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* If I were an Evil Overlord.  See it here.

TWGS settings to mess with Script Kiddies, - or - How to help the newbies survive the first hour.

I have not incorporated any changes since version .46, so the new features from .47 and above aren't discussed here yet.  I will update this as soon as possible.  -T 3/21/02

Below are some ideas we've been tossing around that limit the effectiveness of abusive script kiddies.  These are a collection of recommended settings and some tips on what to do both before the re-bang and after.  Most of these settings also increase the odds that newbies will survive a little better.  It's up to you as a sysop to figure out which settings are good for newbies, and which ones just mess with the script kiddies.  If you apply ALL of these changes at once tho, then you will likely piss off BOTH the newbies and the script kiddies.  (which may be your goal...depends on the kind of board and games you are running I guess.) 
NOTE: (Some of these settings may contribute to slowness in warp calc or increase the chances for game corruption, but I've never had it happen to me.  I'm just warning you that ANY time you modify the game settings, you are more likely to get corruption or additional slowness.  Don't blame me.  If you think you find a bug, let JP know!)

General Server Settings:
Run Extern before midnight.  Personally, I like to have it run at like 9pm PST.  This gives most people a chance to be there for it, without being too tired to think straight.  It also changes pod regeneration strategies.  It also cuts down on the likelihood that someone will blow the SD on the first day.  Originally extern ran late in the evening because it took so long for it to run.  With modern processor speed, it's no longer a factor, so it can be run at anytime.  For a real challenge to everyone, run extern at 1:30pm PST.  Most people are at work or school at this time.  (I recognize that a substantial percentage of players are NOT in the USA.  This change is not intended to make their lives particularly miserable.  If they are hard core players, they will consider the change in time a challenge, and adapt.) 

Big-Bang Settings:
Option E: set this to max.  This makes the planet denial option difficult. 
2) Option F: drop this down to about 28% (this works with #3)
3) Option G: raise this to about 5%.  This will allow you more flexibility in modifying your map.  The increased number of one-ways allows you the option of adding new links if needed, without subtracting warps.  Addition of warps is always better than subtraction of warps.  
4) Option I: set to max.  (this is no longer as necessary under versions .47+, but it's still a good idea.  The logistics of running a ship denial game become much harder when you more than double the total # available.
5) Option J: enable this.  becomes important when you want to modify the ships later

Post Big-Bang Editor Settings:
General Editor One:
Option A:  Keep this 1000 or less.  High turn games are just invitations for the TWX WSSM script kiddies.  Set this to 5000+ only if you want to see SD get blown just after extern on day one.  (I've done it with only one corpie on day one with only 4800 turns.)
Option H: Max this one, but DON'T change the # of collies that Terra can hold.  This makes it slightly harder for a single corp to play the collie denial game.  I wish it could regen faster, but oh well...
3) Option M: NEVER make this setting higher than 5.  Furthermore, setting it to 1 is just plain evil.  Don't do it unless you like to hear players whine.  2-5 is optimal.  Depends on the style of game you want to run.  Low numbers tend to have lots of invasions, and run fast and furious.  High numbers tends to draw the game out.  
4) Option N: Most Tournaments run this setting at 6.  Default is 5.  Depends on the type of game you want.  Newbies often don't have many friends, so setting this to 3 or so helps them, but encourages multi-corps.  I would set it to either 3 or 5.   
5) Option P: Set it to zero.  Any higher, and it gives reds too much of an advantage early on.  If you want your aliens to be tougher, then change THEM so they spawn with nastier stuff earlier.  It is arguable that nasty aliens early on are more dangerous for the experienced players than for the newbies; while the newbies have more stuff out there that can kill them, the experienced players that run the power scripts often have problems when their script abends in unexpected ways when they are attacked, or their script will simply stop running, which slows them down while they deal with the alien.  (I personally don't recommend running aliens at all, but that's just me.  Seen too many problems with the Gold aliens, and the regular Ferrengi and Alien Traders are more annoying than anything.)
6) Options R, S, & T I'll deal with at another time, when I talk about tournaments.

H: General Editor Two:
Option C: set this to 8000.  NO FREE MONEY!  With my private Tri-Con script (not the one I posted for the general public... ;-) I've gone from starting money (and a few trades on the way to SD) to being in an ISS while spending ZERO turns.  And no, I'm not going to prove it, nor say anything more about it!  You'll have to take my word for it.  (ok, I did get really lucky that time too, but I always win more than I loose.)
2) Option E: If you want to just move the SD next to Fed, use this option.  If you want to really mess with people, then see my section on moving warps around below.
3) Option F & G: Don't move these.  Moving these around can create interesting situations too.  I prefer to modify warp links to these tho.  See below.
4) Option L: I would turn this one off.  It's not necessary.  
5) Option M: Leave this one ON.  I got a script that finds it in a few minutes anyway, and so do many people.  It only hurts the newbies.
6) Option O:  Make this one 12.  Makes AMTRAK very hard.  Takes 2 corps working together to dogpile someone.  
7) Option P:  Set this one to 1 second or 10 seconds.  We have a 1 second photon invasion script, but most people don't.  Keeps your newbies planets alive longer.  Or make it 10 seconds, so ANY newbie has enough time to invade.  Depends on your players.  Of course, with 10 second photons, it's possible to have someone drive all the way to your back sector... I know that you DON'T want people like us to have 10 seconds.
8) Option U:  High cloak fails are bad.
9) Option V:  High clear helps prevent blockades of SD.  I would set it to 100% clear.
10) Option W: YES!
11) Options Y, S, 1 and ";": It depends on your processer.  Newbies tend to do better with zero move delay, (since they have a chance to beat the photon from SD...this is a tough call tho, since the power scripters benefit from it too.)  However, you can balance this out by slowing down the scripters by limiting option S to 5 or so, and you can save your processor some grief by setting option ";" to 1 or 2 seconds.
12) Option 7 and 8.  Make these settings low.  (4 to 6 days is optimal.  Leave option 8 at 50%)
13) Option ":": Setting this to less than 45 will slow down the power mappers, and break alot of scripts, slow down invasions, and generally be very annoying.  I like 12.  Speeds up processor time too :-)
14) Option "/": LIMIT DAILY TIME.  Take 24 and divide that by the maximum # of players in a corp + 1.  That should be the limit in hours.  Drop the remainder.  
15) Options 3, 4, & 6:  Depends on if you are running MBBS or not.  If you are running MBBS, then you are stuck.  Otherwise, limit optinon 4 to about 80%.  Option 6 should be set to 2-3 days.  I don't recommend changing option 3.  (unless you REALLY hate reds)

I: General Editor Three:
1) Option O:  Max it.  Slows down the Red's ability to bust planets at SD.  Leave option F alone, since raising F and O will hurt the newbies, but raising only option O will hurt the experienced players more than the new players (who will just be happy the HAVE a planet ;-)
2) Option P:  Reduce it.  No explanation should be necessary >:)
3) Option R:  Max it.  Slows down the power mappers.  Newbies don't use probes much anyway.
4) Option X:  Two ways you can do this one.  I prefer to leave it alone.  Or you can drop it to one day.  Depends on your players mostly.  
5) Options Y & Z:  I recommend you leave these alone.  You want to have SOME reds on your board, right?
6)  Option 3:  Depends on your port regen rates (you can't change this in MBBS).  I would leave it at default, UNLESS you don't use my recommended regen settings...  You might want to tweak this then.
7)  Option 4:  Turn it on!  The longer a red has to stay on-line, the more vulnerable they are.  You turn this setting on, then you don't need to worry about WSSM's nearly as much.
8)  Option 8:  NEVER TURN THIS ON!!! 

Sector Edits and Ship Edits:
UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!!  This section is gonna be as long as the above section, and I need to get back to my life...expect an update here soon.

Copyright 2002 - 2005, Chris Kent aka Traitor.  All rights reserved.  See About.html for more info.