So recently I hosted a few TF2 games to see if we had enough interest amongst the SDMB group, and apparently we did. Yesterday we had 16 players on the server at once (which was the max capacity I set) with a few waiting to get in. So it looks like we have enough people to get a big game going once or twice a week.
I hosted the server locally, which worked pretty well for the most part - I had enough bandwidth. But having a residential connection on the west coast meant east coasters and Europeans had a fairly high ping.
I looked into renting a TF2 server and stumbled across a pretty great deal - I can get a server from a reputable game service provider for $.75 per slot. So a 16 man server runs only $12/month. Which I can cover myself, or if people want to contribute a few bucks every once and then that’d be fine.
There are other providers who provide more features (like web hosting that lets you let people download custom content much faster than downloading it from the server itself - it’s impractical to have custom maps without it) and some stuff like automatic stat tracking (which we should be able to do manually) and higher server priority. Nothing too important, and the cheap server should be adequate, but I might make a last minute switch to something with more features if people are interested in splitting up the costs. People who took a share of the costs would get admin privileges.
Anyway, this would give us a place to host SDMB games of tf2 once or twice a week with better and more balanced pings for everyone, and to allow people to have a home base TF2 server if we can get a regular crowd showing up. We’d be able to control our own map rotations and such, and kick troublesome people, and implement any mods we want.
If you don’t have TF2 already, it’s $10for another 16 hours or so, it’s the last day of the Steam Christmas sale. It’s a good deal at that price. If you have it but haven’t played in a while, go ahead and reinstall it. Mac users can play too, if you can figure out how to use everything with you one button mice.
I’m thinking 16 players would be enough, but at that price we could go bigger if it seems like a good idea. The 32 player servers feel too crowded for most maps IMO. 16 allows a good diversity of classes while still letting you coordinate with your friends without getting lost in a crowd. Anything up to 24 would be alright though. What do you think is ideal?
Without a web hosting redirect service (and if anyone wants to volunteer some bandwidth from their web server we could do it that way) we’d be limited in what custom maps and content we could have. But TF2 has plenty of stock content and we could probably be pretty happy with it.
I’m leaning towards a server hosted in Dallas. After asking a bunch of people to test their pings, it seems to be the best compromise - people from Europe were pinging 100-140 to it, which is perfectly playable, and people in the US pinged 50-80.
What would you want an SDMB server to have? What maps? How long for each map? What mods? What should the server name be? What settings? (All talk, faster respawns, etc). How many player slots?
What days of the week would be best for you to play?
Anyway, if you’re interested in playing, make sure you’re signed up for our steam community. Games will be scheduled through there.