A Few Words on Operator and Admin Etiquette by Scarab


If you’re going to put up a server, I can only recommend a set of ethics for you to implement if you want regular players to visit.  It’s up to you, but long lasting servers have these things in common.  MuuMuu’s Quake Player Etiquette page principals apply to server ops and admins as well as players

Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of server operators are not very well organized, but the trend is changing.   The info on this page is simply a guideline and a suggested mode of operation in hopes more legitimate & responsible server operators take it more seriously.

Set up a corresponding Web Site to inform your player community and set the variables for it’s URL and your email address in your server.cfg file. Instructions on how to do this.

Use your Web Site to allow players to download any special Pak files you approve for the server.  Include custom skins, mods, HUD’s, sound files, etc.   (You only need to do this if you’re running a PURE SERVER, which minimizes the chances of cheating).

The site should contain your server rules and how you expect visitors to conduct themselves, i.e, language limits, behaviors regarding team switching, shooting their own teammates if you have team damage turned on, etc., etc., etc.    Be clear and concise as possible.  Just establish the ground rules and be consistent, because the players are not mind readers.

Don’t abuse the power.  I have seen admins who kick players who kill the admin.  Yes it’s funny, but it’s lame.  The game of Quake stirs up a gamut of emotion, from total elation, to fun, to anger and hate.  Keep this in mind.  We’ve all gotten mad at one point or another, for different reasons.  Keep your own behavior in check, lead by example

Keeping in mind the emotions the game stirs, some players loose it ocassionally, it happens, they get mad.  Warnings by the server op or admin should be reasonable.  Be respectful, and you will be respected when warning a player.  I would recommend the word “please” in your warnings, one simple word to let the player know you don’t mean to be confrontational, but they’ll also be reminded of the fact they are a guest in your house and you need to maintain order with proper behaviors.  In general, 99% of the players who “lose it” on your server deserve the second chance.  The other 1% will never learn the proper principals and values in playing a team game, and will forever be combative with fellow players.  These disruptive players move from server to server, forever getting kicked and banned.  It’s part of their nature I guess.   Unless you want to babysit, add them to the ban list and your firewall without hesitation.

ALWAYS remember to thank players and reinforce proper behavior.  Let the game see you thank a player for switching teams to keep the game fair.  Again, be respectful and you gain respect .  If I’m the low man on the red team, and I see “Scarab, please switch to the blue team, teams are uneven”, that’s a whole lot better than seeing “Scarab, switch to the red team or your ass is outta here you moron”   :)

Limit RCON access to a few select and trusted people.  I’ve found most abuse it, and those are limited to younger admins.  Just watch behavior for patience and tolerance, it’s tough to find someone who can handle the “power” under 18 years of age, but they exist.

As admin software is released for Q3A, I would recommend strongly you take advantage of the advanced logging features.  For now, regularly parse the IP logging and have it entered in a database to keep track of players and IP addresses.  You’ll need this information when problem players continually access your server, and when you need to ban the IP.  Yes, you can ban players with dynamic IP addressing, but they don’t know that.  The utilities available in Q2 were incredible in the amount of detail logged from the client.  In Q3, it will be even better.  99% of the players do not know about how much information is logged, and this will work in your favor.   Don’t abuse the information, but certainly use it to easily identify problem players.

You can’t please all the people all the time.”  You will constantly be manipulated to make changes to your server, usually by a very select few players.  If your server is full, it’s full for a reason.  Be very careful in trying new things as a result of suggestions.  I’ve seen way too many things abused when I’ve made changes as a result of a suggestion.

As an example, the “vote” command was entirely abused by the players on my LMCTF server.  Spamming “VOTE NOW YOU GUYS”  was what I saw continuously when 1 or 2 players didn’t like the map.   The priviledge to vote for a map was completely abused, so I disabled it.  The younger & immature players can’t handle responsibility sometimes.  You have to realize all players have different opinions on each map, some will like, some will dislike.  The same principle applies to just about every other facet of this game.  They’ll want their own skins, their own colors, their own maps, their own teammates, their custom pak files loaded on your pure server, etc., etc., etc.   You’ll have to learn this one by trial and error.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.