Recommendations for Maps, settings etc. for a newbie old timer

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daplumber
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Recommendations for Maps, settings etc. for a newbie old timer

Post by daplumber » Sat May 02, 2020 2:46 am

So I last played BZflag many, MANY moons ago in the late 90's on UNIX workstations and it was a lot of fun but I kind of lost touch.

I'd like to set up a private server for a few of my colleagues and I to play. The technical side I think I have covered, I have the bzfs compiled and available on a Linux cloud VM with enough bandwidth for the 8 or so players. We'll be using a combination of recent MacBooks and Windows laptops for the clients.Play will be over the connected Internet and we all have reasonable connections at home.

No, the question I have is about Maps and settings and other thing to go in the conf. file. This should be a fairly simple setup, close to the classic with no flying taks and not even an Overthruster in sight. The Maps must have high replay-ability value and should encourage games of 20min or less. Team play is preferred, but not required. CTF is also OK, but I'm not going to start there. Plenty of cover and sniping positions as well as opportunity for tactical play are greatly desired.

Repeat: I'm mostly looking for suggestions and recommendations for Maps, settings and etc. How to get the clients to easily connect to a private server would be nice to know too. You may assume that the participants will all be on a video/vloice chat simultaneously as well, so some clues as to how to get the clients to play nice with multiple monitors would be useful. But mainly "pick up and casual play" recommendations. These are not hyper-caffeinated 15-year olds, but most of them have hidden depths of sneak and guile I'm hoping to expose.

Thanks in advance!

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tainn
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Re: Recommendations for Maps, settings etc. for a newbie old timer

Post by tainn » Sat May 02, 2020 9:34 am

I'm not exactly sure what you are looking for right now. Guideance on how to build your own map(s) and configurations, or how to fetch already-existing ones?

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Re: Recommendations for Maps, settings etc. for a newbie old timer

Post by trpted » Sat May 02, 2020 11:34 am

#1 See https://wiki.bzflag.org/Public_Server where it says Verifying a Public Server and to where it clearly says
As long as you are not seeing "private" server anywhere, you should be broadcasting to the world. This may not necessarily mean it is passing your firewall.
#2 See https://wiki.bzflag.org/Creating_a_server where it says Getting your server on the public list and to where it clearly says
notice the "Player [0]" lines. This indicates that the list server connected back and then disconnected. If you don't see this then it is likely that your server is firewalled and the list server is unable to connect back and so will not list your server.
#3 Considering the above info, you do not need to get your server in the public list to be private. If this is the case...

a) Then the users must know the IP Address (or domain that points to the IP Address) and the port number to connect to you. They

b) They will have to type that info the program UI at Join Game or type that info into the command line.

#4 That is not to say that it is possible to have a publicly listed server that is private.

I am not sure of how to do that since I never done it before, but I think I can point you in the right direction

https://wiki.bzflag.org/Setting_up_a_group_file

#5 The reason that I just said that is because I am part of a certain group I can see that server (or servers) when I am logged in. When not logged in with a different handle I can not see that server (or those certain servers) after I go to Join Game -> Find Servers.

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alfa1
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Re: Recommendations for Maps, settings etc. for a newbie old timer

Post by alfa1 » Sat May 02, 2020 5:12 pm

Hello and welcome back. I'm glad to see old players coming again. I can suggest Levels and Robots (Simplified Version) since it has interesting and fun concepts. To config a good server you need to read documentation (manual pages) and try different settings. BZ comes, also, with HIX, which is fun, though hard. Apart from this, you can have a look at online maps and see if you can replicate them privately, by searching forums, or to have a new search into them for good maps you like.

What I can say of my CTF and FFA maps is that they are quiet, let's say; normal: no fast paced, not plenty of players about maximum limit; you have time to think, to chat, etc. They are also challenging, though. Playing times are from 10 (maybe alone with robots) to 30 minutes matches.

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Zehra
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Re: Recommendations for Maps, settings etc. for a newbie old timer

Post by Zehra » Sat May 02, 2020 6:08 pm

Welcome back to BZFlag.

I'm not sure, but perhaps using the "random" world generation capabilities of BZFS may suit your needs.
This can be done via the command line options which can be provided to BZFS.

There's currently four default game modes: Free For All, Capture The Flag, Rabbit Chase and Open Free For All.
Free For All (FFA) is the default mode, so no option needs to be specified for it.(Either within the conf or command line option.)
You also may wish to use the '-noTeamKills' option which prevents teammates from killing each other.
There also is the '-tk' option, which prevents a player from dying, if they kill a teammate.

Additionally, since it is a private server and likely global authentication will not be used, the password option is recommended.
This may be done via '-passwd MyPassword'.(Simple substitute 'MyPassword' for the password you wish to use.)
To login, simply type in via chat '/password MyPassword', with 'MyPassword' being the password specified within the options.)

If you wish to specify a map to use, the "world" option will need to be used.
This can be done via '-world pathToWorld\specifiedWorld.bzw'.
If there are any spaces within the directory specified, it will need to be "quoted" to work.

For some maps which might give a bit of an idea, the following could probably be viewed. Additionally, you may wish to check some of the earlier map releases within the Map Releases forum.
Some of the earlier ones will likely match what you may need.

Something which might provide a bit of a balance if super flags are decided to be used is the flagThief plug-in, which simply takes the flag from the killer whenever they make a kill and have a score of 4 or above.
It may be useful for small maps and additionally it does ignore whenever a kill is made with useless, shield or identify.

If you need anything, feel free to contact me by private message as well.

-Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra

Note: Plug-in developing and requests currently on hold due to technical issues until further notice.

See where I've last been active at Strayers.
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daplumber
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Re: Recommendations for Maps, settings etc. for a newbie old timer

Post by daplumber » Mon May 04, 2020 4:37 am

Thank you everyone! I’m sorry I wasn’t clear: flags and firewalls and etc. I can wrap my head around, and already have a nice high port picked out and opened.

I’m still not sure how to point the clients at a private server, but I’ll muddle through that too.

What I really wanted was some advice and availability of some maps suitable for entry level classic “Battle Zone” type play. Either Teamed free for all or CTF for later. I was planning on using random for testing, but I’ll see how the generation goes.

I’m not going to have near enough time to edit a map. Sigh.

Related question: does anyone else host private parties in the community or are all the leagues etc. going through Public.

Yes, yes I had already figured out the /password option. ;-)

The public VM has about 40Mbps down and up available to it so that means I should be able to support no more than 8 play er s, correct?

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Re: Recommendations for Maps, settings etc. for a newbie old timer

Post by daplumber » Mon May 04, 2020 4:40 am

I have a dynamic domain already working.

I fully intend to check out the maps mentioned above as well as the releases group. Thank you again.

If I run into problems I may well take you up on your PM offer Zehra, thank you.

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Re: Recommendations for Maps, settings etc. for a newbie old timer

Post by daplumber » Mon May 04, 2020 4:47 am

Ok, it looks like providing the domain name and port for my guinea pigs to type in is sufficient and simple. Great!

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tainn
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Re: Recommendations for Maps, settings etc. for a newbie old timer

Post by tainn » Mon May 04, 2020 2:32 pm

You have quite a few maps released in the Map releases forum.

For flags, you can explicitly state which you want in your conf file like so:

Code: Select all

+f V{1}
+f T{5}
+f SR{10}
This will generate 1 High Speed, 5 Tiny and 10 Steamroller flags. They will be distributed on the map randomly, as they are not specified in a zone object.

I'm unsure how complex you want the whole matter to be, so I'll stop here. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask.

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Re: Recommendations for Maps, settings etc. for a newbie old timer

Post by Zehra » Mon May 04, 2020 11:24 pm

Classic varies to interpretation and only a few maps have tried to closely emulate the original BattleZone type of feel/theme.
Some of the early maps made by Dutchrai, The Purple Panzer, Ducatiwannabe or ahs3 may suit your needs.
You'll need to find and experiment a bit to see which settings and maps you like.
Also, if any help is needed with getting a specific effect or mode, feel free to ask, as there's a large amount of server settings and variables which can be used and a few plug-ins which implement some interesting and rather fun game modes.

-Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra

Note: Plug-in developing and requests currently on hold due to technical issues until further notice.

See where I've last been active at Strayers.
Visit BZList.net for a modern HTML5 server stats site.

daplumber
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Re: Recommendations for Maps, settings etc. for a newbie old timer

Post by daplumber » Tue May 05, 2020 5:10 am

Ok so a random map for TDM looks good. Very few flag types, less is more. No jumping or flying tanks. Quite a lot of GM flags makes for some fun tactical decision making.

Still looking for a CTF map, tried a few. Still looking for one that really works well with the same limited flag set.

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Re: Recommendations for Maps, settings etc. for a newbie old timer

Post by alfa1 » Sun May 10, 2020 7:19 pm

About private servers: I know of a group which seems to be running a private server by setting a forum group and showing in servers list only to them (see the '-advertise' server argument). Then it's somewhat private. Another way, the real "private" let's say, is not to set these server arguments (brackets mean optional; note players will not be able to globally authenticate):

[-publicaddr address[:port]]
[-publickey key]
[-publictitle description]

I have run for a lot of time (real) private servers; they are fun; also, playing locally alone with bots. Last years I got to host publically; also fun :) . Both are valid alternatives.

About the bandwidth, be sure to have the uploading and downloading speeds right since, as far as I know, uploading one always tends to be much less than downloading one. You can use www.openspeedtest.com . You need to check constantly players' lag; you will know when the server gets too much when everybody starts going up. Take some known people as reference: player X has usually Y ms of lag; when he gets a lot then my server is lagging. You need to take into account a group of people, though, since some ones can be having temporal lag issues (local downloading, uploading, etc.). After some testing time, write down what your limit is.

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