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2012 and onwards, in DXMP

PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 14 1:49 pm
by synthetic
Short summary of past years in DXMP


Classic DXMP had a temporary comeback since 2011 and in this year we see experienced, strong players group into 3 active atdm clans. Average skill level in main populated server is high, but the game engine vulnerabilities, when ran on modern hardware, became irritatingly apparent, largely thanks to active cheaters such as Phantom and his friends. Weak player in ATDM he was kept as a pet and remained unbanned due to playing pretty much 24/7, thus seeding activity in what would otherwise be an empty server. Some of us, particularly me, opposed this, as sometimes the cause does *not* justify the measure. In the mod scene 0aug saw temporary surges of activity through the year, with bulk of action still happening in classic servers. Game speed acceleration using very simple tweaking was a bigger issue in 0a servers, but had been for the past 4 years (since 2008). In 2012 more and more players attempt to tweak their game so that their guns would shoot 2 or 3 X the normal game speed, and sometimes beginner players would follow that trend. Such acceleration does not happen by accident and is visible to naked eye (come on).


Activity in the game servers was split 50% classic ATDM 50% 0aug mod, with activity primarily driven by a new large and active clan Hivemind, and by the HK that had played an important role in the game activity through 2011 and 2012. Speedhacking noob clan(s) remain in the scene but are gradually chewn out as Hivemind server becomes the main server in the game and promotes zero tolerance towards cheating. Two of the 3 big atdm clans from 2012 become inactive.
Some of the active coders from FGS, Alpha, A!B become interested in creating a fix for the speedhacking issue, largely due to active lobbying. A coder from FGS suggests an idea that Alex from Alpha would attempt to implement, but it is DejaVu that would release several versions with this fix once I had told him of FGS Poor's idea. This fix had a tremendous impact on the DXMP game scene, as you will not be able to imagine the stress in the active servers prior to the patch. Everybody suspected the other player, and in order to cheat all you had to do is buy a modern computer and thats it. Nothing else. Many players would crank up the speedhack just because everybody else were doing it. Some players saw these vulnerabilities as a strategical advantage for competitive gaming and were quite upset about those of us that brought the issues to the daylight.
Hivemind with full 0aug lineup (available player resource that hadn't joined large atdm clans yet) gradually converted to full ATDM lineup in order to establish itself in the classic game scene.


With ATDM slightly more active than 0aug scene, the year starts slowly; the active playerbase is half of that seen in 2012 and every day you play same names. Skill level remains surprisingly high in the classic games, however, with the HK two top guns dominating the scoreboards. Later on it would be a home hosted server by HK member that easily rivals any of the past paid server services. This year also sees a few ddos attacks at strategical times against servers that had banned the veteran cheater and many of his friends - based on the obvious, some conclusions were made as to who might've been behind it, but no solid proof was available. As servers eventually had all of the cheaters unbanned, the attacks stopped. CheatEngine program becomes the preferred tool among cheaters as it quite easily allows to bypass the patch released in the previous year. Depending on time of day, phantom and his associates would represent 25%-50% of active players in servers, which is quite sad.
By mid-2014 only two clans would remain active, with cheater group being the most active group in the game, followed by the top guns of HK clan. However, focus on ATDM remains. The cheater group would find new life after two very social and active members rejoin with phantom, growing and reforming under a new tag and setting up ATDM group for Steam; they are also rumored to soon host the main active DXMP server.

Sometime in late July the official server lister service for DXMP finally goes down, and in spite of various tools and many discussion threads spread between FGS and Alpha forums, the information on the fix is so hard to come by that even returning veteran players are asking about the missing servers. With the warnings coming earlier in the year, the community had few months to discuss the issue.
It is also in 2014 where the interest in DXMP patches and development fades across all DXMP communities.

These are the 2 past years, with 2011 being largely similar or identical to 2012. Each of those years still saw some very old veterans playing, and some new generations leaving their mark.
While no doubt considerably smaller compared to many years before, the community still managed to put up regular classic games so difficult and exciting that it easily surpasses anything in 2004 and 2005, arguably portion of 2006.

Re: 2012 and onwards, in DXMP

PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 14 2:18 pm
by Psychotic
I am still surprised that DXMP has survived this long, honestly.

Re: 2012 and onwards, in DXMP

PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 14 5:49 pm
by synthetic
Because many of the veteran coder kids have grown up after so many years of DXMP history, the ideas of revamping the game have been very much a topic past few years, and a topic among people that could make it happen. This leads me to think that our old game may still hide a surprise or a few, possibly.
From its inception DXMP community has been characterized by a very fragmented community that is generally promoting their own views on how the game should or could be played and is often at odds with the other clusters, and unfortunately this has hindered the actual potential of the SDK to a great extent. MTL itself was envisioned to be a much, much more than it turned out to be, for example. Alex managed to dig up some quite surprising details of that.

When they say and prove how much Deus Ex was and is ahead of its time, the developments on the online gaming scene leads me to think that DXMP itself was ahead of its time, and I have not a doubt in my mind that a separate IP will produce a very similar online experience in coming years.

Re: 2012 and onwards, in DXMP

PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 21 8:35 am
by The RZA
It was fun while it lasted.