External ranking stuff requires a lot of back end work/overhaul that I neither have the time or patience for. User accounts are still manually managed in a config file. Maybe clients could tell the server if they are novice, casual, or pro (and default to novice if the question is unanswered). Remember: Just because you don't notice me playing online doesn't mean I don't do it fairly frequently (I even sit on servers just spectating sometimes). People target and bug me, so I play anonymously to avoid frustration. I already knew this unfair balancing was happening more than we would like it to, months before anyone even mentioned it. I don't see any rush to jump headfirst without proper thought on the issue, because it isn't going to make any difference now until 1.5 is released - I won't be back porting changes to 1.4.x. The fact the new system is almost as problematic as the old one is evidence that the issue can't be solved with a trivial fix.
It is hard to make a self regulating system that doesn't heavily rely on some form of human input (which is often flawed or susceptible to misuse). It should be noted that I tried self regulation for almost all of the last 8 years and the trend is that the more players there are, the more self regulation is abused. I have seen regulars (and even some moderators) switch to the winning team just to be a dick, so forgive me if I don't give humans the benefit of the doubt here. You're not the ones who gets asked to step in when people are misbehaving, I am, and I'm tired of having to be around 24/7 just so people can play a game in peace. I want more automation, and less intervention.
Interacting with Red Eclipse lately has been trying for me. I've abandoned IRC because I'd constantly return to highlights of my name consisting of "quin: fix stun" etc. You have no idea how annoying that gets when you can't yell at the person for being an asshat because they're not online when you get back, and so innocent people have been subjected to my misdirected rage. I am bipolar, I don't always have the ability to restrain myself when people are getting on my nerves. The more those people place demands on and generally disregard me, the more I find myself drifting away from the project. I have even seriously considered making 1.5 the final release and moving on, making a new singleplayer game just so I don't have to deal with headaches caused by people doing the wrong thing in multiplayer.
I'd love to he able to delegate work on the project to other people, especially when it comes to the more complicated programming and back end work that is too much for me to handle. Unfortunately those that have demonstrated the necessary skill to do this are people who have also proven to not be team players. They would rather argue semantics over the style of the code, instead of respecting the guidelines set out by the project.
The multiplayer FPS genre is about to get overly competitive again due to the release or announcements of higher grade games for free by commercial developers (Toxikk, Unreal Tournament). A one man show using an aging engine has no hope of competing with that, so it may be time for a change anyway. Red Eclipse is pretty much a complete game now, and it achieved what it set out to do. I could just yank out incomplete stuff like auto balancing and push 1.5 now.
Quinton Reeves | Lead Developer, Red Eclipse
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