Archive - 2000

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12/10: Sunday, 10 December, 2000 03:30:23 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

Assholes.


Now I really HAVE to ask: what exactly IS your malfunction? I'm talking to you people who have some desire, some sick need to mess with servers. I'm not even talking about servers that don't do anyone any good like open relay mail servers, news servers that accept posts from anywhere, self-professed spammers, etc. I'm talking about harmless little things like game servers.


I had this faceless little chickenshit prick on one of the UT servers tonight who was using some kind of exploit in the UT message system to pretend he was the administrator of the server. I happened to be logged on at the time and watched him sending messages from "ADMIN:" and when I asked him to stop he started using my name. Rather than get into it I just left. Little dicks (literally) like him need time alone with their diminutive genitalia.


Okay, I get it. You've found a hole in GAME CODE. You've found a way to mess with people through a GAME. You've achieved the h4x0r equivalent of figuring out how the doorknob works. Now like an aborigine who has come across their first flush toilet you can't help but pull the handle and spew gibberish repeatedly. Now let's step back for a second and think about that. When Epic Games programmed Unreal Tournament did they include things like triple DES encryption? Individual RSA keys for clients? Are there hooks in UnrealScript to Kerberos? Did they spend months with a highly-trained security team ensuring that nobody could ever possibly cheat or exploit the game? Is there a highly complex packet filtering system built in? No. Plain and simple. Why? It's a game, a fun little diversion that tries to pull us away from the daily grind for a little bit of otherworldly fun. You've achieved that grand spectacle of being a hair in someone's cheerios. Congrats, you diseased little pube, how does it feel to be such a gaping cornhole? You are the L337 of stupid. Were you expecting a trophy? How about I bronze a corn and peanut ass biscuit for you, you fleck of toejam? May a REAL hacker drain your bank account and write bad checks in your name.


Now, contrary to my fantasy world, I don't get paid for running game servers. In fact, it actually COSTS me quite a bit of money to do it. Why do I do it? Sometimes I really wonder when this bullshit happens. Is the ultimate goal of eunuchs like this nutless wonder to NOT have any game servers to play on? Obviously this urethrally challenged little choad monkey cares enough about spreading his fecal little self across other peoples servers to both have a copy of UT and use it. What is the motivation for screwing with someone who goes out of their way to set up a place for you to enjoy that copy of UT basically FOR FREE?


I swear, it's enough for me to hope that karma actually exists. Rest assured, my little friend, if powers of omniscience and long range telekinesis ever manifest themselves in me you're in for a long life of catching your ball-free scrotum in your zipper, uncontrollable diarrhea for days on end, falling down stairs, flat tires, sewage backups, nosebleeds, toe stubs, and non-stop painful rectal itch. Or maybe I just don't give a shit about a little turd like you and I'll have forgotten about you 10 minutes from now. No-life pudless loser.


-Rhomboid 


11/02: Thursday, 02 November, 2000 04:18:03 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

Pet Peeve Time...


ATTENTION MAPPERS OF ALL FPS GAME TYPES! When you release a map, unless it's totally done and you KNOW you're never EVER going to update it, include a VERSION NUMBER within the name of the map or otherwise rename it so it doesn't match another, probably older, version of the same map on the player's computer. Map version mismatches are one of the most annoying yet easiest to fix problems in online gaming. Just do it! For the love of all that is holy you sick bastards!


No, this wasn't a real update but I feel one coming on. Give it a few days.


-Rhomboid 


08/11: Friday, 11 August, 2000 18:39:28 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

Please be patient with the UT Team DM server, it's been self-lobotomizing recently. I've started to work with the memory dumps to try to figure out why it's rebooting itself. I just love NT soooo much sometimes. If the network card weren't so OS dependent I'd put FreeBSD or Linux on it in a heartbeat.


I turned the SMGN Hunted server (Team Fortress Classic/Half-Life) back on for a bit. I'm thoroughly convinced that the "Hunted" style of gameplay has been ruined by the new eagle-eye, damage-dealing powers of the sniper in the most recent patch. I've played both sides and frankly it's just downright easy to be a sniper now. It's fun for someone like me who has never been great at sniping to be able to outright rule the bodyguards and fatboy (the prez) but just further proof that Hunted is utterly and completely unbalanced now. This may or may not be due to the state of maps at the moment, perhaps they're just too easy for snipers now. Take a step back though and you realize that the maps were designed to the game and if they're too unbalanced in the favor of the sniper it must be the fault of the last major Half-Life patch. I guess if a decision had to be made it probably revolved around the fact that teamplay (i.e. CTF) is mind-bogglingly more popular than "Hunted" style. The sniper fits much better as a class now in the grand scheme of all classes in a CTF game so it's a win/lose.


So, after all that I must decide what is going to happen to the SMGN Hunted-Style TFC server. I've had several thoughts regarding this decision. I've found that I'm playing more and more CTF-style TFC lately so the obvious thing to do would be to just move over to CTF maps and run YACTFS (Yet Another Capture the Flag Server) and just stop worrying about it. I've also had quite a bit of fun recently playing Sven Co-Op late at night. While the mod isn't entirely mature and some of the available maps downright SUCK there are a few standouts that are a blast. I only wish that it were possible at this point to play perhaps the entire single-player game through in Co-Op. I used to run an Unreal Co-Op server and it was a great time. I've also been looking at some other cool-looking mods like Science & Industry and Scientist Hunt. Lambda Arena could be big fun as well. The thing I really need to decide is whether I want to continue on with some form of Half-Life or devote the CPU power to another game completely like Tribes, Q3, UT, etc. etc. I'd be happy to hear some input so if you are aching for a particular server drop me an email.


-Rhomboid

07/25: Tuesday, 25 July, 2000 20:14:55 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

Long time no see...


I've temporarily taken down the "SMGN Hunted Only TFC" server to do a needed revamp of the config. The new Half-Life patch that came out just about ruined the style of play based on "Hunted" completely. Snipers are WAY more effective on such maps than they used to be. The server WILL return, just in a slightly different form. It will still run Hunted maps, a few really good ones, but I plan on mixing in some other non-CTF variants as well. Nothing concrete yet but give it a week and I'm sure I'll be inspired.


One of the game servers is going to be going down sometime in the next week or two as I do some hardware work on it. The game servers that will be affected are: UT CTF, UT Assault, and Q3 Weapons Factory Arena (one of the two WFA servers). I'll post a news item on the home page when it happens.


I've added a Prisoners of War for Q3 server (http://www.bkp-mods.com) due to huge numbers of requests to do so from the old Quake 2 JailBreak community who used to spank around the old SpaceMonster Q2JB server. Check this one out. The maps and the artwork are generally very well done and gameplay is fast and simple. If you like DM with a team-based twist PoW will bake your biscuit. Look for "SpaceMonster PoW" in your game browser. It's a shame this mod hasn't ramped up more quickly, it's a ton of fun.


I finished Deus Ex finally, which was a BIG part of the reason I haven't been online so much recently. What a great game. Not the best I've ever played but I think it firmly takes a spot in my no-particular-order top ten of all time. I can't remember when I've felt more free in a game world. I'm afraid that truly linear games are spoiled for me after Deus Ex, they'll feel like railed shooters (i.e. Rebel Assault) or habitrails after the branching, multi-strategy open-ended blast of Warren Spector's latest FPSRPG. The game has a linear story but X ways for it to unfold at nearly any point. If you liked Jedi Knight, single-player Half-Life, and/or Syndicate in any combination you probably have a 95% chance of loving Deus Ex. Make sure to pack your brain...


-Rhomboid

06/16: Friday, 16 June, 2000 04:09:22 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

Been a while...


The server lineup has changed a bit, there are now two Quake 3 Arena servers running the Weapons Factory Arena mod. I was a big WF fan back in the days of the 1.x and 2.x series of WF. I used to run a couple of servers for it back then but a bunch of stuff happened: I felt the mod lost its focus and grew to appease the llama crowd and the whole time the server code was becoming less and less stable.


One of the things that bugged me about the last few iterations of the Q2 mod for WF was that some classes, especially the sniper, got very far out of balance. By the time the late 3.x versions hit the scene WF had become heaven and haven for LPB snipers. As opposed to the sniper of Team Fortress fame, the sniper was an offensive/attack class that wielded a one-shot kill. Entire teams of snipers were showing up on servers and being LPB's they were just ripping up normal modem players. Mostly being LPB snipers themselves, the new members of the dev team perpetuated this unbalanced design. In compensating for such stupidly powerful classes such as the sniper the other classes soon fell completely into disarray, becoming too powerful or too weak every other release.


I'm pleased to say that one of the best things I've seen in the new WFA is a very balanced set of classes. To their credit it appears as though the current holders of the WF development torch listened and worked with the players (of all classes) to build a game where no one class rules the servers. There are still some fine tuning issues to iron out but the difference between the slipshod Q2WF and WFA is night and day.


Unfortunately there has been a downside to WFA. The server is highly unstable and I usually have to restart one or both servers at least a couple times a day. I have high hopes that this will be worked out soon however. The devs have been far more forthcoming and eager to listen. They respond to bug postings and post updates to forums on their progress as well as responding to email in a reasonable amount of time. Kudos for the turnaround, WFS.


I've received a lot of requests for various servers and mods such as P.o.W. for Quake 3 (a JailBreak clone), Infiltration for UT, and various fly-by-night looking packages. I'm checking them all out when I have the time and I do appreciate the suggestions. There are a few things I would have never known about if people didn't send me such requests.


Hopefully it won't be so long until my next update as it was last time. I've just been getting killed with big fat work projects recently. I need a few days just to relax and play some games. =)


I also made the mistake of getting my hands on StarLancer by Chris and Erin Roberts of Wing Commander and Privateer fame. What a fantastic ride. If your a Space-Sim fan DO by all means pick it up, just be warned it's one of those addictive sort of games that will have you up at 3:30am saying to yourself "just one more mission before I go to bed..."


StarLancer doesn't totally come up aces however, . It makes the same fatal mistake I've seen happening in far too many "otherwise awesome" releases in the last year or two. It does that thing to you where you play 90% of the game through on awesome, action-packed furballs and then you get to the last couple missions and everything screeches to a grinding, "where's the cheats", WTF?, flatten-you-against-a-brick-wall halt. You know that irritating habit many games have recently of making the last two or three levels completely impossible to finish? StarLancer is dripping in it. There's nothing truly original about the last missions or very interesting for that matter. They just stack two missions back to back that must be finished together to succeed the first is easy but takes a good 10 minutes of really BORING flying time in which your biggest goal is to... stay in formation. ZZzzzz.... You then destroy a big ship and head back to your base to relaunch in a fighter and run the second "half" of the mission. No, you don't get to SAVE or anything in between. When you relaunch you're treated to an utterly crappy throw-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink at you beating by some mission designer with an axe to grind. They actually even throw cloaked invisible ships in just in case you're doing well and you think this is the time (really, this time) you're going to save your carrier and move on to the next mission, thank god. When you then lose (and you will, MANY times) you're treated to the previous 10 minute borefest of a mission ALL OVER AGAIN! AAAHHHH! FERFUCKSAKE!


I gave up after the 11th time on this mission and put the CD back in the case and called the game "finished." As far as I'm concerned I finished StarLancer, I just didn't stick around for the reaming and the slap in the face.


The other game that did this that comes immediately to mind is System Shock 2, an utterly fantastic journey into true game suspense and horror. SS2 made me jump in my seat many times and brought real fear and heart palpatations to gaming again, the kind I hadn't experienced since my first late night with DooM. SS2 actually had me taking off my headphones because I felt like someone (or something, heh) was in the dark behind me. Creeeeeeepy! The first time I saw the ghosts on the ship I got genuine spine rattling goosebumps. Alas, the designers couldn't leave it at that. They had to ruin it with the last 10% of the game, an utterly dumbass console-style platform jumpfest with a mosh pit of stupidity in the final "Many" boss's lair. I heard that there was a VR level after that where you fought the Shodan AI from the first game but unfortunately the game ended for me before I ever got there. It went back into the case and I called it done. Why, WHY, do developers have to drop the ball like this in such great games?


-Rhomboid

05/30: Tuesday, 30 May, 2000 18:47:46 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

BOO!


I really am here... somewhere... really...


I apologize for the lack up updates but things got especially hairy this last couple weeks. This is a sorta "placeholder" update to say that I'll make sure to get to an actual update in the next couple days. A bunch of new stuff is online and there have been a few changes to the server lineup - film at eleven... which eleven I'm not quite sure yet. Heh.


-Rhomboid 


05/11: Thursday, 11 May, 2000 19:27:29 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

The UT:Assault and UT:CTF servers are still down. I'm hoping to have this fixed late tonight. Sorry to keep you waiting but my car's been in the shop, I've got a time-sensitive programming project in the works, and it just takes FOREVER to install NT 4.0 on a machine these days with all the patches, fixes, updates, and service packs to download and install.


I'll do everything I can to make sure that the Assault and CTF servers are back up for the weekend. Thanks for your patience.


-Rhomboid

05/10: Wednesday, 10 May, 2000 10:44:32 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

Unreal Tournament CTF and Assault servers are down temporarily.


I've got a corrupted Windows NT 4.0 on my hands and I can't fight it any longer so I'm going to be reinstalling the OS on the server. If the force is with me everything should be back up and running later today. Sorry about this but if you've run NT you know where I am at right now. It was a pretty long-lived install, about a year. Not very impressive for an OS but pretty damn good for Windows NT 4.0.


Side note to developers: Make more Un*x dedicated servers! Make them as a primary design goal, not an afterthought. Put down the Windows and back away...


-Rhomboid 


05/08: Monday, 08 May, 2000 16:55:50 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

I've disabled downloads from the Half-Life TFC Hunted-Only server (a.k.a. fragmonkey.spacemonster.org). I logged on to the server today and there were 14 people connected, 4 of which were actually playing. The rest were all downloading the maps. I've gone out of my way to make links on the homepage, put entries into the MOTD, and even have a message broadcasting every 20 minutes telling people where to get the maps and they still decided to leech-lurk the server while AFK for days at a time. Congratulations, you have succeeded in full-on llamadom.


Things will work out in the end however as HL/TFC doesn't let you download any of the custom WAD files anyway. This means that you won't get the necessary textures for some of the maps if you download straight from the server. It's better if people just get the files via FTP. We've even made it really easy, if you go to our map archive on our own local FTP server everything you need is there.


To make life easier I'll work on getting a live mapcycle reference on the main server listings just like the other TFC server has. Give me a day or two on this one as I've got to jump through some Windows NT hoops to do this. (The other server is FreeBSD *nix which makes it really easy to do this kind of thing, securely no less.)


-Rhomboid

05/07: Sunday, 07 May, 2000 21:01:11 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

I've updated the map rotation on the Unreal Tournament CTF server a bit adding some new cool maps I found. All of the new maps had high ratings on at least a couple review sites and I played each one for 3 matches with bots for testing. I played with 4, 12, and 16 players to get a feel for the different sizes. I specifically looked for choke points and design errors so I'm hoping there won't be any surprises.


The new map list goes a little something like this:

CTF-LavaGiant

CTF-Warrior

CTF-November

CTF-Atje's_Towers

CTF-Command

CTF-HallOfGiants

CTF-Hydro16

CTF-Esprit

CTF-Orbital

CTF-Deck16]|[

CTF-Shiggy

CTF-TwinValley

CTF-Stronghold

CTF-DiamondSword

CTF-Asteroid

CTF-Face][

CTF-Intro


-Rhomboid 


05/06: Saturday, 06 May, 2000 02:14:44 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

A few quick things:


I'm probably going to take the Unreal Tournament Domination server down sometime in the near future to make room for something else. I'm considering several games/mods in it's place, including: Q3Fortress, Rocket Arena: UT, Infiltration (UT), Jailbreak (UT or Q3A). There are also a couple things around the corner that might take over the old UT-DOM processor cycles: Team Fortress 2, Tribes 2.


I finally got around to configuring HTTP downloads for the UT servers (3 down, one to go) and this means that downloads of any custom maps, textures, sounds, and music should come from the HTTP server instead of the game server. The downloads are also compressed and are MUCH faster than pulling them off the game server, REALLY fast. Now there's almost no real benefit to going and downloading the maps off an FTP or Web server somewhere, overall (when you include installation time) it's actually faster just to download them right in the game. I wish ALL other online games that allow custom content had this feature, it rocks!


Last, I updated the map cycle of the UT Assault server - mostly removing unpopular maps and a few good ones with some unfortunate exploits. It's tough balancing the map selection in any game especially for people like me who really LOVE new and different maps. I love when I get on a map I've never played with a bunch of people who have never seen it either. It's fun to be on equal ground in a new and unexplored environment... with high explosive projectiles =).


The new UT Assault Server map cycle is as follows:


AS-HiSpeed

AS-Frigate

AS-Siege

AS-Asthenosphere

AS-Rook

AS-Mazon

AS-OceanFloor

AS-Overlord

AS-Bridge

AS-LavaFort][

AS-Guardia


I still have to get HTTP downloads going on the UT Team DM server - should be done sometime in the next day or so. I'm also planning on a little bit of a map shakeup on DM and CTF, been downloading and checking out new maps for the last couple days. More on that later... lots of crap to wade through first, heh heh.


-Rhomboid

04/25: Tuesday, 25 April, 2000 18:19:27 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

How much fun is it to be a server op? This bozo was actually complaining to all the players that my SERVER was laggy. I especially like the 900+ ms hops to your "L337" cable connection nipplenoggin... JFC, jerkwad, GAFC...


traceroute to 24.141.112.157 (24.141.112.157), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets

1 (server in question) (X.X.X.X) 0.808 ms 0.951 ms 0.671 ms

2 902.Hssi4-0.GW2.SEA1.ALTER.NET (137.39.136.129) 2.334 ms 1.839 ms 2.457 ms

3 104.ATM3-0.XR1.SEA1.ALTER.NET (146.188.200.58) 2.418 ms 2.421 ms 1.805 ms

4 295.ATM3-0.TR1.SEA1.ALTER.NET (146.188.200.110) 2.247 ms 2.500 ms 2.237 ms

5 110.ATM7-0.TR1.TOR2.ALTER.NET (152.63.15.194) 124.341 ms 127.149 ms 126.498 ms

6 299.ATM6-0.XR1.TOR2.ALTER.NET (152.63.128.41) 123.148 ms 124.184 ms 124.179 ms

7 152.63.129.101 (152.63.129.101) 912.941 ms 957.294 ms 137.703 ms

8 209.167.168.66 (209.167.168.66) 130.514 ms 130.042 ms 131.197 ms

9 cgowave-0-49.cgocable.net (24.226.0.49) 129.170 ms 129.061 ms 129.265 ms

10 bb1-fe0-0-0-100bt.busy1.on.home.net (24.226.1.51) 153.404 ms 160.289 ms 166.545 ms

11 10.66.0.10 (10.66.0.10) 167.575 ms * 167.136 ms

12 ubr1.kico1.on.home.net (24.226.12.15) 173.739 ms 177.113 ms 178.459 ms

13 co51610-a.kico1.on.wave.home.com (24.141.112.157) 232.661 ms 172.288 ms 181.227 ms



-Rhomboid

04/25: Tuesday, 25 April, 2000 03:52:51 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

The Hunted-Only TFC stats are on autopilot once again. They are now updated every day at 11:00AM Pacific Time. The cutoff is 5:00AM for each day as far as the stats are concerned. The six-hour lagtime allows for minor explosions and natural disasters to be attended to. Also, I've moved to running a separate stats server to crunch the logs so I don't eat the TFC server's CPU like before. This stats server is only a Pentium 133 so it actually can take a couple hours for the stats to run. Old machines do have a life after all. =)


I'm looking for good map review sites for TFC maps. If you know of one please let me know at Rhomboid@SMGN.com. It's just become really hard to sift through the ever-growing pile of crud to find a few gems. I simply don't have the hours in a day to sit down and run through 30 or 40 new TFC maps. TFC map recommendations are welcome.


-Rhomboid

04/23: Sunday, 23 April, 2000 18:43:00 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

Stats for the Hunted-Only TFC server are (somewhat) working again. I'm running a couple of manual updates right now and I'll be working on getting them "automatic" again next.


I'll probably be switching to running them only once a day, probably some low-usage time like 11:00AM or noon (PST) rather than 3:00AM and 3:00PM like before. There really wasn't much point to twice a day. Also, in the future I'm trying to work it out so that the stats are a 30-day running total with a 30-day moving window going back 30 days from the present day. This will make the rankings more "up-to-date" and hopefully mix things up a little bit.


Shortly I'll be posting updated March 2000 stats which include the logs for the rest of that month that never got added after the stats broke. The April 2000 stats have just been posted for April 1 through earlier today.


-Rhomboid

04/23: Sunday, 23 April, 2000 16:35:36 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

Things may be a bit on the slow side today on the Hunted-Only TFC server. I'm doing some work on it to get stats working again and may have to reboot a few times as well. Sorry about the bumps but it should all work out in the end.


-Rhomboid

04/22: Saturday, 22 April, 2000 06:12:27 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

WOW. Daikatana... kinda, well... sucks. I played it twice tonight and I guess it is supposed to look like that: Entire levels of green with green water and green mist on the green water. THIS took three and a half years? I waited three and a half years to shoot dragonflies and killer wind-up frogs? What the hell is up with "Save Game Gems"? Did somebody audit Irritating Game Design 101? I had to fight through the same crappy levels over again SO many times because I got STUCK on bad brush alignment.


I'd like to take this time to officially announce that there most likely WON'T be a Daikatana server at SMGN. Have a nice day, avoid Daikatana. =)


-Rhomboid

04/16: Sunday, 16 April, 2000 17:04 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

Stats are broken for the TFC Hunted Server. I'm working on getting them fixed but there are some issues I have to work out first server-side and also I'm looking for a replacement for AEstats. This is related to the "server-side" issues =).


I'll be putting up a Rocket Arena:UT server sometime in the next few days. There have been some speed bumps (bugs, patches) since it's release so I just want to make sure it's stable before diving in. Please be patient toward both of these issues, work's been killing me.


-Rhomboid

03/28: Tuesday, 28 March, 2000 0:25 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

After a long drought it looks like we have some decent (if not tasty) new Unreal Tournament Assault maps! Yay! This week the three Assault category winners of the "Make Something Unreal" contest will be added to the SpaceMonster Assault UT Server. The top three Assault maps are:


1) Bridge - Claude Meyer

2) Asthenosphere - Willhaven

3) Crash Site - Ciller


Congratulations to the winners. This is some high quality stuff, keep it up you nutty mappin' fools!


In the process of hunting these puppies down I came across three other good Assault maps which will be making the rotation as well: AS-ColdSteel, AS-Prototype and AS-RotationOfPower. AS-RotationOfPower surprised me. I loaded it up and immediately thought "nope" as it looked like a tiny, simple little map but I didn't yet see the bowels that lurked below the surface structures. Of the five new maps I consider it the "iffyest" but we'll throw it against the wall and see if it sticks =). Splat!


Also, I'm currently working on getting the servers upgraded to UT 4.13. I'll most likely do the hard-core work later this afternoon or early evening (Tuesday) but I'll be making backups tonight so there might be some lag, sorry, but them servers is just so damn busy, heh.


Of course all the maps will be made available for download on the FTP site, ftp://ftp.SMGN.com/epicgames/unreal_tournament/maps.


-Rhomboid

03/19: Sunday, 19 March, 2000 22:45 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

I've adjusted the mapcycle on the SMGN Hunted-Only TFC server slightly by adding three maps. Here is the current rotation:


nml2

cityhunted

cnynhnt

extraction

prezrun

thepres

aix_germantown

hunted

cityhunt

sub_hunt

betrayed

dfhuntv2

hrama11

breakout

urtw


The new maps are nml2, aix_germantown, and dfhuntv2. Naturally, all are available on our FTP site: ftp://ftp.smgn.com/half-life/tfc/maps.


-Rhomboid

03/17: Friday, 17 March, 2000 0:55 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

As promised here's a list of the current map lists on the Unreal Tournament servers...


SpaceMonster Assault:

AS-HiSpeed

AS-Frigate

AS-Siege

AS-Rook

AS-Mazon

AS-OceanFloor

AS-Overlord

AS-LavaFort

AS-Bridge


SpaceMonster CTF:

CTF-LavaGiant

CTF-November

CTF-Command

CTF-HallOfGiants

CTF-Hydro16

CTF-Esprit

CTF-Orbital

CTF-Shiggy

CTF-SOB_forts

CTF-TwinValley

CTF-Stronghold

CTF-DiamondSword


SpaceMonster Domination:

DOM-Cinder

DOM-Gearbolt

DOM-Cryptic

DOM-Ghardhen

DOM-Leadworks

DOM-Olden

DOM-Sesmar

DOM-MetalDream

DOM-Morpheus


SpaceMonster Team Deathmatch:

DM-Phobos

DM-Barricade

DM-Tempest

DM-Morpheus

DM-UrbanArena][

DM-Gothic

DM-Zeto

DM-Conveyor

DM-Deck16][

DM-Morpheus2


All of these maps (and many others) should be available at ftp://ftp.SMGN.com/epicgames/unreal_tournament/maps.


Generally, as I review maps for the server I dump them there if they at least rate a "maybe". I'm still reviewing maps regularly for inclusion in the rotation. I'll post any removals and additions to the servers here as they happen. I'm sorry I didn't get the list up sooner but it's just been one of those killer months...


-Rhomboid

03/13: Monday, 13 March, 2000 21:24 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

Spronk! I'm back... Rhomboid is now a married man, sorry ladies =)


I've been on vacation (honeymoon) for the last week so I'm a bit behind on the email, sorry. I got home to a whopping 70 Megs of the stuff and finally cleared through the hot items late today. If I haven't responded to you it's just because I was so busy with the wedding planning, the wedding, and the honeymoon since about mid-February.


I'd like to touch on a couple of the more common subjects of recent emails to Yours Truly:


Map lists for UT servers - I've heard your cries of pain. We will be doing something about this very shortly. I've had several people want a list of the maps running on each UT server so they can download them ahead of time via FTP rather than in-game. I'll post an update in the next day or so with a list of the maps for each of the servers. After that we'll work on something a bit more easy to maintain and use. Part of the reason I've held off on this is that the upcoming 4.06 version of UT is going to have a built-in feature to directly address this issue and I don't want to re-invent the wheel.


Reservations of UT servers for clan matches - Not happening anytime soon. I've tried to do this in the past for many games/mods but it just isn't feasible for the general public. I'll consider it for friends and people who have proven themselves useful, respectful and conscientious but I'm not going to ride that public bronco again soon. Sorry. Most people were patient and competent but I got my ass burned way too many times. I will revisit this issue if better administration tools appear on the scene. Hint: repeated spamming of my email address with more and more exclamation points doesn't get you on my 'good side' or reassure me that you are worthy of trust. Also: If you find yourself composing an email to me and asking for a "faster" contact method, like ICQ, a private email address, my pager email, or my phone number and I don't know you personally you should just cancel that message right now...


Custom Skins for UT - this is a can of worms that I'm not sure if I want to open. I used to do this for Quakeworld and it got STOOPID, I had over 1500 skins on the server at one point. The problem is that once somebody sees a person running around with one on the server EVERYONE wants their skin on the server. Also, you should probably be aware that many people like the fact that the SpaceMonster UT servers are "vanilla" and not all modded and mutated out. If there is a community-wide effort at making it easy for server ops to keep easily updated I'll be a whole lot more interested in it. People were doing cool things like skin paks for QW that made it easy to just unzip them into the right folder and off you went. They also took the time to try to not include 'cheat skins'. The issue is open for consideration but no decision has been made yet. Stay tuned...


-Rhomboid

02/10: Thursday, 10 February, 2000 1:53 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

I have made the decision to bring down the SpaceMonster Quake 2 JailBreak server. I know the server has a lot of friends and it's well known for being one of the last halfway decent Q2JB servers left on the net so I did not take the decision lightly. The simple fact is that I don't even have Quake 2 on my computer anymore and I haven't played JB in well over 4 or 5 months. This makes it very hard to continue supporting the mod especially with all the complaints I get on a regular basis about people using exploits in JB to crash the server and otherwise cause general misery.


I had waited for serveral months for the rumored "fixed" version(s) to show up but I'm starting to feel like it just ain't gonna happen. To all the great people I've met through running the server, my apologies if you are disappointed. Please understand that I need to focus my energies elsewhere.


There is the possibility that I may instead run a newer version of JB for another game such as Half-Life or Unreal Tournament JailBreak but I'm looking at a lot of different mods and games before I make a decision. I would like to run a version under active development where there is still bug fixing going on. The last few versions of JailBreak (in my opinion) have not been up to snuff. There were some great ideas and for a while I thought there was a light at the end of the tunnel but it dims with each new bug and exploit that pile up and each month passing without a fix.


I have no exact date for termination yet but it will probably go quietly one night in the near future. Thanks again for making the JailBreak server as popular as it has been. Servers ain't nuthin' without the players. =)


-Rhomboid

02/06: Wednesday, 2 February, 2000 17:06 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

My monkey has entered the year 2000, along with the rest of me. Neat.


For my online New Year's Resolution I plan on actually updating my site even if i AM starting a month late, heh. Last July I just kind of gave up on it because we had some pretty grandiose plans on where things were going and they hadn't come together as planned. In addition, I went through a brief period of dealing with some industrial-strength wankers who were making running game servers not so much fun.


I dropped any kind of focused support for the Quake 2 Mod, Weapons Factory. I just really didn't like the way the game was going with each new version. Along with every new release was coming a whole new set of balance changes, whack-ass class modifications, and fun new server crash bugs. I waited over four months for the development team to scrape together a debug version of the server binary so I could actually troubleshoot the problem... it never came. I kept getting bounced between the members of the dev team and nothing ever came out of it. I saw other people having the same problems on the message forums and getting just as ignored as myself. Screw it, no support for me, no support for you d00ds. It is called a gaming community isn't it?


It's all better in the end though. I don't even want to play WF anymore. I feel that the quintessential version was right about somewhere within the WF 2.1 to 3.4 neighborhood, leaning to the former. I don't know WTF they're thinking with the way things started working in the 4.x series and beyond. WF has degenerated into a wank-spanking spamfest of bastard low-pingery. I mean, come on, if half the people in the game are playing sniper you might think sniper has a bit of an unfair advantage? Hmmm? The WF sniper is insane, you can be running full speed, jumping in midair, strafing sideways and STILL kill with one shot? Pass the fucking crackpipe...


I replaced that server (SpaceMonster WeaponsFactory) with a Team Fortress Classic server which has become easily just as popular as the WF server was (for a few months, SpaceMonster WeaponsFactory reigned supreme on the CLQ WF server list as the most popular WF server!) I decided to run maps in the vein of and inspired by the TFC map "Hunted" in which the object is for one player to get from a starting point to an end goal being defended by one team of players and hunted by another. Simple concept, FUN gameplay. I just didn't want to run another TFC server hosting endless games of the 2Fort variety and apparently there are a lot of people who seem to dig the idea =). Besides, if you really need 2fort, chances are it's running on a dozen servers out there right now.


The Hunted TFC server has brought back what I missed after all the llamas out there discovered WF (and joined the dev team, ;-) - a true server community with a tight-knit group of players who are regulars on the server and make it a better place to be by their actions and sense of fun and fair play. Don't get me wrong, we're starting to get slammed by llamas on a daily basis - in fact I'd even lean toward calling some of them weasels... =) - but most visitors to SMGN Hunted-Only TFC are folk of the way-cool variety. (Special props to the Pfeffer homeys, Azrial, Amuck and the other regulars - I could go on but we all know who's who) A lot of the people will actually answer a question if you ask it, show you how to do something if you want to learn, and even give you a compliment for a frag-well-done. It's nice to play on and even run a server that isn't all-day "fuck you" and other creative phrase turning back and forth. It's not nonexistent but much less whining, pissing, and moaning goes on than when I was hosting WF. So, a big THANK YOU!!! to all the people who do what they do to make SMGN Hunted-Only TFC a fun place to go...


On a somewhat related note, I've started a bit of map editing again and actually plan on finally releasing something I've had my grubby hands in for the first time since the days of Duke Nukem 3D. I'll be releasing "Evac3" - a fairly heavy modification of the unfinished map "Evacuate" by Todd "Stagger" Alderman who now works for 2015 (of "Sin: Wages of Sin" fame.)


Todd was super cool about giving me the map source and letting me go with it. I've learned a lot more a lot faster than I ever did going through tutorial after tutorial at various game editing sites for the last year. Seeing a lot of the stuff working (and NOT working, heh) in a real map helps you to understand SO much more about map designing and editing. If you can find map sources and you want to learn, do it. Thanks again Todd, you ROCK!


Since my last update, Unreal Tournament (and something called Quake 3) has hit the market at long last. Naturally, I'm running 4 UT servers of the Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Domination, and Assault varieties. The servers themselves were the victims of some pretty hefty upgrades about the same time. I'm now running Intel Processor Assisted Server NIC's in most of the servers. If you can afford the extra cash for these cards, get 'em - they frigging RULE! They have an onboard Intel i960 processor that offloads much of the network processing from the CPU to the NIC. Impressive shit... and it works too!


There are a lot of neat mods on the horizon for UT and I'm torn about which I'm going to run. In the running are: Rocket Arena (yeah!), Infiltration, and JailBreak. I'm hoping the RealCTF guys, Necrotic Software, have something in the works, I've seen some posts by mouse (RealCTF programmer) in some places that suggest it. So please don't scream at me if magically one day soon the UT Team DM server is all-of-a-sudden running Rocket Arena for UT. ;-)


We're actually really close to getting the new web design up finally. I'm hoping that this will be my last update to the old format. =)


Keep doing unto others...


-Rhomboid

02/05: Saturday, 5 February, 2000 1:57 PST

Category: boidland Posted by: Rhomboid Add comment

A quick bit-o-stuff:


I've set up a Roger Wilco server on SMGN. If you haven't heard about it check out at http://www.rogerwilco.com. In a nutshell, RW allows you to use a microphone with your PC sound card to chat in real time with other users connected to the same server. The protocol is small and fast and barely interferes with most online games as long as you're running a decently fast modem. It's a gas especially during team-oriented online games such as Team Fortress Classic or Unreal CTF or the like. You can stay in realtime communication with your teammates without having to stop and type. In the case of Deathmatch, you can dole out the verbal spankage with an outrageous French accent no less.


Once you get all the bits downloaded and installed point your Wilco at chatterbox.smgn.com. Enjoy...


Oh yeah, the llama would like to speak to J00 L337 d00d.


-Rhomboid

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