This isn't happening on the date of the anniversary, bigger would be nicer but don't feel up to it, will be advertising to and getting help from places other than here and OMNI, this is just me putting my thoughts out and my thoughts only
Pegasus wrote:There's two reasons this plan comes off as unfitting and confusing to me.
For one, it's like two neighbours discussing how they should decorate the shed between their properties for New Year's: the accommodation's scale hardly fits the circumstance. A pair of still vibrant UT-ONS[Plus] servers - or more, no need to exclude other eager participants - willing to celebrate UT-Y15 (or however we'd call it) could easily justify going bigger, and targeting both the surviving UT community at large with our "offering", possibly even triggering a wave of other gametypes' servers also responding in their own, unique fashion, as well as outsiders, with some kinda campaign (via some social media posts, streaming or whatnot), inspiring them to take a peek and maybe even join themselves.
I agree that this is a rather small celebration for the 15th anniversary of this long-lasting game. However, I feel like to do bigger would be too big for my britches. I think if this series turns out well, this could be a stepping stone for something bigger like what you are suggesting. But at the moment I don't have any particularly strong ideas for what that could be, so I think it's best not to pursue it at the moment.
Pegasus wrote:The other reason is because in every facet this idea seems like the wrong size glove for these two specific servers to try n' wear. Generally, I'm loathe to presume others' tastes n' preferences when making suggestions, but it's probably a safe bet that both Omni's and CEONSS' communities have settled around these servers because ONS addresses their playstyle preferences or, broader yet, still meets their expectations for an MP arena FPS PC game with some strategic depth to it.
Speaking for myself, if AS still had a playerbase in the Americas, I would probably be playing that and not ONS.
Back when )o(Analog was still around, we could get a good dozen people on a server for an assault night
, and that was just advertising within the OMNI community (and grabbing a couple people I know). Now, not all of these gametypes are Assault of course, but I will try to reach out more once things are scheduled and I think we can get a good turnout for a event server-sized event. I would also like to think that many people would be open to trying something a bit different every once in a while, and aren't playing this game exclusively for ONS.
That's also the reason why I haven't slapped a particular community name to this event, because I do want it to be a more open thing. I'm starting here because these are communities I am familiar with, that I know have good people, and have a strong number of people that could participate in this event.
Pegasus wrote:Similarly, the staffers, modders and content adoption standards these servers have cultivated over the past 10 years would reflect the evolving needs and desires of this particular gametype and the expectations of those still playing it, rather than anything else. If all of a sudden said staffers jointly tried to curate content for - what was it again - Ballistic Conflict (Counter-Strike-like TDM) or Dodgeball (Carball?) or Jailbreak or InstaCTF or whatnot (VTDM was also mentioned in this thread's Omni counterpart), in order to present a concise, quality sampling for a good time (or quickly edit found offerings so as to reach such a state), who's to say they'd know what they'd be doing or even where to start? Personally, I'd be daunted just by the prospect of acquiring such additional knowledge and expertise to carry out such a task in general, to say nothing of the short notice factor. Moreover, could anyone vouch that any found content deemed relevant would be safe (read not crash-prone) and compatible enough to use on a server already set up for ONS needs, that its size would be sensible enough to grab and distribute beforehand (I remember getting Ballistic alone being a pretty heavy affair even a decade ago), or that the staffers would be able to reasonably quickly wrap their heads around its functionality so as to configure and operate properly for the festivities? And on and on...
So, a few things:
1. This event won't be starting on the date of the 15th anniversary of this game. I know, I know, it sounds even more disappointing when put that way. But you are right in saying that it would be a great amount of work to do in a few days, which is why I have not given any dates yet. I would like to figure out which gametypes people would like to see, and then let people know the decided dates at least two weeks in advance. So this would be a "oh, it's the 15th year, let's run some special events a bit more often while we're in it", rather than a big celebration that's focused around the anniversary day itself.
2. Speaking from the OMNI side, I think you overrate us, Peg. OMNI's not really in a great state at the moment to really do anything new or different ONS-wise, IMO. Our mapper core is gone. Our server host is afk. Our active staff at this point are an admin who hasn't really played on the server for years but manages server things and a bunch of regular players without any particular mapping or scripting experience. The person trying to organize this never really played ONS outside of stock maps until 2016.
3. Where possible, I'd like to pair up with existing servers that still run some of these gametypes, and they could provide additional assistance regarding knowledge of these gametypes. They can know which maps are good, and stable maps that they might already run on their server. If not, I think we could try to get a set of ~10 maps or so tested privately to make sure things are alright before scheduling a date for a particular gametype. I spoke with Freeman from Black Mesa Server, a EU-based server that has maps from a lot of gametypes, and they're willing to help host for this series.
Pegasus wrote:To wrap up the concerns, not only do I think Omni and CEONSS staffers would probably be the wrong people to organize this particular gig, but, likewise, it'd likely be the wrong show for their communities, too - perhaps with fractional exceptions for the scant few who used to play and still specifically ache for Ballistic, Jailbreak or other, similarly specialized fare, even after they settled into ONS for the game's sunset years. Yes, showcasing such gametypes, however effectively, would present something most ONS players may not have tried out before, but, even then, to what end? Even if someone were to conclude that one of those other gametypes is comparably worthwhile to ONS, and chose to pursue that as a side-interest, they'd still quickly, and depressingly, get reminded there's no UT venue to do that in anymore; the whole thing would just become an exercise in false hope at that point. Conversely, the people who "mainlined" the aforementioned gametypes probably won't even hear about any of this to come and enjoy it, and even if a few did, it's unlikely that alone would be enough to convince 'em to take up ONS (again?) instead.
I don't think this event will singlehandedly revive some of these gametypes. I just think that it will be nice for myself and others to have a trip down the history of this game, and have some fun playing some older gametypes that don't get many people these days. Nothing more, nothing less. Even if this would only serve as a disappointing reminder of a gametype that once was, I think reviving one for a day is better than leaving it dead forever. And I'm aware that this won't be for everyone, either, hence it being targeted as an event server-sized event.
Pegasus wrote:More constructively speaking now, UT2004's 15th anniversary IMO represents a good opportunity for outreach and collective reflection n' appreciation, which should preclude relegating it to a Match Server-tier type event that only a dozen people from both communities combined could get to partake in at any given moment (IIRC, that's close to the Match server's support ceiling). Instead (and ideally), any commemorative/celebratory event Omni and CEONSS (and others!) might arrange to mark it by should be conducted through the lens of the gametype we know, appreciate, understand and can competently showcase to the outside world, thus also securing broad buy-in from both our communities and beyond; that is Onslaught, not Ballistic InstaCarball.
What that might look like exactly, I'm afraid I cannot say and would probably be the wrong person to tap for initial inspiration; as a congenital optimizer I've always been at home in the headspace/niche of understanding, analyzing and optimizing systems and implementations rather than in front of a clean, blank slate. I may lack a surfeit of creative imagination, but give me some raw ideas and I could probably come up with a number of ways to improve on 'em soon enough. Right now, on my own, I can only offer some abstract, half-baked bits to chew on, like maybe a "full-on 24hr/32p/50pts marathon match" across servers component or "ONS content/standards through the years" concept or a "charity" aspect of some kind, all stitched together by some vigorous Twitch/Twitter PR campaigning, maybe also reaching out to notable people involved with creating the game or important past authors/admins to the community, I dunno.
What's also complicating things is the very tight timeframe here, what with the US anniversary now being only 4 days away, and the EU one just 3 short days after it. Moving this thread to the Public CEONSS section and adjusting its title to reflect larger aspirations might help in any case though. Again, ideally, we should be talking and planning all this two months ago, but as things stand, I'd lean toward putting together something that feels right even if it means being a bit late, rather than just rushing something out and most people still playing this game barely bothering to acknowledge it happened.
I'll echo my number list from earlier in this reply. I am not that delusional to think that this sort of thing could be pulled off in just a week's time in our current situation. The "half-baked bits" you offer all sound like interesting ideas, but I feel like we'd need more... everything to make that a reality. More social media presence, more people with connections to the ONS' past (i.e. not me), more admins with experience...
Were this a couple of years ago, with Analog and several mappers still around, I'd be pretty confident that we could pull our (OMNI's) end of something like you're suggesting off. But as of now, to do something that big would just mean Ema & Co. having to lug a heavy American suitcase around, more so than the time and effort she has already gratefully volunteered to make the CEONSS-OMNI matches a reality.
You're right in saying this probably should have been announced well before it actually was. I'm not that great with scheduling things, and I didn't feel comfortable managing this and a relatively compressed-schedule CEONSS-OMNI match at the same time. I'm also not that fast with these things. I've probably been working for at least an hour on this reply.
Now, to be 100% clear, with all of this I am speaking only from my own limited perspective. I haven't communicated with other OMNI or CEONSS staff with regards to the things you have mentioned here. Maybe the CEONSS admins think they could do the lifting needed for something like you're suggesting. Maybe I'm underselling our capabilities at OMNI. Maybe some high profile players or streamers who've moved to UT4 or other games from 2k4 would be willing to come back for something like this. But these are just my feelings, and why I've chosen going with something like this rather than something like a big celebration.
Pegasus wrote:In closing, and to be clear, I don't mean for any of the above to be taken as me coming down on anybody else who cares enough to organize something, anything, for the upcoming UT anniversary as if they were doing something bad; the thought and effort to put together an event the rest of the community might enjoy and find uplifting as the game ages past its 15th year is definitely appreciated, and I'll happily thank each of those involved either way. I simply believe there's more to this opportunity than we're currently reaching for, and that it's definitely within our grasp n' abilities to aim higher and achieve it, for all the reasons and potential benefits covered above. It also goes without saying, that if you need my help with anything regarding this, I'll be happy to assist in any way I reasonably can.
Just please don't ask me to play InstaCarball.
I didn't take what you said that way, Pegasus, don't worry. I agree that a 15th anniversary event should be bigger than this thing is. I just don't feel ready for organizing something that big at this point, for the reasons I've stated. If someone wants to take up that mantle, I'm all for it and will try to help.
Appreciate your thoughts again.