The Haus

Monday, March 20, 2000

Additional Notes on ZeroPing

Brandon Reinhart updated his .plan with his opinion of the whole ZeroPing mod.
Unreal Tournament server-authoritative netcode is that way for a reason. The author of Zero Ping seems to think that we didn't know what we were doing when we wrote it. :)

Zero Ping might make a game feel more responsive, but it seriously opens up servers for client side exploitation. Security is a critical part of online gaming and multiplayer fairness.

Even though Zero Ping makes the game feel more responsive to the shooter, it detriments the victim. You might think you got out of the way... hell the server might even agree that you DID get out of the way...but Zero Ping ignores that and empowers the client's machine to make critical gameplay decisions.

I encourage mod authors to avoid using the Zero Ping Unreal Tournament mod. Finally, realize that ngWorldStats will reject stats reports from servers using the Zero Ping mod.

On Star Wars Online Rumors

Verant's President and CEO, John Smedley, sent an email to the Star Wars Vault regarding some of the rumors that have been swirling around about what will be in their massively-multiplayer Star Wars extravaganza. Here's the whole spiel, in all its glory:
We're really excited about doing Star Wars Online with LucasArts and Sony Online Entertainment. It's going to be a while before we release any official information, but I wanted to make a couple of comments.

First of all, nothing related to the amount of game content we will have in the game is remotely final, so things like the number of planets aren't going to be really announced for a while. I will say that we understand clearly the extremely high expectations of Star Wars fans everywhere. I would just urge everyone to wait a while until we are prepared to release more information.

Second, don't read anything into words like "zones". We've been working onsome truly awesome next-generation technology here at Verant, so terms like "zones" will really end up meaning vastly different things then they have in EverQuest.

Overall we're going to be keeping our heads down and working hard. From time to time we'll be stopping by here and the other fans sites as they emerge and we'll say what we can, when we can.
Thanks Evil Avatar.

Stef Still Sucks in Quake

For anyone who follows User Friendly, you know that Stef Murky sucks at Quake. Well, he still sucks at Q3A. Hehehe :-)

A.T. Hun comments: I need my daily fix of User Friendly, The Piranha Club, and Something Awful or I just go mad (and yes, J.t., then I would go "Mad one, mad two, mad three . . .")

ZeroPing Mod is bad

According to Cliff Bleszinski's .plan update, the popular ZeroPing mod for Unreal Tournament is a "bad thing"tm.
When you press the fire button, a message gets sent to the server to let the server know that you fired. In the case of instant hit weapons like the UT Sniper Rifle, the server does a line trace to see if you hit anyone. This is fair, because the server knows exactly where each player is, and has the most recent information about their position. It can make a fair assessment as to whether you really hit the guy or not.

What ZP does is give that judging responsibility to the client. Using the approximate information the client has predicted, the client checks to see if the guy was lined up with your crosshair and tells the server "yep, you hit him". While this might seem great to the camping bastard firing the sniper rifle, it sucks if you're the guy he's firing at. Because you know full well you hid behind the pillar in time, but because the camper doesn't have the latest information on your position, he thought you were in full view.
I should point out a couple things: This benefits those with REALLY poor connections (the normal method of server-validated hits benefits those with really GOOD connects), and it also benefits those who want to cheat. Heck, if you can control hit messages on the client, you can tell the server you always hit anyone who is anywhere near you. Zbot, anyone?

A.T. Hun comments: Well, this could lead to an aimbot, no doubt. I'm actually rather surprised I haven't heard of one in UT yet. But I don't think CliffyB's arguments hold a whole lot of water, unless you are of the opinion that only LPBs should play your game. I've gotten behind pillars many time (or so I thought) or have been hit in the head with the "mystery rocket from nowhere" (which is my favorite UT phenomenon). I suppose that's the punishment I must suffer for having the gall to live in a town with no high-speed access.

The Master responds: I'd have to say it's really a horse apiece. Yes, it sucks to suffer because your an HPB (and remember-anyone in NE. Wisconsin gets to suffer this-even with my ISP I suffer a 10 hop penalty to any server outside of EZ) but when you get somebody in a game who is running a 650 ping (this happens a lot more than I'd like) and they're kicking butt because they have lag time to aim in, it starts to suck. But these problems don't go away because you're an LPB either. LPBs get that extra 10-100ms over HPBs to think about stuff because they have much lower network latencies. So either way somebody gets the shaft.

Sunday, March 19, 2000

War Cow Skin

One of the new meshes in the Unreal Tournament bonus pack is the Nali War Cow (a personal favorite of THoP's very own J). UnrealTerritory has come out with a Holstein skin for it that is a riot. You can see a screenshot here and download it here. Thanks Planet Unreal.

Daikatana Gold?

According to Avault, Diakatana is "finished" and is awaiting a final announcement of Gold status from Eidos. I'll believe it when I see it. But I think H311 has to freeze over first.

A.T. Hun comments: /me sings It's the end of the world as we know it . . .

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