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New Policy Regarding TSPC Server Ladders.

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4 years 9 months ago - 4 years 9 months ago #218 by TurboTech
TurboTech created the topic: New Policy Regarding TSPC Server Ladders.
As many of you "old school drivers know" Trackmania is a strange beast. It will be HOT for months then die down to a bare minimum yet it manages to continue to "pull us back in" from time to time. I don't know if it is the time of year, Season change? Game market or perhaps as in some cases a burst of new players due to a software blowout sale made by Nadeo on their site and or the STEAM platform system.

What I have found is, many join, many play for some time however in time these new players drop off the map, change to different games, or simply decide they like other game servers in TM better for what ever reasons, well there is nothing wrong with that, as it is the nature of the beast.

The down side to this pattern is, record hunters come and record hunters go, they swoop in (like the top dogs of the entire world ladder on a BEGINNERS LEVEL SERVER, snatch up ALL of the top 10 slots in any given server then move on to the next as they have in many cases maxed themselves out and are on a singular mission to spread their name to every decent server they can find to own the top slots on every server they play on.
There are also the new guys, who blow through, try the game, maybe set some records and then again, move on. What this does is create a vast array of fragmented player basis meaning "It gets very difficult for new players of TM or new players to our servers to have a fighting chance to even hit the ladder if at all... IF they can not gain a rank by earning 3 records, they move on as "what is the point?" I know many say practice "and I agree to a point" however that doesn't seam to be the trend when it comes to the current player base.

I have recently seen while monitoring the server chat from the admin client multiple comments about how the local ladders on any server really are meaningless, that it all boils down to total number of records made and has nothing to do with skill. Funny thing is, these same people can be found at all hours of the day and night in said servers, by them selves busting their asses attempting to become number one on every single track (nothing wrong with that however). To keep things competitive , current AND up to date from here in I am instating a new policy that some will be happy about, and others will whine and cry and kick their little feet till hell freezes over because well "its always all about them and their personal glory" hehehe.....

SO.... To make ALL of our servers more competitive and promote continued usage I have a script that will be run every 1 to 2 months "jury is still out on this one', The script will do the following by these set parameters.

ANY PLAYER WHO HAS NOT BEEN ON A SERVER FOR THE LAST 90 DAYS,
Any of their records on that server that are 150 DAYS OLD or OLDER WILL BE PRUNED AND DELETED.

The reason for the staggered day range is to give someone who may have been away a fighting change to regain their titles. otherwise they would simply be wiped clean off the ladder all together.

Please Note: These settings can and will be changed if anyone out there can give me a worthy argument other than "I busted my ass to get that time, no, I don't play any more other than once in a blue moon BUT MY SCORES SHOULD NEVER BE DELETED!!!" Which yes, I have actually had players say things along these lines to me over the last 10 years and personally I could care less. If you are "That Good" you should have no problem in time regaining any specific time slots or placements that you have earned

please realize these parameters for the cleaning scripts can be altered at any time again providing someone comes up with a valid argument. I am wide open to suggestions and they can be posted here on this thread.

Currently as it is, each server is configured to retain up to 500 records for every single map that I host. Even with this extremely HIGH volume setting, we still tend to run out of active open slots. Standard Slot config for a stock server is a max of 50 Records Per track, "Yeah that's it" not cool in my book. and this is WHY I run the system so hot, as do others in TM

Another ill effect to this is simply, Every time the Xaseco2 Database system needs to add a record it must fly through 1000's of records to add the new ones, pull up personal best and past attempts made by each player. Add 30+ players to any given room at any time and now the hardware has to do triple the work. When the hardware needs to do all the additional calls to manage the data for each and every player it SLOWS DOWN THE HUD. When the HUD slows down and traffic from database calls increases, players from around the globe "not local to the server hardware" are impacted by a rather large performance hit based on a number of different factors. This tends to create unnecessary LAG for only some of the players however has the potential to create lag for ALL players in a loaded room. For example we have many players from Australia and well, although many have hardware and internet connections that help alleviate these symptoms, others are not as fortunate.

So to summarize this change. What this will do is the following.

  • It will make our ladders more competitive and keep them that way.
  • it will keep them up to date based on the current player base, not players from 2 years ago
  • it will keep the ladder ranking OPEN for new players to our servers.
  • it will reduce the size of each database considerably
  • it will increase over all system performance
  • it will weed out players who have not set foot on a server for months that perhaps holds to top ranks.
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In short.... I am not hosting a DATA WAREHOUSE to store record hunters top scores for the next 10 years. I want people to feel as if they are accomplishing something when they play and when they move up the ranks that they will know its against the CURRENT PLAYERS of the server, not trying to beat someone who hasn't played in the last year or 2 "probably never to return".

This will in fact apply to ALL TSPC TEAM MEMBERS As well as myself. I am not immune to this in any way.

In short, if you are a serious player on one of our servers, then make a point to drop in from time to time "before 90 days has passed and you should never need to worry about your records. It doesn't mean you need to play on every single track at all as the servers keep track of the last time any person has entered it and played a few tracks via time date stamp. you can see the last time any person set foot on a specific server by pulling up the OFFLINE STATS PAGE for that server and view the list column of LAST VISITED.

I will be posting dates on the TSPC EVENTS CALENDAR for those who wish to keep tabs on when the next PURGE will be done. I will not be posting messages to people here or on Facebook as there is a system clearly dedicated to tracking such things right on the site. (Yes the events calendar is due for an overhaul and will be cleaned up so it doesn't take an hour to figure out whats what. right now there is a lot of unneeded data listed there. I will try to get this done within the next week.

IF YOU ARE IN FACT A REGULAR PLAYER and I do mean regular, and something comes up to where you have no choice to be 100% AFK for a period of time that is clearly longer than 90 DAYS+ PM ME HERE AT THE SITE, let me know what is really going on and depending on what you say, I will see what I can do about retaining your scores. I really don't see this happening however for the hand-full of die-hard users I would be willing to make exceptions when its clearly needed depending on the situation.

For those wondering YES this operation has already been performed about 1 week ago clearing 1000's of old records that have been stewing in the system for years. So if you have not been around for some time, there is a good chance some or all of your records have been nuked...

Any server recently set up as NEW with a brand new database will be excluded from this cleaning routine for the next few months as they are not yet populated and do not pose any performance hit issues of any kind right away.

As this post has already ran longer than intended I will cap it by saying simply "If you have questions, comments or anything else please post them here"... (The sooner the better)

Thanks In Advance!
Last Edit: 4 years 9 months ago by TurboTech.

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4 years 9 months ago #219 by ThaDawg0411
ThaDawg0411 replied the topic: New Policy Regarding TSPC Server Ladders.
I like the change, might give me a chance to get on the boards :) but I still haven't got my performance up yet, taking longer than expected to relearn car physics and tracks, but then again I am only back within last month or so after being away for about 5 yrs.

I am definitely in game at least a couple times a month now (as my work hours allow cause I am way more busy now than I was then) but certainly more than 90 days,

now if I could just find a decent car to run like I had in the past that I did pretty good with that would be a plus too :)

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