post lan

19:00 17th - 17:00 19th February 2012
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post lan

Postby Techfreak-SSM » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:12 pm

Well thats a another LAN wrapped up, thanks to the staff as always.

Very nice to see a good turn out, regulars and new punters alike. Nice to see the Efragz and speak to some of you during the event.

Steam was a joy as always
the above post is being sarcastic, please don't read it literally.
This was down to mostly to new updates springing up during the event, which of course couldn't be avoided.

The tquiz this time as it was hosted locally and the level selection was a good idea, more people seemed to participate as well.

Lots of little games going on such as Serious Sam 3, Left4dead with Minecraft mod and Supreme commander 2

TF2 tournement was fun on Saturday quite well balanced teams, old favorite CS:S gun game and Sunday's afternoon CS:S hide and seek game was also a good laugh.

All in all an enjoyable LAN and I look forward to see you all at the next one. :D
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Re: post lan

Postby Jani » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:24 pm

TF2 on Saturday was brilliant, a great game :)

Good to see a lot of new faces, I didn't recognise pretty much half of the people who attended this time :lol: and some of them from further afield which is good.

It's a shame the internet connection at the hall is so poor, I think it ruins the LAN a great deal. Like I said, once they have Infinity in there, it'll be much better because we'll actually be able to get Steam updates, launch games etc in reasonable time. We could even join external servers or have our friends at home join the LAN hosted ones (like I believe we did have at one point on Sunday).

I apologise for the gun game and hide+seek being fucked, I had not updated them since last time and when I did it on Thursday there were major changes which completely broke both of them, so I downloaded a vanilla copy of the CSS server and spent most of my spare time at the LAN setting them up again :( next time I will make sure they work prior to the event :D

Shame about the media centre too, Xcon's idea with his FMB was great and I think that will work very well in the future for organising tournaments and making announcements etc.

Thanks to the staff as always and to everyone who attended for making it a great time. Can't wait for May :o

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Re: post lan

Postby Jani » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:52 pm

Also, would it possible to look into making the events a bit longer? Like an extra day? Thursday 7pm until Sunday 4pm :)

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Re: post lan

Postby Neomancer » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:03 pm

without a shower? :(

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Re: post lan

Postby xconspirisist » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:42 pm

Deffo need to find a shower tbh, I was even smellier than normal this LAN. I got home at 21:20 and feel so much better after a shower!

A pretty good event. The internet is becoming a lot more of an issue now and it's a shame the media centre broke, due to both of these reasons the tournaments couldn't work as well as I hoped, but the team allocation idea was good, it worked, we'll be doing that again!

As staff I'm sure can we do a little more advertising again for the next event - get our numbers back into the high 40s or 50s again.

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Re: post lan

Postby Merson » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:39 pm

Good lan as always, agree with all of the above. The internet has become the new enemy of this LAN. It just does not like Steam. Even with web pages loading in a heartbeat steam struggled to get logged in or launch a game. I think we all got hit with it once or twice during the LAN. If only there was a way to prioritise traffic to those very things and a way of stopping the massive patches. Like Jani said roll on infinity.

The MCE dying was taken in good spirit by all even though it ruined the tourney scheduling. (it was pretty funny when it stealth BSOD) :)

Overall guys another good LAN and likely to be my last for a while! Although i do intend on sneaking in to at least one a year. Don't fret i will still be here on the forums to troll, harass, offend and argue some more. :lol:

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Re: post lan

Postby Wishy » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:11 am

Well, I enjoyed the lan, steam was indeed a bit of a bitch, thanks to those who helped clear the kitchen.

Jani wrote:It's a shame the internet connection at the hall is so poor, I think it ruins the LAN a great deal. Like I said, once they have Infinity in there, it'll be much better because we'll actually be able to get Steam updates, launch games etc in reasonable time. We could even join external servers or have our friends at home join the LAN hosted ones (like I believe we did have at one point on Sunday).


Merson wrote:Good lan as always, agree with all of the above. The internet has become the new enemy of this LAN. It just does not like Steam. Even with web pages loading in a heartbeat steam struggled to get logged in or launch a game. I think we all got hit with it once or twice during the LAN. If only there was a way to prioritise traffic to those very things and a way of stopping the massive patches. Like Jani said roll on infinity.


http://www.samknows.com/broadband/exchange/WWBUDL
The hall is right next to the exchange, unfortunately ADSL Max is the best we're going to get there for quite some time

QOS should be going back in for the next lan, and hopefully this will do good things.
Its pretty rare for halls to have internet at all if I'm honest. Until you've actually tried to find a hall to run a lan party you have no idea how difficult it is. We need to be able to book a weekend (Lympstone had a regular dancing lesson at 1pm on sunday, for example), stay overnight*, have ample power, have a net connection**, have tables and chairs (Might seem silly, but some just have wooden things which you wouldn't want to put a laptop on), enough space and preferably some semi-separate sleeping area.
In short, fecking nightmare.

* Budleigh has a license for entertainment from 8am til midnight. If we were to make a lot of noise after midnight then potentially we could cause the hall a lot of trouble. We've been at budleigh for ages now, but a lot of other halls suck through their teeth and say no.
**Also, one which doesn't have any FUP, we'll blast through a lot of FUPs by about 8pm friday. Halls will tend to go with a cheap package. The hall actually only has ADSL because we bought the kit for them and installed it.

Merson. Steam is a bit of a cunt to QOS properly. Authentication traffic and downloads are on the same TCP port, which makes it quite hard to QOS.
If they move to HTTP, this will be a lot easier, but so far I've not seen this "in the wild". Until then, I can QOS based on the number of bytes over that TCP connection, which we've used in the past to good effect.

One final thing to point out - even if we spend the time testing, its very difficult to simulate a 40 person lan ahead of time. QOS is generally pretty difficult to get perfect first time
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Re: post lan

Postby Wishy » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:58 am

Jani wrote:Also, would it possible to look into making the events a bit longer? Like an extra day? Thursday 7pm until Sunday 4pm :)


How many would be able to get the friday off, or already take the friday off?
Would (And I'm not saying this would happen) a 2pm start satisfy?
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Re: post lan

Postby Houlden » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:34 am

Just want to say a big thank you to all you guys! Really enjoyed myself and still managed to get involved in a bunch of stuff despite coming along on my lonesome, had loads of fun with all the games played and met a load of awesome people, all making me feel welcome in my first ever lan event :D

Can't wait for the next one already, will get a lot more games bought as some of them looked really awesome! (more specifically, Payday: The Heist looked like a boatload of fun!) :mrgreen:
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Re: post lan

Postby ShaneC » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:17 pm

Budleigh had 21CN enabled on the exchange, BT and TalkTalk can provide aprox 18.1Mb, would improve things a little.

Actually, Eclipse say they can provide ADSL2+, if they are the network provider you need to ask them to move the account across to the better platform. Had to do this at one of our remote sites recently.

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Re: post lan

Postby mikethegreek » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:24 pm

sadly its not always that easy,
there is a load of politics in the way as well.
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Re: post lan

Postby Wishy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:12 am

I've been looking at steam trying to work out why it went so wrong this LAN. There are a few behaviour changes which seem to have crept up on us which could explain the issues we encountered.

Non DRM games seem to have moved over to the new HTTP CDN. Far from being the saviour of our lan as we'd initially hoped, this is basically a barstard to cache on a proxy server. In addition it seems to use 4-8 TCP connections to various HTTP servers across the CDN. The "old" cdn, which seems to deal with all of the valve titles still only uses 2 connections.
When combined with steam being very happy to start downloading new updates without any prompting, this could well account for the increased contention issues we had at the LAN, and would explain why slapping the few people that were downloading got things back working for a bit.

"Preparing to launch game" seems to have also changed behavior, it seems to download approximately 3mb in order to start the game. When there are a large number of people trying to start games this is an obvious issue, but with a few steam HTTP downloads hammering the connection as well it leaves everybody sitting at this screen.

I'm expecting to be able to do a lot to workaround this using QOS
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Re: post lan

Postby Freelance » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:30 am

One thing I found when I went into offline mode and tried to connect to a lan server was that I was kicked by VAC (I can't remember the exact error, and no I wasn't cheating), so it might be worth bearing in mind to disable that for servers running on the lan.
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Re: post lan

Postby Wishy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:58 am

Offline mode has never really worked properly
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Re: post lan

Postby xconspirisist » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:40 pm

Indeed, I strongly discourage people from using offline mode at the LAN, it often ends up with being unable to start Steam properly or inability to connect to any servers.


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