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Digital Deluxe Edition Beta Launch
The Digital Deluxe Edition beta launch is planned for starting August 30th, 2011 and running up until right before launch, and server files are already up on HLDS.
Tripwire Server Admins Mailing List
If you haven't already, head on over and sign up for the Tripwire Server Admins Mailing List here:
Beta Maps and Gametypes
We are launching the beta with 3 maps initially, and may be cycling other maps in/out throughout the beta. The maps included are:
Note: FF = Firefight (a variation of team deathmatch), CD = Countdown (our take on an intense "single life" gametype), and TE = Territory (an enhanced and expanded version of the gametype in the original RO).
Server Requirements (Beta)
16 Players: Haven't benchmarked this yet, but we don't expect it will take much CPU to run this
32 Players: CPU usage - 1 Core of a 2.6 GHZ Core I7 or equivalent (i.e. the server process will take most of 1 core, with a few smaller threads on other cores). We also tested on an Intel Core2 Quad Q8400 @ 2.66GHz and that could handle 32 players but I wouldn't try and do 32 players with a machine much slower than that.
64 Players: Goal CPU usage - 1 Core of a Intel Xeon E3-1270 3.4 GHZ (3.8 GHZ actually with Turbo enabled) or equivalent (i.e. the server process will take most of 1 core, with a few smaller threads on other cores).
A note on performance:
64 players was pushing the test machine (Intel Xeon E3-1270 3.4 GHZ (3.8 GHZ actually with Turbo enabled) pretty hard on certain maps, but did handle 64 players. Likewise 32 players pushed the Intel Core2 Quad Q8400 @ 2.66GHz pretty hard at 32 players, but did handle it. We're working on some final optimizations that might get the performance a little better, but there won't be any drastic changes from these specs.
Likewise the number of players the server can handle (i.e. how much performance is needed) varies from map to map, and gametype to game type. Smaller maps and countdown tend to perform better than larger maps in territory or firefight. So if you run smaller maps only on your server, you might be able to push the slots higher. Just watch your CPU usage, and more importantly the ping of players connected. Ping will climb a bit as the server gets under load and as CPU usage goes up, this is to be expected. But watch the ping, if it is a server near you and the ping starts to go above 100ms consistently, then you are likely pushing your server too hard and need to reduce the number of slots.
What I have found is that it looks like an Intel Xeon E31270 @ 3.4 GHZ (3.8 GHZ actually with Turbo enabled) can just handle 64 players now, and is being pushed pretty hard. We've got a last batch of optimizations that we're going to try over the weekend that might bet it down a bit lower so the CPU isn't pushed quite as hard (possibly getting things down by about 5%). We tested on an Intel Core2 Quad Q8400 @ 2.66GHz and that could handle 32 players but I wouldn't try and do 32 players with a machine much slower than that. As mentioned before, the final optimizations might push this down a little, but nothing drastic.
Hosting Ranked Servers
We're doing things a bit different than what other studios/publishers have done. We plan to let clans/gaming communities as well as any legitimate GSPs run ranked servers. For clans/gaming communities, it must be an established and legitimate group of some sort. Individuals or GSPs will provide us with the IP addresses that they will host the ranked servers on, and then on our backend we'll basically "turn on" those IP's having the ability to be ranked. Our goal here is to not be overly restrictive with our ranked servers. If we see some funny business happening with ranking on a server, we'll pull its IP out of the ranked system and contact the GSP or clan/gaming community. Now if we see a rash of funny business across the board at a GSP or clan/gaming community we may well pull all of their IPs out of ranked status until they get the issue sorted. So it will be up to the GSPs to make their server hosting as open or closed as they want with regards to modifying files. We do however want to ensure that modding and community content are not hindered, so bear that in mind. Whatever system a GSP uses must allow community made maps and community made content to be installed on the server. Total conversion mods (i.e. someone turning RO2 into a space shooter or something) however will not be allowed by us for ranked server play.
We will have a website setup for submitting IP's and the information we'll need to approve them for being ranked. This system is still being setup, and we will let you know when it is available (probably will come online further into the beta).
Recommended Server Hosting Partners
We have a set of Recommended Server Hosting Partners that we've been working closely with to ensure they provide a good experience for our fans and game server admins. The Recommended Server Hosting Partners are:
Branzone - http://www.branzone.com
Gameservers - http://www.gameservers.com
Nuclear Fallout - http://www.nuclearfallout.net
KillerCreation - http://www.killercreation.co.uk
Multiplay - http://www.multiplay.co.uk
4net Players - http://www.4players.de
Internode - http://www.internode.com.au
Fragnetics - http://v2.fragnetics.com