All started with the HER series many years ago, then the Epic Frontlines Mod to Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare was born with the most complete and vast gameplay options that ANY game or mod reached before. Now everything it's beeing ported to Call of Duty Black Ops to become the new beast in FPS history. Fear your Enemy! Enjoy the War!
What the hell is an Intelligent Server? How this works? Should I need to use that? Know everything about the IS.
Posted by Hajas on May 31st, 2012
What the hell is an Intelligent Server? How this works? Should I need to use that? How to turn it off? Are just few of the questions I received from server admins that simply refuse to read the documentation before setup a Frontlines server, and the first thing they do is kill the IS to work as a normal server.
This only shows how noob these admins are for not even try to evolve and of course to even care to read about it before decide, thinking they already know enough, which of course they didn't or they will NEVER do that, IS is the best thing ever created to FPS Admins and I'll show you here why.
Ok, let's think together about what is a normal FPS admin config? you select the maps for the rotation, then the gametype (singular) to be played on each one, the rules of the server and that's all!
Talking about COD4, your server is empty and it's running SD in a very large map... 2 or 3 can connect but will be soooo boring then will go to another server. OR if some of these 3 guys is one admin, so he thinks let's play something more fun, what about a DM in Killhouse? what about play with only knifes? So he change the config and they finally have fun.
Then the server become full with 64 players, then change to the very tiny map Killhouse so what will all do? going to play somewhere else, or if have an admin online he will change the map to a bigger one, and keep the gameplay nice again.
So what these admins do in normal servers? they simply remove all small maps to avoid that, aside the problem of big maps with few players can't be resolved. Also respawn gametypes with so many players, or no respawn gametypes with just few, and several other combinations can NOT be resolved without a 24/7 admin present on the server.
INTRODUCTION TO THE INTELLIGENT SERVER
Now imagine if all that above could be done automatically? If you have a server that think like you think, and will do the right move in the right moment to keep the gameplay nice on your server? This is not a dream anymore, this already exist and you have it when you get Frontlines R3L04D!
And even better, you can set thousands of valid combinations, that combined with the Black Frontlines diverse options you can play over and over on the server for a year and still not played the same game twice! Your server will NEVER become boring like the normal one will become really fast, until you change the config.
INTELLIGENT SERVER CONCEPT
The first thing that a admin must change is the way he config the server. Is not more what your server WILL DO, but what the server CAN DO and CAN NOT DO. So if you set that right the server will think like you think, and do all the moves that you will do online to keep a nice gameplay when something not good happens.
So you gonna feed the IS with all your tastes, with which maps will be nice to play with few players? which ones with 20 players? which ones which ones with more than 40 players? which ones with the number of players that you want?
Then which gametypes will be nice to be played wite few players? with lots of players? in this particular maps? or each ones are forbidden to play on those maps because will crash the server or simply make the gameplay very bad?
Also set which weapons allowed to few players? lots of players? or not allowed to that number of players? to that map rotation?
And what about make that all random? without the possibility to repeat until all options are used?
Now you are thinking that you will need to write a book to config the server! will be a hell!
Well, you were wrong again... it's very easy to setup all that in Black Frontlines and I'll show you how.
INTELLIGENT SERVER SETUP
The Intelligent Server already come very well configured with the mod. So now I'll teach you how all this works.
Frontlines Random Maps
In Black Frontlines this featured is enable by default, and you can't have more the option to disable and play like the old and crappy rotations. First because of the lack of dvars and limitations of Black Ops Engine, and second if you are playing Frontlines you should play at full features, or better you gonna play something else.
Well, with this feature a map will be selected from the config, and will not be loaded again until all maps are loaded once then will restart all over again.
Frontlines Random Gametypes
Now you must look the Rotation Gametypes to set the available gametypes to be played on your server with a relative number of players.
For exemple you want to have only these 3 gametypes at your server : Search & Destroy, Airborne and Domination. So set like this
set hajas_small_rotation_gametypes "sd, ab, dom"
But you want to play Deathmatch only at the map Array, and no other gametype aside Deathmatch in this map. So in you maprotation you just need to do like was before, for exemple:
"mp_cairo dm mp_array mp_hotel mp_zoo..."
Then in all maps will be randomly sd, ab or dom, while only at mp_array you will have dm gametype.
You can also see that will never repeat the last gametype, so you will never have two matches followed by the same gametype. This will not work if you set just one gametype of course.
And like you already notice, you don't write anymore "gametype" or "map" in the rotations, with that we have a lot more space to add maps in the rotations since there a limit of 1024 chars to be set in a var.
Frontlines Size Rotations
Now you gonna set the main brain for the server, since you already know how to setup the maps to be random, the gametypes and also the map rotation.
A dream to any server admin is this feature (at least for me!). Now your server will never have large maps with few players, or small maps with more players than space available, all these problems are over right now with Frontlines Size Rotations.
You gonna set instead of 1 map rotation, you will setup 3... one with small maps, one with medium maps, and another with large maps. In Black Frontlines you can't set the limit of the players in each rotation because the number of slots are fixed and small, which made me have this config hardcoded.
Setup the Sizes (default config)
Small 0-6 //will load when have 6 or less players online
Medium 6-18 //will load when have from 7 to 18 players online
Large 19-30 //will load when have 19 or more players online
In this default config means that until 6 players will load the small maps, between 7 and 18 will load the medium size maps, with more than 18 will load the large maps. Very simple but works great. Is that Cool? yeah... but I'll give you a lot more...
Now aside that, you can setup which gametypes you want to play in each Size Rotation from the small maps, the medium maps, and at the large ones. which will give you completely different configs to your server that will change automatically without any admin interference, respectively to the amount of players playing on that moment at your server.
No, of course I'm not talking about the max clients of your server, this will be always the same.
Setup the Maps Rotations
hajas_small_rotation = maps for a small number of players
hajas_medium_rotation = maps for a medium number of players
hajas_large_rotation = maps for a large number of players
Now you set the gametypes you want to load in each rotation
Setup the Gametypes Rotations
hajas_small_rotation_gametypes = Gametypes available in the small rotation
hajas_medium_rotation_gametypes = Gametypes available in the medium rotation
hajas_large_rotation_gametypes = Gametypes available in the large rotation
And now which DLC do you want to enable to each rotation
Setup the DLC Rotations
hajas_small_rotation_dlc "1 2 3"
hajas_medium_rotation_dlc "1 2 3"
hajas_large_rotation_dlc "1 2 3"
So "1 2 3" means that all 3 DLC are available in that rotation, if you set "1 2" means that only DLC 1 and 2 are available. These can be set without order and without sequence, like "3 1" for exemple. You can also let them all disable setting as "" and set only the maps do you want of each DLC direct in the Maps Rotations just writing their names on the lists.
WARNING! For the AI Soldier X IS please check my forums or here later!
After all that you already teached to the server what the maps you like to play relative to each band of players on the server. Also all the gametypes to each one, all relative to the number of players in your server, which DLC available in each rotation, and of course the rotations itself.
Since there's no custom maps and for this reason there's no one incomplete like without few gametypes objects, heli support or other bad coded stuff in Black Ops, so the Bad Map List will not be implemented over Black Frontlines. Then with all that you can feed the Intelligent Server with all information he needs to admin your server 24/7 without you. All that combined of the several other features in Black Frontlines like Anti-Campign & Spawn Protection, will make the server have a really nice flow of gameplay, without any human interference.
So I don't believe anyone with some brain will want all that OFF on his server, am I right? So you can't turn it off in Black Frontlines mainly because the limits of dvars in this engine, and also because most of the admins are not ready for this, and most of them were doing really bad things in the COD4 era, and several Frontlines servers were unplayable because just bad administration.