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Left 4 Dead 4U

As noted in last night's anticipatory announcement on Steam, today is the release date for Left 4 Dead, and according to the gold announcement from a few days ago, the game should unlock on Steam in a matter of 60 seconds: "Those who pre-order the game via Steam save 10% off the regular price and may pre-load the game so they are able to play at 12:01 am EST on November 18, 2008 when the game is made available."

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127 Replies. 7 pages. Viewing page 1.
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127. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 29, 2008, 16:25 Mead
 
Just wanted to check in to see if I could get permission from Blue's News posters to enjoy this game.

Cos, you know, I'd hate to annoy the shit out of anyone by having fun when I'm not supposed to.
 
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126. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 23:46 Dades
 
Doesn't take into account overhead and ignores that is the theoretical maximum. Let's also not forget how pegging your upstream will affect your downstream as well and you're also assuming routing is ideal for all players. Again, this is also ignoring the numerous other client side issues that make most Listen servers unusable for anything but a 4 player co-op match. Dedicated servers keep games like L4D, TF2 and etc alive, Listen servers are a minority and quite useless in the long run in the majority of cases. There are exceptions, business DSL users with sufficient hardware or people with stuff like FiOS can host but those types of connections make up less than 10% of the market in the US.

It can work with a stable hardware platform, the Xbox 360 is a good example of that but even then there are plenty of issues plaguing XBL multiplayer games due to the decentralized nature of client to client server play.

This comment was edited on Nov 20, 2008, 23:50.
 
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125. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 22:38 Bhruic
 
This jumps up to about 7KB/s in high traffic areas. On a Versus server you have 8 people using that

8 x 7 = 56KB/s

Over 82% of the continental United States have residential internet connections with upstream bandwidth of 768kb or less.

768kbps ~= 70KB/s, depending on overhead. So that's sufficient to act as a server.
 
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124. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 21:20 xXBatmanXx
 
So why the hell aren't they just using the browser that is for the other games?

http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/news/42875/Valve-On-Left-4-Dead-Servers-Matchmaking

eh - would have worked fine.....still going to have the same problem....
 
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123. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 19:59 elefunk
 
So why the hell aren't they just using the browser that is for the other games?

http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/news/42875/Valve-On-Left-4-Dead-Servers-Matchmaking
 
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122. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 18:28 xXBatmanXx
 
So why the hell aren't they just using the browser that is for the other games?  
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121. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 15:13 JaZeeL
 
And as soon as that process is simplified, bugs fixed, and Lobby leaders are able to select a specific server that they can sort from a list via ping...things will be 10x better than they currently are.

My God that would be so sweet...
 
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120. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 15:06 Krovven
 
Did I also mention, you can't filter the Servers listed in the Steam Listings, or even sort them by ping, or even tell if there are other players currently on the server, or even see if it is in Campaign or Versus mode?

Connecting to 1 specific server you have control over, isn't that hard...for people that know how to use the console. If you don't control your own server, you are left to use the Lobby system (which currently doesn't allow you to choose a specific server) and hoping you connect to a server that doesn't give bad pings to 1 or all people. If you try and use the server tag/key commands, also doesn't work (as mentioned below) to auto connect everyone to a specific server does not work.

A lot of servers are having problems with the server disconnecting everyone when the Campaign is over. Voting to return to the Lobby from within the game, crashes L4D, and seems to set it to 4 players even though it's on Versus.

Like I said, I can get people connected to the server and play too., but it's a major PITA right now, with plenty of bugs surrounding it.

But I don't think it's an extensive leap to assume that most people will simply use the interface as-is, connect with friends using matchmaking, host games or get lucky connecting to a well-configured dedicated server, and have a decent experience in the process.

And as soon as that process is simplified, bugs fixed, and Lobby leaders are able to select a specific server that they can sort from a list via ping...things will be 10x better than they currently are.

This comment was edited on Nov 20, 2008, 15:07.
 
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119. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 15:01 Dades
 
There is nothing fanboyish about commenting on my own experiences and the experiences of my less-technical friends on how the game works on their less-than-ideal setups.

Please, keep those ridiculous accusations out of these. There are enough idiots on this site already.

My majority comes from places like DSLReports, BBG and NetLayer. Over 82% of the continental United States have residential internet connections with upstream bandwidth of 768kb or less. It's part of the reason we're always ranked behind the rest of the world in broadband development, no one invests infrastructure around here.

As for me being an idiot, you've been been fighting with anyone who says anything but positive things about this game for ages now. You've put enough spin on things, I am giving people an objective analysis of the situation so that players like Ant can make an informed purchase decision. We get it, you luuuuuuuuve the game. That's fantastic. It's not particularly useful though.


 
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118. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 14:49 elefunk
 
I disagree and frankly I think you're letting your fanboy show more than anything else. While I am a fan of this game, I at least am objective about it which is something you have not been over the past 3 months in L4D discussions here. The majority of the playerbase doesn't even have the upstream bandwidth to handle hosting a L4D server and that's throwing client machine specs out the window too. So I struggle to see where you get your "majority" of people having your experience with the game from when the forums are lit up with problems and the HLDS mailing list is full of angry server admins.
There is nothing fanboyish about commenting on my own experiences and the experiences of my less-technical friends on how the game works on their less-than-ideal setups.

Please, keep those ridiculous accusations out of these. There are enough idiots on this site already.

Once again, I'm fully aware of the dedicated server problems, since I host my own, and have been browsing those very forums to try to fix issues. But trying to present the experience of a dedicated server admin or a Steam forums browser as an all-encompassing problem that most users will experience is all-out asinine. Do you honestly think that people would be going to those forums at this time to express positive experiences?

As you throw around doubts of my "majority" claim, so do you throw around the "majority" word in terms of people's bandwidth. Maybe we're both right, maybe we're both wrong. But I don't think it's an extensive leap to assume that most people will simply use the interface as-is, connect with friends using matchmaking, host games or get lucky connecting to a well-configured dedicated server, and have a decent experience in the process.

This comment was edited on Nov 20, 2008, 14:52.
 
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117. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 14:40 JaZeeL
 
Saying "dedicated servers are shit" is just neither here nor there and frankly sounds a bit ignorant to me.

I didn't say dedicated servers are shit; I said that the dedicated servers are often shit. I was specifically referring to the dedicated servers that I happen to have selected for me while playing Left 4 Dead.

It's certainly superior to have a machine dedicated to a game, but, for me at least, completely unnecessary in the case of Left 4 Dead, a mostly coop-based game that one tends to organize a group to play. For whatever reason the current matchmaking system for finding dedicated servers for a group doesn't seem to do a good job of selecting a server that pings decently to those in the lobby.

I don't know the specific upstream requirements per client, but I have no problem hosting 8 player VS games on business class cable, and we've had no issues whatsoever. I'm not saying your problems don't exist. I'm just saying that I've had no problems using listen servers, and consequently I'm going to tend to be "glowing about the game's multiplayer experience."
 
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116. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 14:36 Dades
 
I'm fully aware of the dedicated server issues, don't get me wrong. All I'm saying is that for my situation, and a situation that I imagine the vast majority of players will experience - locally hosted servers and connecting to random dedicated servers - works pretty damn well for how they overhauled everything.

I wouldn't mind a fully-functional server browser, but this game hardly requires it either. And for your "college non-tech friends", that's the very audience that the (very functional) matchmaking system was designed for in the first place.

I disagree and frankly I think you're letting your fanboy show more than anything else. While I am a fan of this game, I at least am objective about it which is something you have not been over the past 3 months in L4D discussions here. The majority of the playerbase doesn't even have the upstream bandwidth to handle hosting a L4D server and that's throwing client machine specs out the window too. So I struggle to see where you get your "majority" of people having your experience with the game from when the forums are lit up with problems and the HLDS mailing list is full of angry server admins.

I laughed out loud at your comment on latency by the way, you can't even hit with the smokers tongue at anything above 100ms unless the target is standing still. Zombies start clipping around at 120-150ms too, especially if theres any packetloss involved. Those kinds of latencies should the exception and not the rule when it comes to the matchmaker finding servers. Maybe it would do a better job if Valve would fix the dedicated server issues(the entire 30+ item list of major issues stickied in the Source DS forums).
 
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115. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 14:28 elefunk
 
Like I said, for me it's worked flawlessly. I'm on the US West coast while most of my friend are back on the US East coast, and I've had absolutely no problem playing with 3 of them on a randomly-discovered dedicated server, on my own self-hosted dedicated server, or on a local/listen server hosted by either them or me.

None of us have super-fancy internet connections either, and I'm the only one who's done any messing with my router, simply because I was setting up a dedicated server. Yet even though they're behind unconfigured routers, I've had no problem connecting to their games, they haven't had a problem connecting to games hosted by others, and they've had no problem connecting to games hosted by me.

Since we're on opposite US coasts, some of us have "yellow" connection strengths, but thanks to the co-op nature of this game it's not even noticeable. For curiosity, I used the "ping" console command, and I was hovering around 150ms - I didn't even notice.


I'm fully aware of the dedicated server issues, don't get me wrong. All I'm saying is that for my situation, and a situation that I imagine the vast majority of players will experience - locally hosted servers and connecting to random dedicated servers - works pretty damn well for how they overhauled everything.

I wouldn't mind a fully-functional server browser, but this game hardly requires it either. And for your "college non-tech friends", that's the very audience that the (very functional) matchmaking system was designed for in the first place.
 
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114. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 13:32 Krovven
 
Perhaps the difference between you and I is that my friends and I are playing on local hosts (listen servers).

But that's not how the majority works when it comes to hosting Source servers.

Whether people want to call it a minor or major issue is irrelevant, as just about everything Valve has tried to change regarding the server setup, browsing and connections has problems for A LOT of people. This is from the maps controlling the game mode on a server, to the player slots being changed to 4 even on a VS server, to it being a pain in the ass for people to join private servers, to not being able to connect to specific servers from the Lobby, to the server not showing up in the Steam Group listing, etc, etc, etc...the list goes on and on.

It's FUBAR as it stands right now. I have little doubt that Valve will get it sorted out...I just hope it's sooner rather than later.
 
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113. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 12:13 Dades
 
Listen servers are reliant on client hardware and bandwidth. The game uses about 3.5-4KB/s upstream per client in low volume areas of the game. This jumps up to about 7KB/s in high traffic areas. On a Versus server you have 8 people using that. That's more than the average consumer cable/DSL user has for upstream bandwidth in the United States and Canada. This is to say nothing of compatibility issues with routers, firewall applications and the crash issues people are reporting with Listen servers.

I wish I had FiOS or a better ISP at home so I could just host a listen server too because then at least I could control the bloody thing easily. Dedicated servers are very important for a game like this for all of the reasons I laid out above. Just look at the game's demo launch, few dedicated servers up and most people had a horrid time trying to play due to the Listen servers.

Saying "dedicated servers are shit" is just neither here nor there and frankly sounds a bit ignorant to me. A good machine running a server for you sitting on a T3 or higher isn't shit and will always be a better solution than a client based server. The trouble here is that Valve has introduced several bugs into a ramrodded multiplayer implementation and needs to fix them.

Anyways, my initial point was just pointing out that people were being a bit too glowing about the game's multiplayer experience. I love the game itself, it's the best co-op game I've ever played. My frustrations stem from technical issues but if I hadn't purchased the game and heard about them beforehand, I would've thought twice before doing so.

This comment was edited on Nov 20, 2008, 12:23.
 
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112. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 11:44 JaZeeL
 
Perhaps the difference between you and I is that my friends and I are playing on local hosts (listen servers).

In this regard, Left 4 Dead works flawlessly. We've been playing since release with no issues using only the provided UI for hosting games with friends. Create a lobby, invite your friends in, start game...Voila. The dedicated servers are just a nuisance (you have to wait for the game to find one and they're often shit) and in my experience completely unnecessary since you're getting together to play with friends anyway. I guess if have highly inadequate hardware the listen server could be an issue, but the hardware requirements are significantly less than those of typical games released today, and many have reported no issues hosting servers on what would be relatively inferior hardware.
 
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111. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 11:21 Dades
 
I've been hosting a dedicated server for my friends with only minor frustration due to the issues he brought up. Certainly isn't the best situation, but it's hardly a reason to avoid a purchase.

Visit the HLDS mailing list or SourceDS forum sometime, it's not a minor problem. Valve doesn't communicate well with the community, no one even knows if they have acknowledged it yet.

And this is Valve - of course they'll fix these issues in no time.

I love Valve too and really enjoy L4D when it's actually playable with friends but many of these issues with dedicated servers were known about well in advance. I don't assume anything at this point.

In the meantime, it's still plenty easy to play with your friends, and I've had no connection problems at all in the final game with local servers or connecting to other dedicated servers.

It's not plenty easy. I know you love this game probably even more than I do but stop trying to cast it in a positive light when it has glaring faults. There are many great things about L4D, the multiplayer UI isn't one of them. You have no control over finding a dedicated server, you can't even specify a ping range. The listen server functionality is awful. Teaching your college non-tech friends to use openserverbrowser or how to set cvars isn't "plenty easy".

If you just play by yourself or don't have many friends then quick pick matchmaking will be fine. If you want to play with friends on your own servers then avoiding a purchase until this functionality is fixed is a perfectly legit reason as all of that is largely broken or unintuitive at the moment.
 
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110. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 11:08 elefunk
 
I've been hosting a dedicated server for my friends with only minor frustration due to the issues he brought up. Certainly isn't the best situation, but it's hardly a reason to avoid a purchase. And this is Valve - of course they'll fix these issues in no time.

In the meantime, it's still plenty easy to play with your friends, and I've had no connection problems at all in the final game with local servers or connecting to other dedicated servers.
 
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109. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 11:05 Ant
 
Dades: Thank you for sharing. This is the reason why I held off my purchase. I need to see these issues fixed. I want to play with my friends (if they get this game).  
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108. Re: Left 4 Dead 4U Nov 20, 2008, 10:51 Dades
 
Though right now, for playing with friends - the primary focus for this game - the system works fantastically well. Easy to get into lobbies with others to organize before starting. Easy to host games locally if a dedicated server wasn't found since nearly anyone's connection can handle the bandwidth.

I'm a big nut for L4D but I'm gonna have to take issue here. I host dedicated servers and Valve has been nothing but a pain in the ass about it. The HLDS implementation for L4D is practically a disaster for anything but hosting plain-jane public games.

I'd highly recommend you guys find some Steam Groups to join if you haven't already, and find people to host dedicated servers for that group. Makes the process even more simple with the Steam Groups feature they added last week, and it gives you the ability to manage and easily connect to private servers configured just the way you want them.

The sv_steamgroup and sv_search_key functionality is hampered by a bug that grabs the internal network IP even if you specify an external IP for the server, so they don't work on 90% of the servers. This makes hosting dedicated servers on shared hosting(which is the majority of the dedicated server world) almost impossible. All you can do right now is use openserverbrowser unless you got into that lucky minority who this stuff actually works for.

You can't vote or specify Versus mode except in the lobby. Loading up VS on a dedicated server consists of setting a specific mapcycle or being forced to load VS maps directly via rcon. This is done by rcon changelevel l4d_vs_farm01_hilltop type annoying commands.

Valve still hasn't said anything about fixing these issues which is really annoying and there isn't any way for the community to resolve them. They also still don't have a way to show mods and custom maps for a list of servers, we're still stuck with the kludgery of openserverbrowser for that as well.

It's fine to say there is work to be done but you're giving a false impression of the multiplayer implementation for anyone wanting to play with friends. Right now you basically pray you can find a decent dedicated server and click play with friends or you simply get everyone to use openserverbrowser and don't play VS at all. It's incredibly frustrating because the game itself is fun as hell but it's like they toss every roadblock known to man in your way to prevent you from actually enjoying it.
 
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