give them the props for trying, but what are they gonna do? Not long ago they added the blacklist, but I think the problem most players complained about was the fake player mods.

I didn't think it was that big of a problem, and figured most people had favorite servers that they played in and never really cared to go server hopping. I guess that is just me.:confused:
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:52 AM
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This is a very bad idea. There was a post on the hlds_linux mailing list about this, that has started a nice firestorm. Here is the post:

Quote:
I'm a bit worried about this new server delisting system.. I see a few
issues:

A) Every major GSP (a large portion of the servers) reuses IP addresses
between different clients. It's entirely possible (and very likely)
that someone is going to get their server delisted, then request that
their IP be changed, leaving the next client to deal with that. Are
these delistings permanent?

B) It's not said if one client can effect the rank of a server multiple
times? Can I retry to a server over and over to effectively delist it?
This *will* be exploited if it's possible, there's no doubt in my mind.

C) Is it possible to tell if a server's been delisted? If not, how can
we possibly tell the difference between an error causing the server to
not appear on the list, and a delisting? I'd recommend using A2S_PRINT
messages to at least give the server some indication that they have been
delisted.

D) Does getting kicked/banned from a server effect it's position? There
are a number of server plugins that kick players shortly after they
connect for various reasons, (ex: Steambans, Sourcebans, various other
banning plugins). Are servers going to be negatively effected because
they kick bad clients?

E) I'm a bit nervous about trusting the client to report bad servers...
seems entirely possible malicious clients will just send fake data to
cause problems with servers. You can see the problems that trusting
clients with achievement data caused..

Overall, this seems like a decent solution to the fake servers, but I'm
really worried about this causing more problems then it fixes

- Brian "devicenull" Rak
I 100% agree with this.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:25 AM
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Don't like this idea at all. Understand Valve is trying but this is just a bit creepy and open for abuse. If you connect to a crappy server just don't go back. Why do you need someone to tell you what is good or bad. The ranking I could care less about. They can have at it but the delisting of a server in a browser by outside forces ....

A simple fix would be for Valve just to give a right click in the browser so someone can hide a server from listing IN THEIR BROWSER ONLY, sort of an unfavorites list.
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:14 PM
Misnomer Misnomer is offline
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Well. I think this is going to be odd no matter what, I don't think it is exactly a horrible idea. Let's face it, most people pick their servers on Ping and # of Players above all.

I can say that a fair number of the most populated servers are absolute crap for me most of the time. So I tend to build a list of favorites anyway. Still, what shows up in the list is a big problem for admins.

COD4 turns does not show mods by default. This causes problems, BF2 filters ranked by default. This causes problems. The TF2 separate tabs for mods caused problems. Filtering empty causes problems.

People want other people to play on their servers. People will not play on servers they do not know exist. This is just a fundamental problem of everything. Any step Valve takes to try to help players find the servers they would prefer, is an experiment worth doing.
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Old 03-13-2009, 03:07 PM
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They could do what other developers do which is do nothing towards trying to help improve a game.
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  #9  
Old 03-13-2009, 06:42 PM
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While I like the idea of Valve at least trying to do something for their customers, both clients and admins.

I will admit it could go down hill and be exploited but they are doing a hell of a lot more then anyone else.

I would really love to see someone else give Valve a run for their money but as we can see know one else gives a shit about us the customer.
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