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  1. #1

    How to help North America (Chicago) server stay full during the wee hours?

    I've been running a 32-man server in Official mode for a while now. It does ok and I can kick start it reliably every day just with my one account for seeding.

    The only problem I have is it goes dead every day around 3 a.m. EST and stays dead for between two and five hours depending on day of the week. Since it stays full or nearly full on its own for the other 19-22 hours a day, I feel like there must be something I could do that would fill that gap, but I'm not sure what it is.

    I've tried a few different rotations on it.

    First was Conquest (small) Siege > Zavod > Hainan > Rogue > Golmud. That was based on a poll I ran that showed those were the least hated maps (I asked which one map people would choose to delete forever from the vanilla rotation, and those five together only got about 15% of the total 620+ votes.)

    After running that for a bit, I decided to swap to Conquest Large for a while, to see how people liked the higher tickets. In Official mode, CQL was my only option for getting longer matches. The 10-15 minute Conquest matches have some appeal if you just want a quick game, but people overall seem to always feel like longer is better.

    That's when I noticed that on CQL Golmud Railway has five MBTs at each spawn, and at least one of every other vehicle except boats as well. With only 32 players, everyone can be in some sort of vehicle as driver or gunner if they want, and since a lot of people play BF4 specifically for the vehicles, I decided to give an all Golmud rotation a shot.

    So now I've got it set on 24/7 Golmud Railway with every other round being Conquest Large, and in between I have Domination / Obliteration / Team Deathmatch to add some shorter cooldown rounds and break up the CQL grind a bit. It seems people like it, since the server now stays full for more hours, more consistently, than I've seen it do in any other setup.

    Now I'm wondering if there is anything else I can do that might attract people to play even more at all hours.

    I feel like if I could find some sort of unique and really nice small game rotation, then maybe people will tend to play more at all hours, if it's the only server in any time zone that is running it.

    One thing I thought of was 24/7 Naval TDM, with just the Naval Strike maps, which are really nice for that mode. But in the past I've had a really hard time getting a DLC rotation to even start up, let alone run all the time. I'm not sure if any DLC setup is going to be viable unless I have 8 people around to seed it for half the day, which I don't, and won't.

    I also though about taking it Ranked, but I haven't been able to get a good read yet on how many people are arriving by Server Browser or Favorites vs. Play Now. I'm concerned that if I drop out of the Play Now queue the server will become impossible to kick start solo and it won't matter how it is set up.

    On the other hand, I put up a poll asking how people pick servers to play, and if the tiny number of responses are any indication, it seems about 80% use Server Browser or Favorites anyway. So maybe I'm over-estimating how much traffic I am getting from Play Now.

    If I went to Ranked mode, then that of course opens up all kinds of possibilities like adding True Balancer, raising tickets to idiotic levels like 3,200 for hours long CQL rounds, 400 ticket TDM, Votemap, etc.

    Any suggestions anyone has, or experiences you're willing to share in a similar situation, much appreciated.
    Last edited by DownArrowMagnet; 11-07-2014 at 20:56.

  2. #2
    The one and only Bassyboy
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    You really 'complain' about your server dying during the nightly hours?
    Players tend to sleep too, you know?

    If your server is only empty for that short period during the nightly hours, you should be happy: Your server is doing just fine.
    Many other admins are not as fortunate as you are.

    My UK based servers die out every night as well. I don't care as long as they are populated during peak times.
    Rank : Schmank.
    I won't do support via PM: if you need help, make a topic on the public forums.

  3. #3
    I don't use any of the server ranking sites, so I'm not trying to move up on any list. And I know there obviously will be lower numbers of players online in any time zone at certain hours of the. But I also see servers that do stay full all day every day.

    Even if it's not "needed" for it to stay full all the time, I believe that if a server does stay full all the time and never is empty, then that means it has hit on some sort of formula which is attractive enough to players that at the lowest point in the day it will basically be the last server to empty out, after everything else dies. So I think that means that it will have more people, more of the time, either staying in or wanting to get in, and therefore will have an easier time getting started and staying busy each day.

    I also think, because traffic does slow down in time zone at some hour, part of what helps servers out that stay full at all hours is running some sort of setup that isn't available on many servers at all anywhere in the world, so that even players on opposite coasts or outside the time zone will want to play it, which if your reach is far enough helps to fill in the gaps with alternating prime time hours.

    And the reason that is interesting to me is that eventually I want to transition from Official to Ranked, so that I can have more control over how the server is run and do more things that players want, like setting high tickets, running multibalancer, etc. But in order to transition to Ranked, you need to have enough of a crowd of regulars around that really like the server and play it every day that it will be self-starting without the benefit of Play Now traffic.

    So that's my ulterior motive in improving the server's "rank" or finding that magic formula that lets it run and run and not stop ever. It's because I eventually want to have it set up in a way that it will stay full even without the benefit of Official mode and drop in traffic, and I think making it someplace that lots of people want to be at any hour of the day is needed for that.

  4. #4
    Don't send me private messages (PMs) unless you really need privacy, like your game server password. If you just have a question or need help, post in one of the threads. It's extra work for me to answer questions and give help in private messages and no one else gets the benefit of the answer.



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