Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one time

All things BZFlag - no [OT] here please
TheAssassinOfTheGeno
Private
Private
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:21 pm

Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one time

Post by TheAssassinOfTheGeno » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:58 pm

title

User avatar
dang dizzy white
Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:30 pm
Location: Flowery Path Twelve

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by dang dizzy white » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:17 pm

I wouldn't know if this is a troll or serious question, but it is pretty simple: the game is not that active any more.
Mainly only the veterans play on it, or those new players who are not completely lazy and don't have zero experience.
Why did I say lazy and with no experience? Because people nowadays just like to make two clicks to play an online browser game, or download and start playing by double-clicking. BZFlag is not quite like that.

User avatar
yosef
Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 2:00 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by yosef » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:54 pm

Oh the dumbing down of the audience. Other game forums bemoan the same thing.

Coming from other games, there's no leveling up. When I first started playing BZFlag, this didn't register anyway. BZFlag is almost entirely about skill. Some take a month or two to become good players; it took me four years.
--9/12 Taking an extended break from this beloved game to return to RL. Look for me at the starbow's end...

tbe
Private
Private
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:00 pm

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by tbe » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:21 pm

you are good but could be better

you want to fight? fight with me!

one to one

man to man

chhhshhhhingggggggggggggg

User avatar
dang dizzy white
Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:30 pm
Location: Flowery Path Twelve

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by dang dizzy white » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:42 pm

Being "good" is only the general understanding of position you are in on the radar at all times.

How good you are is mainly divided by the type of map.
HiX and Duc for example require skill, while The Two Tanks - Laser Sniping or such require good tactics.

All in all, I doubt being good/bad is the main issue here.
People suck at other games too, but don't leave them. They stay and get better.

User avatar
yosef
Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 2:00 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by yosef » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:25 am

tbe wrote:you are good but could be better

you want to fight? fight with me!

one to one

man to man

chhhshhhhingggggggggggggg
Some time.
HiX and Duc for example require skill, while The Two Tanks - Laser Sniping or such require good tactics.
I fail to understand the difference.
--9/12 Taking an extended break from this beloved game to return to RL. Look for me at the starbow's end...

User avatar
dang dizzy white
Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:30 pm
Location: Flowery Path Twelve

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by dang dizzy white » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:22 am

Sub wrote:
yosef wrote:HiX and Duc for example require skill, while The Two Tanks - Laser Sniping or such require good tactics.
I fail to understand the difference.
Allow me to explain.

For HiX and Duc, you require drill and keeping up to some limited styles of battling.
At other flagged maps though, it might be even harder. At any point, you must know your position, and how does that position help you with your current flag. You have unlimited number of paths to choose in order to get the kill, and whether you'll get it or not swings to the side whether your position and flag-usage is correct.

Of course, every map requires at least a little skill (Rico, multiple shots fired economically, jumping only when 100% necessary, side-jumps, etc.) but not in that big of extend - on maps where tactics bring the win, your own style brings you to the top, while at skill maps, it is the better execution of the already-existing styles and tricks + reaction time that does.

User avatar
Para_Shooter
Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 3:47 am
Location: AZ

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by Para_Shooter » Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:28 pm

I too have wondered where all the players have gone. I love playing BZ, but it's a lot more fun when there are multiple games going at once with enough players to make them viable. In particular, at least one good team game and one good FFA game - but ideally, at least two or three of each, so that when I join, I have a choice about where to play, and whether FFA or team game. Both are fun, but sometimes I want one vs. the other. Alas, nowadays, there is often only one viable game up, so... I play it, no choice (but still fun).

The question in my mind is, BZ is a world-wide game with many variations - maps, game types, and even the specialty games (driving tests, racing, etc) that people have built over the years... so, for people who like this type of first-person shooter action, where have they gone? What other games are there out there that would provide the same type of enjoyment, group/team action and camaraderie, etc., that would draw from the same pool of people like me, who like this type of game? Are there other open source games that people are gravitating to, or is it the WOW-type RPGs which, although not free nor open source, supply a similar, and similarly world-wide team-based combat simulation in a first-person view, action-based and with multiple weapon types?

Admittedly, it does take a lot of playing and dying a lot to learn to play BZ well enough to stay in positive figures, let alone excel, but I learned from every spectacular death, and that's some of the fun for me still, watching someone execute some new/amazing shot or maneuver to take someone down... even if it's me. And, I love that there are SO MANY maps, and more come along from time to time.

The fact is that if I start playing in one of the older, unoccupied maps, some others will eventually join in, because even with only one player, it instantly moves the map to the top 3-5 maps on the list. If you pick an old favorite, very often it will revive and people will play in it for a while. But that is always taking players away from the other 2-3 maps which are in any kind of serious use at the moment, alas. What we need is marketing - a Superbowl ad would do the trick, for instance. Do you think they'd donate the 30-second spot pro bono publico, since BZF is non-profit? B^)
All your base are belong to me, make your time.

WorldOfTanks23
Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:27 pm

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by WorldOfTanks23 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:23 pm

BZFlag is dying because of the overzealous administrators.

User avatar
dang dizzy white
Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:30 pm
Location: Flowery Path Twelve

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by dang dizzy white » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:06 pm

Godson2 wrote:BZFlag is dying because of the overzealous administrators.
On the forums, maybe. However, those in-game are awesome.

User avatar
blast
General
General
Posts: 4730
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2003 3:49 pm
Location: playing.cxx
Contact:

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by blast » Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:38 pm

Godson2 wrote:BZFlag is dying because of the overzealous administrators.
Says the player who spams homophobic and abusive chat on game servers...
"In addition to knowing the secrets of the Universe, I can assure you that I am also quite potty trained." -Koenma (Yu Yu Hakusho)

Image

WorldOfTanks23
Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:27 pm

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by WorldOfTanks23 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:42 pm

blast wrote:
Godson2 wrote:BZFlag is dying because of the overzealous administrators.
Says the player who spams homophobic and abusive chat on game servers...
Which is completely permitted on some servers and all in a good humored fashion.

User avatar
blast
General
General
Posts: 4730
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2003 3:49 pm
Location: playing.cxx
Contact:

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by blast » Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:01 pm

Doubtful. But in any case, as you found out, definitely not allowed on mine.
"In addition to knowing the secrets of the Universe, I can assure you that I am also quite potty trained." -Koenma (Yu Yu Hakusho)

Image

User avatar
Sky King
Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:07 pm
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by Sky King » Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:25 pm

I remember the days, 7-8 years ago, when on any given day there were 15+ servers with players on them, and often there were a total of 200+ playing on them.

Over the years there has been a lot of talk about why we are dying. Some erroneously blame the developers, or the admins, or the nature of open gaming that makes cheat prevention difficult. I don't believe any of those are the root cause. I have said many times before, including on this forum, that geno killed BZ flag, and I stand by that still, easily 8 years since I started saying it. When Chris first turned the code over to the open source community, he did it with several caveats, such as no turning turrets, no elevating guns, and one was that there could be no super-kill weapons of any kind. He knew that the game's center, it's "core" was the spirit of one-on-one competition. BZ captured the spirit of the old Western shootout where you and I encounter each other in a dark alley and the best tank... the fastest, sneakiest shooter... would prevail. And just like combat, the "team" effort becomes the sum of many little individual efforts, the war is made up of many tiny battles. And those tiny battles were what made the game fun.

Geno was the superkill weapon that unraveled BZ exactly the way the game's creator knew it would. It became the weapon that allowed one to kill tanks that were outside their sphere of concern, they were elsewhere n the map, looking for their own fight. Somewhere around 2005-2007 there was a sea-change. The players that came for the camaraderie and the playful spirit of competition, were gradually squeezed out by the point hogs, and the game became dominated by a different play ethic. The game became about racking up points. Players largely stopped switching to the under-strength team. Once you've geno'ed and spawn-camped your way to a 200-50 positive score, it becomes too hard to logout and switch teams and give up your +150 score. Since about 2009, the non-geno maps, like the old pre-geno boxy, lasermania, badger, castles, 2-Tanks, spiral, gradually fizzled. Even MoFo's FFA map eventually fizzled. If you attach your self worth to your score, or see the score as a replacement for whatever is missing in your life, you simply can't afford to play the old maps that weren't designed for score run-up. Now, the only way any map can really be sustainable is to be designed not for playability, but to enhance score run-up. You need players with hundreds of points because those players become invested in staying, and by staying they keep the map at the top of the server list, attracting others. And the stats prove that out of 7+ billion people on this planet, that score-hog game that BZ has become only interests about 30 people world-wide, or a whopping 0.000000429% of the world population. More people are eaten by crocodiles per week than play BZ. Your odds of winning the Powerball lottery on any given week are about 1-1/2 times greater than the odds you are a BZ player.
Retired Army--Proud to have served
Armored Cavalry Crewman, 1981-1984 (M60A5)
Infantry Officer & Paratrooper, 1984-1986
US Army Ranger & Sniper, 1986-1989 (LRSD)

8-core Intel i7 920, ATI 4850 GPU

User avatar
War Pig
Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:38 pm

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by War Pig » Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:44 pm

I can't say I disagree with Sky King. Just to add, the geno players seek out the newbies to run up their scores, which causes their teammates to be very hostile to them. If players were as hostile to me when I was a newbie as I see them be today, I don't know if I'd have stayed around either. Life's too short, and there are too many other games to play to put up with some anonymous clown calling me vile names and poll-banning me for being new to the game. The players treatment of newbies is egregious and one of the main reasons our game is fading away, imo.
<life> <!-- insert something interesting here --> </life>

User avatar
JeffM
Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant
Posts: 5173
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2002 4:11 am
Location: https://discord.gg/NN9uAvx
Contact:

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by JeffM » Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:45 pm

While I agree with you that Geno is a silly flag and should be removed from the default game (it can be implemented as a plug-in for those that want it), your version of history is a bit wrong.

Geno was written by Chris, before the game went open source. It's one of the very old flags that was added even before Jumping. I was part of the team that helped him port it to windows before he decided to turn it over to Tim, and I can see Geno in the non-open source versions I have.

Geno itself would not be the main reason for a decline.

User avatar
ZE BOZZ
Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:36 pm
Location: Xbox : ZE BOZZ25

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by ZE BOZZ » Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:03 am

JeffM wrote:
Geno itself would not be the main reason for a decline.
I agree, Apoc is the main place in which geno is a huge part of the gameplay. People that are new to the game will see that server at the top and play on it, normally having an experience like War Pig described. Getting cussed out, poll banned etc. But on other servers, geno is shot limited or hard to get to so that it is not as overpowering and dominating as it is on Apocalypse. On Urban Jungle for example. The one geno flag on the map is hidden inside a hard to get to room of a building. And even if you manage to climb the difficult entry you have a choice of getting a couple OO flags or the geno flag. On other servers (the ones that actually have geno) it is normally shot limited. Another great factor of it is that if I'm a noob and I get hit by geno on quickshot or UJ or others, the typical response is: "aaw man", "lol", "ouch!" or etc; but on Apocalypse you get cussed at, poll banned and etc etc because you can do that there. You can't do that on other servers. Correction. You CAN do it but it will not be tolerated. As a noob I would respond much better to ppl who are not cussing me out but (normally) just want to have fun. I'd learn a lot more as well. So as Jeff said, it may be a small reason for the decline but not the whole reason.
•• •• •• •• ••
"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens." - J.R.R. Tolkien

User avatar
Sky King
Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:07 pm
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by Sky King » Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:36 am

I certainly appreciate your comments, Jeff, and always have. I thought geno had come along a few years after the port. I can't find the reference now, but I remember in the early to mid 2000's reading an article/blog talking about the "laws" of BZ. (I have a freakily detailed, asperger-enhanced memory so detailed I remember the fonts things are written in, but I can't find it now.) It said several things like "there will NEVER be traversing turrets or elevating guns, there will never be multi-player tanks, and there will never be "super kill" weapons, or it is no longer technically BZ.

I have written some very long posts in the past that many of you have seen, about why I think there has been a decline. I agree there are several reasons, but, I am still strongly convinced that War Pig's corollary to my thesis is the "proximate cause... That is, geno itself is not the problem, rather, it (a) attracts the point-crazed crowd into the game, and, it definitely changes the way newbies are treated.

And ZE BOZZ... I agree that Apoc is the latest geno-monster, but that's only because you appear to be a recent joiner. Way, way before Apoc there were quite a few maps that heavily featured geno. Boxy was a blast until it became geno-dominated and quickly fizzled. Met (Boxy's owner) and I had many late night conversations about the perils of geno and he saw the fizzle it caused first-hand. The two-fort Missile wars was crazy popular until it was completely overrun by geno hogs, and it died a quick death. Those maps featured geno as the central focus of the game, and thus almost no CTFing ever occurred... I like some FFA maps, but 2-team CTF maps were the heart and soul of all non-league play. Once they became geno-focused and CTF stopped, they died.

I totally agree that there are other causes, but, many of them can be linked, directly or indirectly, to the cancer of score obsession. BZ went from a community to just a game. Without the sense of community that used to attract thousands of players, it is now just a game that attracts only 5-10 players at a time. It isn't the developers' faults, it isn't the admin's faults, it isn't even other competing games' faults... As a community, we lost our way and let others crowd us out of what we once had.
Retired Army--Proud to have served
Armored Cavalry Crewman, 1981-1984 (M60A5)
Infantry Officer & Paratrooper, 1984-1986
US Army Ranger & Sniper, 1986-1989 (LRSD)

8-core Intel i7 920, ATI 4850 GPU

User avatar
JeffM
Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant
Posts: 5173
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2002 4:11 am
Location: https://discord.gg/NN9uAvx
Contact:

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by JeffM » Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:28 am

We have denied Geno like flags for the reasons you specify, because Geno was a bad idea.

I still doubt that it is a major factor in downfall since it is not forced on every server, there are many that don't run it. If that setup was popular people would be playing there and that does not seem to be the case. There are many servers for people to play on :)

All software has a life-cycle, bzflag is probably just at the end of it's current cycle. It's unable to keep up with modern expectations and it does not seem feasible to update it. The nice thing about open source projects and good ideas is that even as a project winds down, another will come along and fill a need that may exist.

User avatar
blast
General
General
Posts: 4730
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2003 3:49 pm
Location: playing.cxx
Contact:

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by blast » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:33 am

Sky King wrote:The two-fort Missile wars was crazy popular until it was completely overrun by geno hogs, and it died a quick death.
Actually, the height of it's popularity, at least while I was hosting it, was in the original map style with a 3-shot-limit geno flag with no kill limit. The server was very strong for years. Some players left when I started messing with that by adding OO/bouncy flags up by the geno, or removing the geno completely, or limiting geno to one kill, etc. And the "quick death" was probably when I stopped hosting it for some months, and people moved on to other maps.
"In addition to knowing the secrets of the Universe, I can assure you that I am also quite potty trained." -Koenma (Yu Yu Hakusho)

Image

TriggerHappyTime
Private
Private
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:59 pm

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by TriggerHappyTime » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:15 pm

First things first. SkyKing,
Thank you very much for your (and all others that have served) time and efforts in regards to your
(extensive) military service.If ever you're in need of help,feel free to contact me.I'm getting old and
used but I'm not used up. That much being said,back to the question at hand.
I feel I can chime in for the new-bs,on several points stated.My number one qualifying credential
is my passion for the game.Keep in mind I am considered (and should be) old for the target demo-graph,
but part of what makes this game work,is it doesn't have a demographic feel.Although the names are not
solid evidence,I get the impression,most of the time, that I'm playing a multi-aged,sexed,ethnic/cultural,
and continental group.Most of whom seem to be here for the same "thrill of the chase" fix.

Let me say this;I've been playing this game under several different "handles"(I"ll give reasons)
for three or so months,and the despair reverberating through-out this {thread?} got me so motivated
to respond,I registered.It may not sound like much but its about the only thing I've registered,especially online,in
a decade or more.My point is that if it captured that much of my attention,it certainly must have more life left in
it than you're ready for.To start with,Ive been "playing tanks" since it was no more than a glorified version of pong
on an Atari( I think).I have played various versions since then,including a brief Red River version SkyKing probably
knows of,and this one has just enough of all the right stuff.
Yes it has it's ups and downs but its ups are holding the negatives to punitive damage at best.The least of
the honors seem pointed in the right directions for the wrong reasons,partially.While MoFo can be a blister-er at
times,I found it was also a motivator to keep learning,so I knew how to REALLY steam some engines.It also was
the catalyst for the several different handles,listed above.It was never the semantics of the game that dulls it for them,but
the frantic s and the over-budgeting a over-burdened system of things there seem to take toll on whoever over-sees them.One
minute Im having a blast getting blown to bits,and the next,booted for OVER-JITTER? I admit,that first time almost sunk me.
To start with I hadn't even noticed the messages were ever changing,and some overly rude but I digress,still not a game
ender,just a game changer.
I went on a mission.One that I must say here,could have been a lot easier/user friendly.It took several Goo-Goos
and Wikis before I felt less atmospheric pressure and more determination to go back in and fight,fight,fight.The
resulting effect was to be killed three times as much and badgered about the same...but NOT kicked for being too
jittery!!! VICTORY WAS MINE!!Once I had the taste of burnt grease and disintegrated tank bits in my mouth,IT WAS ON.
I took notice of the different "war game"named places,but hadn't REALLY checked it out.Then,after a real adrenalin
pumper over at MoFo(apocalypse) I went and found another room and then another,etc.Thats when I found out if I lolly-gagged
long enough in a empty room,THEY would come.That was several months ago and here I am trying to re-sell the very lifes blood
back to the very givers and protectors of this life.
In the following epilogue I will give the reasons in short order of what I think is great about it,improvements that would help and what
you would do good to lose.Take it or leave it,your choice.
WHO?ME?LONG-WINDED?
50% Dumb Luck
49% Operator Error
1% Skill
That's how I Tank,and nobody's gonna change the way I Tank.

jhs
Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 1:54 am

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by jhs » Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:14 am

I got hooked on BZ via the Missile Wars 2.0 map and thankfully had good players like Joop, chickenfarmer, FA!!!, War Pig, joker, etc to show me the ropes - not only to the actual controls of the game but also to the strategies. I got geno'd occasionally in my early days and got shot a heckuva lot. And those guys would often explain what happened, how to avoid it and how to turn the tables on the other player/team.

I feel that was the community aspect that drew me in - 7 years on, I'm still playing and always look forward to seeing familiar names. Integral to community though, is investment - and that is what is often lacking in recent years. I have always made it a point to try to pass on what I know; whether that be something basic like shot angles or something a little trickier, like dodging jumpers in Quickshot. I think the beauty of the game lies in the communal aspect - we're (mostly) not all here to rack up points. Or to be mesmerized by the graphics. Or to earn achievements. Anything that you get from the typical game console... here, it's about a community of players trying to have fun, play fair and make the game good for everyone.

BlueCoat
Private
Private
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:29 pm

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by BlueCoat » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:16 pm

Why? because of various problems with it.

1) absent admins
2) Not maintained. No game updates..or very poor ones...graphics really are stuck in the 90's.
3) cheating...cheating...and more cheating.
4) foul language, you can't let your kids play because of it.
4) vote someone off your team. Really???!!
5) ridiculous flags which weren't present in the game 10 years ago. But the 12 year olds voted them in. Ended up ruining the game...many, many players left after that.
6) many servers are run on substandard connections resulting in less than enjoyable game play....which also results in tanks(ppl) that don't die.
7) the coders don't understand how to program for Windows. Bzflag optimal game play is in Linux.
....and on it goes.
8) poor tools for designing your own server.

It's too bad. 10 years ago it was a fabulous game.

BlueCoat
Private
Private
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:29 pm

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by BlueCoat » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:21 pm

My favorite map was BadgerKing, and MOFO(the original) . No goes there anymore. Stupid super flags ruined Bzflag.

User avatar
blast
General
General
Posts: 4730
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2003 3:49 pm
Location: playing.cxx
Contact:

Re: Why are there only like 30 people playing BZFLAG at one

Post by blast » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:09 pm

Super flags? All non-team flags in BZFlag are all called "super flags".
Help Menu wrote:Flags come in two varieties: team flags and super flags. Team flags are used only in the capture-the-flag style. The server may also be configured to supply super flags, which give your tank some advantage or disadvantage.
"In addition to knowing the secrets of the Universe, I can assure you that I am also quite potty trained." -Koenma (Yu Yu Hakusho)

Image

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest