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Xonotic Pickup IRC Channel

#1
You probably noticed by now that every time you launch Xonotic and look at the server list, there is never any players on any server. So you might be thinking, "arg! nobody plays this game!". Well my friend, you are thinking wrong!

There are pickups matches happening almost every day, but you might not be aware of them as they are happening on private servers (why private? see the end of this post for explanation). This post is to try and inform all players that would be interested in pickup matches about what to do to participate.

Pickup matches are semi-organized matches where players "add up" to a queue for games. When there are enough players in queue to play, all players are notified to join a server to start the match. This way, you don't have to join an empty server waiting for hours for someone to join you.

So If you want to join in on the fun, fire up IRC and join #xonotic.pickup on Quakenet. From there, you will be able to add up to queue for pickup games. Hopefully you are familar with IRC. If you don't have an IRC client, you can always use this: http://webchat.quakenet.org/

Once you are on the #xonotic.pickup channel, you can have a look at the topic for gamemodes that might already have players in the queue waiting to play. You can also, directly in the channel, type this: !who

The channel bot, xpickbot, will then send you a notice with a list of queues and the name of players that added up (if there are any).

If you want to add up for a game, you need to tell the bot in the form of a command that you type directly in the channel (and without the brackets):

!add [game mode (case-insensitive)] [number of players]

Here is an example for 5 vs. 5 Capture the Flag: !add CTF 10

Broken down, here is what this does:

!add - add yourself to queue
CTF - for Capture the Flag game mode
10 - for the number of players you would like to play with (in this case, 10 meaning 5 vs. 5 because this game mode uses 2 teams)

The only exception for this is Duel, where you don't need to specify the number of players. To add yourself for a duel, only type: !add duel

The bot will automatically add you to the selected queue and update the channel topic. Once there are enough players in the queue, the bot will send you a notice telling you the match is ready and give you info about the server to join.

If you want to remove yourself from a queue, you can at any time type !remove in the channel. Note that if you added up for more than one game mode, this will remove you from all of them.

Here is a list of all game modes supported by #xonotic.pickup :

CTF: Capture the Flag - A game for 6 to 20 players and 2 teams
CA: Clan Arena - A game for 4 to 20 players and 2 teams
TDM: Team Deathmatch - A game for 4 to 20 players and 2 teams
FT: Freeze Tag - A game for 4 to 20 players and 2 teams
Duel - A game for 2 players
KH: Key Hunt - A game for 3 to 21 players and 3 teams
KA: Keep Away - A game for 3 to 20 players (FFA)
DM: Deathmatch - A game for 3 to 20 players (FFA)


That's about it, be respectful and most of all, HAVE FUN!

----------------------------------

A few things to know/remember:

If you are familiar with IRC then is will be no news for you, but more often then not, people on IRC are not always looking at the chat waiting for other people to talk. Many will leave their client running all the time and once in while will look in the channel to see if there is activity. So if you don't get a reply after 2 minutes, do not desperate, somebody will eventually answer. But don't be afraid to ask questions, everyone if friendly and will be happy to help if not busy.

You have to understand that there is no fixed times that people play, so you will have to be patient depending on the time of day and how popular the game mode you add up to. For a better chance of catching a game, it's good to know that most matches are played during evenings (Euro time) so that is usually the best time to add up.

You can add up to more than one game mode. Currently, the most popular game modes are CTF 5v5 and Duel. I encourage you to add for less popular game modes too, but realize there is more chance you will be able to play a CTF 5v5 match than a 4v4v4 Key Hunt match. Add up to all the game modes you're interested in playing, who knows! Once any of those match is ready, you will be removed from all the others, so you don't have to worry about a match starting while you are already playing.

At the moment all matches are played on euro servers as there are not many active NA players at this time, or are not aware of the pickup channel. Hopefully that will change soon.

Adding up to a game and then not showing up is considered rude, if you add up you are expected to play at least 1 map. If you add up and then don't show up when the match is ready, everyone will be wasting time waiting for you on the server. Remember that you can remove yourself from the queue at any time by typing !remove in the channel.

Please don't leave during the middle of a match. Yes, sometimes it is frustrating to lose, but if you leave mid-game that means your team will be one man down! Please be a good sportsman, be respectful of other people's time and keep playing until the end of the match. If you feel that teams are unfair, finish the match and then suggest that new teams should be picked for next map. If for any reason you have to leave during a match and there are spectators on the server, you can always ask if one of them would like to take your spot. If not, you can always mention on irc that there is a match currently going that is missing a player.

Another thing you should be aware of is that if you are completely new to this, and depending on what is your background experience with first person shooters, you might find that the skill level is quite high so you can expect to have play a few matches before you can catch up with other players. Many of them have been playing Xonotic since the begining and know the maps well already. But worry not, everyone is very friendly and as long as you are willing to learn, nobody will hold it against you if you are not doing as well as other players. After all, Xonotic is in development, so there is not a lot of regular players yet and I'm sure everyone will be happy to have more players to play with.

If you are unsure how to play a game mode or what you are supposed to do to help your team, it's a good idea to learn about it before an actual match. On IRC, you can ask the bot using the command !describe <game>, ie: !describe CTF, you will then recieve general informations about the specified game mode.

Pickup games use the Tourney system in Xonotic, which means that when you connect to the server, your match won't start right away. Everyone will need to "ready up" by pressing F4 (default key). This is so we can pick teams and make sure everyone is ready before we start. During warmup is also a good time to discuss strategy with your teammates. When all players are ready, a countdown will start.

In team-based game modes, when your match is ready, the bot will randomly select "captains" to pick teams. Once all players have joined on the server it is courteous to spectate so captains can start picking players for their teams. So try to keep an eye on scoreboard and the chat to make sure you are not making others wait.

Playing pickup games is a good way to see how far the game has gone in terms of weapon balance, physics and stable features as matches are played on up-to-date and stable servers. Because Xonotic is heavily in development with new features and changes being added constantly, many servers found on the serverlist are out of date, using wrong physics or weapon balance version, outdated maps or graphics.

The reason the servers used for pickups are kept private is not for "elitist" reasons by any means. It is simply so players who connect to the servers know what to expect and not accidently ruin other people's fun by joining a match with balanced teams because they didn't know the match was pre-organized. If those servers were made public, it would be both unfair for the unknowing player trying to join and be told they can't, and the pickup player having to stop playing to explain why the unknowing player can't play. It might not be ideal, but there is no other choice for now. By keeping the servers private, we basically insure that nobody get their feelings hurt on either side.
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#2
Thanks for this guide. I wish some of these guys would hit the pubs too sometimes Tongue I idle there but I usually check the channel at bad times but I'll try to see if I can catch these pickups when people actually join them.
bye / bad luck and have boredom
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#3
Thanks for the heads up. Didn't know about this channel, so you'll surely see me in there often from now on Smile
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#4
good post nifrek. Some more information on pickup were not useless.

As you explained, pickup games are not -by essence- ellistist. Well at least when the community is not predominantly composed by old good players... but it's just a transitory problem. Classic chicken-egg problem.
So I just encourage anyone to play pickup games. And, as nifrek said, add up for other modes than 5v5 ctf and duel!

The little problem i currently have with pickup games is that a lot of players just want to play Xonotic with humans, whatever the form of the game. And some of those people (my case) could not afford to wait 2 hours to play 10 minutes.
Pickup is the best way to organize high quality games. It just seems to be a luxury right now.

Of course, all my remarks will vanish whenever public servers will start to be crowded. In the meantime, i would also encourage pickup players to breath some fresh air from public servers. Smile
Fat.bot.Slim
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#5
(06-03-2011, 03:23 PM)nifrek Wrote: The reason the servers used for pickups are kept private is not for "elitist" reasons by any means. It is simply so players who connect to the servers know what to expect and not accidently ruin other people's fun by joining a match with balanced teams because they didn't know the match was pre-organized. If those servers were made public, it would be both unfair for the unknowing player trying to join and be told they can't, and the pickup player having to stop playing to explain why the unknowing player can't play. It might not be ideal, but there is no other choice for now. By keeping the servers private, we basically insure that nobody get their feelings hurt on either side.

Except that whoever is joining after the pickup game has started still can't play.

Suppose there are 11 people who want to play CTF at a given time. For pickups, there is no problem for the first ten who join - they'll just play as usual. But what happens when people try to join afterwards? They'll see that a game has already started, and there aren't enough people to start another. My guess is that most people just give up and go and do something else, instead of waiting for enough people to start a second game (which is highly unlikely anyway at this stage)

Surely it's better to get more people playing public games than private ones?
[Image: 370.png] AKA [~] John Smith on Nexuiz
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#6
Yes but playing on a public 10 players server requires ~5 times more players than a pickup game with the same 10 players. (Why do you call pickup games private btw?)
chooksta Wrote:640t ought to be enuf for antibody
- microsoft windows
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#7
What do you mean, 5 times more players?

I say private because the servers don't appear on the public server list (at least I think they don't :/)
[Image: 370.png] AKA [~] John Smith on Nexuiz
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#8
He means, at this moment in time it really does take a lot of player's to get 10 players on a public server as people come and leave, in pickup this is not the case, you add up, join, play.

ThePWTULN, same thing happens with publics, server is full so someone can't join, however they can always add to the next pickup game.

Nifrek, it might be an idea to set a 2 map cap in the meantime until there are more people joining and playing..in which time another server/s can be set up to accomodate. Otherwise if 3 maps get played people who are waiting will have to wait like 1 hour+ which is too long and a bit unfair, so i'd make it 2 maps max for now, then then players have to go and add up on the bot again.
[Image: 542.png]

#deathmatchers @ irc.quakenet.org

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#9
@Rage_ATWM & ThePWTULN

Yeah I understand how guys you feel, but it can't be helped for now, there are not enough players for public servers Sad I don't think it's going to happen until there's a new official release with the whole PR deal. I'd say currently there are maybe 25 regular players that play pickups (or least players that I personally see often enough that I actually can remember and recognize the names), and it rarely happens that all of them are on at the same time. While we do get to play most days, it's definitely not raining players Wink

But really, the reason it works better with pickups (at least for now), is the same reason nobody join empty servers; players don't want to sit in a server for an hour until someone joins. So adding up to queue lets you simply do other things instead of waiting in-game, you don't have to launch the game every 10 minutes to see if someone is playing. But I definitely would not suggest staring at IRC for people to add up either.

Personally, what I do is when I know I have time to play (ie: I know I'm free for the next 2 hours) then I will add up to a queue then I go about my business browsing the internet, chatting, watching tv shows, etc. If the queue fills up, then I get a notice from the bot alerting me the match will start. If it doesn't happen while I have time to play, then I remove from the queue.

Every time I've tried joining an empty public server, either nobody showed up or one or 2 guys joined then left after a couple minutes, in the span of an hour. Not very satisfying. Pickup matches are hard to predict if it'll happen or not, but anytime they happen you just KNOW it's going to kick ass. The whole concept of captains picking teams also adds a lot to it, it's very rare that teams are totally unbalanced like on public servers where people will join/leave at any time during matches without a care. I realize it might be a bit too intense for some, with pickups you basically get the whole experience, I think it's worth a try.

But what you can do if you come to pickup channel and you see that there's a few players in queues, feel free to tell everyone that you're going to "warm up" on a server until a match is ready and that anyone is welcome to join. I'm sure many would join you then. Or at least, I think you'd have more luck that way than randomly firing up Xonotic and joining an empty server without anyone knowing.

The only thing that bugs me right now is that there's almost no North American players around, so for the few of us it's hard to catch a game unless it's in the afternoon and with high ping on Euro servers.


(06-04-2011, 07:56 AM)kojn^ Wrote: Nifrek, it might be an idea to set a 2 map cap in the meantime until there are more people joining and playing..in which time another server/s can be set up to accomodate. Otherwise if 3 maps get played people who are waiting will have to wait like 1 hour+ which is too long and a bit unfair, so i'd make it 2 maps max for now, then then players have to go and add up on the bot again.

I agree, but I wouldn't know how to enforce this, we don't really have "rules" per say, more like guidelines that people follow out of agreement. I guess we just have to mention this to others when the occasion appears, I'm sure everyone will agree anyway.
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#10
(06-04-2011, 10:17 AM)nifrek Wrote: The only thing that bugs me right now is that there's almost no North American players around, so for the few of us it's hard to catch a game unless it's in the afternoon and with high ping on Euro servers.
Hit the nail on the head. The only NA servers are public, which are always empty--besides, I can usually outmatch anyone on there (which is why I went to pickup) but I get beat in pickup not because I'm a poor player, but because my ping stays around ~164,000,000. I would be awesome to get a good NA Duel in now and then with someone that puts up a fight Smile
nowego [MLP:FiM]
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#11
nowego, ah, feel free to ask me anytime on irc for a duel, I'd love to. There's also a new US server, it's public for now but already has votable game modes and will probably be kept up to date, should be perfect for duels and eventual pickups. You can check it out, it's called Fight Club - Chicago.
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#12
Nowego4 I would willing to challenge you if you like. I am in the US so ping will not be a problem for the both of us Smile.
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#13
Thank you very much for this post! I'm in the US and typically play Late at night because I'm on a night schedule and have been disappointed to only play singleplayer with bots Smile

By the way, Sabayon Linux has added Xonotic to their testing branch (AKA Limbo) and I'm working with them on a gaming edition that is current. THere are a lot of Sabayon users that like to game, so hopefully this will bring in some more people.

Great job again on the post, perma autoloaded into irssi Smile
| Registered Linux User #537918 | Arch [testing] | Awesome WM User |

"In a world without walls, who needs Windows?"
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#14
Nifrek thanks for your update and help with this! People should still join the public servers as well. Not everyone is in a clan or wants to play the uber133t. Some of us actually just want to see players on the public servers.
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#15
I think what would help as well is trying to gain more exposure for the game itself.

Referencing the date of 0.5's release, I've been running searches on PC-based forums I visit frequently; mentions of Xonotic are few and far between.

To help stir the pot, I've created a thread on Anandtech recently, outlining my quick, favoured impressions about the game. It has received quite a number of views, as well as positive impressions overall.

A mentioning of exposure on ESReality was done on another thread here, but I've yet to see any initiative done by the devs there. Either they're very preoccupied with "stuff" (keep it coming!), or ESR is slacking in releasing the news.
In-game name: Peerless
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#16
Do agree andy, let's not beat around the bush. The news release for 0.5 was far below par, Xonotic isn't reaching enough mainstream sites imo when a new release comes out..this HAS to be fixed for the 1.0 release if the game is to start to attract a decent amount of gamers/players, no excuses.
[Image: 542.png]

#deathmatchers @ irc.quakenet.org

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#17
If nobody else does so, I'll post the news when 1.0 arives on every Dutch open source/gaming site/forum I can find.
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#18
I thank you all for your insight and work but I'm not sure this is attracting users to the game. Might it be better for server admins to start setting minplayer requirements instead? As it currently stands most days there are 0 (that's right, ZERO players in North America and ZERO servers with Bots in them.) It might make more sense for server admins to set this to minplayers and set botz up just for the sake of the game.

Remember, when newbs and old timers alike connect to the master server and they see a whole bunch of nada - it ain't good for Xonotic or its community. It makes me =( cuz I need some fraggin' love.

[Image: 9f4dmrw0tlw1hs6jzgc1_thumb.jpg]
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#19
evit, pickup is not for attracting new users to the game. It's a way for existing users to organize proper games with balanced teams where (hopefully) nobody will leave in the middle of the game. You probably want to create another topic with this post...

EDIT: ...which you already did...
chooksta Wrote:640t ought to be enuf for antibody
- microsoft windows
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#20
I dont know if it fits the topic...

There is one thing i can't understand: how can it be, that the developers want to have more players playing Xonotic and then make such a shit with the git.
Git is for developement not for public playing! Damn hide all developementservers and make more server with the current stable release! And this is 0.5! It does not matter if there are new things in the developement version. Give the people the chance to play this game in a stable way.
I can't play Xonotic at the moment - this time it is not my PC anymore - the servers that were provided to me suck all. The most servers are on git version or have changed settings and on the other side the ping of many servers makes Xonotic unplayable.

So please serveradmins and developers change this mess, otherwise Xonotic can't have a growing playerbase.

PS: And hide the cts servers too. Cts is not good for this game! It was not for nexuiz and will not be good for xonotic. Better stop this cts gametype at all!
The mind is like a parachute, it only works, if it is open!
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#21
It has nothing to do with this topic indeed. But anyway, 0.5 is already quite outdated and there is not enough players to begin with even if all servers were using 0.5, there then would be noone to test the development version. Of course I agree that ideally you don't want to mix experimental versions with official ones, but things would progress way too slowly at this point in development.
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#22
Quote:the servers that were provided to me suck all
I think the developers are very sorry because they spend their free time to bring the game forward.
I think the server admins are very sorry because they spend their free time and money to support the game.
I think it is asked too much to anyone to support the devs a little by running an up-to-date client and giving feedback.

Quote:Better stop this cts gametype at all!
I think RaptorFX should decide what people play.
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#23
If you actually want a growing playerbase for public servers more needs to be done in terms of getting the game out there to the public.

I went onto nexuiz and threw the name around a bit, some people did a search on ubuntu and suse and such and came back with nothing, at least not from the easy methods which most people use.

Also there is advertising revenues which haven't been taken, word of mouth, link youtube videos with quake, unreal and other tags and such so people end there by accident.

Forums for other shooters which could be hit, you could also be hit by a ban there, but who cares right?

There needs to be a bigger effort to bring players in, I actually wouldn't mind bringing over the nexuiz people. But the only way that will ever happen is if all the servers there magically vanish. Is that possible for someone to make that happen?

I'm not suggesting the devs hit up forums and advertise like mad, some people who just simply come here and post could do this to help out a little.

Pickups are not attractive to outsiders and are not a solution to keeping a regular playerbase, that is what needs to be worked on. We need a minimum of 400 new people. 200 for EU, and 200 for the US.
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#24
Its good to read that there are similar opinions in the dev-team:
divVerent on IRC Wrote:divVerent still, if everyone makes their own balance, we have no game any more
divVerent that should really be avoided
divVerent if every server plays different, then every day the whole game plays different because only one server is populated anyway
divVerent basically, I'd urge you guys to keep modified balance out of public servers

Yeah asy7um I feel your sarcasm, I know that you don't like me. You mentioned this one time in the IRC. But please read my previous comment carefully. I have neither offended the serveradmins nor the developers of Xonotic. If I have done this, I am sorry!
I only wonder how they want more players playing this game on the one side and on the other side they make it very hard to find good servers for playing. The normal Nexuiz or Xonotic player don't know something about svn or git. The most players are not registered in forums, they want to play this game and not discuss this game in every aspect. They want to have fun for a moment. These are the main players of Nexuiz and Xonotic after my experiences.

BTW: Maybe we need something like the dcc beginners only delight server for Xonotic always with the latest stable settings.
The mind is like a parachute, it only works, if it is open!
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#25
(12-22-2011, 04:08 PM)Feonica Wrote: Pickups are not attractive to outsiders and are not a solution to keeping a regular playerbase, that is what needs to be worked on. We need a minimum of 400 new people. 200 for EU, and 200 for the US.

Not that I disagree with you, but how did you determine that number?
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