Running a server? Something to consider:

If you attempt to run a 64 actual player server:

Tribes/T2 is very efficient in general with net usage. It will still run 1.1 to 1.5 KiloBYTES per second PER client, with spikes to ~3.2KB/s.

The math:
64*2=128....KiloBYTES per second, as a -low- average, on a loaded 64 player server. This level of upstream traffic will require a T-1 line or equivalent (1.544 Mbit/sec, ~160 KBytes/sec). This is real, non-compressable (as it already is compressed) load. In networking, you never want to see over 75-80 percent of your line in use, as latency begins to swing, and any spikes become huge ping spikes and choppy play for players.

How do I know this?
I ran 2 dual processor SCSI servers back in 98-2000, that server up LAN and internet versions of Quake2, Half-Life Counter-Strike betas, and Tribes, over a T-1 line. We could never have more than 16/18/24 as server max player limits, due to a complete loss of upstream availability if they all filled at once. Fortunately, we always had 10 of those server slots filled, about 3 per game, from LAN players, so I guess we had real limits of about 13/15/21. I ran some the smoothest servers to play on GLOBALLY. This is because, as a net admin, my job was to ensure absolute perfect delivery of data, and high server framerate.

Typical ADSL:
1.5 megabits down, 256 Kilobits (32Kbytes/sec) up. 10 players MAX (internet)

Typical Cable modem:
3 megabits down, 128/256/512 kilobit up. 4/10/18 max (internet)

Insight cable (Northern Ky/IN), 10/20 megabits down, 1.1/1.2 megabits up. I get 1.2. 32 players MAX (internet).

Optimum Online: Huge, but depends on area.
Verizon FIOS, varies by area, but can be multiple megabits.

Please note that running servers on your ISP's network is technically against TOS, and very likely will exceed your bandwidth limits, if yours becomes popular. Find out about limits, WITHOUT mentioning what you do. Claim to be making sure your kids boombang browsing, or my lil pony game isn't going to make you pay out more.

This is outbound traffic. Unless you are running on a 2 megabit or higher upstream line, you will lag your players to death with a >32 player server. Often literally.


  • good data there
  • What settings does one use to adjust networking in the t2 server?
  • $pref::Net::PacketRateToClient = 24;
    $pref::Net::PacketRateToServer = 24;
    $pref::Net::PacketSize = 400;

    These are the defaults for "Cable".
  • Lowering the packet rate will allow for more players, but you will likely not have a problem with needing more slots once players get tired of their latency climbing into the stratosphere during larger firefights.
  • What side-effects would there be from lowering the packet rate?

  • The packet rate determines when a snapshot of gamestate is sent to each player, more means smoother gameplay, up to a point. Think the standard unedited networking rate is 16, with a packet size of 240. Going to 20x256 adds just a little more creamy goodness. I doubt if anyone would notice much diff in base to shifter style play going from 16/240 to 32/450, unless you have a server that has a high player total. If you have more than say 26 players, upping the rates and especialy the sizes is required, or gameplay suffers greatly. You can keep the rates low, say 18 to 24, but set the size to max, 450.

    Think the hard coded game limits are up to 32 for rate, up to 450 size. The networking in t2 is really good, you can send tiny packets and have a great game.
  • Blak,

    Did you even say anything useful? Just curious, as I was quite clear in my post.

    Let's use your over simplified representation:
    20x240 (low tick rate, low data)
    that is:
    4800 bytes per second, discounting any overhead, as it will not be relevant to this discussion.

    That's per active player , so multiply that by the number of players. We'll assume 32, because, after all, the OP was considering a high player count.

    4800x32= 153600 KB/sec
    THAT is pretty much capped upload rate for a full T1.
    My cable connection can JUST get that.

    In the real world, however, not only is the line going to have other uses simultaneously, but, due to the effects of the pipe being full, latency is introduced, depending on the transient capabilities of the line.

    16 players is far more doable in real world terms, as constant data rate is hugely lower, and peak data rate is also greatly lowered.

    server tick rate defines the experience. Whether you have bandwidth to support it is the limit.
  • You said nothing regarding rates and sizes, so I chimed in. You're welcome.
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