you Want To Run A server? Part III
you've setup the server and are ready to take in people. What
next? How do you get them to come? How do you get them to stay?
Part III of this series winds it all up.
People to Come to the Server
If you remember
last week's bit on the server .cfg files, you may have noticed
these command lines:
set public 1
the heck are those? The "setmaster" command tells
your server where to make itself known to. It's possible to link
a single server to as many as seven masters. By linking the server
to a master, this allows the master to add the server to a general
list of all servers. Masters are then queried by server browser
programs such as Gamespy to retrieve a list of game servers.
The server will also send a heartbeat to the master once in a
while to inform the master that the server is still alive and
to prevent the master from removing the server from the list.
The "public" setting is a toggle (default of
0) that tells if you want to be listed in id's master server
list or not. If you're going to run a private server, say for
clan matches or the like, then this should be left at 0. These
are the first two steps in making your site known. They're also
the easiest, but don't expect hundreds of people to come pounding
at your server's address by doing this alone. There's more work
to be done...
thing you need to do is put up a website about your server. You
don't have to be fancy, but you do need content. We're not talking
PQ level content (you probably should have less "ass"
jokes on your site), but stuff like rules, stats, a message board,
and perhaps a section for the regular visitors. People love to
see their name up in lights, and your goal is to build a community
of people that play on your server. People frag where they feel
welcome; I've seen people play with horrible pings, just so they
could frag their buddies online. Unfortunately we don't have the
space to tell how to setup a website or tech you HTML, but both
are relatively easy things to do. Submit your site's URL to the
search engines. Many newbies simply go to a search engine and
type "quake server". Make sure your server shows up
in that list.
Up A Stats Program
make sure our mod is logging. Open up your server.cfg from last
week. There are a couple of things we need to make sure are defined.
set gslog "gslog.log"
server is gathering stats, and outputting them to the gslog.log
in your c:\quake2\lithium directory (or your default directory).
gathering up all the stats. Now you're going to need something
to process that data and spit it out into something easy to read.
For our example we're going to use Fragstats. It's pretty easy
to setup, and it's free. Once you've downloaded Fragstats, unarchive
it somewhere. I used c:\fragstats. Browse over to the c:\fragstats
directory with Windows Explorer. If you remember last week
we associated .cfg files with notepad. If you look in the fragstats
directory there is a fragstats.cfg file. Double click on it. We're
not going to go over step-by step what you have to modify here,
but we'll highlight some things (If you want a working .cfg file
The important parts are:
server "Fragmasters Tiny Package"
** Change all references of c:\quake\qw to c:\fragstats\
are used when you have a default configuration on Windows NT 4
with Internet Information Server version 4. Now Click on Start
-> Run and type "notepad". Paste this
into your new notepad file:
on file, then save as. In the file name box type
"fragstats.bat". Close notepad, we're done with it.
You may want to move fragstats.bat to the c:\fragstats directory.
Obviously you don't want to stay up 24/7 and manually execute
the fragstats batch file, so we need to automate this a bit. If
you're using Windows 95/98 you'll need to use some sort of 3rd
party scheduling program or the build-in Task Scheduler program
for Windows 98, or the program called "AT" for Windows
NT. In either case, you will want to execute these about once
an hour minimum (more often if you can spare the CPU cycles).
Windows 98's built-in scheduler isn't great, but it will allow
you to update your stats once a day. Here's how:
on the task scheduler on your icon tray. That will bring up the
scheduled tasks. Double click on "Add Scheduled Task".
When the next window comes up click on Next. You will be
presented with a screen that looks like the one below. Click on
with the over to the "fragstats" directory, and select
fragstats.bat. When the next screen comes up, select "Daily",
and then click "Next" When asked for the time, you should
select a time when the PCs most likely idle (for this example
we used 12:00am). Also make sure you have selected "Every
not as real-time as most players would like, it's at least a start.
If you're using Windows NT you gain more flexibility by using
the "AT" command (which is a little too complex to go
over in this article). The stats are important! Try and keep them
as accurate as you can, people take these things very serious.