Bots in permanent servers

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Bots in permanent servers

#1

Post by jwaffe » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:50 am

I've talked about this before in #staff, probably a few months ago.

At the time the people involved informed me that permanent servers were not allowed to have any bots at all, and if they did have bots, they would be put on the master server ignore list.

Lately I've seen some bots in what I think are permanent servers, and I was wondering if there has been any changes in the policy about bots; both doomseeker and IDE support "bots are not players", so I don't really understand the problem that servers with even 64 bots cause -- do they use extra network traffic? How much extra?

In my opinion bots are a valuable engine feature for helping people start great DM games (so they can shoot something while they wait in an empty server for more players), and they should be available to server hosts.

If there are other reasons for not allowing bots on permanent servers, let me know. I personally would like to use 1 bot on every DM server I host.

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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#2

Post by Ænima » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:53 am

Huh? I'm pretty sure you're totally allowed to have bots in your own server. Just don't bloat a server with 64 bots just to get attention. People have done that before. :p
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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#3

Post by Tiger » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:40 am

jwaffe wrote:Lately I've seen some bots in what I think are permanent servers, and I was wondering if there has been any changes in the policy about bots; both doomseeker and IDE support "bots are not players", so I don't really understand the problem that servers with even 64 bots cause -- do they use extra network traffic? How much extra?


The policy has not really changed, but don't quote me either as I could be wrong. Last I heard and read about this rule, it is to prevent the gameserver from being on the 'top' of the list and to avoid useless clutter, but it is true that both IDE and Doomseeker can easily filter such gameservers (ignore them or do not treat bots as players). Additionally, the bots used in this engine does not really take extra bandwidth, but merely CPU cycles and additional RAM from the host system.

jwaffe wrote:In my opinion bots are a valuable engine feature for helping people start great DM games (so they can shoot something while they wait in an empty server for more players), and they should be available to server hosts.


I fully agree with this statement, and that was my whole reasoning behind Armada and Sentinel's Playground for having bots in the Gameservers. It is NOT to advertise the gameservers so they appear at the _top_ of the gameserver browser list from either IDE or Doomseeker or the like, but to help start a game going. In my past, I have experienced waiting in a gameserver for almost 30 minutes waiting for just someone to connect, but once someone does connect most of the time they will ragequit later on or the waiting game is just not worth it. Adding bots to the game shouldn't be a problem and shouldn't be treated as such as it is only a feature. The only way around this, is to modify the source code to where the bots count in the gameserver is never given or always set to zero.

Personally, I don't see a problem and I wouldn't mind if there was some exception to the rule, not _every_ host is going to do go out of their way and clutter the master server with superfluous gameservers.

Ænima wrote:Huh? I'm pretty sure you're totally allowed to have bots in your own server. Just don't bloat a server with 64 bots just to get attention. People have done that before. :p


From what I have heard from MiFU, which he asked The Toxic Avenger, even adding '1' bot - breaks the rules entirely. That is if I remember correctly.

EDIT: Replied to AEnima
EDIT^2: Revision update
Last edited by Tiger on Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#4

Post by mifu » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:05 am

Tiger wrote:
jwaffe wrote:Lately I've seen some bots in what I think are permanent servers, and I was wondering if there has been any changes in the policy about bots; both doomseeker and IDE support "bots are not players", so I don't really understand the problem that servers with even 64 bots cause -- do they use extra network traffic? How much extra?


The policy has not really changed, but don't quote me either as I could be wrong. Last I heard and read about this rule, it is to prevent the gameserver from being on the 'top' of the list and to avoid useless clutter, but it is true that both IDE and Doomseeker can easily filter such gameservers (ignore them or do not treat bots as players). Additionally, the bots used in this engine does not really take extra bandwidth, but merely CPU cycles and additional RAM from the host system.

jwaffe wrote:In my opinion bots are a valuable engine feature for helping people start great DM games (so they can shoot something while they wait in an empty server for more players), and they should be available to server hosts.


I fully agree with this statement, and that was my whole reasoning behind Armada and Sentinel's Playground for having bots in the Gameservers. It is NOT to advertise the gameservers so they appear at the _top_ of the gameserver browser list from either IDE or Doomseeker or the like, but to help start a game going. In my past, I have experienced waiting in a gameserver for almost 30 minutes waiting for just someone to connect, but once someone does connect most of the time they will ragequit later on or the waiting game is just not worth it. Adding bots to the game shouldn't be a problem and shouldn't be treated as such as it is only a feature. The only way around this, is to modify the source code to where the bots count in the gameserver is never given or always set to zero.

Personally, I don't see a problem and I wouldn't mind if there was some exception to the rule, not _every_ host is going to do go out of their way and clutter the master server with superfluous gameservers.

Ænima wrote:Huh? I'm pretty sure you're totally allowed to have bots in your own server. Just don't bloat a server with 64 bots just to get attention. People have done that before. :p


From what I have heard from MiFU, which he asked The Toxic Avenger, even adding '1' bot - breaks the rules entirely. That is if I remember correctly.

EDIT: Replied to AEnima
EDIT^2: Revision update


I meant if I applied it to like 50 servers lol. I think it is fine, if it's one server or a small amount. If more then the amount i said, it will piss people off.
Last edited by mifu on Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#5

Post by Tiger » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:04 am

mifu wrote:I meant if I applied it to like 50 servers lol. I think it is fine, if it's one server or a small amount. If more then the amount i said, it will piss people off.


I thought it was just any bot in any gameserver, I might have miss understood.

If you are still not allowed to host bots in your game server for whatever reason, just follow my suggestions above, that is unless something better comes across before you start editing the source directly. Also, support temporary bots in Zandronum, adjacent to what ZDaemon has currently implemented on their port.

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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#6

Post by ibm5155 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:08 am

Tiger wrote:Additionally, the bots used in this engine does not really take extra bandwidth, but merely CPU cycles and additional RAM from the host system.

Really? I thinked they were more cpu eater than cs 1.6 bots, at least I remember I couldn't play skulltag with more than 5 on a pentium 3 1GHz :s (vanilla dm)
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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#7

Post by Cruduxy » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:38 am

Am pretty sure the rule is about those stupid servers with 32 bots shown on top of server's list all time.
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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#8

Post by Cyber' » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:03 pm

The rule applies to servers that host 31/32 bots in their server, which means that the server has no reason to exist except to float and hog bandwidth. If you're using a server with 10 bots, as long as the purpose involves gameplay, that's fine.
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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#9

Post by jwaffe » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:34 pm

Understood, so it won't be a problem if I add one bot to the fastdm, Ultimate Doom DM, (increasing player count to 5 to compensate), Greenwar DM, and MSPD DM servers?

That's 5 servers with one bot each.
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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#10

Post by Ænima » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:55 am

That would probably be fine.
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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#11

Post by Dark-Assassin » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:44 am

Having an Automatic Bot Adding/Removal system would be useful for those servers who just house 1 bot just to get things going, rather than hiding them all together.

You Join, a bot (or few) joins. 1-3 more players join, a bot (or few) leaves.

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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#12

Post by jwaffe » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:43 am

I made an (ALPHA) wad that did that a while ago if anybody's interested.

If 1 player joins an empty server, a bot joins the game
If more than one player is in the server, all bots leave
If no players are in the server, all bots leave.

http://www.ifocserv.net/ftp/Random/AutoBot_alpha1.pk3
Last edited by jwaffe on Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#13

Post by ZZYZX » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:26 am

Having bots is one thing, hosting Hellspawn Armada cluster is another.
I believe such servers should be master-ignored, since because of these servers' location people rarely play there and they just pollute the list:
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Anyway, I heard Konar6 is working on temporary bots, i.e. like in ZD that only join after you've connected. That should fix the issue for legit bot usage and add freedom to master-ignore everyone abusing bots to advertise their servers.
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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#14

Post by Dark-Assassin » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:23 am

And yet you can filter out bots from the Player Sorting list in both IDE and DoomSeeker.....

Anyway, if you got a problem with it, come talk to us in #armada about it.
Last edited by Dark-Assassin on Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#15

Post by Tiger » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:50 am

Circunei Z wrote: Having bots is one thing, hosting Hellspawn Armada cluster is another.
I believe such servers should be master-ignored, since because of these servers' location people rarely play there and they just pollute the list:

My opinion still has not changed. Additionally, Armada has its peak in activity. I no longer keep track of the game servers anymore, but the last time I worked on the Armada gameserver cluster, they were fairly active -- since you decided to complain about the gameserver general activity. Activity aside, my opinion as stated before - is not - about polluting the gameserver list, but allowing competitive games to easily start instead of - well, nothing at all. Furthermore, as already mentioned before, you can easily set your gameserver browser to not treat bots as players. With having that setting enabled, that pretty much solves your complaint.

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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#16

Post by Konar6 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:38 am

I'm not sure whether treating bots as players is off by default in all browsers, but in case it isn't (it wasn't in past, and not everyone uses the latest versions of programs), I can see the problem for users that don't know about such option and who are therefore forced to "filter" the bots with their own eyes only.

Anyway, if you genuinely don't want to spam the server list, but merely want to ease up starting games, here is what you all need.

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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#17

Post by Ænima » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:34 pm

You should submit that to the devs.
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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#18

Post by Konar6 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:53 pm

It kinda already is - Torr Samaho watches my fork, in fact he implemented my stuff before. Though I'm not sure if the code quality of this patch is on par with Zandronum's expectations.

Either way, my server patch works right now and is fully compatible with 1.2 clients.
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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#19

Post by Tiger » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:50 pm

Very nice work, Konar6! By chance, how does your implementation fairs with the NoBotNodes declared in the (Z)MAPINFO lump and SkullTag's Campaign lump?

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RE: Bots in permanent servers

#20

Post by Konar6 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:26 pm

That functionality is unchanged. If bot nodes are disabled in mapinfo, no bots will be available.
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