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Dedicated to all things Action Quake. The Ultimate Quake 2 Mod
   Lan Guide 2
Part Description Status
Part 1 Infrastructure required Available
Part 2 What you need to run a server Available
Part 3 Dedicted servers Available
Part 4 Client servers Available
Part 5 Configuring your server Available
Part 6 Connecting to the server Available
Part 7 Administration on the go Available
Part 8 Coping with multiple AQ2 mods Available
Appendix A Server variables Available
Appendix B Deathmatch flags Available
Appendix C Configuration examples Available
Appendix D Setting up your own LAN Under construction

Part 5 - Configuring your server

So, you've got your server up and running, but it's not quite right, is it? Everything's at the default settings. So you want to do something about it!

The best way to configure the server is to use what we call a Configuration file. Don't panic, they're quite simple really. If you've been paying attention, you'll have seen a few server variable being set already - 'rcon_password', 'game' and 'dedicated'. All the configuration file consists of is a load more of these types of settings.

Hold on! Don't panic! This is the easy bit - the Action developers thoughtfully provided us with a couple of sample configuration files that you can use straight off, or modify to suit your needs. The file we're interested in is called 'LANserver.cfg'. You simply 'exec' this on the server in the same fashion as you'd run a configuration for bindings when you're playing Action.

If you're running a server on your own PC, call up the console and type

   exec lanserver.cfg

You can type the same at the console on a dedicated server, or you can use the rcon facility you learnt earlier:

   rcon wibble exec lanserver.cfg

There's all sorts of goodies you can put in your configuration - see Appendix A for details of the useful ones, and Appendix C for some examples of typical LAN config files.

Teamplay or Deathmatch?

By default, the Action server will start in Deathmatch mode. When you want to change to teamplay mode, you simply set another server variable. See? This server administration is dead easy!

Send the following to the server console:

   teamplay 1

This will put you into teamplay mode. But wait - nothing's happened! That's because you need to change maps before this change takes effect. It's a bit obvious really, you can't simply switch to teamplay in the middle of a game. If you want to switch back to deathmatch, use the following:

   teamplay 0

Again, a map change is required to make the change work.

Deathmatch flags

Any variant of Quake2 uses what we call 'dmflags' - a value which specifies the basic settings that the server uses. Normally this wouldn't matter, but Action can be a little bit awkward if you get it wrong.

For example, if you have 'weapon stay' turned on, once you pick up a decent gun you won't be able to put it down! Which might be OK if you're particularly attached to the handcannon, but not much fun if you accidentally pick up a sniper rifle and get stuck with it!

An easy-to-remember default setting here is '256', which is handy for turning off friendly fire in teamplay.

   dmflags 256

At the console or on your configuration should work just fine. See Appendix B for an explanation of dmflags that are relevant to Action.

Map rotation, team setup and the action.ini

There's a special configuration file in your Quake2\action directory called 'action.ini'. This lets you specify the map rotation your server uses, and what skins and names teams will have when you're in teamplay mode.

Map rotation was implemented to provide us with a map rotation that actually works - unlike plain Quake2, which is a disaster in that department!

If you open the action.ini file in Windows Notepad, you'll see something like this first time round:






   Reservoir Dogs









First of all, note that anything after a double slash (i.e. '//') is a comment, put there to help you - it has no effect on the server. This can also be useful if you want to temporarily remove something from the configuration, if you're experimenting with the setup.

Each section in the action.ini file used to require three hashes ('###') at the end - version 1.5 of the Action server fixed this, so you can safely remove them. Maybe!

Simply replace the lines after [maplist] with the names of the maps you want to play. So, a typical one that would make me happy would be:

   // Optrex's happy maps






You'll have to set the 'actionmaps' server variable to '1' to enable this rotation - it's best put in your lanserver.cfg file.

Specifying the skins and team names is equally simple - you just replace the line below each [team] heading with the name of the team, and the following line with the model and skin the team will use.

So, a slightly modified version might be:







Please choose skins sensibly - make sure that everyone has the skins, otherwise they'll see lots of Reservoir Dogs running around. Also, try and choose two pretty distinctive skins, or you'll spend a lot of your time getting scared witless when one of your teammates leaps out in front of you!

Now all you need to do is save the action.ini file, and when you restart the server the changes will take effect.

Part 6 - Connecting to the server

It's quite possible to set up Gamespy on your LAN to work just the same as you would when playing on the Internet - assuming you know the IP address (or name) of the server and the port number you're connecting to.

If you don't want to go to those lengths, there's always the standard Quake2 'Multiplayer' menu. If you fire up Action Quake2, go to Multiplayer, then 'Join a network server'. Servers on the default port should show up in the list after a few seconds, so you can simply select the server and start playing.

If the server is not on the default port, or there's some reason why Quake2 can't automatically find a server for you, you can open up the 'Address book' on this menu, and type in the server name or IP address and port number if required.

For example:


- if the PC is called 'Quaker', or

- if you have to use the IP address of the computer and specify a different port.

Once you've connected to the server, you can start playing - it's just the same as playing on the Internet only without the dreaded lag.

Part 7 - Administration on the go!

So, your server is running and you're happily stabbing people to bits on your favourite map. It's not over there, though, the life of an administrator is never easy! It's at times like this that you're glad you have 'rcon' if it's a dedicated server. There's a few main things that you may want to do on the fly.

First up, changing maps or game modes. "Change the map!" comes the cry over the on-screen chat. In the end, you do so, if only to get a bit of peace and quiet. A typical example could be:

   rcon wibble map lighthouse

There's also a (sometimes) useful command to find out details of any connected players.

   rcon wibble status

The most useful information that this displays is the current map, a list of players who are connected, their names, scores and IP addresses. IP address can be used to trace that mysteriously named player that is exceedingly good. Just who is playing under the assumed name? :o)

You can also kick someone from a server if they're being a right nuisance. You shouldn't really use this unless you're desperate - seeing as you're on a LAN, it might be better to go round and thump the person instead.

It does have its uses though - say you're on a team game and down to one player on each team. One player crashes, but remains connected, and the other player can't find them. A kick can be used to good effect here. I've also had occasion to use it when someone mysteriously disappeared whilst still connected, leaving themselves as a sitting target for the opposition. Heck, I don't give points away that easily! Anyway, the command is:

   rcon wibble kick Snapshot

Assuming that 'Snapshot' is the player's name.

Part 8 - Coping with multiple AQ2 mods

Action is perhaps unique amongst modified versions of Quake 2 ('mods'), as there have been quite a number of mods made of the mod.

Confused? Well, it's quite simple really. The A-Team, who developed Action, were kind enough to release the source code as well. This has enabled various other third parties to make their own particular versions of Action. If you want to check out the various mods, then have a look through the links section.

These mods work by replacing your action gamex86.dll with a modified version, and may or may not require additional files on the server and clients. Rather than simply overwriting the file each time you install a new mod, it's best to keep a copy of the old one.

So, in the first place, take a safe copy of your gamex86.dll and call it something like 'original-gamex86.dll'. Install the mod, following the instructions in the readme file, and take a copy of the new gamex86.dll - and give it a suitable name to reflect the new mod - like 'fireteams120-gamex86.dll'.

This is perhaps being a little bit over cautious, but it makes it dead easy when you want to remove a mod from the server - simply take a copy of the backup you made of the dll and rename it as 'gamex86.dll'. Simple, really!

Basically, there's two different types of these Action Mods. Again, you'll have to refer to the documentation that came with the mod, or its website, to find out what sort of mod it is.

Server-side mods

Generally, these offer pretty minor modifications to Action - changes in functionality, such as the extra teams offered by FireTeams, things like that. The players who connect to the server don't need to download anything to play this mod, making life much easier.

Client and server mods

This sort of mod requires the user to install some files as well - as well as changes to the actual gameplay, there could be specific models, sounds and other graphics that you'll need. Follow the instructions that came with the mod, and get all players to install the files on their PCs - it doesn't do any harm to install them on the server as well.

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