Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Place for people to discuss public servers, and also for admins to lay out the details of their servers
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Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by I_Died_Once » Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:03 am

This announcement is long overdue... Planet MoFo proudly and officially announces the "Apocalypse In Action" at apocalypse.planet-mofo.com:4202 which is loosely becoming known simply as "Apocalypse"

To make some things publicly known about the server, policies, map, and game in general - first and foremost, make no mistake about it: our whole approach to the server and the Apocalypse as a whole is this is to be a fast paced, high action, wild ride of a game. The entire combination of juiced up flags, amped up settings, (lack of) shot limits, no bad flags, no team kills possible, and selected plugins & map is no mistake - this our blatant w**re-fest smash-and-grab at glory! Now, with that being said:

Our spawn killing and camping policy reads as follows: Camp and spawn kill all you can! Just know that someone will be along to return the favor. We do not use any zones to regulate spawns for neither tanks nor flags, which means that everything is as random as it gets. I think placing specific spots for tanks to spawn would be detrimental to this server's gameplay for obvious reasons. We want you to get shot at and your tank get blown up!

There is no true "Genocide" flag as traditionally practiced in bzflag on the Apocalypse. We are employing the use of the "teamflaggeno" plugin which makes YOUR team flag act as a Genocide flag (the other team's flag just doesn't have the same effect) which adds a whole new set of dynamics to gameplay, which we'll discuss below, I'm sure.

We are working on, among many things, a potential game changer that has been needed since the pre-two-point-oh days. I'm not going to divulge much more other than it involves CTF play. Its going to be awesome, I'll just leave it at that. We had one of the fairCTF plugins loaded but it was causing the server to crash. We are working on a work-around, so please bear with us in that aspect. I believe in an automated means of regulating as much as possible (admins are not always around) so we also use automatic methods to kick and short-ban laggers. A part of our bigger approach is that we know our host and connection is not perfect and has had its share of issues. That is not any of the players' fault and I think any decent server owner would realize that being a "Lag Colonel" is pointless and would do more harm in the long run than good. We're not out to punish anyone for having a bad connection. If you get banned for lag, its only a thirty miunte short ban. There are a couple of other Planet MoFo exclusives in use, plus we are plugged into more resources than I will disclose here. We have weapons (read: flags!) in play that no other server has! (Have you tried out our 'cannons and barrels yet?) - Stay tuned as its going to get even more awesome, with more weapons in the works, a couple of minor map alterations, and we have one more good defile-ment of the game yet to come!

Credits for the map: The original "Wild East, Wild West" map by dutchrai, skydome by Optic Delusion, and billboards by Spazzy McGee - all used shamelessly without permission!

I want to remind everyone not to mistake our "four letter word" policy for a lack of administration - all of Planet MoFo's games is, has always been, and will always be a tightly ran network of servers. Don't think you'll get away with flooding, cheating, or any other form of 'hattery on any game with our name on it. Some of us have went to great lengths to secure a spot to host games on, and some of us tend to take it personally when 'hats log on and break what few rules we do enforce. I highly advise not tempting fate.

Yes, the Passion of the Free For All ("old mofo") is still up and running in all its awesomeness at passion.planet-mofo.com:4200 where we have some of the same, yet some different goodies in play.
Best FFA Ever! < /discussion >

Lastly, I want to encourage EVERYONE to make sure you edit your "DownloadAccess.txt" file and add the line:

Code: Select all

allow images.planet-mofo.com
This will enable you to see the server as intended! Some of the reasons to allow images from our domain includes the stats plugin - it generates a scoreboard on our billboards displaying the top ten score medians. Also, we are employing the use of a skydome; if you do not see clouds in the sky, swirling around over head, then you need to edit your access file, especially if you see a solid black or a blank white sky... It's supposed to have clouds! We also have some nice artwork rotating on our billboards, as well as textures, and other goodies. Do note that Planet MoFo will never, ever host or employ the use of any pornography or graphic violence in any image hosted on our domain. Some of us have kids, too, and everyone can rest assured we will not host or use inappropriate images for use in any of our games. More info on how to edit your "DownloadAccess.txt" file can be found at:

http://wiki.bzflag.org/Content_Restrictions

In closing, I simply want to make it known - We log EVERYTHING (and I'm not just talking about bzfs!) - the comments you make may belong to you, but the data belongs to us and may be used for promotional purposes, among (many) other uses at our discretion. We know all the different secondary names you all play under, we have personell in all four corners of the earth, and we know where you live!

Much love, and thank you for playing at Planet MoFo!

...This space for rent!
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by I_Died_Once » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:33 am

Also, while this has been mentioned in #bzflag - in support of all leagues and league play, we are willing to put up on our billboards advertisements for any league willing to go through the effort of making an image. It must be in .png format and must be an exact size of 512x256 and shold contain any information needed for contact, how to join, etc. It will need to be suitable for hosting on images.bzflag.org
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by MACGOSS » Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:06 am

MOFO IS BACK ON TOP...Come one come all..well done men.

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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by I_Died_Once » Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:35 am

The cracked staff at Planet MoFo has done it again! While everyone else is nappin', we're steady at it!

An update with info on some new features:

First, you can no longer capture your own team flag. Taking your team's flag to the enemy's base has no effect now. I could never get too upset with anyone for doing this as I was probably one of the worst offenders. This solves a lot of other user created "trolling effects" to say the least.

Next, we got some new rampage messages. Much overdue.

Also, we have new scoring rules for Genocide - Now, the player that gets hit with G takes the point loss for the entire team. The rest of the team still "dies" but suffers no point penalty. Also, if you have the Shield Flag when a team mate gets hit with genocide, you simply lose your shield, as if you got shot, and you do not die, and you will not have to re-spawn.

Finally - and this is the game changer (in my opinion) - there is a Point Bonus in play for capturing the enemy's team flag. Depending on the number of players, it can be a nice point reward for capturing the flag. But beware - this is a double-edged sword! If you capture the enemy's team flag while teams are uneven, the server will actually DEDUCT points (that means: taking point away!) for unfair caps. This is our means of regulating CTF and place a penalty into play for unfair capping. You can now essentially earn a bunch of points and potentially be a score leader without having to reduce yourself to geno camping, and flex those mad flag capping skills. Motivation to CTF!

Much love and thanks to L4m3r and the rest of the Planet MoFo staff who made this all happen. On behalf of the staff, I would like to thank all of the players who join the Apocalypse daily to get their pwn on, for their interest in our game, and for keeping us on top of the list server on a fairly consistent basis!

PS - After your team flag is captured, you spawn facing the center so that you can return the sentiment, maybe even with your own team flag... :wink:
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by I_Died_Once » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:15 pm

Wanted to add a tidbit about the latest update - As of yesterday - when a player gets killed by geno, not only does that player take the point loss for the entire team, that player also faces a nice drop onto one of the spires.

Its already been dubbed the "Fall of Shame"

This is a measure to keep the same player from getting hit with geno, repeatedly, many times in a row... hopefully slowing down some of that pain. Or spread some of that pain out. One or the other :D Ultimately, we're delaying the player hit by geno from re-entering the game a few seconds.

One tip - if you get hit and take that plunge:: Center your mouse! You will fall directly on the tippity top of either the cross or that Taj Mahal looking thing and you can turn left or right and chose your path of descent wisely. If anyone wants to debate the finer points of this approach, have at it.

Also, a mad shout out to the cracked programming staff - these guys work 24/7 to provide you with the bleeding edge in bzflag debauchery! Stay tuned as we have more utter awesomeness in store yet to come.

We are also looking for someone skilled in shooping images - we're going to need some billboards done for an upcoming promotion and I suck at that sort of thing. Message me if you're experienced in photoshop or mspaint or whatever people use to shoop 'da woop these days.
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by gnu-sense » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:08 pm

There is occasionally an opportunity for spawn-camping the geno-victim in this circumstance, if the geno is used behind the base where the victim will spawn. This can happen more than once in series, so while it may not happen a lot yet. It probably will start to happen more...

Any word on what's causing the client crashes?

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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by I_Died_Once » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:26 pm

We are actively working on the client crash issue. Its rather odd, since its not the server that crashes. We've heard a couple of theories as to what it could be. Our ungodly amount of plugins in use, something to do with slot numbers, something to do with team flag handling... I got a couple of debug clients in use, hopefully the next time it happens I can collect the info, pass it on to the staff and bust out the bottom line on that. I want to encourage everyone to come by and populate the server and get some cut throat games going to push the server and make it happen so we can get it fixed, since it seems to happen when the server is "full" with more than 30 players. If anyone else feels so inclined and is able to, I'll be happy to have as many debug clients in action and match up the core dumps or something. All help on this is very welcomed.

So far, the geno Fall of Shame is working out lovely, we're keeping our eyes open to see if any further action needs to be taken. Everyone is best advised to senter your mouse / pointing device, and you can turn and point to where you wish to fall.

As far as to where players are camping out with geno - try shooting back? TH the team flag, maybe? Get creative. ST up behind that fool and take 'em out. If you mean they're camping on those who take the Fall of Shame - then again, center your mouse and try landing on the building below. We'll be keeping our eyes open for that and go accordingly.

Thanks to everyone for the continued success, pwn on!
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by gnu-sense » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:49 pm

Well, the reason I mention it was because I was (blush) *doing* it. Uh, only a little. And by accident you see... If it becomes a problem you can make meteoric debris rain down around the spawn. That would be... apocalyptic.

If I had to guess on the client crash thing, I would say that it has to do with some kind of corrupt data being sent to clients that conflicts with the client's BZDB. There's a spot in RecordReplay.cxx that explains about possible client crashes caused by loading and replaying a game file with a map that doesn't match what the client has currently loaded. I would look to see if it is somehow similar to that. Of course it doesn't affect everyone, so the question becomes what information is the server sending that is different for different clients. You could probably focus your attention on any of the messages that your plugin(s) manipulate, rather than the whole schmear.

I'd volunteer to help but I'm log-jammed right now, writing papers about... BZ.

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Planet MoFo & stats

Post by I_Died_Once » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:44 am

By request, I've been asked to provide some info about the stats system we employ at Planet MoFo.

Heres a sneak link and a snippet

http://images.planet-mofo.com/donf/ranking.xhtml

Note that this info is all collected and is of Planet MoFo itself and no other servers, and our method of collecting information differs while our plugins for this is not open source.

On the ranking site, you can search for a player's name and see detailed info once you click on it. Also, more info is available by clicking the question mark in the bottom right hand of the site. I've also found that searching from with your browser also works (by pressing F3 and searching for a name from there)
Only kills between registered players are counted, TK's are ignored.
The calculation is done using a genetic algorithm, the ranking wont be perfect but it is probably a good estimation.
The basic assumption is made that the strength relation is transitive: if A shoots B 5 times and gets shot only once, and B shoots C 3 times and gets shot only once, then A supposedly would shoot C 15 times to be shot only once. (This isnt totally right in the usual multiplayer situation.) This is the main selection criterium for the genetic algorithm
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by kbar » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:39 am

A brief idea about geno:

Some players have been complaining the interruption to gameplay that geno has when new players get repeatedly hit. While I personaly do not have too much of a problem with this, it got me thinking about how to improve this. The Fall of Shame certainly helps, but perhaps a "training mode" could be enabled:
  1. When new players join, they enter "training mode" where they cannot be genobait. Getting hit by geno would trigger a warning of some kind, explaining the consequences of geno in this zone. This being the default would also prevent players from circumventing the training mode by creating new call signs.
  2. Players would have to "earn" their way out of training mode by avoiding geno to a sufficient degree. (Not sure what the ideal level would be here).
  3. To make B. work, there should probably be no visual indication that players are in training mode so that those with geno still try to hit them.
  4. Geno, flag capture, and other goodies (maybe even some of the special flags) would be disabled while in training mode to encourage trainees to earn their way out as soon as possible. (Trainee's could kill like normal, and would be subject to teammate's geno kills of course.)
  5. Severe genobaiting could trigger a reduction back to training mode.
Not sure how hard this would be to implement, but it might go some way to reducing the frustration of being continually killed by a few genobaiters. What do you think?

Now, back to the killing:-)

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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Iskskskks » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:56 pm

kbar wrote:A brief idea about geno:

Some players have been complaining the interruption to gameplay that geno has when new players get repeatedly hit. While I personaly do not have too much of a problem with this, it got me thinking about how to improve this. The Fall of Shame certainly helps, but perhaps a "training mode" could be enabled:
  1. When new players join, they enter "training mode" where they cannot be genobait. Getting hit by geno would trigger a warning of some kind, explaining the consequences of geno in this zone. This being the default would also prevent players from circumventing the training mode by creating new call signs.
  2. Players would have to "earn" their way out of training mode by avoiding geno to a sufficient degree. (Not sure what the ideal level would be here).
  3. To make B. work, there should probably be no visual indication that players are in training mode so that those with geno still try to hit them.
  4. Geno, flag capture, and other goodies (maybe even some of the special flags) would be disabled while in training mode to encourage trainees to earn their way out as soon as possible. (Trainee's could kill like normal, and would be subject to teammate's geno kills of course.)
  5. Severe genobaiting could trigger a reduction back to training mode.
Not sure how hard this would be to implement, but it might go some way to reducing the frustration of being continually killed by a few genobaiters. What do you think?

Now, back to the killing:-)

kbar
Great idea Kbar. Yes, because I always see Geno campers on the 3rd floor. Also why does the fall of shame on one side have a cross and another does not? Tbh when your flag gets capped you should go on The Fall Of Shame just to avoid any laser campers, Geno etc.

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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Guided Monkey » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:53 pm

First off, well done Mofo team. I had pretty much kicked my BZ jones but now I'm almost homeless again thanks to you guys.

Secondly, please reread the Apocalypse camping/spawning policy above. Unfortunately for my teammates, I've been a noob for years and that's probably not going to change. However, the 'm' key is useful for more things that calling somebody names. Coordinated behavior on this map is lethal. If one team is communicating and the other isn't, it will be a one-sided bloodbath. Talk to your teammates. Stop whining and start planning.

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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by I_Died_Once » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:57 pm

Let me try to reply to everything here...

kbar, that is a nice idea but I'm not sure if thats something we could implement on a standard server with current code. What you're describing sounds, to me, like it would make an excellent revision of a single player mode. A nice, simply map that showcases most of the major flags with a tutorial as to how to use and avoid trouble. Maybe I read it wrong, but it really sounds like we like that would have two different games running on one server/port. To me, I think that would come off as plain confusing if we did it on top of an existing server. ut for a single player, or "training" mode - that might be the ticket and would benefit all players and servers if players came on a little more knowledgeable.

As far as the fall of shame goes - that is still a work in progress. The intent with us deployig such a tactic is to keep the same player from getting geno'd several times in a row, so we use the fall to delay the re-entry to the game. As far as the mis-matching spires - I'll break it down like this... The map is an old one, dating back from BZFlag version 1.7, long before they even came up with plugins, team flag geno, and all the other ways we have defiled the game. They didn't even have wings then and didn't anticipate people falling from up high onto the points like that. But that doesn't matter - the tops of those spires are the only things in that map that are not symetrical... and so what! (We are working on an update to the map, BTW!) All you have to do, no matter what side you are falling on - CENTER YOUR MOUSE! Even on the tippity top of the Taj Mahal side, you can still steer and point towards which way you want to go before you fall down. We are debating and might tweak the fall, making the server drop you from higher and higher up each time you get hit by geno, since we're still having some issues with it. Think of it as our way of slapping your hand when you geno'd!

Guided Monkey - can not agree with you any more! I've said it plenty of times; a little bit of teamwork on the Apocalypse would be devastating! Even if its only two or three players on Skype or whatever - it can be 3 vs 10... If the 3 have their strategy together, the 10 better watch out. I like to call this the "300 effect" as if you shore it up correctly, their numbers won't account for anything!

While I am posting to this thread, I want to invite EVERYONE reading this to fire up your facebook.com accounts, steer it towards our page and LIKE US! Here you can connect with other fans, schedule game times, share top scores, awesome screenshots, as well as get the sccop as to what the Planet MoFo team is up to & share the love.

Check it out - http://www.facebook.com/ApocalypseInAction
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by hossa » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:57 am

You asked me to post this here, I_Died_Once. But first of all thanks for creating a great and fun server, even if it can be crazy and frustrating at times. I enjoy it a lot, and it's very well run.

Two ideas:

1) amend the operation of the masquerade flag so that if you get hit by a geno-holding opposing player, it kills their team. To be clear, if I'm red, and you're green (see what I did there ;-), and I'm holding MQ and you're holding the green flag, and you shoot me, all greens die. Adds a litle risk to the geno reward.

2) I know your feelings on auto-kicking people to even up teams, and I agree in general with your points. It would be viewed harshly by some folks, I suppose. But maybe there are other ways to stop the horrid imbalances that occasionally occur. The score-restore is a good start, since some super-score-seekers might be willing to switch now. Some other ideas would be to make geno work sporadically (only a certain percentage of geno shots work as geno), or to add shot limits on good flags dynamically to players on the better team (including geno). The worse the imbalance, the lower the shot limits.

Well, those are some fun ideas, hopefully. Maybe something is possible or could work?

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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by blast » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:43 am

hossa wrote:1) amend the operation of the masquerade flag so that if you get hit by a geno-holding opposing player, it kills their team. To be clear, if I'm red, and you're green (see what I did there ;-), and I'm holding MQ and you're holding the green flag, and you shoot me, all greens die. Adds a litle risk to the geno reward.
Hmm, if you're talking about an actual Genocide flag, that might not be possible. If you're referring to the "your team flag acts like a genocide flag" thing, then that should be a trivial tweak to add to that plugin.
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Sniper752 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:52 pm

hossa wrote: 1) amend the operation of the masquerade flag so that if you get hit by a geno-holding opposing player, it kills their team. To be clear, if I'm red, and you're green (see what I did there ;-), and I'm holding MQ and you're holding the green flag, and you shoot me, all greens die. Adds a litle risk to the geno reward.
I LOVE that idea! hope to see it @ Apocalypse soon!
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by I_Died_Once » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:53 am

Time to update everyone with info on the latest and greatest on whats going on and whats new on the Apocalypse.

In the past, everyone and their brother has done this and that, doing all kinds of things with the Useless Flag. I think we did it one better - not to divulge the full formula, but going on a rampage with the useless flag pays off in a major way. We call it the Useless Rampage. Go pick up a Useless flag and try it out!
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** ATTENTION BOUNTY HUNTERS **

Post by I_Died_Once » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:16 am

Planet MoFo is putting out a call - we're placing a bounty on the head of any tank that goes on a rampage! The further into a rampage the player goes, the higher the bounty we'll pay out!

Calling all Bounty Hunters! Campers have taken over the server! We need you to stop their rampages and bring balance back to the game! We'll gladly pay out two points for taking out a player on a simple rampage, four for a player on the next level of the rampage, and two more points for each level of rampage thereafter, and dont forget - these are BOUNTIES, you get theese on top of the regular point(s) for the kill!

Bounties are open to all players! Planet MoFo needs YOU!
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Zverina » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:02 am

Sounds pretty cool.

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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Iskskskks » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:48 pm

I think it should be more like 10 points or just like this Rampage 3 points Killing spree 5 points etc.

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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Zverina » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:50 pm

Well, bullet, continues to rage on would give quite a few points in that case. :)

.... A bit too much pheraps?
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by optic delusion » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:51 am

Useless Rampage was my Idea, so I'll give away the formula.
Each kill adds one point to the next kill.
First kill, 1 point.
Second kill 2 points.
Third kill 3 points
and so on, up to..
Twentieth kill, 20 points. And it stays at 20 points thereafter.
Meaning useless is now the most valuable flag ever. If you can manage 20 kills with the useless flag, that is 210 points.

Bounties have been extremely popular!

We tried the plugin that automatically makes uneven teams even again.
That one may come back, it needs a re-think.
Take a look at my Defender game mode concept.

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Uneven Teams

Post by optic delusion » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:26 am

For one day we tried the teamSwitch plugin, it was not what we were aiming for.
Uneven teams are still problem, so we're going to give it another try.

Here is how it's going to work this time.
An uneven teamflag capture triggers a team balancing. Even if the capping team is the weaker team.
As many players as necessary are team switched to make teams even.
The player who did the capping is switched (if from the strong team), and any other switched players are chosen randomly.
Messages are sent to players that they have been switched.

Admins will have the option to send the /balance command at any time.
Take a look at my Defender game mode concept.

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Posts: 635
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2004 5:27 pm
Location: The Dark Side
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by I_Died_Once » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:28 pm

Here's a couple of images this thread needs - the stats billboards!

These images change up once every 24 hours and are compiled from our stats data,so be sure to check back often to see where, or *if* you stand in relation to the game's "best" players.

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...This has been a recording.

Iskskskks
Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:09 am
Location: California

Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Iskskskks » Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:47 pm

Ye ye ye I'm 3rd!

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