PMC 10th Anniversary multiplayer event
I downloaded 2000+ missions, did rough visual sort (duplicates, stupid names like "test_mission" etc) & deletion based on the file name and started to test them as I did not want our server to be loaded with broken missions which in worst case crash the server when some if not many players wouldn't re-connect back.
What I got was few gems but lot of pure garbage missions which had so obvious bugs that the author must have intentionally left them there as you have to be total retard not to see them. To all fairness though, children today don't know what -showScriptErrors parameter is... Its amusing how few very well known community missions (labeled as "good ones") are almost completely broken. Few missions with addons requirements was also included even though I specifically downloaded addon free missions, again people don't know their left hand from the right when releasing missions. Couple of missions plain crashed the server due some bug.
Some missions were over 5mb in size because of mostly music ogg files, totally ridiculous. You need to have really good reason to stuff more than 1mb of music in your mission, even that is unacceptable by our standards. Had to delete all the large ones, I don't give damn how excellent your mission is, if you put 10+mb of music files there... then you are an idiot.
Most hilarious missions were probably the ones with one (1) player slot available. Anyone care to explain to me how it is MP mission with one player slot? Goddamn man, some of these people should not be allowed to come even close to the mission editor...
During the first day of testing those missions, I concluded that I could probably make bunch of nice brand new original PMC missions in the time it takes me to test all these public ones.
Someone in IRC put it nicely: "it sucks its so difficult to even find working missions. no wonder they all play domination", so true.
During the testing it was apparent that certain people can make nice and working missions, while some cant make them at all and you could just delete all the missions found from this guy. There were some people who had released lot of missions, so many that I was surprised.
I didn't check how many missions were originally in the dir as my initial visual sort got rid quite many, but when I was through with the actual server in-game testing, there was 492 left. All in all, it was tough job to test them all, took me about two days at slowish steady pace, but I believe it was necessary and pays off at the event.
Finally I did few new missions myself. My original PMC missions that I created were just simple and basic no fancy stuff. All of them were made on Chernarus using just ArmA 2 default stuff (no operation arrowhead expansion stuff). There was kind of "mini campaign" type series of missions, 9 missions in total where two USMC squads start from Chernarus airfield and proceed into Chernagorsk cleaning out insurgents on the way. One search and rescue downed aircraft mission, four PvP missions (two infantry, two armored or mechanized) and one old PMC OFP mission ported. I think that is pretty good basic set on top of the almost 500 public missions.
At 1 hour before the event was going to start I was still encoding some previous days FRAPS captured videos into smaller size so I can get some free space to my drive. I was really excited. Was looking at our server every few minutes but still nobody was there, I was hoping for nice turnout but fearing the worst that nobody shows except lwlooz who promised to come.
Event - Day 1, Friday 24th, UTC 1500 - 0300hrs
I joined to our server pretty much precisely at promised UTC 1500hrs and started playing. One player joined around two hours later but he didn't talk on sideChat and left after few minutes. OK so first player joined after two hours, that wasn't so bad, it was kind of at the end of the scope I was hoping for, sort of like I would have gotten desperate if by that time nobody had joined, but also I would have expected someone to join even earlier as it was already beginning of evening European time and it was well advertised event.
Oh BTW the one guy who specifically promised to join in this weekend, said that he will join tomorrow on day 2.
Well then I kept playing, tried few missions out, then after hours of being alone in the server I decided to try if a well known mission would lure people in, so I started Warfare BE v2.069 CO for Chernarus. Nobody came, it was like dunno, more than hour later when first player joined. Oh there were couple of attempts but they either were using OA only or had messed their addons up as they were kicked by the server due mismatching signature keys.
After I've played about six (6) hours, maybe half an hour or so with this one guy, Hund from Zeus joined, wow that was really nice surprise as I've read from forums that he is hosting another MP server tonight so I was wondering "what is he doing here!?" but I guess the event for them was already over. Anyways it was really nice to see him, a old school MP friend from OFP/ArmA times.
We chatted a bit and I told him about how bad the community is as I advertise event weeks before hand and then nobody shows up (I assume the one guy playing was just random dude as he didn't say a word in chat). I think Hund felt just sorry for me as I made so much an effort to this event and it was indeed PMC 10th anniversary on top of all things... so he went to teamspeak and called up Zeus players to join. Boom immediately 8 players joined, I was shocked, COOL!
I really want to thank Hund for this very nice gesture, thanks man, very much appreciated, I'll remember this for a long time!
Then we played that dreaded warfare. I don't like it, was surprised Zeus guys didn't immediately want to change, but I suspected because they came out of more or less pity, they just kept playing to show support for PMC. I was just asking if they want to try original PMC missions when my ArmA 2 v1.59.82128 beta build crashed after 6hrs of straight MP gaming. Bang.
Joined back and dunno if my message went through or the guys weren't interested of changing mission, I asked again but one guy mentioned its fine for him but others didn't say nothing so we kept playing. After Hund left we still played some time, but I guess eventually about two hours later rest of the Zeus guys talked on teamspeak and they all left too. Then I was playing with the one random guy for about hour more, before he left (after playing quite some hours I might add, thanks for him).
I was alone in the server again and tried to learn Warfare game play a bit, but still after hours playing the BE version I couldn't figure out how the AI is working and few other things. At the same time I was darn hungry, feeded just before the event like 8 or so hours ago, I ate something with left hand while playing warfare on the right hand, talking about commitment, heh.
Anyways I was alone there so I changed mission. Played alone up until I went to take a nap hour before the promised UTC 0300hrs, but still was logged into the server, it was actually 0430hrs when I logged off from our server and nobody else turned in by that time...
PMC 10th Anniversary MP event day 1 has concluded.
Here is some screenshot of the action, click image for larger size.
11 players in-game.
I didn't get much war story content from this day, missions that I played alone doesn't count and there was not that many if any cool moments in the warfare mission. But if I have to pick out something, it was nice to ride with Mr. Cheesemenbashi with an ATV into enemy airfield to recon and pinpoint their artillery location for our own arty. Also on one hilltop I just barely escaped the destruction of two of our armored personnel carriers where few of the players were not so lucky and died.
On this first day I used FRAPS to record 40 video clips totaling to 14min of footage.
Event - Day 2, Saturday 25th, UTC 1500 - 0300hrs
Again I joined precisely at UTC 1500hrs, shortly after lwlooz joined like he promised, excellent, was great to have him in the event. We played until Jinef and Mongoo[CO] joined, they didn't stay for long though. Then some other guy joined but he also didn't spent much time there. Third time someone joined it was two guys from same squad/team/clan and they played one full mission with us, then left. Finally Nebelwerfer joined who played quite some time. You could sum the whole evening into saying that lwlooz was the only player there... with the Jinef/Nebel exception. Or dunno, maybe I was absolutely expecting way too much as I don't "accept" MP event with 3 players... but yeah; advertised event by major group in the community's history gets three players... not good, not good at all.
I crashed twice with v1.59.82128 beta patch, this time quite early not more than few hours of playing and then second time after midnight.
We played only PMC missions this time, it was great. We got to test PMC Strike Eagle ported from OFP and brand new mission series kind of like "mini campaign" of 9 missions which worked great. Also played some PvP and it was quite awesome, we both won and lost once in two missions with lwlooz. At about two hours before end of this days event, lwlooz logged off and nobody joined after that, also I took a nap before the event was going to end as I expecting nobody to join and I was right.
Tonight I took 65 screenshots and 79 FRAPS video clips totaling to 51 mins of footage.
5 players in-game.
That is the high score of players in-game so to speak, but that didn't last long, it was one 15-20min mission at best if I recall correctly. Other times than that, it was me and lwlooz alone or Nebelwerfer in the later hours with us. Needless to say I was disappointed by the turnout, however lets not get too cry baby about it, Zeus guys told us that even in their CWR2 "hyped" mod event there wasn't any players joining. ArmA 2 community is just awful, sigh.
Event - Day 3, Sunday 26th, UTC 1500 - 0300hrs
On last day of our MP event I joined bit early as Killswitch was on IRC and wanted to join our event, excellent. We first played one of our PMC missions, was like hour or so until we won. During that mission my net disconnected for a second and I had to reconnect, was no big deal though for the mission with JIP, but it was a big deal that my internet disconnected... damn what a crappy net that disconnects like that.
Then Killswitch wanted warfare, so we started it up, one guy joined right away but at the same time Killswitch had to go. I played the warfare and eventually two other guys joined peaking into 4 players in the server.
4 players in-game.
Tonight I took 39 screenshots and 15 FRAPS video clips totaling to 15 mins of footage.
Several players tried to join but were cleanly disconnected or got kicked off by the server. I don't know the cause for that, most likely they have messed up their addon files somehow. BTW for day 3, I changed server to run the version 2 signatures which have stronger checks.
The mission went on and I was bored as hell, I assume these guys were public ones who had no bearing on our MP event as nobody said a word. Eventually I fall a sleep in front of the computer and had to take a quick 1h+ nap on the background but keeping my player in-game during this time
All players left then about hour or so after. I was on the server until hour or so before the scheduled end when I got so bored, tired and just decided its not worth it to lurk in the server alone for like 4+ hrs so I went to sleep. Looking at server log, naturally nobody joined after that...
Player amounts at peak moment: Friday 11, Saturday 5, Sunday 4.
But as in summary, we had none or 1 (lwlooz) who really made effort to play long time. Nebelwerfer was great player too on Saturday end part of the night. Also Hund was responsible to get us that 11 players in-game with his Zeus gang for two hours, thanks Hund. Other than that, the player amounts were none.
Best moments for me would probably be the whole PMC Electric Road 9 mission "mini campaign" series we played through with lwlooz, peak moment there would be when lwlooz mentioned he likes these missions which means a lot to me
Hours spent alone? I lost count.
Huge thanks for those who took take time to join, especial greetings for lwlooz who was so hardcore to play 9hrs straight.
I am utterly disappointed for the vent as regarding turnout, but on the other hand we had great time playing with old friends the short times they were on (exception being lwlooz regarding online time). Realistically I didn't know what to expect, I was prepared to spent "a lot" time there alone but hoping for nice turnout after few players join which increases the chance of others joining (snowball rolling effect). But never would have I imagined the turnout to be pretty much nothing overall. I certainly wont be arranging any more MP events for sure, ArmA 2 MP community is dying if not dead already.