On 11/24/06, Jimmy Huang <jimmyhua73 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>I get bad lag on continuum. warped is much better
>actually. :-P

My experience is the opposite. I consistently have been getting 250 to
300 on warped and
190 to 210 on continuum. It may not seem like much, especially if you
haven't played over
dialup in a long time, but playing at 200 vs 300 is like night and day
in may respects.

>Sturgeon is popular now! Let's face it!

One could argue it is popular because it was the only decent server
running bots which has
good enough lag. When I started playing netrek there were at least 2
paradise servers that were full virtually 24x7 but we had about half a
dozen bronco servers also nearly always full
to balance things out. As I've stated before this is, at least in my
experience, a historic
juncture for netrek in that for the first time we had a 2 month period
with literally zero
bronco games yet sturgeon was filled every night. As Niclas pointed
out before sturgeon
there was bronco games every night.

Newbies who've only played for a few months or even a few years do not
have the same
emotional investment in the game as those of us who've been playing
for over a decade.
I'm all in favor, in an ideal world, for a plurality of expressions of
netrek. I wish
we had a large and active enough player base to keep bronco, sturgeon,
hockey, chaos and paradise servers going 24x7; as an aside we could do
that with probably 1/1000th of the active  World of Worldcraft (WoW)
community ;-) However we must be realistic and like a surgeon who's
desperately working to save the patient's life some hard decisions may
need to be made.

The vast majority of the old timers and clue have spoken through their
absence and it seems clear they'd rather not play netrek at all rather
than play sturgeon style netrek.

Personally I find sturgeon to be a fun distraction and I do appreciate
Bill's hard work
and efforts in client and server development. However I don't love
sturgeon nor derive
the same satisfaction from it the way I do bronco pickup. On another
sad note we've
not had a single bronco clue pickup game in nearly 16 months. I think
those who've played
in clue games and especially organized league netrek will agree it is
the single most
satisfying form of netrek for clue and it's the most educational form
for newbies.

There's always been a very symbiotic relationship between the
popularity of netrek overall
and the health of league play. I personally know at least a dozen
established old timers
who told me they retired from pickup because there was no longer a
thriving clue game scene.

Empirically I have witnessed the truth of this myself and it is sad. I
believe that the way to resurrect netrek and ensure it's future health
is to:

1) Take measures to grow the player base:
   a) Client side development (some eye/ear candy)
   b) Healthy bronco pickup servers
   c) Variant servers that will get people interested but then direct
them to bronco
      to really learn how to play. If sturgeon is thriving yet bronco
is dead there will
      NOT be any possibility of bringing back tournament play since
most clue and old
      timers just do not find non-bronco games appealing. Some may
argue that you can
      have sturgeon "clue games" whilst most would probably find that
to be an oxymoron
      as much  as paradise "clue games".
  d) Promotional efforts. Joe is basically the only who has done much
on this and I
      appreciate his efforts.
  e) Also draft leagues were an important mechanism in helping players
mature from
      the newbie level of understanding to be ready for clue play. The
last draft league was
      years ago as was the last clue league (bronco).

2) Weekly or at the worst semi-monthly clue pickup games.

3) Eventually have healthy clue league(s).

I don't know what the correct solution is regarding sturgeon and I
sympathize with
the points that Bill and Carlos make however I feel that our primary
concern must be
to ensure bronco stays alive. If bronco dies netrek is dead and we
started to see
that happening.

Back to Allegri's "Miserere" :)