The RPS TF2 Server: A News Thing

By Phill Cameron on August 4th, 2010 at 8:09 pm.


Deep in the bowels of Castle Shotgun, in one of the many lost rooms, forgotten testament to Jim’s Escher-like grasp of architecture, a light flickers into existence. It takes a few minutes to fill the scene, the first flutters of red doing little to illuminate, but slowly, as the seconds pass, it becomes stronger, until finally it stays constant. Machinery whirrs into life behind it, something grand, huge, and majestic, returning to operating efficiency.

The RPS TF2 server is back online. And it’s going to be busy.

Multiplay have provided us with a twenty-four man beast of a server, and over the past few weeks we’ve been refining it into something that has everything for every man. What have we done? How has it all gone down? What’s with all the hat-based puns? Have a seat and I’ll tell you.

I’ve been trying, (really really hard) not to go mad with power and having a purely custom map rotation, uploading my entire music library onto the server and having it play Elma Fudd everytime someone fires a weapon, and instead I’ve actually been letting people have their own say. But where on Earth could they do that? Why, on the RPS Talk-o-Tron. Here, specifically.

Instead we’ve been having civilised discussions on map rotation, which plugins to install, what powers admins should have, all that sort of stuff. It’s all been terribly polite, and really, the only thing stopping the server from being a tea-fueled, delightful box of fun is my inability to properly manipulate the server back end. Which I guess is where you come in.


Because the Map Rotation is probably the most important part of the server, I’m going to include the current set up below, complete with links so you can download the custom ones without having to wait for them to pop up on the server.

Anyway, here they are:
Dustbowl
Badwater
Gravelpit
Cashworks
Redfort
Frontier
Broma
Harvest (Event)
Glacier
Granary
Wildmire
Thundermountain
Yukon
Upward
Lighthouse

We’ve just about got Rock The Vote and Team Scrambling on the server now, but I’m sure there’s a tonne more that we could do with, and we just lack the direction of what exactly to install. Whether it be in the comments here, on the forum or just on the server during one of the events, please provide your opinions. This server is for you, after all.

Speaking of the events, if you’re a member of the RPS Steam Group, you would no doubt have been exposed to our near-daily events. I’ve been setting them at around 6:30pm, trying to make them accessible to those productive people who have jobs, but maybe that isn’t the greatest time? Here is your chance to voice your opinion. Servers are only as good as their community, after all, so be good! Let’s get some discourse going, and we can continue to refine and reiterate.


Things have hardly been silent, though. When actually on the server people chat and kill one another with an almost alarming joviality, not to mention the fact that a few people have become infamous for their frankly disturbing about of skill. I don’t care if I’ve backstabbed my way to the top of a leaderboard, that really doesn’t make it ok for that Pyro to start juggling me against a wall while making sure I stay on fire. It’s just so.. undignified.

One thing that seems to be a talking point is the question of whether to password the server. At the moment, during my intermittent checks during the day, the server is usually somewhat empty until an event hits. Due to this, it seems as though, when it does fill up, it’s filling up with the right sort of people, rather than all those dirty pubbies. As such, it’s probably best to leave it unpassworded at the moment, if only because we don’t have a need to lock anyone out.

So, apart form offering up a daily prayer of thanks to Multiplay for their continued generosity, what would you particularly like to do on the server? Is there anything currently missing from it that you’d like to see? Anything you don’t like about how it’s currently operated? Let us know below, or on the forum, or somewhere. Just be aware that if you start writing messages on your wall, we can’t see them very easily.

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67 Comments »

  1. Dyst says:

    I’ve been on it a few times but usually early in the morning when no one is on. I’m downloading those there custom maps right now and I think I’ll make it my regular server since the only server I play on right now is 24/7 2fort d:

  2. Kez says:

    I have to say I’ve had a LOT of fun on the RPS TF2 server the past couple weeks. I bought TF2 when it came out but never bothered to play it until recently. As a complete n00b, I figured I’d find a welcoming community on an RPS server and I wasn’t disappointed.

    Unfortunately, playing from here in the midwest USA, the premium playtime for the server (as well as all the Steam group invites) takes place while I’m at work. Luckily (?) when I was recently ill, I was able to play some during UK prime-time.

    Playing from over here, I have a pretty consistent 120-160ms ping, which means I can pretty much only play the Medic. But I’m trying to learn to be the best laggy Medic I can be! All apologies in advance! :D

    • Shih Tzu says:

      Californian here! Maybe I’ll see you around!

    • wererogue says:

      I’m a British Ex-Pat in Montreal, and the only reasons I haven’t been on the server is (a) overtime at work and (b) I assumed everyone would be asleep. I’ll hop on in the evenings from time to time now that I know people will be on.

  3. airtekh says:

    This will be mentioned again I’m sure, but I think there are a few people who do not like having the TF2 reminders popping up in the general RPS steam group.

    If this is a major problem then maybe we should use the other Steam group for reminders instead?

    • Stijn says:

      I second this. It’s kind of annoying to get these popups for events I cannot join all the time.

    • PhiIl Cameron says:

      This has been raised before, and the conclusion reached was that this is what the Steam group is for, and so we’re going to keep them within it.

    • megalomania says:

      Phill,

      Have a heart. Don’t you know about M. molillus? It’s an extremely serious medical condition that makes a little grey box popping up in the corner of your screen once a day _utterly unbearable_. Honestly, there’s seizures and vomiting and blood coming out of eyes and everything. It’s awful.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      By “we” Sponge basically means me shouting at him that the people complaining about the events are idiots until he curled up in a foetal position, crying like a little girl.

      Really, the whole point of Steam groups is to organise games with other people. Complaining that the Steam group is being used to organise games with other people is simply retarded.

      I would advise people suffering from M. molillus to consider staying out of Steam groups entirely, and perhaps even staying off Steam (though I pity their poor souls).

    • Flimgoblin says:

      only annoying thing about steam popups is them grabbing focus and minimising stuff I’m looking at – other than that I’m all for 8:30 things rather than 6:30, then those of us with sprogs might have a fighting chance of making a game sometime.

      (not that I’ve played TF2 since I got it to be fair, but that’s because I have so many other things to play…. an event pestering me at a time I can play it might well drag me onto it)

    • Flimgoblin says:

      I should say “as well as”, some 6:30s and some 8:30s :)

    • Stijn says:

      Yeah, it’s not the announcement per se that annoys me, but the way Steam steals focus. I don’t play TF2, so announcements of TF2 events are not that relevant for me. I could still use the RPS group for organizing teams in other games though. I suppose it’s more of a Steam problem than the group’s, though I thought perhaps there was a way not to have a reminder pop up for everyone in the group.

      I don’t quite get the aggressive attitude against airtekh and me, by the way.

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      Yep the real problem here is steam. there’s no other feasible way to arrange groups so we should just direct our wrath at valve.

    • DBS says:

      You do know you can disable those pop up things, either when you’re in a game or all the time, in steam settings

  4. Carra says:

    I enjoy the mixture of custom maps & valve maps. Fun to play some new maps.

    The playtime as it is now is great for me. Just after dinner :)

  5. Shih Tzu says:

    I only started playing TF2 like three weeks ago, and I briefly had some good times on the RPS server. As an American living on the west coast who works late, though, I haven’t seen it populated in a while, and the one time I tried to check it out on a weekend afternoon it was still mostly empty and infested with bored trolls spouting 4chan nonsense. Are there any late-night North American RPSites up for keeping the game going? And I know there’s got to be some Europeans willing to stay up until 6 AM for the privilege of shooting Yanks in the head.

  6. dethgar says:

    You guys need to get it hosted in the middle of the Atlantic, so some of us Yanks can play with you without lagging awfully.

  7. Skusey says:

    While I don’t question that the server is filling up with the right sort of people -everybody’s lovely- I think they are a different sort compared to the last server. Every map vote that’s taken place during my time on the server has had either Frontier or Redfort up for vote, yet neither have ever won. It’s madness.

  8. Plinglebob says:

    I’ve been playing for an hour or two most days and its reminded me why I enjoy it. Its fun seeing the same names over and over and remembering grudges.Becuase you asked for it, a few comments:

    Event time – I’d possibly push it back an hour as things never really get going until around 7:15-7:30.

    Map rotation – I can’t remember its name, but there’s a bomb race map which ends with the bomb being on a lift going up. I think thats the only map in the rotation I don’t like as it can get one sided very quickly and if you arn’t a scout, trying to stop the bomb when its on the lift is amost impossible.

    Password – Most the people who are on there are poeple I recognise from RPS so that isn’t really a problem.

    • PhiIl Cameron says:

      That’s Hightower, and it’s already been removed from rotation for exactly that sort of reason. So yay.

    • Plinglebob says:

      Hallelujah. I’ll be back to healing you all tomorrow.

  9. BaronWR says:

    Yay. More of this sort of thing, etc. It’s rather nice to play with people who have not devolved into the standard internet abuse-spewers. Although I am jealous of all of you who are home from work at 6.30…

  10. Vinraith says:

    So I’m still the only person on Earth that liked Hydro, eh?

    • The Dark One says:

      I liked the idea oh Hydro, and it was very pretty, but almost every combination of points leads to a horrible spammy chokepoint.

      Also, thank you for not including Follower or Fastlane.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      @Vinraith

      I’m definitely a fan of Hydro. I don’t find the chokepoints overly spammy in general, but the gameplay suffers from taking too long to cap and easily stalemating.

      That said, I play it rarely enough that I’ll always vote for it given a choice.

    • Nick says:

      Pretty much everyone I played with hated Hydro before the end of the pre-release “beta”.

    • airtekh says:

      @Vinraith

      Oh hell no. I love Hydro; and the whole territorial control idea too.

      Unfortunately, as Dark One and Velvet say, most matches I’ve played lead to a colossal stalemate. I think it’s one of the things that Valve initially thought would be a great idea (a completely re-usable map with dynamic fighting areas) which in practice has proved unpopular.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Hydro should have been an arena map.

      When it finally makes it to sudden death, it plays much better.

  11. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    The server only needs one thing, friendly fire on, when a round ends :P.

    • SF Legend says:

      And/or during the pregame wait time after a new map’s been loaded.

  12. Bahumat says:

    Sweet christ the lag, oh the lag. :(

    Okay, so it’s not like, *terrible*, but it’s bad. :(

  13. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    There seems to be a slight problem with the server at right this very instant. It is advertising 23/24 players, but whenever I attempt to join it says “Server full”. This makes me sad.

  14. Mike says:

    Why is this in the “TF2 news” on Steam? Why should anybody care? Is there something super special about this server or something?

    • DarkNoghri says:

      Rock Paper Shotgun is one of the blogs that shows up on Steam. Anything that they tag for certain games (say, TF2, for example), shows up in TF2 news on Steam, no matter if it’s a private RPS type matter or some big news item.

      As for the server, it’s special because it’s the RPS server. If you don’t care, you don’t care, but many of us do.

    • Shih Tzu says:

      Occasionally I grace this server with my empyrean presence, so it’s kind of a big deal.

  15. Wazzle says:

    This all looks good, I just have two requests.
    1) Could you please add Badlands to the rotation? In my opinion, it’s probably the most exciting and fair of the five-point CP maps, and always (or usually) makes for a good game.
    2) Could you please post a link to a fullscreen version of the header image of this article? I was sort of drooling looking at it…

    • PhiIl Cameron says:

      Seeming as a few people seem to want it, I’ll lob Badlands up.

      And the picture is part of a set I’ve been doing. The original can be found here, and the set here.

  16. Inverse Singularity says:

    The Redfort map is not complete without the Medieval Fortress plugin. http://www.ubercharged.net/2010/02/08/medieval-fortress-2-an-introduction/

  17. Aimless says:

    I am a complete tf2 addict (although not very good yet) I haven’t tried the rps server yet as I assumed it would always be full. I’m going to have to give it a try now I know its pretty reasonable to get on to :) it looks really good and should be a nice community.

    Can I also second the vote for Badlands being added to the rotation? I agree usually makes for a good capture point game

  18. rYAN says:

    And how does an RPS TF2 server work?

  19. dAniel says:

    Now we finally have a reason to build that island in the atlantic, come to think of it let’s call them the Azores.

  20. SoulPride says:

    When I read about this server I decided it was time to end my almost-two-year break from TF2. So glad that I did, now that Redfort has come into my life.

  21. dartt says:

    I’ve nothing to declare except that I am basking in the redfort love. REDFORT FOREVER!

  22. Ice-Fyre says:

    Yay for Red Fort!

  23. itsallcrap says:

    Might seem a minor thing, but do we have !timeleft ? I use that a lot.

    Also, don’t bother with too much voting stuff. Especially not disabling random crits. They’re supposed to be on.

  24. -=crazy=-Boo says:

    Now the first question would be if you guys have a busy voice frequency on your server. Are people chatting a lot and if so, are these all tactical suggestions and stuff the other team should not hear.
    If this is not the case i’d suggest alltalk to be turned on for a simple reason: with the right community it leads to an awesome quality envirement. The simple fact that you can frustrate or congratulate your oponent for his kill makes out so much part of a good game but as i said you really need a good community for that, but as you wrote that shouldnt be a problem and from playing on your server in past i’d second that. In the best outcome most people will join and go random for any team will have enough buddies plus the possibility for laid-back talking among each other.

    • DarkNoghri says:

      There’s actually a plugin (Baron’s Pub runs it, but I’d have to look it up) that allows both. You have a key to talk, and by binding a key to “voiceall”, you can swap between teamchat and allchat.

      I think we have a decent enough community that this could be fun.

  25. Down Rodeo says:

    I play on the server as Van Occupanther. I had forgotten you predilection for the Spy, Sponge! I will have my vengeance at some point. I am determined.

    Redfort… I have had some really great games on there. And some that were dire. Like any map, I suppose, but I get the impression that some people have been burned by it too many times, which is presumably why it doesn’t get on that often.

    Great server overall though. I need to remember to use my mic more. The chat is often top-notch.

  26. Serenegoose says:

    This might actually get me back to playing TF2 – not to sound like a bitter old grump, but the ‘all servers are 32 player capped without respawn times’ was really getting on my nerves. 24 is a sensible limit, and I like that.

    • DarkNoghri says:

      Heh, when I reinstalled TF2, the first thing I did was (and I did this repeatedly as more servers showed up over a week or so) blacklist all servers running an achievement map, as well as any servers with the tag “increased_maxplayers”.

    • airtekh says:

      Valve have actually implemented a little reminder notice now every time you attempt to join a TF2 server with more than 24 players.

      It basically says that the game was balanced for 24 players or less and joining the server might impact on your experience. (It can be permenantly disabled though).

      @Serengoose
      If you’re looking for sensible, vanilla servers (i.e 24 players max, respawn times enabled) a few I play on regularly are:

      PC Gamer server
      Hampshire Heavies 1 and 2
      Uberium server

      (These are European servers by the way, apologies if you’re in North America)

  27. daftpunk says:

    how would you add these to the TF2 folder? in the maps section? becuase that would be the bomb!

    • DarkNoghri says:

      Download, unzip (probably), cut/paste into the team fortress 2/tf/maps directory.

  28. Mohsin says:

    Why do these images look so awesomely awesome, and why does my game look so drab? :(

  29. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    ’tis a good server indeed. The map rotation feels about right, I would’ve liked Goldrush in there but I think both Thunder Mountain and Dustbowl adequately scratch that particular itch. Probably needs a few more King of the Hill maps though, certainly Nucleus and maybe Sawmill.

  30. Delusibeta says:

    May I suggest pl_waste? It’s a payload map, but both teams get to push the cart. It’s a neat concept, but I haven’t played it for ages. Download: http://forums.tf2maps.net/showthread.php?ltr=W&t=5933

    • Miko says:

      I second Waste, it’s pretty great. And I’m still agitating for what is in my opinion the best Payload Race map and possibly the best map of any sort, plr_panic.

      cp_daylight is pretty solid too, if a little crude. Plays well.

  31. Sol says:

    Yay more maps on which to backstab the unsuspecting… fun fun.

  32. Phil says:

    The plugin to allow switching between alltalk & teamtalk at will (by binding a key to +alltalk) is called Ubertalk IIRC. Well worth having: makes games on group servers more of a social thing, but you can still talk to your team to hatch your evil, evil plans to take over the world.

  33. Swanky says:

    God, you people and your TF2 ways might be enough to lure me out of my singleplayer bunker where I’ve been hiding ever since I hit the Counter-Strike servers back in the day. Haven’t really bothered much since then lest I be ear-raped by dreary fuckwits who wouldn’t recognise Fun(tm) if it tickled them in arse with an ostrich feather.

    Is TF2 the gateway game for jaded/shy/scared multiplayer reluctants?

  34. Soundofvictory says:

    @Swanky

    Yes. That is PRECISELY what TF2 is.

    Also: I seem to be a tad daft as I have forgotten the server’s IP and am unable to find it anywhere on the steam group. Could somebody please point me in the right direction?

    • airtekh says:

      @Soundofvictory

      Dial 85.236.100.107:27315 for fun, fun, fun!

  35. Cosmic says:

    Maybe you use the rtd (roll the dice) plugin? Some of the best fun i’ve even had has been with that.

  36. Velijah says:

    I’m looking forward to this new TF2 server. See you around!

  37. Destroye says:

    This server got so popular I think it’s almost always full
    Already, another server would be appricated.