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RichCoconut

Multiplayer is critically broken.

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The multiplayer is severely broken. Like, really, really broken. With that being said, I understand that I purchased this game with Early Access via Steam and willingly took on the responsibility. However, I don't think the focus should be on adding cars and the such when the MP side of things are so broken that it might ruin the potential of it ever being what it could be down the road. I might have to stop playing  all together because it's that bad. With that being said - it has a lot of potential, but some things I thought of, in my opinion, my plant some seeds - who knows. If you are already working on some of these things, great! If not, then I worry a bit. 

 

I understand that this was a SP game first and foremost, therefore if the focus isn't going to be on multiplayer in fixing these huge problems within the next few months, then I'd say remove the MP until it can be better focused on altogether because the single player is great!

 

This is from two weeks and almost 100 hours of playing Project Zomboid Multiplayer. (I played the single player like it was going out of style from 2013 and up and love the idea of the multiplayer)

 

 

1. Server Side Saving

 

This would fix so many problems it's not even funny. People can easily manipulate the saves therefore, everyday on the server I'm on we're hit by more hackers than actually DDOSing now because people just load their save right back in once they die, or they edit the save file since it's saved on the computer in an easy-to-find location. It doesn't quite make much sense. This would prevent the easy editing and at least make it much, much harder to change things in-game. The server I'm on even checks files for its size to see if its been modified and still to no anvil.

 

2. Server optimization

 

The netcode could be optimized a lot better than it is, but I'm sure this is already being worked on. 

 

3. Zombie spawn behavior

 

The spawn system for the zombies are a little weird, I think from experience the game checks to see if there isn't anyone in the area and if it isn't then it'll spawn zombies, so the end result is that you have zombies in places nobody will ever visit/or visit often and most of the zombies in the city killed off. Shouldn't it be something along the lines of % based + the activity in the area? I.E. if there's more activity in the city than the highway, then focus on spawning zombies around that area instead of the house by the lake which no one goes to and it ends up lagging the server because of all these zombies. (One time it was so many zombies, they all would lag off my screen when shot, then reappear out of no where and some wouldn't die, but they couldn't do damage to you when I had 67-92 ping) 

 

4. Balance the weapons

 

The weapons are extremely unbalanced in the multiplayer side of things. I'm not exactly sure how the weapons act besides from experience, reading the wiki, and hearing from others but it seems its just single player weapons for multiplayer. 

 

5. Respawn times

 

I had food from the night before, I logged back on the server and one second later it's rotten.. What? I just made it. It shouldn't go by the timer of the server if it's in your bag, each item should just have it's own timer, global protocols don't work for everything.

 

6. Multiplayer should only allow one file save.

 

I've noticed that people are modifying saves so they can get resources way faster by just making multiple accounts all hacked to max level in different areas gathering different things. Not sure if that's an issue, but - it's happening. I think one save is good enough since it's a hardcore game first off and secondly, it'll probably be a lot more manageable for the server, the dev and the end user.

 

 

7. Fires can start but can't be put out without an admin? 

 

Fires should be able to be put out with dropping water on the ground at least. Or a fire extinguisher that's located in most stores. What happens is if an admin isn't on, people start fires online and it lags the entire server badly. It's like if one person is lagging, everyone is gonna lag - regardless if they aren't even by the fire itself, they will feel the lag as if they were nearby it for whatever reason.

 

Misc. things

 

Logged in but I'm not logged in.. How does that happen? It should be a checker to see if they haven't moved/said anything/no interaction with anything then they should be kicked after a certain time for inactivity instead of being denied service. Even after kicking the "ghost" of my friend dark nano, he was still unable to come on because it said he was still on the server.

 

I think if you have a backpack on you, you shouldn't need to drag items to your main inventory, the game should just know what items you have and either just do it automatically or just treat it like an extension of the player, which it is, and cut out the dragging of items so much.

 

 

 

These are a few of my ideas, regardless of them all I hope that Project Zomboid thrives to become something amazing as it's one of the best Early Access games I've gotten to read about, see videos of, and play myself for me to see that this is a game with a great community and even amazing devs with passion. I just really want the multiplayer to thrive because I believe people come for the single player, and stay for the multiplayer. 

 

I'll make another one of these if more ideas come into my head.

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If you don't enjoy Multiplayer at the Moment.  Dont play it and stick to SP.

 

The Multiplayer has added a great deal of income for the PZ team, and they have been able to hire some extra people to speed things up.

 

Not only that, with Multiplayer being there, it helps the PZ team work out what needs balancing and what needs fixing due to the amount of players posting suggestions and bugs. 

 

The game is still being developed. So you should expect the Multiplayer to not be working perfectly.

 

Removing Multiplayer will only damage the Dev's profits, and ability to create a working Multiplayer.

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Alternatively, limit yourself to private servers with your friends. You should find the experience more consistent than public servers.

No point in asking for a drastic measure, such as removing multiplayer, though. That's just shooting this thread in the . . . do threads have feet?

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Alternatively, limit yourself to private servers with your friends. You should find the experience more consistent than public servers.

No point in asking for a drastic measure, such as removing multiplayer, though. That's just shooting this thread in the . . . do threads have feet?

I've tried that, but that ruins the social aspect for me since it's only with people I know. I like the feel of an immersive adventure meeting new and familiar faces along the way. And I can't advertise private, defeats the purpose of making it private. But you are right, it just seems like an option rather than the real solution. 

 

 

Thank you for checking out the post! :-)

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I mostly agree with everything on this... Also,

Some things I want to touch base on... We need a wipezombies command built in and wipecorpses. We also need a FireSpreads = 0 Option in the INI.

MP should also allow squads to prevent friendly fire, regardless of safety on or off.

Fix player list past 18 players...

Menu gets bugged and cannot select options next to player names.

Leaving work.. Will add more when I get home.

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But I must agree with all of your suggestions.

 

Are you a roleplayer RichCoconut?

I RP and play just to play.

 

 

Give some Roleplaying a shot. These types of servers do their best to fix the isses (Zombie respawn, Game trolls+Cheats ect..)

 

Here is one that's good >-> http://theindiestone.com/forums/index.php/topic/12962-new-dawn-rp-server-build-30-hardcore-rp-whitelist-pvp-vanilla-24-slots/

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Public Server v. Private Server

 

It seems like both models, public server and private server, have some drawbacks. Public servers get ruined by the actions of a few bad apples, and private servers don't really facilitate the interaction between lovely strangers. Private servers also require a lot of player management, ie vetting good and bad players.

 

Consortium Server Idea

 

What if a consortium of server admins could collectively vet players so lovely strangers could play together? Here is how it could work:

 

Players could apply for a certificate at a third party created, operated, and managed consortium of private servers. Once approved, the player would receive an electronic certificate that would automatically grant access to all private servers who opted in to be part of that particular consortium. When a bad apple appears, any of the server admins could revoke that player's certificate from the consortium. Thus the bad apple would be prevented from hoping over to another server within the consortium after getting banned at one of the other servers.

 

The only thing TIS may need to add to PZ is some function for a certificate checker in multiplayer log in (or maybe not?). Beyond that, it's up to the players to operate. You could have multiple consortiums. The consortiums would define their own rules and operating procedures. And private servers could belong to multiple consortiums, accepting certificates from several different ones.

 

Philosophy: Underpinning this idea is the assumption that the majority of server admins don't want cheaters and griefers ruining the game for everyone else. Additionally, server admins want to spend more time playing the game and less time chasing down douche bags.  Alternatively, most players will want to play on a well administered server free of cheaters and griefers. A sort of natural selection then takes place as good consortiums grow and bad consortiums wither.

 

This structure also streamlines server admin efforts. Currently, Server A Admin uncovers a bad apple and bans an individual. Server B Admin has to repeat all of the same steps to ban the same individual on his server. This duplication of efforts can be eliminated.

 

Everyone Wins: TIS focuses on the game while remaining walled off from all player management headaches. TIS only provides a mechanism for checking "certificates" by player run servers. Nothing more.

 

Enterprising consortium start ups would compete for popularity and page views. Consortiums would police themselves, as they would have a collective interest in only including other good servers. One bad server could ruin the reputation for the entire consortium.

 

As the landscape of consortiums matures, the consortiums could collectively propose improvements to TIS for the certificate checking system. Maybe some sort of encryption needs to be added.

 

Yes, it would be messy at first. And yes, douche bags would invariably find ways to exploit consortiums. But I think this would go a long way in reducing the Wild West environment for server admins. It also provides a middle option between a full public or full private server.

 

Thoughts?

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Problem.

 

Server Admin C decides that Player X Is a Bad Apple.

Player X is not a Bad Apple.

 

Player X is prevented from all servers.

 

 

 

 

Your main problem, is that every single Admins has to have the same rules and views on what a Bad apple is, and what a Bad apple is not. But they won't because Opinions are different.

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Jatta Pake's idea is a solid solution (better than just stating a problem, without a possible alternative), a collaboration of cross-server whitelist(s).

 

The solidity of this concept comes from the central consortium itself - if there's a forum, or place to dispute/discuss bans and/or players, then the issue of server admins blocking players that aren't really bad apples becomes a less likely obstacle.

Players may have made mistakes, and got themselves banned, but if the ban needs an associated reason or description attached, which can be viewed/disputed publicly on the consortium forum, then the player themselves have an opportunity to present their case.

If this cross-server whitelist can be run alongside individual server whitelists (say, through a mod), then the player could still be restricted from the server of their shenanigans, without being blocked consortium-wide.

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*Good discussion*

Hey man, when I play MP, I'm fine with it (But thats because its private)

I know that is bad, but its still a WIP.... And there are many more birds to kill with a stone before they can make a main focus on the MP side of PZ.... But yeah, it is broken...

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Problem.

Server Admin C decides that Player X Is a Bad Apple.

Player X is not a Bad Apple.

Player X is prevented from all servers.

Your main problem, is that every single Admins has to have the same rules and views on what a Bad apple is, and what a Bad apple is not. But they won't because Opinions are different.

I agree that this is a weak point. However, there would pressure to resolve these issues by the consortium admins. If Admin C is banning good people haphazardly, that Admin risks having their server kicked out of the consortium (as one of many possible outcomes). Yes, I think you could see the rise of jerk consortiums. The good news this is the Internet and the community of players would spread the word quickly.

Yes, members of a consortium would have to flesh out their own rules. But consortiums would be competing to attract lovely players, so some consensus would arise.

Just to be clear, I'm not advocating all servers be part of a consortium. This would be just another option in addition to public and private.

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The idea of a global ban list works pretty well for 7 days to die: http://games.frontrunnertek.com/7-days-to-die/global-ban-list

 

It's community run though, since it's true the downsides SuperJack brought up aren't something an early access developer needs to think about right now. But managed well, it seems effective. 

 

+1 for server-side characters

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This could be done now between a group of server admins just sharing/maintaining a communal whitelist, neh?

If all this takes is setting up a private forum and sharing a whitelist every few days amongst a group of admins, there's no reason it can't be done now.

Will be interesting to see the consequences (if any) of this for public servers.

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I don't mind that some people KOS or burn your base. It is annoying but for me its a part of apocalypse that give nice tension.

I just would love to have the way to extinguish fire and perhaps making walls more durable.

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This could be done now between a group of server admins just sharing/maintaining a communal whitelist, neh?

If all this takes is setting up a private forum and sharing a whitelist every few days amongst a group of admins, there's no reason it can't be done now.

Will be interesting to see the consequences (if any) of this for public servers.

Even better, I'm not sure about the modding capabilities, but you could probably have someone host an online whitelist/forum (database w/API), and have a mod for fetching/checking players against it.

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This could be done now between a group of server admins just sharing/maintaining a communal whitelist, neh?

If all this takes is setting up a private forum and sharing a whitelist every few days amongst a group of admins, there's no reason it can't be done now.

Will be interesting to see the consequences (if any) of this for public servers.

Even better, I'm not sure about the modding capabilities, but you could probably have someone host an online whitelist/forum (database w/API), and have a mod for fetching/checking players against it.

 

 

A better solution would actually probably be having a RakNet bot programmed to do that sort of thing that can connect to every server and vets any connections, allowing them or rejecting them as it sees fit, since I'm not sure how much of Multiplayer commands are exposed in LUA and whether PZ Lua could actually call out to a central SQL database.

 

Ignoring that, I have never agreed with a centralised blacklist/whitelist especially for a community as small as PZ. It was raised earlier but someone could arguably be unfairly banned, and with the way PZ Server Listings there's no way to effectively communicate why they have been banned, since PZ doesn't do personalised ban messages. The only way a player who had been unfairly blacklisted would know that he had to go to this "consortium" of players, was if the player was aware of their existence already which I guarantee you the vast majority of people wouldn't.

 

I also have a strong feeling, everybody is really digging the idea now, but then someone would set it up, and after a couple of weeks/months the interest would plummet as a whole and would eventually be left to these select few actually managing it.

 

Ignoring that, how do you handle an appeal? Who judges it? Does everybody have to judge it? Alright, then you have to make sure everybody is religiously checking this place for ongoing appeals, otherwise players would be stuck waiting around not being able to play on a server they want to go on (if they didn't just go to another server to ignore all this hassle in the first place) couldn't have one person being the be all end all, not even a small selection of people since that would mean that people have appeals blocked/lifted by a select few. Who for all we know could be trying to troll the system.

 

I don't think it would be a good idea personally, but then they're not my servers so it's not my say. Just as long as you don't expect any official TIS support.

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People reloading chars is worst part of game atm hands down.

that and people who troll servers *cough*

 

because of the trolls we were forced to put in no firespread damage on our server, people toching down every house.

 

as far as multiplayer goes overall they talked about it in their recent mondoid and its something they are addressing just stay tuned!

 

It'll get much much better

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[summarized]

Ignoring that, I have never agreed with a centralised blacklist/whitelist especially for a community as small as PZ.

 

It was raised earlier but someone could arguably be unfairly banned,

 

and with the way PZ Server Listings there's no way to effectively communicate why they have been banned, since PZ doesn't do personalised ban messages. The only way a player who had been unfairly blacklisted would know that he had to go to this "consortium" of players, was if the player was aware of their existence already which I guarantee you the vast majority of people wouldn't.

 

I also have a strong feeling, everybody is really digging the idea now, but then someone would set it up, and after a couple of weeks/months the interest would plummet as a whole and would eventually be left to these select few actually managing it.

 

Ignoring that, how do you handle <snip>

 

I don't think it would be a good idea personally, but then they're not my servers so it's not my say. Just as long as you don't expect any official TIS support.

 

 

Good points, Connall.  I summarized and grouped your points for response/rebuttal:

 

Awareness - I don't think this would be an issue. First, players would be required to join a consortium before they could even play on consortium servers. So knowing about it is a prerequisite. It would be up to the consortium on how they choose to communicate. Consortiums with bad communication would wither and die, while well run and well marketed consortiums would grow. Second, players cannot access private servers by default right now, only public servers. And you can already be unfairly banned from any private server without knowing why. Whether consortiums exist or not, I think PZ would benefit from a mechanism for communicating bans to players.

 

Operations (Or how do you handle X, Y, and Z): I think the 7 Days example linked above provides a great possible model for a consortium. In that example, players need to be dinged by three different servers before they are blacklisted. As it stands now in the status quo, single private server admins can unfairly ban people.  Really, the only difference between a single private server and a consortium is one of scope. You touch on this point so I'll single it out for response.

 

Scope - This giant whitelist concept differs from private servers in scope. Instead of going through an entire vetting process to be whitelisted to a single private server, a consortium would allow one vetting process to open up many servers. But I think you are saying that not only are the potential benefits increased, but so are potential risks. Instead of being banned from one server for unfair reasons, a player could be banned from many. Yes, this is an associated risk. But a few counter-points:

  • The Consortium idea crowd sources optimal player management. Server Admins would be under pressure from each other to provide a fair system of justice. You don't have this with single Private servers where Admins can rule like dictators.
  • The Consortium idea off-loads some player management for Admins. Granting access, banning, un-banning, appeals, Internet drama - all of this can be offloaded to the faceless Consortium rulers. Now Admins can spend more time having fun on their own server rather than playing Big Brother.
  • Offloading player management has another benefit: It could actually increase the number of PZ servers available for PZ players. Player management is not fun, and it is no doubt one reason why potential servers are not set up. People don't want to deal with the headaches that come with dealing with Internet strangers. Letting someone else do this is attractive.

Feasibility (Community too small, interest will plummet) - I can't argue with this point. My idea is merely theoretical, and I have no ability or interest to actually test. Honestly, I think the viability with any server - public, private, consortium - relies on the dedicated passion of the operator.  Would this idea fail tomorrow but work a year from now? Maybe. But I think it is an idea worth exploring if I was a Server Admin. Right now, servers are competing to attract lovely players while dissuading trolls/cheaters. It strikes me as almost biological that the next evolutionary step is for servers to start grouping together, cooperating, and pooling resources. It's happening with MP mods and I see no reason why it can't happen with player management too. 

 

I doubt I've changed your opinion, but the discussion is interesting to me. Perhaps a few MP server admins will read my post, and decide to give it a go? I'd be curious to see how it worked out...

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I may be a bit weird, but I feel like the allure of playing open multiplayer is for the danger. If the apocalypse happened.... people would set fires. They would kill other people, they'd steal all their stuff, and they'd use unfair advantages to secure their own survival. Making a whitelisted population would be akin to making a peaceful coalition in post-apocalyptic times, however you make that group and you limit the danger.

 

Isn't Project Zomboid to be the story of how you died?

 

That being said, I don't like the lag.

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I actually enjoy public servers more then whitelist, you can have an RP community in your base on any public server and then just gun random people down on the street as you see fit and not feel nearly as guilty about it.

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