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duh

Multiplayer situation

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Zandronumn Roolz1!!!1 nah just joking

I dont really know how it would help to unite them and I dont know why that if we dont unite them that its going to hurt the doom community.

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This sounds a lot like the classic naive "why is there more than one source port?" question.

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This is the classic naïve "why is there more than one source port?" question. Making the network code compatible is not sufficient. As I recall, vanilla Doom 2 and Final Doom have the exact same network code, and can play multiplayer when using identical WADs, but they crash with a consistency failure the first time somebody teleports, because the teleporter physics work slightly differently in the two games. And the various ports are far more different from each other in terms of physics and gameplay than Final Doom is from Doom 2.

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XCOPY said:

With the somewhat low current player number, shouldn't these three communities stop with such division and pride, to finally come to a standard in the netcode? I mean, this separates the Doom players, and as a separate community, Doom have more chances to "die".

I'm not saying that all of them had to stop existing, they can keep themselves to be Doom clients, but share the same netcode and master server so they are compatible with each other.

You might think this all sounds "easy", but in fact agreeing on common interfaces like this is hard, because it's a social problem in addition to a technical one.

Suppose the three Doom multiplayer ports do what you propose. All three will need to make major changes to their code and make concessions to the others. That probably means months of bartering, arguing and so on. There's the effort required to define this "standard" protocol: writing it up etc.

In proposing this you also ignore one of the main splits, which are the classic "closed source to prevent cheating" argument: one of the main reasons Odamex exists is that the developers of ZDaemon (Zandronum as well?) deliberately keep their source code secret, along with the details of their protocols. By asking for protocols to be standardized, you ask for the protocols to be open - and that's the entire reason why the ZDaemon/Odamex split exists in the first place.

This way, it is better for the players, and that's what everyone should be caring about.

Unite the online community at once, this split is bad for Doom's life. I know that because I saw Duke Nukem's community in general fall quickly because of a brief lobby war.

Don't let that happen to Doom!

Not convinced. This state of affairs has existed in various forms for probably 10 years now? There have always been at least two C/S multiplayer ports for as long as I can remember (before zdaemon/zandronum there was csdoom/skulltag). Odamex has been around for years now. If this kind of split was going to make Doom "die" then it would have already happened.

In summary, the sky is not falling, people will continue to play Doom for as long as they continue to like playing Doom. I'm sure your ideas are well-meaning, but they're fundamentally flawed, naive, and are solving a problem that doesn't exist.

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Zandronum is gaining players if anything, I don't know why you claim otherwise considering you are a part of it's community.

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Why should the ports share the same netcode? This is not like Quake where there was an existing standard protocol that needed to be adhered to.

Just install Doomseeker or IDE and keep more than one port installed. It's not hard.

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AlexMax said:

Just install Doomseeker or IDE and keep more than one port installed. It's not hard.


This is an easy solution. I have (besides "vanilla"): PrBoom, ZDoom, Legacy, PrBoom+, Chocolate Doom, GZDoom, Risen3D and EDGE. I don't have Zandronum/Odamex/ZDaemon (I almost never play online), but I think it shouldn't be difficult to have them all and use the one that suits your needs better according to what/where you want to play.

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I will voice my opinion as a formerly very active online Quake player.

Yes, it would be nice if there was only one online source port, but only due to convenience. It would just make things easier to set up and run.

However, regarding the size of online community I wholeheartedly disagree with you XCOPY. You say that the number of players is low. Compared to what exactly? Call of Duty? Most certainly. Battlefield? Very much so.

Nevertheless, if you pick any "old" shooter and look at Doom through that context, you will see how active it is. Zdaemon has an awesome interface with its own server browser and chat system. People like it and there are a dozen games running at any given time. Last time I checked Odamex it wasn't so advanced, but it was a matter of joining their IRC channel and asking for a game. I can't really talk about Zandronum, because I have only checked it once,during one of events mentioned in the Doomworld.com news section, but this event was FLOODED. I actually quit because there weren't enough monsters in this WAD for such an amount of players.

For better context, enter forums of Quake games. Quake Live is the most popular one nowadays and no day passes without somebody posting something about "the scene dying" or "the number of players being extremely low". I can't remember when I last saw such a thread here, before this one.

TL;DR version:

One multiplayer source port would be better for convenience sake, but the fact that MP scene is currently divided between 3 different ports does not affect its size negatively. Especially when compared to other "old" FPS games.

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You're right, I don't understand.

I'm from Poland and on those few occasions when I wanted to try Doom's multiplayer out of curiosity, I never had a problem finding a game. Maybe I did something wrong...

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I understand. It's true that I'm in a comfortable situation living in Europe, regardless of the game I choose.

May I ask why installing all 3 popular multiplayer ports is not a good option? Then you may choose to play whatever is populated at the moment.

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fraggle said:

In proposing this you also ignore one of the main splits, which are the classic "closed source to prevent cheating" argument: one of the main reasons Odamex exists is that the developers of ZDaemon (Zandronum as well?)

Nope, Zandronum is open-source. Bitbucket repository

Skulltag was long closed-source, but was finally opened some time before Carn killed it. Zandronum is forked from Skulltag's opened codebase. It's true that when Odamex was started, it was the only open-source port focused on C/S multiplayer.

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XCOPY said:

@AlexMax: Actually, I find Quake series interesting in that aspect.


Even though Quake has standard multiplayer protocols, you will find that modern servers sometimes implement features and protocol extensions that vanilla versions of the client can't deal with.

Another wrinkle is that under the hood, all quake source ports are still fundamentally using the same game. Odamex's ZDoom 1.22/1.23b33 mashup is different from ZDaemon's ZDoom 1.23b33, which is different from Zandronum's ZDoom 2.1.7 + optional Skulltag items/physics changes. Even if the ports could talk to each other, how could you do any meaningful clientside prediction between the three? What if the server loaded a map that one of the ports didn't support?

Do you think that making a package with IDE + ZDaemon + Odamex + Zandronum for download would solve the source-port elitism?


I've considered doing this before. The best approach imho would be to write an installer that grabbed the other three ports' installers and installed them for you, along with IDE and Doomseeker. Updating the two ports without auto-updaters (Zan and Oda) would be a wrinkle you might need to work through as well.

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I don't play Doom multi much but the last time I looked, ZDaemon had a ton of servers and it was possible to join Odamex games without having to find someone to play with first, which never used to be the case. Zandro was very active too, but it was mostly mods or game modes which don't interest me as much. In that regard, I'm glad the other two options exists.

So what's the issue here, exactly? You have three very active communities, considering it's been twenty years since the game came out, all of which have different preferences for what they like to play. And you want to merge them into one? Why? What does that solve, versus all of the problems it'll cause? Nevermind the fact that it'll never happen.

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Obviously, if someone invites somebody else to play in duel mode and then is afraid of aliasers, his intellectual processes are deeply flawed.

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Union of the 3 ports doesn't make sense as they all have different goals. Getting everybody to join a theoretical superport while ditching their own preferred would be impossible. Having all 3 ports installed is probably the best option, but if that doesn't satisfy you, you will need to solve this problem with a different and actually possible solution.

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XCOPY said:
Yes, silly stuff like this happens and it hurts the Doom community badly in some places. If there are any alternative way to get around this other than such standard protocol, please show us. [/B]


It's too late, the damage is done.

IDL is pretty much dead unless there's some miracle comeback on Zandronum. It's last season indicated that the remaining core players refuse to play anything Odamex related which won't give the IDL the numbers it needs on Oda. Obviously it's not going back to ZD with it's core leaders perm-banned.

ZDDL is gone indefinitely.

Unless IDL does some turnaround in the future out of left field and every R member signs up to make it a good season, I see competitive doom as pretty much dead besides random "friendly" duel/privs.
Only thing left is mods. Thats why Zan has 5x and more of all the other ports almost all the time now.

On top of everyone getting pissed at the port change and leaving to League Of Legends (which IMO was the primary reason for accelerating the loss of players), it collapsed pretty badly.

I expect in 1 more year time it'll just be Zandronum left with maybe one to two ZDaemon servers for coop.

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From a strictly technical standpoint, I've never understood the point of Odamex or ZDaemon. Aren't they based off of the 1999 version of ZDoom, whereas Zandronum 2.0 alpha is based off of the 2010 version?

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XCOPY said:

uh

Uh, indeed. Lets say ports X Y and Z are merged into one and inherit all of each others' flaws. Player A and B are now both unhappy with them. Nice work, you just wrecked three communities and made something none of them will be completely happy with. Hell, there are Skulltag players who don't like Zandronum, and that was a much less drastic change than you're proposing!

Doom_user said:

From a strictly technical standpoint, I've never understood the point of Odamex or ZDaemon. Aren't they based off of the 1999 version of ZDoom, whereas Zandronum 2.0 alpha is based off of the 2010 version?

This means they play more like vanilla Doom. Odamex can even play back vanilla demos. They still have the changes required for a good C/S multiplayer experience.

Edit:

Watermelon said:

IDL is pretty much dead unless there's some miracle comeback on Zandronum. It's last season indicated that the remaining core players refuse to play anything Odamex related which won't give the IDL the numbers it needs on Oda. Obviously it's not going back to ZD with it's core leaders perm-banned.

[...]

On top of everyone getting pissed at the port change and leaving to League Of Legends (which IMO was the primary reason for accelerating the loss of players), it collapsed pretty badly.

Wow, this is the first I've heard any of this. Honestly, if they left for LoL of all things, I'd say the problem was less with the choice of port and more with a waning interest in Doom. The port change was probably just a catalyst.

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Dragonsbrethren said:

This means they play more like vanilla Doom. Odamex can even play back vanilla demos. They still have the changes required for a good C/S multiplayer experience.


That's pretty cool. I didn't know there were any current ports, other than PrBoom+ and Eternity, that could play back vanilla demos.

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There is nothing to solve. If some people are dumb then some people are dumb. :)

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Creating a "super port to unite them all" would only mean "creating yet another port with different philosophy". So now you would have to divide the player base between FOUR different ports. It's better to leave it as it is.

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Gez said:

Nope, Zandronum is open-source. Bitbucket repository

Skulltag was long closed-source, but was finally opened some time before Carn killed it. Zandronum is forked from Skulltag's opened codebase. It's true that when Odamex was started, it was the only open-source port focused on C/S multiplayer.

Thanks. I wasn't sure about the current state of Zandronum. I know that its predecessor kept its source secret at one point.

XCOPY said:

Do not jump off conclusions, I agree that people won't stop playing Doom because of different source-ports simply because the "offline" part works totally differently than the online one. In "offline", people just pick the executable that fit their needs. My actual point is: the union would grant Doom's *online* longevity, mostly for longer. See the difference?

Yes? I never argued along these lines, so I don't even know why you're asking me.

In an online environment happens source-port elitization (not that it doesn't happen in offline, but the impact is null), people who refuses to play source-port x or y against somebody - or with - be it because of political reasons (I can't think of anything else when a community bans you for talking about another source-port, and some players even jumps on you when you mention them, I could mention a real case and names here but let's avoid useless drama) or just because they know how the netcode works in their executable of preference, and use it for your advantage on competitive matches (there are a good portion of players who takes this game serious enough to do that). What I proposed would certainly nullify at least the source-port elitism variable, and personally that grinds my gears. Always did.

What you describe is a social problem, not a technical one. If this really is a serious problem then you won't solve it through technical means ("standard protocol") - you need to solve it through social means. The problem is with the community, not the source ports: to use an analogy, you can't just write a program to make people live in love and happiness.

If you want to really solve the problem then build bridges between the different communities. Set up a website, an IRC channel, etc. and recruit like-minded people to your cause. Run servers. Above all, play Doom: for example, wouldn't it be great if you had a weekly tournament where players had to compete on all three source ports in order to win? That would do far more to unite people and build community than some "standard protocol". The download package idea is also a good idea: show newcomers to the multiplayer scene that there are multiple options for online play.

Above all, be positive and optimistic. You aren't going to win any minds with apocalyptic talk about the community falling through divisions. Don't judge people who only use one port and hate on others. Show them that there's another way to do things.

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