View Full Version : Improving online experience with a proper dedicated server

08-07-2015, 10:00
The current dedicated server simply acts as a proxy and could be improved by using systems widely adopted in other online games. I'm not quite sure why WMD chose to go this 'proxy' server route, as proper dedicated servers, as seen since Quake in 1995 (I remember as I was there!) provide a much better experience for the end user.

Let's look at where we are at the moment... My experience online last night was pretty terrible. The current server list is full of 'zombie' servers, ones that have been setup by a host, then the host leaves migrating the server to a new host (usually with a shitty connection) who has no idea they are then in control of the session. 'Zombie' servers with crazy settings like 90 min practice, 90 min qual, 90 min warmup seem to live longer than other servers, as unwitting players are constantly joining them keeping them alive. It can take many restarts before you find a stable server with good settings.

The worst problem though is that if a server has a large grid size, the host can migrate to a player with a connection / PC that simply can't handle that many drivers. I was in a race last night with 32 players at Nurburgring GP. Some drivers were started facing backwards on the grid, having to do 3 point turns at the start. The lead 3 cars (I was p4) wrecked into an invisible car that was left on the straight. I was P2 at one point, but my place kept switching between P2 and P6 for some reason. All in all a massive mess, and 32 people having a really poor experience.

Another race last night was completely ruined by trolls, ramming and driving the wrong way etc. We have no effective way of kicking / banning these players! A few bad apples are ruining large numbers of peoples races.

How to fix this problem?

Community administered dedicated servers.

http://cars-stats-steam.wmdportal.com/index.php/servers These are all the current proxy servers. These servers should be available 24/7 to connect to, and all shown in the server browser. They should have settings to put in their own track rotations. They should have their own ban list, and multiple admins that can then police the server. This would instantly cause a massive improvement in the online experience, as well as channeling players into communities when they find their favourite server and race against the same people each night. It's a well known tried and tested, successful, system that has been used for 20 years and pCars should work toward emulating it.