This thread was really intended to help introduce modders to the possibilities of using the ACS database and account functions. Nevertheless, I'll see if I can answer your questions.
Just going to mention that I like the idea of account systems and databases, they will bring this port to another level, however it is not logical to have accounts for every server, or every server cluster. Accounts should be global, they should be utilized universally across the port. It would be frustrating to have to type a log in command every time you join a server. Even in the NJ duel test server that was setup recently I would get frustrated when you joined and had to type it in.
I agree with you! I anticipate that Zandronum.com will eventually run the canonical authentication server and all servers will point to that one authentication server.
For now, I would suggest binding the login command to a key so you can easily log in when you join a server.
Why not allow anyone to use any alias they want, however if they are logged into an account a simple identify command could show any person the master account tied to it.
I think this should be a feature that is built into the current "player info" command, and should be viewable by other clients. I...don't think I've vocalized this request in the tracker though, thanks for reminding me of it.
Take this a step further, make every account require an email with verification BEFORE the account is active, thus minimizing the multiple accounts per user (Nothing is perfect of course).
This already exists, actually. The only issue is that none of the auth servers enable the mailserver support, to my knowledge, and I personally haven't done it for my auth server because the only server I run that requires it is an ELO duel test server, and I would rather signing up be easy so people can help test. I anticipate that the Zandronum.com auth server will enable this feature.
Lastly, optional accounts? I say force them. You want to play on a server listed on master server? Login required. The time it would take for a registration, activation, verification is probably 5 minutes tops, and from that point on everything is as usual.
I disagree - it should be up to the individual server administrator if players are required to log in before playing. I would not have even agreed to work on this account system if that's the way it was headed. Server administrators can already prevent players from joining the game unless they're logged in. In the future, I anticipate that more features will become available, such as the ability to prevent people from connecting unless they authenticate, and the ability to whitelist or blacklist certain accounts from connecting or joining by account name.
Databases are useful on a per server basis for stat tracking on stats that are not global but things like frags, deaths, points, captures, shot counts per weapon, accuracy, assists those could be centrally stored as well as stored on per server basis. Rant over and out.
That's a whole other kettle of fish. Stat collection and experience requires a level of trust (you don't want a server to send you fake data) but personally, I never liked how ZDaemon kept such tight control over which servers were allowed to have experience and which ones weren't. I think server owners should be able to collect experience and stats on their own, and if groups of server owners want to aggregate their stats together, that's their business.
How would you aggregate stats to one place? Zandronum databases do not support networking, but they're just normal SQLite3 files that can be looked at with any language with SQLite3 bindings available. You could probably create a python script that reads stats out of the database and then sends them over the network to someplace centralized. But I don't think Zandronum.com is necessarily the best place to store these stats.