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Keep the game running smoothly

Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:49 pm
by Oldsparky
Many players I believe are making a mistake, installing various mods and maps to their unreal files. I am now a firm believer in that you should have standard unreal files and maps in your unreal folders, and download all the maps, mods, edm, uteam, infiltration, ect ect to the cache folder from the server your trying to join. If the server cant handle the bandwidth required for downloads this is a serious unreal problem today when high speed downloads are common place. At sparkyland here, we use a standard unrealgold installation with the only added files being my special skins, ini file and user file. I believe its a big error to install mods and custom maps in your game directly, but suggest you download them from the server your trying to join. When you suffer clashes of version of files when playing from the cache, all you have to do is stop and restart unreal, you don't have to remove or delete anything. This is not true if you have installed server side mods in your unreal files, then you must locate the file in question and delete it. If you run a server or lan game and want mods installed for lan or offline play, I suggest having multiple installs of unreal such as c:\unrealgold and c:\unrealgold2. You should use a clean as a install of gold as possible for on line playing on servers. I know downloading is a chore, when your itching to get in the game. I have provided a super cache that includes 99% of the files running on the Newbies Server and several other servers as well. This cache file will not give you a conflict of file version that cannot be simply fixed by stopping and restarting your game as you move from server to server. Some of the mods running on servers for hack protection, examine your system unreal files for non standard files and may interpret your mods installed as a possible hack and kick you from the game within one minute of joining the server. I see many players download a map, then they get a uteam replication error and the scoreboard doesnt display and your game is really messed up. I then see them rejoin the game and then they are in but, follows complaints of my score board doesnt work and I see ghosts of players past. This is a uteam, and unreal gold combo error. Unreal gold has always had problems with ghosts after you rejoin the map. This will be dumped at the next map change, provided you dont download from the server and start the events all over again. The way to fix this is to download the maps directly from the server, and get them in the cache before you attempt to play. To download the maps into your cache on the Newbies server, running over 2500 maps will take you about 120 hours at 3 min per map. You could go to our super cache, which was made from the Newbies server and get the self extracting zip and install files. It took me months to compile this, and it amazes me how the same people constantly have to download the same maps over and over. You must set your purge cache to 0 days before you install the cache. If you dont know how to set this in advanced options, find out before you install super cache. I believe its covered elsewhere in this forum. The self extracting zips when clicked on after download, will give you the option to unzip or use winzip. If you choose unzip, and your unreal gold is installed in a normal manner on C drive these cache files will be extracted to your unreal gold cache folder and that is all that has to be done. Download and click the files, tell it to unzip. If your installation is non standard, you can redirect the unzip statement and or run winzip itself. I suggest you save the super cache files to a CD or DVD so you dont have to download them again. I save my entire cache, zipped with the user, unreal ini and sparky skins as a back up. I have a file unzipped with all these in it as well. I can install unreal gold, paste these files in and have a fresh install in about 10 minutes and join the game losing nothing I had before. When you uninstall unrealgold, I suggest if you have saved your files as above, that you delete the unrealgold installation with windows explorer after running the un install program. You will find that unrealgold uninstall will leave your custom files in folders in the unrealgold directory even tho you have uninstalled the program. If you suspect that you had corrupted unreal files, you should delete these folders manually to insure your getting a clean install. Get rid of the junk in your unreal game, you dont need it, play on the cache and get rid of clashes and crashes. :!:

It is also my belief that there was a release of unrealgold with corrupted system files included that doesnt handle the cache files correctly. If you have set your cache to 0 days and installed the cache files and still have to download each map, I suggest you try another CD to install unreal gold.
I have done this sucessfully in the past with other players. As far as the open gl and super textures and stuff, your on your own. I have made them work here, but honestly feel that its not worth the grief it causes. Installing these home spun improvements to the game are not suggested to be attempted by beginners. You must know what you doing to make them work. I see posts on forums all over with people trying to install special mods in their game and running into trouble. Why not play from the cache and leave the fancy stuff up the the server admins? If all the servers would offer their special files in cache form, people would find it much easier to move from server to server without file conflicts. In the days of waning player numbers, the server admins should provide whatevers possible to cause the minimum amount of problems for the gaming players as they move around the unreal universe. Offer your skins and custom stuff in cache form for download. If you dont have the download ability, send them to me and I will include it in Newbies super cache. They must be in .uxx form however.

Caution, the size of the cache from the zips is over 6.5 gb and about 2500 maps, make sure you have enough hard drive left.

Re: Keep the game running smoothly

Posted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:34 am
by Dr.Flay
I respectfully disagree about installing official distros.

If there is an issue with miss-matches, it is because 1 or other party has not been using the official authors site for getting the distro.
This is why most MH servers have the old bugged v1.03 Na Pail creatures.
Waffnufly ran into problems trying to use them in EXU 2, until I pointed him at the fixed v1.05 hosted on Asgards site.

My friends at the Chaos site abandoned updates for UT99, because servers never updated to the fixed and expanded v1.1 version.
Most U server admins answer to fix a problem seems to be to limit the users to the version they first heard of, rather than actually investigate and run their own tests.
Whether you run a v1 or v1.1 server you still have the same problem of someone trying to join with the wrong version.
This attitude does not fuel development, and we lost-out on the melee pack they were working on.

Not using full installs means people are missing any "int" files required for them to configure the mod properly, or access the mutators, or extra skins conveniently.
People that play the J's maps you host will be unaware of what they are missing in the maps, as he often added things to do or find.

Not sending users to the authors sites, leaves the users ignorant of the documentation and any bugs, patches or updates they should be aware of.

If all server admins used the authors sites for mods, rather than sharing files around, or re-hosting old files, then missmatches would be less of an issue as everyone would be current.
Encouraging users to rely on server cache files is bad news, and is the main reason bugged alphas and leaked beta mods cause havoc in the community.

All the users of Nali Weapons 3 that do not use the full install, end up in the forum with the same complaints, or asking the same questions on how to configure it, because they cannot configure it or read the documentation.
I wonder how many NW3 servers have not updated to the final version, or how many never will, just for the convenience.

Lack of feedback from the UT community, has Papa Smirf thinking his UT cousins are not interested in him developing for UT.
We need him to continue, as he is the only one that can do certain engine related stuff.

Support your developers if you use their mods.
Yes offer a mirror, but send people to their sites.
Do not underestimate how important this is for the survival, and continued development of all Unreal engine projects.

Re: Keep the game running smoothly

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:13 pm
by Oldsparky
Dog does not run UT servers. This is in reference to Unreal One servers. Thanks for posting.

Re: Keep the game running smoothly

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:54 am
by Dr.Flay
:P well I did actually talk about Unreal, but more specifically U1 engine as a topic, and is purely based on the 1 issue, rather that your overall guide.
Please don't take it as a rant, I can be very "dry" and I was just trying to be thorough and use as much reference as necessary (Don't worry I will make up for it with a more useful post on something ;) )

Either way you do it, the user needs to know exactly what the benefits and drawbacks are.
As I pointed out it is a 50/50 issue.
You did not list "Pros and Cons" and I felt for fairness I needed to balance things.
Neither way is perfect, but at least a user can easily uninstall anything installed with a UMOD (which should have also added the correct config and serverpackage entries).

I was only concentrating on UT as an example, being that is is more standard to use int files which users would be missing, though Unreal has the same problem.
That is a gap in Unreal development I spend a lot of time filling, as Unreal developers seem to be unaware of the power of a well made int file. I have created int files that allow the configuration of complex mods that are a pig to setup properly.
I have edited int files that make all my U games do wonderful and crazy new things.
That Unreal archaeology has been very useful to several UT developers, who now have an easier way to configure advanced options (NW3 is split between basic options in a GUI, and advanced options in the "advanced options" window.
I taught several UT2004 developers the same ancient tricks, and they have been able to offer the users better config options.
You can do the same thing in UE3 or UDK and unlock a whole bag-load of functionality.
The irony is Unreal 1 has the easiest access to the advanced options, yet is the least used.

NW3 was referred to, as it is one of the largest current mods to be served-up via redirects (A project is starting to port to U227) :D
The Chaos versions also only affects UT users, and the main bugs that people complained about for years, were fixed in v1.1
..but problem pawns are used by both.
Documentation or the lack of, is also common to both.
The lack of a configuration GUI is also common to both.
The lack of user knowledge is then common to both.

This is no different for Unreal, and J's maps are all for Unreal and UT, as are many other maps and mods.

:!: This is the ranty bit
The root issue is with people that continue to host outdated versions that the authors no longer support (unless there is a valid reason).
eg. Asgard's mods
Here you will find v1.02 and one of the later 1.03 pawns.
But on Asgards own site, you will find only the final 1.05 versions.
I visit MH servers in both games and have ended up needing 3 versions of the pawns in both games.
If the server admins had stocked their servers from the official site, we could all be using just 1 version in both games.
Everyone seems to be surprised there was a later 1.05 build.
Shame. Asgard deserved better, seeing as his mods seem so popular.

If people wish to mirror, they at least owe it to the original developer to support them, by providing links to the original sites.

As a teacher/consultant it is not in my nature to withhold info I think is relevant from users, but I should have taken the time to add...
I do think the supercache idea is a great way to avoid clashes with files and servers. I like the idea of keeping all the files as hashed names, as it is how I find unique files in searches, but also think that if everyone was up-to-date it would not matter.
We all know that will never happen, so yes use the cache method, but please visit the sites for the mods and read the documentation.

BTW. Could you please possibly format the post a bit to make it more readable for us dyslexics ( I had to copy it and add line-breaks so I could read it).