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Ridoc

Petition to Limit Server Licences

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* Please note, this is my personal opinion - Not as Moderator, nor anything official *

* Also note, we have 2 Servers - filled before/at prime time, so this is not complaining because we can't fill the servers *

 

I have come to notice several Communities/Clans to be active with alot Servers since a while and i believe this is not good for the vast majority of Clans/Communities, especially all the news ones coming in since 2018!

 

While Server Queue is a blessing - It is a curse too! Because now players can pile up on one Server and not look for another Server to play on. In the past, this helped especially smaller Teams

 

I do understand, that OWI needs strong and good Partners but don't forget the small ones...

All the new Clans, that bring People to the Game, they deserve own servers and bring more varietey to the Server Landscape.

 

Let's say for example one Partner with a total of 6-7 Servers

If you see Player peak of 4.000 last days at 20:00 Central European time, they have about 14-15% of all Players.

 

Pratical Question: How many Admins you must have to cover this amount of Servers?

Guideline Question: Aren't we suppost to cover the Servers with Admins and ensure Quality?

 

Where is the limit of granting Licences? Can someone apply for 10, simply because they can seed 10 Servers?

And i truly believe, no one can administrate more than 3-4 Servers well...

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Posted (edited)

While I agree, the fact that they are not administrated properly makes playing in them a really bad experience and might be off putting for new players trying to get the hang of the game, which is a worse issue. Some servers, although they are popular and filled daily, really offer abysmal game quality and do a bad advertisement of the game. Players playing in them have no idea what they are actually missing in terms of game quality, which as a result might decrease the median game hours of the game which OWI would have liked otherwise I think.

 

 If they were ALL administrated properly, I would have no beef with anyone having lots of servers running.

Edited by bilsantu
Grammar

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Capitalism my friend, free market. Although I do sympathise with you. Be interesting to see what others think. Building a server can be done, you just need a large community. They will help you seed. Hell, I could name my server "abciseasyas123" or something equally as stupid and get my guys to seed it and it would be full. Build the community. It takes time.

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TL;DR: A licensed squad server can't be the solution nor the way to grow your gaming community. 

 

I don't think that server queues are the problem. I don't see people lining up on servers that have more than 15-20 people in the queue, because it just takes too long. At that point, they will start looking for new servers. And these servers must be ready then. They must have some players playing it. 

 

Creating a community doesn't start with your dedicated server. It can, but that's the lucky straw you have when it happens. The ordinary way is that you build a community through interaction. You meet up regularly, play together and continuously find new players that like your teams playstyle and can identify with it. Eventually, you want to host your own games and that's when random players might find you. Your server has a specific setting, name, whatever, that appeals to others browsing the server list. And since you already have a few people, you just have to be on your server. Yes, it's boring at times and maybe you can't play the game it's supposed to be played all the time. But presence is upmost important. 

If you want to go the commercial way, like "Ok, we have 5 servers and tons of community members" then you need to spend some serious money: Facebook ads for your community group, servers need to be in place and you need a decent branding. 

 

I don't think it concerns us how many admins another community has. When they have 6 servers and no one complains, then it seems to work and they're probably working within their capacity. If you think that some server owners aren't following OWIs guidelines for community hosted servers, then go proof-hunting (screenshots, videos, etc.) and submit them in the appropriate forum. If OWI is following those report properly, I'm sure that there will be consequences. And that way, players will redistribute to other servers. 

 

Which doesn't mean that I don't understand what you're saying. I started playing Squad alone and when I played as a SL more and more people added me on Steam. Within a week I roughly had 30 people around me who all liked the way I am leading as a SL. Eventually some of them wanted to try SL and I tagged along with them to help and guide them. We're about to host our own server now, since we experienced numerous bad situations on servers where the admins just didn't respond or where the reporting process if overcomplicated, resulting in people not reporting because it just takes too much time. Like, I just wanna report a trolling player mate, not filing my taxes. Yet, there's always a very thin line between overcomplicating a report process and kicking/banning players without enough evidence. But the solution can't be to limit the people who get licenses. It must be a good and fair reporting process for servers who are repeatedly failing to uphold the community server guidelines. 
 

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Question: Shall i be allowed to request 10 Server Licences, because i have the technical resources?

 

Because my question is not about a community

 

 

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I think you should, yeah. If you operate within the guidelines (upholding server quality), why not?

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Posted (edited)

In my opinion the whole licensing system is faulty by design and there is no way to check if those communities do hold the requirements or not. Its a system based on trust, but can you rely on trust to make sure those rather small communities (based on the amount of active admins) can take care of 6-7 Servers? I do not think so and therefore I have to agree with Ridoc. If there were no complains, Ridoc would not have made this thread.

 

It just seems those complains are rather directed towards other players/communities instead of towards OWI. People who realize a server does not get the care it deserves just leave and go somewhere else instead of making a complain to OWI. I am an admin of a community myself and we do get those complains about other servers not being administrated as well. But it should not be our job to make sure other people do their job and care about their servers. Therefore I think a maximum amount of licenses is required, if OWI is not able to check if the amount of admins is adequate to the number of servers they are running.

Edited by Pvt.Chill

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It should be.

And if the admins can cover this server everything is fine.

And if you can report anything if no admin is on a server.

 

And if anyone don´t like servers, they can leave it and don´t need to join again.

But if anyone has 6+ full server and they will get full everyday, then i think the players like the server.

 

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Well, even in neo-capitalism there are still some rules left over. Moreover, those markets are not free at all, if you have a closer look...

 

Anyways, my point is that there are some rules in this case as well which must be ensured as well. One can find them here:

 

 

Here an extract of the rules which are of importance here:

Quote

~ Admins should make an effort to promote a culture of teamwork and communication through their actions on the server and through the creation of server rules which do likewise.
~ Admins should encourage a fair, friendly and sportsmanlike atmosphere when mediating interaction between players.
~ Licensed servers must have enough active admins to properly run the server to maintain the integrity of the community and the server itself.
~ Admins are present to enforce the server rules. The priority is to maintain high quality gameplay and good teamwork for the benefit of all players. They retain the right to act accordingly to any undefined disruptive behavior within the confines of the server administration guidelines.

So, the example included in this post in my understanding is questioning the ability to administer a server landscape above a certain size, if the administrations do not scale with its size. If we stick with the example, of 6 - 7 server in one timezone, we should ask, how any active admins do I need for such a task? 

 

As one can see in the rules, for the required tasks, active admins are mandatory! No admin can "promote", "enforce" or "encourage" anything if not actively on the server. Idling 24/7 in Discord is not actively administering a server! This is the reason, why the "servers must have enough active admins" clause in in there.

 

The conclusion should be to recognise that 1 game server should have always at least one active admin on the server during peak times, when the server is full. Unfortunately, is this not always the case and this is exactly the point.

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40 minutes ago, Bale said:

I don't think it concerns us how many admins another community has. When they have 6 servers and no one complains, then it seems to work and they're probably working within their capacity. If you think that some server owners aren't following OWIs guidelines for community hosted servers, then go proof-hunting (screenshots, videos, etc.) and submit them in the appropriate forum. If OWI is following those report properly, I'm sure that there will be consequences. And that way, players will redistribute to other servers. 
 

I don't think it was the intention to "finger point" here. Moreover, what proof are you referring to? Is it proof, when I join a full server 3 times in 1 hour intervals asking for a admin and no one reply's that the server is not actively administered? I guess you know where I'm heading... 

 

IMHO this threads intend is more some kind of "brain storming" and "raising awareness".

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11 minutes ago, [B.T.S] Husky said:

It should be.

And if the admins can cover this server everything is fine.

And if you can report anything if no admin is on a server.

 

And if anyone don´t like servers, they can leave it and don´t need to join again.

But if anyone has 6+ full server and they will get full everyday, then i think the players like the server.

 

But probably one for that reason, that they are full and this is exactly the point. As said, there are clear rules that require active admins on the servers and not just a Discord channel.

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Yo!

 

Just dropping in to let everyone know that we have been and will continue to read along. There are some solid points discussed here, and we really appreciate the thoughtfulness with which you folks are making them. We're already looking at some server licensing stuff internally and expanding it to include this discussion. We do think it's important to foster new additions to the community, as well as supporting the larger communities -- after all, they all started with just a couple people.

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Posted (edited)

I absolutely understand the point @sizeof(void) and agree. Maybe I understood it slightly different than it was meant. I agree that licensing needs to be "reformed", but not for the reason that someone is doubting that you and your team can handle X servers. 

Speaking of "reforming", I would fear that the checks put in place would be just too much hassle for most people.

We have 3 sides here: 

  1. OWI
  2. Hosting admins
  3. Players

 

One of them will have more work if you want to make licensing and everything that comes with it a better environment. OWI could just be on servers more or put other checks in to see whether Admins are available, i.e. make reporting "bad" admins (nonspresence, etc.) much much easier. That's more work for OWI.

 

If OWI puts in more things that admins have to do, then it's on the admins. I think right now monitoring a subforum and a discord (and maybe answering to accusations) is enough, since most communities have servers for more games than Squad. It's not like communities have an abundance of good and trustworthy admins.

 

Another thing possible is that OWI is implementing easier access to reports & tools to report "bad" servers (no admins, reporting process too complex, no feedback on reports, etc.), would be more "work" for players but that looks like the best way. 

Edited by Bale

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When browsing the server list I can refine my search by hiding the empty ones and also order them by ping. When It's time for me to play I usually find a few that are full and queue for them. 

 

I think some communities have good justification for multiple servers. As modding and vanilla will bring more toys to play with, having the ability to host different servers will be important for things like:

Training Server

Flying ops server 

Operations Server

Public Server 

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For me the most pertinent question is, "How many Admins you must have to cover this amount of Servers?"

 

Surely the goal of the licensing system is to ensure a reasonably consistent gameplay experience (server performance, maps played and actively admins). So from purely an active admin point of view if you're talking about 10 servers then in order to cover the period when the server is active then you're looking at 5-10 admins per server (I assume that 10 people are not going to give up every evening of every week from now on to cover one server each so to cover absences and real life obligations for each you would need this amount). So you would need 50-100 people just to admin those servers and ensure a decent level of game play.

 

I would applaud OWI for the approach that they have taken as community run servers are not the norm for most games these days and present additional challenges to manage but I'd say that it's a process that needs to be under constant review to ensure that the experiences that players (old and new) are getting is an enjoyable one and actively moderated.

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Suggestion to OWI:

When the admin connects, his PC checks him in by sending OWI a message that admin X just joined server Y. OWI can read the server logs, so as soon as the admin disconnects OWI can check him out. When the admin goes afk, the game temporarily checks him out until he gets active again. Do this some weeks and you'll have a nice statistic to base your decisions on.

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I like the sentiment.
Perhaps it could be done, so that if a single entity(clan, community or server provider) has multiple servers online - there'd need to be a server filter, e.g. show duplicate servers - it only shows 1 of the servers, unless
a. the person switches the filter off in their server browser filter settings
b. 30% of entities have their first server filled to 51% capacity
     (^ example number, I have no idea how many individual licenses there are and what the player flow is), but I think this would help promote variety, especially in the seeding hours.
Sooner or later, people would then notice which servers are admined and how much/how they like it and flock to only certain servers based on their preference. 
e.g. meanwhile in voip
"Hey, how come this server isn't online all the time Mr. Admin? I really like to play here"
"It is, new_player24584, you just have check the show duplicate servers filter in your server browser"

At the end of the day though, I think it should really just be a balance of admin:performance:playerflux that should keep your server licensed. I feel that maybe there has been a little too much focus on the playerflux part during the freeweekends/new versions etc and those servers just stayed up, while other depopulated et cetera.

I spend as little time as possible in the server browser, but I can say with perfect certainty that on any given day(singular) there's never exactly the same combination of populated servers. There's a lot of overlap, but also variety, from day to day.

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If you have 7 Servers, and can seed them somehow (I wonder how, facepalm) you lose 7 unique servers because they dont reach the critical limit for seeding. 
Yeah, thats not the point in this thread, but thats my point.

I know at least 3 communities who stopped the servers, becaue they lose the seeding game. If you have 4 guys seeding, but server 1-7 has 11. You will never get enough players to fill the server.
In the end of the day, server 1-7 will have 7 full servers, if they just switch the seeding "players".

 

2 or 3 licensed servers, 2-3 unlicensed for training and modding. idk how ppl should need more.

 

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I think the OP has a very valid point which may not be overheard.

 

From my experience I can say that the administrative quality of the communities hosting more than two server licences is usually more than awful if not non existend. This has gotten worse since 2018 and this needs to be checked by offworld industries! 

 

The poor managing of licensed servers in Squad has come to a point where new players get scared and quickly abandon the game due to a toxic ammount of players that could be handled if the admins of those high pop servers cared more.

 

I fear for the meta and the future of this franchise in the long run if no actions are being taken!

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Yeah a lot of the communities with multiple servers don't have the amount of people needed to keep the quality of the game high.

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must express my sympathy for OP. The quality of games on said servers tends to be very underwhelming, and have had reports of very few admins, although since I only really play on my own server I can't confirm. 

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As I've pointed out multiple times over the last 2 years the rules for the game should be built into the game itself to the point where it's self sufficient and doesn't need a bunch of overzealous helicopter parents and their supplemental rules.

 

In their defense the devs have recognized this and taken many steps to achieve this goal. For example starting with the feature of 7 TK's get you booted from the match and then recently the prohibitions on using weapons inside main to grief players & vehicles plus increasing the exclusion zone around the main base with a kill zone are important steps in the process.

 

Analyzing that narrative then at this point I'm curious what the actual necessity of admin are besides creating these supplemental rules that are inconsistent across the board and stifle individuals gameplay?

 

I mean at this point the only further behavior control methods needed in Squad are some form of reducing the gross amount of admincam ghosting, clan stacking and other blatant admin abuses that are occurring and driving away players new and old.

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10 minutes ago, Zylfrax791 said:

As I've pointed out multiple times over the last 2 years the rules for the game should be built into the game itself to the point where it's self sufficient and doesn't need a bunch of overzealous helicopter parents and their supplemental rules.

 

In their defense the devs have recognized this and taken many steps to achieve this goal. For example starting with the feature of 7 TK's get you booted from the match and then recently the prohibitions on using weapons inside main to grief players & vehicles plus increasing the exclusion zone around the main base with a kill zone are important steps in the process.

 

Analyzing that narrative then at this point I'm curious what the actual necessity of admin are besides creating these supplemental rules that are inconsistent across the board and stifle individuals gameplay?

 

I mean at this point the only further behavior control methods needed in Squad are some form of reducing the gross amount of admincam ghosting, clan stacking and other blatant admin abuses that are occurring and driving away players new and old.

 

I disagree. 

 

As complex as a game as Squad and it's mechanics are there will always be a need for "helicopter parenting" by admins on servers. The game relies heavily(!) on team play and quote: "[...]organized tactical multi-squad planning" (OWI). Even the license application terms say that the admins are to make sure that no players harm the gameflow and the intigrity of the gameplay as a whole. 

 

While the game itself has made progress regarding the implementation of restrictions that limit the players to take certain actions that would harm the team on a grand scale we are far from having achieved a standard if that is even possible.

The very soul of Squad and also it's predecessor Project Reality was the aspect to have as much freedom in making descisions as you possibly could (which is exactly how it should be unlike PostScriptum). That however has the complete opposite effect on team play mechanics as there will always be new players not wanting to read rules or players in general disturbing the flow of any round to a point where it's actually game breaking and no matter how much work the team puts in the game will be unable to reward any actions they take.

 

While you could argue that of course the better team wins and pre planning and communication is everything I'd still say that there are so many special cases when it comes to human failure and in many cases toxic behaviour or trolling that YES of course active admins on game servers are very much needed in order to sustain a player base.

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12 minutes ago, FrankyGER said:

 

I disagree. 

 

As complex as a game as Squad and it's mechanics are there will always be a need for "helicopter parenting" by admins on servers. The game relies heavily(!) on team play and quote: "[...]organized tactical multi-squad planning" (OWI). Even the license application terms say that the admins are to make sure that no players harm the gameflow and the intigrity of the gameplay as a whole. 

 

While the game itself has made progress regarding the implementation of restrictions that limit the players to take certain actions that would harm the team on a grand scale we are far from having achieved a standard if that is even possible.

The very soul of Squad and also it's predecessor Project Reality was the aspect to have as much freedom in making descisions as you possibly could (which is exactly how it should be unlike PostScriptum). That however has the complete opposite effect on team play mechanics as there will always be new players not wanting to read rules or players in general disturbing the flow of any round to a point where it's actually game breaking and no matter how much work the team puts in the game will be unable to reward any actions they take.

 

While you could argue that of course the better team wins and pre planning and communication is everything I'd still say that there are so many special cases when it comes to human failure and in many cases toxic behaviour or trolling that YES of course active admins on game servers are very much needed in order to sustain a player base.

Alright, you make a good argument for why admins are needed but where do you stand in instances where a full server has no admins online? Do you think it's realistic to assume that 100% of the servers have active admins 100% of the time? Me neither. 

 

How often you think this following guideline is respected?:

~ Licensed servers must have enough active admins to properly run the server to maintain the integrity of the community and the server itself. [UPDATED 14 August 2017]

Source: http://forums.joinsquad.com/topic/7849-game-server-administration-guidelines/

 

 

Hint:

Spoiler

Admins put the discord link in server messages and go play other games or are out of game while their servers are full of people. That's a loophole.

 

So I agree with both of you @FrankyGER and @Zylfrax791 to some extent. Admins are needed, but we also need the core game mechanic to be self-serving. Things like mutiny vote for SL's and commander when it arrives, server vote kick (or 1 day ban) for problematic players that can't be dealt with by an admin because no admin is present, etc...

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5 minutes ago, CptDirty said:

Alright, you make a good argument for why admins are needed but where do you stand in instances where a full server has no admins online? Do you think it's realistic to assume that 100% of the servers have active admins 100% of the time? Me neither. 

 

How often you think this following guideline is respected?:

~ Licensed servers must have enough active admins to properly run the server to maintain the integrity of the community and the server itself. [UPDATED 14 August 2017]

Source: http://forums.joinsquad.com/topic/7849-game-server-administration-guidelines/

 

Yes, I think to some degree they should. I am not saying it is 100% possible. After all those are people sacrificing their free time while pretty much asking nothing in return. It's pure dedication on their side and should be respected. But they are also making a commitment here when agreeing to the terms of service of OWI's server policy - Now this is exactly the point. We have communites hosting way more servers than they offer admins to deal with them - Or in short: Do not freaking host more servers than you can monitor!

 

Still, on OWI's side there should be a system in place which doesn't just limit licences to the number of active admins but also watches their actual ingame time. We had someone earlier suggest some kind of algorythm that makes sure that an avarage involvement time during peak times or euqal to a certain player count is met.

 

Server Owner and communites are in fact responsible for their servers. If they fail to do so, they have to deal with the consequences. The only one who has to deal with it right now is the more non casual and hardcore dedicated playerbase that wants to get immersed and make the most out of every round with the tools that are being given to them. And like I already pointed out in my first post in this thread - I honestly feel for the future of this franchise where new players either support a toxic culture or are immidiatley turned down by it in their first couple hours of play time.

 

Server admins have a responsibility when it comes to keeping the community alive and together. I doubt most of them are even aware of this fact.

 

 

17 minutes ago, CptDirty said:

Things like mutiny vote for SL's and commander when it arrives, server vote kick (or 1 day ban) for problematic players that can't be dealt with by an admin because no admin is present, etc...

 

As far as this issue goes. Cyber mobbing and false witch hunting of players could get supported by this feature. I am just making an assumption here so who knows. But Yes, vote options for the server as a whole should be an option as well as map voting and game mode voting in my point of view. :)

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