Keeping Desert Combat Alive (and Thriving)

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jolly_mario_batali
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Keeping Desert Combat Alive (and Thriving)

Post by jolly_mario_batali » Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:26 pm

The title may seem hyperbolic, but that was meant to capture your attention ;)

Realistically, server population has been on the decline across all BF1942 servers, not just EA117. It's a 13+ year-old game, and that's an unavoidable reality. However, time notwithstanding, there is a lot we can do to keep DC in general and EA117 in particular alive and well for as long as possible.

To preface, I'd like to express my appreciation to the admins for doing such a standup job over *more than a decade* managing this server. Y'all do an oustanding job and I know I am not alone among the regulars for being grateful for your work. This message is merely the suggestion of a frequent player wanting to help out.

1) Map Rotation.

Trench did a phenomenal job recently of renovating the map rotation once again. Hats off to Trench! Everyone enjoyed the resurfacing of novelty maps (e.g., DC Cornered, Inshallah, etc.) that we hadn't been played in some time, particular CQ maps.

That said, there are many times when many of the maps in the new rotation do not facilitate significant server population. During off-hours, or even peak hours during the week when there simply aren't a lot of people online, the specific map can hamper, rather than encourage, people to sign on. To list some examples: DC Urban Siege, DC Bocage Day 2 CQ, DC Cornered CQ, Kharkhov CQ, DC Coastal Hammer. Essentially, large CQ maps.

To be crystal clear: some of these maps are among my favorites!! DC Urban Siege is one of my all time favorite maps. So is Coastal Hammer. But so is Invasion of the Phillippines. And realistically speaking, these maps, unless there are already ≥20 people online, are going to be a detriment, not a facilitator, of server population.

No one wants to play Kharkhov with 6 people. It's just not that fun.

I recommend the following solutions, please feel free to disagree or offer alternatives and we can discuss:

(a) A rotation consisting of a core of smaller CQ and CTF maps.
CTF: Al Nas, Lostvillage, Sea Rigs, Bocage Day 2, Basrahs Edge.
CQ: Lostvillage, Caen, Weapons Bunkers, Basrah Nights.
This is *just an example* to illustrate the point. Feel free to adjust at will. Just a suggestion.

The point is: a rotation only of maps that are fun regardless of server population.

(b) when admins are online, at the discretion of admins we play novelty maps, e.g., Bocage Day 2 CQ, DC Desertshield, DC Battle of 73 Easting, No Fly Zone, Wake, Bridge CTF, Coastal Hammer CQ, etc. I'm *not* saying *don't* play these maps. I like them a ton too. What I am saying is they should be played only when the admins think it's the right time.

(c) Map Vote on by default. When admins are on, turn off map vote. When admins are offline, the online players should get to decide. Tonight, there were 5 people on Kharkhov CQ. It was painful. This issue could either be mitigated or resolved completely with map vote.

The alternative to (c) is to add more admins. But my gut says that the current admins aren't inclined to agree, so (c) is a good compromise.

2) Recruiting.

A lot of people here, EA117 admins and others (DAGL, ATF, etc) are part of the old guard of BF groups. Reach out to the older/former players, and see if you can get some of the old regulars back!

Also reach out to your friends IRL and try to get them to play. It's $10 to get a new BF CD, that's it!! If they're technically challenged, install the game for them.

3) That's all I got for now. Please keep the ensuing discussion CIVIL. We appreciate the work the admins have put forth over the years, and we need to respect that.

Let's be real. EA117 is the ONLY American DC server left. The alternative is the Ukrainian-Russia server and the ping there is nearly unplayable for anyone not in Eurasia. EA117 is our only hope to keep our favorite game alive. We are all in this together. Let's keep our favorite server alive and well.

Thanks for reading,
JMB

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mistamontiel
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Re: Keeping Desert Combat Alive (and Thriving)

Post by mistamontiel » Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:10 am

jolly_mario_batali wrote:No one wants to play Kharkhov with 6 people. It's just not that fun
YEH !!! Sheesh , base maps defeat the purpose of striving to keep the mod thrivin

Nothing but DC maps , all would be nice ! I miss the wicked pipeline map (was that in the name) , fierce battles all around instead so much dustbowl

:o

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Re: Keeping Desert Combat Alive (and Thriving)

Post by Creamy » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:30 am

Well said. You make some solid points...

This server is one of the highest quality BF 1942 / DC servers running. When the server starts up or is dying down for the night, playing 2v2 on a big map isn't a lot of fun. A small regular map rotation (re-newed weekly/fortnightly?) should help the server remain populated for longer and possibly bring in new players from different time zones.

There is usually an admin online when the server has enough players for the bigger maps, so it makes sense to leave them out until the server has more players. I had never even thought about Philippines DC until you mentioned it Mario. That would be a lot of fun!

I played Dustbowl CTF for the first time in another server a couple of months ago and it was really cool... and I'm sure there are maps I never even knew existed waiting to be played. We're missing out on some rare, fun battles when the server is filled up.

Mapvote is a good idea, as long as it is set up fairly. I'd hate to be having a fun game of Berlin, say 2v2... and have the map change after only 2 people vote for it. But whatever.... I'll play here no matter what anyway :P

I hear this mysterious Trench fellow, whoever he may be, has been doing a great job running this server and keeping it alive all this time. Props Trench and any other admins who help out with the server and the forums.

:D

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fromage
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Re: Keeping Desert Combat Alive (and Thriving)

Post by fromage » Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:09 pm

Mario - very well said and 100% agree on all points. Jagd and I often try to recruit so we'll just keep doing that whenever possible.

That said, I have one more addition to the list. What if we had someone who had the ability, time and desire to mod maps that we can try out and rotate in? Just 1 or 2 non-played/stale maps that could be turned into great maps with creative but fun challenges at a high level. We would then need to update the messaging on the server for that map download and make it easy to find and easy to install, with a custom page and screenshots. Then, just promote the hell out of it until we get almost everyone to download it and be ready when those map votes happen and people want to play it.

This will likely take a few weeks for adoption, but I think the regulars are savvy enough to adopt it quickly enough. Pixel Fighter servers do that with Forgotten Hope but the thing they do wrong is to offer TOO MANY maps so no one really wants to download gigs of maps that they'll rarely ever play. Instead, keeping it to 1 or 2 should add some spice to the game.

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Re: Keeping Desert Combat Alive (and Thriving)

Post by HairyRussianDude » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:25 pm

I do what I can to get people playing this amazing game, but they're all console douches and want their gamerdick... score increased. Plus I hear "wah wah wah graphiiiiiiiics" "wah wah wah walkiiiiiing".
Best advice I can give to anyone who still plays:
Put an easy guide on Facebook or something with download links and the name of the server. One problem newcomers will have to overcome is Windows 10 hated my BF1942 discs.

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Re: Keeping Desert Combat Alive (and Thriving)

Post by HairyRussianDude » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:16 pm

Kursk CQ killed the server again tonight. Need more admin on the evenings to switch maps, or mapvote (which is terrible and hardly works).

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Re: Keeping Desert Combat Alive (and Thriving)

Post by HairyRussianDude » Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:22 pm

Mario,

I put in a post on the Moongamers forums with a DC download link and EA117 info. If any members are also members at the Simple, Ax, etc. servers perhaps they could do the same to try and attract some people.
Likewise, Moon is one of the few North American 1942 servers left with a declining population and I would encourage anyone playing 1942 to head on over.

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Re: Keeping Desert Combat Alive (and Thriving)

Post by jolly_mario_batali » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:52 pm

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful replies!

On new maps: I think this is a great idea. If anyone has the creativity to attempt this please let us know and I'd be more than happy to try it out. Sounds fun!

On an easy guide: HairyRussianDude do you mind drafting such a guide? We could then disseminate it to our respective groups. Maybe start a new thread in the EA117 forum with this guide?

On posting in other forums: thanks for doing this! It's rather jarring to see MoonGamers, the perennial leader, have a declining population. I'll post on Ax.

Let's keep this energy flowing. If anyone has more comments or ideas please add them here.

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Re: Keeping Desert Combat Alive (and Thriving)

Post by HairyRussianDude » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:31 pm

I would gladly write up an easy guide. I need a reliable link for downloading 1942 though. Something to just click, download, install, play. I had a hell of a time getting my old discs patched and working for windows 10. I'll ask around Moongamers and see what I can come up with.

I think it would be helpful if the 117 forums could host the downloads so we would have reliable links. Below is pasted from my Moon posting, all it would need is a 1942 download link added. And probably links and server ip to moon for allowing me to try and recruit there.


I'm calling on any ex DC players to download the game once again and come play at the EA 117 server. Never heard of DC? Try downloading and playing it! It is the last North American server left and needs some help boosting the population. The server usually gets busy in the evenings so don't be thrown off by the 0 population during the day. The map rotation does get changed every so often to try and include all the favorites, but often the population is not high enough for large maps such as Medina, No Fly Zone, Bragg, Urban, etc. Smaller map CTF is what is floating the server at the moment. However, a bigger population would mean more play on the large favorites. So please, come play and spread the word to your friends about EA117 (and Moon for 1942 of course).

Thanks!



Desert Combat Final Download:
(Install 0.7, then run the update to final)

[url]http://www.moddb.com...ombat/downloads[/url]


EA 117 Forum:
http://www.ea117dcfanfavorites.com/


Add Server:
IP - 8.12.64.130 Port - 14567

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Re: Keeping Desert Combat Alive (and Thriving)

Post by Mali Mrav » Thu Dec 29, 2016 7:00 pm

Silent Assassin

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Trench
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Re: Keeping Desert Combat Alive (and Thriving)

Post by Trench » Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:38 am

We will give the map vote approach a try starting tomorrow. Map vote will be on by default, and an admin can disable it while they are connected, if desired. We'll see how it goes for a while, and make the longer-term decision based on whether it seems to have been helpful.

-Trench

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Re: Keeping Desert Combat Alive (and Thriving)

Post by Mali Mrav » Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:45 pm

tnx admin group u have made our live better :D :D :D
HAPPY NEW YEAR MAY ALL UR WISHES COME TRUE
Silent Assassin

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Re: Keeping Desert Combat Alive (and Thriving)

Post by HairyRussianDude » Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:52 pm

Excellent way to enter 2017 Trench! Thank you for listening.

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Re: Keeping Desert Combat Alive (and Thriving)

Post by jolly_mario_batali » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:59 pm

@Russian: great draft. I would add that we get on average ~20 ppl/night so folks don't think we're desperate ;)

@Trench: you rock. IMHO just disable map vote as soon as any admin logs on. Avoids any headache.

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