Road-Kill Journal Vol.2-14

Stuffed Cats Inc. Server Reaches the Million Minute Mark
Posted by Toonces T. Cat on Saturday, May 26, 2001 12:30 PM CDT


The .56 passes a milestone:

Do we like to kill each other, or what?

At 1:17am CDT this morning the Stuffed Cats Inc. Server reached, and passed, a milestone. While [DC] Frisky, [DC] Hawk, and HC were shooting it out with each other, and the Cat Bots, they went through the 1,000,000 Player Minute mark. It's not unusal that a UT server accumulates this amount of playing time, but only few last as long on the calendar as the Stuffed Cats Inc. Server. Had it not been for moving the server to the 129.113.176.56 IP, on the ATM backbone, for several months, we would have been here quite a while ago.

The real icing on the cake in this case is that the 1,000,000 Player Minute point was reached during play on our foundation map, CTF-Acid Pipe.

Click here for the ngWorldStats: The game that passed the 1,000,000 minute mark!

-Toonces

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The Stuffed Cats Inc. Server is back to the 4.28 Patch
Posted by Toonces T. Cat on Saturday, May 19, 2001 2:30 PM CDT


What happen and why we've returned to 4.28:

It's a Bloody Anvil!

Tired but true, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."...


It appears safe to say that the server crash debacle is over. A state of denial can be a dangerous thing and there's no doubt that I have been in one since the May 8, 2001 update to the Epic 4.36 UT Patch. The primary reason for applying the 4.36 updater was a lack of new people on the server. Contrary to Epic's claim of complete backwards compatibility, all clients running the 4.36 patch cannot always access all servers running older versions in the long line of UT patches. Some folks running the 4.36 patch get right in, and others cannot. I have not found any pattern of note except that it does appear that Macintosh users have more problems getting on servers running earlier patches if their Mac client is at the 4.36 level.

The other reasons for updating the server were minor technical issues that have little if anything to do with actual server performance. The 4.28 D3D Drivers are terrible...Epic does not deny this fact. In fact they point out the improvements for D3D in both the 4.32 and the 4.36 patches. The server has little or nothing to do with individual D3D performance on the client side of the equation. The 4.32 patch reintroduced us to the well known data run-on problem after client disconnects. Supposedly, the 4.36 update corrected this again...That is nonsense as we were completely free of the problem the entire time we ran the 4.28 patch. Version 4.36 instantly started it up again. And, that is not just our server as whenever I get on Apoth's server, I receive a data flood almost every time I exit.

The frustrating thing is that all of these problems have what appears to be a zero consistency factor. For example, Apotheosis runs the 4.36 patch, CSHP4r, and BDB's MapVote3 and has no crash problems whatsoever...go figure! Another minor issue that 4.36 was supposed to fix that actually affects the Dead Cat servers is the matter of sinking weapons. Well, guess what? They sink like rocks on certain maps even with the 4.36 patch. Most of the other updates in both the 4.32 and the 4.36 patches were aimed at clients and not at servers. A great deal of both patches dealt with Unreal Editor issues. The 4.36 patch did correct the 255 character limit for ServerPackages that the 4.32 patch created and that the 4.28 patch never had to begin with.

So, having said all of that, we now are running the 4.28 patch...with whatever warts it may have...the MapVote3 Mod, and the usual Dead Cat stuff. I have removed CSHP4b and CSHP4r does not appear to be compatible with the 4.28 patch. So many cheats have been written that will circumvent the 4b version that it seems completely pointless to keep it in place. I also suspect that CSHP degraded network performance to some degree. On this point, what I do know for sure is that the 170.56 machine has been running for over 24 hours straight now without incident. The pings are the best I've seen in many, many months, packet loss is 0% for most players, and not even the modem users are getting randomly kicked.

If you're curious about exactly what each of the many Epic patches changed, I've found one of their old Release Notes pages and made it available locally. The page will remain here on a permanent basis and is now in an easy to read format.

Release Notes for all Epic UT Patches: Release Notes

-Toonces

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The First MapVote3 Data Harvest from Stuffed Cats Inc.
Posted by Toonces T. Cat on Friday, May 11, 2001 10:30 AM CDT


The maps we most like to play:

Here's the First Tally!

Carnage ranks high on the Dead Cat wish list...


One of the very nice features that MapVote3 offers to server administrators is the ability to quickly and easily monitor which maps in the inventory are being played...and how frequently they are being played. The list in the graphic above represents the period from April 20, 2001 through May 10, 2001 or 21 days of operation for the Stuffed Cats Inc. Server.

Here are a few interesting things the data reveals:

               1.) A total of 461 maps were played during the period which averages out to 22
                    games per day

               2.) CTF-Car Park was chosen 58 times or roughly 13% of all the games played

               3.) The "Top 5" maps were selected 182 times or approximately 40% of all the
                    maps played

               4.) Maps written by Hobi-Wan including CTF-Crater of Snipers][, CTF-Twisting
                    Jungle
, CTF- Boom Boom Bridge, and CTF-Ice Flow were picked 44 times
                    or almost 10% of all games.

If you enjoy looking at this type of data, it is always available on line while you're playing on the Stuffed Cats Inc. Server. Simply hit your MapVote3 Hot-Key, select the Info Tab and then click on the Report 1 Button.

-Toonces

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