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Friday Night Gamethread

By Shamus
on Friday Jun 19, 2009
Filed under:
Video Games


In case you’ve forgotten, the Twenty Sided servers can be found at:

Sorry I haven’t been around much this week, both here on the site and in the game. The trials and trivialities of non-internet life sometime intrude on my efforts here and I am called away on errands which shall remain mysterious, if only to protect you from the horrifying knowledge of their tedium.

Anyway. How’s it going in Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead? Servers ok? Everyone having a good time?

I am hopelessly overdue in getting some mods in there. It’s entirely my fault. It’s on my to-do list. Hopefully nobody is ruining the place for you.

Comments (50)

  1. TehShrike says:

    I started playing Eve Online :-x

  2. TehShrike says:

    Huh, that smiley looks a lot angrier than my emoticon was.

  3. Scorpionica says:

    Despite your absence, things have been going pretty well on the various TF2 servers. Console (not an actual player) impersonated you at various times, before it became a sentient AI planning to overthrow us all, which was pretty fun.

    There were only a few incidents, but those were usually quickly resolved, with everybody having a good time otherwise. The regulars keep everything under control and keep it from becoming stale, which I applaud them for.

    I haven’t been able to play Left 4 Dead properly, since it’s always empty every time I try (though that may have to do with differing timezones, I’m at GMT+1). Hopefully you’ll be able to join either game soon.

  4. Davin Valkri says:

    A few assholes here and there, one set of which attempted to harass a younger player two or three days ago, but the servers are still generally better in terms of environment than most of the other ones that pop up. The all-talk definitely helps with the friendly environment–it’s like a LAN party where we can’t see each other. (And lets me hurl mock curses whenever an enemy player dominates me…which is frequently. Ouch.)

  5. Neil Polenske says:

    Yeah, Left 4 Dead’s been…uh…dead every time I check up on it. I’m PST, so I dun know how much that has to do with it. I should prolly just go it alone and see who shows up. And I STILL need to fix mah damb mic!

  6. noneofcon says:

    tehshrike: If you need some help with eve, feel free to contact my character, xoth freefall.

    (sorry for the off topic message)

  7. Adeon says:

    As others have said the TF2 servers have been going well. One suggestion would be to install a vote-scramble plugin since unbalanced teams seem to happen quite frequently and that is no fun (I think it’s because there is a wide range of skill levels among regulars).

    Also I think that it might be worth adjusting the map rotation and times a bit. The following are my observations, I don’t know if the server tracks population counts for each map but if it does that would be useful. The server population seems to go down when the 5-cp maps come up. I think that this is partly due to the unbalanced teams issue I mentioned above since it tends to happen partway through a match. I see this happen more on Badlands and Granary than Well but I’m not certain about that. Maybe decrease map length for the 5CP maps and boost it up a bit for some of the others? Personally I’d like to see more of Steel and Gravelpit and less of Hoodoo but it suspect I’m in the minority in this.

  8. crapgame says:

    The servers have been mostly trouble free apart from a couple mike spammers here and there. Perfection would be adding pipeline to lawful and removing all of the CP maps to chaotic.

  9. Rutskarn says:

    Server report:

    For the most part, things have been clean, which is actually a little disappointing. I had finally finished setting up the admin console, and I didn’t even get to test-drive the damn thing.

    Anyway, I have heard reports of a few people harassing the server, particularly a clan named WAM. From the reports, I’ve pretty much taken a shoot-on-sight policy with those guys.

    I did have a suggestion regarding sprays, which I think I already e-mailed to you.

    Also, yes, using the console to pose as a malevolent AI is always good times.

  10. Davin Valkri says:

    To Rutskarn: That’s the group I mentioned that harassed that younger player. They also have a number of collaborators that don’t have the WAM| tag in front of their names, so watch out for them. Further, I believe I have seen either a WAM clan member or one of their equally odious associates on the D20 servers after passing on the reports. If they’ve already been banned, they may be finding ways to get around it.

    To Crapgame: If Shamus is going to add Pipeline to the Lawful map rotation, he’s also going to need to find a way to increase the server map time for only that map. I have yet to play a complete match on Pipeline, as the map rotates by the second stage.

    Also, I’m not sure if this is an admin controllable variable, but in request-to-vote situations, the ballot on the left-hand side of the screen only stays up for a few seconds, then closes. And I can’t get it to come back up to make my choice.

    Final comment: A number of players complain that the two servers are very laggy and that Shamus hates us (I blame my own connection, myself). Does this have anything to do with the fact that the Chaotic server is apparently in New York and the Lawful server in New Jersey?

  11. Inquisitor says:

    I’d like to see the servers with a mod that automatically records sourceTV .dem files, so if someone want a video of a really good run they had or hard evidence of major griefing, that’d be there.

  12. JoeFF85/Skitzophrenik says:

    Steam has been continuing to suck a big hairy sack for me, but I picked up Ghostbusters, so really I wouldn’t be playing on Steam anyway. DRM = crap. Broken installer = crap. Game = amazing.

  13. Sone/CoarseSand says:

    I guess it’d be time for me to drunkenly stumble into the TF2 server then. It’ll be a nice break from modding every recognizable feature out of the Oblivion GOTY edition I just bought on Steam.

  14. RPharazon says:

    I’ve been having fun on the servers. They’re certainly my new “regular” servers. (You may know me as Kwisatz Haderach or Artemis).

    Just a suggestion though. Less Hoodoo. It’s kind of unbalanced and funky. The first stage is usually never a problem for Blu unless Red is a very good, very coordinated team. Going through that stage is just pretty much a formality.

    The second stage is mostly where the map is decided. Good Red teams hold Blu off right at the first checkpoint, usually with a big engie camp in that overhang, or with very good sniper/heavy support. Moderate Red teams seem to do fine holding people off right before the point cap. It’s very hard for Blu to get that cap in time.

    Unless, of course, Blu is good enough to completely roll the Red team. Usually, if they can get through the second stage, then the last stage is just pretty much a formality and a foregone conclusion, unless Red suddenly gains talent.

    It’s quite an odd map, and about 90% of the time it’s on the second stage. In conclusion, I don’t like Hoodoo and I don’t think it’s balanced. Then again, payload maps aren’t really my forte, so you can ignore my complaints.

    Last note: Maybe make payload maps rotate in every two cp maps, or maybe even an alternating 2cp-payload-1cp-payload rotation? Right now it feels like the servers are pretty much payload-centric. Exclusion of Hydro and Arena maps make this feeling even more dramatic.

    Again, just my banterings about payload in general.

  15. Ian says:

    @ JoeFF85/Skitzophrenik

    At least you can buy Ghostbusters. Since Sony grabbed exlclusive rights to all versions in Europe I can’t legally buy it here yet except for PS3 or PS2 and I don’t have them.

    We have to wait till the psp version is finished and released in August and then some time after that the other versions get shipped. Weasel tactics fo the highest order from Sony there.

    And to keep vauguely on topic. I’ve played an hour or so on Lawful and enjoyed it. But the times I tried Chaotic it was empty and all my waiting just netted me two people. I susspect people are more often waiting in line for lawful.

  16. Carra says:

    Last time I joined, the servers were disconnected from steam. But seeing from the other threads that’s probably fixed.

  17. GnomishMight says:

    I agree with RPharazon. HooDoo is the new 2Fort: There are those that love it, and those that absolutely despise it.

  18. Simply Simon says:

    The only problem I have is that the servers are usually empty when I try to join them.

    But other than that everything is going quite well.

    And it’s interesting to see that other people here play eve as well.

  19. Lochiel says:

    @ Eve Players:
    If your new and looking for some help, feel free to contact me in game.

    I almost posted my corps Diplo channel, but then I remembered what happened when people started sharing SteamIDs; so I’ve created a channel instead.

    Char Name: Lochiel
    Channel: d20

  20. Lochiel says:

    @ Eve Players:
    Dammit, I typo’d when I created the channel, and failed to realize my fail. So someone else has created that channel already. Which is cool. But if you add me as a channel mod I’ll keep the MotD up to date with infos and stuff.

  21. edcalaban says:

    The L4D servers seem to be empty a great deal of the time, but they’re fun when we get people. Is there a way to fix it jumping straight into a game when you join it empty?

    As to the tf2 servers, both are a lot of fun. I know I’m with the others above when we’ve seen some trolls and griefers online (the one that comes to mind was looping music constantly), but with the all talk we’re usually able to work around them. In one case we’ve managed to turn it into a game of hunting down the griefers with spies getting aid from that teams medics. Good fun!

    Re the ping: I’ve never noticed a serious problem (occasional lag spikes) and several people have expressed delight in the low pings while on our servers. Maybe it’s a timing deal? We should pay attention to when these things happen.

  22. Stonebear says:

    I love the tf2 servers, the times I’m on (and they tend to be odd times indeed) usually has a nice sized group on. Personally I actually prefer chaotic because of how open it is to silly matches, but both servers have a great community going on and a friendly open atmosphere.

    My main computer is rather laggy, but I seem to have quite a bit more luck still playing on your servers then finding random search ones.

  23. Phase says:

    Yeah, sometimes things go awry and a couple of people who try to ruin the game barge in, but they’re usually taken care of pretty quickly.

    One guy was a douche, so we spent the whole round trying to kill him.

  24. Doctor Noob says:

    @RPharazon: Your description of Hoodoo is pretty much spot-on. Except that I disagree with your conclusion; I really enjoy the second stage cap fight, on either team.

    I do agree with those who say there’s a bit too much Payload on Lawful, and the map rotation could use some more CP (or even CTF-that’s-not-2fort). More cp_steel would be thoroughly welcomed (it’s a great map when you’ve got full teams), but really more variety in general would help.

    As to the 5-CP maps: all my worst experiences on the d20 servers have come on these, when one team just steamrolls the other. A couple days ago I had to warn a friend off from joining our game, since our poor RED team was getting crushed on Granary: we lost 6 matches in a row without one single cap to show for it (I think we might have captured back our base, once… but we never capped the middle point, for sure). It’s simply not fun. It’s not even fun to be on the other team when that happens; I’ve been there, too. When this happens, people usually call for a RTV (and I join in), but it never seems to succeed, which leads to people fleeing the server in droves. Perhaps the RTV threshold is too high? I’m not really sure what variables you have at your disposal to tweak, but when the 5-CP maps get unbalanced it can really take the wind out of a server.

    Other than that, it’s been good times everywhere. Well, good times and failed Ubercharges. Lots of failed Ubercharges. And dead Medics. Someday I will learn the secret to the Ubercharge. Sigh.

  25. Rutskarn says:

    I do have a post that indicates why spray indicators are necessary. It’s kinda long, though.


  26. SatansBestBuddy says:

    Cool, I just realized those banners are real time stats.

    I thought they were jpegs. :P

    @edcalaban: That might have been me, I was looping music a lot cause I was so happy to have found a way to share my music with everybody in the game.

    Took me a while to figure out that I wasn’t playing with my friends who would have like the music and that people were getting pissed at me because of it.

  27. hevis says:

    Only problem I have with the servers is my 150 ping. Only reason for that is the goddamn Atlantic Ocean between me and the servers… Luckily it’s still not unplayable, as it would be in some other games that need greater precision. Another issue is that very often the teams are really unbalanced. Some kind of auto team balance after every round or so would be nice.

    Edit: There’s one thing more to say. More CTF. Yes, they are camper’s paradise and such, but there’s no fortress that some ubercharged heavy or two can’t crush in seconds. The reason your own team doesn’t win isn’t that enemies are camping. It’s because your own team does it. I’ve had sooo many fun moments in oh-be-damned ctf_2fort..

  28. Pickly says:

    From what I’ve played of 2fort and such on chaotic, the post above mine does seem to match how those games have gone.

  29. Phase says:

    Oh, I also love the ping the servers give me, it’s like they’re down the street or something, which they might just be!

  30. Davin Valkri says:

    To Phase: Depends on where you live. I can assert with reasonable certainty (with the help of an online IP address locator) that both servers are somewhere in New Jersey. It also explains why my ping acts up even when my connection is reasonable.

  31. Jabor says:

    Wait … you guys consider 150 ping to be horrid?

    Here in New Zealand, 150 would be “lightning-fast”. My average ping to any server in the States is in the 300’s, on a good day.

    And I still manage to hold me own, even while sniping.

  32. Saph says:

    I’ve actually bothered to grab the headset from the family pc, when I play on the servers, and I didn’t even do that for some GvG’s or HA matches in Guild Wars, heh.

    Also, I’ve been getting significantly higher scores whenever Shamus himself isn’t around. Less pyro’s = me happy.

  33. Mantergeistmann says:

    I’ve been getting under 50 ping here (Eastern PA), and I love it.

    @ Doctor Noob: I couldn’t agree more about that. Getting rolled (or rolling) seems more prevalent on the 5 CP maps than the others. I still like those types of maps, don’t get me wrong, but some kind of team shuffling would come in handy every now and then.

  34. Jabor says:

    @Shamus: It’s all about leading players right. Once you’ve got a feel for your latency, it just feels natural to play like that.

    I always get steamrolled in Instant Action gamemodes with bots, because my shots keep going in front of them.

  35. Volatar says:

    Saph: I hadn’t been playing much TF2 until friday. I am a major Pyro player, I have got to get back in the game on the twenty sided servers and kill you more :P

    Also, Jabor, sniping with 300+ ping? You deserve many, many cookies.

    I feel bad now, I get 30-35 ping to the server :)

    I shall see you all around I guess. I am a big Pyro fan, yes, but I have been experimenting with other classes, and if you all really, really want me to not set you on fire… I might be nice enough to listen :)

    Oh, and EVE! Oh man, I remember that game!
    I played Eve for 2 years straight a while back. I still hold to the opinion that it is the single best MMORPG out there. I only wish I had the time and money to play it. :(

    Feel free to chat with me on XFire if you want to reminisce about that old days. Back when 0.0 was young, back when BoB still ruled. Back when BoB killed ASCN in cold blood. (Yeah, thats how long ago I played :P)

    Or we could just chat :) I’d like to hear about how Eve is these days.


  36. Rutskarn says:

    Heck, Jabor, if you used the Huntsman, you’d have to do a 180 every time you wanted to have a chance of hitting something.

    I’ve discovered a truth that I really should have stumbled on by now:

    Team Fortress 2 is a great game…unless you’re in a bad mood you want to see less of. In which case, the jacktards you’re going to find are not going to be the salve for your wound.

    Left 4 Dead Co-Op is different…at least, on the 20-Sided server.

  37. Fred Christ says:

    Well, let me just say this about Twenty Sided Lawful. I found it first, and I found this site through it. So, you’re obviously doing something right. Though I pretty much despise Steel (mostly because I’m not familiar with it), the maturity of player is significantly higher on average than your typical TF2 server.

    Definitely keep the All Talk. I like being able to congratulate Krafty for pwning me (time and time and TIME AGAIN!)

    I’m definitely with most people that more payload (except Hoodoo) and fewer CP maps (or at least less time on those maps). With the CP maps, if one side is more than marginally better than the other, they typically run roughshod over the other team in no time flat…and if it’s reasonably matched, it’s a stalemate. Which is good for me as a Medic in that I might finally get that 10000 points healed in a single life achievement, but can really become drudgery after a while.

  38. FTR says:

    I’ve been playing from the UK and had no problems. Good banter going on, which has convinced me to finally get a mic

  39. Rainmaker, the gray says:

    Hi to all.
    Well, here in Argentina my regular ping is around 180. I know it kind of sucks, but i don’t experience any problems regarding gameplay (at least not that i am awre of…).
    About the game, it is great. It’s the first time i play online form my house, and now with my new 32″ LCD… wow, i just can’t believe it!
    Anyway, thanks for the servers. I started playing TF2 two weeks ago and i am having a lot of fun (though I usually am within the last 4 places in my team…). Everyone is really nice, and some of them are quite funny.

    Shamus: whenever you talk again about piracy I would like to make some comments about it. I would like to give you the insight on the “problem” here in argentina. I do not want to go offtopic here.

  40. Hzurr says:

    I’m really enjoying playing TF2. I’m not great at it, but the people are friendly (even while beating me like a red-headed one-legged stepchild). I can’t ever seem to find people on the L4D server (which sucks, because I’m stuck playing with random people). I’m Central Standard Time, so not certain why there’s never anyone on.

  41. Volatar says:

    I think that no one is ever on the L4D server because no one is willing to wait. I would love to play L4D, but can only do so from about 5-9am EST :P

  42. Adalore says:

    As Davin has said, a few idiots have been resolved it seems…

    Doesn’t help that they were poking MY sister mayberry… GRrrrr….

  43. Adeon says:

    Yeah, unfortunately females on the internet do seem to make idiots even more idiotic.

  44. Winter says:

    Yeah, uh… you should see what goes on in some other servers. I joined the 4chan server once. I was greeted with six or seven players’ micspam files playing simultaneously in a loop. Sure, i could have muted them… but…


    I should steal “Arbiter of Fun” (from Rustkarn’s linked post) as a user name/tag :P

    In addition, i’m still pushing to take hoodoo (and some of the other maps, but hoodoo has become my #1 hate on the 20 sided servers) off the rotation. Or at least add more pl maps so it comes up less often. I’ve just started bailing whenever the map comes up, which is quite often.

    Also: it seems the Lawful server is laggy. Like, all the time. Sometimes worse than others, but it looks like it has to do with the server not having enough cpu power for it. (This may have been fixed–i’ve not been playing all that much recently.)

  45. Scorpionica says:

    Some variety in pl maps would be welcome (Hoodoo should be taken away and shot, multiple times), or at least a few more maps in between them. Payload race (pl_pipeline) was fun the few times it was on, even with little coordination in between, but the same goes for Steel (which has become more and more familiar). Maybe a single arena map on Chaotic? I guess that’s the fun part about experimenting with such a large audience.

    The only moments of lag I’ve experienced were the moments when Steam disconnected from the server, normally I’m cruising with 110~ ping. However, for those who have persistent lag spikes, try to adjust ‘cl_updaterate’ and ‘cl_cmdrate’ in console, as well as ‘rate’, if there’s no other bottleneck on your system (and if location isn’t an issue).

    This seemed appropriate as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=639y7fweUBg

  46. Davin Valkri says:

    To Winter: Muting them might not even stop them. Some idiot who uses the handle “Dr. Horrible” used to micspam the D20 servers before Rutskarn nailed him (I was in the scout helo!). And somehow he could get his voice-spamming through even after I muted him. Other players experienced the same phenomena. He also appears to wander a [reddit] server, which I know you frequent, so watch out for him. Imbecile.

  47. Volatar says:


    I was there, it was rather bad. Three mic spammers were on the server simuntainiously, but Dr Horrible was the worst, and as said, he somehow was able to bypass the muting. If unmuted and muted again, he remained muted for a few minutes more before getting through again. It was really weird.

    On a different matter, the d20 servers are currently disconnected from the steam servers. This denies us all our unlocked weapons, statistic tracking, and achievements. I believe all that is needed is a restart, could that be done please?

  48. Mantergeistmann says:

    So I was just on lawful… it was, shall we say, out of hand, what with mic spamming, less-than-civilized comments, and so forth. Actually reminded me of when I used to play counterstrike.

    So I went over to chaotic, and had about the most fun I’ve ever had, thanks to all the “single-class only” matches. So. Much. FUN!

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