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server admin best practices?

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:12 pm
by musculargenius
Just set up a new server at bzflag.networkspeedy.com

Need to know what are current server administration best practices? What options should a good server be running with? What things should a good server owner do?

In the spirit of the questions above, I am thinking I should probably set up some global groups, but I'm unsure of what groups I should request or who I should put in them (suggestions welcome...)

Also on the same topic, what's the current feeling about running with -noTeamKills? On the one hand it seems like it would help people not accidentally kill team members, but on the other it might lead the uninformed to believe someone might be cheating if they attempt to kill a teammate who doesn't die... Is it better to just run with -tkkr 5 (which seems more than generous)?

All feedback and suggestions welcome and thanks in advance!!

Re: server admin best practices?

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:33 pm
by Zehra
This is all up to the server owner to decide.
However, there seems to be a consensus on the following policies.(Please note: These are my opinions.)

Code: Select all

1. No cheating
2. No harassing
3. No spam
4. No bots
5. No admin asking
6. No glitching (Don't misuse features from maps, plug-ins..etc.)
The options a server should be running with, I'd say include running the logDetail plug-in along with serverControl and allowing reports from verified players.
Help files are also very useful and come in handy too.
A good server owner is fair and does not have bias and has their interests in providing a friendly atmosphere for players to enjoy.

Generally most servers run the following types of groups.
Owner, admin, cop, whitelist.
Moderator, trusted, minicop, guard, manager..etc exist, but are not as commonly used.
Generally the needs of the server will determine which groups you need.
The people you put in power on your server will need to be people who you trust and trust their judgement.
Be aware of people who try to become staff, as they don't tend to work out well.

Now as for team kill options, there is a bit I'll say on the subject.
It depends a lot on the map you are using, since some maps work alright with team kills, while there are others which do not work out well with them.
Generally most people are aware of noTeamKills option existing, so it is not likely you'll have many (if any) people complaining of cheating.

-Zehra

Re: server admin best practices?

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:38 pm
by alfa1
Hi, atrixnet/musculargenius, I'm glad you start again a server.

I am DiverSion non-24-hours server owner (run for 1 year now approx.) and a long-term player. My suggestions are mainly on my signature.

Apart of that, to be a good owner, you should dedicate some time periodically to watch over it, not just starting the server and controlling it once every long time. The same for admins. Through the time, I have noticed also that if you don't like playing the game you will never be a good owner/admin (not my case :) ). Always humility, respect and a good/nice spirit (not grumpy Image ); you have authority but you are not the owner of or essentially superior to the people playing on there.

To make a better selection of maps and ambience, if your son is, in example, a teen, I suggest he aims the server toward teens or kids (the same age group or under).

Being able to kill mates and making the killer die (by not using '-NoTeamKills' and '-tk'), apart of being the default behaviour, are features that help me to fight against too much competitiveness. By the way, I don't like fast-paced maps very much; just normal speed.

I suggest to have a custom and trusted-by-you group of admins, if you really want to have it ( Request Global Permission Groups here ), though, don't be in a hurry to make it; you can always make use of '/report <message>' command and of logs to administrate.

In example, I use this in one of my public servers:
  1. Server option: '-groupdb groupdb.cfg'.
    Content of the file:

    Code: Select all

    VERIFIED: COUNTDOWN ENDGAME TIMELIMIT SUPERKILL
    (TIMELIMIT permission is for TimeLimit plug-in; SUPERKILL one is just to allow players to change the randomly-generated map in my case.)
  2. superUser plug-in to authenticate the owner/admin (instead of '/password <password>' command which can have some usage issues about security).
    Server option: '-loadplugin superUser,superuser.cfg'.
    Content of the file:

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    [Users]
    
    # alfa1
    55604 = actionMessage,adminMessageReceive,adminMessageSend,antiban,antideregister,antikick,antikill,antipoll,antipollban,antipollkick,antipollkill,ban,banlist,clientQuery,countdown,date,endGame,flagHistory,flagMaster,flagMod,hideAdmin,idleStats,info,kick,kill,lagStats,lagwarn,jitterwarn,listPerms,listPlugins,loadplugin,masterban,modCount,mute,packetlosswarn,playerList,plugins,poll,pollBan,pollKick,pollKill,pollSet,pollFlagReset,privateMessage,record,rejoin,removePerms,replay,report,requireidentify,say,sendHelp,setAll,setPerms,setVar,shortBan,showAdmin,showOthers,shutdownServer,spawn,superKill,talk,unban,unloadplugin,unmute,veto,viewReports,vote
    I assign me all permissions, just in case (don't remember if I checked something like 'ALL' and didn't work).
(Since my server is non-24-hours, I don't really use groups, but when I checked its documentation 1 year ago, it was somewhat out-of-date then take care.)

Don't hide your '@'s; it's better to know who is admin.

Internet has lot of rude people then be ready to confront it. If you get tired of it, or just if you want, you also can play locally/privately with specific people and/or robots help ('autopilot' or 'solo' ones).

Hope it helps!

Re: server admin best practices?

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:07 pm
by musculargenius
Thanks! I appreciate your insight. And for whatever it's worth, I LOVE BZFLAG! :-)

Re: server admin best practices?

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:03 am
by blast
This is roughly what I use for my servers. I start with taking away all rights and then adding back specific rights. I also include the rights of other groups by prefixing another group name with an asterisk. Though now that I'm looking at it, I wonder if including another group calls "-ALL" again. Might be something to keep in mind if you go that route.

You could certainly make it a lot more simplistic and just leave the EVERYONE and VERIFIED groups alone and just add some additional permissions to your admins/cops (and not take away all permissions first).

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# Some permissions are provided through plugins
# TIMELIMIT - TimeLimit plugin - Lets users configure time limits for matches
# FAIRCTF - FairCTF plugin - Disables CTF when teams are uneven

# Basic permissions that all players have
EVERYONE: -ALL ACTIONMESSAGE ADMINMESSAGESEND DATE FLAGHISTORY IDLESTATS LAGSTATS PRIVATEMESSAGE SPAWN TALK

# Identified players have everything that the EVERYONE group does, plus some additional permissions
VERIFIED: -ALL *EVERYONE POLL POLLBAN POLLKICK VOTE

# Some convenience groups that get included in other groups
LOCAL.COUNTDOWN: COUNTDOWN MODCOUNT TIMELIMIT
LOCAL.REPLAY: RECORD REPLAY

# Whitelist group that you add players to who are caught in a range ban on your server so they can play
YOURGROUP.WHITELIST: ANTIBAN

# Cops have some additional permissions and can ban players for a short period of time
YOURGROUP.COP: -ALL *VERIFIED *LOCAL.REPLAY ADMINMESSAGERECEIVE ANTIBAN ANTIKICK ANTIPOLL BANLIST FLAGMOD FLAGMASTER KICK LISTPERMS MUTE PLAYERLIST REJOIN SENDHELP SHORTBAN UNMUTE MUTE VETO VIEWREPORTS

# Admins have even more rights
YOURGROUP.ADMIN: -ALL *VERIFIED *LOCAL.REPLAY ADMINMESSAGERECEIVE ANTIBAN ANTIKICK ANTIPOLL BAN BANLIST FLAGMOD FLAGMASTER KICK KILL LISTPERMS MUTE PLAYERLIST REJOIN SAY SENDHELP SHOWOTHERS UNBAN UNMUTE VETO MUTE VIEWREPORTS FAIRCTF

Re: server admin best practices?

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:55 am
by musculargenius
Thanks, blast!!

Re: server admin best practices?

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:48 am
by musculargenius
Could anyone recommended some settings for jitter and lag?

Re: server admin best practices?

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:16 am
by macsforme
musculargenius wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:48 am
Could anyone recommended some settings for jitter and lag?
-lagwarn 400 (may be excessive, but this is my preferred threshold)
-lagdrop 3
-jitterwarn 20
-jitterdrop 3

Re: server admin best practices?

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:28 pm
by musculargenius
macsforme wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:16 am
musculargenius wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:48 am
Could anyone recommended some settings for jitter and lag?
-lagwarn 400 (may be excessive, but this is my preferred threshold)
-lagdrop 3
-jitterwarn 20
-jitterdrop 3
Why do you feel it's excessive? Because it's too aggressive in your opinion, or not aggressive enough? I know that some folks playing from around the world have varying levels of lag and jitter and it isn't something they can control if their connection isn't that great. I'm looking to strike a healthy balance...

Re: server admin best practices?

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:39 pm
by musculargenius
taking a closer look, it seems like -lagwarn 400 is fair. i think i'll put out a map for both high and low lag. it bothers me that users on 'high lag' servers brag about cheating and flaunt it with the attitude that 'because I can do it, that makes it fair'

Re: server admin best practices?

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:15 pm
by macsforme
musculargenius wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:28 pm
Why do you feel it's excessive? Because it's too aggressive in your opinion, or not aggressive enough? I know that some folks playing from around the world have varying levels of lag and jitter and it isn't something they can control if their connection isn't that great. I'm looking to strike a healthy balance...
The standard lag warning is 300ms, and some server operators have even lowered that to 200ms. I chose to raise it to 400 because I was playing with people whose lag would fluctuate right around or barely over 300ms, and they were getting kicked. I felt like it was more of a disruption to the game than anything helpful. The ideal threshold will depend on your server location and player demographics, and how competitive of a game you want to run.

Re: server admin best practices?

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:39 pm
by blast
I use 270 for lag warn and 15 for jitter warn. I also have a packet loss warn/drop on my servers.

-packetlosswarn 2
-packetlossdrop 3

Re: server admin best practices?

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:43 pm
by musculargenius
macsforme wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:15 pm
musculargenius wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:28 pm
Why do you feel it's excessive? Because it's too aggressive in your opinion, or not aggressive enough? I know that some folks playing from around the world have varying levels of lag and jitter and it isn't something they can control if their connection isn't that great. I'm looking to strike a healthy balance...
The standard lag warning is 300ms, and some server operators have even lowered that to 200ms. I chose to raise it to 400 because I was playing with people whose lag would fluctuate right around or barely over 300ms, and they were getting kicked. I felt like it was more of a disruption to the game than anything helpful. The ideal threshold will depend on your server location and player demographics, and how competitive of a game you want to run.
Thanks, that's helpful!

Re: server admin best practices?

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:01 am
by musculargenius
blast wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:39 pm
I use 270 for lag warn and 15 for jitter warn. I also have a packet loss warn/drop on my servers.

-packetlosswarn 2
-packetlossdrop 3
i just noticed this option! Thanks for the suggestion. Will use the same settings =)