Finally, after 48h of intensive work, we can show you the new version of the Gather-Network: GN 10
We already worked hard during the past months to debug and bring you a working version of the whole system, but we will hold on you to make this month of may a big scale test and debugging stage in order to spot the remaining problems and/or make some adjustements.
For that reason, we gave free premium to all premium users (members who already had premium received an extra month). For obvious reasons, we will not provide any prizes for the ladder of may.
There are a lot of new features, bug fixes and deep changes in the system. I will try to describe those here.
1) The new premium system
- Premium gathers are totally different in GN 10. Forget the time waiting on IRC for the 10 players, go directly to the premium game server and warm up there until the gather is full.
- Enjoy the new skill system taking into account the attack damages, the hitzones, the weapon used, the fact that you are in the loosing team, etc.
- Discover the new features like the automatic backup of the money/weapon of the player who disconnect to give it back to the substitute player.
- After the game, review the whole match point details, find out where you lost or won the most, improve your gaming style. Take also a look at the detailed statistics regarding your aiming skills and the shots accuracy.
2) The new "player rank"
Within GN 10, everytime you play on compatible game, your ingame actions will be monitored and analysed. This will let us calculate your "player rank". This feature is free and available for all GN members.
At the moment, there are 5 "ranks" : Private , First Class, Sergeant, Major and General. We all start our GN career as Private and will evolve along our gathers played on GN.
3) The new banpoint system
We completly redesigned our banpoint system, following your requests to make it much more efficient.
Forget the "point" concept, each ban reason has a corresponding ban time now. The length of those bans are directly proportional to the number of bans that you already received. For example, If you receive your first ban for "teamkilling", you will immediatly be - banned for a 1 hour. If you start to kill your teamates again and receive a new ban for that reason, you will be banned again but this time for 12 hours. The same principle applies for all ban reasons.
The ban lengths are also cumulative, if you are banned for "teamkilling" and for "leaver", you will have 6 hour + 12 hours ban time = 18 hours.
4) The new bot features
There are A LOT of changes on IRC bots. I will try to cover the most important ones.
- First, the compatibilty with the new games like TF, TFC and CSPRO, DODS, L4D. This include new commands like !med (medic) and !cap (captain) for comaptible games (can be configured and "required" or "optional" to start the game). You can expect even more games in the following months since the bot engine has been optimised to easily add new games compatibility.
- Then the new "International Gather" feature for premium members. This will let you play gathers where all the players of one team are from channel A and the opposite team from channel B.
- An other nice feature is the new automatic autenthication on IRC channels. Every 5 minutes, the bot will automatically authentify all channel users who are already authenticated in "Q" or "Chanserv". For security reasons we will not allow the IRC authentication using login/password. For users who do not have a "Q" or "Chanserv" account, we created a new web based authentication method. In all case, if you want to authenticate manually, only type "auth" as a private message to the bot.
- New IRC commands like !lastskill, !infos (= !whois), !gatherinfos and cosmetic changes regarding the team name in bots replies which is now automatically adapted to the related game.
- Some new in-game commands for gathers with compatible games like ".help", ".cancelreplace" or ".timeleft" (TF games).
- The substitute players module has been completly reviewed and debugged. You will see more informations about the substitute player searches like the scores or the gather status. You also have an optional !sub [ip] paramater to choose which gather you want to participate in with more accuracy.
- The channel managers and leaders will be able to set custom names to identify their game servers, ie. #berlin1. This information will be used in commands like "addgame", !free, !block, !ip and server status. They will also be able to share their game servers with different channels.
- New tools for the administrative staff to answer your questions faster and easyer, like a ticket system for questions on #gather-network.
- Finally, the bot is much more efficient on IRC by sending password and other messages directly to the players and automatically splitting messages which are too long for the IRC server.
5) Website changes
Even if you can only see a few cosmetic changes at first look at the website, be assured that there are much more deep changes !
- For example, take a look at the "Play" area regrouping the live status of premium game servers and the access to the web gathers. You will also love the new statistics which are available throug the user profiles (including skill calculation details) or the gather details.
- Don't forget to check the new design of the "Ladder" page, the completly redisigned PM center supporting the message history, or the upgraded buddylist system with live "status messages". An other big improvement is the brand new Control Panel, tab based, and including features like "friend activity", "account activity", and much more.
- Sometimes, small features are life saving like the new "ignore user" or "enable PM from buddylist users only" options.
- We also rised your account security by adding an option which let you restrict the account access to an IP address (with wildcard support).
- Last but not least, don't be surprised if you see boxes poping down on the top right of the screen, we added realtime notifications when you receive a PM or when your buddy plays a premium gather (and much more).
- The buddylist has been reset for all users, from now any buddyuser has to accept the request, read the changelog for more informations
- There are of course many other small changes that you will spot everywhere on the website, I invite you to take a tour to find those out !
6) AC Tool
The AC tool will now be required for all premium gathers and for gathers requiring a steam-id (ie. all member gathers for steam based games like CS, CZ, etc).
We updated our java AC Tool to be more stable and accurate. We expect to release a brand new AC Tool based on a local executable in the near future.
If you want to read the brute changelog (incomplete), I invite you to read this file
So what's next for now ?
We are aware that there are still things to work on everywhere on bot, website, premium gathers. For example, please leave us a few more hours to correctly edit the FAQ, bot commands and Ban System pages. We will open a bug tracking interface soon to let you provide constructive bug reports, and put all our attention to your feedback to go ahead with the problems as fast as possible during this month.
For channel leaders and managers, it is also important to update your game server plugin with the new one available here. The new plugin version for CSS will come soon.
The Gather-Network Crew Bye eplay zauvjek!