[bf1942] BF2 Server?

Steven Hartland killing at multiplay.co.uk
Fri Nov 26 20:28:58 EST 2004

RE: [bf1942] BF2 Server?Thanks for the heads up Andreas but I will say this is a serious

Andreas I'll say this at the beginning as it quite a long mail:
I would really appreciate if you could forward this to Sean as
I sincerely want to see BF2 be as successful as it possibly
can be and its our opinion that without a quality linux server
on release that this will not be the case.

I can only point to the recent release of MOH:PA which is not
a bad game but due to the terrible quality of the current win32
server and no current linux server there are only 97 servers
listed world wide in ASE.

I cant emphasise enough the importance of a quality server and
a *nix based server on release. As a GSP if you need any
figures we can provide. As it stands out of 90 machines we
run as game servers only 16 are windows based or put
another way only ~60Ghz of the ~ 700Ghz or processing
power. Why?

There are a number of reasons here are some key ones:
1. Windows boxes fail and need rebooting on a regular
basis where as in our case BSD boxes don't. The numbers:
Avg BSD uptime > 200 days 
Avg Windows uptime < 30 days.
2. Administering *nix based machines is very light weight
and hence does not affect server performance hence the
end user experience.
3. Security issues require regular patching on windows boxes
and hence additional downtime.
4. *nix OS's and their servers generally perform more efficiently
and hence produce a better end experience.
5. *nix admins have a larger and high quality knowledge base
than their windows counter parts. e.g. Windows users will
often use task manager to quote their CPU usage on a dual
CPU box with Hyper threading enabled which means their
figure is out by a factor or 4!!

Why does this matter? A quality server is often only achieved
after an iterative cycle. Quality, accurate / precise
feedback is essential to this process this is much easier
to achieve from *nix admins with their knowledge and tools
than from windows users.

The perfect example of this is a good *nix admin will report
a server crash and include a stack trace of what happened
this can lead the developer to the issue and fix in minutes
rather than a report from a windows user would be "the
server crashes some times".

Another example of this is what happened with recently
release of COD:UO. With in hours of the linux servers release
there where reports of seriously excessive CPU load leading
to laggy game play and an overall poor user experience.
Within an hour the *nix admins had narrowed is down to
maps which included vehicles, due to the systems ourselves
and others had in place to monitor their servers not commonly
present on Windows systems. Armed with this feedback
the developers where able to pinpoint the issue and release
a partial fix again within a very short period of time.

In the end it all boils down to which provides the best
experience to the end user i.e. you customer. In general
I can say without a shadow of a doubt this is a *nix solution.

Some people may look at things like ASE and produce
results that show windows servers outweigh *nix servers
but their is a really simple answer to that. Which of those
are the quality servers i.e. provided by GSP's and which
are people running servers on their DSL / cable lines which
provide a terrible user experience? Figures for our GSP
45 windows servers
285 *nix servers
and Im sure you will see this replicated across the board
as for the reasons above the better user experience is king
and hence we only run windows servers if their is no

I would seriously urge the management team of BF2 to
reconsider their decision to reduce the *nix port in priority
as they risk loosing not only a highly valuable asset ( the
people on this list and their skills ) as well as their resources
but also the customers which make a game sell when there
is a distinct lack of quality servers.

Its a simple fact that games with a *nix server port do
significantly better in the market place than ones without it
or that treat it as an after thought.


    Steve / K
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Andreas Fredriksson 
  To: bf1942 at icculus.org ; bf1942 at icculus.org 
  Sent: Friday, November 26, 2004 10:16 PM
  Subject: RE: [bf1942] BF2 Server?

  Sean Decker (BF2's producer) explicitly said it was OK to share this information with you, so I am. He is the one calling the shots on large-scale planning in the project.

  I'm sad to say that my managers have assigned me to other areas over the course of this project and I will most likely not get the time I would need to bring you a high quality Linux server at ship time.

  I really wanted to make this product launch with excellent Linux support from the start, but it's not my call.

  // Andreas

  -----Original Message-----
  From: Dave Snodgrass [mailto:packtloss at gmail.com]
  Sent: Fri 11/26/2004 5:59 PM
  To: bf1942 at icculus.org
  Subject: [bf1942] BF2 Server?

  Hey - I'm a tad confused. Andreas has been keeping us posted/asking
  questions about linux binaries, but now i read in an interview today
  that linux binaries wont be ready at launch time. Anyone know if this
  is the real official word? If so, how long will we be waiting?


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