There should be a friendslist

Make suggestions for improving one of the best games on the net!
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Larry David
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There should be a friendslist

Post by Larry David » Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:11 am

There should be a friendslist so you can see who is on, and so you can IM them to find out which server to go to.

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Goodbye2U
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Post by Goodbye2U » Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:27 am

This is a game, not AOL
I'm thinking I need a better sig than this...

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Post by Davy Jones » Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:53 am

that is a great idea, -wonders why i didn't think of it-
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Post by Goodbye2U » Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:56 am

I'm thinking I need a better sig than this...

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Post by blast » Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:40 am

This site also has a buddy list, and is tied to your global login account for storing the information instead of by a cookie.

http://bzstats.strayer.de/
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Post by bzflaginator » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:48 pm

This is why there is IRC. Try it out.
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Post by Davy Jones » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:52 pm

Yeah, there is IRC, what if your buddy isn't on IRC while he's playing BZFLAG? I think he means an in-game friendlist
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Post by Hannibal » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:59 pm

IRC is not a buddy list. IRC often requires a third-party app, or at least a browser extension, which still has to be installed. And many people don't sit on IRC while online/playing/available.

Blast's link is the best I've found so far, though the [TLZ] team has a site with many of the same features, though less visually appealing.
http://zeebrothers.net/
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Post by bzflaginator » Sat Feb 03, 2007 5:40 pm

That is already in use. And that is not ingame either. That requires minimizing and searching around for people. I dont think though, that an in-game friend list will ever happen. Unless someone devises a bot like that of the "statbot" on many of the GU servers that can list stats. Maybe there could be one where you type a callsign in and it finds the server the person is currently or recently seen on. :idea:
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Post by Davy Jones » Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:51 pm

Hannibal
bzflaginator wrote:This is why there is IRC. Try it out.
I didn't even mention IRC had a buddy list...I was referring to the post before me...
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Post by Hannibal » Sat Feb 03, 2007 7:33 pm

My post wasn't directed at you, Davy. When I loaded the thread, you hadn't posted yet. I got distracted while typing my post, so you posted before I did.
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Post by blast » Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:02 pm

I don't see then as an impossible in-game feature by any means. In order to make this happen, the list server or authentication server (currently one in the same) would just have to keep track of what players are on which servers. That data could also then be used for the BZFlag stats site, RSS feeds, a SOAP API, etc.
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Post by Tanner » Sun Feb 04, 2007 2:50 am

I built a script using bzflag_info, which ran through all the servers and downloaded the players there. Then it checked if there were any friends with friends on any, if so; it came in and told them where their friends were... :)

Sadly it is not in my svn repo....yet....

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Post by Bobert » Sun Feb 04, 2007 3:47 pm

I think its a great idea but u guys are hating on it because really most of u guys are scared of improvements cuz u think it would like dramatically change the game :book:
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Post by Winny » Sun Feb 04, 2007 3:50 pm

Bobert wrote:I think its a great idea but u guys are hating on it because really most of u guys are scared of improvements cuz u think it would like dramatically change the game :book:
no dat nut why wii say dat its cuz dere are alweady tings in place 2 do de same ting. :book:


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Post by A Vicious Muffin » Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:06 pm

Not to rain on your parade, but isn't this nearly useless?

Why not go to any bzstats page, and look for your friends on there? Are we too lazy? It's not that hard, and this enhancement wouldn't be much different than looking it up. I'm not sure how much faster it would be, but it wouldn't be by much. Of course, with this, now you don't have to enter a website to find your friends. :P
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Post by strayer » Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:32 am

one word (ok, probably some more words) to the whole bz-friends-thingy...especially to find players on BZ servers...

You have the possibility to use websites:
> got stats? (my.bzflag.org)
> Zeebrothers (zeebrothers.net)
> BZflag Stats Alpha (bzflag.redjacket.ws which is currently under construction)
> BZstats (bzstats.strayer.de)
> ...

You can use IRC bots:
> [dmp]'s NessyBot (which uses also other names)
> Gilly's GillyBot which offers a friend list (not sure about it's name, because I didn't find it now)
> ...

There was also a plugin in work to find/chat with other players on different servers. It was [dmp] who worked on something called "ChatChannel". As far as I remember it used an external player list, but it worked.

An in-game friends list would be nice, but beside the implementation into the client the list server has to offer this feature too. Every in-game login of registered players can be recogniced by the list server, but I don't know if it also get's a message when a player leaves. If so, the list server would be the best solution for maintaining a friend list, in my eyes.
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Post by Longhair » Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:48 pm

It seems to me that having another option in the Join Game menu might be nice. In addition to Find Servers, why not Find Players? and sort them alphabetically.

Better yet, a buddy er, team mates search right in the game would be REALLY handy IMHO. How many times has two guys from another team in your league come to the server you're on and one PMs you something like "any team mates on?" If you had a handy-dandy /teammates command that would list your team mates and where they are right in the chat window it would be noticeably more convenient than getting out of fullscreen mode and opening up Firefox (or whatever) and searching for your team mates in the alphabetically listed names. Still better would be something like /teammates Pillbox or /teammates Ducati which would further limit your search to something league specific.

This information is all out there right now, it would just have to be harnessed in the game.

While I'm dreaming, how about being able to shoot a message off to a team mate to meet you at the league match server?

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Post by blast » Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:08 pm

Right, and I think it would best handled by the list server itself, since it already makes a connection to servers when a server sends a command to the list server. It could run a query right then, and keep and active state of each server.
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Post by strayer » Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:07 pm

Uhhh...the player tracking via list server is interesting and maybe easy to implement, but adding the league support would require too many changes, I think.

Keep in mind that the leagues have nothing to do with the list server (except that some leagues require [for playing on match servers] a global registration and the membership to a special global group). So there is the one way with the global groups for the leagues, one with a league-to-list server syncronisation (both imply that the callsigns fit to each other) or the way to centralize even the league management.
The last option would guarantee that there can't come up any problems between list server and league, but requires a lot of time/work and ressources on the list server's side. And don't forget that a centralization effects in the 'single point of failure'-problematic...the list server can fail and the leagues are dead. (The list server is actually well accessible, but as we have only one of it, the risk of an outage, even a longer one, is imaginable.)
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Post by blast » Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:20 pm

Ah, right, didn't read about the "find players in this specific league" stuff. And also, it wouldn't be a / command, it would be a menu in the game.
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Post by WarPig » Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:44 pm

long hair
It seems to me that having another option in the Join Game menu might be nice
i agree with this. it would mean we wouldnt have to go searching the servers to ind our friends. we could simply find out which servers our friends were at and that would be it.

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Post by bzflaginator » Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:23 pm

Its a shame you can create party's like on console games online....
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Post by Longhair » Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:37 pm

The idea of having a / command comes from two ideas:

1. that it would be easier to code
2. it would be faster than flipping through pages in the client

Regarding the difficulties of figuring out who of what team per given league:

Yeah, this is somewhat more difficult. In part because the various leagues don't necessarily have a common interface for a search from a remote location. Also: do you include every failed league in the stats? What would be the criteria for having your league included in the list?

On the plus side, all of the leagues do have some sort of method of finding the information we are looking for on their websites. Perhaps some sort of robot that flips through the team listings? This would be more of a question for Menotume, or whoever is working on or familiar with the bzleague code, but is there a way we could have some common hooks for such a robot? (and make that a good, secure hook at that)

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Post by Saturos » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:28 am

One solution might be that you specify your league-teammates on your own. Like a line in your config:

/group "ducati" player1, player2, player3
/group "GU" player4, player5, player1

By writing something like "/group 'GU'" ingame the list-server would check if it finds any playernames that match "player4", "player5", "player1" and report back to you where they are.

:|

Although I still think that adding your teammates into your IM-buddylist is a lot more convenient as you can see them online even if they are not playing BZFlag at that moment. The list-server could only track players that are online in the game and use exactly the name specified on a league-page, your config, etc. ICQ/AIM/MSN is totally independent from that. So just get a multi protocoll messenger like Miranda/GAIM/Adium, create a few accounts and add your buddies there. I dont think minimizing the game to take a quick look on your buddylist takes longer than writing a command or accessing one of the bzflag menus.

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